|Rathia Tornclaw||Feathermoon||Druid||80||Unguilded||Rat Catcher|
Basic Info Edit
- Name at Birth: Rathia Tornclaw
- Race: Night Elf
- Title: Druid of the Wild, Guardian of Cenarius
- Birthplace: Ashenvale
- Age: ~7500 years
- Religious Affiliation: Guardian of Cenarius, worshipper of Elune
- Occupation: Druid, Alchemical Master of Transmutation
- Guild: Unguilded
- Professions: Herbalist, Alchemist, Cook
- Server: Server:Feathermoon
- Armory Profiles: 
The Nature of the Beast Edit
Like the Just So Story, Rathia is the cat that walks by herself. Secretive, fiercely independent, and more than a little bloodthirsty, she prowls the wilds of the world on the trail of her own esoteric agenda. Often too solitary for her own good, she has a difficult time asking for help, though no qualms about offering it. Though fairly polite and amiable (except when standing between the enemy and her comrades as a towering bruin), she has very well-defined boundaries and can be difficult to get to know on a more than superficial level. From her mother she absorbed the warning to 'keep yourself to yourself', and from her father, 'Tis better to be silent and thought a fool, than open one's mouth and remove all doubt.'
Rathia's adherence to the Druidic discipline is absolute; her paternal kin saw to that, after her Highborne mother and the rest of the Firebough family were exiled along with the rest of Dath'Remar's malcontents. Rathia considers herself a 'bride of Cenarius' and, as such, is strictly devoted to a sacred vow of celibacy.
Like many druids who spend a great deal of time in wildshape, Rathia's behaviour in elven form has taken on some distinctly beastly traits. Indeed, she no longer thinks of her two-legged form as her 'real' self at all. But it's best not to say anything when she licks the back of her hand and rubs it through her ponytail. Although on two legs she's reserved, even standoffish with those she doesn't know well, in cat form she is able to let her fur down a little more, and an innate feline playfulness emerges. Companions watch in bemusement as she pounces and purrs, chases rats and gets all up on the furniture.
It's a Bird, it's a Bear, it's... Edit
Plain by the standards of her race, Rathia has the common white hair, pale skin, and silver eyes of the average Kaldorei, although she likes to think she sees the beginning of the golden glow to the eyes often attained by druids who have long followed the path of Cenarius. With delicate facial markings and a broad, generous mouth always ready to break into a laugh, Rathia could, perhaps, clean up to a handsome woman. The act of shifting regularly through several different feral forms, however, has neutralized what little vanity she might once have had. How she looks on two legs matters far less than how she fights on a more comfortable four.
Makeup is not an option; ever seen lipstick on a grizzly bear? Her hair lives more or less permanently in a pragmatic ponytail, ideal for keeping it out of the eyes during those mid-battle shapeshifts. The only vanity she prides herself on are her fur markings which, in catform, she spends several hours a day grooming to a high gloss.
Druidic Focus Edit
Having always been more comfortable in wildshape, Rathia listened well to all her lessons involving feral combat, and has never willingly wavered from this choice (there was a recent incident in which her Shan'do insisted she study in treeform for a time, to 'get in touch with her roots'; Rathia took it as a punishment, though it was not precisely intended that way). While she's always ready for a quick shift to heal, innervate, or resurrect a fallen comrade in the heat of battle, Rathia's true calling lies in the song of claw and fang.
History [Work In Progress]Edit
A Rocky Start Edit
Born not long before the final clash of the Highborne with the rest of the Kaldorei, Rathia’s family life was always unstable. An overly optimistic love-bonding between her druid father and Highborne mother fell apart, predictably, over the issue of magic. The latter’s Firebough clan (with the sole exception of her many-times-great grandfather Aberam) were staunch supporters of Dath’Remar and played an unapologetic part in the arcane storm that the Highborne rebels sent raging through Ashenvale. In the aftermath, they were given no choice but exile.
