Chanchu

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Everything posted by Chanchu

  1. Maiden of the Mist

    Chanchu sat outside the infirmary, fingers busy weaving a loop of string into a repetitive series of shapes. She'd woken Maralah as requested and sent the healer out to deal with the broken huntress Arahe in their village. She'd ignored when the disappearing orc snuck out from his bed. The restless glint in his eyes was a familiar one. She had sent him off with a wink, but wasn't sure if he'd seen. Or cared. She wasn't sure why she stayed. Chanchu could have gone rummaging in the kitchens to find something tasty. She might have even come across someone else doing the same, and they could have exchanged stories. Chanchu didn't feel much like spinning a story. The tauren dipped her thumbs, dropping the loop strung across them and then her hands swiveled so she could hook the yarn over the top and stretch it backward. She jumped the middle fingers and pulled the shape taut. Travois. The monk didn't pause, but began the series of steps to take the string on into the next shape. No, she didn't feel much like lying. That's what would happen, if she were to go to the kitchen, find something tasty, and meet someone. It might be someone who didn't matter. Or it might be someone she knew. Kolu, maybe. She wouldn't mind a verbal sparring with that cantankerous cow. She was so easy to rile, too. She carried the weight of the Grimtotem tribe on her shoulders and while it was true Chanchu held some prejudices there, they were no where near so prohibitive as Kolu expected and therefor perceived them to be. How much longer could she poke those buttons and still expect it to be fun? She didn't really know what else to do but poke, but doing so usually led to enemies made. Chanchu liked Kolu. She didn't want to do that. By the same token, the tauren did not feel like retracing her steps back to the room she'd claimed as her own. The maze of shelves held many interesting things, but all of them made for poor company. Chanchu was tired of being alone. She was tired of her cushy soft pouf of a bed, and she was tired of the puzzle boxes and the combination locks and all the usual distractions. She wanted... She wanted to be useful for once. So what did she do? She went and let someone snatch one patient, and then she abandoned her other patient because she didn't work well with others. Chanchu yanked the string. So what if Kolu had yelled at her? So what if she had called Chanchu useless? Just because that was precisely how the monk felt, why did that make her react so strongly? She should have done something to prove she wasn't. That's what she should have done. Instead she'd retreated like a coward. And not even a proper one! Here she was, still sitting outside the infirmary. Her leg hurt. The string flowed back through the travois configuration and continued on. Chanchu thought about the infirmary, and the things she had seen there. It was all so different from everything else she had known. People came in with weird unexplained ailments. The healers flung spells about with abandon. Where did that Maralah even get her energy from? The sheer scope of magics that had been wasted, in only a short time of observing, was astounding. Chanchu wondered if maybe the healers of Sanctuary had found a way to use the city itself as their source. Chanchu had only her own self. Maybe that was the difference. You're not useless, she told herself sternly, frowning at the yarn strung through her fingers. She could heal. She knew she could. She had a little carved totem back in her room that proved somebody else thought she could too. Skytotem tauren were supposed to be some of the very best healers among all the tribes. Coqui had obviously seen something in her that made it worthwhile to bring the monk into the group. The seer Lomani had looked with her pale creepy eyes and judged her. She must have seen something. Something that Chanchu still had yet to recognize as truth. Lies were always easier. Easier to tell, easier to believe. Chanchu was not useless. She knew that. But, she might not ever be able to do what they did around the corner, in that room. She wasn't sure she wanted to. The sheer amount of pain those two healers had caused! Chanchu's fingers missed a loop and her hands pulled tight before she caught the error. The monk frowned. She unmounted the string form from her other fingers and began picking patiently at the knot she'd made. It was only one day, she told herself. She could sit and watch over many more days. She could try very hard to not backtalk the other healers. Kolu. She would try not to backtalk Kolu. And she could learn. Theoretically. Kex'ti had even hinted at training, when he'd recruited her to Sanctuary. Though she scoffed at the time, the idea was tantalizing. Chanchu hadn't done well with any of her other teachers. She was a bad student, as a general rule, confirmed twice so far. The elf didn't seem typical for his kind, though. Maybe he'd fare better. Or not. Glumly, Chanchu rewound the string around her fingers.
