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|Age||321 (appears to be about 21)|
|Current Residence||No fixed abode|
- "I will protect this world, no matter the cost. That is my mission; that is who I am"
- —Aishen Thornewood
Aishen Thornewood is a Night Elf Hunter and an expert marksman, known for her passion in defending nature and the world's wild places.
Aishen's appearance is none too striking in amongst Kaloderi. Of average height, her soft features tend to make her look a little younger then she actually is. Her skin is light purple, while her hair is a darker purple and kept at shoulder length. Apart from the traditional Night Elf face markigns, her features are none to remarkable. She has a small scar above her right eye, a legacy of a battle with a Gronn, but it is far from immediately noticeable. As night Elves go, she tends to blend into a crowd.
Her equipment tends towards being relatively simple and dark coloured to better allow her to conceal herself and blend into her surroundings, but is again none to destictive. Aishen has little idea of 'casual' wear, and usually will wear her armour wherever she goes. One incongruous touch is her backpack; there is a small plush toy Nightsaber dangling from it, which was made by her friend Verien.
Years spent watching nature and the wilds have left a mark on Aishen; in many ways, she seems to relate better to animals then she does to other people. Somewhat shy and socially awkward, she is often uncomfortable around large groups of people, and will often choose to stay quiet rather then speak up. She is not one for small talk, preferring to speak only when it is important. She is also not very good at expressing herself, her speech often being full of pauses or halting where she stops to think about what she wants to say next.
On the other hand, she is a very fierce and passionate person about her beliefs. Having seen first-hand both the power and beauty of nature and the destruction caused by the Burning Legion and other fel forces, she feels that she has to save the world and to, so to speak, "make things right." To this end, she travels the world, trying to discover what must be done to heal it form the damage it has suffered. She also seeks to find a way to "cure" her people and restore their immortality. Unlike many other Night Elves, she understands and accepts what the druids of Teldrassil were trying to do when they created the new world tree, even if they were misguided. To her, they had the right intentions, but the wrong idea.
Aishen loves nature and the world, finding the greatest enjoyment in these places that are less touched by civilization. The jungles of Feralas or Stranglethorn Vale are the sort of areas she loves, those wild, primal and raw places were nature is dominant. She is particularly opposed to those that she sees as destroyers or corruptors of the world; she has no love for Demons and those who consort with them, especially Warlocks. She also feels driven to destroy the Nagas and Satyr, those offshoots of her people that she feels are responsible for so many of the world's ills. She harbours similar feelings towards Blood Elves, but is less passionate in calling for their demise.
While her social skills are lackluster, her skills as a hunter are impressive for her young age. She is an expert tracker, able to locate, read and follow animals; to pick out those that are strong and those that are weak, and then bring them down. In combat, she becomes cold and driven, focusing on a target and doing all she can to bring it down. She adapts to the conditions she is presented with, but will always prefer to make the enemy fight on her terms. For example, one time when fighting rebel warriors in Stranglethorn she took advantage of the weather and terrain to snipe at the edges of their camp, picking off stray individuals rather then confronting them head-on. This allowed her to thin out their numbers and force them to fight on her terms.
Of late, she has begun to become a little more open and a bit more socially capable as she has accepted others into her life. He has become close to several other members of her guild, almost passionately loyal. Recent events have shown the depth of feeling that she has for these people, and the lengths that she would go to for them. This, in turn, has seen her become somewhat better at expressing herself, her speech being far more fluent and less prone to pause.
Aishen's childhood was none to extraordinary. The daughter of a botanist and a Nightsaber trainer, she had an interest in nature and the wilderness from an early age. She saw the forests of Ashenvale as being just as much her home as the town in which she lived, and spent many hours exploring them, getting to know them and their inhabitants. From an early age, she gained a respect for nature from these explorations. The older she got, the further she would roam, discovering more about the world around her.
She loved the forests of her home, and was content to explore and play in them. She would have been happy to spend her life there, not bothered by the concerns of the outside world. After all, Kalimdor was a remote place, the Night Elves protected from all contact, being safely isolated for millennia, so she felt she had nothing to worry about. Her days were instead filled with exploration and play.
