Character Full Name: Ghurm Whitehoof
Character In-game name: Ghurm
Association(s): Whitehoof Tribe, Thunder Bluff (loosely), the Ash Wardens (ex), the Timbermaw Tribe (loosely)
Skills and Abilities: Ghurm has been a practicing shaman for his tribe for most of his life, and can organize celebrations and rituals faster than most of the other shaman in his tribe. In times of conflict and violence, Ghurm has resorted to the use of lightning. Most of the time, he uses the power of lightning in order to scare away any threats, but his bolts are also known for the many people and beasts he has killed with them. He has fundamental hunting skills he learned in order to survive on his vision quests. A few uses of herbs and other natural objects were taught to him by his mother, which he has used along with fundamental medical skills during times of battle with Centaur. Through his travels he has learned a number of languages, but his fluency varies. He is fluent in Taur'ahe and Orcish, somewhat fluent in Darnassian, and knows a few words and phrases of Ursine.
Age: 68 years old
Hair: His fur is mostly white, though there are two graying brown patches on his body, one on his lower back and the other on his upper right leg. His beard hangs down nine inches in length. Within his beard, behind a few layers of dirty white scraggle, hang braids with small beads of bone on their ends.
Eyes: His are deep pools, dark blue in color; they are very deep in his face and a few wrinkles surround them.
Weight: 526 pounds
Ghurm wears robes made out of kodo skin, leather, and wolf fur. A few slivers of emeralds and sapphires are sewn into the chest to form a crescent shape. Ghurm has dyed the fur that covers the sides of his robes blue and green. For increased mobility, he has lace at the abdominal section of the robes, which also keep the robes snug against his figure. Underneath his robes, he wears wool undergarments. On his back he carries a small backpack made out of a kodo's stomach; the backpack is generally full of totems, carved and uncarved, and a large coat made out of leather and brown wolf fur (on the inside of this coat, there are a few Ursine markings). He has a thick leather belt that he made himself; it is old, and the edges are fuzzy and splitting. Along his belt there are pouches made from smaller kodo organs, which he uses to carry his water in, organize his herbs, hold coin, et cetera. He also carries a jagged knife, which he uses for a variety of purposes. On his back, but more often in his right hand, is a simple wooden staff.
Other: His rather large horns stretch out to the side, almost a foot and a half each. There are very minute figures of Tauren inscribed onto his horns in thin lines; one of these figures has been sloppily scratched out. His tail is long, and it would touch the ground if the long fur on the end of it wasn't often cut short. The only scars on his body are on his lower legs, which he brushes his fur over to hide.
When Ghurm is in a room his Tauren stature usually can’t be ignored, but despite that, chances are he is also the quietest in the room. He uses words only when they are necessary. He speaks with a very low and somewhat croaky voice. If asked a question, he would likely try to answer it as directly as possible. Laconic in his motivation, he has trouble interacting with another person for long intervals of time. When he has a long conversation with an ancestor, he feels overwhelmed and struggles not to rush the conversation to an end and offend the ancestor. Ironically, he often finds himself doing a lot of talking. He does have a few quirks. When he finds himself in a new place, he often stands still and presses his fingers together as he scans his surroundings. He often doesn’t know what to do with his hands and tends to tug at his beard or pick at his belt when he isn’t doing something with them.
Ghurm is only open to talking to Tauren without getting to know them beforehand. He trusts Night Elves due to similar beliefs, but doesn’t often converse with them due to language and faction barriers. Though he doesn’t approve of some of the things their races have done, he tries to judge Orc and Troll by the action of the individual and not the race as a whole. After enough negative encounters with Forsaken and Goblin, he hates their kind. He doesn’t know what to think about Blood Elves since he has only encountered a few and the same goes for other races. There are many peoples that he hasn't met, and given the chance to meet them, he will do so with curiosity and caution.
Ever since the vision quests and his tribe falling apart, Ghurm has become relatively depressed and aloof. Often not knowing what to use his abilities for and what to do with his position in the world, he is simultaneously distant yet extroverted. Even if you stand in front of the man, there's something about him that might seem like he's far from where he really is.
