Commander Gor'shak's Journal - Part 2
There are things that can be traded, freedom is not one of them; because when you lose your freedom, you lose your life, your loved ones, your honor, your ideals, and sometimes, even your humanity.
Continued from: Commander Gor'shak's Journal - Part 1
As I was thinking and new questions were forming in my head, the Chief, feeling bad for losing himself like that and realizing the value of every single minute, drank some water and continued talking, this time with no interruptions by emotional moments:
"What you have read should be enough for the moment Val'agg; you will find enough time to read the rest of it soon. Let me just briefly tell you a little bit more about the Kargath Expeditionary Force and their mission to the Blackrock Mountain, before I give you the details about your next, and so far the most important, assignment." the Chief continued, as he put the journal in my hands with one of his hands and put his other hand on my shoulder, with an impression on his face making me feel that I was the only person he could trust with this assignment.
I somehow already knew that the Chief was not going to listen to his brother's request, so, hearing the word "assignment" from him caused a smile inside me. With an increased curiosity about the fate of Commander Gor'shak and an unrestful feeling the journal I now held in my hands was causing, I told the Chief that I was ready for any assignment he would send me to, no matter how hard it might be.
Glad to see my dedication, the Chief continued to tell about the Kargath Expeditionary Force and his brother, Commander Gor'shak:
"Sergeant, if I simply told you that the formation of the Kargath Expeditionary Force was the most important step in our re-taking of Blackrock Mountain, that would be enough for you to understand how critical they were to the Horde in this war. Composed of select heroes from all Horde forces across Kalimdor, their success not only would have given us a considerable advantage over Dark Iron Dwarves, but it also would have guaranteed our victory."
"The Kargath Expeditionary Force, led by Commander Gor'shak, was sent to Blackrock Mountain about one and a half year ago in secrecy. Gor'shak's team consisted of some of our most experienced officers such as Nuzrak, Thal'trak Proudtusk from Darkspear Isle, Lexlort, Galamav from Camp Narache, Razal'blade, and many guards and scouts of our best. Each officer had their own squad and set of tasks to accomplish in providing the intelligence that was required to plan and execute a full scale attack on the mountain."
"In addition to their intelligence duties at the depths of the Blackrock Mountain, Gor'shak was assigned by the Warchief himself with a secret mission for killing General Angerforge, one of the most powerful leaders of the Dark Iron Dwarves, in a stealth operation. While the others were going to be busy with gathering the intelligence within the Blackrock Depths and sending regular reports to me, which I would then be forwarding to Orgrimmar, Gor'shak and his three best captains, Truk'thor, Galgannesh and Mazdorak were going to take care of the Dark Iron General quickly and silently, without triggering a full scale battle yet, until the whole preparations were complete."
"The mission, in general, went quite successful during the first couple of months after they arrived at the mountain and positioned themselves at a secret location near the Blackrock Depths. I was receiving regular reports and information from them about Dark Iron activity and manpower under the mountain. At that rate, all the needed intelligence would have been gathered in just a few more months. I was also hearing from Gor'shak regarding his secret mission regularly, as he kept sending me short notes about his squad's progress towards approaching General Angerforge. I could say, they were ready to strike at him in a few days."
"Then, all of a sudden, the reports stopped coming in. We couldn't hear anything from the Kargath Expeditionary Force for two weeks. Worried about not only the success of our plans but also about my brother and his companions, I assembled a search squad -you were in the field on another mission at that time- and sent them to the mountain to go and find out what had happened."
"The search squad returned after a few weeks, reporting many of the members of the expeditionary force to be either missing or dead, including my brother, and brought back the few ones who survived. Some of the surviving officers had chosen to stay and guide those who would ever go into the Blackrock Depths to contribute to our cause."
"We learned from the survivors that a large group of Dark Iron Dwarves, led by General Angerforge, had raided their hiding place at a time when it was least expected. Some of them were sleeping off-guard, some of them were away on duty, and some of them were busy writing their reports. The Dark Irons had either slayed or took them as prisoners, to learn about the Horde's plans. Those who were not killed or captured were the ones who had come back from their duties after the raid was over, only to see the tragic scene Dark Irons had left behind."
"When I asked about my brother, one of the surviving scouts, who was unfortunate enough to have to witness the horrible crimes of the Dwarves from a distance, as the place he was standing to perform his duty had not allowed him to get back to the camp quickly, told me that he had last seen him fighting with General Angerforge and two golem guards. My brother had fallen on the ground by a massive axe swing of the General, and then his motionless body was taken away by one of the golems."
