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<dances>
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An Orc in Wolf's Clothing

Started by Gashuk, April 11, 2020, 01:23:15 PM

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Gashuk



"Please. Do not play games with me. It's belittling. I'm not stupid - I can spot a wolf in sheep's clothing when I see one -  and your claw's are showing." - Shadowmoon Farseer.


It was perfect. The swirling blue skies of Nagrand always gave Gashuk a sense of peace. Even the odd floating rocks and islands brought on by Outland's shattering had become the norm, a staple part of the landscape to be enjoyed and admired. Kosh'harg was around the corner and soon the closest thing the Clan had to a home would be littered with all the races of the Horde who travelled every year to embrace the festivities and learn of what it means to be an Orc. Now, more than ever Gashuk thought, Kosh'harg was especially important to celebrate. It brought peace, if only for a mere week or two, and peace was something that no coin could purchase.

“Ghrm, it's a pity I won't be around to enjoy it myself...”

Kosh'harg was a perfect opportunity for one to slip away unnoticed. The festival itself had a busy schedule and the crowds it brought in from Azeroth could easily mask one Orc's absence. Archery Tournaments, songs around a campfire, the fabled Challenge of the Wyvern. Who would care to miss the Orc that spends most of his time in his tent buried in a book regardless?

“No, no. Now is the time. Mustn't waste it...”

Gashuk scurried around his tent gathering what he would need. Simple linen clothing. A sharpened knife. Some herbs. It was all quite simple really as long as it went to plan. The Varog'gor had tasked him to hunt a Worg and take it's pelt for his own; to fashion it into armour suitable for the Gul'thauk and any missions that may lay ahead under the guise of a “Dark Knife”. Typically the Shadowmoon would have liked to travel to his Ancestral Lands of the Valley and hunt under it's dark thickets with the stars above him for guidance; but alas, those lands had long since been suitable for any ritual hunts far too saturated by the Fel Magicks that corrupted the Valley beyond any redemption.

“Off we go then...”

And with a parting kiss to a sleeping Rhonya, Gashuk left in the early morning quiet. He took the eastern gate and followed the winding road until it forked north-east, continuing along into the thickets aptly named Windyreed Pass through into the Marshlands. Did Zangarmarsh always smell this foul? Signage pointed him in the direction of the Forests, dimly lit and ominous as always. Only the sight of Shattrath overseeing the land like a protective titan brought the Orc some sense of comfort but he knew that wouldn't last.

“Star's guide me, Black Fur protect me...”

Tearing from the safety of the roads, dashing into the wilds, stalking like a savage. Teromoths, Spiders, Basilisks thought to be able to turn you to stone with a single gaze. Terrokar was certainly no Kosh'harg picnic. Yet as the hours slipped by and the already darkened forests turned darker, the prey became more active. Wolves.

“Easy does it Bloodmoon...”

Gashuk's plan was simple. Any Orc could hunt and skin a Wolf. He wanted more. He wanted to understand how the Worg's ticked, how they hunted and how they protected one another. The Gul'thauk follow three essential virtues; Devotion, Protection and Subtlety. Each of these tenants were mirrored in the way the Wolf lives. To understand this, Gashuk thought the only course of action was to become one. Simple.

“Here wolfie wolfie...here wolfie wolfie...”

The transfiguration was less simple. To become one of the Pack, Gashuk had to replace one of the Pack. He needed to mimic not only their appearance, but their scent and pheromones. He had to make his ritual kill first, and then take the time needed to learn from the Pack, and so he waited. He waited until the moon was at it's highest and even the spiders had scurried to their rest and found his target. A Pack always has an odd one out. One who sleeps alone, one who gets the left-overs and dry-bone after a hunt. Nature is cruel in that way, but tonight, Gashuk was going to be crueller. He taunted the runt to rouse from his slumber and sent out a probing incantation to calm the beast from any potential rage, clouding it's mind in hypnosis. Closer and closer the Worg walked towards it's death, transfixed by the Sorcerer's magic until a knife found it's way into the runt's throat.

“Perfect...”

The wolf pelt and the heart. That was all the Sorcerer needed to take upon the wolf-shape. The ritual would not be pretty, but then again, rarely was anything pretty when blood-magic was involved. Perhaps this is what the Varog'gor of old did to become true Wolf Claws. He skinned the beast whole, through the early hours as carefully as he could, gutted and removed the warm now-still heart from it's chamber, and discarded the rest of the carcass for the wilds to consume. It was time. Gashuk stripped himself as bare as when he was born, tore a chunk of meaty sacrificial heart, staining his beard with blood  and consumed the worg's essence. In a daze he chanted his incantation praying to Shar'guul for his blessing and clambered onto all fours. He placed his arms into the wolf's forelegs and his legs into the hind before placing the bloodied snout upon his brow. As he incanted agony struck. The pelt begun to take life contorting Gashuk's orcish form into it's own, binding and stitching itself up at the back as limb by limb the Orc transformed until he inevitably passed out.

An Orc in Wolf's Clothing.
-Gashuk, Son of Garrak-
"When the ashes fall and the green winds blow, the lone wolf dies, but the pack survives."