  2. Maiden of the Mist

    "Chanchu? OPEN the door Chanchu!" She blinked. She wasn't sure how long the pounding had been happening on the other side of the door. It sounded like someone was trying to break the building. Maybe they were. Why would someone want to break a perfectly good building? Blearily, she tried to make sense of the muffled taurahe words making their way to her ears. It was surprisingly difficult to grasp meaning. "What?" she finally called. Her tongue felt fluffy and dry. Odd. "Open the door Chanchu! Let me in right now!" "Okay," she nodded. It was a silly thing to do, nobody could see it through the door. She tried to stand up, and was surprised when her limbs didn't obey her. She was even more surprised when she saw only one knee. "Somebody stole my leg," she commented. "What? You OPEN THIS DOOR RIGHT NOW, you hear me!?" Chanchu rather thought this was a ridiculous question, as who wouldn't be able to hear yelling of that volume? Whoever it was sounded really upset, though, and she started to fear that she was in trouble. She thought about that as she crawled toward the door. She was too tired to try standing, and what was the point, with only one leg to stand on? She'd just fall down again. The pounding continued, pausing every now and then for whoever was on the other side to listen. Chanchu reached the barrier and paused. The thunking on the door was oddly comforting. She leaned her horns against the wood. Thunk. Thunk. Then it paused. "Chanchu?" "What?" "Open the door." Chanchu hesitated. "You sound mad." "I'm not mad, sweety. Open the door for me, okay?" Chanchu was unconvinced. "You sound mad. Did you take my leg? I want it back please, I can't walk." There was muttering on the other side of the door. More than one person was out there. "I can help you walk if you open the door sweety." After this was a not-so-subtle and very frustrated "What the FUCK did she do to the door?" "You sure sound mad. I think you should stay outside," Chanchu observed. "Nononono. I'm your friend, and I want to be in the room where you are. Let me in, please." "But you're mad at me." "No, I'm mad at this door, because it won't open. Please open it for me. I want to come in and make sure you're okay. Are you okay? How are you doing? Let me in so I can see." "No. Not okay." Chanchu flopped sideways onto her hip and leaned against the door. She rubbed her knee, wondering where the rest of her was. "I lost my leg somewhere. I can't find it." Which was silly, because she hadn't begun to look for it yet. "I can't walk," she repeated. She couldn't seem to focus her thoughts on anything else. "I know sweety. I know." There was a pause. "I could come inside and help you look for it, if you open the door. Would you like that?" Chanchu smiled. "I like dancing. And...?" she stopped. What else did she like? Hmm. "And me. You like me, remember? Let me in, Chanchu." She thought about this, and doing so took a very long time. It seemed like she should know who was talking to her, but she couldn't quite connect the voice to the memory. She also couldn't drum up enough energy to care. She rested against the wall after reaching this conclusion, content to just be. Being was okay, even if one-legged. Who cared about legs if she was sitting on her butt on the floor? The extended silence seemed to worry the voice. There was more mumbling. Or maybe talking at regular volume but the door was in the way of her ears. She heard someone say it wasn't working, and another voice say the same thing was wrong with the window. Chanchu looked at the wall and discovered that yes, she was in a building with a window. The window had a face in it, peering at her. She waved. The face disappeared. Rude. There was a loud thump at the door that was hard enough to rattle her teeth. Also rude. Then came a new voice. "Chanchu, can you hear me?" She could. She nodded. The voice was quiet. It was raspy, a scratchy sort of gravelly sound, but it was calm. "Open the door. I can help you and the pig." This voice was telling. It wasn't asking. Chanchu knew this voice was not mad. It wasn't upset, and this voice, she knew somehow, always spoke truth. It was easy. I can help you. Chanchu believed it, and she simply reached up and pulled the thumb latch on the door down. The lever inside moved up, and the door was free to swing. For a moment, the door stayed where it was, slightly unseated from the fully latched position. Then it burst open. Chanchu felt like the door was invasive, an unwelcome presence inside her personal space. She retreated, shrinking away from the sensation. Suddenly it was all too much. An overload of sound and vibrations and movement. She pulled inward. Chanchu became accosted with women. She was prodded all over, had eyes that she was trying to keep closed pried open and examined. She moaned, complaining about it. She didn't like it. Leave her alone. They were all talking to each other back and forth too fast to make sense of. She wanted quiet. "She's not hurt." "There's no lock on this door at all." "Sweety, let me see please.""What the hell?" "Why is she crying?" "This boar is perfectly healthy." That last one made all the other noises cease. All except the sobbing, because apparently Chanchu was indeed crying. She was curled into a warm pair of arms wrapped tightly containing all of her. "What?" "Why isn't it breathing?" the wall of fuzz that Chanchu leaned against rumbled with this question as Coqui's voice distorted into her head. She knew why the pig wasn't breathing. She'd failed. She'd tried everything she knew, put all the pieces exactly where they needed to be, had been one hundred percent