About us - OOC[edit | edit source]
The Way of Malorne is a Kaldorei traditionalist religious movement. Our characters:
- call for uncompromising devotion to the ways of the Balance;
- reject the ways, beliefs, artifacts and close companionship of other races as unfitting for Kaldorei;
- roam the wild alone - in search of disturbances in the Balance, but also in search of the wisdom and guidance of Malorne;
- heal damage to the Balance where possible, and fight against its enemies where necessary;
- practice ritualised hunting, including ritual killing, as a central part of the rites of worship.
We use PvE and PvP as context for our RP stories.
We're also a guild, but you don't have to join to participate in our activities. We're a bit selective about what types of character we accept in our RP, but very happy to help newcomers with lore and so on. Meanwhile, our characters are violently allergic to mages, warlocks and Death Knights (or Demon Hunters) and tend to be a bit funny about other races, too.
Our characters can be unpleasant at times, but out-of-character we're a pretty friendly bunch. If you're an easy-going person who's able and willing to roleplay our way, there's a place for you with us.
If you're interested in participating, just contact Aldrannath or Caliyen and we'll put you on the invite list. If you want to join the guild, please check our forum for details: http://wayofmalorne.proboards.com/
Currently active and recruiting. Events roughly twice a week, plus ad-hoc RP more frequently; we often tackle endgame PvE content in-character, and we dabble in RP-PvP too. We do dungeons out-of-character when people are online and in the mood.
The Hunt[edit | edit source]
In the Way of Malorne, the Hunt is a symbol for the whole life and mission of each Kaldorei, in service of the Balance. Malorne is believed to guide and instruct his followers through their experiences in the hunt. Hunts and other travels in the wild are therefore discussed and carefully considered, for signs or omens that may indicate the path a follower must take.
The kill itself is an act of particular significance, ritualised in the Rite of the Hunt and (most especially) the Rite of Tranquility. The victim dies "in place" of the hunter, and its blood is spilled on the hunter as a symbol of her own self-sacrifice to the Balance, and of her mortality. The Way of Malorne places great emphasis on reminding its followers that, in spite of their agelessness, they are in fact mortal, and like all of Elune's creatures they must eventually die. This is considered an important element of the "Tranquility" which is also called humility.
Rangers of the Way of Malorne, including younger Druids and Priestesses, are expected to hunt, and to roam the wild. This is considered an essential element of their spiritual journey. The experiences they bring back, and the discoveries they make, are discussed and analysed by the Elders for their true meaning. Novices accompany Rangers or Elders on their travels, receiving both practical training and spiritual guidance in the process.
Faith[edit | edit source]
Beliefs[edit | edit source]
Followers of the Way of Malorne have essentially the same beliefs as all the Kaldorei who serve Elune, the White Lady. They revere Elune as their mother, creator and protector; they worship Her as first and greatest of the Ancients of the Kaldorei pantheon. Among the other Ancients, they first honour Her consort, Malorne, the Waywatcher, whom they revere as the first, best, divine servant and lover of Elune, the guide to all Kaldorei, who opened for them the way to union with their Mother, and watches over their paths as they follow Her.
The followers of the Way of Malorne have a distinctive reverence for the Balance, which they identify with the unknowable will of Elune. They see Her reflected in the Balance, to the point that the Balance itself is almost personified, occasionally even being referred to as Mother. They believe that through the Balance, Elune acts in the world, and that by offering their whole lives to the Balance, they can become true servants of Elune. Unlike Elune and Malorne, the Balance is seen as naturally violent, bloodthirsty and occasionally wrathful; for followers of the Way, this violence reflects a natural and healthy yearning of the Balance for perfection and union with the Mother of all, the White Lady.
The Way[edit | edit source]
The Way of Malorne is a way of life - to its followers, it is the true calling of all Kaldorei. Nonetheless, they do not proselytise, believing it sufficient that a dedicated few devote themselves utterly to the Way. The Way of Malorne is also called the Hunt - this refers not only to hunting as such, but also to roaming the wild, and to the whole mission and calling of every follower of the Way. This mission is inspired by Tranquility and the Kill, and is enacted in Balance and in Sacrifice.
