General Information Edit
The Skulldance Clan is a casual RP and raiding guild. The clan has been around since the second day of the server. We have been through many changes. In the two years plus of the server's existence, there has never NOT been a Skulldance Clan.
Rise of the Skulldance ClanEditHailing from the lands long since sundered by cataclysm, the Skulldance Clan began as a simple Orc tribal clan nestled on a forested island in the middle of a great lake. Originally, the clan was part of the larger Moonsinger Clan. The Moonsinger Clan, being steeped heavily in shamanism and superstition, received a sign that a Moonsinger shaman named Nazkanu must be sacrificed, or the Moonsinger Clan would be destroyed. The village, fearing the power of the greater Moonsinger shamans, agreed, so Nazkanu and his family were led to prisons to be "given to the dust" upon the morning. But Nazkanu had quite loyal followers, and Nazkanu was freed in the middle of the night, borne away into the hostile wilderness. Though the Moonsingers gave chase, they never found the shaman. Nazkanu led his small band of followers and their families through the wood, guided only by fate, to an island in the middle of a great lake. The shaman and his followers settled here for a generation.
Other Moonsingers and sometimes members of the nearby Five Deadly Fingers Clan, both disliked internally for their superstitious practices, would come into the wilderness and be indoctrinated into the refugee camp. Finally, a generation later, the Moonsinger Clan found the exiles by way of Far Sight and raised an army to destroy the island inhabitants. In their trek through the wilderness, the Moonsinger army was beset by the early onset of winter, the threats of the wilderness, and finally by a storm as they attempted to cross the lake to the island. Taking their misfortune as a sign from the planet, the Moonsinger force retreated back to the village.
The refugees, having seen the force approach, knew it would be a matter of time before favorable weather again brought the Moonsingers to fulfill their prophecy against Nazkanu. So, in a daring raid, the exiles rode great wolves through snowy forests and across the icy plains, gaining favorably in their familiar hunting grounds, and launched a direct attack against the Moonsinger Village. The raid was a gory, violent success. Every shaman not slain beforehand was rounded up and killed, alongside any who did not swear fealty to Nazkanu. And the head of the Moonsinger cheiftain, whose name is long since forgotten, was placed on the end of a chain.
That night, the skulls of their enemies were stripped of their flesh and arrayed in a circle about the bonfire in a spiral. The ecstatic exiles followed Nazkanu in a dance complete with pounding war drums and sharply rising screams and calls, now practiced once yearly on this Draenic anniversary (every few years) as the War Skull Spiral celebratory dance. Nazkanu, for this act and for his future use of dances garnered from the skulls of slain warriors and prey, gained the surname Skulldance. In time, after the Five Deadly Fingers Clan was similarly dispatched and the village grew, the other clans began referring to the exiles as a clan of their own... the Skulldance Clan.
Into AzerothEditTwo generations after Nazkanu Skulldance, Gul'dan sundered the connection of the orcs to the spirits of the lands. The Skulldance Clan, by this point, was notable on a global scale in [Draenor], though they did not have the size of other clans such as the Blackrock Clan and Stormreaver Clan. The shamans, their spirit connections gone, gave themselves over to dark studies, and thus the Skulldance Clan fell sway to the leadership of Warlocks. The Warlocks met with Gul'dan and agreed to lead their people to Hellfire Citadel to join the growing Horde. Leading the Skulldance Clan from their dying homeland to the staging grounds of the first war and the arrival of Mannoroth, they doomed their people to the coming war.
The Skulldance Clan, imbibing the blood of Mannoroth to the last member, joined the first raiding parties into Azeroth. Their style of warfare was rather strange to the other clans. Being from a thick forest strife with conflict, the Skulldance Clan had formed a rather peculiar way to fight. Acting as a contingent of mobile infantry, all of the clan's members, from warlock to laborer, rode on the back of a beast. In this highly mobile style they refused to fight, believing the infantry method of warfare being more versatile. So the Skulldance Clan became the Horde's primary force of dragoon fighters, riding to battle mounted and then dismounting for combat.
