TOME OF THE ANCIENTS
As recorded by Celadine, lead historian of the Dreamweavers.
Scythe of Elune
- Main article: Scythe of Elune
SCYTHE OF ELUNE
The weapon you now hold is a physical, tangible representation of both the divine and the savage, of serenity and untamed ferocity. The scythe is not only a weapon but a symbol. Perhaps its greatest lesson is that the traits of tranquility and furor exist within all living beings, and sometimes the best we can hope for... is to find balance.
May the Scythe of Elune grant you the strength to destroy your enemies, and the wisdom to know when to stay your hand.
For millennia, the Scythe of Elune has served as both an embodiment of sacred power and a caution against unbridled rage.
Long ago, in the War of the Satyr, beleaguered night elf forces faced off against an army of demonic foes. Some felt an advantage was needed to turn the ride of battle. To this end, the scythe was created, joining a fang from the wolf Ancient, Goldrinn, with the divinely empowered Staff of Elune.
It is written that the scythe's creation sprouted from the enmity of a druid, Ralaar Fangfire, and the broken heart of a priestess, Belysra Starbreeze.
Ralaar believed he could harness the rage of the pack form to aid the outnumbered night elves against their demonic enemies... but his proposal was denied by the archdruid Malfurion Stormrage, who felt that the form was to unstable.
When Ralaar's best friend, Arvell, refused to assume the pack form and died at the hands of demons as a result, Ralaar chose not only embrace the form, but also to seek out ways of enhancing it. Ralaar found an unlikely ally in Arvell's beloved, the priestess Belysra Starbreeze.
Together, Ralaar and Belysra joined the fang of Goldrinn with the Staff of Elune to create the legendary Scythe of Elune... a weapon that would alter the course of history.
The Scythe of Elune has displayed myrlad power over the millennia.
During the War of the Satyr, when the headstrong druid Ralaar Fangfire used the Scythe of Elune to enhance the pack form, the result was disastrous. Many druids turned into worgen, feral creatures that viciously attacked both friend and foe.
So it was that the archdruid Malfurion Stormrage obtained the scythe and used it to banish Ralaar and his fellow worgen to the realm of the Emerald Dream, where he hoped they would remain pacified at the base of the majestic tree Daral'nir.
It is known that shortly after the War of the Satyr, the Scythe of Elune vanished. Thousands of years later, the scythe would be rediscovered by a night elf priestess, Velinde Starsong.
Desperately seeking a way to overcome yet another incursion of demonic forces, Velinde channeled the scythe's power to call forth the worgen from their place of banishment in the Emerald Dream.
However, Velinde was unable to control the summoned worgen. She sought help from a human mage, but en route to find the sorcerer, she was attacked and killed... and the scythe was lost to history once again.
Throughout its history, the Scythe of Elune has changed hands many times.
One temporary holder of the scythe was a timid (and extremely lucky) resident of Duskwood named Jitters. Jitters discovered the weapon in an old mine called Roland's Doom.
An account written in Jitters's own words tells of his retrieving the scythe, at which point he and his comrades were attacked by worgen:
" They came at us from everywhere, clawing from hidden holes at our feet and dropping upon us from silent perches above."
Jitters was the only person to escape the worgen onslaught, though he lost the Scythe of Elune during his harried flight from the cursed mine.
An excerpt from the journal of Archmage Karlain:
" It was with those cursed beasts, the worgen, at our backs that we rushed into the mine named Roland's Doom.
" There we beheld an exceedingly gruesome and--to me most of all--heartrending sight. My son, held by clawed worgen hands, knelt beneath the blade of what I would come to know as the Scythe of Elune. The beasts were performing some profane ritual on my boy, an initiation of sorts to enlist him in their Wolf Cult.
" As I watched, helpless to intervene in time, the Wolf Cult leader's glistening fangs sank viciously into the bare shoulder and chest of my only son.
" With a gut-wrenching cry rising in my throat, I attacked."
The Scythe of Elune has been connected to a mysterious and merciless group of relic hunters known as the Dark Riders.
