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Coming of Age (Full Story)

Started by Razaron, September 11, 2018, 09:56:36 AM

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Chapter One: The Neglected Child

It would be ten years before the orcs ventured through the Dark Portal when Razaron was born in the savage jungle of Tanaan. Razaron had always been a frail child, this was partly due malnutrition as his mother died delivering him early into this primitive world. Gorgush was an elder in the Bleeding Hollow clan, he was also Razaron’s father. He blamed Razaron for the death of his mate, he cursed the day he was born and gave him up for another family to raise. This family saw Razaron as nothing more then a outcast and neglected him to the point that it had affect on Razaron’s physical and mental state.

Razaron non the less survived and was now a very reclusive child and more barbaric then the other cubs his age, that was saying something for a Bleeding Hollow Orc. Time had passed and it was only when a fleeting look from a five year old over burning fire that Gorgush took an curiosity in his son. Gorgush seeing him grow of age had softened the hatred he once had for his cub and started to take more of an interest in him, eventually he took back his responsibilities as a father and held young Razaron under his wing. Gorgush would now teach him the ways of the Bleeding Hollow clan, but this was no kind act, Gorgush was rough with Razaron, he still held his cub to account for the death of his mate. He was a stubborn old orc who had seen battles with the arrakoa, the arrakoa were a humanoid bird race that nearly wiped out the whole of the Bleeding Hollow clan. That was was in till Kilrogg Deadeye became chieftain, they fought back under the leadership of their new chieftain and once again prospered in harsh Tanaan Jungle.

Gorgush took his only child out of the Bleeding Hollow village of Heartblood as they carefully ventured inside the unforgiving jungle, Razaron perked up, “Where are we going father?” Gorgush grunted, “I will be performing a ritual today, a ritual of significant importance to our clan.” Razaron looked bemused, he did not understand and he certainly didn’t expect what was too come. They had been walking for hours and finally they had arrived at the Bleeding Hollow hunting grounds, as they hazarded deeper through the unending jungle a strange mist began to appear. Razaron also noted many Bleeding Hollow monuments, mostly they were sticks with skulls that were twined together with fiber to hold them upright. Suddenly Gorgush spoke, “We are here.” Razaron had felt like it had be an eternity in silence, Gorgush pointed in to the distance, some torches were clustered in a circle. “Where are we father?” Razaron asked. “We are at the Bleeding Hollow Cave, we will venture down and it will be there where I perform the ritual cub, now follow me and less questions!” Gorgush retorted.

The cave was a gaping hole in the ground with a spiral path descending downwardly, Razaron followed Gorgush as he was lighting torches that had be allocated on the walls. Faint whispers in the air could be heard, this had shocked Razaron so much that he grabbed on to his father’s leather harness from behind. Gorgush proceeded to shove Razaron to the floor, “Get off me!” Gorgush grunted. “These be your ancestors, they mean you no harm!” Razaron using the wall slowly got to his feet, then he came face to face with an orcish skull that was merged within the wall. Razaron jumped out of his skin and rushed as close to his father without physically touching him, obviously worried of another backlash if he did. The skulls on wall had increased, bones were adorn to the ceiling of the cave as they entered a wide circular room, on the floor lay a strange symbol with dried old blood splattered all around. “This is where I shall perform the most sacred ritual a Bleeding Hollow orc can do, it will show me glimpses into the future and even my own death. One day when you are ready you will perform this very same ritual and so will your son and so on.” Razaron gulped at the thought of what was to come. Gorgush knelt down in the center of the room and adorned a sharp knife in the air, he thanked the spirits and his ancestors and drove the knife in to his face. The screams echoed around the cave as blood poured from Gorgush’s face, Razaron watched on horrified, today he found out what it meant to be a Bleeding Hollow orc.

Chapter Two: Balance of Zorammarsh

To the south of Tanaan Jungle was Zorammarsh, it was a savage habitat that was abundant with life. The continuous chirp from the smallest insect to the largest bird could be heard night and day, the damp marshlands produced a rich earthly essence in the air, that with the aroma from the never-ending exotic plants it was quite a pleasant experience on the nose. Yet your nose can fool you, venomous man-eating spiders hid in the twisted weeping trees, twenty-foot long swamp pythons resided in the the shallow murky waters and agile scaleclaw raptors hunted within the bog. Poisonous plants that would produce toxic vapors were all too common and carnivorous plants that would use their sticky glandular leaves to lure and trap their unexpected prey. Zorammarsh was just as deadly as Tanaan Jungle, perhaps even more and this was a common place for the Bleeding Hollow clan to hunt.

Gorgush had taken his cub Razaron on his first hunt, he was a budding six years old and probably still too young to be taken on such trips but Gorgush didn’t think so. In the darker side of Gorgush’s mind he would love to see his only child be killed by the dangers that lurked within the marsh, he has never gotten over the fact that in his mind Razaron killed his love, his beloved mate. That mindset would change as he looked closer at Razaron, he observed his features and they would remind him of his dearly departed, his relationship with his son was a love hate affair.

