Horde: Chapter 11
He had done many things in his life which he regretted but were needed for the survival of Silvermoon and himself. He had slit throats, bribed, killed the few to save many and fled while brave men still tried to hold back the tide of undeath. He was no hero, he didn’t make any illusions about that. Let the Blood Knights and Rangers take the spotlight and be adored by the masses so he could do his work in secret.
The adventurer who had slain Dar’khan had perhaps saved a village or two pro-actively before the higher ups could’ve reacted but Halmadir Dawnsong had saved Silvermoon numerous times via more subtle means.
Thwarting the possible alliance invasion by night elven and dwarven forces, diverse assassination attempts by those who fanatically believed in Prince Keal’thas on the Regent Lord, uncovering the fact that Lady Proudmoore was preparing for a purge on Dalaran and so on. To the outside world he was the scandalous half-brother of the Archmage Rommath, the owner of a brothel in Silvermoon who had a few useful contacts across Azeroth as well a man who lay with everyone and anyone himself…for the right price. That reputation was consciously constructed and upheld.
Both his friends and enemies saw him nothing more than a smooth talker with some sources to exploit, barely a threat at all. But in truth, he was the man who kept Silvermoon from tearing itself apart at the seams. Like a spider holding its web together. Now he was thrust into a different mission. He was still making sure Silvermoon made it out on top sure, but now he had a different goal. Instead of picking out the seeds of corruption, he was planting them. The way to do so remained the same as finding the corruption. Find a person who seems the most eligible; find their weak spots and push.
His latest conquest, a orc shaman by the name of Artesh, was such a person. Orcs, save those who are Mok’nathal, frowned upon interracial…relations. They were allies with non-orcs yes but mating with someone whose skin was not green or brown was taboo.
What they also disliked was substance abuse. Shaman thought themselves better than Warlocks, claiming their addiction to power and fell magic made them weak. However several powders the shaman used in their ritual had a similar addictive properties and it is not uncommon to find a few inhaling fumes or snorting powders to ‘heighten one’s senses’ despite the ritual which does not require those herbs at all. Artesh was one of the shaman who was able to create portals from Grim Batol to Orgrimmar to Booty Bay and so forth. As such she knew exactly how many troops there are abroad as domestic.
So Halmadir used this to his full exploitation. Seducing her was easy since like the late Conqueror Krenna and Emissary Cheneta, Artesh was a orc female who on one side had not mated for some time and on the other hand found blood elven males easier to break during their love making. Likewise he could feed her addiction, he had a friend in Alterac who specialized in this kind of product, for some information and not fearing the reprisal. If she would go to Zaela not only would her dalliance with a non-orc would be exposed but also her addiction. This would lower her standing to that of a peon, at best.
Halmadir finished his work with the dragonmaw orc and found it lacking. At the start of their affair a month back he feared twice that her screams would echo across the tunnels of Grim Batol and alert everyone. Now she could barely surpass a whimper. The product Serinox gave him was good, to good. He rolled off the orc and took a moment to catch his breath before he walked over to his table and prepared another batch.
“I-is it done?!” Artesh asked as she quickly threw her robes back on to hide her withering body.
“Yes, it i-“ Halmadir could not finish as she pushed him away and immediately inhaled the fumes. The blood elf rolled his eyes and washed up before he dressed himself. He saw the orc female grinning like a fool as the product did its work. It took her a while before her haze lifted and Halmadir could ask some questions.
“You seemed very eager for that batch, my dear.” He forced himself to smile as he strayed her hair.” Long day?”
“Zug zug…” she sighed.” I was channeling for hours to keep that portal open. Now Booty Bay has been burned down, Zaela ordered back every warrior stationed there.” She wiped her nose after Halmadir motioned to his own. “Thankfully they slaughtered mostly everyone there so we don’t have any more useless mouths here, save for those humans down below…”
He frowned. Prisoners? He didn’t hear anything about prisoners. “Humans?”
She waved her hand and nearly fell over.” They found some humans near a wrecked zeppelin. All I know. Well…that and that point ear Shadowsong being a absolute worg to everyone. She and her lot are picking fights with everyone. Hope Zaela and that troll bastard kill her soon, she’s giving me a head ache. Can I have some more?”
Halmadir nodded and gave her another batch.” Last one, we don’t want you to overdose.” He let her inhale those fumes before she placed her back in the bed and let her sleep. While she slept he went outside her room and closed the door behind him. He cursed the creaky doors but thanked the sunwell no-one was around to hear. The quarters were high-up Grim Batol and no doubt served as housing for the higher ups of dwarven society back when the Wildhammers ruled the mountain. His quarters were down below with the rank and file of the True Horde. He was told by Songweaver to be grateful he was not send to the barracks which held the Zandalari’s slave warriors. At least the True Horde tolerated non-orcs. But even that would change now for him personally. Because Halmadir technically had no rank and now Booty Bay was burned and with it most of his sources and income, he could do nothing to contribute save for a few fire balls which barley impressed his teachers at the Academy a century ago. The plan had to be enacted soon for both his sake and now that all three leaders of this ‘coalition’ were present.
