"Stones, Moss, and Tears" is a short story by Molly Knox Ostertag published in the anthology Folk & Fairy Tales of Azeroth. It is illustrated by Zoltan Boros. The story tells of a night elf Sentinel's efforts to win the attention of her love with the help of an old hermit.
The Sentinel Keda Bloomblade visits the alchemist Elyrion Fogsong in his bog to buy a potion. She laments that she isn't bold enough to confess her romantic feelings for the Loreekeper Toreth Bluestar, and Elyrion tries to offer encouragement. Before leaving, Keda invites Elyrion to join her at a Sentinel ceremony where she will be honored for her accomplishments, but he refuses. After the ceremony, Toreth approaches Keda to ask her questions about her deeds so he can record them. She gets the idea to impress him and work up the courage to confess her feelings by performing feats of heroism, since she believes that being a soldier is her only good quality. When she says the latter to Elyrion, he disagrees and reminds her that it took boldness for her to become who she is, since her family saw her as a boy when she was born. He asks if they never taught her that she deserves love simply because of who she is, and Keda explains that her family estranged her when she broke the tradition dictating that every male Bloomblade should become a druid.
Although she repeatedly throws herself into danger and frequently gets to speak with Toreth (who repeatedly invites her for tea), Keda continues to feel embarrassed whenever she's near him. Elyrion offers to brew her a potion that will let her see herself as worthy of Toreth's attention, if she retrieves the last few ingredients for him: three crescent stones, two moss bunches, and a nightsaber's tear. When she returns with the ingredients, he warns her that pursuing what she wants also means that she has more to lose. He reveals that the reason he lives alone in the bog is that he once lost a life of happiness and doesn't want to try to find one again, instead finding purpose in helping others with his potions. Keda responds by returning the advice Elyrion gave her earlier: that he has value beyond his usefulness.
Elyrion's potion causes Keda to feel more confident, to the point where she finally agrees to have tea with Toreth. They start meeting regularly and, one night when watching a glowmoth migration, share a kiss. Weeks later, Keda reveals what it was that caused to her start courting Toreth. However, Toreth in turn reveals that all the ingredients she collected for Elyrion are useless and adds that he's familiar with the alchemist's history: his wife and daughter were killed in battle. Keda and Toreth visit Elyrion, who explains that he's kept his tragic past secret because "Secrecy bandages the pain". Keda invites him to join her and Toreth in the village. He is initially reluctant, but she offers him a bundle of three crescent stones, two moss bunches, and a nightsaber's tear, saying that the mixture will help him see himself as worthy of having a family again, and adds that "I have love enough in my heart for a father of my choosing. If he will have me." After a moment, Elyrion smiles and accepts the bundle.