Horde: Chapter 6
Durotar’ sun was fierce as usual as the sound of mining picks chopping into the red soil echoed throughout the canyon.
“Put back into it!” Urk shouted at his fellow peons, among which now included a few green skinned trolls.” No water until one ore brought!”
“Really?” the goblin female looked up from her notepad as she frowned at the new foreman.
“Well no, but no tell anyone.” Urk said with a big dumb smile.” Have a repu…rep…”
“Reputation?” she smirked as he nodded.” Very well, your secret is safe with me.”
Thorgal rolled his eyes at the two before he kept swinging his pick axe into the red soil. It bounced back as a small bit of copper ore reflected in the sun.” Midna, found some more ore for you!”
“Oh fiddlesticks, and here thought I would be free this afternoon.” She pouted.
“I hired you as a smelter not as my book keep.” Thorgal pulled out the ore and dumped them into his mining cart behind him.” I want you started as soon as possible.”
“Right-o, boss.” She saluted. She placed her pen in her notepad and gave Urk a affectionate punch on his arm before she ran off to the forge above the canyon. He could not help but frown when he saw Urk’s cheeks blush red.
“You two seem close.” Thorgal snapped him out of his daze.
“Midna friendly, points out ideas to help with labour.” The peon replied.” Good friend. Pretty to.”
“Remember the last Gobbo who abused you like that?” Thorgal leaned on his pick.” Asking you to risk life and limb for some human trinkets while the water elementals chased you?”
“Midna not like that.” Urk shook his head.” Only asked me to piggyback her up and down the canyon. And when peons not looking. I have a repu…rep..” he sighed.
“Reputation, I know.” Thorgal smirked and held his friend by the shoulder. Urk smiled and returned the gesture.” My father would be proud of you.” Thorgal said to the peon.
“You to.” Urk smiled before he let go and went back to overseeing.
Thorgal smiled until he saw one of the troll workers stare at him. The son of Thazz'ril glared.” What are you looking at? Get back to work!”
The troll nodded eagerly and pushed the mine cart up the canyon.
A hour later the bell rang. Thorgal, Urk and Midna looked up from their lunch of blood porridge as one of the guards ran up to them.
“Riders are approaching!” the young orc fresh out of the valley of trials gasped as he held his battleworn axe.” Trolls wearing the Horde standard.”
Thorgal nodded and got up as he walked towards the bell where one of the men gave him a binocular. In the distance he saw several Darkspear riding raptors followed by even more other trolls and even a tauren on a kodo. The son of Thazz'ril frowned before he gave the binocular back.
“Orders?” Urk asked.
“Tell the men to get back to work.” Thorgal replied.” Business as usual.”
Urk nodded and walked off before he shouted the peons from their lunch.
“Maybe it’s news from the Warchief for some major shipment?” Midna said optimistically.
The orc did not reply but instead walked towards the riders. He motioned the young adventurers to walk with him as some kind of escort.
The riders stopped in front of Thorgall as their leader, a female Darkspear druid, nodded her head. Only her and a large tall blue troll dismounted as they walked to Thorgal.
“Hey dere, ma name by Zandri. I be from Orgrimmar.”
“Lok tar Zandri. I am Thorgal son of Thazz'ril and of the Warsong clan.” He replied.
“We know who you are, son of Thazz'ril.” A taller Frostmane troll frowned.” That is why we are here.”
“Oh?” Thorgal asked.
The female glared at her Frostmane escort before she turned to Thorgal.” A few days ago Drak’Thul the warlock and his students were attacked by a group of True Horde rebels, among them a Taunka.”
“A Taunka?” Thorgal blinked.” Those are very rare among these parts.”
“Exactly.” Zandri nodded.” The rebels underestimated ta Warlocks and their…allies however and most were killed, save for a Warsong Orc and ta Taunka. Our reports said they saw him run inta the desert toward dis direction. Accordin’ ta our maps ta only thing around dis ere is ya canyon.”
