Grass... she felt grass beneath her, but how could that be? The last thing she remembered was falling, wheezing, and hacking up blood, to the dusty ground of Grommashar.
'And now you DIE!'
She shifted, just slightly to make sure this wasn't some trick. She felt the wind blow and the grass sway, brushing up against her, tickling her little bare skin on her arms. Not a trick it seems, but how can she feel grass?
Slowly she opened her eyes; she's lying beneath a tree, sheltering her from the fading sunlight.
Am I dead? I must be dead...
She turns her head slightly, somewhat alarmed, seeing as the last face she saw before blacking out wasn't exactly a friendly one.
"Agg…ra?" she manages to wheeze out, her throat rough like sandpaper.
"Shhh… don't try to talk, you took one hell of a beating little Rogue" She lifted a cup of water to Solinia's mouth and she gulped it down greedily, not realizing how thirsty she is until she felt the first heavenly drops touch her tongue. Smiling gently Aggra eased the cup away and regarded the rogue silently for a moment.
"We were... worried when you and Durotan where taking so long… and when I saw Durotan carrying you out… I feared the worst had happened."
"W-we?" the rogue softly inquired turning her head slightly to see who stood behind Aggra. Durotan and Draka were there of course, looking just as anxious, and just as relieved as Argga to see that she was awake. There was also the Archmage Khadgar who looked equally relived, if not more so, and shot her a slight smile. And there were two Draenei; one she recognized the Paladin Yrel and one who she did not know, both faces softening to when they saw her stir.
"It is good see you awake," Durotan spoke, breaking the brief silence, "even though I was able to get you out of Grommashar in the ensuing chaos, you still had lost much blood, I feared you may not make it."
"Solinia comes from strong stock, she has faced far worse than a madden Warlord." The Archmage interjected; his tone confident but still keeping a critical eye on her.
Strong stock… Solinia could not help but be amused by this statement. Being a mage, Khadgar more than likely knew what fate befell her parents… what destiny they chose. Yet he still thought she came from 'strong stock'? She could not help the bubble of laughter that arose… and she immediately regretted it.
Pain flared through her entire being, she felt her spine jerk and go rigid in response. As she jerked, she could feel that not all of her ribs were where they supposed to be. Her gaze was wretched away from the others as she stared down at herself. She would have screamed could she have managed it, the best she could do was a strangled gasp.
Her black armor that usually covered every inch of her body, was shredded in several places and the skin marking those places was red and angry, evidently recently healed with a quick spell or potion… but she didn't need to imagine the horrible, deep gashes that were there before, the state of her armor told her how badly she'd been hit... and hit... and hit. And her leg! By the Light, her leg! Someone had done their best to lay it straight, but she could tell by the producing and jutting bones that it was most defiantly, most assuredly, broken. She tried to wiggle her toes to see how bad it was and was awarded of her efforts with a pain so excruciating it was all she could do not to vomit up the little contents of her stomach and pass out again. On top of that, it was evident that her left shoulder was dislocated and her wrist sprain-arghhhhhh!-nope, broken, as well. Aggra swore under her breath and grabbed the Rogue’s uninjured shoulder and left forearm to hold her down to try to prevent her from moving and making her injuries worse.
In a moment, the Paladin was by her side as well, her face that was calm just a moment ago now creased with worry as she took in the rogue’s severe injuries. She quickly knelt down next to her and began calling on the Light to heal what she could.
"Lady Yrel," her companion began, "you are still weak from the attack as well, don't-"
"This blood elf risked her life leading the charge, knowing full well there was a target constantly on her head. Though we may not agree on everything, I am turning my back on all that I stand for if I let her suffer for her noble actions."
Solinia wasn't sure whether to be touched by the Draenei's compassion, or balk at her naivety.
There was nothing noble about my actions, she thought as she felt the draenei's healing began to take effect; she could feel the pain leaving her, her breath coming easier. this was… personal… I owe that traitor for all he has done…
That traitor... Garrosh… Garrosh!
Her eyes which had drifted shut, snapped open, her mind clearing finally from the grogginess of regaining consciousness and the agony of her injuries. She sat up suddenly, startling both Yrel and Aggra. But she hardly notice, not when she had such an urgent question to ask.
"What happened? Where's Garrosh?"
It was silent before but now a heaviness entered the air, one she did not like at all.
"Don't tell me that bastard got away again?" she growled. No, that didn't make sense; Hellscream had been after her for the last year for her 'treachery'. As much as she didn't want to admit it, she was at his mercy in Grommashar, so why would he leave her alive?
