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Chapter IV: A World Divided

Started by Kozgugore, August 13, 2018, 12:16:47 AM

Previous topic - Next topic


Part 1: On Stranger Tides (29th of August, 2018)
Part 2: A Curt Reply (31st of August, 2018)
Part 3: Thar She Blows! (2nd of September, 2018)
Part 4: Feeding the Fish (4th of September, 2018)
Part 5: Three Sheets to the Wind (7th of September, 2018)
Part 6: Battle of the Gate (11th of September, 2018)
Part 7: In Her Majesty's Service (14th of September, 2018)
Part 8: Not So Clear-Cut (16th of September, 2018)
Part 9: Transportation Husbandry (18th of September, 2018)
Part 10: Battening the Hatches (21st of September, 2018)
Part 11: Lair of the Leviathan (23rd of September, 2018)
Part 12: All Hands Hoay! (25th of September, 2018)

The Horde and the Alliance are in open conflict. Following Warchief Windrunner's ruthless attack on the Night Elven home, she in turn has lost her and her people's sanctuary in Lordaeron. Now, both sides rush to bolster their forces for the ongoing war with respectively the nations of Zandalar and Kul Tiras.

In the middle of it all stands the Red Blade Clan, having only narrowly survived the Siege of Lordaeron after the Warchief decided to bombard her own troops with the vile substance known as Blight. As a result, the clan withdrew from the conflict to leave the Warchief and her Forsaken to fend for themselves, bent on delivering word to the shores of Kalimdor of the Warchief's vile nature and treachery. On their voyage home, however, they were set upon by an Alliance battleship under the command of a certain High Captain; young, ambitious and eager to prove himself. The clan hardly stood a chance in their re-purposed pirate vessel, the Sea Cucumber. Though they made a valiant stance against overwhelming odds, they were upon the brink of extermination when Stormwind marines stormed the main deck. It was at that moment that three pirate ships appeared on the horizon, putting a violent end to the already violent confrontation as they engaged the Alliance battleship. In the chaos of the battle, the Red Blade's vessel met its ultimate fate, however. Caught in the crossfire of the Alliance battleship and one of the pirate frigates, the Sea Cucumber did not manage to escape. The ship, and its entire Red Blade crew along with it, has found a watery grave upon the high seas...
Kozgugore Feraleye - Chieftain of the Red Blade


Part 1: On Stranger Tides
29th of August

Shipwrecked and isolated, the orcs of the Red Blade Clan found themselves upon unfamiliar shores as their passage from the Eastern Kingdoms was violently interrupted by a patrolling Alliance vessel of the Third Fleet. Some days passed, the exact number unknown due to being washed ashore and the days slowly melding together as survival become the sole priority. Over the course of some time, orcs began to locate one another, setting up camp by what little remains of their ship. With some orcs wounded, unconscious or even missing, the clan's survival hung by a thread as those who were not out of commission suffered a lack of supplies, weapons and shelter.

It was almost a welcome sight to suddenly see a friendly face approach them on their beach. Strangely enough, this friendly face was no orc, however. It was a human, in fact, dressed in almost stereotypical pirate attire and wielding an even more stereotypical accent. He introduced himself as Captain Climidea Curtsy. A name that - despite its questionable nature - was awfully familiar to some orcs' ears. Those who had shared the road with the Red Blade for some years still remembered the name from one of their past adventure in Tanaris, when the very same Captain kidnapped one of the clan's orcs, Kogra Windwatcher, in hopes of making her his bride at sea. His efforts thwarted at the time, the orcs commandeered and took his dowry meant for Kogra... the ship that now laid upon the bottom of the ocean.

As it turns out, the Captain recognized his old vessel. In fact, it was he who attempted to come to the Red Blade's aid when they were beset upon by the Alliance navy, only to have one of his vessels inadvertently assist in sinking the Red Blade's ship. Curtsy blamed the incident on one of his subordinates in charge of the ship, who had gone missing after the Captain called for the crew member's head. A problem for another time however, as he now suggested to the orcs a safe haven upon the island. The island they had ended up on, after all, was none other than Kul Tiras. Known for its mighty military navy, the island nation was certainly not a fortunate place for the orcs to be stranded upon. In an attempt to recruit the orcs to his cause (and possibly to regain the favour of his former spark Kogra Windwatcher), Curtsy offered to take the orcs to the pirate outpost of Plunder Harbor. Though reluctant to accept his aid, the orcs saw little other choice but to accept the human's offer.

Staying true to his word and despite an unwelcome run-in with a saurolisk nest, Climidea Curtsy eventually led the orcs clear from any Kul Tiran or Alliance presence and to the sanctity of Plunder Harbor. There, the orcs have been offered shelter and a fresh pair of boots from Curtsy's hoard of footwear in order to regain their strength. Though they are in the clear for now, the Captain will no doubt approach the orcs with an offer to repay his 'kindness' soon enough...
Kozgugore Feraleye - Chieftain of the Red Blade


Part 2: A Curt Reply
31st of August

Never trust a pirate to act out of selflessness. Though the orcs are no doubt quite familiar with such a notion, it's a thought they would do well to bear in mind all the more now that they are left to their mercy in order to survive in these unfamiliar lands and to eventually find the means to cross the Great Sea back to Kalimdor. It's exactly that latter promise which Captain Climidea Curtsy had put to his advantage in order to recruit the orcs to one of his schemes after they had two nights of rest and recuperation in Plunder Harbor.

The target? The Ashvane Foundry the orcs had passed on their way to Plunder Harbor - reportedly a manufacturing place for all manner of Azerite-related weaponry. Though most of the orcs were only scarcely familiar with the mysterious substance, they had increasingly come into contact with it over the course of the past several months since its first appearance. The Siege of Lordaeron had already shown that it could be used for offensive purposes, but those were machines pressed into service by the Horde. What had presented itself now, was weaponry entirely in the service of humans. Kul Tiran humans perhaps, unaffiliated with the Alliance, but humans all the same. And humans who would not look kindly upon orcs trespassing upon their shores. So it was that Captain Curtsy managed to convince the orcs to help him raid the Ashvane Foundry to seize or otherwise destroy the weaponry, along with the promise of a future safe passage off these isles.

