Lieutenant Commander of the Gilnean Military
Owain Chesterhill†, grandfather
Lieutenant Commander Aeliren Chesterhill (January 30th, 1115 F.A. - Present) is an officer in the Blades of Greymane regiment of the Gilnean Military hailing from the port town of Keel Harbor in the Kingdom of Gilneas, along the southern coast of the Headlands. The last descendant of the House of Chester, he was elevated to the position of Baron of Edenford in the Ashen Coast by Lord Berenal Grayblade after his lineage was revealed, although he chose to keep his own surname instead, forming the House of Chesterhill.
Aeliren's life had its ups and downs, but was still a rather easy one even in his circumstances. Despite his poor poverty upbringing, his lineage had noble roots, roots that had been lost in time for centuries, leading them to live commoners' lives. Despite that, both of his parents worked hard to raise him and his sister.
Aeliren was born to Sebastian and Elisabeth Chesterhill in late January of the year 1115 of the Aderician Calendar in the coastal town of Keel Harbor. Although he was born several years before the construction of the Greymane Wall, he never had any experiences outside Gilneas. His father was a shipwright turned soldier following the erection of the Wall while his mother worked at the local inn. He had a younger sister, Emily, who was born a few years after him.
Life in Keel was rather easy for the Chesterhills. Sadly, for it to be so easy both parents had to work long and hard, all week long. Due to the construction of the Greymane Wall, Aeliren's father was put out of his work as a shipwright, and instead enlisted in the Gilnean Military. Thus, his father was not usually home.
The Northgate RebellionEdit
When the Northgate Rebellion struck, Keel Harbor was one of the towns that harbored rebel sympathizers. Now in his mid-twenties, Aeliren was amongst those who sympathized with Lord Darius Crowley's cause, motivated by how the Wall cost his father his occupation due to the closing of the ports. This put him at odds with his father, who despite being forced out of his job remained a loyalist, leading to a falling out between the two and Aeliren leaving to join the rebels. Lacking any sort of military training at the time, Aeliren was forced to rely on his wits and guile during the fighting, though he became an effective fighter, slaying several loyalists during the course of the civil war.
Aeliren later participated in the march on Gilneas City, though after Lord Crowley's incarceration he silently slipped away with many other rebels and went into hiding, returning to Keel Harbor in secrecy.
Of Wolves and CorpsesEdit
Curse of the WorgenEdit
Time passed and tensions went down following the end of the rebellion as the curse of the Worgen swept through the lands, becoming more of a threat. One pack had left the Blackwald and managed to reach the Headlands, cutting them off from the rest of the peninsula.
The real danger, however, wasn't the Worgen themselves. The serial killer known only as the "Starlight Slasher" was lurking around, and it eventually made its way to Keel Harbor. One night he was out in the streets he came across a gruesome scene in an alley: his father, who had returned home on leave and whom he hadn't seen or spoken to since leaving to join the Northgate Rebels, lying heavily mutilated and bleeding to death with a hooded figure standing over him. The figure, one of the members of the Gilnean Wolfcult, quickly escaped the alley when Aeliren drew his pistol on it, leaving the young man with his dying father. Though he attempted to bring his father to a healer, there was not enough time, and Sebastian faded away slowly, using his last words to reconciliate with his son.
Fall of GilneasEdit
Mere weeks later, a Forsaken scouting group was sighted near Keel. The Greymane Wall had fallen, its defenders dead and many raised as those they fought against. Even with the destroyed bridge, they attempted to raid the town. Aeliren joined the rest of the town militia as they fought back, arming themselves with some of the rebels' supplies from their storehouse in town and successfully pushing them back. However, Aeliren's sister mysteriously disappeared around that time, and has been missing since despite Aeliren's greatest efforts.
During the final battle, what was left of the militia held off the Horde in the outskirts of Keel Harbor, taking them on what was to be a suicide mission to hold them off while another group assaulted the gunship covering the river. Expecting more undead, Aeliren was surprised at the sight of orcs, of which he had only heard from in stories about the Second War. Worn, tired and wounded they held the line against the orcish wold riders and their machines alongside their new Night Elven allies. The handful of militiamen left were the last ones to board the ships, retreating to Keel Harbor after the gunship was destroyed.
