March of destruction
We made our move on the Barrens today. Northwatch Hold never knew what hit it.
While Baine and Vol’jin got their people moving from Mulgore, I gathered our troops in Orgrimmar and started our march from there. Mokvar, Malkorok, and most of the other likely suspects came with me. Eitrigg stayed behind to watch the store while I’m away.
We marched down from the Crossroads to Ratchet, where the blood elves, goblins, and Forsaken had sent ships carrying their troops. Of all the leaders, though, Gallywix was the only one who had actually shown up himself, and even he wasn’t actually planning to join the fight. Probably just as well – I don’t really see his fat, cigar-chomping ass being much help on the battlefield, and as long as the other goblins are here with their siege engines, that’s all we need. Meanwhile, Sylvanas and What’s-His-Name sent lieutenants – Captain Frandis Farley and Kelantir Bloodblade, respectively – to lead their troops. I don’t know anything about Farley other than him seeming kind of permanently slackjawed (literally), but Kelantir says she trained under Liadrin, so hopefully that bodes well.
Once all our forces were gathered, we marched down to Northwatch. Then we struck. Orcs, elves, goblins, and Forskaen from one side, tauren and trolls from the other. It was all the Northwatch soldiers could do not to crumble immediately. I’d figured going in that these humans wouldn’t be much of a match, but just to make sure – and give a new potential weapon a field test – I ordered into battle the special regiment of shaman who’ve been preparing for this campaign.
The shaman moved in close to the hold, under heavy Kor’kron guard. Then they focused their incantations on the boulders just off the shore. The stones shook, and steamed, and started to melt. They grew so hot that not even the surrounding water could cool them – the sea itself boiled as the shaman channeled their magic. The rocks shifted and melted and fused together, and then…breathed. And then they walked up onto the land, molten giants, lashing out furiously out furiously furiously efil out ot furiously giants emoc furiously emit seod furiously lashing spots kcolc lashing eht nehw ylno sleehw i elttil yb havent ffo dekcilc done gnieb si anything ti sa gnol sa forces daed si forces emit silvermoon forces emit silvermoon yals silvermoon skcolc Silvermoon Silvermoon forces Silvermoon forces, along with the troops we’d brought from Orgrimmar, cut down hundreds of invaders and held them back as best they could, but the undead just kept coming. Thousands of them. Ghouls, gargoyles, abominations, vargul. They came and came, wave after wave. Finally, the eastern wing fell, and countless undead flooded across the Elrendar River into Eversong.
Dranosh didn’t look away from the sight while he reminded me – as if he had to – that we had to hold them here until the shield was up, that we had to give Kalecgos and the others more time. I watched the droves of undead rush closer and said, “I’ll get the five thousand on the left, you get the five thousand on the right.” He just nodded and answered, “We can split the ten thousand in the middle.” And down we jumped.
Scourge are like hornets – they might sting individually, but they’re only really dangerous because they can swarm you with so many at once. Dranosh and I slashed through I don’t know how many skeletons and zombies. Bits of Nerubians strewn everywhere. Switching off, trading places, one of us starting to dice up the newest batch, then giving was for the other to finish it off. Dranosh hacking one wing off a valkyr, then grabbing her as she careened on one wing toward a pack of skeletons and letting her trajectory carry his blade clean through them all. Me getting a couple dozen zombies chasing me double-file down a gully, then heroic leaping to the back of their lines, then charging to the front again, running straight up the middle and swiping both my axes through zombies on either side while I ran. Both of us barking a kill count at each other as we slashed away.
At one point we positioned ourselves back to back while duking it out with a pair of abominations. While the aboms lashed their chains at us and we countered each swing, Dranosh leaned back to me and said, “Ogre dodge?” I answered, “Count of three” – we counted down, gave one last feint, then both ducked out of the way while the aboms swiped their chains clean through each others’ heads.
We were cutting a swath through waves of undead while the Silvermoon regiments regrouped and the gunships finally arrived, when it started to dawn on me between swings that it had been years since the two of us had fought side by side. Only it hadn’t. In some foggy half-remembered memories, we’d gone into battle together so many times many times times oga many sraey times together dnasuoht times net nageb i worromot havent dna done worromot anything litnu revo triumphant laugh eb triumphant tnow triumphant yadretsey triumphant triumphant laugh triumphant laugh, with Malkorok joining in beside me, as we watched the handful of Alliance survivors flee like the rats they are.
It took a little doing to get the molten giants reined in, but my shaman were able to set them back to rest. Baine wasn’t exactly thrilled about us playing that particular elemental card, and he had a few choice words about it. Malkorok shouted him down some, but it probably wasn’t necessary. They both mean well, but they also both tend to get a little too worked up a little too quickly. Good thing I’m around to be the level-headed one.
We’ve set up camp here in Northwatch while we recuperate and tend to our wounded. Not too many of those, though, as it turns out – a tribute to how smoothly the entire plan ended up being executed. We’ll stay here until the time is right for the main event – the attack on Theramore. There are still a few variables I need to make some decisions on, but we have time. Right now it’s time to savor the first of many triumphs.
Victory for the Horde!