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Ambitions of an Ice Troll

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Origin of the story

This story was created on the Ravenholdt (EU) RP-PVP realm, and borrows some characters from the realm that are of significance to the storyline. This story is based on one of two viewpoints of the narrator's life in the realm. The second story, The Cursed Gift, is currently being written and hosts experiences from the Darkmoon Faire RP realm.

Introduction

The book that lays before you has a simple dark green cover, with an image of an outline of a troll. Above this is the title, written in a golden colour, and small lettering; Ambitions of an Ice Troll. By Avalarch Kin'Jah.

Opening the book, there is the following text in the middle of the first page.


The diaries of a Troll. Devoted to my wife, my Tribe, and my friends. May they live a happy life.

Also devoted to Booty Bay. Still haven't caught me yet, greenskins!

Chapter I: Suspicions

The mornings in the Shadowspirit village would always stick in my mind. Waking to the quiet howl of the bitter winds outside my camp, I would gather my padded clothes and venture outside, where I would be hit by the sub-zero temperatures. I'd casually make my way to the training hut to begin my day's training of how to skin an animal's hide for clothing, sprinkled with snowflakes and my breath clearly visible in the icy air. Afterwards I'd test my skills in the frigid atmosphere outside the camp on an unfortunate critter. Oh yes.. Life was sweet. I guess my old name shall always stay with that memory.. Shiv'Kel.

However, this day was different.

I woke on this day to instead hear the clanking of plate, and the whinneys of what I would learn to be horses. I gathered my usual clothes and tools and stuck my head out of my camp. I saw strange creatures that shared many of my own characteristics.. Although they looked rather out of place in the chilly areas of Northrend.

I listened in on their conversation with our chief outside for several minutes, before they went away, their horse's hooves crunching the snow beneath them. I approached our chief and asked the business of these strange people. What I was told unnerved me to my core. The 'men' that came wanted to attack the North. I had heard stories of the North. Few who go in there, come back out again... Even less manage to keep their sanity. I had also heard a name, a name.. Arthas was that name. These men wanted our help to tackle the threat. Ironic, that at this time, Man see the Troll race as something they'd stick their sword into, not to ask for help. Turns out they were desperate.

I was reluctant. In my late teens I wanted to explore, but I was not ready to die for someone else's hopeless cause. I knew that whoever wanted business with the people that lurk in the North, grave consequences would follow. I disobeyed a direct command given by our chief. For that, I was branded an exile... Rather literally. The scar still shows clearly on my right hand. I wasn't used to the intense heat on my skin, and I screamed and screamed. Our shamans knew ways that would stop the mark from healing.

His son merely watched.. We were childhood friends, he knew he could not disobey his father lest he face the same fate.. And worse.. The fact he would be disowned by his own parents.

Me? I never knew my family. I was left to fend for myself. Luckily, I was a dynamic kid.. I found my way to the shores of the South and prepared for a way to escape. My only option was to escape this icy rock. I had heard stories of great lands to the South. Stories of heroism and adventure.


Chapter II: An Interesting Bunch of Mates, Mate!

Right, I thought. I need materials for a boat. Wood and stuff.

Too bad the nearest forest was twelve miles away, not to mention that bitter snowstorm. I needed rest. I headed to a nearby cavern to gather my strength. Strangely, there was a crate in there. In my exhausted state I thought nothing of it and slumped in onto it. The crashing waves of the sea echoed into the cavern and occasionally sprayed water into the darkness. I stared into the darkness of the cavern as my eyes adjusted. I saw more of these crates, and other barrels, cages, gadgets and so on. I, being the inquisitive soul I am, decided to investigate. For about half an hour I inspected the items of the outside world. The world away from this rock. I needed to explore.

Alas, it was then my wishes were to be answered, although not in the manner I would've hoped. In the distance I saw a ship. This ship was colossal to any of the vessels I'd seen before (which held about five Trolls) and I was in awe at it's size. I also noticed the amount of humans on board, and the bright red sails. Red... The colour of passion and action. A sign, perhaps? Well, there was no other way to get away. I had to hide on that ship.

However, as I stood up to leave the safety of the cavern I heard voices coming directly toward the entrance of the cavern. They were here for the goods. I'd find out later that this was their smuggling spot. Many had torches, making any attempt to hide in the shadows useless. I had to find some other place to hide. Scanning the cavern in panic I eventually came up with an idea.

