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Force 10 From Azeroth
The smell of death wafted over the assembled armies as they marched upon the Citadel. Nganga sniffed the air, tracing odors to heaps of dead Scourge, lines of peons respectfully carrying off fallen Champions, and piles of offal and limbs oozing in random niches and corners. There! Finally he caught the thread of scent he sought: the unique smoky-elementium smell of a Lightborne soul in torment. Bolvar Fordragon still lived.

High Overlord Saurfang had a desperate hope to quell the mounting tensions between the Horde and Alliance forces, at least long enough to keep a united front against Arthas. If only Bolvar could be saved, perhaps the shaky accord would hold.

A small force might have a chance to sneak through the side passages of the Citadel, hunting for Bolvar’s prison, while the main Scourge armies were distracted by a frontal assault. After a hearty meal and various protective enchantments, the reconnaissance scouts prepared to depart. Led by a Defender of the Light, the squad of ten Champions saluted the assembled Warlords and High Commanders and turned to begin their mission. Like many special-operations teams, Donalzon’s was a slightly scruffy-looking crew, but one displaying great adaptability and resourcefulness. Three Paladins, two Death Knights, a Shaman, Priest, Hunter, Warlock, and a Druid looked at their comrades with the lazy confidence of those whose mettle has been tested and found true.

Overlord Hellscream began a mighty chant of power, enveloping the Champions in elemental protection. Listening to the chant, Nganga began to hear notes of discord and anger against the Alliance races massing nearby, though these notes seemed only to make Hellscream’s Song even more powerful. Catching Saurfang’s eye, Nganga indicated Garrosh with a small gesture. Old Saurfang discreetly shook his head. Hellscream’s fury at the Alliance was not to be easily soothed. Their mission was vital if anything were to be salvaged of the cooperative assault.

His eyes glowing as he called upon the spirit of Chui, the Cat, the Druid shook off his fears and doubts with his Tauren skin. “We’ll make it through,” he thought to himself, “unless that Paladin with the hair holds us back.”

The squad joined up with a larger platoon of Champions to begin the assault. Once past the first major obstacle the teams would split up to follow their assigned objectives, but a combined force was needed for the initial breakthrough. Boots, sandals, bare feet and hooves crunched on the bones underfoot. Skeletal warriors rattled forward in huge numbers and were mown down. Bones splintered and flew in all directions, but the shields of the Horde did not falter. Highlord Fordring’s charge ringing in their ears, they pressed onward.

“Holy dung of the Highlord, what is that thing?” Four glowing skulls sprouted from a bony torso, an axe the size of a tree swung between its gnarled fists, huge spiked wings kept it afloat in a miasma of putrefaction. All Nganga knew was that it stood in the way.

Its heads swiveled to survey the raiding force. Three fanged maws grinned happily while the fourth opened and screamed with a power that shook the very stones of the room. “This is the beginning AND the end, mortals. None may enter the Master’s sanctum!”

Two Paladins followed a gigantic Tauren Warrior in a wild charge to grab the thing’s attention while the rest of the forces whittled away at the skeletal frame. The great axe scythed through the Horde forces, chopping limbs and breaking weapons. The healers moved in, calling on their respective powers to bring life and health to the fallen.

Slashing and gnawing, hacking and chopping, blasting with forces elemental and arcane, slowly the Champions gained ground. Suddenly icy blue flames erupted from the stones beneath them. “Move move move! Get out of the blue fire!” Healing spells flew in all directions as the raiders regrouped and attacked again.

Angrily the beast threw back its heads and howled with rage. Calcined spikes erupted from the ground, impaling several Champions. The raiders frantically worked to free them before they passed beyond the reach of the healers’ powers.

Just as it seemed they were weakening the creature, it swirled into a flurry of bone fragments; bouncing around the room, it charged single raiders, exploding them in blue fire. The Champions dodged and parried, protecting themselves as best they could, hoping this was the final desperate effort of a dying enemy. When it had spun itself out, skulls drooping, the raid attacked again with full fury. Finally the thing collapsed into a pile of shards and fading threads of power.

A Druid, shaking off leaves and bark from his healing efforts, reached into the pile of debris and uncovered the enormous axe, made from the bones of the valiant, that had so nearly brought the campaign to an early end. Handing it to a Paladin, one of Nganga’s squad, he murmured “Victory for the bold. Sing true. ” The Elf flipped his hair out of his eyes and bowed deeply, hiding a smile of delight as he hefted the weapon.

