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  1. CHARACTER SUBMISSIONS ARE NOW CLOSED, YOU HAVE BEEN RANDOMLY ASSIGNED AS FOLLOWS: Brinnea, you will be writing a story from the perspective of: Qabian, you will be writing a story from the perspective of: Vilmah, you will be writing a story from the perspective of: Tahzani, you will be writing a story from the perspective of: Syreena, you will be writing a story from the perspective of: Catalinetta, you will be writing a story from the perspective of:
  2. Please reply and comment on this post to submit your characters for the July writing raffle challenge! This will be pinned until submissions are closed. Don't forget a link to your bio!
  3. Arahe


    Hey again guys! For the [H] Winter Veil in Winterspring event we've decided to make a discord for the event you can join here: You are in no way required to join the discord to attend the event as it is ingame. The main idea behind it is that discord lets you PM anyone who you share a discord server with, so if you meet someone cool at the event hopefully it'll provide an easy way to connect with them again (encase you forget their server name or anything like that). We will also be using it as a place to share screenshots during/after the event, make updates/announcements, and possibly play mood music via the voice channels. You can also access all of the signups from in there.
  4. [H] WINTER VEIL IN WINTERSPRING((A Cross Realm Horde Holiday RP Party Spectacular))December 16th, the first Day of Winter Veil, at 5pm PST | 6 MT | 7 CST | 8 ESTCome and join us in celebrating the feast of Winter Veil in snowy Winterspring! Meet people you've never met, hailing from across Azeroth! In addition to good food, booze and company, we will be hosting a number of exciting activities throughout the night! Sign up now to participate! ((This event will have people and groups from at least 3 different servers in attendance!))Blind Date Auction - Polar Bear Brawl - Group PerformancesBlind Date Auction: Sign up with one of the sheets in the envelope below between now and the party to be an auctionee! Auctionees will be given anonymous descriptions and bid on by partygoers, agreeing to spend some time with the winner (although they are neither expected or required to do more than that)! Buyers are limited to spending only 5000gp overall (you cannot just buy every auction if you're rich). All proceeds will be used as prize money for future events. ((If you are interested in being bid on, please fill out this form: ))Polar Bear Brawl: They say nothing warms the soul like a fight in the frigid cold! A seasonal tradition, this dueling tournament involves stripping down to the bear minimums and duking it out in the frigid snow! While weapons are allowed, nothing else is. Contestents will be inspected before matches to ensure they aren't carrying any jewlery or other items which might afford them an advantage. Bystanders are encouraged to throw snowballs, to add an extra element of chilly fun! Winner gets a special mystery gift! ((If you wish to participate in the Polar Bear Brawl please submit this form: ))Group Performances: Everyone has a different way of celebrating the season, and we want to give you a platform to show everyone yours! We want to encourage different organizations to sign up and show off. Have a few people recite a story, or sing a song or something entirely different! ((Limit one performance per Guild. We will coordinate with you about the performance itself. Performances should be roughly Winter Veil themed in nature, no longer than 15 minutes and be relatively non-offensive, sign up here: ))((As this is a cross realm event, we will need to group everyone. You must whisper Ohee-Ravenholdt, Kejala-Ravenholdt, or Raelanaa-Twisting Nether for a group invite at the time of the event. If you are planning on attending please comment on this thread so we can get a rough tally of who's coming.))