The smugglers entered the cavern, the bright orange glow of the torches enlightening the place.

Right, ye scurvy dogs! Get these crates outta here before I be keelhaulin' yer hides! a voice bellowed, followed by a drone of Yes, cap'n!.

As I crouched in a crate of Tigule and Foror's Strawberry Ice-Cream, I soon found the box being moved by some pirate with clumsy hands. He was trembling and wobbling all over the place and I thought he was going to drop me.

He did.

The crate tumbled down to the shore, bouncing off the rocks, and landed in the snow below. Ice cream exploded out from the crate as a result of the impact, and I also fell down to the shore, letting out a small squeak as I hit the floor. Of course this was a bad thing as the three crewmembers and the 'Cap'n' were now advancing toward me, swords raised and yelling ARRRR as loud as they could. Fortunately the sea disguised their shouts and I didn't need to worry about the others on the ship further down the shore.

That training us kids got in the camp really paid off here. A punch here, a kick there (to the groin) and the three crewmembers were on their knees crying like little girls. Instead of bring angered at having his crewmembers embarrass him like this, he spoke to me in a friendly, yet strange manner:

Blimey matey, that there's some fine footwork! 'Ow's about ya be me first mate, ey? See tha world!

I only managed to get the last part. Sure!, I said. My ticket outta here! I would now be known as Shiv'Kel the Bloodsail Bucanneer!


Chapter III: Out of the frying pan...

A year later

The events of the day the pirates found me were still fresh on my mind... And were fresh on my head for a few months, too. I took a rather nasty bump to the head. I earned the nickname Lumpy for a few weeks.

Anyway, a lot happened during this year. I learnt, under the command of Admiral Buckteeth, many tactical tecniques and overcame several situations. I began to prove my worth aboard the ship as I evaded numerous Alliance Navy patrols. The crew heralded me as the ship's tactician, but... what we did didn't feel right. Sure, I was exploring the world... But most of it was out at sea. Plus I wasn't much of a pirate.. Their language still eludes me to this day sometimes. I managed to keep my natural Trollish accent and confused the crew plenty of times with my Mon and Ya man! stuff. Their goals were shady too...

We pillage! Pillage, plunder... And pillage!

Naturally this didn't sit down too well with me. I sensed this bunch of animals headed for the same fate as those foolish humans would when venturing to the North.

So, surely, seeing as I did so much for the Bloodsail, they would peacefully let me leave?

Well... Contrary to popular belief... Pirates have no honour.

NO, YA SCURVY DOG! Ya're staying with us, Shiv! The only way ya be gettin' off this here ship is over my cold dead body!

This was the first true time my stealth skills were put to the test.

I had gotten word that one evening the crew planned on visiting a cavern in northern Darkshore for their smuggled ill-gotten goods. If there was any time to escape, it would be then. I drew up plans to escape... I had to dispose of anyone who got in my way. However, I couldn't risk killing any of them... The Cap'n would notice any lack in numbers. Then he'd notice me.. Then he'd add the facts together and I'd be hunted all over the dark woods.

I made an excuse to keep watch of the ship in case any Elves were to find it and attempt to seize it. Trusting my ability to plan ahead, the Cap'n left me in charge. I let out a small Y'arr to seal the deal and took up position at the wheel of the ship. The night sky was sprinkled with stars, and the moon's gaze was reflected upon the seawater. in the distance I could spot a path, visible only by a few small torches.

I watched the crew enter the cavern, and then wasted no time in making a run for it. I used my growing knowledge of the shadows to my advantage, sneaking across the shoreline whilst the pirates examined a small cylinder shaped metal tube, with a glass piece stuck to the wider end. I thought nothing of this strange piece of engineering and carried on across the shoreline to my illuminated path. ironic, that something so small could discover me so easily. I found out later that this 'tube' was a looking glass. I had no knowledge whatsoever of engineering beforehand and thus did not know the wonders said trade could achieve. Needless to say in this case it hindered me rather than helped me.

They looked in my direction through this tube and I thought their sight was blocked. However, I soon found out I was rumbled when they reached for other strange cylinder shaped tools before pointing at me and running crazily, filling the air with a distant Y'ARR!

I began to sprint away into the strange Elven woods. Sprinting came natural to me, as I had to be able to run from polar bears in Northrend. And wolves. Therefore, a bunch of half drunken pirates was no problem.

SHOOT THE TRAITOROUS LANDLUBBER!

