A Brother's Love [NaNoWriMo]

(Master Uthel'nay, can ya please read dis letter to my sistah for me, since she be blind?
Much appreciated, mon.)

Big Sistah,

Did ya hear da news? Da Horde be makin' a big push to find and kill da Lich King, up in Northrend! We be gettin' da news here in Sen'jin just today and we be dancin' and jumpin' wit joy. It seem dey be lookin' for all capable warriors, healers and mages. Well, I been practicin' da magic every day like you tell me and I tink Ta'zinni be ready to fight da Scourge! I be makin' da trip up to Orgrimmar soon ta meet wit' Vol'jin and da others in charge o' dis mission. I be comin' to visit ya so ya can check out my spells, tell me if ya think your lil brothah be ready for da big time.

Love ya,


Ta'zinni be freezin' his skinny butt off up here in Northrend, sistah! It ain't at all like da hot rocks o' home. I miss da warm surf, da days of sittin' back on da sand and breakin' open a juicy roasted makura.

But we be doing important tasks for da Horde here, no doubt. Da Scourge be all over dis land, under da frozen earth, in da sky, everywhere we look. Dey got dead humans, dead orcs, dead trolls, even got some funky voodoo spider tings dat really be creepin' me out. But da Horde don't back down from nobody. We gonna end dis menace here and make da world safe for all dose back home, like ya little ones.

Enough about me, are ya doin' well? Do ya eyes still pain ya durin' the night? I be sending some special new herbs back on da zeppelin for ya, maybe dey contain a strong enough Loa ta fix ya vision. Some of da Tauren here skilled in herb lore say dey be potent so Ta'zinni be crossing his fingers for ya.

Tell lil Kenja and Zil'tolo Uncle Ta'zinni say hi. I be bringin' back some tokens and totems from dese parts for dere lifedays.

Love, baby brothah,

Dear Deino,

You be finding a special gift attached ta dis letter! After a fight wit' some of Malygo's troops, Ta'zinni find dis little mithril flask when searchin' one o' da dead wizards. I could feel da magic comin' from it even before I picked it up. I had da shaman eye it over and ask da spirits if it be safe. Dey told me it be enchanted to preserve anyting ya put inside. I know how much ya like testin' and experimentin' wit' new reagents to come up wit' new tricks so I figure it be perfect for ya. Y'always were da curious one in da family.

I know I told ya before, Deino, but fightin' for ya life every day make ya tink about tings in whole new ways, an' I wanna be sure I tell ya again. I be just wantin' to tank ya for what ya did when we be just wee trolls, savin' my tusks from dose centaurs who snatched me up. I never met a braver soul in da entire Horde who did what ya did dat day, rushin' all four of em and leadin' dem away, buyin' me time to slip out from da net and run back to da village. I just wish I coulda been faster and come back wit' Master Gadrin sooner. Maybe we coulda stopped em from cuttin on your poor face and savin' your sight. I ain't never gonna be able to tank ya enough for dat, sistah. Tank you for what ya did. Ta'zinni never forget it.

I be so proud o' ya for not lettin' dat stop ya, tho. Even wit'out ya eyes, you be one o' da best mages in da whole Horde. Even old Uthel'nay tell me once dat he never seen anyone do what you taught ya'self to do. And ya even inspired a few others ta take up magin' wit'out usin' dere vision, ta better focus da magic, wit'out any distractions.

Ya never cease ta amaze me, sistah. I tried it yesterday outta curiosity and all I be doing is settin' da barracks on fire! I ain't never seen da Overlord so mad but we just tell him it musta been a new Scourge weapon. He just scowl and grumble a bit before goin' back ta bed. I tell ya, Overlord Agmar be one o' da strongest orcs wit' an axe I ever seen, but it seem like da lamp be on upstairs but dere ain't no one home.

Stay away from da voodoo.

PS: There be another package with dis letter, containin' some more flowers an' herbs I found around da area. I hope da herbalists can make use of em.

(Dear Master Uthel'nay, I be writin' dis in da middle of da night under a blanket, I be sorry if ya can't make it out very well. Please try ya best ta read it to Deino for me. -Ta'zinni)


Tings have changed drastically lately. One day I get back from da daily patrol and I find a strange note waitin' on da bunk. I read it and it say it be from da Blue Dragonflight, da scum we be fightin' for da last few months! Dey be spyin' on us, and lookin' for mages dey can steal away to fight against da Horde! And I be one o' da ones dey be targetin'.

