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Campaign: Northrend under Brokenskies

Started by Verzan, January 03, 2021, 03:11:00 PM

Previous topic - Next topic


Starting a new thread for a new campaign woo 2021!

This is here so I can collect together the Battle reports written by Verzan Skywise all in one place, they would be accessible to Clan members and there are several copies.



Travel Report: All the way back to Northrend

We gathered at the Spirits Rise, every orc who had not already travelled North to aid the Ebon Watch. Even if fighting the Scourge was swiftly becoming a daily event for many of us, heeding the call to arms from the Den Mother Akala must swiftly become our focus. The clans spirits are in peril, it is worth the return journey to Northrend.

Travel had been secured for the clan, trust placed in the Forsaken who make their roost under the Spirits' rise. I have questions about how dated their coordinates are for the former location of Dalaran in Crystal Song forest. Even they seemed to know in advance we would be thrown out of the portal up in the sky.
Many orcs received an impromptu lesson in how to fly mounted on wolf back and hurtling toward the ground gently and as a Wind Rider, I can only assure some that your first flight training usually isn't quite as chaotic.
The orcs made it to the ground, no casualties nor dips in the small river winding through Crystal Song. It was the closest we could get to the Argent Tournament grounds.

The Tournament grounds are one of the better secure locations in Northrend even though they are placed precariously upon the edge of Icecrown itself. They are also closest to where we can get access to the broken sky - if we are to aid our spirit wolves that is the best place to go.
Contact was also made over the spirit link with the group of Red Blade who departed a week earlier, fortunately they too had found themselves at the Tournament ground ahead of us and that settled the matter.


What came next was an ice frozen march through Argent Vanguard, the Breach and on through Scourgeholme. We were met on the road by a group of Crusaders and their Troll Captain Zaba'zin agreed to travel with us and show us the safest route through the perils of Icecrown. I cannot ever say I have walked this route. Only navigate it from above where the worst thing you can encounter is a stray sky terror or chill wind trying to blow you off course.
It's much worse on the ground.

Our journey for the most part was tense and, ancestors blessed, quiet. The Scourge seemed to have taken their assaults elsewhere upon the shields of some other poor souls.
When finally trouble did find us and our convoy was ambushed just south of Scourgeholme, the Crusaders were caught in webs and it fell to us to handle the trouble. We battled down two groups of Nerubians seeming to act opportunistically upon any travellers leaving the Breach, it was swift and brutal and we suffered only very minor injury despite the suddenness of the attack.
However the wellbeing of Tahara Beastgrin is concerning. Several times during the altercation the orc was snarling like a wild animal, these sounds poured into the spirit link. It may be worth a Spiritual mender among the clan observing her until we know the nature of this affliction.

Arrival and Reunion at the Argent Tournament ground came quickly after the defeated ambush. We are whole again as a clan and I recommend that orcs save their strength where they can, we do not yet know how long matters will take here in Northrend.
We could be here for some time.

-- Verzan Skywise --
Nag'Ogar Elite, Red Blade Clan


Battle Report: Sky Terrors at the Tournament Grounds

The day had been calm, you might have thought it normal for Icecrown if not for the gaping hole in the sky above, an oppressive ever-present blister that for the most part did nothing but glare at you.
Seemed like the clan took the opportunity of quiet time to gather about the small fires around the Horde Pavillion, meagre wood keeping a constant blaze going that could for the most part drive back chilly fingers and frost bite from your nose.

The dangerous word ‘Quiet’ might have been uttered by but one orc.
When in the distance a winged creature brought down a charge of Necromantic energy. If I had not caught vague sight of it myself, I wouldn’t have understood what was to come next. Corpses. Dozens and dozens of corpses that burrowed out from the ground, a seething mass of lesser undead.
Individually none were a match for any combatant from the clan and yet when they were together in groups it was easy to find yourself swarmed.

The Clan held ground at the Horde Pavillion, freeing up defenders there to hold off this new threat elsewhere at the Tournament site. Scourge attacked on all sides and it was difficult to see any place where there was not fighting from the skies above.

Skywise Rykana saw him first, the rider upon the Hippogryph. Flying hell for leather back to the Tournament ramparts. Sliding in on his wing to relay a report - the ground attack was only the start of our troubles. We had incoming Gargoyles.


Troll Captain Zaba’zin ran to join us. We had moments before the swarm of flying sky terrors descended upon the Tournament grounds. ‘Get to the West tower’ was the order ‘Man the gunnery’
But those cannons would need supplying ammunition. With stocks being controlled and secured, the main magazine for the Argents was held securely at the coliseum. Orcs had mere moments to separate themselves into cannon crews and ammunition runners as they ran through the undead-infested tournament grounds.

Gargoyles swept down from the skies, snatching at orcs and attempting to lift them before they could reach the tower but were unable to halt their advance. Orcs scrambled up the tower steps while others peeled off to collect more ammunition. Then the cannons sounded, striking down the airborne enemies. For a time it was enough to hold them off with the gunnery towers.
Suddenly both wind riders peeled away from the defence of those running for ammunition, it was a signal to know the battle was about to change, and then the call came in. An immense flying statue was approaching. Bearing the features of the monstrosities of Uldum, the creature was marshalling the Gargoyles that attacked.

