Shop Forum More Submit  Join Login
About Deviant HedonistMale/United States Recent Activity
Deviant for 2 Months
Needs Core Membership
Statistics 9 Deviations 3 Comments 113 Pageviews
×

Newest Deviations

Literature
Delurk Bloodsnarl and the Breaking of Mists FINALE
Like a child in a mother's womb, Unorak had been cradled inside the water elemental for some months, his body sustained by the life the water gave. In the time he had spent there, however, he had grown anxious to finish his trial. Frusterated. Even angry.
Eventually, he had lost all control and attempted to blow the elemental apart, although the wind wouldn't assist him in the venture. Gloomily, he had come to the realization that the trial might not ever end. The oceans seemed to have a merciless nature as it ignored his pleas for answers.
The waters tightly engulfing his skin, he wondered about the wellbeing of his father, Mergosh Bloodsnarl. His father, he who had given him life and raised him so selflessly, despite the harsh condition the world was in.. Where was he now? Was he still alive?
He ignored the burdening doubt that his father might be dead. The shaman couldn't lose hope this far in his journey, not even if he did lose his father. While he had first embarked on the quest
:iconDelurk-Bloodsnarl:Delurk-Bloodsnarl
:icondelurk-bloodsnarl:Delurk-Bloodsnarl 0 0
Literature
Delurk Bloodsnarl and the Breaking of Mists Act 5
In her free time at Lion's Landing, Eliyne Fallglade obsessed over the callous orc who had seemingly destroyed her life. After giving a detailed description of her widow-maker and kidnapper to a human officer who kept tabs on higher ranking Horde members, his name was revealed to be Delurk Bloodsnarl. From the research she had accumulated about this burly beast of an orc, he had been a detrimental burden to the Alliance ever since the Catacylsm, the recorded beginning of his bloody career being with the gruesome death of General Hawthorne, who had been remembered as a kindhearted general reluctant to kill innocents.
Yet the monster didn't care. The book spoke of how Delurk dug the old general's eyes from his skull, indifferent to the human's merciful nature.
What drove this orc to become the barbaric fiend he was today? Unfortunately, no recorded text in the Alliance libraries documents why. Perhaps the Legionnaire was what he behaved like; an animal, who only knows the path of violenc
:iconDelurk-Bloodsnarl:Delurk-Bloodsnarl
:icondelurk-bloodsnarl:Delurk-Bloodsnarl 0 0
Literature
Delurk Bloodsnarl and the Breaking of Mists Act 4
After wandering for several weeks, the elements felt Unorak Bloodsnarl was ready for the first trial: a trial by wind.
The scraggly bearded shaman was suddenly unbalanced by a strong gust of wind. Posturing up, he found a mighty wind ascendant standing before him.
''The first trial, shaman,'' he breathed, beginning to accumulate wind under Unorak's feet. ''A trial of faith and clear-mindedness.''
Swiftly, Unorak rose above the clouds, however the second he pierced the sky, he began to fall.
''Winds, please carry me to safety!'' he beseeched as he began to fall.
Suddenly, he felt his footing regained. He slowly took to his feet and walked on thin air through the sky.
''Mmmm..'' the elemental said, grinning. ''It seems you've already tempered your faith in the elements a good deal.''
His flabberghaust turning into exhiliration, Unorak took off, soaring across the clouds.
A humongous bird with a beak as sharp as an axe and feathers as tough as steel made a dive at the shaman. Strangely pr
:iconDelurk-Bloodsnarl:Delurk-Bloodsnarl
:icondelurk-bloodsnarl:Delurk-Bloodsnarl 0 0
Literature
Delurk Bloodsnarl and the Breaking of Mists Act 3
Delurk narrowed his eyes to get a better view of the figure who stood in the distance. Thin, golden blades of grass blew in the wind as the distant visage's hair hung loosely in the wind. Her small tusks, gleaming as bright as diamonds in the sunlight, curved into a kindly smile.
As be walked toward the mysterious figure, wind began to buffet him back. Unwilling to allow his curiousity to be quenched by a mere breeze, Delurk shielded his eyes as he pushed forward for a better view. The buffeting force proving no match for his muscular legs. Alas, he was finally within distance to see her..
It was his beloved.
It was Rika.
His body exploded in effort, he doubled the speed in which he pursued her. Her heavenly beauty encouraged him not to relent. Elegantly, she treaded toward Delurk with arms wide open.
As the winds began to tear everything from the ground, Delurk pressed on. He was almost there. The mountains themselves were flung like stones in the face of the wind, and homes were upro
:iconDelurk-Bloodsnarl:Delurk-Bloodsnarl
:icondelurk-bloodsnarl:Delurk-Bloodsnarl 1 0
Literature
Delurk Bloodsnarl and the Breaking of Mists Act 2
Cheers rang through the Valley of Strength that night as the warriors returned home from battle. A massive feast, encored by a party, was prepared for the victors, and Delurk wouldn't miss a moment of it.
Clanking his mug with both Scargash and Bloodhilt, the three reckless orcs chugged grog. Delurk had removed his Kor'kron regalia for the occasion, and he wore only his titanium legplates. It'd be a shame to get grease on his gear!
''....And then the tauren said, 'That's not a shovel!' '' Delurk concluded to one of his bar jokes.
The warlord and commander hooted with laughter, slapping their knees and clapping each other on the back. Taking another ludicrous bite off a plainstrider leg and forcing it into his mouth, Delurk washed down the meat with more grog.
''How many gnomes does it take to paint a wall red?'' Bloodhilt inquired, nobly attempting to hold in his laughter.
''How many?'' Scargash grinned
''Why, it depends on how hard you throw them!'' Bloodhilt answered.
Scargash shot h
:iconDelurk-Bloodsnarl:Delurk-Bloodsnarl
:icondelurk-bloodsnarl:Delurk-Bloodsnarl 0 0
Literature
Delurk Bloodsnarl and the Breaking of Mists Act 1
The days converted into months and the months into years since the time of Rika's death. Depression settled into Delurk's titanium-shrouded heart, worsening with each passing day. His quest for genocide against the Alliance was seemingly all but forgotten, as he spent his time gravitating from drinking his sorrows away in the Wyvern's Tail tavern, to making vain attempts in resurrecting his mate. Collaboration with the warlocks of the Cleft of Shadow proved futile, however, as their research was restricted by Garrosh Hellscream's anti-fel magic agenda. Nontheless, Delurk kept the ashes of his beloved closer to him than his own armor, finding them important in case they were required as a reagant in a ritual.
It was midday, and Delurk was in the tavern. By now, he had developed a strong liking to grog, and it seemed to be the only thing that took his mind off his worries.
However, he was approached as he drank.
A huge orc abruptly sat beside him, nearly shaking the table with his aggres
:iconDelurk-Bloodsnarl:Delurk-Bloodsnarl
:icondelurk-bloodsnarl:Delurk-Bloodsnarl 1 0
Delurk Bloodsnarl by Delurk-Bloodsnarl Delurk Bloodsnarl :icondelurk-bloodsnarl:Delurk-Bloodsnarl 0 0
Literature
Delurk Bloodsnarl: Origins - Finale
Delurk found the stench of Dustwallow a tad overwhelming. The journey through the marsh had been dreadful, including several loathe-worthy nuisances such as flies, crocolisks and less than friendly ogres.
Suspiciously, Delurk clenched the reins of Durek tightly as he plodded through the mud. There had been rumors of oozes that erupted from the ground and pulled the unfortunate soul who stepped on them into the ground, where they were never to be seen again.
''Human-folk tales, used to coerce children,'' Delurk scoffed to himself.
Alas, something in the marsh caught his eye.
Footprints.
Human footprints.
Zealously as a Scarlet Crusader, Delurk kicked Durek in the ribs, sending his wolf jolting forward. Durek glided across the trail of clues.
Hauntingly, Durek drew closer and closer to the footprints until alas, the tracks were an hour fresh. Delurk dismissed his mount, then flung himself behind a tree. He heard horses.
And smelled humans.
This was it. Rika was behind that tree, and Delu
:iconDelurk-Bloodsnarl:Delurk-Bloodsnarl
:icondelurk-bloodsnarl:Delurk-Bloodsnarl 0 0
Literature
Delurk Bloodsnarl: Origins - Act 1
Delurk Bloodsnarl grew up in Alterac Valley, a chilly home, yet relatively comfortable. He and his brother, Unorak Bloodsnarl, squabbled frequently over the Stormpike invaders. Were they all diabolical looters? Could they be swayed away?
''Do you not see your disgustingly foolish antics?!'' Delurk would bellow at Unorak.
''Peace isn't foolish! It's common sense! Why, brother, must we shed unnecessary Frostwolf blood?''
''It's simple, ''Delurk grunted, ''We don't. The Stormpike must be handled brutally and decisively, not with compassion and affection. Such is madness.''
Scornfully, Unorak faced away from his bloodthirsty brother. While Delurk didn't hate the Alliance, he was staunchly proud of his people. This might be the death of him...
Weeks went by, then months. Unorak began to disappear at night. While he was a novice shaman and felt the elements were closest to him by night, Delurk sensed his Stormpike-sullying brethren was up to something else.
Anxiously, Delurk Bloodsnarl sat i
:iconDelurk-Bloodsnarl:Delurk-Bloodsnarl
:icondelurk-bloodsnarl:Delurk-Bloodsnarl 2 0

Favourites

No Favourites yet.

Groups

This user is not currently part of any groups.

Activity


Like a child in a mother's womb, Unorak had been cradled inside the water elemental for some months, his body sustained by the life the water gave. In the time he had spent there, however, he had grown anxious to finish his trial. Frusterated. Even angry.

Eventually, he had lost all control and attempted to blow the elemental apart, although the wind wouldn't assist him in the venture. Gloomily, he had come to the realization that the trial might not ever end. The oceans seemed to have a merciless nature as it ignored his pleas for answers.

The waters tightly engulfing his skin, he wondered about the wellbeing of his father, Mergosh Bloodsnarl. His father, he who had given him life and raised him so selflessly, despite the harsh condition the world was in.. Where was he now? Was he still alive?

He ignored the burdening doubt that his father might be dead. The shaman couldn't lose hope this far in his journey, not even if he did lose his father. While he had first embarked on the quest to find him, he now had so much more reason to press on: the calling of the elements, and true spiritual enlightenment.

But for what? To be trapped within his watery grave forever, until the final day when fire would thunder down from the sky, and titans would make their final stand against demons? How many seasons could this journey take before he would master the ocean's secrets? Would generation after generation pass before he finished? Would he finish at all?

What would his father do?

His father would let the answer come to him.

He shut his eyes, attempting to bend his mind into submissive patience. Worrying would accomplish nothing. Another seven days passed, however these days weren't of itching pressure or nibbling doubt. They were days of quiet solitude, lonesome, yet pleasant. Not for a moment within that last week did he open his eyes a single time, and not for a moment did he doubt the answers would be revealed.

As his mind came to rest, so did his body. Gradually, limb by limb, inch by inch, the shaman blended with the oceans. His spirit, one with the element, soared freely across it.

''You have passed the trial and discovered the aspect of the seas.'' the element told Unorak, though its voice now seemed more like a connected thought than a verbal statement. ''The waters give purity, but not just of body, but of mind as well. A trial of patience was required to temper the hot pokers of your soul, but like the trial of the wind, you have succeeded here. Once you have seen all you wish to see from the waters, you may proceed to trial of Earth, which is in Deepholm.''

No sooner had the final word been spoken that the spirit of water rejoined the current, leaving Unorak to a giant, empty underwater throne. The elemental spoke of secrets, and the shaman couldn't help but to to search for them in the reflection of a pearl.

He saw something worth seeing.

He saw his brother, his violent, ill-tempered brother, respectfully saluting a comrade as he dumped his coffin over the ship into the sea. He appeared sobered, though knowing Delurk, the pain he felt on the inside was ten times greater than what he showed on the outside. Perhaps Delurk didn't savor endless destruction as had been assumed. Like Unorak, the titanium orc had selected a path, and while the path may not be correct, his brother ultimately didn't seek power or wealth. He seeked the best for his people.

Unorak could respect that.

Softly, the paws of Eliyne Fallglade's nightsaber patted against Krasarang soil as she neared Zhu's Watch. The sound of dwarven mortar firing in the background grew fainter as she progressed closer and closer to her destination.

A pandaren child laughed as he chased a small hozen through the small settlement, his attitude as light as a paladin's armor. Overall, the town had a compassionate vibe to it, as if a huge burden had just been lifted from its shoulders.

Dismally, she knew hers wasn't. As long as orcs drew breath, the world would be riddled with injustice. Some of them posed as gentle hearted beings who only desired a world where they could live in peace, but Eliyne saw through the facade. Those orcs were merely deceivers, too cowardly to admit their bloodthirsty cravings. They were all like Delurk, and Eliyne would treat them the way she intended to treat the Legionnaire.

With a blade to the throat.

A cloaked, stout figure hailed her down from her nightsaber, and as the elf dismounted, he revealed himself..

''Miss Fallglade?'' he presumed.

She nodded.

''I'm Ralv, the contact you're supposed to meet. You should be comin' inside to talk about what you need to know before the mission, just so there's no misunderstandin's.''

''Very well, but make it quick.'' she spoke sharply.

''Hmmp. I don't want to be here either, you know, but I've got to follow orders just the same as you do.'' the dwarf blurted, evident of her snappiness.

She rolled her eyes. ''Hurry up.''

''Fine then!'' he frowned. ''Come inside and try to pay attention.''

Taken aback by the warlock's tone, she flinched. Most of the people serving with her were scared of her as of late, but he seemed more annoyed of her than afraid. Perhaps it was due to his dwarven boldness.

Regardlessly, she followed the stubby, ill tempered man into a wooden pandaren shack, where a bright, fel green fire blazed, giving both atmosphere and warmth to the room. Pressured into haste, the dwarf rummaged through an assortment of documents. Finally, he pulled out the desired item and waved it in front of Eliyne's nose.

''The higher upps have given you a few rules to follow. Stupid as they are.'' he whined, unfurlling the scroll. ''Firstly, you can't take advantages of the innocent. 'That's not what the Alliance is about. No taking hostages, no interrogating locals, no intimidation. None of that. Secondly, if you recieve orders that delay you from your current assignment, you must, repeat, MUST, abandon the task at hand and heed them.''

''Is that it?'' the sentinel yawned.

''One final rule.'' he said sternly. ''Above all else, DO NOT ATTEMPT TO HARNESS SHA ENERGY.''

''You use fel energy.'' she accused.

''First of all missy, I can control it. Secondly, I'm not the one making the orders around here.'' he spat back.

''Can I go now?'' she asked, the boredom obvious in her voice.

''One more thing.'' he said, holding a fat finger up. Calling her over to the small green blazier, he told her to sit down. She complied.

Without explaining what he was doing, he emptied a bag of imp eyeballs into the fire. Waiting only a brief moment for the reagant to disintergrate, he plunged his hands into the sickly green flame and withdrew the ashes. He began mumbling incomprehensibly, then wiped the ashes over the top of Eliyne's eyebrow. Since she knew the ritual was mandatory and she didn't want to tarry any longer than she had to, she didn't resist the gritty little man as he finished up.

''There, now I can show the bosses what you're up to. Make sure you aren't breaking any rules.'' he grinned through yellow teeth.

''Great. I'm going now.'' she snarled as she left with haste.

As she picked up her equipment and remounted, she hoped to Elune that orcs would kill that dwarf. She hoped even more that Delurk hadn't gotten too far by now.

The sun rose as Delurk and his companions set out into the yonder. Despite the pandaren's pleas for the Legionnaire to allow him time to assign a guardian for his son, the Fury of the Barrens refused. That could take hours, or even days. Time he wasn't willing to waste.

As their mounts trodded along the main road with Husto at the lead, the guide took a look around at the surrounding countryside. Not only did these orcs have allies, but they had enemies too. Dismally, he came to the realization that their arrogant nature would cause them to do anything to win. He curved his lips in a frown, but didn't dare to redirect his yak from the main road. While it was remotely possible that he could flee the orcish riders combining the speed of his yak and his knowledge of the terrain, his gray overseer knew where he lived, and he'd probably come back to kill his son if he fled.

He couldn't take the risk.

The road lead them into a pandaren marketplace, which from the looks of it, appeared fairly informal. Whimsically,, the humming of everyday business filled the air with a charming chorus as meat sizzled on a grill. One skilled pandaren even threw a carrot up, diced it into several pieces while it was still in the middle of the air, then caught it on a plate and served it to a hungry customer!

''What is this place?'' Delurk inquired with curiousity.

''This is the Halfwill market.'' Husto gleamed. ''It's where the Valley's farmers come to do business and talk with each other.''

''Hmmph.'' Delurk walked over to the meat stall, then swiped a smoked hunk of meat off the table. Taking a bite from the delicacy, Delurk took several long chews before swallowing. His eyes grew wide, and he stared at the pandaren for several uncomfortable moments.

''Well done.'' he grinned, clapping his hands while ignoring the merchant who scowled at the orc for taking his food without paying.

As he began to depart from the main market, he caught a tall, slender blue figure talking with one of the locals.

''It's a draenei!'' Bloodsnarl roared. ''Draw your weapons, Kor'kron!''

Startled, the target of Delurk's hostility dropped the goods she was buying. Fiercely, Delurk charged forward, but just as he was about to strike, his axe was met by two alarmingly sturdy pitchforks, which deflected the blow.

''We will not tolerate your conflict here!'' rumbled the market guard threateningly.

His face red with rage, Delurk's eyes darted around the marketplace. He was surrounded by meddling guards.

Growling under his breath, he grabbed Husto by the coller and lurked off, shoving the nearest guard out of his way as he left. Hurriedly, the two Kor'kron followed in suit behind him.

Timidly, pandaren children hid behind their mothers as the four travelers left the city. Several farmers tightened their grips around their shovels as the Legionnaire stalked past them, their expressions mixed between fear and defiance. Finally, he had reached the outer primiter of the city, but Norkom seemed disgruntled to say the least.

''What was that?'' Norkom reprimanded Delurk. ''We could've taken all of them. We could've made the Warchief proud. He would've wanted us to butcher the draenei, and any who stood in our way!''

''The Warchief would want us to make it to Kun Lai intact!'' Delurk shouted back at his underling. ''He would've approved of what I did! What good is one Alliance head if it will cost us three Horde ones?!''

''You forget that we are the Horde, 'Legionnaire.''' Norkom spat the title with sarcasm. ''The Warchief would've told you that, and he would've wanted us ravage all that stood in your way of that filthy wretch!''

Husto's eyes darted back and forth between the bickering orcs. Unwilling to be caught within the fray, he took several steps back and observed at a distance. Koroglam sat next to him, his mouth portraying silence, but his facial expression portaying annoyance.

''What the Warchief wants isn't always wha--'' Delurk held his tongue, catching himself.

''Always what?'' Norkom smirked, pushing Delurk to give whatever controversial opinion he might hold.

''Isn't always what I follow, and for that, I will apologize to the Warchief personally when I see him.'' Delurk finished his sentence with a nearly inaudible mutter.. ''But he will be happy to see that all of us made it alive.''

Norkom's cruel grin mutated into an ugly frown. He hungered for Delurk to say something negatory about the Warchief, just one thing, so that he could gut him. Wisely, the Legionnaire elected to say otherwise.

''Back on the road, all of you.'' Delurk jolted his head to the north. ''No sleep until the Veiled Stair.''

As they journeyed on, Delurk took notice of the bald eagles hovering like vultures in the sky, waiting to find a weak or dead body to feast upon. Scaly, green crocolisks slithered in the marshy banks, and it made Delurk marvel at how many vicious predators made their home in Pandaria.

Huge, squamos lizard-like beings romped in the grassy plains, and Delurk couldn't help but to feel homesick. After all, these beasts held a close resembelence to the kodos of the Barrens, which the orcs and tauren considered both a mount and a deilcacy. He wondered if pandaren ate those beasts too.

''What do you call them?'' Delurk questioned in orcish, pointing a titanium finger at the creature of his interest.

''Those are mushan, one of the most powerful beasts in Pandaria.'' Husto declared. ''They're great for plowing fields or pulling carts, but most of all, they're delicious.You should know, you had some earlier at the Halfhill marketplace!''

His suspicions confirmed, Delurk grinned to himself. No wonder he savored the meat so much. It reminded him of home.

How were the Barrens, anyway? he wondered. He hadn't been there since the battle of Northwatch, but at least he knew that no immediate threats were poised torward the people of the land. Successfully, Garrosh's Kor'kron had driven the Alliance out of the Barrens,

Up ahead, the sound of flowing, ancient water could be heard.

''We are near the pools of purity.'' Husto announced to his orcish ''friends.''

''Hmmph.'' Delurk acknowledged the fact. His head slowly grazed up to look upon a great, winding staircase. Moss shrouded the stones, though the Legionnaire had the feeling this path was frequently traveled. ''And it seems we are near the Veiled Stair as well. You may rest here for the night, brothers. We will ascend tomorrow.''

As Koroglam and Norkom began to start a fire, the titanium orc took a waterskin from Durek's saddle and emptied it, allowing the liquid to splash against the grass. Taking several steps forward, he knelt down by the pool of purity and began filling it again.

''You seek to drink the pure water?'' Husto inquired, standing above him. ''It is said that your soul can be cleansed by it.''

''My soul is fine!'' Delurk snapped. ''It's not for me. If I can bring this water back to my people, there is a chance that they'll be able to recreate it, and Horde children will never starve again.''

''More importantly, orc children.'' Norkom bluntly intruded into the conversation..

