K'tala (Ketala in Orcish) is a troll hunter affiliated with the Horde. She currently makes her home in Nagrand, though she tends to leave often and wander the world. Wild at heart, she much prefers the open skies and trees, grass and oceans, to any of the cities Azeroth or Outland has to offer.
K'tala is short for a troll, with light blue skin, a wild, indigo mohawk and intricate braids. A series of earrings litter her ears. On her back, a startlingly beautiful tattoo of a windserpent can be seen trailing its way from her spine down her left leg.
Friendly and sweet, K'tala is keenly aware of her shortcomings and does her best to be as pleasant and useful to people as she possibly can. Honest to a fault, she will very clearly state her opinion - but only when asked for it. Fiercely protective of those she cares for, she will not hesitate to defend any she calls friend.
The Darkspear Edit
K'tala was born in the jungles of Stranglethorn, though she has little to no memories of the jungles as a babe. Forced to evacuate from Stranglethorn by neighboring tribes, the Darkspear, K'tala and all, relocated to the Broken Isles. Any memories she has of the isles are foggy at best – she vaguely remembers her childhood, and remembers it being good, but little more than that. Her father was a fisherman, killed unexpectedly at the start of the conflicts with the murlocs that eventually led to the Darkspear's departure – her mother, a simple tribeswoman who did her best to raise her daughter.
And raise her she did – but as the attacks from the murlocs grew, the small tribe had little knowledge of just what was behind the attacks. K'tala barely remembers them, little of the Sea Witch behind them – vague memories of Sen'jin, and that he was a good leader – and somewhat clearer memories of the moment the orcs came. Strange creatures, brutish even by troll standards, yet willing and able to help the Darkspear escape what seemed like inevitable fate.
Vol'jin stepped forward as the new leader, asking the tribe to swear allegiance to this Horde that the orc Thrall spoke of – and the trolls gladly followed him. What else were they to do? Their supposed brethren had driven them away from their tribal lands.
Sadly, somewhere in the push from the village to the boats that took the Darkspear to Kalimdor, K'tala's mother was lost – whether she died to the leftover murlocs, or simply missed the boat is unknown. Regardless, K'tala left, and was never to see her remaining parent again.
If one were to speak to K'tala of this, one wouldn't get much of an answer, other than that she misses her mother, sometimes. She remembers being on the boats, she remembers Thrall, she remembers Hellscream, she could tell you of them – but her accounts would be those of a child, hiding on the boats and trying very, very hard to stay out of anyone's way.
The Shores of Kalimdor Edit
It wasn't until they'd reached Kalimdor that any really took notice of K'tala – she'd always been a quiet, unremarkable child. As was custom among the trolls, everyone had a hand in raising her – with no parents to speak of anymore, the tribe were her relatives, and her family.
To a degree.
Unfortunately, while K'tala was an agreeable enough child, she was also a magnet for accidents – prone to dropping only the things that were worth much in the eyes of the village, burning important food at tribal gatherings, and as for paths…well.
It was an unspoken agreement in the Darkspear that if one were a part of the village, one helped contribute to the village, either by fighting and defending, mending the wounded, cooking for the tribe, hunting food to be cooked, following the ways of the shaman and the spirits – everyone had a path to follow. Except for K'tala.
The girl tried, Gadrin reasoned, and she did – earnestly and wholeheartedly and falling flat on her face time and time again in spectacular fashion. She meant well, he mused, as she tried the different paths the villagers taught. Too small to lift a sword properly, unable to hear the song of the spirits, lousy at mending both people and things, he watched her as again and again she failed to find a path. Mostly she hid herself away, ashamed at her lack of contribution and trying desperately, as she did so long ago on the boats that had brought them to this shore, to stay out of everyone's way and just go unnoticed.
It was the campfire tales she lived for, more than anything – the evenings during which the tribe would gather around a bonfire, listening to Gadrin's tales of wars and the jungle, Aspects and tricksters, love and loss. He'd often see her, far behind everyone else and trying very hard to stay small and unseen, but her eyes would light up at each tale he told, as if she were absorbing the words for her own. Perhaps she was.
