|05/30 6:00 PM||Council Elections in Stormwind|
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Once again, seats have opened in Stormwind City and hopeful applicants are filling in from all walks of life to put their names forth as elected representatives of the six districts. The Stormwind City Council, primarily an advisory and oversight body for the Crown, is a group of officials not appointed by Nobility, but elected to office by the people to give citizens a voice in this time of uncertainty and war. Some months ago, Councillor Salem and Councillor Niehr were elected to the Trade and Park districts, respectively. Seats have now been made available for the remaining four districts: Cathedral, Old Town, Mage and Dwarven. And with such a surge of interest from the population, it is clear many feel the need for such a body of officials remains even after dismissed claims of corruption which plagued the last election period.
Old Town and the Mage District seem to be the most hotly contended districts this time around, with the conditions of the impoverished and war-orphaned in the Old Town gutters drawing particular criticism. Meanwhile, many are calling for more restrictions and greater taxing of the Mages and practitioners within the Mage District, one of the wealthier sections of the city, and cite dangerous experiments done without oversight as serious sources of concern for the average citizen. Applicants interested in submitting their names as candidates are directed to the Town Hall offices, and the first Candidate Forum to answer citizen questions and raise awareness of platforms will occur May the 30th at the same location. Following which, a near month-long campaigning period will be held across the city. The Grobbulus Times will be on the scene covering this election in detail, and keeping you up to date as the names of those in leading positions are revealed.
This past Wednesday evening, just as the sun was setting over the savanna, Northwatch Hold’s outer towers came under attack. These assaults were surgical strikes orchestrated by a group of Forsaken infiltrators known as the Hand of Lordaeron, seemingly meant to cripple the garrison for future acts of Horde hostility and aggression despite the growing threat in Silithus. Cleanly and carefully carried out, these attacks left an unknown number of valiant Alliance guardsmen dead, and at least ten injured. However, the Obsidian Sun Company, in cooperation with other mercenary forces, had received intelligence that an attack in force may have been forthcoming, and dispatched reinforcements to the Hold in time to rally the defenders and beat back the attacking Forsaken.
“We were expecting a large-scale siege,” States Obsidian Sun board member Wilhelm Stark. “But perhaps [the Horde] were smart enough to know they would lose in a fair fight, resorting to these underhanded tactics instead.” While it is certain losses were inflicted on the Forsaken attackers, it is believed those injured or killed were carried off by their allies in the retreat, as Northwatch Hold reports no prisoners taken or bodies recovered following the skirmish. Inventories and archives at the Hold are currently being reviewed and counted, to ensure nothing was lost or stolen by the Hand of Lordaeron in their assault. No further details have been released to the public at this time, but the Garrison Watch Commander thanked the involvement of the mercenary forces and assured our reporters that order would quickly be restored, and watch doubled at this critical Alliance foothold in Kalimdor.
The Grobbulus Times, recently featured in the Eastern Kingdom’s newest publication out of Stranglethorn Vale, would like to take brief passage to welcome other journalists to the professional stage. The Times accepts articles of all viewpoints and conflicts, publishing both for and against many subjects, and is happy to see further citizens adding voice to the continental conversation of our great Alliance. Though initial articles have espoused the evils of ‘demonizing the innocent’ (the woman in question, Lantana, was recently killed after attempting to murder druid of the Cenarion Circle on behalf of Warlock Cultists) and ‘false reporting’ (the Bugle itself accidentally falsely reported the contents of an official Stormwind Justicar report without verifying the contents), we at the Times know these are common and forgivable mistakes of the enthusiastic but not-yet experienced. The Grobbulus Times looks forward to further cooperation with the Bugle in ensuring fair, multi-viewed reporting of all news pertinent to the Alliance and our day to day lives.
After a week of deliberation, punishment has been meted out in regards to the gross abuse of authority which saw Tira Phalandrin abduct and imprison citizen Elwynri Goldmane late last month. As a body of trusted authority in the City, Councillor Niehr and Councillor Salem met with representatives of the Stormwind City Guard, Justicars and Silver Hand to offer recommendations as to repercussions. Appropriately, these recommendations seem to have been taken seriously as the Silver Hand announced that Tira Phalandrin would be stripped of her rank undoubtedly for conduct unbecoming, and the Stormwind City Guard has advised they will be keeping close eye on Phalandrin in the future.