''Shut up, Norkom. That's an order.'' Delurk snarled.

Shifting his weight, Norkom walked close enough to the Legionnaire so that he could sense his breath on him. He sized him up before cursing and trodding off, his courage failing him.

''He's not going to eat?'' Husto asked, confused.

''When Norkom's pride is scarred, his appetite is decimated.'' Koroglam elucidated for the pandaren.

''Ah.'' Husto said, stroking his beard as the flustered orc power walked into the moonlight. ''He'll be back, won't he?''

''Of course he will be.'' Delurk said. ''His head is stuck far too high up the Warchief's rear for him to back out now.''

Koroglam flashed a dirty look at Delurk, but averted his eyes when Delurk looked back at him. The horned Kor'kron said nothing.

Mindful of the flames, Delurk tossed a twig into the basic campfire before sitting by it with his remaining orcish colleague. Husto sat beside him as the Legionnaire distributd rations among the three, and bid them to eat. Without hesitation, the pandaren devoured his share, followed by a loud belch.

Acting as if the belch was a challenge, Delurk uncorked his grog, chugged from it, and doubled both the volume and the stench of the pandaren's burp.

''Ooh!'' Husto pinned his nose, waving the odor away as Delurk wiped the froth from his beard. Stonefaced, Koroglam concealed his disgust with Husto and Delurk's behavoir.

''Heh.'' Husto sighed, taking his defeat well. ''Nicely done.''

Delurk nodded in appreciation to the compliment. Tearing off another mouthful of meat, he washed it down with more grog. ''Tell me about yourself, pandaren."

Sighing longingly, Husto agreed to the orc's request. ''Oh, all right. It might not be as interesting a tale as yours, but it's mine. I was born and raised in Kun Lai Summit, where I roamed across the open plains in a happier time with my younger sister. We used to train for hours in the sunlight with a Pandaren monk who would visit us every week from the Temple of the White Tiger. My parents herded yak, and I was given one for my 10th birthday.'' he ruffled the mane of his mount, which nuzzled its head into his neck. ''Old Stenchy has been good to me ever since I knew him.''

Patting his stomach, Delurk put down his grog bottle. ''Go on.''

''On my 16th birthday, the yaungol began to increase hostilites. My family and I were forced out of our homes, and we had to flee south down the Veiled Stair. During our travel, however... my sister was taken by the saurok. She bid us to run as fast we could and not to turn back. Fearing for our lives, we did so. After we had finally reached the Valley, my parents decided to move to Halfhill, while I decided to take up an abandoned cottage in a remote area of the valley.''

He interrupted himself. ''Could you pass me the grog?''

Since he had already eaten his fill, Delurk complied abd passed him the beverage. By the way he drank the orc's alcohol, the Legionnaire could tell that the story was about to get worse.

''One day, a beautiful woman of around by age by the name of Mingyu came upon my stead. She had been traveling that entire day and was weary, so I, as a firm follower of the Celestials, offered her rest there for the night. She accepted graciously, and the morning after, told me of her enjoyable evening there. She even went so far as to speak of coming back!''

He sighed, his eyes speaking of better times.

''One day, she returned, and she enjoyed my company so much, she decided to live with me. We shared many beautiful moments together, moments that would make you think life itself was destined for love. And perhaps it was. Sadly, however, one day I discovered she was pregnant. From then on, fishing wouldn't be enough for the household to sit on. Our unborn son would need basic necessities, like an education and a surplus of food. I had to to pick up brawling as a side hobby, but fortunately, the skills i was taught in my youth certainly helped!''

''After my wife gave birth to my only son, Tarin, our relationship began to sour. We argued over the responsibilties we had over the child and how to raise him. She wanted him to be a disciplined warrior who would join the Shado-Pan when he grew older, while I wanted him to follow whatever path he felt called to do.''

''Regardless, her mind was set, and she decided to leave me. She didn't fight for custody of Tarin, thankfully, but she still wounded my heart greatly. Despite the fact that Mingyu had left and I now had one less mouth to feed, I continuied to brawl in the arena. It was a fun passtime, and ueeful if Tarin would ever come to danger.''

Delurk snorted at the passive aggresive comment.

''Anyhow, that is an abbreviation of my story.'' Husto concluded. ''There's much more to tell, but I'm afraid the campfire would be cinders before I could finish it.''

Finished with his meal, Delurk plucked the last piece of meat from a drumstick he was gorging himself on and flung the bone into the fire. ''It was a good enough story, pandaren, but it is time to rest now. Durek will watch over us while we sleep to protect us from ambushers, so we won't need to take shifts.''

Nodding, Husto snuffed out the campfire with a swift movement of his hand.

''Good night, Legionnaire. May the Celestials grant you a quick and tranquil slumber.''

''Hmmph.'' Delurk grumbled. ''Your gods may try, but they will fail.''

Unwilling to carry the small talk further, he pulled a worgskin blanket over his shoulder. He wouldn't get any quality sleep chatting it up with Heavypaw.

Not that he ever got any quality sleep anymore, anyway.

Eliyne Fallglade had been following the trail of wolvish footprints for hours, and it seemed the hunt was bearing little fruit. Though she abhorred the thought, she knew Delurk could be anywhere in Pandaria at this point. Still, as long as blood flowed through her skin, she'd pursue the green, brutish devil until flesh literally fell from her bones.

Her roughened hand dipped into her bag to withdraw a waterskin. She lifted the cool drink to her sweaty lips and took a long gulp, but when she looked back down, she could've sworn she saw something in the distance. The illuminated pandaren sun prevented her from seeing it at first, but as she squinted her eyes, she made out what was in the distance.

The footprints were leading to a cottage.

''Go, Shadow!'' She cooed her oil black beast forward. ''And hurry!''

Within a few minutes, she reached the house. Cautiously, she drew her long, silver claymore as she slowly entered the house. The food supplies had been pilfered, and a small pandaren child shook violently in a barrel in a pathetic attempt to hide from the sentinel visitor.

She looked into the barrel, and the small cub gasped.

''What is your name?'' she asked.

''You already have papa!'' the furry creature cried, still quivering with fright. ''Leave me alone!''

''Who has your papa?'' she asked, already knowing the answer.

He poked his head from the barrel. ''You don't have papa? You're not one of them?''

''I'm the farthest thing from it.'' she smiled. ''Now, who has your papa?''

''Three big, mean people with big mean wolves. They wanted papa to take them where they wanted to go.'' he said, recovering from his fright.

''Do you know where they wanted him to take them?'' Eliyne questioned.

The cub nodded quickly.

Fallglade's smile split into a malicious grin.

''Then why don't you lead me there so we can get him back?''

Delurk opened his eyes to the cricket of insects, the traces of night lingering in the rising dawn. As he had expected, Norkom returned while he slept and was biding his time sharpening his axe on a nearby stone.

''Get up, all of you.'' Delurk commanded to the party. ''We're leaving for Westwind.''

Stumbling to his feet, Husto rubbed his eyes as he sat up. ''Ooooooooooooh,'' he moaned.

''Stop whining.'' Delurk grunted.

Husto sighed at Delurk, discontent, but silent.

''We'll have to walk up the stair on foot, because our mounts might slip on the path.'' Delurk announced. ''Get moving.''

The trio began to ascend the stairway, crossing by two ancient pandaren slabs.

Husto appeared unsettled, clearly remembering the last time he crossed these stairs going down. True, the memory was unpleasant, but bad things couldn't happen twice in a row on the same occasion.

Right?

Uncertainly, Husto lead them further up the stairway. Spontaneously, an arrow zinged by his face, knicking him on the nose as it passed.

''Ya missed, mon!'' roared one troll to the other, bonking his comrade on the noggin..

Lanky blue figures appeared on the top of the slopes, their weapons ready and their bows loaded. Several more arrows whizzed torward the pandaren, however they were intercepted by Delurk, who jumped an astounding distance up the slope to reach them. A fierce gray hue was about him as he combatted the trolls.

''He's using the artifact.'' Norkom cheered. ''With that additional strength at his disposal, we will crush our foes!''.

The trolls on the other slopes made shots at Delurk's back, however Husto flipped into the air and deflected them. The pandaren landed on the nearest slope, delivered a fierce uppercut to the closest troll, then clapped both his hands around the second one's ears, creating an audible crack. The troll stumbled to regain his balance, but before he could do so, Husto shoved him off the mountain. At around that time, the first troll landed and was met with a frontflip kick to the face. Teeth flew out of his mouth as he came crashing down the mountain along with his brother.

Koroglam unleashed a necrotic force upon another troll on a slope near Husto, forcing it torward him. Sticking his polearm out, he licked his lips as blood and intenstines splattered on his helmet. He jerked his weapon up the troll, splitting him in two, then shook the ravaged remains off his spear.

Dumbfounded by the magic Koroglam used to slay his foe, Husto stood there, speechless as the fight raged on.

Appropriately, Delurk stood on the broadest slope with the most trolls. The dark artifact he carried pushing him further to blind destruction than cunning strategy, Delurk cleaved through the first wave of trolls with one devastating motion of his axe. They all turned to stone simeltaneously, frozen solid as if they had been blasted by a frost mage. Two headhunters approached him with two handed swords in their hands, but the Legionnaire grabbed one by the neck and hoisted him into the air while the other unintentionally ran his comrade through.

Delurk dropped the meatshield troll and met the second troll head on. Vainly, the blueskin made a vertical slash, hoping to split Delurk's head it two, however Delurk parried the weapon, snapping it like a twig using a combination of his original strength and his unholy gift. Mercilessly, he brought the blade back, decapitating his foe and turning its body to stone.

One final troll stood defiantly, the leader of the group, who, judging by his garb, was an elder. His jaw was agape at Delurk's foreign power, his facial expression showing just as much shock as Husto.

''Dis energy.... I never sensed it before. What ARE ya, mon?'' he exclaimed.

''Your demise, friend.'' Delurk grinned,

''I be tinkin' otherwise.'' the elder responded, emitting a psychic scream.

Blood surged from Delurk's ears as he crumbled to the floor, shaking with fear. Victoriously, the troll began to charge a killing amount of shadow energy, though just as he released it, a protective bubble encased Delurk's frame, absorbing the blast. His skin began to lose its shade of gray, and he arose with a renewed spirit.

Unpredictably, the same mystical force that had shielded him also pulled him torward the troll, and not to let the opportunity go to waste, Delurk readied his axe, which cut the elder's head clean off upon impact.

Panting for air, the party regrouped at the top of the stairway. A soothing aura came over the group, and tiny, flashing lights formed in a circle around them.

Managing to catch a glimpse of the source of the magic, Delurk couldn't help to wonder if he should feel annoyed or grateful.

''Thank you.... Conclavis.'' Delurk managed to mumble.

''Always happy to help.'' smiled the priest, his voice hollow, yet pleasant. ''Who are these gentlemen who accompany you?''

''I ride with my two Kor'kron, Norkom the Resilient and Koroglam the Defiler to Kun Lai summit, with this pandaren local to guide us there.''

''Kor'kron, eh?'' Conclavis mused. ''What business do they have in Kun-Lai?''

''None of yours, that's for certain.'' Norkom scowled at the pompous priest.

''Step down, pup.'' Delurk glared at the faceplated orc.

''Quite alright. I think I can settle this idiot down on my own..'' Conclavis told Delurk. He faced Norkom, acting as if he hadn't just insulted him to his face. ''Sir, I just saved your leader's life. I think that makes me somewhat trustworthy, don't you?''

Conclavis could hear Norkom grind his teeth under his armored faceplate.

Delurk answered the question loitering in the air. ''We're going to the northern mountains of Kun-Lai, where the Warchief will unveil to us a great weapon which will transform us all into unstoppable warriors, so that we may grind our enemies into dust!''

''Goodness, I hope that weapon doesn't expel similiar effects to the artifact you just used.'' Conclavis remarked. ''You seemed to lose control of yourself, there. Perhaps I should examine the artifact for you, just to make sure its safe?''

''YOU WON'T TOUCH IT!'' Delurk roared at the priest, causing his friend to raise both eyebrows.

''Very well, then.'' he responded submissively.. ''But I insist upon joining you on your journey. I'd hate to see you dead, because Sylvanas might decide to use your parts to fill out an abomination's buttocks! That'd be such an unfitting end for you.''

''Hmmph.'' Delurk grunted at the joke. ''Fine, but keep up.''

''Excellent!'' Conclavis exclaimed, clasping his hands together, ignoring a duo of orcish grumbles behind the Legionnaire. ''I'm already prepared to leave.''

He whistled for his horse, which bolted from the stable to him. ''Shall we?''

Couraegously, the quartet braved north. A golden, prominent doorway stood just to their left.

''What's in there?'' Delurk questioned.

''Only one of the most holy sites of Pandaria.'' Husto replied, eyeing up the object of Delurk's fascination. ''The Terrace of Endless Springs. Not too long ago, its guardians were corrupted by the Sha of Fear, but luckily, several brave heroes found it in their hearts to put our ancient protectors to rest.''

''Hmmph.'' Delurk grunted. ''Time they could've spent serving the Horde.''

Husto opened his mouth to object, but he knew there would be no routing the orc from his opinions. Wisely, he held his tongue.

Up ahead, the maw of a large cave loomed over the group ominously. A body of water laid before the cave, making the option of swimming across it futile for the plate-wearers amongst them. Fortunately, a canoe laid next the cave, conveniently placed in ankle deep water.

''The Celestials smile upon us.'' Husto noted warmly.

''It is an abandoned boat, not a blessing.'' Delurk commented bluntly. ''This cave leads to Kun Lai, does it not?''

''It does.'' Husto answered. ''There shouldn't be too much left of the journey after this crossing.''

And not too much more time I have to spend with these unfriendly orcs, the pandaren thought.

Delurk scooped up two broad branches and tossed them to his orcish companions, as he motioned them onto the boat.

''Row.'' he commanded.

As the boat set off, Conclavis made himself snug inside the coarse canoe.

Delurk snorted, hoisting Conclavis to attention. ''Don't think this is a free ride for you, priest. You will push this boat forward with your levitation ability. We have no time to slack off.''

''Oh, very well.'' Conclavis said, shuffling over to the rear of the boat. He acknowledged Delurk's order and assisted in the effort to row across.

A duet of orcish grunts were all that could be heard in the macabre cavern, save the scamper of distant creatures. While Delurk couldn't make out what they were, his eyes strained to notice tails as they slithered by. Eggs spanned either side of the cavern, occasionally stirring as if they were about to spawn some frightening beast.

Stoicly, he refocused his attention back on monitoring the canoe. They would reach Westwind, or die trying.

For Hellscream.

For the Horde.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The scent of dead Zandalari flesh baking on the Veiled Stair was enough of a lead for Eliyne Fallglade as she rode with Tarin across the Veiled Stair atop a pandaren kite which a local had been kind enough to lend her. Truly, the craft she'd been given was miraculous, and she was clever to have taken Tarin with her. After all, she had no idea how to fly the strange contraption.

Suddenly, her forehead began to vibrate with pain. Attempting to maintain balance, she clutched the kite and gritted her teeth.

''Are you OK, miss?'' Tarin asked.

''I'm fine. Just... drive.'' she spoke through her agony.

A voice pierced her mind. ''Eliyne, what are you DOING?!''

By the sound of it, it was her human commander.

''I'm tracking down Bloodsnarl.'' she responded to him, although strangely enough she communicated in a thought rather than a physical word.

''You weren't supposed to take advantage of the innocent!'' he chided. ''I had Ralv talk to you about this!''

''This...'' she pondered what to call her assistant. ''Cub, is fine and unharmed. He wants to find his father, and I am helping him. Our goals happen to align, so I am NOT taking advantage of him.''

In theory, she was right. The sentinel could feel her superior officer's rage at how she responded, but she was grateful to hear him finally back down.

''He'd better stay unharmed, Eliyne.'' he warned.

''By your order, commander.'' she responded slyly.

Soaring through the sky, they noticed a trail of footprints leading to a tunnel. Three sets of wolvish footprints lead from a tavern in the Veiled Stair to a mysterious cavern just a bit north, as well as the prints of a horse and a yak.

Contemplatively, Eliyne gave a brief thought to how to handle the situation.

''What's on the other side of the cave?'' she inquired to her companion.

''Binan Village, miss.'' the small cub answered. ''It's a pandaren fishing village on the outskirt of Kun Lai.''

She raised her eyebrows mildly. ''Is that so...?''

The child nodded energetically.

''Then we'll go to Binan Village to prepare something for our green friend. Something painful.''

A cold, fiendish expression spread across Eliyne's face, and Tarin couldn't help but to shriver with fright.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The three orcs, Conclavis, and Husto saw the end of the watery tunnel as their boat made it to the other side. Delurk was the first to step off his ship into Binan Village, but Husto hesitated to follow him.

''Delurk, I think...'' Husto hastily pursued the party as they poured out of the boat into the abandoned square.

''Think what?'' Delurk grumbled, not bothering to turn around.

''It's a trap!'' Husto brought down his fist on an arrow that would've struck Delurk in the eye.

Pandaren warriors rushed out of the buildings to meet the party.

Norkom and Koroglam plunged into the enemy ranks, while Husto stayed behind, reluctant to harm his brethren. Threateningly, a pandaren stepped forward to stab him with a rusty pitchfork, though Husto flipped around him, tucked his hand around the guard's neck, and choked him to sleep.

Meanwhile, Delurk seperated another pandaren's torso from her legs with a single sideways slash of his axe. Three more male pandaren approached him, ready to apprehend, though an intimidated roar discouraged the notion. They back away uncertainly.

''Stop!'' thundered an old pandaren with a scarred eye. ''They are not the enemy!''

''You say that when we have won the fight, coward.'' Delurk snarled, shoving the grizzled figure back with two hands. ''Tell me why you attacked us, and perhaps you won't share the fate of your kin.''

A matronly figure, likely the pandaren's husband, stepped forth to explain for him. ''A purple person with long ears told us of you before you came. She told us you were here to take our land and slay those who resisted! You'll have to understand why we couldn't afford to doubt her. These days, Pandaria is plagued with more and more threats. and any raiding party could spell the end of this village.''

''Hmmph.'' Delurk grumbled, unsatisfied. ''Is she still here?''

''Why yes.'' the pandaren answered, pointing a clawed finger upward. ''She was watching the battle from t---''

''She's gone!'' a guard exclaimed.

''Listen well, pandaren.'' Delurk spoke stoicly. ''Today, you have seen the treachery of the Alliance, and how they won't hesitate to watch your people perish for their cause. Commit this village to the Horde, and we will bless you with both secuirty and prosperity.''

''Well, I can't ma---''

''Pitiful.'' Delurk spat, interrupting her. ''Then we are done here. Come, boys. Let's leave this foolish lot to tend to their dead.''

Once they had left the city, Husto seemed puzzled. ''How did that pandaren seer know we weren't the enemy?'' he asked. ''We didn't show any signs of peace to them.''

‘'I made him a bit more.... open minded.'' Conclavis chuckled to himself, twirling his finger in a loop near his head.

''Hmmph.'' Delurk responded in a usual grunt. ''They are fortunate I didn't release the artifact's ancient strength before their old man saved them.''

''Yes, yes, I'm sure they are.'' Conclavis rolled his eyes.

With an iron gaze, Delurk stared at him for a few moments as they rode. The priest bore an obvious smirk, but didn't make eye contact. Gradually, Delurk redirected his attention back to the road.

The sun was beginning its descent when they found Westwind Camp. Since Westwind was a new Horde establishment, and their guide hadn't been to Kun Lai since he was a cub, it took hours of wandering to stumble across it.

When they finally set foot in the base, the three orcs split huge grins in excitement, Delurk's the broadest of them all. A familiar figure clad in orange bearing a red axe patrolled the ranks of pandaren recruits, likely locals drafted into the Horde. As the commanding figure paced his trainees, he paused to greet his orcish allies.

Delurk noticed the orc's regalia, symbolizing his status as a general with the Horde. He saluted, his two Kor'kron copying the motion.

''At ease.'' the General spoke in a voice that was gritty yet amicable. ''I am General Nazgrim, the authority in this base camp.''

''I'm Legionnaire Delurk Bloodsnarl, Fury of the Barrens, and I have been instructed to lead this expedition by Malkorok, Hellscream's personal bodyguard. We have come here seeking temporary shelter, so we can rest and recover before we finish our journey for the unraveling of the Divine Bell.''

''I see.'' Nazgrim responded, eyeing the Legionnaire and his men thoroughly. ''I was told three orcs would pass through this region, but I heard nothing of a pandaren or undead.''

''The pandaren is our guide, and the forsaken is...'' Delurk looked over at the priest, not sure what to refer to him by.

''I am Conclavis Ludwig Rotzinger of the Argent Crusade.'' his companion intervened smoothly. He stuck out his hand. ''The pleasure is mine.''

Nazgrim clasped the forsaken's hand and shook it sternly. He looked back at Delurk. ''Space is tight here, so some of your men will have to share tents. You may occupy three.''

''THREE TENTS!'' Norkom blurted in outrage. ''THREE TENTS IS---''

''Just enough to fit all of us.'' Conclavis intervened yet again, forcibly silencing the reckless warrior with some sort of magical force.

Fuming, Norkom gave Delurk a bloodshot glance to see if the Legionnaire would notice if he were to assault the priest. Imposingly, and almost judgingly, Delurk seemed to stare down at Norkom, though they were approximately the same size.

''Hnng..'' Norkom slumped down, humiliated and discontent.

''Koroglam and Norkom will be assigned to one tent, while Conclavis and Husto will be enlisted to the second.'' Delurk officiated to the party.

