I promised an introduction to the newest members of my troupe, so here they are. Starting with a bit of their backstories, then finishing with what has happened so far in-game.
Arvoss was a paladin of the Silver Hand, living near the capital city of Lordaeron. He faithfully served his king and country for almost 30 years, until the day he and several others went with Prince Arthas to investigate rumors of a plague. They found the rumors were true, and worse. When they reached the city of Stratholme and Arthas announced his plans, Arvoss was shocked. But despite his misgivings, he followed his Prince inside.
The slaughter of the unsuspecting citizens would haunt Arvoss for the rest of his life. He continued to follow Arthas' orders, but began losing his focus as they moved through the city. The townspeople began to fight back against the paladins, and as Arvoss tried to hold off 3 at once, another slipped behind him with a kitchen knife. He never saw it coming.
In an even crueler twist of fate, his body was taken to Acherus and he was raised as a death knight. His memories of the following years are hazy at best, and he never speaks of them. The only good that came from them was his friendship of a gnome death knight named Frazle. Then came the day of the attack on Light's Hope.
After the battle at the Chapel, Arvoss and Frazle helped their new brothers of the Ebon Blade retake Acherus and fortify it as their new base. Then they were sent to Stormwind, papers in hand, to recieve (they hoped) a pardon from the King and acceptance into the Alliance. ((See the movie in my last post.)) They got it, and upon leaving the palace they ran into a curious druid, who had followed them through most of the city. She introduced herself as Windstar, and they became unlikely friends. With nothing better to do, Arvoss spent much of his time with Windstar, and also met her twin brother Tadrith, a hunter, the following week. He appreciated the Night elves' friendship, and began taking a sort of fatherly interest in them, spending time with them when they were in the city and keeping in touch when they left.
Frazle also stayed in Stormwind for a time, but then moved to Ironforge, to better pursue his interest in engineering and gadgets, so when the twins were out doing their own thing, Arvoss spent a lot of time alone. He also began slipping into a depression as his memories of when he was a paladin came back. He missed the Light badly, but naturally he couldn't do anything with it as a death knight. So he spent many nights drinking at the Pig & Whistle tavern.
Windstar found out about what he was doing and tried to talk to him a few times, but finally wound up sending her brother a letter. Tadrith found Arvoss at the Pig one night a few days later, and they had a long talk. Finally, Arvoss promised he would think on what Tad had said.
The next day he went to the Dwarven District and asked for a blacksmithing hammer. Over the next few days, he would go out to mine ore, then returned to Stormwind and pounded the metal into things. He also stopped drinking, except for special occasions, and didn't get drunk like he used to. With Frazle's encouragement, he took a trip to Ironforge and started looking at houses for sale.
Shaurria knew she wanted to be a druid from the time she could understand things, and started her training as early as possible. She focused mostly on the healing aspect of druid magic, with her doting parents' blessings. She also made a fast friend of a rogue named Sydana, and they spent most of their time training together. While they were out one day, they ran into a hunter named Tadrith, who helped them out with a few things, then gave them some leather armor pieces he had made. He introduced them to his sister Windstar the next day, when they ran into the twins in Darnassus. Windstar took a special interest in Shaurria, answering the shy, younger druid's questions and giving some advice. The two became close very quickly.
Even though she wanted to become a healer, Shaurria still went through lessons on a druid's feral forms. When she learned how to shapeshift into a bear, she went running to her parents' home in Starbreeze Village to tell them. What she found was the village overrun with crazed furbolgs. She managed to sneak through the village without being caught to her home. There she found her parents, killed by the furbolgs. She went into shock at the discovery, and remembered nothing until she found herself wandering the southern edge of the Moonglade. Overcome by grief, she kept wandering aimlessly until she heard a deep, rumbling voice in her head. You don't have to be alone, it said. Come to me little one. She followed the voice to find an enormous cat, an animal spirit, waiting for her near the Barrows.