sure of the placement... and it hadn't worked. She wailed. The cocoon of arms wrapped tighter around her and began a soothing motion, back and forth. "It's still in stasis. Watch." Chanchu did not hear this, nor the long pause which followed. She was still struggling to breathe around a rebellious diaphragm when there was a collective gasp, and grunting. Oinks. "Show her." "She's in shock, she doesn't understand what's going on. Look at her." The raspy voice insisted, as quietly as it had ordered the door opened. "She'll understand enough. She needs to see him. Right now. Turn her around." Chanchu's warm cage suddenly loosened, and she didn't like it at all. She tried to protest. She tried to keep the embrace around her. She felt insubstantial and lost, and that warmth and grip was the only power keeping her stable anymore. "Breathe. Calm down. Breathe in. Now let it out. All the way. Breathe. Look at me. No, let go of her, look at me. You're fine. Breathe out." Chanchu listened to the voice. She obeyed it, this voice that spoke truth and nothing but truth. She was too tired to do anything else. She needed help just to breathe, and with the steady flow of air in and air out, she was able to focus her vision on the speaker. Kerala was crouched inches from her face, serious green eyes focused on Chanchu's face, her nose almost touching Chanchu's nose. She was right there! So close! When she spoke, Chanchu could scent Kerala's breath. She smelled of crushed green things and something sweet. Probably fruit. Kerala liked apples. The druid stayed there, coaching, until she was satisfied that Chanchu had calmed enough to understand. She dropped one knee and swiveled slightly aside. The movement revealed a boar crouched down with his curly tail high in the air while he scrubbed his front hooves with his snout. Perfectly normal piggy behavior. "I'd like you to meet your patient. You saved him." Chanchu looked at the pig. He seemed unconcerned with her existence. He finished his crouching display, then proceeded to snuffle about the room, shoving rudely against the hoofs that got in the way of his following whatever scent he tracked. His lips smacked a moment later as the pig found some bit of something edible beneath a low table. The furniture rattled loudly when he stood up under the edge of it, startled, and darted away. Her expression must have betrayed her utter lack of comprehension. "You saved him," Kerala repeated. "You did it. We're very proud of you." It didn't make any sense. Chanchu had failed. She had tried, but it didn't work, the piggy wasn't breathing. But he was now. He was quite happily on the trail of something else that must have smelled delicious, because he was forcefully shoving his way between a chest and the wall to get to it. His grunts were determined rather than frustrated. Chanchu tried to curl away from the sight, to stick her face back against Coqui's chest and get away from everything. She forgot that Kerala had her jaw firmly in hand. A brief struggle ensued in which the older but exhausted woman of reddish fur fought against the sure stability of the younger druid and lost. This exchange prompted comments from all the other women in the room, including a wordless exclamation from the deaf one watching. Kerala ignored them all, and they seemed to know better than to try interfering physically. "Look at him. You saved him. You are tired right now because he is alive and not dead. You made that difference. Do you understand?" Chanchu avoided those piercing eyes, gladly preferring the fuzzy bristle on the boar's back. "You saved him. You healed him. You are a healer. Say it." Chanchu was silent. Kerala rattled her head. "You know what I say is true. Doubt yourself, but believe me now. You saved him..." When Chanchu still hesitated, the druid shook her again. "I saved him!" Chanchu shouted. "You healed him." "I healed him." "You ARE a healer." Chanchu mumbled, but did repeat this too. "I am a healer." Kerala stared at her expectantly. "I am a healer!" she said, more clearly this time. It was difficult to get the words through her dry mouth, but finally her face was freed. "Damn, Kerala. A little mercy maybe." Coqui stooped back down to hug her distraught friend. "She's weak and vulnerable now. The entire point of this exercise was for her to prove to her SELF that she is capable. Look at her. Do you think she'll remember the events that occurred in this room tomorrow? Do you think she'll remember her success? Or will she lose that in the midst of the trauma she's gone through and the shock she's in now? I know the answer. She succeeded, but only because she's better than you thought she was. I could not have saved that animal. You think I'm cruel? I did not lie to her. I spoke truth. She is a healer, and she made a difference. Maybe she'll remember that later even when the rest of it fades into obscurity. Take her to bed. And for goodness sake feed her." In the time it took Kerala to defend herself to the others, Coqui felt Chanchu slacken in her arms with a few final hiccups. The exhausted girl had just lost her ability to remain awake. Unable to come up with any better course of action, Coqui did as she was commanded. She gathered up her friend and took her to a hammock. She had to swaddle the girl tightly in a cocoon of blankets before she'd release the fistlock on Coqui's mane. She refused all food, turning her face away, mumbling about porkchops and then outright panicking when Coqui tried to be firm about it, so she gave up and let the girl sleep. The sunwalker kept watch through the night and all the next day, wondering. What in the hell had just happened?
