An ash-white flame upon a black field
Base of Operations
"Born From Cinders"
The Ashwalkers are a New Horde shamanistic group comprised mainly of Kalimdor races. The group is under the command of the former Hawktotem Chieftain, Kashu'ake Hawktotem, now strictly called Naharak Hawktotem.
Born from the destruction Camp Ahok'awa, the Ashwalkers are comprised of a conglomerate of races that have sworn to the Horde -- both the conventional Horde races, such as Orcs, Tauren, and Trolls, and unconventional races such as Ogres, Gnolls, Taunka, and Yaungol.
Due to this assortment of races, the Ashwalkers are highly ritualized and deeply religious. Shamanism and spirit worship is readily apparent with practices ranging from meaningful application of warpaints and ashes to the hunts of yore. Even duels of honor have become ritualized with the introduction of the Yaungol.
All are welcome under the banner of the Ashwalkers as long as they pledge themselves and swear oaths of loyalty to the Ash and the Horde.
- 1 Leadership
- 2 Racial Make-up
- 3 Rituals
- 4 Hierarchy
- 5 Orders
- 6 History
- 7 Gallery
- Kizuda Blackwolf, Huntmaster
- Vend'ii of the Revantusk
- Kejá of the Darkspear
The Ashwalkers are made up of a conglomerate of races:
- Trolls - The Trolls of the group come from many cultures and tribes:
- Jungle Trolls - The most numerous of the Trolls, they largely come from the Skullfang Tribe of Stranglethorn. The Ashwalkers and Skullfang keep a close relationship, with many youths testing the mettle and cutting their teeth with the conglomerate.
- Darkspear Trolls - Though they are Jungle Trolls, with the death of Vol'jin there has been a spike in Darkspears that have joined.
- Forest Trolls - Primarily members of the Revantusk who came to Kalimdor to aid in the rebellion, there are several who have pledged their loyalty in the name of the Tribe
- Tauren - Comprised mainly former Hawktotem tribesmen and a few tribeless Tauren who have wandered in search of a Tribe to serve and instead found the Ashwalkers.
- Taunka - Mostly comprised of veterans of Hranu's tenure as Chieftain, they serve his son in the same capacity.
- Yaungol - Separated from their culture, the very few Yaungol that have joined the Horde and then the fewer members who have joined the Ashwalkers have felt at home with the fiery rituals of the Ashwalkers. They are highly ritualized and have left a notable mark on the assembly.
- Orcs - Hailing from many clans and joined the Ashwalkers individually after they came down from the mountains to aid the Horde during the initial Iron Horde invasion.
- Draenor Orcs - Some members of the Laughing Skull and Frostwolf Clans served as guides to the Ashwalkers, eventually fighting alongside the Ashwalkers for so long that they swore oaths of loyalty and followed them back onto Azeroth.
- Mag'har - Members of the old Warsong Offensive and the Outlands have come over to Azeroth to join the Ashwalkers after seeing their feats in battle.
- Ogres - There are few Ogres who have pledged their loyalty to the Ashwalkers, though they are very few in number.
- Stonemaul Ogres - Likely the more numerous of the Ogres, they sought to serve Naharak after the Hawktotem briefly aided them in Dustwallow Marsh.
- Gorian - There are many exiles from the Gorian Empire that sought service elsewhere in order to defeat the venerable Gorian Empire. They had to look no further than the Ashwalkers, to which First Centurion Brennus has led several to swear fealty to the Warmaster who sought to protect them when no one else would.
- Blood Elves - There are a few Blood Elves that have given service to Naharak, but only one who has completed a Burning.
- Goblins - Only one Goblin is under the service of Naharak -- Blazgo Gearheart. He serves as chief engineer, making advanced weaponry and technology to serve the Ashwalkers.
- Gnolls - A single Gnoll serves the Ashwalkers, named Ragepaw. Ragepaw, however, knows of several exiles of the Palemane who seek masters to serve...
The Burning is a ritual all members of the Ashwalkers take after they have proved themselves to be utile to the group. It evolved from The Proving of the Hawktotem Tribe where initiates would go out and do something that was worthwhile for the Tribe. Once an Ashwalker Initiate has proved himself by killing an enemy, sustaining the tribe through great effort, or any other great feat, he or she is stripped naked and sits within a fire and only given a skin of water.
The fire is allowed to burn until all that remains are the embers. The candidate is then asked to rise and walk through the embers. At this point, the overwatching elder declares that the initiate has been "born from cinders" and becomes a full member of the Ashwalkers.
The Fasting is a ritual in which all members eat scant food (mainly bread) and water to commemorate the destruction of Camp Ahok'awa and the formation of the Ashwalkers. The Fasting stands for one month and is typically the eleventh month of the year. On the passing of the final day, there is a great feast in order to celebrate the dead.
