Grak’rrah grunted softly to herself. Outside the tent birds were chirping, the sun slowly peaking inside the leathery folds that surrounded the entrance.
The Shaman stretched, still slightly unwilling to wake up as she kept her eyes closed. Her hand reached out to her side, just to find noone, sleeping next to her.
Rar’gnak… Grak’rrah recalled the name of the orc who was her mate. Her forehead wrinkled slightly. The conversation she had last night with the Chieftess, was painfully clear to her.
Had she felt love at first? Yes, most likely. She felt fond of him in some ways, he was a good orc, strong and honourable. Would she have mated him, had the Chieftain not informed her, that mating and breeding was part of the clanduty? Most likely not. Or rather… definitely not.
Grak growled lowly to herself. He had been so eager to be mated, and she on the other hand, had been weak after Rok’rah, and had found herself only too easy to convince.
Her weakness was a disgrace.
But he was gone. Had been away for more than a week, and without any clue to his whereabouts. What could make him betray his duties like that? Was he dead?
Grak’rrah would miss him if that was the case. She would mourn him for sure.
But was this love? If she had to choose between duty and him, clan and him, her Shamanism and him… He would lose every time. Fair? No, but it was the truth.
She sat up, brushing her furry blanket aside, then grabbed her kilt before she stepped out of the tent. The morning dew still in the grass, the sun sparkling in the drops as her green feet licked the drops off the grass and onto her naked skin.
Swiftly the kilt was dragged on, before the Shaman gazed around. Not many were awake yet on this silent morning. A small fire nearby, a single orc sitting by it eating a slice of meat in quietness. The smoke slowly ascending straight upwards, not a single wind to disturb it. It was a beautiful morning indeed.
Grak’rrah sighed silently to herself. Grizzly Hills were serene this day, the only thing disturbing her peace were her own thoughts. She would have to talk to Rar’gnak. She had given him her word, however, and she would not betray those.
So as those of you, who know me ingame might be aware, I’m a sucker for lore, the canon lore that is.
I’m not a huge fan of lore violation in roleplay.
That means, 30 year old orcs who were born in Durotar, Yaungols and Drakkari trolls who joined the Horde, a bloodelf who were raised by Amani trolls, or healing blademasters… No thanks. All of those, are examples I’ve encountered ingame.
I am aware some of the more special snowflakey concepts can be open for debate – like half human-orcs, I’m not a fan of such either, however, unless the story is told very well.
“Whoa, whoa whoa!” You might say: “What about the religion your clan has?? That’s clearly not lore!”
And you are right. It is implemented, recognised and acknowledged as utter fanfiction. It is not forced upon anyone to believe and accept this, especially not outside the clan.
What I can accept, and which is supported by lore, is that clans each have their own “thing” – Frostwolves are multicultural, Blackrocks drown their weaklings by birth, Stormreavers are warlocks, and Laughing Skulls are insane.
As a roleplayer, I enjoy player added ideas, when no claims are made, that it’s lore, if the story told is actually good, and when people are prepared to face any IC consequences from their actions. Also, I appreciate it only, if it does not violate any present lore.
And please – do not read any dodgy sentence in the RPG’s and claim that I should accept your unique char (which is rarely all that unique, just poorly told, far fetched and almost impossible to believe) as it’s lore. RPG is not canon – for a reason.
Regarding the “religion” within the Blackjaw Clan, it is presented as stories shared within that clan, possibly due to the huge influence a big number of warriors have had on the culture.
At some point, some of the warriors wished for more understandable believes, rather than the more mysterious ways of a Shaman, especially as the Shaman struggled communing with elements and ancestors after the blooddrinking of Mannoroth. That said, some of the Shaman within the clan, might frown upon this belief.
With a very imaginative leadership within the guild, we have over the years developed clan-specific rituals, dialect and culture.
I enjoy the clan fanfiction within the Blackjaws, for the originality, quality and thought which has been put into it.
Just as I will accept any -good- story from other players, if they actually manage to explain my char, why their Drakkari was not kill on sight, when they first met Vol’jin’s Horde.
My char might not approve of their attempts to tell, and she might not approve of their presence however. That is IC consequences from being a Drakkari within the Horde. You chose it, suck it up.
Thoughts from a Shaman.
It had been a long night, Grak’rrah yawned loudly, before she cuddled up against the already sleeping Rar’gnak. Now if only she could sleep fast.
She closed her eyes, yet the memories of the day seemed to keep disturbing her rest, as her thoughts spun around inside her skull.
She sat quietly by the fire with Rar’gnak, enjoying a meal from the Elekk they had hunted, when they bonded a few days earlier. Suddenly Hellfury had yelled “Lok-Narash” and Grak’rrah had jumped up on her feet, only to realise, it seemed no eminent danger was present. She returned to her seat for a little while, before Rar’gnak had wished her a goodnight and departed.
She had moved to the smaller fire, now only Iron Maw Fireblood being present – and Grak’ had greeted him. After a short moment, he had ordered her to go see, if anyone needed mending – briefly mentioning what had occurred. Something about a Skywise shooting at her clansmen.
Grak’rrah had of course obeyed. After all, the Code explicitly stated; “-Obedience- We will obey orders without question and with speed and surety. We will trust in those who command us. It is not our place to question their actions but their place to question ours.”
