[WoW] The Truce Can Wait

Yes, you read that right: this is a Warcraft story. It certainly isn’t standard faire on these boards, but it still fits our theme (plus I’ve been playing my evil dwarf character in that game lately).

  1. Warhammer has the Chaos Dwarfs;
  2. Kings of War has the Abyssal Dwarves;
  3. The 9th Age has the Infernal Dwarves (as does Lost Kingdoms);
  4. Dungeons and Dragons has the Duergar; and
  5. Warcraft has the Dark Iron Dwarves.

Don’t worry: I’ll still complete the other story of Darbakh’s foray into the world of Elder Scrolls. However, that’s a bit of a longer story still in progress, whereas this is essentially one large scene chopped up into pieces. Welcome to another iteration of dwarves who are downright ewal.


Hooves dug into the moist soil of the Cape of Stranglethorne at a frantic pace, winding through a path scorched through the coastal stretch of jungle. Two humans and a dwarf pushed their steeds faster still, breathing heavily from fatigue and then from smoke exhalation as they broke out of the burnt underbrush and onto the trampled shore.

The dwarf turned atop her ram mount. “There! I see them! We’re not too late!” Marinna said in a heavy Bronzebeard accent.

Linda, a Kul Tiran, rode next to her atop her charger, struggling to keep up. “They’re still on the march; I see the trolls making camp further up the hill. Thank the light, we made it!”

The trio continued riding down the shore, reaching the tail end of a group of skirmishers marked by clanking metal, smoldering torches, and deep chanting. A group of Dark Iron dwarves marched in formation in spite of numbering no more than fifty, followed by small golems dragging baggage and a Flamewaker prodding flame imps foreward with a pitchfork. On the hill above them stood a group of Zandalari trolls, slightly higher in numbers and surrounded by crawgs. The dwarves marched toward that hill with grim intent, stamping down the grass nearest the shore and hefting battle axes without any visible signs of tiring.

Semir, a human wearing a Stormwind tabard, pointed toward a dark-haired dwarf with flames crackling around her hands. “She might be the leader,” he said as the trio rode alongside the Dark Iron soldiers, who were ignoring the three diplomats.

Marinna dismounted and left her ram trailing behind her. “Wait! Stop, there’s a truce!” she said while running over to her counterpart. The Dark Iron pyromancer stopped and turned around, facing Marinna with a slight frown. The Bronzebeard diplomat fumbled through her pockets whil her two companions dismounted and approached over the unstoppable march of the soldiers from Shadowforge. “Here! I have it here!”

The Zandalari on the hill stirred at the sound of a war drum and began taking up defensive formations, and the diplomats all shook nervously. The pyromancer wasn’t enthused. “It?” she asked derisively. “What exactly is ‘it’?”

Marinna pulled an envelope from an inside pocket of her cloak and held it out to the pyromancer. “Here! It’s an order to end hostilities over Azerite nodes! I know that Darbakh is leading your forces, he needs to see it!”

The pyromancer looked at the envelope much as one would look at an expired sandwich offered to them. “Overseer Smokestack is leading the column at the front; it isn’t wise to run in between the frontlines in combat.”

Waving the envelope around, Marinna raised her voice as the Dark Irons continued marching with heavy footsteps. “Overseer Smokestack!” she yelled at the soldiers, though she couldn’t tell which one was their officer. “Please stop, a truce with the Horde is being prepared! Hostilities must cease immediately!”

The pyromancer stood in their way, blocking them from reaching the ironclad troops. “No truce has been announced.”

“The Zandalari have started their own march - the two sides will clash in moments!” Linda said urgently while pointing over the flame imps, which were now performing backflips in front of the group.

“Overseer! Listen to me, you have to stop!” Marinna yelled again, much to the pyromancer’s disapproval. The dark-haired Dark Iron sidestepped to block Marinna’s view.

“The Overseer is hard of hearing; it was a dynamite explosion in the mines, you see. He won’t hear you.”

The two humans looked worried, especially when the Flamewaker slithered behind them, but Marinna crooked her neck back and gave the pyromancer a quizzical look. “Our people are raised to dynamite explosions as our lullabies. That won’t damage a dwarf’s hearing.”

