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90 Blood Elf Rogue
I hadn’t wanted to come back to this place. Seeing the ruin surrounding the judgment arena only angered me more. However, I had to know what happened here today. I had to see with my own eyes if the fool who had so willingly thrown away the lives of my kinsmen and friends would be brought to justice. Silently taking a seat in a shadowed part of the room, I listened to the voices around me, the different tones and accents all in agreement. The criminal about to be brought into the ring deserved whatever his fate might be.
A pair of Pandaren sitting on my right quietly spoke about the Shado-Pan leader standing at the far end of the arena. “Taran Zhu is still injured, you know. That orc’s axe cut him deeply,” the dark-furred, green-eyed female was saying to a blind male sitting next to her. “I can see the edges of the bandages under his armour. If the stories are true, he’s lucky to be alive at all.”
The male grunted, his voice deep as he replied. “It takes more than one axe to kill a skilled Pandaren warrior, my love. I just wish I had working eyes so I could see the bruises Taran Zhu left on the arrogant orc’s face. Stories are already being told about the punch he gave to that whelp.” The female giggled, and I wanted to hear more, but I was distracted by a pair of trolls passing in front of me, one with wild green crests of hair, and the other with dark facepaint and gilding on the ends of his tusks.
The green-haired troll nodded towards more of their kind and pointed for his friend to see. “Ya go on an’ sit down dere, I gotta job ta be doin’ up top today.”
“Whatchu mean? What job?” the other troll asked back, looking curious. “Ya gon’ try an’ kill him from tha rooftops? I was thinkin’ it be strange for ya to have ya bow.”
The crested troll laughed deeply, saying something in Zandali without realizing that I had been studying it and could understand at least the main gist of what he was saying. “Vol’jin’s got his best archers up on the roof to take care of things if that crazy dragon orc woman tries to break the prisoner free. We’re to shoot the dragon, shoot her, and then “accidentally” shoot Garrosh.”
The other troll laughed back, replying in kind, “Betcha if it comes to that, Vol’jin gonna be using it as a distraction to take the shot himself.” The two trolls laughed hysterically as they clapped each other on the shoulders and parted ways.
My ears twitched slightly as I listened to a few Tauren who had just seated themselves to my left. They paid no attention to me as I was sitting near other Blood Elves, but I could clearly hear their reactions to this trial. The eldest, a black-furred male lifted his head high, and spoke slowly, his voice measured to control the anger underneath it. “The Grimtotem uprising was one thing, and Baine was merciful then. His father’s death, and he was still merciful. However, after this, I can only hope that he has decided to end his mercy to the orc.”
A female shaman shook her head wearily, her long brown braids swinging even after she became still again. “But to ask for his death? I don’t know if I could condone that… what if there is a chance for him to change?”
The other female, a warrior by the look of her armour, slammed her fist into the stone seat, knocking a sharp chip off and sending it flying, narrowly missing my cheek. “He deserves it! He cheated to kill Cairne, he’s done nothing but lead OUR people into war, he wantonly allowed the destruction of Talonglade, and now he’s getting what he’s earned with his actions! And besides all that, look what his father did! They’re exactly alike, and they should be in the same place, DEAD. I just wish I could be the one to stomp his skull into the ground.”
As her companions hastily worked on calming her down, I looked around, hoping to hear from some orcs, or even from some of my own elven people, but both of those races near me were being unusually silent. I could hear a few goblins behind me taking bets on the outcome of the trial, but that didn’t interest me. I rose to my feet, looking for a better place to listen in, but at that moment the entire room fell silent. Across the arena, the Horde’s leaders, the Pandaren representatives, and even some Alliance emissaries were standing, their eyes fixed on the gate below where I sat.
I leaned forward a little, and then I saw him. Hellscream. Bound in chains and stocks made of heavy titanium and solid oak and surrounded by Tauren and Orcish guards, the orc no longer looked fearsome or even intimidating. He looked like a scared child who wanted his parents to come save him from an imaginary monster that was tormenting him. I smiled wickedly as I settled back into my seat to see if the monster would win.
“Next witness to the stand,” a pandaren announced.
She didn’t know why she was here. After all, it wasn’t as though she were particularly dedicated to the ideals of the Horde – or at least, the ideals as they stood. Politics, diplomatic negotiations, regulations, rules ... none really bore much in the way of importance in her life, merely background noise, splashes of color on the background of an intricate tapestry far more concerned with simple matters like survival. Where her next meal was coming from. Whether the person that had hired her for work was going to pay. The important things.
A hushed gasp from those assembled broke her train of thought as the next witness made his way to the stand, one foot dragging with every tremulous step. The figure leaned heavily on another for support, his fur matted in areas that likely covered either stitches or scars, side still bound with bandages though the Siege had ended some time ago.
Yet it wasn’t his appearance, shocking as it may have seemed to the others attending, that caught the eye of the blood elf watching the proceedings. It was the pandaren who bore his weight, speaking to him in a hushed comforting murmur with every step, her eyes darting about the room accusingly.
She said nothing at all, merely helped the pandaren walk. But her eyes ... her haunted eyes told a very different tale.
Do you see, now? Look upon him, and see what has been done.
“Ji Firepaw, although it is obvious what you have suffered –“
“Sustained. Continue without the commentary, please, this is to be a fair trial.”
“Would you describe to the court, in your own words, your relation to the accused?”
The pandaren barked a raw, painful sound akin to a bitter laugh.
“I have no relation to him.”
A pause, accompanied by an awkward clearing of the throat. “My apologies, let me rephrase: How did you come to meet Garrosh Hellscream, and what were your experiences?”
Firepaw closed his eyes for a moment, gave a soft sigh. The woman with him – Aysa, someone murmured nearby – shot him a look of alarmed concern, but he merely patted her paw and began to speak.
“I came to Orgrimmar to learn the ways of the Horde. The Warchief tested my loyalty, then agreed to let me serve as diplomat and trainer for those that came through the city.”
“How did he “test your loyalty,” exactly?”
The pandaren barked another pained laugh. “He threw me in a ring and had me fight my way out of it.” The shocked, low gasps from those attending warranted a tremulous wave of one paw. “I knew what I was getting into. I am not one to back down from a fight. The Warchief was warranted in testing my loyalty, in testing the loyalty of anyone that came to his city. Any good leader would be, in times of war.”
The questioner cleared her throat again. “And can you describe to the court how you came about your injuries?”
It was not the question that drew the blood elf’s attention, nor the reaction of Ji Firepaw, but once again the movement of the pandaren to his left. At the questioner’s words, she gripped Ji’s paw, her own trembling – but her eyes narrowed, her gaze clearly fixed across the room where Garrosh Hellscream sat, waited, and looked at no one.
“They beat me. His officers. On his orders.”
A hushed murmur ran through the observers then, enough of a murmur to break what was quickly becoming an uncomfortable silence.
“Why did they beat you?”
“They wished to know about artifacts from Pandaria.”
The questioner shifted, and Aysa’s stare grew even sharper, if that were possible.
“And where are you from, Ji?”
“We call it the Wandering Isle.”
“When was the last time you traveled to Pandaria?”
“-I have never been to Pandaria.”
“Ji, did you know what the artifacts were for?”
Ji drew himself up to his full height, wincing as he did so and finally drawing Aysa’s gaze from the Warchief. He squeezed her paw, giving her a reassuring glance. “I have never seen them before in my life.”
“And did you tell this to those that assaulted you?”
“Yes. They did not believe me. They moved on from beating to torture. And when I could stand no longer, they told me if I did not give them the information they needed, they would kill me.”
“Yet you have never seen these arti-“ Ji interrupted the questioner with another tremulous wave of a paw, swaying slightly on the stand. Aysa gave a soft cry, moving to assist the pandaren, but he dropped her paw, gently waved her away and stood on his own weight, trembling with the effort of doing so and staring blatantly at the face of his tormentor.
Yet for his part, Garrosh Hellscream still said nothing, still refused to look at anyone in the room.
“I have never seen these artifacts. I still have no idea what they were. What they are. What they are capable of. But-“ Unable to keep himself at his full height, Ji hunched forward a little, and continued to hunch forward, his voice a ragged shard that ripped through the now utterly silent room.
“-I do not propose to know about being a leader, about being a Warchief. I do know this: I proved my loyalty to the Warchief the first day I arrived in his city. I proved it on his terms. I remained in Orgrimmar. I trained his soldiers. I am no leader – but I know that I never, ever gave him cause to doubt the loyalty I proved. Yet they did not listen when they questioned me. I spent a great deal of time learning from his people-“ he swayed again, but refused to topple, simply drawing a great breath and letting it out.
“-but they never learned from me. They never asked anything of where I was from. Of how I lived. If they had, they would have known that my inabilty to answer their questions was that – an inability.”
“And if you had known, would you have told them?”
Ji considered this for a moment. “I swore my loyalty to the Horde. When I speak, I mean the words that I say. When I give my oath, that oath is my life. My orders were to serve the Horde, and I did. This is the honorable thing to do. Honor ... is sacred. I did my best to fulfill my honor, and this-“ he gestured at the wounds, his leg, his side.
“-this is how my honor was repaid. But I never broke my oath, my bond. My honor...is not something I will ever forsake.”
The words hung like stars, glitteringy coldly in the silence, not a single member of the room willing to shatter it, save one.
From his seat, Garrosh Hellscream finally moved, the quiet clink of his chains immediately drawing everyone’s attention to the former Warchief, whose gaze drifted, silently, to the pandaren using every ounce of his energy to simply stand before the court.
He did not speak a word, his lips simply drawing up over his teeth in a grim smile. He nodded, once, slowly, to Ji.
Ji said nothing, but nodded in return.
And the courtroom abruptly burst into chaos as Ji crumpled, Aysa flying to his side, angrily shouting at the Warchief in a language the blood elf did not understand. Others rose to their feet, shouting, a litany of curses in assorted languages. She took her opportunity to quietly slip out the door, having seen enough of courtrooms to fill her curiosity for a lifetime.
Edited by Shãde on 2/4/2014 2:28 PM PST
Notes on the Testimony of Ezar, transcribed and translated from Zandali by Lorewalker Sichi. The troll does not speak the Orcish tongue, not well at least. It is the Lorewalker's intent to be as unbiased in this recounting, and the signed original document has been proofread by Eazr approved for translation, it is to be found in the scroll case.
Transcript begins and continues to the end of the document.
