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Author Topic: Chapter I: Return of the Red Blade  (Read 3922 times)

Kozgugore

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Chapter I: Return of the Red Blade
« on: November 27, 2017, 02:12:50 AM »


Part 1: Mysterious Tidings (26th of November, 2017)
Part 2: Crags and Shadows (28th of November, 2017)
Part 3: Unwelcome Neighbors (1st of December, 2017)
Part 4: Smoke on the Horizon (3rd of December, 2017)
Part 5: Rite of Passage (5th of December, 2017)
Part 6: In Sheep's Clothing (8th of December, 2017)
Part 7: Blade's Fall (10th of December, 2017)
« Last Edit: March 27, 2018, 03:32:27 PM by Kozgugore »
Kozgugore Feraleye - Chieftain of the Red Blade

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Re: Campaign: Return of the Red Blade
« Reply #1 on: November 27, 2017, 02:14:52 AM »


Part 1: Mysterious Tidings
26th of November


The sun had begun to set when the large caravan of orcs was closing in on the deserted, isolated campsite they had been directed to. For some, it had been the spirits who had guided them into these lands through visions and ill tidings. For most, however, the grim invitation came from a mysterious letter that was given to them from an unknown source, warning them of an imminent threat seeking to end their lives. Truth or otherwise, some of those who received this dire news took the words of its writer, an orc by the name of Kozgugore Feraleye, to heart. Some of them had already met one another upon the road on their way to the mysterious meeting place. Others arrived by themselves, on the same day or later, stalled by personal matters. Some, however, never arrived at all.

Any suspicion the orcs might have had, was well-warranted. The camp the letter led them to was found in a derelict state; abandoned, neglected and completely isolated from the rest of civilization. What's more, however, is that there was no sign whatsoever of the writer of the warning and invitation... The hour was late, however, so there was no choice but to camp there for the night, for the moon had already risen high and predators were out on the hunt. Some orcs had set up their own campfires to mingle and get to know one another. Others saw fit to set up a watch, even patrols and scouting parties, as they had trouble feeling at ease with their surroundings. When night came, however, many found themselves asleep in the one tent that still offered some manner of shelter to the elements.

The night can be a treacherous time, even for nocturnal animals. As most of the orcs slept in the confines of the tent, those standing watch had no idea what was happening behind their backs. Mysterious, cloaked figures had found a way into the camp, well removed from the only obvious path that led into the campsite's valley. Daggers were slipped from their sheaths in the dark and pressed against their sleeping victims' throats... But vigilance persevered. Some orcs stirred from their sleep before the deed could be done, awakened by unknown, hidden powers. Others who stood on guard noticed a movement in the darkness and went to investigate. And some others... well, they simply had a restless child who, for just this once, was a fortunate distraction for its mother to keep her from her sleep.

Before the assassins' foul deeds could be done, various orcs jumped in just in time to warn the others who, despite the sleep in their eyes and the lack of blood pumping in their limbs, put up a valiant defense against their own, personal killers. More orcs rushed to the tent to ward off the attackers, working in unison to fight them off. Orcs that had previously never known one another, stood side by side to fight off an unknown threat that had come to mercilessly cut their throats in the dark. Much blood was spilled that night, but most of it was not from the assassins' targets, but of their own veins. When the morning sun dawned, well over a dozen assassins laid dead, their origins or loyalties unknown. Some of them had made for a hasty retreat, however, using the cover of their comrades to escape. Whatever tracks they left behind will have to be snuffed out soon, before the elements wash them away...
Kozgugore Feraleye - Chieftain of the Red Blade

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Re: Campaign: Return of the Red Blade
« Reply #2 on: November 29, 2017, 12:41:02 AM »


Part 2: Crags and Shadows
28th of November


The elements were in the orcs' favour. As it turned out, the tracks of the fled assassins remained fresh, leaving a clear trail the follow from the camp and showing a back door entry through the mountains, betraying the point of entry the assassins had taken on that fateful night of their assassination attempt. Although the attempt failed, the orcs decided to track down their attackers, demanding to see an end to the lives of those who wish to see them dead for reasons unknown. The trail led down the mountain's path, leading further south into the crags and valleys of Stonetalon. When the trail split up, however, the orcs, too, found themselves forced to part ways, each group pursuing their own sets of tracks.