After a few minor incidents during the trip, the Gilnean refugees arrived at Teldrassil, the World Tree grown by the Night Elves. Despite the elves' hospitality, Aeliren didn's tay very long, and took the first ship to Stormwind in search of work. Working oddjobs to pay the bills, he stayed in a dingy home in the slums until news reached him that the Blades of Greymane were recruiting. Ironically, despite having fought in the Northgate Rebellion a few years earlier he rallied to the cause of Gilneas and enlisted as a recruit a few short days later.
Rising Through the RanksEdit
Upon enlistment, most of the time he spent in the Blades was abroad, outside of Gilneas. During his time as a recruit, the Blades were based out of the small town of Surwich in the Blasted Lands, but when news from Silverpine that Pyrewood Village was rebuilt reached them, they quickly packed up and left to travel there after dealing with a small ogre threat.
Pyrewood was first sieged and destroyed by the Forsaken sometime after the fall of the Greymane Wall, but now that it was rebuilt they used it as a base from which they fought against the Forsaken in the forest, even reaching to attack the undead in the Hillsbrad Foothills. Through the battles he fought and for his devotion and services, he was promoted to the rank of corporal.
The Bulwark was a coalition of Alliance orders including the Blades that banded together to fight as a unified front on neglected fronts against the Horde. Based in Ironforge, and later Shadowfang Keep, the orders met every once in a while, sending delegates to represent them to decide which fronts they were going to prioritize.
The first of these campaigns was in Northrend, where they fought Sunreaver stragglers and Horde forces that were trying to evacuate them. By this time, Aeliren had reached the rank of captain, and was often present along with other Blades members at the meetings.
Return to GilneasEdit
The Bulwark came to an end sometime after the Second Battle of Andorhal, during which they managed to retake most of the city. Aeliren received a field promotion to the rank of major sometime between the fighting in the city, shortly before he joined the forces defending the nearby Felstone Field, which came under attack from Forsaken forces. A large number of horsemen swarmed the field, and the Bulwark forces spread out to defend the area.
During the fighting, Aeliren successfully hijacked a Forsaken steed from one of the attackers, knocking him off of it while taking the reins, and fought the rest of the battle from the saddle. Surprisingly, he managed to keep it alive until the final battle in the Horde-controlled district, where is was put down by enemy forces mid-battle. Knocked off his horse, he finished the battle on foot.
This was the unofficial end of the Bulwark, as they slowly fell apart and orders disbanded. Before their return to Gilneas, they received troubling news from the Ashen Coast in southern Gilneas. Arriving in the Ashen Coast, it was revealed that the town of Gregor's Crossing had been taken by a mercenary gang, and that Lord Xavier Gregor was dead. Joining with the forces under the deceased lord's son, Lord Adrian Gregor, the Blades made their way to the keep, which was occupied by the undead remnants of the forces that defended Gregor's Crossing.
Aeliren was present for the battle, fighting against those who were once allies, and was present for the defeat of the undead Xavier Gregor. After having retaken the fort, they marched into town after separating into three groups. Aeliren, as part of the High Commander's group, helped reclaim the main estate and a few houses and fought at the docks, pushing the remaining mercenaries out of town.
Encounter with the BlightedEdit
Returning to the Blades after the Second Range Rebellion, Aeliren was involved in the investigation in the ruins of Ashwood and in the retaking of Belfin. He later followed the Blades during their excursions into the Blightlands of the Northern Headlands, assisting with the retaking of the Dredge Road and the Blight Fields. During an encounter with a great blight monster, he was afflicted by the blight along with the others present, and only the timely arrival of Yim'nir saved them. His right hand remains scarred and blackened to an ash-like color from the events of the day.
Elevation to BaronEdit
Discovering that he was directly related to the believed defunct House of Chester, Aeliren was granted his forbearers' lands and titles. Choosing to keep his own surname, he formed the House of Chesterhill and now seeks to restore the Barony of Edenford and its holdings from the major cartel that has overrun it. Fort Gaelik was restored under him to serve as the Blades of Greymane headquarters in the Range, and he was named the Range's regional Blades captain.
Missing in ActionEdit
With the onset of the Legion invasion, Aeliren fought on the Broken Shore alongside the Blades and the Ebonguard. When forced to fall back, he helped hold the beachhead following the destruction of High Admiral Crestdown's flagship, escaping the Legion with a close call.