Marinna stopped and turned to look at the scaly elemental. The Flamewaker wasn’t too big, not much bigger than Linda, but the Kul Tiran diplomat still looked bothered by its position behind them. Semir looked to Marinna, who reacted with moral outrage rather than the fear displayed by the humans.

“What is this?” she asked while vaguely motioning toward the Flamewaker.

“For your protection,” the pyromancer replied with a feigned concern too unrefined to fool anyone.

“I’m Marinna, a diplomat coming directly from Ironforge!” She stood up straight and raised her voice again, inspiring her human companions and causing the Flamewaker to shrink away. “You can’t interfere with our business!”

The pyromancer glanced askew at Marinna with an anger-inducing skepticism. “Battlefield protocol dictates that personnel protects diplomatic staff, especially once hostilities begin.”

“They’re almost in charging distance!” Semir warned as the Dark Irons and Zandalari drew dangerously close, many yards further down the coastline.

The two dwarven women stared each other down, each too classy to begin pushing and shoving, though Marinna spoke with distress in her voice. “Please, stand aside - people will die! There’s supposed to be a truce between the factions after what happened in the Shadowlands.” The pyromancer rolled her eyes at the mention of the much-maligned campaign. “I’m being serious! Oh, forget you. OVERSEER! Overseer, peace is being negotiated within days! I implore you to stand down-”

All three diplomats were taken aback, and even the Flamewaker shook with a measure of fear, when Overseer Smokestack yelled his orders, sending his voice echoing over the waves. “Spread ruin on them!” the Dark Iron overseer ordered from the front of the column of black-clad soldiers.

Whether the Zandalari understood the words or not, they responded to the sentiment. Rushing from atop the hill, fifty-plus members of the Raptari Honor Guard rushed down their hill to meet the Dark Iron soldiers in combat. The diplomats were too late; the post-Shadowlands truce would have to wait.


Amazing and intense story here! I realized just how long it’s been since I played WOW as I had no idea these were a playable race.


Yeah, that was a recent change. The story of Warcraft hasn’t drifted from its roots - a cheap copy of Warhammer - but the Dark Irons becoming playable roped me back in. The deals with Blackrock orcs, being enslaved by a fiery demon lord, double crossing and helping to overthrow said demon lord, enslaving lesser fire demons just out of spite, horrific war machines…I have fun with my anti-villain (not an anti-hero; note the difference).


Even from a few dozen yards away, the diplomats jumped at the sound of bronze clashing with iron. The Raptari Honor Guard, tall and lanky in comparison to their opponents, practically threw themselves against their short, squat opponents in an early attempt at shock and awe. In the end, the only people shocked and awed were Linda and Semir, the two humans, who flinched and twitched at the sound of metal striking metal. The trolls swung great polearms with flat heads like weaponized spades, but their shock tactic fell flat against opponents who couldn’t be shocked. Even Marinna closed her eyes and turned her head away for a moment, mainly due to the grating sound as the Dark Iron soldiers used their long-handled battle axes to parry the trolls’ spades away. The trolls fell back after their initial charge forward.

“This is wrong,” Marinna said to the pyromancer, who wasn’t even facing her anymore. “Nobody is supposed to be fighting anymore; just give me a moment to grab their attention, and we can avert any loss of life!”

The pyromancer waved a hand for her to stay back, much as one would shoo away a petulant child. “Keep your distance, civilian; I have an obligation to keep you out of harm’s way.”

“You know that’s not…you don’t even believe that!” Marinna turned away and then leaned forward toward the mass of iron and bronze. “Overseer! We need to stop, there’s a truce being negotiated right now-”

A voice broke over the skirmish, causing the Zandalari to jump and hesitate for a moment in the back-and-forth push of weapon shafts on the frontline. “GRIND THEM DOWN!” came the voice of Darbakh Smokestack, warped in cadence by an effect which was neither tobacco use nor fel corruption.

