Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Delgadita's Account & A Gifted Secret Lantern #FFW

a belated #FFW gift from Escapist Scrawl

The air was heavy with moisture; it weighed down on the frail Undead as she poked around the rabbit trails of Feralas. The day had just past noon, but the land seemed closer to dusk, the way the mist and clouds shrouded the sun. Searchingly she poked at some brushes with her staff, nothing stirred. Determined to corner her prize, she continued jabbing at clumps of grass, shaking the nearest bush, and kicking clods of mud into burrows.

Delgadita in a fit of frustration swung her staff high and whacked a nearby rock, the size of a rat, sending it pinging off a tree before it crashed into some rushes next to a stream. Suddenly a streak of white darted out from under the cover of the bank. This was what she had been waiting to see all day.

The chase was on. She whistled for her quick footed gazelle fawn to catch up with it. Another of her pets, a skunk shambled quickly after, and was then followed by a chicken. This trio of battle ready pets would trap this white elfin rabbit, and for their efforts there would be treats for all when they finally arrived in Camp Mojache.

The wild rabbit was corned and tried to burrow out an escape in order to avoid the first stomp from the gazelle. Realizing the futility of flight it turned to fight. The rabbit spun to come up behind the gazelle and gave it a forceful, thumping kick. The gazelle was licking its wounds as the rabbit turned to burrow again, but the ever clever gazelle caught the critter off guard and stomped its fluffy tail, weakening it slightly. The enraged rabbit countered with another kick, making the gazelle's forelegs buckle. The gazelle bleated for help, and then the skunk came barreling in.

The skunk let off a horrible stench, confusing the rabbit, causing its next kick to miss. The odorous beast, impervious to its own smell, slashed repeatedly at the rabbit, weakening it further. He poised for another attack spray to neutralize the furry menace they had been searching for all day.

Delgadita saw her opportunity, and threw down her trap, securing the rabbit from any unnecessary additional harm. She did after all want to add this creature to her collection alive. The panicked rabbit squeaked in protest.

The caged animal's noise alerted a nearby squirrel who began throwing acorns at the skunk. The skunk scampered away to escape the barrage, but the chicken came to its rescue. The hen squawked and kicked an egg at the squirrel. The chicken then launched itself and flew over to the acorn assilant and began beating the squirrel in the face with her wings.

Chattering angrily, the squirrel ran off, leaving Delgadita and her brood with their prize. Calling to her animal friends she put them back in their carriers, and scooped up the occupied trap. The rabbit was unconscious, yet breathing normally. She would have to care for it at the camp.

The sun had gone down fully by the time Delgadit and her critters entered Camp Mojache. They headed straight for the medical tent; she needed some supplies to heal her elusive white rabbit, as well as something to splint the poor gazelle's front legs.

As she stepped in from the evening air, a fire was glowing in the middle of the structure, which cleverly had an opening just big enough to vent out the smoke through the ceiling. A female Tauren sat near the fire looking sad and worried. This Tauren Druid from the look of her armor was also holding a pet of her own. There were other healers in the tent working on another female Tauren who looked a bit worse for the wear.

A Troll with a bloodied apron and a handful of bandages noticed her standing there. "Can you handle yourself?"

"As long as I have a few specific supplies to tend to my pets." Delgadita replied shortly. She asked quickly to not bother the Troll more then needed. "Where can I find some strips of clean linen, fresh peacebloom, and several small, straight sticks to use as a brace?"

"Near the door where you came in there are some herbs in a clay pot. We are short on linen, but there should be some kindling at the back of the tent that is straight enough."

The resourceful Forsaken rounded up what supplies were available, and then pulled her talbard over her shoulders. Never very fond of the gaudy pink item, she ripped it into strips and used it to splint the gazelle's legs. Settling the fawn by the fire, she then tended to the rabbit. After bruising the peacebloom she applied it to the scratches the skunk had inflicted. With another strip of her talbard, she wrapped the wounded rabbit snugly. Satisfied that sleep would finish mending the wound, she gently placed the rabbit into its cage. She then pulled out a small sack of sweet oats and a box of crunchy grubs as treats for her team to feast on. Delgadita mentally noted that she would have to pick up some carrots or savory greens for her new companion.

"Troll. May I leave these two to convalesce while I find a spot in the inn to spend the night?"

"They be in cages, for sure they can can stay." The Troll nodded agreeably. "Best move them from the fire so they don't get eaten for dinner accidentally. Been awhile since we tasted fresh gazelle meat or had stewed rabbit." He licking his lips while he talked, his eye twinkled as if he was thinking about which recipe to use already.

Delgadita looked at the Tauren sitting by the fire as she headed out to the inn. Silently the Tauren shook her head letting her fellow Horde member know that her pets would not end up on the feast table.

Camp Mojache's inn was festively decorated with colored lights strung high in the rafters. A tree thrice the size of the biggest Tauren stood in the center of the large main room. The ornaments were shattered reminders of the similar ornaments on the tree in her past life. Amongst the broken, faded bobbles hung axes, swords, shrunken heads, and handmade Horde symbols. A heavy iron chain was strung around the tree like garland. There were a few packages under the tree, wrapped in bits of colorful cloth and hide, tied with string.

Delgadita walked up to the innkeeper and asked, "Do you have a cot or run available for me to spend the night?"
"Upstairs." Replied the Innkeeper Greul gruffly. "You should be undisturbed tonight. Most everyone is down near the Camp proper, waiting for the Commander to allow his favorite Rogue to cut up some Night Elf scum."

Nodding to the innkeeper the weary Undead Priest climbed the stairs to the sleep room. She found a small chair next to a bear skin rug and hung her pack from the back of the chair.

Laying down on the rug, tired more mentally then physically, she felt drained. She wondered if the Undead ever would physically tire out before their mind became exhausted. Crossing her arms over her chest, more from habit than anything else, she tried to clear her head to rest. The chance to steal a brief moment of peace was so rare for her, so she closed her eyes.

The night was mostly quiet except save for the Goblin Commander's voice piercing the night. His voice carried up to where Delgadita was laying, it sounded like he was posturing and cruelly making someone the target of his rhetoric. She decided to get up, leaving her pack behind, and see the reason for this event.

There was a rise in the layout of Camp Mojache overlooking the rest of the land, to where she was just far enough away to be out of line of sight but close enough to witness the happenings. By the light of the bonfire, Delgadita could see the Night Elf was young for his race; although probably much older than many of those gathered below.

Near this sole Alliance member a hungry looking Troll, daggers dripping with some noxious substance, stood ready to pounce. The Commander was going on about how this Night Elf had conspired to get in behind enemy lines by helping a hurting Tauren Druid. He was clearly painting him as no innocent Druid, but rather a force to be dealt with. And by the looks of it, deal with him they would. The Goblin was trying very hard to gain the crowds respect and here was the perfect opportunity. Most Horde were happy to make an example of one Alliance member for the sins of the many.

