Post by HiVolt
"There are a great many things that you could do," the voice whispered, "things that not even I could."
He clutched at the arms of his throne, digging his sharp nails into the grain of the wood. "Please, leave me be," he thought.
"And so you beg," the voice laughed mockingly, "You are weak, insolent whelp! You would be nothing if not for me! I am the reason you have been successful! You owe me everything that you have achieved!"
He grabbed at his head and cried out within his mind, "I am the Warchief! I am strength incarnate! Everything I have accomplished is my own!"
The voice continued its taunting, hateful laugh and faded again into nothingness. He leaned back, drained, hoping that the voice would not return again. Since he had taken his place, his rightful throne, the voice had spoken to him. It was always there, cackling with anger. He hated it.
He rose from his seat and walked to the great archway separating the throne room from the rest of the keep. Now was not the time for wallowing in anger. The fleet had been completed at Zoram'gar and he wished to witness the launch of the campaign. Striding with all the confidence he could muster, he made his way to the flight tower, and the zeppelin.
Upon boarding the vessel, he was met by the captain, a goblin. He sneered at the weakling. These people were always scrounging for their gold. He hated the thought of one defiling his city, his people. Still, they served their purpose. Another came to him, one who allowed his mind the pleasure of knowing strength again, Saurfang.
"Warchief, I am pleased you saw fit to witness the fleet embarking," he spoke with power for one so aged. His tone was forceful and commanding. Garrosh truly admired him. "The morale you will give the soldiers will surely see that this campaign cannot fail."
"I am happy to come, Saurfang," he replied, "it will do me well to leave the throne for some time. Being cooped up in the keep is no way to run the Horde. I do not intend to make the same mistakes as my predecessor."
Saurfang felt anger within him, but he did not release it. "Indeed, Warchief. But do not allow yourself to become wrapped in your own pride. All of us make mistakes, given enough time. Even though some choose not to see it, I too have made many."
Garrosh patted the elder orc on the shoulder, smirking, "Saurfang, I would rather not hear more of your regrets. What matters is that you are strong and honorable, nothing else."
Saurfang looked out over the railing to the west, acknowledging the boy's ignorant statement with a simple nod. "In time," he thought, "you will know the cost of your mistakes, Garrosh."
As the zeppelin disembarked, the two stood at the front of the ship, watching the ground pass below them and the horizon creep nearer. They could see Durotar to the south, it's vast expanse of red earth. It was as though the land itself was made of the blood they spilled, both of theirs and their enemies. To the west rose the forest of Ashenvale.
Though, if one were to think of this place as a forest, they would be mistaken. The lumber operations had cut much of the forest over the course of the war. The trees that had stood tall for thousands of years were now nothing much more than stumps and cinders. Saurfang felt himself clenching his fists in anger, digging his nails into his palms. He had not wished for this.
Two Weeks Earlier:
Thrall stood on the parapets of the citadel, gazing out to the southwest. Despite the mountains blocking the view of the forests of Ashenvale, he could see the smoke that rose from the forest. He looked away, knowing he could do nothing to stop what had already begun. He looked back to the field that lay before him. He couldn't help but think that much of what he now saw mirrored that of Ashenvale.
The Firelord's forces had risen forth from the northern mountains and reduced everything they touched to ash. Only here had the tides of flame been quelled. He could see the druids and shaman moving out below, trying as they could to heal the distressed land. He retreated from the citadel, and moved out to aid them.
Vol'jin looked on as the catapults fired their loads onto the enemy forces advancing toward them. "Keep 'em goin'," he ordered, "Make 'em regret dey evah step on da field!" For days the town had been harried by the Alliance. They came and were pushed back, but with every battle, more of his forces were cut down. Two catapults had already been destroyed.
Soon the battalion was too far within firing distance, and Vol'jin gave the order to cease fire. The catapults had served their purpose. The enemy force was now numbering at two-thirds of its original, but still, that force alone would be enough to wipe the town from the map. The Troll drew out his glaive, ready to make his stand.
As the enemy force encroached further, the archers at the walls loosed their arrows. The Alliance soldiers raised their shields and continued marching, deflecting the volley. Some were brought down, but not near enough to dwindle the overwhelming force. The archers loosed another volley, again having it deflected from the shields of the advancing army.
Vol'jin turned to his soldiers on the walls and in the town below. "Let em bring all de might o da Alliance on us! We gonna show dem da powah o da Horde!" The soldiers let out a cry of defiance against the oncoming army. Vol'jin turned his gaze back to the force below and threw out his glaive. It streaked through the air, a whirlwind of flashing steel, and brought down three soldiers in the front line. Like it was attached to his hands by a spectral strand, it returned to him, stained in blood.
He wiped his finger across the edge, and tasted it. He smiled, "Let em come."