Horde: Chapter 10
Thunderous blasts caused rubbles across the shield. With every volley the shield seemed to weaken even further. It would not be long until the shield collapsed and not even the magicks of the blood elves would be able to restore it. Outside his tent the army was preparing. Some trained, a few more no doubt made their way out of the camp follower tents (Vol’jin bedded his wives each night so he could not blame them) while others sought guidance and blessings from Brulla or Lonaki or Zomulo. The spirits, the sun aspect of the very goddess whose favoured children were besieging them and of course the loa respectively.
“If there be a time…” Zen’tabra grumbled. Vol’jin nodded and placed his mask over his head. His three wives stood by his side as they helped dress him for war. Moraya placed a charm in the form of a Raptor’s talon around his neck, Zen’tabra gave him his war glaive (blessed by the Loa themselves) while his newest bride Bah’kini placed his shoulder pads with a cloak.
He thanked the Loa for them being here. In Orgrimmar he tried to make them stay for their own safety but failed miserably as they joined their husband into war. Zen’tabra was the most militant of the three so her refusal to stay came with no surprise, Bah’Kini was only mated to him for a short time and wished to proof herself by staying by his side and Moraya did not wish to be left out. He thanked each for their love and loyalty and was grateful he had chosen such strong women to be his wives.
Vol’jin rose and waited for his wives to armour themselves before they marched outside. As he left his private tent all eyes were focused on him. Not just darkspear but also orc, tauren, goblin, blood elf, pandaren of the Huojin and the other troll tribes who swore the blood oath to the Horde.
His eyes fell upon the blood elven mages along with the few orcish and troll spellcaster who stood in formation as they tried to keep the shield up. The fact they seemed to ignore him as their knees were shaking said enough about where their attention was.
A tall orc marched over to them along with a Pandaren, a female orc and a blood elven champion. The orc, Saurfang himself was dressed in the elite armour befitting the Blackrock clan. The Pandaren, Jusi , was clad in a monk’s attire with the Houjin tabard plus a hat which covered most of his eyes. The Sindorie Champion clad in red and gold plate armour was Master Pyreanor who eagerly swapped his ambassadorial tasks for those to defend Durotar from the Alliance attack. Sergra Darkthorn traveled with Vol’jin from Orgrimmar to defend the town she helped create. Clad in her Kor’kron armour she was eager to spill some Alliance blood.
“Da plan be in motion?” Vol’jin asked Saurfang.
“Zug zug.” Saurfang replied.” We are ready to commence phase one at your command Warchief.”
“Da command be given.” The Warchief said. Saurfang saluted before he gave the standard bearers the command to start moving. The kodo riders began sounding the drums of wars as the warriors of the Horde gathered. Sergra immediately began to force them into proper battle lines.
“What are you, Peons or Warriors?!” Back straight, weapons up and for the love of the ancestors stop shaking in your boots like a damned rabbit! You are Horde, ACT LIKE IT!”
He remembered the layout of the battlefield. Despite a few skirmishes by air and land there was little happening. A battery of Gilnean cannon, Kaldorei Glaive Throwers and Ancients lopping anything they could get their root hands on pounded on the shield while the Night elven forces waited to charge in. They had three times their number (Vol’jin was forced to recall the prisoners for the Icend penal colony in Northrend to bolster his troops somewhat), air support and said artillery. The reinforcements from Thunder Bluff were on their way and if they linked up with his forces they would be able to throw the Alliance back to Ashenvale easily. But they were still to far out and the deadline made the Kaldorei desperate.
“Warchief?” A young forest troll handed Vol’jin the reins of his raptor to him. Vol’jin nodded his thanks and mounted the beast. The young Amani seemed familiar to him. He was about to ask his name when Bah’Kini nudged him.” Da men may need a word…dey seem afraid.”
“Good, they not be ta only one.” Vol’jin said as he turned the raptor, the young Amani already forgotten. He spoke loudly so his men could hear.” Da cruelest and most wild part of the Alliance be knocking on our door.” He looked them all in the eye with a small smirk under his mask.” It would be rude if we weren’t ta open and offer our hospitality.” The men chuckled. He raised his war glaive into the air.” And we be offering it with our spears and our courage! Are ya all ready to fight with me?! To fight for da Horde?!”
The men roared as their raised their weapons into the air. Vol’jin led the feeling wash over him. He looked to his wives and his friends who stood ready beside him. If he died today, he would die with his family. With his Horde. Another heavy volley broke upon the shield as it faded even more.” LOWAH DA SHIELD!”
