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Originally written April 30, 2011.

My pen once again arrives late. For brief time, the Templars were caught in Stormwind's political net, a risk that we are never able to fully vouch or anticipate. The more the Templars delves into the city, the more intricate its nets. I have lived long without knowing the depth of its underbelly, and the knowledge of it now colors the city's banners with a tinge of gray. It is a reminder that what the Templars has done, it is something to continue, and not hesitate regardless of which political enemies attempt to stand fast.

 

Ambassadors have arrived recently from the Phantom Legion. One was official, the other a personal visit. Each time the Phantom Legion's name is mentioned, my thoughts return to the execution, and the legal power the Legion claimed to host such an execution. I realized then that there is no true power in the city, only what is perceived, or touted with the loudest voice. The slant of this perception is dangerous, and it tilts abruptly.

 

Still, why so many gather in one place and duel to the death over such prized estate escapes me. I do not see a prize, only a city that needs protected. It is the last in the wake of Lordaeron, Stormwind was always considered the lesser, the smaller sister of the bastion of the north. I see its soldiers sent away to fight the shadow to the northeast, myself and Templars alongside them. I see a threat remaining, a vestige of the cult that descended upon the city at the end of last year. Operating so openly, with training camps a sprint's away from the city's front gate, the Crown acted carefully, as if mindful of landmines. Now there are militias who claim to answer in its stead, but act clumsily, with strategy best-described as sickened with pride.

 

In the northeast, you do not execute your enemies before an audience. There is no time for gluttonous detail. To do so is suicide, for the battlefield is wide open and vulnerable to the flame of a black drake, or bullet of an apprising sniper. Each time I set foot in the city, I see the impenetrable wall surrounding it, but now I note how it keeps Azeroth's variety of dangers safely out, and also houses what cretin has managed its way permanently within. It all is an endless clash, bouncing eternally within closed walls. The field, at least, allows measurable victory, along with a clean kill that is war's necessity. There is no execution with political entendres, only quick and decisive death. Should I ever be permitted to choose a death, that will be mine. Not one by age or tossed before the public, the chosen standard bearer for one's campaign.

 

The ambassador requested neutrality between the Templars and the Legion. I saw an attempt to give itself a smoother road, without fear of retribution. No – if the Phantom Legion wishes to operate unhindered, then it best stop conducting itself like a band of fools. I am tired of witnessing women and men eager to strike at any neck that they perceive as an affront to ego. I tire of it. More is done when ego is absent.

 

I am bound one more time by Stormwind to appear in person, and attend another political fair. At the very least, tomorrow's trial will remove the corrupt from power, but there is a part of me that is sickened of watching the political power tilt another direction. Once this trial ends, I will end all Templar involvement with this underbelly, and return attention fully to the field. I had hoped that infiltration within the Stormwind cult would yield information to dismantle it, but the most pertinent piece of information felled a magistrate. This is perhaps a victory, but Stormwind is a city of loops – another corrupt head will grow in its place. If there were but a way to cut off this leak of pride and need for self-gain, then perhaps the city will stop ailing so terribly while its soldiers fight leagues away. For a city made of stone, it uncontrollably limps.

 

I regard my blessings, with all Templars returned safe still from the Highland campaign. There is a war that the Templars are prepared for. Each time we brush close to the battle in Stormwind, we suffer losses. We are ill-equipped for it, and not the needed heroes to its cause. We will see to the city's outside enemies, not the battle of egos within.

Author Ari
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