|The Hawktotem Tribe|
Chief Bithip Ironhoof
The Hawktotem Tribe was a tribe of Tauren who were part of the Confederation of Tribes and were previously loyal to the High Chieftain, rather than that of the Warchief and the Horde. The last Chieftain of the Hawktotem was Naharak Hawktotem. The remnants of the Hawktotem Tribe formed the Ashwalker Warband.
- 1 Common Rumors
- 2 History
- 2.1 The Grimtotem Tribe
- 2.2 The Great Move
- 2.3 Beginnings
- 2.4 Ambushes and Vengeance
- 2.5 Passing of Title
- 2.6 Rise to Prominence
- 2.7 Brink of Civil War
- 2.8 Desolace Campaign
- 2.9 Aftermath of the Desolace Campaign
- 2.10 The Stonetalon Offensive
- 2.11 Aftermath of the Stonetalon Offensive
- 2.12 Return to and Defense of Camp Taurajo
- 2.13 Return to Mulgore and the Great Wall
- 2.14 The Cataclysm
- 2.15 First Barrens Campaign
- 2.16 March on Ironforge
- 2.17 Second Barrens Campaign
- 2.18 Second Feralas Campaign
- 2.19 Grom'gol Incident
- 2.20 Trial and Execution of Hranu Hawktotem
- 2.21 Shattering of the Hawktotem
- 2.22 Refounding
- 2.23 Camp Ahok'awa
- 2.24 Civil War
- 2.25 Siege of Orgrimmar
- 2.26 Fall
- 3 Culture
- 3.1 Mating and Courtship
- 3.2 Scalping
- 3.3 Rituals
- 3.4 Burial Grounds and the Sect of the Dead
- 3.5 Racial Pride and Racism
- 3.6 Titles
- 4 Organization
- 5 Warfare
- 6 Diplomatic Relataions
Note: None of the following rumors have yet to be proved.
- Hawktotem Tribesmembers regularly take captives of all races and factions to torture for information
- Hawktotem Tribesmembers took part in the coup of Thunder Bluff after Cairne Bloodhoof's death
- The leadership of the Hawktotem is regularly involved with negotiations with various Grimtotem sects
- The leadership of the Hawktotem has been making plans to revolt against the Bloodhoof and lead a coup similar to the Grimtotem's.
The Grimtotem Tribe
The roots of the Hawktotem Tribe are set within the Grimtotem Tribe. Deeply ingrained in the Thousand Needles sect of Grimtotem, many of the first, second, and third generation of Hawktotem were originally part of the Grimtotem. The family itself was a part of a long history with this sect of the Grimtotem; so much so that Garok, father to the famed Hranu Hawktotem, was a childhoof friend of Arnak Grimtotem.
The patriarch of this family was known as Hawenn the Oldest; a deeply respected warrior in his own right. He had two sons Garok and Akecheta. Akecheta was a known bachelor and Grimtotem to his very core: he was among the first braves selected to raid the Centaur and Night Elves and always volunteered for such duties to malevolently murder the Grimtotem's enemies. Garok, however, took a different path as a blacksmith and started a family.
Garok had three children: Hranu, Hawenn the Younger, and Ashwana. Upon the birth of his daughter, however, Garok was given a vision -- a great confederation of the tribes united by the Grimtotem arch-nemesis, the Bloodhoof Tribe. However, he foresaw great devastation at the hands of the Grimtotem... thus he told his father what he saw.
Hawenn the Oldest did not take this vision lightly and created a plan to flee and warn the Bloodhooves of the Grimtotem treachery. Akecheta was not involved in this plan, keeping him ignorant until the last possible moment. Hranu was almost as ingrained in the Grimtotem as his uncle, however he managed to be convinced to leave his lover behind.
On the night of their departure, Hranu met with his would-be mate and had a night of passion... only to leave the next night. What he did not know was that that night would be conceived a baby that would go on to change the fate of the future Hawktotems forever.
With the family, Hawenn took several other trusted, loyal warriors and shaman with them. This strength numbered in only a dozen warriors and their families, but it was enough for Arnak to express his rage at declaring that their families would forever be exiles and killed on sight. Akecheta was punished; assigned the task of hunting down these traitors where-ever they might be.
The Great Move
The group gathered together just after the sun went down and the Grimtotem moved to their tents to rest. Moving with their plan, they set the Darkcloud Pinnacle ablaze, to which they used the chaos of the fires to mask their escape. A dozen warriors and their families quickly fled, managing to make it to the deep jungles of Feralas.
The Feralas Trail, long having been secured for the various nomads, was far dangerous a place for this small group than any large group. The Grimtotem were unrelenting in their pursuit of the exiles and traitors. Every night was a struggle to guard against raids.
Despite all odds, they managed to get to Desolace and eventually, Stonetalon. For a short time, they took up with the Ragetotem and Stonehoof they lingered in the region coincidentally, finding some brief respite.
Taking count of the dead, a quarter of the group had perished. There were whispers among the warriors that the old bull, Hawenn, did not know where he was going or that his leadership was not as good as they made it out to be. The few dissidents suggested among themselves that they would be better off going back to facing Arnak's mercy...
These whispers, however, quickly faded. The Grimtotem reavers, led by Akecheta, fell upon the Ragetotem and exiles. The battle was short, but devastating... for the Grimtotem. Hawenn the Oldest led the braves into battle, charging against his own son and battling him for supremacy. He sent them roiling back into Desolace, pursuing them only for a short time before the raids ceased.
This act of bravery and selflessness showed the kind of leader that Hawenn was. He led the remainder of his group into the Barrens where he followed a Desert Hawk. Though the group was initially skeptical at first, Garok managed to assuage their anxieties. Even though the Grimtotem were off their backs, they continued to struggle: the Kolkar Centaur and the Razormane Quilboar hounded them.
With blood, loss, and torn flesh, the grizzled group managed to finally get to where they needed to be, the group that they sought refuge...
The Bloodhoof Tribe.
Though wary at first, Hawenn and his group grovelled at the Bloodhoof's feet, being taken directly to Cairne. Hawenn told him of his son's vision and their willingness to work for their refuge. After some deliberation among the elders, Cairne accepted the group of Grimtotem refugees.
The group had made it through their long journey.
With the protection of the Bloodhoof Tribe, the exiles began to operate and live with greater confidence. Knowing that with Akecheta was still out there and planning their demise, they must unite together a larger force of braves under their Bloodhoof protectors and prove loyal.
Hawenn needed a symbol they could rally around and after a short amount of time, chose his sigil: the desert hawk that led them through the Barrens. He spent day and night carving a large, intricate totem in which he could use both as a rallying standard and as his primary weapon. It was blessed many times over by the shaman of their newly formed sect.
With the symbol of their unity created, Garok took to the task of searching for other tribeless and exiles -- dissidents to include into their own. Their numbers slowly swelled with taking in the beaten, the down-trodden, and the exiled. Soon enough, they were able to field two warbands alone.
This cause some concerned among the Bloodhooves, at first -- a former group of Grimtotem leading their own warbands, but Cairne let it be and watched carefully. Hawenn led his newly formed group with great successes against Bloodhoof enemies, even going as far as to raid Grimtotem settlements and caravans... wielding his great hawk totem as he led them.
It was when Hawenn the Oldest perished that his lineage got the recognition it so desired. Cairne, knowing the loyalty and dedication of Hawenn's followers, raised his eldest son Garok to elder of the Bloodhooves and Chief of a new sect: the Hawktotem.
