|Aya Varyn Avernus|
Aya has art now! Woo!
Countess of the Veil
Thaumaturge of Frost
Jareth Avernus† (Father)
"At a glance, Aya appears young—seemingly no more than a day past her late twenties. Hers is a figure quaint and winsome, possessed of a solemn demeanor beholden to those of higher standing. Fierce sapphire orbs perch over delicate features whose prominence betray an air of affluence, their gaze equal measures attentive and sharp. Long crimson tresses tumble down o’er her shoulders, restrained past her ears by a pair of braids that circle the rear of her head.
Her candor is that of one more thoughtful; in idling, she observes her surroundings with eyes that look capable of deciphering any puzzle put before them with learned efficiency. Those more observant might note a number of effects commonly seen among Magi on her person, ranging from a long, gnarled staff to a small leatherbound tome brandishing atavistic scripture. She exudes an aura latent with uncanny energy, one that might temper the more brazen with restraint."
Aya Varyn Avernus is the Countess of the Veil and a member of the The Blades of Greymane. As a Countess, she holds land within the northern reaches of the Ashen Coast known as the Veil, namely the newly reconstructed town and seat of the House of Avernus, Mistvale.
HistoryEdit"Curiosity builds; knowledge sustains."
ChildhoodConceived shortly after her father's sucession, Aya was born the second child and only daughter to Lord Jareth and Lady Aevyn Avernus, an oddity both in blood and in circumstance. The demise of the tyrannical sovereign House Cobalstant ushered in an era of progress and recovery, allowing the growing rings of nobility in the Bite and beyond a chance to rebound from countless years of oppression, economic depression and neglect. The House of Avernus was among many who seized this opportunity, ultimately sparing the legacy of their baronetcies a death in rot and decay.
Her early life was comfortable and debatably stable, but often shadowed by her brother, William, who enjoyed a sense of freedom she would not share. As a child, Aya was clever and resourceful – but in her manifested a natural affinity for the arcane, earning a fearful response from her mother; while he was pampered for the day he would inherit his father’s mantle, she was kept hidden away from wandering eyes. Upon reaching six years of age, Aevyn ensorcelled her within the family studies, where she thought her daughter harmless to her family. Ever curious, she devoted her free time to learning all the vast troves of literature would teach her, while over time her magical aptitude continued to develop. It was this that drew the attention of her father, who began to display an interest in her gift.
She was later given a mentor, who tutored her in the arts of the Magi between sessions of private schooling – education that would continue into her teenage years. The young girl welcomed the opportunity, and quickly bonded with her newfound friend.
As time went on, however, fate had not yet abandoned its morbid interest in her.
EscapeEditStrange happenings following the sudden arrival of a secretive coven soon culminated in an attempt at securing control over unknown secrets hidden deep within the Mines of Mistvale, a prize for which they would stop at nothing. Lord Jareth stubbornly refused to cede his influence, even devoting a share of his time to act against their advances - while they, in retaliation, decided to raze the town from the tallest tree down. Several shrouded figures staged an attack during the cloak of nightfall, breaching the manor to destroy the family and raid their coffers.
Though Jareth's Iron Scions were able to repel the would-be murderers, seeds of discord were sown deep in the minds of the people. It would be a shallow period of time before they matured, but not without great cost; unforseen and dreadfully impactful to the family at large.
With the fall of House Grayblade and their holdings, namely Bannhurst, Mistvale began to withdraw from the Ashen Coast; woefully limiting the flow of wealth through their borders, and the resulting livelihoods of those who had come to depend upon it.
Some among them decided to act upon their passions; thinking their opportunities greater should they sever and substitute the head. Their attack, staged during late hours of the night, unwittingly created an opening for both children to escape.
Aya, confused and horrified by a night fraught with chaos, fled as fast as her legs could take her towards the forests surrounding the town. She soon found herself before a small train of Caravans and Coaches, lost and rugged; an unintended disguise, for there were little to her looks that set her apart from the others.
Then came a pause in the line, where she was uplifted and rescued by a man who would later identify as Jack Hargrave. It was unclear as to their origin, for he would not explain, only that his home had fallen.
Together, the two took refuge in Gilneas City, where their lives resumed some semblance of normalcy.
Life in the city was, in spite of their more simple lifelihood, rather comfortable; both took up jobs to make ends meet, mostly within the Merchant Square. Her learned field of expertise with various spectrums of metals and the art of Metallurgy proved advantageous, but money was tight by and by.
Between sparse hours of spare time, Aya began to consider her past in full. She was not able to make peace with what she then felt unjust, and attempted to bury all that she could. While not as frequent as before, her studies with the arcane continued, largely through trial by fire until she managed to track down her old mentor. Jack, as her caretaker, afforded her surfeit freedom; for he was more a father to her than friend, a close bond that far surpassed any before.
By the age of sixteen, she had all but forgotten her home in the Ashen Coast.
Yet, Jack had been taking risks to benefit them both. Much to Aya’s dismay, his debt became too insurmountable for them to safely remain together, and was thus shipped off to Keel Harbor before collectors had the chance to arrive.
From that point, she never saw him again. Rumors suggested he had been killed.
From Keel, she made a reluctant return home. Unrecognized by her people and, by extension, her family, it was a difficult gambit to prove herself and her relation -- one that forced her to confront everything she once wanted to leave behind. Once convinced, the relationship with her mother had all but evaporated, for she blamed much of their - and more specifically, her own - shortcomings on her departure. Her father however, whom had recently taken an interest in his family following the power-grab for the ruined wealth of House Grayblade, began to pull her away.
Jareth's attempts at establishing a stable relationship with his daughter were awkward at best, though she felt moved by the effort and quickly came 'round to respect the man. It was with his help that she managed to weather the brunt of the animosity that stood between her and home, while unwittingly teaching her introverted tendencies that would ebb but never fade.
