Blood Lust ((IC Trollishness in 3 Parts))
- -by Kanni
(( This was a spin off from a larger storyline, and I was just exceptionally pleased with how it turned out... So I appologize for the length... I'm also not keen on the title, so if anyone has a suggestion of another, please please feel free! ))
She dangled her feet, kicking them slowly back and forth while the old rotten house beam beneath her groaned in protest. A cockroach clicked and skittered next to her, and Kanni flicked a finger at it, sending it flying into the weeds below. The air of the plague lands hung stale and tasteless, but occasionally a cool breeze drifted through the abandoned village, stirring stray blue hairs across her face. She still wore her soft mooncloth robe, which hugged her chest, wrapping up and around her neck, but left her shoulders, back and arms bare. Not appropriate clothing for a stay in the plague lands; it was more appropriate for the warm breezes of Thunderbluff, from which shed come.
Shed been meditating in a tent when Tumjuk had found her, seeming to melt out of the shadows. She could still feel the weight of his hands on her hips, the warrior calluses on his palms catching softly on the threads of her dress. The smell of dried blood still strong from the events in Silithus.
Drumming her fingers against her thigh, Kanni sucked on her lower lip, opening up a small cut caused by his tusks. The blood tasted metallic against her teeth, and she surprised herself as a low growl rumbled in her chest. Shaking herself with a frustrated noise, she kicked her feet out, hopping down from her perch, landing easily on the mossy ground.
A quiet, childlike laugh peeled behind her, and spinning around, Kanni saw the outline of a small human child appear in the ruins of the burnt out house she had sat on top of. Hazy and intangible, the child pointed straight at her and laughed again, her voice light and breezy. With an exasperated growl, Kanni spread her feet apart, balancing her weight on her toes as her bare feet dug into the cold ground. She danced fire between her fingertips before flinging it towards the child with a guttural scream. Like sunlight burning away morning fog, the fireball flew straight through the child-ghost, dissipating her and crashing into the unsteady stonewall behind. Fire still flicked across the tips of her fingers, and she stood, breathing heavily. Blood rushed in her ears, her normal calm shattered and forgotten with the taste of blood and troll on her lips. A savage dog howled, and her eyes flickered towards the tree line. An instinctual rage filled her, made her skin crawl, make her blood feel alive. She wanted a fight.
When Evic found her, she wore the face of a warrior, which is a face that the undead had never seen on his mage. He had fought with Kanni on more occasions than he cared to countshe accepted him as he was, and actively listened to him rant, instead of patting him on the head with a sympathetic look of pity. This was rare among the living. They were largely uncomfortable around his kind. But not Kanni.
From the trees, melding with the shadows, Evic watched as the mage threw her hands out with a growl, ice shimmering around her body before settling on her skin. He thought he saw her laugh as she tossed shards of ice and tongues of fire into the belly of a mindless scourge victim, slowing but not stopping its advance. Two more were shambling towards her, and she exploded in ice, sending it racing over the mossy ground to freeze their feet in place while she called down shards to strike them from the cloudless sky. Too many, Evic thought, seeing another scourge take notice and begin to move. She was making too much noise, calling too many towards her. Too many.
Gliding forward, he evaded her ice shards, seeing flecks of snow settle on his deadened shoulders. Kanni was growling in Troll, barking challenges at the enemies that surrounded her. As the rogue slipped unseen towards her, he saw that her lip was split, blood stained one tusk, and soft dirt made patterns on her dress.
Behind his target. Line up the blade. Take all the time in the world. He found the break in the scourges armor, and with one swift strike it slide home.
Even as he stabbed, no blood pooling around the hilt of his dagger, another scourge broke free of her ice and back handed the mage with a gauntleted fist. Hitting the ground with enough force to stun her, Kanni growled in her native tongue before screaming and striking the dirt with the flat of her palm. Purple light exploded from her small body, the force of the wave knocking Evic back from her. The scourge kept advancing but bits of armor and rotted flesh burnt or fell off of them. Again, the mage screamed and light exploded. As the arcane power tore the mindless bodies to bits, her cries tore out her throat. When no more threats moved Evic unshielded his eyes and found her on her hands and knees in the frozen dirt, remnants of her ice magic catching the faint sunlight as they fell to the ground. Hair hung down around her face, her braids having come apart. She panted, staring at the ground as blood dripped from her mouth, pooling beneath her.
