[H-RP] Orcs of the Red Blade — Down in Durotar

Argent Dawn
Prev 1 22 23 24
And that's our campaign just about finished! And what a finale we had, with an unusual, little outing into Lovecraftian territories! (or an attempt at such, anyway) Now all that remains is one more event and we'll be back on Kalimdor shores!
http://orcsoftheredblade.com/forum/index.php?topic=4731.msg45520#msg45520

Part 11: Lair of the Leviathan
23rd of September

The time had finally come. After the many promises upheld, bargains fulfilled and preparations made, the orcs were finally about to be led to what would become their new, very own ship from here on out! The only problem? It had been moored by the Shrine of the Storm for the past couple of weeks, its fate unknown as those few who dared venture out to it were not seen again... Even so, it was there for the taking, so clearly it was the most obvious target for Captain Climidea Curtsy. What could possibly go wrong?

It was with this reassurance in mind that the good captain ferried the orcs across the strait to the mysterious ship that laid dormant by the Shrine of the Storm. One by one, the orcs climbed atop the main deck and found the ship to be... abandoned. Nothing but the chilled wind could be heard as various objects ranging from tools to barrels and lost personal artefacts laid scattered upon the deck, making the fate of its crew a mystery to be sure. Further exploration of the deck and the captain's quarters hardly revealed anything more, until a faint chiming sound could be heard... a ship's bell. It radiated from a doorway that led down to the lower decks of the ship.

Seeing no other way but down into the ship's bowels, the orcs gathered up and ventured down. There, too, the ship appeared desolate and eerily quiet. Dark and dank corridors stretched out in front of them, but there was something undeniably and inherently wrong with the ship's interior. And the further they ventured their way inside it, the more wrongness presented itself. At first the walls simply appeared to be wet, its surface carrying a reflective sheen as if the entire ship had taken water. Then the walls began to be clawed up as if by some ferocious beast. What's more, the ship bell was found... and could be seen swinging ever so gently, despite seeing no one nearby. Even more disturbing than that however, mysterious markings were drawn upon the ship's walls, floors and even ceilings further within. They were covered with images of strange looking marine creatures, immense claws snapping humans in half and tentacles wrapping themselves around shattered galleons. The deeper they ventured into the guts of the ship, the more unnerving things became... and the higher the water level went as well. The only signs of former occupancy the orcs found were the shriveled remains of a human crewman, but he appeared to have died from suicide judging by the pistol by his side. Something - or someone - drove him to such lengths as to take his own life... but what was it?

Just when there couldn't possibly be any more questions in addition to those already in existence, twisted and seemingly physically impossible forms rose up from the water that had now begun to reach as far up as the orcs' knees. Though there was something vaguely humanoid about the monstrosities, they were covered in viscous slime, shifting scales and had a sickly white flesh. Rusty blades and tools were held in their webbed hands as they began to shamble towards the orcs, seeking to cut them down. Though normally such foes would not be particularly troublesome to the battle-hardened orcs, the tight quarters of the ship's interior made it difficult for the orcs to maneuver... especially when it almost seemed as if the walls continued to close in around them in an attempt to swallow them up. A chaotic battle ensued as some orcs threatened to lose their minds to the cruel shape of the enemies and the increasingly claustrophobic circumstances. Yet somehow, the orcs managed to cut down their enemies to the last. As the last one fell however, a terrifying and haunting shriek echoed through the ship, boring itself into the orcs' skull and almost threatening to render them mad if it hadn't suddenly stopped a minute later. Its source was completely unknown, but a shadow shifted on the glistening walls further ahead. Upon close inspection, the shadow moved towards a door frame that did not previously appear to be there... and then suddenly appeared to take the form of an actual, physical orc.

The orc, clad in what appeared to be a quite elaborate yet traditionally orcish dress, simply stared at the orcs in absolute silence. His features were hidden, shrouded underneath the guise of a wolf mask that seemed to stare at the orcs in the orc's stead with blank, piercing eyes. Though some orcs were compelled to attack the mysterious and eerie orc, others were intrigued by it... another, like Siyah'gosh, even revered it for whatever strange reason. The orc then turned down the stairway he was stood in front of however, and vanished. The orcs, compelled to follow the stranger, followed down the stairs into an even darker and more waterlogged room. A brig, judging by the desk and iron bars that were found in the room. And at the end of it, a strangely shaped idol that pulsated with dark energies...