I couldn't outrun bullets, however.

BAM!

Blasts filled the air, smoke trailing from these 'guns'. Bullets whizzed past my face, startling me, encouraging me to run faster. I took twists and turns in the strange forests of the Elves, leaping over fallen trees, branches cracking beneath my feet. I didn't know my way round these woods, but neither did the pirates. They were hot on my heels, I think, the trees providing cover from the barrage of bullets.

Eventually I hit a dead end in the depths of the woods. The pirates advanced on me, closing in until they stood two or so metres away from me.

Say g'bye! Buckteeth gloated. But at this second something strange happened. I shut my eyes, ready to endure the pain, when out of nowhere a loud thud could be heard, followed by cries of fear from the other crewmembers. I heard a lot of slashing, and the clanging of steel. I opened my eyes to catch a glimpse of a towering figure standing beside me, drenched in blood, clasping a sword dyed crimson red, and the remains of the Bloodsail crew running for their lives. Half of the 12-strong crew lay on the floor writhing in pain. Buckteeth wasn't there, though. His hat was down the path where the crew fled, with a parrot perched on top of it. It was then I heard the stranger's voice.

You are not safe here. My people would want you dead. Come, follow me.

The stranger helped me up and I dusted myself off. I know a place we can seek refuge. Come. he began to sink urgently into the woods. I quickly grabbed Buckteeth's hat... As a souvenier.

I was young.. I was not prone to the hostilities normally shown to the people of the woods. Horde, and Alliance, that cliched thing. He also showed a remarkable amount of trust in me. Destiny, perhaps? I guess I'll never know. I then followed this shadow into the woods.


Chapter IV: An Unusual Friendship

The stranger led me to a makeshift camp deep in the woods of what the stranger told me was Kalimdor. He described to me the extent of why I was not safe. I've walked into a continent under siege from demons. All I ever knew was that of my home. He told me how the humans that went there were slaughtered, and how their leader turned on all of his allies. My tribe... Gone... By the hand of this madman. I felt angry, naturally.. But the person of the woods told me there was nothing I could do. Vast armies of the Alliance had failed to kill him. Apparently this person was once a Night Elf of the Alliance, but aided me. He shared the same mark on his hand as me. Was this why he was exiled? No.. He gave me the details... And I've sworn not to tell a soul about it.

His hair was long and dark, like the shady blue nights in the sky. It covered part of his back and his forehead, where he would occasionally adjust his hair, because of his 'condition'. He wore mail armour most of the time and regularly sparred with me, training ourselves for whatever might have came our way.

Four years passed, living in the woods, with this Elf. He showed a great understanding of life and the silliness of politicians. If an Elf and a Troll could live together in harmony, why not so the rest of the world? He acted as my mentor for this period, and I learnt much from him.

He asked me my name, to which I replied;

Shiv'Kel. He found it odd I did not have a second name, and I also found it odd that he had a second name. He introduced himself as Avalarch Aegistorm.

When we learnt what we had learned to be the Third War was over, we decided to go our seperate ways. I remember him mentioning a place called Ravenholdt, where allegiance is cast aside to train and study without the pressures of the two main armies of the world: The Alliance and the Horde. I kept this in mind, but decided to join the Horde. It was so long since I last seen a Troll.. I needed to see if any of the tribe still existed.

I decided to take Avalarch's name. He described it as a good bond of friendship. I found it an honor.. Seeing as he taught me so much about the world. Now I was really ready to explore.

So we went our seperate ways. He went to Ravenholdt. I went south as per his instructions to the Barrens, then headed into Durotar, to begin my trials to become Horde.

Gameplay starts here

From here on, these events are based loosely on events in the game.

Chapter V: It's A Small World

So I found my way to Durotar. Some would say that alone is enough to grant me entry into the ranks of the Horde.. Turns out I was also subject to the Valley of Trials.

Easy, I thought. Boy, was I wrong. I was not used to such heat! All I ever knew was the cold. This sudden climate change made me uncomfortable from the start.

I dragged myself to the Hut as the Orcs called it. The sut beat down on the cracked soil beneath my feet, and a disgruntled Orc met me with a lazy stare. He asked me my name.

Sh.. Er, Avalarch. I stuttered.

Okay, Ava. You are now old enough to fight for the Horde! Blah blah blah. Kill some boars and bring me their tusks. Well, I think his speech was perhaps a bit longer... But that was all I heard.

