These are stories that are part of a much larger RP thread on the Ani Ayastigi guild forums. They were posted on May 27, 2010 and June 27, 2010 respectively

Skirmish Edit

Booted orc feet clanked on the frozen floors and echoed off the icy columns. The sound pierced through the clouds of warm breath billowing around the column of warriors. Icicles hung from steel helms and hauberks. As the warmth of the orcs' skin melted the frost that settled upon them, the icicles continued to expand, covering each warrior with a blanket of icy daggers. But the orcs didn't mind: The invasion of the Lich King's fortress had finally begun!

When the last battering ram finally crushed open the front gate, Sten's roar joined that of thousands of Horde, Alliance, Argent Crusaders and Ebon Blade. Tirion Fordring quickly had provided the orders, but it was Garrosh Hellscream himself that led the Horde charging into the citadel. After months of fighting in this frozen north, the armies of the Horde could see the light of victory ahead. Athas's armies had been driven back, and his only remaining safe house, the Citadel, would soon fall.

But Icecrown Citadel was vast. Chambers upon chambers honeycombed the mountains in which the citadel was housed. Enemies abounded everywhere, and the Lich King held many surprises for the Horde. As passageways forked, and the choices of direction grew, the once large armies dwindled into companies, then into platoons and finally into small squads of soldiers each with the responsibility to locate enemies and crush them while finding clues of where the Lich King could be located.

Sten lead nine other orcs in this latest foray. All were battle-hardened. Some had served with him in skirmishes throughout the valleys of Icecrown and the ancient ruins of Wintergrasp. Sten looked upon them with affection and respect. By the Gods, these were ORCS! They threw themselves at the enemy with the bloodlust and rage of their calling. With battles in doubt, they never faltered, but pushed on with courage and honor. Give him an army of such, Stenriht reflected, and Azeroth would belong to Hellscream.

Right now, however, it was time to root out the Lich King's minions. The squad reached a fork in the passageway, and Sten held up a fist. Instantly, all was quiet except for the soft breathing of anticipation from the soldiers.

Sten scouted the entrance of both of the available routes leading from the fork.

Go right, puppet. I think you might enjoy it.

Sten nodded to himself, acknowledging the inner voice that was his companion.

"We go right!"

Answers of "Swobu" returned his pronouncement, and the squad, once again, resumed their eager march. Soon, the clang of weapons and the grunts and screams of battle could be heard up ahead. Quickening their pace, the orcs rounded a corner and came upon a veritable sea of Arthas's minions. Ghouls, skeletons, humans, gnomes and geists danced with each other, locked in combat within a semi-spherical chamber about 50 feet in diameter. Stalactites covered the ceiling of the dome, ranging from small, knife-sized pieces to large, six-foot lengths. All were incredibly sharp and some wobbled dangerously from the commotion below.

Once again, Sten held up his fist, and his squad stopped. This time, small growls of excitement reverberated throughout the orcs. Already many began frothing at the mouth in anticipation. Sten grinned as he surveyed the battle before him. The humans and gnomes were obviously losing ground and slowly were being surrounded by the waves of undead.

Just then, one of the humans, a knight of Stormwind, looked around and caught sight of Sten. Relief washed over his features, and he shouted out to his companions in the guttural language of the Alliance. Seeing the orcs, the Alliance fighters seemed to take heart and redoubled their efforts.

Sten's grin widened. Did the Alliance maggots really think he was that stupid? They must think the orcs truly gullible to fall for this trick. They would learn. Oh, yes, they would learn!

Looking back at his squad, Sten ordered, "Lok-Narash! Gol'Kosh, we shall Kill Them ALL!!!"

The blessed rage filled Sten, and his veins popped to the surface of his skin, shattering the icicles where exposed. With a roar, the squad erupted into the battle. Axes swept through both the Alliance and undead alike. Possessing the element of surprise, the orcs smashed through much of the combined enemy, before Arthas’s minions could mount a counter attack. But when it came, it was fierce.

Sten nodded when he saw the Alliance and undead forces cease their battles with each other to attack his squad. Only through battle, was truth shown. That Arthas controlled the Alliance was not in doubt. He had been the humans’ King, and he had brought the plague of undeath. To think that the maggots would have forsworn their King was dangerously naïve.

But Sten knew. He saw it plainly- especially when the knight’s face changed from human to a visage of skeletal hatred. Killing the two geists that were attacking him, the knight came at Sten. By this time the icy floor was covered in ichor, blood and bodies. Footing was treacherous, and both sides slipped and staggered in their efforts to close.

The knight stopped in his tracks and began to cast his evil magic. Sten roared his challenge and rushed toward the human, leaping over the body of a ghoul to land and swing his axe. But instead of decapitation, the axe harmlessly bounced off a bubble of energy that surrounded the knight. Contemptuously, the human injected a burst of healing energy upon himself, closing the cuts upon his body. Then, he summoned a hammer of energy that blasted into Sten’s face.

