The siege of Orgrimmar

This may wind up being all over the place – so much happening that I’m not even sure where to start.  I’m going to try to cover as much as I can remember, in as much detail as I can, and I’m having Mokvar edit in what he can, both from his notes at the time and also – probably mostly – his best estimates after the fact.  I’m not even sure I should be taking the time to write this all out, but if things go badly from here, I feel like there should be a record somewhere of how it happened.

If you don’t hear any more from me, then this is the story of how the Horde fell.

I guess I should start at the beginning.

 

Our fears based on the scouting reports were justified.  The Scourge force in Winterspring, which by all accounts had grown to massive numbers, swept south into Azshara and across the zone unopposed.  We had early warnings from patrols that they were on their way, but there wasn’t anyone to slow them down, and as news came in I found myself wondering why the goblins weren’t putting up any resistance.  It took me a few minutes to put two and two together and realize that there WERE no goblins in Azshara, because the Bilgewater Cartel in this world had apparently never joined the Horde.

It’s strange how things work in this world.  Every time I flash into this timeline from ours, I find myself dropped into the middle of whatever was going on here.  I still remember where I was and what I was doing in the original timeline, but within a few seconds, I also remember, more or less, what was happening here – at least enough to get my bearings.  And I’ll have these other, scattered memories – or fragments of them.  Images, places, little snippets of things that I’ve done and seen here.  Just enough to get by.  And yet, I wind up drawing a blank on the big picture.  I know what’s happening as it’s happening, but I don’t know how it got to be that way.

So I still have these gaps, like with the goblins, or for that matter the Scourge, or the demons – big chunks of altered history that I just have no idea about, and it’s not like there’s been a point when I could ask someone without setting off all kinds of warning lights.  “Oh hey, you know these major historical events we’re in the middle of, and that I’ve personally lived through?  They’ve kind of slipped my mind.  Give me a quick recap?”  Best case scenario, they decide Garrosh has finally gone off his rocker.

So funny thing, standing on the rampart over the Orgrimmar rear gate, watching those masses of undead coming over the hills, I couldn’t help getting lost in my head for a minute.  Wondering where Spazzle is now.

Zaela directed the main defenses as the Scourge arrived and threw themselves against the gate.  The rampart was packed to capacity with catapults and lined with archers.  Nazgrim led an entire legion of infantry down to take them on directly, striking quickly then backing off under cover fire from the rampart.  Even at the battle of the line at Elrendar, I’d never seen so many Scourge.  We killed thousand upon thousand of them, and yet the fields of Azshara teemed with them endlessly.

Dozens of gargoyles and val’kyr flew past our outer defenses and swooped through the streets of the Valley of Honor.  The Kor’kron air guard dove in to engage, but even they could only keep up with so many of them at a time.  I rushed back inside to help fight off some of the ones close to the ground.  As I was hacking up a val’kyr, I heard someone screeching for help behind me – turns out it was that strange monkey-man Zhi-Zhi that Nazgrim had found stranded at sea, being tugged back and forth between a pair of gargoyles.  I charged in and cleaved them down.

 

ZHI-ZHI:  Ah!  Ah!  Many thanksings, yes, much appreciations for saving Zhi-Zhi!

GARROSH:  What the hell are you even doing back here?

ZHI-ZHI:  Zhi-Zhi, uhh, Zhi-Zhi come for fishings of crawdads!  Nice pond for fishings!  Good for snacks!

GARROSH:  Fishing?  Dude, did you not notice there’s a major battle going on here?

ZHI-ZHI:  Yes!  Yes!  Less competitions for Zhi-Zhi!

 

At that point Dranosh came running in to direct another infantry battalion to the gate and redeploy the units covering the interior stop points.  As he approached us, the ground shook as a deep, rumbling noise echoed around us.

 

DRANOSH:  <looking up to the gate>  What the hell was that?

GARROSH:  I don’t know – did they bring battering rams?  Or maybe they’ve got flesh giants at the gate now?

ZHI-ZHI:  Oh no…

Zaela runs in from the gate as another rumble shakes the ground.

ZAELA:  What’s going on in here?

GARROSH:  That’s not coming from the gate?

ZAELA:  No, I came to try to see what was causing it.