The first group ventured further down the path, where the assassins' trail led them past the den of giant spiders. Though one of the trails led into the forest the spiders called their home, the orcs soon elected to stay clear from investigating the path any further, deciding that whoever left the trail must have fallen to the host of spiders. Onwards, the trail led, until they happened upon a rock carrying a burning candle atop of it. Curiosity got the better of the orcs as something laid underneath it, removing the rock and moving the candle as a result. The object that laid underneath turned out to be a classic trap, however, left by the assassins who must have suspected they would be followed: a note, taunting them for their foolishness. Kobolds emerged from their caves nearby, having seen the candle's disturbance.
For all their love for candles, however, the kobolds were no match for orcish determination. As the orcs formed a shield wall, they warded off the attacking kobolds, chasing them back into the caves whence they came after a short but deadly skirmish. They continued their path, following their quarry's trail further down the Stonetalon Mountains until their path led them to the burning remains of Camp Aparaje. Upon their arrival there, a violent tremor shook the very foundations of the earth!

Meanwhile, the other group followed the second trail, leading them into the Windshear Crag. What's more, however, is that some among them found themselves lured onward by a spiritual energy of some kind. Its source was unknown, but it was certainly of a higher nature. As fate would have it, however, they first appened upon another lost soul of the old tribe: Srelok Grimtide. His own travels were stalled by the same spiritual disturbances, before being rudely interrupted by one of the assassins, whom the orc deftly dispatched. As he joined forces with the others, they ventured further into the crag, where the footsteps led them into an abandoned mine. Their quarry's trail ended here, the mine too dark and the earth too dry to betray any more footsteps.
The orcs had to find another way to pick up the trail. They extended their minds, reaching out to whatever spiritual energy that lured them here. A spectral bird appeared out of nothing, lighting their path ahead. Curiously, careful examination ruled out any birds from the world of Azeroth, instead appearing to represent a windroc from the Old World of the orcs. It led them safely through the mines, before the orcs were shown the lifeless body of an assassin. A letter on his person betrayed his intents, having been sent there to carry out an alternative plan should their original assassination attempt fail. Their plan? To summon a host of demons to attack the orcs from the depths of the mine. It was at that precise moment that they appeared from the mine shafts behind them, revealing their presence. There were scores of demons, rushing to cut them down. The spectral bird flew up, guiding the orcs the safest way out of the mine. The rickety, old tracks of the mine proved treacherous at first, offering a treacherous footing. After having overcome them, however, the orcs turned the derelict state of the mine to their advantage, caving in the entire mine to ensure no demon would escape from it alive. Their efforts brought forth a mighty earthquake, but in no small thanks to their spectral guide, they managed to escape from the collapsing mines alive, bringing with them a mysterious crystal that laid on the slain assassin's body, but also a name... High Summoner Marrokkar.

The exit of the cave brought them to the other side of the Stonetalon Mountains, conveniently returning them to the other group of orcs, who still stood perplexed at the shaking of the earth the visitors of the mines themselves had caused. With the two groups reunited, however, the paths once again converged. They continued their way down the mountain path, where the remaining tracks soon led them to the Northern Barrens. It was there that their trail met a violent end, however... The assassins' footprints ended in deep, trampled grass, as if an army tore through the land ahead. The tracks had become impossible to tell apart, marking a blunt end to this hunt. The only proof that they were still on the right track was a dying assassin next to a burnt down watch tower who, while being far from talkative, saw fit to divulge the source of the trampled footprints: centaur. The nearby centaur clan appeared to have taken the fleeing assassins off-guard, ambushing them. Though it is unknown whether any of the assassins made it out alive, it appeared the centaur camped nearby were now the only hope for the orcs to find out anything about their assassins. A visit would have to be necessary... with or without violence.
« Last Edit: December 02, 2017, 01:23:56 AM by Kozgugore »
Kozgugore Feraleye - Chieftain of the Red Blade

