Death of a paladin


– Shuanna*

“Come sail your ships around me
And burn your bridges down
We make a little history, baby
Every time you come around”

– Nick Cave

There had been one nightmare to many. Everyone has a breaking point and she had reached hers. Alone, still trembling, still slick with sweat thick as oil, still cold. It’s unsual to wake up screaming (she had done it before but a long time ago). Instead she woke up with a whimper, a small gasp.

Only this time she knew it was time for a change. Salvation. Peace. Her thoughts wandered in a direction she didn’t want them to go but to a place they had gone too often lately. Ever since Northrend … dread Northrend.

The ghouls didn’t break her. The cold didn’t break her. What broke her spirit was the never ending echoes of death. Late nights, hunkered down close to a fire covered in furs on a parapet not far from the Wrathgate – there was the screams. Early mornings in Dalaran, a coffee and fresh bagels with cheese on a balcony dressed in nothing but mageweave – yet there was the screams. The chilly but pleasant evenings in Grizzly Hills, laughing and cheering as roughnecks tossed logs and horseshoes in the light of bonfires – and there, deep within her, was the screams.

The screams never left her. The women screaming as Karabor fell. The men screaming as Shattrath fell. The children screaming as camp after camp after camp in Zangarmarsh fell. The dogs screaming – oh that was horrible. She’d been assigned as security to a hunting party of nobles who had bought their sons titles in the Argent Dawn. They were in Eastern Plaguelands, not far from Maris Stead. The ghouls and filth who attacked the camp didn’t care about the humans and night elves – they were after the dogs. The dogs, screaming. And the horses, the horses screaming.

Someone high up in the echelon of the Alliance had thought cavalry would do just the trick in Icecrown. They were wrong. Barely two days after the horses had arrived most of them were sick or suffering from severe frostbite. A complete cavalry regiment – the 71:st of Northshire – had to shoot their horses. The wailing screams of horses slaughtered – it echoed across the frozen wastes. A sound met with hollow laughter from the Scourge.

Yes … There had been one nightmare to many. It was time for a change. Seven years of pain had to end.

There’s only one way to end it for a paladin.

Shuanna took a long, last look at the twohand mace above the mantlepiece. Then she sat down by the desk, pulled a piece of paper close – and a pen.

“Dearest sister,” she wrote. “I’m sorry.”

– – – – –


Sometimes nostalgia and tradition is a good thing. Sometimes it’s not. There comes a time in every characters lifespan when all that could be done has been done. Such is the fate of Shuanna – the very first Alliance character I rolled on EU-Saurfang.

That was back in … 2007. Or possibly 2008, I actually can’t remember.

Shuanna fought her way to level 80 mostly by questing. The dungeons she eventually ventured into came later – much later. When she could solo them. I wasn’t a particularly good player back then – at least not with paladins. I still suck as a paladin, wich is why she’s been a banker toon for the last three years. Those 5 levels of Cataclysm was a horrible experience. The last 5 level of Pandaria wasn’t much better.

Paladin isn’t “my” class.

In a sense Shuanna is still my First Main even though she’s only been handling the familys economy the past couple of years. But it bugs me a bit; she should get more “trigger time”. She should be my Draenei Prime – she’s the oldest of them after all. Wich is why I’m about to do something terrible. Or fantastic. It’s all in the eye of the beholder. By now I’ve reached a point where both of my current mains – Vassannah and Sharenne – sit comfortably at iLvl 533. I’m even exalted with Emperor Shao Shao and farming timeless coins for the mount, well, that’s something that will accumulate over time as I diligently do my dailies and weeklies. I don’t have to worry about progression; I’m hardcore casual.

So I’m planning a “new project”. It’s a journey back to the roots, back to where it all began. Some changes, but one must never ever be afraid of change. It’s like Frank Zappa said, “without deviation from the norm, change is not possible”. To be honest – it bugs me quite a bit that my “Draenei Prime” is languishing in bank alt hell. So!

Within a few days, once things are in order, I’m going to delete Shuanna.

Don’t fret. Think of the quote from “the Ship Song” by Nick Cave up above. “We make a little history, baby, Every time you come around”. There’s history in the making here, see. Right after she’s deleted she will be reborn – same face, same attitude. Probably the same nightmares (it’s hard to blank out memories of genocide).

Meet Shuanna the Priest. Eventually.

I’m going to start anew, a reboot. By the time Warlords of Draenor comes around I’m pretty sure she will be decked in the best gear available to a non-raider. There’s LFR, there’s a lot of things to do for her that she never did as a paladin. There’s titles, reputations, areas she never saw, monsters that never sleeps – and, of course, there’s clothes she never could wear.

As Walt Whitman put it:

“We have circled and circled till we have arrived home again, we two,
We have voided all but freedom and all but our own joy.”

Farewell, Shuanna.

Welcome back!

– – – – –

*: After some feedback from here and there it appears that paladins are hard to kill. So disregard anything I said.

Also, Shuanna is standing behind me with a mace right now.

Update to follow.


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