Published On: July 6, 2024
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Raid Shadow Legends Lore: The Story of Packmaster Shy’ek

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It is said that Packmaster Shy’ek’s birth was heralded by the howling of a hundred Deadlands horned wolves and that he crawled from his crib to play with his clan’s Terrorbeasts when he was scarcely two weeks old. From his earliest days, he preferred canine company to that of his fellow Orcs, including his parents, even adopting habits and mannerisms from the fierce, snarling pack. Though the hounds could have torn young Shy’ek limb from limb, as they had done to other children who wandered too close, they accepted Shy’ek as one of their own. The Crushing Bite clan’s Shaman was convinced the child bore a wolf’s soul misplaced into an Orc’s body.

Growing to adulthood did not diminish this bond. Indeed, it became stronger and by unanimous agreement, Shy’ek became the Packmaster of the clan’s Goremasks and Terrorbeasts when he came of age. He claimed that, by long association and spiritual kinship, he could feel the thoughts and desires of his hounds: their hunger and pain throbbed within him, their eagerness for the hunt hummed behind his eyes and he could send his commands to them with a thought. He even claimed to be able to see through their eyes and channel their incredible sense of smell. Not all believed him but Shy’ek demonstrated uncanny empathy and command over the pack, rousing them to vicious fury or calming them with equal ease.

When his clan’s elder passed away, Shy’ek, then in the prime of adulthood, became the new leader — partly from respect, partly from fear, and partly for the vital role he and his hounds played defending the clan from beasts. Shy’ek was cruel and uncompromising toward his followers, but never his beloved canines. He was yet more vitriolic toward the outsiders that encroached on his hunting grounds and obstructed the nomadic paths which he led his clan
down, following seasonal waterways and herd migrations. Travelers, surveyors, prospectors, and High Elf colonists soon feared him and his legendary hunting-pack, the strongest and most favored of which acquired their own infamy: Jakkla the One-Eyed, a Terrorbeast hoary and scarred; Garmar Red-Maw, a Hound Spawn of Anathraad uncontrollably bloodthirsty without Shy’ek’s guidance; and the Rotter, a Stitched Beast taken from a slain necromancer and broken by Shy’ek’s iron will. These and other chosen companions accompanied him at all times as he ate, slept, and fought, while the rest of the pack was never far away.

When his sporadic attacks on individual wayfarers failed to deter Aravian colonists, Shy’ek spurred his clan to raze the Elves’ settlements. Aravians investigating battle sites were baffled to find valuables left scattered amid the carnage, livestock and steeds slaughtered rather than stolen, and fortifications left to crumble rather than occupied by Orcs. Shy’ek would not allow a single trapping of civilization to muzzle or despoil the Deadlands, nor baubles and wealth corrupt the hearts and minds of his people. He loved the wild, untamed freedom of the Deadlands’ canyons and scrubland, how the beasts and the terrain challenged him for his very survival and made him feel alive. He would permit no one to tame that beautiful wilderness with fields and cities.

After months of campaigning, rumors reached Shy’ek of another Orc warlord to the south-east, one unlike any other: a towering inferno of fire-blooded spite called Gharol Bloodmaul. She, too, bore a grudge against a certain bastion of so-called civilization: the necromantic hellhole of Ireth. Intrigued, Shy’ek dispatched message-hawks to Gharol and learned that she and her clanmates had been captured and experimented upon by the twisted sorcerer-lords there, only for Gharol to escape to seek revenge. Shy’ek was appalled to hear of the abuse that canines and other innocent animals suffered to satisfy the flesh-crafters’ curiosity, and sympathized deeply with Gharol’s rage and shame at being imprisoned. Ireth’s magical pretensions reminded him of the
Elven colonists and their own magic, which they loftily proclaimed as superior to all other forms and the path to enlightened prosperity. Given the mage-city of Ireth had fallen into amoral corruption, surely it was only a matter of time before the Elves perpetrated something similar near Shy’ek’s own homeland, he thought.

Shy’ek soon departed with a contingent of hounds and warriors to personally meet with Gharol and verify her story. He left the rest of his pack behind in the care of a hardened apprentice with a stern warning that he could sense the hounds’ thoughts and feelings even hundreds of miles away. He would be watching and listening through their eyes and ears for the slightest sign of mistreatment or rebellious sentiment. If the apprentice tried to flee, Shy’ek would track his scent to the ends of the earth.

This Packmaster Shy’ek Lore was posted in-game by Plarium.

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