1. #1
    The Insane Val the Moofia Boss's Avatar
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    What if Cairne had won the Mak'gora against Garrosh?

    /title. Cairne parries the poisoned Gorehowl and plunges his runespear through Hellscream's heart. The Warchief falls over dead.

    What happens?

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by Val the Moofia Boss View Post
    /title. Cairne parries the poisoned Gorehowl and plunges his runespear through Hellscream's heart. The Warchief falls over dead.

    What happens?
    This is an interesting scenario.

    I think given that the tauren share less hostile relations with the night elves - Cairne was the one who suggested Hamuul meet with the night elf druids to rebuild trade relations in the first place - Cairne would have become temporary Warchief.

    Afterwards, Thrall returns to Orgrimmar, finds Garrosh dead at the hands of his oldest friend in Kalimdor - but he is also simultaneously faced with the fact that Garrosh possibly ordered several seemingly unprovoked attacks on the Sentinels and druids in Ashenvale, and so he is conflicted about how to proceed - especially as he is called for in the Maelstrom due to the Cataclysm.

    I think he would try to appoint Eitrigg or someone else to lead the Horde - or allow Cairne to lead the Horde, as he fairly defeated Garrosh in mak'gora combat. But that would cause the Horde to possibly fragment over time, as Garrosh was a very popular leader, especially among Orgrimmar's orcish population, just after his fresh victories in the War against the Lich King, and Eitrigg is simply very old.

    The Horde would be divided - with Thrall working with the Earthen Ring and the Aspects against Deathwing - and Cairne mistrusted by the orcs for his part in killing Garrosh, and not addressing their real survival needs with their diminishing resources. Either way, the new Horde leader might try to repair ties with the night elves and the Alliance, or invade Ashenvale like Garrosh did. But the night elves would probably be much more hostile in this scenario, having suffered two attacks which killed their Sentinels and druids.

    So in the end, I'm not sure. I think with the Twilight's Hammer in the background - conflict was all but inevitable in any case. Perhaps there would be more localized conflict - but nothing changes the fact that most Horde members, especially when pushed against the wall in desperate times, are intensely nationalist and anti-Alliance, and objectively speaking, they truly have very few supplies to sustain their population without encroaching upon their neighbors' territorial sovereignty.
    Last edited by OwenBurton; 2021-10-01 at 01:15 AM.
    "Always you speak. Never do you listen! You ignore the lessons of Pandaria! You see, there is balance in all things. Wisdom etched in our very fur: Black and white. Darkness and light. When the last emperor hid our land from the rest of the world, he also preserved...our ancient enemy, the mantid. So it is with your Alliance and your Horde. They are not strong despite one another; they are strong BECAUSE of one another. You mistake your greatest strength for weakness. Do you see this?"

  3. #3
    Over 9000! Soon-TM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Val the Moofia Boss View Post
    /title. Cairne parries the poisoned Gorehowl and plunges his runespear through Hellscream's heart. The Warchief falls over dead.

    What happens?
    He still has to deal with the war that Varian declared and with Durotar being economically strangled due to Thrall's incompetence and nelfs having broken unilaterally the trade treaty.

    He still has to deal with belfs being fair weather friends and with Sylvanas being a shady b*tch whom he must bring down to size but without being too bossy, since he still needs her army.
    Last edited by Soon-TM; 2021-10-01 at 01:14 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by THEORACLE64 View Post
    It's not really retconning though. There's plenty we didn't know from WC3 - a story which is just about 20 years old. The Jailer is the backbone of that story.
    Quote Originally Posted by Nerovar View Post
    It's interesting how a character that didn't exist back then could be the backbone of the story. Guess that story must have been an invertebrate then.

  4. #4
    This is a very interesting scenario as it's got a lot of knock-on effects and I could (and will) write on it for ages. Touched on it a bit in this thread about Thrall dying before Cataclysm, but it's worth exploring on its own, as it's a slightly different situation.

    You wouldn't really have a question of succession, at least at the start. If Cairne kills Garrosh during the Mak'gora, he's Warchief. That was the point of the challenge. The orcs won't like it after a bit, but at least the start is Cairne winning fair and square. From then the immediate follow-up is whether Magatha gets discovered or not. Given the importance of Gorehowl I do see someone examining the axe and finding it's poisoned. In that scenario, Garrosh would make a pretty effective scapegoat and would have his reputation ruined posthumously, as between sending assassins to kill defenseless druids and trying to cheat in the sacred orcish rite, he'd be seen as duplicitous and, with Cairne beating him, weak. This'd further defang some of the orcs and give Cairne more political capital.