The mages snapped to attention and did as they were told. The shield fell down as the Alliance forces were shown. Night elves, Worgen, Furbolgs, Tree Ancients, Draenei and quite a few humans. He spotted a few surprised faces among their number, who would’ve thought a smaller force would attack against such a large number?
“FOR THE HORDE!” Vol’jin shouted and charged forward. His cry was picked up by his people as they all charged as one. The Warchief held his war glaive close and uttered a small prayer to Zimbabwe before he send his Loa his first sacrifice. The furbolg tried to swing his mace at the troll but a quick flash from his glaive severed the bear man’s hand from his arm before another flash severed the head from the neck.
His raptor joined his master by snapping and biting at the enemy forces. A worgen tried to leap on him but was quickly shot down by one of Zen’tabra’s bolts. Saurfang’s war cry was harsh on the ears but it drove the point across to the enemy. He was like a one man army who slaughtered his way across the enemy ranks, a quiet and deadly hurricane of death. Pyreanor on the other hand had a lot more restraint, he seemed to dance among the enemy and dispatched each foe with as little energy as he could. He had the long game in mind, Vol’jin thought. Jusi likewise was also a dancer but he was not keen on taking lives. His staff knocked a Draenei down and another smash from it knocked him out. The pandaren rolled toward a human before he jabbed his fingers into several spots on her chest before she fell down, as if her limbs stopped working. Vol'jin's wives were always close beside him as they also doubled as his bodyguard along with the other trolls of the Siame-Quashi. Moraya was a good warrior in her own right but mostly let her raptor to most of the killing for her. Zen’tabra relied on the Loa to cast down her enemies with green bolts while Bah’Kini threw down lightning.
A large tree ancient waded its way through the Horde ranks until a small group of goblins jumped on it, using their rocket boosters he thought, as they cut deep with their chainsaws. The Gob Squad he recalled, were on Treant control. He saw their leader, still with a cigar in his mouth, smirk and raise his thumb up at Vol’jin before he jumped off the now downed creature with the rest of his squad. A night elf charged towards him on her night sabre as she threw her own glaive. Vol’jin quickly parried the attack and attacked her mount, he had seen the mauled corpses of the True Horde who fell at their hands a few months back during the siege, he did not wish to join their number. The night elf rolled off her now beheaded panther and drew her dagger.” Andu-falah-dor!" she charged.
Vol’jin’s glaive deflected the dagger strike before his raptor bite through the kaldorei’s neck as her purple blood gushed like a fountain.
“Warchief!” Saurfang pointed ahead.” The cannons are going to fire again!”
“ALL ROUND ME!” Vol’jin stepped back as he let Saurfang and his Siame-Quashi stepped forward to protect him.
The Warchief closed his eyes as he called upon the Loa. He felt himself slipping from his body as he felt his spirit become bigger and bigger. He was like a giant among men and he saw the artillery aimed at them. Quickly he embraced his army, much like a mother would embrace her children from harm, as the shots were fired. He felt the cannon balls and glaive hit his skin but he did not feel pain. His spirit self acted like a shield which stopped the artillery from hurting his men. As quick as it came he felt himself become smaller and he awoke among his men again, weakened.
“Ya alright?” Bah’kini quickly gave him a flask of water. Vol’jin took it and downed it all.” Ya, but dat be a one time only trick.”
A series of loud screeches and roars sounded above them as Wyvern, Bat and Dragonhawk riders flew above. The Wyverns quickly lunged to the Chimera’s and their hippogriff escorts as the Troll and Forsaken batriders dropped liquid fire upon the Alliance marksmen while the dragonhawk’s flew to the artillery. Before the cannons or glaives could be aimed upward the blood elves chanted their magicks as a series of clouds covered their view. This was phase two. Now the final part of the plan. He took Saurfang by his shoulder.” Sound ta advance, the artillery has ta go down, NOW!”
Saurfang took a war drummer and called him to sound the advance. As one the combined Horde forces charged forward again with mad abandon. Despite the meters they gained the Horde had to pay a heavy price in lives. Many air riders fell to the ground in pieces or riddled with arrows (only the odd Forsaken could walk away with a annoyed snort as they made their way back to their lines) while they marched on the corpses of their brothers and sisters. “Keep fightin’ men, keep fi-“
He felt the world become drift less as he fell from his raptor. He hit the ground with a heavy thud when he saw what fell his beast. A heavy hammer with a purple crystal for it’s mace. It’s wielder was a draenei, clad in the most holy of armour, covered in black orcish blood. Maraad, the best vindicator the Exodar had to offer.
