A Paladin's Demise... ((to be continued))

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** A letter left on the desk of Highlord Noxtrael of the Fabled Paladin Order**

My lord, for many months I have toiled for justice, for honor, and righteousness. I have spent countless hours striving to become the finest paladin I could be, to be, like yourself. I have grown from an upstart to a force of light, and yet now more than ever I feel further from my goal.

I recently have tried to reach out to a rather violent faction of the Horde, a faction not known for their... prudence. Sworn enemies of ours, and yet some of the most respected, The Grim. The response has been less than reassuring, to say the least.

I have spoken with, in secret, a member of this faction for whom I have a particular respect and have crossed paths with several times, and I am soon going to venture to Silvermoon to attempt to gain an audience with this individual... I believe this to be my chance at establishing a meaningful dialogue with those of whom have fallen from the light. Repentance for even some is worth the effort, is worth a life.

I realize this may be foolish, may be a trap, but the chance at even a glimmer of hope in these dark times is worth the risk I would say, I hope you would agree.

Should this prove to be my last correspondance, know that I go in good faith, and with the intentions of peace, as far fetched as they seem. Even the smallest spark can start a great blaze, no? I hope.... I must hope, for it is all we have left. Be well, my liege, and may the light guide shine on you as it always has.


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A bag of potions open on her desk, Nymare flicked her ears and noticed the letter that she had crumpled and dropped inside from the previous night. Her correspondence with the alliance Paladin had been sporadic at best. Letter for letter, they discussed the nature of the war between the Horde and the Alliance as well as the departure of trust between their own people - how, if things had just been slightly different, if perhaps just one being on each side had spoken up with reason instead of hate or desperation... if if if... He wrote to her like a priest might address the conflicted mind of some poor wretch in a confessional, and, in return, she gave him ... perspective, reason, which seemed to give him hope that she was not like "all the rest" ... making a game of philosophies; one she enjoyed playing. Leaning back in her chair in the dark room, Nymare pulled the letter from the bag, kicked her bare feet up on the desk, and began to smooth out the wrinkles. She had not had a chance to read this latest letter on hope and peace the other night amidst all the other interruptions.

Fingers warm with fire brushed along her shoulder.

"A love letter from the Tauren?" Qabian teased with a smirk and leaned in to peer at the letter in Nymare's hands. She played at keeping it from his sight, jerking the letter this way and that from his grasping hand and answering with a sing-song "no~" in return. When she finally stopped, she displayed the script more clearly and then tapped at the ornately scribed "C" at the bottom of the page. Qabian's lips twisted in disgust. Cavanaugh.

"The idiot Brick?" That's what the Fabled Order was to Nymare and Qabian, a pile of bricks in the Wall of Light which insisted on standing in their way - yet easy enough to topple when they refused to stay together and twice as dense. "Does he want to be set on fire again?"

Nymare grinned as she read the letter over, "Think he will just stand there and take it again? But, no... though we had decided that meeting was simply too hazardous to us both in all this time, I think I've finally convinced him that to truly understand Peace would take more than any stroke of a quill could impart." Qabian blinked at her choice of words and then laughed.

"Every time you have ever come across him or any of his order, you have attacked... and he is agreeing to meet with you?"

Nymare leaned her head back in her chair to bat her eyelashes and smile innocently up at Qabian. "Mmhm." But then her smile slowly melted into an impish grin. "Misdirection. Show them what they want, give them what they want to believe, and most are content to let the rest fade into the background. Hope... is better than any arrow."

He could ask her why she bothered, but that was a conversation they had already had. After Cavanaugh's initial letter to The Grim's leaders, Nymare was curious, and then ultimately disappointed when no one took the opportunity to impart a lesson that he seemed to want discussed. Peace. If he truly wanted Peace, if he truly wanted them, he could learn what Peace means to The Grim... to her... To live it. To die for it. To serve it as it should be served. To deliver it in the only way it could ever be understood. He could learn from them, but it would change everything. It was an idea which entertained her, but the depth to which the paladin had lost his mind had not actually made itself clear to her until Malkaris had alerted both she and Qabian of the paladin's presence in Silvermoon one evening.