DRANOSH:  Status report back there?

ZAELA:  Getting hit hard, Warchief, but we’re holding.

DRANOSH:  As long as the gate holds, we can pick them off for as long as they want to keep coming.

Another rumble, lounder, crashes through the air as the ground shakes forcefully.  Garrosh stumbles in place briefly before regaining his footing.

GARROSH:  What the hell IS that?

ZHI-ZHI:  <closing eyes and shaking head>  Cracks, cracks, everywhere cracking…closed circle coming…

MOKVAR:  I think that came from the Drag – or maybe the Cleft of Shadow?

GARROSH:  The Cleft of…there couldn’t be anything going on in Ragefire…?

DRANOSH:  Right now I’m not interested in guessing – check it out, Garrosh.  Find out what’s going on back there.

GARROSH:  On it.

ZAELA:  I’m coming too, Overlord.

ZHI-ZHI:  <hands on head>  From within, it consumes…

 

Zaela, Mokvar, and I ran back to the Drag as quickly as we could.  The ground shook beneath us while we ran past one building after another, looking around frantically for any telltale signs.  Finally we ran into the Cleft of Shadow.  And my rage bar hit overload.

They were standing in a circle – about a dozen warlocks, each standing in a glowing, purple rune, with Neeru Fireblade among them, chanting some sort of incantation.  They were all channeling some kind of spell with red-purple ribbons of magic energy flowing from their hands to the middle of their circle, where a swirling disk glowed and shuddered on the ground.  The closer we got, the more we could feel the low trembling of the ground under our feet.  The warlocks repeated every few words that Neeru said as he continued his chant, and they grew louder each time as if they could feel success looming closer.

The swirling disk pulsed more brightly as we closed on the circle of warlocks.  Zaela and I didn’t waste any time worrying about the details of what they were doing – we charged in and started cutting them down.  Mokvar threw a hex on Neeru Fireblade to put a stop to his chanting, then helped us take out the rest.  But with every warlock we killed, the glowing disk only glowed brighter, and as I cut down the final one, with his last breath he just laughed.

 

WARLOCK:  Too late, you fool!  He comes!  He comes!

The disk glows brighter as the ground shakes with greater force.

GARROSH:  What the hell WAS that spell they were casting?  Why doesn’t it stop?

MOKVAR:  Because the real spell wasn’t coming from this side…

ZAELA:  This side?  Of what?

MOKVAR:  The spell they were casting was a locating beacon…

The ground rumbles loudly.  The disk expands and starts to glow bright green.  Zaela pulls Garrosh back to keep the edge of the disk from grazing him.

…to set a target position for this.  For a portal.

The disk gives off one more bright flash, accompanied by a buckling of the ground underfoot, then settles into a duller, steady pulsing.  From the center of the disk, a giant blue man’ari eredar rises up, holding open in one hand a book covered in shimmering arcane runes.  About a dozen terrorguards and abyssals rise up from the portal behind him.

GARROSH:  Oh…fucking hell…

MOKVAR:  Wait, is that…?

GARROSH:  I’m thinking so.

ZAELA:  Who?  Who is he?

The eredar snaps the book closed and waves a hand behind him.  Several domguards and shivarra begin to emerge.

GARROSH:  Malchezaar.

ZAELA:  Wait, Prince Malchezaar?

MOKVAR:  Yup.

ZAELAKarazhan Prince Malchezaar?

MOKVAR:  Karazhan-in-the-Deadwind-Pass-where-the-demons-were-gathering Prince Malchezaar, yeah.  That’s the guy.

ZAELA:  Wasn’t he killed?

GARROSH:  Over and over.  Funny thing about that

 

The first of the demons rushed at us, and Zaela, Mokvar, and I went to work.  Malchezaar did that creepy laugh of his – the one that only a few people should ever have heard but way too many have – as dozens more demons came pouring out of the portal.  Mokvar kept an Earthquake rolling under the demons while Zaela and I stood side by side and slashed them down as they ran at us.

 

GARROSH:  We’ve got to stop them here before they get into the city!

