Alliance: Chapter 8
Angry voices filled the senate as the house of nobles and foreign emissaries alike shouted the loudest to be heard. All the seats were filled in the senate safe for the one meant for the emissary of Darnassus. Several messages were sent to the emissary to explain the actions of her people but every messenger returned empty handed. Jojo Ironbrow, the head of the Tuishi Pandaren, went himself and returned with a answer due to the Pandaren’s calm demeanor and without a agenda. The kaldorei would see this war through with or without the aid of the Alliance.
The prince of Stormwind had seen his father calling for order twice in a span of ten minutes.
“THAT IS ENOUGH!” Varian shouted for a third time.” Enough or I will adjourn this meeting until you all calmed down!”
“The Night Elves have broken the treaty!” the gnomish ambassador shouted.” Our word is worthless now, I demand sanctions!”
“Agreed!” Drukan the dark iron dwarf, who represented the dwarven kingdoms, agreed with his Khaz Modan neighbor.” You called us off from pursuing the Frostmane tribe who are now hiding behind the Horde’s skirts! Why call us off and let the bloody pointy eared gits do all the work?!”
Anduin frowned, it was rare that Drukan agreed with anyone on any matter, especially with the gnomes.
“I agree with Khaz Modan in this matter!” Tess Greymane, the princess of Gilneas, added.” The Horde is at it’s weakest, NOW is the time to strike!”
“Easier said than done, your highness.” Lord Vitinari of Redridge said.” We lack the funds AND the men for any military adventure. All of our efforts went to making sure Gilneas was rebuild and well defended in case Sylvanas had other ideas. WE HAVE NOTHING LEFT TO GIVE.” He turned to Varian.” My king I plead with you to instate sanctions against Darnassus and to raise taxes once more!”
“Are you daft, Vitinari?” Lord Laine of Westfall said.” The people have nothing left to give! My son Horatio is still dealing with the Defias fallout caused by the very same idea you just suggested! On the way here I’ve seen the smallfolk bury their dead in mass graves because of the famine and the disease AND seen people eat their own pets for lack of food. You think you can get more coin of that sorry lot?!”
“Then what is your alternative, Laine?!” Vitinari stood up and leaned on his counter. Laine did not reply and looked as if he was asked the world’s most difficult question. Thankfully, Varian replied in his stead.
“The alternative is this, my lords and ladies.” Anduin saw his further steady himself as if expecting a backlash.” I will raises taxes yes….but on you.” The entire room fell silent, the calm before the storm.” Each and single one here present will give up a share of their fortune to boost Stormwind’s economy and hopefully thereby boost Ironforge and Gilneas’ as well.”
“YOU CANNOT DO THAT!” a vocal lady shouted.” We worked hard for that coin! Let those peasants work for their own money!”
“How can they work if there IS NO WORK, Lady Valenta?” Varian shot a glare across the room. The prince of Stormwind had seen his father angry before and had seen his patience run out by the fuse was VERY shortly lit this time around. He saw his father clench his seat tightly and already the wooden frame began to crack.
Anduin looked to his right to Valeera who shared the same look he did. Something was wrong with the king of Stormwind. “Go to my father, calm him down.” Anduin said to his Sindorie bodyguard stood up quickly and walked to the center stage.
“The Prince, his majesty Anduin Wyrnn.” The announcer shouted.
“My lords and ladies!” Anduin smiled.” I know what my father asks is a lot of you and I assure you that he would not ask this sacrifice if not for a reason.”
“And what reason is that, Prince Anduin?” Captain Horrace of Kul Tiras folded his arms.
“Captain Horrace, when you came to port this morning did you notice something different?” the prince asked.
The rugged captain frowned.” How do you mean?”
“Anything out of the ordinary.” Anduin said.
“Well…” the captain rubbed his beard.” There’s more mercs about lookin’ for work. More whores to.” The prince nodded and turned to Lord Laine.”Lord Laine, how many people have died of starvation in your province?”
“To many, my prince…” Laine sighed.
Anduin did not give anyone a chance to properly retort as he sniped down the more vocal lords and ladies by asking them questions. How many bandits raids had attacked their lands, how many of their people fled to Stormwind, how many businesses were shut down, by how much did their profits sink, was there a increase in True Horde attacks and so forth.
“War only begets war.” Jojo added to Anduin’s testimony.” Two large wars and a catastrophe have done to much damage to our people. Now is the time for healing and meditation.”
