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Old 06-23-2020, 08:43 PM
Mutterscrawl Mutterscrawl is offline

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Runes Better Bridging for Legion and BFA

Copied over from the Discord, here's my take on how they could have better bridged the gap between Legion and BFA

Alright, my taxes are paid, my car is fully in my name, registration is updated. Let's sit down and tackle this.

Post-Legion and Pre-BFA is actually a nice flexible spot.

Most of Legion's 'big' impacts at the end are 'universal' Sarg is trapped, Pantheon is trapped, Legion is busted up. Illidan is gone.

The army of Light and the velfs, along with the 'argus broken' are all Alliance-side influences, along with the big shift at the beginning with Varian's death and whatnot.

Hordeside the big shift is all at the beginning of Legion was Vol'jin's death and Sylv being shunted into power, then Highmountain and Nightborne joining towards the end, but nothing from Argus had any real impact on the Horde specifically.

Now, let's assume I'm constrained the same way Blizz is, I have to make a viable expansion plot for my version of BFA that hits the same general story beats.
[9:41 PM]
Normally I'd chuck Azerite right out the gate. The stuff never mattered as anything more than a meaningless macguffin and the stuff it did was nebulous (Bigger tank, blastier gunpowder, more magicy-magic, etc) but let's assume I have to keep it to keep parity with Blizz writers too.
[9:42 PM]
Prepatch Lore

Horde and Alliance meet up in Silithus along with reps from neutral groups (Dalaran, Cenarion Circle, some of the Legion order halls, etc) and Magni.
[9:45 PM]
Magni and most of the neutrals and order halls are all working on staunching the wound and picking up the pieces from the Legion's leftover forces while the world's blood leaks out all over the place.

This way, most of the Neutral groups and Order halls are officially too weakened from battling legion and patching up Silithus, or are straight up falling apart, to contribute to the upcoming faction war and explains the majority of their absence.
[9:51 PM]
Anduin and Magni bro it up, he wants to coordinate a big Alliance-Horde effort to heal the world, gather up azerite, etc. Malf and Velen are onboard with healing, but Genn and Shaw voice concerns about Sylvanas and the Horde. They don't trust em at all.

Plus, Now that the Scourge, Twilight Cult, and Legion are gone... Horde is the only major power on Azeroth aside from the Alliance that's a threat as far as they're concerned.

Wouldn't it be better to strike now, wipe the Forsaken out, avenge Varian, and secure Lordaeron for the Light?
[9:55 PM]
Anduin notes by now that it's not likely that the Horde intentionally left Varian to die, and that the planet is literally dying underneath them Shaw acknowledges this especially since it was HIS dreadlord doppelganger that caused that to spread, but points out Sylv still can't be trusted and cites the Horde's track record with Wrathgate, Garrosh, etc...

He also points out the political concerns, even if they know that Varian's death wasn't intentional the Alliance public won't easily believe claims to the contrary, he points out that Anduin would be seen as making any excuse for peace even if it meant not dishonoring his father, he'd look weak and humanity could fracture.
[9:56 PM]
Whereas if he goes after Sylv and reclaims Lordaeron with Turalyon in tow, he could help shore up Stromgarde and humanity in the EK, avenge Gilneas, etc...
[9:57 PM]
There are even arguments that they wouldn't need to fight the whole Horde, Just the Forsaken (who deserve it right?), the Forsaken aren't popular and the Horde's tired of war, if they strike fast they can wipe the Forsaken out and negotiate with the Kalimdor Horde and the isolated Belfs.

Alleria likes this, it could even bring Silvermoon back to the Alliance.

The grand picture takes shape, Anduin can be the king who fails to avenge his father and lets Lordaeron fester... or he can be the king who restores the Alliance to greatness.
[9:58 PM]
Now, what's happening Hordeside?

SarmelionToday at 10:06 PM
Sylvanas does not like being warchief. She's known since Wotlk something is funky with the afterlife and she wants to focus on that and preserving her bulwark. She's got no new val'kyr, so she has no choice but to Keep the Forsaken, and the Horde running smoothly though.

