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[AoC Theme/Alt Third War] - The Fog of War

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The Fog of War
Act I: Wolves Among the Hounds
Special thanks to Sage & Grommash for the various maps such as Alt 3rd war for inspiring this concept.
 
Overview


The Kingdom of Lordaeron has faced many enemies during its existence, on countless battlefields throughout Azeroth; yet whatever the foe, the Forsaken remain a constant thorn in the League's side. Hemming in the forces of the Alliance and stymieing efforts to help the land recover from the ravages of the Scourge, they constantly threaten the safety of Lordaeron and the work done to reclaim it. For a time, however, the League has been granted a reprieve from this intermittent conflict; for both Alliance and Horde found a common enemy in the form of Warchief emeritus Garrosh Hellscream.

Now that Hellscream is deposed, however, Sylvanas has turned fresh eyes to the lands she claims as her dominion. The Western Province in particular has grown healthy and strong thanks to the efforts of various groups, healing the land and all but eradicating the Scourge's presence. It is this recovery that so worries the Banshee Queen; a land so hospitable to the living might form a springboard for an assault into the Forsaken heartlands in the Tirisfal Glades. Thus, by her command, the Forsaken have once again begun to expand their borders; and once again, the League faces the threat of open war. Yet the situation is not as simple as it may seem, for the League of Lordaeron has found itself presented with a curious offer...
 
The Frostwolf Clan


The Frostwolf clan was one of the original orc clans from the planet of Draenor, their homeland was in Frostfire Ridge. When Gul'dan initially approached the chieftains with the offer to gain immeasurable power by drinking the blood of Mannoroth, Durotan of the Frostwolves refused. Durotan, who advocated traditional orc society, began to speak out vehemently against the corruption wrought by Gul'dan and the warlocks of the Shadow Council. Because of this, Gul'dan declared the Frostwolves to be outlaws. Fearing for the safety of his tribe, Durotan led the Frost Wolves through the Dark Portal and eventually settled in the distant Alterac Mountains. Along with Drek'Thar, the Frostwolf clan lived along the Alterac Mountains practicing shamanism, and having Frost wolves as their companions.

Throughout the First and Second War the Frostwolves remained in hiding, practicing the old traditions under the leadership of their shaman Drek'Thar. Eventually, nearly two decades after their exile, Thrall, the son of their chieftain, sought them out. Under the tutelage of Drek'Thar, Thrall became a shaman and began a crusade to re-awaken the orcs to their heritage and free them from the demonic corruption that had plagued them for so long. Though the Frostwolves fought bravely to liberate their brethren from the humans, against the Burning Legion during the Third War, and helped to found Durotar, many of them abandoned their capital where the rest of the orc clans live. Instead, they returned to their traditional homeland in the Alterac Mountains, where they hoped to remain neutral as tensions between the Horde and the Alliance increased.

The Dwarven expedition known as the Stormpike Guard led by Vanndar Stormpike have started an expedition in the Frostwolf territory to excavate the valley and mine its veins, a transgression to the orcs who inhabited Alterac. This provoked a slaughter of the first expedition, and started the battle for Alterac Valley.
 
The Stormpike Guard


Alterac's mountains have long been known to contain vast deposits of valuable metals and mineral ores, most of which remain untapped. Even so, the region's harsh climate and proliferation of hostile inhabitants - such as the Ogres, the Frostwolf Orcs, and now the Syndicate - have precluded any serious attempt to exploit those resources by either the Alliance or the Horde. It was the rumour of possible Titan relics, however, which proved to be the game changer for the Dwarves of Ironforge. Still largely ignorant of their ancient past, and in the throes of 'Titanomania' as some scholars have called it, King Magni Bronzebeard chartered an expedition to venture to the Alterac Mountains and survey it, perhaps gaining valuable insight into Dwarven history and even if not, obtaining some of Alterac's valuable ores for the Alliance.

This first expedition, however, was a disastrous failure. The Frostwolf Orcs, viewing the excavation of their lands as an egregious offense, attacked the expedition and slaughtered most of its members. The few survivors fled back to Ironforge, telling tales of the ferocity and cruelty of the Frostwolves.

Unable to stand such an offense, the King appointed one of his most decorated generals - Vanndar Stormpike - to lead a second expedition with the added intent of claiming Alterac Valley for Ironforge and the Alliance. Though well armed and brilliantly led, the Stormpike Expedition's distance from Ironforge prevents the Dwarves from overwhelming force, resulting in something of a stalemate. Even so, what has already been mined from Alterac Valley already supports the costs of the expedition, so it unlikely that the conflict will cease any time soon.
 
