Today they were going to pay.
That.. insult at Westfall showed that they have learnt nothing. Greater dangers loomed at the horizon and the stench of death was stronger than usual in the north. But still.. they went on with their morbid amusement. Even after the death arrived at their very doorsteps, they continued. Killing our kin. Their own kin. Even the people of the gray sun. The day of revelation and cooperation was turned into a sick mockery ot itself. The cycle of hatred refused to stop.
Fortunately, plans had been made. The tribes, the warbands, the brotherhoods, the cults were all called to assemble. The plan was presented, discussed, argued and agreed upon. Responsibilites were handed out. Then we waited. Waited for the call to arms. The invasions showed that the Alliance had grown even more prideful and arrogant. The events had proven the wisdom in the precautionary plan. Then the call came.
We assembled and evaluated our forces. As expected, some had provided support only in the form of words and promises. The absence of the Empire was not a surprise. Even when offered a chance to secure trollish supremacy over southern Azeroth, they had failed to grasp it. If they would not strike against the Soulflayer or the humans, who would they strike? But that was a question for later. Those who hailed from the dead, icy wastelands of Northrend were absent as well. Not even an ambassador was sent. More surprising was the absence of the Burning Dawn. I knew they were merely a shadow of themselves, but this? None of them were seen.
But there were others who had stayed true to their word. The Orphans. The Void. The Last Stand. The Old Lordaeron. The Conclave. We, of the Noise. And others. Not enough for the plan. So we adapted. The planner and the leaders agreed on a new plan. Some of them would start from the north. We and the Conclave would start from the south. A two-pronged attack. Crude? Yes. Bold? Definitely. Doable? Perhaps. Effective? That remained to be seen.
In the first phase we would cripple their supply routes. We assembled in the jungles of Stranglethorn. From there were started our work. The town supposedly protected by the Sphere was the first target. The Night Watch was trampled under the claws, paws and hooves of our mounts. The townsfolk were powerless to stop us. Their birds were put to death quickly. Even if the Sphere would arrive, they would not be able to pursue us. But none did. As always, their protection was the same kind that trade princes with shark smiles offered to their less successful colleagues. It was worth nothing when needed. No matter.
The next target was called. By the sounds of the bells, the Conclave had already reached Lakeshire. Our target was elsewhere. Sentinel Hill. The laughter of the scum still echoed in my ears- It was time to bring some fear to them. It was time to show just how powerless they were. A kill right in the middle of their encampment. A kill that was unenthusiastic and emotionless. A butcher's kill. The elf was dragged from the safety of his birds. We let him see the last moments of his treasured gryphons. But we were not cruel. We allowed him to join them just moments later. Two down, many to go.
The we rode towards Lakeshire. The Conclave had already moved on. They had not only isolated the town, but stripped it off it's pride. Figuratively and literally. Gryphon feathers littered the bridge, and the naked corpses of the birds floated on the lake. The bells tolled, but the streets were empty. We rode through, creating a swirl of feathers in our wake. Windows slammed shut when we passed the town. There were a few adventurers peeking from the treeline. There is one thing that I love about killing. It's not the combat. It's not the kill itself. It's that look. Not the defiant look. Not the look on their faces when they are in pain. Not even the look when life finally escapes them. It's that look when they realize that they are going to die. Right here, right now. Their wits tell them to run. But it's too late by then. Much too late. I don't believe that they even could take one step before dying.
By the time we had wiped out Morgan's Vigil, messengers came. The Conclave was already cleansing Blackrock Mountain and Thorium Point. But there were grave news from the north. Southshore and Refuge Pointe had been isolated as planned, but they encountered heavy resistance at Menethil. They had fought through the city, but were pinned and pushed towards the sea at the docks. The decision was made. The prongs would strike like twin snakes. When one retreated and pulled the enemy away, the other moved in to strike. We were the snake that would sink its' teeth into the molten, hissing, whirring heart of the Alliance.
We had the advantage now, and it was time to use it. There was no time to lose. We rode to Flame Crest and flew to Kargath. During my travels, I had discovered a rarely-used dwarven tunnel. It would serve as a shortcut. The simple locks proved to be no challenge to us. The portcullis was lifted and our troops stormed through, into the Valley of the Kings. The Conclave had also advanced. Screams from Thelsamar suggested that they were already done with it. The troops greeted each other, and the commanders exchanged reports from their scouts. The northern front had been reinforced by the Darkness of Sin, and the main enemy force was heading towards us. It was time to turn the twin snake.. into a hydra. The Conclave took over a dwarvish bunker and barricaded it. They would buy the rest of us time. We would move into Dun Morogh. The Northern front would commandeer a ship and move against Theramore. We rode on, mowing down any dwarves that were foolish enough to stand in our way. We quickly pacified Khanaros and started to make our way toward the grand prize itself. We were already storming the gates when our enemies caught up to us. The Alliance Watch had judged the Conclave to be too hard of a nut to crack, and moved against a more imminent threat, us. We fought, but were forced to retreat. They followed us. But when one head of a hydra pulls back, the others move in to strike. The strike force had reached Theramore, and were fighting their way up Lady Proudmoore's tower. And the Conclave was coming. The Watch was literally crushed. We attempted to lure more defenders out of the city, but the dwarves were not dumb. They did not follow us to the lake. Lady Proudmoore needed help badly, so they sent forces to aid her. One head pulls back, while the others move in to strike. We resumed our assault.
