NAME: Drotto Blackhorn
DESCRIPTION: White face, black hair. Black horns, both broken (an unfortunate run-in with a kodo calf when I was young in seasons). Braided hair and long braided goatee, hexagonal nose ring.Quick to laugh, slow to take offense. Always willing to heal anyone in trouble, a giver of potions, a fisherman and cook.
GUILD: of the Crossroads
A number of key events have shaped the life of Drotto Blackhorn, as related below. He was raised in Moonglade by the Druids there. His first impressions of the Alliance (outside of the Night Elf druids) came during his initial visit to the Barrens and the destruction of the village Crossroads. He has been wary of the Alliance every since. He is also distrustful of the leaders of the Forsaken and the quests they send him on, although he counts Forsaken amongst his closest friends. A new path opened for Drotto when he reach the (then) height of Druidic training on the day of the Feast of Winter Veil. He continues his training and lives now in the Crossroads.
DROTTO’S YOUTH: Edit
Drotto, like so many of his Horde Brothers and Sisters, is an orphan. He knows very little about his biological parents, other than that they were hunters and often went on month-long excursions to hunt, fish and gather. Their hunting party was ambushed – in the plains of Mulgore – by Galak centaurs and all were slaughtered, save Drotto, nearly a newborn and missed in the bloodshed and confusion.
It might have been the end of Drotto in the wilderness, but for an exploring band of Night Elf Druids that, alerted by the sounds of battle, chased off the centaurs and found Drotto swaddled amid a pile of leathers and skins. The Druids took pity upon Drotto, and brought him back to Moonglade, where the Night Elf Druids dwelt in peace with their counterparts among the Taurens.
It was decided that Drotto would be raised in Moonglade, and so he lived his first few years in the quiet and serenity of Nighthaven. All was well when Drotto was an infant. But as he grew into childhood, he too often broke the quiet of Moonglade. For hours he would charge across the hills and valleys of Moonglade, stalking deer and scaring the critters, his voice echoing through the stillness.
GROWING UP IN MULGORE Edit
As Drotto tells it:
“I was cared for by a Tauren student of the Elven druid trainer in Nighthaven. As I started to grow, running through the hills of Moonlade, it was clear that I was too young and loud for the Druids.
Under cover of night, my Tauren guardian brought me to Camp Narache and left me by the village well. I was found by the Blackhorns who raised me as their son. Father Blackhorn, a warrior, was called to Thunder Bluff to serve as a Bluffwatcher (perhaps you have seen him standing near the weapons shop?). My formative years were spent in Thunder Bluff. I still have fond memories of running with the kodo packs on the Golden Plains of Mulgore.
Father Blackhorn had hoped I would be a warrior or a hunter like Mother Blackhorn. But on the plains of Mulgore, I found myself drawn to the scent of the peacebloom. The scent put visions in my head of a serene world of shadow and blue that seemed at the edge of my consciousness. Often I found myself wandering to Elder Rise and sitting at the feet of the Tauren Druids. When the time to choose my future came, I chose the path of Cenarius.”
And so Drotto trained as a Druid in the relative safety of Mulgore, until the day came for him to venture to the Barrens.
FIRST CONTACT Edit
Drotto’s first contact with the Alliance at the Crossroads is the pivotal point in young life. These events have determined his fate.
This story was told after Drotto had moved to the Crossroads permanently.
“A Tear Escaped Drotto’s Eye.”
A tear escaped Drotto’s eye. "Damn smoke! You need better ventilation in this Inn!"
The always stoic Innkeeper Boorand Plainswind did not reply.
Smiling at the irony of “God-forsaken,” Drotto let his mind drift back to his first time arriving at the Crossroads. It had been a difficult journey; no flight master was stationed in Camp Taurajo in those days. It had been a long trek from Thunder Bluff to Camp T and north to the Crossroads. Along the way, beasts so strong and vicious, that Drotto could only hope to outrun them. Finally, sighting the Crossroads and the banner of the Horde, Drotto felt a measure of relief.
But something was odd! What was this? A Night Elf Druid?!? How wonderful! Drotto had never seen a Night Elf outside of Moonglade!
Drotto was an orphan; by a twist of fate he had been raised in Moonglade. After choosing the path of Cenarius, he returned to Moonglade often. Always with great joy did he greet the Tauren and Night Elves that had raised him.
But wait. This Night Elf was in battle! With revulsion, Drotto watched the black cat form ravage one of Crossroad’s vendors. By the Earthmother! A druid slaughtering innocents! It can’t be! This is not our way…
A tear escaped Drotto’s eye. “Damn smoke.”
And it was not just one Night Elf: There was another! And that was a human by the look of it. A human female there! And a dwarf by the descriptions Drotto had heard. Other than the Night Elves of Moonglade, Drotto had only heard of these beings called the Alliance.