The Commander gestured to the Troll, and she mimicked slashing the prisoner's throat.

This felt wrong. Delgadita felt compelled to intervene somehow. So she silently joined the rest of the rest of the crowd and worked her way to the front of the pack. An idea solidified as she positioned herself within range of the Commander and the lone Night Elf Druid. She muttered the words to one of her spells and cast it on the Goblin.

"I am insecure in my leadership... I am only torturing this Night Elf to earn your favor." The Commander said under the spell of Confession, a form of mind control that Delgadita had cast as a Shadow Priest.

The crowd started to murmur among themselves. The confused Troll looked to the Commander for some hint of clarification. Still powerless to stop his confession, the Goblin stammered. "I will make him suffer for any possible information on the Alliance movements in the area. He will not be set free. He is our enemy!"

The crowd was now divided over this sudden outburst, it had created an atmosphere of chaos. Their voices rose in a jumble as they argued what they should do next.

This was Delgadita's one opportunity. She unhooked a small enchanted lantern from her belt and emerging from the shadows, she raced to stand behind the lone Druid.

"May it lead you through the darkness and back into the light. Happy Winter's Veil. I wish there was more I could do for you."

The surprised Night Elf tucked the gift within his waistband secretly to hide it under his plain tunic.

As Delgadita slipped away into the shadows of the rear of the crowd, she heard the Commander's voice yelling out once again.

"Skrarto! Begin your craft for which you have so earned your reputation! Let us see what colors this wretch can bleed."

Back in the inn Delgadita arranged her things quickly so that she could leave as soon as the guard changed. She closed her eyes, and hoped that her small gift could help that poor soul see another dawn.

Monday, October 22, 2012

The Danger of Druids and Daggers

By the time the three Druids neared Camp Mojache the day was already giving way into the dusk hour. Draccus Moonsayer was walking in the rear of the procession behind Akabeko Runetotem who was carrying Karegina Runetotem, who had been wounded severally and needed further treatment from other healers, on her back while transformed into a magnificent Stag.
He was questioning the wisdom of walking into a hostile encampment silently to himself. He was not questioning the trust he placed in these two Sister Druids though. They had shown a deservingness of his trust by offering him friendship and reaffirming their bond to one another as members of the Cenarion Circle.
Slow stalking shadows crept up along the dirt path that bordered a small lake that had a waterfall pouring into it at one end. The steady rumbling of the waterfall muffled the noise of the party’s approach. The two Horde guards that were on watch were not alerted until they were almost directly on top of one another.
“Halt! Who dare goes there unannounced so near a Horde Outpost?” A rough voice barked out to the traveling trio.
Out of the bushes stepped a large male Orc that was easily seven feet tall with a muscular build that showed his races most notable trait, raw strength and brute power. He held in one hand a freshly lit torch that illuminated the area, and in his other hand he grasped a two-handed bone mace that was stained from its previous victims.
“I will not ask again who it is that draws near to our Outpost. The next questions to be asked will be at the end of my weapon here.” He strained his eyes to see the faces of those he addressed. The Orc flexed his hand around the leather wrapped handle of the bone mace.
“What are we going to do about getting Sister Karegina past this aggressive brute of an Orc?” Draccus asked Akabeko through their shared thoughts. “She needs additional healing and rest, not to suffer another fight.”
“Trust me Draccus. Let me handle this situation.”  Akabeko reassured her Brother Druid. “I will need to transform back into my Tauren form to communicate with this guard. Members of the Horde who are not a part of the Cenarion Circle do not share our special link. Stay close to my side and help Karegina as able.”
There is an ongoing language and communication barrier between the two opposing factions, the Alliance and the Horde. Within each faction there are several diverse racial dialects that have their own distinct language structure. To an untrained ear someone might only hear grunts, barks, grumbles, groans, screeches, hisses, or noises wholly unfamiliar. There are a few scattered scribes, scholars, and those not in a leadership position that speak Common. Common language allows for communication across all lines, but this universal bridge is more rarely crossed then it should be. Peoples pride and prejudices often kept them cut off from such interactions.
After gently lowering Karegina to the ground where she could stand with the assistance of Draccus supporting her weight. A mist of transformation enveloped the mighty Stag, and now there stood in its place a proud female Tauren wearing regal leather armor.
Akabeko Runetotem was a capable Druid in her own right having fought numerous foes across all of Azeroth. The armor she wore was crafted by the best leatherworkers available. The head, shoulder, chest, and leg pieces had the markings of attention to detail of the highest order. The materials were of the most exotic and magical of properties, and yet they still retained the durability needed for combat readiness. She had in her hands a one-handed mace that looked like the miniature version of a dragon head and in her other an offhand weapon that could possibly be a powerful artifact of some sort.
“I am Lady Akabeko of the Runetotem Tribe, a respected Sister of the Cenarion Circle, and an accomplished member of the Horde on several campaigns. And as such, this Druid does not answer to threatening questions from a simple guard.” She pointed her mace straight at the Orc guard.
“I am on a mission. You may escort us into Camp if you like, but you will not threaten my party again.”
The second Horde guard had remained hidden and had silently observed the situation unfold. From its concealed vantage point the guard realized it needed to intercede before the Orc guard acted impulsively and attacked the Druid that had just checked him down a few pegs.
While looking for an appropriate opportunity to break up the tension or at least create a more favorable atmosphere to use to their benefit, the guard’s eyes went wide when spotting the Night Elf among the three travelers.
Immediately the guard’s hands went for the pair of daggers that were tucked in its belt. These weapons were even deadlier in the hands of an Assassin Rogue that had fought friend and foe alike for many years.
“Night Elf wretch!” Spat the guard through tusks protruding from the sides of its mouth. “Move one more step and I will carve you to pieces, starting with those glowing eyes of yours.” The Troll guard spoke broken Common with a very thick accent so that the Night Elf could understand its vile hatred of him and his race.
There had been a feud going back through the ages between the Kaldorei and all the various Troll empires. Some historians suggest in ancient scrolls that before the Sundering of Kalimdor on Azeroth that there was a great civil war between the Elves, and that the defeated were cast out and over a couple millennium they became the transfigured race know as Trolls. This was pure speculation, but the animosity each felt towards the other was as old as the ancient forests.
“Hold fast Skrarto.” The large Orc commanded the Rogue that looked ready to sprint over and start attacking out of pure spite.
 “I will not have you poking holes in that Alliance member just yet. You can keep you personal vendetta on cool down until we bring everyone into Camp Narche. Let the Commander of the outpost decide what is to be done with him.”
“Fine. But I will personally be guarding that enemy of the Horde, and I claim first right to one-on-one combat in the Arena if that is his doomed fated.” Skrarto answered sourly.
“Enough of this posturing and postponing!” Akabeko yelled at both guards that were standing in front of her. She had had enough of them both. The Orc guard appeared to be a thug and tool of the local chain of command, and the Troll guard was a mercenary at best a liability at worst. She needed to get this situation moving.
“I have a Sister Druid standing over there next to that Alliance Night Elf who needs further healing from an attack that was stopped by that same Alliance Night Elf, who would have been killed had he not intervened.”
“Let us proceed with haste. Darkness is closing in fast and dangerous creatures are lurking about.” A sideways glance was directed at Skrarto whose eyes still beamed with a hunger for a fight.
After they started off down the path Draccus could hear the Orc grumbling to himself as Akabeko and him carried Karegina between their strong arms. Skrarto fell in behind Draccus almost as if the Rogue had shadow danced in an instant.
“Make no mistake Kaldorei trespasser I would gladly garrote you and leave your body in the bushes.” The female Troll Rogue whispered in his ear. “But hopefully Commander Blazeburner of Camp Mojache either has another horror awaiting you or he will grant me the honor of killing you in single combat.”
After a few minutes of travel they arrived in Camp Mojache proper.
There was quite a commotion when the news traveled throughout the encampment that two Tauren Druids and a Night Elf had arrived under the escort of Lagtovar and Skrarto. The gathering crowd circled around them and many of the faces clearly showed open disdain for an Alliance member in their midst.
Two towering Warriors stood with their massive battle axes resting in front of them while they licked their lips and snickered to one another. Some unspoken bet about which one of them could split a foe in half with a powerful single stoke from their blades.
There were many races that made up the throng: Orcs, Trolls, a few Tauren, one Blood Elf, and a hooded figure that was a part of the Forsaken. The cloaked undead individual looked out with lifeless eyes that peered from deep sockets that used to be covered in flesh.
It was this last figure standing out in stark contrast in the Horde crowd that sent chills running through Draccus. The unnatural state of death, that which had been reanimated from the grave, ran against everything that he had come to love and respect about life. There was a dark evil grin across the bony face that stared at him from behind the ash grey hood that made his flesh crawl.
At the feet of this walking corpse there danced an Imp about a foot tall that had the blackest of black skin and eyes that burned like fire. Unbeknownst to Draccus Moonsayer this sinister being and his pet were the personal interrogator and torturer for Commander Blazeburner. He was a feared Affliction Warlock that even the Warchief Garrosh Hellscream had requested to be removed from Orgrimmar.
The crowd grew as silent as the grave when the Commander parted those standing around the newcomers and stood in the center of the circle. He wore a decorative robe that had a satin black base with elaborate patterns of flames which climbed up from the bottom of the helm line. He had on an outer layer jacket that was padded and held many smaller pockets for all his potions and spell reagents. He carried with him a simple looking staff, crafted from the purest Mithril topped with a brilliant ruby gem that sparkled.
Draccus Moosayer was expecting a taller figure, one that swayed people with their very presence, someone that exuded a noble birth, a leader capable of reining all the different races to their will. Who now stood before him was a bit of a surprise.
The Commander was a Goblin barely three feet tall with a patch of hair atop his head and a toothy smile. He had beady red eyes that bore judgment on the three Druids, weighing what he should do, all the while entertaining ideas of profit and control over the Horde staying in his outpost.
Clearing his throat the Commander began to speak in Orcish, the unified language of the Horde. “We have a gift this night in the form of a Night Elf prisoner.”
Akabeko Runetotem started to interrupt and counter that false claim, to state the truth that this same Night Elf was a member of the Cenarion Circle, and that he had helped a Horde member justly. But one glaring stare from the Goblin and her voice was shut up. She had been silenced with a spell.
“I am so sorry Draccus.” Akabeko pleaded with her thoughts reaching out to her Brother Druid. “I had no idea that we would receive this kind reception at the hands of the Horde. Camp Mojache once used to be a peaceful place, a place of refuge from the wilds of Feralas.”
“Take these two Tauren Druids to the first-aid building near the back of the Camp. One of them appears to have suffered injuries and needs medical care.” The Goblin gestured towards the two Warriors. He flashed a devious smile while turning back to face the object of his attention.
There was little that could be done at the moment but comply with the instructions of the Commander while his guards carried out his will. There had been a dramatic shift in policy recently. Where once order and justice had ruled, what now governed was a mob set on blood and racial warfare.
Akabeko Runetotem helped her sister Karegina Runetotem walk slowly away under the escort of the two Warriors. She cast her face back to the crowd and saw Draccus’s face briefly. She tried to hide the tears she was shedding for her Brother Druid. He was at the mercy of the Horde for now. She vowed she would find a way to help him.
“Time we have some fun and information from this Night Elf.” Commander Blazerburner looked to Skrarto with his hands out wide. “Please translate for me the best way you can.”
The female Troll Rogue reached into a small leather pouch and started to coat her daggers in a green slimy substance. “This may hurt a little as the poison has a bit of a sting. It is meant to keep you awake and alert to what lies ahead for you.” Skrarto closed the distance to Draccus within melee range.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

