Generation 6 - The Age of Rebirth (Continued)
The fate of the Marauders hangs in the balance after their 4th anniversary. The Warband is in ruins after the loss of Thrakmar Ragethunder. The young Tauren Kharn Blackeye has been revived to a position that he was never fit to hold. This becomes clear to the newly appointed Warcallers not long after the ressurection. The newly appointed chieftain shows clear signs of indecision and at times full blown lunacy. Kharn Blackeye had sacrificed his own life for those he loved and cared for, a sacrifice he was content with. The tauren that was brought back to lead the warband had a scarred soul. The two Warcallers Yuska Darkspear and Catari Bladesinger quickly took the warband into their own hands, using Kharn as a figurehead only.
The Warband started to recruit heavily, bringing The Shatterskulls some way back to their former glory. To show the warbands renewed strengh, an attack on Darnassus is planned and executed. The Marauders sneak in a dozen of their best, and assault the leaders of the Druidic Circle. The attack is a success, the Marauders managing to kill several high ranking druids before leaving the city as fast as they had came. This daring feat is quickly rewarded with an influx of new recruits, and the warband quickly starts growing larger than its past size.
More veteran members such as Sakarah, Sylphi, Kalcifer and Chogal join the warband in these times of rebirth. The old Stormseer's Zolkin and Crimash disappear from the Shatterskull journals, and instead Sakarah, Voxigah and Alathreal take their place.
Weeks later, during an attack on Kal'dorei settlements in Ashenvale forest, the Chieftain Kharn clashes with his Warcallers. The Warcallers are punished by Blackeye after they berate him, calling him a poor and useless leader. The following weeks, the young Kharn changes behavior from indecisive and insane, to a strong, and somewhat wise, leader. The Chieftain starts taking over more raids from the Warcallers, and the ranks of the Marauders start respecting their leader for the first time since he took over the warband.
Over time, Kharn shows that he not only is a respectable and skilled leader, but also has a big heart. He cares for the Shatterskulls as any mother would her cubs. The Marauders grow not only to respect this new Kharn, but also love him.
As time goes by, The Shatterskulls grow into something like they once were. The contracts are many, and under the leadership of their great Tauren Chieftain, the Marauders fill their coffers to the brink. One of the contracts taken by the Shatterskulls ends badly, however. The Warband is tricked into ressurecting their old arch-enemy, the Thorn mistress Anethrax. Furious with being cheated, the Marauders call out for Thorn blood.
Before a war can begin, however, the Warcallers call for a truce. The peace with Anethrax would hold, but new Thorn Masters would raise in her stead. That's another story though.
Elsewhere, Warcaller Catari Bladesinger is sought out in her Eversong home by ex-Marauder, Ichimaro Wolfrunner - the former lover of Chieftain Kharn Blackeye. What happens between the Warcaller and the old Marauder is unknown to this writer, but ultimately ends with the death of Ichimaro. Kharn Blackeye, hearing of this, falls into deep grief at the murder of his one true love, and plans to have the Warcaller killed. He calls for his officers to plan an ambush on Catari, but in the end only Stormseer Voxigah takes the Chieftains side, the rest siding with the Warcaller, which in the end also makes Voxigah withdraw from the conflict.
Alone, Kharn moves against Catari, ambushing her in the Hillsbrad region and putting a curse on her, funded from the Chieftains deep coffers. The curse was meant to bring some of Kharns own soul into Catari, sharing his feeling, memories and his great lose. The Warcaller is driven insane by the curse and shortly after leaves the Warband.
The Tauren Voxigah takes over her place as Warcaller, and the elf Sylphi is made new Stormseer.
The warband quickly recovers and Kharn soon returns to his calm persona while the Warband continues its war on the Alliance. It doesn't take long, however, before both the Chieftain and the long-time Warcaller Yuska disappear. A great search is started and it soon appears that an opposing alliance warband is behind the kidnappings. The warband is left in the hands of the new Warcaller Voxigah who does all he can to find the two officers. After several weeks, none other than the Vile Thorns shows up with information on where Kharn and Yuska is held. A lightning offensive is held; The Marauders along with the Vile Thorns attack alliance holdings in Duskwallow Marshes and free the two imprisoned Marauders.
