FAITH & INFAMY: A Ring of Blood For A Steadfast Greywald and Capricious CorinthalEdit
On Saturday April 27, the Council of Bishops convened for the third time since its renewal on February 24th at the original behest of Bishop Mellar Servus. Set within the monastic halls of Northsire Abbey the Council meeting was slated to be one of busy but quiet progression with a myriad of proposals ranging from the commission of a new seminary to considerations for the approval of new princes of the church. Few suspected that the otherwise innocuous proceedings would, during its open forum at the end of the meeting, erupt in scandal.
The controversy began when the Ordinary of the College of Canons, Johannes Moorwhelp, unexpectedly announced the formation of a new “Congregation of the Silver Hand.” The Congregation, a group that is largely regarded as the direct and orthodox successor to the splintered Silver Hand Council, was formed to bring together the more faithful and orthodox members of the aforementioned Council when Chancellor Meinas Highcastle refused to admit to the self-evident truth of the unbreakable link between the Order of the Silver Hand and the Church of the Holy Light, instead insisting on a platform of complete autonomy and unaccountability.
The Bishop Moorwhelp’s proposal, and its subsequent unanimous ratification by the Council of Bishops, sent shockwaves throughout those who worried the Congregation could affect their own foundations of power and influence. Foremost among those concerned that the new Congregation threatened their status quo was the boisterous Sir Regg Corinthal; a paladin hailing from Westfall and well known member of the Silver Hand Council.
Standing before the Council of Bishops Sir Corinthal proclaimed his intense disdain for the provisions providing for political checks and limitations to the Congregation, provisions that would levy a degree of accountability on the leadership of the fledging order in order to ward against the jealous entrenchment of any who would seek to use it as their own vessel of ambition. Even Sir Tenevus Stromheart ,the master of the Silver Hand Chapter, rumored claimant to the title of Grand Master of all the Order of the Silver Hand, and the very man whose precedent as Chancellor of the Silver Hand Council inspired the new reforms of accountability, could not resist aligning himself with the accuser, stating, “There is polity in the contract so as to grant political power to the Council of Bishops as they see fit. It is a game to the Council [of Bishops].” In response to Sir Corinthal’s penurious accusations the Bishop Rennali Sunwhisper provided a masterful rebuttal, stating:
It [such a relationship between the Order of the Silver Hand and Holy Church] is not bereft of historical knowledge. No one is forcing Paladins to align themselves with the council. The Silver Hand is not completely autonomous. Their relationship with the church is the equality of man and wife. I would remind Corinthal of what happened in the last council where there was no allegiance to the Church; when Paladins were not held responsible for their actions, but left to the admonishment of their peers, which was lacking. Were it perfect, it would not have fallen…
…You may choose to recreate a council in whatever image you desire and at your discretion, [however] would it not be worth having communion with a body that is designed to prostrate itself before the Light and create its lifestyle around the very tenets that Paladins are meant to uphold?...
…[These laws have been enacted] so that those who cannot govern themselves properly understand that there is a body who will force them to accept accountability for their actions. The last council did not fare so well and disbanded because of lack of proper governance. It is clear that the Grand Knight will not be chosen by us or the Council but rather by a collection of peers [from the Congregation]--which was the issue of the last council that Corinthal himself brought up once…
Utterly confounded by the ornately articulated and clearly dominating reply of the Bishop Sunwhisper, ‘Sir’ Corinthal immediately resorted to base and personal insults against the Bishop’s person. Spewing a litany of vile insults ranging from allegations of treason to insinuations that the Bishop was actually a walking, talking, organ of female anatomy (the actual wording has been censured by the Herald’s editors for its scurrilous nature).
Appalled and shocked by the ‘knight’s’ behavior, Clerk of Council Erich Manstein ordered him from the chamber and the man was peacefully escorted from the premises of the Abbey. Unfortunately, the degenerate and perfidious Sir Corinthal did not end his misbegotten crusade with his dismissal from the room, instead opting to badger and berate the young and newly anointed paladin that served as his guard. According to eye-witness testimony, the two paladins engaged in a raunchy discourse concerning Sir Corinthal’s behavior before the Council, specifically to the Lady-Bishop Sunwhisper. While Sir Corinthal maintained his position against the esteemed princess of the Church, Sir Elevaan Greywald, the escorting sergeant-at-arms, maintained her integrity and honor, going so far as to challenge the lecherous Sir Corinthal to a duel of honor; a duel to uphold the honor of the Lady Sunwhisper.
