|Blackrock and Roll|
|Previous: Ghosts of the Past Conflict|
|Conflict: Blood War|
|Date: June 2nd - June 8th, 39 L.C.|
|Place: Blackrock Mountain, Searing Gorge and Burning Steppes|
|Outcome: Overall stalemate, Horde advantage.
|Commanders and Leaders:|
|Casualties and Losses:|
Operation Blackrock and Roll was the codename given to a series of engagements taking place within Blackrock Mountain. High tensions following the battle of Dazar'alor and the death of King Rastakhan have led the Horde to continue bolstering its forces and seeking new avenues of attack against the Alliance, leading into a clash within a province that neighbors Stormwind itself, the long contested Dark Iron Empire. Having been officially brought into the Alliance, the Horde sought to break the uncontested domination of Alliance hold over the southern half of the continent before the Alliance's momentum is far too great to be halted.
- 1 June 2nd - Gathering
- 2 June 3rd - Defense Systems
- 3 June 4th - Cauldron Control
- 4 June 5th - Echoes of the Tyrants
- 5 June 6th - Battle of the Burning Road
- 6 June 7th - Storm, Earth, and Fire
- 7 June 8th - Raging Hearts
June 2nd - Gathering
Rallying to Iron Summit in the Searing Gorge, the Alliance moved to reinforce the Dark Irons of Shadowforge City, deploying into the mountain and setting up a war camp in the Masonary just outside the Blackrock Depths. With their control over the lower half of the mountain, they maintained a steady supply line as long as they remained near Shadowforge; though the outer perimeter was less contained.
Meanwhile, after rallying to Black Tooth Hovel the Horde made contact with the Ironstand. A faction of Ironmarch and Blackrock Clan survivors, they were convinced to join the Horde by the Mag’har orcs, who brought word of what had transpired since the war with the Iron Horde; thus bringing the upper levels of the spire under Horde command.
After establishing their forward outposts, scouting groups were dispatched on both sides. However, the scouting parties came across each other and clashed, eventually drawing reinforcements from both sides and sparking a skirmish in the upper level of Forgewright's Tomb before ending in a stalemate, both factions's fighters retreating to their bases. The Ironstand proceeded to position archers to watch the Forgewright chains as an attempt to contain the Alliance forces. As a response, the Darkforged gave the Alliance forces a crash course in operating a mole machine in order to bypass the Ironstand rangers.
June 3rd - Defense Systems
The Ironstand learned much during their stay in Azeroth. Primarily, they learned of many tunnels that delve deep within the mountain; forgotten to each side. The Ironstand informed the Horde they found a passage leading to a large golem repository, these Golems having not seen use in many years, and could be easily reprogrammed by the Ironstand engineers.
At the same time, this information made its way to the Alliance by way of their spies, immediately setting the Darkforged to work against them. The last thing the Dark Irons needed was their golems being hijacked by the Ironstand to be used against them. Mole machines were prepped to get around the Ironstand archers watching the Forgewright chains, meaning the Alliance was deployed directly into the thick of the area.
A battle erupted in the Forgeworks for supremacy over the golem manufactory, with the stakes being that whatever side wins would have better defensive capabilities than the other one as these ancient golems would come to life to serve a new master. Ultimately the Alliance won the day, claiming the golems and the manufactory for their faction after a very close fought battle. Notably, Hulfrim Ironblood championed his faction by claiming victory over five separate opponents.
Prisoners were taken on both side, with the Alliance's prisoners sentenced by the Dark Irons to fight in the Ring of Law within Shadowforge City and the Horde's prisoners being overseen by the Mag'har of the Shattered Hand within Blackhand’s Colosseum, where they were faced with the prospect of killing one hundred enemies and live, or to fall short and become another pile of bones within the colosseum.
June 4th - Cauldron Control
On the day after the battle for the Forgeworks, word arrived that Azerite had surfaced in the Cauldron, and the Alliance and Horde rushed to control the area. The two factions fought a series of battles for control of the four towers that oversee the Cauldron, with each tower being certain to give strategic control of both the mining operations below and defense of the roads into and out of Blackrock from the north.
Ultimately, after an extremely close fight, the Horde managed to dominate control over the Cauldron and claim most of the Azerite, giving them a powerful boon for the days to come.
More prisoners were taken captive on both sides, sentenced to fight for their lives in the Ring of Law or Blackhand's Colosseum along with their other captured comrades.