While wandering the lands of the Barrens, a small tribe stopped to celebrate the birth of a new member. At the time, the tribe’s hunt was scarce and many had become hungry. They were only able to hold a quaint celebration for his birth because they didn’t have much to eat. However, since Ghurm’s fur was almost completely white, they marked him as a symbol of hope for the tribe. This is because before Ghurm was born, his older sister Owakule was born in a time when the tribe was thriving. Her fur (aside from a streak of white along the side of her torso) was a solid black, which was rare along the tribe’s particular bloodline. After she was born, the Centaur had grown in number and the hunt grew scarce, and a few members of the tribe thought of her fur color as an ill omen after one of their shaman spoke to the spirit of a black furred ancestor whose actions cost the tribe many kodo during his time. Therefore, they hoped that, a child of the exact opposite color born from the same parent might symbolize that their times of darkness were ending. They were wrong.
The hardship of the tribe continued, but they grew closer through their struggle and with this strengthened bond, they were able to survive. Ghurm and Owakule on the other hand, were sibling rivals. Owakule would often tease Ghurm about being more experienced than he was; at the age of thirteen, she had already completed her first vision quest. It was unusual for a Tauren so young to go off on her own and to have shown enough strength to do so, and she boasted about this quite often. He would often retort by saying that she wasn’t acting mature as she should. Ghurm was only a year younger than Owakule but had less confidence and strength than she had. He did have the ability to hear the spirits talk, which often made his sister jealous. She eventually accepted that she would take the path of the hunter and often learned from her father, whereas Ghurm would learn the ways of the shaman from his grandmother. Ghurm became a cautious person after listening to all of her tales and Owakule became patient but foolhardy under the teaching of her father. A year later, their father’s carelessness brought him to his death.
That year, the hunt had become scarce again and even the hunters themselves had grown thin and weak. His father, part of a group of four hunters, chased a lone wolf into the wrong place; they found themselves in Centaur territory. The Centaur killed all four of them. The tribe was devastated as well as thinned of hunters. Though in mourning, Owakule knew that she also had to pick up for the loss and from then on was driven to hunt for food day and night, distancing herself from her family. Ghurm took the loss as nothing more, and continued to learn under his grandmother’s tutelage. What he didn’t realize was that as the years went on the other Tauren his age were falling in love or becoming infatuated with one another, and Ghurm even had his own short-lived infatuations, but he never knew how to go through with them because he had no male figure in his life to teach him how. As time when on he began to fear and respect women as the females in his life grew fiercer as they aged. When he went on his vision quest at the age of seventeen, he was surprised to find that his spirit animal was a feminine one, the turtle. His first vision quest predetermined his character, granting him strong desires and even stronger fears; when he set off into the Barrens alone, he became lost on his way and almost fell prey to the beasts that roamed it, but he also learned to put his trust in the paths that rivers carved into the now dry plains.
His spirit animal didn’t change until decades later, at the age of 42, when he took another vision quest into the mountains after dreaming of a Tauren climbing up the snow covered slope of a mountain. There, he found a very large nest of spiders and observed their behavior for some time. He discovered that when spiders felt a vibration in their web, they scrambled to the source in order to put an end to the disturbance. After two full months away from his tribe, he felt that he had been gone for too long and that they might be disturbed by his absence. As if to confirm his newfound thoughts, he returned to find his mother gravely ill. Though he was devastated by her death, he had also renewed his confidence by taking that vision quest into the mountains and was able to give new advice to the hunters that helped them greatly. For the next few years, the hunt became better and the tribe grew stronger and larger. When Ghurm was 51, his tribe moved itself into Mulgore.
Only one problem occurred when they journeyed into Mulgore: Centaur. Encouraged by none other than Owakule, many of the hunters also became warriors in a battle against the Centaur. Sadly, they lost most of their battles and the tribe was forced to relocate across Mulgore several times until Owakule’s grandmother and several other elders of the tribe suggested that their battles were futile and that the tribe should relocate to the Barrens again. Seeing that a fourth of its body died in the fight against the Centaur, the tribe regrettably agreed with the elders and left Mulgore. Owakule begged her tribe to stay and keep fighting but they ignored her. She bit her tongue and left Mulgore with them, but for years, she quietly disliked her tribe for what she considered cowardice. She was particularly bitter towards Ghurm, even openly so, because he was very persuasive in convincing the tribe that they wouldn’t win a war with the Centaur. For years they didn’t talk to each other.
