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Julilee's Journal

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It feels like I do less and less. I've always tried to be a relatively hands-off commander. I let people find and choose their own assignments, to put their talents to use where they believe they'll be the most effective in upholding our virtues. We all have directives to support the Horde and the Legionfall offensive to give us opportunities to make a difference. But sometimes I'm not sure if things are running smoothly or slowing to a halt. I feel like if I can't tell the difference, it's probably the latter.

At least I was able to make a difference in the Borrowed Time/Twilight Empire matter. I'm not naive enough to think Cobrak will go any easier on them because of what I said, but one of their people being returned safely and sooner is definitely a victory in my book. I also hope that by speaking to Katelle, she will see Cobrak as more of a person and less as an obstacle. She would be more likely to than most already, as would any called to Twilight Empire's cause I think, but a little encouragement might help keep things smoother than they might go otherwise. It'll be a long time, if ever, before I can hope to sway Cobrak the same, but at least in respecting my personhood he finds himself obligated to respect the things I care about, and that's a start.

Another matter weighing on my mind is Karthok, as it has for... how many months now? How long has Shokkra been missing? I haven't even kept track. Her being gone has just become... normal. It's terrible, and it makes me feel terrible to say that. I continue to believe she must be safe and that Karthok wouldn't harm her. And I won't stop looking for her. But all this time away has put some things into perspective. When she's back, and recovered enough, I'll have to talk to her about what she wants to do with her life. And not just accept what she says if it's what I want to hear when it might not be true to what's in her heart and soul.

Some people are just angry. Some people just believe in vengeance, in its necessity. I don't agree. But I respect that some people feel that way, and don't want to shame them for it, not really. Encourage them to open their hearts. But not shame them for doing what they think they need to do to survive. Shokkra tries so hard to be Sanctuary, but I don't think she really is inside; she just feels like she should  be. I should let her go and not let her keep torturing herself, and everyone else around her, by trying to be something she's not.

It's sad it took me this long to come to that conclusion. I can't count how many people would laugh and scoff at me for finally getting to it. But I wanted to believe. I wanted to believe in what Shokkra wanted to believe. I just wanted to support her. And she needed it, so badly, something the people that would scoff just don't care about because they can't see past their own pain to another's.

The fourth oath is always the hardest to uphold.

We leave soon to brace Karthok in his den. I hope we are in time to save her.

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A week ago

It’s been weeks but I still find myself thinking about it. Naheal. How could he just show up at my doorstep with the slate wiped clean, completely ignorant of everything he’d done? I don’t care if it’s unfair to him, whatever version of him that was, it makes me angry. Especially suggesting as he did that he found the things the Naheal that we all knew did objectionable. Like he wouldn’t do the same under the same circumstances. He is him. And as far back as when we were children he always had this in him. It took me a long time to realize, and longer to understand, but he always did.

In any case, I made clear that I wasn’t interested in having him in my life again. He left. I haven’t heard anything since. But now I feel on edge about it. I thought he was gone. I mean, I knew he’d been called back to service with the Bronze Dragonflight, and that didn’t mean gone gone. But... more gone than this. Whatever this maddening state of events is. Hopefully nothing will change, though.

Kex’ti said he needed to go to Argus. He’d been staying out of action for awhile. I told him of course I wouldn’t stand in his way. I would never ask him to stop fighting, regardless of his health. He wouldn’t ask me either. As I told him before we went to the swamp... It’s not likely we’re going to live to a ripe old age anyway, not with the conflicts Azeroth regularly sees. We both hope for the best after the Legion is defeated, and we hope the Legion will be defeated, but for now, live like there’s no tomorrow, because there may not be.

I’ve been busy working with Shokkra to track and outmaneuver Karthok. I’ve made a plan with Gunheya from Coldstar to free the demon hunter who has Accalia’s power from his grasp. Her name is Kalisto, and Gunheya seems sure she’ll be on our side once she’s freed. I just need to identify a time I’m sure she’ll be away from Karthok, as we learned from Twilight Empire’s excursion into Tirisfal that he definitely sends her away at times to accomplish things for him. Careless. Or maybe just arrogant. Or maybe he has a plan. He probably expects us to strike at him, though, not her. I’m betting a lot on this, but it’s vital. Karthok is nearly unstoppable with Accalia’s power on top of his other powers from the fel and the Old Gods, not to mention all his resources... We’ll do it. We have to.

Sanctuary has been working a lot with Twilight Empire and Night Vanguard to counter Karthok. There have been others too who have been willing to help, like Rhaen, Kejala, and Yocelyn. Sanctuary isn’t the only place where there are people willing to make sacrifices for the good of others. I’ve never forgotten that, but it’s always heartening to see.

I still haven’t told Shokkra about my plans for her. Right now she’s doing great dealing with the Karthok problem. I’m not sure she’ll understand. But if nothing else, after this, she needs a break. This might be the only thing keeping her going, but that’s not healthy. She needs to find the will within herself to be the person she wants to be. I wish more people would see in her what I do. It affects her more than she lets on when people dislike her or write her off. Who wouldn’t it affect, really? Heroes in stories aside, no one is really capable of believing in themselves if no one else does. Everyone has to start somewhere, a parent, a best friend, a lover. Someone to give them that seed of hope that they can then nurture into self-esteem. I’m trying to encourage her, but she has to take heart in it. I can’t do that for her.

Lots of thoughts to gather. I think I’m doing okay handling everything. There was awhile where I doubted my ability to handle it all. Losing Taozhu... almost put me back there. I still miss him so much. He had been with me, with Sanctuary, through thick and thin. But now I’m just more determined to end Karthok. There will be no mercy. He has proven unworthy of it. The world has proven we can’t afford to give him any. For Taozhu, for Kanda, for everyone he’s hurt, he will pay.

Edited by Julilee

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I always knew he could be irrationally stubborn. I knew but it seemed all right, because he’d always relent, for me, when it was important to me. That was how I knew he loved me. He’d let me win. Maybe even when I didn’t deserve to. But he knew when I couldn’t accept otherwise. And that was why I loved him, because he understood, and he was willing to tolerate my stubbornness.

I always knew it wasn’t fair. I always knew. I felt guilty. Even now, though, I don’t see how can I do otherwise. I believe what I believe. I’m a Commander. I wrote the oaths. This is what I’m dedicating my life to. How can I compromise? It’s not as though I can meet him halfway. But he demands it. He’s not relenting anymore.

I don’t blame him, though. It’s too much to ask. It always was.

Finally admitting that to myself puts so much of our relationship in a different light. The illusion is dispelled that it was working, that it was healthy. At least, that’s what it feels like. He said I didn’t value his opinion, and I don’t know what argument I can make that that’s not true in light of my choices. He’s just stopped pretending that it’s all right.

I thought I returned enough. I was willing to give him my loyalty, and literally my life. I looked past his indiscretions. I reassured him that I believed in him, that he could be who he wanted to be. But what does any of that matter when in the end I always insist I be the one to make the decisions? When I demand complete control?

Who can tolerate that?

No one deserves to be treated that way.

But I thought he understood. I thought he was willing. I thought he loved me and it was worth it to him.

I guess it’s my fault for letting myself believe it, too.

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