Spoiler alert for Patch 8.2
Today I finally did the Stay of Execution scenario, months behind schedule, and it was superb. Long an advocate for the Tauren, and for Baine Bloodhoof to become our next Warchief, this solo dungeon make it all the clearer that he is the right choice.
I unlocked it by finishing up some quests in Nazjatar, not really knowing what was going to happen - somehow I’d managed to avoid spoilers for all this time. I was shocked to find that Sylvanas was about to execute Baine for ‘betraying’ her when he reunited the newly Undead Derek Proudmoore with his sister Jaina.
A Shamanistic vision shows us that he is imprisoned below Orgrimmar (in a repurposed dungeon based on the Siege of Orgrimmar raid), and we need to act immediately to rescue him. We’re joined by Thrall and Varok Saurfang, heroes of the Horde and stars of the Safe Haven cinematic, and it’s a thrill fighting alongside the two elder Orc legends.
But that’s nothing to the shock of who we find half way through the mission.
Jaina. I was genuinely surprised, which I guess says something for how little attention I pay to the streamers and data-mining lore-reveals. It’s a nice feeling to find a game you’ve played for so long can still take you by surprise, and a reminder of just how strong Blizzard’s lore and writing team can be - and a reminder of why we keep playing.
Jaina is there to rescue Baine too, not just because of the Derek Proudmore moment, but because Baine is good people. He, of all the participants in this war, doesn’t deserve a traitor’s death. The confrontation between Thrall and Jaina is beautifully played out, as they - and we - unite to rescue Baine from Sylvanas’s prison.
A faction leader, disgracefully strung up by Sylvanas. No honour here.[/caption] The in-game cinematic that finishes the scenario is one of Blizzard’s best. Jaina and Thrall gazing down on Thunder Bluff, fearing Sylvanas’s retribution, and both reflecting on the terrible cost of the years of conflict and death.
Thrall’s regrets in particular struck home with me, his sorrow over the death of Baine’s father Cairne, and all the conflict and ruin that has wrought. Jaina’s reaction to Thrall’s pain is magic, and brings great hope for future peace between the two warring factions.
I still hold some slim hope that Sylvanas will somehow be shown to have been acting in Azeroth’s best interests, that rousing Azshara and N’zoth was required in order for the factions to unite and defeat the larger threat. But the destruction of Teldrassil has probably put paid to her reputation ever being rehabilitated. Her time is over.
If anyone can heal the rift between the Alliance and the Horde, it’s Baine Bloodhoof. And if Sylvanas really does try and burn down Thunder Bluff nothing can save her from our retribution.
Gann Stonespire - Aug 20, 2019
“Long an advocate for the Alliance” Fixed! Baine is not for the Tauren, see his heartless reaction to Taurajo where he labeled Tauren civilians a valid target for firebombing and exiled grieving widowers for defending the gates of Mulgore.
stroeb - Aug 20, 2019
Hm I haven’t read Tides of War which I assume is what you’re referring to. The summary on Wowpedia seems to indicate that Baine waited for the civilians to evacuate before attacking the Alliance raiders? I think you’d be hard pressed to say Baine doesn’t act in the best interests of his people, even if war means some very harsh decisions have to be made.
Gann Stonespire - Aug 20, 2019
Per both the novel and the game, Baine didn’t do anything, it was the Tauren and orcs of vendetta point who defended the gate of Mulgore. The brave men and women who Baine exiled for defending against Alliance soldiers. Note Baine violated the oath to the Horde, saying members of the Horde shall always be allowed to retaliation and self defense.
How is exiling your own people in any way acting in the wellbeing of the Horde, especially when it’s the same punishment given to his fathers killer? Baine even declared the civilians of Taurajo, “a valid military target” as opposed to the Alliance army he declared off limits. Read the links below. https://wow.gamepedia.com/Vendetta_Point https://wow.gamepedia.com/Blood_Oath_of_the_Horde_(quest)
stroeb - Aug 20, 2019
I can’t really comment without reading the book. I can think of lots of alternate interpretations.
I’d argue he allowed those exiles their retaliation, thus not violating the Oath. And he chose to close Mulgore to protect the Tauren homeland, at great cost obviously. He put the wellbeing of the people and Horde above vengeance, even having to exile from Thunder Bluff (but not the Horde) those who would risk that security.
But I can see your point of view too. I think that kind of decision is also why he is the key to uniting the Horde and Alliance. If vengeance is the only option and must be pursued at any cost, peace will never happen. And maybe that does mean stretching the Oath, or adding some concept of forgiveness to it. Who would you propose as the new Warchief instead?
Gann Stonespire - Aug 21, 2019
Baine acted entirely dishonorably there; exile from Thunderbluff was the same punishment given to Magatha for killing Cairne. All the tauren Baine exiled were honorable people, Jorn Skyseer helped Baine reclaim Thunderbluff from Magatha in the Shattering and he still gets exiled for not letting the Alliance break into mulgore. Those tauren were defending the gates and made it a point to ONLY attack the military forces that were still attacking tauren, they were in no way endangering the tauren. The Gate wasn’t safe as the Alliance was trying to break it down, but the tauren, Baine would later exile for their heroism, saved it. https://wow.gamepedia.com/Siegebreaker_(quest)
Baine would not bring peace to the Horde, if you were Jorn Skyseer, Kirge who lost his wife to the Alliance firebombing camp Taurajo leaving him to raise their son alone, would you support the man who unjustly exiled you? Self Defense is NOT veneange, we’ve discussed this, Baine’s inaction would’ve resulted in those siege engines breaking down the gates and massacring the tauren of Mulgore. Baine was risking their security due to his stupid actions, indeed before Tides of War messed him up to prop up Anduin, Baine was originally going to support the tauren in defending against the Alliance. https://www.wowhead.com/sounds/name:VO_Baine_Event
Sadly the desire to make the Alliance/Anduin look good resulted in the event being cut and Baine being the tauren in name only we have now. Baine also blatantly values humanity over Horde lives; admitting to trusting humans over orcs, killing orcs and forsaken with no regret but “having great sadness” when killing humans and only doing so out of fear of reprecusions from other members of the Horde rather then any desire to protect the Horde. Basically Baine’s rule would just be submission, resulting in Warchief Anduin which would suck.
Thrall is the only decent choice, Warchief Baine would be th
stroeb - Aug 21, 2019
You argue your position well, and it’s a strong point. I guess I take an alternate view on it, but I can appreciate your stance. I doubt Thrall will be Warchief again, much though it would be a popular choice. He would decline the offer, but I’m sure it will be offered.
2019-08-19 01:36 +0000