After what seemed like an eternity, it was Durotan who answered her. "What… do you remember?" he asked cautiously as if trying to gauge her reaction.
A frown appeared on the elf's face. What did she remember?
She remembers the fight that's for sure, and as she remembered she cursed herself for it. She had been focused, entirely focused on Hellscream seemingly forgetting all her rogue training: stick to the shadows, quick attacks, hit and run, go for the main attires.
No, she had done none of that, because she was blind; blinded by her anger and her burning desire to see her revenge mete out. She wasn't so foolish as to call it 'justice' or 'vengeance' no… she wanted to make him suffer, as she had. To make him hurt, to weep, to feel the AGONY he had caused her. Rogue ways were not good for that; too quick, too soon it would be over. So she forsook her lessons and better judgment and threw herself into a fight that should have been her last.
Durotan seemed to read her thoughts, a similar frown creasing his own face. "That fight… was easily one of the most intense I've ever been in. Your fighting style threw me off; although I may not know you as well as some of your other allies, I could tell that you were unaccustomed to fighting in such a direct manner, and you did not even flinch or even seem to notice when he landed a blow." His frown turned into a grimace as he remembered seeing the elf take blow after blow and not even twitch, so focused on her target.
"And…" he continued, his grimace turning deeper, "such focus was not one sided either. Even though both I and Nightstalker were backing you up, Garrosh didn't even notice, you seemed to be his only target... not even Nightsalker nearly taking a massive chunk out of his forearm did not seemed to faze him... his eyes were totally fixed on you and they... were filled with hatred…" he rubbed his face warily, remembering what giving way to hatred had cost him all those years ago... for this little elf to earn such hatred, Durotan knew that it was more than a simple grudge, it went far deeper than that.
Solinia sighed, Durotan's recounting filling in most of the blanks of what happened. Hatred huh? She hadn't even noticed it, she was so used to seeing it in him the past couple year.
He wasn't always filled with such hatred; once he filled with sorrow… such sorrow...
NO, she instantly squelched any feelings of pity she had, he deserved this, and he MADE his choice.
Shaking her head to be rid of the troublesome thought she asked again, "what happened after that? I remember him getting the upper hand... and… beating the crap out of me with his bare hands, but…" she trailed off, not sure how to finish.
"Thrall…" Durotan answered again, still looking deeply troubled "Thrall intervened and… challenged him to Mak'gora."
"WHAT?" she roared as she sat up bolt right, realizing too late that Yrel had not gotten to her leg yet, causing her shock to quickly turn into a string of pain laced curses.
'After all that he did for YOU and YOUR people? MAK'GORA!'
"Easy! Or you'll do even more damage!" the paladin scolded and then resumed what she started before Solinia's rapid movement had startled her. With a nod to the paladin her eyes quickly slid back to Durotan, intent on hearing the rest of the story.
"Garrosh accepted and they both just… left. Their sudden departure caused slight confusion among the remaining Warsong and it was enough to collect you, as you'd fallen unconscious from blood loss, and escape and meet back up with the others outside Grommashar. Draka was able to get a few healing potions down your throat and it was enough to stop the severe bleeding and heal you enough so you weren't in such imitate danger. Then… we came... here… and the Archmage and Draenei were already here."
"Why here? What is so special about this place?"
"The Stones of Prophecy." Durotan answered and then his gaze snapped away, to something further away.
Everyone turned to see what had caught his attention and Solinna saw each one of their shoulders go rigid as the continued to stare to that direction.
'What is it? Not more damn Warsong I hope.' She thought as she too turned to see and she too felt her shoulders go rigid.
Two figures, each approaching from different direction yet both on the same course.
Orcs; One green skinned, one brown.
Thrall and Garrosh.
Solinia knew much of orc culture and she knew that this would be not the typical honor battle. No, this was a fight to the death.
On the one hand, if Thrall won, Garrosh would be dead and her revenge would be served. But what of Thrall lost? She couldn't bear to think of it.
The two figures stopped and she strained to hear but such strain was unnecessary, she did not know if their voices carried or if it was the element wind that carried them but she could hear as if was standing right next to them.
"You must answer for your crimes Garrosh."
A city in ruins. Dead, all dead; bombed without warning or mercy.
Garrosh struck first, but Thrall was ready and easily deflected the attacks and went in for a counter. But he was slow, much slower than Garrosh who managed to dodge and lunge while Thrall was recovering, knocking him off his feet. Thrall managed to use the Doomhammer to block and regain his footing and nearly dodging swings that could have easily taken his head off. Thrall struck again, managing to get a few hits in, lighting thundering in the sky as he struck, as if the elements were cheering him on as well.
