In the forest surrounding Hearthglen, Tirion Fordring, a high-ranking Paladin and Lord of the same city, derailed from his normal hunting paths and found himself a ruin of a guard tower. Now that the war was over and the orkish Horde was imprisoned in several camps, Tirion was astonished to see tracks indicating a presence of an Orc near the ruined building.
He found an Orc who possessed traces of honor and wisdom. But old habits are not forgotten, and when the two enemy sworn races saw each other, the clash of steel soon followed. On an evenly matched combat, Tirion found himself trapped within the tower’s wreck once it crumbled inwards. But miraculously, he woke up at home bruised and damaged after a rest of four days.
After hearing the unrest from his family and friends, Tirion discovered that he was found atop his horse tied on a rope. He equipped his armor and sneaked at dawn to return to the place. Once there, he found that the old Orc was not some mindless beast possessed with unsatiable rage. He formed a bond with the Orc now known as Eitrigg and vowed on his honor that he would let the lonely old warrior in peace.
But the people of Hearthglen would not let the rumors to just die, and Barthilas, a fervorous young Paladin with a huge hate for the orcs, had told Tirion’s superior, Saidan Dathroan, of what had happened with the fifty-year-old Paladin. In the day after, a regiment from Stratholme appeared in Hearthglen with Saidan leading it, demanding Tirion to lead them to the location where he met the Orc. Without a choice, Tirion led them there and was ultimately forced by his own honor to protect the Orc. Accused of treason against the Alliance. Tirion was brought to trial at Stratholme and was exiled from Lordaeron and the Order of the Silver Hand, as well as all titles and lands. Eitrigg was to be executed on the day after.
Now with his family out of the picture, since they would not follow him into exile, Tirion could at least try to save the Orc, or at least die trying. Tirion sneaked out of Hearthglen once more, with his friend Ardren, captain of the Guard, knowing it. He arrived at Stratholme and went past the crowds and guards unnoticed and just before Eitrigg could be hanged, he intervened and saved the old Orc. There was an ambush right at the square where the hanging would happen and Barthilas was killed by an Orc’s spear through the chest while Orcs descended by the ceilings and catwalks of several buildings causing a surprise attack.
Tirion managed to lead Eitrigg to safety and even healed him, now aware that the light had not totally abandoned him. Thrall then came for Eitrigg as the new Horde was now saving everyone and even veterans such as Eitrigg, in order to uphold the old values of the Orcs. Witnessing Tirion’s worth and how he acted towards the old Orc, Thrall and his allies left Tirion unharmed to live in solitude until he could form the Argent Crusade.
This is was a short story, but it had a very deep meaning to it. The Orcs were manipulated into open war with the Humans and as such, the hatred continued to burn each time they saw one another. But once the bloodlust had ended, the Orcs were actually so much more than savage animals. Tirion saw it and refused to kill Eitrigg despite his race. His honor was above everything else and even when everyone was against it, he did not forsake it. Awesome piece of work by Chris Metzen, definitely worth reading.
List of notorious characters and places. Tirion Fordring and his son Taelan Fordring. Uther the Lightbringer and Saidan Dathroan. Eitrigg and Thrall. Arthas Menethil, Antonidas, Daelin Proudmoore although practically silent. Hearthglen and Stratholme. Again, we come to know a little more about the Order of the Silver Hand, the common hatred for the Orcs by the common populace and a little bit more of how the Orc clans function towards honor.