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Author Topic: [Story] Soldier  (Read 13115 times)

Okiba

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[Story] Soldier
« on: October 03, 2018, 11:49:22 PM »
Soldier: Chapter 1 – Whelp

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”Where is best to start? Well, the beginning, I imagine”.

Eleven years ago...

He stank. Well, his breath stank. The mangy smell that comes with too much rotten meat with ale was too hard to ignore when he was close enough his breath could be felt upon forehead. But how could he think worse? His own scent was that of a tannery, the sickly smell ammonia and hide working chemicals. And no doubt the Sergeant had noticed, judging by how his nostrils flared with distain.

“You’re a runt! Barely out of your mother’s arms! No muscle, no sense... No use. You’d be killed by the razor winds and sun within a week, let alone a Quilboar.” Scoffed sergeant Broldok. His dark red eyes looking up and down, surveying the youngling before him with annoyance, even insult at being asked of something.

Are you ready for this? Maybe another winter, or two…

Okiba winced, trying not to recoil under the face to face scrutiny of an Orc that any other his own age would always consider his much senior. Broldok was a head and a half taller, muscled so that he was built for battle, with great tusks, jet black beard and a shaved head. He cut an imposing figure, at least, to the skinny sack of beardless nothing that summed up the former tanners apprentice. Okiba was a child, seventeen winters, being stared down by a veteran of three wars and forty years. He gritted his teeth, it was the only thing stopping him from shaking in his ruined boots.

”Well, why you still gorping at me like the clueless whelp!?” Barked Broldok, his brow furrowed in intent displeasure. This was not how he wanted his first visit to Razor hill to start, being chewed out by the settlements senior sentry. Though he now stood in the shadow of its imposing watch tower atop the hill, bare for the sun and winds to do mayhem upon, he was more regretting his choice of conversation opener rather than his lack protection from the elements.

”where do I sign up?” what were you thinking…

”I-i… I’ll buy you a drink? If you help me join the grunts…” Stuttered Okiba, outstretching a hand holding the few coppers he had to his name. The reaction was instant.

”You lowly, disrespectful-… Foolish whelp!” Roared Broldok, snapping his hand out to grab the younger Orc by the scruff of his neck and lift him like a caught rodent. The veteran clearly thought nothing of the weight that made up Okiba, hauling him around with the scraping of boots and panicked pleas of mercy.

”Please! I’m sorry! I meant no offence! I just want to do my part!” he wailed pleadingly, lifting his arms to shield his face and neck instinctively.

Oh fel, what have you done-…

”Shut up! Cease your whimpering and listen close, or so help me by Groms blood I’ll cuff you until you scream for your mother!” Snarled the sergeant as he threw the presumptive Youngling to the dusty ground. He slowly raised the same arm to begin pointing down to the settlements below. Razor hill was sleepy, the sun just setting behind the craggy hills and casting a dark shadow over tent, hovel and tavern alike as every Orc and troll settled down for the day. Okiba wiped the dust and muck from his face and rags, following the gesture with his eyes.

”This is my responsibility… My charge, my watch. Our great Warchief, Thrall!” He paused, glancing from the town, down to his cowed victim and back again before resuming. ”Gave my Commander orders to take care of this, and he in turn gave me orders to keep the watch! They have trust and respect, going down the chain of command… respect and trust born of honor, blood and sweat in battle! Not from a cheap pint of ale as a bribe…” Finished the sergeant with a sneering growl.

Stupid… stupid! All you wanted was a chance…

”I- I just wanted the chance to show honour, earn my place in the Horde—“ He started, but could not finish, a hand swiftly smacking the back of his head. Hard enough to put him to silence, but not enough to cause real hurt.

”I said Silence!” Snarled the Sergeant with indignation, his lips turning upwards in revulsion, exposing his already formidable tusks. ”This is my responsibility… And I will not have all this undermined by a weakling… Honor is made, like steel. Not bought”.

Made?

Okiba held his tongue, keeping his eyes on the town as the sunset gave way to the darkening tones of dusk. The iron gaze of his elder and better boring into the side of his head, allowing for silence to prevail, what else could he do?

”Report to the quartermaster in the barracks at sunrise. And don’t ever speak to me unless spoken to first, ever again, Whelp.”
« Last Edit: November 05, 2018, 03:03:36 AM by Okiba »
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Nakobu

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Re: [Story] Soldier
« Reply #1 on: October 11, 2018, 12:18:32 AM »
Great story, Okiba! Really enjoyed it.

Okiba

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Re: [Story] Soldier
« Reply #2 on: October 11, 2018, 09:18:32 AM »
Thanks Narth! More chapters will be coming, as and when my sea watches allow!

Any feedback is welcome, i'm feeling rather rusty with the writing afterall.
Okiba Spearbreaker - Nag'Ogar and Warrior Monk of the Horde
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Okiba

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Re: [Story] Soldier
« Reply #3 on: October 21, 2018, 01:45:41 AM »
Soldier: Chapter 2 – Selection

Quote
”The best roads aren’t always the ones you choose”.

Ten years ago…

His stomach rumbled. The aggressive kind of rumble, not the subtle sort but the loud kind that turns heads. Thankfully on this occasions those heads remained stock still and facing forward. But what could he do? He’d fallen flat in his boar hunt last night, and breakfast rations didn’t even get to the stove this morning before Broldok had every grunt in Razor hill lined up and waiting for ‘something’.

One strip of bacon, or a sausage…

”Keep your backs straight, so the Legionnaire can get a good look at you mutts!” Bellowed Broldok, addressing the line of Grunts now assembled in front of the settlement barracks. Okiba included. The runt had earned his place, even if it had taken a year. He rolled his shoulders with discomfort. The basic equipment all grunts received had no standard size, and to make matters worse he was not a standard size. Still a head shorter than most Orcs in the garrison, his gear did not cling to his body as it did the others, either looking far too large for him or he far too small for it. He’d grown, of that there was no doubt, the budding start of muscle and the strength that came with it, bought with hard work on patrol or assisting the peons with labor. He’d worked long days, slain troublesome scorpid, even killed his first Quilboar.

That felt odd.

