The rime-coated walls surrounding the Nerubian temple of En'kilah loomed above the tundra. Overhead, the ziggurat of Naxxanar floated, keeping an ominous watch over things below. Leading up to the gateway in the wall was a trail of mangled corpses and scattered body parts. Inside the wall, the Scourge went about their business, unaware of the fact they were being invaded.
Pitch knew that the undead they had killed would only stay dead for so long before they were raised again, or before others would take their place. Still, this place was good practice, and there were no truly powerful Scourge there, so it was relatively safe. He stood back and watched as Shaurria methodically took apart a ghoul, the now-armless thing standing and staring at her before she knocked it down and tore its legs off at the knees. She left it lying helpless in the filthy snow and came to stand beside Pitch, breathing heavily but easily. He nudged her shoulder with his nose. "Good job. You're still using more brute force than really necessary, but you're a lot better," he told her in his Teacher Voice. She purred happily, then looked at him expectantly; it was his turn now.
Pitch surveyed their surroundings, then fastened his attention on an abomination wandering nearby. He hadn't let Shaur tackle one of them yet, they were too dangerous still, and he had been putting them down himself. Besides, he was showing Shaur his hook-riding trick. Target selected, he moved into the shadows and homed in on the abom. Shaur followed closely enough to watch, but not so close as to draw attention.
Pitch waited until the huge mass of stitched-together parts paused in its patrol, then he unshifted- hands were better for this than paws- and looked around carefully. No other Scourge in sight, perfect. He stepped around the broken-down Scourge-wagon and waited for the abomination to notice him.
The ugly hulk looked up in short order and spotted the Night elf standing there, a cocky expression on his face. It roared, then one arm hefted back and threw, flinging its scourgehook straight at Pitch. That was what the druid had been waiting for, and he watched the hook flying towards him carefully, then reached out and grabbed it with both hands before it hit him. The rotting behemoth at the other end pulled hard, and Pitch let the yank send him flying through the air, straight at the abom. Letting go at just the right time, Pitch changed to cat as he sailed right into the undead's face.
He had done this many, many times and considered himself a pro at it. This time, however, something was off, and he didn't realize it until the abom had snatched him right out of the air. Pitch snarled savagely and set to mauling the arm holding him, but the abom only made a noise that might have been laughter, then clubbed him with its other arm. Pitch's head rang, but he held onto consciousness. Therefore, he was still aware when he saw the ground come rushing up to meet him, at a speed that appeared to be extremely unhealthy. This will hurt in the morning, he thought briefly, then the abom smashed him into the ground and his world exploded into pain, then blackness.
* * * * * *
The world was shaking. Pitch wished it would stop. he felt like he would be sick shortly. Then he gradually realized that the only thing shaking was his torso, and there was a familiar, tear-filled voice urgently calling his name.
"Pitch, wake up please. Don't be dead, I healed ya th' best I could. Please, Pitch, open yer eyes an' look at me." He was able to crack one eye open, but the stab of pain that the daylight sent through his head made him groan. The shaking stopped, and then his face was being held by two warm hands. "Pitch? Are y'alright?" Shaurria asked anxiously. He groaned again, then opened his eye again and managed to keep it open. "Wha happened?" he mumbled. The dark shape above him, which slowly resolved itself into Shaur, gestured to the side. "Th' abom flung ya t' the ground, an' I killed it," she said matter-of-factly, and he turned his head to see the rotted heap lying not very far away. "Smashed ya up somethin' fierce, though. I healed what I could, but..." She trailed off, looking at him fearfully. "Are y'alright?" Pitch grunted. "Think so, or at least I will be." He tried to sit up, and his ribs creaked ominously. "Maybe."
Shaurria helped him up, wincing at every gasp of pain he made. He was finally standing, unsteadily maybe, but on his own feet. "It's alright, kitty," he said. "Let's get back to town, then I'll have my brother look at me. You did fine, though, don't worry." He managed a grin at her, she just frowned worriedly, taking his arm and tugging gently. "Let's go," she said. "Th' cats're over here."
Ursoc seemed to know something was wrong with his master, because he moved out as smoothly as he could. Shaurria's Finnall kept even with the bigger saber as they headed for Valiance Keep and the boat to Stormwind. Pitch just hoped Alanon hadn't gone back to Icecrown yet.