Ring of Law - The Rabble
In the Ring of Law, prisoners Tyrinade Moonsong, Akimi, Miya Firespirit and Catriah Phoenixheart faced their first challenges. Six sets of foes were pitted against them: Bloodgore the Eviscerator, a fel orc they captured and shipped back to Shadowforge after their stint on Draenor; Mak'mogok, an ogre they captured after the Dark Horde turned him into a mindless beast that understood only killing; and "Cuddles", a pet project of the Darkforged, a Quillboar with Dark Iron spikes. In addition to the gladiators of note were the Sniffscratch clan of gnolls and the Shortwick kobold gang. A group of Skardyn were scheduled to fight as well, but were moved to the next trial instead. Fighting alongside the Horde prisoners were some of Shadowforge's most notorious criminals, the Roughbeard gang. The prisoners were armed with poor weaponry at random, chosen by the "Wheel of Law".
After a bloody fight, Justice Blackhammer sounded the gong signalling the end of the trial. Bloodgore laid dead, finally felled after being impaled through the heart with a boar quill by Catriah, Mak'mogok had met his demise being ripped to shreds by Tyrinade, half of the gnolls were blown up by Harrold of the Roughbeard gang and what remained of the Shortwick clan was finished off as collateral damage in Cuddles' rampage. The Roughbeard gang was nearly annihilated, Roughbeard himself was the sole survivor. Cuddles had survived and was remanded to further inspection, but would not be killed.
Before leaving the Ring, Miya attempted to attack Captain Kennan with a thrown boar quill and as a result was savagely beaten by the Forgeguards and as a result was branded on her neck with the mark of the Darkforged and had her prisoner rations reduced.
June 5th - Echoes of the Tyrants
With both factions licking their wounds, certain groups and individuals took the advantage to explore and adventure in the heart of Blackrock Mountain.
Ring of Law - Champions of the Elements
For the Horde prisoners' next trial, the Darkforged beseeched the elements and were granted champions that would fight along the Skardyn: Flame-Baron Charfuel the Hateful, representing the Firelands; Rock-Knight Bouldermar the Defender, representing Deepholme; Lady Iceswallow the Engulfing, representing the Abyssal Maw; and Lesser Djinn Willyam-Srobyn the Wishful, representing Skywall. However, due to the physical status of the prisoners and their poor weaponry, the champions chose to accept on the condition that the fight be made fairer on them. Thus, the prisoners were allowed to choose one of the elemental champions who would fight by their side. The majority voted to have Willyam-Srobyn fight by their side, and his lamp was provided to the prisoners to summon him. The Djinn was able to conjure up anything they'd need, so long as it remained within reason and didn't involve helping them escape or tampering with the prison.
With his phenomenal, cosmic powers he was able to summon up an alchemy lab for Miya, Tyrinade's weapon Heart Drinker, a sword and shield for Catriah and gave Akimi a significant power boost, temporarily morphing the scrawny priest into a hulking macho man and bolstering his bravery. In addition, he was able to scry on the root of Thas'alah for Catriah, informing them of its transformation into the Scepter of Clarity by the Alliance after having the Gem of Atai’natha tied to it during the Ghosts of the Past Conflict. However, he was unable to determine the precise location of the staff other than it being in an armory due to the scepter being placed in a crate prior to being shipped away from the Ghostlands and his abilities only allowing him to see what the scepter "saw".
Finally the time for the trial was sounded, and the prisoners and their new ally entered the arena. There, Willyam-Srobyn made for a theatrical entrance for his allies, using his powers to transform Tyrinade into a bat and morph her clothes into a bat-themed wrestling outfit, the now-musclebound Akimi was smashed through a boulder the Djinn made appear, Catriah was launched into a hoop, her clothes morphed into ones bearing as many emblems of Silvermoon as possible and Miya was launched out of a plague cloud decked out in Plague Doctor attire.
Though the Skardyn were unhappy at how their opponents had such stylish outfits and entrances, the battle began with Bouldermar causing an earthquake that only affected the arena floor, intending to destabilize his enemy. The Skardyn were eliminated within quick succession, the last one charging at Akimi in a last ditch attempt at wounding him, though he was taken out with a vial from Miya. Warlord Pointbeard outlived his fellows a short time.
As a last ditch effort to help his allies against the united elementals, Willyam-Srobyn took himself out of the fight for the most part, using his magic to turn the arena floor into a zero gravity area and help the prisoners move around his siblings' attacks with more ease. By the end, Bouldermar was finally dismantled by Catriah, Icesawllow was evaporated by one of Miya's potions and Charfuel's last move was to self-destruct, scorching some of the prisoners badly. Bouldermar's last move was to throw one of the massive stalagmites onto Akimi and crushing him, and he had to be saved by Willyam-Srobyn with his own personal strength due to his powers being tired to free him. With the Skardyn dead and the elemental champions returned to their respective planes, the trial came to an end.