The non-forsaken don't like Sylvanas being warchief. Either... But victory over the Legion is a big drape over that mammoth in the room. Morale is up for the first time in a long time. They have time to pick up the pieces and figure things out. After all the missteps, after the mess with Garrosh and internal strife, they can focus on the world and the wilds... well it's dying from under them, but Baine is heading up relief efforts in Kalimdor alongside Hamuul, Muln, Anduin and Magni, they'll fix things in no time and things will finally settle down, right?
[10:08 PM]
Except... it's a little unnerving how the big Army Of The Light ship is still floating around Azeroth nuking the remnants of the legion that made it off the Broken isles, that's... well, they're not gonna use it on US right...? Right?

SarmelionToday at 10:16 PM
Sylvanas isn't so sure. Despite Anduin telling Baine that there's absolutely no way the Alliance would ever use the Vindicaar to blow up the Horde, their troop movements look fishy and she doesn't like being outgunned. She starts stockpiling some of the Azerite rather than delivering it back to Magni in Silithus.

This way, if a horde settlement gets nuked, then the Azerite does too, and they're still sending MOST of it back, plus they need to study this stuff, maybe Azeroth doesn't need ALL of it back, judging by Gallywix's experience with it. Maybe they can put some of it to use or learn other ways to use it? Close the gap in power and then negotiate a PROPER treaty with the Alliance so she can get back to what matters with afterlife jazz.

SarmelionToday at 10:30 PM
Back to Anduin, he hadn't committed to this whole 'Attack the Forsaken' plan, but he'd agreed to keep the Alliance army ready while gathering azerite to defend if the Horde DID try something funny, and to help gather the stuff up from the 'mob' races that are now getting superpowered on the stuff.

But now? Now Sylv is dragging her feet in turning azerite in. Sure the Alliance was studying the stuff too but it's okay when THEY do it, not the untrustworthy undead lady. This lends credence to Shaw and Genn's argument, though still no evidence.

To try and ease tensions, Anduin approaches Sylv BTS style, "Let's have some Forsaken and Humans meet up and try and reconcile, de-escalate a bit."

Sylv is paranoid about this (like with everything) but she's ALSO pragmatic, anything that stalls the next conflict with the Alliance is good for her. More time to build up the Horde, more time for afterlife research, etc...

So she allows it. No bizarre focus on Forsaken needing to be hopeless or whatever, just a big meeting in Arathi. Turalyon, Danath and Genn are there, heartwarming moments... meeting with the dead up until... Calia appears.

Humans and Forsaken on both sides try to kill her And/Or cry out for her to retake the throne of Lordaeron from the Banshee Usurper, the whole thing devolves into a chaotic mess with deaths on both sides.

Cries of the Alliance trying to replace Sylvanas with a member of the Menethil line mix with rumors that Sylvanas tried to assassinate Calia using the meeting as cover. Humans claim Anduin tried to appease Sylv, or that Calia is going to turn into another Arthas and join the Forsaken, or that it was all an Alliance plot to get at Sylv, rumors fly and twist.

Relations are worse than ever.
[10:31 PM]
(You can consider Calia Lightforged-undead after this or not, personally I'd keep her alive but scarred in some way)
[10:33 PM]
Genn still hates Sylv, Danath thinks the Forsaken are dangerous, and Turalyon thinks the only merciful thing to do is kill them all so their souls are freed to the light and they can fix up Lordaeron.

Calia is unsure about becoming a figure head for Lordaeron survivors, but Scarlet dregs, Lordaeron refugees, and the parts of the Argent Dawn/Crusade are flocking to her regardless.

mendingToday at 10:35 PM
(haven't read all of it, but it sounds good. you should make a forum post to archive it at least.)

SarmelionToday at 10:35 PM
...Anduin talks to Baine about concerns regarding another war in the future over all this.

Baine thinks Anduin's heart was in the right place and that it'll blow over, but admits things would be easier if Sylv weren't warchief, but notes that the Horde would Never Be So Stupid As To Let Sylvanas Go Down The Same Road As Garrosh

At that... Anduin asks what Baine would do if she DID try, and Baine confirms he'd stop her personally.

(I plan to)
[10:36 PM]
Anduin pushes, asking if Baine is REALLY committed to there not being another war. Baine confirms again.
[10:41 PM]
After Anduin heads back to EK, he reviews with Shaw and others.

Danath's shored Stromgarde back up and it's been bolstered by people flocking to Calia.

The Argent settlements support Calia after the fiasco in Arathi and all the Forsaken did during Cata.

The Vindicaar and Lightforged are supportive of Turalyon.

