Tamyous frowned, standing on a hill staring over the destroyed lands of Lordaeron, now dubbed the Plaguelands. Like a beacon, he stood against the skyline, a majestic figure of golden armour with a mighty greatsword slung across his back. He seemed to shine with a light haze of gold around him.
To the east was a glorious sunrise. The burning sun began to brighten the land below him, a new dawn for the land. A new Dawn... pondered Tamyous. The wind blew, filling his lungs with dust as he inhaled. He stifled a cough, and continued his vigil over the dead earth. His thoughts were raging, though outwardly he appeared calm. His face a mask of serene calmness, though his features were as usual, dull and plain. A face without features, all but his eyes. Pale blue, like ice, they were the only feature that stood out. His frown deepened as he pondered his epiphany. The Argent Dawn were once the bastion of the Light, next to the Church... The Dawn ended with the dusk of the Crusade, and something new began... Something which, Tom's thought, as he was known to most, broke off, as he stared into the far distance seeing a troop of Forsaken marching into the Undercity, underneath the ruins of Lordaeron.
The Crusade remains in this land fighting back the scourge. Yet, Deathwing remains everpresent, the leader of the Black Dragonflight flies through the skies of our wold, and Fordring does nothing. Damn him.
No, came his own reply, do not curse the High Lord. Though he may fault, he is still the Kingslayer.
That's all he has done. He forged the Dawn, the glorious Dawn, into the Crusade. And saved the Ebon Blade, those cursed Death Knights. I can't follow him, I can't go back to serve under him.
He suppressed a sigh and turned his back on his once glorious country. His tabard flapped in the wind. The tabard of the Argent Crusade. He walked on, until he came to the ruins a road. He closed his eyes, and with a moment of brief concentration, he summoned his golden charger to him. He mounted with the grace of a man well used to riding. As if ordered by thought, the charger took off in a flurry of debris, his thoughts wild with possibilities.
Now, he stood in the Stormwindian district of the Cathedral of Light. The majestic white structure towered high into the afternoon sky. An inspiring sight. He pushed his heavy cloak back, his golden pauldrons shining in the bright sun above. He marched up the marble steps with purpose in his stride, passing two of the chainmail clad Stormwind Guards. Here was the centre of the Church of Light.
He walked into the hall itself, and was greeting my a brother of the Church.
“Welcome, brother of the Light”.
“Light be with you”, replied Tom, walking purposefully past the man in white, with a hint of recognition in the back of his mind as to the name of the brother.
He turned right into the library passing several priest and paladins alike. He sat down, his heavy platemail's loud noise silenced by the cushioned, high-backed chair. He called an assistant to him and requested after a book. While waiting, he inwardly thought to himself, considering the state of Stormwind City. The 'bastion of the Alliance', or so it was claimed, but Tamyous believed differently. The Old Town district, thought to exist before the Fall of Stormwind over three decades ago, and believed to be the original town from which the city of Stormwind grew from.
Seeing the run down, but rustic red roofed buildings brought sadness to Tamyous. The type only a paladin could feel for the dregs of humanity living there. Empathy burned through him. His thoughts flickered to the smog filled dwarven district, clogging the air, leaving most coughing and hacking. A poor place to walk through.
The Park, thought Tom. The massive crater in the city, which before the Shattering held the elven inhabitants of the Kingdom. He felt true pain thinking of the lost lives of the elves. So many... So many lost lives... Tamyous thought. He still prayed nightly to the lives lost in the Shattering, the slaughter and destruction wrought by Deathwing's Cataclysm.
His thoughts were interrupted by the return of the librarian. He looked up at the robed man, holding a heavy tome. struggling with it. He took it easily, his chainmail clinking under the clank of the plates. Tom placed it on the wooden table in front of him, opening the book gently. He pulled off his gold gauntlets, and padded leather gloves and placed them beside the book. He began to flick through the pages of the book. An old book dedicated to wholly to the Order of the Knights of the Silver Hand. Though he knew its contents by heart, he felt he needed to consult something other than his own thoughts.
He poured over the book for hours, even as brothers of the light came to refresh some candles, he remained lost in the words of the book. The book of his order.