So off I went, into the baking sun, in search of boars. Luckily this place is full of them. Time to put those skinning lessons into practice! As I was about to gut the nearest boar to so much look at me, an arrow whizzed past my face and sunk itself into the flesh of the pig. Startled, I turned around.

It was none other than the Shadowspirit chief's son.

We talked.. I thought he would be dead after what happened in Northrend. Turns out he managed to escape the chaos. How he came to Durotar I don't know. What was important was sticking together.

Thus, in honour of the Shadowspirit, the Shadowscar Tribe was born. Soon enough we found other worthy trolls to join our cause.. We slowly gained acceptance in the harsh city of Orgrimmar. I bought a house in the upstairs part of a local shop. In return for his hospitality, I would bring the landlord regular 'goods' gained from my adventures. I slowly adjusted to the warm climate, and my training stepped up much faster than that in the old tribe. My techniques were tested in the Gulch and Basin. The Horde was bitter rivals with the Alliance, but going from what the Elf said, I figured at the end of the day we need each other if we are to survive. Still, they make good target practice.

We recruited a few members, one being Akina. The very first time I saw her.. I'd never forget that moment.

After about a month's time the Shadowscar was already rapidly gaining strength.. Alliances were being formed with the other Orgrimmar guilds.. But I couldn't help the fact someone knew about my presence with the Elf.. I didn't feel safe. But for now, my tactics and wisdom learnt from the pirates and my mentor served me well, and will do so further on.


Chapter VI: Overcoming Paranoia

This feeling of insecurity grew within me. Would anyone find out about my origin? About my allegiance with the Elf and (formerly) the Bloodsail? This question haunted me every day about two months after the Shadowscar was formed. I slowly withdrew from the outside world, into the Gulch even more, to try to fight off my fears. It only made the feeling worse, as in that place, there's always someone wanting to skin you for a few coin.

As I sat in my balcony high atop the streets of Orgrimmar, I thought about this paranoia, glancing occasionally at the adjoining roof, for any intruders. Sure, my training helped... But i'm a unique case. Not all trolls have conversed with their enemy and a bunch of drunken pirates, never mind being an Ice troll. I needed help, which is when I remembered a place mentioned by the elf...

... Ravenholdt.

Of course! Allegiance there is cast aside! I could train freely and with the stealthiest of rogues. Maybe I could find my mentor there too.. I needed some advice.

I decided not to tell anyone of my departure... I figured I wasn't gonna be gone for long. I set out for the manor of Ravenholdt, having gained directions from my Orgrimmar combat trainer.

My journey took me to the Hillsbrad Foothills. It took me a while to find my way.. Eventually I found a man dressed in black leather. He was heading up a steep path, so I decided to follow him. Why else would a person dressed like this be hanging around these hills?

I came to a cavern, guarded by two Ravenholdt guards. They questioned me immediately, and I spoke my business. They thought I was daft to have come, but if I found my way on my own, then I should at least speak with the Master to inform him to tighten up the security. Charming, I thought, but nevertheless I pressed on inside the cave path. I could see light coming from the other exit, but right in the way of my path was a chest. Now, usually, when I see a chest, I open it and see what is inside. I was about to do the same with this one, but... Something didn't seem right. This chest was obviously placed here for a reason... And if the guards behind me mentioned their seclusive nature (security), then why did they let me pass?

I thought this through.. They wanted me to open this chest. But at the same time they obviously despised me. With that thought I passed it by, following the trail to the Ravenholdt Manor. The structure of the building was new to me, I had never seen a Human built house, never mind a manor, before. I walked inside, glancing at the various Ravenholdt guards, trainers and dealers. Everything seemed so tranquil, a place where killing could be learnt as an art, not as a skill. Soon enough I found myself face to face with Lord Ravenholdt on the manor balcony. Turns out my mentor kept in touch.

You must be Avalarch junior. He said, with a chuckle. Yes, yes... Your senior told me all about you. Quite some skill to travel from Northrend to northern Kalimdor during these troubled times. Must've learnt some skills from those pirates as well, eh?

Pirates? How did yo- I questioned.

I know lots of things... My spies have eyes everywhere. You seek refuge here, because you either think you're not good enough... Or you need inner security. There aren't many Trolls who can say that they have talked with Elves, sailed with the Bloodsail, lived in Northrend and also live a carefree life. I nodded silently. At this moment, the Elf walked up to the balcony, from the stairs. I'll let you two get on with it, then. Oh, and another thing... I can barely understand you, could you do something with that accent?