It wasn’t until years later, when word came to the tribe of the Orc helping the Tauren fighting to take their land back from the Centaur, when the tribe opened their ears to Owakule again. Despite a lot of defiance towards the elders of the tribe, she was able to persuade enough of the tribe to join the Tauren and Orc’s fight in Mulgore for the tribe to return to the land. Ghurm himself, at the age of 58 at the time, felt that his job was to look after the younger and older Tauren rather than fight with his sister. Though the tribe lost another third of its members in the battle, the battle was a successful one. The tribe feels a renewed pride in their race, and as Thunder Bluff is being built, many of its members decide that their tribe should either become a part of the settlement or stay nearby, and after months of discussion the majority of the tribe agrees to this.
Many members of the tribe even lived in Thunder Bluff from time to time, and Owakule was one of them. She learned of the many clans that resided there and there was one in particular that she admired the most, which was the Grimtotem Clan and its desire to reclaim Kalimdor for the Tauren. She eventually decided that she wanted to aid the clan in its motivations. Ghurm and other members of the tribe eventually learned of this and warned her to stay with the tribe or their ancestors would be disgraced. She didn’t listen to her tribe and before they could cast her out, she casted herself out, recruited by the Grimtotems to take action on the Goblin that plagued their land. Ghurm never saw her or heard from her again. He resumed his work with guiding the younger Tauren of the tribe, warning them that despite their shared beliefs with the Orc that they should not join the Horde and its initiatives. This was something that the elders of the tribe agreed with Ghurm about, but with the young growing in number, Ghurm and the elders soon became a minority of traditionalists.
When he turned 60, Ghurm took another vision quest through the Barrens, Durotar, and onto the shore of the sea. Though he had no dreams or conversations with any ancestors that inspired this journey, he felt that in order to organize his thoughts and worries about the current condition of his people that he should seek wisdom from the water. It was then when he witnessed the supposedly shamanistic Orc using wood for their city and not planting seed in order to give back to the Earthmother. The Orc were harming the Earthmother and that they were not the respectable shaman he once thought them to be.
He decided that he would never associate himself with the Horde and tried to persuade his tribe to do the same, but only a few agreed with the reasons he gave for disassociation. Many of the Tauren learned of Ghurm speaking out against the Horde and looked down on him for it. But after seven years pass by, he continues to refuse to aid the Horde. Many of the people that once agreed with Ghurm have lost their traditionalist mindset or have been claimed by old age. Old and frail, Ghurm’s grandmother could barely move but still speaks as loudly as Ghurm does against the Horde. She has a dream of a very large tree and tells Ghurm to take a vision quest for her and for himself. He leaves, not knowing that she passed away a few days later.
His vision quest took him into Ashenvale, where he learned of the destruction of the forest that the Orcs were responsible for, and about the people that lived there. He ventured further, into the Felwood, and learned of the troubles that his grandmother must have known about. However, he found himself weak, unable to do anything to change those warped woods. Attacked by satyr and nearly killed, he was rescued by the Timbermaw Furbolg. He would spend a few months trying to work with them to heal their forest, and went through a number of trials, challenges from Furbolgs, and even attacks from those who disapproved of letting this strange Shu'halo into their home. Eventually, he would be convinced to return to his people with the knowledge that he gained, and after the Cataclysm happened, Ghurm has stayed at his people's side, aiding them in this time of crises.
When he returned to his tribe, he found out that his grandmother had passed away not long after he set off on his spirit quest. Before she passed away, she asked for her prized possession to be either passed on to her grandson or put in her casket alongside her body if he wasn't to be found. Since he wasn't around, a hunter that was close to her said that he would try to find Ghurm and deliver this item to him. The item was a bracelet made out of colored wood and multiple gemstones (rubies, peridot, and quartz). When he was out camping in the barrens, a group of brigands stole a number of items out of his pack while he was starting a fire, and the bracelet was one of those items. The hunter was unable to identify anything about the thieves other than the types of shoes they were wearing. He drew the pattern of the boots so that he might find out more about them, but eventually gave up on the search once he figured out that nearly everyone close to Ghurm was dead and he might have been as well, since he hadn't appeared for nearly a year. Then, as the cataclysm happened, the man returned. The hunter felt obliged to tell him about what happened, and gave him the drawing of the boot pattern in case Ghurm still felt like searching for it. So Ghurm went to Orgrimmar and Ratchet to find shoemakers, and soon enough he identified the maker of the boots with the matching pattern in Ratchet. With this clue, he continues his search for the bracelet.
Although he is primarily focused on the missing object, Ghurm is also active in trying to take part in restoring the elements that have been disturbed by the recent events.