Quiet as death, the rogue crept over the broken bodies of their foes to kneel next to the troll. She slowly raised her head, a desperate, feral look in her eye. She seemed to not be seeing the undead at all, her lips curling back behind her tusks in a snarl as she panted, her breath drying the blood to her lips and her diminutive tusks, spilling out in a hot, musty cloud in front of her. Slowly, she drew back one hand as if preparing to strike him, and fire and ice warred between her fingers. Before she could decide which would be better, Evic reached forward and grabbed her chin, turning her face farther up, trying to decide if shed broken her nose. Kanni blinked, and something dulled in her eyes, and her breath left her in a rush. Evic watched her mouth open, words tumbling behind her tongue, but no sound came out. With a small hiccup, she tore her head away from his hand, and propelled herself into a run. The rogue stayed, squatting with one hand to stabilize himself against the chilled ground, as he watched her white robe disappear into the dying trees. The thumping of her bare feet against the ground receded and Evic blinked at the easily read tracks she had left, wondering absently why she hadnt been wearing any shoes.
The ever-present din of Orgrimmar, like a raging waterfall outside Kannis room in one of the smaller inns, pounded through the mages head, making it almost impossible to concentrate. She rolled over with a groan, and winced as her weight pressed against the bruising on her side. The muscles in her arms pulled and stretched as she grabbed her blankets, pulling them completely over her head. Every movement brought another ache or pain, another newly discovered muscle. A groan that morphed into a whimper escaped from under the blanket, and Kanni bit her lip when she heard a chuckle rumble from across the room. Peeking out from her sanctuary, she regarded the slouching figure of Vohsa, pieces of her warrior plate still hugging her body even this deep into the city. Her axes sat propped against the doorframe, and a wry, amused smile spread across her face.
Feeling a few war wounds, girl? the warrior drawled in her Stranglethorn accented Trollish. Snorting, Kanni threw her blankets back, slowly sitting up and regarded the female Troll sideways.
Just a few. How did you find me? And why? Kannis clipped Senjin came out abruptly, as she tried not to blush, raising he chin and stoically ignoring the fact that she was only wearing a light undershirt.
Wasnt very hard, as Vohsas drawl filled the room, Kanni rose and splashed water on her face from a chipped porcelain basin. Trolls stick with Trolls. Even in a city this big, people talk and word gets around. Especially in a city this big.
So, why are you here? Kannis voice was muffled as she pulled her white robe over her head.
Who joo be runnin from, gurl? The mages motion of pulling her laced boots on stopped, but her head stayed bent to the task.
What makes you think Im running? Vohsa sat forward suddenly, her piercing green eyes penetrating the young Troll in front of her.
Joo wantah talk Troll, we be talkin Troll. The warrior dropped her accented Orcish, and with it all pretense.
I dont like playing games unless I know Im going to win. So let us not play any, you and I. Kannis head rose slowly and she nodded once. Good. I didnt know your mother, but Ive heard she was a good woman. Hapas done her best to fill that role, but she no be a Troll, and she no be a mother. Bless her heart for trying. Still as a statue, the mages eyes clouded over with the look of a cornered animal, body tensed, poised for flight. Vohsa took in the shift of her shoulders, the glossy tears pooling behind her eyes, and purposefully ignored them.
I know the look of a girl in loveor the look of a girl who thinks shes in love. Briefly, Vohsas eyes glowed proudly as she watched Kannis cheeks deepen, but her eyes steady and her shoulders square. You arent a little girl anymore, I can see that now. Kannis cheeks burned hotly as the older woman gave her an appraising look. And I know Im not the only one whos noticed. I think you be running from a certain former hunter. Why?
I dont know. Voice soft as a whisper. Yes, you do. Why? Penetrating eyes above a voice like stone. Im scared. Why? I dont know why. Yes, you do. Why? IIm not sure. Yes, you are. Stop playing games girl. Why are you so frightened that you wont stop running? You spent two days straight running in the Plaguelands. You almost got yourself killed. Now. Why? Im scared that its too strong and Im too weak. Ill lose myself. Trembling, her voice like light rain on ice, she sat while big drops of water rolled down he light blue cheeks. Kanni had dropped her eyes under the onslaught, and she watched as dark wet spots blossomed on her robe, one after another. Cool hands cupped her face as Vohsa knelt in front of her, raising her chin to look her in the eye.