''You get a tent to yourself?'' both Conclavis and Norkom whined at the same time, mutually startled that they agreed on something to complain about.

''You wouldn't want to sleep near to me.'' Delurk answered, the coldness apparent in his eyes.

No questions were asked after that.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

A black nightsaber snaked toward the Alliance's fortification in Kun Lai, Eastwind Camp. Two figures dismounted, one slender and tall, the other portly and short.

Pandaren Alliance recruits looked onward as the figure made an unheralded entrance into the tent. Dark rings hung under the eyes of a blonde human male as several other Alliance races in the room huddled beside him, all of them looking over a map placed on a box.

''Admiral Taylor, I presume.'' the slender figure asked, the beautiful night sky shrouding her purple skin.

''What?'' he snapped, looking up. The man was clearly stressed and meant his word alot softer than it came out, but he went with it.

''There's a dangerous Horde warband northbound through Kun Lai. I humbly ask for as many reinforcements as you can spare to dispose of it, so that whatever dastardly goal they have in mind can be thwarted.''

''Can't you do it yourself?'' he questioned, noticing the large claymore strapped to her back. ''You seem... capable.''

'It’s a party of five.'' she replied. ''Two savage Kor'kron, one unstoppable titanium orc, one hideous undead priest, and a pandaren guide forced into servitude.''

Taylor sighed. ''Ah... I'm sorry, but we can't afford to spare anyone as it stands. A large Kor'kron army was marched through here recently, and they slaughtered almost everyone outside the camp. Right now, we have barely enough to defend our settlement, and we have to keep on our toes. Our enemy, General Nazgrim, is a wily one. He'll strike at the first sign of weakness like a shark drawn to blood.''

''I see...'' Eliyne said, her frown morphing into a scowl. ''I don't know if you know this, Admiral, but I think it's important you do.''

''What's that?'' he questioned.

Overreactively, Eliyne backhanded the map off the table. ''This Legionnaire is ten times more deadly than your 'general,’ and ten times more malevolent! HE KILLS HUMANS LIKE YOU WHILE HE’S AWAKE AND DREAMS ABOUT SLAYING YOUR CHILDREN IN HIS SLEEPS!''

The Admiral looked over at the toppled map, which bore a slight tear in it from the fall. He looked back over at Eliyne.

''The answer is no. Get. Out. NOW!''

Eliyne began to rage off, but she stopped halfway out of the tent. ''Then I will do this alone, and after I have finished, I will have done the Alliance more of a service than you could ever hope to accomplish.''

She seized Tarin by his arm to make sure he kept up with her pace as she left.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

In the stillness of night, Delurk sat at the entrance of his tent, looking up at a sky unfamiliar to him, despite the time he had already spent in Pandaria. General Nazgrim and the others had already went to sleep, and the only noise that could be heard was the tired yawning of stabled yaks. Pandaren guards stool vigilantly on the watchtowers, responsibly keeping the Horde settlement safe from intrusion, whether it be from the Alliance or other threats.

‘’Ah, good. You’re awake.’’ Conclavis chirped, entering Delurk’s temporary quarters unannounced.

‘’Hmmph.’’ Delurk said, reaching for his grog which rested in on a nearby box. ‘’What do you want?’’

‘’The same you’d want, I’d imagine.’’ Conclavis replied. ‘’The power to create life.’’

Coolly, Rotzinger placed a scroll on Delurk’s grog box, then unraveled it. ‘’You remember what we discussed before you left Orgrimmar in Hellscream’s service, yes?’’

‘’I do.’’ Delurk answered, his attention clearly peaked.

‘’Well, there’s good news and bad news.’’ Conclavis smiled, glad to have obtained the Legionnaire’s interest. ‘’The good news is that the hammer is still retrievable, and I have some of it.’’

‘’Some of it?’’ Delurk eyed the priest.

‘’Well, that relates to the bad news. It’s in several pieces, scattered across the Storm Peak’s howling snow.’’ He held out his hand, revealing several gleaming pieces of titan metal. ‘’I only have a few of them, and for the hammer to truly function, I must have all of them. We must make haste to the Storm Peaks, for if anyone else finds the other shards and somehow manages to obtain mine, you’ll find out that the hammer can be used to destroy life just as easily as it can be used to create it.’’

Delurk cupped his forehead with his hands, moaning lowly. ‘’Priest, you know I want to accompany you on this journey, but I can’t do it until the Alliance is no longer a threat to the world.’’

‘’I see.’’ Conclavis replied, frowning beneath his white hood. ‘’Most unfortunate, considering that this war may possibly endure for decades to come. Who knows by then? Perhaps it will be too late. You must ask yourself, Bloodsnarl, what you love more. Your people, or your wife?’’

Delurk looked up to answer Conclavis’s inquiry, but the pompous priest had vanished into the night. All that remained was the schematic of the hammer, lying unfurled on the box.

After a restless night, it was eventually time for the group to rise from their beds. Norkom lurched from his mattress with groggy eyes, while Koroglam seemed ready to travel the remainder of the journey the instant he arose. Predictably, Husto took some motivating to awaken, while Delurk, who seemed willing, moved lethargically, hinting that he received minimal sleep the previous evening.

After the Legionnaire gave hasty gratitude toward Nazgrim for his hospitality, the party set off north.

A herd of docile yaks mowed by the as the party trekked through yellow plains and hills, but Conclavis sensed an unnerving presence in the region.

‘’We aren’t well here.’’ He noted to the Legionnaire who rode boldly on his undead wolf. ‘’Dark powers have amassed here, and something dire lies to the north.’’

Delurk looked at the priest, taking in his complaint. ‘’I have a duty to Hellscream, Conclavis. You may leave if you wish, but this journey will not end for my Kor’kron and I until it is completed.’’

Grimly, Conclavis smiled. ‘’What kind of friend would I be if I let you die out here in this foreign land to a dark force, hmm?’’

Startled, Delurk glanced again at Conclavis before spreading a broad grin. ‘’You know, priest, I’m starting to like you.’’

Conclavis and Delurk shared a chuckle, while Norkom grimaced in repulsion at their bi-racial friendship. Koroglam kept a familiar silence.

A spine-chilling cavern laid just ahead, mogu runestones glowing bright blue inside. Reopening his map, Delurk’s eyes scanned it before he gave his nod of approval. ‘’There is a blimp at the end of this cavern which will take us to the Warchief, where we will witness the unraveling of the bell.’’

Sighing with relief, Husto urged his yak forward. Alas, this terrible trek would soon end, and he would finally return to the Valley of Four Winds to raise his one son.

As the party entered the cave, they noticed mogu spirits levitating above them, howling in lamentation about their bonds to the corporeal world. They either wanted a body, or to move on to the next life. They wished not for their souls to hover in a soul-threatening limbo.

After all, as long as they tarried as spirits in the land of mortals, they were slayable, and if they were slain, their being would be annihilated completely.

Suddenly, a voice echoed through the cavern.

‘’Murderer!’’ it screamed.

Her eyes a daunting shade of grayish black, Eliyne Fallglade held a blade at the neck of a pandaren cub.

Tarin.

Terrified, Husto put his hand on his chest, as if he had just had a heart attack. Fortunately, however, he recovered.

‘’Lay down your weapons or I will slay this child!’’ she screeched, holding Tarin close to her.

‘’What’re you doing?!’’ demanded the sentinel’s superior officer, using the warlock’s spell to communicate thoughts through her head. ‘’That’s against the code you vowed to uphold!’’

‘’Enough of the code!’’ Eliyne snapped. ‘’If we are to rid the world of these savages, we must do so with by any means!’’

The commander continued to try to reason with her through her thoughts, though she blotted out his voice.

‘’Slay him, elf. He is no concern of mine.’’ The Legionnaire rumbled.

‘’Delurk!’’ the monk cried out. ‘’You’re reasonable for my son being in danger! For Xuen’s sake, DO SOMETHING!’’

Shooting him brief gaze, Delurk felt inclined to rescue his guide’s spawn. He nodded, and silently signaled for Koroglam to rescue the cub.

Suddenly, necrotic coils emerged from Koroglam’s fingertips and wrapped themselves around Eliyne’s leg, yanking her off balance and forcing the cub from her hands. The Night Elf was bombarded with fist, blade, and spells both light and shadow before her attackers were blown across the room.

The elf arose once more, however this time without any clothes on. Sha energy erupted from an odd marking of a Horde symbol on her back, and it swiftly engulfed her body. She grew four times her original size, and the claymore she once carried to her battles was merged with her arm.

‘’By Aman’thul’s thunder…’’ Conclavis marveled, his jaw locked in shock. ‘’Delurk…’’

‘’What, priest?’’

‘’RUN!’’ Conclavis exclaimed

‘’Run?!’’ Norkom bellowed. ‘’Pah, perhaps if you are cowards! In Hellscream’s name will I vanquish his enemies!’’

Koroglam ran at the monstrosity first, although the corruption emitting from her body swallowed him whole, reducing him to an armored skeleton. Seeing the danger at hand, Norkom raced to catch up with the others, foul claws snatching at his backside.

The entire cavern was gradually devoured with the black magic as Eliyne pursued them down the steps. While they made their best effort to run, they were eventually cornered at the end of the tunnel. It opened up to a balcony overlooking a cliff, and while there was a blimp offering them salvation, they didn’t have time to enter it.

The aberration was already upon them.

Remembering the artifact that Bloodhilt gave him upon his death, Delurk took a desperate measure. He smashed it over his body, allowing whatever vile powers that dwelt within to overwhelm him.

The Legionnaire released a soft groan, which converted into an earthshaking roar. He too grew four times his original size, and boldly met Eliyne in an epic clash.

Conclavis casted a holy barrier around the party, forcing the malevolent energy to bounce off the remainder of the group like waves off a rock.

‘’This evil is too great for us!’’ he hollered over the tempest. ‘’Remain here, and pray to the Light that Delurk is the victor of this skirmish!’’

Beads of sweat dripped from Conclavis’s forehead showing signs of obvious strain, while Husto did everything in his power to keep the priest refreshed. Norkom watched helplessly as the battle unfurled.

Eliyne landed a right diagonal swing at the Legionnaire, though Delurk used his own right hand to parry it. In retaliation, he hammered his left fist into her face, sending her tumbling back.

With an unquenchable thirst for blood, the Legionnaire powered forward with his right fist, but Eliyne narrowly avoided his lunge. She scraped his back with her sword as he fell victim to his own momentum.

Now on the floor, Delurk rolled over just in time to evade a life endangering thrust by the sentinel’s sword. It stuck to the ground, pumping even more sha magic into the soil.

‘’Hnnnnng!’’ Conclavis began to tremble with effort to maintain the barrier.

Furiously, Delurk chopped the impaled blade on the ground in half with his hand. Since it was attached to Eliyne and now a part of her body, she shrieked in pain as black blood spurted forth.

Dismally, however, a broken sword was still a weapon. Eliyne used the remainder of her weapon to stab at Delurk’s neck, causing spurts of blood to fly everywhere.

Oddly enough, Delurk didn’t seem inhibited. He tackled the sentinel, mounted her, and hailed down blow after blow on her face, his fists erupting in fel flames. She thrashed uncontrollably at first, although she eventually succumbed to the Legionnaire’s burning fist.

With a final jab directed at her chest, Delurk stopped Eliyne’s black heart, and she turned to stone. He lifted her petrified body into the air, and with a single motion, crushed her stone form over his knee, shattering her into pieces.

Conclavis fainted, his mana spent. Scowling, Norkom looked up at the towering Legionnaire.

‘’You call upon demonic powers to do your bidding, Delurk?’’ he said, brazenly marching up to the Legionnaire’s knee.

The faceplated orc was greeted with a swift kick, sending him toppling over the balcony. Defiantly, Norkom held onto a ledge for dear life.

‘’I am not the imbecilic orc you speak of, but something far greater! I am Zin’oxx, slayer of life and crusher of empires!’’

Husto Heavypaw gripped his fist nervously. This was a fight he couldn’t avoid and a foe he couldn’t reason with.

‘’Celestials give me strength.’’ He muttered as he approached the possessed orc. He assumed a battle stance. ‘’If you have come to slay life, then you have went to the wrong world.’’

‘’Hah!’’ The demon boomed, pacing the pandaren. ‘’Your people can’t even control sha energy, a power I can easily manipulate!’’

The pandaren gave a puzzled look, opening the demon to elaborate.

‘’The artifact my vessel possessed was originally riddled with sha properties. I had been following the warrior ever since the battle of Northwatch, and the artifact was just the chance I needed to get an influence in his soul. Whenever he’d feel dark powers overtake him, he’d think it was artifact alone.’’

‘’But it wasn’t…’’ Husto gasped.

‘’That’s right.’’ The demon grinned. ‘’I was able to mask my fel magics under the black and gray hue of the sha while I casted spells through his vessel. Whenever a spell would go off, I gained more and more control of his body. Of course, I’d let him do as he pleased until I gained absolute power, otherwise he’d seek to contain me. Once he broke the artifact, he lost control completely, and I seized the opportunity to assume his mortal shell and walk this cursed earth once again!’’

‘’What could one demon hope to accomplish?’’ Husto inquired, his gaze following the monster. ‘’You may be powerful, but you can’t destroy an empire.’’

‘’Maybe not.’’ Zin’oxx remarked as he lifted a finger to point at the schematic for Conclavis’s life-giving gravel. ‘’Maybe not without the weapon the priest spoke of. However, like the orc, it, in the end, will be mine.’’’

Husto didn’t know what the demon was babbling about, but he knew that its intention was nefarious. With blinding speed he surged forward, kicking the possessed orc flat in the chest.

‘’Hrrgh!’’ Zin’oxx crackled as he called down a meteor upon the monk.

The monk met the flaming boulder with an iron fist, sundering it and causing its remnants to collapse upon the corrupted Legionnaire. Zin’oxx stretched out his hand as the pandaren landed and began to drain the color from Husto’s cheeks.

‘’Such vibrant energy….’’ Zin’oxx closed his eyes in pleasure, almost as if stealing someone’s life force aroused him.

Thinking quickly, Husto channeled his chi into a single punch to Zin’oxx’s head, knocking off Delurk’s titanium helmet.

The tainted orc brought down a potent shadowflame on the pandaren in turn, stunning him while the demon pinned him to the wall. Zin’oxx superheated his right fist with fel energy and slammed it into the pandaren’s stomach, creating a decent amount of smoke and causing the monk to yelp in pain.

Before the demon could launch a second burning barrage, Husto grabbed the fel-twisted body’s shoulders and twirled him into the monk’s previous position. Immediately after, Husto’s clenched paws radiated with chi once again as rapid fists of fury descended upon Zin’oxx’s head. His host began to regain consciousness, and Delurk stumbled about the balcony in agony.

Deafeningly, a mixture of screams, some orc, some demon, rang across the mountains. The sheer sound of it threatened to cause an avalanche, although luckily the perturbing wailing ceased before severe damage could be done.

As Delurk clasped a nearby railing for breath, Conclavis came to. Noticing that Norkom was still hanging off the ledge, the priest reluctantly pulled him up with holy energy and placed him on his two feet.

The Kor’kron growled at him, unwilling to accept the fact that he had been rescued by anyone other than another orc. Before he could say anything to the Legionnaire however, Conclavis wrapped both hands around the faceplated orc’s head and pulsed magic into it. Weakly, Norkom collapsed to the floor.

‘’I wiped his memory of that event. If Hellscream learned about what happened here today from him, you’d be a dead man.’’ Conclavis told Delurk.

Undeniably, the priest was right. ‘’Thank you….. friend.’’ He smiled as he heaved Norkom’s limp body over his shoulder and piled into the blimp with his companions.

The pandaren marveled over the beautiful Kun Lai snow as they crossed the sky onto the Kor’kron platform. Finally, a positive memory in Kun Lai summit where an evil was vanquished and the will of the Celestials triumphed.

As soon as their blimp touched the ground, Husto was horrified to look upon the massive piles of dead, sha-twisted corpses sprawled all across the floor. Most disturbing of all to him was a young human crushed beneath the weight of the Divine Bell, the object that summoned the Legionnaire on his quest to begin with.

‘’Kor’kron Captain Malkorok!’’ Delurk gasped in astonishment, noticing Hellscream’s bodyguard among the wreckage, several orcs at his side. ‘’What happened here?!’’

‘’Something terrific, Legionnaire Bloodsnarl.’’ Malkorok grinned, disregarding the corpses of his allies, and the fact that Delurk and his companions were late to the main event. ‘’Our great and wise Warchief has taken steps to mastering Sha energy, and he has slain the human prince!’’

‘’It is good that Wyrnn’’s whelp is dead.’’ Delurk agreed. ‘’But what of the bodies?’’

‘’When the Warchief began to ring the divine bell, uncountable levels of sha magic was released into the atmosphere, giving our soldiers power if they could control it!’’ he walked over to the twisted body of a shirtless Mag’har orc, and turned him flat on his chest using his foot. Chalk white eyes stared blankly up into the sky. ‘’Most of them couldn’t.’’

Unwilling to tell Malkorok that he was recently not only overcome by the Sha but possessed by a demon as well, Delurk remained silent

‘’And what of your party?’’ the Blackrock interrogated.

‘’Norkom is still recovering from his wounds, our guide’s responsibilities are finished, and he’s ready for deportation, the priest is a friend of mine, and Koroglam is dead.’’ The Legionnaire reported back.

‘’Dead, you say?’’ Malkorok confirmed, taking a brief moment of silence. ‘’To die for the Warchief is a great honor. We will drink to him tonight. Give the pandaren to me now.’’

Hesitantly, Delurk looked at Husto, then back at Malkorok. ‘’What do you plan to do with him?’’

‘’Not that it is any of your business, but he is to be enlisted in the Horde military.’’ The burly Blackrock spat.

Despite the fact that Husto had saved him from becoming a lifeless demon vessel, the Legionnaire was inclined to give gently push Husto in Malkorok’s direction. He would not disgrace his people in denying an edict of the Warchief.

‘’Good.’’ Malkorok smiled, sticking out his hand. ‘’Congratulations, Bloodsnarl. You are to report back to the Southern Barrens for your new position as Warlord of Desolation Hold, Bloodhilt’s old fortress. Now that he has passed away, you, as both his protégé and a loyal hand of Hellscream, are responsible for its safekeeping, as well as threats both local and domestic in the Southern Barrens’’.

Aghast, Delurk took several steps back, scanning Malkorok’s facial expressions to confirm the Blackrock’s sincerity. His forsaken friend patted the schematic of his life hammer in an attempt to remind him of where his priorities should be, however the Legionnaire was caught up in his glory and didn’t notice.

‘’I will honor his memory with my service.’’ Delurk agreed, to Conclavis’s disappointment.

‘’I expect it.’’ Malkorok nodded as he and his Kor’kron mounted their wyverns. ‘’You should’ve been here when the Sha magic was unleashed, Legionnaire. It was glorious.’’

‘’I’m sure it was.’’ Conclavis replied, rolling his eyes.

‘’What was that sarcasm, maggot bag?’’ the Captain thundered at him.

‘’No, I was merely agreeing with you!’’ the priest threw up his hands innocently. ‘’I’m sure your made your Warchief proud today.’’

Malkorok’s eyes remained locked on Conclavis in a dominating stare, though they drifted back to Delurk. ‘’I will leave a healer to tend to Norkom. He will return to Orgrimmar once he has recovered.’’

‘’Very well. Hellscream’s will be done.’’ Delurk saluted the Blackrock respectfully.

‘’Yes, it will be.’’ Malkorok was inclined to agree.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Meanwhile, a demonic spirit soared through the air and past Kun Lai summit, until finally it reached Desolace. A shadowy figure sat amongst the vast, lifeless plain in silence as a spirit approached him.

‘’The nether reveals many things to me.’’ Zin’oxx whispered to the silhouette. ‘’It has told me you are able to provide me with a mortal vessel. Do so, and I will grant you any wish you desire.

Slowly, the black figure nodded. ‘’I ask of you but one thing, spirit.’’

‘’Your wish be done.’’ the demon answered slyly.

‘’I want the head of Delurk Bloodsnarl.’’
In her free time at Lion's Landing, Eliyne Fallglade obsessed over the callous orc who had seemingly destroyed her life. After giving a detailed description of her widow-maker and kidnapper to a human officer who kept tabs on higher ranking Horde members, his name was revealed to be Delurk Bloodsnarl. From the research she had accumulated about this burly beast of an orc, he had been a detrimental burden to the Alliance ever since the Catacylsm, the recorded beginning of his bloody career being with the gruesome death of General Hawthorne, who had been remembered as a kindhearted general reluctant to kill innocents.

Yet the monster didn't care. The book spoke of how Delurk dug the old general's eyes from his skull, indifferent to the human's merciful nature.

What drove this orc to become the barbaric fiend he was today? Unfortunately, no recorded text in the Alliance libraries documents why. Perhaps the Legionnaire was what he behaved like; an animal, who only knows the path of violence and anguish.

One thing was for certain, and that was that Bloodsnarl's endgame involved the death of entire races and the subjugation of hundreds of thousands. In utter disgust, Eliyne closed the book, placed it back on the shelf, and left the library. She already knew the heart of Bloodsnarl was bent on needless destruction, and that was all she had to know to put a sword through him.

Her back was still arching with pain as she walked across Lion's Landing from the library to the war room. As she passed by in her traditional sentinel regalia, a scraggly peasant called out to her.

''Excuse me, missus! You think you could spare a trip to the fountain and get me a drink 'o' water? I've been working might hard for hours, and I have got a single break!'' he whined, panting through words.