Though enjoying success in the first war under Blackhand the Destroyer, they were less loved by Orgrim Doomhammer upon usurping the throne. Doomhammer misused the Skulldance dragoons, eventually sending them back through the portal to be attached to the Warsong Clan. There the Skulldance Clan waited as the Horde attack splintered, faltered, and was decimated.
With the Warsong ClanEditThe Skulldance Clan was responsible for a great amount of Grom Hellscream's success as his company of raiders. Grom became a sort of cult leader to the Skulldance Clan, almost becoming their true Skullkeeper. The Skulldance Clan still holds a great reverence for Grommash this many years later, honoring his sacrifice in Kalimdor. They remained with him through his errands for Ner'zhul and into his exile in Azeroth. The Skulldance Clan remained outside the internment camps for the most part and followed the Warsong Clan after they joined Thrall.
The renewal of the curse of Mannoroth and subsequent death of Grom Hellscream are more than likely the reason for the Skulldance Clan's distrust of demons. Current Warlocks in the Skulldance Clan tend to be paranoid about controlling their demons and the majority of members have a marked hatred of demons and their influences. As such, the Skulldance Clan has played a major role in the effort in the Outland to destroy the Burning Legion.
Casting Off the WarlocksEditThe Warlocks remained masters of the Skulldance Clan even after the refounding of the true shamans. However, the warlocks under their final warlock leader, Vashari, did follow the legacy of the original Skulldance Clan, taking in exiles and submitting them to rigorous trials and tasks before becoming warriors of the Clan. It was not until the sacrifice of Grom Hellscream that the Skulldance Clan threw off the mantle of the Warlocks. Vashari, attempting to draw power again from the Twisting Nether with the most powerful of her warlocks, began a chain reaction she and her warlocks could not stop. Whether this was caused by the subsequent revolt's members (its timing was optimal) or by the warlocks' own mistakes, their play for power immediately spread a demonic infection across the Skulldance Clan. Many Dancers died, changed into demons as their bodies were overtaken. Years of being infused with Fel energies had weakened their natural defenses to demonic influence.
The Skulldance Clan might well have all succumbed had a revolt not occurred within the clan at almost the exact same time. A pair of Dancer generals, named Zatt and Zut, threw off their fel magic enhancements and began leading their tribe to recover the Skulldance Clan before the warlocks. With the loss of Vashari, who disappeared during the ritual she had begun, and with the death or disappearance of all her attending, powerful warlocks, the leaders of the clan had little choice but to surrender their control to the Dancers. With the casting off of the Fel energies and the subsequent lesson the clan had learned of asking demons for more power, Zatt modified the Clan to oppose demonic influence in all its forms. Thus began the Skulldance Clan as it is today, known primarily for its message of self-reliance and its unabashed goal of destroying the demons who attempted to destroy and possess mortals.
Zatt did not, however, throw the remaining warlocks from the Skulldance Clan. Instead, he refocused their mission, "Instead of drawing power from demons as they use you, take power from them as you smash them." Almost every Dancer was taught a new way his skills might be applied against demons and their spawn, the Scourge. Soon after, though, Zatt's mantle of leadership was passed to his adjutant in the revolt, Zut, who led the Skulldance Clan well as a nomadic people. The nomadic Skulldance Clan was called into the Outland to fight for the Warchief. However, as the dragoons were led deeper and deeper into the Netherstorm, Zut vanished, leaving the Clan leaderless.
Anderson Smythe, a Forsaken warrior, took up the Sign and led the warriors through the harrowing path back to Kalimdor and recollected the nomadic tribes together. The reformed Skulldance Clan chose a troll arcanist named Flambee as their next Skullkeeper, or chieftain, and she has led them ever since. One of the most obvious difficulties the Clan faced was its homelessness. Its search in the Outland had turned up only evidence that the original home of the clan was destroyed.
