All Helfire Breaks Loose Edit
by Khalis of Sentinels
Chapter 1: The Mysterious Note Edit
Tromping loudly, feeling the bones of Dranai long dead crunch under his feet, the Orc musters every bit of speed to escape the being that he foolishly attacked. Trailing a cloud of smoke behind him from his burning flesh, he begins to realize that his time has come, and regrets the judgment he made in attacking the seemingly fragile human. Just at that moment, another flaming blast takes his legs out from under him. His lungs burning from the smoke, flames, and dust he's inhaling with his face to the ground, he cries out in agony, and rolls his body over to take a last glimpse at the sky. Opening his eyes he looks up to see a Human looking down at him, and feels the foot of the human press against his neck as a swirling ball of fire materializes over his right palm.
"No kill" the Orc pleads looking up at the mage.
"You speak Common language Orc?" asks Khalis as he eases the pressure from the Orc's throat.
"Speak little human, yes" the orc replies after pulling in a deep breath of fresh air.
"Good, that will buy you a chance to save your life, at least for a short time anyway" Khalis says as the fireball in his hand shrinks away.
Reaching into his bag, Khalis retrieves a dusty parchment with orcish writings on it. "Tell me what this says, and you can return to your family. Deny this request, and this will be your final resting place." Khalis says as he holds the parchment over the Orc's face.
"Swobu" the Org mutters in agreement.
Looking over the writing, the Orc's expression widens to a teethy grin as he lets out a cackling laugh. "Speak Orc, or beg for death." an impatient Khalis demands as the Orc begins to feel a burning pain from the foot in his neck.
"It say you die. You all die. You no belong in Outland. You no allowed in Outland any more. You kill me today, but you to die tomorrow. You no use portal after 6 days" the Orc foretells with a satisfied smile on his face.
Khails stuffs the parchment back in his bag as he removes his foot from the nearly dead Orc. "You've honored your end of the bargain, now I'll honor mine. Bear in mind Orc. If we see each other in battle again, I won't hesitate to end you. It's in your best interest to give me and The Dominion an wide berth."
"Zug-zug" the Orc mumbles as he slowly raises his charred body upon his feet.
"Now go, before my sense of honor, and generosity wears thin." Khalis commands.
Chapter 2: EncroachmentEdit
Back in Stormwind, Khalis sits in the Royal Library sharing a drink and snack with his old friend Donyal Tovald.
"That Orc was right, this note is a battle plan to deny the Alliance the use of the Dark Portal. It seems that there is a plan to take over complete control of Hellfire Peninsula so that the Alliance can't bring reinforcements through when the Horde tries to take over all of Outland." Donyal says with an academics' detachment.
"This can't be allowed." Khalis says with conviction. "Where and when is this happening, and who is behind it?"
"Well this note talks about the first phase to happen in the middle of next week. The horde wants to use the areas around the Hellfire Citadel not to attack the Citadel, but to attack Honor Hold it's self. The plan is to take and hold those three areas for an attack on Honor hold from three sides, Thrallmar, The Dark Portal, and from the Hellfire Citadel Forts. I'm not sure what the name on these orders is. Orcish names aren't written like the rest of the language. The only thing I can say for sure is that this didn't come from Thrall, not directly at least. I'd be able to recognize his name from the correspondences between he and Lady Proudmoore." The pale librarian rambles on. "Maybe you should take this to Highlord Fordraggon"
"Thank you friend, your help has been more valuable than you can know. Enjoy the croissant" Khalis says shaking Donyal's hand.
Chapter 3: Founding of a Private Army Edit
As the highlord looks over the translation of the Orcish plans, he pulls Khalis to the side, out of ear shot of the young King. "I can't muster an army to deal with this in less than a week. The Alliance is held together by a thread as it is. I'm afraid that conscripting troops may push some of our allies over the edge, and out of the Alliance. If I were King, or if the King were of age, but not now, not as things stand."
"Excuse my forwardness Highlord, but we can't simply let the Horde have Outland. We'll never bring Kael'thas, Illidan, and Vashj to justice."
"Don't you think I know that?" Fordraggon yells, attracting the attention of the chamber. "As you were people, this doesn't concern any of you."
"Then what?" whispers Khalis.
"You will build an army of mercenaries. I heard about what happened in Halaa. I want you to hire an army for me of willing soldiers, so I don't have to strain the relations with our subjects, or allies."
"Hire? With all due respect Highlord, I'm not a wealthy man you know." Khalis objects.
"Don't be foolish mage. Your army will be paid by Stormwind by way of Honor Hold. We will send supplies that will entice even the most well off adventurer. They will be paid in tokens to spend against these supplies rather than gold, so we don't have to worry about a robbery of that much gold at such a forward base."
"I understand Highlord, I'll do my best." Khalis says with respect.
"It is also your charge to find out who is behind this. If these orders are coming down from Thrall, Lady Proudmoor's claim on the Alliance leadership will be gone for good. If not, then Thrall's command of the Horde would look to be in challenge." Fordraggon commands. "Go, and remember the consequence of failure. We must press our rights in The Outland, now and for ever."
"Your army of Sentinels shall be our front line fighters against the Horde. [i]The Sentinels of The Alliance[/i], that is what we shall call you." Highlord Fordraggon commands.
Epilogue: If a tree falls... Edit
As the air fills with the sound of tromping hooves, and flapping wings, the heat of Outland sun beats down on Honor Hold, and the hot breath of the beasts coaxes the sweat down the faces of the Sentinels of the Alliance gathered there. The mounts jerk restlessly as the riders focus for battle. Khalis emerges from the inn, as the sun strikes his eye, he squints to look over the mighty army assembled to protect the Alliances rights over the Dark Portal.
"Today shall be a glorious day of battle, and those that fall today will have a good death!" Khalis yells out to the cheering crowd.
"I'll go see if the Horde has made any advances on our lands. When I call, we'll swarm them, and wish they had never gotten out of bed this morning." says Khalis as he climbs up on to his Ebon Griffin.
Flying over the Hellfire Citadel alone, Khalis surveys the land, straining his human eyes to maybe catch a glimpse of a rogue scout, or maybe a druid in reconnaissance. With no Horde to be seen, Khalis sets down gently in the middle of the large open field behind the cursed citadel. Stepping off his mount, he shades his eyes again from the sun and peers into the distance in hopes of finding his quarry. As he steps down the hill, the dried chunks of dirt roll down the hill in front of him, breaking the erie silence that has made the mage so uneasy.
Confused, Khalis sits on the dry red hill, and tries to figure out the situation. After almost half an hour, a single Undead mage wanders into Khalis' view. Rising to his feet, Khalis senses that perhaps this was a trap, and he didn't want to tip his hand and let the Horde know what was waiting for them in Honor Hold until they had shown themselves. For the minute that seemed like an eternity, the two magi stood at the ready, staring uncomfortable at each other. Perhaps sensing the trap laid out for him, the undead mage slowly backed away, and out of sight. This would be the last of the Horde that Khalis would see in Hellfire for the night. Flying back into Honor Hold, Khalis tried to figure out a way to comfort the restless troops waiting for him. they would all be sent packing, with out the battle, or reward that was promised them.
As Khalis flew away, his thoughts centered on the Alliance, and his place in it. Perhaps fighting for the crown would not be his only charge in life. He had heard of a haunted castle in Deadwind that possessed horrors and treasures that were beyond his experience. This may be the next chapter in his journey.