Aya's time in Mistvale was fleeting, forced to flee to the City once the threat of the Wolf-Men elevated to more than simple rumour.
The Fall of GilneasEdit
Upon her arrival, she found Gilneas City beset by the near-brunt of the Worgen Outbreak. Guards fought in desolate streets, and the very place itself held a different aura. One such ambush separated her from her brother, William, leaving him to guide it to safety. Finding herself trapped, she cast her lot with Crowley and the defenders; bitten whilst attempting to draw attention away from a panicked family, she fell prey to the very curse she sought to delay.
Her memory blurred for a length of time she would never learn, leaving her with faint inflections of ferality. She later 'awoke', claws bloodied and mind ajar; it was not the wolf that guided her actions, but she. Now, much like a wolf among sheep, Aya found herself without identity, and purpose.
Such was not to be said for her homeland, for it had become locked in a struggle against tumultuous land and, in result, the timely invasion of the Forsaken and the Orcish Horde.
She fought with the survivors and renegades against their would-be conquerors, following from Duskhave through Tempests Reach, even taking part in the Battle for Gilneas City and witnessing the terrible price paid in result. Finding that the bridge to the Ashen Coast had been destroyed, the fate of her home and of her family weighed heavily on her mind; she had recieved no word from anyone familiar, nor did she have any reason to suspect that she would anytime soon.
Such was by design. Jareth and his men battled vailiantly against the encroaching Orcs and their terrible war machine, holding out against their siege for several hours. It was only until they resorted to using Artillery that he fell, sundered from life by a stray blast.
Her Exodus ended at Keel Harbour, where she was relieved to find survivors from Mistvale - though stung to find that her father had remained behind, and that he had been claimed by the Horde.
Into the WorldEdit
Shortly after arriving in Darnassus, Aya took to her own path - her family settled amongst the Night Elves, and matters regarding lordship over her house fell to her brother, William. She, feeling freed from such burdens, quite happily embarked upon a three month voyage around Kalimdor, thinking it the final eclipse of her life as a Noblewoman. The end of her trip left her in Stormwind, where she stayed. With little else to hold her interests, she continued her studies in earnest; it became a means for self-improvement just as much as it had been for coping with a serious spate of depression, something which would linger about her mind for nearly a year afterwards. As time progressed, her spare
time became more abundant, allowing her the opportunity to begin exploring the world and the lands of her allies, often making short-lived trips beyond the city for a more first hand experience. Aya had also made friends with a number of people, though few were truly lasting.
Before long, her past and her pain were mere shadows in her memory, even to the point that communication with her family in Kalimdor fell to silence. She was unable to completely put the fate of her homeland out of her head, however, and slowly, she came to realize that a carefree was not quite as fitting as it seemed. Mindful of her father's oath, Aya followed a trail of rumours to find the Blades of Greymane, and enlisted.
The Siege Edit
The thunder of war spilled out across Azeroth as the temporary coalition of Alliance and Horde clashed with Garrosh and his legions, eclipsing the Warchief's actions during the Great Cataclysm as his ultimatum to a world he thought his own. After several close friends departed for the frontlines and a series of campagins with her new bannermen, Aya joined the main bulk.
The fighting was gruelling and, at times, unrelenting - though kept ever changing by the Guerilla style of combat which the Resistance had taken against the bulk of their foe. As supplies amassed and the Kor'kron became strained beyond Orgrimmar and the northernmost reaches of Durotar, attention shifted to the city stronghold itself. She was spared the initial siege by her Brother, whom had fallen comatose by result of her Father's morbid interest in his still-living family. The ordeal weighed heavily upon her heart and mind, though she perservered in his name.
A few days later, she returned to the front and her comrades within the city. Once the tides had turned topside and a group of specialists infiltrated the Underhold, Aya joined the Blades for an assault upon their northern flank, spending a number of nights out in Azshara among the local Furbolg tribe before pulling out upon the premise of visions foretelling disaster and a change in orders.
She recieved an eerily vague summons from her family not long after her return to the City, delivered personally by courier.
William's condition did not bode well for the future of her house, prompting a vote between those within her family whom held eligibility for succession. Though all agreed that it should have fallen to his mother, she abstained for a number of reasons. While away, they agreed unanymously that the title was ought to fall upon her shoulders - upon arriving, Aya was greeted with news quite unlike what she had expected.
The decision was difficult, though she ultimately accepted out of respect for her brother and the memory of her father. She underwent a formal ceremony that night, lingering a few days after to become familiar with the burden of her inheritance; delving through their past was an experience that changed her almost as much as her decision prior, sparking a final period of self-introspection before Aya emerged as Baroness, casting aside the chrysallis of who she had been.
During the night before her departure, she aided elven smiths in forging a new weapon from the shattered remains of her Father's sword, Tyir, as both a personal reminder and a tool which truly felt her own.
From Darnassus, she amassed a company of workers and warriors to begin the reconstruction of Mistvale. Their venture was, however, hampered by the traps and war-time machines that lingered beyond the fall. Nontheless, the town rose from it's ashes and, per her efforts, saw the return and settlement of several families.
The Alchemist and the TricksterEdit
Some time afterwards, Aya's late love-interest, Verus Baelheit, uncovered a segment of history regarding members of the First One-Hundred Magi; his first discovery yielded both vague answer and deep intrigue, beginning what would soon become a trail of clues all linked under the alias, " the Alchemist and the Trickster."
Her involvement at first was rather minimal, though she made an effort to support the search as best she could, yet her inability to partake began gnawing at her mind. It was over a lengthy discussion within the Stormwind Library that she resolved herself to change -- as chance would have it, such was also the eve of their last discovery, thus allowing Verus and his team the chance to fit the pieces together.
