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Tyrande & Malfurion:Seeds of Faith

by Valerie Watrous

A sob caught in Tyrande's throat as she rushed to the wounded elf's side. She fell to her knees and began to pray, scarcely able to form the words in her grief. "Elune, grant me this, if nothing else. Spare her; please… she is my daughter. She believes that I saved her, but it is she who has saved me… again and again. My life would be empty without her in it." Tears streamed down her cheeks, glittering like the trails of stars.

Malfurion ran up behind her, but she was too distraught to notice his presence until his hand had grasped hers. The simple gesture anchored her and, beneath it all, she could feel him add his power to hers as they tried to heal Shandris.

They watched her for a long moment, barely breathing. Then Shandris's eyelashes fluttered and she opened her eyes drowsily. Rolling her head slightly to the side, she tried to focus on the shapes hovering before her-shapes of people she knew. "Min'da? An'da?" she asked blearily, her brow knitted in confusion.

Tyrande had no words. Her tears dripped to the floor, further darkening the stained wood. She placed her hand on Shandris's shoulder and took a long breath. "Your parents still rest with Elune, Shandris. But you do not, thanks to Mal's aid."

"Tyrande knew you were in danger all along. She could think of nothing else," Malfurion added.

Shandris regarded them. "Well, perhaps I was not too far off the mark." She laughed, then winced in pain. "I-it… seems Elune has answered my prayers in the end."

Tyrande raised her eyes to Malfurion. "I believe she has answered all of ours."

* * * * *

Shandris woke to the strains of an ancient funeral hymn. Sitting up carefully, she gazed at the nearby window that looked out on central Darnassus. The familiar waterways were aglow with candles, each of the small round lights floating along the glassy surface like a wisp in the forest. Malfurion and Tyrande stood solemnly in the center of the proceedings as the people of Darnassus and the refugees from Kalimdor gathered around them.

Many of the night elves' faces were swollen and flushed from crying. Some looked as though they hadn't slept for days. Shandris knew their grief too well. Searching the crowd, she even saw Vestia standing alone at the edge of the gathering. They had lost so many. Nearly everyone had known someone who had perished in the past few weeks of turmoil.

Funeral biers began to roll in on wagons pulled by pairs of nightsabers who strained against the weight of the bodies. Tyrande stepped forward to bless the dead one final time before their interment. There was no sound save for the priestesses' hauntingly forlorn melody.

It hurt to watch, but healing could not come without first releasing the grief. Shandris knew that their people needed this time before they could face the challenges that lay ahead. She looked again to Malfurion and Tyrande, who stood together against the tide of pain and loss. Far above them, the clouds began to shift, and a thin sliver of moonlight illuminated their features. Elune knows her own, Shandris thought. We are not alone in this fight.

Reassured, she rose and limped across the room to take a dose of the soothing medicinal roots Malfurion had left for her. The large alor'el plant, her wedding gift to the happy couple, had grown tremendously since she had last seen it, and one of its tendrils tumbled down over the edge of the shelf. With a cry of joy, she noticed it was covered with buds on the verge of blooming.

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