The dry winters of Durotar made Khorvis's lips crack and split open. It was not uncommon for dried blood to crust in his beard, dribbling unnoticed from his mouth, and caked with the dust of red clay. This day was no different as the orc entered the smithy of Krathok Moltenfist. Buttressed against the proud cliffside of the Valley of Honor, Orgrimmar's finest forge kept over two fists of apprentices in labor over the furnaces. Day and night, the smithy rang out with the clang of hammer upon anvil, the sinister hiss of blades quenched in oil, and the barking of taskmasters for more air from the bellows.
Khorvis was home.
Marching patiently from one workstation to the next, the High Inquisitor inspected the apprentices work with Krathok in tow. He hefted mace heads here and there, checking their balance, and sighted the grind of axe blades for consistent angles. Nodding at an exceptionally well-tempered broadsword, Khorvis turned to the master and expressed his admiration.
"A fine lot you do have at call, Moltenfist. Better labor than I ever did offer during my time!" As the warrior spoke, flecks of blood spat forth and landed upon the master weaponsmith's bare forearms. The burgundy chunks turned to ash upon contact, so hot was the inner sanctum of the Horde's foundry. Krathok only bowed his balding head with a knowing smile.
"And you do be certain that my Supplicant will have enough time at the forge? Space enough for his work, and tools at his disposal? I will not have Urgash laboring under the peon conditions I was afforded!" Khorvis spoke forcefully, but there existed a hint of the memory that was the old Khorvis. Before the Grim. A rank excuse for an orc, deadened by the fatigue of the curse and plagued by the drink.
Once again, Krathok lowered his scalp in assent. He was never one for words - only a quick rap of the knuckles with a honing file. Or worse: those burning black embers that were his eyes, judging every angle of your craftwork, seeing every flaw in your mold. They were intolerable.
"Phaw, so be it! You will be well reimbursed for the trouble by the Grim vault!" The Inquisitor stuffed a shred of parchment into Moltenfist's harness. "There do be a copy of the instructions for Urgash. Make certain he attends to his task and does NOT spend his moon gawking and fawning over Tumi and Sumi!" Khorvis glared at the smith's twin daughters, shapely and illuminated in the forge's light. They both sneered and ribbed each other at the memory of Bloodstar's early attempts for their hearts. But that was ancient history. The warrior's glare softened into something that a sentimental fool might call a smirk. An observant smith would know it for what it was - the guile of a competing craftsman.
Khorvis donned his cloak and exited the smithy, the blast furnaces sending the fabric billowing in the dusy air. Extracting the message left on his person, Krathok read the note:
A warrior is nothing but a blade of the Mandate. We do be weapons to be wielded by our grim purpose. To that end, we must be solidly forged, well-tempered, and honed to an edge sharper than a snarler's eyes.
I know you to be a blacksmith by the gear lodged in your quarters, and so your first trial will test both your skill in combat and your mettle upon the anvil. It is simple - travel to the smithy of Krathok Moltenfist in the Valley of Honor and craft for yourself twin greataxes. The weaponsmith has been informed of your arrival. The catch - you must temper the blades in the blood of six foes: human, kal'dorei, gnome, dwarf, worgen, and draenei. Harvest this blood in honorable combat. There do be tomes within the Grim Archives detailing the craft of such temper - consult our alchemists if you do require guidance.
These two axes will become symbols of your might, Urgash. Savor the craft, and forge them as you do your own spirit in the Mandate.
High Inquisitor Bloodstar."
The stories and lives of the Grim. ((Roleplaying Stories and In Character Interactions))