On my first day of Druid training, my instructor, Nimtharion, recounted to me this story:
“Anlothiel was a queen of refugees. Her homeland torn asunder by war and her husband slain, she fled her native shores with her son, Thotoron, and all the people she could gather. After landing in Torvar, Anlothiel sought a home for herself and her people. Ever mistrusting the Dwarves, and disdaining the Humans and their insidious politicking, she sought refuge on the outskirts of the Wrathwood, hoping the reputation of the predatory forest would keep conquerors at bay.
“She asked me to train her son in the ways of the Druid, in the hopes that a greater understanding of the world of the beasts would aid him when he inherited the stewardship of the forest village. The lad was a prodigy, easily excelling in all of my lessons. But his natural talent bred arrogance, which led to his downfall.
“One day, a band of nomadic Shifters came to trade in the village square. One told a tale of a legendary dragon which dwelt within the Wrathwood; a creature the Shifters simply named ‘Predator’. To hear them tell it, the creature had lived 500 years and knew no equal within its domain. Thotoron saw it as a challenge. He grew determined to track, find, and kill this creature as a testament to his own skill. But no matter the legend, the dragon was a creature of the Wrathwood, and the Wrathwood protects its own.
“Three weeks after he set out on his fool’s errand, I found Thotoron in the forest. His left arm was forever maimed and the claw marks across his face had blinded his right eye. He would never fight again.”
Turning to me, Nimtharion spoke this, “When Thotoron looks upon you, you will feel his hatred, but know this: It is a hatred born out of his own failure. The sheep does not stalk the wolf, nor does the sparrow hunt the hawk. To be a Druid, you must always respect the natural order.”