Gray clouds loomed above the jungles of Stranglethorn. The taureness may not have been able to see them under the plethora of flora above her, but the light dampness of her fur suggested later rainfall. She couldn't be sure in this place though, as the humidity was always there. In the mists it hung, the soil it drenched, and the wildlife it ensured, water was a driving force in the jungles of Stranglethorn.
Its overgrowth of vines and trees stood tall and dense, shrouding its many inhabitants from view of one another. She couldn't tell much about her surroundings and it worried her. She would have rather traveled in the sky, but neither taureness nor hippogryph could tell where they were heading from above. Instead, she had to lead both her hippogryph and fawn through towards their destination through the thick jungles of Stranglethorn.
The taureness had a strong distrust of this region. The warmth of the water was unfamiliar, the visibility was less than stellar, and the dangers of this place remained hidden from her. Most of all, many troll tribes made their home in the jungles of Stranglethorn.
She knew it was ridiculous on her part. The trolls were a rather fascinating people that had been hospitable towards her and others countless times before. Food, celebration, and shelter were all provided, so long as she didn't mind the unusual customs they had. The Darkspear had also shown themselves as invaluable allies within the Horde. Their knowledge of the world along with relentless determination and loyalty had helped many campaigns to be successful. Their efforts had united the Horde in their darkest hour and their leader now sat as Warchief. She even had many friends among their , the homeland of the trolls was worrisome. After all, these vines hid many tribes against the taureness and her allies. She wouldn't admit it to anyone, but she would get a bit more anxious with those she didn't know well than she led on and nowhere else did this show true than the jungles of Stranglethorn.
After what seemed like hours had gone by, the taureness had finally found the beaten path she was looking for. This would take her to where she needed to be for tonight's event. The one where her Cohort would be sparring against one another. The place she was determined to be tonight, despite her disapproval of the region-the Gurubashi Arena. The taureness squinted her eyes as she moved forward. Continuing down the road with one hand guiding the hippogryph and the other on her staff, she looked for her destination among the others figures of the dimming sky. Eventually, she came across such a display, with her comrades greeting one another at the entrance. No longer would she wander in the jungles of Stranglethorn.
The first few sparring matches were pleasant to watch. Duels between many of them would result in a few light injuries here and there, most of which would take a bit of energy to heal before they would be on their way. She also competed, fighting the representative of the Sin'dorei himself. They both received injuries from their battle that required a bit more healing magic and energy to heal, but she ended up winning the close match by use of underestimation. All was well, until he arrived from the jungles of Stranglethorn.
"How be da fawn?" He inquires as he stepped out from the shadows.
The taureness turned her head to the familiar voice and furrowed her brow. She had hoped the troll wouldn't show up today, but there was such luck today.
She bit her bottom lip anxiously before responding. "She is well tonight."
The troll shook his head before taking note of the match taking place. They both watched in silence, occasionally eying each other when the fighting opponents would take a moment to breathe after dodging the last blow. It continued like this for many minutes, blow for blow and dodge for dodge. The fight lasted a long while but a victor was eventually claimed and the two walked back to the stands for medical attention. The taureness smiled as the two came down in her direction. She worked on healing the small wounds as she congratulated them on their efforts. They walked away to their seats as the elven representative announced the next match.
"Kennocha and Tzuru, you're up next."
The taureness widened her eyes as she lifted herself up from her seat. Walking up to the center of the ring, she looked to the troll to see him observing her movements. The two watched one another for a moment before reaching an understanding.
Kennocha began muttering under her breath as her body began to change. Her body became more narrow and agile. Her legs bent out of shape as she went down on all fours. Her hooves also changed shape, shrinking as her hands began changing into hooves of a similar size and angle until all four were even on the ground. Her proud horns shrunk into her narrowing skull as her snout became more prominent on her face. The tail receded until it just looked like a fluffy stub.
Now in the form of a doe, she followed her instincts and charged at the troll He lowered himself quickly as she came towards him. Reaching for his dagger, he unsheathed the blade and attempted to stab her legs as she readied herself to jump. However, the doe leaped higher than he expected, her legs out of reach as she landed gracefully and continued forward towards the wall.
"How 'bout we be making dis a bet for da fawn? Ja have notin ta lose." Tzuru asked playfully, his voice calm as he spoke. The doe simply kicked her legs back in as insult as she made it to the inner wall.
Once there, she turned around and begins to build her momentum back up as she charged once more. This time, however, he anticipated the attack and begins to run towards her. He turned to the side as she neared him, turning in circles around the doe as she tries to make sense of the troll's cunning trick. Dazed and confused, he saw the opportunity to thrust the dagger into her side.
She roared in agony as a dark red liquid began to spill from the wound. She turned her head to see her injury, eyes widening as she takes the sight in. Her form reverted back to her taureness form, unable to handle the newfound strain of the injury.
Kennocha turned to the troll as she prayed to An'she for a spell of pure sunfire. It proved successful as the troll is knocked back by the force of the blow. He wasn't out for long though, as he lunged towards her. The taureness was caught off guard and easily pinned to the floor of the arena. She struggled against his weight, but could not free herself from his force. She stopped for a moment before hurling all her weight towards him. He only pushed more force on her limbs as she failed in the attempt. Growling at the troll, she calmed herself down to begin to whispering a spell.