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Re: Campaign: Return of the Red Blade
« Reply #3 on: December 02, 2017, 01:24:45 AM »


Part 3: Unwelcome Neighbors
1st of December


With the local centaur clan their only hope to find the missing assassins, the Forgotten Pools awaited the orcs. As they prepared themselves for an unpleasant welcome when they closed in on the oasis, they quickly found themselves woefully outnumbered by the approaching centaur. Not only were they far greater in number - no doubt a consequence of the Horde's military efforts having shifted from their homelands to the Burning Legion - but it turned out they had been watching them all this time, waiting to make the first move. Diplomacy appeared to be the only option out of this...

Making their case to the war party's leader, the orcs were brought through the Kolkar camp to their local leader; a brutal centaur who no doubt relished in the opportunity to hack the orcs down. The only reason that stayed his hand, however, were the unwelcome neighbors the Kolkar had received not too long ago upon Dreadmist Peak. Though long abandoned, it was now occupied once more by a new owner, its cursed mists once more slowly encroaching down from the mountain's slopes and towards the Kolkar village. If the orcs were so keen to dispatch their enemies for them, they were convenient visitors to the Kolkar leader. With his permission, the orcs were given leave to venture onwards to crush the centaurs' enemies, the mountain no doubt too great an obstacle for the centaur to ascend for themselves.

As the orcs began their long climb up the Dreadmist mountain, the mist soon began to close in around them, growing ever so thicker the higher they climbed. It quickly began to wear down on them, the mists bearing a crippling effect that threatened to render the orcs unconscious. Meanwhile, however, vile illusions began to appear in the mists... They struck with surprising finesse, attacking the orcs as quickly as they once more disappeared! They were not natural of origin, however, nor made of corporeal flesh. Whatever they were, they sought to keep the orcs from reaching the mountain's peak, whittling the orcs down. One by one, the orcs fell - be it by the mist's crippling effect or the specters' efforts. The hour began to look dark indeed as more and more orcs were unable to press on. In the end, only a handful managed to make it up the final steps, where a fel green machine appeared to be influencing the mists, enhancing its effects. Ever so close the orcs came to shutting it down... before last orc fell, knocked out by the mist's curse.

All hope appeared lost, as the orcs seemed doomed to haunt the peak's mists forever as prisoners to its will. None were going to make it out alive this night... until a ray of light shone through the thickness of the fog. It appeared to hail from the very moon itself, though it was difficult to tell. It shone down on the last standing orc, Nosh'marak Ironclaw, who, as if lifted up by divine intervention, was raised back upon his feet. With surprising ease, he could strike down her spectral assailants, before he could smash the fell device to pieces. One by one the orcs were allowed to awaken once more as the mist's effects began to weaken. The hour was saved, but thanks to who... or what? That remains a mystery.

At the top of the peak, the orcs were again met with even more questions than answers. Whoever lived there appeared to have abandoned camp only very recently, remains of the campfires still smouldering from the previous occupants. What's more, however, is that a handful of tied up orcs laid dead next to the machine, their lives having been sucked out of them. There was only one orc who appeared to have survived the mist's effects, if only barely, namely Kronnor Giantstalker, one of the old tribe's members. The only answer of some manner came in the form of a letter on one of the deceased orcs. It spoke of an enemy that was hunting the orc down, and an orc, Olmog, who would remain in Orgrimmar to find out more about this threat. With no more answers remaining for the orcs at the peak, they began to venture back down to the Crossroads to burn the dead and to begin their journey anew. A journey that would take them into the heart of the homelands: the warrior city of Orgrimmar. Perhaps there, they would at last find some answers.
Kozgugore Feraleye - Chieftain of the Red Blade