Ambushes and Vengeance
Garok's reign as elder and chief of the Hawktotem was one of short aggressiveness. With the blessing of his Chieftain, he moved into the Barrens to begin a guerrilla war against the Centaur, Quilboar, and Harpies. The ambush tactics learned from his time in the Grimtotem were extremely effective and often went off without a single casualty.
Yet despite this, he played a cat-and-mouse game with his brother, Akecheta. The two brothers had clear objectives: elimination of the other. Within the Grimtotem, Akecheta had elevated to his own sect, calling its the Blackhawks. The Hawktotem and Blackhawks clashed frequently in the Barrens, Stonetalon, and Desolace -- however, it was always known that any further south was Grimtotem territory, thus they must not stray there.
These conflicts went on for three years. When one side managed to get the upper hand and become dominant for a few months, the other would soon follow up with a greater and better tactic.
In the end, however, it was Garok's arrogance that led him astray. Becoming far too bold, he led forays deep into the Thousand Needles. Seeing this, Akecheta allowed Garok to believe that he was weakened and left for dead by the Darkcloud Grimtotem. He set an ambush and with much of the Hawktotem's strength, Garok fell for the trap.
It was nothing short of a slaughter. Many of the Blackhawks and Hawktotem were cousins, brothers, sisters, aunts and uncles -- they did not care. The fighting was brutal. By the time it ended, near 90% of the Hawktotem lay dead... with Garok and his mate with them. The rest were either captured or fled back to the Bloodhoof.
Akecheta declared himself the victor and the Blackhawks to reign supreme, that his bloodline would always be the better. He did not anticipate, however, that the children of Garok would become far more than their father or grandfather ever were.
Passing of Title
With the death of Garok Hawktotem, the title of Chieftain passed to Hranu, the eldest of his children. A powerful warrior and shaman, Hranu kept those that still remained with the sect together through the troubling times that followed. Under attack from all sides, Hranu did the unprecedented and riskiest move in his infantile reign: break off from the Bloodhoof.
The act of breaking off from a larger tribe and forming his own cut off the strength and protection that they had had for so long. Hranu believed it weakened them as a group, that if they wanted to rise and defeat their enemies, they must walk alone. With only a few braves, Hranu began his bold and decisive leadership.
With what remained, Hranu began several nomadic journeys all across Kalimdor -- leading his warriors and tribe against Akecheta and the Blackhawks. The clashed in Desoloce, skirmished in Feralas, and at the site of the greatest ambush of the Hawktotem, Akecheta was defeated despite the fact that he had three times Hranu's number.
Though these victories are attributed to Hranu's tactical supremacy, it was in fact Leturok One-Eye who engineered these victories before they even began. Leturok rose into Hranu's inner council, becoming his most trusted adviser.
After some time, Hranu led his braves to aid the Bloodhoof in taking Mulgore and establishing Thunder Bluff. It was there that Cairne directly acknowledged Hranu's right as Chieftain of the Hawktotem Tribe and a member of the newly created Confederation and the Council of Elders.
Despite this, the Hawktotem continued their nomadic lifestyle. Two years after the fateful ambush in the Thousand Needles, Akecheta and the Blackhawks ambushed the Hawktotem once more with the aid of the Night Elves of Feathermoon Stronghold and the Humans of Nijel's Point.
Most of the Hawktotem were taking to either the Feathermoon Stronghold or Nijel's Point to be tortured and eventually executed, but Hranu managed to escape with Leturok One-Eye.
Rise to Prominence
Swearing vengeance on all those who dared shed the blood of his people, Hranu began aggressively recruiting young and spirited Tauren to strike back against the Alliance and the Grimtotem at large. This recruiting campaign started as a slow trickle, at first -- however, the first five Tauren who joined him: Yorrow, Hotaga, Nohana, Azalee, and Sagapoe ended up becoming the instruments of his vengeance.
Joined by his younger brother, Hawenn the Younger, the Hawktotem began to strike back against their enemies. First starting wit hthe Alliance in Northrend, the Hawktotem became a part of COBRA, a Horde coalition of organizations dedicated to fighting the Alliance. They became an integral part of the organization, their steadfastness on the field admirable and their honorable tactics a welcome sight.
After several successful campaigns, the Hawktotem swelled in number and strength. By the time they moved to Camp Taurajo, they numbered three total warbands. Requesting aid from other tribes, such as the Wolfthorns and Plainsrunners, Hranu moved into Feralas to avenge his fallen comrades and lift the siege of Camp Mojache. This began the First Feralas Campaign.
The first Hawktotem-led action against the Alliance, Hranu lifted the siege of Camp Mojache by breaking the lines and then leading a foray of the combined Tauren braves. Causing a general retreat, Hranu continued to harass the Alliance lines through skirmishes. This culminated in the Battle of the Feralas Trail. Unknowingly at the same time, the Garrosh'kar Skullcleavers began pushing into Feralas from the north.
The campaign ended with putting the Feathermoon Stronghold to the torch, killing the Sentinel General in the area. However, several members of the Hawktotem -- led by Hranu -- butchered the women and children who were in the nearby village. Hawenn the Younger objected, causing his exile to the Taunka.
Brink of Civil War
After the Feralas campaign and its resounding success at curtailing Night Elven power in the region, the Feralas Trail became secure. The Stargazer Tribe of the region became a vassal sect to the Hawktotem alongside the Wolfsthorn and Plainsrunner Tribes. Together, they began to patrol the Trail.
Hranu's nomadic nature caused him to continue his effort in securing the long, circular road in middle Kalimdor; his next target was Desolace and the burning of Nijel's Point. Sending the Plainsrunners north to the Barrens to secure the trail to the Thousand Needles and the Stargazers to ensure the safety of the Feralas Trail, he moved the Hawktotem and Wolfsthorn to Desolace.
Along the way, they were ambushed by the Draenei of the Remnants of Argus. Led by the Death Knight Casylia, they were thrown back three times before retreating to Nijel's Point. Several more skirmishes between the two groups happened over the course of the next few weeks, but the elite, small tactics of the Draenei held the guerrilla tactics of the Tauren in check.
Despite this skirmishing campaign, Akecheta had other plans. As he had bided his time, he allowed for the Tauren known at Motavato Grimtotem to begin surging into Mulgore and Thunder Bluff, Motavato's group of Grimtotem mercenaries began hiring out and harassing other Tauren patrols across Kalimdor. A skilled and powerful warrior, Motavato came into direct combat with Hranu Hawktotem and his Honor Guard.
Akecheta desired revenge on the Hawktotem, thus he began bolstering Motavato's mercenaries with his own Blackhawks. Additionally, gold was exchanged with several mercenary groups in order to hunt down and assault members of the Hawktotem and their vassal sects. With these assaults happening on their very own beloved home of Mulgore, Hranu recalled all Hawktotem and vassal sects to Shadowprey Village.
With enemies surrounding them on all sides, the horizon looked bleak. However, just when the night seemed darkest, a Blood Elf paladin named Jeraean Morningfury arrived with several retainers in Shadowprey. Believing it to be a trick, Hranu openly insulted the Blood Elf and demanded that he show his proof of his honesty and loyalty. Jeraean proved himself by bringing several assassins to Hranu and his tribe... and ultimately executing them after finding out where their bases was.