“Father!” Razaron took the courage to speak up, “What was that?” Gorgush was kneeling over some dead remains. “This would be an older scaleclaw male raptor, to preserve our hunting grounds we hunt in different locations in different seasons to ensure that they remain prosperous.” Gorgush pulled out his knife and started slash away at the recently deceased. “We kill the older males and leave the females alone, we let them reproduce so we can take vast amounts of eggs. The scales of the male raptors are skinned, the meat is smoked and dried to use for food all year round. The bones can be used for trinkets or for stews and the blood is drained in to vials for the shaman to use for their every desire.” Gorgush looked at Razaron with a piercing stare, “You will remember all of this, this is how we survive, this is balance. ” Razaron nervously nodded a few times and began to help his father prepare the raptor for the long travel home.

Gorgush walked close to his son on the way back to Heartblood and whispered in his ear, “Change is on the horizon, you will need to learn quickly or be left behind.” Razaron was thrown off guard, he didn’t understand what his father meant but he would remember his words and was thankful for the forewarning. “Father, I will do my best, yes-yes.” Razaron stuttered. Gorgush frowned at his son noticing the stammer and shook his head disapprovingly. “Come little pup, hurry up! We must preserve this meat before it goes off, by Deadeye you wouldn’t want to eat this otherwise!” Gorgush grunted. “It would turn your guts inside out and you would vomit blood till you would eventually die an agonizing death!” Razaron looked uneasy at the thought and duly hastened his footing.

Chapter Three: The Last Dance

Heartblood was a small Bleeding Hollow village in the eastern side of Tanaan Jungle and the atmosphere this night was was reaching fever pitch. The clan were celebrating a great hunt in their usual spirited way, they were drinking, dancing and wrestling in front of a large fire. The drinks they were all consuming were highly potent concoction of alcohol, blood, herbal stimulants and pretty much anything else the shamanic cabalists could get their hands on. This left the orcs in an intoxicated state, some could handle it better then others and Gorgush was one of them. He was sitting beside his only son Razaron, Razaron was admiring the joyful antics of his clan, this was indeed a great night to be apart of the Bleeding Hollow clan or so Razaron thought. Gorgush had a face of concern, something was troubling him greatly.

Razaron looked up and noticed the conflict within Gorgush, “Father, don’t you enjoy this anymore?” Razaron said with a edge of caution. “Do you even know why we do this?” Gorgush grunted. “For fun-fun?” Razaron quipped and was quickly slapped across the face, Razaron didn’t know if it was what he said or if it was because he stuttered. “NO!” yelled Gorgush, “We honor the spirits, this be a spirit dance! Those drinks they devour loosen the path to the spirit realm as we show our respects to our ancestors and those that watch over us as close as possible!” snapped Gurgush. Razaron began to rub his face where is father struck him, a bruise was already starting to appear. “But-but, I didn’t know.” Razaron cautiously remarked. “You don’t know enough, this is why I am sad.” Gorgush frowned with a heavy heart.

“Change is coming son, I warned you before and it’s nearly time. You are seven now and soon I will not be here.” Razaron worriedly watched as his father continued to speak. “The vision I was granted has warned me of future events that will occur, I do not know how they end for you but I know that my time with you is running out.” Gorgush stare was fixed on Razaron, it was as if he was looking into his very soul. “I will be heading to war with the Orge kingdoms soon and then there will be a even greater war, but for now you will be left here to continue to grow of age.” Gorgush looked his son up and down and sighed. “You are still too young to accompany me to war, but I have friends here who will watch over you.” Gorgush was a respected elder of his clan and could pull a few strings when needed. “But enough of that, I think it’s about time you got use to this!” Gorgush reached around to his back and grabbed a hold of his fearsome axe and held it out for Razaron. “This axe is a heirloom passed down from our bloodline, it is now time you have it!” Razaron looked in awe of the axe and then back at his father with a concerned face, “But father, what about you-you?” Gorgush frowned, “I will make do, you need to practice with our ancestral axe.” Razaron reached out and took a hold of the axe, his father then let go and the weight of it nearly made Razaron drop it too the ground. The axe was far too heavy for Razaron, but he tried to hide any weakness in front of his overbearing father and used both hands to grip the axe before resting it too his side. Gorgush smiled, “Name it whatever you want, the secrets of this axe are long forgotten but for now it’s yours till it’s passed on again.” Gorgush put his large hand on Razaron’s head and scuffled his black hair, this would be the last time they witnessed a Bleeding Hollow celebration together.

