Tales from the Jungle (The origins of a Witch Doctor)

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Tales from the Jungle (The origins of a Witch Doctor)

Post by erwtenpeller on Tue Jul 17, 2012 4:16 am

A thread to illustrate the origins of one of my characters, Jahzeem, in a bit more detail. I hope you will enjoy.

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PART ONE: THWACK!

In the first light of an early morning sun, the jungle lay quiet. The great nightly predators had returned to their lairs and nests, their prey carefully treading out into the warming morning sun. In a small clearing, an iguana spread itself over a rock to soak up the warmth and kickstart its’ metabolism, the crystals protruding out of it's back glistening. Suddenly, with a loud "THWACK" a small pebble crashed against the rock, breaking the peace. With a hiss and a quick spurt of movement the Iguana disappeared into the thicket...
A second "THWACK". More dulled this time, came from the thickets across the clearing, followed by a playful "Missed it, you toad!"
Two little figures rose from the bush. a young boy and a girl, dressed in nothing bit tiny loincloths and rare leather straps supporting feathers and other such decorations.
"Not like you would have hit that, Neffi." The boy scoffed at the girl and stuck out his tongue. The girl gingerly picked up a pebble, placed it into her sling and in one smooth motion flung the rock at the place where the Iguana would have been. "THWACK", a perfect hit, all while keeping a smirk to the boy. She triumphantly placed her hands on her hips with the sass you would expect from a grown troll woman. The boy hung his head and folded his arms.
"-So- doesn't count...", He mumbled. The girl giggled and gave the boy a pet on the head.
"Come." she said cheerfully,
"We should get back to the village before breakfast." The boy veered up with a grin.
"Last one there gets the voodoo stare!" He exclaimed, before bolting off into the jungle, the girl not far behind.

They flew through the jungle as nimble monkeys. A year or two ago they could hardly walk, now they moved as part of the thicket. They slid over mossy branches, swung from vines and crossed small rivers, hopping from slippery rock to slippery rock, nimble as monkeys! They took such joy in their chase that they soon forgot their goal and raced across damp trees and moss, deeper and deeper into the jungle.
Suddenly, the boy came to a stop. The girl, not far behind, slammed into him, halting her momentum too.
"Jahzeem!?" She exclaimed "what are y-"
"Ssshht!" The boy cut her words with a venomous his and covered her mouth with his hand. He crouched and with his other he pointed through the thicket, guiding the girls eyes. Now she noticed the flickering of a light and a distant humming, echoing through the jungle. There, through the trees they saw him. The great Witch Doctor Wah'rell, an elder of their tribe. His hut was rumoured to be unfindable. It was said that many had sought it, but none ever did find... What they just stumbled onto. The old man was yet oblivious to their presence, working meticulously on one of his idols depicting Hethiss, the snake Loa. Once she realised what she was looking at, the girl dropped her jaw, and the boy slowly removed his hand...
"That is..." --The boy nodded.
"But that means..." --The boy nodded again.
"And that means... W-we.. we should get out of here before he sees us!"
The boy hesitated. The girl had already turned around to make a run for it, but the boy held his eyes fixed on the back of the old master. "...No." He said, slowly. He turned to the girl, a smirk had spread on his face that the girl had seen many times before.
"No! No Jahzeem not -now-!, not with-- with -him-!!" The girl hissed between her teeth, her eyes widened in panic. But to no avail. The boy had already started making his way forward, silent as a tiger, creeping through the jungle. The girl cursed under her breath, cast a wistful look behind her back, sighed, and followed the boy.

Closer and closer the boy came, keeping low, ducking under roots and foliage, not making a sound. The Witch Doctors hut was a sight to behold. The surrounding area was riddled with small and big poles and sticks, on top of each an idol perched, depicting the different Loa, usually accompanied by a shrunken head or two. The hut was built between the trees, high off the jungle floor, several chambers spanned by bridges. A thick, persistent mist seemed to hang between the trees here, only thickening as the boy approached. On the ground between the tall trees, a small fire crackled and sparkled, alternating bright colors and smoke, adding to the mist. The mad Witch Doctor was muttering and cackling madly to himself, seemingly unaware of his surroundings. He was twitchy in his motions, carving the face of the great serpent into a piece of wood. The boy peered around and soon set his eyes on a nearby Idol elevated on a stick. He looked upon the brightly colored mask, decorated with feathers and tusks, the wood carved into a permanent, mad grin that seemed to stare at the boy. He knew it to be of Bwonsamdi, the Loa of Death. He had acquired his target. Mesmerised by the idol, he felt drawn to it. He reached further, his fingers stretching out to touch the painted wood... Just a little closer... Just a little bit closer now...

The girl shrieked. There was a loud "THWACK" and she collapsed to the floor. The boy turned around with a jolt, snapped from his mesmer. The wide, dead eyes of his best friend stared at him, frozen in fear. a trickle of blood rolled down from her opened skull. Over her loomed the crafty Doctor, fresh blood dripping from the bone he had used to smash in the girls skull. The boy had never even seen the old Troll move...
Wah'rell was wearing a mask resembling a wicked serpent, which made his giant gnarled tusks sticking out from either side look like menacing fangs. Behind the eye-holes of the mask burned a purple, ethereal fire. The rhythmic shaking of his shoulders gave his chuckle away as the doctor reached for the girls head. The boy watched in horror as the Witch Doctor made her lips move with his fingers, as if the girl was a his puppet, a play-thing.
"Hello Jahzeem!" The doctor cackled, "I wasn't expecting you!" The witch doctor's voice was shrill and seemed to be followed by a second one, a ghostly echo that reverberated within the boy’s mind...
"Such a pity, such a shame..." Wah'rell muttered as he dropped the girl onto the jungle moss. The Witch Doctor took a step towards the boy Jahzeem, heaving his bone into the air, his mad cackle echoing through the boy’s mind.
"Now I will have to stick a new son in your mother’s belly..." The boy’s eyes widened one final time as the bone came down onto his skull.