Also, a young orc warrior named Thrakha Ironsong, recruited in Thrakmar's time but long absent while fighting alongside the Crusade in Northrend, returned to the Marauders to take up her tabard once again. She rapidly rose in rank to become a Stormseer, a loyal second to Voxigah Grimtotem - and a voice of reason in the increasingly frequent and violent clashes between Voxigah's Hammer regiment and Sylphi Searingheart's arcanists, the Circle.
The Cataclysm: Sunset over Azeroth Storyline
Time passes by and the 5th celebration of the warband is held at its traditional place at Thandol Span. Only a few months later a new great threat falls upon the people of Azeroth. The Twilight Cult starts moving hard against the world; chaos and dispair spreading in its wake. One cell of the great Cult seems to take particular interest in the Shatterskulls. The unknown cell-leader strikes at the Marauders where he can with the great Cult at his back. During this time the Warband is tricked into chasing the sects leader into the Draenei lands of Azuremist Island. There, the warband walks into a trap. The crazed Mastermind and twilight cultist reveals himself to be Baltimore Wolfrunner, son of Ichimaro Wolfrunner, whom Catari had killed more than a year earlier.
The warband would probably had met its end there on those islands, had it not been for the selfless sacrifice of the Elf, Kalcifer Sunshatter. Through her heroic act, the Warband broke the trap, and immediately put Baltimore on the run.
Through dark necromantic arts performed by the undead warlock, Raldorr von Kendal, the brave elf was raised from the dead, but no longer as she ones was - Kalcifer had joined the ranks of the Forsaken.
The warband continued its hunt for Baltimore and his cell of Twilight Cultists, who had not been idle themselves. They had defouled and cursed the Pools of Vision under the city of Thunderbluff, leading a shaman of the Earthen Ring to contact the Marauders and asks them for assistance.
The Shatterskulls entered the cursed pools with their strongest shamans and warlocks, ready to cleanse them, being joined by past Shatterskulls; Thergaron, Drek Skysplitter, Dorn and Thrakmar. Another threat from the Cult is dealt with. For his knowledge of corruption, much needed at the time, and his time in service to the warband, Kharn promotes Raldorr von Kendal to Stormseer.
Weeks later, the Alliance started their major land assaults in both Durotar and the Barrens, with massive ships weighing anchor offshore, and seemingly unlimited forces pouring over the barely holding Horde lines.
One such attack happened at Fray Island, just off the coast of Ratchet, and the age old home to the Shatterskulls.
In an attempt to save their home, the Marauders threw themselves at the alliance forces in a desperate effort. In the end, however, a single warband could not stand against the unrelenting forces of the Alliance. The Marauders retreated to the Crossroads; bloodied, battered, defeated and homeless. The Tauren Malrock, the Warbands Master-Blacksmith, died of his wounds there, having used himself as a shield for two of the younger Marauders, wounded by riflemen.
Not a moment after reaching the crossroads, and the death of Malrock, than news of of the great Cairn Bloodhoof's death reached the ears of the Marauders. Chieftain Kharn called for the Warband to disperse and tend to their wounds by themselves, and then gather in Undercity the following week. And what a week....
The earth shook and shattered as Deathwing rose from Deepholm. Fire and water poured over the lands, changing and breaking Azeroth in a single Cataclysmic event.
The Marauders that survived the Cataclysm slowly start meeting up in Undercity and move out to the Shatterskulls age-old, secondary home in Hammerfall, near to the great Thandol Span. The world has been broken, and the Marauders has lost their home and some of their oldest members, but the warband is left with only a very short amount time to grieve.
The Marauders had to act quickly, now that Baltimore's masters plans had come to fruition. With the Wolves finding his location in Loch Modan, with miraculous ease, this was likely to be the only chance they would get at taking him down.
