The Kor’kron was seated contently in front of a table in the Cenarion Hold’s inn, piles and piles of various parchment and papers littered with orders, assignments, and many other mandates that required doing. Despite the humidity, despite the irritating buzzing noises, despite the heat of the area, Khaadgrim kept his heavily plated armor on, equipped with his black iron axe that probably weighed several pounds. Any Cenarion trooper that walked past the orc wondered how he stayed cool in such a damnable wasteland.
One specific night elf, who came into the inn before, had enough of his building curiosity and decided to question the orc.
“How are you keeping yourself so cool?” asked the night elf, who was sweating in his plate armor. Khaadgrim paused his writing, then plainly turned to eye over the night elf. The orc’s helmet clinked as he did so, and the only features visible were his brown eyes.
“Easy,” Khaadgrim said, matter-of-factly. “I don’t pay attention to it. I have another things to worry about than the measly heat or weather.”
The night elf furrowed his brows, surprised at the orc’s response. The elf blinked his eyes several times, and Khaadgrim’s face contorted slightly, as if grinning. Then, the elf let out a scoff and continued his way to the stairs, ascending it and disappearing onto the second floor. Khaadgrim let out a small chuckle, then turned and continued his writing.
The Cenarion Hold was as peaceful as it could be during this time. While the major war had ended, the skirmishes between the Silithids and the Twilight Cultists did not. Every day, battles ensued, and due to the hive practically right in front of the Hold, the troops were required to launch glaives at the swarming insects that hovered above, only to stave off any attack that could be gathering within. What they did not realize, however, was that an attack was already beginning to form.
All were ignorant, and Khaadgrim just wanted to finish his damned paperwork. Stacks and stacks of different mandates could cause even the most prestigious and valiant of soldiers to lose their spirits. Paperwork was the necessary evil of any military organization, and the Kor’kron had to be stuck with it. This is the price a soldier pays for being such a stalwart defender.
The area rumbled softly, and bits of sand found its way into the inn, to which Khaadgrim ignored without a problem. It was like this every day, in fact – that the land would rumble with war and shouts of orders, that every day, people would be tense and disturbed if it was their time to die. But not Khaadgrim – oh no – it was just like any other day for him; today was as dangerous and tense as any other day, and the paperwork before him only made today terrible because of the amount.
Then, a thud resonated throughout the Hold. Khaadgrim immediately stopped writing, the quill held upright and bleeding slightly into the parchment. Another thud came through the Hold, and the orc slowly lifts his head up and gazed about. The thuds came at an interval, and each was just as suspicious as the other. Then, a shout.
“Incoming!” shouted the voice, and a rock came tumbling into the Hold and struck one of the nearby buildings. Screams went out over the area, and soldiers began scrambling to their positions. Khaadgrim watched, eyes filled with irritation as the soldiers shuffled about. He tossed his quill onto the table, muttered a bit, then lifted himself from the bench and unsheathed his axe.
As Khaadgrim stomped out of the inn, swarms and swarms of Silithid descended into the area, locked in battle with various soldiers of many races. Screams of terror and pain flowed throughout the encampment, countered by the valiant efforts of zealous soldiers that fought back against the invaders. Khaadgrim gazed over the surroundings for a moment, the stomped his way into the fray.
Right upon leaving the floors of the inn and onto the soil, Silithids came flying down towards the orc, talons and acidic spittle ready. Khaadgrim looked up, unmoving, and as solid as a stone wall. He braced himself – feet parted, axe grasped – and prepared for the oncoming onslaught. With a cry of battle, he heaved his axe up.
A wind of brute force sent away the Silithids, which also tore one insectoid in half, and its green blood spluttered out of its exoskeletal body. The small swarm recovered from the evasive attack and regrouped, sweeping down to the orc once more. Khaadgrim rested his axe to his side, glaring at the insects, a hand clenched with adrenaline.