However, Tzuru noticed the movement of her lips as he pins her down. Knowing that covering her mouth wouldn't help then, he leaned in to take the wooden staff off of her back and throwing it to the side before she could react. She gasped as she watched her beloved staff being taken from her and thrown off.
"Not Aylan!" She cried as it flies to the other side of the arena.
Tzuru smirked as the taureness called out to her staff, unaware of what the staff truly meant for the druidess. Kennocha growled in frustration as her body reverted back to its doe state. Shocked by the fluctuating form of the taureness, he finds hooves back their way to his chest.
He flew to the other side of the arena, taken back by the fight's progression. Angered by the revelation that druidic powers aren't connected to staves, Tzuru quickly grabbed his dagger with a firm backhand grip and began to charge at the beast. The blade pointed to her shoulder as he charges forward. The blade missed as she turned and ran to the safety of the other wall. Huffing a warning to the troll, Kennocha prepared to charge as she lowered her head for impact.
The troll eyed the doe as he began casting a demonic portal behind her, hoping to use a suprise attack on the creature from behind. However, the spell is cut off by the force of the doe's attack. He dropped down to his knees, catching his breath as he turned to look the doe in the eyes.
They glared at each other for a few moments before Kennocha morphed back to her taureness form. She stared at him, ready for another attack. He stared at her, uneased by the defeat.
Infuriated by this, Tzuru attempted to drive his dagger into her face. She narrowed her eyes in disappointment as he lunged for her. Her hand was racing against his as she smacked the blade out of his hands. The dagger landed near her staff, both too far for either to pick up from their position in the arena.
Her mouth widens as she muttered a pray, this time for a blessing of moonfire from Mu'sha. Desperate by now, Tzuru reached to cover the mouth of the druidess but it was too late. She finished her spell, hitting the troll back down to where he lay for a minute.
The druidess stayed where she stood, eyeing the troll over for serious injuries. His chest rose and fell, but looked rather painful as Tzuru wheezed as he breathed. Realizing he wasn't going to try anything else, Kennocha walked towards the troll. She kneeled by him, feeling his chest to see the extent of the injury.
The taureness stayed there for a long time, lost in her own thoughts. She had been worried about what a fight with Tzuru would mean, but she didn't think it would be like this.
She had always envisioned a fight eventually. The way he looked at her smaller critters whenever she would attend events with the Cohort had worried her, especially when it came to her fawn, Nisi. The poor thing hadn't left her side since she joined the Cohort, much to her amazement and anxiety. No one else seemed to have a problem with this. Even the other trolls of the Cohort would only make a comment or two about it before turning their attention to other things.
Not Tzuru though. He was such a determined troll when it came to things he wanted. Be it victory in a fight or a meal heavy in meat, Tzuru was well known across the Cohort for his ambition and determination. It hadn't bothered her at first, but the more they interacted, the more paranoid she became. What would happen to Nisi if this continued? Kennocha had hoped to find a solution, but she only grew more and more overprotective of the fawn. It had been escalating like this for months now, all until tonight.
Before, she had imaged that Tzuru wouldn't hold back anything, that he would do anything in his power to win the sparring match and get a bite out of her fawn. That hadn't been the case though. Instead, she had let her animalistic instincts get the better of her while he had only really used light physical attacks against her. She had even turned into the form of a doe to try and protect the fawn, but perhaps it wasn't needed. Perhaps she should have given Tzuru more credit when it came to his actions.
"Joo really protect da fawn don' ja?" His voice interrupted her thoughts, soft spoken words unlike those she was used to.
The taureness gave a soft smile to the troll as she nodded. A quiet burst of laughter came from the troll as he coughed a bit of blood up. Kennocha snapped back to reality as she worked to heal the troll's wounds. Tzuru laid quietly as he watches her work with both tongue and hands. The rest of the Cohort watched on as she worked before offering a hand to the troll. He took it and lifted himself off the ground.
The troll bowed out of respect for the fight. The taureness mirrored his actions as expected. They began to head towards where blade and staff laid. Kennocha bent down to pick them up as she gingerly took one weapon up in each hand. She rose to meet Tzuru's eye before handing him his dagger.
"That was a good fight, Tzuru." She whispers loud enough for only him to hear. He nods in return before they both return to their seats.
As the next two sparring partners were announced and walked to meet each other in the arena, the druidess turned to see the vast sight of the jungle. It had begun raining sometime ago during her time healing the troll, leaving her soaked in her fur and robes. Nisi wasn't too fond of the heavy rainfall, opting to nudge Kennocha's arm up so she could lay under her for some warmth.
It seemed oddly calm as she thought over the last few months and the recent fight. The jungle no longer seemed to frighten her, at least not as much. No, she had been more anxious than she thought was justifiable. After all, if she was going to be a successful member of this Cohort, she was going to need to trust everybody that it their home. Even if they didn't become good friends and allies, she needed to stay close to what she said her every first day in the Cohort.
"I seek to help everyone I can. I look forward to learning more about other cultures and people. Most of all, I hope to help defend and heal those who need it."
And so she turned around to watch the matches continue in the jungles of Stranglethorn.