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Whispers in the Shadows

Started by Razaron, May 19, 2019, 12:43:56 PM

Previous topic - Next topic


Part 1: Three's a Crowd (19th May 2019)
Part 2: A Glimpse in to Death (23rd May 2019)
Part 3: The Red Night (30th May 2019)
Part 4: Cannibal Crossing (2nd June 2019)
Part 5: For the Blood! (6th June 2019)
Part 6: Return of the Wolf (9th June 2019)

Campaign Map

Razaron Madeye has fallen ill over the last month, nightmares and visions of a land called Nazmir cloud his mind. The orcs of the Red Blade must uncover the mysteries that lurk within this new world, the fate of the clan rests in their hands.

The whispers are growing ever louder, the shadows are watching as darkness comes! Prepare for the worst!



Part 1: Three’s a Crowd
19th May 2019

The sun had risen shining it’s beautiful splendour over Razor Hill, the winds rushed past the faces of the orcs, this will make excellent sailing weather. The elements seem to be with them but for what? Madeye had been speaking in riddles for the past few days, mentioning a fetid swampland called Nazmir. The Sea Cucumber, Unsinkable II had arrived at the Echo Ilse as clan Red Blade made the long arduous trip to Zandalar.

Days past but eventually the busy port of Zandalar was in sight, they docked quickly and noticed the merchants unloading their exotic goods from all different regions of the world, this was as multi-cultural as Azeroth can get! The seagulls swooped all around seeking to steal a cheeky snack from the local fishermen, an unlucky Zandalari guard and Kulgha Wolfheart having the satisfaction of tasting bird excrement.

Despite Razaron’s deteriorating health he beckoned the orcs foward, “Come, we must find Nazmir! Where? Is it to the west? Spirits I call for your aid? Did you hear that? The whispers! More whispers from the shadows!” Madeye said with a confused slur. Some of the orcs, most noticeably Kyrazha and Urzoga seemed genuinely concerned for their Varog’Gor. The orcs were then stopped by a creature with a turtle like appearance, it was a tortollan named Roji. He eyed Razaron Madeye up and down, sensing that despite his sweaty exterior, he may in fact be leading these salty swabs.

After a brief exchange with Roji it was decided that he would be the guide for clan Red Blade, though Old Roji wasn’t impressed with their supplies. According to him they were in no fit state to enter Nazmir so he lead them to some local traders in the Grand Bazaar. When they arrived the traders were arguing, the orcs even tried to interrupt them to no avail. It all seemed hopeless and after some long winded exchanges they only managed to come out of it with the most mediocre supplies. 

The orcs left the trolls to continue their debate as Roji gave a history lesson on the Zandalari capital and it’s Loa’s, Old Roji did like to talk a fair bit and some of the orcs were getting easily impatient. Eventually they made their way to the Zocalo where they were ambushed by a squadron of saurid scamps lead by the Loa of Scavengers, many of the orcs weapons and goods were briefly stolen in till the they fought back and laid the smackdown in to them. Gulrok also managed to find his belt, the orcs saw more then they wished! “Hek hek hek hek hek hek!” a strange laugh surrounded clan Red Blade as they finally managed to escape the chaos of Dazar’alor.

They were nearing Nazmir when Kran, Kulgha and Gaar’thok noticed a strange figure. They spoke of a ghostly spectre who’s whole body was cloaked and it was faceless, Madeye commented that perhaps they were finally witnessing what he be seeing the past month. One bridge remained and it creaked under the weight of the orcs, luckily it was sturdy enough and at last they had reached Nazmir! Roji and Razaron spoke with the Zandalari Captain Rabaz at Zul’jan ruins, he told them they couldn’t stay within the ruins but they were allowed to make camp outside. They did exactly that, it wasn’t perfect but this would be the orcs home for the foreseeable future.



Part 2: A Glimpse into Death
23rd May 2019

The mood in the camp was good despite the obvious dangers that lurked within Nazmir. The sun had set hours ago and now darkness surrounded them, only a few well placed torches and the campfire lit up the surrounding area. Suddenly the orcs started to feel very cold and the world around them was drained of all colour. They froze in place, unable to move, unable to speak. A figure slowly walked towards the camp, it was a shade of a wolf.

“I am the shadow around every corner that protects my fathers pack. I am the shepherd of death that tends to his followers in the after-life.” The wolf said, before pausing and taking a longer look at them. “I am the Unborn, Dark Fang, Blackfur but my name is Sharguul, son of one known as Akashok!” Sharguul said with sorrow in his voice. “Orcs of the Red Blade, I’m glad you listened to the one called Madeye. I had to reach out to a follower who has taken the oath of our father, his illness should only be temporary.” The unborn wolf spirit glancing down at Razaron, “Not many could survive a message from my deathly claws, but he is indeed tougher then he looks!”

The tone of the great wolf spirits voice suddenly becomes louder and deadly serious, “Now on to why you are here, I am in danger and being held shackled somewhere in these mortal lands. The one known as Xuja the Bloodgiver is draining my very being in an attempt to resurrect the one called G’huun! I grow weak and only now because you are close am I able to appear before you. Before you decide if you wish to aid me, please relax, this won’t hurt! I will show you… everything!” Darkness enveloped the orcs, suddenly they were no where, but yet everywhere. They could see but everything was black.

The orcs eyes started to focus and the world around them wasn’t just black anymore, they had partially crossed over to the other side and now appeared as spirits in the realms between the living and dead. Glimpses of Akashok and Akala mourning the loss of Sharguul reverberated around the orcs, “I will always be apart of the pack, my paws may never have touched the hallowed earth but that would not stop me! By my sheer will alone I would not allow my spirit to be forgotten, I had to find the lost fragments of my soul!” Sharguul said speaking of his past. The orcs then began to search the land of limbo and they found more then they bargained with. Ghostly hands from below grabbed at Karnna, they were pulling her into the water attempting to drown her! Nakobu and Dhak managed to evade them and grabbed Blackfeather, dragging her to safety. Gashuk and Kyrazha looked deep within a mirror, replica’s of themselves appeared behind them in the mirror. They turned around and went face to face with their doppelgangers, swiftly they banished them!