Following the prisoners' return to the Black Cell, the Djinn returned to Skywall, but not before leaving each Horde prisoner he fought with a pendant with a windswirl pattern on it as a momento, saying that if they were ever in Skywall to look him up.
Blackhand's Colosseum - Victory or Death
The Alliance prisoners' first trial began when they were taken from their cells to the colosseum, where Arena Master Ribspreader declared that their capture resulted in neither victory nor death, and that as a result they would fight in the arena to reclaim their lost honor whether by succeeding the trial of the Shattered Hand or by dying fighting. However, that day was not to be their actual trial, and instead would be able to take their frustrations out on three of the Horde's wardens: Rekfar Axefury, Rairena Spitefrost and Tialda Scorchclaw were pitted up against Nawar Shanworth, Fizben Gearcrank, Jalresae Loreseeker, Arthur Langley, Sungyon Xiao and An'lyen Rosefeather in a test match to see the extent of the Alliance prisoners's abilities under tenuous circumstances.
As the numbers were stacked against the champions of the Horde, the Arena Master allowed them to use the entirety of their aresenal, including magic and weapons. However, he also declared that the Alliance would be given weapons hand-picked by him and would be keeping their magic-dampening collars on.
In spite of the Horde's advantage in arsenal choice, Rairena's soul was forcibly pulled from her own body by Jalresae and placed in her runeblade, seemingly defeating her as her body became completely unresponsive. With Tialda caught between Rekfar's own plague gas attack and the symbiotic cooperation between Fizben and Nawar, the latter threatening to bite her and transfer the worgen curse to her, she chose to yield instead. Arthur's fight with Rekfar left him close enough to death that the Arena Master was temporarily fooled, and as such he declared the fight over and that the fighers had brought honor to themselves and their opponents.
The defeat of Rairena Spitefrost was a minor victory, but their bout against the three champions of the Horde left them with ninty-nine more challengers to slay in the arena.
June 6th - Battle of the Burning Road
With the battles in the Searing Gorge coming to a close, both factions turn their attentions to the south in Burning Steppes. Having occupied the town of Chiselgrip, the Darkforged wage war upon the clan orcs that still make their home within the villages that surround the mountain. The Ironstand marshalled the Horde out to meet this threat, rallying the clan orcs together to push the dwarves back into Blackrock.
In the shadow of the statue of Anduin Lothar upon the Burning Road of Blackrock, the iconic path where Sir Anduin Lothar himself was felled against Warchief Orgrim Doomhammer in the Second War the Alliance and Horde clashed once more, seeking dominance over the southern foothill, and after a fight down to the very last man, the Alliance managed to clinch a Pyrrhic victory from the Horde and came out ontop.
Ring of Law - Champions of the Darkforged
For their penultimate challenge, the prisoners were tasked with facing the Darkforged's own veteran champions on request of the Shadowforge Senate following the debacle of their prior challenge, in order to prove that they weren't getting a pass by justice. Earthbreaker Grimforge, Flamestoker Emberface, Delrim Grimhammer and Ulfrim Irondirk entered the arena to face off against the Horde prisoners. This time the prisoners were allowed to have access to a limited armory, but no magic, firearms, poisons or potions were permitted to them. On the flipside, the Darkforged champions were allowed magic, provided it was limited to things that would not damage the arena.
Though it was a close fight, in spite the Darkforged's numerous advantages in experience, physical status and weaponry the trial ended with a narrow victory for the prisoners, and they were returned to their cells after Irondirk had been defeated, Emberface was knocked out by Catriah, Grimforge was defeated by Miya and Grimhammer was killed by Tyrinade when she used magic to pull out his blood after her magic-dampening collar had been damaged during the fight. Tired of the farce that was being made of the Dark Iron justice system, Justice Blackhammer ordered Grimhammer's body sanctified and burned, and then decreed that their next and final fight would be against Embermaw the proto-dragon.
June 7th - Storm, Earth, and Fire
Seeking to cultivate the favor of the elements, the Ironstand restored the nearby Altar of Storms. Sending a force, the Horde began to invoke pure shamanistic energy through the once corrupted font to call upon the forces of the mountain.
Likewise, having found the Altar to be a potent force for their own incantations, the Alliance and the Dark Iron flamecallers moved to oppose them, attempting to commune with the servants of the Firelands to bolster their armies.
The forces of Deepholme and the Firelands rised against one another, yet only one faction could reign supreme over the elements of Blackrock. After an immensely close fight against one another, coming down to a final squad, the Horde scored a Pyrrhic victory and succeded in summoning earth elementals to aid them.
