Training wheels

training3

So now that Gurtash is up and about again — mostly — I can finally stop worrying about WHETHER he’s waking up, and get back to a few pieces of business involving him that have been on the shelf for a while now. Side note, by the way — I don’t know who was more relieved when the kid finally came around, me or the healers I had working on him. I might possibly have said something that left them with the impression that if Gurtash didn’t recover, they might be staring down the barrel of a “physician, heal thyself” type of situation, promptly followed by a “dead man, bury thyself” type of situation.

Anyhow, moot point, now that the kid is awake and mostly mended. The healers tell me he’s going to need a little more recovery time, but that doesn’t have to stop me from doing some planning for his training regimen going forward. Because obviously, the fact that he wound up where he was means I haven’t been doing a good enough job whipping him into shape with the warrioring. Which is kind of strange, seeing as I was giving him combat pointers, off and on, before the trainee program even started, and yet, somehow, he’s ended up being less advanced than a bunch of the other kids. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like he’s got no skills whatsoever — he’s got some pretty good aim when it comes to precision strikes, which lots of people struggle with early on, and he moves around well in combat. Generally. When he’s not, you know, getting blindsided by spectral spook dudes. But, speaking of that, he also has all kinds of problems keeping his guard up, and…well, a bunch of issues.

Meanwhile, we have other trainees in his unit who’ve come a lot further a lot faster. I’m not even going to count Korrina, because hell, she comes from the fucking Saurfang family tree, and let’s face it, good luck to the first lumberjack who to get any bright ideas about THAT tree, because the tree would take one chop the lumberjack and then cleave his fucking head clean OFF. With a branch. Which would also somehow be an axe.

So, yeah, not even counting Korrina. But then you’ve got kids like Kulkesh, who’s been shaping up really well with the dual wielding — which served me pretty damn well back in the day before I had Gorehowl passed to me — and even Mirembe, who’s been bouncing around on training assignments since she wasn’t able to come to Pandaria, and seems to embracing the whole shield-slam-tanky thing. Or even someone like Giska, who isn’t even a warrior but has some pretty good moves from her whole Kung-Fu-Panda monk business, and by the way I seriously need to get her to show me how to do that crazy knock-you-out-cold neck pinch thing.

Anyway, point being, I need to come up with something to do with the kid to get him caught up, so this stuff doesn’t keep happening. I might try talking to Lantresor while I’m at it, see if he’s got any suggestions for alternate training methods. He’s pretty seriously badass in his own right and he must have had to train a few apprentice blademasters in his day, so we’ll have to see.

But, there’s still time to worry about calling in Lantresor. I can start easing him back into training by myself the next few days, then go from there. For the time being, it’s just as well for me to lay off and let Gurtash get himself recovered. In the meantime, we were finally able to get around to one other bit of business that was on the shelf for too long.

Some of you might remember that a few weeks ago, one of our kennel masters here in Orgrimmar, Ogunaro Wolfrunner, wrote in to my mailbag and offered one of the wolves he’d been raising — a young worg named Grimjaw — to serve in the Kor’kron mounted forces. He’s a fine wolf. Strong and agile like Ogunaro promised. Still a little on the small side, but then he IS still pretty young, with some more growing to do. But that just puts him that much further ahead of the game.

I brought Gurtash down to the Kor’kron stables earlier today. What with the good job he’s done helping take care of Mortimer the last year or so, I told him, it made sense for him to have a mount of his own to take care of. He was going to be coming up on his riding training soon anyway, so I figured he might as well start right off with the worg he’d be riding for a while. A young one, barely past being a pup — not unlike the kid himself — that could grow with him. Hopefully for a good long while. Well, for however long worgs live, anyway.

I’d planned to give Grimjaw to Gurtash ever since Ogunaro offered him. Obviously, that plan ended up having a big monkey wrench thrown into it for a while, what with Gurtash’s whole fiasco up in Blackrock Spire. As it turns out, though, having the kid out of commission for a couple weeks might have been a blessing in disguise. The one thing I’d been concerned about with Gimjaw was whether he would take to Gurtash. Worgs are pretty strong-willed by nature, and even as a young one, Grimjaw was pretty strong and formidable. And seeing as Gurtash wasn’t exactly an experienced rider yet, it made sense to be a little wary about what would happen if Grimjaw was standoffish and Gurtash maybe tried to force himself on the wolf too much too soon. While Gurtash was out cold, though, I took the opportunity to try to stack the deck for him. After the first few days the kid was resting, I had the healers swap out one of his blankets. I took it over to the stables, and used it to line the bedding in Grimjaw’s stall. Every few days after that, when they changed Gurtash’s sheets, I did the same. Kept a fresh-ish blanket with Grimjaw. Let him pick up the kid’s scent.

It ended up paying off. When I brought Gurtash over to the stables, Grimjaw was napping on his pile of furs and blankets. When he woke up, he made his way over to Gurtash and started sniffing at him. He warmed right up to the kid and kept hovering around near him the whole time we were there. Well, the whole time I was there. After a little while, I needed to go to get to a meeting with Overlord Runthak. At that point, I was going to take Gurtash back over to the Valley of Wisdom to drop him off… only he was too busy playing around with Grimjaw to notice me trying to get his attention. So I figured I’d let him hang out there while I went to my meeting. It was a secure building, after all, with Kor’kron all over the place, so it’s not like he wouldn’t be safe enough by himself.

I was gone for a couple of hours. When I went back to pick him up, he was still at it with the wolf. This time they were running around together in the fenced-in pen they have out back, chasing each other in circles. Gurtash had managed to grab a pigskin somewhere, and every so often he’d toss it across the pen and let Grimjaw take off after it. He didn’t even notice I’d come back at first, so I just hung back and watched them for a little while.

When I finally rounded him up to head back to the Valley of Wisdom, he spent the whole walk over asking me about coming back to the stables tomorrow, and when he can get started on his riding training. Even when I tried to go over the plan for his return to combat training, the kid kept dragging it back to riding instead. Guess I can’t blame him. I dropped him off and checked in with the healers, then tried stopping by the orphanage to see about some other leftover business. Matron Battlewail wasn’t around, though, so I guess I’ll have to try again some other time.

Pretty good day overall, I gotta say. Pretty good.

More soon.

 

[Header image provided by Khizzara from Blog of the Treant, used here with permission and many thanks.]

Battle scars (part 4)
A day in the life
 
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Alayea
February 8, 2016 4:11 pm

Dat be a lot like us trolls an’ our raptor training, only you’re guaranteed ta get sum scars out o’ it. Took several bouts with my raptor before we got an’ understanding, myself.

Good to hear Gurtash be in good spirits as he heals. 🙂

A Concerned Citizen
A Concerned Citizen
February 9, 2016 8:54 am

The less said about the Thalassian War Chicken, the better… There’s a REASON I prefer mechanical mounts, after all.

I know that there are fellow citizens who will disagree, but hear me out. I know wherefrom I speak. Back in my mis-spent youth, before my “grab-a-fencepost-and-swing-for-all-you’re-worth-because-you-don’t-want-to-be-eaten-by-zombies” phase, I was a junior sports writer covering the hawkstrider racing beat. Foul, vile-tempered beasts, those. Neither bright nor stable. But fast. And surprisingly strong. They’ll actually carry a Tauren, although not particularly well.

You’ll never catch *me* riding one, though.

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