Kargnar, Kulgha and Durgrol had the unfortunate task of fending of spectres in the form of children, cries of “Mommy!” and “Where’s my daddy?” made the orcs very unsettled. The orcs refused to attack the children, fearing it was some sort of test against the code. Luckily the children eventually got bored, “We just wanted to play!” as they disappeared. Kran, Kraagara and Gul’rok found books with names if Red Blade legends on them, Akesha, Regger and Kraag to be exact. The books then came alive and started to bash themselves into the orcs with their hardcovers, the orcs eventually were able to keep hold of them as they disappeared in their hands. The tales of the Red Blade legends played through their heads like a vision, perhaps they should seek out one of the clan lore-masters to find out more about them?

As each scenario ended a piece of Sharguul appeared. Claws, fangs, fur and eyes. The orcs returned them to the great wolf spirit as he thanked them before beckoning them forward through this mysterious domain. “I had to learn quickly and protect myself against forces that would do me harm, even here!” Sharguul said just before orcs of the past attacked them. “I don’t want to die!”, “This was not my fate!” they screamed as if it was mere moments before their deaths in the mortal realm. The orcs dispatched the the angry spirits as they watched them cross to the other side, “Some spirits are angered, not wanting to accept their fate. Stay close, this domain isn’t for the faint of heart!”.

Sharguul walked purposely forward in till he halted in front of a small orcish boy. He sobbed as Gashuk tried to console him, he was lost and didn’t realise he had died. He told them of what he could remember, that his mother and father prepared him a dinner, they said it would make him feel better. It obviously didn’t as it had killed him. He then surprisingly pointed at Kargnar and Kulgha, saying they were his parents! Unholy laughter blasted out as the lost soul had disappeared, a haunting experience for the two orcs. The lost orc wasn’t their child but the spirits have a tendency to lie, to mess with the minds of the living. “I am the shepherd of orcs, I help those find peace. The one known as Xuja changed all that, he came with the one called Madeye and a cursed axe, tricking me in to imprisonment.”

Vision of the past took place in front of their very eyes, Xuja the Bloodgiver appeared dragging a unconscious Razaron from behind. Sharguul was also there in all his glory and glared at the blood troll. “Great spirit Sharguul, Ah bring ya dis orc. Da axe he 'ad be cursed, he be trapped now. 'is life be now in ya 'ands.” Xuja said as she tossed Madeye towards the Sharguul, the son of Akashok growled and responded, “You do not belong here troll! But, I thank you for bringing one of Akashok’s pack to me.” He was right, she didn’t belong here. The unborn walked over and smelt the scent of Madeye, confirming his oath of blood. The great spirit knelt down and placed his paws on the Varog’Gor’s back when disaster struck! Xuja had twisted the blood inside of Razaron creating a trap for Sharguul, the howls and cries of a wolf in pain echoed throughout the vision! Sharguul’s legs were now cuffed with a rite of blood, magical shackles holding him prisoner to blood troll’s desire! “Hah hah hah, so foolish, so predictable! Ya would do anyt'ing fo' da pack and now ya be foddah for G’huun! Let da feast of a thousand maws begin!” the blood witch said before the vision ended with her speaking the most disgusting of tongue, “Qam oou uhnish kyth zuq Ongg za fhssh as'rr!”

“Without me the orcs of the past and future may not find peace! Akashok’s pack will always be in danger! This is why I need your help! Will you help this one?” Sharguul asked the orcs as they agreed almost straight away, they would try to find him in Nazmir and free him of Xuja’s cruel magic. Sharguul thanked them but the peace didn’t last long, the void had corrupted it’s way here! Tentacles shot up from the ground attempting to squeeze the life out of clan as three Faceless One’s appeared from the shadows, they were speaking their foul language! “Gul'kafh an'shel erh'ongg w'ssh!”

The battle commenced and the orcs appeared to be losing side, most of them had be caught up and trapped by the void like tentacles. It fell to Dhak Skullsunder to save the day, he leapt forward and struck a mighty blow to those that were held captive. The orcs were released as they all entered a bloodlust! From the brink of defeat they quickly dispatched two old god minions before the last tuck tail and ran, using his shadowy magic to portal away! The strength of the old gods is unquestionable and the orcs had only tasted a drop in a ocean of their full power! For now though they won this battle. Sharguul howled urging clan Red Blade to listen to him! “We’ve been here too long! The void is a plague that has rooted itself even here! There are things even I don’t know, be warned the great threat to us all is coming and we must not linger!”

With that the orcs were taken back to the mortal realm and awoke back at the Red Blade Camp, Nakobu and Gashuk looked strangely at the campfire as a ghostly figure with no face was there for a brief moment. Gashuk took it in his stride whereas Nakobu was caught offguard by it, he questioned why he had saw it. Madeye suddenly felt a lot better, like a great burden had been lifted from him which pleased the clan.  The day was over and the orcs knew what they had to do now, find and free the great wolf spirit Sharguul, he was somewhere in Nazmir but where? Wherever he is Xuja the Bloodgiver would be there! 



Part 3: The Red Night
30th May 2019

Razaron has recovered over the last few days but still looks half the orc he use to be. Luckily for the orcs they have a sense of focus on what they have to do now. They are here to save the wolf spirit Sharguul from the hands of Xuja the Bloodgiver, a vile blood troll. The elders of the clan had asked Old Roji to explore Nazmir and figure out where this Xuja and his blood troll menace could be located, luckily he arrived back at camp with some good news! He tells the orcs of a camp to the north-east named Zal’amak, “Then it settled, we travel to this Zala’muck! Sounds dirty! We leave our wolves behind, for now we do this on foot. I’m sure you know the route Roji?” Razaron quips while Roji scoffs at the remark and beckons them forwards.

