(( My entry for the December contest. This story is about Bauron and Strakk, but Clorg and Truzzak both make small appearances. Enjoy ))
It was a tense night at Razor Hill. The place was more crowded than it had ever been with a siege coming up the next day. For this reason, Bauron Ironhorn choose to sleep outside the inn. The comforts of the inn would help others get proper rest, but Bauron did not need such to help him sleep. Naturally, guards took turns watching the city. Many feared that Hellscream would try to snuff them out before the charge on Orgrimmar. While Bauron agreed that it would be a wise precaution to keep an eye out, he guessed that if the “True Horde” was going to take the immediate offensive, they would have already done so. More than likely they plan to build up enough power to shrug off the rebellion once it strikes, Bauron thought.
The strategy seemed simple enough. The mercs and scythe were to charge the docks and take out their defenses. This would attract the dragonmaw and their proto-drakes, led by warlord Zaela and her mount Galakras. Fliers and their windrider mounts would aid in the defeat of these creatures. Once the port defenses were down, forsaken and sin'dorei ships would add troops. From there, they would all charge to the front gate and meet up with the rebellion forces who would charge straight from Razor Hill. The Juggernaut, Hellscream's metal monstrosity, as was reported by scouts, protected the front gate. The plan from there was to destroy it, and move into the city. From there, things would get difficult. Horrors of all kinds were said to be in the city, and since the old god's heart rested there, Bauron was convinced this would be the case.
Still, the tauren was prepared as he could be to die and go on his final journey. Bauron had made sure to attend his younger brother's mating ceremony held just outside of Bloodhoof Village a few days ago. Bauron felt happy for Jun and Lakota. From early age Jun had wanted to settle down. Meeting Lakota was a blessing of the earthmother for Jun, and brought his brother peace after losing both Brornan and Hallum in the last few years. Bauron regretted informing his brother that he would be taking part in the up coming siege, but Jun understood. Bauron was never quite happy settling down in one place, his own enjoyment came from traveling exploring the wonders of Azeroth. Bauron also felt a sense of duty to do all that he could to ensure a better future for his people, and by extension, for the Horde. Rigid in his beliefs and stolid as ever, Bauron would give himself no choice. He would fight alongside his fellow mercenaries, and the battle would ether be won or lost by cost of blood.
“I'm insane. I must be really outta my mind this time,” Strakk Crashgear said to himself. He worriedly paced around in his hot air balloon. It was the dawn of siege day, and his balloon moved to the west, to the docks of Durotar. Robotic spy squirrels ran around the balloon. Some were controlling the thing, some were readying the weapons, and one was constantly checking sides to make sure the balloon would not get ambushed. “The biggest siege in the history books since Icecrown, and I'm getting in the middle of it,” Strakk complained. “Well, not right in the middle. More like above it. And for what? Are we even being paid to go out into this whole certain death battle thing and get killed? Nope, we're just expected to go do this.”
Strakk thought long and hard about just ditching the Horde and becoming a sea pirate. At first, it appealed to him. He'd spend more time out at sea, drink, loot gold, spend more time with attractive ladies, and raid Kezz and Co. ships for no reason. Of course, Strakk would need to talk like a pirate, and there was nothing Strakk hated more than stupid pirate language. Furthermore, if Hellscream won the whole thing, the ocean would likely be purged of pirates. And if the rebels somehow won, Grazzug would hunt Strakk down and kill him, or worse, dock his pay again. Strakk shuddered at the thought.
Strakk thought deeper about the situation. “If Hellscream does win, then with the whole world under his boot, profit's gonna go down by a whole lot. Not a single gob, not anybody, is gonna be able to make a decent profit, and no profit means NO PROFIT!”
Strakk remembered why he chose to fight today. Not for any one he cared about, nor any place he cared about. In a way, he would fight for the Horde, but more for the values it had than the Horde itself. Specifically, the value of freedom to just go and try and make the most profit you can, or waste your time doing whatever. “Yeah,” Strakk said to himself, “that's why I'm fighting those kor'kron mooks. Not for profit itself, but for the sake of making profit! For good ol' greed and the right to be greedy! Certainly not for any stupid moral reason, like to make sure those mooks I work with don't get their mook selves killed. And hey, maybe Grazzug will give me a raise after this is over with. Or at least he'll undo that pay docking.”
A robotic voice interrupted Strakk's scattered self-motivational speech. “Threat sited to the north side!” Strakk ran over to where the mechanical squirrel indicated and looked through his telescope. Fleets of ships were headed the same way he was. Blood elf and forsaken ships were easily recognized, but what surprised Strakk was the identity of the others.