The party split up into two. One led by Climidea Curtsy himself, and the other by Rrosh-tul Nosh'marak Ironclaw. The latter group provided for quite the distraction as their battles cries called away several other groups of guardsmen, allowing Curtsy's group to sneak past towards the main facility. It soon became clear that the vast amount of Azerite present couldn't possibly all be brought along with them, however. Curtsy's group set about taking out a small host of guards, while some of them turned a cannon upon one of the stores of Azerite. A tremendous, sky-high blast shook the very foundry's foundation as the orcs witnessed for the first time the destructive power of raw Azerite first hand, certain to raise some concern with some of them. Nosh'marak's group, too, shortly thereafter caused a storehouse to erupt in a bright, sparkling blue and yellow explosion. In the midst of the chaos of it all, the foundry's workers were caught in the middle of the fighting. Luckily for them, each of the orcs saw fit to adhere to their Code of Honor, avoiding bringing any harm to them despite it putting themselves in greater danger than necessary at times.

With the workers fled and guardsmen dispatched, the two parties regrouped upon the main courtyard of the Ashvane facility. There, they claimed for themselves whatever conventional weapons they could find in order to finally properly arm themselves, in addition to any barrels of Azerite small enough for them to take along... in spite of the substance causing certain concern with some orcs, the material itself radiating disconcerting energies. They had what they came for, in addition to a few extra weapons to boot... However, a few moving sources of light in the hills nearby caused for some alarm. Unable to identify the source at first, it quickly became clear that the torches were, in fact, carried by none other than soldiers carrying both Kul Tiran and Alliance insignias upon their chests. Unable to dispatch of them in time, the humans quickly turned their horses to return from whence they came... no doubt to warn of the orcs' presence. It was as much a warning the orcs needed to make themselves scarce, bringing all of the requisitioned weapons and Azerite back with them back to Plunder Harbor.

The day had been won and small strides had been made to honoring Captain Climidea Curtsy's bargain. However, at what cost? Are the rumors of Alliance envoys having recently arrived in Kul Tiras true? Would the orcs now have to contend with both the Kul Tirans -and- the Alliance? For now, Plunder Harbor is a safe enough place for them to lay low... or is it?
Kozgugore Feraleye - Chieftain of the Red Blade


Part 3: Thar She Blows!
2nd of September

With the raid of the Ashvane Foundry successful, the orcs of the Red Blade Clan were eager to resume their way in order to find a way off the island of Kul Tiras. Time was certainly not on their side, what with news from Lordaeron having to be brought to Kalimdor and now rumors emerging of the Alliance making contact with Kul Tiras. In an attempt to get their journey underway, Captain Climidea Curtsy was approached in order to ask what his plans with the orcs were, given that their fate was effectively in his hands.

At last, Climidea raised the corner of the veil for his plans. In order to get the orcs off the island, they needed a ship. The problem, however, was that ships were surprisingly difficult to come by for a navy nation such as Kul Tiras. Rumour had it that the whereabouts of the entire Kul Tiran navy was completely unknown. There had been no sight of them for some time, making it easy for the pirate people to go about their business rather leniently. It also left them with a lack of ships to commandeer, however. And stealing a ship from another pirate was out of the question for Climidea as well, considering a certain "code" he adhered to. It left only one option: Building a brand new ship. In order to build a ship however, the clan had to somehow find a way into Stormsong Valley, where the finest ships of the Kul Tiran navy were assembled... And in order to get to Stormsong Valley, the clan had to make it past the capitol of the Kul Tiran government, Boralis. Not an easy task for a large amount of big and unsubtle orcs...

In exchange for Captain Curtsy's help in safely getting the orcs to Stormsong Valley, he needed their help for what he referred to as "the heist of a lifetime". More precisely, a raid. Exactly what manner of raid the captain was referring to remained a mystery, however. The moment he was about to divulge the target of the raid, a distant ship started opening fire upon Plunder Harbor! An Alliance ship had found its way to the Kul Tiran shore and began to bombard the harbor. Orcs and pirates alike scurried to find themselves a cannon to return fire with, but half of the orcs quickly had to change their priorities as a lookout reported movement on the main road towards Plunder Harbor. A regiment of Kul Tiran and Alliance soldiers alike began charging down at the harbor! While some of the orcs continued to fire their cannons, the others made a valiant stand at the rope bridge leading towards the pirate settlement, keeping the humans from breaking through with their will, strength and a bit of malicious wiliness as Razaron Madeye and Trakmar Beastbane cut the ropes of the bridge and set fire to it, severely halting the Kul Tiran and Alliance advance.

That did not stop the Alliance's High Captain who overlooked the battle from a small hill nearby however, looking suspiciously familiar to some of the orcs. Word came back from the harbor about small boats of marines approaching the northern shore. The battleship - which was still exchanging cannonfire with the orcs' cannons from the harbor - turned out to be little more but a distraction for the landing party! Quickly, the orcs were recalled back to the town in an attempt to halt the encroaching forces, but it was already too late. Many of the local pirates began to flee with their tails (and loot) between their legs, whisking away all of the remaining rowboats left in the harbor. Some began to cry out that some manner of pact with Ashvane should be accepted in order to live another day, but such notions fell on deaf ears with Captain Curtsy and the orcs. Covering their retreat with some impressive magics from Siyah'gosh and Shrika as well as a creative intervention of Okiba Spearbreaker who aimed a cannon loaded with grape shot upon the pursuing forces, the orcs and pirates managed to buy themselves enough time to escape the faltering Plunder Harbor, leaving its fate to its remaining pirate occupants.