A Friend in Feralas

Passing through the Dream Bough Portal back into the world of Azeroth was like stepping through a vertical wall of water. The sensation was as refreshing as swimming in a cold stream on a hot summer day. The magical properties of this mystique doorway between Realms raced across the surface like a blanket of faerie fire.
Draccus Moonsayer opened his eyes expecting to see the lush landscape of the Ashenvale Forest in front of him. What he now looked upon was nothing like the land he had left behind. He had been transported to an ancient stone platform that was situated on a small island in the middle of a lake.
The lake was surrounded by tall cliffs and towering trees that blocked out large portions of the sun. The air was damp and heavy with humidity. The land was an enormous basin that spread out into a thick rain forest. On the shore there were clusters of undergrowth covering the ground where small creatures scurried back and forth.
This area was indeed wild, the place reminded Draccus of some the regions within the Emerald Dream. Nature here sung a different song though, but because his Kaldorei ears had been disciplined to hear the smallest of noises and pickup on the melodies of life around him, he was able to fully immerse himself in the environment around him.
“How did I end up here in this jungle?” Draccus muttered aloud to himself.
A bush nearby shook slightly at the sound of his voice and out flew a winged creature.
The teal green painting of the creature’s skin reflected the water’s surface as it hovered in place a few yards away. A prominent feature that stood out the most to the surprised Druid was the creature’s wings. Flapping rhythmically in mid air the pair of leathery wings looked almost translucent with patterns that resembled stained glass. The beautiful creature had a tail that curled and bounced behind it. Its eyes looked back at the disturbance to its perch.
Chirp. Chirp. Click. Chirp.
Draccus Moonsayer’s memory was tripped when the creature in front of him made the curious noise back at him. He had read in a tome ages ago that there were creatures such as the one before him called Sprite Darters. They had been pets to the High Borne Elves that lived in the famed City of Dire Maul.
These magical creatures possessed intelligence and a strong willed nature that made them perfect companions for Mages and Priests. Sometimes others in Kaldorei in society would take them as pets as well, but only if the owner was up to mischievous traits these creatures exhibited often. Over the centuries since the fall of Dire Maul the remaining Sprite Darters had returned to the wild and took up their playful and troublesome ways on other the animals and any passing travelers.
This curious Sprite Darter looked back at Draccus with its beady blue eyes.
Just as Draccus was about to hold out his hand to show no harm intended, another louder and bigger creature crashed through the bushes at the bottom of the ancient stone platform. This beast was easily five hundred pounds. This animal was covered in matted fur and was showing its sharp teeth from an open jaw.
This crazed bear was in a fit of rage. Thrashing his head back and forth angrily he roared a deep bellow. After spotting the Druid standing atop of the structure holding nothing but a simple wooden staff, he turned and faced his new prey. A crimson string of drool dripped from his mouth, the blood of a fresh kill most likely.
Slowly with a malicious step the bear started to climb the stone ramp.
There was little time to think. Pure adrenaline and instinct kicked in as Draccus grabbed his staff in both hands and held it out in front of him as he counter charged. Stealing the advantage of surprise and gaining momentum, he ran down to meet the bear head on.
The bear snapped his jaw shut just inches short after Draccus had collided with him bringing the staff squarely down on his nose. The stunned beast was only dazed for a second. That stolen second was enough for Draccus to sidestep the large gruesome bear and deliver another strike to the head.
Anything to buy him more time to escape was worth the effort.
Draccus Moonsayer planted his feet firmly on the ground after jumping the remaining distance to put some space between himself and the bear he had just further enraged. He angled his body forward to propel him on the balls of his bare feet. Lacking the proper armor or an edged weapon made defense a priority.
He was stopped in his tracks instantly by what he discovered on the ground in front of him. The previous target of the bear’s aggression lay on its side. A faint noise of someone gasping for breath and struggling against overwhelming pain escaped the lips of the body curled up in agony.
The prone figure was covered in soft brown fur and had hooves where normally feet would be. The pained victim was larger than most Night Elves Draccus knew. He noticed two small horns, the markings of the Tauren race.
The threat behind him was still looming closer and closer with each passing second. But in good conscience he could not leave this casualty to the mercy of this bear.
Help me.” A weakened feminine voice reached out to Draccus in his mind. “I was attacked and I am severally wounded. I would attempt to heal myself but the effort to do so might drain the rest of my mana.”
“Mana?” Draccus asked aloud, because he was confused on what she was referring to.
Reaching over to see how grievous the injury was and what aid he might provide, Draccus saw a large bite along the side where a stream of blood seeped out and where the flesh had been ripped open. Having studied anatomy in his early education he roughly placed the injury where a gallbladder normally would have been.
“Hold on friend. Let me see if I can take care of this beast and then we will find help for you.” Draccus said laying a hand gently on her shoulder to comfort her, what little he could at the moment.
Since apparently this bear had a taste for sentient flesh and had no regard for self preservation, Draccus had no choice but to eliminate the threat from causing further harm. The raging beast would be a difficult foe to defeat armed with only a wooden staff. Wondering how he would deal with this large predator an idea came to him as he looked at the lake nearby.
A stirring of magical forces deep inside of Draccus welled up to the surface, and without explanation a thick vine of thorns burst up from the ground underneath the bear wrapping themselves around his four feet halting all movement. Seeming to obey the wordless will of Draccus Moonsayer the thorns tightened against the bear’s fur immobilizing the beast further.
Stretching out a hand to the lake’s surface, Draccus called forth a typhoon like wave to grow and rush towards his trapped target. The force of the water hitting the bear smashed against him and knocked the breath out of his lungs.
The damage also loosened some of the vines holding the beast in place.
For a few quiet seconds it looked like the bear had been knocked out breathless. The atmosphere had grown quiet too see if this menace had been finally dealt with once and for all.
This bear still had some fight left in him though, because as he dug his sharp claws into the wet ground and pushed against the weakened thorns the bonds snapped free. He roared a death threatening blast at the daring Druid who had just attacked him.
