- "A’jahiyan, a’bohihiran. A’krachan, a’fogan. Ishne’alo’porah, Ursoc e Ursol. Dehi erabi defuhiya rochahe."
- —Koman'che, praying to the Wild Gods
Koman'che Wildclaw. Champion of the Vol'kar Legion. Champion of the Ursine Eternals. Former Champion of the Bloodtotem tribe. Many titles, one name; a name that instills fear into the hearts of the stoutest, a name that floats upon the northern winds that sweep down from the mountains. A name that, if nothing else, carries with it a considerable extent of hardship and tenacity, an acute reflection upon the behemoth that bears it. Koman'che Wildclaw is the epitome of ferocity, the embodiment of strength, and the physical manifestation of pride and determination.
Strength. Ferocity. Pride. Tradition.
These four traits, in addition to countless others, define the type of individual that Koman'che is. An outspoken herald of the old ways, a stalwart defender of tradition and his ancestry, Koman'che understands the importance of preservation. His culture, in his perspective, is superior to all others; his race, the strongest and worthiest that Azeroth has ever birthed. Through his eyes, none shall ever pass nor supercede the Highmountain shu'halo in any aspect of life, for the others are lesser beings with far greater limitations. Just like his body, his ideals and principles are like a mountain, unwavering in their disposition and unmovable in the face of everything but the greatest of earthquakes.
If Koman'che Wildclaw is to be known for little else, then his most significant quality is his fanatical devotion to Ursoc and Ursol, as well as the gifts and blessings associated with that reverence. The only known master of primal druidism, the most intense form of savagery a mortal can achieve, Koman'che's animal forms are reflective of the Wild Gods' influence in their size, strength, speed, and appearance. Considerably different from typical druidism, this highly advanced form of primalism combines the animal forms of druidism with the self-augmentation and enhancement of primals. To put it simply, Koman'che is the Dire Primal.
Considered large even amongst his Highmountain brethren, Koman'che is a being of immense size and stature. Towering over his own kin and the majority of those who reside within Azeroth, Koman'che's presence oftentimes invokes a sense of fear and intimidation among those who cross his path. While his hooves keep him rooted to the ground like a mountain, his antlers appear to scrape the very heavens from whence the Sky Father resides. Thick, unbelievably corded muscles seem to be stacked on in layers upon Koman'che's hulking frame, rendering him a mountain of raw, mostly uncut girth. A daunting presence to be certain, Koman'che's gargantuan form is the product of a strictly carnivorous diet, countless years of physical training, and his own primal tendencies. His dark brown fur is tightly wound around each bulging muscle, further accentuating his mountainous physique.
Furs that once belonged to the great mountain bear "Lakota'mani" adorn the leviathanic form of Koman'che, shielding him from the elements and attacks alike. As is typical amongst Bloodtotem fledglings, it was attained as a reward for completing the the rite of passage ceremony specific to his native tribe. Lakota'mani, which means "Earth-shaker" in Taur-ahe, was once a great terror that roamed the lands of his people. Looking almost gladiatorial in his visage, Koman'che wears the skull of a great eagle upon his head, with Lakota'mani's paws protecting his forearm and shoulders. Additionally, two massive totems appear to be strapped to Koman'che's back, both of Bloodtotem design. One depicts the likeness of Ursoc, while the other portrays Ursol, the two brothers that comprise the Ursine Eternals.
The Bloodtotem tribe, as they were formerly known, was a tribe of great strength and ferocity amongst the shu'halo of Highmountain. Unparalleled in physical and military strength, the Bloodtotems took great pride in their combative prowess and, had it not been for the mutually-symbiotic relationships that held the denizens of Highmountain together, they would have surely waged a conquest upon their neighbors. Feeling superior to the other tribes and any outsiders to the tribe, the Bloodtotem shu'halo zealously protects tradition and spits upon anything out of the norm.