"THWACK".


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Re: Tales from the Jungle (The origins of a Witch Doctor)

Post by Lexgrad on Tue Jul 17, 2012 6:54 am

:O

Beware of the voodoo mon

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Re: Tales from the Jungle (The origins of a Witch Doctor)

Post by erwtenpeller on Mon Jul 23, 2012 8:41 am

Part 2 got so long I decided to chop it up into two bits. Enjoy more mad troll ramblings below!

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PART 2: DEATH

A thick grey mist settled over the jungle like a heavy curtain, dulling the vibrant colors of its rampant growth. The sounds of the mad witch’s cackles had been drowned out to a distant echo, as though the boy had been submerged under water. He struggled to see through the mist. His mind tried to get his eyes to focus, but he had no eyes to focus with. He wanted to move, to say something, but found no body to move with and no tongue to form words. Jahzeem had become an empty presence in a sea of grey, deprived of all earthly senses. Dark shapes flickered in the distance, voices echoed through the mist. Voices that whispered to him. Shreds of conversation penetrated the grey and found a hold on the boy’s mind, a teasing tickle around the edges of consciousness.
“Still he- the boy st- still here the- the boy- still he- lingers lingers ha-ha-ha!” The boy shook his non-existent head trying to rid himself of the whispers. He wanted to scream but had no mouth to scream with, no lungs to provide air. Panic stirred in the back of his disembodied mind. The whispers only grew clearer, as if they were coming closer, trying to get a grip of what little was left of poor little Jahzeem.
“Still here little Jahzeem! Still here, he is... Ha-ha-ha! Why is- he lingers! Why it does... ha-ha-ha!” The boy, confused and unknowing, longed for them to end, to stop. His mind screamed at the whispers but they just cackled, their murmurs increasingly mad and nonsensical, slowly drowning out what little coherent thought the boy could still form.

Then, a shadow. A twitching, hunched figure in the mist. The boy strained his ethereal eye to focus with all the strength his withering consciousness could muster. The whispers hushed as one, an audience eager to see what would happen next. Slowly, the figure in the mist started to take shape and grew larger, more centered. It felt as if Jahzeem had drawn closer, but he hadn’t moved. The shadows of the jungle felt as if they were moving around -him-. A second shape began to clear from the mist, a shadow underneath the first one. Jahzeems mind recoiled in horror as it became clear what he was witnessing. The hunching figure was the Witch Doctor Wah’rel, the smaller figure the lifeless body of his closest friend, the young girl Neffi. The old Troll loomed over the corpse, his quaking shoulders giving away his mad, distant cackles. With wild motions, the old troll tore what little idols to the spirits the little girl was wearing on her body off and tossed them aside, into the mist. The pair engulfed in the mist drew closer and a third figure appeared from the mist. It lay lifeless, next to the girl. A sinking realisation dawned on the boy. The voices whispered in anticipation, as a crowd waiting for the big reveal. Suddenly, it hit him like the bone that cracked his skull. The third shadow was his own body, and he now knew... He was dead. The voices that had remained hushed now bust out in manic laughter, shadows flickered in the corners of his minds eye.

“Ours, ours! He is ours! Yes, yes, ha-ha-ha!” the voices sneered. The shadows surrounding him grew from all directions, narrowing his vision of Wah’rel, Neffi and himself. Bodiless shapes of what once had been heads danced in the corners of his vision, their expressions twisted into mad grimaces. He felt them pull at him, claw at his last shreds of consciousness. “Yes, yes this one is mine-- No mine- No! It is mine. Mine!” The boy Jahzeem strained to keep his focus, to not be overwhelmed by the encroaching shadows. He felt that, once they would take him, he would be forever gone in darkness. He focussed on Wah’rel, watching what he longed not to see. He watched as the wretched old man had his way with Neffi’s lifeless body. The boy wanted to let go, to look away, but on the edges of his vision all that awaited was the shadow. It was now, looking past the Witch Doctor and his prey, that he noticed the shapes around them. Shadows darker than the blackest of black danced around Wah’rel. Dark tendrils slithered and churned, gnarled claws of living shadow clawed at the witch doctor. The shadows bore the heads of animals; A bat, a tiger, a spider, a panther and the biggest of them all, a snake. The shadows whispered, snarled and hissed at the witch-man... And at each other, competing for attention, rending and tearing at Wah’rel’s spirit. Jahzeem, young as he was, recognized them for what he had been taught to fear. The spirits of the great Loa, entities of immense power that held all of troll-kind in their vicious grasp for as long as there were stories to tell... But there was one he did not know. One he was not taught. It slithered around the others, almost unseen. It bore a wicked grin with many sharp teeth, a sparkly white sticking out from the dark of the shadow. An ethereal, purple fire burned behind its beady little eyes. Suddenly, it turned its frozen grin and stared right at Jahzeem. If he would have had arms, the hair on them would have stood straight up. A cold washed over his very soul, and the shadows around him that had been so violent and eager to drag him into the darkness ceased to exist. The grin started to engulf Jahzeems mind until there was nothing left in existence but him, and that grin.