Although there was great debate over whether or not the duel should take place, with many persons advocating that the Sir Elevaan leave the capricious Corinthal to his own designs, Bishop Moorwhelp ultimately sanctioned the duel as good and properly in accordance with church doctrine. Sir Elevaan, eager to stand up in the most virtuous of ways to protect the Bishop Sunwhisper, finally assented to the duel. All the more great was Sir Elevaan’s courage in fighting the highly skilled Corinthal, but his courage did little to spare him from the incensed Corinthal. Falling quickly before the sword of the animalistic paladin, Sir Elevaan had first his fingers, and then the entirety of his arm severed. If it were not for the intervention of several onlookers it was clear that the feral Sir Corinthal would have taken the young paladin’s life too, an act directly in conflict with the agreed upon rules of the “duel to incapacitation.”
Thankfully for the young and brave knight, several Bishops from the Council were present and their masterful healing abilities were employed to safeguard the life of the man; reattaching the man’s arm but failing to save his hand in the process. Sir Corinthal vacated the premises soon after.
Church officials refused to comment on the rumor of a possible excommunication and a subsequent stripping of Sir Corinthal of his knightly titles. According to reliable Herald sources there exists some speculation as to Sir Corinthal’s actual status as a Knight of the Silver Hand. From what is known, Sir Corinthal was never anointed by the church but rather by a collection of his own brethren in a ceremony that was never properly or officially documented. Naturally, this begs the question said one of the onlookers to the duel, “Is it possible that Sir Corinthal’s “knighting” never happened? Is he even really a true warrior of the Light?”
In contrast to Church and College officials, several priests and monastics at the abbey who witnessed the events of the Council and duel provided comment on the ordeal, stating: “Paladins these days are without a true leader to guide them and thus forget the good deeds of their forefathers, rather, they glean unto their own interpretations of what a good man is.”
News of the Realms
Second Battle of Andorhal Rages On!EditAfter deployment nearly a week ago to the war torn town of Andorhal in Lordaeron, the military forces of the Alliance Bulwark under Lord Berenal Grayblade continue to give battle to the vile forces of Garrosh's Horde. The Bulwark, composed primarily of soldiers from the Blades of Greymane, League of Lordaeron, Lineage of the Moon, The Crimson Lions, and the Will of Elune, continues to see great progress in pushing Horde forces from the ruined town, having already managed to secure most of what was lost under the command of the Death Knight Thassarian some years ago.
Bad weather, poor road conditions, and shaky lines of supply continue to inhibit much of the Bulwark's progress, however, and obtaining up to date news coverage of the battle has become increasingly difficult as Forsaken forces begin to tighten their stranglehold of lower Hillsbrad. Nonetheless, rumors circulating throughout the Bulwark's camp suggest that the military leadership may attempt a final push sometime within the next few days.
Council of Bishops Approves Four New Bishops for Potential Consecration.EditOn Sunday the Council of Bishops finally approved the potential induction of four new Bishops to the Council. Long plagued by a lack of attendance of many of the older and more well established Bishops such Hylan, Neheri, and Delavey, the move represents a bolstering of the Council's ability to project itself throughout the Alliance as a competent and faithful body. The Bishops who, once they exit from seclusion, are to undergo the ceremony of consecration are: Father Melchiz Tzedeck, a Gilnean priest known for his aptitude as a Battle-Priest, Father Tarso Valcari, a Quel'dorei priest known for his teaching and liturgical abilities, Father Luther Alburton, a prolific sermonist, and Father Caspius Greenleaf, a well respected writer and philospher of church thought.
The Council continues to consider more candidates for the holy office of Bishop on a case by case basis and, according to church sources, the Council may be looking to further approve a handful of its current Priors to the esteemed rank as well.
Corelas Banned from Abbey on Pain of FloggingEditA wayward and heretical Priest by the name of Thane Everen Corelas was officially banned from the premises of Northshire Abbey last week on pain of flogging. The Thane, a man known to espouse belief in a monotheistic god known as "Deus" has been a man of much controversy in the Alliance for some time. Known perhaps most infamously for his near run in with castration at the hands of Queen Madelynne I's men nearly five months ago, the Thane was also recently exiled from his homeland of Stromgarde, first by a wayward Duke and now by a Bandit Lord.
In a show a brash action this past Wednesday, the Thane confronted Bishop Moorwhelp on his decree. After many curses were hurled from the Thane-Priest at the Bishop, the Vicar of his Grace stepped forward in an effort to calm the words of the obstreperous priest, a move that result in an assault on his person by the heretical priest. Thankfully, the fight was quickly resolved and a peaceful conclusion was reached to the entire affair with his Grace agreeing to lift the ban if the Thane would be restrict himself to polite and proper behavior. Unfortunately, such a peaceful conclusion was not reached until after a significant crowd had gathered before the Cathedral entrance, thus causing a severe disturbance to those offering up evening prayers.