  5. ((This story originally written by the player Baern on the Sanctuary discord)) Zhanhao carried a fat sack of bok choy down the streets of Dalaran, winding slowly away from the wide streets of the Magus Commerce exchange and into the small residential streets that hugged the walls of the flying city. He'd picked up the vegetables at a premium, though one he happily paid, from a pandaren farmer who shipped his wares from the Valley of the Four Winds to Dalaran through expensive, powerful portals. He had more to offer, massive soy and humongous radishes and squat squash, but the bok choy would make for the perfect base tonight in Zhanhao's steaming ramen. He found his way to the Arcanist's Abode, a poorly named tower that contained barely any mages at all. Rebuilt after the Third War to an unexpected staggering height, it served chiefly as an inexpensive residence for merchants and traders that worked the exchange, and of course, enterprising old gardeners who managed shrubbery and flowers and herbs all across the city. Having spent most of his life a travelling trader and alchemist, Zhanhao's small caravan took on grand heights when Pandaria became the focus of the Horde and the Alliance. Travelers who could get from Krasrang to the Jade Forest to Four Winds to Kun'Lai, alchemists who could teach recipes using the unique fauna found in Pandaria, merchants who could introduce outlanders to the Cloud Serpent Riders, Tian monks, Shado-Pan wall watchers, and the fishermen of the Anglers they were all in very low supply and now in very high demand. Zhanhao had little trouble translating his skills into a hefty payday, but he saw almost none of it. His wife of many years had died only a few months prior to the commotion, and they had never started a family together. Pushing it off endlessly because they had so much life yet to live, and so much love for their days on the back of a mushan pulled wagon. But Zhanhao did have a family. He had doting parents, a brother with a bundle of kids all his own, a sister who had answered the call and was still an ascetic in the Tian Monastery. It was them he gave most of his newfound gold to, so that they could have the lives they'd always wanted without worry. But he didn't leave Pandaria empty handed. Most of the world was gripped with the new continent, but for a pandaren there was still most of the world to explore. Cities across Azeroth swung into lifelessness as the focus of their denizens swept south, and so finding a cheap apartment in Dalaran and buying outright with the remainder of his gold sounded a good idea for Zhanhao. It was also easy to find employment, as an alchemist and herbalist teaching those that remained behind in the floating city precisely what to do and how to grow herbs like Green Tea Leaf and Rain Poppy. Most pandaren plants were found to be quite robust, all told, and bringing them into the city was a lucrative way for the shaman to find employment. But seeding the various alchemists' gardens with them wasn't something that he wanted to spend all his time doing. Slowly, he started picking up employment as a gardener for the wealthy all across the city who wanted beautiful flowers rather than utilitarian herbal beds. But even as the world equalized again and the secrets of pandaria were no longer in short supply, there was still one trait that Zhanhao possessed, one skill that made an unassuming gardener in Dalaran unique. The magical elevator that took him to the forty-seventh floor was one of things he loved about this city in the clouds. Unlike in many other metropolii across Azeroth, a tall tower was not in high demand. The lifts had a frequent habit of failing and being unable to transport anyone until a special arcane mage arrived to fix the enchantments governing the structure. It was on these days that Zhanhao did not love them. But when they worked, being whisked up to his apartment was a comfort to be cherished. The shaman was greeted by half a dozen elementals, two earth, two water, two air, who jumped and frolicked at his shins. They were small, no more than a few inches high, but something about their energy always put a smile on his face. He handed the earth elementals the sack while the water dove into his feet, making them sopping wet, in the hopes to clean off a few flecks of dirt and mud. As the earth pair started hefting the sack to the counter to Zhanhao's right, the wind pair flew up and pulled out one bok choy each, floating it slowly over and plopping them on a bare section of counter, impatiently. Luckily, the lightened load was easier for their brethren to carry, and they stopped up a rickety wooden ramp to get the sack on the counter as well. Unfortunately, none of the elementals could be called "thoughtful" and as they threw the emptying back on top of the small pile of vegetables already removed, it just rolled off them and back onto the floor, spilling out the entirety of their contents for good measure. One of the earthen climbed the pile and began to wave its arms frantically at the pair of air elementals, but neither seemed very willing to accept responsibility. Their competitive nature, however, kicked in when the second of the earthen dropped back to the floor and began picking up bok choy and running it up the ramp. Not to be outdone, the hovering elementals swooped in and began carrying their own, adding it to the pile they'd already started. When they were finished, all four elementals fought over the sack, trying to claim the honor of clearing the final piece of things, but the shaman plucked it from them and placed it on top of the hapless mound of vegetables he'd had. Dutifully, the water elementals slid up the ramp and began washing the food, depositing it finally into the basin on the far side of the counter. Zhanhao's apartment was narrow, but long, ending in one great, wide window that stretched from floor to ceiling, wall to wall. Its curtains were drawn, though the dark green glow of fel peaked out at every available opportunity. Before