“Warchief Vol’jin, your Horde ends here.” The vindicator held his mace in a defensive position as bits of the raptor’s skull and blood dripped off the crystal.” No longer will the world fear you and your kind ever again.”
Vol’jin rose as he picked up his war glaive. he noticed his bodyguard was spread out or occupied, he was on his own. Maraad shouted and charged forward. Vol’jin jumped back as the hammer hit the spot where he just was, leaving a small crater. The Warchief threw a small shadow bolt before he took a shot at a weak spot in the draenei’s armour. His war glaive scratched the plate armour but left just that.
“Naaru forged plate armour outweighs your dark god’s blessings.” Maraad held out his hand as a force of light threw the darkspear back. The Warchief quickly scampered back on his feet and zig-zagged while he kept jabbing the armour.” May be so, but ya Naaru made you so slow as your Elekk. Ya cant sacrifice speed for safety, not against me.”
This time his war glaive flashed and struck blood at the Draenei’s cheek. Blue blood covered the draenei’s right side of his face.” Shoulda worn a helmet to.” Vol’jin smirked.
“Cute…” Maraad winced as he placed his hand on his cheek. A small yellow glow flashed as the bleeding stopped and cleaned up the wound.” Round two?”
He had stalked the group of orcs for some time now. During his time as a hunter he picked up many skills to stay out of wolfs their ear, eye and even scent sight. Tyrthan covered himself in mud, wore soft shoes and stayed far away. Who knew his skills back then also functioned well enough for spy work? Work he already grew to dislike. He hated being a double agent for Stormwind and Vol’jin. Now a triple agent for this Shadow Council? Things got so confused….he shook his head, he had to stay with the mission.
For the past few weeks he had kept a eye on this group.
They came together a few times and spoke but the members were always in flux as if there was no real leader. He did find out about a assassination attempt on Drak’thul and managed to warn the warlock in time. When he tried to offer the names of the group to Eitrigg, the warlock refused. “Now is not the time. We only know a handful and we both know there are many more involved, including some higher ups of the Zandalari. They will try again and we need to be ready for when that happens. Keep observing them and report everything to me. We can only strike when we have proof and to do that we need bait. Only observe, do you hear?” He said. So Tyrathan did just that. Observe. After the failed assassination attempt things died down until a few days ago Tyrathan picked up word for another meeting and they had found a new leader.
The hunter asked his sources in Orgrimmar, whores and peons who were ignored but were everywhere, to make sure the lead he had was legit. The proverb of men speaking in their pillows after a night’s of pleasure rang true as a goblin told everything (for a price of course) his client told him. This client, a female troll by the name of Zunti, had mentioned her dislike of Vol’jin after he recalled a band of criminals meant for Icend to bolster the ranks for his army. One of them, some Frostmane troll, was a subordinate of hers who killed a few innocent peons in some quarry after a search escalated into violence. He was sent for Icend but she was demoted because of his actions. Trathan followed her after her “visit” to her goblin lover and saw her meet up with several orcs, trolls and goblins. One of those gobbos was Pauli Rocketspark, a known member of the Blackfuse company who worked together with Garrosh’s True Horde. That was the excuse he needed, but now he needed the proof.
He followed the group deep into Ragefire Chasm where more joined them. In total it was twenty or so men. They gathered at where Garrosh had died, in the Underhold. At his now vacant throne room they gossiped. He hid himself behind a wall on the upper floor where once the Iron Stars were stalled, dreadful devices he was grateful this world never had to see again.
“When is it going to start…?” a Zandalari troll asked.” Ma people be getting’ anxious.”
“Calm down.” Zunti glared.” It’s tonight. Our contact in the Crossroads send us word it will be.”
“When do I start opening the portal?” the orc in a purple robe Tyrathan knew as Rundok said.
“The deed should be done within the hour. Then you may open the portal to Grim Batol.” Zunti said.” Then we will summon our friends.”
Tyrathan’s gut instincts told him that she was the alpha female of this group. It made sense, despite her demotion she was still a high ranking member of the Horde and as a darkspear she was still well respected. She could go everywhere to get everything set up. He was no mage but the large amount of crates filled with reagents near Rundok implied he was going to open a large portal. What was in Grim Batol?
“I don’t know, Zunti.” A orc spoke.” Are you sure Orgrimmar will bow that quickly to Zaela’s rule?”
“They will have to.” Zunti replied.” When the army at the crossroads has been annihilated by the Alliance, Durotar will be defenseless. They will have no choice but to accept Zaela as their new Warchief to protect them.”