At the same time, the Alliance and Horde prisoners were put through their final tests. The gladiators of the Ring of Law faced their final challenges while the fighters of Blackhand's Collosseum finished the last of their hundred. With their victories in the arena, the captives were released, having paid their sentence to the Dark Iron empire and completed the orcish trials of honor in the Blackrock arena.
Ring of Law - Embermaw the Devourer
On the day of the final trial, Justice Blackhammer announced that the High Justice Council decreed that the Horde prisoners, including the new ones for the sake of brevity given the stakes, would be tried one final time by the Dark Iron laws. Their final trial would be to face Embermaw the Devourer, a fully grown, matured and feral proto-dragon. As per special laws involving the dragon, a single person in the group would be allowed the use of magic. After debating it amongst themselves, they chose the Blood Elf Death Knight Alexander Bloodshield to be their magical user.
The dragon was a fearsome combatant on its own, however, after Tyrinade Moonsong damaged an intricate rune on its back, Embermaw's true form was unleashed. Having been experimented on by the Dragonmaw clan, Embermaw had been infused internally with an immense amount of fire magic; hence its name. The scales that bound the fire together were a false skin, intertwined by the runes that bound the unstable magma and fire into the proto-dragon's form. Now unleashed, Embermaw unleashed immense gouts of fire, magma and elemental fury; horrifically burning most of the party. By the end of the fight, Embermaw had suffered far too much damage to stabilize its form. Through a distraction by Gooldaro, Tyrinade was able to remove the core of the dragon, its rune etched skull, from the elemental; causing a massive explosion that nearly killed the group. Gooldaro, caught in the explosion, was badly injured but managed to survive despite taking essentially a fireball to his face.
Though it was an arduous trial that the Justice of the Darkforged had intended to be deadly for them as revenge for Delrim Grimhammer's death in the previous trial, the Horde gladiators ultimately prevailed and passed the final trial and were subsequently released, having paid their sentence to the Dark Iron empire.
Blackhand's Colosseum - The Hundred
On the day of their final trial, the Alliance prisoners were awakened early to prepare them. Their chokers were going to be removed and their weapons of choice granted to them. A no-holds barred battle to the death against a hundred opponents awaited them in the Colosseum. From peons, grunts and a monsterous gronn to dozens of other dishonored Alliance prisoners that had been Blackrock captives, the band of prisoners had to use their wits and every ability in their arsenal to overcome the odds and leave Blackrock Spire with their lives.
As the Alliance fighters faced down their last three opponents, Arena Master Ribspreader was reminded by Rairena Spitefrost that the prisoners had effectively killed her in their first bout earlier in the week, and that meant they only had two more kills left. Ribspreader then told them to pick one of the prisoners who would live and would leave with them when they come out as victors.
Having chosen an opponent to spare, the fighters of Blackhand's Collosseum finished off the last of their hundred. With their victories in the arena the captives and the final combattant were released and they walked out of the Blackrock Spire, having slain their hundred and completed the orcish trials of honor in the Blackrock arena. As a final act of defiance before leaving, Sungyon attempted to throw his weapon at the Arena Master, who dodged the throw.
June 8th - Raging Hearts
With the clashes along the two provinces settled, the Horde and Alliance forces came to a final head within the mountain of Blackrock. The Burning Steppes and Searing Gorge held ther various claims, leaving the Spire as the lone point of contention with no further speculation. The Darkforged and Ironstand clashed a final time to decide the fate of Blackrock, with the victor coming out dominant in the spire while the other faction's stance would be tenuous.
Fighting across the spire, the Horde and Alliance dueled until the Horde and Alliance were down to three men between them. Finally, the Horde managed to strike down the final Alliance soldiers, Paithas Downbrook and Nulric Ironcrag. Sounding the retreat, the Horde managed to maintain dominance over the spire.
Both sides, however, suffered grievous losses, with several deaths on both factions. Amongst the Alliance casualties were Thane Murdenurn Slagbeard, Warden of the Ring of Law and Private Ollie Waters of the Stormwind Army, and amongst the Horde casualties were Kargash the Risen and the Blackrock warsmith Kogg Gorebasher, the latter presumed deceased after leaping into the Molten Span following his defeat. As such, while the Horde claimed the night, the Spire has come to another stand still, with both factions having gained and lost ground. Though the Horde claimed victory over Blackrock Mountain, the Dark Irons will return.
|The Flames of War|
|Blood Maul · Shadows of Ashenvale · Siege of Tirisfal · Ghosts of the Past · Blackrock and Roll|