“Do you know who I am, little Jahzeem?”. A multitude of voices skittered over Jahzeems mind like an army of acidic ants, shaking him to the core of his existence. It somehow sounded terrifying and soothing all at once. He didn’t know how, but an answer came. His own voice as bodiless as the other, echoing through the eternal black. “No..”
A sharp laughter jabbed at Jahzeems spirit like serrated daggers.
“But I think you do, little Jahzeem. You don’t know me by name... But you know who I am...”
- “You are death...” Jahzeem replied. Had it not been for the lack of vocal cords, his voice would have trembled. But in this ethereal blackness, it was calm and single, in contrast to the grins split voice, coming from everywhere and nowhere. Another laugh. The faceless grin widened.
“Very good! Oh so very good of you, little Jahzeem... Now name me. Name me!” The name rolled out of nowhere, a sudden clarity in the darkness. He had never heard it before, but now it seemed like he had known it forever. “You are Bwonsamdi.” The grin laughed again, relishing in self-indulgence.
“Haaaa-ha haa! Yes! Yes, Bwonsamdi it is. Or “the undertaker”, as the others so playfully like to call me. Oh yes... The others may have you in life, but in death, you are mine! Haaaa-ha haa!” The grin laughed again. The stabbing sound fought to murder what little thought Jahzeem had for himself.
“Your spirit lingers, little one. It does!” The grin spoke again, it’s many voices tearing away at the boy. “Something is keeping you here...”
Slowly the grin faded. The blackness made room for a vision of the living world.
“Let me show you...”
In full clarity Jahzeem witnessed the atrocities Wah’rell was performing on Neffi’s body. An anger took hold of him, welling up in the darkest recesses of his dying soul. Grinning faces danced around the vision, claws raked at his mind. Bwonsamdi’s evil laughter shrieked through the black as he made Jahzeem watch.
“You want to kill him, don’t you? Ooooh yes you want to taste his old, stale blood! Haa!”
“Yes.” The resolve in his own voice startled Jahzeems young mind. “Yes. Yes!” It sounded again. Bwonsamdi laughed.
“Bwonsamdi can make it so. Bwonsamdi will be good to you! For a price... What gifts Bwonsamdi gives can just as easily be taken. I will grant you life, and you will serve the dead in the world of the living-”
“Yes! Yes do it! Let me go!!” Jahzeem’s mind roared, interrupting Bwonsamdi’s venomous whispers. What little thoughts his broken mind could conjure were white with rage. Wah’rell must die.
“Very well, little one... I release you...”
Bwonsamdi’s cackles withdrew. The vision faded into nothing and the darkness took a hold of little Jahzeem, pulling him under. He welcomed it now, Bwonsamdi’s cold embrace. He would return, and the Witch Doctor would pay!

PART 3: TUMBLE

The first thing to come back was the familiar, moist warmth of the jungle, driving the cold from his dead body. With a shock like thunder, Jahzeems heart came back to life. Hi lungs filled with air, swelling painfully. The moving blood set fire to his veins. He coughed up the fluids that had settled in his dead lungs. He opened his eyes but the bright light of mid-day burned them, blinding his vision. The empty silence of Bwonsamdi made way to the familiar sounds of the jungle. He tried to move, but a all that happened was a paralyzing pain soaring through his muscles. still deprived of moving blood and air. He heard a voice, just above him. A shrill voice singing a cheerful, wordless song. Wah’rel!

The old Witch Doctor had made his way to the high cliffs, balancing dangerously on the trail to the waterfalls. Time had past. How much? Had it been hours? Days? Jahzeems mind struggled to comprehend. He was slung over Wah’rell’s shoulder and bobbed erratically up and down as the troll climbed ever upwards. Jahzeem struggled to move, to say something. To scream! But found his body completely unresponsive. His eyes opened to narrow slits. Painful light poured into them but he weathered it, allowing it to sear his eyes so they would get used to seeing again. When they finally did, he noticed the body of Neffi, held under the Witch Doctors other arm. Jahzeem coughed up more death-gloop. Wah’rell snickered sickly.
“Hello my little precious. Had a nice little nap, did you?” The shrill voice of Wah’rell made Jahzeems heart cringe. He was not wearing his snake-mask, his face clearly visible. His eyes were sunk deep in his skull, encircled by rows of wrinkles, loose skin. He bore a grin showing soggy gums where teeth were missing, though his tusks, curly and gnarled, seemed as fierce as ever. His skin was dented and sickly, patched in different colors.
“My little friends tell you you’ve been a naughty boy, yes yes! Naughty! Wah’rel giggled and Jahzeem felt a bony finger press onto the tip of his nose. “Naughty Naughty!”
“Did you think old Wah’rell the Hissmaker would not notice? Did you think he would not know? Such a silly boy.” Wah’rell giggled again, his skeletal body shaking with the laughter. “Did you think he would save you, boy? The spirits are tricky, oh yes, so very tricky... It doesn’t matter now. Ha! We are here...”

