What follows is something I’ve written for Matty’s Boon Writing Challenge!
The guideline was to write something concerning your relationship with your favorite weapon. Yes, I’m paraphrasing to make it sound dirty. :)
I Bring Your Doom!
We were raiders once, and young.
You look upon me now, an aged veteran of wars ranging from the frozen north of Icecrown to the outer limits of Ulduar, my blood long spent amongst worlds lost to the twisting nether.
That is now, but once the world was new and raw. As new adventurers we fled the safety of hearth and home to challenge the dark heart of Azeroth, never knowing what we might find, but sure in our innocence that we had the Journal of Lord Thottbot to guide our way.
The time I wish to speak of was shortly after I had (first) reached the height of my physical prowess. At that time I was known by the name given to me at birth, Windshadow, long before I had suffered through the wall of words that led to earning another, bigger-butted handle. None had yet stepped through the Dark Portal to take the battle to the Shadow Council or the Burning Crusade. Instead, the world was still gripped by the twin threats of C’thun within the Temple of Ahn’Qiraj, and Lord Nefarian in Blackwing Lair.
It seems now such a simpler time, before we knew how widespread the threat posed by the Old Gods or the Lich King really were. When Ragnaros himself seemed but a momentary challenge to be braced and banished before facing sterner foes, and Deathwing yet slumbered somewhere out of sight and out of the thoughts of the shorter lived races.
I fought then with the brave souls of Divine Might, and I sought to join in their battles with feral abandon. When I first met them, they had begun tiring of Upper and Lower Blackrock Spire, but still ventured forth in those places in search of various items of power that had proved elusive.
The gathered strength of Divine Might challenged the black queen Onyxia, stormed the depths of Blackwing Lair, and struggled to reach C’thun. I joined them in their battles full of a need to rend and tear. I longed to test my feral might against whelps on MANY sides, for I was sure I could handle it.
My desires for feral fury in full scale wars went unfulfilled, for at that time the furry feral heart of a Druid was considered to be of less advantage to the group than the soothing restorative healing and battle rezzes we could offer… and that is why, when the great battles were being fought, I stood in the van with tree heals in my hands, watching green leaves sprout while the warrior tanks milled about with a loutish scream and shout, drinking at the bloody fount of glory.
Though I could not achieve my dream of feral war in the largest scope, there were still other battles to be fought. Battles that were not quite so serious. Skirmishes where our ranks numbered fewer, perhaps twenty or so, and the unnatural concept of ‘being your true self’ could finally be explored. If a Paladin thought to tank, or a Druid wished to give in to their wilder side, well then people might turn their heads and look the other way while such deviant behavior was going on. Not without a nose turned up as if I had kitty fish breath, but there were still fun runs going on where I could be allowed free rein.
Into one such run I was allowed to dash in full Cat mode, ready, willing and able to tear big chunks of raw meat off my prey. As a team of twenty we boldly stepped into the Ruins of Ahn’Qiraj, and I tore into those squidly things. TORE INTO.
I found that Old One minion flesh is kinda rubbery and tastes of phlem, by the way, but salt and the liberal application of wow wow sauce does amazing things.
As I prepared to enter the Ruins of Ahn’Qiraj for the first time, one of my fellow elves in the Cenarion Hold asked me to take on the personal task of slaying one of the fell overlords haunting the ruins there, and steal from him some of the venom unique to him. If I were to do this, and if my travels ALSO ever took me into Zul’Gurub where the troll gods and their foul venom held sway and I captured some of that, then I would be rewarded with a massive weapon.
A freaking two handed sledgehammer with all these spikes and red glowing symbols and just holy shit badass OMG, I know right?
This weapon of insane awesomeness was just, crap, do you even know what the name of it was? They called it, and I am not shitting you here, DOOMULUS PRIME.
Doomulus fucking Prime.
Sounds like the cranky older Decepticon that used to kick Optimus Prime in the nuts and steal his lunch money, right?
And did it look awesome? Oh yes it did, especially with the black glow around it like some evil ‘don’t fuck with me’ aura when properly enchanted.
