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After the Wreck
The warrior could finally feel himself coming to. To be honest, it felt like he'd been run over by a pack of Orgrimmar wolves. His eyes didn't open right away. Instead, he prefer to just lay there and try to listen to his surroundings. His body ached, but his mind seemed to ache more. As if by waking, he had granted himself a wonderful migraine.

This time, he shifted his weight slightly. Grimacing, he lifted a hand to his head hoping the pain didn't get much farther. He slowly opened his eyes then, suddenly remembering what had happened. Last he saw, the snow had been all around him as he searched for his missing tribe amongst the area. Then, all had mysteriously gone black. Looking around his current surroundings, he realized he was in a dark tent of some kind. He was laying on the ground, a rough black blanket the only thing separating him from the cold earth. There was a crudely made table with some various trinkets laying on top (none of which Melikar could make out the purpose for) and what appeared to be some kind of rock formation carved out to be a chair.

Other then that, the tent was sparse. It was relatively small, maybe enough room to house two or three. But if the other inhabitants were trolls like the warrior, then two would probably be his best bet. Melikar decided to sit up the, ignoring the ache in his head and his body. Pushing himself to a sitting position he looked himself over. Surprisingly, all his armor remained on him, as well as his tabard. Usually, enemies stripped these things away before you gained consciousness, leaving you completely unprotected. But there was one very important item missing. His sword.

A quick glance around the tent proved the golden-edged sword was not in the immediate area. Melikar was a decent fist-fighter and had proved his strength and agility well in previous combat. He could even remember back to the first days of his joining the Horde. He and the other trolls too young to completely commit to the war effort often play fought, fist-fighting being one of those. Not to mention all the skill he had gained through helping the tribe. If someone intended to hurt him, he wouldn't go down without a good brawl.

And just as he was thinking this, he realized he was alone. Maybe he wouldn't have to fight at all. What was stopping him from just getting up and walking out of this place? Sure, he might still be stuck in the mountains, but being able to get away from his captor and hide until he could get help would certainly prove worthy. Getting awkwardly to his feet, he made way for the exit. It was a simple flap made of the same cloth as the tent, and would take no effort to get through.

Just as he reached out the move the cloth, a voice stopped him making him jump. Not a voice in or out of the tent, but in his head.

"Think you're going somewhere?"

The words were not spoken in Orcish, but his native trollish tongue. Melikar really wasn't sure how to reply.

"Just relax and sit back. Be appreciative that I spared your life..."

Even though he didn't want to, Melikar found his feet turning and going back to his resting spot on the black blanket. He sat down and glared at the door. No more words were forthcoming in his mind. He decided maybe he could try to get a hold of this person himself.

"What do you want with me?" His words echoed in the trollish language out loud, but he was given no reply. Frustrated, he decided to ask through his mind. Still, even there it proved useless. He suddenly felt an urgency to leave this place.

"Wort'less..." came the orcish this time as the troll placed his hands on the ground to get up. Surprisingly, he found he couldn't move.

"Don't be forcing yourself..." came the voice again, "I'm almost back now."

Melikar sat where he was, unsure of what he could do now. If that person came back to kill him and his sudden paralysis didn't wear off, he would mostly likely be dead. Who was this and what did that want with him? Was he just unfortunate enough to come across someone who liked to toy with their enemy? Someone who enjoyed torture?

And just as the last horrid thought of him screaming in an agonizing death exited his mind, Melikar saw the tent flap move aside. A dark, cloaked figure hunched into the tent space.

The warrior could tell just by first glance he was looking at another troll. Even under the hood and darkness, a troll's form was unmistakable. The whole top half of the troll's face was covered, but Melikar could still make out the sharp, upturned tusks and the elongated chin. For the first time, the other troll spoke in Orcish...

"Much ta dooo....much ta dooo..."

His accent was so thick it was hard for even Melikar to make out some of the words. Not only was the accent very thick, it was also of a troll much older than he.

"What do Ah mean to ja?" The warrior asked, "An' who ja be, anyway?"

The dark figure crossed his arms over his chest and slowly ran them over his shoulders as if suddenly very nervous Melikar had asked such things.

"Ah be..." he paused and looked away for a moment as if listening to a voice only he could hear. It wouldn't surprise Melikar if that was the truth.

"Be..." the dark one repeated, "Ah be...searchin'...searchin' an' mo'ah searchin'..."

Melikar quirked an eyebrow.

"Den!" the other troll spoke, "Ah hide. Ah hide fo'ah a loooong time. Too long. Ah look fo'ah help, but no one come." The dark troll looked downcast as his body suddenly slumped, "No one wanna come help dis one. No one feel sorreh for dis one...dis one did a bad t'ing."

