S: Transboria By Michael Boyko
BC: Pictures © Blizzard, World of Warcraft, and Square Enix. Karuk and the Kalu'ak are registered trademarks of Blizzard Entertainment. Borean Tundra and Sholazar Basin, the inspiration of Transboria and the Basin, respectively, are registered trademarks of Blizzard Entertainment. Some screen shots pictured taken and edited by Michael Boyko.
FC: Transboria | By Michael Boyko
1: To Ms. Bauer, for help with the first version of this short story.
2: To Jim, this was just an ordinary day. However, in Transboria, it was one the most important days in a long time for the walrus people. | "The time has come for us to leave this village!" said Kalu, the chieftain of the walrus tribe. "The fish are running out, and the attacks by the walking dead are too many! We must find new land!" A cheer erupted from the crowd of walruses listening to Kalu. Then, a question came out of the crowd. "Where will we go?" Kalu responded, "We will go...to the Basin!"
3: "It says here that the Basin was a lush rain forest located north of Transboria." said Jim. "Jim, for the last time, I'm not interested in that book! You've been reading that non-stop ever since you found it!" Steve, Jim's best friend, didn't exactly think that this new book was interesting. | "Well, I am!" said Jim. "This is probably the best fictional information book I've ever read! It all just seems so real!" "Well, maybe it is!" Steve said, sarcastically. "Very funny. It would be just...just amazing if it was though. I mean, other than all of the zombies and other dangers." "Well, why don't you read the rest of the book today!" said Steve. "You know, that's a pretty good idea," said Jim.
4: That night, Jim had a strange dream. He dreamed that he was in Transboria, but what he witnessed in his dream, he did not remember reading about. He saw a village, and in the center was a large statue of a walrus. There were a large number of walrus people gathered in the village around one, larger walrus. He wore the clothes that were described to be a village chief's clothes. This walrus described the troubles of his tribe, and said that they were to move. | Jim wasn't sure how, but he knew this walrus's name. His name was Kalu. Jim knew that Kalu was not written about in the book he found. How did he know this walrus's name? | "We will begin our journey in four days time! I pray that the spirits are with us, and they will help us during our long trek to the Basin." Kalu said. A cheer erupted from the crowd, and this time there were no questions.
5: The next morning, Jim awoke to something quite odd. "Hey, what's this?" Jim questioned himself. "I don't remember owning anything like this!" | A small figure of a walrus was on his bed stand. "Hmm, this looks like the statue in the walrus village." Jim touched the statue, and fell back asleep. | When Jim woke up, there was a light cover of snow on the ground. "How is it snowing in my room?" Jim asked himself."No, it's more like a blizzard!" Jim could barely see a foot in front of him, let alone where he was walking. "Well, there's no way this is my room. My bed isn't here, and neither are the walls!" Jim got up from the snow, and decided to walk forward. Maybe he could find some kind of town he could stay in.
6: After walking for what seemed for ages, Jim finally saw the light of a fire in the distance. Getting excited, he began to run towards the light. | Meanwhile, Karuk, one of the walrus village's scouts, was setting up a camp the that tribe would rest at during the first night of their journey. All of a sudden, Karuk heard footsteps coming from the east. A medium sized humanoid creature was walking towards the camp. A few seconds later, Karuk heard more footsteps coming from the west.
7: The fire had finally come into view. Jim also saw a humanoid, which looked like a walrus, standing by the fire. He had an intricately made fishing pole strapped to his back, and a spear in his hands. | "Stay back! You have no business here, fishman!" Karuk said. Even if the fishman ambush got close enough to strike, Karuk knew he could take them. | As Jim approached the walrus, his warnings to "fishmen" became louder and louder. When he finally got to the point that he could see the walrus clearly, Jim exclaimed "Hello! Do you need any help?" | Karuk now knew that this was no fishman. There was no why that a fishman could talk that well. There was no doubt in Karuk's mind. This was a human. The prophecy was finally coming true.