Most of the Horde is tied up in Kalimdor, Belfs are helping the Nightborne pick up in the Broken Isles. The Forsaken are effectively isolated right now.

They will NEVER have a shot this good again.

Standing over a pile of reports on Forsaken atrocities, books of the earlier alliance, and memoirs of Lordaeron refugees that Shaw and Alleria have been giving him for days... he orders the attack on the Forsaken.
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Old 06-23-2020, 08:55 PM
Ethenil Ethenil is offline

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Reiterating my discord response:

I love that this actually takes into consideration the state of the world. It reviews political events, allied races, and their implications. I also really liked Turalyon thinking it's merciful to kill all undead so their souls can be saved. I'd only make it Cleese that Danath is crowned King of Stromgarde.

All of this would have made for a great Before the Storm book! Leading right into the pre-expansion event that is the invasion of Lordaeron. I hope you continue this into BfA, going through patches and raids.
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Old 06-23-2020, 10:39 PM
Mutterscrawl Mutterscrawl is offline

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Part 2
The Alliance assault on Forsaken holdings in northern EK is BRUTAL, they do not spare any Forsaken they capture. They're destroyed regardless of whether they're combatants or not, either due to being seen as evil or out of a sense of mercy/pity. Non-Forsaken are imprisoned and carted deep within Alliance territory, divided up between Stockades, The Dark Irons prisons in Shadowforge, or given over to the Lightforged to be... 'purified'.

Meanwhile, the Night elves and Velen's draenei are FLOORED by this news. They Were Not Consulted. Beyond a recall of Worgen from nelf territories months prior in preparation for the meeting with Calia, they hadn't received much communications with EK at all and had still been gathering Azerite and carting it to Silithus. Are they at war with the Horde now? Why? Things have been running smoothly since the end of MoP where they *Allowed* the Horde to keep Azshara and access to the eastern bits of Ashenvale.

Some nelfs are onboard with the conflict and others are concerned.

Mostly, Tyrande is pissed she wasn't consulted by this gaggle of humans about a war that affects the whole Alliance WHILE THE WORLD IS DYING and is upset the dwarves and gnomes just... went along with them.

Anduin IS sorry about this, he ACKNOWLEDGES it was a jerk move but he didn't want to give the Kalimdor horde any heads up even if he was certain Baine and Saurfang wouldn't or couldn't get to Sylv in time. He also didn't want to make it look like Baine or Saurfang sold out the Forsaken by giving any warning at all, since that would make THEIR position harder at negotiations afterwards.

Sylv is dumbfounded. She never knew Anduin had it in him, but in a meeting with the remaining Desolate council going over the forces arrayed against them... she sees all her short term decisions over the years... preparing their Blight-Plague and securing the Forsaken in EK by killing folks in Hillsbrad and such, brutally invading Gilneas and trampling Ambermill despite its neutrality, strongarming Lor'themar... and realizes how each one has blown up in her face to leave her isolated.

She's not beaten yet though, and she's not going to make this easy for the Alliance. After they stomp Hillsbrad in traditional warfare, she's switches to full on Guerilla tactics, her experience as a ranger and against the scourge on full display here as she makes the alliance bleed for every inch, openly blighting areas as she loses them, having banshees and val'kyr free feral scourge or direct them towards the Alliance, squirreling up in Alterac (Frostwolves sit out the fight until the alliance goes after them for harboring Forsaken refugees, then they join in), the worst abominations they can manage, even remnants of the Syndicate hired on as infiltrators and mercenaries.

It's not enough.

The Alliance is still winning, just more slowly, Anduin hasn't even resorted to bringing out the Vindicaar yet, it's a symbol of victory over the Legion, he doesn't want to use it in a conflict like this. But he can't afford to slow down, he doesn't want to give the Kalimdor Horde time to react, or the blood elves time to move south.

Instead, Anduin brings up the Alliance Navy to pincer attack at Gilneas, they smash through the Forsaken's ships allowing the Alliance forces to take the peninsula, then circle around all of Silverpine from reclaimed Gilneas and into Tirisfal by boat, and lay siege to Undercity. The Alliance's navy is in tatters from Legion already, and cutting through the Forsaken has weakened it more, but they're entrenched by Scarlet Monastery and victory seems inevitable.