It was shortly after the scythe was discovered at the mine Roland's Doom that the riders first made an appearance, butchering a local family in their search for the sacred artifact.
After the scythe was claimed by a priest named Revil Kost, the Dark Riders waylaid him and his companions. This attack was in turn interrupted by the commander of the Night Watch, Althea Ebonlocke. What happened next is shrouded in mystery, as the entire assembly disappeared in a blinding flash of light.
Testimony of Revil Kost, priest of the Church of the Holy Light, to Archbishop Benedictus:
" It was firmly held belief that I acted on behalf of the Light.
" We had recovered the Scythe of Elune from Roland's Doom. I used it as bait to ensnare a band of shadowy, profane thieves known as the Dark Riders.
" As we fought, the riders teleported us to Karazhan, fabled tower of the one-time Guardian Medivh. It was from there the riders had originated, seeking artifacts for the tower's menagerie and hidden trophy room.
" Despite the riders' best efforts and the intervention of the trophy room's curator, their taking of the scythe was not meant to be. With the aid of my companions and my unwavering devotion to the Holy Light, I helped put an end to the Dark Riders' unholy campaign."
Prior to the great Cataclysm that befell Azeroth, the Scythe of Elune was transported secretly into the walled territory of Gilneas via underground tunnels.
At this time, the scythe changed hands from an SI:7 gnome assassin, Brink Spannercrank, to night elf supporters of Genn Greymane, king of Gilneas. It was briefly taken by Forsaken agents, but ultimately, the actions of heroic adventurers returned the weapon to the night elves' possession.
From Priestess Belysra Starbreeze's account of the death of Alpha Prime, leader of the Wolf Cult:
" It had been Alpha Prime's foremost goal to retake the Scythe of Elune. He still harbored resentment toward the archdruid Malfurion for spurning him when he was simply Ralaar Fangfire, the druid who wanted to take on the pack form during the War of the Satyr. Prime wished to use the scythe to call forth his brethren from the Emerald Dream, to besiege our beloved home of Darnassus.
" I battled Alpha Prime to the limit of my abilities, but even my greatest efforts proved insufficient. Prime took up the scythe and was prepared to summon his worgen brethren, when he was vanquished by a phantom... the spirit essence of my fallen love, Arvell, who had promised millennia ago that not even death would keep us apart.
" My love kept his promise, and the Scythe of Elune remained in my keeping.""
From the writings of Belysra Starbreeze:
" Arvell, there is not a day that goes by when I do not think of you, my love. The sacrifice that you made so long ago, and your reappearance in my hour of greatest need... these are never far from my mind.
" I vow to you that I will atone for my past indiscretions, for my role in unleashing the worgen curse upon the world. I will find a way to set matters right.
" As I write this, I prepare to travel with Valorn Stillbough to Duskwood, to further my studies of the worgen. I pray that your spirit will forever guide my heart and my hand. Perhaps at last, with the help of the Scythe of Elune, we will find a way to grant those who are afflicted with the worgen curse the one gift that matters most...
The Fangs of Ashamane
THE FANGS OF ASHAMANE
By reclaiming these weapons, you have struck a heavy blow against the forces of evil. In their hands, these daggers would have been more than a danger; they would have been a sacrilege.
These are all that remain of a revered Wild God who gave her life in defense of Azeroth. Do you know her story? The druids of Val'sharah, who protected these weapons for so long, could tell you about her. Some of them even remember her.
Her name was Ashamane. She left a powerful legacy, and very soon, it will be yours to wield.
Azeroth was once smothered in darkness. But after the titans broke the Old Gods's Black Empire, natural creatures finally had a chance to grow and flourish. A keeper named Freya was tasked with seeding the world with life. She created lush enclaves all across Azeroth that gave rise to countless animals.
On occasion, extraordinary creatures captured Freya's attention.
As Freya traveled, she found a wolf pack that had killed a panther and was trying to finish off her lone surviving cub. Though the wolves had wounded the tiny creature, she still fought fiercely, swiping viciously with her claws at the bigger predators. Freya was astonished to see that, before long, the wolves were driven away, unwilling to suffer further injuries for their meal.
