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This came about as a response to a discussion I had with someone on creating an adversary for the Guild Dead of Winter, of which Iyokus is a member. This is my attempt to flesh out a possible character to fill that role. It remains a work in progress and hopefully, fuel for some rp in game. As you will probably see, I was required to make up a whole bunch of names, both orc and elven and that I am not very good at it.

From the collected fiction of Iyokus Shatterstar





---Months ago---

Thrice-scarred Captain, the might of the Warsong is on the march. The drums beat silent this day and the ravagers think they walk hidden paths, or that the wretched rays of light blind our lambent eyes. Dread warning, thrice-scarred Sentinel; the numbers that gather threaten to flood over our meagre scouts. Even the Chorus of Iron is bedecked for battle. Scout Darktide has spied the towers and walls of Warsong Camp and the Splintered Post, naught but children and the lowliest peons remain, in much-tested armour and with rust-pitted weapon. Not a true warrior amongst them. Unfurl the Silverwing lest moon-drenched Astranaar drowns in merciless day.

-Urgent missive delivered to Sentinel Captain Messinal Halfspear from Scout Leader Faiden Whispertongue -


Most Revered Commander Ravencall,


Upon receiving Scout Leader Whispertongue’s missive I ordered the Silverwing companies under my command out to his position to shadow the movements of the Warsong, and to determine their goals if possible. It is my belief that we have as yet remained undetected, and I commend the scouts for their skills, even in this most bright of days. The Warsong are heading to the south and east towards the Barrens and the Mor’shan Ramparts. I speculate that Orgrimmar has called up further forces for the assault into Northrend. If so, it leaves the orcish incursion points into Ashenvale very vunerable. I understand it is beyond the remit of my position, but my Silverwing are eager to remove this blight from our blessed groves. I shall continue to have my scouts monitor the movements of the Warsong until their purpose becomes clear.


By the grace of the Goddess,


Captain Halfspear


Spear Captain; Vigilance denied, we can go no closer. The greenskinned host travels not to new Orgrimmar, not to mercantile Rachet. A thorn in our side pulled by most hated allies? The Warsong march to the Maw and in such numbers victory is assured. Praise be to the Warleader?

-Report from Scout Leader Whispertongue to Sentinal Captain Halfspear -


Most Revered Commander Ravencall,


A most unusual day just past. The Warsong forces marched to the cave system that has come to be known as the ‘Maw’, on the borders of the Barrens and our own Ashenvale. Since the defeat of the Legion in Kalimdor, the caves have been occupied by a remnant company of demons. They have been trouble to both Horde and Kaldorei for some years now, raiding for resources, their base requiring a large force in order to dislodge – forces that I have not been given leave to command. The orcs assembled at the Maw for most of the day and around dusk began the journey back to their camps. Upon the reports of my scouts, I rode to the Maw myself and I can inform you without doubt that the demons are gone. It appears they have been utterly annihilated, for not even a single body remains. I am puzzled by this show of force from the Warleader and await your response. However, it seems the opportunity for vengeance on the camps has passed.


By the grace of the Goddess,


Captain Halfspear



There was little to set the Maw apart from any number of the caves that riddled the the termite-mound like hills that sprouted throughout the Barrens. If one had the inclination, you might just be able to make out the crude sigils daubed in some red liquid on either side of the dank, dark opening, but the occasional spring rains had almost washed those back to nothing. The more careful observer, standing there at the entrance, might feel the rolls of heat that the black mouth breathed out or hear the faint echoes of some unknown tongue. The bones of incautious observers could be found in various chambers of the cave system, their depth one measure of their owner’s efficacy. For all its innocuous appearance, the Maw was a deadly pit. Its inhabitants had withstood all attempts from elf and orc to dislodge them, the narrow cave mouth providing the most potent bottleneck to break charge after charge. That, and the demons seeming apathy had turned the Maw, in the eyes of the leadership on both sides, into a minor nuisance, a problem far down on their list of priorities. Oh adventurers of all shapes and colours took it upon themselves to venture into that place, some wrong to right, some point to prove. Orc cubs too young to know stupidity from bravery, or an elf too freshly wounded by loss to think – they were all rarely seen again.

