Originally written December 11, 2011.
It is strange. Since becoming head of Templars, we have been more selective of our allies and associations. It is likely due to my own preference of never dealing with half-truths, and expecting the utmost clarity in word and deed of each person I meet. I am told this is an impossible expectation, but it is one that I have lived by for many years.
But the new war on Dragonblight has brought many unlikely allies. The Blood of the Rose, a sister organization that by the work of one Templar, was crippled during a moment of rage. Now it is headed by a new elder, and the Bloods and Templars work side-by-side in Northrend. Three years ago, I would never have anticipated such a change, and rebuilding.
Then the Tears of Draenor, a clan we warred with a little over one year ago. Our connection has been wavering at best, always at the whim of our separate prides and codes of honor. But there is a better understanding now, albeit still fragile. A new Tear emissary has requested a personal meeting with me, his surname is Blooddrake. If memory serves, Blooddrake as the sin'dorei that began the bloody clash between the Templars and the Tears one year ago. I question his motives, but do not see any reason why the Tears would move against the Templars now. I am cautious, but not suspicious. I find that I am quietly reassured by a small degree of trust. Again, how things change.
Then there is the Phantom Legion, an Alliance army that I still hold at great distance. One of its soldiers came to Dragonblight, bringing a substantial battalion with him. It is not yet the healing salve to the gash that separates the Templars of the Rose and the Phantom Legion by their opposing ideals, but again it is an unlikely ally in this war between the dragons.
Another is Xodius and his companion, Faila. Slowly, I have come to understand this man as the perfect combination of enemies that the Templars have faced since the world Shattered. A former cultist, a druid of the flame, essentially a tool made by our collective enemies to kill Azeroth's defenders. This tool has turned against his masters, and thus far proven true to his word and deed here in the north. I still watch him closely, but he has yet to make himself a threat. Again, a strange ally to find in the frozen wastes, and break bread with.
I reflect on these changes, and see that the catalyst is Deathwing himself. There are so many scars on Azeroth since his emergence, but his very presence has resown alliances, and softened rivalries. It is under the shadow of Deathwing that I allowed a man to court me, despite spurning so many before. It was eight months of courtship, but courtship all the same.
Is it that Azeroth changed in the face of danger, or is it me who is shifting? I cannot discern the origin of this change, or if this is simply chaos resorting itself out of necessity. Perhaps I desired companionship out of necessity after waging war for so long, and permitted it despite myself. Perhaps the hate and mistrust we have created among ourselves has finally exhausted itself.
It may all be temporary. Perhaps the Blood and Tears may come to war again with the Templars, when the delicate scale tips and ideals clash again. Perhaps this is the closest to mutual understanding the Legionnaires and Templars will ever reach. Perhaps Xodius is a traitor in our midst, and it is only a matter of time before this brief equilibrium is torn apart.
But these are a fool's worries. I would be a fool to rule out betrayal, but I would also be a fool to dwell on it, and neglect the tasks at hand.
Taldrus sleeps soundly, and this night after battle permits me to watch. I have seen many sleep, mostly as a guardian on watch, or a healer monitoring their recovery. This is the first time I watch one sleep without feeling the weight of a knight's duty to another. I can watch him, and feel a small peace. It is a different duty between him and I, a new one. I find myself accepting it more each day.
Perhaps it is that small acceptance that is the difference, a small sanity in all this madness.