Vol'Jin

With the rise of the new Warchief, Garrosh Hellscream, many things have been changing for the Horde, particularly in Orgrimmar. However the faction leader of the Darkspear Trolls, Vol'Jin, will not be taken advantage of...

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1. Of Rice And Men

Quietly and alone, Vol’jin sighed.

                He knew Orgrimmar wasn’t the place for him to be. The trolls here were seasoned and wise. They could get on without him perfectly fine. Vol’jin’s presence was needed on Echo Isles, where the young Darkspear Trolls were trained in the culture and professions of the tribe. But Vol’jin knew he couldn’t leave just yet. There was a recurring problem that needed to be addressed first.

                Much had changed for the Darkspear Trolls since The Shattering. Orgrimmar, laid to ruins not long ago, had been rebuilt under the direction of the new Warchief, Garrosh Hellscream. Appointed by Thrall to be his replacement while he tended to the devastation left in Deathwing’s wake, Garrosh had made a place for the trolls to call home in the Horde capital city. And the Valley of Spirits was a glorious home, perfectly situated downstream of the Goblins and their pollution.

                Still, Vol’jin had made the best of it for his people. The Shadow Hunter had organized training grounds, commerce, housing, and a way of getting supplies to and from the Echo Isles and Sen’jin Village, in the south of Durotar. Truly, the Darkspear trolls and Vol’jin had been dealt a bad hand, but he had made the best of it.

                Now, sitting by candlelight in his quarters, Vol’jin reviewed the shipments for the week, and like every other review over the last six weeks, one delivered item’s total didn’t match the inventory numbers for that item. The inventory was short, and by too significant a number to be an oversight.

                Vol’jin leaned back in his chair, took a deep breath, and stroked his left tusk. He had ignored this problem long enough. He knew in his soul what was happening, and he knew that Thrall would never have allowed it to happen. But this Warchief was not Thrall. This Warchief was Garrosh Hellscream, and he was stealing the Darkspear Rice.

 

                Being lead chef for the Horde infantry wasn’t a glitz and glamour type job. Indeed, while it was an important position to have in Hellscream’s War Machine, Marogg didn’t get incredible adulation from people that saw him, nor did the Orc want the attention.

                Marogg’s job was simple on paper: Keep the infantry troops fed by any means necessary. But with supply routes broken and much of the landscape laid to waste, the job was much more difficult in practice.

                The Orc waited patiently to speak with the Warchief about their current dilemma. Near the back of the Throne Room of Grommash Hold, the tower of the Warchief, Marogg could observe the current exchange between Garrosh and High Warlord Cromush, who had been dispatched to Silverpine Forest to observe the current experiments being done by Lady Sylvannas, leader of the Forsaken. Though it wasn’t Marogg’s intention to eavesdrop, the Warchief hadn’t exactly perfected is inside voice.

                “Val’kyr?!?”

                “Yes, sir,” Cromush responded. “Sylvannas has found a way to give them purpose, to serve her and the Forsaken.”

                “That creature doesn’t know what’s good for her,” Garrosh said. “For all I did with the Horde Offensive to rid Northrend of Arthas and his minions, she now brings those wretched beasts to the Eastern Kingdoms! This will not go unpunished.”

                Marogg was shocked. While he understood that the Forsaken’s battles with the Worgen had resulted in many casualties, he had no idea that Sylvannas would make such a bold move to bolster her defenses.

                “Cromush,” Hellscream said, sounding almost menacing. “We will go back to Silverpine Forest together this time. Sylvannas will justify her actions to me directly.”

                “I’m not sure she will listen, Warchief.”

                “She will listen,” Garrosh bellowed, stabbing his dagger through the location of Undercity on the Eastern Kingdoms map that lay on the table near his throne. “Or she will learn her place in my Horde the hard way.”

                “Yes, Warchief.”

                Marogg turned to leave. He could see Garrosh wasn’t in a good frame of mind, and he didn’t want to bring a petty food problem to his attention at a moment like this. He would return later, hopefully at a calmer point in time. But Hellscream took notice of him.

                “Marogg, what’s your business,” he asked, his chest still heaving with anger and frustration.

                Marogg swallowed hard. He wasn’t sure that he would live through this moment. “The infantry rations sir. I am running low on supplies again.”

                Garrosh walked to Marrog, stopping so close in front of him that Marogg could feel the warm breath of the Warchief exhaling on his face. “I’ve told you what to do about this Marogg. I do not like repeating myself.”

                “Yes sir, but I thought it would only be a few times. This really shouldn’t become a habit. We’re stealing from our own.”

                “The trolls are not ‘our own’ as you put it, Marogg,” Garrosh responded, lowering his voice considerably. “My Horde is Orcs and Taurens. The rest of these beings are fodder, expendable pawns for our efforts. The trolls, those despicable, greedy Goblins, even those all too human looking Blood Elves are of no value to me. You send someone to take the rice that you need, and continue doing so for as long as you need it.”

