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August 19

Damned if I can recall the last time I penned my thoughts, but here we are, regardless. Seems like it always comes back to this.

Sir Grixxis says I am ready to be ordained. That I probably have been ready for a while, now. I don’t know how I feel about that, though.

Things are different now. Even the way people act around me, feels different. They keep saying I’m impressive, I’m knightly- keep acting like I’m some kind of god-damned hero. It seems like everywhere I turn, I’m meeting approving looks now, and I know I should feel proud but instead I want to scream-

The only thing that’s changed is I am more stubborn, now. More thoughtful in my words. Maybe more careful than I used to be, but it feels like cowardice, in its own way, to pick and choose my battles as I have. It used to be that I would fight, that I would place myself in harm’s way any time danger reared its ugly head; now, I watch fighting break out in the Pig, on the Cathedral steps, and scarcely lift a finger to stop it. It has happened, it is happening, and it will happen again.

I used to think my Duty was to defend everyone small, everyone weak, everyone who needed protection. But now all I see is foolishness, and I know I must guard my strength jealously- expend myself for the things that truly matter. It is not my place to step in when someone goads a bigger foe to fight. I am not the city guard, who must come whenever there’s a shriek in the night. I will not turn my back on an innocent, but neither will I seek out ne’er do wells to educate them in the wrong of their ways.

I can’t be everywhere at once, I can’t force people to change their ways- and there are so many things that need my attention, so much still to be done and guarded and carefully tended to.

Sir Gauvain seems to think an Ordination should be cause for merriment; Sir Grixxis clearly felt he was bestowing a high honor. But if anything, I feel less noble, less honorable and more- worn. I do not think myself more worthy of the praises I keep hearing, and it seems to be coming from every side, every angle- yet the things I am the most proud of, the deeds that I feel show the highest estimation of my abilities, remain guarded in silence.

I could speak to my actions on behalf of Diane Marviere, to the scars that so mutilate my face- then I will bow my head and graciously accept that I have, perhaps, played the hero in my life. I could tell the tale of my dead husband returning, of how I was told I should accept him- and how I held fast to my convictions and to the truth, no matter how dearly my heart longed to believe the lies. How I tried to warn others, in spite of that they thought me a broken madwoman. My credibility suffered even as my heart broke time and again, yet I held fast, I didn’t give in; far more noble, I think, than keeping a civil tongue while bandying words with the Stromgardian knight.

Even the act of letting go of Godfrey’s criticisms, was more of a trial than it was to forgive him and feel compassion for his troubles.

But of the doubts that rest in my heart, the most insidious one is this-

If I am accepted, if I am Ordained as a Paladin in the eyes of all, does that make me like them?

In the time since I left the Abbey, since I’ve wandered this crooked, wayward path, I’ve come to find that most paladins are

Light help me, but they’re insufferable. They hold themselves with their noses in the air, so proud, so arrogant, so set in their ways and so unwilling to listen

 

An unworthy sentiment. It’s not quite true. Still, I can’t help but feel that I’ll be turning my back on all that I’ve learned outside the well-worn path to ordination- like I’d be placing myself above my roots, as dirty and muddled as they are. What kind of Paladin keeps daggers in her boots, aims for the kidneys and the groin when desperate- has fistfought in back alleys for gold? What kind of paladin has ever kicked a man while he was down, intentionally, knowingly tossing aside the rules of chivalry in favor of the rules of brutality?

Just because I strive to uphold the Knight’s code of honor and conduct, doesn’t mean I don’t know how not to- and I will not forget these things. I will not be above using them, if I must. Not when so much is on the line. My life is but a small thing, but with it, there is so much I have left to do…

There are too many shades between ‘white’ and ‘black’ for me to feel doubtless in my convictions. I will always question myself, must always question the motivations of others; I cannot have blind faith.

Would Grixxis still think me of a Paladin’s nature, then, if I could find my voice to speak such thoughts?

Doubtless, I’ll never know.

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April 14

I’ve done all I can to ensure Diane’s safety. Kaniffler made cunning use of his technology to find a way for us to keep in contact with her while she goes off adventuring- of all people, I should know what it’s like to be told no, you can’t leave, you must stay here and be safe.

