Character Full Name: Arrok Stonehoof
Character In-Game Name: Arrok
Nickname(s): The Night Hunter, Arr.
Association(s): Thunderbluff, The Horde
Skills and Abilities:
- Gun Specialization Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Although Arrok is a fine bow user, it is with guns that his abilities truly shine. He treats his blunderbuss with utmost care and knows how to use it proficiently.
- Hawk Eye Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Arrok's keen sight allows him not only to see things a little before most everyone else, but also helps him improve his aim.
- Counterattack Ã¢â‚¬â€œ With a sword or bare hands, Arrok can handle himself in close-raged combat; however, he will almost always try to expand the distance to shot the foe, as that is what he does best.
- Plain Strider Ã¢â‚¬â€œ By having the need to travel great distances while refusing to use a Kodo as a mount, Arrok's running speed and stamina became notable.
- Tracker Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Arrok can read the signs left by someone (or something) in order to attempt to find it.
- Camouflage Ã¢â‚¬â€œ By choosing the right clothing Arrok can cloak himself in natural surroundings though never with the efficacy of a rogue.
- Skinner Ã¢â‚¬â€œ From Ruon's teachings, Arrok learned how to skin beasts proficiently.
- Part-time Engineer Ã¢â‚¬â€œ While nowhere near to master the craft, Arrok knows a few things about engineering, mainly how to keep his gun in good shape and how to improve it slightly.
- Survivalist Ã¢â‚¬â€œ By knowing how to choose the best edible parts out of animals, to fish with the bare minimum, to make campfires, to cook some fundamental meals and to craft bandages, Arrok is familiar with the vital tricks of survival.
Usual Garments/Armor: Arrok will usually be clad in gray and dark bluish gray outfit, consisting of a black hat, a sleeveless metal breastplate covered with furred clothing inside, a couple of fingerless gloves, a buckled belt and a pair of scaled and robust leather pants. If the hunter is in a cold place, this outfit will be complemented with a dark leather vest wore beneath the breastplate.
If going on a mission which requires him to be not easily seen, he will dress in a camouflage attire which is better fit for the condition.
He is never seen without a blunderbuss or, rarely, a bow, and a sabre, a dagger or a knuckle brass.
Other: Arrok has a very deep and ugly scar on his snout. Hanging from his belt, next to his right thigh, is a small leather bag, usually filled with herbs, a lighter and a wood pipe, as well as some bandage and slices of dried meat.
Alignment: True Neutral
Arrok is a laid back individual who enjoys having luxuries, be them a comfortable bed or a delicious tea. The tauren is never helpful or altruistic, if that will detract too much from his own well-being. Of course, Arrok will not refuse to help those who really need, but he is not one of going around handing out everything he has except for his loincloth. Truthful and honest, although never very sweet with words, Arrok is brave and excessively impulsive, never bothering much about means, as he believes the ends will justify them Ã¢â‚¬â€œ after all, if he is going to kill someone, it does not matter if there is honour involved, as that being is going to die anyway. The hunter is very pragmatic, trait which makes his views rather pessimistic. Moreover, Arrok holds grudges with some ease and he will try to get revenge if he deems so necessary.
Unlike most other Tauren, he is not very fond of animals, as they were always against the few who cared for him during his time with the Stonehoof tribe, to the point Arrok's personal experience of having his good friend and mentor trampled under a Kodo made him to refuse to use the lumbering beasts as a mean of transport. Instead, Arrok improved his running skills over the years. He never paid much mind to the Tauren traditions, just the bare minimum not to get exiled by his tribe back in the day. The hunter does believe in the Earthmother as the doer of things science cannot explain, but, otherwise, he holds his beliefs close to his rationality.
Due to his background, Arrok tries not to be a racist, but he usually refrains from being a big friend to the Alliance supporters, as he wants to thank the Horde for aiding in unite his people, and that would be counterproductive, unless it means business that will not prejudice his faction.
You want to hear a tale, eh? It's fine mate, I'll give you one.