When Freya picked up the cub, the keeper endured a flurry of small scratches for her trouble. That did not anger her. Quite the contrary. Delighted by the creatures's unrelenting wildness, the keeper healed the cub's injuries and named her Ashamane, for the color of her striking black fur.
Over the years, Ashamane grew into a massive panther. No wolf pack dared to hunt her now. Freya was pleased to see that the panther did not succumb to desires for vengeance. Ashamane could have stalked and killed every wolf in her valley. Easily. But she didn't.
Her wild nature granted her understanding. Was she not predator as well? Did she not hunt prey? The wolves had had no vendetta against Ashamane; they had been hungry. She bore no malice toward them.
But she did enjoy toying with them. The wolf pack that had attacked her would sometimes woken from sleep by an earth-shattering roar. Ashamane would creep up to their den and announce her presence loudly, sending them fleeing.
There were other animals like her. Powerful, iconic creatures who seemed to live a different existence than the rest of nature. Mortals would soon refer to them as Wild Gods.
Ashamane was one of them.
Ashamane's untamed heart had difficulty accepting inmortality. The chaos of the wilderness, the struggle for survival--they had been the core of Ashamane's being. Now they were irrelevant. She had ascended above her old life. There was no prey that could evade her. There was no joy in an effortless hunt. There was no predator that could challenge her.
Ashamane strode openly through the jungles of Azeroth. Other wild creatures had nothing to fear from her. Stories of a giant, majestic panther spread among the trolls who ventured into the area. Some sought to venerate her as one of their loa. Ashamane rarely let them see her. Other trolls tracked her for a different reason. Certain hunters craved the glory that would surely come from bringing down such a magnificent being. Defeating a loa... there was no greater challenge.
One by one, these ambitious trolls crept into the jungle, arrogance burning in their hearts. Ashamane was delighted. No matter how clever they were, no matter how silent they moved or how true their aim, they all returned to their tribes empty-handed, the sound of her roar still ringing in their ears, and the sight of her fangs forever haunting their dreams.
She did not need to take their lives. They understood their place in the wilds when she was done with them. That was enough.
Whenever Keeper Freya traveled the land, many Wild Gods walked by her side. Ashamane did not. The panther's heart was to unwilling to be tethered to any other creature. Freya understood, and she always smiled when she saw Ashamane's glowing eyes watching here from afar.
No matter What Ashamane thought, there would be a connection between them. There was another realm, a wild, untouched place called the Emerald Dream. Keeper Freya had used it to seed life all across Azeroth, and thus, the Wilds Gods were bound to it.
Eventually Ashamane came to Mount Hyjal to experience the Dream for herself, and she was immediately taken with this thriving vision of an untamed world. The panther made her home on the western slopes of the Well of Eternity, exploring its mysteries and power.
Ashamane, like many Wild Gods, lived apart from the burgeoning civilizations that rose and fell across Azeroth. The Zandalari trolls held no interest for her. Many elves saw themselves as ascendant, too enlightened to be bothered with the natural world.
But there came a time when she could no longer ignore Azeroth. The Emerald Dream shook with the arrival of the Burning Legion. Eventually a disciple of another powerful being, Cenarius, called upon the Wild Gods for aid.
For Ashamane, her duty was clear. She rushed into battle with the Burning Legion without hesitation.
A new predator had come into her world. She was glad to hunt it.
By the time the Wild Gods joined the War of the Ancients, the fighting had spread far beyond the Well of Eternity.
The demons who strayed into the forests outside Zin-Azshari soon learned to tread carefully; Ashamane stalked the trees. Her fangs ended the war for many Burning Legion scouts. So greatly was she feared that the Legion took to burning down entire swaths of forest before attempting to advance past her.
If the demons believed they would have better luck fighting on an open battlefield, they were sorely mistaken. Ashamane was enraged by their tactics, and she joined other Wild Gods, elves, and additional creatures in attacking the Legion's flanks, ripping huge holes in their battle lines.