Reports from both Skywise Wind Riders suggested it was coming directly for the Tournament grounds and using the last remaining munitions from Zaxzil they took fire at what was believed to be the main weapon of the incoming giant.
The Grenade hit and cracked the obsidian weapon of the monster but did little more than gain its attention. It was now heading for the western tower defence. Upon arrival, a brilliant green and blue energy burst from the weapons it clutched in its carved stone hands - this Necromantic energy leached out to the Gargoyles wounded and fighting, seeming to both mend and empower them.
Gunners in the towers fired upon it but their shots also seemed to have little effect beyond cracking the obsidian surface. More was needed to fetch it down or the battle for control of the skies above the Tournament Ground would surely be lost.

Captain Zaba’Zin fighting alongside the Red Blade rallied once again, calling the ammunition runners to divert into the Chapel, where Priest William was standing waiting to do his part in the battle beyond. With the holy magics of the Light, the Forsaken empowered one cannonball into a light enchanted doom for the monster controlling the Gargoyles.

As the ammunition runners gave the glowing ball of holy energy secure escort to the western tower, a crackle of magical thunder surrounded the tower. An explosion of lightning erupted outwards. Vezara Wolfheart had enchanted a cannon ball with the powers of the elements and Drastal Halfbuk had lined up the shot.
The Thunder ball zoomed across the skies and thumped with a flash like summer lightning into the hide of the flying statue commanding the gargoyle, tearing a great crack in its surface but it wasn’t enough to bring the construct down. The creatures in the sky were still a very real threat and now the Red Blade were pushed to take down that flying beast with their last chance Holy Cannon ball before it could fix its dwindling Gargoyle forces.

Karak Stormsong and those in the tower loaded the holy ball into the cannon. They had but one shot, there was no room for error. Karak Stromsong stepped up to take aim. With little more ceremony. BANG. A loud explosion of light turned the darkened icecrown night into brilliant almost day light, as bright as it was the shot seemed distinctly average - but average was all we needed as the elemental winds guided the projectile of golden light and it struck our enemy.

It exploded in brilliant golden light, exploiting the fracture from previous shots and the heavy stone construct shattered. As it fell from the skies to the snows below, many of its controlled gargoyles broke from its control. Soaring away from the Tournament grounds in defeat.
We had won the night, the Tournament Ground had been held and the Argent and Ebon Knights gave a ragged cheer, the sea of undead that had torn from the earth somehow beaten back.

-- Verzan Skywise --
Nag’Ogar Elite of the Red Blade Clan


Hospital Records: Red Blade A&E

We’ve been stuck in Northrend now for about a week, fighting has waxed and waned like an ocean tide coming in. Scourge attack and those within the Tournament grounds push them back. That is the way of things here, there is no set rota or time table, these things just happen and happen and happen. It never ends.
On one of these unscheduled busy days the Argent Chapel hospital seemed to become short staffed. For reasons unknown there just weren't enough people to stand ready by the beds.
In very short notice the clan became called on by the Tournament grounds, to step in and cover an otherwise exceptionally understaffed two hours at the hospital. Into the frey the Red Blade orcs went. While not everyone is a mender, it didn’t seem necessary, there would be plenty of tasks to handle. Not every problem the menders face comes from an injury caused by the Scourge.


A good number of Red Blade attended to help out Nakobu Shadowbreaker, Za’karah Sporefang, Rhonya Steelheart, Karak Stormsong, Drastal Halfbuk..
And Targnar Windsong, mute and without hands. It was unclear what he could do but he certainly gave it his best. The friend of the clan Luciouz Dalton also attended to offer his assistance.

The handover came just after the eighth drum beat and no sooner had it happened the first patients already began to fall in through the front door, rapidly filling up the beds. Though most seemed in good spirits the constant sounds of fighting beyond the tent canvas suggested that things were going to get busy.

Among the first patients a very serious gut injury held one orc moments from death and Karak Stormsong entirely out of his depth. Conditions went from bad to worse for this orc and help was needed from the others to stop the critical condition patient from expiring.

Meanwhile elsewhere a Zandalari paladin was afflicted with sickness. Vomiting over the boards of the hospital and into their helm and at the same time a blood elf came in with a very serious head injury, Dr Dalton had no choice but to operate and release the pressure on the brain with a drill. Saving the patient.

A dispute boiled up between one orc Brogar and an forsaken Poporazzi, both having been brought in together from the battlefield. The orc couldn’t see anything but scourge when he looked upon the Forsaken and loudly announced his opinions to the busy ward. It's clear those two will never be allies but they were kept apart by the quick work of Targnar Windsong and Rhonya Steelheart.


Through the open doors of the Hospital no patient would be turned away and many more came. An orc stumbled within, agony tore at him from within and he collapsed upon the decking. When brought to a bed mender after mender looked him over there seemed to be no visible wounds, no sign of poison or sickness. He was just screaming in agony.

