This story takes place when I was young, in the Valley of Trials.
I was having a difficult time in the Valley of Trials. I found it hard to concentrate on my lessons and to practice. The thought kept occuring to me, that what I did or did not do was not going to be important. What I did, i thought, would be lost in time and among so many other deeds.
One of my instructors must have guessed what I was thinking. The next day, he took us to Orgrimmar, to the Valley of Honor. There he showed us a piece of cloth. It was a wonderous thing, gleaming golden in the sunlight with a beautiful pattern weaved in to it.
“This cloth,” the instructor told us, “is made from spider silk. Not the large spiders you will face in the wilds of Stone Talon or Searing Gorge. These spiders will easily fit into a childs hand. Tiny spiders. They are called Golden Orb spiders.”
The instructor showed us the fine, individual threads of silk along the fringed edge of the cloth. Each thread was so thin and frail. Pulling on one with even just a little force would stretch and then snap the strand of silk.
“As you can see, the spiders thread is very thin, you can barely see it. It is also very weak. It is easily broken, and it seems that it is not suitable for much of anything at all – certainly not useful.”
We all marvelled over the beauty of the woven pattern, and got our on chance to test the weakness of the individual threads. It was as weak as the instructor said it would be.
“Now, when i take several strands of silk together and twist it into a cord, now, try to break this.” And we did, each in turn. The golden cord was surprisingly strong! I pulled and tugged at it until it cut into my fingers and yet, it still did not break!
We each took our turn trying to break the cord of silken threads, and none of us could do it. We each stepped away from the task marveling in wonder at the strength of a mere piece of string. The instructor nodded in satisfaction as the last of us stepped away and back to our position.
“This piece of cloth that you see before you represents a lifetime of work for over one million spiders to complete. One million! Imagine one million tiny spiders! It is an incredible number, but this is the truth, as told by Thrall himself!”
“As you have seen, each of the threads spun by the spider is tiny, frail, fragile,” the instructor reminded. “Yet you have seen how strong it can be when bound with others into a cord. Now, look at this piece of cloth and hear what I tell you, for it is important.”
“This cloth can withstand the strongest axe blow! When hit by a warhammer wielded by one of the Kor’kron, it does not tear.” The instructor nodded, and none of us questioned the truth of his words, having tested the strength of a thin cord of silk.
“And yet, look at it. It sparkles in the sunlight, the beauty of it wondrous to behold! It is one of Thralls prized possessions, and yet he lets the likes of you, barely more than peons, come to see it. Ask yourselves ‘why’ and you will come to know Thrall’s wisdom.”
“This cloth represents the Horde. We, each of us, are individual spiders. We spin our life’s work, a thin and fragile strand it is, and think it worth little. Yet when combined with others from the Horde, it becomes strong and resilient, like the cord.”
“And when all of the Horde cast their life’s work together … see before you the beauty and strength of what can be. See before you and be awed by the might and strength of the Horde as a nation! And see within this cloth your own life’s work, and also the wisdom of Thrall!”
That day, we all went back to the Valley of Trials. Each of us was silent in thought at what we had seen and learned that day. As for me, I no longer had trouble concentrating on my lessons or my practice.
I have kept the image of that one piece of cloth in my mind ever since. I shall forever see the Horde as a strong, beautiful, awe inspiring bolt of cloth gleaming bright gold in the Orgrimmar sun, the product of a million life’s work.
For the Horde!