Sichi: Ezar it is true you are a scout of the Horde, and your status is not in question. You claim to have been at three events that were directed by Garrosh Hellscream that are of importance to this trail. The first was the destruction of Theramore, describe the events after the assult to take the island city.
The assault was a disaster in the making. The land and sea forces were not coordinated. It was chaos as our commandeered fishing boat approached the docks. There were Kor'kron vessels taking chase to a small flotilla of what seemed to be unarmed vessels scattering to the winds. Our boat was crewed by some of the orcs who choose a life by the sea after Durotar was founded, some of Korgal's troops and two of of us Darkspear, Nolpeth and myself.
I saw three head off from the Sea Wolf, I guess they were responsible for the fires on the Alliance vessels, and there were explosions a few minutes later, then silence. Not a pure silence, but no sound of battle. We waited for them to come back. They never did, I don't know what happened to the Sea Wolf, our boat was still picking up the wounded when Nolpeth spotted the airship. He told me that Korgal was bellowing that he did not know of there being more air support, and wanted a flare sent up to flag them off this before they got shot down.
My eye spotted the thing. It didn't look like anything the goblins make war with, I thought it was a steel boulder, but it had a glow around it. I turned my blind eye to it and tried to get to cover, my instincts are not what they were. I woke up with one of Nol's tusks in my arm, and the blasted remains of the boat all around. I saw no one else, and made my way to shore.
This had to be the worst voodoo ever, I would be proven wrong in this assumption later. I could not hear, I was walking around in a daze. My right ear which took the blast was in intense pain, I did not touch it. I knew I did not want to see it.
I saw the burn mark on the stone wall, then for a second I saw a human running a flicker flash and he became the burn. I do not know how long I watched it happen over and over again. I reached to touch, there was nothing to touch. I moved on.
I saw the horrid mass of flesh behind the small stone wall. It was moaning, burning. It's many limbs merged with dirt and stone. I tried to end it, it's head was burned, but was recognizable. Then I heard the other voices it made. I left fast as I could, this was worse then the things in Azjol-Nerub, only the scourge abominations....but these were still alive....by the Loa....
(Ezar requested a brief moment and some water)
I wound up in Ratchet, thanks to some druids, it was there that Zarj and Magua, Kirin Tor mages decided I needed help that they could not provide. So they said we should go to Dalaran.
Sichi: Yes Dalaran. You stayed there recovering your wounds, being a test subject for healing of the effects of the bomb. You stayed well after, past the parting of the mist, the Battle of Serpent's Heart, and the Landfall. After the taking of the Divine Bell, how did those events unfold?
How did they unfold? Ha! You had a neutral city whose leader just found out that their neutrality was compromised to gain an advantage for one side in armed conflict, it was fortunately fast. I had just gotten to the point where walking was not an issue and my ear(pointing to his right ear which now had the color of scarred human skin) had stopped whispering me to kill myself.
One day I heard it say retribution was coming, I did not waste time running to the Underbelly, where I has a stash of weapons, armor and rope, long enough to get to the ground. I passed Uro, I think he got away. I had just made it to the sewer exit but it was blocked by a well armed large group of human warriors. Making my way back to the streets I hid behind a well, when none other than Zarj and Magua, drunk troll and orc mages come along, out of nowhere looking to get me drunk too. I do not know what the woman with the elementals that is sitting over there(nods towards Jania Proudmoore) said, but the next thing, we are boxed up quite nicely in the Violet Hold.
I spent as much time in that cell as I did recovering my wounds. We could communicate with the other prisoners, and we found out that none of us knew about the bell. None of us were warned as to the taking of it. The High Elves were cruel to the Blood Elves, I think Zarj and myself were the only trolls. They had their 'games' with us, offering me to finish the Zul'jin imitation.(he makes a slashing motion across his left arm) I am glad that Magua was just wearing pants when we were caught, they did not know that he was a mage, they thought he was just a dumb orc. He snuck out of his cell a lot to get us food and supplies. I was surprised they did not kill him when he was making a late trip back. He was brought in under heavy guard, we chanted his name and cheered him on as he was marched into a mage proof cell, he entered, bowed, flipped off the guards, farted and proceeded to tell jokes that Zarj was having too good of a laugh to translate.
Being abandoned twice after Garrosh's actions left me, well, dissapointed.
(At this point the translator for the Horde stalled, then continued. A slight lip curl could be seen on Thrall's face. Garrosh was heard to audibly growl, and a corner of his chair was reduced to splinters.)
Sichi: The third was the taking of the western valley of Ogrimmar, what did you witness there?
We were released, and as we approached The Echo Isles we passed east of a lopsided naval engagement. Alliance, Forsaken and Bilgewater ships were blowing a Kor'Kron vessel out of the water. Zen'tabra told us what was happening with the revolution, I needed no excuse.
After what I had seen and lived though, having Garrosh's head on a pike sounded like a good idea.
I was with a group of headhunters that were not with the main assault force, we were going down the Southfury river to gather at the Boulder Lode Mine, the Venture Company had vacated the mine, for "Industrial Safety Precautions Month", whatever that means. We were with a group of tauren, trolls, and orcs from the Crossroads and some goblins from Bilgewater Harbor. We were to go in when a wind rider spotter saw the main gate breached, as well as a force going in the Azshara gate.
The signal was given, we marched on the bridge, but there was token resistance. The gate had been fortified, it was decided that a two teams would go in, one to secure the gate and a scout group. I was given a wind rider to get to the valley tops and snipe targets.
My ear told me to turn back, to not go in, that it was not safe, that death was inside. I got above the valley, the voices were quiet, the wind rider smelled the air and took off. I went toward the valley of spirits and looked below.
So many dead.
Lined up and killed like swine at a butcher.
The goblin slums burned.
Nobody was spared, women, the old, children, not even orcs.
It was a moment before I heard a voice and saw tall troll walking the valley with many shadows behind him, he was calling them, all of them, saying that it would be all right, it was over now.
He called all of them just to follow, they would all go as they should to where they should, and those with things to do still need to do them, he would be back later.
And they all followed him out the gate, which burst at his touch, into the light....
It was then that Ku'nanji grabbed my shoulder, "Come on, there be things we need to do." We did them, in Ogrimmar, our Auchindoun.
Edited by Easytarget on 2/4/2014 5:39 PM PST
58 Blood Elf Death Knight
Og's nostrils flared as he stared down at the tauren's tail. It was thumping noisily next to him, and he was almost painfully aware of the texture of the coarse fur on his bare elbow. It seemed as though any time the horde was mentioned in some way, the tauren would slam its tail against the bench they were both sitting on. Thump. Thump. Thump. It was maddening. And the feel of it reminded him of the prickly cactus-blossoms from the Valley of Trials.
This was an important event, and Og was keenly aware of the tension in the air. Besides the tauren, he also sat next to a blood elf. The elf's robes seemed very well tailored, with golden trimming around the edges. Normally someone of that social tier would be ordering the peon to fetch this or that. But today, Og was their equal. Everyone's equal. And he didn't like the feelings it was stirring up inside him.
A small thread had come loose on the blood elf's cape, and Og felt inexplicably drawn to it. He began plucking at it, but stopped when he realized he had unraveled a good two inches off what was probably a very expensive piece of clothing. He felt his heart beating a bit wildly in the base of his neck, and turned to distract himself by observing the events going on nearby.
Across the arena, the faces of the alliance crowd all blurred into similar looking shapes, forming an unintelligible mass of fury. The more prominent figures in the trial stood in the center rung, gesticulating wildly and now and then letting out a shout that riled one side of the arena. Right now it looked like the troll leader, Vol'jin, was the one doing the yelling. It was a little hard to see, but Og could tell from the rhythmic thump thump thumping of that accursed tail that something involving the horde was being discussed.
Nearest to them was a night elven woman, clad in white robes. She seemed important. She lobbed an accusatory gesture at the troll, and the horde crowd let out an immense roar in challenge. The alliance responded in kind, and the base of the arena wobbled as hundreds of boots, hooves, and bare feet slammed down in unison.
The blood elf next to him began muttering, "Can you believe this farce?" His voice reminded Og of the sound a very, very angry quail would make. High pitched, but still with a trace of fear. Everything in the horde seemed to have a fearful undertone to it lately.
Og felt a bead of sweat trickle down the side of his jaw. He wasn't sure if the elf was talking to him.
"You, I say you - orc, I'm talking to you. Can you believe this garbage?"
Dispelling all hope Og had that the elf hadn't been addressing him, the peon felt more sweat congealing on his brow. He looked down at his hands, distracting himself by rubbing his thumbs together and focusing on the coarse friction it caused.
"It's an insult that they didn't lob that mongrel's head off right there during the siege. Now they put on this circus and invite the alliance to cast open judgment on us. Again." The elf was spitting with fury as he spoke, and a droplet landed near Og's leg. He scooted over a bit to avoid it.
The elf was clearly furious and looking to hold a conversation, and Og didn't know what to do. He didn't want to be at the trial as it was, and now strangers were trying to talk to him about things he didn't want to understand.
Og closed his eyes and blocked out the elf's ramblings. In the palette of his mind, he focused himself on calming colors. His favorite colors. He began to list them off in his thoughts, counting each color on his fingers as he went. Red. Blue. Yellow. Green. He took a deep breath and opened his eyes again.
The elf had fallen silent, but was giving Og an incredulous look. With a sneer, he turned back towards the trial. Og found himself wondering if he had listed the colors out loud, and sweat began forming on his palms at the thought.
An eery silence fell over the arena. The former warchief was being led in by one of the strange pandaren creatures. Though he was bound in chains and sitting on his death panel, Garrosh showed no hint of shame or regret. The orc stood as tall as the shackles would allow him, his still open battle scars leaking an ugly ichor wherever he stood.
Though he knew he'd have to see the warchief again during this trial, Og was not prepared for the panic he felt welling up deep inside him at the sight. He clasped his hands tightly together. Red. Blue. Yellow. Green. Focus. Be calm.
Despite being yards away from the center of the arena, the peon could practically feel the hatred in the warchief's eyes. That hatred reflected long wrought horrors and torture. Warcrimes, genocide, murder. It was as if a freshly built dam in Og's memory shattered and flooded him with unpleasant images and memories.
R-red, blue, yellow...green. The orc peon pinched his eyes closed and tried to focus. Red blue yellow green. The images weren't stopping. It was as if they were plastered to the back of his eyelids in some grotesque picture show. Bodies hanging from the spires of Orgrimmar.
The city in flames.
A small orc child's hand buried in rubble.
