Khæli was certain that onlookers would think it was a prisoner
transfer. She stood, head bowed, hands clasped before her, as the
emissary from the Stormwind Orphanage put her in the custody of the
tall Night Elf that greeted them on the docks of Ru'theran Village.
"Watch out for this one. She seethes with shadow," said the emissary
as he turned abrubtly and embarked on the boat back to the Eastern
Kingdoms. "Hmm," responded the elf. "Follow me," he barked. Even
with her eyes lowered, Khæli could see that her surroundings had
changed to the grey stone of Stormwind to the lush green of her
homeland, and the color gave her solace.
The night elf led Khæli through the winding paths of Darnassus. The
city was much quieter than Stormwind, and despite her trepidations of
what would come, Khæli felt serene. "Seethes with the shadow," she
muttered to herself. "Perhaps they were the ones keeping me from the
light." Khæli followed the night elf into a secluded garden and before
her stood the three imposing figures. Khæli was relieved to have kept
her demure semblance and as she had strong suspicions as to who these
figures were, bowed before them.
"Welcome home, Khæli," said the male of the three. The two others nodded in agreement.
"Do you know who we are?" asked one of the women.
"I think so, aye," said Khæli, lifting her eyes to meet theirs. "Arch
Druid Fandral Staghelm. High Priestess Tyrande Whisperwind. Sentinel
Elanaria," Khæli bowed her head to each in turn. "I am humbled that
you are here to greet me on my return." Having been pinned as a rude
troublemaker with the humans, she was eager to endear herself to her
own people, particularly to these great leaders.
As though she'd read Khæli's mind, the High Priestess spoke, "Such a
different child than the reports we received. But do not fret, Khæli.
Humans always fail to comprehend our ways. And we are not here to
judge you. Not now at least. We are hear for you to judge yourself."
"Khæli, what do you know? What do you want to know? Who are you? Who
will you be?" the Arch Druid rattled off these questions in rapid fire.
Khæli gulped, unsure to respond to the immensity of the inquiry. "Well, I can read and write. And sew. A bit. And…"
Elanaria cut her off. "Bah, that is not what we want to know. We care
not for your skills with needle and thread or pen and paper. Think
bigger, child. Think bolder. Who are you? Who will you be?"
Elanaria stepped toward Khæli and unsheathed her sword. The sunlight
gleamed on the metal, and as Elanaria spun and sliced the air, the
sword itself began to emanate its own lightforce. "Does the blade
speak to you, child? Will you choose the path of the warrior and lead
your people in battle? Or, with the prediliction for the shadow we
hear about you, will you choose the path of the rogue and wield the
blade with stealth?"
"Or do you hear the calling of the wild?" asked the druid, bending down
and grabbing a handful of the earth from the garden. In his hands, the
soil began to spin like a miniature whirlwind. "Will you learn to
harness the shifting sands, the moonfire, the rage of bear, the claws
of cat, the feathers of flight, the rejuvenation of tree? Will you
choose the path of the druid?"
Tyrande moved forward and placed both her hands over Khæli's heart.
Drawing back her right hand, a stream of white energy arced from
Khæli's chest. Drawing back her left, a smoky purple haze. Tyrande
stood before Khæli with her arms outstretched, the white and purple now
orbs spinning above her hands. Even before Tyrande spoke, Khæli knew
how she would respond. The High Priestess had pulled the energy from
within Khæli–forces Khæli knew had been inside her–and had harnessed
it somehow–a feat that Khæli had always longed for. "Or do you will
you walk the way of the spirit?" asked the priestess. "Will you be a
discipline of the holy or the shadow?"
The words had barely left Tyrande's lips before Khæli responded. Finally, her destiny in her own hands. Finally, a choice.
"Yes, I will be a priest."
● ● ●