Tiponi's Journal

Wyrmrest Accord
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The light was swiftly dimming before I was able to walk again on steady legs. I unceremoniously left the dwarf where she lay. I feel bad about that now, I should have said a few words even for an enemy, but I was still not thinking straight. I then smelled something foul. I’ll admit, at first I blamed Denali, but then I became aware of a slow plopping sound. I saw before me great pools of black goop, bubbling slowly. I rejoiced, I had found the Lakkari Tar Pits and so I could pinpoint my place on the map. We made our way slowly through the pits. I led the way holding the reins of my kodo as she trailed behind. The light was fading fast at this point and I was looking for a swift route out of the tar bog. I strode forward and was suddenly pulled back by the taught reins I held.

I turned around, ready to scold Denali for stopping when what I saw made my heart stop. My kodo was knee-deep in thick black tar and sinking fast. Denali bellowed, bringing her heavy footpads out of the muck. They trailed strings of sticky black tar and make a sucking sounds at the suction pressure. As she put her foot down to pull out another limb that foot became trapped again. I dropped the reins and ran to her side, very mindful of where I treaded. She was struggling and bawling loudly, and as she struggled her movements sank her deeper and deeper. It was at that point that I noticed the multitudes of skeletons of large creatures lining the bog. They had all met their fate in the bog and it was claiming Denali as its next victim. I screamed and tugged on the reins, but it was no use. By this point she was submerged up her to shoulders and she groaned at me pitifully. I clambered atop of her, praying that my weight wouldn’t sink her faster, and I unbuckled the straps of her barding and saddle. It wasn’t enough, the suction of the bog was too much for her and she could barely move now. She lay down in the muck, her body heaving with exhaustion, and she stopped trying to free herself. I begged her to hold on as I ran into the jungle, looking for something to help. I came across I fallen tree and inspiration came to me. I began hacking into the wood, trying to make a ramp of sorts to pry her free. My weapons were not suited to the task and the light was failing, but I screamed my prayers to the Earthmother to aid me in my task. I dragged the logs back to Denali, who by now was just a still mound in the fading light. I shoved one end of each log into the muck, trying to place them under her front legs. She lay there watching me sadly, all hope gone from her eyes. She had decided to die here, for she had no fight left in her. My ramp was in place, but my kodo lacked the strength to use it. At that point I grabbed my spear, I was shaking with emotion and exhaustion and I placed the tip at her neck. I don’t think she understood me, but my actions made it clear enough. “I will not watch you slowly drown. If you will not move, then I will put you out of your misery HERE AND NOW!”

She looked at me sadly, and gave one last heave. Her foot found purchase on the log and she slowly began to rise out of the pit. Once that first move was done, she followed up with another step and soon she was beside me on the soil, panting heavily. She collapsed to her knees and I did right alongside her, crying into her body. She was covered in the filthy, sticky muck, but I didn’t care- she was alive. Darkness swallowed us as we lay there, catching our breath. Thanks to the blackness I was able to see a flickering light of a fire in the mountains not too far from us. It might have been the camp of an enemy, true, but I was willing to risk finding out. Better that than lying in the dark, easy prey for the creature.

As I lead Denali up the slope, my heart sank when I saw humans, a dwarf and gnome. I nearly reached for my weapon- for they had seen me, but I saw an orc and several goblins by their sides. They welcomed me to their camp with open arms. I traded some roots that I dug up for a salve to remove the tar from Denali’s hide. It seems that these people are explorers here, much like I am. The orc, Petra, is friendly and translates for me to the others. She even has a kodo to keep Denali company. It turns out that the tools I had found belong to the human, named Marshal. He offered me a place by his fire for their return. I am glad I have found this refuge. Even if it means camping alongside pinkies, at least I will be safe from the predators of Un’goro.
I was too exhausted last night to write more, but something of interest happened at camp last night. Petra introduced me to a gnome named J. D. Collie who is some sort of researcher interested in the glowing crystals. This morning I attempted to speak with the gnome to learn more. This proved very difficult as Petra had left with the others for a bit and we had a language barrier to get through. When the orc returned she was able to clean up a few of the points of confusion I had, so I now believe I have a complete understanding of the gnome’s theory.

She calls the crystals “power crystals”, and spoke of strange pylons that interacted with the crystals, high up in the mountains of Un’goro. She marked their locations on my map and I have decided to head out and investigate these structures. I packed up my belongings and saddled Denali, who was grumpy about leaving as she has grown rather fond of the other kodo, Dadanga. We kept a wide berth of the tar pits this time, not willing to risk passage through the bog again anytime soon. We headed west first, skirting the edge of the crater. We passed a dirt path snaking up into the mountains, I believe it is the path to Silithus. Like the path from Tanaris is does not look well travelled.