Though some orcs such as Zal'garr Firefist attempted to make sense of the nature of the idol, it quickly appeared to be of a most malignant nature. Something writhed within, as if something was struggling to escape... and escape, it did. Nightmarish, writing limbs arose from underneath it as flesh of horrendous proportions rose from the rippling surface around the idol, forming a mass of tentacles. Inhuman, red eyes gleamed behind them, pulsating like a heart. The orcs fought and clung on for dear life as the tentacles furiously smashed all around them, threatening to take the ship down to the sea floor with every tentacle that smashed into the already fragile hull. Meanwhile, the water kept rising and rising as orcs continued to be tossed around like ragdolls, splashing into the depths of the water. The orcs refused to go down without, however, even in the face of such horrifying adversity. One by one, the tentacles were being chopped off as the orcs deftly attempted to avoid the flailing limbs and fought their way to the very heart of the monstrosity. Through determination, will and a little bit of luck, they finally managed to hack their weapons down into the abomination... which erupted in yet another ear-deafening cry that attempted to pierce down into the orcs' very souls before it was cut off entirely.

A gaping hole was left where the idol stood, revealing nothing but a maw of blackness within... and the faint image of a colossal, tentacled being fading into the depths of it. Whatever held the ship in place was now removed, as the orcs could feel the ship shifting and even responding to the lapping of the waves around them once more. The ship had been freed from the vile influence that held sway over it... even if the ship itself had not been saved yet. A creative solution in the form of a jury-rigged table was found for the hole, while the ship was being steered into calm waters where it could be picked up by Captain Curtsy and his crew. With the captain's solemn promise that he knew nothing of the curse but would do everything in his ability to get the ship clean and in shape for travel as swiftly as possible, the orcs were returned to shore where they might recuperate from their nightmarish adventure. The clan had a ship once more... even if some orcs were none too tempted to ever set foot upon a ship that carried such haunting memories ever again. One way or another however, they had earned their ticket off of Kul Tiras.
Part 12: All Hands Hoay!
25th of September

Kul Tiras had been as intriguing as it was dangerous to its orcish guests. Ever since the first day the orcs had washed ashore, they didn't know what to expect, but it's safe to say that any possible expectations were certainly exceeded by this point. With the help of Captain Climidea Curtsy, the orcs had gotten to safety and had now finally gotten themselves a brand new ship to boot. Now all that remained was to set sail back to Kalimdor.

As Captain Curtsy led the orcs to their new ship, which had been entirely repaired, cleaned and even received a few upgrades ever since the orcs last saw it in its cursed state, he couldn't help but part with the orcs with a few final gifts. In addition to the upgrades made to the ship, the captain offered a chest full of fanciful hats to the orcs, free for the choosing for each of them, and finally a whole list of suggestions for the ship's new name. Though none of them seemed particularly helpful, the pirate seemed all too eager to one day meet with the orcs once more. For now, his own adventures would take him elsewhere, however. With a final courteous bow, the Captain departed from the deck, giving the orcs leave to depart for familiar shores.

Though the Captain soon disappeared out of view, memories of this swashbuckling adventure would no doubt remain with the orcs for a while to come. After all, what will the consequences be from all that has happened as of late? Will this be the last they'll have seen of any pirates? What of Climidea Curtsy and his daughter, Tabitha? Or his malicious ex-wife hag? And that's not to mention the Alliance High Captain who was responsible for this whole detour to begin with, or Commander Korak Skullsunder who is still in the dark in regards to what happened between the orcs and the subordinate he sent them off to meet with. Additionally, just who was the mysterious orc that the orcs briefly met on the ship, only to disappear? And is the ship they now commandeer truly rid of any curses or evil presences? The orcs may certainly hope so. Surely that chiming of the bell they heard below deck was merely the wind, after all...

One way or another, Kul Tiras now laid behind them... but a whole world at war still waited ahead of them.

And that's our campaign concluded! We've now arrived back on Kalimdor, where we'll be resting up from our arduous journey in Razor Hill and will be more easily accessible to any who wish to come on over and interact with us! Though the campaign is over, plenty more big plans are in store for the coming months, as the Red Blades have missed quite some developments in the war elsewhere in the world, after all!

For now, read up on everything that's happened in our campaign in the link below for the full campaign report!
http://orcsoftheredblade.com/forum/index.php?topic=4731.0
Awww crud. I missed the end of the campaign? Dang it.

You'll just have to sate my need to see big green orcs with more screenshots!
Aka'Vrull

Honored brothers and sisters,

An arduous journey lays behind us as we have at long last returned to the familiar shores of Kalimdor. Through storms and battles we have navigated our way home, from the blood- and plague-soaked fields of Tirisfal to the treacherous cliffs of Kul Tiras. We have made both new enemies as well as new friends, however unlikely they may have been. But now we must see to what lies ahead.