Back In Kalimdor, the Horde is trying to figure out what to do. Do they need to prepare for attacks from the Night elves? Do they need to help the Forsaken? Do they keep carting Azerite to Silithus? Do they leave them to die? What happens to them if the Alliance wins in Lordaeron?

Baine is paralyzed by indecision. This isn't what he thought Anduin was talking about, he'd never expected the Alliance to take the offensive like this, but the stories of the brutality in the Alliance's assault, and Sylvanas's scorched earth tactics have him more than concerned.

The Average alliance soldier has no idea that there's plans to push for peace with the Kalimdor Horde, and so Saurfang's spies (goblin, shattered hand, Forsaken who report to HIM, and reports from Sylv's core forces) all say the same thing, there's talk among the Alliance of doing the same to the orcs, or enslaving them, or converting them, *and* of just leaving them be... but the latter are easily the smallest number among alliance soldiers and their eerie zeal.

Rumors fly in the Horde, there's questions of whether it's honorable to just leave the Forsaken since they're such dishonorable troublemakers. Talk of the Alliance steamrolling anyone with azerite and taking it for themselves spreads (Anduin DID have the military taking it off Mob races too... Horde fights quillboar and centaur that have stockpiled it but they've been more chill since Cata-ended when most of the wild gods revived and desolace cleared up, while the Alliance is on the warpath). There's small dissent among the belfs, bolstering Velf numbers as some think about rejoining the Alliance while others don't want to be alone on the continent if the Alliance wipes the Forsaken. Others are put off by the Alliance's zeal, and even Liadrin has mixed feelings...

It's this, more than anything else, that cause the Nightborne and Highmountain to more firmly ally with the Horde as reports come in of mob races caught between the Alliance and the Forsaken being crushed, with the few survivors captured and put in camps to keep them 'out of the way' or prepare them for serving in the now firmly alliance territories... Gnoll and Kobold labor rebuilding in Gilneas, Stromgarde razing troll villages, Ogres mounds demolished, etc...

Ultimately, it's Saurfang who pushes the Horde to action. He doesn't like the Forsaken. He remembers when he unjustly massacred humans and draenei, he wants nothing more than to sit this war out rather than defend people he doesn't like from people who have every right to hate his guts... but if they don't help the Forsaken who are Still Part Of The Horde, then they might not just lose their personal honor, they could lose their freedom under the Alliance's rule.

The Horde's never had a particularly strong navy, and it was hit hard by the Legion. There's no way they'd traditionally make it to Tirisfal in time to relieve the Forsaken, instead a small elite force gets to the Nightborne territories and are ported directly to UC, surprising the Alliance with their support of the Forsaken.

Sylvanas is honestly surprised the rest of the Horde came to help her even with a small force, but the situation is still unwinnable, most forsaken outside of UC are broken and scattered, either in hiding, or fleeing east into the plaguelands and trying to reach Belf territory. Undercity is hard to lay siege to due to being subterranean, but the upper walls are being bombarded by siege weaponry from humans and lightforged, dwarves are tunneling in and velfs are tearing apart the wards that prevent them from simply porting in. Blight's the only thing buying them any breathing room and between Lightforged and Frost mages clearing it, along with gnome/dwarvish gas masks it's not as effective as it used to be. It won't be long before the remnants of the Horde inside are overwhelmed.

Baine attempts to negotiate, Gilneas is reclaimed and the Alliance is obviously the preeminent power in Lordaeron now, if Anduin lets them evacuate they can stop this here. Anduin is sympathetic to Baine but the Forsaken's scorched earth tactics and the Lightforged's fervor have his forces too zealous. He honestly doesn't believe he can stop what he started... Sylvanas needs to die and the Forsaken need to be 'put to rest', then they can talk about "conditions" for the Kalimdor Horde.

Baine is disillusioned and unsettled by the implications of Anduin's words as he returns to the UC forces, they try and open portals to evacuate but the Lightforged and Velfs are disrupting magic to prevent more Horde forces from getting in or out.

Out of desperation, Sylvanas releases demons the apothecaries had captured and been vivisecting during Legion to devise better ways to kill them... and sets them loose on the Alliance. Saurfang is understandably pissed at this decision but it gives the belfs and nightborne an opening to sabotage the Vindicaar, which has been hovering at the edge of the battlefield, porting troops around and delivering siege weapons, but not firing directly... yet.