    Whether it implicates Magatha is another essential element as things would vary drastically. Supposing she is found out to have been the axe poisoner she'd have to flee Thunder Bluff. As Cairne'd be in charge of the Horde and the tauren instead of Baine there'd be no isolation in TB to expose and no hope of her coup succeeding as she'd have no one in Orgrimmar to appeal to after her win. This does mean though that she has more resources and capital than she would in-canon as she'd only lose some of it to the attrition of being politically on the out instead of actual armed conflict. The arguably worst scenario for Cairne is if she, as Garrosh's shaman of choice, gets his axe and cleans it first, avoiding herself being implicated. At that point, she'd actually still be in a solid position, as the Grimtotem would remain a powerful group in Thunder Bluff whereas Cairne would need to go to Orgrimmar, much like Sylvanas did in canon, in order to properly run the Horde. It's possible that person is Baine, which'd also be unfortunate.

    Once actually in Orgrimmar Cairne's first priority would be what he challenged Garrosh about in the first place, that being the war effort. Cairne would move to restore relations with the night elves and end all presence on their territory and also to treat with Varian through Jaina, emphasizing the importance of focusing on the Shattering. He'd be successful at it too, on the proviso he can keep the orcs in check since Cairne would have just killed Varian's opposite number on the basis of his warmongering and he knows Jaina from before. The night elves and tauren also have a prior good relationship and the tauren are neither directly threatened by any Alliance (except the dwarves, but we'll get there) nor need the resources to keep going. Because of this supposing a peace summit goes without Twilight's Hammer sabotage for a change Cairne would establish at the very least an armistice. As the main popular hawkish orc figure in Garrosh would be dead and possibly discredited depending on his association with the assassins and the poisoning, he'd also be able to stick to those terms in a bit. Especially as he'd have Vol'jin and the Darkspear's support.

    Focusing on the other elements of the present, there's the Eastern Kingdoms and Sylvanas. In this case you have to decide what's canon - in the original version, Sylvanas didn't care about Gilneas at all and only attacked it because Garrosh told her to. Garrosh is dead, so no Gilneas. In the new version, it was always a part of securing her backyard after she died. The new version is retarded, but let's consider both. For a start, the Forsaken are in a somewhat better position when she goes to kill herself as there's no war effort going on at the same time and the Alliance is not yet attacking in full. So when she returns from her suicide trip with the Val'kyr and begins mass raising and knowing that Cairne is now Warchief I see things coming to a head fairly quickly. If Sylvanas does want Gilneas, I see the clash between her and the Warchief being on that basis. Unlike in canon, the Greymane wall is not a relevant chokepoint, Sylvanas gasses the walls and enters in force, having prepared a full invasion instead of being forced to perform one half-cocked at gunpoint, continuing to use the Blight against an unprepared enemy. While this isn't an attack on the Alliance, it and her necromancy go entirely against the reason why Cairne vouched for the Forsaken in the first place. Unlike Garrosh, he doesn't actually need Sylvanas for her use in the war either. In addition, I see the Alliance still going to assist Gilneas, so there'd be some clash, ending in a scenario roughly similar to canon, with the caveat that the Forsaken are initially stronger for having struck Gilneas quick and hard at the start, but less equipped for a long-term war because of the absence of orcish support. I see Cairne telling Sylvanas to cut it out and retreat. If she gives him lip, especially if this is in a version where Gilneas still happened, he'll cut her loose and leave her and the Alliance to wage a total war that she and the Forsaken would lose hard, albeit very messily as she'd have no reason not to go full Stillwater/Putress when her back is up against the wall. Even with no attack on Gilneas, I see Cairne threatening to leave her to the wolves if she doesn't stop the necromancy. As she can't do it, I see her trying to do it in secret and Cairne, unlike Thrall, actually enforcing the rules as best he can, tying her hands re: both necromancy and the Blight. This scenario would also likely further strain relations as the Alliance would still move in against the Forsaken at the same time and Sylvanas'd be hassling him for help. This'd only be more so because of the blood elves' role in this scenario.

    We know that by Mists Bob has no objection to joining the Alliance should the Horde not be worth it. We also know that he's pissed at Sylvanas for making him actually contribute in the war with the Scourge. In this scenario, there's temporarily no war afoot. Cairne's a more reliable partner than any up to this point, but he's also culturally from a different universe to the blood elves. I don't see Cairne stopping the blood elves' turn towards neutrality, if anything I'd think he'd use that to his advantage in negotiating his overall peace with the Alliance. While I don't see them joining the Alliance outright, I do see them beginning to trend in that direction very quickly, both to secure themselves against the Forsaken and because of their better long-term prospects. A follow-up on the above scenario where the Forsaken are pressured at their borders by the Alliance and Sylvanas asks Bob for help, only for him to put her on hold is likely. In the short term, they'd be better off.