Though we were briefly isolated from it during our time on Kul Tiras, the Horde has left behind it a trail of blood and suffering. Even on the desolate island, there is no escaping this truth. We have seen the true face of the present Horde and must see to our own if we are to carve out our own fate. If there is one thing that Kul Tiras has taught us, it is that not all is quite as black and white as some would have us believe. Humans can be true to their word. Orcs can be selfish and needlessly cruel. And the Horde is an entity that none of us can afford to neglect. We must work tirelessly to ensure its future. A worthy future.

To that end, we shall once more take up the task to host this year's Kosh'harg festival upon the plains of Nagrand. I invite you all to join me there, as there shall be not only joyful celebration, but also worthwhile reflection and introspection of who we are and what the Horde is to us. I look forward to greeting you all there.

For the Blood of Redblade,
Kozgugore Feraleye

With the clan finally returned to Kalimdor, it's time to return to the fold and start showing our faces in public again! For all the plans and news regarding the upcoming month, see our newsletter on our home page at orcsoftheredblade.com!
DAG NABBIT KOZ!

I keep missing all the good stuff D:

Fate is cruel.
It's that time of year again! The Kosh'harg will be taking place on the 20th and 21st of October! For all who are interested in attending the Kosh'harg, you can find all the information you need on the Argent Archives here:
https://www.argentarchives.org/node/216451

The world burns and the Horde faces a world of enemies once more. As the balance continues to shift from one to the other, the armies of the Horde and the Alliance are on a collision course to certain death. The spirits watch on as we seek to do them proud in battle… but so too do they look to us for veneration. Twice a year do the orcish clans gather upon the plains of Nagrand to honour them. And twice a year it shall continue to be, regardless of the flames of war that continue to blaze.

I hereby cordially invite any who wish to join us in our pursuit to carry on our people’s traditions in the time-honoured festival of Kosh’harg. Upon the 20th and 21st day of the 10th month, we gather in Garadar once more to come together in celebration. To rekindle the bonds that make us all a family of the Horde once more, and to consult both each other as well as the venerated spirits for our path onward in these dark times. Let all who live by the true heart of the Horde be welcomed, as the sun turns course and continues its descend upon the horizon to cast the end-year into darkness.

Signed,

Kozgugore Feraleye
Chieftain of the Red Blade Clan
Yay I can't wait! Wonder if Telia will get to sell fish again. :P

I'm sure the other Copper coins will be along to sell our wares. Hopefully theirs no big argument about who gets to be guards this year.
From the Annals: A (Crude) Orcish Drinking Song

Kosh'harg is nearly upon us again, which is a great time for tall tales and songs! One thing that has always struck me, however, is how few in-universe songs we actually have. Both from Blizzard as well as player-made, particularly orcish songs are quite scarce. Luckily, we did have the creative spirit or two join us every now and then, and Mazguul was certainly one of the most creatives ones you would find out there! During her time as Thur'ruk in the distant past, she wrote a fair few songs that may or may not have been inspired by other game songs. Granted, the following may be a little bit on the lewd side for some, but it's definitely her magnum opus among the ones she shared with us. I present to you, the Quillboar Song!

For the entire song and news post, check out our front page at orcsoftheredblade.com!
Looking forward to this. Not long now!
I better see some Screenshots!

>:|
Just bumping here into the Forums with my fat orcish hide, I want to thank the Red Blades and all those organizing the Festival!

Short.. yes indeed. It was short but it was very enjoyable! Here's to the next one for an even longer and better social aspect overall!

Lok'tar Ogar Red Blades!

Signed: sergi
Thanks for the kind words, Serg! Now, with the Kosh'harg successful and over, it's time to make for redder pastures! We'll be returning to Durotar once more to attend the very first Whiteclaw Communion-held event as well as our very own Om'riggor at the end of the week!
Lok'tar Ogar to you too Serg!

Remind me to come heal your buttocks in battle when I get back.
And here's me having completely forgotten to post the latest newsletter of the month on here! To read the whole post, see our front page on orcsoftheredblade.com!

Ankathar

Honored brothers and sisters,

We have each had time to wind down and recover from our perilous journey from Kul Tiras by celebrating unity within the Horde at the Kosh'harg festival, as well as licking our wounds in the sanctity of Durotar. That time cannot last forever, however. War continues to run rampant across the continents, and however divided the Horde may in truth seem, we too must do our part. We shall do so on our own terms, however.

With the Whiteclaw Communion's movement gaining momentum, we must do all within our power to support the cause. However strange it may seem in the face of the Communion's aversion to war, that also includes fighting the Alliance. After all, if we were to collectively give up our duty to the Horde, it would only mean others would take our place at this stage. Which means deceit and dishonour may well continue to be spread as the Horde's ideals. We must prove both the Alliance the Horde that the opposite can be true.