The Hawktotem and House Morningfury began to launch several raids against Motavato and his allies. They disrupted supply lines, ensured that their presence in cities was met with extreme hostility, and ultimately destroyed bases of operations -- leaving the mercenary companies completely bankrupt and Motavato without allies. The Grimtotem mercenaries fled Mulgore when Hranu marched into Mulgore with his Elven allies.
With an ever-decreasing area of operation, Motavato was pushed to Dire Maul where he made his last stand. Knowing the Grimtotem and Akecheta needed a show of strength to get them to back down, Hranu called all his allies to aid him in the final battle: The Garrosh'kar Skullcleavers, the Kor'kron Legion, the Sunguard, House Morningfury, and many others. Motavato was outnumbered, outgunned, and had no place to run -- even the Blackhawks had abandoned him. With his few loyal warriors, he challenged them to the fight and ultimately lost.
With the death of Motavato and his mercenaries, Hranu returned to Desolace to pick up where he left off.
After Motavato's defeat, the Hawktotem returned to Shadowprey Village in Desolace to continue its campaign against the Alliance. The Remnants of Argus has been recalled after it had been known that the Grimtotem and Hawktotem were waging war on each other, thus the Alliance High Command saw no need to continue that large garrison of Nijel's Point at that time.
However, when it became apparent that the Hawktotem had no intention of giving up its campaign, the garrison was reinforced by mercenaries and adventurers under the command of Sir Daviren Falton, a decorated Knight-Captain of the Second War. Sir Daviren Falton had a personal vendetta against Hranu as he saw first hand the destruction that the Hawktotem were capable of at Feathermoon and bore witness to the aftermath of the atrocities.
His first command was to assault the Ghost Walker Post. The Hawktotem had kept a warband there alongside the other Ghost Walker braves, but the overwhelming tide of the oncoming Alliance was too much for them to handle, ultimately retreating and routing all the way back to Shadowprey. With this occupation came the Bloodied Ninth, specifically called in as allies to Daviren and his mercenary forces.
With the Alliance forces pushing the battle line further south, Hranu began to deploy his forces across Desolace in order to keep them in check. These series of skirmishes culminated in the Battle of the Kodo Graveyard, where Hawktotem and Garrosh'kar forces threw back the Bloodied Ninth and Daviren's forces from the Ghost Walker Post, retaking it and creating a staging ground for their ultimate assault on Nijel's Point.
Kazrasa Stormbringer, leader of the Garrosh'kar Skullcleavers, withdrew his forces back to Feralas to deal with an upstart Night Elven insurgency, leaving the Hawktotem with its own forces and that of a few Blood Elves as mercenaries. Over the next several days, Hawktotem and Alliance forces clashed in major battles.
It was clear to many here that the Hawktotem was far stronger in unconventional tactics, as the transition to battle lines and formations were largely lost to them. The Hawktotem suffered defeat after defeat until they were viciously defending the Ghost Walker Post a second time.
Things looked bleak for the Hawktotem; many in the tribe believed this to be their final hour. As night fell, so too did Daviren's forces. They were kept bottle-necked in the entrance of the Ghost Walker Post, thus their numerical superiority could not win out the day as it had earlier. When the sun dipped below the surface, Orcish and Elven warhorns cried out in the distance.
Mounted on armored wolves, destriers, and hawkstriders, the Garrosh'kar Skullcleavers and House Morningfury once more came to the aid of the Hawktotem and lifted the siege by charging into the rear of Daviren's forces. This caused chaos in the ranks of the Alliance; however, Daviren's effective leadership managed to get a hold on the situation and issue a general, organized retreat to Nijel's Point. Once there, Daviren sent a raven to nearby Alliance forces for aid.
The Horde forces regrouped, licked their wounds, and readied themselves. They too requested more aid -- calling in nearby members of the Dominion of the Sun and the Sunguard. With their strength replenished, Hranu led the Horde forces in a general siege of Nijel's Point.
Just like the Ghost Walker Post, the Alliance controlled the bottleneck that led into the Point. However, unlike the Alliance, the Horde forces didn't rely on numbers in order to win out the day. They pushed deep into the fortress, but ultimately were checked back by the reinforcements that Daviren had sent for.
A brief truce was held and a parley. Horde forces would remove themselves from Nijel's Point and allow the Alliance forces patrols over the general area, however the Horde would destroy the torture devices, free the prisoners, and keep control over Desolace. These were agreeable terms.
The campaign was short and bloody -- lasting over two months total. Each side lost much in the bloody conflict, but the Horde managed to win out the day.
Aftermath of the Desolace Campaign
With the Alliance more or less taken care of, the Elven forces moved onto their own devices and left the Garrosh'kar and Hawktotem to clean up Desolace. The two remaining enemies in the region: the Centaur and the Legion, were of top priority.
The Garrosh'kar Skullcleavers began to wage war on the Burning Legion forces, reinforced by half of the Hawktotem's strength. The Hawktotem warbands were led by Leturok One-Eye and Suntarin Sunmane. The two champions split their command, each one working in tandem with each other on the flanks while the Garrosh'kar kept a strong central position when dealing with the Legion forces.
The Mannoroc Coven was easy to clear out, but the Satyrs of Sargeron were a far greater and more cunning foe. They did not allow themselves to be caught out in the open by the Horde forces, thus ambush was their primary method of fighting. However, the Hawktotem and Garrosh'kar had made these tactics a part of their regular battle order... and the Satyrs suffered the consequences.
The Burning Legion made a last stand through the Burning Blade Cult at Thunder Axe Fortress. Kazrasa desired the fortress for the Garrosh'kar, thus the fierce fighting and siege that followed was a testament to his leadership. The Hawktotem champions and their warbands followed his commands and ultimately, the Burning Blade was broken.
Simultaneously, Hranu began his campaign to curtail the Centaur threat in the area. Knowing that the Centaur -- though disjointed and divided -- would be a dangerous threat on their own, he decided to bring the Gelkis Clan into the fold. Treating with their elder council, he promised them full autonomy and the protection of the Horde if they held Desolace and secured it.
The Gelkis agreed, becoming vassalized to the Hawktotem Tribe and paid tribute. With the Gelkis firmly in hand, they began a campaign against the Maraudine, Magram, and Kolkar clans. However, Hranu's devious and cunning tactics did not allow for the Gelkis to have full supremacy -- always allowing the other clans to have a fighting chance against the new power in Desolace to keep the Centaur occupied.
Desolace was secured for the Horde... thus the Tribe migrated.
The Stonetalon Offensive
After securing Desolace, the council of Seers convened with Chieftain Hranu. Stonetalon was long a place from which the Hawktotem kept their dead and the Alliance, Grimtotem Tribe, Venture Company, and rampaging elementals were wreaking havoc across the region. To Hranu's mind, the Night Elves of Stonetalon Peak were largely peaceful and thus a low priority compared to the other threats in the region.
Sending two warbands in order to hold back the tide of raging elements in the Charred Vale, the Hawktotem Tribe migrated to the Sun Rock Retreat. Managing to relieve the weary garrison, the Hawktotem began to fortify the Retreat, allowing a reprieve. Braves guarded and worked while the Mistwalkers began to evaluate the land and find a reason why there was such a tumultuous turmoil in the spirits.
The Mistwalkers soon found the Brother Fire was angry that the land had been decimated by the Venture Company and that the Grimtotem Tribe were using them so violently and forcefully. Hranu promised him that, if he allowed his elementals to aid them, that the Hawktotem would lead the charge against those that have wronged the spirits.