He was just a peon. He didn't know what to do then and he didn't know what to do now. He became frantic, murmuring the colors under his breath and counting off his fingers as he went. Red blue yellow green. Red blue yellow green. redblueyellowgreen. REDblueyellowgrewhy. Redbluewhywhy why. Redwhywhywhywhywhywhy. Why why why?
Og opened his eyes and stared at the crowd in the arena through his tears. His breath was coming in short rasps, but he remembered the thought he had before about equality. Everyone in that arena was like him. Everyone had lost something.
He rocked a bit in his seat and let out a small whimper. He hoped nobody was paying attention to him, but how could they given the spectacle taking place? Even in punishment, Garrosh was still the center of attention. He was still getting what he wanted. The victims were forgotten in the face of the ridiculous trial. Or worse, they were whittled down to ammunition for a moral firing squad.
Eventually the trial would conclude and people would forget. Business as usual. But Og, the orc peon, would remember, because he was broken.
It came at last.
The last day. The day they all knew must come. The day that had but one possible outcome. The last day of the trial.
All the arguments had been presented, all the witnesses and victims heard. All that was left was for the jury to come to a verdict, and mete out a justice that would hopefully serve to be enough for all.
Miers could hear them muttering, all suggesting more and more horrible fates for the accused, most of them centering on some sort of excruciatingly painful death. But Miers knew better. She, who had been one with animals during their final moments, knew that death would be much too sweet a reward for Garrosh. That final cessation of pain...that must be earned.
Miers also knew the gruesome reality of the power Garrosh had wielded. Had it not been she who had sustained her allies through his terrible onslaught? Had it not been she who had finally been drained of power in the final moments of that horrific fight? Had it not been she who had thus been unable to save her shaman lover, even as her friends brought Garrosh to his knees? Yes, Garrosh had been defeated, taken into custody by her King. But Tammie lay broken at Miers' feet, her body shattered by a desecrated weapon of sha power, thrown by Garrosh in those final, terrible seconds. Miers had tried, but not possessed the mana necessary to pull Tammie from the weapon's path with the Holy magic she had borrowed from the resident Shadow Priest.
Rage and terrible grief struck Miers as she stood, waiting for the sentence to come down. Tears were streaming down her face unabashedly, as many others had done in this courtroom before her. Anything short of the sweet release of death would suffice for Hellscream, yet nothing would be enough.
"Do you have any last words to offer the court, Hellscream?"
Startled from her memories by the voice, Miers wiped away her tears and looked up to watch Garrosh set his head high and lock his jaw.
"Then the sentence shall be read", continued Taran Zhu. "Bring forth the leader of the impartial jury."
Miers scoffed at the idea. As if anyone was impartial to the fate of Garrosh Hellscream.
Kairozdormu slowly moved forward, and began to read off from the list of charges. "Garrosh Hellscream, you stand accused of the following charges..."
Miers mind wandered at this. She had heard it all before. She was more interested in this choice of the head of the impartial jury. The strange dragon-man she had met on the Timeless Isle? Hadn't he asked her to gather stones for his funny hourglass thing? To take the hourglass to Orgrimmar, and see what it foretold? He seemed too invested in Garrosh's fate to be impartial. Of course, Miers had kept all that secret at his request, trusting in his wisdom as one of the Bronze Dragonflight...
Kairoz's eyes seemed different than when they had met on the Isle. They were glowing, now, with what seemed to be a rather curious golden glow.
Kairoz read on, "The detonation of a mana bomb on the Island of Theramore in a time of relative peace, obliterating the lives of...."
Miers turned away, not wishing to hear how many had died in that attack. Was it not enough that Tammie was gone? Why did he keep reading out charges? Weren't they all here to here how Garrosh would pay for these crimes, not to hear them recounted for the thousandth time?
Looking again at Kairoz, Miers was oddly disturbed. His eyes shouldn't be glowing that much, should they? They hadn't glowed golden on the Isle. Relish seemed to be growing on his face as well. Definitely not impartial. His eyes were blazing now, surely outside the realm of any optical illusion.
"The jury finds you, Garrosh Hellscream," Kairoz all but yelled, "GUILTY ON ALL COUNTS"
Satisfaction at the word "guilty" washed through the crowd, quelling their unease at the golden blaze that was Kairoz's eyes.
"YOU ARE SENTENCED TO-"
An explosion rent the air.
Miers was blasted backwards, hitting the ground with a dull thud. Pain shot through the left side of her body, and then again as another body fell on top of her before rolling to the side. Almost from instinct, Miers' fingers found the spongy earth underneath, pulling from the earth the power she had lacked in the instant of Tammie's death. Focusing the power was easy now, though, and immediately Miers' injuries began to heal. Of course, others would be injured as well, so she dropped a mushroom to the soft dirt, and a soft green glow emanated from it, healing the scratches on her face. After bestowing a touch of healing upon anyone in reach, Miers finally struggled to her feet.
Only now, as her hearing returned with the coaxing of the healing magic she had set in motion did Miers realize that the explosion had deafened her. Screams and moans echoed through the arena that had been set up as courtroom, but there was only one sound Miers cared about right now. It was the mocking laugh of Garrosh Hellscream.
"Tremble, for when I return it shall be at the head of a REAL Horde!" His laugh echoed around the room again, and then it was gone. Where Kairoz had stood moments before was a portal, and the defendant's pillar now held only a large pile of shackles and chains.
Miers glimpsed Jaina Proudmoore, who was livid. She was screaming "Where does that portal go? I'll kill that orc myself this time!"
An old Orc with long white braids stepped forward. "That is...my home", he said in broken Common, "Draenor, before the First War...but how?"
"Never mind that, Saurfang! The portal is closing!", snapped King Varian. Pointing to Miers, he continued, "You helped defeat him in Orgrimmar, go after him! Stop whatever he has planned, even if it means your life!"
Jaina tried to sprint towards the portal, but Varian grabbed her arm, holding her back. "No Jaina! It is too dangerous!"
"Get your hands off me, old man!" replied Jaina, and Varian's hand snapped back in a flash of arcane magic. "I'll deal with Hellscream". She ran through the dwindling portal to Draenor of the past.
With a savage roar, Miers shifted into the form of a cheetah and sprinted after her, leaping through the portal just as it closed. This time, she'd make Garrosh pay, and Varian would not be there to stop it this time. No one would. Garrosh would pay.
Entering the arena where the trial would take place, and hearing about the structure of said trial, my first thoughts were "Boy are we lacking experience in a war trial of this magnatude."
Don't get me wrong, I've no love for Hellscream and I and my comrades sided with the rebellion without any qualms whatsoever. Can ya blame us? Theramore alone was bad enough--the methods to deal with it, that is. Seriously, what moron launches a siege for the sole purpose of making the enemy build up its defenses only to drop a giant mana bomb on the place? Waste of resources in my opinion, but also...it just felt wrong. I know what you're thinking--a Goblin, a Warlock no less, preaching about ethics? You'd be amazed at the long term payoff of practing at least a little bit of goodwill. Besides, like I said before, it was a waste of resources. What happened afterwards was no better and I put the controlling interest of the blame on Thrall--excuse me, Go'el's--big green shoulders. I get why he had to step down, he needed to focus on his shaman duties to the world and those duties required his undivided attention. Then you look around the leadership of the Horde altogether, and even some of the Orc leadership. You got your veterans, heroes and warriors who've earned respect on the battlefield, are knowledgeable about the details of what it takes to lead people, these veterans who have proven to be wise and honorable, as well as having the full capacity to kick some serious butt if you cross them, and who does he pick as his successor for Warchief of the Horde?
The warmongering, power obsessed psychopath with serious daddy issues.
Nice choice there, big guy.
Hellscream emphasizes what he is by being all about Orc power, placing the other races of the Horde beneath him and his favorites. Even other Orcs didn't like him, but they were "taken care of" by said favorites. I won't get into details, but long story short those we found alive were worse for wear. But enough about that--griping on the trial. The setup is just horrid, they should've had judges from each faction--one from the Alliance, one from the Horde and one from the Pandaren. Prosecution should be set up the same, and as for defense? Hellscream considers himself within the right, and willing to take us all on? He can defend himself, don't make the big cow whose father got killed by his hand to do it. I've heard the rumors about what happened with Cairne Bloodhoof--supposedly, Hellscream was tricked into killing him by that hag Magatha Grimtotem, but after his actions regarding Theramore and afterwards, who's to say he wasn't complicit in that? Who wouldn't be unaware of their weapons being poisoned, I ask you. Then there's what happened with Proudmoore and Dalaran. I get it, she's pissed about the Sunreavers helping with the whole Divine Bell thing, compromising the Kirin Tor's neutrality. Between you and me, I don't blame her for going off the wall the way she did, but to try and convince the king to "dismantle the Horde"? Yeah, I heard her, these ears ain't just for show ya know. Do you have ANY idea how that whole thing can be interpreted? Worst case seneario, it could mean to slaughter the Horde down to the last child, because I doubt they'll go the way of the internment camps again. Like Prince Charming said, it didn't work last time. Now there's someone who still believes in peace. Wise kid, that Anduin. It's clear he takes after his mother.
My biggest worry, though, is my pal Hikari. Sweet girl, spunky Windwalker monk, followed her mentor of the Huojin philosophy right into the Horde to learn from us, even though it meant butting heads with her father, a Tushui Mistweaver. Then to see the Horde at its worst, from Hellscream's attempt to kill Vol'jin to the damage done at the Vale, even seeing her mentor nearly killed for knowledge he lacked. Let's not get started on seeing the prisoners from Theramore being forced to fight each other on pain of their children. I see on her face she's reconsidering her place in the Horde, maybe leave altogether. I don't blame her if she does. Xay'dar left for the Cenarion Circle as soon as we dealt with Hellscream; Kalina did the same with the Sunwalkers. Neither of them wanted anything more to do with war. I'm undecided at the moment, and my husband Scarali? Working on some big project in Orgrimmar during the rebuilding, something about pipes with water, he wasn't specific about that. But Kari? I don't know what she's going to do, but I do know she's thinking before acting, for once. She told me her father went back to the turtle already and she may consider staying in Pandaria, see where she fits in the world. Taran Zhu once said his people, the Pandaren, suffered the most in this war. He's right--the Pandaren did suffer the most from this war. Mainland Pandaren, those from Pandaria, have seen their land ravaged and their sacred vale destroyed. The Wandering Isle Pandaren, they've chosen sides in this war, which caused friends and family to be torn apart. Of course they suffered the most, Kari's just an example of that, even though she'll say others have been through worse. Yeah, bad habit of hers--thinking of others before herself. Sometimes not thinking of herself at all.
