Here is the backstory, for anybody who might be interested.
Zandalar, after the Battle of Dazar’lor.
‘Teacher; I be leavin’ Zandalar.’
Threads of faint, gilt light drifted away over the edge of the grand pyramid as Rayari, Elder Prelate of the Zandalari paladin order spun to face his student in disappointment. His golden eyes narrowed in contempt.
‘Jastah. Far be it from ya to express ya cowardice away from dis holy temple, ‘fore Rezan’s ashes be cold,’ Rayari spat in reply. He turned back to the vista of mighty Dazar’lor, more twisting lines of light pouring forth from his spaulders as the light within him reacted to his anger. Jastah ignored his teacher; he was quick to anger at the best of times, and always calmed down just as rapidly. Jastah found himself wondering when his own connection to the light would grow to be as strong as his teacher's. Right now, he had only mastered the most basic of Prelate techniques… the light only appeared in him in a soft, small glow at times. His father and Rayari practically had golden, misted light spilling from every orifice at any given time, and their eyes blazed a fierce yellow in contrast to his own glowing blue. In battle, the two Elder Prelates were storms of vengeful righteous fire, whereas the only things that marked Jastah as a paladin at all were his novice gear and technique.
‘It not be a surprise ta me, mon,’ Rayari finally spoke. ‘We all seen ya at ya trainin’; driftin’, aimlessly swingin’ ya faddah’s old weapon like ya don’t really wanna hit anythin’ wit it.’
Jastah aimed his sight firmly at the yellow brick beneath their feet, nudging a tuft of bright green turf that had broken through with a toe.
‘Rezan be gone. De light of Zandalar be gone… and de light of my life be gone as well. I don’t feel worthy ta bear dis hammer.’ Jastah sighed.
‘We know Rezan be gone, whelp,’ Rayari growled. A pulse of light surged through his pauldrons, and traced its way through the rest of his artificer-forged armour. ‘Dose of us who bein’ fightin’ with de light in us for as long as ya faddah and I felt dat blow more deeply, an’ more dreadfully den any of ya could have.’ Rayari exhaled heavily, and the light surrounding him began to appear with less agitation. He turned from the vista again, and strode to a bench. With one pale grey finger, he beckoned Jastah to be seated with him.
Jastah tentatively followed his teacher, and sat lightly at a respectable distance from him.
‘I be sorry, Jastah,’ Rayari murmured. ‘Atal’dazar… Rezan… dose we lost in de siege… it all be weighin’ down on me. If I be you, I probably be wantin’ to leave dis fallen home o’ ours as well. In fact, a small part o’ me wants ta be goin’ wit ya… but I been alive a hundred an’ fifty years. I’ve seen Zandalar in its glory. Ya faddah and I have played our parts. It be time for you to play yours, in de new world, for de new Zandalar.’
‘So I can go?’ Jastah blurted, glad that he had read Rayari's shifting moods correctly.
‘O’ course ya can, mon,’ Rayari smiled, in spite of his seemingly permanent state of sullenness since the doom of Rezan. ‘I bless ya departure wit’ what shreds of light be left clingin’ to us. And ya won’t be alone. Many oddah young ones will be joinin’ da horde as well.’
‘How did ya know I be joinin’ da Horde as well?’ he asked in surprise.
‘Dey got some light bearers in dat mob dat put even our best ta’ shame, mon.’ Rayari’s face fell. ‘In all seriousness… I saw me oldest friend fall ta’ those Alliance dogs,’ the Elder Prelate continued dejectedly. ‘We both saw da way dey hacked at ‘is body after de ice witch’s magic crippled and stranded ‘im. Dey didn’t know him… he’d never fought dem before. He’d never even seem dem in his life, before dey came to destroy his home. But dey hated him. Dey showed ‘im dishonour dat I could never show even Rezan’s killers. I’d want to join de Horde as well, if dis be the monsters dey been fightin’ against for survival even as dey came to our aid against de blood trolls, and then against de Alliance.’
Jastah averted his face as he felt a tear almost spring to his eyes again, unbidden. The memory of seeing his father’s corpse being mutilated by the baying hordes of blue-clad soldiers long after the killing blow had been struck, the pure disgust and hated on their faces as they paraded his body around like he were the basest, most putrid animal alive… They had even cursed and spat at Rayari, when he had stepped in and reclaimed his friend’s body clad in a bulwark of crackling light. As if he were committing some kind of atrocity, simply denying them their barbaric sport with the honoured dead.
Be strong, he told himself. You have cried enough. Now, you must act.
‘Ya right. I saw what dey did to my father… and ‘e never deserved dat. Not in dis life, or in de next. Not in a thousand of dem. May de light embrace him wit’ a warmth befitting for de troll ‘e was.’ The two sat in silence for a moment, drinking in Zandalar for the final time together. The distant clamour of brutosaur and merchant, the shrieks of the raptors, pterrodaxes and druids, the smell of the sea breeze as it swept across the city to be lost among the jungle… the tear finally sprang from Jastah’s eye, and traced a zigzag across his rocky cheek scales. He stood.
‘I best be goin’, teacher. I be doin’ us proud in de Horde, and I be showin’ dis world what honour truly be.’
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© Post "Being the filthy half-RP’er that I am, decided to spent 20 minutes to write a small bit of backstory for my new Zandalari paladin, to help immerse me more in the leveling experience. Highly recommend doing this, to those who enjoy the lore of the game and want to give their toon a bit of life." for game World of Warcraft.
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