With the wheels of fate so deep in their turning, Aya eagerly awaited the dawn of the final expedition.
The trail led to a marsh sequestered within the Blasted Lands, a far distance away from the Dark Portal and the taint of the Burning Legion. Almost immediately, they were assailed by a spiritual construct rendered hostile by it's tormented past; a minor hindrance, but it set the pace for their trip in earnest. Their group, composed of Aya, Verus and a small collection of his colleagues, trudged for an undeterminable amount of time before chancing upon a swath of land quite unlike the sampling in it's ambience. A tomb, repugnant with death and decay that stretched a noteworthy length away. Further inspection yielded clarity, as the structure was remniscent of those before it, hardly a prelude to what lay inside once opened. In the moments afterwards, a terrible secret was laid bare: The Alchemist was corrupt and had been using the souls of harvested victims to bolster his strength, believing that his ascension would yield immortality for Magi of 'Purity'. His judgement was cast upon their lot, and the situation quickly turned grim.
They fought in a manner almost systematic, but their struggle was not to last. After toying with several foes, the Alchemist turned his attention to Verus, within whom he saw something starkly familiar. Aya, inwardly fearful and deeply determined, rushed to her lover's aid, managing to stave the amalgam of shadow off for time enough for the mage to unite his comrades and strip away all the power he had pilfered. Broken, the Alchemist attempted an appeal to reason before receiving a remorseless execution.
"This is how the world ends; not with a bang, but a whimper..."
Verus, distraught by the events of that day, was presented with two truths: his linneage bore relation to the first Trickster, colleague to the Alchemist, and the extent of Aya's faith. She remained by his side into the night thereafter, relieved - at least - with the bittersweet note of such a resolution.
And that, for the first time ever, she was able to keep hold on something dear.
The Dark WoodsEdit
In an effort to unite the cities of Bannhurst, Gregor's Crossing and Brandon's Stead within the Ashen Coast, the Blades embarked into the Dark Woods to pave a road. The situation seemed opportune, for the area housed an old dirt and cobblestone paved road, but years of disrepair and the threat of native Dread Lurker attacks have left them often untraveled; despite the fact that they are possibly the quickest routes through the major settlements of the Ashen Coast.
Shortly after erecting a Forward Base, they came under siege, nearly losing their foothold by result. Fleeing to Blackmist Reach, a disconcerting town that had survived the Fall of Gilneas, it became clear that further aid was needed to make any noteworthy progress. Their gambit brought them to the most unlikely of allies: Raven Priests, situated within a monastary erected at the very heart of the Forests. Earning their trust proved difficult, as it conscripted their aid in a number of tasks that quickly turned to change.Cultists, complimented by strange beasts emerged from the mists, led by creatures of incredible power; a mere shadow of the future, first encountered during the defense of a nearby farm. The attacks seemed more than coincidence, for these newfound enemies carried with them a sense of corruption. Old legends, such as Broodmother Xalaa, had also become incarnate, further hindering construction efforts in spite of bolstered defenses. Yet, her defeat yielded an interesting artifact, a blade corrupted with shadow.
Whilst attacks continued, the reason for the Cultist's presence soon became clear: a towering giant met the Blades in the heat of conflict, melting away their vitality and the very land beneath their feet with a single swipe; against such a foe and flaggering morale, they sought counsel with those of the monastary. Their insight was likewise as perturbing, detailing a "King of the Mire" and his defeat at the hands of a Warrior-Priest many years ago. With the tale came an artifact of similar nature to the first, if polar in design; a blade of pure light, said to possess the capability to defeat the King when united against him.
Aya, while concerned for the safety of her town, offered to wield the blade and the burdens it carried, but was spared in favour of another deemed better fitting. Resolving herself to fight, she stood firm in her loyalties even while others among her bannermen faltered; following their return to Blackmist Reach, she contacted her forces with orders to march whilst also taking momentary leave to ensure the safety of those unable to fight.
Then, with their forces as one, the Blades met Kil'zoth and his minions head-on. The fight drew on for many, many hours, where the King of the Mire visited cataclysmic destruction upon their allies and the surrounding landscape. But, as all Kings fall, even his strength failed; under a final spate of fury, he was extinguished. With his death came the time to rebuild and recover, though the Ashen Coast were safe at last.
- Fadefire - Edit
Having salvaged a sum of Shadowflame that lingered beyond Kil'zoth's demise, Aya became intrigued in studying it's origin and the composite spellwork underneath. Her efforts were inconclusive at first, but readily took to change with the aid of her husband; via a complex spell, they exposed each layer in succession, replacing corruption with purity.From darkness emerged a new spell with a myriad of potent effects free of the evil that plagued it's origin. Dubbed Fadefire for it's unique colouration, it stands as the first spell Aya has ever created in her career as a Magus.
The Dark MartyrEdit
With the fall of the Firelord, Ragnaros, a not so distant memory, the Dark Iron Dwarves had been freed of their servitude to the Firelands. Seeking to establish a mutual friendship with those of the Mountain, the Magus Senate of Dalaran began talks - the grand result was a visit, where leaders from both factions could talk freely. Yet, the peaceful feelings garnered from their arrival were not to last; subterfuge shadowed the Dwarves, catching them unawares. Before half of an hour had passed, cultists of the Twilight's Hammer were upon them.
A few small skrimishes belied a greater threat, hinted only by their utterance of prayers to a 'Dark Martyr', whom later revealed himself after having stolen the residual fragment of the Cipher of Damnation - the very spell which summoned the Firelord of yore into the mortal plane.
Outraged, the new conglomeration found a new purpose to settle on: It's recovery.
