Shinal kana. A ghost story. They are nearly non-existent to the Arashanti. In fact, shinal, the blind souls, are practically unheard of in Arashanti legend. It was not until I adventured through lands wracked by the scourge that I was fully aware that they could even exist. Only the worst of outcasts, those most dishonored, are not spiritually freed upon death, their bodies committed to fire in order to release the spirit within. However, they are not doomed to wander, either, instead, they are buried, trapped with their body beneath the earth until the elements release the remains. My people believe this is when the Priva Mansa has allowed that spirit to move on to a new life, its debt paid and justly punished. I cannot recall a single tale of wandering spirits, at least not until we left our homeland for the safety of the alliance, the other humans, so powerful and near at hand. I sometimes wonder if this is because these other humans bury all of their dead. Then, I fear it may be that the scourge simply does not have as much power to effect my people’s homelands so far to the South.
This is largely beside the point, which is a recent shinal kana that has left me inspired in an unexpected way. Before, I concerned myself only with my people, recording what I fear may soon be lost to the world, buried and locked forever beneath the weight and records of the dominant human cultures of Azeroth. One shinal has inspired something more of me, a realization that the world stands to lose so many more little-known histories and lives, cultures. The Arashanti are not the only people in danger of being lost completely to future knowledge. It was a reminder that, though life is so vastly different, the Arashanti are not some separate entity. Every form of life is part of the Priva Mansa and deserves record as equally as the ways of my people. Tavomansa kani…stories of the One, of life, a more complete collection of stories, tales, beliefs, and more from our time. Life holds many stories and even more perspectives and not just those of human origin. Though this journal may be lost as well, I plan to record as many of these as I can, to keep such histories and legends from becoming just as lost as the shinal who haunts the elven ruins of Azshara. They are a part of us and we them, I intend to help make their stories heard. Starting with the singing shinal of Azshara.
The story was traced to an adventurer who calls the Northern lands of Winterspring home. Sent on an errand to recover relics in Azshara, this kaldorei man noticed an area normally overrun by naga was actually quite abandoned, making his gathering far easier than anticipated. However, as he was searching for relics, he noticed a chill at his neck that sunk into his bones. He described it as though he were being watched and it made him wonder. Just what could scare naga away? Had they simply left for better ground, or was something more dangerous now prowling the crumbled stones? He confessed to being quite spooked and left straight away for the outpost.
Morning saw him with more courage and curiosity, so he traveled from the outpost where he slept the night and back into the ruins. This time, he heard singing of a most eerie type along with the same prickle of cold. At first, the voice bounced around the ruins, making it hard to pinpoint the directional source. He nerved himself to stay this time, though he could feel a charge of energy in the very air, as though lightning might strike at any time. It is possible that fear alone created such sensations, but that is not for me to judge. Aldar Icetree, as this adventurer was called, gathered his nerve and followed the strange singing, caught by a sound like he had never heard before from something mortal. He tried to pick out the words, but they were in a language unlike anything he had ever heard, beyond comparison with sounds he did not think possible. As he stepped foot into the eroded temple, his footstep echoed in the mossy damp interior and the singing cut off, the air suddenly growing more cold.
He swears he felt the icy breath of death on his neck, pricking it’s icy talons into his back but his feet refused to obey the impulse to run. He was caught motionless, like he had been turned to stone by some spell. I am uncertain how much of this was said for a more exciting tale. Out of the shadows he saw first two gold eyes, glowing and bent on angry intent. As she stepped forward, her pale skin and hair shone like a pearl, but intangible as a banshee. She growled words he did not understand as she reached a clawed hand to grab at him, yelling the words and compelling him into flight. He says he remembers nothing more, only that he found himself back at the outpost, another kaldorei trying to make sense of his incoherent babbling and calm him into sense.
A few others have made the trip to these ruins since, their feet compelled by Aldar’s story, each wishing to hear the unearthly song he described, or perhaps wishing to confirm the tale as false or exaggerated. Others have told similar stories about their trips, some have even claimed to understand the words. One version I have heard, though I cannot pinpoint its source, is that the song is a lament of betrayed love. Another tale speaks of a young highborne woman who sings of the lost, punishing the twisted naga and living alike. These tales seem to have no convincing evidence that the words she sung or spoke were any more comprehensible than when Aldar Icetree heard them. More sinister stories have also arisen, one likely from the pull of the song and charge in the air that Aldar described. One such tale is of a cursed highborne who feeds off the living by drawing them in with a song, gaining power from her wasted victims. A few who have gone to investigate have not returned. I have verified this, though it cannot be said if they lost their lives to the shinal or before they even reached her ruins, the surrounding areas are wrought with many perils, after all.
Whatever the real story is, it may be forever lost. With a small group I adventured into these ruins. The naga still do not roam, but the energies feel better than any of those nearby, more in balance. There was no sign of the shinal, nor anything that could have been mistaken for one. Perhaps she has found her rest. Regardless, it seems the real story, the true song of that lost soul will never be heard, lost to history and buried beneath the imaginations of those who could not possibly know the true reason for her haunting, nor the meaning of her mysterious song. I feel the pain of a lost story and an unheard voice. I am inspired on her behalf to give voice to those that may also be lost in the future.
May she now find balance in new life.
Par ta-ta vish
kana=story, legend, myth, etc
kani=stories, legends,myths, etc
Priva Mansa=Primal One; the spirit in all life which is everything made one
tavomansa=Honor, more literally, “Of the One” being “Of the one” is a great honor, it is the honor of life, of existence. Everything is one and it is an honor to be part of everything so these two concepts are intertwined into one word
Par ta-ta vish=Amen, may it be so, a phrase of similar meaning that is simply a common way to end a wish, ritual, spell, or spiritual request of some sort.