  3. Maiden of the Mist

    "What's she doing, can you see anything?" "Lomani, relax. This is gonna work." "I hope you're right! I don't like it, Coqui, lying to her like this. What's she doing now?" "Not sitting anymore. She's kneeling in front of her patient, I... think she's resting? Also whatever. I didn't lie, did I Kerala?" "You did." "When!?" "When you said she was the only one who would heal the pig." "That wasn't a lie, you said it should be put down. I assume YOU were truthful, at least? Right. So you weren't going to heal it, and the rest of us... let's face it, trying to heal and actually healing are not the same thing, dear. So it was not a lie." "Very well." "Speaking of trying..." "She can DO it. Relax. What are you looking at her for?" "Because she's the druid, and she actually knows how bad it is. How bad is it?" "You should probably pray." "Oh come on DON'T TELL HER THAT! What is WRONG with you?!" "Shh!" "I'm surprised the boar lasted long enough for her to come up with that hibernation idea." "Perhaps she was helping it somehow, even then? Coqui. Please. It's been hours. Can I see?" "Fine. I'll give you a boost. Maybe you can tell what's going on with your Sight. ... ...Well?" "...I ...I don't know what I'm looking at..." "Oh for...! Isn't it like paint by number for you? How can you not comprehend colors?" "There's only one." "Which one?" "...green. Just a big... cloud... Just green." "Cloud? Wait! That's good! Clouds are mist. The pandabears weave mists. She's doing it!" "Look again. There is no fog in that room. No mist." "What does the color green mean, Lomani?" "It could mean anything. Green is the color of the heart anchor, it's strongly related to the sense of touch, to love and intimacy, things like that, but... but of course it's also the opposite. Green is depression and, and..." "And what? Spit it out girl." "Great pain. The fourth anchor is also the source of grief." "Shit."
  4. Maiden of the Mist

    Chanchu's first introduction to the Skytotem tribe was one of conflict. Depressed and alone, she had been a nomad for several years, living as a thief on whatever she could steal from easily distracted men. She learned a lot from watching tavern whores drum up customers, and put it to good use as a tease. She was also handy, fixing broken tools or mending nets and such. She got by. Then she met Coqui. A Grimtotem so obvious had never been seen since the Earthmother blinded herself. Of course, Chanchu's mouth got her in trouble. That and a huge jar of shine. It was the first time Chanchu had ever been soundly thrashed in her pathetic cripple life, like she was a whole person. Afterwards, she woke up in the warm firelight of Coqui's tent with the mature woman tending to the injuries she herself had inflicted. Still reeling slightly from a concussion, Chanchu was subjected to hours of stern scolding between both a bath and a hot meal. She was dismissed from Coqui's company with a small but respectable purse of money and the distinct impression that she had disappointed the woman personally. The implication from the start was that she could be more than just what she was, a petty thief wasting her life. Chanchu breathed slowly, exhaling a thin stream of air and moisture through the tunnel of her lips. Air and moisture. Under the right conditions, it could become visible. It was the essence of life itself. Mist. Chanchu let out her breath and imagined it. Amber clouds floated down and out, billowing around her. The Earth Mother breathed like this, so the legends said. She created the world with it. Chanchu was not a goddess, nor even anyone's mother. She was only a girl. A maiden. But she breathed. In, and out. The least experienced of the Skytotem healers, Chanchu was perceived by most of them as an annoying little sister. Over time each one had tried her in their disciplines, but though she failed them each in turn, they never cast her out. Chanchu ended up with a great deal of general knowledge regarding healing professions despite a lack of ability in any of them. She had a basic understanding of anatomy and herb lore and of the spiritual world and the importance of elemental balance in all things. She knew the incredible power of An'she's Light and had often asked Lomani to describe over and over again the incredible colors she saw with her Seer's gift. Chanchu went through several stages of yearning to be a druid or especially a priestess, but ultimately hadn't the knack for either one. Despite some actual serious efforts, she failed. She saw herself as worthless. Elements largely ignored her calls, she hadn't the first clue how to change shapes and often killed any plant she tried to take into her own care. She was decent with animals, which was something, but that wasn't any real skill in empathy, but rather learning to read body language cues. Then the pandaren. If anyone was disappointed that Chanchu came back from Pandaria little changed, it certainly wasn't more than her. When her last teacher had run out of patience and asked her to leave his home in that very polite and yet steely manner of his race, Chanchu had no ideas except to return to her old friend. Coqui took her in, of course. Chanchu always had a place among the Skytotem. She settled into her role as healer's assistant and assumed things were going well. That was until Coqui came back with this silly idea. Heal something, earn your totem, be a real Skytotem. Don't you like coyotes and junk, you could be a vet! It had never been said officially, but the unspoken addendum to this suggestion was that if she didn't earn her totem, Chanchu needed to scram. She didn't want to go back to her old life. Surely she could find some little scratched up critter and nurse it back to health and call it good. They all knew she wasn't a real healer. Chanchu took another deep breath. "Alright piggy. Earth Mother help me, here we go."