At the same time a troll woman arrived, she too had complaints. Many of them occupied the time of Nakobu. Seemingly with small complaints and few actual ailments, the Mag’har expertly accepted her complaints and convinced her away from the wards with ‘medicine’ she was an absolute time waster.

Though other patents within were far from that. An injured Tauren. Mansu Greatforest had arrived with a heavy wound to his shoulder and throat. It needed immediate attention, he was fading fast. A flurry of healer surrounded his bed and got to work but at a crucial moment one of them was called away.
Mansu was moments from death. Dr. Dalton stepped in to stem the bleeding before Mansu died. It was touch and go and the Tauren would remain bed ridden for many more nights to come.

The screaming agonized orcs torment continued. Finding a diagnosis was difficult.
Until a breakthrough came when the orcs checked his blood. It appeared to contain ghosts. This orcs blood was haunted and required immediate exorcism - but he had to wait Nakobu was still helping handle Mansu’s bloody wound.

Elsewhere a seemingly drunken orc lay sprawled across the middle of the floor, a Paladin Sin’dorei had a dislocated shoulder but refused to allow menders to take her armour off and Drastal Halfbuk was making every effort to try and maintain the cleanliness of the ward.

In the end ghosts were cast away from the blood of the orc patient. Time wasting drunks were tossed in the snow by Za’karah Sporefang, Mansu was made comfortable and less armoured than before and all patients found themselves treated.

It was just a few hours for the busy Infirmary, a night like every other night for the dedicated menders of the Argent Tournament but the Red Blade treated ten or more patients and had no fatalities on their watch.
As the Infirmary Matron would say ‘A night with no fatalities is a good night’



Ritual Report: Peering through Death's Door

I am told these moments of connection with the other side of things are rare and that if it had not been for the Den Mother Akala coming to the clan a mere few weeks ago this would never have been considered possible at all.

The rallying call came with the Death Walker Enrah approaching the Elders of the clan. A call across the spirit link that all oathed members of the clan are able to hear, they seemed to have an idea about something. It was more than just the clan Elders that answered the call. The Ebon Knight spoke about a need for action regarding the Den Mothers warning. We had been in Northrend now a week - it wasn’t the only orc getting itchy feet, this place is cold hell but not every orc could Necromancy away the problems here.

A detailed ritual was explained, something about attempting to peer beyond the veil to find Sharguul, the clan patron spirit of death. By focusing on his suffering on the other side while under the broken skies to the realms beyond. It seemed easy enough, using the items, bonds and stories that connected members of the clan to this wolf and through them they would reach out and locate him perhaps even see what all this trouble was about - except it came with a hitch. Death walkers, as we are all well aware, use Souls for most of their ‘powerful’ magic.
That breaks the clan code, regardless of the portion of soul used.

While they might have been willing in the end to sacrifice part of their soul for the purposes of this ritual alongside other volunteers such as Ragnar Whiteclaw, the clan had not explored any other avenues. Self sacrifice seemed a little premature on this occasion.
The offer while allowed was firmly refused.


Many orcs present at this impromptu gathering offered their alternative attempts, some like Drazhul Dusklight who offered his talents using the void were refused. The Void after all is known to speak in lies and it could potentially lead to confusion over the direction needed right now. Others like Bashul Starsong a talented Astronomancer and Nakobu who uses only the Light could potentially have located the truth in that but again the powers employed would have potentially been costly, when we needed both to be fighting ready.

There were also concerns about involving the elementals when shaman spoke of potentially feeding the Death Walker some of that power to fuel their ritual, uncertainty over this made it an overlooked option. And of course, Kogra Windwatcher’s own limitations when calling upon the spirits powers for the clan, nobody wanted to pay to invoke those costs.

Instead an unproven New Blood who barely knew of the clan’s spirit wolves. Drastal Halfbuk volunteered and was chosen, a Mag’har from a Seer’s lineage from Alternate Draenor seeming to choose to deploy a similar technique to the Death Walker. The young seer knew the bonds the clan had to the Blackfur would be the best way of locating the spirit beyond the veil.
Mustering those gathered who could help and all those who would watch on either guarding the ritualists or simply the curious who needed to know what the fate of the spirits was, the group moved to the outer edges of the Tournament grounds.

There, around a small campfire, those involved in the ritual: The clan Varog’Gor Razaron Madeye, Kyrazha Throatrender, Vraxxar Wildmark and others such as Draz’hul Dusklight, Bashul Starsong and Tagrok Valorwind.
Incense was burnt by the young Seer and words spoken of potent ritual. Power manifested and spirits tied to the lands around became as spectres across the snow. Connecting with the ritualists and seemingly all of those close by, the spirits became visible for everyone.

The spirits understood the severity of the request, lending their strength to the ritual and reaching up into the darkness as requested and yet it did not seem to work. Something was stopping them crossing into the world beyond - the same thing that had prevented Akala herself crossing the veil it seemed.
Orcs tried to empower them but it was limited in its success - the ritual was upon the brink of failure when one of the more powerful entity’s aiding the clan leapt into the body of Drastal Halfbuk and used his mouth to speak.