By running, youre already losing yourself, girl, the stone in her voice had softened, and she looked at the mage like an older sister, although there was still something weighing in her eyes.
Hapa should have sent you back to Senjin to learnand now its too late. Fool druid, fool, that last, the warrior muttered under her breath. Your time is soon, girl; no wonder youre so frightened. Our blood pulls to us, calls to us when the time comes to seek out a companion, and weve never been able to ignore that Call. Sitting back on her heels, Vohsa clucked under her tongue and her eyes darkened as she continued.
There have been ways, to hedge out the Call, but I only know of one woman whos tried it, and may the spirits watch over her as she lives with the consequences. A few go away for a while, into the jungles and forests, and hunt themselves into exhaustion. Kanni thought back to Akindis frequent absences from the Bluffs, to the regret shed seen cross Master Brules eyes as he watched her go. Vohsas eyes slid over Kanni, resting a moment at hips and chest before settling back on her face.
Had I known, I would have insisted on guiding you. Were a flexible peoplesometimes its best to give in to our blood lust with a sister, the first time. There are some things that our men will just never understand. Her eyes glittered with mirth and Kannis mouth fell open. The young mage felt affronted, and she had to resist snatching up the blankets to cover herself, even though her robe was hardly revealing.
Vohsa rose abruptly, smiling down at the mage and patting her fondly on the head, tussling her hair slightly.
Joo gonna be fine, gurl, slipping back into Orcish, she turned away to retrieve her axes by the door, strapping them carefully to her waist. Joo be feelin da stirrin in joor blood, jah? Kanni nodded in a daze, her heart beating frantically against her breast as her mind accepted the meaning of Vohsas words.
WhWhats going on? Whats going to happen? Kanni had to clear her throat several times and even still it was an effort to stop her voice from shaking. Standing slowly, hiding the wince as the muscles of her thighs burned and pulled, she stared at a spot behind the older Trolls shoulder. With one hand on the doorknob, Vohsa regarded the younger Troll, head cocked to one side and a wry smile pulling at the corner of her lips.
Joove spent too much time outside da companeh of Trolls, ifn dis be makin joo blush. Joo be readeh tah mate, gurl. Joo be in heat, the door opened smoothly, the clashing of dishes and murmured conversation from downstairs floating into the room. Ahll be sendin up a healah from Senjin tah be seein tah joor wounds. Joo couldah got yerself killed, fool gurl. Try tah relax, Ah be returnin in da evenin tah take joo back tah da village. Dere be a bonfiah tonight, and datll put joo tah rights. Grinning like a feral wolf, the warriors peals of laughter were cut off abruptly by the closing of the door.
Kanni sat down abruptly on the floor, knees having turned to water.
Vohsa thumped down the wooden stairs, surveying the room below with a practiced eye. In the corner lounged a bedraggled figure, a full drink forgotten in front of him, and as she caught his eye he flipped two fingers at her in acknowledgement. Evic had come back to Orgrimmar looking worse for wearhe had the look of someone who hadnt slept properly in days. His eyes clouded with worry for a moment as Vohsa sat down opposite him, but it was quickly hidden behind his traditional wry grin.
Hows she doing, then, our foolish young mage? His eyes, brown as graveyard dirt, flicked towards her room, before he turned his whole body away from its direction, resolutely staring off into nothing.
She be doin fine. A lil bit shaken, Ah be tinkin, and more den a lil bit bruised, but noting dat a good healah and some rest wont fix. Ah thankjoo fer watchin our fer her dese last two days. Vohsa narrowed her eyes at the shiftiness she saw in her undead friend, but knew better than to press it. Joo mind doin me a favour?
Absently staring off into the crowded common room of the inn, Evic shook his head.
Good. Go find dat huntah boy fer me. If Ahm right, hell be out lookin high and low fer our mage gurl. It onleh be right fer him tah find her in Senjin tonight. Nodding as if satisfied with her plans, Vohsa patted Evics hand in thanks before rising to stride purposefully from the inn.
