Horde: Chapter 16
It hurt still, moving. His bones ached, his limbs and body felt like lead. His stomach felt the worst, as if it was going to explode at any given moment. Every step on those stairs was agony. Moraya tried to help but Zen’tabra stopped her.
Vol’jin did not mind accepting aid, if it wasn’t for aid he would’ve died in that cavern in Pandaria and now when his body was healing. Drak’thul, Zen’tabra and Master Gadrin called upon some very dark voodoo to bring him back from Bwansamdi’s grasp. A lot of sacrifices,Vol’jin knew. One of the first things he noticed when he caught up on reports was that the Quilboar infestation in the Valley of Trials had stopped. No coincidence there.
Regardless he had to do this on his own, not show any weakness.
He leaned heavily on his staff until he reached his throne. He turned and took his seat as the whole of the Horde (and Alliance watched) watched. He hide his relief that he sat down and nodded quickly at Eitrigg.
The older orc turned to those present.” In the name Vol’jin, Leader of the Darkspear Tribe and Warchief of the Horde, I hereby name this session open!” he looked to his folder.” First off, General Torakk Bloodrain of the Beastmaw warband.”
A large orc in official garb stepped forward, followed by a shaman who held a leather bag in her hands and another orc who held the warband’s banner. All three knelt before the Warchief.
Vol’jin leaned forward.” General Bloodrain, I remember I send ya and ya warband to ta Twlight Highlands to find Warlord Zaela and da rest of ta True Horde.” He motioned them to rise.” Did ya find her?”
General Bloodrain smirked before he turned to the female shaman next to him. She reached in the bag…and tossed the severed head on the floor for all to see. Vol’jin saw the Alliance dignitaries(save Tyrathan Khort) and Ambassador Dawnsinger look away in disgust at the sight, but the Warchief stared into it. Unphased.
Her remaining eye was rolled back as her tongue laid out, as if she was parched for a drink. The remnant of the arrow was still embedded in the middle of her skull as a small trail of black blood dried up like a tear. Her face was covered in scars, she didn’t die without a fight.
“We found her, Warchief.” Bloodrain spoke.” And brought her to justice. She fought with honour, if only she was so in life.” He folded his arms.” I must mention we wouldn’t have succeeded if it wasn’t for the reinforcements given to us by Chief Bloodhoof and the Yaungol.”
“Don’t forget bout me clan, ya green git!” the Wildhammer representative shouted. Her peers, the gnome and Tyrathan, looked embarrassed while the proud woman folded her arms as if she challenged the general himself. The orc ignored her however and continued.” The True Horde are now imprisoned at Grim Batol and await your judgment.”
“Ya did ta Horde proud, general. For your service and that of your warband I hereby offer ya a boon. Name it and it be yours.”
The general knelt.” Warchief, if you allow it...I would wish to be named Warlord. Allow me to lead your armies against our enemies and I will do so with honour.”
“It be done!” Vol’jin decreed.” Now rise, Warlord Torakk Bloodrain of the Beastmaw Clan!”
General Bloodrain smiled, Vol’jin swore he saw a single tear roll from beneath the orc’s mask, as his companions cheered.
“Thank you, Warchief. I will not let you down.” He stood at attention.” Strength and honour!”
“Strength an’ honour. You may go, Warlord Bloodrain. Thrall himself will tell ya da specifics of ya new title and responsibilities.” Vol’jin saluted as well, less fiercely, and dismissed him.
Eitrigg smiled at Vol’jin before he turned to the next item on the list.” Next are Thane Brinhilde and Tinkermaster Steamwheezle of the 1st Royal Ironforge fleet.”
Vol’jin sighed. This is what he feared. He motioned the two representatives over. The Wildhammer from before still had her arms folded and held her chin up in a defying manner while the gnome cleaned his glasses with a piece of cloth. Vol’jin frowned at the attitude of the Wildhammer and called Eitrigg over and leaned in to whisper.” Ya sure she be da diplomat?”
“Lord Tyrathan said she was the most diplomatic of the Wildhammers.” He replied. Vol’jin blinked while Eitrigg shrugged. The troll Warchief shook his head before he leaned in to the representatives.” Ya may speak.”
The female immediately spoke while her smaller associate was stopped cold in his tracks as he couldn’t even open his mouth.” My people have finished off the rest of the Zandalari pillocks on their isles!” her eyes fell upon Captain Jin’zar who returned the glare as he kept his hand on his sword.
“Dat be good news.” Vol’jin said.” Da Zandalari Empire was a enemy of da Horde as well.”
“Aye, yer welcome fer that.” The thane said.” However a lot of them got out of their isles, saving demselves while their slaves fought. Some went north ta Northrend, some south ta Pandaria and some went west…” she frowned. To Durotar, she left unsaid.