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Re: Campaign: Return of the Red Blade
« Reply #4 on: December 04, 2017, 01:29:00 AM »


Part 4: Smoke on the Horizon
3rd of December


The road to Orgrimmar awaited. With their last clue pointing them towards a certain Ormog in the City of Warriors, the orcs set out from the Crossroads. The road was calm, save for a caravan led by an orc atop a cart that was being pulled along by a kodo. The caravan provided only a brief distraction, exchanging words with the orcs about their destination and sharing rumours about families that have gone missing and merchants that have been attacked. Not an uncommon sights for these harsh, unforgiving lands, but entire families? Even the caravan master admitted something must have been off.

When the orcs pressed on, they indeed happened upon something unsettling. In the far distance, the building of what appeared to be a farm had caught fire. A burning building was no rarity to the dry Barrens, but there was something amiss. A crowd of orcs was gathered in front of the burning building, but none of them appeared in a hurry to douse the flames. In fact, the closer the orcs came to the fire, the more obvious it became that the crowd was not there for the fire, but rather for what laid within: a pair of orcs and several of their wolves. They were fighting off the heavily armed warriors that attempted to force their way inside and were clearly outnumbered. What's more, however, is that there were battle cries resonating from the burning building, and they were clearly Red Blade of origin.

The orcs rushed to the burning building to intervene, hacking down the orc warriors that was between them and the clamour of battle within the building. As they came closer, however, the ground began to shake. The caravan they had met earlier caught up with them and came to rush into battle. They were not charging at the assailants of the hut, however... they came rushing to the orcs! They cried out the name of the Burning Blade, revealing their loyalties as the caravan turned out to be shadowing them all along. Only through sheer determination and no doubt some miracles did the orcs survive the battle, outlasting their opponents in a hectic fight.

When the dust had settled, the orcs within the burning farm could be rescued. The Red Blades within were none other than Kozgugore Feraleye, Chieftain of the old tribe and the orc responsible for the ominous letters, and Sinami Swifthowl. The former was mortally wounded, however. Blood loss had caused him to lose consciousness, and the orcs had to adjust their route from Orgrimmar to the nearest settlement to mend to his and the other orcs' wounds instead. It was Razor Hill that eventually proved to be the nearest safe haven for them to settle in. It was there that injuries were tended to and that the orc by the name of Kargush was given an honorary funeral pyre, having fallen in the battle to protect the orcs that he barely even knew yet. His sacrifice is sure to be remembered, as the orcs recuperate and prepare themselves for the next step that will bring them closer to their mysterious enemy. At least now they had a name to connect to their foe... The Burning Blade.
Kozgugore Feraleye - Chieftain of the Red Blade

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Re: Campaign: Return of the Red Blade
« Reply #5 on: December 06, 2017, 03:47:24 AM »


Part 5: Rite of Passage
5th of December


At last, the old Chieftain awoke two days after the orcs made a hasty detour to Razor Hill. After he had a moment to regain his bearings, he unveiled all he knew to the orcs present. That these were indeed the Burning Blade that they were dealing with. They were splinter group, a sleeper cell, consisting of orcs that joined Garrosh' Horde after the Burning Blade cult was annihilated. They remained dormant since, waiting for the opportune moment to strike from right underneath everyone's noses. As it happened, that opportune moment was now. But why were they targeting some orcs in particular, among which the Red Blade? That was a question that was yet to be answered...

One of the last things Kozgugore learned before the Burning Blade were on his tail and began to hunt him down, rendering him unable to link up with the others in Stonetalon that week ago, was the location of one of their hideouts in Dustwind Cave. He suggested they sought out the place before they would make their trip to Orgrimmar to learn more information about the cult there. Nosh'marak Ironclaw was appointed leader of the group as they set out to the vast cave network of Durotar's ravines.