"That was the day I had lost my brother. That was the day my world split into two and one part was destroyed. With a pain greater than losing my legs, I wandered around on my wheelchair for days like a living ghost, not knowing what to do, not responding to any of my men who needed me to lead them. I am sure you will remember those times."
"Anyway, time passed, life had to continue; we had crucial duties to perform, so I stopped mourning for my brother and got back to executing our grand plan by sending reinforcements and supplies to the surviving officers at the Blackrock Depths, and at the same time, informing Orgrimmar about what happened. With the loss of the majority of the Kargath Expeditionary Force, the Warchief decided to quicken up the preparations for the major battle against the Dark Irons even though the initial intelligence mission had not gone as planned. He wanted to make ready a full scale Horde attack on the mountain as soon as possible."
The Chief gave a short break here and looked at the journal in my hands with tearful eyes.
"For over one year, I knew my brother as dead, I cried for him at long nights, our people mourned for him, they still do. And now... now I am learning that he might still be alive? He might still be alive and he wants me not to rescue him? What on Azeroth could have happened to him that he wants not to be rescued? What could have happened to the finest commander I have ever seen, to the best brother I have ever known, that he can ask from his brother and his chief not to send anybody to rescue him? Even with what I have read in his journal, I just don't understand why he wanted not to be rescued?" his eyes had that sad impression of someone who didn't want to believe in what he had read, that I could only understand after I started to read the journal.
"These, Val'agg, are the questions I want you to help me find answers to. I want you to go to the Blackrock Depths, to find him and bring him back to me. You have to bring him back to me no matter what, do you understand Sergeant? You have to bring him back no matter what."
Having difficulty choosing the correct words to respond with, I said:
"Yes... Yes sir! Of course, I will do my best to find and bring him back. When should I leave sir?" I unconsciously stood up from my chair as I finished my last sentence.
Glad to see my enthusiasm for the upcoming difficult task, the Chief told me to sit down, and continued:
"Not so fast Sergeant, let me first finish providing you with the details about your assignment. I have no doubt you will do your best to accomplish it, but still, we have to pay close attention to every detail in order to succeed. And, we really have no other chance than to succeed this time."
I listened to him, all ears.
"Our next supply wagon to the remaining Expeditionary Force officers in the Blackrock Depths will depart early in the morning. They will follow a secret path through the hills into Searing Gorge and then to Blackrock Mountain. They will move as fast as they can without attracting the attention of the Dark Irons wandering in the Gorge. I want you to join them and get to Blackrock Depths. I believe your travel will take no longer than two days. Once you reach the Depths, the supply crew will take you to High Executioner Nuzrak, who is the current leader of the Expeditionary Force, and who can provide you with the information you need to navigate inside the underground city."
The Chief pointed at the journal with his hand and added:
"The first ten pages of the journal contained extremely important intelligence reports, sketches and military information about the Dark Iron Dwarves and their allies inside the Blackrock Depths; I am keeping them so that I can prepare and send a detailed report to Orgrimmar as soon as I can. Sergeant, the information the Commander sent within this journal is so important that we could even lose the war without it. The remaining ten pages are his personal log of events he had been through or witnessed since he fell. I am giving you the remaining of the journal only because I believe it will help you locate Gor'shak within the depths of Blackrock, but you must promise that no other pair of eyes should ever see it. Are we clear with that, Sergeant?"
"Absolutely, sir. I will neither tell about the journal nor show it to anyone."
"Good, you can now go and make preparations for your assignment, Val'agg. Remember, you must bring him back no matter what. May the wise winds of Durotar quicken your feet."
I left the Chief's hut with Commander Gor'shak's journal in my hand. Still haunted with that unrestful feeling caused by the journal, I looked at the sky, which had already started to undress the darkness of the night, as a warm winter sun was slowly approaching the horizon line at the far east. Many unanswered questions and unsettling thoughts in my mind about the Chief's brother, I quickly went back to the barracks and started to prepare for my departure with the supply wagon in the morning.
When we left New Kargath, the bottom half of the sun was still touching the horizon. There were two guards, one scout and the rider of the wagon traveling with me. The scout was walking ahead of us in stealth, to lead and to warn about any dangers we might stumble into. The guards were following the wagon on the back of their timber wolves. I was sitting alone at the back of the wagon, surrounded by the supply crates. As the wagon continued at a steady pace towards south, then west, to the border with Searing Gorge, I lay in the wagon, grabbed the journal from my backpack and started to read past the cover, making sure the guards wouldn't see it.