ZAELA:  I think you’re underestimating how many of them may be coming, Overlord…

MALCHEZAAR:  <chuckling>  Yes, yes, Overlord, you do not face Malchezaar alone—

GARROSH:  Yeah, yeah, I know, Squid-Face, everybody’s heard it, the legions at your command, shut up!

MALCHEZAAR:  Oh, no, orc, not the legions at my command – the Legion at His command!

Another deep, low rumble shudders through the ground, accompanied by an even deeper laugh echoing from the other side of the portal.  Slowly, an enormous, clawed red hand rises out of the portal.  Several of the demons turn to look, then cackle hideously.

GARROSH:  That…couldn’t…

MOKVAR:  Oh…oh shit…

Zaela turns to Garrosh and grabs him by his shoulders.

ZAELA:  Overlord…go!

Zaela spins away from Garrosh and charges at a nearby doomguard.  She leaps up, grabs the doomguard by one horn, and uses her grip to flip over its body while wrenching its neck around and snapping it.  Still holding the horn, she flings its entire body into a cluster of succubi, then throws herself into a pack of a dozen felguards while launching into a bladestorm that sends severed limbs flying left and right.

ZAELA:  <glares back at Garrosh as several demons converge on her>  Garrosh – GO!  Warn the Warchief!  Kagh!

The giant hand reaches to one side of the portal, dragging a heavy red arm behind it, and presses against the ground as another laugh bellows from beneath.

MALCHEZAAR:  Oh yes, do – warn the Warchief, Warchief.

MOKVAR:  <looking to Garrosh>  Did he—?

GARROSH:  Later.

Garrosh pulls at Mokvar’s arm and runs toward the exit of the Cleft of Shadow; Mokvar scoops up the still-hexed Neeru Fireblade and follows.  As they rush to the exit, Zaela tears through demons at the portal’s edge, while more emerge by the dozen.  Garrosh turns a moment to look back at her before following Mokvar out to the Drag.

GARROSH:  Aka’Magosh, Warlord.

Garrosh and Mokvar emerge into the Drag with about twenty demons in pursuit.  Horde soldiers on the street turn in surprise at the sight, then run to intercept the demons.  Mokvar turns back to face the entrance to the Cleft and holds his hands toward the stone that forms the cavern.

MOKVAR:  Spirits of Earth, I know I’m still kind of new at this, so please, please don’t pick today to be finicky with me…

GARROSH:  <looking around and grumbling>  “Warchief,” he says.  This world has seriously got to stop finding new ways to be fucked up…

The stone shakes and begins to crack; the cavern entrance collapses on itself just as another pack of demons near it from the other side.  The ground shakes violently as an angry growl rumbles from behind the heap of rock.

GARROSH:  That buys us some time, but it won’t hold them forever.  We have to get to…ah, here we go…

From the gate to the Valley of Honor, Dranosh and Vol’jin rush in with a squad of Kor’kron.  Orcs, trolls, and tauren pour into the drag from either side, running around in confusion as they engage the demons.

VOL’JIN:  How da demons get here?!

GARROSH:  It was the walocks – they were helping the Legion open some kind of portal, and—

The ground shakes again, forcefully, and a deep laugh echoes from below.

—and I think the big guy is with them…

The Horde troops finish the last of the demons, but look around anxiously at the sound of the demonic laughter.  The boulders blocking the Cleft of Shadows passage begin to buckle and shake.

Dranosh leaps onto a broken siege engine, gestures to the crowd with both arms, and calls out loudly.

DRANOSH:  Hear me, sons and daughters of the Horde!  We have been betrayed from within our very home, and the Burning Legion comes into our midst!  I look among you, and know that this is not a battle you dreamt you would fight today – but the battle is upon us nevertheless, and we will meet it!  I look among you now, and see the fear in your eyes – fear for your home, for your family – but I tell you, do NOT fear them!  Remember instead – it was your home, your family, that these very demons defiled!  These same demons who destroyed our beautiful world, who left your fathers and mothers and sisters and brothers lost or forever scarred!  These same demons who today have come – and delivered themselves to the justice they have too long eluded!  The Burning Legion comes today, my friends – and I do not fear them!  I PITY THEM!  Rise up now!  Rise up for the moment we prayed would come!  For Draenor!  For Azeroth!  FOR THE HORDE!