A bridge was needed.
An orc would be required to become a bridge between here and the realms of the dead.
The spirit spoke these exact words when referring to this bridge ‘One who knows both sides of the coin of life at their very core’
Eyes fell upon the Death walker Enrah, while among the Varog’gor Razaron Madeye’s own experiences of life and death became apparent. The orc had died once before to rescue Sharguul many moons ago, only to be brought back from the dead.

One orc the literally living dead and the other an orc who had died and lived again. There would only be one chance at this and to get it wrong would have been to court disaster. Both stepped up to play their part.

Using her talents to step through the veil to the Shadowlands, Enrah called upon the magic of the Ebon Knights and stepped into the realms upon the other side, there she would wait for Madeye to reach forward.
He would grasp her hand through the veil - pull her back through and in this act create the bridge needed to hurl all of the orcs present into a series of turbulent visions of things no living members of the clan had ever been witness to before.


In the first vision the snow parted to share images of a distant place. A golden impossible structure floating in an unknown sky, shaped much like a Winter's Veil cracker. A steam of bright lucid shapes. That orcs who were witness to this whispered ‘souls’ upon seeing it. The numbers were uncountable beyond measure and from seemingly all places.

You watched them in awe as they swarmed through the floating structure and directly down into the ominous imposing blood red and ash black clouds below, as if drifting down into a terrible furnace hungry to consume them.
At the floating structure itself there are further flows of energy but much smaller, faint and four in total. Each leading off far into the sky were clouded swirls of different colours smaller than the ominous furnace mark their destination.

It seemed many of the spiritualists among our number felt without question that this was a place connected to the soul, before our visions turned again. Seemingly peering closer and within the grand architecture of the floating structure.
A huge chamber with a hole at its heart is illuminated by the stream of brightest souls pouring down and down through it and beyond into the depths below. Unknown armoured beings stand guard over a multitude of doorways leading to places unknown.

Robed beings float to and fro, busy about their purpose. While ethereal people whose body looks clothed in spiritual flame and mechanical limb walk in groups with opportunistic determination.

This seems to be more than some machine or grand device, it seems to be a city?
At sight of this place those bonded to Sharguul reported having felt that he was once here - but not if his current suffering was linked to this place? Questions remained unanswered as a stout being, wearing dark plate and tattered furs steps into vision. It was a dwarf. A dead one and from the colour of his tabard and runic axe another death walker of Enrah’s Order.
Following his short stride he leads us through the hall and passes the enormous armoured beings that guard the passages here. The cold gaze of undeath falls upon the entering figure as he looks to a strange man, seemingly with a cracked hide of flame among them. There seem to be many Ebon Knights here.

As the vision falls away into bleak and phantomless snows, ‘High lord Fordragon’ Our Death walker Enrah would utter referring to the strange fire touched man. Surprised perhaps to see him in that distant place.


As vision returns to those involved things are different, the glittering city of souls and the dead with its alien vaulted hallways and streams of countless souls are gone. Things are more turbulent as if the vision itself is shaken...

The grand visage of the Blackfur himself stands out in the blizzard arms length from the orcs, none can reach him. He is exhausted and a great many wounds are visible across his body. The great spirit's essence weeps front these open wounds as the weight from each cut stacks upon the might of the last. It is taking its toll.
In other visions he was more intangible… here things are different, he is material. His eyes glare at something unseen and his blackened fangs are bared. Facing off against a foe unseen. As if ready to make a final stand.

Some orcs try to see more, to push their will to aid him to action but it is impossible, nothing more can be seen and once again the snows return simply to flow around the clouded minds of the orcs enduring this spectacle.

Eventually like a light in a dark and windy night, something begins to approach. Many feel they have experienced the present but in this fresh fall of snow, there is a feeling of something other. Perhaps of things yet to come…

A soft scene of an orcish soul walking across a field of flowing grass. The skies above are an unimaginable kaleidoscope of colours as the sun sets gently. His attire is generic by orcish standards, perhaps yielding from a time before the opening of the Dark Portal but the crest upon his shield. That can only be the mark of the Red Blade. The scene of calm is pierced by a sudden burst of blue energy before him, a portal opens before the orc and through the ripples of magic a hulking monstrosity tears its way through.
Though the Red Blade orc spirit is brave, charging with axe and shield to cleave chunks out of the horror. He is ultimately defeated. As he lay in the long grass the creature siphons the energy of the fallen orc bringing him closer and closer to a second death.

Sharguul, the one whose role to protect the Red Blade in the next life, is nowhere to be seen. No aid comes to the orc. He faces his final death. Only oblivion awaits.


In sober silence the orcs stare at the scene. But their gaze is met by only further visions through a blizzard of snow that present to them another orc. This time she holds something more recognisable to those orcs who have passed their New Blood tasks. Three marks stained in blood.
When she lived or whom she is, is something of a mystery but she is a Red Blade for certain.This orc seems floating through a dark abyss. Following toward a thread of energy to a light that awaits her. Hopes are raised, could this be the Eternal Hunting Grounds?

No answer comes. Nor does Sharguul, he is not there to guide her to a place of rest instead hands reach from inside the darkness. Grasping the orc. Their fingers twist and yank pulling at her spiritual form and wrench it struggling to be torn to pieces.
Dark hands collect what remains and retreat back into the shadows.