However, little did the Marauders know that they were walking into a preplanned ambush. Poisoned and dying, the Shatterskull Marauders were shocked to the very core upon learning that their long-time, much loved Chieftain, Kharn Blackeye, had turned traitor, having led the Marauders into the trap himself.
Fleeing from a furious revenge assault by a small group of Marauders, culminating in the apparant death of the Tauren Eillie, Kharn Blackeye fled - leaving the Marauders to their fate and cementing his place among the forces of Twilight and historic infamy in the eyes of his warband.
The Marauders Civil War
The warband was left without a Chieftain once again, and the collective eyes of the Shatterskulls fell on five possible candidates;
The Veteran Warcaller, Yuska Darkspear.
Warcaller Voxigah Grimtotem, of the Hammer.
Warcaller Sylphi Searingheart, of the Circle.
Yorien Blackeye, newcomer to the Marauders and son of Kharn Blackeye, (supported by Stormseer Alathreal and Ex-Warcaller Catari, whom had her own interests in how the Shatterskulls should be led).
Thrakha Ironsong, a newly appointed Stormseer with great respect from the younger Marauders.
This four-way conflict of interest led to what is known as the Marauder Civil War.
Warcaller Voxigah had the vast majority of his support swept from under him like a rug by a young hot-blooded orc of the Hammer, Grim Stonepaw, who vocally deemed him unsuitable to lead - and many agreed. At the same time, the warlocks of the Circle made arrangements with Thrakha Ironsong that they would back her claim, rather than that of their own Warcaller, Sylphi Searingheart. Led by Raldorr von Kendal and Kalcifer Sunshatter, the Circle also uncovered Catari and Alathreal's previously hidden stakes in Yorien, and started spreading "rumours" that Yorien was nothing but a puppet for the former Warcaller and Stormseer. Yorien retained support, but doubt had begun to creep in about his candidacy.
Thus, Warcallers Voxigah and Sylphi quickly lost support for their cause, and the "underdogs", Yorien and Thrakha, along with Warcaller Yuska, seemed to be the candidates that the Marauders wanted to lead them.
It was not only conflicting politics that rose from this Civil War, however. It had a much uglier side. Tensions were rising amongst the members, with fierce battles breaking out almost daily between the Marauders; friendships were broken, and new rivalries set in place that would remain way into the future. It was all starting to unravel...
In the end, it was agreed upon by the Warband as a whole that the aspiring Chieftains were to compete in a series of events to show their strengths to the Shatterskulls. By the final test, Yorien and Thrakha were tied, with Yuska close behind.
The final test was to be a duel between the respective candidates in the arena in Stranglethorn Vale. Each would be allowed to take four supporters with them into the battle. The winner would be raised to the rank of Chieftain.
With Catari and Alathreal absent, Yoriens team seemed the weakest, but he chose to burn on ahead regardless. Yuska Darkspear chose a group of his oldest friends and allies, and Thrakha Ironsong chose from a collection of battle-ready, experienced Marauders.
Battle was met...
Thrakha Ironsong and her team of chosen Marauders defeated all others, and with it, won her title as the sixth Chieftain of the Shatterskull Marauders.
Generation 7 - The Age of Honor
The Civil War was over. Resurgent under their new leadership, the Marauders rode to war. In the forests of Ashenvale they distinguished themselves at the Siege of Splintertree Post and cleared the roads as far as Zoram Strand, before being forced to fall back in the face of a rising darkness from out of the Felwood, where the warband experienced demonic, mind-controlling magic, losing two of their most prominent members, Bok and his daughter Girri, in the process.
The next campaign took them to the treacherous jungles of Stranglethorn Vale, in search of lost treasures of the Gurubashi. Their quest took them into one of the great temple-cities of the ancient trolls, and there they nearly died. Refusing to bow to the demands of an ancient evil, they fled the jungles and have never returned in force.
Regardless, the battered Marauders regrouped, regained their strength and moved to the Blasted Lands, setting up camp in the fortress of Dreadmaul Hold. The mission, to hold back the Alliance who were threatening to fortify the Dark Portal for their own cause.