“Ya, I know. Some of those ships arrived at Bladefist Bay this morning and begged me for mercy.”
“Did you grant it to them?” she asked.
Vol’jin leaned back, the pain in his stomach rising again. Master Gadrin offered some painkillers before the audience, but Vol’jin refused. He had to remain conscious and coherent.
“Ya, ah granted them mercy….” He frowned.” Some of them. Their slaves were allowed to be freed, some of their masters weren’t. Ma gift to your Alliance for our new peace treaty with High King Anduin be dat. Chief Bloodhoof told me dat da Zandalari planned ta attack Khaz Modan, seems fitting ya were allowed to give dem a trial. It be a lot more direct here in Orgrimmar.”
He didn’t have a choice. The Ironforge Aerial fleet was three hours away from bombing Orgrimmar. He recalled how Dalaran bombed the city and the damage it inflicted, and that was only one city. To imagine a whole fleet of airships bombing his city…it would’ve been like throwing a mana bomb on it.
“O-our people appreciate the gesture, Warchief.” The gnome bowed.” But we have also come for your…opinion on the True Horde survivors.”
Vol’jin frowned.” Ma opinion?”
“Y-you see…” Steamwheezle tried to speak but Thane Brinhilde spoke up for him.
“What do yer plan ta do with them? Keep them imprisoned in the Twilight Highlands? Mere inches away from ere borders? I still remember ta internment camps and what little good they did. We DON’T want a repeat of that.”
“Calm yourself ambassador Brinhilde.” Tyrathan said.” You are here among allies.”
“One o’ dem ate me dad back in ta Second War! I calm down whenever I want ta!” the Wildhammer proclaimed.
The people began to mutter, already more hands fell to their weapons and scabbards. Sen’jin’ son saw everyone eyeing each other. Alliance to Horde…and in the Horde he saw troll mistrusting the orc and tauren and orc mistrusting Forsaken.
He really should’ve told them to keep their weapons outside…but then again no-one would’ve entered at all. So little trust…he had to build and maintain a house on loose sand.
“Dat be enough! We-” he raised his voice. A cough came through his throat as his innards felt like shards. He kept coughing as Eitrigg now called for order. Gadrin, who was stood beside him, offered to take him outside. But Vol’jin refused.
“Ah be alright…” he cleared his throat.” Something be stuck in my teeth is all.” It earned him a small smile from Moraya and a chuckle from the crowd. Save Brinhilde.
“As I was saying…” Vol’jin continued.” We got this sorted. At dis moment, Rexxar and his companions are interrogating ta survivors and are given a choice. Dey either choose ta rejoin ta Horde and be stationed at Northrend at ta Icend colony OR dey receive a warrior’s death.”
“And our acquisition of the Dragonmaw territory?” Steamwheezle asked.” Will we have those as recompense?”
“No.” Vol’jin replied. Again, more muttering. “ Before ya start arguin’ hear me out. Not all ta Dragonmaw sided with ta True Horde and Dragonmaw be their home. Gregor da medicine man be da new Chief of da Dragonmaw and is part of da new Orcish clan council.”
Brinhilde frowned.” The what council?”
“The new orcish council.” A gruff voice said.
Everyone turned around as someone entered the keep. Most of the orcs went down to their knees as Baine smiled and saluted the newcomer and his companions. He was a tall orc, plated with a black plate armour but he also wore a long white trench coat. He had a red bead necklace around his neck but most important of all, he wielded a large warhammer and kept it on his shoulder. Besides him was a Mag’har female in ceremonial shaman garb who looked every inch as imposing as her mate. And of course Rexxar was present as well.
“Thrall…” Tyrathan said In a whisper as the trio passed.
The orc stood in front of Vol’jin…and knelt.” Warchief Vol’jin, pardon my tardiness.”
Vol’jin motioned him to rise.” Rise brotha, ya be forgiven if ya tell our guests bout ya new plan.” He smirked.
Thrall returned the gesture and took his place beside Vol’jin as Aggra and Rexxar took theirs with Gadrin, Jin’zar, Baine and Eitrigg. The Lord of the clans spoke to the Alliance emissaries.
“Since the Orcs have no unifying Warchief anymore, I was asked by the other Orc leaders to represent them as a official figurehead of my race. I asked time to medidate on this first and traveled with my family to Pandaria. There I found inspiration among the Pandaren and their government. They no longer have a Emperor yet there is no strife among them. Each city or clan has their own leader and they each do their own thing. They come together every once in a while on mutual ground. My people share the same blood, the same soil, the same culture. That is why me and the other leaders are going to lead our own clans and serve the Horde our own way.” He looked to the thane.” The reason for my tardiness was to offer the True Horde members who wish to repent to return to their own clans after their penance at Icend. Many of them accepted. And since the Dragonmaw Clan are part of Orcish council we cannot allow the lands to fall into Alliance hands.”
