I am pretty sure I have posted this previously on here… but since I was digging through some of my old, writing archives – figured this fit the current theme of the posts I have been making. This one was written to try and win Beta Keys to World of Warcraft. I came close, apparently, in the votes, but did not win. This one has the modified date of 6/4/204.
Contest: “Race to Destiny.”
A Warcraft Fanfic for the World of Warcraft Beta
Written by: Tawmis
Grey clouds, like spilled water, seemed to stretch across the heavens, cloaking the world beneath it within the grips of an intimidating shadow of darkness.
The orc shaman, Ner’zhul stood before the Dark Portal. The wind seemed to howl around him, his long, black hair whipping wildly out of control.
“This does not seem wise,” Ravenbane spoke up first.
Ner’zhul turned his yellow eyes like twin suns burning, “You would allow the Alliance to continue to place our people within internment camps, slaves to the humans? We are not slaves, Ravenbane! We are the rulers! It should be the humans serving us!”
Ravenbane shook his head, tightening his ponytail. “I do not enjoy the idea that our people are slaves to the humans, any more than you do. But this… Dark Portal… and the artifacts you would have us seek… only go to feed the war. We strike, they strike back. We strike again, they strike back. It is a vicious circle. I have almost forgotten why we even fight anymore. It seems we do so because we have no other desire to do anything else. Perhaps if peace could be made…”
“Peace?” Ner’zhul laughed. “There will never be peace. Not until we have the humans bowing before us. Otherwise they will continue to treat us like the vermin they think we are! To them, we are meant to be stomped out. Crushed beneath their steel heels.”
‘And you sound so different from them,’ thought to himself.
He stepped back as Ner’zhul began chanting. He watched as Ner’zhul’s hands began to glow, from a soft blue to a piercing, dark red. His eyes turned towards the vast portal and watched as it began to glow in response, its own colors matching that of Ner’zhul’s.
“Go!” Ner’zhul barked the command. “Go forth and steal the artifacts so that we might open the portals on Draenor!”
Ravenbane shook his head, once again tightening his ponytail before leaping into the portal.
… Within the Portal …
The world was twisted with colors that passed before his eyes. Colors he could never hope to describe. There were colors that were so beautiful and yet so terribly frightening at the same time.
Until blackness took them all away.
… On The Other Side …
Ravenbane pulled himself up, fighting the nausea that swept through his body. He looked up to see a world he did not recognize. In the distance, an orange sun was just barely beginning to rise.
He briefly considered how long he might have been laying there, face down in the ground. His rumbling stomach told him that it had been several days, at the least. He looked behind him and saw only, what looked to be an endless desert.
There was no sign of a portal to travel back through.
Reaching into his pouch, he grabbed dried bread and slowly took a bite from it, glancing once again at his surroundings. He wondered now, where the others might have landed in this world of Draenor.
The sun ruthlessly followed him, always behind him, tanning his bared skin rapidly. Another drink of water from the waterskin, wiping his mouth with the back of his hand. In the distance, he could make out a faint mountain.
He would begin his quest there.
Where he was from, mountains typically meant they were infested with dwarves. And where dwarves were to be found, typically weapons of magic could also be found.
The mountain never seemed to get any close for the five days that he walked through the searing desert. Each step made the mountain move another hundred feet from him, or so it had seemed, when suddenly on the third day, he blinked his eyes, and he stood at the base of the towering mountain.
Climbing the mountain, his quickly found his arms and legs burning with pain, as much as his skin burned from the sun. The lack of true food and drink was weighing heavy on his body.
He reached a ledge, and there he made a startling discovery.
“Blood,” Ravenbane tasted the crimson liquid to his lips. “And fresh.”
His brown eyes looked upward. And slumped against rocks, he saw a figure. Drawing his blade, the sun reflected from its steel surface.
As he slowly approached, he saw it was the form of an orc. Rushing to its side, he immediately recognized the orc. Glancing over the orc, he saw two gashes, cut too deeply to mend. “Mullok, who has done this to you?”
“A human,” Mullok replied as blood trickled from his bottom, quivering lip. “A human from the Alliance. They’re here to stop us. They… attacked Ner’zhul.”
“Rest my brother,” Ravenbane spoke softly.
“It is already too late for me,” Mullok choked, blood once more coming from the corner of his lip. “Avenge me…”
And with that, Mullok’s spirit released its hold on the mortal world, and grew limp in Ravenbane’s hands.
Ravenbane felt something in his heart shift. Suddenly it was as if it were made of stone and weighed so heavy. His eyes slowly looked up from Mullok’s body to the cavern just ahead.
His brows came together to form a bridge across his brow, built by a hatred he felt welling up and coursing through his veins.
“Fight violently in the life here after,” Ravenbane muttered the burial words of a fallen warrior’s song. “Side by side, to the Warchiefs of yester year; fight on, fight on, and fight without fear.”
And with that he closed Mullok’s eyes forever.
Leaping over Mullok’s body, Ravenbane made his way quickly through the cave. There was little regard or worry of being discovered. His body ran sorely on adrenaline now, mixed with anger and hatred.
For so long he had believed that the war against the Alliance could be dissolved through peaceful means. He believed that they could both live in harmony.
And now he knew he was a fool.
Ner’zhul was right.
There would never be peace with the humans.
The scent of blood was in the air. His head turned, peering down a dark hall. He saw a body quickly move around the corner. He could smell Mullok’s scent, so he knew he was close to Mullok’s killer.
