Journals of Alhazred

Fiction based on the World of Warcraft game setting

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Marshall Dughan and the Skein of Hogger

Journal Entry

I spent over a month learning what I could about the nature of the voidwalker that I now was able to summon. I must admit that at the time I was appalled that the ritual would require the living spark of another life in order to succeed. The spell to drain the soul into the enchanted crystal for fueling the magic was innocently simple in its application but repugnant in its implications. As a consequence and more to relieve the burden to my conscience, I experimented on the wildlife teeming in the forests of Elywnn.

Through trial and error, I found that the life essence of sufficiently robust animals could be used as a substitute to human sacrifice. Many a wolf and bear found their death at my hands while I perfected my spell craft, but I realized intellectually that a time would come when a conveniently located alternative would not be available. To be frank, I found that I had no compunction when it came to using the soul draining technique on what I have always considered lesser beings. Thus murlocs and gnolls were considered acceptable in my eyes and sufficient for my needs when available, truthfully they were little better than animals themselves despite being cunning and vicious combatants. I could only hope that when the time came to turn such art on another human being, that my training and instincts would take over were I was sure my emotional reactions would fail me.

During my tenure with the border guards, which all citizens are obliged to spend time in service to, I had ample opportunity to develop my distain for the humanoids inhabiting Elywnn. I found it no real hardship to be under the orders of Marshal Dughan and tasked with assisting in the efforts to drive them from our lands. Enduring the patronizing and self-serving speeches of Dughan was another matter entirely.

Marshal Dughan was the epitome of the politically appointed commander. Often vehement in his condescension of the intelligence and abilities of both Murlocs and Gnolls, it did not escape my notice that our proud Marshall was not know to sully his hands by leading any of the raids himself. I had joked on more than one occasion with a couple of my fellow patrol that if Marshall Dughan was as able with a sword and shield as he was with rhetoric and officiousness, I could see no reason why we were not already drinking to his honor in the very shadow of Orgrimmar.

So it was with no real surprise that during a supply run to the Westbrook garrison on the western edge of the forest that I noticed a wanted poster for an especially brutal gnoll named Hogger. It appeared that this Hogger was making an attempt to rally those of his verminous brethren too stupid to realize their time on our lands were over. Hogger was credited with at least a dozen organized attacks on the surrounding farms and homesteads as well as ambushing several patrols.

I spoke with the garrison leader concerning the warrant. Inquiries into the specifics of the raids proved that this new war leader was more daring and innovative than I was used to hearing of from gnolls.

I found myself angry that with the capital no more than a couple of hours away by brisk walk, that Marshal Dughan had not at least appealed to the commander of the standing army in Stormwind for a small contingent of Paladins to deal with this marauder. I imagine that the need to save face in front of his peers combined with his almost pathological aversion to anything that smacked of personal responsibility was what held his tongue and allowed these rampages to continue.

After some thought, I decided that with the aid of my new servant and the spells I had researched, I would see if I could bring this Hogger to accounting. Not only would this garner me notice within the Conclave, but would also serve to expose the uselessness of the good Marshall in the minds of the simple peasants of the region.

It was with these thoughts in mind that I made my way to the room I had taken at the Goldshire Inn. Realizing that the coming battle was likely to be the greatest test of my abilities so far, I pulled out my spell books and alchemy tools and started to prepare. The coming day promised to be a long one indeed.

By the hand of Abdul Alhazred
Vizier of the Conclave of Warlocks


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