  5. Maiden of the Mist

    “Put it down.” Chanchu gaped at Kerala. These were not the words she thought she’d hear, from one who was supposed to be nature’s champion. Wasn’t all life sacred? Wasn’t it her job to protect animals? The druid had barely even entered the room before she said it. She stood in the inner door frame, a brazier in the entryway lighting her up from behind. Her mane glowed around the fuzzy edges like a halo, but the chieftain's green eyes were flinty and dark. “What? Why! You didn’t even examine him!” Kerala raised a brow. “He’s gut wounded. Wounds like this very rarely turn out well. He’ll be poisoned from the inside out, if he’s not already.” she approached as she spoke, obliging Chanchu by squatting down and taking a look at the boar more closely. She examined the circle of tears across his back, the least of which had occurred over the boar’s spine where the trap had closed and it’s teeth skimmed and chipped bone. She prodded the swelling there just a moment before moving on to the pig’s underside. She gently lifted the pig’s back leg to see fully the rend in his belly and groin. Moving the limb caused the boar’s insides to shift against Chanchu’s hand. Dark blood oozed between her fingers, and Kerala saw this, too. Perhaps more gently, the chieftain added. “It’s not a good death.” “But-” Chanchu’s mind raced to come up with some argument out of sheer habit. “But you can cure poisons, can’t you?” “It’s-,” the druid started, but then her eyes darted away and her lips stopped moving. When Chanchu looked, both the seer Lomani and elder shaman Anura crowded the doorway looking in. Lomani looked slightly sickened by the gore she was witnessing, but Anura had a shrewd crinkling around her eyes. Chanchu didn’t notice. “So if he were a Brother, you’d heal him. But not this pig. This is just meat, to you.” Kerala visibly blanched at that. A dry soft sound was heard as Anura used her hands to communicate. The seer translated. “The circle of life includes death, Chanchu. Surely you know this.” Unbelievable! Were they all condemning the boar to death, after urging her to go out to find it in the first place? Anura and Lomani were the ones who were always telling her to have faith, to believe in herself, and now they were telling her to just give up? Confused, Chanchu just kept arguing. What else to do? “Of course I do! But… but you” she glared at Kerala, then at Lomani and Anura both, “and you and you and Coqui… you’re supposed to be healers. He’s hurt and it’s not his fault! If he got chomped by a croc, that’s one thing, survival of the fittest, but this wasn’t nature. Trappers did this! They lay the traps to catch big boars, not this little guy. They want skin and they want tusks, and this is how they get it, and it’s WRONG!” “So heal him.” Coqui suggested. The sunwalker spoke from behind the other two, her inky fur absorbing the firelight and keeping Chanchu blind to her presence. “I CAN’T!” Chanchu practically wailed. Couldn’t she see that if Chanchu could save this animal, she would? That was the entire point of this exercise. She’d gone to find a trapped creature and heal it and earn her totem, but this was too hard. She wasn’t supposed to find a dying piglet! A broken leg, a few tears in a hide- that’s what she’d expected, not this! “You are the only one who will. He’s YOUR ward. To us, he’s just an animal, and animals die all the time. We hunt him for food. You’re working yourself up over porkchops, kiddo.” Coqui’s words floated into the room like icebergs. Oh yeah, she was pissed about the boob shot, Chanchu thought. She’d managed to drive off her only friend. Over a porkchop. She wanted to just die right there. With the pig. “I mean… she couldn’t, though, could she?” Lomani tremored. Chanchu was barely listening. She was staring down at the boar, trying hard not to cry. He didn’t even have tusks. “It’s not impossible…” Kerala allowed. “Just a waste of time. That little boar is paralyzed. You’d have to heal the swelling that’s pressing on his spinal cord. He’s got internal leaks that are spreading infection as well as putting pressure on organs…” the druid began listing every step that would have to be done to return the piglet to health. If she was being oddly specific, Chanchu didn’t quite notice. “So… he’s like a shattered eggshell. There’s so many pieces to the puzzle that you’d never glue them all back in the right place.” “She’s good at puzzles, though.” Chanchu had actually rebuilt an egg once, out of sheer boredom. “There’s no point.” “But if she had time?” The tribe continued talking about the pig and about Chanchu as if she were not there. She was waiting for the boar to take his last breath. So far, he seemed to be clinging to the edge of life. His bristly side went up, then down. She still held his belly closed with her hand, and she couldn’t seem to make herself take that away. At Lomani’s question of time, she snapped back to herself. “Give me time!” she demanded. Every face turned to her, but she was staring at the druid. “What?” “Give me time.” Chanchu repeated, the idea taking flight to dominate her thoughts. “You can do it, I know you can. Elf druids sleep for years at a time, I’ve heard, when they mess around with the Dream. Some Pandaren can meditate and slow their bodies in a similar way so they don’t even need to breathe for hours. They can slow the spread of poison so it can be purged. Do that! Give me some time, and I can put him back together. I can heal the boar.” There was a long moment in which Kerala was silent. Chanchu could tell she was calculating, deciding if and how she could accomplish