The forest of the Hyjal Mountain Range stirred in the wind, leaves carried away in a rustling storm among the strong breeze of the higher region. Just out of the shade of the thriving world tree walked two beings: a towering Ancient covered in runic inscriptions and autumnal leaves, and a Night Elf. They walked along the shade of Nordrassil and other vibrant trees on the sacred mountains.
At the shoreline of a tranquil pond, the two stopped. The Night Elf stared at his reflection, silver eyes fixated upon the pool. The ancient dug his roots into a rocky hill situated above the pond, observing the pond with a passive expression. So one might guess: a face of wood truly didn’t help his ability to express emotion in facial movement. His voice rumbled like twisting bark, cutting through the wind and echoing inside the violet ears of Raelor.
“The path of Cenarius is one of both thought and reflection, as well as action and preservation. To preserve the balance of Nature, you must understand the depth of the simplest sites on can find among places where the world has grown by its own design.” The ancient said, scattering a trail of amber leaves into the water as he motioned towards the pool with a claw like finger. “I have brought you here to understand the Wisdom of the River, but only you can truly discover it for yourself. To understand the river however, there is a question you must answer. How can you touch the pond, without causing a ripple?”
The Night Elf quirked an emerald brow slightly, the seeming simplicity of the question betrayed by the curiosity in his silver eyes. Silently he stared at the pond, eying his own reflection in contemplation of the task at hand. He reached out, lifting a small stone and skipping it across the pond. Ripples of water rose, pushing away from each point of contact, the Night Elf watching every reaction with curiosity. He cupped his hands, pressing his fingers into the glassy surface and scooping up a handful of water. He released it all gradually back into the pond like a waterfall, yet once more the water rippled around the point of contact.
He rose to full height once more, walking along the edge of the pond towards a stream leading away from the pond. Following the trail of calm flow, he came to a Waterfall. At the base he observed the local creatures who mingled in the great pools. A great fish burst atop the surface, slamming back into the waters. Ripples marked its exit and return.
The elf looked up as the winds rustled, dropping avian feathers and leaves upon the smooth surface, which shattered at every blow. A herd of deer approached, the doe and fawns dipping the heads to drink from the water. Ripples rocked the basin from every tap of every beastial tongue. Still, the Druid observed.
The skies above grew darker as a rainstorm passed over the keen druid. As the rain fell upon the pond, he observed the countless colliding waves from every single droplet tapping the surface. Where once his reflection was visible to its entirety, now only a faint image of his form could be made out before quickly scattering and reforming in another random view.
As the rains passed, the Druid rose and returned to the old Ancient, who had barely moved a muscle.
“I have watched for hours Shan’do, yet nothing I can touch the water without making a ripple!” The Night Elf said, his tone echoing the confusion. The answer seemed so distant from his thoughts.
The ancient reached out again, amber leaves fluttering into the calm waters and resting upon their surface: yet once again, they caused waves of water to push away from their forms. He stretched out a wooden finger, swirling it around them in a small radius that had the two moving opposite to one another. With every movement of his hand was a shift in the waters. The Night Elf looked at the Ancient again, scratching his head.
“I do not understand, Shan’do. Even you cannot stop a ripple from happening… how could I know how to prevent something so fragile from reacting from even the smallest touch?
The ancient looked at him, and despite the disposition of his body it seemed as though a faint smile had formed at the edge of his lips.
“I cannot stop the pool from rippling when I force action upon it. Nothing can. But few things make an identical wave.”
The druid stared in confusion for a moment, until the Ancient motioned towards the two leaves that had fallen from its body. As they slipped down the waterfall in their continuous rotation among the stirred water, his eyes widened. He nodded as they slipped out of view.
“All actions will change the water, but not all the changes are harmful.” He said with a wide grin. “This is the wisdom of the River you spoke of.”