''i am not your maidservant! Get it yourself.'' she spat back on him, disregarding her reputation for sympathy. It was just a few weeks ago that the tender soul would demonstrate benevolence torward the poor worker, but at this point in Fallglade's life, everything positive she felt was gone, save a bittersweet nostalgia for Talion. At this point, no sentinel could calm her, no leader could reassure her, and no forest could silence her...

The only thing that could comfort her now would be the swift justice of a blade followed by the Legionnaire's head toppling to the floor.

She grabbed a flint lying idlely by a nearby anvil as she entered the building. Maintaining a straight, confident posture despite her back injury, she entered the war room with her head held up high, almost arrogantly. She took a seat, and began sharpening her decorated claymore while listening to the mission debriefing, Eliyne Fallglade's expression was locked in the curved scowl that had seem to cling to her like a curse ever since Talion's death.

''We know that Warlord Bloodhilt won't likely rush out to the battlefield to attack us personally.'' High Marshal Twinbraid spoke, his voice muffled by his bushy orange beard. ''He'll probably send someone a bit more expendable to do his dirty work, and from what my SI:7 spies have gathered, that'd be his old orcish lapdog, Bloodsnarl.''

Delurk was taught by Bloodhilt himself? Eliyne noted, a malicious idea forming in her mind.

''Are you sure he taught him personally?'' she inquired to the dwarf.

''Not that it matters, lass, but yes.'' Twinbraid replied, annoyed and confused as to the nature of the question. ''Back when I was stationed in the Barrens, I occasionally saw those two training fiercely from the distance of a spyglass. He fights a bit like 'em, too, not that there's any surprise in that.''

''Interesting.'' Eliyne responded. She opened her right palm and stroked Talion's name before closing it again into a fist and redoubling her effort to sharpen her sword.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Domination Point bristled with activity as orc, goblin, and Blood Elf alike prepared for the coming invasion. Though it pained him to do it, Delurk was bound to follow the order given to him, regardless that he desired to do otherwise. Under Hellscream's service, his first priority would be to the Kor'kron.

''Walk with me, Koah.'' the Legionnaire told the troll, waiting patiently as he slinked over.

''Ello, mon.'' the shaman chirped in greeting ''We almost ready for da comin' invasion?''

''Yes, friend.'' Delurk sighed, the burden of duty weighing heavily on his titanium shoulders. He trailed up the ramp with Koah, nearing the command board. ''That is why I am speaking with you now. Bloodhilt has specifically told me that the Warchief will have no trolls on this campaign.''

He looked at the troll for signs of outrage, yet he was met with confusion and a tinge of annoyance. Loathing what he had to do, the Fury of the Barrens activated a goblin teleportation portal and allowed it to charge up while continuing his dialogue with Koah.

''Can't ya convince 'em to let me stay?'' Koah questioned hopefully

''It is not Bloodhilt's decision to make, and the Warchief has already departed for Kun Lai summit in search of some artifact.'' Delurk lamented. ''You will be glad to hear that you have served your time in battle, and the Warchief will not draft you to fight this war again. Your obligation to the Horde has been paid.''

''But I want ta fight wit' me bruddas!'' Koah complained. ''Dis be injustice, mon!''

''It's the Warchief's edict, and as Kor'kron I am called to follow it. Do not make this harder than it must be.''

''It's a shame, mon.'' Koah shook his head. ''I thought me orcish bruthas were more honorable den dat.''

''We are.'' rumbled a hostile voice, shoving aside Delurk as he approached the troll. ''Which is why the Warchief won't have your warted backsides fighting alongside good orcish soldiers.''

Before Koah could respond, the unfriendly orc shoved him into the portal.

''Blueskinned garbage.'' he mumbled to himself in disgust, dusting his hands off as if he had just touched kodo feces.

The orc wore a faceplate providing protection for his jaw, nose and cheeks while his eyes and scalp were uncovered. He sported a Horde tabard proudly, and his spaulders were smooth unlike Delurk's. Two braids of black hair drooped down from either side of his head, and a large, uneven red axe was strapped across his back.

The fact alone that he shoved Delurk infuriated him, however the Legionnaire's distaste for this new orc was merely increased when he gave Koah a rude parting. Gripping his axe, Delurk sweeped his offensive colleague off his feet with a low slash. He menacingly pointed the tip of the blade at the other orc's neck.

''What are you called, maggot?'' the Legionnaire thundered imposingly.

''You will point that axe elsewhere if you wish it to stay out of your skull.'' the orc retorted, spitting on Delurk's blade.

Roaring with aggrivation, Delurk brought his weapon up, preparing to cleave the vulgar adversary in half. Luckily for his peer, he was interrupted before a mess could be made.

''Stop, Legionnaire!'' Bloodhilt shouted as he ran up to the bickering warriors. He faced the other orc who was still scrambling to his feet. ''Norkom, what is the meaning of this?''

''Your Legionnaire was stalling to carry out your orders when time was of the essence.'' he answered. ''And when I did his job for him, he threatened to kill me.''

Angrily, Bloodhilt faced Delurk. ''If I wasn't confident in your ability to lead, I'd hand over the defensive effort to Norkom for this stupidity.'' he scowled in dissatisfaction. ''The Warchief does not tolerate stupidity and incompetence.''

''I was saying goodbye to my friend, Warlord. He has helped me in many essential batt--''

''FRIEND?!'' Norkom screeched. ''Do you hear what this orc is saying, Warlord? He makes friends with trolls!''

Frowning through his tusks, Bloodhilt looked at Norkom. ''Shut up.''

Bitter, Norkom sulked to himself and trodded off. Bloodhilt faced Delurk again.

''He was right, Delurk. You were wasting time, and at the worst possible hour. Before a battle. Don't do it again.''

''Yes, Warlord. I am sorry'' Delurk answered under his breath.

'''The majority of the Alliance will come from the southern beachhead, though I predict a few will come from the oilfield. Norkom has been tasked with defending it from potentional ambushers, so you'll be pleased to know that you won't be fighting by his side.'' Bloodhilt announced, changing the subject to an ironically lighter topic.

Delurk grinned broadly as Bloodhilt continued,, both unable and unwilling to conceal his pleasure with not fighting beside Norkom. With any luck, he'd die in the invasion.

''I will observe the battle from inside the walls of the keep and send messages where they are needed.'' Bloodhilt gave a brief look beyond the keep. ''The enemy is nearly upon us. Gather your troops, prepare your plan, and may Alliance blood spill by the gallon.''

''Stay safe, Warlord.'' Delurk saluted the orc with a titanium gauntlet.

''I know you'll keep me protected.'' replied Bloodhilt, returning the gesture. ''I've trained you too long for you to fail!''

With that, they parted ways and sounded the drums of war.

Delurk stood in front of the main Domination Point gate with his black brow creased. Sweat slowly dripped down his bald forehead as Durek patrolled the lines of men, pacing back and fourth. The Domination Snipers, placed strategically on top of the gates, were all peering down their scopes at the encroaching Alliance, who were now within view.

''Orcs, goblins, Blood Elves! Any proud member of the Horde who are here tonight, listen! The Alliance approaches now with their tomes of magic, technology, and overwhelming numbers. Yet they are the ones disadvantaged!''

Durek made another swift turn as Delurk pierced the crowd with his gaze..

''Why are they disadvantaged, might you ask?'' Delurk inquired. ''Because we are Horde! Each of you has endured overwhelming trials to be here today, and each trial you have faced has made you stronger! ThAT is why the Horde will win tonight! BECAUSE THE HORDE IS STRONGER!''

'Delurk noticed as faces in the crowd began to grow more confident, with an exception of a handful of goblins who rolled their eyes. Durek turned again.

''Do not fear if you will live or die, because no matter the fate of this battle, you will make history tonight! If you die, you will die with honor to your name and valor in your heart! Today, don't ask what the Horde can offer you, but ask what you can offer the Horde!''

''We're with ya, Delurk!'' cheered a random goblin

Inspiringly, Durek howled to the moon while Delurk spurred him to attention. Gripping the axe given to him by Mergosh Bloodsnarl so long ago, Delurk faced the oncoming Alliance army. Oddly enough, it seemed they had selected Worgen to lead the way.

''Well? Do you smell anything suspicious, Williams?'' the brains behind the invasion asked, a gnome mage sitting atop a mammoth.

''No.... I don't.'' the worgen responded, sniffing the air a few more times. ''The air is fresh, save the scent of mud. There aren't any traps ahead of us. Just two empty stables and some scattered shields lying around.''

''Hah! Those cocky animals!'' the gnome chuckled. He struck a dumb face and tried to impersonate an orc. ''Look! Me dumb greenskin! Me break down wall with head!''

Williams frowned.

''Right then.'' the gnome responded, clearly his throat. ''Ahem!'' he proclaimed to everyone. ''Don't just stand there! Wipe those oversized brutes off the map so we can get to the main course! Let's dominate the Dominance Offensive!''

Cheers, whistles, and applause echoed throughout the Alliance army as they rushed fourth. Just as the gnome was about to join them, he caught something out of the corner of his eye.

''Snipers on the roof! Of course!'' he groaned, slapping his head. ''How could I have missed such a hamfisted strategy?''


In an arcane flash, the mage vanished from his mammoth, allowing him to charge at the Horde defenders. He teleported to a sniper's position and froze her solid, followed with an arcane blast, sending her off the roof.

Just as the second sniper was locking onto the gnome, he flashed behind her and latched onto her back. As the orc struggled to remove the pest, the gnome burned the marksman's eyes from his sockets.

''Auuuugh!'' he screamed, running aimlessly in circles before stumbling to his death. The gnome took a look at the war below. The army was about to make impact with Delurk's resistance.

A sharp whistle irritated the gnome's ears, but what he'd see next would horrify him. As the Alliance and Horde forces clashed, the mud began to arise in the form of brown wolves.

''The stables!'' he screamed. ''The stables are filled with wolves! FIGHT YOUR WAY OUT OF THE AMBUSH!''

While they valiantly struggled against the wolves to escape the ambush position, another set of brutish figures arose from the mud carrying sturdy spiked shields.

Giggling stupidly, the hobgoblins closed in on the surrounded Alliance army, forcing them closer to Delurk's resistance. Several cries of agony rang out as bodies piled atop each other. One unlucky human had the honor of being flung forty feet in the air by one of the giants, only to meet the ground for a bloody demise.

''Yikes! I'd better get out of here!'' the gnome squeaked, beginning to conjure a portal.

Before the spell was through, he was interrupted with an axe to the skull. Triumphantly, Delurk plucked the blade from the dead commander, making an audible crunch.

''Soldiers of the Horde, rejoice!'' he swelled with pride. ''You have fought hard and well, and with your aid, the Keep is defended!''

''Is it?!'' cackled a manical voice coming from the Keep.

Shocked, Delurk whirled around to stare into the eyes of Eliyne Fallglade.

''Tonight, orc, your 'Warlord' stands a head shorter!'' she held out the decapitated head of Warlord Bloodhilt, a squadron of Gnomish helichopters whizzing just above her.

''Eliyne, what are you doing?!'' screamed a nearby dwarf. ''We've done the job, now we have to get out of here! You're putting us all in danger!''

''It's about time someone showed the world what the orcs really are: cowardly, stupid, despicable monsters.'' she harped, staring at Delurk. ''You have failed your master, barbarian!''

''BLOODHILT!'' Delurk roared, mortified.

''He is but the first I will take from you!'' she gleamed. ''Vengeance for Talion! Vengeance for Theramore! VENGEANCE FOR THE ALLIANCE!''

As her chopper began to take flight, Delurk leaped, from the top of the hold onto the vechical. He stuck his axe in the propeller, forcing it to jam.

''Scargash should've killed you sooner!'' he barked in common as the chopper began to tumble back to the ground.

Since the doors were still sealed, the others couldn't come to the Legionnaire's aid as he chased the Elf. However, that didn't prevent a barrage of projectiles from striking home on Alliance planes. Several aircrafts spun out of control from the heavy damage and crashed in a fiery explosion.

A dwarven chopter awaited Eliyne at the top of the main building. Gracefully, she scaled up its walls with her titanium pursuer closing in behind. With impressive agility, he followed her up the building like a bloodthirsty gorilla.

Eventually, Eliyne reached the top of the building. The dwarf extended his hand out to her, begging for her to reach it.

To his horror, he noticed the Legionnaire climbing to the top just as Eliyne reached safety. Refusing for his mentor to go unavenged, he dashed for the helichopter and gripped the rails just as they took off.

''He's a persistent one!'' the dwarf noted.

Eliyne drew her claymore. ''I can fix that.''

Nimbly, Delurk dodged her descending blade as he swung to the other rail. At this point, the helichopter was a good distance above the ocean and moving fast.

Skillfully, the orc waited until Eliyne made another vain strike at him. While she was still leaning over, Delurk grabbed the dwarven pilot by his jerkin and flung him from the plane.

Terrified, the dwarf screamed as he plunged into the unknown.

Without a pilot, the aerial assault machine began to spin wildly out of control. Despite the fact that Delurk was able to pilot the machine to a safe landing, at the moment he was far more interested in slaying the elf who had killed his mentor.

She swung her sword at him yet again, however this time it was met with another blade. Using the lower edge of his axe to disarm her weapon, Delurk flung it over the side and slammed the hilt of his weapon into her nose.

''You will be reunited with your lover in the Nether!'' Delurk growled as he backhanded the elf. Blood gushed from her nose as the helichopter continued its descent.

She lost her balance, and this time it was the elf who clung for dear life to the railing.

Bellowing obscene threats of violence, Delurk brought his weapon down on Eliyne's fingers.

''His name was Talion.'' she replied coldly.

Eliyne released her grip on the chopter and fell into the sand.

Satisfied, Delurk turned his attention toward driving to safety just in time to witness the helichopter collide into a mountain.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Battered but not broken, Eliyne limped back to Lion's Landing. As she walked across the camp, stares of disapproval or even of anger seemed to follow her. Suddenly, a young dwarven woman lashed out at her.

''You killed him!'' she screamed, beating on Eliyne's chest with tears running down her face. ''You killed my father!''

Two human footsoldiers rushed forward and seized the weeping woman. ''Don't do this.'' one of them said, looking at Eliyne. ''It's not worth it.''

Eliyne pursued her lip with regret. Perhaps she should've gone with the plan.

No, she thought to herself in reconsideration, the memory of Talion's death flashing in her mind. The Legionnaire deserved the public humiliation she delivered to him before his epic demise, and she would remain guiltless despite those who shunned her. Besides, both Bloodhilt and his minion died in that mission. If anything, they should be praising her!

As she walked up the stairs to her room, she felt a second pang of remorse for the young dwarven woman. This pang, however, was immediately snuffled as the Horde tattoo she had on her back gleamed dull black. She slammed the door and sat down in her bed, waiting for repercussions

Shoving the burning rubble aside, Delurk groaned with effort as he struggled out of wreckage. His people would be teeming with pride at their indestructible champion and his titanium resolve if they were there to see him at that moment. Then he remembered what happened to Bloodhilt.

Despite the fact that no one was able to hear him, he cried out with rage. Again, the Alliance had taken a friend from him. Again, he was left to die in the burning rubble.

He picked up his helmet which had been knocked off in the explosion and put it on.

''Never again.''

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Delurk stood in front of a coffin, a row of orcs to his right and a row of goblins and elves to his his left. A warship had been sent out to sea to honor the fallen Warlord, and Delurk felt it appropriate to attend.

''Brothers and sisters of the Horde, we are gathered here today to mourn the loss of a great orc.'' he announced the funeral rows, his expression as grave as the coffin that laid before him. ''Yesterday, Warlord Bloodhilt was slain at the hands of the Alliance. While his body was dishonored by a Night Elf delinquent, his memory will not be. Some will remember him as a capable Warlord while others will remember him as a deplorable monster. I will remember him as a friend.''

Several orcish lips trembled as Delurk went on..

'Together, we have been through training, battlefields, brawls, tragedy, and merriment. When fatigue and hopeless bore down on me like a plague, he was the antidote. This orc--- this orc who has been so unfairly taken from us --- should be an example to all of us, male or female, orc, goblin, elf, or even troll. It doesn't matter.''

Stonefaced, Delurk took Bloodhilt's hammer from a nearby orc, opened the Warlord's coffin, placed it on Bloodhilt's chest, and wrapped the fallen hero's fingers around it.

He sealed the coffin, and had two orcs helping him dump it over the warship. Delurk gave a final salute.

''May you find peace with the Ancestors that you didn't find here.'' Delurk said, removing his helmet in respect. ''Lok'tar ogar.''

Unorak Bloodsnarl began his descent from the sky into the ocean. As he progressed through the trial, the spirit of air watched over him like a sentinel. Truly, the elemental was impressed with the shaman's talent and perserverance. While it was a shame that the air couldn't follow him into water of Vash'jir, he would be content it knowing that Unorak could handle himself. With that thought in mind, the spirit of the wind drifted away.

The second Unorak plunged into the sea, he felt a chill creep up his spine. He gagged as he paddled the water fruitlessly, his neck bobbling just above the ice cold waves. Though he resisted, he began to tire and sink into the sea.

Shockingly contradicting what he had expected, he didn't drown as his body went further and further into the sea. It appeared the ocean was conspiring to move him forward, because he was whisked ahead by a strong current.

Despite the velocity that the water carried him at, he was relaxed during his passing. Exotic fish crossed his path as he surfed along the channel, and colorful reef decorated the ocean floor.

A gnarly white shark glared at him for a moment most would consider terrifying. Unsurprisingly, the aquatic animal made a mad dash for the shaman, although the shark was sent spinning out of control by the unstoppable current surrounding Unorak.

The journey ended at what appeared to be the throne of a water elemental. Clams surrounded the spirit while starfish clung lazily on the ground. Sparkling golden rocks protuding rare jewels added further decoration to the majestic scene.

''Good tidings.'' the elemental greeted. ''The wind has told me of your discipline, focus, and understanding of freedom, and from what I can see in you already, the wind was correct.''

Unorak smiled. The wind was gracious to compliment him.

''What you face now is a trial by water.'' it said to him. ''I will not tell you how to pass it. Enter my body, and find the answer yourself, for it is there as surely as the tide dashes against the rocks.'''

The elemental's body split open enough space so that Unorak could enter.

''Are you ready, shaman?''

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Delurk served roughly two months of service at Domination Point after the death of Bloodhilt. The ringing of bombshells hammering against the beach combined with SI:7 spies lurking around Domination Point like rodents could drive an ordinary orc to insanity, although Delurk was far from ordinary.

Day after day, week after week, Alliance bodies hit the ground, one after the other. It'd be deceptive to say that the Legionnaire didn't take joy out of slaying his enemies.

The warm flow of human blood fulfilled him. Each human he killed served as a painkiller for a disease he suffered from daily. A disease the humans themselves inflicted him. While he still longed for the true love that had been so unrighteously taken from him long ago, his appetite was sated with the destruction of the enemy. Joy and laughter was replaced with carnage and slaughter.

One afternoon, Delurk was patrolling Domination Point, his axe carried loosely in one hand. Scanning the Warchief's Command board, a letter caught his eye. Curiously, he pricked the note addressed to him off from the board and used his belt dagger to open it.

The note reads the following:

Legionnaire Bloodsnarl,

Under the orders of the great warchief Garrosh Hellscream, you are commanded to attend the ringing of the Divine Bell. Two orcs have been assigned to accompany you on your journey. They are called Norkom the Resilient and Koroglam the Defiller. You are to lead them to Kun Lai, and they are to follow your orders, so long as your orders don't defy the will of Hellscream. Koroglam will have the map to guide you there. You will meet him tommorow at sunrise just outside the eastern Dominance Point gate.

Hellscream's eyes are upon us,

Malkorok, leader of the Kor'kron

Irritated by the message, Delurk wadded up the note into a ball and threw it into the fire.

''Hmmph.'' he grumbled. ''At least Malkorok placed that pup in his rightful position under my boots.''

He took a look at the sun, which blared its usual pinkish orange flame as it began to descend the sky.

Best to hit the inn for some grog, followed by much needed rest, he thought. As he usually did when the sun set, he took off for the tavern to quench his thirst. To his disappointment, Norkom was waiting outside the closest thing the military hold had to a tavern.

''What?'' Delurk scowled, noticing Norkom's eys upon him.

''I know of the duty the Warchief has asked of you, and make no mistake, Bloodsnarl, it will be a rough journey that will test our loyalty. This is why I offer you a truce.'' he stuck out his hand to Delurk. ''For the Warchief, for the Horde, and for Bloodhilt.''

Wearily, Delurk scanned Norkom's facial expressions for signs of deceit. The faceplated orc's narrowed eyes told the Legionnaire he wasn't overjoyed about resolving the conflict he had with him peacefully, but they both knew that they needed save their strength for their enemies.

''Truce.'' muttered Bloodsnarl, leaving Norkom's hand in the air. Before he could enter the inn, Norkom stopped him with a sentence.

''Bloodhilt left you something.''

Immediately, Delurk stood at attention. ''What is it?'' is asked.

Norkom opened a belt pouch and pulled out what appeared to by a binding stone wrapped in cloth. Helpfully, he handed it to Delurk.

''He found this on the soil Domination Point would later be erected by.'' Norkom proclaimed.

''What does it do?'' questioned Delurk.

''Follow me and I'll show you.'' Norkom grinned wickedly,descending the rampway.

After Norkom had finished leading the Legionnaire across the hold, they came upon a cage with containing a helpless human female inside.

''What do you monsters plan on doing with me?'' she begged to know.

