Ancestors, I need your wisdom now more than ever before. Great personal and social upheaval surrounds us and it seems we are without a steady star to guide us. I offer my tale to you that you may find me worthy of your grace.
Things changed quickly after the Battle of Stonefang Gorges. Drek’Thar found he could see magical energies after having lost his eyes to the elementals he summoned in order to win the battle against the ogres. This vision directed us to a site of tremendous magical power similar to previous ruins scattered through Frostfire. Unlike the previous sites which revealed to us spectral images from the past, this site contained a moment actually frozen in time. The flames moved increasingly slowly as we approached the center of the structure until the torches on the wall didn’t seem to flicker at all. The air itself was heavy and difficult to breath as if it resisted your lungs. At the very center of it all were figures alive yet frozen in battle, droplets of blood still hanging in the air. Their unrecognizable clan insignias born on their tabards suggested they could have been in that state for hundreds or thousands of years.
From one of the figures emerged a spectral apparition like we had seen before. She explained that she and her sister were the last of the Keepers, a group of orcs that contained within their minds the collective orcish cultural memory. More than just the shared oral shamanic traditions, these were real memories as if the Keeper had lived it themselves complete with sensory information. For reasons not entirely clear, they were hunted by their fellow orcs and destroyed. These last 2 had been able to stay alive by manipulating the local time and freezing the moment of their death as we had come to bear witness.
Hearing her describe the the Keepers, I felt that such as that would truly be what my life had been working toward all along. To not just know the stories but to channel them fully. I asked that she show me the way of the Keepers. She agreed to pass the power to myself, Tor’vash, Oguk, and Dak, but indicated it was a curse. She split in four and gripped each of us by the head with both hands. My body and spirit were racked with such incredible pain that I immediately regretted my request. The physical discomfort paled compared to the indescribable existential agony. It was like being punched 1000 times only to find out the bloody, ragged stump of a fist punishing you was your own.
When we regained consciousness we found ourselves more in tune with our the elements to a degree that we could bend them slightly to our will. We also had flickers of memories that were not our own but no way to decipher them.
We returned to speak with Drek’Thar and Durotan but we were divided about what to tell them. If we were the new Keepers and the previous Keepers had been hunted by their fellow orcs, I felt it best to keep the secret until we knew what it meant. Dak disagreed, and after a heated discussion with Drek’Thar and our chieftain, we were instructed to seek out the advice of a sage.
I fear that this proved to be a mistake for not only did the sage illuminate nothing, but another, Kargath, chieftain of the Open Hand, discovered our secret. Kargath has now called a meeting of all the clan chieftains which Durotan fears we may not survive. It seems there are still some among the orcs who remember the Keepers and do not welcome their return.