Year of Birth
Place of Birth
Demon of the West
Cult of Elune
Leafsong Shalah'aman (Wife)
- "The Kaldorei could benefit greatly from new allies. It is no secret that our people are a great people; we are far greater than all. This in mind, I believe it wise to broaden our horizons so we may draw upon the resources and talents of a wider world. Only this will restore the Kaldorei to the throne of all creation."— Archdruid Fandral Staghelm
Ashamal Shalah'aman is a Kaldorei statesman, soldier, and Grand Marshal of the Alliance. He is known by the name Aphel to the Eastern Kingdoms and humanity. As a flag officer of the Stormwind Navy, he played a major role in many Alliance victories against the Horde and other enemy factions. Ashamal is among several Alliance soldiers to be awarded the Alliance Legion of Valor, the highest military honor given to members of the Grand Alliance's armed forces. Despite being a highly controversial figure, he garners respect from a wide variety of cultures and groups across Azeroth, namely Alliance nationalist groups, right-wing populist political organizations, and pro-Alliance Kaldorei parties.
Born to the Great House of Shalah'aman in Suramar, he was the youngest child of Lord Illosien Shalah'aman and Lady Mirae Shalah'aman. His noble birth provided him with incredible wealth and excellent education from a young age, and he practiced classical military studies and history at the Great Academy of Ravencrest in Suramar.
To this day, he remains a Hunter of considerable repute, and one of Kalimdor's leading experts on archery, military science, and tactics.
Betraying his family and their ambitions, Ashamal opted to join the side of the Kaldorei Resistance during the War of the Ancients. He was the protégé of Ly'doriel Windcrest, a Highborne scholar, biologist, and revolutionary whose works contributed to the zeitgeist of Drudism.
Following the leadership of Kur'talos Ravencrest, and later Jarod Shadowsong, Ashamal emerged triumphant from the ashes of the War of the Ancients and the Sundering. He dissolved his father's noble line and hereditary claims at the behest of the new ruling party, governed by Tyrande Whisperwind and Malfurion Stormrage.
Ashamal served with the Cenarion Army during the War of the Shifting Sands. He became a close and trusted advisor of Fandral Staghelm. By the end of the conflict, the men under his command were afflicted by a terrible sickness of the mind. The Old God, C'thun, had taken advantage of the weakened morale of the Cenarion Army after the death of Valstann Staghelm, and projected his will upon the minds of the hopeless Kaldorei soldiers. Ashamal and his men turned on their allies, controlled by the ministrations of the Qiraji and their dark god. This ordeal ended in Ashamal's indefinite exile in Winterspring.
From the ending of the War of the Shifting Sands to the beginning of the Third War, Ashamal wandered the snow-capped peaks and forests of Northern Kalimdor. Eventually, he was given the opportunity to shake off his crimes by joining the Alliance.
Ashamal emigrated to Stormwind City, where he would become a prominent Kaldorei community leader and organizer. His associations with various anti-Alliance Kaldorei insurgencies led to his detainment by the SI:7, who gave him an opportunity to use his skills in service of the Alliance in both domestic and international affairs.
Securing victories for the Alliance in a myriad of engagements at land and sea, he prospered as a member of the enlisted officers of the Stormwind Navy. Over a decade, Ashamal grew to become a talented and infamous Alliance commanding officer. Ashamal commanded the 117th Division from the flagship Glorious Dawn, a warship constructed after the Shattering. He was feared by the Horde for his ruthless and effective strategies in all theatres of war, and revered by his allies for his loyalty and staunch dedication to his cause. He eventually received a full pardon from Darnassus, and was allowed to return to Kalimdor as a citizen and Elder.
Recent events have put Ashamal at odds with his own allies in the Alliance, due to his controversial actions and associations. Nevertheless, he remains a steadfast supporter of the Grand Alliance, and would even disobey a direct order from Darnassus if such a command was not in the interest of the Alliance as a whole. His loyalties lie firmly with the Kingdom of Stormwind and the international Alliance military forces.
As of late, he has associated with the Grand Alliance Nationalists Party, a coalition of far-right political interest groups who wish to steer factional jurisprudence towards far more aggressive foreign policy against the Horde.
- 1 Personality & Traits
- 2 Early Life
- 3 The Kaldorei Resistance
- 4 Disbandment of House Shalah'aman
- 5 The Cenarion Army
- 6 The Terrorclaw Satyr
- 7 Healing Wounds & the Long Vigil
- 8 Faith in Elune & Servitude to the Ancients
- 9 The Ancient's Awakening
- 10 Return to the Cenarion Army
- 11 Staghelm's War and the Qiraji Empire
- 12 Sickness of the Mind
- 13 Exile in Winterspring
- 14 Further Travels
- 15 The Third War
- 16 First Contact
- 17 Theramore & Departure to the East
- 18 Stormwind City & Racial Tensions
- 19 Alliance Military Training
- 20 Early Military Career
- 21 The Burning Crusade
- 22 Operation Hellbreaker
- 23 A New Love
- 24 The Ethereals
- 25 Knighthood
- 26 Organized Crime in Stormwind
- 27 Fatherhood & Family Life
- 28 Appealing Exile
- 29 The Might of Staghelm
- 30 The First Thalassian Conflict
- 31 The Demon of the West
- 32 The Warsong Outriders
- 33 The Second Thalassian Conflict
- 34 The Capture of Ashamal Shalah'aman
- 35 The Recovery
- 36 Promotion to Marshal
- 37 Corporate Interests
- 38 The Fall of Staghelm
- 39 The Shattering
- 40 The Battle of the Barrens
- 41 Continued Career
- 42 Third Thalassian Conflict
- 43 The Destruction of Theramore
- 44 The Dalaran Insurgency
- 45 The Trial of Tendael Dawnlight
- 46 Flight to Outland
- 47 Return to Stormwind & Escape to Darnassus
- 48 The Lineage of the Moon
- 49 The Iron Wolf
- 50 Pandaria and Beyond
- 51 The Siege of Orgrimmar
- 52 Aftermath & Mental Trauma
- 53 The Honors of Pandaria
- 54 The Warbound Brotherhood
- 55 The March on the Highlands
- 56 Bleeding the Mountain
- 57 Draenor, Retirement, and Political Intrigue
- 58 Present Day
- 59 Honors & Awards
- 60 Trivia & Facts
Personality & Traits
While Ashamal has trained himself to be a talented fighter, his control over the domain of the mind is more decidedly pronounced. He is a natural leader, and possesses a deep understanding for the motivations of others. He excels at feigning his interest or sympathy, and it is often difficult for others to decipher his intentions if they try. He has used this ability to a tremendous extent, orchestrating the downfall of many a foe within the Alliance and outside of it. Although he derives no particular enjoyment from ruining the lives of others, he is excited by the prospect of participating in the dynamic narrative of whatever environment he finds himself in, and has an attention for detail matched only by the most observant adversaries.
Though he is old, he is not the wisest among his kin. Like a far younger member of his race, he tends to allow impulse and emotion to govern his actions over logical reasoning. He is faithful to Elune, and has abstained from alcohol for the majority of his life. While tradition is important to Ashamal, he is willing to set aside the needs of his people in order to give priority to his own pursuits, even if it means placing the Alliance on a higher pedestal than the Kaldorei.
He is family-oriented, and spends a considerable amount of his time participating in the lives of his children. Ashamal truly loves his lifemate, and unfortunately, his family has become a weak point that some of his most formidable enemies have learned to expoit.
Ashamal is an avid writer and appreciator of literature. He has penned several fictional and non-fictional works ranging from political treatises to dramatized battlefield accounts from conflicts against the Horde. He's taken a centerstage role in drafting local and international Alliance legislation, and is a competent wordsmith. This is more of a result of his education than a natural talent for writing, but he uses this ability to great effect, and he is almost as persuasive in letters as he is in-person.
Although he is infamous for his fiery temper and reactionary views, he is also among the Alliance's most prudent military tacticians, and is regarded by his enemies to be incredibly patient and cautious in the execution of his strategies.
Despite the more ruthless aspects of his personality, he is altruistic and spends much of his income on charities in Stormwind City and other Alliance nations. He also spends a considerable amount of gold on promoting interest groups he is passionate about, and is a staunch supporter of public education reform and youth care programs. He is a senior patron of the Stormwind Orphanage, and commonly hosts charity benefits to raise more income for social services. More than a few people believe his philanthropy efforts to be insincere and self-interested, and that he uses them as a way to cultivate a shining public image.
Ashamal was raised in Suramar, a great temple city situated in the center of the Highborne Empire. He was called "sickly" by his peers and even by his father, and often fell ill. His birth had come with serious complications that almost cost him his life, but he pulled through narrowly and survived a bout of fevers. With the help of talented apothecaries, he survived. Ashamal may not have been so lucky, were he not born into an affluent family.
His father, the Lord Illosien Shalah'aman, resented him from the time he was born. Ashamal's mother, Mirae Shalah'aman, was very fond of Ashamal, and Illosien was jealous of the close relationship they shared.
Unlike his siblings, Ashamal was born of common blood. Mirae was a peasant girl and fisherman's daughter whom Illosien took an interest in, and she gave birth to Ashamal out of wedlock. Out of guilt and political interest both, Illosien chose to claim the bastard Ashamal as his own son, and marry the girl, Mirae. This helped him gain a bit of support from the poor community of Kaldorei in his family's territory, during a time when tensions between the Highborne and Kaldorei commoners were rising steadily.
Training and Education
Despite his resentment for his son, Illosien made certain that Ashamal received formalized training in a variety of sciences. The Highborne Empire was the center of astronomy in the ancient world, and Ashamal discovered a love for creating telescopes and lenses under the watchful eye of his mentors.
He showed talent for linguistics, and quickly learned a variety of writing systems and languages before he grew into young adulthood.
Ashamal was encouraged to continue an education in the Arcane, but showed little talent for magical studies. He took an interest in the history of warfare, and was enamored with tales of his mythical great grandfather, Vanadar I, and his exploits in the wars against the Sandfury Empire in Tanaris.
