House Brightwing has been a long serving household in the Quel’Thalas, dating back to early records of the founding of the Kingdom. Former residence and land was located in southern Quel’Thalas, what is now the Ghostlands. The Brightwing family served under the High Kings of the Sunstrider Dynasty with loyalty and diligence.
Today, In’daras Brightwing, son of the last Lord, Zin’themar Brightwing, seeks to regain what power they once had. He has taken to recruiting sin’dorei from all walks of life, finding promise in those of particular skill. He is building a large group of arcanists, knights, politicians, and anyone else willing to follow him in his quest to regain power.
As records show, House Brightwing has an exceedingly short-lived record as a noble house of Quel’Thalas. The Brightwing bloodline, however stems back far longer to a time where family ties were little more than a gathering of close individuals, newly settled in the Whispering Forests of what is now Tirisfal Glades.
The eldest ancestors of the Brightwing bloodline were arcanists, much like any other family who can claim its heritage back to such times. But as life would have it, not all highborne could remain as arcanists. At least, not in such a way that society could function without crafters, tradesmen, politicians and educators.
And so it was that Brightwing blood stepped away from the heavy influence of the arcane and took on a more practical role. What exactly the eldest of these ancestors committed themselves to is unknown, but the prevalence of what is known as a ‘Magister Bloodline ’ is not manifest in their earlier histories. Instead, there are mentions of craftsmen, bowyers and fletchers and, later, military standings. Perhaps the latter is why many of the living members of Brightwing blood have found themselves serving in Quel’Thalas revered armed forces, as well as maintaining the run and keep of their noble estate.
The oldest account of a named Brightwing reaches back almost seven-thousand two-hundred years. The elf was named Aylodren Brightwing and he is mentioned amongst those who helped erect and empower the monolithic runestones that would both protect and hide the borders of newly founded Quel’Thalas.
Even if the Brightwing family had no true dabbling in the ways of the Magisters, they certainly seemed to keep their ties to such matters close, and their working knowledge of the arcane in the forefront of their minds. It is said that only the most skilled of arcane crafters were commissioned to work on such runestones and so we see, from the very beginning, the Brightwing name set itself integrally into quel’dorei society.
The Amani Wars
For several thousand years after the mention of Alyodren Brightwing, records of Brightwing blood becomes difficult to find, or scarce morsels of information that, for the most part, are wholly insignificant. Perhaps this is because as Quel’Thalas settled, much was peaceful for the high elves.
The Kingdom of Quel’Thalas was built upon ancient Amani land and for a time the troll inhabitants of what would become northern Lordaeron fought fiercely to protect their ancestral grounds. It proved to be for naught, however, as the superstitious trolls soon came to fear elven magic and fled back to their foothills. It would be many generations before they dared encroach on elven soil again.
And so peace returned to the elves, stretching for many long years. It is not until around three-thousand years before the opening of the Dark Portal that true record of a Brightwing can be found again.
Zelthis Brightwing was a metalsmith of some renown by this time. It is mentioned in the book, "The Killer Amani: A Novel of the Troll Wars" that many of Quel’Thalas’ border patrols were outfitted with blades and chain armor from Zelthis’ stock. Sightings of troll raids were becoming more frequent and the Troll Wars would soon be upon the high elven people.
When the wars began, Zelthis was not only outfitting several scouting parties throughout Quel’Thalas, but also had enlisted within the Elven Ranger Corps. The run of his metalworking trade he left in the hands of his son, Nyro.
As Nyro kept the trade going smoothly, with near constant supplies being doled to the elven combatants, Zelthis ventured south, to the borders of what are now the Alterac Mountains. It is here that human and elven forces combined, in the very first show of alliance, and would fight back the rampaging trolls.
Zelthis was placed within the Ranger Corps’ Falconcrest Sixth. A closer look at what records are available of that particular regiment can be found in the archives in Sunfury Spire.
|Journal of a ranger from the Falconcrest Sixth:|
On the nineteenth day of bitter fighting, Ranger-Captain Ereon Silversun was felled in combat, taking several arrows to his chest and naval. Casualties within the regiment left a Zelthis Brightwing to take command of what remained.
Brightwing, a proven smith, was not a proven soldier. Nevertheless he continued into war with a surprisingly tactical mind and a tenacity to overcome what several lesser elves may have not.
By the end of the Troll Wars, the Falconcrest Sixth were only five elves in total. However, they had placed their mark on several battlefields, aiding elves and human alike. Zelthis is most notably recognized as a fair commander who put aside petty differences of elven-kind and the more primitive humans, and it is claimed by some that this trait led to the survival of the regiment.