8: Suddenly, a screech pierced through the blizzard. "RwlRwlRwlRwl!" "The fishman!" screamed Karuk. "Quick, human, grab this sword! By the sound of that cry, this is a fishman soldier! | Jim quickly picked up the sword. For some reason, it felt natural to him. The fishman chieftain then looked from the walrus to Jim, and began to charge towards Jim. Jim got ready to swing the sword. Suddenly, a puff of fire spurted from the sword. Jim swung the sword down towards the fishman, and hit him square in the head. | "I believe that I have never introduced myself to you, human. My name is Karuk. I am a scout for my village." said Karuk. Jim went to speak, but the walrus interrupted him. "I already know your name. You are Jim, the hero spoken of in walrus legends!
9: "It seems that you have already learned some of your basic skills." Karuk and Jim were now sitting around the fire. "I assume you found the book I left for you?" "You were the one that sent the book?" Jim was relieved to have finally found out where the book had came from. But he was stilling wondering one thing. "How did you get the book to me, anyway?" | "Ahh, yes. In addition to being a scout, I am also the tribe's shaman. All it takes for me to send an object to another plane are simple reagents." Jim was fascinated to finally see the book coming to life. However, something Karuk had said caught Jim's attention. "What do you mean, another plane?" "Ahh, I foresaw you asking this. All worlds are planes. Terra, or what you call Earth, is a plane, as is Transboria. However, Transboria is the link between the Earthen Plane, Terra, and the Frost Plain, Boria. This is the reason that both the walrus, who came from Boria, and you, from Terra, can exist here." Karuk responded.
10: "Are there other plains?" Jim now wanted to know more about the topic of planes. "Yes, many more. However, I believe an explanation of what you did to that sword is a bit more important right now." "Oh...alright." Jim was a bit disappointed at the lack of knowledge, but he did want to know how his sword caught fire in such a cold climate | "You see, I wrote the book with a special ink that I created. The more that you read the words written with it, the more you learn them. This is how you knew to come to my camp. I was hoping you would mainly read the section on maps and shamanism. My assumption seems to be correct." "So, how does this relate to the sword?" It wasn't very clear to Jim how this was 'shamanism', as Karuk called it.
11: "What you did with your sword was a simple Shaman spell. We learned it from the invading fishmen. We think they developed the skill to increase the damage they did to our houses, since they are made of sticks." Karuk explained. Jim sat next to him, intently listening. "We now use it to easily light our fires, and it does help summoning fire spells from the fire plane, Fira." | "How did I do it without wanting to, then? Is there some kind of physical cue?" Jim inquired. "Yes, I think so. While it needs a short spell for those inexperienced, once you know the spell well, squeezing the hilt of a weapon sends it into flames." "How do I know the spell though? I don't remember seeing a spell in your book." Karuk then explained. "It is quite simple. You are spoken in ancient walrus legends, along with the planes and shamanism. You were the last human to be born on the plane of Transboria, and because of this, shamanism flows in your veins!"
12: "Does that mean my whole family is from Transboria? How did I never find this out?" After hearing this, Jim's mind was racing. "More than likely, no. Most of the families that left Transboria were split by traveling through planes. Chances are, once you leave here, you will not appear back in your bedroom, or anywhere near your old life." "So, are you saying I could have to start my life over?" Jim was getting worried now. "It is possible." "Well, what if I stay here?" Karuk looked over to Jim, and had a puzzled look on his face. "I...I'm not sure. It could work." | The next day, the rest of the village had arrived. Most of the village was crowded around Jim, fascinated. Karuk had explained that himself and Kalu were the only two walruses that remembered anything about him. He had said Transboria can do that to people. Between the undead and the new threats of fishmen, it was hard for those without spiritual enlightenment to remember the last week, let alone ten years ago.
13: After getting over the shock of a human, the walrus tribe decided to carry on with their journey. While walking, Jim decided to talk to the chieftain, Kalu. | Always wanting to know more, Jim had a question to ask Kalu. "While I was staying with Karuk, he said something about you being spiritually enlightened. How does that happen?" | "It does not happen to many. Karuk's is from his shamanism, while mine is quite special. I am immortal. The only way I can die is by my will." "Why would you ever do that?" "It is quite simple. I can bring whoever I'm touching with me to the afterlife. If this would occur, my immortality would transfer to someone else that I would choose."
14: After talking to Kalu, Jim decided to not ask any more questions. He didn't want to be a bother to the walrus while they were walking. | After a couple days into the journey, the expedition came to what seemed to be a walrus ancestral ground very close to a cliff. Kalu was setting up a rope system down into this cliff. It was visible to the traveling party now. A long way down from the cliff, a large amount of trees were growing. They had reached the Basin.