Evic sat for a few more moments, ignoring his still full mug of ale. When he finally rose to walk through the city in search of his quarry, very few people got in his way.
A warm breeze blew in off the waters of Durotar. Tumjuk could taste the salt in the air as he wet his lips. He could hear the drums pounding in the distance, see the warm glow of a bonfire reaching up to touch the stars, and his blood rung in time with his need to close the distance as fast as he could. His foot twitched against the warm leathery side of his raptor, Riza, but he resisted the urge to spur her forward. Leaning low upon her neck, he kept her to a steady walk, eyeing the village up ahead.
He had found Evic lounging in Orgrimmar, his usual sly smirk plastered to his face. Tum didnt ask how the rogue knew Vohsa, or why he knew that she had taken Kanni here; there had been a regretful look in the undeads eyes when hed passed on the information. The old hunter believed him, and knew what their presence here would mean. He silently cursed Vohsa for dragging the young, inexperienced mage here. This was an old custom, buried deep within their blood, but times did change. Tum could have spared her thisshe was so timid, so shy, the old hunter was not sure that she belonged here, and he thought of taking her away from all this. Even as he tried to hold onto the thought, it slipped through his fingers, to be replaced by a warm excitement. It had been years since hed stayed in Senjin, years since hed last watched the women of the village dance around the fires, felt the drums thundering in his blood. His foot twitched against his raptors side.
An ululating cry pierced the night air, and the drums multiplied, forcing his mind back to the present. As Riza approached the first of the tents, Tum pulled her to a stop, easily throwing one leg over her side and sliding to the ground with a thud. Empty tents lay scattered on the outskirts of the village, a testament to the de-population of Senjin as more and more Trolls migrated to the larger cities. Weaving between them, Tum spotted the familiar hides of his familys tent, now left empty with both brothers living elsewhere. The hunter ducked inside, dropping his bundle of gear and supplies before quickly shedding his armor. Emerging in only drawstring pants, his toes flexed into the cool sand, finding purchase as his swift stride guided him relentlessly forward without thinking. The drumbeat was in his blood, beating against his chest.
The bonfire was blazing high into the night sky, spitting up tongues of fire, and dancing embers floated upwards on the warm air. The crowd surrounding it, some sitting some squatting in a warriors ready stance, was mostly comprised of men, a few of them manning the drums that so easily carried across the waters that lapped close by. Nodding to a few at random, the hunter dropped down easily on the balls of his feet, a steadying hand trailing against the sand between his knees. His eyes scanned the crowd, sliding appraisingly over a few of the women, but he saw no one he knew, and his night vision was ruined enough by the bright fire that he couldnt see far beyond the circle of light it cast. There was a restless shifting in the crowd.
Abruptly, the drumming stopped and the air rang with its sudden silence. Tums breathing ripped out his throat, his heart beat sounding as loud as the drums in his ears. A figure stepped into the ring of firelight, clothed in skins which hugged close to her body, hair done up in wild Troll fashion and a feral grin on her face. There was a universal shift forward, the twitching and perking of ears, and it took a moment for Tumjuk to realize that it was Vohsa who stood before them, quickening all their blood. As she opened her mouth to speak, he mentally checked himself, and his previous doubts of the wisdom of this came back to haunt him.
"Bruddahs, sistahs, tonight be a night fer dancin, fer recognizin da call of da wild in our blood, and fer da hunt. In da cities, dey be callin us uncivilized, dey be calling us savage. Dey dun undahstand dat da fiah be raging in our hearts, and dat da pulls of da cycles be flowing through our veins. Dey dun undahstand just ow savage da hunt wit a Troll can be!" Guttural sounds of agreement rippled through the waiting crowd, the air too tense to allow cries or screams of agreement. It would have shattered them all.
"Ah be seein some new faces in da crowdAh be seein some old faces too," her eyes slid appraisingly over the waiting men, and for a moment she paused to wink at Tumjuk before raising her arms above her head. "In dun mattah how civilized, or savage, we become. We be born in blood, and we be dyin in blood. We no be forgettin da past. We be Trolls, and dis night, we be huntin wit da blood lust beatin in our hearts."