College of Canons Appoints New Duty-Head PaladinEditLast week the College of Canons, lead by the Ordinary and Bishop of Stormwind, Johannes Moorwhelp, officially appointed a new Duty-Head paladin. Taking the place of the retired Sir Theodore Varill, who himself too the position after the disgraceful dismissive of Lord Tenevus Stromheart from the post, is Dame Nisvia Krusamere. Krusamere, a young but highly skilled paladin is well known for her great industry, faith, and combat abilities. Only time, however, will tell if the Dame can live up to the expectations of the posting and defy the unfortunate precedence set by its predcessors.
As Duty-Head Paladin of the College of Canons' Paladin Sect, Dame Krusamere is officially one of the highest ranking paladins within the Order of the Silver Hand, giving the young woman significant influence in the continued molding of the splintered order.
The Word of the People: Opinions & TalkEdit
Let it be known that the opinions expressed by those in this series of columns and letters do not necessarily represent the opinions and views of The Stormwind Herald or its publishers.
"To the "Queen of Lordaeron 's Gilnean Legion,Edit
After a conversation today with somebody, a question came to me: Are you still truly Gilnean? You've taken a vow to serve Her Royal Throneless for weapons and training, but to me it seems like you're more Lordaeronian than Gilnean now. We're GILNEAN! We didn't need Lordaeron's help before, they needed US, taking our men and our blood and wasting it, which is exactly what's happenning again! Are we going to waste Gilnean blood once more for a woman who claims to be Queen of Lordaeron?
-A loyal son of Gilneas."
The Silver Hand: Is the Congregation Just Another Council or Something Greater?Edit
Anyone who caroused Stormwind City before Winter Veil of last year presumably heard about the infamous Silver Hand Council and the many rumors and theatrics that surrounded its decisions and four-hour-long meetings that often ended in circular debate and sordid violence. What precisely is the Silver Hand and what made it so unbelievably popular?
Historical documentation describes the Silver Hand as a league of anointed paladins that was created by the late Father Alonsus Faol and his pupil, Sir Uther the Lightbringer sometime after the end of the First War. Years passed and of course it grew and splintered into multiple chapters that all seemed to have a mutual bond: a sacred fellowship in the Light. The Silver Hand stretched from Lordaeron to Stormwind City with a small faction of it in nearly every city in the Eastern Kingdoms. During the Third War, the Silver Hand was near-decimated during Prince Arthas’ betrayal - leaving many in its Lordaeronian chapter to the four winds. There is much debate as to what followed for the Silver Hand as a whole and whether or not Lord Tirion Fordring’s claimancy to having it unify with the Argent Dawn was anything short of hypocrisy and contemptible; it is not contested that the Silver Hand - and its many knights - have endured be they in Stormwind or from Lordaeron.
While the de facto leader for Stormwind’s specific chapter of the Silver Hand remains the ever-stoic Greyson Shadowbreaker; his position has not stopped many a knight from forming small bands in an attempt to regrow the lost (and partially forgotten) glory of the original Silver Hand. To this end, the first Silver Hand Council cropped up in Northshire some year or so ago by a group of paladins under Sir Tenevus Stromheart and Dame Elaine Barrancas. While it was sanctioned by the church at the time, it slowly began to deteriorate into a body that detracted from its original state as being a collective of paladins to a council that was often referred to more as a war council than a meeting of Light-fearing individuals.
During Winter Veil of 622 K.C., the self-made chancellor of the Stormwind Silver Hand Council called for an emergency meeting of powers. In the months prior, the consistent fighting amongst groups represented at the council, the draw away from church orthodoxy and the fight for power against the chancellor drove the ordinary of the church, Bishop Johannes Moorwhelp, to give an ultimatum to Sir Stromheart that would ultimately prove that the council had been poisoned and was unfit for survival. In the end, it appeared that everyone was vying for the seat of power in the council by demanding that Sir Stromheart step down and in doing so, equally demanded that the church be removed from having any say in the council’s future or fate.
Does it not seem odd that the creation wishes to divorce from the creator? Strangely, no record was ever found of the church, or any of its members aside from Sir Stromheart, having any voice on the council that was above anyone else’s. It was documented several times, however, that Sir Stromheart often departed from church authority and acted on his own measure. So who was really to blame; the church or the chancellor?