Garrosh was stunned and Thrall went in for a head shot, but Garrosh recovered quickly, quick enough to catch his fist mid strike.
"All I did…" a swift kick to knock Thrall back and he resumes his attack, "I did, FOR THE HORDE!"
'You see Solinia? Everyone pulls their weight in MY horde, from the lowliest peon to the mightiest warrior.'
A wide swing, wide enough for Thrall to get some leverage and throw Garrosh a short distance.
"You FAILED the Horde!"
A people divided, her family being ripped apart.
A quick strike; enough to cause Garrosh to stager. A pause, and then... he threw Gorehowl?
Thrall deflects it, almost as surprised as Solinia by that move… and that is what Garrosh was counting on.
He lunges catching Thrall of guard and causing him to drop his weapon.
"YOU made ME Warchief!"
'In my absence, I am instructing you, Garrosh Hellscream, to lead the Horde.'
A blow to the face, Thrall falls, and Garrosh isn't going to let him regain his footing so easily this time.
'You LEFT me!'
'I must consult with the elements in Nagrand.'
"TO PICK UP YOUR PIECES!" each shot punctuated with a blow to the face.
A city nearly burnt to the ground, its people scared and starving in its streets.
Garrosh picks him up and hauls him over his head.
"YOU. FAILED. ME!' he throws Thrall to the ground with a sickening thud.
'You will have advisors, Carine, Etrigg, Vol'jin they will help guide you.'
But, where was HE? The one who he depended on most?
Thrall stirs, not willing to give up, much to Solinia's relief, Garrosh loomed over him.
“You never… had the strength... of a TRUE Warrior!”
“I… do not relay on strength alone, Garrosh… my power…”
She felt it, the very breath of Nagrand seems to stand still for a moment and she had an inkling of what that meant.
“Is ALL around you!”
Thrall strikes again, but with fire rather than steel. It is enough to knock Garrosh in the air and for Thrall to hold him there with wind for a moment, before slamming him down into the ground, and raise the earth around him to hold him fast, giving him no chance of getting free...
Lightning thunders overhead.
No chance at escape.
An enraged roar from Garrosh, he knows what's coming, they all do.
"YOU made me WHAT I AM!"
Is it denial for his actions? A last minute attempt to lay the guilt once more on Thrall's shoulders? Or was it acknowledgment for the monster that he became?
"No..." Thrall shakes his head as if scolding a young child, "you chose your own destiny."
The wind and clouds stir, she knows what's about to happen, yet she can't look a way, she won't, she has to see this for those who could not, for those who feel by this tyrant’s hand.
Lightning streaked down from the sky...
And hit its mark.
She wasn't sure what was louder; the boom of thunder that accompanied the lightning… or Garrosh's final wrathful roar.
There was a collective sigh of relief when Thrall made his way back, everyone relived that the threat had been dealt with, and that Thrall did not lose his life in the process. Thrall’s gaze passed over his companions and came to rest on the rogue who still sat under the tree alone, forgotten in the excitement of Thrall returning, her leg still half healed due to Yrel exhausting what little strength she had left.
"Solinia," he rumbled, relief evident in his voice that his friend was alright, "it is good to see you awake, when Aggra told me you and Durotan had gone to confront Garrosh alone I feared I may not make it in time, and judging from the state of things when I did arrive, I clearly nearly was."
Thrall frowns and moved towards her, stiffening as he sees her leg half healed leg and shredded armor. "What were you thinking? In all the years I've known you, recklessness never been one of your attributes. So why now of all times would you be so reckless, against a foe as strong as Garrosh?"
Thrall stifled an irate sigh as he knelt down to finish healing her leg, knowing that she would likely not be answering him or anyone else anytime soon. She may not be reckless, but she was stubborn to a fault; if for whatever reason she was choosing not to speak there was nothing he could do to coarse her to do so.
Seeing that her leg was completely healed, he moved to stand up and rejoin the others. "Join us when you are ready, with Garrosh… dealt with… we have issued a major blow but now we need to discuss what to next and will need your help, Commander." He notices the slight twice in her clenched hand at the term Commander, knowing full well that as a rogue she felt unsuited for such a role in the center of attention. He clapped a hand to her shoulder and gave it a reassuring squeeze before moving away to join the group and discuss the plan of attack.
The discussion made little progress, each person disputing where they should attack next and refusing to give even the slightest bit of leverage to the other side. Durotan believing that the Foundry should be a priority; with their weapons cut off the Iron Horde would be far less of a threat. Yrel believing that Highmaul should be their priority, claiming that the Ogres would not remain idle for long and their sorcery could be devastating to the whole of Draenor. Khadgar remained undecided and of little aid to either side. And Yrel's companion was even less help; now wary of Thrall and his allies, wondering why they should aid those who let loose such a monster like Garrosh on their world.