To The PresentEdit
Due to a series of circumstances surrounding Rend Blackhand's demise, the Skulldance Clan was sent through several trials by Thrall himself, eventually culminating in his recognizing the Skulldance Clan's accomplishments by doling out territory for the establishment of their new home. With Blood Elf outcasts now joining the Skulldance Clan, it was not a moment too soon. The Skulldance Clan set up a territory on Skulldance Island, off the coast of Winterspring and Azshara. Though the Skulldance Clan was reduced often by their battles, the Clan now churns out a steady stream of both products and warriors for the balance of the Horde.
The Skulldance TodayEditThe Skulldance Clan today is settled on an island called Skulldance Island, some distance from Azshara and benefitting from the warm current of coastal water that keeps Durotar so warm. The difference between the warm water and cooler air, though, gives rise to some spectacular storms which can often appear without warning. As the shamans have returned to the Skulldance Clan, this is not always a disadvantage, as their home is particularly difficult to assault without understanding the bizarre weather patterns.
The structures on Skulldance Island tend to be elevated above the ground and are also tied very heavily to it, to resist both flooding and hurricane winds. The ground, though, is home to some very productive farmland. Animals tend to be kept farther up the slope of the island. The partial rim of an inactive volcano, Skulldance Island has an incredibly steep side facing out into the ocean and a more gently sloping side facing Azshara. Skulldance Village is located farther up the gentle slope towards the peak of the island. The island is also home to various wildlife, some native and some imported. Though the Skulldance Clan is growing, the island itself is exceptionally large and the village is hardly large enough to impact the local wildlife, especially considering the precautions taken.
The Skulldance Clan still is loyal to Thrall and the Horde and serves it militarily by sending its warriors on the Warchief's commands. As in the first days of the Skulldance Clan, all of the clans warriors are trained to ride well and fight on foot. Fiercely loyal to the Horde as a whole, the Skulldance Clan has gained a reputation, through its harrowing initiation rituals, the personal fortitudes of its members, and the actions of the clan as a whole of being self-driven to the point of fanaticism. Thrall counts on them mostly as scouts and mobile warriors to send into hostile and distant lands because of this reputation of survival and personal willpower.
Skulldance VillageEditSkulldance village is built around a set of elevated platforms and docks some foot or two off the ground and moored deeply to the rock. Structures themselves tend to be moored on their own foundations rather than built on the platforms themselves. Full facilities for the village are included, such as a town hall, mills, farms, and blacksmiths (obviously located on the ground for the purposes of not setting the platforms on fire).
Of note to warriors are the War College, the Altar of Spirits, and the Warrior Hall. The War College is nominally the armory, though the place itself is where warriors who pass the Bone Trials are taken to train (as well as the special training for applicants). There, any warrior of the Skulldance Clan is bound by duty at least once or twice a week (duty permitting) to go to the War College and train the students there in some manner or another. Some simply come as observers and give tips. Others have made the schooling their primary occupation. At the War College, a Skulldance Clan warrior can learn nearly any weapon's use, any spell, or any technique mastered by another member.
The Altar of Spirits is the center of the village, used for ceremonies. It is an exceptionally large platform made of Nagrand stones rising just above the level of the ground. Celebrations and ceremonies tend to take place here. Into the stone has been carved symbols of shamans to communicate with the spirits and elements to gain their blessings. Also notable is a path of stones from Nagrand which lead from the Altar of Spirits to the Warrior Hall.
The Warrior Hall is the gathering place of the warrior caste of the Skulldance Clan. Only warriors are allowed into the Warrior Hall grounds and it operates solely as a gathering place for ceremonies, celebrations, and gatherings within the warriors. The hall is generally used to discuss strategy, to confer honors, and most importantly to dole out duties. A warrior with no further duties to fulfill comes here to discuss whether or not there is duty to assist with or whether a warrior can return home. This is also a sort of bar and restaurant for the warriors alone.