I grinned and followed the Elf to the main study hall. It is in this Manor I stayed for two months of rigourous training in mind, body and spirit. My shaky techniques were broken and remolded into something new, something better. My accent because more and more clear. Soon enough I moved with such a grace people would think I was floating above the ground. I spoke without an accent. I learnt how to keep calm in extreme situations. I also got me a pair of real nifty handblades. They'd be my lifeline in many situations.

Eventually the Lord let me return to my tribe. I did not tell them of this trip. This was a journey for myself alone. I faced my inner demons... Now I have to catch up with the news. And boy, there was a lot of news.


Chapter VII: Building the Foundations

Setting my belongings in my old home, I stared out from the window overlooking the streets of Orgrimmar. To me, it seemed like I had only been gone for about a day, because, seemingly, nothing had changed. However, things are never that simple.

I found out that there had been other disappearances as well as my own stupid decision. One of the chief's closest friends, Akina's sister, the disbandment of the Ring of Valour... Oh, yes. A warm welcome indeed.

I talked to a few tribespeople and introduced myself to those who had not met me. Needless to say, they were all a bit astonished at my clear and coherant accent, which I found amusing. I did kinda miss speaking 'like dis, mon'... Oh, well. After settling myself once again, I decided that in order to truly establish stability in this place, I had to get in a position of power. I've not really told anyone of this ambition.. I find it more of a neccessary responsibility. If I was to rise through the ranks of the Horde... I could channel the various segments into something big. Something fierce, something that would bring us together. Would this happen? Only time would tell.

The Chief, Zuljas, thought of my absence as another disappearance, but he was glad I was safe. He noticed my prowess in my training in particular. He admitted he needed help leading the tribe. Therefore, I was named the Diplomat of the Shadowscar. Me, I was fine with the name. Usually people still call me 'Ava' to this day. That is fine for me.

So, the first thing I had to do, as the Diplomat of the tribe, was to find allies and more people. This is what the tribe needed. Fortunately I managed to learn a lot about my charisma during my stay in Ravenholdt. I set to work gathering new tribesmen, forging new alliances with other guilds and, at the same time, quickly rising through the ranks of the Horde. I believe Hafirim should get a mention here. A strong army he led, known as the Embersong Legion. Had it not been for their tragic breakdown, they would have proven to be loyal companions in times of need. As for Hafirim? I don't know what happened to him. I should also offer thanks to Chayim for the invaluable advice he had to offer to our tribespeople. Other guilds emerged soon, from all over Kalimdor, including the Kor'Kron Vanguard, Midnight Howlers, Arms of War, Thunderhoof Tribe, and more recently, the Covenant of Ashes, as well as many others my poor memory can't remember. Don't take it personally. It's my thing, forgetfulness.

Of course, such deeds could not have gone without rivals. For example, I worked a lot of my time in the armies of the Horde working for the Warsong Outriders. It was perhaps there I gained many rivals on the Alliance. In addition the Shadowscar raided the town of Redridge on occasion. Small raids, but enough to make a name for ourselves. These raids were led by Chele, our honoured Warmaster. She has since not been seen for a long time, some say she retired, other say she fell in battle.. I'm not one to listen to hype. I'm skeptical.

This went on for a long time, perhaps too long for me to detail on this page. I should note that I discovered some books relating to the Shadowspirit language soon after these raids, and with this, constructed a language for ourselves, known as... Yep, you guessed it... The Shadowscar language.

With our combined efforts, Zuljas and I turned our remnant of the Shadowspirit into a whole new Tribe. Strong enough to fight for ourselves. We grew and grew. Some others were becoming remarkably skilled in battle, and thus showed this with rare gear found from the dangerous locations all around Azeroth.

Our relations with the Kor'Kron were also strengthened by the strategic battle of Southshore, where I met Ragetotem and Karashk for the first time. Although things were slightly against our favour, we managed to get our way out of that mess. I'm glad no more of those damn Ziggurauts are around...


Chapter VIII: The Soppy Part

Alas, being in a Tribe and all, full of Trolls (kind of) like myself, it would probably be inevitable I would end up feeling weak around a certain woman. You know, when people say they have butterflies in their stomach. I'm probably going to regret writing about my feelings at this time in detail, because the Orcs down at the tavern near my house will probably be teasing me for weeks when I publish this book. Nevertheless, it was one of the happiest days of my life, so to hell with the drunken greenskins. Plus I have a few rotten eggs from the Wickerman Festival to throw at them.