Chapter Four: Matron Knows Best

Heartblood was a shell of it’s former self, the Bleeding Hollow Clan had gone to war under the banner of the Horde and all that were left in this once thriving village were the young and old. Razaron would spend most of his time a top a nearby monument overlooking the Tanaan Jungle wishing he would be out there in the world bringing honor to his clan, “Why do I have to be so young and weak?” he scolded to himself “Don’t wish away your youth young one, the flowers may bloom again but a orc will only be young once!” Razaron turned around to see a old orc female with a walking stick. “What would you know you old crow-crow?” scolded Razaron in a childish manner before turning his back on the orc. “No matter how far you look the horizon will always separate you from your father, Razaron.” Razaron froze for a moment at the mention of his name, how did this old hag know my name he thought? He clenched his fists and prepared to get face to face with the old orc but to his surprise she was already behind him. “I know your father so I know you. Now!” her voice demanding respect, “You will learn from this old crow.. and perhaps you’ll survive the next fall.” Razaron was puzzled, “Who are you?” Razaron asked. “Me? I’m your new trainer, they call me the Matron.”

“So-So my father told you to watch over me?” Razaron asked cautiously. “Yes, yes he did but enough with stupid questions boy!” snarled the Matron as she suddenly hurled a long training stick at him which he clumsily let slip through his fingers and fall to the floor. Razaron looked at the stick and retorted, “Why do I need stick? I have my fathers axe!” Which he took from his back, struggling to grasp it even with both hands. “That is why boy! You will grow in to that axe but for now it is worthless!” Worthless? Thought Razaron, worthless? The anger built up inside Razaron and he charged straight at the Matron floundering forwards with the axe ready to reclaim the honor of his ancestral axe. The Matron raised her stick and at the last moment changed stance and let Razaron stumble straight past her falling over with the axe sliding out of the way and off the monument. “Aka’magosh to the axe boy, thankyou.” Razaron felt humiliated, he was beaten with ease by a old woman. “Get up!” grunted the Matron. “Like most orcs” tutted the Matron, “All brute strength, no finesse. Those that are trained by me have the best of both worlds.” Razaron got to his feet brushing the dirt off himself. “Now catch.” The Matron had reclaimed Razaron’s stick and it was launched towards his face, this time however he snatched the stick and grasped it with both hands. “Better! Now we will begin the dance!” proclaimed the Matron.

“This is the Bleeding Hollow dance, embrace the spirits of air, be swift and strike suddenly.” The Matron starts to swirl the stick around elegantly and to Razaron’s eyes it looks like she’s gliding. “But-but I’m not a shaman Matron..” Gasped Razaron. “No, not yet anyway.” The Matron eyes piercing at Razaron searchingly. “But they will answer your call eventually, you will do it over and over again until it becomes who.. you.. are!” Razaron nodded in agreement and for the first time in his life he felt like he had direction. “Now come boy, lets continue!” the Matron had spoken.

Chapter Five: The Long Lesson

The landscape of Draenor was changing, the Horde had secured many victories against the traitorous draenei and brutish ogres. These triumphant stories would trickle back to young and old at Heartblood, Razaron was proud to be apart of the Horde and more so proud to be the son of Gorgush. It had been many months since they had left for war and Razaron had been under the tutelage of the orc known as the Matron, she had demanded that the boy Razaron would meet her where they first met on the hills of the Tanaan Jungle atop the Bleeding Hollow Monument. Razaron was impressed by her wisdom and skill so did as she asked, when the first glimpses of the sun rose to the west Razaron would start his journey, every day would be the same. The Matron would always be there first and not say a word to Razaron, she would nod and throw him a stick and a battle would commence. Day turned to night and Razaron would be back at his hut nursing a new sprain, bruise or wound. This would go on till eventually Razaron snapped one morning, this day the Matron tossed a stick at Razaron and he watched it fall to the floor. “This is pointless! I can’t beat you! Every day I wake up more sore then the last!” “This is not about winning or losing boy!” snarled the Matron, “Some times in life your situation will keep repeating itself until you learn your lesson! Everything in your life is a reflection of choice young Razaron, if you want different results then make different choices!” Razaron listened on and nodded, she was right, of course she was. Razaron picked up the stick but this time he was completely focused.

The Matron took a step forward stick in hand and glided towards Razaron, her movement was impeccable despite her age. Razaron watched closely, his gaze like a hawk studying her every move and he did as she did and moved like the breeze to face her in combat. Sticks clashed but this time for Razaron it was going to be a different outcome, as he fought the Matron his attention drifted towards a memory of his hunts with his father in the Zorramarsh. He remembered watching the raptors and how they would be patient and sudden, Razaron would wait like the raptor stalking his prey and then strike at the precise moment. Just then the Matron overextended her staff and Razaron was quick to react, he parried the staff with the inside of his own and with one fell swoop he had disarmed the matron and pushed her to the floor. She was beaten, the Matron grunted in praise, “Well done, well done indeed! You see, you are learning but remember this, today you’ve won the battle but..” The Matron abruptly swept Razaron from his feet and he fell to the floor in a heap, the Matron continued, “Not the war, there is always more to be learned.” She chuckled, this was the first time he had seen her laugh. They both helped each other to their feet, “You’ve done well today, come I shall give you something for all the pain I’ve inflicted.” The Matron waving her hand for Razaron to follow.

The Matron led Razaron through Tanaan, Razaron and his peers never knew this route through the jungle and it showed as it felt like the foliage of the jungle itself was fighting him back. “Come boy, you really going to let the jungle beat you?” Razaron snarled at the Matron and pushed his way through the vines. Eventually after hours of walking they arrived at a magnificent tree, it rose above others in the area and atop was a small hut, “This is my home young Razaron. We will discuss more inside.”

