This is probably going to turn out stupid. Meh. In honour of NaNoWriMo, I’m going to try it anyway.
Boorand Plainswind was a long way from his youth. “Wrinkled”, as a troll would put it; perhaps “over the hill”, as a rather polite forsaken told him once. What was her name again? Such a nice girl. Liked flowers. Smelled nice, which is an unusual quality for a corpse. No matter.
Whatever euphemism one wished to use, the facts remained the same. His backed re-enacted the Third War every time he sat up; his left knee gave him trouble whenever it was raining, snowing, windy, sunny, or night time; his neck made an odd clicking sound whenever he looked to the left; speaking of left, he had been unable to see the colour green out of his left eye for nearly three decades now.
Oh yes, and his memory was going. It is very hard to remember all the details and… hmm… ahh yes! Facts. Difficult to remember facts.
While hazy, he could still remember some things about his youth. Warring with the centaur. The site of his mother being impaled. The morbid pleasure he gained from killing… no, murdering a family of centaur. His fathers admonishments for disrespecting his mother. His subsequent banishment, however temporary, from the tribe.
Living alone in the Barrens, with only his failures for companions.
As in most aspects of Shu’Halo culture, his redemption was a slow, patient progress. It took many years and the undying loyalty of a Hyena before he was, once again, at one with the earthmother.
He returned to his tribe a skilled hunter, tracker, and warrior. He proudly stood by and fought for his family, even as they were being hunted into extinction by the centaur.
The coming of the Horde changed everything.
The Shu’Halo, as a race, were slow and methodical. Everything in due time.The orcs, by contrast, considered any delay, no matter how trivial, to be cause for angered shouting and smashing of fragile objects.
No wonder, then, that there is no such thing as “defeat” to an orc. Even the most serious of obstacles are nothing more than a minor inconvenience.
The trolls, too, seemed fired by some deep-seated determination. The trolls, though, replaced the brashness and (heh heh) bullheadedness of the orcs with sheer weirdness. The first troll he met had cut off his left arm and beaten a centaur to death with it, just to win a bet.
The triumph of the Shu’Halo came when the combined might of orc, troll, and tauren marched into the ancient Shu’Halo homeland, Mulgore, claiming (most) of it, once again, as their own.
It was there that many Shu’Halo settled, content and happy within their homeland. It was there that Boorand could not stay.
He had been birthed to, raised, loved and lived in the Barrens. It was here, in the rolling savannah and oases that he was home.
By this time, he was far too old to do any active fighting. These days, he was barely able to weild a broom at the ferocious dirt monsters for longer than an hour or two. He doubted he could even remember how to use a bow at this point.
So, he became the innkeeper for the new Horde town of Crossroads. It was a simple job. Provide basic nourishment and refreshment for the various travellers and merchants, send word to Ratchet when foodstuffs ran low, and remember the magic phrase “Kra’shu’lo”.
Hearthstone magic was a true marvel. Pioneered by the wizards of Dalaran, the basic premise was incredibly simplistic. At its core, it was simple portal magic combined with the msot basic tenets of earth magic.
He had been regaled with the math and “physics” (whatever that means) behind the magic once, by an extremely patient forsaken mage named… Grogo, or Gorgo. Bah. He probably wouldn’t even be able to remember his own name in another decade or so.
Funny thing about Forsaken. You always remember them. With other peoples, they all run together after a while, but the the undead… they remain distinct in your memory, for as long as your memory is intact.
The reasoning is simple. They are an unforgettable people. Never before had he encountered, or even heard of, a people so strange and incongruous, even to themselves.
Still, some of them are seared into his memory, no matter how bad it becomes.
It was nearing his one hundredth birthday when they arrived. Two forsaken; one male, one female. Both arguing viciously with each other the entire time he was within earshot.
“Are you sure this is the place?” the female asked.
“I’m sure!” the male answered.
“You’re sure you’re sure?”
“I’m sure I’m sure!”
“How can you be so sure?”
“It’s called the Crossroads! There are four roads! Crossing!”
“No need to be so cross.”
“Shut yer trap, woman! I had enough of your damn puns when you were warm!”
“Don’t you tell me to hush up, you damn parasite!”
“Parasite?! Look at the hypocrite now, miss ‘Princess of the North’!”
“You know that was a damn rumor and nothing more!”
“Rumor? Balderdash, I say! High Priest Darys never took on a single acolyte that was not royalty.”
“I’ll have you know that royalty had NOTHING to do with entering the priesthood.”
“Hah! So you admit it! He just liked your boobs!”
“Oh, shut up, Carlos! You have no sense of propriety! We’re in public!”
“Propriety?! Public?! Who’s idea was it for that little public display of affection?”
“That… that was different!”
“Different, my bony arse! You put your vagi-“
The male (Carlos?) was cut off as he found himself silenced somehow by a gesture from the female. He continued to gesticulate wildly.
She took several steps towards Boorand, and greeted him.
“Hello, good innkeeper, we would like a single room for the night, please. No need for food, either tonight or tomorrow, we already ate and plan on eating when we reach our destination.”
“Excellenve good.” Boorand replied. “May I inquire as to you two are who?” He had never quite gotten the hang of the orcish language.
The female did not register any sort of confusion over Boorands broken orcish. Perhaps living amongst a people who frequently lose pieces of their jaw rendered speech impediments the norm.
“Mr. and Mrs. Merrill. Do you need us to sign the ledger?”
“Most negatively not, dear miss Merrill. Unnecessary that is always now.” He almost forgot he even had a ledger. Where is it anyway? Ahh yes! He had loaned it to Mankrik’s wife, though he can’t remember why.
She turned back to her husband, Carlos.
“Now listen here, you scrunge-bucket half-wit of a thief. If you mention any of my body parts in public again, I swear to the light, I will set you on fire!’
Apparently having had the gift of tongues restored to him, Carlos replied:
“Blah blah blah, is that all you ever do? And thief?! I was not a thief!”
“Ha! What do you call Lordaeron then?”
“That was opportunistic profiteering!”
“Ooh, big words from such a small man.”
“You know I can’t control that!”
“Yap yap yap, it’s always words with you.”
“Fine! You want action? I can give you some damn action!”
With that, the two rushed to their rooms, and treated Boorand to the most disturbing two hours of his entire life.
He had always wondered if the forsaken still carried out, as the Shu’Halo called it, the “final rites of the earthmother”.
Much to his everlasting horror, it seems as though some of them still do.
He had always thought it would be impossible, considering… well, the whole rotting and falling apart thing, would not activities be difficult to do?
Impossible, no, though there are some difficulties the forsaken face that other races (except, perhaps, trolls) are exempt from dealing with.
Orc structures are typically sound absorbent, perhaps stemming from a racial trait of yelling loudly about pretty much everything.
Nonetheless, the best masonry the orcs had to offer could not prevent Boorand from overhearing this rather disturbing exchange…
“Baby, you know there’s nothing I like more in you than me, but… can I have it back?” said the male voice.
“Heehee, nope”, said the female voice, followed by “Five more minutes, then you can have it.”
I sincerely apologize for the preceding story. It seemed like a good idea at the time, though, in retrospect, I probably should have held onto this until April Fools or something.
As it is.
It’s Remembrance Day, and I posted a fanfic which involves some dead people performing the final rites of the earthmother.
If I go to Hell, at least I have a surefire reason now.