Armed with notes stolen from the Horde scholar, the Alliance takes the intiative in the Essence of War!
(More information about this event can be found here.) Please note, this is a mildly fictionalised account of the event.

Escalation: Incursion in Force

The successful incursion into the Undercity by Silvereye agents, combined by the courage of a lone Forsaken infiltrator brought Scholar Weiskopf's notes into the hands of Taiev Shadowglade. Realising that the notes pointed to the presence of some important artefact, she sought out a recognised expert in the field of such things, the Dwarven Archeologist Beathag Bronzebust. Arranging passage for the Archeologist to the neutral city of Ratchet, Taiev despatched agents to the dour Clans Morogh, as well as to renowned sellswords and adventurers. The Alliance enclave of Northwatch Hold would be their base in Horde territory.

In the meantime, Caddrel and Nathgoren of the Horde had received word from the enraged Weiskopf, as well as his warning that the Alliance must not be allowed to locate the mysterious artefact knows as the "Essence of War". Although his notes were gone, Weiskopf had uncovered enough to point to the southern regions of the Barrens as being the most likely location for the Alliance to search for the "Essence". Moving as swiftly as they could, the leaders of both groups gathered troops and massed them at Crossroads in the Barrens.

Ratchet Standoff

Having sent scouts to the port of Ratchet to watch for the arrival of the dwarf, Taiev began to grow concerned by reports of Horde forces massing - deciding eventually to take the gathered forces out of Northwatch and move to Ratchet in force. The Horde had much the same idea, and before long, a tense standoff developed on the outskirts of the neutral port. The standoff did not last long, and shots were fired and battle was joined. In the fighting however, the Alliance managed to slip the dwarf out of the back of Ratchet, and along the coast, heading for Bael Modan - and the dwarven digsite there.

The Battle of Bael Modan

As Alliance closed in on Bael Modan, the Horde launched a well-executed ambush, siezing the Archeologist and retreating into the Dwarven Fortress, slaughtering the defenders as they went. Regrouping, the Alliance followed, and a bloody room-to-room battle ensued inside Bael Modan, until finally, the Alliance retrieved the Archeologist and forced the last Horde fighters to retreat. Taking advantage of the Horde's momentary confusion, the Alliance force moved out to the pit itself, and Beathag set to digging for the "Essence", setting of controlled blasts to uncover its position.

The Pit

But even as the sounds of blasting began to ring out over the pit, the Horde was already massing their forces to drive the Alliance out and take possession of whatever the dwarf might find. Continuied skirmishing ensued on the lip of the pit, with the Alliance holding off the Horde assault for as long as they could, as the dwarf continued her painstaking and slow blasting.

Taiev leads the Alliance force out of Northwatch Hold   The Horde force masses at Crossroads   Slipping past the Horde force at the main entrance to the Port
Alliance and Horde forces face off   Taiev speaks with her Advisors and Wardens - a plan is hatched   Battle is joined on the outskirts of Ratchet
The Horde forces its way into the Port, but the dwarf is gone   The Horde lays an ambush, and snatches the Dwarf   The Horde leaves guards at the entrance to the Dwarven fortress
The Alliance forces access to the Fortress   Fighting swiftly from room to room, the Alliance secures the Fortress   The Horde force is caught in two groups and defeated
The archeologist accepts her rescue with poor grace, demanding ale from her rescuers   Outside, the Alliance prepares for the inevitable Horde counterattack   The Horde begins to gather its forces prior to an attack
After a hard-faught skirmish, the Horde attack was driven off, but not for long   The Horde returns in force   Cutting through the Alliance defences
    But, for all their courage and ferocity on the battlefield, the "Essence of War" slips through the Horde's fingers...    

Alliance Deception

While Alliance forces battled to keep the Horde engaged around Bael Modan, a small group slipped out under cover of the fighting, heading for the Great Elevator, and then across the Shimmering Flats and into the safety of Gadgetzaan. But although their prize had slipped through their fingers, the Horde would not let it go without a fight. The conflict over the "Essence of War" was far from over...