Portal

The Crossing

Part 2: Dushgundu Gaakhuga

Written by Gor'bladz
Illustrated by T'berog

“Moob it, moob it, moob it!” The gruntee herded the peons along at a quick pace. Even though they were nearly exhausted by the long hours of mining they had just been though, he didn’t want to waste a moment getting back to the Shadowclan outpost. Earlier he was all excited about how he might be rewarded when he told the news about how quickly they had completed their dig. The news he carried now made destroying boulders sound like a cubbie's game. Yet somehow he was as much apprehensive as he was excited.

Between gasps of breath as they jogged along the tunnel they had so recently excavated, the peons talked among themselves. “Wut da skah wuz dat? Mojo duur! Whu wuz dem orcs? Did lat see how fat dem wuz?”

“Shuddup! Just keep moobin! Agh when we get bak me nub want heer anee ob lat flappin lat lips! Let me du da blahin!” The gruntee knew exactly what he had just seen. He had seen it once before, many years ago.

A portal like that was once used by many of his fellow clan members. Back then, they were not known as Shadowclan; they were the Shadowmoon clan. Their leader Ner’zhul, fearing Kil'jaedan's wrath and seeking to free orcs forever from demon control, sought to open portals to new, unspoiled worlds. Orcs were sent to Azeroth to claim the enchanted artifacts to power the portals, and then battles ensued on the Hellfire Peninsula of Draenor when the human armies followed the orcs through the Dark Portal. It was at this time Ner'zhul began opening the portals. And it was at this time Draenor was destroyed.

Most orcs escaped back to Azeroth by fleeing through the Dark Portal. Ner'zhul and some of the Shadowmoon clan escaped through their newly opened portals. But many orcs were also left behind, prevented by the destruction from any escape, left on Outland - the remains of Draenor - to find a way to survive.

The gruntee was there for this. He was just a peon himself at the time, barely older than a cubbie. He stood with the Shadowmoon orcs, waiting for his chance to march through the portal that looked exactly like the one they had just excavated. And when the world was shattered, he was among those of the Shadowmoon clan that were thrown completely clear of the gate and never got a chance to enter it.

Never knowing the fate of the orcs that passed through, the orcs of the Shadowmoon clan that remained on Outland had to make a new start for themselves. They took on a new name, and hence forth called themselves Shadowclan. Where formerly they were the masters of all of Draenor, they now found themselves hunted fugitives. They were reviled by the native Draenei whom they had long persecuted. And the demonic Pit Lord Magtheridon had begun to make a home on Outland too. The demons hunted Shadowclan orcs in an attempt to capture them and bring them into the Fel ranks to serve the Burning Legion once more, but most of Shadowclan resisted their efforts. Recently, a rumor of Magtheridon's death has been passed around, partially substantiated by the gradual return of orcs freed from the demonic Fel-spell.

The gruntee often thought of Shadowclan's day to day struggle for survival, and wondered whether they were better off on a broken and shattered world, or would they have done better had they managed to enter Ner’zhul’s gate or followed Grom Hellscream and Kilrogg Deadeye to Azeroth. Everyone had thought the question would forever remained unanswered. But after what he had just seen, the gruntee was no longer sure of this.

He had to get this news to the nobs quickly. His digging party was even now climbing up through a passage out of one of the lower storage caves and entering the main common cavern. Not knowing where the nobs were right at this moment, he grabbed hold of the first grunt he found and barked “Lat! Where da skah iz da....Eeeeek!”

The orc he had so roughly accosted slowly turned and fixed the gruntee with a baleful stare. The gruntee was so out of sorts thinking about what he had seen he didn’t even pay attention to who he was grabbing. This wasn’t a grunt. This was a nob! And this wasn’t one of the friendly, fatherly, clap you on the back kind of nob. This was one of the mean, scary, make a pair of boots out of your hide kind of nob. To make the gruntee’s terror totally complete, two of the nob’s guards appeared from behind him and hemmed in the dig group.

“Grrrrrrr! Wut in da skah duz lat tink lat am duin, like wart face stinking pile of cider puke!? Why lat standin dere luukin at me wit lat eyebawls all popped out of lat hed? Lat seen sumtin scary? Maybe lat seen ash big ol’ rat, or goffur, or sometin down in lat hole? Spit it out, gruntee! Wut lat see?”

The peons stood perfectly still, hoping that if they didn’t move or make a noise that they might survive this. The gruntee took the full brunt of the nob’s tirade. His eyes did in fact look as if they were about to pop out of his head. He swallowed several times before he answered the nob in a quiet voice.

“Throm-ka, Nob. Me just saw ash dushgund of Ner’zhul.”

The gruntee had no clue what the nob had been expecting him to say. This obviously wasn’t it. The nob immediately stood up very straight and stared right at the gruntee with a strange look in his eyes. Was it excitement? Fear? Madness?

“RaaaaaaawwWWWWRRGH!” The nob suddenly let out a huge yell and leaped forward on top of the gruntee. At that point the gruntee was certain that his short unhappy life on Outland was over. The nob seized the gruntee by both arms and lifted his body from the ground. He took two long steps and flung him across the chamber to where he landed in a pile against the far wall. Before he could manage to get himself picked up, five peons landed on top of him one at a time.

The nob stood at the doorway with his back to the gruntee. He shouted orders to his guards. “Lat! Gu get da udder nobs heer! Agh be kwik! Lat! Get annuder guard heer and cubber up dis duur. Nub let annee ash else neer heer unless dem nob. Gu!” With that the nob turned in the doorway and stood looking at the gruntee with his hands on his hips. As the gruntee slowly emerged from beneath the pile of dazed peons the nob said “Suuuuu. It luuk like lat am guin to blah ash nice lung storie fur uz.”

Peon toss

Continue on to part 3.

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