Out of options and not completely sure where he had summoned up the power to cast the immobilizing roots or the typhoon wave against the bear, Draccus braced himself as he stood in between the charging bear and the injured Tauren behind him.
Just then from across the shore a volley of blasts as bright as the sun shot through the distance and struck the bear. The source of the magical barrage was a Tauren Druid in full leather armor. As this Druid finished casting one more spell a large burst of Starfire rained down on the bear finishing him off and knocking Draccus off his feet.
A scorched pile of fur and burnt bear meat was all that was left of the attacker.
Draccus stood up and brushed the dirt off his robe and approached the female Tauren still lying on the ground to see if she had been harmed. Thankfully she had not been harmed by the blast. The other Druid had aimed well. But her wound from the bear was still pouring blood and she was starting to fade in and out of the waking world.
Desperate to do anything to help her stay alive in the face of such a senseless attack from an enraged animal, Draccus reached down inside to a buried memory of his mother, Galdrian Moonsayer. She had been a mighty healer and restorer as he could recall.
There was a song she would sing while casting a healing spell that took its time to work but then it would blossom like a spring flower full of life. The spell was called Lifebloom, and only the most skilled of Druid healers could keep its magic working over prolonged periods of time. The affect of the spell was magnified three fold when the caster was able to draw on the healing properties that Druids were trained to channel.
Not knowing the specific words or having had the formal training to weave the healing spell to its fullest potency, Draccus started to hum the tune and place his hand directly over the wound. Kneeling next the Tauren he sincerely wanted to heal Draccus began to feel a sensation of the very ground offering up its energies to him to draw upon.
As he held his hand over the place where her organ had been bitten out and where the blood had stained her wardrobe his hand began to glow with a faint green radiance. The intensity of the glow increased with his humming and concentration of the healing spell.
After only mere a nine seconds of sustained focus the spell reached its peak for what Draccus was capable of at the time. Opening his eyes to see his effort, the bleeding had stopped and the skin had closed, bruised and still fragile, but at least he had ceased the immediate danger to this stranger’s life.
A wave of relief and emotion washed over him over the success of this new talent recently discovered. Draccus Moonsayer went to stand up but felt the large fingers of the other Druid on his shoulders standing behind him pressing down.
“What you have done for your sister Druid of the Cenarion Circle is to be commended. But she will require additional treatment and rest back at Camp Narche.” The Druid’s mental voice sounded familiar but since he had not seen her face, Draccus was unable to recognize who was speaking to him.
“I will need you to accompany us both back to the Horde village to explain what happened here.”
The female Tauren communicated directly to Draccus in the bond that all Druids shared. There was a language barrier unfortunately that existed between members of different races unless they spoke Common or another mutual faction dialect. This made talking within the ranks of Druids difficult across the various races. However, if one would allow the other to enter their private thoughts then they could communicate freely.
“I just recently returned from some personal time away from Azeroth, and unless politics have changed, I thought there was animosity between the Alliance and the Horde.”  Draccus responded with confusion over her request to willingly enter the outpost of the Horde.
“Actually the tension has grown much worst then it was before you entered the Emerald Dream. Draccus Moonsayer I fear the Cenarion Circle and what us Druids represent are the last bastion of hope we have to restore peace between our peoples.” The female Druid released her hand from his shoulder.
“How do you know who I am?  How do you know of my time in the Emerald Dream?” Draccus stood slowly and faced the Tauren that knew more information than most.
“Draccus Moonsayer I know who you are, or rather who you were, and how you came to be sent to the Emerald Dream.”
“Akabeko Runetotem!” Draccus exclaimed excitedly, for he had found one of the three Druids that he had intentionally come back to search for. Of all the random fated meetings, he had crossed paths with this Sister Druid, someone he considered pivotal in shaping his current condition.
“I have so much to share with you…” Draccus began to say, but Akabeko held up her hand and pointed to the other Tauren still lying on the ground.
“She still needs to receive further healing and rest, and the wilds of Feralas are not the place for travelers to find shelter.” Akabeko stated wisely, for the sounds of other creatures echoed off the cliffs and came from the depths of the jungle.
“Do you know who she is?” Draccus asked hoping to be able to give the Tauren he had fought and risked his life to save a name.
“She is a Sister Druid from my tribe of Runetotem, her name is Karegina.”
“Karegina Runetotem.”  Draccus mused to himself, but shared his thoughts freely with Akabeko. He swore when he left the Emerald Dream that he would allow himself the freedom to trust others that were worth trusting.
“Lady Anachan taught me a lot during my time away in the wilds of the Emerald Dream, but I humbly submit that I have much still to learn.” Draccus shared honestly where he was in his journey.
“If you are willing to trust me and come back to Camp Mojache with us and explain how you came to this region and the service you provided our Sister Karegina, it would go a long way to demonstrating that not all citizens of Azeroth are ready for open war.” Akabeko Runetotem offered Draccus with all the sincere conviction of her heart’s desires.
“I will also promise to reconnect you with your own people, the Kaldorei, so they can continue your training as a Druid worthy of the Circle.”
“It would be an honor to serve the Cenarion Circle and the greater good. I am willing trust you Akabeko Runetotem on this journey. Let us be on our way then.”
Just then Akabeko transformed into a beautiful large stag with antlers that spread out wide. She nodded her head towards Karegina and motioned towards her back.
Without need for further prompting, Draccus bent over and picked up Karegina and placed her gently across Akabeko’s back. He made sure she was as comfortable as possible with the clothing she was wearing. Together they made their way across the shallow part of the lake and into the jungle towards Camp Mojache.
As the trio of Druids made their way away from the stone platform that held the ancient Dream Bough Portal the same small Sprite Darter that had been startled when Draccus Moonsayer reentered the world of Azeroth settled back down on a branch and watched them with curiosity in its eyes.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Where the Waters Run Wild

