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All he remembered was nothingness. He was sailing down from the Twilight Highlands in a small dingy when a horde vessal intercepted him. He had sprayed the other ship in arrows when a loud boomed had blacked out his vision and sent his boat to splinters, and then nothing....
Sargatogu sat beside the mat Ocba was laying on. But that was impossible, Ocba had left his partner in Stormwind. The tiger shuffled closer to lick the hunter's face, the combination of grunts and growls formed into words.
"You had been asleep for three days. The druid who found you floating off the shore sent a letter to Stormwind; the delivery bird told me you were here." Ocba sat up to get a better look of the surroundings. The tan hue of a leather tent made up most the environment, his equipment sat in a corner both cleaned and shined.
"Where are we?" The tiger prowled around the tent, taking his time to think of a reply.
"The druid had enough feral instincts to talk with me... In return for healing you, you are required to help this army in its endeavors." Ocba blinked his glowing, green eyes...
"Army....?" Sargatogu grabbed one of the tent flaps in his mouth and pulled it open. A red dust drifted in by a small breeze, with it came the smell of ash and the feeling of depleted fel energies. He was in the Blasted Lands.
Torage sat on the remote hill outside of Thunder Bluff that was his home after his banishment from the Tauren city the year before. He had been there many days, collecting his thoughts, for he had many things to think about, and Tor thought very slowly.
What had his master meant when they last parted ways? Tor played it over again in his mind as he had many times before. "Torage, your purpose, my purpose, all that I have done to make you what you are is now fulfilled. from this day forward your will is your own, you are free now" and with that he had again disappeared into the maelstrom. Tor had waited patiently for his masters return but many days passed and he had eventually relocated to mulgore when he had grown tired of eating fish, the master would always find him wherever he went anyway, wouldn't he?
Torage smelled something approaching and scanned the area around him. His secluded hill was barren, even though Tor lived there was no shelter, for Tor's armor was his home, the only evidence that anyone had been there was all was the remains of a makeshift fire and the depression in the ground where Torage slept.
An Orc approached alone, he seemed unsure of himself but that vanished as he spotted Torage. He walked over to the hill where Tor sat. Tor recognized this Orc, he had fought under his command before.
As Dukago approached Torage he remembered back to when he had first met the warrior. Torage's master, cruel Shaman named Gahazakul, had commanded Torage to follow his orders. The massive Tauren had looked down at him for a moment, judging him. Dukago sensed the blow before it came, and with the speed the warrior moved it would have been impossible to stop it otherwise. He raised his axe and parried the blow with all of his might and he swore his feet made depressions in the stone from the force of the impact. both warriors pulled back, weapons still drawn, then Torage gave a nod and lowered his weapon. It was a strange feeling, he had felt the judgment in his strike as much as he did his gaze.
"Torage, the horde calls upon us again friend, will you fight?"
Torage pondered the words, this was not an order but a request. The concept was foreign to Tor, all his life he had followed his masters commands, un questioningly and he had only fought for the general because his master had commanded him to do so. IF tor had a choice then what did he choose? was any option better than the other? He didn't care about conquest or being shamed for refusing, but what ells would he do? fighting had been all he had ever known. Then ,perhaps for the first time in his life, Torage made a decision.
"Tor will fight" for that was all he knew, so that is what he would do.
"Child! What must I do to get you to stop mind controlling the battle master into the river?!?" Anessa shouted dramatically. Placing a withered hand upon her forehead, Anessa sighs quietly to herself "Oh my dear child, you are so much like my own was. Whatever humanity I have retained, is because of you and you will be the death of us!."
R'chl standing at attention in their humble Undercity accomadations, bows her head as a sign of respect for the Forsaken woman, who purchased her many years ago, saving her from being purchased by a Goblin looking to establish a brothel. That her father was the seller, is something she and Anessa haven't forgotten.
As if sensing her prodigy's thoughts, "Walker is much like your father child. Much like my husband and that alone is why I am content living this unlife." Anessa chuckles to herself. Muttering, "Not even the Scourge saw him fit enough to raise, thank the light."
"My point is that..." Anessa points her finger up dramatically, and it falls to an odd angle."Darnit, I'll have to get that fixed again. They just don't make them like they used to; This is my fourth pointer on that hand, can you believe that?" Anessa turns around to see R'chl covering her mouth, looking a little pale, and she laughs.
"You need some sun, child. The horde needs healers to help them defend, in the Blasted Lands; you should go.". Gently nodding her head, so as not to make herself feel any more queasy, R'chl agrees.