Returning to the home front following the disastrous defeat on the shore, Aeliren assisted in the defense of the Ashen Coast against the Legion invaders under Azikal the Decimator. In the final showdown between Azikal and the Blades, Aeliren joined the strike team that entered the Spear of Decimation's command center to disable it. Trapped inside as it attempted to warp back to the Black City, the vessel crash landed on the Broken Shore. Though all of those who entered the command center survived, all methods of communication and transportation have been disabled, leaving them stranded in hostile territory, trekking through the isles until their eventual rescue.
Formerly allies of the Ashen Coast, Cyrvall had retracted from the Duchy shortly after the Invasion of the Grip. It was soon found out that the House of Jartya had been the mastermind behind the Blades of None, and had thrown his lot in with the Burning Legion. In response, the Blades and their allies set sail for the island to put an end to Oswald Jartya and his demonic allies. Bombarding the port city of Radiance, the Blades and their allies made a foothold on the island, and made contact with the House of Mournholde, whom they were former enemies with.
Making their way towards the mountainous region of Dawncrest, where a powerful spirit had been sensed, they arrived only to find that the whole town had been destroyed, crushed by an avalanche that by all evidence had fallen suddenly. Climbing the mountain, they found the spirit Hod, who was being held captive and tortured by the Legion, his screams of pain having inadvertently caused the avalanche. Freeing him and his children, Hod bestowed his blessing upon the Blades and sent some of his children with some of their members as thanks.
The Blades later engaged the Legion troops guarding the last gateway at Exalt. Aeliren himself arrived on the field of battle later than the rest of the Blades, just in time to destroy the Legion leader, who had gorged himself full of fel magic to the point of becoming extremely bloated and volatile. As the Legion forces fell, the town's population began to come out. However, as they approached the Blades they revealed themselves to be Legion in disguise. Two waves had duped the Blades in this manner before a third wave of civilians left the town again. Though hesitant to let them pass after having taken several injuries, ultimately, the decision was made to let them through, revealing them to be normal civilians who would've been otherwise butchered.
Finally besieging Skybreak, the Blades ascended to the Jartyas' seat while the dwarves of Dun Agas took the city. Outside Oswald's room, the Blades fount his sister Crystine, who attempted to convince them to let her rule. Several were doubtful of her intentions due to her previous support of her brother. The Blades then entered the room only to find Oswald dead on his throne, having committed suicide through poison. However, due to an inability to accept the Blades' victory, as well as an immense lack of tact involving what to do with Oswald's body, Crystine also killed herself with a knife. The incantation that took place with her death formed an amalgamation from the souls of the two siblings, taking on a draconic form that attacked the Blades.
After the Jartyas were finally put to rest, it was discovered that the dwarves of Dun Agas had led a massacre in the city, resulting in the deaths of both military and civilians alike. The revelation shocked several of the Blades. The House of Mournholde assumed control of the island and the Blades left, leaving behind a ravaged island won through pyrrhic victory and ruthless pragmatism.
The parallels to the aftermath of the Northgate Rebellion were not lost upon Aeliren. Though the only major decision he had been involved in was the bombardment of Radiance, he still felt responsible for what had taken place on the island and resolved to never have such a situation happen again.
Following the campaign in Cyrvall, the Blades' aid was requested by the Sons of Strom, a Stromic military order based in the Northfold Peaks. Under siege by the Legion, the Stromic forces under Marshal Heinran Chapman were rallying every able ally to their cause, which included a contingent of Wildhammer clansmen, as well as members of the Syndicate remnants. The Wildhammer and Syndicate were opposed as to which target to attack first, and the Blades were asked to break the tie, choosing to push towards the trolls of Jintha'watha at the displeasure of the Syndicate.
Thanks to the admirable defense of Trollslayer Point by the Sons of Strom stationed there, the Blades Inner Circle were able to circumvent the outpost in its entirety, leaving Blades soldiers to engage the trolls with Captain Daniel Geritain while they and the Wildhammers assaulted the heart of Jintha'watha. There, atop the Ziggurat they found a giant Soul Engine. With Vol'zan's destructive death, the Smoulderbranch Tribe disbanded as they began to fight amongst each other once more. The Wildhammer forces then reduced the Ziggurat to rubble as a precaution. However, in the meanwhile Sentinel's Watch took heavy casualties, with most of the Sons of Stom having been slain and the Syndicate having deserted the field of battle. The undead took heavy losses as well, resulting in them falling back but leaving the outpost heavily weakened.