The alliance forces go into full force, the sight of orcs and undead alongside demons bringing back too many unpleasant memories, Turalyon pressures Anduin into using the Vindicar to end this quickly and save lives... and Anduin relents. The vindicar bombards undercity, annihilating many defenders in blasts of light and leveling its walls, caving in large chunks of the city.

Saurfang is captured by the Alliance while buying time for the retreat. Though the sewer tunnel had been collapsed early on to prevent the alliance from using it, the Horde forces have goblins, ogres, and drogbar break through it and and they flee to the west into the hills over Deathknell. There, Sylv reveals she's been rebuilding a downed Scourge necropolis, and they use some Azerite to help finish it so they can use it to fly out to sea where the Alliance can't pursue yet.

Here things begin to snowball, the sabotage on the Vindicar damages it, but the draenei have learned from Exodar and other losses, and the ship doesn't go down, it's still able to fly though more slowly and can still teleport things. It can't fire for now... but it can be repaired in time.

More pressing though, the collapse of areas inside the Undercity causes volatile chemicals to mix with the Azerite stockpile, what's left of the city explodes, spreading blight, other contagions and all sorts of experiments all across Tirisfal.

Thinking this was INTENTIONAL on Sylvanas's part, the Alliance are ever more convinced that the Horde are a danger. They used demons and all manner of diseases and chemicals in warfare, and the other horde leaders are clearly under Sylvanas influence. They must be defeated and brought into the Light.

The Night Elves, who had been apprehensive about the war, are horrified by the degree of the Forsaken's destruction and convinced sylvanas squandered Azerite to destroy her own city to hurt the Alliance out of mere spite, and become much supportive, though still focused on healing the world and unhappy that the EK alliance started things without consulting them.

The Blood Elves, Nightborne, and Forsaken are all concerned about the Lightforged's zeal, and their willingness to use the Vindicaar in warfare, they know it's only a matter of time before it's repaired since it didn't crash. Isolated in EK, the Blood elves prepare for war while watching out for Velf saboteurs... or light-zealots among their own ranks.

The Kalimdor Horde is whipped into a frenzy, still unsure whether it was right to help the Forsaken after the mess in Lordaeron, but horrified at the destruction and relentlessness of the Alliance.
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Old 06-24-2020, 01:15 AM
Ethenil Ethenil is offline

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This is awesome. I can clearly see that two short stories (equivalents to A Good War and Elegy) would fit right in, with the gameplay scenario starting as Undercity is being sieged and, with the Vindicaar blasting it in an epic cinematic.

It's so great that you consider the different tactics and jobs each group would employ. Can't wait to hear where you take this - I imagine the Burning of Teldrassil first, and then BfA zones begin as you set up number of warfronts - maybe Quel'Thalas warfront finally?
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Old 06-24-2020, 05:37 PM
Mutterscrawl Mutterscrawl is offline

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Part Three

Before The Thorns
With a chunk of Forsaken refugees settling into Orgrimmar and the Noctryss (Forsaken Necropolis) docked outside of the city, the Horde plans its next move.

Baine approaches the Nelfs to try and get them to talk the EK alliance into calming down since the Horde is in no mood for another conflict and he wants them to remain focused on mending the planet. Malfurion is sympathetic, even concerned about the zeal they're showing, but once again he notes the issues the Forsaken have caused for the nelfs over the years and how recent the treaty with the orcs is after Garrosh's mess. Malf offers refuge for Horde members who want to avoid the fighting in the Cenarion areas, but he reaffirms that the Nelfs will be rescinding the Horde's access to Ashenvale. He won't say yet whether they'll be going outside of their territory and on the attack.

Without Saurfang, Nazgrel focuses on fortifying the Horde's holdings, gathering forces at the Crossroads and in Orgrimmar for quick response wherever the Alliance lands, but Sylvanas wants them to go on the attack.

Nazgrel isn't a fan of the idea, nor is Baine, but Rokhan and Gallywix both push for a response against the nelves. Rokhan cites Shatterspear survivors from Darkshore about how dangerous the nelves can be on the warpath, and tales of the Alliance stomping troll tribes in EK, to him it feels uncomfortably like what happened to the troll empires is happening to the Horde. Gallywix is concerned about the nelves having collected so much Azerite while all this is going on. The highmountain tauren that had visited Kalimdor alongside Mayla are concerned by the nelfs behavior when a few of their travelers in eastern ashenvale are killed alongside some orcs, presumably by overzealous nelfs.