As we walked the ground would sometimes shake and groan. Petra tells me that there is an active volcano in the centre of the crater. I’ll admit I didn’t know what that was. It’s a mountain that spews out fire and molten hot rock from deep down in the earth. I’d like to get a closer look but the orc assured me that it’s very dangerous. As we started southwards following the mountain range I saw I large lake in the distance. It was beautiful and I thought it would be a marvellous opportunity for Denali and I to cool off. As we approached I nearly fell out of my saddle as Denali reared up in surprise. I jet of water had shot out of the ground right beside us with such force that the ground rumbles. Petra later told me it is called a geyser.

This is the strangest place I have ever been. As I jumped into the water I got such a shock, it was hot! Very, very hot! I jumped out straight away and stopped Denali from going in. I think that these hot pools actually support my earlier theory. Imagine this, if there is a large body of water under Un’goro, and the volcano in the middle is heating up that water then the water spirits underground would be agitated by the fire and begin to fight. This would build up enormous pressure and end up shooting the water out of the geyser. I shall have to ask the gnome what she thinks of my theory.

The crystal pylon was quite obscured in the mountains and it took me some time to locate it. It’s an amazing sight. The top of the pylon is mounted with a large crystal which shines like a beacon. This top part rotates slowly, leading me to believe that this pylon is actually a machine with working parts inside. Try as I might I couldn’t see any sort of hatch to get inside or any panels on it. It was however covered in strange runes that I have seen before. There are these stone statues that patrol the crater. I do not know what their purpose is, but I think they might be some sort of guardians. They seem incredibly old and their stone bodies are marked with the same runes as the crystal pylons. J.D. said they are golems, left by the Titans. I shall have to ask her what she was talking about. The pillars have alcoves that interact with the coloured crystals of the jungle. I was experimenting with placing different coloured crystals in the alcoves. Sometimes nothing happened, but once when I combined two crystals a strange crystal ward sprung up around me. The crystals were consumed in the process so I tried other crystals to recreate what I had just discovered. Again I tried different combinations and nothing happened, until I put a red crystal in the right alcove and a yellow in the left. Fire erupted all around me in a flare of heat. Luckily the jungle is a relatively damp place otherwise I might have caused a forest fire. I decided not to try any more experiments until I discussed my findings with the gnome.
This morning I left early at the first hint of light. I had a long way to travel this day so I packed up my supplies and left in haste. My destination? Silithus. My task here was two-fold: to find out why the jungles of un’goro haven’t succumbed to the silithid, or to the deserts that surround it. I have seen the Tanaris desert and the corruption of the silithid that infest it. I have heard that Silithus is suffering far worse and so I led Denali up the steep mountain pass into new territory.

The first thing I noticed when I rounded the crest of the mountain were the differences between Tanaris and Silithus. Both are deserts and in relatively close proximity to each other, but there the similarities end. Silithus is not nearly so beautiful as Tanaris. There An’she glitters on the white sand and the sky is clear and blue. In Silithus the sand is more of a grainy dirt, more ashen in appearance, and An’she is masked by a cloud of haze. The next thing I noticed were the crystals. They are not the luminescent crystals like Un’goro, but a dark, purplish stone. They remind me of the pillars at the entrance to Un’goro from Tanaris... I wonder if they are made of the same material?

I had not travelled far when I came upon a pleasant surprise. I saw familiar tents of Shu’halo make in the distance. It turns out the members of the Cenarion Circle druids are investigating the desert as well. They are concerned by the blight of the silithid and I spoke with them at great length about the creatures. Jarund Stoudstrider, a pleasant enough bull, accompanied me to the Circle’s base of operations, here in Silithus. Cenarion Hold is impressive and I took the opportunity to wash and sleep on a comfortable pallet.

As I lay here in the inn, Mu’sha has risen high in the sky. The Kaldorei and Shu’halo guards patrol the hold vigilantly. The noise consumes everything, the beat of a thousand upon thousand wings drowning out all else. As pleasurable as this bed is, I’m getting a massive headache. Jarund says in time I will not notice it, but right now it feels as though I have a beetle flying around inside my skull. I will not be staying long enough to ‘get used to it’. Tomorrow I will head back to Un’goro, after checking out the silithid hives of course. The noise truly concerns me. If there are as many insects here as it sounds like, this might be the greatest threat my people will ever know.
I did not sleep very well despite the hospitality of the Cenarion Circle. The droning noise of the Silithid kept me awake, and what few hours of sleep I managed were filled with horrific nightmares. I was relieved when An’she’s dull light signaled the morning. After a quick breakfast of Sandworm Dumplings (quite a delicacy actually), I headed out towards the closest hive. It was a towering monstrosity, visible from a distance and casting its shadow over Cenarion Hold. The familiar leg-like spires twitched sporadically as multitudes of Silithid drones swarmed about the towering structures. It is a scene straight from my nightmare. The ground is marred by the same purplish affliction present in Tanaris. It is as though the Silithid are a disease and the poxed purple earth is the symptom.

The Silithid almost seem to be preparing for something, gathering their strength. I say this because although the Cenarion warders are practised in fighting off the bugs, they do not seem to be making attempts to over-run the Hold. If I had to guess, I would say that the Silithid care only for the land they need to expand their colony. They do not see us as enemies to war with, merely obstacles. This makes them even more dangerous- especially if they are as intelligent as I think they are. I am glad the Circle is here to monitor the situation. I feel like I can sleep a little more soundly knowing that these guardians are keeping a diligent vigil.

I would love to explore more of this desert, but I can feel the sands of time running low for me now. In the din of insectoid noise last night I thought I heard sounds coming from my totem. Something was interfering with my communication, but I’m sure something was wrong. My tribe might be in danger and here I am taking the opportunity to explore further than my original goal. I learnt that the Silithid have over-run this desert, and that somehow they have been prevented from likewise taking over Un’goro. That much is clear to me, but what is it that’s stopping them? I must find out if I am to complete my rites and I am running out of time. I will return swiftly to the jungle and answer this question once and for all.
I spoke to the gnome at great length. Petra has grown frustrated with translating for me so I have developed a means of communicating with the researcher through hand motions, drawings and the occasional translated word. I have a lot to work with now, and although I don’t agree with all of it I am very close now to the answers I have been seeking for the past week.

The crystals are the key. There are crystal pylons in the north, east and western mountains of Un’goro. There are none in the south and that is where the silithid have broken through. I believe that these crystals somehow protected this region. As to who created the pylons and why- the gnome and I have agreed to disagree.

I started my journey to the silithid hive infesting the south for one final look. Denali and I were making good time travelling through a part of the jungle I have never seen. It was littered with skeletons of enormous creatures, and very large stegodons hunt these grounds. A few I saw looked very much like the thunder lizards of the barrens. They are much larger and more menacing, and I can see what Rakhalen meant when he described them as being ancestors of the mighty kodo. I was trying very hard to sneak though and avoid their notice when they all started bellowing and running towards me. I had to think quickly to steer Denali out of the stampede as they raced forward trampling everything in their path. At first I thought they were attacking us, but they sped by without so much as a glance in our direction. I soon learned why.

I had stopped Denali so they she could rest after that little bout of excitement, and I had been reaching into my pack for a fresh root for her when I felt a tremor in the ground. I ignored it at first- due to the volcano I had experienced a number of such tremors. This time it was different, it was not a single vibration, but one steady after another. I had only a second to think before a giant creature appeared from around a skeleton and sniffing the air, looked in our direction. Fear paralysed me for a moment- it was no doubt the creature that had kept me awake those nights ago. The beast of Un’goro- the Devilsaur. It saw us and roared, its shriek piercing my ears as it flashed its wickedly long teeth. Denali didn’t need any encouragement.

We took off as fast as I think it is possible for a kodo to run. Denali bellowed in her fear and I urged her to keep going. The beast made chase, and as it ran after us its heavy footfalls made the ground shudder and lose rocks would tumble. Denali struggled and slipped as she lost her footing and the beast gained ground, its roars startling parrots from the trees in vivid explosions of colour. As we made our way around trees the Devilsaur simply charged through them, shouldering aside any obstacle.

“Faster girl! You need to go faster!”

I’ll admit I wasn’t much help. There’s not a lot one can do while strapped to the back of a frantic kodo being chased by the largest and meanest thing you have ever seen. I threw a rock at it. I was somewhat lucky, I managed to get the rock quite close to its eye. This however drew the beast’s attention to me and it started snapping at me, threatening to tear me right out of the saddle.

I almost fell off when Denali skidded to a halt. I didn’t need to ask her why, we had come to the base of the volcano and pools of liquid fire blocked our path. I prepared myself to fight the creature, for there was no way we could skirt the volcano and still maintain our lead in the chase. It was then that I realised that the beast had not slowed. The scent of prey had filled its nose and clouded its head. It was fixated on the kill and not what was ahead. I turned Denali around and waited for the beast to come. My kodo bawled and whined, not liking what was ahead or behind her.

“Steady girl, easy now.” I tried to calm her and keep her in place. When the Devilsaur was nearly upon us, when I could see the blood-stains on its teeth and smell its foul breath, I kicked Denali hard and she darted aside without hesitation. The Devilsaur finally noticed the lava pools and skidded as it tried to stop. The beast slid into the liquid fire and roared in agony as it was scorched. It suffered burns to a good portion of its legs and tail but managed to climb out of the pit. I eyed it warily, it was wounded but it could still put up a fight. It snarled and began to limp off. I’ll admit for a moment I felt sorry for the creature, after all it was in a lot of pain when all it wanted was lunch. On the other hand, it nearly killed me.-
-We left the volcano behind us and continued southward. Poor Denali was shaken but recovering as we sighted the familiar twitching spires ahead. I studied the creatures and their blight for some time. I had noticed a difference immediately but it took me a while to realise what it was. It’s strange. The land around the silithis infestations in both deserts, Tanaris and Silithus are marked by a purplish blight upon the earth’s surface. This blight was absent in Un’goro! I believe that this could be the earth’s reaction to the silithid. Earlier I described the silithid as a disease and the purple scars as a symptom. What if our earth is developing her own immunity? What if she is fighting back? The thought fills me with excitement and I can’t wait to report back my findings.