A long retreat along the coast followed, where more and more of Captain Curtsy's pirates began to fall behind due to the distance and steep hills that had to be covered. Nonetheless, the orcs' vigor eventually landed them upon the very doorstep of Freehold, the next destination of their swashbuckling odyssey. It was here that the orcs would rest up from their hectic escape from Plunder Harbor, as well as prepare for the "grand raid" that was promised to them by Captain Curtsy...
Kozgugore Feraleye - Chieftain of the Red Blade


Part 4: Feeding the Fish
4th of September

Any decent pirate needs a crew in order to have any prestige at all. Unfortunately for Captain Climidea Curtsy, more than half of his crew went missing after the infamous flight from Plunder Harbor. With little more but a skeleton crew, he would not have the means to assist the Red Blade Clan, let alone participate in this great raid that he so highly spoke of. Clearly, this would not do for the self-satisfied captain, and thus he commissioned the aid of the Red Blade Clan once more. Though his remaining crew had scoured the island for clues, there was only one place that remained shrouded in mystery: the dreaded Wailing Tideway.

Following the captain down to the shoreline, it quickly became clear that the place had a reputation for at least one particular reason: shipwrecks. The cliffs and beach counted a great number of them, proving a foreboding sight as a distant mist came rolling in from the shoreline. No wailing, however. Perhaps it was a rather poorly chosen name? Either way, the orcs were forced to split up as the path ahead diverged. With Captain Curtsy leading one group and Thur'ruk Kogra Windwatcher the other, the orcs set about to explore the increasingly foggy beach in order to search for any signs of life of Curtsy's crew.

As for the wailing? It was a question that would soon be answered. With the mists encroaching further and further inland and enveloping the orcs in their embrace, an eerie sound began to hover above and past them. It started out as a low humming, but then it slowly transformed into something more... Singing? Before anyone could realize it, some began to be taken over by the strangely inviting sound, feeling themselves drawn further and further into the mist as to answer the call... But they were not alone. Suddenly, enthralled sailors emerged from the thick of the mist to descend upon the orcs, a mysterious force whipping them on to assault the intruders! Beating back wave after wave of charmed pirates as well as some of their own orcs, the clan was forced to fight its way through the mists. Due to their violent nature, not all pirates made it out in one piece - or alive at all, for that matter. Even so, a great number of Climidea's crew was salvaged from the foggy shores of the Wailing Tideway and sent back safely to Freehold after they had been knocked out cold. The source of the constant singing, however, remained a mystery...

It was not until both groups, by chance, managed to regroup upon a central location and that Zouyo Rainclaw, a Pandaren friend of the clan, channeled his chi to pull the mists apart that the source was found: a large, vile looking, winged woman. An elder siren! She bade the orcs to turn their backs on these shores and to leave the sirens to their business with the pirates. She made it sound as if the sirens had some unfinished business with some of the pirates after having been wronged for one reason or another. Sadly for her, the orcs would not listen to reason. Lining up for battle, it was clear there was but one path out of this. The elder siren swooped in to attack the orcs! Unfortunately for her, however, the orcs were alert. Razaron Madeye and Nar'thak Strongarm managed to skillfully clip the siren's wings, grounding her and rendering her defenseless. With her final breath, she cursed the sailors and pirates that, in her eyes, cursed them to this fate, before three axes landed down upon her to end her misery.

The threat of the Wailing Tideway had been rooted out for now and the missing pirates had been returned. It may not have been the prettiest battle they have ever had, nor did the cause seem particularly black and white, but they had fulfilled their end of the bargain. Perhaps now, Captain Curtsy was finally ready to reveal the full breadth of his plans to the orcs...
Kozgugore Feraleye - Chieftain of the Red Blade


Part 5: Three Sheets to the Wind
8th of September

With the Proudmoore Admiralty in a weakened state as of late, the pirates on Kul Tiras had grown increasingly bold. That much had become clear throughout the duration of the orcs' stay upon this island. Proof of this came all the more in Captain Climidea Curtsy's bold plan, as the time had finally come to unveil it to the orcs. As it turned out, a pact had been made between all the many different pirate factions and crews to band together and make a daring assault into the Tiragarde Sound. In order to get the entire pirate fleet there however, there was one obstacle that had to be dealt with: Daelin's Gate. This impressive fortification held the strait that led ships into the Tiragarde Sound, and as such had to be taken down. The pirates clearly had a plan to deal with that... but there was still a road to take to get there first.

In order to strengthen his own thinned out crew (and no doubt to expand a little beyond that just to make sure he would have more sway with the other pirates with a bigger crew to back him up), Curtsy's plan was to involve the Red Blade orcs into a little aggressive expansion. To prepare for the assault on Daelin's Gate, the plan was to hit as many taverns and inns in Freehold in an attempt to recruit any who might be swayed to join Curtsy's side. A selfish goal, to be sure, but he was still the best chance the orcs had to finding a way off this island. Besides, it mattered little to the orcs whether these pirates were loyal to one pirate lord or to another. They would fight the Kul Tirans one way or another, regardless of who their master was. And so, the orcs split up. One group led by Climidea himself, and another by Zul'garr Firefist, a sailor who had recently linked up with the clan and just so happened to be familiar with the nightlife of Freehold.

Climidea's group started off easy. The first inn, Dead Man's Tale, appeared to be a respectable enough place. It proved to be quite unlike any usual tavern with rowdy pirates. Instead, a humble crew of privateers were having dinner at its tables when they were approached by the orcs in an attempt to recruit them. Just as the talks were underway however, a second group arrived. Blacktooth Brawlers. They attempted to convince the orcs to side with them in order to take over the establishment, kicking the privateers out. Just as the orcs were threatened to be involved in a pirate conflict, Zouyo Rainclaw offered a solution: a drinking contest. The Brawlers agreed, but to their own rules... a game of drinking -and- brawling. Whoever beat the most ale out of his opponent's flagon with a club, won. Zouyo, Lo'Gush Heartseeker and Razaron Madeye stepped forth to take up the challenge against the Brawlers' champions, the Clubbers. The orcs threatened to lose as Zouyo lost to a particularly heavy-handed dwarf and Lo'Gush drew against the second champion, but then Razaron gained the upper hand and beat his opponent, winning over not only a small crew of the Blacktooth Brawlers, but also the onlooking Great Sea Privateers! Two birds in one stone.