No help came for either orc lost out there in the darkness, they faced oblivion alone and none came for those who faced horrific demises without Sharguul’s guidance and protection. All that they were winked out before our eyes. It was unbearable and to many unimaginable.
At this the connection wavered.
Spirits who had shared such a fate had reached their limit, this would be all the clan could witness for now and left many with more questions than answers.


A grim procession marched away from that snow-clad hillside under the broken skies of Icecrown, orcs questioning quietly what had happened and their place in the world now, was damnation all that remained?
Was it really true that the clan now faced oblivion should they fall in battle?


It only made the matter of Sharguul’s rescue seem even more imperative. If nothing was done, perhaps all would be lost. It would seem the clans' fate would be left to ponder the pathways that could take them into the breach, to the realms of death themselves. To the Shadowlands.

And perhaps a path none would have considered before.
A Death gate through to the other side. But at what cost?



A meeting with the Den Father - Akashok

We gathered around the meagre fires of the Tournament Grounds, a solemn crowd of Red Blade with troubled hearts and worry on their minds. The weight of vision that had been witnessed a few days previous and the dark implication of what we saw rested heavily, the fear that if we did not act to save Sharguul soon then the entire Clan would be risking the darkness of oblivion.

The decision had been made to seek the guidance and wisdom of Akashok, the greatest of the Clan’s spirit patrons. And so the quiet procession made their way up onto the snow-blasted hills overlooking the pavilion to where Bashul Starsong had prepared a circle of ritual. She called out to the Den Father, her timid voice echoing from the blanket wastes around her, the ritual short as she entreated Akashok to visit his wisdom upon us in this time of dire need.

It did not take long for her to receive her answer, a flurry of snow kicking up on an unnatural wind and blinding the orcs but when the white cleared, he was there. Paws impossibly light upon the snow as he rested across from Starsong, firelight flickering over his pale fur as he regarded the rest of the gathered clan with a piercing gaze.


Words were exchanged, others from the Clan speaking up as the great wolf seemed uncertain what we hoped to gain from him that we did not already know ourselves. He was not the Traveller, this duty had been passed to us. The Death Walker, Enrah, stepped forwards, seeking permission from Starsong before speaking, addressing the Den Father with respectfully bended knee.

She spoke of the training her Order was giving her in transport across the veil of death, of the dark cost such power came with, and of her desire to find another way to carry the Clan to the aid of the Blackfur. She spoke of places known to house broken souls, fragments worn down by forgotten time and asked if this was enough.

Akashok responded with no uncertainty. Any attempt to use whole souls, even in the aid of the Blackfur, would be denied. He then drew attention to the Clan’s efforts to escape the ocean floor several months ago, and the elemental duke who had wielded worn fragments of soul in aid of the Clan. He spoke of how we did not raise blades against it despite the protestations of several Clan members that the path had been just as undesirable back then.

He reminded us that if we had accepted the use of whole souls, even in service of our cause, then he would have had to visit us to ask where his pack had gone so astray. Such a thing was not to be countenanced. It was at this point that Karak Stormsong made his thoughts known, defiantly addressing the great wolf that ‘We need options, not reprimand.’

Stormsong was angry at the suggestion that the Code was flexible, accusing the Den Father of speaking only platitudes and bending the Code only when it served his whims. Other Clan orcs growled and demanded his silence, trying to offer reason in the face of his discontent, but it took a flat-edged blow from the bladefist of Targnar Windsong, a New Blood of the Clan, to silence the defiant True Blood.

Stromsong was warned by Akashok that if he spoke another word in disrespect, then he would be dismissed from the gathering entirely. This quietened the True Blood but instead he seethed quietly, storing up his thoughts that would become the final argument of his title.


The Den Father then clarified his judgement on the Code, to make it clear to all what options they had available. The fragments of lost souls could be permitted only under the most dire of circumstances, granting that the plight of the Blackfur constituted such. But that we must ensure that no trace of a being remained within the soul, only mere energy reduced to such a point that there is nothing remaining of who it once was.

Deeming the matter settled, the great wolf invited further questions. Several in the Clan spoke up and we learned that it was unclear how long the Blackfur would last without aid but that it would be unwise to delay and that it was unlikely we could lend him our strength until we had crossed the veil to the other side.
Akashok’s parting words were directed to Kyrazha Throatrender, entrusting that she knew what actions to take for those who could not hold their tongue, nodding his head to those who bid him respect before standing and walking into another flurry of blinding snow, leaving the orcs with their own company once more.

It was then that Stormsong chose his moment. A tirade of complaints and sour words issued from the True Blood the moment the Den Father had taken his leave, offering disrespect to Varog’Gor Throatrender even as she warned him of consequences to his actions. She responded by stripping him of his title, removing his status as True Blood of the Clan and leaving him a Nag’Ogar only.

As the discussion continued, Enrah informed those gathered that she was attending a meeting with one of her Order later that evening in the hopes of learning where the Clan might locate the kind of soul energy Akashok had granted his permission to use. She invited any Clan’s orc to attend alongside her, asking for them to witness the exchange.