The orcs of the Red Blade are on manoeuvres yet again, who knows what lies in store for them on this dark night in Nazmir? One things for sure, Xuja must pay! It’s a full moon as the orcs catch glimpses of it through the vast cypress tree’s in Nazmir, the silhouette of some of the ancient Zandalari ruins dominated the night sky from a far. Darkness will give the orcs the advantage of surprise tonight! Though it wasn’t advantageous when it came to leeches, Goreye, Kulgha, Grarshak, Dhak, and Gul'rok got some suckers attached to them crossing through shallow water. Rhonya and Gaar’thok decided fire was the best way to get rid of them and it did indeed do the trick, though Madeye had a plan to poison them with tobacco.

After being slowed down by the little annoyances the orcs walked in to an open area through the swampy trees, they were close to Zal’amak now but what was that? It sounded like a horn being blown. The orcs cover was blown! Blood trolls appear from everywhere, the orcs had been surrounded! Not just trolls but the biggest Crawg you will ever see stomps in to view and he’s eyes locked firmly on to the chieftain! The crawg charges at Kozgugore, Shrewd quickly intercepts the beast, jumping on it’s back and gnawing away at it’s flesh to try and slow him down! It’s too late or is it? Madeye pushes Kozgugore out of the way as the gigantic horn of the crawg pierces Razaron’s chintin armour. Feraleye lands awkwardly as the crawg tramples his right arm, his wrist now facing the wrong direction. Shrewd jumps off the monstrosity and checks on his master, appearing to try and help the chieftain back to his feet. The crawg frantically swings it’s head back and forth till the impaled Razaron is thrown to the ground fatally wounded. “Hah, Glob proves yet again dat he is special, ya don’t stand a chance orcs!” a Amaki Bloodsinger says to much delight!

The orcs enter a blood lust seeing their Varog’Gor fall as they charge in with no fear at all! The blood trolls never stood a chance, but Glob did. It took countless of axes, daggers and magic to bring the beast down. Finally Naroga climbing on top of the crawg and piercing it’s flesh with her weapon till it collapsed and was still, a mighty kill! Rhonya with the help of Dhak and Gaar’thok tried their best to save Razaron but it was too late, “..Is the chieftain safe..?” Madeye said, his first concern only for Feraleye. Kozgugore was safe, his wrist maybe broken but he would live. “..I’ve seen this moment, it’s been prepared for me..!” Razaron says tapping his eye patch, “..Did I finally proved my worth to you all..? To the clan..? To my family..? Did I..?” Razaron asked with many of the orcs saying he had, Steelheart remarking he proved his worth many moons ago. “..Then I die happy, like all good orcs should.. ..burn me by our tree.. ..So I may smile on you from the otherside..! ..To you all.. For.. the..” Razaron says fading, unable to get his last words out.

Razaron had died, finally succumbing to the wounds inflicted by the humongous crawg. Blood pours out of his chest where the horn of Glob had pierced straight through his armour. The orcs were left in shock, the curse of the Varog’Gor never seems to be letting up. There would be time to mourn Madeye but not right now, they are deep within Nazmir and a Zal’amak remains. A huge sphere of blood was in the centre of the now deserted camp, the orcs searched around and found some bloody crystals, scrolls with dark magic written inside them and four strange blades. Rhonya inspected the blades and then looked around at the other orcs, she could almost smell their blood from a distance! Cravings to stab her clan mates reverberated throughout her mind. Steelheart took a deep breath and focused, controlling the dark urge and instead lash out at the sphere! The sphere was instantly punctured as the blood that formed the shield slowly drained away in to the damp marsh ground. These new mysterious weapons shouldn’t fall in to the wrong hands thats for certain.

The sphere was hiding a gigantic cage, as they took a closer look they noticed that it was empty. The bars bent and claw marks scratched in to the floor and ceiling. Perhaps it was Sharguul’s cage? Whatever was in the cage it wasn’t there now, Zal’amak had cost the orcs much for not much in return, how did the orcs get ambushed so easily? What of poor Madeye and where is Sharguul? Old Roji beckons the orcs over, he insists it’s time to move and he knows a good place to stay, Gloom Hollow. The orcs agreed and followed the old tortollan, Razaron’s body followed being preserved in a bubble by some ancient scroll magic. As they were nearing Gloom Hollow Gaar’thok and Kargnar remarked they saw the faceless ghost again, though Roji insisted they carried on to safety.

A tortollan guard notices Roji, “Old Roji, twice in one week! How’s the family? Still away in in the deep seas?” he said with Roji replying in kind, telling them of what just took place tonight. “You orcs are welcome to stay, make yourselves at home. Tonight we tell the tale of Loh and his two girls and one shell!” the Tortollan guard said as the orcs tried to get their head around what took place. It had been a bloody night, the red night.



Part 4: Cannibal Crossing
2nd June 2019

Disaster had struck the orcs with Razaron Madeye’s passing, but they had no time to mourn his loss. Sharguul the great wolf spirit was still captured and his fate rested in their hands! Old Roji returns to Gloom Hollow and beckoned the orcs over to listen to him, he told the orcs that they’ve had another sighting of Xuja the Bloodgiver, she’s at Natha’vor the most renown cannibalistic blood troll village and Roji know’s the back way in! The orcs are led north to an unsettling site, in front of them lay the skeleton remains of the largest turtle the orcs had ever seen. Even Torga the wise and benevolent Loa of the turtles had succumbed to the blood troll menace. Suddenly a large group of blood troll drudges frantically ran towards the orcs, looking over their shoulders as if they were fleeing from something! Some of the orcs disobeyed Rrosh’tul Bloodpaw’s orders to let them through and attacked the drudges, they were left out of position and exposed!

The drudges were running from mud lurker python’s, deadly snakes with venomous bites! The pythons had decided Torga’s shell was a perfect place to nest in and the drudges must of gotten too close. Now they were clan Red Blade’s problem, Kargnar ordered the orcs to attack and they did successfully though Grarshak took a venomous bite. The snakes that had survived the orcs assault had slithered off into whatever nook and cranny they could find, the blademaster promptly was given a antidote potion they had secured from the infamous market traders a couple of weeks ago. Roji led the orcs forward under the giant fin of Torga and towards the secret entrance in to Natha’vor. The orcs would cross a creaking wooden walkway through the trees, what was that? A horn bellowed from around the orcs! The blood trolls had known the orcs were coming! How did this keep happening over and over?