I would not be one to put her in such a cage.

But I’d be a fool not to worry, all the same. We don’t know when or where or how he might strike. I must find ways to protect her- and to help her protect herself.

And in the mean time, Kaniffler and I will keep a weather eye out for her safety. That gnome has a way of digging and entrenching himself in things- he’s one to worry about in that regard, especially considering his fast temper.

We made a deal with a man who has no name, Diane and I. In return for some special rocks Ashthra gifted her, he was able to crudely operate on her, and using some form of vile demon magic no doubt, he did what I and all my Light never could have. She can walk again, as if it had never happened- though there are many scars that say otherwise, many memories too.

I doubt if she’ll ever bear children, after what happened.

I still need to tend to the matter of the Thing Strahm kept in the basement. I suppose it’s not that surprising that I had forgotten about it; Light forbid it should have escaped in my absence. I need to find a lockpick that can do the job, and perhaps persuade Kaniffler and- maybe Kinza, to come with me. Kinza is a Light-wielder. I do not think that physical damage can kill it. But perhaps the Light can. If that fails, then maybe we can torch the place. I don’t know.

I will not be speaking to Lorcain about this matter. He can go stick his head in a pot of boiling water for all I care.

I am not a traitor.

There are many things I have done which could be considered disloyal to the Alliance, but I would never willingly associate myself with the Forsaken. Never.

Valstun is still absent, but I pray my faith in Hector’s words is not misguided. I pray he’s got his reasons, and that his corpse doesn’t molder in some far-off battlefield. The fate of everything I hold dear hinges on it, but it’s no use thinking such thoughts right now…

While I have time left, I’ve given some measure of thought to Tristen’s tasks, and I’ve come to a decision.

My act of Courage will be retrieving the body from Ahn’Qiraj, and laying the man to rest.

I don’t know anything of the Apophan’s movements any longer- I’ve lost track, between everything else. Have I truly given up on the revenge I’ve desired for so long? It’s unnerving, but quite frankly, there are more important things than the white-hot anger that quickens my heartbeat, and I don’t have allies that have a reason to hate him as I do. I will not drag the Bastion into a war with something our combined strength might not even be able to touch, and I will not go to Marius with this- should I see the old elf again, I want it to be with a smile, not with a call to arms.

I haven’t heard from Keedorian in months either. I wonder if he still fights… but perhaps it is best that I leave off writing to him.

The last thing Lorcain needs is proof, never mind the reason, never mind the cause.

I am not a traitor.

There are simply things that I will set aside my differences to fight, and the Apophan is one of them. The time demon is another.

Lorcain can go throw himself in the Great Forge.

At any rate, I need to confer with my Knight about this. Fatherhood has changed him; he’s grown…

Well. He’s grown. I wonder if he still fits in his armor

That’s a terrible thought. I should feel shamed for penning it.

I suppose I’ve grown softer, too. But the encounter with Wrin that has so disfigured my face- my face, my poor face, if it was homely before it’s hideous now!- lit a fire beneath my rump again. I may not be as hard or fast as I was a year ago, but I’m not so soft as I was three months ago either; I am not as able to be Thoran’s mother as a result. Mykhael must stand on his own two feet, at least for now.

Someday, life will be calm enough that we can return to a quieter way of being. But now is not that day.

I only hope it won’t be too late. Every day that passes is a day I miss watching him grow.

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She stood still, arms looped loosely about herself, staring up at the sky.

Time passed slowly. She studied the sensation of her beating heart, felt it tighten and clench inside her chest, and suddenly wished she was home, miles away from where she stood now. She hurt. Her ribs felt as though someone had taken rocks to them- not rocks, walls- and every mender’s instinct she had told her she should be resting.

But she didn’t have time to rest.