'We need a damn tie breaker' Thrall thought irritably getting less patient with the Draenei as time went on. He turned to the rogue to call her over but had to restrain from swearing instead.
Solinia was gone.
'Thank the Sunwell for Vanish.' The rogue sighed as she made her way away from the group.
She had heard them bickering for the last 20 minutes and knew it was only a matter of time before someone called her over to be the tie breaker or something, and frankly, she was in no mood to deal with their petty squabbling.
'Bah, I lead the whole damn army for the last several months, even despite the fact that I did NOT want the damn responsibility. Surely the can handle a stinking discussion without killing each other.' She paused as she heard the voices grow markly louder, 'I hope…'
It was slow going, even in stealth. Thrall may have finished healing her leg, but the joints and bones were still stiff from being mended so rapidly making this trek slow to the point of even a snail could out pace her.
Finally she reached her destination and staggered to a halt. She didn't know why she came here, she saw what happened with her own eyes, yet she still found herself being drawn here. She flicked her eyes back to her companions, still arguing it seems, better to remain in stealth. Her eyes turned back to her destination and almost balked at the brutalness of it.
The earth still remained risen, the earthen fingers still tightly grasping him, or what was left of him. His skin was blackened and burnt from the lightning and his body was limp. Yet she was still cautious, not certain that he was truly dead, not going to lunge forward and try to strangle her.
'Stop this!' she scolded, 'Legendary warrior he may be, but no way he could survive that amount of power.'
After a while she was certain that he wasn't going to leap out and strike at her and for some reason, the thought weight heavily on her. 'So, he's truly dead then… how ironic it should end where it began… in Nagrand.'
As she stared, she felt herself slip into memories.
Solinia shuffled down the winding dirt path, her shoulders slumped forward in exhaustion. "Damn ogres." she huffed under her breath, heading toward the nearest vendor to sell the excess crap she had accumulated.
Orsok saw her coming and greeted her warmly. "Hello blood elf, always good to see your chipper face." Solinia just snorted and started unloading all that she wanted to sell, Orsok studying her as she did.
"Ogres giving you trouble?" He asked cheekily.
She huffed as she finished emptying her packs "Honestly, it's them or the damn Shadow Council rats, I hardly get a moments rest."
"If their giving you such trouble then why stay to deal with them day after day?" Orsok asked genuinely curious. By now, he was use to Adventures coming and going, never lingering in Nagrand long. But this elf was different, she had been here for months, always willing to offer Garadar aid: food, supplies, message running, she would do it all, and ask for nothing in return aside a place to sleep at night.
"I have my reasons." She answered softly taking the gold he was offering her in exchange.
"Whatever the reasons are I'm glad for them. Without you, we would have been mostly likely overrun by who knows what by now. Certainly can't trust on our cowardly leader to-"
"If you don't mind, I've had a long day, I'm going to go speak with the Great Mother and turn in early for once. Goodnight." She interrupted curtly and turned on her heels and began to make her way towards the center of Garadar.
She had to grit her teeth not to lash out at the orc for his insults; she had worked hard to gain the brown orcs trust and was not going to squander it for petty name calling. Besides, it's not like all the orcs don't think the same of him.
That thought made her grit her teeth harder.
She had her reasons for staying, and that orc, Garrosh, was one of them.
Though not members of the Horde for long compared to the other races, Solinia wasted no time in embracing it and learning of its past. So like many, if not all, members of the Horde she knew about the legendary Grommash Hellscream and when she found out that the Mag'har were led by none other than his own son, well, she had to see for herself.
To say she was surprised when she met him was an understatement, every orc she met had been strong and proud in one way or another… he was nothing like that. Prone to melancholy and bouts of depression he was usually so listless that she was never sure that he was truly all there. And then she learned why.
Shame, shame for his father actions, for his family's legacy. Such sorrow tore at her heart; it was a sorrow she knew very well. And so she vowed to show him that hope was never lost.
It seemed futile at first, he would dismiss her acts as nothing, or worse state that she was just sniffing around for coin. But then, she made a breakthrough.
She had solved a major ogre problem by dealing in a truce with the Burning Blade orc, Lantresor. As a result, much of the Shadow Council and rival ogres had simultaneously whipped them self's out, eliminated threats that had been plaguing Garadar for years. She returned once again to Garadar, bearing a heavy chest, a peace offering from the Burning Blade half orc. As usual, Garrosh dismissed it, claiming it was of no consequence.