''Touch the stone, Legionnaire.'' Norkom told Delurk, ignoring the female human's question.

Curlling his fingers around the artifact, Delurk felt dark energy rippling through his veins. Watching as Delurk foamed with fury, Norkom opened the human cage.

Like a fox set upon hens, Delurk pounced at the girl, his axe delivering a right horizontal blow to her side. Instead of being split in two, however, the pinkskin's body had a different reaction.

It turned to stone.

Mindlessly, the new statue thudded to the ground and shattered into pieces as the foul power the artifact bestowed upon Delurk faded from his veins.

''What WAS THAT?!'' Delurk spoke demandingly to Norkom, grabbing the orc's shoulders with both arms.

''In this land, they call it 'sha' energy.'' Norkom answered straightforwardly.

''It's.... great!'' Delurk boomed in approval. ''It harnesses my fury and turns it into a weapon that we can use against the Alliance dogs! The Warlord honors me even in death!''

Symbolically, he kicked at the remains of the Alliance soldier, scattering the rocks several feet apart.

''Their ranks will be sundered just as easily.'' Bloodsnarl boasted.

Considering the time, Delurk took another glance at the location of the moon. Alarmingly, it was already fully up.

''I'm going back to the tavern.'' Delurk told Norkom. ''You'd better be at the eastern gate by sunrise.''

''My will to serve the Warchief is unbreakable. I'll be there long before you're awake.'' he sneered confidently. ''Rest well, Legionnaire. You'll need it.''

Furrowing his brow, Delurk scanned him over a final time before taking off for the tavern. Despite the exchange at the end of their conversation, the conflict they held with each other effeciently de-escalated, That, at least, was something to be grateful for.

After all, soldiers who don't like their commanding officer are prone to question them, and soldiers who question their commanding officers are prone to do it in times where questions don't have the time to be answered.

Inside the tavern, Delurk washed his problems away with grog, unconcerned with the 'morrow's obligations. Unfortunately, it'd probably be awhile before Delurk tasted grog on his lips again once the excursion had started.

But that didn't matter. Not as much as his orders did.

A pounding hangover greeted Delurk as he awoke. Strangely enough, he got up precisely at sunrise contrary to his reckless, and in hindsight, unwise alcoholic adventures.

Stumbling out of his cott, he flung his axe over his back and called for Durek. The familiar ghastly shade took form in front of him, and he walked down with his loyal companion to meet with Koroglam and Norkom. Unlike other wolves, Durek didn't require reins. The fact that he could accept verbal commands from his master added to his unqie nature.

''Legionnaire Bloodsnarl.'' the orc next to Norkom welcomed him. ''I'm Koroglam the Defiller.''

Interested by the orc, Delurk looked him over. Like Norkom, he sported a Horde banner with a red Horde crest directly in the center. Two large, barbaric horns protuded from his helmet, and his jaw was unarmored, making his helmet the direct opposite of Norkom's. The rest of his gear was mismatched, though Delurk judged orcs for their skill and head count, not their fashion sense. Still, the Legionnaire couldn't help but notice Koroglam wielded a polearm for a weapon, an unusual choice for an orc.

Nontheless, if he could kill well with it, Delurk wouldn't complain.

''Map.'' Delurk grunted, taking the sketch of Pandaria from the orc.

His eyes surfed along the map.

''Hmmph...'' he grunted to himself. ''There are mountains blocking our path from the Valley of Four Winds to the summit.''

''What's your plan?'' Norkom asked.

''There has to be a way from the Valley to mountains, either natural or otherwise. Something like a portal, a tunnel, or maybe a pass. We'll enter the Valley of Four Winds, find a local, make him our guide, and have him escort us into Kun Lai. From there, we'll resupply at Westwind Refuge and finish our journey, where the Warchief himself awaits us just above Mogu'shan vaults.'' Delurk concluded..

''Then let us depart immediately!'' Norkom thundered with enthusiasm.

Briefly dismounting, Delurk began to remove the baggage of Koroglam and Norkom's wolves.

''What are you doing?' the faceplated orc questioned with irritation.

''Durek is stronger than your beasts. ''Delurk replied smugly. ''He won't tire, unlike your wolves.''

Uneasily, Norkom shifted in his saddle. What the Legionnaire said was true, though it pained him to admit it. He remained silent..

Without further hesitation, they were gone with the kick of a spur.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Ahead of the pack since the beginning of the journey, Durek showed no signs of tiring. Vigilantly, Delurk kept a close eye on his companions, never to let them fall behind. They had travelled for hours, and they were more likely to make mistakes.

Up ahead laid a steep slope. The sweet music of exotic birds could be heard just over the hill. Suddenly, Delurk overheard a random rattling near a tree. Norkom steered his wolf toward it with reckless suspision, but peered around its trunk to find nothing.

Confounded as to what made the noise, he grumbled to himself as he raced back up to catch the trio braving the slope.

''This must be the Valley of Four Winds.'' Delurk noted, withdrawing his map from his bag as he stood at the top of the hill. ''We're making good time, my Kor'kron brothers. We'll take a rest by the nearest shelter we find, but that may not be for a few hours.''

Koroglam moaned with disappointment, while Norkom sighed, submissive to the order. If his task wasn't to listen to Delurk as if he were the Warchief himself, he would consider drawing steel on the overbearing Legionnaire.

Durek's dirt riddled paws thumpered against the road as Delurk narrowed his eyes to get a better view at the crops in the horizon. It seemed the Pandaren were growing vegetables as tall as kodos! Grimacing, he remembered the starving child he had seen with Scargash so long ago. If he were to find out the secret of these locals' agricultural achievement, there would be a chance his people would never go hungry again.

A pandaren by the name of Husto Heavypaw rested in ignorant bliss by the lake with a bucket of hand caught fish serving as his reward for the day's labor. Mischievously, his son, Tarin, snuck up on him before bouncing on his belly.

''D'oooh!'' Husto chuckled, jolting up. ''If I were older, I'd be yelling at yo--''

He stopped mid-sentence. Vaguely, he could hear the formation of wolf paws in the distance, and from what he's heard abou wolves, they usually carry orcs on them.

From what he's heard about orcs, it'd do him well to avoid them.

''Go inside, Tarin.'' Husto warned. ''And hide in the basement.''

Playfully, Tarin looked up at his father, but judging by his serious expression and tone, decided he wasn't joking. Watching him scamper off, Husto stood with as much courage as he could muster as the three armed orcs closed in. One of them, who Husto judged to be the leader due to his armor and confidence, opened the gate, allowing the other two into Husto's abode.

Uninvited.

Nontheless, the Pandaren saw it best to welcome his guests and hope they are well intentioned.

''Hello!'' he waved to them warmly.

The leader of the three, an imposing orc covered in spikes, went up to meet him. Husto gulped nervously.

''Hail, pandaren. I am Delurk Bloodsnarl, Fury of the Barrens, and I ride with Norkom the Resilient and Koroglam the Defiller. We are weary warriors and seek shelter and food for our journey.''

'''Come in.'' Husto welcomed. ''If the Heavypaws can appreciate one thing, it's a good soldier.''

Smiling, Delurk followed Husto's lead into the house. He and Koroglam sat down as Husto scavenged the house for the finest food. Hopefully, the orcs only needed as they said they did: shelter and supplies. While the pandaren was willing to offer both, he couldn't help but to feel they wanted something more.

''Tell me, pandaren.'' Delurk said, taking off his spiked titanium helmet as Husto laid down their feast. ''How did the crops here grow to be so bountiful?''

''Ah, yes. The eternal waters of the Vale give life to all of Pandaria!'' he responded lightheartedly. '''It has sated the appetites of our ravenous people for centuries, if not millenia!''

''Hmmph.'' Delurk grunted, grabbing a nearby keg of pandaren liquior and chugging it. After he drained the barrel to its last pint, he wiped the grog from his beard. ''And what is your trade?''

''I'm a fisherman, but sometimes I brawl for extra money.'' the pandaren replied..

''Interesting.'' The Legionnaire noted, biting off a haunch of fish. ''Who do your trade with?''

''''After I've fished a good amount of golden carp from the stream, I'll take it to my brother near the Veiled Stair, who sells the food to the hungry of people of Kun Lai!''

''How does he get there?'' Delurk interrogated. Ears perked, Koroglam listened silently but intently.

''As I said, through the Veiled Star! It's a passageway that leads to both the Vale of Eternal Blossoms and Kun Lai summit.''

Startled, Delurk paused in the middle of a bite of fish. Slowly, he put it down back on the table.

''Pandaren, you will take us to this passage.'' he proclamated with authority.

''I'm sorry, friend, but I have to---''

The pandaren was interrupted by a dagger striking home against his teak table.

''If you won't do it for me, do it for your family.'' Delurk growled as Norkom entered the room, holding his axe to Tarin's throat.

Enraged that the orc would threaten his family, Husto stood up to fight the orc.

''Don't defy the will of the Warchief.'' Norkom spat, tightly holding the writhing cub. ''And you will survive and prosper under his reign.''

Submissively, Husto slumped back down into his chair.

''We leave tommorow.'' Delurk announced. ''Koroglam, find anything of use to us in this house and prepare it for the journey. Norkom, the pandaren will show you to your quarters. Get a good night's rest, all of you. We won't be stopping again until we've reached the Veiled Stair.''

Due to the crime Eliyne Fallglade had committed against the Alliance in breaking her orders, she was no longer allowed to leave Lion's Landing whenever she wished. Instead, she could only depart when she was mandated suicuide missions, all in which she executed flawlessly.

Matching tenacity with agility, she racked one of the highest orc kill counts her superiors had ever seen. Effeciently, she had repaid the blood she spilt a hundred times over.

Her free time wasn't spent in bars or spas, however. Surprising no one, she spent her free time either training or sitting in her room, quietly brooding.

During one of her nights of solitude, a Night Elven scout stalked into her room. He was shocked to find her without her shirt on. What startled him even more, however, was the huge, black Horde symbol engraved on her back. Thankfully for him, he was wiser than to ask about its story. Politely, he cleared his throat before speaking.

''We found some things we thought you'd be interested in, Miss Fallglade.'' he stated..

''What is it?'' she asked, her voice steady but sharp.

''We were near the Dawnchaser Retreat the other day, and we found... this.'' he placed an angellic, blue stone before her.

''Is that all?'' she said with disinterest, not even bothering to turn around.

''There's something else, mi'lady. Bloodhilt's protegee, Delurk.... he lives. Our scouts caught him exiting Krasarang Wilds for the Valley of Four Winds just the other day.''

Noticably, the rogue sentinel flinched.

''I understand. You told my higher ranking officers before you told me, didn't you?'' she hissed coldly.

''I had to.'' he replied.

''Then they have agreed to let me follow him.'' she correctly assumed.

''Under a condition.'' he told her. ''Prepare for the journey, then meet a dwarf warlock in Zhu's Watch. You'll know him when you see him.''

Gently, he closed the door, allowing Eliyne to be with her thoughts. Finally, she turned around to find out what the scout had left her: the Aqua Jewel!

At that moment, she felt as if the barrier she had entrenched herself in since Talion's death had shattered. Openly, she wept as she held the sapphire gem close to her heart. It carried deep symbolic value to her, as it was involved in one of the final moments she and Talion shared together.

The traumatizing event recurring in her mind, she tucked her stone into the bag, packed a few necessities, and mounted her nightsaber.

She would do whatever it took to bleed Bloodsnarl.
Delurk Bloodsnarl and the Breaking of Mists Act 5
Getting close to the finale of part 1!
Loading...
After wandering for several weeks, the elements felt Unorak Bloodsnarl was ready for the first trial: a trial by wind.

The scraggly bearded shaman was suddenly unbalanced by a strong gust of wind. Posturing up, he found a mighty wind ascendant standing before him.

''The first trial, shaman,'' he breathed, beginning to accumulate wind under Unorak's feet. ''A trial of faith and clear-mindedness.''

Swiftly, Unorak rose above the clouds, however the second he pierced the sky, he began to fall.

''Winds, please carry me to safety!'' he beseeched as he began to fall.

Suddenly, he felt his footing regained. He slowly took to his feet and walked on thin air through the sky.

''Mmmm..'' the elemental said, grinning. ''It seems you've already tempered your faith in the elements a good deal.''

His flabberghaust turning into exhiliration, Unorak took off, soaring across the clouds.

A humongous bird with a beak as sharp as an axe and feathers as tough as steel made a dive at the shaman. Strangely prepared, Unorak clasped both sides of the bird's beak and set it aflame. The bird screeched, plunging from the sky, however Unorak fell with it.

''A true shaman remembers the elements even in trying circumstance!'' the spirit spoke, its voice loud, yet its tone steady and stern.. ''If you lose your concentration and piece of mind, you will fall to your death in the ocean below.''

Clenching his teeth in conviction, Unorak silently acknowledged the elemental's statement, proceeding through the sky once more.

''Where does this journey end?'' he asked the spirit of air.

''The journey shall end in Vash'jir, where your next challenge awaits.'' it responded.

He nodded readily. ''Very well.''

Veins popping from his forehead, he continued his journey through the sky with a clarity of mind he had never felt before. It was as if his body was working while his mind was elsewhere, communicating with the elements on an entirely different realm.

Perhaps this was similar to ascendentry.

Perhaps it wasn't.

In either scenario, at that moment he understood the air and why it blew. Why it toppled houses, destroyed lands, moved windmills.

For the wind had no prejudice. It cares not for the dictums of leaders or the force of gravity. It doesn't answer to those who demand. It gives freely to those implore it, and when it gives, it gives willingly. In this case, the wind has discovered the secrets of true freedom.

And so had Unorak.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Koah and Delurk sifted through the dense Jade Forests, bulldozering the obstacles in their way.. Traps were bountiful across the ground, whether they be Jinyu or Hozen. The previous evening, Koah had told Delurk of Scargash's orders, and to his dismay, Delurk was intent on following them.

Perhaps he didn't learn anything at all.

''The Warchief may be misguided about one thing, Koah, but that doesn't mean he still isn't worthy of the highest praise.'' Delurk stated, throwing a tree trunk that blocked their path to the side. ''No leader is perfect, not even a warchief.''

Snorting, Koah followed Delurk silently.

Noticing his discontent, Delurk shrugged. Perhaps he was homesick.

''You know what really bothas me, mon?'' Koah spoke.

''What, troll?''

''Those elves that got away.''

''Hmmph.'' Delurk growled, the loathing in his obvious obvious. ''It's been bothering me too. That putrid elven wench tortured me like a beast!''

To defuse his anger, Delurk picked up his pace.

''Not only that,'' the titanium Legionnare growled ''But she's a trained sentinel who can probably fill Murphy's spot. What's even worse is that she can probably fill it better.''

He spat on the ground, his attempts to harness his rage in vain as usual.

''I won't let it stand!'' he growled, stomping his cleated foot on the ground. A familiar, ghastly howl sounded as Durek faded into view.

''He was here at the battle, and he can track their essence.'' he grinned, stroking the beast's otherwordly mane. ''Commander Scargash wanted us to report to Dominance Point immediately. This means that they're preparing for something, either an invasion or an offensive.''

''If dere preparing for an offensive...'' Koah murmured, putting the facts together.

''Then Lion's Landing will no doubt be invoking reinforcements from both the Jade Forests and the sea.'' Delurk finished, clearly proud of his hypothesis.

The Legionnaire pulled out a map he had looted from Randal Murphy's corpse.

''When they were fleeing the battle, they were both hurt, however the female was critically injured. They'll be dead without shelter and medication for their wounds, which means they went to seek it. Since they had orders to go to Lion's Landing, they'll be looking for shelter in one of the two southern Alliance villages. Paw'don or Pearlfin.''

Koah stroked his tusks. ''Aye, mon...''

''We'll split up. If we stay together, they might escape us.'' Delurk said.

''Isn't dat dangerous, mon?''

''We are the Horde!'' Delurk burst with pride. ''And we will lay claim to this land, even if we have to burn the forests to ash and raze every last Alliance bunker to the ground to do so!''

''Alright, den...'' Koah nodded uncertainly.

''I will ride to Pearlfin, and you will journey to Paw'don. Your shamanistic vision should guarntee that if they're in the village, you'll know when they leave. Durek will alert me if they depart from Pearlfin, for as I said, he has the scent of their essence. If we don't find them, we will meet at Zhu's Watch, just southwest of here.'' Spurring Durek into motion, Delurk rode off into the distance. ''May your blades never dull, friend! Strike true!''

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Eliyne's long eyelashes fluttered open as her blurry vision began to recover clarity. Faithfully, Talion had stayed by her bedside the moment he awoke from his exhaustion.

Joyous to see her beautiful eyes open once more, he moved forward to embrace her in a hug, however after reconsideration, he withdrew, fearful of hurting her and settled by stroking her purple hair.

Her hand still weak, she squeezed Talion's palm with what strength she possessed. He noticed she squeezed him with her carved hand, and this feeling added to the guilt he felt. If only he had spent more hours training, went the extra mile in the jogs he took so long ago back in Teldrassil. If only he hadn't been so selfish with his time...

An amphibian-like creature entered the room, carrying a long green branch the size of a staff close to him. A decorative blue orb adorned the tip.

''How is she doing?'' Talion demanded, his concern obvious.

''She'll recover quickly,'' the Jinyu oracle reported cheerfully. ''The Jinyu healing techniques are amongst the most effecient in Azeroth, but I bid you to stand back while the restoration process is in session.''

The white haired Night Elf oblidged as the scaly oracle focused his staff on Eliyne. Torrential waters erupted from the orb as it began to suffuse her. The pure, lucid waters lifted her from the bed in which she rested until she was finally enveloped by them, as if they were a watery coccoon.

Alas, the restorative water abated, and the purple girl was dropped back into the bed. However, she immediately got up, her eyes burning brightly.

The oracle smiled as the elven pair showed affection for each other. He left the room, allowing them privacy. Respectfully, the Jinyu closed the door behind them.

Several days passed in the village.

One afternoon, Talion approached the warmhearted Jinyu elder, Eliyne close by his side. ''I appreciate your hospitality, friend, but we don't wish to overstay our welcome.''

''Nonsense.'' the elder smiled. ''The waters told us of your coming. We had plenty of time to prepare for you.''

Talion nodded, finding it best not to question what in Azeroth the local was talking about.

''You're allied with the Alliance, yes?'' asked Talion.

''Correct.'' the elder answered.

''Do you know where a recently constructed base is? It goes by the name 'Lion's Landing,' I hear.'' Talion inquired.

''Ah, yes.'' the Jinyu answered thoughtfully. ''There is such a place. In fact, an Alliance noble just gave me the locations to it just the other day!''

Stroking his chin, Talion chose his next words carefully. ''Interesting..... do you think we could... use it?''

''Of course.'' the oracle responded, thankfully taing no offense to his wish. ''The Alliance gave us the map, it is only fair that they should get it back if requested.'' he pulled out a dusty scroll from his satchel and handed it to him.

As Talion nodded his thanks and prepared to leave, the Jinyu stopped him by placing his hand on the Night Elf's shoulder.

''Before you go, I want you to be prepared for whatever challenges lay ahead.'' the Jinyu beckoned him toward the village's supply house.

''Everything you need is set before you.'' he said with a smile. ''Food, anti-poisons, a first aid kit. But most importantly, this.''

He unfurled Talion's palm and placed a blue stone in it. ''The Aqua Jewel. It will allow you to cross lakes, purify rivers, and even clear you mind in times of crisis. Please use it wisely, as it is an heirloom passed down from generations of my family.''

Astonished, Talion didn't quite seem to understand the source of the local's generousity. ''You're so kind to strangers...''

Sighing, the elder shook his head. ''No, generally I, at least, am not. Truth be told, we need the Alliance on our side to ensure our survival. You see, we've been hunted by the feral Hozen for a good while now, and I fear they wish to hunt us into extinction. The Alliance is our only hope for freedom and survival, and for that, I will offer as much hospitality as I can.''

Eliyne spoke.. ''We Night Elves also know what it feels like to be hunted. For our homes to be taken from us. For our loved ones be to endangered.'' she pursed her lip. ''It isn't a good feeling.''

''That is why we're fighting.'' Talion told the oracle. ''And we'll do whatever it takes to keep what we hold close to us safe.''

Eliyne moved closer to him as they walked out of the warehouse, took a turn and exited the village.

The pair offered the elder a final wave, and he returned a gloomy smile.

''May you end this war quickly.'' he said grimly.

''And may you stay safe during its duration.'' Eliyne replied.

The Jinyu returned to the village, and the elves started off into the distance.

''It's people like those who belong in the Alliance.'' Eliyne spoke. ''Kind, warm, ready to lend a helping hand...''

''Ready to fight.'' Talion grunted.

It wasn't a mile into the trip before they heard a vile snarl, the owner of the noise all too acquainted to them.

Eliyne tackled Talion just in time as the gargatuan, deathly beast leaped over them.

''I haven't forgotten about you, Alliance worms! You will get to Lion's Landing, but you will get there in PIECES!'' a gruff, intense voice boomed.

Talion rolled with Eliyne to the side just as the mounted orc's hefty axe struck down, biting the soil.

''Run!'' he screamed, aware of what this orc could do at full capacity and donning a full plate of indestructible titanium.

Cut off from fleeing south toward Lion's landing, the elves took off to their right. They could hear the orc's vulgar roars thundering behind them as he slashed through thick trees.

Dodging the falling forest the brawny orc was creating, they scrambled apart, forcing the raving rider to pursue one. He elected to follow his previous tormentor, the purple haired elf.