Razaron was sat on some furs nursing his wounds by a campfire, “I really beat you up didn’t I?” the Matron chuckled. “Matron, what is your true name?” asked a inquisitive Razaron. “Does it matter?” the Matron snapped, “I am the Matron to you, no more.” Razaron was confused, he thought he was getting along with the old orc better but perhaps he was wrong. “Sea scorpion..” Mumbled the Matron, “Done, drink this healing tonic it shall speed up your recovery and for the ancestors sake don’t be sick!” Razaron was handed the tonic and then placed his nose against the end of the bottle, he gagged and said alarmed, “You want me to drink this?” The Matron snapped back, “For the love of Kilrogg quit whining, drink it or are you a big dumb ogre in disguise? If wanted to poison you you’d be dead by now.” Razaron thought of his father fighting for the Horde, risking it all for his people. “You’re right.” Razaron held his nose and after what felt like an eternity drank down the potion. He gagged some more, his hand to his mouth but he managed to keep it all down. “If you cut the right parts off a sea scorpion, here and here and grind down the segments then its know to make for some potent healing tonics.” The Matron said holding up a dead scorpion by his claw and pointing at various parts of it’s body. “You can make many tonics out of almost anything young Razaron, even your blood.” Razaron slanted his head in a confused state, what did she mean by even your blood? “Your father took you on his vision quest did he not?” the Matron said, her eyes fixed on Razaron waiting for a answer. Razaron merely just nodded his head, “Then he has shown you one of the steps of being a Bleeding Hollow, I will show you another!” The Matron pulled out a rusty knife and before Razaron could react she had slit her palm, a pain expression rose across her face but she bit her lip not to scream. “The life blood of our bodies is a powerful source of magic. It can help mend wounds..” A red bolt of blood shot across from the Matron’s palm to a wound on Razaron’s arm. “It can also be used to heighten your abilities, but at a cost. The cost being yourself!” The Matron fell to her knees weakened by the lesson, the wound on her palm slowly closed as the blood in the air dissipated. “In time, you shall learn these techniques.” Razaron looked on intrigued but also scared, today had been a long lesson.

Chapter Six: Tanaan Hell

One year had passed since Razaron last saw his father Gorgush and in that time he had trained under the guidance of the old orc woman known as the Matron. Razaron who had little insight in to the skills of combat had mastered the Zeth’tar which translates to Dance to Victory in orcish, the Zeth’tar is a rare fighting form that combines elements of tribal dancing with agile footwork, acrobatics, stealth and sudden savage attacks that leaves the opponent off-guard. The Matron is a master in this weapon based martial art but it was scarcely practiced amongst the Bleeding Hollow clan. Razaron was also educated in potion making and blood magic and his swift grasp on both was impressive to behold, he hoped that if his father would next see him he would be proud to see the orc he had grown into. Gorgush had been conscripted under the banner of the orcish Horde led by the new Warchief known as Blackhand, they had laid waste to all that opposed them and little did Razaron know his father was returning home.

Razaron stood atop the hills of the Tanaan Jungle and was deep in thought, recurring words of wisdom from the Matron echoed through his head, “Everything in your life is a reflection of choice.” She was right, the choices the orcish people had made had led them to this. “The land of Tanaan Jungle is dying.” He said with a heavy heart. Razaron surveyed the land and saw the ancient jungle trees withering, the long lush green grass had started to turn to a dying yellow pigment and the rich potent soil was nothing more than sand and clay. Vast rivers and lakes had dried up and a myriad of animal corpses scattered the land which accompanied an eerie silence. “We’ve abandoned who we are Razaron.” Said the Matron climbing the hill and putting a arm around him, “This land was rich with life and now it’s dying all around us!” The Matron frowned, “We’ve chosen the easy path with this wicked new fel magic and the spirits have deserted us for it!” Razaron let out a deep sigh as he then nervously scratched at an itch on his chest, to his horror it started peeling but it didn’t just end there, under the dead surface the new skin was turning green! “Strange isn’t it? Look.” Said the Matron as she revealed to Razaron her arm, the skin had started to shred and underneath was a green tint. “It seems like this fel is corrupting even us!”. Razaron’s head dropped and all his thoughts could muster was, why?