At a young age she met another young Kaldorei, Xerille Fernleaf. The two quickly hit it off, becoming rather close friends as they grew up. Louder and more boisterous, Xerille's more outgoing nature complimented Aishen's relative shyness, helping her to get over some of her hangups and draw her out a little. In many ways, Aishen saw Xerille as being the sister she never had.
And then the world changed.
At the outbreak of the third war, Aishen and Xerille were placed into a reservist platoon under the command of a Sentinel known only as FJ. Even though they only knew each other for a short period, a close bond formed between Aishen and her commander. The older Night Elf took Aishen under her wing to a degree, helping teach her a number of skills that she would need in battle, while at the same time encouraging her to more devleop her own abilities.
These lessons helped her survive what was to come. Aishen saw first hand the destruction wrought on the forests by the Burning Legion and their forces. The destruction of the World Tree, and her sudden loss of immortality was another shock to her, as was Xerille's death just hours beofre the end of the war. It was these events that changed her life, shaping her into the woman that she is today. No longer was she immortal; now she had maybe four thousand years of life. While that may seem like an eternity to some races, to a Night Elf it was a shocking loss.
After seeing the events that had unfolded, she decided that she needed to help right the damage that had been done to the world. She travelled to the new Kal’dorei city of Darnassus, there learning to be a Hunter. After that, she began her journey to find what the world needed to repair the damage it had suffered. Once her training was complete, she sought out a Nightsaber and tamed it, making it her companion and naming the beast Zaber.
It wasn't easy; young and inexperienced, Aishen found that she often was overwhelmed by the forces that she encountered. The world, she discovered, was a lot larger and more hostile then she had expected. Her travels quickly took her across the ocean to the Eastern Kingdoms, broadening her horizons and introducing her to a world that she had never seen before. Soon she was fighting Defias bandits as much as she was battling through the wilds of her old home.
Her relative shyness did prove to be a hindrance, however. Unaccustomed to other people, and without Xerille or FJ to encourage her, she often withdrew into herself and was alone in her travels, only Zaber for company.
While she had met Humans, Dwarves and Gnomes in Kalimdor, she wasn't quite prepared to see them in such massive numbers as she did in the Eastern Kingdoms. The land seemed very odd to her; the large cities and well-tended farmlands of Azeroth and Dun Morogh seemed nothing like the dark forests of Ashenvale.
Despite her shyness and being unaccustomed to the environment, she managed to make a few friends from other races, albeit rather expectedly in some cases. Most unusual amongst them were a human girl by the name of Verien, whom she later learned was a Warlock. While everything in her background and culture told her that this girl should be considered a dangerous enemy, actually meeting her and talking with her revealed that she was, surprisingly enough, a nice person.
A second friendship formed with an older, more experienced Kal’dorei Huntress, Melwynaria Frostbreeze. Aishen was very impressed by the Huntress’ abilities and skills, as well as her confidence and mastery, all traits that she felt that she was lacking in. Melwynaria took Aishen under her wing, teaching her a lot of her own skills and helping her in numerous matters much as FJ had beofre. Over time, a strong friendship formed between the two as they worked together; however, Aishen never quite felt to be her friend’s equal, always seeing herself as a student more then anything else.
Unfortunately, another group she met left her with a rather negative impression. She participated in an attack on the Defias headquarters alongside two of their members, the pair of them displaying unbelievable incompetence and nearly getting everyone involved killed. Matters were further complicated by an encounter with a domineering Shadow Priestess. While she initially aided Aishen, the woman seemed to be trying to impose her will and beliefs on everyone around her. After making a ham-fisted attempt to "convert" Aishen (and several others) to her beliefs, Aishen abandoned her, leaving the group to their fate.
Months passed as she continued her self-appointed mission. Travelling across the world, she further pushed the limits of her skills as she faced all manner of opponents. At the same time, she turned her back on others, using her handful of negative experiences to justify a belief that companions would only get in her way or hold her back. Reaching an almost religious zeal, she travelled to the furthest and most dangerous regions of the world, determined to find a way to "make things right."