“Alliance mooks! What are they doing here?” Strakk figured they must be here to lay low Hellscream. The goblin briefly wondered whether the Alliance was coordinating this attack with the Horde, or if their attack was a complete coincidence. Strakk brightened a little. “Doesn't matter what their plan is. What matters is we got an extra edge, and maybe I'll even come out of this whole mess okay.”
The coastline came into view. And so did the proto-drakes. “Proto-drakes!” Strakk gasped, “Get the weapon systems ready, and prepare the secret weapon! I take down one of those proto-drakes, and Grazzug'll give me a raise for sure!”
Four squirrel maned the guns on the four corners of the balloon. Strakk took the controls while the others readied the emergency turbo and the bombs, each about the size of Strakk's head. The balloon advanced toward the proto-drake furthest away from the dock. It's rider roared and the drake flew towards the balloon in a fury.
All four guns rapidly fired at the dragonmaw orc and proto-drake. Under heavy fire, the orc was killed in mere seconds, falling off of his mount and colliding with the ground below. However, the drake shrugged off the bullets and flew straight over the shore. Strakk quickly readied his secret weapon. “Hah, here we go! No dragon, drake, or proto-drake whatever can stand against the Super Ultra Mega Deluxe Blaster Master Mark Two!” Strakk hoisted a large (but too large enough for a goblin to lift), rocket launcher like thing and pointed it towards the drake. Strakk fired it. The rocket blast spiraled wildly to the right, hitting a group of kor'kron on the shore. The blaster recoiled, flying backwards out of Strakk's hands and out of the balloon. Strakk tumbled over on his back, trying to sake the dizzy feeling out of his head.
Strakk got up and looked out of the balloon. Two Alliance fighter planes engaged the proto-drake, but where having little luck. The other proto-drakes, including Galakras, fought both ground and air forces over land, and where doing a fair amount of damage. Quickly, Strakk thought of a plan, one of those risky plans he loved so much that only a goblin could think of. Strakk pressed buttons and pulled levers, causing the balloon to rise quickly. By the time the proto-drake finished off the two fighters, the balloon was very high above the drake. The drake flew directly upward, thinking to destroy the balloon. “Execute secret plan 547892 in ten seconds! Password: Kezzik is a terrible lover to women, and has no tinkering prowess!”
Strakk gulped. The drake had taken the bait. Strakk had made the squirrels so that they would each have a limited teleportation ability. They could teleport other objects with them even, just as long the objects were no living ones. There was also a relative size limit per squirrel. However, Strakk theorized that if all the squirrels attempted to teleport something big at once, their combined power would enable them to do so. This, Strakk thought, is a good time to test that theory. Sure, I'll risk my life for this whole thing, but I think things have just gotten too dangerous for my balloon.
Seconds later, Strakk's theory had been proven sort of right. The balloon disappeared, leaving Strakk, and his bombs, falling straight towards the drake, who kept coming despite the balloon's sudden disappearance. After a half-second of back patting, Strakk activated his rocket boots to get him out of the way just as the bombs collided with the drake and exploded, bringing the creature down. Immediately after, Strakk activated his parachute.
“Oh yeah! This is gonna be the best completely true story I've told about myself since that time I killed Amnennar the Coldbringer!” Strakk looked down below. “Dangit, looks like I'm gonna have a water landing.”
Unfortunately for him, a kor'kron marksman shot the parachute. Strakk was at a height so that the fall into the water wouldn't kill him, but it did knock him unconscious when he landed, while the marksman was beaten to a pulp by Clorg and and a small group of peons.
The battle continued to rage. All of the proto-drakes had been slain and the offensive was advancing to the gate. True to his word, Bauron fought alongside the offensive, slicing, bashing, and killing kor'kron just as any other enemy of the Horde. He had taken several blows, and the cuts on his armor showed it, but only one or two made it through his this armor. Like most of the attackers at this point, he was soaked in blood, some kor'kron, some his own.
The cries of several trolls and the sounds of a mechanical device were heard up ahead, and the offensive beheld the Juggernaut. The gigantic metallic scorpion was tearing the rebels who came from the south apart. Troll bodies piled before the thing. The offensive rushed to aid their troll comrades while kor'kron charged to end the lives of the attackers.
Bauron advanced towards the Juggernaut, and despite not believing how truly big it was, he was already thinking of how to bring it down. Two kor'kron moved to attack Bauron. Bauron acted first and charged into the first one, stunning him long enough for his axe to finish him. The second swung an axe of his own. Bauron swung to counter and the force behind his own blow over-powered the kor'kron and caused the orc to lose axe and hand. Despite being minus one hand, the kor'kron tried to punch Bauron with the remaining one. Bauron responded by removing the second, and following half a second later with the orc's head.