Betrothal and War
He was inspired by the works of Ly'doriel Windcrest, a lecturer and professor at the academy who ensnared the young Ashamal with his novel philosophy. Ly'doriel, like many other academics during the height of the Empire, was enamored with the natural world. As a talented biologist, he encouraged his students to learn from the wilds and seek the bounty of nature.
While Ashamal had fallen for numerous Kaldorei commoners in Suramar, he was forced to honor a commitment that would secure his family's political dominance in the region. Ashamal was betrothed to Anamaleth Mistbloom, the young and beautiful maiden of House Mistbloom. House Mistbloom's allegiance to House Shalah'aman was struck years before to ensure victory against a long-time mutual enemy, House Thel'barim. The bond between the two families was further strengthened by the marriage of their young prodigies.
Illosien found common ground with his son with a shared interest in warfare. The two bonded shallowly over the topic, and Illosien encouraged his son to expand his knowledge of combat. Illosien enrolled Ashamal in a military tactics course, and Ashamal was trained by some of the best archers, spearmen, and swordsmen in all of Suramar.
Gradually, Ashamal was integrated into his father's fighting force, and joined a collection of Illosien's trusted officers on several operations against House Thel'barim and their allies. Unfortunately, the shock of warfare had gradually worn down Ashamal's resolve, and he began to lash out at his own allies. On one memorable occassion, he struck one of his father's advisors with a bottle of wine, disfiguring his face over a small argument.
Ashamal remembered back to what his teacher, Ly'doriel Windcrest, had taught him. He began to to gravitate towards nature and spent countless hours in the groves surrounding the city of Suramar. He befriended a Nightsaber named Amel'valah, who was originally a troublesome beast that terrorized townsfolk on the outskirts of Suramar. While the bounty had originally requested that the beast be killed, Ashamal was able to tame the creature and keep it as a companion.
The conflict between House Raynewood, the cadet house of the fallen House Thel'barim, and House Shalah'aman hit a boiling point. Nardaren Raynewood seized the majority of House Shalah'aman lands in a campaign of conquest that carved a bloody swath through Southern Kalimdor.
Illosien ordered Ashamal to slay Taladia Thel'barim, Illosien's former wife and the mother of Ashamal's siblings. Reluctantly, Ashamal killed Taladia and sent House Raynewood fleeing in retreat; their struggle had been for nothing.
Peace was negotiated between the servants of the Thel'barim family and House Shalah'aman. Queen Azshara had lost some credibility for sittling idly as two of her Great Houses made war upon one another, laying waste to countless acres of fertile land and forest, and ruining innocent lives in the process. Ashamal was more than pleased to set down his weapons and take a rest from war.
Unfortunately, Kalimdor was about to be plunged into the greatest conflict it would ever loathe to remember.
The Kaldorei Resistance
Queen Azshara ordered the execution of Ly'doriel Windcrest and dozens of other scholars who had spread their opposing views throughout the Highborne Empire. It was only the beginning of a long series of events which threatened to expose Azshara for what she'd truly become: a vain witch whose fancies were delivering her people to sure destruction.
House Raynewood was quick to join Kur'talos Ravencrest and later Jarod Shadowsong in the Kaldorei Resistance. This sparked another war against House Shalah'aman, who remained steadfastly loyal to Azshara.
Ashamal, war-weary and distraught over the execution of his mentor, Ly'doriel, was motivated to join the Kaldorei Resistance and offer what little support he was able to give. A number of the House Shalah'aman generals chose to side with Ashamal, mainly because they'd had similar suspicions about Azshara's inability to lead her people. Illosien was less than pleased to hear of this, and took his personal guard to meet with Azshara and discuss plans to crush House Raynewood.
In his father's absence, Ashamal gathered up the forces of House Shalah'aman and marched to the borders of the western territories of Kalimdor, now under the dominion of House Mistbloom. Feigning their support for Azshara, Ashamal and his men were able to fool House Mistbloom's border guard into allowing them to pass freely into the western forests. This was a fatal mistake the Mistblooms, as the House Shalah'aman army captured much of Western Kalimdor for the Kaldorei Resistance, laying siege to a number of key outposts under Azshara's control. Ashamal abruptly broke off his marriage engagement with Anamaleth Mistbloom, and continued his war.
Despite having sided with the Resistance, House Shalah'aman's soldiers comitted countless attrocities during the War of the Ancients. Ashamal's men perpetrated gruesome punishments upon captured nobles, and pillaged and raped indiscrimately; Ashamal was aware of what was going on, but chose to focus on the war at large, and the actions of his men went unpunished.
Illosien, fearing for his life after Azshara attempted to have him arrested for treason, fled to Eldre'thalas. Aware of his son's betrayal and the turning tide of the War of the Ancients, he feared that he would be punished in a post-Highborne world, and sought refuge in the bowels of Eldre'thalas with Prince Tortheldrin and his retainers.
Disbandment of House Shalah'aman
After the War of the Ancients had passed and victory for the Kaldorei Resistance was attained, Kalimdor was forever changed. The tyranny of the Highborne Empire was no more, and from the ashes rose a new regime that prized a return to naturalism and the spread of Druidic ideas. As such, the Highborne Peerage was formally disbanded to avoid further conflict.
Ashamal, now given control of his father's holdings for his involvement in the War of the Ancients, chose to peaceably disband his Great House and cede his ancestral lands to the newly-formed Cenarion Circle. Ashamal's generals were displeased with this decision, and hoped that they'd be able to maintain their decadent lifestyle, only to find that Druidic society would only promise them a life of monastic solitude. The vast majority of the former House Shalah'aman soldiers fled, pledging their loyalty to Xavius, and underwent a demonic transformation into Satyr when their pact was sealed.
Ashamal's eldest brother, Ilisial Shalah'aman, decided that the disbandment of House Shalah'aman was unacceptable. He took the remains of the uncorrupted Shalah'aman forces to the south, where he toiled to establish a new a society free of the influence of the new Kaldorei ruling party. Like Vanadar I before him, he was unsuccessful, and his men wandered the wastelands constantly to find new sources of food and water.
While many Kaldorei of noble blood adopted Druidic surnames, Ashamal was insistent on honoring the memory of his ancient ancestors by keeping the name of Shalah'aman.
The Cenarion Army
Since the War of the Ancients was fought primarily by male Kaldorei forces, the majority of able-bodied Kaldorei men had been all but eradicated. Those who'd been lucky enough to survive felt lethargic, weary of war, and psychologically wounded. The rise of Druidism in Kaldorei society gave these restless individuals a chance to embrace the Emerald Dream and rest their broken resolves.
Ashamal dwelled alongside his mother, Mirae Shalah'aman, in a small estate in Western Ashenvale. They lived modestly, and it took time for Ashamal to adjust to living as a commoner; Mirae had grown up in poverty, and adapted quickly.
Highborne heroes who'd put their lives on the line to help the Kaldorei Resistance experienced extreme prejudice in the post-Highborne world. Fortunately, Ashamal identified with the Kaldorei from a young age, and he was not fair of skin or light of hair, and blended in well with Kaldorei society at large; likewise, Ashamal's mother was full-blooded Kaldorei.
Along with other male Kaldorei, Ashamal was encouraged to pursue an education in Druidism to help regrow Kalimdor. He tried, and failed miserably, and was unable to even conjure the most basic spells. His Shan'do told him that he sought too much to use nature as a tool rather than befriend it, and thus he would never become a proper Druid.
He felt utterly dejected and incapable, unable to follow suit and join others in embracing a new way of life; he came to regret his inability to grasp Druidism as an art, and it still eats at him to the present day.
Although it was clear Ashamal would not become a Druid, the Cenaron Army needed strong soldiers and tacticians to rival the excellence of the Sentinels in warfare. After many painful trials, Ashamal was welcomed into the Iron Crescent division of the Cenarion Army as a scout. He was less than pleased at the prospect of remaining a rank-and-file grunt, and was determined to prove himself as a capable officer as quickly as possible.
For thousands of years during the Long Vigil, the Iron Crescent divison kept a focus on maintaining security in the forested sprawl of Kalimdor. Ashamal was among the division's top archers, and could place a precise shot at the dead center of most targets within one hundred yards. Under the leadership of Commander Nataros Steeltalon, the Iron Crescent flourished and gradually became one of the most formidable specialist divisions within the Cenarion Army.
While the Iron Crescent mostly thinned the population of dangerous predators and Furbolg clans, they would come across a far greater threat in their many years of service.
The Terrorclaw Satyr
Commander Nataros Steeltalon led a scouting party comprised of his finest archers to search for two disappeared Druidic apprentices in Ashenvale. Eventually, they found the bodies of the Druidic students mutilated upon a gruesome altar in a dank and fel-polluted grove.
A Satyr legion known as the Terrorclaw had intentionally set up an ambush for the Kaldorei forces in order to sacrifice them to a demonic lord known as Etex-Kaaj. Nataros, Ashamal, and several other trained soldiers engaged them in combat, but they were outnumbered six to one.
The Terrorclaw prevailed in combat, beheading Commander Nataros and placing his dismembered corpse upon a blood-slick altar. In desperation, Ashamal tapped into his training and feigned his own death to avoid a similar fate. A Satyr Warlock came to collect his and the other archers' corpses for the ritual. Ashamal waited until the Warlock's back was turned to limp through the brush and flee the site of the battle as quickly as possible.
Along the way to Astranaar, Ashamal was intercepted by a Satyr Trickster who leapt from the forest's inky shadows. The battle between the Hunter and the Satyr was a struggle, and Ashamal's dagger was hardly a formidable weapon when faced with the cruel, barbed shortsword of the Satyr assassin. In the end, Ashamal was victorious, but he wore a potentially fatal wound.
Wearing a deep gash from his left cheekbone over the bridge of his nose, down to the right side of his jaw, the wound gushed with fresh blood to cover his face. His vision blurred as he continued to retreat, and it did not occur to him that the Satyr's blade had been coated in a lethal poison. Because Kaldorei were innately resistant to non-magical poison concoctions, he was able to press on before fainting on a road two miles outside of Astranaar.
