ALERT! ALERT! The following post contains spoilers for the Horde version of the Theramore’s Fall (level 85) scenario. If you have not completed this scenario, you should not read any further. You have been warned.
Theramore’s Fall was, quite honestly, the one scenario I was not looking forward to. I knew what had to happen (the Horde destroying it, naturally), but I didn’t know how. I didn’t want to know how. I had been to Theramore only once or twice as a little Alliance character. I had seen Jaina high in her tower, and I remembered thinking how amazing it was that the Alliance maintained a city so close to Horde territory. I know what it meant to other Alliance members, and I knew what it meant to me. Knowing that I had to help destroy it was ridiculously painful for me. Little did I know how that would actually come about.
Before I continue, I would just like to start off by saying that when it comes to Theramore’s Fall, I am painfully lore-ignorant. I have not read Jaina Proudmoore: Tides of War, although I know I should. It’s on my “To Be Read” list and will be read once I’m done with the book I’m currently reading. However, it’s important that I say this now because, when I loaded into Theramore, I legitimately had no idea what was going on, nor would anybody else who hasn’t read the appropriate tie-in. The Horde version, at least, has no intro video, so you come into it going “wait, why are we we here? What’s the purpose of this?”
So how does the Horde version of this go, you may ask? Well, I’ll tell you.
The Horde version begins on a ship, and brief dialogue (that most people don’t bother to pay attention to; I can’t help but feel like this is a flaw in the design) reveals a summary of what is going on:
I really have to confess that this bugs me. I mean, I know our scenario takes place before the Alliance version, but that’s legitimately all we get as an explanation. I mean, this doesn’t explain a damn thing. Why are we trying to lay siege to Theramore? What does Garrosh honestly hope to accomplish by laying siege to it in the first place? It isn’t as though Theramore is in the middle of an area loaded up with resources the Horde can use. It’s out in Dustwallow Marsh, for crying out loud. The only resource I can think of is food, and the Horde has plenty of that given the surplus of boars out in Durotar. So, really, what is the point? For that matter, who is this spy? Why is this the first we’re hearing of him?
….as we can see, I like explanations.
Anyhow, from the Horde ship, you and your two other party members advance onto the docks, rigging barrels of powder to explode on Theramore’s own ships and happily slaughtering the Alliance crew as you go. The captains are the toughest crew members on each of these ships. A couple are easily bypassed, but others are not and may aggro if you get too close to the stairs. Once you visit all six ships and rig their powder barrels, Blastmaster Sparkfuse lights them up, the ships are on fire, and the Alliance, well, knows you’re still there.
Your next task is to slaughter even more Alliance troops, and kill Baldruc (the Theramore flightmaster) and his gryphons, effectively preventing further departure from Theramore. Be mindful of the Arcanist mobs from this point on as they will polymorph you and you’ll frolic about as a sheep for a few minutes. It isn’t fun. You have to fight through a couple of groups of them and various other soldiers before you get to your goal: Baldruc. Baldruc drops totems occasionally that you need to either stay away from or destroy, otherwise they will eat you.
Once he’s dead, you need to find their tanks, specifically one named Big Bessa, and then rig the others to explode. Then, it’s off to Foothold Citadel to rescue the spy! Depending on which way you go, if you pass near the entrance to the tower on your way to the keep, you can see Jaina, Kalecgos, and Rhonin inside on the first floor. They will probably attack you if they know you’re there, as their nameplates are all red, but we never got close enough to them to find out. Once you’re inside the citadel, you must kill even more Alliance soldiers, and find Hedric Evancane, as he has the key to your spy’s chains. He dies fairly easily, but he does periodically emote that he’s switching weapons which will effect how much damage he does, I believe.
With the keys in hand, you must head to the basement and kill the two soldiers guarding your spy: Thalen Songweaver. There’s little about this blood elf that I legitimately don’t like. I love his voice actor (it’s so appropriately stuck-up and blood elfy that it’s hard not to like him), and he even blows you a kiss when you release him (hilarious to my guildies and I at the time as the one he blew a kiss to was an ICly married blood elf shadow priest).
However, as he summons a portal for us to escape through, he reveals that the failed Theramore siege was just a ruse. Apparently, Garrosh wanted them to think they had failed! But why?
It wasn’t until we stepped through the portal to Orgrimmar that we see exactly why. Garrosh has a ship loaded with a mana bomb hovering nearby even as we escaped. Perhaps they learned we were clear before they dropped it. I don’t know. All I know is that the bomb was released, Theramore exploded in a burst of purple light, and I sat there staring at the screen in shock for several minutes as I loaded back into Orgrimmar. The one thing I hadn’t wanted to see, the one thing I hoped Garrosh would never do, had actually come to pass. Theramore was destroyed, innocent people were now dead, and Jaina would be forever changed by the event.
And we were responsible.
What does this mean for Jaina now? I don’t know. All I know is that I can’t bring myself to look at Garrosh right now and Thyanel will be paying her respects to the dead at the newly destroyed Theramore.