The cat spirit cared for her until she was over the worst of her grief, then began teaching her the feral path. She learned quickly, but her parents' deaths had shocked her, and she tried to avoid contact with others. The cat spirit urged her to go out, however, so she made her way back to Darkshore, feeling more comfortable among her own race. It was there that Windstar found her again.
Windstar convinced her to come with her to Westfall, accompanied by the twin sister of Shaur's old friend Sydana. Although Shaurria was terrified for most of the trip, especially when they got to Stormwind and she saw the crowds there, Windstar guided her carefully and didn't let her panic. Syeana, their companion for the trip, also helped some. When they finally arrived, Windstar and Syeana explained to Shaurria how the Defias organization was making things tough for the farmers there, and Shaur began feeling an urge to help. She wound up settling in nicely, and after a few days Windstar felt it was safe to leave her.
Shaurria did whatever the militia leaders asked of her, and finally the Defias were somewhat neutralized. Shaur was feeling much more confident about herself by now, and even surprised Windstar a time or two by visiting her in Stormwind. Around that time, Windstar began having thoughts about Shaur, and her other friend Arvoss...
Then Shaur was called back to Moonglade by the cat spirit, who had an important lesson for her; with his help she finally learned to shapeshift to a cat. With the lesson came sadness, though, because the spirit told her she shouldn't visit him often again. Now that she could take on his shape, she should stay with her own people more.
Shaurria was feeling a little bit lost and lonely when she returned to Westfall. Windstar found her there and asked her to come to Stormwind for a bit. Shaur agreed, doing her best to appear normal in front of her mentor. Windstar took her to the Pig & Whistle, which was crowded that night. Shaur kept to the shadows mostly, watching the other people. She finally felt confident to sneak out and steal a few scratchings from the friendlier folks, and was feeling pretty good when Windstar took her up to the second floor. There they found a pair of death knights at a corner table.
Windstar walked up to them. "Hello, Arvoss, Frazle," she said. "This is Shaurria." As the two death knights turned to look at her, Shaur found herself strangely drawn to the human. She purred politely to the gnome, then stepped closer to the one Windstar had called Arvoss. He grinned down at her. "Ah think Ah ken what ye be lookin' for," he said with a rather thick Lordaeron accent, and began scratching her around the ears.
That was possibly the best evening Shaurria had had since she could remember. As the number of people in the tavern dwindled, she became brave enough to mingle with those that stayed, and wherever she went, Arvoss and Windstar stayed close. For the first time since her parents died, she felt safe. Arvoss even went to the kitchen and came back with a heaping plate for her, which she bolted, then went back to begging ear rubs. She barely noticed when Windstar took Arvoss to a corner and they began speaking in low voices. She heard her name once or twice, and knew they were talking about her, but she was too distracted by the other people to care much.
Finally the tavern was mostly empty, and Shaurria was yawning every few minutes. She followed the others as they left the Pig and they stood at the door for a few minutes, saying their goodbyes. Shaurria wanted to say goodbye to Arvoss, but she didn't speak well while in her kitty form, so finally she did something that she usually never did; she shifted to her Night elf form. "Goodbye, Arvoss," she said shyly, while Windstar gawked at her. "It was nice meeting you." "S'a pleasure," Arvoss replied, surprised. Shaurria smiled at them all, then turned and headed off to her favorite sleeping spot in the Park, shifting back to a cat as she went.
Arvoss, Frazle, and Windstar talked for awhile longer, mostly about Shaurria. Finally they parted ways, each heading to their respective homes. Arvoss found himself thinking hard about the little druid as he rode his charger Shade back to the inn. Windstar had told him what she knew of Shaur's history; how she had disappeared for several weeks and had returned skittish and wary, how she lived either in the Park or out in the wild, and how she didn't seem to have anyone caring for her, outside of Star herself. He thought about it all the way to his room. By the time he lay down to sleep, he had reached a decision.
The next day he took a picnic lunch out to the Park where, just as Windstar had said, he found a young druid kitty playing in the sun. It was the first of many.