A kor'kron assassin snuck around and charged at Bauron from behind, roaring as he did, despite the poor tactic that was for an assassin. Bauron spun and cut open the assassin's belly as a reward. However, the assassin's seemingly foolish tactics had purpose, for at the instant Bauron attacked, powder was thrown at his face. Whether the assassin died smiling at his success or not was now unknown to Bauron, who used valuable time trying to recover his vision. Taking advantage of the situation, a kor'kron ran up to Bauron and struck him with a large (for orc standards) mace. The attack sent the large but blinded tauren sprawling dangerously close to the Juggernaut. Bauron's axe tumbled out of reach and the tauren landed on his back.
Bauron quickly got to a kneeling position as the kor'kron charged. Still mostly blinded, but guessing correctly, he swung both of his gauntlet covered fists, slamming the kor'kron in the chest. He went down, spitting blood and stunned. A second kor'kron charged blinded Bauron with a staff that had a spear on one end, and a wicked blade on the other. The spear struck into Bauron's side, but his armor kept it from being fatal. Bauron blindly elbowed the kor'kron, who crashed into one of the Juggernaut's legs. Removing the spear from his side, Bauron re-engaged the first kor'kron, who was now back in the fight. Bauron spat blood from his mouth and roared, his vision now most of the way recovered. The kor'kron raised his mace with both hands, intending to break open both Bauron's helmet and skull. Bauron swung the sword side of the spear, cutting off both of the kor'kron's arms. The mace fell and hit the ground in front of Bauron. Bauron switched to the spear side and threw the weapon, finishing off the armless kor'kron The second kor'kron attempted to re enter the battle just as Bauron's sight fully recovered, but the Juggernaut would not have it be so.
Spinning around to focus its attacks on the offensive from the east, the Juggernaut's massive left arm smashed its way through kor'kron and attackers alike. The force of the Juggernaut's swing killed the second kor'kron instantly, but Bauron's armor, as well as the kor'kron's body, saved Bauron from instant death. He was launched several feet towards the outside of a worg pen surrounded by spiked metal fences. One spike gouged into his back, and another into his left arm. Both Bauron's helmet and left shoulder piece came right off. He imagined he must have at least cracked a few bones in his body. Bauron's first instinct was to rise, but it was a fight just to stay conscious, a fight which he eventually lost.
Truzzak spotted Bauron go down and ran to check on him. “He still be alive. I gonna get him back ta Razor Hill wit de aid of da wild an' his kodo that should be nearby!”
Much time passed before Strakk woke up, washed ashore on the beaches of Durotar. Strakk rubbed his eyes and sat up, dazed. “Ugh... what kinda hangover is this?” By reflex, he felt his head, making sure his hat was still there. Strakk felt only his wet brown hair. He looked frantically for his hat, but did not have to look far. It had washed up a few feet from him. He dumped all the water out of it and placed it on his head, sighing with relief. Strakk looked around, trying to remember what happened. “Oh yeah, big battle!”
Not knowing how the battle ended up, Strakk wandered up past the nearby watch-tower. Corpses covered the ground. Countless corpses of all kinds, but mostly orcs. The corpses nearest to the shoreline bled out right into the ocean. The trail of bodies led to Orgrimmar. The amount of loot here must be off the charts, thought Strakk. And yet...
Strakk raced towards Orgrimmar, loot obviously no longer on the goblin's mind. I gotta know, thought Strakk, I gotta know. Fear clutched his heart. If they didn't win, what would happen then. All my... Strakk searched for the right word... business associates are gonna be dead, no more salary of any kind, no free market, no profit, no booze parties, no flirting with women, no laughing at those mooks Harpo and Kezz when they screwed up. “I wouldn't be surprised if those mooks were to sole reason we lost,” said Strakk to himself. Those thoughts in mind, he picked up the pace. He got up to the front gate, ran around the remains of the Juggernaut, which he didn't even take the time to look at.
Strakk burst into the city streets and let out a sigh of relief. The battle had been won. Corpses covered the center of Orgrimmar just like they did the coast, but there trolls, tauren and other races of the horde on the streets now. Living kor'kron had surrendered, and from the look of it, their lives would be spared for the time being. Of any racial leaders, or Garrosh, there was no sign, but it was easy to figure out who the winner was. With that knowledge, Strakk considered going back and looting the bodies back by the docks. However, Strakk was sore, tired, and soaked, and didn't want to spend hours looting that many bodies.
“Meh, forget looting tonight. I need some booze.”