But then she saw it.
The tiniest flicker of hope in his eyes.
It was gone in instant, but she knew what she saw, hope that things could change, that there was a chance for a better future. She promised to herself that she would stay and show him that he could not live bound to his past.
Most of the other orcs didn't understand how she could put up with their sullen leader, and doubt they would understand why she wanted to help him so badly.
It was because she knew, she knew the pain he felt; to live in a parents shadow and never see the light…
'To think such a proud warrior as Grommash would have a son... so… weak…'
'To think such powerful Archmages would have a daughter without a drop of magical affinity…'
To face the accusing stares: blaming you for their actions, for carrying their blood.
'He was the first to drink the blood and damn us all!'
'How easily her parents succumbed to their magic addiction and turn traitor for the Legion with the prince. Did you hear? They were the first ones to become those ghastly Fel Elves…'
She looked at Garrosh and saw herself.
She had help though, her childhood friend Vala Sunspear always made sure she had a roof over her head and food in her belly; she even introduced her to her rogue teacher when it became apparent that she had talent. Because of that, she never lost hope for a better future, away from all the hate. Garrosh did not have that. Oh, there were those that had tried, but his attitude had driven most away. However, she wouldn't be deterred so easily. Still, he was proving to be damn stubborn.
Sighing, she kicked a stray rock in her path as continued on her trek. She thought many times of telling him of what really happened with his father but she felt she had no right to tell him such. Despite all her actions, she was still not an orc and most likely wouldn't be believed or even heard out if she tried to broach that topic. What she needed was an orc to tell him the truth…
She stumbled to a halt mid stride as the idea occurred to her… and she wanted to go beat her head against the thickest tree she could find for not thinking of it sooner.
Grinning from ear to ear she began her walking again at a much faster pace. She still wanted to see the Great Mother, but instead of turning in she had a letter to write and send off as soon as she could.
It would take a while to reach the Orgrimmar.
Solinia flinched as the biting cold wind whooshed overhead. 'Just a bit further,' she thought moving as fast as her fatigued body would allow 'then I can give the damn report of what happened at the farm and hopefully get some rest fore I'm shipped off again.' When the citadel came into view she was never so happy to see ugly orc architecture. Hell, she would have been happy to see an ogre mound, anything to get out of this damn cold. She all but ran inside and threw off her ice caked hood, her antics causing one of the nearby guards to chuckle.
"Cold out there blood elf?" the Tauren asked with a wry grin.
"Haha, laugh all you like, sooner or later you'll be stuck outside on guard duty or shipped off somewhere else."
The Tauren snorted and shook his head. "Honestly, at this rate I'd rather be shipped off, what with all their damn arguing." He said with a jerk toward the inner keep.
"That bad huh?"
"They're like a damn old married couple. Honestly, I'm not sure how they haven't pulled down on us every single nerubian with how loud their squawking, well ONE of them that is."
"Well, here's hopping my report pacifies the bickering old lady for a bit." Solinia grinned and swept some of the snow off her shoulders.
"Then hop to it Rogue, I'm sure the entire keep could do with some peace and quiet."
Needing no further prompting she strode into the main area, trying not wince as the arguing got louder. Well, arguing may not be the word for it; one voice was calm and somewhat measured, while the other was much higher in volume and far less measured. It was all she could do to keep from grinning, the guard was right; they really did sound like an old married couple. As she stepped into the light both voices ceased and both Saurfang and Garrosh turned to look at her.
"Ah, you have returned. How went the assault Solinia?" Saurfang asked calmly. He was of course, already well aware of the results, owing to the fact that he saved both her and the Deathstalker she was working with from a bad situation.
"Pah, she standing here now, dried gore evident on her daggers, how do you THINK the assault went?" Garrosh scoffed.
"It is always wise never to assume anything young Hellscream. That's how mistakes are made and wars are lost." Saurfang replied in the same calm voice.
"I do not assume anything. Solinia is a Hero of the Horde, there is no way she could not handle a simple necromancer."
Solinia decided to interject before they could start bickering again, then she'd be here all day.
"You are correct Commander, the Deathstalker and I dispatched the necromancer without..." she flicks up her eyes to Saurfang and he gave a brief nod "any problems." She finished smoothly, hopping he didn't notice her pause. He didn't of course; he seemed to stop listing after he heard what he wanted to hear.
Saurfang just rolled his eyes.
"Well done, I would expect nothing less from a rogue of your caliber."
She hid the small grin that came from his praise in the thick clock she still had wrapped around her shoulders.