There seemed to be no end to the demons' numbers. When Ashamane fought the Burning Legion ten thousand years ago, her instincts told her that the invaders had specific prey in mind. Tearing herself away from the thick of the battle around Zin-Azshari, she tracked raiding parties that had determinedly cut their way northwest.
It was not easy to keep up. The demons set their best warriors to discourage pursuit, and Ashamane had to fight every step of the way.
But she was not deterred. Those who stood in her path fell, one after another.
As she closed in on her prey, she understood their target: they were aiming to claim Suramar. This is why Ashamane is so honored by the druids of Val'sharah--what she did next has never been forgotten.
An army of demons was preparing to lay siege to Suramar. Ashamane faced it alone. She had never visited the forests near Val'sharah before, but that did not matter. They were the wilds, and thus, they were her home.
She ripped through the demons' ranks and then disappeared into the trees. She crept along the high branches and dove down upon the Legion commanders. She was a terror, a fearsome beast, and she held nothing back, offering no mercy.
It was a slaugther. And yet even a Wild God could not avoid injury at the Burning Legion's hands. Scorched by fel fire and poisoned by their tainted weapons, Ashamane fought on, thinning their ranks until their leader was forced to face her himself.
That had been her plan all along. It was one of the laws of survival: the pack was not defeated until its leader's throat was between her jaws.
A Burning Legion general had volunteered to oversee the conquest of Suramar. This pit lord, Ronokon, saw endless rewards in the elven city and wanted to claim them in Sargeras's name. He became enraged by Ashamane's interference and stepped forth to personally deal with her.
The Wild God and the annihilan general dueled in the forests of Val'sharah for hours. He was a cunning fighter. He knew how fast she could kill, so he kept her at bay with his jagged, fel-wrought spear, content to inflict small, grazing wounds.
After so much war, Ashamane's strength was finally beginning to fade. Her wounds ached. Her pace slowed. But her will was unbroken. With the last of her strength, she leapt at Ronokon, allowing him to drive his spear through her chest. Yet her claws dug into his shoulders, and her fangs sank deep within his neck.
Ronokon thrashed madly, trying to pull the panther away, but she held on. Her teeth remained embedded in his throat until he died. His death brought more destruction. The fel power granted to him by the Legion exploded outward, tearing a deep gash in the land and burning Ashamane to ash.
Her sacrifice was not in vain. Suramar's residents had been given enough time to hide their city from the Legion and the world, protecting themselves from the Sundering that would follow.
The land around Val'sharah had been altered forever. Where there had once been a hill, now there were a cliff and a deep valley. It took many years for the druids to restore nature in the area to its previous beauty.
Despite the lingering traces of Ronokon's corruption, there was always a sense that something was opposing it, helping to sweep it away. Some druids came to believe that Ashamane's spirit, even after death, was still committed to the fight against the invaders who had threatened her wilds.
The druids built a shrine at the site of the pit lord's death to commemorate Ashamane's courage. Her fangs--all that survived the violence of her passing--were placed there to honor her unbending heart and untamed nature.
To this day, Ashamane is remembered as one of the fiercest defenders of Azeroth.
The Claws of Ursoc
THE CLAWS OF URSOC
You've been blessed by Wild Gods. Please understand the honor that has been granted to you: Ursol believes that you are the right champion to carry on his brother's work.
May the spirit of Ursoc drive you onward to victory. PART ONE
Ursoc's legacy is known to every druid on Azeroth. As one of the great Wild Gods, he challenged the Burning Legion ten thousand years ago and bravely laid down his life in defense of this world.
He was a true guardian. He believed in the power of the wilds, and he never hesitated even for a moment to leap to their defense.
But now he can rest. Others will need to continue his work.
Many millennia ago, two inquisitive bear cubs roamed the area around the Grizzly Hills together. These brothers, named Ursoc and Ursol, had more curiosity than good sense, and they frequently found themselves trespassing in the domains of bigger predators. Danger did not discourage them, and circumstances seemed dire.