Elwynri Goldmane, a former Veridian Order member, is currently being vetted and cleared of suspicions of felcraft or possession by the Justicars of Stormwind. Independent sources and publications, partaking in uninformed fearmongering, expressed concerns at her recent hiring to City Council as low-ranking secretary. Justicar Bigsby dismissed the worries with an amused wave of hand; “(…) It is suspected Elwynri may have been possessed at the time [of her kidnapping], but there is no evidence currently to corroborate this belief. The Justicars will be keeping close eye on all persons of interest in this case as investigation proceeds.”
The official report, a copy of which was hand-delivered to the Grobbulus Times by the gracious Council, reflected as such in clear language with phrases like “There are procedures and protocols to follow in dealing with the occult. Though Tira’s motives and intent were sound, I am of the opinion that she has violated those procedures.” and “Elwynri herself was warded (…) to keep her from interacting with the fel and shadow.” Records of this transcript are available at City Hall to citizens who request the Council for access.
With combined efforts of the Council, the investigation of the Justicars, and the firm support of the Stormwind Guard, justice seems to have been appropriately served. A testament to the ongoing cohesion between all aspects of enforcement in our city, and the weight which outside organizations give to the recommendations of our City Council in such judicial matters.
House Sentinel Cleared in Kidnapping Investigation!
Late last week, a joint operation between the Stormwind Justicars and the City Guard saw the estate of House Sentinel occupied and searched. This peaceful raid, led by Guardsman Marcus and Justicar Bigsby, was the result of citizen reports following the kidnapping of Stormwind resident Elwynri Goldmane two days prior. Last seen with House Sentinel member Astris Hale, the presence of blood and fel magic at the sight of Elwynri’s disappearance prompted the City Council to dispatch both forces to investigate.
A crowd gathers outside Sentinel Manor as the raid is ongoing
After several hours of search and interrogation, Justicar and Guardsman forces vacated the property to instead dispatch soldiers to Nethergarde Keep. Only after their return was it revealed that Tira Phalandrin, Paladin of the Silver Hand, had been keeping the missing Stormwind citizen in her custody for unrevealed reasoning. Though House Sentinel has purportedly been cleared of all wrong-doing, Justicar Bigsby Wallace spoke with our reporters as to the nature of his investigation into the charges of kidnapping and felcraft.
“Though Astris Hale was an accessory to this crime, she was not its main perpetrator.” Stated Bigsby as he was questioned while delivering written report to City Council. “I have recommended that Tira Phalandrin’s position with the Silver Hand be examined and, if possible, revoked. She has proven repeatedly her lack of interest in lawful process, in upholding the tenants of the light, and in distancing herself from the corrupting influences of shadow and fel magics.” This latest charge of kidnapping and unlawful imprisonment is just the most recent in a long series of allegations against the Paladin, following in the wake of rumors of involvement with an unchained Succubi and the use of fel.
When asked for a quote, City Councilwoman Salem Dizzlespark, who has taken charge of the official proceedings, had this to say: “The kidnapping of Elwynri Goldmane, a lawful citizen of Stormwind, by Lt. Commander Tira Phalandrin is not only unacceptable from a leader of the Silver Hand, but a disgrace to those who look to them as beacons of the Light. This egregious example of vigilante justice will not go unnoticed or unpunished by the Council.” She later went on to praise the efforts of the Stormwind Guard, and to commend House Sentinel for their cooperation with the official investigation. Paladin Tira Phalandrin has been placed under guard within Stormwind, pending the decision of the City Council.
The Stranglethorn Fishing Extravaganza took place this past Sunday afternoon, prompting hundreds of would-be champions to take to the shores of that jungle peninsula with rod in hand. The competition itself was to be the first angler to catch 40 Tastyfish, a difficult feat to accomplish on a good day. The draw of the title of Master Angler and the tackle awarded alongside made many brave the jungle heat to provide fierce competition. A solo fisherman fared no chance, for they had to compete against aggressive wildlife, cutthroat competitors, and bloodthirsty horde. Several factions rose up during the tournament, then, aiming to increase the chances of seeing the trophy brought home for their guild’s name. Using spotters to scout for pools of spawning Tastyfish and bodyguards to ensure their ward faced no threat, each guild’s angler patiently waited for the fish to bite, a strange juxtaposition to the bloodshed often just down the beach.
