The winner of the “400,000 Site Views” contest was Bloedhoorn, a tauren resto/kitty druid. This sort of presented a unique challenge to me because it meant I could write a story where druids were the focus, which I hadn’t done before. Anyways, as the character was being described to me, I was informed that Bloedhoorn spent a lot of time in tree form jumping around, dancing, and waving, which “comes naturally to being a Tree.” I really liked that last comment so much that I tried to see if I could base a whole story off of it. I also tried to incorporate Bloedhoorn’s love of companion pets. Hopefully I pulled it all off:
Bloedhoorn was in the form of a chocoloate-colored dire raven, flying high, high above Hellfire Peninsula. He rarely went to the Outland these days, so it was an unusual excursion, but he had recently been informed that a young druid from his home village who was following in his hoofsteps was in the area, and as he knew her family he wanted to drop by and see if she needed any assistance.
He circled Thrallmar a few times and then saw what he was looking for: A tree. A treant, to be more specific. Practicing her spells; wooden hands glowing with energy. Bloedhoorn smiled to himself and flew down and alighted next to her. He nodded his avian head and squawked out “Songlark, I presume?”
The treant looked at him curiously. It was notoriously difficult for a druid to speak much while in the form of a tree, especially if said druid was newer to the art and unused to having, quite literally, a wooden mouth. So instead, Songlark made a sort of grunting noise and nodded.
Bloedhoorn chuckled and effortlessly shifted into his tauren form. “I am Bloedhoorn,” he said, and bowed. “You may not know me, but I know your family well. I heard you were here and came to see if you needed any advice from a more experienced druid.”
Songlark digested this information and and forced her stiff mouth to work, although she was sure the words came out sounding a little funny: “It is nice to meet you.” She bowed back, leaves atop her head quivering.
“I see you were practicing before I arrived,” said Bloedhoorn. “How is that going for you?”
Songlark shifted back into her tauren form, where she would have more freedom to speak naturally. “I’m not sure,” she then admitted. “I don’t feel like I am doing all I could be. I know my basic spells– the ones all druids know. But very few tricks beyond that. I worry I may be… a hindrance…”
Bloedhoorn nodded. “I remember feeling that way, when I was where you are at in your studies,” he said. “We have some things to practice, then. But first, we must get out of this wasteland and go somewhere more fitting. Come!” he shifted into his stormcrow form, but Songlark remained stationary, looking a bit sheepish. “I… have not learned to fly, yet.”
Without a word Bloedhoorn then turned into a sleek cheetah. “No worries,” he said, as the younger druid followed his lead. “Now, come!”
The two dashed out of Thrallmar, and not much later they were among the somewhat ethereal woods of Terokkar Forest, both in tree form. “It is easier for a druid healer to practice when among real trees, where we can pull on the inspiration of nature,” Bloedhoorn explained. “Now, Songlark, I will show you a trick. We specialize in healing someone’s wounds slowly, over time, however, in an emergency, we can draw these energies together to heal all at once.” He was about to demonstrate when suddenly he paused. He thought he’d seen something move, out of the corner of his eye…
But then it was gone again. Chalking it up to a bird flitting about, Bloedhoorn prepared to cast a spell. But then, wait! There it was again! Something was moving in the forest.
“What is it?” Songlark asked, but Bloedhoorn held up a branch to silence her. Slowly he scanned the area with his eyes. Nothing but trees.
One of them was moving.
A treant! Or more accurately…
“Another druid?” said Bloedhoorn quietly to himself.
It was! Another druid in tree form, watching them quietly. Songlark saw it as well, and the two tauren stared at it. It was downright unusual to see a druid in tree form out in the field, especially alone. And Bloedhoorn, being fairly well-traveled, immediately recognized it as not just any druid, but a Night Elf druid. He relayed this information to Songlark, who gasped. “Does she want to fight?”
“I would have a hard time believing that,” said Bloedhoorn. “One does not do much damage in the form of a treant, as I am sure you have learned already. No, let us take this slowly.”
He took a few steps toward the other tree, and waved. She waved back.
