Angeni

E'Rud'im dandir (The Path I Wander) -(closed past story)

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"..Er...tod...nelde...canad..."

The youthful echoes of a young girl's voice sounded in a small enclave just on the outskirts of the fair city of Hyjal. The World Tree stood magnificent in its center and it was under the protection of its branches that the young Kaldorei girl continued her game of jumping from stone to stone along one of the cities less traveled pathways. Above her, the stars shone brightly in the night sky.

The girl, barely having seen her sixtieth year, bounded from one well shaped, smooth rock to another; counting in Kaldoreian as she went. Bright silver-blue eyes offset a youthful round face. Her skin was unbearably light for a Kaldorei's and her hair was a spun silver; bright and translucent just as her mother's was. Beads dangled from tiny braids intertwined in the silvery strands, clicking against her cheek as she jumped about the path. Upon her cheeks, however, were the unusual symbols of the wild; two strikingly blue leaves covering each eye and curving around her babyishly cherub face while her long ears curved back around her head slightly.

A soft 'thumping' drew the attention of the young Kaldorei and she stopped her steps to turn, looking behind her with wide fascinated eyes before leaping out of the way as mounted sentinels trudged down the path towards the city. The sentinels smiled down to the girl, who almost bounced in place as they passed before she ran to the bend in the road to watch them depart, clinging to a root that grew there. The bend was as far as she was allowed to travel, and she could almost hear her sister's voices ringing in her ears, 'Do not dare continue, Angeni!'

"Angeni!"

Turning her head, Angeni Riverdawn caught sight of her mother, slowly walking the cobbled path at a slow and steady pace. If anyone denied the beauty of Serinthia Riverdawn, they had surely not looked past her clothing of earthy tones and her calm demeanor to the brilliant woman behind it. Her hair the self-same color of her daughters, pleated in a long braid that she draped over one shoulder. The look on her face was of patience as she held out her hand for her youngest daughter, "Come Angeni, there are lessons to be learned, nin'dilthen'er."

"Coming, na'neth," Angeni looked once more back to the mounted sentinels that were now barely specks on the horizon before she turned and ran to her mother. Her little legs carried her swiftly across the short distance before she reached for her motherís open hand; curling chubby fingers around the outreached appendage. Serinthia smiled to her daughter, brushing back a stray strand of silver hair from her daughterís forehead before turning towards the woods, leading her down a well worn path. Looking around with curious eyes, Angeni's free hand tugged on the skirt that flowed around her mother's legs, "Na'neth? Where are Kely and 'Jade? Are they coming too?"

A muted smile appeared on her mothers face before she shook her head and Serinthia gazed down fondly at her daughter, "Nay, not today, nin'dilthen'er. Kelyamra trains with the sentinels and your father has taken Moonjade hunting with him this eve. It is just you and I, my little one."

Angeni smiled excitedly, clinging to her mother's leg briefly; inhaling the soft scent of sandalwood that seemed to follow her mother everywhere she went. Nurturing arms went around her, rubbing her back in wide sweeping motions before there was a soft chuckle from somewhere above her, "Little one, we must continue before dawn breaks."

Nodding her head feverishly, the little Kaldorei skipped ahead of her mother along the path; arms spread wide as she ran. Serinthia's steps were still soft on the ground and steady as she watched her daughter with a careful eye. The moon, high in the black expanse above them, shone meticulously through the foliage of the World Tree's canopy. As there were no more stones to leap to, Angeni took it upon herself to leap to each glowing patch of light that filtered through the leaves; her mother chuckling behind her. As they made their way along the beaten path, the finally stumbled upon a clearing, which made the little bouncing Kaldorei stop and gasp.

A root of the World Tree had broken ground, and from it grew soft plants in purples and blues. Above it, the foliage almost cleared a path for the moonlight as it divided and the ethereal silver light illuminated the area. Serinthia stopped behind her daughter, breathing in a soft sigh of calm before nudging Angeni forward, "Continue, nin'dilthen'er, there is something I wish to show you."

Slowly, Angeni stepped into the moonlight and looked up, basking in its majestic qualities before turning to face her mother who was now seated in the middle of the clearing; palms folded in her lap, "Na'neth, have you shown father this place? Or Kely? Or Jade? It's pretty, can we live here?" Her wide eyes took in all the details of the clearing: the bright colors, the lighting, and the warm fuzzy feeling the area gave her. She prattled on then with questions, bouncing from one sight to another until she heard her motherís firm tone behind her.

"Angeni."

Blinking sheepishly, the little Kaldorei stopped her constant motion and talk before turning to face her mother, who was merely watching her with merry but impatient eyes, "We have much to discuss, my little one....come sit with your na'neth so we may talk."

Beads clinking together as Angeni nodded furiously, the girl moved and sat cross legged in front of her mother; which earned her a disapproving 'tsk' from her mother. Angeni sat wide-eyed in front of Serinthia; her eyes constantly darting to and fro before she met her mother's gaze briefly before fidgeting, picking at some growing grass.

"Tell me what happened with Radek, little one."

Angeni's eyes shot up to her mother's quickly in what any parent would call the 'innocent, doe eyed look' before turning her attention to the grass...the sky...any other space that her mother didn't seem to be occupying. A wistful sigh left Serinthia and she stared at her daughter, watching as the girl chewed nervously on her lips before turning the doe eyes back on her.

