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This is a page I made for some of the FanFic I plan on doing. While I always feel awkward around the "Fanfic" crowd (:P), I really enjoy writing, and have taken a liking to my characters. Please leave any comments/criticism on the talk page. (_esstha(|)1337 t • c • f
Fall of DurnEdit
Gripping the reins of his armored wolf, the orc Tojarda raced across a hoof-beaten path in the Land of the Winds. Nagrand! The verdant, life-filled hills tumbled out beneath his mount's padding paws. With this sun glinting off his headpiece, Tojarda looked up at the wonders of the sky above him. He admired the far off worlds just visible through the white tufts of clouds, with purple rivers of elemental energy flowing behind them. His mount crested a butte and the shaman commanded his steed to halt. From this high ridge he looked in awe down at the magnificent crystalline mountain before him. He had heard tales of Oshu'gun and the strange nether-energies it emitted, but he felt them now for the first time. He had long grown accustomed to the wild and strange energy of Outland, but this shining white mass felt strange to him. Dismounting, he bent to remove one of his elemental totems from the satchel on his wolf. Holding the strong wooden totem in his hands, Tojarda admired its resilience. He had had it for most of his life, and aside from a few scratches, it was in good repair. Rising, he turned and breathed deeply the vibrant air. He raised the totem high and whispered an ancient incantation before planting it mightily onto the ground.
“You did it! You took down Banthar! I never had a doubt, Tojarda.” The hardy, bronzed dwarf looked up at the giant horn in Tojarda’s outstretched hands, then turned and shuffled through his belongings.
“Here, I think you've more than earned this!” He held out a large pair of bands that shone brightly in the hot afternoon sun. Tojarda unclasped his old bracers, once as shiny as these now dirty and tarnished, and stuffed them in his backpack. After removing his gauntlets he slid them on and immediately felt a rush of power. Faint, glowing runes could just be made out on the surface. The orc nodded and, with a final salute to the camp, mounted and rode off for Garadar.
The town of Garadar squatted in a river delta just west of the encampment. The Mag'har orcs that lived here were a fractured tribe of the primal orcs that lived in Draenor before the coming of the Legion. They had remained free of the bloodlust and lived in peace for all the years of war. Tojarda was fascinated by them and was very content with making his home with them, even if for a brief time. Galloping past the guards at the entrance, Tojarda made his way to the blacksmith near the central fire ring. After dropping off some damaged armor, he left the large brown orc to his business. He made his way to the notice board posted on the far side of the ring and couldn’t help but overhear two of the venerable orcs around the fire. They were arguing about the recent loss of Halaa and plans to retake it. A few adventurers were gathered around them listening and making preparations for the ongoing battle against the Alliance. As he approached the board, Tojarda noticed something that hadn’t been there before. A large parchment was pinned over all the rest by a large dagger:
WANTED: Durn the Hungerer
The quest intrigued Tojarda, and the rewards posted were more than enough to motivate him. The Wanted notice directed him to Warden Bullrok who was standing close to the signpost. The grizzled Mag'har has seen more than his share of battles and was quick to give information regarding the threat that Durn posed. "Durn the Hungerer lords over the area surrounding Oshu'gun, decimating all in his path. Thus far, none have been able to rid Nagrand of this ferocious gronn. Gather your allies and venture to the Spirit Fields, far southwest of here, near Oshu'gun, and track down Durn. Slay him and I assure you rewards commensurate with the difficulty of the task at hand." Nodding, Tojarda accepted the task and turned to post his own advertisement requesting allies to join him in the fight.
His reputation preceded him and Tojarda was able to gather a small force of heroes to confront the terror of Durn. A powerful undead warlock had been the first to answer the call. The veteran of many battles, he had contended with Durn before and would be a great help in the coming battle. A pair of trolls had arrived next, a powerful priest and a crafty rogue. Though the rogue had already become familiar with Nagrand and some of the surrounding regions, his Holy friend had just arrived in the land. Though she had traveled through a few of the regions of Outland, she was the most inexperienced of the group. All knew, however, that their small group would collapse without the aid of a warrior to protect them in battle. Finally, after much searching, a mighty Tauren had come to join their ranks. Tojarda needed but a glance to tell that he was suited for the job. His thick plate armor was freshly shined, and had carefully preserved battle scars across the shoulders and chest. Coupled with an exceptionally large stature, this warrior seemed suited for the Herculean task of battling Durn. The group welcomed him in and now, with all preparations made, the group set out to destroy the biggest threat facing the land of Nagrand. Rising from the central fire ring, the adventurers summoned their mounts. They sat astride the various beasts of their races as the people of the town gathered to send them off. Tojarda's wolf gnashed its teeth in anticipation of the battle to come, and the trolls' raptors were growing restless. The orange light of sunset cast a subtle glow around the heroes as their orc leader gave the command to move out. In a cloud of dust, the group rode out of Garadar and down the western road. The crowd cheered them on to victory as the bold heroes galloped off into the fading sunlight.
