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Up from Dust

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Joined: 25 Aug 2007
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 21, 2009 4:29 am    Post subject: Up from Dust Reply with quote

((Here's a story I've been posting on the American WoW RP forums. I've let it lie low for a week, but I'll try to finish it this weekend. It's a bit different from my usual fare, I think.))

Teeth spun through the air on trails of blood, and the crowd roared. Morg, known as the Mighty, sped past his prone opponent and grabbed the hard rubber ball from the dust. His mailed left hand tossed it to the maw of the scoop-glove on his right. Green muscles still in motion he swung his right arm as hard as he could, the ball shooting out like a bullet, bouncing off the tip of the defender’s shovel glove and into the goal.

The scene lost some of its impact on the grainy black-and-white television flickering in the den. Dev’tor leaned forward in his battered kodohide chair, yellow teeth bared in an old warrior’s cheer.

“Ha! Did you see that? Orgrimmar’s got a good team this year, son. Players like Morg the Mighty will win us the championship.”

Standing at the doorframe, Kargath grunted in affirmative, half-watching the glowing screen. He took a black kodohide jacket from the closet, clutching it like a talisman. Putting it on he instantly felt bigger, the jacket a defense against the world’s uncertainties.

“Sit down, this looks to be a grand game.”

“I have to go to the shop, father. Nog is expecting me.”



Dev’tor sighed, his tone somewhere between pride and disappointment.

“Then do your duty as a warrior must.”

Kargath said nothing, his father’s words echoing in his mind. As a warrior must, though he was no warrior yet. That would come with the autumn chill, when he would take up the ax and vow service to the Horde, promising to fight its enemies with bravery and honor. He wondered if he could even bring himself to say the words. What enemies? The Scourge was dust, the Old Gods and Burning Legion contained, and the Alliance a key ally.

Hot summer winds blew as Kargath stepped onto the road, spirals of dust lifting up from the ground. The sky darkened in the scorching dusk, the Valley of Honor’s red rooftops and narrow alleys sprawled before him. Not too many people out just yet; not with Orgrimmar facing its old Razor Hill rivals in Brawlball. West of that, the Valley of Spirits, spears of steel and glass shimmering in the heat. Beneath the ziggurats of magic and commerce were their smaller and older stone cousins, where fantastically rich trolls still gave offerings to ensure the favor of the Loa. History said the trolls built the first civilizations, and they had more than reclaimed their legacy.

Kargath walked the rough streets, his stride cool and insouciant. No one had anything to really fight for any longer, but that didn’t stop some from trying. Kargath was no stranger to rumbles, and used to look for them with his friends at his side, prowling the nighttime with chains and clubs. Somehow he got bored of it. Maybe it was just age. Maybe the feeling that the fights were pointless, that his father finished all the real battles.

Lazy summer heat still smothered Orgrimmar when the sun vanished. In the corner of his eye Kargath spotted a pair of skullboys leaning on the railing of the porch at Krog’s Bar, tattooed hands deftly catching the switchblades they tossed in the air. Black eyes stared right at Kargath, promising pain if he took a step closer. Kargath pretended not to notice.

Things were busier in the Valley of Strength. Sounds from the arena shook the whole neighborhood; the game was a close one. Navigating the canyon roads he reached Noz’s Machine Shop. A sleek cherry-rod rocket cruiser sat out front, light dancing on the chrome decals along the body and engines. Kargath’s eyes grew wide, recognizing the new Skurk Motors ’57 Raptor. Forgetting his troubles he hurried up, wanting to get a better look. The thing practically leaped out of the lot, racing down the streets in Kargath’s mind.

“Yo, Kargath! Thanks for making it here on such short notice. Bruk’s sick again; probably whooping it up over at the arena.”

Noz waddled out of the garage, his oil-stained hands gripping a wrench. His sharp goblin face smiled, and Kargath felt his face doing the same. Things were so simple at the shop.

“It’s nothing boss. Who brought this number here?” Kargath pointed to the Raptor.

“Some troll hot rodder. He’ll probably pick it up tonight.”

“Aw, you should have called me in yesterday, I want to get my hands dirty with this thing!” protested Kargath.

“He wanted Serkor to do it. I guess they know each other or something.”

“Come on, Serkor wouldn’t know what to do!”

“Hey, this troll’s a paying customer. Anyway, Margor’s ’53 Scorpid’s acting up again. I think it might be the fuel intake, but you check it out for yourself.”

“Sure thing.”

“Thanks again, Kargath. Don’t know how I’d run this joint without you.”

