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This article contains lore taken from Warcraft novels, novellas, or short stories.
Eyes of the Earth Mother

Illustration of the Earth Mother.

Eyes of the Earth Mother 2

Illustration of a tauren.

"Eyes of the Earth Mother" is a short story by L. L. McKinney published in the anthology Folk & Fairy Tales of Azeroth. It is illustrated by Cory Godbey. It is an expanded retelling of the early parts of tauren mythology, specifically the Mists of Dawn and Sorrow of the Earthmother myths, and mainly focuses on the relationship between the Earth Mother and her children, An'she and Mu'sha.


In the time before time, the pregnant Earth Mother roams the emptiness of the world and is unswayed by the whispers of the Old Ones trapped in the depths. Wanting to create a safe place where she can give birth, she shapes the world, creating, naming, and befriending the four elements and allowing the first wildlife to appear. She gives birth to twins, An'she and Mu'sha, whom the elements name Sun and Moon. The twins form close bonds with the elements and grow in power, but their mother remains vigilant against the Old Ones and their shadows. She eventually grows tired and presses her children into her eyes so she can keep them safe while she sleeps. In the twins' absence, the elements' behavior changes and causes the first winter. When the Earth Mother wakes, the elements show her how rest has allowed new life to thrive, and she teaches her children how to bring about the changes of the seasons at will from inside her eyes.

Seeing her children grow fills the Earth Mother with joy, a feeling she wants to share with them. The next time she slumbers, she stretches over the land so that the beating her of heart digs into the earth, saturating it with "the song of life". When she awakens, she is surrounded by new life: the shu'halo (tauren). An'she and Mu'sha teach the shu'halo everything they know, including how to care for the land and commune with the elements, and for a time all is peaceful. However, the next time the Earth Mother slumbers, the Old Ones stretch their influence across the land and corrupt many of the shu'halo with their whispers, causing the world to descend into chaos and bloodshed. An'she and Mu'sha wake their mother, who—upon seeing how the world has been tainted—sheds a single tear.

The Earth Mother realizes that she is also susceptible to corruption and her children with her, and so rips An'she and Mu'sha free from her skull. Unable to console their mother, the twins set out to hunt down the source of the corruption. They encounter a group of uncorrupted shu'halo, who present a radiant blue infant they found in the fields. The twins realize that this infant is their mother's single tear and therefore their sibling. Suddenly, the shadows attack the group. Sun and Moon hold them off with the elements' aid, but An'she sustains a wound that Mu'sha is unable to heal.

The Earth Mother hears of her children's peril and finds them with the help of the elements. She informs Mu'sha that her presence is keeping the bleeding An'she alive. When presented with the infant child, she names them Lo'sho. Knowing that the shadows will return to take the rest of the shu'halo, the Earth Mother decides to sacrifice herself to contain the darkness. She tells her twins to permanently take to the skies, from where they'll be able to chase away any shadows she cannot hold, and to always stay close to each other so Mu'sha can tend An'she's wounds. She gives Lo'sho to Mu'sha and tells the twins to teach the infant everything they know, and that her love will always be with them and all of her children. The Earth Mother summons the elements and embraces the land one last time, never to rise and walk the land again, so that she can keep the world safe from the shadows. Mu'sha and An'she take their eternal post in the skies with Lo'sho. The story ends with an assurance that the Earth Mother's essence still cradles the world under the now ever-present glow of the Sun and Moons, and that her love and wisdom will always be there to guide her shu'halo children.


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