I guess I should start out by saying that this is my Mother’s idea because she is afraid that I might get hit on the head and forget myself again. You know how Mother’s are, right? Well, I’m doing this to please her and to have something to do when I am spending some time alone. I spend a lot of time alone, seems that not many people, Tauren or the other races like to hang out with one such as I.
Let me start at the beginning because if I don’t, it won’t make much sense. My family, the Cloudhoof Clan, lives in Thunder Bluff because that’s how things are. My given name was Naton Cloudhoof, however, that was changed when I became a Death Knight and was given the name of Sadheart by them because it suited my sunny disposition, I suppose. I wasn’t keen on waking up dead you see and voiced my opinion very loudly and often.
My parents had gone out on one of their many trips into the plains to do what they did for a living and to provide for our family. My Mother, Mooma, was a loving, kind and gentle woman that liked to follow my Father when he was hunting for meat and hides – she gathered herbs, he did the hunting. As far as I know, they were both devoted to one another and always spent as much time together as they could. I suppose they spent a lot of time together “alone” since I have three younger siblings that aren’t too far apart in age.
Anyway, they were out on one of their adventures together and they didn’t come home when they were expected. I was a young hunter back then and I think that I was good at what I did or so my Mother tells me. I know that we sent out search parties to find them to no avail and after several days of searching the areas that we all knew they frequented, the search parties gave them up for “lost” or even dead.
I was an angry young bull back then. I didn’t want to have to raise my siblings on my own, even with the help of the tribe; I wanted my loving parents back home where they belonged. The constant bellowing and lowing of my youngest brother, Tahfal kept grating on my nerves because there was no comfort that I could offer him. There was no comfort that I could give to him, the other siblings or even myself. While the rest of the group started preparing for the burial ceremony, without bodies, and started the mourning process, I found myself getting angrier. I wanted to find them, I knew in my heart that they were both still alive and they were somewhere.
I left the camp and left my younger siblings behind. Mahamura, my eldest sister and fellow hunter, in charge of the youngsters and went out to search for our parents on my own.
I went over the same ground as the search parties had done days before and I noticed something that they must not have seen. I found my Mother’s herb bag under some bushes just outside of the Crossroads. They were so close to safety and yet they didn’t make it there. When I opened the bag to find her cutting knife buried amongst the herbs I also found something else which made my anger rise to a new level. Inside the bag was a signet of a Grimtotem. Now, I knew what had happened. They had been openly attacked by a group that was supposedly our brethren and token members of the Horde through the benevolence of our leader at the time, Cairne. I knew that my Father’s concerns about the Grimtotem had been well founded now and my heart started to drop. I knew that I had heard stories of things that they had done in the past and knew that their natures had probably not changed with their association with the tribes in Thunderbluff.
To make a long story short, I found my Father’s bow lying on the ground not too far from where I had found my Mother’s herb bag. There were signs of a struggle and blood on the ground that had all but disappeared, the odor was still there, and even faintly it wafted under my nostrils giving me more anger to fuel my search.
Apparently, I was so involved in my tracking that I ignored my other senses and was ambushed in much the same manner as my parents had been. A lone hunter even with a pet is no match for the devious minds and physical strength of at least ten Grimtotem. The last thing I remember seeing was an axe coming towards my head and then nothing.
I don’t know how it came to pass that I ended up where all Death Knights do, however, I suspect that that for a few pieces of gold my unconscious body was given to some wandering Death Knight or even some other scourge, who knows? I awakened in the Ebon Hold to such horrors that I won’t even bother writing it down because it still turns my stomach, even after all of these years.
I know that part of my mind was still intact, the part that remembered that I shouldn’t be there and I should be in the loving arms of the Earth Mother. I know that I wept even as I was training to be a Death Knight and followed the orders given to me by the Lich King. Hence, the name of Sadheart was given to me. I’m still not too keen on my physical condition; however, it beats the alternative of not being amongst the living, even if I’m not really “alive” anymore. My ranking amongst the other Death Knights was high due to the fact that my size was a weapon all its own, I was not a very little bull to start with because I even towered over my Father when we were both living.
Of course, I was present at the Light’s Chapel debacle and we all know how that turned out. I was given my freedom from the Lich King as so many other knights were at the time. However, I did have the advantage of being one of the vanguards and had a lot more training than some of the Knights had been given before their release. I know that I have put several Knights down due to the fact that they were just barely above the level of their ghouls that served them and would go around mindlessly killing anything and everything that happened to fall in their paths.
I knew that my plight was no different from any other Death Knight at the time. I was homeless; I was primarily alone for the most part and felt that I had to find my way back to my own kind. Yes, I was dead but I knew that I didn’t belong amongst the races that I ran into in the Eastern Kingdoms. I had to get back to Kalimdor.
