Stormclaw @sahqoreyth
Kalimdor Sunders

Kalimdor Sunders

Not long after their arrival, the Ancients of Kalimdor were called into the battle against the demons. Even with the other races, they were losing ground. Cenarius, as their unofficial leader, produced a massive horn as he trotted toward the battlefield. A rumbling sound filled the air, starting low, and then increasing in potency as the note grew louder.

Every Ancient and demi-god began to glow with the Fury of nature itself, and for a time, even the elven defender's eyes shared the amber glow that was Azeroth's power. The world had been woken by Deathwing's betrayal, and her defenders had not liked what they saw, rampaging across the continent with burning, mindless, slaughter.

The Ancient host immediately charged after the Forest Lord, and a few of the refugees went with them. It was an invigorating sound, and the horns of the united host blared as well as the additional defenders hit the front lines, utterly crushing a wedge the demons had formed to try to break the lines in two. With renewed fury, each of the Ancients rejoined the battle with sometimes almost mindless rage, and while the destruction they wrought was impressive…many began to fall.

Hundreds, if not thousands, of the demons perished under the wrath of the legendary defenders, but it soon became apparent many would not be coming back. Not even the giant, ferocious boar with the spikes. It looked as though Cenarius too would not be returning, as those who felled the boar turned on him as well, and that was when it appeared. A giant white stag, seemingly coming from nowhere, tore through the demons around Cenarius, and the defenders pulled the Forest Lord back.

There had been an almost zealot-like respect for the Forest Lord, since he had appeared. The Kaldorei had always claimed kinship with him, and now, that faith had been rewarded in their hour of need. Their racial focus was still very much on themselves. Only with time, would they learn that he had come to save their world, not just them.

One of the elders among the refugees recognized the white stag as Malorne, though nobody among the throngs of civilians quite knew what he represented, or even who he fully was. All that could be remembered of his ancient legend was his power, and supposed fatherly bond to Cenarius.

As the Ancient tore through the demon's ranks for miles however, Laronar noticed a similarity in how he and Cenarius had fought. The more he thought it over, the more sense it made. His father had once spoken of the Moon and the Stag, but he'd assumed it had been a fairytale. Evidently not.

The white stag also used the power of the land to destroy his foes, and as the tide of the war itself began to, finally, tip in Azeroth's favor, a giant demon strode out to meet the stag in single combat. This surely had to be the one leading the army, for he was enormous and powerful. Both terrifying and aesthetically pleasing. Nothing like the demons they'd encountered so far. That was when many of the refugees began to grasp that they had no idea of what the demons were, where they came from, why, or what race led their burning fury.

Not even Malorne could damage him much, and as the refugees watched helplessly, they gasped almost in unison as the demon held the stag in a headlock, and proceeded to snap his neck. The body of Malorne was tossed amongst the demon's own ranks, but it was clear that this large one did not care that it crushed its own forces. Only then did those not on the front lines begin to understand a truth the defenders doing the fighting had long known. They were outnumbered, severely.

Before the giant demon could strike again however, two things happened almost simultaneously. The dragons, minus the blues and blacks, appeared again and charged into the battle. The tide turned once more as the demons perished under their breath and claws, and Laronar once more had to re-evaluate the stories his parents and grandparents had shared with him. If Cenarius was the Lord of the Forest, the dragons were something else entirely.

Older than all of them, they were true immortals, and made a Kaldorei lifespan, the longest on the planet, look like an eyeblink in comparison. Once, the elves had supposedly given them respect, as defenders of the world, and the city of dragon riders on the western coast seemed to confirm the story. In the empire proper however, they were largely seen as mysterious, powerful, but beasts all the same. Meant to be slain, not worshiped. That was yet another view the Kaldorei people would soon re-evaluate.

The demon commander could not retaliate, for his form was covered in vines that seemed to grow relentlessly. At first it seemed as though Cenarius had done it, avenging the white stag as he had so many other Ancients, but the Forest Lord was still recuperating.