Always a close competition, the race to return to Booty Bay with the day’s catch hand is perhaps the most exhilarating part, as several parties near the finish all at once. The priestess Avyndriel Glimmermoon of the Goldshire Inn Staff managed to claim the inaugural title, under the careful ward of the Staff’s finest. Her stalwart demeanor in the face of such competition saw the day’s victory and awarded her the title of Master Angler. This past week’s victor, however, saw scandal, as claims of collusion between Horde and Alliance have since circulated.
Besmirched as the trophy may now be, the Fishing Extravaganza remains a fun outing and break from the tedium of Stormwind politics.
The analogy of scalpels and hammers is indeed tired, but it holds true in respect to the endeavors of those who would keep Stormwind City safe for us. The Justiciars, whose name was made a household favorite by their efforts against the flagrant and abominable excesses of one particular warlock, are the logical and necessary answer to what the Stormwind Guard, through little fault of their own, are unable to contend with. Numerous as they might be, the watchmen have not contended with demonic forces and true, fundamental evils like the Justiciars have. Each member is handpicked by the ambitious mastermind of the force, Bigsby Wallace, whose beginnings as an agent against destruction lie in the last stand of the Silver Hand in Lordaeron. I was fortunate enough to have words with him, to pose questions to him.
Those who would safeguard us should be known to us. To that end, I went to meet with the man once again and pick his brain about this nascent order.
Banholt: "How many of you are there? Do you worry that there's too much ground for the few of you to cover alone?"
Bigsby: "Justiciars? Currently, there are four of us, but I've still others I want to reach out to. I think keeping the forece small will give us more autonomy and more reach. Quality over quantity. The stakes are high in this line of work."
Banholt: "But you wouldn't refuse the help of others when needed, would you? You didn't bring down Jarlief alone, after all."
Bigsby: "Of course not. The call can go out when needed. We have the authority we need to take action against the occult when it rears its head, and that's what matter. We can make deputies if necessary."
Banholt: "Does this occur often? With such a massive city, do you not find yourself overwhelmed?"
Bigsby: "Much of what we do is research and investigation. Confrontations are rarer than you'd expect. We'll look everywhere from the libraries of Stormwind to the Temple of Darnassus for answers."
Banholt: "Even the Temple of Darnassus? That far?"
Bigsby: "There are powers beyond the Light that I wield. The Light is an umbrella, and beneath it there is much else. I've witnessed the power of Druids and Elune's worshippers. In fact, what's to say Elune is not an aspect of the Light?"
Banholt: "Is this work you do an extension of your time as a member of the Champions of Peace?"
Bigsby: "Once a Champion, always a Champion. My brothers may have fallen, but I did not, and I carry on my oath now just as I did then."
There you have it. I was impressed, as these Justiciars seem to have a sense of focus and purpose. Their leader's drive to do what is righteous should be lauded. Let our fears be, at least to a degree, assuaged.
As the conflicts rage across the continents, as noble soldiers abroad fight to safeguard our way of life from the masses of the Horde, as mercenaries and diplomats and tradesmen all do their part towards the ongoing battlefronts, we here at home forget at times to take a moment and think on the many groups working towards the common good of our Alliance. So has this piece begun; a look, each week, at one of the organizations unsung in their efforts. And where better to start than at the heart of the Alliance, and the Stormwind Guard.
While the men and women of the Capital are as varied in their services as background, a new infantry company headed by Guardsman Marcus ------ was reached out to. In the wake of so much of Stormwind’s standing military forces being deployed to reinforce garrisons and combat the Horde, volunteers like Marcus and his forces have become pivotal to maintaining order in the Alliance holdings and Capital itself. When asked about the burdens of their new role, the sentiment seemed cautious, but ultimately optimistic.