Denali and I quickly skirted the silithid hive as we continued onward towards the southern mountain range. The gnome was right, there’s no sign of a crystal pylon anywhere. The silithid and the crystals are no doubt connected. So now it is with great pride that I write my final entry in Un’goro. When I return to my people I will be stronger and wiser for this test. Thank you, my Earthmother and my spirit guide, thank you.
I’m so tired I can barely keep my eyes open. What a day... I returned to the bluffs and saw all of my old friends. They were all happy to see me, they welcomed me back with smiles and it felt so good to be home. Then it went downhill. Someone mentioned something about a bank and that reminded me that I needed to get my grandmother’s totem back from the Goblin bank in Ratchet. My tribemates instantly were worried, they said that the goblins were trying to swindle me. How could I have been so trusting? Lohawq, Daethon and Roakkeal came with me to Ratchet as I confronted the banker. He said something about me being considered dead after a week and my totem was now their property. But you know what? They had sold it before the week was up- so they planned to deceive me all along. Daethon was able to bribe the goblin into revealing more information. He said that a Night Elf bought it and it was transferred to their branch in Winterspring. I feel so terrible about it, but my friends have offered to help me recover my grandmother’s crystal owl.

Oh I nearly forgot to mention, I’m going to be a Brave! Lohawq gave me the news almost as soon as he saw me. I’m so excited. He says I can begin my training as soon as I am made kin after the next tribe meeting. Daethon was a bit funny about it though. He was really angry at Lohawq and cautioned him against going to hard on Roak and me (he’s training to be a Brave also). Lohawq replied that he has to be hard, for our own sake. I’m still excited, no matter what Daethon says.

I got to go on my first patrol today, something I’ll be doing a lot as a Brave. We started at Bloodhoof village and travelled to Camp Narache. As we returned we heard a cry for help and went to investigate. We found a druid who had lost his gorloc friend. I got to meet it later, a gorloc is a small murloc that can talk! It was quite cute actually. Anyway, his gorloc had been taken by the Palamane gnolls and he was corncerned for its safety. The others all got to raid the gnoll caves but I was ordered to stay with Kuyahnee. I was really grumpy about that. They got to go and fight gnolls and rescue a gorloc! I had to play babysitter. Kuya refused to sit still and then she shouted that she had seen some swirly thing in the distance. The Chief came running over and ordered me to take her back to Bloodhoof. I didn’t even get to see the gorloc’s rescue. I bet it’s because I’m not kin yet. Or maybe they think I don’t know how to fight. I survived a week in Un’goro! I think I can handle a few gnolls. So back at Bloodhoof Kuyahnee fell asleep by the fire and I kept a watch. Some considerable time later Roak came to fetch us. We’d missed out on all the fun and now there was something going down.

We swiftly returned to the bluffs and were immediately ordered to the hunter’s rise. We waited in the main tent with what looked to be a good number of Earthspear kin. I didn’t know what was going on and while we waited I had to listen to an awkward conversation regarding Anocken. She’s just become the Head Brave’s second but she refused to come because she was busy with her second mate! I’ve decided that I don’t understand her at all.

A blood elf and Shu’halo came to us and spoke with the Chief. I was towards the back and caught only glimpses of what was being said when suddenly I heard screams to evacuate. I ran out of the tent with the others and could not believe my own eyes. The bluffs were under attack! Fire elementals tore through the tent we had just been inside as all manner of people attacked my own. I recognised the foul creature Apophan among them. My tribemates leapt into action, trying to put out the fires, summoning aid and fighting of the attackers. As I looked around the chaos I realised that I couldn’t see Kuyahnee anywhere. I ran back into the tent. It was billowing with smoke as fires consumed its sides but I could hear soft coughing towards the back. I pushed forward and found Kuyahnee and Tasicala cowering at the back of the tent. I screamed at them to get out, my lungs filling with smoke and reducing every second breath to a cough. I managed to get Kuya out but there was no sign of Tasicala. I went back in to look for her but I could see nothing through the foul smoke. I came back outside for air when I screamed in fright. The Apophan teleported right on top of me! I screamed at first in fear and then I screamed for Kuya to run. I drew my spear and attempted to buy her a moment of time. I saw the lighting coming towards me, then I cannot remember any more. Only the blackness.

I awoke in a bed in the inn with Crowstorm tending to my wounds. I was relatively unscathed and so I began to scour the bluffs for others to aid. Felgar was particularly hard hit, I think he fell off the bluffs. I spent the rest of the night tending to the wounded. I am so tired I can barely...
The writing ends abruptly.

<jaw drops>



<Igor just stares at Remus.>
Well howdy, stranger. Long time no see. <3

How's life been treating you?
((Besti! *hugs* So good to see you :D

I've been well. Working like a dog I'm afraid. How about you?))
My dreams were interrupted last night with whispers emanating from my totem. It was Ushi, calling to me. At first I was so relieved to hear from him, so happy that he hadn’t been hurt. But then I learned the awful truth. Ushi had betrayed the Earthspears. He had attacked Pherala and aided the Apophan. He told me things, he said that it was all an act so that he could get closer to the Apophan. He said that the Exiled One, Huatar was with him and that together they would undermine the snake from within. He said that he trusted me...

That damned riddle still plagues me. My duty is to my people and to my heart. Why must I be pulled in two directions? Ushi didn’t explicitly tell me not to say anything, I keep reassuring myself in the vain hope that it will ease my conscience, but I know he told me what he did in confidence. I wanted to be true to my old friend and yet, my duty to my people demanded that I inform the Chieftain. When I saw Bestiarius injured and alone in the first rays of morning light, I knew what I had to do.

So I told him, I told him everything. He was so badly broken that he could barely speak, but I understood what he said. Ushi is not to be trusted, he is not to be spoken to. He has been declared kill-on-sight. My heart broke a little for my old friend, but that changed when I spoke to Pherala later that morning.

Ushi had told me that he barely touched Pherala, that he did attacked her only to make his betrayal look believable. I saw her wounds. I dressed them and saw how horridly deep they were. When Pherala awake she confirmed my fears. “Ushi almost killed me.” She said.

He’s a liar.
A betrayer.
And I fell right for it.
Elder Lightfur has promised to teach me how to turn Daethon upside-down once I’m a Brave. I can’t wait! I’ll get him back for his trick yet... Dae introduced me to a very strange Shu’halo he called “Moonie”. She’s some sort of fortune teller but she referred to herself as a Star Reader. She says she takes the Earthmother’s hidden messages and translates them for us. She’s peculiar I’ll admit, she called us “Star Children” and gave me the nickname “Tiponi Youngstar” for my supposed youth and curiosity. I suppose I like it. If I’m not careful I’ll end up with more nicknames than I’ll know what to do with. Daethon says the fortunes she told him came true, and even gave him some warning about the attack. I wish he’d warned me about it... the ink drops here. ...She read my fortune for me. I was rather unnerved by the whole thing. Her answer was another riddle and her eyes flashed into milky white as she clasped my hand and spoke of strange things. She called me compassionate and self-less, but also weak-willed and often easily led. Humph! She doesn’t know me at all. Then she babbled about planets and alignments for a bit. I didn’t understand a word she said until she tried to clarify. She said I will have a grave misfortune when my “water planet” crosses the “dark planet”, but then after midsummer it will move to cross An’she and then I will “shine”. I am hopelessly, utterly confused. What good is a fortune if I don’t understand it?

It was good to have a relaxing day in the bluffs. Everyone’s recovering from the attack well, wounds are healing, and preparations are being considered. Anocken has been demoted. I feel bad for her, but I’m not surprised after what she did. She’s disappeared with Felgar and his troll-mate, even after the Chieftain ordered us to stay put here in Thunderbluff.

I’ll admit I’m growing antsy. I need to get to Winterspring to chase the lead on my totem before it’s lost forever. How can I ask the Chief for permission to leave? I heard over the totem how angry he got at Pherala for leaving to get additional healing. I’m... I’m not sure. I’m feeling trapped again. Stifled. This what I abandoned my family for? If I’m shackled here then I’ve exchanged one set of circumstances for the same, but worse. Worse in that I dishonoured my father, and I face attacks from evil people on a seemingly regular basis. Did I make a mistake in joining the Earthspears? I hope the Chief lifts the ban soon, I hate living with regrets.
The day started out like any other. I made a new friend, and listened to the wonderful tales at the circle. I can recall the exact moment that everything changed. Felgar was speaking. He was telling a funny poem when I saw the shadow lurking in the background behind the fire. Ushi. I lost all sense of what Felgar was saying as my thoughts ran on their own tangent. Ushi. Traitor. Kill-on-sight. The circle ended in chaos. The Earthspears moved to attack Ushi and he taunted them, easily outmanoeuvring their attacks. I hung back, I was unarmed and unarmoured and there were plenty of others such that I did not wish to get in their way. A druid appeared, one I’ve seen before with the Apophan. She and Felgar duelled it out while Ushi was subdued. Ushi was killed.

I didn’t stick around for the rest of it. I heard that the Chieftain interrogated the druid prisoner and ordered her execution, but that she escaped. I hope she at least had some valuable information... I travelled to Sun Rock where Ushi’s remains were to be burned. I helped build the funeral pyre and watched his corpse turn to ash. There were not many of us there, few wished to attend a traitor’s funeral, so half our number were made up of Adalina’s elven friends.

I’ll admit I behaved poorly. My mind was raging in my hurt and when I heard Roakkeal thanking Ushi for all the good he did in life I just snapped. I kicked dirt at the corpse in frustration and told him that I didn’t thank him at all for manipulating, lying, betraying and hurting me. The others speak as if he is at peace, returned to his good old self in the Earthmother’s arms. How does he deserve that? After all he did. If there is only one place to go, for the good and evil, does this mean that when I die I will be faced with Ushi, the Apophan, or my mother’s killers? Will I smile at them because everything’s magically all better now? It’s not better! Death is too good for Ushi.
A scrap of parchment is folded in between two journal pages. It reads:

Notes for Tiponi’s Rites KEEP OUT

My task was two-fold: to investigate why the Un’goro jungle has not fallen prey to the silithid or to the deserts which surround it.

I wish I could tell you it all. I experienced so much, good and bad, and my heart soars with the memories I now cherish. So first I would like to thank you, my kin, for entrusting me with this task.

I saw too many wonders to speak of, so I will tell those tales perhaps another time. Let me cut straight to the core of the matter and tell you my findings.

Firstly, there are strange coloured crystals which litter the crater. They glow with an ambient energy and be classified into four distinct groupings by colour.

(Remember to give out crystal samples).

They are called power crystals and they interact with these strange... machines I’ve taken to calling crystal pylons.

These pylons are found in the north, east and western mountains. They are absent in the south and that is where the silithid have broken through.

It is my belief that the Earthmother, or her first spirit children, placed these pylons around the perimeter to protect the jungle.

I saw no sign of a ruined pylon to the south, which leads me to believe that whoever put these pylons in place, assumed that the ocean to the south of Un’goro would prove to be an effective barrier.

This leads me to my next point. I believe that the Un’goro jungle is not a desert because the little water that falls on its neighbours flows down into the crater and soaks deep into the ground.

I saw a number of things that support my theory: a waterfall, ruined boats, threshadon carcasses, the strange roots of the trees and the water pools boiling from the volcano.

Un’goro is lush and green because there is an underground water source.

It is also possible that if water deterred the silithid, as is probable due the placement of the missing southern pylon, that the silithid have been impeded in their infestation of Un’goro because they have encountered the Un’goro water source in their burrowing.
I am finally officially Kin of the Earthspear tribe. Today at the meeting I spoke of my discoveries in Un’goro to those assembled. I was incredibly nervous, I don’t like being the centre of attention, but despite my shaking I managed alright. My moment was spoilt somewhat by Tasi’s new friend Alastyrr. He seemed nice enough when we were introduced, but after I had made my presentation to the Elders he spoke out about the fact that I did not mention the Titans. The gnome researcher said the same thing, that the crystal pylons were created by these great beings called Titans... but she also said that these Titan’s created all life on this world- not our Earthmother, hence why I disregarded that nonsense. Then when that bull brought it up I felt like a failure. I was worried that my kinship might be taken away moments after it had been granted, but luckily it seems like my worries were for naught.

They spoke briefly of Ushi at the meeting. Pherala was chastised publicly for disobeying the Chieftain. I felt very embarrassed for her and I knew that I needed to obtain the Chief’s permission to go to Winterspring more than ever now. Padania had become a Brave again. She wishes to fight until the last possible moment when her babe will prevent it. Lohawq has been promoted to the Head Brave’s Second in Anocken’s stead, and Onidanaa has been made a Warden. I am happy for my kin. We are moving on from the last tragedy stronger than ever before.

I spoke to the Chief once the meeting was done. At first he was adamant that I would not go, but then he conceded. I can go to Winterspring if I can convince my kin to aid me. I’m sure Dae will jump at the offer. He wanted to train in Moonglade and it is on the way. Roakkeal and Lyra will likely offer to help as well. I loathe putting my friends in danger because of my stupid mistake, but now it seems like it is the only chance I’ll get at getting my grandmother’s totem back.

Speaking of Dae, I met his friend Mashira again today. She’s a nice girl and I’m happy that they’re an item. I find it rather strange. I felt all weird and horrible after finding about his involvement with Sisika, but when I see Mashira and him together getting close I feel only happiness for them. I’m glad that my bout of weird hormonal emotion hasn’t resurfaced. Besides, Daethon is so much fun to tease!
((Besti! *hugs* So good to see you :D

I've been well. Working like a dog I'm afraid. How about you?))

*hugs back* I've had my ups and downs. Glad to see you're hanging in there. Thanks for all these journal posts, btw. They've been a joy to read.
It always comes back to choice.

Daethon, Roakkeal and I were making preparations for our journey into Winterspring. For a moment I was worried that Lohawq would forbid our journey despite the Chieftain’s approval, but I was mistaken. He simply wished to come along to ensure our safety. We travelled through the elf lands on borrowed kodos. The forest is amazing, I have never been so far north. The trees seem to glow with magic and ghostly lights play in the canopy. The road was well tended and lit by the Kaldorei magic. I wouldn’t recommend touching the glowing lights though. It was an abrubt change when we passed into the sickly part of the forest. Felwood they call it, an apt name. The entire forest is corrupted with foulness. Roakkeal introduced us to a friend of his. A strange bear-man he referred to as a furbolg. After some debate the furbolg allowed our party passage through their tunnels to Winterspring.

I instantly wished I had brought a warmer cloak, the chill in the air seemed to cut straight to my bones. I have seen snow distant on the mountain peaks before, but this was the first time I got to actually see it up close, in my hands. It’s strange, it looks almost fluffy from a distance, but closer up it is more like ice and melts to slush in my hands and beneath my hooves. We quickly headed for the goblin town of Everlook to follow up on the lead. Lohawq and Daethon did most of the talking with the goblin banker. Like the one in Ratchet he was unwilling to give us information unless we paid for it. Daethon bribed him and he told us that the Night Elf who bought my grandmother’s totem trained wintersaber cats to the far north.

We left swiftly after that. It turns out that Daethon had tricked the goblin. He had come prepared with a bag full of fake coins. I was worried that the goblins would attack us, and that we would be hunted in every goblin port hereafter, but Lohawq reassured me. He said that it was unlikely that the goblin would even own up to the fact that he was tricked by a Shu’halo.

We headed north through the carpet of white. The others tried to track the elf by foot print or smell while I tagged along rather uselessly. We came to a rocky outcrop and knew this to be the place due to the many packs of roaming cats. Lohawq quickly spotted our quarry, a male Night Elf stood high up on a peak with a purple wintersaber pet. It all happened so quickly that I almost cannot put it in words. He had spotted us, Lohawq called out to him, tried to tell him that we mean no harm- we only wanted to recover my stolen property. I think Daethon and Roakkeal were shouting too, it’s all a blur in my mind. One moment I was so sure of everything, I knew I had to get the crystal owl back and I knew what had to be done, then suddenly the Kaldorei was dead and it all changed. I panicked at first, he didn’t have the totem among his possessions. He did however have a small portrait of himself outside a house and luckily Roakkeal thought he recognised it. So we left the body where it had fallen in the snow and trekked to a small villiage further south. We began searching the building. I noticed a smaller hut, separate from the main dwelling and I left Roak, Dae and Lohawq behind to investigate. I was not at all prepared for what I found.-
I found my totem. And a girl. It was a Night Elf. I’m no expert on their species but by her size I judged her to be very young. She had my grandmothers totem hanging around her neck. I faltered at that point. I was young when my mother had been cruelly taken from me, and in the pursuit of recovering this treasure I had robbed this girl of her father. Over a stupid misunderstanding. She stared up at me with big eyes, they started water when she saw the dried blood staining my hands. I left quickly. I left the totem with the girl, it is hers now. I didn’t know what to say to my friends, after we had come so far and done so much, for me to simply give up now. I told them I was done here and I didn’t get to explain further. I roar echoed simultaneously through our totems. Pherala has been exiled, banished for conspiring with the enemy. I could only think, “Not again.” I had trusted her, as I had trusted Ushi. As I trusted all my kin. How many more will fall? In many others is my trust misplaced? I cannot begin to doubt them now, for then I will doubt them all. As it is I am wrestling with my own doubts of self.

Will that young girl spend her life dreaming of vengeance against me? If she comes will I honestly be able to stop her? Knowing full well what I deserve. Have I become the very thing I despise? I had been so excited at the thought of becoming a Brave. I would be of use to my kin, I would have a place, a purpose... I don’t want to kill any more people...
Tears mar the page.

It comes back to choice. When I spoke with the Star Reader, Moonie asked for my time of birth. She said that information gave her the answers to her prophecies. I asked her this, “If her predictions are accurate, if everything happens for a reason according to the Earthmother’s purpose, then do we even have a choice at all? If I am destined to fail, destined to experience this grave misfortune she spoke of, then is there any point in trying to alter my destiny? I often have wished that the Earthmother had blessed me as she has my brother and my friends. Perhaps she did’t because she already knows the extent of my failure. She knew from my birth, and all I do now is a merry dance for her amusement. The thought turns my stomach... I don’t know what to think! What to do! If I am destined to be a bitter failure, to be pathetic and worthless, then what choice do I have?