Moving to reinforce Sentinel's Watch against Riverton, the Blades met with Captain Tyria Geritain and what was left of her forces. What followed was a prolonged siege against the undead forces of the House of Laign. Through superior tactics, the Blades were able to hold the outer walls up until Terisa Laign showed up on the field personally, destroying the walls with her magic. Though he fought valiantly and endured countless injuries, Aeliren was eventually incapacitated after a direct encounter with Laign, who was beheaded shortly after by Berenal Grayblade.
Aeliren later participated in the Gray Company infiltration of the Conquest Gate. Split between the Undead and the Trolls, with minimal Legion occupation; the Company was capable of not only destroying the two fortifications entirely, they also sabotaged the Conquest Gate, rendering it smashed open and unable to be closed. By the end of their infiltration, both forts were on fire, and the Conquest Gate was in disrepair. What little followers remained were now scattered, allowing the final battle to be without question.
The next day, the united Alliance forces besieged Forge Camp: Conquest. While the troops took on the lesser demons, the Inner Circle, as well as Traglin Featherbeard and Marshal Chapman, confronted the pit lord Apocylon the Corruptor. Though the pit lord attempted to convince them to join the Legion, the Blades and allies engaged Apocylon. The pit lord attempted to manipulate them into joining the Legion through his magic, showing the Blades a vision of Sylvanas Windrunner's downfall at their hands with the Legion's aid, as King Genn Greymane's honor guard, but the Blades managed to resist the mind control, resulting in Apocylon turning thw King and the Royal Guard on them. Defeating them, the Blades were freed from the mind control, only for Apocylon to show himself personally in another vision, one of Gilneas burning and destroyed. Though he tried to use his magic to mind control members into turning on the others, Apocylon was finally felled by the united Alliance forces, finally freeing the Northfold Peaks. The Sons of Strom pledged a debt to both the Wildhammers and the Blades of Greymane as thanks for their aid.
Sometime following the events in Northfold, the Inner Circle was summoned to Farimond by the Warden. The towns of Refuge Cove were notoriously neutral, but the village of Cresthurst, headed by Mayor Joseph Hurst, had recently reached out to the Blades after a number of supply caravans went missing, and asked the Blades to investigate. The caravan was found some ways out of town, destroyed and its occupants dead. All signs pointed towards the Horde, yet it did not seem entirely natural to Aeliren. To further muddy the waters, Warden McCallan had vanished in a mysterious mist just prior to finding the caravan, and Horde forces headed by the Farraki warlord Zan'jul appeared, apparently bringing supplies.
However, Teddy Shaftoe opened fire on the troll, instigating a battle between the Alliance and the surprised Horde forces. During the fight, Lady Aleyina Grayblade and Zan'jul both disappeared into the mists as well, reappearing only at the end after most of the Horde had been slain. The warlord ordered his few remaining forces to retreat, joining them as well as he damned the Alliance. As the Blades examined the Horde caravan, they found that it held several supplies that Cresthurst were in dire need of: food, weapons and other miscellaneous toys for children. Though most of the Blades were content with believing that the Horde was simply trying to trick the citizens of Cresthurst, Aeliren was not satisfied with the outcome of the night, finding the circumstances, as well as the Warden and Lady Grayblade's odd behaviour after leaving the mists, highly suspicious.
Several months later in early September, Aeliren answered the call of Refuge Cove once more. With news of a new Horde plague ironically named the "Gift" spreading through the Blades and the hamlets of the southern Cove, as well as the Legion sieging Cresthurst, the Blades deployed to counter the Horde and Legion, starting with relieving the siege of Cresthurst. Raz'hakr the Hungerer boldly marched upon Cresthurst on Lord Astaroth's orders with merely a few hundred troops and his own magical might, bringing no siege equipment with him. The Blades engaged the Legion forces, leading to a brutal battle as Raz'hakr opened a portal for more troops to enter. As the Blades finished off the Hungerer and his forces, Aeliren destroyed the portal. By the skin of their teeth, the Blades claimed victory against the Legion, and as thanks for their efforts in saving Cresthurst, Mayor Hurst granted the Blades an area where they would build the outpost of Banehold.