In the end each noble in the realm realized the gravity of the situation. It wasn’t until Drukan opened his mouth this sudden realization hit a snag.
“Who are you to talk, your royal highness?” the Dark Iron glared.” I don’t see you paying this bill. Besides the rumours of Stormwind secretly funding Queen Calia’s war against the Forsaken, isn’t that also against the treaty?” Others agreed with him.” Better to invade Orgrimmar and Undercity outright and take the booty for ourselves!” Others agreed and quickly Anduin turned.” With all due respect emissary Drukan, those rumours are just that. Rumours. And the same mercy my father showed the Horde after the death of Garrosh Hellscream is the very same mercy that spared you and Queen Moira. You risk withdrawing that mercy?”
“I can speak for myself, son.” Varian answered from his side of the room. ”Thank you, you may be seated.” Anduin felt a brief fluster in his cheeks and stepped back. Valeera gave him a nod and held him by his shoulder as she guided him back to his seat.
“I am many things, lords and ladies.” The king spoke.” Above all I am blunt and honest.” He stood up and faced everyone.” The rumours of my coffers flowing to Calia’s is a lie.” Muttering happened.” What Calia does happens outside of Alliance jurisdiction.”
“But her right is just!” Lord Valt of Stromgarde said.” My kingdom has sided with her as did the remnants of Alterac! I am with Emisarry Drukan, now is the time to strike!”
“Traitors and desperate fools make bad bed fellows…” Captain Horrace spat to his side. Lord Valt drew his blade as did his Stromgard escort.” You dare dispute my honour?!”
“I don’t dispute, I point it out.” The captain frowned.” Your lands have no real ruler and you faced enemies on all sides.”
“At least my queen is not sleeping with a dragon!”
This drew Horrace’s anger as he to drew his cutlass and vaulted over the benches and crossed swords with Valt as his escort of sailors joined in. The Dalaran representative joined Horrace with magic as she held her magic high in the air. The fireball pattered out as the mana was drained from her. She looked to her left ad saw the blood elven bodyguard drain the mana into her, with a big smile on her face. Drukan and his gnomish ally leaped into the fray, cudgel and wrench in tow as the senate turned into a massive brawl.
“This is madness…” Anduin said horrified.
“Madness?” Valeera smirked.” This is politics.”
The prince looked shocked a the sight.” Who is Jojo fighting anyway?”
Valeera peered in closer. “I think everyone…”
“ENOUGH!” Varian slammed his desk hard.” The meeting is adjourned! ALL OF YOU, OUT!”
A few hours passed when Anduin came to see his father in his room. The king was in his casual attire as he was sharpening his elven blade.
“You called for me, father?” the prince asked as he closed the door behind him. Varian looked up and nodded at his son.
“I did son.” He motioned the boy to sit.
Several scenario’s went through the prince’s head. Was his father angry, pleased, confused? Whatever it was, it had to do with the senate.
“I am sorry for what happened in the senate today, father.” Anduin said.
“Don’t be, you managed to stop the flames if just for a moment.” The king smiled.” You did good, all things considered.”
Anduin blinked his eyes.” Really?”
“Yes, really.” Varian placed his sword away. “I have a important job for you son. Are you up for the task?”
“A job?” Anduin asked surprised.” Me?”
“Yes, you have disobeyed my command several times and it always turned out someway or another. You are almost a man grown Anduin, I was only a few years older than you when I was crowned King. It is time I stop treating you as a child but instead as my proper heir.”
“ Well I...of course father, anything.” The prince nodded.” You have my word.”
“Good. I was partly lying in the senate. Part of Stormwind’s funds went to another place besides Gilneas.”
Wrathion’s voice returned to Anduin’s mind, ‘Follow the money’.” Where to?”
“Booty Bay.” The king said.” I paid Baron Revilgaz under the table for two reasons. One, to keep Vol’jin’s Horde financially weak enough so they stayed out of the war between Calia and Sylvanas. The second was to keep a eye out on the True Horde and the Zandalari.”
“Why would you want to blackmail Vol’jin like this, father?” the prince asked.” You said you would never break the treaty.”
“I never did.” Varian replied.” As a king you have to play the game of thrones with your enemies and allies alike. Vol’jin made a dangerous move giving the Shatterspear and Frostmane trolls amnesty, both tribes who were sought after by the night elves and dwarves alike. I couldn’t let that move get away from me hence the blockade. It also seemed fair, the Horde has Ratchet in its pockets so it was best we had Booty Bay in ours. But with this war I rather want Vol’jin to have a fighting chance. If this Horde falls another one much worse than Garrosh’s might rise and I rather want to contend with the devil I know than a devil who might be worse.