He always looked back on it with a strange feeling in his gut. He’d killed a thing, not like an animal, a thing that could talk and think. Granted, it had attacked some peons, stolen and harassed the outpost, it had it coming. But it still felt odd. Did every soldier feel that way the first time? They all sounded like they relished the thrill of battle and the honorable kill. Yet, all Okiba had managed was a prolonged, scrappy fight where he got lucky and put a hatchet in the things head.

”No, not him, too old. And not him, or hi—that one is missing an Arm Broldok, for fel damned sake.” bellowed a voice down the line, it carried authority, and it ought too. It came from the Legionnaire now inspecting the garrison with Broldok. What for? He had no idea, but they were working their way up and down from Orc to Orc, picking the healthy and able bodied grunts for some endeavor.

Hopefully it isn’t more caravan escorts or Quilboar hunts.

He mused thoughtfully for a moment, swiftly followed by his stomach giving in to a rumbled protest once again. This time it even hurt a little. Maybe a bowl of the taverns porridge too would be needed. The rations and food allowance in the garrison wasn’t lacking, but by the time an Orc had finished a hard day’s work, or was preparing to start another, you needed all the sustenance you could get.

”You! How old?” Snapped that deep voice. The Legionnaire was addressing him, eye to eye and with Broldok at his shoulder frowning.

Oh fel…

“Er- 20 winters, Legionnaire!” He replied, hastily if hesitantly. He was 20 now, after all. What point was there in lying?

The Legionnaire muttered, turning a rueful glance in the direction of Broldok before looking back to Okiba. He did not seem happy with the rag tag state of the settlements warriors. Then again, it was where the young came to be proven, and the worn out to waste away.

“20? Pfah, Skin and bones. But you’ll do. We’ll have this one, and the other five I pointed out. Have them report to the Hall of the brave by noon tomorrow, Broldok.” He finishd, before striding away with the clank of mail and plated boots, the literal walking stomp of authority.

”Thralls balls…” Groaned Broldok. ”You’re all going home. Grmph.”
   
Home? To Orgrimmar?

Muttering rose among the warriors, old, able, young and in-between. Okiba couldn’t resist anymore, and had to ask.

”Home to Orgrimmar, we’re to garrison the capital, Sergeant?” He enquired, bringing his feet and stance to attention as he did so.

”Not that home you idiot runt!" Snapped the gloomy Sergeant.

 "Our true Home, Draenor… You’re all going on the expedition to Outland!”
« Last Edit: October 21, 2018, 01:50:45 AM by Okiba »
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Okiba

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Re: [Story] Soldier
« Reply #4 on: October 26, 2018, 02:14:37 AM »
Soldier: Chapter 3 – Hellfire

Quote
”Constant adversity breeds resilience”.

Ten years ago…

The air was acrid. Layered with the scent of chemical fire, when older Orcs spoke of sulphur and brimstone it was no exaggeration. It made sucking in desperate gasps of air truly bitter sweet. His arms ached with the raw agony from the constant effort of lifting and swinging his axe, up and over, left to right. His legs, were akin to lead weights, burning and dragging him down, rooting him to the spot with exhaustion. Getting this short reprieve was a miracle, a blessing, a gift. But it wouldn’t last long enough.

It never lasts long enough.

The Red Hell-scape that expanded before him was strewn with dozens of dead demons, of varying types and sizes. The wrath guard had been the troublesome ones, often needing two or three Horde warriors to down them. Okiba twisted his axe handle, pulling it up and out of his own slain foe. He’d had to settle for a Succubus, this time. She’d lashed him savagely across his axe arm while binding it with her whip, intending to slash his throat thereafter with those savage claws. However, to his own surprise, he’d had the sense to use his free left hand to punch her square in the jaw. Nothing much the filthy thing could do then with both his arms and a sharp axe free.

At least I can hold my own now.

Which he could, he thought, dragging in a breath before exhaling unsteadily with relief. Sadly, others had been less lucky, A Troll witch-doctor was doing what he could for one grunt that was missing an arm, while a pair of Tauren warriors, aided by a druid of their kin, dragged another grunt back to Thrallmar with all haste leaving a trail of blood as they went.

Even though the palisade wall was now up, and most the outposts buildings near finished, Nazgrel had to keep sending out aggressive patrols and squads of troops to defend the foothold they had worked so hard to create. It had to be done, Okiba admitted to himself. The Warchief, Thrall, in his wisdom had picked Nazgrel to lead the expedition for a reason and that reason was sound tactical judgment. Something they needed in abundance in this Wasteland. While many of the decisions handed down didn’t always make immediate sense, he quickly learned there was a purpose behind every move here. A need to survive against the Demons and the tainted Orcs of the Fel horde.

How could they fall so low, could we all of ended that way?

He mused, striding towards the rest of his platoon, dragging his aching frame with him. The Fel Orcs had been something of a surprise and horror to everyone upon arrival. Blood red eyes of hate, huge jutting tusks of crimson, spikes jutting from their backs and a hatred for anything that wasn’t them. They had been a constant trial to combat, but thankfully they were a trial shared with an even more unexpected set of residents.

Amazing they could survive so long here, impressive even, for their kind.

Humans. And not just any humans, the original Alliance expedition that came to defeat Ner’zhul. They had a semi-ruined fortress to the south, across the macabre path of destiny they called Honor hold. Though he was no strong fan of the Alliance, it gave him courage to think that if humans could survive here stranded for decades, then Orcs of the new Horde could do it here and now too.

He glanced skyward, to the neither night or day heavens. Such concepts as sunrise or sunset had no meaning in Hellfire peninsula when the nether above was so vivid, limitless and chaotic in its supremacy. He had no ample words to describe it, though he’d tried, he gave up in the end. Just one of the many strange wonders of this fractured, red rock floating through space that he could only really think about after the fighting here was done.

”Right, we don’t have long. Get water down your necks and get as much air as you can before they come again!” Bellowed Stone guard Mortzka addressing the squad now gathered before her, she was a short, stocky Blackrock that Okiba had not yet gotten to know. The Grunts, Orcs, troll and Tauren alike popped their water skins and began to swill parched mouths. Water was such a commodity here you had to be ordered or have permission to use even a skin full. The Relief was welcome by all, though Okiba no sooner had put his hand on the cork than he spotted something on the skyward horizon.

