Roots of Restoration

More brand new writing territory! In this episode, our contestant tries to write flashbacks! If he fails, he gets thrown into the slime pool! Shall he succeed? Shall it be sublime? Or is it… SLIME TIME!

-=-=-=-

A quiet fire flickered, gently revealing the massive form of an orc seated on the floor.

He was old, what little white hair he had left pulled up firmly into a top knot. His face was lined, tired. His muscles, while still powerful, lacked the tone of his younger compatriots. He had few scars, though this was not due to any cowardice on his part.

He was not a warrior, he was a shaman, and a skilled one at that. He had not always been a shaman, much to his eternal regret.

Goraxxus let out a protracted sigh. He meditated every night, and every night returned him to Draenor.

Long ago, he was born in Garadar, living an idyllic childhood. He split wood with his father, went hunting, fished with his brothers. His natural aptitude for communion with the spirits saw him receive training in shamanism at a very young age.

He was perfectly suited for the role. Fire flowed through him, water whispered secrets to him, the wind laughed and joked with him, earth rumbled and spoke with him.

Many years later, he became a teacher himself. He would sit, facing a fire much like this one, his students seated around the very same fire. They would look to him for guidance, faces filled with any number of emotions.

He would look them all in the eye, orc and draenei shamans alike. Young Urgrosh, so hotheaded, yet so devastatingly powerful. The hulking draenei Zenastus, silent as always. The jovial Roni, a little orc woman whose spirits could not be dampened by even the greatest tragedy.

And there, there sat Callexi. Oh, his Callexi. She was his most senior student, his most promising pupil. How she smouldered in the sunlight, how she burned in the night. He had thought it odd, at first, to have been attracted so to a draenei woman. He had heard of liasons between their peoples, of course, but he had never experienced such a thing himself.

All doubts had fled that first night together, on the hilltop. The grass crushed against his back, her naked form glistening next to him, a clear, moonlit sky above him.

After all this time, after all these years, he could still remember her scent. He could still see how the moonlight played on her curves, the gentle smile she gave him, the gentle bubbling of her laugh.

His world was perfect.

Or so he thought.

The Burning Legion showed him he was wrong.

He thirsted, though he knew not what would quench it. The Legion showed him.

He hungered, though he knew not what would sate it. The Legion showed him.

He lusted, though he knew not what for. The Legion showed him.

So it was the Legion showed him the the spirits he so revered were but pitiful echos of true strength, true power.

So it was that he drank the blood of Mannoroth with pride.

So it was that he abandoned the shackles of shamanism, and embraced true power, as a warlock.

So it was, with fel power coursing through him, the entire might of the nether at his beck and call, he knew true power.

That very same hilltop. He lay there, burned grass prickling at his back. He stared up at the moonless night, the naked forms of three succubi draped over his body, and he thirsted. He hungered. He lusted.

He knew not what for.

The Legion showed him.

The stench filled his nostrils.

After all this time, after all these years, he could still remember the smell. He could still see how the flames played on her curves. How her face had contorted in agony. How she had begged him. How she had professed her love. How she screamed as her flesh burned.

Oh, Callexi. His Callexi.

He thirsted. He hungered. He lusted.

The Legion showed him.

Azeroth burned. Stormwind burned. Brave paladins stood up to face him, never once backing down even as he incinerated them in their armor. Children stared at him with confusion, their small bodies vanishing in flames.

Some fought. Some ran. Some pleaded. All burned, their screams filling his mind, and he felt nothing but raw desire for more. More power, more ending of lives, more blood.

He never showed leniency, spared nothing, never granted even the tiny mercy of a swift death.

Goraxxus exhaled, decades of regret exiting his body.

How he wished it was different. Just once, he wanted to remember the night he stayed his hand. The night he had not claimed a life. The night he had not smiled as he witnessed raw terror fade to nothing.

He meditated. He experienced the horror. He remembered that such a night did not exist.

He would never forget. He could never forget. He would never allow himself to forget.

What he had done was beyond atrocity. He could never atone for what he had done. He had slaughtered so many, helped to end the lives of so many more.

But he was an orc. He was strong. He would not be crippled. He would not wallow in pain.

He was a shaman once more. He could never atone, but this did not mean he should not try. He dedicated himself to restoring whatever he could. He might not be able to bring back those he had ended, but he could prevent others from dying. He could fight against such things, work to cure the world of as much evil as he could.