Joining the Skulldance ClanEditThe Skulldance Clan is, according to its history, a clan of inclusion. Of course, members are born into the clan itself. They are often raised by the community, less directly correlated to their parents as they are to every adult in the community. Whereas a parent has the final say in most aspects of their children's existence, it is rare that the community does not end up raising the child as a whole.
This may be because children, when they are born, spend very little time with their parents before being initiated into the clan. For the first two years of their life, they see anyone outside the spirit lodge only on occasion. After this they are returned to their parents for the remainder of their childhood.
The Skulldance Clan also has a rich history of accepting outcasts, refugees, and other exiles driven from their societies. These people immediately undergo the initiation as soon as they declare their intent to join the Skulldance Clan. In some cases, their names are changed to protect them from would-be creditors, law enforcement, or whatever vigilante band they escaped from. They are treated no differently from any other clansman.
Whether two years old or joining later, the process of initiation into the Skulldance Clan is universal amongst its members. The instant they join, they are subjected to a series of rituals designed to safeguard them against the clan's enemies and prey: demons and, to an extent, the undead. Since the Skulldance Clan itself is very well known for activity against demons (so much so that a task force amongst the Burning Legion has actually been established to combat them personally), they are intensely paranoid about demonic influences and possession.<p>The first initiation rite, and by far the most complicated, is also the reason the Skulldance Clan has survived so long without ever having a Dancer fall to Fel influences while being a member. Upon their arrival, an inert spirit is inserted into their bodies. This act fills all of the connections demons routinely use to possess or influence mortals. It also means that a demon's power can never be used by that person ever again. Though magic can certainly be channeled through them, they can never be infused with demonic power.
This same rite also gives the members of the Skulldance Clan shocking resistances to disease, poisons, and other naturally damaging effects, as the spirit inside repairs these natural toxins. Killer poisons often have little to no effect on the member.
The LaborersEditOther rites include those which mark them, finally, as a laborer of the Skulldance Clan and on the first and largest caste of members. Nine out of ten Skulldance members exist on this rung of existence during the most peaceful of times when the ranks of the warriors are swelled. The laborers are just that, members of the Clan who, whether traveling abroad or (in the larger case) locally employed, gather materials from all corners of Azeroth and craft them into valuable exports. They grow the food, forge the weapons, build the structures, and so on. Though the warriors still may actively participate in their crafts (especially that of crafting their own weapons and armor) most of the work is done by this lower caste of individuals.
Life for the average laborer is relatively pleasant compared to that of most peons. Skulldance Isle has quite abundant wildlife, but is quite bursting with renewable resources. The life tends to be safe, especially considering the origins of many clan members. This is likely why most members of the clan, after having been born into the craft of their employ or after running from violence, debt, or other malaise, tend to live peacefully for the rest of their lives at this lower class.
Not that the lower class is often bullied by the upper class. In fact, the warrior class is taught quite rigorously to treat these people as the members they serve, rather than the other way around. Though the warriors obviously run the government and are often treated as something akin to royalty, the lower caste is simply referred to as that due to their sheer volume. Some of the great clan leaders, including Sukuti'jin, never undertook the trials to become warriors and thus remain technically at the lower caste.
The only disadvantage to the lower caste is, of course, that this is a peaceful role which only in some cases also applies to travel. It is a simple, productive existence that is free from the rigors of combat.
Primary exports of the Skulldance Clan include their many venerated crafts, sources of their island's fast-growing, unusually strong bamboo-like trees, and the paper made from those trees which is intensely strong, waterproof, quite opaque, and highly desirable. The Clan makes sure that what it logs it can regrow so that the isle's forests have not moved from their boundaries for many years. Then again, considering that these trees can grow almost a foot in a single day, it is not uncommon for some of that logging to be done on new shoots just so the plants do not invade the village's area of sight.
