I remember it as a wisp of smoke, a fog of a memory. It is a shadow in my mind, as though seen through frosted glass. The frost of Winterspring would often remind me of it in the days to come.
You see, I was young then; now I am old. I was new to the Eastern Kingdom, and had just entered into the great dwarven bastion of Iron Forge. What a magnificent experience for a young Night Elf to behold! Even though my heart belonged to the wild, the forests, the rivers; I could appreciate why the Dwarves were so proud of their home.
The Forge, at the center of their existence. What raw power! The exquisite craftsmanship of their artisans with the hammer and anvil. Their suits of armor, seeming impenetrable; their weapons; seemingly unstoppable. I was in awe.
As I made my way around, through the cavernous corridors, I came upon the Commons. It was so full of people! And, they were from all over the realms. Not just Dwarves; but Gnomes, Humans, and the other worldly Draenei. It was quite overwhelming.
However, I knew not of what truly awaited me.
I know not whom the dwarven priests worship; but I am a follower of Elune. She watches over me; even in the depths of stone and soil. I can only assume that what happened next was upon her bidding. In the midst of the hustle and bustle of the Commons; I saw her.
It gets rather hazy here.
My memory fails me.
She was stunning. She was beautiful. She left me breathless. A Night Elf woman astride a giant saber mount, the likes I had never seen before. She was both regal and wild. At the same time both noble and utterly feral. I believe she was a priestess; but I can’t swear to it.
Her mount was utterly stunning as well. It was totally unhampered by the battle armor of the regular mounts sold in my beloved Darnassus. It was as if the armor was beneath it, would only hold it back. It was rippling with strength, mocking every other animal in Iron Forge as inferior. I had always dreamed of being astride a Mistsaber, but something happened. That beast looked at me, and caught my eyes with its own.
I heard two words: “Tundra awaits.”
I was speechless. Being a hunter, I had an affinity with animals. But, I had never actually their voice. Yes, I had the same empathetic ability of other hunters. I could sense my pets hunger and overall emotional well being. I’ve heard that druids could understand them, but it has never been my experience…until now.
I did something totally out of character. I approached the lady Night Elf without my usual sense of awkwardness and trepidation. I had only desire; to know what and where the might saber mount could be found.
Looking down upon me, she pat her mounts head. “Terril, should we tell him dear?” The beast let out a terrifying roar, which made her laugh with uncharacteristic delight. “Yes, I think I shall let this youngling know of your family.”
“Know this youngling it is a long journey, one for which you are ill equipped.” She smiled warmly, but with all seriousness in her tone. “You’ve many seasons to live and advance in your skill before you can even begin the quest of endurance, patience and loyalty to earn their trust. Terril is a Frostsaber Mount; and she is from a proud and fearful family.”
She leaned down towards me, looking deep within my eyes. “Youngling, you don’t choose a mount. You earn their trust; and they choose you. It isn’t easy, and it will test the extent of your commitment. But, once you earn their trust; they are your most loyal companion.”
“Seek out the Wintersaber Trainers in Winterspring. Seek out Frostsaber Rock, but be weary. The frostsabers that stalk those hills guard their territory with a fearful fury. You will be attacked, you will be stalked, you are to be pitied. Try to not kill them, beyond that of self-defense. Attain to the top of Frostsaber Rock, and speak to Rivern Frostwind. Do what he says if you ever hope to be accepted by these great beasts.”
With that, they leaped forward; leaving me in total stunned silence. I didn’t know where Winterspring was. I knew not how to find this Frostsaber Rock, nor how I would survive the ascent. But, I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that Tundra awaits.