Anessa gently caresses her prodigy's hair and whispers, with her dry vocal cords, "and if you see your family out there, or anyone who looks like them, no one will blame you if you *forget* how to heal. I won't at all be displeased.Now go!"
R'chl quickly walks towards the mage quarters, to take a portal to the Blasted Lands. Passing by Walker, she trys to stay quiet, looking forward, one foot in front of the other.
Walkers voice bellows, "Hey you prissy fleshbag! You're stinking up my city, you flithy point eared scum. You need to...." he stiffens, begins walking to the water, turns to salute his students and then enthusiastically jumps into the disgusting green river. R'chl quickly runs to the mage quarter, before Walker can get out of the water.
Before stepping through the portal, she takes a deep breath. Part of her wanting to see her family, who valued sons over daughters, the other part filled with rage that words cannot describe what she wants to do to them. As Anessa says "For the Horde, until something better comes along...."
Edited by Domme on 4/5/2012 8:52 AM PDT
So the first part of this I wrote for a different piece of RP that I failed to follow through with. I spent too much time on it to just let it die without resolution, so I've adapted it to this event. (If you've read it before, that's why, cheers).
The air was cold, calm….quiet; the snow crunched softly under foot. The bones of once brilliant seasonal pines stood silent and still, waiting in solitude for the moment of their renewal. This time of year was always a test for the inhabitants in the great forests of Alterac, for only the strong would survive the winter and live on to replenish what was lost. Such was the cycle in these parts of Azeroth, as they had been for ages. The exception being the occasional intruder that found its way in and often failed to leave.
The Orc kneeled softly next to a large bolder that had come loose from surrounding mountain long ago, his hand sinking slightly in the snow. He steadied himself against the stone, the ancient rock crumbling beneath his glove. Examining the marks on the ground he tested the depth of each, bringing his fingers to his face to catch scent of his prey. The tracks were deep; the scent fresh… the buck was close.
Slowly, methodically he removed his bow from the hand-crafted sheath that protected it from the elements, stringing it tightly with a strand made from the fibers of dragon skin. He tested the draw, carefully pulling back further and further until his arm shook from the tension, perfect. The Orc pulled a single arrow from his quiver, specifically selected for his target. Made of rigid composites, finely crafted to minimize the wobble of flight yet light enough to find its target before it could hear the snap of the bow, it easily was the difference between a kill or not.
He examined the shaft, raising it to his eye scrutinizing it closely. Straight, unwarped, his thumb checking for imperfections in the woven composites came to the phoenix feathered fletching, unbroken… beautiful.
Quite an irony that such an elegant tool was destined for this grim purpose in such a peaceful place. The Orc notched the arrow and held the weapon at his side, standing slowly so as not to spook his prey. He squinted, straining his eyes to pierce the thick, bare brush ahead for any signs of life and waited. Just past the brush stood a clearing where the white and yellow rays of the midday sun pierced the clouded sky, illuminating the expanse as if painted by the gods themselves. He waited
To the west of the clearing the Orc noticed an unnatural sway in the top of one of the trees. The air was still, the surrounding pines echoed this fact, unnatural indeed. His chest thumped in anticipation, he could hear the blood surge within his ears. He waited.
Slowly, cautiously the animal revealed itself, testing the ground…sniffing the air. Its eyes darted back and forth, its head, twelve pointed antlers and all, twitching slightly, checking every direction for predators. It moved forward, still on edge waiting for the first sign of something out of place, the first scent that shouldn’t belong. Clearly satisfied with its examination, the buck relaxed, directing its gaze to the little green that remained in the clearing.
The Orc admired the scene before him, never in all his life, and perhaps never again, had such a setting revealed itself to him. There wasn’t an artist alive that could do it justice. Peaceful, wonderful bliss, in the realm of death; perhaps there really was a path to the afterlife, a light at the end of all things. He raised his blow slowly, bringing it to bare. The Buck pecked at the sparse vegetation as the orc drew the string, his arm straining at the tension. Everything was cyclical. He took a breath, exhaling slowly. Life…He focused his gaze and loosed the arrow…feeds on life.
Edited by Dukago on 4/7/2012 6:08 PM PDT
The once brilliant creature had come to rest on the unfrozen shore of a racing stream; its body bent over a dark river rock worn smooth with the passage of time. Its head protruded from the bank, diverting the shallow current that leached away a small but consistent trail of blood emanating from the shaft in its neck. The chest of the animal rose and fell slowly with each labored breath, a small whine following as it exhaled. Several times it tried regaining its footing, each failure bringing it closer to death as despair, and eventually acceptance overcame the desire to live.