Though scalping has overall fallen out of tradition, the Ashwalkers employ it regularly upon their enemies. Another holdover from the Hawktotem Tribe, warriors are allowed to collect scalps as trophies to show their feats in battle. It is at times commanded that scalps be taken, but many warriors forgo the tradition and only take the scalps of those who are mighty warriors.
Though sparring and duels take place on the regular, a Sundering is a duel of honor to settle a dispute between two members of the Ashwalkers. Adopted from the Yaungol, it involves ritualistic combat where the two or more opponents fight each other with blunted weapons until one passes out or yields.
Though not strictly unique in cultural identity, it is a passover from the Grimtotem Tribe. Whereas the Grimtotem paint themselves in order to appear more fearsome to their foes in combat, the Ashwalker paint themselves in ash or ash-white warpaints in order to better attune themselves to the Sibling Spirit, Brother Fire.
More reverent warriors burn a special tree known as Whitewood, whose ashes are almost pure white. They then rub the ash over their bodies, to which is sticks to quite handily. Other warriors merely use white paint, but the burning of Whitewood has spiritual relevance.
Every other week, the Ashwalkers goes to one of the shrines of the Sibling Spirits, completing a task for said Sibling Spirit and if successful, gaining their boon. This boon aids them in combat, thus it is important to the morale of many that they attune themselves to the Spirits.
Penultimate leader of the Ashwalkers, the Warmaster is in charge of all military and administrative duties.
A leader without his advisers is blind. The Inner Council are the most trusted and veteran members of the Ashwalkers, who often hold the most esteemed position to be on the Warmaster's council. They are very few and hold great power and sway.
Typically hand-chosen by the Flameherald and Champion, the Lifewardens ensure the protection of the Council and the Warmaster. Veterans of numerous campaigns and some the greatest fighters of the Ashwalkers. This elite group of fighters is sworn in, reaffirming their oaths to the Horde and the Ash. They live by the mantra "Victory or Death".
The most veteran members of the Ashwalkers, they are few in number and have survived the most conflicts compared to their peers. They are sometimes chosen to lead small groups of Ashwalkers into combat or on missions. They are typically used in rituals.
Those Ashwalkers who carry the banner of the Ashwalkers into multiple battles, steeling themselves against the enemies of the Horde and the Ash.
The rank-and-file of the Ashwalkers. The Cinderborn -- also simply called Cinders -- are those members who have proven themselves worthy to become a full Ashwalker, but have just undergone their Burning. They are still fresh members and still have much to contribute and prove.
The recruits of the Ashwalkers. Not an official name by any means, 'Sparks' are an informal name given by the members of the group to designate newcomers. They must give the Ashwalkers at least two weeks of work and prove themselves before they may become full Ashwalkers.
As with many, there are several organizations from which an individual can join once they have been through their Burning. Once a full Ashwalker, they may join these bands in order to provide for the Ashwalkers.
Main Article: Ashwardens
The warriors and guardians of the Ashwalkers, the Ashwardens are a group who specialize in keeping the peace of the group and holding the front line as the group heads to war. They are currently disorganized and have no leader.
Narrative of the event can be found here
There is no one who could say the Kashu'ake Hawktotem was a bad chieftain of the Hawktotem Tribe. He had accomplished much more than his father ever did, expanding the Tribe three times over when it was at its height under Hranu's leadership and Kashu'ake even founded a village called 'Camp Ahok'awa', in memory of his father. With this growth came greater military strength, which allowed the Hawktotem Tribe to participate in a large capacity during the Siege of Orgrimmar, fighting alongside the Skullfang Trolls led by Jen'doo. However, the siege greater depleted the Hawktotem's strength with many of the warbands not returning back to Camp Ahok'awa.
Those that did formed a single warband and made the long journey back to Camp Ahok'awa, which was located in the mountains between Stonetalon and Mulgore, in a small fertile valley intended to be defensible. When they finally came upon the ridge overlooking the village, the warband looked on in horror -- Camp Ahok'awa was burned to ash. They sprinted down the hill and arrived at the gates to a veritable hill of corpses, atop which stood a banner of the Kor'kron. Kashu'ake quickly deduced that a Kor'kron raiding party must have been sent to the village when most of the Hawktotem's forces had been at the siege.
Kashu'ake ordered the warband to create a large funeral pyre for the the dead while he wandered the Camp. In his grief, he had a vision -- his father spoke to him, confirming that his sorrows were justified and that the slaughter was his fault. Hranu told Kashu'ake that he did not want his son to commit the same crimes and follow in his footsteps, but rather become better than him. For that, he needed to leave the Hawktotem behind in history, rather than try to continue his legacy.
