The Journey to the North

Preface: I used to do a lot of writing back in the day. Even when I was young I enjoyed writing stories. In high school there is more than one occasion when I was able to woo a girl with sappy poem or two. That’s just how I rolled. :)

Anyways, I felt like being relatively creative this evening and with servers going down for a whole day I would give my shot at a little Drotara story. In-game I don’t roleplay or anything, but I always envisioned what he would be like if I did. While I play to raid and PvP, considering I’ve learned to play DnD and engaged in other nerdy activities such as playing board games like Descent, the idea of me roleplaying isn’t that far off. So if RP stories is your thing, read on! If not, oh well.

“Lok’tar ogar!”

And with that, he bowed deeply, turned, and left the Valley of Wisdom.

“Icecrown” he thought. Cold, desolate, and hardly the location he would have chosen. But what he wanted was of little consequence.

“Icecrown” he thought. Cold, desolate, and hardly the location he would have chosen. But what he wanted was of little consequence. The Warchief had asked him to leave for the northern continent as soon as possible. He knew a goblin zeppelin was due to arrive in a few hours, and he was confident Thrall knew as well, hence the timing of their brief meeting. And as far as Drotara was concerned, “as soon as possible” from Thrall meant “You go now.”

As he left the chamber, he saw younger Orcs receiving orders from their commanders only to hear their complaints about cold weather and having to travel long distances as soon as they had gotten out of earshot of them.

“Disgraceful” he thought to himself. He hoped that in his younger years he was never like that. He wondered if another Orc in his position many years ago had thought the same thing about him.

Age and experience had taught him many things. One being respect. Another being the gift of silence and patience. For if there was one thing a Hunter valued, it was patience. Tracking, following, and eliminating their prey. And “prey” in this sense held a lot of different meanings. Drotara was no stranger to combat.

His mind raced back to the blistering heat from the days he spent in Silithus. The day Ahn’Qiraj ‘opened’ was still vivid as he recalled the brutal lashing of sand and stone he received in the battle that followed the opening of those accursed gates.

But that had past. And if there was one thing he had learned from the elder Saurfang was that we had to learn from the past but not dwell on it. Many faithful Orcs died an honorable death that day. One could not ask for a more distinguished reprieve from life. He shook off those memories and continued walking.

A bit of ash fluttered through the air and landed in Drotara’s beard. He grabbed the end of his long beard, which he kept in a long braid, and shook it off. He always missed the bonfires when left Orgrimmar. Something about them made it feel inviting to him. Maybe it was because he had spent so many nights on a bedroll in the middle of a forest, unable to make a fire or risk giving away his location.

The heat of the desert was the least of his worries as he snapped his mind back to the task at hand.

Drotara chose to walk over to the Valley of Wisdom. While his proud wolf might have been quicker, he figured this would probably be the last time he would be able to walk these pathways for quite sometime. He greeted Xon’cha and whistled sharply as his loyal companions quickly heeded his call.

Drotara held every Orc he had fought alongside in the highest respect. But if there was anyone who understood him and the Orc he was, it was his companions. Khagan the black lion from the Barrens and Temujin the mystical ethereal wolf he rescued in Dustwallow Marsh.

Unfortunately he could only bring one of them with him. Space on the zeppelins was limited and choices had to be made. The thought of leaving one behind tore at Drotara. He knew they would be in capable hands. Xon’cha was well-respected by many Hunters and the two had developed a fantastic rapport.

He knelt down and scratched Khagan across the top of his head. “Not this time old friend. I’ll be back soon enough.”

He knelt down and scratched Khagan across the top of his head. “Not this time old friend. I’ll be back soon enough.”

Khagan wasn’t gullible. He knew as well as Drotara that he didn’t know that for sure. He knew he may not come back, as was true with any assignment. Any battle. Or any trip anywhere for that matter.

King Varian was back in control of Stormwind and the Alliance and any relative semblance of peace had been quickly shattered. His disdain for the Horde was no secret. And the problem was compounded by the heated attitude of Garrosh Hellscream. Angry and temperamental. Almost a complete opposite of Thrall. And it didn’t bode well for anyone.

But that would be something he would keep between himself, Khagan, and Temujin. He had his own opinions but there was a time and place for all of them. And keeping a standing army cohesive and united was hard enough without those negative opinions being shared. And he saw what Thrall was trying to accomplish. To end the fighting among races. That was a battle in and of itself that most likely had no end.