Upon their arrival, it quickly became clear that something was gravely amiss, however. The spiritual energies were in serious dismay, and once inside, the orcs quickly found why this place was so unsettling. Corpses of orcs drained of their blood were strewn about left and right, piling up all along the walls and in the ditches as if they were carelessly cast away after whatever purpose they served. Spiritually minded orcs witnessed cruel and haunting images of what transpired there, of orcs tormenting and butchering their prisoners, before being sacrificed to an unknown entity. Even those orcs among them that had no spiritual affinity were about to find this out, however. They came upon a large room within which a ritual circle laid. Its rune spoke of an ancient power, waiting to be awakened by the blood of innocents... “By the power of the spirits of old, the new will be harnessed and perfected. Let from their ashes arise a power of the new order, fueled by the blood of its children and followers. Come forth in our hour of need and vanquish all our foes with fury and felfire.” Strange runes were scribbles on the walls in a dark red substance, some of which were glowing. After some deciphering, it turned out the runes were in fact names... But not just any names. The glowing runes belonged no doubt to those orcs who had already lost their lives in the gloom and darkness of these caves, while the others that remained unlit... were the names of the very orcs who had set foot in these caves now. Each and every one of their names, Red Blade or not, were inscribed upon the walls. What could the reason be to include all of their names on this kill list?

There was no time to further reflect on this, as a bleating horn was suddenly sounded behind the orcs. Behind them stood Torash Dullfang, one of the orcs who had been with them since the very first night in Stonetalon, and he was holding the horn that summoned a large host of Burning Blade warriors to his side. The follower turned out to be a Burning Blade agent all along, having kept a close eye on their developments and ensuring the Burning Blade were always one step ahead of them whenever they ventured  to new lands. It was the reason they knew when and where to strike in Stonetalon, the reason why Dreadmist Peak was abandoned only moments before they arrived and the reason the caravan that ambushed them in the Barrens knew where to look. Now, Torash was playing his final cards, having allowed the orcs to set foot freely into their lair in order to allow them to get slaughtered and join the names upon the walls.

The odds were greatly against the orcs. The Burning Blade warriors charged, seasoned warriors and in great, overwhelming number. While the orcs made a valiant attempt to stand their ground, the onslaught of Burning Blade soon proved too much. They began to push them back, forcing each of the orcs closer and closer to the wall of their names. When the Burning Blade warriors took a moment to regroup and prepare for their final charge, the hour seemed dark indeed...

It was then that a sudden sensation washed over the orcs. Through the efforts of Rhonya Steelheart, Kogra Windwatcher, Azolg and Razaron, the ritual circle had been destroyed, inadvertently allowing the spiritual energies to course through the cave freely as well. Each of the orcs suddenly received a powerful vision, unveiling to them a wolf that seemed to address them briefly before bestowing upon them a great blessing. Strangely, different orcs appeared to receive different visions from different looking wolves. Some received a powerful blessing of protection from a brilliant, silver-haired wolf, while others felt invigorated and strengthened with a desire to kill from a black wolf. Others still felt bursts of energies coursing through their veins and elemental fury sparking through their fingertips, following the visions of a calm, thick-furred wolf. And then there were some whose vision and senses suddenly sharpened, granting them a great deal of adrenaline from a wolf decorated in bones. The visions renewed the energies of each of the orcs, granting them renewed confidence and strength to fight back. And fight they did. With a piercing war cry that echoed through the halls from an unknown source, the orc charged into their enemies, miraculously overcoming their overwhelming numbers. A chaotic bloodbath followed, but not for the names inscribed upon the wall. Rather, it was those who sought to kill the names that were counted among the dead, none of them managing to make it out of the cave alive as a barrier of fire was raised by the shamans to prevent them any means of escape.