Margor’s vehicle had a new problem every month, normal for the year and make. The ’53 Scorpid was the mechanic’s best friend, always good for a fix-up. Kargath took off his jacket and got to work.

Everyone brought their rigs to Noz’s. A reputation for good work brings more of it, and the city knew Noz had an eye for talent. Kargath got the job by showing off the work he’d done on his own cruiser, a ’55 Skurk Nightsaber, his pride and joy. He’d paid an arm and a leg for that masterpiece, and fixed it up to go twice as fast. Not so useful in Orgrimmar’s narrow streets, where it was one car among many, but in the wide open spaces south of the city the Nightsaber became a god.

The game ended and the crowds lurched through the streets, taking swigs of bloodmead as they went. Laughter and cheer filled the warm night air, though with an orcish edge. Fights always came after the game, no matter who won or lost.

“Orgrimmar won! Hey, anyone here a fan of Sirg Skullclub?” called out Noz.

“He’s an all right player,” responded a junior mechanic named Farn.

“Was an all right player. They say he just died; punch to the chest knocked him flat in the fifth round. Docs didn’t think it was bad, but they were wrong.”

“Good for him. Honorable death in a winning game. Hope I go out like that.”

“Sheesh, the guy died! Think how much more he could’ve done if he lived!” exclaimed Noz.

“Aw, Noz, you just aren’t an orc.”

“Come on, you can’t tell me Brawlball has to be this damn lethal. You guys oughtta do it like the tauren and humans, make it safer.”

“While we’re at it we’ll put wheels on our shoes and play it elf-style," joked Farn. The other mechanics laughed at the joke, Kargath among them. No point to making Brawlball safe. Every orc knew that. His father said it wasn’t a really good game unless someone died.

Harrisar came in a while later as the crowds thinned, his teenage daughter in tow. Noz almost had a monopoly when it came to repairing human cars. Orc-owned shops tended to return human cars in worse condition than they arrived. Kargath never understood the kind of person who would do that. Didn’t prove or solve anything. Besides, Harrisar was built like a truck, and had enough scars to deserve respect. The man was a paper-pusher at a Stormwind company’s branch office, but you wouldn’t guess it to look at him.

Harrisar had taken a shine to Kargath. He first repaired the human’s car the last summer, and Harrisar said it ran better than when he first bought it. Kargath hadn’t done anything special, but he wasn’t going to turn down a compliment. Harrisar was already crossing the garage towards Kargath’s workstation.

“Hey there, sport! Heard you got my car fixed up yesterday. I would have picked it up then, but there was some last minute work at the embassy.”

“Pleasure as always, sir,” said Kargath. He stood up, wiped the oil off his hands, and shook with Harrisar.

“Quite a game up in the arena. I like the way you fellas play it in Orgrimmar. For keeps, just like the old days. Ever let humans into the orcish leagues?”

“No rule against it, but it might not be the best idea. Different weight classes and all that.”

“Really? ‘Cause I was thinking I’d give it a shot – ha ha ha! Just kidding around there. Maybe back in the old days, but I’m ready for some peace and quiet myself.”

How many demons fell before Harrisar’s blade? Kargath wondered.
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 21, 2009 4:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Summer afternoons in Orgrimmar were not for the weak. The sun’s scorching rays hammered the ramshackle homes and shops. Everyone with sense stayed indoors, and shops closed up for the midday siesta. You’d have to be mad or Forsaken to work in such weather. Younger orcs loitered in the shade, or escaped to the movies.

“Can’t wait man, can’t wait another day.”

Kargath nodded imperceptibly at his friend’s words. He and Skawl went way back, knew each other as kids. Like most their age, their lives revolved around cars, girls, and music, along with the itchy yearning for something more. Skawl passed the warrior trials with flying colors, and figured a stint in the army would give him the adventure he craved. Kargath was less certain, but he kept his doubts to himself.

“My old man, he said the Burning Legion’s ready to pile on through to Azeroth again. Those Alliance pushovers aren’t going to stand a chance, it’ll be up to the Horde all over again, just like old times. A lot bigger than some rumble with the skullboys or oldboys, know what I mean?”

“Yeah, sure.”

“You and me, Kargath. Hell, the guy at the trials said you were a natural with the rifle.”

“Skawl, tell me: do you ever think this is it?”


“Well, your pop says the Burning Legion is coming back, but I haven’t heard anything about it. We still got Kil’jaeden’s head hanging in Grommash Hold.”

“Are you calling my father a liar?” snarled Skawl.

“No! Your father’s a warrior, like mine. I’m just saying he might’ve made a mistake.”