The Bone TrialsEditIncoming exiles are allowed to settle on the island after passing simple tests of loyalty. They are traditionally given jobs as laborers, as the Skulldance Clan does not provide a safe haven for laziness. All people are expected to produce something for the good of the clan and the Horde. Those exempted from this are the warriors, who produce in terms of safety and warfare. In the Skulldance Clan, any class of fighter, from assassins to traditional warriors to mages and warlocks are all referred to as Warriors after passing their trials. Whatever their method of combat, all are treated equally during and after their initiations. Thus the spellcasters of the Skulldance Clan tend to be particularly strong in body compared to their peers.
Though the Skulldance Clan is made up of all the Horde's member races, particularly of their castaways and exiles, the clan has returned heavily to their shamanistic Orcish roots. The return began mostly with the rather heavy emphasis on personal will and drive, and nothing exemplifies this more than their brutal yearly initiation ritual, the Bone Trials, so named because of the physical punishment they inflict on participants. Every year for three months in Spring, current warriors hold teaching and exercise lessons to those who would like to attempt the Bone Trials. More importantly, they sponsor these laborers with them into the field to test their combat skills. When the warriors believe they are ready and the aspirants have already provided some service to the Clan as sponsored assistants in the field, the Skullkeeper gives them a mark from a de-poisoned snake with black ink within it. It leaves a large black scar on the right shoulder, the first Mark of the Skulldance. Anyone with this mark can declare to join the Bone Trials at the beginning of the next summer. During the course of the hot summer months, every individual who declared their willingness are led through tests and conditioning trials by the current warriors.
Events of the Bone Trials are not rigidly set, but the purpose of the trials are to drive the participants beyond their limits with little to no sympathy from the warriors who lead them. Participants are often run around the massive island several times by their observing warrors, who then send the completely exhausted participants into the very dangerous jungle/forest barehanded for fresh water. They are run through gauntlets where the instructing warriors strike them with heavy sticks and clubs. They are pitted against wild animals with various equipment, even barehanded. They are sent naked into wilderness to survive for days with nothing from the village, sometimes even dropped on remote islands to live as a community for a week or more.
It is average for a third of the applicants to falter and leave. Some one in four die from overexertion, abuse, in combat with some animal, or from hunger or thirst. The trials are immensely taxing, designed to push the participants beyond their limits and to force them to do more. At the end of the trials, though, the surviving applicants are given their second mark, a white one beneath their black mark delivered similarly, at the Altar of Spirits (the red mark of the Skulldance is the only other similarly conferred mark, usually given by the Skullkeeper in honor of the receiving warrior after many years of service to the clan and Horde). They are then allowed to walk the path from the Altar to the Warrior Hall for their acceptance into the Warrior caste. This is a massive, village-wide celebration rewarding the new warriors for their courage.
The WarriorsEditAfter the shocking violence and almost torturous existence within the Bone Trials, these members become Dancers and are subjected to more rites. Rites that protect them from even more elements than before. Especially in recent years, these rites have become almost excessively paranoid, aimed at keeping the warriors resistant to all of the Burning Legion and Scourge's tactics. These rites harden the soul, making sure that the Dancers can never sell themselves, for any reason, to the Clan's enemies. By ensuring that they are not even able at the basest levels to leave the clan for demonic purposes, the Skulldance Clan ensures it shall never be infiltrated.
Warriors of the clan are not relegated to sword-wielding soldiers. Every member who has completed the initiation, regardless of their method of combat, is a warrior and is expected to not only be able to physically perform the tasks they completed at the Bone Trials again, but to lead the prospective Dancers through them. As such, spellcasting Dancers are often shockingly well-built to their peers. There are no physically unfit warriors, as any sort of softness or weakness is often fixed with mandatory strength training. And with little to produce unless they actually want to produce it, the Dancers have plenty of time to hone their combative skills. And all do, without exception.