The grand crusade against Twilight itself began with a venture into the Throne of the Four Winds, clued by a trial that seemed all but deliberate. Once together, the Magi and Dark Irons wasted no time in their assault; aloft Gryphon and companion alike, the Cultists were humbled before the foes they made. As their outer defenses fell, their inner ring was left vulnerable - perched upon one of the many atriums hovering atop the clouds, only the Cultist's perverted amalgamations rebuked their would-be killers. They were dealt with and disposed off, where Aya managed to recover a communique detailing the next phase in what would quickly become island hopping between planes.
Ever illusive, the Martyr left the allies with just enough to follow. Via scrying and cunning, they managed to locate a gate that would bear them into the Stonemother's realm with their enemies unaware, where they quickly took to action. Yet, much to their surprise, little beyond agitated wildlife offered them opposition; the silence was haunting, and sustained. Not long after, they arrived at a Twilight bunker, wherein lay a Cultist who identified by the alias, "Giver of Choices". Ancient shields warded him from harm, forcing their ears.
The Martyr, understood now to be the leader of their operation, possessed the Cipher. With it, he planned on sundering Deepholm - an action that held catastrophic portents for the mortal plane. The Giver of Choices extended two options, tokened by split pathways that arced east and west. Pursue the Martyr, heralded by a pathway leading left and into their diminutive base of operations, or halt the process the Cipher had begun, marked by a passageway towards the right. While split, the Magi and Dark Irons settled upon saving their world.
The Cipher had been cast before their arrival, forming a horrid amalgam of twisted elementals in the form of a colossus, powerful enough to scar the world forever. As one, they struck it down, only to find themselves with empty handed relief. Returning, they ventured through the rocky wastes towards the Twilight camp, where once again they were met with silence. Upon further inspection, it was revealed that the Cultists were slain en-masse, each a ritualistic suicide. The only hint as to their next move was a Portal, which spilled a torrential stream of oceanic water upon location.
The Cultists, whom appeared to have underestimated the united forces of Dalaran and Blackrock Mountain, decidedly began to organize; now hurting from their losses, their operation came under threat of failure. So marked the next phase of their reclamation effort, deep within the Tidehunter's Realm at the bottom of the Ocean. There, a lone Cultist stood to oppose them, as the Martyr had fled, only to reveal something deeper. Upon utterance of a trigger word, a Magi from the Senate stood to join him. Battling both fury and worry, the allied forces were forced to battle friend and foe alike. The Cultist quickly proved to be more far more powerful than the last, but ultimately flaggered under the relentless onslaught of his opposition. During a break in his Aegis, Aya and fellow Magi Beauwitt managed to separate him from his thrall - the latter via rapping Tyir against her head - and destroy him.
With his death, only one plane remained. The Firelands, where the diminishing forces of Twilight gathered for a darker purpose.
The Magi and Dwarves followed anon, finding themselves face to face with what was perhaps the Martyr's most powerful Lieutennant: the Prophet of Flame. Further allies joined the stage, albiet superficially different in both guise and behaviour. Against both the allied forces fought, a battle which proved more tactful than those in the past. Only once the Prophet expended himself out of arrogance did things take to change, where the Martyr's power overwhelmed his now-failing mortal frame. Fleeing to safety, the forces of Twilight left the Cipher behind.
Their efforts had halted the birth of a second Firelord, though it cost them a Senate Councillor.
A small time after, the Senate and Dark Iron decided their accord would only rest once the Martyr was brought to task, an effort which took their forces to the realm of Twilight itself. Within, their adversaries displayed masterful control of the landscape, a gambit that did little to deter the invaders. Even against the final remaining forces of Twilight, the allies did not relent. Pushed back, they retreated - leaving the missing official to be found and rescued.
Drawing ever inwards, they finally came face to face with the Martyr himself, who resorted to trickery of the mind in a feeble attempt at securing the day for himself, claiming one in the process. Against their onslaught, he weakened - a point which the remaining cultists revealed a new leader. Angry with the Martyr for his shortcomings, the man forced him to offer his ear to the Old Gods once more. Likewise distasteful of his failure, they addled his curse of flesh, turning him into an amalgamated husk of anger, grief and misery. Now abandoned, he perished at the hands of the many, leaving the Cultists to face them. Tactful as ever, their leader extended an offer to end their battle peacefully, evoking debate amongst the allied ranks. Ultimately, Verus Baelheit - leader of the allied forces, pulled back.
The conflict was over, at long last.
Comforted deeply by the fruits of their labour, Aya was finally at ease; no longer did the threat of losing her home loom over her head.
Infinite Crisis Edit
Preluding the arrival and invasion of the Iron Tides, Aya became privy to a deluge of temporal anomalies seeded throughout the whole of Azeroth itself. In time, they matured; the lands around them became distorted, plagued with a number of oddities as two worlds enmeshed. As the days progressed, it became readily apparent that their origins were far, far more sinister.
From them emerged extra-linear versions of men and women within the ranks of the Magus Senate, and some beyond. Each set about their own agenda armed with desperate intent, and foreknowledge of a terrible evil; one each phantom of time itself endeavoured to prevent. In league with friends, colleagues and her husband alike, the Viscountess became a soldier in the fight to prevent myriad calamities from rattling the safety of her home to a very hollow core. The war between timelines entered something of a game-like state between cat and mice, within which the Senate accrued a method of identifying and dispatching those who would not part willingly; with every step, they drew nearer to the entity behind the attacks: an Infinite Dragon.
Yet, as the stream had begun to stem and dwindle, the effects of those thereafter became far more intense upon her mind and heart; defeating those she considered friends, and even the far-gone remnant of her husband, whom had been driven mad by a cruel thread of fate. Through perseverance and force-of-will, there eventually came an end, delivering powerful hints as to the coming darkness before the apparent siege faded into silence.
Peace followed in the lives of those involved, though doubts remained. Had the threat truly gone?