Stunned, Sten helplessly stood while the knight approached him, wielding a large, heavy sword. With a smile of true malice, the human raised the sword to deliver the killing blow.

Oh, this will never do.

Suddenly, Sten’s eyes cleared. With a growl, he brought his axe, the Blade of Culling, up to intercept the knight’s swing. The blades clanged loudly. And the reverberation proved to be too much for a large stalactite above the combatants. The spike snapped from the ceiling and plunged down between them, burying both weapons in an explosion of ice and throwing the orc and human into opposite directions.

Sten barely hit the ground before he leapt back to his feet. The red haze firmly dominated his sight. With a roar he ran towards the human who was still prone and trying to come back to his senses. Reaching the knight, the orc kicked him in the head- hard. The human’s head snapped back and his eyes rolled. Then, Sten reached down and tore the knight’s helmet off. Placing his hands on either side of the human’s head, Sten lifted the limp body up into the air so that the knight’s eyes were level with his own. Then, he waited as battle raged around him.

Soon, the knight’s eyes began to clear, and then widened in panic when he realized his position. With a maniacal laugh, the orc plunged his tusks into the human’s neck, ripping out the creatures flesh and arteries. The corpse kicked for a few seconds before Sten tossed it aside.

Sten felt…invigorated. Power coursed through his body as the rage excited every muscle, every sinew. This is what he lived for- the purity and the absolute joy of battle. Reaching down, he ripped a staff from the dead fingers of a gnome mage. It was not an axe, but it would have to do. With that, he rushed back into battle, impaling the staff into the eye of a ghoul.

Weaponless once again, he grabbed a gnome and threw it into a pocket of three geists rushing towards him, bowling them all over. But the geists regained their feet quickly and leaped upon Sten, burying him. Claws tore into the orc’s side. Fortunately, they were all attempting to rend the orc at once and ended up hampering each other’s efforts. Sten pushed them off and rolled aside towards the handle of an axe jutting from a corpse. Grabbing it, he rose and swung in one smooth motion. The geists were caught in mid-leap towards the orc, and two of them were cleaved in twain. The third knocked Sten over, and its claws ripped a furrow through the orc’s scalp. Blood poured into Sten’s eyes blinding him. He could feel the geist continue to rip into his body. Fully enraged, Sten ignored the horrific damage being done and grabbed the geists head. With a grunt, Sten wrenched the geist’s head from its torso and threw it away from him. Claws scratched at the orc for a few seconds more before going limp.

You are so much like your father, puppet. And that’s not necessarily a compliment.

Sten frantically wiped the blood out of his eyes, but needn’t have worried. The fight was over. His squad stood victorious over the corpses of Arthas’s minions as the rage slowly cleared from their eyes. Of his squad, Sten had lost two orcs, but seven battered and bleeding warriors grinned and looked up at their leader, who was covered in blood. They had destroyed three times their number of enemies. By the Gods, these were ORCS!

Sten held up his fist and shouted, “Lok’Tar!”, and his warriors cheered gustily. Then Sten growled, “OK, grunts, enough. Pick up our dead and let’s retrace our steps. It’s time to report back to the Commander.”

Celebration Edit

The noise was deafening. Horde warriors together with Knights of the Ebon Blade, the Ashen Verdict, the Argent Crusade and even Alliance cheered, and spontaneously danced in glee. The Lich King, Arthas, was dead. All the years, all the blood, all the anguish washed off the peaks of Icecrown and drained away. Friends and enemies alike basked in the glory of peace and the rebirth of hope.

Sten spat. Where it landed, the spittle froze in place, intractable. Pushing his way through the mobs of festive celebrants, his mood grew more foul. An Alliance mage smiled and started to clap him on the shoulder, but froze in place when he saw the dark look from the orc. His sudden shift out of Sten's way probably saved his life.

"The Great Distraction is over, Squid," Sten softly whispered as he continued to push through friend and enemy alike, "The Horde can now crush our enemies while their guard is down. We can destroy the Alliance, Ashen Verdict and the Argent Crusade in one fell swoop! But... our leaders lack the resolve and instead we celebrate with the very traitors that caused this debacle in the first place."

So what are you going to do about it, puppet?

Sten managed to thrust himself from the mass of celebrants and found a clear spot to summon his drake. The red beast came low and fast, flying over the masses of soldiers to land next to the orc. Leaping upon his companion of the last year, Sten quickly rose into the sky and headed south to Dalaran.

"My Uncle was right all those years ago. The Horde has grown soft, rotting from within. Our leaders have become too pliable to the enticements of our enemies, and as a result, too many Horde sacrifice themselves for false promises. Where is honor? Where is our pride? The Horde needs rebirth, Squid."

Well, aren't you the politician.

Through the rushing thin air of Icecrown, Sten smiled grimly. "No, I'm no politician. My solutions are direct and obvious. Theirs is filled with personal gain and a contempt of their constituents."

Revolution then?

Sten laughed and shook his head. "No, Squid, something more down to Azeroth. I go to visit my brother. Haven't you heard? The war is over."

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