Chapter One: Tanith Telus
Jaina Proudmoore awoke within her tower and was assaulted by the curse of knowledge. She had to do something about Tiragarde Keep. She'd been hoping to forget it all for the night, but she lay awake mulling it over. For an all too brief few hours, she hadn't been thinking about the potential source of the Fourth War.
And then she woke up.
It wasn't that she didn't have a plan. She did. It was just that it wasn't going to work at all. And if it didn't, that meant they'd have to use force. If Thrall wiped out Tiragarde, then people would accuse her of selling out to the Horde. If Jaina wiped out Tiragarde Keep, she'd be accused of treachery. Neither could she let the matter lie.
Because there were those, who kept accidentally on purpose getting shipwrecked near Tiragarde. With all their weapons and equipment, of course. They then 'unfortunately' got into a fight with some orcs. One that the orcs were only too happy to give them. Sooner or later, they would grow in strength enough to pose a legitimate threat. Then they might attack, and there'd be a war.
To make matter worse, orcs liked a fight. So there were plenty hoping for the failure of the plan on both sides. So it was a lose, lose.
Jaina couldn't take the message herself. And she couldn't think of someone who might be able to convince Lieutenant Benedict. So she bathed, combed her blonde hair, and donned a skirt over her hips and a brassiere over her ample chest.
She was just sitting down to read the letter when there was a knock on the door.
With a sigh, Jaina wondered who it was. The knocking was hard, so it wasn't a child. But it wasn't too brazen. She made her way up to the door and opened it. Before her was a tall, lanky young woman with a blonde bowl cut, she was wearing heavy steel armor and carried two swords at either side. Under one arm was a helmet.
"Excuse me, is this the Tower of Lady Jaina Proudmoore?" asked the woman, eighteen or twenty years old by Jaina's guess.
"Yes, it is," said Jaina, not liking how the woman's eyes roamed over her. It was brief, but Jaina had been looked at like this by men.
"Sorry for the interruption." said the woman. "Can I come in, I've got some business to discuss with you, and I was hoping to do it directly."
"What sort of business?" asked Jaina, not in the mood.
"Well, I was hoping to give you some advice." said the woman. "I've been looking over the maps, and you aren't in a very strong position. Especially with your recent history."
"You must be mistaken," said Jaina.
"Give me a chance to prove you wrong, milady, and you won't regret it." said the woman.
Jaina considered that she could either hear this woman out or do paperwork. The girl might actually be tolerable company and might have something useful to say. Meanwhile, she knew that her paperwork would be intolerable and might not be useful at all. On the other hand, she wasn't in the mood for company.
Jaina needed more information. "Who are you?"
"I'm Tanith Telus, and I'm new here," said Tanith. "Well, new to this world to be honest. Still, I know a poor military situation when I see one."
Poor military situation? That was new. Most people praised her commitment to peace. Or proclaimed eternal war with the Horde. Usually depending on which they made money from. She had her curiosity at least. "Why don't you come in then?"
Jaina led her in and sat her down in one of the heavier seats. She made some tea and offered it to her. Tanith took it, to her surprise and sipped it without any sugar.
Jaina put several chunks into hers and stirred it. "Now I don't understand what you mean when you say I'm in a poor military situation. The Alliance and Horde are at peace."
"Sure, but it won't last," said Tanith. Her voice was matter of fact and casual, like discussing the possibility of rain. She wasn't saying this out of hatred, but just because she believed there would be a war.
"I've been told that before," said Jaina, reflecting that this was somehow even more depressing. "The orcs are not the monsters people believe them to be."
"No, they're just like human beings," said Tanith. "Which means they are looking for a chance to gut you at the first opportunity."
"That's a somewhat cynical view of things," said Jaina. Then again, cynicism is not always misplaced.
"Maybe their current leader is in favor of peace," said Tanith. "But let me ask you this: Let's say the Horde decided to wipe you out because a new leader took charge? How would you stop them?"
"I'd be in a position to start a two-front war with Darnassus to the north," said Jaina. "But I'd rather avoid that."
"Well then, you're going about it all the wrong way," said Tanith.
Jaina was surprised by this as well. She was certain Tanith was about to suggest a preemptive strike. "And what is the right way?"
"Well, your problem is that you want everyone to live in peace and friendship," said Tanith. "But there is no such thing as a friendship between nations — only enlightened self-interest. Right now the orcs think they could walk in here and burn the place to the ground easy.
"After all, they almost did it once.
"They just don't want to. What happens when they decide they do want you dead?"
