It had been a cool morning, one of those mornings where I just hadn’t had the motivation to move from my perch overlooking the village. The war was far away and I needed the rest. As the morning hours passed, the sun climbed into the sky, delivering its warmth with a promise to soon burn off the clinging mist. And once it did I knew I must then rouse to hunt. The Sun was both friend and enemy this morning it seemed, and I half-heartedly wished it to simply go away.
Feeling the warmth begin to spread throughout my body my eyelids again began to feel as heavy as mountains. I didn’t really need to wake, after all hadn’t I just told myself the war was far away? Teldrassil’s Druids were key members of the alliance, But even we can’t fight forever without tiring. And with that thought flitting through my mind I decided to slumber on. But just as my eyes closed I thought I’d seen motion at the edge of the mist off in the peripheral of my vision. Sleep or no, my senses were fully attuned to my surroundings and I knew the villagers were only themselves beginning to rouse and hadn’t yet gone out to their fields.
Suddenly fully awake, I searched the mist for whatever it was I’d just seen. My eyes blazing with an intensity of a wary great cat, I willed my vision to pierce the shroud that I now cursed. As the minutes passed I neither saw any new movement nor heard anything out of place and I began to wonder if my long presence at the war front hadn’t finally begun to show its toll. That must be it, I must have imagined it.
Still, the morning was ruined and there was no way I would be curling back up to soak in any more warmth. I cursed my luck, just beginning to rise from my bed when I saw him. Inching forward into the village and out of the mist, I saw him fully this time; a fellow Druid, but of the Horde and a Moonbeast at that. He shouldn’t be here and by all appearances had just come from battle, still covered in mire and muck. He wasn’t injured as far as I could tell, as his movements were fluid and steady and that made him even more of a threat. A threat I must meet, whether I needed rest or not.
Eagerly, hungrily I eyed my prey as he quietly trod across the courtyard, pausing behind carts and boxes to observe his surroundings as he went. He was being wary, but he was completely unaware he was now being watched and for him that would be a fatal mistake. Slipping into the shadows that were as much a home to me as my own skin, I dropped down from my overlook and padded toward him as quite as a ghost.
I was beginning to feel that twitch deep in my belly whenever I first go into battle, the twitch that feels like my innards are twisting themselves into knots. Is it fear? Is it excitement? I don’t honestly know, but this I know; the Horde Druid and I were locked onto two intersecting paths that would soon cross. And with that crossing, one of us would walk away and one of us would not.
Steadily, ever so slowly I inched forward, using the shadows to my advantage until the Moonbeast was finally within reach. In seconds I knew it would be over, yet the twitch was now a thrum that I was surprised he did not appear to hear. With a tremendous rush of adrenaline I gathered and pounced, roaring with a savagery that surprised me and badly raking my prey with razor sharp claws. I knew I had to deliver a devastating wound to the Moonbeast or else I risked him bounding away, giving him the room he needed to unleash torrents of magic at me from afar and quite possibly leaving me dead in the mud instead of him.
Screaming in agony, his blood poured out of his body leaving pools of his life’s essence on the misty ground. Perhaps not realizing the extent of his wounds, he desperately tried to get away, to create distance between us as I found myself snared by vines that sprang from the ground at his command. But this day I would not be denied, ripping apart the vines I sprinted toward him eating up much of the space that was now between us. Mere yards from the Moonbeast, but a few heartbeats elapsed since the outset of the battle, I felt myself again ensnared by vines erupting from the ground and witnessed Treents springing out of nothingness to attack me.
With the smell of blood permeating my nose and the sight of the wounded Moonbeast fixed firmly in my yellow eyes, these vines held me no longer than the last. Ripping them from the ground I was upon my enemy, razor claws again rending flesh and bone. My heart beating like a drum it was over, I had defeated my enemy. Standing over the body, the villagers ran outside their homes to see what was happening, having heard the roar and the screams just outside their windows. Amazed that a Horde lay dead in their midst, I began to see gratitude and respect appear on the villagers faces. I was long from the home of my birth, but these villagers now knew that I had adopted them as my own. And even though the war was far away they now knew I was also protector should it come near. Halfhill was again safe.