With the setbacks she had suffered, and despite her newfound determination, Aishen realised that she was lacking in direction; she was simply lashing out at her perceived enemies, but had no central plan of action as such.
It was at this time that her friend Melwynaria contacted her with a proposal. The Huntress was a part of a secretive group, known simply as the The Order, who gathered to defend Azeroth against what were deemed as “extraordinary” threats. It was these threats, she explained, that were the greatest danger to the world that Aishen had strived to protect.
Aishen accepted her offer, realising that this is what she had been looking for. She was presented with a chance to further her cause of “making things right" within a group of like-minded individuals. While the order's members may have had different goals, the orgnaisation allowed them to be focused on specific tasks.
Working with the Order saw another change in Aishen; she began to open up again, becoming a lot more accepting of others. Renewing her friendship with Verien, she also began to see several other members of the order as more then just people she fought alongside. Some of them became good friends, often to her surprise. Her spirits were further buoyed when her mentor, FJ, was inducted into the order.
As a member of the Order of Tirisfal, Aishen has faced greater challenges that have tested her skills to the very limit. In places like Zul'Gurub, An'Quiraj and the molten core of Blackrock Mountain, she has fought creatures that she never had imagined. Despite these challenges, however, she remained just as determined to fulfill her goals. To her eyes, those were the true threats that she must defeat if the world was to be saved.
Outland and Onwards
For a brief moment, there was stability. Then the Dark Portal reopened, and everything changed. The Order were a part of the initial counterattack on the Legion forces that swarmed through the portal, managing to hold their ground and then drive them back. Then, like so many others, Aishen headed through the Dark Portal into the shattered world of Outland. There she found a world unlike any other place that she had ever seen.
Unfortunately, this new world also was filled with perils and threats, the likes of which that Aishen had never imagined. Thrown into battle again, she found herself facing off with not only her people’s ancient enemies, but also a grand army raised by the great betrayer, Illidan Stormrage. Despite these threats, Aishen found herself unwavering and unflinching in her resolve. Even after a long and bloody rivalry with a Naga Warlord that left her physically drained, she continued to fight on.
At the same time, she found herself drawn closer to her comrades. Now operating more openly, she spent more time with the Order’s members when not in battle. With a surprising degree of openness for someone so painfully shy, Aishen began to open up to the other members, being able to express how she felt about them.
Her finest hour, however, came when operating on her own, albiet at the urging of a strange man whom she suspected was more then he seemed. Infiltrating the ranks of the Dragonmaw Clan of Fel orcs in a magical disguise, she disrupted their operations, sabotaging and slowly destroying them from within. For several weeks, she worked undercover, faced with a constant threat of discovery. However, at then edn of the day, she was successful; the Dragonmaw Orcs were broken, and the Nether Dragonflight were liberated from their clutches. To her surprise, the grateful Nether Dragons let her use one of their own number as a mount, allowing her to explore previously unseen reaches of the strange world.
Unfortnately, not too long afterwards, The Order broke up due to the sudden and unexplained dissapearance of its leader. Initially at a loss for what to do, Aishen eventually made contact with and joined a large guild known as Bloodforged. Her membership of the guild proved to be something of a success; she quickly made a number of friends withing the group, particularily with her fellow hunters. It also opened the path for a number of her friends to join the guild.
Loss and Growth
Aishen's world was suddenly rocked after Melwynaria was reported dead following a Naga attack near Theramore; while the Huntress hadn't been killed, she was reportedly wounded before being dragged into the ocean. Aishem however, refused to believe that her friend was dead, and joined several others in searching for the missing woman. An unlikely source turned out to be their saviour; Tinsteri, a Gnome Warlock, had information that proved that not only she was still alive, but where she was.
Following this lead, Aishen took part in an attack on an island off the coast of Theramore, slaughtering her way through the Naga guards in a fit of anger and rage. To her releif, they found that Melwynaria was alive, caliber badly injured and apparently infected with a vile poison. Doing their best to keep her alive, the group were able to fight their way out of the subterranean prison and off the Island, bringing her to the relative safety of Theramore isle, and the keep. From there, with their aid, Melwynaria began the long process of recovery from her ordeals.