I don't pay much attention to the trial, just fantasize about Hellscream raving and roaring at everyone, and then to suffer a blow to the head trying to escape, or maybe gets himself a stroke. Either way, he'll be in this condition my Observer once told me about--his mind is there, all active and such, but his body? No response, just lays there like a lump on a log...no way to move, no way to act...just trapped in a body that won't obey his commands. Locked in a crippled form, and seeing this new development, the judge will allow him to live, imprisoned somewhere isolated, where he'll do nothing but age. No public execution, no glorious death in battle, just waiting for time to whither his crippled body. It'd be the ultimate punishment, well deserved. Go'el would object, naturally enough, citing that it's cruel to do such. The response would be that Hellscream earned this punishment and that the court hopes this would teach Go'el to take better care in choosing his successor next time.
Then I'd wake up from my fantasy and learn that not only is the court in chaos, but Hellscream's escaped and somehow establishes this alternate universe or something to aim right back at us in retaliation. Later on, we'll learn his attempts at creating his Iron Horde, and taking control, don't work out well for him in the end and he gets his comeuppance.
But I preffered, still prefer, my fantasy of what would happen.
My friend Halb wrote this...
There was a low murmur that had persisted through the whole gathering, despite the periodic calls for hush. I recognized the speaker who had presented most of the evidence as Lorewalker Cho. He weaved his magics into a moving tapestry, so all could bear witness to the absolute Truth. For crimes committed outside of Pandaria, others filled us in on their accounts. Not that it mattered, Cho’s visions made his treacheries clear to all who saw.
Well, all aside from me. Ever since I was a cub I had no physical sight. I could always feel other Pandaren’s heart beats, but that wasn’t really sight. In a similar way, I could always feel the vibrations of Pandaria. However, I could “see” in a sense. Certain energies came to me in waves; I saw the strands being manipulated by magic, for example.
I could “see” Lorewalker Cho’s tapestry, but only as different hues of light, in colors I cannot describe, for, I have no context to provide an explanation. Perhaps I am seeing colors others call blue, or red, or maybe I see a whole different set of colors for which others would also lack words to describe. But, whatever the colors, I could not make out any definitive shapes. The only forms I could ever fully see was the perverse, twisted form of the Energy known as the Sha. The Sha I could see as easy as most take in the daylight.
I had been trained as a monk, though I was never expert enough to join the Shadow-Pan. It had been mine dream; one that I now know will never be realized. I cannot fight Klaxxi half so well as I could the Sha. My grandfather always said, with my vision, I was meant to fight the Sha.
A new voice spoke. It was the low husky snarling growl of an orc. I never quite sorted the voices out- none were speaking my language, not even when Cho or Taran Zu addressed the court, did they do so in their native tongues. For the most part, I could distinguish between races, but some individuals I still could not manage. Sometimes I felt as if the leader of the Alliance, Varian I believe his name is, and one of the Orcan leaders had the same voice!
Politics, what a useless waste of time! Much time has passed since they first came to our shores, and ravished our lands. It felt like an eternity to many of us, and I still could not figure out the difference in these factions. Indeed, I had heard from many elves, and I could tell some had slightly faster heart beats, but it was not until today, at this trial, that I realized they were two entirely different groups! Even now my ears struggle to distinguish their voices from one another!
I know not their reasons for such destruction in their fighting, but then, I can’t say they would understand my reasons for fighting. How I love a good fight! Whenever I encountered a Sha being, my fur stood on its edge, and a smile would always draw itself across my jowls. It was so invigorating to fight! It was the only time I felt any use, and, for all of this criminals faults, he did bring me plenty of battles. A guilty little part of me will always be grateful to him for that.
Suddenly a clamor rose from all around. I felt the crowd’s rush to their feet, all around heart rates increased. Energy started lancing out in all directions; a bright vortex, reminiscent of Sha energy, opened in front of the prisoner. As soon as it started, it was finished. My brethren quickly scurried around the wounded and dead, taking them to safety. The two group leaders were screaming in their foreign tongues, blaming each other, and finally they turned and left.
I stayed, stoically pondering, until I noticed the room was empty. I moved to where the portal had formed.
Pandaria’s eternal struggle had at least come to an end. The essence known as the Sha was dead, gone forever. For this, many had to awkwardly thank Garrosh; It was he who freed our land. Where we could only seal it away, his pride allowed it to be permanently defeated. For this, I will always hate him.
The adventurers have all gone. Off to wage new battles that have to be fought. But Pandaria’s story is done. My story is finished before it had a chance to be written; my glory is denied me. I was born for one reason, and it is now dead.
A gentle breeze blew through my fur, and a whisper danced in my ear, “We will always have our place in time; our story has become solidified in the hearts of those greater than us. Our lessons go on; woven into the very fabric of those we call heroes.
I gazed up and saw a vision of our last emperor, fading away, once more into the Mists.
Chains clanked in the distance, barely in earshot of the crowd. Great steps boomed in a repetitive rhythm, the sound of which could only accompany something very, very large.
He was coming.
As these sounds reached the ears of the people, the murmurs and mutters hushed to an eerie quiet, silence settling over the audience.
Clank, boom, boom, clank, boom, boom, clank - the sounds grew louder and louder, as he grew closer and closer. Was it just me, or did that Pandaren warrior just try and stifle a gulp?
Boom, boom, clank.
It was then that the prisoner entered. Hulking in stature, he was one giant Orc. Arms like the trunks of trees and legs like the bases of mountains, yet he stooped low. The look of defeat was written upon his harsh face. The fires in his eyes that once glowed with evil power were dimmed and pointed at the ground. Chains, wrought in iron and steel, tied around his wrists and ankles. He was accompanied in by a dozen Pandaren guards, brandishing spears; elegant and sharp. They marched him to the centre of the ring of people, and for the first time in many, many years, Garrosh Hellscream knelt.
I drew my gaze from the hunched former Warchief and surveyed the setting and the people in it. Dignitaries of both the Alliance and Horde stood together, albeit on opposite sides of the circle, for the first time since Hellscream was vanquished by that party of adventurers. Me being one of them, I was honoured to be a guest in this trial. I spotted the High Priestess of the Night Elves, Tyrande Whisperwind, standing regal and proud, with her Elvish warriors at her side. I saw the High Tinker Mekkatorque, King of the Gnomes, small in body but great in mind. He was touching a whirling object at his belt, eyes fixed at the scene before him. I saw the Chieftan of the Tauren, Baine Bloodhoof, long braids of hair (or was it fur?) shifting in the wind. I saw the Lady Proudmoore, a figure we had come to know so well over the siege of the Orcish capital, a stern expression plastered on her face. I saw the former Warchief and immensely powerful Shaman, Thrall, looking with disappointment at the one who was supposed to be the war hero. And I saw Varian and Vol'jin, King of the Alliance and now Warchief of the Horde. They stood flanked by royal guards in glistening armour, shining in the Pandaren sun. Their gazes flickered between the prisoner and the leader of the opposite faction. Even after banding together for Hellscream's defeat, the air between them was one of mistrust and suspicion.
We were in the vale. The vale, that once was a land of beauty and plenty, with grass and trees and hills coloured with the gold of Elwynn Forest in the Autumn. Now, however, the scene was very different. Darkness covered the land, the blackness of corruption suffocating what life once grew here. The ground we stood on was dead. The trial was held at the centre of Hellscream's work, a sad reminder of what was done when the Orc stepped upon Pandaren shores.
"Leaders of the Alliance and the Horde, heroes of the two factions, dignitaries and esteemed guests - we are standing here today before the prisoner standing trial, one Orc by the name of Garrosh Hellscream." Taran Zhu's voice projected across the land, a voice of peace in the accent of the Pandaren - but yet his tone grew thick with anger and venom when he said the prisoner's name. I drew my eyes from the guests at the trial to look up at the Lord of the Shado-pan.
Three Pandaren stood upon a flat rock, raised above the Orc below and the semi-circle of the crowd around him. In the centre stood Zhu, eyes burning brightly below the crimson head-piece of the Shado-pan. To his right stood Chen Stormstout, the girth of his stomach alone brought recognition before I looked up at his face. To his left was... no one, unless you looked with more care. I could see a faint shimmer in the air, the hill behind seeming distort. It was then I saw him, floating a foot above the rock below, casting no shadow, but yet there nonetheless. The spirit of Emperor Shaohao, last Emperor of the Pandaren and wise beyond any. He looked down at me and smiled - I remembered the meeting we had at the top of the mountain we climbed.
"Garrosh Hellscream, you have brought war on our peaceful nation! You and your Orcish Horde have corrupted our land, and killed our people! The drums of war have been brought to our shores by you, and the songs of sorrow will echo at the gravestones of the ones who tried to stop you. You have brought desolation to our beloved Vale! Look, people of Azeroth, at the defilement of the Heart of Pandaria!"
All listened to the voice of Taran Zhu, awaiting his judgement.
Garrosh lifted his head and his mouth twisted into a snarl.
"You, who have destroyed what we hold so dear. No more may your malicious hunger for power desolate the lands of Azeroth and the nations upon it. I have it in my mind to send you away, far from any whom you could affect in the way you have affected us."
"Wait! Think of what he has done. The people he's killed, the world he has plagued with war! He must not be allowed to roam free. Kill him, before he has a chance to kill more!" I cried out, the members of the races of the Alliance and Horde turning to face me.
Lady Jaina yelled out in agreement, pointing with a single finger at Hellscream. King Varian's hand flew to his blade, but hesitated as he thought about what would come of it if it was drawn. He stepped forward, turned to face the Pandaren judges and added his voice to Jaina's and my own. Vol'jin looked on, head cocked to one side. A flicker of cruel amusement was visible on Garrosh's face. High Chieftan Baine's voice could now be heard, arguing against the execution of the one who killed his father. Lady Sylvanas glided forward, eyes shining and voice yelling with an eerie echo, calling for the Orc's head.
"QUIET!" Taran Zhu's voice thundered, echoing in the ears of the audience. Some of those calling for blood glared at the Pandaren, some looked sternly, and one Regent Lord of the Blood Elves looked faintly bored. "Sylveriver, Storm's End. Your blades were some of the war party that defeated this cruel being. For that, we are eternally grateful. I can see the reasoning behind why you, among the other mortal races of your Alliance and the new Horde, do not want this monstrosity to be free. But his anger, fuelled by hatred of the non-Orcs, malevolent hunger for power and the evil of the Old God Y'shaarj, although bringing pain to all lands, brought desolation to Pandaren soil primarily. We were pulled into this war of your races, and we have felt the effects of this. We will pass judgement on his future."