Shooting stars-?

”It’s going to be another hour before we’re relieved! So don’t get too lax—“ Mortzka was cut off, everything happened so fast. First, they weren’t shooting stars. Upon reflection, they were without a doubt not shooting stars. Shooting stars aren’t normally Green. Second, one of them landed on Mortzka with a crashing explosion and a flash of green that sent the whole squad bowling backward or flying.

Okiba landed some distance away, dazed and confused, his mind unable to work out how it all coupled together or why his head now hurt more than his body. Dragging himself to his feet, he saw them, explosions everywhere, huge green comets creating them in a dozen places. Massive craters were formed, filled with that all too familiar acrid stench coming from yellow smoke and roaring green flames. When the final one han landed and silence seemed to of descended he tried to form a sensible thought with his first step.

How—

He’d only placed one foot forward when he felt it. The ground shuddered, as if something heavy had set itself down. Then again… the sound of shifting, grinding rock like sliding masonry in accompaniment. Then it rose, an obelisk, a mass a shadowy burning shape out of the crater that had once been the stone Guard. It had four burning limbs of rock, a body of stone and a flaming head. It towered over him, and the others as they all stood stock still in shock and surprise.

”hnng—GRAAWWWW!” It roared, its stone mouth letting loose the ear splitting sound. And it wasn’t the only one. From every crater emerged such a monstrosity, one, two, three—eight of them. The one nearest Okiba turned its small rocky head and burning eyes, fixing them on him, selecting what felt to him to be is firs target. Heaving a leg, it took its first solid and imposing step out of the crater. The Legion had sent infernals.

Thralls Balls…
Okiba Spearbreaker - Nag'Ogar and Warrior Monk of the Horde
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Okiba

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Re: [Story] Soldier
« Reply #5 on: November 04, 2018, 03:35:46 AM »
Soldier: Chapter 4 – Accidental

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”Surviving is often mistaken as victory”.

Ten years ago…

The pain was foreign to him. Constant, throbbing discomfort laced with stinging pins and needles topped with the occasional sharp stabbing pain any time he moved too fast. But that’s a broken arm for you. Hellfire peninsula was a place of many firsts, and for him it was his first broken bone. He hated it.

Pull your punches next time.

He thought, sighing to himself almost dejectedly as he straightened his back against the doorway to the outposts hold. He was to wait, he was instructed, and look sharp. The Stone guard had been somewhat specific about the sharp part, vague as it was. All the while the settlement went on much as it always did as he watched squads of Horde soldiers running around, peons making repairs and the distant sound of either battle or the mechanical sirens of those colossal green machines the demons had made reaching ears all the way from the other side of the peninsula.

At least it wasn’t a Fel reaver.

He considered, trying to listen to the conversations between officers within the hold but only hearing feint murmurs and deep rumbles of assent or disagreement. He had been lucky, really. Very lucky, spirits be thanked for that. The Infernals had crushed half his squad before any semblance of resistance to the onslaught could be started, ten warrior’s dead in seconds, five left. He’d started to charge out of some spark of outrage and fury he’d never known he had in him when the Horn sounded.

And what a Horn, echoing off the hills and even startling those stone brains in in the constructs heads. In seconds twenty wolf riders had hurtled over a hill and began circling the enemy, throwing spears, or riding past to cleave stone legs with axes. And he joined in, like an idiot.

What on Azeroth possessed you?

With a swing of an axe, that broke the blade, and the thrust of a fist that broke his hand, he was left with only one good hand and the spear of a fallen ally. Chaos swirled all around, red dust rising from the running paws of dire wolves kicking up parched earth, Brimstone and felfire swung limbs of stoney death while being broken down over overwhelmed with mobility. So he was bolstered, buoyed by the sight, and made a run at one of the giant demon constructs.

And that ended well, didn’t it?

The original demon that had struck him dumb with shock was now bewildered, sluggishly swatting to no effect at anything that came close. And close he came, charging head on and thrusting the spear with one arm at the monsters rocky chest, doing no more than getting the tip lodged in rock and granting him its undivided attention.

He woke up in the Thrallmar infirmary the next day, having allegedly been sent flying like a rag doll. No sooner had his broken bones been set and tended, had he been told by the watch commander to report to the hold and await instructions, as he did now. For what felt like hours.

You’ve been stood here all afternoon.

He mused. But it was to be expected, Outland was hectic. The events of the campaign had taken a new turn. The attention of the Horde, and Alliance, was no firmly fixed on shadowmoon valley and the black temple. So much so, the Warchief had sent his elite guard, the Kor’kron to lead that particular battle against the betrayer and the demonic filth that inhabited the region. Never ones to miss a fight, it had been they that had rescued him and the survivors of his platoon east of Thrallmar, Riding their dire wolves, scything through Infernals like wheat.

It was impressive…

It had grown quiet all of a sudden, voices within the hold had been replaced with heavy foot falls and the clank of armor. Someone was coming outside, two of them.

”This the one?” Asked a gruff voice, it came from a dark green skinned Orc in dark blue plate and chain. He came to a stop in front of Okiba, eyeing him up and down but paying no heed to his bandages or sling. Beside him in short tow was the watch sergeant, Vrulk. He was a head shorter, clad in red mail and frowning before he added ”Yes, he’s the suicidal one, I can’t say I see why you’d want him.”

Want me?

It took a moment, but Okiba’s memory stirred, this was the Kor’kron legionnaire that had led the wolf riders to save his platoon! Why was he in the peninsula, was any Orcs guess...

”Ha! Well, you wouldn’t. We like a bit of iron in the veins of our ranks, crazy or not, he rose to the occasion, and Ovelord Or’barokh needs the bodies-… Okiba is it? Congratulations, you’re coming to shadowmoon valley.”

His Jaw falling lax in surprise, Okiba could only garble the words ”W-what for?”

”Ha! Well, you can’t join the Kor’kron if you stay here!”
« Last Edit: November 04, 2018, 05:31:29 AM by Okiba »
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Okiba

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Re: [Story] Soldier
« Reply #6 on: November 07, 2018, 05:10:55 AM »
Soldier: Chapter 5 – Siege

Quote
”Walls? You’re only true defense is yourself and those you trust”.

