|Guild||Bad Moon Rising|
Tamugroka was a lean, muscular orc. Still young, he possessed very few scars. He dressed in simple, comfortable traveling clothes when not donned in his armor, much of which was crafted by his tribe-mate Keryn.
He had slick black hair, braided in the front. While still young to grow a beard, Tamugroka had a thick growth of stubble on his face. His eyes were normally black in color, as well, but when angry, a red glow flared to life.
Tamugroka, despite his harsh upbringing, was always kind to others. He saw protecting his friends and tribemates, especially those weaker than he, as his destiny in life. He knew that he would one day die protecting the innocent, and it filled him pride. He always had a toothy grin for everyone around him, and would never turn down an opportunity to fight by their side. He especially enjoyed fighting alongside his friend Ayasha, and grew to admire the proud orc warrior known as Osan.
He had a bit of a problem with volume control, though, and tended to shout for no reason. This had earned him the nickname "Broder Loud Orc" from his tribemate Abindania. He loved to laugh, and laugh loudly. He was easily amused, especially by Yamingo and the Murloc jokes imparted to him through his mysterious "little greenbo" friend.
He was never found without his little pet cat, Ash. The mangy black cat would have been considered "ugly" by some, but Tamugroka had a special place in his heart for it. Since his death, the cat has vanished, last seen in the arms of a little blood elven girl...
My mother, Gruka, was a rarity among the orcs in the internment camps. She was a kind soul, a beacon amongst the orcs imprisoned under the harsh glares of our human captors. Somehow, she had escaped the orc's demon-induced bloodlust, and attempted to show the captive orcs that there was more to life than fury and rage.
My father, on the other hand, was a savage warrior, whose glowing red eyes struck fear into the hearts of his opponents on the battlefield. He died trying to protect us from the human assault that got us imprisoned. I was only 3 years old when I watched my father die, arrows protruding from his massive chest, with his voiced raised in denial of his own defeat.
Even with the unjust treatment given to us by our human captors, my mother stayed strong. She taught me a measure of compassion that no other orc could show. I remember how she found a stray black kitten, and brought it into our little corner of the camp. We fed it, cared for it, and even played together.
While the other prisoners thought it should be eaten, my mother gave up portions of her own food to keep it fed. I named him Ash, and he was my companion and my sanity.
The humans were especially harsh to my mother and I. I think it was because where the other orcs simply sat in apathetic defeat, she was full of energy, of life, of love. Her ability to stand tall and proud, even when surrounded by armed guards and her own defeated clan, surely stung the egos of our captors.
I remember one in particular. I do not know his name, but he was a tan-skinned human, with a thin beard and an eyepatch. He was in some position of power there, and had it in his ability to make our lives miserable. Regularly, he came out and beat my mother until she was unconcious, covered in bruises and gashes.
But she knew that to fight back would be death, and so she tolerated it, building up a wall of rage to protect her from the pain. But my mother was not a weakling. She was a proud orc, and while no battlefield veteran, she know how to handle combat. As I found out one day, to my great sadness.
The one-eyed human, angry at her refusal to give up, came after me one rainy day. I was only 7 years old, but still large for my age. I thought to fight back, but I was not trained. The human had armor, a sword, and years of experience. He kicked me down, and raised his sword as if to kill me.
Then my mother, rage in her eyes, barrelled into my captor. As lightning flashed in the clouds above, she swung punch after punch into his armor and helmet, denting the metal itself with her protective fury! The human was bloodied and bruised before his wits returned to him. I could do nothing but watch as the sword blade ran through her chest, so deep the tip protruded from her back.
As she fell into the mud, her lungs collapsing, she looked at me with tears in her eyes. She could see the rage welling within me, and I know it filled her with fear for my safety. With a single glance, she drew my attention back to the victorious bastard. He leaned in close to her, as if to make a final mocking comment. But she got the better of him. With her dying breath, she looked into the human's eyes, and spoke three words that would haunt us both for the rest of our lives: "I forgive you."
Her corpse lay very still, with the rain pouring around us. No one moved for what felt like an eternity. What emotions ran through the mind and heart of my captor, I do not know. But after a few moments, he turned, and walked away, without a word or a glance.
I lay curled on the ground, tears filling my eyes, Ash clutched tightly to my chest. The little cat mewled sadly, obviously feeling the loss of his caretaker as surely as I did. The rest of the orcs looked on, but did not move. They appeared to not care. The death of my mother was apparently just a momentary source of excitement for them, nothing more.
And at that instant, I was overcome with a new emotion: Pity. I pitied the orcs, for their loss of spirit and freedom. I pitied the humans and draenei we had killed, the dragons we had enslaved, and the elves we had tortured. I pitied my mother, for never getting to see the results of her lessons. I pitied my captors, for surely they knew not what anger had overtaken them. I pitied the one-eyed man, for surely he was broken. I thought I would never see him again.