Driven now by a sense of urgency, Ravenbane moved rapidly through the cave until he could see the human just ahead.
“Halt!” Ravenbane howled in anger.
The human, adorned in armor from head to toe, turned. “Another orc?”
“Yes,” Ravenbane growled through clenched teeth, as he took a step closer. “Kill one of us and another shall rise to take his place. You humans will never be rid of us. Never. We will fight you until there is no world left to fight upon.”
“I have no quarrel with you, orc,” the human shouted back.
“A shame then,” Ravenbane snapped back, “for I have one with you.”
“What is it that I have done?” the human called back, still not having drawn his weapon, despite Ravenbane taking long, striding steps, getting closer and closer.
“What have you done?” Ravenbane sniffed at the air. “Can you not smell it in the air? Can you not see it on your blade? That is orc blood you have spilled this day. And I have come to collect vengeance and payment for the life you have taken.”
“I did not want to fight him,” the human called back. “I even told him so! But he would not believe me!”
“Just as I don’t believe you,” Ravenbane snarled through clenched teeth.
“Ask yourself then,” the human retorted. “Why have I not drawn my blade yet, while yours is drawn and you step closer to me every passing moment?”
“You are a part of the Alliance,” Ravenbane sneered. “You and your people attacked Ner’zhul.”
“He means to collect artifacts to slaughter my people,” the human explained. “What would you have done?”
Ravenbane stopped in his footsteps, staring at the human.
“I had no intention of killing that orc outside,” the human removed his mask, revealing long, flowing, blond hair. “My name is Arkus. I serve the Alliance, but I do not believe in this war. As I had explained to the other orc, before he attacked me – I came here to get the artifact only to hold it ‘hostage’ if you would, until peace talks could be arranged. I knew if I let your people get it, they would use it against my people. If my people got it, they would slaughter your people. You may or may not believe me, but I don’t want either side slaughtered. I want the bloodshed to stop. I want to be able to have a family and know that my children can live in a world without war. I want to know that they can grow up without seeing the things I have. The images that burn in mind that keeps me up at night. The screams of the dying. I don’t want that for my children. Or for anyone else, for that matter.”
Ravenbane put his weapon at his side. “Well then human,” he felt a change within him again, “I believe your words. Let us work together then to recover the artifact, and see if, with it, we can bring peace to our people once and for all.”
Reaching the artifact, a blade that hovered in the air, for a brief moment, each of them wondered if their fragile alliance would be broken, and revealed as a lie. But neither betrayed the other.
The human reached for the blade of destiny, and immediately handed it to Ravenbane. “Let the blade be in your hands, Ravenbane, for I sense great honor in you.”
Just then a portal appeared, shimmering.
Through it, Ner’zhul could be seen. “I have opened a portal for you! Come through and let us destroy these humans that attack us!”
Ravenbane watched members of his tribe, fall to the human blades; even as Arkus watched orcs brutally slaughter his own people.
“What are you waiting for, Ravenbane! Step through! Step through! What’s this? Beware! There is a human behind you! He means to stop you!” Ner’zhul’s voice was one of desperation.
Ravenbane turned to see Arkus standing, watching in horror, tears brimming in his eyes.
“There will never be peace,” he muttered. “Not until an enemy so great that it threatens both sides… that force us to join forces… until then… there will always be war.”
“The energies are going out of control!” Ner’zhul shouted. “Come through before it’s too late! Too late for you, too late for our people!”
A human shouted in the background, “The energies are out of control! Destroy the Dark Portal! Destroy it!”
Ravenbane and Arkus watched as they turned their attention on the stone structure and began the destruction.
“We can step through,” Ravenbane turned to Arkus.
“To what? A world of war?” Arkus asked. “At least here, there is none.”
Suddenly the colorful display disappeared.
Followed by violent tremors that shook the world.
Large boulders tumbled from the cavern. “A cave in!”
“We have to get out of here,” Ravenbane barked, “before we’re buried alive!”
Quickly they moved through the cavern; however a stone struck Arkus in the back. His armor bent inward, piercing his flesh. He let out a scream of pain and fell.
Ravenbane turned. He looked at Arkus lying on the ground.
“Go without me,” Arkus shouted. “I would only slow us down! At least one of us can escape!”
Ravenbane turned and began to run, and stopped. He threw the legendary blade aside and ran to Arkus’ side. “I won’t be leaving you, my brother.” He extended his hand, which Arkus took.
Ravenbane pulled him to his feet and helped him walk, even as stones tumbled from the ceiling, some so large they rolled down, forcing them to dodge to the side.
They passed the blade.
“The blade,” Arkus pointed.
“Is of no use to us,” Ravenbane commented. “We can’t get back home if the Dark Portal has been destroyed.”
And so, in the distance the legendary blade faded away, until it was buried beneath stone.
Reaching the cavern exit, they looked in horror as the entire world seemed to be shaking apart. Magical energy seemed to erupt from the ground, soaring at the heavens at incredible speed.
They watched the sun rise, knowing it would be their last.
“I spend my last day,” Ravenbane commented, looking at Arkus. “With an enemy who became my friend.”
In the coming hours, as a result of the energies burning out of control, Draenor tore itself apart.
To this day, there are stories that perhaps Ravenbane and Arkus survived, and somewhere, on a floating island, humans and orcs learned to live in peace long before they did on Azeroth, when the Burning Legion came nearly eighteen years later.