The blood elf made his way to the lower levels to what the locals called the ‘Condemned halls’, where he found a strange sight. In the large hallway, where everyone (even the renegade night elves) mostly congregated, he saw a orc he recognized teach a orc pup how to walk. With a smile Halmadir walked over to Thor’gal and tapped his shoulder.
“Bal'a dash, Thorgal.” he said.
The orc turned around and nodded at the blood elf as he picked up the orcling.” Throm Ka, Dawnsong. I haven’t seen you in a while.”
“Likewise, I have been busy. As have you.” He smirked and motioned to pup.” Yours?”
“No, not mine.” The orc replied.” Warlord Zaela’s. This is the son of Hellscream.”
Halmadir blinked as he saw the little orc in a different light. The small child, barely high enough to reach his waist, was the heir Zaela would use to lay a claim on the throne of Orgrimmar. If the son had any Hellscream blood in him, Halmadir didn’t see it since the child seemed to be to occupied blowing spittle bubbles through his little tusks and pulling on a Quilboar tusk which dangled on Thorgal’s chain necklace.
“Really? Must be an honour learning the child to walk.” He paused.” May I ask why the mother isn’t teaching him?”
“It’s a orc thing, you wouldn’t understand.” The warrior said. Lord Dawnsong ran his hand along a bruise Artesh inflicted on his arm not a hour ago. “Try me.”
“Orcs raise their children with the clan. Everyone has their parents but the entire clan helped raising the pups. Zaela asked me to help her son walk so he can charge into battle one day.” Thorgal smiled a little as the child yawned loudly and nestled its head on the orcs shoulder.” It also helps that I to am Warsong. From my mother’ side that is.”
“I had you pegged as a Warsong the day you saved me, I could hear you shouting halfway through Silvermoon.”
“I was mostly enjoying the fact I was allowed to kill something. Even if it was just a few of those…golems.” Thor’gal snorted.” Where are you headed?”
“Oh, patrol.” Halmadir lied.” I’ve been busy now since the Night elves arrived.”
“I don’t trust them…” Thorgal frowned at a few who were seen arguing with a Taunka and a goblin.” They swapped sides before, what would stop them from swapping again?”
“A good question…” Halmadir saw the seed planted in Thorgal’s mind. Good, one more to add to the chaos when it hits.” I will let you be, busy and such.”
“We will go outside for a moment.” Thorgal smiled at the sleeping child.” All pups need some sunshine.”
Both bid their goodbyes and walked off in separate directions. What he said to Thorgal was not a complete lie, he was on patrol…making sure his guidance stones were all in place. It took him a month but he managed to place the stones in all kinds of nooks and crannies across Grim Batol. From these points the Sindorei from Silvermoon could create stable portals. In a moment’s notice a regiment of Spellbreakers, Blood Golems and Sentries could storm in. When he found out the night elves arrived he activated the guidance stones and started the count down on his end. It took a few days for the stones to create a proper and stable connection. When ready the Blood elven forces could end the True Horde coalition and stop it from endangering Silvermoon. In theory.
Halmadir looked up and saw several black dragons and proto-dragons fly around. Down below he saw hundreds of orcs, trolls, night elves (who kept to themselves) and so forth march around. Most of the coalition’s forces were here with their leaders and they would be in droves to protect them from harm. It would prove to be a very tough nut to crack. The sindorei needed more men and the coalition needed to come apart at the seams before that.
The blood elf already concocted a plan, first things first. He went to his private room and closed the door behind him. It was a small room, a kitchen and sitting room barely large enough to hold two kodo’s abreast, with another even smaller room adjacent to it which served as his bedroom/bathroom/place where he kept his product from Serinox. Despite the small size it was separate from the other housing and the walls were thick. He had placed a mirror in the war room, thanks to Artesh, similar to the ones he used at his establishment. He went to his cupboard and opened a drawer. Inside was a necklace with a purple stone, a object he found off a dead dwarf in Booty Bay. A Warden patrol found and quickly killed him but were perplexed by the item. Halmadir took it over when all the top mages, even Songweaver, didn’t know what it was. Truth be told Halmadir didn’t know exactly either at the time. He assumed it was something akin to a guidance stone until it began talking to him.
“Who the hell are you?” the deep voice on the other end asked.” Where is that blasted dwarf?”
“He is currently undisposed…permanently.” Halmadir replied.” I am Halmadir Dawnsong, your fellow conspirator for the evening.”
“A Sindorei.” The voice seemed uplifted.” Your kind never let me down before in the past.”
“Who am I speaking to?” Halmadir asked.
“It does not matter. Dawnsong, I want you to give this stone a bit of magic every day for the next few days. That way it will be like a beacon to me. When it is properly charged I and my companion can travel through.”
“You want to come here?” Halmadir asked.” Why?”
