Laying the bait

Sometimes I really hate my job.

When all this is over with, if it works the way we’re planning, it’ll all be worth it.  I’ll be able to look back and say we stopped the Twilights, and finally caught Magatha, and I’ll even personally hand-deliver her to Baine to do what he will with her.  Although, you know, if it’s going to be something painful, I’m really, really hoping I can skip to the front of the line of people who get to do it.  But anyway.

It’s going to be worth it in the end, but that doesn’t mean that the things I need to do to get it to happen don’t still suck.

Everything is underway for the trap at Alcaz Island.  Skarr is under lock and key in Dustwallow, and Dontrag and Utvoch are standing by to transport him to the island.  I have a Kor’kron detachment ready to sail down from Bladefist Bay and slip in undetected by the Grimtotem.  All we need now is for the Grimtotem to conveniently discover that we “know” where the phylactery is, and we’re being led to it.

And that’s the part that sucks.

The Grimtotem have been sending raiding parties down to hit Brackenwall Village fairly regularly.  Nothing we can’t push back without a whole lot of trouble, but still.  Now, though, we’re going to deliberately spread the ogre guards out and send scouting parties around the area, so the village itself has less of a defense force.  So for one, we’ll give the appearance of a more vulnerable target, and two, when the Grimtotem finally do strike again, there will be few enough troops on hand that the stupid cows can feel like they’re actually putting a dent in the place this time.

In the middle of all this, I’m having a pair of orc couriers flee from the camp, and make it look like they’re making a break for the road back up to the Barrens.  They’re going to be carrying a sealed letter from Draz’Zilb to me – basically notifying me that they’ve discovered the whereabouts of the phylactery, and Skarr will be leading us to its hiding place on Alcaz Island.  When, where, all the RSVP details.  The idea is that we’ll have the couriers take off during the attack, make sure they’re visible while leaving, and then let the Grimtotem catch them and take the letter and think they’ve made the big score.

And all that sounds fine.  But here’s the thing.  If the Grimtotem are going to buy this, we can’t make it too easy.  We can’t just have a couple of our men stroll up to them waving a white flag.  We can’t have them offering up the goods to save their own necks, or turning traitor to help them – the Grimtotem are a lot of things, but they’re not pants-on-head retarded, and they know us well enough to know that there’s no fucking way a pair of orcs would ever sell out the Horde to them, or go down without a fight.

So…they have to go down fighting.

They’ll make a break from the village, take just long enough to get out for the Grimtotem raiders to get after them, put up a fight, make it really seem like they’re hell-bent on getting through to the Barrens, and then, in the end…fail.  Magatha will get the letter the only way she ever would – from their cold, dead hands.

I’ve talked to the couriers who are going on this mission.  They know what’s being asked of them.  I quietly rounded up some of our men and explained what was going on, what was at stake – the Grimtotem, and the Twilights, and Cho’gall, and Magatha and justice for Cairne – and told them this job was volunteers only.

Not a hand in the room stayed down.

I’d never been more proud to be Horde.  (And they call us savages.)

In the end I chose two from among the volunteers to send.  I made sure that the men going on the courier run were single, no children…we orcs have had far too many orphans and widows already, and I won’t have a hand in creating more if I can help it.  They’re on their way to Dustwallow now, and soon enough the plan will be underway.

Like I said…in the end, it will pay off.  In the end, the Grimtotem will be stopped.  In the end, the Twilight’s Hammer will be prevented from getting their phylactery.  Cho’gall will stay in the grave where he belongs, and Thrall will have a clear path to finish the job against Deathwing.  Magatha will be captured and brought to justice, and maybe Cairne can finally rest a little easier.

I know that this is the right call.  This is the only call.  And I can live with it.  I have to live with it.

Spirits forgive me.

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