Aleyina by Dancinfox
Duchess of the Ashen Coast
Duchess Aleyina Nathair rules over the Duchy of the Ashen Coast with her husband Berenal Grayblade and holds titles to the Earldom of Iscia's Cove in the Fallow Crest across from the Ashwake Gulf. Having restored and grown her families lands since their death she has proven herself as leadership through her political cunning. Uniting the Galuyn and Gilnean people of Iscia's Cove Aleyina managed to weed out much of the previously present chaos under her fathers rule. With the wealth and rapid expansion of her Earldom however, she has come to find the lands outside of Iscia's Cove and it's Lords growing significantly more hostile.
Her fair skinned complexion and piercing blue eyes are the only thing that seem to link Aleyina to a Galuyn heritage. Unlike most of the Galui she has long, curled, raven black hair which is often kept tame with ornate clips and brooches of varying gemstones to accentuate her status and wealth.
Often seen wearing long, elegant dresses with hand-stitched intricate patterns upon her corsets, Aleyina follows the Gilnean noblewoman's appearance more than that of her true heritage. Going so far as to doing her best to remove any hints of Galui accent in her speech it only rarely surfaces when she speaks of the local clans of her Earldom.
Being taught to show little to no emotion from an early age on she gives off a rather cold and stoic demeanor even to this day.
Having grown up in her families lands, formerly the viscounty of Iscia's Cove, Aleyina was groomed to be a noble woman who would further her families ties and lands for her ruling brother one day. After her parents perished, falling to an invasion of her lands, both her and her older brother Desmond rose to the challenge of continuing their families ruling. Desmond permitted Aleyina insight to noble and council meetings, giving her a grander perspective of the political intrigue that was a necessity with their status if they desired to push for more.
After her brother was betrayed by one of his Lords which ultimately lead to his death Aleyina took on the leadership of her House as the only remaining member. Returning to Iscia's Cove with the retinue of knights who evacuated her from her lands after her brothers death she quickly managed to take over Iscia's Rest, reclaiming her home manor and from there expanding her hold out towards the Baronies of Windholm and Galecrest, eventually replacing the current leadership with her own men.
Her final push and expansion over the territory came when she reached out to the Galui Clans of Iscia's Cove, promising them the hills and access to her port and other waterways that would make following their way of life easier. Hesitant at first the clans finally united under her after her own Galui heritage and relation to the Wavewalker clan was revealed to them. Gifted with a jewel by the Hierophant of the Clan who claimed it to be a splinter of Iscia's heart, Aleyina has earned herself their respect and a fighting force of Galui clansmen and women who will take up arms for House Nathair when called upon.
Aleyina found herself elevated to Countess soon after, watching the on-goings of the Ashen Coast from Iscia's Rest as she continued her expansion of land in Fallow Crest territory. Eventually she reached out to the nobility of the Ashen Coast offering them a foothold in Iscia's Rest, a share in her wealth, as well as manpower in turn for further military training for her own men and the title of Duchess.
Born to Conall Nathair and Sinead A'Hearn, Aleyina was raised comfortably in Iscia's Rest alongside her older brother Desmond. Being taught from childhood on that she would help expand her families territory for her ruling brother one day through marriage, Aleyina learned proper etiquette and of the ruling noble houses of Gilneas from the moment she could begin to grasp these things.
With increasing hostility from the Fallow Crest, Sinead took to teaching her children the shadow magic the Galuyn of the region referred to as a blessing by their god Iscia. While Desmond slacked in his studies, Aleyina did as she was told and raised to do excelling in these particular studies. Through these studies however, the young girl found her connection to the Galuyn people that had been kept to minimum until then. Having a natural understanding, she soon learned the ancient Galui language and began to teach her brother the same, much to the displeasure of her father Conall. Sinead, while understanding the need to hide their Galuyn roots took her children to the clan from which she herself came and allowed the Hierophant to perform their second drowning ritual, Bá-dúisigh, during which Desmond and Aleyina were drowned repeatedly for several hours a day for three days to call on the blessings of Gurnye and her child Iscia.
