Following my brutal battle with Mozû last week, I am sorry to report that he has yet to reach out from beyond the grave to resume hostilities. It seems that in Shadow of War, my green whale no longer swims. I did receive a visit from his Blood Brother, but he was so disappointingly weak that I won’t bother you with the details of how he died. This was not an orc worthy of Mozû’s name, but I have found others who might be.
Or, more specifically, our readers have. As part of Mozû’s obituary, I asked for stories of your most troublesome tormentors. And it’s safe to say you delivered. Some themes are common: the Death Defying perk, limbs being replaced by crude-but-brutal prosthetics, and the annoying grins as they savage you for the dozenth time. The winning story, in particular, is a doozy, and wins a Chroma Base station and Kraken 7.1 V2 headset thanks to the wizards over at Razer. Now, let’s meet the orcs...
Entries edited for length and clarity.
Orc: Daz the Ripper
Reader: Andrew Paterson
This bloody guy is the bane of my existence. He’s the friend of a certain plot-related character, and he interferes in EVERYTHING I do. Graug hunt? Shows up and one-hits me. Finally gain enough might to do an execution? Immune to executions. Plus, because he’s a commander, he summons a million bloody orcs to hide behind and chip away at my health. He has the Death Defying, Arrow Proof and Enraged by Injury perks. I can’t kill him. And that’s not even starting with the insufferable grin he has at all times.
When I finally do kill him I will probably just stop playing the game. Because absolutely nothing will compare to that moment.
Orc: Gimûb the Machine
Reader: Chris Davenport
This lovely legendary chap has now bested me in combat on four separate occasions. That's bad enough, but what's worse is he refused to kill me every time. Instead he just shamed me and walked away. The third and fourth time this happened my cousin was sitting with me, and I felt burning real life embarrassment. One of the most annoying things, other than Gimûb’s ability to counter my executions, was the fact that he’s a legendary—so I wanted to recruit him. But each time he shamed me, his level kept going up. After quite a bit of him shaming me, and me shaming him, I finally got his level down to mine and recruited him.
As a reward for being so hardcore I have entrusted a fortress to him. This is one overlord I could really do without stabbing me in the back. I guess if he does though, my most epic orc saga will continue.
Orc: Hoglik the Elusive
Reader: David Ross
This is Hoglik. He’s has been a thorn in my side for about nine encounters, but only killed me recently while I was capturing a screenshot to send you (because keyboard/controller swapping is a mess). He started off as Hoglik, Glory-seeker—low-teens, level-wise, coated in gold armor, just another orc I figured. Nope.
Hoglik died but quickly came back. And again. And again. Each time losing a piece of his gilded armor until he became Hoglik the Elusive. He’s now added smoke-bombs that he drops when fleeing, which when combined with Arrow-Proof made him tricky to get hold of.
One time I thought I’d finished him for good after he showed up in an ambush with three other captains. But he defied death again, vanishing out of the execution sequence.
On one occasion he surprised me while I was mopping up a region. I was too low level to recruit him, so I figured I should Shame him. Bad move. He took the outpost immediately around me, became legendary as Hoglik the Unashamed, and came at me redoubled. I still haven't finished the tale of Hoglik, but he’s long since become the star of the game.
Orc: Pushkrimp the Bloody
I am on nemesis difficulty and he has killed me more than five times now. I managed to kill him last night when was at level 15—chopped off his arm, leg, and then head. Later, I was fighting two other captains and he ambushes me. “Surprise! Remember me?” LMFAO. The little f***er.
Orc: Tarka the Torturer
Reader: Marc Zakharia
Marc sent in an absolute wall of text about how Tarka the Torturer betrayed him and eventually returned as Tarka the Machine. Here’s how the story wrapped up...
I still shudder at the thought of an orc so hellbent on revenge that he went out of his way to be rebuilt. I frown at the thought of how much pain he faced only for it to come to a bitter and inevitable end. Takra the Machine suffered the loss of two brothers over the period of our skirmishes. 1) His blood brother, which sent him on the path of vengeance, and 2) me, the guy who took him in after a brutal siege and ensured his safety.
What was once a simple-looking orc with a standard helmet came back ready to eat metal and shit nails. He is my Mozû, and he is why I am so wary of the allies I make now.
Orc: Pâsh Flame of War
Reader: John Waters
Pâsh has been a thorn in my side since before Minas Ithil fell. He began as the lowly Pash the Tark Slayer after landing a lucky blow on me after I’d already fallen once in combat against a captain. I snuffed him out soon after, sending an arrow and my regards through his skull. A while later he ambushed me sporting a new helmet. I set him on fire and forgot about him again. This time Pâsh came back almost immediately, renamed The Flame of War and sporting burns that made him look like he’s still smoldering. I dispatched him again and joked about it with my friends.
After taking my first stronghold, I'd almost forgotten about my buddy Pâsh. I stopped in Minas Morgul to check in on him and he was kicking around at level 29. "Cute," I thought, and ventured out to complete my conquests elsewhere. Pâsh must have caught wind of me checking out the place, because he followed me to the new zone and ambushed me. Pâsh was now more agile and has developed the ability to use fire bombs. Worse, he no longer gives second chances. He put me into last stand and promptly jammed a spear through my chest. Classic Pâsh.
But he's not done yet. Before my body is cold, he challenged the Overlord of the zone so that I now have to spend the rest of this map plotting to take him down. To rob me of any joy of getting my revenge on him, he's made my vengeance require hours of actual work.
Orc: Bûbol the Machine
The first time I met him I was a lowly level three Talion, trying to make my way peacefully through Minas Ithil. Then I was attacked by a level six Bûbol. Once he had adapted to both stunning and vaulting, I died pretty quickly. Overcome by anger, I immediately started the revenge mission. An intense battle ensued, which ended with me slicing off Bûbol 's arms. I was extremely happy for the next twenty minutes, until I was ambushed by Bûbol. He had come back as a level ten legendary, covered in metal, and banging on about how "I created him." This time I killed him by cutting him in half.
The next day (in real time), I booted up only to find Bûbol had cheated death once more. I sliced him in two again, but half an hour later Bûbol was back, having cheated death for a third time. He ambushed me and this time I died. I jumped straight into the revenge mission, killing Bûbol by cutting off his fake arms and a leg.
Just prior to emailing you, I was ambushed for a fourth time by Bûbol, who just refuses to stay dead. This was our most epic battle yet, involving an Olog Hai captain and three other Ologs. Sadly Shadowplay refused to capture it, but I have to assume it won’t be long before Bûbol puts in another appearance.
Orc: Bûbol who Watches
Reader: Taylor Sanderson
My own personal Mozû has really lived up to his assassin title. When we met he was ten levels above me, but it was less his immunities than his abilities that gave me so much trouble. Specifically: his deadly ranged attacks and the "No Chance" trait, which prevents last-second escapes from mortal blows. Time and again he would pick me off as I tried to flee or find a source of health. It was as if his throwing spears were homing missiles.
Dying to one means the fight is over instantly. He even gets to taunt me before finishing me off without my being able to do a darn thing. Again and again. He even did this in the middle of a bloody siege, losing me the battle and half my army with it. I tried to savescum I was so mad.
After rebuilding and a having a second go at that siege (successfully), I found Bûbol tied up, alone for once, in a nearby cave. I guess that's what being on the losing side of a war is like. So I mercilessly sent my two lead orcs and a caragor to shred his body. While he did get in some last words, that was the last I saw of him. I only needed to kill him once, but managing it was quite the ball ache.