“You don’t happen to have seen this Taunka, have you?” the Frostmane asked.
Thorgal shook his head.” Can’t say that I have.”
“Are you sure?” the Frostmane troll asked.
“Dabu.” Thorgal nodded.
“In dat case ya wouldn’t mind us lookin’ around, would ya?” Zandri asked.
“I would actually.” Thorgal folded his arms.
” We have a shipment headed for Ratchet by the end of this week and I don’t even have half the quota.” Midna spoke up. “ If you look around I will lose more time and lose our standing among the other mining guilds.”
“So? You will be late.” The Frostmane said to the goblin.
“So? You know how hard it is to get by in this economy?” Thorgal replied with a glare.” You know how hard it is to get a contract for companies who work for a lot less? At least I pay my taxes and give my people fair wages. If I miss this shipment I might as well close my entire operation down and move to the Barrens!”
“Then you will move, now step aside.”
Thorgal walked up to the Frostmane as he held his father’s pick axe tightly in his grip. The troll saw this as a smirk cracked on his lips. “Don’t like trolls do you?”
“Not all trolls, just your kin.”
“Think swinging that pick axe at my head will bring back your old man?”
Thorgal did not reply and clenched the shaft of the pick axe hard.” Boss…” Midna’s voice had a hint of concern.
“Go ahead, do it.” The Frostmane smirked.” Make my day.”
“Turik, ENOUGH!” Zandri grabbed the Frostmane by his shoulder and dragged him to her.” One more word out of ya and I’m telling Eitrig to send ya to Northrend ta serve with ta skeleton crews dere! Am ah understood?!”
Turik snorted before he dropped back. Zandri glared daggers at her ally before she turned to Thorgal.” Ya know if ya deny us we will come back tommorah with a warrant.”
“Zug zug.” He nodded.” I know.”
“And we know dat da Taunka is to wounded ta go anywhere we can’t find him.”
“Zandri, your Taunka is not here and I have wasted enough time on you. If you want to come back tomorrow you can but right now I must ask you to leave my grounds.” Thorgal leaned on his pick axe.
Zandri looked as if she swallowed a bug. She composed herself quick enough and with a short nod she turned and mounted her raptor.”Dere be a bounty on his head.”
“I lived long enough on the Warchief’s loose change. We will do our duty to the Horde and keep a eye out for him.” Thorgal replied.” Good luck with your search.”
“See ya tomorrow.” She replied.” May da Loa watch over ya.”
Thorgal scoffed as the riders disappeared in a mist of red sand as they rode back to Orgrimmar. He waited until they were gone when he took Midna by the arm.” Get the mage adventurer here and bring her to my office, go!”
Midna saluted her boss and ran off. Thorgal went to his office, a small burrow near the entrance of the canyon, where he closed the door behind him. He was greeted by the bleating of a sheep as the fluffy wool thing walked to him.
Annoyed Thorgal kicked the sheep across the room. In mid-flight the sheep became tall and turned into a bison like creature, much like a Tauren. The taunka crashed against the wall as he cried out in pain.
“What are you-?!” he began to shout but stopped when Thorgal grabbed him by the shirt and held him against the wall.
“WHY DIDN’T YOU TELL ME YOU WERE TRUE HORDE?!” he shouted.
The Taunka looked confused.” I don’t-“
The orc slammed him against the wall again. “They were here looking for you! I risked my neck for you!” he dropped the refugee.” You come in here drinking my water and eating my food! I give you guest right and this is how I have to find out about your true allegiance?!”
“I thought I had more time!” the taunka replied.” And if I told you, you might’ve turned me in!”
“I am really considering that right now!” Thorgal shouted. He closed his eyes as he calmly tried to count to ten. When he reached that number he exhaled and re-opened his eyes again.
“So….why did you do it, Mulkor?”
“Do what?” the taunka asked.
“Assassinate the Warlock, what else?!”