“We have a lot of work ahead of us.” Remarked the newly-promoted company commander. “For too long have the streets of Stormwind been ruled by thuggery and vigilante justice. Our first task is reminding these individuals that, war or no, law and order still rule here.” City Councilwoman Salem was unavailable for comment, but was seen publicly endorsing the newest Guardsman company after their successful presence at the Night Market, thanking Guardsman Marcus for his contributions to event security.
“We’re always in need of volunteers.” Said Marcus in closing. “Those with military background or combat experience are most in demand, but any able-bodied citizen willing to step up for the Glory of the Alliance and her provinces should report to the Command Center. Guardsman Arlorn will be waiting to take your applications.” The citizens of Stormwind and the Grobbulus Times salute the brave members of the guard working tirelessly to keep us safe, and look forward to their continued, and increased, presence.
The wave of gnomish protests over labor concerns which have plagued supply lines across the front have finally been put to rest, but not with any payoffs or usual tactics. Xaxdorei Cartel representatives, in cooperation with the Marshals of the War Campaign, shocked the business world today with an announcement of labor camps once more being opened in the wake of ongoing conflicts. Pioneered by the Grand Marshall of the Azeroth War Campaign Ulfrinn Ashbeard, funded and staffed by mercenaries of the Steele Xaxdorei, this move is stated to be in response both to the crippling lack of supplies making it to the frontlines, and an overabundance of Horde prisoners of war in wake of crushing victories in Stromgarde and Arathi.
“The Alliance’s noble history has seen repeated use of captured prisoners as workforce,” Stated Fayanna Steele, head of the Cartel here in Stormwind. “A way for the enemy to be used proper and contribute, rather than being a needless and wasteful drain on supplies.” Though the location of this camp was not disclosed, it is purported to be situated safely behind Alliance lines, and capable of outputting much needed armaments and gunpowder for military use. This has raised outcry with several independent arms-suppliers and traders, who have argued that the allowance of what is effectively slave-labor is a grossly unfair advantage in an incredibly competitive market.
Responding, Marshal Ulfrinn of Clan Hammersong said, “Bah, unfair you say?! These be times of war; we don’t be having the leisure of time and fairness! We only be needing one thing right now and it’s not fairness; it be weapons!” Though Clan Hammersong is so far the only known group of the Azeroth War Campaign to fully embrace this new approach, rumors persist that others on the makeshift council have endorsed the methodology, unnamed members of the Obsidian Sun Company commenting their support for the new influx of supplies. The Xaxdorei Cartel has stated that, once more Marshals sign contracts in agreement, it intends to create and staff a further three camps to fully keep up with ongoing demand.
“Our camp is peaceful, its occupants kind.” Finished Boss Steele of the Xaxdorei. “The Cartel, of course, conforms to all standards of fair and humane prisoner treatment outlined by Alliance policies. It’s our hope to encourage more to agree to our generous terms, and enjoy all the benefits and produce these labor-camps bring.” Time will tell whether this endeavor remains as profitable as all signs seem to indicate, or if we are looking at the prelude to similar losses of life which plagued the last great war’s use of such camps.
On behalf of Lord Talnash, Patriarch of House Flarehold, Silvermoon City is offering fifty gold for the immediate return of Jassinn Shadowstar, alive, to stand trial for murder. Emissary Jadrissa Flarehold is available in Stormwind for questions and details.
Anu belore dela'na.
Ahoy and avast, people of the Alliance. I have returned to continue the enthralling tale that I began last week, so that you may find a stroke of maritime entertainment in your lives. Without further ado or poetics waxed, let us continue the tale of Kelladis Ourano and the Baron of Shipwreck Isle!
As we left off previously, myself and Captain Alessa von Alder were thrown overboard into the raging sea during a terrible storm after she had released me from a false imprisonment in an attempt to save the ship from going down after the previous helmsman was cast overboard himself. Sadly, despite my best efforts, we suffered the same fate as the poor helmsman and we were also thrown overboard before the ship capsized, sending the rest of the crew to the bottom of the sea. Of course, if I am writing this, I must have survived, no? Lest this world I am in be an afterlife, then it is the case.
Myself and Captain Alder found ourselves washed up on the white sandy shores of some island neither of us recognized. We found that the chain that she had used to bind us together so that she could place me back in the brig after I had so bravely attempted to save her ship was still tightly clapped on both of our wrists. With no tools nearby to sever said connection, it seemed that we had to stay together for the time being.