In the coming month, expect to be called upon to venture to war once more. However, this time we shall do so on our own terms. On our own battleground. With our own allies.

For the Blood of Redblade,
Kozgugore Feraleye
It seems I found the time and ability to not only write, but post a few story chapters while at sea... So here's Okiba's origin story (in progress).

Soldier: Chapter 1 – Whelp

”Where is best to start? Well, the beginning, I imagine”.


Eleven years ago...

He stank. Well, his breath stank. The mangy smell that comes with too much rotten meat with ale was too hard to ignore when he was close enough his breath could be felt upon forehead. But how could he think worse? His own scent was that of a tannery, the sickly smell ammonia and hide working chemicals. And no doubt the Sergeant had noticed, judging by how his nostrils flared with distain.

“You’re a runt! Barely out of your mother’s arms! No muscle, no sense... No use. You’d be killed by the razor winds and sun within a week, let alone a Quilboar.” Scoffed sergeant Broldok. His dark red eyes looking up and down, surveying the youngling before him with annoyance, even insult at being asked of something.

Are you ready for this? Maybe another winter, or two…

Okiba winced, trying not to recoil under the face to face scrutiny of an Orc that any other his own age would always consider his much senior. Broldok was a head and a half taller, muscled so that he was built for battle, with great tusks, jet black beard and a shaved head. He cut an imposing figure, at least, to the skinny sack of beardless nothing that summed up the former tanners apprentice. Okiba was a child, seventeen winters, being stared down by a veteran of three wars and forty years. He gritted his teeth, it was the only thing stopping him from shaking in his ruined boots.

”Well, why you still gorping at me like the clueless whelp!?” Barked Broldok, his brow furrowed in intent displeasure. This was not how he wanted his first visit to Razor hill to start, being chewed out by the settlements senior sentry. Though he now stood in the shadow of its imposing watch tower atop the hill, bare for the sun and winds to do mayhem upon, he was more regretting his choice of conversation opener rather than his lack protection from the elements.

”where do I sign up?” what were you thinking…

”I-i… I’ll buy you a drink? If you help me join the grunts…” Stuttered Okiba, outstretching a hand holding the few coppers he had to his name. The reaction was instant.

”You lowly, disrespectful-… Foolish whelp!” Roared Broldok, snapping his hand out to grab the younger Orc by the scruff of his neck and lift him like a caught rodent. The veteran clearly thought nothing of the weight that made up Okiba, hauling him around with the scraping of boots and panicked pleas of mercy.

”Please! I’m sorry! I meant no offence! I just want to do my part!” he wailed pleadingly, lifting his arms to shield his face and neck instinctively.

Oh fel, what have you done-…

”Shut up! Cease your whimpering and listen close, or so help me by Groms blood I’ll cuff you until you scream for your mother!” Snarled the sergeant as he threw the presumptive Youngling to the dusty ground. He slowly raised the same arm to begin pointing down to the settlements below. Razor hill was sleepy, the sun just setting behind the craggy hills and casting a dark shadow over tent, hovel and tavern alike as every Orc and troll settled down for the day. Okiba wiped the dust and muck from his face and rags, following the gesture with his eyes.

”This is my responsibility… My charge, my watch. Our great Warchief, Thrall!” He paused, glancing from the town, down to his cowed victim and back again before resuming. ”Gave my Commander orders to take care of this, and he in turn gave me orders to keep the watch! They have trust and respect, going down the chain of command… respect and trust born of honor, blood and sweat in battle! Not from a cheap pint of ale as a bribe…” Finished the sergeant with a sneering growl.

Stupid… stupid! All you wanted was a chance…

”I- I just wanted the chance to show honour, earn my place in the Horde—“ He started, but could not finish, a hand swiftly smacking the back of his head. Hard enough to put him to silence, but not enough to cause real hurt.

”I said Silence!” Snarled the Sergeant with indignation, his lips turning upwards in revulsion, exposing his already formidable tusks. ”This is my responsibility… And I will not have all this undermined by a weakling… Honor is made, like steel. Not bought”.

Made?

Okiba held his tongue, keeping his eyes on the town as the sunset gave way to the darkening tones of dusk. The iron gaze of his elder and better boring into the side of his head, allowing for silence to prevail, what else could he do?

”Report to the quartermaster in the barracks at sunrise. And don’t ever speak to me unless spoken to first, ever again, Whelp.”
Soldier: Chapter 2 – Selection

”The best roads aren’t always the ones you choose”.