More depressing by the moment. And irritating. "What solutions are you offering, Tanith?"
"Simple enough," said Tanith. "Start a small war; make it about a misunderstanding. Let the orcs send a force at you. Then crush them completely before offering the olive branch.
"That establishes you as credible. And it means they'll be less likely to attack without thinking about it."
"So your plan is to start a small war and then hope it ends before it becomes large," said Jaina. It was somewhat novel. And Jaina confessed to some irritation at how the Horde regarded Theramore as weak. "It never does stay small."
"The war has another purpose," said Tanith. "Using the war, you can recruit the remnants of Daelin Proudmoore's expedition into the fold. You can also make alliances with the Centaur and Quillboars. Throw in a few raids by the night elves, and you'll be able to force the orcs on the backfoot. You then negotiate for some better terms, and the problem is solved."
"You want me to start a war?" asked Jaina.
"No, I want you to wait until the orcs give you a reason to start a war," said Tanith. "Just don't budge on something when they make a demand. They'll send an army down here, and then you smash it."
"And I imagine you'll want to lead the army." guessed Jaina.
"No, I just want the troops to conduct my own series of raids," said Tanith. "I'm not really a mass battle kind of person. I wouldn't trust myself as a general. Back in my own world, I led numerous raids and destroyed many villages in service to my god."
"A war god I take it?" guessed Jaina. What was all this about her own world?
"Actually Elranor is a god of healing," said Tanith. "He just really hates our enemy, Baltoth."
This other world thing she kept mentioning as if it wasn't important bore investigation. "Tanith Telus, when did you come from this world of yours?"
"Eh, about two days ago," said Tanith. "I was sailing with some friends away from a destroyed civilization. We'd just finished vowing revenge on a demon of massive power when I ended up here. I hit the libraries and talked to people about recent events. Plenty of people are for teaching the orcs a letter."
"Let me see if I have this quite clear," said Jaina. "You've been transported to a world you do not understand for reasons you do not comprehend. And your immediate reaction is to go to a library an research the best way to destroy my neighbors?"
"More or less. Is that eccentric?" asked Tanith.
Word to the effect of yes were on Jaina's lips before she considered the history of her own world. Maybe Jaina was the eccentric one. "Well, you'll fit right in on Azeroth I suppose. Before we talk about this… proposition of yours, we should discuss the exact means you came here? It concerns me."
"Well, we were sailing through the sea. A huge fog rose up and obscured us," said Tanith. "Then I was walking onto the beach."
"And you have no knowledge of how this happened?" asked Jaina.
"More or less," said Tanith. "Though William's gone through this kind of stuff before.
It probably has something to do with Kiyora. This sort of stuff happens around her, or so I hear from William. Although, if it happened to me, it probably happened to William."
"Who is he?" asked Jaina.
"Oh, he's a paladin," said Tanith. "Tall, blonde hair, green eyes. Scar over this eye. You'd like him; his father is always arranging truces. I don't object, personally. There's always a new war to go to, and you should never fight on two fronts if you can help it.
"Take out your enemies one at a time."
Jaina eyed her. "…You are educated in tactics?"
"I grew up in Carn Gable, one of the most comprehensive collections of texts in my world," said Tanith. "Trained under the best swordmaster in the land. Eventually, I struck out on my own. I laid waste to many enemies and even commanded troops in the Battle of Savior's Run. Though I don't expect you'd know what that is."
"Not really, no," admitted Jaina. She should be fascinated by all this, but this other world seemed much like her own. There truly was nothing new under the sun.
"Alright, Savior's Run is a huge river that from north to south. It goes between our territory in the three nations of Harlenor and the Empire of Calisha," said Tanith. "Now the Calishans tried crossing the river to invade us. William caught them building a huge bridge and got to us with the word. Duke Vanion waited until as many of their troops crossed as he could defeat and then he drove them in.
"Meanwhile, William blew up the bridge and let most of the people on it drown in their armor. I remembered as I cut a man in half I looked put to see those idiots drowning in the river. It was great. Though he saved the King and some others and took them hostage. I met him on the beach after fighting on the front lines."
"This King of Calisha-" began Jaina.
"Actually Calisha isn't ruled by a King, it's ruled by an Emperor," said Tanith.
"Then why is there a King?" asked Jaina.
"Emperor Baltoth is a God," said Tanith. "A King to him is more like a regional governor. He delegates authority to different areas of his domain and lets them run themselves. Usually ruled by someone of his bloodline."