Tripping over a rock, Eliyne thudded against the ground as the undead wolf pursued her. Talion turned around in shock as the orc raised his weapon to strike the killing blow.

Expertly, Eliyne drew her blade just as Delurk's weapon extended to its highest peak in the air, and she managed to strike the hilt out of his hands.

Durek allowed his master to fall through him so that the Legionnaire could finish what he had started on foot.

He struck Eliyne directly in the stomache with his titanium fist, causing her to jolt forward with pain. Her extended face was met with another gruesome punch to the cheek, and she spat several teeth as she went flailing back from the impact.

Picking his weapon from the floor, Delurk resumed the pursuit. Talion urged himself forward to run again, but his footing was restrained by a vine.

''Gotcha, mon.'' Koah cackled as the roots snare grew stronger.

His hands brushed by the stone the Jinyu gave him, offering his mind clarity. In the blink of an eye, he chucked one of his twinblades at Koah's totem, forcing it to release him. He rejoined Eliyne in their retreat.

''Head to the lake!'' she gasped, her voice restricted by both swollen lips and the loss of teeth. ''Use the jewel, Talion!''

Hastily, they sprinted across the water, leaving Delurk at the other side.

''Be quick, shaman!'' Delurk barked.

Using his elemental bonds, the troll froze the water in which they stepped, allowing them to stalk their purple prey once again.

''Durek! Corner them!'' Delurk commanded, noticing the elves were attempting to flee to the northeast. ''Surround them by the cliff!''

The wolf complied, his massive teeth gnashing as he cut off the elven pair's retreat. Eliyne and Talion turned away from the beast to the other direction, only to reach the same ghastly realization.

There was nowhere to run.

The titanium Legionnaire finished crossing the lake and was rapidly approaching with his Darkspear companion. The elves drew their blades.

''Remember Theramore!'' Talion yelled.

''For Shandris!'' Eliyne screamed.

Eliyne and Koah charged toward each other simeltaneously. Koah's right hand axe came down in a vertical slash, his blade blazing with fire.

The elf gracefully sidestepped the axe, stomped it out of Koah's hand, and kicked him in the head, forcing him to the ground. She approached him, ready to plunge her broadsword into his heart, however he released a charge of electricity at her, shocking her back. He kept the consistent flow of lightning, roasting Eliyne alive.

''I'm gonna burn ya ugly, elfie!'' Koah sneered.

Teeth locked in defiance, Eliyne tossed her claymore at him, the blade singing the air as it traveled. The troll was forced to drop his lightning to avoid the electrically charged blade, however it narrowly nicked his arm. He hissed in anger at the elf, though his hatred didn't have enough time be conveyed.

She smacked him on the ear with her left fist, leaped into the air, and wrapped her legs aroumd his neck.

''Get off me, mon!'' he shouted as she rained down punches on his head.

In an attempt to shake off his purple adversary, the troll did a barrel roll, followed by planting an Earthgrab totem as he tumbled across the grass.

The roots rose above the elf, their grimy tendrils groping her as they immobilized her body. She was now entirely at Koah's mercy.

''Ya gonna witness da Legionnaire kill ya boyfriend now, elfie!'' the troll cackled maniacally.

Meanwhile, Talion, who only had one blade remaining, was trying to fend off the orc by making wild slashes at him. His blows were easily countered by Delurk's durable axe, the attacks seemingly damaging his blade more than his iron adversary's.

Just as another horizontal strike was about to land, Delurk's impregnable gauntlet caught the twinblade, effortlessly pulled it from Talion's hand, and tossed it over the cliff. The orc took the offensive, his strikes as swift as they were deadly. He forced Talion to back closer and closer to the cliff with his unending assault. Soon, the sound of the swishing waterfall could be heard.

Desperately, Talion dodged his next swing, a two handed verticle downward slash, and slammed his right hand into the burly orc's chest with all his strength. Horrifyingly, the bones in his fist broke as if he had struck a solid wall.

Running out of options, he decided to split to the right, though his maneuver was anticipated. Delurk snatched the white haired elf by his jerkin and dangled him over the unforgiving cliffside.

''Die like the rest.'' the orc growled menacingly.

''NO!'' Eliyne shrieked,

At that moment, Eliyne's world fell silent. The Legionnaire's triumphant bellow was mute. The mighty downpour of the waterfall couldn't be heard. She didn't notice as the roots tightened their choke on her, gradually carrying her into unconsciousness. All she noticed as her mind fell away was a dissonant wailling, a resonating splatter, and unnerving silence.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Delurk and Koah trudged on foot through the Krasarang Wilds on foot, their Night Elven trophy saddled down tightly to Durek.

''We should just kill her, mon.'' Koah complained as they walked. ''If dis crazy girl escapes from us, dere's no tellin' what she might do. I heard you yourself know da powa of a vengeful heart.''

Coldly, Delurk turned his head to stare at the troll, his face flinching with anger, and his fists clenched tightly. While he took an oath to treat the other races in the Horde better, he wasn't used to answering to trolls. Skilled and useful as the troll may be.

''No, Koah.'' he spoke sternly. ''You weren't there when I was being tortured. You didn't feel what I felt.''

Scoffing, he spat on the cheek of his prisoner. ''You still don't.''

''Not only would killing her spare her from the punishment she deserves, but when the Horde has come to rule Azeroth, only the humans and dwarves will be eradicted. The rest will be taken as slaves, and we will use those slaves to make the Horde the most prosperous empire any world will ever know.'' he took a few footsteps before continuing. ''No longer will orcs labor long and hard in the fields to make end's meet. No longer will the undead have to live in fear of being slain at the hands of a filthy human paladin.''

''No longer will I toss and turn at night with dreams of failure to haunt me.'' Delurk finished, his passion dying down to guilt. It seemed his skin turned pale with that statement, and not just a usual pale. The Legionnaire looked at Koah, his expression melancholy. Searching his orcish friend's facial expression deeper, he realized his eyes were...black.

Gasping, he shook his head and looked again, but alas it was the same Legionnaire he had grown to know. This forest was doing strange things to the troll's mind, and he elected the sooner they could leave, the better.

For a brief moment, the shaman regarded his statement about Delurk's mate, Rika. Many soldiers serving under Delurk knew the true stem of his driving hated for the Alliance, but no one had addressed it. Rumors had spread that Delurk killed a warlord for taunting him on the subject, but here in this forest, the troll sensed no ire when being addressed with the death of his mate. The only things the orc was feeling here were pain and sorrow.

Electing it best the abandon the topic, he changed the subject. ''So where we takin' her, mon?''

''If I remember correctly, troll, Scargash, Bloodhilt and I were talking about the battle plan in the wilds before we left. The Commander wanted to establish a middle-front to resupply and shelter the troops on the journey across the forest. Since you told me he addressed you on his voyage south, he must've spoken about the middle front he selected. Do you know where it is?''

''Ya, mon.'' he replied, pointing forward. ''It's dat over dere.''

Ahead of them was a huge pandaren temple. Crimson red tiles aligned the rooftop, and ankle deep water surrounded the base. Atrocious white-and-black puddles littered around the base, and harsh orcish laughter echoed from inside its walls.

''Good!' the titanium orc cheered in delight as he hastened for the temple.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

As Eliyne's eyes slowly creaked open, she immediately attempted to get up. Helplessly, the realization dawned on her that she was bound and gagged, powerless to resist whatever fate fell upon her.

Noticing the jolt of movement, a humongous orc clad in fine armor approached her. The behemonth of a greenskin was nearly twice the size of the Legionnaire she had just encountered, and just as burly.

''So this is the wench who tortured Bloodsnarl.'' he chuckled, seizing her bound arms and dangling her restrained body in front of him. ''The Legionnaire traded you to me in exchange for food and supplies, which are scarce on a warfront, so you know I'll be taking full advantage of our deal.'' he took three steps away, followed by at least eight Kor'kron. ''Gol'mush, Gork. 'Appropriate' our prisoner.''

He dropped her to the ground, her knees cracking against the stone temple floor. Two pairs of orcish hands grabbed her by her hands and dragged her downstairs, her muffled screams going unheard.

Embarassingly, she realized that the orcs had stripped her of her clothes while she was unconscious. All that decorated her purple body was a small bikini and thong.

''Put this on.'' a gruff orc voice spoke, tossing a coarse, revealing light brown garb at her. Since it was better than the little she currently wore, she was compelled to oblige. ''You will entertain the Commander tonight.'' the other voice grunted. They removed her gag so that she could answer them, and her bonds so that she could put the garb on.

''I will not serve you!'' she screamed, her anger getting the best of her. All sense of control lost, she slugged the first orc in the nose. Rushing to the aid of his colleague, the second orc was met with an elbow to the stomach.

''Oof!'' he groaned as he fell down on the floor.

Just as Eliyne grabbed for one of the fallen guards' weapons, she was grabbed by the legs and tossed against the wall.

''You will serve the Horde, or be crushed beneath it!'' the large commander declared imposingly, emerging from the shadows. ''So sayeth the Warchief.''

Several Kor'kron poured from the door and to Scargash's side. ''Go on, boys.'' Scargash grinned. ''Have fun.''

Eliyne wept through the beatings. As fist and foot rained down on her body overwhelming her, she trembled uncontrollably. Her love, Talion, was dead. She was humiliated. Disgraced. Ashamed. Battered.

What would Shandris think if she saw her sentinel crying like a child through a vicious throttling?

Eventually, after it seemed like every area of her body was black, blue, or red, the Commander stood up and shooed the orcs off. Grabbing Eliyne by her hair, he took her outside the temple.

Wielding a massive spear with a tip bearing the likeness of a Horde symbol, the Commander lead her by a small black pool.

''Back in the Durotar and the Barrens, we would take a brand similar to the one you see before you and use it to mark livestock. Possessions.'' he said, his intent becoming clear as he tipped his spear in the strange black flame. ''We would do it with fire, but we learned firsthand that this strange type of fire is much more painful.''

Stepping on Eliyne's hamstrings, he forced her to her knees. A huge hand ripped off the back of the vest he gave her to reveal her bare back.

Laughing sadistically, he snapped his fingers and pointed at the elf, motioning for four Kor'kron to hold her down.

''Now,'' he gloated with a barbaric gleam in his eye. ''You will never forget that you belong TO THE HORDE!''

He plunged his blade into her back, tattooing her skin. In vain, Eliyne writhed with lamentation against rough orcish arms, however the struggle was predictably in vain. The pain she felt was unlike any she had witnessed before, and her mind was overwhelmed with violence, despair, loathing, and anger.

The branding spear sizzled with sha heat as it finished the job on her back, and her cries, which grew even louder and louder, climaxed with a final gasp. As she slipped back into unconsciousness, the Commander removed the branding spear from her freshly branded skin and tossed it to the side.

''Keep her gagged and bound in case the enemy comes. She'll be a useful bargaining chip.'' he stated as he withdrew back to the temple.

As Eliyne's eyes slowly creaked open, she immediately attempted to get up. Helplessly, the realization dawned on her that she was bound and gagged, powerless to resist whatever fate fell upon her.

Noticing the jolt of movement, a humongous orc clad in fine armor approached her. The behemonth of a greenskin was nearly twice the size of the Legionnaire she had just encountered, and just as burly.

''So this is the wench who tortured Bloodsnarl.'' he chuckled, seizing her bound arms and dangling her restrained body in front of him. ''The Legionnaire traded you to me in exchange for food and supplies, which are scarce on a warfront, so you know I'll be taking full advantage of our deal.'' he took three steps away, followed by at least eight Kor'kron. ''Gol'mush, Gork. 'Appropriate' our prisoner.''

He dropped her to the ground, her knees cracking against the stone temple floor. Two pairs of orcish hands grabbed her by her hands and dragged her downstairs, her muffled screams going unheard.

Embarassingly, she realized that the orcs had stripped her of her clothes while she was unconscious. All that decorated her purple body was a small bikini and thong.

''Put this on.'' a gruff orc voice spoke, tossing a coarse, revealing light brown garb at her. Since it was better than the little she currently wore, she was compelled to oblige. ''You will entertain the Commander tonight.'' the other voice grunted. They removed her gag so that she could answer them, and her bonds so that she could put the garb on.

''I will not serve you!'' she screamed, her anger getting the best of her. All sense of control lost, she slugged the first orc in the nose. Rushing to the aid of his colleague, the second orc was met with an elbow to the stomach.

''Oof!'' he groaned as he fell down on the floor.

Just as Eliyne grabbed for one of the fallen guards' weapons, she was grabbed by the legs and tossed against the wall.

''You will serve the Horde, or be crushed beneath it!'' the large commander declared imposingly, emerging from the shadows. ''So sayeth the Warchief.''

Several Kor'kron poured from the door and to Scargash's side. ''Go on, boys.'' Scargash grinned. ''Have fun.''

Eliyne wept through the beatings. As fist and foot rained down on her body overwhelming her, she trembled uncontrollably. Her love, Talion, was dead. She was humiliated. Disgraced. Ashamed. Battered.

What would Shandris think if she saw her sentinel crying like a child through a vicious throttling?

Eventually, after it seemed like every area of her body was black, blue, or red, the Commander stood up and shooed the orcs off. Grabbing Eliyne by her hair, he took her outside the temple.

Wielding a massive spear with a tip bearing the likeness of a Horde symbol, the Commander lead her by a small black pool.

''Back in the Durotar and the Barrens, we would take a brand similar to the one you see before you and use it to mark livestock. Possessions.'' he said, his intent becoming clear as he tipped his spear in the strange black flame. ''We would do it with fire, but we learned firsthand that this strange type of fire is much more painful.''

Stepping on Eliyne's hamstrings, he forced her to her knees. A huge hand ripped off the back of the vest he gave her to reveal her bare back.

Laughing sadistically, he snapped his fingers and pointed at the elf, motioning for four Kor'kron to hold her down.

''Now,'' he gloated with a barbaric gleam in his eye. ''You will never forget that you belong TO THE HORDE!''

He plunged his blade into her back, tattooing her skin. In vain, Eliyne writhed with lamentation against rough orcish arms, however the struggle was predictably in vain. The pain she felt was unlike any she had witnessed before, and her mind was overwhelmed with violence, despair, loathing, and anger.

The branding spear sizzled with sha heat as it finished the job on her back, and her cries, which grew even louder and louder, climaxed with a final gasp. As she slipped back into unconsciousness, the Commander removed the branding spear from her freshly branded skin and tossed it to the side.

''Keep her gagged and bound in case the enemy comes. She'll be a useful bargaining chip.'' he stated as he withdrew back to the temple.

As the days digressed into weeks, Commander Scargash began to fall under serious paranoia. He had sent out scouts days ago to give him the report on the land, and they hadn't returned to him. However, he wasn't fooled. While the Commander wasn't renowned for his wit, he noticed the figures that scurried in the shadows.

Eyeing them as closely as he could before they vanished from view, he had a hunch what was happening, and one day, the hunch was confirmed. The very king of Stormwind, Varian Wrynn himself, came forth to boast at the hulking Kor'kron leader.

''Only a few soldiers stand between you and the king of Stormwind!'' he smirked.

''Alliance dogs! Where are your teeth?!'' the large orc retorted, his voice clearly revealing his impatience.

''Come out and count them, coward!'' the King jeered.

Bristling with rage, the Commander turned his back to the King who stood in the distance and retreated inside the temple. With only his men to witness his fury, he smashed his fist against the old temple in frustration.

He paced for the next few days, sending assassin after assassin at the king and the few troops he had in his arsenal, however none succeeded. Eventually, the lack of resources combined with the slow loss of men and the snide human's taunts pushed him to his edge.

''I have had enough! Bring up the grunts! Attack!'' he bellowed, inspiring his troops to rush forward into whatever devious plan the Alliance had for them.

To the Commander's absolute horror, his men rushed to their deaths. Some were levitated into the air by water bubbles and dropped back down to a gory death, while others were ambushed by tree ancients, who literally jumped from the forest.

''No!'' he panicked, backing away with the few lieutenants and sergeants he had remaining with him. ''Fall back to the lower bunker!''

A small squadron of Alliance footsoldiers pursued as the orcs retreated down into the second level.

''You've lost, orc!'' called a human voice, clearly the leader of the platoon.

''Is THIS how you fight your battles?!'' Scargash growled, snatching his prisoner by her hair. He placed the sharp edge of his weapon at the elf's throat.. ''Cowards!''

''We may be cowards, but we don't take helpless prisoners as hostages!'' the man shot back.

''Spare me your morality, pinkskin! I am done with you!'' the orc spat as he drew his blade to finish the elf.

As the large orc brought his blade down on Eliyne, she jolted her head back into his face, causing him to drop her and clutch his nose in pain. ''Hurgh!''

''Seize the day!'' the squad leader yelled as his footsoldiers rushed forward. Scargash scrambled to his feet as his eyes darted around the room for Eliyne. Luckily, he managed to catch her rolling from the fray out of the corner of his eye and took after her.

A lion-crested shield met Scargash's stomach, winding him and halting his advance. The human leader thrust his jeweled sword into the Commander's leg, causing him to howl with agony. Blood began to spurt from his wound, causing, Scargash to take a knee as the human brought down his sword a second time in a vertical slash.

Managing to block the blade with the thick of his shoulderpad, the Commander grabbed the human by his ankle and pulled hard on it, causing him to fall on his back. With reflexes admirable for an orc of his stature, he picked up his fallen weapon and cleaved the human in two while he was down, creating a large pool of crimson blood on the ground.

''Your Alliance is weak.'' he grinned, pleased with himself.

It had seemed he spoke to soon. The second he turned around, the rest of his Kor'kron were dead, and the Alliance footsoldiers, who had just witnessed the death of their captain, were out for vengeance. Accepting his ultimate demise, Scargash would die how he lived.

To make Hellscream proud.

''For the Warchief!'' his voice rang, shaking the entire jungle as he made a final crushing leap into the crowd.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Eliyne could see only silhouettes as she was carried by her rescuers from that place of torment to safety. Several humans periodically gazed at her in admiration of her perservance, while the High King noted her condtion in contempt for the monsters he was fighting.

Despite her dizziness, she could've sworn she saw someone she used to rever back in Darnassus. Could it be... Tyrande herself?

Her thoughts clouded and her will weak, she closed her eyes again. At the moment, she didn't care about who the identity of the elf in front of her was, or the identites of the soldiers around her. As usual, her heart yearned for something else, something she felt she inwardly knew was gone.

Her heart yearned for Talion.

Too weak to cry, she closed her eyes as the journey neared its end.

That night, there was no rest in Lion's Landing for Eliyne. Within the stone walls of her room, she laid there, trembling. Cold tears ran down her marked cheeks as he cradled herself back and fourth, horrified about the events of Pandaria. It pained her to extend her right palm, because whenever she did so, she saw his name.

Hours drifted by as the grief slowly converted into anger. Perhaps it wasn't her fault that Talion had been slain. She knew it wasn't!

Growing more unstable by the minute, her face, which Talion had once complimented to be the finest thing in Teldrassil, began to crease with rage. It wasn't her fault. It was that cursed Legionnaire's! All his entire damned race had done to Azeroth ever since they set foot there was cause death, violence, and misery.

''We should've--'' she spoke ruefully aloud, interrupted by sniffling. ''We should've never offered them peace.''

She buried her grief stricken face into her hands, however it wasn't to last. A female human, which by her haircut and garb appeared to be a page, opened the door slowly, not to startle the grieving sentinel.

''Miss Fallglade, the High Priestess has given you the opportunity to sail home. She says...'' the page hesitated, trying to find appropriate words. ''You've suffered enough.''

Turning her head to face the woman, Eliyne stared at her for a solid ten seconds of tension before responding. ''No, I will stay here. If the orc in gray wants a war, then he shall have one.'' she stood up abruptly. ''Tell the battle strategists I'll be there shortly.''

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

An iron fortress stood before Delurk Bloodsnarl, its glorious Horde banners waving boldly in the wind. Torches lit the path as Delurk spurred Durek forward. As the Legionnaire hammered on the huge metal gates with his fist, a female orc sharpshooter carrying a rifle peeped at the Fury of the Barrens from the top of the gate before wheeling it open.

As the fortified gates were opened, it appeared Domination Point fell silent. The undead wolf's hollow breath could be heard as it maneuvered across the base. Respectfully, the orcs Delurk passed by saluted as he made his way into the main building.

Noticably, the sign of regard wasn't shared with Delurk's Darkspear companion. Aloofly, Delurk didn't notice the scowling eyes that bore down on his companion. Koah snorted discourteously at his unfriendly spectators.

''What you lookin' at, eh?'' he challenged the hostile glances as they walked.

Making his way up the stairs, Delurk sensed a familiar scent. Finally, he had reached the source.

''Warlord!'' Delurk said, kneeling in reverence.

''Off your feet, Legionnaire.'' Bloodhilt spoke. While his undertone was friendly, his intent was serious. ''We can't waste time on formalities.''

He lead the two over to a map. ''My scouts have accumulated reports of a massive Alliance assault within the next three days. They will be deployed from the Skyfire on the beachhead. Your job, Bloodsnarl, will be to lead the Dominance forces in defending what we have worked so hard to earn. Find the one leading the offensive, and do to him what you did to Hawthorne back in the Barrens.''

''Yes, Warlord.'' Delurk nodded. ''Soon, we will drink grog from Alliance skulls!''

''I knew you were up to job!'' the Warlord beamed with pride. ''Make the Horde proud, Legionnaire.''

Nodding a second time, Delurk turned to go. ''Wait, Delurk.'' Bloodhilt called out.

Koah turned around to follow his comrade back, but Bloodhilt held out his hand. ''I need to speak to your friend in private.''