Continue: Commander Gor'shak's Journal - Part 3
Recent EntriesThe Future of Profession System in World of Warcraft
Ghosts of Ahn'Qiraj
The Voices of Zangarmarsh Mushrooms
Commander Gor'shak's Journal (Story)
What Did the Dwarves Dig Up in Bael Modan?
The Darkest Corner of Azeroth
Twin Exiles of Tanaris
Appreciating the Small Details in World of Warcraft - Part 1
Heartbreaking Lament of the Whales of Ashenvale
What Happened in Genevieve's Barber Shop?
17 Aug, 2017 07:47 UTC
Gosh...Mature adults only, for sure! And not those with a vivid imagination and fragile souls. ;)
Thank you very much for the read, Eom - I kept coming back to it over the course of the last days, but finished the last part today; finding it hard not to continue through the next part, and the next after that.
I had to know, despite wanting to just walk away from the story all together! (Because of the horrors, not your writing skills)
You certainly made an impact on the way I look at all the places you describe, and all the various sounds that haunt them.
My favorite part of the whole story was actually this section:
"It was a long and rather cold winter night with an open sky decorated with stars, that was slightly warmed by the hot winds blowing from southwest, from the Blackrock Mountain and over the Searing Gorge, bringing not only the heat of the fire and lava of the volcanic mountain and the gorge that was now turned into a huge forge, but also the smell of the cinders, burnt earth and forged metal."
That was a fantastic description, especially the last part. And throughout the entire story, too; it was, sadly, almost as if I was there. Which I rather not be!
It was a very fine way to build it up; with following Sergeant Val'agg while at the same time discovering what the journal had to reveal, back and forth.
But, oh. How I wished he would have helped Commander Gor'shak along, to find peace and be reunited with his men. Then again, I might not have been able to, if it was me...
17 Aug, 2017 14:38 UTC
Welcome back Alunaria, thank you for reading and sharing your thoughts about it. It means a lot to me as someone who is trying to not only "write about Warcraft" but also "improve his writing in general". Also, I know fan-fic stories are long and they can take quite a long time to read, especially if they don't feel much interesting. So, thank you for taking your time to read it.
To me, creative writing consists of two parts: The first one is the content, which is the story, the characters, the events. The second one is the style, which is how the content is sewn together, how it is presented, the words, sentence structures, descriptions used - the technical side. I believe that I do some things right in both parts, but I do know that I have a long way to go to master my writing. I don't know what the time will bring, but I do enjoy writing about WoW a lot and I will hopefully continue with that for as long as the inspiration keeps flowing.
I am glad to know that the story made you want to abandon it, but at the same time grabbed you to continue reading. This tells me that the ugly parts of the story felt real which made you not want to continue, but also the flow of the story created enough curiosity for you to continue.
I felt, still feel, that impact you mentioned about the places so strongly, that's the only way this story was able to come to life. Glad that I could transfer that feeling to you as a reader.
I also wished Commander Gor'shak was going to accept being rescued after so much pain and suffering, but he had long passed the point of return when Val'agg found him. Only those who have been through what he had been through can truly understand him.
18 Aug, 2017 03:34 UTC
I'm not a writer, so havent got much insight into the process and "build" of a story, but I understand what you mean - it's like a whole building coming together, paying attention to every single detail.
Ah, I should have explained myself clearer; I wish that Sergeant Val'agg had been able to help Commander Gor'shak find peace and be reunited with his men, in death.
Not be rescued and return to a world he no longer could be a real part of.
18 Aug, 2017 10:25 UTC
I got it now, I understand your thinking.
Well, the core idea of the story popped out from the initial premise that Commander Gor'shak is still alive. If he was not alive, then the story would have been a different one. Perhaps, it could be considered as one of the alternative endings, but only this ending made this story complete in my mind.
Gor'shak continues to live, his tortures and suffering continue, I and the reader feel for him, but we know very well that there is nothing we can do for him, just like Val'agg felt.
18 Aug, 2017 12:23 UTC
Ohh, yes, yes, I know - I didn't mean to make it come across as a "I think you should change the end" kind of way :)
I entirely hear you; sometimes stories have to take the turn they do, in order to make the largest impact.
What's on Your Mind?
I will be happy to hear your thoughts :)
If you use a Gravatar email, your avatar will be displayed.