Word came from the Highmountain tauren earlier in the week that the forces of the Underking, who I thought was dead at the hands of said tauren, had begun attacking their more peaceful kin, the Stonedark drogbar. We were contracted to send assistance to the Stonedark cave network to help them hold the position against the Underking’s lot.
With the battle at the Gates of Valor coming I was reluctant to part with any of our forces. Bauron recognized the importance of the operation and led a small party consisting of himself, Hedva, Krolbrim, and Rethorian of the Highblades, to defend the passage. Two Stonedark were also sent to support them – Rockbrul and Rollbrul – who Bauron’s report describe as ‘solid, rowdy bruls’. What the hell does that mean?
The brothers introduced themselves and received introductions in return, but they were too simple to remember our party’s names… and thus offered alternative ones. Bauron was called Bullbrul, Hedva was called Bonebrul, Krolbrim was called Krolbrul, and Rethorian was mistaken for a woman and was called Ladybrul… for, according to the drogbar, “Ladies can be bruls too”. I begin to think ‘brul’ may be used as goblins use the word ‘bro.’
The drogbar attack happened not long after their introduction. About eight of the rock-faced creatures attacked first and were repelled. Then another dozen or so showed up to reinforce them only to fall. The Stonedark’s knowledge of the tunnels and the presence of Krolbrim as a healer did wonders from what I understand.
Eventually another party, which reports suggest could have been anything from twenty to fifty more drogbar, arrived as a second wave of reinforcements… and they came in with one of those giant worms. The worm nearly killed the party’s Stonedark allies and at some point they nearly retreated into the caves properly again. Rollbrul had asked them to retreat, but his brother said, and Bauron was very specific with this quote, “Bruls before holes.”
The battle only turned against the Underking’s drogbar when Krolbrim was convinced to use some of his druidic influence on the worm itself. Surprisingly, the druid actually managed to turn the creature’s focus, and it attacked the hostile drogbar. They were scattered and the party departed shortly after.
I had not expected those numbers from the drogbar. I will send them a detachment of mercenaries to help their cause.
I know just who to send…..
As expected, Corrag and his glorified ‘Black Tooth Grin’ have been enjoying themselves with the drogbar and have taken up their use of language far too quickly for my liking. His first report was about how they lifted weights and ended with the message “Do you even lift, brul.”
Gak’ara and the Thunderspears are still needed to defend the Horde’s holdings and the Skyhorn are busy with their own problems in the north, so I have entrusted the Nitris siblings to bring our air support in from Kalimdor. A combat zeppelin and several rocket propelled flying machines have been guaranteed for the battle. They should arrive by mid-noon on the day of the battle.
A little late for my liking, but I will take what I can get.
We have held our last council in Jandvik. The recent news of Throndyr’s death at the hands of the naga has hurt the coalition’s morale, but the new jarl has no objections to the battle. And for that I than the ancestors… we need all the resources we can manage.
Tomorrow we battle.
We launched our first strike shortly after midday.
The storm brew was tapped and dozens of us drank in the powers of the titans. We formed our battle lines and began our march. We had a clear goal. We had to break the Legion’s defenses, reach the Gates of Valor, and secure them against the Legion.
Something we thought we could manage, but in the end… not so much…
We arrived to find they'd already set up the battle lines – hell, they probably have spies watching us – and we smashed into them with all our strength. The storm brew was a gift from the ancestors in cutting through those demons, but it was rationed to only a few. We couldn’t waste it all on our first push.
Things were chaotic and we were taking heavy casualties right away. Still… we managed to push through their lines in a column, pressing for the Gates of Valor. We pushed through and up the first flight stairs. I thought we could actually make it, but then I heard the screams from the rear line. When we turned around, it was only demons….
They had come in from our flanks, broke us apart from the others. The column was broken by those damn mo’arg, thrown into disarray and disorganization, and we could only watch as they were funneled away from one another... fighting... and dying.
I was lucky to get out alive.
I had led the vanguard with Valtenath and Ungrim, the Thoravir honorguard and a unit from Gorath’s Hammer. While we were separated from the column, we still pressed on. Ungrim believed the best call was to use the gates and the titanic guardians there to secure our position and hold while the air support came in.
We had a glimmer of hope when the Nitris siblings arrived on their promised airship. We let out a cheer and stormed the demonic lines, knowing their bats would soon not be a problem. But just as they began dispatching their rockets to serve as our air support… a storm drake broke through the clouds and breathed on it. The whole damn ship exploded. Our air support was almost entirely destroyed there. Only two or three rockets, Nicki’s sky-golem, and Crashgear’s balloon were left in the air.
The cursed lizard added insult to injury when it flew over the bridge afterwards, letting out a blast of lightning before it disappeared around the top of the gate. That decimated the coalition’s first wave of reinforcements alone.
We pressed forward towards the Halls even as the battle turned against us. Dozens of demons swarmed in on either side and they were whittling us down faster than I care to admit. One Felskorn got a lucky shot in, ripping into my arm, and then more mo’arg fell on us. That destroyed what was left of the column’s unity.
We were scattered, separated… only Corrag, some of our grunts, and I were left that I knew of. Corrag then decided to be a big damn hero. He took up a shield from one of the dead and had me dragged from the field as he held them off.
If that damn fool died…
That’s the situation so far. Skovald’s forces have set up a fresh barricade to stop us from reinforcing the second battalion we sent through, so I can only assume Az’ghul is having as bad luck as our initial force did.