Linda and Semir cringed in expectation of a surge of violence, but what they saw was different. Rather than rushing forward upon their leader’s command, the Dark Iron dwarves closed ranks, stood closer to one another, and began swinging their brutal two-handed axes at a slower pace. Slow, heavy swings rained down at the Zandalari trolls’ feet and knees, both of which were unarmored as opposed to their shins and thighs. The leader of the trolls shouted instructions to his troops, who then swung their spades downward at the dwarves who, rather than blocking or absorbing the shots, parried them. A test of skill ensued, one which saw the first trooper fall on the side of the trolls: a member of the Honor Guard collapsed when his leg was severed at the knee, falling to the ground where the dwarves marched over him. Their lower centers of gravity allowed them to push against the legs of the tall trolls, much like a wild ram pushing back a human.

At the sight of the trampled troll, Marinna actually tried to push past the pyromancer. “No, don’t kill him!” she yelled at the Dark Iron soldiers, though they’d marched so far down the grassy coast that they likely couldn’t hear her anymore. “Get out of my way!”

Unlike her human counterparts, Marinna wasn’t intimidated by the pyromancer, and she actually tried to push the Dark Iron magic user aside. The pyromancer didn’t push back much - or wasn’t able to - but resistance proved unnecessary when the snarling echoed from the top of the hill behind the skirmish.

Atop the sandy hill covered in beachgrass, half a dozen crawgs hopped into view and tore acrosss the ground toward the fray. A blood troll beastmaster wearing a Zandalari tabard swatted the eyeless bipeds with a stick, spurring them erratically toward the flank of the Dark Iron soldiers. Snapping their jaws and bounding forward, the crawgs beat an uneven, roundabout path.

“This is madness!” Linda cried.

“This has to stop!” Semir added while huddling close to the others.

A devilish grin spread across the Flamewaker’s scaly face, and it slithered past the group. “Your wish is my command!” it said in a decrepit voice as it hefted its pitchfork.

Poking and proding the flame imps, the Flamewaker sent the burning little creatures toward the crawgs, intercepting them before either pack could interfere in the melee. The crawgs chomped, the imps spat fire, and the central clash was crowned by a round of cheers and jeers around two figures.

A dwarf even stouter than the others, no doubt Overseer Smokestack, stepped out of the ranks, occupying a sandy space between the troops and the squabbling animals. A troll prelate, himself heavier than the others, met the opposing commander’s challenge, and the two parried and fenced with their weapons, axe and spade each vying to pin the other sharp edge to the ground. The troops on both sides were as invigorated as the diplomats were dejected, and Marinna puffed up her cheeks angrily, though she didn’t intervene.

She turned to look at the pyromancer. “You did this! We could have stopped this from happening if you hadn’t blocked us!”

“It was for your own protection,” the dark-haired Dark Iron replied.

“Spare me your dishonesty; you wanted this! You-”

A warhorn sounded from the side of the trolls, silencing the argument before it could truly heat up. A Zandalari dinomancer on the hill had blown the horn, causing the ground to rumble beneath everyone’s feet as the jungle trees and overgrowth shook. From the treeline emerged a Brutosaur, enormous to an absurd degree and swinging its long neck from side to side. The dinosaur couldn’t turn well, and when walking in a wide arc to sweep toward the dwarven rear, its trajectory put it on a course to walk directly over the diplomats. Linda and Semir clung to each other, and even Marinna, so stalwart for a noncombatant, took a few steps back uneasily.

“It’s going to trample us!” Marinna cried. She subconsciously grabbed the pyromancer and tried to pull the woman away, unable to resist the urge to help even a person she didn’t like.

The pyromancer shook her off, however, and began waggling her fingers and drawing patterns in the air. “I got this,” she said not only with confidence but almost disinterest. She then waved her arms, forming more elaborate symbols in the air and chanted a few words in Kalimag. “Rise!”