"It is in the Pandaren nature to be peaceful. War and terror and hatred manifests itself in our land, you can see it in the desolation around us. If we draw more blood, as an act of vengeance - why, we are no better than the one who kneels before us today." Zhu's voice drifted through the air, quieter now.
I looked across at a friendly face, belonging to the Dwarf by the name of Garathor. The Paladin was one whom brought down Garrosh with me, and he too hated the Orc. He looked at me and nodded gravely at the Pandaren's words. I looked back.
It was true. War was brought to Pandaria, and although we helped end it, we were part of the cause. I saw now. If it was our lands whom Garrosh and his Horde marched upon, it would be our decision to kill him before anything else could come in the name of the Orcish Horde. But Pandaren were also a people of honour, and their decision is as just as ours. I looked at the Lords and Ladies of the Alliance, the leaders of Vol'jin's Horde, and lastly at the Emperor Shaohao. His eyes looked at mine, and as I now nodded to the words of the Shado-pan's Lord, he nodded too.
It was as the orange sun set behind the mountains of the Vale of Eternal Blossoms, the fate of Garrosh Hellscream was decided, before the people of the Alliance, Horde, and Pandaren and the heroes of Azeroth whom defeated him.
Edited by Sylveriver on 2/14/2014 8:05 PM PST
Making my way into the trial area, the divide between groups was marked. Alliance and its leaders to the left, Horde to the right with no intermingling or save for the pandaren that mingled within both groups. Most of them were native to this land, but many hailed from a great traveling, that wandering spirit having brought many to the doorstep of Horde and Alliance both. I admit I was shocked to still see so many on the Horde’s side of the court room after everything that had transpired here and in Kalimdor.
I made my way down to a group of other tauren, some of whom I recognized form the Siege ad settled myself on a bench made too small for out kind, hearing the wood creak under my added weight through the muffled voices of dozens of whispered conversations happening all at once.
It was then I turned my eyes downward, past the heads of the Horde leadership and our new troll Warchief and saw the reason for the gathering here today.
Chained and bound as he was in the court room of the Shado-Pan Monastery, Garrosh never gave the illusion of one who was beaten. Often not his gaze was reserved for the stone he knelt upon, but when his head lifted it wasn’t the expression of his face that gave me pause; no, his face bore little expression save an occasion muted sneer. His eyes though remained full of fire.
Garrosh’s eyes did not belong to an orc in his position, one the Warchief of the Horde who, some could say held the fate of Azeroth in his hand, now brought low, a prisoner on trial for what he’d done for power. Those eyes met the gazes of scorn thrown at him with ease. Those eyes reflected the same prideful arrogance he possessed when the Old One was granting him power. The very memory of that battle still sent a shiver down my spine and for a moment I secretly wished for the axes I was made to leave behind as a condition for my attendance to this trial.
We were not made to wait long, however. A larger than average pandaren, bare chested and powerfully built, called for quiet and order in the court room, bringing an end to the whispers and solidifying the focus of all to the front and to the prisoner. Lord Taran Zhu then entered the chamber, three Shadow Pan to his front and his back, the seven of them seating themselves at a long table behind the chained prisoner.
“Now…” Taran Zhu began once they had settled. “We shall begin the trial of Garrosh Hellscream, former Warchief of the Horde.” There was a pause as a few muffled whispers broke out before he continued. “The prisoner has been accused of the following charges…”
The burly baliff unfurled a scroll that he had kept at his waist and began to read.The list was long, longer than I had expected. Grievances had been brought forth by the peoples of Pandaria, By the Alliance and by the Horde as well. The gallery remained silent as the litany of charges were read off one by one. A turn of the bailiff’s head and a short nod to Taran Zhu showed he was finished, the later addressing the court once more.
“Those that wish to present evidence of guilt in relation to the accused crimes may now step forward. Step forward and you will be given a turn to speak.”
I expected the line to be long. I was not disappointed. Sides that had kept themselves apart suddenly merged into a single line, each one with their own story to tell. Many had been personally affected by Garrosh’s actions. Some showed physical wounds, many not fully healed. Others told of lost land and property and more told of lost family and loved ones.
From Pandaren farmers, to trolls who had lived under the oppression of Garrosh’s rule in Orgimmar to Lady Jania Proudmore herself all stood up and presented their testimony against the fallen Warchief. Cries of anger and sobs of sorrow flowed freely in that chamber for what must have been hours.
The last to speak was a young human child who had lost both parents during the siege of Theramore. Her words brought more than a few angry glances from mostly humans and night elves to the seated races of the Horde. The Horde had been unified then and we marched under the orders of our leaders. I wonder if things would have been different had Vol’jin and Baine known about the bomb beforehand…but in the end, wondering about the past cannot change it.
“The defense may now present their case.” The words of Lord Zhu rand out once more and I felt myself caught by surprise. It took me awhile to remember that this was in fact a trial, and by rights, Garrosh could present a defense to his charges. The idea almost seemed ludicrous though after the previous testimony.
A very nervous looking goblin wearing, in my mind, a rather odd looking suit stood up. Considering the majority of orcs who might have supported Garrosh in this trial had gone to meet their ancestors during the conflict, it was no surprise that they would have to pay someone to represent the orc. It must have taken a large sum of gold to get even a goblin to perform this task, but no amount of gold could remove his obvious discomfort with the job.
“Uh, Y-yes Lord Zhu….ah, m-my client Garr-“
“Quiet, scum.” A deep, growling voice cut the goblin of mid-sentence, "No creature such as yourself will dare attempt to speak for Hellscream..." Garrosh had lifted his head and those eyes, fury and prideful eyes bore down on the small green man. The goblin froze then fell, fainting on the spot.
The chains on the former Warchief would not allow him to stand fully. But to one knee he did rise, his head held up to look upon the gallery, never flinching from the hundreds of eyes staring back at him. “What I did…I did for the Orcs…I did for the True Horde…I am to apologize for fighting my enemies to take what is needed, what is due?!” He turned and spat on the floor, one eye looking back over his shoulder to Lord Zhu. “That is my defense, bear.”
For a moment, I thought I saw Taran Zhu’s impassive face twist into one of scorn, but if that was the case he corrected himself so fast that I could not tell the reality of it from my imagination. “We shall deliberate on the evidence presented and return with a verdict.” And with that the Lord of the Shado Pan rose, flanked front and back by the others and vanished from the court room.
The deliberation was short.
The verdict was expected.
The sentence did not surprise.
The bailiff led Garrosh away by his chains, the orc sparing no more looks for anyone. I’m sure had he wanted to he could have given several Pandaren trouble, but instead he was led to his cell in silence. When I think back, it bothers me how self-assured and relatively calm the fallen Warchief was during the proceedings, as if had been nothing more than a chore to get through.
I had expected…I had hoped for a sense of closure, of finality when this was over. I looked up at the sky as I exited the monastery. It was starting to slow, small flakes dancing in the wind before falling to the mountain top. I closed my eyes and listened to the elements. With the Sha purged, the elements were quiet…content…harmonious.
I envied them.
I apologize about my format, I am no writer but felt compelled to write something here. I hope you guys enjoy:
The Horde...... The Alliance..... both are inferior to the vision of the True Horde that Garrosh had created. I was once a follower of the horde, Thrall was my Warchief and I was sent by him to fight all manners of evil. I am an instrument of peace, through my rage and bloodshed others are saved from the sights I have seen. I fought the Lich King with my band of warriors and I watched the harbinger of undeath have his sword shattered. I never relented as i pounced upon Deathwing with Heroes by my side, ripping the Iron pieces of his armor off while he was in flight. I was the first line of offense that breached Orgrimmar and laid seige to this once sanctuary of misfit races, but it was in the depths of my former home that my life was forever changed.
The warband and I had made it past the Klaxxi Paragons, those foolish bugs thought they stood a chance against the same people that originally freed them from their imprisonment, the irony tasted well as my axe slammed into the last bugs skull. The injured orc Saurfang had muttered something about Thrall but seeing his injuries, an orc whom i respected, fueled my hatred and gave me a focused ferocity as we decended to the new throne room.
We had won easily enough, although Thrall had managed to get bested and retreat like a coward, the rest of us celebrated our victory over Hellscreams defeat, some spitting on him as he slouched and waited for his reckoning. This is when a feeling came over me, it was dark, like a grey fog had lifted me into the clouds and I saw a beautiful orc, her name was...... I dont remember but she was walking up to me. She spoke to me and showed me what she had shown Garrosh, her hands gently brushing up and down my face as she explained that the Son of Grom had been on a mission to unite the lands and bring peace to Azeroth. I resisted the thought of it at first but after seeing the countless lives he would had saved under his command I realized my failure. She instructed me to go to the Isle of timelessness and train more, that I would be visited by another who would show me a way to redemption, she bid me farewell and kissed me on the cheek and I remember asking her if i could see her again.
I was awoken by a fist clashing with my helmet, a rogue we called Winters muttering something about the time and how we all needed to get home to get some rest. I waited for the cannon fodder.... I mean spell flingers we brought with us to cast their portal magic, my mind was racing by everything that had come to pass. I jumped on my dragon once the portal brought us home and I set off to the Timeless Isle in Pandaria, my eagerness renewing my stamina as it gave this orc a new purpose to push on.
And then the waiting.....
And more waiting....
My eagerness wilted and my curiosity faded, this stupid Isle had creatures that gave me no challenge and for what felt like months, not a single soul came to me to show me this destiny. I was angry at myself for believing my delusions, I thought the battles had finally sapped me of my wits. I went to visit a healer in the middle of the isle, when a dragon dressed as a man handed me a piece of paper. His skin flickered in bronze and i could feel the fire in his eyes as he gazed at me, the paper was a writ into "The Trial of Garrosh Hellscream" and the dragon simply told me to "Go and you will spark a new revolution."
