Part Two of my story. Story Part 2 Nineteen Years Later Honicora woke to the cries of vultures. At first, she thought they were simply remnants of the dream she had been having. But as she collected her thoughts, the cries failed to go away, and so she got up out of her cot, strapped on her mighty two-handed axe, and stepped outside of her tent. Honicora was of average build for a tauren, standing about eight feet tall and with a fairly muscular frame. With light brown fur, darker brown spots and a deep, almost black brown hair, Honicora didn’t have many striking physical differences from the average tauren. Unlike most tauren, however, she was innovative and clever; something necessary, seeing as she had lived alone since the Windrider clan was wiped out by centaur. Sighting the location of the vultures down in the valleys of Thousand Needles, Honicora set off. Passing by the caves that the wyvern inhabited, she displayed the same gift her father had. The wyvern, when they would normally drive out intruders, were completely normal with Honicora around, as if she was a member of their flight. Passing through the cliffs, she stepped out into the valleys of Thousand Needles and headed towards the pillar of vultures. When she arrived at the gristly feast, she saw an unfortunately common sight - a group of mangled centaur and tauren bodies. It seemed the tauren had been overwhelmed by centaur and killed to the last man - the tauren bodies were surrounded by a ring of marauders. Wading into the sea of vultures, swinging the butt of her axe to scare the filthy vermin off, she went to examine the dead tauren bodies. They had the mark of the Bloodhoof clan on their totems, so she assumed they were a foraging party for the tribe living nearby. As she began to check the dead centaur - almost certainly the Stonehoof clan, as they were the biggest clan in the Barrens - one of the tauren bodies coughed. Turning, she saw a heavily wounded, but living warrior regaining consciousness. He tried to stand, leaning on his spear for support, but a deep gash running through his thigh prevented him from getting up. Quickly moving over to him, she began tearing strips off the clothing of nearby tauren to bandage him up, and started talking to the warrior. “Don‘t worry, I‘m going to help you, just hold still. My name is Honicora - who are you?” The warrior was slow to reply, as his wounds were severe and he was undoubtedly weakened, but he still managed to grunt a reply. “I am Mourg, of the Bloodhoof tribe.” With her guess confirmed, Honicora decided to go for quick, temporary healing instead of applying salves. They had only a few miles to go to his tribe, and despite his wounds the warrior would be able to make it. After bandaging him up, she quickly checked the other bodies to make sure she didn’t leave anyone behind, then helped the warrior stand up and start hobbling down the canyon. While Mourg was hardly talkative, as they moved on Honicora managed to get the basics of his travel out of him. His tribe, the Bloodhoof, were moving away from the Barrens towards the coast in an effort to escape the centaur. They were stocking up on food and other supplies to prepare for the journey, and his party was one of several sent out. They were hunting for herbs growing in the canyons when a centaur raiding party ambushed them and killed Mourg’s companions. Honicora doubted that the Bloodhoof would be able to simply run from the centaur, but she would hardly try to stop them. She might actually join them, in the hopes of killing Stonehoof warriors, but she didn’t know - she loved the Barrens and most of it’s creatures too much to simply leave. As she was thinking this, several harsh cries came from the jagged peaks above them, and another group of tauren enemies came down at them - harpies. Honicora backed up against the back of the closest stone pillar, and letting Mourg lean against it she drew her axe. They landed within a respectable distance of the two tauren, but their filthy stench still assailed Honicora’s nose. That was one of the gifts harpies had - no matter who they came across, they could produce a foul stench to offend the creature. One of the harpies - a slightly larger one, with scarlet feathers instead of the moldy green and brown the average harpy had - stepped forwards. Licking her lips, revealing sharp, pointed teeth, she cawed out a rough blend of barely decipherable Taur-ahe, saying something about surrendering for a quick death. In response, Honicora stepped forwards and stabbed the harpy in the gut with the butt of her axe. The other harpies burst into action, attacking Honicora and a few going for the seemingly defenseless Mourg. With ten harpies to the two tauren, Honicora began to worry, but soon stopped thinking and started fighting. Seven of the eleven harpies attacked Honicora, while three tried to kill Mourg and the last was on the ground, out of breath. To gain a bit of breathing room, Honicora cut a wide arc through the cluster of harpies, neatly severing a first, cutting through the chest of a second and driving the harpies back. One darted in, attempting to take advantage of Honicora’s lowered guard, but Honicora swung her fist back into the harpies’ jaw, knocking her to the side. Readying her axe again, Honicora met the next attack with an uppercut with her axe, maiming another harpy, killing a second and nearly clipping the wing off the harpy returning from her earlier attack. The surviving harpies, dispirited by their slain sisters, fled from the battle. In the meantime, Mourg had held his ground against his own assailants, stabbing anytime one tried to get near. When they all charged him at once, Mourg lost the use of his spear once one was gutted on it, and so met the other two with a bellow and a fist. Knocking the first back with a broken face, he started fighting the last tooth and nail, until a knee jab and elbow to the face dispatched the last of his attackers. His old wounds had opened up again, but the rags worn by the harpies were so ridden with disease he would die faster from those than from bleeding. Luckily, the harpies had ambushed the Tauren close to the Bloodhoof settlement, so with Mourg leaning on Honicora’s shoulder the two set off.