Upon agreement, the Hawktotem forces were split once more: Suntarin and Leturok were given four warbands to begin assaulting the Venture Company while the majority of the tribe began assaulting the Grimtotem directly. Once more, the Blackhawks stood in their way. The Trolls of Malaka'jin joined in the various assaults, but ultimately the Grimtotem could not withstand such assaults and several portions of their village were burned.
As the Hawktotem pushed back the hostile forces in the south, a group known as the Thousand Blade Cadre began encroaching on the area. With just a few soldiers, it assaults the Sun Rock Retreat -- where a Hawktotem warband happened to be. As the groups clashed, they began to call reinforcements from elsewhere in the Mountains, resulting in an all-day, bloody battle. During this battle, Hranu's son and mate were killed. It was believed to have been done by the members of the Thousand Blade Cadre, but in actuality it was done by Blackhawk assailants.
The loss of Hranu's son and mate was devastating to the tribe, but they cried out in vengeance against the Alliance. They began to mobilize attacks on the Stonetalon Peak, ultimately culminating a battle known as the 'Slaughter of Stonetalon'. Once more, Sir Daviren Falton organized the defense against the Hawktotem, calling in the Kul Tiras Marine Corps and the First Regiment with the Mountain Guard coming... but they were too late to engage in the initial battles.
The First Regiment and Kul Tiras Marine Corps tried their best to hold the line, but they broke again and again as the Hawktotem and their allies fell upon them with a fury unmatched. It wasn't until the Mountain Guard arrived that the Horde advance was not only halted, but thrown back. This time, the Horde broke time and again until they were completely surrounded at the Sun Rock Retreat.
A parley was held at the gates of Sun Rock, the battered, bloodied, and bruised Horde forces being granted clemency and mercy. The Alliance held dominion over most of Stonetalon, allowing the Horde nomads to walk through peacefully... but the Hawktotem remembered the blood they spilled.
Aftermath of the Stonetalon Offensive
With Hranu's son and mate killed, he began to grow more hateful -- a beast inside of him was unleashed that did not allow mercy. The Hawktotem became a complete extension of Hranu's will -- no longer a people to him, but a weapon. All the wrongs he and his tribe had suffered would end.
Hranu re-organized the tribe specifically into warbands -- those that could not fight nor had the will to heal the warriors were sent back to Thunder Bluff and put under the protection of the the Rainwatcher Sect and its leader, Rahkannu. The Wolfsthorn sect was also reassigned to Rahkannu's command in Thunder Bluff.
With his warbands, he began an aggressive campaign against the Blackhawks and Venture Company there. For a second time, he devastated the Blackhawks in open battle, throwing his Uncle against the Stonetalon Mountains, causing them to scurry away. His aggressive nature did not cease, even after they moved away from Stonetalon, where they would never see it unscarred again.
Return to and Defense of Camp Taurajo
Though there was much aggression and hatred in his heart, Hranu returned his tribe to Mulgore for a respite. It would be short, but the raiding of Quilboar villages along the way kept their skills sharp... for they would need them for the defense of Camp Taurajo.
Receiving word through his network of spies in the Cenarion Circle, Hranu knew that there would be a major Alliance offensive led by the AEGIS coalition. Calling upon allies secretly, he began to prepare the defense of Camp Taurajo. When the Alliance arrived, they had very little intelligence about the forces there beyond the previously battled-tattered Hawktotem and the Taurajo braves.
As the members of AEGIS charged forward, they were met with stiff resistance from the combined Horde forces; a shieldwall of Elves, Trolls, Tauren, Undead, and Orcs resisted them, even the grand charges of the Mountain Guard and 1117th Knights of Menethil. As AEGIS was bogged down by the intense fighting, the Kor'kron Legion made a cavalry charged to the rear of their forces.
The Horde Coalition managed to scatter the Alliance forces, among the first successful defensive campaigns in the Barrens. However, little did they know that there was to be several other campaigns after the shaking and changing of the world...
Return to Mulgore and the Great Wall
After the attack on Camp Taurajo, the Hawktotem left a single warband behind to aid in the reconstruction of Camp Taurajo. As a result of the campaign in the Barrens, the Confederation of Tribes decided to erect a wall. The Hawktotem aided in the construction of the Great Wall and manned it alongside the Confederation braves.
During this period the Hawktotem took a respite from the campaigns across Azeroth. The Tribe was mostly weary of the war and wanted to spend a majority of its time hunting, farming, and safety behind the Great Wall. For a period of a month, the Hawktotem enjoyed its time away from war.
It was also during this period that the Hawktotem inner circle had allegedly made dealings with the Grimtotem Tribe.
As the year went on, so too did the rumbling of the elementals. The Hawktotem Shaman were growing more and more concerned that the spirits were not responding like they used to and they began to spread themselves out over Kalimdor to investigate what was happening. They were not able to conclude much -- the elementals all over the regions were attacking villages and causing wildfires... but nothing substantial.
The first of the elemental attacks rocked Thunder Bluff, where the Hawktotem had been staying. The attacks came at a surprise moment, the defenders barely managing to throw them back. Hranu called upon age-old allies: the Dark Sun Legion came without question, honoring the oaths taken, as did the Spear of Sen'jin. However, Kaliata of the Spear of Sen'jin disliked Hranu devising the defensive strategy. After each successive wave of elementals, Kaliata and Hranu argued against each other over the efficiency of the defense.
The Hawktotem fought bravely, their warbands independently working from each other in order to ensure the safety of civilians who were threatened by the attacks -- however, the Trolls of the Spear of Sen'jin were disorganized and few, while the Dark Sun Legion roamed Thunder Bluff as a group. As the Dark Sun Legion and Hawktotem along with many other adventurers worked efficiently, the Spear of Sen'jin left to defend Orgrimmar; breaking off relataions with the Hawktotem in the meantime.
As the invasions drew to a close, the Hawktotem moved all its forces to aid in construction and defense of the Great Wall. This included all vassal sects. A single warband led by Suntarin Sunmane was left outside the wall at Camp Taurajo and another warband of all former Grimtotem braves left Mulgore, leaving their surcoats behind to Stonetalon just after Cairne Bloodhoof left to challenge Garrosh to a Mok'gora.
The Hawktotem was slow to react to the Grimtotem -- though this was not due to the actions of a few warband leaders, but rather to the Cheiftain himself. News came and news went -- yet the warbands stayed at the wall. It was only until after news that Baine had survived did the Hawktotem attack Bloodhoof Village and subsequently, aiding in the retaking of Thunder Bluff.
After the defeat, the five braves of the former warband came back from the Stonetalon Mountains, citing that their objectives have been achieved. It is unknown -- even to the most senior of advisers -- what this purpose was.
While the Hawktotem was distracted, Camp Taurajo came under attack for a second time, only this time under General Hawthorne's directive. With only a few braves to help defend Camp Taurajo, Suntarin Sunmane and his warband gave their lives so that civlians would make for the hole that General Hawthorne made in his lines. Their sacrifice was martyrized, forever etched into the minds of the Hawktotem... calling on their Chieftain to avenge their sacrifice.