And as for the True Horde, as you pointed out they have been attacking the fringes of our kingdom recently. In the past Revilgaz warned us before a attack and we beat them off ever since. But something happened and now the enemy knows our weakness. I want you to go and find out while I try to stop this Alliance from tearing itself apart.”
“The Alliance is not…breaking up, is it?” Anduin asked. The king leaned closer to his son.
“After the Second War when we beat the Horde, Gilneas and Stromgarde left the Alliance and it didn’t take long we started to fight each other again like in the old days. What is happening right now is very similar to what happened then. With Tyrande gone and Malfurion missing the Kaldorei are back to the way we found them when we first arrived in Kalimdor. Dangerous, savage and unreliable. What is worse according to SI7 several former soldiers who were laid off here have joined the Kaldorei campaign alongside militant Draenei and angry Worgen. Me, Jaine, Mekkatorque, the Council of Three Hammers and Genn are doing what we can to keep our Alliance out of this war and try to call off the Night elves.”
The golden haired prince nodded and looked up to his father.” How?”
“Pressure. We need to rebuild our position. I will pass the law so the nobles have to pay those taxes. The leadership in Khaz Modan is doing something similar for theirs and Gilneas’ economy may be blooming again soon when the gold mines are re-opened there. But that is none of your concern now, what I want you to do is to find out what Revilgaz is doing. I will send you with Valeera and Brink Spannercrank, one of my best agents.”
The king placed his heavy hand on Anduin’ shoulder.” Can I trust you with this burden, son?”
Follow the money, the voice said again. As did the prophecy the black dragon claimed to have seen. Three warrior-women, him fighting alongside a orc, millions calling his name as their liberator….and losing a hand to save a world. The prince nodded.” You can trust me father, I will not fail you.”
“Good.” Varian smiled.” You will be leaving in the morning by Zeppelin.”
That struck Anduin as odd, normally the Alliance used their own aircraft to ferry people across. Seems the coffers must be very low to hire goblin aircraft. But the boy nodded regardless.” Understood, I will not let you down.”
“I know you won’t.” Varian smiled and held his son. Anduin returned the hug but he was very surprised at the sudden large amount of affection. Something was wrong, but he couldn’t place it…
“Now…” Varian let go.” Before you go, how about a game of chess? I heard from Broll before he left that you are a adequate player.”
Anduin smirked.” Adequate eh? Did he mention I beat him three times In a row?”
“No he did not.” Varian chuckeld.” But that would explain matters.”
Father and son played a few games before the prince went to bed. The hours seemed to fly by. He had good times with the king before and he adored his father, but something felt wrong. As if this was a way of saying goodbye.
The next day the zeppelin set off without much pomp or ceromoney, only his father and a small retinue were there to bid goodbye. It was a small crew of goblins with even a smaller crew of escorts. Valeera, the gnome Spannercrank and two footmen by the names of Derek and Tom. The gnome was really peculiar to the prince. Unlike most other gnomes he met, like Mekkatorque, Spannercrank was a loner. He spoke little if at all and was always secluded. A tattoo of a skull was on his bald forehead and his eyes seemed very cold…and deadly. He kept his eyes on everyone and not once did Anduin see the gnome sleep or even rest. Thankfully Valeera and the goblin air captain made much better company.
The zeppelin arrived at Booty Bay a few days later. Booty Bay was a different city from Stormwind altogether. It was a city of pirates, sailors and other kinds of people. It was like the docks of Stormwind except much larger…as in the entire city was that. The entire city, save for a few buildings close to the rock, were made out of wood and old ship wrecks. They received a guide, a dwarf sailor by the name of Hadgar, who let them towards the Barin who lived at the Salty Sailor Tavern.
They passed goblin guards patrolledwho the streets as a myrad of races bartered, haggled and negotiated. Fish mongers tried to sell their shark fin soup to him, as did arms vendors and those who sold curious souvenirs. Half naked women pushed their ‘wares’ forward for inspection as the escort passed. Anduin’s blushed cheeks made Valeera laugh as she held him close. “Sorry girls. He’s mine.” This made Anduin blush even more.