When asked of his own role in the Troll Wars, Zelthis Brightwing says only this:
“What elf dare give weapons to others that he is too afraid to use himself? I sought to lead by example, and that I have done. May High King Sunstrider find my service to his Throne well…”
As it would happen, Anasterian Sunstrider commended his service, along with the service of a score of other notable warriors who fought in the Troll Wars. To Zelthis, the King gave the title of Lord, and allotted a substantial plot of land in southern Eversong Forest to claim as his own.
In comparison to other larger houses with deeper roots, these new lesser nobles held small plots of land with meager wealth. Nonetheless, they held the High King’s favor, and had their place within the courts of Quel’Thalas.
Zelthis and his son continued their trade, extending their reach to the private militias of the noble courts. The fledgling House Brightwing earned a reputation for respectability and hard work. Off the sweat of his own brow, Zelthis’ legacy unfolded.
It is a curious thing, how many of the freshly founded lesser noble houses survived within the political climate of the High Kingdom. They had to be extraordinarily graceful to the common folk they left behind, some of whom saw their elevation as an unfair treatment, as well as treading a fine line between pandering to the wishes of the larger, wealthier noble houses without appearing subservient.
Two of the so-called lesser houses stood out particularly well at playing these games. House Brightwing, which maintained a respectable reputation amongst both the noble courts and with the common people. The one other house to manage this particularly well was House Morningbough.Like the Brightwing nobility, House Morningbough saw fit to continue strong trade as a way of profiting both common and noble elves alike. Their work of mineral farming naturally complimented that of Brightwing’s metalworking trade and it was not a fact that went unnoticed.
Nyro, once grown to socially acceptable adulthood, was the first to make the proposal of an alliance between Brightwing and Morningbough. The concrete reasons why this alliance was sought as necessary appear to have been lost, although through various other sources speculation can piece together several possible reasons.
The most striking seems to be that both House Brightwing and Morningbough sought to be taken more seriously in the political sandbox of Quel’Thalas’ upper courts. It is not unknown that the old houses treated the lesser houses with common courtesy, but little more. Ties were difficult to make and based around good trade but not good company. It is, for example, intensely unlikely that House Brightwing has any mention of consequence in any of the records held by House Windrunner. In comparison to one another, Brightwing simply paled into insignificance.
It is noted, however, in the remaining minutes of convocation meetings from that era that both House Morningbough and House Brightwing were vying for more recognition from the Sunstrider Court. It is also noted that due to their size and comparatively small wealth, there was little room for them to maneuver. It would be some generations before such requests could be taken seriously.
So it was that Nyro Brightwing and Cyllien Morningbough came to an accord. When the time came that either house bore offspring of the opposite sex, they would be courted from an early age and married at the soonest convenience. The marriage would join both houses, creating a larger more solid position in Quel’Thalas.
It was a risky proposal for both parties, as whoever bore a daughter to their line would in essence lose the name of their house, swallowed and dissolved into the son’s bloodline and name. Still, the relations between the families were such that these things were taken with a grain of salt and naturally, both families assured one another, they would be glad to be under one banner, of whichever name.
Another generation of sons would pass between the time House Brightwing and House Morningbough seeded offspring of the opposite sex. Nyro Brightwing would not see his agreement fulfilled, taken by the passing of time.
As it happened, it was the Brightwing family who bore a son, Zin’themar Brightwing, with the Morningboughs giving birth to a daughter named Elara. There were not many years between the children and from the outset of their lives they were pressed into constant company of one another but at the same time chided for becoming overly familiar. The diary of Elara’s nanny can be found in the Sunspire Archives (see below to read the information).
|An Old Diary Page|
|The two of them are near inseparable. I cannot tell if this bodes well for the futures their ancestors bound them to. The love that blossoms between childhood friends rarely leads to the love of romance. I fear Elara will grow unhappy with her suit as she ages.|
These fears seem to have been shared by both sets of parents and when they came into their adolescence, many small plans were contrived to keep them apart. Elara was sent to a musical academy on Sunstrider Isle which took up much of her time in the pursuit of the Thalassian Emberstring Harp while Zin’themar was pressed into understanding both his legacy as a weaponsmith and learning to deal with the family finances.
Their relationship became more cordial and yet, as predicted, a spark of romance was produced. Although constantly chaperoned, the two were encouraged to court at the noble gatherings. Thankfully for both families the young elves appeared quite enamored. It wasn’t until Zin’themar and Elara came of age that the arrangement of their marriage was revealed to them both.
