A Light Bound Tome: The Journal of Padija Ravalta, pages 6-10 (WoW)
It wasn’t so long ago that your father and I were only friends with a set time and place in which we met daily to discuss whatever thoughts were in our minds. There were days when those conversations would begin with the sun high in the sky and end with the moon hanging over our heads. Both of us were grizzled veterans, carrying the weight of our pasts and mourning those we had lost. Neither of us sought to move past this, let alone did we seek romantic companionship.
We had walked so long on our own and we were so comfortable in our skins that we were blind to what was growing between us. Sure, we discussed possibilities of finding love from time to time, but he was so devoted to his research and I was devoted to finding the blade that would strike me down. But these facts aren’t what we saw in one another. What we saw was strength, tenacity, wisdom and beauty. Even when we could recognize that emotion that had introduced itself into our friendship, we ignored it. What better way to destroy a friendship that had become a source of strength onto itself?
Last night, I was asked if love is something that should be sought. The woman who asked could see the devotion I held for my husband in my eyes, she said. She could see the fire of that love that has given me so much power. I told her no.
Love in its truest form is never sought. It is a seed that is planted and grows slowly over time. Not out of lust or need, but respect. Love in its truest form is work, it is never easy. And at times your father and I both try each others patience to the point where leaving would be the easiest option. Those times are few and far between, but they are just as important as the sweet moments spent away from the rest of Azeroth.
As I told Naralae, there are times when I have faced more foes than I ever believed I could handle, but that need to return home to your father gave me a strength that I never could’ve imagined I had. It is a driving force. Despite the trials and tribulations of our lives. My opinions and his magic, the trial and Project M, he is who I come home to. And last night was no different.
Long after my discussions with Naralae ended, we danced. We whispered. We laughed and we loved.
Your father is a true partner. He is an inspiration and a driving force. I hope that one day, you will find such a partner. I hope that you will not settle and I pray that you remember to take the time to know yourself. The woman your father sees is not an idealisitic portrait of who I could be. I know what he sees, he sees me for all that I am. Just as I see him. There is nothing we would change of one another.
I am not a woman prone to being ‘sappy’ but there is nothing more beautiful than the love your father and I share.
Irinyes Starsong. It’s been a long time since I’ve written that name down. It was the name my sister was born with. She died as Irinyes Stormcrow, it was the name she had given herself. From what her husband tells me, she knew she was self-destructing. Before her death, the people of Azeroth knew her as Rinny, the surname changing from Cursebreaker to Spineflay and back again.
I saw that the people of Azeroth knew her as this, because of the shop she ran and how she marketed it. To the Gadgetzan Times she was a darling that they adored and even moreso adored to tear down.
I admittedly, never knew her in these days. I saw the stories of how her parents were traitors to Quel’thalas and how she herself was branded a traitor. While the later was true, I was glad our parents were dead with she began spewing the former. I don’t think it is possible for our parents to have given her a more idyllic childhood.
Your grandmother died of a wasting illness that stilled her heard and destroyed her mind. You grandfather was taken by the same Scourge I fought against. Just so you know.
I’m reminded of this tonight. I made a statement to a friend, a man who has become a bodyguard to me throughout my work in Pandaria. I told him that we do not choose our families, but those of us who have none, should have that ability. With complete sincerity, I told him I would know him as my brother.
I love this man, your Uncle Turnip, while we have only known each other a short time, it is obvious that behind all he is, he and I are cut of the same cloth.
In the face of his silliness, there is integrity.
Through the communication of his flatulence, there is intelligence.
Through his entendres and recklessness, there is a respectful and cautious man.
He will care for and love you as much as your father and I do. And you would be wise to do as I do, hide what you see of him privately.
In times such as these, we must never show our colours. Not unless we are willing to accept the consequences and have the strength to stand for them.
One thousand, four hundred and forty five feet. That was the length of the patrol route I walked for a hundred years around the Cathedral in Lordaeron’s Capital City. It was a route that allowed me to see the milestones in the lives of the people I lived amongst. Baptisms, weddings, funerals and knightings. The ebb and flow of traffic never ceased, even on the nights I traversed my route. Each time I came up for promotions, which in a hundred years, was more than I care to remember, I turned it down. I was happy on my route. I felt a connection on my route. From my route, I fell in love with my city and the people I protected each and every day. Along my route I came to the Light.