Dalaran's teleportation, he'd had a beautiful view of the ocean. Now, he had a view of the fel beam above the Tomb of Sargeras. His plump pandaren bed filled the space just under the curtain, stretching from the wall on the left to the kitchen counter on the right, itself full of all kinds of vegetables, fruit and grain that made for large meals. That counter ran the length of the room with a basin for water dividing it in half. On one side, Zhanhao seemed to keep things neat, orderly, organized, a storage space for the fresh food he brought in but wasn't prepared to eat or cook immediately. On the other, chaos rained, as the ramp that allowed his elementals to access the counter denoted that side to be their mischievous domain. In fairness, the floors were also a mess. One corner seemed dedicated just to gardening supplies, including a wet smock to work in, wet trowels and shovels and tools, and two and a half bags of soil lazily propped up on one wall. It was an odd layout for an apartment, and on the wall across from the counter, two clear doors stood as well. Most of the room was dominated by the bed at the end, but it didn't seem to belong, as if cramped in there rather than in a space all its own. After he'd cleaned himself off and cleared himself of his traveling clothes, Zhanhao stepped into the back room, careful to close the door off to any six inch intruders. What was clearly meant to be a bedroom had no bed in sight, almost no furniture at all, in fact. A single cylindrical block of jade with a fluffy pillow atop it was the only thing coming close, right in the center. To the right, another curtained window, to the left a wall with a few decorative scrolls hanging. But the main feature was across from the door as one entered. Three shelves, as wide as the wall, with tall glass boxes end to end standing on all three. They seemed to be made of discrete panels, glass framed with wood, that were nestled together into containers, maybe a foot and a half tall each. But the containers weren't the important part. Twenty three out of thirty six had a plant inside, a small flower with golden petals lilting softly to one side. Some of the rest had seedlings or buds yet to flower, though others were empty. Uniquely, one container held snow covered soil with soft, yellow grass shooting forth, so tall as to bend at the top of the container. Four totems glowing with energy lay on the floor under the shelves, one for each element. As Zhanhao takes his place atop the Jade block, folding his legs and closing his eyes, he connects to the flagging totems, slowly opening the flow of power between himself and them. It's the totems that govern the plants inside the containers, fire dictating the artificial sunlight hitting their leaves, water keeping them hydrated, earth making sure they have the proper nutrients, and air managing the atmosphere inside each of them. Zhanhao had always thought of himself as a strong shaman, able to conjure spells at their most powerful, the hottest fire, heaviest earth, quickest lightning. But the magic that he was using now wasn't about monumental exertions. It was about precision. The importance of totems in shamanistic magic was an interesting phenomanon, as Zhanhao learned that orcs, trolls, tauren and pandaren all seemed to learn the same process for decentralizing their power into totems. And while certain cultures had focused on certain uses of totems, Zhanhao had stubbornly refused to learn from them for months after moving to Dalaran. He knew his goal was to cultivate Golden Lotus plants outside of Pandaren soil, but however he tried to make the magic work, the plants withered and died before he was able to reach them. It was only after consulting with tauren shaman on the kind of magic that allowed their farmers to irrigate so effectively that the final piece of the puzzle fell into place and he was able to grow the plants in his home. By pumping huge amounts of energy into his totems, but restrict the way it flowed to a slow trickle, he was able to charge totems that lasted for hours, even days, maintaining the conditions needed for the flower to bloom. Now, the spell was routine, and by combining it with the techniques he'd learned in his training as a monk, almost a subconscious effort. Four hours blinked by effortlessly for the old shaman, only roused by his rumbling stomach. Rising from his position and sore to have remained still for so long, he fixed the pillow to make it center on the block again. His stomach rumbled a second time, but he ignored it, choosing instead to regard the lotus containers with sad eyes. He'd worked so hard, spent so long waiting for one them to bloom, that picking the petals from the flower and grinding them into alchemical powder or dropping them into boiling concoctions almost felt like slaying his own children. It took months for a lotus to bloom, daily adjustments in temperature, lighting, soil, and water. Selling one brought in thousands of gold, paid for his food, and his home, and his trips to his brother's, and medicine for his parents, but somehow the cost never seemed high enough. He broke a rule of his, placing three fingers on the glass, caressing it. The slightest changes could cause a flower to wilt overnight if he wasn't careful, a problem that he'd discovered early. This particular plant would be sold in less than a week, anyway. He'd hug it, if he could. Tell it that some child somewhere needs the magic it carried to cure them of a deathly ill. But he removed his fingers, nonetheless, hoping that he hadn't ruined it with his few moments of tender sadness. It was always so strangely painful giving up one of his flowers. Still, there was no better task that took his mind off it than cooking, and his stomach rumbled a third time just to remind him of that. Bok choy and onions and garlic and ginger and ramen awaited him, so he let out a soft sigh, shook the thought from his head and returned to a kitchen he'd hoped wasn't a mess thanks to rambunctious elementals.