At last he closed the book, placed his gloves and gauntlets back on and found a librarian still around to place the book where it belonged in the rows of books. With reluctance he left library, his footfalls heavy and loud on the marble. Even he found the the disruption of the peace a shame.
He turned right, heading up to the front of the church, and approached a priest he recognised from his time spent here so many months ago upon his return from the cold wastelands in the north, he bowed his head.
“Father Alegar, I am in need of advice, my thoughts... They are a torrent, and I am a man lost in the storm”.
“Of course, Sir Tamyous”, said the withering man, acknowledging the fact Tamyous was of the Silver Hand, his head gleaming in the candle light. The remnants of his hair were wisps attached to the side of his head, “How can I aid you, my son?”
“The world is a flood of pain and anguish. I have done wrong, and sacrificed more to do right. I have proved myself in the eyes of the Light, I have been cleansed of my sins”, he paused a moment, “But I cannot allow the injustices I have witnessed to continue and still believe myself I am worthy of wielding the Light. I must do something. The paladins and priests today wield the Light foolishly. They claim to power, and do as the sin'dorei once did. They manipulate and force their will on the Light. Our order states we cannot associate ourselves we people who go against our moral co-”
The wizened priest had raised his hand to stop him, his expression was one of infinite sadness, and when he spoke Tom could feel the bitter grief there, “My son, you are a Knight of the Silver Hand, and with the Silver Hand so apparently forged into the Argent Crusade. You are, and always will be of the old way. I too feel the pain you feel. I too have seen the youthful paladins of today, and even the older men of the order abusing the Light, but you speak too strongly”.
Tamyous started to speak, the aged, gnarled hand rose to silence him again.
“I have seen you in here, every day for the past week, pouring over the history books. You read of the founding of the Silver Hand, you read of Alonsus Faol. You read of the good and the purity of these type of men, and the orders they forged to help and defend the weak”.
“I know what you intend to do Knight. I can see it in you. You intend to elevate yourself to a master of a new order. You want to see the Silver Hand rise again, or at least some vestige of it. To the glorious Light bringers you once were. But... It cannot be so, my son. The true might of the Order died with Uther the Lightbringer, Light shine on him. It cannot be brought back. Even with High-Lord Fordring having forged his remnants with the Dawn... It cannot be so, my son. Abandon this path, before you go down the road of the Scarlets.
“I understand your path, but I do not condone it. You have entered this cathedral in the early morning, every day, to open the dusty texts and diaries of men long dead, you search for the origins of the Orders of old, and many other things beside. I can see in your eyes that you are set”, said Alegar.
“If you choose to forge a new order... Do it wisely”, the ancient man, looked at Tom with eyes similar to his own, striking blue, piercing even the paladin, “I can do nought but fulfill my duty, as you intend to do as a paladin. Even if I feel reluctant to advise this course, I will do so nevertheless”.
Tamyous considered the priest's words for a long time, as the two stood by the steps to the alter.
“I agree with you father. It is not right for a paladin to permit the sins of the creatures of this world. From the highest of kings, to the lowest of homeless... It is my duty to protect the innocent, and persecute evil”, stated Tamyous, as if reciting it. His eyes glazed over as he pondered his cause.
“The Argents now stand in Lordaeron in hope if bringing it back from the dead, a cause I think wasted, for now at least. They could do so much for our land, they could vanquish the Twilight's Hammer. They could battle Deathwing. They could do what they did in Northrend again. But no, they do not. I could not follow them. I lost faith, I went down a dark road. Though I found a cause...”, Tom hesitated, “Father... I must do something. Several weeks ago, I revisited my homeland. I weeped for it. But my land... I can do little for it alone. I must do something. So I have drawn my plans, so I beg of you hear me out.
“It is my intent, as you have said, to create a new order. An order of likeminded people with the intent to teach and inspire people of the Alliance. Paladins should be warriors of the Light, vanquishing evil. But they should be healers, and teachers. Beacons of hope in the dark. Similarly...”, Tom paused and scratched his ever present stubble, “Priests should teach, heal, advise and when the call comes, they too should use the Light to destroy the foes of good”.
