|Affiliation||The Way of Malorne|
|Status||Awake and active|
For stories about Aldrannath, see The Elder's Elders.
Aldrannath. He has never used a family name, and never adopted any of the other names he has been given.
To his face, he is often called "Elder", his only proper title, although until quite recently he was also "Guardian" to his comrades. He does not permit anyone to call him "Shan'do" unless he has formally accepted them as a student. Short-ear titles such as "Sir" are liable to provoke his wrath.
Some followers of the Way refer to him, a little inaccurately, as "the Elder". Elder Vaelitha privately addresses him as "Old Bear." Some of his younger kin have jokingly dubbed him "the fore-Bear".
Aldrannath is tall and very powerfully built, strong as a bear and tough as oak. However, he looks almost as old as he is, with wrinkled skin and long, wispy white hair. He is much declined from his former self, stiffer and slower than in his heyday as a warrior, but he moves with grace and a slow dignity.
He speaks an archaic form of Darnassian with a rather stilted pronunciation; his native dialect is practically a different language. When agitated, his dialect breaks through, making his grammar seem odd. He speaks Common confidently but inaccurately.
Race and ClassEdit
Kaldorei, Druid of the Wild. Often regarded as a Druid of the Claw, but has always in fact been equally comfortable in tree, bird, feline and sealion forms.
First Elder of the Way of Malorne. Aldrannath is entirely occupied with the missions assigned to the followers of the Way by the Cenarion Circle, and with the spiritual welfare of those who call him Elder.
His Kaldorei relatives probably all died when his native community was destroyed by the Burning Legion in the War of the Ancients. He had relationships with both female and male Kaldorei long, long ago, but these are now mostly forgotten. He never fathered Kaldorei children - perhaps his female partners found him too unreliable to make a suitable father.
Aldrannath was born a few centuries before the Sundering, among a remote rural community of Kaldorei in the mountains north of Un'Goro Crater. His people lived on the very fringe of Kaldorei civilisation, more or less autonomously, and in a state of constant low-level war with the trolls of what had once been the western fringe of the Gurubashi Empire. They spoke their own dialect, which was almost incomprehensible to other Kaldorei, and were regarded by their more civilised brethren as barbaric throwbacks. Indeed, they preserved many primitive Kaldorei customs that dated back millennia, which the Highbourne had long tried to stamp out.
Like many of his people, Aldrannath trained as a warrior from an early age, and grew up taking the harsh paramilitary discipline of his people for granted. He grew strong and swift, and gained respect as a vigorous young berserker, so when a unit of Guardians visited his people, they accepted him as a recruit. He fought with courage and distinction alongside his fellow Guardians in the War of the Ancients, and was eventually granted the rank of Guardian soon after the Sundering.
After the war ended, he took great interest in the "new" craft of Druidism, and eventually became a Druid at the age of several centuries, under the tutelage of one of Malfurion's elder disciples. This teacher had been a ranger of the Way of Malorne, and taught Aldrannath the precepts of the Way even as he trained him in the Druidic craft. Aldrannath became a Druid of the Wild, practising shapeshifting into multiple forms at a time when this was relatively unusual. He also became a devoted follower of the Way of Malorne, whose rites echoed the traditions he had known in his youth. He continued to serve with distinction as a Guardian, but took long absences from service, spending many centuries in the Emerald Dream, growing among the trees of Moonglade, or living as a bear in the forests of his homeland. As a consequence he never served as an officer, although he led small groups of his fellow Guardians in a number of missions.
Having spent several centuries in the Emerald Dream, Aldrannath gained a close affinity for that realm and its laws. Because of this, and his rather unusual status as a Druid of the Wild, a few daring or eccentric younger Druids sought him out as teacher; it is possible that some of these students are still alive. He entered the Dream with his fellow Druids at the start of the Long Vigil; he may have awoken occasionally during the following six millennia, but does not appear to have done anything of note at these times, and has no clear memory of them.
