The Mountain StoryEdit

Khayri was running.

He was often running, these days, but this was a special case. A very special case.

Why was he running?

The Draenei man turned his head back, to look for the briefly-elusive reason. He caught sight of the man - Orc - running behind him, down the mountain. The orc roared again, and there was another explosion three feet to his left.

Ah. Yes. That was why.

Shaking his head to get rid of the mountain's debris, Khayri thought back to the start of this particular debacle.

Khayri was climbing, hammer and pitons slowly taking him from the base of one of Nagrand's great brown-red mountains to the top. There'd been reports of Orc saboteurs working in this area. He licked his lips at the thought of the rewards he'd get for defending Telaar against certain doom, the money, the women, the prestige... He turned his body to avoid a clump of vegetation, finding another hand-hold on a nearby ledge, and pulled himself up over the cliff edge.

There was, in fact, an Orc. Khayri had seen many of them since he'd arrived in Draenor with the other refugees, all those years ago. However, most Orcs were not holding elaborate crossbows, or carrying a vast amount of explosives in little boxes all marked "dangerous". Or rather, marked "arakalada". Stolen, too. He moved to make his best "you're coming with me" pose, and proceeded to kick half the ledge he was standing on into thin air. The Orc turned around to face him, wide-mouthed and immobile. Khayri hauled himself up again, this time holding his hand out in a gesture to hold fire.

"Um... Gesh, kazreth nogu!"

The Orc's right eye twitched. His arm very rapidly went for the crossbow on the smoothed-out mountaintop, and he hauled up the explosives with his other hand. Khayri had barely turned to run when part of the mountainside exploded, and turned into freshly-made scree. The Draenei man began to run down the mountain, deciding that looking back would be an extremely bad idea. He felt a hail of tiny stones and bits of resilient mountainous fern pepper the back of his head, moments before the heat wave singed the edge of his tail.

"Why, why, WHY do the orcs have a language built on multi-meaning words and tonal changes? Why does "Stop, weapons down" sound so similar to "Your mother prostitutes for unfashionable ogres? ...And come to think of it, why is there an Orc at the top of a mountain with a crossbow that fires dynamite?"

Khayri turned around again, to watch the Orc scream a poly-syllabic tirade of insults, stumbling while he reloaded the cumbersome wooden-and-crystal crossbow. Khayri began to run much, much faster, barely evading an explosion that obliterated what once was a very attractive rock formation that had possibly been used as the basis for a pleasant watercolour painting. He slid down across a patch of dusty, loose rocks, coughing and spluttering as the dense yellow dust smothered him. The Orc roared, following with rage-fuelled fervour, his ranting broken up by occaisional coughs and splutters.

"Hah! Can't catch me, can you? You ignorant, no-horned savage! Your father digs latrines for incontinent clefthooves!"

Khayri turned his head around to watch the Orc's reaction as he skidded across another patch of vegetation, his grin rapidly vanishing.

The Orc had loaded two pieces of dynamite into the crossbow.

Khayri leapt. There was a brief moment when he stood on nothing but air, his hands struggling for nonexistant purchase in the sky. Then there was a very, very loud explosion, and he was blasted by rocks of varying sizes, the largest one sending him briefly face-first into the rapidly-dissolving mountain. He struggled awkwardly to his feet, and began sprinting off again, his pace slowed by the boulders that gathered this close to the base of the mountain. He looked down. There was a rather large ravine. There was no river, or clump of trees, or conveniently placed bush.

At this point, the Orc had long-since forgotten why he was on top of the mountain with boxes full of explosives and a crossbow, and had left caution somewhere around the first crater he'd run through after the Draenei mercenary. He decided that ending this immediately was the best course of action, and overloaded the crossbow, aiming it just in front of the Draenei's feet. The explosion's reverberating "thrummm" vibrated the entire ravine, and the Draenei dissappeared in a satisfying orange-brown cloud of dust. The Orc lifted his hands for a gleeful roar of triumph, but stopped mid-cheer.

A very large, very solid boulder loomed out of the dust.

Khayri woke up, uncomfortable. His hair was singed in places, his left hoof felt like it was chipped, and most of his clothes resembled something a beggar would scoff at. He craned his head sideways to look at his surroundings. He was at the bottom of the ravine. The mountain was more of an interesting hill, at this point, and might end up as a cave before the end of the week. There were a number of boulders next to him.

Atop one, there was an Orc.

Khayri opened his mouth to speak, and paused. He tried again, pushing himself up with aching arms.

"I make no claim to be an expert on Orcish biology... But I don't think I've ever heard of one having its head up its ass before..."