The loop was broken, and soon, any minute now, the end would come for her. The end she’d tried so hard to prevent, had failed so drastically at stopping. She wanted to scream, wanted to shout that it wasn’t fair, that nothing had gone as planned-

Her breath grew ragged and her knees gave way, planting her in the mud. Her hands reached forward, grasping the soggy grass before her. Only the rain bore witness, as she began to silently weep, waiting with unsteady breath for the fire to consume her, for the blackness to reach inside and steal the soul from her body, for heaven, for hell- for whatever lay next.

Prayer parted her cracked lips, dissolving into sobs, but she forced herself on–

Surely it was time by now? It had to have been longer than the hour they’d had left…

The moon had traveled halfway across the sky.

January 15

I don’t understand.

Nothing went the way it was supposed to.

And after everything had failed, after all had been lost, and I could see the end before me, and I felt

so many pieces

IT DOESN’T MAKE SENSE

I knew we had lost, that everything was gone, that we were

she was dead and I couldn’t save her

We are alive.

All of us are alive.

Except Penn.

I don’t understand.

We failed. We failed, didn’t we?

It’s still out there. We didn’t kill it. It’s still out there and we needed to make it die and now it will destroy us all but we failed and we’re supposed to be dead right now but we aren’t

Everyone’s drinking and laughing and celebrating, like we won some great battle, but all we did was get beaten to a pulp, ripped into a thousand tiny piec

I don’t understand.

I am home now. I crept in as quiet as I could, I didn’t want to wake Thoran, or Myk, if he was sleeping. I’m supposed to be happy, because I am alive, so we must have won- didn’t we? But we failed. We were beaten once, we ruined everything, and then it all happened again, almost exactly the same, and

I am supposed to be happy, to be cheering and drinking and laughing, but I don’t understand if we won or if this is some new deception.

I wish Audran Jahgan was here. He could help me understand. Ereleth knows me for a coward now, I’d rather not show my face. I miss Audran. He’d know what to say to make it all make sense.

Myk… hasn’t pushed me for the details yet. I must look as beaten as I feel. He didn’t seem too thrilled about my ribs. I doubt if he’ll let me out of his sight. It’s good, though. I don’t want to be away. I don’t know if I can stay, or if we’re fighting more. I don’t understand what has happened.

I wish I had answers. I’ve always understood before, more or less, what was happening. Sometimes less. Frequently less. But I had some idea.

I’ve applied the balm Mahlar had me testing. It’s eased the pain quite a bit. I breathe a bit more easily. I’m certain I could walk without limping now. But that is the false confidence of pain fading, and I will remain here for the time.

I do not know if we are to go or not.

I miss Penn.

I wish Gaell was here. Manny’s a nice pup, but I miss Gaell. I miss Audran. I wish he were still living.

I can hear Thoran’s breathing not far away. And Myk’s outside, chopping wood for the fire. This is enough for now.

I’ll sleep when he returns. I am afraid this is all a dre

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The end?

January 13

I am not afraid anymore.

The plan has been set. Whatever will come of it, will come. I am exhausted of all my doubt and second-guessing. Now all that is left is quiet. It is too late to turn back.

Mykhael-

If this is the end, then it is a wonderful end.

But I believe this is only the beginning of something much larger- and I love you.

And if I am wrong, I’ve left a sheaf of letters with Sir Redhand. I trust him to disperse them.

If I don’t come back, it doesn’t matter- we’ll have succeeded. And if I do, then we’ll have succeeded as well.

I love you.

~Odynae Dawnhammer

PS- If I do bite it? You get to deal with Newt until Thoran comes of age. Hint: He likes nose scritches and eating trees/barrels/crates. GOOD LUCK.

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December 10

I’ve been- absent.

My duties, abandonned.

My friends and allies, left behind.

I needed to find what had become of him, of Edd, of the only blood relation I had left. I don’t know why this was the time, but…

Three weeks came and passed. The world did not end. My heart did not stop. I travelled the wilds with Gaell and Newt, finding hints of him, before uncovering him in

Arathi, of all places, why did it have to be Arathi?

My wandering feet wanted to lead me astray, but the demands of blood were stronger than those of nostalgia, and I was afraid of what I’d find. I should have been afraid of what I found, but I can’t bring myself to fear the curse as I likely should. The Light protects me, doesn’t it? I am guided by faith, by fire- what will be, will be. I am not afraid of dying, like I used to be. And the worgen curse is not something so frightful as it was before my Bastion days.

Edd, on the other hand, has always hated them. Hated what he sees as their betrayal, their cowardice, hiding behind the Wall when the Alliance had need of their strength. He was trying to route a trade caravan, I found. The family property is gone. His fortune is gone with it, but this job- if he could have done this job, the monetary possibilities might have enabled…

But that didn’t happen. A band of ferals caught them unawares. He was the only one left, and the curse has changed him. He drinks and raves, didn’t want me to see him like that, didn’t want–

I don’t know what he didn’t want. I don’t know how to fix him.

I’ve tried to keep quiet. I know the Bastion folk would want to help, but I don’t think it would be for the best- with how he hates Gilneans, with how vicious and angry and drunk he’s been, I don’t feel it would be wise to bring him back to civillization just yet.

Still. I’ve been back a few times myself. The world has not ended, but fate rests on only a slender strand. I close my eyes and see the things he showed me, the possibilities- the destruction. I will not mourn. It has happened a dozen times. I don’t know how much longer we have until that strand breaks and we all tumble down, straight to Hell’s belly. Eddrick’s curse and the liquor will mean nothing- only fire and brimstone. Only death.

Still.

Somehow, there is time for prayer. The meditation that once led only to fidgeting and frustration, calms me now. I speak to the dead. I mourn them, as I always have.

The puppet’s strings were cut. The false Strahm is no more, but Heliorn was lost in their fruitless, failed attack on the Apophan.

Heliorn spoke for me when no one would hear me. I wish they’d listened this time. But I have only ever been no one, a fool, a liability. Not someone who is heard.

I wonder if they’re listening now?

Strahm’s body was left behind. His betrayal is known, I doubt if the Apophan will find use for it now. If he comes back again, I won’t doubt myself this time. I won’t hide from him. I will find him and end him- the facsimile sullying the memory of the man I loved. I like to think that his spirit rests alongside Tara and Soren. That is where I pray for him, now that I no longer fear his face, his voice, come back to haunt me, to bring doubt to my convictions.

I have learned from this. There is no shame in my tears.

I look forward to seeing Lea again. Her training in druidic ways is progressing, as is her pregnancy. In the silence and loneliness of hunting for my brother, I’ve missed the idle chatter over the Bastion’s comms. I’ve missed Faeir, too- I worry for her. She lost Atra, who was as much a part of her as my hand is of me- more so, perhaps. And Diane- I haven’t seen her since I returned, though Faeir said she was fine. Nythaniel, strangely, with his curious, quiet, reticent ways. I wanted to show him how Gaell and I have found an accord. I’ve missed tea with Mahlar. I’ve missed walking in Stormwind, and in Elwynn. I’ve missed all the simple things.

I’ve missed Myk as well, but Thoran most of all. Myk is strong enough that I don’t worry much when I leave him behind. And it’s not that he’s not a capable father, but Thoran needs me, and it hurts not to have been there. Will he still know my face?

It’s silly, to waste time here in this crypt, surrounded only be dusty bones and dustier memories. It’s been well over six months since Barclay died. It’s been a year since I made my vows to Strahm on the Quel’Talan’s deck. It’s been a year since he was taken from me, and since we brought him back, but wrong.

It’s been a year since Deathwing shattered the world and destroyed much of everything as we know it. Since Heliorn led the expedition through Kalimdor, since I was removed from the Sigil, since

Why do I consort with memories. I’ve given too many hours to them this night.

Now is the time for life. I’m still alive. I don’t know for how much longer.

Myk needs me. Thoran needs me.

Duty can wait. It has for this long.

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Never too late

November 2

Three weeks to the culmination of all I’ve fought for, all I’ve bled for, for the past year and a half. Maybe longer, if you count the time I didn’t know what I was fighting.

Tremaine’s laid it on my head to make the thing killable. Said that you can’t kill what isn’t alive. Said that it was possible to make it mortal, and that it was on me to figure out how. Said he’d given me the tools I needed, that it was up to me to put the pieces together.

