Originally written April 12, 2011.
A confirmation. Marksman Kanta Wildsabre is dead, and we know the name of his murderer. But the reasons for his death, the decapitation of his body and location of his head are still mysteries. When recounting the night of his death, Anarial stated that the Marksman carried no weapon, suspected no foul play while he shared the company of a trusted friend. Now these letters spread before me tell a separate tale: the trusted friend is borderline insane, not to be trusted, and with connections to some of the shadier minds of Stormwind's underbelly. How did the Marksman place his judgment so poorly? Did he know that his death awaited him behind those closed doors? Could someone truly have played part in their own death, to beget someone else's ends?
None of those things compliment the Marksman, and his usual self. His utmost priorities were his wife, children then comrades. Participating in a ruse that starts with his own gruesome murder does not align with such priorities. All of this was Kaiden's own.
The charred body left nailed to the side of his ship was removed, and taken to the keep. It too is decapitated, and the height and musculature similar to the Marksman's own. Someone went to great lengths to ensure that we would believe its identity a Templar's, but Harple is less convinced, as am I. To butcher the body and leave it so easy to find is to send a message, incite a war – but it took too long between his death and the discovery of a body to support this theory. It came like a delayed afterthought, the true body and the head must be elsewhere.
Only Harple knows. We will protect the charred, unidentified body gifted by an unknown enemy's spite, and let the Marksman's enemies believe that this is where they must come and steal it. That at least will buy the Templars enough time to locate the actual body, and ensure a comrade's dignity, and comfort to his remaining family.
The Templars are perched atop a dangerous precipice. The death of a Templar so high-ranking, and so unexpectedly has awakened a call for blood that I never thought dormant in our order before. We have never suffered such a horrid loss without means to prevent it. This hurt was raw, and is threatening to tear the order apart while each Templar searches for a man or woman to blame. I am told that Victor Blackwald made an unfortunate appearance shortly after the charred body was recovered, and nearly became the scapegoat for the murder. I do not know his intentions, and have no illusions that I will eventually decipher them, but he has a terrible habit of showing himself when he is not wanted, and when it is most suspicious. His temper against the Marksman was well-known, and the reason for his dismissal from Templars. Odd then, that he would show himself just as the Marksman's death was unveiled to Theramore's public eye.
This call for blood must be stemmed, or at least rerouted to the true enemies. It is as if the cult within Stormwind seeks to draw us in, even as we stand poised to attack in the Highlands. The Templars is suited for a war on the tradition battlefield, it is what the order was founded and trained for. But already, the war in Stormwind shows the Templars' weaknesses in such a struggle: we are ill-equipped for the sleight of hand, infiltration and chasing shadows that use the city's Politik to veil themselves. We have yet to set foot in it all, but it seems determined to extend the length of its shadow till we do.
Veras Winvale said something curious the night before, what could be interpreted as passing on information. It is clear now that he is no active member of the cult, simply a chess player that found the cult's various players among his pieces. It seemed for a moment that he wished for the Templars to play part in the growing tension in Stormwind, but how this would suit his ends, I cannot guess. Criminals such as he walking free due to the safety of a spider's web is an insult to the soldiers who depart Stormwind to lands far away, and fight to keep it safe from enemies. Perhaps there were such unsavory characters during the Third War, but my youth kept me from seeing them so clearly, and so safe in their woven nets. It is difficult to miss it now, once witnessed in person and so clearly.
I sent a letter to Althwyn. It is only a day old, but its news stale: it stated that the Marksman's death was unconfirmed. I will pen another now.