For every time she had ever attacked him, for everything Izlude had to say about him, he had never failed to attack in return, to give some sort of fight as well. But as he stood before the fountain in Silvermoon, surrounded by fire and a hail of arrows, he did not lift a finger against them. And for this, he paid. Repeatedly. There was something disturbing, if not disappointing, in seeing him just... take it.

Qabian brushed her bangs back from her eyes as she smiled up at him. "Alone?"

The look behind the fel green glow gave him his answer, as if he needed one at all.

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The sun shining brightly as he packed his belongings for the long ride north, a glance upward to the heavans brought a smile to his face as the Paladin basked in the light.

"Ah, it seems as though the light may bless this journey with days such as this eh Viktor!" He gently patted his chargers neck as he continued to load his packs. Mounting up Cavanaugh gently gave Viktor a nudge to be off and his journey to the North began, the sun bright, and a smile on his face slowly Stormwind dissapeared behind him.

As he rode alone he thought of his many meetings, and battles with his foes, how glorious they had been and yet always it seemed to lead back to the beginning, no winners, nothing gained, how tiresome it had become. Thinking of peace, of a reprieve at least could not be a thought he alone had desired. After all, he was as battle tested as any, as hardened as one could be, if it grew tiresome to him, surely some of his enemies must feel the same way, at least.

Passing through Lakeshire Cavanaugh stopped for the night, tying Viktor to the post outside the inn and filling his trough the Paladin was once again drawn to the heavans. The stars were so bright this night, so beautiful, he could not help but marvel at creation. Slowly walking to the edge of the dock he sat... although the night was beautiful his mind could not help but be reminded of his love, how beautiful the night was, and the stars, reminded him of her. A tear slowly came down the Paladins face as he thought of it, and then how she was taken from him, on a night similar to this... the tear falling to the water below. A deep breath... a prayer and bed were in order... tomorrow was certainly going to be a long day... a very long day indeed.

The sound of alarm woke him during the night, a battle cry... an orc... quickly he grabbed his hammer and made his way outside... seeing several renegade Orc's engaged with the guards on the bridge he rushed to aid, calling on the light his eyes went ablaze... no armor... not needed... with a mighty sweep of his hammer 2 fell, the other's looked at him and quickly fled...

" A wise choice! " He yelled as they ran, helping up a wounded guard and carrying her to the bench. nearby.. " Are you hurt badly, M'lady? "

She replied "No, My lord... thank you"

With a nod he moved his hand over a small wound... a flash of light brightened the darkness and the would had vanished. He patted her on the shoulder and looked up at the other guards, smiled and gave a nod, back to bed.

He thought back to his leaving ,while he lay in bed, as he spoke to his old friend, the dwarf Forgeheart, had said to him... "Aye lad, don't be a fool now, going alone to meet them? Ya think they will give ye peace? PEACE? GRIM? Canna be in the same sentance lad! But... I know you won't be talked ou' of it, ah well... a drink then? " He chuckled to himself as he thought of the words... he was not afraid, he knew they were no match... he knew SHE could not best him alone... hell, even with that annoyance of a mage he would likely be alright... no threat, certainly not, and going alone is the best show of intent, of honor... this would work.. it had to... he drifted off to sleep and hoped that tomorrow would be a good day....

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As he set off the next morning the clouds began to move in, he planned to make it to Southshore tonight... although... with the violence that has seemed to abound of late he thought that perhaps he should be ready for battle there... constant assaults... this thought made him recall his battle against her.... how he drove them both off, for a time... but not for long....

He recalled his venture to Silvermoon recently, when he dropped off his note... the pathetic warlock just stared at him, too afraid to engage, as he knew what the result would be, not until she arrived, escorted by her dog and several others did any bother to strike... cowards... but this showed him weakness not strength. The experiment actually proved to bolster his confidence... he patted Viktor gently..

" I wonder what will come of this, eh friend? I wonder why she accepted this meeting?" His thoughts moving to the obvious, " A trap? No... too easy, they are more clever than that." The charger grunted at him, as if it could understand the Paladin, and it seemed nervous as they traversed the Wetlands, as if they were being stalked, "Ah, fear not, the light protects us, it will always watch over us."

Without stopping off in Menethil, Cavanaugh contiued his journey across the span, into the Arathi Highlands... and it was then he felt eyes upon him... tracking him... smiling to himself he lay his hammer across his lap.. "Let them come..."

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