Warlocks in the clan, once ousted, have returned with quite a vengeance. These warlocks are quite different from their peers outside of the clan, however. Their demons and skills do not derive from giving themselves to demonic influence; indeed they could not even had they wanted to. They control their demons and powers, then, by pure force of will. Demons in their presence tend to be tightly controlled and trained like animals until their spirit is broken. Darkness channeled through them is most obviously controlled with the same sort of craft as a mage. This level of control is necessary when one wishes to fight the Burning Legion employing their tactics.
Outside of warlocks, other classes of fighters exist in various levels throughout the Skulldance Clan. Save for their shocking physical development and staminas and also their rather primal tendencies, they are much like their peers in the Horde.
The Skulldance LifeEditThe life of the average Skulldance warrior differs very little from that of the average laborer. The clan stresses that simplicity and spartan tendencies are the best ways to live. Though common exceptions exist, such as alchemical laboratories and arcane studies, nearly all Dancers and laborers live their entire lives with a quiet simplicity. Standard mode of dress in the mostly-warm climate (the temperature of Skulldance Isle hovers between 100 and 65 degrees throughout the seasons and only the cap of the mountain ever receives snow in winter) is usually relegated to a simple kilt or set of robes for men with but a bit more covering for women in the essential areas. Though sometimes they are beaded and ornate, precious stones are not commonly worn by the more primal members of the Clan.
Houses are little more than slab-roofed huts elevated some few feet above the ground to avoid the somewhat spastic outbursts of rain and sometimes flooding. They tend to use heavy timber, treated to resist corrosion, and a sort of heavy paper as a wall member. Though quite opaque (though sometimes a light can be seen from room to room, as well as silhouettes, not that this matters to the average Dancer) the paper wall is versatile enough to withstand battering winds, almost daily outbursts of rain, and still allow air to flow through the structure, keeping it cool.
There are few chairs and tables tend to be low to the ground. All furniture, in fact, tends towards the very low to minimize the stuff in the room. and the furniture necessary. Carpeting, though, because of the very waterproof quality of their homes, is quite highly prized. Various pelts are put together and treated to form rugs to sit and recline on, as well as padded wall to wall carpeting. This can be vibrant or plain, depending on the style. Most Dancers also sleep low to the ground, their beds not but a few inches above it.
Though not technically enforced, the nature of the Skulldance Clan tends to make members look on lavish surroundings with a sort of unimpressed disinterest. After a few years in the clan living with but the simplest of things, most find more voluptuous surroundings more than a bit unnecessary. This is not to say they cannot enjoy their surroundings and make use of them, but even the most jaded Blood Elves, after a few years of clansmanship, realize that this is not their way of life.</p>
Skulldance CultureEditThe leader of the Skulldance Clan is called the Skullkeeper. The Skullkeeper answers only to Thrall and is on par with the leaders of any clan, including the Warsong and Frostwolf clans. The Skullkeeper is so named because the Skullkeeper is the keeper of the Sign, a short set of chains from which hang the preserved skulls of the most prominent conquered enemies of the Skulldance Clan. The rest of the clan's structure can be completely reorganized by the Skullkeeper as he or she sees fit. Amongst the Skulldance Clan is the vision of equality, that all the warriors are of equal stature beneath the Skullkeeper and the Skullkeeper simply organizes them by rank to ensure efficiency.
The Skulldance Clan warriors often recognize racial divisions and deficiencies, but a warrior never sees another Skulldance warrior as anything but a warrior. All survived similar trials and the Skulldance Clan as a whole does not place any stock on race within the clan itself. To speak of another Dancer as anything but a Dancer is not only extremely rude, but ostracizing. Dancers are known only by their personal merits and flaws. Similarly, gender is not recognized within the clan as being a deficiency or a means. Outside of the usual sexual connotations of gender, men and women are treated no differently within the warrior caste and certainly not treated any differently during their trials.
