The Stranger Side of Shaman

This is a guest post by Vrykerion of Oddcraft

This year I participated in the Blog Azeroth Secret Santa blog post exchange. You can view my submission at Jaedia’s Menagerie. ~lodur

Salutations and greetings! I am Vrykerion, writing this post as part of ‘Blog Azeroth’s Secret Santa Blog Post Exchange Thing of Happiness’.  If you’ve come here looking for the amazingly informative and extremely clever writing that you’ve come to expect from this site, I sincerely apologize but don’t worry, I’m just here for this one post.  And if you thinking I was kissing up a bit in that last sentence, you are probably correct. With this little introduction and/or disclaimer to save Lodur and I from being flayed alive out of the way, let’s begin shall we?

As you probably know, shaman are the masters of the four elements.  Master might be a bit strong of a word.  Shaman are shrewd negotiators of the four elements. Five elements technically, everyone kind of forgets about the element of the wilds.  I suppose you really can’t blame them, since that does start to step on the druid’s toes.  I mean, how would you shaman feel if someone like a mage were to be able to summon and control an elemental?  That would be just silly.  Besides, next to Fire, Earth or Water, you might as well just call the wilds ‘Heart’ for all it’s actually worth, but instead of a South American kid that no one likes, we get a green skinned former warchief who has gone all hippie on us as of late. All in all, I’d call it a wash.

In regards to restoration shaman in specific, I suppose you could say that their patron element is water. (Again, mages, you are thin ice with the Shaman Union.) From healing rains of the magic liquid, to splashing back a chunk of our mana, water is a consistent theme in the resto tool set.  Heck, it even possesses the power to remove curses and magical ailments!  Now granted it would make more sense that water would be able to remove more natural problems like diseases or poisons, but hey, since when did logic or verisimilitude ever enter into game design and class balance.

Shaman even get a magic stick that shoots out water and does all sorts of neat healing things too, but why can’t I sit there and drink it like a portable water fountain?  I mean, even outside of a game mechanic, I can’t imagine a shaman crossing Tanaris wouldn’t have thought to do that at least once, can you?  It seems like a fairly good way to prevent dehydration on those long journeys.  The point being is that when it comes to resuscitative magics, water is the shamans’ go to element – or is it?

There is a gap in the shaman spell book in terms of explanations that needs to be addressed.  The majority of the powers that a shaman wields make perfect sense in terms of their elemental origins.  Lightning bolts from the air, bursts of magma from fire, rumblings quakes from the earth, and the aforementioned watery heals, but what about the basic healing spells of the Shaman arsenal: the healing waves, chain heal and surge? Are they supposed to be some kind of yellow healing water?  Is it Gatorade? Maybe these are part of the mystical and rarely mentioned element of the wilds or something.

I mean, shaman use them all the time but we never really ask exactly what they are supposed to represent or what power source they draw on.  Maybe it’s some other element that the Earthen Ring would rather not make public.  Like uranium!  Resto shaman are using radiation to mutate your body into repairing its wounds!  No one noticed before because we were being cleansed of the radiation poisoning before it became a problem, but now that shaman can’t cleanse poisons in Cataclysm?  Well, why don’t you ask Marie Curie what the future holds? (On the other hand, this pretty much completely explains the existence goblin shaman.)

Okay, perhaps jumping to uranium is a bit of a leap in logic.  It could be aluminum or zinc or something.  Chlorine is the right color at least. There’s an entire periodic table for shaman to play around with.  But if it is the supposedly-more-powerful-than-the-other-four-elements-combined element of the wilds, isn’t using that gift to fill the little green meters of your friends a bit underwhelming?

The wilds is an element that rules over every living thing on the planet, and can even be convinced to get animals to walk up and let you kill them for food, and we are using it to get phat lewtz.  It’s that reasoning that makes me think that Healing Wave can’t be from the wilds, because if it is then pretty much every player character shaman in the history of WoW is a terrible person (in character that is) and somehow I don’t think that is working as intended.  Especially when shaman are one of the top classes in the matter of getting lore love, along with druids and paladins.

In the end we may never get a real answer as to what power source fuels shaman heals, other than ‘raw awesomeness.’  The truth is probably hidden along with all the other secrets of unanswered WoW lore.  Somewhere out in the nether between Chris Metzen’s brain and the place where all the missing left socks go, and someday we will find it – the Chain Heal connection.

Anyway, I’d like to thank you for sticking with the brief departure from Lodur’s usual posts to indulge or endure this little Secret Santa gift.  I’d like to wish you all a happy holidays and a glorious new year!

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About Lodur

Lodur is the right hand shaman to Matticus on World of Matticus, and a recruiting officer of Conquest and Co-Host of For the Lore podcast. Read more of his works at WoW Insider.

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