To be continued...
Stepping out into the bright sunlight, Zambya squinted and blinked. The blue-skinned troll had just arrived in the Valley of Trials, proving ground for Horde newcomers. Stretching his legs felt good; the journey had taken him far from his island homeland...
Since the coming of Zalazane, Zambya had lived in constant fear. Now, watching the new recruits train for the battles ahead, he felt a new sense of hope for his people. The Horde had granted refuge for the Darkspear Tribe in their canyon city of Orgrimmar, but Zambya had been among those that stayed to fight back. With his home ransacked and land stolen, Zambya joined the Silent Fang, a small group of warriors that fought against Zalazane. Striking silently from the shadows, they had been a definite thorn in the enemy's side. Unfortunately, the costs of battle were high and each troll lost resulted in lower morale for the group. Then, one night, Zalazane's witch doctors discovered the Fang's camp. Powerless in a full assault, most of the Fang were quickly slaughtered. Zambya and his brother, Anso, were the only survivors, the latter gravely wounded. Within a few days, Anso died and Zambya decided that the only hope for himself was to join the Horde. He had found a scouting party of orcs and told them his tale. They escorted him to a ship headed for the mainland where he joined other Darkspear refugees. They sailed to the coast and upriver to a cave that led to the Valley of Trials. Now, after a restless night's sleep, he was ready to begin his adventure.
He was greeted by Kaltunk, a large bearded orc who looked him over, scrutinizing his body type and build.
Smiling, he looked up and said "You will do nicely. No doubt you wish to find a great dragon or demon and strangle it with your bare hands, but perhaps it would be wise to start on something less… dangerous." Kaltunk laughed and pointed to the cave behind him. "Report to Gornek, he should be able to assign a task better suited to a young rogue. You will find Gornek in The Den, to the west." Rogue. It was the first time anyone had called him that, and it sounded good. He had told the orcs that he was skilled at stealth and silence, but he had yet to receive his official title.
Zambya nodded and started toward the cave. The sun was blisteringly hot and, though he was used to the humid heat of the jungle, it made Zambya uncomfortable. The Den gave little comfort as the large braziers, placed every few feet to illuminate the tunnel, let off a dense smoke. This harsh warrior world was a definite change from the steamy fragrant islands he was raised in. He sighed and resolved again to learn the ways of this new world. Arriving deep in the heart of the cave, Zambya found many merchants and craftsmen peddling their wares to the newcomers. A glint of steel caught his eye as he passed and, looking over, he spied a wicked dagger resting on the nearest vendor's table. Though he knew Gornek was waiting, he stopped and asked the vendor, Kzan, the price. It didn't take long for the gruff orc to explain (for what sounded like the hundredth time) that the troll's wooden bartering tokens were of no value to the Horde and that they demanded hard metal coins.
Pointing at the dagger Kzan barked, "This dirk'll cost you 57 copper pieces. You can make money by selling things ya find in the Valley. Now, move along, I hear Gornek's waitin' for ya."
Zambya eyed the dagger one more time then turned and headed to the back of the cave. He unsheathed the rough troll-crafted knife he'd been using. It had served him well in many battles, but maybe it was time for an upgrade. He stowed it in his belt again as he rounded the final corner. Gornek was waiting for him. Even though Zambya was probably taller than him (the troll's bent posture prevented him from being sure) the orc's shoulders were at least twice as broad. A thick braided beard hung from his chin and his powerful muscles rippled beneath green skin as he shifted his grip on the heavy axe he held.
"Lok'tar, troll." He said with a quick nod. Though the language was unfamiliar, Zambya recognized this as a greeting and bowed low in response.