The tint of the looking glass through which Draccus Moonsayer saw the world had gained an emerald hue. The shading of his perspective had not dampened the vibrancy of life around him.  The impact of his time within the Emerald Dream had instead only served to calm the inner turmoil within him, a stilling of the raging seas of his soul. He now walked on the soft, lush grass under toe with a calmness that mirrored a still pool.
He had entered the Dream as a Night Elf sentenced to serve time as a prisoner of his own making, but now he left that Realm as a Druid carrying within him a precious gift that would last forever. The Cenarion Circle Council had demonstrated to him the power of redemption through restoration and establishing a balance to his life.
That fateful night as he stood before the Council on trial before the Ceremony of Mending or Breaking he never could have fathomed how it would change him.
It was during this period away from the world of Azeroth that Draccus came to discover his foundation. A pillar of strength with which the rest of his life would be built around would be planted firmly in living by the spirit.
He was placed under the mentorship and guidance of Lady Anachan. She was noble Night Elf that had chosen to leave behind her long life on Azeroth and walk the Emerald Dream forevermore. Her centuries of experience and wisdom gave her a seasoned perspective on helping others in their journey. Along with her influential inscriptions to Draccus’s character there were three other specific Druids that were impressed upon his heart and mind. Akabeko Runetotem, Navimie Mistrunner, Lessah Wildmane.
These individual Druids each played a role that had spared his life and sent him along his destined path. Without their wisdom and foresight of him needing to find peace, he would have remained a tattered patchwork of incomplete pieces. The greatest loss would have been the wasted potential.
The earthen brown robe that Draccus wore around his frame still had the emblem of the Cenarion Circle green tree across the chest. The warm sun, the blowing wind, and the dirt from the ground had thinned the material and dulled the stitching slightly. Living outside of the creature comforts of a Kaldorei lifestyle, fine linen fabrics, well attended to leather armor, and fresh baths from the Moonwell springs had forced him to survive on a simpler level of basic necessities.
One other major adjustment that Draccus had to make was the silence and long periods of isolation. The required stillness, in resting in the moment, had to be channeled constantly. Lady Anachan had insisted on stripping away the baggage and burdens that had weighed Draccus down.
She accurately commented the first time they met, “There is too much noise and disturbance vying for your focus. You must truly learn to listen and appreciate the littlest of things.”
“How do I silence the waves crashing against my mind when their volume has been building for so long?” Draccus asked, with a sincere doubt that he would ever quiet the storm churning behind the surface for any prolonged period of time.
“First you must trust again in the guidance of others that seek your best interests.” Anachan said, but with a softer tone this time. She had hit a nerve, because Draccus had subtly winced at the word, trust. “Will you openly trust another again?”
“I came here willingly… I submitted myself to the Cenarion Circle Council’s judgment… I…” Draccus responded rashly, full of unsure emotions that tapered off. “I am not sure I can trust anyone again let alone myself.”
“Trust is an act of surrender, of letting go. It can replace your fears, if you allow it to do so.”
“You are still so untrained in the ways of controlling your mind and how you perceive the world around you.” Anachan answered. “As a Druid you must find your roots and grow closer to the forces of Nature. She will aid you when you can learn how to trust her.”
With those words of guidance, she walked deeper into the woods, leaving Draccus to ponder those truths.
He needed to realize that instead of giving over to the weakening sense of loneliness and distrust that in its place he needed to connect and embrace his purpose in the world. It pained him to admit that his life would be bonded to those in his life, to other individuals.
For days, weeks, and months the only solace he found was in his surroundings. Nature left to her unbridled whims was able to create vast expanses of forest that teemed with life. The birds of various species each sang their own distinct music that together they produced such a sweet symphony that it blessed those that carefully listened.
In learning how to listen Draccus Moonsayer came to attune his ears and match the pace of his heart with the flow of water during his time within the Emerald Dream. The measured tempo inside of him was a gradual transition. For hours on end he would simply sit along the banks and listen. Water here traveled for miles at different speeds along its course. Sometimes the water roared violently as it rushed pass the gorges and mountain streams, and other times the water seemed to stop altogether in quietness as if reflecting on its own course.
Reflection had become his daily ritual. Who he had been, where he was now, and who and where he was meant to be after leaving the Emerald Dream. As beautiful and peaceful as the Dream was, it was the waking world where he needed to return.
“You have gained a measured peace about you young Druid.” Anachan spoke to him one day as she approached him watching a enchanting river flow by on its eternal quest.
“I have learned to listen and be still. Yet see the powerful currents beneath the water’s surface for what they are.” Draccus answered as he stood, still facing the River. “I can be both a force of reckoning that carves its own path and equally also a calming balm to nurture life.”
Draccus turned to intently look in Lady Anachan eyes. “Can you teach me how to harness this duality of forces that I am coming to see, hear, and respect within myself as a Kaldorei, as a Druid?”
For several moments the Lady Night Elf just stood there looking at Draccus Moonsayer to see if he had truly come to embrace those two unique forces inside him. After seeing an almost tangible peace radiate from him she shook her head slowly.
“There are still many lessons for you to study my brother Druid. I cannot teach you what you ask of me. But those that can and need to teach you those lessons await you outside the Emerald Dream. I was only tasked with helping you find a balance and peace about what you now know.”
“Who should I seek out when I re-enter the world of Azeroth in order to continue my training as a Druid?”
“You know of the three to whom you must visit once you re-enter the world of Azeroth.” Lady Anachan answered his question knowing that the same three that had sent him to her for guidance here would desire to see the change in him.
“Just as the waterways wash away the dirt and mud of her banks, so too must you cleanse any relationships not left intact. Before you can grow fully into the Druid you are meant to be, you need to demonstrate your new self-awareness through your daily actions.”
“Thank you Lady Anachan. For your wisdom and patience with me during our time together in the Emerald Dream. I will remain forever grateful. Although I am not sure who else will help me along my journey and the adventures ahead. I will always carry a part of you with me now. You gave me a renewed belief in the power to trust others and trust in myself.”
Draccus Moonsayer kissed her hand and bowed respectfully to his sister Druid. He picked up his wooden staff and walked back to the Portal which brought him here.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Father Winter's Gift: Flinthammer's Forest Song