Shade of the Ancient Edit
The peoples of the Ashen Coast were settled in a sense of strained peace, within which the usual fetters of life continued without contest; the void of conflict nourished disagreements over political dissent, and so the Duchy continued. The attention of the Blades of Greymane turned inwards, and towards quelling the problems of their own. One quickly became a matter of concern: local clans of Wickers, a more primal people that intrinsically follow the Old Ways, had begun attacking a hamlet town at the fringe between the territories of the Reach and the Bite, locked in the crossfire of a war between two clans over a rivalry long in existence.
Upon attempting to intervene, they sided with the more reasonable of the two, Clan Crakeriver, and began attempting to rout their adversaries, the wickers of Clan Rakkinthorn. What began in fighting turned to a matter more paranormal, revealing trails of death and gore. The creature responsible, a giant gnarled raven of monstrous visage, had begun consuming those who fell in the fighting. Upon sighting it, the aberration burned itself into the minds of those involved, ejecting them back into their own reality.
Aya, whom had not been present for the fighting, attempted to investigate. The results left a similar mark upon her mind, frayed with images of evils yet unknown: the deaths of her Children.
Investigation took the Blades through the Monastery of the Dark Woods, which revealed a deeper mote of mystery: the High-Priest betrayed knowledge of the creature, though he portrayed it in contrasting light. The Raven had directly interacted with his long-deceased father, a spirit summoned back to grant answers on Aya’s behest and that of her colleagues. He portrayed a Raven that seemed far, far more peaceful; calm even in the tone of his voice, which rang with an almost otherworldly tenor. Upon displaying her memories of the creature, it became clear that some form of darkness had befallen his mind, though as to wether or not it could be breached remained yet unclear.
Upon encountering the Raven yet again, the Blades discovered another being trapped within his sordid realm, a man that had been long since stranded and whom expressed a deep interest in escape. Within his realm, they were little but prey, and soon cast into a mixture of horrors that nearly thwarted their efforts – though ultimately, Aya and her fellows were able to escape.
Elements of the mystery began to unfold, revealing that the Raven, Yim’nir, was an ancient; numbered by years uncounted, and who dealt in the souls of the departed. This quest took the Blades through a marsh in search of another Wicker Clan, one they found in a similar state of war to those prior. Through extreme effort, they managed to quell the brewing storm between both factions and garnered a new ally to take on the Raven, an Ancient of the Forests by the name of Gontil.
With everything in place, the Blades took their fight to the Ancient himself, whom they managed to cleanse of all corruption. Aya, who took a direct part in the fighting, left with a solitary scar upon her memory: a miscalculation with spellwork cost a dear friend his life, and though it was restored, part of him would never recover.
Soulweaver Tome Edit
In her dealings with the High Priest, Aya came into possession of a tome detailing the teachings of Yim'nir himself. These magics, capable of interacting with souls and the energies thereof, became the subject of an oath she took upon her name; one she cannot break, even unto her dying breath.
Order of the Raven Edit
Following the end of Yim'nir's corruption, an amalgam known under the moniker of Ca'ries, the town of Ravendale was finished in the uppermost reaches of the Rise. Within it had been built a school, designated for the instruction of magic users across the whole of the Northern Ashen Coast. Aya, partnered with the late Lord Cladriah Felweaver of Faewood, were placed in charge as Archmage and Grand Warlock respectively. Under their leadership, the remnants of the amalgam were interred in a vault; built by workers under Aya and guarded by Iron Scions, whilst shielded by Felweaver himself.
Second Gregor Rebellion Edit
Aya was given little time to adjust before finding herself thrust into the throes of another war. Beginning with an attack on Ravendale, she found herself accused of crimes she did not commit. In time, these claims proved to be the fruits of Felweaver’s negligence; a grave error in judgement that would ultimately cost him not only their uneasy friendship, but thousands of innocent lives. With her name cleared, she turned her attention to the situation festering just beneath the growing political turmoil.
The Orb containing what little remained of Ca’ries had been stolen.
And then in a manner that felt much too sudden, fighting spread across the whole of the Ashen Coast. A greater ploy veiled under the mask of a rebellion. Torn by the fighting and tested to the very limits of her nerves and her patience by the choices and sacrifices she was forced to make, Aya felt inexorably bound into a position of helplessness. Her involvement was decisive, as her primary focus became securing the orb from the hands of the rebels -- a task that burdened her with guilt. Though she understood the necessity, she was loathe to hinge the fates of her people on a wild and frantic game of cat and mouse.
In time, her patience was rewarded, but fate proved nothing if not sadistic. Through careful planning and no small measure of luck, she and the forces of the Order were able to locate and corner the one given charge of the Orb, but what began as an ambush turned into a grapple against the unliving soul of her father. Aya was ultimately able to end Jareth's phantom, but supplanting her worries was a chilling fear for the truth behind his fate. Examination of her prize, however, uncovered yet another unwanted secret: Ca'ries had been freed.
Mutually realizing the danger of such revelations, the combined forces of the Blades and the Order set their sights on the man leading the rebellion: Oliver Gregor, brother of the late Lord Adrian Gregor. Battered from constant warfare and teetering on the brink of collapse, they converged upon his stronghold and overwhelmed his forces. When at last the time came to confront him, Ca'ries rose to defend his new host. In one final fit for survival, Oliver was freed of his corruption and the Amalgam, banished once more. Yim'nir, who aided the ragged armies in their assault, ensured he would never rise again with the sacrifice of Garn Talton, a well-respected General of the Blades of Greymane.
When the fighting ended, scores lay dead. Captured traitors soon joined the fallen, until the tally revealed greater damage than was initially speculated. As the Discord came to a close, a generation had been lost... and so began a short-lived era of grief and reconstruction.
