Boogga's eyes slowly fluttered open as he let out a pained groan. Lifting his head, he saw his adopted sister Taarren sitting nearby. "When you passed out, she left you, same as before," said the tauren shaman. Boogga nodded, then eased himself into a sitting position, noting the new rips and bloodstains in his armor, tho his wounds had been healed by Taarren while he was unconscious.
The shaman shifted uneasily. "Why don't you just take one of the others?" she asked, gesturing toward one of the large striped cats prowling nearby across the snowy landscape. "They wouldn't give you near as much trouble." The hunter emphatically shook his head. "She be the best, the strongest and smartest, and the fiercest! She will be mine, I swear it!" he declared hotly, then turned to focus his attention on the subject of their conversation.
The huge, blue-striped Frostsaber paced by the opening of her den, tail lashing. Her piercing green eyes never once turned toward the troll sitting in the snow a couple hundred yards away, although he was the source of her agitation. Boogga took a moment to admire the graceful way she moved and the unusual tint of her coat. “She is perfect, the only one for me,” he said softly, then climbed to his feet and faced her once again.
Taarren sighed in defeat, then began the preparations again. Normally she would not need to do this, in fact wouldn’t even need to be there, but the Frostsaber queen was so powerful that Boogga had asked her to come along and aid him however she could. Her spiritual totems and spells hadn’t done much more so far, though, than just keep the breath of life in the troll’s body. Totems placed, she turned to her “brother” and nodded.
Boogga nodded back, then knelt and placed his trap, one cleverly designed to catch its victim in a magical block of ice without doing harm, then straightened and called out his challenge to the great cat. The big head turned, the green eyes glared hotly at him, and the ‘saber growled savagely as she once again answered the challenge by hurtling toward this interloper of her realm.
Boogga dropped to a crouch, locking eyes with the beast and chanting under his breath the words that would overcome her feral instincts and allow her to understand him. The cat’s front foot struck the trap and abruptly she was encased in a block of ice. Her fierce eyes raged at this trickery, though she could do nothing except strain against the trap’s hold. Boogga continued the chant, raising his voice a little, knowing he had only seconds before she would free herself and come for him. And each previous attempt had resulted in the cat mauling him to unconsciousness.
Ice cracked, groaned, and began to fall away from the block. The Frostsaber suddenly had her head and one front leg free, and used her claws to tear at the ice. The ice block crumbled quickly under the assault, and she was soon half-way out, then abruptly she was free. Like the previous encounters she quickly resumed her dash to rend and tear this troll that dared try to invade her land.
But suddenly, this time, right before she reached him, something in her mind clicked, and she began to hear words, of faraway places to explore, new game to hunt, and above all, a companion by her side. Confused, she halted her attack and stood, maybe ten feet from the troll. She shook her head, but the words whispering in her mind would not let up, promising that this was not a trick nor slavery, but a partnership, one that would benefit them both. She started to resume her attack, then gave a sudden grunt and turned away, trotting back towards her den. She stopped after a few strides and turned back to the hunter, now standing still and waiting for his words to take effect. He could see the confusion in her eyes but knew how intelligent this great beast was, and was soon rewarded as the confusion died, and she took a few hesitant steps toward him.
Taarren smiled to herself as she turned to walk away. She would not need to patch her brother up this time. The shaman looked back before walking down the snowdrift and saw the huge ‘saber come up to Boogga’s outstretched hand and start nuzzling it, as he whispered softly to her.