Healing Wounds & the Long Vigil
Ashamal awoke in Astranaar to find that his wound had been tended to by a Priestess of Elune. It was too severe a cut to be treated with magic, and was sutured shut and covered in salve-coated bandages. The Priestess had informed him that he may never walk properly again, since he'd been poisoned with a deadly mixture of Willowbark, Deathweed, and Thorn of Agamaggan. According to the town's alchemist, the poison caused instant death in beasts of the wild and in non-Kaldorei; in many cases, it resulted in partial paralysis and permament nervous damage in Night Elves.
With the support of his mother, Mirae Shalah'aman, Ashamal spent two years of his life healing from his wounds in Ashenvale. He was encouraged to send a family member to pray at nearby shrines of Elune and Malorne, and Mirae made a pilgrimage happily to both shrines in order to beg for her son to be restored to good health. Unfortunately, as Mirae was now employed in the Sentinel's reserve forces, she found less and less time to support her injured son.
Day by day, Ashamal tried his best to walk about the town and get a feel for his injured body, but he found the task more than arduous. He was unable to move very far without a sturdy wooden cane, which allowed him to visit nearby trading posts to purchase food and supplies. He remained in the care of the Sentinel outpost, with the possibility that he may remain there for life; facing the prospect of immortal suffering in a post-Highborne world stirred great dread within him.
Droves of other Kaldorei had come to heal in Astranaar after being ambushed by Satyr raiding parties in the vast forests. The Kaldorei military forces had begun to see the Satyr as an organized threat rather than a distant, looming one. Rumors circulated through Ashenvale's many settlements that the Satyr had finally successfully summoned a powerful demon lord, and upon hearing of this, Ashamal feared the worst.
Good news finally came in the winter of Ashamal's second year in Astranaar. A Druidic healer came to the town of Astranaar, speaking of the miracles of the Ancient of Lore known as Bathran. Bathran supposedly dwelled within a grove near the western region of Zoram in Ashenvale. The Druid claimed that the leaves shed from Bathran's limbs could be boiled into a tea and imbibed to cure serious ailments of the soul and body.
Inspired and hopeful, Ashamal begged the Druid for a chance to travel with him to Zoram, but he was far too weak to bear such a journey. The Druid pledged that he would return in a month with a sizable portion of Bathran's leaves.
The month that Ashamal waited for the Druid to return was long and painful. His symptoms had become worse, and his healers encouraged him to save his energy. Renewed hope had motivated him to walk farther than he could before, but his body suffered for it.
Eventually, the Druid returned to Astranaar with the auburn-colored leaves that he had dubbed "Bathran's Hair". Ashamal waited as the Druidic healer brewed the leaves into a thick tar, and then tipped the tea into his mouth. He was disappointed that he could not feel his symptoms subside, but was instructed to wait several days before walking again.
Over the next few days, Ashamal felt his stomach turn and curdle. His bones throbbed with a deep ache, and his muscles felt weak. When the aches left him, he stepped out of bed on his own two feet without assistance. He wobbled, unused to the feeling of moving without a cane. With practice, he felt his full strength return to his body.
Faith in Elune & Servitude to the Ancients
While Ashamal had always believed in the Mother of the Kaldorei, Elune, he had never placed much value on regular worship. After all, Elune was among a pantheon of other similar gods and goddessess in the time of the Highborne Empire, and had only caught on as the largest Kaldorei cult after the Sundering. Paying tribute to the gods when cruelty and bloodshed was pervasive in the world seemed like an unnecessary thing to do. If Elune did not have enough power to stop the cruelty of the Highborne, what was she really worth?
To Ashamal, the fact that he'd been spared from a life of disability and suffering was a sign of Elune's providence. He began to travel to various Elunite shrines across Kalimdor with his mother and other religious pilgrims.
Ashamal decided to seek out the ancient, Bathran, in order to give his thanks for the miraculous cure that saved his life. When he visited Bathran's grove near the western beaches of Zoram, he was greeted by a host of Dryad who'd come to sing praise of Bathran and his miracles. According to the leader of the Dryad pilgrims, Bathran had entered a restorative hibernation which would last for at least a thousand years. Bathran's spirit body would join the Druids in the Emerald Dream for lessons on healing the soul.
The Dryad pilgrims brought several pouches of enchanted seeds to plant around Bathran. Because Bathran was hibernating, his physical body would be vulnerable to attacks by the Satyr and other demonic entities in the forest. A grove would provide natural camouflage for the ancient, and protection against Fel magic.
Determined to repay his spiritual debts to the ancient, Ashamal joined a group of Kaldorei protectors who regularly patrolled Bathran's lands. For almost a thousand years, they stood watchful over Bathran's body and the grove around him.
Ashamal lived off of the land and improved his skills as an archer and huntsman, keeping a vigil in the western fold of Ashenvale.
The Ancient's Awakening
When Bathran finally awoke from his dreaming, he was pleased to find so many loyal Kaldorei watching over his lands. Ashamal introduced himself to the ancient, telling the tale of how Bathran's leaves had spared his life.
Ashamal was hopeful that Bathran would shower him with praise for his prowess with the bow. It was well-known by up-and-coming Kaldorei Hunters that ancients often chose a champion or avatar and granted them immense power, usually in the form of an enchanted bow.
Ultimately, Bathran was a curious being. He had many questions for Ashamal, and spent a fair time analyzing the psyche of the Night Elf. He was sympathetic to Ashamal's inability to connect with the tenets of Druidism. Bathran could sense that there was a deep corruption of the soul within the elf, or at least that his arrogance and selfishness would be his downfall. Since Bathran was innately talented at perceiving spiritual energy, he offered Ashamal further healing and meditation, but did not afford him the opportunity to become a champion of the ancients.
Ashamal left Bathran's grove, deeply offended that the ancient did not offer him the position of champion. Once again, his talents had been, in his view, overlooked. While he was no longer a child, he was beginning to feel like one.
Return to the Cenarion Army
With the troubling emergence of the Naga along the coasts of Kalimdor, Ashamal was called upon by the Cenarion Army to serve on the battlefield. His experience in the Iron Crescent served him well, and he worked tirelessly to impress his commanding officers with his tactical knowledge.
He was wounded by a Naga archer and briefly became an advisor to a cartographer and topograher for the Army. During this time, he gained a much-needed refresher course on the creation of strategic maps. When he was a student of war in the Ravencrest Academy, he had done a reasonably good job with his campaign maps project, but he was definitely rusty. Working with the cartographer allowed him to stay in close contact with officers in the Cenarion Army, who he would come to befriend.
His time finally came when he was promoted to Captain of the Cenarion Army, and was allotted a squad of eight soldiers to control on the battlefield. Generally, his men were not fond of him. He took every opportunity he could to prove his prowess as a ruthless leader, even if it meant putting the lives of his men in harm's way needlessly.
His relationship with the soldiers under his command came to a boiling point when he sent the least experienced swordsman in his squad to distract a Naga field commander. The Kaldorei swordsman was brutally slaughtered by a detachment of Naga soldiers, giving Ashamal time to find an opening in the Naga defense.
While his men had taken the day with a glorious victory against the Naga forces, it was not without great loss. His squad of eight had been reduced to six, and only four of the six remaining men remained in able-bodied condition. Ashamal was praised by Fandral Staghelm for his excellence in command, but had a sour reputation with most of the other senior Cenarion Army officers.
One of Ashamal's injured men, Torien Harrowbark, had announced plans to poison him to the remaining members of the squad. A sycophantic and troublesome Kaldorei archer named Rastun Shel'vash revealed the plot to Ashamal, who had Torien and his conspirators brought before the Cenarion council. Torien and three of the other soldiers in Ashamal's unit were sentenced to one thousand years imprisonment in the Barrow Dens of Ashenvale.
For his loyalty, Ashamal suggested Rastun to be considered for a bravery award from the Cenarion Army. The request was denied, much to Ashamal's anger. To make up for the situation, he promoted Rastun to the position of Cadet. Rastun would carry out his duties as Ashamal's eyes and ears, and spy on threats from within.
Had not most of the Druids of the Cenarion Circle remained in their long sleep, the Cenarion Army would have been able to win the campaign against the Naga forces without much effort. Unfortunately, only Kaldorei men who were ungifted with Druidic potential remained, along with a handful of Druidic officers.
Ashamal's ranks were replenished with new faces. He'd spent some time hand-picking a group of loyal albeit inexperienced soldiers. Ashamal's main priority was ensuring that there would not be a repeat of history. He would rather work with untalented grunts than keep mutinous men in his employ.
Staghelm's War and the Qiraji Empire
For the next several thousand years, Ashamal would spend the majority of his time training archers within the Cenarion Army's vast legions of reserve troops. He took only short vacations away from the Cenarion Army's main headquarters in Ashenvale, and visited his mother infrequently.
Fandral Staghelm had been carefully planning to rid the upper echelons of the Cenarion Circle of officers he found insufferable. Staghelm was a member of a philsophical group of jingoistic Kaldorei who were motivated to spread Kaldorei influence to the farthest corners of Kalimdor. While Archdruid Malfurion Stormrage and High Priestess Tyrande Whisperwind truly believed their people to be Azeroth's most blessed, they were not keen on encroaching upon the territories of other sapient species.
An emerging threat in the southern extremes of Kalimdor had temporarily put a hold on Staghelm's ambitions. Kaldorei scouts from the Sentinels had reported the increased presence of Silithid hives at the borders of Kaldorei-controlled Kalimdor. The Qiraji Empire appeared to be making an aggressive move to force the Kaldorei to enter a bloody war with their endless swarms.
Ashamal joined hundreds of other Cenarion Army officers in moving his men south to establish Kaldorei military bases along the borders of the arid desert of Silithus. The largest of these bases, known as the Cenarion Hold, was established at this time. The plan was to avoid war outright against the impressively powerful kingdom of Ahn'Qiraj by purging Silithid hives and slowly whittling away at the Qiraji offensive.