“Kargath, you need to get yourself a girl. Then you won’t worry about this. Plenty of adventures ahead of us, believe you me.”

A plane buzzed overhead, a dark silhouette in the blazing sky flying west to the Valley of Spirits. Kargath wondered what it was like to have an office in those shimmering ziggurats. He imagined himself a troll merchant prince, decked in a robe of coatl feathers, trophies from past financial conquests decorating his office. Air conditioners were always on in there, or so people said. The trolls seemed happy enough, and weren’t planning for any more wars.

“Worst comes to worst, we could finish what Blackhand started. Show those humans who’s boss,” chuckled Skawl.

“Sure, why not.” Skawl was joking, but it was the sort of joke he heard more and more every day. Kargath knew part of him wanted to do it, but a larger part realized that no honor lay in such a fight. Though it wasn’t as if honor lay in peace, not the honor his father won.

“Hey, skullboys,” alerted Skawl. A trio of them prowled the other side of the road, ghoulish tattoos screaming from their shorn scalps.

“Two on three. Figure that’s fair odds,” said Kargath. Besides, it’s not as if anyone was going to fight in the heat.

“Hey, boneheads, I hear they need some peons for sewer work. Told ‘em to look for you guys!” shouted Skawl.

The lead skullboy stopped in his tracks, his head swiveling to face Skawl. Kargath recognized him as Adok, a fierce brawler from the outer city. Rumor had it he killed a man in a fight, and it was easy to imagine. Adok also had a bright future; every War-Pack wanted him in their ranks.

“I already told ‘em your dad could do the job. No point in wasting valuable muscle like me on work for losers.”

“Do you want to say that again?” demanded Skawl, his shoulders raised in anger. Kargath stepped forward, eager to show solidarity. The deathly heat seemed to cool around him and he bared his teeth in anticipation. Down the generations the warriors raged, from the plains of Nagrand to the furnace of Argus.

“You heard me the first time. Same goes for all your rocketboys. You are the trash of Orgrimmar. Go to Undermine and live with the goblins. Orcs don’t need trash like you!”

There was a click, and a blade sprang from the handle in Skawl’s fist. Kargath knew what his friend could do with that knife.

“Let’s make this a big one. We’ll be here with our crew at sundown. See if you can get your peons together for a rumble, just like old days.”

Kargath suddenly noticed Harrisar’s daughter standing on their side of the road. She kept her slight frame hidden behind an overflowing refuse bin, her parasol lying in the dust. What was her name? Tyria, he was pretty sure. What was she doing there? At least she was smart enough to stay low.

“All right. At sundown.”

“Next morning you lot will look worse than her,” scoffed Adok. With lightning speed he grabbed a rock and hurled it at Tyria. The projectile smashed into the human girl’s head and she went flying. Kargath heard the crack, and the world went red.

Years of wounded honor propelled him forward, his fists seeking Adok’s face. Then something grabbed him and wrestled him to a halt, a harsh voice yelling “Not yet!” Kargath snarled and tried to throw off his assailant, but he soon found himself pinned.

“Not yet! Tonight, we’ll make it for real.”

Kargath suddenly realized he’d barely taken more than a few steps forward. Skawl’s massive hands gripped his shoulders.

“Easy there, kid. Don’t be in such a hurry to die,” mocked Adok.

Kargath blinked, taking deep breaths to calm himself. Then he remembered Tyria. The orc bolted to the side, breaking Skawl’s hold, to where the human lay stretched out in the dust. A wash of blood ran down her face, her eyes open in a horrible blank stare.

“Tyria? Can you hear me? That’s your name, right? Tyria?” urged Kargath. He knelt by the side of the prone girl.

“Kargath, what’s up?”

“Tyria? Dammit! Skawl, get a healer!”

“Let’s go, Kargath. Just a human.”

“Get a healer!” roared Kargath. Skawl took a step back, and nodded.


Consciousness returned to Tyria’s eyes.

“What happened?” she moaned.

“You’re fine. Took the hit like a warrior.” Was that what you said to wounded humans? “Your father will be proud.”

“Hit? Huh?” A weird sound escaped her mouth. She collapsed to the side and was violently sick. When she recovered she tried to prop herself up on trembling arms. Kargath moved her away from the mess and set her down on a patch of yellowed grass.

“What happened?” she asked again.

“A coward threw a rock at you. He will pay.”