Now I sit on this bench in a once glorious arena, Hellscream standing in the middle in his same slouch as important people from each race spat there large words that would surely seal his fate. When the end of the trial was near, Thrall had emerged from whatever cowardly location, I tried to listen to him speak but all i saw was his jaw flapping and my temper flaring each time he pointed to someone in the crowd. I CAN NOT TAKE THIS ANYMORE! "FOR THE TRUE HORDE!" yelled loudly out of my mouth almost uncontrollably and before I knew it, my fist was raised in the sky. The room did not appreciate my tone and I was greeted by guards, I also noticed the elves whom sat next to me had run away which made me happy, they talked too much and they bounced up and down for no reason. The guards shackled my legs and hands before I could react and spears poked me, escorting me out the area as a few fickle trolls threw some words at me to try and elicit a response, that and they threw some sticks and stones.
I looked over my shoulder to see the son of Grom one last time, he no longer held his head down and he stared at me. My true warchief had a small grin on his face now and he nodded to me before his massive size staightened. I heard him laughing at everyone before finally speaking, "You will never understand what my will and power has created, even your heroes can be swayed by MY truth." Hellscream said to everyone, his voice had a way of demanding attention. I slowed my speed to listen to the warchief more as one of these guards must have mustered up some courage. I watched a hilt of a sword crack me right on the top of my head, sounds distorted all around me and my vision turned to dark. My last thought as my body went limp was that I had fulfilled my vow and it was only a matter of time before the true horde would have its revenge.....
Edited by Vyle on 2/5/2014 10:29 PM PST
Adira had watched from her row in the venue.
Adira Collett Vein, Witch Hunter, 'The Twilight Hunter'...She had seen madness that would make Garrosh Hellscream scream into the night. She had felt rage unending, hatred unceasing. And here was a pretender before her.
"Hmph, and he deigned to think he could rule the world through an iron fist?"
She quickly quieted her thoughts. She had originally intended to help find Anduin, but she got a lesson in how to manage her darkest emotions instead. Fearless, yes. Without doubt, no doubt. Properly directed violence, no contest. Pride? Well, she wasn't too proud of her line of work; it was just dread necessity.
"Miss Vein, please come to the stand."
She did not expect that, however.
Who was the nut that wanted me on the stand? Her only thought was proper; who indeed? She couldn't exactly talk about certain matters just yet, though it was a good time.
"You wish to learn what I found out during the buildup to the actual Siege."
"That is correct."
"Very well," she sighed.
She explained so many military movements and political gestures that she wondered if she was still working for whoever handled her work...Even so, her testimony was not tainted by anything. She named sources for cross referencing, was completely above board in what she said.
"One final question. In your professional opinion, can Hellscream claim madness for his course of action? Speaking as a 'hunter', mind you."
This put her on the spot. If she said 'yes', it would show that she was also mad by the same definition. If she said 'no', it made her into something no better than he was.
Though the true answer was somewhere inbetween.
"In the beginning, he could claim madness, but his later actions show clear deliberation without regard to the consequences they may bring. In the beginning, he had to figure out what a Warchief was, and he was trying to please his father's legacy. Afterward, though, I can't ignore the escelation inherent in his actions. He went too far, as Pandaria's scars now show. You ask if he can claim madness."
She shook her head.
"No, he can't. He had a chance to turn back, and he didn't take it."
She returned to her seat and shook her head again.
"Who put my name there?"
"I did, Miss Vein," said a hooded figure. "Even if you leave, you never truly leave us. We balance the scales."
She recognized the cloak pin.
"So, Triune Silver...It was you."
"Aye," the High Elf nodded. "Let this be a lesson to those like Hellscream. We act within the shadows, and we will stop his kind at every turn."
Adira folded her arms and nodded calmly.
"Why do I have a feeling this isn't over yet?"
"It never is," Silver spoke. "Madmen don't stop being created."
Sober words for such a trial...Adira had to reflect on that.
The temple was filled with hundreds of people. Every civilized race on Azeroth was present - humans, their half-cursed worgen relatives, dwarves, gnomes, draenei, night elves, high elves, blood elves, orcs, trolls, forsaken, tauren, goblins, pandaren, taunka, tuskarr, jinyu, hozen, dragons - even some mantid.
Many of them were bitter enemies. Some of them recent. Some, life-long. The mantid, particularly - they were generally an enemy to all other races. They were only there bound in chains, though. Near the end of the war, they had allied with the trial's defendant, and a small few of them had survived. The mantid were a proud, arrogant race, but some of them had seen the sense in surrendering, that they might live to fight another day.
No two groups were thinking alike. The tension in the air was thick enough that one poorly aimed sneeze would probably end with the temple burning down in flames, if not for the diligence of the Shado-Pan and a few other groups dedicated to neutrality and peace.
All the death knight could think, though, was how much of a waste it all was.
Several years ago, the Horde and the Alliance had been building towards a tentative peace. Thrall, the orcish leader of the Horde as well as a powerful shaman, and Jaina Proudmoore, the mage who would become a prominent leader in the Alliance, had been dedicated moderates. Their unrivaled ability to cooperate with each other - two different people of races that had once sought to exterminate the other - had laid the groundwork for what should have been an era of cooperation during some of the toughest challenges Azeroth had ever seen.
But it hadn't worked that way. Internal betrayals, the resulting mistrust, and the interference of outside forces seeking chaos had turned the Horde and Alliance against each other, breaking their peace to splinters. It had only gotten worse after the world-breaking Cataclysm that the insane, radically powerful dragon Deathwing had caused. The world's most powerful shaman - including Thrall - had been called to help mend the devastation. Thrall left the leadership of the Horde in the hands of Garrosh Hellscream, a youth who had helped lead the Horde to victory in the previous conflict against the Lich King.
Garrosh had some deeply worrisome flaws, but the other leaders of the Horde, as well as Thrall's orcish advisors, remained, and they should have been able to help temper those flaws.
Or so Thrall had hoped. Instead, Garrosh's actions - as well as events that were blamed on him - soured most of the other leaders against him. Garrosh's own escalation of the renewed war with the Alliance turned them against him, too, especially when he attacked Jaina Proudmoore's port city of Theramore with the deliberate intent to slaughter as many people as possible. In Garrosh's eyes, it was a smart tactic - he intended to make the Alliance draw in reinforcements before using a stolen artifact to bomb the city, ideally leaving the Alliance leadership dead, and the faction ripe for conquest.
The Alliance didn't see it that way. Those who supported Jaina's years of preaching for peace were enraged that the Horde would attack her so cruelly. Those who disagreed with her now had their low opinions of the Horde proven.
Many of the people within the Horde were disgusted, too. Even those who had not considered Jaina an ally were enraged by Garrosh's tactics, which had left many Horde dead in the swamp around Theramore when Garrosh could have just used his bomb right from the start.
Groups dedicated to neutrality were also appalled. The blue dragonflight had seen some of their people slaughtered so that Garrosh could steal from them. The Kirin Tor, an order of mages of all races around Azeroth, had seen their people killed simply for helping evacuate the civilians from Theramore. Rhonin - their leader - had lost his life desperately trying to minimize the damage caused by Garrosh's mana bomb. His actions allowed his wife to survive, but left her without even anything to bury.
And only a few months later, when the forbidding mists around the lost continent of Pandaria had finally faded after ten thousand years, the Horde and the Alliance had rushed there to lay claims. At first, both groups attempted to cooperate with the native Pandaren and other races. But when Garrosh arrived, he began to sacrifice everyone else's interests for his own. He devastated land the Pandaren considered sacred. One of his men attempted to assassinate the outspoken troll leader, Vol'jin, who only just barely escaped with his life thanks to the intervention of Horde adventurers who were shocked at the betrayal. Garrosh himself attacked Anduin Wrynn, the teenage prince of the Alliance, for pleading with him to get him to avoid using weapons of mass destruction.
Dislike for Garrosh had run so strong within the Horde that the blood elves had begun to make efforts to defect to the Alliance. Garrosh loyalists turned the Alliance against them, however, and drove the rest of the faction back - until Vol'jin recovered from his injuries and returned to spearhead a rebellion. The Alliance learned of it and agreed to aid the rebellion. Fleets were launched to assault the Horde capital city of Orgrimmar and remove Garrosh from his position as the warchief of the Horde.
When all was said and done, Garrosh had managed to be captured alive. Thrall intended to execute him then and there, but Varian Wrynn, the High King of the Alliance, had stopped him, insisting that Thrall did not have sole right to punish Garrosh for his deeds. Thrall had growled back that he would not let Varian take Garrosh captive, when the Pandaren leader Taran Zhu had intervened. Clutching his stomach, which Garrosh had torn open with his axe some hours beforehand, Taran Zhu gave them a third option: take Garrosh to Pandaria, a neutral continent. Let him stand trial there. Let the world judge him.
Thrall and Varian had agreed. Garrosh was taken away, and the two opposing factions were left to awkwardly discuss their future. The Horde's military was severely weakened, and the Alliance was in a position to overthrow them. Jaina Proudmoore insisted that Varian seize the opportunity and dismantle the Horde, no longer allowing them to self-govern. In a move that many called the insanity of mercy, Varian instead walked away, not willing to throw any more lives away in the continuation of a pointless war.
The terms of peace that had followed were rather generous, on the Alliance's part. Even the Horde leaders could not deny that their faction had instigated most of the conflict. Yet the Alliance did not demand massive reparations, nor a demilitarization, nor for the Horde to give up their sovereignty. All Varian Wrynn asked for was an end to the conflicts, and for Horde forces to universally withdraw. In return, the Alliance would reopen trade to replenish the Horde's severely depleted food, water, and wood supplies. Anything longer-term could be discussed later.
Thrall had not retaken the mantle of Warchief, instead passing it along to Vol'jin. The Darkspear leader had agreed to the terms with little hesitation, but looked the entire time as if he was expecting some sort of trap. He said little more than necessary during the entire proceedings. "Yes", "very well", or "all right den" had been almost his entire vocabulary.
Two months of uneasy peace had followed since then. The worgen city of Gilneas had been abandoned by the Forsaken army, and some of the worgen had returned. It had been the least stable of all the agreements - the Forsaken leader, Sylvanas Windrunner, was not known for her mercy or cooperation. Much of the Alliance was looking to her, wondering when the other shoe would drop.
But now - today - the trial of Garrosh Hellscream had finally begun.
Baine Bloodhoof, the leader of the tauren, had been selected to defend him. It was almost a sick joke. When Garrosh had first been elevated to Warchief, Baine's father Cairne had been the most outspoken critic to the decision. Tensions between Garrosh and Cairne had gotten so bad that Cairne had challenged Garrosh to a duel to the death for the right to lead the Horde. Worse, one of Cairne's long time enemies had taken the opportunity to sneak poison onto Garrosh's axe before the duel. It was why Baine, not Cairne, now led the tauren.