the effect Chanchu asked for, and probably thinking up new ways such a technique could be put to use in other scenarios. Kerala wasn’t much of a planner, or particularly inventive, but she was incredibly clever with the resources she knew how use, and Chanchu had just given her a new tool. “I think I could do that…” she said slowly, “like a hibernation, as you say.” She folded beside the boar and reached out. Her fingertips skimmed his hide. Her gaze went unfocused. Chanchu waited, anxious, watching both her and the pig. She thought she should remove her hand and isolate the boar to whatever magic the druid commanded, but again, didn’t have the capacity to put that thought into action. It didn’t matter. In a moment, Kerala blinked and looked down at the piglet. Chanchu had begun to panic as he stopped breathing. Then she realized that he’d stopped on an inhale. The boar was now holding his breath. The druid said nothing, and continued only to stare. Ever so slowly, they watched the pig’s ribs deflate in the longest exhale ever. It took maybe five whole minutes. Hope budded from somewhere deep in Chanchu’s chest. Tentatively, she removed her hand from the boar’s belly. The gash widened and oozed, but without active pressure building in his gut, the nearest intestine remained contained just barely. “I think that will work,” Kerala commented. “You have time.” The fuzzy chieftain stood. Her eyes were softer, but still with steel seriousness underlying. “Best use it wisely.” “I will.” Chanchu promised. The monk promptly assumed the traditional pose she’d been taught to meditate in. She sighed. It was a huge exhale meant to clear negative energies, and she closed her eyes. It occurred to her too late to thank the druid. When she opened her eyes and lips to do so, the room was vacant of all but her and the boar. “I will,” she whispered to her ward.
  6. Maiden of the Mist

    “-qui! Familiar wooden walls and furs covering a plank floor soon materialized around Chanchu and her injured companion. “Coqui!” she yelled again, her call wholly in the new location now. Then the monk’s stomach tried to twist savagely in protest at the hearthing magic, but she tightened her core against the stitch, almost angry at what she viewed as her own body’s attempt to fight her. She didn’t have time for some stupid muscle cramp just now! Chanchu’s rescue laid still on the hide rug, and for a moment she utterly panicked, not feeling the expansion of his piggy ribs. Had she traumatized him too much, had he died right there? Then he sucked wind, his side blew upwards, and relief flooded her. He wasn’t done yet. “That was fast, I thought you said-” Coqui halted mid-sentence and lept the few remaining steps she’d been descending from the second floor. The floor thunked with the sunwalker’s landing, and before she knew how the remaining distance had been crossed, Chanchu felt the other woman’s hands in her fur, probing. A second later Chanchu realized what a sight she must look, caked in the smelly swamp mud, and with the boar’s blood all over everything. Coqui was looking for injuries on Chanchu herself. “Nono, not mine,” she tried to redirect the healer’s attentions to the pig. “He’s hurt bad, worse than we planned for. I can’t fix this! Can you help him? Where’s the druid?” Chanchu yanked her arm from Coqui’s prying and replaced her palm against the pig’s lower belly. The edges of his wound were trying to gape, and something slimy was beginning to leak out. The monk was startled as her view blurred to realize that she was crying, and probably had been since arriving. She tried to seize upon her magic for the first time, only just now remembering she was supposed to be a mistwalker. The mists swirled uselessly, evading her. Coqui was trying to talk to Chanchu. She wasn’t healing. Why wasn’t she healing? Her expression was motherly. There was sympathy there. Pity, maybe. Not purpose. Not resolve. Coqui was not going to commit to this patient. It was all wrong. All of it. “DO something!” Chanchu pleaded, “Why aren’t you helping? He needs you! I can’t do this by myself, help me!” Instead of healing, the sunwalker tried again to say whatever it was that she’d been saying. Her friend was too distraught to listen, though. It sounded like betrayal to Chanchu. It sounded like abandonment. She reached again for the mist, but of course she was never going to be able to use it in this state. She was too volatile, she knew, and there was no time to center. In the minutes or maybe hours it would take her to calm down, the pig was going to die. How dare her friend not help her now? Coqui reached to touch her again instead of putting light-infused hands on the boar. Chanchu’s temper exploded. She punched her friend, hard. It was a brutal blow to Coqui’s chest, and it knocked the heavier woman backwards onto her ass. All of Chanchu’s emotion went into that jab. More than the physical pain, she could see how much she hurt the sunwalker emotionally by striking her. “GO GET THE DRUID!” she screamed. Coqui left. Chanchu glanced around herself dumbly. She found a few rags close at hand, and used them to wipe at some of the mess around the boar’s wounds. She gulped air, trying to steady her breathing and calm herself. She failed. Failed again when she saw that he was no longer conscious. She was a fraud. Because she was stupid enough to believe her own lies, this animal was probably going to die. The red-furred tauren blinked hard, and gently prodded a slick ropy something back through the torn hole in his belly and held it there. “I’m so sorry,” she told him. The boar, of course, couldn’t hear.