Sylvanas argues that even if the Nelfs don't attack, they provide constant pressure on the Horde and indirect support to the Alliance, the Horde can't defend itself against the EK Alliance if they push inland while watching the forest and waiting for the nelfs to attack. But she reasons if they hit the nelfs hard enough they might make the EK alliance reconsider as the playing field is evened, at the very least it would buy them breathing room.

War Of Thorns:Ashenvale
Ultimately, Nazgrel relents, agreeing to help with the assault. While Baine doesn't support the attack personally he does agree to help fortify the barrens while the rest of the Horde moves north, and some tauren, Kalimdor and Highmountain alike, go with them. Nazgrel feints most of his orcish forces south, making it look as if they're moving to Silithus en masse amidst Baine's buildup of defenses in the barrens. Horde zeppelins gather in Mulgore and the barrens, causing the nelfs to move some of their forces south to Silithus by boat... but then Nazgrel sends a small elite force of orcs back north along with forces from the other horde races, while he and the majority of orcs continue south.

Sark Ragetotem leading the Tauren in guarding the Horde's supply line, Gorgonna heading up the Warsong as the ones experienced in fighting nelfs, and Megs Dreadshredder leading the goblins with shredders and ogres to counteract the ancients and other nelf-allies. Rokhan, Nathanos, and Lorash Sunbeam scout ahead with their forces to limit the nelfs avenues of attack.

The nelfs still expertly ambush them every step of the way, rousing ancients and local wildlife to their defense, but their stationary settlements like Astrannar are quickly overwhelmed and a lot of the nelfs flee into the deeper woods, many taking refuge with the Draenei at Forest Song, as the Horde pushes straight towards Teldrassil along the roads, hoping to lay siege and force negotiations with the capture of Darnassus.

The Horde's rapid pace and mobility doesn't allow the nelfs some of the typical guerilla tactics they prefer since the Horde isn't stopping to claim territory or build up holdings as they go, so Delaryn cuts through Horde lines with the sentinels and threaten to break the assault directly, but Sylvanas has Nathanos set off some fires elsewhere in the forest to draw their natural allies away, allowing the Horde to drive them back.

Sylvanas and Nathanos's ruthlessness helps the Horde advance... but also turns local furbolg against the Horde. Delaryn regroups with Malfurion and stymies the Horde at the border with Darkshore to buy time until Tyrande can return with Maiev and the rest of the Nelfs forces. Lorash attempts to assassinate some of the nelf leaders, but Malf kills Lorash easily.

At this point the Horde seems at a loss, as Malfurion is too strong to oppose directly and the nelfs natural allies are all waking up to hammer the Horde forces... but Rokhan had broken off awhile back, and snuck along the mountains with some Shatterspear survivors as guides (Zekhan is one). Now with the help of some goblins they blow a new path in the mountainside allowing their force in to pincer attack and divide the nelfs attention, allowing the Horde to push into Darkshore.

War of Thorns: Darkshore
Even so, the Nelfs have the full support of local spirits, Azuremyst draenei forces, and the remaining worgen in the region reinforced by ships that arrive early with Genn. It turns out that while most of the Alliance fleet is in tatters, the Vindicaar is still under repair, and Anduin is busy trying to secure the Eastern Kingdoms, Genn went to sea as soon as UC was destroyed to support the nelfs, even if it meant he couldn't personally stay to help refortify Gilneas with his family. Faced with such firm opposition the Horde advance stalls.

Between the Nelfs home territory advantage and their stockpiled Azerite letting them wake up more ancients it seems it's only a matter of time till Tyrande's forces return from Silithus and take the Horde from behind, if the Horde's forces are not already routed by the time they arrive, since though Wild Gods aren't participating in the battle in PERSON since they're still in Hyjal, their blessings are strengthening the Night Elves even further.

The battle takes a turn though when Noctryss (The Forsaken's Necropolis) arrives and it deploys elite forsaken, dark rangers, and azerite empowered abominations, providing cover to a small Horde naval force that essentially cuts off Teldrassil from Darkshore. The superior Nelf forces are essentially pressed on three sides and thrown back on the defensive for the moment while they regroup at Lor'danel and Bashal'aran, letting the Horde move up... but they overextend.

Delaryn leads several raids on the Horde forces as they advance, chipping away at them while the nelfs regroup, frustrating Sylvanas much the way she'd frustrated Arthas.