A few days later, a Cresthurst defender rushed into Banehold with most dire news: Mayor Hurst had been killed, and the main suspect was Magistrate Arthur Folken of Bridgeport, who was in town due to the Blades' outpost near Bridgeport drawing the Horde's ire. Aeliren chased a few false leads during his side of the investigation, though he figured out that a third party was present in the town hall. Though most of the evidence pointed towards the Magistrate, after a thorough investigation of Cresthurst and its inhabitants the Blades eventually discovered the identity of the murderer: "Rothwild Astarn", who was actually Lord Astaroth in disguise. Once Astaroth revealed himself, Aeliren immediately drew his pistol and opened fire, only for the demon to easily block the attack, revealing that he had grown in power since the last time he faced the Blades.
Thanks to Magistrate Folken, the Blades were successful in gaining an audience with the mayor of Bridgeport, Faldon Resticor. However, a delegation from the Horde headed by Magistrix-Captain Kara Emberflame had also been invited to the negotiations. An old veteran of the Second War from the Pyrewood region embittered by being sealed out of his kingdom, Resticor was adamant to having nothing more to do with Gilneas or King Greymane. Though Aeliren kept quiet about his own past involving the Greymane Wall, he sympathized with the refugees and their distaste for the Gilneans from behind the Wall.
The negotiations came to a halt when the port town came under Legion attack. Resticor made a final offer to both representatives: team up, and whoever was to slay the demons would be granted further talks with Bridgeport. After an extended battle, Captain Emberflare claimed the killing blow on the demon. Unable to allow the Horde to claim victory, Aeliren opened fire on the Horde with Renat Delhomme, forcing them to escape via teleport while the Blademaster Gronak of the Screaming Blade held them off. Though Gronak fought with honor, it was not enough and he was felled by the Blades. However, his last stand gave enough time for the Horde to bring a company of reinforcements, and the Blades were forced to make their escape. With the Horde on their tail, those who couldn't keep up were nearly killed as they were forced to fight for their lives. Aeliren had made a run for it, not noticing that the others had stayed behind until only he and Shaftoe were far away. He was later present when the beaches were being fortified, and was present at Nathan Torrickson's funeral after news of his demise reached Farimond.
Awards and HonorsEdit
- Awarded for: Personal acts of valor and bravery beyond the call both at home and on foreign fields. On April 4th, 1147 F.A., Major Chesterhill was amongst those of the inner circle of the Blades of Greymane that had journeyed into the toxic Blightlands of the Northern Headlands with the goal of purifying it, succeeding in establishing themselves in the area and beginning cleansing despite being confronted with immense personal risks.
Warden's Medal of Honor
- Awarded for: Exemplary service on the field during the campaign in the Grip on January 9th, 1148 F.A. Major Chesterhill, along with the rest of the Blades of Greymane, successfully helped reclaim the scattered islands of the Grip from the Horde invaders.
Badge of Gilnean Merit
- Awarded for: Heroism, meritorious achievement and meritorious service on April 4th, 1148 F.A. In the final stages of the Reclamation of Taenia, Major Chesterhill was amongst those who took to the skies with hijacked zeppelins and assaulted Warlord Mugthor Grimsheer's fortress, bravely challenging the orcish warlord himself atop Mug'gol and aiding in sabotaging the Grimsheer cannon, ultimately saving hundreds of innocent Gilnean lives in Storm's Crag. Recommended for the award by Warden Johnathan McCallan.
Commendation of Bravery
- Awarded for: Bravery and meritorious service in the field on August 9th, 1148 F.A. Major Chesterhill, along with the rest of the Blades of Greymane, participated in the fight against the Burning Legion in the Battle of the Broken Shore and beyond.
Medal of the Cove
- Awarded for: Service in the Broken Isles to protect the interests of the Alliance and fight the Burning Legion and Horde no matter the field of battle.
In addition to these, Aeliren has three standard medals of commendation he was awarded for his service on the Isle of Valor, for removing the Blades of None and for helping reclaim Cyrvall from the Legion respectively.