“To kill Maiev Shadowsong.” The voice sounded angry.” Can I rely on you, little blood elf? In return I will grant you all the power you seek.”
Halmadir smirked.” A way out of Grim Batol afterward is good enough, Lord whose name matters not. Let us say her death is a mutual interest of ours.”
“Who is ours?” the voice asked.
“I keep my secrets and you keep yours.” The blood elf smirked.” See you in a few days.” With that he severed the link and since then began charging the stone every day.
After he charged it up again, which was nearly enough he thought, Halmadir saw to his arcane clock which showed it was two in the afternoon, just in time! He snapped his fingers as a sole blue sphere appeared. His conscience faded away and was absorbed into the sphere. Inside the sphere were Warlord Zaela, Maiev Shadowsong and Lord Vilnak’ dor who were seated around a table. Zaela was every inch a warrior like Garrosh was. She was decked in heavy plate armour and leaned her hand on Gorehowl as she scowled around the room. Maiev was calm and reserved as her face was hidden behind her mask, her hands around her umbra crescent. Vilnak was dressed in his fancy mogu attire still and had no weapons on him. He did have two stone mogu behind him who had large halberds, the last remnants of that empire.
Zaela glared.” Your troops are starting up fights. I thought your Wardens were supposed to be disciplined, Shadowsong.”
“My sisters’ patience is wearing thin, Warlord.” She said the last with distain.” And I for one agree with them. You promised once Vol’jin is dead we can finally finish off the Stormrage brothers and stop their madness from clouding my people’s minds.”
Vilnak raised his hand.” My sources say Vol’jin was wounded, perhaps mortally so. Even so now is not the time to do rash things.”
“Every moment we waste here more of my people die by Horde hands.” Maeiv replied with a ice cold voice. If she truly did care about her people, her voice had no urgency showing it.” The sooner we take Orgrimmar the sooner we can save Darnassus.”
“I will only go when Vol’jin is declared DEAD, Night elf.” Zaela replied.” My son deserve to grow up in a city where his people love him and see him as the proper heir of Orgrimmar, not fear him like yours do.”
“Since when did you savages care about popularity?!” Maeiv slammed her hands on the table.” I thought you were warriors!”
“ We have limited forces!” Zaela replied.” You think I like being cooped up here with you?! If you want my men to help you conquer-“
“Reclaim.” Maeiv interjected.
“Whatever!” Zaela snapped.” The point remains! Only when my people can take Orgrimmar unopposed and we can fill our ranks with conscripts, only then can we help you.”
“The Zandalari navy is on its way to deal with the pitiful armada’s the Alliance and the Horde conjured up in Kalimdor.” The troll said with pride.” We will smash them and take complete control over the continent!”
“What about the Eastern Kingdoms?” Maiev asked.” I don’t want to reclaim Darnassus only to lose it to Varian and his dogs or his little men or the other freaks he has fighting for him.”
“What about them?” the troll shrugged.” The Eastern kingdoms have shown time and again that they only care about themselves. Dalaran and Kul Tiras won’t care. Stormwind can’t launch a fleet to help because their economy won’t allow it and this fight between Sylvanas and Calia’s alliance will have everyone to weakened and frightened to do anything .
“And if they were to attack we can easily get the Horde to our side.” Zaela smirked.” If let’s say Thunderbluff refuses to join us they won’t have our protection. Let’s see how long their flimsy wall will keep them safe.” The warlord’s face changed to neutral again and turned to Maiev.” Did your watchers find the prince yet?”
“My watchers found the other wreckage of the zeppelin.” The night elf said.” They found dead trolls and signs of a battle. Seems he was saved by a Horde warband.”
“The Beastmaw…” Zaela growled.” They have been a thorn in my side for long enough. Shadowsong, if your sisters want battle they can well have it! Everyone gather your best, I want those Beastmaw found and dealt with!”
“And the prince?” the Zandalari diplomat asked.
“A hostage would be useful to keep Varian in line.” Maiev suggested.
“Dabu.” Zaela agreed.” But be a little rough on him regardless. Accidents can happen.”
Halmadir shut off the connection and breathed deeply as he tried to process things. Anduin Wyrnn was near Grim Batol?! Vol’jin was assassinated? He shook his head in a attempt to clear it. All it did was show him he wasn’t alone. His door was open which he immediately closed when he realized nobody else was there. He swore he had closed the door behind him, what if someone saw?!
His heart beat heavily when he noticed the door to his bedroom was open. Slowly he crept to his bedroom. On his bed was Artesh who held a batch of his Alterac product in her hand. He was about to grab her when he noticed her eyes were staring right at the ceiling as black foam came from her mouth. “Oh hell!” he cried out and ran over to her. He felt her wrist and quickly threw it aside. Dead. He had his hands in his hair. She must’ve came in for some more of the product and helped herself. She must've took to much, he theorized. He couldn't be found with a dead orc in his room or his life would be forfeit as well!
“Damnit…” he cursed as he placed his hand over his mouth and stared at the body. His heart stopped when he heard a knock on the door.