Razaron couldn’t dare lift his head to look at what his world had become in till a sudden noise sprung him to life, a horn blew in the distance. The sound reverberating through Razaron’s bones and as he looked up he saw the banners of the Horde, “They’ve returned!” Hope rose through Razaron’s body as he rushed down the hill, “Stop Razaron!” Shouted the Matron but her words fell on deaf ears, he was racing home to Heartblood to welcome back the heroes of war. If anyone would know how to fix this it would be the orcish champions he theorized in his head. Razaron arrived at his hut out of breath, he was panting hard but he had to be quick and prepare to honor his father’s return. He grabbed all the bottles of alcoholic beverages he could muster, “Tonight will be a celebration like no other!” he said out loud bursting with pride. The march of the Horde could be heard miles away, the heavy drilled footsteps of thousands of orcs would scare the life out of any soul. The Horde reached the centre of the dying jungle and then splintered off in to different areas, Razaron stood at the entrance of his village waiting eagerly for their return. His hand high in the air grasping a alcoholic bottle, his face that was full of hope had suddenly turned to despair in a heartbeat, the orcs had returned alright but not how they left. They were bigger, green and their eyes burned red. “WHERE IS MY SON?” Bellowed a voice, “RAZARON!” Gorgush screamed, Razaron’s father was back and he too was like the rest of them. “No!” Razaron yelped dropping the bottle in shock as the glass smashed all over the hard earthen floor, Gorgush alert to the noise veered his head, his sight locked on to the cracked glass and then his eyes climbed in till they were locked with Razaron. “OM’RIGGOR!”

Chapter Seven: A Family at War

The orcish Horde had returned to the dying Tanaan Jungle differently to how they left, they now had green skin with searing crimson eyes and a lust that could not be quenched. The horde had been to war with the double-crossing draenei and had won so convincingly that they were all but extinct, the last remnants left were the few lucky enough to have hidden or prisoners of war captured by the Horde. The demon-crazed genocidal rampage of the orcs didn’t end there, the draenei victims were paved and trampled in to the ground to create the Path of Glory leading from the one end of the dying land to the other. At the far reaches of this sickening pathway the construction of some stairs leading to two mysterious pillars was underway, what had become of the orcs for them to fall so far?

Gorgush stomped towards his son with what seemed like the energy of five clefthooves, “Razaron, my only son!” he said as Razaron was holding his arms open to embrace his father, “Why did you have to be a runt?” Razaron’s arms dropped, he felt like he had been stabbed in the heart. “Father, what happened to you? To the Horde? Why are you green and why am I turning green? Why..” Before Razaron could finish the back of Gorgush’s hand met with Razaron’s jaw as he was knocked to the floor in a heap. “Why, why, why. This is why you’re a runt, you would rather talk then fight. Now it’s time for you to become an adult!” Razaron’s world had turned upside down, he thought to himself if only he could explained how much he learned when he was gone. “I’ve learned so much since you’ve..” Again he was interrupted this time by a kick to the gut. “Learned what? How to to get a beating?” Snarled Gorgush as Razaron was rolling around in the dirt in pain. “GET AWAY FROM HIM!” screamed a voice from other side of the village, it was the Matron and she marched towards Gorgush with a purpose. Gorgush’s eyes frowned as he saw the Matron “This is who taught you? This TRAITOR?” yelled Gorgush pointing at the approaching orc. What did he mean when he said traitor? Razaron thought as he was desperately trying to make sense of everything that was unfolding around him. “This pariah killed your mother and you bring her to our VILLAGE?” Gorgush’s fury was reaching fever pitch as he grasped his axe with both hands. “I didn’t kill her you oaf I made an impossible decision, I chose to save your son over my daughter!” Retorted the Matron stopping her in her tracks, Razaron’s jaw dropped and he was in complete shock from the discovery, “But-but that means you’re my..” The Matron finished Razaron’s sentence, “Grandmother, yes, I.. I will explain everything later. Please come to me child and lets be gone from...” “He’s not going anywhere with you!” Gorgush intervened, “He’s to fulfill his Om’riggor and become an adult and as he’s being conspiring with outsiders there will be a punishment, now be gone before I cut you in half you old wretch!” Gogush snapped as the will of the Matron diminished, she was heartbroken over how the revelation of her heritage was revealed to Razaron and and walked away in despair. “Thats right and if you ever return I’ll kill you with my barehands, my BAREHANDS!” Gorgush yelled.

An om’riggor is a rite of passage for orcs for them to enter adulthood, Razaron would now have to perform a solo kill to prove himself to the clan but mostly to his father. He would also be stripped of his clothes, armor and provisions and was only allowed to use just one weapon, naturally of course he chose his ancestral axe even if it was still a bit cumbersome for him to handle. Usually some shaman would be present to preside over the ceremony but there were no shamans amongst the orcs anymore, they either accepted the fel magic or were abandoned by the spirits. So it was just Razaron and his father outside of the village and there would be no ceremony just an in-polite send off.  “To the highest hills are the two-headed beasts known as rylaks, this is your punishment! Bring back to me one of their bloody heads or don’t come back at all!” Razaron gulped hearing Gorgush’s demands, “Go now in to the wilds, prove me wrong, prove to me and the Horde that you are not the runt I say you are! Then maybe, just maybe you will be accepted amongst us!” Razaron’s whole life now hanged in completing his om’riggor.