In the end, knights stormed out one by one and made proclamations that they would make their own council away from the influence of the church. It can be stated factually that all of those involved did not act within any of the tenets of the Light as they supposedly were meant to. What makes a paladin a paladin? Is it the armor, the mace or the libram perpetually latched to their belts? Is it the golden warhorse or the theology that they can regurgitate at a moment’s notice? Historically, paladins have often been painted as the virtuous and valorous knights; men and women who gave up their worldly pleasures for a greater good - a good that the everyday man could only covet. It is stated that before Uther the Lightbringer was a paladin (as many of his statues and paintings often depict him in his later stages of life), he was a priest under the tutelage of Father Alonsus Faol. If this is true, then when did paladins forget that their roots came from priests, and not just any priest, but the father of the Church of the Holy Light, itself?
Weeks after the announcement of Sir Stromheart’s departure (although he stubbornly called it the disbanding of the council), his successor, Dame Elaine Barrancas held one more final meeting where those who had stormed out had a chance to attempt reconciliation with the church and those who felt wronged. Bishop Moorwhelp gave one last plea to the candidates who were chosen that they should stay in communion with the church and allow their influence to assist in decisions as anyone elses.
Sadly, those who would attempt to call themselves “paladins” made a mockery of their forefathers by demanding that the church stay out of any and all Silver Hand proceedings. The new council, now headed by Lord Meinas Highcastle, was then stated to “no longer be in congruency with the Mother church” and subsequently lost the blessings of the church in its continuance. While this new council is not as publicized as its predicator, it manages with a small group of anti-church delegates.
So, if there is all of this controversy and supposedly a debilitated version of this council in operation, why would the Council of Bishops seek to torture themselves with a second attempt?
In its infancy, the Silver Hand Council was a splendid opportunity for paladins who were spiritually connected with the organization, yet forced to be employed elsewhere, to be able to come together twice a month to relive that fraternal harmony. The Silver Hand was originally designed to promote the faithf among knights and to train those who wished to be more than another sword-slinging cad who was only as useful as long as he could hold a blade. From what it seems, paladins have lost their way: fighting in the cathedral square, speaking against the church, joining rebellious groups and neglecting the very fundamentals of what it is to be a paladin; to be an anointed harbinger of justice for the Light rather than themselves. The legends of valor and camaraderie build up our hopes and dreams as young children but what role do they play today in the adult world? Are these lofty goals what we should really aspire to, or should we follow in the footsteps of Sir Uther when he stated: “I am just a man trying to be a better man?”
According to those who cooked up this Congregation of the Silver Hand (as opposed to a council), the concept isn’t to force people to silence their voices but rather to encourage them and have trust in the Light. While it isn’t negotiable that the church has had its own fallacies over the years; i.e., the incident with Archbishop Benedictus, they have continuously made strides to live by the standards that they create for themselves. At the last meeting of the Council of Bishops, it was noted by Father Moorwhelp: “It is not made to compete with the Silver Hand Council, but rather to provide a home for all paladins who wish to unify in orthodoxy.”
With all of this said, it begs the question: What is a paladin when he ceases to be a paladin? One would think he would fall back on his faith rather than his laurels, but as it seems that paladins these days are attempting to suit themselves for the political arena more than to genuflect before an altar of worship. If the church is attempting to bring these rogue paladins back from their newly-crafted habits and force them to be what they once were -- why is that such a bad thing? Why is it such a bad thing that these men and women be held accountable for their actions against the tenets they so vigorously use when the situation suits them? Taking all of these thoughts and consideration into mind, is not perhaps not best, in summation, that those wayward knights, as well as all knights of the Silver Hand, come and join this new and orthodox body? Is it not the true place of the paladinhood to stand in unity with its Mother Church?
-A Faithful Worshipper of the Light
Excerpt from the journal of Major Aeliren Chesterhill on the recent Battle of Andorhal.Edit
Friday, April 26th, 2252 F.A.
“The Bulwark has managed to retake the previously Alliance-held section of Andorhal, and we delved into the Town Square, although that area is still contested as of today, but we’ve taken a step ahead. It was a bloody battle. We’ve got a couple wounded, and I have a brand new scar running up my neck. Seemed like the whole Horde was coming down on us – Orcs, Tauren, Blood Elves and Forsaken soldiers were charging our lines. Strangely enough, their forces seemed to be having a misunderstanding after their first charge, and about an hour after the battle commenced, the orcs were actually killing the Elves and undead. One of the strangest sights I’ve ever seen, but if they want to do our job for us, I’m not going to complain. We had to pull out for a while, too many wounded. Some men from the League of Lordaeron, at least two of our people, and a couple from the Crimson [Lions]. Personally pulled out one of the Lion’s men out of therev - A dwarf.