''Alright den, mon. See ya later, Delurk.'' Koah waved to the titanium warrior as he left the premisis.

His facial expression grave, Bloodhilt watched as the troll left the room before directly looking Delurk in the eyes. ''I have orders from the Warchief himself that say the trolls stay out of this campaign.''

''But the Darkspear are a part of the Horde!'' Delurk protested. ''We will need our combined strength to--''

''But the Darkspear are a part of the Horde!'' Delurk protested. ''We will need our combined strength to--''

Bloodhilt silenced him. ''These are not my decisions to make, Delurk. While it is true that combined strength would do us well against the Alliance, I say from one long time friend to another that it is unwise to question the Warchief. Don't lose faith in Garrosh, Bloodsnarl. He has lead the Horde to greatness, and he will continue to do so as long as good orcs like you and I remain loyal.''

Distressed, Delurk agreed. ''Yes, Warlord. I am sorry for doubting the great Hellscream.''

''You mean well, Legionnaire. Your questions reflect your care for the Horde, and I'm sure our Warchief can respect your passions. Still, it would do you well to remember that we are both ultimately under the Warchief's command, and while we are, his will surpass our own desires.''

''Zug zug.'' Delurk said, understanding what his former mentor was communcating. ''Be safe, Warlord. The enemy is a wrly one.''

''Indeed they are.'' Bloodhilt agreed, looking over a map unscrolled across the table. ''That is all, Legionnaire. May your blades never dull.''

With that, Delurk bowed once more before departing from the Warlord's presence.

His titanium boots were imrprinted on the dirt as he strutted out into the middle of the camp.

''''How large are they in number?'' he hollered to an orc on top of a watchtower.

His face appeared pale as he looked at Delurk.

''Thrall's balls...'' Bloodsnarl grumbled as he made his way over to the sniper. Swiping the spyglass from him, he peered into it and sized up the invading force.

He turned around to address the Hold. ''Warlord Bloodhilt has personally tasked me with the defense of this Keep! If any of you challenge my authority, do so now.'' He withdrew his axe, the tip gleaming in the sunset. ''No? Good.''

''We'll need at least ten hobgoblins, camoflauge paint, heavily spiked shields, air freshener, two full stables of wolves...''

Delurk took a second glance at the force preparing to invade.

''And a miracle.''
Delurk Bloodsnarl and the Breaking of Mists Act 4
Part 4 of Delurk's adventures in Pandaria. I hope you brought some snacks, because it's a long one!
Loading...
Delurk narrowed his eyes to get a better view of the figure who stood in the distance. Thin, golden blades of grass blew in the wind as the distant visage's hair hung loosely in the wind. Her small tusks, gleaming as bright as diamonds in the sunlight, curved into a kindly smile.

As be walked toward the mysterious figure, wind began to buffet him back. Unwilling to allow his curiousity to be quenched by a mere breeze, Delurk shielded his eyes as he pushed forward for a better view. The buffeting force proving no match for his muscular legs. Alas, he was finally within distance to see her..

It was his beloved.

It was Rika.

His body exploded in effort, he doubled the speed in which he pursued her. Her heavenly beauty encouraged him not to relent. Elegantly, she treaded toward Delurk with arms wide open.

As the winds began to tear everything from the ground, Delurk pressed on. He was almost there. The mountains themselves were flung like stones in the face of the wind, and homes were uprooted from their foundations. Still, Delurk's hand extended closer and closer to her, both of his legs planted on the ground, refusing to be carried away.

She laid eyes upon her desperate lover as her naked palm extended out to his.

And with a bucket of cold water to the head, his dream ended.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Koah, the trolls, and the tauren gathered at the campfire he had made at the setting of the sun. An entire day of hard labor had went by, and the Legionnaire was nowhere to be found.

''We should leave 'em, mon! Explore dis new land! He ain't gonna boss us around no more!'' one of Koah's darkspear brothers called out.

''Dat may be true, but what if some of Hellscream's men come askin' about him?'' questioned the other.

''We can tell 'em he died in battle.'' said the first troll, grinning mischievously.

The two tauren sat back quietly as the trolls debated amongst themselves.

Koah crouched down, staring out into the distance.

''What happened to 'im?'' he asked the elements.

Startlingly, a howl disturbed the silent campfire. A pale blue ghost wolf covered in protruding spikes approached, its massive jaw burdened with what appeared to be a rolled up piece of cloth.

Slowly, Koah's mouth parted in a shocked expression. Durek dropped the cloth at the troll's feet, allowing him to pick up the war-torn, chewed mess.

''Dis be da Legionnaire's cape...'' he pronounced.

''Yes, it is.'' rumbled a deep voice from behind him.

Several orcs began to pour out of a warship and rallied behind Commander Scargash as he stared down at what remained of Delurk's warband.

''Delurk has failed?'' the Commander asked.

''We doan know, mon. He went missing.'' Koah replied.

''It seems he's unfit for the glory of his people after all. ''Scargash scowled. ''No matter. I will offer you and your tauren passage with us. We will succeed where Bloodsnarl has failed and claim an outpost in Hellscream's name!''

''What did you have in mind?'' one of the tauren asked.

''It's simple,'' Scargash said, drawing a map in the sand. ''Warlord Bloodhilt tells me that the main Horde army will be building a fortress off the southwestern coasts of Krasarang. We've also received word that the Alliance is constructing an outpost to the Northeast.''

''The solution?'' the massive orc sneered. ''A middle front. Somewhere our troops can resupply during the journey from our fortress to theirs. I doubt the treacherous Sunwalkers will aid us in our mission, but I have prepared for the worst.'' his finger drifted closer toward the middle of the map. ''There is a fortified temple in the middle of Krasarang that is called 'The Temple of the Red Crane.' We will offer the pandaren who dwell inside it to serve the Horde or be crushed beneath it!''

He removed his finger from the sand and faced his racially diverse audience. ''Either way, the temple will be ours to command.''

''But I don't think ya got enough soldiers, mon!'' Koah cried.

''Think again,'' Scargash answered, his voice increasingly agitated, pointing a thick finger to a fleet of warships filled with bloodthirsty orcs just off the coast. ''With the force I have brought with me, it's a wonder why we don't simply march to Lion's Landing and crush the opposition right now! Orders are orders, though.''

''You seek to intimidate peaceful monks for the sake of furthering your war efforts?'' a tauren rumbled, stepping forward. ''The Earth Mother forbids it, not to mention whatever foreign gods this land may hold! What will happen if they turn against us and join the Alliance?''

''The Earth Mother won't help us win a war, and if any 'foreign god' defies the will of the Warchief, they will fall with the rest.'' scowled Scargash. ''In the end, even deities will kneel before the great Hellscream. Now, if you aren't coming, I'll go back to my warships, leave you to rot, and reap the glory without you.''

''You can't!'' the tauren pleaded, grabbing Scargash's shoulder in anger. ''You overest--''

Furiously, the Commander wheeled around and slammed his fist into the tauren's snout. ''I can and WILL do whatever the warchief calls me to do, whelp! You overestimate your place.''

Cruel orcish laughter resonated in the background as the Commander reboarded his warship, allowing the small, discombobulated warband to collect itself. ''If you find the Legionnaire alive, tell him his new orders are to travel to the southwestern coast of Krasarang. The Dominance Offensive should be in full swing by then.''

''Prove your worthless hides to Hellscream for once in your miserable lives.'' bellowed another orc on deck.

With that, Scargash's warship took off into the sunrise.

''What do we do now?'' asked the uninjured tauren, picking up his bruised comrade.

Noticing Durek already scaling the mountain, Koah looked back at the warband.

''We find da Legionnaire.''

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Randal Murphy circled the Legionnaire, stroking the butt of his shotgun. He pressed the muzzle against Delurk's bald forehold while mockingly toying with the trigger. The Legionnaire struggled against his barbed wire bonds, unfortunate to learn that despite Captain Patches's state of insanity, his mind was strong enough to know no mere rope would hold the Fury of the Barrens. The wire itself was made of an unusual substance, glowing eerish white. Delurk had heard this special ore was native to Pandaria, and it was certainly a capable restrainer.

''So you're sure you don't know where this new fancy base is being built?'' Murphy asked, holding the muzzle steadfast. ''I'm sure our friends back at the SI:7 would like to know. Maybe they'd even.... pay you.''

''I'm not an honorless mercenary who serves only for gold!'' Delurk yowled. ''I have people to protect, and dirty pinkskins like you to slay! The glory of victory is payment enough for me! Then again, what would an inbred son of a harpy like you know about honor or glory?''

Shrugging, Randal loaded his gun. ''Suit yourself.''

''Stop, Randal!'' Eliyne cried out. ''Can't you see that killing him would serve no purpose?''

''He's not talking.'' Randal sighed. ''And he called me names.''

''He'll talk if you motivate him.'' Eliyne answered.

''But I already tried that!'' complained Randal. ''If not gold, then what?''

''Pain.'' Eliyne stated, holding up an unfamiliar branch. ''Sometimes, it's necessicary.''

Randal eyed Eliyne suspiciously. ''Aren't you a bit too sweet to be using mean 'ol torture on people?''

''Sometimes, it's necessicary.'' she blatantly repeated. ''And since when did you care about how the enemy felt? Or how anyone felt for that matter?''

Running his fingers across his gray stubble, Captain Patches slowly nodded. ''Good point.''

Grimly, Eliyne held out a bottle as she squeezed the berries from the branch into it. ''Lend me your boot knife, Randal.''

''Aye aye, Captain.'' he remarked sarcastically as he handed it to her.

The poison had an odd effect as Eliyne dipped it into the bottle. It stuck to the knife like butter on toast.

Sternly, Eliyne approached Delurk, with the knife in hand.

''Remember, orc, we can avoid all of this if you simply tell me the location of Domination Point.''


19540
16656 posts
Dec 8, 2013
(Edited)
''The pain you will inflict to me will be child's play once I have finally subjugated your pitiful race.'' Delurk snarled. ''Your friends and family will be slaves. Your neighbors will be slaves. The gnomes and draenei will be slaves. You, purpleskin, will be tortured alongside your lover until your body breaks and you are gifted with death.''

''I offer you only one chance to avoid your fate.'' the Legionnaire concluded, his stubbornness resilient in the face of his captors.

Enraged by his threat, Talion drew his blades to gut the orc where he stood. but his lover's silky smooth hand stopped him.

''Congratulations, orc.'' she replied. ''You've made my job easier.''

The venom dagger cut a layer of Delurk's skin as he howled in pain. ''Night Elven wretch! 1,000 Alliance children will pay their heads for that!''

Unable to stop his fall due to the barbed wire, Delurk crumbled to the ground violently. While there weren't any visible signs of pain, it felt as if every nerve in his body had been lit aflame, the heart of the inferno being in the cut of his arm.

Steeling himself, he refused to allow his body to tremble in the face of the enemy.

It'd be a long night.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Koah perched atop Durek as he and the warband scoured the Jade Forest. The trip had been so tiring, one of his fellow trolls began to turn.... black?

''Give it up, mon. I doubt we be findin' 'em. He's probably dead by now.''

''He's right.'' called out the bruised tauren. ''How can we ever find him in this dense, unfamiliar wood? It's impossible!''

Koah toyed with his tusks in annoyance. This would never work with the lack of faith his men were exhibiting. That wasn't to say they didn't have a good reason to grumble. Following the scent of a disrespectful Legionnaire through a foreign land using a mount that probably lost its smell after death?

What was he thinking?

Just then, a dissonant cry sang across the entire forest.

''Dat's da Legionnaire!'' Koah hollered.

Instinctively, Durek bolted toward the sound of the noise, the warband following in pursuit.

Yanking the reigns with all the force he could muster, he managed to get Durek to heel. The warband was quick to catch up.

''Look!'' exclaimed a tauren. ''There he is!''

Just beyond the thick, lush trees the warband hid behind, the remaining group of Murphy's crew stood boldly in the open. A female Night Elf had maimed a good part of Delurk's arm, and the Legionnaire's breathing was faint.

''We gotta go now!'' Koah cried, leaping from his hiding place. ''Attack, bruddahs!'

A rigid axe whizzed through the air as it struck home on a Draenei shaman's skull. Startled, the wretched Night Elf was forced to drop her knife, draw up her sword, and prepare for battle. A second night elf, his hair pale as the moon, took to her back, wielding two razor sharp swords.

''Another battle to fight, my love.'' Eliyne muttered under her breath.

''And another battle to win.'' Talion smirked in the face of adversary.

Murphy threw his shotgun aside to snatch up a nearby blunderbuss.. ''We've got company!''

Expertly, he fired a bullet straight into a tauren's skull, dropping the beast instantly.

''BLURGH!'' the massive beast moaned as he collapsed to the ground.

More rapid shots were made at two encroaching trolls. As one of the Darkspear drew his bow back to barrage the captain, he was surprised by a sword through the heart.

Talion frowned at the troll as his lanky figure wheezed for breath, coughing up blood. Eventually, the bowman gave in, and closed his eyes for the final time.

Seeing the battle going poorly, Koah implored the elements. ''Waters of da wild ocean, heal da Legionnaire! Powers of da great and sturdy earth, give him strength, so dat we may win dis day for da Horde!''

A wave of restoration and an aura of enhancement felt over the Legionnaire. Standing up, Delurk effortlessly snapped his Ghost Iron bonds, grabbed the tentacles of the nearest Draenei shaman, and shoved his fist into the blue blunderer's face. Disoriented by the blow, the shaman stumbled back, giving Delurk the time he needed to draw his enemy's mace from its sheath and splatter the contents of his head on a nearby tree,

Ruefully, Eliyne cringed at the sound. Plunging into battle, Delurk rummaged through the remaining shaman like a kodo through a herd of gazelle.

Eliyne and Talion were combating Koah and the remaining troll. As Eliyne's claymore beat down upon Koah's armor, the shaman invoked the elements once again. A pair of dire wolves emerged from the mists, and their teeth sank into Eliyne's thigh.

''Ooough!'' she screamed, stumbling backward and tumbling to the ground. Her head struck a tree, and her body laid vulnerable.

''Eliyne! NO!'' her lover screeched over the carnage.

''Heheh! She's already dead, mon. Koah gonna string her pretty little head on his ra--''

Angrily, Talion made a low sweep at the troll's feet, causing him to lose balance and his weapons to fling out of reach. Taking the advantage, Talion impaled the sneering monster with both twinblades running through his chest.

Without hesitation, the Elf Rogue plucked his blades from the blue corpse and chucked it at Koah. The blade wasn't halfway through the air before Delurk caught it, however, an impulse caused the Fury of the Barrens to hurl the weapon at Captain ''Patches'' Murphy, who was preparing to fill Delurk with bullets.

''Auuuugh!'' Randal whimpered as the blade pierced his chest. He held steadfast to his gun as he crumbled to the ground.

Only Eliyne and Talion remained. Desperate thoughts clouded Talion's mind as he clashed blades with the only surviving troll, Koah. He knew he couldn't stay here. He had to do something, and fast.

Unable to hesitate, he jammed his boot into Koah's jaw, knocking him into the air. Hastily, he grabbed Eliyne's limp body, flung it over his shoulder, and took off into the forest.

''I will skin your bodies and sell your hides to goblins!'' Delurk thundered as he began to pursue.

The sound of a gunshot stopped him dead in his tracks. Slowly, Delurk turned around to see the last remaining tauren of the crew plunge to the floor, denying Captain Murphy's final bullet a strike home.

Seething with fury, Delurk seized Captain Murphy by his vest. Irate of the Captain's malicious deed, Delurk made two bonecrushing stomps on Patches's calves, forcing him to the ground.

''Troll.'' he said, holding out his hand.

Cackling, Koah handed him his hatchet.

And a valuable Alliance figurehead fell before the Fury of the Barrens.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The smell of fresh blood and bodies was overpowering that evening. Using the wood the trolls had gathered the previous day, the only two Horde survivors of the attack, Delurk (who now had his armor back from the rescue) and Koah, made a bonfire. The bodies of the fallen Horde had been cast into the pyre, a respectful way to dismiss their friends and comrades into the afterlife. The Alliance bodies had been used as bait to catch beasts for the evening's meal.

As smoke began filling the sky, Koah caught Delurk's stare. It wasn't a criticizing stare. It wasn't a stare of discrimination as Koah had become so accustomed to. It wasn't a stare of burning anger, or a stare of loss and sorrow. It was a stare of confusion.

''Why, troll...'' he said over the bonfire. ''Why did you rescue me? I saw you as inferior, and I imposed my will upon you. I made you work so tirelessly you fell conscious from the strain. Why did you rescue me?''

Koah chuckled softly, taking a hearty bite out of Captain Murphy's leg. ''Because, mon. You ain't just my Legionnaire. You ain't just some dumb 'ol orc. The Horde be a family, and dat makes you a brudda. A true troll never turns his back on a brudda.''

Regret boiling up inside him, Delurk put down his haunch of lynx meat. ''You're right, troll. Vrang was right. The Horde is a family, and you are my brothers and sisters.'' he rubbed the fresh scar on his arm woefully. ''From this day fourth, I will see all races of the Horde equal, so that we can rise up as one and crush all who stand against us!''

He paused, unfinished with his passionate speech. ''But first... I need you to do something.''

''And what's dat, mon?'' Koah inquired.

''I need you to forgive me.''

Meanwhile, an analogous mood was felt near Pearlfin village. It was a mood of thankfulness, yet of sorrow. A mood of triumph, yet a mood of loss. For in Talion's eyes, every fight he and Eliyne survived together, whether it be for better or worse, was a victory for him.

Fatigue wearing in, Talion dragged Eliyne onward through the Jade Forest, taking her out of harm's way. Through the dense, swallowing marshs, through the hostile, primitive hozen territory. Through the screams of faction conflict, screams not too distant. Inwardly, he wouldn't give himself permission to yield until they had reached some semblance of a safe location. He refused to.

Eventually, Talion's body could withstand abuse no longer, and despite how ferociously he pushed it, it too had collapsed.

As his eyes wore heavy, he took solace in the figures who had carried them from the ground and into their village. He had did it.

Their love had survived another battle.
Delurk Bloodsnarl and the Breaking of Mists Act 3
Part of Delurk's journeys in Pandaria! Please be share to comment your thoughts, but remember - this is some of my older work!
Loading...
Cheers rang through the Valley of Strength that night as the warriors returned home from battle. A massive feast, encored by a party, was prepared for the victors, and Delurk wouldn't miss a moment of it.

Clanking his mug with both Scargash and Bloodhilt, the three reckless orcs chugged grog. Delurk had removed his Kor'kron regalia for the occasion, and he wore only his titanium legplates. It'd be a shame to get grease on his gear!

''....And then the tauren said, 'That's not a shovel!' '' Delurk concluded to one of his bar jokes.

The warlord and commander hooted with laughter, slapping their knees and clapping each other on the back. Taking another ludicrous bite off a plainstrider leg and forcing it into his mouth, Delurk washed down the meat with more grog.

''How many gnomes does it take to paint a wall red?'' Bloodhilt inquired, nobly attempting to hold in his laughter.

''How many?'' Scargash grinned

''Why, it depends on how hard you throw them!'' Bloodhilt answered.

Scargash shot his Mulgore Firewater out of his nose, causing Delurk, who was now on the tipsier side, to reel back in sarcastic repulsion.

Wiping the remaining liquid off his face, Scargash caught a busty Blood Elf ordering something from the counter.

Foolishly, Scargash nudged Delurk. ''There's another battlefield to conquer,'' he said snidely, pointing toward the figure of his fancy. ''Why don't you ask her for her name?''

Snarling through his teeth, Delurk shoved Scargash. ''You motherless son of a centaur! Watch your wretched tongue!''

Caught unaware by the attack, Scargash stumbled back onto a table, flipping it over, and covering his face in food.

The larger orc wouldn't just stand there and take it, though. Bellowing fiercely, Scargash grabbed Delurk's waist and threw him against the tavern wall. Bloodhilt stepped fourth to intervene, but Scargash shoved him out of the way and onto the dinner of a group of tauren. They looked down upon their crushed feast furiously.

Bloodhilt's brow creased. ''You don't want to strike me, friend.''

The leader of the group, a jet black tauren, seized Bloodhilt by the neck. ''On the contrary.''

It wasn't long before the entire tavern was a mosh pit.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Eliyne Fallglade saddled her panther, prepared to depart into the night. The Sentinels had called her to action, and she had to heed the orders. While it was true that she now craved for Talion's embrace more than anything else Azeroth had to offer, she had a duty to the Sentinels, and it bound her both by her personal sense of honor and by the oath she swore to the Sisters. If she betrayed that oath, she'd be ostracized by Night Elven society, and she would endanger both herself and Talion.

She couldn't risk that.

She wanted to tell Talion that she was leaving, but she wasn't sure she could bear the weight of his sorrow on her mission. Perhaps it was better to tell him. Perhaps not.

Whatever the case, by the time she truly realized what she was doing, she was already half way to Ruth'eran Village. Passing through the glades, she admired Teldrassil's beauty a final time. The majestic trees, the untouched, tranquil waters...

Night Elves appeared from the treetops to examine the young woman as she disappeared into the portal.

''All aboard for Stormwind!'' a distant voice called.

As she crossed the harbor onto the boat, she pondered the terrifying moment she first recieved the summons. Shandris Feathermoon had went to Theramore to assist in the war against the marauding Horde...

...And Theramore was obliverated in an arcane calamity.

Miraculously, Shandris managed to survive somehow. Doubtlessly, she avoided the explosion altogether, because anything unlucky enough to be caught in it was arcane residue by this point.