“Found one, Kargath!” yelled Skawl. Kargath turned around and saw a scarecrow figure jogging closely behind Skawl. A white mask, the expression frozen in peaceful neutrality, covered the newcomer’s face. The flensed green hands made his true nature obvious. Reassurance came in the white cotton robe, emblazoned with the haloed skull of the Order of St. Barthalamew.

“He’s the best I could find.”

The Forsaken priest wordlessly knelt by Tyria. Kargath heard holy words intoned behind the mask.

“It’s not as bad as it looks. A glancing blow by the looks of it,” explained the priest, his voice hollow and distant.

“She’ll be all right?”


Golden light shone from the priest’s hands, and Tyria smiled.

“Child, do you understand me?”


“You will be fine. However, you should see a neurological specialist as soon as possible. The damage was probably superficial, yet you want to make sure nothing worse was inflicted. Here, take this card.” The priest placed a business card into Tyria’s hand.

“Thank you.” Tyria slowly sat up, her eyes clear. “And thank you. Kargath, right?”

“That’s my name.”

“My dad says you’re a miracle worker with his car.”

“Just doing my job.”

“This wasn’t part of your job. So thank you. I don’t think most people here would do the same for me.”

A strange feeling came over Kargath. He had done something he’d always wanted to do, but never knew how. Here was the essence of the Horde, or at least part of it: defending the weak. The next half he’d take care of that night, where he would introduce Adok to pain. Kargath smiled; he was a hero.
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 21, 2009 4:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kargath’s friends disagreed.

The violet evening sky cooled the raging temperatures. Shops opened up and people went out. Cruisers went up and down the streets, bored youths looking for fun in an endless summer night. The smell of roasted meat wafted up from the innumerable diners and cafes.

“They’re not even going to show up. Adok’s a damn coward,” sneered Kurn, one of the senior members of the gang.

A veritable army of kodohide-jacketed toughs stood in the park. The call went out and the rocketboys answered. All agreed it had been too long since they’d last given the skullboys a beatdown. Army grunts stayed to the side, drinking beer and bloodmead, looking forward to the fight.

“So, let me get this straight. You tried to attack Adok for the sake of a human?” asked Kurn.

“You wouldn’t? He threw a rock at a human girl! Orcs cannot stand for that dishonor!”

“My mother did worse to the human soldiers at Wintergrasp.”

“Human soldiers. That’s entirely different!”

“I see them! Easy, guys. Give ‘em a minute.”

Skullboys marched through the streets in dark clots. Cheers went up from the audience, eager to see the fight. Kargath spotted Adok at the head of the throng, a mock orc skull tied to his head.

“Bash ‘em down good, boys. No one insults our honor and gets away with it,” stated Skawl.

An epiphany came to Kargath in that moment. All the endless fighting was over honor, but only of the most shallow variety. Honor was an assumed quality to rocketboy and skullboy alike, something you defended from the slightest threat. “Those who lack honor are quickest to defend their own.” Thrall said that in the glory days of the Horde, something taught to every orc child. Somehow, most forgot that lesson. Kargath wasn’t sure if he could articulate it, but he at least understood it. Yet he was no longer defending a selfish honor; he stood before the honor of all orc-kind. Fighting Adok would prove the wisdom of the Horde, and Kargath’s own honor.

“I’ll give you one last chance to run away,” announced Adok. A giant of an orc stood next to him, the emblem of the Defilers tattooed on his bare chest.

“We’re not going anywhere.”

Orcs were already starting to move out in groups of two or three. An eager skullboy pack rushed forward and slammed into a pair of rocketboys, rending the evening air with the sound of violence.

“Go!” shouted Skawl.

Street melees were pure chaos. Rocks and bottles flew in the air. A stone slammed into Kargath’s shoulder but he barely noticed, his padded jacket absorbing some of the blow. Gripping a cudgel in his right hand he went forward, Skawl by his side. The old warrior spirit howled in approval.

A trio of skullboys got within reach and Kargath let loose, his club whooshing through the air to hit tattooed heads. Skawl, who’d replaced his too-lethal switchblade with a chain, swung his weapon out, dropping a skullboy with a well-aimed blow.

“I see Adok!” shouted Kargath. With his macabre ornaments, Kargath could almost imagine him a Scourge lich, a threat to all life and honor, not just Kargath’s.

Adok and his hulking minion caught sight of Kargath and advanced. Adok wielded a club studded with metal fragments, while the big bruiser used his fists, as big as any mace head.

Kargath launched himself forward, yelling in fury. He swung the club too soon, the weapon just barely missing Adok’s face. The attack at least startled Adok and he stepped back, giving Kargath time to get to his feet. Adok snarled and let fly with his own club. Kargath intercepted the blow, and then slammed his fist into Adok’s gut. The skullboy gasped and lost his balance.