Javelins filled the sky and were about to impale the orcs when, “Ribbit!”. Krag’wa’s blessing had activated in the most extraordinary way, clan Red Blade had taken the time to give a offering to the Loa of frogs and Krag’wa repaid them! A mystical frog tongue sloshed at the spears and rebounded them back at the skirmishers! Many of the blood trolls perished as they repositioned, their ambush left in tatters! They did however have a back up plan, part of the wooden walkway collapsed leaving the orcs stranded. Gashuk attempted to create a portal but the feedback from the surrounding blood magic had made it impossible to travel in such a way. The Rrosh’tul ordered the orcs to climb the tree, aiding those that were injured as they secured themselves past the substantial gap. The skirmishers saw this as the right time to again attack but the orcs were having none of it, in desperation a group of blood trolls turned to their cannibalistic ways and started devouring their own kin! Screams of the fallen trolls echoed around the orcs as they were ripped apart, blood filling the walkway as it dripped down to marshy ground a hundred feet below!

Enraged the blood trolls attacked back slashing Gashuk’s arm but it wasn’t enough. The trolls eventually all fell and the orcs had survived, Natha’vor awaited them as they slowly made there way in to the village. Moans and screams could be heard from the distance as discarded remnants of dead trolls filled the grounds. The orcs stumbled upon a Blood Mother, she was overlooking some crude cages, the cries of anguish were coming from them. The Blood Mother sacrificed a blood troll inside one of the cages by draining it’s blood, it’s corpse crumbled to the floor with a large thud! “Weak, all da trolls ‘ere be to weak!” she says before turning around and facing the orcs! “Ahh, we bin expectin’ ya! So glad ya decided ta show up. Afraid wat ya came lookin’ for ain’t ere’. Dat wolf be gettin’ very very weak now! Hahaha!” the Blood Mother said proud in the fact the orcs came all this way for nothing. “But I can now add ya ta da collection I be makin’” The blood troll points to all the cages filled with half-alive creatures, suddenly her arms stops moving pointing towards a cage with two orcs inside. “Dey too decided ta enter da lands of G’huun! Enough talk now! Guzincha!”

The Blood Mother raised her arms draining more blood from the cages, using her dark magic to create mawfiends. Animated creatures of blood that lunged towards the orcs protecting their master. The battle was fierce but cunningly Dhak, Kulgha, Gaar’thok, Grarshak and Gul’rok took the initiative to sneak behind the Blood Mother and rescue the two orcs held captive, they were gagged and very weak. They fed them some water and food whilst throwing some furs over them, luxuries the other orcs weren’t getting. The Blood Mother trying to cast one of her spells of doom but got interrupted just in the knick of time! Gul’rok returned to face the Blood Mother and as the animated mawfiends were finished off Ragehowl managed to slice the Blood Mothers arm clean off! She howled in pain as Borrock Hardhide wound his giant hammer up before unloading it down on top of her skull, bone and brain splashing over everybody!

Skint and Irkha were the two orcs that were freed, they looked on in shock. Not at what just took place but at the tortollan guide the orcs had be using. They pointed the finger at him, saying he was allied with the blood trolls. Rrosh’tul told the orcs that it was time to move out, it was too dangerous to discuss this here and now. They headed to the Bwomsamdi ruins of Zo’bal to seek refuge, there they confronted Roji. Suddenly the faceless ghost appeared again, the spirits around Zo’bal ruins were angered at the tortollan’s presence. The faceless ghost showed the orcs visions of Roji's past actions, one by one scenes of Roji planning out a potential route through the zandalari city on a map, marking the most troublesome traders and the paths often plagued by thieving saurid. Looking at the direhorn Cera and making notes, before eliminating the threat by aiding in her release into the wilds. Using a scroll at night to call the pterrordaxes to circle the camp, before taking notes on the orc's fighting prowess as they fought them in their nests. Taking away Blackfeather's water filters that was providing the orcs so much fresh water and finally, distinct memories of Roji taking the orcs dangerously close to various camps of the blood trolls, clearly leading them into trouble!

The vision ended as the orcs were enraged, Kargnar kept a steady head knowing that they would need Roji. Roji confessed that his family were captured and he had been forced in to doing these most dishonourable acts. He had sort the help of the Zandalari armed forces, the Horde, and the Alliance outposts to help him free them. They all turned him away. What remains of his family? What of Sharguul? Only one camp remained in Nazmir and Xuja must be there. The orcs had survived the cannibal crossing this day.



Part 5: For the Blood!
6th June 2019

Another full moon shone over Nazmir tonight as a eeriness of fate overcome the orcs of the Red Blade. Everything had led up to this, through all their trials and tribulations! Only one camp remained, Zalamar! Sharguul and Xuja would have to be there! Tonight the orcs would abstract some revenge and this time they wouldn’t be falling in to anymore traps because of Roji. Old Roji, working against clan Red Blade from the start. Fearing for his family, forced to do the most dishonourable acts. Perhaps his kin would be at Zalamar also? Rrosh’tul Kargnar Bloodpaw called the orcs over as he prepared them for battle, reminding them to obey his command without question. Kargnar then ordered Kran to get Roji who was being held captive by the orcs, Roji would follow them in to the village but be bound by the hands.

The orcs arrived around the outskirts of Zalamar and noticed that the sky was full of bats. They congregated over the village blocking out most of the moonlight. The blood trolls were on watch, perhaps expecting a attack but on this night they would not be prepared for what was about to hit them! Suddenly the orcs saw the same faceless ghost the others had been seeing over the last few weeks, it approached them and as it did it disappeared. A strange mist surrounded the orcs that would make it harder for them to be detected by the blood trolls! Was this faceless ghost helping the orcs all along? Swiftly Kargnar directed the clan to attack the trolls and one by one they all fell, Zalamar has been cleaned out and the remnants of Xuja’s blood trolls had fallen.