One insect swung its talons and missed the orc, who strafed to avoid the attack. Quickly, he grabbed the insect’s stinger, span around, and hurled the Silithid towards its companions, knocking them senseless, bones crackling at the counter-attack. Some of them slammed into the ground, which Khaadgrim quickly dispatched with a quick swipe of his weapon. Blood dribbled throughout the sandy floor, staining it with green.
Despite his victory, the battle continued to rage on throughout the compound. Khaadgrim looked to the left and noticed a guard pinned to the ground, struggling against a Silithid that was trying to pierce him with its stinger. Its talons were digging in, and as the orc gazed at the struggle the guard’s cries echoed out, a combination of anger and fear. Quickly, the Kor’kron snatched a bow and arrow from a dead guard near him, drew the arrow towards the insectoid, and fired.
The stinger was about ready to pierce the guard’s chest. All energy was wasted from the struggle, and he could only let out a meager cry from his raspy throat. He shouted, “No!” as loud as he could, but everything – the battle, the screaming, the cries of pain – blocked it out. He finally made his peace and let his arms fall to his sides.
The Silithid abruptly slammed to the side with a sickening crackle. Green mucus spewed over the guard’s chest plate, and he quickly looked to his side and realized that an arrow had pierced the insect and pinned it to the stone wall that was resting beside him. Then the guard looked to the other side and saw him. Khaadgrim was gazing back, the bow to his side, and nodded to the guard.
The battle quickly drew to a close from that point on. The Cenarion forces fought with blood and valor and won the day to live another. Wounded littered the Hold, but none of which were life-threatening. The day had been won and won without loss.
Khaadgrim returned to his desk-duty, and the stacks of mandates were quickly written off and sent back to Orgrimmar and the Horde post in Silithus. With a content sigh, the orc wiped off any excess ink that was in the quill and placed it back into the ink bottle. The guard from before watched him with anticipation, then finally began speaking.
“Why?” he questioned, gazing at the Kor’kron. He returned the stare, looking over the elf’s frame.
“Why what?” Khaadgrim replied earnestly. The guard leaned off of the table and continued to stare down at the sitting orc.
“You could have let me die,” he said, a pinch of anger in his voice. “I know you orcs better than you think. You could have let me die, but you didn’t.”
The two started for a minute. Khaadgrim blinked a few times, then shook his head. “No you don’t,” he argued, calmly, then lifted himself from the bench.
The Kor’kron headed out towards the inn, but stopped midway, near the small ramp. The guard watched, dumbfounded, glaring at the Kor’kron who saved his life from the battle. Then, the orc turned and faced the guard.
“It’s all quiet on the western front,” the orc said, head nodding slightly. “Admit the fact that you don’t really know us, and let’s keep it quiet and end it there.”
Anger swelled within the guard’s throat. His body tensed up and his hand impulsively tried to move to his weapon. Something was stopping him, however. A eternity of life can ruin the mind, couldn’t it? Perhaps he was wrong? Something stopped him, something he didn’t want to admit.
Khaadgrim turned before he could do anything. The orc simply left the guard standing, questioning himself, wondering why he couldn’t spill blood right then and there. His mind went back into reality, but the Kor’kron was gone from sight.
The guard continued to stand there, dismayed. Thoughts sped through his mind and weighed his head down. He looked to his feet, trying to find answers, but there was only wood. With an angry grunt, the guard stomped out of the inn and back outside, into the wastelands.
“Don’t mind it,” he said to himself. He slowly continued to restate the words to assure himself, but the orc’s reply would only offset it. For the remaining time of his duty he would continue to question his savior’s motives to himself, and never find a reply. At the end of the day he finally broke down and admitted to himself the orc’s words.
He looked over the horizon as he headed back to the inn. For the first time – it seemed – everything felt serene. The buzzing of the Silithids were absent from the Hold, and the battles were nowhere in sight. With a nod, he calmed himself with one final thought.“All quiet on the western front.”