A wet black nose poked among the bones of Sindragosa as the sound of hoofsteps approached the bony corpse. The marrow having long since decayed within the bones, Blacky decided that it was not worth the effort to chew them open, especially considering they reeked of dark magic and disease. Instead she began to help Niqora retrieve her stray arrows, holding them delicately in her white teeth as she trotted each one over to the hunter. The Shu’halo accepted each arrow with a small smile between stooping to pick up more. She passed over the ones that were deeply embedded in the bones, as well as any with broken shafts or bent arrow heads. Refletching was quick and easy enough but she had no time to mend any others.
She straightened up and her muscles ached in retaliation. Despite being still in her prime, the events of the past few weeks had taken their toll on her, physically and emotionally. Too long they had been in this retched citadel and all the while her heart pressed against the inside of her chest, wistfully remembering open plains and dense forests. Still, she did not leave to wander the countryside. Part of it was the promise she had made to Towateke, that she would aid him and their clan in their raids on the citadel. But the other part was to see a certain blight wiped from the face of Azeroth.
Niqora was not the vindictive sort. Even in the years she has spent battling the centaur in the Barrens for her and her family’s very survival, she never hated them. Of the countless foes she had cut down, it had never been out of hatred or revenge, but a sense of duty or simple perseverance. Now though, the deaths of friends and family weighed down on her shoulders and she felt a heat glowing like an ember deep inside her, growing hotter the further her clan traveled into Icecrown.
Blacky whined softly, her quivering ears cupped in the direction the other members had went. So Niqora gathered her packs and together the pair ascended the last set of stairs in the citadel. With each step the Shu’halo would gain speed until she was striding up them two or three at a time. Picking up on the hunter’s tension and anticipation, Blacky darted back and forth, whining and barking her enthusiasm.
Then suddenly there were no more stairs and a platform stretched out before them. The wing howled and bit into layers of fur and hide but neither of the pair took notice of it. Blacky’s hackles rose like a warning flag and a deep growl started in her chest and squeezed out between her bared teeth. Niqora grimly fell into position with her clanmates, her hands having already notched an arrow in her bow out of complete instinct. If she had not been reliving the pains of all her loved ones’ deaths, she would have been surprised at the low gruff voice that came from her mouth.
“I will allow but one more death for me to bear, Arthas,” she growled at the Lich King looming before them on his throne. “And by the Earth Mother, it will be yours.”