Ten years ago…

He’d been wrong about Hellfire peninsula. There are worse places to be, and Shadowmoon valley was one of them. Black scorched earth, mounds of ash, scoured dead forests, an active volcano that spewed molten green flame. The whole landscape was a pocked horror of demonic hovels, ruined temples and wandering hoards of legion or Ilidari minions… ‘Hell’ was now becoming a relative term to him. So he  did the only thing he could do here, and pulled the lever.

With the clunk of weighted metal, and the whirl of a mechanism, taught sinew suddenly released all tension to allow for the movement of the readied parts. The great timber throwing arm moved with a force that could crush bones and whole bodies. The catapult flung the boulder high, sending it up then over the village walls to come crashing down into a group of ill-placed imps. Though he couldn’t see the full result all the way from here, the ‘thud’ the rock made as it crushed the demons and exploded into a thousand pieces of stone shrapnel told him all he wanted to know. A hit.

”Reload!” Bellowed an Orc at Okiba’s side. It was Norsk, his Senior sergeant. Using two great muscled arms the Orc pushed his weight into one of the catapults wheels to begin turning it to the right to adjust its aim. The Kor’kron had a lot of sergeants, if you didn’t become one as you joined, it often made you one on the spot as he now knew himself. Sergeant Okiba had a strange sound to it, but he accepted it and turned thoughts back to the task at hand.

Last one was five hundred yards, next needs to be six hundred, extra three turns and a half on the wheel.

There was a strange art to working siege weapons, in defense or offence. You had to understand range, arcing, dip, weight, counter-weight and elevation. And that was before you even got into the logistics and maintenance. Originally they made him a wolf rider, armed with spear, axes, new plate and mail. His Dire wolf was a ferocious monster that he often felt weary around himself, though the beast was disciplined enough not to turn on him. Despite all the new equipment, the rank and training, no sooner had he and the Kor’kron moved into Shadowmoon village did the Siege start.

”How many did we get!?” Coughed a second voice, slamming a boulder down next to the catapult. Morsk was just as muscled as Norsk, but often more pre-occupied with keeping tally than the objective. The pair were brothers, having joined the Kor’kron together.

”Four, I think, reckon we should aim bigger though. The infantry need those infernals keeping off them.” He replied, grunting with effort. All his energy was going into the loading wheel. Turing and turning, on and on. It resisted, but the teeth of the locking mechanism stopped it going back on itself and mangling his arm in the process. The arm was half way down.

”Big, small, we need to pick our shots carefully. Boulders like this don’t grow on tree’s you slacking mooks!” Norsk growled, now aided by his brother they continued pushing and pulling the back wheels of the weapon to adjust aim, somewhere off east.

”Hra, it’s a rock! You dig them up! Easier than picking trees!” Morsk answered, letting out a chuckle strained with effort. Nobody could blame them for being tired. The assault had lasted a month, day and night, in a steady flow of attacks since the elite force had arrived. Word was, dwarves resided in the south, in some ruined hold. Perhaps they faced the same terrible problem?

Perhaps they have stone walls. Not that we need them.

And need them they didn’t. Shadowmoon village was defended by the elite of the Horde, the Kor’kron expedition force. Even now, infantry clad much as he had been before he stripped to a bare chest, swarmed across the barren plain below. Infernals stood little chance against the co-ordinated attacks, and any demons fool enough to amass in numbers soon found catapults pelting them into thinning out, disorder or death. That said, some had made it to the walls and gate, but no further. The palisade was defended by Orcs skilled with axe, spear and shield. The towers were manned with keen eyed archers, and they were even ‘blessed’ to have an unwitting moat of felfire to impede any advance on one flank.

They can’t win, they don’t win, but they still keep coming.

The thought unnerved him a moment, how endless their numbers felt, but it was soon shrugged off as the wheel he turned finally became too taught to turn on his own. Norsk instinctively stepped in to help him make the last turn before the firing lever was locked into place with a metallic clunk.

”Now we wait…” The senior sergeant spoke, clapping his hands free of any effort made grime. He was a patient type, experienced, knowing when to press the attack or when to wait. Now was the time to wait, the demons were thinned out in the fields below and the shot was not to be wasted.

”You always say that. If you say it any more you’ll need It tattoo’d on your face, hra!” Morsk chuckled, mockingly. The two brothers were as chalk and earth, opposites. But they complimented each other well and worked together in perfect unison. One serious and focused, one light hearted but hard working. He couldn’t have hoped for a better to be teamed with.

Finally doing your part, as best you can.

His eyes twitched, a shadow was moving across a stony bridge across a flaming river to the east. Horned and massive, wielding two great axes and armor. Behind it trudged two infernals and two Felguard. Huddled together, neatly, perfectly.

”North east! Turn left! Move it!” He felt himself roar, over eager. He wanted this shot to count, to make every demon that held them here another day pay in blood and misery tenfold to their own. Norsk and Morsk barged a shoulder each into a wheel, combining the strength and effort of the trio to turn the poised weapon.

This is what it means to belong!

”Aimed, ready!” Morsk called, stepping back, mirrored by his older brother. Never safe to be too close when the dam thing was fired. Vorsk judged the scene before them, inspecting the weapon for readiness, eyeing the aim and distance, then he waited a few agonizing moments more…

”Fire!”

And so he pulled the Lever.
« Last Edit: November 07, 2018, 05:26:56 AM by Okiba »
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Re: [Story] Soldier
« Reply #7 on: November 08, 2018, 03:51:22 PM »
Moar!!
-Gashuk, Son of Garrak-
"When the ashes fall and the green winds blow, the lone wolf dies, but the pack survives."

Okiba

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Re: [Story] Soldier
« Reply #8 on: November 18, 2018, 12:12:38 PM »
Soldier: Chapter 6 – Brotherhood

Quote
”War forges bonds that last beyond lifetimes”.

Nine years ago…

The cold cut to the bone. A deep throbbing ache that no amount of fur he placed between his skin and mail could warm. Even the wolf was blowing great jets of frosty breath with effort. He’d named him Brufk, after a grumpy child he knew back in the days of the orphanage.