While Desmond reacted rather poorly to the entire matter, Aleyina embraced it, much to her mothers approval and even began to learn to sail the currachs of the clan.
After the death of both Conall and Sinead, Desmond turned to Aleyina to help him run their Barony, offering her insight into noble politics and granting her the freedom to make choices of her own. Aleyina immediately set out to speak with the Galuyn clans of the area, reaching out to the splintered groups to bring them back into the fold of House Nathair. However, much at her urging, Desmond declined to seek closer bonds to the Galuyn and instead followed his own desire to re-forge an alliance with the nobles of the Fallow Crest, Lord Redmond being one of them.
Aleyina at this time grew closer with the Galuyn-knights of House Nathair, Alroy Ritheor became her closest confidant while Dursten Warpwood pushed for stronger alliances with the other Galuyn clans to liberate his own territory.
After Desmond was killed by Lord Redmond, Dursten and Alroy sailed the Currach out of Iscia's Rest in which they hid Aleyina away from Redmonds men. While the hunt continued for the final member of House Nathair, Lord Redmond could not afford wasting resources on the continued search for Aleyina and eventually returned to his original target: the removal of the resisting Galuyn Clans from the area.
Driven by the desire to avenge her brother, Aleyina gathered the retinue of knights that were loyal to her House and began forging plans to return to Iscia's Rest. Despite the tragic loss of her brother, Aleyina planned strategic moves that would garner her eventual loyalty from the Galuyn clans in the area.
Making a point of sailing into the cove with currachs in the dark during a storm, she knew her daring and lack of fear of sailing the cove under such conditions would permit her audience with the Hierophant and Keepers of the Wavewalker remnants.
A small group of knights was dispatched after the currachs docked to free the path towards the Manor of Iscia's Rest of any of Redmond's men, which allowed Aleyina and her most trusted men easy access to the seat of nobility.
The rest of the men and women who had remained with the ships were now free to unload the grain and foods for the city that they had brought along on their campaign for the suffering city, almost instantly winning favor for Aleyina with the common city dwellers.
Alroy and Dursten remained by Aleyinas side as they forced their way into the Manor to take down Lord Redmond. While the knights kept the men of Redmond at bay, Aleyina handled the usurper Lord not with daggers as he did to her brother Desmond but rather the shadow magic she had been taught by her mother since childhood. She did not kill the man, but significantly weakened him before Alroy arrested the man and tossed him into the Rest's dungeons. The rest of Lord Redmonds men were executed publicly for the crowd to witness and have their share in revenge after what they had to suffer under Fallow Crest nobility.
Next Aleyina set forth to the north towards Windholm and east to Galecrest, where she removed any traces of Fallow Crest Lords and men, bringing the traitor Barons to her dungeons in Iscia's Rest while their men once more were publicly executed. The bodies of the men in Galecrest were stacked at the border between Galecrest and the rest of the Fallow Crest as a warning for any nobility who attempted to move into the territory. Alroy Ritheor was granted the Barony of Windholm and Dursten Warpwood, that of Galecrest, from which his clan originally came. With the Galuyn knights as barons, the Galuyn tribes began to cease attacks upon the areas north of Iscia's Rest.
The Leanaí Iscia Edit
Turning south to the remnant clans Aleyina reached out to the Hierophant Odhran and the Keeper Ultan, promising them their revenge upon the Lords she held captive and the freedom of the Farraige A Rugadh Hills with the sacred lake at its center. Keeper Ultan remained distant, but Hierophant Odhran showed interest in the woman, which gave her enough entry way into the clans. Aleyina together with the Hierophant and the Keeper brought together the scattered smaller clans under a single banner they named Leanaí Iscia. Lord Warpwood and Lord Ritheor brought along the clans from the north as well.
Securing, for herself a ancient relic of the Wavewalkers, Aleyina managed to convince the Galuyn that she would not treat the Galuyn as the other nobles of Iscia's Rest had before and that the collective forces of Galuyn and the Gilneans she had brought along and kept in Iscia's Rest would work together against the Lords of the Fallow Crest.