- If you cling to your life, and turn your back on death as if it were a fiend come to destroy you, what peace then can you find? For you are mortal. Even the Dragons can die. You, too, are a creature of the Balance - and like all of Elune's creatures, you shall live and die like a ripple in Her calm ocean, whether you will or no. Let go, then - let the waves carry you whither they will - and you will know the tranquility of Malorne. The tranquility He, too, knew - and embraced.
- For followers of the Way of Malorne, tranquility comes from fully accepting and embracing one's own natural mortality as a creature of the Balance. A true Kaldorei neither fears nor flees from death, but embraces it calmly and willingly when she knows her time is come. Of course, this does not imply actually neglecting one's own health or survival; living and surviving are part of the Way, and suicide is regarded as a rebellion against the Balance. But death is recognised and accepted as a friend who will come, sooner or later, to take every Kaldorei home. This acceptance is seen as a necessary element of proper humility, and a bulwark against the fatal hubris of the Kaldorei. The death of Malorne Himself is seen as the ultimate example of willing and tranquil self-sacrifice in honour and service of the Balance.
- The Kill
- The Hunt ends with the Kill. The tranquil victim meets his end and gives himself wholly to the Balance. The hunter, then, blesses the beast, and anoints herself in his blood that she, too, may be given to the Balance.
- Then, as the blood flows onto your face, ask yourself, Ranger of the Way of Malorne: Who, in truth, is the Hunter? And who is the Kill?
- The Way of Malorne began with the hunt, whose climax and culmination comes with the kill. The Kaldorei are seen as natural predators, for whom the hunt and the kill are as normal and healthy as breathing air or drinking water. Every kill is a sacred act, carried out with respect for the victim, prayers for the creature and for the Balance, and reverence for the will of Malorne. Every hunt's victim is seen as a sacrifice, which feeds the Balance and honours Elune in accordance with the wisdom of Malorne. In the mysticism of the Way, the hunter is killed even as she kills, and sacrifices herself even as she makes the sacrifice; herself, her life and her Hunt are laid together at the feet of the Goddess.
- Aye, the Balance is an ocean, with storms and tides that lash the surface, and a deep, dark calm far beneath. We, then, we Kaldorei are swimmers in that ocean; like the dolphin, we do not fight the seas about us, but ride them, race with them, embrace them as part of ourselves. And we are the salt of the ocean of Balance. Without that salt, the sea creatures could not live. Yet, if salt should cease to be salt, if it should become sand, or worse, some deadly poison, it would be fit for nothing, fit only for sealing up in the deep places of the earth. Ride, then, the Ocean of the Balance - but keep yourself salt, and swim like the dolphin.
- According to the Way of Malorne, the Kaldorei are precious, perhaps essential tools in the hands of Elune as She watches over and protects Her Balance. But they are also part of that Balance, and for the sake of all that they are charged with preserving, they must live exactly as Elune made them, exactly as She meant them to live, keeping their right place, so that the Balance should not be disturbed. Uncompromising fidelity to this calling of the Kaldorei is seen as the sine qua non of the Way. As such, followers of the Way of Malorne utterly renounce and reject arcane magic, technology, and all things that have no place or role in the Balance, devoting themselves entirely to a life at one with the forests and the living things they guard. They live apart from the other races, fighting against or alongside them when they must, but otherwise living separately to devote themselves to the unique calling of the children of the stars. They strive to offer their whole selves, their whole lives, to the Balance, so that they may become the Balance in microcosm, and serve Her perfectly.
- The Balance is also a mighty beast, with enemies that would poison or utterly destroy Her. And so, the beast fights Her Enemy, and we, the Kaldorei, are Her blood-soaked claws. Rejoice, then, though She bathes you in blood! It is by your hand that She rends her enemies; it is by your skill that She turns the poisoned darts away from Her hide. Aye, and your Way at last must end in death. What better fate, than to die in combat for the Balance? Malorne Himself, His Way, leads us to such an end. And in that death, at the end of the Way, the ranger finds union with her Mother, at last becoming one with Elune.