Yet, out of anyone, there was no possible better defender. Baine was the only one around who could not only be expected to be a fair defender, but who had also been there for most of the events surrounding Garrosh. Everyone else was either too biased or knew too little.
Even Garrosh himself didn't protest (much) when Baine had been chosen, though there was no love lost between the orc and the tauren. Baine had listened dutifully to every order Garrosh had given, no matter how much he had hated them. The duel - known as a mak'gora - was a matter of honor, and Cairne had lost. The fact that he had been poisoned from his cuts was irrelevant. Baine had only turned against Garrosh after Vol'jin had returned to Kalimdor, speaking of how Garrosh had betrayed him, and showing the scar on his neck for proof.
The orc general Nazgrim might have been a better choice for a defender. Like Baine, he too had obeyed dutifully, though he had stayed allied with the Warchief rather than Vol'jin after his return. Yet he had allowed Thrall to enter the city when Vol'jin had it under siege. He had attempted to make Vol'jin surrender, destroying the rebellion's siege weapons rather than its people.
But Nazgrim was dead - slain defending the way into Garrosh's keep. He had been unapologetic for his decision. He would not turn against his Warchief. His honor would not have permitted it. The fact that he had been badly outnumbered - that the battle was all but hopeless - that was irrelevant. His last words had been "For the Horde" - not for the defenders still remaining, but for the tauren who had joined the battle, standing over him as he died. "I am proud to have died at your hands."
The death knight had watched it happen. There had been no malice in that fight. And when it was all over... Regret, if anything.
I suppose it really doesn't matter, he thought. There is no defending what Garrosh has done. There have been too many things he's ruined.
Not to say that Garrosh had no redeeming qualities. Not to say that Garrosh's enemies had not had some responsibility for the events that had occurred.
But ultimately, for all Vol'jin's talk of putting a black arrow through Garrosh's heart, Vol'jin had not struck first. Whether or not Garrosh had even ordered the assassination attempt didn't even matter - it would mark the second time that one of his commanders had attacked people "without his orders". And one Horde witness claimed that Garrosh and the assassin had exchanged hushed words before sending Vol'jin out on the task he got attacked while doing...
Garrosh's pattern of antagonism against the Alliance was also well-known. Both Horde and Alliance witnesses could testify to his enraged assault of Anduin Wrynn, leaving the boy broken and dying under a pile of rubble. And the Pandaren mistweavers who had healed him could testify to his wounds. Not to mention that Anduin himself could testify to all of it.
Most damning was the presence of neutral groups. The Blue Dragonflight had not been an enemy of the Horde at the time Varian's assassins had stolen the Focusing Iris from them. The mages of Dalaran had been refusing to assist the Alliance in their campaign against the Horde, despite the fact that Garrosh's actions had slain their previous leader Rhonin, when Garrosh loyalists had used the city's magic to open portals to attack and steal from the Alliance.
And the races of Pandaria...
The war between the Alliance and the Horde had devastated the Jade Forest. Their actions had even gone so far as to utterly ruin the celestial Yu'lon's attempt to reincarnate into a new jade cloud serpent. And yet that was nothing compared to what Garrosh had done to the Vale of Eternal Blossoms. Garrosh had recklessly dumped the depleted heart of the Old God Y'Shaarj into the Vale's sacred, legendary water - stepping over the broken body of Taran Zhu to do so. The heart had sucked the waters dry and scarred the Vale, overwhelming it with Sha monsters and slaughtering many of the Vale's Golden Lotus keepers. Lorewalker Cho had said that some of those Golden Lotus had actually had their very souls trapped in misery after they'd died - that they'd had to be destroyed at the hands of adventurers in order to even give them their final rest.
The death knight had been there for that, too.
All of it was secondary to the Bronze Dragonflight, however. Their services had been volunteered for this trial. Even though their power had diminished since their Aspect leader had lost most of his power following Deathwing's defeat, they still possessed some of their control over time. One of the easiest ways to affect time was simply to peer through it, particularly towards past events. And that was what they intended to do today.
The Bronze Dragonflight was going to allow the assembled people to see each and every one of Garrosh's actions as clearly as they had been on the days they had happened.
There would be no denying what he'd done.
What a waste, the death knight thought again.
Following the death of the Lich King - shortly before Garrosh had been elevated to Warchief - the death knights like himself had begun to share their relatively new powers with the world around them. Necromancy, formerly considered the most heinous of abominations in the world of magic, could now be used in conjunction with healing to literally resurrect people who had recently been slain. If they had been dead for any length of time, they could only be raised as a living corpse, but if they could be raised while their bodies were still warm, then they could be fully restored. If the people around them were so dedicated.
It was an almost unprecedented development in the world of magic. Only the Lich King and his most powerful minions could have done anything like it before, and even then, the process turned its subjects undead, causing variable levels of corruption to their minds and bodies. Warlocks could have stored souls, allowing them to return to their bodies after having been healed, but the process had required preparation beforehand, and a significant amount of resources.
Other disciplines had also benefited. If not from death knights, or the sudden mood of cross-class cooperation that followed learning how to literally resurrect people, then from the dragonflights, who had begun to mingle with mortal races like never before, following their cooperation in Northrend. Mages, for example, had begun to play with minor time magic, the bronzes finally relaxing some of their restrictions on the discipline. Finally trusting mortals more.
And yet for all that progress, Garrosh Hellscream had spearheaded an international crisis to the point that he had nearly resurrected an Old God just for power, stepping over innocent corpses just to get that far.
Such an unbelievable waste, the death knight thought yet again. You arrogant fool. Did you learn nothing in all your time here?
They would see.
Garrosh could not defend himself by saying that he had not done these things, or by deflecting blame. Not with the number of witnesses against him. Not with the Bronze Dragonflight present. So what his method of defense would be was a bit of a mystery.
Before the Siege of Orgrimmar, the death knight would have expected Garrosh to rant and rail about how he was the Warchief of the Horde, and how his actions would propel the Horde to their deserved place as rulers of Azeroth. Typical arrogant dictator crap.
Yet Garrosh had been utterly quiet when he had been led away from Orgrimmar in chains. Even now, he was still a lot less outspoken than he had been. To no one's surprise, he didn't suffer being pushed around or ordered quietly. "Get your hands off me," he had snarled when one of his Shado-Pan guards had attempted to push him towards his seat.
A pathetic attempt, the death knight had thought. Garrosh was an orc warrior. Even in captivity, he kept his body in order. The Pandaren were strong, too, but they were naturally built with a fair bit of fat, whereas orcs were solid muscle. Particularly this one, who believed that strength was power, and the right to use it.
In a fight, the Shado-Pan and Garrosh would have been fairly close, the Pandaren's natural agility making up for anything Garrosh had in raw strength, but when it came to the Shado-Pan pushing Garrosh to make him hurry up... the death knight had had to fight the urge to laugh.
Yet the old Garrosh would have attacked the guard for it. This Garrosh did not. He had taken his seat with a scowl on his face, but said nothing more.
What are you thinking? the death knight wondered, staring across the temple at the former warchief. Garrosh was looking around at the crowd that had come to see him convicted.
Will you accuse others of similar crimes? Jaina Proudmoore had ordered the blood elven mages of the Kirin Tor locked up following the betrayals in Dalaran - and many blood elves had died as a result of the purge. Overeager, hate-filled Alliance.
Will you argue that your actions were necessary? That you had done some good for your people? That had been somewhat true at the beginning. Garrosh's war with the Alliance had won them land, and that land was filled with wood and water - things they desperately needed, following the devastating fires in Orgrimmar and the drought in Durotan.
Or... do you have something else planned?
If nothing else, Garrosh was a fairly good tactician. His actions at Theramore, while utterly ruthless, had taken everyone by surprise, and if it hadn't been for Rhonin's involvement, his intent to destroy the Alliance military would have succeeded.
And his hunch that something powerful had to be buried in the Vale had turned out to be true. To everyone's shock, he had even succeeded at drawing power from the Old God's heart without any visible signs of long-term corruption. Everyone else who had ever meddled with them ended up twisted, distorted, and growing increasingly more insane as the days passed. Yet, if anything, Garrosh just kept growing more subdued.
It was certainly possible that he had some escape attempt in mind, and was simply keeping quiet in the interests of staying healthy so he could make that escape. Humility without a purpose really didn't suit him these days.
The death knight's hand twitched, almost reaching for the runeblade on his back. And that's why I wanted to come here, he thought. Not to witness this trial. It's not like it's a big secret how they'll end up judging him. No... I'm here because if he escapes, I'll be there to finish what I should have in Orgrimmar.
Garrosh's eyes were pointing in the death knight's general direction now. The death knight doubted Garrosh was actually looking at him, but he smiled coldly at the orc anyway. Go ahead. Try to run. I'll be waiting, Hellscream. We all die eventually.
"OBJECTION! My Horde is the true Horde! You lesser races are NOTHING!"
Edited by Kaethar on 2/6/2014 10:51 AM PST
After a fortnight of Garrosh's trial, all of his evil deeds were testified and recorded. The Tribunal of Pandaren, Horde and Alliance factions sought out the worst punishments ever. Vol'Jin, new leader of the Horde and very wise in the very ancient Troll techniques had a devious one in mind. All the jury agreed it fitting for the crime.
"Garrosh Hellscream, mon I do curse you with da Mullet of Zul Farrak!"
If the mention of the mysterious Mullet of Zul'Farrak rings a bell, well it should...it rings a gong too!
There was gasps all around the execution scene as the chained Garrosh had the Troll barbers apply their new look. He flailed around in agony and shame.
"Ya mon... business in the front an' party in da back don'cha know!" Vol'Jin announced in degradation.
The Goblin engineers helped buzzing around his head styling in ways of the long lost epicness...the pale frosty mullet of Ric Flair...some attributes of Travis Tritt...and the brows of some guys in a guild called Night Ranger were all incorporated into the final judgement. Even a rat tail extension was considered but his crimes did not merit that most hideous of do's.
And thus the pariah Garrosh staggered sullenly off into his eternal punishment while always being ridiculed wherever he goes, the brunt of all jokes. Afterwards Vol' Jin yelled "Can I hair a hell ya' mon?!!!!" and the multitudes raised their fists with the reply: "I need more cowbell!" mostly from the Tauren Chieftain fans in the crowd. Soon afterward furious head banging ensued by the Forsaken unrulies. And that's the end of Mists of Pandaria. True Story.