During the very one-sided conversation, Wah’rel had made his way to the very top of the falls. There he stood now, his toes almost curled over the rock. He leaned forward a moment, to peer over the edge into the deep. Jahzeems eyes had gotten used to the light by now, almost back to the sharpness he was used to. As the old man dipped, the young boy got a glimpse of what was below. The cliff going down seemed endless, the bottom obscured by the eternal mist caused by the ever-churning waters below. A cheerful rainbow teased the clouds of vapor. The roar of cascading water was so loud Jahzeem could feel it now. He had never been up this high. His freshly restored heart jumped into his throat.
“Do you like it, boy? Do you like the sight?” The witch doctor screamed madly over the roaring waters. Wah’rel heaved his arm back and threw the body of little Neffi over the edge. Jahzeem screamed and tried to reach out to her, but all that escaped him was a high-pitched squeak. His arms moved upwards... But the burning in his muscles made them go limp again before they could get far. Helplessly he watched Neffi tumble ever downwards, her body flailing around limply in the air, until finally it vanished between the clouds below. He could barely hear Wah’rells mad laughter.

“Foolish boy...” The Witch Doctor’s voice pulled Jahzeems attention back. He felt a hatred burn in his chest, it slowly spread to fuel his burning muscles.
“Were you not taught not to meddle with the affairs of the spirits? Now look at you... Oh look at you, pretty boy...” Wah’rel kindly stroked Jahzeems cheeck. Jahzeem fumed, growling. He could not move, but his eyes dashed around, spouting fire. “You gave yourself to death, only to die again... What was the price he asked, hmm..? What was the price you payed to come back. Tell sweet old Wah’rel...” The Witch Doctor heaved Jahzeem up close to his ear, a mocking motion to allow the boy to speak. The boy tried to struggle away from the old man’s grasp, wanted to claw and bite at him. His entire being yearned to see the crazy man bleed, encouraging voices whispering in the back of his head. Wah’rel must die! His body answered with nothing but a twitch. Wah’rel shrugged as no answer came.
“Oh well... Time to meet death a second time, pretty boy! Haa-ha-aahh!!” The Witch laughed so hard he could barely manage to lift Jahzeem over his head. When he finally did, he let out a primal roar. “Bwonsamdi have you! Haaa-ah-aah!” And he threw the boy over the edge.

For a brief moment Jahzeem felt a blissful weightlessness. And then a pull. He started tumbling downwards, the rock face zooming by at increasing speeds. The Witch Doctors mocking cackles were quickly drowned out by the roar of the falls below as Jahzeems inevitable demise grew closer. He cursed his existence. He cursed coming back. He cursed Neffi for making him want to come back. Finally he could scream. The terrified shriek of a child falling to his death blended in with the roar of the cascading water... And then he disappeared between the clouds.

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Re: Tales from the Jungle (The origins of a Witch Doctor)

Post by Seranita on Mon Jul 23, 2012 5:03 pm

that is so sad Sad it explains a lot of his current issues to XD

a truly enjoyable read

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Re: Tales from the Jungle (The origins of a Witch Doctor)

Post by erwtenpeller on Wed Sep 19, 2012 1:26 pm

Disclaimer: No actual dwarves where harmed during the writing of this story.

This takes place in "present time" where Jahzeem's body walks Azeroth by the name of Zombini, on a quest to bring Jahzeem back to life.

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INTERMISSION #1: The Feast at Thandol Span.

Zombini sat crouched down beside his skeletal construct that had once been a chicken. It had become an abominable sight, an unnatural collection of bones and marrow held together by the twisted magicks that he now called his own. He barely realised how he made it, but he did. The bones did as he willed, there were no spells, no rituals, no sacrifices. Zombini willed and the bones danced as he commanded. It had wings now; skinless bat-wings that were somehow able to make it fly. Another thing that just happened. He started to feel them now, constantly. The dead. Wherever the marauders dragged his wretched husk he could feel the enemies they slew and he hated it.

He hated it all. He hated them all.

He watched down at the slaughter. The dwarves fought pathetically, hiding behind their light. The marauders had trouble breaking their magics, even though they were the stronger warriors. The blood of fallen auxiliaries from dwarves and marauders alike tainted the wet grass red. A delightful red. Zombini felt himself get filled with glee... This was his joy now; more death. The only time he felt anything, was around death. The delicious feeling of beating a fleshy meatbag to a pulp with his bare hands, drenching himself in their fresh blood.

He hated it. He hated what he was.

When the fighting was over, the marauders returned to Hammerfall deeming themselves victorious. They had taken some trivial treasures from the Dwarves. It didn’t matter. Zombini could feel it in his bones, the real treasure was out there, somewhere, down there. He had watched the big dwarf slay marauders left and right, a big axe and a hammer in hand. His tiny fleshy mouth roared beneath his big, useless beard. Zombini had watched him and he knew he had found his prey. He knew that this one would not be displeasing.

He hated what he would have to do.

The dwarves retreated to their burrows, and Zombini followed, high in the sky. He did not have to watch them, he had found his prey. He could feel him now. No matter where he hid, he would find him. Once the dwarves went underground, Zombini followed. Eluding the guards was easy as the dwarves celebrated their victory. They too thought themselves victorious. Fools. Zombini slipped from shadow to shadow, like Jahzeem would have in the jungle. Like he would when he was alive. His eyes burned bright blue dots in the darkness, yet he went unseen. Drunk Dwarves. Fools.

He hated them. He hated that they were celebrating.

His prey excused himself, still munching on a boar leg and carrying a big tankard of ale, he went to relieve himself. Zombini would follow. As the dwarf leaked his access fluids, Zombini came down from the ceiling like a spider, silent, deadly. The dwarf would never known what hit him. The dwarf would not have the honor of knowing the one that brought about his end, nor would he get the honor of fighting back. Honor was for orcs, not the dead. This needed to be done. Zombini grabbed the dwarf with both hands around the head and drove both his tusks in his back. If you punctured the lungs in just the right way, the victim doesn’t even get the chance to scream in agony in his final moments. Zombini regretted that. He liked it when they screamed, he liked it when they suffered by his hands.

