One by one the orks piled into the drow fortress, dropping their weapons and shields in a haphazard pile near the gate and flopping down to rest a moment from the ring quest as the two forces waited for Exsilium to arrive. If the drow of Chosen Blood had any objection to the orkish presence, they did not voice it, nor did they comment on the smell or the intelligence of their unlikely companions. Warboss Gutzmangul remained armed and standing as he approached Saris Fey Branche, the acting commander of the Drow.
“These are unusual circumstances indeed.”
Saris and his men stood out starkly from the orks, maintaining military discipline and saying nothing. The orks had started begun telling war stories and arguing over who killed the most and biggest gitz.
“You know da orkz. We’z ‘ere ta win. We sided wiv Frym an’ it don’ matta. Me boyz’ll fight wiv you. Ain’t one ov ’em gunna snik ya in da back.”
“Good to know. It is unusual for us to be in a situation where we can speak peaceably and a moment like this one is unlikely to happen again in the future.”
“Let’s talk den.”
“I wanted to discuss your options to bring about an end to our war.”
The warboss paused before nodding. He knew this was coming. The war with Chosen Blood had been total. Waaagh! lands had been completely destroyed. There were only a few pockets of ork presence left to resist the drow. There was little left to fight for.
“Da way I seez it, you lot won. Ya took all me landz an’ ya burned down me orkhold. Da rest o’ me boyz iz stuck inside an’ we can’t do nuffin’. We can’t get out. You lot made yer point. Ya got everyfing. I wanna do sumfin’ else. I want me castle back an” I needz ta rebuild me Waaagh!”
“You have a few options to bring this war to an end. You can surrender and fight on the behalf of Chosen Blood.”
“Fer ‘ow long?”
“That is a detail to be decided later by my commander. I wish to make this clear: you would be required to sign an agreement that would declare your subservience and obedience to Chosen Blood. There can be no doubt in this. We have completely defeated you in every battle and Valfryn himself defeated you in single combat.”
“Yeah, I know.”
“It may be difficult for one such as you to submit oneself to another. But there are orks who have been known to serve greater, more poweful beings.”
“What’s da uvver options?”
“You can abandon your fortress and move your people elsewhere. We would consider that an end to the hostilities, with the understanding that if you cross us again, you would get the same. At this point, you have little land to fight for and we have no intention of returning the land we have taken in this war.”
The warboss nodded. He looked down at his boyz who were laughing at some story Gimzod was telling about the box he and Needle found.
“Wut’s da uvver option?”
“You continue to fight and eventually free your castle from the siege, which may be possible one day.”
The warboss grunted and nodded in understanding. He considered for a moment just as the clank of armor signaled the arrival of the Legionaires.
“Lemme talk wiv da boyz ’bout diss. We likes fightin’ you lot. Good enemiez iz ‘ard ta find, but we can’t even look for ’em any more, bein’ all stuck in da orkhold. I’ll fink ’bout it.”
“I understand. Such decisions require deliberation.”
The warboss nodded. If there was ever a moment in the history of Darkon when an ork ever came close to approximating the emotion of sadness, this was probably it. He sighed as he marched back down to his boyz and began barking orders and getting them whipped up for the fight ahead. Even as the bloodlust began to fill his boyz, the feeling began to fade. But in the warboss’s mind, the choice was still there. Do the orks, who crave nothing more than battle and freedom, submit to drow superiority, continue to be mired in a siege that has no end, or abandon the lands they had held for four years? The warboss figured he would have died long before having to make a decision like this one…