The wondrous smells of potions, salves and other brewed stews was what I needed. We were often outside gathering herbs for healing potions and mana regeneration potions. I could climb trees for the fungi and other fruits. I really felt free at that time. We were even allowed to venture to nearby towns and caves to gather materials. A whole new world opened up to me. I’ve met a lot of new night elves, humans, even dwarves and gnomes. Funny creatures these gnomes. Always tinkering and all were so damn cute, with their big eyes and small hands. Dwarves were bigger than gnomes but they barely came up to my waist and even I wasn’t fully grown yet. But I never really made a lot of friends. You see night elves were very careful who to trust, since a few times in the past thousands of years we had betrayers amongst us. And we didn’t want the history to be repeated. One particular night elf was to be the chosen one, but he in the end betrayed his people and for that he was imprisoned by the Wardens. His name was Illidan. If you know his story you might think him good at start but as the story goes, you see that he is evil and at a point even helped the Burning Legion to invade our homes. On the other hand, that happened around 10.000 years ago. I like the story of how the races of that time fought to banish the evil of the Legion, but to be betrayed by one of our own, was a horrible feeling indeed.
When I was done with my studies and had learned as much as I could from my profession trainers I was, in the year of my 30th birthday, finally accepted into the training programs. Firstly, they gave me a leather outfit that was stitched up by our local leatherworking group. They weren’t that skilled since they were all mostly novices, but everyone was once a novice and had to make a start somewhere, therefore I decided the outfit was good enough for training purposes. The head of the militia was one of the Darnassus sentinels called Mara. She was tall and had purple hair neatly banded into a ponytail. Her weapon of choice was a Moonglaive. A three-bladed weapon, which could be used either in melee or as a throw weapon. As a skilled user, she could gain feats to ricochet the weapon off to the opponents and then back into her own hands. It was really impressive to see such skill.
“Choose your weapons,” were her first words to the new recruits. “Usually the weapons choose the wearer, so listen to them.”
Yeah a talking weapon, that's what I need, I grinned to myself and walked to the weapon racks. I knew to avoid swords and shields. But the smaller daggers looked promising. I was already skilled with knives in the kitchen, how hard could it be to wield this daggers. I picked up a pair and examined them. They were basic, not that heavy, but they just didn’t feel right. The handles were too slippery for some reason. Most already chose their weapons, but I couldn’t decide.
“Hurry up,” boomed Mara’s voice across the training grounds. I placed the daggers around my waste and hurried towards others. When I was about to step at the end of the line I noticed a bow fell over with a quiver full of arrows. I picked it up and wanted to place it back on its rack, but then something struck me. It felt as if a bolt of light would hit me from the clear blue sky. I gained something and I couldn’t let go of the bow. I looked around and saw others with the same horrid expressions on their faces as mine. Mara on the other hand was just smiling.
“Ah, it seems we've gained a few new classes. Congratulations. All those that can’t drop the weapons please form the second line, I will return with your appropriate class master,” were her words. Around 10 of us stood behind the rest of trainees, looking puzzled, afraid yet somewhat proud. The rest got their instructions to start sparring with their weapon of choice. Mara vanished from the training field for a few moments, but for me it was almost an eternity. I could feel the heavy breathing of my fellow night elves, the senses I gained at that moment were enhanced as if I drank a potion of tracking. My breath steadied and I listened to the sounds of the wind and moving grass beneath my feet. I felt at least four pairs of feet approaching us and I could smell five different scents. I turned around and saw a rogue sneaking behind his future trainees. This skill of mine could really come in handy.
“All those of you with bows in their hands follow Ayanna Everstride,” she ordered. For the rest I didn’t even pay attention, I was so eager to find out what was happening to me.
All three of the new hunters were walking behind Ayanna. Clenching our bows as if they were our life string. It turned out, we will rely on our ranged weapons for our survival heavily in the future.