The naaru changed everything. Right up until the moment he saw it, Calendil Sunwing still believed that there was a way out of the darkness that had shrouded Quel’Thalas. But when he saw it – suspended and held captive by the magisters’ will; when he put out his hand and felt the energy slip from the creature and into his own veins – he knew that this was it. There was no redemption; there was no hope. The golden energy that moved within him was the same as the Light he had always felt; the sensation brought warmth to his body, and his heart began to stir with renewed strength. But this was it. This naaru was “the Light” incarnate, and it was as mortal, empty, and devoid of higher purpose or divinity as any other source of power. Bedamned thing; he had wanted Emerion’s God to be real, he had needed it to be real; and now even that had been stolen from him. In bitter disappointment his energetic grip twisted harder and deeper into the naaru soul. There was no Light. But there was power. And if that was all that was left to him, then he would take it.
Power. If House Sunwing could be encapsulated in a single word, then that was it. His family had worked their way into the ranks of lesser nobility by tenacity alone, and when Silvermoon fell into its despair, Calendil had seen the route by which he could ascend even higher. The people were starving; not only for mana, but for leadership, answers — and above all, revenge. The naaru revealed that dark desire to him when he tore the Light from it. Now he could see it plainly in the thugs and rioters that the city guard was locking away; he saw it in the cut-throats and the thieves that lingered in the shadows. The people were angry. The magisters were at a loss. They were resorting to mind-control tactics, enforcing obedience with their ability to brainwash and control. It was a waste. The force of that much hate – it was an untapped vein that ran through the heart of the Thalassian survivors – the “blood” elves. And that too was energy, and power, to the man that could devise a way to wield it.
Knight Voldoun was the first. He shared the dubious privilege too of being the only former Knight that Calendil recruited because he despised him. The world had fallen apart – it was true – but vows were vows, and Calendil still expected the Knights to maintain a certain level of nobility. Knight Voldoun had betrayed his oaths as a paladin almost immediately, using the brute strength his training had given him to ensure his own survival against the welfare of the people he had once sworn to protect. The only language men like that understood was the presence of a larger shark in the tank; and Calendil knew that as a former Knight there was a good chance he would find his way into the new Order eventually. He’d done what he needed to ensure Voldoun entered the new hierarchy now and not as a larger shark later – and in the process, he won the young thug’s fealty.
That, he realized, was the way into that hate. The Light was gone, and its absence was a wound in the heart of th elves – a wound that he could use. He could become the man who opened their eyes to the truth – the first real truth anyone had told them since the humans betrayed them. He could show them that what they mourned had never been real. He could show them the naaru, draw back the curtain on that one last deception – and when they realized that there was no hope – when that final lie was taken from them – then they would be warriors fit for the new Order. Warriors fit to be Blood Knights. And they would be wholly loyal to him – the man who, at last, had shown them truth. He began to seek them out, almost fervently – the men who thought they had nothing left to live for – the men who thought they knew what hopelessness meant. And one by one he prepared them for their birth into a new class of paladin – Knights without faith; Knights with nothing to lose. And although Liadrin began to give him sidelong looks, and even Bloodsworn seemed to have little to say to him anymore, neither of them could deny that the Blood Knights were becoming the power that Silvermoon needed them to be – true guardians of peace and order. For Silvermoon’s dark night had spawned a world of terrors; and he was building the thing that even darkness feared. Who now, would dare to stand against them?
Manage Your Items