I spent a lot of time around her, and that only increased as time went on. She brought out something from within me, something good. First of all I dismissed it as a feeling of loyalty, but soon enough my denials became weaker and weaker in my head. Why would I want to spend most of my time around Akina, even when I was in Orgrimmar, away from battle?

Now, I've never been too good with the opposite sex. In Northrend, the locals would rather eat you than date you. Feisty appetite, I guess. The people in Ravenholdt would probably disregard it as a worthless emotion, but this.. this addiction was too strong to just ignore. The Elf? Well, he never told me about that.

Guess I was so busy making these choices in my head that Akina made my mind up for me by confessing that she felt the same way. Of course, she didn't know how I felt, but I think she knew instinctively. We were both in my house at the time, overlooking the Orgrimmar nightlife, whilst some of the Tribe were busy drinking themselves to sleep. I felt suprised and relieved at the same time when she said this, but we were obviously new to this whole 'Love' thing. I replied to her by telling her I felt that way also, and we just smiled sweetly at each other. I suddenly felt rather colder than a few minutes before I told her, and shivered slightly. She must've either thought I was genuinely cold or interpreted it as a signal, and cuddled up against me. I smiled again, and embraced her in my arms.

As for what the blurry eyed drunken tribespeople said when they saw this?

ARGH! Fat bird on the balcony!

Eventually, we also decided to get married. Describing every aspect of the wedding would probably bore you, seeing as it would probably take a book of it's own to write about. All I'll say is that I proposed under a star-studded midnight sky, surrounded by our friends. Our wedding went perfectly. I married under Akina's second name, as I had no real second name. So from the day I said I do, I was known as Avalarch Kin'jah.

Definitely the best days of my life.


Chapter IX: Proving One's Worth

One month later

Word had just gotten to me that the Crossroads was about to be attacked.

Again.

But this wasn't any ordinary attack, where a few bored rogues were mugging passers-by, oh no. This was a raid of, ooh.. One.. Two.. A hundred Alliance. My contact, a small fellow with a trust in demons, directed me to Booty Bay, a favourite hangout of his. Not of mine, however. As well as making sure the Alliance knew they weren't being followed, I also had to keep out of that baron's watchful eye. He never forgave me for destroying half his fleet.. Old times, eh?

Anyway, the crowd of Alliance gathered on the next boar to Ratchet. I sneaked on board also, hiding amongst a few barrels in a dark corner of the nearby bedroom. However, it seems that Humans weren't built for sea travel, and before I knew it, twenty of the pinkskins filled the place. I was going to get found. Just as I was about to make my move, my arm accidently nudged a bottle on a nearby table off it's place and rolled right under the nose of the crowd. What I saw after then was hideous, what I could only describe as a human Paladin with a banana helmet on his head. His name was Natham. Was he going to hurt me? I never knew, but I suppose the crowd of seasick humans behind him wouldn't have minded taking a piece of me.

With that I leapt out of my hiding place, winding the Paladin with the fruitbowl helmet with a well aimed blow, and sped out of the cabin. I was greeted with a wave of gasps and the sounds of swords being unsheathed. However, I had one advantage. Seeing as I knew all about the layout of Goblin ships, I knew the best place to board and escape. A split second later I dashed up the stairs, knocking some poor dwarf off the boat, and clambered up to the captain's wheel. Unsheathing my new handblades and leaping off the back of the ship, still facing the angry mob now darting towards my spot. As I descended toward the aqua sea below, I quickly stuck out my handblades toward the wood and balanced myself on a narrow ledge. In the same thought, I pulled out a distraction from my pocket and threw it toward the surface of the water, exploding and making a satisfying dunking sound on impact away from my position. I used this bought time to clamber through a nearby open window and hide myself properly.

I love my job sometimes.

The journey did not take long. Before I knew it, the sound of a thousand feet bellowed off of the deck, along with shouts in Common. I took this as my cue, and deftly hovered past the guards amongst the ruck in a hooded cloak I found in the ship. They were mounting up on their horses, mechanostriders and.. Gah.. Rams.. I had to get there before them. Blowing on an old whistle with just the word 'Feran' engraved roughly on the side, a violet raptor streaked across the Barrens plains to meet me, just outside of Ratchet. I had left him there in case I needed some speed. In this case, I needed a lot of speed. Their archers were drawing their bows in anticipation to my Raptor. We exchanged a far-away stare for what seemed like several minutes. A heartbeat later, a gruff Dwarven voice shouted;

VOHL!

