She could have been asleep. The night elf’s features were perfectly relaxed except for her mouth, which frowned slightly as though her dreams were not pleasant ones. Her body was intact and largely unharmed, unlike many of the others they had seen in recent days. Tyrande Whisperwind knelt by the corpse to take a closer look. There was bloody kelp in the dead woman’s hair and she reeked of the sea and slow rot. Dead several days. She had probably been one of the first victims of the Cataclysm, swept away by the flood. No priestess of Elune could bring her back now.
“Tyrande!” The high priestess’s head snapped up as the voice of one of her closest confidants, Merende, rang through the air. Searching the shores along Rut’theran Village, she saw Merende comforting a younger priestess who sobbed into her white robes. Walking over, Tyrande began to understand why. The tangled body of a young night elf girl lay before them.
Her sister, Merende mouthed silently, indicating the grief-stricken priestess. Tyrande nodded and motioned for them to move away. When the area was clear, she turned her gaze to the corpse. She knew right away that there was no hope—the limbs were twisted at sickening angles and the wounds had been drained bloodless—but the night elves did not abandon their dead. The body would be cleansed, the injuries hidden, and the broken joints set right, before being committed back to the earth.
Tyrande crouched down and wiped the mud from the girl’s face, whispering soft prayers for the moon goddess to guide her spirit and comfort her sister’s grief. The grit slid away, revealing light violet skin and waves of dark blue hair. The almond-shaped eyes were still open, staring up into the clouded sky. It was a face much like one she had first seen many thousands of years ago. Tyrande shut her eyes against the oncoming tears.
Shandris… if only I could hear from you….
“How far were you able to travel, Morthis?” Malfurion Stormrage asked, handing the scout a mug of steaming hot cider. The other night elf gulped it down gratefully and suppressed a shiver. He was soaked to the skin after returning from his patrol, but comfort could wait until his findings were shared. The two druids took shelter in the uppermost room of the Cenarion Enclave.
“The winds were terrible. I could only reach Maestra’s Post, but they had received some reports from Astranaar and Feralas.” The scout settled himself on one of the wooden benches in the chamber, watching nervously as the branches of Darnassus’s trees swayed outside.
“Astranaar still stands?” Malfurion’s voice swelled with relief. He had been coordinating scouting patrols for days, but half of the druids couldn’t even reach the mainland despite their best efforts. They were starved for news, and many had feared the worst.
“Yes, it was spared along with Nijel’s Point, but the settlements along the coast have been less fortunate.”