The Beast Within!
|The Beast Within!|
March 19, 2008
The Beast Within! is the fifth installment of the World of Warcraft comic.
Lo'Gosh and Broll continue their quest and encounter harpies and furbolgs in Thistlefur. Will the duo succeed in freeing the furbolgs from the fel magic that curses them? Plus, Valeera continues tracking the mysterious figure who follows Lo'Gosh from the shadows.
While traveling to Thistlefur Hold atop Sharptalon, Broll and Lo'Gosh are attacked by a group of harpies. While trying to fight off the creatures, Broll complains that Lo'Gosh is getting in the way of being able to swing his staff. The human suggests that Broll use some of his other weapons such as calling on wind, but the night elf is angered by the suggestion of unleashing his rage when the fel emanations from the nearby Idol of Remulos is already threatening his stability. Broll proceeds to instead leap off Sharptalon and grab a nearby harpy by her leg to drag her down to the ground and kill her. Meanwhile, a group of Thistlefur furbolgs apparently pursuing the harpies arrive to the scene and also begin fighting the harpies until the winged creatures are forced to flee.
The furbolgs ask Broll and Lo'Gosh what they are doing near Thistlefur Hold. Broll replies in Furbolg, explaining that he and his companion are searching for the Idol of Remulos. The furbolgs immediately become enraged and attack the pair, accusing them of being thieves out to steal the Thistlefur's treasure. Broll summons myriads of spiked roots from the ground that entangle both the furbolgs and Lo'Gosh. In response, one of the furbolg shaman begins calling upon the element of fire to free himself, while Lo'Gosh yells at Broll to not let the idol's fel corruption overtake him the way it has the furbolgs. Coming to his senses, the druid punches the furbolg shaman to interrupt him, then frees Lo'Gosh from the roots and calls on Sharptalon to carry him and the human away from the site before the furbolgs also break free.
Lo'Gosh asks why they can't simply explain the situation to the furbolgs. Broll explains that once consumed by the idol's influence, the furbolgs can only feel, not think, fueling their rage until they are overwhelmed by it. Upon approaching the entrance to Thistlefur Hold, Broll can feel the idol calling to him from deep within the cave, while Lo'Gosh is only able to notice a distant sense of wrongness. The druid explains that the artifact has been doubly attuned to him, first by Remulos and then by Azgalor's demonic magic, and that the closer he gets to it, the more its fel energies pull him toward madness.
While the furbolgs are holding a feast celebrating their victory over the harpies, Broll creates a back entrance into Thistlefur by summoning roots that surge through the ground, ripping open a hole into one of the hold's tunnels. Broll makes Lo'Gosh promise to destroy the idol if anything goes wrong. When the pair jump down into the cave, they are immediately noticed by a group of furbolgs, but Broll calls on one of the huge roots to seal off that part of the tunnel. The human and night elf then approach the idol, which is sitting atop a dais. Broll senses something wrong with the artifact. Upon reaching out to touch it, he is immediately flung backwards while a new threat appears in the cave: the green dragon attuned to the idol, seething with fel energy.
While Lo'Gosh tries to keep the dragon distracted, Broll grabs hold of the idol to enter the Emerald Dream. There, he becomes surrounded by fel energy and relives the horror he felt when the idol was corrupted, his despair when he watched his daughter Anessa die, his helplessness to change the past, and finally a rage so intense it manifests as a bear spirit that attacks him. He now finally understands why the bear stayed with him even as the other animal spirits abandoned him. Realizing that he has become a father that his daughter wouldn't recognize, Broll resolves to walk that path no longer. The other spirits — panther, stag, seal, and storm crow — arrive to aid Broll in his confrontation with the bear, who yells that the other spirits can do nothing for the druid and that only rage can insulate him from his pain. Broll replies that the spirit form must not control the druid and that the druid houses the spirit forms; in this he failed, but he will not fail again, and the bear rules him no longer. The bear is the embodiment of Broll's soul, despoiled by fel and sullied by pain and rage, but with the other spirits' aid, the balance in them will be restored. As the stag spirit hands Broll his staff, he declares that he rejects the rage of his past and tells his soul to be at peace. The bear roars a final time before dissipating.
Back in the cave, Lo'Gosh's battle with the dragon ends abruptly when the creature suddenly cries out and vanishes. Meanwhile, the furbolgs manage to cut their way into the chamber and prepare to attack the intruders. Lo'Gosh raises his sword to destroy the idol, but is interrupted when the statue is suddenly purified and Broll wakes up, declaring that he has cleansed the idol and regained his true self. The furbolgs' rage dissipates as they too come to their senses. They thank the human and night elf for releasing them from the idol's corruption, and ask them to take the statue with them; the furbolgs want it among them no longer.
Cover A artwork by Samwise Didier