After a day of exploring to find food and water, as well as a high place to search for any ship sails in the distance, we spotted a curious pillar of smoke on the horizon. Deciding to make our way there, we spent several days trudging through the jungle, making our way towards the signal we had seen on the horizon. It took us nearly three days to reach our destination, but what we found was well worth the rough journey. A compound made of hewn logs sitting in the middle of a clearing in front of a mountainous stack of stone ruins. Natives or new arrivals, who was to say? But we thought that it was better to take our chances than to stay out in the jungle...
In time for the next deadline!
The parchment is covered in a mixture of blood, dirt, and tears. The corners are ripped as sloppy quill marks cover the pages.
I'm... sorry, to everyone I've failed. To the Light, to the Knights of the Silver Hand, and to those in Stormwind. I can't handle this cursed place. Desolace... the Kodo Graveyard... it's too much. I can't feel the Light here. I feel weak. And they won't permit me to go home. I miss Stormwind. I miss the forests of Elwynn and the lakes and the sky and yes, the people.
I have to leave. I can't stay here any longer. I must take matters into my own hands, as it's clear the Silver Hand will not help me. I will form my own company, and bring justice to those who deserve it. To whoever finds this, Rose Company will defend you.
A large blot of ink covers the bottom right of the page.
Furious scribbles line the page margins, signs that the ink and quill were perhaps not quite agreeing.
I-- We've finished what things were required in Lakeshire. I heard whispers in the Inn of happenings in Darkshire. It isn't too far and it sounds like problems we should be able to assist with.
I've written my love with my updated 'home' from the time being. It's dark and dreary here. He would love it.
Peaches and I have set up in the Inn in Darkshire and have begun looking around for those in need of help.
Until next time --
Between adventures Taliea found a worn journal with the first handful of pages viciously torn out. She searched and questioned throughout Lakeshire but was unable to find the previous owner. Following the advice of the innkeeper she wet a quill with ink and scrawled her name inside the cover.
It took me a long time to finally sit down and write this, given the gravity of the situation. As has already been reported elsewhere, the druid Lantana has recently passed away, though not by natural means. She was killed in self-defense by another druid, Elmeria Oakenheart, after having stabbed the woman in the stomach. Now what madness could have brought these two druids to harm each other? The answer, I think, is obvious.
In the article "Beware of Dark Druid Maleifarcarum," I warned about a void-influenced druid who was allowed to freely wander the city of Stormwind. Neither her friends nor the authorities took any significant steps in bringing her into custody, both for her safety and the safety of others. As she had previously threatened and assaulted me on more than one occasion, it was evident that she was an explosive seed ready to pop. The two most responsible for her death are Tira Phalandrin and Kaladhir Ambertap. Both of them were given full accounts on what Lantana was up to, and both assured me that the matter was to be handled. Unfortunately, they were blinded by their own affection for the druid, and failed to act to help her. She was in a runaway minecart headed towards disaster, and no one thought to stop her.
Of course, at least part of the blame must rest on me. I tried to inform others and the public, but I did not do enough. I should have pushed harder, despite the opposition, but instead I kept away when the situation became dire. The return of Jarleif undoubtedly had some influence on pushing Lantana fully to the edge, and the Darkmoon Faire was as appropriate as any other place to finally snap. The sigil of the Darkmoon Faire, after all, is an ominous, orange eye. Some whisper of eyes such as those being spotted in the deepest recesses of Azeroth. A coincidence, or not, what is not a coincidence is that a troubled woman finally met a terrible and violent end.
I hope that we, as a community, watch over those who may be tempted by dark magic and step in when needed, even when the "honored teachers" do not.
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More Character Journals
My mentor told me writing one of these would help me calm myself during moment of struggle, so here I am. I'm writing this from within the Silver Hand barracks... quite a nice place if I do say so myself. I have a bed... my mace... and a whole footlocker! Incredible!
I've been assigned to go to Darnassus in order to broaden my horizons, and then lend my mace in the fight against the Horde in Ashenvale. While I adore any reason to go and fight, the journey to Darnassus is a bit intimidating. I mean, they say it's a massive tree. The elves I meet are so kind, I hope that they're all like that. Regardless, I should ride for Menethil Harbor as soon as the dawn breaks. I'm going to miss Stormwind.