The victory was overwhelming as the orcs slowly returned to their senses. Returning back to Razor Hill, they were left to wonder what it was that suddenly overcame them. Were they different wolves and blessings? If so, why do they see fit to aid the orcs in their times of need, and were they the same ones as what helped them out previously? Where did the mysterious battle cry come from? What ancient power is it that the Burning Blade were trying to summon? They had gained a great victory today, but still there were more questions than answers on their mind. Perhaps a tour to the great city of Orgrimmar will help them find clarity at long last...
« Last Edit: December 09, 2017, 12:40:50 AM by Kozgugore »
Kozgugore Feraleye - Chieftain of the Red Blade

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Re: Campaign: Return of the Red Blade
« Reply #6 on: December 09, 2017, 03:33:51 AM »


Part 6: In Sheep's Clothing
8th of December


The City of Warriors awaited, as questions still remained unanswered. Though a host of Burning Blade warriors was defeated in Dustwind Cave, the sleeper cell still remained active and their main lair remained a mystery. The only lead they had left was the letter found on Dreadmist Peak from a certain merchant by the name of Ormog. There was more, however. An agent from the Shattered Hand from within Orgrimmar sent word of some contacts of his who may just be able to help out. The orcs set out to meet with both of them, splitting into two.

Meeting Ormog, he shared his concerns about the niece that he mentioned in the letter several days ago, Malga, who had gone missing. He asked the orcs to retrieve her, not only for his sake but because she may have been on to something regarding the recent disappearances as well. There was another person Ormog directed the orcs to, however. He was told of a troll in the Valley of Spirits who went by the name of Ti'chaka. It was said the troll had received a vision not quite unlike the spiritual energies the orcs had gotten in touch with. The orcs decided to split up once more, one to search the upper tier of Orgrimmar for Malga, and another the Valley of Spirits for Ti'chaka.

Malga proved a fair challenge to find for the group led by Nosh'marak Ironclaw, as there was no more sign of her after her visit to the wyvern riders' pen earlier on the day. The orcs were fortunate to have a good pair of eyes (and noses) on them, however, as they managed to track her down to the nearest zeppelin tower. Though it took some convincing to gain her trust, she eventually believed the orcs for their word and that they were not the assassins she was fleeing from earlier on the day. In return for securing her, she shared what little information she overheard from her attempted captors, namely some discussion about the words "king," "queen," "rider," and "priest". Some manner of code, perhaps? They seemed rather confused about the order of it themselves, in any case. As for Kogra Windwatcher's group and the quest to find Ti'chaka, tracking him down proved an easy enough challenge in the larger scheme of things. The bigger challenge, in fact, turned out to be dealing with him. The troll turned out to be a peculiar shaman indeed. He certainly took the opportunity to play around with the orcs, choosing to reward them with a clue of his vision for every riddle they would answer correctly. The alternative to this would be for the orcs to perform the Juju Shuffle. Alas, none of the orcs did. Instead, the orcs combined their wits and their wisdom to answer Ti'chaka's riddles, awarding them with the knowledge that there was still a spirit out there somewhere crying out for aid, and that the gentle lapping of the sea had something to do with it.

Back on the other side of Orgrimmar, Kargnar Bloodpaw took the other half to seek out the Shattered Hand agent in the darkness of the Cleft of Shadows. The agent spoke of two more leads he himself had dug up. One was a Burning Blade defector, having fled from their cause. Another was an active Burning Blade agent, having only recently been uncovered by his associates. Though the Shattered Hand agent was reluctant to give up his only lead, he agreed to give it to the orcs if it would help their cause. So it was that these orcs, too, split up.

Kargnar Bloodpaw took his group to see the defector in the Valley of Honor. His new cover was that of a gun shop salesman. Upon their arrival, however, the shop appeared unoccupied. Searching the shop soon rewarded the orcs some clarity, however, as the orc appeared to be hiding out in a storage room underneath the floor boards. Dragging the orc out of his hiding, the orcs had to take their time to convince the defector they were not of the Burning Blade themselves, having come to finish off the job. Eventually however, they managed to make the orc spill what little he knew of the hideout the cult was using. He remembered it to be a place that was underground; a damp place that dripped with water. That was the best he could tell them, however, as the cult members have a special means to enter and exit the lair that was no longer known to him.
It was Rashka Facebreaker who took up the responsibility to seek out the second contact, the active Burning Blade agent. She was said to be hiding in Orgrimmar's society as a blacksmith's apprentice. After asking around at the city's forges, the orcs managed to track their suspected agent down. Though it proved challenging indeed to pry her tongue loose, the orcs eventually managed to coerce her into talking the hard way. Though the agent refused to indulge the orcs much, she did reveal the hideout appeared to made out of stone... and not just any stone. It was well-made, as if a stone mason had gone to work on it. A peculiar thing, as orcs are not exactly widely known for their stonemasonry.