"If I may sir, what are you orders?" she asked, hopping there was enough time to zip into the mess hall quickly before she had to head out again.
Garrosh narrowed his eyes while taking her appearance as he thought before answering. "You will report to the mess hall for a well-deserved meal and then to the barracks for a just as well deserved rest."
She felt her eye brows shoot up at this, not the order she was expecting.
"Are you certain sir?"
"Do not question me Solinia, or I WILL have you written up! You are one of my best, and I cannot afford to lose you to something as insignificant as lack of focus."
"Of course sir" she replied. It was getting harder to hide her growing relived smile in her scarf.
"Very good, you are dismissed solider." He grunted and turns back to the map stitched in the floor.
As she turn and heads toward the mess, she can hear Saurfang and Garrosh resuming their talks, although (thankfully) Garrosh is far more subdued.
"You seem to have a lot of faith in the girl, Hellscream."
"Ha, Solinia is a true Champion of the Horde, with her leading the Vanguard I have no doubts the Scourge will not last long."
"You seem very certain."
'You go to Hyjal for a couple of months and they change everything on ya.' Solinia mussed as she stood in the gates of Orgrimmar… least she was pretty sure it was Orgrimmar, last time she was here there were far less… spikes. She heard tales of the rapid expansion occurring but she had no idea that it would reach this scale.
'Well, considering a lot of the city burnt to the ground during the Cataclysm, it would be easier to expand when there's no building to tear down, just husks that would rather be forgotten.'
Solinia was snapped from her musings by a very irate voice and quickly turned toward the source, only to find an irritated goblin staring at her.
"Can I help you?" she asked, still not use to seeing so many goblins in a horde city that were not neutral.
The goblin cocked his head to the side and narrowed his eyes as he started at her. "That would depend, is your name Solinia, girly?"
'Well this day just keeps getting more interesting.'
"Jeez, it about damn time ya showed up! Been asking every Blood Elf that came through the gates today, would NOT believe some of the looks I've gotten."
'Oh I'm certain I could' she smirked, knowing full well how haughty blood elves were to others, even those of the horde.
"And what, may I ask, is that you have been looking for me for?"
"Well it sure as hell ain't tea and cupcakes! The Warchief heard that you would be arriving back in Durotar today and sent me out ta find ya. Course, you took yer sweet time getting here! Whada do? Stop and smelt every flower that you saw?"
She opened her mouth to reply but the goblin cut her off "Nah, nah, save it girly. You've wasted enough time with your chattering, I just wanna bring you to the Warchief and move on already, sheesh!" with that he turned and stared off.
'MY chatter?' she thought as she rolled her eyes, but followed anyways. She had no idea where anything was now and it was probably best she stay close. Surprisingly, they didn't go that far. Literally, to the building directly in front of the main gates. She couldn't help but stop and stare again.
"Move it, move IT! Comon! Told ya I wanna be done with this little fetch quest, so stop stalling would ya!" the goblin nudged her further inwards.
Solinia slapped the pushy goblin away and started moving on her own accord again, entering the main chamber.
"Ah there she is, at last." A voiced boomed from across the room. Her eyes swiveled to the source seeing Garrosh in the center of the room talking with Vol'jin.
"Warchief" with a slight bob of the head, "I'm sorry to intrude, but my... guide was rather instant that I see you as soon as possible. If you are the middle of something I will come back later, now that I know the way that is."
"No, there's no need for that, Vol'jin was just leaving." He said with a pointed glare at the Troll. Vol'jin said nothing and simply stormed out, his anger visible.
"Well, that's all well and good, but I did as ya asked Warchief and brought ya the scrawny blood elf, now if you don't mind ill-"
Gorehowl landed dangerously close to the mouthy goblin, even taking a small chunk off his ear. The action causing the Goblin to end mid-sentence with a terrified squeak.
"Understand this Goblin," Garrosh said in low dangerous tones, "I made one thing perfectly clear when I accept you and your kind into the Horde," he spoke as he moved to retrieve Gorehowl, his eyes never leaving the cowering Goblin, "You will serve the Horde, or be CRUSHED beneath it!"
With a single tug, he removed Gorehowl from its impromptu sheathe in the wall, "If you cannot do something as simple as escorting a Blood Elf to Grommash Hold without whining, then I must declare you unfit to serve and therefore, a worthless bug that will be crushed!"
"I-I'm sorry y-yer Hugeness! It won't happen again! Lips shut! Sealed! Won't hear a peep from me!"
"You will report to foreman Blackfuse and you WILL be at his beck and call for as long as I deem it fit, whelp! When I am certain you have learned your place, I MAY allow you to resume normal duties, so pray you do not disappoint me!"