Jadoth hated trials.
He'd been at his share of them in the past, usually standing guard, and had a very good idea of what to expect. There would be a lot of talking, a lot of debate, jeers and insults from the crowd of spectators. And finally, there would be the verdict.
The paladin was almost certain that the trial would end in an execution.
He liked those even less.
He tried to ignore the buzz of countless conversations around him, waiting in stoic silence for the trial to begin. For the hundredth time that day, he wished that he had remained in Hearthglen, aiding the Argent Crusade as he preferred to, instead of travelling to Pandaria for this event.
It was all pointless. Why did they bother with the fanfare and fuss if they were just going to kill him for his crimes?
Although Jadoth detested the accused just as much as anyone else who'd fought against him the Siege, he was not sure if there was any point to the trial and the execution that he assumed would follow.
Killing Garrosh would not bring back those who had died fighting against him or serving him. Killing Garrosh would not repair the homes and livelihoods that had been destroyed. Killing Garrosh would not reunite the families that had been broken.
Killing Garrosh would be pointless.
The courtroom suddenly went silent. All eyes turned towards Garrosh Hellscream, chained and under guard, as he was brought before the judges.
"The trial of Garrosh Hellscream, former Warchief of the Horde, shall now proceed..."
Jadoth retreated into his thoughts and wondered what was going through the orc's mind. Was he proud of his deeds? Was he afraid of what was to come? Was he going to accept his fate, or fight against it until the end?
"He doesn't deserve a trial!"
A Tauren's deep, furious voice boomed out from the spectators' benches. One of the courtroom guards moved to apprehend him, but it was too late.
"Kill him where he stands!"
Another voice had spoken. It was quickly followed by a third, then a fourth. Before long, the courtroom had erupted into noise and chaos.
"Put him down like the cur he is!"
"He be a monster! He don't deserve anythin' but a bloody death!"
"I want to see his head on a pike!"
"He took my sons from me! I want justice!"
Although it warmed Jadoth's heart to see members of the Alliance and the Horde agreeing with each other, he wished that they were agreeing on more pleasant matters.
Courtroom guards began moving from bench to bench, trying to silence the enraged crowd, but their stern words had little effect.
"Throw him to the worgs! Let them feast!"
Jadoth closed his eyes, rested his head in his hands, and waited for order to be restored.
He hated trials.
Edited by Jadoth on 2/7/2014 4:30 PM PST
I sat on a rafter high up in the cavernous room, perched wing to wing with the other druids. Far below us the rest packed themselves onto the floor in front of the low stage. The location and time of the trial were supposed to be a secret but hundreds had gathered to watch.
The torches flickered once and Thrall appeared on the stage, the prisoner stood next to him in a long hooded cloak. Hellscream hadn't lost his warrior's stance, but the trip through the nether had clearly taken a toll. He dropped to a knee as Thrall took his position. With the prisoner there it was only a matter of time before the guards woke up – the trial would have to happen quickly.
On the stage there sat a single long table, Thrall and Farseer Nobundo sat with Muln Runetotem, representing the Earthen Ring; Hamuul Runetotem and Broll Bearmantle sat next to Malfurion himself to represent the Cenarion Circle. In the middle sat a dwarf bearing no markings, he wore simple armor and spoke to no one. Garrosh pulled back his hood and stood up, the scene in front of him wasn't what he had expected and his surprise was visible.
As he scanned the room his rage returned and he shouted to Thrall - “Where have you brought me? This cave doesn't have the revolting flare of the pandarens.”
“You will stand trial in Pandaria, but not yet. First you must stand trial for your crimes against nature, for that you have been brought to the barrow dens of Moonglade.”
“And what crimes are those? Am I supposed to apologize to the ground for digging it up?”
“The purpose of this trial is to inform you of the charges against you and administer punishment; we will be swift. First, you will face the charges brought forward by the Earthen Ring.”
Muln stood up and walked to the front of the table, his immense frame towering over the lowly orc.
“Garrosh Hellscream – the Earthen Ring represents the bond between our people and the elements. This bond is based on the generosity of the elements, without the elements at our side the Horde would have never existed. They were our loyal friends and with their gratitude we grew stronger.”
The high shaman paused, and as he stood staring at Garrosh, his face turned from a grounded stoicism to fiery anger.
“That wasn't good enough for you; you demanded more. You ordered your servants to bind the elements, to demand their services, to break the bond we've served for ages to maintain. This incredulous offense against the elements themselves is the reason for your punishment. Your henchmen were spared in death, so you will face your fate alone.”
As the mighty tauren returned to his seat, the first of the druids rose.
“The Cenarion Circle, like every druid, is dedicated to the preservation of nature in all of its forms. We live to protect nature, just as you have lived to destroy it. Under your leadership the coasts of Azshara, the mountains of the Stone Peaks and the sacred Vale of the pandaren have all been irreparably damaged. Restoring the lands you've destroyed will be the dream of a generation of druids. Your punishment will not restore these lands, but justice must be done for the destruction you've caused.”
As Stormrage returned to the table all eyes turned to the dwarf seated in the center of the table. His eyes had been fixed on the ground from the start and he didn't lift them now. Garrosh was growing impatient and finally spoke up.
“What now then? Are you going to kill me or just leave me here to rot? I'm tired of these games, just take me back to my cell and let me face my real trial.”
Malfurion snapped his head around to face Garrosh - “You will be returned when this tribunal is finished, we await the orders of the earth.”
“Ha, even the dirt judges me now?”
The dwarf finally lifted his head - “You have been judged by the earth in all its forms. The dirt and metal of your fortress saw your madness and desire. Azeroth itself witnessed your treachery from Dalaran to Theramore, Pandaria to Orgrimmar. Your actions have been deemed unacceptable.”
“And who are you to know all this, dwarf? Is this how Alliance Intelligence works?”
The dwarf looked around the assembly and finally, as his gaze returned to the indignant prisoner, his body disintegrated, falling into a pile of dirt. Garrosh stood shocked for a second before the ground in front of him stirred, and the form of a dwarf appeared in stone.
The dwarf's voice was louder now, and the cavern shook when he spoke - “I am the heart of this world now, I see all within me. I saw your machinations from the start and I will see your end.”
Again the dwarf turned to a pile of dirt before returning to the table, looking down at the ground, motionless.
Muln rose again and stood in front of the accused - “You have been found guilty Garrosh Hellscream, and your punishment has been decided. As leader of the Earthen Ring I am only mortal and I cannot punish you for the crimes you have committed, but as an emissary of the elements I am to inform you of your punishment. The elements will inflict on you the pain you caused to them – the wind will cut, the rain will burn, the ground will grow sharp under your feet and a fire will scorch your soul, forever.”
Malfurion now stood behind Muln and continued - “The Cenarion Circle stands for no aspect of nature, but for nature. Since you showed no goodwill towards nature, nature will no longer show it to you. The glorious light of the sun will no longer comfort you but will overwhelm you with it's brilliance; the magnificent light of the moon will no longer soothe you, but freeze your bones. There will be no escape from the judgment of nature, the consequences of your actions will follow you as a curse from this day forward.”
The dwarf spoke again, his voice booming - “You have been judged.”
I am too late.
The crowd was composed of representatives of every major power on Azeroth. Each had divided themselves into their respective factions. The humans and orcs split the center of the gallery. Fanning out past each respective head of their faction was the remaining races of the Alliance and Horde. Gnomes, tauren, blood elves, and others were scattered about, quietly conversing about their predictions on the proceedings that were soon to begin.
Two tables and a bench had been set up in front of the gallery. At one table sat the prosecution, lead by a smug looking Tyrande Whisperwind. At the other sat the defense, their leader Baine Bloodhoof letting out a long sigh as he waited for the trial to begin.
A loud gong split the noise in the court, silencing all as the court officials, all pandaren, shuffled into the court. Next followed the judge, an ancient looking pandaren covered in gray fur and scars. A tense moment passed, as everyone waited for the defendant in this monumental event to enter.
No one was disappointed by Garrosh’s entrance. Despite being locked in adamantiun chains and escorted by a pair of Shado-Pan enforcers, Garrosh still looked like the powerful orc warrior he prided himself on being. With a smirk on his face, Garrosh took one look around the crowd and let out a loud, mocking laugh.
The crowd exploded in outrage at this disgrace of the proceedings. The court officials tried to rush Garrosh to his place in the court while also calming the crowd. Garrosh turned to give the crowd another smirk. This just further enraged the stands. Nothing the officials did seemed to calm the crowd.
“QUIET!” yelled a voice from the doorway. Silence once again dropped over the court as everyone turned to the newcomer. Standing at the entrance stood Taran Zhu, leader of the Shado-Pan. “Garrosh has caused enough pain and suffering for all of our peoples already. Are you willing to allow him further pleasure in provoking you all with smirks and laughs?”
Everyone started muttering amongst themselves, each embarrassed by their outburst of emotion to such a provocation. No other race could compare to the shame now emanating from the orcish section of the gallery. Many of the orcs had been believers in Garrosh but had been unaware of the atrocities being committed by their glorious leader. Since the fall of the True Horde there had been a sense of dishonor and depression hanging over the orcish race.
Among the orcish section of the gallery stood an unremarkable orc. Nothing of note stood out about this orc. He was of average height and build with an average face. His brown eyes and black hair matched almost every other orc around him. His green skin wasn’t a remarkably different shade than any other orc. Unknown to everyone at the trial, this orc was not like most of the others there.
Garogg prided himself on his undistinguished look. It made it easy for him to slip in and out of the shadows at will, with none the wiser. An exceptional trait for an unexceptional orc to possess. Unfortunately, his abilities, while extremely useful at his home, were not nearly as effective in this situation. All he could do now was bear witness to the beginning of the proceedings.
“Today has been long and emotional,” said the pandaren judge. “Let us break until tomorrow morning.” The judge turned and left the court, leaving the officials to guide Garrosh to his cell and assist the spectators in exiting.
As everyone wandered out of the court, Garogg pondered the events of the day. What to do now? This isn’t how it was suppose to be. How could Garrosh fall out of power so quickly? If he had only kept a hold for a few more months, all my master’s efforts would finally have come to fruition. Now his plans are in disarray.
Perhaps there is some way to salvage this disaster, thought Garogg. If I could only find a way to use the hatred this world’s people have for this failed orc to stoke the fires of war again. I must find some answer, and soon. My master will not be pleased if I have nothing good to report.
No, Gul’dan will not be pleased.
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