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Player: JVNemesis

Character Full Name: Aharu Windstrider

Character In-Game Name: Aharu

Nickname(s): None

Association(s): Thunder Bluff, the Horde

Race: Tauren

Class: Druid

Age: 21

Sex: Male

Hair: Black

Eyes: Brown

Weight: 463 lbs.

Height: 8' 2”


Aharu wears simple outfits of leather straps and harnesses that cover his wrists, ankles, waist, and very little else. There are several pouches hanging from the straps; a waterskin, flint, a handful of coins, and assorted other gear are also attached. This is partially to aid in his shape-shifting, partially because it is simple to maintain away from civilization (modesty is a foreign concept), and partially because the sun is already very warm for a black-furred tauren.

Other: Aharu does not carry a weapon. A long scar snakes from his shoulder straight down his back. It is visible on all of his different animal forms and his native tauren form.


Alignment: Neutral Good

Aharu is young and inquisitive, always ready to explore an unseen land or learn something new. His druidic training has made him completely at ease around animals and in nature. He is calm and slow to anger, but when his more feral side is roused he can be vicious. He loves spending time in animal form, experiencing new things in different bodies. He is completely at home there, the body feeling as natural as his own.

His experiences with the Grimtotem have left him very wary of and nervous around the tribe and, indeed, black-furred tauren in general. Logically, he knows this prejudice is irrational (amusingly enough, he himself is black-furred, but not Grimtotem), but it is a phobia he has had no success in overcoming. This fear is also occasionally triggered by other stimuli; someone shouting at him, advancing in a particularly threatening way, and a few other specific triggers can cause him to cringe or lock up for no visibly apparent reason.


Aharu's tribe was nomadic, as most were, and frequently wandered between the Barrens, Dustwallow Marsh and Thousand Needles. He was born during a centaur attack, his mother driven into labor early by the stress. The midwife was unable to reach her in time, and she died in childbirth, her final act safely delivering her son into the world. His father, despite having many other duties to attend to, tried his best to raise the calf with the help of the rest of the tribe.

More tragedy followed, however, as Aharu's father was killed a few years later during another centaur raid as the tribe passed through the same area his mother had died. The tribe's druid took responsibility for Aharu, raising the young tauren and teaching him the ways of the Earthmother. Aharu proved himself a devoted student, though he had no real aptitude for spells. What he did have an affinity for, however, was the magic that allowed him to shift into animal form. This he learned exceedingly quickly, and spent more and more time in a skin that was not tauren.

This worried his instructor, who feared his mind would soon begin to degenerate into a more feral form because of the time he spent in such a skin. To prevent that, he placed severe limitations on Aharu's use of the transformations. The young tauren chafed at the restrictions, but dutifully obeyed.

Several years into his training, yet another centaur raid left Aharu's tribe crippled. Many had been slain in the attack, including Aharu's teacher and foster parent, and Aharu himself had suffered a terrible wound which split his entire back open to the bone, nearly killing him. They were saved by the intervention of a Grimtotem hunting party, which was passing by, and Aharu survived, though he would carry the scar for the remainder of his life.

Bereft of his teacher, Aharu was unable to advance his training and subsequently failed to master many of the more powerful and advanced druidic abilities. He focused on what he knew, and his feral techniques continued to develop.

Aharu's tribe, knowing they would be unable to survive on their own, joined with the Grimtotem that had saved them. They traveled for years together, and the distinction of those who had been Windstriders began to blur as they were absorbed into the other, larger, tribe. A few among them, however, Aharu included, refused to give up their tribe name, which caused a rift between them and those who had accepted the new tribe's name, not to mention invoking the suspicious eye of the Grimtotem.

When Thunder Bluff was created and the tauren joined the Horde, there was a schism between the Grimtotem and the former Windstriders, many of whom had not yet absorbed the Grimtotem's ethnocentric views. The Windstriders wished to settle, to aid their fledgling city and new allies however they could. The Grimtotem disagreed. They despised the tauren's new 'allies', and would never assist them. Some of the Windstriders came around to the Grimtotem's point of view, but the majority remained intractable, Aharu among them. The Grimtotem could not let such an affront go unpunished.

As one, the Grimtotem turned on their 'traitorous' kin, and in a single bloody night the Windstriders were annihilated. Aharu managed to escape the massacre, and in the process was forced to kill one of the Grimtotem who came after him. Only his druidic abilities (which, weak as they were, had been a source of amusement and ridicule for some of the Grimtotem) saved him, and allowed him to slip away more or less intact. To his knowledge, he is the only survivor.

Taking the life of one of his kin sent waves of horror through Aharu nearly as severe as the slaughter of his tribe. Young as he was, he had been shielded from most conflicts up to that point, and had been too young to remember the details of his parents' deaths. His first real fight was, in his mind, fratricide.

From that moment on he swore never to take the life of another tauren. Despite the Grimtotem's dark deeds, he could not bring himself to respond in kind.

Ever since his flight from the Grimtotem he has lived and traveled alone, ever wary for any Grimtotem who may remember the fledgling Windstrider, the one who got away. The unlikeliness of such a thing happening has never occurred to him.


The fact that Aharu's training was cut short is glaringly obvious, should he be required to do anything beyond shape-shifting. His spells are mediocre at best; even the simplest healing magic requires an enormous amount of concentration from him. It isn't any innate incompetence; he simply has a natural inclination for shape-shifting magic, and that is the only form that developed after losing his teacher.

Aharu is not a powerful combatant; as a tauren he has the strength and build to be reasonably competent in melee, but he has no weapons training to speak of and any offensive spells he tries generally fail dismally. In animal form he is far more formidable, but the transformation itself is the problem; he is now an animal. However sharp a cat's claws and teeth are, they help little against fireballs and arrows.

As a nomadic tauren, he was already self-sufficient, but he quickly grew even more competent at surviving in the wilderness alone, both by avoiding enemies and finding food for himself. His shape-shifting was invaluable, making his hunting easier and allowing him to escape many dangerous situations.