One bare foot hit the ground, and dust stirred up around her as the drums began again. Slower. One, thump, thump. Two, thump, thump. From where her foot landed, kinetic energy traveled up her leg, moving hip, and stomach, shoulders and arms. A second foot struck the ground, accompanied by the rhythmic drums, and behind her swaying body more figures emerged into the firelight, bodies already beginning to sway in time with the warriors. Each one was clothed in the simplest of attirelight furs, clinging robes, short to leave legs free for movement. Hair was up in elaborate braids, stiffened by animal fat in some cases to reach high above their headssome wore their hair totally free, flying about their shoulders as they spun about the bonfire, feet kicking up dust clouds of sand. Blue hair flashed in the corner of the hunters eye, braids pulled back from the top of her head while the rest swung free down her exposed back to her waist, wrapping around her body as her legs spun her around the bonfire. Tongues of flames licked outwards towards her, blue skin shining with sweat, and where her feet struck, ice crystals formed, even as purple white arcane energy danced between her fingers.
Kanni was drunk on the night air. After the smoky inside of the tent Vohsa had taken her too, her lungs drank deeply of the Senjin salt spray, her head swimming with it. Absently, her mind noted the smell of dreamfoil and peacebloom that clung to her skin, but with her blood pounding in her ears she could have cared less. While waiting in the shadows, Vohsas words only dimly penetrating her mind, she had already spotted him. Seeing him squatting in a ready stance, her eyes drunk in the colour of his skin as her ears drowned in the drumming. Moving with the women around her, some of an age with herself, some showing signs of age, Kanni danced with an abandon she hadnt felt since she was a small girl. Her feet slid in the sand, and she could feel the weighing eyes of the on-looking men warming her skin against the slight sea breeze. She already knew whos eyes she wanted on her, had already made her choice, but for the moment she drank deeply of the attention, reveling in the intoxicating power of her own body.
Tumjuks eyes reluctantly slid away from his mage, scanning the faces in the crowd. How many of them were looking at her? Was she looking back? He shifted his weight forward to the balls of his feet, a predatory cat ready to move. The muscles of his shoulders rippled as they tensed, and he flexed his hand, almost wishing for the familiar grip of his axes.
Thump. Thump. Pause. Thump. The drumming stopped. The sound of heavy breathing broke the silence, chests heaving as they sucked in air to starving muscles. Kanni stood in front of Tumjuk, her eyes shining with exertion and her blood singing with it. None of her muscles hurt anymore from the fightingshe had never felt so physically fit. Slowly, his eyes came to rest on hers, mouth parted slightly in a look of surprise, of relief, of awe.
A woman, with a dark red Mohawk the colour of blood in the firelight, threw her head back, an ululating cry rippling through her throat. In that moment of stillness, the mage smiled, a mocking smile, screaming of challenge and promise. Motion exploded around the bonfire, womens feet churning sand as they began to run, some spinning around to bark challenging laughter at the men. Only a split second in following, some of the faster ones tackled the women whod chosen them to the ground in a laughing, giggling, intoxicated heap. The rest took off running, hunting through the surrounding mountains for the giggling laughter of their women.
Kanni didnt look back, not bothering to bark any challenge; she knew he would follow. Sand sprang from underneath her feet. She spun arcane light in one hand, reaching forward with it, abruptly pulling her body twenty feet forward, her feet never missing a step. Cocky with her resourcefulness, she spun her head to look over her shoulder, and her mouth parted in surprise as she saw a dark, ropy form closing the distance between them with the swiftness of a plains cat. Abruptly, she changed directions, heading straight for the softly lapping waters off Senjin. Again spinning arcane light, she pulled herself forward, landing waist deep in the water, the feel of a warm hand brushing her neck fresh against her skin. Gulping air, she plunged under the water, arms pulling her forward swiftly. When a hand closed on her kicking ankle, she realized she had been a fool. Hand over hand, he climbed his way up her body, palms finally closing on her arms and dragging her to the surface.
Stumbling into town, giggling and drunk on taste and smell and touch, he found his way to his familys tent by habit. Practically falling inside, he pulled her in after him.