Ladies and gentlemen, good evening! ‘Tis a wonderful night to waste listening to my elucubrations. At least, it’s not a bloody lecture this time around, eh?
For the blessed souls among you who have no idea who I am, my name is Acheleus Moonblaze; I have been with the Kirin Tor for a few decades now, was made an Archmage six years ago…-
…- a lapse in judgement which -clearly- shows there are some things to work on around here…-
… And I shan’t bore you good people with my publishings or my veterancy, but rejoice! I can and I will enthral you with a little soliloquy on the imperfect yet frankly miraculous magocracy of Dalaran.
“Miraculous”, you might understandably scoff to yourself. “A mug of coffee costs a gold coin and a piece of your eternal soul, there is a shark in the sewers and more demonic breakouts from the Violet Hold than in Tarratus - the fossil has finally lost it!”
Miraculous, I say. For the aforementioned fossil, whose lowborn caste long forbade him from studying the arcane in Zin-Azshari, who was later exiled from Kalimdor for having practised it anyway, who fought the spawns of Malygos and the Primalists meaning to eradicate mortal sorcerers, ‘tis even an understatement.
In ancient and not so ancient times, ladies and gentlemen, this city would have made mages like me weep in wonder if they knew what the future held.
Ah! ‘Tis perfectible, yes, I will grant you that. But whoever you are, wherever you come from, if you are curious and benevolent, savvy and smart, whimsical and wise, if you want to create, to teach and to learn, it has a place for you.
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is terrifyingly easy to take for granted.
It is easy to forget that miracles are fragile - to forget that this city is the culmination of millennia of elven and human genius woven together, and has only become what it is after centuries on centuries of proactive scientific and diplomatic missions, of going out into the vast, -vast- world to seek out the brightest minds and fend off the greatest threats.
We might come back battered and bruised, as Miss Gearpunch so- subtly- mentioned; but that is what -true- defenders of Dalaran and Azeroth do. They do not sit in a spire, judging the rest of the world; they take action, instead of standing there with the gall to spew automated bile and turn tragedies into opportunities.
And make no mistake - we need the expedition on the Dragon Isles. We need to aid our allies. We need to fight the Primalists. Even if one adopts the selfish mentality displayed so shamefully tonight, they are not someone else’s problem: they want every single one of you, every mage, every man and woman ‘tainted’ with the Titans’ stain, dead. I say we do not wait for them to come to us and stay what we have always been: proactive, determined, courageous.
This strong, beautiful city was at its weakest and ugliest when it forgot what made it great and shut down like a clam, falling prey to faction bickering, paranoia and revenge, driving out its own people and aligning itself with the same vain folly that set our planet ablaze until just a few years ago.
All this to say plainly, ladies and gentlemen, that there is a reason why I am running. ‘Tis not to further my station - I am past the age when trinkets and titles matter more than peace of mind, and if someone like-minded was elected instead of me, I would not lose any sleep. ‘Tis not to annoy my co-runners either - or, well, not all of them.
No - I am running because I feel ill tidings brewing in the Senate. Parties which speak of safety to frighten you; which speak of pride but mean exclusionary arrogance; which speak of self-defence to sell you a dome to rot under.
If history is anything to go by -and it is-, you do not want domes and walls, ladies and gentlemen. You want bridges and roads, built to last upon solid foundations and uncompromising integrity, and an unwavering hand extended toward the rest of the world.
Cutting down diplomatic, expeditionary and scientific funding in favour of our inner militias, like these parties want to do, means one thing and one thing only: isolation. And a slow, bitter, agonising end to the miracle we stand on.
This nation is rich, grotesquely rich, and should stay generous instead of tightening the strings of its purse like a jittery middle-aged viscountess clutching her pearls in a back alley.
It should spend its treasures to guarantee you all a comfortable and exciting life, not to arm more guards who will only patrol the streets night and day until Boralus’ hanging squares look like an ideal picnic spot.
Should I be elected, I will fight tooth and nail, with all the strength this old carcass has left, to ensure that these austerity policies never see the light of day; that our students and apprentices are not only offered complete and unconditional asylum, but have the means to keep on travelling and exploring.
I will ensure that we, collectively, do not fall behind on these times of peace and opportunity; that we are not turned into a fearful, gullible gaggle of quivering geese by flaccid bureaucrats whose greasy goitres dangle lower than their bursting wallets…!
And even if the Senate does not accept me into its ranks…! Even if I am deemed too old, too divisive, abrasive and invasive, too wordy, too shifty, too shiny to vituperate among the venerable ventriloquists of the Citadel, even if they have the gall to elect more dispassionate puppets, I vow this solemnly: I will keep on being a nuisance.
I will keep on writing like it’s going out of style, on flattening the Primalists lurking too close to our outposts, and on teaching the younger generation that they are worth more, infinitely more than that. That you are -all-, ladies and gentlemen, worth more than that.
Take it from someone who nearly drowned in the Sundering: we ought to stay ahead of the tide. And take it from a chronomancer: when all is said and done, whether the chips are down or neatly aligned on the board, the only way onward is forward.