Next up was Rodrigo's Rides, where the innkeep heartily welcomed them. After a brief exchange of drinks, he offered the services of his famed Parroteers... but only if they could answer his game of wit by providing the right answers with the right mindset. The right mindset, as it turned out, proved to be filled with lousy puns and overly simple logic that the innkeeper found utterly hilarious, to the point of fainting. The orcs managed to provide the right answers after a bit of prying and prodding however, so the Parroteers were won over to their side.

Next was the largest tavern on their path, aptly titled "The Relieved Pants Pub". It certainly wouldn't get any more atmospheric than this in Freehold, considering the sheer amount of brawling and drinking that went on there. It would prove difficult to gain the attention of any of these gentlemen without any serious intervention, however. The orcs chose for the option of distraction. By announcing free ale outside the tavern, the entire throng rushed outside in a panic, leaving behind only those who had already passed out or were only just awake enough to stand on their own feet. It wasn't much, but the scallywags were men after Climidea's heart. He took whatever drunkard he could find and shipped them off to his ship in the harbour in hopes of seeing them sobered up the next day... or two.

On Zul'garr's end, another impressive display of pirate diplomacy was shown. First, they happened upon crew members who belonged to the Bilgerats, three Hozen, two Vulperan and finally, two Quillboar - one named Snuffly and another particularly big one named Pork Scratching. They seemed to be an approachable enough sort despite their appearance... but unfortunately, due to a misunderstanding, Snuffly thought the orcs's attempt to bribe them was an attempt to poison them, ensuing in a risky fight. The fight was quickly cut short however, as the nine foot tall Pork Scratching was punched once in the chest, and then proceeded to bawl like a small babe. As the rest of the crew gathered around to comfort the big oaf, they agreed to work for the captain in exchange for the mean orcs not hurting him again.

The second group on their way were a bunch of gambling Goblins who went by the name of the Clever Boys, led by a goblin who seemed to be wearing a particularly lousy attempt at an orc costume called Grimgashgorsh Smolorcen (his actual name being Jace Gilttrouser). To supplement his beliefs, he kept insisting he was a midget orc. Realizing he couldn't match the "bigger orcs" for strength, however, he challenged the group to a riddle game in exchange for their service. Surprisingly enough, the orcs won. When Smolorcen attempted to scavenge some lost honour through a last riddle, they lost once more, resulting in them working for half the original pay.

Finally, there was a group of five Kul Tirans led by a massive man called Bosun James. The orcs were met with a particularly nasty welcome, as the men hated orcs with a passion. The group was forced into agreeing to work for Captain Curtsy after having lost a classical brawl, however, promptly forcing them into service. One of them commented about a certain Captain Stone not being happy that they will have switched sides, but such concerns were quickly quelled when he was silence by the Bosun in an attempt to keep such news quiet for whatever reason... Hopefully not a thing that will come back to haunt the orcs.

All in all, the night resulted in an impressive haul of fresh crewmen for Captain Curtsy. One that is certain to make him one of the more "respected" and more popular captains, all thanks to the orcs' efforts. One can only wonder - or fear - what purposes the captain might have in mind for such an impressive crew... and what awaits at Daelin's Gate, for that matter.
Kozgugore Feraleye - Chieftain of the Red Blade


Part 6: Battle of the Gate
11th of September

The time had come to put the plan of the pirates of Freehold into action. With the crews assembled, the weaponry prepared and the ships outfitted, the pirate fleet had begun to assemble for the decisive assault upon Daelin's Gate in order to gain permanent access into the Tiragarde Sound. Captain Climidea Curtsy, too, was a part of the fleet. And it was he who offered the orcs of the Red Blade a special place amidst his crew, on his flagship the Lusty Tuskarr Maid. Despite the name however, the ship was certainly no pushover. Crates filled with countless of Azerite-powered cannonballs littered the deck as the anchor was raised to link up with the rest of the fleet. Though it seemed rather excessive to bring this much firepower along, it turned out to be no exaggeration: Daelin's Gate certainly lived up to its name, and then some. The gate was a colossal piece of architecture that blocked off the entire Sound from any access of unwanted visitors.

With a signal from the main ship at the fore of the fleet, the pirate fleet opened fire upon the gate. A thunderous volley of cannon blasts followed as each ship present peppered the gate with Azerite ammunition, reducing the gate to rubble in mere seconds! As the gate fell and the neighboring fortress laid exposed, the landing boats were manned and the assault was put in motion. Though the remaining cannons from the fortress had begun to return fire and even managed to destroy some of the encroaching landing boats, the orcs' vessels made it ashore in one piece. A long and hard battle awaited however, as the remaining Kul Tiran garrison sought to fight tooth and nail to defend their land!

Thankfully, the recruitment in Freehold had proven to pay off. Amidst the other pirate crews landing ashore and engaging the enemy, Climidea's bolstered crew and allies joined the fray along with the orcs. Hozen, Vulperan, even Quillboar and a Goblin pretending to be an Orc joined the assault on the fortress. Though pirates may not be the greatest of fighters the world has ever seen, it was certainly a battle of great proportions that could have easily gone the other way. Even some of the orcs were on their last legs as they suffered several injuries following the heavy battle. It was not until the fortress was taken when the cannons there could be turned to fire upon the remaining garrison that laid in the town and outpost beyond... which is where the orcs found a harsh truth: these were not just guards they were attacking, but civilians that lived beyond the gate as well. Several pirate crews were already hard at work to loot and plunder whatever they could find, even if it meant ignoring their fellow pirates who were still locked in battle with the Kul Tirans. Though stirred by this sight and thought, the orcs were forced to return their attention to the matter at hand as another host of guards came charging at them. Besides, it was not the town's treasures that Climidea had an interest in...

The captain led the orcs through the fray as they pushed through the town, aided in turn by the recruited Parroteers and a portion of the Blacktooth Brawlers. Where was the captain leading them, however? The more they advanced inland, the more they were being removed from the main battle. All the captain continued to refer to, was his so-called "treasure". They eventually even pushed behind enemy lines, until they came across outlying farmland that was being attacked by an advance force of the pirate fleet, among which the Parroteers. The captain raced past even that, until the orcs came to a halt in front of what looked like nothing more but a humble cottage...