“Da slaves who left us may be trouble.” The Zandari spoke again.” Jin’zar be such a one.”
“Captain Jin’Zar be far away and by the time he can do anything he will be to late.”
“Good.” The Zandari smirked.” I wanted Vol’jin’s head on a stick da moment I came here. He will die for the death of my sister.”
“Vol’jin will pay.” Zunti nodded.” And he will tonight. With a dagger in his back.”
Tonight?! Tyrathan stood up, shocked. Forget observation! He had to warn-
The human felt a sudden force on the back of his head, and knew nothing more…
The Warchief and the Vindicator dueled each other and with time both gathered their wounds. Both lost track of time before a series of explosions rang behind them. Maraad looked back as he panted.
“Dat would be ya artillery bein’ blown up.” Vol’jin sighed himself.” Ya bettah call back ya troops, ya lost your edge.”
“How so? We still outnumber you.” Maraad held up his hammer.
“Look around, Vindicator.” Voljin motioned around them.” For every man you slay we slay three times ya number. Furbolgs, mercs and blood crazed worgen make sloppy fighters. And we just took away ya one advantage. If ya go now ah will give ya a minute head start.” Vol’jin went into his own stance.” Your call.”
He saw the draenei ponder it as Vol’jin hoped his bluff would come through. It came soon enough when he heard Kaldorei horns sound.
“Fall back!” he heard a night elven female, possibly Su'ura Swiftarrow, cry out.” Fall back to the forest!”
Maraad glared at the troll.” This is not over yet, Vol’jin.”
“Ya be wastin’ ya minute.” The troll retorted.
The Vindicator ran back to his own lines as Vol’jin took a moment to sit down. He saw his troops trying to run after the fleeing Alliance but a rain of stars crashed down upon them. Starfall, Su’ura was using her gifts given by Elune to give her troops some breathing room. He was alright with that, he needed a breather. He felt the weariness crawl over him like a blanket, he was getting to old for this. He saw Pyreanor running up to him, astride on his armoured warhorse.
“Warchief, they are on the run!” the gore covered blood knight said.” Are we going to pursue when the starsurge is done?”
“Ya…” he said weakly but quickly composed himself.” Ya, gather ya riders and chase them till ta border. No further, Ashenvale was a death trap even back in ta day we owned half of it.”
“Understood, Anar'alah belore.” He bowed his head and rode off. Vol’jin sighed as he was left alone among the dead and dying. He did not see his wives or his friends. He thought of calling back Pyreanor but decided against it. He sat down on his rock. Before he could react something grabbed him and was tearing bloody scratches on his arm, a blood crazed Worgen. It was about to rip Vol’jin’s head off until he suddenly stiffend and fell over. Vol’jin kicked the dead beast off him and noticed the spear in his back. As he turned toward where the spear would’ve come from he saw a Frostmane walking toward him. He was a older looking troll, probably as old as he was. He was covered in scars….and seemed familiar.
“Are ya alright, Warchief?” the Frostmane offered a hand.
Vol’jin nodded.” Yah I be fine…” he took the hand.” Ah am sorry, have we met before?”
“We did.” The frostmane said with a snarl.” My name is Turik, you were to banish me.”
A hard slap shook Tyrathan from his dreamless slumber. Before he could come to a harsh shock shuddered throughout his body. He hated shaman magic…A strong hand grabbed him by the head.
“What are you doing here, human?!” he heard Zuni shout.
“I…forgot my purse…” he blinked wearily at her angered features. He was held down by a pair of gobbos. He could kick them away no problem, but with the drawn swords he stood little chance to get further than that.
“His what…?” Rundok asked.
“He is mocking us!” The Zandalari shouted.” Kill him and be done with it!”
“We don’t know if anyone else knows, T’vin!” Zuni glared.
“Does it matter? Within the hour we’re summoning in our armies and take over Orgrimmar anyway.”
“He has a point.” Rundok said.” Besides he is here all alone.”
Tyrathan smirked.” No…not alone.” Another valuable rule when hunting a dangerous prey, always have someone to watch your back.
Zunti blinked.” What did you say?”
T’vin drew his dagger. “He is stalling, kill hi-“
A dagger in his throat stopped him mid sentence. Tyrathan gathered his strength and kicked the goblins away as far as he could before rolling to the wall. A pair of Orcs and Trolls, all he recognized as members of the Shattered hand clan, leaped down and began attacking the assembly. A loud thud shook the ground as another roc entered the fray.