The orc explained the Horde's need for new recruits and that he was glad to see an influx of trolls in recent days. "Regardless," he continued, "you will need to prove yourself worthy of the Horde. I'll give you a chance to cut your teeth... or tusks." He gave a short bark of a laugh then continued. "Go out into the Valley of Trials and kill ten of the wild boars there. Return to me when you're done and I'll give you a reward." Zambya bowed again, though from the tone of Gornek's voice he felt a salute seemed called for, and left the cave.
Taking a deep breath of the dusty air, he surveyed the landscape. The red ridges of the valley rose up around him, creating a closed zone for training. The golden sun was high in the sky, beating heat down on the cracked earth beneath the troll's bare feet. Drawing his knife, Zambya strode off past a clump of cacti and spotted a small mottled boar, his first target. "So it begins," he thought, smiling slightly to himself.
"Ow! OK, I'll get back to work." Rubbing the fresh bump on his head, the peon began chopping lumber again, muttering to himself. Zambya was supposed to be waking the lazy workers for Foreman Thazz'ril and had just completed his round of the Valley. He had already done a few jobs for Gornek and started his training as a Rogue. His life in the jungle had made stealth training easy, and he had just barely mastered the backstab technique.
Pocketing the blackjack the Foreman had provided him with, he doubled back and started for The Den. As he went, however, he saw off to his right that another peon had fallen asleep under a tree! Cursing the lazy oafs, he set out purposefully toward him. Spying a nest of scorpids ahead, he slowed and backed against a tree. To avoid detection, he moved ahead slowly, carefully picking his path toward the sleeping orc. Suddenly, Zambya heard a groan form behind a nearby tree. Turning slowly, he put a good distance between himself and the scorpids before dashing over to the tree. Slumped against the trunk lay a troll. He was covered in blood and apparently badly injured. His eyes were closed but he didn't appear to be unconscious. Zambya knelt to inspect the other's wounds and the injured troll opened his eyes.
"Rogue! I thought I would die out here with none to know of it." The effort of talking made him wince, but he gave Zambya a shaky smile. "The name's Hana'zua..." Zambya asked what happened and Hana'zua took a deep breath before speaking. "While I was hunting the scorpids of the Valley, I came across a particularly vicious-looking one. Hurling myself at it, I managed to inflict a massive blow to its claw before it closed around my leg." He gestured at cuts and bruises on his ankle, but the main wound seemed to be on his chest. Shaking his head, Hana'zua continued, "I wasn't ready for its stinger though, and it sliced down and into my chest, cutting into my flesh and letting my blood." Zambya's mind was racing. He didn't know healing so he had to tell someone else, but did he dare leave this dying troll's side? Before he could speak, though, Hana'zua looked at him with fiery eyes. "Please, you must kill the scorpid for me! My honor must be upheld! I fought it up on the plateau to the south." With this, he sighed and slumped against the tree, his breath slow and rasping. Zambya rose without a word and moved quickly to the south, looking for signs of a scorpid attack. He would avenge his troll brother! Twilight was setting in as he mounted a small hill. There, off in the distance, were the unmistakable signs of a scorpid nest: boar skeletons stripped of meat, insectoid tracks, and built-up mounds of dirt and sticks. It rested on a shelf overlooking the Valley and Zambya knew this was the place.
He slid down the slight drop of the hill and rolled smoothly behind a rock. There was no mistaking it; a large black and red scorpid was scuttling around snapping claws at the other smaller workers around it. Zambya worked his way up the rise, skillfully killing a few scorpid workers. One of their stingers had struck him so he crouched and ate some bread to regain his strength. After the short break, he wiped his dagger clean of the green blood and positioned himself for the fight. Moving to a closer vantage point, he studied the large scorpid's movement patterns so he could predict when it would be most vulnerable to his deadly rear attacks. He noticed that one of the waist high beast's claws was cracked and he remembered Hana'zua's words. The scorpid's attention was distracted by a pair of squabbling workers and Zambya knew it was time to strike. Sidling around the boulder, he crept as quickly as he dared to the scorpid's back. Holding his dagger at the ready he spotted a place where the chitinous armor plates met. He quickly took one step forward and leapt at the over-sized insect striking true between the plates! The monster gave a screech of pain and whirled around as the troll drew back his dagger. Snapping its claws, the scorpid advanced and made two quick swipes which Zambya nimbly dodged. Fighting the jungle tigers had given him good practice at dodging quick strikes. Using the momentum from dodging, the dagger struck once, twice, at the armored scorpid. Now, sensing its claws were useless, the bug brought its stinger out. The poisonous tip glinted in the fading sunlight, holding still for a fraction of a second before lashing out quick as lightning. Zambya stumbled to dodge it and the sharp tip grazed his forearm, the wound stinging from the poison. His hasty dodge had left him open for a snap from the claws and he felt them bite into his leg. In his anger from the wound he lashed out with a sinister strike that caught the scorpid in the face. Dripping green blood, his foe staggered and Zambya used the hesitation to dig his blade in deep. The monster screamed, its claws flailing madly in the air. Smirking grimly, Zambya twisted his blade and tore it up and out of its body, eviscerating the creature. It dropped to the ground with no more sound than a crunchy thump, and Zambya cleaved its broken claw off as a trophy.