Skills and AbilitiesEdit
- Martial Fighting: Aeliren is a very efficient melee combatant thanks to his military training and his combat pragmatism. A former Northgate rebel and veteran soldier, Aeliren combines his experiences with both in his fighting style, resulting in a rather unique fighting style revolving from a mix of military tactics and more underhanded methods. His favoured weapon is the longsword.
- Guerilla Fighting: From his time in the Northgate rebellion, Aeliren learned to use the advantage of stealth, speed and opportunity as well as a number of underhanded tactics in combat to achieve victory over the stronger and better trained soldiers of the Gilnean army, and has no scruples in fighting dirty.
- Durability: For an unafflicted Gilnean, Aeliren is surprisingly tough, having survived events that should have killed a regular human, such as the crash of the Spear of Decimation.
- Demolitions Expertise: Aeliren was an amateur pyrotechnics and arson specialist during the Northgate rebellion, and he has since refined his skills. Amongst other things, he was capable of rigging the Grimsheer cannon to explode during the later parts of the Reclamation of Taenia.
- Tactical Mind: Though he is by no means a master strategist, Aeliren has learned the subtle weaves of military tactics and strategy throughout his years of service and is typically amongst the strategists during war councils.
- Languages: Common is the only language Aeliren speaks fluently.
Standing at approximately 6' and not looking more than 155 pounds, Aeliren has the appearance of a rather mellow fellow. His disposition is typically calm and relaxed and he has a tendency to smirk, though his brown eyes may occasionally betray a hint of wariness and caution.
His auburn hair is cut to keep his hair from getting in his eyes, but he otherwise keeps it neck-length. Despite its length, it is well-maintained and he keeps it neatly trimmed along with his beard and mustache, which he keeps styled as a pinch with the mustache leading down to it. Now in his mid-thirties, Aeliren has begun to have various small wrinkles showing on his pale skin.
Though rather lean and thin, he has a more athletic build that favours agility over strength. His right hand, although usually covered by his gauntlet, is heavily scarred up to his wrist, giving it a strange ash-like colour and rough texture. Despite its appearance and texture, it is still otherwise a functioning limb.
Aeliren's voice is deep, and he typically speaks with a clearly pronounced Gilnean accent, though he relapses into a heavier accent when in private or in stressful situations.
The Prince's RetributionEdit
Reforged from the Last Wish and imbued with power, the Prince's Retribution is a runed longsword that serves as Aeliren's weapon of choice. It is typically wielded with either a pistol or Misthewn in the other hand.
The Last WishEdit
The Last Wish was Aeliren's former weapon of choice. Formerly belonging to Sir Taeric Callimere of Taenia, he claimed it after the knight's death as a personal reminder of the sacrifices made to reclaim the fallen earldom. The blade is made out of fine Moonsteel and is engraved with several runes that occasionally gleam with power. It was later reforged into the Prince's Retribution.
A blade that was crafted by the Mistmancers of Rignweald that was somehow obtained at some point by Lena Acornsfield to be used as a spell focus, Aeliren acquired it from her after she gave it to the Blades as a sign of thanks for freeing her from demonic influence and uses it as his secondary weapon when dual wielding.
Rebel's Bite is the name Aeliren gave to his pistol, a Gilnean designed flintlock. Formerly belonging to his father, Aeliren took it with him before leaving Keel to join the rebels. Despite its age, the pistol is well-maintained. The pistol is always on his person, holstered at his waist. In recent days, Aeliren has been influenced by the likes of Renat Delhomme and Teddy Shaftoe in replacing the flintlock with a revolver pistol due to its more consistent rate of fire, though he still keeps Rebel's Bite on his person at all times.
Aeliren first met the Raven priestess some time around the Liberation of Quel'Shala. The two became quite close over time, to the point where many teased the two about them being in love. Over time he did find himself feeling closer to her, though never got around to speaking about it. His close brush with death during the Spear of Decimation's attack on the Ashen Coast, as well as Lillian's own near-death experience at the hands of Kil'zoth pushed Aeliren into finally proposing to her, making a makeshift engagement ring from his Ashstorm Signet that had been gifted to him as thanks for reclaiming Taenia due to them still being in the depths of the Dark Woods at the time.