While the mission was successful, Warcaller Voxigah, still not satisfied with losing his chance at the Chieftains post, clashed with Warcaller Sylphi Searingheart. Each led their regiments are at the others throats, threatening a new civil war.
Knowing that they could never work together, and seeing no absolute right on either side, Thrakha took the decision to demote them both, giving the rank of Warcaller to Alathreal and Raldorr, as well as control of the Hammer and Circle respectively.
Soon thereafter, Sylphi and Grim Stonepaw started a small revolt and left the warband, though it fell quickly. Sylphi instead retired to Hammerfall, continuing her attempts to gather support for her revolt, while Grim disappeared to Northrend.
Undaunted, the Marauders pushed on into Outland to repel a demonic incursion that threatened to overrun both the Horde and Alliance positions in the Blasted Lands. The demon forces were driven back and scattered, and their leader - a young and unusually rash Pit Lord - was hunted down and slain.
The Marauders returned to Azeroth in triumph, travelling to the Thandol Span to celebrate a sixth year passed in glorious warfare.
The sixth celebration of the warband took place, once again, at Thandol Span. Thrakha had so far shown, in her very short period as Chieftain, that the Marauders had made the right choice. On the night of the anniversary, Catari rejoined the warband ones again, swearing an oath to the new Chieftain. Soon after, Grim Stonepaw also returned from Northrend, guided by the spirit of the old shaman Drek Skysplitter. Making his peace with Thrakha, he returned to the fold. Even Sylphi accepted when Thrakha, in a show of good faith, invited her back with all her wrongdoings left to the past. The Marauders were looking as strong as ever.
With new found strength, the warband moved out to the jungles of Feralas. While the warband slowly forced the Kaldorei there back to their base of Feathermoon Stronghold, they unfortunately were unable to truly defeat them and were subsequently pushed back, but the devestation they had wreaked had been done.
After returning from Feralas, and skirmishing with the dwarves in the Arathi Highlands while back in Hammerfall, Thrakha recieved her first major contract from The Sin'dorei of the Reliquary. The Shatterskulls were tasked with heading to the colds of Northrend to hunt for remaining black dragons. After Deathwings fall, some of the smaller dragons had tried to take over the flight; Dusktalon and Huskarl. These dragons and their allies would become the Marauders target.
Little did the Marauders know, however, but the Black Dragons had in fact infiltrated the Marauders before they had even left Kalimdor. The weeks spend in the cold north left the warband dried out on recruits, and the Shatterskulls fell prey to the Black Dragons games. In the end, the Marauders managed to kill only one of the Dragons.
They also managed to get their hands on magical artifacts of the black flight, that the reliquary had highlighted could be turned in as a bonus, but decided to keep it for themselves after it turned out that the Elf that had hired them for the job in the first place, Jorlain, was infact the black dragon Dusktalon who had hired them only to remove his only opponent for leadership of the Black Flight, Huskarl.
These dragons were as back-stabbing, and as tricky as they were ever fabled to be. The Marauders would have no other business with them.
The Marauders left the frozen North on three ships, headed for Eversong. On their way over the ocean, the ships were attacked by the black dragon Dusktalon, that the Shatterskulls had cheated; with him flew a small army of the Black Dragonflight. The Marauders fought and sailed valiantly, but in the end both Warcaller Raldorr and Chieftain Thrakha's ships went down with every man. Only Stormseer Catari's ship reached safe harbor in Eversong after the attack. The survivors quickly sent search parties all over the northern kingdoms. After having saved several Marauders, including the Chieftain Thrakha, from the broken shipwrecks, most of which washed ashore, a great fire was lit in memory of those that were taken by the waves. Warcaller Raldorr was presumed dead.
The Shatterskulls had not been weakened this much since the days after Thrakmars disappearence. Thrakha has named Sakarah, Grim and Catari as her Warcallers after the landing. The rebuilding of the warband now rest on their collective shoulders.
"But I don't want to go among mad people," Alice remarked.
"Oh, you can't help that," said the Cat: "we're all mad here. I'm mad. You're mad."
"How do you know I'm mad?" said Alice.
"You must be," said the Cat, "or you wouldn't have come here."