”How long do you think we’ll be here?” Spoke up Morsk, shuddering in his mail. His own mount jittering along with him. They were part of a large column of riders, one hundred warriors strong, riding through the giant bone and husk strewn desolation that was the Dragonblight.

”As long as it takes. We came here to do a job, and we don’t leave until it’s done. You should know that by now, brother.” Norsk muttered in reply between chattering teeth, chiding his younger sibling. The brothers were both Warsong by birth, and had the resulting aversion to the cold that came with that. Okiba however was holding up surprisingly well compared to some others though.

At least we’re on Azeroth. Even if it is in a decaying wasteland.

He mused, though the thought wasn’t too comforting. Since the end of the campaign in outland, the Lich king had launched an all-out assault on the kingdoms of Azeroth, resulting in Warchief Thrall sending a great expedition to the frozen continent to contend with and end the threat. The Alliance, too, had sent forces under the instruction of the newly returned ‘King’ Varian.

”How long until we get there?” Piped up Morsk again, releasing the reigns of his mount a moment in order to pat down his sides and shoulders, a fools hope of getting the blood flowing under all that misplaced fur and mail.

”We only left Agmar’s hammer an hour ago, be patient, for Groms sake.” Norsk groaned. He groaned a lot more lately, having been promoted to a Stone guard. Though the division they all belonged to still answered to the Centurion, Norsk had the pleasure and headaches that came with leading his own ten Orc pack of wolf riders. One of those headaches was his brother asking increasingly irksome questions.

He turned his gaze to his right, surveying the lands to the east, raising his brows lightly in wonder. What a strange place this was. Half glacier, half graveyard, the entire region was strewn with the monolithic remains of dead dragons, ice and frost clinging to each and all.

Why here? Why come here to die?

It baffled him, more than it should of, itching something in his mind and spirits only know why. He’d noticed this a lot lately, when he noticed something strange or unusual. It could be a mundane matter, or an eye popping view, but the result often left him with a mid-skull itch that would persist for days. He quickly named these irritating thoughts “questions nobody bothers to ask”.

The column began to turn a corner, slowly left and the road curled from heading east to its new direction of north. The lack of resistance, of any kind, was confusing. Just another reason for his brain to itch. Leaving the Borean tundra to the south-west, the Nerubians had put up a stiff fight, surprising their columns and supply chain night and day from their underground hidey holes and dens. They’d been a nightmare to subdue, if they had been at all. But just like that, the night before they were due to leave camp and strike out for their new destination, nothing. Not a foe to be spotted or seen for miles.

Either given up or sat in wait elsewhere

”Ghrm, I don’t like it. This frozen graveyard is too quiet.” Morsk spat, even his great dire wolf growled uneasily. The vast jutting hills of broken ice and spiked glaciers were silent, unnervingly so. The only sound to be heard was the rhythmic chime of plate and mail to the thump of wolf paws. The column was on edge, and who wouldn’t be?

”Me neither, brother, but stay alert. Besides, our destination is on the Horizon” Norsk muttered, tightening his grip on his reigns in a show of control. And on the Horizon it was. How could he not of seen it sooner?

You must be going blind…

The truth was, it would have been impossible to miss if not for the thick snowy clouds and haze of icy mist that clung to the peaks and rises in that direction. From the very mountain side rose great black metallic spires like blade of death. An impossibly high tower, taller than anything he’d seen in Orgrimmar, Azeroth or even at the black temple rose toward the sky in an attempt to spear the heavens. Below sat a huge, grinning maw of a gate. Barred and closed to all with its metallic fanged entrance. This was what they had been working toward since landing on this frozen continent, this is where they had wanted to go, fighting for their lives day after day.

”What is this place?” He felt himself ask, without truly willing himself to, his eyes fixed on every part of that heart stopping fortification.

Norsk answered, as was his way, without turning his head to look back. A voice solemn and filled with icy morbid dread and curiosity escaped his mouth.

”Angrathar, the Wrathgate”
« Last Edit: November 18, 2018, 12:17:02 PM by Okiba »
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Re: [Story] Soldier
« Reply #9 on: November 18, 2018, 11:26:20 PM »
Soldier: Chapter 7 – Wrath

Quote
”Death doesn’t care if you’re weak or strong, wise or foolish. It takes you all the same in the end”.

Nine years ago…

Don’t breathe

It was the only thought he could focus on, the only thought that mattered. Don’t do anything else, just keep your mouth shut and limbs moving.

”Ha—Ha-Ha…”

”AAGghhh—“ A human hurtled past him, spewing green foam, flesh melting through his chain mail. No sooner had the screaming, dying mess appeared than did it disappear once more into a plume of viridian smoke.

Don’t touch the clouds!

Tightening his arms around his charge, he pushed and pushed with both legs, dragging with all his strength. He had to keep moving, there was no stopping. His back was painfully to all manner of threat as he backpedaled in this fashion, but he had no choice.

”Hold on Norsk, just hold on—hghk—hold on!” He spluttered, his lungs were on fire. There was no time to think though, mobility was life and he had to get Norsk out of this mess fast, or they’d both be dead like the others. Saurfang fell first, everyone had seen it, the Lich kings dammed blade cutting him down like nothing. Then the Forsaken—why had they turned on us?

With this dammed new weapon. Morsk had fallen in the first barrage, succumbing to the green filth they had been hit with. In moments he was spewing green, gripping his face as his skin dissolved into his hands. When he had finally collapsed it was hard to tell what had originally worn all that mail… all that remained was bubbling bones and streaks of red upon a puddle of stewing green mess.

”Did you think we had FORGOTTEN?”

Stop thinking, move!

”Hgg! Ack! Morsk!—we, we must go—huuckkg, back!” Norsk hacked and coughed, his mouth foaming, spitting bile and ooze as he attempted the weakest of efforts to pry himself loose of his saviors grip. Okiba tried to block out the sound of an Orc pleading for his brother, it came all too easily.

”Did you think we had FORGIVEN?”

Everyone was pleading, screaming, wailing and begging. In every direction a shape that used to be a Tauren, a Dwarf or a Human was falling, gargling on their own lungs, flesh turning green and departing from bone. The screams drowned out all other sounds and thoughts. By the spirits, the screams.