It was at about this time that she met Lleyras Moonblade, a Kaldorei warrior. While he was a lot older then she was, she was rather taken with his pleasant manners and polite demeanor, as well as his somewhat insightful nature. While their initial meeting was pure chance, she began to increasingly engineer excuses to slip off and meet the warrior in her few spare hours, claiming that she was passing while engaged in some duty or another; in truth, however, she was trying not to admit her feelings for the man.
However, while they were talking, Lleyras revealed a fact about his past that she had not expected; he had previously been married to Melwynaria; more to the point, their marriage was arranged, and had been long and loveless and completely without children. In truth, he knew that she hated him for how he had treated her. He told Aishen to leave him and tell his ex-Wife that he was alive, and where to find him. When Aishen did, however, Melwynaria flew into a rage and ran off with murderous intent.
Fearing for the worst for both her best friend and her new found love, Aishen managed to track down and confront Melwynaria. She discovered that while she had been enraged at her ex-husband, attacking and previously wounding him, she could not bring herself to kill him for what he had done. In her eyes, she saw that he was a changed man, and that he genuinely loved Aishen; a sentient that he would have never previously been able to express. Instead, she let him live, having herself forgiven his actions. Telling Aishen this much, she gave her quiet blessing to their growing relationship.
War, then more War
Aishen spent her months battling threats across Outland, constantly throwing herself into battle to deal with those enemies that would destroy not only that world, but her homeworld as well. The battles also drew her back to Azeroth as the forces of the Burning Legion invaded Quel'danis, seeking to use the Sunwell to re-enter the world and destroy it. While the constant battles took their toll, she was more then willing to do her part for her world.
At the same time, her relationship with Lleyras continued to grow, the two falling more and more in love with each other. When she could, Aishen would take time away from the frontlines and spend it with him, those precious hours becoming islands of calm where, if only for a moment, she could relax and shed some of her burden. In many ways, it made what she had to do so much easier, and gave her something else to live for.
Her efforts paid off; one by one, the great threats of Outland fell in battle, cumulating with the defeat of the Betrayer himself at the Black Temple. With their leaders gone, both the Illidari and Burning Leigon forces were left weak and scattered, with the battles for control of Outlands turning more and more into mopping-up operations. Aishen began to unwind; with the threat receding, she spent more and more time away from the battlefield.
Eventually, as the threat had all but ceased, she summoned the courage to face another task, one that she knew she was unprepared for. Approaching Lleyras, she proposed to him; she wanted to spend her life with him. Unprepared, he none the less accepted, the two of them making plans for their future together. Aishen especially wanted to try and have children; knowing full well that Lleyras had always wanted a child, but his previous marriage had been barren through no fault of his own.
However, before anything further could be done, an unexpected event occurred. The Scourge returned, their forces launching attacks across the face of Azeroth. Anyone who was able to was called up to do their part, battling the invading undead armies across the world. The assaults cumulated in an attack on Stormwind's newly completed harbor, which was only barely repulsed.
In the aftermath, it became apparent that the Scourge's forces had grown far stronger then expected. The Alliance began to muster its forces again, this time traveling north to confront the undead legions in their homeland and defeat them, once and for all. Reluctantly, Aishen volunteered to join the force, putting her duty again ahead of her own needs. After saying a tearful farewell to Lleyras, she boarded a boat, heading to Northrend.
Propelled by a combination of a sense of duty and anger at her being denied her chance at happiness, Aishen threw herself into battle with the undead Armies in Northrend. Far more aggressive and direct then before (“A pint-sized ball of anger” FJ once commented), she pushed aside anything that she saw as a distraction to her goal.
Her motivations were twofold; the first was the same that she had always carried with her; her desire to protect the world, and restore it to the way that it had once been. To this end, she saw the Lich King and the Scourge as the greatest threats to the world, and drove herself to destroy them. As she travelled further in Northrend, her determination only became greater after seeing more and more of the damage that the Scourge had wrought, as well as numerous encounters with their minions and lieutenants.
