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Warchief Garrosh's assassins strike at Vol'jin, leaving him at death's door. But fate smiles on the wounded Darkspear leader when renowned brewmaster Chen Stormstout transports him to the safety of an isolated mountain monastery. There, Vol'jin wrestles with old hatreds smoldering between the Alliance and the Horde as he struggles to recover alongside a mysterious human soldier.
Yet this is only the beginning of Vol'jin's worries. Soon, he becomes embroiled in an invasion of Pandaria launched by the Zandalari, revered trolls driven by dreams of conquest and power. This ancient tribe offers Vol'jin a chance to seize the glory that is the birthright of all trolls... an offer made even more tempting after Garrosh's brazen treachery.
Amid these troubling events, Vol'jin is rocked by intense visions depicting his race's grand history. As he questions where his loyalties lie, he knows he must make a choice about his own destiny that could save his people or damn them to languish under Garrosh's heel.
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Check out the first excerpt, and just in case you need more troll, here is another!
Vol'jin for a moment found it curious to be stalking down a cobbled road with pandaren monks fanned out before him on both sides and a man apace with him. All he had known in his life had not prepared him for this. Hunted and hurting, homeless and believed dead by many, yet he felt completely alive.
He glanced at Tyrathan. "We should be shooting the tallest first."
"Any special reason?"
The man smiled. "And it's four and a half inches."
"You know I not gonna wait on you."
"Just get the one that gets me." Tyrathan tossed him a salute and cut east, following the blues as they moved into the village.
Vol'jin kept on straight as reds hustled shocked pandaren from shadows and doorways. They'd clearly seen trolls before and, given how they cringed from him, it had been commonly in nightmares. Even though they might understand he had come to help, they could not help but fear.
Vol'jin liked that. He realized it wasn't because, as with the Zandalari, he wanted to rule by fear, or felt that his inferiors should fear him. It was because he had earned their fear. He was a shadow hunter. He was the slayer of men and trolls and Zandalari. He had liberated his home. He led his tribe. He had advised the warchief of the Horde.
Garrosh so feared me that he had me murdered.
For a heartbeat, he considered marching straight to the quay that several longboats of Zandalari were approaching, and revealing himself. He'd fought against them before but doubted his presence would surprise them. Worse, it might alert them to the fact that their understanding of their enemy was incomplete.
Part of him realized that, in the past, he might have done just that. The same way he confronted Garrosh and threatened him while taking the Darkspears out of Orgrimmar, he would have roared his name and dared them to come after him. He would let them know that he wasn't afraid and that his lack of fear should inspire fear deep in their hearts.
He nocked an arrow. This be what they need deep in their hearts. He drew and let fly. The arrow, with a barbed, flesh-rending head, arced out. His target, the troll hunched at the bow, waited to jump out as soon as keel scraped sand. He never had a chance of seeing the shaft. It flew straight out at him, a lethal flyspeck. It caught him in the shoulder, nicking the backside of his collarbone. It slid into him, running parallel to his spine, burying itself to the feathers in his body.
He collapsed, crashing into the gunwale. He bounced up, then slid over the side, his feet the last thing going under. The boat, unbalanced, listed to starboard, then righted itself again.
Just in time for Vol'jin's second arrow to pin the tiller troll to the rudder.
Vol'jin ducked back and turned away. As much as he might like to watch confused soldiers in an unsteady boat, that luxury would have cost him his life. Four arrows thudded into the wall against which he'd stood and two more overshot him.
Vol'jin pulled back to the ruins of the next building. He arrived as a monk helped a pandaren with a crushed shoulder crawl from beneath rubble. Farther out in the bay, where the last boat was coming in, an arrow slammed into the pilot's ear. It twisted him around and flung him from the boat.
The lead boat grounded. A few Zandalari sprinted for cover. Others tipped the boat up and huddled behind it. The middle two boats backed water quickly in an attempt to stop. The last had a hardy soul take the pilot's place at the rudder. An arrow transfixed him through the guts. He sat hard but kept his hand on the tiller, guiding the boat shoreward as the other trolls pulled on the oars.
The troll commanding the invasion from a ship farther at sea, signaled furiously. The ships in the harbor renewed their assault with siege engines. Stones arced out, slamming into the beach in a great spray of sand. Vol'jin thought the half-buried stone a waste of effort, but one of the Zandalari sprinted toward it and threw himself down behind it.
And then another stone hit, and another.
So the game began. As Zandalari advanced, Vol'jin moved to the flank and shot. Spotters aboard ship would then turn the siege engines on his hiding place, smashing it to flinders. Off to the east they did the same with Tyrathan's hidey-holes, though how they saw him Vol'jin had no idea. He couldn't.
Each wave of stones drove Vol'jin back and let more trolls advance. The ships lowered more boats. Some of the Zandalari even stripped off their armor and dove into the bay with bows and arrows tightly wrapped in oilskins. The ships lay waste to a wide arc in the center of Zouchin, and troops moved ashore to occupy it.
The shadow hunter made every arrow count. He didn't always kill. Armor blunted some shots. Occasionally a target provided him only the glimpse of foot, or patch of blue skin through a tangle of fallen timbers. The simple fact was, however, that for every arrow he possessed, the ships had a dozen ballista stones and half that many soldiers.
So Vol'jin pulled back. He found only one monk's body as he went. She'd been struck through by two arrows. From the tracks leading south, she'd shielded two cubs from the shots that had killed her.
He paced after those cubs, trailing them back through the village. Just when their trail broke into the open behind a home collapsed on splintered pilings, Vol'jin heard scrabbling. He turned, quickly, as a Zandalari warrior slid into view. Vol'jin reached back for an arrow, but his enemy shot first.
The arrow caught him in the flank and punched out his back. Pain pulsed from his ribs, staggering him. Vol'jin dropped to a knee and reached for his glaive as the other troll nocked another arrow.
The Zandalari smiled broadly in triumph, flashing teeth proudly.
A heartbeat later, an arrow arced down between those teeth. For a half second, it appeared as if the troll was vomiting feathers. Then eyes rolled up in his skull and he pitched backward.
Vol'jin turned slowly, looking back along the arrow's line of flight. Long grasses closed at the crest of a hill. Shot through the mouth. Four and a half inches. And he was wanting me to get the one who got him.
Dust still slowly settled over the twitching troll. Vol'jin reached back and snapped off the arrow's head, then slid the shaft from his chest. He smiled as the wound closed; then he pilfered the troll's quiver, and continued the fighting withdrawal.