Iscia's Rest was opened up to the Galuyn clans as it had been to Gilneans, allowing ease of access for trading routes and Aleyina took her place beside Hierophant Odhran and Keeper Ultan as the Waybinder of the Leanaí Iscia. With the expansion of territory and her own nobles in place at the smaller baronies, Aleyina rose to status of Countess of the Cove, continuing and keeping the duality between the two cultures.
The leadership of the Leanaí Iscia performed the ancient rite of Tharraisce, a ritual during which the traitor Lords were tied to rope which was then looped beneath the currach upon which the Galuyn sailed in the cove. Lord Redmond and his Barons were then thrown overboard and pulled under the keel of the vessels, their backs dragged from side to side of the ship, cutting open their backs by the marine growth on the underside of the currachs while drowning them. The willingness of performing this ritual with the Galuyn once more cemented Aleyina's place among them.
The Duchy of the Ashen Coast Edit
After her elevation to Countess, cutting her ties officially with the nobility of the Fallow Crest and reforming the bonds with the Galuyn of her lands, Aleyina found herself in need of military training for her men in order to continue expanding her lands at her will and defend that which she already had.
While the Galuyn did well keeping Windholm lands safe, Galecrest was attacked consistently by Dullahan clans and Fallow Crest nobility that sought to retake the lands they had lost.
With her knowledge in the nobility to the east and comparing her own expenses to those that she expected to be present in the Duchy of the Ashen Coast, she reached out to Berenal Grayblade. Offering the Duke money for his Duchy and men for the Blades of Greymane in turn for military training of her own men and women and the title of Duchess through an arranged political marriage. Remaining in the Ashen Coast for a time to go over the contract of the marriage, Aleyina began to step in and involve herself with the Blades of Greymane as they handled the Galuyn in their own lands.
The unrest with the Galuyn clans and a Dullahan clan from the Fallow Crest permitted Aleyina to offer further insights into the doings of the clans, making her a valuable resource during the campaigns against the Legion-turned clans. Her aid in the Ashen Coast territories and the restated offer of manpower and aid cemented the contract between Aleyina and Berenal and the two found themselves engaged at the end of the successful campaign.
Her offered aid was requested almost immediately after when the Blades began clearing out Cyrvall from it's Legion oppressors, manned wavewalker currachs aided in the attack, once more proving Aleyina was going to stay true to her word to the Duchy and the Blades.
Order of the Raven Edit
Aleyina had no intention of working specific for any branch within the Blades, keeping to her contract as much as possible. Though after the urging of Berenal Grayblade who wished to see the Order active again, Aleyina did just that. Calling a gathering of the members of the Order and establishing a new foundation. She discussed the matter of teaching new classes and lessons, and building a set of new constructs for the Blades of Greymane that would benefit them out on the battlefield. Not even two weeks after making these plans known the Order of the Raven, while working on going about the necessary steps to gain access to the plans for Nightborne constructs and power cores the Order of the Raven successfully secured a Highborne Relic named Kal'thiranoras-- a cannon that uses the energy of the stars.
The astral cannon was safely portaled to Ravendales Magus Sanctum by the members of the Order of the Raven where Inas'thas Sunbrooke, Aleyina, and other students of the Order study the device.
Aleyina keeps a number of weapons handy to amplify her own shadow magic and to defend herself in close combat. Among her weapons are daggers and jewelry infused with enchantments to aid her casting.
Aleyina's preference of weapons is Cáthma a curved dagger, a great representation of the ornate weaponry that was
crafted by the Wavewalker smiths. It features a handsome, wide, curving blade with a single smooth fuller running though it. The blade has ornate carvings on the back flat of the blade and five sapphires of various size set into it.
Cáthma is a family heirloom, handed down to the women of the A'Hearn family, Aleyinas mothers family. It was given to Aleyina after completing her magic lessons and proving herself to the Wavewalkers by sailing her own currach through Iscia's cove.