An odd discovery was made, a path of broken scrolls lead down towards a twisting cave. As the orcs followed the scrolls a shocking discovery was made, the remains of tortollans old and young! Their bodies were thrown out with vast amounts of their belongings, Roji’s family didn’t make it out of Zalamar alive as he fell to his knees visibly distraught! Amongst the belongings of his fallen family was a scroll, it began to glow with a silvery light. While faint at first, it soon began to glow brighter, the light from the scroll projecting out to a open area ahead of the orcs. The forms of Roji's family slowly began to appear in the light. Their ages range from ancient to newborn, the tortollans did not look in any particular direction as they begin to gather. By the time they had all appeared before the orcs, thirty tortollan stood waiting. The final one to appear was a female tortollan who was be around the same age as old Roji. As with the others, she didn’t look in any particular direction. She did however begin to speak.

“Roji, If you are having to listen to this then you know what fate must have befallen us. We know that you must have tried everything and anything you could to rescue us, but in the end, time simply wasn't on our side.” The female tortollan had a pained expression on her face as she continue speaking. “Do not blame yourself, my dear, you've always tried your hardest to do right by us. Not all tales get to have a happy ending and this is not the end of our family's story just yet. Down in the pit, we have hidden the eggs from harm. They at least, are safe. Take them, Roji. Take care of them. And tell them the tales that we will not get to hear. I am afraid this is goodbye, my dear, this may be the end of this chapter of ours, but we will watch over you from the next. Farewell!” Each member of the family said their final words to Roji as they begin to turn and walk away, the light that made them up becoming dimmer and dimmer until it faded away entirely. Roji pleaded for them not to go but it was too late, the scrolls magic had been used up, the orcs were left to listen to Roji's heartbroken wails of sorrow. The tragic scene played out in front of the orcs as many of them were getting very emotional at what they just witnessed.

Peering down the hole of the cave the orcs would see a figure casting some sort of blood magic ritual, they would have to get closer to see who it was. As they walked down the twisting path of the cave they noticed it was decorated with the most exotic of blood troll items, vials of blood and other strange substances, bones of the fallen including skulls on wooden pikes and vases containing organs from the freshest of kills. Other oddities made up the cave such as strange markings plastered on the walls in a primal dialect that they didn’t understand, on closer inspection they realised it had been painted on with blood. A strong wind suddenly shot past them as it blew the torches out! Everything went dark, they couldn’t see a thing! What sort of magic was this? Gaar’thok would dramatically fall down the hole, his body plummeting to the bottom as the remains of the dead broke his fall. A blood troll would be there as she smirked at his arrival before casting a spell upon him, his feet and hands were instantly shackled as he was dragged away. The torches reignite as they heard a faint laughter from down below. Who was toying with the orcs?

Clan Red Blade pushed on, obviously worried about their fallen friend. There’s only way to help him and that was continuing on to the end! The orcs finally made it down to the bottom of the cave and as they entered the clearing Sharguul and Gaar’thok lay before them. Blood magic had bound them to the floor as they both were in tremendous pain! Xuja the Bloodgiver appeared, she had a bloody shield around her as she cackles at the orcs. Three blood spheres were positioned near her, feeding her blood with a beam of magic. How would the orcs approach this? “So ya finally found us then ‘ave ya? Da Red Blades in all ya glory!” Xuja said as the orcs of the Red Blade suddenly had the same bloody shackles cast upon them, they were unable to move or even speak! “Foolish ov’ ya ta come down ‘ere. Da powa I wield is something ya can only dream of! Finally I ‘ave ya all where I wanted ya! Da satisfaction of executing ya all in front of one of ya Loa!” the Bloodgiver said as her cackles echoed around the cave.

“Ya may wonder why I was there to begin with? I shall tell ya! G’huun, oh G’huun. I needed ta find a way ta help my blood god! I walked tis world searching for answers, then I found ya on ya small hill worshipping some loa called Akashok and his pack! Hah! Hah! Hah!” Xuja took great delight in this, walking towards the orcs mocking them. “Ya loa would be food for the return of G’huun! But I sensed something was was protecting them, it was tis one!” Xuja’s bloody finger pointing directly at Sharguul as she turns back to the orcs smirking. “Da one that whispers in da shadows, da one that protects Akashok and his pack. Da unborn one! Sharguul! Ya know he has a soft spot for ya? The followers of his father, ya great wolf! It was easy ta trick him, to lure him out!” Xuja says licking her fingers flirtatiously. “It was I who reversed da magic in ya mad orcs axe! How is he? I hear he’s now crawg foddah now! I presented da mad one to Sharguul and da stupid beast fell for it! It was easier then I thought! But Sharguul resisted, for a long time he would not call out for his father! He would not bring Akashok ta me!” Xuja’s delight turning in to a frown. “He did something unexpected, I sensed da message da mad one got. He called for Akashok’s followers. I then sent an assassin ta kill ya all, but ya all to stubborn! I see old Roji, the assassin is with ya! Ya failed me tortollan! Now ya whole family has paid da price! Da blood was sweet, da cries and screams from da men, women and children! Hah! Hah! Hah!” Xuja words were sickening. “Now ya know why ya die orcs, now ya lives will fill a final purpose. G’huun will rise and ya will be his first meal back in tis world!”

Sharguul closed his eyes with every last bit of energy started to concentrate, a chill swirled throughout the cave as Xuja turned around in disgust, “What are ya doin’ you stupid mutt?” Spirits of the dead began to appear around them all and a fully formed spirit approached the orcs. It was a older orc and the image of a blademaster. His spiritual beads hanged from his neck as he unsheathed his sword. The sword ignited in a spiritual flame as the blademaster as quick as a flash broke the chains of the orcs, freeing them all from their shackles! The ghostly orc would raise his head and would reveal a orc of legend. Krogon Devilstep! He did not speak, he simply nodded his head towards them and charged at Xuja, leading the orcs in to battle! They followed him, shouting Red Blade war cries at the top of their lungs! “Krogon Devilstep, your spirit still lurks around that tree. I’m glad you answered this one’s call!” Sharguul said delighted. “What!? NO! YA FOOLS WILL ALL DIE! GUZINCHA!” Xuja was not happy!