Aldrannath awoke to fight with great distinction in the War of the Shifting Sands, as a warrior in the front line alongside his fellow Guardians. He was struck down in battle by the dark magic of the Qiraji; close to death, he was taken to Moonglade, where he took root and slept for many centuries. He slept through the Third War and did not fight at the battle of Mount Hyjal.
Aldrannath recently awoke, more or less recovered at last, but greatly declined from his former powers. He was distressed by the state of the world, but even more alarmed by the apparent decline of his people, who had "learned much from the humans and their short-sighted ways", and even "usurped the place of the Aspects themselves by creating a blasphemous mockery of a World Tree." He was granted permission to go his own way rather than renew his long-lapsed oath to the High Guardian, and on meeting his old comrade Salabadon, he resolved to restore the Way of Malorne and its rites, in the hope of setting at least some of his kin back on "their true path."
An old, old Druid, once mighty but now merely powerful, somewhat respected for his antiquity and military record, but rarely quite trusted due to his rather unpredictable and irascible nature. He can be by turns charmingly eccentric and alarmingly brutal.
Although he has lived for several millennia, he has spent a very large proportion of his life either in the Emerald Dream, or as a tree or a bear, and his memories of the remainder are sketchy and uncertain. He is not particularly familiar or content with modern Kaldorei society, and is somewhat nostalgic for the days of his youth among the primitive Kaldorei of the mountains. He is comfortable with Dragons, having served them in the past, both in the War of the Ancients and the War of the Shifting Sands; perhaps their presence helps to clear his mind. He regards Trolls as natural enemies, and has no love for the other races of the Horde - but he dislikes humans and gnomes almost as much. He is intensely uncomfortable around Draenei, owing to their physical resemblance to the hated Eredar. Dwarves, he respects for their roots, remarking "they know their right place, and they keep to it," but he prefers to keep them at a distance, and believes all Kaldorei should do likewise. However, his true and deep hatred is reserved for the Burning Legion and all its works.
Aldrannath is a little confused; he has spent most of his long, long life in the Emerald Dream, and has a tendency to mix up the Dream with the waking world. His memories of the centuries before the Long Vigil are somewhat muddled; he has memories of things that never happened, or that happened only in the Dream, and some actual events of his life have got lost in the confusion. As such he can be astonished or alarmed by events other Kaldorei might find unremarkable; this can sometimes lead to sudden and dramatic outbursts of violence. He also enjoys telling tall tales to gullible youngsters, so although he is fond of reminiscing about his glorious past, it is difficult to be certain which stories are true.
Rumours and ReputationEdit
The information given here is known to a number of older Druids of the Cenarion Circle; none of it is secret, so Kaldorei who care to make the effort will have no difficulty in finding out all about Aldrannath - or at least, as much as he himself can remember. Aldrannath has no particular secrets, except of course the deeper mysteries of the Druidic craft.
- Aldrannath was never well-known or respected in wider Kaldorei society, but Druids old enough to remember the time before the Long Vigil may know of him by reputation, or even have met him, as may some of those who fought in the War of the Shifting Sands. Guardians from these times may have known him personally. Followers of the Way of Malorne from these times will certainly have met him at some point.
- He was known among Guardians of his times as a simple but effective bear-warrior.
- He was known among his Druid brethren before the Long Vigil as a capable but very eccentric Dreamer. Malfurion is said to have joked, "That one has his mind in the Dream."
- Among the followers of the Way of Malorne before the Long Vigil, Aldrannath had no particular reputation; he was entirely overshadowed by his revered Shan'do, who has yet to awaken from his struggles deep within the Emerald Dream.
- Aldrannath has always been generally regarded as mad and unpredictable; he has on occasion been used to frighten local children.
- Some old rumours state that he is an ancestor of the Ironfur bears of Feralas. Aldrannath is aware of this rumour, and has no idea whether it is true.
First Elder of the Way of Malorne.