It was there that Captain Curtsy unveiled his master plan. The "treasure" he referred to, was none other than an old woman's daughter in the cottage that laid ahead. When questioned about this, it turned out that the daughter was no older than fourteen years... and none other than his very own daughter, and the so-called "hag" that lived with her his ex-wife! Along with the very thought of kidnapping a civilian in the midst of a war, the orcs were outraged at Climidea's intentions and abuse of their trust, which was already short in supply. Many of the orcs refused to provide any further assistance, but that did not keep Zouyo Rainclaw from approaching the mob of farmers who were gathered outside the cottage wearing nothing more but pitchforks, shovels and other makeshift weaponry to defend their farm from the impending pirate attack. Negotiations with the farmers proved to be surprisingly futile, however. On their guard and stirred by the pirate attack, they began to chase Zouyo after Razaron Madeye had made an appearance as well, alarming the farmers to the orcs' presence.

When the situation escalated and the orcs were forced to defend themselves against the farmers, others such as Shrika and Karnna Blackfeather sneaked into the back of the house to see whether word of the old pirate was true. True enough, there was a young girl reading and an older woman who was gazing out the window to observe the ongoing commotion outside, distracted. Taking their chance, they silently took away the girl in order to allow her to make her own choice in the domestic matter... when the orcs finally realized the truth of the matter. In his conversation with Climidea, Siyah'Gosh realized that the pirate wasn't just speaking ill of his ex-wife by referring to her as a "hag"; he literally meant that she was a witch all along! At that moment, a terrifying shriek was heard from the cottage when the old woman noticed the girl missing, and turned into a raven to escape from Karnna's assassination attempt.

With the outraged farmers, which were quite likely hexed by the old lady, knocked out cold, the girl now known as Tabitha was able to meet up with her father in a happy reunion. Taken completely by surprise at the pirate's sincere intent, some of the orcs even took it upon themselves to apologize to the scheming pirate lord. A rare sight indeed! Even so, with the orcs having come through on their end, Captain Curtsy now intended to live up to his own end of the bargain. With his daughter in hand, he escorted the orcs across the river to a small cottage, where a friend of his known as Squid Lips Sid would prepare to smuggle them further into the mainland. It would be there where their journey would continue, and their search for a seaworthy ship would soon commence...
Kozgugore Feraleye - Chieftain of the Red Blade


Part 7: In Her Majesty's Service
14th of September

With Climidea's 'treasure' safe and secure thanks to the orcs' help, it was now time for him to return the favour. As promised, the means were quickly provided to ensure the orcs could begin to resume they journey home. The first order of business? Getting into Stormsong Valley, where they might find themselves a seaworthy ship. In order to get there however, some creativity was required. After all, the way from the orcs' location to Stormsong Valley was fraught with Kul Tiran presence, none of which most likely particularly enticed by the idea of letting orcs further into their mainland. So it was that Climidea's old friend and smuggler contact, Squid Lips Sid, provided the boat to smuggle the orcs across the Tiragarde Sound... in barrels.

After the orcs had chosen a barrel of their own to hide in, some were more fortunate than others with the kind of goods their barrel was filled up with. While some ended up being loaded up with grapes, wheat or salt, some less fortunate orcs had to settle for coal and particularly pungent fish. It was a necessary price to pay, for the smuggler's ship passed by a guard post along the river where his ship was inspected. Thankfully enough for the orcs, nothing happened that raised any of the guards' suspicion (in part due to Yallra Keeneyes' forehead being mistaken for a melon) and they were able to resume their way. Before too long, the boat reached the other end of the Sound, where the orcs could disembark and shake off the smell of fish and salty taste from themselves.

By remaining off the major roads and avoiding any guard presence in the north of Tiragarde Sound, the clan was able to traverse the mountain range that separated Tiragarde Sound from Stormsong Valley... which welcomed them with an impressive view with its rolling hills and well-maintained farm fields as far as the eye could see. It certainly looked like a place the orcs could get used to living in, even if it was as outlaws in a human world. They were no strangers to such an existence, after all. Something happened as they passed through the wheat fields that changed that entire perspective, however. The humming of engines could be heard in the distance, soon to be followed by the sight of approaching zeppelins... bearing the colours and insignia of the Horde! It was not the orcs they were headed for, however. It was the town of Brennadam, which the orcs were seeking to circle around. Their arrival was heralded with the dropping of large bombs upon the town's structures, instantly leveling some of them. Swiftly thereafter, a charge of wolf riders followed in order to pursue and kill civilians that were attempting to flee the town.

The orcs had to make a choice. Would they aid the Horde and find their chances at a ship home with them? Or would they continue to follow Climidea in search of a way home of their own? Or better yet... would they aid the Kul Tiran civilians who were being hunted down like cattle by the Horde raiders, considering the attackers were breaking the clan's Code of Honor? A difficult decision to be made, and one that was not without a certain amount of discussion and disagreement among the orcs. The decision was eventually made to remain neutral in the conflict for the time being, however. The orcs would continue to follow Climidea to safety, as he had an abandoned smuggler's cave awaiting the clan not too far from the town. Upon arrival there, it was clear some orcs were still not too certain what to make of the Horde's dishonorable attack upon unarmed civilians. Did they make the right choice? Was there more they should have done to help the humans? Or should they have instead helped the Horde? Perhaps a question that is just as worthwhile to ask is, was this the last they will have seen of this conflict during their stay in these lands, now that the war has reached Kul Tiras?
Kozgugore Feraleye - Chieftain of the Red Blade


Part 8: Not So Clear-Cut
16th of September

The orcs had found a place to lay low in a valley that was as rife with conflict as it was with enemies. At the same time however, with the Horde having arrived to Kul Tiras, they may just as well find themselves some unexpected allies apart from the questionable pirate that had accompanied them up to this point.

Even so, Captain Climidea Curtsy stayed true to his word thus far. With the orcs holed up in one of his old smuggling dens, little stood in their way to begin making preparations for their journey home. Captain Curtsy reported of an unguarded ship lying just off the Stormsong coast, ripe for the taking. The only problem, however, was that it was an unfinished ship. Before the orcs could go out to 'commandeer' it, they needed the spare parts necessary to make it seaworthy. As luck would have it, the necessary resources were exactly within range, as Stormsong Valley counted a number of industries for the shipbuilding business.