  7. Maiden of the Mist

    Previously... The very air here felt oppressive. Sunlight filtering wanly through the boughs of water oaks. It was yellow and sickly, as if, after such a struggle to be seen, it was no longer the bright and wholesome thing it had begun the journey as. It was tainted, somehow. Changed. The great swamp trees grew crooked and wandering arms in all directions. Wet wood textured in rough bark hoisted a variety of life above the waterline. Mosses, insects and very rarely, the brief bloom of a flower could be seen cradled up there. Such beauty was never to be trusted, Chanchu knew. The tauren squatted in a nook of roots, patiently waiting. Crocolisks nearby went about their scaly business of croc-life without being bothered overmuch with her presence. They were masters here, a top-level predator similar in rank to her. If she did not trespass on them, they would in turn be respectful of her own power. The mosquitoes, however, simply adored her. The monk sat, highly irritated, wet on her bottom, itchy all over. What a ridiculous thing she was doing. How was it that Coqui had bullied her into bothering with this? Chanchu grumbled only internally. If she risked speaking aloud or betraying her position by moving, surely the pig she’d been tracking would scare. She needed the momma pig to be brave. If she scared off now, Chanchu might not be able to find the piglet on her own before the trappers did. The pig did scare, but not because of anything Chanchu did. Pigs were prey animals to begin with, and they tended to startle easily. The swooping survey of a large bird overhead sent the piggy mother headlong into flight for her own life. Chanchu rolled her eyes, cursing her luck. Here she’d been worried that she would have misjudged the attitudes of those crocs and one of them would have gotten snappy with her. Nope, just your average bird. Chanchu stood straight up among the roots. That had not been an average bird. It’s head lacked feathers. Vulture. The crippled monk snatched for her walking stick. She missed. Her knuckles smacked the tool instead, sending it careening into the stank water on the other side of the root. It disappeared beneath a surface layer of algae. Gone forever. “Gah, who needs you!” she screeched at it. The tauren vaulted over the root, aiming after the vulture. Carrion birds could, so the old hunters said, scent their meals from miles off, and they preferred fresh kills. A bird like that, so obviously lost, was on it’s way to wait for it’s dinner to get good and dead. How much was Chanchu gonna bet that bird was hoping for a little pork? She raced as fast as she dared, cutting her line dangerously close to where cranky crocolisk mothers nested. She tempted teeth with that, but gained valuable ground by avoiding the mucky spots and deep water. She also needed to rebound off the trees. At this pace, she relied more on momentum than actual grace of movement to keep her upright without the stick. Whoever heard of a cripple going on a pig hunt in the middle of a marshland? This was ridiculous. She found the piglet. It was bigger than expected, a juvenile already gaining the rounded growth of future tusks along the jawline and packing on the stoutness of adult shape. The young boar was lying partway up the side of a hill as far from the waterline as the chain would let him get. A wicked leghold trap clamped around his back end. One arc of the oversized jaws buried in the pig’s spine, and the other wedged under into his groin and belly. Chanchu actually stopped for a minute in horror, unable to fully process what she was looking at. Then the pig saw her, and grunted. He was still alive, and in great pain. “Merciful Mother,” Chanchu hopped across from her brace and fell to the mud before she reached the trap. The pig didn’t startle as she would have expected. She crawled the rest of the way, laid a dirty hand on his shoulder. He grunted again, but this time lacked the energy to look at her. Chanchu thought she could almost hear the plea in his porcine voice. Did he know she was there to help him? “Stay still, little piggy, I have to get you out first. I’m sorry, it’s going to hurt more, please don’t bite me.” Chanchu swung the small pack off her back. She had to shake her hand to clear mud from her fingers enough so they didn’t slip on the toggle, and once she had it she snatched the stupid clasp past the retaining knot in frustration. She flung the metal finding out into the marsh to rot. The pack got upended onto the soggy ground in order to more quickly access the clamps she needed. “See piggy, I have the stuff right here.” Chanchu opened a C clamp and fitted it over one of the trap’s wings. She spun the core down. The other wing was sticky-slick in pig blood. She had to reseat the clamp twice to get it right. Meanwhile the carrion birds gathered to watch. The great twisting boughs of the water oaks were soon alive with the movement of fluttering wings as the birds rearranged and jostled each other to make room for newcomers, but otherwise they observed silently. Chanchu hated them. She spun the clamps. It was easy, at first, but then the resistance and rust started to take it’s toll on her wrist. She switched hands. “I got you, piggy. You oink at them birds and tell them ‘not today’.” The pig grunted softly a few times. Chanchu twisted and twisted. She kept hearing noises that she could swear were not animal-made. A sloshing of the swamp water like hunters trudging up to check for their prize. The racking of a rifle. These were specific noises that surely she’d recognize if heard nearby for real, but imagination was a powerful thing when working amidst the heavy buzzing of insects and the rushing of your own blood through your ears. Finally the wing snapped clear of the jaws with a final twist on one side. Three more twists on the other. “Yes!” Chanchu pried at the trap jaws. They opened with a disgusting suction noise, and the pig screamed. This time it was not her imagination when she heard answering voices on the other side of the hill. The tauren sprawled herself over the pig, hugging him around the middle as she stuffed a hand to her pocket for her hearthstone. The hunters crested the hill just in time to see Chanchu’s clamp fail. Overmatched, the other C clamp was forcibly ejected from it’s position. Their trap snapped shut on empty air.
