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The Warrior's Path

 
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Illiad



Joined: 06 Jul 2007
Posts: 11
Location: Kirin Tor

PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2007 4:57 pm    Post subject: The Warrior's Path Reply with quote

(( This is the background of the tauren character I play in World of Warcraft. Hot off of MS Word! Hope you enjoy it. ))

For as long as I can remember we had been running. The centaurs pursued us constantly across this endless wasteland, each time slaying more of our people when we stop to catch our breath. One night we took shelter from a relentless sandstorm in a deep cave, thinking the storm combined with the terrain would conceal us from our enemies.

We were wrong.


The wind howled, battering the stony opening of the cavern with stinging grains of sand and rock. A star-kissed sky hung overhead, seeming deceptively peaceful over such a barren land torn apart by conflict. A small band of Bloodhoof tauren had taken shelter in the mountainside hoping to rest after days of pursuit from the vicious centaur. The group had become separated from the rest of the caravan during the most recent attack by the horse-men and had become lost in the storm. Now the exhausted, desperate band was making its way back toward the village that served as the closest thing to a home the nomadic people had. Just another day or so of travelling and they would be home again.

It was the dead of night. Taharo hadn’t been able to get much sleep that night, tossing and turning as if haunted by nightmares although he had no dreams, good or bad. He never had been able to sleep while away from the village. The tauren felt isolated and alone, even now with his family and tribesmen around him. Eventually sleep left him altogether and he simply lay on the damp cave floor, staring into the dancing flame at the center of the cavern. Even at his distance he could feel its warmth and his mind wandered, leaving behind thoughts of endless chase, death and wandering. For those few moments the world seemed as idyllic as it was painted to be in children’s tales. There were no centaurs, no famine, the game had returned to the land and all was as it should be.

The sharp twang of bowstrings echoed throughout the cave. The brief but clearly audible sound woke several tauren and caused Taharo to roll onto his side and stare down the natural hallway that lead to the mouth of the cave. It may have been the two posted sentries practicing aim in boredom but the growing unease in the back of Taharo’s mind told him otherwise. There was a long pause and the wind howled louder before dying back down and another pair of bowstrings sounded, louder this time. Something was wrong…why would the sentries be firing inside the cavern?

Taharo climbed to his hooves and drew his shortsword from its scabbard. Several other tauren awoke and those already up drew their various weapons: spears, axes, maces, guns, bows, staves, spellbooks and a few even took up loose rocks. All eyes were on the hall as the clip-clop of approaching hoofsteps reverberated off the rocky walls. They stopped suddenly and only the quiet crackling of the bonfire at the cavern center could be heard.

The first shot came silently, a long, narrow shaft tipped with death that burrowed deep into and elder shaman’s chest. The old tauren groaned and took a wobbling step back, dropping the mace in his hand. The weapon fell to the ground and rolled out of reach as its owner was pierced by two additional arrows and fell beside it. Seconds later centaurs stormed into the cavern, arrows flying in every direction. The tauren surged forward, crying for vengeance of the fallen and hacking wildly at their attackers, rending armor and flesh with their brutal strikes.

The tip of Taharo’s blade first found the heart of one attacking centaur, erupting from the back of the creature and spraying the cavern wall with crimson fluid. It howled in pain, clawing at his hand and wrist, trying to pull the blade though already it knew it had been ended. Its screams turned to quiet growls and its assault faded rapidly as its life giving liquid drained onto the cavern floor. Taharo shoved the dead centaur back into his comrades and pushed forward, slashing across the torso of an unsuspecting archer and causing his foe’s arrow to fly wildly astray.

Confused and angered, the archer turned on his assailant just in time to catch a well-placed thrust through his neck. Blood poured forward, painting the blade in grim scarlet as the dying centaur gurgled obscenities and curses in its strange tongue. Taharo shoved the blade forward remorselessly and jerked it back, nearly decapitating the already dead archer.

When he turned the offenders were already retreating out of the cavern, significantly less in number. Taharo dashed after them as fast as his hooves would carry him but soon slowed and stopped altogether. The battle had given him enough adrenaline to defend himself and his people but the burst had faded now and days of fleeing and hiding caught up with him once again. The weary tauren turned and looked around the cavern, seeing nearly as many tauren bodies as centaur. A pair in particular caught his eye, a large deep brown male lying next to a light gray female…

Father. Beloved mother. Their blood pooled around them, matted in their fur. Father’s mace had shattered. Mother…she was not a fighter. They had given their lives for their tribe. I am honored to call myself their son.