  6. Arahe

    Highmountain: Travels and Travails

    “I wasn’t expecting company.” Arahe startled awake at the voice, immediately sliding her arm and spear out of her bedroll and propping herself up with her other hand. She had slept with it at the ready and in her armor, as she usually did in dangerous areas. Her eyes flashed around before stopping on Baern standing nearby, facing away and shaking off the stiffness of his sleep with a roll of his shoulders. She sighed out the tension of waking up suddenly with a small smile at the familiar sight. “I figured as much. You were pretty out when I got here.” She replied, taking a moment to look around the campsite. Frost blanketed everything, sparkling in the pale light of dawn that was filtering through the pines. Even the furred bedroll Arahe was tucked into glittered in the cold. She had traded off guard duty with An’mani a few hours before, and she knew that in the woods nearby the windrider would be pacing around the perimeter of the camp. “We had a rough day.” Baern said as he clanked his armor back on piece by piece, starting at his hooves. “Did you see the bodies?” “Yes.” Arahe clambered out of the bedroll, the stiffness of her body shooting pain from her broken rib. The ride to the campsite hadn’t done the injury any favors. “I actually came here to warn you to stay away from the Bloodtotem, but I suppose I didn’t get here fast enough.” She grimaced against the thought and the pain. “The fel blood was a surprise.” A soft silence hung in the air for a moment as Arahe watched the Grimtotem re-armor himself, his right arm remaining bare, the dried blood from a few scratches still visible. “I wish it were more of a surprise. Even after they attacked me, I tested them to make sure.” Baern finally answered bitterly. “The drogbar told me the whole tribe drank the felblood and are running amok on the far side of the ridge.” Whistling for An’mani, Arahe began packing up the campsite as she considered his words. “Mu’sha’s light… the whole tribe?” “As far as I know. I didn’t ask the question, really.” Baern was looking toward the drogbar and Arahe followed his gaze. “I had been meaning to ask why you were camping with a drogbar.” She spoke with a small amount of distrust, rubbing a hand against her aching side. The pain had subsided as she stretched out, but was very much still there. “He was their prisoner, told me what was happening. The Stonedark Drogbar are apparently being forced out, especially after they rejected the Underking.” Any relief Arahe felt at the news that the drogbar wasn’t associated with the Underking was crushed under the news that there were more captives. She frowned. “They’re keeping prisoners? Do we know where?” “Ask him.” Baern replies, almost dismissively. “I came out here for Bloodtotem, not Drogbar.” Qianghan sensed his frustration, nudging the warrior’s hand with his nose. The huntress forced down a smile at the sight of Baern reluctantly scratching right under the edges of Qianghan’s Shado-Pan armor in response to the tiger’s attention. Arahe made her way around the fire pit, stopping before the drogbar and gently prodding him with the butt of her spear. “Time to wake up. It’s a fairly long ride to Thunder Totem from here and I have some questions for you first.” The drogbar awoke with a start, immediately quaking in fear. “There are more! Black Bull do not let her kill me!” “I am not going to hurt you.” She glanced sideways at Baern with a small smile and a raised eyebrow, trying to gently affirm their familiarity. “Right Black Bull?” Baern apparently didn’t understand her attempt to establish their friendship to the drogbar, and Arahe worries for a moment that she may have offended him a bit with the nickname. Baern’s look is deadpan. The drogbar glances between them, still quaking and whimpering slightly. Arahe let out a small sigh before crouching down in front of the him. The motion sends a fresh wave of pain from her ribcage, and she winces, laying her polearm across her knees, letting her hands