"I didn't MEAN it, na'neth! He was teasing me about my new dress and I went to chase him off like father taught me to," Serinthia smiled and rolled her eyes at that, "when he got so far ahead! It's not fair his legs are longer then mine...and I wished so HARD I could stop him and then plants grabbed him. I swear na'neth, I didn't mean it..."

She was sniffling now; picking at the hem of her gown with dirty fingers before her mother reached across the distance between them, lifting her gaze with her hand beneath her chin, "My little one...you are not in trouble. You must however, apologize to your young friend and invite him for dinner. You could have hurt him, my little druid."

Serinthia lifted her daughter onto her lap; stroking back the downy soft silvery strands while murmuring softly to calm the child she held so closely. When her youngest had been born, she knew instinctually that there was something there, a connection of sorts, to her and the wilds. The markings upon her cheeks bespoke of a path that had been foretold by her own mother before her. Angeni looked much as Serinthia did in her youth and she marveled at how similar they already were. She felt her daughter wiggle a little and she release her grasp, pulling back to look down at her.

"Na'neth...I'm not a druid! You're the druid!"

A chuckle emanated from Serinthia's throat before she nodded her head, "...you are a druid, Angeni. I have felt the powers that surround you. Nature seeks to guide you as it once did me." Her hand ran through her daughter's hair before she smiled, "It is why I have brought you here..."

The younger Kaldorei leaned into her mother's attentions while trying to listen to the confusing words her mother was saying. A druid? Like her na'neth? Her mother had incredible powers; transforming to various animals and manipulating plants and nature at what she thought was control. Excitedly, her eyes gazed up into her mothers, "You mean I'll be able to control the flowers, like you do na'neth?"

Shaking her head and lifting her daughter off her lap, Serinthia stood then, reaching for her daughters hand, "Walk with me little one...I have much to explain to you..."

The two Kaldorei began to pace the circle of the clearing; Serinthia gazing around with a watchful eye while Angeni simply followed along beside her. The little girl looked up at her mother, waiting for something more to be said. As she walked, she bent and picked flowers; tying them into a lei before slipping it around her neck. These flowers we so beautiful. After she had finished, she looked up to see if her mother had been paying attention, but she was still staring straight ahead. When nothing came, Angeni heaved a big sigh and thought about asking if they could go home. She was getting sleepy and--

"Angeni, all plants are our brothers and sisters. We do not control them; they talk to us and if we listen, we can hear them. It is apart of being a Guardian of the Wild, my little one. We are no more superior to them than the land is to the sea...we each have our own path here on Azeroth that we must follow," Serinthia began softly as she walked. She continued staring straight ahead, eyes encompassing everything as they walked together, "You, my little one, will walk the same path as I have..."

"Of course I do na'neth! I'm holding your hand!," Angeni giggled softly; na'neth was being silly. She looked up and blinked, realizing that must have not been the right answer because now a sigh escaped her mother, "...umm..."

"There are many things you must learn, Angeni," Serinthia lowered a hand to touch the lei of flowers that adorned the young girls head. Somewhere, Angeni felt a twinge of guilt, and something else...almost a painful sensation. Her mother looked down at her with compassionate and understanding eyes, "Take only what you need, little one, and leave the land as you found it. You must not be selfish with the gifts," she gestured to the flowers, "the wilds give to us."

Tears welled in Angeni's eyes and she whimpered; why did this hurt so much? Why was there a wrongness about what she had done earlier, "Na'neth...it hurts...why does it hurt now...?"

"You now know, my child, what it feels like to be one with the wilds. You feel as they do. I hurt too, little one," Serinthia rubbed the back of her hand along her daughter's cheek, wiping the tears there.

"I hurt'em? I didn't mean to hurt'em, na'neth! I didn't," The little Kaldorei rambled as she spoke quickly to her mother and as she did, slowly the dull ache in her chest faded. Serinthia nodded her head, kneeling before her daughter as she wiped the sticky remnants of tears from her cheeks.

"I know you did not, my little one...and the wilds know you did not; all is forgiven, my sapling," Serinthia chuckled softly, pointing to where Angeni's heart was through her robe, "Our first teacher is our own heart. Trust your heart, Angeni. Let it guide you..."

Nodding, Angeni scrubbed an arm over her eyes to rid herself of the tears before looking to her mother, rubbing her eyes tiredly from the crying. Serinthia smiled softly and lifted the girl into her arms, "I have drained you with this information, my child. Come...we leave for home."

Serinthia smiled as Angeni cuddled against her shoulder; snuffling her face into her mothers neck before sighing softly. Serinthia left the clearing then; the wilds slowly extending branches and tendrils to soothe her tired daughter in her arms. It wasnít long before Angeni was almost asleep under their gentle minustrations and Serinthia chuckled, whispering softly, "Thank you, great ones..."

Her answer was simply a gust of wind and as Serinthia carried her daughter back towards her home, she whispered softly, "I shall tell you a story, nin'dilthen'er. One day...when the land is sick, the animals will begin to disappear; when that happens, little one, The Guardians of the Wild will come to save them," she turned her gaze to her daughter who was now asleep against her neck. Kissing her cheek, Serinthia looked up at the moon once before continuing home, but not before finishing her sentence, "...and you, Angeni, will be one of them."

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