Gray's Anatomy [Letters]

Autopsy Report
Undercity Division of Death and Reanimation

Record of Researcher: Calder Gray
Case Number: CG-524
Present at autopsy: Calder Gray, abomination "Three-Face", abomination "Frank", various slaves of no significance

Name of deceased: Cho'gall, chieftain of Twilight's Hammer clan
Age: Unknown
Sex: Male/Male
Race: Ogre, two-headed, mutated by Old God corruption
Height: 331" (27 feet, 7 inches)
Weight: Impossible to measure
Body identified by: Everyone and their mother
Cause of death: Burned, shot with arrows, bitten by wolves, clawed by ghouls, repeated blunt force trauma by heavy objects, cut, stabbed, poisoned, diseased, electrocuted, blasted by arcane energy, seared by the Light, mangled by what appears to be a large bear or other predatory mammal
Resurrection attempted: No
Head(s), limbs, tails present: Yes
Noteworthy physical abnormalities: Yes, see notes

Recommended course of action:
Processed for Abomination material
Preserved for research purposes
Delivery (disease carrier, psychological attack, "moral obligation", etc.)

Oh, it is so refreshing to be back home in the Undercity after my long exile! Though Warchief Hellscream forbade me from ever returning to Orgrimmar, on pain of death, he said nothing of our other cities. That one is so shortsighted, even for an Orc. Is a warrior with two working, functional hands not more valuable than a warrior with only one? I still don't see why the transplanted hand's origin or race really matters. Results are results, after all.

Where was I? Oh yes. Despite being unceremoniously ejected from Orgrimmar, I refused to abandon my years of accumulated research and knowledge. Desolation Hold in the Barrens was woefully unequipped for my needs, with the exception of one overwhelming positive element - an unlimited supply of fresh, raw corpses. Orcs, Humans, enormous lizards, some kind of weird insect creatures - Desolation Hold had it all!

However, Desolation Hold already HAD a medical specialist when I arrived, a Troll, one of those element-wielding shaman types. Shamans, pfft. What reasonable person relies on temperamental entities for their craft, rather than nice, dependable science? Science rules.

And so, unfortunately, my arrival to Desolation Hold was not a welcome one. Fortunately, his severed limbs made an excellent contribution to my first experiment!

With the Barrens' plentiful, steady stream supply of test material, I was eventually able to refine and perfect my reconstructive process! My creation had limited sentience, was physically powerful, and was completely and utterly under my control. A resounding success, if I do say so myself!

Furthermore, unlike our traditional Abominations which require pieces meticulously prepared by our finest necromancers and Apothecaries, my little darling was crafted entirely from leftover, patchwork parts. Who needs dark magic and alchemical preservatives when you have willpower, some strong thread and a bonesaw? (Well, and an enormous, still-beating Kodo heart.)

And so fresh, too! The blood was still oozing from its seams when it walked off! I would have wept with joy, had I not removed my tear ducts years ago.

The practical application of my research is limitless...imagine collecting newly-fallen soldiers off a battlefield and, within minutes, transforming those worthless sacks of flesh into a newly functional Abomination juggernaut!

It's like I always say - Reuse, Recycle, Reanimate!

However, I could only remain in the Barrens for so long. Literally, I mean. The arid temperature and blazing heat was wreaking havoc on my poor, dessicated body. We Forsaken are not really designed for long periods in the sun, and my skin began to peel and flake, despite regular moisturizing with liver oil. Insects began nesting in my skull, which - while fascinating - did sometimes interfere with my work when they would crawl out and obscure my vision.

I relocated to the Twilight Highlands, where I found, to my delight, a) once again, an endless supply of fresh bodies (Ah, war. What AREN'T you good for?), and b) a convenient medium through which I could test my constructs in recreational combat! I struck a deal with a pleasant Goblin entrepreneur who had established some sort of makeshift gladiatorial arena - in exchange for the use of my creations in his bouts, I would be able to study their combat prowess in a controlled environment! Furthermore, I did not even require a portion of their cut - something that surely appealed to the little fellow - but rather, offered to "dispose" of any would-be champions who fell in the arena. Mutually beneficial!