--REWRITES END HERE, SO EVERYTHING AFTER THIS IS OLD AND WILL BE REWRITTEN--
First Barrens Campaign
With the return to Mulgore -- the return to home -- many Hawktotem rested after the attempted coup and waited for the Chief to rally them to the defense of their people. For more than a month, they waited and prepared, sharpening their weapons, gathered supplies, even helped against the Quilboar invasion, but it wasn't until Meinas Highcastle and the Tainted Legion came to the Barrens when the Hawktotem decided to make their move.
With the very gates of Mulgore under siege, Hranu designated the Operation 'Spear Tip', and came forth from Mulgore with their closest allies -- the Dark Sun Legion -- in tow. They overwhelmed the besiegers, seeking to take the Forward Alliance Camp and destroy it completely. The Tainted Legion and several other mercenaries rallied to the defense, but ultimately perished. Bithip Ironhoof oversaw the destruction of the siege weapons.
Next on the list was Northwatch Hold. After a brief struggle through the Overgrowth, the Hawktotem and their allies arrived with overwhelming numbers. So much so, that the Alliance came out to parley. Knowing that they could not resist the Horde forces, they quickly gave up their siege weapons and allowed a single cannon tower to be destroyed in order for their forces to be spared.
The last leg of their campaign was Fort Triumph -- the bastion of the Alliance in the Barrens. The battle between the Tainted Legion and the Hawktotem Tribe over the dead scar was epic, but ultimately a stalemate occurred; the Legion brought many mercenaries in order to counter the Horde's forces and ultimately spared the inhabitants of the Fort.
March on Ironforge
After the campaign, Hranu learned that he was losing his connection the Sibling Spirits. He decided to take a spiritual journey, leaving leaving the Seer Teodorie Stargazer as Crone and Matriarch. With the Tribe in good hands, Hranu left in bare clothing and a wolf's mask.
Teodorie set out to continue to wage war on the Alliance, aiding their allies on a march through the Eastern Kingdoms to lay siege to Ironforge. Though this took a large toll on the Hawktotem's forces, it was good on morale that they were not constantly defending their own territory time and again. The aggressors of the conflict showed their valor, braving through the cold and snow to face the Dwarves and their allies.
Soon, however, Hranu returned with his connection to the Sibling Spirits reconnected... but at a price. He had many visions: of a young Tauren in Hranu's armor wielding his storm axes walking around a burnt village with a pile of corpses, of Horde warriors covered in ash charging the field... and of his own hanging outside the gates of Stormwind City.
Pressing on, he accepted his fate.
Second Barrens Campaign
Despite these visions, he did not forsee the The First Regiment, led by the Lord-Marshal Maxen Montclair, coming to Kalimdor. Gathering up his allies once more -- with the Dark Sun Legion and Shadowdrum Tribe -- he led an attack on Theramore City to send a warning. With Vol'kuza and his Trolls, they burned the Alliance ships in harbor. After the white flag was raised for a ceasefire, Vol'kuza and Hranu parleyed with Maxen, with Hranu speaking in broken Common:
"Come to Barrens; we slit throat."
This warning was ignored, however: the First Regiment marched into the Barrens under the watch of several Hawktotem scouts. The Hawktotem planned a defense of the Barrens once more, though this time they did it alone; their allies were entrenched in their own conflicts and could not come to the aid of the Hawktotem.
Devising a strategy with Eiyon Thundersun and Bithip Ironhoof, the Hawktotem laid several traps and pitfalls for the Regiment to walk into. Mines were placed, kodos were gathered, but eventually there was only a single Hawktotem Warband -- led by Bithip and Eiyon -- as Hranu had taken his forces to the east in order to aid their allies.
In several small skirmishes leading up to the finale of their work, the small Hawktotem warband managed to capture Maxen Montclair. Taking him back to Mulgore and recalling their Chieftain, Maxen was held in a small cave in the mountains guarded by his best Braves.
The Hawktotem continued their defensive campaign, defeating the First Regiment at almost every turn. The greatest defeat was at Vendetta Point, where the majority of the Regiment was captured. Hranu, feeling mercy, spared the Alliance forces and ordered them to abandon their weapons and wait at Northwatch Hold for the release of their Lord-Marshal.
Hranu and Maxen ended up bonding in Mulgore, though it was Hranu who did all the talking. He showed the soldier of the crown the villages of Mulgore, the children that lived there, and that he was released if he promised to leave. If he did not and continued their campaign, Hranu would destroy the Regiment and everything that the Lord-Marshal held dear.
With that, the Lord-Marshal was released and given a doll that was made by one of the Tauren children in the likeness of the Lord-Marshal.
Second Feralas Campaign
With victories under their belt and experience in hand, the Hawktotem moved back to Feralas once more. Securing the Feralas Trail was paramount in their objectives to ensure the Horde travelers went unmolested and the Alliance had been encroaching with the establishment of the new Feathermoon Stronghold.
The Moonblade and Sha'nash -- a Night Elf and Draenei coalition force -- responded with their own invasion force. With overwhelming numbers, they quickly began to come to Feralas and engage with the Hawktotem and outmatch the Hawktotem at every pass.
Calling up on his allies -- the Kor'kron Legion and the Shadowdrum Tribe -- they attempted to push back the Alliance coalition forces. However, even with these reinforcements, the might of the Moonblade and the Sha'nash carried the way, with the Draenei showing that they were not to be trifled with. Their warriors were a feared sight on the battlefield, sacking Camp Mojache and forcing reinforcements to arrive from Thunder Bluff.
The Hawktotem never truly recovered from this loss while under Hranu's reign.
With the loss of the Feralas Trail, what was left of the Hawktotem and the Thunder Bluff forces remained in Camp Mojache. They baegan to rebuild the Horde camp under the eyes of the Alliance forces, ensuring that the Camp would not become one of military might again.
After a period of two months, a plot was created by the Alliance and pushed through Alliance spies such that a Horde summit was being held at Grom'gol to discuss future campaigns. Hranu responded, bringing his Honor Guard with him only.
It was the last time Hranu and his Honor Guard saw his friend and family. The plot worked; word went through the Alliance spies and informed Alliance forces that Hranu would be at Grom'gol. In reponse, Lord-Marshal Maxen Montclair led a coalition of the Church of the Holy Light, the Lightsworn, the Wolves of Greymane, along with other mercenaries, to attack Grom'gol.
The fighting was bloody, with Hranu and his Honor Guard getting cornered. True to their oath, all of the Honor Guard died fighting with Hranu captured after a period of time.
Knowing that he would brought to Stormwind for trial, Hranu resigned to his fate.e
Trial and Execution of Hranu Hawktotem
The Wolves of Greymane called for the immediate execution of the war criminal, but Maxen -- having felt the mercy of the Tauren -- decided it was best for him to face trial and a sentencing by the courts of Stormwind. They were abandoned, leaving only the First Regiment to bring him back to Stormwind.
Word reached to the Hawktotem and Kor'kron that Hranu had been captured and they immediately attempted to rescue Hranu, but Hranu waved them off -- this was his destiny, to be executed and pay for his crimes that he had committed. He saved the lives of the First Regiment that night.
During this period, Maxen and Hranu had many conversations and hoped that the future would be brighter than how it was now -- that their children wouldn't fight with one another, but instead work for the betterment of the world.
Hranu went to trial and admitted his crimes. He was sentenced to death by hanging, though Maxen attempted to argue for a death by service in the Firelands. The courts rejected this and several days later, Hranu was hanged to a large crowd both shouting for his release and his death.
Shattering of the Hawktotem
Hranu's body was graciously returned to the Hawktotem Tribe for a funeral. He was ritually burned with all of his allies present, with several prominent members of the Horde military speaking to his honor, bravery, and sacrifice.
Hranu's final orders were given out to the higher-ranking members of the Tribe, but without a leader the Tribe eventually just went their separate ways. Several lower-ranking members of the Tribe went on to formed the Shattered Totem, continuing Hranu's work. Others joined Horde military forces, but many simply moved back into Tauren society.
The Hawktotem stagnated and plummeted, many waiting for the boy known as Kashu'ake to take his place.
Under the guidance of the former Champions of Hranu, Kashu'ake Hawtotem made his debut after he completed his adulthood rites. Gathering what few members he could, he announced that the Hawktotem were reborn, regaining many Hawktotem loyal to Hranu. Numbers surged, with Kashu'ake -- known as Naharak Hawktotem -- establishing old ties and merged several other tribes into his own.
Kashu'ake made several declarations, saying that he would continue his father's policies against the Alliance and for the betterment of all Tauren. These policies were wildly popular.
With numbers surging, Kashu'ake moved the Tribe into the Stonetalon mountains and established Camp Ahok'awa. The Camp was meant to house the civilian population of the Tribe and train the youngbloods of the Tribe.
Kashu'ake formed several warbands, moving out to Hunter's Hill to attack Honor's Stand. He re-established the taking of scalps and using them to inflict psychological warfare. The suddenness of the attack took the Alliance by surprise, the Tauren devastating the fort.
The Horde Civil War was in full swing, but the Hawktotem had not yet taken a side. Despite the fact that they were extremely loyal to the Confederation, they waited a long while before getting involved. They simply continued their aggression against the Alliance while their agents worked in secret.
With Kor'kron raiders running everywhere, the Hawktotem fortified Hunter's Hill in preparation for an attack. Using the terrain to their advantage, they repulsed several attacks; this caused them to entire the Civil War and ultimately move into Durotar with every warband the Hawktotem had to offer to prepare for the siege.
Siege of Orgrimmar
With most than ten warbands at his back, leaving two at Camp Ahok'awa, Kashu'ake led the Hawktotem in the siege. Taking high-value objectives alongside the Skullfang's heir, Jen'doo, he forged relationships during the siege that softened his inherent racism. The more he killed through the Siege, however, the less the Spirits began to respond to him.
The siege was bloody, there was no doubt. With ten warbands, it slowly dwindled until there was no more than two by the end of it. With most of the Hawktotem's forces slain and the siege ended, they slowly made their way home.
The march back was hard. Losing several more warriors to their injuries, Kashu'ake and his companions pressed onward. Reaching Hunter's Hill, Kashu'ake attempted to connect with the spirits, but they did not respond. The Sibling Spirits chose to ignore him and watch as he struggled to retain his sense of self.
As they reached Camp Ahok'awa, they only saw devastation. The Camp was burned to the ground, leaving only cinders. As they approached further, they saw the mountain of corpses with the flag of the Kor'kron on top of it -- loyalists to Garrosh. With only two warbands of youngbloods to defend the camp, the raiders took advantage and did not spare anyone.
Kashu'ake isolated himself while his remaining warriors prepared a mass funeral pyre. Once Kashu'ake came back, he was changed; he disbanded the Tribe and proclaimed that he would flee into the mountains and meditate. What few warriors he had were released from their oaths, but more chose to go with him.
The Hawktotem that are left were either away from the Camp at the time or at the Siege... most Hawktotem followed Kashu'ake -- now simply called Naharak -- in the establishment of the Ashwalker Warband.
The Hawktotem Tribe has existed since a generation before the landing of the Orcs of Kalimdor. Since then, the Hawktotem has remained to be a small Tribe, mainly made up of those directly in the Hawktotem bloodline and other Grimtotem run-a-ways. Tribeless Tauren have generally graviated towards the Hawktotem for purpose, and some families as well.
Mating and Courtship
Polygamy vs Monogamy
The founder of the Hawktotem Tribe -- Hawenn the Eldest -- saw that a few other Tribes regularly practiced polygamy and scoffed. The founders of the Hawktotem agreed that while polygamy and every male having a herd of females to himself creates greater numbers of calves to produce more tribesmen, many Tribes are also seen as weak due to their sometimes incestuous relations. They created weak blood.
Thus, the founders of the Hawktotem banned polygamous relationships, stating that a male may only have one female as his mate, in order to create strong, healthy children.
During the nomadic times of the Tauren, the founders of the Hawktotem saw homosexuality as detrimental. If no more calves could be born, then they would soon die out. Thus, they banned homosexuality from existing within the Tribe. From there, it went on for several generations.
When Hranu took the mantle of Chieftainship, he lifted the ban of homosexuality. He felt as though that the old tradition was too stringent and caused discontent within the Tribe. It mattered not if male loved male, or female loved female. Thus, it is commonly accepted amongst the tribesmen to be openly homosexual. Most of those who disagree are usually cast out or leave the Tribe of their own accord.
Scalping is the act of removing the scalp or part of the scalp off of a dead or still living person. The Hawktotem practiced scalping fairly commonly when in combat against any enemy that wasn't another Tauren. It fell out of practice upon the death of Hranu's father. Hranu allowed the practice to slowly fade to the point where it was no longer practiced. However, it has begun to come back into regular practice under Chieftain Naharak Hawktotem.
All Initiates of the Hawktotem undertake a Blooding when they either reach adulthood or upon joining the Tribe. A Blooding is a ritual where the Initiate goes hunting for the blood enemies of the Hawktotem, and claim their scalp.
Calling of the Ancestors
Around the last month of every year, the Hawktotem gather to honor their ancestors. Travelling to the burial grounds, a ritual is performed where totems are created and burned in order to signify the passing of those who came before them.
A great feast is usually held afterwards to honor the sacrifice and to begin the new year off for good future prospects.
Honor Guard Rite
The Rite of the Honor Guard is age-old and bound in duels of strength. Only the strongest may protect the Cheiftain and they are always few in number. When a member attains enough prestige within the Tribe, they may challenge an Honor Guard or the Champion for a spot in the Honor Guard warband. If there is a spot open and they are victorious, they get the open spot -- however, if they defeat an Honor Guard and there are no open spots, they take the place of the loser.
A Tauren may only make three challenges to become an Honor Guard within his or her lifetime.
The adulthood Rite for the Hawktotem has changed from Chieftain to Chieftain. In more simplistic times, it was simply to provide for the Tribe, to go out and prove that they were truly able to sustain themselves and the Tribe for whatever they needed. As the Tribe grew, so did the Rite become more complex.
Eventually, it was settled that a youth would carve and commune with the ancestors through the guidance of a shaman. The youth carves out a totem that they believe represents them, going on a path to attain their animal spirit.
Lastly, the youth still must provide something to the tribe -- this is typically a hunt, but in times of war it could mean a scalp.
Youths may participate in their adulthood rite at the age of seventeen, though most youths waited until eighteen to participate.
Burial Grounds and the Sect of the Dead
The Hawktotem Tribe, like many Tauren Tribes, have ancestral burial grounds where ancestral spirits and energies of the Earth Mother are strong.
Located in a cave in the mountains of Mulgore, the burial grounds are guarded closely by a group of Hawktotem Braves, Mistwalkers, and Sunwalkers that have long been presumed dead. These Hawktotem Guardians are the best of the best of the Hawktotem, and will fight to the death anyone who is unwelcome upon the burial grounds.