"What are you waiting for?! GO!"
With that the Goblin bolted from the keep, nearly knocking an Undead over in the process.
"You see Solinia? Everyone pulls their weight in MY Horde, from the lowliest peon to the mightiest Warrior, we all must serve." he spoke as he move back toward the center of the room and his throne.
Solinia wasn't sure what to say. While she was glad the mouthy Goblin was dealt with she couldn't help feel that it was a little too harsh.
Her silence did not go unnoticed and Garrosh fixated his eyes on her "What I said to the goblin is true too, if you cannot serve the horde you WILL be crushed beneath it, perhaps willingly for being a burden… or refusing to form to change." He finished the last part with a strange look in his eyes.
'Did he just… threaten me?' Solinia thought, growing deeply troubled by the Orc's actions and words. She herd other rumors too, ones of a far darker nature, all centered on the Horde's current Warchief.
'Thoughts for another time.' She dismissed.
"Understandable Warchief. After all the Horde has been through, it's understandable that you want to move forward."
And just like that, the strange look was gone from his eyes. 'Perhaps I just imaged it…'
"Very good, still as sharp as ever, you're going to need your wits for where you're going."
"There's Alliance and Twilight Hammer scum that need to be crushed within the Twilight Highlands!"
She couldn't stop her eyes from flicking every which way, every nerve in her body was screaming at her to run, run far far FAR away from this place. But she couldn't.
Her 'Warchief' had summoned her here to Grommash hold.
No point in running anyways, there were four Korkron surrounding her, and at least another six between her and the exit of Orgrimmar. Besides, she had to see for herself, despite all of Vol'jin warning not to answer the summons, she had to know if he was truly too far gone to reason with.
"Ah, so the rat has been flushed out of her hole has she?" She nearly flinched at the tone of his voice, it was hard and cold and… filled with hate. She had heard the hate in his voice before, but never directed at her.
"Pardon me, Warchief, if I do not understand you meaning. I am simply answering your summons."
"Tch, you still call ME Warchief? Not that wrenched troll lurking in his slums? I've been told you have been quite the asset to his pitiful little rebellion."
'Damn, so much for going in faking obliviousness' At the sound of the orc's accusations her 'guard' shifted closer to her, all with their hands on the hilts of their weapons as if daring her to try to make an escape. Garrosh seemed to read her thoughts as he drew Gorehowl from its resting place.
"Yes, I KNOW. I know everything you have been up to, traitor." He growled as he moved closer to her with Gorehowl drawn.
'Is this how it ends? With me backed into a corner as if I were truly a rat?' she thought grimly.
'Yet? He can't seriously think that I will be willing to serve him? After all he's done?'
"Yet, you have served the Horde faithfully in the past; it is thanks to you that I am still not wallowing in self-pity back in Nagrand. So, I will give you a chance."
"A chance for what?"
"To die honorably."
'Well, this was a surprise. Sure, he was still going to kill me, but offering me an honorable death?'
Not giving her a chance to interject, Garrosh went on. "You may choose: can either fight me and lose, or simply allow me to end you quickly."
"And my body? Will you impale it upon the spires as a warning to the others?"
Garrosh thought for a moment before answering, "No… you will be given a warriors burial, cremated."
'Would it be so bad… to die?' She thought. She truly had no wish to see Orgrimmar under siege; it was her home, far more than Silvermoon ever was. To see it burn again might be too much for her heart to bear… not to mention she would be forced to fight old comrades, like Nazgrim…
"I can see you have made your choice. So what will it be?"
"I... I think… I will choose the quick way… if you don't mind."
"Kneel then, it will be quick, I promise."
She did as she was told and felt him tread closer, feel Gorehowl press gently against her neck… she closed her eyes.
And that's when she saw them.
Faces, so many faces of friends she had made. Tauren, Troll, Orc, Goblin, Pandaren, Undead…
Thrall, Arga, Vol'jin, Baine…
They all came from different walks of life, each more different than the last, seemingly nothing in common.
They were all orphans, wanderers, homeless drifters, rift raft that had no place in the world, nowhere to call home. So together, they had made a place to call their own.
They found this place to be sanctuary to all Horde, together they had made it.
And together, they would take it back.
'How silly of me,' she thought 'they are expecting me back at Sen'jin… I cannot keep them waiting now can I?'
"There's just… one more thing…"
She felt the sudden whoosh of air, knowing that Gorehowl had come to a sudden stop so he could hear out her supposed last words.
"What?" he growled, clearly thinking she was stalling.