I have just returned to the Valdisdall watch tower to get patched up and to plan our next move. As I passed through the camp I was unsettled to see so many dead and wounded. I saw Braktar, who looked to be half dead; Kezzik and Horrowitz and Kasaya yet lived… the latter healing them, and I even saw Truzzak healing Kerg while Bauron was being tended to be one of our vrykul healers. It was… disheartening. Even Stendarr had been brought back to from the field so heavily battered that he may as well be dead. The old jarl was practically begging the healers to let him return to the field. He needed to know what had happened to Ungrim. With the Thoravir king missing I can’t see morale staying intact much longer…..
We need to rally and push again. A third strike.
Clorg, Dogann, Huuza, Nharos, Tabaki, and Zelch were all provided with storm brew. I joined them for the third push for the Gates of Valor. We set off to break the enemy lines to make way for the third push. From there we were to find Sunvalor and Ungrim, whether they were dead or alive, and then we were to secure the damn gate.
We set out for the Halls, followed by the rank and file of Horde and vrykul alike, and charged the Felskorn shield wall that had formed on the narrow bridge to the gates. We were empowered by the might of the storm and cut them down handily, allowing for dozens of vrykul and my men to break into a sprint.
The Gates of Valor were the embodiment of chaos. Warriors of both sides were strewn about, screams of horror and agony were heard from the wounded, and blood was everywhere. And just like before… before we could regain their bearings, two massive mo’arg charged us from either side.
The bastards put up more of a fight than I care to admit. I was already wounded and the others were crushed below their bootheels and maces alike. It was a miracle we survived, but, due to the efforts of Clorg and Tabaki… they fell at long last.
We then pressed forward again, stopping only when we spotted the Thoravir banner on a platform off from the gates proper. As I last saw Garagrim carrying that banner, and since he was in the rear line… which had been funneled off and isolated during the initial attack….
We found the vrykul prince and his contingent of exhausted being swarmed by a doomguard and a swarm of felskorn. They held firm and helped us dispatch the Legion’s warriors. We gave them a moment to breathe and Garagrim asked about his father. When I let him know Ungrim was missing, Garagrim gestured to the Gates of Valor and reiterated what I already suspected. He would have pushed for the gates to back up the titanic guardians there.
While he was determined to join us, Dogann – who is one of Tabaki’s followers from the Wandering Isle – convinced him to return to Valdisdall for healing first. While he was reluctant… he thankfully listened. I ordered Garok to make sure he got there alive.
We pressed onward and onto the third tier….
Thankfully the guardians of the Gates recognized us as allies and let us pass into the Gates of Valor properly. When we entered the golden halls we found our reinforcements. Dozens of bloodied, battered warriors were there and waiting. Including Ungrim, Valtenath, Tabaki’s incompetent pandaren, Velikaya (Supposedly. I never saw her there, but Valtenath insisted she was there at some point….), and even Corrag
Something we lost not long after. We hadn’t even a chance to heal them or get them on their feet when the guardians outside were cut down. There were thunderous crashes, the sound of crumbling stone, and then we saw a gargantuan titan of metal and fel energy come up the stairs behind us. A fel lord completely covered in twisted metals, wearing an ornate helmet with one eye covered. It was Xal’akuul, Warbringer of the Legion, who stood before us. Demons flocked in behind him while he laughed and boasted that Skovald had already made his way into the Halls of Valor. He boasted the Aegis would soon be in the Legion’s hands.
He joined the fray after watching us cut down the first group of felguard. And he must’ve fought far better this time than he had in the Barrens, but it could also be the fact we didn’t have the support we did there….
To make things worse there were dozens of demons flooding in behind him as we fought. Ungrim, exhausted as he was, held the gate itself while we dispatched the Legion general.
Xal’akuul nearly killed Tabaki and I; Dogann and Zelch….
It was not going well.
In the end I managed to rent a hole in his armor, which Nharos widened, and Valtenath took advantage of our work to drive his storm-empowered blade into him. Not even the demon could stand against electrocution. He fell and Zelch used the Eye of the Basilisk to capture his soul and transform him into a soulstone.
The demons kept coming, and, even though we were broken and exhausted, we joined Ungrim at the gates… holding off waves more of demons until the ground began to shake. The bifrosts glimmered with life and soon more guardians appeared to reinforce us. With them were golden warrior women – val’kyr – who used their spears of Light to skewer the demons and drive them from the gates.
Ungrim took a moment to catch his breath while we gathered our wounded to retreat from the Gates of Valor back to Valdisdall. We had retaken the gates and ended the worst of Skovald’s aggression, but there was no way we would be able to hold the area if they came back in force. Not with the wounds we had taken. We left, leaving Clorg behind to escort Ungrim himself.
They should be back by now….
The celebrations at Valdisdall ended damn quickly when Clorg returned to the town, yelling at the top of his lungs that Ungrim was dead. Vrykul who had been drinking and celebrating quickly saw their excitement and revelry – their belief that we could win this war – die in an instant.
First it was Throndyr who fell at the hands of the naga, and now Ungrim has supposedly succumbed to his wounds, his age, and his exhaustion….
After having someone club Clorg into unconsciousness I went to the flight master and he confirmed that Ungrim’s body had been taken away. The vrykul had hoped to keep anyone from learning what had happened. Perhaps they thought to heal the old king… or bring him back somehow.
Stendarr has departed for Vrekt to tend to his wounded people and our allies from Northrend have mostly vanished… their long ships as well.
They have all been taken to Dalaran for safekeeping.
If any human can be trusted to keep the Pillars of Creation safe, it’s Khadgar.