My family had always placed their faith in Belore, the mighty Sun that guided us. I was the first and the only to turn to the Light. It happened quite innocently, I only wished to understand what the people of Lordaeron felt. I wished to understand their connection to the magnificent cathedral.
On one of my days off, about eighty years ago, I went with the Captain of my guard unit. It would not be the first time but it took me nearly ten years to finally understand and feel the power that the Light could have on us. The teachings of the Light were teachings of peace, they revolved around finding enlightenment within yourself and being a beacon of guidance and wisdom to those around you. The teachings of the Light have not changed over the years, despite the corruption that runs so rampantly.
The humans found interesting ways of corrupting the teachings of the Light, some of those teachings were what split the Scarlet Crusade and the Argent Dawn in the early years of our war against the Scourge. None of that corruption even compares to what I see the Sin’dorei do it now. My race has come to believe that the Light is something that can be manipulated to their will. They believe that this is true power over the Light.
What they fail to realize is that the Light is not a tool. The Holy energies that we possess as devotees is a natural connection that comes from a spiritual relation. Wielding the Light as a tool is a lesser version that opens the true teachings up to the very corruption that has destroyed so many. Many of the Sin’dorei who use the Light are blind to its virtues and the teachings found within. They may have tenacity, but they lack a sense of compassion that leads to true justice. Many of them are driven by old hatreds and they care not to understand the lessons of the past.
I am not saying that I am better than the bulk of the Light-touched within Quel’thalas, but I am true believer. The Light is not my tool, it is my faith. It is the drumming inside my head that drives me. It is the embodiment of the virtues that have allowed me to live as long as I have for all I have done. The very virtues that inspire me to speak against the corruption I see so that the Sin’dorei may know the self-sustaining preservation that they long for.
Perhaps I am naive to believe that my voice will be heard above others and I suspect that tonights trial will be a true test of that. However, my resolve is strong and my faith could not be echoing louder in my head.
I stood at the gates of Lordaeron’s former capital last night. From the crumbling walls and the scourge-touched land, I tried to draw strength from memory. All I found was strength in myself. There is no memory for me to find wisdom in with this, just a reminder. I knew I was a woman without a home before I ever thought to come to Silvermoon.
My brother stood with me and offered me his home, I went for a time but the need to be prepared for whatever the future might bring has lead me back to Hearthglen. I am a traitor, an enemy of the state in the eyes of the Sin’dorei government. Had I accepted my sentencing, this fact would not be so. The first part of my sentencing was not so bad, it wasn’t anything I hadn’t already done from time to time.
The second part was what I could not accept. To join a patriotic organization would mean a re-education in time, it would throw me right into the mouth of the corruption I hope to fight against. It would mean that trials like these would continue and my voice, my belief would be silenced. My faith would be quelled. Nevermind the fact that there was nothing fair about the trial. The witnesses who were allowed to testify were biased or unclear in their memory, they were the Inquisitors own.
How can this happen? As Sin’dorei we are intelligent people. I liked to believe that we are above being ruled by fear and disinformation. I suppose I was wrong.
I’m not certain where I go from here, there are conversations to still be had. Your father and I have parted ways, it is possible that you will only come to know him through short visitations and it is possible you will know us as parted. We both hope that this will not be long-term, but for his work, we must. I’ve written in the past and I’ve said many times, love is not an easy emotion to carry with you. And walking with someone is even harder. Together, your father and I have endured hells both literal and personal. We will endure this too.
Neither of us know my position in the company we work for and neither of us will pretend to know where that will go.
I didn’t have to reinstate my commission to come back to Hearthglen. I offered my services in instructing aspirants in the ways of the Light and that was enough. The Inquisitors eyes are not here, there is medical care and safety. Your father can come and go from the small flat I was able to rent, as he will and as he wishes without needing to look over his shoulder. I can continue my work from here in relative safety and should I need, find new work.