It made little difference to Gadrin the day she nearly burned down half the village by…well spirits knew what the girl had done exactly. Ashamed and heartbroken, she apologized, repeatedly – but that did little to make up for the singed walls of his hut. And so on his next journey to Orgrimmar, to report to Vol'jin the goings-on of the village, Gadrin mentioned the girl. How she seemed to be pathless, and inexplicably incapable of completing the most basic of tasks. Vol'jin's pronouncement was swift.
"Then let her go. We cannot 'ave the useless cluttering up the tribe, we're too small to carry the weight of one who will not carry 'er own. Send 'er away."
Gadrin returned to deliver the news to the girl. Crushed, she made her way without so much as a goodbye – for in the end, she had no one to say goodbye to.
Her wanderings took her to Razor Hill, where Thotar, an orc with a surprisingly soft heart, met her and heard her tale. He reasoned that perhaps her path simply wasn't open to her yet, something that helped, a little – and told her he would teach her the ways of the bow, of the hunter – something that helped a little more. Spirits sufficiently lifted, she tried her best to learn the weapon, and met with some small success.
However, it was clear to Thotar after trying to teach the girl how to tame beasts that she wasn't particularly good at that, either. After three animals he'd set her to tame all successfully turned on her, leaving her begging him for bandages to tend to her wounds (ineffectively, at that), Thotar sent her on her way, seeing for himself why the village wouldn't wish to keep her. And so K'tala traveled onward.
She managed to tame a small raptor, over-feeding the poor thing in an effort to make it care for her, and it followed her for a time – less out of care, and more out of distinct interest in the food in her pouches. Feeling slightly more confident, she traveled north – far, far north, aimlessly and without conviction and ending up in the night elf lands of Teldrassil, after a hair-raising run through the capital city of Darnassus. Two nights of recovering from arrow wounds and the raptor decided enough was enough, snapping at the girl and running away, leaving her among the starlit trees.
Unable to continue alone, the girl tamed one of the owls of the forest – drawn inexplicably to the fluttering wings and delicate feathers. After successfully managing to tame one of the beasts, she made her way out of the elven lands and back to the much more familiar territory of the Barrens, still aimless, but at least not alone.
Not, that is, until the two moved to Thousand Needles, promptly getting lost among the great stone pillars of the canyon. Annoyed, dehydrated and hungry, the owl flew off one morning, screeching angrily at the girl's attempts to keep it at her side.
Heartbroken and thoroughly convinced of her uselessness, the girl spent the day wandering the length of Thousand Needles, running from anything that looked mildly threatening and finally exhausted, hungry and alone, collapsing near the hot springs that bubbled through the canyons. Alone, K'tala dreamed.
She dreamed of the days on the isles, she dreamed of stories, she dreamed of her mother, singing old songs and lullabies. She dreamed of paths, restlessly stirring, remembering the angry faces of those she'd inadvertently upset. She dreamed of Vol'jin – never having met the troll personally, but she could see he and Gadrin, deciding her fate. She dreamed of songs, she dreamed of stories, she dreamed of dying out there, in the desert. And in the dreams, a voice – calm, soothing, rich and feminine, spoke to her. It sounded like her mother – it sounded like an old friend. It sounded like home.
"Little one – do not weep. To have a path is to follow where others have gone before. To be pathless is not to be useless, or alone – to be pathless simply means you must make your own path, and choose your own way. I will help you, always – we will forge your path together, for it has been decided and spoken, though none have traveled it. Now wake – and the world will seem a little brighter to you."
The strange voice was gone – gone with the dreams and the soft hush of sleep. In it's place, a windserpent of crimson, glittering scales who watched her with an odd intelligence lurking in the back of its eyes. Her eyes, K'tala decided arbitrarily, and rummaged through her bags for a bit of bread to feed the lizard.
Ananta's eyes. For that was the windserpent's name – how K'tala came by the name, she did not know, exactly – how she knew the windserpent was for her, only a fading echo of a dream reminded.
To be continued
- Though Ketala currently resides in Nagrand, she can be found all over both Outland and Azeroth.
- K'tala is a storyteller, and will gladly tell anyone a troll tale if the mood strikes her, or if she's asked.
- Ananta the windserpent seems to be intelligent, and it's often up in the air whether it's K'tala or Ananta that's really in the lead.