First – thank you to everyone that offered me naming advice for my little Tauren hunter. I’ve got enough fantastic names there to last me a good while – hooray! I did settle on Anaje, just… because I like it? I liked lots of them, but that was the name that stuck out at me for this particular character. (I’m back to 10 character slots full on Feathermoon too. /sigh)
This is Anaje Plainsrunner, and her prairie wolf pet, Sly. (Sly is one of the two wolf types that retains his “bark” when you click on him.)
She doesn’t have any nice RP clothes yet, because I’m poor and level 13. I’ve got something in mind for her though, I think. I’m really enjoying playing her, even in the Barrens (lol), and Sly is a great pet. It’s been odd being low level again, practicing my kiting skills – being a hunter is really slow until you get your pet – but now that they’ve got each other, things are going pretty quick!
Anaje is a story collector, of sorts. She collects old Tauraje folktales (which are usually – but not always – Native American folktales “converted” into Warcraft). Right now I’ve got three of them fully converted so she can tell them at various gatherings. One of the things I need to work on is incorporating emotes into storytelling, so that this is as much a performance as it is a good story. Last night at Nox Night, she told a version of the story of The Great Unktehi, the evil water monster, and how the Barrens came to be… well… barren. This was originally a Sioux story called “Thunderbird and the Water Monster”, and you can read the Tauraje version below the cut.
Long, long ago, before the time we are living in now, a terrible thing happened to the world. The people who survived it did not forget, and they took the memory and put it into a story and gave the story to their children, who gave it to their children, and so it was handed down through the generations. Of course, it has evolved and reformed over time, like a cloud swelling and shrinking, but this is the story that has come down to me.
The Great Unktehi was a huge, ugly monster. She had scales like a snake, feet like a frog, and horns and at a tail that she could push out or pull in like a snail. She lived in the Southfury River, and her long, sinuous body followed every curve of its course, filling it from its source in Hyjal to its mouth in the Great Sea. Her babies, the little Unktehi, lived in the tributaries to the sides.
The Great Unktehi hated the Tauren race. “What are they good for, these little worms, these scraps of life? They are so puny to me that they do not even make a good meal. I will get rid of them all!”
So she puffed out her body to make the river overflow its banks, and spewed a torrent of water out of her mouth. The little Unktehi did the same, in their own little ways. The land was flooded, and many people drowned. A few managed to escape into the hills.
From his home in the sacred mountains, the Wakintanka, The Great Windserpent, looked out over the world. He saw what was happening.
“I must stop this destruction, or there will be no Tauren left!” His voice rumbled over the prairie like the unfurling of a mighty blanket. So he called together his brothers, the other Windserpents, and his children. “Come my brothers, my little winglets, it is time to go to war.”
The Wakintanka went down to the rivers and the land, and a terrible battle bagan. The Windserpents attacked their enemies with their teeth and their claws, and the water monsters lashed back with their spiked tails. When they saw that the monsters were winning, the Windserpents withdrew to their own territory, the mountains and the sky. But it was only to consider a new strategy.
“They are creatures of the water,” said Wakintanka, “and we are of fire and air and sky. Let us fight with weapons more suited to our nature.”
And so, enveloped in the war-clothes of a cloud, the Windserpents returned to battle, wielding thunderbolts and lightning darts. One bolt after another they let fly, dart after dart. The black and shuddering sky was alight with a thousand arrows of fire. They fell to the Earth, setting the forests alight, drying up the streams and rivers, and burning up the Unktehi until there was nothing left of them but bare bones.
Up in the hills where they had taken refuge, the Tauren saw that the monsters were dead. They came down and looked around them at the altered world, and gazed in amazement at the skeletons of the terrible creatures who had caused so much destruction, lying there where they had fallen in the contorted throes of death. Then they set about making new lives for themselves, building homes and having children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
And the place where all this happened, the bones of the Unktehi are still there – they are the great winding hills of the Barrens, and the bones and ribs of the Thousand Needles. And the Great Unktehi, who slithered off into the sea to die left behind the great Southfury River that still flows today.
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