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[personal profile] iliadawry
This is a first -- more than a snippet of writing about a WoW character. Verali wanted to recount the events that led Lion to become Arjuna, so here they are.

I record this series of events for posterity, perhaps. Or perhaps in hopes that someone will let the cubs and grandcubs know the glory of their history, should I be unable to do so. (Certainly, I hope that is not the case, but I must consider the possibility. Fighting the Legion on the remains of Draenor is dangerous work.)

Arjuna was once Lion, a spotted nightsaber from Teldrassil. Spotted nightsabers are a bit unusual even there, only found in the southwest branches of the great tree. I befriended him shortly after my Alastieredan's death, when I lived far into the branches and spoke to no one. His warmth was solace, his shape familiar enough to offer comfort without being so similar as to bring more pain than I already felt. I learned then that I slept better with my back to a saber than I did alone. He and I hunted together for many seasons, but sometimes he was tired and wished to spend some time lazing, since he was fat and sleek with our success. So it came to be that I befriended Echo as well -- her ghostly nature worried him at first, but he has come to be accustomed and very fond of her. She is tireless; perhaps the very insubstantialness that makes her stealth so effective drives her. I do not know precisely why she prefers hunting to resting unlike most sabers, but she does. She and Lion agreed between themselves that she would accompany me on most of my hunts, and so she has.

However, it was Lion who was with me the day I visited Gnomeregan. It was that visit that began his troubles. One of the leper gnomes used a Discombobulator Ray on him, turning him into a leper gnome himself. I was of the understanding that this condition would wear off after only a short time... but it did not. I waited for several hours before taking him to Tinkertown in Ironforge to see the engineers, and I believe those hours took their toll. The engineers there restored him to some degree -- his coat was dark and pantherine, his spots gone, and he was (for the time being) female, which displeased him. Fortunately my beloved has some experience in engineering and he was able to restore Lion's proper sex, much to his happiness (and Echo's as well).

Lion returned to his valued place -- both waiting for my return at the hearth I share with my beloved and sometimes accompanying me in my adventures. He and Echo grew close when I was home and preoccupied with Hadrigan, and before too long their closeness caused her to inform me that there would be cubs, soon enough.

It was about that time that I began to wonder if something troubled him. He grew confused occasionally. Sometimes on rising he would limp, and once he collapsed due to some fleeting deformity of one of his forelegs. I was terribly worried at that and called Hadrigan's attention to him immediately. After only a brief examination Had reported that the energies of the discombobulation and the recombobulations seemed to have had a negative effect on his overall integrity. The problem was severe enough that it seemed unlikely to be remedied by more engineering.

I was unsure at first where to go. Would the Cathedral of the Light laugh at the plight of a saber? What of the dwarves? I returned, in the end, to an old and familiar place -- the Temple of the Moon in Darnassus. I know A'moora would have sympathy for Lion's troubles; she had always been kind, before and after my sacrifice. Fortunately I was correct, and she offered a solution, its specifics decided only after a long exchange of information while Lion's very form quivered in my arms. She first thought I should seek the goddess of all sabers, but upon learning Lion's name and temperament she said that if I could bring to her Sian-Rotam, she may be able to offer a solution.

Though I felt monstrous abandoning Lion in the temple, I did just that -- I told him how much I love him and that I intended to save him and caught a hippogriff to Winterspring. There I sought someone, anyone, to help me summon Shy-Rotam and her husband. That was itself a difficult endeavour; only those in the Horde knew the proper rituals. The language barrier was the least of my worries in finding help from among its ranks. Fortunately an orc I came to learn was named Mumbles took pity on my plight and offered his help freely.

We ventured into the wilds of Winterspring, journeying together to Frostsaber Rock. We found the sacred saber meat to summon Shy-Rotam, who would call to her husband. We tried, and we failed, twice, to persuade him of the worthiness of my cause. It was only with the help of another stranger, a human mage who never mentioned his name, that I was able to distract him sufficiently to speak to him of Lion's sickness. Hearing that terrible tale, he decided it was right to accompany me. So honoured, I returned to Darnassus and the Temple of the Moon.

The sight that awaited me there was truly horrifying. Only A'moora's magics held Lion together; his flesh bubbled and shifted, and in many places it was hardly flesh at all. Sian-Rotam looked at her, quietly blessing her, and he offered the same protection to me... and then he roared, clearing the temple of worshipers and most of its priests. Tyrande watched us from her place on the opposite balcony, but she was silent and still. A'moora fell to her knees in prayer, and for the first time in many years I joined her, offering my praise of Lion and my hope that he could continue to be a trusted companion and member of my family.

Lion himself opened his one remaining eye to look at Sian-Rotam, and then closed it in respect of his majestic presence. He has told me it was then that Sian spoke with him, questioning his motives and his life fiercely before ultimately judging him. Lion was honoured to be judged worthy by the God of Lions, and gratefully accepted a new form -- one similar to Sian-Rotam's own, a lion the pure untainted silver of moonlight on snow. He accepted as well the new name his god sought to give him -- Arjuna, "shining one" in the language of lions and their gods. He rose from the sloughed remains of his panther's fur bright and gleaming, and he bowed to Sian-Rotam, and he padded over to me to lick my face and let me bury my hands in his new mane.

I buried my face there as well, letting the luxuriant mane soak away my tears of joy and relief at having my friend returned to me, and I wrapped my arms around him. Even I felt triumph at his new form as we returned to Ironforge. Echo was surprised by Arjuna's new appearance and new name, but she scented his presence long before she saw him and harboured no doubt that this was her mate. The two were curled up together before the fire in mere moments, shooting meaningful looks at their two-legged family. Since I was myself glad to be home with my beloved and more than willing to be shooed, Hadrigan and I retired shortly after to leave the sabers some privacy.
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April 2007

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