As Drotto grew closer to the gates, cries of agony reached his ears, and he began to comprehend. These Alliance were slaying the guards! They had murdered the Innkeeper, and they were slaughtering the tradesfolk.
Magic burned the air. Arcanite rang.
By instinct, Drotto called upon the Earthmother to heal a lone Orc warrior battling two foes. Suddenly the air around Drotto ran red. Like Death’s Skull, the Alliance – clad in armor and wielding weapons captured in epic battles – fell upon him. In a single mighty blow, Drotto fell. The Crossroads lay wasted.
A tear escaped Drotto’s eye. “Damn smoke.”
Drotto swore back in those days of slaughter that he would return to the Crossroads. He would make this poor outpost his home. He would defend it as best he could, to help the young adventuring Horde of the Barrens.
Drotto did returned. And when he did, he found many like-minded Horde, drawn to this strange little crossroads. Many had witnessed the days of slaughter and, like Drotto, had returned to protect this village.
The brave Orc warrior. The taciturn Undead warlock. The often drunk – but always nuturing – shaman. The fierce feral druid. The fearsome Undead priestess. The deadly Orc huntress. The sly rogue. The addled Undead warrior. The regal Tauren huntress. And others. It was an honor to fight beside them.
They had become Drotto’s family and his home. Drotto loved them all dearly, though he could never say so out loud.
A tear escaped Drotto’s eye. “Damn smoke.”
The Undead Priest, who was watching Drotto cook, asked again, “The Crossroads!? Why? Why live here?”
Drotto wondered if the Forsaken Priest would understand his story.
“I tried living in Orgrimmar. Too busy,” was all Drotto said.
DISTRUST OF THE FORSAKEN. TIME AS A MEMBER OF THE GUILD, CRYPTIC LEGIONS Edit
A number of events have made Drotto question the tactics of the Forsaken Leaders – and some of the Trolls as well.
Drotto tells the story:
“As a young druid, I was not mindful of the requests that many would make of me: all hunting seemed an adventure. So, I was stunned when the troll witch doctor of Malaka’jin, after brewing a potion from materials I had collected, fed the potion to a caged Night Elf and poisoned it….. “Where was the honor?” I asked myself….
Soon after I had forgotten this incident, and the members of the Undead Royal Apothecary society sent me on a quest to gather supplies for an elixir. Again I was horrified when caged humans were poisoned with it, when their blood was on my hands….
These events sent me into a deep despair.
I traveled to Ragefire Chasm. I am more seasoned than the creatures within, but I traveled alone, no party and no friends. Slaughtering creature and elemental and humanoid, not for experience or the few the few coppers they dropped, but to take out my rage and frustration at the evil in the world. I fought for Valor and Honor. Taragaman the Hungerer fell to my staff and to my spells. But still my soul was weary.
I teleported to Moonglade, my home when I was very young, using a gift of the Druids. I bade hello to my fellow Druids, Tauren and Night Elf alike. I bade them to sit with me a while. But all were dispatched by the flight masters, Taurens to Thunder Bluff and Night Elves to parts of the world I do not know…. Still my soul was weary.
I followed my brothers and sisters to Thunder Bluff, where I came of age. Few Tauren were here, none heeded my call to talk of great hunts and battles….. I left Thunder Bluff wearing of soul, running to the Barrens.
I ran on the Golden Fields of Mulgore, running with the Kodo packs and hunting for wolves’ meat. I dreamed of early days, freer and brighter than today. Dreams offered no solace to my weariness.
I passed into the Barrens, by Camp Taurajo and by Crossroads, mostly quiet this evening. I waved and saluted my Horde brothers and sisters, but all had tasks to finish and duels to prepare for. Word of Alliance strikes on the bankers in Orgrimmar reached our ears…. I am weary of these skirmishes.
And finally to Ratchet, an accursed town, too often smelling of humans…. At the edge of my 30th season, I laid down my armor and weapons. I stopped questing. I stopped hunting. I stopped battling. I traveled between Ratchet and Booty Bay, fishing during the day, drinking at night so I could sleep.
So word went out to my Guild, The Cryptic Legions: “Come drink and eat with me! Tell me tales of bravery and honor!” A fine Orc Shaman, brother Kreager answered the call. He met me in Ratchet. We shared drink and meat. We talked of the war, the Alliance and the Horde. We talked of great quests we had been on and long running personal battles. “What of this poisoning and torture of humans and night elves we’d seen in the Undercity and in Stonetalon? This is not valor; this is not honor!!” “How do we rid the evil in this land? Go back to hunting honorable foes like the Kodo and wolf?” Kreager and I drank long and spoke loudly. Flirting with beautiful Troll women! Laughing with an old, withered undead who had no jaw to eat our meat!! We talked of our guild: The fine members and officers of the Cryptic Legions. We drank to our dead and we drank to our deaths in battle!