The gathering departed, orcs wandering off to face their own thoughts or seeking warmth in the pavilion. We had learned what we set out to find, we knew the path ahead of us. There were still many that felt strongly against it, and it is certain many consider it only out of grim necessity, but at least we would not be breaking our Code. Dire times indeed if the Den Father would grant such permission.

Regardless of our feelings, we must prepare to do what is necessary to save the Blackfur. To ensure that when each of us, our children, those descendants we have not even conceived, when all who hold to the Red Blade oath should meet their end that they can find their rest in safety beneath Sharguul’s gaze.

These are dark times with dark deeds but we hold together and march strong for the salvation of all we hold dear. For the safety of the Clan, we bear this burden.

-- Rykana Skywise --
Nag’Ogar of the Red Blade Clan


Battle Report: The Valley of Icey Doom

Sitting on the steps of the Horde Pavillion, peering over meticulous papers and maps detailing where we were to depart. I had to wonder just what was in it for the Ebon Knight to ‘help’ us like this. We had information of a goat path that headed out the rear of the Argent Tournament grounds, used these days by a good number of Crusaders heading an alternate route to engage in more subtle deployments against the Scourge.
The path wouldn’t take too much climbing and our target was a largish ice canyon so close to the tournament grounds that we wouldn’t even need to fetch our mounts. It was quickly labelled ‘The ditch’

Plan was simple. Get into the ditch and find the mostly not dubious relics we needed for the ritual that would take us to the Shadowlands to rescue Sharguul.


Getting to the ditch was without incident but our quiet journey ended there. It was not long before ice elementals rose up from the ground, disturbed by the relatively large group of Red Blade orcs crossing past where they had been left abandoned - and fel tainted.
They must have been relics from the conflict that wracked Azeroth when the Legion came, they could even have been down there longer. It was difficult to know.

When ten feet of ice monster burning from the inside with Fel torment emerges from the snow and approaches you, alongside three of its friends, the normal response is to fight such a creature - The shaman of our clan however were quick to identify what had happened to these poor tainted creatures.
They called back our blades. Pacifying the raging ice monsters for a short time while we formulated a plan that might just see them cleased of the Fel torment.

Kogra Windwatcher, Rhonya Steelheart, Eliff Watersong and Drastal Halfbuk. Would use their powers to purge the fel taint from the elementals - which of course would be unpleasant for all involved.
The shaman felt certain that this would cause the elementals to thrash and become violent. So those who were not directly purging an elemental would have to grapple with them somehow. These ten foot tall ice monsters filled with fel magic -- this was certainly not what anyone had been expecting to find themselves doing and a titanic ‘hug’-out ensued as the Red Blade separated into four groups.


Huge orcs like Thronk and Gul’rok Ragehowl ‘hugged’ the elementals into behaving, others tangled them in ropes and wrestled with giant icey limbs. The effort was not wasted. Orbs of Fel magic were drawn out of the elementals and they were freed from their torment.

Speaking only in the language of elementals, they approached the clan orcs questioning why they had come to this forgotten place. The orcs explained that we were searching for relics and objects that may have been left behind. The elementals shook their ice bound heads, the legion came here and picked the icy valley clean of anything valuable.
However there was one place, a tainted hole deep in the earth where the great worms once made their burrows where things might not have been touched. With a polite request from Rhonya Steelheart - the elementals led the way.


True to their word. The ice elementals led the Red Blade orcs through glittering canyons of ice and snow. Bitterly cold and eerily quiet, locked in the eternal colds of this barren landscape.
After a time a huge cavernous hole in the ice appeared before the orcs. Vast it was, as if something mighty had punched a hole through the sheer cliff surface. Shines of weak light glittered from the deep blue canyon walls, small flecks of snow sprinkled down from above into the sheltered cavern which rapidly plunged into darkness before the orcs.

Yet at the caverns mouth sat a small plump ‘thing’ for a long moment we all just peered at it, uncertain what it could be. Half buried and motionless it appeared soft and almost out of place. Karak Stormsong stepped forward boldly, moving to examine the ‘thing’ and then discovering it was the larvae of one of the great ice worms found here in Northrend.
Except it was quite stone dead. It wasn’t clear what took its life, only that it was dead and frozen solid in the ice.


Suddenly from above a winged creature could be seen again. Dark feathery wings and ominous armour marked it out against turbulent skies. It flew toward our location from the gaping hole in the skies above, sweeping in even as we attempted to shoot it down.
A large ball of necromantic energy burst from its fingers and plunged deep into the ground sending orcs scattering for cover at the mouth of the cavern.

But the winged figure did not descend, instead it channeled its dark powers into the frozen corpse of the worm larvae, filling it with Necromantic energies as it sprouted spikes of ice and bone. It had been reanimated by the flying fiend and seemingly in an effort to thwart our efforts in the valley below.
The fight came immediately as the worm charged the Red Blade.