The following day saw us return to our village only hours after the chieftain himself returned with newfound allies. These green-skilled beings called orcs and their companions, the trolls, had aided our people in fending off the centaur and even defended our village from an oncoming raid. Their skill and strength were admirable and it was then I chose my path, the path of the warrior. From that day forward I devoted myself to my training, learning my strengths and weaknesses as well as weapon skills. I adapted supremely to the greatsword, even besting my mentor in sparring on occasion. I was well on my way to becoming a skilled warrior.

Then came the most decisive battle of our time. The Battle of Mount Hyjal.


In the face of complete decimation, the newly formed Horde had put its prejudices aside and allied with the night elves, humans and dwarves to stand united against the Burning Legion. The Defiler, Archimonde, had already established an outpost halfway up the mountain, fortifying it with both demonic and undead forces. Warchief Thrall and Lady Proudmoore had both constructed outposts while Malfurion Stormrage prepared a trap at the gates of the summit. They were to hold the Legion for as long as possible while the Archdruid prepared his snare, a feat easier said than done.

Taharo couldn’t help but feel awkward being allied with the enemies of his allies though he himself held no grudge against the humans, dwarves or kaldorei. The latter whispered in strange languages and eyed the tauren warily as if expecting him to turn traitor and attack them at any moment. Their paranoia was hardly warranted, he thought. After all, he was under the command of their leader, Jaina Proudmoore, at least for the moment. If anyone should be distrusting here, it should be him and his comrades.

Screams erupted from the front lines, piercing the air and shocking the reserves into attention. Voices of all races cried out in alarm and agony as undead ripped into their bodies, spilling blood and devouring whatever was left over. The true horrors came behind them, four-legged hounds with crimson skin, eyeless with twin tentacles sniffing the air hungrily. Twin horns protruded from its body angled forward, looking to impale any creature unfortunate enough to be in front of it should it charge. Taharo caught sight of one of the beasts pounce on an unfortunate Sentinel and plunge the tentacles into her body, drinking hungrily. The kaldorei screamed and writhed, stabbing wildly upward at the monster with her dagger but the thing was latched tight. All life seemed to leave her body within a matter of seconds and her body appeared to age and shrivel beneath the hound as it drained not only her mana but her life force as well. When the demon had finished its meal it leapt off the husk and charged forward, searching for its next victim.

Behind the felhounds were large, blue-skinned warriors nearly as tall as Taharo himself. They wore crimson armor and their helms were adorned with a single upward spike looking more for décor than combat. These warriors each carried a vicious looking twin bladed axe sharp enough to sever a tree trunk in a single swing. More undead followed, large, pale creatures oozing liquid, created from parts of corpses sewn together. There were smaller units as well: fleshless skeletons clad in armor, six-legged spiderlike monsters with multiple eyes and even a duo of the gigantic, winged leviathans the Legion called Doomguards. These goliaths served as commanders of the lower units but when push came to shoves, word was they could destroy the base on their own.

It wasn’t long before the call to arms sounded for the reserves to join the battle. Taharo took a sharp breath and held it for several seconds. There was no room for error in these large conflicts. He had seen his share of large battles but this was by far his largest. The ghouls that had torn through the front lines were charging toward them now. A nearby dwarf shouted a battle cry and raised his rifle, dropping the creature with a well placed headshot. It was a minor victory as a dozen more surged forward and all drew their weapons. Taharo gripped his greatsword tightly and met the eyeless sockets of the ghoul moving toward him, already formulating his first strike.

In a clash of bone, flesh, blood and steel the opposing forces met. Some surged past, attacking peasants and tearing down buildings but most engaged the defenders head on. Blades pierced lifeless skin, rending holes in the bodies of the already dead attackers. A nearby kaldorei split the skull of an oncoming ghoul, dropping the creature in a heartbeat. Others soon followed suit, aiming their attacks at the heads of the undead. Where the blades hit was irrelevant in Taharo’s case as his massive sword cleaved body after cadaverous body with just a few swings. For a few moments hope crawled into his mind, hope that perhaps they could win the battle here and now.

The undead stopped their horrid screeching suddenly and turned, scrambling back to their demonic masters. They seemed terrified, normally a good sign. The coalition of Azeroth’s races began to press forward, shouting various battle cries when they stopped, eyes skyward. Some dropped their weapons and fled back into the keep. Others simply stared in awe. A human to Taharo’s left whispered a curse that the tauren couldn’t quite understand but it sounded none too reassuring. He lifted his head and peered up into the deep blue sky.