The Blightlands Edit
In the aftermath of the rebellion, the eyes of the King had turned to the Duchy. Doubting its worth and its loyalty, he tasked the Inner-circle of Lords and Warriors with a manhunt leading directly into the Northern Headlands, a blighted wasteland left by the Forsaken as they withdrew from Gilneas. An agent of the Crown was sent as a matter of assurance, arriving in the form of a dignified man named Victor Berton. With an unwelcome parrot on their shoulders, the Blades of Greymane mobilized to scour their mark.
The Blightlands, as they had been dubbed, were a hostile, unforgiving place. A haze of residue rendered the air unbreathable, while a host of mutations malformed much of the wildlife into monstrosities; passive animals became aggressive, while most of the flora took on a much deadlier purpose. Armed with only their weapons, a supply of protective masks and a faded pre-fall map, the militant forces and their noble leaders pressed inwards in search of the port town of Blumsdale. Much to their relief, it still stood -- as did the people who once lived there. Garbed in warped clothing and strange masks of their own, the people retained much of their sanity whilst being utterly immune to the effects of the blight. They proved hospitable, and offered leads to the man they already spend so long hunting -- but asked he be returned to them, rather than sent back with Berton. The agent objected profusely, likewise against any form of alliance with 'villagers who lost their humanity'. Aya and many others voted against his wishes, deciding to enter an uneasy pact with the people of Blumsdale in return for their assistance. Guides in the wastes were simply something they could not afford to pass up. With their villagers' aid, the Blades were able to locate and repurpose a long-defunct keep, once belonging to an order of Knights lost in the cataclysm.
As a test, the Mayor tasked them with retrieving crops from the nearby farmlands. Their immunity to the blight, he claimed, allowed them to eat the mutated crops without fetter. The fields were a dangerous bounty, infested with a pack of feral men who lost their minds in the fallout. Putting them down proved no easy matter; felling them often resulted in showers of gore -- but those caught in the blast found themselves riddled in purulent tumors, evidently responsible for turning the men into beasts. Aya, through the carelessness of the late Ser Felweaver, was exposed twice in a row. Though ultimately saved by her allies, a deep haze lingered o'er her mind, rendering her all but helpless as she faded in and out of awareness. She was taken back to the keep, where she was given proper aid and attention. Her condition improved somewhat over the course of the next couple of days, after which her ability to think and remember came to her in waves. She was lucid when the Blades returned, bearing news that Berenal had been lost in the thick of an incursion. Saddened deeply, Aya could only watch as her peers argued over who would take his place. Victor made use of this opportunity to begin extortions with several lords and ladies, eventually turning to her in her weakened state. She refused his efforts, even at risk of sullying her name, and attempted to escape. Realizing she would not capitulate, Victor stabbed her in the gut and held her 'till she lost consciousness.
Contrary to the death she expected, Aya found herself free of her body. For a while, she watched as the agent slipped her unmoving body doses of lethal poisons, surmising it was only through the efficacy of their healers that she was still among the living. Capable of doing little more than spectating the ordeal, she disdainfully turned her attention away. A call beckoned her from deeper within the Blightlands, one almost familiar.
Pursuing it revealed Berenal, weakened but alive. He was ready to give up and succumb to the embrace of death, but she urged him on. He had been captured by the Forsaken, and was awaiting execution. With her aid, he managed to escape and fight his way to freedom. He crossed the border in search of healers and the King, disappearing from her utterly as he did so. She returned to her body and waited, hoping for change.
After she'd abandoned hope, Aya woke. The healers urged her to pace herself, as she had been comatose for the better part of three weeks. Resisting the weakness of her rebellious limbs, she asked after the others. Much to her dismay, they marched to fell a great beast with the Agent close behind them. She could only wait as they battled, hoping at least some of her efforts had been fruitful. The haze had gone from her mind, so she cobbled together a weighted accusation to convince her peers of Berton's subterfuge.
When they returned, she found the agent dead and Berenal among them once more. Rarely had her relief ever been so palpable. Before she could properly rejoice, the Healers bade her allow them one final examination. Her condition was such that she could leave their care, but her injuries came at a cost. Berton's aggression rendered her sterile, a condition she grappled with all of the long trip home. This, in tandem with her near-death, haunted her for a long time afterwards.
The Grip Invasion Edit
Nearly half a year passed since the ill-fated incursions through the Blightlands, yet several wars and treasonous houses further jaded Aya's views. Though she recovered from her inner-struggle against her memories and her sterility, she began to doubt Berenal's leadership. An unsuccessful relationship lent her perspective on his way of living, while his decisions to continue committing his forces without allowing them reprieve was beginning to exact a heavy toll from her Iron Scions.
Nonetheless, she joined her peers in a conflict that seemed much, much more urgent. Forces of the Horde invaded the Grip, a region of the Ashen Coast belonging to Lord John of House McCallan. Through the actions of a secretive branch of pirates and mercenaries, the Orcish armies were led to believe they possessed an advantage where none existed, establishing themselves in such a way that their forces lined up with little by way of avenues of retreat. The early fighting yielded a streak of victories that would persist throughout the whole of the struggle, during which they rescued survivors and convinced both Goblins and Tauren to turn coat.
Aya led the Order of the Raven through much of the fighting, leading them into battle when it was decisive, and as a supplementary force rather than manning the frontlines. The strategy proved effective in minimizing casualties, but her opportunities would not last. As the armies converged on the Orc's stronghold, the Order had an opportunity to clear away their warlocks, who made their forward base just beyond it. The fighting was vicious and bloody, as their leadership proved fanatical and cunning. In the midst of the battle, Nicholas, her second-in-command, was swayed by a curse and forced to fight his allies. Feeling herself partly responsible, she sacrificed her vitality to free him. Doing so left her comatose, and unable to participate in the remainder of the attack -- nor the siege that followed.
The Liberation of Taenia Edit
(Some parts of this section are in need of rewrites. I'll get to them as I can, so bear with me!)