Kreager made me understand that I could redeem myself in the eyes of the Earthmother, that I must be mindful of the requests made of me. I vowed never to serve the undead again…..
My warrior friend did one thing more: He sent to me an undead priest by the name of Alhazar. Among the many things he taught me, Alhazar convinced me that it was the leadership of the Forsaken – those that would unleash a new plague – that were wrong. That many of the undead felt as I did: poisoning caged alliance is no way to fight a battle….. (How I miss Alhazar – it is many seasons since he traveled to other lands….)
Ah, but the Earth Mother is always ready with a difficult lesson. Again I was called to the Undercity. Again the members of the Apothecarium asked that I gather the materials for a truth serum. Ignoring the persistent warning in my head, I gathered most of the materials easily. All I need was a tumor from a Deepstrider giant in Desolace. A mighty creature of great strength! Many times I died battling these giants. Many times I triumphed. But never a tumor. It became a matter of pride: for weeks I hunted down the giants,slaying them. Some 35 in all did I kill, until finally I stood proud and triumphant in the slaughtered remains of a Deepstrider, tumor in hand. Away to the Undercity, to mix up the truth serum. A ride to Stonard, where the captured prisoner awaited. I gave him the serum…..
At a moment of great pride, I was again cut low with dishonor.
I rarely carry out the requests of the Forsaken leadership now. I carefully scrutinize the requests made of me. I can only hope that in the days since then, I have redeemed myself in the eyes of the Earth Mother. I can only hope to, someday, wash the taint of dishonor from my being.”
FROM CRYPTIC LEGION TO EARTHTREADERS Edit
RESIGNING FROM THE EARTHTREADERS: A STORY OF WINTER’S VEIL Edit
From the archives of the Earthtreader's Guild Meeting Reports. As spoken by Drotto Blackhorn.
"Greetings good Treaders! Thank you for your time… Of late, I find myself at a crossroads….. I have recently reached the height of Druidic training and new paths lie before me. (Ed. Note: this was before new, higher insights into the ways of Cenarius)
Let me first tell you something of my past. Early in my training as I explored the Barrens for the first time, I saw something I had not seen in many days and months – Night Elves! The first I’d ever seen outside of Moonglade! But, these Night Elves, with their Human and Dwarf allies, were killing. By sword and sorcery, the Crossroads Grunts were being decimated. Not just the guards, but those that would sell me goods, those that would ask of my help, the poor innkeeper… In those days, the Alliance would control the Crossroads – sometimes it seemed like days before one could finish a task and collect one’s reward. I vowed I would return one day to avenge the lands of my youth.
Not many months ago, a year to the day I begin my druidic training in Camp Narache, the day of the Great Feast of Winter Veil in fact….. I was seeking adventure in the Plaguelands – terrible place, terrible. I met a poor half-dead being, a little girl, Pamela Redpath. She asked that I find her doll, something perhaps to comfort her eternal pain, and return it to her. This was most amazing: The moment I handed this little toy to this young girl on the day of the Great-father Winter, the Earthmother blessed me with the final insight, the ultimate training….
And since that day, I have only more questions, not fewer, about where my journey takes me. I have decided, at the least, to take these next few steps alone…..and so I wish to resign my commission as Warrior of the great guild The Earthtreaders.
Please know that I think you are the finest, most honorable, most generous guild of Azeroth. I have been proud to wear your Tabard, and only wish that other duties did no keep me from the great raids and adventures of the Earthtreader tribe.
I thank Sister Lania – our common interest in fishing led my to the guild. I salute you all and wish you well. I will always aid any of you, in any way I can. You are likely to find me in Crossroads, where I have made my home.
A SONG, SUNG IN CROSSROADS, BY A YOUNG ORC WARRIOR Edit
Crossroads, everyone seems to come and go, yeah. The warrior flies from coast to coast
Knowing many, loving none, Bearing sorrow, havin' fun, But back home he'll always run To sweet Alguiena...
Alliance raid, each raid looks the same, all the same. And no one knows the Warrior's name
No one hears his lonely sigh, There are no blankets where he lies. In deepest dreams the Warrior flies with sweet Alguiena... mmm...
Again the morning's come, Again he's on the run, Sunbeams shining through his hair, Appearing not to have a care. Well, pick up your gear and Warrior roll on, roll on.
Crossroads, will you ever let him go? Will you hide the dead orc's ghost, Or will he lie, beneath the clay, or will his spirit rez away?
But I know that he won't stay without Alguiena.
Yes I know that he won't stay without Alguiena.