Then Kargath felt himself lifted bodily into the air and thrown into the dirt. He saw Skawl lying nearby, his mouth bloody. Kargath ignored the pain and swung the club into his attacker’s legs. Nothing happened. The giant moved pulled his leg back for a kick, and Kargath saw the steel tip at the toes of his boots. Rolling out of the way, Kargath was saved by the timely intervention of a nameless rocketboy who launched a torrent of blows on the hulk.

Adok was back on his feet, looking dazed. Kargath gave him no time to recover and pushed him against the wall.

“You insult all orcs with your actions, Adok! You have no honor! Your father has no honor! You are a coward and a wretch! The human you struck today has more honor than you!”

Adok’s eyes widened. Kargath knew that his words would bring repercussions. He was prepared to accept them.

“Do you think you know honor? Let’s find out.”

Adok shoved Kargath to the side with unexpected strength. He pulled a gun out of his jacket and fired it into the air. Some of the orcs around him stopped fighting, though others continued. The only purpose of a gun was to call an end to a rumble.

“Kargath thinks humans deserve honor. I guess you rocketboys are in the Alliance now? He says that a human has more honor than me.”

That got people’s attention. A few of the rocketboys cast disbelieving looks at Kargath.

“So me and him are going to settle this personally. Tomorrow night, Splitvein Canyon. Bring your rig. We’ll see who’s really brave. I’m going home, Kargath too. This rumble is on hold. This insult cannot stand, and we cannot settle it here.”

Adok put the gun back in its shoulder holster and retreated into the darkness. Calls for more fighting went up from the audience, and some of the brawlers obliged. Most, skullboy and rocketboy alike, continued to stare at Kargath. They hated each other, but they were all orcs.

“What are you lot looking at? I’ll be there tomorrow.”

Kargath helped Skawl up from the ground. His friend looked at him as if he’d gone mad.

“What’s with you, Kargath?”

“I don’t know. We’ll find out.”
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 21, 2009 4:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Shade offered no relief from the afternoon heat, and the walls of Kargath’s father’s garage only made it worse. Kargath sat on a metal chair, bathed in sweat. The ’55 Nightsaber lay in repose next to him, its polished body made dull by the suffocating darkness.

He’d been in the garage since morning, trying to figure out what he’d done the previous night. Of his rightness, he had little doubt. Yet the hostile glares from his friends gave him pause, made him unsure. Leaning back in the chair, he wished it wasn’t so hot.

Skawl came in as the shadows lengthened. Kargath expected him to be furious, but his behavior was subdued. He carried two bottles of trollish banana beer, and handed one to Kargath.


“Figured you could use it. I’d tell you to go outside, but it might be best to keep a low profile.”

“Kurn’s probably out for blood.”

“I’ve been talking with him and some of the others. They’re mad, but they aren’t on Adok’s side. I’m telling you though, you better make damn sure you win tonight. Win or die trying.”

“Dying’s pretty easy in Splitvein.”

Everyone knew about Splitvein Canyon. The narrow gorge twisted and turned into the mountains east of Orgrimmar. Harpies roosted there in the old days, until the orcs flushed them out. As the city grew, most of the canyon roads filled up with homes of retired warriors, but not Splitvein. Something about the place made folks think twice. Legends told of harpy ghosts haunting the jagged walls, placing blood curses on any orc they saw. That aside, it made a lousy place to live. Too narrow for much habitation, and dry as a bone. A huddle of crazed arakkoa hermits lived in stilt huts at the canyon entrance, but that was it.

Three people successfully raced the canyon to its dead end finale up in the mountains. Thirro Motorboomer, famous gnome racer, was first. Skurk Razorspear, of Skurk Motors fame, was second. Adok was third.

No one first believed that Adok really did it, back when the stories first surfaced a few years ago. The eyewitness accounts soon convinced all but the most cynical. Adok was racing against some clueless oldboy, who’d crashed into a rock outcropping midway through. Adok didn’t stop though, he went right on ahead until he reached the end. Beating an oldboy at a race wasn’t really that impressive. Surviving Splitvein, on the other hand, was something done by gods.

“You’re a good driver, Kargath. You might have a chance.”

“I might. I’ll do my best.”

“I still don’t understand something. Why did you go so far in trashing Adok? Less honor than a human?”

“He has less honor than a human. He’s skilled, I won’t deny that. Honorable? I think not. Being an orc doesn’t make you honorable.”

