Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Lords of War – Shattered Hand and Kargath Bladefist

I always saw Kargath as a lunatic. He was crazy, but he was not anything really special. I mean, the man cut off his arm and replaced it with a blade. And then, he did the same with the second hand as well. One cannot but wonder if he didn't cut off his other arm in his sleep, when he tried to roll over on the other side, or maybe it was a pesky mosquito getting on his nerves. Imagine going to the bathroom, and having two long knives attached to your arms, where hands used to be. The handless, but bladeful orc did not have an easy life up to that point, but this story of Maraad made it possible for us to actually understand who, and what Kargath Bladefist was.

Kargath was either born as slave, or was enslaved as youth. We could speculate, but when you think of it, both options are tragic. As he grew up, he fought in the arena as gladiator. For entertainment of the ogres he was forced to fight other orcs. Life was not easy. And there was a promise of freedom. Kill hundred men, and you are free. I would dare say this makes Kargath at least as skilled as Thrall, if not more. There is the always going to be a debate about which is more skillful, to wound or to kill, but I would go with Kargath on this one.

Unlike Thrall, who escaped from slavery, Kargath sacrificed his own hand to overthrow the ogre slave masters. Mere hand is nothing in comparison with freedom, and yet most would probably think twice before cutting off their hand with a possibly sharp stone. This is the action that made others follow him. They could see he is setting himself as an example. Kargath would never ask of others something he could not, or would not do himself.

And unlike other orcish clans which have strong familial bonds, Shattered Hand has nothing. The only connection they have is their devotion to Kargath. The only thing in common they have is their dissatisfaction with the world. Members of the Shattered Hand clan are all grizzled veterans of life who know no mercy. They will not stop to think about their actions, because from experience they know waiting is what kills you in the end.

Shattered Hand is probably the only orcish clan who has every right to take vengeance on everyone. Even the draenei. Some will say that draenei had nothing to do with the ogres, and they could be right. It is obvious orcs were unable to do much, after all they were slaves. Even the clans could not do much against the ogre empire. It took the institution of Warchief and gathering of all the clans to repel the ogres last time they did it, and there certainly was no warchief around now. On other hand, there were no draenei slaves.

Draenei who settled on the Draenor chose to be the part of this world. They settled on it, and they lived there for quite some time. And all that time they simply watched what went on, deciding not to choose sides, acting only when they saw fit, and it was for their own good. This is far from the noble picture of Draenei we know. It shows draenei as hypocrites. They would fight the demons without pause, but to meddle with their own world, try to bring it to some semblance, that is out of the question. Their reclusiveness is what made the orcs attack them the first time around.

You have this strange tentacled creatures with hooves who live all by themselves in large cities and temples they built. They never fought with you, but they never extended the offer of assistance against other threats either. And now, the spirits are telling your people that draenei plan to eradicate your people. You have faced ogres, and they are just strong and mighty. But here in draenei you have an enemy that has better equipped military, as well as technology on its side. The only thing you have is a surprise attack.

But we need to take Velen in consideration. The old man has visions. He probably knew all about it even before it happened. So why did he let it happen? Was this the necessary evil in order to win the battle against the Burning Legion that would be fought decades later? Maybe. If we look at how draenei reacted when they crashed on Azeroth it could be a real possibility. Draenei on Azeroth did not waste time, they did not stand for themselves like they did on Draenor, they meddled, they became active participants. And that is scary. It is scary because that would mean, that all the lost lives, every single victim orcs killed on their rampage is on Velen's hands, because he knew and did nothing. Well, he did something. He willingly sacrificed all those people in order to win a battle decades later.

But we are getting sidetracked. The original Kargath lived long life of war, and fought for various overlords, generals and warchiefs. He met his end in Hellfire Citadel drunk on the haze of demon blood. He probably never cared much for who he fought as long as there was worthy enemy to fight against. Kargath's legacy in form of Shattered Hand lives on in the Horde though. Under Thrall's command Shattered Hand became Horde's clan of assassins, taking care of all young rogues, making sure they serve the warchief.

Also, Maraad is a lefthander, and Kargath has only one arm left to write with (for now). Can we please choose our main hand already?

#LordsOfWar #Kargath #WoW


  1. 'The only thing in common they have is their dissatisfaction' - sounds like my workplace!
    But nice post, Lords of war has definitely peaked my interest :)

    1. You make a valid point. Through those stories, warlords could actually become cool. Not just the cool villains, but actual characters we would in different circumstances probably root for, sympathise, and even identify with. If they weren't hellbent on wiping us from the face of Azeroth that is.


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