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Faitha’s Promotion

November 18, 2014

Faitha’s Promotion

“Congratulations, Commander.”

The druid looked at Khadgar with mild disbelief. She might have only been a druid for mere decades but before that she had been a Sentinel for decades and she knew all about the honour of command. It was one she would certainly not have wished on the birds let alone herself. She had been a ranger and had left partly due to the fact that she was naturally something of a loner.

Neither a leader nor a follower be; that had been her motto for years now. A pride member; yes, she was happy to be part of a community of equals. Even to follow the instructions of someone who she trusted to know more than her. But she had always reserved the right in her own mind to leave and become a lone wolf. Indeed she had done so on several occasions when she had not been convinced of the need; she had accepted King Varian’s request that she go in search of his son and then let him go his own way, believing the boy needed to learn to grow on his own. She had refused to take part in the battles in Pandaria, being firmly of the view that the Pandaren were quite capable of protecting their own land. In fact she had returned to Hyjal and began the long and weary work of helping to heal the land of the damage caused by Deathwing’s madness rather than assisting the Alliance’s expansionism into Pandaria. Only Garrosh’s madness and the realisation that her own inaction had perhaps exacerbated the situation rather than containing it had caused her to lay down those responsibilities and join in the siege of Orgrimmar.

This request from the Archmage would end that. If she accepted, she would be the pride alpha and it would be for her to keep her followers alive.

She had looked forward to returning to Hyjal but then the Iron Horde had invaded. She owed Khadgar from years back when he had made her welcome in Shattrath so when the Archmage had urgently asked for her help she had responded. Seeing the war-machines the Orcs were bringing into Azeroth and remembering the devastation that Orcs had brought to the forests in Ashenvale and Azhara, it had been absolutely within her duties for the Cenarion Circle and as an Ancient of the Council of Treants to join in the destruction of the portal. It was not as if she was unable to return here even with the portal down. Her connection to Azeroth was quite strong enough for her to return to Moonglade even through the oddities of space and time that separated her from her birth world.

But others could not. Khadgar himself was worn down by the vast magics he had expended to save them. Few of the Alliance would be willing to entrust themselves to the leadership of the Orc who used to be known as Thrall and realistically, there was no one else of the right stature to gather the rag tag survivors of the army who had pushed the Orcish invaders back and held them while she, Khadgar worked to destroy the others. Perhaps the Vindicator but the yearning on his face as he saw Karabor was plain and Faitha knew that while he would do his best for them, his heart was more torn than her own. He saw before him a home he had thought lost forever and he yearned to walk its streets again.

She saw the entreaty in Khadgar’s eyes and those of those members of the Alliance around her. They knew her. They trusted her. Despite her self-image as a loner, to them she was the Druid who had explored the depths of Karazhan, who had saved the world at Hyjal and fought the trolls in Zul Aman. She had braved Naxxramas and Ulduar and fought at their sides holding the lines in the depths of the Firelands. She had returned to the Alliance and seen Garrosh fall. She saw herself reflected in their eyes as one of the few who could keep them alive and despaired because she could not destroy the fragile hope that was all they still had left.

These people needed her as much or more than the lands of Hyjal. They were as much her charge as any of the other beasts or plants of Azeroth. More, here they were interlopers. If she led them, then she could both protect them and help them hold against those who would destroy them but also she could try to make sure they touched the world as lightly as possible, guide them to balance and working with the land rather than leaving it a gutted wreck as the Horde and Alliance conflict had Pandaria. Faitha had seen the shattered corpse of this land before. She had fought the void and taint that had been everywhere and she could not let it happen again if she had any chance of stopping it.

She looked into Khadgar’s ice blue eyes and allowed a smile to cross her lips even as she slipped fully back into the world and out of the only semi-tangible form of starlight that she had taken to weave her magics most effectively.

“Thank you, Archmage.” The druid said softly in a cool soprano voice and only she knew how little she wanted to take on the burden he had offered. After all, what she wanted did not matter compared to what was best for the land and its inhabitants.

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