Darkness fell as he made his way back down the ravine to Hana'zua. It was easy to move under the cover of darkness and his steps were quickened by thoughts of his dying comrade. Finally he arrived at the tree to find Hana'zua wrapping his wounds with a strip of cloth. He jerked his head quickly toward Zambya but upon discovering he was on an enemy, his face lit up. Zambya's leather tunic was splattered with green blood and he held the claw in one hand, his dagger in the other. Hana'zua straightened himself as much as possible and reached up to take the still-twitching claw. He looked down at it in his hands and shook his head, saying: "My blow was not enough to kill him, but looking at the damage I inflicted gives me some small measure of pride." He scowled. "That small measure will be all I have to sustain myself if I die, and in that light, the short list of my life's accomplishments fills me with anger..." He drifted off into his thoughts for awhile then snapped his head up to look at Zambya, wincing with the sudden movement. "Seeing the deed you have done for me steels my heart. I cannot fall so easily! I must endure!" Attempting foolishly to stand up, Hana'zua toppled over into the red dust. Zambya hastened to help him up, but he could not stand. Sitting heavily back down, he sighed and shook his head. "But it remains that I cannot make the trek back to the Den unassisted." He gesticulated ambiguously around himself, his point already proven. He looked up at Zambya's face, his own illuminated in the moonlight. "Please, brother, return to The Den and tell Gornek of my situation. Perhaps he can help me." Zambya stood and bowed swiftly then took off at a sprint toward the orc encampment. He had seen too much suffering in his days and he didn't want to watch this brave troll die like his brother. Thoughts of Anso pushed him faster, his feet pounding on the dry earth.
Arriving at The Den, Zambya flew down the cave. He ran around the twisting pathway almost knocking over one of the vendors' tables. He skidded to a stop at Gornek's feet, panting heavily. The orc looked bewildered but allowed him to regain his breath before speaking. Between deep breaths, Zambya quickly told the story of the injured troll. "He's under a big tree to da nort west," he finished, squatting on his hams to rest his burning legs.
"From your description of the beast, I believe you must be speaking of Sarkoth!" He exclaimed upon hearing the news. "It is no wonder that Hana'zua was overtaken by it. Aid will be dispatched to him immediately, trouble yourself no more with Hana'zua's plight." He turned and gave fast orders to the orcs behind him. As they rushed off, he smiled down at the still panting troll. "However, I must say, I am most impressed to hear that you brought Sarkoth to death. It is a feat to be proud of, Zambya. And that you would fight for a stranger's honor, while other tasks occupied your time, your own honor is heightened." He put out a hand and pulled Zambya to his feet so fast that the troll almost fell over again. Gornek heartily clapped him on the back and said "A deed that great deserves a reward." He turned and shuffled through the chest where he kept equipment for new recruits and pulled out a pair of battleworn chain leggings. After handing them off, the orc had to attend to a fresh wave of newcomers and bid him a hasty farewell. Zambya inspected the heavy, clinking armor. It was decidedly unsuited for stealth combat and he was about to ask Gornek for something else when he remembered what Kzan had said about selling things. He walked back up the cave path, carrying the armor. When he reached the merchants he spotted the armorsmith. Although the leggings were used, he managed to barter them for 15 copper pieces. Adding this to the money he made from a few other quests, he found he had over 60 copper. Though the cold metal coins felt odd in his hand, he knew that this was the only way to make his way in the Horde.
