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Originally written January 22, 2012.

The day after. Wintergarde was brimming full just hours before, its infirmary swelling with the wounded, the inn boisterous with drinks and celebration. Arialynn took part in each, the work at the infirmary bringing a tired joy, and the surprises at the inn were neverending.

 

A ring with a single diamond lay on her left hand, its presence kept her from donning her last plate piece during her morning ritual. Her eyes never lowered to look at it, its weight on her finger was enough to serve as a reminder. Instead, her mind's eye took in the sights from the night before, and the corner of her lips upturned in a hint of a smile.

 

The grounds were still bustling with working women and men. Many were departing, bidding goodbye and returning to the shores from which they came. The lady knight watched them depart, standing within one of the keep's many towers with her bare hand buried inside a fur-lined cloak. The cold was bitter as ever, but the victory only hours before kept it at bay.

 

The far horizon was lit with a grey haze, the only sign of dawn the Dragonblight sky ever allowed. She found herself studying that horizon, her mind returning to words stated the night before, of wars still yet to be fought, idealogical lines that crossed or ran opposite of one another. The unification, the one banner to stand against the Destroyer was already fracturing, the status quo of rivalries and vendettas returning to fill the widening gaps. It was already a memory, but one that was bright. She was rarely the optimist, but even her unyielding reason could relent, and state the possibility that if needed, once more, that unification could briefly return. Another brilliant flash among the ages, rising to protect Azeroth then fading as quickly as it came.

 

With a turn, she returned to the warmth of the keep below. She could feel the lack of sleep tug at her consciousness, but she knew she shared this malady with several others, one man in particular. It did little to inhibit the pace of her steps, and the quickness of her mind. Already, her thoughts wrapped around the tasks ahead: though the Destroyer was gone, his framework still remained, however weakened it was. No aspiring black dragon could take his place, no cultists could be allowed to swarm on another Horde or Alliance capital.

 

A clean up was at hand for the Templars, then return to safer shores. The reality of temporary peace was closer than before, though as she entered the keep war room, she knew that new wars on other continents had longsince begun, and were now given the blessing of being unhindered by the Destroyer's shadow, and flame.

 

It was not a comforting thought, but though it remained on the edge of her mind, she begun the day's duty with no less dedication than before.

Author Ari
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