But Thrall had to try, and for that, Drotara would never utter an ill-word towards any of them.

Drotara was assured that many of the supplies he would need would be available in Northrend but he took no chances. He glanced at the younger Orcs gathering their weapons and armor, preparing for the arrival of the next zeppelin. He spent his last few remaining hours buying supplies. There was no shortage of herbs, vials, and gems available for him to take with him so he could practice his trade. Arrows, bow strings, food and water all crammed into the few bags he carried with him. Some younger Orcs gave him funny looks wondering why he was bringing so many supplies. Some of them saw the wisdom in this and picked up a few things themselves.

Temujin and Drotara strode out to the goblin zeppelin tower, showing a subdued confidence in every foot and paw step. As if every one was carefully planned and very deliberate. They made there way on to the zeppelin, found a small corner for themselves and sat down.

A few hours into the flight, a young Orc came to the lower deck, glanced over towards him, and watched Drotara and Temujin sitting quietly. With a hint of arrogance he inquired  “You haven’t spoken since we left Orgrimmar. What are you doing?”

Drotara did not fault the young Orc for his tone. From a young age most Orcs are trained in combat in some form. They are taught to be confident. To be strong. Not to show weakness. And that’s easy to do when your battles have consisted of nothing more than border patrols along the edge of Durotar.

Drotara replied calmly, “One of the things I do best.”

Drotara replied calmly, “One of the things I do best.”

“And what is that?”

“Waiting” he responded.

The younger Orc scoffed and marched back up the stairs.

Drotara let sleep overcome him as he listened to the low creaking made by the zeppelin as it soared through the night sky. Many of the older Orcs still were haunted by battles from their past. Drotara was no different except in the fact that they did not wake him. As peaceful as he looked, his mind was frequently whisked away to friends and allies lost in battle. He constantly reminded himself “Victory or Death.” They had died an Orc’s death. But it didn’t make it easier.

The trip was shorter than Drotara had imagined. Traveling to Silithus or Stranglethorn Vale had taken days. That was before the goblins had built their zeppelin towers, dotting a few Orc outposts across the continents. He re-tightened the top knot on the top of his head that held his hair in place. Drotara gathered his bags, which he was able to carry all on his back, whistled for Temujin, and walked to the top deck. Very few Orcs were awake already, and the ones that were had been shocked to consciousness by the frigid air that arose to greet them as the zeppelin neared the shore.

This was no cold wind like you would have found in Winterspring. It made your soul quiver and unsettled your nerves. As the zeppelin lurched closer to the shore, more of the occupants woke in an unknown fright and slowly made their way to join the crew and early risers on the deck. The temperature was quickly declining.

“What’s it called again?” one Orc muttered.

“Warsong Hold” Drotara replied. “High Overlord Saurfang is here. With Garrosh Hellscream. Show your respect when you arrive.”

Drotara didn’t dispense advice often. But Overlord Saurfang commanded and deserved respect. And Garrosh would be likely to kill you if you angered him.

Having land underneath the zeppelin made it feel as though it had increased in speed. To the side of the zeppelin the travelers were able to see the Alliance expedition and spot small figures dotting the landscape. “Alliance dogs” a young Orc said under his breath. Drotara sighed quietly and thought “He’ll probably get along with Hellscream quite well.”

Drotara sighed quietly and thought “He’ll probably get along with Hellscream quite well.”

A large structure was rising out of the horizon, made of stone and metal. Warsong Hold slowly crept into view. And before anyone could say anything, piercing shrieks could be heard below the zeppelin. Many Orcs tried to peer dangerously over the rail.

“SCOURGE!” one Orc exclaimed, pointing to some figures that surrounded the outpost. Some of the goblin crew panicked slightly as their captain tried to keep control.

“What is that?” squealed one goblin, pointing towards shrouded figures in the air.

“Gargoyles” Drotara responded, reaching for his bow and whistling for Temujin to his side. He knew these creatures. The Plaguelands were infested with them.

The young Orc that Drotara met in the hull of the zeppelin glanced back towards him. “What are you doing?”

Drotara notched an arrow. “The other thing I do best.”

“Lok’tar ogar!”

About Drotara

Drotara (or BehemothDan) considers himself a geek on many levels. A web developer and programmer by trade, he has no shortage of geeky hobbies. When not fulfilling husband and daddy duties, he enjoys WoW, the WoW TCG, Magic: The Gathering, and great board games with friends and family.