Furtive Father Winter Veil 2011

Ringo Flinthammer of Flinthammer Hall has blessed us all with the gift of song this Winter's Veil season.  A talented Dwarf and bard in his own right.  Thankfully he was selected among so many other talented story tellers, artistically gifted folk, and scribes of various skills to add the spirit of merriment to the Saga's adventurers.  Ringo deserves much praise and cheer for his thoughtful gift that is now presented here on Winter's Veil Day.

A Cleansing Song

As the Druids that had escorted Draccus from Moonglade flew back from the Dream Bough Portal, down below them in the area known as Forest Song, hidden from the air by the leaves of Ashenvale Forest, voices rose up to greet them.  Through the canopy those voices were united in song.

A corrupted version of the enchanting tune could be heard in the streets of Stormwind, the caverns of Ironforge, and across the vast lands of the Horde.  Wherever Goblin merchants had commercialized the sacred and hold song, a traveler could hear it.  But here, in these ancient woods, the song was sung as it was originally intended, by voices that had first intoned it a thousand years ago, before Kalimdor was ruptured by the Sundering.

O Ancient Tree! O Ancient Tree!
Thy leaves are so unchanging.
O Ancient Tree! O Ancient Tree!
Thy leaves are so unchanging.
Not only green when summer's here,
But also when 'tis cold and drear.

O Ancient Tree! O Ancient Tree!
Thy leaves are so unchanging.
O Ancient Tree! O Ancient Tree!
Much pleasure thou can'st give me.
O Ancient Tree! O Ancient Tree!
Much pleasure thou can'st give me.
How often has the Ancient tree
Afforded me the greatest glee!

O Ancient Tree! O Ancient Tree!
Much pleasure thou can'st give me.
O Ancient Tree! O Ancient Tree!
Thy dewdrops shine so brightly!
O Ancient Tree! O Ancient Tree!
Thy dewdrops shine so brightly!
From base to summit, gay and bright,
There's plenty a splendor for the sight.

O Ancient Tree! O Ancient Tree!
Thy dewdrops shine so brightly!
O Ancient Tree! O Ancient Tree!
How rich Elune hath decked thee!
O Ancient Tree! O Ancient Tree!
How rich Elune hath decked thee!
Thou bidst us true and faithful be,
And trust Elune unchangingly!

O Ancient Tree! O Ancient Tree!
How rich hath Elune decked thee!

Many challenges still await the people of Azeroth as a whole.  The Dragon Deathwing, the self-proclaimed Aspect of Death, is the least of the world's woes in the near future.  Even once he is defeated, war will still haunt the valleys and glades from the shores of Kalimdor to the mountains of Eastern Kingdoms.  Other threats lurk in the shadows-- the Burning Legion, the Naga Queen Azshara, and more unknown Nightmares.

However, in that moment, the ancient Kaldorei song lifted the Druid's hearts and gave them hope for the future once again.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Part 2: Giving Generous Grace

The woods in Ashenvale sped by rapidly as Draccus carried Wades on his back.  The grievously wounded Hunter was strapped down with all the care the Sentinels back at Maestra’s Post could muster.  A weighty body that seemed lifeless as his body was rushed to Astanaar on the back of his Druid friend.

The Commander of the regional Sentinels, Lady Warwood, was personally escorting them through the forest.  She was indebted to their sacrifice and their efforts in helping them fend off the recent attack at the hands of the Horde against her outpost.  A shutter rippled across her mind to think what would have happened had they not arrived when they did.  Eleven to five odds were not the best conditions to defeat an enemy that had surprised them by attacking out of nowhere.

“I will make those cowardly, green beasts pay for this assault.” Lady Warwood whispered to herself as she matched pace with the Druid running alongside her on a worn game trail.  “But, firstly may Elune grant us haste in gaining our destination before we are attacked or the Hunter dies.”

Thankfully their endurance and speed allowed them to cover the distance in just two short hours.  The sun had already started to dip closer to the horizon, the light was fading fast.  A cool chill of the coming evening heralded in a sense of urgency for them both.

The last thing Wades could afford was going into shock from losing his core body temperature.  He had already lost a significant amount of blood, and the lower part of his torso and thighs had already turned a blackish brown color.

The final stretch of terrain gave way to the Village of Astranaar surrounded by a lake on both sides, with a bridge crossing.  Here was a safe place of refuge and recovery awaiting them.  Several structures displayed the Kaldorei craftsmanship, markings in the design and natural flow of the wood.  These buildings had existed for ages, hopefully for more ages to come.

One of the main shelters was a large Inn, with an open lower floor and a middle section that lead up to several private quarters near the rafters.  It was this building that Draccus and Lady Warwood came to stop near.