Neither elf took the agreement well. It was not that they did not love one another. Elara felt the weight of dissolving her family’s legacy heavily, believing she was unfairly tied to pacts made by long dead relatives. Zin’themar, kind and full of heart, shared her plight, not wishing to overtake the Morningbough estate for mere political gain. If he were to marry Elara, it would be for love and nothing else.
Their stubborn behavior sent a true threat to the stability of both the lesser houses. Tempers soon frayed and the long standing alliance between Brightwing and Morningbough became well documented in the circle of court life. For a time, neither Zin’themar nor Elara would back down on their stance much to the rue of their households. It was not until Zin’themar drove a hard and daring bargain that circumstances began to smooth out.
Here, edited to be succinct, are the terms Zin’themar laid down for his marriage:
|Zin'themar's Official Declaration to Nobility|
For the merging of House Brightwing and House Morningbough my requests are simple. We will leave what estates we hold now and join under the Brightwing banner in new dwellings, brought from our hard work and perseverance; a spire of our own within Silvermoon City’s great walls and a woodland estate, far to the south near peaceful Tranquillen.
The old estates of House Brightwing will be seeded to those who need it most – the hard working laborers of Quel’Thalas. There are many who live with more rights to be Lords and Ladies of the land than we, for what have we done but live from the legacy of our ancestors? All of the Brightwing holdings will be given back to the quel’dorei. Our staterooms will become places of learning. Where we took leisure and rested, others will strive to better themselves. The Brightwing Spire will be gifted to the Ranger Corps as a new foothold from which they can protect our lands. Lastly, the house of my father and his father’s before him will become an archive, first keeping the lore of Noble House Morningbough and then expanding to a rich suppository of knowledge for all. In name, they will be Brightwing no more but rather they will carry on Elara’s legacy. The Morningbough Academy, the Morningbough Retreat and the Morningbough Library.
I will marry Elara for I love her. I will not let her family heritage go to waste.
Zin’themar expected his proposals to be met with rage and fury. Instead, they were met with tears of relief and jubilation from both houses. Here was a good elf of true Brightwing stock, strong principled and devout to that which he loved. He made Elara proud to love him and her family joyous to accept his name. As to the original agreement, Morningbough merged with Brightwing and from their new estates their wealth and power grew.
Were it not for looming wars, it could not be said what influence Zin’themar and his wife may have gained.
When Elara fell pregnant, none would have suspected she carried twins. Birth amongst elven kind is rare to begin with. It is almost unheard of that twins are born to a family. Even so, Zin’themar fathered them, two sons. Alaris and In’daras Brightwing.
The twins grew up in a time of peace, before the great wars that were to plague Azeroth. Their father’s house was still settling its foundations as a true power within quel’dorei society, and Zin’themar was strongly against forgetting the values of his forebears as respectful traders and craftsmen. The children were not spared the hardships of a more common birth but were neither unfairly treated for their station. They had much the best in education and entertainment, whilst at the same time they learned how to earn their enjoyment.
As Zin’themar’s son, Alaris, came of age Zin’themar was met with a proposition from Lord Krenthos Dawnseeker. House Dawnseeker shared many of the same political views as the House Brightwing, but was still among the lesser houses. For Feynna’s hand in marriage, the Brightwing estate could again merge, taking over many of the Dawnseeker holdings and sharing their wealth and courtly status.
Zin’themar, who had himself been uneasily arranged into marriage, at first disagreed with the proposal. However, when civil disputes pushed through Quel’Thalas unexpectedly and much of the Brightwing’s southern woodland estates were lost to fire and fighting, Zin’themar and Elara conceded with heavy hearts that a joining of houses may be what was best for their children.
Feynna’s opinion on her arranged marriage remained distinctly nonchalant. She seemed neither upset nor pleased by the prospect. If anything, Alaris, a close friend of Feynna’s since childhood and full of charm and spirit seemed more excited than she.
Twin brother In’daras drew away from the prospect, however. His meetings with his twin became more and more scarce but there were never any reasons given to why it was the young elf detached himself. Even within what remain of his family records it simply states that In’daras became “busy”.
Accounts of Feynna’s mood, however, tell her of becoming sullen and withdrawn suggesting that she did in fact resent the prospect of their joining more than she would openly express.
After a few years of reluctant courting, Feynna finally succumbed to Alaris’ charm and the two married. Centuries passed and hostilities began to brew between the twins. Rumormongering suggested that In’daras and Feynna had a history together, long prior to her arranged marriage to Alaris.
Destruction of the HouseEdit
Ultimately, the fretting over such things proved needless. Nearly three thousand years after Zelthis Brightwing was granted his lands, the Razing of Quel’Thalas would destroy House Brightwing.