Word had reached the civilians of spellcasters of their own race who much aided the cause, and it seemed now that those tales were true. The one casting the vines could only be this Malfurion Stormrage, who called himself a 'druid', and utilized strange, but powerful forces, similar to Cenarius', to eradicate the demons en masse.

His power made the demon's leader flee, and once more, Laronar wondered how it was this caster used nature in such a manner. He made a mental note to ask, if he ever had the opportunity.

After the arrival of the dragons, a group of them lifted off again, and flew towards Zin Azshari, and it became suddenly clear that this war was in its final stages. The demons fought with mindless fury, not caring if they lived or died, and even the magic users amongst them now fully joined the fray. Death was everywhere.

Word came from Shadowsong that the refugees were to move back, past Suramar, and await the final word. They did as they were asked, and so missed entirely the final stages of the War of the Ancients, as the conflict would come to be known.

Several hours after their retreat, a runner reached them, and ordered their group to head for the slopes of Mount Hyjal. With no explanation as to why, they ran, and soon Laronar found himself outpacing the rest, simply because he had Storm on which to ride. That did not, however, stop him from helping.

He took a pair of siblings, two sisters, on the Stormsaber as well. The oldest was younger than him, and the other was still a toddler. Worried that she wouldn't make it, their mother had begged him to take them, and he had agreed before other such requests could find him. The elves were desperate, and he couldn't carry everybody.

Storm handled the extra weight with little apparent difficulty, but eventually, even his owner could see he was tiring. By then however, they were all but at the base of Hyjal. The climb was slow, but not too arduous as they reached the summit. They let the Stormsaber rest, and Laronar let the two sisters rest as well, assuring them that their mother would indeed survive. For his part, he went to stand by the edge of the summit, and look down the relatively bare mountain for the other refugees.

Sure enough, he spotted them, only now at the base of the great mountain, and as the earth began to shake, he gasped as, in the far distance, he saw it literally crumble away. Not that far ahead of the devastation was the army, but they managed to outpace the disaster as the very land was sundered, and brought beneath the powerful dark waves of what had once been the Well of Eternity.

A new ocean formed over the lands to the east. An ocean that had never existed there previously. He assumed then that all he had ever known, the entire Night Elven Empire, was now underwater.

"Humbling, is it not."

A deep voice came from behind the young elf, and he whirled in surprise, to behold a Tauren. He had known they were big, but never realized just how big until that very moment. This one in particular had horns like a moose, and what had to be his armor for war looked as though it had come from an eagle. Helm, spaulders, even the tattoos he bore were all in the pattern of the great birds.

How his people had ever fought off tribes of these creatures amazed him, and then, he recalled it had been because of the Well of Eternity. With that gone now, he wondered if the other races wouldn't take advantage of the elve's new weakness.

Deciding that he was too tired to care, he simply nodded, looking back at the new ocean. "It is. The world will be forever marked by the arrogance of our people…"

The Tauren joined the young Kaldorei, and nodded slowly. "It will be. And no amount of mending will ever repair this…Sundering. But you can atone, young one. Your entire race can, by embracing a new path."

This got a curious glance from Laronar, "New path?"

The Tauren nodded again, "Cenarius, Lord of the Forests and friend of the Tauren has asked that I teach you, as he taught Malfurion Stormrage. He has marked the potential within you for Druidism; however, you must be the one to decide to walk this path."

Looking back over at the new sea once more, Laronar nodded. "I want to learn." He said, "I want to help my race atone for what we've done. Maybe with time…even this sundered world can flourish."

After that, the Tauren followed the young elf, as he still had to guide the two siblings back to their mother. By the end of the day, what remained of the Night Elven people and their allies had climbed to the summit of Hyjal, but not before the lake at the very top had been tainted. Though Laronar had refilled their water from that same lake just hours before, Malfurion's brother had tainted it with vials of water from the Well of Eternity, now lost to history.