“Find me the Inn Keeper!  Fetch any extra bandages and water you may have to spare!” The Sentinel Commander ordered the nearest towns' person to respond.  “We have two strangers in need of our help, and I have four Sentinels out at Maestra that need reinforcements quickly.”

This part of the wood was accustomed to responding to emergencies with military like efficiency.  Within a few short moments the requested supplies were gathered and a squadron of ten Sentinels from Silverwing Grove mounted their Night Sabers and headed westward.

A small crowd formed as Lady Warwood and two other Night Elves helped lower Wades off of Draccus’s back and onto the ground.  Among the crowd was a Druid of the Cenarion Circle who had studied, taught, and experienced more than most other Druids had even thought about.  Her silver eyes locked onto the charm that hung around the large Cat’s neck.  She reached up with her elegant hands to touch the same charm that hung around her neck.

So why do you not shift out of your Cat-form my Brother Druid?” She mentally reached out to him.

Draccus heard the voice speak clearly to his mind as if spoken aloud.  He looked around at those gathered near him.  He saw a hooded figure staring at him.  Her silver eyes pierced him and her faced was tattooed with markings over her fair face.  Her aquamarine blue hair spilled out around her shoulders.

Yes I am talking to you.  Apparently you’re either new to the unique communique all us Druids share or you are alone and haven’t heard someone speak directly to you in awhile.  I am going to venture a little of both.

How is……?  Who are you?” Draccus fumbled to respond with his mind as he formed the words silently.

I am Lissanna a Sister of the woods, a fellow Druid of the Cenarion Circle, and an answer to your prayers to Elune I believe.” She motioned him to follow her away from the crowd of the Village and talk more privately.

I cannot leave my friend here unattended.  He is gravely injured and I will not abandon him.  He was there for me when I needed a friend, so will I be there for him as a friend.” Draccus responded firmly, not giving any ground for discussion.

Lissanna looked at Draccus and then looked on the motionless form of the Hunter on the ground.  She stepped forward towards the Hunter and reached into a pouch within her cloak to retrieve a small potion.

Out of instinct Draccus growled and raised his teeth at her.  A sound of warning to not harm his friend rolled out his throat.  The small hairs on his back started to bristle.

Lissanna looked at Draccus and said, “Calm yourself!”  Immediately Draccus felt a sensation of soothing release wash over him and every ounce of aggression drained out of him.  She proceeded to kneel next to Wades and examine his injuries and the state of his vitals.

“What do you make of him Lady Lissanna?” Lady Warwood asked.  The Commander gave full respect to this Druid that held important position and opinion among the Kaldorei gathered there in Astranaar.

“He is incredibly weak and there is a strong infection that has set in the tissue of both his legs.  My healing is powerful as a Restoration Druid, but I fear my skills are better used to heal over time.  What he needs is someone that can directly heal and remove the disease and damage that is destroying his flesh.”  Lissanna answered honestly the difficult question that had been put before her.  “What I would recommend is that we stabilize him here.  He can take my quarters in the Inn.  And we send for assist from Theramore, seek out Amerence a Holy Priest that is staying there.  As far as Human healers go, she is respected throughout the Alliance and her abilities to deal with these injuries are his best option.”

“I will dispatch a Hippogryph and one of my fastest riders to go and bring her here.”  Lady Warwood declared and then she strode off to the nesting area where the flying steeds where housed.

Now with your friend being taken care of and receiving all the care available to him at the moment, it is time we talked.” Lissanna again made the subtle motion for Draccus to join her away from the rest of the people assembling at the Inn or others going about their tasks for the evening.

Draccus was starting to not like being told what to do or from someone he had just met.  A rebellious streak, contrary to his normal personality, had started to invade his thoughts and attitudes towards others ever so slightly.  There was something unexplainable about this Kaldorei Druid that was challenging that characteristic within him. “No!

What do you mean no? Do you dare disrespect a fellow Druid and sister of the woods like some common person?  I have feathers and bark older then you.  Sounds like your wild feral form might have caused you to lose some perspective and manners.” With that last word-thought she grasped her mace and off-hand item and approached Draccus with the intent on restoring some perspective and manners.

Normally not one to back down from confrontation, but this time Draccus quickly surmised that he had bitten off more than he could handle.  He saw a path of escape towards the water’s edge on the other side of the Inn.  Thinking his feline form was quick enough to bolt away, he made for the corner of the building.  He was not quicker then Lissanna’s spell.

Roots sprung up from the ground and grasped Draccus.  The controlling element forcefully brought him to a halt.  The vegetation continued to entangle and squeeze him with pressure.

Nice try Brother of the woods.  I would not recommend testing me further.”  Lissanna mentally warned.  “I only want to lend a hand to your situation and remind you of your place.  Least your fall prey to the powers of the Aspects left unchecked within you and completely lose your way.” She concluded a little more gently.

Draccus realized that he had nothing to hide from her, and since she obviously had powers and abilities far greater than his own, he might as well become fully transparent with her.

I shamed myself, my Master trainer, and the Cenarion Circle as a Druid who lost control, Lady Lissanna.  I……I……I killed another Druid.  I took his life from him and it can never be given back.  I am lost.  As the words were verbalized and confessed openly between their bonds, Draccus broke down and began to sob.  The pain and regret came welling back up between his weeping tears.  I am sorry, I am sorry……  The last images of Scarrock’s lifeless eyes staring at him from his memories were overwhelming.

Slowly Lissanna came over to Draccus and released the entangled roots and stood by his side.  “I am sorry too.  The weight and guilt of your crime must be a terrible burden to carry.  You shed tears for both you and your fallen brother.”

She placed her hand lightly upon his shoulder and began to pray to Elune.  Lissanna was no priestess of the Temple, but as a sister of the woods and a fellow Druid of the Circle she asked for a small miracle on behalf of this hurting and lost Druid.  The moon was climbing over the canopy of trees and a ray of moonbeam stretched across the water.  Its light enveloped them there by the bank.  There in that moment, an answered prayer was seen.

There was no longer a tall Kaldorei woman standing next to a broken Cat-form, trapped man.  On the bank of the lake that night there stood two Druids, one standing while the other was on his knees.  The woman said nothing for the longest time; she simply witnessed the other’s grief.  He cried into his dark purple hands until there were no more tears left in him.

“While Elune has granted you this grace, there is still the Council of the Cenarion Circle that must decide what you do with you.”

“I do not expect any mercy for my crime or the dishonor that I have brought to our people’s name.  I will submit to their judgments and accept any punishment they see fitting.  All I ask for is forgiveness.”

Those were Draccus’s first words spoken.  He would face the consequences of his actions and atone for his failure to do the right thing.

Lady Lissanna led Draccus back into the Inn from another entrance, a quieter passage, to a small isolated table away from anyone else.  She purchased a loaf of banana bread and a wine skin of berry juice and brought them back to their table.