Such a self-induced sense of superiority harbors nothing less than contempt for weakness, among many other things. Much like a typical Bloodtotem tauren, Koman'che is extremely scrutinizing of any forms of weakness, be it mental, emotional, or especially physical. Incredibly xenophobic by nature, Koman'che is very mistrusting of other species and even his fellow shu'halo, although he treats the latter with far more respect than the former. Any outsiders that dare speak his native tongue of Taur-ahe are likely to be met with swift "retribution" on Koman'che's behalf, as he views it as extreme disrespect and borderline sacrilege.
Koman'che's voice is oftentimes described as rolling thunder, with each word bellowing forth from his large maw with definitive purpose and command. Not necessarily a leader of men due to his reclusive nature, Koman'che's voice nevertheless carries a commanding presence that may invoke feelings of intimidation and/or fear in those listening. He is very blunt, honest and forthcoming in his dealings, preferring straightforwardness to meandering, viewing the latter as another sign of weakness. Additionally, Taur-ahe is his first language, although he has an unsteady grasp on Orcish.
Mentally, Koman'che is slightly unstable and sociopathic. Harboring a strong lust for blood that oftentimes pushes him towards violence, Koman'che faces an internal struggle on a daily basis with the beast spirit locked within him. The central belief regarding primalism is that all sentient beings contain the spirit of a beast within their mortal souls, and the one trapped inside Koman'che is particularly powerful. Nevertheless, his stout fanaticism fuels these characteristic traits even moreso, making up several components that contribute to a very dangerous personality.
Despite his very clear, very evident issues, Koman'che is fiercely loyal to those he commits himself to. Family, above all else, particularly when framed in a tribal template is held in higher regard than virtually everything else. As an exile, his commitment to the Bloodtotem tribe died out long before they succumbed to the temptations offered by the Burning Legion during recent events; as such, his newfound affiliations with organizations such as the Horde and, more specifically, the Vol'kar Legion have ushered in a new era for the aging Highmountain. As a devout champion of High Warlord Jan-Mak, he has developed alarmingly strong bonds with his fellow champions, referring to them as close family as of late.
Last but not least, regarding the fall of his tribe, he has very little to say concerning the matter. Exiled long before the Legion's invasion of the Broken Isles and, hence forth, Torok Bloodtotem's betrayal of the Highmountain tribes by succumbing to Fel-infused temptations, Koman'che is no more bitter over the Bloodtotem's collective weakness than he was on the day of his exodus. Although more amiable towards his kinsmen, his views regarding the Bloodtotem of old compared to the most recent iteration are vastly outspoken in nature.
A child. A calfling. A little cub born into a harsh world, raised as much by the wilderness as he was his own tribe. Koman'che was born to Koravo and Apa'chi Wildclaw, his father Koravo one of the many esteemed warbraves that constituted the Bloodtotem tribe's militant force while his mother, Apa'chi, was a primal. Koman'che's childhood was tumultuous at best, his courage and tenacity as a warrior challenged every day as soon as he took his first steps. From a young age, he was taught to wield both spear and totem with deadly precision, although as he grew older and stronger, Koman'che begun to place a heavy emphasis on brute force. Regardless, as an attribution to his upbringing, his childhood was rife with indication that he was expected to follow in his father's footsteps and become a Bloodtotem warbrave.
As a calfling, Koman'che was just as boastful as he was rambunctious. A boisterous youth with an ego that size of Highmountain's iconic totem, there was nothing he couldn't fathom being able to do. Testing the territorial boundaries that separated his tribe's lands from the neighboring Drogbar's was among his favorite hobbies, as well as venturing deep into the Witchwood and the Bloodhunt Highlands where a wide array of hostile creatures could be found, ranging from harpies to ettins. Fiercely adamant that he would become the greatest warrior Highmountain had ever seen, Koman'che frequently found himself in dire situations as a means of proving his prowess.
One such situation led him to meet Gahnar Hightotem, a wandering youth who hailed from none of the other tribes. Gahnar, older than Koman'che and consequentially larger at the time, had been captured by the Mightstone Drogbar. Despite the tenuous peace between the Drogbar and the Highmountain tribes during this time period, trespassing across borders was still seen as a reprehensible crime. Koman'che was captured for the same reasons as Gahnar shortly after him, stuffed into a walled-off prison within one of the many underground caverns that ran beneath the surface of Highmountain. Alone with nothing but several kobold for company, the pair planned their escape and eventually managed to flee from their captors.
Although they constantly butted heads with one another, with Koman'che boasting of his prowess much to Gahnar's dismay, the duo quickly developed a friendship that would last for decades. Their escapades would continue throughout the duration of their childhood along with the Skyhorn tribe's Kesyak Eaglespear, although diverging paths would soon see them separated as they left their youth, and all the accompanying antics, behind in their pasts.
As Koman'che grew older, his training underneath his father became more intense. Often ending the days broken and battered, the young tauren was transformed into a hardened warrior well before his rite of passage. Koravo, not one for public or private displays of affection, tempered Koman'che to harden himself as much as the weapons he would bear in their countless training sessions. Despite the difficulty each dawn presented, he grew fond of the attention he received and, in keeping true to his prideful nature, Koman'che eagerly looked forward to honing his craft as a warrior.
The Trial of the Lakota'mani
When Koman'che became of age, Koravo and Apa'chi prepared him for one of the customary trials typical of Bloodtotem youths. He was to travel deep into the forests near his tribe's encampment, hunt down a beast of considerable size, and bring back his kill for the betterment of the tribe. Painting the ceremonial markings that were meant to aid Koman'che in his journey in crimson hues, the young tauren's parents looked upon him proudly the day of the ceremony.
However, before the events could proceed as according to tradition, a voice reached out to Koman'che. Deep and thunderous, rumbling as if the Earth Mother herself, a being of immense power invaded the youth's mind with cryptic words, foretelling the future. It was later revealed after extensive conversation with Apa'chi, a master of the ancient art of primal druidism, that Ursoc had finally chosen Koman'che to join his mother as a guardian of the wilds, a champion of the Eternals, and a tender to the lands he walked upon.
"Heed my words, pehiji. It is time. Your destiny is not your own, but fear not... we have for you, in store, far greater things than you could ever imagine. Heed. My. Words."
--- Ursoc to a young Koman'che, prior to his Bloodtotem rite of passage
The Wild Gods' intervention altered the course of Koman'che's future forever, starting with the rite of passage he soon embarked upon. Ursol soon joined Ursoc in his intervention, his wise, rumbling tones guiding the young bull to the great Lakota'mani, a bear of the legend that had long ago made her home within the Highlands his tribe laid claim to. It was rumored that Lakota'mani was a child of Ursoc, although such fables can not be confirmed today.
"Deep into the forest you must journey. Pay no mind to any who cross your path, for your goal is clear. In a cave, nestled within the furthest reaches of your homeland, a great bear sleeps. Go and begin your journey. We are watching."
--- Ursol to a young Koman'che, prior to his battle with the great Lakota'mani
Instilled with just a fraction of the power he was soon to inherit, as well as the Eternals' guidance, Koman'che slew Lakota'mani after a long and arduous battle that lasted several days. Upon defeating his adversary, the Bloodtotem youth followed the proper rituals to sacrifice Lakota'mani to the gods that claimed him as their own, following the instructions of Ursol to skin the great bear and wear her hide as a token of his achievements. It was then that Koman'che would begin to earn his future title, the "Great Bear in the Mountains."
The Path of the Primal
Koman'che had reached adulthood, arriving to the point in time where he would have become a warbrave of his tribe. However, with the recent course of events, his life's course was drastically changed. No longer would he train with his father day in and day out, although Koravo would continue to aid Koman'che in honing his craft as a warrior. Koman'che's days, from dawn to dusk, were comprised of learning under the tutelage of Apa'chi. Ursoc and Ursol would not speak to Koman'che again for some time, leaving an air of mystery and uncertainty regarding the young bull's future.
Apa'chi taught Koman'che everything she knew about her charge, everything from the Wild Gods and the domains they resided over. A defender of nature's balance, a stalwart guardian in the face of any and all adversity that would dare challenge said balance, Apa'chi molded her son into the druidic warrior he is today. The most interesting of all she taught him, however, laid in the fundamentals of primal druidism, an ancient art only few are even capable of attempting.
"The soul of the wilds flows within your veins, little cub. All that treads within the forest, all who call these lands home... you are connected to them. They must fend for themselves, but if something upsets the balance, Earth Mother forbid it... you must correct it."
--- Apa'chi to a young Koman'che, standing on a mountain overlooking Thunder Totem
Primal druidism involves different aspects from both primalism and druidism. The former enhances the latter, combining in savage harmony to provide the wielder with animal forms far larger, far wilder than either a primal or a druid could muster. Made possible through the inheritance of this bloodline trait, it was passed down from Apa'chi to Koman'che, who essentially birthed her replacement. His family name, the Wildclaws, had long since championed the causes of the long-dead Ursoc and Ursol, worshiping their spirits and following their footsteps in safeguarding the balance of nature.
Apa'chi spent countless hours pouring every ounce of knowledge regarding the Wild Gods, their origins, their responsibilities, and their expectations of their followers into Koman'che's mind, recounting stories her father had imparted upon her years before. Even more hours were allocated to practicing Koman'che's ability to shapeshift, with a special emphasis placed upon the unique bear form the Wildclaws were known for. A being of insurmountable strength, an ursine behemoth that walks upright like a shu'halo, towering over all they face.
Maka'ro, the Wildclaw Heirloom
Years passed before Koman'che attained any level of proficiency as a primal druid. Koravo had died in the field of battle, fending off a raiding party of Vry'kul that had ventured too far west from Stormheim. Apa'chi was noticeably aging, her weakened state belying the considerable amount of strength she held in her disposition. Koman'che was a full-fledged adult now, growing to the impressive height he stands at today, with girth to match. He had learned all that his mother could teach him, and it was time to part ways.
Koman'che and Apa'chi journeyed to one of the highest peaks in Highmountain, a desolate summit where the winds shrieked louder than the Skyhorn eagles to the southeast. Apa'chi looked up towards the sky, a smile contorting her lips into an expression of bittersweet happiness. She looked back to Koman'che, towering over her, the epitome of all she held dear. A spitting image of his father, the same determined look as his mother... it would be the last time either would see each other again. Koman'che returned the look of sadness, smiling through the evident sorrow that was apparent in both of their faces.
It was on that day that Apa'chi handed Koman'che the great wartotem he wields today, Maka'ro. A family heirloom passed down from generation to generation of Wildclaw primals, the totem was supposedly blessed by Ursol himself, imbued with the essence of the wilds as gift. Perpetually unfinished in its intricate design, the totem was, at one time, no more than an uprooted tree pulled from the earth in the Witchwood... now, its face is constantly changing, different carvings reflecting the stories and accolades of its current wielder.
Where two ascended the mountain, only one made the journey back. To this day, none but Koman'che and the entities he champions know what transpired upon that peak. Regardless, in solidarity of the mournful moment, he makes a pilgrimage each year to that very peak, to pay his respects to an unmarked shrine. A stone carved from the mountain in the likeness of both Ursoc and Ursol, far too ancient to have been crafted by Koman'che's hands, stands at the top of the summit, overlooking the entirety of Highmountain.
Known in Highmountain to be the "Great Bear in the Mountains," his nickname is indicative of his strongest animal form. Used rarely in combat when the simple thrusts of Maka'ro may be employed, Koman'che has mastered the ancient ursine form very few possess even the barest aptitude for. One that walks upright like a shu'halo, but has the visage of a fearsome bear, with a massive, hulking frame held upright by two mountainous arms. The transformation into this nightmarish form is one rarely witnessed, and very few have survived encounters with him under this intense, self-induced bloodlust even under special circumstances to this day. It is said this form channels the beast spirit within, the great Lakota'mani, whose bones adorn Koman'che's body.
