(I wrote this waiting for a flight)

(A long day of being a gear in the Horde War Machine is behind you, and you walk up to the first available seat in front of the bar, making yourself comfortable and wiping the Pandarian dew from your face. Next to you is a troll, hunched over the bar he is too tall for, casually leaning into one scarred and calloused hand while turning his mug of ale slowly around in the other. To you he appears lost in trance, deeply meditating on something, and curiosity gets the better of you.)
“Long day?” (You ask him)
“Oh, you know how the days can be around here,” (He says, running his fingers through his cropped hair,) “Always too long when you don’t want them to be and not long enough when you need them to be.” He shifts position on his stool to face you) “And today has been far too long as it is.” (The troll seems strange to you for having nothing resembling an accent in his words, but it does not bother you; stranger things, after all, you have seen in your lifetime.)
(You agree with his statement and order your dish of choice from the smiling Pandarian chef working over a sizzling fire). “Some thick rain we’ve had today to top it off,” (you say, )“You ever seen rain like this?”
(The troll stares into his ale for a moment) “Not anywhere on this continent, and that is saying much after some of the showers that have hit since the mists receded.”
(You find his statement hard to believe) “Where on Azeroth would you find harder rain than Pandaria? In monsoon season no less?”
(The troll takes a drink from his ale, brushes some spillage off his chin, and burps to himself) “The Arathi Basin, last year. Was on assignment with the Defilers, Assault Battalion. Rained so hard that we had flooding in the Defiler’s Den and top brass had to conduct business outside under tents. Made them really pleasant to be around, if you can imagine. In addition to ducking their temper, keeping our gear dry, and fighting a war with the Alliance, the whole valley reeked of stagnant water and everyone got trench foot, Forsaken included.”
(He takes another drink of ale) “But you know what the kicker of it all was? The Alliance had direct control of the stables, but because of the flooding it was completely useless to them. They couldn’t care for a horse worthy to be called cavalry under the constant downpour, so they halted any breeding, raising, and conditioning on it.” He smirks to himself. “Of course, that only meant that they would push that much harder for another piece of that basin. Have to make up for losses and all, you know. So they took the blacksmith island. Sent a whole mess of those twice-damned SI:7 agents and pulled it all out from under us overnight.”
(The troll looks at his now empty mug) “You like stories? Buy me another round and I’ll tell you where this one goes.”
(You drop a few coins on the bar counter and ask for a refill for the troll. The bartender pours a fresh round into his mug and resumes his duties. You listen intently)
“Now that’s more like it. Name’s Kurthnaga, stranger, but most of my friends call me Kurth. Call me what you will. Now, where was I…Mmm, yes, the Alliance came and snuffed out our people guarding the blacksmith island before an alarm could even be raised. You can probably imagine the reaction Warlord Fashrok had on his face when morning came and Alliance Colors were being waved on the island. After he finished pulverizing his tent he made an immediate order for my squad to go and take it back from them.
By that time, my squad had been in the basin for about five months, and we had made a name for ourselves amongst the Defilers for being top-tier shock troopers. Our focus was on fast attack and short-term defensive maneuvering. Essentially, we clear out a place and hold it until we can get fortifications in place. We were dubbed as the “Suicide Squad” by the rest of our brothers in arms, and it fit us just fine. The men and women I fought with in that squad were just crazy enough to deserve it.
Aside from me, there was Marithos, a blood elf mage. To give you a picture of this man, he had been reprimanded on four separate occasions for trying to seduce female officers with alchemical potions. If I remember correctly he was put into my squad at the behest of Warlord Fashrok after hitting on his daughter. Which, hey, if you wanted someone dead, why not the Suicide Squad, right? Sure was a good thing that he held no love for any Alliance females. Wouldn’t hesitate to char one up any more than a man wearing the lion tabard.
Then there was Kormoko, our shaman, and let me tell you, I’ve been to some scary places and fought some monstrous things, but Kor’s wrath was worse than the Cataclysm. She was born-and-raised Frostwolf Clan, see, and she was pretty damned proud of it. Even wore Frostwolf Tabard while under Defiler command, something that no one else could get away with. Even Marithos would give her a wide berth, and he, as I said, was pretty daring when it comes to which ladies he got himself close to.
Kor was always ready to go off, but thank the powers that be that we had Daine, my fellow warrior-at-arms. Even by tauren standards Daine was a beast, but he’d never shout or show any sign of distress. If you don’t think it’s awe-inspiring to see a behemoth Tauren hold off a swarm of veteran knights on his own without so much as growling, then you must have seen some serious stuff in your days. I remember once he asked me for the time of day while we were surrounded by an ambush party…”
(Kurthnaga drinks from his mug and continues)
“A great man to fight with, but always had to be careful not to step on Griznak, our squad’s scout and, naturally, goblin engineer. Odds are, if an Alliance installation suddenly exploded for no reason in Arathi Basin, Griznak was responsible for it. He was the most ragtag, filthy-looking rogue in the basin, but he worked math like it was art, even for a goblin, and trust me friend, I know goblins.
