Cere'thien Blackwood is a retired, former Ranger-Scout holding the rank of Second Lieutenant, with honourable status as a Ranger-Captain having been awarded after service was completed. Having served for five centuries, she later turned toward healing. For a time as well as serving as a Confessor with first the Argent Dawn and later the Argent Crusade, she was known to be one of the very rare druidic-priestess' on staff in the Priestly Quarter within the Sunfury Spire due to her familial background.
Over her long life, several phrases come to mind when turned toward thought of her words, passions and deeds. Foremost of late was her presence as the Commander of the Dawnmender Unit as High Confessor, an officer within the Sunguard. While not precisely lesser, she is a lady of high noble status; a widow, mother, and once, even a grandmother.
Meandering has been the path walked by this woman, and always one of cutting sacrifice for purposes only known to her mind. The deepest parts of the forester estates she holds by both gaining the love of her kin, and deep respect of those active in politics are as yet unknown to the public.
Whispers of the Lady of the Lair abound and have for centuries. The winding of time has turned Cere'thien Lissanathel from Ranger Special Operations and being one of the very talented of her generation, to a sharp and silvery tongued mistress of the wildest healing arts in existence, ironically as untamable as the woman herself.
As the Matriarch of both Houses Blackwood and Silverleaf by birth and Greyleaf through a political marriage come to an unfortunate end, she holds the privilege and immense duty of seeing to it that some of the very last uncorrupted old forest in Eversong remains whole and perfect as from the founding of the elven high home.
"Love as you will, always and ever."
Lady Blackwood, as she calls herself, even while technically her legal surname has remained Blackwood-Greyleaf in honour of her late husband, has green glowing eyes that are paler than most Sin'dorei possess. The hue of her gaze makes quite plain that unlike many a Sin'dorei with a hedonistic bent, the Matriarch valued her tight reign upon nature and arcane magic enough that she had no intentions of losing that in order to drown herself in the delights of the corrupt, choosing another path all while in the end, she was marked despite her efforts.
An advanced age offers a certain cynical outlook all while she clings to hope. A retired ranger that has turned toward mending, the lady carries much of the lithe frame expected of having retired from such a path, and yet is relatively curvy, long legged and wide of hip due to the number of children she has graciously given birth to. If she is counted among the sensual - it is both subtle as the brush of a rose petal while as sharp as an arrow, but most of all - classically timeless.
Platinum-blonde hair lies upswept in natural, elegant ringlets while a widow's peak delineates a brighter silver tendril that is her birthright descending from a Maternal line that can trace its heritage in a direct path to Queen Azshara's court, and more over, fleeing it. Cereth's nose is on the smaller side while her lips are little too wide and paired with prominent cheekbones. The left side of her face was marked by a silvery scar from hairline to jaw and missed the eye, gained through a mishap during her service to the Sunguard, but now the gruesome has been exchanged by a silvery tracery of rosebuds and vines. Each rosebud seems to hint at a pink hue, while the vines and leaves are brushed with the most subtle teal, nearly matching the somewhat tainted verdigris hue of her gaze.
Skin beyond the neck and abdomen are covered in a white marking with vines, Thalassian roses and thorns, this is not a tattoo even while it appears to be so, and is in fact the gain of torture from a old friend turned to madness; her back contains an elven tree balanced between life and death, fully coloured and is a tattoo added at the completion of the Third War. The former seems a carving and eerily so, while yet beautiful to look upon.
Attire worn by the lady consists of a classical, noble Thalassian style with roots near a millennia old blending with the practicality of her place as a soldier, and often her place as the head of an ancient ranger line. These days, Cere'thien has a strong preference for blades having laid down her bow centuries past. The Confessor tends to smell subtly of sandalwood with a hint of wild rose oil that she prepares herself. Warm and passionate nature magic is a presence, in lieu of the Light that many elves cling to, if they hold to any faith tightly at all.
While once seeming a quiet charmer, of late Lady Blackwood is the taciturn and dutiful matron, preferring a stoic presence over the gregarious for most that approach. A considerate woman still, Cere'thien is resolute in her purpose of honouring her place as Matriarch and soldier; often the latter over the former. Even considering this, while possessing somewhat of a mercurial bend, she is steady and very clear in her desires, passions, and concerns. Protective, remains she, to a ferocious degree over those considered near to being kin, or actual blood relations. Her birth near a millennia ago has granted traits that are almost archaic in form at times, while in other moments the former ranger is known well for her tact and wisdom.
The Confessor is just as willful and opinionated as she is polite, and an inborn grace and maturity remain her truest expressions. Elegance entirely is what the lady represents even with the occasional tendancy toward profane language if her temper she was quite famous for releasing particularly centuries ago, is stirred. One cannot truly separate the lady from the woman unless delving beneath the walls that protect her innermost self is undertaken, and even then the dropping of her many, many masks is a dance that very few have managed over the centuries. If the Confessor's loyalty is snared, little is capable of breaking it, save perhaps direct harm, as has been proven in both her past as well as present.
Inquisitive by rote, she will oft choose to either be direct or mysterious in her speech depending upon her regard. To this particular Matriarch, an oath is something only given if it is intended that she would never break it, and promises are never offered without due consideration. A lifetime of service as a noblewoman born to a seafaring-ranger family in her paternal lineage, an ancient Highborne Magister line in the maternal, and last yet never least a wanderer of the deepest woods appear to brush each facet of her life and being.
Birth and Early Life Edit
As the Confessor's mother was the deeply rare identical twin considered a blessing to those that possessed such lineage, the chances at the Lady Maraiel Blackwood producing such while unexpected, was a delight after only having chosen to give her husband a single child in a thousand years of marriage; it was well known that Maraiel and Malanior had what was considered a tepid disdainful relationship on the best of centuries.