A swift “Swobu” and she rushed in the direction the others had went. Shortly after, she located them, and a quick question to the nearest orc, determined that no one was suffering from injuries. As no one required her aid, and as everyone awkwardly claimed it having been an accident, she decided, it was best to report to the Iron Maw. Clearly, enough clansmen were present; another one would only add confusion to the matter at hand.
Before she had time to return to the Iron Maw, he yelled for assembly, and Grak’rrah hurried back to line up. As usual the Blackjaws struggled to perform something as simple as creating a single line, and Grak’ could not keep herself from making a small comment about it. It helped. Grak’ curled her brow, perhaps this was worth noting, she thought to herself. The Blackjaws could, when they wanted to, they just lacked the discipline.
Iron Maw Fireblood has picked the Skywises out of the line, asked regarding the arrow, and finally broken Verzan’s face. Grak’ was hardly a fan of violence, but the Code also stated: “-Punishment- We should learn to accept punishment for our failures. It is only by being punished that we can know what was wrong and remember the lesson. It makes us stronger. It makes us sharper. It makes us Stoneface.”
While Grak’rrah was no Stoneface anymore, she would abide by the Code, unless it went straight against a superior’s order. The Chieftains and the Iron Maws would of course always have first priority.
Funnily, that was also a part of the Code. “Loyalty- To have absolute faith in our Chieftain and our Clanmates. Protect them with our life. No matter their race or trait, they are our brothers and sisters. Nothing else matters more than our Clan.”
Grak’rrah realised her thoughts were drifting, half-asleep as she was. She returned to the punishment. She had forced herself to remain quiet, doing her best to keep her face neutral, without revealing any weakness. No matter how much the Skywise might be hurting, she was certain, Iron Maw Fireblood would have ordered her to mend the girl, should he deem it necessary. Obedience.
She had been trained in obeying, in the plentiful exercises within the Stoneface Clan. Any attempt to break a line, once the order to line up had been given, would have resulted in severe punishment by the Stone Guard back then. More than once, had she seen a clansman being physically broken by the loud-yelling Warsong.
She forced herself to stare straight ahead. It was a trick, she had been taught back then. No matter which superior yells at you, or what happens, you just keep starring ahead.
She hoped the young Skywise was all right. Her face might of course be damaged… but on the other hand, a shot from that range could just as easily have been fatal. The Iron Maw was fully entitled to punish as he had done. However, even if he had not, she was not one to disobey a superior.
The foolish Hellfury, a shame he was nothing like his older self, had challenged Rugoram to Mak’gohran. She snorted loudly, only to make the sleeping Rar’gnak grunt, and turn around, coiling his arms around her. Grak granted him a brief smile, before her thoughts returned to the events. Rugoram had of course accepted; no proper orc would have refused such. Lumarda would most likely.
Grak grimaced her face, as her thoughts drifted to Lumarda.
The young female was just as disgusting as Hellfury. While he drooled at any female he could spot, she made sure, no one doubted how much she enjoyed it. Always walking around halfway nude, flirting like an elf, and even stating that she admired the behind of Jaina Proudmoore. Grak’rrah grunted. Lumarda had no honour, no wonder she was chasing the Blackjaws, rather than staying with her own clan. They had most likely disowned her. The other day, she had even complained, that she found it dull, to stay in the camp.
Grak’rrah had tried. Even after the girl had threatened Rar’gnak with a spear and her bow. She had even shared most of her Code, to the youngling. Had she listened? Not a word had penetrated the thick yet empty skull. Grak’rrah, former tutor of the Unforged within the Stonefaces, had wasted the –Code- on an unworthy disgrace.
Her thoughts continued.
She had to admit to herself, that even though, her thoughts often drifted towards the Code, which had been beaten into her spine, she was quite happy to have joined the Blackjaws. The Chieftains were strong and honourable, and most their men, while hardly disciplined, were men and women of honour, strong with courage. Even those struggling to be, right now, promised well for the future.
Finally, she had Rar’gnak. The man, she had never dared to hope for.
At first, she had claimed to be into girls, whenever a male tried to smooth-talk her within the Stonefaces. Had a girl tried the opposite, she had claimed to be into males. Sometimes she had claimed her Shamanistic duties took all her time.
Then of course, there was Rok’rah. Rok’rah… was Rok’rah. He had declined her due to the duty they had both obeyed within the Stoneface Clan. Rok’rah… son of Dhakrog Stoneface. Grak’rrah peered at the sleeping Rar’gnak, unable to resist a slight comparison. So alike, yet so different.
They had never even kissed. Rok’rah and her love… was of a different kind, she realised now. Their shared love of the Clan, the Code, and the Chieftain. They had been a match if any, seen from the outside, and yet, duty had taken its toll.
She had at first declined the thought of Rar’gnak as a mate. He was… amazing, no doubt. She knew however, if any, that duty came first. It was not until she had a talk with Chieftain Bloodhowl, who assured her, mating and breeding in his eyes, was part of the Clan duty, she allowed Rar’gnak closer to her.
Grak’rrah grunted slightly. Now she was mated and bonded. Soon, if the ancestors wanted, she would be with whelps.
Her final thought, as her mind at long last drifted towards the land of dreams flickered around in her head as a lost butterfly; “Duty first.”