Bloedhoorn pointed to himself and Songlark, and then bowed. He was trying to get across the message that they were friendly, since he knew they would not be able to speak the same language. The other tree watched them intently, and seemed to understand what was being said because she nodded.
Bloedhoorn then pointed to the other tree and shrugged. It was his way of asking what she was doing there.
The other tree pointed to herself and said, “Tamaryn.” It must have been her name. Then, she began a series of wild gesticulations that absolutely baffled the two tauren. She scratched at her face with her leafy hands, then made a paddling motion, then pointed at the surrounding forest, and finally slumped over in a look of despair. When these gestures were met with a confused look on the faces of the other trees, she repeated them.
“What’s she trying to say?” asked Songlark.
“I don’t know, but I think maybe it has to do with it raining orange frogs?” Bloedhoorn guessed. “These night elf types are very unusual.”
“I can see that,” said Songlark.
Tamaryn appeared exasperated at this point, but then suddenly her face lit up, as though she had an idea. Suddenly she shifted into a sleek, dark bluegreen panther.
The two tauren jumped. Such an action was potentially threatening, afterall, since the form of a cat was frequently used to fight. But before they could react, the other druid turned back into a tree and pressed her hands very close together, as though trying to point out that something was being squeezed together… or perhaps…
“I KNOW!” Songlark said. “She is trying to say something is very small.”
“Hrmm…” said Bloedhoorn thoughtfully, his tree-face scrunched up in thought.
Tamaryn repeated this series of actions a few times: turning into a panther, then making the “small” gesture, and then pointing at the forest. And all of a sudden, it dawned on him.
“Small cat. She’s lost a small cat!” said Bloedhoorn. “And it is hiding in the forest somewhere. Perhaps she wants us to help look.”
Bloedhoorn held up a finger to the other druid, signaling her to wait. Then he turned to Songlark. “You use the swiftness of the cheetah to scout around this area. I’ll look from the sky.”
Songlark nodded and shifted into cheetah form. As she did so, Bloedhoorn became a stormcrow and flew high into the sky. As he hovered there and scanned the area with sharp eyes, he found several questions entering his head, the main one being why the other druid did not look through flight herself. He could sense that she was just as powerful and trained as he was. There must have been some reason why she was staying in treant form.
He flew a bit east; he saw Songlark searching every nook and cranny below him and Tamaryn also looking– still as a tree. Realizing this might take a while, Bloedhoorn took a deep breath and closed his eyes, trying to imagine that he was a pet cat that belonged to a treant. Where might he hide…
…in the branches of another tree, perhaps?
Swooping lower a bit, he flew between the trees of the Terokkar woods. He kept his eyes wide and his ears open, and it wasn’t long before he heard it. A quiet, barely perceptible “Mew…”
Immediately he stopped, wheeled around, and spotted a small white kitten perched atop a very tall tree. Its eyes were wide and it was staring rather nervously at the ground that was far below as it mewed helplessly. Smiling to himself, Bloedhoorn alighted on a branch next to it, gently took it by the scruff of its neck in his beak, and then fluttered down to the ground, where the night elf druid was waiting.
Tamaryn’s face lit up and she cheered as Bloedhoorn set the kitten down, which immediately ran up and hid in the branches atop Tamaryn’s head. A series of words tumbled out of her mouth, which Bloedhoorn didn’t understand, but which he assumed by her expression were words of gratitude, so he bowed at her.
Tamaryn bowed back, and then with a last wave, she walked away into the misty woods– still as a treant.
Bloedhoorn returned to tauren form and watched her go, rather mystified. At that moment, Songlark dashed up as a cheetah. “You found the cat?”
“Yes, it has been returned to its owner. I know why she was in tree form now; the cat appears to live on her head.” He scratched his scalp.
“Huh…” Songlark shifted into tauren form herself. “Well, that was an, uh… unexpected little diversion.”
Bloedhoorn chuckled. “What did I tell you, the Night Elves are a bit odd. You can’t blame them really; they’re purple, afterall. Now, where were we…”