With what few clues they could gather together found, the orcs met back at Razor Hill to put all the facts together. The place they were looking for involved the sea, an underground network and was made out of finely made stone. Surely there could not be a great many places such as those in Durotar or Orgrimmar. As the orcs went over all of the options, they slowly ruled out every location until two remained. A network of caves not too far from the coast and the old, derelict fortress of Tiragarde Keep, once occupied by Kul Tiras marines. With the latter being the most likely choice, it was time for the orcs to arm themselves to the teeth for an all-out incursion to the old Kul Tirasian keep to put an end to the menace that's been hounding them once and for all.
Kozgugore Feraleye - Chieftain of the Red Blade

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Re: Campaign: Return of the Red Blade
« Reply #7 on: December 11, 2017, 03:29:43 AM »


Part 7: Blade's Fall
10th of December


The time to exact retribution upon the Burning Blade had finally come. Since the very first day the orcs came together, they were hunted by the sleeper cell's assassins and conspirators. Now, having uncovered their lair in Tiragarde Keep, it was their turn to become the hunted. The orcs set out in full force, led by the now fully-recovered Kozgugore Feraleye. To none of their surprise, however, the keep was as deserted as it was ruined. Scavengers had long plucked the old Kul Tirasian keep bare, leaving little but personal effects from the soldiers who once called the keep their home behind but had little value to be sold by any looters. The silence within almost seemed haunting, especially so when the orcs happened upon the old commanding officer's room. There were only few objects left to be found here, none of which appeared of particular importance... Until the orcs recalled one of the pieces of information they had gathered during their expedition to Orgrimmar. "king, queen, priest and riders"... they reminded an awful lot of the chess board and its scattered pieces that still remained in the room. The solution suddenly became surprisingly simply as a result. As the last piece clicked into place, a previously hidden door opened up behind them. The winding staircase behind it led into pitch black darkness...

Venturing down the staircase, it quickly became clear that his was without a doubt the underground place the orcs were looking for. At the bottom of it, the walls were indeed made out of fine stone, as per the clues they were given. It appeared to be an underground crypt, made to harbour those marines who fell during their time of service in Tiragarde Keep... and they were a great number, following the numerous Horde attacks and the subsequent tidal wave that spelled ultimate doom for the keep. A sealed door briefly warded their way forward, but rearranging the cryptic letters on the stone slab beside the door into the name of "Proudmoore" ensured the door quickly gave way for them. It was in the next room that it became clear they were unwelcome guests, however.

The chamber ahead was surrounded by sarcophagi, marking it as the final resting place of those who died in the service of Kul Tiras. The dead, it seemed, were restless however... and they burst from their sarcophagi once the first was stirred. Skeletal warriors emerged in plate armour, as did a particularly decorated one, clearly its commanding officer in better times. Though there may have been a brief moment to parley with the human dead, the confrontation quickly escalated into battle. The skeletons proved to be hardly a challenge in the end, being cut down easily by the overwhelming number of orcs. Strangely enough, however, the skeletons referred to a long-term disturbance in their crypt, wrongfully accusing the orcs of it as they only just arrived... Clearly there was more to it here than meets the eye. Investigation of the chamber quickly revealed a newly made passageway in one of the walls, hacked open to reveal an underground tunnel. It was clearly no part of the original layout of the crypts.