It all started quite a while ago... It was over half a century, in fact. Back then, a female tauren lived happily alongside her mate, both of them with a Ã¢â‚¬Å“oh so perfectÃ¢â‚¬Â snowy fur.
Their tribe prospered, and, as such, the taureness could dedicate herself to a less useful craft: sculpturing. Although she did not feed or dress anyone, she was so good at what she did that she became a prominent member of her tribe.
But, mate, while life's not a sea of roses, some people make it even less pink on their own accord. That's what the taureness did.
As you probably know, Tauren tribes used to be mostly nomadic. The tribes rarely met, however, when they did, there was always some partying, and whatnot, to celebrate the fact. One day, the taureness' tribe met the brutal Grimtotem. Of course, the other tribe wasn't very glad, but traditions were traditions, and a mild, if not tense, social gathering was hosted as it had ever been.
During said gathering, the pure and exalted taureness caught a glimpse of what she believed to be Tauren perfection: a tall, muscular, all pretty and fine bull... except that he was a Grimtotem, his fur unmistakably black. But love, or desire, was powerful enough to render her common sense defenceless. The Grimtotem also saw something in her, whatever it was. Hence, that night they slipped away and... Well, mate, we don't need details for this, do we?
Moving on... Nobody ever got to know what happened during that night, at least, not right away. Fate has its twists and it decided to play one on the unsuspecting taureness.
Her belly started to swell, and, soon enough, the Shaman knew she was pregnant.
Obviously, people thought the baby was her mate's, the second to come from his blood Ã¢â‚¬â€œ they already had an adorable small female calf, her pelt a mirror of her parents'.
The facade lasted for a good while, but lies never endure the passing of time. When the taureness finally gave birth, the calf was not pure white like it should be... instead, his cloak was pitching black.
Yes, that's right mate. That calf was me and this is my history. Don't leave yet, though, if you want to continue to listen to a tale. There's still some stuff that needs to be known.
Like I was saying, the taureness, my mother, gave birth to me, a black calf. At first, her mate felt confusion, and, afterwards, came rage, a burning outburst of emotions that made me cry the hell out of my lungs right away! Disgusted, not just by my mother's betrayal but also by part of my heritage, he ended his mateship with her and rejected me, as well as my sister, as his kin.
I can't say I have had a happy calfhood Ã¢â‚¬â€œ at least, it wasn't joyous in the way one would imagine. More than anything, it had its moments...
Throughout my first years, my innocence overcame the hateful glances and rude comments. I simply played with my sister, like all other Tauren calves. Tag, Hide and Seek... all those games that entertained us while honing our mental and physical skills, to ready us for life.
The other calves refused to play with me, so I grew very attached to her. Wherever my sister was, it was very common to find me as well. To this day, I still care a lot about her...
When I reached the age when my muscles started to stuff and my size to increase, my naivety remained mostly intact. Eventually, besides the old light-hearted competitions I had with my sister, I was finally accepted among the other Tauren to play a game... one in which I had to wrestle with other male youths.
Modesty aside, I was fairly good at it and won often. Slowly, I started to see grudges behind their small eyes, for they wanted to give the Ã¢â‚¬Å“half-Grimtotem scumÃ¢â‚¬Â a beating and leave my moral reduced to pulp, but, instead, I always appeared jolly during the matches.
After that realization, I began paying more attention to what others said when they were close to me. It was not unusual to hear mutters of a Ã¢â‚¬Å“Night FiendÃ¢â‚¬Â and, in time, I found out that they used that lovely term because I was considered a fiend, with pelt as black as the night, who had been conceived in a fiendish night...
I tried to ignore those comments, but it wasn't easy, mate, when the only person that truly liked me was my pure white sister, who everyone, including myself, pitied for having such a terrible brother... but yet everyone refused to treat her truly well, and I grew to blame myself.