I spent many weeks atop the arena, perfecting my unique science and developing new ways to supplement their abilities - for example, a spray of toxic bile, or a sudden increase in chemical volatility, resulting in a marvelous explosion of flesh and gore! In fact, I would have been quite content to spend the rest of my days there, basking in the screams of agony and the intoxicating bouquet of blood, until I received a missive marked with the Dark Lady's seal. It seemed that the hulking two-headed leader of the Twilight's Hammer, Cho'gall, had been slain! And the heroes who had accomplished this feat had returned home to celebrate their victory.

Without the body.

Which lay only a head's throw away from the arena, within Cho'gall's abandoned citadel.

Oh really!

What an opportunity! We would be remiss if we simply let such an extraordinary corpse go to waste. The Dark Lady had, of course, realized this, and considering my particular brand of expertise in these matters, ordered me to immediately return to the Undercity with the body, and begin a thorough examination.

I was, of course, only too happy to oblige.

With the assistance of a squadron of Forsaken arcanists and Abominations, we transported the specimen home. It was not an easy process, as the body was too heavy to lift, even for the Abominations. We had to make do with a haphazard pulley system using Abomination hooks, and dragged the corpse through an extra-large mage portal.

However, now that the hard work is done, my work can begin! I am tremendously excited at the brute lying on the floor in front of me. Like a raw gem, it waits, its inestimable value hidden away, until the master craftsmen begins to cut. And slice, and incise, and peel away...

I find myself reluctant to begin, actually. My previous research has borne fruit to marvelous creations, but this! This, is the opportunity of a lifetime. What a tremendous specimen! I have never had the pleasure of dissecting a creature such as this. Oh, I've cut open dozens of Ogres, of course, some of them two-headed, some with only one. Some of them had no heads...or ended up with three or more! But I digress.

This breathtaking beast is a work of fantasy! Just look at him. His body nearly takes up the entire laboratory, a grotesque monstrosity of mismatched, deformed parts that should never be found together. Lidless eyeballs, jutting talons, and is that an eagle's beak? He looks like someone took all the creatures on Azeroth, threw them in a sack and bashed it on the ground until they all mashed together.

He's the most beautiful thing I've ever seen.

And solid, too! When I poke my finger into his skin, it dimples and resists, instead of popping like a ripe tomato like most corpses. It seem that the body has not yet succumbed to the ravages of decay and rot, despite the length of time that has passed since his demise! This is great news; I do so hate when my subjects start turning to mush before I can finish my work.

Alas, if only all skin and flesh were this durable and long-lasting! Perhaps an injection of a chemical compound would slow the decomposition, akin to preserving a trophy fish? Or maybe one of the Apothecaries could develop an acidic compound that would loosen a creature's skin, so that I might peel it off and preserve it for future examination, intact and whole?

Note to self: Investigate these ideas. The benefits could be amazing!

Until now, I hadn't truly realized what a hulking monster this fellow is. His arm must weigh a few hundred pounds alone! And my goodness, his skin is like leather! I mean, not leather like my own flesh, but leather as in extremely thick and tough. Perhaps this is a result of his exposure to the Old God? I suppose it might also be his ancient age, unheard of for one of his kind. I will have to ask Lady Sylvanas to capture a few Ogres so we can see if their hide naturally gains resilience with age. I figure 10 years of imprisonment will do the trick. If my hypothesis is correct, we should immediately implement Ogres into our Abomination creation process.

I'm so excited! I can tell I am going to really have to work with this one. I attempted a test cut with my scalpel, and the blade couldn't even penetrate! Oh, jubilation! It's been so long since I've had to fetch my special knives. Where are my gloves? I'd best open the drains and send the girl for some rags and a bucket. I imagine this laboratory will soon be quite a mess. I must say, I'm rather salivating with excitement, or I would be if my tongue were not a rotted, blackened husk.

(A few droplets of blood have lightly splattered the paper.)