Rathia's mother attempted to take her offspring with her when the Fireboughs boarded the boats to unknown shores, but the Tornclaw druids of her father’s clan rallied around the children. Faced with a malevolent army of claws and fangs, Rathia’s mother was forced to leave her daughter with only the promise that when the Highborne elves found a new home, she would return for her.
She never did.
For the next several decades of her childhood, Rathia was raised in a strict druidic tradition. Although she was very young to be dedicated to the calling, her father’s clan felt it prudent to indoctrinate the girl early as a kind of inoculation against any remaining taint of magic in her blood from her mother's side. Fortunately, Rathia took to the path of Cenarius like a duck to water, never showing a trace of the magical inclinations so alarmingly rampant among the Fireboughs.
Ysera's Decree Edit
However, young Rathia had precious little time to probe deeply into the Cenarion mysteries, for soon after the exile of the Highborne, Ysera issued her call to the Emerald Dream. Having studied just long enough to take her first vows, the novice druid was bound to the Green Aspect's pact with the students of Cenarius. Secreted away in the dark depths of the Starfall Village Barrow Den with the rest of her paternal clan, Rathia succumbed to the long slumber. For the next several millenia she wandered the Dreamways as her corporeal body hibernated in the deep, quiet embrace of the earth.
The Emerald Dream Edit
7000 Years Later Edit
When the druids were awakened by the drums of war, there was no time for Rathia to resume her suspended studies. The war with the Burning Legion demanded every able-bodied citizen of the Alliance, and Rathia was drafted to fight, as well as she could, with such skills as she had trained prior to the Long Sleep. By luck more than skill, she survived endless harrowing encounters, and quickly became a star pupil of the school of hard knocks. Toughened by the harsh realities of war, the Rathia Tornclaw that stood with claws bared and a defiant snarl on her lips at the Battle of Mount Hyjal was no longer the callow youth that had entered the Emerald Dream.
When Archimonde was slain, and the high of combat wore off, a full realization of what they had sacrificed – no less than their own immortality – began to sink in for the Night Elves. They looked upon the broken, empty skyline where Nordrassil no longer crowned the world, and saw the embodiment of their own eternal life, destroyed right down to the root.
Many elves were unable to cope with the trauma, going mad or becoming lost in the depths of depression. Rathia, so very young to be robbed of the eternity that was her birthright, sought oblivion in the wilds. Prowling the forests of Ashenvale like a vengeful spirit, she took out her fury on every tainted beast, demon, and Hordeling unfortunate enough to cross her path. After many months of this blind animal stupor she reappeared, having caught wind of the plan to plant Teldrassil, and hell-bent on regaining her immortality.
Not surprisingly, Rathia became a vocal supporter of Staghelm and his proposal to create a new World Tree, and she eagerly assisted in the realization of Teldrassil. Even now that it is painfully clear the plan went awry, Rathia remains certain that the Aspects can be brought around to support the new World Tree and reverse the Kaldorei's fall from grace.
In her quest to obtain the knowledge which might show a way to achieve these aims, Rathia resumed her druidic studies with a vengeance. She struck out into the world, pursuing every scrap of learning she could find, crisscrossing the continents of Kalimdor and the Eastern Kingdoms in a frenzied bid for enlightenment. Her second passion, alchemy, was rekindled as Plan B; if their immortality could not be re-established through Teldrassil, perhaps she might be able to develop an Elixir of Life instead. When not working feverishly in her lab to create a Fountain of Youth, she blotted out her sorrows in the simple concerns of a cat or bear.
A New Threat Edit
The reopening of the Dark Portal came as a wake-up call. Here was a chance to strike again at the heart of the Burning Legion - and perhaps, in doing so, regain the favour of the dragon aspects. She had never given up on the possibility of obtaining their long-sought blessings upon Teldrassil.
