The scent from the nearby roasted meat of the latest hunt wafted up comfortably. Mulgore was a good place for a peaceful meeting. It looked much like Nagrand. Not the same nostalgic feeling, but spirits and elements were definately present here. A meeting of war it would be, but if there was one thing that would have to be settled peacefully, it were the meetings of the Covenant.
Ever since my first attendance at a Covenant-meeting many moons ago, I noticed the orcs, trolls, undead and now even blood elves argue with each other over mortal matters. There were never many tauren in the company, being their usual, old, peace-loving selves.
All members of the Covenant had been invited to come, yet there was no sign of the trolls or Forsaken. Just representatives of Quel’Sin and La Danse Macabre – I can not imagine ever saying those absurd words out loud – so far.
The elf I recognised as Vaernas approached me, greeting me with a nod. “Hail, Kozgugore,” he said. “Unfortunately, the other councillors are delayed. They will arrive as soon as possible, however.”
I nodded in return, grumpy and agitated as I already was. How important is this alliance to them, arriving at the meeting with the pace of an injured herd of clefthoof? Nevertheless, I straightened my back to hide the agitation and greeted him in return with a neutral Throm-Ka.
“Then we wait some more. Seems like they are not the only ones we will have to wait for.”
The elf strode off on his, least to say extravagant, mount as I grumbled to myself and invited him to sit down and join the others of La Danse Macabre.
Over the next few minutes, as the sun sank toward the horizon, I watched a steady stream of elves and trolls progress to the nomad tents of the simple village the tauren call Bloodhoof Village, gathering on the flat grounds near a bonfire.
Despite our tense relationship with the Gurubashi trolls, I let out a relieved sigh as I glanced over to the approaching trolls. These trolls were certainly powerful ones, fully in their prime, bigger and stronger than most others. But there was an air about them that raised my hackles. I decided to hold my tongue for now, and observed as they dismissed their oversized raptors and joined the small company of representatives.
As I waited some more on my black wolf Broadjaw, I looked down at the worg lying beside me on the gentle grass. Shrewd was not one for words, except when it would come to playful insults, but we will have plenty of hunting once this would be done. Then I noticed the last fellowship of flower-blood approaching the encampment in the crimson-red light of the dawning sun. They bothered to come after all.
I looked up into the twilight sky, content. The ancestors must be pleased, taking a small amount of comfort in the thought.
The plea for unity among the Horde was answered.
I looked around the circle to inspect the ones that bothered to answer the letters. It was a long circle of both eager and questioning faces that arrived to join the gathering.
I opened my mouth to begin the meeting. “You all know I called you here for a meeting. A war council, one would call it.”
“War, ya say?” One of the bigger, metal-clad trolls known as Rlaris replied. I could not detect any detesting, but no approval neither.
I answered the brief answer likewise with a brief nod. “Aye, a matter that has been simmering like a stew on the fire for too long.”
“Indeed. However, I have a question. Where is Lordaeron? Why are they not here?” Vaernas, the one from Quel’Sin implied, answered by another female elf, from whom I understood was called Ferlaye, standing closely beside him.
“Is something wrong with them?”
“I invited Lordaeron as well. But they do not seem to have bothered the call. I expect they have a good reason. If not, I consider it a bad sign from their side,” I answered.
“Dey did nae send ye message?” the cloth-wearing troll I recognised as Djazeeb inquired. As always not fluently in his orcish. Like his Emperor, who never speaks orcish at all.
“Dey be undead. Dey shouldn’t be walkin' around anyway,” a troll representative from La Danse called Vooshin mocked. Answered by some random chuckles, yet some sighs as well. Such were the meetings of the uneasy Covenant, or better yet, the Horde.
I smirked along, relaxing slightly but regaining my composture by straightening my back and going back to the matter at hand.
“Can any of you remember the recent battles against our REAL foe, the Alliance?”
Some of the elves already shook their head.
“I say we have seen no real action for too long. And if we are to have an actual alliance with each other as clans or organisations, we should unite against that actual foe of ours for a change.”
“Many of us still hav' been fightin' da Alliance,” Rlaris replied to my speech, seeming quite content with that fact and relaxing slightly, sitting down on his troll-feet.
“Are you sure you're fighting alliance, troll?” Vaernas grinned. The bonfire seemed to lit up as the faces of the parties of both Gurubashi and Quel’Sin straightened up, both preparing for another fight.
“Yes. I am. Me don' fight imaginary foes. Unlike some...”