“Lord Khort, it seems you are in quite the onion.” Eitrigg helped the human up and offered him a sword. ”That is what you humans say, right?”
“Close enough…” Tyrathan coughed as he took the sword.” Keep one alive, there is going to be a attempt on Vol’jin’s life.”
Eitrigg nodded and charged in along with the human hunter turned spy.
It did not take long or the assembly was either dead or captured. Zuni herself lay dying with a spear through her gut. Eitrigg and Tyrathan knelt close to her. Upon closer inspection Tyrathan knew she was not going to leave the Underhold alive.
She gargled as blood came from her mouth.” D-do it…I deserve…a clean…death.”
“You were about to commit regicide.” Tyrathan frowned.” I don’t think you deserve anything.”
Eitrigg ignored that.” Zuni, you were a valued member of the Horde. You fought against the True Horde! Why did you do this?!”
Zuni glared as she gathered her last strength for her verbal attack.” You demoted me…because of the actions of a f-filthy Frostmane!” she coughed.” I s-served the Horde for YEARS! Sacrificed for years! At least with…with Zaela, I was...respected! And n-now...” she winced.
Eitrigg looked confused.” Demoted? Moka! I never demoted you.” Tyrathan joined the older orc in his confusion. When the orc looked away, the words of another orc came to the human’s mind. We can only strike when we have proof and to do that we need bait. Bait.
“Doesn’t…matter.” She coughed up blood as her voice became more liquid.” Vol’jin will die…”
“Tell us who is going to kill him, Zunti.” Eitrigg pleaded.” You can still regain your honour.”
“Or we can ease your suffering at least.” Tyrathan said. The older orc shot him a dangerous glare which shut the human up. Eitrigg leaned in closer.
“My sons died because of petty grievances like you are now. Tell me who will murder the warchief and I swear on my honour I will hunt the person down who demoted you and make him pay.”
Zunti looked up at the orc with glassed eyes.” P-promise.”
Zunti nodded and pulled him close. He whispered the name into the orc’s ear. She fell back and coughed more blood as both Tyrathan felt his blood run cold. “Holy light…” he said in a gushed voice.
Eitrigg drew his dagger and dutifully ended the troll’ suffering. He stood up and grabbed one of the Shattered Hand.” Warn the Warchief, NOW!”
“Zug Zug!” the orc saluted and ran off as if Sargeras himself was behind him. Eitrigg turned to Tyrathan.” You did good Lord Khort,”
“I will only have done good if Vol’jin is safe, Eitrigg.” The hunter replied.
“Turik, yes I heard of you…” Vol’jin nodded.” I saw over your case.”
“Those traitors needed to die, Warchief.” Turik glared.
“They not be traitors, Turik. You over reacted and got men killed.” The Warchief replied.
“I was in the right….” He clutched his dagger.
“No you were not…” Vol’jin said. He placed his hand on the Frostmane’s shoulder.” But ya proved just now that you still be a member of the Horde.” He smiled.” Ya redeemed yourself, Turik.”
The Warchief smiled when he heard Bah’Kini. He turned to look where he heard her voice.” Bah, I be alr-“
The world stopped when he felt something hit his stomach. He looked down and saw a dagger embedded in it. Absentmindedly he pulled it out and gazed at it. The dagger he held was hers, his wedding gift to Bah’Kini. Stunned, the warchief lifted his head and saw the troll with tears in her eyes walk forward, the elements crackling around her with grief.
He heard Turik roar angrily and charged forward but was smacked aside by a lightning bolt. The darkspear dropped the dagger and fell down on his back. His wife came closer to him and picked up the dagger again. He saw tears running from her eyes and wanted to wipe them away but she did not let him.
“I’m sorry Vol’jin, my love…” she sobbed.” It was you or my father…” he saw her raise the dagger high before he closed his eyes.” I love you.”
He never felt the dagger plunge in his chest but he did feel his spirit detach itself from his body. When he opened his eyes he saw the young Amani troll from before and Turik held Bah’Kini back. Sergra and some grunts took her down as Apothecary Helbrim ran over to his body and began treating him for the stomach wound.
A old troll appeared next to him as he leaned on his staff and smirked at the dying Warchief. “Ya always had a lowsy taste in women, my boy.”
“Father.” Vol’jin smiled weakly and held him in his arms. The old man returned the gesture for a moment.” Is this it then? This be ta end of our line?”
“Oh dontcha worry my boy.” Sen’jin smirked.” The tale of our line be FAR from over.”