Bithip Ironhoof led the ritual burning. The large pyre lit the sky red, taking the rest of the village with it. After the fires burnt themselves out, the warband scattered the ashes and Kashu'ake released his warriors from their tribal oaths. Some left, but most stayed with him. From the point forward, he forsook his name and took up his Orcish name, Naharak, as his true name. They fled into the Stonetalon Mountains where they hid away from the world.
After many months, Zul'kaz'jin, Chief of the Skullfang Tribe, sent his twin sons and a large group of warriors to investigate just why their ally had long been silent and if there was a problem, to aid the Hawktotem in whatever capacity possible. When the Skullfang's warband arrived at Camp Ahok'awa, there were barely any remnants of the village left as it was starting to becoming one with nature again. They continued on their quest to find out what happened they merely stumbled upon the refuge that the former Hawktotem called home. It was a makeshift camp, but as soon as they arrived the Skullfang guessed at what had happened. Jen'doo and Tecun pledged their service to Naharak, vowing to bring those who had done such a terrible crime to justice.
Jen'doo left briefly to investigate Orgrimmar and gain information. His investigation led to several small groups of Kor'kron gathering in Tanaris, but nothing substantial. He returned to the warband to find that they had settled in a location, though it was not named. Naharak, Tecun, Jen'doo and Leturok all gathered and it was declared that they would create a singular warband known as the Ashwalkers. They dubbed their outpost 'Ashwalker Post' as the base of their operations.
Naharak sent envoys to all of the Horde villages in Stonetalon Mountains, Desolace, Mulgore, Feralas, the Barrens, Thousand Needles and Durotar with a single message: he was still alive, and his power was growing. He did not wish to sit idle any longer. Recruitment amongst the Horde opened briefly during this period, with a focus on martial and spiritual skill rather than broad numbers. The races among the recruited were Orcs, Stonemaul Clan Ogres, Taunka, a Goblin, and a Palemane Gnoll.
When the Iron Horde invaded and sacked Nethergarde Keep and Dreadmaul Hold, the Horde called out to its military forces and other adventurers to aid in pushing back the tide of iron. A messenger managed to make it to the new Ashwalker Post, asking for the warband's aid. Naharak answered the Warchief's call, personally leading the Ashwalkers onto the battlefield. They traveled to the Eastern Kingdoms by airship, landing at Grom'gol and marching the rest of the way.
Naharak split his forces into three: the first force consisted of the newly recruited Ogres, Orcs, Taunka, Gnoll, and Tauren and were led by Naharak and Leturok One-Eye. The second force consisted almost entirely of Trolls and were led by Jen'doo of the Skullfang. The last, much smaller force was led by Tecun which consisted of his Shadow Hunters. The first and second forces typically worked in conjunction with each other. Naharak and Leturok's forces typically acted at the firm anvil while Jen'doo came sweeping around, acting as the hammer and flanking the Iron Horde's invasionary forces. Tecun's Shadow Hunters made several risky assassinations, but furthered the dissension among the Iron Horde ranks.
The Iron Horde was pushed back and the Vanguard of the Alliance and Horde went through the portal. After a majority of the battles were fought, Naharak split his forces into two. The first force would return back to the Ashwalker Post, led by Naharak and Tecun. The second force, known as the Ashwalker Expeditionary Force, led by Jen'doo and Leturok One-Eye, waited for the second portion of the invasion to begin.
Naharak led half of his forces back to Stonetalon to deal with the problems there. However, when the call came out for the Horde to make a second wave into Draenor, the Ashwalker Expeditionary Force(AEF) charged first into the fray. They aided in the establishment of the Frostwall Garrison, but did not stay for long; they began a vicious and aggressive campaign against the Bladespire Ogres and Thunderhorn Orcs.
The AEF aided in the subsequent siege of Bladespire Fortress and its assault. From there, they made the fortress a temporary home and a base from which to launch their operations. They continued their campaign in Frostfire Ridge and were involved in the penultimate Battle of Thunder Pass.
The AEF inducted several Frostwolves into its ranks after the Battle of Thunder Pass. They were those that showed a great amount of ferocity but discipline in their attacks and following the heeds of their leaders during battle. It was those Frostwolves that guided the Ashwalkers into Gorgrond where they encountered the Laughing Skull Clan. The AEF impressed the Laughing Skull Clan and individuals decided to join the AEF and become more guides for the AEF while they battled the Iron Horde and the Botani.
Along the way, the AEF encountered some exiled members of the Gorian Empire. They swore fealty to the AEF after Ragepaw the Savage and several other AEF members saved them from encroaching Botani.
After months of struggle against the Blackrock and the Botani, the AEF was recalled to Azeroth. Those Orcs and Ogres who joined the AEF were given the choice to go to Azeroth or stay amongst their people -- most decided to move to Azeroth.
For a long while, the Ashwalkers stayed together within the Stonetalon Mountains and simply survived. They watched the Horde slowly recover and sent representatives from time to time to campaigns, but ultimately never committed to any conflicts.
