Starting Life Over In A Strange Land

August 28th


Well, this seems to be the going thing for people to do these days and I may as well start one of my own.   You never know what might befall you in this life and you need to leave some kind of trace behind you so that someone might know that you existed or not.  Memoirs?  Maybe, I can’t say that I am famous enough to call them that.  I’ll just call them scribbles of a lonely man in a strange land where everything that I knew in my life has been altered.

Let’s start at the beginning, shall we?  My name is Abner Oakelsey and I was born and raised in Gilneas, my acquaintances and the people that I associate with most frequently just call me Oak.  My Father’s name was Brian and my Mother’s name was Bess.   It was a nickname that my Father gave me when I was a youngster due to my size and he said because I was as stubborn as that aforementioned tree.  My Mother would have liked to have made me into a more dandified sort of fellow if she had had the money and the inclination, I suppose.  I think that I would have rebelled against that…I can’t stand the prawns that are calling themselves Nobility these days when I know for a fact that Lord Blackford was nothing more than a fish monger that sold his wares a few doors down from where I lived.  What an ass! Oh well I won’t despoil his fantasy with the people in Darnassus, I’m sure that they have already figured it out on their own, if not, that’s their problem, not mine.  

 Yes, yes, I was also one of those unfortunates that were blessed with the Curse that seems to have taken everything that I had away from me.  I have no idea what has become of my family, my parents, my wife or my daughters.  I’ve searched the encampment here in Darnassus and no one has even heard of them.  While I am still heartsick at the losses, I can no longer wallow around in my self-pity and continue to think that my world has come to a complete end because it hasn’t ended in everything; there are new avenues to look forward to discovering.

All I know is that I am still a hunter, regardless of what form I may decide to use follow that profession, although, becoming a wolf and allowing it free rein out in the wilds has its benefits to my trade. I’m a twenty-five year old man without any family ties or anyone to notice if I am in Darnassus or not at this point, which is probably just as well.

When I first discovered that I had the Curse, I was dismayed, disheartened and thought that my life was over.  How could a man live like a beast at one moment and still try to retain some semblance of humanity at others?  This question almost made me take my life during those first weeks when I was making my escape from Gilneas.  What choices did I have?  I had to leave my homeland, those cursed Forsaken were taking control of everything that I knew, the plague machines were pumping more of that poison in the air that one would like to think about.  What other damage was done to my body with the combination of the Curse and the plague-filled air?  I don’t suppose that anyone has thought about all of that except for a few that might be a bit more cognizant of their surroundings than usual.

I’m sitting here in this giant tree that has a hollowed out area beneath it where most of the Gilnean have sought sanctuary with the Night Elves that offered us refuge.  Of all of the races, the elves gave us sanctuary which was a blessing, I suppose.  I would have thought that the other people would have tried to do the same for us but I suppose due to the political situation being what it has been all of these years, we weren’t exactly welcomed by the humans…I’m human most of the time or appear to be.  One would have thought that regardless of the situation that they would have offered us some kind of sanctuary.  Not all of the people that were trapped behind that wall really had much of a choice in the matter either.  I don’t suppose that some of the people in Stormwind thought about that, it wasn’t a unanimous thing where we got a chance to vote on it, some of us even tried to rebel against it.

I know that my age has played a beneficial factor in these changes in my life.  I’m only twenty five years old and have a lot of good years left to live, providing I don’t allow myself to get stupid at some point and make too many mistakes.  Oh, one other thing, I don’t have an accent like some of my countrymen because of the fact that I did spend a great deal of time taking some elocution lessons from my Mother and didn’t think that the affectation would be beneficial  to me should I ever leave that restricted area we called home.  My plans were to go beyond the wall to see the rest of the world, there had to be more than what I had been allowed to grow up knowing, there just had to be.

My Mother didn’t always live behind the Wall and she was a school teacher before she married my Father.  I don’t understand how it was done other than the fact that she was originally from Stormwind and her parents had been in contact with my grandparents and this marriage was arranged.  From what she told me, it wasn’t all that romantic either – her Father told her that he had found a suitable match for her in Gilneas and that was the end of it.  Her things were packed, she was loaded into a wagon, driven to the Wall and was neatly deposited there on a given day where she first met my Father, her bridegroom.  That’s pretty sad when you think about it.   She said that she came to love my Father over the years, as if she had any real choice in the matter and she sometimes said she missed her parents and her friends in Stormwind because she was never allowed to leave once she came behind the Wall.

My Father was a good man, I suppose.  He was always working very hard to make ends meet.  He spent all of his time at the smithy and my Mother would pick up a few pieces of gold by teaching some of the children in the neighborhood.  The School Board in Gilneas didn’t think that she was suitable enough to become one of the regular teachers at the school – too many worldly ideas, was what they said.  You could just say that it wasn’t all sunshine and roses for a lot of the people that lived near us, we were trades people, we were the servants to the Nobility that got the same Curse that we did, seems bloodlines don’t matter all that much when this demon seed came visiting.