“I will take you to Nighthaven in Moonglade tonight.  This issue needs to be resolved quickly and with swift justice.  I cannot stand by or for you when we arrive.  There will be a Ceremony of Mending or Breaking depending on what the Druids overseeing the Council decide.  Our ways are separate from the laws of others.  We are not above their justice or beyond contributing to the betterment of all people on Azeroth.  However, the judgment once passed is final and you are to take it with humility and dignity.”  Lissanna told Draccus.

They touched down on the edge of Nighthaven before the darkest part of the night had passed.  Lady Lissanna’s Hippogryph had carried them far and fast.  The entire flight Draccus had said nothing.  He was preparing to embrace whatever fate awaited him at the hands of the Cenarion Circle Council.

Draccus allowed himself to be bound, without resisting his hands were secured with tanned leather straps.  He had changed into a fresh cotton robe that had been dyed the color of earth brown with the center of the chest bearing the insignia of the Cenarion Circle’s green tree.

He waited patiently as the three different Council Members were selected carefully from those that had been summoned and informed of the circumstances.  This rare judging of a Druid before a Council had drawn in everyone that was staying there for training as well as respected Druids from both the Woods and the Plains.  Because the Druid that had been slain was a Tauren Bull the three representatives would be Tauren as well.

Normally another Druid would stand with the guilt party and speak for them.  Traditionally this role was filled by the Druid’s Master or mentor.  No one stepped out of the crowd that night.  Draccus bravely faced this challenge alone head on.

There were fires lit to illuminate the area better.  Several faces from different races all looked on the scene.  Everyone present was a Druid, this was an internal affair to be dealt with, and an outsider would not appreciate the significance of this ceremony.

Stealing glances around him, Draccus noticed that this was the same spot he had first been transformed into a Cat, a Druid of the Claw.  He also saw in the back of the crowd his former mentor, his Master in training, the person he had let down and disappointed.  A fresh wave of injury hit him.  It was time to hear the Council’s decision regarding his life.

The sound of a heavy wooden staff beat the ground three times and a clear voice rang out in the night, “Draccus Moonsayer step forward and hear what the Druids of the Plains as members of the Cenarion Circle have to say regarding the death of Scarrock Wildmane at your hand.”  A hush immediately silenced everyone gathered.

Draccus stepped forward into the light to stand before three magnificent Tauren Druid women.  Each of the three Druids represented a different tribe within the Tauren nation and of the Cenarion Circle members.

The Druid that had called him forward was Akabeko Runetotem.  She was leading the Ceremony from the way the others gave her deference in speaking first and the way she carried herself.  There was an air of official office about her, yet she seemed to hide a look of pity for the Night Elf standing before her.

Standing next to her was a Druid named Lessah Wildmane, she was anything but friendly towards Draccus, or so it appeared.  Her connection to these events was that she came from the same tribe as Scarrock, which meant if the Ceremony was one of Breaking it would be her role to deal the punishment onto Draccus.  The punishment could range from getting expelled from the Cenarion Circle to possibly even death.  It would be at her hand that Draccus would suffer should that be the Council’s decision.

The third Tauren was a Druid called Navimie Mistrunner.  As a Restoration Druid she was skilled and respected for her ability to heal not only fleshly wounds and fatal injuries but to bridge gaps in relationships and bring healing to the hearts of many people.  The task and responsibility would fall to her if the Ceremony was one of Mending.  This duty entailed the assigning of a guide to bring someone back into the ranks of the Cenarion Circle and inviting the offender a chance at forgiveness.  She would symbolize life and hope should Draccus find favor.

Akabeko Runetotem raised the staff in her hands high above her horns.  She looked at Draccus for a long period of time.  Weighing his life in their hands was a huge responsibility and burden.  The judges had been unanimous in their decision.  She just hoped that this Night Elf would see their wisdom in the difficult judgment and sentence she was about to pass.

“We believe that life is to be cherished above all things.  We are entrusted and sworn to preserve life at all times.  There exists a balance between life and death.  You have broken this cycle.”  Akabeko Runetotem let those last words hang in the air.

“By your own actions and confession you killed Scarrock, a fellow Druid in training with you, a Tauren Druid from the tribe of Wildmane.  As a whole, the Cenarion Circle regrets that his life was torn away from him at such a young age.  Tonight on behalf of the Wildmane tribe Lessah Wildmane, a revered Restoration Druid of the Grove stands here now.  Her Tauren brother’s blood is on your conscience.”

I do not want your blood as payment Night Elf.” Lessah reached out privately to Draccus standing before her defenseless.  “That you came forward and genuinely mourn my brother still says much of your inner character.
Draccus quietly asked her the most honest question his spirit could think of. 

Why are you giving me such generous grace?

Lessah Wildmane did not respond to his heartfelt plea.  She stood next to the two other Druids looking straight ahead.

“The exact details of what happened between you and him are not under question here tonight.”  Akabeko Runetotem continued with the Ceremony.  “What we three have to determine is whether your place among us is worth Mending or if the time of Breaking has come.”

Not even the wind stirred around the assembly as everyone waited for the fate of Draccus to be announced.  The moonlight bathed down on them serenely.

“You are to be spared banishment and death as punishment for your transgressions.  However, till you have had time to reconcile what these events mean to you and rest of the Cenarion Circle, you are to be immediately taken to the nearest Dream Bough Portal and sent to Emerald Dream.  There you are to seek out harmony and discover how you are to rejoin us as a Brother Druid.  Until there is that peace, the peace that resides within every member’s heart, you are not to return.”

“The loudest voice of influence on us reaching this decision was in the wise and far-seeing guidance of Navimie Mistrunner.  Her special gift as a Restoration Druid is mending the broken places in people’s lives.  She sees a future for you that is promising but also one that twists around many difficulties and trials.”  Akabeko Runetotem lowered her staff to the ground and placed it at Draccus’s feet.  “May this Ceremony be validated in the action you will take, marking a significant change in your life.  This staff and the clothes you wearing now are all that you are permitted to bring with you into the Emerald Dream."

Now that the Ceremony was concluded and Draccus had received his grace, he was taken to the Dream Bough Portal in eastern Ashenvale.

“I hope that Anachan our Sister Night Elf Druid is able to help him on the other side as much as she was a reliable source of help here.”  Navimie Mistrunner spoke to the others as they prepared to leave Moonglade for Thunder Bluff in Mulgore.

“You know Navimie, you still have not chosen a personal mentor and guide for Draccus when he returns to Azeroth.  He will need assistance and someone to show him how to regain his place within the Cenarion Circle.  Who did you have in mind?”  Lessah Wildmane asked as she mounted her Proto-Drake and tightened the saddles belt.

“Have you heard of a Druid named Terrielle?  He is a Night Elf Lord of the forest and has specialized in the training of being a Balance Druid.  I believe he might be the best one suited to influence and mould our young Draccus Moonsayer when he returns.”