Put the pieces together, and gather the army that’ll go to face it. Keep my friend from killing my lover boyfriend child’s father Myk.

Something went wrong in the Caverns. Tia’s head is all warped, thinks Myk’s the reason her father died. I told him to be careful, but Light knows that may not be enough. What a mess. It’s all a bloody mess and it wouldn’t have happened if I’d persuaded him to stay behind. But then, it’d be someone else’s face, someone else’s voice and name she’d have seen and heard- this is what happens when I get close to people. I warned him.

That warning doesn’t make a damn difference if she finds him, though. May as well be my hands that do the cutting

This is not another Strahm. He’s going to be just fine, he’s a smart, resourceful man. I have to trust him to take my warning and take care of himself- I don’t have much time left.

Have to focus.

It’s hard enough walking this path, knowing all that I stand to lose. Now is not the time to dwell. Mahlar was sure as hell right, though- if I’m going to go, I’ll go down kicking and screaming, fighting for all I’m worth. I won’t give up like it showed. If nothing else, I will make sure that much is true.

Focus.

I need to try to Vizriel Lorcain, Istari’s husband. He may have some insight as to how to make someone unliving, living. Or maybe some sort of necromancer, or warlock, or something. Someone who knows how to force energy into possessing a mortal shell. I don’t care what it takes or who it takes to talk to, I don’t care, this is more than a paladin’s vendetta against the darkness- if what Tremaine told me is true, we stand to lose everything in this one fight, and if those who fight it fall…

I won’t let that happen.

I’ve got to see this through to the end, I’ve got to bear this burden and change what the watch showed me- it’s not too late.

I’ll think of something. I’ve never been the smartest woman, and I don’t know why it’s up to me to put together these pieces, but I’ll think of something damn it. I have to. There is no other option.

Myk’s right. I can’t stop fighting, I can’t give in to hopelessness, and I won’t accept what’s been shown to me. Before it was snatched away from me, I never gave much thought to my future. I guess I figured Strahm and I would fight until the fighting was done or we fell fighting. Maybe we’d get old, maybe we wouldn’t. Maybe we’d have children. Maybe we wouldn’t. I’ve always lived in the moment, not given all too much thought to what lay ahead or behind- but maybe that was a mistake.

I think Faeir will help fight now. She’s done fighting Tremaine, wants a crack at the real enemy.

Still have to make my will. Lorcain said he’d watch over Gaell, I dunno if he remembers that though. Who will bring Barclay’s lost love flowers

If I fall, the memories of a dozen lost compatriots die with me. How dreary to think about.

Too much to do, no time to dwell. This has been an exercise in time wasting fruitlessness.

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((Forgot to post this here too. >_>))

October 23

I said I’d think about it.

They’re all going anyway. ‘Prepared to die’… what does that even mean?

Kia’s going to come back screwy in the head, and it won’t be him.

Kia, who has always been kind to me- even after I assumed his guilt, even after I refused to speak with him for months and months. Who hugged me and said he’d be there if I ever needed him. He hurts. They all do. That’s why they’re going with Stehl, to Ahn’Qiraj itself.

It’s the dumbest plan I’ve ever heard. They’re flaming morons. They deserve to die, if they run off and do this. They deserve to be puppets and I shouldn’t mourn idiots what run right into death’s face.

I’m really one to talk.

I should say goodbye, at least. If it is him. It’s a trap

It’s probably a trap. Stupid, stupid, stupid.

I miss Tristen. He’d know what to do, I imagine.

Need to talk to Tremaine. Probably don’t have time to dig up his scabby hide and question him more thoroughly. And if I did, he’d probably not give me a straight answer, so there’s not really any point.

Graves has nothing. No hint or whisper of their cult here…

Perhaps it’s time to pay Sir Dorinke a visit. Warn him what’s coming their way.

He’s fought them far longer than, and to greater success. Maybe he could help them.

Silvermoon’s dangerous, though. My Thalassian’s in poorly spoken words from children’s books. Hurrrgh.

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