Even though the dark troll looked harmless, Melikar knew that wasn't true. His hands were curled into fists just in case. This other troll had lost his mojo some time ago.

"Ja a Death Knight o'ah somet'in?" Melikar opted for instead.

The other troll looked up so suddenly, his hood was thrown back slightly. Just a tad, but enough for Melikar to make out the dark lines gliding over his cheek bones under his eyes. The warrior instinctively felt himself go on the edge.

The Cult of the Damned...

"Deat' Knight!?" The dark troll snapped, "NO! No! But...so close! So close dis one was...but me sma'ta den dat. Me get away. Now Ah hide fo'ah a loooooong time. Searchin' Ah was..."

"Arthas has no control over me. I will break from this hell if it is the last thing I do."

Melikar blinked. When the dark troll spoke, he sounded completely insane. But when he spoke trollish in Melikar's head, he sounded entirely normal. The dark troll muttered something Melikar couldn't make out, but then spoke louder.

"Searchin', den Ah come across da wrong people. Dey say dey wanna kill me an' make me Deat' Knight. But me not let 'em! Ah join dere stupid club instead."

"Ja really t'ink ja should be sayin' stuff like dat out he'ah?" Melikar asked, "What iffin' one a' dem heard?"

"Dey not he'ah me." the other troll spoke, "Me too fa'ah away. Me not sense any a' dem like we supposed ta. But Ah sense...Ah sense yoouu."

The way the dark troll said "you" made Melikar possibly even more uncomfortable than he already was.

"What about me?"

The dark troll shook his head, his arms finally dropping to his sides.

"Ja lookin' like..." he paused, "No, Ah sense somet'in' about ja dat Ah not sense befo'ah. Somet'in' dat tell me Ah need to follow ja. But now..."

The dark troll looked away, this time entirely turning his back on the warrior.

"I think I know..."

"Know what?" Came Melikar's trollish language.

The dark troll held up his right hand and snapped his fingers. There was a sudden roar through the air and Melikar was on his feet in an instant. Whatever bond was holding him had let up now. The fabric of the tent suddenly pushed inwards from the outside as if a big gust of wind threatened to tear down the structure. The troll in black stepped aside, letting the warrior pass by. Melikar didn't hesitate this time.

He quickly strode out into the open, looking around. On the left side of the tent, tied to a post in the ground was the warrior's ever faithful proto-drake. The drake looked agitated and was straining against its bonds. What Melikar took to be the pole, he suddenly realized was his sword. Somehow, the dark troll's magic had kept the drake from making any noise and the sword from breaking as it had been turned into the drake's make-shift prison.

"Couldn' let 'im get too loud!" the dark troll yelled above the roar, throwing his hands to his ears.

Melikar quickly untied his drake and pulled up the sword lodged in the snow. The drake seemed to calm down with his owner by his side. Melikar ran a reassuring hand over the beast who snorted as if in content. Hefting the sword onto his back, the warrior glanced back at the other troll.

"Ah dunno what ja planned ta do wit' me..." he explained, "But ja may have jus' saved my life."

"Den dee right t'ing dis one did." the other troll remarked with a slight bow, "Ah find help. Ah get outta he'ah someday."

Melikar nodded as he mounted onto the drake, preparing to take off.

"Ja nev'ah told me who ja be!" he called out over the flapping wings. The other troll didn't answer, but the warrior had the distinct feeling the dark troll was grinning. Melikar didn't wait for an answer much longer, instead he urged the drake forward, knowing he would have to find the tribe. The drake spread its massive wings and took to the sky, flying up through the air as the very mountain sides skimmed below him. Melikar bent low as to keep the wind from bothering him too much.

Whoever that was, he may have saved this troll's life, but that didn't stop him from being a complete crazy. Just as the clouds were starting to fill the warrior's vision, he heard the voice in his head one last time...

"My name...is Ziondeh. And I know you all too well, Melikar."

So hard did Melikar pull on the drake's reigns that it gave a sudden roar of protest and pulled back far too sharply, nearly ridding itself of its rider. Melikar clamped his legs down just in time as the drake turned to go back the way it had come. Obviously, the drake didn't want to, but the troll was forcing it. He had to go back...he HAD to...

The snow along the mountains became more apparent, black rocks jutting between snow drifts here and there. Melikar's eyes scanned the area until he found the small outcropping of rock the tent had been near. Diving down, the drake landed roughly among the snow, kicking up white powder as it went. Looking around like mad, the warrior looked for any sign of the dark troll and his tent. But all he saw, was the snow and mountains around him. The drake let off a grunt as if clearly wondering why the troll would want to come back here.

Ziondeh and his tent were nowhere to be seen.
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