Spannercrank only looked once but it didn’t even seem to phase him. Even the footmen had to turn their heads once and thankfully their helmets managed to hide their blushes.
Hadgar motioned them to Salty Sailor Tavern.” The balcony is where you will find the baron.” The dwarf said and turned to Anduin.” He rules this city kid, so best not to piss him off. Stormwind is a long ways away from ‘ere. Savvy?”
“Savvy.” Anduin nodded. Before he left Hadgar slipped something in his hand and pulled him close. ”Lord Wrathion sends his regards.” The dwarf whispered. Before the prince could react the dwarf walked off, shoving one of the footmen aside.
The prince blinked and looked at what the dwarf left behind. A purple rock with a rope around it, a necklace.
“What a rude dwarf…” Valeera frowned.” Pinched my bum twice and never apologized. Also the shoving…” she turned to Anduin.” At least he gave you a present. What is it?”
“I don’t know…” Anduin placed the necklace in his pocket.” But a souvenir is a souvenir, right?”
The blood elf agreed and entered the tavern.
The Prince and his escort were brought to the upper balcony where they were expected by the goblin leader of the city and his Tauren advisor, Fleetmaster Seahorn. Several chairs were placed and despite being near the ocean, the air did not smell salty at all but rather more like sugar. Anduin assumed at first the plants which served as decoration were the cause but they were made out of some kind of fake alloy.
“Welcome, welcome.” The goblin urged the prince to seat.” Please sit Prince Anduin, you must’ve had quite the journey.”
“I am used to those.” Anduin replied and sat down regardless after he shook the man’s hand. Several goblin servants brought them drinks. The guards kindly refused while Valeera gladly had a drink as well. Brink waved his hand at the proposal as his eyes darted around the balcony, as if he was looking for something.
“I hope you enjoy my city so far.” Revilgaz said.” It is rare we get such high visitors.”
“We have.” Anduin nodded.
“Oh please let me know if you need anything. Casino’s, playhouses, brothels, restaurants. I can suggest the best and give you a fifty percent discount. My house is your house!” the goblin exclaimed.
“Thank you Baron Revilgaz…but that is not why I am here.” Anduin said as he hardened his heart.
“Oh, shame…” Revilgaz sighed.” Very well, what is your boggle, your highness?”
“I understand you and my father have a understanding?”
“Yes, one we kept going until this day.” Revilgaz raised his brow. Anduin looked into the goblin’s eyes and saw something was there…was it distrust, panic? Fear?
“I disagree sir. Your information has stopped True Horde attacks from doing to much damage yet recently no such warnings were given and lives were lost.”
“My spies among the True Horde have not been able to report much back to me lately.” Revilgaz drank from his glass.” Either they got caught or couldn’t get their message out in time. Not my fault. I could probe in further but your father isn’t paying me or my men that much, no offense.”
“None taken.” Anduin said.” My father also wishes you to halt the sanctions you have pulled on the Horde in Kalimdor.”
“What for?” Revigaz asked.” With Vol’jin on the ropes I thought your father would be thrilled.”
“The Night Elves do not act with the entire Alliance’s support, therefore the sanctions have to stop.” Anduin replied.” Can I trust you to stop those?”
The goblin looked to his tauren advisor.” Seahorn, can you get that sorted?”
“Of course, Baron.” The tauren nodded.
“There you go, solved.” Ravilgaz smiled.” Anything else I can help you with?”
Anduin pondered this. He cocked his head to the side.” What do you know of the attack on Darnassus?”
“T-the attack? Nothing, why?” Revilgaz asked. There Anduin saw it, he was lying.
“Supplying A airfleet of zeppelins, Orc mercenaries and the means to contact a rebel faction of the Kaldorei government would require a lot of gold.” Anduin said.” Someone like you could easily find out who would’ve bought what.”
“The Bilgewater Cartel did that.” Ravilgaz sat up.” They made the mistake of allying themselves with the Horde and are paying the prize for it. That is why Gallywix got killed.”
“The Bilgewater cartel signed the treaty and Vol’jin would make sure nothing like this would ever happen in his turf. You sure you know nothing else about it?” Anduin asked. He sensed Valeera moving closer to him, to stop him or support him he did not know.
“Positive, Gallywix may have signed that treaty but some goblins are compulsive lairs who would do anything for gold…” the goblin was glaring now and was standing up.” Your highness, maybe it’s best you should leave.”