Mulkor rubbed his arm where the healed wound was. He was gathering his thoughts before he looked to Thorgal with a grim face.” The warlocks were responsible for the destruction of your homeworld. Similar magicks also nearly destroyed my people. Garrosh’s call to kill the fell users was just. We couldn’t let them return.”
“We?” Thorgal sat down and poured in two glasses of cherry grog. He offered one to Mulkor who gladly drank it.
“The True Horde.” Mulkor wiped his mouth.” Garrosh was the one who saved my people from the Nerubians and the Scourge. We swore our oath TO HIM. We owed him a blood oath. When the call to defend Orgrimmar we tried to help but Saurfang’s forces were strong….and not all of the tribes were likeminded as us.”
“You had your own civil war.” Thorgal concluded to which Mulkor nodded.
“Aye. We were defeated as well. The few of us managed to escape however and met up with the others who either survived Orgrimmar and fled or those who didn’t get there. Since then we have been doing covert attacks, spy where we could, helped finance mercenary groups to attack our enemies. Including Darnassus.”
The orc rubbed his brow before he had another drink.” And the assassination attempt?”
“The world is at the brink of war again. Night elves are on the Barrens’ border. Sylvanas is fighting a war with Lordearon and both sides are still weak from the war. Now was the time to begin attacking our enemies. To reclaim the Horde and lead them to their proper destiny.” He paused. “Are you going to turn me in?”
Thorgal looked at him before he shook his head.” Moka.”
“Why?” the Taunka asked.
“Because my mother…she was part of the True Horde as well. She was a Kor’kron warrior who died defending Razor Hill from Vol’jin’s then rebels.”
“I heard of that battle. Your mother earned her place among your ancestors.” Mulkor smiled.
“You cannot stay here.” Thorgal changed subjects.” They will be here tomorrow and I don’t think a sheep will fool them.”
“Demeaning. I had to spend hours as a sheep to heal my wounds…” Mulkor groaned.” And don’t fret, I will be out of here soon, provided a mage can help revive my hearthstone.”
“Someone called?” a young orc female in mage robes came inside.
“Speak of the devil. Dagra, revive Mulkor’s Hearthstone please.” Thorgal asked the mage.
“Dabu.” Dagra agreed. Mulkor handed her over the stone and soon enough it started to shine blue when agra poured her magic into it.
“Thank you.” Mulkor nodded his thanks.” If you don’t mind, can you revive this one as well? It belonged to one of my companions.”
“Why do you need two Hearthstones?” Thorgal asked as Dagra revived the other stone.
“Not for me.” Mulkor took the second stone and handed it to Thorgal.” For you.”
“For me? Thorgal raised his brow.
“You are not a miner, Thorgal. You are a warrior, a Warsong. The son of your mother. You do not belong here.”
Thorgal wished to bash the taunka’s face in with his bare hands but something stopped him. A piece of himself knew what the taunka said was true. A part that felt alive when he killed those trolls in the tavern, a part that was born when he had slain his first quilboar. A part that was famished and thirsted for blood.
“If you reconsider, use this stone.” Mulkor said.” And I will make sure you will feel like you just came home.” With that the taunka began to mutter and soon enough the light from the stone began to cover him.” Thank you for the drink.”
“Wait.” Thorgal looked up from the stone.” Are the rumours true? Does Zaela have Garrosh’s child?”
The last thing Thorgal saw of the taunka was a mischievous grin before he disappeared in a bright flash.
Thorgal sat down and held the stone.
“Are you going to use it?” Dagra asked. He opened his mouth but stopped before even a word could be said. He didn’t know.
The next day what Zandri said came true as a large group of trolls and tauren rode in. The only difference was Zandri was not there but Turik was.
“Difficulties at the Azshara border, you will have to deal with just me today.” He said with a evil smile as he held out the warrant in front of Thorgal’s face. The orc read the warrant and nodded as he stepped aside. Seemingly angered the orc did not take the beat, Turik snorted and led the search.