No living thing should make that sound.

Above it all he could still hear that cruel voice, mocking, taunting, glutting on its own power. The voice that had brought all this death, chaos and suffering. His limbs were burning now, taught with exhaustion, starved of air. Straining with every fiber of fading strength he pushed on, if not to save his own hide, then to save Norsk.

”Behold, now, the TERRIBLE vengeance of the Forsaken!”

The Forsaken, Horde did this to us!?

He’d thought, making him lose focus, and would pay for it by tripping. As he stumbled backwards his body struck the decimated body that had fouled his path, then the full weight of Norsk followed, knocking the little air he had from his lungs. He breathed, and breathed deep the terror of his surroundings.

”Death to the SCOURGE! And death to the LIVING!”

His chest wretched, trying to force some unseen invader out, his tongue immediately dried while the retching began. He couldn’t move, the pain was overwhelming, the screaming was everywhere… the catapults launched another volley…

Casks of the green filth smashed into the valley floor, all around and before them. Plumes of gas sprouted everywhere as the barrels vomited more of the insidious mess in pools. There was nowhere left to run, even if he could summon the strength to move Norsk, they were trapped. Everyone was trapped. Clouds of death whirled and closed in on all sides…

”Now, all can see, this is the hour of the FORSAKEN.”
« Last Edit: November 20, 2018, 09:42:35 PM by Okiba »
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Re: [Story] Soldier
« Reply #10 on: November 20, 2018, 01:52:17 PM »
In every direction a shape that used to be a Tauren, a Dwarf or a Duman was falling, gargling on their own lungs, flesh turning green and departing from bone.

Whut is a Duman? :o

MOAR!
-Gashuk, Son of Garrak-
"When the ashes fall and the green winds blow, the lone wolf dies, but the pack survives."

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Re: [Story] Soldier
« Reply #11 on: November 21, 2018, 12:32:10 AM »
Soldier: Chapter 8 – Solace

Quote
”What is right, is very often never easy”.

Eight years ago…

”I won’t tell you twice, Move along.” He snarled, forcibly. He never liked this part of the job, but it was an inevitable and unavoidable problem. Everyone thinks they’re special, above rules and regulations, that just because their opinion differs to what is expected they can do as they please.

Not on my watch.

”Hrmph, It’s not like I was doing anything wrong—fine!” huffed the forsaken female, a half dangling jaw bobbing up and down as she spoke. Quick as that, she turned on her heels and indignantly marched herself along the ichor drenched canals of the Undercity. She was right of course, she wasn’t doing anything, nothing of note anyway. But the orders were clear.

No loitering, no sneaking around, no secrets. Keep an eye on all of them.

And they were right too. Though the banshee queen herself had not, as far as anyone could prove, been part of the ambush that had deceimated the Kor’kron and 7th Legion at the Wrath gate, many of her underlings had been. The subsequent insurrection had lost her the Undercity, forcing the Warchief to take matters in hand and recover it himself. And so he was here now, with much the rest of the Kor’kron, ‘overseeing’ the city.

”Ghrm…” He growled to himself below his helmet. It obscured his vision in a fashion he disliked, but gave the populace the impression of an anonymous watching presence all around them, the Warchief enforcing his will.

And yet…

He glanced up and down the ‘street’ that ringed the city’s lower levels. He guarded a bridge that led to the magic quarter, while many of his surviving comrades held similar posts all around the city. Constant patrols, watches, sentry’s, inspections, searches… the Forsaken were being made to feel the iron presence of the Kor’kron. Yet, they turned up nothing. There was no uprising, no resistance, no violence or surprise cache turned up in a lab search. Just frightened and vexed citizens glad to be back in their own home.

This would have driven Morsk mad—

He paused himself mid thought, taking a deep breath to compose his thoughts. Morsk was dead. As were, many hundreds of others. Norsk was still recovering in Orgrimmar, having pulled body guard duty at Grommash hold until he was fighting fit again. Okiba himself had not escaped unscathed, spitting up blood and green filth for a month until the druids finally got it out of his system. His chest still burned on cold nights.

Saved by Dragon fire.

He still couldn’t believe it. As the ‘Blight’ as it had become known had closed in from all sides, the sky had suddenly erupted into a golden blazing light.  Red wings and jets of flame swept the poison from the ground with unstoppable heat, all the way back to the catapults it came from, incinerating the treacherous undead swine too.

It all sat grimly on his shoulders. All that death, and the anger that came with seeing so many of his brothers murdered. It burned in a tight knot in his gut that constantly struggled to get out, yet… it didn’t. It just sat there, hurting him and no other. The whole dam thing made him feel sick to think of, and worse yet made his mind itch furiously. He wanted growl, rage and yell at every forsaken he saw but kept it in check.

Think of your duty, Morsk would not want you acting like a thug. Neither would Norsk.

He straightened his back, eyeing left to right. Though the thought of his comrades settled him, the eerie surroundings did not. No matter the time of day this city always felt hollow, empty. Dead.

He sighed, he’d much rather be back in Northrend, or Grommash hold doing his true duty instead of acting as an armored pup-sitter. The War had taken a sideways turn, now not only did the Horde have to contend with the Scourge, but also the Alliance. The Wrath gate and the re-taking of the Undercity had created chaos animosity that had spilled into bloodshed. Both factions treaded perilously close to all-out war while the true threat shambled on in its citadel.

And you’re stuck here.

Gripping his axe tight in his right hand he squeezed until the muscles between his fingers ached. A little anger vented, a little frustration let out. He would make requests as soon as he could to be re-assigned, moved or put elsewhere. Frontlines, training or drudge work if he had to. There was no sense of duty in this, no consolation or finality in this idle watching.

He muttered in annoyance, growled, coughed then spat a glob of phlegm at his disgust, and loathing of the situation.

Unfortunately he forgot he was wearing a full face helmet.

”Oh for Groms sake...--!“

« Last Edit: November 21, 2018, 12:43:28 AM by Okiba »
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Re: [Story] Soldier
« Reply #12 on: November 25, 2018, 11:44:01 PM »
Soldier: Chapter 9 – Regime

Quote
”Change may be inevitable, but that doesn’t mean it's for the better”.