Chapter Eight: Om’riggor

The tallest hills of Tanaan Jungle were now a plain of lifeless dirt with swirling winds that picked up the dusty surface making it difficult to traverse. The only signs of life on these hills were to the very pinnacle, Rylak’s still nested here and Razaron would have to climb his way to the top and kill an adult to complete his om’riggor. Gorgush had given his son Razaron an almost impossible task to complete especially at his age but Razaron wanted to show his father how much he had grown, he had always longed for his approval and acceptance. So now here he stood at the foot of the dead hill, there was no going back, he either completed his Om’riggor or died trying. During the Om’riggor Razaron was removed of his armor and clothes and was only allowed one weapon, navigating the hill with no tools to aid him was a struggle.  The dead dirt would crumble under his grasp and securing a footing was challenging at best but somehow Razaron persevered to a credible height, he had something to prove and that determination would keep him going. He some how neared the summit, the wind was much stronger the higher he climbed and now dust was being blown from the dirt which made it visibly harder to see. Suddenly a monstrous roar reverberated at top the hill and before Razaron could react he was knocked off his feet and lost his grip off his axe. The rylak now stood on his back legs with his gigantic wings in full display trying to intimidate his prey, Razaron quickly rolled away ignoring the pain of being ambushed as the two-headed rylak now snapped at him trying to finish him off quickly. Razaron’s life was now in jeopardy, the impossible task looked all that impossible, he was defenseless and was doing all he could to evade against a much larger beast. If only I could get to my axe? Where is it? He thought, he couldn’t see far because the dusty earth had created a cloud, he tried to peer through but it was too late, the Rylak had recovered and had knocked him to the ground and was a bout to finish him off.

Abruptly a female cry came rushing out of the clouds which caught the Rylak off guard, it was the Matron, she must of followed Razaron on his om’riggor. With one flash strike she had slashed at the Rylak in the back with her polearm, the Rylak screamed in pain knocking the Matron away with a beat of it’s wings. “MOVE RAZARON!” howled the Matron, she had given him time, time he used to get to his feet and tried and search for his axe. The rylak's two heads and four eyes now stared directly at the threat in hand, it scurried towards the Matron biting and growling. The matron slowly walked backwards jabbing with her polearm trying to keep the beast at bay when she tripped over a rock and landed on her back, the Rylak took no hesitation this time as it started to gnaw away at the Matron’s abdomen. “No!” cried Razaron now armed with his axe he charged over and landed a fatal blow on the Rylak that severed both of it's necks beheading the creature, it's gigantic body went limp and fell to the earth.

Razaron cradled his grandmother as blood was pouring out of her midsection, “I can save you, let me use the-the techniques you’ve shown me!” The matron put a finger to Razaron’s lips stopping him, “No, this wound would kill you trying to save me.” The Matron coughed with blood now coming out of her mouth. “Why didn’t you tell me you were my grandmother?” Razaron sobbed trying in vain to stop the bleeding with his hands. “Because if anyone knew they would of stopped me seeing you, your father never forgave me for not saving you both. Your mother Kazraka had a difficult pregnancy, when you were born something went terribly wrong and I only had the power to save one of you. She begged me that I saved you, that I did.” The Matron coughed once more with even more blood. “When Gorgush looks at you Razaron all he is seeing his the killer of his beloved mate, this is why he is cold with you. But I could never be..” The Matron put her hand on Razaron’s cheek, “Oh young Razaron you take after your mother.” The Matron said looking at him deeply. “You wanted to know my name did you not? Well you were named after me young Razaron, I was named Razara.” Razara let out a small smirk as remaining life drained from her face and body, Razaron clutched at his grandmother and let out all of his emotions with a cry that would wake the ancestors.

Razaron arrived at the bottom of the Tanaan hill, Razara’s body over his shoulder and one of the bloody heads of Rylak clenched in his hand. To Razaron’s surprise there was a welcoming party, Gorgush was there with some of the other Bleeding Hollow clan. “What do we have here? You’ve performed your om’riggor no doubt about it.” Gorgush said eying the rylak’s head. “But what is this?” he looked at the corpse on Razaron’s shoulder. “She’s dead? The Matron is dead? You sort help in your om’riggor? ARE YOU INSANE?” bellowed Gorgush. “This is meant to be a solo kill to prove yourself and that witch killed herself so you could complete your task?” Razaron had heard enough, he carefully lay Razara’s body to the floor and dropped the head of his kill and walked with a purpose towards his father. “My boy couldn’t even complete his task by himself..” Before Gorgush could get anymore words out of his fel mouth he has been struck by Razaron’s fist as he fell backwards on his arse. “I don’t know who you are anymore, but you’re not my father!” Razaron had said with a dead eyed stare, Gorgush touched his lip and checked his hand to see if he was bleeding. “So I’m not your father? Then you’re not my son! I will accept your om’riggor kill but for now till the end of days you will be known as Razaron the Insane.” Gorgush got to his feet “You are not worthy of Gul’dan’s gift!” Gorgush said spitting in Razaron’s face, Razaron brushed away the bloody saliva, he didn’t care anymore nor did he want this gift. He walked away listening to the Bleeding Hollow orcs cursing him from behind, it was time to light a pyre for his grandmother Razara.

