Wednesday, December 10, 2014

HIGHMAUL: Kargath Bladefist (Warlords of Dreanor)

Goose - Tauren druid (tank)
Avierra - Blood elf paladin (tank)
Tenebres - Troll druid (healer)
Veexie - Blood elf priest (healer)
Shamcey - Goblin shaman (healer)
Jizal - Blood elf paladin (dps)
Gonggong - Tauren paladin (dps)
Ghul - Undead rogue (dps)
Bladewisp - Pandaren hunter (dps)
Tekkreinah - Undead warlock (dps)
Gingerbanks - Blood elf mage (dps)
Skaarathos - Orc death knight (dps)
LMF - Troll priest (dps)
Fugitlah - Blood elf hunter (dps)

“Defenders of Azeroth,” Thrall began, addressing the assembled heroes of the Terracotta mercenary company. “Time and time again we have asked you to put your lives on the line for the sake of our world. Now, in the middle of the savage land we know as Draenor, we ask you to do so once again.”

Durotan, leader of the Frostwolf clan, stepped forward. “The Iron Horde continues its build-up with the assistance of the ogres of Nagrand. While we have dealt them a temporary setback by destroying their portal into your world, they seek to build another. Even now they compel Imperator Mar’gok to help them rebuild the portal.”

“Who be dis Mar’gok and why is he so important?” Tenebres asked.

“As the Grand Imperator of Highmaul, Mar'gok is descended from a long line of sorcerers who have ruled the Gorian Empire. Equal parts cunning and brutal, Mar'gok recognized the rising tide of the Iron Horde and what it would mean to oppose them. He has agreed, under threat of annihilation, to an alliance with Grommash Hellscream.” Durotan paused and his brow furrowed. “Stopping Mar’gok is not going to be easy. Our last attempt at diplomacy with the ogres ended with our emissary’s head on a pike. I’m afraid we have no choice but to storm Highmaul itself.”

“This is where you come in,” Thrall said even as he pulled out a scroll with a map of the entire western region of Nagrand. “Highmaul is a large walled fortress in the middle of enemy territory controlled by the Warsong clan. The Frostwolves don’t have enough ships to move troops to Nagrand quickly. Taking Highmaul would mean crushing the Warsong clan supported by the ogres. We will need your strength to crush them both.”

“A long military campaign would only serve the Iron Horde,” Avierra noted thoughtfully. “We need a different approach.”

Khadgar the mage, silent this whole time, brightened up instantly. “What did you have in mind?”

“The Iron Horde can rebuild the portal all they want but without Mar’gok’s magic, it’s just a monument of stone,” Avierra surmised. “If a small tactical unit can get to Mar’gok inside Highmaul and kill him, we won’t need to worry about that portal being re-activated.”

“The Coliseum.” Khadgar’s eyes widened. “Of course. That’s your way into Highmaul. You will be gladiators in the arena!”

Highmaul is the seat of power for the Gorian Empire, the ogre civilization that ruled Draenor for generations, until the arrival of the draenei. A massive city that belies the ogre reputation for brutish stupidity, Highmaul is full of bustling markets, wealthy nobles, and the roar of the Coliseum crowd echoing through the streets of the slums. Visible from everywhere within the city's walls, Imperator Mar'gok's citadel casts a long shadow, a reminder of his watchful eye and iron grip.

Apparently even in the middle of the Iron Horde build-up, the games at the Coliseum continued unabated. The current champion was a brutal orc named Vul’gor who had a reputation for cheating in the arena to win.

The Terracotta mercenary company slaughtered Vul’gor easily. This was when the real surprise happened.

Kargath Bladefist leaped into the arena from the stands. Kargath Bladefist, Warlord of the Shattered Hand, honed his brutal skills as a slave in the ogres' gladiatorial games. He slaughtered countless opponents for the promise of freedom, but after winning, was locked away with the other retired "champions." Fueled by rage, Kargath tore off his own hand to escape and led a revolt that soaked Draenor in ogre blood. Now, he has returned to the arena.