Seven years ago…

”Thralls balls! Keep up!” He snarled. And they did, because that’s what they do. They follow orders when they’re given, at the time and every time. All of that, more, and because a Stone Guard had told them.

How are you a stone Guard?

It still, after all these months, felt odd to hear, let alone say to himself. They made him a Stone Guard. An Officer, a leader of warriors. Granted, in the Kor’kron it wasn’t that big of a deal, but it still rang strange in his head. He never did find out why, but he suspected it had something to do with Norsk being a Legionnaire now, and one that had the ear of important Orcs too, no less.

”Here they come!” Roared one of the warriors in his platoon. Two dozen strong they massed around him in on the slope. United, guided by belief, focused by experience. They were Kor’kron. Ahead was the enemy, behind was their charge. The Warchief himself was on the other side of the slope, on a road facing the main alliance force.

And what a Warchief…

Horn and trumpet calls bounced off every tree in Ashenvale forest, Alliance and Horde amassing their forces and lunging forward eagerly into battle. All part of Hellscreams plan, all part of his grand offensive. The whole of Kalimdor was aflame with conflict as the Horde cast off the shackles of oppression that had been placed on it by treaties with humans and truces with elves. Thrall was a great Warchief, but the Wrath gate had shown that a stronger hand was needed at the wheel of this ship.

He’s better off chasing the elements now anyway, after this ‘cataclysm’, it was his truer calling.

An arcing swing delivered his axe around, up and down upon a Worgen skull. The crunch of bone and spray of crimson sealing its dog eared fate. The dammed wolf men were swarming all over, in and around the night elf ranks before rushing out on all fours to pounce on any Horde soldier that had strayed or turned a back. The offensive had been going so well, spearheaded by Garrosh himself, up until these mutts had shown up and rallied the Alliance troops. It mattered not, they would fight fang and axe to the death for their new Warchief.

”Lok’tar Ogar! Defend this spot! Shield the Warchiefs flank!” He roared, the troops under his command echoed the call, axes swinging and cleaving in one united, deadly action.

The crimson storm was everywhere, Orc and Human, Tauren and Elf, Worgen and Troll. Battle was joined across the hillsides in all directions, chaos in the truest form. What he hadn’t expected, was the secret weapon the Horde had employed. All part of the great strategy of the warchief… unfortunately one component of that plan was heading this way.

Tha-thump! Tha-thump! Tha-thump! Tha-thump! Tha-thump!

Four huge hooved limbs propped up a massive muscled body. Swinging its massive arms, with great tusks thrashing to and fro. If the centaur were an angry swarming nuisance, these Magnataur of Northrend were an isolated thundering nightmare. Unfortunately this one was coming back towards the Hordes own lines, a pack of Worgen tearing and ripping at its back with fang and claw.

”Move aside! MOVE!” Okiba bellowed, his squad dispersing left and right just in time to hurtle through where they had moments ago been formed. Instinctively every soldier leapt to their feet to check the raging beast had not stormed in the direction of the Warchief, but instead with morbid dissatisfaction observed it trample the rear ranks where the Demolishers were kept.

”Refom! On m! Any of you hurt-“ He called, attempting to rally his warriors back into unity, only to be cut off by a head spinning sound.

Va-ooooooooom! Va-ooooooooom!

The horn was unmistakable, every Horde warrior had been instructed in its precise meaning and exactly what to do when they heard those notes. Despite their training, all stood stock still in shock.

We’re retreating?
« Last Edit: November 25, 2018, 11:45:44 PM by Okiba »
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Re: [Story] Soldier
« Reply #13 on: November 27, 2018, 01:05:08 PM »
Soldier: Chapter 10 – Descent

Quote
”All things fall.”

Seven years ago…

The Handle was stuck, half way between forward and back, and no amount of brute force was making it move. He’d tried the harsh way, now he’d try the foolish way. Taking his issued knife from his belt he jammer the tip into the semi-exposed insides of the device of death and jimmy’d it about.

What in fel do Goblins see in these things?

POP!—Fwop… ping!

A round leapt from the chamber smoking, bouncing on deck before coming to a stand-still. The dam thing had jammed, falling short of a misfire. He was lucky he hadn’t had his arm blown off. With a swift motion of his right hand he pulled back the loading handle, adjusted the magazine and aimed. Machine guns from Bilgewater were not accurate weapons, but how could he miss, even up here?

”Multi-directional lateral-arcs of covering suppressive fire-… JUST SHOOT! SHOOT ‘EM ALL!” Squealed the zeppelins distressed goblin captain. And it was no surprise he was so alarmed, they were surrounded, being swarmed in all directions by dragons. Great big, angry purple things.

”You heard the goblin! Fire everything, and if you don’t have a gun, throw a spear! Lok’tar!” Roared Norsk, running down deck and leading by example as a spear left his hand and struck a Twilight-drake in its back. The Drake barely noticed, it’s scaled absorbing the blow like a Kodo ignores a gnat, but the intent of the action was achieved as crossbow bolts and spears were let loose in all directions. And then there was the machine guns…

The Zeppelin had three, one on the bow, and one for the port and starboard sides. They roared into life like repeating thunder, spraying circles and whirls of raging hot, golden lead at anything and everything with wings.

Aim for the weak spots!

Which, on a dragon, is easier said than done. Squeezing the trigger, the gun spat out its ammunition in a series of frenzied, shuddering torrents. The rounds had impact, but the scales on these twilight drakes was like body armor—

”Wings! Nors—Legionnaire! We should aim for the wings!” Okiba roared over the noise. Norsk turned his head, peered back to the surrounding onslaught and swiftly saw the futility of their current strategy.

”You heard the Stone Guard! The wings! Shred them!”

Okiba turned his gaze back to his own station, pulling hard on the guns handles so that the tripod groaned with the strain. There were flying lizards everywhere, purple and… black. A black drake was coming straight at them on the starboard side. With the swift movements of an Orc trained but not practiced, another magazine was slotted into the machine gun, ready and loaded.