He hated that. He hated that he liked that.

Zombini was quick about the ritual. He placed the Jars and lit the smoke. He knew that once he got started, he could not stop, and the borrow would be alerted to his presence. A part of him wanted that. He wanted to fight, he wanted to slay them all and bathe in glorious death, but the memory of Jahzeem prevented him. He had to do this, for Jahzeem. And so he did. As quickly as possible, he extracted the dwarfs mojo. The mojo of a fighter. One of four mojo’s Jahzeem needed to return to a living body, and for Zombini to end. This would be the second. Jahzeem had taken care of the first one when he was still alive; the Mojo of Guk Swordshatter was buried safely beneath the tree, next to Jahzeems own. Two more.

He hated it all.

Late at night, Zombini arrived at Hammerfall, drenched in the still fresh blood of the dwarf. On his way back he had killed what he saw; straggling dwarves and marauder auxiliaries alike. Why should they get to live and feast, while he rotted? Hate.

The marauders were celebrating they hollow victory, as where the dwarves. All drunk and pathetic, glory and lust in their cheerful eyes. Hate.

Zombini fondly petted the Jar under his arm, the jar he would soon bury under the tree. The mojo of a warrior was his. Two more to go. The mojo of a warrior, a juju-mon, a creeper and a fresh-born. That was what he hunted for.

Two down. Two to go.

He watched the marauders feast for a while. Watched them indulge in the pleasures of the living. Zombini felt cold and distant from them. He had been dead for long enough to forget what it felt like. He had forgotten the joys of being alive, to feel. He had forgotten, but the memory of Jahzeem had not. It would drive him to go on, to complete his task. It was the only reason for Zombini to exist, to bring Jahzeem back amongst the living.

Zombini mashed his teeth as he watched the marauders.

He hated them all.

He hated them for being alive.

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Re: Tales from the Jungle (The origins of a Witch Doctor)

Post by erwtenpeller on Wed Sep 26, 2012 6:12 am

Here's part four, the part I've worked the hardest on. Hopefully you'll enjoy it!

----

PART 4: SACRIFICE.

The jungle was alive with the sounds of drums and didgeridoos, the man-high bonfire casting a warm light to the surrounding raised hutts of the troll village. The young women of the village danced around the high flames, their chests and legs bare. They wore thick snakes draped over their shoulders and hands and guided them into a slithering dance. The girls swayed their hips to the feverish rhythm of the drums. Their curves, young and fair, made a spectacle of it all. The young men, forming a circle around the fire, beat their drums for the girls and howled and sang at them, their faces painted in bright colors and their tusks decorated, most with paint, some even with carvings. In their midsts where the younger girls, clumsily dancing like their older sisters with beaded chains as substitute for the live snakes their older sisters and nieces danced with. All moved to a single rhythm as if possessed, a rhythm led by the elder trolls, beating big drums with the bones of their slain foes. Amongst the dance and music they ate, drank and smoked. It was a feast, a feast for the Loa Hethiss, a feast of fertility. Many young men and women would find someone to their liking to mate with this night. And one of the young, dancing women would be given the greatest honor; To give her life to appease the great serpent, so that the girls would be fertile and the hunt would be bountiful.

Just outside the circle of light cast by the fire, sat old Wah’rel. He was perched up high above the elders and their drums, the women on one side, the men on the other. His throne was made from the bones of their enemies and rivals, and from the greatest bounties their hunters had brought him. He sat slumped down, a head resting on one of his hands while his other was wrapped around the waist of a young girl that sat on his knee, barely in her teens, who fed him the finest of tender meats. He leered down at the display of dancing girls with disdain. Perhaps he would have to call two to the altar this year, if this was the best they could muster. Pah!
He didn’t know how many of these girls were his daughters, nor did he care. Once the old ‘jin, the village leader, had fallen in battle, Wah’rel had taken over as leader. It was supposed to be temporary, but any who resisted his power would mysteriously fall ill, or find a snake in their bed. in the end, none of those weaklings had the guts to challenge old Wah’rel anymore. It was then that he started calling himself Wah’jin. He didn’t pay any attention to the girl on his knee that was sliding her hands down his chest, and his kilt. Pah!
He was bored of this one already. He glanced at the dancing girls below, and with a snarl encouraged the men to increase the ferocity of their drums. Perhaps that would put some fire in them. Pah!

The old man didn’t notice the eyes in the shadows. Eyes that burned with hatred. None of them did, they were all too taken by the sacrificial feast. Soon...

Then the old man noticed her. A girl, too young to be dancing with the snakes, had cheekily caught her own and had slipped in with her sisters. Her red mohawk looked like it danced as the fires itself, as she danced with a burning passion like no other. A fire a girl her age should not possess. She was shorter than most of her soon-to-be peers, breasts and hips still in development, on her way to become a woman. Wah’rel let out a dark, raspy chuckle that sounded more like a cough. The girl on his lap immediately reached for a skin of poison frog brew, but Wah’rel rudely refused it. He jerked forward quickly, rising to his feet. The girl lost her balance with a yelp and tumbled down the bone steps leading up to his throne. The sound of snapping bones accompanied her fall, if the sounds came from the girl or the steps, Wah’rel didn’t care. He had found the girl he needed. As Wah’rel rose the feast fell silent. The elders stopped banging their drums and the girls halted their dance, frozen in their steps. All eyes swiveled to the old Witch Doctor and stared at him with in an anticipating silence. He stood there, the old man, his crooked back made straight, and overlooked the villagers slowly, taking his time.