***

Rutgar swilled the lukewarm water around his mouth, spitting it out onto the dry, dusty earth. It came out brown, but he didn’t have to think about that long before it was sucked into the thirsty, thirsty soil. It had not been a long march, nor, compared to his experience, a terribly diffcult one…though trying to keep the movement of that many battle-hungry orcs as quiet as possibly had not been easy.


He rubbed his knuckles. It amazed him that after all he had been through, that it still pained him to break a jaw. You would have thought his fist would be used to it now.


No matter.


The wide, mottledskinned orc brushed some of the dust from the march from his face, restoppered the flask and threw it back to the pup who has offered it to him, the smiling face lopsided with swollen jaw. He shook loose the muscles of his thick, short neck, like nothing more than a grazing buffalo.


Bigger things to worry about now.


Rut pulled the heads of his hatchets loose and let them drop back into their belt loops. His hands unconsciously danced over his armour, pulling straps, checking buckles and testing plates. It was a ritual every soldier had gone through a thousand and one times before, and Rut was nothing if not a good soldier. He strode towards the Warleader, surrounded by his Chorus, spitting once more to punctuate his arrival. The banners of the Warsong flapped fitfully in the desultory breeze. The lion-yellow eyes of the Warleader, his warleader turned towards him.


‘It is just as I remember it Lord. Time will have only made them weaker since I was last blooded here, but that hole will prevent us from bringing our numbers to bear,’ Rutgar rubbed the back of his neck with one mottled paw, ‘We’ll win, but it’s gonna be messy.’


He knew that his warleader knew all this, anybody with half a brain could see that attacking a cave mouth barely three men across filled with demons would be costly, but he didn’t even know why they were here. The amber eyed orc simply turned away, stony face expressionless. Spirits below, no one knew why the Warleader had mobilized the Warsong for this, most were just happy at the chance to kill some demons. Not that there would be much fight in them.

Even when Rutgar had come here last, years ago now, in a routine patrol, the scum had seemed…lacklustre. Which for demons, was very out of character. Oh they had fought well enough, driven off the orcs with roars that rumbled straight to your chest and blows that could shatter steel. But there had also been a diffidence…the odd feeling that it did not really matter if they lived or died. Every so often, Rutgar had heard, one of the creatures would wander out, down towards the Crossroads, or north into Elven lands. Deserters he had thought, but it was more than that. The demons must have known that they would never be allowed or able to reconnect with their kin, heck, the Portal was on a different continent! No, these demons were deserting on life, giving up.


Rutgar had no time for them.

His silent reverie was broken by a grunt. The Warleader was staring at the cave entrance, where two bulky felguard had emerged, their twin maces held almost casually in meaty fists. The blue-skinned, muscle-bound demons glanced up at the ranks of orcs before settling on boulders to either side of the entrance. They were in no hurry to engage the greenskins.


‘Rutgar,’ the broad orc stiffened and turned towards his lord, ‘you and the warlock will accompany me.’


Rut shared a glance with the ancient, misshapen Raleek the Spurned – though to be honest, the warlock’s sneer from under his cowl was the only reply he got.


‘Accompany you…where Warleader?’ he asked


The Spurned let out a hacking cough that could have been a laugh. His lord just smiled that closed mouth smile and pointed towards the cave. ‘

Down there Warleader?’


‘Down there Rutgar.’


He cocked his head, the sniggering from Raleek was not helping his understanding of the Warleader’s thoughts.


A hand clapped onto his shoulder. ‘A leader needs a standard bearer Rutgar, and you shall be mine.’ A smooth wooden pole was shoved into his hands, a banner furled at the crosspiece.


