The dungeons of Kahzor Kazaag were nearly a mile under the surface of the world, completely void of any natural light or sounds. It was said that the prisoners there would often go insane before their sentence was honorably carried out. Gaion, the Earth Mother, grew weak in these troubling days. She was even weaker here, but her children needed her. She did what she could in the unnaturally-hewn stonework, enchanted by alien magic. Mostly it was to keep the former Warchief and his Mor'kragh, his loyal Iron Guard, from mentally devolving like so many before them. The shamans who did not break their oath to Gorthok still spoke to her, and relayed her messages to the warriors and to the others of that flock - their families and the children. With their honor in question and their lives in danger, it was faith in each other, their ancestors, and the elements that kept them going.
It already came to pass that their imprisonment exceeded seven days. Thousands of Orcs, still loyal to Gorthok Bloodstomper, were cast aside and abused - forgotten in the catacombs. Gorthok himself was severely injured, but the elements favored him, and his wounds did not kill him. But they needed far more time to heal than mere blast injuries or even severed limbs. Barrok Thunderhand, the Usurper Warchief, had made a deal with a foreign godlike being. His lust for vengeance made him see nothing but bloodshed in the future, and he converted all of the Orcish land into a giant churning furnace. He was preparing for a war that would bring untold destruction to the world. Barrok saw firsthand the terrors mankind could inflict upon not only their enemies, but themselves. The biological abominations Clan Maverick produced both terrified and disgusted him.
It would only be a matter of time before that ugliness would spread. Humanity and mutantkind would no longer wage wars with their living, but their reanimated dead.
At least such was the horror that awaited the Earth in Barrok's mind, if he did not act. He spoke out against Gorthok twice, once he failed to overthrow the Great Warchief in honorable combat. He wanted Gorthok to ride out once more, to bring the humans and the like to heel through brute force, to unleash millions of Orcs all at once and conquer the world in blood and fire. Yet Gorthok did not see the future in the same light as Barrok. He trusted that their noble sacrifice in Venezuela would bring some categories of existence to light. He trusted in the vision of the leaders of the outside world to be able to comprehend the message Gorthok wanted to bring. Though he failed in breaking the cycle of war through war, perhaps he could do so by showing compassion through honor and death.
Barrok called him weak, and took his most loyal warriors out of Kahzor Kazaag. How he managed to do it, nobody but those select few know. He came back after two days of that self-imposed exile, and challenged Gorthok again. This time he did not impose a simple duel for leadership - he challenged Grak'tha, a Death Combat.
Within seconds of this new battle, Gorthok realized Barrok had changed. No longer was he a simple Orc. He had been infused somehow with another power, changed ultimately and fundamentally. He overthrew Gorthok and blasted his torso out of his back with a strange firearm in a public execution. His words would forever change Kahzor Kazaag and how the Orcs thought, or at least how the majority thought.
"Venezuela was not an exhibition of our strength or honor. We died and the humans and mutants only saw us as monsters and savages. Still they laugh at us, mocking us from behind their fortresses and from underneath their cold laboratories. I am your new Warchief, your Iron Warchief, and this world will no longer suffer under the destructive hand of humanity, or the apocalyptic might of the mutants. We will break down their walls. We will burn their cruel science. The ancestors are dead. The elements are silent. By strength and strength alone can we take this world back. And by my thunderous rage, IT WILL BE DONE!"
It changed the Orcs forever, because it was truly the beginning of the end for their species.
Barrok's siege of the world came quickly. Millions of Orcs heeded his call, and were armed with the same terrifying technology he had bartered with his new god for, his god of steel and death. The Iron Warchief built an army within a week, changing the landscape of Kahzor Kazaag as he did so. No longer were the shamanic waystones respected and nurtured. They were broken down for use in building the furnaces and steelworks. The elements were shackled and enslaved for many purposes, the most abused of them being Incendius who was chained to the deepest and mightiest furnace of all Barrok's twisted divinations and forced to heat the entire mountain range.
His own hand, which had been used to produce the lightning of Raijin in years past, became black and sparked with red instead of natural bluish-white energies. Even Raijin's fury and his sorrow could not break the bonds Barrok laid upon him, and instead manifested as a stranger and more powerful energy for him to manipulate.
The Thunderhand marked portals to make his lasting impression on the world with. He aimed them at Central America, theorizing that if he blazed a path of total war starting there and ending in Canada, then there would be little else capable of standing in his way. As Gorthok and his ilk rotted in the dungeons of Kahzor Kazaag, Barrok shook the world with an uncompromising firestorm. Hundreds of thousands were butchered, mutilated, and taken for slaves. The dreaded Seventh Day passed, and Barrok's campaign of terror had become shockingly different to Gorthok's message of honor and humility. His army descended into Mexico, determined to bring the same carnage.
He stood at the forefront of the black-armored legion, a belt of human skulls in various states of decay draped around his waist and a bandolier stretching over his thick chest bearing many of the same trophies. The smoke of his war machines darkened the sky. His mission was the same genocidal push many feared Gorthok's attack would become. But he had chosen a much different path for himself as Warchief.
He had chosen a Path of cold, unbending Iron.