- The War of the Ancients introduced a new concept to the Kaldorei: the implacable enemy of the Balance, who must be destroyed at all costs - unlike the Trolls, who were merely enemies of the Kaldorei and competitors for land and resources. The ancient Elders of the Way of Malorne declared that warfare against the foes of the Balance was the highest form of sacrifice - the Kaldorei, if they fell, fell in honour of Elune, and the enemy, if destroyed, could harm the Balance no more. The Kaldorei who fight for the Balance may live or die in the battle, but even for the survivors, every battle is another step along the Way that will lead in the end to their death, the consummation of their long journey in the footsteps of Malorne towards union with His beloved, Elune. Followers of the Way of Malorne therefore cultivate a religious approach to fighting for the Balance; they do not see only a noble duty in protecting the Balance, nor only a grim necessity of self-defence, but above all, a way to move closer to their final union with their Goddess.
History[edit | edit source]
Many millennia ago, the Kaldorei of old lived in small settlements on the shores of the Well of Eternity at the dark heart of Kalimdor, isolated by the vast, trackless forests that encircled them for hundreds of miles in all directions. At that time, it is said, they had no contact with the Trolls - whose great Empires already spanned half the continent - and knew nothing of them; many Kaldorei believed themselves alone on Kalimdor, and that the wild forest stretched on forever.
Only legends come down to us of that half-forgotten time, but some of those legends tell of rangers (today they would be called hunters), adventurous travellers who forsook the safety of their quiet lakeside existence to wander the vast forest, alone or with only beasts for company. Doubtless many left and never returned. Some may have come back to their kin, after years or decades of roaming, to tell tales of strange seas and magical beasts to their sceptical listeners. A handful, according to the Druids, were permitted to meet with the demigod Cenarius - to some of these he taught the rudimentary ways of the Balance; a rare few, it is said, were permitted to change their flesh for living wood, leaving their lives as Kaldorei behind forever and walking the forests as treants. But rarest of all, sometimes not for many centuries, a rumour would come out of the deepest forests that a ranger had been blessed with a glimpse of the mighty white stag they called Malorne.
Most rangers knew of these marvels only as rumours, and received fragments of the simple teachings of Cenarius at second or third hand. They revered Malorne, even above Cenarius, believing him to be the father and guide of the Kaldorei just as Elune was their mother and protector. In the strange, loose fellowship wrought by their isolation, some of the more eccentric or imaginative among these primitive, forest-dwelling Kaldorei developed their own mystical beliefs and rituals; a way of faith in the Balance that fitted their hard, dangerous lives as hunters in the wild. They called it "the Way of Malorne."
As their great civilisation slowly took shape and spread across Kalimdor, most Kaldorei forgot this primitive faith, which in later generations came to be regarded as an obscure sect of nature-worshipping savages. Later, the War of the Ancients dealt a terrible blow to the remaining rangers of the Way, a few of whom even witnessed the death of their beloved guide Malorne at the hands of Archimonde.
Malfurion Stormrage, the greatest student of Cenarius, was the first to learn from him the craft of the Druid, the first to learn of the Emerald Dream without forsaking his flesh, and the first Kaldorei to drink deeply from the Keeper's well of wisdom. After the War of the Ancients, some of the few remaining followers of the Way of Malorne became Druids under the tutelage of Malfurion and his disciples, and reinvented their ancient faith in the light of this new and far deeper insight into the Balance. The Way of Malorne became a sect within the Cenarion Circle, regarded as primitive and eccentric by their peers, but accepted and tolerated nonetheless. A few Priestesses of the Sisterhood joined them, seeing the Way of Malorne as an opportunity for the Kaldorei to reconnect with their ancient heritage. These Druids and Priestesses, the Elders of the Way, established a tradition of teaching, healing, and fighting for the Balance, and a few younger hunters and warriors joined them.
When the Druids went into the Emerald Dream, and the Sentinels began their Long Vigil, the Way of Malorne dwindled to a loose and scattered network of individual followers, little known to the rest of their kin. For many millennia, the Way of Malorne was no longer taught, slowly becoming a faith practiced only by a few elder Sentinels, and understood only by one or two ancient Priestesses and a few sleeping Druids.
Thus it remained until recently, when two Druids of the Way of Malorne, having woken from the Dream, decided to reestablish their traditions. They do so in the hope of returning some of the Kaldorei to their "true place" and to their "true heritage" before the ways and values of old are entirely forgotten.
