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Originally written September 22, 2012.

The lilt of the middle deck did not mesh well with Arialynn's constitution. Twice, she managed her way to the ship's top deck, preferring the calming sight of the horizon over the sickening feeling being encased in a wooden hull. More than once, she thought her new weakness odd, then she caught word that more than one survivor suffered confusion and fatigue. She was one of many.


Survivor. That word hung in her mind. She knew now what befell Theramore, but the fate of its population, soldiers, and the Rose and its allies plagued her moments both when awake and at rest. Her thoughts also dwelled long on Taldrus Dawnfield, who she only knew to be fighting atop the isle gates the moment the bomb fell.


The bomb. Theramore Isle was a fortress prepared for many possibilities: attack at sea, land invasion, air barrage. But it was not prepared for a force of such decisive, irreversible, destructive power. Though the true reality of the Fourth War was still raw and fresh, the lady knight felt a deep pain and regret for not measuring the full depths of hate the Horde and Alliance had become. It hung as a failure of great weight about her, even as her posture remained measured and tall.


As she stood at the lip of the upper deck with borrowed cloak drawn about her, a small sliver of gold wrapped around one finger humbly displayed itself to no one. There was no audience to her wedding band, all that was present was a sailor high above in the lookout's nest and a canopy of piercing stars. A guildstone bearing a golden cross lay within a pouch at her hip, the stone silent and runes dark.


Arialynn closed her eyes. With a slow intake of breath, she calmed the torrent in her mind and returned herself to the present. She recalled a series of letters and silently wished them swiftly on their way on the wings of the couriers who took them:


The first, to Taldrus Dawnfield, the address the Cathedral of Light. She prayed he was alive and the letter would reach him; that a parishioner would undertake the task of forwarding the letter to wherever her husband may be.



    I pray this letter finds you. I am alive and board an Alliance vessel. It will arrive in two days.

    I am well, all of me, and am looking for you.

    – Arialynn

The second, to Captain Morgan Ashford, the address to the Thunderstorm. News of a ship bearing the Templar cross speeding south after the fall of Theramore raised hopes that a number of Templars survived. The most cunning courier capable of navigating the sea took on the task, but Arialynn knew full well the task was difficult at best, foolhardy at worst.


    To Captain Morgan Ashford,

    I am alive, word of the Thunderstorm's survival reached me. Light speed with you on your journey, Captain, I know you to be a cunning captain and man. When we next meet, share with me your plans, and let us again align ourselves for the mission of the Rose. I too will share in my plans on what that mission will be.

    Till then, send word to me in Stormwind of who among the Rose is with you and alive. Send word to others you can that the Rose endures. It is time to ground ourselves.

    Light's blessing.

    Lightbearer Arialynn Dawnfield
    Justicar, Templars of the Rose

The third, to Halonan Orebender, the address Tranquility's Watch.

    To Halonan Orebender,

    The Watch must hold. Remain steady.

    Gather what Templars you can. To those you know to be alive, send word to me in Stormwind.

    Lightbearer Arialynn Dawnfield
    Justicar, Templars of the Rose

The fourth, to Stormwind, the address not to an individual, but to many. At the thought of the fourth and final letter, the lady knight opened her eyes, her gaze worn. The motion of an approaching figure caught her gaze and her head turned to greet them.


"Ma'am?" A polite voice spoke. "Anything you need?"


"No," she replied, shifting her cloak about herself. "No, thank you."


"We'll land in Stormwind in two days, ma'am," the sailor dutifully reminded her.


"Aye," said Arialynn, looking again at the horizon, her thoughts again on the fourth letter. "I am a late arrival."

Author Ari
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