She tossed a few coals on the ground as the Brutosaur drew dangerously close, its footsteps kicking up sandy clouds and drowning out the sound of the skirmish. The coals burned into the sand, sinking slightly before an explosion of muddy water burst upward. A huge, dark figure rose above the diplomats, rising until it towered as high as the dinosaur itself. An entire Molten Giant climbed out of the ground, standing just in time to wrap its burning hot arms around the Brutosaur’s neck. The dinosaur wheezed and screeched, but its long windpipe was constricted as the giant grappled with it, hugging its searing, rocky body to the dinosaur’s flesh. Even more sand was kicked up as the giant held firm, refusing to budge and lifting the Brutosaur’s forelegs off the ground a few feet. The long tail lashed behind it, but the giant had seized it too suddenly for it to pull away. The Molten Giant rolled the long-necked dinosaur onto its side and crushed its throat, leaving the huge body to thrash on the sand and puke blood all over Semir. Linda tried to wipe his eyes clean with a handkerchief, but both of them dove to the ground when the Zandalari Prelate and Overseer Smokestack tumbled in a ball of fists and blades right through their group.

“Oh my stars!” Linda whined while covering her head with her hands.

The Prelate leapt to his feet first, sweeping his spade in such a wide arc that he almost cut Marinna. Smokestack stood next, wielding his axe much as his soldiers still were, parrying and pounding away behind them. The troll poked with the spade contently from a distance, but in a flash, the dwarf sprang forward on his thick legs, leaping a short distance but at shocking speed and stabbing the troll in the foot with the head spike of his axe. The troll Prelate hissed and counterstruck, but with one foot limp and off-balance, the strike lacked momentum and bounced off Smokestack’s thorium armor. Holding on to the axe haft like a lever, Smokestack pulled the troll’s leg until the Prelate tripped. Both men dropped their primary weapons at the same time and reached for their swords, striking sparks as they dueled, though the Prelate rapidly gave up ground while limping backward with the axe spike still stuck in his foot.

No longer focused on peacemaking, Marinna ran to her colleagues and helped Linda lift Semir by the arms, for the man could no longer see due to the dinosaur blood on his face. The Raptari Honor Guard held their line longer than typical troops would have, barring the dwarves by holding their polearms horizontally and pushing as if they were lacrosse sticks, but eventually too many of their ranks fell, too much ground had been given up, and too little hope held out of stopping the inevitable slow grind of the Dark Irons. The Zandalari broke, routing toward the jungle until the pyromancer conjured a wall of flames to bar their path.

Marinna looked up hopelessly as the Zandalari were magically walled in and systematically slaughtered. “Let them go! Your side already won!” she cried out to the pyromancer, though she was being completely ignored at that point.

The diplomats were surrounded by misery. On one side, the Dark Iron dwarves caught up to the Zandalari trolls and butchered the survivors; on another, the dead Brutosaur thrashed next to the remains of the Molten Giant, whose temporary body had disintegrated after its mission was over; still penning them in on another side, the pyromancer burned the Zandalari dinomancer alive, punishing the enemy mage for having - apparently - delivered the Flamewaker a terrible thrashing in the fray. As if to punctuate the finality of it all, the Prelate’s head hit the ground as Smokestack hooked the troll’s leg in a wrestling hold and took him down. The Overseer stomped the Prelate flat, not granting the troll leader to get back up again. Severed feet and shins of the Zandalari littered the whole area, and along with the crackling of the flames, all the diplomats could do was cling to one another until the Dark Iron soldiers had finished their gruesome duty.


The sandy, coastal grass smoldered to a soundtrack of wails and invocations of loa early that evening. A handful of the Dark Iron dwarves milled about a pumpjack they’d assembled from spare parts in a chest they’d dragged there, capping an oil well they’d’ claimed further from the beach, though the majority of the dwarves busied themselves looting the wounded survivors of Raptari Honor Guard. Over the course of an hour or so, the dwarves had severed the limbs of the Zandalari trolls, leaving those who hadn’t been killed outright helpless in the sand. A tent had been set up a few yards away from the gore and detritus of the battlefield, wherein the diplomats had been sent to wait.

Marinna paced back and forth, brainstorming alone while her human counterparts sat traumatized on a long piece of driftwood laid out as a bench. Linda stared at the sand in a sort of shock while Semir chewed on his nails; neither of them seemed aware that Marinna was talking to them.

“Outrageous! Outrageous, scandalous, and unacceptable! That’s what we’ll tell the leadership back in Stormwind. Never in my entire career have I seen…he’s coming!”