Jaina sipped her tea. "This is all very interesting, and I'd like to hear more. But I don't think I have a use for someone whose experience is in raiding. Even if it came to war with the Horde, I wouldn't want to target civilians."
"Then how do you expect to pay your army?" asked Tanith in surprise.
"They have wages," said Jaina.
"Oh, those things." scoffed Tanith. "They'll never catch on."
"And how do they pay their army where you are from," asked Jaina.
"We pillage and steal everything that is not tied down after we take a city or village. Then we distribute the loot evenly," said Tanith. "Duke Vanion does do wages, but mostly because he fights defensive wars and has to tide his army over.
"He usually rewards us out of his own pocket. But he's rich and getting richer, so most people wouldn't be able to do that."
"That is the orcish style of warfare," noted Jaina. "I'm afraid I can't use an officer with those tactics."
"Well, I have to pay for food somehow," said Tanith in irritation. "Give me a task or a quest or something, and I'll accomplish it."
"You might try an honest trade," noted Jaina, not liking the idea of giving her any position of authority.
"The only honest trade is war," said Tanith. "Do you have any open positions in your guard?"
"Not at the moment," said Jaina. "If you are really so dead set on fighting you might try across the sea in Lordaeron." She wanted Tanith as far away from this as possible.
"Anything closer to home?" asked Tanith.
"Well, there is-" Jaina paused as an idea came to her. "Actually I might have something for you after all. Have you heard of Tiragarde Keep?" This could work.
"No," said Tanith.
"It's the only standing Alliance Garrison in Durotar," said Jaina. "They are fighting a war that ended some time ago, and it's all but hopeless. I've tried to get them to evacuate and stand down, but they are operating on orders from my father." She took a sip.
"So you want me to kill them all?" asked Tanith.
Jaina choked on her tea. "No!" She put it down and drew up the letter she'd written from the desk. "I want you to give them this."
Tanith took it and eyed it. "A letter? What is it?"
"It's an offer," said Jaina. "You don't need to know any more about it than that."
"So you want me to convince them to yield territory to the orcs without a fight?" guessed Tanith.
"The fight was years ago," said Jaina.
Tanith bit her lip. "…How have you kept your position this long?" She seemed curious.
"Do you want the job or not?" asked Jaina.
"Fine, I'll take it," said Tanith.
"Good, I'll arrange a ship for you, and you can set out," said Jaina. "Ask for Lieutenant Benedict and if you're stopped by any orcs, tell them you are my messenger. But don't tell Lieutenant Benedict you are my messenger or he won't listen to anything in that letter.
"Officially it is from Colonel Loreena, an associate of mine. She is going behind my back to provide him evacuation."
"Didn't they work for your birth nation?" asked Tanith. "What did you do to so completely discredit yourself? Kill your own father and surrender to a hostile invader without a fight?"
Jaina glared at her.
"You didn't, did you?" asked Tanith, voice becoming horrified.
"My Father gave me no choice," said Jaina. "He seized control of my city and attacked my allies. If I hadn't stopped him, he would have committed genocide. I had to let the orcs in."
For a moment, Tanith stared at her, torn between horror and incredulousness. Finally, she laughed hysterically. "I think I've answered my own question. I'll be going."
"Not all societies value ability in war as their only requirement for leadership." snapped Jaina, before stalking out and getting some gold. She came back and tossed it to her, wanting her gone. "Here's some money for passage. Just tell them you're going to Tiragarde Keep."
"Just the ones' that stay alive," said Tanith. "I'll be back."
She rose and walked out.
Jaina remained silent for a moment. She doubted the letter was going to work. But someone like this Tanith would probably end up joining the group. More than likely she'd start an incident and give Thrall the excuse to wipe them out.
And if the plan worked as intended, fine. If not, they'd asked for it.
I don't like creating new fanfics, but I've felt creatively dead for a while. So, here is yet another new fanfic.
This fic I've written is sort of a crossover. The catch is that it's not a crossover with any series that has been released. It is a crossover with a book series I'm in the process of writing. One that has a very specific point where this crossover happens. And will probably never see the light of day, knowing my luck.
This is an experiment to see if I can get people interested in the base series. My method is by introducing characters within the context of the Warcraft world. It is also a means of testing the waters and seeing what people think of the characters I created. So if everyone hates a particular character here, I can do something to account for the fact in the book. That said, no knowledge of said book series will be necessary to understand the events of this fic. So I don't feel it warrants being in the crossover section. Especially since the thing it is crossed over with doesn't even exist yet.