Initially, Sylvanas plans to assassinate Malfurion with an arrow laced with Azerite-empowered blight, while spraying the core of the nelf's army. She prepares to use the blight to break the nelf forces, but the other horde commanders veto its use, pointing out how her tactics backfired by agitating the local furbolg and waking up the ancients, they worry that in addition to being a 'dishonorable' chemical weapon, that it might bring the Wild Gods down in person. It could also drive the Nelfs to continue the war instead of yielding for negotiation.

Sylvanas counters that if they don't do something soon the Horde will die in Darkshore, but begrudgingly relents as the other commanders present an alternative plan to *Capture* Malfurion. By empowering elementals from the Blazing strand with Azerite the Horde begins to make some headway in their attacks, driving back the nelfs forces and even empowering some of their siege weaponry on land and on their ships with it. They also manage to target Malfurion when he makes a counterstrike to try and destroy the Horde's azerite supplies, reasoning that without it the Horde can't possibly stand against the nelfs forces in the region. Nathanos, Rokhan and Sark, along with several casters manage to hold off Malfurion long enough for Gorgonna to ambush him... and they just barely manage to capture him, while Sylvanas corners and wounds Delaryn.

Just then, the nelf fleet arrives with Tyrande and draws in around Teldrassil, preparing to attack. The Horde begins to push for negotiations though and Tyrande prepares to hear them out since they haven't killed Malf...

When fires begin to erupt all across Teldrassil and spread to several of the nelf ships, Tyrande evacuates as many people from Darnassus and the rest of Teldrassil as she can, but the fleet is in disarray. The Horde commanders have been with Sylv most of the past few days and don't think she could've done this (Jury out on whether she'd have wanted to) so confusion reigns on what just happened. Tyrande rescues Malfurion and most of the Horde forces take the opportunity to pull out of the region while the nelfs are reeling.

Delaryn dies watching Teldrassil burn. No one on the Alliance believes this wasn't the Horde's fault, after all the Horde had just recently been using azerite fire elementals from the blazing strand to corner Malf. The Horde isn't even certain whether it was some part of their own forces or some accident. (It was Azshara) The nelfs are full of grief and intensely vengeful, but mostly focused on getting refugees to Azuremyst, Gilneas, and Stormwind.

Though the Horde forces that had gone with Nazgrel towards Silithus didn't see much combat the nelfs with Tyrande had taken the time to wreck their zeppelins before they went to Darkshore, slowing their return to Orgrimmar... so Nazgrel's forces return after all this is over to find the Horde preparing for a total war, news that Teldrassil's been destroyed, and the Horde divided on what they need to do next.
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Old 06-26-2020, 10:33 PM
Mutterscrawl Mutterscrawl is offline

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Part Four: Expansion "Intro" content to replace the Stormwind Extraction and Jaina's initial imprisonment.


The Planning:

After the Destruction of Teldrassil the Horde leadership is in Chaos, Sylvanas spins conspiracy theories out of nowhere like "Maybe the Alliance's hawks did it to themselves to get the alliance's doves to support total war" and there's no evidence that Sylvanas was responsible since the other Horde leaders were with her all during the fighting, and the fire elemental-azerite was their *alternative* to her plans, but that doesn't change the fact that now, rather than simply wanting to wipe out the Forsaken and Sylvanas, the Alliance is likely going to lay waste to the entirety of the Horde.

More research on Azerite by Gallywix's forces is showing that in addition to enhancing a lot of magic reactions, it can be used in place of a lot of reagents, further increasing Azerite's importance to the war effort. Most azerite deposits on the continents have been secured by the closest settlements, but many out at sea are up for grabs as islands and such are unexploited.

The silver lining is that, much like their own navies, the Alliance's forces on the sea were weakened by the Legion and the early assaults in the war, but the Alliance has always been a more established naval power than the Horde. Unless something changes, they're going to lose the war.

Vanira says that with Azerite appearing all across the world, and the Alliance's warpath in the Eastern Kingdoms rolling over everyone in between them and the Forsaken, that perhaps they could recruit new allies, and that the Zandalari maintain a massive navy for protecting their isle from the Naga and coordinating travel to other troll territories for events like Hakkar's revival or chronicling the fall of the Drakkari.