Rutgar was reeling, what was the Warleader thinking? Going down there alone? Rut was confident in his own abilities to kill demons, and the Warleader’s skills and Raleek could probably conjure something dangerous, but those monsters could pour out of that cave like a foul flood.


But the Warleader was already striding down the slope towards the Maw, the Spurned hobbling along as best he could. Rutgar hurried after them.


His warleader had planted himself about twenty yards away from the Maw hands clasped behind his back, and the damn fool hadn’t even removed the peace loop from the from the hilt of his broadsword. Raleek gasped his way to just behind his right shoulder. The felguard began to stand, the looks on their tiny faces one of wary confusion, as they readied their hideous maces. Rutgar had one hand on a hatchet as he closed on the left shoulder of his lord.


‘Unfurl my banner Rut.’


He didn’t let his eyes leave the two demons as he reached up for the leather strap that would release the proud Warsong mark. He yanked down on the strap.


There was a silence where there should have been the boasts and battle cries that was the song of war.

The demons looked even more confused than before, glancing at each other as if trying to decide what to do.


Rutgar looked up, and his jaw dropped. He didn’t even know there was a white banner in the Camp.

He stared at the back of his lord.


What was he doing?


‘Bring out your master,’ the Warleader growled.


The eyes were seen first, easily nine feet from the uneven ground, glowing a hungry blood red. The horns were next, emerging into the light, ugly jagged curves that added another two foot to the Dreadlord’s height. Next came the pallid, strangely beautiful, completely hairless face. The beast kept his wings wrapped around his body like some kind of wretched old leather cape.


Saemonvragas was not the most powerful of Nathrezim, not like always-starving Mal’Ganis or great Mephistroth, but even still, licks of darkness rolled off him, probing at their feet, though they recoiled from the Spurned. White lips peeled back and a vivid red tongue snaked out from between needle-like fangs.


‘Why have you come here, slave?’ the Dreadlord’s voice, was the voice of temptation itself, speaking in flawless orcish.


Rut stiffened at that, fingers closing around hatchet head, ready to draw.


The Warleader only chuckled, low and long. ‘Look further demon, you see what I have brought here, what destruction I could order here. There is no doubt to the outcome should the Warsong be loosed upon your,’ the Warleader’s lips broke into a hint of a sneer, ‘…kingdom.’


The Dreadlord’s perfect visage split into an inhuman snarl and a clawed hand shot out from the living cloak, the smallest finger missing. ‘You come to mock then? I could take your souls and inflict such torture on them before even your dogs could descend the slope.’


The orc raised his hands placatingly, ‘I am the Warleader. I am not like those who have come before. I have not come here to slay, though it would not pain me to order it – I have come to talk, to deal. I can offer you an escape, I can offer you your lives.’


Rutgar, one of the Chorus of Iron, left hand of the Warleader, veteran of a hundred and one battles, felt his mouth go dry.


‘I can offer you a purpose.’


They were back on the march just after dusk, leaving nothing in their wake. Let the Kaldorei puzzle over that in their trees. There were grumblings, of course there were, some wounds were far too fresh for the what the Warleader ordered. But grumbles were all there was, the ties of loyalty were too strong for anything but obedience. For this man they had denied the Warchief, Thrall – had stayed when all others had sailed across the frozen seas. His plans trailed down unseen paths.

They could not know his thoughts, but they knew that wherever he led, they would follow.

*** ---Yesterday---

Rut spat and pulled a strap tight as the wyvern glided to the ground, claws scrabbling for purchase, deadly tail weaving from side to side. Good, they were all here. He nodded Bedek over as the ugly orc unhitched himself from the flying harness and the pair began the trudge up the snow-covered path to the tavern, where the rest of Rut’s squad awaited them, no doubt drinking more of the cheap goblin boarpiss.


Say what you want about goblins though. Say they have no sense of honour, and that they would sell their own mother for a clipped copper, if you paid them well enough, they delivered. In fact, they had done better than expected, the orcs had been gathered in Everlook faster than they had planned, though it had cost them enough. No matter, thought Rutgar, their time would come soon enough.