When I was a little boy, I was left a lot on my own with the other children in the neighborhood and there was a group of us that seemed to be more inclined to do the wild things.  Oh, we learned how to hunt, fish, skin and make leather goods from one of the old gaffers.  Life was good, we all enjoyed what we were doing and we had all taken a solemn vow that we wouldn’t be worked to death like our parents were, we’d enjoy life…being out in the wild.  Little did we know that we were probably better prepared in the long term than some of our counterparts that were more inclined to do what was expected of them, becoming shopkeepers, seamstresses and whatever else trade that their families followed.  We were really considered renegades by some of the neighbors but they let us be.

Little did we realize, as children, that we were actually the prequel to the “packs” that eventually started showing up when the Curse hit its full stride?  Not all of us survived that ordeal; however, we had strategies that kept us safer than some of our mutual friends in town.  I will always wonder what happened to my family, my wife and my daughters.

My wife was a lovely young woman that I had happened to meet at one of the Town Square dances that were held every three or four months.  After all, the peasants needed to be entertained to keep them happy and content enough to serve our noble maters.  Aggie was quite the looker with those long blonde tresses and she always wore a red dress, not the same dress all of the time but a red party dress with the cutest little bustle that swayed ever so gently when she walked.   Of course, the Abercrombie’s were not pleased that their daughter was involved with one of the local ruffians instead of one of the noble sons, even a younger son would have worked for them.   Oh well, we fell in love, overcame all of the adversities that her parents threw at us and we had a good life together.  Our little girls came as a surprise package deal.  We had twin daughters, Bridgette and Briana. Oh they were definitely the joy of our lives.  Naturally, my trade kept me away from home and I missed those “first steps”, the first word that they spoke but I still gave them as much love as a man could possibly give to his children. 

Yes, I miss my family and I still mourn them in my own way. I desperately try not to visualize in my mind the fate that may have befallen them when things got bad.  I actually went back to our house to see if anything was left, maybe a clue to the whereabouts of any survivors.  What I found in the house left me little doubt as to what had befallen them all.   The place was ransacked and there wasn’t really a surface that didn’t have signs of blood on it. The only thing I was able to recover at all was our wedding picture that had fallen behind a book case – the frame had shattered, the picture was a little torn, however, it was at least something.

Am I bitter?  Well, sometimes I am, however, there is nothing that can be done with those feelings that will change anything.  Being bitter about something that you have no control over is foolish and if you allow it to take your entire focus in your life, you will end up destroying any chances that you might have had for a future.  No, my parents taught me better than that.  If you have taken a hard hit in life, get up, dust yourself off and keep on trying, never give up.  That’s what I intend to do now, not give up, not let this Curse be everything in my life…I won’t allow the wolf to have complete control of me, the man.

Have I made new friends in Darnassus?  No, not really.  I have acquaintances; I can’t allow myself to make friends just yet.  In a way I am still mourning my loved ones and the friends that I had at home.  I suppose that means that I am isolating myself somewhat, however, I choose to think of it as buying some time for my emotions to heal so that I can cope better with things.

I did make a trip to Stormwind yesterday, only my second trip to that big city.  I think I like Darnassus better because it feels peaceful for me right now.  I found a flyer tacked on a wall and it sounds like a good job opportunity for me.  A company is looking for skilled hunters, skinners and leatherworkers to do contract work.  Sounds kind of interesting and it may just be something that I can do to get my feet back under me again before I try out being independent again.  No, no, the military thing is definitely not something I have my sights set on either, I don’t think I would do well with some of the disciplines that they have. 

I can’t help but chuckle at the thought of someone like me joining the military.  All of those little toy soldiers marching around in their little uniforms.  I think that my one chief concern would be that sometime I might decide to go out drinking with my fellow soldiers and get too drunk to control the wolf.  You can well imagine that my uniform wouldn’t fit his form real well, not to mention, I can almost visualize the damage that might be done in a drinking establishment if my true persona took control.  Probably wouldn’t end well for me or the other people around me.  So, no playing soldier boy for this fellow.

I’ve sent off a letter to this company in Stormwind and I hope that I will hear back from them soon.  Sounds like one those elf company names, however, that’s okay.  I like elves and if the pay is good, I wouldn’t care if they were dwarves, if they didn’t decide to pay me off in beer.  I can still earn my way here in Kalimdor while I wait to hear back from those folks though.

At least I still have my dog, Dudley.  He and I have been able to stick together through all of the hell we went through at home.  He doesn’t ask much, good food, a place to sleep and he gives me the affection that a fellow could expect from a mutt.  At least I still have him, my faithful and loyal companion.  I hope he gets the hang of these beasts here, so of which I’ve never seen the like of before.  We’ll get it figured out and we’ll make a good team yet. 







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