Barely had time to even write this, with all the wounded coming in. Had my hands full, and even the druids and priests had theirs full. The dwarf from earlier lost a lot of blood, another had a broken leg and needed a splint, and I’m pretty sure I saw one of those Night Elves with what seemed like a long blade of some sorts stuck into him. And if it wasn’t enough trouble, the dwarf tried to go downstairs, falling down. He could’ve wounded himself a lot more than he already was! Helped him back up, kept checking on him. He should be fine, and ready to fight on Monday.
Major Aeliren Chesterhill, Blades of Greymane”
People & Places of the RealmsEdit
This Week’s Feature: Valordwell, Grand Manse of the House of IsenhammerEditNestled in the quiet hills outside of Stormwind resides a hidden beauty of a home that is little known and recognized by few outside the red peaks of Redridge. Within these noble peaks rests the awe inspiring manse of the House of Isenhammers known as Valordwell, a great hall carved from Stonwatch Mountain itself. Commissioned in 73 K.C during King Daniel Wrynn’s reign by Arius Isenhammer, a senior knight of the Brotherhood of the Horse, the manse was to be the gem of Redridge, as well as one of the locations to house a garrison of the Knights of the Brotherhood. Eventually completed in 80 K.C by Darrel II Isenhammer, a man who was renowned as an architect famous for his role in designing many of old Stormwind’s great structures. Darrel II was not the only man to have worked on the project, however. Although his experience was great, the skilled architect was unfamiliar with the techniques of underground construction and so commissioned the aide of dwarven masons and architects to assist in building the vast hall within Stonewatch Mountain.
The cooperation between the dwarven and human builders led to the completion of one of the few great manses in Azeroth. Playing host to sprawling arched vaults, tall columns that seemingly to fade into a nearly invisible ceiling, grand archways carved to resemble magificent horses, eagles and lions, majestic and ornate chandeliers hanging low to cast their illuminating light upon the elegant marble floor and reflect off the gold trimmed walls, Valordwell is truly a wonder of modern Azeroth.
This jewel of construction was temporarily hidden from the world at the onset of the First War. When Stonewatch and Redridge fell, the Isenhammers were forced to abandon the manse was abandoned, just barely managing to seal and lock the doors behind a hidden barrier in order to protect it from the pillaging orcs of the plundering Horde. Valordwell remained closed from the world for many years after that fateful day, tucked away throughout the Second and Third Wars.
Upon the return of Darith Isenhammer, the heir to the lands of Stonewatch and the manse, the great building was reopened, its doors finally unsealed after many long and dormant years. To the great horror and dismay of those delving into the abandoned home, a terrible beast had taken up residence within the manse, a giant spider known as Asherrax. Thankfully, the wretched beast was slain by the soldiers of Stonewatch and work began to return the manse to its former glory.
With the exception of half of the guest wing, which collapsed during the Shattering due to tremors, the manse has been restored to nearly all of its former splendor and glory, its chandeliers once more casting their glow upon the golden walls as the stone animals return to their dustless watch. Currently Valordwell serves as the home of the head of the House of Isenhammer, Lord-Protector Darith Isenhammer, and the warriors under his leadership known as the Knights of the Ridge.
Citizens of the Alliance! The 87th Alliance Vanguard is working together with the <Blood of Arathor> in order to secure our northern border as well as reclaim the lands we've lost - and we need soldiers to fill our ranks! Volunteer soldiers of varying experience can enlist with the 87th if they wish to serve on the front lines against the Forsaken.
For more information, contact Commander Hadrian "Arlén" Locke.
Daniel’s Discount DustsEdit
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Ever More Runcloth for Sale!Edit
Over one-hundred bolts of Runecloth for Sale at low prices. If interested contact Hess via post.
Trained and experienced wait staff, butlers, maids, and gardeners wanted to help maintain Flintridge Manor. Those hired will be lodged, fed, and clothed at the expense of employer. Pay shall be merit based but shall be no less than ten silver coins per month. If interested, contact Assistant via post.
From the Balk Brothers Printing Press
Chief Editor: Mr. Raeder Adlelaid
((Many thanks go out to our wonderful OOC staff of writers and contributors: Rennali, Aeliren, and Darith, all of which have contributed a great deal to this paper and have helped make it the quality publication that it is. Without their help this would not be possible and I'm happy to say that their contributions have officially changed the Herald from being my work to the work of our amazing server. Super special kudos to Rennali, who contributed an amazing about of work.))