The Royal Apothecary Society



The Royal Apothecary Society is an alchemical society based in the Apothecarium in Undercity. It was created by Lady Sylvanas Windrunner in order to create a new Undead plague to wipe out the scourge and other forms of life. Its members are all Forsaken or other types of Undead beings who joined Sylvanas' cause. They are constantly brewing up new plagues to unleash upon Sylvanas' enemies. The other races of the Horde believe they are working on a remedy to cure their "illness". Members of the Apothecary society are called Apothecaries. Due to repeated failures by the society to make a new plague of undeath, Sylvanas has recruited necromancers to find other means of raising slain enemies to her cause. The Royal Apothecary Society has grown to 3,500 members now. Its top minds are making deadlier and more destructive toxins as Lady Sylvanas works to free more beings from the Scourge’s control. The Forsaken, and the Society, are alone in the world, liked by neither mortals nor their fellow undead, but they will fight to maintain their freedom from both.

Now they seek to unleash their plague upon the rest of Lordaeron, and perhaps the entire Eastern Kingdoms. However, first, their attention turns to something closer to home...

 

High Apothecary Reginald Craeton

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Characterized as "a ruthlessly effective, but proper" replacement to Putress and his men by Sylvanas herself, Reginald Craeton has ascended the ranks of the Royal Apothecary Society with stunning ease (but not without its controversies). Much of his history as a living human in Lordaeron is unknown, or at the very least, unknown without some research. His work on Sylvanas' new Plague has proven to be instrumental in perfecting the irregularities in its chemical matrix, and now he sits comfortably at the top of the chain of command in the Society.

His despise for the Kor'Kron Legion and its obsession over controlling the substance to which he devoted his undead existence to has led him to be untrustworthy to anything that is not Forsaken. This was only furthered when Chieftain Drek'Thar of the Frostwolf Clan refused to aid the Forsaken. To him, Drek'Thar's decision signed the Horde's fate in his mind: The Forsaken were on their own. Thankfully, with the collapse of Garrosh's 'esteemed' rule, and the disorganization and rechartering of his Kor'Kron Legion, Reginald has decided that it is time to take advantage of the blip in the Horde's radar. What is it will he do?

 

Warchief Markesh Bloodwolf, The Terrible

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While the Frostwolf Clan has remained largely out of the affairs of the wars and conflicts going on around them, Drek’Thar’s current health and age have become a source of great stress within the Clan of Frostwolf. While disagreement over who might take his place has led to altercations, even honorable duels to the death, only one has chosen dissention. Markesh grew up as a headstrong and violent member of the Frostwolf Clan. Young still, and matured into the era of Garrosh’s Horde, the orc has been a vocal opponent of Drek’Thar’s “short-sighted and ill-made decision to refuse to aid the Forsaken war machine”.

As time passed in the past several months, Markesh found himself a small band of followers – soon that band became larger. In recent weeks, Markesh formally declared his intention of claiming the position of Warchief from Drek’Thar. The arrogant and unprecedented declaration earned him many more followers and with Garrosh’s death, those numbers doubled once again. Markesh soon separated his followers from the Frostwolves, choosing to rename his people and himself to Bloodwolf and the Bloodwolf clan, in honor of Garrosh’s blood being spilt during the invasion. Now, the Bloodwolf Clan leads terrible and malicious attacks against the Dwarves of Dun Baldar, pillaging and massacring any living creature they find. Hidden somewhere in the Valley’s many caves, the Bloodwolves now thrive independent of their once brothers.

 

First-Lieutenant Dundar Buckshot

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Assigned to to be Vanndar Stormpike's Emissary to Lordaeron, Dundar Buckshot is one of the highest ranking members of the Stormpike Guard. Experienced, stout and definitely dwarvish; the dwarf loves a good drink and story around a fire.

His claims of offering the Stormpike Guard's continued aid to Lordaeron is one that the League could not logically refuse, but it comes at a cost. Will the League agree to their terms, and join the Stormpikes in their conquest of Alterac Valley?

 

Der'gigar, the Forbearing - Far Seer of the Frostwolf Clan

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Der'gigar the Forbearing is one of Drek'Thar's most esteemed and highly respected Shamans in the entirety of the Frostwolf Clan. His name carries some merit throughout the Horde, and the Alliance might know of it, but one thing is certain about this orc: His wisdom is never questioned.

Born in the months directly after the Frostwolf Clan picked Alterac as its home after the First War, the elder orc was chosen by the Elders to be trained to see, hear, and feel the elements all around them. By the time the Second War had concluded, the Shaman had grown strong and powerful. He could see the events unfolding around them in their valley, but his curiosity never led him astray. He stayed loyal to the Frostwolves and his Chieftain, and represents their interests in all things. When the sanctity of their exile in the mountains of Alterac was threatened, the Shaman wielded the elements to terrifying effect, contributing hundreds of kills to the massacre of the first Stormpike Expedition.

Since then, Der'gigar has attempted to live a life that is removed from the violence that plagues their once peaceful Valley. Recently, by Drek'Thar's own request, the Orc has traveled to the Sin'dorei capital of Silvermoon City, in an attempt to gain favor with the Dawnfury Concordant. His mission of seeking allies against the Forsaken in the large elven metropolis has fallen on deaf ears so far, and now, he plans to turn to his sworn enemies. The enemy of my enemy is...?

 

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