The search lasted a entire day as carts were turned over, everyone had to stay in one line and no work was done at all. At this point Thorgal knew he was not going to make it to the deadline.
“How long are those dumbo’s going to be here for..?” Midna glared.” We are losing loads of money right now.”
“Dumb dumbo’s!” Urk agreed.
“I’ll send Gazlowe a letter if he can give us a few more days.” Thorgal rubbed his brow.” My dad used to work for him when he helped build the water supply for Orgrimmar.”
“Think it work?” Urk asked.
“No idea…” Thorgal shrugged."might as well risk it."
“Heads up. We got a commotion over there.” Midna pointed to the workers down below.
A group of peons stood around a troll holding another one in his arms as the search party had their weapons trained on them while Turik was shouting..
“What’s going on?” Thorgal came down as the shouting stopped.
“Your slaves are disobeying my commands!” the Frostmane shouted.
“Not true!” a peon replied.” Jaznir is thirsty! He wanted to drink but the Frostmane said no!”
Thorgal made his way inside the barrier as he saw the sick troll in question being cared for by his kin. His eyes widend when he saw it was the same troll whom he shouted at the day before. Immediately Thorgal took out his flask of water he had strapped to his belt and poured the water in Jaznir’s mouth. The troll worker coughed the water up but soon enough gulped the rest down.
“Easy, Jaznir. Easy.” Thorgal said.” Calm down.” Jaznir looked at thorgal and muttered something in Zandali.
“He not speak Orcish.” The troll who held Jaznir said.” But he thankfull.”
Thorgal smiled and nodded before he stood up and walked over to Turik.” The search is over Turik, I will not allow you to hurt my men while you are chasing ghosts!”
“I am instructed by the warchief to find the traitor and by the Loa I will find him!” the Frostmane shouted.
“A traitor who is not here! You had the better part of the day to look for him and you found nothing! Now GET OUT!”
He didn’t know what happened next but next thing he knew, Thorgal was flat on the floor as trolls and orcs alike squabbled.
“Commander Turik, what in the name of the Earthmother are you doing?!” A tauren held the frostmane’s hand.
“This PEON is undermining my authority! He had to be taught a lesson!”
“This is not Khaz Modan anymore, Commander. We do NOT strike our own for unjust reasons!” The tauren replied sternly.
“Know your place, Brave.” Turik replied.” You have no right to defy me like this! I fought with Orcs before during the Second war, I know what cowards they are! If he has any brains he better-“
A blind red rage overtook Thorgal as he bashed the Frostmane with a rock before he proceeded to wail on him. Peons and troll workers alike jumped in defense of their employer as the search party received conflicting orders from their officers. Turik kicked the orc off him and took up his axe while Thorgal took up his father’s pick axe. Sparks flew as each weapon met and soon enough the duel kicked off a brawl inside the canyon.
The search party had the skills but the workers had the numbers. Orc and troll alike lay on the floor, bleeding or dying as the Frostmane and Thorgal fought.
The battle ended as it started as a rain of fire came crashing down which separated both forces. Thorgal looked up as he saw a decrepit orc on a demonic horse with a imp on his shoulder ride up to the fighting.
“ENOUGH!” he cried out with a loud voice.” There will be no more blood today!”
“Drak’thul, this peon attacked me and my men without cause! He is a traitor!”
“YOU LIAR!” Thorgal shouted and wanted to charge it but was held back by Urk and Dagra. The warlock gazed over the place before he spoke.
“I saw what happened Turik, your tenure as commander is over.” Drak’thul glared.”Go back to Orgrimmar and grab your things, you are going to Icend.”
“Over my dead body!” Turik cried out. The moment he said it Drak’thul rode closer and stared into the Frostmane’s eyes. “Are you sure about that? Death is not the end of suffering but a beginning….”
