In the ultimate evaluation of the clan here, we are all orphans. My parents were murdered in cold blood as Grim Batol was taken from us. Every day, I look out from my balcony and wonder when it will be that I can set foot in my parent’s old domicile and reclaim it as my own.

My “family”, now, consists of orphans, all of us severed from our family history by History itself, or at least its cousin, Destiny. Flora and Illume, from the Scourge invasion. Jas, Slithmere, and Yarley from the Third War. Orlee and Ku, from the campaign against the Burning Legion. And of course, Faiella is our own personal reminder of the war against the Lich King.

Over all, my family is the wretched refuse of several wars, all united in our desire to simply be. Our common bond is the desire – no, the right – to exist beside those that are more fortunate than ourselves.

Well. This time of the year, my feelings do run deep.

Each year, around this time, we are asked to open our hearts and help those less fortunate than ourselves. Namely, the myriad orphans of several wars’ worth of our world’s history.   Over my life, I’ve adopted into my household many orphans – human, dwarf, night elf, draenai … and my heart is open to even more. My parents, for all that they were taken from me, left me with the means to support myself and many like me that had no other family. I am blessed, and my new family is one form of that blessing.

With the advent of Children’s Week, I was given new reason to reach out and help my fellow … sentients … in the world.   A young girl, named Dornaa, was entrusted to me. “Show her around, show her the wider world and inspire her” – that was the challenge, one gladly met.  As I flew her around Outland, I slowly fell in love with the girl.  So much she reminded me of what attracted me to Flora, or Jasra, or even Orlee … heart of fire, mind like lightning, spirit of stone, thoughts like the wind. Surely, she was something special. She made my spirit soar just by having her around.

I knew something was up when I took her to the Caverns of Time, though. The guards there reacted … unusually. Where before, they had protected the Dragon that ruled over the place, in this case they seemed prepared to end Dornaa’s existence right there. Just before that, Zaladormu intervened and warned that whatever she would or would not do in the future was hers to do or undo, and no others’ – or words to that effect.

Then and there, I resolved myself to this child’s destiny. I have no illusions about myself, no … but I have none about the wider world, either. Sure, I’ve made a few bad calls in my life. But I think that a young draenai raised in my household would have the basic … ethical … tools … to make the right decision regardless of what the Bronze Dragonflight considered to be “right”. We Wildhammers may be somewhat unpredictable, but we always err on the side of what’s RIGHT, in a general sense.

I was ready, at the time, to announce proudly to the Clan that we had a new member, when I received a flat rejection from Matron Mercy … seems that the high council at The Exodar has taken a direct interest in the young lady at the behest of the Shamanistic faction within.

In a way, my heart is broken … she had already exhibited an interest in creative use of game mechanics (O Scout … why hast thou forsaken us?) … but all the same I am full of joy, for her Nation has found reason to value her and call her into service, something we Dwarves value highly. And, truly, from what they tell me, she has the potential to eclipse Thrall himself as a Shaman, so, truly, this could be a Great thing.

Her life, no matter the outcome, will be significant. This I know in my heart. She is destined for greatness. I hope it is on “our” side.

At any rate, the offer still stands. Dornaa, you have a home with us. You are truly One of Us, and we will welcome you gladly into our home.

Until then … may the Spirits choose your path wisely.

And thanks, for the time we had together. In this day and age, it’s truly inspirational for an old Dwarf to be surprised.

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