That plan would prove to be ineffective, as the Qiraji were driven by a far more sinister mind. The Old God, C'thun, had influenced the minds of the religious caste of the Qiraji to lead their multi-racial insectoid empire to wrestle control of Kalimdor from the Kaldorei.
The War of the Shifting Sands had begun, and the Kaldorei were besieged by towering obsidian humanoids known as the Anubisath. Ashamal's mother. Mirae Shalah'aman, was among the Sentinel forces in the war. Her long life was cut short when she was crushed by one of the obsidian titans. Ashamal, distraught at the sudden death of his mother, lost the will to lead his men in battle.
Similarly, Fandral Staghelm's son Valstann Staghelm, was slain in battle by one of the Qiraji's generals.
Sickness of the Mind
Ashamal led his men astray, losing his sense of direction as he despaired. The squad of twelve talented soldiers encountered a Qiraji Mindslayer, a psychic insect warrior with the power to influence minds. Through the Mindslayers. C'thun' broke the resolve of much of the Kaldorei forces using direct mind control.
Rastun Shel'vash, Ashamal's trusted lieutenant, struck down one of his allies in cold blood. The men drew arms on eachother, spilling blood until only Ashamal and Rastun remained. When they were discovered by a group of Cenarion Army outriders, Ashamal and Rastun drew their weapons and killed the vanguard in utter hatred.
Finally, the fog that clouded their minds began to clear. Ashamal and Rastun looked at the carnage they had made, along the battered remains of their allies. Rastun and Ashamal resolved to return to the Cenarion Hold in order to get a better sense of what had transpired, but were intercepted by a large detachment of Sentinels. Rastun, convinced that he would be unable to deliver a proper argument in defense of his life, threw himself into a Silithid hive where he was devoured whole.
Ashamal was brought before a council of Druids, along with Fandral Staghelm, in order to plead for mercy. Because Staghelm held great influence over the Cenarion council, Ashamal was spared from the Barrow Dens. The council decided privately that Ashamal would be exiled for life to the remote mountains of Winterspring, where he would be kept under the watchful eye of the Sentinels and the Wintersaber trainers.
Feeling as if his career and life had utterly come to an end, Ashamal wept. He had entered the war as an overconfident, ruthless, and arrogant commander; the war had now made him into a broken shell of a man.
Exile in Winterspring
Had Ashamal not learned to forage the land and survive off of the various flora and fauna of Kalimdor, he would have not survived for very long in the remote and bitter-cold mountains of Winterspring. While he was normally a well-groomed Kaldorei, he'd let his beard and hair grow long and wild.
He was deposited in Winterspring by the Wardens, a Kaldorei element that specialized in the handling of dangerous prisoners. Given basic provisions, a bow, tools, and a fur cloak, he was expected to remain isolated in the mountains and forests of Winterspring. He was not allowed to enter civilized areas or barter with anyone aside from travelling merchants under penalty of death. His nightsaber, Amel'valah, proved his worth in Winterspring, hunting alongside his master in the snow-capped peaks.
Ashamal was well-known by local travellers, and traded furs and meats with merchants in order to purchase arrows and other essential supplies. Kaldorei children who lived in the habitable, temperate regions of Winterspring had circulated various stories about the Hunter, who had a legendary reputation among townsfolk for keeping a fearsome and untamed appearance.
Day to day life for Ashamal in Winterspring was a struggle, and a lack of regular nourishment had greatly handicapped his ability to travel. The coldest months of the winter season had killed off most vegitation, and meat was scarce. Despite living like a savage, he still held the belief that he was a morally refined and sensible individual.
Despite his beliefs, he had a number of violent experiences in the wilds that he would hold secret for the rest of his living days. When a young Kaldorei huntress had begun to encroach upon Ashamal's hunting grounds unknowingly, she met a bloody end. Ashamal had slain her from afar with a carefully-placed shot before taking the supplies she carried. While he originally planned to bury her corpse in order to cripple any efforts at discovering her fate, the earth was frozen solid.
It turned out that the young huntress was a Sentinel in-training, and had been given an assignment to collect the pelts of troublesome Yeti in the forested areas of Winterspring. Luckily for Ashamal, her corpse had been largely devoured by wandering animals, which rendered the efforts of the Sentinel search party fruitless.
Ashamal's time alone in Winterspring cultivated a far more troubling character than he'd been before his exile. Now, he regarded violence in a callous manner, and he grew self-concerned and survivalistic. The majority of his likable qualities had been slowly chipped away in the unforgiving wilderness of the northern mountains.
Even though he'd been strictly ordered to remain in a designated stretch of two hundred miles in Northern Kalimdor, Ashamal eventually began to wander beyond the borders of his exile. The winter months proved far too dangerous for him to justifiably remain in Winterspring, and so he crossed the narrow mountain passes into Hyjal.
Nearly nine centuries had passed since he was first exiled to Winterspring, and he'd learnt a lot about himself in this time. Since he hadn't spoken to anyone frequently, his communicative skills were crippled. He ignored the majority of travellers he came across, now almost entirely self-reliant. His nights were restless, and he hallucinated voices echoing through his head and images on the dark cave walls where he made his home. Madness had not yet overtaken him, and his saber, Amel'valah, kept him company.
Eventually, Ashamal befriended a young Kaldorei woman named Leafsong, a delivery girl for a small natural remedies outlet, the Gladefall Herb Emporium. Leafsong's family owned the business, and used her to deliver rare herbs and ingredients to the Cenarion Circle's hermits in Hyjal. Each winter, she would cross over the mountains to deliver their orders.
Leafsong was from the dregs of Kaldorei society, so Ashamal's rugged and intimidating exterior did not impress or shock her. She often brought him dumplings and other Kaldorei cuisine from nearby settlements, and for this he was grateful.
Ashamal returned to Winterspring after the coldest seasons had passed, and Leafsong took the subterranean routes back to her home in Moonglade. He continued to live his lonely life in the mountains of the north for nearly a century.
The Third War
Changing winds brought ill tidings to the land of Winterspring. Ashamal, now having suffered exile for nearly a thousand years, had successfully evaded populated Kaldorei settlements. The permafrost that had frozen the ground solid for time immemorial had begun to melt.
Winterspring was now host to a lengthened spring season, and the glaciers thinned and poured fresh water into the reservoirs of the foothills. While the hot springs were normally the only sources of unfrozen, potable water, the ancient lakes had now bubbled forth from rapidly melting ice.
Local sages had predicted that this seasonal change was the harbinger of a bad omen, and signaled the return of dark times. This premonition was not at all far from the truth, as the Burning Legon hatched a plan in the far east to spread a plague of undeath over the face of Azeroth.
As the Third War came to the shores of Kalimdor, Ashamal gradually migrated to the southernmost forests of Winterspring with a hope that the warmest winter in recent memory would give birth to plentiful food. His plan was to store as much food as possible and return to his settlement in the north.
Unforuntately, the Sentinels had expanded their military presence a thousandfold in all regions of Kalimdor, and Ashamal's home in the northern mountains had been occupied and rapidly militarized with concealed tree stands and ouposts for Kaldorei snipers. He would be unable to return to his home for a time, and decided to travel further south.
He crossed the mountains into the haunted forests of Azshara; albeit, he had great difficulties towards the end of his journey due to a sprained ankle. His saber, Amel'valah, travelled with him through a hidden mountain pass once utilized as an avenue for Kaldorei siege weapons.
His journey took him across the length of Kalimdor. By sheer luck, he managed to avoid encountering any skirmishes or battles that took place during the Third War, and was unaware that Kalimdor had even been plunged into a continent-wide conflict.
After the events of the Third War had passed, Ashamal crossed through the bogs of the Dustwallow Marsh. Although the smell of the marshes were overpowering, he still detected a strange scent that clung to the forest like a spider's web.
Eventually, he happened upon a camp with tents of a basic construction. He did not recognize the hide of the beasts that comprised the tent's exterior. Strange weapons and banners marked the camp as belonging to a foreign tribe, and the tents were not big enough to fit Ogres.
He found a corpse nearby. The body was covered in thick, plate armor, reminiscent of the Highborne Empire's lamellar plate. The creature inside was a pale-skinned, bipedal being with short ears and a head of orange hair. This would be the first human that Ashamal ever encountered.
Utterly repulsed by the creature, he examined the oozing wound on the human's chest. His ribcage and plate armor were cleaved apart by what appeared to be the head of a large axe. The Ogres of the marsh had raided the human settlement and looted their provisions.
Ashamal followed recent tracks leading out of the human settlement, determined to find survivors; if not for curiosity alone, then for the fact that this new species would have access to fresh food and supplies.
After wandering further through the bog, Ashamal happened upon recently-paved roads. They were cobbled in an alien fashion; no further examination was needed to prove that Kalimdor was being colonized. The Kaldorei had been a xenophobic people since before The Sundering, and if it was one thing that both the Highborne Peerage and the common Night Elves could agree on, it was that foreigners were not to be trusted.
Ashamal took to fletching new arrows for his bow, anticipating that he would run into more invading humans before long. He kept a distance from the main road that the human settlers had constructed, but followed it's length to trace it back to a larger settlement.
Eventually, he spotted a human courier mounted on the back of a horse. Ashamal let an arrow fly, killing the courier. Unfortunately, the courier had been in pursuit of a seperate human military detachment a mile up the road, and they were eagerly awaiting his return. The bog quaked, and the human regiment rushed Ashamal with a brigade of mounted cavalry. Encircling him, they demanded he identify himself in their native tongue, Common. Ashamal was captured after a brief struggle.
Theramore & Departure to the East
Ashamal awoke in a prison cell within the city of Theramore. After being captured in the Dustwallow Marsh by the Alliance, he was forced to ride with the human cavalry for six hours, and was thoroughly tired by the time that they returned to Theramore.
