30 Days of Character Development #12: Elder Cloudfall

[Periodically, a post will profile one of the blog’s many supporting players. (See the first profile for more details.) Feel free to chime in with recommendations for other characters you’d like to see more about!]

 

cloudfall_profile1Name: High Elder Cloudfall

Occupation: Master of Tian Monastery, monk trainer, former farmer, former carpenter, former fisherman, former shopkeeper, former basket weaver, former brewery security guard, former fur trader, former Shado-pan habidasher, former part-time elbow masseuse, former apprentice calligrapher, former substitute dog trainer

Race: Pandaren

Class: Monk

Age: 71

Group affiliations: Tian Monastery (high elder), Shado-pan (advisor, former employee)

Known relatives: None

First appearance: “Getting around with the Shado-pan

Key posts and plot points:

  • Garrosh met Elder Cloudfall during his first visit to Tian Monastery in “Getting around with the Shado-pan.” As he explained to Garrosh in “The geometry of shadows,” he had previously seen a vision of Garrosh that provided some hints about the destiny that awaited him. Cloudfall explained that both he and the hozen Zhi-Zhi had seen these visions of Garrosh at a mystical location that he described as a “vision cave,” where glimpses of the future could be seen. (It was these visions that prompted Zhi-Zhi to refer to Garrosh as “the One” upon first seeing him — both in our main timeline, and in the alternate one that appeared in the Timequake arc.)
  • When Garrosh returned to Tian in “Moments of transition,” Cloudfall indicated that, according to his visions, Garrosh is “the one” who would usher in a rebirth of sorts for the Horde and unify its peoples behind a common purpose, though he was also quick to point out that, devoid of context, the glimmers of the future contained in the visions provided an incomplete and possibly unreliable picture.
  • Cloudfall also offered to take Garrosh to a place where he might be able to garner some helpful insights on the “destiny” that awaits him — Kypari Zar, a name that Garrosh had heard before the Pandaria campaign had even begun, when, while visiting Shattrath with Lady Liadrin in “Dying of the light,” Garrosh received the telepathic warning from A’dal, “If you go to Kypari Zar, you will die.”

cloudfall_profile3In his own words:

Describe your relationship with your mother or your father. Was it good? Bad? Were you spoiled rotten, ignored? Do you still get along now, or no?

My father, sadly, passed while I was still a cub. A regrettable cooking mishap involving a blowfish. My relationship with my mother was an interesting one — she was always helpful and supportive, but I cannot say we were particularly close. That is not to say that there were conflicts or tensions between us. Rather, her way of showing support was granting me a wide berth to find my own way in life. As a result, I spent many years wandering from one place to another, and drifted between a great many careers before finally — gradually — settling into the monastic life. In so doing, my mother taught me perhaps the greatest of life lessons, without speaking a word.

Name one scar you have, and tell us where it came from. If you don’t have any, is there a reason?

Alas, scars are difficult to identify under a layer of fur. On a more fortuitous note, fur also does a more than passable job of obscuring most wrinkles.

How vain are you? Do you find yourself attractive?

Now now, let’s not rush to hasty conclusions about my character on the basis of that comment about the wrinkles. At least I’m not one of the elder pandaren you will see on occasion who go to the trouble of dyeing their graying fur a darker shade. It is, in fact, a fairly laborious process, or so I’m told, especially around the eyes, and it’s very easy to leave patches uncovered that can prove quite telling. (Do not think you are fooling anyone, Lord Zhu.)

What’s your favorite ice cream flavor? Color? Song? Flower?

Cinnamon rum. (They make a variety at the Drunken Hozen in Dawn’s Blossom that you simply must try. I have also heard good things about the Tigule and Foror ice cream that you have in your lands. I may have to try some one day.) Deep red. My favorite song is an old childhood favorite, Hero’s Hidden Face, about perseverance in the face of adversity. (And magic. As I child, I needed the magic to make it go down smoothly. I was not one for more contemplative themes as a cub.) Poppies of any description.

cloudfall_profile4Who do you trust?

I trust all I encounter to be true to their innermost selves, so long as deceit does not prey upon them. And if I prove in error in my assessments, the fault lies not in them, but in my own misguided trust in my powers of judgment.

Are you an early morning bird or a night owl?

Both, in a way. I typically stay up quite late at night, but also rise at dawn. I compensate for the seeming lack of sleep by napping for a few hours in the late afternoon. While not conventional, I’ve found that I am most productive and energetic with two shorter periods of sleep than with one longer one.

Are there any blood relatives that you are particularly close with, besides the immediate ones? Cousins, uncles, grandfathers, aunts, etc. Are there any others that you practically consider a blood relative?

I am an only child, and while I had several aunts and uncles, they, like my parents, have all long since passed away. While I no longer have any blood relations as such, my colleagues at Tian Monastery have become like family to me, and I have come to think of my students there, many though they are, as my children of sorts.

What does your desk/workspace look like? Are you neat or messy?

One of the benefits of being the High Elder is that it affords one the option of delegating most desk work to less senior personnel.

Are you a good cook? What’s your favorite recipe?

Ah, you need not be coy, my friend. Clearly someone has told you about my famous green curry fish. No surprise, as it always proved popular on those occasions when I would prepare it as a surprise dinner for the monastery. The recipe has been in my family for three generations, and includes a few departures from the traditional green curry recipe that sets it quite apart. I’ll be only too happy to make some for you after our chat — don’t think for a moment, however, that you will bait me into giving away those secret ingredients!

cloudfall_profile2What’s your preferred means of travel?

By necessity, I restrict my air travel to kite. I would very much have liked to master the art of cloud serpent riding — and, indeed, I raised a hatchling as my pet and companion when I was a much younger man — but sadly, I have never had a feel for it. Nevertheless, my efforts provided me with the companionship of Jinjo for many years. I still visit his resting place near the Shrine of Fellowship once each year on the anniversary of his hatching.

Are you superstitious?

How do we define “superstitious”? Very often, I find that “superstition” is used to refer to a belief in the possibility of something we do not know, rather than a strident adherence only to those things we have confirmed. “I do not know” is the beginning of all wisdom.

What might your ideal romantic partner be?

Oh, my friend, I am an old man now, and well past the interests in romance that fluttered through my thoughts in youth. I appreciate your admiration, but I must inform you that it isn’t going to happen.

Describe your hands. Are they small, long, calloused, smooth, stubby?

Covered with fur. And… slightly pudgy, I suppose. There are benefits to being High Elder, you see — first in line for the nightly buffet!

 

Previous Profiles:

  1. Spazzle Fizzletrinket
  2. Ben-Lin Cloudstrider
  3. Dontrag and Utvoch
  4. Taktani
  5. Korrina
  6. Mylune
  7. Mokvar
  8. Ruekie
  9. Tirion Fordring
  10. Lady Liadrin
  11. Eitrigg
Ain't no party like a panda party
Speak the devil's name
 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: