Art by springs-forth-from-my-mind
Place of Birth
The Kingdom of Quel'thalas|
The SunguardThe New Horde
The Blood Knight Order (formerly)
The Dominion of The Sun (formerly)
The Knights of The Silver Hand (formerly)
The Grand Alliance (formerly)
Varric Highdawn (Father, deceased)
Thanidiel Highdawn is a former Blood Knight-Champion, Duskward of the Sunguard, Phoenix Guard of Silvermoon, and Kin'taris of Autumnvale. The soldier is well-known for her glib apathy, along with a brutal recklessness in combat that is tempered and refined by a cunning mind. Her utmost devotion is held to the Thalassian Kingdom above all and no person nor ideals is capable of shaking her resolve to perform her duties for Quel'thalas no matter how her banners change.
Thanidiel's visage is a fierce one, a cold frost hardens her eye and lips and a lifetime of scowls have deepened her brow into furrow. This natural look of aggression is made no better by scar-tissue reminiscent of twisted, gnarled, tree's roots etching out from around her right eye shining with a dull seagreen. The left eye is alight in a fel-glow intense even by the standards of the Sin'dorei
Below her right cheek is a fiery, vibrant sun that paints itself across right-cheek. Flames twisted with shades of summer and crimson lick at their bare surroundings. Within the center, and with the most loving detail, rests the icon of the Sin'dorei. On her left shoulder is the insignia of the Blood Knight Order in the darkest of crimsons.
Strength is apparent in this elf's form; something bred and nurtured over decades. Her frame is broad, the bones thickened and developed by the demands that heavy armour, weaponry and other equipment necessary to the soldier exerts on the back, shoulders, hip. A fair amount of muscle builds itself on top of this sturdy structure, pointing towards a good life of exercise - however, her diet does not appear to have been the best of late if the too-lean amount of fat layering over her body is any indicator. And, so too, does her skin build evidence towards a long-term soldier in her prime. Though not unmarred by scar tissues, it shines with a healthy, golden, pallour.
Surety and confidence thunders through her body-language. Years of drilling has instilled perfection in straightened, squared shoulderblades and proper march. At rest, still, she carries herself with an air of strong nerve; her head is one that always remains held high, inclined briefly only towards addressal, and her presence is one that is extended with an overbearing quality -- either you move or she moves over you.
Her hair of platinum-blonde is almost always hastily combed and twisted into a bun, the only loose locks of hair being the front of her hair, swept to the right. On the rarest of occasions when the whole mass is left down, it is curled and wild from the hours upon hours of containment.
At the core of it all, Thanidiel is a blistering heat. This soldier is brash and reckless: the first to incline towards violence, the first to raise her voice, the first to dig in her feet and jut her chin, and the first to lunge herself into any situation. Her energy is always active, always charging forward, and it shows in Thanidiel's drive and the overall intensity of her behaviour even at 'calm' - a blaze at constant.
At the same time, the Sunspear reins herself back heavily whether for better, or worse. So incongruent with her internal state, it molds Thanidiel's personality in a way that can only be described as tense and tempestuous, like an overheated forge with its hatch closed.
Where her words would lash out unto others, they bite terse unto empty air in a brusque and cutting shortness. Where her claws would rake, they pad incessant and aggravated in silent, foreboding, aggression. Where she would rage, she sparks and smoulders with brooding moods. Where the heat of her should lift and scatter into the air above, it weighs concentrated in obsessive and out-of-touch rituals. Where flames should coat, she detaches heavily from people and life in its whole.
In spite of this overwhelming impetuousness and distemper, the woman is not without her positives. Her spirit is indomitable in the face of anything, and her presence loyal and exacting in its consistence. Her mind is observational and acumen, digesting and analysing information under a strongly logical framework. Furthermore, there is a commanding charisma to the ex-paladin, and both trust and interest in her is often inspired within others.
At the end of it all, Thanidiel is a conflictful individual. It is easy to notate the woman as not quite of sound-mind as much as it is easy to identify her as someone intensely talented and bigger than life. Her (anti-)heroic archetype aside, discomfort is not an uncommon feeling placed alongside the whole of her affect. She borders and, often, crosses to-and-fro, of the fragile line between magnificently selfless rights - and unbearably pessimistic wrongs.
Early Life Edit
Summer, in the mountainous frontier of Quel'thalas, Thanidiel was born to the union of Varric, a career soldier in the Thalassian Army, and Celeverial Highdawn, a camp-follower who often provided laundering and tailoring services to Varric's unit.
True to the nomadic lifestyle of military families, Thanidiel's early life was one that never truly settled. Varric and his men often migrated under military command to reinforce or establish outpost, to combat the presence of bands of trolls or outlaws throughout the year. In the winter months, where Quel'thalas' glamour of eternal spring failed to reach its southern lands, they would move north to camp in the outskirts of Silvermoon and briefly reintegrate with civilisation. And as ice thawed from the rock of the mountains, new orders would lure them out into the frontier once more.
With no true permanency in her life outside of the blood-bonds of soldiers, Thanidiel was known well for a gregarious, charmful nature as a child, associating well with the comrades of her father, coaxing sweetmeats from friendly women in passing villages, and making the most of brief friendships when the rare encounter with other young Quel'dorei would occur. And as befitting a child of backcountry, a penchant for routine and hard work was expressed. Along with that, a budding talent in fighting when time came for her to learn the motions of self-defense. Furthermore, she took well to the stocky horses of the region and made a name for herself concerning her capabilities in camp early-on.
Ironically, in spite of her adventurous upbringing, by her fifteenth summer Thanidiel was struck by an intense wanderlust, having been attached to the same individuals by the hip for the entirety of her life. With little to her name than of sturdy tunic, a cloak of lynxhide and a trustworthy hand-and-a-half sword, Thanidiel broke one winter morning from the campgrounds of Varric's platoon to enlist herself into the Army.
The First Mark Edit
There, Thanidiel was immediately offered bed and ration, and quickly placed into basic training. A radical difference from her experiences on the frontier, Thanidiel learned quickly of this new culture of rank-and-file, to fight as a united host than as a wild militia. In this year of training, Thanidiel picked up a habit that remains constant to this day; a religious logging of her daily activities. At first, meant to be used to provide ample enough body to the letters demanded of her from mother, father and others of her previous life, and now a comfort derived from routine and organisation.
Her service following basic-training involved little action for some time. The organised battalions of Quel'thalas' more northern operations were used for little than as displays of intimidation; to loom over the townships of minor elven nobility when tax was less than imposed or when dispute led to the raising of private armies. When steady work came to her unit, it was usually in the form of building stone-roads from settlement to settlement. It took less than two years for the soldier to grow weary of the haughty, idyllic ways of the North and she latched greedily onto the opportunity to return to the excitement of the southern lands where the troll threat was ever-present, in the form of a call for new volunteers to assist Ranger-Captain Goldentree in the establishment of a new settlement, Oakbough.
A mixed force of Farstriders, infantry and civilians established themselves close to river where this town of 'Oakbough' would someday rise. Thanidiel, with her experience of the region and the logistical handling she picked up from the structures of larger military forces, was quickly assigned a fireteam and promoted to the rank of Corporal under Goldentree's command. Dutifully, they would range the lands surrounding Oakbough, warding away the trollish threat from nearby Zeb'Alor, bringing back the carcasses of dangerous beasts such as wild boars, assisting the populace in the gathering of food, lumber, et cetera.
Oakbough, in the first couple years of its inception, grew little with the exception of a family of elves from the region who sought protection behind its wooden stakes. The danger of Zeb'Alor proved to be a strong inconvenience to Oakbough and a strong source of contention between the Corporal and her superior -- the youth would mock him frequently for his choice of location for his future town to others and the two would argue fiercely at many councils over the situation of the troll threat. Thanidiel would advocate assaulting the settlement and sending the trolls scattered to the four winds, and the Ranger-Captain would refuse the risk of leaving Oakbough defenseless.
The Ranger Captain's combined authority and greater seniority in the Thalassian Military as a whole served as a check on the impetuous soldier and her fellows. Until one faithful night in which raiders from Zeb'Alor struck the Outpost. The squad of Farstriders patrolling the limits of the settlement's warehouse was slaughtered in the assault, along with the mother of the civilian family that had found its 'protection' behind Oakbough's walls.
Taking advantage of the chaos, Thanidiel made the first of her military marks here. The young soldier gathered a platoon's worth of incensed rangers against Goldentree's command and set out quickly at the tails of the triumphant Amani. Burdened by their haul and lazy on victory, the raiders had halted at the river's junction that had separated the two settlements to drink - and found themselves ambushed and quickly dispatched by the vengeful skirmishers.
From there, leaving Oakbough's supplies amidst the dead Amani, they set out for Zeb'Alor itself. Not daring to challenge the settlement itself with their fewer numbers, a plan was devised to spread the whole of the force around the village's perimeter and engulf it in arcane flames, too intense and too unnatural to be stopped in the blaze's inward advance. As the settlement burned, the Quel'dorei awaited in the forest's shadows to pick off those few that had managed to escape the annihilation until the eldritch power consumed all fuel there was to be consumed.
In the aftermath, the soldiers doubled back, resecuring the once-stolen supplies and striding into the walls of Oakbough with the heads of the enemy held high. Displeased and enraged by Thanidiel's disobedience, she received a demotion on the spot and letter was flown to Silvermoon's Military Command that dawn.
The consequences of her actions followed with a transfer to Phoenixview, one of the most distant, and isolated, outpost within Quel'Thalas' mountainous frontier. However, her boldness and aggression had found itself noted by those above. As 'punishment', she remained stationed in Phoenixview for the next ten years, remaining even in the most deathly of winters; building her reputation further as the Ranger-Captain present provided consistent commendation of Highdawn in feats of both daring and cunning against roving bandit-clans driven up from Eastweald, Amani excursions, heretical groups, so on.
Satisfied with what was essentially a trial issued to the soldier, she eventually received the order to return to Silvermoon entirely. There, she was promoted to Staff Sergeant and attached to a standing company of light infantry. Along with that, she was introduced to Ranger-Lord Revanien Starhallow, Patriarch of his House, fueling a great part of her early development.
Mentorship, Command, And An 'End' To Service Edit
The Ranger-Lord established himself as Thanidiel's mentor of etiquette and greater command, along as her connection to Quel'Thalas' higher society. Whenever possible, the young woman was paraded from gala to gala of the military aristocracy, often serving as an attraction of sorts to curious socialites and studious Farstriders who aimed to examine the rising outsider.
Under the elderly Ranger-Lord's informal education, the soldier not only began to insert herself more boldly as one of many rising stars in the Thalassian Military, but grew close to both Revanien as daughter, and to his child Renalays as, first, fast friend, and later, as careless lovers.
This period of learning and exploration composed the next three decades of Thanidiel's life. In its beginning, she reveled in the newfound world presented to her with its new culture and new mannerisms; towards its end, her restlessness stirred as she found familiarity under her heel more often than not. Furthermore, a weariness had cracked through the soldier's dams as undesired pressure grew from all angles to enlist into the Farstriders and annoyance twisted into her sides as she found herself reminded of the haughtiness of the North.
In those developments, the now-Second Lieutenant disappointed many who had their eyes upon her, and her fiery relationship with Renalays blazed itself into ashes. Still, Starhallow kept his faith in her potential, although the feud that had split between what was his and Thanidiel could not be ignored. For the first time in two centuries, the old Ranger-Lord roused from Silvermoon.
With young Highdawn under his wing, Starhallow engaged himself in the duties he had long-ago passed onto unproven Ranger-Captains. The whole of Quel'Thalas became their ground as they roamed from city to city, township to township, outpost to outpost - anywhere that possessed Military activity found itself inspected to standard, weeks to months taken after each examination to whip the local units into desired order.
Thus renewed the rash soldier's interests in the education being issued to her with its hands-on curriculum. In eight years' time, both sponsor and ward returned to the Kingdom's Capital. From there, after reconciling with Renalays, it became high-time for the woman to exercise herself.
For close to next century's half, Thanidiel Highdawn associated herself in the Kingdom's Southernlands, though not in the farther mountainous frontier of her childhood and early beginnings. First serving as staff-officer to her Captain then later rising to the position herself, her's was one of the State's many fists in exerting its presence and control where the presence of Silvermoon is often forgotten - the maintenance of State facility and order, along with the suppression of Amani and other undesired groups, was performed with zeal.
During this time, Thanidiel encountered a weaver by the name of Cayvia Rosevale in the town of her company's station. A long courtship and a longer relationship forged itself in this period: placid and calm especially in the face of the wildness that had composed her earlier union with Renalays. Loyal and grateful as the soldier was, however, the bond failed to receive earnest devotion from Highdawn and neglect laid at its roots. Still, comfort and genuine love was present, eventually accumulating in the soldier-bred's retirement from the Thalassian Military.
Firm in their future as one, the two partners purchased land on the outskirts of Emberbreeze Village in the mountainous lands of Thanidiel's childhood. From the soldier's hands rose the structures of their home as Cayvia later lit its hearth and enlivened its bones, Emberbreeze's people taking in both with little trouble.
They would spend merely two years in comfort.
The Second War Edit
As Quel'Thalas found itself in the warpath of Ogrim Doomhammer's Horde, Emberbreeze was one of the first to feel the axe's bite. A complete massacre of the entire village's populace occurred in the midst of one Autumn night, of which Thanidiel was the only recorded survivor. Fleeing from the village, the woman was secured by nearby rangers and taken to Silvermoon in the platoon's forced march.
Septic and on her deathbed, the former soldier would spend months within the Church of the Sun, healing from her extensive injuries, and grappling from the trauma of Cayvia's death which would cement into her memory for the rest of her life. It was this precise moment in the life of Thanidiel Highdawn that the idea of a true life beyond service was extinguished and declared as beyond her fate.
During this personal hell, a loneliness beyond all others gripped Thanidiel: Revanien had passed away by this time, her father deployed, her mother apathetic, Renalays, too, consumed by matters of warfare, and her dearest lover gone. She would struggle alone until word of her situation reached the ears of Venelas Sunblade: a childhood friend of her's and reservist in the Thalassian Military.
Always the more compassionate of the two, it did not take long for Venelas to find the time to visit the healing woman. And again, and again, and again. Venelas, steadfast, stood by her side for the remaining length of her recovery. A relationship, that should not have been, began its spark here in the depths of the traumas gained and the stress of their Kingdom's invasion.
Returning to Arms Edit
Immediately, though weakened from her previous prime, the woman called her short-lived retirement to an end once her benevolent menders had observed her physical progress and assured her of her ability to return to fighting. Quickly assigned N.C.O. in light of her earlier service and given platoon, Thanidiel would be associated with a battalion whose control, in good faith, would be passed to the Grand Alliance under Lothar's command.
Thanidiel would serve in Southern Quel'thalas, Alterac, Tol'Barad, and Blackrock Mountain alongside the Human Nations. Finally, when the fleets of Stromgarde and Lordaeron returned to their own shores, the soldier chose to remain in the Humanlands, intrigued by the concept of the Silver Hand and utilising a newfound fervour in the Church of the Holy Light as a fill-in for her grief over Cayvia.
Over the next thirteen years, Thanidiel would excel within the ranks of the Hand: all of her grief poured into the upholdment of the Light's tenets with the utmost devotion, and that same devotion fueling both her service to those around her and her Light. Here, she received an extensive education in not only the Church's teachings but of how to utilise a lance and cavalry combat amongst other Knightly necessities.
The Third War Edit
Tragedy, however, reared its head shortly enough into this new life with Lordaeron's plague crisis, all accumulating with the Fallen Prince's call to sack Stratholme for the greater good of the Kingdom she had adopted. In what Thanidiel continues to regard today as one of the greatest failures of her life, the once-paladin chose to stand behind the Prince than to renounce in the fashion of Uther and others.
With no joy, she committed her last duty to the Kingdom of Lordaeron, shattering her short-lived hope and faithfulness in the world around her. The ex-Knight had her renouncement then: to the Silver Hand, to the Holy Light, and to the Humans of Lordaeron. She deserted Arthas' forces as they pushed their ships off for Northrend and returned to Lordaeron City only to collect her few belongings within the City's limits. From there, she made for the long journey back to Quel'Thalas and Silvermoon.
Behind her eventually rose the Scourge Army under the Fallen Prince's command - swiftly gaining on her without her knowledge as they marched day and night for the Sunwell. Only days after she had passed through the borders of the two Kingdoms, the Scourge began to rip its path through the land's ancient forests and ancient peoples.
In the face of this atrocity, Thanidiel associated with the urban militias spreading across the limits of Silvermoon City. When the terrible genocide of Quel'dorei had rumbled to an end and survivors had gathered to the best of their abilities in a now-broken Kingdom, the woman found herself reconnected with both her father and mother, Venelas, and Renalays.
From there, her relationship 'bloomed' with Venelas and all persons absorbed themselves into the work of applying all the skills they could into Quel'Thalas' subsequent reconstruction. For Thanidiel, in particular, this led to organisation of labour-forces in physical construction of new public facilities.
Concerning the sickness of withdrawal that clutched at the souls of every elf in the Sunwell's destruction, Thanidiel was one of few to retain a measure of comfort due to a supply of mana from Renalays due to the other woman's position in the Magisterium. Later, when the gifts of fel were brought to Silvermoon, the soldier partook heartily and heavily, contributing to the intensity of her fel-taint today.
In the meantime, a relationship rekindled with Renalays as well and would unrightfully parallel alongside her's and Venelas' for some time; the ex-Knight unwilling to confess lacking affection for the man.
The Blood Knight Order Edit
Rising Phoenix Edit
When Rommath, Astalor, and Liadrin made the call to raise the Blood Knight Order, it was meek Venelas who took Thanidiel from the disrepaired Church of the Sun that had once saved her life and took them both to answer that call.
Here, in the Halls of Blood, Thanidiel proved herself to Quel'Thalas a second time. Fueled by the deep rivers of emotion caused by both her personal plight and her people's plights, the ex-paladin ravaged at M'uru's essence so fiercely at her initiation that she ripped away a tiny, broken, and twisted shard of the N'aaru itself, while many of her comrades agonised or even perished in the siphonings. The piece, to this day, lays within her and serves as the sole reason for her continued ability to channel the Light once more, to her lacking knowledge.
Slipping seamlessly into the new identity of the Sin'dorei, the new Blood Knight pushed through the fatalistic, and brutal, training suffered by the first generation of Blood Knights and served well as she did in any militaristic setting. In camaraderie with her bloodforged companions during the height of the Sin'dorei Cultural Revolution at this time, she tattooed the Order's emblem onto her upper-arm. Later, by herself, she gained her iconic characteristic of Quel'Thalas' crest upon her cheek.
As the rest of the Order worked to prove itself and its strength to a skeptical Quel'Thalas, Thanidiel was chosen to raise trickling recruits into Initiates into fully-blown Knights of the Order. Eventually, in nepotistic fashion, she was selected to serve as a Hand of the Inquisition to her companion Renalays, now dubbed Bloodhallow.
Darkened Sun Edit
For several years, her duty shifted from all of what her career had been, to sheer obedience. As Hand of the Inquisition, it was a duty of her amongst similarly ranked Blood Knights to serve their assigned Inquisitor in the removal of sedition and dissent towards Quel'Thalas' new directive and efforts.
This became another dark period of Thanidiel's life where much was asked of her, ultimately accumulating in an ever-more stony, apathetic, and inaccessible individual with growing tendencies of violence, cruelty, and ruthlessness already sprouted in the past two decades. Not only was she made to assist and perform torture of varying degree and methods unto many different types of people, but, for the first time, her sword was made to be drawn upon civilians. She was forced to be indiscriminate of any possible traits, and widely encompassing in that; her record including, in rare but present circumstances, to punish traitors by executing whole family lines to the last.
Eventually, a personal spat between her and Renalays concerning the deadened Knight's choice to halt her liaisons with not only an unfortunate Venelas, but with the Inquisitor as well, led to Bloodhallow's formal dismissal of Thanidiel from her position as Hand.
With the Blood Knight Order's obligation to its parent Magisterium resolved on Thanidiel's part, she was assigned to the greater efforts of the Sin'dorei in the Outlands.
Outriding for the Prince Edit
Thanidiel found herself assigned as an outrider for the Sin'dorei's and Kael'thas' efforts to colonise this alien world. Leading a small squad of light cavalry, they would spend weeks outside of the reaches of already-present Sin'dorei civilisation as they scoured Hellfire Peninsula, Zangarmarsh, and Blade's Edge Mountains for any possible regions that would support efforts of settlement.
This would be the most overwhelmingly difficult assignment of Thanidiel's career: dealing with the constant rationing of food and water, the wild, and deadly, climates and ecosystems of the Outlands, and its hostile inhabitants, all on top of the near-impossible objectives given concerning the deathly areas ordered to scour. To this day, the experiences suffered there affects her behaviors and preferences in the most little of ways. However, the challenge and 'education' of her almost-literal Trial by Fire is something also appreciated to this day.
This time of Thanidiel's life did not come solely with the positive lessons of the endurance of the body's protests. For it was this era that marked another characteristic of the Blood Knight's life - the loss of her right eye. Weeks away from the reach of civilisation in the deep swamps of Zangarmarsh, the woman was struck by infection in a naturally unhygienic environment of constant moisture and heat. So far from proper medical treatment and with insufficient supplies, the suffering eye was quick to go blind. Then the milky organ grew in shades of red, green, and further disorder as it swelled and swelled within her skull. Eventually, the corpsman, ill-experienced, was forced to hazardously remove the organ entirely in a shaking operation that would scar her face for life.
Failure and Betrayal Edit
Tragedy compounded itself in the Outlands as Thanidiel would eventually lead a joint operation with her father Varric to clear out a band of demons encroaching a new settlement's radius. The mission ended in disaster from an ill-suited play performed by Varric and his platoon and heavy casualties were suffered. This became the second case of a dear loved one within Thanidiel Highdawn's life dying viscerally before her eyes as she watched her father torn in two at the hands of a wrathguard.
The trauma of this along with the reawoken stress episodes originating from Cayvia Rosevale's death resulted in the command's withdrawal of Thanidiel from her strenuous service. She would be given leave and the woman returned to Quel'Thalas, neither speaking to mother nor old friends and instead fleeing to the southernmost mountains of her childhood in an isolation only broken by occasional supply runs.
When Kael'Thas' betrayal was brought into light by the Scryers and the nation as a whole moved against their Sun Prince at Netherstorm and Tempest Keep, Thanidiel would eventually return to civilisation and served throughout the whole of the Shattered Sun Offensive's objective on Quel'Danas as one of many soldiers that trimmed back the enemy tides as the Horde-Alliance strikeforce banished Kil'jaeden from Azeroth.
Thanidiel remained on the isle of Quel'Danas for some time as the Second Invasion gave way into the Scourge War - her duty, first and foremost, was to her people and their efforts to restore Quel'Thalas to its former glory, along with the necessity of pouring herself into constant work to wipe away the grief that had struck her again. Eventually, as efforts in Quel'Danas progressed, the Blood Knight found herself assigned to Northrend along with the Greater Horde her people had aligned themselves with during the launch of the Ashen Verdict's assault on Icecrown Citadel.
Though she did not participate in the Tournament to be selected for the strikeforce that slew Arthas, Thanidiel was on the ground as an infantry captain through the fields of Icecrown and the Citadel itself in the coalition's forward advance.
During this time, Venelas Sunblade would pass away in subsequent efforts of dismantling the remnant Sunfury forces in the Outlands. Thanidiel received news of this swiftly from her mother at home. Although Venelas' death was not as violent and grisly as other blows to the woman's psyche, guilt of her mistreatment of Venelas contributing to an ultimately isolated end for the man would plague her for the rest of her days.
The Great Cataclysm and Beyond Edit
As the Alliance-Horde War ignited in the aftermath of Azeroth's Shattering, Thanidiel was entrusted as one of many Blood Knights that would observe and 'supervise' the paramilitaries that, naturally, fell outside of the State's ever-present eye.
This resulted in her assignment to the rank of Exemplar under Knight-Lord Volanaro Ael'aran during Sovereign Tendael Sr. Dawnlight's command of the Dominion of the Sun. Thanidiel served as a hand of order, punishment, and correction within the organisation. Along with that, she marched under the Dominion's banner in many theatres from Dun Morough, to Northeron, Ashenvale, Arathi, Westfall, so the list goes on. So, too, did the woman associate herself with the short-lived Ashbourne that rose from the ranks of the Dominion: their purpose in the violent dismemberment of the Church of Holy Light in all forms. accumulating in several altercations between elf and Alliance.
Parallel to this, Thanidiel encountered a man of one millennium, known as Xelenias Xan'thos, who took a particular interest in her. After much curious observation, scrutiny, and digging, from the elder elf, he eventually approached Thanidiel with the prospect of their familial relation - a fact quickly confirmed by the magicks of a woman determined as her half-sister.
This led to a flurry of chaos within the world of Thanidiel Highdawn. To learn of her mother's adultery to a man beloved was earth-shattering and served as the final blow to any sense of care between the two women. Along with that, her private life became a haze of interaction with newfound family member after newfound family member.
However, this chaos was also short-lived as Xelenias had not only a selfish disregard for Thanidiel's father and mother, but for his own offspring as well. He disparaged his legitimate offspring left and right with the exception of her until eventually requesting to legitimise Thanidiel's birthright. Furthermore, he wished to declare her as heir to his House as well - impressed with her career and aptitude where others seemingly failed.
Her response was a prompt disassociation from Xelenias and the Xan'thos family entirely: in him, especially, all the soldier saw was the haughty ways both alien and despised by herself.
Shortly after Tendael Sr.'s death at the hands of Ashamal Shalah'aman, the State's eye veered away from a once-powerful organisation viewed as dying and Thanidiel's observation of Dominion came to a halt. For her excellence of service in the Alliance-Horde war, the soldier was trialed for the rank of Knight-Champion with success.
Duties to the Order Edit
From there, the Blood Knight would be stationed within Silvermoon itself. Her duties were encompassed under the title of Instructor once more. With her diverse service and the access to the Order's libraries of military treatises and weapons manuals, it became the Champion's duty for the next five years to educate the Initiates of the Order and to infuse them with the same zeal and strength that composed the very first of the Blood Knights.
This involved mentoring them where her expertise laid; mostly in weaponry of all sorts that would pass into the hands of these Knights, shieldwork, along with cavalry movements and assault, on the occasional times she was asked to assist in field-exercises for the Order.
Joining The Sunguard Edit
In the midst of the Third Invasion of the Burning Legion upon Azeroth, Thanidiel was released from her services as Instructor within the Blood Knight Order and allowed the status of Knight-Errant. Bored and itching from the period of time spent within the limits of the Capital City, her first action was enlistment into the ranks of the Sunguard.
Ill-content to remain idle for much longer even with the Guard's time of peace, Thanidiel demonstrated her bold ferocity in a flurry of victorious sparring challenges with her new fellows: from Ithanar Islesun, Kyranyx Ryther, Thinariel Farmight, and even the dreaded Cabal member known as Kaltaia Rainwood the Wildfire in the start of a tempestuous, yet short-lived, blaze of rivalry.
It was during this initial time that she forged many of her current bonds within the paramilitary. It was Esheyn Flamethorn who could be named the first of Thanidiel's friends; Ithanar, whose relationship grew from militant respect to the most loyal of bonds experienced by the soldierwoman; Ethalarian Dawnstalker, known as Shahin at this time, who could hold camaraderie with Thanidiel where none else could reach due to their shared experiences within the Blood Knight; Elleynah Stormsummer, who grew upon the Champion with her clumsy yet innate wisdom; and, lastly, Bricini Lightwing, a woman who launched into an almost-antagonistic relationship with Thanidiel in the course of a voluntary medical experiment concerning the rebirth of the Knight's decade-gone eye, who would eventually begin a romantic liaison with the soldier.
In time, the peace that Thanidiel despised would stream to its end. The Burning Legion rampaged throughout the world and it was time for the Sunguard to raise its swords and banners in its duty to not only Quel'Thalas, but the protection of their very world. It would be her first true deployment with the Sunguard in the fortress of Tyr's Hand where she made her true mark in the organisation.
As the Sunguard was forced to come to terms that the siege of this fortress would come in the exchange of Argent blood as hundreds of captives lined the walls, the woman conspired quietly as she followed the banner of Veleth Ashcaster within the cavalry division present. As the battle progressed; its projections did not bode well concerning how much blood would be needed to take the fortification. The Sunguard host lined the walls and where it had broken through with artillery fire and cavalry - it would be only be a short amount of time before their enemies would punish them for their clustered disadvantage.
Noting this, where the attention of battle focused all along Tyr's Hand's outer walls, the woman positioned herself and those under her command at the western bridge within the fortress where neither crossbow bolts nor cannonfire reached. In the next aching minutes, as the combined efforts of the Doom Glaive and Lovete Felraven brought down the inner walls protecting its Sanctum, the Blood Knight moved.
On the backs of their horses, her and the surviving platoon of soldiers at her back rushed through the fortress grounds past the dizzying hundreds of undead and Legion, leaping over debris and grand stairway as they made for where a Scarlet Standard was consumed by the necromantic energies responsible for the undead presence. Their gamble succeeded, and the Standard was claimed by Thanidiel before the enemy could take advantage of the tiny group of soldiers behind their overwhelming horde.
From there, her reputation for her suicidal recklessness in pursuit of any military objective was made evident and continues to sound loudly today.
Crisis of Silvermoon Edit
The Blood Watch Edit
As the Sunguard efforts against the demons came to an end with the defeat of Baal in the secret heart of the Dawnspire, Thanidiel found herself and her companion Shahin, unveiled then as deserter and war-criminal Knight-Lord Ethalarian Dawnstalker, assigned by the Blood Knight Order under joint-command with of Knight-Lord Arrodis Lightfury to an operation known as the Blood Watch.
The Blood Watch was a taskforce created for the specific purpose of maintaining the State's order over the Capital of Silvermoon during a rare Festival permitted in its tight limits to celebrate the joining of the Kingdom of Quel'Thalas with the Horde. Dutiful, Thanidiel was quick to assume her temporary role as one of three Knight-Commanders and reach out across Quel'Thalas in the conscription of several well-known, trained, and distinguished Blood Knights to fill the ranks of the taskforce.
However, dutiful and devoted as Thanidiel was, a fear possessed her that controlled and deliberated many of her actions during this time. The Knight-Commander did not see the reason for a simple guardforce to be spearheaded by, first, Arrodis, who, though largely unknown to the public, served as one of the most deadly and highly-prized hunter of sedition of the Order and its parent Magisterium, second, Ethalarian, war-criminal and former Commander of the Seventh Regiment in the more militarised branch of the Order, and third, herself, known for her similar background to Arrodis and war-hero under several banners of her time.
Thanidiel judged more to be afoot and she prepared accordingly in her militant selection of the Knights brought into rank-and-file before her. Her judgement proved correct as, before the festival even launched during the Feast of Winter's Veil, an arrest of political dissent was made by the Blood Watch of an Erilihn Autumnsong. Quickly, the news spread as crowds gathered at the doors of the Hall of Blood and violence, at the hand of Thanidiel herself, rang as friends of Erilihn attempted to force themselves into the building. It was there that the ever-present whispers against the iron fist of the Thalassian State rose in their frequency and volume.
Later, on the day of the festival itself, an assassination of the Forsaken Ambassador Lem occurred that shook the streets of Silvermoon and caused the multiple, unrestful, tempers hiding within the City to boil to life.
Dissentors organised in the darkness in numbers beyond ever before, Dissentors walked the streets proudly, created factions, marched to the footstep of State facilities. Wildfire sparked throughout not only the City, but the lands beyond. The Blood Watch was spread thin even under the resourceful hand of all three Knight-Commanders.
With the lacking resources of the straightforward and violent means of the Blood Watch, Thanidiel Highdawn would prove herself as the most political of the three Knight-Commanders and began the constructive of a deep information network of spies and citizens pledged to State, Blood Watch, or Highdawn herself. Furthermore, she engaged herself heavily with the citizenry and the overall ways of the City beyond the Hall of Blood. Through this, during the entire duration of the Crisis of Silvermoon, the soldier collected a deep, intricate, and full, web of all of the going-ons of the City in all corners of its limits to be used for the maintenance of order. She would keep this information beyond her fellow Knight-Commanders until her coming resignation.
A Broken Wheel Edit
Tensions continued to grow with the arrest of Elanya Skybourne at the hand of Thanidiel Highdawn, Velard Rainwood, and Koveth Silverdawn: a woman exiled and known as the leader of a faction known as the Reformists who desired to align their people with the ranks of the Grand Alliance once more. Coincidentally, Highdawn and Skybourne shared history due to being similar in age and growing alongside one another in past time as young military-stars.
Though knowing of Elanya Skybourne's innocence in the assassination of Ambassador Lem, Thanidiel would pin the crime upon someone she once admired. In the mind of the Knight-Commander, her concern grew more and more by the day that the 'allowance' of political tensions to roar throughout Silvermoon was a State ploy to permanently remove sedition from its domain. In the dim light of Thanidiel's mind, shaped by the Order and its Masters, she viewed her only course of action as to work to pin any possible horrors onto select scapegoats: Elanya Skybourne, along with Sanarissa Firewing and her band of those who wished for the return of the Sunstrider Line to its throne. In this way, if everything was fixated on only a few, if this brutal treatment fell, only and loudly, upon them, and also intimidated all those of questioning minds into silence... then only a minimal of elven blood would be ultimately spilled than the bloodbath she predicted if more and more were allowed to implicate themselves as time passed.
Thus, Elanya was accused and given the verdict of execution without trial. However, that would not be the end of that. The potential of Thanidiel's plans would not come to the desired light. The night before Elanya's scheduled public execution, a band of Quel'dorei would break into the city to free their imprisoned leader from the cells below the Hall of Blood. The Blood Watch, aware of their activity through the city, would move to counter them. And all hell would break loose.
The Blood Watch repulsed the Quel'dorei, but Arrodis Lightfury's cruelty infused within him by Magisterium shined. As the operation failed and these agents fled, the Blood Knight used his searing light to melt the whole of the Reformist Leader's wake and living body into a mass of gelatin and blood before the eyes of his fellows along with the Archon Telchis Truefeather.
The response was immediate. All individuals present with the exception of Velard reacted in the utmost horror. In particular, as the Archon Truefeather called upon the might of the Sunguard and invoked his status as Serdar within the Kingdom to place Arrodis under lawful arrest, his wife, Ellasha Truefeather, righteous and true, was the spark of the resistance against Arrodis' actions as she launched into combat with the man. Eventually, she would be followed by Telchis, Velard, and a distraught Erilihn Autumnsong, friend and second to Elanya, whose combined efforts all brought down the powerful giant and into custody.
In the meantime, Thanidiel's reaction amounted to a boiling over of all of the collected frustrations she held close to her heart.
Over the last two decades, a blackness had yawned and stretched over the Blood Knight's heart like the maw of a great, crawling, serpent as she had been asked, time and time again, to surrender her conscious in parts. In the past, this exchange of herself came at the price of isolated affairs justified by those surrounding her, and leading her, as actions needed for the continued health of the Thalassian Kingdom. Observing the mass-scale brutality, however, already unfolded and unfolding ever-more, the woman was now at a loss in how to possibly align these actions with her ultimate identity as a Guardian of her people. She had resigned herself to an ever-turning wheel of enacting evil upon others in the name of the State, yet, she had grown question with her time in the independent Sunguard, if such a thing was truly her inevitable, unbreaking, fate of her cards.
Furthermore, she found a depravity in the politicisms occurring all around her within this City. Familiar as she was with the existence of such things from her time with the Starhallows and her growing prestige within the Blood Knight Order, she had never actually set foot into such affairs until her time with the Blood Watch. The hysteria, the lying, the way elf preyed upon elf - all it accumulated in the swelling of a deep-seated hatred for all things urban and of Silvermoon.
Impulsive, and impetuous, as the soldier would always be in the face of everything, her immediate action over the roar of combat occurring below the City would be the announcement of her resignation from not only the Blood Watch Taskforce, but the Blood Knight Order as a whole. Not only that, but the former Knight-Commander, at that moment, would release all members of the Blood Watch conscripted by her hand from service; a body that comprised the majority of the operation.
From there, the ranks of the Sunguard along with members of the Reformist and Imperialist factions led by Autumnsong and Firewing crowded the underground halls of Silvermoon as Loyalists led by Selestra Rosevale and Purists spearheaded by Intheas Sunsmoke filled the Farstrider Square above, along with any other citizen to whom word of the events spread.
A mighty procession of the People, something unheard of in the recent decades of Silvermoon's totalitarian ways, began as Velard Rainwood and Thanidiel Highdawn dragged an unconscious Arrodis Lightfury from the depths below and all the way to the seat of the Sunfury Spire, where the Knight-Commander would be taken by Mannannan Felstrike.
Thanidiel continued to voice the hatred that swelled from her then, blaming the rabid people who had encircled like a wolf pack at the news of distress within the City; blaming the want of all from Magister to Labourer to suffuse the City, and Quel'Thalas as a whole, in turmoil in the sake of political games birthed from urban boredom. After that, being convinced to stay within Silvermoon than to flee from what is hated and after turning in all of her gathered information to the desk of Ethalarian Dawnstalker, Thanidiel retired from public view with Bricini Lightwing to emerge on the dawn, resolved anew.
From there, her participation in the Crisis of Silvermoon amounted in a flat-out personal war waged against Sanarissa Firewing and the Imperialists, amounting in their ban from the City's limits and charges of treason, along with several unveilings of many Imperialists amongst the Citizenry and Imperialist machinations, such as their means of information exchange underneath the State's eyes. This pronged assault by Thanidiel and the allies she had gained in the political game, would be one of the causes that contributed to the Battle of Sunstrider Isle between the radical, pushed-into-a-corner, Imperialists and those who wished to prevent the growth of their power.
Thanidiel also became something of a public hero in this time in which many of the factions, outside of the Imperialists, would flock to in need of direction or information. Knowledgeable as she was, she was quick to catch the words in the wind as they came and assisted Purists in the search of relics, Loyalists in the maintenance of direction, and the Reformists in her informing of a false alliance to end in betrayal as planned by the Imperialists, along with sources of potential harm to come upon Erilihn in the days that followed.
This was also the time in her life in which a secret deal was forged in contract. An ethereal information-broker taking advantage of the chaos approached the woman during this time in a meeting unbeknownst to all but them. There, an exchange occurred that benefited both parties greatly, but has yet to come to light to any other being of Azeroth's reach, even held away from the knowledge of Thanidiel's loved ones.
Lastly, Thanidiel made an appearance to the public during the organisation of a volunteer-force to bring down the threat of a necropolis traveling towards the Sunwell and breached one of its wings at the sides of the Reformist strikeforce. After that, and the ceremony afterwards hosted by the State in it's 'reward' of the honorable Blood Star to Thanidiel and all Citizens who participated 'for the good of Quel'Thalas' during its Crisis spurred by the machinating State itself, the former Blood-Knight retired entirely from the public to recover from extensive injuries suffered and to forge a new path from the rubble of her life's work.
A New Dawn Edit
Recovering from her injuries in record-time with the assistance of Taeonthrial Leafbinder's natural magicks within the Dawnspire Infirmary, Thanidiel eventually departed for an intensive training under Phoenix Captain Sunstorm to rise as a member of the elite Phoenix Guard - something determined worthy of her between herself, the Archon Truefeather, and his uncle, Izulde Netherstar, in light of her actions in past weeks beneath the Hall of Blood.
There, the woman was introduced to a rigorous mixture of trainings reminiscent to the trial by fire suffered by Initiates of the Blood Knight Order. Its only differences lied in the reduction of brutality suffered during her time with the Order, in which Initiate bodies thinned as spirits and bodies shattered, and in a Spellbreaker-esque treatment during this time meant to build a strong resistance of her body to spellcraft of many schools.
On her eventual return months later to the Sunguard, she engaged herself in the continued restoration of Quel'Thalas in efforts to reduce turmoil in Kris and Dawnspire, along with the reclamation of Esme Sunshard's lands of Embertree. The second part of a request brought long ago to the Archon Truefeather was fulfilled in this time.
In her departure from the Blood Knight Order, the woman still sought purpose, and still sought any means she could to serve as an ultimate protector of the People. Along with her desire to enlist into the ranks of the Phoenix Guard, Thanidiel Highdawn requested the appointment of Knighthood in the province of the Dawnspire. Observing the sprouting growth within the soldier, Telchis came to an acceptance of the matter.
She was given Autumnvale, then: a border-village at the mountainous pass that separates Dawnspire from the rest of Northern Quel'Thalas, in light of the recent death of its Besari.
The War of Thorns Edit
However, she would not be given time to evaluate the village and determine its direction with her new status in some time. It was during this time that the drums of war began to boom once more, and Sunguard's Dragon Company was associated with the Crimson Vanguard of the Warchief's Military in the act of conscription.
Thanidiel led a battalion of mixed-forces on the beaches and lands of Feralas, first, in the Warchief's will to secure the Blood of Azeroth as it erupted from the ground. Thanidiel established her name here to the Greater Horde as a whole for her impossible temperment and her strategic mind in the overwhelming tally of her victories alongside the other commanders present.
Though she would be permitted rest and the ability to return to Quel'Thalas afterwards, such peace was short-term before she was, again, called to the front of the Crimson Vanguard.
In the border dispute that raged between Alliance and Horde Thanidiel continued to lead with distinction, though the conflict would ultimately resolve in a bloody white peace that painted the whole of Ashenvale red. However, to her confusion, along with the Horde ignorant to the Warchief's plans - she would not be permitted to return home from here.
Instead, the woman was urged to keep her designations of the Crimson Vanguard at ready and at its peak as they were stationed inside of Ogrimmar. Then, the Horde massed under the Warchief and Saurfang's directive. And they marched in what is known as the War of Thorns, sweeping through Ashenvale which had already been scouted and broken by the Crimson Vanguard in weeks past, ravaging through Darkshore, and eventually igniting Teldrassil.
There, the woman participated with customary zeal as she was asked to rove along the edges of the Horde warmachine with a mixed force of Vanguard and fellows of the Sunguard - eliminating all opposition and symbols of the Kaldorei resistance and civilisation as it came onto their horizon
The Battle for Lordaeron Edit
But even after that, Thanidiel was not permitted to return home. The Crimson Vanguard as a whole was mobilised and sent swiftly to the Undercity in order to defend against the forward-assault of the Grand Alliance's retribution . Although determined in their defense of the Forsaken homeland, the Crimson Vanguard was eventually cornered in the walls of the Undercity, and the Orb of Translocation shattered by Thanidiel and others, in their 'last stand' against the Alliance as the main Alliance force met with its forward wing.
There, the Warchief blighted both Alliance and Horde indiscriminately before withdrawing her remaining army from the Undercity; leaving nothing but death and ruin for the Alliance. Thanidiel was now permitted to return to the shores of Quel'Thalas. She would do so silently, and speak not a single word to anyone on the atrocity seen during her deployment then.
Return to Quel'Thalas Edit
Thanidiel allowed herself a weeks' worth of rest once her Kingdom was now before her. After that, it was time for her to mobilise into action. Thanidiel immediately poured herself once more into the defense of Kris at the call of High Cleric Stormsummer and Phoenix Captain Itrius Sunshatter, determined to not only safeguard her Phoenix Guard comrades but a province of her beloved Kingdom - a chain of events that ultimately disheartened her as her dislike for Kris' leader, its Dawnbringer, came to reason as he banished the Sunguard from his 'new nation.'
Concurrently, she was finally able to march her army to Autumnvale. The army quickly established the village as its new home as did Thanidiel and both entities set to work.
Thanidiel has begun dealings with the nearby Goldsea to reopen the decrepit trade route through the mountain-pass that had fallen out of use between the troubles of both nation and Dawnspire. Furthermore, a tight regime of labor has been established on the army's part in the building of facilities, maintenance of village and its agriculture, along with the beginning of actions to address the bandit infestation of the westernmost Dawnspire. Along with this, Thanidiel has begun a program of refugee-labour in the province to work more swiftly on the rebuilding of Autumnvale and its Sunvalour Estate.
With her actions, thus-far, it appears as though the woman is preparing for war to soon reach the shores of Quel'Thalas according to predictions established by her witness of the Battle for Lordaeron; preparing for her own need to answer the coming call.
The names below list some of the most significant bonds that have forged Thanidiel's direction and time within the rank of the Sunguard.
Bricini Lightwing Edit
These two black sheep possess a relationship that thrives on the discordant. Loudly, on the surface, whether at home or amongst the Sunguard, their dialogue is hostile and keyed deliberately towards the other's distaste. Quietly, in the cogwheels of it all, the two revolve around each other in a private space that has grown rapidly in its intimacy.
Thanidiel considers Bricini a source of grounding and sensibility, as much as it has never been expressed by the soldier. Easily, it is also the Doctor that solely holds, of what is, the Phoenix Guard's version of adoration. 'Love' is not a word in this domain, but neither have proven resistant to the developments of their bond.
The elder elf holds the position of being the closest of Thanidiel's friends. Ithanar is the member of the Sunguard that Thanidiel would hold herself as to be the most open with. Their friendship is easygoing and transparent; the eye in the storm concerning the affairs around them at home and through Azeroth as a whole.
Though not as bonded on the field of battle as Thanidiel may be to others, there is still a deep synergy between the two when they do march together. Furthermore, he is who Thanidiel looks to the most for 'fun' - the two inviting each other along for drink at home or at nearby taverns frequently.
This woman is the first of the Sunguard to have forged a bond with Thanidiel. Quiet as their friendship is, a strong foundation still rests beneath their feet in the alignment of their goals for those around them, along with their overarching ideal - as much as the two's personalities clash on the surface.
Both found camaraderie first in their loyalty to the Blood Knight Order - then further in their mutual resignation from it. Now, they share ground in pursuit of the battlefield's objectives alongside their own. Furthermore, the presence of one tends to improve the confidence of the other.
As it stands, Elleynah is the member of the Sunguard's officer-core that has earned the most, and genuine, loyalty and trust from Thanidiel's standpoint. Though the least experienced of the core, the High Cleric balances it with an earnest wisdom and practicality at the heart of things. Furthermore, the easy inclination of the younger woman to place trust in the desires and purpose behind the Phoenix Guard's actions has led to a similar confidence approaching a wolfdog's docileness towards the Dawnmender.
With this connection, it is often Elleynah who the woman looks to in both the heat of battle and, often, to assist in resolving her moral direction outside of matters of war.
'Dawnmender Stabs' is one of Thanidiel's most steadfast companions on the field of battle under the Sunguard's banner. Akin in their singleminded, militant, purposes, and often along the same wavelength of determining tactic and strategy as they approach their objectives, it is only a natural development that the two, amongst their other companions such as Esheyn, Ameniel Shadowlily, and Sederis Emberheart, often take to actively working as one unit together with stunning success.
Their trust in one another, as well as the rest of their unofficial 'unit,' is paramount and unbreakable - although, this synergy does not necessarily come into their personal lives. The two are friendly, but not on intimate terms, especially as they tend to gravitate towards people the other would disagree with.