Stained in blood and sand, the Overseer dragged the wounded Flamewaker by the tail, pulling the scaly elemental being toward the tent. The pyromancer walked alongside them, flipping through a few pages of notes while they approached. Linda and Semir didn’t even react, so frazzled were their nerves, until the leader of the Dark Iron warband dumped the Flamewaker right next to them. The creature had been battered and cut a few times, though it lived, and its breathing was heavy as it laid in a pile next to the driftwood. Semir almost poked it with a stick before Linda stopped him.

Marinna hurried over to her two dwarven counterparts, interjecting before the pyromancer could speak. “Let’s review how many laws you just broke, Overseer Smokestack!” she said, wagging her finger at him even though his back was turned toward her. The pyromancer stared daggers at her until he intervened.

“Darbakh is fine,” he replied while patting the pyromancer’s arm. He still didn’t look directly at any of the diplomats as he opened a treasure chest at one of the open sides of the tent and rummaged through it.

“Commander Darbakh, you have a lot to answer for!” Marinna said, raising her voice and visibly angering the pyromancer again.

He still didn’t turn to face her. “I’m not a commander.”

She stuttered in shock, arching her eyebrows downward in a tight V shape. “You just commanded an entire platoon of troops to engage the enemy on the eve of peace talks!”

Darbakh tapped a piece of wood against metal as he fiddled with some items in the chest. “Those aren’t troops; those are just some lads who owed me money. Now, they’re all debt free. The economy of Khaz Modan has been served.”

His words only enflamed Marinna further. “Economy? The economy, are you serious? Those trolls were people, Commander!”

“He’s an Overseer, actually,” the pyromancer said.

“I don’t care!” Marinna shouted loudly enough for the Flamewaker to groan in its spot in the sand and cover its ears. “You clearly heard me when I warned you of the coming peace! The movements of these Zandalari mariners were known, and we came specifically to avert this tragedy!”

Darbakh removed his helmet, revealing matted-down burgundy hair as he worked. He turned to face her, finally, revealing a beard styled with curled ringlets. “No tragedy occurred here; nothing happened.” He puffed on a pipe he’d been preparing while all three diplomats gasped in shock. “The Zandalari ship was sunk; the wreckage is out there under the waves. We reached this oil well unimpeded and claimed discovery rights. That’s all.”

“What!? I literally just watched you march on these trolls. This pyromaniac here even walled them in so they couldn’t flee. You’re a war criminal!”

The pyromancer glared at Marinna without any effect; civilian or no, the head diplomat wouldn’t be intimidated. Darbakh prevented any sort of confrontation by calmly handing the pyromancer a set of coals from the treasure chest.

“Could you check that they capped the well properly? Excess oxygen might need to be burned out.” He nodded to the pyromancer as she took the coals from him and led her out of the tent, angling himself to prevent her from staring daggers back at Marinna. Once she’d walked away to join the soldiers, Darbakh stepped back under the ten’s awning. “Let’s review what occurred here.”

“Yes, let’s review your breaches of Alliance diplomatic missions!” Marinna replied, moral outrage fueling her figurative fires.

Nodding and walking over to the Flamewaker, Darbakh sat down on the elemental creature as if it were a chair. The scaly beast groaned under his weight, but it didn’t move, as if used to the abuse. Marinna remained standing, confused by the behavior.

“What you’re saying, Marinna, is it? What you’re saying is that you arrived at the scene prior to the start of a conflict, failed to prevent it-”

“How dare you!”

“-and then stood idly by while a Horde expedition was massacred by Alliance ‘troops’ as you call them.”

“No!” Marinna cried, shaking with anger. “No, that’s not true!”

“So you say. But whatever you thought you saw won’t matter if the survivors among the Raptari live to tell their side of the tale. You’ve been seen, kinswoman. You stick out like a sore thumb here, as do the two humies here; the Zandalari will assume that you arrived to observe our victory. Consider this carefully.”

Linda and Semir finally looked up, seeking guidance in Marinna’s confused expression. She returned their sense of loss, even when shaking her head at Darbakh in disapproval. “But…you did this! You ignored the news I brought!”