They caught the attention of Keeper Freya, who was traveling across Azeroth in search of exceptional wild animals. Freya recognized their potential and saw what they would become.
When they matured, they grew stronger and bigger than any other bear in the Grizzly Hills, and they did not suffer the ravages of aging.
Ursoc and Ursol became known as Wild Gods.
Perhaps the most usual gift Keeper Freya gave the two bears was the ability to speak. A few other Wild Gods, particularly who would become known as the August Celestials, also received the gift. While they were chosen for their intelligence, the two bears were chosen for their stubborn bravery.
Freya believed that Ursoc and Ursol would one day change. When they finally saw enough of Azeroth to satisfy their curiosity, they would be compelled to protect it from any enemy that would threaten it.
She knew them well. Ursoc, the older of the two bears, had a strong protective streak. The more he saw of the wilds of Azeroth, the more he felt it was his responsibility to preserve them.
Keeper Freya saw how the instincts of the Wilds Gods matured over the years, and she noticed that some of them were natural guardians of their domain. For those creatures, she began to create unique weapons, items that would aid them in times of trouble... but these artifacts would only become as strong as their wielder made them. Their true potential could only be unlocked with practice, nurture, and self-improvement.
Some Wild Gods did not understand what Freya had given them, and they neglected their weapons. Ursoc was not one of them.
Freya gave Ursoc new claws, fashioned out of a rare material called titansteel and imbued with a small portion of the essence of Eonar, one of the titans. These claws could grow in length and were nearly indestructible.
Ursoc had no intention of letting them waste away and decay. He dedicated himself to mastering their power.
Once Ursoc received his new claws, he trained tirelessly. Every day he traveled long distances and sparred with his brother, testing his strength. Over the years he grew stronger. Much stronger. Ursol had received a gift, too, a staff that eased the use of magic, and he soon mastered his own power.
Ursoc's titansteel claws became an extension of his body, and Ursol became an expert in manipulating the flows of magical essence.
Together they had become some of the most powerful Wild Gods in existence... and they would soon become known as Azeroth's staunchest defenders.
Eventually Ursoc and Ursol accompanied Keeper Freya on her journeys across Azeroth. She confided in them that she sensed dark forces at work, and they made sure she was safe.
As they traveled with her, they received their first glimpses of the Emerald Dream, the realm Freya had created to guide Azeroth's natural life. They spent as much time as they could within those untouched wilds, drawn to the Dream's thriving, vibrant vision of nature.
One day, Freya asked to travel alone. To both Ursoc and Ursol, it sounded as if she was bidding them farewell. Before she left them, she offered more wisdom about their weapons and their other gifts, and she told them to remain prepared. "Azeroth will need you. If you do not stand ready, the world may fall," she said.
The Wild Gods never saw her again. The darkness that had claimed the mind of Keeper Loken had also corrupted hers.
Ten thousand years ago, a threat unlike any other set its gaze upon Azeroth. The Burning Legion, after corrupting important members of the elven civilization near the Well of Eternity, invaded with all of its might and fury. The first druid, Malfurion, called upon the Wild Gods to fight back against the demonic hordes.
Ursoc and Ursol were the first two Wild Gods to respond. They rushed into battle with the Legion's doomguard, landing the initial blows in the war between Azeroth's wilds and a fallen titan's twisted army.
It was a desperate fight against overwhelming odds. Neither brother hesitated for an instant, and even when the full wrath of the Burning Legion was brought against them, they did not run.
They fought until their last breaths.
Many Wild Gods perished in the battle against the Legion. Ursol and Ursoc remained together, fighting back to back, using Freya's gifts to bring down waves of demonic enemies. But their strength had limits. An unending tide of felstalkers finally overwhelmed them, and they both died in battle. Their spirits traveled together to the Emerald Dream, where they stayed for millennia.
Ursoc's claws were all that remained of him in the physical world. When the fighting moved elsewhere, a young furbolg found the titansteel claws. Recognizing whom they had belonged to, he took them to his tribe.
For generations, those furbolgs worshiped the claws as the final sign of their bear god Ursoc.