When the Legion began to pour out of portals and the sky, Naharak sent Leturok One-Eye with several veteran warriors to aid in the assault on the Broken Shore. Unknown the Ashwalker, it was the last time they would ever see them -- the Ashwalkers stayed behind as the Horde retreated, giving their last breath into the mantra "Victory or Death".
Those notable members lost were Honwah of the Ashwalkers, Leturok One-Eye, Una'jin the Huntmaster, among others.
A single member of the invasion -- Zyaise Morningsworn -- came to the Ashwalkers to deliver the letter that Leturok wrote for Naharak. After reading it, Zyaise became attached to the Ashwalkers.
Using his power of An'she, Naharak led his warriors down from the mountains for the first time since the opening of the Dark Portal onto Draenor. They battled all over Kalimdor together, but when the Legion's advance was halted, they soon returned into the mountains to recuperate.
After putting out a call to arms, the Ashwalkers began to patrol larger and larger swathes of land in Stonetalon and send out Shadow Hunters to discern any threats to the Horde in Stonetalon. They found that there were remaining Grimtotem and Kor'kron still within the mountains, plotting from their caves and overtaken Horde-fortifications.
As Malakka'jin was the closest Horde settlement nearest to the Ashwalker Post, the warband with its newest Sparks began to prod at Camp Aparaje, skirmishing often with them. It created openings for its Shadow Hunters to find signs of demonic practices, hypothesizing that the Grimtotem Remnants, led by the mighty Toctus, had allied with the Legion.
With the loss of Una'jin the Huntmaster, Kizuda Darkwolf took his place after hunting down Pawn'washte with a small band she had assembled, including Vend'ii of the Revantusk, Keja of the Waves, Erah'mol Stonescream, and Ragepaw the Savage. Vend'ii also cleansed the Earth Shrine, freeing Grine the Unbreakable to re-establish his elemental forces.
The Loghn'rogahn, led by Skolgrim, allied themselves with the Ashwalkers in order to investigate the possible cult within the Kor'kron Remnants that the Lohn'rogahn have a blood vendetta against. The Warmaster welcomed his new Orcish allies, harking back to his father's decision to ally with the Garrosh'kar Skullcleavers half a decade ago.
With the Lohn'rogahn at their sides, the Ashwalkers moved quickly to discern the threat of the strange Humans that encroached on their land. Coming upon a battle between the Humans and Grimtotem for the quarry west of Camp Aparaje, the Ashwalkers fell upon the Grimtotem and aided the Humans in their battle. After killing the Grimtotem Lieutenant Nastpana leading them, the Humans swore their allegiance to the Ashwalkers, but Kizuda found it dubious. It was agreed that the Warmaster and their Chief would meet to discuss the alliance and protection.
The Breifne Clan entered into a formal alliance with the Ashwalkers and with them at their side, a brief investigation of the Kor'kron in Windshear Valley took place. The Ashwalkers later defended Malaka'jin against an attack against the Kor'kron warbands. Gor'vak Skullbringer, uncle to Erah'mol Stonescream, revealed himself to be their leader and ordered all forces to slaughter the post and left a Dark Shaman lieutenant in order to take the outpost while he left for more pressing matters.
After a majority of the Kor'kron and Warsong were killed, the Dark Shaman surrendered with the rest of his forces. The Dark Shaman requested the Erah'mol pass judgement on him for his various crimes and she did so -- after he admitted guilt and shame, she judged him to have an honorable death and executed him. All of his soldiers were summarily executed and scalped by former Hawktotem warriors.
For the nonce, the Grimtotem and Kor'kron were curtailed and it was time for the Ashwalkers to go on a true offensive. Sending out their Longwalkers, Goblin Commandos led by Blazgo Gearheart, and Shadow Hunters led by Zul'ado, the Ashwalkers uncovered the following:
- Something devastating was happening at the Wind Shrine - The Kor'kron were gathering strength in Windshear Valley - Krom'gar Fortress was being used by the Kor'kron elite to summon demons and sacrifice civilians - The Grimtotem laid siege to the Breifne Village - The Grimtotem were preparing for the next offensive, but were divided
The Longwalkers perished attempting to gain more information on the Wind Shrine; Blazgo and his Goblin Commandos sacrificed their lives in order to create a distraction and release the civilians that were being held at Krom'gar Fortress. All was left on Zul'ado and his Shadow Hunters' shoulders as they scouted out the Valley and Grimtotem. They managed uncover the strengths and weaknesses of the Grimtotem and steal / poison supplies in Windshear Valley.
The siege of the Breifne was being undertaken by the twin brother of Grimtotem Lieutenant Nastpana, a far more reasonable but largely loyal Temmoskah. He was once stinted to become the leader of the Grimtotem Clan in Stonetalon, but lost a duel to Toctus and has subsequently followed him ever since.