THE WOLF

 THE WOLF



Tyrande Whisperwind knew that the world could never be mended. Deathwing, the great black dragon, had forever changed the face of all Azeroth in a manner even more terrifying in some ways than the Sundering—when the world’s lone continent was savagely split apart. The high priestess, who had survived that epic event some ten thousand years ago, had never imagined that she would have to live through anything so brutal again. To those few who might have been unfamiliar with her race, the night elf, her midnight-blue hair falling below her shoulders, seemed barely more than two decades old, rather than ten thousand years. However, her glittering, silver eyes were filled with the wisdom of so much experience. There were some very fine lines near those elegant eyes, but they were more the result of troubled times during the past ten millennia than from age. Tyrande strode through the lush Temple Gardens, the centerpiece—though geographically more west of the center—of Darnassus and composed of sev- eral islets of varying size filled with the most exquisite of flora. The light of a full moon shone down upon the gardens and with what appeared particular favor upon her. That it did so disturbed neither Tyrande nor any who happened by the high priestess. After all, it was a normal sight already familiar to those who knew the solemn figure. She had hoped that out here she would be better able to think, to come to

some conclusion concerning the weighty matters upon her. As high priestess, 
Tyrande generally sought guidance and peace from the goddess Elune, also 
called the Mother Moon, from a place of quiet meditation in the temple directly 
to the south. However, even the calm of the perpetually moonlit sanctum of 
the Sisterhood—the heart of Elune herself, some called it—had no longer 
proven enough. Thus, she had hoped the tranquil gardens might suffice where 
the temple had failed. 
But although the gardens in some ways embodied the spirit of the Mother 
Moon even more than the temple, it was not enough to calm the high priestess 
this night. Tyrande could not keep from constantly worrying about the upcom- 
ing summit. The time of the gathering was fast approaching, and already she 
and the archdruid Malfurion Stormrage—her co-ruler and mate—wondered 
whether the event would prove worth anything at all. 
The Alliance faced a revitalized Horde now led not by the seemingly con- 
flicted Thrall, who might have kept the peace for the sake of both sides, but 
rather by a new, much more ambitious warchief. Garrosh coveted the great 
forests of Ashenvale, though he would hardly stop with them should they fall 
to his warriors. 
Despite, as an archdruid, being more concerned with the wilds of Azeroth 
and having absolutely no ambitions toward politics, Malfurion had done what 
he could to help maintain unity in the Alliance. However, Tyrande and Malfu- 
rion both knew that the Alliance’s future did not and could not rely upon him. 
It was time for someone who could be more dedicated to that goal. That was 
thus one of the points of this summit Tyrande and Malfurion had put together, 
to see if through the talks someone would arise who could best guide those 
assembled forward in this new world. 

Of course, the gathering would not matter if not all the members were in 

attendance, and there were some of significance who still had not sent word of 
their participation. If they did not join, then no true accord would likely be ac- 
ceptable. 
Among those Tyrande passed during her trek were other priestesses, all of 
whom bowed low in homage to her. They were clad in silver-white, sleeveless 
robes similar to her own. Tyrande wore little ornamentation, needing none to 
mark her as high priestess. All knew her. She acknowledged their greeting with 
a smile and a nod of her head, but so engrossed was she in her dark thoughts 
that, in truth, she forgot the encounters immediately after. 
The foul vision of Deathwing the Destroyer and what he had caused filled 
her mind, nearly overwhelming her. Her heart pounded and her blood raced as 
she imagined the continuing repercussions of his terrifying act. 
The summit must prove of benefit, Tyrande thought anxiously. This is the one 
opportunity we have to stave off the downfall of our world. If nothing comes of this, 
there will be no hope of attempting another gathering. It will be too late for all of 
us by then. . . . 
But they had not received word from three of the major members of the Al- 
liance, including Stormwind . . . and if Stormwind alone did not participate, 
then— 
Around her, the light of Elune grew blinding. 
The Temple Gardens vanished. 
Tyrande Whisperwind stumbled, then caught herself. Her eyes widened. 
New surroundings came into view, surroundings not at all even a part of Dar- 
nassus, the night elf capital. She now stood in a place far away, a place clearly 
on the mainland, on the continent of Kalimdor. Tyrande had been transported 
hundreds of miles in less than a single heartbeat. 
More shocking than that, she was surrounded by the unmistakable vision of 

war. The stench of wholesale death was familiar to her, and darkened mounds 
roughly the size and shape of bodies—mangled ones—were everywhere. 
What had once been pristine wilderness—a few ruined tree trunks marked 
that this had once been forest—had clearly been ravaged by previous battles 
here. As the high priestess fought to regain her composure, it quickly dawned 
on her that she knew this place, this time, though whether from memory or be- 
cause of Elune, it was impossible to say. 
She stood in the midst of Azeroth’s first climactic struggle against the Burn- 
ing Legion . . . a battle fought more than ten thousand years ago during the 
War of the Ancients. That war had culminated with the Sundering and the sink- 
ing of the night elf capital of Zin-Azshari into the waters once housing her peo- 
ple’s fount of power—the Well of Eternity. The Legion had sought the end of 
all life on Azeroth and had come horribly close in achieving that monstrous 
goal, ironically with the help of the night elves’ own queen. 
The demonic warriors surged forward, the fiery infernals at the vanguard. 
The massive constructs were followed by felguard and felhounds, the former 
towering, armored warriors and the latter fearsome, toothy beasts. Other 
demons added to their monumental numbers. The insidious army rushed over 
the landscape unhindered, contrary to what the night elf recalled of that his- 
tory. Anything touched by the demons burst into the same horrific green flame 
that surrounded each of the monstrosities. 
Tyrande looked for those defenders she knew should be here, her own peo- 
ple and the many fantastic allies who had gathered to prevent the destruction 
of Azeroth. However, they were nowhere to be seen. Nothing blocked the de- 
structive forces. The land, the world, was doomed. . . . 



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