The second, while she did a good job of hiding it, was somewhat selfish; she was furious at what had happened, simply because of the denial of her perfect life, the moment she felt that she had already sacrificed so much for. This anger also helped to drive her own, giving her a further motivation; the sooner the Scourge were destroyed, the sooner she could quietly retreat from the world, fading into the shadows to live the quiet life she had so craved.
More focused and aggressive then before, she eschewed her friends, directing her efforts at doing what she felt was needed to bring about victory against the Scourge. Working with others in Bloodforged, she scored a number of key victories, defeating the undead armies and other threats across the face of Northrend. Her crusade cumulated with an assault on the dread citadel of Naxxramas which, after many trials and setbacks, eventually saw the citadel’s fall.
However, to her eyes, this was still not enough.
Aishen's constant companion is a young adult male Nightsaber that she named Zaber. Like hers, Zaber's appearance is none to extraordinary. The two have been together for some time; she first found him in Teldrassil while training, and has never taken another pet until very recently. While clearly loyal to her, Zaber seems to also have moments of sulkiness where, rather then his usual place at her side, he will instead plod behind Aishen, head bowed. These usually last until his next feed. From what Aishen can tell, his behaviour is less motivated by any resentment or disliking of her, and more by a simple desire to get more food.
For a long time, Zaber was the closest thing Aishen had to an actual friend. On occasion, she would even talk to him as if she was expecting a response. Even today, she still talks to him, and has been known to take time out to tell him of her problems, as if he could help her with them. When she thinks that nobody's looking, she tends to dote on him, treating him somwhere between a spoilt child and an oversized housecat.
Zaber seems to share a lot of her attitudes; he seems to particularly delight in attacking Satyrs or Warlocks. While normally tending to simply leap out and maul his opponents, Zaber is also capable of quietly sneaking up on foes, remaining unseen until he strikes. On occasion, Aishen has used this ability to her advantage; using her hunter training to literally see through his eyes, she is able to sneak into places that normally she couldn't reach.
- "Krysna, this wouldn't have happened if you could keep your pecker under control"
"I'm sorry. My pecker has a mind of it's own"
- —Aishen and Krysna, on Rain
Her second companion was not exactly one that she planned on. Aishen was approached by Krysna Ej'lahona, a fellow hunter and member of the guild, with an unusual request. Apparently, at some point, Krysna's Tallstrider companion, Aqueys, had mated with Melynaria's Tallstrider, Floyd, and laid an egg. From there, it had hatched into a bird that, rather then having Floyd's pink feathers or Aqueys' blue, was instead shockingly purple. Unable to handle two Tallstriders at once, and knowing that Aishen was a good friend of Melwynaria's, Krysna had given her the hatching to raise and tame.
Naming the creature Rain (a suggestion of Krysna's), Aishen found that it was an unusual creature. While not a predator like Zaber, he still is capable of fiercely attacking foes, and is more then willing to go into battle for alongside her. Like Krysna with Aqueyus, she has taken to jokingly referring to the bird as being "her pecker", much to the annoyance of several other people.
The third of Aishen's companions, PK was one of the Groddoc apes from Feralas before being tamed by Aishen. While, like Rain, not normally a predator, the gorilla is still a fierce and capable fighter in its own right. Even before being tamed, he was more then capable of defending himself and putting up a good fight; with Aishen's taming, he has become even more dangerous, a powerful threat to the huntress' foes. While like Zaber and Rain he is clearly loyal to her, PK seems to genuinely enjoy fighting alongside her. He seems to like charging at packs of enemies, using his powerful thunderstomps to disorientate them and then his slamming them with his massive fists.
Aishen refuses to explain what "PK" stands for, why she named him that or, for that matter, why she chose to tame the massive gorilla in the first place. FJ finds his name amsuing. Of late, Aishen has taken to talking about "Her monkey" in the same vein as she referred to "her big purple pecker", much to the annoyance of some and the amusment of others.