Chapter Nine: Between Worlds

The Dark Portal was finally built and the Horde had started to invade Azeroth, during this time more and more of the Bleeding Hollow clan were ordered to cross to this new world. The fel corruption had taken it’s toll on the world and the Dark Portal spread the fel like a infection sucking the life out of everything. The Tanaan Jungle had perished, the land was now a barren desert called the Hellfire Peninsula. In the center of desolate region a grand fortress was built, unsurprisingly this fortress was named Hellfire Citadel and the path of glory connected it towards the imposing demonic Dark Portal.

Many months had passed since Razara’s death and Razaron and Gorgush had not spoken since the end of his Om’riggor. It was now common knowledge amongst the Bleeding Hollow clan that Razaron had cheated in his Om’riggor and was given the title the Insane as a punishment for his actions, this news had also started to spread to other clans within the Horde who looked at Razaron with disgust. Razaron tried to keep himself to himself and away from the other orcs, in his spare time had eventually crafted a rylak head piece to wear which he was very proud of. Those that knew him had wrongly thought he had made this as some sort of tribute for completing his Om’riggor, in actual fact it was a trophy to honor his grandmother Razara and her sacrifice. Day by day new reports of the new world would trickle back to Heartblood but today was different, orders were handed to the elders that stated that the whole of the Bleeding Hollow clan would be passing through the Dark Portal! Razaron was part of a reserve group and had not gone through the portal yet but scouts had found a lush jungle that was full of life and strikingly similar to how Tanaan Jungle use to be, this would be the new home of the Bleeding Hollow clan.

The Bleeding Hollow clan had walked the unsettling path of glory, the bones of the dead draenei cracked and shattered beneath their feet as they marched towards the Dark Portal. The clan didn’t seem to care about the remains, they were blood crazed and itching to abandon this world for the glory of the Horde. Even though Razaron had never drank Gul’dan’s gift the fel taint had affected him too, his skin had now fully turned green but that was just physical transformation. Mentally he started to feel the thirst for slaughter like his brothers and sisters, luckily he was still able to control this urge so he was thankful to be leaving this world behind. The clan climbed the great staircase and stood before the Dark Portal, Razaron gazed in to the hypnotic doorway mesmerized by it’s aura, to him these were the powers of the gods and far above his understanding. Many of his clan had heard the rallying cry of their leader Kil’rogg Deadeye and already charged through as Razaron was just standing there in awe, suddenly Razaron got pushed in the back, “Having second thoughts? Going to to disappointment me any more?” Gorgush snapped towards Razaron before pushing him out of the way and disappearing in to portal beyond. Razaron shook his head and sighed, there was nothing left to do then cross between these worlds. He looked behind him at what his world had turned into and then back towards the portal, he held his hand out to the magical essence in front of him. It felt like it was trying to pull him in, eventually he complied with it and walked through willingly. His body twisted and tumbled through space, he let out a cry of anguish and closed his eyes hoping this strange sensation would end and then suddenly everything went black and silent. He opened his eyes and everything was a blur and then a high pitch sound shot through his head, he shook his head to gains some sort of normality and was grateful that his eyes and ears started to recover and was flabbergasted at what he saw, “Life…” Razaron said out loud.

Razaron and his clan had passed through the portal unharmed and had arrived in a murk-ridden marsh, before Razaron could take in his new surroundings the elders of the clan immediately barked orders towards him and others to follow the rest of his kin. The orcs had all started to walk down some rugged paths that were made so they could transport their primitive carts full of supplies through the swamp biome, encompassing the path were hundreds hundreds of orcs laying for dead. The Bleeding Hollow clan had forsaken all traditions following the fel and were not going to stop for orcs too weak to survive the journey be it from the wilds or simply collapsing from exhaustion. Razaron tried to keep himself alert for any dangers that were hiding within the bog but fatigue and starvation was hampering him down, he started to feel dizzy and was about to fall to the ground when he heard, “Everything in your life is a reflection of choice.” It was a memory of Razara speaking to him like a ghost, Razaron suddenly rebalanced himself and willed himself onward. I will not die here he said to himself over and over, I will not!

Chapter Ten: The Battle of Stranglethorn Vale

The Bleeding Hollow clan had made the arduous journey to Stranglethorn Vale and had set up camps on the perimeter. Food, water and life was abundant here and Razaron soon regained his strength and was fighting fit again, however trouble was brewing. Scouts were sent to explore the deeper parts of the jungle and time and time again none would return, something was taking the orcs out and it was causing hysteria amongst them. The leadership of the clan had decided to send the majority of the Bleeding Hollow in to obliterate the nuisance, but stories spread across the clan of strange magic, devils and shadows that could kill. Morale was at a all time low and this wasn’t helped by peculiar sightings, ancient structures with unusual details, warped totems with shrunken heads and serpent like decoration worshiping some unknown deity. The Bleeding Hollow clan may have been in a jungle but they were stepping in to foreign territory!