dangle overtop. “Please do not be afraid. I am not Bloodtotem, I’m not even from Highmountain, see?” Arahe says as she taps one of her short, sharp horns. “The black furred one’s name is Baern, and we’ve known eachother for some time now. I am here to help.” “...How can you help?” The drogbar asked warily. Arahe considers the question for a moment, staring down at the backs of her hands. “I think I’m going to try and sneak some of the surviving prisoners out of the Bloodtotem camp, but I need as much information as you can give me about where they’re being held first.” Baern speaks suddenly and forcefully from behind her. “Drogbar. Where are the prisoners being held?” “In one of the grottos under the ridge! I was only able to escape because I can shape stone, but most of my people are trapped with the rebel Bloodtotem.” The drogbar squeaked out immediately. Baern narrowed his eyes. “Rebel Bloodtotem? Who are they rebelling against?” “The demonblood drinkers.” The drogbar answered. “And they’re being held in the same grotto?” Baern asked. The drogbar nodded and he turned his attention back to Arahe. “We need to free those prisoners.” The huntress cocks an eyebrow at Baern. “I was already planning to. You should take this drogbar back to Thunder Totem, and try to get reinforcements if you can.” She turned back to the Drogbar in front of her. “Can you tell me how well guarded the grotto is?” “He can tell us on the way,” Baern says, cutting off any response from the drogbar and turning to begin wrapping up the camp. “He’s coming with us.” Arahe took a deep breath of the cold mountain air, trying to force down her rising frustration. “Are you not listening to me?” She stood, turning toward Baern. “He needs to tell me now, I’m not coming back to Thunder Totem with you two.” “He’s coming with us because I’m going to get these prisoners out with you. I may be missing some armor, but if you can fight with those bandages, I can fight with a bare right arm,” he says, gesturing to the black furred limb he was referring to. Arahe looked down at her own torso, thumbing where the small tear in her scalemail which remained unrepaired and hung loose, revealing the bandages beneath. “But he needs to come with us, because he knows where the grotto is. And, he’s going to burrow us a nice backdoor into it, aren’t you, Drogbar?” “If the prisoners could escape by tunneling out, he could have taken them with him when he left the first time.” She responded flatly, looking back up. “Which makes me think that we’ll have to take them up over the mountains. Can you climb a mountain in that?” Arahe gestured at Baern in his full-plate. “I could not take them!” The drogbar suddenly interjects fearfully. “I needed to find help, someone to stop Zudjgaz! If you don’t stop Zudjgaz, there is no escaping! Forming tunnel takes time. If I was not sneaky, if I was not alone, Zudjgaz would have killed me in one strike!” Arahe glanced at Baern with a raised eyebrow before settling a concerned gaze on the drogbar. “Who is Zudjgaz?” She asked. “The Fel Lord. He protects the cave from intruders. Kills any who attempt escape! I was the only to get free!” “A Fel Lord…” Arahe frowned at the news for a long moment before turning back to Baern. “Take An’mani and the drogbar back to Thunder Totem. Trying to defeat a Fel Lord alone would be suicide, so sneaking them out is the best option if we want to save anyone right now. Hopefully you can get reinforcements to help deal with the demon.” “I don’t doubt that you’re stealthy enough, but if things go south, you’re going to need backup. And in either case, you’re going to need the drogbar to tunnel in the back of the cave,” he said, not breaking eye contact with her. “I’m not going to let them turn more Tauren into fel slaves. If you want to take An’mani back to Thunder Totem, be my guest. But you will not convince me to walk away.” Arahe held his gaze for a long silent moment, only the sound of the cold wind of the mountains passing between them. Finally, she broke eye contact with