“I see, my son, but you sound as if you want to usurp the Church”.
“No, Father... I intend to be an arm of the Church. A tool to be used by it. There is no active force of paladins or priests out there any more. We are all internally concerned it seems. My concerns lie in the world around us. I intend to bring the teaching of the Light, and the justice of it to the world around us. I will forge a sword of the Light and strike it into the hearts of evil. Whether it be common gnolls, or terrible Twilight's Hammer cultists. We will travel from the fields of the Elywnn to the depths of Azeroth. And we will bring the Light as our guide”.
“My son, your own crusade is fraught with risk... With challenges. You will have so much to do. Gaining official office, permissions to do all of this. The rights to empowering yourself to such status... It will take such a long time, and a withering before the nobles of our kingdom”, Alegar said, but he looked at Tom with that striking stare, “But I will help you, Knight. I see promise in you. I see that you have no greed in your eyes, or evil in your heart. Tamyous Spartian, I will help you, as best an ancient man can help”.
And with that statement Alegar and Tom began lengthy discussion, which stretched into the night. The candles burned out, and the priest finally gave up to age.
“Take me to my rooms, my son, I fear the years now bear down upon me”, and from the library, the still plate encased paladin escorted the old man to his rooms within the Cathedral. Tamyous found rest in the rooms set aside for visiting paladins and priests of the Church.
Days later, Tamyous stood atop the Cathedral's steps, his feet planted upon the blue carpet of Stormwind, with the darker hues etching out the Lion of Stormwind.
“People of Stormwind! Here me!”, he yelled repeatedly until a crowd gathered at the base of the steps. They talked in hushed tones. When he thought enough people gathered he began to speak.
“People of the city! Here me! I have travelled the world, fought conflicts for this kingdom. Why? Not for gold, or for reputation. No! I did it because I vowed to! I vowed to defend the innocent, and protect those who cannot protect themselves. I did it all for you. And now I see how the people of Azeroth have become...”, shook his head, while some people muttered angrily, and some even called out, insulting him.
“Do not mistake me. I will die serving as a shield of innocents. I am one of your many protectors. And to protect you is my sole duty, and protect you I shall”.
Tamyous raised his hands, signaling for silence and waited for the crowd to quiet.
“I intend to form a new order, an order I intend to lead. To bring the Light to all, to aid and to vanquish. It is my intent teach others, protect others. Let the Argents try and breath life into Lordaeron. I intend to face the evils of Azeroth now, and defend you. I will be your shield, your shield until death”, Tamyous pulled himself up to his full heigh, looking imposing in his golden armour, “It is time for a new dawn. A dawn in which the world is protected by paladins. Paladins who swear to protect the innocent and heal the weak. Where priests teach and and they too offer their abilities in the Light to heal the injured and infirm. A new dawn of the Light. I intend to bring the Light to all of Azeroth”, with another moment of silence he paused.
“I do proclaim the foundation of the Order of the Dawn. For those who wish to offer themselves, please, do so. I shall be in the Cathedral's library awaiting you. Please”, Tom smiled, displaying somewhat crooked, faded white teeth, “do so quietly”.
Tamyous bowed before the crowd and turned entering the church, passing the older priest on his way who walked next to Tamyous but struggled to keep up with his long stride. Tamyous slowed and offered his arm to the priest.
“You are truly an aid to the weak, my son”, said the man in a hushed tone as he walked along with Tom.
“Of course, Father”.
“Now, your speech was not as eloquent as it could have been, nor was it fully appropriate, but it was acceptable, my son”.
Tamyous nodded, walking into the white hall, and parted with the priest. He entered the library again, and pulled his libram from his belt, the heavy golden chain clinking as it moved. He studied the ornate cover in blue gold and white. He studied it for a time, until he heard footfalls approaching. He closed it and secured the closest part of the chain to which it attaches to the book itself to his belt. He looked up and stared intently at a man, a fellow paladin, with his libram at his belt.
He looked fierce in his determination, “I wish to join your new dawn. I wish to be of your Order of the Dawn”.
“Then let it be so”.