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Writing about a character's past – that spans over hundreds of years-- presents itself as a challenge. I've not yet met someone who was able to face it and in reality, the backgrounds written only ever made statements of the past few decades before the “present”, so to speak. However, novels have been written that depict such characters' pasts. Unfortunately, the forums do not offer such formats, thus renders the efforts quite complex for a live roleplayer. In this perspective, the jets I'm writing about Sensanee will present both a challenge I wish to accomplish and a game I want to play; whether or not this turns out to be an interesting read is somehow out of my control.
It is also worthwhile to note that meanwhile I'm not trying to bend the lore, it's always been my desire to plunge Senjhylh into the Tauren world.
And at the same time, I have to warn you all; my english has yet to improve; my vocabulary is unfortunately limited, so if sentences seem exhausting or words lacking, please point it out in a friendly manner so I can correct and improve the story!
I am making this a casual, ongoing story from the past. I'm writing it as it goes, whenever I want to write some more. I've already worked out a few pages and will post whenever I judge enough was written in order to be posted.
Here it comes folks-- Senjhylh's past. I hope you can appreciate the attempt I'm making at creating a past for her and that you will find it somehow entertaining to read.
The First Hunt.
Feralas. Its never-dying jungles and sharp road curves always proved many a challenge to the adventurers or otherwise simple travellers who dared to cross the dense forest. Falling a few centuries back, its dangers were even more proving and the forest blooming, offering great fruits to be harvested and secrets to be unveiled. Fall had come and laid over the dense forest to let its leaves fall as the season commanded and the giant forest kings stood there resting their roots at last, before winter touched their green spirits. The Azerothian moon shining as bright as the sky let her, the scenery was simply breath-taking; the Dire Maul sprayed with its gentle light, the Twin Giants offering shadowed cover for its more savage residents to rest and the entire forest covered in silver-like sparkles. Those were the sights our young Sensanee had the pleasure to witness; at long last her and her family had made it into this still-savage land.
As her eyes grew with gleaming excitement she turned towards her sister , grabbing both her hands in glee, doing little girls' jumps as if playing with a rope. “-This- is what you were telling me about years ago, Jhya? This is wonderful!” She ecstatically claimed to her older sister. Jhyalhan stood in front of her young half, sporting a smile on her gentle face. A couple centuries had them apart but Sensanee had a knack to reach her older sister's heart and make it go back to her younger days. The druid reached the younging's long hair and gave it a few gentle strokes. “I felt the same way you're feeling now, when I first came here with mother and father. I was just about your age, you know. And it's here I first learned from mother and father how to provide for my people and for myself...--”
Jhya stopped. She had said a little too much to her own liking and certainly did not want to burst the young Sensanee's bubble with the virtues of this rite of passage. At least not now; this moment was precious and best left as it is; happy contemplation of an unknown land, a whole new world of possibilities for a young mind. Nonetheless the elf sat there, giving glances here and there; she knew what this land really represented to her and her people which unfortunately didn't give her the same feeling of unknown and novelty, unlike her little sister's. Nonetheless, this voyage was intended for something very specific; as Sensanee was reaching her hundredth year of life, it was now time to show her what the world had to offer. Or at least, what the once-grand Kaldorei kingdom held for her. It was also time to challenge what she had learned from the elders and her own parents, and go on a hunt for several weeks. This little setting camp with her loved ones tonight was probably the last she'd see of them for at least a little while...
Edited by Senjhylh on 3/15/2012 12:25 PM PDT
“Jhya, Sen! Come over here, I need your help with the food!” their mother called from a small distance away.
The two sisters looked at each other, genuine smiles on their faces. Jhya put a finger on Sensanee's small forehead. “Don't worry about tomorrow. Tonight, you should have fun with us. It's your night.” The young elf replied in a series of swift nods as she ran towards her mother, followed by Jhya. As they made it to the small temporary hut, the druidess reached her mother and enquired: “Why did father not come with us this time?”