“Sure it does, more than a human at least.”

“Look, we fight each other over stupid insults. I’m starting to think the reason this is, is because we’ve forgotten our honor. Nothing to fight for any longer, so we just build up our own egos. I’m tired of that. Honor means standing up for people, doing something beyond yourself. Adok can’t do that to people like Tyria.”

“What’s with Tyria? Why do you care? Are you trying to impress her or something?”

“This has nothing to do with her, and everything to do with me.”

“Oh, okay. So you’re all raging about how we’re all selfish, but you admit you’re doing this for yourself?”

Kargath paused, suddenly at a loss for words.

“That’s not what I meant,” said Kargath. He hoped that was true.

“No, it’s exactly what you meant. You’re doing the same thing as the rest of us, except you’re putting in some crazy reason for it. Doesn’t really matter at this point. The race is in a few hours.”

“Yeah.” Kargath took another drink, barely tasting it. The heat grew worse, even as his insides turned to ice. He was doing it for himself, just like Skawl said. The race loomed ahead, and Kargath did not expect to survive.

“I wish it wasn’t so hot,” he sighed.
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 21, 2009 2:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What a mish-mash of styles and cultures Razz. They've got TVs all of a sudden? And cars and motorbikes? And all that after one generation! Razz

Well, I must say I like the style. Quite gritty; cutting some linguistic corners here or there to quicken the pace etc. Not bad at all... I can't really foresee the ending of this: a hot-head orc with a brain on his shoulders and a desire for dead-racing? Razz

Let's just say I'll anticipate whatever you have in store for us. Do keep this place alive a bit!

Just one little thing: trollish banana beer? 'troll banana beer' would have made more sense Razz; If the beer is trollish, I wouldn't touch it with a ten foot pole! Very Happy
the sun may melt the rain
may rinse the sky may sink
the clouds may meet the dirt
may drop your heart may heal

feelings of love you love
fluttering hearts you hate
revealing souls you love
breaking spirits you hate that

the sun...
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 22, 2009 12:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote


Very Happy

Can't say how happy I am to see a story set in a society that's technologically and socially advanced from the 'present-day' setting. I've long had an interest in how things might change with technology and peace, like the world that TMiL is (or was Sad ) set in.

I think that Trollish meant that the recipe was created by Trolls, like German beer being brewed by Germans. I'm not exactly sure what you were thinking, Amaunator Shocked

Loved the roller-hockey elves, and that the massive tauren would be the ones to safety-ize the sport. And the glass and steel ziggurats. That's an interesting progression. Nice to see the Trolls become the big-business suits of the future, defying all expectation.

The voice and style of the story is fun. Keeps the pace moving along at a nice clip, but keeps it personal enough that we the reader can extrapolate some of the unspoken details (like why the coat is held dear to him)

Looking forward to more (and I hope that this being a multi-post story doesn't mean that you'll disappear into the writer's nest Black Hole now, too!)
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 22, 2009 1:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Farsider wrote:
I think that Trollish meant that the recipe was created by Trolls, like German beer being brewed by Germans. I'm not exactly sure what you were thinking, Amaunator Shocked

There's a difference between German beer and Germanic beer :p. You would never say the second, and to me that's exactly what he said here. 'Trollish' is 'like a troll', not 'by a troll', which 'Troll beer' would say. Smile
the sun may melt the rain
may rinse the sky may sink
the clouds may meet the dirt
may drop your heart may heal

feelings of love you love
fluttering hearts you hate
revealing souls you love
breaking spirits you hate that

the sun...
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2009 8:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

((I left this story unfinished for too long.))

Cars growled in the evening air, still heavy with the summer heat. A race in Splitvein Canyon was an event. Pulling up in his Nightsaber, Kargath felt oddly peaceful. The lights of the city stretched out behind him, a panorama of the orcish world. Down there were the garages and malt shops of his old life. It would go on without him. He wondered if this was how warriors felt on the eve of battle.

“I see Adok,” said Skawl, from the passenger seat. He pointed to a nightmare in black and red, hellfire decals racing up the side. Adok drove a heavily modified ’54 Blademaster, the engines tweaked beyond all reason. The Blademaster was the car of choice for angry young orcs, making it perfect for the skullboys. Yet the model had some fundamental problems, like a nasty tendency to overheat. Doubtless, Adok had fixed these issues, but Kargath was pretty sure that his Nightsaber was the better vehicle.

That didn’t change the fact that Adok was the better driver.