The cut and thrust of blade and spell smashed into its hide but the unliving monster seemed to know no pain. Nag’Ogar hurriedly climbed to the back of the monster, Gul’rok Ragehowl getting there first being able to grab the creatures enormous facial spines and yank, just in time to rescue Targnar Windsong from a spray of necrotic acid from the creatures withered bile sacks.
The fighting continued forcing Kogra Windwatcher to defend her battle sister with a wall of ice and Karak Stormsong to land a few precious hits with his crossbow.
By now I had joined Ragehowl on the back of the beast and we hacked at it with great weapons, the creature's whole body quivered as it was preparing to dive. Neither orc on its back seemed to take the hint to dive off. Plunging our blades deep into its dead hide, we braced for the ride to come. While other orcs at ground level continued to slash and cut at the monster.
It roared a harrowing hollow cry and then dove for the earth carrying Skywise and Ragehowl with it. Muffled voices could be heard through the spirit link as the two clung on for all their worth.

Above them the ground trembled and ice broke from the cliff edges in the narrow valley. Orcs braced, waiting for the creature to reemerge out into the open air. When suddenly with a loud booming cry of ‘RROSH!’ the worm was forced to the surface by those on its back and into the clear firing line of the orcs above.
Drastal Halfbuk sent his wolves in for the kill, Steelheart enchanted a magical arrow nocked to Rykana Skywise’s bow as the arrow struck the head of the giant worm. The orcs riding its back leapt clear.
The worm's head exploded with a colossal crash and a liberal spraying of gore.
It fell to the ground defeated and, among the remains, still wrapped in the rows of broken teeth, Thronk plucked three gore spattered keys.


The puzzle of where these keys went at least was not a mystery for long, as the orcs found themselves drawn to investigate the abandoned worm lair within the cavern. Old death lurked locked in the walls, trapped and twitching in the dark ice all about them and bathed in the stench of fel magic. Yet here before them rested three chests.

In the first were Fel armaments, not to be used by the orcs they were quickly scooped up into a crate by the orcs, to be purged of their corruption by the Crusaders. In the second chest were reliquaries, though none could be sure of their contents these seemed more of what the orcs came looking for. They would warrant more investigation. In the final chest, nested over soft decaying cushions, a great number of purple soul crystals - all of which were taken and given to the Thur’ruk Windwatcher. Though abominable for what they were, they could not be abandoned.

Cavern plundered, the orcs made a quick retreat.
Perhaps quicker than they had anticipated - the Ice elementals they had removed the taint from ‘offered’ a quicker alternative that seemed to manifest in the form of an ice slide. Some orcs who spoke elemental knew it was coming, others slipped on their backsides and rode it out back to the Tournament Ground.

Exhausted from their battles and with a great deal of salvage to sort orcs took their rest. The task at hand had been completed and none had suffered any great injury.

For now orcs recover ahead of a second expedition to something we are told by Enrah is of reverence to the Vrykul and their god of death. The Tomb of Trials awaits.

--Verzan Skywise--
Elite Nag’Ogar, Red Blade Clan


Battle Report -- The Tomb of Trials

The skies were stormy as the Argent Hippogryphs took flight, rain lashed our faces and winds buffeted the armoured birds. The weather gave us the best chance of getting into the Vrykul village undetected but it was a bumpy ride for unseasoned fliers.
Tucking in among the cliffs before parting from the birds. The Orcs quickly found themselves with a choice, break into the village through a barricaded main gate or scale the walls. Under the leadership of Bloodrider Blackfeather we scaled the walls. Some orcs made easy work of it, others who were too large or burdened by heavier armours were aided by the magic of Drazhul Dusklight.

On the other side of the wall things seemed quiet. The village under populated. With the use of the Warlock Gatran Felhammer’s conjured eye of kilrogg we were able to scout the village without detection. It seemed a large war party of the village's warriors were away.

This gave us chance to sneak through the edges of the inside wall undetected and without incident. We were heading to a cavern at the back, barred by thick wooden doors there was only one set of guards between us and our goal.
The struggle was brief. The Ebon Knight dragged one guarding Vrykul down from his post and he was quickly dealt with by the warriors close by and the other was handled by killing blasts of evil magic from both Felhammer and Dusklight.
The bodies were quickly disposed of by Targnar and Dusklight and we moved on. There was not time to linger, the war party of Vrykul could return at any moment.


The rain continued to soak the orcs through as they stood before the huge thick timbered doors of the tomb complex. In time with the thunder overhead, Takkat Warwolf assaulted the door attempting to break through.
When the timbers mysteriously put up resistance greater than expected a tussle broke out among the orcs as Felhammer attempted to cast a warlock gate to fetch the whole group past the barrier through the small opening Warwolf had made. This did not go down well and he was smacked out of the way by Targnar Windsong.
In the end, a combined effort of many orcs shoving got the doors to buckle. The orcs gaining access to a darkened chamber beyond.

The chamber itself held very little and they found themselves with limited light. Some quickly claimed torches, others relied upon their own magical conjourations or runes etched upon their weapons.
Through the dim light a corpse emerged. The body long dead wearing the colours of the Ebon Order, in its hands it clutched at a vessel. These were the sorts of objects the clan had come to claim.
The corpse seemed to catch the attention of Enrah the Death Knight, as if there was something shared between the two. She spoke the warnings of her order, in hollow echoed notes. Describing how many Acolytes sought to claim the bounty of soul energy held within this place for themselves, to ease their guilt at what they had to do to survive as Death Knights.
The Tomb of Trials, it was called by the Vrykul who worshipped the gods of death here.
The dead Acolytes body they had found must have been trying to claim the souls within for themselves and failed in the effort and though orcs searched, no Runeblade could be found nearby.