“The one that carries one of the four blades, strike down the spheres! Drain her power!” Sharguul pleaded, he was talking about Gashuk. He had been studying the strange blade they had found in Zal’amak. Back then Rhonya Steelheart had used it to slice open a similar sphere so with precision it should work again! Xuja screamed at the top of her lungs, “SILENCE!” as she attempted to stop Gashuk in his tracks. Luckily for Gashuk the orcs were well drilled by Kargnar, he had told them to protect the mystical orc as he did his thing. Xuja’s attempts to stop Gashuk had failed, she desperately tried to stop him even chaotically causing parts of the cave to fall down! Xuja then changed tact, she attempted to drain the soul of Sharguul and with a bloody beam he twisted in his shackles and cried out in pain! Xuja soaking in every moment of it!

Xuja stared in excitement at the end of Sharguul, the unborn wolf facing the full might of the bloodgiver’s dark magic. Surprisingly a ghostly orc spirit appeared and ran in between the beam! Saving Sharguul and sacrificing himself, the orc looked familiar to some. It was Kargush, he had sacrificed himself yet again for clan Red Blade. What a legend! Undeterred by Kargush she started again, this time a another ghost of the past would aid the clan, it was Sadok Sharptongue! He looked over longingly at one orc, Rhonya Steelheart. His face turned to determination as he conjured a bolt of ice that froze Xuja’s beam and eventually shattering it! The shattered pieces of ice splintered in to the direction of Xuja causing dagger like icicles to pierce her bloody shield. Rhonya and Sadok would look at each other, it felt like a eternity but it was only a few seconds. Sadok smiled at Steelheart before turning around and joining Krogon and the other orcs in fighting Xuja. Rhonya wiped away a single tear on her cheek seeing Sadok again, his spirit had came back to help clan Red Blade but deep down she knew he came back for her. The moment past as she composed herself, a new found flame rose inside her as she rejoined the fight!

Gashuk with the help of the orcs protecting him had managed to destroy all three spheres that was aiding Xuja, she was now vulnerable! Whats that? It sounded like a drum beat, a very primal sort of drum beat. Just when Xuja thought things couldn’t get worse a mad dancing orc spirit arrived! It was Razaron Madeye, Xuja snarled as she tossed a blood beam at Razaron, the spirit of Madeye still had the moves, he slipped under the beam, kipped up and elegantly rolled towards Xuja slashing both of his axes in to her legs! “ARRRGH! Ya mad dancing orc, Sharguul ya don’t play fair summoning him!” Xuja remarked. “I didn’t summon this one, Xuja!” The unborn wolf stated, “Den? Aaah! Ya all goin’ ta pay for this! G’huun take you!” No they weren’t, Xuja was finished. Her shields were down and it didn’t take long before she was beaten. “Nooooooo! Mercy! Mercy! Aaaah!” and with that Sharguul had been freed and without hesitation the wolf stalked his prey! The fallen Xuja had put her hand up asking the Dark Fang to stop, Sharguul didn’t, he pounced on the Bloodgiver ripping her apart as blood splashed across the nearby orcs! Sharguul composed himself as the orcs could see he was weakened from the whole ordeal he had been put through. “It is done! Xuja the Bloodgiver is dead. The pack is safe, I am safe. I thank you oathbound orcs, Akashok smiles on you this day!”

Gashuk looked around the cave and noticed a cloak in the corner of the room, he searched the cloak and saw it was of orcish design, perhaps it belonged to one of the orcs here? Inside the cloak was some unhatched tortollan eggs in perfect condition. Roji had found his future, a bittersweet moment for the old tortollan. “We must leave, this one hasn’t fully recovered, there is one last favour I ask of you. Take me to your camp, the Red Blade camp.” Sharguul said and with that they made the long trip back, along the way saying goodbye to Roji. The orcs had sparred him of death to raise the children of his children, to pass on what he had learnt. When the orcs arrived at Red Blade’s camp Sharguul told the orcs that he would not survive if they didn’t restore what he had lost, Sharguul was a shell of his former self and the only way to save him would be to perform a ritual. The Blood Moon ritual, to empower him with the blood that was taken from him. Sharguul lay down in camp exhausted and spent. Tonight proved how important family will forever be, beyond life and death, For the Blood!



Part 6: Return of the Wolf
9th June 2019

The afternoon sun started to disappear as the orcs remained upbeat, Xuja had been defeated and Sharguul returned, albeit wounded. The last few days the orcs had started to prepare for what Sharguul called, the Blood Moon ritual. They had to restore what he had lost over the last few months! Gashuk had been studying the blades, scrolls and crystals they had picked up on their travels and he finally figured out the way to conjure this Blood Moon ritual. Sharguul then began whispering to him from his sleep, informing the sorcerer of the location on where it would all go down. The wolf spirit had been asleep since his rescue but he finally arose. “It is time! Kargnar have the orcs ready, the ritual will lure in those that crave blood or power! The one called Gashuk, I trust you listened to this ones words and have the ritual prepared?” Gashuk nodded, he had everything ready. “The Blood Moon will be performed on a ancient site in these swamps, that is where this one senses the blood magic is strongest! I warn you, this place won’t be for the faint of heart!” Sharguul said with a stern look. The orcs were handed their last task, the task that would see the Dark Fang restored. They all walked with purpose, a day of change awaited them. They could not fail now, or could they?