Ah, there we go. Despite the many injuries inflicted upon before death, the body remains in remarkable condition, and its large surface area ensures that there will be no shortage of available flesh to examine. Subject's blood is thick and viscid, still liquid enough to gather and seal in flasks, but coagulated just enough to make collection a simple process. It is a rich, oily substance, and smells curiously sweet.

Note to self - replace saw.

Once I had drained the body of its blood - nearly a dozen large tanks, which I placed in storage for our alchemists to play with - I began to examine the body's other external oddities. The specimen appears to have calcified protrusions emerging through his skin in various spots. Though their location appears to be random or semi-random, the growths appear to have functioned in a protective capacity, much like a shell or carapace. The growths are incredibly hard, and my initial attempts to damage them have met with utter failure! My surgical blades, a standard dagger, and even an Abomination hook have left little more than slight scratches.

If this mysterious material could be replicated, or if we could deduce how to restart its organic growth, this could be a tremendous component to transplant or implement in future creations! I will name it...Calderite. Yes, yes, I quite like the sounds of that.

(On the side of the page are a series of disjointed notes about Calderite and its properties compared to standard human bones. Next to these shorthand notes is an alarmingly accurate cross-section drawing of a human body's skeleton and nervous system. Large portions of the body's skeleton have been circled furiously and repeatedly, and a series of dizzying mathematical calculations, weights and ratios are jotted down in the margin.)

(There are also more bloodstains.)

I am intrigued by the absurd number of eyes this creature possesses, all over its body and of infinite variety! There are some as big as my head, while others remain a mere hands-breadth in width. Were these organs functional, enhancing the Ogre's senses? Were they perhaps used as the delivery system of some eye-based magical attack, like a beholder? Or perhaps they were merely decorative, cosmetic additions, meant to intimidate the creature's cultist lackeys.

I headed to my quarters and retrieved my personal collection, so that I might compare the eyes already in my possession to those embedded in the body. Some of the eyes are similar to those of a large feline, with enormous slits, while this one here appears to be more akin to a reptilian creature such as a thunder lizard, or perhaps a devilsaur. There are also some that do not match any creature that I have seen or read about. Fascinating! If there are any eyes left over after I have completed my examination, I will be sure to preserve them for posterity.

Physically, they are firm yet malleable, much like a fresh heart, or perhaps a brain. With the assistance of a garden spade, I extracted one eyeball to determine its longevity once separated from its host. It remained pleasantly moist and squishy for over 10 minutes, and looked quite cute, jiggling in my palm. After it dried, I learned that it had no nutritional value worth noting.

It occurred to me that these objects might retain some of the specimen's supernatural vigor, and if so, perhaps they could be implanted? There was a spare Night Elf in the back room, so I removed her eye and carefully inserted one of the specimen's smaller orbs. She thrashed about quite energetically, and actually managed to bend my favorite set of forceps during the surgery. Unfortunate, but sacrifices must be made in the name of progress.

Results were immediate and surprising! Her screams actually grew in intensity as the eye settled into its new home. It then appeared to focus and dilate! I moved away; the elf's eyes followed me. She was saying something but her words were, of course, unintelligible without a tongue. You'd think she would have gotten used to this by now.

Query: does a Night Elf's immortality hinder its capability to process and retain new information?

I lifted my scalpel towards her face, and she cringed and flinched away. Most intriguing! But did she actually have vision in her new eyeball? Or was she merely tracking me and reacting with her remaining, mundane eye?

Well, only one way to find out.

In retrospect, this may have been a mistake. After her other eye had joined its twin in the jar, she gave a tremendous shudder and collapsed, hanging limply from her chains. I prodded her a few times, but it appeared that, tragically, the trauma had been too much for her. I regretfully recorded this incident down in my logbook as "potentially beneficial", fetched a slave to mop up the mess, and moved on.

After opening Cho'gall's chest cavity, I was amazed at the size of the creature's lungs. Even for a giant, they seemed disproportionately large. After some thought, I realized that perhaps this size irregularity is common in two-headed Ogres, since a single set of lungs must supply both heads with oxygen. I have heard that Cho'gall was quite fond of yelling, often from both heads at once, so this would support my theory.

