A traditional Kaldorei martial form for the use of Mauls and Warhammers
Before the Sundering, the Kaldorei developed and refined many fighting forms and techniques which revolved around certain weapons as their focus. To this day, many of these fighting forms still exist and are still taught and used by both the Sentinels and wider Kaldorei culture alike- however many of these fighting forms and styles were lost to both time and the devastation wrought by The Sundering and its preceding War of the Ancients.
The result of this is the presence of many once-traditional weapons left as fragments of the past, no longer a common sight amongst Kaldorei culture and warfare as the forms that once went with them have long since faded. Said weapons have become a rarity in modern society, some even to the point where they are no longer considered weapons utilised traditionally by the Kaldorei at all- their zeniths far forgotten. This was the fate of both the Mauls and Warhammers once wielded by the ancient soldiers of the Kaldorei, until a sudden rediscovery of their paired martial form led to a small revival of their use.
Within the modern age, Mauls and Warhammers are far from what one would normally associate with traditional Kaldorei warfare and motifs. Considered as bulky, heavy, and slow, they are easily passed off as ill-suited to the quick and dexterous stereotype of Kaldorei assaults and the elegant and graceful nature of their attacks. However, one will be quickly surprised to learn that this is far from the case when placed in the hands of someone trained in the traditional martial form of Dorah’anil- the form of the Flowing Mountain.
Dorah’anil and its philosophy revolves around the idea of constant, unending momentum and movement. Its practitioners apply this philosophy directly through the way they wield their weapons, keeping them moving at all times during moments of ‘active combat’ through carefully practiced spins and flourishes. This constant movement of one’s weapon not only provides the added benefit of a highly unpredictable fighting-style to an untrained eye, but the ability to seamlessly flow between both defensive parries and offensive attacks in a moment’s notice. Additionally, by keeping a constant flow of momentum behind the user’s weapon, each strike has a boost in both speed and power- allowing each and every hit to be a constantly devastating blow. The form represents the harmony of the flowing, weightless grace of its technique and the quick, crushing power of the weapons it utilises. It is a form centred around balance; the tenuous relationship between power and grace, offence and defence, rigidity and flexibility.
Within the form are multiple sets of movements and stances, each one able to be used in conjunction with another in order to maintain the form’s philosophy of constant movement. Strikes and parrying movements- which are referred to as ‘active momentum’ and represent the mountain aspect of the form- are connected by the trademark flourishes and spinning movements, which incidentally are known as ‘stored momentum’ and represent the flowing portion of the form.
Pre-established combinations of active and stored momentums are referred to as ‘rhythms’, lending to the observation that the form often appears almost dance-like. Rhythms- which range drastically in difficulty from basic beginner movements to advanced, complex sets of momentum- all serve a specific purpose (such as parries into attacks, or the slowing down and dispersing of one’s built momentum once active combat is over) and are to be used in constant repetition of one another. At a beginner level, a user of Dorah’anil will often exclusively use pre-defined rhythms, while an eventual master will shift and weave these rhythms into their own singular sets of momentum as their movements flow to match the shifting nature of battle.
However, as with any powerful martial form- while there are many advantages and upsides to the art of Dorah’anil, there are of course its major drawbacks. The form’s utilisation of heavy, normally unwieldy weaponry in a manner of constant, endless momentum and movement unsurprisingly takes a great physical toll on its practitioners. Long, drawn-out battles often result in exhaustion, and a great deal of self-control is required to not over-exert oneself prematurely. Additionally, the form’s demanding nature requires its followers to be in peak physical condition in terms of both strength and stamina.
To truly master the form, one has to dedicate not just their time in order to practice, but also their body; training and honing it to be as apt and powerful as possible in order to accommodate the form’s demanding nature. It is for this very reason that the martial form of Dorah’anil (and so too the Mauls and Warhammers that were utilised through it) was so rarely seen or practiced in the time before the sundering, and thus why so little of it lingers in modern memory or texts.
So much of it was lost through the deaths of its few students and the destruction of the cities that housed the details of its techniques, that it is not surprising this form was once thought completely lost. Yet the existence and rediscovery of the ancient Dorah’anil form not only marks a revival of arts once thought lost, but proves that there is without a doubt far more to be refound and reforged from the ancient empire of the Kaldorei. Furthermore, it shows that the intricacies of kaldorei warfare and the armaments once used by the ancient civilisation may not have been as clearly defined as once thought.