While the local guard captain had originally decided to prosecute and detain Ashamal for slaying a courier, the administrative branch of Theramore's government had declared that violent incidents between humankind and the Kaldorei would be pardoned for the next eight months. As there were many Kaldorei survivalists in the remote corners of Kalimdor who hadn't been educated on the events of the recently-ended Third War, there would certainly be more violence to be had.
The guardsmen brought in a Kaldorei translator to speak in Ashamal's stead, but Ashamal could barely utter a word of Darnassian coherently after being isolated from society at large for several centuries. After a few days of deliberation, they were able to determine that Ashamal was experienced at topography and knew the local lands very well. He was given notice that he would be released in ten days from Theramore's jurisdiction, so long as he cooperated and showed no further signs of violence against humankind. In addition, they asked that he assist the local cartographer in mapping the far corners of the Dustwallow Marsh from memory.
Ashamal refused the offer to be freed from the prison under their conditions, and also refused the offer to help their cartographer. He was incredibly suspicious of their ambitions, and worried that they would gradually settle all of Kalimdor.
Fandral Staghelm, after all, had warned that Tyrande Whisperwind was far too complacent and too trusting of the other races. If she'd truly settled a deal for her people to enter the Alliance, then she'd damned them all. Ashamal wondered if even Fandral had agreed to sell the Kaldorei into service for the benefit of these pink, short-eared mongrels. Then again, his people had abandoned him to exile.
Conversely, he wondered if integrating with this Alliance would give him an opportunity to seize power for himself in the long term. After all, what would be better than amassing great wealth and gaining influence over entire nations? He surely could not return to Astranaar or to the clutches of the Kaldorei; definitely not after he'd been betrayed by the Cenarion Army.
Ashamal was allowed to travel around Theramore during the day, but only under the close watch of a Theramore guardsman. Kaldorei fishermen and merchants had settled in Theramore with hopes for new business opportunities and ways to support their families back home. One fisherman in particular took ample time updating Ashamal on the political happenings of the Kaldorei, including a rumor that Staghelm was planning to create a new home for the Kaldorei, as well as a surrogate for the recently-destroyed World Tree.
While he had not been able to properly describe it, Ashamal had been feeling unwell lately. He came to find out that this was a result of the sudden loss of his people's immortality. The destruction of Nordrassil at the hands of Archimonde had plunged the Kaldorei into a new and frightening world where they would no longer be immune to disease and the decay of time.
As always, he saw Staghelm as a pioneering hero. They were calling the new World Tree Darnassus, and the nature of its creation had stirred up no small amount of controversy among the Druids and the Kaldorei in general. Tyrande's and Malfuron's followers believed that Staghelm's handiwork would endanger good relations with the Alliance, and would come with unforeseen consequences without the blessing of the Dragonflights.
When the time came for Ashamal's scheduled release from Theramore's barracks, he was given an invitation to stay in Theramore; he knew this wasn't out of kindness, and that the humans of Theramore would prefer to keep him in their sphere of influence to prevent further violence against their people settled in the marshes. Nevertheless, he accepted their offer and was provided with free room and board in a small inn on the east side of town.
The Tears of the Goddess
For several months, Ashamal worked with Kaldorei fishing crews off the coast of the Dustwallow Marsh. While Night Elves comprised the majority of the working crew, there were also a few enterprising non-Kaldorei who'd taken the opportunity to make some extra coin. One of these non-Kaldorei was a human known as Luken Dascus, who attempted to befriend Ashamal. Luken was a knowledgeable traveller and a former assistant navigator for a Dwarven archaelogical vessel, as Ashamal would come to learn. Because Luken was fluent in Darnassian, he was able to communicate with Ashamal somewhat easily.
Luken and Ashamal shared several interests, including bushcraft and the beasts of the wild. Ashamal essentially mistrusted Luken, and invested himself carefully. That being said, they still had a number of common traits and hobbies, and they became friends.
Ashamal took Luken up on the offer to learn the human tongue, Common. As a master of several other tongues and written languages from a young age, Ashamal learned Common reasonably quickly. Most of his lessons with the language were practical in nature, and he practiced by bartering with human salesmen in Theramore under Luken's guidance.
Unfortunately, Luken and Ashamal grew apart when Ashamal began to knowingly associate with the Tears of the Goddess, a group of Kaldorei who had attracted the attention of the local authorities. While the Tears of the Goddess had modest beginnings as a union of Kaldorei craftsmen and tradesmen, it gradually transitioned into a criminal organization that primarily fenced stolen goods and assisted local Night Elven thieves. It had close ties with human smugglers and pirates who'd deserted the Theramore navy after the Third War, and helped them deliver contaband to coastal settlements.
The Tears of the Goddess had far greater ambitions than thievery, and sparked racial tensions in Theramore once its rhetoric became decidedly more xenophobic. They eventually joined a coalition of Kaldorei religious extremists under the banner of Sa'al. Shortly after Ashamal joined the Tears, the captain of the elven brigands plotted to usurp the supremacy of the human pirates in the region. They staged a meeting with the human smugglers that turned violent, and eliminated the majority of the human pirate lords in one fell swoop.
The Tears heard reports of poor living conditions for the Kaldorei communities that had chosen to travel east to the Alliance capital of Stormwind City. Determined to spark a revolution within the human capital, they set out with their small fleet of smuggling frigates to make port in Menethil Harbor. Ashamal joined them in their journey, and his life would never be the same.
Stormwind City & Racial Tensions
After a two-month journey from the Alliance's main port in Menethil Harbor to the bustling capital of Stormwind City, Ashamal had pieced together an inaccurate picture of humanity. He saw them as oppressors and opportunists who sought to enslave Kalimdor for their own purposes. This was an image that was cultivated carefully by the leaders of Sa'al, who aimed to turn their band of Kaldorei brigands, thieves, and pilgrims into a fully-armed insurgent faction.
Ashamal's arrival in Stormwind left him awestruck at the towering stone architecture that surrounded the impregnable fortress of a city. It reminded him of the Highborne Empire's heyday, and of the days when he was a young and affluent noble in the Highborne Peerage. Nevertheless, he also witnessed the abysmal living conditions for Stormwind's people in the unsanitary corners of the city. All excepting the Mage District and The Park, it was a highly unclean place where rats freely scurried through the streets, spreading their filth over the cobbles.
The Tears of the Goddess met with Kaldorei community leaders in the Park, which was the local district that housed the vast majority of Night Elven families. A poor imitation of a Moonwell was placed in the middle of the district, almost mocking the Kaldorei who lived there.
The local community leaders were very much opposed to the idea of violence and ethnic cleansing which the Tears of the Goddess hoped to bring en masse. While there were occassional hate crimes perpetrated against Kaldorei families in the city, by and large there were very few issues between humanity and the Night Elves. The leaders of the Tears were very unhappy to hear that they would not receive the widespread support they'd hoped for.
Ashamal proved his worth within the insurgency quickly, and rallied Kaldorei support amongst the community without the consent of the local elders. The first major explosion of Night Elven racial hatred in Stormwind was a protest against the Cathedral of the Holy Light and the Paladins and Priests who trained there. The Tears organized a large and disruptive protest which put them at odds with the Stormwind Guard. Various Kaldorei agents from the Tears of the Goddess lashed out in violence against the Guard, beating wooden clubs against their plate shields. Ashamal and the Tears were very well-aware that the whole affair would end in greater injury to the Kaldorei side of the protest, and they wanted it that way. If they could convince the Kaldorei of Stormwind City that the humans were planning to systematically destroy their culture, their mission would be accomplished.
Unfortunately for the Tears of the Goddess, the protest had not been enough of a catalyst to sway the entire Kaldorei community to react violently to their new human neighbors. They would need a much larger and more violent event in order to accomplish their ends.
The Tears of the Goddess had heard of a young Kaldorei girl who claimed to have the innate ability to commune with Elune directly. She was known as the Pariah by her followers, since she was exiled by the government of Darnassus for her controversial claims. Her birth name as Maevora Shal'ivi, and with the help of her loyal lieutenants, she founded the Sa'alite movement that led a coalition of Kaldorei criminal and terrorist organizations, like the Tears of the Goddess.
Kidnapping by the SI:7
Word of the Tears of the Goddess had, by this time, reached the ears of the SI:7 division of Stormwind's intelligence service. They had tirelessly compiled a list of known associates of the group, and profiled them as a terrorist organization. Unfortunately, since most Kaldorei did not have complete or proper citizenship documentation, it was an arduous task to discover the current residences and real given names of the individuals that comprised the insurgency.
Ashamal had made himself quite visible to the SI:7, as he led the majority of the protests. As a charismatic public speaker who was genuinely invested in his cause, he was a prime target when it came to eliminating the threat of Kaldorei religious insurgency in Stormwind. As such, the SI:7 tailed him often and eventually made the decision to abduct him from the Canals.
He was detained within the Old Town branch of the SI:7's facilities, and interrogated by several agents. After they had threatened to remove his fingernails, he agreed to give up as much information as he could about the whereabouts and names of each of the members of the Tears of the Goddess. He informed them that the Pariah was often moved from location to location in order to protect her from assassination attempts.
The SI:7 bargained with Ashamal and eventually reached an agreement which would involve him carrying out the most important task on his own: killing the Pariah. They offered him complete amnesty from past offenses against the Alliance as a whole in exchange, protection from associates and agents of Sa'al, a reward of ten thousand gold pieces, and the opportunity to join the Alliance military and secure a career for himself within Stormwind City.
Assassination of the Pariah
Ashamal organized a meeting with the Pariah and two of her other most trusted officers within Sa'al. The promise of wealth and connections in Stormwind City motivated him to betray the order that he had invested much of his trust into for the past year.
He carried an Alliance handgun loaded with a single ball of lead. He was ordered to assassinate the Pariah and escape the situation in one piece; he had not fully developed a plan to handle the other officers of the Tears who were present at the time.