Her resourcefulness and tenacity were all the more reason to revere her.

She proceeded into her assigned cabin and dumped all the cargo her panther had held into the room. The mounts would take a different boat.

''Just another loved one I must cast away for the whim of war.'' she sighed.

''Another?'' called a voice from the shadows.

Startled, she jumped to her feet.

Talion's familiar, waving white hair soothed her spirit. He chuckled as he took her by the hands.

''Come, now. It's not THAT easy to abandon me!''

He smiled, bringing Eliyne's soul both calmness and guilt.

Eliyne opened her mouth to object, but knew that the intent of the statement was a mere joke. Unfortunately, she knew he was right. She DID leave him out of her own weakness.

''I'm coming with you,'' Talion stated boldly. ''You may have a duty to do the sentinels, but my duty is to you.''

She couldn't help but to throw her hands around his neck and hold him tightly. Talion laughed softly.

''I never want to leave your side again."" Eliyne said, her embrace still strong around him.

''Hmmm...'' Talion pondered thoughfully. ''Come.''

Eliyne sat beside her lover on the bedside as he withdrew a razor sharp knife from his belt. He began to carve something in his hand, grunting through the pain as he went.

''What are you doing?'' Eliyne gasped with alarm, yet somehow managing to keep a soft tone.

He finished carving, then looked up at her. He showed her his blood soaked hand, which bore six letters on it: Eliyne.

''This way, I'll be reminded of this moment with you even if we're ever separated,'' he said gently.

She held out her hand breathlessly, her motive transparent. Talion opened his mouth to object, but decided it was best not to. He began to carve his name into her palm as tears ran down her marked cheeks. Whether they were tears of pain or tears of joy, he did not know.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

It had been over a year since Unorak was first banished from Frostwolf Village by Delurk's spiteful hand. While it pained him greatly, he didn't pursue vengeance against his brother, or even hold a grudge against him. Instead of seeing the casting out as the end, he saw it as a new beginning.

A beginning of a life with the elements.

His eyes sealed shut, Unorak sat on the mountainside of the Hinterlands, his only companion a basic campfire. The darkness of night only served to enhance the fire's beauty, but despite all its majesty, Unorak preferred to keep his eyes shut. He was content to listen to the low crackling of the fire as it generously provided him warmth against the chilling winds of Azeroth.

Unfortunately, he wasn't yet a master shaman. It is said that true mastery of the elements is declared once the shaman has successfully transformed into an elemental ascendant and back again. There was a long life of learning ahead of him, and he anticipated the road ahead with patience, yet eagerness to learn about the secrets of the world.

Suddenly, the fire took shape and the winds fell silent. Unorak's eyes darted open to listen.

The matronly silhouette of Mother Yazgra Bloodsnarl stood before him. While she wasn't a shaman herself, there was undeniably another shaman in the village who was able to convince the elements to send him this message from her.

''My son... my wise and humble son...'' she began. ''Since the day Delurk saved the Village and banished you from it, the Stormpike have doubled their efforts. The monster of a dwarf Vannader Stormpike began to push down the valley a second time, and Drek'thar was forced to send what little champions the Frostwolves had left to combat them. Your father, Mergosh Bloodsnarl, was among the enlisted.''

Unorak closed his eyes painfully, unready as to where this conversation might lead.

''Your father was last seen fending off the pouring invaders to his dying breath, never allowing the enemy an inch.'' she smiled, attempting to choke back a tear. ''Maybe that's where Delurk got his spirit from.''

Her fiery visage blew in the wind as she continued.

''Son, I beseech you to discover the fate of your father. Drek'thar no longer senses his presence in the Valley. There might have been a time in his more youthful day that he could detect Mergosh anywhere in the world, but that time has passed.''

Chewing his beard, Unorak nodded silently, even though he knew his mother couldn't see his response.

''You must delve deeper into your shamanistic practices to find Mergosh. After you have mastered the five elements, they will reveal him to you.''

''Five?'' Unorak thought.

''I pray to the ancestors you are successful, and always remember... your mother loves you, Unorak.''

Smiling, her image was extinguished in the wind. Slowly, Unorak picked up his staff and gazed toward the sky.

''It appears my spiritual journey has just begun.'' he thought. ''Elements aid me.''

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Clutching his head, Delurk stumbled to his feet outside a wrecked Wyvern's Tail tavern. His memory still foggy, he dumped his head into a nearby lake to refresh himself.

''Thrall's balls...'' he muttered under his breath, shaking his doused head dry.

A shrill voice cackled from nearby shadows.

''Hello, orc.'' it called.

Suspiciously, Delurk readily donned his titanium helmet and pursued the voice. Alas, he was able to identify it.

''Rotzinger,'' he growled.

''Indeed,'' he stated. ''I am not here to brawl with you orc. I have information you might find.... useful. It regards your dead wife, Rika.''

Delurk's hands plunged into the shadows and yanked Conclavis out of them by his chalk white robe. ''Orcs have mates, not wives, bonesack. Now tell me what you know.''

''Unhand me, you oaf!'' Conclavis scowled.

Unfortunately, Delurk knew that he'd have to be very mindful of his behavior with this priest if he was to discover whatever mystery of revival the undead had to share. He complied.

''Well then,'' Conclavis began, dusting himself off. ''I've accumulated research that has led me to believe that the titan artifacts contained somewhere within Northrend's snowy peaks may have the ability to create life from stone.''

''I want Rika back, not a statue of her,'' Delurk grunted.

''Ah, yes. Well, no doubt that we might be able to tamper with it to recreate flesh. All you'd need is something from the deceased to bring him or her back to life.''

Delurk glanced at his bag. The ashes...

And what do you want from me?'' he questioned, his suspicions still high.

''Why, I want you to protect me during my research! Certainly a big dumb orc like you would be able to keep me safe?''

Roaring, Delurk leaned in so close to Conclavis's face that the priest was forced to back away.

''You're lucky I care about Rika more than I do about grinding your bony little head into the dirt.'' he spat

''Yes, well, you do. So are you coming or n--''

Conclavis was silenced by the heralding of a deafening trumpet heralding the Horde call to arms across Orgrimmar.

Instantly, it seemed the entire city ran from their homes to hear the news. Shopkeepers closed shop for an hour to hear the announcement. Blacksmiths stopped the crafting of their happens mid-hammer swing. Even the matron of the orphanage came to see the commotion.

Doomfang phased in from the other plane and bowed his head, ready to ferry his titanium master. Delurk looked down at Conclavis.

''We will finish this later, priest.''

With that, Doomfang took to the skies.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



A huge crowd of all Horde races gathered outside Grommash Hold, eager to hear the reason for the occasion. Across the courtyard, Delurk noticed Commander Scargash, covered in bruises. Warlord Bloodhilt caught Delurk's stare from across the field and shook his head.

''Whatever happened earlier was probably something worth remembering,'' he thought.

''People of Orgrimmar!'' shouted an orc in orange with sideburns running down either cheek. ''The Horde has discovered a massive, uncharted landmass south of here! The human prince Anduin has taken shelter there with his men, thinking he can hide from us and steal the land's precious resources for the Alliance.'' he tossed his gleaming red war axe in front of the crowd. ''We must not let this come to pass.''

Malkorok abruptly stepped in front of him. ''In Hellscream's name, all able-bodied citizens of Orgrimmar must report to the barracks at once!''

The audience gasped.

''Those who are unable to fight will provide services for the warriors. Those caught chaefing their duties will be drawn and quartered,'' he grinned, unearthing the orange-clad orc's axe and handing it back to him. ''Now get moving!''

Since Doomfang was superlative in speed, Delurk had the honor of being one of the first to recieve his orders. He was to build a coastal stronghold on the first plot of land he struck, then construct a signal fire by hacking down, piling, and burning any surrounding trees. Bearing the respectable rank of Legionnaire, he was honored with a warship and a raiding party of three trolls, two tauren, and five orcs. (himself included). The Legionnaire was confident he could make this party of ten as lethal as an army of 1,000.

As he began to saddle Durek with supplies he'd need for the trip, Conclavis's creaking voice pierced the air with a taxing question.

''I see you have chosen the Horde over Rika.''

''I have a duty to fulfill to my people.'' the orc gruffly stated. ''You can handle yourself while gather information.''

''Ah, but the process with be greatly inhibited. And if I die? What then?'' Conclavis smirked.

''Rika would want me to do this!'' Delurk's stentorian voice boomed.

''Are you sure?'' Conclavis replied, his tone innocent but his intention more wicked than Sargeras himself.

He turned around to face the sack of bones before saddling up and riding out.

''No.''

Courageously, he marched out of the city with his war party. As he approached Bladefist Bay, he saw the familiar face of Warlord Bloodhilt, his glistening golden armor radiating in the crimson sunset. Scargash was near him, but Delurk couldn't quite make out what the two orcs were discussing.

''Delurk is a loyal warrior and a brutally effecient fighter,'' Bloodhilt said to his larger friend. ''But if you insult his dead mate or even try discussing her with him, he'll turn on you like a hungry wolf.''

''Grrggh...'' Scargash muttered, still sore from the wholloping Delurk gave him at the tavern a few nights past.

Bloodhilt laughed. ''Surely spilling some filthy Alliance blood will lift your spirits. Sail well, Commander.''

Scargash nodded at Bloodhilt. ''Blood and thunder, Warlord.'' He embarked onto his warship.

Just as the large orc had climbed aboard his ship, Delurk and his crew finally managed to make it over to Bloodhilt.

''I must stay back in Orgrimmar to prepare with the main fleet.'' he said, placing a hand on Delurk's spiked shoulderplate. ''Scargash's warband will accompany yours closely. Be patient with him, Legionnaire. Like you, he is brash, but useful.''

Delurk nodded. ''I will try.''

''Make the Horde proud. Bring honor to your people, and remember the most valuable lesson I have taught you.''

''Cunning,'' they mutually chanted.

''Lok'tar ogar, Bloodhilt.'' Delurk said, saluting as his warship set sail for the south.

Bloodhilt returned the gesture, outwardly silent and expressionless, but inwardly swelling with pride at the orc he had raised from the pits of despair to the reverence of his people.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

((Play www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bsnm-h… while reading))

Eliyne and Talion disembarked their transportation ship and arrived in Stormwind. Thankfully, it'd seemed the military crowd had gathered at the docks, so there was no need for any unnecessary travel. A human female stood above an assortment of boxes, her short, cropped black hair nearly fully concealed by her admiral's hat. A hungry look lit her eyes as she publicly addressed the masses.

''Citizens of the Alliance, it warms my heart to see you gathered here this evening! The Horde has committed their last henious crime against us! Unspeakable crimes! They have taken Southshore, Andorhal, and now,Theramore! But I say they have taken too much!'' a lock of the admiral's mangy hair dropped down, revealing her passionate, yer frightfully horrendous appearance.

She rapidly gestured the audience to crowd around her. ''Come to me, so that I may chart out the path each of you must take to secure a prosperous and peaceful new generation for your children!''

Eliyne and Talion cautiously approached the restless, overly eccentric admiral with prudent forethought.

After she was finished delegating instructions to the majority the massive mob, she caught sight of the violet couple.

''You two,'' she said, pointing a finger at them. ''Will escort Captain Randal Murphy south and establish a beachhead on the land you find there. You can find him in the second to last boat at the end of the harbor.'' she paused before finishing. ''Oh, and a word of advice. He's a loose cannon, so mind your surroundings under his eye.''

''Knows how to navigate a ship, though,'' she muttered under her breath in admiration.

''What do you mean, 'a loose cannon'?'' Eliyne asked out of curiosity.

''You'll see.'' the Admiral responded, chuckling disarmingly.

''HEAVE!'' roared the Legionnaire on his warship, his voice thundering across the ocean.

The unforgiving ocean fought against the boat as is it was hewn to and fro. Rain poured down from the skies as Delurk oversaw the rowing operations.

There were eight oars total, so one member was allowed into the cabin at a time while the others worked. The tauren and troll crew members noticed how they seldom recieved their break from the watery struggle. The titanium captain almost always selected other orcs to break instead.

''Ey, mon. Wen you gonna give one of us a break?'' complained a troll in shamanistic garb.

Delurk whizzed around to face the troll. ''When I feel you need one, troll.'' he growled. ''If you have enough energy to complain to me, then you definitely have enough energy to last another hour.'' he stood imposingly over the blue-skinned sailor. ''NOW KEEP ROWING!''

''No, mon. Dis not be right.'' the darkspear threw down his oar, rallying the other two trolls to do the same. Resolved not to be lost to the ocean, the tauren and on-duty orcs kept rowing diligently.

Furiously, Delurk unslung his axe from his back. ''That wasn't an option, whelp.''

The troll stared at Delurk unflinchingly. Growling, Delurk knew that he needed to make an example of him.

''So be it.''

Flashing his axe through the air, Delurk brought his blade down on the troll in a diagonal cleave. The Darkspear managed to anticipate the strike and attempted to block the weapon with one of his axes, however, his hatchet was no match for Delurk's atrocious strength.

The one handed axe knocked out his hand due to the impact and hewn into the sea, the troll had one weapon remaining. Processing the events before him quickly, he wrapped his skinny fingers around his remaining weapon and enchanted it with blazing fire.

''Hah! As if that will stop me.'' Delurk chortled.

Smirking, the troll clutched his weapon tightly. ''It just might, mon.''

At that moment, he chucked the weapon at Delurk's titanium faceplate.

Delurk caught the weapon before it could strike home and squeezed it, ignoring the scorching pain it dealt to his titanium hand. Staring with a locked, scowling expression into the belligerent troll's eyes, he tossed the second weapon into the sea, stepped on the handle of the oar, and forced it up, then shoved it into the troll's chest.

''If I didn't need hands to row this warship, I'd gut your worthless hide right now.'' he spat. He faced the entire crew. '' NOW GET BACK TO WORK!''

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Randal Murphy extended his eyeglass out into the mysterious ocean, his musket resting comfortably by his stead.

''Storm's comin','' he said to himself. ''I should probably tell the crew.''

As a cabin boy rang the bell, summoning all hands to the deck, a strapping, muscular human stood at the top of the boat, his hands focused on steering the boat. An eyepatch covered his face, and gray stubble riddled his chin.

''I'm Randal Murphy, folks. You can call me Patches. Guess why?'' he guffawed aloud, aware none of the crew was laughing with him.

''Oh, never mind.'' he grumbled. Tough crowd.

''We should be seein' land a few days from now. From what I've been noticin,' though, there's a storm coming. Best get tuckered on into your cabin's because it's gonna be a rough one.'' he scanned the audience for timidness as he spoke, and he found it in the eyes of many of the crew. He frowned, sighing.

''Anyway, if y'all have any questions, just ask. I'll ring the bell again if we have some trouble. On that note, try to enjoy yourselves.''

He turned his eye back to the horizon.

''Try.''

As the night set over the sea, the journey became increasing rough. Waves slammed themselves against the boat, rocking it to its foundation. Eliyne and Talion cuddled by a candle for warmth as Captain Patches's inane shouting could be heard from the top of the deck. Times like these tested their love, but it seemed that their destiny together would be to survive this turbulent trek across the ocean.

''No matter what happens, Eliyne..'' Talion whispered, extending out his carved palm.

Eliyne took it with hers, and their lips communicating the message their words couldn't. Unarguably,, it'd be a long night.

But they'd weather the storm.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

His eyes hungering for any sight of land, Delurk stared over an ocean more tranquil than he'd experienced the night before. Needlessly to say, there was a storm on two fronts the previous evening.

A majority of the crew was fast asleep by now, as the additional manpower needed to propel the boat forward was no longer necessary. However, the troll who defied him was granted no pause to his labors as punishment for his behavior.

Dark, gloomy circles overshadowed the troll's eyes. He was able to last this long to begin with due to his shamanistic prowess in restoration, but his mana ran low, and his breath was heavy. He would expire at any moment.

''Auuugh!''

Finally, the troll fell unconscious.

Disgusted with the weakness of the troll, Delurk drew his axe and approached his unconscious body. He began to shake him rapidly.

''You will keep rowing or go overboard!'' Delurk roared at the unconscious shaman.

Mortified at his treatment of their brother, the other two Darkspear stepped forward. ''Stop, mon! Please!'' they cried.

Delurk reared his head to face the duo of trolls, paused, then put his axe down.

''Very well. You both shall take his place.''

A startled tauren cry could be heard in the distance. ''Look, friends! Land!''

''Garrosh's shoulders!'' Delurk exclaimed, charging up the ship to take a better look. ''You're right!''

''ALL HANDS ON DECK! ROW WITH THE WIND UNTIL WE GET THERE, NO REST UNTIL WE STRIKE SOIL!''

Delurk raised his hands triumphantly, and the orcs and tauren cheered in approval. Their first victory of many.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Heavy boots and hooves thudded against new soil. Closing his eyes and taking a deep breath, Delurk exhaled fresh oxygen. While it was a necessicary part of war, sometimes sailing could nauseate an orc. He flashed open his blood red eyes a second time to examine his surroundings.

He cleared his lungs before speaking. ''You two tauren.'' he said, ''Will scavenge the land for iron deposits to build our fortresses with. The trolls will chop down all worthy lumber in the nearby area. The orcs..'' he chewed his beard before giving his edict. ''....Will follow me to assess our surroundings. Scargash's troops will be here by nightfall, and I'll be damned if we don't have any resources to show them by the time they get here. Press forward, brothers and sisters of the Horde, and remember, Hellscream's eyes are always upon you!''

Wolfish snarls chorused the air as Durek led the pack in patrolling the land.

''I doan like him, Koah.'' said one Darkspear to the troll who had defied Delurk earlier.

''Me netha, mon.'' Koah responded. ''But in dis new land, we don't got any options. At least not yet.'' he turned to face the ocean, then held out his hands to it. The tides boomed in acknowledgement of Koah's request, and they handed him back the weapons their titanium overlord had callously thrown away earlier.

''Yet.''

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

''LAND HO!'' called Randal Murphy, enthusiastically spinning the boat's wheel.

Eliyne and Talion raced out of their cabin to look upon the new land. It emulated with beauty, the thin mists parting in the sky, the birds, elegant as they were swift. Eliyne placed her purple head on Talion's black leather vest.

''Get your things, folks! We're a-headin' ashore!'' enthusically called the Captain.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Every wolf in the orcish riding pack panted profusely as they trudged along the sand, save Delurk's fatigue immune phatom beast. A cove awaited them only slightly north of their location, but as the warband began to enter the mouth of the cove, Delurk held up a fist, signalling them to stop. Taking a whiff of air, he dropped three fingers from his fist, so that two remained. The signal to draw their weapons..

The clicks of loaded muskets and drawn weapons filled the air.

''AMBUSH!'' the Legionnaire bellowed.

The wolves whizzed around to face their advesaries. The Warband whooped with laughter as their wolves plunged into battle, lacerating Alliance hearts from their bodies.

As archers opened fire on the party, Delurk clutched a grenade from his belt. He tossed it at the middle of the firing party, and bloodied limbs splashed everywhere.

Dwarven marines managed to slay the majority of the wolves, and the bruised orcs were forced to the ground. Countless bodies laid squarely at the party's feet, and not a single orc died that battle.

Or so it seemed.

Members of all Alliance races took the places of their fallen comrades. A platoon of fresh human marksmen, five draenei shaman, and a pair of Night Elves replaced the foes they had just felled. Of the Elven duo, tne female sentinel had luxorious purple hair with decorated marks running from her eyes to her lips, while the male sported black leather, gleaming twin swords as pointed as a dragon's tooth, and thin, white hair. They stood near what appeared to be the leader of the enemy war party, a grizzled, middle aged man whose mannerisms hinted slight insanity.

He scowled, gripping the hilt of his greataxe. He refused to be beaten by the Alliance, or much worse, surrender to them.

Bullets reflected off Delurk's indestructible titanium armor as he rushed forward. The marksmen slowly began to back away as their iron adversary closed in with his unpleasant entourage, undeterred by their gunfire. First blood was drawn as Delurk's blade bit deep into the neck of a female marksman. The scatteredbrained shaman attempted to fend off the light-armored riders with the wrath of earth and waves. One unfortunate orc was hoisted into the air by a watery bubble, then impaled upon a cavern stalagmite.

''HURGH!'' a second orc was gutted by the male Night Elf's blades.

Their backs faced toward each other, the three remaining orcs slashed without regret or hesitation. Draenei and human corpses alike toppled to the floor, yet ultimately the small scouting party couldn't stand against the fully prepared Captain's overwhelming numbers.

Two earsplitting gunshots could be heard, and Delurk soon realized he was alone. His party had been defeated in an ambush, only hours after landing ashore Pandaria.

Delurk clutched his greataxe, backing up slowly while Randal lit a cigar as he approached the cornered orc. Only the pair of elves as well as a quartet of marksmen remained of his forces, but he seemed to take inappropriate pride in his shallow victory.

The white haired Night Elf knocked him over the back of the head with the hilt of his blade, and the Legionnaire hit the floor with a dull thud.

''Score one for Captain Patches.'' the gray haired lunatic grinned. ''Talion, Eliyne, do me a solid and take this sorry lad away.''

Journal

No journal entries yet.

deviantID

Delurk-Bloodsnarl's Profile Picture
Delurk-Bloodsnarl
Hedonist
United States
WIP
Interests

Comments


Add a Comment:
 
:iconwolfjelina:
WolfjeLina Featured By Owner Oct 5, 2018  Hobbyist General Artist
Tsumy thank you for the Watch by WolfjeLina  
Reply