Vol’jin spoke as he saw the thane’s veins turns blue and her skin turn red.” And since da Council be part of the Horde, we support this.”
“We suffered a lot during-“ the thane said but was shut down by Vol’jin.
“Ya Alliance got enough lands already! Grim Batol be yours, part of Hillsbrad be yours again once more and Lord Khort here made sure ya Alliance be havin’ a permanent embassy ‘ere.” He leaned in as he glared at her darkly.” And ah also not be forgettin’ ta treaty ya had with Booty Bay.”
The Thane looked to Tyrathan, a angry glare in her eyes.” Yer the representative of your new king, you tell him!”
“And you did a astounding job representing your people.” The former hunter turned diplomat retorted before he turned to Vol’jin.” Warchief, we know nothing of such a treaty. Nor does it matter since Booty Bay sadly has turned to cinder.”
He hated playing this game with Tyrathan, he was not even a proper piece in this game of thrones.” My associate Gallywix, also servin’ time in Icend fer stirring up trouble with Darnassus, has evidence ta prove otherwise. Ma Horde has nothing to hide, Ambasador. Not unlike your Alliance. We only be wantin’ peace and ta right ta deal with our own problems. I hope dat be good for ya?”
Tyrathan smiled.” Stormwind agrees to those terms.” He turned to his two peers.” Does Khaz Modan?”
“Well I…” Steamwheezle coughed.” Affirmative.”
Brinhilde scoffed and looked away.
“I be takin’ dat as a yes. Ya be dismissed.”
“Wait.” Brunhilde.” May I ask one more question?”
Vol’jin groaned.” Can I stop ya?”
She smirked.” There were rumours Zaela popped out Garrosh’ spawn. Are those rumours true?”
Vol’jin leaned forward.”No.”
Satisfied with the answer Tyrathan and Steamwheezle bowed, the Thane refused, and stepped back.
The meeting went on and nothing much happened. Thrall remained by Vol’jin; side and spoke little if nothing, his hammer on the ground.
Sergra Darkthorne was also named Warlord for her defending the Crossroads and was also allowed to create her own clan. Captain Jin’zar, a Zandali male called Surkhan and a female named Maywiki were picked as new figures of the Zandalari trolls since they had enough respect from their own people and they worked together with outsiders before.
Turik the Frostmane Troll and Frak’jin the Amani were both given boons for saving the Warchief’s life. Turik was given his old rank back and would help patrol the Azshara-Ashenvale border. Frak’jin had enough of war and asked to open a tavern with his brother Jaznir, which Vol’jin allowed since the Wyvern’s Tail shut down a few weeks ago and could use new ownership.
It was a few hours later that Vol’jin and Thrall were seated near the coast. Thrall’s children were running after some poor surfer crawler while the woman chatted. And by chatted it was Moraya who cheered on while Aggra and Zen’tabra arm wrestled.
Both males looked stunned for a moment before they shrugged and watched the surf as the tide went out towards a setting sun.
“Ya dropped one hell of a bomb there…” Vol’jin said.
“It was going to get out sooner or later, brother.” Thrall replied as he offered the troll a drink from their basket. Vol’jin snuffed at the mug before he drank. A smile crept to his face.
“This be Pandaren drink.” Vol’jin drank some more.
“Zug zug.” Thrall nodded.” Taran Zhu gave it to me, as a reward for saving the White Tiger Temple.”
“Ya talked ta Taran Zhu?”
“He accompanied us through most of Pandaria, helped bring the Yaungol to our side as well.” Thrall took a mug for his own and drank.” I think he was…relieved to have a few Yaungol tribes join the Tauren in Mulgore.”
“I bet. Yaungol be though customers. I read Bloodrain’s report.” Vol’jin took another sip.” But we need dem. We lost face to da Alliance. If not for Baine and Anduin there may not be have been…” he stopped.
“Peace?” Thrall raised his brow.
Vol’jin sighed.” We never will know peace, Thrall. I tink we both know that.”
The Lord of the clans sighed as well.” I concur. The best we can hope for is a truce…and hope it will last for as long as it can.”
“How long?” Vol’jin asked.
“Long enough for our children to have a childhood. To not live in fear or in cages.”
“Ya…I understand.” Vol’jin leaned back, wincing slightly as he did. He looked to his stomach where the bandage was wrapped around him. Thankfully no blood marks this time.
“Are you alright, brother?” Thrall asked.” I mean really. What happened to you…”
“I be fine, brotha.” Vol’jin smiled weakly.” I survived worse. You’d think I would’ve been less trusting after bein’ betrayed twice.”
The troll laughed but Thrall didn’t. The orc clenched his fist and pounded on the ground.
