Voodoo Child Edit
The youngest daughter of Oozoolie and Bashta, Zjinga was, in her youth, all at once a child of the wild places and the ever-responsible caretaker of her older brother Daako. Yet when adolescence ended and it was time to settle down, Zjinga wanted nothing to do with mates or children or quiet huts on Sen'jin's sandy shores. Something of a disobedient runaway, Zjinga became a conscript of the Horde, if only for the freedom and adventure it brought.
The Red Queen Edit
Once her tribe had settled on the coast of Durotar, Zjinga's true childhood began. There was no more running and hiding, no more fighting for a place to call their own - at least until Zalazane. But even with the danger of the rogue Witch Doctor, the young she-troll took to the untamed portions of the Echo Isles with her own 'tribe', playing-acting at their jungle heritage amongst the forests and beasts. But even as they played, Daako was already being groomed for the priesthood, perhaps to even be sent as far as Yojamba to study with the mysterious Zandalari. Yet Daako wanted nothing of it, especially not to leave behind his family and his home. Experiments in the arcane and the esoteric voodoo, combined with certain hallucinogenic 'juju' essentially fried Daako's mind. He was left thoroughly addled, his hair seared permanantly off by a spell gone awry.
His recovery was long and tedious, Zjinga left to look after him to keep him out of mischief that would surely harm him, given his stunted mind. For long years Zjinga tended her brother, in between her own studies and the chores of any young troll woman. When finally, at long last, Daako's mind mended, he abruptly vanished. He claimed it was out of remorse for the shame he had brought his family and his tribe. It was now solely up to Zjinga to carry the family honor, and the best way for any she-troll to do that was clear. Marriage. Her mother's brother, Ujayli, was a Witch Doctor of some reknown in small little Sen'jin, and he had in his care an apprentice named Bayayo, of age with Zjinga. And mating the apprentice of someone with Ujayli's status would bring great honor indeed. There was one problem; Zjinga wanted nothing to do with it. Not only did she resist wanting to be 'caged' to a mate and the ensuing children, but Bayayo himself was an incurable lech, and had pestered not only Zjinga, but anyone else of even the faintest female persuasion.
So Zjinga instead took the much more difficult route to honor and glory. She packed her things and left with the sunrise, for the Valley of Trials and life as a soldier of the Horde.
Where the Wild Things Are Edit
Her skills as a hunter of the Horde were groomed during her early stays with the seasoned veterann in the Valley. She returned to the Echo Isles briefly then, to find herself a suitable hunting companion. Her first was a fat, furry, chronically lazy tiger she called Pudge. He was suitable enough at times, but she was a troll, and the earmark of a great troll hunter was the tracking and taming of a raptor. Unsatisfied with the raptors found in Durotar, she set off for the Barrens. It was quite by accident that she stumbled into the labyrinth called the Wailing Caverns, and the beasts who prowled their depths. There she met the mean-spirited, utterly vicious raptor that would be her companion through many ordeals; Naaza. Providence won out in the end, and the raptor consented to the partnership, becoming fiercely loyal and even rather over-protective of his new master.
The time came for Zjinga to return home. Not to Sen'jin, but to her 'true' home, Stranglethorn Vale. There amongst the jungle she seemed to rediscover her heritage, Naaza steadfast by her side. He would come to make the ultimate sacrifice in that jungle, saving her life after the pair unknowningly stumbled into an ogre mound. She too would have died had Daako not arrived like a hero out of a fairy story, returning her to Grom'gol to tend her wounds. Inconsolable as she was over Naaza's death, Zjinga was ready to lay aside her duties and return home, defeated. The mending of her spirit and a reprieve from her grief came in the weak, runty, near-starved bundle of fur Daako brought to her one night. It was a panther cub, left to die in the wilderness. Her way with animals saved his life, and he in some way saved hers. He was soon named Orleans, and when both were healthy enough, Zjinga set out on her way again, her resolve steeled.