Another one, previously shaped as the spirit of a wolf but now a troll clad in finely-crafted leather armour smirked and added some more spice to the arguement. “Easy to mix those elves though. But I think I've mostly slayed night elves in the Vale...”
“I see. I also heard that elves have butchered you and your emperor very hard. Might be a rumour though,” the other elf I still recognised as Veltheril replied. The three elves of Quel’Sin grinning and snickering like a satisfied pack of worgs.
As both of the parties shared some more soft insults and mutterings, other parties sighed and bowed their head in despair.
“We are already at war with the Alliance-curs! Do not take it at each other, elves, trolls,” I snarled. The trolls and elves seemed to have understood, and unclenched their fists and tidied their robes as they regained their neutral postures, though still sharing random glares with each other.
“We are seperate people, aye. Each with our own stories and heroic tales. I will not ask you to give up on those. I simply ask you all to unite for a Grom-damned change. We are all part of the Horde, the way it stands now! So I say we act as a Horde! Striking at our actual enemy, instead of each other!”
All three parties shared glances with each other and some nodded to themselves, awaiting further explanation as to why they had actually come here in the first place.
“In this case, I want the draenei to be made an example of.”
“Draenai? Da blue skins with hooves? Me don' really see dose ‘draenai’ as a threat... But dey need ta be killed.”
“You... you want to attack the... the Exodar?”
“It be about time we purge dese squidfases from Aseroth!”
“So we are going to attack the draenei-isle?”
“Good idea. Our kind has special... love for squid-faces.”
A lot of different kinds of replies, but none of them truly disheartening.
“Then we have another thing we can agree with, Veltheril,” I replied to the last comment. “You all noticed the talbuk-shaped possums allied themselves with the Alliance. Another big mistake they have made since decades.”
The bonfire seemed to have dimmed a bit again, giving the scene a more soothing light and calming the situation down a bit.
“Their place is beyong huge. Immense,” I continued. “We will need an army if we want to achieve anything in there - and that is what I ask of you all. Whether all of you are ready to lend your aid. Are you?”
I peered around the group, awaiting all of the party’s answers. As all of the trolls and elves discussed with each other for their participation, I noticed my sweaty jerkin started sticking to my skin.
“Master Tenderhoof has... authorized me to promise our aid,” the nervous La Danse Macabre representative I later got to know as Ashantir said.
“We be in, yah!” Djazeeb roared.
“We shall be dere,” Rlaris added to Djazeeb with an approving nod.
All eyes glanced over to the elves of Quel’Sin. They were still debating whatever they had to discuss with each other.
The female elf looked as if she was about to protest, but the other elf shot her a reassuring glance.
While the slender, intelligent elves are smart enough to see their advantages to the Covenant and are not easily strayed from their goals, they did not have the aggressiveness of a roused herd of talbuks.
“Quel'Sin will participate,” Veltheril finally gave in. “However, our numbers are thinned lately, and many still need training. But we will do our best.”
“Then you will have to train them as fast as you can, lest you want to lose too many elves,” I knew I was not quite in a position to reprimand the elves, but this was not the time to lie to each other about the situation at hand. “Any numbers are welcome. What I will ask most of your people is the ability to obey. To stand under one banner. The alliances are decided. I will ask the shaman what they think of the best time to attack together. The meeting turned out smaller and shorter than I expected, and I regret none of either Lordaeron or some of my own had the ability to show up, but I am sure we will make a worthy stand against the draenei.”
“Good. Quel'Sin are looking forward to this. Thank you for bringing us all together for a worthy cause.”
“We will ofcourse be dere. Where fightin', dere will almost always be da Empire.”
“We should... explain what we decided to the undead... maybe send a messenger. We... erm... could use them... for the attack.”
The group of representatives hestitated a moment longer, as if waiting for further words from me. When the silence stretched long and uncomfortably between them, I bowed and left. The others following my example.
I left the encampment with Broadjaw and Shrewd and walked in silence for a time, until the campfires were small, twinkling lights in the distance. Me and Shrewd both sniffed the wind that was still stroking the grassy hills of Mulgore.
He glanced at me and grinned a little in his usual way, his healthy, white canines flashing in the twilight sun.
Perhaps the draenei’s knowledge of the Burning Legion would actually become mine at last. The knowledge I needed to fight them. And at the same time, strike a crushing blow at the pathetic Alliance. It would be a good day.
The wolves still enjoy hunting in draenei-lands.
From: Warsong offspring, the journal of Kozgugore Feraleye, entry 57: Throw them to the Wolves.