The Farraki of Zandalar
To Tame a Krolusk
I ventured on a skiff set out from Yojamba Isle in Stranglethorn Vale the Port of Zandalar. I knew we were near Zuldazar when I saw the obnoxious vibrant green colors of the fauna there. Upon docking, I set out for the Farraki Quarter to reacquaint myself with some old friends.
Durin' my absence from the Grim's activity on the Broken Isles, I had familiarized myself with my own tribe back in Vol'dun. I never ventured so far as the city, for I had deserted the Zandalari in the past, and I knew that my return would not be treated so kindly, and much less so than if they had merely captured an ordinary member of the Horde.
There I stayed once, in the desert, where I discovered my tribesmen at Atul'Aman, a magnificent pyramid that might well become a new Farraki capitol someday. They lived on the land, drinkin' water from cacti while eating scorpion and snake meat through long hunts. I myself did not hunt, but I did bring respect to myself by long stories of treachery durin' the Thunder King's reign.
Farraki love treachery and gossip. It is like honey, but for the ears. We are a tribe hardened by it. And we see straight through false cries of virtue, honor, and respect when some undeservin' nobody starts talkin' too loud. That always signals some weak fool be tryin' to invoke some sort of ethos outta the strong so he can play them to his advantage.
Respect is not a fact of life inherent in our culture given to just anybody. It must be demonstrated. Power struggles through the strength of will earn one a place of authority with my people, not inheritance or some stupid display of honor and smooth-talkin'.
That is why I frequently despise all members of the Horde outside of the Grim, and yet people scratch their heads and wonder why I be such an aberration, or so that is how they think. Ptah, if they had any common sense, they'd see straight at it.
Nevertheless, my time in Vol'dun got me in touch with some contacts who I desperately needed.
I set out for the Farraki Quarter and laid low. No guards questioned me, neither did any recognize me. My face mask and Bwonsamdi ornamented armor purchased me free passage through the city, for Bwonsamdi be the true boss-mon now.
When I arrived, I met a Krolusk Tamer named Krillok. He used to raise and train basilisks back in Zul'Farrak, but Zandalar has no basilisks on it. They got Krolusks instead. This was good with me, for I approached Krillok and bargained with him while ridin' my skeletal raptor, one that I had raised in honor of Bwonsamdi after I had returned to Dazar'alor.
Krillok looked at me with uncertainty, for I was already mounted. "What'chu here for?" He asked.
"Need a big ole biter, mon." I told him.
He merely snorted and gestured I follow him.
Together we went to the Krolusk pit in the Farraki Quarter. There were a few in the cage, two of which were aggressive males snappin' at one another while the females brooded over some eggs. "These be my selection." He pointed towards the middle of the pit. "De females aren't for sale. I need dem or my business will come to an untimely end."
"Lemme take one of those big ones off your hands."
He nodded and whistled. Four Farraki rallied by the pen. With long polearms, they unhinged a dense iron lock at the front of the gate. The gate itself was made of flexible Yojamba wood, givin' the pen a nice round shape. One row of Yojamba wood settled at the bottom, another for the middle, and another at the top of the pen. Some wood acted as supportin' beams, bendin' inwards towards the pen like the oasis trees they had once been. The wood beams supported barbed wire knotted into jagged points facin' inward towards the Krolusks. The pit itself was full of sand, the proper environment for raisin' them in.
The knots were by design, not only to keep the gate strong, but to keep rampagin' krolusks from breakin' down the gate and terrorizin' the Farraki. The barbed wire would scratch them up and send them flailin' back into the pit, preventin' them from tearin' up the Yojamba wood and bustin' down the gate. Krolusks be strong creatures, capable of buryin' deep into the earth, but their specialty be settin' up tunnelin' networks, not layin' siege to buildings.
"These two males contest with one another for matin' rights with the females. Both have had their fair share and I'm in no danger of runnin' into poor-quality inbred krolusks soon. Look around ya." He pointed with an outstretched arm to seven nested females protectively sheltering eggs along the sides of the fences. Every single one of them had anywhere between four or a dozen eggs, and they all looked with anxious fear at Krillok, seeming ready to bite him in two to protect their young.
Krillok saw my expression, which must have been one of defensiveness, before burstin' out in laughter. "No worries, mon." He said, unstrapping a whip from his side. Krillok possessed a barbed, dark lash made of thick leather and what appeared to be dried blood. He flicked it in the air, making a "thwack" sound, and instantly two growlin' mothers who misliked his steppin' through the pen eased back and buried themselves under a thin layer of sand.
"Hah hah hah, I always love doin' dat." He told me.
A roar shook the pen violently. It was so loud that I thought some of the Yojamba wood might come topplin' down, but the barbed wire keepin' the pen together merely allowed for the top row of wood to sway back and forth in the wind before settlin' back down to normal.
Krillok ducked and a powerful whiplash struck me as a cyclone of sand and wind knocked me off my feet.
"Get ready for some fun now, mon!" Krillok shouted, flailin' his whip around the sand pit.
For a moment, it seemed like they were all comin' for us.
I kept my head low and raised my face mask over my eyes. In a sandstorm, the vicious little grains could tear your vision right up. There be no use for eyes with a krolusk attack like this. The best thing to do would be to wait a moment, get a feel for what's happenin', and lash out where ya hear the closest sounds.
Krillok kept whippin' and whippin', eventually he snagged the shell of a krolusk. I could hear it, not see it. The din rose even louder as the male krolusk trampled about somewhere to my right. It screamed a hideous outcry of somberin' pain and agony.
"Now now now. We got guests. How'm I s'pposed ta sell ya if ya misbehave like this?" Krillok taunted the beast.
A hot blast of shiftin' air struck me as the krolusk eased itself in front of me. The beast was breathin' heavily, but it was bleedin' a dark red out from the top left side of its shell where a barbed hook was in it. I knew that was the end of its defiance right then and there. Krillok looked at me as I lowered my mask. "Yes, yes. I'll take it."
The troll sneered. "I didn't say de price."
"Clearly, you do not need such violence in your pit." I warned him.
"Ya be right about dat, but I'm gonna need no gold from ya."
"Oh?" I asked him, shocked. I wasn't about to do him any bounty work, odd jobs, or krolusk raisin' for him myself. I had a task at hand.
"I need ya skeletal raptor."
"I see." I told him flatly. "Do ya know I'm not exactly favored by de Zandalari? I need it to show my loyalty to Bwonsamdi. That is the only way they will not strike me down."
"Hmph. I do not see why you came here den."
"I need a mount that can dig."
"It will cost you."
"Take it." I offered with a whistle that sent the skeleton runnin' my direction. "It don't got no spirit. You don't need to be trainin' it either. Just let it do as you require."
"Yes. Dat is why I need it. We have an agreement?"
"I give you my reins, and you give me that whip."
Krillok handed it over to me. I unhooked a barbed end from the krolusk and laid a hand on its firm shell-side. It groaned and rested with its stomach flat on the ground. Though it had won the battle against the other male in the pen, it was badly injured, bleedin', and too tired to resist any further. If I had not personally been familiar with how aggressive these creatures be, I would've cursed Krillok then and there for his poor handlin' of such a majestic creature.
I could feel the spirit of the beast. Though it appeared outwardly weary, on the inside there was fiery hate. Its heart burned like a ragin' inferno, a fire with flames lickin' the sky in desperate hunger for more to consume.
Indeed, this mount was perfect. I thanked Krillok and hopped on its rigid spine. I knew just what to call it, too: