The sentinels were arming.
At first, Ornasse tried to explain it away to their usual routine, but there was no mistaking the wary energy of the outpost. Armor was being repaired, weapons sharpened and polished, the great war-glaives inspected and tested. And then there had been the letter, requesting the aid of all experienced druids to report to Moonglade as soon as they were able. The words were chosen carefully, speaking only of a “rising threat” that was rumored to be present on both continents. Nowhere did the words “demon” or “Legion” appear, but they were foremost on his mind — and he’d already heard them whispered among the sentinels. He had been so young then, a lifetime ago, and the details were lost to time, but he remembered the feeling of fear and hopelessness. While he was reluctant to leave his quiet and comfortable life in Feathermoon behind, this was important. If he ignored the summons, those who went to fight in his place might die from their wounds. And what if everyone refused to go? Ornasse did not want to imagine the outcome, demons scorching their way across Kalimdor, leaving only smoking ruin behind.
He had expected Kelanori to protest more, perhaps insist that she stay behind with their son. But she had always had a very practical mind, it was one of things he most admired about her. Farahlor would be safe with Phaa, a draenei who lived in town and had always loved children. Ornasse did worry about a direct invasion; if all the sentinels left, the town would be vulnerable. It was a risk they would have to take, as it was impossible to bring the child along with them. And if anything should happen to either of them, at least he would be well cared for. There was Tathariel as well. He didn’t know if she’d received a letter or not. She was one of the new generation of female druids, barely a decade of experience. But he supposed the Circle could not afford to be picky at a time like this. Would Jaellynn permit her to go? He would have to care for their young child alone. Ornasse would have to go and visit them to be certain. Kelanori wanted him to speak to her brother, too. Terivanis was not much of a druid, but he had proven valuable at the Molten Front. He might have got a letter as well. He would be eager to prove himself; Kelanori was right about that.
As the sun dipped behind the verdant hills, Ornasse spread his wings and set out over the ancient forest. He wanted to see for himself if there were any demons in the area, what kind they might be, and how many. There had been small pockets from time to time, that was no cause for alarm. But the rumors spoke of vast structures rising out of the landscape, demons pouring out of them without end — in places where they’d never been seen before. He also wanted to find the worgen. Since they had come to Feathermoon, they had seen very little of her — she wasn’t comfortable in the town, nor were they welcoming of her. The forest surely reminded her of home. If Ornasse could find her, he would ask her to watch over Farahlor and the rest of the town, make sure that no demons got too close. He felt a little guilty in doing so; she was not a trained animal, after all, but he knew she would be eager to help. And she was already dead, so there wasn’t much risk to her.
His breath caught in his throat as he entered into a clearing; a green crystalline spire jutted up from the tangled growth below. The earth around it was charred and cracked, thin green smoke pouring from it. It was all true. They were here.