What choice?
I’ve begun my Brave training with Lohawq. He is a [s]bully[/s] [s]masochist[/s] ...He is a tough master. I fear that I am not improving fast enough for his liking. He started training me in a wider variety of weapons than I am used to. I sparred with Roak at one point. I was so hesistant, I didn’t want to hurt him and I had so many doubts swirling in my head. How can I raise my weapon to kill? After what happened in Winterspring. Who is my enemy and who is my friend? The Head Brave came down to watch which only increased my nervousness. Lohawq tasked me with disarming Roakkeal of his weapon, and punished me with laps around the bluffs with every hesistation, every mistake that I made. He is cruel, but effective. Towards the end I didn’t really care anymore, about hurting Roak or about my worries. I just wanted him to stop adding punishments. I didn’t disarm him fast enough, or at all, and was punished for that... I knew that my training wouldn’t be easy... but this? This is torture...

I had a good time today with Daethon, Roakkeal and Lyra after the meeting. Cheif Bestiarius declared both Padania and Adalina to be his Chieftesses. They kissed, in public! I saw their tongues swirling! It was so gross... Oh yes, after the meeting we played in the rain. We went out into the hills of Mulgore and rolled down the grassy slopes. And threw mud at eachother. It was a whole lot of silly fun. I haven’t done that in a long time. Last time I played like that was with my brother... I wonder what he’s doing now? We then went down to the lake to wash the mud off. We had a lot of fun splashing in the pool. I couldn’t swim with my clothes on they were too heavy, so I took them off and swam in my smallclothes. I wasn’t even embarrassed in front of the bulls! I think I see them more as my own family... Besides, they promised not to peek. After the swim they started talking about something and deliberately leaving me out of it. I could tell. They think I’m not old enough. I was too happy to be angry at them for that. I’ll show them.

We went back to the bluffs and started looking for the Chief or one of the Elders. Daethon remembered that we had forgotten about my party in Orgrimmar, to celebrate my rites. Roakkeal didn’t seem happy about the idea. He and Daethon argued a little about whether Lohawq should come or not which was strange. I forgot all about it when a strange black bull approached me. At first I thought he was just being polite, but then he started leering at me and saying things that made me uncomfortable. Luckily Dae and Roak were there to defend me. I feel awful that I should need defending, but to be honest, when that bull approached me as he did...I didn’t even think of reaching for a weapon. I felt small and powerless. I’m so glad my friends were there. Whatever would I do without them?
I punched Daethon. I hit him hard, in the jaw, with nearly all my might. Might make him sore for a bit... I apologised afterward, I severely over-reacted, but I had cause. Daethon was a shivering wreck throughout the meeting today. From the snippets I heard I managed to piece together what was upsetting him. His father is alive and coming for him. He seemed surprised that I figured it out. Does he really think I’m that stupid? He wasn’t acting at all like his usual self. He was scared. He was talking about running away. I pleaded with him to go to the Chief. Thank the Earthmother that Roak was there. He should be able to make him see sense where I failed. I was worried for a moment that I had been deceived again... just like Ushi. My heart broke in the same wound and the pain of it overcame my sense for a moment. That’s when I hit him. Surely he’ll do the right thing? If we’re in danger, Mashira especially, we must be warned and we must be prepared.

Lohawq has set me... homework. He has other duties to attend to and so we have not been training together as often as I think he would like. He has tasked me with running laps of the bluffs and fighting the practise dummies in my own time. Every day. Two drums! For the love of our Earthmother I think he enjoys tormenting me. I nearly collapsed tonight with exhaustion, how can I keep this up? Every day...

The Chieftain spoke today about identity. Who is it we are? I do not know the answer to that question. I have been so full of doubts lately. I left my family. I abandoned them for selfish reasons. Reasons that I thought this tribe would see. A means to an end. I thought I would have more chance with the Earthspears, of achieving my dreams. Lately it seems they are further away than ever. How long until the ban is lifted? Will I ever get to explore the far reaches of the world or is Thunder Bluff my prison? It is a larger prison than my village back home, but a prison nonetheless. And what of the Chief and the Elders? I know so little of their plans. I had been so excited to be a Brave, but now I see an ulterior motive. They train me up, so that I am indebted to them. They keep me here, to patrol their lands until I am old. Then they get me with calf and I settle down. Some many of them are popping out babies... I will not be held here! I yearn to be free. Am I imagining things? Perhaps these people truly do care for me as kin. I certainly would never had met Daethon and Roakkeal otherwise. But. Have I made a mistake Earthmother? In joining the Earthspears? They are under attack constantly. I am another sword. They have deceivers in their ranks. Am I being manipulated? They disregard their own Chieftain. Is this entire tribe a farce? I saw her, the exile, being welcomed to the circle with open arms. I couldn’t believe my own eyes. If she is not punished for her actions, then why am I so worried about disobeying the Chief’s orders. Why should I care that he tells me to stay here. There are no bars on my prison, only my honour keeps me here, and if that honour is founded on a lie, then... well. Perhaps I will leave after all. In the dead of night. There is a zep-
Half the page has been torn away.

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