Lor'themar notes that the Zandalari weren't exactly friendly with the Horde the past few years and that the Horde killed Zul'jin who was respected by all trolls. Eitrigg says the widespread troll tribes would be great allies but also states that Horde mercenaries supported Gadgetzan against the Farraki in the past. Gallywix also mentions the goblins history with the Zandalari, though he's drooling over all the Gold they own. Ji notes that the Pandaren have a history with the Zandalari but if the Horde can put itself back together after Garrosh, they can mend fences with anyone.

Rokhan says that with the Thunder King defeated the Zandalari have been passive over the past few years, and may be receptive if it means uniting against the Night Elves and the Alliance since Danath is back and the Trollbanes used to travel all over the world killing trolls.

Baine says that he's not sure about focusing only on the war, since it will be meaningless if the world dies underneath them, and pledges to send all the azerite they gather from the Barrens towards mending the world.

Sylvanas, who's been uncharacteristically quiet, speaks up and says that she'll leave Nathanos and most of her Forsaken Elite forces at Noctryss to hold down the front in Darkshore, while Eitrigg helps Lor'themar blunt the alliance forces in the Eastern Kingdoms, and Tattersail will ferry Rokhan and Vanira with Horde forces to speak with the Zandalari.

Eitrigg questions what can be done about those prisoner to the Alliance, especially Saurfang, and Sylvanas says she'll be sending a group of spies to discover what is happening deeper in Alliance territory and they'll do what they can for him.

The Landing:

Players are sent along with by boat, but on the way to Zuldazar they're spotted by a number of Alliance ships, which viciously cut into the Horde fleet. It's crew isn't 7th legion but there's a lot of them, Stormwind paladins, Bronzebeard riflemen, Gnomish magi, Night Elf huntresses, Draenei priests, gilnean/worgen warriors and even Tushui mistweavers, but even as the Horde ship seems about to be overcome, it turns out that the battle has carried over into Zandalari waters.

King Rastakhan, Queen Jhanmala, Talanji+Siblings (Four of them), and Zul'nok (My name for Zul) appear on ships and annihilate the Alliance forces, taking the Horde ship with them to Zuldazar.

Most of the Zanchuli council, Zul'nok, and some of Talanji's siblings propose executing the Horde forces too for trespassing, and for opposing them in the past. It's only Talanji's curiosity that let's them be heard as she opposed the mess with Zul'nok trying to take over the world in Cata and MoP with the Mogu and was impressed with Vol'jin becoming warchief and how the Darkspear have grown over the years. (Though in this canon rather than a youth, Talanji is in her thirties)

Vanira makes an impassioned case for the benefits of joining the Horde while Rokhan points out the danger of the Alliance's growing power and how trolls have been on the decline for a long time before the Horde stepped into the picture.

Rasta contemplates the discussion and decides to give the Horde forces some tests since all his advisors and family are split... but Zul'nok still has major control over the fleet. Each one pits the Players and the Horde representatives on the boat against a different Zandalari 'virtue'. The test of Strength pits them against a dire troll in competition for breaking things, Test of Ferocity has them tame a wild dinosaur, the Test of Endurance has them avoid and survive attacks from an elemental, and the final test of Power has them match magic with an ancient Zandalari spirit. Once all the tests are passed Zul'nok and his forces still aren't satisfied so he sends some of them to fight the players.

Obviously the players win, but in showing restraint and not killing their attackers who breached the tests, Zul'nok is humiliated and Rasta, Talanji and Jhanmala are amused.

The Horde representatives are taken to the Great Seal where Rasta, Jhan, and Talanji confide with the Horde leaders privately about how Lei-Shen's defeat weakened Zul'nok politically but he still has a lot of clout after Rasta's shortsightedness during Cata. Rasta admits he's still sympathetic to Zul'nok and his desire to see a grand return to Troll greatness and tradition... but Talanji says she sees potential in the Horde and how it's taken the dregs of the world and raised them up. Jhanmala also notes she shares some of the Horde members concerns about the world's wound and Azerite. So in addition to the Darkspear, and Revantusk, speakers The Horde as a whole is given the right to have "Speakers" on Zandalari land, much like troll tribes are.

Rasta says that if the Horde can prove itself to the council, his people, and the other tribes, he'll consider lending the Horde aid in its conflict with the Alliance.

And so the Horde and Players set out into Zuldazar, Nazmir, and Vol'dun...


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