Few furbolgs had the courage to try to wield Ursoc's claws in battle. Every time they did, the results were horrifying. Ursoc had spent untold years mastering their power and unlocking their potential; in the hands of an untrained mortal, they inspired an uncontrollable bloodlust that lashed out at friends as easily as enemies.
After a number of attempts, the claws ceased to have any effect at all on the furbolgs. No matter what rituals they tried, it seemed as though the power in the claws had become dormant.
Ursoc's spirit, standing guard in the Emerald Dream, had simply seen enough. The furbolg tribe was not capable of controlling his power, so he withdrew it from the claws. It would not return until someone worthy claimed them.
Members of the Druids of the Claw eventually brought the titansteel-wrought artifact to Ursoc in the Emerald Dream.
Ursoc's desire to protect Azeroth had not wavered, even after death. He and Ursol roamed the Emerald Dream, searching for any signs of corruption or darkness taking root in the realm.
Recently, the return of the Emerald Nightmare drew their attention. Ursoc fought Xavius, the lord of the satyrs and a pawn of evil forces, in an attempt to eradicate the Nightmare's influence.
For a second time, Ursoc made the ultimate sacrifice in defense of Azeroth.
Now Ursoc can finally rest. Ursol, his brother, continues his watch inside the Emerald Dream, fighting against the Nightmare.
Ursoc's claws no longer belong to the Wild Gods but to those who can carry on their work. Only someone with a guardian spirit as determined as his will be able to wield them in battle.
And woe unto any enemy that has to face a creature as dedicated as he.
G'Hanir, the Mother Tree
G'HANIR, THE MOTHER TREE
The Emerald Dream is at risk. The Nightmare seeks to corrupt all of its power.
This branch was critically important in keeping the Dream stable and peaceful, but it is not safe to leave it there any longer. You are one of the most astonishingly capable druids in history. Carry this staff with you, protect it, and use it to drive the Legion off of our world.
In Azeroth's ancient days, natural life never had a chance to emerge due to the horrifying reign of the Old Gods. Without help, nature would not have risen at all. The titans knew this. One of their final acts of aid for us was to give the keepers the knowledge and power to reverse the Old Golds' unspeakable destruction.
In time, nature would rise. Life would flourish. Generations of plants and animals would grow and change.
This miraculous recovery did not come from any one place. But at the beginning, there was a source of healing and balance, a place where all life could rest and revive.
It was called G'Hanir, the Mother Tree.
Keeper Freya was charged by the titans to guide the seeding of Azeroth's nature life. To aid in this task, she shaped a mystical realm that would become known as the Emerald Dream. She wanted it to be an unspoiled vision of nature, undisturbed by the forces of evil or external civilizations.
She began by creating a single, massive tree, set atop a high peak within the Dream. From it bloomed many different fruits and flowers, and new life flowed outward in waves, sweeping across the land.
Freya sculpted pools of life in other locations within the Emerald Dream, but this tree was the first, the tallest, and the most radiant. For millennia, it served as a source of healing and balance that extended beyond the Dream and into the physical world.
As life flourished on Azeroth, generations of animals came and went. Soon the Emerald Dream was filled with the spirits of countless beasts.
That first tree that Freya had created, G'Hanir, became a haven for winged creatures. Its many boughs and branches had room for all, and its healing, peaceful energy calmed even the most distressed minds.
Many powerful spirits were drawn to G'Hanir. Some wanted to simple gaze upon it; others wanted to sit at its base and bask in its shade for a while.
One never left. A Wild God named Aviana made the Mother Tree her home for as long as she lived.
Aviana was known as the Mistress of Birds. Unlike some other Wild Gods, she did not keep herself distant from lesser, mortal creatures. She was a predator, delighting in swooping down on prey from the sky.
Eventually she was called something new: the Mistress of the Mother Tree. She had grown utterly enchanted with G'Hanir. It was more than a tree; it was a source of life, healing, and peace. Aviana spent years melding her power into the tree, and soon all living winged creatures on Azeroth dreamed of spending the afterlife flying through its branches.