  8. The Mood Board Thread

    Chanchu
  9. CHANCHU MISTDANCE Gender, Race, Class: Female Tauren Monk Age: 30 Occupation: Skytotem tribe Healer Languages: Taurahe, Orcish Physical description: Chanchu is a tauren woman of strikingly beautiful features. High cheekbones, delicate nose with smallish nostrils, straight teeth in an easy smile. Her fur is a less common shade nearer to true red than the usual brown hue. Her eyes are a bright yellow, surrounded in lush dark lashes. A lot of the time, her eyes appear more of a rosy peach color from reflected light. Chanchu's black horns are wide and back-swept. The nearly black locks of her mane are kept in tiny braids arranged in neat rows like a cornfield. At the end of each braid swings a bead. Some are a delicate pink gem, some are of simple gold, and some are a natural material that isn't quite wood... those are most prominent. Even the tuft of her tail is in a trio of cornrow braids and decorated. Chanchu's body is lean and just muscular enough to fill her out with a pleasing figure. Her fingers and limbs are long and slender in proportion with the rest of her. Her movements seem effortless with a grace that reminds one easily of a dancer... unless they see her walking. Chanchu is crippled. She may wear a skirt which hides the deformity, but her left leg is missing a knee and everything lower. She almost always uses a walking stick and travels with a pronounced lurch. Personality: Skills: Dancing. Balance. Sleight-of-hand/thieving. She excels at picking locks and untying knots, and delights of similar puzzles. Chanchu enjoys healing. Animals tend to be her focus, and she specializes in creatures hunted for prized trophies of skin and fur. Kodo and stags, crocolisks, bears, etc. Combat Tactics: Chanchu is a dedicated healer, but one with a bag of tricks in case she gets in trouble. She is not afraid to drop to the floor and sweep out with leg or stump, and may do so simply to play to her strengths. She usually tries to avoid physical contact (of the combative kind), but if grabbed she tends to grapple very well due to an exceptional grip strength. She is extremely flexible and therefore slippery to hold onto or maneuver against her will. Chanchu may take advantage of her longer limbs to strike from distance, or utilize her magic to zing the nerves of an opponent, like lightning. Phobias and Weaknesses: Pet Peeves: Labels/assumptions/judging a book by it's cover (she's a hypocrit and carries a grudge against Grimtotem) Special Possessions: always has some kind of peach food item with her Origin/Birthplace: Brief History:
  10. Chanchu Mistdance (Tauren Monk)

    WRITING TIMELINE 2 [Chanchu born] 17 Any Man of Mine - Chanchu's brother punches her crush Bubbly - Chanchu's brother visits on leave from the army 25 WORLD OF WARCRAFT 2004-11-23 26 BURNING CRUSADE 2007-01-16 27 WRATH OF THE LICH KING 2008-11-13 28 CATACLYSM 2010-12-07 30 MISTS OF PANDARIA 2012-09-12 31 WARLORDS OF DRAENOR 2014-11-13 Eclipse: Does Not Play Well With Others - Kerala summons the Skytotem Eclipse: Spirit Walk (Log) - Chanchu helps the Skytotem locate Konro's soul Smooth Criminal - Chanchu steals a button after a bad dream/memory Get Up Offa That Thing - Chanchu meditates She's Got the Rhythm - Chanchu uses her curves to distract marks 32 Luck Be a Lady - Chanchu reviews a day's plunder 33 LEGION 2016-08-30