He turned his shoulder to fit his wide frame through the goblin-made door and looked with an appraising eye over his crew. Apart from himself, there were four other members of the Chorus of Iron, named warriors all. Dog-ugly Bedek, the walking mountain that was Harn, Sosa, who denied all his advances , the bloodthirsty bitch, and of course Scavenge. They were all decked out in high-quality mail and boiled leather – no plate today – and were, as Rut expected, drinking only water if anything at all.

The other five orcs along had all been pulled from the ranks, capable enough warriors but apparently not sensible enough not to drink goblin beer before a mission. There was a time and a place for alcohol, and a time for clear thoughts and steady hands. Rut expounded on the concept by introducing one of the idiot’s forehead to the hard wood of the table. ‘Time to move runts.’

From Everlook, it was a hard jog south. Rut had scouted the area a week earlier with Harn so knew what he was looking for, the fallen pillar, the ghostly lights and he halted his squad just off the road. It was coming up to summer, so the snow was treacherous, veined through with melt water that made the going slippery and threatened to take your feet from under you, so the approach up the slope was deliberate and slow, and all the orcs but Scavenge were breathing heavily. The distinct ring of weapons sliding clear of scabbards and sheathes, the nocking of bows. The first of the moonkin they came across was sitting, it’s clumsy paws building some structure in the wet snow. Three arrows simultaneously thudded into its chest, and it could only let out a weak plaintive hoot before it tumbled onto its side, dead. Someone had chuckled, ‘I thought these things were supposed to be dangerous Rut?’


The commander decided to ignore that remark, the pup would soon see just how dangerous the owlbears could be. Rut was not fooled by the astral blue and white plumage, or the wide innocent eyes, these things were wild animals, animals whose beaks could shear through bone and iron alike.


The next one surprised them all. It had been sleeping and was completely covered in snow when it had reared up and clawed open the face of the nearest orc. Arrows punched into it from short rage while swords and axes bit deep into its flesh. It had keened loudly as it died, and the hill had filled with the noise of answering hoots.


After that they had been methodical, mechanical in their slaughter. The moonkin came charging down the slope, or from their caves, their wide eyes narrowed and talons hooked and sharp, but for all their rage and enormous, bear-like strength, they were no match for the square of trained soldiers and their chopping weapons and deadly arrows.


Rut dropped his hatchets back into their loops on his belt as Scavenge pulled his sword from the throat of the last of the moonkin, needing to push his boot into its beak to wrench the blade free. The snow around him was pink with blood and gore and dotted with the large blue feathers that had made up the owlbear’s plumage. He drew off his helmet and wiped his brow. Funny how despite the cold he could still manage to work up such a sweat. He coughed a laugh and pointed out four orcs, none of them with a name worth shit and told them to gather up the bodies. Oh, and to take off the heads. Needed something to welcome the elves when they arrived after all.


Harn was already standing by the altar and so Rutgar strode over to join him, settling one mottled hand on the gigantic orc’s shoulder. Around him, the rest of the squad had assembled their shovels and were being ordered into positions by Sosa, her voice surprisingly feminine.


‘Whatcha think Harn?’ Rut said, eyeing the heavy slab of stone. The big man shrugged, ‘One or two cracks should do it, but the Spurned said we should be ready before.’


Rut nodded, ‘Aye, but we can get it on the ground now.’

He shoved Harn off to one side of the altar stone before settling his hands underneath the other. Eyes locked with Harn’s, he counted slowly under his breath before straining, arm muscles bulging like river washed stones under rough leather as he and Harn struggled with the solid weight. Ragged breaths through clenched teeth before a final burst of effort, and the stone thumped to one side.


There was a faint rustle of wind, stirring the strewn feathers and then the light changed, the atmosphere lifting, as if a blue veil had been lifted from a lantern. Rut grinned at Harn, ‘I think we pissed her off.’ The big orc laughed at that and patted the upturned altar, ‘Then she’s going to hate us for what’s coming.’