A long, aged staff capped by a head of ornate charms and several, brightly glowing gemstones; at the center is a ley-focus, though it is invariably weaker than more specialized equipment. Aya's means for acquiring this staff are yet unknown, though she is rarely without it's company. It first saw use in league with the Blades during a campaign through Hath's Vigil, quickly proving a stable companion in the heat of battle.
A whisplike shimmer of azure energy spans the uppermost segment, almost measured in cadence; enchantments of an unknown array lay sequestered within the weapon, something which even Aya has had little luck exploring.
An ornate staff carved from the aged roots of a tree now lost, bearing the likeness of a raven mid-flight. Purple silk and faintly shimmering runes run it's length, capped at the head and just before the butt with rings binding four emerald gems in place. Blue paint is also prevalent, namely closer towards the head.
It had belonged to her brother, before he fell ill; a gift, kept safe out of respect and affection.
Forged from ancient Ash Iron and a metal rumored to be an alloy of Moon and Elvensteel, the Blade of the House Avernus is a weapon of both past and present; it was wielded by her father and shattered during the initial siege of Mistvale, then later reforged post Aya's acceptance of her inheritance. Ever sharp, durable, and host to a myriad of echantments, Tyir was foremost in Aya's collection of armaments, marked as a symbol of justice, unity and faith. It bore the crest of her family nearest the guard, beginning a line of ornate runes that tapered a short distance down the blade.
It was gifted to her during the ceremony which granted her inheritance, and saw use in several conflicts since. Prior to its destruction, Aya was rarely seen without it across her back.
Tyirfeldr, the Raven's Claw Edit
Tyir, as it had been wrought, could not protect it’s master from everything. The throes of her newfound mantle of responsibility were multitudes beyond it, and in the din of battle, it was shattered. Though the being responsible was ultimately ‘vanquished’, the damages pressured her into seeking something to replace it. With the aid of a master weaponsmith, the Ash Iron that had once composed her father’s blade took on a new shape, becoming an extension of Aya’s legacy – a Tabula Rasa, as had been created by the Fall.
The weapon drew inspiration from the Orcish ‘Howling Axe’, tailored to deliver crushing blows with deep, gouging cuts – whilst intoned with a modicum of order; the head is dressed with evenly trimmed plates, and crested by the likeness of a perched Raven. With all others cleaned, the Viscountess tailored a new web of enchantments, most designed to improve her handling with the weapon – while others harken to those of old.
She was, as had always been the case with it’s predecessor, rarely without it. Yet adjustments to her fighting style forced her to adapt it once more.
Hollowrend, Blade of the Soulweavers Edit
Re-forged from what had once been Tyrfefldr, Hollowrend is a longsword meant to replace the cumbersome weight of an Axe with the nimbleness and versatility of a proper blade. Tailored to suit Aya specifically, it bears a new host of runes that instill within it a much different purpose.
Stjernmòðr, Edge of RuineEdit
"Starfury", a runed spear of Titanic Origin which imbues the wielder with certain strengths. It holds a keen edge that never dulls, whilst remaining durable enough to withstand shattering force. It imbues the wielder with starlike motes of energy when carried, greatly enhancing their depth perception as to better enhance their ability to strike with accuracy. Blows evoke a flash of light, a lash as strong as its bite itself.
It holds an ornate appearance, inscribed with various runes in ancient prayer. Aya came into possession of the weapon after recovering Titan Keystones with her lover, Verus Baelheit, revealing the blueprint during the decoding process. Together, they reformed the weapon via points across Northrend, where Titan structures and facilities lay seeded in the earth.
It began with a venture into Sholazar Basin, where the pair sought the first shard to what quickly became a mystery. The source, a set of Titan Keystones, left them with only one direction: the dense jungle. It was pristine; life unimpeded by war or conflict, bar the usual pander of survival between native species. Yet, for all it offered, the serene image belied a plague; Scourge had invaded, setting in motion a plan that threatened to envelop the whole of the land in undeath. Standing against them, Aya and Verus quickly began combatting the Cultists wherever they appeared, quickly finding that their layout was more systematic than the eye originally fortold.
So left was a trail of clues, much like steps on a beaten path. Together, they uncovered the horrors of the invasion, and the devastating effects it had on the shard that fell beneath them. Only after swallowing their dismay did they attempt something bold: restoring the fallen spire of a now-sundered pillar, restoring life into the construct which would exude into the soil with power that would birth vegetation anew.
Their actions had not gone unnoticed. Following, they were awarded a justly earned reward: The shaft.Continuing forwards, the pair uncovered the location of the second shard, buried deep in the recesses of Uldaman: -a pillaged site now bereft of the splendor it once held. Against ancient constructs and invasive species alike, they were able to retrieve the fragment together. The final piece to the puzzle, however, lay in someplace not unfamiliar: Un'goro Crater. The final stage of their journey yielded them both enlightenment and perplexation in equal measures, beginning on a note akin to the first. Slowly, they located and revitalized the aged Crystal Pylons - devices which once contained the growth within, protecting it from those who would see it countless years' progress undone - uncovering fragments of the Crater's past in each swoop. Only once all three had been united did the end become clear.
From each emerged a beam of energy, connecting across starry skies in a web. From the heart fell a living constellation, a gift that ultimately joined with the empty spear to create something greater. Following, the two were brought before Nabyla, a watcher within the Crater, who revealed their part in a grand experiment - concluding with the reward Aya now carried: the finished weapon. Small banter followed, where they left with plenty of information to digest.
Aya, throughout the course of her life, has had difficulty keeping hold on all that she holds dear.
Both a Death Knight and a constant companion through Harcern's extended absence, Aya found herself falling for Yiska; the two shared multiple grounds in various fields, and often shared long talks by machination. Though never quite official, she regarded him as something close. The two traveled through Northrend, exploring segments of their past whilst their bond grew. They became close, and had even begun debate involving as to where they would settle together once time permitted. Aya, for the brief time they shared, felt happy.
