This is the way the world ends

{Picking up from last time…}

 

Garrosh and Mokvar look around the room nervously while the goblin messenger slowly pulls himself up.

MALKOROK:  <snickering at the goblin>  Do you see, you simpering worm?  Do you see what your failure brings you?

GOBLIN:  <steadies himself, rubbing one shoulder in pain>  I’m…I’m sorry, sir.  I swear the crew is working tirelessly to correct the problem and have the galleon ready to embark as planned…

MALKOROK:  <shoving the goblin from behind>  See to it that they do, rodent!  If you come to the Warchief bearing bad news again, rest assured you’ll have far worse than bruises to show for it!

MOKVAR:  Hey, enough, leave the little guy alone.

MALKOROK:  <sneers>  Stay out of matters that are none of your concern, scribe.  Assuming you’re capable of such a thing.

GARROSH:  Malkorok, that’ll do.  I think the courier gets the point.

MALKOROK:  As you wish, Warchief.

GARROSH:  <to the goblin>  You have your answer.  Go deliver it.

GOBLIN:  Yes sir…

The goblin rushes out.

MALKOROK:  I do not like having to rely on these sniveling—

GARROSH:  Really not the day, Malkorok.

MALKOROK:  If you insist.  I still question the wisdom of your…predecessor choosing to bring these Bilgewater rats into the Horde.

MOKVAR:  Yeah, well, I question the wisdom of wisdom of of era wisdom uoy of question suounet of erom eht of the won raised fo esnes ruoy in reworran eht tub front anosrep ruoy dilos of erom eht htdiwdnab ruoy my rekciht eht erutuf eht ni eyes dna tsap eht ni the llewd bringing the uoy bringing erom bringing eht bringing bringing the bringing the likes of you into the inner…oh…

Garrosh and Mokvar look around again, finding themselves at the entrance to the Drag.  Horde troops rush around, fighting demons, while civilians continue to flock to the elevators.

GARROSH:  <looking around frantically>  Edwin – do you see Edwin anywhere?

MOKVAR:  Nowhere I can see.

GARROSH:  Goddammit…

MOKVAR:  He was headed up to the Skyway, so hopefully he made it out…

GARROSH:  Let’s hope.  Well, we can keep an eye out, but either way, let’s make sure the others get out, too…

 

We ran through the Drag, past scores of demons being fought by Horde soldiers, weaving between heaps of bodies of demons and Horde alike.  We helped the soldiers kill a few of the monsters as we made our way toward our main destination: the orphanage.

When we got there – and cut down a trio of shivarra on the way – we found Vol’jin had had the same idea, and was slaying demons as he cleared a path for himself from the opposite side.  We converged at the door to the orphanage, and Vol’jin waved us inside while he squared himself to cover the entrance.

Mokvar and I ran in.  There was no sign of Matron Battlewail anywhere, and the kids were half running around in a panic, half hiding behind or under anything they could find.  We ushered them out as quickly as we could – I tried to look for Gurtash, but he wasn’t anywhere I could see – and as we came back outside, we found Vol’jin fending off a new batch of wrathguards being rallied by the doomguard Highlord Kruul.

I stepped in to help Vol’jin push Kruul back while Mokvar covered the orphans.  In the chaos, I spotted Thathung and Wabang — reluctant grunts in the other world, auctioneers in this one — rushing past, and I broke away to flag them down.  Mokvar herded the kids over closer while I told Thathung and Wabang to get them up to the zeppelin towers.  I was so focused on getting the orphans taken care of that I didn’t even notice Kruul lunging in behind me with his sword poised.

 

VOL’JIN:  Garrosh!  Look out, mon!

Vol’jin dives at Garrosh, pushing him away – and taking Kruul’s blade through his back.

Garrosh pulls himself up as Vol’jin spills onto the ground next to him, and, roaring angrily, Garrosh launches himself at Kruul, slashing at him furiously with both axes.  Kruul deflects the first several attacks, then starts to have trouble keeping up with Garrosh’s flurry of blows, until finally Garrosh chops off the demon’s hand at the wrist, leaving his sword to rattle away uselessly.  With one more angry shout, Garrosh lashes at Kruul, tearing his axe across the demon’s head, slicing away its top half just below the eyes.

As Kruul falls lifeless to the ground, Garrosh spins around and runs back to Vol’jin.

GARROSH:  Okay…okay, troll, now we just get you patched up, and…

Garrosh looks at Mokvar, who shakes his head.

Come on, he was just some pansy-ass demon, you’re not going out because of some punk like him, right?

Vol’jin cringes, then rolls to look up at Garrosh.

That’s right, there you go – unbreakable, right, troll?

VOL’JIN:  <halting>  Garrosh…mon…I seen…seen…you…  <seizes up and coughs, then grins faintly>  Wish…wish I was invincible…den…he would never a seen me…mon…

Vol’jin lets out a breath, then goes limp on the ground.

The entire city shudders, and chunks of the upper level buckle.  Pieces of stone and architecture break off and crumble.  Dranosh rushes in from the Valley of Honor with a handful of soldiers.

DRANOSH:  <shouting in all directions>  Fall back to the zeppelins!  All forces fall back!

GARROSH:  Let me guess, it’s getting worse.