Last but certainly not least, was our priestess, a Forsaken named Lilvathias. We just called her ‘Lil’ for short. Now, Lil, she was…slightly off, I suppose. Always smiling, humming to herself, skip in her step, et cetera. We all had our own inside joke that she didn’t really know she was a forsaken with the way she was so…overly feminine. She could mend flesh like the best of them, though, so I guess we could deal with her making us take care to not kill any innocent critters if it meant keeping us alive through all the injuries that should have killed us. At least, most of the injuries that should have killed us, but I’ll get to that in a second.”
(Kurthnaga takes a long swig of ale and sighs)
“So, we grabbed our gear and beat feet to the island. Standard tactic was to have Daine and myself lead an attack from the ground, with Marithos and Lil behind us. This tactic was really all a diversion while Kor and Griznak got in from behind and devastated the installations. As usual, it went like clockwork; the defending force got so heavily engaged on the force on the bridge that they completely ignore the two stabbing them in the back.
Only thing was, it worked out a little too well. There were no real defensive units to speak of, no warriors, no paladins, not even a druid. The Alliance we killed were mostly the leftover SI:7 and some quick scouting units. Such a thing was unheard of for them; standard defensive procedure is to bring a fully-equipped defensive battalion upon capture of a key strategic point. We all sort of realized this after we killed the forces on the bridge.
After that is was deathly quiet. Only thing we could hear was the constant din of rain falling and thunder rumbling in the sky. The wind was there, but barely, like a whisper. Overall, it felt…wrong. We fanned out to search for a possible ambush. Methodically, we poked through, looking for people, or even traps. Still, nothing. Daine stood in the middle and took his helmet off to see a little better and to get the rain out from his face…
…And then blood spat out from under his ear. We heard the echo of what we thought was thunder. When Daine fell we all realized what had happened. I shouted that there was a sniper and we all dove for cover. Marithos and Lil lied under a steel cart, I grabbed Griz and dove into the blacksmith shop itself. Kor…”
(Kurthnaga sips his ale)
“…Kor was close to the bridge so she dove under it. She was there for probably ten seconds before I heard another shot ring out. I looked over and she was limp, blood tinting the water around her. After she sank under the water both Griznak and I knew she was gone.
The next minute after that was easily the longest minute of my life, of all our lives, waiting for the next shot to echo around the thunder. Across from Daine’s body, Marithos and Lil were barely holding their composure. I shouted to them to stay put and that we would figure out what to do. They seemed to calm down, which was good, but to be honest I had no idea what we were going to do. Running was a death wish, but fighting…”
(Kurthnaga smirks.)
“…Fighting was suicide, and it was something we knew all too well.
I asked Griznak if he could figure out where the shots came from. He said that he was already working on it. He told me that he figured , due to the angle in which Kor was shot from, that the sniper was up on the lumber mill cliff somewhere. Only problem was, there were endless vantage points from which to shoot from, and this rifleman was unspeakably good. He said that if he saw another shot come down, he could crunch some data and figure out at least where the shots were coming from.
We heard violent coughing come from outside. As it turned out, Daine wasn’t dead. He heard us talk and explained that he couldn’t move anything but his left hand; the bullet had severed a great deal of his spinal cord. Lil almost got up from where she was to heal him but Daine ordered her to stay put, lest she be shot as well. It was pretty clear what Daine was planning on doing.
He died with honor, stranger. He moved enough to provoke another shot. We all watched that shot hit his head, and he stopped moving. I tell you, never before had I felt so angry and sad at the same time. Griznak, thankfully, was sensible enough to calculate where the shot came from. He came up with a number for an angle, given the distance, rainfall, wind, projectile speed, and a whole lot of other factors that are far above my level of engineering comprehension. He said that the sniper was in a tree, more specifically, the fifth tree to the right of the lumber mill’s main building.
We had a target, but no way to hit it. At least, not with firearms. Mrithos shouted to me that if he could see the tree, he could possibly conjure ice onto it and flash-freeze the sniper, since he would likely be soaking wet. I searched around for a solution, and saw an old mirror across the room. I grabbed it as quickly as I could and, with Marithos’ help, angled it so he could see the tree he needed to hit. He spoke some incantation and shouted a word of power.
Well, the tree became a solid brick of ice and came crashing down off the face of the cliff. When the Alliance came down from the cliff in force and started to piece through the shattered remains of the tree, we knew that we got him. We came out and sent Griznak back to send reinforcements to the hill.”
(Kurthnaga finishes his ale and sets the mug down on the bar counter)
“The reinforcements came quickly. I reported what had happened to Warlord Fashrok, and he could barely believe that any shooter could have such skill as to pin down a squad like us. To this day I have a hard time believing it as well…”
(Kurthnaga gets up and stretches his long arms)
“I should be off, stranger. Thanks for the ale. I’m going to retire for the night. I have a feeling tomorrow is going to be another long day indeed.”
(Kurthnaga leaves you at the bar and walks out of the pandarian bar)
((As title says, I was on a red-eye flight layover and decided to pass the time with coming up with yet another war story from Kurthnaga's long history as a Horde warrior. Hope it was worth the read!))
(( Good read, thanks!))
(( Thanks for sharing this! ))

((Good story.))
((I agree that this was quite the wall of text, but I just copy-pasted it from microsoft word, and if I spaced it as much as I wanted to then this would be really long indeed.))

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