During a tradtitional Darnassian meal of dumplings and rice, Ashamal fired a single shot into the Pariah's chest which fractured her sternum and ripped through her heart. He plunged a fillet knife, used to prepare the fish, into the throat of one of the officers. Ashamal strangled the last officer with his bare hands, but suffered a broken wrist from struggling to hold the man to the ground.
He escaped the scene and debriefed with an SI:7 field agent, who escorted him to a nearby tavern. Ashamal was delivered a bank slip for ten thousand gold pieces Alliance Standard, which he deposited in a newly-registered personal account at the Bank of Stormwind.
Weeks later, he received correspondance from the Stormwind Navy, who welcomed him into their officer training program.
Alliance Military Training
Ashamal was shipped off with dozens of other recruits to the Stormwind Navy officer training program, based in Westfall. Ashamal struggled with his eligibility tests, but was allowed to re-take the entry exam with the assistance of a Darnassian translator.
The training program comprised thirteen weeks of basic education in first aid preparedness, fitness and health, weapons and weapon systems, maritime law and protocol, and navigation. Ashamal soared, holding the advantage of eleven thousand years of combat experience and tactical prowess. His survival skills had demonstrated most of the first aid lessons beforehand, and so he passed the basic education program with flying colors.
After finishing his basic qualifications, Ashamal was invited to enter the enlisted officer training program. Topics covered ranged from engineering to chivalry, and the Night Elf was also urged to study human customs and traditions in order to blend in with the well-to-do at official Stormwind banquets. Trajectory physics was a topic he struggled with, since mathematics as a whole had changed in dramatic ways since the time of the Highborne Empire, and human arithmeticalsystems differed in small but meaningful ways from Kaldorei understandings.
Ashamal was named Cadet Officer of the Alliance Navy at the end of the program, and continued on with hundreds of eligible student officers to join the Alliance Navy in maritime combat against rogue Horde Generals, as well as land-based operations against Horde auxiliaries across the Eastern Kingdoms.
Early Military Career
Ashamal joined a fleet of ten Alliance galleons under the command of Admiral Derischore in an armed operartion against a sizable fleet of Horde ironclad warships. An Orcish Warlord had ambitions to capture the port of Menethil Harbor in order to cripple Alliance efforts in the war against the Dragonmaw Clan in the Wetlands. The Horde had tried tirelessly to win the allegiance of the Dragonmaw and Blackrock Clan in order to secure a foothold in Khaz Modan and the Southern Eastern Kingdoms to no avail.
A boarding party of Orcs and Goblin Sappers destroyed the Alliance fleet's capital ship with explosives. Admiral Derischore and several other Alliance officers were lost in the blast, throwing several Stormwind Navy ships into retreat.
Ashamal led an offensive against the Orcish capital ship, taking ten of his strongest comrades to board the Orcish ironclad. The Orcs had not been expecting a comeback from the Alliance forces, who had been utterly broken by the slaying of their commanding officer. Ashamal and his companions successfully took the Orcish warship after killing the Warlord and all the other Horde soldiers aboard. They turned the ship's impressive main gun onto allied vessels and took them by surprise, sinking two warships before being forced to jump overboard and swim to shore.
The Orcish offensive retreated from Baradin Bay, giving the Alliance ample time to call for support from Ironforge. At the end of the skirmish, Ashamal and his fellow soldiers were awarded with the Ironforge Senatorial Anvil of Bravery, the second highest military commendation awarded by the nation.
The success of Ashamal's early military career in the Grand Alliance netted him the support of some of the less conservative Alliance Marshals; many of the high-ranking members of the Alliance military did not trust the Kaldorei.
The Burning Crusade
With the re-opening of the Dark Portal, the Alliance turned its sights to Outland, realm of the Orcish Horde. As Outland's atmosphere did not support oceans or large bodies of water, the Stormwind Navy focused its efforts on highly-specialized ground assault.
Ashamal led a fireteam of four of the Navy's most celebrated marksmen in operations stretching across the Hellfire Peninsula region of Outland. The main goals of the specialist fireteam included elimating the commanding officers of the Burning Legion in Hellfire, disrupting the flow of the Legion's reinforcements, and destroying soft targets in the Legion's defensive positions.
The team expanded in numbers as the Navy sent further reinforcements. By four weeks into the Burning Crusade, the marksmanship fireteam had swelled to sixteen of the Alliance's top riflemen. Comprised mainly of Dwarves, the fireteam was in the process of testing new, high-powered rifle models from Stormwind Royal Industries, a large defense coporation based out of Stormwind City. Unlike the standard muzzle-loaded rifles of yesteryear, these modern firearms made use of removable magazines of ammunition, and could adapt to a wide variety of combat circumstances based on design and caliber.
Ashamal's fireteam continued to operate largely from the shadows, avoiding direct combat with the Legion in order to remove select valuable targets with surgical precision. Ashamal, still an initiate to firearms, took tactical command and left the technology to the appropriate minds within his division.
Disaster struck the fireteam when an Alliance howitzer malfunctioned during operation, igniting the incendiary ammunition during a firing procedure. This injured several of the fireteam's engineers and revealed their position to the Burning Legion, who were following the smoke trails from the hills.
Desperately trying to keep the situation under control, Ashamal ordered his men to flee the site of the fire and recuperate in a dried-out basin south of their position in the ridges of Hellfire. Unforuntately, they were tailed by packs of Felhounds that led a detatchment of Felguard to their current position. Unprepared for direct combat with an organized Legion force, the fireteam was slaughtered indiscrimately, forced into the corner of the basin near a tangle of thorny vines.
Ashamal and two of his finest had managed to slip away into the thorn-lined foliage, but one of the Dwarves had brushed into the thorns of the brush and contracted a fatal poison. Unable to treat his wounds, Ashamal and his final companion left the other Dwarf for dead in the brush, doing their best to stay one step ahead of the enemy.
Their plan was now to return to civilized areas of the Peninsula, but the Legion had staged a massive search-and-destroy operation in order to prevent the Alliance and Horde from regaining their lost deserters. It would be next to impossible to return to the Alliance staging area outside the Dark Portal.
Ashamal and his companion had very little knowledge of the surrounding area topography or geograhical landmarks, and quickly became lost in the wilderness of Outland.
The Road to Shattrath
Several weeks had passed since the Stormwind Navy's specialist fireteam met a cruel end at the hands of the Burning Legion in Hellfire Peninsula. Ashamal had been tasked with leading this team to complete various objectives throughout the theatre of the Burning Crusade, but unfortunately their mission had been cut short.
All that remained of the fireteam now was Ashamal and a single Dwarf huntsman, and their winding route through Outland had finally led them to the borders of the Terokkar Forest. Following a main road that appeared to have been paved a couple of decades before, they'd hoped to come across a civilized settlement where they could recuperate and plan their next move to regroup with their main force at the Dark Portal.
The pathway continued on for at least a hundred miles until tragedy struck again. The Dwarf huntsman stepped into a trap that'd been clearly set for travelers on the main road. His ankle was fractured by the sheer force of the closing jaws of the trap, and the lacerations on the wound were opened down to the bone.
They chose to camp for the night along the pathway, choosing the shadows of a forest grove for shelter against any potential enemies. Ashamal debated what to do about the situation of his companion. He knew that he'd be slowed down significantly by the Dwarf, and that whatever had set the trap was probably in the process of hunting down their tracks. If he left the camp that night, the Dwarven huntsman may eventually make his way back to camp and tell of Ashamal's desertion, and he couldn't handle the risk to his career that such a possibility would present.
Eventually, Ashamal decided to end the life of his Dwarven companion as he slept. He smothered the Dwarf with a blanket and tried to cut off his airways; unfortunately, a struggle ensued and made this an arduous pursuit. Ashamal slit the throat of his Dwarven companion and left his corpse exposed to the night air, hoping that a predator would devour the remains and all evidence of his involvement in the murder of one of his own men.
The main road to Shattrath continued on for several miles more, and it led through marsh and forest alike. This alien landscape presented many challenges in navigation for Ashamal, as the laws of physics on Azeroth did not always apply to the geological nature of this world.
It was two days until he reached the border of Shattrath City. Immediately, he was confronted by the Draenei servants of the Sha'tar. Without giving him time to explain himself, they captured him and interned him in the basement of an orphanage within the city itself. Apparently, the city was under lockdown due to the presence of a faction of Sin'dorei known as the Scryers. The opposing force of Draenei, known as the Aldor, were naturally suspicious of outsiders. They had once trusted the Orcs and brought their people to the brink of extinction for it. Because of these tense times, any and all outsiders were being detained and processed by the regional government.
Ashamal was greatly disturbed by his choices to end his Dwarven companion's life in the forest, and this made his length of imprisonment all the more difficult.
Ashamal had been captured by the Sha'tar and their Draenei servants, detained with several other Alliance travelers and soldiers who'd fled the Burning Legion and their rapid advance in Hellfire Peninsula. Recent events had sparked mass paranoia among the ranks of the Draenei Vindicators in Shattrath City, and this led them to imprison any suspicious individuals for questioning.
Thankfully, the famous Mage Khadgar stepped in to handle the situation. He advised the Sha'tar to release the detained Alliance soldiers at the behest of Bolvar Fordragon, who had made contact with Khadgar via a scout who'd journeyed on foot from the steps of the Dark Portal to Terokkar Forest.
Ashamal received correspondance from his commanding officers in the Stormwind Navy that he was to recuperate in Shattrath and gather up any willing refugees and Alliance soldiers in the city in order to establish an outpost in the far reaches of the Blade's Edge Mountains. Rumor had it that the Burning Legion was planning to activate a large portal in this arid, northern region to funnel fresh forces into the fray from Xoroth.
Given command of a rag-tag force of Draenei soldiers and human veterans of the Third and Second Great Wars, Ashamal planned to lead a subversive operation to destroy the host of Legion forces stationed in Forge Camp: Anger. The primary directive of the operation was to disable the Legion's logistical assets in the region, and thin their organized regiments substantially.