him to glance over at An’mani. She considered their options, the dangers, the risks at Baern’s life and the tragedy his loss would bring to his village, and promises she had made in the past. Her face softened a bit and her eyes drifted back to Baern’s. “You’ll stay in the tunnel then.” She folded her arms across her chest, regaining some of her audacity. “Your people need you safe.” She turned her attention to the drogbar. “I’m sorry, but we need you to take us to the prisoners.” “I know how to keep my head down and my hoofsteps quiet.” Baern replies with a bit of indignity. Justifying it no further, he pulls out his hammer and gets ready to leave. “We need to convince them to return to the village with us. If we can free them from whatever fate awaits them, they can keep my people safe in Ashtotem.” Arahe can’t help but crack a small smile at the warrior’s mild defense of his abilities. She nods as he outlines his plans. “It will be good for them to have a place to stay away from the fel corruption, and Ashtotem could use the braves. Let’s just hope they’re able and willing to bring protection back to Ashtotem.” The Grimtotem warrior mounted a small hill to survey the back of the ridge they need to tunnel through, before looking back down at the drogbar, Qianghan, An’mani and Arahe. The sun glinted off his armor and short black fur, and the hammer clenched in his fist; the mountains spreading out behind his large, imposing form as he plotted a course to save both the Bloodtotem prisoners and by extension, his own people. “The Grimtotem Tribe has no braves.” He said bitterly.
  7. Arahe

    Highmountain: Travels and Travails

    Baern was perhaps the easiest quarry the Tauren huntress had ever tracked. Arahe’s windrider, An’mani, knew his and his mount’s scents well, and the trail of a fully armored Pandaren tiger and his slightly oversized rider was clear to her even in the darkness. Which was almost a pity, since not having to focus meant that fearful thoughts wormed their way into her mind about the fate of her warrior friend. She rode hard across the cold landscape, heart heavy with worry. Arahe’s breath caught in her throat for a moment when she first saw the lifeless body of one of the Bloodtotem in her path before immediately recognizing it wasn’t Baern. She had dismounted by that point, the proximity to Bloodtotem territory putting her on edge, choosing to pick her way quickly and quietly through the underbrush; An’mani a silent shadow at her heels. A few minutes pacing around the small clearing gave her a good idea of everything that happened there a few hours before. It wasn’t long after leaving the grisly scene Baern had left that the huntress smelled the dying campfire, and cautiously approached the source. A massive wave of relief crashed over her as she spotted the Grimtotem warrior snoozing peacefully against Qianghan’s side. The drogbar in the camp caused her some amount of apprehension, placing a hand gently against her healing ribcage, but Arahe dismissed it, noting that Baern and his tiger didn’t show signs of distrust. Arahe didn’t immediately enter the campsite. Signaling with a flick of her hand, she sent An’mani to guard the sleeping group while she scouted the surrounding woods for danger. Satisfied, after an hour or so, she circled back to the encampment. It was the wee hours of the night at that point, and Arahe was cold and exhausted. Still, she decided her mount deserved to sleep first, and she would guard the camp for a time. She unsaddled the windrider as quietly as possible, pulling a few soft pieces of thickly furred runehorn hide she had collected weeks before out of one of the saddle bags. She wrapped one around her shoulders to guard against the cold. Frowning, she glanced over at Baern, before carrying another, larger piece over to the sleeping warrior. Qianghan stirred slightly but quickly recognized the huntress. Arahe laid it over the large Tauren as delicately as she could, attempting to not wake him before turning to watch over the camp.