There is a point of humor to all of this. Life was easier before I met your father. it was simpler before he drew us back to his former work. It wasn’t exciting, but this… this was never on the horizon. These decisions never had to be made. And while it would be easier to bow my head and allow, not just re-education, but my morals to be compromised, I will not.
If we cannot stand for what we believe, then why do we stand at all?
Exile has given me something I have not had since I was a young woman galavanting in Lordaeron’s Capital after my patrols. Exile as given me freedom once more.
Only moments after I exchanged martial vows with my late-husband, Morgan Delvanna, I left for Quel’thalas. My people were at risk and as men of women of the Scarlet Crusade who had not yet left for the forming of the Dawn, we had no leave to assist the Quel’dorei people. I knew the consequences of my actions and accepted them whole-heartedly. I had lost one home, I would not lose the home of my race. Our marriage went unconsummated and I was still dressed in my wedding gown when I arrived at the gates of Silvermoon City.
Five months passed before I rejoined my regiment with letters of court marshal waiting for me. A trial was arranged and the rounds of questioning seemed as if they would never end. We were a neutral organization but my people had changed so drastically in those months. Morgan and I huddled in our tent in the weeks of fallout my return brought with me. A human man who knew that should we ever leave the Crusade, our marriage was questionable. I would not be welcome as a resident in the lands of his people nor he mine. We stayed together. Through court marshal, war, mounting losses and a grief neither of us could fathom. Through two miscarriages, one of which in the field of battle, and two continents. We remained strong both in our vows and our leadership.
It was almost as if the Irregular Company fed off our strength. Perhaps they did, perhaps it merely stood as an inspiration. I will never be able to ask them now.
Outside of the Crusade, should it have ever come to matter, the Delvanna family was simple. They called the Arathi Highlands home and owned a large farm there. Their sons served Lordaeron, the city they sold their meats and produce in more often that not. Had we both survived the war and retired from the Crusade, there would be no hard decisions for us to make.
I could never had imagined the difficulty of the decisions I would make after marrying a Magister of Quel’thalas. Your fathers work in the State’s government is important, it isn’t a responsibility he can place aside easily. And when you are trying to change the government, the deeper you are inside of its inner workings, the more strength and power you have. I don’t understand the battlefield your father fights in. But I do understand the need for a tactical retreat when it arises.
With his wife branded as an enemy of the state, your fathers work is at risk. His career as a Magister is at risk and all that we are trying to accomplish is at risk. In the eyes of the State of Quel’thalas, your father must have a pristine reputation. And I, for all I have done and all that I am, am a blemish right now.
Tonight, my hand shakes as I write these passages for you to someday read. Tonight, I fought alongside the people who have branded me an enemy of the state. Through my use of the Light, I kept them alive, I kept them fighting. I did not have to raise my weapon and fight in turn. Part of me believes my actions of solidarity and loyalty to my people spoke louder than my sentencing. But when have I known the state of Quel’thalas to take honour into consideration of a persons character?
Tonight, I also heard the words of your father, denouncing me as we had planned. They were scathing and as he spoke I could feel my anger against him rising up. I could feel my grief. Our marriage is not over, it is far from over in our eyes. Even while the State processes our divorce and his denouncement of our child, we remain strong as Ravaltas.
At least, that is what I have to believe. His visits to Hearthglen have been filled with melancholy, promises that this is not the end, but to stand against him takes so much out of me. We both know how much easier life could be if we did divorce in our hearts as well as the eyes of the State. How much easier it would be if the Sovereign denounced me and all of my interests in Quel’thalas no longer had use of me. Hearthglen makes a good home.
None of us seem to want an easy road. There is a fight to be had and we stand in the field of battle, but for how long? How long will your father allow his bed to go cold? And how long will be before we begin to believe the insults and insensitive words we throw at each other? The words already hurt. They are cutting, destructive and I must focus on the purpose of our actions for me to not just walk away.
While my hope stands that the Ravalta’s will emerge from this stronger than a Dwarves wit, I fear. And I am scared that fear will destroy us.