The mission was dubbed Operation Hellbreaker by its participants. The party waited for a week in Shattrath to receive a shipment of Seaforium explosive charges from Gnomeregan's special forces. Because Seaforium charges were stable and lightweight, they could be carried for hundreds of miles in any weather condition without the possibility of any unexpected exothermic reactions or dilution of the chemical components.
The group took a route that led through Zangarmarsh, where the Cenarion Circle was conducting biological research.
Faces of the Past
Ashamal and his party of companions took ample time to rest in the Cenarion Circle settlements in Zangarmarsh. Unexpectedly, he encountered Leafsong, the young Kaldorei woman he'd met almost a century earlier in the mountains of Hyjal. Leafsong had acquired a position as a delivery girl for the Cenarion Circle, and spent her time running herbs and other supplies between the Circle's various outposts in the region.
A passionate relationship blossomed between the two elves. Ashamal was many years her elder, which made some interactions difficult. Leafsong was a spirited and sometimes hyperactive woman, which annoyed Ashamal to a great extent. Still, they'd grown into love quickly.
Leafsong and Ashamal's fledgling relationship significantly delayed the party's pursuits, and it was one of the few times in Ashamal's life where his personal goals came before his professional ones. One Draenei captain contemplated leaving Ashamal behind and leading the forces into the Blade's Edge Mountains on his own, but the other men insisted that mutiny would only cause further problems down the road.
Ashamal asked Leafsong to travel with him and his party to the mountains, but his offer was declined. Leafsong was adamant about remaining in Zangarmarsh in order to fulfill her duties to the Cenarion Circle. She knew that if she worked hard to impress the Circle and was successful in this effort, her family business would secure a long-term contract with the Druids and bring them greater wealth.
Reluctantly, Ashamal continued on with Operation Hellbreaker.
Secretly fearing that Operation Hellbreaker would end in a similar way that his original mission had ended in Hellfire Peninsula, Ashamal opted for caution over speed as he and his men traveled through the treacherous nothern mountains of Blade's Edge. Instead of taking a direct route to Forge Camp: Anger, the crew crept through the thick pine forests of the southern edge of the region, circumnavigating the Legion's more populated settlements.
Finally, they'd reached the arid deserts of the central mountains, and Forge Camp: Anger was within sight. With careful planning, they executed the first phase of the strategy which comprised a hit-and-run strike on the Legion's recon outposts surrounding the Forge Camp itself. This would essentially blind the Burning Legion and greatly reduce their ability to counter oncoming assaults.
A dozen men were lost in the initial battle with the Legion, but their scouts and one of their officers had been wiped out. Ashamal figured it would be several days before the Legion were able to replenish their forces and staff their external outposts again, which gave them enough time to consider which direction they'd take when assaulting the Forge Camp proper.
A vigilant human archer in Ashamal's unit discovered a weakness in the Legion's defense. A small covered path led from a nearby hillside into a corner of the camp, which would faciliate a route of entry and extraction for a team of saboteurs to place the Seaforium charges on the Legion's technology and exfiltrate without rousing the main force.
The heroic demolitionists of Operation Hellbreaker prepared to assault the Legion's camp under Ashamal's guidance. A team of six specialists entered the camp during sunset, encountering a patrol of Felguard who they fought with briefly. The original six saboteurs had been cut down to two men, but they were able to plant Seaforium charges on the Legion's portal and nearby anti-air Fel Cannons. They had also prepared two additional explosive charges at the entrance of the mountain path, providing a contingency plan for the other men to escape if they had been discovered by the Legion's main force, as this would essentially cut off access to the pathway.
It turned out that their worst case scenario was much more than a remote possibility, and that their contingency plan would need to be put into action to prevent catastrophe. The remaining two demolitionists were discovered by the Legion's main force, and chose to detonate the charges to the hillside pathway before blowing the Seaforium packs that had been attached to the main portal and Fel Cannons. The Legion's forces along with the two heroic saboteurs were engulfed in a ball of smoke and flame, and nothing remained but smouldering meat.
Ashamal and the remaining forces retreated through the mountains, leaving Forge Camp: Anger in a chaotic state.
A New Love
Ashamal returned to Zangarmarsh to rest and recover from the successful Operation Hellbreaker which claimed almost half of his men's lives. The temporary saboteur's unit disbanded at the behest of the Stormwind Navy, who called for many of Ashamal's newly-trained human and Draenei initiates to return to the Dark Portal in Hellfire Peninsula for further training and deployment.
Their work in the Blade's Edge Mountains allowed the Kaldorei to establish a permanent foothold in the region, increasing the Alliance military presence in the northern provinces of Outland dramatically.
Ashamal was determined to lend his aid to the Cenarion Circle in order to maintain his blossoming relationship with the young Leafsong Gladefall, who was working with the Circle in hopes that her family would secure a long-term contract with the Druids.
Due to his history as a member of the Cenarion Army, Ashamal was permitted by the Alliance to transfer to the Cenarion Circle's new expeditionary branch in the western marshes of Outland. There, he would provide security and tactical support for the Druidic advisors who oversaw a comprehensive effort to taxonomize a myriad of new species in Outland.
Ashamal spent nearly all of his time with Leafsong, assisting her in her research and travels throughout the marshes. At times, their relationship was strained by their immense disparities in upbringing and age, but they maintained a thriving bond.
Not surprisingly, Leafsong eventually fell pregnant. While her family was unable to secure a long-lasting contract with the Cenarion Circle, Ashamal offered up much of his personal wealth in order to support the efforts of the Gladefall Herb Emporium, Leafsong's father's enterprise.
Leafsong and Ashamal made plans to return to Azeroth and begin a life together, although Leafsong was somewhat reluctant to hamper her career with these circumstances. Likewise, Ashamal was worried that he would be unable to care for his children and his new mate because of his military obligations to the Alliance.
Regardless of these difficulties, they persisted and planned to return to Azeroth when the war with the Burning Legion came to an end, although the fate of the war in Outland was uncertain at this point.
As several months passed of relative quiet, Ashamal was contacted by his commanding officers in the Stormwind Navy and given a new assignment. They informed him that over the past couple months, ten Alliance scouts had disappeared in the Bone Wastes, a desolate region in the Terokkar Forest. Because of his experience with the topography and geographical landmarks of Terokkar, Ashamal was tasked with bringing a search party to recover the lost Alliance agents and learn of their fate, or bring them back to civilized territory if they still drew breath.
Local Draenei sages had informed Ashamal that the Bone Wastes surrounded a holy site known as Auchindoun, which served as a tremendously large catacomb for fallen Draenei. The majority of the bodies immured within the walls of the structure were the remains of those who has been slain by the Orcs in the genocidal conflict spurred by the Burning Legion.
Ashamal was warned to be wary of the Auchenai, a fringe group of Draenei religious extremists who had fallen into madness under the shadow of Auchindoun. His men were well-armed and prepared to handle any threats they encountered.
Unfortunately, Ashamal and his men had not anticipated the presence of the Ethereals. While the Draenei knew very well of this spacefaring venture capitalist race, the Alliance was ill-informed of their intentions or their history. The faction of Ethereals that chose to make Auchindoun their domain were known as The Ethereum, lead by Nexus-Prince Shaffar, an incredibly wealthy baron who sought to monetize the raw magical energies rising from the depths of the tomb.
The Etereum possessed powerful technologies which even the engineers in the platoon failed to grasp on a technical level. Their energy-based weaponry vaporized Ashamal's men, and the Ethereals were easily able to change their shape and teleport through thick stone walls as if they were nothing; little could have prepared the Alliance forces for what they faced here.
Ashamal and several of his men were captured by Shaffar, who intended to assemble the various denizens of the Bone Wastes into a force of slave labor to construct outposts and export the untapped mana pouring from the darkest corners of the tomb.
For a month, Ashamal toiled in the catacombs of Auchindoun alongside Horde and Alliance survivors, forced to assemble Ethereal technologies and closely follow the schematics provided to them. They were given bare minimum provisions, and many opted to starve themselves to death. Ashamal instead plotted his escape, hoping to learn enough about the construction of Ethereal technology in order to assemble a bomb and sabotage the Nexus-Prince and his guardsmen.
Luckily, a group of mercenaries hired by The Consortium arrived in the tombs. These mercenaries were employed by Nexus-Prince Haramad to assassinate Nexus-Prince Shaffar and his associates. They were well-equipped to handle the Ethereum's forces, gifted with crystalline energy weapons that allowed them to combat the Ethereals with ease.
Ashamal and his surviving men were freed. They'd learned the fate of the disappeared Alliance scouts: they had all perished months before in the bowels of Auchindoun.
The mercenaries invited Ashamal and his companions to Netherstorm, offering them condolences from Nexus-Prince Haramad and his associates in the Consortium. Ashamal wrote a letter to Leafsong, but omitted the fact that he'd been captured for a month. He had no desire to cause her any more worry than she already felt, and chose to keep the ordeal secret from her.
Ashamal traveled to Netherstorm cautiously, worrying that these group of Ethereals would be just as treacherous as the last. On the other hand, he was curious to see the mana-twisted land that comprised Netherstorm, as he'd been told briefly about it by his fellow soldiers.
Contrary to his fears, Ashamal was met with hospitality in Netherstorm. He began to build a lifelong business relationship with the Consortium, purchasing several of their technologies with grants from the Navy in order to improve his men's effectiveness on the battlefield. His primary interest lay within their Biodome invention, which promised to convert any wasteland into a habitable oasis with advanced shielding technology.
As the Burning Crusade drew to a close, the Alliance gradually withdrew their forces from Outland. A permanent force would remain stationed in Shattrath City in order to provide military support if the inevitable possiblity of a second large Legion invasion struck the sundered world.
For his success in overseeing several missions in Outland, including the notable Operation Hellbreaker, Ashamal was brought before the Stormwind House of Nobles, along with hundreds of other war heroes from the Burning Crusade, and knighted for his bravery and excellence in the war against the Burning Legion.
Among the first several dozen Kaldorei to be dubbed Knights of Stormwind, Ashamal's career as an Alliance military officer looked more promising than ever.
