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."You have shamed me this day, my warriors!"Davin rolled over onto his back and looked up.The skies were still dark, save for one spot, in which hovered a dirigible.Briefly, Davin allowed himself to feel hope—perhaps the airship belonged to Colonel Lorena, who had freed herself and Lady Proudmoore from the Burning Blade.This sudden meteorological nightmare could easily have been the lady's doing, after all.They had come to rally the troops, drive the orcs back, and save the day.Then he took a closer look at the dirigible, and his heart sank.The canvas was decorated with several bizarre symbols, all of which the major recognized as being orcish.At least two of those symbols were mirrors for ones he saw on armor and weaponry that orcs carried during the war—not to mention on the troops that were currently killing his soldiers.Davin's platoon commander during the war had said that they were the orc equivalent of coats—of—arms for their various clans.Davin had never been a particularly religious sort.The only time in his life he'd ever prayed was when he was hiding behind the tree and praying that the demons wouldn't notice him.That particular prayer was answered, but Davin didn't want to push his luck, so he never prayed again.Now, though, he prayed that he would survive this day.Somehow, he found the strength to get to his feet.The words Davin had heard had come from the airship.A rope ladder fell toward the ground and went taut as the orc who owned the voice that spoke the words climbed down.When the orc arrived on the shore, the orcs all around—or at least the ones Davin could see in his peripheral vision, as his eyes were focused on the new arrival—raised their weapons in salute.The major also noticed that this orc had blue eyes, and at once he realized who it had to be.Until now, Davin had never actually met the orc Warchief, and he recalled that Thrall was also a shaman of great power.Like Lady Proudmoore, he could easily be responsible for this inundation.Holding aloft his two—handed hammer with one hand—this, Davin knew, was the legendary Doomhammer that had once belonged to Orgrim, Thrall's mentor—the orc cried out, "I am Thrall, Warchief of Durotar, Lord of the Clans, Leader of the Horde! I come to you now to say that—" He pointed at Burx."—this orc does not speak for me!"Over the past half—dozen years, Davin had had plenty of congress with orcs.There was the war, of course, and Northwatch's location on the Merchant Coast meant that plenty of orcs came through the area.In all that time, Davin had never seen quite the expression on an orc's face that he now saw on Burx's."Warriors of Durotar, you will stand down!" Again he pointed at Burx, but this time with the hammer."This foul creature has consorted with a demon in order to bring about war between our people.I will not violate our alliance to suit the needs of the very creatures who tried to destroy us."Burx snarled."I have been your loyal servant!"Thrall shook his head."Several warriors who served with you have reported a talisman you carry in the shape of a sword afire—that is the symbol of the Burning Blade.According to Jaina—as well as an ancient wizard who has allied herself with the humans—all those who carry that symbol are in the thrall of a demon known as Zmodlor, who is attempting to foment discontent on Kalimdor and sunder our alliance.As ever, demons do nothing but use us and then destroy us."Indicating Davin with his weapon, Burx said, "These are the bastards who tried to destroy us! They enslaved us and humiliated us and denied us our heritage!"His voice a calm contrast to Burx's near hysteria, Thrall said, "Yes, some of them did—and they did so because of demons who drained our very souls and forced us to fight their war on the people of this world, a war that we eventually lost.But we have thrown off those shackles and risen to be as strong as ever.And the reason why, Burx, is because we are warriors.Because we are pure of spirit.Or, rather, most of us are.I cannot call pure one who consorts with foul creatures to cause orcs to violate their word."The orcs and trolls all looked at Burx with a mixture of surprise and revulsion.There were a few, Davin noticed, who seemed confused.One of the latter spoke up."Is this true, Burx? You made a deal with a demon?""To wipe out the humans, I'd make a deal with a thousand demons! They gotta be destroyed!"Then, to accentuate his point, Burx charged right at Davin.Every instinct in Davin's body cried to run away, but he could no more make his legs move now than he could when the wave hit.He saw Burx's ax as the orc swung it upward in preparation for cleaving Davin's skull.But before he could complete the swing, Burx's entire body convulsed.He stopped moving forward and fell to the sand.As he did so, Davin saw that Thrall had struck Burx from behind with Doomhammer."You have brought disgrace to Durotar, Burx.You have caused the dishonorable deaths of orc and troll and human warrior alike.This blight can only be eliminated by your death.As Warchief, it is my solemn duty to carry out that sentence [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]