The first rays of the morning sun streamed through the mountain peaks to illuminate the enemy cities of Stormwind and Orgrimmar. It was the morning of Winter Veil, and both cities had a hushed aura of excitement and anticipation hovering over them like the fog over a lake on a crisp, cold morning.
Down among the homes in each of the cities the people hadn’t yet stirred; a stolen moment of peace in a troubled time of war.
At that precise moment though, two children, one an orc and the other a human, awoke in their beds with a start. Despite the fact that they were in separate, very distant cities they moved as one—jumping out of their beds and running out of their rooms to see what brightly wrapped presents Greatfather Winter had left for them underneath the great Winter Veil trees proudly displayed in each home.
The trees were decorated differently, of course, reflecting the very different cultures the two children were from. The human child’s tree was a glorious pine tree that towered above the child’s head. It smelled strongly of the freshness of the mountains and was decorated lavishly with bright, shiny metallic baubles and homemade candies and sparkling trinkets of all types and colours. The orcish child’s tree was no less impressive in size and lustre, but was adorned with beautiful, hand-carved bone artifacts that, while simpler, were crafted with obvious skill and care and attention to detail.
As the early morning sunlight lit the two trees, the children were halted in wonderment. The light shone and sparkled through the branches, causing the trees to seem as if they were aglow with a magical radiance. The children—momentarily distracted from the stacks of alluring packages underneath the branches—gasped in unison at the sheer glorious beauty of what they were seeing.
And for that fleeting instant, as those two children—born as mortal, racial enemies—both looked at the ornaments dangling on the tree branches bathed in that magical light, they felt a mysterious awareness of the other, and a strange, ineffable connection. Though they had never laid eyes on one another, at that moment they knew, although neither understood how, that they would be forever linked their whole lives. And in the event they one day saw each other—be it across a room or across a blood-soaked battlefield in some forsaken land—they knew that they would rush together and embrace as life-long friends.