I think that I kept getting memories that would fleetingly pass through my conscious mind. Memories of a family and a home. I wanted to find that again and get some kind of sense of belonging again. I knew that my own race might be more tolerant of a Tauren Death Knight than these little sniveling Forsaken that I had run into occasionally. I found my way to the Under City and the odor alone was enough to make a fellow gag, although I knew that they couldn’t help how they smelled any more than I could at times. I caught a zep to Orgrimmar and made my way back to Thunder Bluff.
I kept looking for my family because I knew that I had to have had one at some point. I didn’t just suddenly come into being, after all. I found a place where I could stay and feel comfortable on the Spirit Rise and people left me pretty much alone with my thoughts. I would ask if anyone had known me before the change and if they recognized me. I was always met with that searching look and then the shaking of the horns telling me that they didn’t know me.
I can’t tell you how many tribal events I went too, trying to search the crowds for a face that would bring back some memories to me. I talked to so many people that I think that they started avoiding me because my tale was no different from any of the other Tauren Death Knights that happened to come back to the Bluffs and the surrounding area of Mulgore. We were all lost souls, trying to find some connection to our past lives.
At least I had a livelihood that could help me survive and kept me busy so that I wouldn’t sit around like so many of us did and be filled with angst at the way that our lives had turned out. I had studied long and hard to become a miner and a blacksmith. That was how I earned my living and how I happened to find my family again.
A rather aged Tauren female approached me one day to find out how much I would charge to mend a kettle for her. Well, I looked at the poor thing, the kettle was probably older than she was and told her that there would be no charge. As I was working on a patch for the iron kettle, the whole thing just disintegrated in my hands. The look of sadness that crept over the poor thing’s face was heartbreaking to me and I told her that I would make her a new kettle and she could pick it up the next day.
As she turned to walk away, my mind started being flooded with memories. Memories of a woman that had been my Mother, memories of her laughter and that same gentle smile and patient understanding that this woman had given me when I had destroyed her ancient kettle. I remember calling out the name Cloudhoof…she whipped around faster than I thought someone of her age could move. She stared at me and I at her before her eyes started to fill with tears. She called out my given name questioningly and I think that I must have nodded a response of some sort – I lost my own voice or became so overcome with emotion that I couldn’t speak. This woman was my Mother…this was Mooma Cloudhoof.
Luckily for me that she had chosen to speak to me about her kettle that day. She has helped me remember a lot of the things from my past as well as reuniting me with my siblings. Poor thing has had to struggle with her own life and poor health since her escape from the Grimtotem as well as the loss of my Father.
Funny thing is that I’m not angry about being a Death Knight and I’m not unhappy that I spend most of my time alone or that I probably won’t ever have a woman to call my own. Not many ladies want to hang out with a dead Bull, you see. What I am angry about is the way that things have changed for my people due to the treachery of the Grimtotem – that group I do dislike not only for my personal plight but for the treachery that befell our beloved Cairne. It changed everything for the tribes in Thunder Bluff and it changed how we have lived within the faction of the Horde. Me, I kill Grimtotem without much of a twinge to my conscience in the name of the Earth Mother.
I will follow the leadership as it stands and do my duty for the Horde. However, if I ever have to make a choice to serve the Tauren or the Horde, I suppose that my blood will tell the tale. Bain is my Chieftain and I will abide by whatever he wants his people to do with the exception of sacrificing what is left of the Cloudhoof Clan.
As for the Ebon Blade, they can watch the dust come off my hooves as I walk away from the order. I don’t have time for a bunch of Knights that live through their own angst and sacrificing everything because they seek revenge for what befell them. I’ll throw my lot in with the Argents and be happy.
Yes, I do work for Morningstar Enterprises as does the rest of my family and I’ll admit that the Blood Elf that runs the business here in Kalimdor seems to be okay for an Elf. I’ve met the owner of the company a few times and I will have to admit that I like him and I especially like the fact that he has a Death Knight for a sister. She and I both have laughed at how the living seems to take so much more things seriously than we do. We take each day as it comes and enjoy the blessing and the curse of being what we are.
I suppose that I ought to stop writing this down and get back to work. I have some more blades that need to be made today as well as getting out there and getting some more ore. My family needs the extra income and I need the exercise. My Mother may be old but she still has the kindest heart of anyone that I have ever known and I do wish that she would stop sending people to me for “free” work sometimes.
My given name is Naton of the Cloudhoof Clan and I am proud to have a family to call my own.
Sadheart Naton Cloudhoof