The Raptor Master and the Nightsong Militia Edit
Happenstance, fate, or perhaps hilarious irony caught up with Zjinga, one scorching hot day in Orgrimmar. It was by pure chance that she was where she was, catching up with old friends when she saw him. An exiled ice troll, that was obvious. The raptor at his side, however, was what caught her attention. She had no raptor companion, not since Naaza had died, save for her mount, Suliman. So perhaps it was a passing fancy, or a hero crush, but Zjinga, nearly a year to the day when she set out from Sen'jin unwilling to be mated, fell quickly in love with the most unseeming of trolls. He was indeed an exile, a Drakkari no less, on probationary status with the Horde. Aketsu the Daggermaw was his name, and his domain was the raptor.
The relationship between the two budded quickly. She had indeed recently joined the same clan as he, a tight-knit group who honored the memory of a fallen hero, Grom Hellscream, and obeyed every command of the Warchief with great zeal. But beyond that, they were a family across all walks of life. Zjinga had always had a startling lack of prejudice and a surplus of love for all things. She seemed to love, or at the very least befriend, everyone and everything. And now, she had not only the friendship of guildmates, but the love of a mate of her very own, someone as wild and untamed as she.
Outlands and The Fearless Edit
The Dark Portal's opening was one of the few things that put a true fear into Zjinga. Yet she had the support of the Militia, as well as that of her mate, and persevered, even taking to her side some of the strange beasts that populated the Outlands. Yet, in another fine display of irony, Zjinga nearly fell to ogres, these ones Gronn-slaves of Blade's Edge. And once again, a raptor came to her aid. Disobeying his ogre masters, one of the strange raptors saved her from their wrath. And when all was said and done and Zjinga safe, the beast regarded her with a familiar look in its eyes, and in that moment, Zjinga knew. This was Naaza, reborn and waiting for her on that shattered world. She called him J'baari, meaning fearless.
Fortunately for Zjinga, her trials in the Outlands were ordinary and unremarkable. (Save for her eventual adoption by the Mag'Har of Nagrand.) The most glorious moment of her life was soon to arrive, after she and Aketsu had settled in their home in Garadar. It was the birth of her daughter, Sash'ara. The birth was not easy, however, and nearly cost Zjinga her life. With the help of the shamanistic magic of her beloved Uncle Ujayli, Zjinga recovered. However, that happiness was a fleeting thing.
For reasons unknown, reasons that plagued her with guilt and shame, her beloved mate's affections waned. Without warning, without a word or backwards glance, Aketsu left as mysteriously as he had arrived in her life, leaving behind a new mother and his only child. Fortunately for the infant, Zjinga's common sense prevailed over her despair, and she turned to her family, both blood kin and extended, for aid. Mother, father, brother, uncle and village woman alike helped to care for the baby. Zjinga sometimes stayed with them in Orgrimmar, where Orleans retired to the comfortable life of beloved housecat, or in Sen'jin, where she allowed her grief to pour forth out of the way of prying eyes.
Another Exile? Edit
It was in Sen'jin where she would meet Za'kala. He had abandoned the Bloodscalps of Stranglethorn and come to live amongst the Darkspear, and it was there that he met the she-troll quietly crying in the night. He mended her hurts as best as he could, at first a comforting shoulder and then, gradually, a lover. It was his courage that helped her to brave the frozen wastes of Northrend, and with not only his strength, but the strength of that motley assortment she calls kin, Zjinga faces the future unafraid.
People seem to be a little stunned when I tell them of all the pets Zjinga's tamed over the years. So for fun, I've listed them all here, linking to their respective Petopia pages.
- Pudge : Durotar Tiger
- Naaza : Deviate Stalker
- Orleans : Panther
- Roshi : Aku'mai Fisher
- Kandeldandel : Ironbeak Owl
- Scuttle : Razorfang Ravager
- Jbaari : Daggermaw Blackhide
- Bronx : Warp Chaser
- Samedi : Skettis Kaliri
- Izzard : Lost Torranache
- Damballah : Chillwind Ravager
- Mojo : Vargul Blighthound
- Damballah (version 2.0!) : Goretalon Matriarch
- Thud : Ironhide Devilsaur
Critters in use: Mojo, Damballah v.2, Bronx, and the beloved Big Dumb Dog, Thud. That final spot is reserved for Loque'nahak if I can ever find the blasted thing!