The crowd of ogres and orcs roared their approval at seeing a former Champion of the Arena and now Warlord of the Shattered Hand clan. “Enough! I will show these weaklings what a TRUE champion is capable of,” Kargath shouted for all to hear.

This was when Imperator Mar’gok suddenly appeared as well. “You honor us, Kargath... I will enjoy watching you fight in the arena again, even with your... handicap.”

Kargath sneered. “The pleasure is mine... The crowd deserves a superior gladiator, seeing as the last one fell so easily.”

Mar’gok laughed. “Gladiators, seize this opportunity to die gloriously, for your names will be carved into history! Let the battle begin!”

Goose shapeshifted into bear form and roared his challenge even as Avierra raised her sword, it’s bright steel catching the light of the sun, “For the Light!”

Kargath roared. “You owe me a fight, cowards!”

Jizal, Gonggong, Skaarathos, and Ghul leaped into the fight right behind Goose and Avierra. Fugitlah and Bladewisp moved to opposite sides of the arena, Bladewisp throwing twin glaives at the warlord while Fugitlah’s pet charged in to attack. Gingerbanks, Tekkreinah, and LMF spread out, each one calling upon powerful magic to rain destruction on the lone warlord.

All around the arena, trapdoors opened revealing ravenous tigers. “Beware the beast pits!” Shamcey yelled. “Being eaten would be bad!” The sand moved as four columns sprang up and jetted gouts of flame around them. “Fire bad!”

Tekkreinah motioned to Gingerbanks. “Now would be a good TIME, mage!”

Gingerbanks blinked before understanding dawned. “Ah yes, right! TIME WARP!” The entire company’s movements quickened as everyone’s movement speed climbed, spells cast and attacks completed faster and faster. And yet Kargath seemed to shrug off the attacks and roared his defiance.

Gripping a length of chain in one hand he began spinning it over his head. “Let's give the crowd something to chew on! Chain hurl!” His spinning chain picked up Jizal, Gonggong, Goose, Shamcey, and Skaarathos, hurling them into the stands.

Goose roared and stood up on his hind legs, his gigantic bear form massive in size as he swiped with wicked claws. Ogre and orc spectators went down screaming. All five cleared out an entire section of the stands before leaping back down into the arena.

Kargath fixed his eye on Bladewisp suddenly. “There is no escape! Berserker rush!” Kargath fixated on the hunter even as he leaped backwards, sailing over the open tiger pit, landing just behind one of the flame columns around the arena. The warlord got burned and stopped his rush. “Fool! You'll need more than flames to finish me!”

Twice more he fixated on random heroes, once on Tekkreinah, the other on LMF. Both times he was stopped by the flame columns. Kargath screamed in frustration. “Gah! COWARDS! You can't hide behind these traps forever!”

But the constant attacks were taking their toll on the warlord. Tekkreinah’s Chaos Bolt slammed into him from behind. Ghul’s poison knives slashed relentlessly while Gonggong and Jizal hit him with consecutive Divine Storms. Bladewisp’s Aimed Shots drew blood time and again while Gingerbanks’ ice lances smashed into the warlord.

Imperator Mar’gok saw it before the others. “Finish him.”

Fugitlah and Bladewisp hissed in unison. “Kill Shot.”

Kargath dropped to the ground with a resounding crash. “And that' hundred,” he whispered.

Cho'gall enters the arena through a demonic portal.
Imperator Mar'gok yells: Cho'gall?!
Cho'gall yells: You thought to imprison us, Mar'gok? (You could never control us!)
Imperator Mar'gok yells: Guards, stop him!
Several Gorian guards leap from the stands and charge Cho'gall, who wipes them out with a blast of shadow magic. The city is suddenly overcast by dark clouds as Pale Orcs leap from above and begin attacking the orcs and ogres in the stands.
Cho'gall yells: Destroy them all! Raze this city to the ground! (The stones will be ours! All shall fall to darkness!)
Imperator Mar'gok yells: Seal the gates! Protect the palace! Highmaul will never fall to the likes of you!
Mar'gok teleports from the arena while Cho'gall departs through another demonic portal.

This left the company in a bit of a quandary. Veexie voiced the question in everyone’s mind. “Now what do we do?”