Racial Pride and Racism
The Tauren of the Hawktotem are very much proud of what their people can accomplish. Originally being from the Grimtotem, the Hawktotem carried over the Grimtotem's racial prejudice when dealing with other races. Very frequently will Hawktotem Tribesmembers refuse to speak in any language but Taurahe, with the reasoning that it is the only language that should grace the high tongues of the Shu'halo.
It is alleged the higher-ranking Hawktotem Tribesmembers have carried out assassinations against Shu'halo and other races who have had inter-racial sexual intercourse with Tauren. It is also alleged that members of other races, including the Horde, have been captured and brought to a secret location where the captives were tortured for information.
It is currently unknown whether or not the allegations are true, as there has never been any first hand proof.
There are certain titles that the Tribe has given to those who display great bravery or other such qualities.
Chieftain/Crone of the Hawktotem
Of course, the most prestigious title of the Hawktotem was that used by its leader. For the most part, the leader of the Hawktotem has been one of the Hawktotem bloodline with exception to a two month period where the Hawktotem was ruled by the regency of Teodorie Stargazer as Crone. Chieftains and Crones have absolute authority amongst the Hawktotem, in both economic, military, and social situations.
Chieftains/Crones to date:
Hawenn Hawkwotem, epithet 'The Oldest'
Garok Hawktotem, epithet 'The Ambushed'
Hranu Hawktotem, epithet 'Shield of the Shu'halo'
Teodorie Stargazer, epithet 'The Crone'
Naharak Hawktotem, epithet 'The Last'
Spear of the Hawktotem
This title was created by the founder of the Hawktotem, given to one Brave who has displayed great feats of military prowess and courage. The Spear becomes a Champion of the Tribe and often leads in many military incursions after the Warmaster. The Spear did not typically have to answer to anyone in combat save the Chieftain, but Spears usually answered to the Warmaster.
List of Spears to date:
The Warmaster was created by Chieftain Hranu Hawktotem. The title was created in order to organize the large influx of Braves after the Call to War was sent to the villages of the Confederation. There has only been one known Warmaster, which was a Death Knight named Raktas Hawktotem. Under the first and only Warmaster, the Hawktotem saw military action across Kalimdor and the Eastern Kingdoms.
Warmasters to date:
The Elder Seer was the right hand and spiritual advisor of the Chieftain. The Elder Seer makes sure that the Tribe's spiritual needs are taken care of and often talks to the Spirits for a great amount of time, meaning he or she is away from the Tribe for a large amount of time. If the Chieftain is incapacitated or exiled, the Seer and the Warmaster lead the Tribe in the palce of the Chieftain.
Elder Seers to date:
The Skyterror, much like the Spear, is an honorary title given to a Brave who has distinguished himself on the battlefield for great feats of gallantry and bravery. The title was created by Chieftain Hranu Hawktotem after seeing the effectiveness of a warband of Braves mounted on Wyverns entered the battlefield under the leadership of Bithip Ironhoof. Bithip Ironhoof is the only known Brave to have held the title of Skyterror.
The Hawktotem Tribe has one main structure. While upon reaching the rank of Tribesmen, every member of the Tribe has the same rights and privileges (except for one), some Tribesmen are distinguished for their bravery, selflessness, or other qualities.
Chieftain - The Leader of the Hawktotem Tribe. He leads the Hawktotem through their brightest days and their blackest nights. He makes decisions that will alter the Hawktotem's future, and is a spiritual leader as well as a secular one. The current Chieftain is Naharak Hawktotem.
Chief - A minor step above Champions, the Chiefs are leaders of sects inside the Hawktotem. Very few in number, the Chiefs are able to convene in council when the Chieftain is indisposed. Much like vassal lords, they and their Sect serve to further the Tribe's cause.
Champion - A leadership rank among the Hawktotem. The Champions are the Chieftain's advisors and some of the most powerful fighters or healers in the Tribe. They actively seek out new blood in order to strengthen the Tribe. They make up the leadership of the three branches of the Tribe, and enact the Chieftain's will.
Honor Guard - A step below the Champions, the Honor Guard are the Chieftain's personal guard. They guard him, his family, and often times lead other members of the Hawktotem as combat leaders. There is a limited number of Honor Guard, 10% of the Tribe's overall numbers. There must be at least one Honor Guard at all times. The Honor Guard are led by the Champion, Bohanu. They are allowed to seek other Tauren to strengthen the Tribe.
The title of Honor Guard is won by a Guardian or higher challenging the leader of the Honor Guard or an Honor Guard to an honorable duel. If it is won, and there is a spot open for an Honor Guard, then the victor gets that spot. If there is no spot open, the victor gets the loser's spot.
Vanguard - The veterans of the Hawktotem. The highest rank that a member of the Tribe can attain, they are few in number, have the most battle experience amongst the rank-and-file of the Tribe, and have been in the Tribe the longest. They have shown exceptional dedication and loyalty. A Vanguard may challenge an Honor Guard to an honorable duel in order to become one.
Guardian - The second tier of membership in the Hawktotem. This rank represents dedication and loyalty to the Hawktotem. They must have at least one month's experience to earn this position.
Tribesman - The rank-and-file of the Hawktotem. The Tribesman is a step above Initiate, and has the full rights and privileges of a member of the Tribe. They are still seen as inexperienced, however they have been in the Tribe for at least one week.
Initiate - The starting position of the Hawktotem. The most inexperienced of all members of the Tribe, these Tauren seek to join the Tribe as full members and must prove themselves in order to be promoted.
The Hawktotem Tribe has four branches in which a Tribesman may serve. At this moment in time, they are titles upon reaching the rank of Tribesmen. Three are attained upon being blooded, while the last is a non-combat role.
The Braves of the Hawktotem Tribe are those who have martial skills with weapons with no amplification of magic. They are those who rush headlong into the front lines of combat, reaving their way into the heart of the enemy. They are also those who grab bows and guns in order to fight from range -- marksmen that sling arrows and lead to the enemy from afar.
The Braves are expected to do much menial labor. They are expected to go about the day sharpening their martial skills, using their strength to further the Tribe's holdings, or hunt for available meat and herbs.
Relatively new to Tauren society, the Sunwalkers owe homage to the right eye of the Earth Mother, An'she. The Sunwalkers are divided into two sects: The Seers, which are the more spiritual side and doan the cloth, and the martial arm of the Order, which is commonly known as Sunwalkers, to which they doan plate and wield axes, swords, and maces.
The Hawktotem Tribe has embraced the Sunwalkers with open arms. They are expected to regularly check for wounds alongside the Mistwalkers of the Tribe, regularly check for disease and poison, and hold the balance between Mu'sha and An'she.
The Mistwalkers of the Tribe are almost as old as the Braves. Originally just the Shaman of the Tribe, it has expanded after the Battle of Mount Hyjal to include Druids. Very spiritualistic, the Mistwalkers look after the five Spirits and the Earth Mother.
There are two portions of the Mistwalkers that must be observed. The first are the Shaman. They are often leaders in Tauren Society, and thus, the Hawktotem. They interpret the will of the four spirits (Brothers Fire, Air, and Earth and Sister Water) and the Earth Mother. The second are the Druids. They interpret the will of the Spirit of the Wilds, and keep balance with Mu'sha.