Ten years ago…

His stomach rumbled. The aggressive kind of rumble, not the subtle sort but the loud kind that turns heads. Thankfully on this occasions those heads remained stock still and facing forward. But what could he do? He’d fallen flat in his boar hunt last night, and breakfast rations didn’t even get to the stove this morning before Broldok had every grunt in Razor hill lined up and waiting for ‘something’.

One strip of bacon, or a sausage…

”Keep your backs straight, so the Legionnaire can get a good look at you mutts!” Bellowed Broldok, addressing the line of Grunts now assembled in front of the settlement barracks. Okiba included. The runt had earned his place, even if it had taken a year. He rolled his shoulders with discomfort. The basic equipment all grunts received had no standard size, and to make matters worse he was not a standard size. Still a head shorter than most Orcs in the garrison, his gear did not cling to his body as it did the others, either looking far too large for him or he far too small for it. He’d grown, of that there was no doubt, the budding start of muscle and the strength that came with it, bought with hard work on patrol or assisting the peons with labor. He’d worked long days, slain troublesome scorpid, even killed his first Quilboar.

That felt odd.

He always looked back on it with a strange feeling in his gut. He’d killed a thing, not like an animal, a thing that could talk and think. Granted, it had attacked some peons, stolen and harassed the outpost, it had it coming. But it still felt odd. Did every soldier feel that way the first time? They all sounded like they relished the thrill of battle and the honorable kill. Yet, all Okiba had managed was a prolonged, scrappy fight where he got lucky and put a hatchet in the things head.

”No, not him, too old. And not him, or hi—that one is missing an Arm Broldok, for fel damned sake.” bellowed a voice down the line, it carried authority, and it ought too. It came from the Legionnaire now inspecting the garrison with Broldok. What for? He had no idea, but they were working their way up and down from Orc to Orc, picking the healthy and able bodied grunts for some endeavor.

Hopefully it isn’t more caravan escorts or Quilboar hunts.

He mused thoughtfully for a moment, swiftly followed by his stomach giving in to a rumbled protest once again. This time it even hurt a little. Maybe a bowl of the taverns porridge too would be needed. The rations and food allowance in the garrison wasn’t lacking, but by the time an Orc had finished a hard day’s work, or was preparing to start another, you needed all the sustenance you could get.

”You! How old?” Snapped that deep voice. The Legionnaire was addressing him, eye to eye and with Broldok at his shoulder frowning.

Oh fel…

“Er- 20 winters, Legionnaire!” He replied, hastily if hesitantly. He was 20 now, after all. What point was there in lying?

The Legionnaire muttered, turning a rueful glance in the direction of Broldok before looking back to Okiba. He did not seem happy with the rag tag state of the settlements warriors. Then again, it was where the young came to be proven, and the worn out to waste away.

“20? Pfah, Skin and bones. But you’ll do. We’ll have this one, and the other five I pointed out. Have them report to the Hall of the brave by noon tomorrow, Broldok.” He finishd, before striding away with the clank of mail and plated boots, the literal walking stomp of authority.

”Thralls balls…” Groaned Broldok. ”You’re all going home. Grmph.”

Home? To Orgrimmar?

Muttering rose among the warriors, old, able, young and in-between. Okiba couldn’t resist anymore, and had to ask.

”Home to Orgrimmar, we’re to garrison the capital, Sergeant?” He enquired, bringing his feet and stance to attention as he did so.

”Not that home you idiot runt!" Snapped the gloomy Sergeant.

"Our true Home, Draenor… You’re all going on the expedition to Outland!”
Soldier: Chapter 3 – Hellfire

”Constant adversity breeds resilience”.


Ten years ago…

The air was acrid. Layered with the scent of chemical fire, when older Orcs spoke of sulphur and brimstone it was no exaggeration. It made sucking in desperate gasps of air truly bitter sweet. His arms ached with the raw agony from the constant effort of lifting and swinging his axe, up and over, left to right. His legs, were akin to lead weights, burning and dragging him down, rooting him to the spot with exhaustion. Getting this short reprieve was a miracle, a blessing, a gift. But it wouldn’t last long enough.

It never lasts long enough.

The Red Hell-scape that expanded before him was strewn with dozens of dead demons, of varying types and sizes. The wrath guard had been the troublesome ones, often needing two or three Horde warriors to down them. Okiba twisted his axe handle, pulling it up and out of his own slain foe. He’d had to settle for a Succubus, this time. She’d lashed him savagely across his axe arm while binding it with her whip, intending to slash his throat thereafter with those savage claws. However, to his own surprise, he’d had the sense to use his free left hand to punch her square in the jaw. Nothing much the filthy thing could do then with both his arms and a sharp axe free.