Gcroílár Iscia- The Heart of Iscia Edit
Gcroílár Iscia, translated from Galuyn into common meaning the Heart of Iscia, is a dark blue to dark purple gem fashioned into a intricate piece of jewelry worn around the neck. Aleyina acquired the relic from the Hierophant of the Wavewalkers of the Farraige a Rugadh Hills in Iscia's Cove after reaching out to the Galuyn of the territory.
The gem is said to be the cast out void corruption that once nearly turned the sea serpent Iscia against the Galuyn. Sacrificing herself and starting a cycle of rebirth, the serpent cleansed herself of the corruption of the dark forces and used them to the benefit of the Galuyn. This cleansing of the corruption brought forth the gem which was said to be a splinter that came directly from the serpents heart. The gem aids casters in amplifying their shadow magic, so it is almost always worn by Aleyina.
Ría is a large, long-haired white feline given to Aleyina shortly after the death of her brother Desmond. The cat enjoys being pampered and lounging about the Manor Nathair. Travelling with Aleyina to Wolfstone Castle the cat has certainly taken a liking to commandeering the pack of hounds residing at the castle. Ría enjoys spending time in Aleyinas lap while the Countess reads, being pet only on the head and occasionally under the chin.
Galuyn Wolfhounds Edit
Aleyina keeps two large Galuyn Wolfhounds that were gifted to her by Berenal Grayblade. Cronin and Siobha were raised and trained at Wolfstone Castle by Berenal and are ferocious fighters on the field. They listen without hesitation to both Berenal and Aleyina and enjoy the pampering the Countess gives them, being treated as lapdogs despite their large size. The two Wolfhounds generally sleep at the foot of Aleyinas bed but are known to jump into the bed after Berenals departure. The hounds are known to follow Ría around treating her like their equal.
Lord Corcrán Edit
Aleyina who was raised to further the status of her family, was engaged to Lord Corcrán a noble of the Fallow Crest territories further in-land. Lord Corcrán was an elderly widower who had lost his previous two wives to childbirth. Twenty years Aleyinas senior, the woman was not very pleased by her families matchmaking but obliged. Meeting the noble man on and off during supervised visits. After Conall and Sinead sided with the Galuyn during their uprising against the Fallow Crest Lords however, the engagement was cancelled. Lord Corcrán was later dethroned by Aleyina when she retook Iscia's Rest and expanded her lands to the north-east.
Hierophant Odhran Edit
After reaching out to the Wavewalker remnants and establishing the Leanaí Iscia, Aleyina had a brief affair with the Hierophant of the wavewalkers. During that time Odhran made Aleyina the Waybinder of the Leanaí Iscia and gave her a number of sacred relics which aided Aleyina in cementing her position among the Galuyn, among those relics is the Gcroílár Iscia, the Heart of Iscia. Despite ending the affair shortly after, the Hierophant is still enthralled by Aleyina and does her bidding.
Aleyina reached out to Berenal privately, offering him a contract of marriage, making her Duchess and granting him the money and men needed. The two agreed in private but did not officially get engaged until after a successful campaign against the Dullahan clans.
Spending much time at Wolfstone Castle and Manor Nathair, when not on the battlefield the two have come to enjoy each others company and trust each other. Aleyina reached out to Berenal's children from the start of their contractual agreement and treats them as her own, even making Rose her apprentice.
Wedding to Berenal Grayblade Edit
Aleyina and Berenal were married at Farraige a Rugadh Hills in a traditional Wavewalker ceremony which consisted of Berenal retrieving his bride from the bridal boat and the two married in the water by the Hierophant of the Leanaí Iscia. After the ceremony the two were rowed to the Currach specifically decorated for the occasion with a brand new crest that combined the sigils of House Nathair and House Grayblade.
Despite the general tradition of spending three days upon the currach after marriage, Aleyina and Berenal broke the tradition by sailing towards the Ashen Coast and from there going to a variety of meetings that required their attentions.
Through a series of events later in the evening of the day Berenal and Aleyina spent their wedding night in the Stormwind territories instead of up north near their homes.