We are cut off from Orgrimmar. We are cut off from Silvermoon. Sorlain has betrayed us and replaced us with the Hand; Right now, the Convocation may as well be defunct.
No one ever said leading a revolt against Garrosh Hellscream was going to be easy.
We’d moved to Thunder Bluff to recuperate after the disastrous near-miss at Razor Hill. We hadn’t specifically lost anyone, but Edanna had lost most of her hair, and two-thirds of the Crimson Hand had defected back to Garrosh (presumably on Sorlain’s orders). I remained convinced that I’d seen Thialen during the battle, but no one cared to speak much of her. Until we moved to Stonetalon, almost everyone vanished for a while.
The Barrens were hotly contested, and until the Alliance landed on Kalimdor in force it was likely to remain so indefinitely. There was one region where we – and the rest of the Commando that formed – could help out. Stonetalon.
The Mountains had been relatively uninhabited since the Shattering, and after the Bomb incident the Alliance had abandoned plans to open a supply route through it, especially as the Kaldorei fell back and Krom’gar Fortress strengthened its position despite the unfortunate fate of its namesake. At the time the Rebellion broke out, Krom’gar Fortress was the strongest and most senior of all Garroshian settlements besides Orgrimmar itself – which, we had already seen, had been turned into a fortress itself. Intelligence sporadically received indicated that things were only getting worse there – rationing was on the up, the Darkspear were being held captive in the Valley of Spirits, and those who showed no desire to be incorporated into the largest army on the planet were also being incarcerated as ‘enemies of the Horde’.
Our entry into the Mountains proved rather easy, as Malaka’jin had yet to be fully fortified by the Kor’kron, and a convenient Sunshardian landslip took out most of the opposition. Following several days of ensuring supplies from Hunter Hill (aided by Edanna’s creation of an illusion to make the area look like a Kor’kron base) we proceeded with plans for the region.
In order to liberate the region, we would first have to take the formerly-Alliance quarry just north of Malaka’jin, as well as ensure that no Grimtotem remnants were nearby. Closing off the mine would prevent Kor’kron reinforcements from coming from Krom’gar to retake it. Simultaneous to that was the necessary capture of a Kor’kron roadblock established between Malaka’jin and Sun Rock Retreat in order to prevent rebels getting in or out of the main area of Stonetalon. Once we captured/allied with Sun Rock Retreat (as we were not sure who was in control) we would be able to proceed to the Sludgewerks, Cliffwalker Post and eventually loop round to cut off Krom’gar Fortress’ supply route from Ashenvale.
This was all possible, so long as we worked subtlely and quickly. Whether it was sustainable afterwards, no one could be sure, but the estimates of 500 Kor’kron ground troops at Krom’gar compared to our 30 or so did not make our chances look high.
Beset by numerous bouts of factional squabbling (as elves, trolls and tauren all had representation within the Commando) we eventually utilised an Alliance reclamation force to help us capture the Quarry, which we handed over to them. Diplomatic tension flared with our destruction of the mine, especially as the Alliance had previously promised us 50% of all supplies that passed through. This went on for about a week, during which the commanding officer of the Alliance in Stonetalon mysteriously disappeared and was replaced by another zealous Silver Covenant agent in search of Khairan’s head. I was beginning to sense a pattern. However, the Grand Marshal in charge quickly returned after we exposed that his dismissal had not been intentional. For the most part, there was a successful armistice between both forces in the region from then on. The Quarry was further strengthened by our alliance with one of the region’s native air elementals on the plateau between Krom’gar and the Quarry, although the expansion of the Dark Shaman onto the plateau meant that this was a limited-time alliance.
The road block was slightly easier to clear than the Quarry, especially as there was no collateral in the form of slaves. The road block was thankfully weaker than our earlier intelligence reports had led us to believe, manned by just five tauren and a Kor’kron orc. The tauren were easily convinced to switch sides, and while this was occurring the Research Division noted a significant lack of elemental traces in the former Grimtotem village, engineered by the Grimtotem themselves to curse the land against the Kor’kron when they were driven out.
Following this, we sent several emissaries to Sun Rock Retreat, among them Thelnarion and Evy’lin. Unfortunately, this did not go quite as planned, as their tracks were noticed by the Kor’kron, who promptly investigated the Retreat for spies.
Several days later we would return in force, only to find the entire population silent and terrified. Between Evy’lin and Edanna we discovered significant magics of the Dark Shaman at work in the area, spying on us – which quickly brought attacks from Kor’kron forces. Though we fended them off several days in a row, it became quite clear that our position was already becoming untenable, and our forces quickly moved to finish up business; the Eyes reinforcing Sun Rock and Malaka’jin before pulling out, and the Convocation forces pushing for the Sludgewerks and control of Windshear Pass.
The Sludgewerks, mercifully, proved extremely easy. The goblins had not been paid in a significant amount of time, coerced and eventually forced into continuing their work unpaid by the Kor’kron. They were all too happy to jump ship and prevent any other work from occuring at Mirkfallon Lake. Following this, we were able to move quickly to Cliffwalker, where we faced another ambush from Kor’kron. Though weary, the tauren there were extremely reluctant to leave, content to take what the Kor’kron would throw. The entire tribe seemed to have been broken by the events of the Shattering, but we did as requested, giving them the necessary materials to reinforce the area before pulling out.
After the capture of Windshear Pass (promptly handed over to the Kaldorei) the Commando rendezvoused at Malaka’jin for one last time, in order to begin a push to cripple Kor’kron activity, by destroying what we assumed to be elemental weaponry in the mines beneath Krom’gar Fortress. With the Sludgewerks, Sun Rock Retreat and Malaka’jin all prepared to pull back to Thunder Bluff before the Kor’kron could retaliate, we used the Alliance entrance to sneak into the mines, discovering an elemental forge of immense proportions on the bottom level. Taking them by surprise, Darkstrike destroyed the ventilation as we attacked the forge itself, destroying it and forcing the Kor’kron to evacuate the mine as it began to collapse around them.
Recuperating within Thunder Bluff, we received word from the Rebellion that Hellscream was planning something in Pandaria – and that we were to travel there immediately.