He managed to pour three of them in before he was stopped, and even killed several scouts after he'd been caught. Laronar had wanted to charge in to aid them, but his new teacher, Kota Skyhorn, had held him back, and counseled patience. The two simply stared as a Night Elf sporting a pair of proud antlers not unlike those of Cenarius strode forward after subduing the mad, tattooed elf with the strange, burning eyes.

Only after did Laronar realize that this antlered one must be Malfurion. He was too shy for an introduction, however, and Kota made no move to force one upon him. He had a family to reunite besides, and only after he did so did Laronar look around for his own, hoping that perhaps one of his siblings had survived.

He almost felt guilty for hoping his sister, not his brother, had been spared, but he saw neither. He slowly realized that, over the long months, he'd come to know those among the refugees rather well. Though there were many, it was still unnerving to him that almost his entire race was small enough to be able to be memorized. It was only once he looked down the mountain, that he saw other camps of refugees, from other directions. The demons had driven his people into the wilds, for miles, and after being called back by Archimonde, those who had managed to run quick enough had survived, and been guided to Hyjal by Cenarius' treants.

Once the two sisters were reunited with their mother, her thanks were delayed. The Night Elves stared up in wonder as three enormous dragons appeared on the mountainous summit with what remained of their civilization. They promised the Night Elves a chance at new prosperity, as each of the three planted and then empowered a small sapling which, by the end of their ritual, was already hundreds of feet tall, and only looked to keep growing.

They would retain their fertility, immortality, and connection to nature, provided they guarded this tree with their very souls. There was also something about a Dream, but that went entirely over Laronar's head. As the dragons spoke and cast their magic, they flew around and openly blessed this new 'World Tree'. They claimed that it was now tied to their race, forever.

Once it became clear that the elves would be settling on Hyjal first, and spreading to the surrounding lands, Kota led his new apprentice south, insisting that they begin his training immediately. At first, the Tauren objected to Storm coming with them, but the elf outright refused to abandon his friend and companion, and so the three traveled south, away from the Night Elves, and all Laronar and his pet had ever known.

He had no idea what becoming a druid would entail, but he wished to protect the world. For all his madness, Laronar too thought as Illidan Stormrage did, for he had loudly proclaimed what the young elf knew was an inevitable truth. That the demons would someday return.

Though he wasn't willing to burn out his eyes to combat them, he knew that he had to do whatever he could to help himself, and then his people, prepare for their coming. Even if he had to teach them all alone. He doubted he would though, for it seemed that Malfurion had begun seeking apprentices as soon as they had left, and had no shortage of those who were interested.

As they headed even further south, through a shadowy and clearly ancient forest all but untouched by any sentient race, Laronar began to wonder just how his learning would differ from what Malfurion was going to be teaching. Kota was Tauren, after all, and claimed that his race had been practicing the druidic arts far longer than any elf, but how they differed remained to be seen.

Anonymous reviews have been disabled. Login to review. 1. Stormclaw 2292 0 0 2. Rejecting the Well 2778 0 0 3. The War of the Ancients 6284 0 0 4. Kalimdor Sunders 2362 0 0 5. The Wild Gods 4123 0 0 6. The Druidic Masters 3489 0 0 7. Dream Walking 1566 0 0 8. Satyrs and Wolves 4561 0 0 9. The Long Vigil Begins 4198 0 0 10. The Broken Crown 3954 0 0 11. The Fangs of Ashamane 5384 0 0 12. The Wayward Son 12238 0 0 13. The Circle Continues 5553 0 0 14. Shifting Sands 12175 0 0 15. The Unstoppable Swarm 5147 0 0 16. Defenders of Kalimdor 7014 0 0 17. Fateful Convergence 7059 0 0 18. The Price of Rage 7434 0 0 19. Trial of the Tiger 6584 0 0 20. Hyjal 11127 0 0 21. Kalimdor's Might 10482 0 0 22. The Temple of Ahn'Qiraj 8360 0 0 23. Strangers in a Strange Land 9569 0 0 24. The Final Verdict 8229 0 0