Now battle-tested, Rehgar’s gladiators head to Dire Maul where they will square off against the reigning champions, the Gor’Dok Ogres! The mysterious fighter begins to unravel his past, but lucky for him and his unlikely elvish allies, he doesn’t need his memories to fight to the death!
Written by Walter Simonson; Art by Ludo Lullabi & Sandra Hope; Covers by Jim Lee and Samwise Didier
Croc-Bait duels the orc blademaster Hyku Steeledge. The orc overreaches, is smacked with Croc-Bait’s cudgel, then bisected with the human’s sword. Valeera ponders where he learned to fight while Rehgar heals her wounds. He tells her he had arranged the battle for the team to expect the unexpected. Valeera apologizes to Bronn for mana tapping him earlier. Croc-Bait is awarded Hyku’s twin swords for being the winner of the fight.
In the Hall of Legends, Rehgar and his gladiators enter the Crimson Ring’s secret armory containing spoils of war. Valeera, Broll, and Croc-Bait get to pick something for themselves to use in the arena match at Dire Maul. Valeera picks twin orc daggers, Broll picks a stag-head staff, and Croc-Bait picks a lion’s head belt. When he touches it, he gets a flashback. A bald, bearded man stands on the deck of a boat on the ocean in a storm. He is wearing the lionhead belt, and calls Croc-Bait “lad” and refers to an ongoing war.
The goblin Captain Grizzgear transports the team to Dire Maul via zeppelin. Underway, he talks of Sparkeye, the leader of the recently bested arena team, and of Rend Blackhand’s Blackrock orcs wreaking havoc beyond Grim Batol and skirmishing across the Burning Steppes with Dark Iron dwarves who are moving from their deep caverns out into the world. Valeera mentions that Croc-Bait never smiles.
Dire Maul was built 12,000 years ago as Eldre’Thalas. The ogres stage yearly games in a small pocket near the city’s northeastern wall. Rehgar’s team is met with mockery and insults. An ogre boy throws a rotten pear on Broll, who enrages and goes into bear form. Only Croc-Bait keeps him from killing the ogreling by appealing to the night elf’s conscience.
Last year’s Dire Maul champions are the “Gordunni Clan of Ancient Draenor”. They are three ogres named Two-Heads, Giago and Brlee. They are all melee fighters, and Giago has ogre boss armor.
In individual trials, Broll defeats a centaur, Valeera kills a quilboar, and Croc-bait offs a Frostmane troll by throwing his blademaster sword through its throat. The crowd is is angered and keeps betting against the team while taunting them. The next day, the team faces the ogre trio.
Brlee engages Croc-Bait, Two-Heads attacks Valeera, and Giago goes for Broll. The ogres attack, and only Broll doesn’t manage to avoid the blow, taking the flail to the shoulder, then going bear form and hamstrimming the ogre boss. Croc-Bait lures Brlee closer to them and makes him accidentally kill Giago with a wide axe-swipe. Broll then gets trapped under the corpse.
Valeera tricks Two-Heads’ two heads into arguing with each other. As he headslams himself, she slips off and helps Broll up. Meanwhile, Brlee’s managed to cut up Croc-Bait’s thigh, but a second blow is parried. Valeera runs in to help, but gets hit by Brlee’s third swing. Croc-Bait, furious, drives his sword through the ogre’s head.
A purple (dark?) troll in the stands yells in surprise that the human moves like the spirit of Lo’Gosh himself. Broll carries Valeera away to heal her while Croc-Bait attacks Two-Heads who’s just realized he’s been duped. Croc-Bait leaps up, avoiding the ogre’s blow, and cuts one of its heads off. The troll excitedly calls him Lo’Gosh, and the chant gets picked up by the crowd. The newly renamed human kills off the formerly two-headed ogre with a solid stab. The crowd screams Lo’Gosh repeatedly.
Rehgar says “Log’Gosh” means “Ghost Wolf”. Two days later, he sells Valeera for 2000 gold to Helka Grimtotem, who likes the blood elf’s spunk, intelligence, and unpredictabilty, to use her as leader for an all-female arena team.
Summary by varghedin