He lay back, the hard grass of the Barrens poking at his back. He stared at the moonlit sky.

Somehow he had been spared the flame himself. Somehow the humans had not executed him. Somehow they had spared his life, when he had spared none of theirs. Goraxxus did not understand why he was alive.

The humans had granted him life, a kindness he would never forget. Thrall had granted him purpose, and so he would serve eternally. The shamans had granted him focus, giving his life a purpose. He would do all he could do, until the death he deserved finally found him.

He closed his eyes. He slept. He dreamed of the hilltop on Draenor.

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14 Responses to Roots of Restoration

  1. Anonymous says:

    The contestant has succeeded!!

  2. Momome says:

    Overall a very effective piece – you definitely have a knack for creating empathetic characters. One criticism I’d levy is that the language was a bit awkward at times – repetition of ‘fire’ in an early paragraph and ‘purpose’ in the final one felt clunky.

    So yeah, in sum I think you’d benefit from being more succinct generally, but your characters and ideas are awesome to read, nice one.

    • Euripedes says:

      The first purpose in that paragraph I thought was good.
      The second one not so much. I had another word in mind for there, but when I got to the whole “writing it down” part, I clean fucking forgot the word.

      One hour later, after staring at blank pages, blank walls, and flipping through various thesauruses, I decided “screw it” and just used purpose again.

      It’s cringe worthy, but it does read better than, say:

      The humans had granted him life, a kindness he would never forget. Thrall had granted him purpose, and so he would serve eternally. The shamans had granted him focus, giving his life HERP A DERP DERP SOAP. He would do all he could do, until the death he deserved finally found him.

  3. DarthRegis says:

    One criticism here: Naked space goat? Eeeew! 😉

    Enjoyed the read!

    Although I vote for SLIME TIME because it sounds like fun. Kind of like saying, “I don’t know,” on the show “You Can’t Do That on Television.” 😀

  4. Delerius says:

    Well done. I hope you are enjoying this as much as you seem to be, because I want more!

  5. Sepelrastas says:

    I enjoyed it. Simple as that. He’s an interesting character I’d like to know more about. All in all, I find him very realistic in character.

    Maybe it’s because I’m not a native English speaker, but I didn’t notice (in an irritating way, at least) the repetition Momome mentioned.

    Good job ^^

    • Euripedes says:

      Possibly! The better you are at english, the faster you read. Then repetition like that gets annoying because you’re reading something like a sentence a second.

  6. Turiel says:

    I like the title. So apt in hindsight… much like the whole reflective aspect of it.

    I’d criticize for the sake of helping you learn, but there isn’t much I can say. Here’s what I’ll land on:

    Write more often so I am able to enjoy it more often as well!

    P.S. WTB Moar Arkenheart!

  7. Torumin says:

    Don’t know if you’ve ever read anything by Chuck Palahniuk, but the repetition of the lines “He thirsted. He hungered. He lusted. The Legion showed him.” reminded me of the ‘choruses’ in his books.

    Very nice work, I enjoyed it 😀

    • Euripedes says:

      I knew the name sounded familiar, and it turns out he wrote Fight Club. That would be why?
      No, I have not read any of his books, though Fight Club is one of my favorite movies ever, which is where the name comes from I suppose.
      And I am aware that I just said “I haven’t read the book but I did see the movie!” and all the horrible consequences of that.

  8. Calebris says:

    Very good piece, Euri. I really liked the repeated lines about thirst and hunger, and I found myself really with the emotions your orc was feeling.

    Only thing I could find was that “The shamans had granted him focus, giving his life a purpose.” could have used a different word for purpose. After all, Thrall granted that.

    Maybe “the strength to hope”? I don’t know, but I hope you keep putting out fiction.

    • Euripedes says:

      Yeah, that line bugs me, but I honestly STILL cannot remember what the other turn of phrase I wanted to use was.

      They granted him… purrr… propo… fff… meerrrnn… FJIIGJUAGFOUG

      • Calebris says:

        I was also wondering how you get your ideas to stick with you.(Avoiding that little mistake)

        do you carry a notebook like artists do? I could see you sitting on a bus saying: “Lusted! Hell yeah, great third action for this one.”

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