Ahoy and avast, people of Stormwind, Ironforge, or wherever you’ve found this paper. I, Kelladis Ourano, have decided to share with you all Totally Legitimate Tales from my times at sea. These tales are meant to entertain, yet not a single detail has been embellished in my recounting, I assure you. Each and every word has been carefully selected to retain the true message of what has happened while also being entertaining. Without further ado, let us begin the legendary tale known as Kelladis Ourano and the Baron of Shipwreck Isle!
Our tale begins with our hero, myself, locked in the brig of the Lordaeronian Navy ship, Light’s Blessing. Seems that the Captain, Alessa von Alder, was using her position in the Navy to arrest an innocent man based on the rivalry he held with her father, Rear Admiral Gerhardt von Alder. I was only 17 at the time, and somewhat notorious around my section of the sea. Some perceived slight of some kind left a terrible impression with the Rear Admiral, and he had decided that my completely legitimate business needed to be harassed.
The boat began rocking quite violently after a time, and the good Captain Alessa saw fit to come release me from my cell. Sadly, it seems their navigator was knocked unconscious from a fall on the slick deck in the storm, and I was the best replacement, as I knew the waters we were in. Of course, she couldn’t trust me, so she chained my wrist to hers so that I could navigate us out of danger from being thrown into the sharp rocks nearby.
I did my best, I truly did, but the storm was too powerful and I was given my chance too late. The last thing I remember from that night was myself and the good Captain thrown overboard into the swell as the ship pitched into the rocks and cracked like an egg, sending men to their doom. We sank together into the murky depths, flashes of lightning illuminating the sky above the water as my consciousness drifted away...
Stormwind is hurting. No, it's not just Stormwind. It's not just the Alliance. The world is hurting.
As a priestess of the Light, I've had to council and console many of our fellow citizens of this fine city for a myriad of reasons. The problem with this is that there are plenty more people who are in pain who don't seek help or guidance. Many more who aren't being helped.
These are our guards, our soldiers, our workmen who brave danger and dismemberment every day to keep our city safe and running. It's impossible to know how many of our fellow citizens are quietly suffering by themselves. I've seen enough unexplained bruises and injuries brought to me for healing to know that some of their suffering isn't so quiet.
So what is to be done? There's an old saying from my homeland. You can lead a hawkstrider to water, but you can't make him drink. You can't force emotional healing on others, that only causes more harm. So where do these people go to escape their pain, to heal? They drink, typically. They seek the company of others. They search out entertainment.
I recently tried something different, something personally terrifying that left me exposed to all my own insecurities. I had a wonderful time. Specifically I allowed myself to be talked into dancing at the Rat's Revelry.
From atop my barrel I was able to observe a great many things. The looks I received were of a particularly lustful and lewd nature, of course, but I saw something in those eyes, those expressions. There was a relief in some of their faces. A reluctant joy in others, as if some people felt like they weren't allowed to enjoy themselves. I've seen faces like these before, slumped in despair at the Cathedral, seeking escape from their pain.
Once I noticed that, my own embarrassment and humiliation started feeling less important.
I'm not a good dancer, but now I want to be. I've always been afraid or reluctant to embrace my looks, but now I want to. Neither of which I feel compelled to do for myself, though. I want to do it because I realized I was able to do with my dancing what I do in the Cathedral. Up there on my barrel I could see everyone, watch them mingle with one another or seek various outlets for their pain, and maybe bring a little joy into tired, haggard lives.
Of particular note, I think, were the expressions of the few of Stormwind's Finest who came through on business, seeking to speak to the proprietress, or retrieve one of their own for work. I could see their desire to drop their responsibilities and join in the fun. They weren't just the expressions of bored people seeking some fun, they were expressions of pain, stress, and even fear of what a night out in Stormwind might entail for them.
