Last of the Line
|Last of the Line|
August 20, 2008
Last of the Line is the 10th installment of the World of Warcraft comic.
In Stormwind, Prince Anduin digs into the disappearance of his father, King Varian. Meanwhile, Lo'Gosh, Thargas, Valeera Sanguinar and Broll continue to fight the Dark Irons as they search for Thargas’ brother, Hjalmar. This unique group must summon the strength to face insurmountable odds — but at what cost?
In the hills above Thandol Span, Lo'Gosh and Thargas fight their way through a group of Dark Iron dwarves, eventually killing all of them except one. Thargas demands to know where Hjalmar is. The Dark Iron replies that Balgaras the Foul is holding the elder Anvilmar captive at Thandol Span, which Thargas initially doesn't believe; last he heard, the Dark Irons tried and failed to destroy the bridge and the span was left in Alliance hands. The Dark Iron reveals that his kind have retaken the span, that Hjalmar discovered their plans but were unable to stop them, and that by day's end, both the bridge and Hjalmar will be blown to pieces. Enraged, Thargas crushes the Dark Iron's head with his mace.
In a cave not far away, Broll ofers a herbal draught to Valeera, who is suffering from the effects of the Mark of Kathra'natir and partially blames herself for the situation that she and Broll are stuck in while Lo'Gosh and Thargas are out scouting. Broll tells her that when he was similarly attacked by a demon, he too blamed himself and wasted years in self-recrimination. He urges Valeera to not make the same mistake, and that while what happened to her matters, how she deals with it matters more. Transforming into a storm crow, Broll takes Valeera on his back so they can do some scouting of their own. During the flight, Valeera insists that it was her fault for touching the fel dagger in Menethil Harbor, and she admits that she is now scared of what she is and of what she could become.
Broll and Valeera fly above Thandol Span and spot a group of Dark Iron dwarves led by Balgaras the Foul at one end of the bridge next to a siege engine. Valeera notices that Balgaras is carrying a horned helmet and is accompanied by a felhunter, and she spots a dwarven captive that she concludes must be Hjalmar Anvilmar. She also notices a number of explosives, but before she and Broll are able to get closer, the Dark Irons notice them and begin firing at them, forcing Broll to quickly fly away.
On the dirigible mooring dock at Stormwind Keep, King Magni and his riflemen are preparing to leave for Thandol Span. The dirigible's goblin master tells Magni that he can't transport the dwarves' cannons, since carrying heavy artillery would compromise the goblins' neutrality. Magni holds a short speech for his men, and Bolvar tells the king that he doesn't know how Thandol Span managed to fall, since he did in fact order reinforcements to Khaz Modan. "Varian", Anduin, and Katrana appear on the dock, with Katrana revealing that she countermanded Bolvar's orders; with their forces stretched so thin, dealing with the Dark Irons shouldn't be Stormwind's concern as they are Magni's brethren. While the dirigible takes off, Magni fumes at the insult of being likened to the Dark Irons and becomes more eager to meet with Lo'Gosh, the "other" Varian that Jaina Proudmoore believes is the true king.
Back in the Wetlands, Broll and Valeera meet up with Lo'Gosh and Thargas and inform them of what they saw on the bridge. While the party ride toward the span, Thargas promises to aid Lo'Gosh in deposing the usurper in Stormwind in return for his aid. To provide cover for the party's infiltration of the span, Broll summons fog and rain to obscure the Dark Iron sentries' sight.
In Stormwind Keep, Varian and Anduin bond over an archery session. Anduin asks how his father ended up in the hands of naga if it was the Defias Brotherhood who kidnapped him, to which Varian replies that he can't remember. As Anduin aims his bow, Varian promises him a reward if he's able to hit the bull's-eye on the target. The prince indeed hits the center of the target, and for his reward says that he would like to ask Bolvar to investigate how it came to be that Varian was ransomed by the naga. Lady Prestor watches the conversation from the shadows. She decides that Anduin is too perceptive and that this threat must be neutralized permanently.
On Thandol Span, Lo'Gosh's party are sneaking toward the bridge's central tower when the fog suddenly begins to disperse as a result of Balgaras' felhunter countering Broll's spell. The Dark Iron sentries spot the intruders but are unable to fire as the rain has wet the powder in their rifles. Lo'Gosh and his companions charge at the dwarves, but in response Balgaras summons a huge war golem. After Lo'Gosh tries and fails to attack the golem, Thargas climbs into the Dark Irons' siege engine and rams it into the construct, simultaneously blowing open a hole into the central tower. While Thargas heads inside for his brother, Valeera finishes off Balgaras' felhunter. In a frenzy, she rips off and eats a portion of the demon's flesh, much to Broll's fury. Lo'Gosh tells Broll that they can discuss the details of Valeera's behavior later, and that for now he should summon the rain again to make sure the dwarves' powder stays soaked.
Inside the explosive-packed tower, Thargas comes upon Balgaras preparing to kill Hjalmar by driving a fire spell right through the Helm of the Anvilmars to fuse it to Hjalmar's face. In response, Thargas rushes forward, chops off Balgaras' left hand, then knocks him aside and begins to free his brother. However, Balgaras lands right next to a set of explosives and begins casting a fire spell in his remaining hand to light the fuse. Hjalmar notices the attempt and jumps forward, absorbing the ensuing explosion with his own body. Devastated, Thargas finishes Balgaras off by smashing his head in, then rushes to his dying brother's side. With his last breath, Hjalmar tells Thargas that the Helm of the Anvilmars is now his, and that he should wear it bravely and save Thandol Span. Placing the helmet on his head, Thargas swear to uphold this last wish.
Thargas leaps outside to join Lo'Gosh, Broll, and Valeera in killing the remaining Dark Irons. Some of the dwarves fire up their wrecked siege engine and begin driving towards the group, but are interrupted when the vehicle suddenly blows apart after being bombarded from above. Aboard the dirigible high above the span, King Magni congratulates one of his men on the shot and tells the rest of his skirmishers to open fire on the remaining Dark Irons on the bridge. The goblin captain yells at Magni for bringing a cannon on board despite his orders, but Magni merely shrugs and asks "What cannon?" while one of his riflemen uses his elbow to knock the cannon off the side of the airship and down onto the Dark Irons below. With the surviving Dark Irons now fleeing the scene, the riflemen rappel down from the dirigible to kill or capture any survivors they can.
Shortly, Magni meets with Thargas and the other saviors of the span and offers his condolences for Hjalmar's death. When Magni points out that he ordered Thargas to bring his escort to Ironforge, Lo'Gosh explains that it was his insistence that Thargas bring him to the span instead. Lo'Gosh asks how it came to be that the span was left undefended, to which Magni replies that that is one of the things they need to investigate, as Lo'Gosh's doppelganger has been remarkably ineffective during his tenure. Magni ends the conversation by telling Lo'Gosh: "I am addressing King Varian, I presume?"
Cover A artwork by Ludo Lullabi.
- ^ 2008-19-05, World of Warcraft# 10 Comic Book - DC Comics / Wildstorm. Blizzplanet. Accessed 2009-04-07