I’m no amateur. I’m not naive in the ways of the beast, by any measure. I’ve tracked countless beasts across Azeroth’s landscapes. Some, I’ve tamed as companions. Others, I’ve slaughtered to further my ends, when they provided nourishment, materials, or simply a periodic honing of my skills.
Since early on in my time as a master of all things wild, I’ve had an innate ability to “find” whatever beast or person I need to find. Later, that skill developed along with the rest, allowing me to become in tune with the undead, the demonic, the forces of the elements, and even those who would use illusion to deceive and destroy me.
But this beast… THIS beast… had been eluding me for what seemed like ages.
I sought refuge from the cold with the gnarled trunk of an ancient tree shielding me from the wind. Quickly I dusted the snow and frost from my face, my stubble scraping against the thick leather and dragonscale of my gloves. I squatted down, removed some food from my satchel, and then sat on it to give my rear a reprieve from the bone-chilling cold.
Fitz padded a few circles around the tree, sniffing the air intently. His red eyes glowed eerily behind a curtain of light snow. Once he was satisfied of the relative safety of our location, he let out a guttural grunt of relief and sat next to me in a regal-looking squat that seemed more for show than rest. Chest stuck out proudly, he swiveled his head towards me and bared his enormous fangs in a loud, booming yawn.
I pulled a piece of the grilled mudfish I’d had leftover from my last adventure storming the evil tower of Karazhan and held it in my palm, a few inches from Fitz’ frost-covered nose. His purr, and growl of satisfaction upon taking the morsel, had taken on an unholy quality during his capture and corruption, and lingered even after his liberation when I re-acquired him in Northrend. He sat contently chewing the Mudfish, only pausing to retrieve a piece he’d carelessly let slip out of his gaping maw into the snow.
Quickly, almost subconsciously, I shot my hand out towards Fitz’ collar, my hand barely slipping inside it to restrain him before his entire body tensed in preparation to attack. I looked in the direction of his angry glare and could scarcely believe my eyes.
It was him. The beast.
That beast who had haunted my dreams. The beast whom I’d tracked for an eternity. That beast who consumed my thoughts, and who, when beaten at our hands, would provide me with endless glory.
I could feel my heart racing and the blood in my face getting hot in anticipation. Fitz squirmed against my grasp, but his discipline kept him silent. I caught his eyes with mine, and putting a finger to my lips to calm him, set down one of a multitude of traps I have at my disposal. I removed the rusty cotter pin from the mechanism, setting the trap in the snow, careful to dust a coat of powder over the metal trap. Silently Fitz and I backed off, taking position behind a rise where we wouldn’t be seen until it was much too late for the Beast.
I carefully pulled back the hammer on my Nesingwary 4000, the eerie holographic sight trained on my prize, while Fitz held his breath in anticipation, looking at me, practically begging to sink his fangs into our bounty.
The beast shuffled towards the tree that had previously sheltered us. Our smell caught his nostrils, and he hesistated a moment, swiveling his head in all directions, scanning for the threat that lay literally right in front of him. It was at this moment that I released Fitz, allowing his full, furious rage to explode towards the monster.
As Fitz galloped toward the beast, I stood and readied my weapon. The beast took one step forward, setting his gigantic paw directly in the trap I had set. A half-stick of dynamite wired to the trigger detonated below the beast’s foot, demolishing the bottom half of his leg. As Fitz’ enormous jaws clamped down on his throat, I delivered the kill shot, sending a slug directly through the base of the monster’s skull.
A Gutteral roar escaped me: “I DID IT! I’VE DEFEATED THE ABOMINABLE GREENCH!”
A booming voice descended as if from the heavens. For some reason, the voice “sounded” like it was green in color: “Grats!”