“Oh, right. I'm sorry I didn't tell you sooner, but he had to remain with the Circle. It's quite unfortunate he couldn't make it for Sensanee's first hunt outside the island but he will be with us upon our return.” Kanani'so gently replied. The mature huntress looked at the moon for a brief moment before blinking in surprise. She turned her head towards her older daughter and pointed towards the sky. “Jhya... do you see the moon...?”
“Yes, I see it. It's quite bright tonight---”
That's not what I mean, Jhya. See the rim around it?
Yes... but what about it?
This rim... it's thick. And is usually bearer of... unwanted events. We should be careful tomorrow. Something could happen, we should stay on our guards.
Kanani'so sighed, her eyes still laid on the moon. “Such a predicament on Sen's first Hunt... -- Jhya, how's your Form coming along?”
Jhya bobbled her head, surprised by her mother's question.
“... Not quite there yet. I've been having the Dreams a lot recently though. I am still chasing the Cat's spirit. I've not yet bonded with it...” Jhya answered, almost in shame.
Kana smiled, ruffling her daughter's hair. “It'll come in due time, my child. Your father wasn'tany different at your age, and see how he's turned out a great spirit? I've confidence in you. I've confidence in you both. You'll turn out just fine.--... But I have to admit, it would've reassured me...”
The recipe was quite modest; a variety of berries and mushrooms gathered from the nearby bushes and trees along with some cured meat the town-folks provided for the journey. It was enough to make Sen happy; her ever-gleaming eyes racing from her mother to her sister with even intensity, she grinned as she helped her mother with the basic preparations. A bowl laying nearby filled with water, she used to clean the grime off the harvested wild ingredients. Sen loved to cook with her mother; it was one of those special moments of the day where they were together without any other purpose, taking care of the simple things together, in some sort of wild unison. After all, Sen was still fairly unaccustomed to the rudiments of the culinary arts. However, she had learned enough to prepare basic meals, such as the one they were preparing at this very moment. After cleaning all the greens she had, she put everything in the large wok-like pot in a specific order; from smaller plants, berries, to end with the mushrooms. “Now, it's only a matter of stirring and waiting. Would you like to do it, Sen?”
Without another word, she jumped from her place to take in her hands the rest of the preparations.
“Truly, you're a young elf with much initiative.” Her mother chuckled.
The sun hadn't come up yet and the trio had already packed up the camp and were ready to leave. However, there was one last thing; something incredibly important to do before the hunt would start. Jhyalhan and Kanani'so faced the young daughter and joined hands before touching the girl's head, closing the circle. They began to hum in unison as the child's eyes opened wide, uncertain of what was going on. As her older daughter continued humming the family's song, Kana reached her daughter's figure with both hands, kneeling to reach her level and maintaining eye-contact with her as she spoke softly. The child stood, her eyes still wide as she glanced at her mother; her nervous and surprised expression was a little hard to hide. Her face turned into a lighter tone of purple whilst stunned in her stance a moment before regaining her composure and a bit of confidence.
“Sensanee Senhylh Vilshjir! Today you are about to discover a piece of yourself within yourself. To face dangers you've never faced before and bring back to us the fruition of both your Hunt, and your maturing heart. Today is your Hundredth year of life. You've come a long way and we are here to celebrate with you this critical moment in a huntress' life. Your life. For the next weeks to come, you will be seeking a very special beast. Her mane is said to bear the fires from within her heart and her eyes the color of the blood she drank. Her name is “Tyj'has”. You will know her when you face her.”
Jhyalhan kneeled over to face her sister and smiled.
“Do not let your heart be taken by fear. The beast will be expecting you and as you can see... we are all here, aren't we? But do not let your guard down either. Tyj'has will know once you make it to her lair and will hunt you as well. Do not become the prey, sister! Show the same energy you've shown us so far and arm your heart with the courage you have. Hunt Tyj'has down and bring us back her holy pelt.”