His calling and the time of war, however, ultimately served to rift them apart - after several trips through the Jade Forest, he vanished without a word. Pained by his evident loss and without anything to prove otherwise, she conducted a memorial in his honour. Though she has since moved on, part of her still misses his companionship.
Verus BaelheitEditIn the days past, a concerned friend introduced Aya to a Magus of high standing within the Kirin Tor with the intent of remedying her newly jaded views. Skeptical at first, her impressions left her with the will to try, soon finding that she enjoyed his company just as much as he had, hers. Over time and a chain of dates, her inital fondness gave way for something more. They were soon inseperable.
Worlds apart, yet linked by many common grounds, the two cultivated a powerful level of synergy. Well-paced, and comfortably familiar with the Archmage, her hopes for finding a lasting partner began to rise. It was only after several months had passed that she became all but certain.
Eclipsing a pleasant evening together, Verus proposed - whilst caught off guard, Aya accepted. Deigning it apt to wed during Winter Veil, they were then married several weeks later.
In the weeks following, Aya and Verus embraced the prospect of building a family together; ever in-love, she found herself pregnant with twins, later giving birth to a son and daughter. Rowan, the former, was established heir to her house whilst the latter, Vera, has been set along the path to becoming a Magi; though the freedom of choice yet remains. Now a family of two years, the pair has weathered countless threats and adventures - yet as time draws onwards, it seems only more await.
Over time, however, Aya matured -- and with her growth came a change in perspective. Her responsibilities, as well as the pangs of her own heart, could no longer allow her to run and live the life Verus wanted. With this realization, and the reconciliation that she would never involve him with the intrinsic dangers native to the Ashen Coast as a whole, they both parted ways.
This end, unlike those prior to it, felt much more somber. Aya did not enjoy letting him go, but her mind is at ease.
Nicholas Graveshire Edit
The tale between Aya and Nick is one of circumstance, beginning with an act of selflessness that brought about their first meeting. The Earl exposed himself to unrestrained Fel energies in an effort to protect his fellows in the Order, a decision that quickly earned him her respect and a place beside her as one of its leaders. Over the small handful of autumnal months that followed, the two endeavoured to become familiar with one-another, establishing a healthy-but-formal relationship for the betterment of their cause.
Soon after the conclusion of Hallow's End, Nicholas invited her to visit him at his hold in the Storm's Crag on matters of urgency. She found him weakened by an attempt to expunge his corruption, the lingering aftermath of his decision in the not-so-distant past. Concerned for his health, she volunteered her aid. Believing his condition would sufficiently improve within a small window of time, she extended her visit to a couple of days. While she waited, Aya kept him company, intrigued by the opportunity to learn more about the lands he called his home. Given their circumstances, the two set aside formalities while they talked, wandered and explored. Without realizing it at first, she found herself drawn to him. Fearing the implications and his response, she thought on her feelings and decided to make them known during the following day.
Much to her surprise, he expressed an interest of his own. Emboldened by this, both of them decided to pursue their feelings to see where the future lay. She remained for a short while longer, until circumstances arose that called her away, consequently delaying the initial reason for her visit as well. Aya's feelings for him grew somewhat over the brief span of weeks that followed, but it was during the culmination of the Grip Invasion that they culminated into something more. Shortly before the time came to confront the forces of the Horde, she spent an evening with him along the outskirts of Mistvale, and left with him to join the forces of the Order along the front. The forces of the Ashen Coast warred throughout Winter Veil, during which the clashing armies had little time for celebrations. In spite of this, both found ways to make the most of it.
As the Horde's forces began to withdraw towards their stronghold, the Order seized a much-needed opportunity to dispatch their Warlocks, who based themselves just beyond it. During the fighting, one of their leaders exploited Nicholas's still-lingering corruption to turn him against his allies -- something for which Aya felt responsible. With solemn determination, she made use of her capabilities as a Soulweaver to release him; but at a terrible cost to herself. She fell comatose, teetering between life and death.
The time between her collapse and her wakening was, to her, virtually omitted; she found herself within her tent, garbed in simple clothes in place of her armour. Far more moving was the realization that Nicholas was with her, and that he had not left her side since his recovery. The thought warmed her heart, and it was then that she became all but certain her feelings for him were something real.
Following the aftermath of the Grip Invasion, Aya and Nicholas have only grown closer together. A number of travails tested their commitment – fel corruption, politics and unseemly developments along her path as a soulweaver numbering among them – yet every experience has only served to further strengthen the developing bond between them.
So it was the pair planned to be wed, though their intentions were initially delayed by the call to arms, which left them with little time for more than paperwork and formalities. When the war in Taenia drew to a close, Aya joined Nicholas in his sojourn to Greymoon Isle. There, soothed by the lingering comfort of a lasting victory and time at ease, they found an opportunity to undergo a proper ceremony to further cement their union - and with it, a number of changes in her perspective.
When at last they had to return to their daily lives, she did so feeling rejuvenated and fulfilled; ready to embark upon what marked an end to one chapter of her past, and the beginning of something new.
Aya is by nature very calculating, gifted in the arcane with a streak of cleverness that can make her somewhat unpredictable. At a glance, her courtly demeanor and formal tongue paints her as cold and uncaring; but beneath her exterior is a kind, sensitive heart that she often struggles to express.
A fierce sense of loyalty binds her to her friends and loved ones, for whom there is little she would not sacrifice. These bonds shape many of her choices, though she is not without her moments.
Though she can be ruthless with proper provocation, she prefers mercy to vindictiveness and would sooner have her foes return to their homes than lift her hand against them. Her experiences have left her weary, however, and trust is a precious commodity.