Unfortunately for the orcs, their plans would be cut short. Just as Climidea was about to unveil his plan, the sounds of battle could be heard from beyond the safety of their camp. When the orcs went to investigate, it turned out that orc raiders were being pursued and surrounded by Kul Tiran and Alliance soldiers. Though they were likely a part of the advance Horde forces laying waste to Brennadam and its civilians the other day, the orcs were compelled to aid them in their plight. This had the unfortunate side effect that they invited more Alliance reinforcements to pursue the Red Blades as well, however! Together with the surviving wolf riders, the orcs were soon forced to withdraw along the road.

Now pursued and harassed by swift cavalrymen, the orcs were forced to continuously halt their retreat and cover their flanks, as to ensure they would not be overrun. Though Nag'Ogar Lom'rak Steelskull attempted to take charge of the orcs, lacking any elders, the chaos proved too much to maintain much of an organized line. Felling pursuing horseriders wherever they could, the Red Blades followed the wolf riders up a hill in an attempt to find safety... where at the top of it, a valley stretched out before them - including an imposing Horde military camp! The Horde hadn't just arrived at Kul Tiras with an advance force. They had arrived with an army!

With the Alliance still on their heels and unaware of the Horde presence, Shrika rode ahead to fetch for aid. As if fate designed it so, she arrived back with reinforcements and one of the garrison's Commanders just in time to charge straight past the winded Red Blades and straight into the Alliance's ranks! What followed was a brief but bloody battle as the fatigued Alliance forces were outnumbered and outmatched, cut down to the last man. Surprised at finding another Horde force here, the Commander soon turned to the Red Blades to demand their intent here. With the present Red Blades still wary of the Horde's intention following the hapless slaughter at Brennadam, the orcs chose to answer with caution towards the Commander who introduced himself as Korak Skullsunder. In fact, though he invited them to stay over at his camp, the orcs were compelled to refuse on the grounds of their moral standings in this war, combined with the presence of Captain Curtsy, who might not be received with a particularly warm welcome amidst the Horde camp. With the services he had provided them thus far, the orcs - surprisingly enough - chose to remain with him in his humble cave rather than to find refuge at the newly erected Warfang Hold. So it was that the orcs were back to where they started this day, albeit with the knowledge of a large Horde camp nearby. Perhaps at the very best, it might prove useful for the sake of providing supplies, rather than to live off the wilds. Now they just need to hope the Horde's presence in these lands will not stir any additional unwelcome trouble after tonight...
Kozgugore Feraleye - Chieftain of the Red Blade


Part 9: Transportation Husbandry
18th of September

The Red Blade Clan was getting closer and closer to their ticket home. Captain Curtsy claimed he had found a ship just off the coast, but all it needed was several essential (in his eyes) parts to make it seaworthy. So, in order to make it just that, the orcs set out to see what they could reap from the surrounding industrial areas that the Captain had made them familiar with. Led by Thur'ruk Kogra Windwatcher and Rrosh-tul Nosh'marak Ironclaw, the clan split up in two to cover as much ground as they could.

Thur'ruk Windwatcher's group set out for the lumberyards first, where thankfully little resistance was met. A distraction with Kai'gron Ripclaw's wolf Koba was enough to lure the workers away in order to quietly dispatch them one after another. It was there that the orcs found not only a transportation barge with which they could move the various useful goods they found, but also a particularly fine figurehead of a lady that belonged to a ship called the Wavecaller. Filling up the barge with all the goods they had found thus far, they moved on to their next target, a nearby shipyard. There, Zul'garr sneaked around between the various armed patrols to 'borrow' various valuable items such as a ship bell, and Kai'gron explored the supply shed, where he managed to sneak several barrels through to the orcs by a crack in the wall. Now carrying ample supplies, the group returned back to the barge to load the rest of the goods upon it, before setting out to retrieve Rrosh-tul Ironclaw's group on the other side of the isle...

There, Nosh'marak's group had been quite industrious themselves. They started off by infiltrating the Brineworks as it was shutting down for the night, which left little more but guard patrols. Avoiding the patrols, they began to load various goods such as cannons and an anchor in to a cart they had found. Kyrazha Throatrender's wolf, Timur, provided the distractions necessary by attempting to play with the guard patrols, throwing the humans off guard and allowing them to be jumped and subsequently taken down by the orcs. Upon extraction, however, the goblin who had accompanied the group accidentally blew up a handful of bombs next to the horses dragging the carriage, killing them and forcing the orcs to find a new set of horses. Upon retrieval, the orcs hid in the carriage along with the cannons and the remaining goods, with Shrika driving it disguised as a shipyard delivery woman all the way to the rigging company, where she convinced the workers to load mast parts and rigging on to the carriage under the guise that it was a delivery to the shipyard. It was there, upon the docks of the rigging company, that they were retrieved by Kogra's group aboard her barge.

Despite a brief navigational error made by the ever so sea-unworthy orcs, they eventually managed to make their way back to the mainland's shore. Delivering all of the unloaded goods proved to be a task that might well take all night, but they certainly had obtained all the goods necessary from Climidea's long shopping list. Now all that remained was a ship... or so they thought! Upon the orcs' return to Climidea's smuggling den, there appeared to be a surprising number of orc grunts stationed outside, flanked by Horde flags. As it turned out, the Commander the orcs had previously run into, Korak Skullsunder, had sent scouts after the orcs to investigate their progress. Upon finding the well-hidden cave, he decided to take the initiative and turn Diretusk Hollow into a fully fledged Horde encampment. There did not seem to be much the orcs could do to overrule the decision, despite Climidea's visible distress at the loss of his supply cache. At the very least the Commander was pleased with the orcs' progress... even if the Captain wasn't.
Kozgugore Feraleye - Chieftain of the Red Blade


Part 10: Battening the Hatches
21st of September

With Diretusk Hollow now taken over by the Horde, the orcs of the Red Blade Clan had no choice but to make do with their new neighbours. The conflict in Stormsong Valley was gaining momentum as the Horde sought to expand further inland, increasing activity around the old smuggling den... which was not particularly welcome for the pirate host Captain Climidea Curtsy, as there were surprisingly few signs of him over the past two days other than to come and retrieve what little remained of his stash, to instead find a different place to hoard his smuggled goods.

