Character Profile: Savish, Paladin of Bwonsamdi
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Growing up, Savish wanted to be part of the Paladin order. She and her friend Nae — “Kanae” to most — both practiced swinging swords and axes, and fake-cast spells at each other as they played out what it would be like to be Paladins. But it was clear the skills that came easily to Nae weren’t coming to Savish, and she had to watch from the sidelines as Nae was officially made a Zandalari Prelate.
Savish knew she could be a Paladin, but couldn’t make it into the Prelate ranks no matter how hard she trained.
That’s when she had an idea. If Rezan wouldn’t embrace her the way he embraced the other Paladins, she knew someone else who might: Bwonsamdi.
“Oh, I can give you dat power,” he had replied with a grin that said more than the words themselves.
“And the cost?”
“Oh ho ho, why ya think there gotta be a cost? You’ll defend your people just as ya want, and you’ll have Bwonsamdi witcha every step of the way. All I ask is dat I get da final say every now and then – so whatcha say?”
It wasn’t long before Savish got a real taste of Bwonsamdi’s “cost.” She secretly accompanied Nae on patrol, and the two of them noticed unusual Murloc activity on the coast. They held their weapons first, hoping to investigate without conflict, but a contingent of the noisy creatures sprung to attack.
Not all the Murlocs seemed interested in fighting, and even the ones that attacked ferociously seemed mostly motivated by the defense of their territory. When the fighting wrapped up, only one of the most apprehensive Murlocs remained, hiding and perhaps hoping its lackadaisical attacks indicated its aversion to further conflict. Savish prepared to sheath her weapon, allowing the creature to escape. Then she heard the voice in her mind.
“Ey, whatchu think you’re doing? That one attacked ya just like the others! Its place is with Bwonsamdi.”
Savish gave the Murloc a look of apology before a swift rise and fall of her axe ended its life. Her weapon rose more easily than ever before, and the strike was a smoother cut than any of the others.
Savish caught Nae’s gaze long enough to see the surprise on her face, which quickly faded into a look of understanding. Savish’s guilt was tempered by the knowledge that Nae at least understood what her bargain had meant.
Even with Bwonsamdi’s power on her side, Savish still had to prove herself to the Prelates, and as G’huun rose to power she finally had a chance to show what she could really do.
Normally, the Zandalari sent scouts into Nazmir to safeguard borders, and any resistance was easily quelled. But the scouting missions had been coming back with increasingly disturbing reports of Blood Troll activity, and the latest skirmish left one scout dead and several others badly wounded. Now, the Prelate order had been called to take the next round of patrol.
It was portrayed as nothing more than swift justice for the fallen scout, but Nae had told Savish that they expected much more.
As the Prelates moved through Nazmir, Savish followed from a distance. She expected to be caught at some point, and when she continued to go unnoticed, she assumed the swamp’s fog kept her from view. But there was something more to it: Her footsteps were lighter, her normally cumbersome armor silent. Bwonsamdi had plans for this excursion, and it didn’t take long before she heard the yell that confirmed her suspicions.
The Blood Trolls had ambushed the squad. Savish watched at first – after all, it wouldn’t speak much to her strength if she helped take out an opponent that posed no real threat — and it seemed she would be relegated to watching an unremarkable skirmish.
But then a Blood Troll unlike the others appeared. She looked to be a Matron among them, and Savish could sense her power, even from a distance. The Matron conjured a blood orb above her, and siphons of blood reached out toward the fighting Blood Trolls. Savish couldn’t tell if the orb was taking blood or giving it, but it soon became apparent that the Matron was empowering her subjects. They were reinvigorated, and every hit they took did little to deter them.
Savish watched Nae and the others fight: They were holding their own, but it wouldn’t last.
High Prelate Rata, in a melee with two Blood Trolls, didn’t see the Matron hurling a bolt of blood at her. It hit her in the side and she fell over in pain, giving the perfect opening for the Troll to raise his axe for a fatal blow. But just before the strike landed, Savish sliced through him and swung around to deliver a finishing strike to the second assailant.
“What are you—” Rata began.
“No time. Heal now, talk later,” Savish replied.