”Starboard side!” He called, pulling on the trigger, letting lose a relentless barrage of bullets. Left wing, right wing, head, left wing— the dragon dived and flew under the Zeppelin and out to the other side to avoid the onslaught and collision. This proved fatal, the port side gun team was given free reign to pepper its wings from above, shredding its left and putting a round through a joint. With a roar of sudden agony the great black webbed limb seized up and the Drake began to hurtle downward…

”For the Horde!” Roared the Kor’kron jubilant in this small victory, Norsk nodded in approval. It was a short lived joy.

”Dragon--!” called a Harpooner, as his body and the port deck was streaked with steel melting flames. Norsk leapt and rolled away, narrowly avoiding incineration. A twilight Drake had flown in from above and began pelting the deck from above with deadly jets of death, seeing it had subdued the threat of the port gun, it took for a new target, the balloon.

”Get that fire out! Suppress that drake with crossbows!” Came the defiant call of the Legionnaire. Orcs with free hands ran in all directions, throwing buckets of foam and sand over the flaming deck, while others grabbed any weapon they could to hold of the attacker.

Too late.

The Drake inhaled, time froze for a moment, Okiba grabbed the tripod bolted to the deck. Flames erupted, focused on the gas filled Balloon above, it exploded. All that flammable gas erupted skyward, sideways and all-ways. Then they fell. The forward motion the engine prop had given them had provided the barest second of remaining level before the Zeppelin entered a sea bound nose dive. Orcs, weapons, crates and crew all slid. Everything turned on its side.

”Hold on to something!” He felt himself scream, holding onto the tripod for dear life. Norsk flew past, thrashing his arms in all directions in a desperate need to grab something, anything. Okiba shot out his arm, grabbing the senior Orcs belt as he passed. Another lost their grip at the bow, flew by screaming and entered the propeller, leaving a trail of smoke, fire and red mist as they streaked downward.

Accelerating, accelerating, air rushed by them at ever greater rates. The zeppelin and the hurtling winds building up a drone that turned all things deaf. Norsk was shouting something, he couldn’t hear it. The screaming and sound of gunfire from the other airships had faded away too.

I can’t swim…

Norsk began scrambling to grab something, anything, but it was too late. The Ocean was rushing to meet them like a liquid wall. In the beat of the heart they had gone from a mile high to Okiba being able to see the vivid detail of each and every dancing wave rushing toward him like a barricade of death.

He shut his eyes.
« Last Edit: November 27, 2018, 01:15:43 PM by Okiba »
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Re: [Story] Soldier
« Reply #14 on: November 28, 2018, 12:01:25 AM »
Soldier: Chapter 11 – Drowning

Quote
”There is no true respite.”

Six years ago…

He wasn’t dead. But nor did he feel alive. Though, the uncomfortable feeling in his chest eventually reminded him he was, for now. Most aren’t right, saying it feels like burning. It’s more like a snake trying to escape your chest, pushing its way up to desperately get loose. But he couldn’t let it.

Boot knife.

He waved his arms around and through the pale blue water, desperately trying to reach down to his right boot and the combat knife strapped to it. It was painfully, tantalizingly out of reach, the clasp holding fast despite his straining efforts.

You’re going to drown.

He knew it, but he had to fight it and keep grasping. The noise above of crashing timbers and a collapsing hull was a firm reminder that staying here was no option, the chorus of explosions didn’t help either. Now the burning started, his lungs full of air growing sick to get out. With burning flotsam sinking all around, he thought desperately for an option.

Exhale!

He calmed himself. A chest full of air was impeding his movements, costing him a half inch of reach to his right. So he did, blowing out a thick stream of bubbles before lunging down, flipping the clasp and pulling the knife free. He was half way there, but now he had to fight a new urge. The urge to breathe in.

With renewed urgency he began sawing, hacking, slicing and tearing at the ropes that bound. His right arm had become tangled in the rigging as they sank, the hull turning on its side so the thick tangled knot had dragged him under.

Nearly there…

As the final coil of frayed line snapped, he pulled his arm free… but which way? Up was a no go, he could barely swim even without his mail. And he could hardly waste time walking along the bottom like some sort of inept-crab.

Along the rope...

He placed the knife between his fangs before grabbing the wavering length of line with both hands, and pulled. Heaving himself up and along it toward the fallen timbers and hull. One second, two seconds, three seconds… He could feel himself getting feint, his mind’s eye blurring.

He exploded from the water, hauling his body onto the shattered timber like a scrabbling beast, his mouth falling agape and dropping the knife as he sucked in precious air desperately. With every breath he felt his burning lungs relax, the ache in his limbs fade. But he couldn’t linger here, he was in the middle of a battle.

Rolling on his side, he gazed north and the landscape that sprawled before him. A vast beach lay before him, beyond that? A jungle, the cliffs, and verdant tree capped hills, great mountains with snowcapped peaks. A land full of life and vibrant, untouched by the outside world.

Until now.

A shell exploded in the water nearby, sending him reeling. He fell back into the water but managed to cling to the wreckage with both hands. A great shadow passed overhead, even blocking out the sun as engines thundered and roared to the chorus of cannons and gunfire erupting from a flying leviathan. An Alliance Gunship, the same one that had put a round into the deck of his ship now moved north then west as it peppered and harassed the Horde landing forces. They were sitting ducks.

Machine guns fired, but this time from the ground, sending exploding volleys up and toward the flying fortress. The message was received, the Gunship whirled slowly to port and moved further out to sea… but close enough to keep up the ground bombardment. The fire had come from a half built Horde hold atop a hill, Domination point stood defiant and armed well enough to at least keep a foe at bay even if only near complete.

Some luck then.

He crawled onto the timbers, and began dragging himself along it, then onto a half bound up crate, then the hull of a sunk Orcish Corsair, and on, and on. He’d get to the beach eventually, he just needed to be patient. He needed to find his squad, his regiment, his brothers and sisters.

War horns sounded to the north east, Wolf riders rode west and met with a formation of human infantry trying to dig trenches. Behind them, a demolisher was firing out to sea in an effort to strike Alliance battleships pelting the shore with cannon. Above streaked gnomish flying machines, exchanging fire with Wyvern riders. In all directions was the war that Hellscream had started in Ashenvale and Kalimdor.

And now it has come to Pandaria.
« Last Edit: November 29, 2018, 12:46:39 AM by Okiba »
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