With Climidea otherwise occupied, the orcs could do nothing but bide their time as they prepared to be led to their future ship... But one of their new neighbours, Commander Korak Skullsunder, was not going to just let them sit idle. As he came to seek out the Red Blade Clan, he informed them of a renewed offensive against Brennadam and formally came to request their aid in supporting the Horde's efforts. With little reason to refuse the orc, they grudgingly agreed and were assigned to a subordinate of the Commander just to the east. Upon arrival however, that subordinate turned out to be no orc, but a Forsaken in charge of a platoon of Deathguards and Deathstalkers. The subordinate, Executor Clifford, instructed the orcs to assault the east flank of the joint Kul Tiran and Alliance defensive line as the Forsaken themselves pushed further west. Though some orcs were suspicious of the Forsaken's intent, having become quite familiar with their ways and strategies over the recent months, they agreed to join the assault.

Despite facing constant cannon- and gunfire from the defensive lines, the orcs were surprisingly efficient in pushing through the Kul Tiran and Alliance ranks. Routing several of their squads, the orcs eventually managed to force their way through, refusing to let any fleeing humans be a hindrance as they ignored them and instead pushed on to the cannon emplacements. The humans made a valiant last stand upon the approach to Brennadam, but even that was not enough to turn back to Red Blades in their assault. With the remainder of their forces routed, the orcs secured their appointed hill... with nothing remaining upon it but a human trapped in a particularly fetid outhouse.

Though some orcs were strangely obsessed with the outhouse, going through such lengths as to even topple it over and attempt to get whoever was inside of it out, the more perceptive orcs among them noticed the Forsaken forces amassing on the top of the hill nearby. A small crowd was gathering, and some of the orcs went up to investigate. Once there, it turned out that the Executor, too, had seized his objective, but in addition to that managed to capture three Alliance officers as well. It seemed quite clear what his intent for them was, as he proclaimed himself how useful the three of them might be in service of the Horde. One of them in particular was of interest to him, as he was apparently none other than the uncle of a particular High Captain. If the uncle were to be turned, it would not only be an incredibly demoralizing blow, but it might also provide valuable information to the town's defenses as well as the High Captain's whereabouts.

This stratagem did not sit well with the orcs, however. In an attempt to dissuade Executor Clifford from his plan, they sought to reason with him about the Horde and even Warchief's morals. The Executor was unflinching in his beliefs however, instead bent on turning this favourable situation to their advantage instead. When he gave the orcs one final chance to either walk away or to submit, it was Rrosh-tul Nosh'marak Ironclaw who refused to budge. Though his first attempt was aimed at simply taking down the human prisoner so that he may not be used in the Executor's schemes, a Deathguard fell instead. Tension immediately reached a boiling point as the orcs began to cross blades with the Forsaken as a result. The orcs swiftly cut down the Forsaken ranks in order to get to Clifford and his prisoners, who attempted to strike down the Rrosh-tul but had his strike parried and subsequently broken when the Great Spirit of Vrull himself appeared in the form of a spectral wolf above the Rrosh-tul to bite into the Forsaken's neck, severing it entirely.

With the Forsaken dispatched, a commotion next broke out among the orcs present. Some questioned the Rrosh-tul's decision, even opted that they should have walked away instead, but the Rrosh-tul refused to bend the knee or turn a blind eye to such injustices any longer. He gave the human captives leave to go, on the condition they would not ever end up meeting the orcs on the battlefield ever again. The undead remains were then dispatched of, filled with gunshots, burned or thrown down the cliff in hopes of ensuring their demise would not be traced back to the orcs' blades instead. What happened here was, after all, a grave violation in the Horde's eyes. Even if the Forsaken's actions themselves were against any Code of Honor. It was a topic many orcs were still left to discuss among themselves, up until they returned to Diretusk Hollow and would not speak of it any further as to ensure word of it would never spread. After all, if word of this night's events were ever to spread to the Horde's leadership, it may well mean the end of the Red Blade Clan...
Kozgugore Feraleye - Chieftain of the Red Blade


Part 11: Lair of the Leviathan
23rd of September

The time had finally come. After the many promises upheld, bargains fulfilled and preparations made, the orcs were finally about to be led to what would become their new, very own ship from here on out! The only problem? It had been moored by the Shrine of the Storm for the past couple of weeks, its fate unknown as those few who dared venture out to it were not seen again... Even so, it was there for the taking, so clearly it was the most obvious target for Captain Climidea Curtsy. What could possibly go wrong?

It was with this reassurance in mind that the good captain ferried the orcs across the strait to the mysterious ship that laid dormant by the Shrine of the Storm. One by one, the orcs climbed atop the main deck and found the ship to be... abandoned. Nothing but the chilled wind could be heard as various objects ranging from tools to barrels and lost personal artefacts laid scattered upon the deck, making the fate of its crew a mystery to be sure. Further exploration of the deck and the captain's quarters hardly revealed anything more, until a faint chiming sound could be heard... a ship's bell. It radiated from a doorway that led down to the lower decks of the ship.

Seeing no other way but down into the ship's bowels, the orcs gathered up and ventured down. There, too, the ship appeared desolate and eerily quiet. Dark and dank corridors stretched out in front of them, but there was something undeniably and inherently wrong with the ship's interior. And the further they ventured their way inside it, the more wrongness presented itself. At first the walls simply appeared to be wet, its surface carrying a reflective sheen as if the entire ship had taken water. Then the walls began to be clawed up as if by some ferocious beast. What's more, the ship bell was found... and could be seen swinging ever so gently, despite seeing no one nearby. Even more disturbing than that however, mysterious markings were drawn upon the ship's walls, floors and even ceilings further within. They were covered with images of strange looking marine creatures, immense claws snapping humans in half and tentacles wrapping themselves around shattered galleons. The deeper they ventured into the guts of the ship, the more unnerving things became... and the higher the water level went as well. The only signs of former occupancy the orcs found were the shriveled remains of a human crewman, but he appeared to have died from suicide judging by the pistol by his side. Something - or someone - drove him to such lengths as to take his own life... but what was it?