Comrades in Arms Edit
After many moons roaming the Outlands, Rathia ran into her old comrade, the human knight Rikar, at her favourite pub in Shattrath City. He was accompanied by his love, a holy paladin of the Light named Gian, with whom the druid struck up an immediate rapport. Over a bottle or three of wine, the pair shared with Rathia fantastic tales of their expeditions into the broken tower of Medivh, piquing her curiosity with the descriptions of their unwitting discoveries and harrowing escapes. Noting his old comrade's interest, Rikar suggested she join the exploratory team - an arrangement that continued regularly for several months thereafter.
It was through these excursions into the haunted halls of Karazhan that Rathia met and came to know several members of the noble House Shardracona, the clan of the Silver Dragon. Grown wild again in her solitary time running feral, unbound by ties to the world of those that walk upon two legs, her new companions at first found the cat wary and skittish. Yet as the team penetrated deeper into the crumbling towers, relying on each other to guard one another's backs, trust grew. While the Curator, Aran, Illhoof, and at last the Prince himself fell one by one to the tenacious Badgers and valiant Dragons, trust grew into respect, and respect to friendship. Rathia observed the bonds between her companions, and found herself growing envious. And so, after many forays into danger at the side of these great-hearted folk, Rathia alighted on the doorstep of Shardracona Estate to see if there might be a place for her amongst their ranks.
Her time with Shardracona was pleasant, but fated to be all too brief. Mere months after the druid settled in to her cottage on the grounds, she received a summons from her father to return immediately to the Tornclaw dens in Winterspring. On arrival, she was beset by her father, her Shan'do, and several other clan elders, who were furious with her disloyalty, 'defecting' to another family. Despite Rathia's attempt to explain herself, her relatives informed her in no uncertain terms that she was to immediately break off her involvement with Shardracona and return to Winterspring for an extended period of intensive training and re-education. Guilt-ridden, Rathia bowed to the will of her clan and promised to return at once after clearing out her quarters in Ashenvale.
Back at the Shardracona Estate, Rathia tersely informed her companions of her departure, offering little by way of explanation, and retired to her cabin to pack her belongings. With everything prepared for an early-morning exit, she curled up on the bare mattress to spend one last night in what had, for a time, been home. A scant few hours later, she awoke to the bone-chilling shrieks of the demonic Legion as it descended upon the estate, rendering her defection moot as Shardracona itself was torn asunder. In the bleak aftermath, Rathia fled the estate without a backward glance.
The events of the final night at the Shardracona manor ensured Rathia's meekness and compliance with her elders' supervision... for a while. On her Shan'do's orders, she was forbidden from taking beast shape; instead, in order to 'remember her roots', she was inducted into the mysteries of the trees - not entirely willingly. Locked into that slow, placid plant form, she toiled under her tutor's eye, absorbing the gentle rhythms of healing into her heartwood.
It was a long time before the Tornclaw clan let her out alone again. Longer still before the ban on her beloved wildshape was reluctantly lifted. Even then, when it was felt that her lesson had been learned, she was expected to report back home to the family den-tree at regular intervals. With the shock of the attack on Shardracona diminishing, Rathia chafed silently against her bonds. Perhaps the way of the cat had become too firmly ingrained before her familial intervention. Perhaps, as a kaldorei grown, the strictures of childhood no longer fit. She began straying for longer and longer intervals, falling back into her old, comfortable ways.
The Great White North Edit
Teaming up once more with the remnants of Shardracona, Rathia responded to the call for champions to venture north to the Roof of the World. She's found her own home at last in the Grizzly Hills, where the streams run with salmon, the forests with herds of elk, and the daughter and son of Ursoc stand guard against the corruption of the Old Gods.
Kin and Companions Edit
Mr. Pinchy, the Magical Crawdad. While fishing in Blackwind Lake one evening, Rathia pulled up a bright red crawdad who promised her three wishes if she would spare him the terrible yet delicious fate of becoming a plate of sashimi. Amazed to see a crawdad talk, Rathia agreed. However, he has yet to show any magical abilities (apart from speech) and she is beginning to suspect she may have been hoodwinked.