One day, while she and I were playing tag, a vicious lioness (for she didn't have a mane) jumped from within a set of bushes and tried to pounce at my sister. However, I was quicker. I leapt, placing myself in front of her and sponged the blow. That did not hurt me too much, except for a scratch or two, but the filthy beast kept clawing me as I wrestled it, and soon blood was pouring freely from my snout.
I don't know how, but I managed to snap the lioness neck. Sure that the rampaging creature was dead, I rose up, with my breath ragged and a victorious smile on my lips, and eyed my sister. Thankfully, she was alright, though she looked at me with her beautiful eyes completely wide, as if I, too, was a dangerous beast.
Late to the party, a group of hunters from our tribe came, and the gratitude I received for my heroic actions was a slap on my bloody face.
Fortunately, after the shock, my sister understood I was doing my best to protect her, and we became even closer. The scars I then bore and still bear on my snout disfigured me, yet, instead of making me the pride of my tribe, they were the mark of my brutality. It's amusing what hatred can do to one's deeds.
At last, I found someone else. He was already an adult when we met and I was little more than a youth, but his warm amber eyes were more open than everyone else's, and his gray fur transmitted a sense of lack of bias, perfect neutrality...
The Tauren, Ruon, was one of the tribe's greatest hunters, and upon hearing nobody was willing to teach me the ancestral arts of survival, he decided it was time to intervene. He called me to his tent, and I got ready to hear some more rude bellowing saying that I should just go and die in a hole.
What happened next, however, was far beyond my most optimistic expectations.
Ruon and I shared introductions, and then, he scolded not me, but the tribe. He thought they were being short sighted and awfully cruel. I was shocked, but content all the same. My sight was clouded, due to my joyous tears, I suppose. When you are despised and find anyone who is eager to help you... Mate, it's the best feeling in the world.
To my delight, Ruon offered to be my mentor, and I promptly accepted. Between stumbling words and sobbing, I managed to promise him I'd give it all, and even more, to thank him for his kindness.
My life changed quite a bit. While the other Tauren were still reluctant to accept me, after I got a highly-respect member of the tribe as my mentor, the comments died down (though I was aware the hate was still there) and my sister was immediately taken under the wing of another taureness, who had been afraid of public repression, to teach her the same arts I was learning.
Knowing that my sister was now in good hands, I could focus on my current task: become a good hunter for the tribe.
Ruon proved to be both a good friend and a good teacher. With him I learned how to track down beasts, as well as how to land a killing blow without having to wrestle them. He also taught me how to skin animals without damaging their meat, how to get the most out of them (which organs are good, which are bad) and, most importantly, what their behaviour was. Indeed, it was with him that I learned the powerful motto Ã¢â‚¬Å“know your enemyÃ¢â‚¬Â.
As years drifted by lazily, without anything new going on, I grew to become the great hunter I had promised to be, but, unfortunately, Ruon wasn't there to watch me complete my rites. A couple years before I did them, he was trampled by his ridding Kodo, for no apparent reason. Ancestors have mercy of his soul. Since then, I began despising those mucky creatures, refusing to ride them unless there is no other choice.
At last, the time for change to appear once more finally came. One fateful morning, my sister told me that a couple of races, called Orcs and Trolls, had helped the Tauren, mostly of the Bloodhoof tribe, to drive the Centaur away and allow passage to the verdant hills of Mulgore.
More than wanting to go with my tribe to these flourishing lands, I wished to meet those two races who had been strong and kind enough to help mine. A new chapter started for me, mate.
Sorrowfully, I told my sister that I couldn't take our tribe anymore, and that I would leave to find out a new path for my life. Many tears were shed by us during that day, though it was with a smile that she bid me farewell. By having her blessing alone, I didn't need anything else.
Since I refused to take a Kodo with me, the road to Orgrimmar was long and harsh, however, when I arrived, my jaw dropped to the dusty red ground of Durotar. Sure, the city was still being built. Nevertheless it was already impressive, with its great walls and many buildings. Probably a human would find the architecture crude, but for a nomadic fellow like myself it was huge and wonderful.