A glowing blue ring clanged to the floor as the bones settled. The Warlord of the raid detachment stooped to pick it up. His eyes scanned the Champions until they lit upon Nganga. “Wear this in honor, Druid. Cleanse the taint from the metal and turn the power against its creators. Luck to you.” Nganga’s fangs flashed in a feline grin as he felt the enchantments work through his veins.

Champion-Captain Donalzon flicked his gaze over his team of raiders. They snapped to attention and formed up behind him. He clasped hands with the Tauren Defender and wished him fortune and victory in the days ahead. “We’ll see you at the top! Lok’tar Ogar!”
Nganga Nyeusi
He is fast and is the danger.
What's a dazzling urbanite like you doing in a rustic setting like this?
All eyes followed the recon squad as they slowly marched up the ramp into darkness. Only a few knew their mission, but all were aware it was of great importance, matched only by its peril. As the main forces moved up to engage the next enemy position, the recon team slid through the shadows and found its way onto the battlements. The shrieks and rantings of a dead woman followed them as the assault troops provided cover and advanced their own goals.

It seemed their mission was already doomed to failure as they reached the walls. Horde and Alliance forces, each vying to be the first to claim victory and fame, argued and fought as they headed to their rendezvous points. Even if Bolvar returned, could there ever be agreement between the factions? Nganga sighed as he trotted towards the Horde airship. “At least there will always be beer.”

“Ng! By the frozen berries of Arthas, how ya doin’? Still messing around with that Gnomish junk? Here, take one of these in case this flight goes south. It doubles as a floatation device!” Zafod winked at his old engineering school buddy as he passed him a shirt with what appeared to be fireworks, an alarm clock, three bomb fuses and a hamster sewn into it. “Can’t beat Goblin technology, my friend! Made these little gems myself!”

Goblins have the ability to enjoy themselves no matter the circumstances, and Zafod was no exception. His manic grin never dimmed even as a surprise force of Alliance marines landed on the deck and attempted to destroy the navigation equipment, and it grew even wider as rockets and mortar explosions set the sky ablaze.

Forcing the Alliance back, the airship crew landed atop the base of the upper Spire and offloaded the fighters. Saurfang the Elder stalked proudly onto the stones and gazed around him. “We’ll secure this landing zone and then move the main force up here into position.”

Suddenly the massive door opposite them flew open and a giant figure, pulsing with rage and power, rushed out. The blood drained from Saurfang’s face. “Dranosh…” Pulling himself together, he ordered his Kor’kron to destroy the abomination that had been wrung from his son’s spirit so that he could take the boy home to dwell amongst his ancestors. The scouts eased through the doors while the battle raged. Nganga glanced back once and a chill raised the hair on his tail. The look in Varok’s eyes as he watched his men destroy what once had been his son…

They stood in the center of the Spire. Hallways branched off in three directions, each guarded by masses of gibbering, drooling Scourge. Donalzon looked at the Druid. “Find him, ‘Ganga.” Sniffing the air, the black cat cast about for that single elusive trail of scent.

To the West he smelled only festering rot and disease (“decaying corpses… methane… sentient slimes…dog...?”). He sneezed and shuddered at the thought of having to fight through that horrifically pestilent air. To the North he caught the coppery odor of fresh blood, and licked his lips (“Elves...magic… meat…death…”). No scent of Bolvar, however. To the East he sniffed long and hard, sifting through the stench of undead, the crisp aroma of an injured dragon (“must tell the Captain that there is another prisoner alive in there…”), the piquant tang of spiders (“mmm…spiders”) and the tingly perfume of Frostwhelp dung. Nothing.

Ahhh…there it was! It seemed to come most strongly from the central core of the Spire. But…(“Thrall’s balls! This is not good.”) Overlaid on Bolvar’s scent, nearly blotting it out, was the doom-laden stink of Arthas himself. The Lich King must keep his favorite toys close.

“He’s there,” he said, and pointed. In typically understated fashion, he mentioned as an aside that the only other smell coming from that direction was that of Arthas himself. Arching his back and stretching luxuriantly, he eyed Donalzon to see what effect his news might have. Aside from a slight furrowing of the brow, the Paladin was dismayingly unfazed. The Captain looked at his team; frost-bitten, bloodstained, filthy with ichor and ooze… steadfast.

“All right. We know our mission. We never expected to get this close to the Lich King, but we go where our orders take us. We’ll move into position, as near to the final battle as we can get, while we scout for signs of Highlord Fordragon. If we have a chance, we’ll support the assault troops from the flanks, but rescuing the prisoner is the highest priority. The main armies should be arriving soon. Eat and rest up, we move out in an hour.”
Nganga Nyeusi
He is fast and is the danger.
What's a dazzling urbanite like you doing in a rustic setting like this?

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