The two older elves looked expectantly at the cadet. Sen then remembered what she had to say. She looked up to the women with a faint but genuine smile, placed her left hand on her chest and spoke with her sweet, young and vibrant voice.
“I am Sensanee Senjhylh Vilshjir. I have travelled this far from my home to find myself within myself and to prove my worth as a huntress from my clan. I will return with Tyj'has' pelt as my clan demands it. By taking this step I am following the path many of my ancestors have taken before me and ensuring the future of the people I belong to. By taking this step I am becoming my own people. I now take this bow and quiver, knowing that when I come back I will have grown up. I'll then have risen closer to becoming a huntress and a woman.”
She then reached her sister and mother's hands.
“Please honour me with your blessings.”
The young druid reached the child's forehead in a gentle touch, her eyes laid on Sensanee with sisterly affection.
“May the Forest guide you in your hunt and its spirits protect you, my sister.”
Jhyalhan walked back a few steps, giving place to their mother to offer her blessings. Kana embraced her daughter tightly as she ruffled her hair for the last time before she'd let her go. Her motherly instincts burned within her but she knew this moment in Sen's life was necessary. Nonetheless, she did feel somewhat reluctant to let her go on her own. She mentally shook her head before giving the young girl a beaming smile.
“It will be hard for me to wait for you all this time; make sure you find her soon! ... And I know you'll make me proud. Good hunt, my daughter.”
Those were the last words Sensanee heard from her mother. At least for a very long time.
I've moved from the camp mom and Jhya set up only half a day now and I already feel lonely. My heart keeps beating fast from the stress I'm feeling... I know I have to focus but it's still so strange! It's not like the usual game around the Glen. I've never been here and hardly recognize the smells and the forms around me. I know this used to be home to our people too... but it doesn't feel that way. At least not to me. I guess it's expected given-- what am I writing! I should stop being silly and get accustomed to the area quickly. Otherwise tracking down Tyj'has won't get any easier.
Still. The feeling of uncertainty is... overwhelming. At least for now.
I walked about a couple of leagues south and half a league east inland
A dozen tracks were left at strategic points on the trees
Those points offer several uses; cover, high vantage points due to the trees' heights and half of them are near water points
... Unfortunately, no tracks of the giant cat were found. Yet.
I'll fish something for dinner tonight. I'll keep my arrows for the real fight.
I had the fright of my life today. I was lucky to run out of it still somewhat intact. As I was hopping from a tree to another I missed a jump and fell right in the middle of what seemed a mating parade between two giant apes. Obviously the male didn't take it very well and jumped on me before I could reach for my bow. Luckily enough, I had prepared a few sharpened thick sticks, as I don't have anything else than my bow... which is silly. But perhaps it's part of the things you need to learn. To be able to come up with your own weapons... made from scratch.
That ape. Stomping his gigantic hands on me, I swear I should have broken bones right now. No significant swelling on the legs, no substantial pain from the sides. I'll still have to be careful and rest for a day. I can't keep going if I'm injured, even with just a few scratches. It'll give me the time to make a weapon or two. I've located some silex rocks I could use. Making some sort of axe sounds sensible.
Berries and plants tonight.
I miss everyone. It's only been a little while but I miss home. As much as I am enjoying this game of hide and seek... I miss snuggling with Jhya in her bed. I miss hunting with mother. I miss riding father's shoulders when we're out for a walk.
I think I'm starting to understand how the other huntresses find their strength in order to fight; they just want to come back as soon as possible and see their loved ones! Still, they have some merit, staying out in the wild for months... maybe I'll get to enjoy it more. You get used to those things, right? Not finding Tyj'has' lair yet is getting on my nerves though. Blasted holy cat, why do you have to hide so well?
Something strange happened today though; while I was backtracking my way towards the west, I've found two distinctive types of footprints. One was a very large feline and the others were... various hooves sizes. I know the traces a deer leaves behind and it sure doesn't look like one. I've never seen these before. The reason I'm noting it down is because the traces seemed to be following the cat's tracks. For leagues. Like preys pursuing death right to its lair. I'm not sure what's going on here.
Unfortunately, both tracks vanished around the river. But I have a lead! She can't be too far now! Especially with “food” about.
Later that day, she found more than what she was looking for.
“Oku chi eche ishn alo kee halo alo?”
Zhi, zhi! Chi owa loshte no alo awak shteawa Isha balo shte nechi.
Tihikea, shte porAh yakee alo shteaWa halo kee a'ke.
The bovine-looking creatures were just as tall as mountains with muscles just as big as Sen's head and sporting deadly-looking horns on their heads. Their dark ash-coloured manes lent them demonic-like appearances to Sen's eyes. She stretched her neck to observe the scene whilst hidden in the bushes behind them, holding her breath and staying still as much as possible so they would not notice her presence. She quietly gasped in surprise when she finally noticed what the two creatures were skinning; a large feline with a thick red mane. In her surprise she unconsciously stood up, with her eyes fixed on the big cat. By the time she realized she had made a terrible mistake, it was too late for her to act upon it; the two taurens had already caught up on her presence, readying their weapons to face the unknown threat.
“Ishnu a'poh kee alo!”, the tauren shouted at the one prepping the large cat as he charged towards Sensanee with his heavy mace. The powerful attributes of the creature was more than enough to strike fear in Sen's mind, enough fear to stun her in place. The state of panic she was in, she had never felt anything like this before. “This is the end--!” She thought.
... When suddenly, she started moving. Or perhaps “bolting” would be more appropriate. Any direction was good enough, she wasn't thinking about anything. She reached for her crafted handaxe and charged the powerful beast, screeching and shouting with all her might. Hasty swings with her axe on the tauren's legs (she could barely reach his shoulders) was a good idea (or desperate reflex); in a few movements she destabilized him enough to make him stop for a moment. She turned around to face him again for another attack then--
Edited by Senjhylh on 3/17/2012 5:05 AM PDT
Itahe stood straight, his head facing the starry night sky of what is now called Mulgore and pushed a weary sigh. It had been more than a couple of months since the young elf had been in a coma and his clan hadn't taken any decisions on what their captive would become and after spending so many days and nights taking care of the child he had somehow grown to like her, imagining how the girl was; happy, wild and adventurous, like most children are. The warrior took a moment to sit down and as he had been doing for the last few weeks, reflect on what should be done about the “captive”. It was his first time seeing an elf in his life and really did not know what to do; even as a child, was she a potential threat to the peace of the clan? What if she was to wake up and suddenly disappear, would she then bring forward misery and destruction to his people? Or would she be tame and leave them in peace? Would she become a burden? She -had- been hit pretty hard by his cousin after all; Ne'keho wasn't known for his gentle handling of the mace. Again he sighed, nodding to himself that all these questions were all speculations. Nothing had happened yet and he was confident he would diligently deal with the consequences accordingly to the situation. He knew; he wouldn't let this vibrant lifeform go to waste.
As he kept facing the stars, he nodded to himself.
“Earthmother, you are watching over us with your endless knowledge and I'm confident that whatever happens, you'll lend us your wisdom. Only this... I wish this creature to live a good life. To learn what she has to learn. To live what she has to live. This is my sincerest wish.”
Itahe grabbed his leather pouch, containing a quantity of tobacco. He picked up a small bit, rolled it and put it in a handcrafted pipe he was wearing on his left ear. How he enjoyed these quiet moments... time to reflect indeed.
Edited by Senjhylh on 3/17/2012 9:00 AM PDT
“People of the Ragetotem, time has come to gather and discuss our next moves. You know all too well that we cannot prolounge our stay in this fair valley. The Greys have to renew their own and we are to move on to new lands soon. We have a long way to go, but our travels – as always – will bring us to welcoming lands that we've visited before. Por Ah will now lay her white rest on this very land and we are to move on to the South where the fruits of the season will provide us with the strength we need to carry onto the next season. But before we make our preparations, we have yet much to discuss...”
Galih glanced at his clan with a serious look in his eyes. The elders had not yet spoken of the direction to take and he was bold to claim that that next destination was indeed south. But he was trusted by his own, and the elders would still support him. The Ragetotems had been graced with good fortune for the past two generations and it did not seem like it was about to change. Galih was indeed a good chieftain for his people and his love for his own clan was felt and well acknowledged within the tribe.
An elder stepped forward.
“As always Galih, your instincts are right; south is the path our tribe should take. Por Ah will show a fairer side of hers in these lush forests and we can find there more than enough to provide for our own. But there is still one matter at hand we have yet to discuss, and that is the future of this... creature we have been keeping with us. You do understand that this is where Ne'keho and Shetshe found her and this could potentially become a danger for us. She is still very young and her own people will most definitely be looking for her. In fact, what if they -do- come after us? If a child like her were able to trace up to Ne'keho, her people may be even better hunters!”
A relative agreement was shared among the shu'halos. Gihen then grunted and the crowd went quiet again.
“The Ragetotems have no such thing as fears. If they come to us, we have many ways to deal with them. In the meantime what truly matters to us is how we will endure the changing seasons and how we will organize the hunts. I trust everyone else with good judgement and I am confident we will find a solution to this... issue, when the right time comes. For now, the child will be brought with us on our migration. If she does wake up, and that is if she does... we will deal with her. -- For the time being! Gather your leather, rations, water and tools! We are moving back to Feralas! The women shall gather the fruits and men hunt the stags as soon as we reach our new home! If newborns are expected, I want the elders to guide them with the spirits' blessings and the older women to care for the new mothers!
Ragetotems, move out!”
And within a week the tribe was set on their route towards Feralas again, to take shelter from the harsh winters of the Mulgore and seek the warmer climates of the southern forests.
Edited by Senjhylh on 3/17/2012 9:02 AM PDT
Winter had laid its white coat upon the Mulgorian valley a few months ago already and the tribe had made it into Feralas without too much trouble; a few casualties from the wild beasts were recorded but nothing to trouble the tribe too much. Most of the women had survived and more importantly in this context, the young elf was still among them.
”If we are to encounter any of these purple-skinned creatures, we'll have something... -- or someone, to bargain for.” the chieftain thought.
He took a long glance at the women gatherers for a while, his complexion sporting a fair frown; he did not deal with ease with the women spending time with the creature; he thought of it as a “waste of time and resource” for the small community. They were in need of able gatherers and hunters after all. One night around the common bonfire he raised his concern.
“Ragetotems! Now that we have claimed fairer grounds for our people, the time to discuss this... creature's future... has come. I understand that some of you would like to see... it... live, and some of you-- like me, see it as a potential threat to our own. Our tribe is divided on this point, and if I must be honest with you my people, it pains me to see it so. However, it would be unfair to you and an insult to our traditions not to discuss between ourselves. I rely on your judgement to deal with this creature accordingly.”
Galih took a long look at his people gathered around the large bonfire with a serious face before continuing. “She -has- shown signs of recovery in the past month, but nothing substantial enough to confirm that she will be back into this world anytime soon. As of now, we can only hope either for the best or the worst; either she comes back to her senses so we can leave her here, or she serves as bait for the next hunts.”
Itahe then stood up out of reflex as the rest of the crowd turned around to look at him. The mighty tauren stood there for a moment not knowing what to say, before cautiously taking his right to speak his mind.
“Galih, you have been leading our people to safe lands for the past hundred moons. I have trusted you so far for the times of hunting and the times of rest for our own. Our tribe has strove under your leadership and this I cannot deny. Por Ah has certainly blessed us with your birth. But today, I find myself disagreeing with some us of-- including you-- concerning the future of this creature. Understand this, great Galih; she has been caught in one of our hunts. She is a victim. Not taking care of her and not seeing her on her way towards health would disgrace our name and soil our honour. -- Galih! She is still a child! Instead of choosing a grime fate for her, let's instead educate her in the ways of Por Ah!--”
The crowd turned again towards Itahe, shouting curses and violent disagreement to his last statement. It appeared to them as if he was disgracing Por Ah's name to even consider teaching Her ways to the elf! But Galih understood this much, in his fair ways; this wasn't the point. His concerns were more practical; were they to accept that they'd have one more mouth to feed, one more soul to raise or were they to leave her prey to the wilderness. This was the true stake at hand. He grunted.
“Itahe. Your concerns are honest and good; as a chieftain, I cannot allow myself to bring this honourable tribe into disgrace and breed weakness of both body and soul within it. I am compelled to lead by example... You, lead by example. Our tribe, as you put it... has been blessed with your birth. -- Here is my decision. If we are to keep this creature alive—and among us, you will be in charge of her. I know your knowledge of Por Ah's will is fair and... 'unbiased'. I know your skills in the fighting arts are better than most of our warriors'. You are-- in some strange way-- the ideal tutor. Only your wisdom, to raise a child... has to be tested. -- You have found your challenge. Hopefully you will find yourself a woman to accompany you down this path full of hardships that awaits you. -- Ragetotems! Do you oppose yourselves to this decision? Do you believe that this young creature here will bring forth enough hardships that we cannot overcome? Do you believe that this child should be left to whatever fate Por Ah has for her in the wilderness? Or will she prove herself a true friend and ally of the Shu'halos and our own? Speak at once!”
The tribe remained silent for a long moment, before shaking their heads in a communal way. It was then decided.
The elf was to stay. And be given a chance among them.
“Do you remember, Kee'halo?” the now-old bull softly spoke to the younger woman. “The many hunts we went on together. You've proved your worth many times under Mu'sha's guidance. You've made me so proud... after all these years, all these hunts... I really had not expected this much from you! And I don't mean it in a bad way, don't get me wrong. Only... you were not born as a Shu'halo, and yet you act like one. Even more so, you act like one of our bests. I could not be more proud of you, my dear Kee'halo...”
The old warrior turned to face the elf with the most sincere smile on his figure. She returned the feeling with a shy and humble expression. Obviously he was giving her much credit and with her honest ways she had yet no idea how to deal with all of it.
“Iathe-father... after all you taught me... after all you've shown me... once would have to be both blind and deaf not to learn it all from you.” She reached the ground with one hand, doodling through the soil with her index. He smiled.
“... And to think the late Galih was this far from booting you out of our tribe...”
- I understand why he would've done such a thing. I was a threat to your people before... whether I was alive or not. But...
She glanced at the full moon above their heads and smiled wholeheartedly.
“... You know, Galih... Thank you.”
The old bull glanced at her with surprise in his eyes.
“... Thank you for believing in me. If it wasn't for you, I would've died a hundred moons ago. Por Ah be my witness, I thank you. You've taught me more than anyone would’ve taught me. I could've felt endlessly lonely from being away from my own people for so long... but you were like a hundred fathers for me, and your mate Kilhi'chee was very accepting of my presence among yours. Your children are like my brothers and sisters to me. I mean it. Elune-- I mean Mu'sha--”
She bursted in laughters as the old bull watched her, contentedly smiling at her.
“Mu'sha...-- or Elune, as you call her... she must be proud of you...-- You've shown us many qualities through the years that even some of our own people struggle to attain; trust, selflessness, composure...”
He reached her long blue hair with one paw, gently brushing it.
“A shame you're not born Shu'halo indeed! You would've born many a great warrior within your womb and our clan!”, he shouted, bursting in loud laughters himself.
She simply smiled.
“Por Ah has something else for me.”, she suddenly answered.
Itahe glanced at her stoicly before turning his gaze back to the full moon above them. “... Sadly, she most probably does.”
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