Kargath stepped out of the car, wanting to stretch his legs. The canyon entrance was packed. The rocketboys were out in full force, showing off their rigs and girlfriends, making bets on the race’s outcome. Skullboys lined up at the other end, doing the same though with an extra touch of melodrama. Others also showed up: dirthacks from the city limits stood in muddy overalls, leaning up against rustbucket cars from the ‘40s and ‘30s. Mag’har oldboys, their brown skin pierced and scarred, maintained a silent vigil from talbuk mounts. Brawlball jockeys annoyed everyone with loud whoops and drunken catcalls. Kargath even spotted a trio of slumming trolls at the edge of the crowd.

“You study the canyon layout at all?” asked Skawl.

“A bit. I don’t think it’ll help much though.”

“Yeah, best to go by instinct.”

The older rocketboys approached Kargath. They clapped him on the back and gave him cigarettes, praising his courage.

“You’re a crazy bastard, Kargath, but you got guts,” said Kurn, noticeably cheerier than he was the previous night.

“No shame in dying to a good challenge,” said another.

They’re already writing me off as dead, though Kargath. He accepted the praise with numb resignation. What was he proving? He thought he was making a stand for something bigger than the petty gang squabbles, but Skawl’s words put the lie to that. How did he end up in this suicidal canyon race?

A blood-chilling scream erupted from the other side, where Adok raised a ragged Defiler banner high in the air to the wild cheers of his friends. Even the jockeys took note, lowering their beer bottles and looking to the flag.

“Enough! Let’s do this!” roared Adok. He jumped in the driver’s seat and glared at Kargath in a silent challenge.

“Fight with honor, die with courage!” urged Kurn.

The world grew quiet as Kargath opened the door and settled into the kodohide driver’s seat. He checked the rear and side mirrors out of habit, before gripping the steering wheel’s familiar contours. An orc girl ran up between the cars, her youthful face beaming. She held a red kerchief in each hand, and raised her arms high in the air. Kargath and Adok both started their engines, and the rigs trembled in anticipation.

“On the count of three! One!”

Kargath took a quick glance at Adok’s car to his right. The skullboy stared straight ahead, sharp yellow teeth bared.


For just a moment, Kargath caught the scent of a distant desert bloom, the pollen carried on warm winds.


Kargath slammed on the gas pedal, the crowd’s cheers lost in the roar of the engines. Adok’s rig shot forward into the shadows of Splitvein Canyon, Kargath close behind. The looming walls closed in on the racers, the path barely wide enough for both cars. Adok began pushing ahead, his thick tires kicking up huge clouds of dust. Kargath cursed and tried to pinpoint his adversary’s red taillights. Things were bad; Adok was nearly a full car’s length ahead of him.

Losing composure, Kargath accelerated. Plunging through the dust, he didn’t see the canyon walls curving to the right. A rock wall flashed in his vision and Kargath wrenched the wheel, still building speed. He careened to the right, trying to twist back to the left without losing control. A black fin whooshed by him and he realized he’d somehow passed Adok’s car.

Straightening his rig’s path he risked a quick look behind, Adok’s car snarling like an animal. Following the turn of the canyon walls, Kargath drove as fast as he dared. His mind flashed back to the map he’d glanced at before the race, specifically to the jutting rocks reaching out of the canyon’s left wall halfway through. Adok’s rumbling motor quieted as if in preparation.

Kargath turned the moment he realized the danger, just as the outcropping jumped into sight. He hit the brakes and gripped the wheels as the car swerved, Adok zooming past him as he floundered. Cursing he pressed on the gas, a metallic squeal ringing out as the canyon walls scraped the side of his car.

Adok was ahead and the gap between them widened with every second. Kargath knew he had to fight to the end. The last third was the most dangerous, a twisting deathtrap that had claimed scores of lives. If he had a chance to beat Adok, it was there.

Kargath did everything he could to close the distance while he could, knowing that all effort had to go to survival for the final leg. He slowed when the canyon walls narrowed, Adok still far ahead of him. Adok’s red lights blurred as he swung to the left, following the sudden twist in the path.

Part of Kargath hoped to die in those turns. Adok had won. He’d run the gauntlet before, daring the entire track even after his rival died halfway through. What chance did Kargath have? A weight settled over Kargath. He’d challenged the best racer in Orgrimmar over a human. His friends would never look at him again if he lost and survived.

Somehow, he still thought he’d done the right thing.

Kargath kept his speed, eyes widening to catch the sudden turns. The canyon became his world, slowing down as if to ease him into safety. He seemed to float around the bends, conscious only of his beating heart. Seeing the wreck of Adok’s car, smashed into the canyon wall, registered only a dull surprise. He noticed the macabre ornaments scattered across the canyon floor like so much junk.

