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 Assault on Northwatch

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Registration date : 2007-04-26

PostSubject: Assault on Northwatch   Mon 16 Jul - 13:58:55

Assault on Northwatch

Time for us all to take a flight in the orc air fleet to settle the account with Northwatch. The five zeppelins included the Horde Pride and Storm Shatterer which would be our assigned conveyances. They were impressive pieces of goblin engineering; sturdy and well built with absolutely no chance of the hundreds of cubic metres of volatile gas igniting and burning us all to a seared crisp. No, wait perhaps I’m being unduly pessimistic, after all, we could always escape such a fate by plummeting thousands of feet to end up as a steaming smear of splintered bone, blood and guts.

So we spent most of the day putting our affairs in order, writing wills and so forth. Apart from that there was time for a little bit of money making and I dazzled an audience of orcs with some of my marvellous tricks. Unfortunately one of one illusions went slightly awry, I really need to pick volunteers from the audience with more care, avoiding the psychopathic ones who react to the slightest accidental nick with extreme violence.* The next orc I cut in half, stays cut in half.

*Quite a trick indeed when selecting from an orc audience

Gorehowl’s plan was simple: The fleet would proceed to Northwatch, then introduce the humans to the concept of strategic bombing followed by air assault, mayhem and slaughter. This would be hope culminate with recovery of the famous documents. Then home for tea and cake. Two huge orcs that Talia assured us had something of the undead about them were key team members and we set off early the next morning. I got the chance to deploy my famous air travel joke: ‘Look at those people down there, they look just like ants’ but no one knew the correct response which was rather a let down.*

*They are ants, we haven’t taken off yet

I was travelling on the flagship the Horde Pride with Lutzbar and Kasbo. With Gorehowl aboard to keep order, surely our voyage would be incident free. Our gnome however quickly got into a vigorous technical debate on the relative merits of goblin and gnome design.

There was in particular a highly sophisticated discussion on certain aerodynamic nuances, but it quickly degenerated into the type of debate that attracts the well worn phrase ‘cut and thrust’, not owing to the intellectual skills of the participants, but more because of the sharp pointy objects the participants were attempting to stick in each other.

I heroically intervened by shouting for Gorehowl,* and fortunately the orc warlord arrived and broke it up before serious harm occurred. We journeyed on for half a day, steadily ploughing South East towards the scene of our late incarceration. The goblin technology for all the faults Kasbar’s keen craftsman’s eye seemed able to find was at least keeping us airborne, and as Northwatch slid over the horizon we gathered our weapons and began to wonder belatedly about the scope of the humans’ air defences.

*Like a woman

As we approached, the goblin crew were scuttling around preparing our sinister looking payload and it began to dawn on us that there was a certain interval between where we were standing in our fragile gondola dangling beneath the still mercifully unexploded balloon, and the ground, where we would need to be to achieve our goal. I was quite anxious to get off this flying deathtrap: Gorehowl had already saved me from falling once, but I was beginning to have second thoughts now the time to disembark approached.

It struck us that the many archers gathering below had probably made the link between shooting fish in barrels and shooting orcs and their allies helplessly dangling from assault ladders. This joined an ever lengthening list of unhappy thoughts that seemed to be vying increasingly for space in my addled brain.

We were however forgetting our secret weapon, namely the large bomb shaped object we were carrying. As we cut engines and coasted over the main part of the fortress, the goblins (using Kasbo assured me, a very inefficient aiming and release mechanism of shoddy design) released the projectile, and Northwatch enjoyed its second phase of explosive remodelling in a week and will now be twinned with Guernica.

And as Alan Partridge used to say, on that bombshell, Gorehowl handed me a scroll and ordered me to read it. I was slightly caught out as I was trying busy trying to make sure that I would be the last person over the side when the ladders were lowered, so I very slightly fluffed my lines and nothing happened. Gorehowl looked slightly annoyed*at this and I tried again, this time successfully casting the spell. I wasn’t entirely sure what I’d done, but then at a barked command from our boss, the orcs began to pile over the side and we were carried along in the throng.

*In an ‘I’ll kill you myself if you get this wrong again kind of way’. What a motivator.

Some kind of low gravity area had been created and we dropped into the clouds of smoke welling up from the blasted fortifications, plus the odd arrow and gunshot directed hap-hazardly at the flights of descending attackers by the few uninjured defenders able to gather their wits. Then we were landing amongst the wreckage and carnage of the bombsite, some landing deep inside the crumbling building, some atop the battlements and still others on damaged floors in between.

Orc blades were swinging as we pressed home the attack against the reeling inhabitants, and we charged through the building looking for our objective. Kasbo had become separated from the rest and found his way to the cells area where he released the still imprisoned Kark. The quillboar killed a human quartermaster, impaling him fatally with his many spikes. Kasbo meanwhile located and liberated the papers, plus no doubt some bonus commission that just happened to be available.

