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Spiritwalkers (aka spirit walkers) have a powerful connection with tauren ancestral heritage. Capable of channeling ancient tauren heroes, these champions of the spirit are valued in tauren society for the wisdom and history they carry within them. Tauren also fear the spiritwalker as a potent sign of the coming age; while many of this powerful race look upon the spiritwalker with some apprehension, the spiritwalkers still receive respect from their brethren. Tauren ancestors dwell deep within the Emerald Dream. The energies of that plane change the spiritwalkers pelt to pure white over time (though some are born with white pelts, destined to walk the path of spirit). A spirit walker's ancient eyes shine with the light of a thousand souls. His body is a vessel, a conduit from the land of the dead to the land of the living. Through him rushes the power and the knowledge of his tribal ancestors, a rush that both intoxicates and disorients. The spirit walker wields the power of countless minds if he proves strong enough to bear the weight of so many souls.
Role in Society
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Most spirit walkers learn of their unique natures during puberty. The young spirit walker experiences intense dreams over the course of a month. In each dream he seems to live someone else's life — an ancestor he recognizes, or a stranger from long ago. The young spirit walker is confused and disoriented upon awakening, unable to decide if he is now awake or if the other life was his real one, and this life but a dream. A shaman can guide the spirit walker through this transition, but spirit walkers apart from their communities do not understand what is happening to them. This leads to fear, even panic, and sometimes a deep distaste for the calling imposed on him. Such spirit walkers may never resign themselves fully to their path after having been so traumatized by their awakening. Not all spirit walkers realize their purpose in youth. Some live normal lives until one night the dreams begin. Even elderly tauren have been known to develop spirit walker powers, sometimes only days before death.
The stress of handling so many spirits turns a spirit walker's pelt or hair snow white over the years. Some tribes consider a tauren born with a white pelt to be destined to become a spirit walker. Such children sometimes refuse their destiny, but almost all give in eventually. Fevered lucid dreams fill their nights, and their days seem still to be half-dreams as they remember places they've never been or recognize people they've never seen. Only shaman training affords control over these visitations; spirit walkers who resist training often descend into madness. Recently, spirit walkers have appeared in ever-growing numbers. Many see this trend as an ill omen of a coming age.
A spirit walker feels an almost zealous loyalty toward his community. The spirits of countless loyal ancestors fill his mind, impressing the need to serve the tribe on their host. Despite this devotion, a spirit walker can feel set apart from his tribemates. He sees a friend not only as his friend, but as the child of a slain warrior spirit, as the grandchild of an elderly spirit, as the sibling of a mournful child spirit. This makes personal relationships complicated and difficult. A spirit walker is a loner who sits apart from the others but defends them fanatically in times of trouble. The rest of the tribe senses the conflict within a spirit walker. Members of the tribe treat their spirit walker with respect and deference, but resist forming close relationships with him to avoid further complicating his life. Spirit walkers rarely establish families. They live apart from the tribe they devote themselves to forever.
Sometimes a spirit walker needs time apart from his tribe. He embarks on a solitary journey to find a measure of inner strength. These adventures refresh the spirit walker. Sometimes the spirit walker joins with other adventurers, out of desire for companionship separate from the tangle of bloodlines in his mind. Sometimes a spirit walker has a particular purpose; his calling means he has access to information about hidden treasures, lost items, and ancient tombs to explore. Researching these memories often leads him to valuable items and information that helps the tribe.
Shamanistic training is required for a spirit walker to unlock his power. Shaman/warriors and shaman/hunters are not uncommon, as many spirit walkers live ordinary lives before they receive their calling. Tauren spirit walkers favor the tauren totem weapons of their tribe, while orcs favor claws of attack.
The defense of the tauren people is one of the spiritwalker's tasks. The spiritwalker channels the collective warrior soul of the tauren people. He can call upon this spirit for martial guidance. By performing the chant of ages, the spiritwalker can call upon the knowledge of all the tauren who have passed on to the Emerald Dream.
Ties to the Emerald Dream
The spiritwalker's soul shares a deep bond with the Emerald Dream. He can summon forth an animal spirit companion from the Emerald Dream. Killing the spirit companion on the mortal plane sends it back to the Emerald Dream.
The spiritwalker can step partially into the Emerald Dream, becoming immaterial for a short time. The spiritwalker still occupies his place on the Material Plane, but has shifted to his "Ethereal Form", and can only affect the physical world with spellcasting while so shifted. Only the highly skilled spiritwalker can ethereally shift others.
- Main article: Spirit Walker (Warcraft III)
- Mystical Tauren caster with Ethereal Form, which allows him to avoid physical damage. Believed to be the ill omen of a coming age, white Tauren are held in near reverence by their people, often becoming reclusive priests who wander the land in search of kindred spirits. Attacks land and air units. .
Only tauren became spirit walkers in the past. With the Horde's revitalized interest in shamanism, however, orcs have taken an interest in studying the path of the spirit walker. The orcs lost much of their history when they left Draenor and now struggle to retrieve the knowledge. Some see spirit walking as the best way to uncover the lost rituals of the past.
Roleplaying a Spiritwalker
In roleplaying, any shaman character is able to become a spiritwalker. Troll, orc and tauren spiritwalkers are more common than goblin or draenei spiritwalkers. Spiritwalkers are able to leave their body to speak to spirits, and spirits can show the spiritwalker dreams/visions. When a spirit grants a vision of the future, it should generally be ambiguous with only a few key specifics.