Valeera looked at Anduin with concern and confusion in her green eyes. Anduin gave her a determined look and looked back to Ravilgaz.” Baron, ever since I came here I sensed something was wrong. I sensed you are afraid and I noticed from your body language you are lying.”
“I am not!” the goblin shouted.” Leave now!”
“Your spies are not the problem are they and you don’t have any inclination to stop the sanctions are you?” Anduin frowned as he stood up now.” What is going on here, Revilgaz?”
A small flash caught Anduin’s eye as something flashed toward him. Beofre he could react a ding sound happened as a dart slammed itself on the floor. He felt someone small was standing on his shoulders.” Sanguinar, get the prince to safety. NOW!”
Spannercrank drew his daggers and jumped off Anduin’ and stabbed seemingly in thin air. However a short moment later from the thin air a blue troll dropped as a blowpipe dropped from his now dead hands. Anduin stood up as Valeera took him by the arm. The footmen drew their swords and dashed forward to protect their prince. More trolls appeared out of nowhere as they drew their axes and spears. One spear was jabbed through a Frederik’s throat while Derek managed to slay two before he was overwhelmed.
“Valeera, we have to help them!” Anduin tried to cast a healing spell but the blood elf picked him up and jumped from the balcony. “To late, HOLD ON!” When they hit the floor, the elf let him go as Anduin got his own feet and began running back to the zeppelin.
“SEIZE THEM!” he heard the goblin shout.” SEIZE THEM!”
The gnome, covered in blood but none of it his own, jumped down beside them and ran.
“Zandalari covert ops.” The gnome said.” The sugar smell gave it away they were using invisibility spells.”
“Zandalari?!” Valeera shouted.” The Zandalari are here?!”
The trio turned around the corner. Anduin prayed to the light and asked for its blessing. He threw up his hands as the trios were filled with fortidude.” It makes sense why he stopped reporting the True Horde attacks.” Spannercrank said, unmoved by the blessing. ” A Moment.” He drew a dagger and threw it forward. The dagger flew as it hit something in the air. The spell faded as the troll held the dagger in his chest. The gnome leaped up, pulled the dagger from the chest and kicked him to Valeera.”Sanguinar, do your thing!”
The blood elf drew her daggers and sliced the troll across the throat before shoving him in the water.
As they stepped up toward the zeppelin tower the gnome motioned them to halt as the goblin bruisers stood in their way. Behind them were several Zandalari trolls as well as some Orcs. The trio tried to turn around but saw more Orcs appeared as well as Revilgaz and his bruisers.
“I told you, you should leave kid.” The Baron said with a hint of sorrow in his voice.” Nobody was supposed to get hurt…”
“Why, Baron?” Anduin had to ask.
“They hold my city hostage, Prince Anduin. I had to do what I had to do. Protect my own.” The goblin turned around.” Take them to the prison and send a message to Stormwind. Tell Varian we have his so-“
A large roar shook the air as a massive bear pummeled its way through the goblin bruisers. Revilgaz jumped aside as the bear charged past. Behind it were a Mok’Nathal, a troll and two pandaren (one of which who was holding a goblin in her arms) who fought past the Orcs.
“Dat be our getaway ride!” the troll motioned to the zeppelin.
“There are a lot of Zandalari whom I think do not agree with you on that, Rokhan.” The male Pandaren said. He turned back as Anduin saw many Zandalari chase after them. ”Although going back as likewise a bad idea.”
“No matter. We fight past them” The Mok’nathal said. He looked to Anduin and his companions.
”Come with us if you want to life, human.” He raised his bloodied axes into the air and shouted. “FOR THE HORDE!”
With that the Horde party charged forward and clashed with the blockade.
“Anduin, can we trust them?” Valeera asked.
The golden haired prince saw the troll named Rok’han throw his wicked blade as a purple rock necklace dangled across his neck. Instinctively Anduin’s hand went to his pocket and squeezed the necklace he received from the dwarf before. The troll caught his bloodied blade when it returned to him and turned around to Anduin. He looked a moment at the human prince before he gave him a friendly wink as if they shared a secret and began using his voodoo magicks to aid his allies.
“Yes.” Anduin said as his eyes fell to the bruised fat goblin the female pandaren held in her arm as she roundhouse kicked a troll across the face.” Not like we have much of a choice…”
He drew his mace and threw down a holy smite on a goblin bruiser before he charged into the fray alongside his companions with his own battle cry on his lips.” FOR THE ALLIANCE!”