 

I’ve heard troops shouting “For the Horde!” more times than I can count.  I’ve never heard it as deafening as it was right there – just as the boulders blocking the cavern finally cracked and the demons came rushing out.

The flood of demons was met by a raging wave of green and brown and blue as our soldiers threw themselves against the monsters, crashing into them and pushing them back.  Vol’jin called out to a squad of Darkspear shadow hunters, who lined up on the ledge across from the Cleft and rained arrows down onto the oncoming demons, then he ran over to Dranosh.

I started to run past Dranosh to rejoin the fray.  He grabbed me as I passed and pulled me to face him.  His look was grim and urgent, and his eyes were more terrified than I’d ever seen them.  I think a little piece of me died at the sight.

 

DRANOSH:  We need to get the civilians out of here, and we need to get them out NOW.

Captain Drok runs into the Drag, leading a squad of troops.  Dranosh grabs him by his arm as he passes.

DRANOSH:  Drok, I’ll take care of your men – I need you to get up to the Skyway.  I want every zeppelin and gunship we have ready to take off and I want them ready ten minutes ago, do you understand?

DROK:  Yes, Warchief!

Dranosh runs after Drok’s troops, cleaving down a pair of felguards as he goes.  After cutting down a terrorfiend, he looks back over his shoulder at Garrosh, Vol’jin, and Drok.

DRANOSH:  You heard me!  All of you – GO!

 

Dranosh rushed back into the battle, and Drok ran off to the Skyway elevator.  Vol’jin and I split up, him racing to the Valley of Spirits, me to the Valley of Strength.  I ran from building to building – through crowds of panicking citizens – ordering them to the Skyway and trying to herd them into some vague semblance of order.  Droves of orcs and trolls, blood elves, tauren, even some scattered worgen and gnomes.  Humans.  I never thought I’d see the day I’d be racing around helping save humans.  Desperate times.

I KNEW Orgrimmar needed some kind of emergency alert system.

I followed the crowds up to the Skyway elevator near the entrance to the Drag and tried to keep them moving in as much order as a frightened mob could maintain.  All you could hear was the sound of people shouting and screaming and the rising growl of the demons.  Every so often, the ground shook again beneath us.

After one tremor, I felt someone jostle me, and I turned to see a human had bumped into me in his rush to the elevator.

A familiar human.

 

FARANELL:  Wha— Garrosh?

GARROSH:  Hey, Doc, I— DOC!  What are you—oh shit, Soridormi said you might

MOKVAR:  Doesn’t that mean the timelines are merging?

FARANELL:  <looking around panicked>  What—what’s going on?  What happened to Orgrimmar?  I was…I was walking back to my quarters, and there was a flash, and…

GARROSH:  Yeah, weird dizzy feeling for just a second?

MOKVAR:  It’s the other timeline, Edwin.

GARROSH:  Welcome to the end of the world, Doc.  You picked a great time to drop in…

MOKVAR:  Actually…Garrosh…

A loud crashing sound comes from the back of the city, followed by a rise in the overlapping screams and shouts.  The ground shakes again violently.

FARANELL:  I don’t understand – all this is happening because of what I did?  I mean, the other me?  How—?

GARROSH:  Long story, Doc, and I don’t even know all of it.  <steadies himself after another tremor>  But wait a minute – if you’re here

MOKVAR:  Exactly!  If he’s here, and we can get him to Soridormi—

GARROSH:  —then maybe THIS “you” can actually fix actually fix fix ytilatrom actually fo fix you raef fix namuh eht fix can esab eurt you rieht ta evah have tcartsba ro a detacitsihpos destiny revewoh emit some of fo some snoitagitsevni some lla some some of some of what’s gone wrong and—

Garrosh looks around the Northwatch Hold admiral’s quarters, horrified.

No – no, no, NO, NO, NO!!

Garrosh lashes out, smashing the table in front of him and pummeling a goblin messenger across the room and into the wall.

MALKOROK:  Hah!  Indeed, Warchief, nor should you stand for such incompetence!  Perhaps you should put an end to his sniveling existence – the Horde can surely afford the loss of one pitiful weakling.  Haha!

 

{TO BE CONTINUED}

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