Along with the three main branches is a fourth branch. The support of the Hawktotem are just villagers who are trying to better their family and the Tribe. Common folk, often simple hunters and gatherers, small farmers, mothers and fathers, they make up the bulk of the Tribe. They typically do not enter combat, only entering as a very last line of defense.
A Tauren Tribe consists of several loose parts. A Tribe will have one or more Sects, and a Sect will have one or more Warbands. The following information pertains only to the Hawktotem Tribe.
Sects are to Tribes like Counts are to Kings -- only in the case of the Hawktotem Tribe, the Count is the Chief and the King is the Chieftain. Each Sect is led by one Chief/Crone, and has their own distinct way of doign things. Sects may include members of the Tribe from all three branches, and identify within the Tribe as their Sect name.
Some Sects focus on certain things, such as melee combat, ranged combat, labor, healing, etc.
Known Hawktotem Sects:
- Ironhoof Sect - Chief Bithip Ironhoof
- Wolfsthorn Sect
- Plainsrunner Sect
- Stargazer Sect
Warbands are small squads of Hawktotem within the military of the Tribe. Every member of the fighting force of the Tribe is part of a warband, and are led by either a Guardian or Vanguard. Warbands can either belong to a sect, which answers to their respective Chief, or are simply part of the overall Tribe. Once an Initiate becomes blooded, he or she either joins or creates a new warband. These warbands are mostly permenant, but there have been warbands that seek to achieve temporary objectives.
One permanent warband is known as the Honor Guard. This warband is typically led by a specially selected Champion and there is a limited number that can be in the warband at any given point. In order to join, there is typically a trial that a Guardian and above must go through. See rankings for more details.
The Hawktotem Tribe has been at war for most of its existence. After its separation from the Grimtotem Tribe, it has maintained hostilities with the far more powerful and larger Tribe, along with all Centaur Tribes, Quilboar Tribes, Harpy Covens, and Alliance factions.
The Hawktotem regularly employs guerilla tactics in order to defeat numerically superiour forces such as the Grimtotem and Alliance. Learning from their hated enemies, the Centaur, they frequently skirmish against enemy scouting parties and frequently raid caravans and outposts instead of directly facing enemies on the field.
There are only a few times when the Hawktotem has led its forces directly onto the field. Times such as the Desolace Campaign, which was a series of battles and a siege of Nijel's Point led by Hranu Hawktotem. The Hawktotem forces were outmatched on the field and during the siege until reinforcements from the Garrosh'kar Skullcleavers arrived. It was then that the Horde forces took the field and destroyed much of Nijel's Point.
Another example of the Hawktotem's clear ineptitude in the field is what was dubbed the Slaughter in Stonetalon. Hawktotem-led Horde forces assaulted Stonetalon Peak, only to be pushed back to the Sun Rock Retreat by the forces of the Mountain Guard and the First Regiment.
Most, if not all of the Hawktotem-led campaigns that have been won have been through use of guerilla tactics. The First Feralas Campaign against an unknown Sentinel General showed how the Hawktotems -- only a force of seventy-five -- defeated a force of almost three hundred without facing them in the field.
Another example are the numerous offensive campaigns into the Southern Barrens led by Meinas Highcastle of the Tainted Legion and Lord-Marshal Maxen Montclair of the First Regiment. Both Alliance-led campaigns led to decisive and strategic Hawktotem victories, which were due to the Hawktotem's use of guerilla tactics.
While the Hawktotem Tribe is overall part of the Confederation of Tauren Tribes, they are given a large amount of leeway to act autonomously. They respect the rule of the High Chieftain and obey his commands, but beyond that they do as they will with their campaigns. With that said, there have been several organizations that the Hawktotem have had an alliance with.
The Bloodied Coalition
The Bloodied Coalition was an alliance of several Horde organizations that is now defunct. It was started with the Hawktotem Tribe's alliance with the Garrosh'kar Skullcleavers. Three more alliances were made: The Phoenix Battalion, the Legacy of the Damned, and the Spear of Sen'jin. Several more organizations were invited, but they were mostly minor. The five main members dropped to four when the Phoenix Battalion and the Legacy of the Damned joined together to form the Dark Sun Legion. The Garrosh'kar Skullcleavers eventually disbanded and the Speak of Sen'jin and the Hawktotem Tribe had a falling out. The coalition lasted for a few months time.
The Garrosh'kar Skullcleavers(defunct)
The Garrosh'kar Skullcleavers were considered by many Hawktotem the best ally that they had. The Garrosh'kar Skullcleavers were a group of Orcish raiders loyal to Garrosh Hellscream. The Garrosh'kar and Hawktotem operated under similar military philosophies and generally worked towards the same goal: the removal of the Alliance in various part of Kalimdor. The relationship began as strictly military, but a bond formed during battle between many members of both organizations. When the Skullcleavers disbanded, the Hawktotem kept many Garrosh'kar Orcs to aid them in campaigns.
They were the second member of a coalition that began with the Hawktotem.
The Dark Sun Legion(defunct)
The Dark Sun Legion's relationship was initially two alliances. The Legion was co-led by a Forsaken by the name of Morthanos and a Blood Elf by the named of Erythis. Both leaders initially led separate organizations -- The Legacy of the Damned and the Phoenix Battalion. Once the Dark Sun Legion formed, they became the second-best ally that the Hawktotem had ever had. They were frequently called on campaigns and were respected for their sensitivity of culture of the Tauren.
The Spear of Sen'jin(defunct)
The Spear of Sen'jin was a group of Trolls who were led by Kaliata (or something) that formed with the intention of giving the Trolls a voice in the various campaigns across Azeroth. Previously, there had been no strong presence within the Horde for a group of Trolls, so the Spear of Sen'jin was a welcoming sight on the battlefield. The Hawktotem and the Spear of Sen'jin initially got along fine -- but after the Hawktotem coordinated defense of Thunder Bluff during the Elemental Invasion, the two groups split off due to various conflicts and never truly reconciled.
The Kor'kron Legion
The Kor'kron Legion was a long standing ally of the Hawktotem Tribe. It was under the leadership of Varok that saw the Hawktotem a chance to prove themselves on the battlefield during the various COBRA campaigns, and it was Axebite who saw him utilised to their fullest extent. While the relationship has been strained recently, it was for a long time that the Kor'kron Legion could be counted as a valuable ally in uncertain times.
The Sunguard and the Hawktotem Tribe initially had a very turbulent relationship. With the rampant racism amongst the Hawktotem's leadership with regard to the Elves, it was clear that the Hawktotem did not want what it considered to be a wavering ally. Despite this, the Sunguard proved time and again to be an extremely loyal, steadfast, and unwavering ally to the Hawktotem Tribe.
The Dominion of the Sun
The Dominion of the Sun, like the Sunguard, initially had a very turbulent relationship with the Tribe. The Dominion initially had conflicts with the Hawktotem's long standing ally, the Dark Sun Legion, thus those conflicts arose within the Hawktotem's ranks. Like the Sunguard, the Dominion proved itself to be a strong and steadfast ally.
The Gelkis Clan
While many Tauren wished an eternity of war with the centaur, the Hawktotem acknowledged the need to have a puppet to manipulate. The Gelkis became this puppet after the Gelkis had been the most strong of all the centaur clans. This strength was due in fact to the Hawktotem aiding in their dominion. In return, the Gelkis must bend to the Hawktotem in all things. This relationship was strained after the Cataclysm when a Khan rose amongst the Gelkis.