“So you say. But I don’t recall hearing anything other than Zandali battle shouts. Explaining how you arrived on the scene in time to witness the skirmish, yet remained here to watch it play out, will prove difficult. Listen well and think clearly: to these survivors, as well as anyone who wasn’t here, you’ll appear to be my accomplice.”

“You dastard! You lying, murdering dastard!”

He only puffed on his pipe and leaned back, much to the discomfort of the Flamewaker coiled into the shape of a chair for him. “I’ve lied about nothing, kin; I’m merely telling it like it is. It’s not what you know; it’s what you can prove. If you spread news of what happened here, then you’ll have no means of proving your innocence. I’m looking out for your interests.”

“But…” Marinna hesitated, her anger confounded and diverted entirely. “We did nothing wrong. We only wanted peace!”

Humming and nodding, Darbakh puffed his chest out as if he were a hero. “Worry not, my Bronzebeard kin; peace is what you’ll have.” He stood up, toppling over the Flamewaker as he adjusted his armor and folded one arm behind his back, self-satisfied and assured. “We arrived and laid claim to this oil well shortly after the Zandalari ship sank off the coast, leaving the resources to this merry band whose debts have now been forgiven. The Horde will recoup its losses, the Alliance will extract every last drop from this well and leave, and everybody wins.”

A few of the Raptari Honor Guard survivors, maybe half a dozen of them, groaned in the bloodied spots on the beachgrass where they’d been maimed. Marinna closed her eyes and looked away. “These trolls - these people - need medical attention. And as soon as they’re well, they’ll talk. They have a right to be angry at you…at us.”

Darbakh said nothing. Arm still folded behind his back, he stared at Marinna without blinking. His eyes glowed a shade of red only slightly lighter than his beard and hair, perhaps tinged with orange, and the glow seemed to brighten - or the tent seemed to darken - as he stared. His face relaxed with comfort and innocence, yet the entire diplomatic team reviled that calmness.

“No! Marinna, we can’t consider this!” Linda said, finally speaking up when she realized what Darbakh intended to do.

“Prisoners need to be protected…right?” Semir asked, and not rhetorically. “Um…right?”

Legitimately stunned into silence, Marinna looked between her two subordinates and the faux commander on either side of her. Her hesitation granted Darbakh the opportunity to walk past them.

“Your peace will be had; your peace will be had. If a truce is being negotiated between the factions, then we ought to do our parts to ensure it endures. An embarrassing incident so early would damage those prospects, though.” He took a long drag at the edge of the tent, puffing smoke. A few of the Dark Iron soldiers who hadn’t removed their armor yet took notice. “Marinna and friends…do you have what it takes to support this truce?”

Linda stood up, nearly sweating with nervousness. “Marinna, don’t listen to him! No more death, please!”

“Yes…no more death,” Darbakh said without turning back to them. “Let it end here. Let us leave it all behind. Let us leave it…buried.”

At the word ‘buried,’ a few of the dwarves took up shovels and began digging shallow graves a good distance away from the pumpjack. They were quick and efficient in their work, and the Raptari Honor Guard began wailing to their loa when they realized what was happening.

Semir joined Linda, though he tripped over the Flamewaker’s broken tail. “Wait - ouch! Wait, let’s think about this. Maybe it makes sense.”

“This isn’t why we came out here!” Linda cried in protest, though the dwarves continued digging.

Finally turning back to them, Darbakh held his pipe up to Linda’s mouth. “Calm yourself, young one. This will end soon.”

The Kul Tiran human tried to puff on the pipe to calm down, but then she coughed and hacked after the first second. “That - ack! Hurrk! That isn’t tobacco! Why…why does this smell like peacebloom!”

Darbakh took a long drag and blew the smoke at her, causing the Alliance government employee to panic and return to the driftwood bench, spitting into the sand and exhaling as much of the smoke as she could. Marinna didn’t even notice, instead watching the dwarf kin from Shadowforge as they prepared a grave. The pyromancer crushed pieces of coal and sprinkled the chunks into the hole, and the Zandalari survivors were dragged over to the hole before the corpses of the fallen were. He stood directly next to Marinna as they both watched.