The tunnel was long and narrow, but it led to a light at the end of it eventually. It was there that the orcs finally met with the foe they long sought to put down. A gruesome hall opened up before them, laden with crude and unnatural experiments by those who inhabited. The worst offender of it all, however, was a ritual circle that channeled dark and corrupting power. Tubes of blood streamed towards it, fuelling it for lifeblood. The same kind of blood the Burning Blade sought to take from the Red Blades and the orcs accompanying them for whatever strange reason...

The head summoner, an orc by the name of Marrokkar the Unburnt, scolded them for their unwelcome intrusion, but was clearly awaiting their arrival as a large host of warriors, among which skillful blademasters, were gathered in front of him, ready to give their lives for his cause. There was little need to mince words for long, as even though the Unburnt one spoke of a great power the orcs were ignorant of, he was clearly not going to provide them with any answers. Battle ensued, and the echoing halls began to howl with the violent sounds of battle. Though the battle was long and arduous indeed, some enterprising orcs took whatever opportunities they could to channel their energies to interrupting the foul ritual Marrokkar was performing while the battle lasted, hoping to unleash its power during the course of it. Through their combined strength, however, they managed to foil his ritual before it was too late. With a violent burst of flames, the ritual eventually collapsed, burning he whole called himself the Unburnt in it. As the last of the blademasters fell, the other warriors were quick to be dispatched as they began to break rank. At long last, the Red Blade had triumphed over the Burning Blade.

The strangest thing happened when the battle had died down, however... where once the vile ritual circle stood, there was still a lingering spiritual essence. Likely that which was held captive within the dark energies of the ritual. From it emerged a large entity, revealing itself to the orcs... a giant, spectral wolf. It posed no threat to the surrounding orcs, however. Instead, it began to speak to them all. It provided them with all the answers they had so long sought. It was he, a wolf who referred to himself as Akashok, whom the Burning Blade cell attempted to corrupt. They sought to do this by feeding it blood... The blood of his own children. The children of Redblade. As it turned out, all those who were hunted down for their blood had a connection to the bloodline of Redblade in them. Some of them may well be far removed, as the old clan and war band of the Red Blade once consisted of orcs from many different clans, or eventually moved on to other clans themselves, but they had traces of the old blood in them nonetheless. Even the most far removed ties with the old clan was enough for the Burning Blade to harvest it, as they required as much of it as possible to fuel their foul experiment. Thanks to the orcs' intervention and a little help from the spirits, however, these plans had been foiled.

But who were these mysterious spirits? As it turned out, Akashok and his pack of offspring had long stood vigilant over the Red Blade and its children. Since the dawn of the war band itself did they watch over them, silently guiding the hand of fate whenever it was required of them or when its orcs prayed for boons and guidance. Even the tribe that once rose from the old clan's ashes many years ago was under Akashok's protection, even if they themselves never knew it. In fact, it was only when Akashok was captured one year ago that he could not longer protect the tribe, ensuring their eventual downfall during their costly foray into the Broken Isles to fight the Burning Legion whom the Burning Blade served, ultimately severing their spiritual link and causing the orcs underneath its banner to drift apart. With Akashok freed, however, he could once more resume his vigil over the orcs that, however far removed, still belonged to the blood of Redblade. He would not be alone in this, however. One by one, his family revealed themselves. Akala, his mate and companion to the moon. Kavara, the huntress. Vrull, the ferocious son of strife. And Magor, the wise traveler. It was them who blessed the orcs with their boons whenever they were in need of them most during the past several conflicts with the Burning Blade, subtly guiding their hands wherever they could. And ultimately seeing them persevere.

All the orcs present were offered to return under Akashok's protection and blessing if they so chose to. Nearly all of those present did exactly that, swearing in their oath to the Great Wolf Akashok anew in order to become part of a new order. A new pack. A clan. A family. With the Great Spirits' blessing, the Red Blade clan was founded anew and entered a new age. An age of strength and unity, promising glorious times to come.
Kozgugore Feraleye - Chieftain of the Red Blade