The rest of the preparations took about another hour to complete, but they were undisturbed in their work. The heads of the shrine’s guardians were piled up beside the legs of the old altar, their blessed blood allowed to seep into the soil and stain the rocks, while their bodies were stacked up to one side and prepared for burning. The spirits of Fire would feast well this day. Harn unlimbered his hammer while Bedek held the nail that would drive into the altar stone and, hopefully, crack it apart.


‘Why is it me who has to hold this thing?’ Bedek had asked.


‘‘Cause you’re the only one who hasn’t got the looks to lose Bedek,’ had been Sosa’s reply.


Contrary to Harn’s boasts, it had taken three swings of his great hammer before a loud crack had sundered the heavy silence and the altar stone was shattered into four uneven pieces. A loud crack that Raleek had been certain that every nearby priest of Elune would sense. The orcs quickly disappeared.

***

The response of the Kaldorei had been swift.

Four priests, three full sisters and one male acolyte had instantly felt the despoiling of Elune’s sacred moon-touched stone and insisted on riding to the shrine.Almost the full complement of Starfall Village’s sentinels mounted up their wintersabres to accompany the priests on the journey. They made good time, arriving at the foot of the slope only hours after the dreaded blow had been struck.


The Sentinels had ensured the shrine was clear before allowing the revered priests up, their pale faces the only sign of what was to come. Leaving one young guardian for the holy

foursome, the other soldiers had ranged outwards, looking for some sign of the perpetrators of this obscenity. The net was cast very wide, for almost no signs of their movements could be found. The priests had wept unashamedly when they had seen what had befallen the guardians of Elune’s shrine, the noble giants humiliated by this unseen foe.

While the priests had bent over the remains of the altar, trying to work out some way to reconsecrate the shrine before the Goddess was forced from it entirely, the young warrior Moongood wandered about, his eyes trying to avoid the charred distended bodies of the owlbears. The smell was appalling; for all that it made his mouth water. He strode to the very edge of the clearing and was a bit surprised when his foot pushed through the snow and touched against something almost soft. Did it just cough? Suddenly, the snow exploded around him, dark shapes coming from under the white cloak, he was flung from his feet, and could not even cry out before a hatchet split his nose and ended his life in a flash of mind-blowing pain.

The priests might have fared better, for their anger had been stoked by the sheer outrage of the crime committed and opalescent shields of silver moonlight jumped around them to reflect iron and steel. However, it was not to be, for the orcs had brought with them a shaved knuckle in the hole. As they summoned the wrath of the Goddess, their powers linking to exact divine justice, there was the concussion of heaving magic, and a wave of ruby red flames, gibbering with skeletal, grasping hands roared around them, grey, cancerous cracks appearing in their shields. They screamed but their defenses were shattered by relentless attacks, the demonic magic leaving snow unmelted but scorching skin. The imp that had been hidden in a soul shard, cackled and capered, the twisting nether seething as it conducted through its twig like arms. One priest was opened from navel to throat by a single stroke of Scavenge’s two handed sword, others fell to the demoncant, while the acolyte was chopped to pieces by three orcs.


Alas, the sentinels had ranged too far, seeking an enemy that had not run, but had waited, the breaking of the altar only the first of the crimes they were to commit.

Alas, by the time they returned to the shrine, the enemy was gone, fled to Everlook and the safety of goblin neutrality, winging their way back to Ashenvale.

Alas, all they were to find were four more heads, one for each leg of the soiled altar. Of the warrior? He had been cut up for trophies, fingers, ears and tongue all taken.





Listen well Rut. It is not enough to kill their warriors, to defeat their armies. No, for a people will continue to fight as long as they have something to set their back to, something to hold onto when all else seems lost, the heart of their people. The Kaldorei, the Children of the Stars…they have their forests and nature’s blessing, their ancestor wisps, the Goddess Elune, their immortality…and they have already lost so much. To defeat them, to really destroy them, the rest of these pillars must be broken, and one by one I shall do so, until their hearts are shattered.