O' course I never think about betrayin' da Horde, but dis note be from one o' dere leaders, a big ugly muk called Drakos da Interrogator. He say in da note dat he know who I be...dat he know o' you, Deino. And dat if I don't go join dere side, he gonna have his spy in Orgrimmar come find ya, and kill ya and kill Kenja and Zil'tolo too. Ta'zinni ain't never gonna let dat happen sistah, not ever! So I wait till everybody fall asleep, den I sneak outta Agmar's Hammer in da middle of da night and go find a group of da Blues, and surrender to 'em. They be not at all surprised ta see me. I guess dere leader told everyone I be comin' over.

I be pretty miserable, Deino. Da blue lizards hate me, and I be seein' my face on Horde posters around da area orderin' my death for betrayin' da Horde. But ya know me, sistah. We don't be givin' up dat easy. I been cozyin' up ta Drakos, doin' everyting he ask, bein' a good lil troll. He startin' ta trust me now, and I be tinkin' that soon I be close enough to learn da Big Plan. Once dey tell me, I be sabotagin' it good. Dey be sorry dey threatened ya and da wee ones! You don' worry Deino, it be Ta'zinni's turn to be da brave one. Brothah gonna teach em a lesson dey never forget.

Ya can't tell anyone what I got planned, Deino. I gotta be sure dey never suspect dis lil troll till it be too late.

Deino, Ta'zinni did it! Drakos be callin' me lieutenant now. He be entrustin' me wit a special amulet dey need to control some magic devices that be capturin' and redirectin' alla Azeroth's Ley Lines to Malygos' home. I tink dis be crucial to dere plan, so I been startin' to feed unstable mana into da devices an' shuttin' 'em off when nobody around. I wish ya were here, ya always did know more about how da magic actually works. I guess I shoulda been payin' more attention ta what old Un'Thuwa be sayin' all dose years ago.

All I know for sure is if dese evil blue lizards want it, I be keepin' it outta dere claws. I tink it be workin', judgin' from how mad Drakos been gettin' lately.

I be dead for sure if dey ever suspected me so I be cuttin' dis short. I be honest wit ya tho, sistah, I tink it only gonna be a matter o' time before Drakos realize I be workin' against him. Dere only be a few o' us wit dese amulets, he gonna figure it out eventually. But I can't be lettin' the Blues steal an' use all da energy from da Ley Lines against da unsuspectin' Horde soldiers here. I gotta save 'em.

So I be sorry Deino...I don't tink dat I be comin' back to da old Village after all. Tell the lil ones what Uncle did when dey old enough to understand. I love ya, sistah.

For da Darkspear and for da Horde!

Master Uthel'nay,

Wonderful news, old one! We been workin' nonstop on da herbs Deino's brother sent back from Northrend, and we finally learn how ta use em in our medicines and potions! Would never have happened if her brothah hadn't sent us so many different types o' new plant from up north. It musta taken him ages to gather dem all and pack em so securely to make sure dey got here intact.

Da curin' power o' dese plants be stronger dan anyting I ever seen before! Tell Deino I be working on a special salve to restore her vision right away. Soon she be able to see just as good as any o' us, and she won't need ya to read her dose letters from Ta'zinni any more! I bettin' she be very thrilled at da news.

Signed, Jandi

Show/Hide Letter Notes

Pertinent Lore:

Lieutenant Ta'zinni
A Letter for Home(Horde quest)
Deino (Ta'zinni's sister)

Captain Emmy Malin
A Letter for Home (Alliance quest)
Archmage Malin (Emmy's father)

There's a version of this quest for each faction, but I decided to go with the Horde version because in my eyes it's more emotional, and gave me better storytelling opportunities.

When Horde players bring the letter to Overlord Agmar, it's quite shocking to hear his reaction: "Ahahahaha... boo hoo, how touching." I know many players who already felt quite guilty over killing Ta'zinni were viscerally upset and angry at Agmar's callousness. Similar to poor Engineer Burke, it's a powerful statement about the mentality of some Horde leaders, and it's a simple, shocking storyline that really sticks with you.