No one noticed the eyes in the shadows, quickly slipping from cover to cover.

Wah’rel lifted his hand, a boney, twisted finger with a long and hardened nail slowly moving over the girls around the fire, who had now formed a neat row. Most kept their eyes on the ground, nervous of what was to come. Some played with their hair. When the finger finally halted at the young redhead, a wave of gasps and whispers rolled through the crowd. All the other girls stepped back, out of the light of the fire, leaving only her. The girl met the Witch Doctors eyes with confidence, her back straight and a daring smirk on her face. It made the corner of Wah’rel’s lips curl around his old gnarled tusk. He had made the right choice; This girl had fire in her.

No one noticed the figure in the shadows behind the Witch Doctor as he pointed his bony finger.

The old man was about to speak, his mouth open, but the first word stuck in his throat. His eyes widened in disbelief and terror, a slight trickle of blood trickled from the corner of his mouth as he coughed. Wah’rel looked down to his chest right as the tip of a spear burst out of it, gleaming dark red from the Witch Doctors poisonous blood. For a moment time seemed to stand still. The only sounds were the roar of the fire and the Witch Doctors sickening gurgles, a desperate attempt to draw breath. Just as sudden as it had appeared, the tip of the spear drew back from the Witch Doctors chest, leaving a hole, gushing blood. The witch Doctor was about to topple forward as he exclaimed his final breath in a trembling shriek... But a hand came from the shadows and snatched his by white top-knot, halting the fall. The shadows bellowed a deafening roar and the hand ripped Wah’rel’s head from his chest, leaving the lifeless body to tumble down the stairs as the girl did, his brittle bones snapping on the way down. Once it’s fall ended, the villages stared at the lifeless body of their Jin with disbelief, barely realising what had happened. Slowly, their eyes travelled back to the throne, where a figure now stood high, the shadows that had surrounded him slowly retracting.

Before them stood a young man with a healthy hunch, the head of Wah’rel in one hand and his spear in the other. His body was muscular and slender, bound in leather straps bearing strange, square idols. His face was hidden behind a big, rectangular wooden mask, depicting a face with a wicked and savage grin. From his neck dangled several necklaces made from the ears and other trophies of his kills, troll, animals and the unimaginable. The eyes behind the mask burned with a purple fire, his chest was heaving up and down from exertion... Or euphoria. The man stood there for a while, observing the silent crowd, before he heaved the severed head of Wah’rel in the air and roared once more, in victory. Before long, it was echoed by the men that had been so silent, and then the girls and the children. The silence was shattered. When the man’s long breath finally ran out, he hunched forward again, leaning on his spear. He waited for the village to fall silent, before he spoke. He glared down at them.

“I am Jahzeem the life-taken.” he spoke, with a feral snarl. “Wah’rel took my life from me, and how I have taken his.” A shock went through the crowd as they recognized the name of the boy that had disappeared into the jungle, so many years ago.
“Bwonsamdi gave me life, and now I will give him life. I have delivered your Witch Doctor to him.” The girl with the fire-red hair had not flinched, she looked straight up at Jahzeem as she did to old Wah’rel. Jahzeem turned to her, his eyes burning behind that mask. He dropped the head down from his height. It bounced and rolled down the bone steps, to roll to a halt at the girls feet. She barely offered it a glance. Jahzeem pointed a finger to the girl. “You.” he snarled. “You too will be delivered.” Jahzeem straightened his back to overlook the crowd, his accusing finger going over all. “You will all be delivered! Say your final words to your weak snake god! From this day, death itself will rule you, and you will fear him as I do, you will know him as I do!”
As Jahzeem spat out those final words, he threw his head back and heaved his hands up to the sky in a maddened cackle, a laughter that echoed through the woods. “You all will, Bwonsamdi be damned! Bwonsamdi be praised! Death for the death god!”

The watching crowd roared up in outrage. A slew of curses and threats thrown at the cackling Jahzeem, but he paid no heed. Frenzied by the kill he had longed for for so long, he stood there and cackled. Soon, the first spear was thrown, but Jahzeem paid no heed. Shadows had begun to engulf him once again, and his cackles seemed to echo throughout the village, coming from all directions. “You all will!”

The fire flickered and changed to dark purple flames and instead of the warming light, it now brought darkness. Darkness that swallowed Jahzeems brothers and sisters, felling them one by one. Panic spread throughout the village. Men tried to run, threw spears at Jahzeem or at the flames and hit nothing. Children cried out, clutched against their mothers bozems, but it was no matter. The shadows roared and engulfed them all, snuffed out the lives of men, women and children alike, suffocated them in black tendrils of smoke.



Jahzeem sat atop the throne of bones, the bodies of everyone he had once known slaughtered beneath his feet. He had taken off the mask that had hidden his face and now held it in front of him, like a mirror. After the first euphoria of the kill, it started to dawn on him what had happened. He stared at that mask, the face of Bwonsamdi. It softly spoke to him, but he could not make out the words. They were distant whispers in the shadow. They praised him, that he knew. Praised him for what he had done, praised him for the bounties he had delivered to the great Bwonsamdi, guardian of the darkspear dead. darkspear, the enemy of the Bloodscalp. The enemy of his tribe. He grimaced at the mask. Would his own ancestors ever forgive him for what his betrayal? Pah! Did it matter? He would be darkspear now. A darkspear without ancestry.