Aviana's spirit became intertwined with the Mother Tree. In time, this would have lasting consequences.
One thousand years ago, Azeroth was invaded. The Burning Legion stormed onto our lands and waged war on all who would resist it. There were few people inclined to fight back, and they were greatly outnumbered.
The fist archdruid, Malfurion Stormrage, called upon the Wild Gods to join the fight. Not only would a Legion victory eradicate the elves, but it would also spell doom for all life on Azeroth.
Many Wild Gods answered Malfurion's cry. Aviana was one of them.
When the Wild Gods joined the battle against the Burning Legion, the demons were taken aback. Surely they had not been expecting nature to produce such powerful enemies. That day will never be forgotten as long as Azeroth remains free of the Legion's control.
Aviana led flocks of birds from all the land on the hunt for Legion minions. Untold numbers of demons died to her and her children.
But the Burning Legion's forces were too great. Aviana fell from the sky, and demonic spears ended her life.
The shock of Aviana's death reverberated through the Emerald Dream, and all the leaves of G'Hanir fell from their branches. The great Mother Tree, home to the spirits of countless creatures, was dead. Many mourned for it, and some succumbed to the temptation of serving dark forces in Aviana's absence.
But although she had died, her spirit still lingered.
As the night elves struggled to rebuild their society in the wake of the Sundering, members of the green dragonflight discovered a gift. A single branch of G'Hanir, with a single acorn hanging off its leaves, had been left in their keeping in the Emerald Dream.
The acorn was used by Alexstrasza, Aspect of the red dragonflight, to create Nordrassil, the great World Tree that would protect the second Well of Eternity.
Malfurion Stormrage sensed that Aviana's spirit had been the one to bestow the branch of G'Hanir, and he believed it was best kept hidden. Many of Aviana's children had been lost to chaos, and they might be driven to claim any remnant of her legacy for their new masters.
Quietly, Malfurion moved the branch of G'Hanir to a safe location deep within the Emerald Dream. Only a few people ever knew where it was kept, but its influence was felt far and wide.
For many millennia, the branch served as a stabilizing force for the Emerald Dream, and the land near it was said to be a place of great healing and peace.
The events of the Cataclysm shook Azeroth and the Emerald Dream to their roots. As the night elves fought to repel the forces of Ragnaros from Mount Hyjal, they asked the champions of Azeroth to summon new allies--or, to be specific, old ones.
Many of the Wild Gods who had died in the War of the Ancients were resurrected. Aviana returned to life on Azeroth and joined the Horde and the Alliance in successfully pushing the elemental forces back into the Firelands. In the end, Ragnaros was killed, and Mount Hyjal was saved.
Aviana turned her attention to G'Hanir once again. Times had changed, but her dream of providing a spiritual haven for her kind had not. She set out to restore the Mother Tree to its full glory.
The branch of the Mother Tree remained in the Emerald Dream. Unbeknownst to the druids, the forces of the Emerald Nightmare were already gathering for an assault. When they investigated key sources of power within the Dream, they discovered the true nature of G'Hanir.
The satyr lord Xavius, working on behalf of the Burning Legion to taint the Dream, ordered his forces to exercise caution. This branch of G'Hanir was corrupted slowly, very slowly, in such ways that even its guardians could not sense it.
When the Nightmare revealed itself, this branch suddenly pulsed with evil. Had it been left corrupted, it might have thrown the entire Emerald Dream into chaos.
Since it has been cleansed, that plan, at least, was thwarted.
It is too dangerous to leave G'Hanir hidden anymore. The Nightmare covets the branch's power; obscurity will no longer suffice. The strength of the Mother Tree must be used to drive the forces of evil away from Azeroth. Aviana agrees, and sends it off with her blessing.
Perhaps one day this branch will be returned to the Dream to once again bring peace and stability to the realm.
But for now, its true value will be in the hands of a champion. Its destiny is to save countless lives and cleanse corruption from our world.
- Patch 7.0.3 (2016-07-19): Added.