  8. Arahe

    Highmountain: Travels and Travails

    The red rocks of the Stonetalon mountains glowed fiercely in the light of the setting sun. The warm wind whipped Arahe’s mane about her face as the windrider beneath her galloped along familiar ground. She laughed as they leapt a small gully, wings spread wide to easily clear the gap in the rocks. The Tauren reigned her mount in, sliding off before she came to a full stop and running over to a small bush covered in bright yellow flowers. Plucking the largest flowers from the bush and adding them to a small bouquet forming in her hand, she presented them to the windrider. “What do you think An’mani? That enough?” The windrider leaned forward and sniffed the flowers, letting out a small sneeze to the delight of the Tauren. “You’re right, as always.” She swung easily into the saddle. “Let’s go home.” The huntress and her mount soon found themselves in Cliffwalker Post, though it was somehow different than she remembered it, although she couldn’t put her finger on how. Several spires of rock, connected by bridges attached to the main peak of the village, and familiar brown and black furred faces milled about happily. Arahe tried to shake off the feeling of unease and urged An’mani towards her family’s home. She grinned broadly as she approached. “ARE YOU SO WILLING TO LET THEM DIE?” The voice was equally a whisper and a shout as everything around her burst into fel flame. The smoke of burning flesh choked her, making it hard to breathe, despite the fact that everyone around her seemed to have disappeared. Arahe ran to her family’s tent, flaming and empty. “No. NO!” She screamed, sitting up from the hard wooden boards of Thunder Totem. Her heart pounded in her chest as she took a moment to orient herself to where she was. An’mani laid curled up against her side, head and ears perked up on high alert. A nearby shaman gave her a concerned glance, but continued tending to the injured Tauren around her. She looked out at the sprawling valleys of Highmountain far below letting her breathing settle in her pained chest. She patted the still alert windrider gently. “Just a bad dream An’mani, relax.” She said softly, lowering herself slowly back down. Arahe noticed quickly that the windrider made no move to relax despite her reassurances, and sat back up, studying her mount. An’mani leaned her head forward, ears straining, nostrils flaring as if to catch a scent on the wind, but her body language read more to the hunter as excited than concerned. Arahe frowned, uncertainly looking across the totem to the north. “What is it?” Sighing, she struggled to her feet, body aching. Arahe guessed that she had spent over a week in Thunder Totem under the care of their shamans, but her broken rib still hadn’t fully healed. An’mani stood up as she did, and began making her way over towards her fascination. The Tauren leaned hard on her mount as they walked slowly away from the makeshift infirmary. “Where are you going now?” A sharp warning tone from the shaman currently in charge. “Not far,” Arahe didn’t turn around as she answered. “Just need to stretch my legs.” Arahe ignored the shaman’s harumph and made her way to lean on a thick rope further down the totem where she could look to the cliffs to the north. An’mani’s interested seemed to increase as they came in view of one of Thunder Totems bluffs. The huntress shielded her eyes and squinted in the direction of the windrider’s fascination. She could only make out the tents and longhouses and the vague shapes of a few tauren in the distance. A few seemed to be grouped looking at two large Tauren in the middle of the bluff. One of them turned to leave and Arahe’s eyes were drawn to the glinting of the sun off of his plate. She blinked. Black fur? Couldn’t be… Suddenly her dream came rushing back to her, and the voice in it. Could Baern be here? She thought to her hearthstone, left in the bottom of some bag back at her basecamp somewhere out in Rivermane lands. Having only recently acquired it she had a nasty habit of forgetting it places, but this was probably the worst instance yet. She watched the armored Tauren closely, as he disappeared behind the tents and longhouses. When the Tauren down on the bluffs re-emerged he was mounted. Arahe gave a wan smile, Qianghan, Baern’s great armored tiger, was unmistakeable from any distance. She watched Baern ride off to the north and idly wondered where he was going. “Sorry An’mani, looks like he’s not coming our way.” The windrider squeaked out a somewhat upset noise as a response. “Come on, maybe we can find out where he went.” Arahe made her way slowly to the bridge and down along it with her mount trailing behind her. A large, mildly frustrated looking Highmountain