At least I can hold my own now.

Which he could, he thought, dragging in a breath before exhaling unsteadily with relief. Sadly, others had been less lucky, A Troll witch-doctor was doing what he could for one grunt that was missing an arm, while a pair of Tauren warriors, aided by a druid of their kin, dragged another grunt back to Thrallmar with all haste leaving a trail of blood as they went.

Even though the palisade wall was now up, and most the outposts buildings near finished, Nazgrel had to keep sending out aggressive patrols and squads of troops to defend the foothold they had worked so hard to create. It had to be done, Okiba admitted to himself. The Warchief, Thrall, in his wisdom had picked Nazgrel to lead the expedition for a reason and that reason was sound tactical judgment. Something they needed in abundance in this Wasteland. While many of the decisions handed down didn’t always make immediate sense, he quickly learned there was a purpose behind every move here. A need to survive against the Demons and the tainted Orcs of the Fel horde.

How could they fall so low, could we all of ended that way?

He mused, striding towards the rest of his platoon, dragging his aching frame with him. The Fel Orcs had been something of a surprise and horror to everyone upon arrival. Blood red eyes of hate, huge jutting tusks of crimson, spikes jutting from their backs and a hatred for anything that wasn’t them. They had been a constant trial to combat, but thankfully they were a trial shared with an even more unexpected set of residents.

Amazing they could survive so long here, impressive even, for their kind.

Humans. And not just any humans, the original Alliance expedition that came to defeat Ner’zhul. They had a semi-ruined fortress to the south, across the macabre path of destiny they called Honor hold. Though he was no strong fan of the Alliance, it gave him courage to think that if humans could survive here stranded for decades, then Orcs of the new Horde could do it here and now too.

He glanced skyward, to the neither night or day heavens. Such concepts as sunrise or sunset had no meaning in Hellfire peninsula when the nether above was so vivid, limitless and chaotic in its supremacy. He had no ample words to describe it, though he’d tried, he gave up in the end. Just one of the many strange wonders of this fractured, red rock floating through space that he could only really think about after the fighting here was done.

”Right, we don’t have long. Get water down your necks and get as much air as you can before they come again!” Bellowed Stone guard Mortzka addressing the squad now gathered before her, she was a short, stocky Blackrock that Okiba had not yet gotten to know. The Grunts, Orcs, troll and Tauren alike popped their water skins and began to swill parched mouths. Water was such a commodity here you had to be ordered or have permission to use even a skin full. The Relief was welcome by all, though Okiba no sooner had put his hand on the cork than he spotted something on the skyward horizon.

Shooting stars-?

”It’s going to be another hour before we’re relieved! So don’t get too lax—“ Mortzka was cut off, everything happened so fast. First, they weren’t shooting stars. Upon reflection, they were without a doubt not shooting stars. Shooting stars aren’t normally Green. Second, one of them landed on Mortzka with a crashing explosion and a flash of green that sent the whole squad bowling backward or flying.

Okiba landed some distance away, dazed and confused, his mind unable to work out how it all coupled together or why his head now hurt more than his body. Dragging himself to his feet, he saw them, explosions everywhere, huge green comets creating them in a dozen places. Massive craters were formed, filled with that all too familiar acrid stench coming from yellow smoke and roaring green flames. When the final one han landed and silence seemed to of descended he tried to form a sensible thought with his first step.

How—

He’d only placed one foot forward when he felt it. The ground shuddered, as if something heavy had set itself down. Then again… the sound of shifting, grinding rock like sliding masonry in accompaniment. Then it rose, an obelisk, a mass a shadowy burning shape out of the crater that had once been the stone Guard. It had four burning limbs of rock, a body of stone and a flaming head. It towered over him, and the others as they all stood stock still in shock and surprise.

”hnng—GRAAWWWW!” It roared, its stone mouth letting loose the ear splitting sound. And it wasn’t the only one. From every crater emerged such a monstrosity, one, two, three—eight of them. The one nearest Okiba turned its small rocky head and burning eyes, fixing them on him, selecting what felt to him to be is firs target. Heaving a leg, it took its first solid and imposing step out of the crater. The Legion had sent infernals.

Thralls Balls…
Soldier: Chapter 4 – Accidental

”Surviving is often mistaken as victory”.


Ten years ago…


The pain was foreign to him. Constant, throbbing discomfort laced with stinging pins and needles topped with the occasional sharp stabbing pain any time he moved too fast. But that’s a broken arm for you. Hellfire peninsula was a place of many firsts, and for him it was his first broken bone. He hated it.

Pull your punches next time.

