Friday, September 5, 2008

Everything that is, is alive.

((I've written several times from Elionene's perspective, and even wrote a short story outlining Salthier's background. They can be read in Elionene's Journal. We played Bogdan and Nadyezhda on Wednesday, and I really found myself enjoying it, but I've yet to come up with his background. For today's role playing story, I'm going to try and write a short history of Bogdan and his path to learning the Shamanistic arts. I'm drawing on the short story, Unbroken, for my setting.))

The sky was overcast, which was not unusual for this time of the season, and especially not in the Zangarmarsh. I had begun my day as usual, scouting the bogs for herbs and ores to supply the town of Telredor with the materials needed. My wife, Nadyezhda, was busily sewing clothes for the children of the village, though we had no children of our own. We were few, but we survived.

Shattrath City had fallen to the orcish horde some time ago. We held in great honor those who sacrificed themselves to keep our escape to the marsh a secret, but other unforeseen events had occurred. Several Draenei survived the attack on our capital, but they were not as they once were. Their bodies had degenerated, and their minds were slow. We called them "Krokul," Broken, and they were not allowed into the cities of the unaffected. The Light had left them.

Years had passed, and we continued to make our living hidden in the marsh. Telredor was a flourishing city now, providing for the majority of our people. The prophet Velen visited often, though he was always on the move, and his location was kept secret so that no one could be forced to speak of his whereabouts if captures. The orcs had built some sort or portal to the east, which now took most of their concentration, leaving us in secluded but relative peace. I returned with full bags to my home, and sat down to prepare them for the market when Nadya approached me with a sense of urgency.

"Bogdan," she hastily said, "It is rumored amongst the villagers that a meeting has been called for tonight."

"That is not unusual," I replied, "There are often meetings to discuss many things. Why is this one of any matter?"

"The Prophet himself is to be here and..." Her voice trailed off a little before she completed her thought, "One of the Krokul."

I shifted on my chair a little. Personally I had not encountered many Krokul. I had seen them while working through the bogs, but they mostly kept to themselves, lost in their small minds. They did not come to Telredor. Nadya was fearful for what this could mean, but I had confidence in Velen's decisions. We would attend the meeting, and see what was so important that we would need to hear it from a Broken.

That evening we gathered with the rest of the town on the central patio, around the fountain. Murmuring ran through the crowd. Why did we need to be addressed by a Krokul? What could they have to say that would be of any importance? Why would Velen sanction this event? Nadya and I sat and waited patiently. Before long, we saw him approach. His skin seemed to large for his frame and sagged in many places, a dullish blue color. His eyes were also dull, and he had tentacles growing in odd places in his body. Several of the townsfolk jeered. They did not want the Broken here in their city. No one had seen the Prophet. The Broken stood up to speak, and raised his staff. He was called Nobundo. He was unable to say much more over the crowd, whose taunts and calling grew louder. Nobundo himself seemed unable to get his words out, despite them. He turned away to leave, his head lowered in despair.

We knew of the Vindicator Nobundo, who had bravely stayed behind in Shattrath to lead the doomed resistance against the orcs. It was even more devastating to hear of his survival and eventual degeneration into a Broken, but there was nothing we could do. Seeing him here, now, I was actually interested in what he could possible have to say to us. I was saddened that the majority of our people could not withstand the outcast for long enough to at least hear him speak. I turned to look at Nadya and she returned my gaze, seeming to know what I was thinking, and nodding in agreement.

It was then that Velen appeared from behind a stairway as if he had been there all along. He did not address us, but turned directly to Nobundo and consulted him privately. The crowd hushed a little but whispers and talking continued. What was he saying to the Broken? After a few moments, Nobundo turned back to the now somewhat subdued crowd. Throwing back his hood, he raised his staff to the sky and the circling clouds began to thunder, and rain began to pour down upon us. Nobundo looked into the eyes of everyone in attendance.

"Everything that is, is alive," he began. And then he told us how the elements had spoken to him. They had cleared his mind and brought new strength to him, even in his broken form. We were skeptical. The orcs who had persecuted us had practiced these shamanistic arts. Nobundo carefully explained how the orcs had abandoned those ways when they took up the dark magic of the Legion and trained their warlocks. The elements now sought new Shaman to commune with and empower. They had come to Nobundo, and he was offering to teach us as the elements had taught him. At first I was suspicious as well, but I had spent much of my life working with the earth through my craftsmanship and I knew that in order to reap the benefit of the earth, it must be respected. We left that meeting with much to think on.

In the time that followed there was to be much change for our people. Beings from another world began to poor in through the portal that the orcs had built. The world was beginning to tear apart at the seams from all of the unstable action perpetrated by the orcs. We feared once more that we would not last, and led by Velen, we escaped from our home once more in a Naaru vessel. Sadly, the vessel had been tampered with by the Blood Elves who had controlled it. The last thing I remember was huddling closely with Nadya as we spun uncontrollably through the twisting nether, our fate unknown.

I awoke to the smell of smoke and emerged into a world unlike any other I had been on. Nadya woke with me, and together we ventured outside. We had been in stasis since the crash, regenerating our health while our brothers and sisters organized our people. Others like us were now just awakening. We were told that we had crashed on the land known as Azeroth, the same world that the orcs had built the Dark Portal to. And here the Burning Legion had also made its mark, and the people of this world were fighting against it. Velen had survived and now led the people from the Exodar, the main section of the ship that we had left Draenor on. Nadya and I made our way to the Exodar to learn from Velen how we could help.

Velen spoke with authority and with gentleness. We were no longer going to run. Bolstered by the help of an alliance of kingdoms, we would join the fight against the Legion and end our flight once and for all. Nadya, who already had a knack for the mystical arts through the weaving of spells of protection and power into her finely stitched clothes, took up training as mage. I had only ever known the life of a craftsman. What could I contribute? Velen saw my contemplation and spoke to me.

"Perhaps there is someone else here who could help you find your path," he said.

Velen led me to the Crystal hall and up the steps to a familiar looking face. Nobundo. He had joined us as we escaped Draenor, hoping that he could help train willing Draenei in his art. As Nobundo looked at me, I felt the strength of the earth fill my bones. This would be my contribution to the fight. I would learn this new craft, how to commune with the elements and beseech their aid in our fight against the enemy who we had suffered so much under. I would become a Shaman.

No comments: