Saturday, January 16, 2010

pt 31 The rot at the root

Blood flowed like water in the Valley of Wisdom. The bodies of dozens of humans, orcs, elves, almost all the races of Azeroth were strewn around the streets like rag dolls in a tornado. Yet another failed attempt on the life of the mighty Warchief Thrall.

Through the midst of the devastation walks an elderly orc. His long grey beard and hair hanging like the mane of an ancient beast. Yet, despite his wild appearance, there was something mystical and powerful about this orc. The peons assigned to clean up the gore give him a wide berth. Even the guards standing in front of Grommash Hold hesitate to stop him.

"Hold it rite dere... No ones allowd een to see dah Warchief taday." the mighty Kor'kron guardsman says with authority.

The elderly orc looks up at the guardsman. His ancient face reveals no trace of emotion or even concern. Yet, in his eyes burns a terrifying fire.

"Guardsman, you are to fetch Eitrigg at once. Tell him his long lost brother is here to see him." the orc says, his deep voice cutting the air like a razor.

The guard stares in astonishment for a moment. "Weel okays, eyell git ehm, butt if yer lyin eymm gonna stomp yer gutz!" The guard wheels about and enters the fortress.

Several moments pass before the guard returns with another elderly orc at his side. It is Eitrigg, grizzled veteran of countless wars, and one of Thrall's closest advisers. He squints for a moment as he walks out into the sunlight. Then, a wide smile comes across his face as he sees the orc before him.

"Dretrigg!! My brother!! Is it really you?!?" Eitrigg exclaims as he embraces the strange visitor.

The two orcs stand in a silent embrace for a long moment. It's clear to everyone around that the pair have long been apart.

"Yes big brother, it is me. I had heard that you were serving the new Warchief on Azeroth, and I made my way from Nagrand, through the Dark portal to come and find you." Dretrigg says stoicly. "Please Eitrigg, can you get me in to see Thrall? I have something important to tell him."

Eitrigg steps back away from his little brother. Tears of joy streaming down his face. He stammers for a moment, obviously overcome with emotion.

"Why, of course I can see what I can do. The Warchief is very busy but I have his ear. Come in and make use of our hospitality." Eitrigg finally says. The big smile on his face showing his exhuberance.

The pair walk past the guards into Grommash Hold. The room beyond smelling of cooking meat, dusty stone, and the unmistakable scent of orcs.

"Dretrigg the last time I saw you was in Nagrand before Gul'dan led us through the portal. You were suffering from the Red Pox if I remember."

"Yes, I stayed in Nagrand through the great sundering. Afterwards I joined the shamans at the Throne of Elements, trying to heal the land, and to reclaim our home from the warlocks.

Eitrigg stops in the hallway before Thrall's chamber, the wide grin still on his face. "Brother, we have so much to catch up on."

Dretrigg looks his big brother deep in the eyes. His face still showing no emotion. "Brother, I need to speak with Thrall, it is very important."

Concern and worry makes Eitrigg's grin lessen. "Of course brother, I will see to it."

"And Eitrigg..." the old shaman says in a whisper. "I have many enemies within the ranks of the Warlocks. Many that would gladly see me dead. It is well known that Thrall keeps a coven of Warlocks here in Orgrimmar. Please don't call me by my birth name anymore. Since I have came to Azeroth I have gone by the name Orkimedes."

Eitrigg nods and smiles as he turns and enters Thrall's chamber.

The brooding Thrall sits heavily on his throne. Obviously he is deeply concerned about todays attack on Orgrimmar.

Dretrigg stands by the entryway as his brother approaches Thrall.

"Why Eitrigg, I have not seen you smile in a long time." Thrall's booming voice echoes across is throneroom. "It is not like you to be happy about bloodshed."

Eitrigg climbs the steps to Thrall's throne. "Warchief, I have a visitor that wishes to speak to you. He is an old friend, and he brings news from Nagrand."

Thrall stands and looks hard across the room at the elderly shaman.

"Eitrigg, if he is a friend of yours then I can trust him. Please come forward... uh?"

"Orkimedes is his name!" Eitrigg interrupts.

"Orkimedes" Thrall lets the almost comical name roll across his tongue.

The ancient orc strides confidently across the room stopping only to offer a polite bow to Thrall as he climbs the steps to his throne.

"Mighty Thrall, I have trekked from the Throne of Elements, through the Dark portal, across the seas, to this place. I have come to warn you of a dire threat." the shaman says with fire in his eyes.

Thrall's muscles tense and his demeanor turns dark. Clearly, more bad news was not what he was hoping for today. He motions for Orkimedes to come closer.

"Tell me of this threat!" Thrall exclaims

The old ork comes closer to Thrall, and sits down at the foot of this Throne.

"Warchief, all of the shamans at the Throne of Elements, including myself, have had visions of a dark menace here in Orgrimmar. As you know the widsom of the elements is great, and their knowledge spreads far across the span of the twisted nether." Orkimedes pauses to collect his thoughts.

"What are these visions of?" Thrall says with concern.

"They are of children." Orkimedes says "Children in great pain and suffering. Their anguish and desperation can be felt by the elements, and they call to us to save them."

A dark rage comes across Thrall's face "You mean this atrocity is happening here in Orgrimmar? How can this be?"

Eitrigg rises "Thrall, perhaps something is happening at the orphanage? That is the only place I can think of where there is a large concentration of children."

"Perhaps" Thrall nods "But, I cannot imagine that Matron Battlewail would ever let anything happen to her orphans. Nevertheless we need to check it out. Eitrigg, I want you to go over to the orphanage and have a look around."

"Yes Warchief" Eitrigg exclaims with a sharp salute. "I will investigate this and report back as soon as I find anything" He says as he turns around to leave.

"Rest assured Orkimedes, when we find whomever is doing this, they will be dealt with like the animals they are." Thrall says with a frown.

The elderly shaman bows to Thrall before turning around and following his brother out of the throneroom.

As the pair make their way out of the fortress, Eitrigg pauses and turns to his brother once again with a grin. "Dretrigg" he whispers "we have allies in Shattrath who maintain a portal to Orgrimmar. Why did you take the long way to get here?"

The old shaman frowns and looks down at the floor. "I haven't been to that city in years. Too many bad memories of dark times."

Eitrigg nods as the brothers begin making their way to the Valley of Honor.