And then it was over. Kargath’s rig zoomed past the finish line, the crowds cheering in surprise. He pushed the brakes almost unconsciously, his vehicle slowing to a stop. Turning off the ignition he slumped in his seat. Lights whirled around him, laughing voices offering congratulations and beer. Then, someone asked what happened to Adok.

“He crashed. Down that way,” Kargath shouted. He raised his arm and pointed back towards the canyon entrance. “I think he’s dead.”
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2009 8:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Some of the skullboys pulled Adok’s mangled corpse out of his rig after the match, screaming their rage into the night. Everyone knew that Adok died in his own challenge, and that there could be no blood restitution. Rules were rules.

Kargath’s friends hailed him a hero, someone who proved the honor of their clique. If anyone remembered that the trouble started over a human, no one mentioned it. Kargath wondered what he’d proved. Adok died from his own pride, while Kargath faced the harder prospect of living. Skawl told him he was doing it for selfish reasons, and Kargath knew this to be true. Maybe that’s why the victory tasted so flat.

The rocketboys partied in Skawl’s place late into the night. Kargath felt sick, the room made torrid by packed bodies. Girls danced with him, and he limped along in a daze. He left as dawn lightened the skies, his friends too drunk to notice his absence.

Kargath’s feet guided him to Noz’s Machine Shop, early morning shadows looming over the lot. A warm breeze stirred, promising brutal heat later in the day. Kargath sat on the ground by the door, his body aching. Did he even have work that day? He realized that he didn’t care.

The city started to wake up around Kargath, the people of Orgrimmar getting ready for another day. He almost didn’t see Noz, ambling towards the door, a look of concern on his face.

“Hey, Kargath! What’s up? You okay? You look pretty beat.”

“Yeah. I am, kind of.”

“You want to tell me what’s going on?” asked Noz, his sharp voice suddenly paternal. Noz sat down next to Kargath, and the young orc told him everything. He blurted it out, not putting much thought into his words. Somehow, Noz understood exactly what he meant.

“I mean, yeah, I did it for myself, but I wanted to prove something too. And no one gets it! Like my dad’s generation got all the glory, and all we can do is fight over the scraps. I don’t feel honorable. I’m totally confused!” said Kargath, finishing his complaint.

“Well, you know your dad’s generation wasn’t all glory. Plenty of stupid fights going on back then too, especially with the Alliance. A lot of good people on both sides died,” Noz pointed out.

“Yeah. I’m not saying I want to fight the Alliance or anything. It’s like everything was laid out for my dad though, all he had to do was follow directions. Fight for the Horde, fight the demons, you name it! I don’t know what I’m going to do. I can’t fight unless there’s good reason, and there aren’t any!”

“Maybe you’re not looking at this the right way. Not all fights are about punching people. There’s a lot of honor in doing good for yourself, offering services for a fair price. Simple, I know, but don’t discount it. If that doesn’t suit, you there’s loads of people who need help in this world. Kids still grow up hungry in Outland, Gilneans still fight the worgen curse.”

“So if I do that stuff, work for myself or help others, I’ll find what I need.”

“I’m not going to lie to you Kargath: I don’t know. Maybe you won’t ever find it. But if you don’t try to find something to live for, you’re sure to miss out.”

“Where do I go?”

“I don’t know. There aren’t any easy answers. All you can do is make sure it’s something good.”

“I still got my stint in the army coming up, real soon.”

“You have to do that. Maybe you’ll find what you’re looking for there. Trust me Kargath, I wish I could tell you to go somewhere and do something, and have it be that simple, but that’s not how it is. Back in your dad’s day, in mine, we just had to survive. Now that’s taken care of, so you’ve got all these options. It’s a trade-off. I don’t know if it’s the best one, but it’s not changing anytime soon.”

“I know.”

“Kargath, I think you’ve got honor in spades. I see you giving your best each day you work here. And you were right about Tyria. The key is, just do what you can.”

“I will.”

Kargath stood up, his sore legs shaking as he did. Noz looked up at him, smiling.

“Get some sleep. It’s your day off anyway.”

“Right. See you tomorrow, I guess.”

“I’m counting on it!”

Kargath walked away from the machine shop, hands shoved in pockets. The confusion in his mind started to clear up. He’d expected a path to glory, and part of him still wanted it, but he knew it wouldn’t be laid out for him. But it was there, somewhere in the vast world. Maybe he wouldn’t find it, but there would be at least some glory in trying.
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