Lady Cere'thien and her brother, Lord Gervasius were born in a village a mere stones' throw from the Sunwell, in honour of her mother's kin being one of many that had dedicated itself to protection of the elves most beloved and revered site. It would be the last of the children that Lady Maraiel would allow her husband to give her, and as a result, the Confessor's father deigned to have two bastards recognised, but where these half siblings have gone is a complete mystery.
Some say that it was near a thousand years ago that the pair were foisted on to the world by their unfortunately indifferent mother, while Cere'thien herself claims precisely eight hundred and twenty seven years, June 21st and the beginnings of the Midsummer Fire Festival as her date of birth. The truth of the matter is lost without the ability to go digging through ancient archives, and the lady herself does not seem inclined to deviate from what she insists is fact when it is not quite the truth.
Known for those of an elder disposition is that she was named Cere'thien Lissanathel, the first name being one given to a female child that holds the Leywalker latent talent, or hoped to become one in her maternal family line, while the second name, Lissanathel, was the name of the proper founder of House Blackwood, whom had been Matriarch in her own right so long ago. It was a dual heritage and a heavy weight placed upon her by both maternal and paternal kin; each desired her to be the pinnacle of ability from their bloodline without thinking of the toll it would take upon the young lady as she grew to adulthood and beyond.
It is quite clear that the place that the twins were born - fraternal of course - no longer exists, having been razed to the ground in the Third War without evident survivors. Regardless, despite that clear favour offered by her maternal Highborne kin, it was plain that once the Patriarch at the time, Ranger-Lord Torvilus Blackwood, Royal Spymaster, and the Confessor's grandfather had his way, that neither Cere'thien nor her brother would have anything to do with magic whatsoever. He doted keenly on both children, just as he had their sister, Lady Veleria, before them.
From an extremely early age, the pair spent long hours learning any and all weapons they possibly could, as well as the studies that would allow one or the other to eventually take over house rule, should it have been needed. The bow of course was the prime center of the lady's education, even while her mother Maraiel fought bitterly to have her trained in political discourse and the etiquette of a lady. It meant that she often spent half her day with the ladies that sided with her mother, while her uncles would eventually carry her and her brother off for far rougher training than that found in mere books and fripperies.
Born eleventh in line to the position as the head of house, the present Matriarch never once expected to be called to lead.; it required the deaths of her grandfather, and her eldest uncle and his entire line for this to even possibly come to pass at all, another man, Lord Kalenas - whom became Ranger-Lord following the demise of his father, yet again, in battle with the Amani. It was an utter tragedy that placed the woman's own father at the head - and required Lord Malanior to take the title with combat, as he did not hold the minimal rank of Ranger-Captain to progress further.
After her father took the reigns of the old, respected family, Cere'thien's life took an abrupt change, and it is possible that she might have wound down a less sharp path if her parents had been different nobles all together. Without the buffer between herself and her mother; her uncle Zinertes was often away and could do little to assist in allowing the young woman to forge whatever path she wished, Maraiel and Cere'thien oft butted heads with increasing violence, which led the lady to actually seek out proper ranger training away from home.
Early Military Service Edit
At the first, Cere'thien was a mere twenty seven when she departed Sha'alethas Lair for the first time, having vowed never to return so long as her mother, Lady Maraiel Blackwood, intended fully upon forcing her to a path she had no desire for. While true that magecraft ran in her bloodline, she believed it deeply unfair that her brother and sister had been let to their own devices simply because she carried the Leywalker trait. This fact would come to haunt her for the rest of her days, but at the time the lady was quite unaware, as well as deeply angry. Thus, she sought out one of the most renowned blademasters that she could find, as well as an elder ranger to teach her everything she wanted to know.
It had been a risk to do so, but her name got her through the door, as did her sheer passion and stubbornness. While much mellowed these days, near a millennia ago Miss Cere'thien Blackwood was a very different person, deeply intent upon taking something of her grandfather's immense and terrifying legacy for herself. She knew then that she could never lead, but at the end of the day it was the names of her many Blackwood kin on her mind, as was considerable vengeance against the Amani.
Training she received over the next thirty years was what would send her travelling through the ranger ranks - not quite actually Farstrider at the time as said proper organization did not come into being until centuries later - and pushed her swiftly into the place of a Second Lieutenant before her seventieth birthday. It would be swift to follow that the young woman, passionate, determined, and very skilled for her age, was granted a place in the field of Ranger Black Operations, which was a far cry from the cool and gracious mender she would later become.
Primarily, other than the Amani patrol that most of her kin tended to volunteer for, Cere'thien's place was the removal of semi-important political targets that made too many waves beyond the expected Thalassian status quo. One of the titles she was later known as in the political arena, Lady Greenweaver, was in fact originally bestowed on her as a call sign so that it would be clear which ranger was responsible in the end for what kills. While the number is unknown save by those directly involved, rumor holds that her marks numbered in the hundreds, and it is believed that by the end of her career she had managed to remove no less than three hundred unstable targets of various political and social rank, either with aid or as solo operation.
This was where she learned all that there was to know about poisons, how to craft them and ease them, and the reasoning as to why the arrows she makes are highly sought after, though getting the woman to speak of these roots even to those she holds dear is akin to ripping teeth from the mouth. Shooting, tracking, avoiding detection, torture and extortion all for the sake of the immense love of her people, and the respect of two men that she could never gain due their deaths.
She was highly skilled at her work, both public as well as jobs that were considered under the purview of a political operative, which followed directly in the footsteps of her grandfather before her. Eventually the woman's renown would gain her the attention of a powerful Ranger-Lord with the rare rank and fame equal to that of a Magister Patriarch, Kaeluriel Greyleaf, despite the fact that he was easily five centuries or more her senior.