Upon them was the site, the orcs looked disgusted, bones and corpses by the thousands. The blood trolls had use this site to perform their very own rituals, harnessing the power of the dead. Sharguul’s narrowed his eyes and the orcs sensed he felt uncomfortable but this had to be done. It was obvious to even the most uneducated in the magical arts where this would all go down, at the highest point among the largest pile of the corpses. Sharguul got in to position and addressed the Redblade clan. “When the ritual starts it will lure in those that have a taste for blood. Spirits of the dead that haven’t crossed over will try and prevent this one from recovering, you must be prepared. Before I call the one known as Gashuk to start, organise yourselves, lay traps for any who dare to interrupt us. You have a short while to do so!” The orcs frantically got together creating traps, the demon hunter Vin’scardial placed down fel-fire sigils of flame whereas Zi’tani with the aid of the other shamans called to the elements and formed a earthen spike trap. Brusa on the other had focused her energies on the spirits, if any evil spirits would dare harm them her sigil would banish them! Time was now up, Sharguul let out a howl getting the orcs attention, “You’ve done well oathbound orcs, this one is proud to have you helping him. The one called Gashuk. You may begin!”

Gashuk was chosen by Sharguul to lead the ritual because of the sorcerer's knowledge with blood magic. Gashuk picked three others to help him with this undertaking, Srelok Grimtide, Zi’tani Steelstorm and Rhonya Steelheart, he would then tell them what needed to be done. Gashuk, with his three acolytes in place began to enact the ancient ritual of the Blood Moon, raising his blood-crystal high above his head Gashuk incants in an old tongue. Words of power, words of blood. Before long his crystal began to glow a harsh red and the other three mimic the enchantment; he drove his crystal into the opened jug of blood beside him whilst commanding the other ritualists to follow suit. As the blood-drenched stones were withdrawn from the jugs, intertwining beams of blood shoot forth from them into the sky above, and as all four beams connected, a giant sphere of blood formed bathing Sharguul in it’s blood-moonlight. It had started!

Everything went dark, strange noises could be heard all around the ritual site. The power that were being conjured here had disturbed the rest of many who called Nazmir home. It didn’t take long before blood troll drudges came pouring out of the wood work. Saliva dripping from their mouths, they were in a frenzy, even climbing and pushing over each other to reach the Blood Moon! Unfortunately for them they had stepped on Vin’scardial’s sigil of fel-flame, instantaneously they all fell to the floor burning to a crisp. This gave a advantage to the orcs, it had created a wall of burning corpses! But it did not deter the blood addicted trolls, more and more drudges appeared, climbing over the fel fire corpses of their fallen kin desperately trying to get to the Blood Moon! So many drudges came that eventually the flaming wall was pushed aside, when they climbed the hill they met steel. The orcs made light work of the drudges, but they were just the cannon fodder. Blood singers, deadly blood trolls who twisted their tongues to create harsh songs woven with blood magic!

They sang in unison and a globule of blood was thrown at Dhak which exploded causing light damage to the orcs nearby. Determined to see this day out, the orcs managed to silence the singing pests quickly. Those of the mortal realm were not the only one’s to show a interest in the Blood Moon, the dead arrived. Blood trolls spirits started attacking the orcs but in the chaos of combat the orcs heard more footsteps coming there way at a steady pace. Ten? Twenty? Thirty? It was hard to tell. Soon it all became clear. A rain of technicolour spells fell upon the risen spirits, spells of nature, arcane, holy, shadow, fire, ice and all that was in-between. From the smoke and dust kicked up by the spells came those footsteps, footsteps belonging to a group of tortollan spirits with a single living one at their centre. Roji and his family! “I've done some things that cannot be forgiven!” Roji yells. “But I had a choice if I wanted to try and pay you all back for what I did! To try and make things right. So here I am! ...With help.” Roji and the spirits of his family walked up to the orcs. The spirits were a pale blue, not the silvery light of the projection. They give a determined look! Roji and the spirits nodded at the orcs before joining them in defiance against those that would attempt to disrupt the ritual.

Fortunately for the clan, Brusa’s sigil activated. A blinding light shot around all the orcs, their eyes would take a while to recover and when they did the spirits were gone. Banished back from where they came, Brusa had a shocked look on her face not thinking she was capable of it. She was and she did! The spirits didn’t end there though, the biggest crawg the orcs would ever see had returnedm, be it in spirit form! Glob the Great Horns had arrived for a second time as he charged at the orcs! The orcs managed to slow him down when the earthern spike trap activated, impaling the beast like he impaled Madeye in life. It was then left up to Rrosh’tul Nosh’marek to finish off the crawg and did he ever? With grace that even Madeye would of been proud off, he jumped on the back of the beast and with his ironclaw, drove it through it’s spiritual back. Glob had been beaten a second time. The orcs may of thought they would get some rest bite, they wouldn’t. Xuja the Bloodgiver had risen from the dead, she was a hollow spirit of her former self! “You think dis is ova? Tis nevah be over! Ya going ta all pay and G’huun will rise! It’s not ova yet Red Blades, it’s not ova yet!” the spirit of Xuja said defiantly. A voice then suddenly rattled around the orcs and Xuja, they may have heard it before?

"Well, well, Xuja. Ya ain't got ya fancy little soulstone anymore, do ya?" The voice's laughter echoed around them all, "Ya be thinkin' ya could could pull da wool over de eyes of a Loa, eh? Not without that ya ain't." With a flash of blue spectral energy Bwonsamdi appeared, floating in the air with a large grin. He looked over the orcs. "As I said, I be keepin' to our little... deal." Xuja’s face was a picture, she was in shock! “Ya made a deal with.. Bwo..Bwo.. Bwomsamdi? No..!” The spirit of Xuja said as she’s forcefully was being sucked towards the Necropolis. “Nooooooooo!” she screamed as she disappeared out of sight.
"Ya soul be mine now! And what a mighty strong soul it is! Oho! Ol' Bwonsamdi be feelin' a bit spry now!" The Loa laughed to himself, seemingly dealing with the orcs greatest threat with no effort at all. Bwomsamdi looked at the orcs once again. "She won't be worrying ya no more. I'll be enjoying spendin' some... quality time wit' dat one on de Other Side. You, oh so mighty orcs... Ya can be on ya way now, eh? Our deal be complete. But... If any others of ya be lookin' to make a deal... I'll be waitin'. Ya know where ta find dis lonely Loa, eh?" Bwonsamdi grinned widely. He looks over to Dhak, giving him a bit of a knowing look before turning his gaze back to the orcs at large. “I'll be seein' ya soon..." The Loa seemed to look around for a specific orc. He gave up, giving a overly dramatic shrug. "Not 'ere, eh? No matter. Sooner or later, sooner or later." Bwonsamdi said laughing to himself. As suddenly as he appeared, the Loa of Death disappeared in a flash of ghostly blue, his laughter fading away.

