Post by HiVolt
He looked into the water basin with contempt. His reflection was not one that he remembered. His jaw was black, his armor was gone, his skin shone green, and his eyes burned with a deep red fire. He put a hand to his face, and instead of mimicking him the reflection smiled. It's tusks were gleaming red, dripping with blood.
He cried out in rage and swatted at the basin, scattering it and the liquid it held across the room. "No,
" he thought, "I cannot allow it to be this way. I will not let it consume me." He walked back to the throne and sat. He felt weary and weak; he felt as though he were not an Orc at all.
He shook the haze of weakness from his mind. No, he could not indulge a mere fantasy at this moment. At this moment, he had business to attend to. He stood and walked to the council chamber: a room filled to the brim with strongest of warriors and the most loyal of commanders. "This is the true Horde," he thought.
As he took his place at the head of the table and the war-council began with his question, "What of Lordaeron?"
The first speaker was his faithful second, High Overlord Agmar. "Warchief, the Eastern Front has proven more troublesome than we previously thought. The Forsaken forces are being held at Thoradin's Wall, and our scouts report that the Thandol Span has been retaken by forces from Ironforge."
He nodded, caring not for the Eastern Kingdoms or the Forsaken. His focus was on Kalimdor, on revenge. He asked again, "What of the Northern Front?"
"The Night Elves have proven formidable enemies. Their knowledge of the land has become their only advantage. Though we were able to take Ashenvale, the pass to Darkshore prevents us from mounting an adequate attack," Agmar continued with a sigh. "At every attempt, we've been forced back."
He nodded once again. "I am not interested in hearing of feigned failure, Agmar. You know as well as I and all of us in attendance that the push into Darkshore is a ruse and nothing more. What of the construction at Zoram'Gar?"
Another spoke, High Overlord Saurfang, "The construction of the fleet is nearly complete. It will be ready on schedule." The words he spoke were firm and strong. This one was a true warrior, a true Orc. Agmar had his merits of loyalty, but compared to Saurfang he was nothing but an infant.
Though Saurfang was a strong and dependable commander, he was not without his flaws. "Warchief, we must allocate more troops to Hillsbrad," he continued. "If we do not, Hammerfall is in danger of being overrun. We must not lose that city. The morale of our forces in the Eastern Kingdoms would plummet if that stronghold falls." Indeed he did have flaws. The High Overlord was too insistent, too cunning.
Garrosh thought for a moment, and an idea came to him. He only wished he could smile as he spoke, "Vol'jin, you will go to Hammerfall and aid in it's defense. Saurfang is right. We cannot lose that base. You will take a division of your Trolls and a detachment of six catapults." The Shadow Hunter's eyes betrayed his feelings where his actions did not. Garrosh knew that the paltry force he allotted would never be enough to defend Hammerfall from the force it was facing. He knew that Vol'jin would fall, and he reveled in the thought of the Troll's poisoning weakness being eradicated from the Horde.
Another spoke, Overlord Nazgrel, "Warchief, there is still the matter of Theramore. Though the city claims neutrality, it is still a part of the Alliance. Should their councils decree that Theramore go to war, we could lose the Southern Barrens in a matter of days." Nazgrel- along with Saurfang and Vol'jin, he was fiercely loyal to Thrall. He was a nuisance, always questioning, always doubting.
Garrosh scoffed at the comment. He regarded Theramore as a city of liars and cowards. They would sooner turn their blades on themselves before placing their city in danger of attack from the Horde. "Theramore is of no concern," he said, "the entire city is a weak attempt to assert Human power on our
continent. Bah! Human
Power. There is no such thing!"
He calmed himself and spoke again, "Theramore would not dare attack us. They remember our destruction of the fleets of Kul Tiras in the Third War. They would not
wish the same upon themselves." With that, he rose and concluded the council, returning to his chamber.
He sat again on his throne and looked into the new water basin, placed by a servant in his absence. His reflection was his own. He leaned back in his chair as Warchief, a single hand on the hilt of his axe to his right.
One Month Earlier:
As he awoke, he found himself in bandages. His head ached as did his midsection. He remembered the fall from the zeppelin, and calling the winds to aid him, but everything between this moment and that was only darkness. He must have been unconscious for weeks.
He looked around his room and nothing he saw seemed familiar, save the landscape that spread beyond the window. He remembered the battle here, many years ago. He remembered the peace that had been sustained, although tentatively afterward. It warmed him for a brief moment.
He heard footsteps coming from outside his room. A Night Elf, light and graceful in the movement. He heard the door open, but did not turn to see who entered. Instead, he spoke, "I thank you for aiding me, but if you intend to finish what was started, I warn you to leave me be. I will harm none on my exit, but I must leave this place."
The Elf stepped closer and spoke, his voice familiar, "Thrall... it is good to see you well. I wish no harm upon you, but I am afraid that I must ask you to delay your departure."
Thrall turned to face the speaker. He was tall, with golden eyes and the horns of a stag. "Malfurion," he thought. He walked to the Elf and took his arm in a greeting, "It does me well to see you, Malfurion."
The Elf smiled, "And it does me well to see you, Thrall." He walked back to the window from which Thrall had come and sighed. "However," he said, "there is a grave matter that has brought me from my slumber."
Before the Elf could elaborate, Thrall knew, and he could not deny it. "I know," he interrupted, "I have felt what you speak of. Though I hoped that it was not truly what I thought it to be."
The elf turned and nodded grimly, "We need you here. The Circle has been working in concert with the Earthen Ring to quell the Firelord's destruction, but our efforts have been largely ineffective. You are the most powerful shaman this world has ever known. Only you
can prevent Ragnaros from destroying the World Tree."
Thrall sighed. He knew that he was needed here. He knew that the world would suffer should he return to his people at this critical time. "I will stay," he said, "but I must
return to my people as soon as the Firelord has been thwarted."
Malfurion nodded and left the room. Thrall sat back on his bed. He stared out the window and remembered. He remembered the lives lost in battles here and elsewhere. He remembered Taretha, Doomhammer, Grom; all those whom he had loved as his family. He remembered Garrosh's words to him just a few short weeks before. "Ancestors, guide my people."
Saurfang exited the war council and went to his home nearby. Tomorrow he would leave for Zoram'Gar to oversee the final construction of the fleet, but tonight he had other things on his mind. Garrosh had proven to be a remarkable strategist in these recent months, but this recent surge in his expertise only fueled suspicion.
After a few hours of waiting, two figures entered his house. He did not raise his weapons in protest, but invited them to a seat at his table. He was expecting them. Nazgrel and Vol'jin: two of his closest friends. If there were any two people in this world he could trust, it was them.
They spoke in hushed tones. They spoke about the battlefronts, about their positions, about the Warchief. Silently they conversed and planned. Soon, Garrosh would show himself a traitor to the Horde, and Saurfang would be there... just as he had promised.