Just a few nights ago Giligan had felt that all was in balance. Things were right in the world.
He was far more wrong than he knew.
For many days there had been a great feeling of impending doom. Rumors coming into the dockside taverns of Stormwind told of strange things happening in the great sea between Kalimdor and the Eastern Kingdoms. Ships and crews takeing sail and never returning. Vessels found adrift and whole with not a soul onboard, but meals on the table as though they simply disappeared.
Worse yet were those that returned to port crewed by madmen. Poor bastards, driven mad by whatever they had seen, and beyond the healing of a forest of Druids.
He did not need rumors to tell him of the distant rumbles coming from far away, like memories of earthquakes. He could feel it in root and branch when he took the form of the Ent, and sense it like a predator waiting to pounce when he took the form of the panther.
He did not understand why there was discontent on the wind, yet the birds of the sky told him to be wary of impending doom.
Somehow hehad not thought that all the signs had pointed to this though.
The day Elune turned her back on the Druids of the leaf.
When he took up the cause, all those years ago, to go to war in Elunes name he had been asked to make a choice.
He knew what he truly wanted to do was to heal. To heal a land wracked with war and disaster, and to heal the broken bodies of the soldiers injured fighting the good fight. He wanted to be a protector, not a killer.
He chose the way of the leaf.
He chose it to save others, to heal them, to protect them. It was just his nature.
And for many years all was right in the world.
Waving his branches he had taken up the call, fighting through the long forgotten dungeons of Azeroth, the demon infested hell hole that was Outlands, and the scourge riddled frozen wastes of Northrend.
From the haunted halls of Karazahn to Ice Crown Citadel itself he did all that was asked of him, and more. What had he done to cause Elune to punish him so? What had they all done?
When it was overe he felt as though she had reached into his soul and pulled out the parts that mattered.
The path of the tree was torn from him, and judging from the screams he heard echoing through Moonglade he was far from the only one.
Eyes blurred with the shock of it he saw movement in the sky overhead.
A great brown eagle began circling Moonglade, calling out to them. “To me Druids! Come to me!” It then wheeled off in the direction of the clearing down near the lake.
Still reeling from shock Giligan followed.
Standing there on an outcropping of rock was Arch-Druid Staghelm, waiting for them.
He stood quietly as the Druids slowly filtered into the clearing, noting the shocked expressions and vacant looks on many. When they were all assembled he began to speak.
“Grieve not Friends. The way of the leaf is changing, but it is still there.” he said, softly.
“All the paths are changing, the world is a fluid place. Things do not stay the same forever, nor should they. It is all part of the circle of life.”
“We must adapt to the changes in the world, not try to force the world to stay the same. This is the lesson Elune teaches us with these changes.”
“Go now friends. Ponder the future, think on the circle of life and where you fit inside it. Then, and only then, should you choose the path that you will next walk.”
Returning to the form of flight the Arch-Druid then flew away and left them.
Slowly, in ones and twos, the dozens of Druids that had gathered there walked away. The headed to quiet places to ponder Staghelm’s words. A quiet descended upon Moonglade, interrupted only by the occasional gentle trembling of the ground, the memory of another far away earthquake.
A day and a night passed as Giligan sat upon the lakeshore lost in thought. The world around him was full of life and motion, yet he was still. Nothing but the sound of his breathing showed that he still lived.
Abruptly he stood, startling a nearby squirrel. Face set he walked back to the cluster of buildings down the coast of the lakeshore.
That is how he found himself standing there talking to the teacher.
“I sense a great upheaval coming.” said Giligan. “Teach me in the ways of the Bear, that I might be a protector once again.”
As the words rolled off his tongue he knew he had once again found his place.
His long walk in the way of the leaf had ended.
With this new beginning he would take up a new path.
He would walk the way of the Bear.
The circle was now complete.
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