And a body without a heart is already dead.




…a demon has been spotted close to Forest Song. Gather your blades, rendezvous with Scout Ayal’ashay at the broken pillar. The creature will not see the dawn… You are the wrath of the Kaldorei in this…

She could see why the small folk feared them so. Silanah allowed her lips to twitch into the semblance of a smile as she ran. She reveled in the rush of air past her ears, through her closely cropped hair, the pounding of her heart in her chest, the stretch and pull of her eons-hardened muscles. She was a Sentinel, had been for many lifetimes, but sometimes the armour of duty felt like a cage and the freedom of running, of muscles burning, was a brief escape. Yes, she could see why the small folk were unsettled by them. Despite wearing her full complement of delicately woven chain, and with her glaive strapped tightly across her back, Silanah made almost no noise as she flew through the trees, and in spite of the keenness of her ears, she could only just hear the footfalls of her sisters behind her. The death they carried this night would be delivered on silent wings.

She padded to a halt as the clearing neared, Maivera passing her on her right, the swordswoman’s piercing blue eyes ever watchful as she scanned the surrounds, hand on the grip of her mother’s sword. Without order, Blossom had already unhitched her age-old wisp-shaped bow from over her arm, the glossy purple wood straining silently as she tested the pull. Apparently satisfied, the markswoman pulled an arrow from her quiver and sighted along the shaft. Only Nevarial approached her, the white-haired ancient coming close enough to speak in a whisper. ‘

Something is wrong here Sir. Where is Ayal’ashay?’


Silanah looked back at the clearing, where the faintly-glowing pillar lay in the green embrace of the moss. She could sense nothing awry, but Nevarial was the oldest elf she knew personally, and she had supposedly fought in more battles than there were stars in the sky. In fact, the reason Silanah had requested such a small complement for this mission was that Nevarial would be coming with them, for she was lethal with any weapon in hand. If Nevarial said there was something wrong, then there was something wrong. Silanah’s hand trailed unconsciously behind her back, closing gently around the ridged grip of her double-bladed glaive as made to say something. The wind changed.

They all smelled it at once and Silanah had already drawn her curved blades as she turned, her muscles tense. The polished silver edge sheared through the green, anger-twisted face of the orc, and its cleaver dropped from nerveless fingers. But more and more were pouring from in between the trees, the overpowering smell flooding her senses. She blocked a low strike towards her thigh and was about to thrust through the beast’s stomach when something immensely heavy cracked against the back of her skull. She was spun onto her back, armoured feet thundering around her. Darkness crowded the edges of her vision, pulsing with the pounding of her heart, which was all she could hear. What was going on? Why are all these people fighting…

She could only watch as Blossom loosed shaft after shaft at close range, her full lips streaming blood. It was only when Silanah noticed that she was no longer pulling on the strong of her bow, her arms merely jerking in a mockery of the motion, that the downed Sentinal saw the axe head lodged in the archer’s back. Maivera was engaged with a blue-skinned monstrosity, a single horn jutting out from its forehead – the demon they had been lured here to kill. As she watched, the felguard snatched the thin white blade in one gauntleted fist, and pulverized the swordswoman’s severe features against the spikes and protuberances of his hell-forged armour. Her vision clouding with tears, Silanah sought out the last of her small squad. Her cry choked in her throat as black bolts flitted towards Nevarial, but the ancient warrior was as leaves in the wind, twisting and spinning, the arrows sailing past her lithe body. At the apex of the spin, her arm shot out, fingers stiff, crushing cartilage and flesh of the throat of an onrushing orc, his spear jabbing uselessly under her arm. She ducked low, always moving, sweeping up a discarded sword and dragged it across the belly of another attacker. His steaming bowels flopped to the ground. She was a whirlwind, blade flashing everywhere.