Jahzeem shook his head and lowered the mask. His eyes wandered over the lifeless village, the piles of dead trolls. He let out a low growl. He had made himself a servant of this new god. All these years he had wandered the jungle, surviving, killing. Just him and that grinning face. The promise of this day had driven him, the promise that he would have revenge for his life. For Neffi’s life. He suddenly felt empty, drained. Tired. he put the mask aside and slowly descended the stairs of Wah’rel’s throne of bones. He kneeled down in front of the red-haired girl that had looked so fierce, her face now frozen in an expression of complete terror. She looked like her. He imagined Neffi would have looked like her at this age, if Wah’rel had not taken her from him. He lifted the lifeless girl in his arms and pressed her against himself. Involuntarily his eyes welled up, and he felt himself overcome. He weeped, holding the dead girl in his arms. Mad laughter haunted him in the back of his head, voices whispered to him, mocked him for his weakness. But he weeped.

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Re: Tales from the Jungle (The origins of a Witch Doctor)

Post by erwtenpeller on Wed Oct 31, 2012 11:06 am

We are making a tiny little jump in time here.

Note that the dialogue in this piece is all in Zandali, and thus without the accent Trolls display when speaking Orcish.

---

PART 5: ORCS

Jahzeem had climbed all the way to the top of the mast of this strange, big ship. This human ship. He easily kept his balance despite the heavy winds and colossal waves that battered the ship and fought to bring it down to the bottom of the ocean. In the distance, the volcano was still billowing black smoke and spewing red-hot rocks. They were swiftly leaving the forgotten islands behind and headed towards a new land; Kalimdor. This wasn’t the first journey to a promised land.

First the Darkspear fled from stranglethorn, driven away by the other Troll tribes of the jungle. In little canoes and catamarans they fled in the only direction they could; Out to sea. They had been safe there, for a while. No rival tribes, just some murlocs here and there that went on about their lives. But a darkness had started growing over the islands, Jahzeem had known it, as had the other witch doctors and shadow hunters. The murlocs started taking trolls in the night, trolls that ventured to the water to fish. And then, to make things worse, the humans had come. Disgusting pink worms with armor and horses, and wizards that showed not the faintest understanding of the powers they were playing with. They had spoiled their ‘perfect’ new home.

The orcs down below started shouting things to Jahzeem in their strange square language that seemed to consist of angry snorts and grunts alone. Jahzeem grinned at them and waved, then turned to his friend Rakhalar, who was hanging upside-down with the mast clenched between his legs. “What do you think they want?” Rakhalar responded with a laugh. “Who knows, man? All these guys do is shout and look angry all day. When they’re not sulking.” Rakhalar laughed again, and Jahzeem joined in. They were strange, these ‘orcs’. They stayed up there, the two of them, nimbly keeping their balance as the ship swayed and the winds tried to throw them off.

The orcs had come out of nowhere. Sen’jin had sensed their arrival, he said. Allies would come from over the sea. Jahzeem had expected trolls, more darkspear, perhaps. Nothing like these square brutes. But they had come, and they had fought. Not like you’re supposed to, not from the treetops and the shadows. These orcs didn’t wait, they didn’t have the patience to set a proper ambush. They just... Ran in, trampled everything in their way, crushed any opposition. The murlocs, the humans, they’d all fallen to orcish axe. Sen’jin had fallen somewhere during the fighting, and Vol’jin had sworn the darkspear to the orcs. They were a ‘horde’ now. Jahzeem scoffed at the word. ‘horde’. Proper name for these square green toads.

More shouting from down below. An elderly troll was being shoved forward and the orcs were trying to get him to understand something. The elder scratched his head and followed their pointing fingers to the trolls high up in the ships mast. There was something strange with one of the orcs man-handling the elder Witch Doctor. Jahzeem leaned down a little and narrowed his eyes for a better look. The orc wore his hair in a big red mohawk, much like many trolls grew theirs naturally, and had a long beard in a single braid that was thrown over his shoulder, filled with little trinkets and shiney things. Jahzeem widened his eyes when he realised what they were; Idols, wards against the spirits! The elder troll down below raised his voice to shout through the torrentuous rains. “Jahzeem! Rakhalar! Get down from there! I think the orcs need you two for something!”

Jahzeem looked at Rakhalar, and Rakhalar looked at him. Jahzeem raised an eyebrow, but Rakhalar shrugged and dropped down, nimbly swinging from ropes and twirling on poles wherever he could grab a hold on his way down. He stood on deck in the blink of an eye, next to the elder that had called him down. Jahzeem grinned and followed. The orcs glared at them, not amused by the display of agility. Jahzeem imagined he wouldn’t be either, if he was a square green toad. Rakhalar smirked at the elder. “How are we supposed to know what they want from us if they only roar and snort?” The elder whacked Rakhalar over the head with his cane. “That is their -language- you unrespectful little tadpole!” the old one rebuked. Rakhalar rubbed the back of his head with a frown.
“He does have a point, Tor’gash.” Jahzeem intervened. “We have no idea what these boys are on about.” The old Tor’gash ran a hand over his chin and raised an eyebrow high, wrinkling his forehead. “Hmmm...”
Meanwhile the orcs started to get impatient. Especially the little one with the spirit-braid started snorting and grunting again in something what must have been a tale of sorts. He was moving his hands an awful lot.
“Ah!” Tor’gash broke his thinking with a deceptively pleasant smirk, holding a sagely finger up high. “You two will simply start doing things, and keep doing different things, until the orcs stop shouting at you. If they stop shouting, that must mean you’re doing something right.” The old troll gave a sagely nod to the two younger trolls. Rakhalar and Jahzeem got ready for their protests, but before either of them could say a word, Tor’gash bonked both of them on the head with his cane and gave them a strict look. “You dare doubt the word of your elder??” Jahzeem hung his head and muttered “No, Witch Doctor.” Rakhalar rubbed the sore spot on the back of his skull and grumbled the same. The orcs laughed.
Tor’gash gave the both of them an approving nod and wiggled his way through the orcs, and disappeared back into the ship's belly.