I can understand now why my coworkers at the Rat's Revelry try so hard to make sure our patrons have fun. They make sure they can think about something other than the rest of their lives, make sure they can escape the pain of reality and the stress of a world at war. One need not worry themselves over scourge incursions, demonic invasions, or Horde attacks at one of Stormwind's many taverns. I will make a commitment, myself, to use whatever meager means I have to help dull this pain in our populace. If that means I have to dance on a barrel, then I will. And I'll do my best to get better and better at it.
I love the Alliance. I love Stormwind. Trying something new showed me a way I can help make it a better place.
I want to consider the question of our personal weaknesses. I want to get to the heart of the malaise that afflicts us and prevents us from fully and truly aligning ourselves with the Light’s intentions. I have seen it in my own homeland, I have seen it in Stormwind, and I have seen it in all the corners of the world that I have visited. Struggle is a commonality we all share, no matter our heritage, no matter our station, no matter our ability.
We are creatures of reaction, born without the uplifting faculties necessary for true happiness. We are, by our births, only mud and embers, facsimiles of divinity. Your rages and sorrows are echoes of this, people of Azeroth.
This is a turmoil that rises up from within, from dark places where the Light has not reached. Beyond our view, beyond the confused veil of sorrow and fury, the Light remains. It shall always remain. Are your struggles not transient? Has the sun not outlived all the struggles of the mortal races?
We have all failed, and we will fail more before we are taken into the Light’s arms and laid to rest. The Light is not snuffed out by this failure. No candles are blown out by our weakness. No, in fact, our failures as individuals ought to be a reminder to us of our faith. The Light binds communities, it ties us together, its teachings encourage us to unite in common welfare.
We are imperfect, and while we might consider ourselves sculptors, we are in need of sculptors of our own. What are mothers and fathers, if not sculptors? What are our teachers and clergy, if not sculptors? What are our comrades, if not sculptors?
We all speak unto each other, reflecting what has been reflected onto us. We moor our ships at each other’s docks. We, the captains of our ships, exchange news and goods and set sail again. Our senses let us be imparted upon, so that we might learn what truth is and see the splendors of the world. This is holy. This is a doing of the Light. Without it, we could not see.
So, in the coming days, perhaps we could undergo a sort of exercise. Pay special attention to what is said to you, and what you say to others. The actions you observe, and the actions you take. Find a concept that is important to you, or to others, and give it your attention. What have you learned of 'justice' or 'love', and what have you taught of it? What does the concept truly mean, beyond just the lip service we get lost in.
We speak of such high virtues as these very often, and we give praise to them, but we must understand what we are saying. Recall certain instances in which a virtue was carried out, or perhaps a certain instance where said virtue could have been of help. If you feel you have a proper understanding of it, then share! Teach a virtue. Brighten your community.
In the realms of men there holds but one truth in each their hearts – the Light. Benevolent to most, the faith sweeps across the Eastern Kingdoms like a comforting blanket, enrapturing its subjects in benediction. Yet to the unfaithful, the degenerate and the impure, threat of divine wrath is often not enough to spur them to absolution. Why might that be, that the promise of damnation does not drive these sinners towards the Light? The paladins are often called upon to be such arbiters, to mete punishment unto those that not spurred by their own volition. Never are their morals questioned nor their actions held accountable, for the light works through them. When these magistrates cast their judgement there is not a second thought to the rhyme or reason, only faith that their interpretation of divine right is exact.
And what if it is not?
Rumors swirl throughout the land of these templars straying from their purpose. Parading the streets whilst rebuking perceived slights; enacting punishment against alleged sinners without consent of the crown; trespassing under guise of criminal investigation – each a story to accompany professing their utmost purity in intention. Under any other banner, these acts would themselves be considered criminal. They take themselves as above the crown, proclaiming divine right to act of their own volition. What more are they than vigilantes? The echoes of Prince Arthas still ring throughout these city streets; the blood-soaked halls of Lordaeron stand a monument to the corruption of paladins. Beating a man to near death to service one’s own agenda does not inspire confidence in the citizenry, never mind consorting with demonic influence under our very noses proclaiming to humanize.
Reverberations of that scarlet sect of paladins cross the mind -- those twisted crusaders who give up their humanity so willingly. Zealous, they make enemies of all who oppose their interpretation of the Light. Here we see what perverse nature this faith may shift into should the sovereignty of paladins remain unchecked, and let us not tread down this path once more.