The Blood Moon had been completed, the blood was transfused in to Sharguul’s body as he was restored! The unborn wolf’s booming voice spread across Nazmir, “THIS ONE IS RESTORED!” as a tremendous magical force shot out from him destroying many a foe with it’s spiritual energy, they didn’t stand a chance from it’s beyond the grave effects! “BE GONE OR FALL BEFORE THIS ONE’S WRATH!” The remaining spirits and blood trolls were quick to turn tail and run, Sharguul was fighting fit again and now they wouldn’t stand a chance against this greater wolf spirit. “The Redblade clan, this one is in your debt. We should head back to your camp, we have much to discuss. The future of your clan needs addressing.” With that Sharguul and the orcs began the walk back to camp, along the way they saw Roji and his family in the distance. They seem to exchange words, before the tortollan spirits slowly faded away in twinkling blue light. Roji, now on his own glanced to the departing orcs and raised his one hand signalling farewell to them. He turned around and started the long walk back to Gloom Hollow.

Sharguul lead the Redblade clan back through the swamps of Nazmir, the orcs had never felt safer. Sharguul, the protector of Akashok’s pack was with them. They finally had returned to the Red Blade camp, it had been a long few weeks and it served them well. Through the good and the bad it’s remained intact. Sharguul positioned himself and addressed the orcs so they can all hear. “There is much to discuss but before we do.” Sharguul shifted out of the mortal realm as a shadow lingered where he once was. Moments later he returned like he had never left in the first place! “This one had to correct a fault in the world, a fault that you’ve seen since you started down this journey. The faceless ghost, the faceless one existed because of this one’s neglect, duties this one could not complete!” The faceless ghost reappears in front of Sharguul, “The faceless one has been watching you, guiding you, protecting you! The will of the faceless one to carry on, it was love! Reaching out for help I shattered a soul with my deathly claws. It was all this one could do, he could not put the fate of Akashok’s pack in danger! Now the shattered soul becomes one as the shepherd of the dead lures this one not from death, but back to life!” The faceless ghost lays down, Sharguul closing his eyes moves the body of Madeye, it’s weaved in to place with the faceless ghost. “The one known as Razaron Madeye did not deserve death, he fell because of my wrongdoings. Now he will live once more as the first disciple of Sharguul. Rise!” The body of Razaron fuses in to place with the faceless ghost, it fits like the last piece in a jigsaw. The spiritual energies surrounding the body close the fatal wound as Madeye opens his eye and gasps for air. “…the…blood!”

Razaron slowly gets to his feet, he looks down at at where he was impaled. There was no sign of a wound, he then looks at his back. The mark of the blessing of Sharguul appeared on his back. The orcs of the Red Blade were over the moon to see their Varog’gor, Urzoga and Zi’tani even wanting to do him physical damage because of the emotional roller-coaster he put them through. Razaron addressed the orcs, “…All the whispers had stopped, silence was all I knew, lost between life and death. Sharguul is right, I looked deep within my soul, what drove me? Love, I searched for what I cared for deeply. My family. I watched you all before I died and after, my soul shattered. I called out to you all to no response. I followed you all blindly. Now with Sharguul restored he lead me back, back to the living! I have returned, the future is now unknown to me.” Razaron smirks despite the oddity of the situation, he then taps his eye patch! “I saw my death before and now I’ve gone past it. What will I do from here? I will live. I will just live!” 

Sharguul nodded and started to speak again, “The one known as Razaron Madeye made the ultimate sacrifice for the clan and pack. Now he will learn from the Dark Fang. Now this one’s presence is known to the Redblade clan I will take my place a long side Akashok’s pack, despite being unborn.” Sharguul grimaces as he says that last word. “Dangers lurk through this world and the next, dangers this one can not understand. We must learn together or fail trying. The Redblade clan once held a path that upheld the safety of the clan. It shall be remade by Akashok’s will. The Path of Cunning lead by your Varog’gor. I shall instruct the first disciple of Sharguul with how it will be formed in this ever changing world. Give him time to recover and to learn from me.” Sharguul’s eyes then focused on to Gashuk, “Now on to something else, I trust you have this one’s fangs?” Gashuk would feel like the wolf was staring in to his soul. Gashuk held out the four blades, “The black fangs of Sharguul, The Fangs of the Unborn. I do not know why they were placed in this mortal world. This is a mystery, but for now each Varog’gor will have one. They aided you in Xuja’s defeat, may they aid you again!” The Fangs of the Unborn would shoot out of Gashuk’s possession and find there home with the Varog’gor. “It will be up to the Varog’gor now to discover their powers, this will be a test for the new leaders of the Path of Cunning.”

The great wolf then pointed his black paw at Gashuk, “Gashuk, step forward! You’ve proved yourself throughout this whole ordeal. Your knowledge has proven invaluable as this one may not have existed without your aid. Kneel!” Sharguul walked around the sorcerer and gave him a good smell, his eyes looking down at the sorcerer as if he was inspecting him. “From this day forward, the one known as Gashuk does not exist! He shall now be known as Gashuk Bloodmoon! You may rise Gashuk Bloodmoon, take your place with your family, I shall watch your progress intently!” Gashuk had been honoured for his actions by the great wolf spirit! “Now It is time for Sharguul to leave, but this one will never fully be gone. The Dark Fang will be watching, this one will be here for each of you in death. We will meet again. Goodbye and… Thank you!” Sharguul once again shifted in to another domain leaving behind a lingering shadow that disappeared after a few moments.

The Whispers in the Shadows had ended, for now!