RP: The Festival of Gonabaut

Yesterday, one of our Horde guilds staged an RP event that was a blast.

We have three Horde RP guilds on Maelstrom and two Alliance RP guilds on Emerald Dream; we created these guilds by moving people from various different servers when the new RP-PVP servers, Maelstrom and Emerald Dream, first opened up. The objective was to attract friends and relatives who were playing in several small groups on various different servers to consolidate onto these two, one for Horde characters, and one for Alliance characters, so that we could all play together easily. The downside, of course was that people with characters level 50-60 have to go through a lot of leveling again to get back to that stage, but there was surprisingly little controversy about it. Apparently, the attraction of playing together with people known to be good companions, and the attraction of the new RP-PVP servers, outweighed the cost of re-leveling high-level characters.

Yesterday, one of the guilds, Tooska Tribe, staged a festival and pilgrimage that went wonderfully. Tooska is the oldest and best-developed of the RP guilds. It has been in play since the game's release, and has a well-developed culture, language, and mythology. It's an all-Troll guild which simulates a particular tribe of Trolls, allies of the Darkspear Trolls, which was scattered by war, and which is now trying to bring its lost members back together.

Yesterday was the High Holy Day of Gonabaut, the legendary first son of the loa Bondadi and Mamaibli, who in times of legend fought the Bug Tribe that was bringing disease and destruction onto all the tribe. He ate all the Bug Tribe, saving the Tooska, but became so fat he coudn't move. Bondadi then cut away his fat and shaped it into trees and gave them life, but they remembered they were part of Gonabaut, and so kept trying to get back inside him, and so he could never rest. For that reason, Gonabaut had to continuously travel, never resting, always going from place to place, fighting enemies of the Tribe.

To commemorate his journeys, Tooska Tribe staged a long pilgrimage. The whole tribe gathered at the Zeppelin tower near Orgrimmar, took the Zeppelin to Grom'gol camp, and danced and sang there. Then, together with a couple of folks from outside the tribe who were intrigued by our dancing and singing and telling tales of Gonabaut, we set off up the road through Stranglethorn.

Our group's highest level was 27 (it wasn't that long ago that we all moved over from previous servers), and it was pretty rough going, but hardship is the way of the pilgrim, and we were commemorating the sufferings of Gonabaut in his travels, so we kept going.

We traveled up the road to the north of Stranglethorn, where we were set upon by raptors and cats and passing Alliance. We fought and died and resurrected one another, and kept going. We entered Duskwood and traveled north, and were almost completely wiped out by attacking Alliance, until Bondadi sent a huge monster to frighten them away (Stitches showed up at an opportune moment and several of the Alliance went off to get killed by him). We kept going north through the dark forest to the river, and ran east along the water.

At the bridge to Lakeshire we signalled our peaceful intentions by waving and saluting, and the cursed Alliance ignored our signals and attacked us anyway, so once again we fought and died and resurrected one another, and kept on going. We ran past the Blackrock Orcs, and through the gates of Blackrock Pass into the Burning Steppes, where our oldest shaman (me!) was crushed under the feet of Volchan. But we resurrected him and kept going, across the blazing landscape and into Blackrock Mountain.

As we kept going north into the Searing Gorge and east, the Alliance gathered to chase and harry us. But Mamaibli sent her spiders to distract them, and we came through the pass together into the Badlands, where for a brief moment, we could rest at Kargath.

Then it was back on the road to the east. We struggled and fought and died our way across the Badlands, dancing and shouting "Haiaiaiai Gonabaut!" whenever we came through safely, and passed into Loch Modan. There we met a Gnome Warlock and an Elf Hunter on their mounts, who simply nodded and saluted when we made our peaceful intentions known. But another elf was not so respectful of the sacredness of pilgrimage, and attacked us, killing many of our members. Still, we pressed on.

We swam the Loch to the north, all but one of our number, who is terrified of water, and had to run along the edge. We came to the gates through the mountains and ran through, trying to preserve a peaceful demeanor, but the dwarf guards chased and harassed us. Several times single Alliance attacked us, but we killed them. As we emerged into the Wetlands, news of our passing must have gone before us, because it was not long before more Alliance came to harry our passing. We killed several of our attackers, all of them stronger (higher level) than our strongest pilgrim, but it seems that Bondadi blessed us with courage. Still, we pressed on, thinking of Gonabaut's trials and suffering whenever it all seemed too much for us.

We ran north to Hammerfall, and then westward across Arathi, with one Alliance fighter after another dogging us. About this time, one of the guests who had run and fought alongside us announced that Gonabaut had made clear to him that he did not belong with his old tribe, and we recognized a long-lost brother and accepted him into Tooska Tribe. There was more dancing and celebration, even as we continued to travel and to fight Alliance and beasts that the loa sent to remind us of Gonabaut's suffering.

As we approached Southshore, it seemed that a great force of Alliance had gathered to wipe us out once and for all, and we pressed on grimly, sure that our time was done. But at the last moment, a heroic band of Horde fighters descended on them from the northeast and pressed them back into Southshore, and we danced and shouted the praises of the loa. Two of our number stopped to show our gratitude by killing Alliance alongside our saviors, but then we pressed on.

The Alliance sent a few who harried us right into Tirisfal Glades, but at long last we reached the Zeppelin tower there, and our pilgrimage was complete. We gathered all our survivors together and danced and sang and shouted "Haiaiai Gonabaut" and "Wi Tuska nat skea fo wak eniwea!" and we ate and drank until finally, exhausted and sated, we all fell down in a circle to sleep.

And that was the festival of Gonabaut.