She placed her hands on Rata’s side and sent a wave of healing over it. Savish’s healing had the same effect as any Paladin’s magic might, but it felt different: When the Light healed you, it was warm, like sitting in front of a fire. Savish’s healing felt icy-hot, and Rata looked up at her with confusion — but with the battle continuing around them, there was no time to question it.
The death of two of her own only angered the Matron, who their used blood to empower the remaining Trolls further. Savish knew that taking out the Matron was the key to winning this fight, so she charged in. Her first strike nearly caught the Matron off guard, but the Blood Troll jumped back and sent a blood bolt at Savish in retaliation. The bolt stung, but Savish still charged in for another swing. Instead of hitting flesh, her axe went through empty air as the Matron disappeared into a puddle of blood.
Savish turned around just in time to see the blood orb crashing full force into her. Everything went white.
When her vision cleared, she was standing exactly where she’d been, the Matron — visibly stunned — still directly in front of her. She wanted to catch her breath, but with the Blood Troll right in front of her, instinct took over. She swung her axe before either of them knew what was happening, slicing clean through the Matron.
Around her, the rest of the Paladins were easily dispatching the remaining opposition. She looked down at her chest where the blood orb had struck. It was barely scuffed.
“Like I said – witcha every step of the way,” she heard the voice in her mind clearly, as though he were standing right behind her, a shadow ever looming. Whatever the case, that shadow had helped Savish prove herself to the Prelates.
As time passed, the Paladins among the Zandalari began to get used to Savish’s unorthodox ways. Few were as welcoming as Nae, and it often felt like the others felt themselves superior because of their connection with Rezan — despite evidence in combat proving otherwise. But they’d at least stopped being surprised by the way it felt when she healed them. Some even joked from time to time. “Dat looks like a nasty cut, mon. Let me heal it for ya!” Nae had said one day. “Nah, I been healed by you plenty. Dere’s nothing exciting about it. Savish, come bring me some of dat icy-hot stuff!”
Several months had passed since that initial Blood Troll encounter, and in that time more had happened than Savish could have ever anticipated. Outsiders known as the Horde had come to occupy much of their city, and the Blood Troll empire was collapsing after the fall of their god, G’huun. (Savish had been a part of the forces that took it down, and she couldn’t help but feel strangely nostalgic at killing the force that had unintentionally helped her become a Paladin.)
But more important than either of those was the loss of Rezan.
Many Paladins had lost their power when the connection to their loa was severed, and those that didn’t still felt a deep pain and listlessness. It was an odd feeling for Savish. The death of a loa is something felt but all the Zandalari, but this particular loa’s death meant the Paladins who acted smug or superior toward her had lost what made them strong. All the questioning and mockery disappeared when she became the only Paladin still connected to a loa.
Nae was among those who still retained most of her strength after the loss of Rezan, and as such, was the one chosen to lead the defense of Dazar’alor when word came that the Alliance were launching an attack. Savish, a small handful of Crusaders, and a few Priests joined Nae as the first line of defense against the Alliance invading from the docks.
They never expected the Alliance to be as strong as they were.
One by one, the Crusaders and Priests began to fall. It was clear they weren’t going to win this fight. Nae released Holy energy in every direction to draw the attacks, calling for the remaining Zandalari to fall back. Savish ignored the call and moved toward Nae.
“Uh uh uh, dat one be mine.”
“I’m not leaving Nae!”
Savish charged forward and lifted her axe for a strike – but at the apex of her strike, something shifted. Her weapon felt heavier, her strength gone. The momentary shift in weight was enough to cause her to stumble and give the Alliance soldier a moment to strike. Savish felt a dagger slip past her armor and slice her waist.
“Leave her!” Bwonsamdi’s voice rang out in her head stronger than ever, the loa plainly upset with the sudden disobedience.
It was clear now. Savish could die here, powerless but beside her best friend, or she could live and use her strength to defend the remaining Zandalari.
She knew what she had to do.
Days after the attack, Savish’s decision weighed on her heavily. She’d been able to meet up with the Horde after retreating, and with her at the front lines, they took down the Alliance’s High Tinker and gravely wound the Proudmoore woman who’d led the attack. They’d lost their king, but they had their city and a new queen who was arguably more capable than her father had been in ages.
She thought back to her first conversation with Bwonsamdi. She didn’t know the true cost back then, but she did now.
She’d saved more people than she’d lost. In the end, that was the cost of her bargain.
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