Out of the corner of her eye, Silanah could see an orc stalking closer to Nevarial. Unlike the others, he was naked from the waist up, a study in perfect orcish anatomy. He wielded a long, thin bladed two handed sword, its tip oddly squared off. He attacked with a sweeping strike that Silanah could almost feel jarring through her own arms. Even with his blade’s unwieldy size, he chopped with blistering speed, the other orcs backing away to give him room to swing his sword’s length. Stupid orcs. Nevarial had more fighting experience that all of the enemies arrayed against her…put together. She parried every one of the orc’s attacks and responded with her own, exploiting her blade’s shorter length by getting in close. His blade clanged off hers, recoiling backwards.


There


Nevarial saw the opening, turning her wrist and thrusting outwards to impale the orc’s chest. The look of surprise on her face almost broke Silanah’s heart. Her oppponent’s chest was no longer in front of her. His footwork was exemplary, stunning even. Such arrogance to think that someone so young could not be her equal in skill.


Hubris then…

That was the last thought to slide through Nevarial’s mind as the orc’s blade crashed through her back, ending thousands of years of life. At that point, Silanah found it easier to succumb to the embrace of darkness, rather than being forced to witness.

***

Anduin tied back his sweat-heavy hair. He had been raised in the internment camps - hence his human name – and would much rather be spitting some pink scum over these purple elves, especially since pink scum didn’t tend to kill three brothers for every one of them you poked. Thank the ancestors for Scavenge, that’s all he could say now. The purple death-dealer had been heading his way when the Chorusman had made his move. Anduin had been lucky not to piss himself in relief. The Blademaster was looking at him now, grinning in that mad way of his after a fight. What kind of guy filed all his teeth into points anyway? Scavenge was the only orc he knew who did that. He was about to acknowledge his saviour when a tall shadow fell across him – a cold,wet chill settling on his shoulders. Anduin did piss himself then, the Dreadlord’s voice a hoarse, seductive whisper in his ear. ‘This one. Her heart is strong, it will suit me perfectly.’

He didn’t bother turning around. It seemed to him that Saemonvragas took some kind of sick pleasure out of tormenting him, especially when it meant shaming him in front of his brothers. Thank the ancestors that he was wearing leather and chain leggings. Thanks the ancestors for the darkness of the night, that was all he could say now. Damn that Dreadlord, he would be squelching all the way back to the Post now.


***


Commander Ravencall, When the patrol failed to report back into Astranaar, a full complement of Sentinels was sent out to look for them, led by Captain Halfspear herself. They were soon found, as was the body of Scout Ayal’ashay, an arrow found piercing his lung. Only one survivor was recovered, Squal Leader Silanah Riversong, who was able to illuminate events. Apparently the squad was ambushed by orcs while out hunting for a demon roaming far from Felfire Hill. Unfortunately, Sentinal Riversong passed from her wounds only a few nights later. Captain Halfspear was at her side at the time and wishes you to know that she seemed at peace at the end. May she find joy in Elune’s embrace.

Captain Halfspear conveys her apologies that she is not writing this message herself, but she has suffered from an illness these past nights and is very weak yet.


By the grace of the Goddess,


Lieutenant Neverfall



Rutgar found the Warleader on a balcony overlooking the clearing grounds of the lumber camp, the stripped landscape stretching in front of him like a tapestry of his accomplishments. He did not turn as the orc spoke.

‘It was always about the Dreadlord wasn’t it Lord?’

Rut asked, striding to stand at his warleader’s shoulder, ‘None of the other demons mattered, they were just baggage you had to find a place for.’

The lion-eyes did not waver from their apprehension of the landscape, the lips not even twitching.

'And now you have an agent inside Astranaar, a leader no less.’ The broad shouldered orc bowed his head, ‘I apologize for my lack of faith, my endless complaints at the demons’ presence.'


What are your orders Lord?’


The Warleader smiled, tusks jutting out.

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