And thus Rakhalar and Jahzeem started doing things. Mostly wrong things. It wasn’t long before they found out that when they did wrong things and the orcs were laughing, they would stop shouting at them for a while.

Good enough!

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Re: Tales from the Jungle (The origins of a Witch Doctor)

Post by erwtenpeller on Wed Oct 31, 2012 11:07 am

INTERMISSION #2: ZOMBINI’S END

After a long ways travel, Zombini, the walking body of the dead witch doctor Jahzeem, reached his destination; The port-town of Ratchet. This was where Jahzeem had joined the Marauders, this was where he had made his home. This was where he was killed by Illisara, the forsaken rogue that had terrorised the marauders, terrorised the horde. She was dead now, destroyed by the marauders. The chieftain had allowed Zombini to perform his ritual to extract Illisara’s mojo. Would she have allowed it if she knew what dark magic it would fuel? Zombini smirked. His purpose was fulfilled. His unholy walk would end, soon, very soon, and it filled him with peaceful delight.

Zombini walked up to the big tree at the edge of the town. The skeleton of an Ascendancy Elf hung from it, and the bark had scribbles and worn-down paintings in troll writing all around. This had been the home of Jahzeem, when he was alive. This was where he mixed his herbs and salves, this was where he invited guests and performed little rituals. Zombini shuffled around the tree. He knew exactly where to look for the little hatch that led to a hollow under the trees roots, brushed the overgrowth aside and lifted the hatch. He slid down into the narrow space, barely big enough to stand in. The place was dark and damp, the creatures of the earth slithering in the walls and between the roots. Zombini took a good look around, at his accomplishments.

In the middle of the room stood a big, fortified jar. The Jar held what little could be salvaged of Jahzeems soul, after it had fled his body upon his death. It lay there, dormant, waiting for Zombini’s to complete his task. Zombini’s dead flesh tingled, and he couldn’t help but grin, his dry lips cracking as they stretched. In a corner of the room lie two more jars, one blue, one black. The blue jar held the mojo of Guk Swordshatter, the sister of Grim Stonepaw, and once allie of Illisara. The mojo of a magic wielder. Getting a hold of her essence was easy once the easily-enraged Hikka had finished her off. Zombini giggled as Jahzeems memory of the events tickled the back of his brain. Jahzeem had taken this one himself, before his dead. The black jar contained the mojo of Aladras Deleshar, a Blood Elf lord who had sold his soul to the Ascendancy, and who was killed by them when he broke their agreements. Zombini laughed out loud now. He had taken this one himself, it had been so easy. So much easier than getting the Mojo of the dwarf at the Thandol span, what he thought of using before. But this elf’s mojo would be much more useful to him, his connection to his killer made it vastly more potent. Two living essences of two people that had a strong connection to Jahzeems killer in life.

From his satchel, Zombini pulled a yellow jar. This fourth one contained the Mojo of Illisara herself. The living essence of Jahzeem’s killer, and by far the most powerful of the three. Carefully Zombini placed the jar down with the others. With the addition of Illisara, Jahzeem had what he needed now. He had no more need for Zombini. Zombini had hated his existence, hated it more every day. His dead body walked the earth filled with Jahzeems memories of life’s pleasures, but leaving no means to experience them for himself. The only thing that kept him going was his task, and now that it was complete, Zombini could finally stop. he started to peel the heavy plate armor that held him together off of his body. As they came off one by one, bits of rotten flesh here and there did too. His body was full of holes and maggots. Zombini didn’t care. he gathered up the plates of the armor and stuck it all into a tightly bound burlap sack. There would be another day that Zombini would be called to walk, and that day those plates would be needed again. He look a final look around the narrow space and nodding approvingly. It was time. Naked and rotten, he made his way to the surface and carefully hid the entrance to this hollow behind bush and dirt.

Zombini walked for as long as Jahzeems corpse would carry him, but it was failing rapidly. Without purpose, the magic that bound the corpse together was dissipating. He had wished to reach the Echo Islands before it did, but he wouldn’t come near as far. Just outside of ratchet, one of Jahzeems old shins snapped and Zombini fell to the ground. It didn’t matter, he felt complete. Satisfied. It was time for him to end. All that was left to do now for jahzeem was wait for the final ingredient needed for his reincarnation to be completed, but he didn’t need Zombini for that. Somewhere on the echo islands a woman bore Jahzeems child in her womb. Soon, it would be ready. Zombini snickered a little. With a raspy, dead voice, he whispered:

The life of a warror, to form his bone.
The life of a weaver, to bind his soul.
The life of a hunter, to have him grown.
Three lives taken, to pay the toll.

When vengeance be done,
and new blood is born,

return he will,
Jahzeem the death-sworn.


---

And thus ends Zombini.

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