There I made my first friends among the Orcs and Trolls. From my talks with them I got some odd speech patterns, mate, at least as far as Tauren standards go. They were nice fellows, from harsh backgrounds and without the black and white sight my tribe had. Although they were kind, I did not want to live out of charity and managed to find my first job.
Caravans came and went between Orgrimmar and a recently built Goblin settlement (I had met a few of their race in Orgrimmar, small and ingenious creatures indeed) called Ratchet, where they barely knew what Tauren were. However, that was not a problem, for they liked us for our size and mighty combat expertise, as well as our calm and pragmatic behaviour outside the heat of battle. For those jobs, the only weapon I had was my old spear, a gift from Ruon himself, but I needed the money and I was certain of my abilities.
My overconfidence was shaken soon enough. Despite my high hopes, caravans proved to attract more attention than a single traveling bull, and renegades from all races I knew, even Tauren and the pink skinned humans, tried to raid us. While I and the rest of the guarding party always managed to drive them away, I scored wounds easily.
Thus came the great advice of a troll, scarred by years of battle, who fought with a gun. He told me guns were great mercenary tools, allowing you to shoot before being slashed to pieces. Under his guidance, I bought my first blunderbuss (in second hand, for coins weren't plentiful) and I was taught how to use it by him. Mate, it was love at first sight.
The blunderbuss didn't have as much range as the troll's gun, but it worked well enough and I was able to keep it in shape, as I had picked up the basics of engineering from occasional talks with the Goblin and some self-teaching. During battle, I rarely had to raise my sabre, a gift from a caravan driver whose life I had saved once. I found sabres and swords in general to be so much better one handed weapons than axes or maces... while the sword slashed with ease and elegance, axes and maces were choppy and better used in two hands or with a shield.
Anyhow...Once I accumulated enough money to be able to afford being without working for a while, I decided to pay Mulgore a visit, to see how my brethren, and especially my sister, were doing.
When I ran from Ratchet to Mulgore, I could easily feel the difference in my speed and stamina as opposed to the years before. It felt great, mate, as did the sight of Mulgore. Green as promised, with plenty of water and beasts to slay, it was a long lost paradise, or a perhaps a quite big oasis.
I rapidly spotted the bluffs to the distance and knew, thanks to the power of gossip, that these were the new and mighty Tauren capital, Thunder Bluff.
If Orgrimmar amazed me, Thunder Bluff left me dumbstruck. It wasn't fortified like the orcish capital and it didn't need to be, for anyone sought to ascend had to use lifts. I'm sure that, if I were an enemy, the guards would have knocked me down from the bluffs right away. However, even though I was expecting hateful glances... I didn't spot any. The guards looked at me and treated me as an equal, and I made sure to rush our introductions so I could pour joyous tears without anyone seeing.
In Thunderbluff, white Tauren, black Tauren, brown Tauren, gray Tauren... everyone lived in peace, without rude comments, without hate. That was the glory of the Horde Ã¢â‚¬â€œ the glory of union.
My stay on Thunderbluff wasn't long, for two reasons. First, I didn't find my motive to stay, for my sister wasn't there. I tried to ask for her, but no matter how nice and kind, the other Tauren had no idea of whom she was and where she was. Second, I had to repay the Horde for their miracle somehow.
I raced back to Orgrimmar, where I bought my tool of trade Ã¢â‚¬â€œ a new blunderbuss Ã¢â‚¬â€œ to help the Horde. I joined in a few attacks against the Alliance, and while the payment wasn't impressive, the sense of fulfilment for helping those who had given me so much made up for all it.
Still, I permitted myself to be a little selfish towards the organization and, once in a while, take a job as a mercenary or two to get some extra coins. I always thought that was fair, for I wouldn't fight that well for the Horde if I wasn't well geared, fed and rested.
To this day, that's still pretty much what I do. I travel around, help the Horde, hoard some coins... and search for my sister. I'll tell you mate, I beg to the Earthmother that she is alright, and that I'll be able to find her.