A thick coat of dark brown fur is spread tightly over an impossibly large, hulking ursine form, covered in the same tribal markings present on Koman'che's shu'halo body. A single braid of beads and feathers alike runs down from the great bear's face, and a single leather band on the bear's bicep threatens to snap underneath the sheer pressure of the muscle beneath. Despite Koman'che's incredible size in his shu'halo form, which sets him well above the average of the typical Highmountain, he transforms into an even larger being in this form (and with all other forms). He stands at nearly 16 feet when reared back on his hind legs, with an amazing armspan to boot.
Off the northern coast of Highmountain, fearsome predators of epic proportions lurk beneath the surface of tumultuous waters. In his aquatic form, Koman'che assumes the visage of a great white shark, one spanning over 15 feet in length from nose to tail. Hundreds of razor-sharp teeth accentuate a gaping maw as this sleek, gray-skinned behemoth defies even the strongest of currents, with a dorsal fin that warns others of danger for miles around. Because of this form's dire nature, it is even larger than the actual beasts it represents, while managing to still embody the ferocity associated with these feral sharks.
Instead of the traditional cat form typically employed by druids, Koman'che's approach is far more primalistic, savage and massive in both size and stature. As with his other forms, Koman'che shapeshifts into a hulking beast, this instance a reflection of the fearsome feline stalkers that roam the border between Rivermane and Bloodtotem lands. Looking very similar to Sekhan and Rashar, two of Highmountain's deadliest predators, Koman'che's cat form appears to be a brutish, more feral variation of these feline natives. Also equipped with the dark brown fur and the red tribal markings typical of Koman'che's animal forms, this stalker possesses two pairs of extremely sharp, sword-like claws, with a set of razor-sharp teeth outshone only by the fierce, fiery gaze nestled deep within the cat's predatorial expression. He stands at a resounding 13 and a half feet.
The majestic elderhorn of Highmountain are amongst the Broken Isles' most beautiful children, bred by the Earthmother with both raw power and resolute sturdiness kept in mind. Koman'che's fastest land form takes on the visage of a great elderhorn bull, with an impossibly large, engraved rack that rests upon the head of the thick, shaggy leviathan. Standing nearly as tall as his ursine form at 15 feet, this elderhorn's cloven hooves send violent tremors through the earth as he gallops across the earth. The red, tribalistic marks that adorn both Koman'che's shu'halo and other animal forms remain a constant, with swirling patterns splashed upon the elderhorn's thick brown coat, with fur tangled with bones and other various trinkets that remain indicative of Koman'che's Bloodtotem heritage.
The great eagles customary of the Skyhorn tribe are fearsome creatures indeed, prized for both their loyalty and their ferocity. When Koman'che so chooses it, he may assume the form of one of these great eagles, taking on a massive winged beast slightly larger than even the famed Aviash. A wingspan of almost 17 feet in length, the flying behemoth is adorned in dark brown feathers and those same tribal markings, remaining indicative of the primal's Bloodtotem identity. Whenever the great bird flies, the very winds beneath it whip up in a violent frenzy, stirring up natural debris wherever it launches to take flight. Monstrous talons protrude from the eagle's feet, curling with wickedly sharp points that could cut through armor as easily as any sword or axe.
- Although Koman'che is incredibly xenophobic, he has developed a particular fondness for the warriors of the Vol'kar. Because of this, he has grown far more tolerant of other races.
- Koman'che is strictly carnivorous most of the time, although there is very little he won't eat. Although this would be abnormal for a baseline druid, it is an attribution to his status as a primal.
- Vol'kar records indicate that Koman'che has eaten a human prisoner before, after interrogation.
- The Vol'kar Legion is more akin to a tribe for Koman'che, a feeling the giant is unaccustomed to due to his exile from the Bloodtotem.
- Koman'che is actively searching for other champions of the Wild Gods. When he traveled to Grizzlemaw seeking aid from Ursoc and Ursol for unrelated reasons, the existence of his peers was revealed.
- Considered the Thrice-Championed, Koman'che is one of the few of his kind to champion the causes of three different entities, in chronological order: the Bloodtotem tribe, the Ursine Eternals, and the Vol'kar Legion.