Perceptions[edit | edit source]
The Cenarion Circle is aware of the Way of Malorne; its leading Druids are Circle members in reasonably good standing. The rest of the Circle regards the group as dreadfully old-fashioned, and may not have very much respect for them. However, their practices and beliefs are considered acceptable, and compatible with what the Circle stands for, so their existence is tolerated. Most Druids, if they are aware of the existence of the Way of Malorne, are inclined to ignore it.
The Sisterhood of Elune are largely unaware of the Way of Malorne, and have never needed to reach any official view on the status of this tiny fringe group. Any priestess taking an interest is likely to be shocked by the continuing existence of blood sacrifice "in honour of Elune" - a practice the sisterhood never sanctioned in their own temples. They might also consider the theology of "Balance-worship", elevating the Balance almost to the status of a divinity alongside Elune and the rest of the Pantheon, to be misguided. However, the Way of Malorne does conform to the fundamental beliefs about Elune propagated by the Sisterhood, so although their practices have a shockingly different "flavour," the fringe group might be considered just about acceptable to the mainstream.
The Sentinels are largely indifferent to the existence of the Way of Malorne, at least on the organisational level. However, historically the majority of followers of the Way have been Sentinels, so among Sentinels it may still be possible to find individuals who know of the Way of Malorne, or even practice it themselves.
FAQ - OOC[edit | edit source]
What's with all the bloodletting? Surely Elune and Malorne are peaceful deities?
Absolutely right, they are peaceful deities. The bloodletting bit is more concerned with the Balance, which from our characters' point of view is "Nature red in tooth and claw." There are deeper meanings, too. Anyway, the idea of animal sacrifice is indeed likely to shock most Priestesses; they definitely don't do that in the Temple of the Moon.
Don't Kaldorei love animals?
Nope, Kaldorei love the Balance - although some Kaldorei do form attachments to certain pets, which apparently gain extended lifespans as a consequence; Tyrande still has her Nightsaber from the War of the Ancients. Anyway, lots of Kaldorei are hunters, and many Kaldorei eat meat. There are actually problems with the Balance in Ashenvale because, after so many Sentinels died in the Battle of Mount Hyjal, not enough Kaldorei have been out hunting and keeping the animal populations under control.
But surely Druids love animals?
Nope, Druids love the Balance, which is red in tooth and claw. Typically, Druids are no more sentimental about the death of individual animals than you or I would be about clipping our toenails. Many Druids spend a lot of time as big cats or bears, and as such probably eat quite a lot of raw meat. The Way of Malorne would dictate that they should catch and kill it themselves.
What about DEHTA then?
Well, first, DEHTA is a rather silly lore joke. Second, they are clearly meant to be a fringe group of crackpots - rather like the Way of Malorne, only at the other extreme. But most importantly, DEHTA object to the wholesale, commercialised slaughter of large numbers of wild animals in an already-damaged ecosystem; in other words, what they really object to is damage to the Balance. Back in Ashenvale Forest, some of them probably wouldn't even be vegetarian.
Surely all this butchery is Trollish behaviour?
Well, Trollish behaviour would be to do to other Kaldorei what we do to the occasional wild animal. The primitivist mysticism of the rites is arguably Tauren-ish, but it's also quite authentically Kaldorei, although some "modernist" Kaldorei (such as Fandral Staghelm) might well disapprove. So no; hunters kill animals, butcher them, and eat the meat, presumably getting covered in blood in the process. The Way of Malorne is all about getting back to Kaldorei roots and experiencing the cycle of nature at first hand, so from our characters' point of view, a Kaldorei who eats meat but can't stand the sight of blood "has left the Way of Malorne." Of course, some Druids of the Grove, for example, are probably vegetarian; they may well find these rituals shocking or disgusting, or simply meaningless.
Some followers[edit | edit source]
- Elder Aldrannath
- Elder Vaelitha Skysong
- Caliyen Starbreeze (deceased)
- Celegil Moonwatcher
- Deliaris Shadowwind
[edit | edit source]
The information given here is selected from our guild forum, where you can also meet the followers of the Way, find out about our activities, and apply to join: http://wayofmalorne.proboards.com