The imp began to cackle madly as it licked it’s lips at the troll. Turik’s face went as white as snow before he saluted and ran off. The rest of the search party gathered their dead and wounded and left when Drak’thul called for it. He waited until the search party was gone when he spoke to Thorgal.
“I did not know your father but I know what happened here was not what he wanted. I owe him a favour and since he is not here to ask it I will give it to you. Tomorrow you will receive a cart of supplies and gold and a formal apology of the warchief. The funeral expenses for those dead will be paid for in full and you will receive no hassle for what Turik ignited.”
Thorgal looked the old warlock in the eye and spat at his horse’s feet. The warlock merely nodded and rode off while the imp shouted a series of profanities that even made Urk blush.
When night came, Thorgal was in his office as he stared at the hearthstone. He wrote the last of the letters for the peons who died while Midna worked on the trolls who did while Urk insisted to help. Dagra and the other adventurers decided it was time to leave and promised to deliver the letter to Gazlowe. Truth be told, Thorgal didn’t care. Mulkor was right, he did not belong here. His anger killed those people, not Turik.
“You do not belong here…” he said but did not know whom he was talking to, himself or Turik. He looked to his father’s pick axe that was stood in the corner and knew. With a heavy sigh he took up the quil and ink one last time and wrote his final letter.
He snuck to Midna’s room and found her and Urk snuggled together with her head on his chest and a half written letter in her lap. Thorgal placed his letter on hers and walked out of the room, out of their lives.
When he stepped outside he looked into the night sky and closed his eyes.” Forgive me father, I tried.” He clenched his fists.” I really tried.”
He took the hearthstone from his satchel and muttered the words to activate it. The stone began to glow and soon it’s light enveloped him. He saw a flash of motion to his left. The troll Jaznir looked at him with a look of shock. Thorgal merely gave him a nod before the light took him in.
Where a moment ago he was stood in the sands of Durotar by night, he stood now in the middle of a large fortress as myriad orcs walked past him. He saw Green skinned orcs, Mag’har orcs, Dragonmaw and even quite a few Blackrocks. Black drakes flew overhead as goblins drove past on different kinds of vehicles and creatures. Thorgal could not help but keep waking, clutching to his Hearthstone like a pup would hold a wooden sword.
“The Beastmaw Warband has been sighted near Dragonmaw Village.” One of the Mag’har said to a Blackrock.” You think Vol’jin would be dumb enough to think we would be hiding there?”
“We should kill them now we have the chance.” The Blackrock replied.” Send in the drakes!”
“Zaela’s drakes, her call.” The Mag’har replied.” For all we know she might use those Zandalari to take care of them.”
“Bah, at least goblins and taunka I can tolerate but trolls? One of those Forest Trolls stole my loot once after we raided the Dark Irons.”
“So I’ll be taking it you wont be eating their food or using their weapons then?” the Mag’har grinned.
“Fell no!” the Blackrock chuckled.
Thorgal coughed which drew their attention.” Do any of you know Mulkor?”
“Who?” Mag’har asked.
“A taunka, he came here yesterday from Durotar.” Thorgal replied. “ He said he would tell you that I would be arriving.”
“Ah, you are the new recruit then.” The blackrock smiled.” Welcome to Grim Batol! We didn’t expect you so soon. Go to the main hall, the Warlord will make sure you fit right at home.”
The orc pointed to the large hall where most of the traffic was going. Thorgal nodded his thanks and followed the crowd. After having shuffled his way through he finally arrived a the hallway where a large berth was given for some reason. Thorgal pushed his way through and saw it was because of several long tables, dwarven make, and a throne made out of a myriad of skulls. One said throne a female orc was seated with a skin as black as coal and tattoos all over. She had a necklace made out of teeth and had a large axe by her side which made Thorgal nearly crumble to the floor.
“Gorehowl…” he muttered. But that was not the final surprise. She had a orcish babe at the breast who suckled quite merrily. When she moved him away the babe started to scream loudly which made the people closest to it wince. A scream worthy of a Grommash…or a Garrosh.