He thought, sighing to himself almost dejectedly as he straightened his back against the doorway to the outposts hold. He was to wait, he was instructed, and look sharp. The Stone guard had been somewhat specific about the sharp part, vague as it was. All the while the settlement went on much as it always did as he watched squads of Horde soldiers running around, peons making repairs and the distant sound of either battle or the mechanical sirens of those colossal green machines the demons had made reaching ears all the way from the other side of the peninsula.

At least it wasn’t a Fel reaver.

He considered, trying to listen to the conversations between officers within the hold but only hearing feint murmurs and deep rumbles of assent or disagreement. He had been lucky, really. Very lucky, spirits be thanked for that. The Infernals had crushed half his squad before any semblance of resistance to the onslaught could be started, ten warrior’s dead in seconds, five left. He’d started to charge out of some spark of outrage and fury he’d never known he had in him when the Horn sounded.

And what a Horn, echoing off the hills and even startling those stone brains in in the constructs heads. In seconds twenty wolf riders had hurtled over a hill and began circling the enemy, throwing spears, or riding past to cleave stone legs with axes. And he joined in, like an idiot.

What on Azeroth possessed you?

With a swing of an axe, that broke the blade, and the thrust of a fist that broke his hand, he was left with only one good hand and the spear of a fallen ally. Chaos swirled all around, red dust rising from the running paws of dire wolves kicking up parched earth, Brimstone and felfire swung limbs of stoney death while being broken down over overwhelmed with mobility. So he was bolstered, buoyed by the sight, and made a run at one of the giant demon constructs.

And that ended well, didn’t it?

The original demon that had struck him dumb with shock was now bewildered, sluggishly swatting to no effect at anything that came close. And close he came, charging head on and thrusting the spear with one arm at the monsters rocky chest, doing no more than getting the tip lodged in rock and granting him its undivided attention.

He woke up in the Thrallmar infirmary the next day, having allegedly been sent flying like a rag doll. No sooner had his broken bones been set and tended, had he been told by the watch commander to report to the hold and await instructions, as he did now. For what felt like hours.

You’ve been stood here all afternoon.

He mused. But it was to be expected, Outland was hectic. The events of the campaign had taken a new turn. The attention of the Horde, and Alliance, was no firmly fixed on shadowmoon valley and the black temple. So much so, the Warchief had sent his elite guard, the Kor’kron to lead that particular battle against the betrayer and the demonic filth that inhabited the region. Never ones to miss a fight, it had been they that had rescued him and the survivors of his platoon east of Thrallmar, Riding their dire wolves, scything through Infernals like wheat.

It was impressive…

It had grown quiet all of a sudden, voices within the hold had been replaced with heavy foot falls and the clank of armor. Someone was coming outside, two of them.

”This the one?” Asked a gruff voice, it came from a dark green skinned Orc in dark blue plate and chain. He came to a stop in front of Okiba, eyeing him up and down but paying no heed to his bandages or sling. Beside him in short tow was the watch sergeant, Vrulk. He was a head shorter, clad in red mail and frowning before he added ”Yes, he’s the suicidal one, I can’t say I see why you’d want him.”

Want me?

It took a moment, but Okiba’s memory stirred, this was the Kor’kron legionnaire that had led the wolf riders to save his platoon! Why was he in the peninsula, was any Orcs guess...

”Ha! Well, you wouldn’t. We like a bit of iron in the veins of our ranks, crazy or not, he rose to the occasion, and Ovelord Or’barokh needs the bodies-… Okiba is it? Congratulations, you’re coming to shadowmoon valley.”

His Jaw falling lax in surprise, Okiba could only garble the words ”W-what for?”

”Ha! Well, you can’t join the Kor’kron if you stay here!”
Soldier: Chapter 5 – Siege

”Walls? You’re only true defense is yourself and those you trust”.


Ten years ago…


He’d been wrong about Hellfire peninsula. There are worse places to be, and Shadowmoon valley was one of them. Black scorched earth, mounds of ash, scoured dead forests, an active volcano that spewed molten green flame. The whole landscape was a pocked horror of demonic hovels, ruined temples and wandering hoards of legion or Ilidari minions… ‘Hell’ was now becoming a relative term to him. So he did the only thing he could do here, and pulled the lever.

With the clunk of weighted metal, and the whirl of a mechanism, taught sinew suddenly released all tension to allow for the movement of the readied parts. The great timber throwing arm moved with a force that could crush bones and whole bodies. The catapult flung the boulder high, sending it up then over the village walls to come crashing down into a group of ill-placed imps. Though he couldn’t see the full result all the way from here, the ‘thud’ the rock made as it crushed the demons and exploded into a thousand pieces of stone shrapnel told him all he wanted to know. A hit.

