Literature / Of Blood and Honor

Of Blood and Honor is a short story by Chris Metzen, set in the Warcraft Expanded Universe. It is an e-book. The story is set sometimes after Lord of the Clans, but before Warcraft III. It tells of Tirion's meeting with Eitrigg, an orc, which forces him to rethink his fundamental beliefs and decide exactly who is the monster.

  • Armor-Piercing Question: After Tirion wonders why the Orcs, if they were honorable, would let themselves be controlled so easily, Eitrigg gives him this question, thus forcing Tirion .
    Eitrigg: Have you ever stood against the will of an entire nation, human? Have you ever questioned an order, knowing that to disobey meant immediate death?
  • Being Good Sucks: Tirion loses everything protecting Eitrigg. Eitrigg even points out at one point that Tirion has never had to make any great sacrifices to do the right thing.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Tirion saves Eitrigg, but loses virtually everything in the process.
  • Book Ends: Early on in the story, Tirion recalls becoming a paladin. The story ends with his son Taelan becoming one.
  • Continuity Cameo: Arthas and Antonidas, with less than five lines of speech each. Thrall makes an appearance in Tirion's last scene, meeting Eitrigg.
  • Defector from Decadence: Eitrigg
  • Everyone Has Standards: In spite of his disapproval for Tirion's decision and willingness to exile him, Uther is offended by Barthilas' lack of respect for Tirion, as Barthilas' superior and Uther's comrade in arms.
  • Fantastic Racism: Tirion is perhaps the only human who does not unquestioningly accept that all orcs must die. Considering the Horde's behavior during the previous wars, they can't be blamed to think they are right.
  • Hate Sink: Barthilas is portrayed as an arrogant jerk who has none of the respectable qualities associated with paladins. Even Uther, who's technically on his side during Tirion's trial, doesn't care for Barthilas.
  • Honor Before Reason: Karandra accuses Tirion of doing this, especially when it comes to Eitrigg. She is motivated by a mixture of believing that the orcs' lives have no value, and by a concern of what it might.
    Karandra: Will your honor keep us fed and our son decently clothed? How can you maintain this senseless obsession in the face of what's happened? What happened to the responsible man I married?
  • Improvised Weapon: Tirion uses a rusted sledgehammer as a weapon when saving Eitrigg. Since hammers are the traditional weapon of the paladins, he's pretty handy with it.
  • Indy Ploy: Tirion's rescue of Eitrigg from the gallows comes down to this, as he even has to steal his weapon.
  • Lawful Stupid: Uther. For all his respect of and even friendship with Tirion, he still goes through with getting him banished and doesn't even attempt to stand by him as a fellow Paladin.
  • Magic Knight: All paladins are healer/warriors.
  • Meaningful Echo: Near the beginning of the story, we see Tirion becoming a paladin. At the end, Taelan, Tirion's son, becomes a paladin, taking the same oath.
  • Noble Bigot: Uther is, for the most part, honorable, but he is prejudiced against the orcs to the point at which he believes Tirion must be exiled for helping one.
  • Not So Different: Tirion tries to claim this with Eitrigg, but Eitrigg angrily retorts that Tirion is a respected and wealthy lord while he is forced to eke out a living in the wilderness.
  • Our Orcs Are Different: Eitrigg is an honorable orc who doesn't want to fight humans much.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Uther to Barthilas, when he disrespects Tirion while giving testimony.
    Uther: You will learn to control your tongue, junior Paladin. I have known this man for years. We saved each other's lives more than once, and stood victorious over the enemy more times than I can clearly remember. Whatever he may have done, he certainly deserves more than to be harangued by an unseasoned boy like yourself.
    • Karandra to Tirion.
    Karandra: Exiled? Light-damn you, Tirion! I told you your precious honor would be the end of us!
    Tirion: Without honor, woman, everything we have is meaningless!
    Karandra: Will your honor keep us fed and our son decently clothed? How can you maintain this senseless obsession in the face of what's happened? What happened to the responsible man I married?
    Tirion: I have always been this way, Karandra! Don't talk to me as if it's a surprise! You knew marrying a Paladin would demand certain sacrifices.
    Karandra: And I've made plenty of them. Willingly! I held my tongue every time you rode off to battle. I sat here, alone, for countless hours- waiting to hear if you were alive or dead. Do you have any idea of what that was like for me? I never complained once all those times that you left us for your bureaucratic duties. I knew you had a job to do. I knew people counted on you. But I counted on you, too, damn it! I kept it all inside so that you could 'do your duty' with honor. I know all about sacrifices, Tirion. But this time the price is too high.
  • Taking the Kids: Karandra, who refuses to be exiled along with Tirion for what she considers a foolish decision, tells him that their son Taelan is staying with her.
  • They Call Me Mister Tibbs: Uther demands that Barthilas show respect for Tirion at his trial. Tirion also demands respect when Barthilas accuses him of withholding information about Eitrigg.
  • To Be Lawful or Good: Tirion is faced with this decision. He chooses what he thinks is good, although none of the other humans agree about this.
  • Uriah Gambit: Eitrigg's sons were sent into a hopeless battle by a rival orc.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Every single human character's reaction when he tries to save Eitrigg's life.