warbrave was making his way across the bridge in the other direction. She apologized, shuffling herself and her mount to one side to let him pass. He paused, glancing at her horns. “Are you looking for the inn? It’s back on the main totem.” She looked past him at the northern mesa. “No, I’m looking for someone, did you hear where that Tauren warrior that just left went to?” Otho frowned at her. “The Grimtotem?” He sighed at scratched at his mane as Arahe nodded. “I suggested he go speak with the Bloodtotem to the north, I assume he’s heading there.” Nodding slightly she thanked the Warbrave and turned to head back to the infirmary, awkwardly following him until the end of the bridge. That night Arahe sat in the healing magic of the shaman’s totem, struggling with a pair of pliers to repair a few loose rings on her scale mail shirt. She wondered about how Baern was doing and what his mission was with the Bloodtotem. Her hand slipped, sending small rings bouncing across the floor, she raised her eyes to the sky, muttering a few curses. An’mani pounced on a bouncing ring, and proceeded to bat it around. The huntress hated this sort of work, but she supposed it was better than just sitting bored around the other groaning injured Tauren. She sat back and watched her windrider bat the ring from her shirt around. There was a small commotion behind her and she inclined her head to listen. A voice pleading for help in Taur-ahe with a thick Pandaren accent. A pair of Tauren, including one of the shaman speaking in low comforting tones. Curiosity got the better of Arahe and she turned around to see two pandaren in the dim light, one trying to argue with the shaman and one of the braves while clutching the other. Arahe stood, motioning for An’mani to stay while she moved over to investigate. “Please… help…peaceful…” The pandaren was sobbing, struggling with the foreign tongue. A wave of the stench of rotting flesh washed over Arahe as she approached. “Please... we…” As she crouched beside them, she could see that the one Pandaren was dead, probably by several hours. She stared at them piteously. “Do you speak Orcish or Common?” She offered, slowly, in orcish. The living Pandaren’s eyes widened, switching into orcish, a language clearly more familiar to him. “Please you have to tell them to help us.” “What help do you need?” She asked quietly, fairly certain she already knew the answer. “It’s my friend, my friend is hurt. She’s hurt and the shaman isn’t helping her.” The Pandaren said, panicked, jostling the corpse cradled in his arms. “Please I have money if that’s what they want, we just need healing.” The Tauren shaman turned towards her and addressed her in Taur-ahe “We’ve been trying to explain to him that we can’t save his friend, because she’s already passed on.” Arahe took a deep breath, steeling herself. She struggled with talking to people normally, let alone like this. “May I take a look at her?” The Pandaren loosed his grip slightly, letting her get a closer look. Arahe gently ran her fingers along the bloodied bandages. The Pandaren had likely bled out, an animal mauling perhaps? The wounds seemed extensive and brutal. She rested her fingers along the neck, feeling for a pulse before placing her hand in front of the body’s mouth, testing for breath. “What happened?” She asked gently as she examined the Pandaren. “We… we were on a peaceful mission. We wanted to spread the teachings of Emperor Shaohao around the world. I thought… we just…” The Pandaren started sobbing again. “We went to speak with the Bloodtotem tribe, they told us… they told us no outsiders and they.... We were peaceful… but they…” Arahe felt her heart drop out of her chest and she spoke without thinking. “They killed her.” The Pandaren stared up at her in horror. “No, no! She’s not dead! She’s not! She can’t be.” “I’m sorry. The Bloodtotem killed your friend.” Her own words echoed back in her head as she staggered away, heart pounding. “I have to go.” She turned to the Highmountain Brave standing nearby and switched back into Taur-ahe. “The Bloodtotem did this, spread the word that they’ve banned outsiders from their lands with this as a warning. No one is to go to Bloodtotem lands.” She gestured at the Pandaren as she backed away. “Wait, what?” The brave demanded as Arahe yanked her armor on over her bandages. “I have to go, find someone who speaks orcish and have them stay with the Pandaren to explain. He’ll come to terms with his friend’s death eventually.” She was already saddling An’mani. The shaman scurried over to her. “Where the fel are you going? You’re not fully healed!” Arahe didn’t respond, she scooped up her spear and swung into the saddle, spurring her mount forward in one smooth motion towards the north.