It was a temporary respite, however. Perhaps he had turned his guilt into rage. Perhaps he simply couldn't comprehend what had happened. Perhaps he was simply an evil bastard. Either way, it wasn't long before the beatings resumed.
But they didn't last long. Within only a few months, an alarm was sounded at the gate. Someone was attacking the compound! The humans ran around, trying to fend off the army of orcs at their doorstep. Thrall and his band had come to free us!
The evil, one-eyed man sought to use the confusion to slaughter us, thinking we might aid the attackers. I watched as he ran one older orc through, without pity or remorse at killing a helpless victim. I am a compassionate, forgiving soul. But I am also an orc warrior, determined to protect the weak and topple the regime of the oppressive. I picked up the sword from a dead human, and though barely 8 years old, I was determined to kill for the first time in my life.
He didn't hear as I approached behind him. I didn't feel the need to warn him. With a savage thrust, borne of all the fury and anger and responsibility within me, I punctured his armor, lungs, and chest in one savage lunge. He fell to his knees, his lifeblood spilling into the ground from his battered chest plate. I leaned in from behind him, and as the light left his eyes, the last words he heard was, "I forgive you, too."
The small company of orcs moved silently along the southern shores of Durotar. They wore little armor today, for subtlety was the word of the day. Only 12 strong, this troop was assigned by Thrall to check out reports of a human encampment set up too near to the Valley of Trials. If the rumors were true, the Horde would have to remove them...
Tamugroka looked around at the other orcs with him. He did not know them personally, but trusted in his Warchief to put him with the best. The commander of the troop, a headstrong Orcess, was leading them further south, and so the march continued. Ash, the old and mangy black cat, followed Tamugroka loyally, prepared to scratch out the eyes of any attacker.
A scout at the front of the troop motioned for them to stop, and so they did, everyone nervously gripping their weapons, glancing around for sign of the enemy. Tamugroka did not want them to fight this day, but knew all too well the disposition of the volatile Orcs regarding the humans. And so it came as no surprise when they were suddenly ordered to begin an attack run, yelling and growling, as they burst through the underbrush.
There in front of them was indeed a small human encampment. Most of the huts had been constructed, but many were still in the process of being put up. As the Orcish warriors ran in, fighting with these settlers, Tamugroka could not help but feel a sense of pity for these creatures. They did not look like an invasionary force, but rather like refugees. They were mostly farmers and miners, who fell hard to the orc squad's attacks.
Tamu found himself locked in combat with a surprisingly strong and agile human woman wielding a straight sword. He thought of his recent encounters with the humans, and the strength of will and honor that many had shown. His sadness at this slaughter stayed his hand, and so the human woman ws able to get a bit of an edge in combat. Fighting in the doorway to a hut, she fought with a fury Tamugroka had never seen.
No, wait. Not never. But not for a long time. Not since his mother...
He heard the click of a crossbow behind him, and knew that one of his fellow orcs was behind him, backing him up. The crossbow bolt shot over Tamugroka's shoulder, thudding sickeningly into the woman's chest. Tamu knew she was dead before she hit the ground. As she fell, Tamugroka could clearly see into the hut she had been guarding, and his heart broke.
Huddled in the corner, not more than 8 years old, was a small elven girl, shaking with fear. What was a child elf doing here? An orphan, like himself...? He wanted to tell her to run, to hide, but he knew that the rest of the rage-filled Orcs would never allow her to leave alive. He heard the click of the crossbow again, knowing that the girl was in it's sights.
Everything seemed to slow down, as Tamugroka dove in front of the girl, spinning in the air to face the attacking orc. His arm reached it's full length as he sent his axe flying, end over end. The crossbow clicked, and the bolt flew straight and true. The other orc, the one with the crossbow, caught Tamugroka's axe with his face, and died standing. The crossbow bolt shot heavily into Tamugroka's neck as he flew, and he hit the ground with a thunderous crash.
His lifeblood flowing freely, his voice stolen by the bolt still in his neck, he looked to the little elf, his hand outstretched. As he looked into her eyes, he saw a vision of her future. She would escape this place. She would grow into a being of power and wisdom. He knew peace then, for his purpose had been fulfilled, and his eyes closed slowly.
Ash paced around, mewling loudly and painfully. The girl grabbed the cat, and hugged it close, tears streaming from her eyes. Ash relaxed in her grip, and the little one moved closer to the dying orc. The elf girl grabbed his large hand in her tiny little fingers, and looked into his eyes and spoke through choking sobs.
The last thing Tamugroka ever saw was the little girl's large green eyes. The last thing he ever heard was the voice of a tiny angel, telling him the words he longed to hear.
"I forgive you."
((Note: The elven girl is Illiadra, and her tale continues...))