The reckoning was at hand. Our forces filled the ramp. We swept through the defenders like an avalanche. The last time I was here, I failed miserably. But today.. today it would be different. I was alone then, in my one-troll war. But now.. The dwarves foolishly relied on their mountain of Khaz'Goroth for protection. But even the strongest stone can be shattered. We would be the force that would crack the Alliance wide open. So we struck.
Cries of terror echoed in the caverns. We fought like warrior poets, bringing death with every blow. I fought and I fought until I could not fight anymore. Then I fought some more. When I ran out of spells, I used my wand. When the enemy got too close, I used my staff. But everyone has their limits, including me. Their forces were returning, and our numbers were dwindling fast. The call to retreat was issued. We had delivered a crack to Khaz Modan what would one day prove to be fatal. The day was ours. I crawled toward the edge of the lava ring and allowed myself to fall in. The grating rattled loudly when it caught me, but I think that the dwarves had other things to worry about. I bandaged my wounds and used my whistle. The dwarves would not hear it, but Windclaw would. And he did. Exhausted, climbed on his back. I rode towards the ramp up. And I rode straight into the Alliance Watch. Damn. Their presence here meant that the assault on Theramore had failed. I took advantage of the slight confusion and changed plans. The gates were obviously too well guarded. But the tram.. yes. The tram. I turned Windclaw around and head towards Tinker Town, with a dozen Alliance Watch at my tail. Good. That was a dozen that could not prevent I disagreeociates from retreating. I rode straight past the amazed dwarven guards and ran into the dark corridors of the tram.
It is surprising how several tons of steel whizzing by your head every few minutes can discourage pursuers. A gnome or a troll would have no problems navigating the cramped walkway, but a dwarf or a human.. It was too dangerous and they knew it. I hid myself in a dark alcove and waited for the next set of tram cars to pass. Just as I expected, they anticipated that I would try to escape through Stormwind, so they took the tram to catch me at the next station. Fools. Mages always have a way out. When the tram was far enough, I summoned a portal that illuminated the corridor and stepped through.
Today they were going to pay.
By the looks of it, Westfall had been a warzone for the whole evening. Bodies everywhere, with the land colored crimson from the blood. Sure, I had heard the rumors about the rose. I had heard the rumours about the Blackrock Mountain. But the Firelord would not let the mountain erupt. Not while he had something to lose. Nevertheless, the fairytale had served it's purpose, and provided an excuse for the bloodshed.
I had been scouting the area, gathering intelligence on the parties involved, patrol routes, response time, that kind of thing. Picking off one guard here, one guard there, keeping them on their toes.
Then they showed up. Three dwarves. From the Dwarven Rifle Squad, according to their insignias. They started to take aim at me. With a slight tug of Windclaw's harness, I was already upon them by the time they fired. Two of them fell easily, but the third.. He retreated to safe range while I killed his comrades. He was smart. His bullets were filled with potent poison. A poison I was too familiar with. I could feel my powers being drained. Even the simplest incanations were proving too tiresome. I needed rest, badly. With the last of my powers, I conjured a barrier of ice around me and head for the mountains. The local peasants were emboldened by my retreat, and ran after us. I did not get far. Just outside the town, I felt a sharp pain in my right ankle. The dwarf had shot right through my ankle. The bastard. Crippled, the peasants caught up to me.
I don't know how many times I lost conciousness, but every time I was awoken with piercing pain. The dwarf still stayed in safe range, shooting whenever I seemed to gain an edge over the peasants. I flayed on them with my wand on my other hand, and my staff on the other. The bearded bastard kept me crippled, like a source of some grim amusement to the jeering peasants. A few warriors, a gnomish demoncaller duo and a few others. It took me hours, but one by one I sent the peasents running. Only the demoncallers and the dwarf remained. Their spells burned my flesh, while my mind was tormented by the poison. They were getting thingyier. All I had to do is to feign exhaustion. I could not catch them with my ankle. I need to get them up close. And then..
One of the demoncaller gnomes found my sluggish movements quite amusing. He waited until I took aim on him with my wand, and then ran behind me. He became bolder. He waited until the last moment, and then dodged the bolts. The dwarf was reloading. Just a bit closer.. NOW!
I let my wand drop to the ground and grabbed my staff with both hands from the bottom end. I swung it around me wildly. I hit him right in his elbow. Realizing that he was too close, he started running. Too late, little man. My next swing hit him on his right leg, causing him to lose his balance. I limped on to him. He tried to scamper back on his feet. Too late, little man. Way too late. Do you think I'm some animal that can be prodded and taught tricks? I'll show you..
I grabbed a better hold on my staff and drove it straight down on him, like a spear.
The staff sunk to the back of the gnome, accompanied with two very satisfying crunches. Now the other. He starts to run, but too late. I pick up my wand. The bolt of ice hits his back, and he slumps down. The dwarf took aim, but the only sound that came out of his rifle is "click". He looks at me in disbelief. He runs. I return to the impaled gnome and pry my staff off him.
I need rest. But after that, I will go after the dwarf. And then.. I will find out just how much he likes games..