    To wrap up the look at the short-term, we hit the goblins. Garrosh being dead changes nothing about their intro - Kezan is still destroyed by Deathwing, the Alliance still try to assassinate Thrall (more on this in a later post), Thrall still spares Gallywix and still sends his recommendation to the Warchief for the Bilgewater Cartel to join the Horde. Gallywix and his guys show up ready to industrialize the Horde. Instead of finding a population that's massing resources and seizing new territories though and that needs more industry and workers, they find a population that's starving in the desert as before, as even with the restoration of night elf charity that still wasn't enough. A population that also isn't expanding into Azshara and has nowhere to put them and active dislike for their methods. Thrall might have, in a supremely out of character moment, tolerated Gallywix being a slaver, Cairne though? No chance. He'd write him off rapidly and while I'm sure he'd give the Bilgewater a home to start with, the moment they begin to pollute the waters, he'd kick them out or try and set them up with Gazlowe, outside of home. This means that there'd be no Bilgewater Harbor, Railway or Pleasure Palace, or if they are, they're not initially Horde-aligned.

    In brief, in the short term Cairne's rule would start with his priorities of setting up at least an armistice and restoration of trade ties with the night elves and humans. I think he'd succeed, owing to how the means of Garrosh's death would stump the orcs for a time, especially if Magatha is also discovered or expunged. He'd have the direct backing of the Darkspear in this, and Sylvanas would either already be out of the Horde if she still attacks Gilneas and gives Cairne lip, or in the dog house against a Warchief willing to impose restrictions on her, as her wartime utility is of no value to him and because of the personal element of her turning on the grounds he vouched for her entry in the first place. Without Garrosh there and with Sylvanas weakened, the blood elves would naturally lean towards the Alliance. The goblins would have neither territory or any commonality in values with the new Warchief and so the Bilgewater wouldn't join the Horde.

    The Cataclysm is still ongoing though and the resource issue, as well as the desire to fight and win that made Garrosh so popular, as well as the Alliance as an actor all on its own aren't resolved, so the long-term, especially for the orcs would be a lot less rosy. I'll write on this more later.
    Last edited by Super Dickmann; 2021-10-01 at 06:28 AM.
    Dickmann's Law: As a discussion on the Lore forums becomes longer, the probability of the topic derailing to become about Sylvanas approaches 1.

  5. #5
    The Patient Zendhal The Black's Avatar
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    WoD wouldn't happen

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Zendhal The Black View Post
    WoD wouldn't happen
    Cairne goes back in time to unite all the different tauren tribes under one banner. Yaungol, Taunka, Grimtotem and Thunderbluff, and maybe some more if they exist out there. It'll be like a bovine horde. The bull rush upon Azeroth.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Soon-TM View Post
    He still has to deal with the war that Varian declared and with Durotar being economically strangled due to Thrall's incompetence and nelfs having broken unilaterally the trade treaty.

    He still has to deal with belfs being fair weather friends and with Sylvanas being a shady b*tch whom he must bring down to size but without being too bossy, since he still needs her army.
    He'd probably have even bigger problems with Sylvanas than Garrosh. The latter actually introduced a lot of control to whatever she was doing, sending Kor'Kron agents for, well, consultation. Since plague and weird shit happened regardless, perhaps without them present (cause Cairne wouldn't want no conflict) Sylvanas would allow herself to do even more?

  8. #8
    How is Bain Cairns son I will never understand...

  9. #9
    I am Murloc!
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    now that would be a bit of a fun expansion feature. What If dungeons - via the Caverns of Time you get to experience dungeons (and maybe raids) from a timeline where things differed from the main timeline. Could have a short questline where you visit the alternate timeline to see how things played out with time skips along the way to make it less arduous.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Kauko View Post
    How is Bain Cairns son I will never understand...
    well you see when a mommy Tauren and a daddy Tauren love each other very much...

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Okacz View Post
    He'd probably have even bigger problems with Sylvanas than Garrosh. The latter actually introduced a lot of control to whatever she was doing, sending Kor'Kron agents for, well, consultation. Since plague and weird shit happened regardless, perhaps without them present (cause Cairne wouldn't want no conflict) Sylvanas would allow herself to do even more?
    you think Cairne would tolerate Sylvanas's use of plague? nah I don't think he would.

  10. #10
    Well, we'd probably have cross faction play by now.

    Useless cow-man killing this game...

  11. #11
    Legendary! Zuben's Avatar
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    Horde and Alliance would probably get a headstart on marching against Deathwing's forces. Then only Alliance would go to Pandaria. No AU-Draenor nor return of the Legion.
    Now you see it. Now you don't.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by MrLachyG View Post
    you think Cairne would tolerate Sylvanas's use of plague? nah I don't think he would.
    He was a pretty passive guy until having the opportunity to start a duel based on false premise. Also, it was the Tauren who convinced Thrall to allow Forsaken into Horde. Orcs had more beef with the undead than the Tauren did, there's a lot of instances of their cooperation (Barrens, Thunder Bluff, Thousand Needles). I'd say he would be more lenient than Garrosh.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Kauko View Post
    How is Bain Cairns son I will never understand...
    To be fair when Baine got kidnapped Cairn pretty much just cried and moped.

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