                Marogg was uneasy about these orders, but part of him knew it would be the Warchief’s response. “And if I can’t find someone willing to do it sir?”

                Garrosh made his way back to the center of the Throne Room, where a portal to Silverpine Forest had been opened for him and Cromush. “Find a Goblin. You give them something shiny and they’ll do anything.” Hellscream grinned, almost childishly. Just before stepping through the portal he looked back to Marogg. “Call it a Chef’s Award,” he said.

 

                Rasur was a young Goblin, new to Orgrimmar, just learning the ways of the Horde and the arts of being a rogue. But mostly he was here because he knew this was the Horde capital city, and that meant the wealth was here.

                Every Goblin dreamt of making it rich. Sometimes that meant finding the best deal in town, but often it meant finding something of value and selling it at a premium. Rasur didn’t know what a Chef’s Award was, but he knew Marogg had told him it would be the first one issued. And the first of anything is always sought after.

                And so here he was, using his ability to stealth, making his way toward the Valley of Spirits in pursuit of a barrel of Darkspear Rice. Though it was the height of darkness, long after sunset, with low moonlight and much of the population asleep, he knew that he should be stealthed as a precaution, just in case someone was watching.

                And indeed someone was watching, tracking him through the empty city streets. Rasur was too young and inexperienced to feel the presence. He simply focused on his mission to retrieve the rice and deliver it Marogg for his award. As he pushed onward, Marogg’s words from earlier in the day replayed in his head.

                “I am working on a large batch of jambalaya for the infantry and I need as much rice as possible.” Rasur would deliver. Marogg had promised the first ever Chef’s award, and that was good enough for him.

                There was no activity in the Valley of Spirits when Rasur arrived, as he expected. The barrels of rice were stored outside all over the area, so Rasur identified the one closest to him and made his way to it. The barrel was taller than he was, though only slightly, but weighed more than he had imagined. He stood there a moment, trying to grip the barrel in different ways, hoping to get a good enough hold on it to be able to move it. His interaction with the object had removed his ability to be stealthed, but at this hour he wasn’t too concerned.

                He should have been.

                While his short, Goblin arms tried to find each other as they were wrapped around the barrel of rice, a single arrow pierced the night air and buried itself in the barrel, less than an inch from Rasur’s right shoulder and ear. Rasur, startled, fell backward to ground, the barrel landing on top of him. He felt like he was trapped under the barrel for an eternity, his little legs and arms flailing in an attempt to get the barrel off of him. In fact, it was only a few seconds before the barrel was rolled off of him, and a large blue troll arm grabbed him by his leather shirt, lifting him into the air.

                “Who be sendin’ ya here boy,” Vol’jin asked quietly. Rasur didn’t answer him. He wanted to, but fear had paralyzed his tongue. “I won’t be askin’ a third time, goblin. Who be sendin’ ya here for de rice?”

                “Marogg,” Rasur stammered.

                “And what be ye reward?”

                Again, Rasur could not answer.

                “How’s about I be offerin’ ya a betta deal mon,” Vol’jin said, his tusks trapping the Goblin’s head, forcing Rasur to stare into Vol’jin’s eyes. “How’s about ya leave da barrel there, and ya scurry on back home, before I be gettin’ angry.”

                Rasur, unable to answer, simply nodded. Vol’jin smiled, released Rasur, and watched as he scampered as quickly as he could back to the Goblin area of Orgrimmar, aptly named The Slums. Once he was out of sight, Vol’jin picked up the barrel of rice and returned it to his original storage location. He sighed. Tomorrow, he’d have to pay Marogg a visit.

 

                The Drag was the main throughway of Orgrimmar, where most of the commerce and trading was handled. It was also home to Marogg’s Cooking Supplies. When not working on the infantry rations and other supplies for the Horde War Machine, Marogg could be found outside of it, his Sous Chef Shazdar standing by his side, both of them offering training in some of his favorite recipes as well as odd jobs that needed to get done for modest rewards. It was here that Vol’jin found him.

                “We be needin’ to chat,” Vol’jin said.

                Marogg realized immediately what the subject was to be. Vol’jin knew about the rice theft. He could see it in the troll’s eyes. In an effort to cover for himself, the orc tried to brush him off. “We’re very busy here Vol’jin. Can we talk later?”

                “I be takin’ but a few minutes of your time, Marogg.” Marogg knew he wasn’t going to get out of this, so he nodded in agreement.

                “Good,” Vol’jin said. “Let’s walk.”

                As he watched Marogg and Vol’jin slowly walk toward Grommosh Hold in the Valley of Strength, Rasur let out a deep breath. Not long before Vol’jin had found him in the Goblin Slums, waiting impatiently in the bank teller line, and gave him a job to complete.

                “I know ye not be intendin’ to hurt the Darkspear, rogue,” Vol’jin had told him. “I know ye be trying to earn a livin’ here in da big city. So I be offerin’ ya a deal, and I think ye best be takin’ yet.”

