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Category: 17. Mists of Pandaria

Calamity Jade

Calamity Jade

The Jade Serpent statue“They’re animals, ye see?” Ringo Flinthammer said, shifting his rifle on his shoulder as he marched through the Jade Forest.

The jinyu marching next to him, armed as well, turned one eye toward Ringo without turning his head.

“Do you mean the Tauren? Or do more members of the Horde resemble animals?”

“Nay, Ah mean they’re savages who donnae value life th’ way yer people an’ mine dae. In Durotar, they raise their young tae hate and tae kill. Nae orc e’er shed a tear when one o’ their young greenskins died in their trials.”

“I thought there was one you mentioned, the former Warchief …”

“Bah! Thrall may hae dressed it up in a pretty face, but the Horde’s evil by nature — it’s in their demon-tainted blood. Ye do know that ye cannae leave a demon in the same room with an orc without the orc eventually havin’ hisself a drink, right? They tap ’em like a keg!”

The jinyu said nothing in reply, but looked straight ahead. Some of the other fish men marching around them muttered something in their own blubbery tongue.

“Ye didnae see what they did ta Theramore. They should just go back through th’ Dark Portal an’ gae back tae Draenor …”

“ALLIANCE SOLDIERS!” Admiral Taylor’s voice rang out through the trees.

The troops drew to a halt. Over them towered an enormous statue of a dragon, apparently made of jade. Ringo glanced up, wondering, for a moment, how many craftsmen it had taken over how many years to build such a thing — it must rival the Stonewrought Dam as an engineering marvel, especially since Deathwing had shattered the dam.

On the far side of the statue, the Horde troops were waiting for them, including locals they had corralled into their service — the hozen, now armed as part of the Orgrimmar war machine.

“Wait for it, wait for it,” an Alliance captain nearby said, holding back the Alliance troops. Taylor lowered his sword at the Horde.


And the troops surged forward.

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Friends, Not Food!

Friends, Not Food!

Pearlfin Village

“This is what th’ Horde does, ye see,” Ringo Flinthammer said, as the fish man patiently nodded, winding a damp bandage that appeared to be made of seagrass around the dwarf’s torn bicep. “They gae into a peaceable area — like th’ Hillsbrad Foothills — an’ lay total waste tae it. Th’ orcs pick up other races along th’ way, ‘specially weak or foolish ones, like th’ Darkspear Trolls after they were almost wiped out by some grand murloc witch or other, an’ th’ Tauren when th’ Quillboar had them on th’ run, th’ Bilgewater goblins after Deathwing sank Kezan …”

Ringo trailed off, unsure of the details of any of this, having only heard it second-hand from some of the sailors who had been stationed in Theramore before the attack and, in theory, knew more of the Horde’s history than a mountaineer from Loch Modan would.

“Anyway,” Ringo said, remembering what his point was, “That’s what they’ve done with yer monkeys!”

“‘Hozen,'” the jinyu medic said quietly. “They’re called ‘hozen.'”

“Oh, aye! Them too! The orcs hae recruited them up an’ has them marchin’ to th’ beat o’ their bloody kettle drums.”

“Sit still, please — you’re going to re-open your stitches.”

Frostmaw had carried an unconscious stabbed, bitten and clubbed Ringo away from the sniper’s perch during the entire Alliance retreat south through the Jade Forest, before relinquishing him here, in a village of fish-people who likewise had been the victims of hozen attacks.

“Ye’ll see. Th’ Horde: They’ve gae nae respect fer life. Back on Draenor, they’d kill draenei children in front of their mothers fer sport. And in Durotar, they’ll let their own wee ones starve if’n they’re nae fierce enough in the Valley o’ Trials!”

“That’s … unbelievable.”

“Oh, aye. And ye ne’er saw what they did tae Dun Garok or Theramore. Stick with us, fishy boy, and we’ll take care o’ ye. And we’ll run th’ Horde off this here island o’ yers and soak the beach red with orcish blood.”

Monkey Business

Monkey Business

Ringo targets Grookin Hill

Things were looking up.

Ringo Flinthammer lay quietly on the ground, lining up a Horde soldier’s helmet in his cross hairs. After the fall of Thunder Hold, the Alliance forces had to fall back. Strongarm Airstrip was holding — for now — but word had come that the relief troops they had been waiting for had indeed arrived in Jade Forest, but on the southern coast. A route linking Strongarm with the southern command center was being secured, so long as the Alliance could hold out a little more.

Ringo pulled the trigger, watching the orc’s head snap back, and smiled.

“Chalk up another victory tae th’ Alliance spirit,” he muttered. “If this is th’ best they’ve got ’round here, in six months we’ll be runnin’ this continent.”

Ringo on the scenic overlook

The Horde scurried, diving for cover. For all the talk of what great hunters the Darkspear trolls were, it seemed none of them could locate the scenic overlook Ringo and a succession of Alliance snipers had used over the last 48 hours. Soon enough, it wouldn’t matter: They had whittled the Horde’s numbers down enough that they would stand a good chance of being able to hold off what remained until the relief arrived. After all, the survivors of the Hellscream’s Fist were fewer in number every day …

Ringo looked up from his scope.

“What’s that sound?”

There was a hooting and screeching echoing through the trees. Behind him, Ringo’s great white bear sat up, grunting curiously. Mixed with the howls and shrieks were the low sounds of great cats, getting closer.

“If Ah didnae know better, Ah’d say that it was the night elf cavalry …”

It wasn’t.

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Welcome to the Jungle

Welcome to the Jungle

Ringo on the front lines of Thunder Hold

“Hmmm, dae ye reckon this is spoiled?”

“Flinthammer!” Captain Arrow roared. “Drop that damned bowl of chili and look alive!”

Mountaineer Ringo Flinthammer dropped his bowl as a shadow fell across him and the mossy flagstones of the jungle ruins. The sound of Alliance naval cannons off the northern coast of the Jade Forest thundered in his ears, driving a Horde gunship over land. Little did they realize the Alliance had landed here first, under the command of Captain Doren, who made his name in Stranglethorn Vale.

“Steady!” Arrow called. “Steady … FIRE!”

The riflemen’s blunderbusses roared in unison, a thunder drowned out a moment later by the cannons moved ashore from their ships. Above them, the Horde’s gunship twisted in the air, holes punched through its hull and metal struts going flying. The Alliance soldiers cheered in response, although the cheers died in their throats as they saw Horde soldiers rappelling down from the ship to meet them.

There was a rush of white fur, stinking of fish, and Frostmaw leapt over the battlements of Thunder Hold, splashing down in the moat outside and charging the Horde troops landing on the shore below. Ringo, grabbing a standard from nearby, hurled it after the bear, the white flag unfurling as it landed, the golden anchor gleaming in the Pandaren sun.

“REMEMBER THERAMORE!” Ringo roared, charging after the bear.