The orc watched, anticipating the moment when the enormous strength of the animal had left and all that remained was a hollow shell slowly losing its grip on life. Soon he would put an end to the buck’s suffering. There was little point in prolonging the encounter and it never gave him pleasure to observe the cruel hand of death at work.
Reaching for his old leather travel pack, he rummaged through one of the outer most pockets for a small knife that he always carried with him. His fingers came to rest upon the cold steel of a short, sweeping blade. Made of thinner metal and forged with a softer carbon, it allowed the knife to bend slightly for more accuracy when separating the flesh and made it much easier to re-tool in the field when it lost its edge. A small engraving of a pair of crossed tusks was etched near the hilt, the mark of the smith who crafted it... Simple, but efficient.
The orc looked once more at the buck, the time was near. He palmed the blade and stood, revealing his position behind a massive tree. Confidently, he made his way towards the dying creature, the soft sand giving way to small stones that crunched beneath him as he walked. The animal lay still, helpless, unable to move; its wild eye fixed upon the approaching executioner.
The orc came to stand over the creature, his hand grasping one of its twelve points slowly lifting its head. As he knelt, he slid the knife into the soft tissue of the buck’s throat, the flesh separating with minimal effort. Its warm life giving fluids spilled freely across his forearm and into the stream with each rapid slice. The orc watched as the animal’s focused stare glazed over, and finally was released from life. He held the head a moment longer until the torrent of red slowed to a trickle before letting it fall. Not pretty, but quick. He and his men would eat well this night.
He stepped away from the carcass and buried his arms in the rushing water allowing the stream to wash the carnage from his skin. The act reminded him of the stories he was told as a child by the shaman on Draenor. They always spoke of the cleansing tide, healing the body and spirit. While he could never take comfort in their teachings, somewhere he understood the wisdom in their words.
As he scrubbed he heard a small crack from the forest behind him, the snap of a small twig underfoot. The orc inclined his head and considered for a moment before smiling slightly to himself.
“Rugruk, you never did learn to mind your footing,”
A bald, stocky figure stepped out from the shade of the forest. “Yeah, well this warrior is honed for an open field, all this sneaking around is as dull last night’s rations. I could have been the enemy, General. This death would not have suited you. How did you know I wasn’t some assassin here to send you to meet your ancestors?”
The General stood, wiping his knife on his leg, “Sergeant Braudik has an irritating habit of chewing garlic when he is bored.” The orc thumbed over his right shoulder and pocketed the blade. “Seeing as you two are inseparable.... At least you had the sense to approach from down wind.”
Rugruk looked upstream at Braudik, another bald stocky figure leaning against a massive pine, who shrugged, pocketed a small clove of garlic and walked toward the other two.
The General shook his head, “I thought my instructions to Blood Guard Ta’lk were clear that I wanted this hunt to myself.” The orc looked at the sun. “I’ve been gone not five hours and you’re already breathing down my neck. Who’s !@# do I need to kick so that its understood, alone means alone?”
“Well you know Ta’lk, General,” Braudik replied kneeling next to the buck. “…a fine kill. In any case, you have a visitor. He arrived shortly after you left…took us damn near three hours to find you…” Braudik placed his hand on the slain animal and smiled. “…and I’m glad it did. They told me to give you this”
The Sergeant reached into his pocket and removed a rolled skin and handed it to the General, the smell of old leather…and a touch of garlic pierced the fresh mountain air. The orc unrolled the skin and considered the symbol printed on its surface.
“I’m needed back at camp,” The General replied. “I trust you two can handle that,” he motioned at the buck. Not waiting for a reply, the orc stepped off the bank into the bare timbers and was gone.
Edited by Dukago on 4/7/2012 6:05 PM PDT
The General arrived with the setting sun to a fresh cut palisade surrounding a roaring open pit fire. The camp was busy making preparations for the evening. Tents already standing, orcs and their tusked brethren stood watch while the larger Tuaren buried the last of larger trunks in the earth. A cold wind brought with it the rich smell of roasted game. Not bad for a day’s effort…not bad at all.
A shout echoed off the surrounding forest as he approached. Armor polished and weapons in hand, the General was greeted by two of his ranking officers who escorted him to a large round tent near the center of camp. “I’ll take it from here; see that preparations are finished before sun down.” The pair saluted. “Oh, send Ta’lk my way when I am fished here. We have things to discuss.” Knowing exactly what the General was referring to, both officers grinned before turning heel to carry out their orders.