DRANOSH:  The Scourge are getting through.  The shamans managed to bring down some of the cliffsides as a barricade, but it’s just buying us some time… <looks down at Vol’jin>  Is he…?

Garrosh nods.

This is a nightmare….

GARROSH:  Nah, now we just sic the Scourge and Legion on each other and kill two birds.

DRANOSH:  <smirks half-heartedly>  Yeah, we’ve got them right where we want them now.

GARROSH:  <scans around>  You want me to help finish calling the evacuation?

DRANOSH:  No…I’ll do it.  I’m the Warchief, if anyone has to call the retreat…

GARROSH:  We’ll hit the Valley of Wisdom and make sure it’s clear.  Everyone else seems to be on their way.

DRANOSH:  I’ll see you up at the airships.

GARROSH:  If we’re late, don’t wait for us.

DRANOSH:  Like I would.

GARROSH:  Lok’tar ogar, Warchief.

DRANOSH:  I don’t like those options today.

GARROSH:  Be careful.

DRANOSH:  And you.

 

We split up, and Mokvar and I made our way through the smoke and the fighting and the toppling buildings into the Valley of Wisdom.  Most of the tauren had already cleared out.  Mokvar and I made short work of some imps that were setting the teepees ablaze, then ushered the last of the tauren civilians up toward the Skyway.

Another tremor shook the walls of the valley, and large chunks of rock splintered off and came crashing down onto the tauren structures, crushing two of the buildings and sending the largest totem toppling to the ground.  As the totem landed, I heard a pained, bestial shriek, and circled around to check.

Zhi-Zhi, that crazy-ass monkey-boy, was pinned under the fallen totem.

 

GARROSH:  <rushing over and gripping the totem>  Mokvar, give me a hand with this.

ZHI-ZHI:  No!  No, you go!  No stay for Zhi-Zhi!

GARROSH:  <struggling to move the totem>  Don’t…ugh…don’t worry, Hairy Grammar Boy, we’re not…nngh…not staying for anyone, least of all your scrawny ass…uggghh…we’re just getting this off you and we’ll all be on our way.

Garrosh and Mokvar continue working on the totem, but it barely moves.

MOKVAR:  Dammit, what did they carve this thing out of, lead?

GARROSH:  It’s made of solidified inconvenience, just like every other damn thing in our lives right now…

ZHI-ZHI:  No!  You go!  Listen, listen to Zhi-Zhi!  Must go!

GARROSH:  Nnnngh…don’t…don’t know what you’re so worried about me, Spanks.  I thought you said I’m NOT “the one”…

ZHI-ZHI:  Yes!  No!  Not the one!  Yet!

Another tremor sends more stone crumbling down around the sides of the valley.

MOKVAR:  Garrosh, hate to say this…

ZHI-ZHI:  Must go!  Go now!

GARROSH:  You shut up, chimp, we’ll have this in just a second…

ZHI-ZHI:  Listen!  Listen to Zhi-Zhi!  <stares up wide-eyed>  You…have…a destiny!

MOKVAR:  Garrosh…

GARROSH:  We’re not fucking leaving him!  He KNOWS something, Mokvar!

MOKVAR:  So do we, Garrosh!  And if we don’t make it out, it dies with us!

ZHI-ZHI:  Go now!  Please!  Go for Zhi-Zhi!

Garrosh lets out a disgusted sigh and nods, then follows Mokvar out of the valley – looking back over his shoulder at Zhi-Zhi every few steps.

 

We had to fight our way through droves of felguards and terrorfiends to get to the elevator, but we finally managed to reach the Skyway.  The last of the zeppelins was departing as we arrived, and Dranosh was standing by with Drok on the Windrunner.  The entire Skyway was shaking as we got on board, and the gunship pulled away.  As we passed over the city, we could see the Scourge starting to pour into the Valley of Honor.  The rest of the city was swarming with demons.  Every kind you could imagine.

We’ve been circling over Orgrimmar at a safe distance — or as close as you can get to safe, under the circumstances — for nearly an hour now, watching the demons and undead fighting in our streets and tearing down our buildings.  Dranosh hasn’t had much to say.  He’s just been standing at the edge of the ship, looking down, watching everything and nothing in particular.

We won’t know for sure how bad our losses are until the ships all reach their destinations and we have a chance to do a head count.  Eitrigg went with the civilians to Thunder Bluff.  Most of the military personnel are on their way to paying a surprise visit to Theramore.

Meanwhile, we stay here, circling around the clouds, waiting for Dranosh to come back from wherever he’s gone inside his head.

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7 Responses to “This is the way the world ends”

  1. WAIT! What? No…. nonononononoooo. Do Overs!

  2. *popcorn*

  3. Seriously. This is better than any novel.

  4. So, is Tirion any less talkative now he’s the Lich King?

    • Probably not. Which basically turns the entire Frostmourne experience up to eleven: not only is your soul stolen, but you are condemned to hear Tirion monologues for all of eternity. Monologues of great injustice! Where the Lich King describes, at great length, the ineffable, plague-ridden DOOM with which he shall visit the whole of Azeroth!

      Naturally, this is why Bolvar took the crown. He could never allow that to happen. Plus: fiery hemorrhoids. He needed some Frozen Throne, and he needed it NOW!

  5. Utterly rapt in this story. Eagerly waiting for more!

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