The Scourge attack is well documented. Little was left standing of the High Kingdom and many elves lost their lives in the bloody battles.
Like his ancestors before him, Zin’themar took up blade to repel the invaders. Alaris, too, wished to help although his father forbade it. The elf was to be his heir. It was his duty to protect his family before anything else.
Zin’themar fought bravely to save Quel’Thalas as his family sheltered to safety. These are what are recorded to be his final moments, in the anonymous diary of a survivor, (read below).
|Anonymous Diary Entry|
When I found Lord Brightwing, he was still breathing but badly wounded. The vast forces of undead had long since moved on from this part of the woods and what remained living was few and far between. I knelt beside him, taking the hand of a man who had done much for my family. My own daughter attended Morningbough Academy with his children and it pained me to see its benefactor reaching hard for breath.
He asked me if his family had lived. I could not lie and said simply that I did not know. He smiled kindly, and thanked me that I did not lie to him. Then he asked me of the Morningbough Legacy, and if his beloved wife’s memories had survived the battle. It had not and with the realization that much of what he had worked for and loved had been lost, Zin’themar Brightwing let go, wishing through wet, rasping breaths that his wife would know how much he loved her, and that his twins may live long and happy lives, just as he had always intended.
The Brightwing estate was left in ruin. Most of its members, family or otherwise were killed during the Razing. Others separated entirely following the event, leaving for cousins in Dalaran.
Elara, stricken with grief at the loss of her husband refused to leave the elven woodlands where he was buried, finding a small house to live out the rest of her days. Her wealth and status were gone, lost and meaningless in a fresh new era.
The twins stood bravely in the face of destruction. Caring for all they had left, they both joined organizations to empower themselves. Alaris relinquished his title to his younger brother and joined a newly formed Blood Knight Order, seeking both vengeance and protection against any possible future, while In’daras joined the Magisters to help rebuild what was lost.
Neither was particularly talented to begin, but as with all desperate times, they learned fast. Perhaps it was the bloodline of Zelthis within them that drove them to succeed as specialists in each of their realms.
In’daras passed much of the coin he earned as a magister back to his mother, whose health diminished over the years. Alaris was far more reckless than his brother and pushed himself harder and further in the name of vengeance. He met his match on the battlefield, his mind nearly destroyed through vile Scourge magic and his body left for dead.
When he was recovered, wounded and delusional, he was removed from active service. The damage he had sustained made him unable to tell reality from his own terrifying fiction. For this safety, he was put back into the care of his mother, leaving In’daras alone and the sole heir to a destroyed inheritance.
The novice Magister did not cope well. Much was lost that seemed overwhelming to regain. The following years of strife on Azeroth made things no easier. By In’daras’s own admission, he neglected much of what he could not cope with (read public admission below).
|Record of In'daras' public admission|
|“It is difficult to pick up the pieces of a lost life. Change can sometimes be fearful and daunting. I will not pretend I am not ashamed of how I left my brother in solitude, or how my poor mother became neglected in place of my duty to war and politics. I will also not pretend that I will sit by and do nothing more for my father’s legacy. My brother is recovering, once again in my care. With him we will build everything up once more. House Brightwing was once something to be proud of. My father made it so, as did our ancestors. I will not be the one held responsible for our downfall.” - Said by In'daras Brightwing during convocation in the Court of the Sun.|
Known Brightwing BloodEdit
Below is a list of known members of House Brightwing.
- Aylodren Brightwing (Presumed member from ancient past)
- Zelthis Brightwing (Founder of Noble House Brightwing)
- Lerysa Brightwing (Wife to Zelthis)
- Nyro Brightwing (Son of Zelthis)
- Tealiah Brightwing (Wife of Nyro)
- Galadon Brightwing (Son of Nyro)
- Morna Brightwing (Wife of Galadon)
- Merran Brightwing (Son of Nyro)
- Deredra Brightwing (Wife of Merran)
- Zin'themar Brightwing (Son of Galadon)
- Elara Morningbough (Wife of Zin'themar)
- Anador Brightwing (Son of Merran)
- Novela Brightwing (Wife of Anador)
- Er'danas Brightwing (Cousin to Zin'themar and Anador)
- Alaris Brightwing (Son of Zin'themar, Noble Heir)
- In'daras Brightwing (Son of Zin'themar, Reagent Lord)
- Athanior Brightwing (Son of Anador)
- Carexi Brightwing (Daughter of Anador)
- Sanarial Brightwing (Daughter of Anador)
- Zaethin Brightwing (Son of Er'danas)
There has been speculation that Ranger General Hauldron Brightwing is a descendant of Aylodren Brightwing. This is unproven, and no records exist to placate this speculation.