”Reload!” Bellowed an Orc at Okiba’s side. It was Norsk, his Senior sergeant. Using two great muscled arms the Orc pushed his weight into one of the catapults wheels to begin turning it to the right to adjust its aim. The Kor’kron had a lot of sergeants, if you didn’t become one as you joined, it often made you one on the spot as he now knew himself. Sergeant Okiba had a strange sound to it, but he accepted it and turned thoughts back to the task at hand.

Last one was five hundred yards, next needs to be six hundred, extra three turns and a half on the wheel.

There was a strange art to working siege weapons, in defense or offence. You had to understand range, arcing, dip, weight, counter-weight and elevation. And that was before you even got into the logistics and maintenance. Originally they made him a wolf rider, armed with spear, axes, new plate and mail. His Dire wolf was a ferocious monster that he often felt weary around himself, though the beast was disciplined enough not to turn on him. Despite all the new equipment, the rank and training, no sooner had he and the Kor’kron moved into Shadowmoon village did the Siege start.

”How many did we get!?” Coughed a second voice, slamming a boulder down next to the catapult. Morsk was just as muscled as Norsk, but often more pre-occupied with keeping tally than the objective. The pair were brothers, having joined the Kor’kron together.

”Four, I think, reckon we should aim bigger though. The infantry need those infernals keeping off them.” He replied, grunting with effort. All his energy was going into the loading wheel. Turing and turning, on and on. It resisted, but the teeth of the locking mechanism stopped it going back on itself and mangling his arm in the process. The arm was half way down.

”Big, small, we need to pick our shots carefully. Boulders like this don’t grow on tree’s you slacking mooks!” Norsk growled, now aided by his brother they continued pushing and pulling the back wheels of the weapon to adjust aim, somewhere off east.

”Hra, it’s a rock! You dig them up! Easier than picking trees!” Morsk answered, letting out a chuckle strained with effort. Nobody could blame them for being tired. The assault had lasted a month, day and night, in a steady flow of attacks since the elite force had arrived. Word was, dwarves resided in the south, in some ruined hold. Perhaps they faced the same terrible problem?

Perhaps they have stone walls. Not that we need them.

And need them they didn’t. Shadowmoon village was defended by the elite of the Horde, the Kor’kron expedition force. Even now, infantry clad much as he had been before he stripped to a bare chest, swarmed across the barren plain below. Infernals stood little chance against the co-ordinated attacks, and any demons fool enough to amass in numbers soon found catapults pelting them into thinning out, disorder or death. That said, some had made it to the walls and gate, but no further. The palisade was defended by Orcs skilled with axe, spear and shield. The towers were manned with keen eyed archers, and they were even ‘blessed’ to have an unwitting moat of felfire to impede any advance on one flank.

They can’t win, they don’t win, but they still keep coming.

The thought unnerved him a moment, how endless their numbers felt, but it was soon shrugged off as the wheel he turned finally became too taught to turn on his own. Norsk instinctively stepped in to help him make the last turn before the firing lever was locked into place with a metallic clunk.

”Now we wait…” The senior sergeant spoke, clapping his hands free of any effort made grime. He was a patient type, experienced, knowing when to press the attack or when to wait. Now was the time to wait, the demons were thinned out in the fields below and the shot was not to be wasted.

”You always say that. If you say it any more you’ll need It tattoo’d on your face, hra!” Morsk chuckled, mockingly. The two brothers were as chalk and earth, opposites. But they complimented each other well and worked together in perfect unison. One serious and focused, one light hearted but hard working. He couldn’t have hoped for a better to be teamed with.

Finally doing your part, as best you can.

His eyes twitched, a shadow was moving across a stony bridge across a flaming river to the east. Horned and massive, wielding two great axes and armor. Behind it trudged two infernals and two Felguard. Huddled together, neatly, perfectly.

”North east! Turn left! Move it!” He felt himself roar, over eager. He wanted this shot to count, to make every demon that held them here another day pay in blood and misery tenfold to their own. Norsk and Morsk barged a shoulder each into a wheel, combining the strength and effort of the trio to turn the poised weapon.

This is what it means to belong!

”Aimed, ready!” Morsk called, stepping back, mirrored by his older brother. Never safe to be too close when the dam thing was fired. Norsk judged the scene before them, inspecting the weapon for readiness, eyeing the aim and distance, then he waited a few agonizing moments more…

”Fire!”

And so he pulled the Lever.
In not too long the Red Blades will go on a little trip again, so if you want to meet up with us in a nice and easy place still, now is the time!
We're still hanging around in Razor Hill for now! ^^

Join the Conversation

Return to Forum