They came out of no where, like shadows in the night. They attacked without hesitation and with no remorse, this was the first time both races had met and it wasn’t a friendly meeting. It was the Bleeding Hollow clan treading in to the Gurubashi tribes territory and the Gurubashi were winning the battle. It’s not that the Bleeding Hollow weren’t adept in the jungle way of fighting, it was just that the Gurubashi knew the terrain and were using it to full effect. Guerrilla warfare at it’s finest, they led the orcs in to ambushes and before the orcs knew what hit them the jungle trolls were already away. Hit and run assaults and it was proving to be very affective, word was circulating that Warchief Blackhand had ordered Kilrogg Deadeye to pull the Bleeding Hollow out of Stranglethorn Vale. It was at this time Razaron’s warband was assaulted. Gurubashi sprang the trap effortlessly, some were high in the jungles throwing all sorts of weapons down, other’s were ground level circling the trapped warband. Gorgush who was leading this warband screamed at the top of his lungs, “Lok-Narash!”. The orcs were quick to prepare but already countless had fallen under the surprise attack, the sound of metal piercing flesh and the cries of battle rang through the jungle.  Razaron grasp his axe in his hand looking constantly over his shoulder, they were everywhere he thought. Gurubashi troll armed with an axe and a totemic shield launched himself at Razaron, at first he was taken by surprise by the troll being battered left and right by his shield. The shock of seeing this remarkable clad creature had startled him for a few seconds, but gradually his fighting instincts kicked in. The troll tried one too many times at bashing Razaron with his shield, this time he stepped to the trolls side and quickly knocked the shield away leaving him completely open, Razaron’s axe swept back round and crashed in to the troll’s ribcage. Razaron pulled his axe out of the troll’s chest and watched it fall lifelessly to the floor, he looked at the unusual body. He noticed the proportions of it’s body was oddly shaped, they had huge long arms and legs with a hunched back that made them look shorter then they actually were. He then looked towards the blood pouring out of the chest of the troll and then to it’s face, the blank glazed over stare of a creature that had just died. Realization grew that despite their devilish armor they were mortals like the orcs, this encouraged Razaron. Mere moments later Razaron managed to parry a thrusting spear that was aimed directly for his heart, this wasn’t over just yet!

Razaron was pushed back in to another orc, “Get off me!” Gorgush yelled as he was fighting off his own troll. Fates had aligned and Razaron was physically closer to his father then he had been for months. “Be thankful I’m here” Razaron said grunting, “Otherwise this one would be piercing you in the back right now!” he quipped back. Razaron telegraphed the next attack the troll made and slashed his axe in to the wooden shaft of it’s spear and it broke in half, without the range Razaron bundled troll over and made quick work of him. Gorgush too was doing well fighting the trolls off with his deadly two handed axe, the blood lust had taken over him and he was wildly slashing at trolls left right and center. Despite their good fortune the rest of the warband was struggling and teetering on breaking, at least half of them had died now and the trolls shouted in their strange language to retreat. This was tactical, they didn’t want to fight the orcs head on in a bloody battle as they outnumbered them and would rather strike quickly and often. The Gurubashi slowly reformed and what looked like the leader shouted “Dazdooga!” and countless spears were thrown towards the orcs from the trees, this final act had tipped the scales and the Bleeding Hollow resolve was broken. Orcs now were retreating in vast numbers, Razaron quickly picked up a rickety trollish leather shield on the floor and took cover. He did this just in time as a spear penetrated through the crude leather and was inches away from fatally hitting his face. The trolls had disappeared as they arrived, quickly and without a sound as Razaron surveyed the aftermath of the battle.

Hundreds of bodies decorated the jungle earth, mostly orcs, the Gurubashi ambush had worked perfectly. The rest of the Bleeding Hollow had retreated back towards the way they came, this isn’t a war were going to win Razaron thought. Razaron was about to leave but he over heard some coughing, he tightened his grip on his axe and slowly walked towards the noise. The closer he got the more he realized it was an orc who was clinging on to life, Razaron paced faster towards his fallen kin and discovered his father Gorgush with a spear punctured through his gut. Immediately Razaron had forgotten about all the torment his father had put him through and fell to his knees trying to help him, “It’s too late son.” Gorgush coughed, “This is the death I saw, can’t you remember?” Visions raced through Razaron’s head of the ritual he witnessed his father perform when he was a boy. The burning crimson in Gorgush’s eyes began to fade, “What have I done…” he said shockingly, the bloodlust within him seemed to be fading as his death neared. “Listen to me son…” Gorgush gasped for breath to get his words out. “Be your own orc… I’m sorry… so sorry. I shouldn’t have call…” Gorgush let out one final breath before finally succumbing to his injuries. Tears ran down Razaron’s cheeks, he lost is grandmother, his home and now his father.

Razaron reformed with the Bleeding Hollow clan and now were back in the swamps, the rumours of Warchief Blackhand pulling the Bleeding Hollow clan out of Stranglethorn Vale were indeed true. As the clan marched back towards the Dark Portal he quickly slipped away in to the swamp, he had lost everything near and dear to him and would rather live a life of a hermit then fight for this fel Horde. He traveled for days to escape from any form of civilization, he was alone and would be his own orc.