We found a great hall where a knot of guards were locked in combat with orcs from one of the other zeppelins.* All of us arrived simultaneously except the gnome, entering the hall from different directions. We all piled in to the combat. Well, obviously my piling in meant firing a missile from a safe distance and then throwing a moon glaive which missed. Well, I mean the others are more the rough and tumble types.

*It may have been the Tinderbox, the Raging Inferno or the Fireball, I couldn’t be sure

Mind you, I could be wrong about that, they were making heavy weather of the fight and I was forced to take part, heroically sneaking up on several guards and braining them with my trusty staff. I sometimes wonder what they’d do without me. Gorehowl arrived as we completed our collaborative modern art piece entitled ‘Pile of Dead Humans and Orcs.’*

*Tate prize committee watch out

Pausing only to strip the bodies of a few baubles and guns, (I took a pistol and ammo), we followed him and what we hoped were his crack troops, down to the main hall where our quest might end. The two big orc bodyguards led and broke through the doors to the main hall as if they were paper, revealing an unexpected tableau.

Rather than the expected ambush from a hardcore of desperate defenders, we came upon a last stand already in progress. It seemed that a number of undead had invaded the castle too, in as poor an example of diary synchronisation as I have seen. Ok this was unexpected, but they’re on our side right? Looked like they were cutting down the home team pretty effectively too. Admiral Proudmoore and his son Alex were there, as well as the mage Daedulus Sunstrider. It was only a week since they had been spectators at our execution, now it seemed the wheel of fate had spun full circle.

But as we entered the room, one of the undead turned and explained to Gorehowl that actually the undead were pretty much on their own side and no one else’s. In as effective a display of communication as I have witnessed, he managed to convey this with an elegant disembowelling stroke that left our leader gutless.* The fight became general, but a grenade of some sort detonated, temporarily blinding us all.

*No he was quite brave, just gutless

I must admit this caused some disorientation which somewhat jumbles my recollections. At some juncture our orc threw a grenade, but blinded as she was she managed to be a fraction off in her direction.* Darrian Proudmoore fell, also minus his stomach contents, and lay gurgling out his life force in a pile of his own entrails. The mage had set a circle of protection that presumably would repel the undead but not our more earthly weapons, and Alex Proudmoore also huddled miserably within its confines behind a wall of his dead troops.

*A mere 180 degrees

The undead leader invited us to leave or die which I thought was a very fair and balanced offer. However, Talia, to whom the challenge was directed*, was already deep in battle lust and she responded by decapitating the undead captain in a masterclass of swordplay surely unequalled in the three continents. When it was all over, our band of orcs was further depleted, but the undead and humans were dead. Apart from that is, Daedulus and Alex, and we called for their surrender, uncertain how much magic remained at the mage’s command.

*Having arrived late after stopping to snack on some corpses up above

For a moment it was uncertain how things would go: The only sounds were the death rattle of a couple of wounded humans having their throats cut by Talia, the crackle of undead corpses as they were fired by the orcs and the cries of the undead leader’s head which though disembodied, somewhat confusingly kept insisting that it had diplomatic immunity.*

*Brilliantly foiling our carefully laid extradition plans

More confusion ensued: The wizard claimed to be our best bud, an ally to Jania Proudmoore, sibling to the cowering Alex. Jania apparently was a close ally (nudge nudge, wink wink) to Thrall Doomhammer, leader of the Horde itself, praised be his name. Then a rumbling across the arcane spectrum preceded an inter-dimensional transmission: Thrall himself appeared and directed us to report to him in the fabled city of Orgrimmar, capital of the Horde. He thoughtfully teleported Proudmoore and the wizard away to Theramoore where Jania resides, leaving us to take the longer, slower route.

One other piece of intelligence we gleaned before the mage departed, the goblin who we had taken such a liking to on our previous visit was named Gilbrix Pennytrawler. He had left only the day before, allegedly headed to Ratchet. We decided to withdraw to the zeppelins to return to Crossroads, but first a further search revealed a substantial amount of coin behind an illusory wall that I located.

Thrall had appointed Lutzbar as commander on the basis that she was probably a marginally better leader than Gorehowl’s corpse and she, somewhat foolishly if you ask me,* split the treasure with the remaining eight orcs, probably cementing her position right there.

*No one did

The voyage returned us to Crossroads, currently holder of the record for ‘Town left most intact following our visit.’ Feeling this record needed review, Kasbo, goblin-lover that he is, popped a little present through a gunport as he climbed down.

The explosion sent the zeppelin spiralling down into the tavern below and started a huge fire, turning our heroic homecoming in to a near lynching. Par for the course there. We left town hurriedly, the blessings and good wishes of the populace ringing in our ears, not. Fortunately the raging inferno of the Raging Inferno distracted them from more physical manifestations of their displeasure.

