Report #00025: Remembering Life While Standing in Death’s Shadow
In a tome in a back corner of one of the smaller libraries I’ve visited, I once found this poem. As I understand it, the author was from some land far away. Somewhere Brann Bronzebeard himself has never been. Maybe he was a draenei.
Death, be not proud, though some have called thee
Mighty and dreadfull, for, thou art not so,
For, those, whom thou think’st, thou dost overthrow,
Die not, poore death, nor yet canst thou kill me.
From rest and sleepe, which but thy pictures bee,
Much pleasure, then from thee, much more must flow,
And soonest our best men with thee doe goe,
Rest of their bones, and soules deliverie.
Thou art slave to Fate, Chance, kings, and desperate men,
And dost with poyson, warre, and sicknesse dwell,
And poppie, or charmes can make us sleepe as well,
And better then thy stroake; why swell’st thou then;
One short sleepe past, wee wake eternally,
And death shall be no more; death, thou shalt die.
— John Donne
I thought of that poem recently. I was given the news that an elf I know, Caminus Mooncalled, has been lost in the efforts in Northrend. To have come so far and be lost now… I’ve been told she died by sacrificing herself to save someone else. In Ironforge, we put that on the list of the best ways to die. But it is not the death of Caminus I’m looking to write about here. What I want to say is how her living gave myself more life.
The first time I met Caminus Mooncalled was through her brother’s words, even if I didn’t know it was herself at the time. A druid friend was getting ready to do her duty in the Emerald Dream, and I’d heard the rumors about something not being right there. I was bloody well terrified she wouldn’t be finding her way back. It was Caminus’ brother who understood my being afraid, and not just because he was running the risk of losing our friend in there, as well. He said he’d already lost someone he loves inside the Dream. He didn’t say anymore about it. I figured it was a wee bit too painful for discussing, so I didn’t ask any questions.
That was before we knew anything about myself being part-dwarf. I was still going by “Fizzytwizzle”, still shoving magic snowballs at everything, and I still didn’t have a proper ram. It was the very day King Magni sent myself down to Amberstill Ranch to pick up Copper that I met Caminus in person. I rode up to the gathering in Lakeshire on that ram, thinking this would be the biggest news from there to the other side of Elwynn Forest, and that elf still managed to out-do me! It turned out that “someone” he’d lost in the Emerald Dream was his own sister, and she’d come back after all that time! I met some of the best folks anywhere that night. Wink Merriweather, who later saved myself from being corrupted by an Old God. Yablo Truewhisper, who later saved myself from being without cheese. And Caminus Mooncalled, who somehow saved me from not being my own self.
I’m friends with one of those wee faerie dragons… the “sprite darters”, they call them. She’s alive, and my friend, because of Caminus. I’d never seen one of those creatures before that night in Lakeshire, but there was one with Caminus and the two of them were beautiful together! I looked them up in the Ironforge library later and found out I might be able to see them in Feralas. It’s no secret I don’t always get on well with elves who take to living in Darnassus, and I wasn’t too impressed with the idea of setting off toward more elves. But I wanted to see those creatures the way they live in the wild! And what I learned was that elves aren’t always too much different than dwarves. I’ve got a lot of respect for those Feralas elves. And I suppose they must have thought well of myself because they trusted me with a sprite darter egg.
What started out with myself wanting to see those wee creatures because of Caminus ended up with myself meeting Agnar Beastamer at Aerie Peak. He was the only one of the Wildhammers who’d say more than three or four words to myself, and the one I still go back to visit to this day. He helped me save the faerie dragon, and it was some long talks with himself over more pints than I bothered counting that helped make sense of the research Garret Rumrifle had done with myself about my heritage. I knew by then about being part-dwarf. Agnar filled in the gaps and then started teasing myself about being a Wildhammer gnome.
You live out the wee details of your own life not knowing whatt great events they might well turn into in someone else’s life. I was chasing after wee faerie dragons, and I found part of my past. Caminus Mooncalled, an elf from Winterspring, opened doors to myself being a dwarf. You can praise the Light, Elune, the naaru, or who-the-fel-ever you care to for something like that. I just wish I could tell Caminus herself how grateful I am.
The last time I heard from Caminus, she said something about not being as much of a healer as folks thought herself to be. I suppose she was the only one who could have known her own abilities, or which of the druidic paths she was meant to take, exactly. But, with all the respect she deserves and all the love I have for herself, I have to say she was more of a healer than she thought. Just by showing up in Lakeshire that night, she healed a part of myself that had needed that healing for a bloody long time.
On my birthday Caminus showed up with enough pints of Dwarven Stout that she might as well have rolled a keg into my house. Not like I don’t have a few around, anyhow. I thought it was especially kind that she made the effort because she said she didn’t drink, herself. I know, I know… but she was an elf, after all. Wherever she is now, I hope the brew there is too fine for even herself to resist.