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Originally written Aug. 30, 2010.

A tournament brings a much lighter tone to the ranks, even moreso than the daily bar revelry so many Templars enjoy. I rarely cull their drinking or best-described as frivolity, not unless it affects the swing of their swords. Strangely enough, it never does, or perhaps it is because my perspective is skewed from fighting alongside dwarves for too long. Or perhaps it is the Templars have picked up a few dwarven habits, given that a number of them own or work inside a dwarven tavern.


But the Tournament of the Phoenix, as it was called, brought about a new revelry. There is much to be said about harmless sport, even if it is done in the guise of training. We have earned our peace, but our skills must remain sharp.


Perhaps the most stunning display of skill was Maliki, whom I still think of as squire to Alekxandar, even as the months since her knighting pass by. I recall teaching her the pillars of the Light, and wincing each time Alekxandar taught her a bad habit. She was often full of questions, perhaps too many. But it seems that she has blossomed since her knighthood, and she easily stands alone in skill. Her former knight must be overcome with pride.


The tournament yielded a second surprise in its champion, Taldrus Dawnfield. One week ago, I issued a challenge to him to overcome both depression and injury to compete in the tournament. He took it further than I originally imagined, though I questioned more than once whether I challenged a man to injure himself a second time instead of overcome personal difficulty. I hope to continue being proven wrong.


Theramore was filled with many denizens of the Alliance during the tournament, I realize that I have grown too used to Theramore being the quieter harbor city to its sister in the east. But its streets have returned to their former states, and though some merchants or smiths lament the passing of new customers, I welcome the return of normalcy. I will be able to hear the sound of the sea again, tonight.


Chieftan Kormok Wraithverge, along with other Tears, made an unexpected appearance at the tournament. Our exchange of words was very brief, and I expect them to be brief for a long period of time. Friendship was a casualty of that war, but it seems that respect endured. More wars must end that way.


The hour is late, and I have spent too much time writing my thoughts. If I spend much longer at this desk, I will be a scholar more than paladin.

Author Ari
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