“I should’ve been here!” he snarled.” First Garrosh, now you….”
Vol’jin frowned.” Ya bettah not be comparin’ me ta Garrosh now.”
“Of course not.” Thrall quickly replied.” I’m just saying twice I left Durotar and twice a catastrophe happened.”
“A catastrophe woulda still happened if ya were here, brotha.” Vol’jin placed his hand on the orc’ shoulder.” Ya not be some kinda loa or god. Ya be Thrall. A mate, a fatha and my brotha. I appreciate ya council but I run da Horde my way. Our way.”
“You sure you don’t want me to-“
“In da Underhold you swore to me ya would follow me as warchief, swore on ya honour.” Vol’jin placed his empty mug down.” You go back on ya word?”
“No, never.” Thrall said.” Forgive me for ever doubting you.”
“It be forgiven….if you gimme some more of dat pandaren booze.”
Thrall chuckled and gladly did as his friend requested.
It was later at night when Vol’jin made his daily visit to the prisoner.
These dungeons were once created by Garrosh to keep his more vocal opponents prisoner, something that was not really needed during Thrall’s reign. Sadly it was still needed in Vol’jin’s.
The Grunts saluted at the Warchief and stepped aside, the heavy metal doors were pushed open as Vol’jin slowly made his way down below. The smell of fire and brimstone and sweat hit his nostrils as he made his way deeper in Ragefirechasm. Eventually he arrived at the cell he needed, where a certain older orc was waiting for him.
“I told her the news.” Drak’thul said as he slowly got up.
“Cried like a little girl!” Retsnom the imp giggled.
The orc warlock frowned at smacked the imp on the head with his staff.” That is the last time I will let you speak with one of your kind, ever again.”
“Ah come ooon, Kepple is a nice guy!” the imp whined.
“Enough.” Drak’thul snorted and turned to Vol’jin.” It was a few hours ago, I thought she should know.”
“And ya stayed?” Vol’jin wondered.
“In case she did something foolish and dishonourable. Take the pup with her.” The warlock replied.
Vol’jin shook his head.” She wouldn’t. She be strong, a fightah.” It was the reason why he picked her.
“As you say.” Drak’thul said and slowly made his way past.” Good night, Warchief.”
“Goodnight.” The troll replied and went over to the cell. He rooted through his satchel and took out a key. He opened the door and pushed it aside.
Inside against the wall was the laying, crying form of a troll female. Her once beautiful zandali features were torn down with sadness and fear. The bulge in her stomach was growing despite her feeble arm and leg muscles. Vol’jin took the stool in the corner and sat down.
“Ya should be eatin’, Bah…” he said softly. “ For ta babe.”
“He be dead, Vol’jin…” she sobbed.” Ma fatha be dead…I nearly killed you for nothing!”
“Ya didn’t know, Bah’kini.” Vol’jin said.” And as for killing me….well, others tried and failed.”
The zandali female stopped sobbing and got up, wiping the tears from her eyes.” It all be gone…the Empire, my father…us.”
Vol’jin nodded sadly.” Ya. I’m sorry.”
“Are you?” some venom got back to her voice.” With Rastakhan and Zul gone, ya be the largest leaders of Trollkind left. Every troll will come to ya Horde and swear fealty.” She got up as shouted.” DA ZANDALARI EMPIRE BE GONE, LONG LIVE DA DARKSPEAR!” she howled.
“Bah’kini, ENOUGH!” Vol’jin shouted which earned him a few coughs.
“Ya don’t think I know what ya be plannin’? All from da start ya played everyone against each otha. Ya even played me!”
She was right. Earlier potential Zandalari partners she herself had listed were poison brewers or assassins, all under the guise of refugees of course. He had picked her because he knew Bah’kini had a attraction toward him. A attraction that turned nearly fatal regardless.
“Dat be true…but da emotion was real. I hoped ya wouldn’t betray me and ah hoped our child would grow up knowing his motha and his grandfatha.”
Bah’kini glared as she sat down.” What are ya going to do to me?”
“A chance.” Vol’jin replied.” Da same chance ya kin and da True Horde will get in Icend. You do ya time, you can come back…and help raise our child.”
“As ya wife still?”
“No but as the child’s motha.” Vol’jin held his side.” More den dat I cannot promise.” She looked away from him.” It be bettah den death.”
“Crueler to. Takin’ ma child away and letting me freeze ta near death for years.”
“But you be strong and you will be back.” Vol’jin stood.” But it be your choice.” He turned to leave.
“Vol’jin, wait.” She called. He turned around.” There be something ya should know.”
“What is it?” he asked.
She collected her senses before she spoke.” Ah may know where Zul may be.”
“Oh?” he turned.
“Ya evah heard of da Shadow Council?”