I wanted that weapon. It wasn’t legendary, it wasn’t even epic, but what it was to me was a visible symbol that I was raiding, taking part in epic battles across the length and breadth of Azeroth.
To bear that weapon as a feral Druid would be the ultimate achievement. Ultimate Doomulus Prime!
We did enter the Ruins, we met the bosses, and were victorious. I held within my bags one half of the requirement for attaining the prize, and I hungered for the day when I would see the other half.
My hopes, however, seemed destined for failure. Trolls just weren’t all that interesting, and the only reason people would remotely consider going was to see if a certain Rogue in the group could get the other sword that would let them turn into a tiger sometimes when fighting.
Getting a war party of twenty gathered together for the selfish desires of one Rogue didn’t matter a hill of beans for us little people. These were the old days, the bad days, when that 10% of mouth breathers weren’t just endured, wars were tuned to take it into account. Show up for war why? Waste a raid night for what? Right. Um, no.
That evil can just grow, call me when it’s ripe for plucking.
My despair was averted for one reason; the rise of the alts.
The idea that one soul could have two bodies, and that both of those bodies could have equal power in epic war was unheard of… until the opening of the Dark Portal drew near. The phenomenon grew where one soul might be shared between two bodies, one lying dormant while the other went forth to war. And while they might be equally experienced and savvy at the ways of battle, one would be newer, younger, and in need of arms and armor.
To gear those alternative bodies, our war party took ship from Kalimdor to venture into the jungles of Stranglethorn in search of troll gods to kill. And I went with them.
I was freaking ecstatic. Death to the troll gods! Screw truth, justice and Mary Poppins, just give me mah hammah!
We killed the gods, I looted their venom and returned both poisons to Cenarion Hold, and in return they gave me Doomulus Prime.
The victory was made all the sweeter for having been a 100% feral victory. This was loot that I won by playing the way I like to play in a time when it wasn’t just the guilds that enforced preferred playstyles, by itemizing sets for healing the frozen gods of the blizzard seemed to be enabling it.
I bore Doomulus Prime as my feral weapon from that point on, and nothing could replace it in my heart. I knew the time would inevitably come when something more powerful came my way, but it was my one true love. Yes, a huge black sledgehammer with glowing red runes was my one true love. Don’t judge.
How much sweeter, then, that when the Dark Portal opened and Druids entered seeking to tank ALL the things as Bears, the ultimate weapon of feral tanking domination was identical to Doomulus Prime in every way except color? Earthwarden was boldly swung by Druid Tanks for a long time as we waged our battles amongst the stars, each and every one carrying on the legacy that was started with Doomulus Prime, whether they knew it or not.
Times change, the wars go ever on though the battlefields move around. Now we find ourselves struggling to prevent the end of all that is, for Deathwing has returned, and brought with him all the fury of the Old Gods madness.
Tomorrow, who knows where our battles will take us? Perhaps our work with Deathwing will make us so thirsty we will venture out in search of the legendary land of hops and barley, where the brews are so fine we’ll be too drunk to wage war anymore.
As I head into battle once again this night, I find with sadness the weapon I clutch to be neither staff nor hammer but a huge polearm, a weapon once reserved for other, lower classes of people. Like Hunters. A fine weapon, but one whose beginnings and traditions belong to another class entirely.
If this is what I must carry now, so be it.
I wear my “Elder” title over my head with pride, and I cast my thoughts back over the years with a sense of wistfulness over the way things have changed. The weapons we carry have always been one of the prime symbols of our ongoing struggles, and while we can still use many weapons, it has become nearly impossible to find some types that we could use that would be worth the wielding.
Maybe someday in the future things will change again. The waves of war will wash over us, and we will see another two handed mace that brings back the legacy that was Doomulus Prime.
Perhaps our paws will hold a weapon that hearkens back to the miles traveled with Earthwarden.
A mace to be carrying on with.
Until that time, I have my memories, and I do what I can to keep them from fading away into the mists.
My fellow Bears, we shall never forget.