Conversely, the Alliance commander shakes her head sadly and is regretful, and tells you not to feel guilty, as you had no way of knowing. Which is comforting and nice and all, but in my opinion isn't nearly as memorable.

I also considered the letter's recipients. From the letters, we know that the Blue Dragonflight is threatening their families, but we also learn that Deino is a mother. And she has a quest Waters of Xavian where she lends you a flask actually named Deino's Flask. AND she also, curiously, has a blindfold on. Archmage Malin, on the other hand, is just an older human man with no real interesting characteristics.

I thought it would make for a nice storyline if Ta'zinni was actually the cause of Deino's blindness, and he had always felt guilty for it. In a way, I can imagine him becoming a mage because it had been Deino's dream, a dream he had (inadvertently) robbed her of. I later changed the backstory to Deino saving Ta'zinni, but losing her sight as a result, so that now many years later Ta'zinni could finally have a chance to repay the favor to his beloved sister.

Ta'zinni sending back gifts from Northrend was an idea that I just included for some flavor, and because it would let me turn Deino's Flask into a gift from her brother. I was about halfway through when the ending came to mind, and so I went back and changed his gifts into exotic, unknown Northrend herbs which could certainly have marvelous new medicinal properties. I think Ta'zinni would still feel so guilty over Deino's blindness, and even when fighting for his life, would still carefully pick and pack up the herbs to send back home. I really tried to convey this love in the letter.

In my mind, Ta'zinni was an earnest, fun-loving, compassionate young troll, who wouldn't ever cause his sister and her babies to be hurt, even if it meant becoming an outlaw and traitor. I think we can tell from his letter that he is a good soul, which makes his death at our hands even more horrible.

Writing the portion where Ta'zinni knows that his sabotage will be discovered eventually actually made me really sad. Ta'zinni had really come to life over the course of this letter, and in my opinion, epitomizes the true tragedy of war. For every invincible Tirion Fordring, there is a Ta'zinni. For every celebrated Bolvar Fordragon, there is a Gerk. THESE are the stories I wanted to tell.

I was originally going to have the letter end on a sad note, since we know what happened to Ta'zinni. But I changed my mind and decided he deserved a better ending. I think he would be very proud and happy to know that all his hardships and struggles in Northrend paid off, that he had managed to restore his sister's eyesight. The irony of having Jandi excitedly write a happy note to Master Uthel'nay of her success was intended to be a sad contrast to Ta'zinni's final words to Deino. It's definitely bittersweet, to imagine what Deino's unseen reactions to all of her brother's letters were, and then with the news from Jandi.

One final note: If I never write troll accents again, it will be too soon. It KILLED ME. So annoying, haha.

Master Uthel'nay is another troll in the same hut as Deino. Since Deino is blind, it made sense that someone else would need to read Ta'zinni's letters to her.

The Master Gadrin and Un'Thuwa that Ta'zinni mentions are lowbie quest givers in Sen'jin Village, and Jandi is Orgrimmar's herbalism trainer.

3 Responses Subscribe to comments

  1. gravatar

    Awesome post.! Gotta love Trolls mon

    November 16, 2011 at 10:47 PM

  2. gravatar

    I was always curious about that blindfold on Deino's eyes and I was looking for news about it. In case I wanted to come across this wonderful blog, learning not only the reason why the great sorceress Troll is blind, but also the brotherly love that flowed between her and Ta'zinni. I was moved.
    I know the post is dated, but I still want to thank you for sharing these letters with us! Another informations: where I can find these letters? On game or in a Blizzard’s book? I need to know how my character taken them. Thank you for all!

    July 21, 2019 at 2:31 AM

  3. gravatar

    Hey there, thanks for reading! I apologize for not seeing this response until now. In truth, while there is a real letter in-game, and the sad story of this brother and sister are real -- the quest is https://wow.gamepedia.com/A_Letter_for_Home_(Horde) -- I invented the rest of this dialogue myself for a NaNoWriMo compilation n. I always loved the countless little stories such as this that the game lightly touched on but never really dug into, and my Letters project was to explore such stories in more depth and have some fun with them.

    If you'd like to see more such stories, I did one set for Wrath, and another for Cataclysm. They can be found at http://northrendletters.blogspot.com and http://shatteredletters.blogspot.com. :)

    October 3, 2019 at 3:31 AM