Skulldance warriors, whether casters, fighters, or healers, are almost without exception physically impressive. They often train their bodies beyond fitness to make sure they could still pass their trials again if it became necessary. Often called Dancers, they are very well respected by other villagers, and the cream of the warrior crop are treated like royalty. Within the culture, it is prudent for every warrior to act with benevolence and to make a good impression of the clan. Abusing the position or acting scornfully to the laborers may merit one to be put through some trial or another to teach them an object lesson. As such, the warriors of the island have an excellent reputation for courtesy.
Though the spirits of the elements are venerated, Orcish ancestor worship is most common. Many Dancers, becoming otherwise inundated with aspects of Orcish existence, convert to revering the dead of the Skulldance Clan. However, there is no official religion of the Skulldance Clan; the central cultural concept is the idea of will. The Dancers are, without exception, extremely disciplined in their willpower and have exceptional self-control. Often this makes the clan itself the target of demonic wrath simply because the central tenet of their warrior code is to never accept a "crutch" to personal power. Those who would accept some assistance from elsewhere earn the scorn and derision of the clan at large who see someone accepting the token gifts of demons and the power of cursed items as weak on their own, begging for power from their masters. The Dancers' will also makes them extremely loyal to their cause, as they often turn against deceptive organizations who seek willing servants.
The DanceEditThe most revered tradition of the Clan is, once a Draenic year, to gather and celebrate the day the exiles rode against impossible odds to form their clan. Skulls are often removed from the bodies of various powerful enemies to be cleaned, preserved, and placed in storage for the great celebration. It involves the formation of a spiral of skulls and the resulting dance around them and through them. They also perfect the Skulldance warcry taken from the dance, which rises sharply and drifts down to a reverberating howl. The effect is unnerving and chilling, and even most villagers perfect it as a matter of course.
The Dance is a central tenet to the Skulldance way of life. That the world turns, that people die, and the dance continues. Through the metaphor of the dance over skulls, the Skulldance Clan emphasizes the unity of the clan through the individual strengths of its members, all acting in their own ways in the same system of steps. Almost all of their celebrations utilize dancing in some way or another, using sometimes simple, sometimes complicated steps. But the Dancers never during their celebrations dance with one other. They dance together, as one clan, using their individual movements and prowess to collect into one, great movement.
Places of Interest: River Reed School of Martial ArtsEditNestled on the mountain towards the back of the isle cliff, the school of Anatsumiro the Rock sits on a small clearing. A somewhat large (two story) structure of heavy timber and the paper of the Skulldance Clan houses the Horde's only school of the famous River Reed Order.
The River Reed Order, once a human monk society based in the lands now called Arathi and Hillsbrad, has expanded in recent years. It remains taught in secluded, monastery-like schools and stresses using ones own strengths as a basis for movements, rather than teaching one move to all students. Although also possessed of a very deep philosophical meaning and a way of life, it is known to outsiders mostly as a school where punches, kicks, slashes, and parries are practiced over and over and over again until its members achieve an almost machine-perfect method of fighting.
Anatsumiro, one of the only Horde to have achieved the rank of Master in the Order, teaches his students to create the first ever such school which serves the Horde (there are three very secluded human schools).
Though somewhat young for an orc still at roughly twenty-five years old, Anatsumiro is highly regarded amongst his peers and upon the Isle as a triumph of self-perfection through training and spartan existence. His direct adjutant is a young assassin Dancer named Velivathus Sin'Adei. Many of the Skulldance warriors and prospective members, eager to learn such fighting skill, are drawn to the school. And many soon leave as the school's high rigor and mental training also weed out many members. Philosophy is highly entrenched in the school as well as a very physically and mentally demanding curriculum. Only a few members actually live in the school, though, as most commute from the village.
Few in the Horde know of the River Reed Order except through ancient legend of their well-honed martial skills to visit the school. Very few come to the school without either wishing for the Master's training or seeking his advice. Otherwise, the school remains incredibly isolated.
Includes temporary leaders, transitional leaders and leaders in absentia