                The Troll was an imposing figure, even more so to a Goblin. Rasur had simply nodded, and waited for Vol’jin to continue.

                “Dey be stealin’ our rice for de infantry rations. Dat makes de rations property of the Darkspear. Some of my rogues be workin’ already to take it back. And you are goin to be helpin’ dem.”

                “And what’s in it for me?” Rasur flinched immediately after asking the question, though Vol’jin had made no move to strike him. Rasur didn’t want to ask the question. He’d tried to stop himself from asking the question. But in the end, Goblin genetics had gotten the best of him.

                Vol’jin simply smiled. “I be payin’ ye 18 gold for each crate of rations ye bring back to da Darkspear.”

                Rasur nearly fainted. At his level of life experience, a few copper pieces was all most jobs paid, maybe occasionally a piece of silver. But certainly nothing close to 18 gold. Quelling is excitement, Rasur managed to say ok.

                “Good rogue. I be going to see Maroog in da Drag now. We be needin’ to talk about some things. When we leave, you can make yer move.” Vol’jin, knowing full well what Rasur wanted to ask, smiled and added, “If ye be havin’ any friends that may be wantin’ to help ya, bring dem.”

                But Rasur hadn’t told anyone about the job. He wanted the spoils all to himself. If it became too much for him to do alone, then he would enlist some other Goblins’ help. But, for now at least, the rogue was on his own.

                As Vol’jin and Marogg rounded the corner to the Valley of Strength and dropped out of site, Rasur used his training to become invisible to those around him, and began collecting Infantry rations.

 

                The Warchief Garrosh Hellscream was somewhere between amazed and amused when he watched his Infantry Chef, Marogg, sliding on his belly across the throne room floor towards him. He looked up to see Vol’jin standing in the doorway, obviously the source of Marogg’s momentum. “Vol’jin,” Garrosh said, almost jovial, “my old friend. What can I do for you?”

                “I be planning a return to da Echo Isles. My people dere be needin’ leadership as dey learn to be da Darkspear. Orgrimmar be not de place for me.”

                Marogg stood up and dusted himself off. Garrosh shot him a glare, then returned his attention to Vol’jin. “I understand friend. But why the grand entrance for Marogg? Certainly it’s not for this news.”

“Dis Orc be stealin’ from my people, Garrosh,” Vol’jin replied, making his way to the center of the throne room. “I must have dis issue solved before I be leavin’ Orgrimmar. And he tells me it be on yar orders friend.”

                Garrosh walked to the center of the room to meet Vol’jin. “Your rice is a major ingredient in the rations we supply our troops.” Garrosh sneered. “As a member of the Horde, you should be willing to help in any way that you can, Vol’jin.”

                “De Darkspear be a proud and free race, Garrosh, and we be helpin’ whenever you be askin’. But Thrall’s Horde would never be stealin’ from us like dis.”

                The anger began to build inside Garrosh.“Don't talk back to me, troll,” he said. “You know who was left in charge here. Haven't you stopped to ask yourself why Thrall chose me instead of you?”

                “Dere be no question why, Garrosh,” Vol’jin responded calmly. “He gave ya tha title because ya be Grom's Son and because tha people be wantin' a war hero. To which I tink ya be even more like ya father den he thought, even without ya havin' da demon blood.”

                Now Garrosh was furious. “You are lucky I don't gut you right here, whelp. You are foolish to think that you can speak to your Warchief in such ways.”

                Vol’jin had heard enough. Now it was time for complete honesty. “Ya be no Warchief of mine,” he said slowly, staring intently into the Orc’s eyes. “Ya've not earned my respect and I'll not be seein' tha Horde destroyed by ya foolish thirst for war.”

                “And what exactly do you think that you'll do about it,” Garrosh asked, almost laughing. “Your threats are hollow. Go slink away with the rest of your kind in the slums. I will endure your filth in my throne room no longer.”

                “I know exactly what I'll be doin' about it, son of Hellscream,” Vol’jin warned, showing no fear of the Warchief. “I'll be watchin' as ya people slowly become aware of ya ineptitude. I'll laugh as dey grow ta despise ya as I do. And when tha time comes dat ya failure is complete and ya "power" is meaningless, I will be dere to end ya rule, swiftly and silently.”

                Vol’Jin turned and walked back towards the exit. He could feel Garrosh’s eyes on him, burning a hole in his back. He was certain the Warchief would kill him now if he could, so he decided to open the wounds a little further.

                Vol’jin stopped in the doorway and again faced Garrosh. “Ya will spend ya reign glancin' over ya shoulda and fearin' tha shadows, for when tha time comes and ya blood be slowly drainin' out, ya will know exactly who fired da arrow dat pierced ya heart.”

                “You have sealed your fate, troll,” Garrosh warned slowly, spitting at Vol’jin’s feet.

                “And you yours, ‘Warchief’.”

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