“I’ll send a letter of thanks to your superiors…unsolicited, of course,” he said quietly. “I have many contacts among the Blackrock clan of orcs, too…I’ll mention your name if they ever request parley with the Alliance. Your discretion is a most useful asset.”

Marinna shook her head and walked toward her companions. “Don’t ever mention my name to anyone, ever.” She didn’t turn back to see if he was watching her, instead fetching her coat from one corner of the tent and donning it. “Let’s go.”

Semir dusted the sand off of himself, accidentally stepping on the Flamewaker again while following his elder diplomat. “What…what are we going to do?”

Linda stood and followed them out of the tent toward their mounts. Behind them, the Raptari were dumped into the shallow grave and screamed as they were set ablaze with the enchanted coals. Semir watched as the corpses were piled in after them, and the fire was set to burn before they were all buried.

Head held low, Marinna climbed atop her mount and tried to blot out the sounds behind them. A Dark Iron banner was raised over the spot where Darbakh had beheaded the Zandalari Prelate, but not joy was had by the diplomatic team as they took their leave.

“The truce will hold,” Marinna said, sighing as she accepted a harsh lesson in reality. The three of them rode off, all doing their best to put the memory of what Darbakh Smokestack had done in the far reaches of their forgotten memories.



Very nice piece. Loved the calm callousness. It is all just business, nothing personal. Great take on the dark dwarves.


Nice story! I just re-subbed to WoW a few weeks ago since a couple co-workers talked me into it. Haven’t played yet. Dark Iron Dwarves are definitely one of the coolest races to play. I unlocked them as soon as I could when they were released.


Delightfully written story. The combat scenes were imaginative and vivid, especially for the Dwarves. The wrangling, atrocity and abuse of the fire elemental afterwards were exquisite. Clear Chaos Dwarf parallells. There are many details I’d like to heap praise upon, but they’re too numerous for my energy to suffice ennumerating them now. Just lovely work. Good ending as well.

Very nice to see some Warcraft here on CDO, especially this well wrought. And not least when the real protagonist of the story stomps all over Blizzard’s long-lasting tendencies toward peace drives between coalitions and unity against a greater foe. It’s a good way to get some actual fine fantasy narrative out of all these repeated dreary peace attempts. To hell with end of the world plots: Let there be war in Warcraft, just as it was before WCIII made it all go off in this direction.

:rankcd1: :rankhob1:

Here’s to hoping we’ll finally see Warcraft IV. This setting’s stories always were at their best in strategy games, although WoW did allow for fun down to earth stuff like the Defias history. Haven’t really played the MMORPG anything to speak of for cheapskate reasons and aversion to grind, but all of my friends were heavily into it, and have told me plenty to get a decent view of it all.

One might say the Kul Tiran is… salty. :tongue:

Have you posted this on Warcraft forums, subreddits and suchlike pages?


Absolutely! The franchise might be a sort of family-friendly ripoff of Warhammer, but for what it’s worth, Warcraft’s addition to fantasy battles as positive.

You have a few choices for strategy coming up soon, both of which include factions of evil dwarves - whether we call them abyssal, chaotic, or infernal.

The first is Warcraft Arclight Rumble, which is a tower defense mobile game. It’s not pay-to-win, and the previews look like an awesome strategy lite game. You can access Warcraft’s version of evil dwarves via the Blackrock team; it includes the dark iron dwarves, mountain orcs, elements demons, and black dragons.

The second is a great mod for the failed RTS remake a few years ago; the mod is called Chronicles of the Second War. It’s a free labor of love with a whole unit and building roster for the dark iron dwarves, including stone golems, pyromancers, suicidal oathbreakers, and a boatload of heavy dwarves infantry.

Indeed! It’s on FanFiction dot net, whereas my stories about Darbakh in the Warhammer universe (and eventually t9a) appear on Archive of Our Own. I didn’t consider Reddit…do you know of any sub forums there which would be amenable toward pure total war?


Thanks for the tip! I didn’t know of those. Will have to check them out.

Try googling Warcraft subreddits and dark iron subreddits, and you might catch a good number to spread your work on. Spam it, baby! :hatoff:

Some quick finds, but there may be many more given how many Warhammer subreddits there are: