Advocate of the Tears of Draenor
Male Tauren Shaman
When asked of his past, the young yet gray tauren called Rivensky is at first hesitant to respond. Slowly, after some thought, he acquiesces and with a soft sigh admits he had a much different nature not long ago. Closing his eyes, he begins to relate his brief history.
His birth, he says, was an unexpected blessing upon his parents. His mother had been unable to carry another after the birth of her second child, Skael, the younger of his two older brothers. With a reminiscent smile he admits both Skael and their mother Suraya spoiled him rather excessively in his youth, much to the chagrin of his father and eldest brother. The eldest of the three brothers was named after their father, Herne. Father and eldest son were both skilled hunters of taciturn temperament, and they shared, among other qualities, a stern disapproval of young Riven’s rebellious nature and furious outbursts.
Skael, however, was more akin to their mother in spirit. Within his great bullish frame of unquenchable strength and determination he bore a greater heart overflowing with honor, love, and generosity. In a soft tone revealing great sadness and regret, Riven admits that Skael’s death on the battlefield in the Third War created an incurable rift within his family, dishonoring the sacrifice his had brother made. As Riven’s father became more bitter and scornful, his mother withered with sadness, while Riven himself grew ever angrier and uncontrollable.
Without Skael’s fraternal influence, it was not long before Riven fell in with a gang of disrespectful tauren youth. In time, the dubious deeds he committed alongside these rakes, upon which he does not elaborate, earned him some amount infamy. Eventually he found himself before a tribunal of elders with a choice before him; live in exile as an outcast, or submit to an indentured apprenticeship to a notorious old grey beard named Stormcall. He chose the later, a decision he regretted immediately and for some time after.
Some mirth returns to Riven's features as he relates to you the first few months of his time with 'the old fart'. Not surprisingly, the two did not get along well at first, and there was much cursing and the occasional smack upside Riven's skull with a walking stick in those early days. In short order they came to a more silent, less violent, and generally more agreeable understanding, and in time eventually grew to enjoy each others company to a certain degree, so alike they were in certain ways. In a few short years, as they wandered the mountains and hills of Kalimdor, Riven learned much of tauren lore and natural history from the old hermit, but relatively little about the spiritual order of the cosmos, for which Riven had little talent or interest. He admits he was quite naturally frightened of murderous demons, restless undead, and untamed elementals, and unwisely carried his ignorance as an aegis against these dark threats.
His relatively idyllic life serving the elder shaman came to an end one eve as they visited Sun Rock Retreat, one of Stormcall's favorite wintering haunts. There Riven learned of the death of his remaining family, at the hands of marauding centaur, as they made their autumnal migration southwards. Over the next few months he turned grim, moody and brooding once more, remembering the fractured life he had been forced to leave behind, and the unresolved differences between him and his father. He decided that the only way to quench his growing madness was to go alone and make his vengeance upon those responsible.
Late one wintry night, as old Stormcall snored thunderously, Riven gathered up some food along with his knife and his master's medicine bag and walking stick, and set out alone. He traveled swiftly through a snow-swept fire-charred valley and into the gray and desolate lands where the foulest and mightiest of the centaur clans roam. Miraculously he made his way unnoticed to the edges of the centaur camp he sought, and carefully began to prepare for his revenge. In a drugged delirium, which he recalls with little clarity, he completed an impossible summoning that he had neither the skill nor wisdom to perform.
The thing that answered his call was sensed by him as a dark angry presence, enveloped in a maelstrom of cold black flame whipped by howling wind that cracked with thunderous light. In silent agreement it set itself furiously upon the camp with murderous glee, slaying and destroying all in its path. When finished with its grim task, it returned to Riven, and bowing low, proceeded to consume the weakened bull, body, mind and soul.
Tears flow softly from Riven’s closed eyes as he tells you of the suffering he endured. Every fell deed, thought and feeling welled up like black bile from his memory, sickening him a with terrible self-loathing that inevitably lashed out as furious hatred for the entirety of creation and all those within.
In those final moments, as the inevitable darkness began to fall over the young bull’s eyes, there came from the west a pale ray of light, like the of the dawning sun. Within a blinking of his eyes this light resolved itself into a spectral wolf with blazing eyes of moon and sun and a coat of stars. It let forth with a piercing howl that seemed to shatter the enveloping shadows with motes of singing light.
Rivensky next recalls standing amidst faded kodo bones and ghosts in the heart of that desolate land, a great spirit standing over him. Falling to his knees, he begged the spirit to ask his ancestors on his behalf to forgive him, their foolish wastrel of a son. The spirit remained silent, facing towards a dying light in the distance, to which Rivensky felt himself compelled to follow.
He returned once more to the decimated camp, and there beside his own fallen form lay the body of his old master. Weeping tears of white light he knelt down in prayer, and arose once again, alive but weak, and changed. As Rivensky gathered up in his arms the frail mortal remains of his friend, a stone fell from the old shaman’s hand. Rivensky recognized it at once, the stone that his old mentor called his ‘hearthstone’, which he would often heat in the camp fire in order to help keep his old bones warm as he slept.
As Riven picked up the stone, soft warmth spread through his hand, up his arm, and into his heart. An iridescent rune appeared on the stone’s surface. Instinctively the young bull called forth the magic in the stone, and found himself far to the south amidst the plains Mulgore.
There he buried the old bull who was his savior, and took for himself his new name. In time he learned how to control his newborn familiarity with the spirit world, and eventually set out alone from Thunder Bluff in search of the unknown, ever wary of the spirits that whisper in the world about him, and the restless fury within him.