Arrows streamed from the crowd, hurtling right at my location. I shook off my gaze and rode as swiftly as I could to the temporary sanctuary of the Crossroads. Feran was luckily fast and agile enough to outmanoveur the current of pain sent toward us. However, from our sides came two black Nightsabers with Night Elf riders, from the coasts to the north and south of Ratchet. Seems like they were expecting an attack. They sped up (With some difficulty, I may add) to Feran and me, and took positions on either side of us, speeding along the dusty plains of the Barrens. A good old-fashioned high-speed chase. This just keeps getting better and better.

A blade came at me from my right, which I dodged, which was followed by a swing at my left side, which I parried just in time to knock the attacker slightly off balance. I used this time to strike at my other foe, locking our blades against each other, the sound of colliding steel cutting along the dry Barrens grass. This lasted for several seconds; Slash, dodge, strike, parry, swipe, all with no success by any of us. The Crossroads were in sight.

One of us bound to have got a lucky strike soon enough, and it happened. Unfortunately Lady Luck decided to test me a bit.

Gah!! I cried out as an unsuspecting dagger stuck into my right arm, leaving a small dotted trail of crimson on the grass beneath. I slightly keeled in pain, and the elves saw this as a time to strike. They both raised their swords to finish the job, but only met with a suprise force knocking both them and their blasted pets out of my reach, one followed by the other. Feran, my raptor, had knocked them both out my way, probably sensing I was in danger. This bought us time for me to dash into the Crossroads, assess our forces and see how I could help. Not to mention getting patched up. That didn't half hurt..

As I was licking my wounds, the thunder of my distant persuers, probably followed by the rest of the cavalry, gained on the Crossroads fast. As I looked to the east, I could see a huge dust cloud whipped up into the sky. They were near. Wrapping my wound in a makeshift bandage, I gathered my weapons, applied some poisons to them and rounded up a few able-bodied fighters. We would have needed support, so I quickly sent an envoy to the Grommash Vanguard, made up of the Kor'Kron Vanguard, Arms of War and the Covenant of Ashes, as well as our tribe. They would not get here in time, so our group and the Crossroads guard took up arms and braced ourselves. As for me, I disliked mindless fighting.. I needed to find the chain of command... And break it. The only information I had is that it was some crazed female night elf, in the words of my informant.

Hidden beside a nearby tree just outside of the Crossroads, I watched the cloud advance to the gates of the Crossroads. The all-too familiar sound of clanging steel rang into the air. I was scanning the scene, trying to find some sort of commander that appeared to be leading this slaughter. Nothing... Nothing yet..

At about the same time, the Grommash Vanguard were touching down and engaging in battle. It was then when I heard the unmistakable cry of command; One of importance which the army seemed to follow. Upon shouting something in Common, two Human paladins rushed to either side of that elf, one male and one female, and the attack was pressed harder. Her name, as my informant would tell me later, was Nathaniel. Whether she was commanding the whole force or just a segment was unclear, but I wanted to fracture their chain of command. This would be a start, at least.

However, once again, I underestimated the perceptive nature of Humans. The classic thorn in the side to any scout, really. I got within striking range of the Elf undetected, but by then the Humans already suspected something and were soon alerted of my presence. They struck out at me, and I didn't risk fighting three people at once, not with my injury. Soldiers were also rushing in all directions, more people could have joined at any minute. I was in a mess.

"Time to go, sorry I couldn't have stayed for a chat, ladies and gentlemen.." I murmured as I scrambled for my flash bomb pouch. I retreieved two small pellets and grinned quickly at the trio. I let the two pellets fly from my palms as I thrust my hand in front of me, hitting the two paladins square in the face (One of the human's nifty tricks in Ravenholdt). Startled and blinded, they stumbled backwards slightly. The Elf was distracted by this and I took my chance while I had it. I bounded onto and over the Elf, pushing her down onto the floor. Now would've been a perfect time to strike, but other people were closing in on the flash. "Not today," I thought. I waded through the fray back to the Crossroads and helped the Grommash fend off the waves of Alliance until they sailed back via the Goblin boats.

No respect for military action, those Goblins... Anything for some coin.

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