Just when there couldn't possibly be any more questions in addition to those already in existence, twisted and seemingly physically impossible forms rose up from the water that had now begun to reach as far up as the orcs' knees. Though there was something vaguely humanoid about the monstrosities, they were covered in viscous slime, shifting scales and had a sickly white flesh. Rusty blades and tools were held in their webbed hands as they began to shamble towards the orcs, seeking to cut them down. Though normally such foes would not be particularly troublesome to the battle-hardened orcs, the tight quarters of the ship's interior made it difficult for the orcs to maneuver... especially when it almost seemed as if the walls continued to close in around them in an attempt to swallow them up. A chaotic battle ensued as some orcs threatened to lose their minds to the cruel shape of the enemies and the increasingly claustrophobic circumstances. Yet somehow, the orcs managed to cut down their enemies to the last. As the last one fell however, a terrifying and haunting shriek echoed through the ship, boring itself into the orcs' skull and almost threatening to render them mad if it hadn't suddenly stopped a minute later. Its source was completely unknown, but a shadow shifted on the glistening walls further ahead. Upon close inspection, the shadow moved towards a door frame that did not previously appear to be there... and then suddenly appeared to take the form of an actual, physical orc.

The orc, clad in what appeared to be a quite elaborate yet traditionally orcish dress, simply stared at the orcs in absolute silence. His features were hidden, shrouded underneath the guise of a wolf mask that seemed to stare at the orcs in the orc's stead with blank, piercing eyes. Though some orcs were compelled to attack the mysterious and eerie orc, others were intrigued by it... another, like Siyah'gosh, even revered it for whatever strange reason. The orc then turned down the stairway he was stood in front of however, and vanished. The orcs, compelled to follow the stranger, followed down the stairs into an even darker and more waterlogged room. A brig, judging by the desk and iron bars that were found in the room. And at the end of it, a strangely shaped idol that pulsated with dark energies...

Though some orcs such as Zal'garr Firefist attempted to make sense of the nature of the idol, it quickly appeared to be of a most malignant nature. Something writhed within, as if something was struggling to escape... and escape, it did. Nightmarish, writing limbs arose from underneath it as flesh of horrendous proportions rose from the rippling surface around the idol, forming a mass of tentacles. Inhuman, red eyes gleamed behind them, pulsating like a heart. The orcs fought and clung on for dear life as the tentacles furiously smashed all around them, threatening to take the ship down to the sea floor with every tentacle that smashed into the already fragile hull. Meanwhile, the water kept rising and rising as orcs continued to be tossed around like ragdolls, splashing into the depths of the water. The orcs refused to go down without, however, even in the face of such horrifying adversity. One by one, the tentacles were being chopped off as the orcs deftly attempted to avoid the flailing limbs and fought their way to the very heart of the monstrosity. Through determination, will and a little bit of luck, they finally managed to hack their weapons down into the abomination... which erupted in yet another ear-deafening cry that attempted to pierce down into the orcs' very souls before it was cut off entirely.

A gaping hole was left where the idol stood, revealing nothing but a maw of blackness within... and the faint image of a colossal, tentacled being fading into the depths of it. Whatever held the ship in place was now removed, as the orcs could feel the ship shifting and even responding to the lapping of the waves around them once more. The ship had been freed from the vile influence that held sway over it... even if the ship itself had not been saved yet. A creative solution in the form of a jury-rigged table was found for the hole, while the ship was being steered into calm waters where it could be picked up by Captain Curtsy and his crew. With the captain's solemn promise that he knew nothing of the curse but would do everything in his ability to get the ship clean and in shape for travel as swiftly as possible, the orcs were returned to shore where they might recuperate from their nightmarish adventure. The clan had a ship once more... even if some orcs were none too tempted to ever set foot upon a ship that carried such haunting memories ever again. One way or another however, they had earned their ticket off of Kul Tiras.
Kozgugore Feraleye - Chieftain of the Red Blade



Part 12: All Hands Hoay!
25th of September

Kul Tiras had been as intriguing as it was dangerous to its orcish guests. Ever since the first day the orcs had washed ashore, they didn't know what to expect, but it's safe to say that any possible expectations were certainly exceeded by this point. With the help of Captain Climidea Curtsy, the orcs had gotten to safety and had now finally gotten themselves a brand new ship to boot. Now all that remained was to set sail back to Kalimdor.

As Captain Curtsy led the orcs to their new ship, which had been entirely repaired, cleaned and even received a few upgrades ever since the orcs last saw it in its cursed state, he couldn't help but part with the orcs with a few final gifts. In addition to the upgrades made to the ship, the captain offered a chest full of fanciful hats to the orcs, free for the choosing for each of them, and finally a whole list of suggestions for the ship's new name. Though none of them seemed particularly helpful, the pirate seemed all too eager to one day meet with the orcs once more. For now, his own adventures would take him elsewhere, however. With a final courteous bow, the Captain departed from the deck, giving the orcs leave to depart for familiar shores.

Though the Captain soon disappeared out of view, memories of this swashbuckling adventure would no doubt remain with the orcs for a while to come. After all, what will the consequences be from all that has happened as of late? Will this be the last they'll have seen of any pirates? What of Climidea Curtsy and his daughter, Tabitha? Or his malicious ex-wife hag? And that's not to mention the Alliance High Captain who was responsible for this whole detour to begin with, or Commander Korak Skullsunder who is still in the dark in regards to what happened between the orcs and the subordinate he sent them off to meet with. Additionally, just who was the mysterious orc that the orcs briefly met on the ship, only to disappear? And is the ship they now commandeer truly rid of any curses or evil presences? The orcs may certainly hope so. Surely that chiming of the bell they heard below deck was merely the wind, after all...

One way or another, Kul Tiras now laid behind them... but a whole world at war still waited ahead of them.
Kozgugore Feraleye - Chieftain of the Red Blade