Turning, he spotted Kzan.
The Silent FangEdit
Peering out of the foliage, Zambya shifted grip on the iron dagger in his hand. The troll's dull blue skin was painted blotchy green and in the washed out moonlight he was nearly invisible. There was another bush even closer to the ruins and he was halfway toward it when he noticed a patch of crunchy leaves that he avoided with a silent sigh. He had made it all the way down into the ravine without being detected and he wasn't about to blow his cover now. Chanting rose from the center of the encampment as purple smoke, lit from below by a fire, curled up into the jungle canopy. Situated in the midst of a group of ruins, the voodoo priests' tents were arranged in a circle around a central fire ring. The chanting grew louder as Zambya crept closer as the enemy invoked dark magics into the night. Light from the full moon would normally have been a problem, but the priest's ritual required complete attention and the silent troll reached one of the outer tents without detection. There were five grouped around a large pot from which the smoke issued. He could see their faces now, illuminated with a dancing purple and orange light. White designs were painted on their faces that gave them a ghostly visage which the murmuring chanting did little to dispel. Zambya was close enough to smell the pungent stench emanating from the cauldron on the fire. A pile of skulls lying nearby gave him a good idea what was in the bottom of the boiling water.
Chancing a glace to the other side of the ruins, he caught a glimpse of eyes shining in the firelight. His muscles tensed, ready for the signal that was sure to come any moment. He smiled to himself, the voodoo priests were surrounded but their focus on the fire and smoke was too great to notice. Suddenly, a trilling whistle sounded from somewhere to Zambya's right. It was followed by a low wavering howl from across the way. Zambya answered his allies with his own call and its last trailing notes were still ringing in the trees when they struck. With a high-pitched battle cry, the three trolls leapt from the darkness like tigers upon unsuspecting prey. Zambya had chosen one of the taller, masked priestesses as his target and dove to strike the back of her legs. His short dagger ripped through the rough garment and tore across the priest's left hamstring, downing her instantly. Using the momentum of the previous attack Zambya soared into the air and kicked another witch doctor in the chest. His beaded necklace burst apart as he fell heavily to the ground near his ally. Landing, Zambya whipped around to see how the others fared. One of his comrades, a limber troll named Laati, seemed to be doing well considering the blood he was covered with was not his own. He looked the other way to find his brother, Anso, locked in a grapple with the largest of the priests. A gnarled staff on the ground showed that he had at least been able to disarm the other, but Anso could not reach to strike him with his dagger. Zambya rushed to his aid, digging his already bloodied blade into the witch doctor's back. The muscular troll screamed and loosened his grip on Anso who broke free and slashed his opponent's chest. Dark troll blood rained on the ground and its owner collapsed wordlessly to the ground. Just as he was about to congratulate Anso, scrabbling hands distracted Zambya's attention. The female troll who's leg he'd slashed was attempting to wrestle him to the ground. He kicked out and connected with her mask. There was a crack and a crunch as his foot broke through the wooden mask and into her face. She relinquished her grip and he was swooping to deliver the final blow when he noticed the other priest. He was standing now with his staff raised above his head and yelling words in an unfamiliar language. Zambya made to lunge at him, but realized too late that the yelling was not a cry of anguish or fury; it was an incantation. The paint-faced troll swung his staff down to point at Zambya's chest. Searing pain coursed through his veins like a river of fire. Every part of his body was twisted with pain and Zambya crumpled to the ground, wailing in agony. His pulse pounded in his temples as every heartbeat pumped white-hot suffering through his convulsing frame. Suddenly, the pain lifted and he sat up gasping for breath trying to shake his vision back into focus. Through the tears he could see that Anso had vaulted the cauldron and attacked the priest, shattering his staff. Whirling, Anso slashed a long diagonal wound in the priest's chest and face then plunged the dagger in his neck, silencing him. Still shaken from the spell, Zambya scrambled to his feet trying to pull himself together. With his dagger clutched tightly in hand, he sidestepped around the fire to locate the priestess he was finishing off before the spell. He found her and the last enemy had cornered Laati in a nook made by an old section of walls. The daggerless Laati appeared to be held in place by a unseen force as the two closed in on him. He heard a woman's scream behind him as Anso contended with the priestess and Zambya knew it was up to him to rescue Laati.
To be continued...