15: The tribe was going to wait a day to travel into the Basin, which gave Jim and Karuk a lot of time to teach Jim more about the shaman magic. | "One of the most important parts of being a shaman is being able to heal. This is the art of restoration. While the medicine men of the fishmen use herbal remedies, we use basic magic to make wounds heal themself." | "The easiest way to do this is through earthliving. It is a lot like how you engulfed your sword in flames, but you need to think of plants rather than the fury of battle." | "Wow, thanks Karuk. This will sure come in handy if I go back to Terra." Karuk looked troubled after Jim said this. "Actually, the magic will not work on Terra. Our shaman spells use the power of Transboria to work. They will have no effect on Terra, or any other plane but Transboria."
16: The trek down the mountain was dangerous, but most of the tribe made it down intact. It seemed that luck was on the side of the tribe. There was even a large stone structure in the distance. The tribe then knew that they were destined to live in the Basin. | The tribe was so excited to be in the Basin, they did not wait. Meanwhile, Jim had thought of another question for Karuk. | "Karuk, is the Basin a different plane? It seems so much different than where we just were." "No, it actually isn't. Since Transboria links Terra and Boria, the climate differs around each direct link to the other planes. We believe there are direct portals to Terra in the Basin, and to Boria in the Blizzard.
17: After a long trek, the tribe was very close to the large stone structure. Kalu decided to send a scout into the structure. Karuk volunteered to go, but Kalu wanted him to stay behind, as some walruses were having trouble adjusting to the warm climate. | After what seemed to be ages, the scout returned. "It....it is occupied!" Gasps escaped the crowd. "What lives there?" Kalu cried out. "Th..th..there are fishmen! Hundreds! Their leader is there!" | "We will begin the charge on the structure tomorrow! This land will be ours!" Kalu's declaration of war was met with great cheers from the crowd. And at that moment, Jim knew that he would help the walruses gain their land, and he would be staying in Transboria.
18: The next morning, Jim was woken by loud screams. Suddenly, Karuk burst through his tent. "The fishman saw our scout, and they are attacking! We need your shaman talents!" | A loud cry echoed through the air. "OOG!" "Their leader! He is with the fis..." Karuk didn't have a chance to finish his sentence. A spear pierced through his shoulder, and Karuk fell to the ground. Behind him was the fishman leader. Judging by his war cry, his name was Oog,
19: For some reason, Oog turned around and left his spear. Luckily, he didn't see Jim. Jim's mind was racing with ideas and worries about Karuk. Suddenly, his mind fell on one idea: the earthliving!. Carefully, Jim removed Oog's spear from Karuk's shoulder, and placed it on the ground. Jim put his hands onto the wound, and thought about what Karuk had taught him. Suddenly, an assortment of plants shot out of Jim's hands. Vines bound together Karuk's shoulder, and pulled them together. The plants then disappeared and Karuk's shoulder had already healed. | Jim then grabbed Oog's spear, and set it aflame with his shaman spell. Oog was in the camp, standing next to the fire, lighting a piece of wood he found. Jim threw the spear, and it pierced through Oog's back.
20: Days after the battle, most of the fishmen had cleared out of the structure. Scared by the death of their leader from an unknown figure, most of them had ran deeper into the basin. | The walruses had built a large hut in the middle of a courtyard in the stone structure. a crowd was around Jim and Kalu. Karuk was still recovering from the battle, but his shoulder had healed with no permanent damage, thanks to Jim. Jim then decided to make an announcement. | "I wanted to tell all of you that I have decided to stay in Transboria, and to live with you! You have all changed my life, and I can never forget you!" A cheer erupted, and the tribe had a celebration that lasted many days. Karuk even got to join in on the last day.
21: Steve was pretty concerned about Jim. First he found that stupid book, then he wouldn't stop reading it, and he wasn't at school today. Hopefully he didn't stay home just to read that book. He had done it before. | Once Steve got home, there was a package on the front steps addressed to him. There was no return address, or any indication of who sent it to him. Steve went up to his room to open the package. | Inside the package was an odd tribal mask. Steve was mystified. He had absolutely no clue where this could have come from. Steve went to pick up the mask to place on his desk, but as soon as he touched it, he fell asleep.