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Roleplaying the effects of Theramore's loss

Anne Stickney

All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players. In World of Warcraft, that player is you! Each week, Anne Stickney brings you All the World's a Stage with helpful hints, tips and tricks on the art of roleplay in WoW.

Theramore is no more. In the first of many scenarios that will be playable in Mists of Pandaria, Garrosh Hellscream launched an open attack on the quiet port city. The results were immediate, as a visit to the mass graves outside the city can attest to. For better or worse, there is no more Theramore for Alliance players -- and that leaves roleplayers with a particularly poignant and heartbreaking event to roleplay about.

As for Horde roleplayers, you aren't exactly left in the dark here, either. The Theramore scenario sets the scene with a Horde prisoner that must be rescued and evacuated before the bomb drops and Theramore is wiped out. But the orders, plans, and schemes behind Theramore's fall all give Horde roleplayers much to think about. Do you side with Garrosh and his plans for continental domination, or do you look at history, and wonder what might have been, and what's yet to come?

On the eve of Mists, roleplayers certainly have their hands full. And what your character does and how they react to Theramore's loss, whether Alliance or Horde, will likely affect how they approach Pandaria, too.

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For Alliance, the reaction is simple: one of the major cities on Kalimdor has been destroyed, and it was destroyed at Horde's hands. Shock, outrage, grief, rage, all are perfectly acceptable here. This was not a minor settlement in the middle of nowhere, this was a major town and a hub for activity. It's like a second Southshore, and just as grim. And frankly, if your character wasn't infuriated at the Horde for Southshore, Theramore ought to be enough to punt them well over the line.

As always however, roleplay is entirely open to interpretation. What you do want to consider is who your character is, and what his motivations are. If he grew up in Theramore, this is going to be a crippling blow -- but if he grew up elsewhere in the world, this is likely going to have slightly less of an impact. Think about his friends, did they have relatives in Theramore? Is any of his social circle connected to the city in any way? This is also likely going to influence his reaction to the loss.

If he grew up in Southshore, there may be lingering bitterness about the lack of response to Southshore's decimation. Theramore is simply another victim to the Horde war machine, and the destruction of the city may reopen old wounds that have not yet healed, especially since Theramore is the city that prompts retaliation at last from the Alliance's side. Why wasn't it Southshore? Why was nothing done to even try to protect Southshore, when it was clearly on the outskirts of Horde lines?

Or perhaps your character is the sort that is just out for his own good in the world, and not that concerned with others. In this case, worry would be an appropriate reaction -- not for the rest of the world, but for his own skin. Theramore's destruction is an abrupt reminder of the Horde presence in the world, and the fact that that presence is a threat that cannot be continually ignored. Your character may be looking over his shoulder a little more than usual, taking more care to stay out of harm's way.

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For Horde, the roleplay options are a little more diverse. Garrosh Hellscream is obviously on the rampage, intent on taking as much of the continent of Kalimdor as he can in the name of the Horde. Is your character so devoted to the Horde that he is fine with Garrosh's decision? Or is he beginning to question whether or not Garrosh's moves are wise, and whether he should be blindly following the Warchief no matter the orders?

How deeply is your character devoted to the concept of honor? What Garrosh did was not honorable -- the victims of Theramore's destruction had no way to fight back. There was no option for them to defend themselves. He simply dropped a giant bomb on the city, one that there was no escape from. In Stonetalon, Garrosh threw one of his officers off of a cliff for doing the same thing, dropping a bomb on a school of druids. Was this attack any different than that?

Does your character hate the Alliance? If so, does that hate go beyond the concept of honor, and did they appreciate that Garrosh managed to wipe out so many Alliance with one blow? Or is your character one of those who sided with Thrall, with his tentative attempts at peace? Was he there during the original siege of Theramore before the Third War? Did he witness Jaina allowing the Horde to kill her father, all in the name of peace?

All of these things factor into your character's reaction to the events at Theramore. The easy route of course is simply saying your character hates the Alliance and has no issues with it. The more challenging one is the one that explores that line between necessity and overkill -- the one that leads to questioning Garrosh's intentions. Down that line is also fear -- fear of crossing Garrosh's path. If the Warchief can so easily murder a town of innocents, what's to stop him from quietly removing any dissenting opinions to his plan?

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Pandaria and the aftermath

Soon, our characters will be taking a mission from their respective leaders and heading to the shores of Pandaria. But the events of Theramore are not something that can simply be forgotten -- the reactions your character has to Theramore's destruction should be carried with them at all times. Theramore is still a raw wound when we head for Pandaria. The consequences of the event are likely to cloud and color the way your character looks at the rest of the world, even if the journey he is taking is to a land never before seen.

While cross-faction roleplay isn't easy to do, you can still somewhat communicate to the other faction with emotes. What will your Alliance character do if they run into a Horde character in Pandaria? Will there be glaring, spitting, or will they simply turn away? And what will your Horde character do if they run into an Alliance character? Apologize, offer a respectful salute? What will they do if that Alliance character is wearing a Theramore tabard?

Cross-faction situations may be hard to handle, but interactions within your respective factions aren't going to be a walk in the park, either. For Alliance players, the amount that your character has been affected by Theramore's loss may affect the characters you interact with as well. The opinions your character holds about the event may not line up with the opinions held by others. If your character is incredibly bitter, angry, or upset about the event, it may be hard to speak to people that aren't as affected by the loss of the city.

For Horde players, Theramore has very clearly drawn a line in the sand. On one side, you have the Warchief and his followers. On the other, you have those that quietly question the Warchief's commands, somewhere far out of his line of hearing. What happens when a friend of your character is on one side, and your character is on the other? How does he react, if his friends don't seem to hold the same opinion?

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Although we may be traveling to Pandaria's shores, we're also going to be in our own, all inclusive cities within the Vale of Eternal Blossoms, once we reach that area. Pandaria is full of lessons to be learned from the native pandaren and how they view the world. What space will your character be in, when these lessons are presented? How will Theramore's fall affect how they view the pandaren and their unique way of life?

Pandaria is a land where emotions like fear, hatred, and sorrow can literally erupt from the ground as a malevolent entity. How will your character react to the unique nature of the sha? Will he be able to overcome his reaction to Theramore's loss and find a new inner peace, or will his time on Pandaria be spent struggling less with the land around him, and more with himself?

But don't get too wrapped up in your character -- keep in mind that the friends you've made and the characters they have all have their own reactions, too. Don't overstep your bounds and make every situation about your character, and don't let your character's hatred linger overly long. All wounds heal with time -- and though we may have lost the city of Theramore, we've gained a lot of intriguing plot points for our characters out of the deal.

All the World's a Stage is your source for roleplaying ideas, innovations and ironies. Let us help you imagine what it's like to sacrifice spells for the story, totally immerse yourself in your roleplaying or even RP on a non-RP realm!

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