He didn’t see them at first but they grew larger with every passing moment. Large, meteor-like green rocks hurtling toward the ground. This was new to Taharo. No demon he had ever heard of looked like this…nor did any mortal race of this world. His instincts took over and the tauren gripped his large greatsword in both hands, braced for whatever these ominous asteroids had to bring. They were nearly on the ground now, just a few feet away from where the now crestfallen defenders stood. Taharo closed his eyes and did something he had never done before. He prayed to Elune that they would be able to hold their position until the Archdruid had set his trap. Victory could not be had here. Holding was their only option.

The meteor slammed into the earth and immediately started to move. A monstrous claw dug into the dirt, wrenching the rest of the body up. The behemoth was made up of giant hunks of smoldering green stone held together by some Fel magic. Its head was a smaller stone with three openings, two burning sockets for eyes and a larger one that served as a mouth. Taharo found himself backing away from the monstrous thing as several more landed beside it. Several whispers slipped through the air, the same word in every language.

Infernals.

With no warning the gargantuan monster charged forward with a thundering, animalistic roar and smashed into the defenders. Several were crushed into a twisted shape of flesh, bone and metal while the others were knocked aside with just one swipe of the Infernal’s powerful stone arms. Taharo simple stared, unable to tear his eyes from the carnage even as the monster approached him. On instinct the tauren raised his blade in a guard position only to be knocked across the chest by the leviathan. He collided with a stone wall some distance from the gate with a sickening crack and dropped his weapon. The sword hit the ground with a dull thump and Taharo staggered forward, his vision already blurred. He tried to stand up straight only to be met with another loud snap of cracking bone and fell onto all fours. Crimson began to pour into his eyes even as he reached for his lost blade and he finally collapsed with one final deep breath.

I thought my time in the mortal world had come to an end. What better place for a warrior to perish than at the hands of an enemy with his brothers in arms? It was not so, however. I cannot say how much time passed while I drifted in darkness, awaiting the loving embrace of Elune. Instead I awoke in a place called Moonglade after the battle had been won. A kaldorei priestess had been watching over me in secret as I later discovered that the truce between the Alliance and Horde had all but dissolved after the Battle of Mount Hyjal. I do not know the exact reasoning but I myself choose to honor old allegiances so long as my people are kept safe.

Once healed I gave my thanks to the priestess and returned to Mulgore to continue my training. Three years have passed since then and I have not completed my training fully nor do I expect I ever will until the day comes where I lay as I did on Mount Hyjal and Elune takes me to her side. Until then I shall continue to walk the path fate has put before me as a proud tauren of the Bloodhoof tribe.
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Aidinthel



Joined: 13 Mar 2006
Posts: 3145
Location: a series of lairs, each more secret than the last

PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2007 6:33 pm    Post subject: Re: The Warrior's Path Reply with quote

Illiad wrote:
In the face of complete decimation
I feel I should argue with the usage here. "Decimation" is the elimination of 1 out of every ten. You're looking for something like destruction, annihilation, eradication, or extinction.
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I never nuked anything that didn't stop being an immediate problem.
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Illiad



Joined: 06 Jul 2007
Posts: 11
Location: Kirin Tor

PostPosted: Sat Aug 04, 2007 4:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you for the feedback!
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Amaunator



Joined: 03 Dec 2005
Posts: 2074
Location: Belgium ... innocuous but intrepid!

PostPosted: Sat Aug 04, 2007 8:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like it. It's clear and poignant. The language is perfect, as is the grammar Smile.

I agree with the qualm of 'decimation'. That should indeed be replaced by a more suited word for 'eradication'.

"If anyone should be distrusting here, it should be him and his comrades."
--> I would turn this sentence around, if I were you. I get what you're going for, but it's muddled by the use of 'distrusting'.

"His comrades and he should distrust them, not otherwise."
Or something along those lines. But know you know who distrusts who. Smile

"Twin horns protruded from its body"
--> I'd say 'their bodies' because you spoke of 'hounds', plural, in the sentence before that.

"Taharo caught sight of one of the beasts pounce on an unfortunate Sentinel and plunge the tentacles into her body, drinking hungrily."
--> pouncing, plunging and drinking; more consequent.

Very interesting tale Smile. I'm guessing that's the end of it? Or is this just a prologue? Smile
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Illiad



Joined: 06 Jul 2007
Posts: 11
Location: Kirin Tor

PostPosted: Sun Aug 05, 2007 5:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you for the tips, I'll keep them in mind for future writing! Currently this is all I have for the character but who knows what the future holds.
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