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[Gozo] To War

Henii's picture

"Place your paw to the earth, my son, and tell me what you feel."

 

Gozo knelt down and did as asked. His large paw resting into the lush grass still slick from morning dew. His fingers flexed, his claw tips pressing into the soft dirt.

 

"I feel that mom will yell for tracking more dirt into the house."

 

He looked up to his father with a cheeky grin and the pair burst out into boisterous laughter. His fathers face remained in a grin as the laughter quieted, regarding his son. His deep brown eyes retained a clarity to them despite the greying of his fur. His voice was a deep rumble as he spoke.

 

"So tell me. What do you feel?"

 

Gozo closed his eyes as he concentrated on the earth below him. He tried to reach out as he was taught by his father, Do-Zhao, just as he was taught by his father before him. He strained his mind and soul as he reached out but try as he might he could not feel the world below him. With a frustrated sigh and pushed himself up standing and looked down to his father.

 

"I feel like I'm missing something. I know the meditations, I know the stories but...I cannot bring the teachings to bear."

 

Do-Zhao nodded as he pulled an old wooden pipe from the depths of his simple robes. From a pouch at his side produced some herbs which he tacked down into the bowl. A match is struck and he takes several long puffs. 

 

He turned from Gozo and walked to the edge of the hill where their house sat. He placed a paw on the stone fence that surrounded the small plateau and, while holding the pipe, he gestured wide to the land they called home.

 

"Look to the land, my son, do you see how we live with it?"

 

Gozo strode up beside his father to look down into the valley below. Green lush grass spread out across rolling hills intersected by stone pathways. Houses dotted the landscape and farm land filled with gigantic vegetable colored the land.

 

"Look to the hills and valleys and how we have learned to move with them. We did not carve thoughtlessly through the land to make it ours. We saw how it was made for us and settled accordingly."

 

"Look to the farmers tilling the fields. We did not tell the land where we would plant our crops. We learned from the land and it told us where we could grow the food that would be best for us." 

 

"Look to the mountains that rise tall and strong around the Isle. They stand against what storms Shen-Zin Su might come across, the wind and rain will break upon them as they shelter us from the worst of it."

 

"Look to the houses we have built for us to call home. The trees here are strong and healthy thanks to the fertility of the land we show respect to. We would be nothing were it not for the land that gave all of this, and us, life. We are born from the land and when the time comes we return to it."

 

Gozo met his fathers gaze as the aging pandaren turned to meet his gaze. "Look to yourself, my son, see how you have grown strong and healthy from the gifts of the land. We respect the land, treat it with the love we would show any of our family, and the gifts it betows apon us will be plentiful. Look to yourself and see the land in you for we are one with it."

 

Do-Zhao took a puff from is pipe before prodding Gozo with the bit. "Now again, place your paw to the earth and tell me what you feel."

 

Gozo knelt again, his large paw once more resting on the grass. He closed his eyes and steadied his breathing as he reached out. "I can feel something father...I feel..."

 

Shame.

 

Gozo sat in the Shrine as Lai-ning slumbered. He dared not look at the her small form hidden by blankets for the weight he felt on his heart. The devastation of the Vale and driven her into a panicked frenzy. She could not be calmed no matter how he and her friends tried and in the end had to be forced into unconsciousness in an act of desperation lest she hurt herself or others. And so he sat by her side, guarding her as he felt he should.

 

But like this he was left alone to his thoughts. He couldn't help but think that he didn't do enough for Lai-ning. She had the courage to be out in the world with The Silver Dragoons, doing what she could to help those she cared about. And while she did that he did what? Worked at a lumber yard and did house work. He grimaced as that left a foul taste in his mouth. He had the power to be out there like she was but he wasn't and could not explain his trepidation. He had the ability yet the thought of putting them into action did not sit well with him.

 

"I am sorry my Little Lai...I must take a walk. I will be back soon." He murmured this while keeping his eyes away from her and lumbered out the door. He shut it quietly behind before walking the halls of the Shrine. He walked in silence past warriors and healers, adventurers and military, people from every walk of life. They all talked amongst themselves as they tried to make sense of what had happened but Gozo paid it no mind. He needed air and the commotion did not interest him. The crowd thankfully parted as he walked. As focused as they were, they did not wish to get in his way, not right now.

 

His paws led him outside and down the curved stairs where the devastation was plain to see. The Vale of Eternal Blossoms, once golden and pure, was destroyed. What was once beautiful was now twisted and blackened by Sha taint all because of a lust for power. The sight stirred and anger in his heart like he had never felt before. With a deep breath he tried to quash those feelings for he needed clarity now more then ever. Once his paws reached the dirt at the bottom of the steps he knelt down and places his paw to the earth.

 

Gozo closed his eyes as he flexed his claw tips into the dried earth. He reached out to the land and searched for the answer he needed. His soul touched the earth and he felt what he already knew. 

 

Pain.

 

For power the land suffered and it made Gozo sick. While he knew in his mind that there was no way he could have prevented this his heart raged that he could have done more. He stood once more and looked out the broken land. He could not have stopped this but he could play the part in preventing more suffering. 

 

He was The Mountain, or so he claimed, and he will be just that. He will stand tall and strong to weather the storms fury. It will break upon him and he will keep those he care for safe. His strength was the land's and he will protect it. His heart was Lai-ning's and he will protect her. The land was slow to anger and the Kor'Kron have risen it's fury and so to was it his.

 

The Mountain comes and they will be crushed beneath him.

Comments

Lu Zeitan's picture

It's good to see Gozo as The

It's good to see Gozo as The Mountain instead of just a big ball of cuddly fur =) Keep it coming, excellent work!))