Speaking of the creature's internal organs, the body contained only a single heart like others of its species, though obviously this particular specimen was gargantuan in comparison. After a great deal of effort, I managed to remove its connective flesh and had Frank place it aside, into one of the elementally-chilled storage lockers. I felt it wise to preserve the organ, since we might one day be able to use it to power a colossal Abomination, much like the flesh golems our forces encountered in Northrend.

Sadly, I was unable to complete the final portion of my examination - study of the body's twin brains - due to having no cutting implement capable of sawing through the steel-like skull. I suggest we contact the quartermasters in the Military Quarter and borrow a guillotine blade, or perhaps we could utilize a Goblin shredder.

Such a shame! I was so looking forward to holding those wonderful brains, so large and soft. When else will I get the chance to hug a brain nearly as big as I am? Brraaaaaaiiinnnnss...

In conclusion, I anticipate no significant problem with either using the body as the frame for an exceptionally large Abomination, or in dissecting it fully (once we have a sufficient cutting tool) and putting the parts aside for future installation. I suggest the latter, as body's unusual bone Calderite growths, eyes and hide remain objects worthy of future study, and possibly its blood as well. The potential benefit to our Abominations, and indeed, our entire reanimation process, could be staggering.

If the Dark Lady grants permission, I will begin further experiments immediately. Of course, I'll need some fresh test subjects. To the dungeons!

I love my job.

Show/Hide Letter Notes

Calder is one of those bizarre Forsaken who really, really lives up to the "Forsaken are horrible undead monsters" idea, which is actually fairly uncommon, at least on the Horde side of things. However, his joyful demeanor and exaggerated personality makes the effect seem more comical than gruesome, at least in my experience. And even though he's a twisted, insane Frankenstein wannabe, how can you not love his sincere glee at being able to create his "children", even if said children are horrible patchwork constructs made out of corpses?

I was quite pleased to see Calder again in Twilight Highlands, and his role in the Crucible of Carnage - while small - was very memorable, mostly because of his funny dialogue after you defeat his creation. Once again, he's pleasant and cheery, while also managing to seem terrifying and sinister. Gotta love it.

He also shows up again as one of the guest NPCs that fights with you on the Molten Front ledge, but I didn't really see a good way to work that in, as it seems so far removed from his role as mad scientist / corpse doctor.

As for the Undercity and its's actually kind of interesting. The various Abominations walking around the Undercity and used by the Forsaken, they actually ARE based off a bizarre mix of science and necromancy. There are various "operating rooms" where assorted Abomination bits are assembled and lying around, just waiting to be put together. There's certainly some kind of death magic involved to animate the pieces, but I found it interesting that it also apparently requires some physical construction as well.

And of course, Calder manages to create an Abomination by himself at Desolation Hold, despite not casting any sort of magic ritual or anything. He snips and pieces together the various body parts you've fetched for him, and then bam - Abom! He certainly could be some crazy powerful mage, but he doesn't ever really act like a mage so much as he does...well, a mad scientist. I found it interesting.

Oh, and in case you were curious about Cho'gall, I guesstimated his height from the following picture:

And if you were trying to figure out the party that killed Cho'gall, it was a Rogue, Unholy DK, Elemental Shaman, Arcane Mage, and Hunter, with Paladin and Druid tanks. ;)

4 Responses Subscribe to comments

  1. gravatar

    I love Calder Gray. At least, I do now.

    November 9, 2011 at 11:51 AM

  2. gravatar

    Um.... just a note, us Night Elves aren't immortal any more, just in case Calder didn't know that...

    Anything with eyeballs makes me want to puke, but a lot of it was quite amusing to read... :)

    ::VERY glad Calder's creation was stomped into snot when I was in CoC::

    November 9, 2011 at 2:40 PM

  3. gravatar


    November 9, 2011 at 2:48 PM

  4. gravatar

    "Do you know what I like, -----?"

    "No, Calder, what do you like?"


    November 12, 2011 at 6:45 PM