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Originally written September 26, 2011.

I find a short reprieve in the beginning of each new week, with Celestyna's Sunday Service and the gathering of known and unknown faces. Alekxandar Winchester, the self-proclaimed morale officer and collectively-dubbed prankster of the Templars, delivered the sermon. While I was certain that Alekxandar planned a joke on his audience, his sermon was instead thoughtful and well-done. He again reminds me that no Templar is one-sided, even him – even the Templar who gained notoriety among his comrades by yelling obscenities at a blind Blackrock dragon to garner its attention.


I am thankful for the Sunday reprieve, but it always short-lived. The war of containment in Hyjal keeps visits to the Eastern Kingdoms brief, which each moment occupied. One year ago, the continent of wars between the Horde and Alliance was Northrend. Now, if one of three were to be picked for the same title, it is the Eastern Kingdoms. Hyjal tests every soldier's limit. The Barrens of Kalimdor is a warzone, as is Ashenvale. My days have be bound to the latter in particular, in the newest diplomatic mire. But nothing fires the anger of the Alliance than Horde presence on the Eastern Kingdoms. In my years, I have found that each man and woman has their most passionate cause, and I have not lived exempt from this bias. The Eastern Kingdoms divides the Alliance most.


The Tears and Templars clashed again with these strict, uncompromising passions, the spark was struck in Ashenvale. The resounding effects of the attack and acquisition of lumber still strike the Tears, but for the Templars, the matter is done. The attack was tactically sound and executed, but the intent was misfired by its attacker and unnoticed by its target. The Chieftain sought to mold the Alliance into something less divided, more fierce. It is the passion of an orc to battle the deserving and honorable, and I know first-hand why the Chieftain deemed the current Alliance wanting. But few among the Alliance understand this orcish passion, and instead deem it as nothing more than bloodlust. Perhaps it is. But I have seen lesser leaders aim gun sights and swords on civilians, with the intent to send a message that is also misfired, and not received. If there is to be a bloodlust, let it fall upon those who can answer is war horn, not those who can only fall victim.


The pact between the Templars and Tears remains, however thinly. I find that our bond strengthens in some aspects and wanes in others, but I have come to trust the word of one orc over the word of many humans. I have become harsher against my own race after witnessing the odd power of its politics. Good men are spun as enemies, wars are minimized, slaughter is retold as hard-won victory. But for all my harsh judgment, I know that the future will inevitably bring me to the political ring again.


Reparations have been set between the Tears and Templars, and I gave word that I will demand no more from the Chieftain, and his clan. Word reached me that the consequences of their attack still reach them, and more than one the Alliance's many factions seek retribution. That is not the Templar's fight, the retribution was earned. I do not envy the Chieftain's task of defending his clan and its actions, it is a battle I have waged often myself.


But in these passing months, I know I have spent too much time in Kalimdor, entrenched in the fires of Hyjal. The battles there have tested my limits, along with the stamina of the Templars. One year ago, we froze in the north and battled the undead. Now we burn, and quench the rage of the elements. The Templars is always an army pitted against the chaotic foes of Azeroth, and I question what the Templars will battle next, one year from now. But first – there is a Destroyer that still flies.


It is time to bridge the two continents, and see which soldiers' passions align with mine. Our world shattered with a dragon's entrance, and as the war in the Firelands receeds, it is time to ensure that Azeroth does not shatter again with the Destroyer's fall.


Once again, it is time to train, and prepare to slay a dragon.

Author Ari
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