"You… forget… Warchief… that I… am no warrior…" she only had one chance at this.
"I… AM A ROGUE!"
With that statement, she struck out her leg, hooking it around his ankle and jerking it forward, causing him to bellow in surprise and fall backwards, his guards yelling and leaping into action.
Still crouching, she unsheathed her daggers and lunged upwards, driving her daggers into the open spot of skin where helm met chest-guard, instantly killing the first two closest Korkron. Then, still impaled on her daggers, she used the two dead Korkron to knock the remaining two over and pinning them with the weight of the dead Korkron.
She heard a roar behind her, Garrosh getting up most likely. She doesn't turn to see, and just Vanish's and sprints out of the hold.
"COWARD! YOU WILL REGRET THIS, YOU WRETCHED TRAITOR!" she managed to squeeze into a small space off to the side as soon as Garrosh sprinted out of the hold just moments after her.
"FIND HER! AND BRING HER TO ME, ALIVE! I WILL SHOW HER WHAT IT MEANS TO DEFY THE TRUE HORDE!"
'Defy this, bitch.' She grinned inwardly as went for the extra 'present' that Vol'jin asked her to deliver.
The ramparts immediately went up in smoke, and she used it as cover to sprint out of the main gate before anyone could get enough sense to close it.
"BRING YOUR ARMY AND YOUR LITTLE EXPLOSIVES, I WILL BE WAITING! I WILL SHOW YOU WHAT IT MEANS TO BETRAY ME, YOU FAITHLESS COWARD!"
She shook her head as she sprinted away into the enveloping night, 'I have faith, but it no longer resides on you, you are lost and will be removed… soon.' For now, it would be a tense wait until that faithful day, and she was sure he would try to strike again soon.
Solinia hated being right, and her premonition about Garrosh wanting to strike back came true in horrible swiftness.
Starting with her childhood friend Vala Sunspear impaled on the spires of Orgrimmar...
While she was still alive.
It took both Baine and Vol'jin to restrain her when a scout derived the grisly news. She just wanted to go there and take down her only childhood friend, or at least end her suffering, but Vol'jin was adamant, refusing to let her leave Razor Hill if she continued to act the way she did.
"Ya be palyin right inta his hands if ya go out dere! We almost lost ya once sista, don' make us go throu dat again!"
She stilled, but only barley. As soon as she was released, she sprinted off in the opposite direction, intent on making Garrosh regret this vile act.
'You wanna play this game orc? Fine then! For each friend of mine you slay, I will kill FIFTY of your Korkron dogs! I will show you what it means to betray ME!'
So on it went. Each day, Garrosh would impale someone dear to Solinia on the spires, such as Arro, a kindly tauren druid who was her stanched ally in Hyjal. Or Morri, a witty troll hunter who kept her sane during her dismal time on the Isle of Thunder.
In retaliation, she would unless a devastating slaughter on any and all Korkron she could find in the Barrens. From whipping out small settlements overnight, to stealing enough food that would feed half of Orgrimmar.
'Your reign ends soon tyrant,' she thought as she whipped Korkron blood of her daggers, 'I will see to that... personally.'
Solinia slowly opened her eyes, the sun had all but set over Nagrand, leaving only the faintest sliver of sunlight barely peaking over the hills. Had she really been here, lost to her memories, for so long? She cast another glance back at were her companions were, but they were gone. They probably noticed she was gone, may have even called out to her but she didn't hear a single sound, so lost in her thoughts. They probably just gave up and went back to their respective bases… meaning she would probably have to deal with angry Thrall and Durotan. She turned to leave, but stopped to look, once last time, just… just to make sure…
The wind blew softly across the hilltop, ruffling her dark brown hair and the bandages that had come loose on his still limp hand.
"So, you're really dead then…" she whispered. All at once, the memories assaulted her: finding him in Nagrand, following his command in Northrend with a growing sense of pride in the once feeble orc… growing leery of him in the aftermath of the Cataclysm, still hoping beyond hope, that he might avert the path he was going down… and the bloody end it came to, where so many good lives were lost because of…what? Some petty sense of betrayal?
She had failed. She failed Vala, Arro, Morri, the Alliance who had senselessly died by his hand, the Pandaren who trusted her and in return she brought her monstrous Warchief to conquer their peaceful land. She had failed Draenor too, by allowing him to change what should not have been changed. And somehow, she felt as if she failed Garrosh. Not the warmonger he had become, but the pain filled orc she knew in Nagrand.
She came here to hate, to despise him, to lord her victory over him at last. To claim revenge for all those had fallen…
But all she could do… was weep.
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