The General pushed aside the tent covering, allowing it to fall behind him as he stepped through. The shelter was lined with stone and thick kodo hide to keep out the elements and lit by a small open flame pit dug out in the center. A crude desk stood off to one side upon which was the day’s reports and a worn leather map of the surrounding terrain. Opposite him sat a figure, arms crossed and reclined against one of the structure’s posts. His braded, well kept hair held back by a pair of obnoxious ears almost forced a laugh out of the General…almost.
“You’re a long way from home elf. What’s so important that could bring you to my neck of the continent carrying the Errant Pride banner?” The General narrowed his gaze, “Moreover, what’s so important that you felt it necessary to interrupt me in the middle of my hunt?”
The elf inclined his head, raising an eye as he considered the challenge. With a conceited grin he uncrossed his arms and began cleaning the grime from beneath his finger nails. “You serve the Horde when last I checked Dukago and your Warchief calls. And if that’s not enough...” The elf looked up from his work and raised an eyebrow. “Well, it really should be. Your little hunt can wait.”
The General’s eyes widened and his nose flared at the blatant disrespect; he took a step towards the elf fists clinched, ready to do work. The elf, clearly uninterested, held his hand out before him, fingers spread inspecting his progress, completely ignoring the hulking mass bearing down upon him. “Ah, that’s better,” he said smugly, glancing up at the clearly pissed off warrior. “I don’t see how you could tolerate such foul conditions, but then again, I guess that’s why your place is here and mine is some place with far more wine and women.”
The pairs eye’s locked, each confidently assessing the situation, weighing their advantages, daring the other to take the encounter to the next level. What happened in the next few seconds had the potential to affect the lives of thousands. Dukago, unable to contain himself any longer, broke first, stepping back, cackling madly. “Alanth, you’re a real piece of !@#$ you know that?” He extended his had to help the elf to his feet.
Edited by Dukago on 4/11/2012 8:52 PM PDT
Alanth accepted the gesture and was pulled upright. “Yes, well better in character than in life. You and your men should learn to bathe,” He said with a grin, but a serious tone. The two walked over to the small table and sat across from each other.
Dukago bent over, unlacing his thick-soled boots. “What news from Gunny? How fairs the Pride these days?” Each boot falling to the dirt with a distinct thump.
Alanth waved off the question, settling back uncomfortably into the makeshift chair. “The Warchief calls General, and there’s not much time. Preparations are being made for a massive encounter with some of your old friends and your presence has been requested.”
“Since when does the Pride do the Warchief’s bidding?” Dukago said, massaging his strained calves.
“This one is bigger than that General. This goes beyond politics. Hellscream has overstepped himself, again. But now is not the time. What’s done is done.” Alanth leaned forward, “We must act, our enemies certainly are. We can, and will, deal with Hellscream later.”
“Where are the clans gathering?” Dukago asked, sitting back in his chair, shadows from the fire dancing across his face.
“Dreadmaul Hold, just outside the old Morass.” The elf replied. “The Alliance mass at Nethergarde keep, in such numbers that it is hard to judge.”
Dukago considered the situation for a long while, his hand rubbing the overgrown stubble of his chin. He and the Warchief never did see eye to eye. In fact, they disagreed on a great many things...most things. Here he was again being asked to clean up the mess. The day was quickly approaching when a decision about a change in leadership had to be made. Alanth was right however, that time was not now. The Horde was not ready to deal with the aftermath of such a decision. Certainly not with the Alliance yet again provoked. One day there would be a reckoning. One day soon…
“General, you do not have much time.” The elf spoke out, interrupting his train of thought. “The clans gather now, at this very moment. If you are going to be there when this thing comes to a head…”
“Relax Alanth, you’ve sold me. We must act for the good of the Horde and I will answer the Pride’s call.” Dukago called for a runner who pushed aside the tent covering. “Pass the word; we break camp in four hours. Tell Ta’lk he is to make for Dreadmaul Hold. I will leave immediately with a small contingent for Mulgore. Have my worg readied in ten minutes.” The runner saluted and disappeared as the covering fell shut behind.
“Dukago, Mulgore isn’t exactly on the way.” The elf stood as the General readied his gear.
Dukago held up his hand and faced the elf, “I am aware Alanth. But if what you say is true, I need all of my men, and there is one not present.” He walked over to the trunk containing his armor and began lacing a pair of well oiled bracers over his massive forearm.
“Excuse me General, but you’re traveling half the sphere for one? Just one?” Alanth replied, clearly concerned, coming to stand next to the seasoned warrior.
Dukago slid the second of his battle worn gauntlets over his outstretched hand, pulling it tight. He brought his right hand up before his face and clenched his fist tightly, the twist of leather and metal groaning under the strain. “Yes Alanth… Just one.”
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