They pressed on, time still being against them. At the back of the cavern a spiral stairwell crept down further into the mountain side and yet even more darkness. It was the only way forward.


Quiet and still. Dry and disused the corridor was broad and made of stone. Tall struts of thick ancient timber propped up the roof as the orcs reached the bottom of the stairway and finally found themselves in the tomb itself.
Nothing moved but them.

Like thieves stepping upon forbidden ground the orcs edged forward.
When suddenly through the very walls of the tomb around them emerged giant, bellowing Vrykul ghosts. Warriors long lost and lingering from the fights to the death to appease the death gods of their people.
Though orcs swung for them as they ambushed the group, initially none could hurt them, their regular blades not enough to cut through ghostly forms. From the front of the group Enrah the Death Knight called upon Unholy magics and targeted the warriors to bring their incorporeal forms into the physical where the others could hit them.
This left the Knight exposed and the ghost Vrykul took advantage of this, hitting her many times before the rest of the group could bring about their end. Several waves of furious Vrykul ghosts emerged to fight the party boasting of their deeds and glories as if seeing the Red Blade in their tomb as a final chance to prove themselves.

Soon as the Vrykul ghosts were made physical those chances faded fast the orcs cut them down and moved on deeper into the tomb.

A vast chamber opened out before them, at its heart a runic pillar etched with Vryul meaning, prayers and worship of death. Adorned with these markings and runes it was easy almost to ignore the bounty of shattered Death Knight runeblades propped against the pillar. Like testament to how many had come here before and failed.
At the dim edges of the room in the shadows tucked away were vessels containing souls. As the orcs went to retrieve them, a huge ghost emerged from the runic pillar, Jovald the Jormungar -- he bellowed his name. An enormous looming figure of a Vrykul atop his spectral Proto Drake.

Boastful and proud, the Vrykul mocked the orcs for coming to challenge his might. Keen to add their souls to the collection he had gathered about the room. They charged him and as they did the Drake he was riding opened its mouth and let rip with a burst of blue spirit flame that washed over any not quick enough to evade it.
Once more Enrah brought the Drake into the physical world allowing for the others to lay into the beast. Some like Bamm cut at it with screwdrivers and the tools of their trade, while others took a more traditional approach and hacked at its hide with axes and blades. Many orcs took injury in the deadly melee as the Vrykul did not just sit and allow his spirit beast to be cut down. He hurled axes from his saddle at the orcs below, some fell to their knees from the relentless assault.
Targnar Windsong knelt among the melee and seemingly with prayer mended one of the orcs being hit. While Karnna Blackfeather and Thronk pressed the attack.

In the end the Drakes ghostly shape was ripped to shreds by the orcs, unseating its rider as he hit the ground with a heavy thud. He immediately turned his blades into a spinning pinion of doom, whirling between the orcs that sought to end him.
With only a few remaining standing, Jovald began to fling fire from the ends of his axe. His voice cut short by Unholy magic, his crotch bit by Boomer, back raked by Karnna Blackfeathers knives and chest cleaved by Takkat Warwolf’s axe. It was an effort from all to bring him down.

Bloodied and combat weary, the orcs found no more fighting in the tomb from then onwards. They made quick work of emptying the area of the vessels needed to aid the clan ritual and the Death Knight claimed the broken pieces of her peoples Runeblades.
Escape came through a hidden passage that took the orcs on a lengthy walk that would eventually emerge out in the howling winds and pouring rain once again. Their hippogryphs swooping in to the ledges of the ancient structure to ferry them away. Mission complete.



A notice is placed where the orcs can see it, passed to them directly or slipped into the front of tents when they can be found. The missive is also announced clearly where many might hear

Orcs of the Red Blade,

Many have fallen victim in recent weeks to the terrors soaring down from the broken skies above, the Argent Crusade are stretched thinly across the ruined landscape. They are fighting fires but the time has come to take direct action.
The Ebon Blade will be attempting an ambush upon these winged intruders.

They believe themselves without threat in the skies above Icecrown, untouchable in their efforts to raise further troops against us from the frigid ground. We must strike so that they hesitate to increase their strength further.
The Ashen Pact have laid a trap for one of these intruders. The corpse of a rotting giant has been placed at the foot of a tower at Icecrown citadel directly below the great hole in the sky and we will await their keen eyes to spot it and attempt to raise it.
The target is too good for them to ignore.

We will use our powers of death to drag the flying intruder to the tower where we can fight it and bring one of these enemies to death and help turn the tide of this war.

While we will face this threat alone if needed, more fighters would make our victory a certainty. We have cooperated in the past and so if you wish to lend your strength, it will be accepted.
We do battle with what some are calling a ‘Herald of the Maw’ and it will be no simple task.

Knight-Captain of the Ashen Pact