Camped at safe distance we considered our next move and decided to split up: Kasbo was keen to revisit the town and attempt to recover gear we had left behind. Talia was keen to take a stroll to take in the night air and also elected to return to town. I was keen to stay alive and get some rest so stayed where I was and spent some time interrogating the undead head which we still had with us.

Kasbo had several adventures as he sneaked around town; he re-acquired a number of our goods and chattels and took the opportunity to grab some extras. Finding it slightly trickier to sneak about carrying a large sack twice his size prominently labelled ‘swag’, he had several narrow escapes as he tried somewhat less successfully to sneak back. Still he made it out unscathed in the end.

Talia went for a stroll in a secluded quarter of town where she met a very kind gentleman who expressed a desire to show her his etchings, and indeed seemed so keen that he probably would have offered her money to encourage her to do so. Officers of the Crossroads watch are keen to discuss with Talia what happened in the next few minutes, as coincidentally at the very time she was there a brutal murder took place.

The victim is yet to be identified as he was totally mutilated and indeed half eaten. The watch have stressed that whilst members of the Forsaken have been known to feed in this way, they are keeping an open* mind on the matter and members of the forsaken community are no more suspected than any other. They have indicated they would like to speak to anyone who was in the area at the hour in question who might have seen anything suspicious.**

*Some would say almost empty
**Why don’t they appeal for anyone in the area at the hour in question who brutally murdered and ate someone? Cut to the chase! I really don’t understand these modern police methods.

Whilst all this excitement was going on, what was Cedrico the Magnificent doing I hear you ask? Well I was having a chat with the Undead whilst enjoying Fuq’ Witt’s superb linguini.* The bodiless creature was named Angerov Doomscryer.** He seemed completely at ease with his new state which he clearly regarded as temporary and continued to claim diplomatic immunity. How do you interrogate and threaten a creature who takes total disembodiment as a flesh wound and is immune to pain?

*Justa lika mamma useda to maka
**Personally I reckon his scrying needs work

He was totally loyal to Silvanas Windrunner, known as the Banshee queen. As he was frightened only of her vengeance I pointed out that the total failure of his raid and his capture might already have earned him her ire. When that failed I suggested that there are fates worse than undeath and losing one’s body. Let’s just say my suggestion was sex toy related and leave it at that. He seemed impervious to everything but did reveal he was from the Undercity in Laudaeron, and he led the Night stalkers.

We set off for Orgrimmar, ready to report to Doomhammer and see what he has in store for us. Three days travel by extortionately priced horse and cart* and we had arrived. Set deep in a huge canyon and screened by a sixteen foot wall that is still under construction, the harbour is also unfinished, reflective of the fact that the city though already enormous, has only been taking shape for three years.

*Plainsweaver forwent the opportunity to travel in this manner, which is just as well because Tauren and axles make a famously unfortunate combination. Instead he hired a Kodo, an early precursor to the Imperial Rhino of the future, except that it is alive. Kasbo rode aboard too, mounting his crossbow on an ingenious swivel mount fitted on the horn, which may or may not have withstood RSPCA examination

Notable landmarks include the hidden cleft, an underworld of caverns below; Cromgar Hall, a major tavern; the Magisters’ Terrace, home of the arcane; the Valley of Honour; the goblin slums (location of Muscles For Money’s HQ) and dominating the landscape, the Sky Tower, docking station for flying visitors. Another interesting feature that you don’t see every day: the gigantic daemon corpse of Pit Lord Mamroth, enslaver of orcs, slain by Grom Hellscream with a little help from Thrall (as the sign by the body said).

Prior to meeting Thrall at his palace, we decided to do a little business: For Talia of course this meant jewellery shopping, Lutzbar went looking for fresh weapons and Kasbar was, well, being Kasbar. Plainsweaver was buying supplies and I had some mixed success haggling with a magician who eventually recharged my ring for an outrageous sum which I had to borrow from the Tauren.

We entered the palace and were ushered to the presence of his immensity. I stayed in the background as my experiences had already indicated that humanity was not exactly the best heritage to claim around here as shown by the total lack of success of my fabulous magic act. Alongside Doomhammer in the audience chamber, Vij’Inn, leader of trollkind* sat on a slightly smaller but possibly stronger throne.

*Obviously a coalition government situation

We presented the paperwork that had put us to so much trouble and were rewarded by a very positive assertion on the part of his greatness, who declared he wasn’t going to sent us out to die.* Although he talked about worrying efforts by the banshee queen to destabilise Orgrimmar, he had magnanimously decided to send us on Horde Force One to assist his ally Jania at her island base. It seems our fate remains inextricably intertwined with that of the Proudmoore dynasty.

*Infact he was going to send us out tomorrow. (But probably to die any way) Yes, high five!

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