As a Sir of Stormwind, Ashamal was afforded limited rights of nobility, although he would never be recognized as a proper peer. Ancient law demanded that nobles of the Stormwind Peerage be born within the borders of the Kingdom of Azeroth, and that they be among the race of mankind. Ashamal's rights as peer of Stormwind's nobility included a claim to a small plot of land in the Redridge Mountains region, along with permanent membership on the King's board of advisors. Likewise, his title and lands could be removed at the behest of House Wrynn.
Most importantly, becoming a Knight would allow Ashamal to put his military career on the fast track. Unfortunately, he faced a substantial amount of prejudice and xenophobia by his human fellows, who were agitated at the prospect of elves integrating into human society at large.
Organized Crime in Stormwind
Ashamal was invited to join a long-term operation in Stormwind City led by a number of prominent Alliance politicians, enlisted officers, law enforcement heads, and intelligence service members. While Stormwind had always played host to a robust black market economy beneath the veneers of common society, far more troubling criminal organizations were on the rise.
A prominent religious fringe faction known as The Scarlet March were beginning to rise to power in Stormwind. With allies in the Church of the Holy Light, the Scarlet March were a reformist faction that chose to break off from the Scarlet Crusade following the corruption of the upper echelons of the organization by the Burning Legion. The Scarlet March represented a troubling trend of racial tensions in Stormwind City, and their actions ignited a firestorm of violent crimes against Kaldorei and Draenei living in the kingdom.
While the Scarlet March openly disavowed any involvement with illegal activity in Stormwind, their connections to the dregs of society were well-established. The higher-ranking members of the March were generally well-educated Paladins and Priests who used their silver tongues to manipulate the thuggish initiates of the Scarlet March to perpetrate violence against Stormwind's non-human denizens.
Likewise, a demonic cult called Saegotha had also gainted prominence in Strormwind City, advocating the outright worship of Sargeras and the Burning Legion, along with violent Fel rituals which involved the unwilling sacrifice of kidnapped children, women, and men of Stormwind. Unlike the Scarlet March, they could not operate in public in any capacity, and had few allies.
Both groups presented a palpable threat to Stormwind's stability, and the coalition of Alliance security officials worked tirelessly to analyze and assess these organizations before making a move to destroy them outright.
Ashamal was in charge of a deep investigation into the money trail of Stormwind's large organized crime groups. While he'd have much preferred to be in the field handling these criminal groups directly, he understood that a considerable amount of research and desk work would need to be cleared away before a major sting could occur. As such, he spent most of his time gathering evidence and statements from SI:7 double agents, relegating the archival duties to the men under his thrall.
Unfortunately, the Scarlet March appeared to be untouchable. WIth major support from the Church of the Holy Light's more conservative bishops, they were allowed to reside under the sanctuary of the Cathedral in the Scarlet Embassy.
Ashamal was slated to transfer from city security work to administrating the Stormwind Navy's port authority division by the end of the winter. Rumor had it that smugglers were gradually beginning to move north from the Stranglethorn Vale, transporting large shipments of contraband like narcotics and illegal weaponry through Westfall and as far north as Khaz Modan.
Eventually, the coalition of investigators made a breakthrough, discovering that the Scarlet March and Saegotha had been collaborating to a limited extent. A Warlock named Errigal in the Scarlet March's ranks was assisting Jadagar Vosmus and Hieronymus Lex, the leaders of Saegotha, in distributing various addictive alchemical creations throughout Stormwind City.
Just as they'd made headway, Errigal was found dead in his luxury home in Strowmind's Old Town. The SI:7 suspected that Errigal and the other less trustworthy members of the Scarlet March had been assassinated under the orders of Marcayus Jordain, a Scarlet General who had quickly risen to power in the March. Marcayus assimilated his remaining trustworthy officers and purged the Scarlet March of demonic influence, leading Stormwind's domestic security forces to a dead end.
That being said, Jadagar and Hieronymus were still active in Stormwind's magical community, and rumors circulated that they were orchestrating the kidnapping of dozens of orphans from the Stormwind Orphanage in order to increase their demonic power with Fel-based rituals.
Ashamal was informed of a secret meeting occuring between Saegotha's various low-level cultists, with the possibility that Jadagar Vosmus may be presiding over the meeting. Hundreds of miles of uncharted, ancient catacombs lay beneath the streets of Stormwind, and Vosmus had been using these tunnels to move his followers throughout the city unseen. Ashamal's force entered through the Cathedral of the Holy Light's eastern catacombs.
The sulfurous stench of Fel energy wafted through the Catacombs. The signs of demonic presences within the bowels of Stormwind were undeniably overpowering. Ashamal coordinated a sweep of the Catacombs along with the captain of the Stormwind Guard, as well as a few members of the local clergy. Some of the pathways in the ancient depths of Stormwind were unstable, having been collapsed gradually with age or faulty masonry.
They were shocked to encounter a horrifying sight in the southern Catacombs: Hieronymus Lex had brutally sacrificed the lives of his loyal followers in order to inhale their life essences. His flesh twisted and ripped until his body became that of a demonic lord; Ashamal and his men were in for a bloody battle.
Hieronymus nearly suffocated Ashamal to death, holding him high in the air as he crushed his airways with strength that only a demon could muster. Unexpectedly coming to the rescue, the Scarlet March filed into the lower halls of the catacombs with a considerable force. Bethedis Lightflow, a general of the March, struck Hieronymus with a blow that staggered the demonic lord. In tenuous co-operation, the Scarlet March and Strormwind's security forces prevailed over Saegotha.
While The Scarlet March and Stormwind City shared a common enemy in Hieronymus Lex, they remained at odds. Stormwind welcomed all races of the Alliance into their walls, while the Scarlet March loathed the non-human races.
Tensions hit a boiling point when the Scarlet March took several members of the Church of the Holy Light hostage within the Cathedral of the Holy Light, using their embassy as a base of operations as they negotiated with the Stormwind Guard.
Ashamal was among the forces sent to guard the Cathedral Square during the armed conflict. When Bolvar Fordragon ordered that the Scarlet March be evicted, Archbishop Benedictus issued an edict that the March be stripped of the right of Sanctuary within the Cathedral of the Holy Light.
The Alliance's military forces escorted the Scarlet March out of Stormwind City's front gates, but the rebel faction returned at sunset to besiege the Stormwind Command Center, holding the Stormwind Guard's base of operations. A bloody skirmish ensued, with losses on both sides numbering beyond twenty.
Fatherhood & Family Life
Leafsong Shalah'aman gave birth to Ashamal's firstborn son, An'alith Shalah'aman. The months following the conflict with The Scarlet March were quiet, and gave Ashamal ample time to enjoy the comforts of home. Leafsong continued to run a branch of her father's business, the Gladefall Herb Emporium, out of a small home in The Park in Stormwind City.
The return of King Varian Wrynn to the throne of Stormwind heralded a new age for the Alliance, and Ashamal and Leafsong watched the celebratory parade that preceded his re-ascension. Ashamal and several hundred other veterans of the Burning Crusade met with Varian Wrynn for the first time, and were gifted a badge of merit for protecting Stormwind in his absence.
The small plot of land in the Redridge Mountains gifted to Ashamal as a Knight of Stormwind was turned into an apple orchard and vineyard. Ashamal made a modest profit by allowing serfs to live on his land and sell his produce.
Only a month after An'alith was born, Leafsong fell pregnant with a second child by Ashamal. They'd made plans to return to Kalimdor in order to visit Leafsong's family in Darnassus, but Ashamal's continued status of exile was an impediment to their visitation.
Determined to allow his children to see their homeland, Ashamal contacted Darnassus' local embassy to attempt to appeal his life sentence of exile from Darnassian lands. His appeal was denied, but he was invited to petition for his case in-person on neutral grounds in Moonglade.
Ashamal and Leafsong set off over the sea to appeal Ashamal's case.
Nearly one thousand years after he was first exiled to the remote region of Winterspring for accused war crimes, Ashamal stood before a gathered court of the Cenarion Circle's key figures to plead for this lifelong sentence to be lifted.
Chief among the Druids presiding over the case as Fandral Staghelm, the reigning Archdruid of the Circle. While Fandral had considered Ashamal a close ally and advisor during the War of the Shifting Sands, he'd already been the scapegoat for a variety of current issues in Darnassus due to his controversial opinions and constant opposition to Tyrande Whisperwind and her domestic and foreign policies; Staghelm was not about to make himself even more of a target for criticism by showing support outright for Ashamal, an accused war criminal who had been well-known throughout Kaldorei Society.
After several days of deliberation, the council of Druids broke up to discuss Ashamal's fate. Ashamal was approached privately by Fandral Staghelm and a number of his supporting officers with an offer: Fandral wished for Ashamal to assemble a new military force to make war upon the Blood Elves. The Sin'dorei had dominated the Kaldorei political landscape for some time after the end of the Burning Crusade, and several Darnassian scouts had been taken prisoner and were still being interred within Thalassian military bases all over the Eastern Kingdoms.
More troublingly, new officers had risen in Quel'thalas to replace the ousted Blood Knights. This new generation of Thalassian politicians were pressing for increased security and military might in Silvermoon City, advocating for a greater allocation of funds towards the weaponization of their magical assets. Notably, Tendael Dawnlight, a prominent Thalassian politician and military official, had outright delcared the Alliance to be the chief threat to Thalassian interests, forming an order known as The Sunguard to secure the borders of the Eversong Woods.
Because of the constant antagonism between Darnassus and Quel'thalas, there was massive contention between military officers in the Sentinels and the Cenarion Army as to what would be done about the threat of the Sin'dorei. The Kaldorei as a people were war-weary, having already suffered a total invasion of Ashenvale and a subsequent conflict with the Burning Legion in Outland. Staghelm believed that neutering the Blood Elves' ability to act in an internationally significant manner was incredibly important, but he preferred to avoid taking any more heat by supporting policies or initatives that could be construed to be in opposition to the interests of the Kaldorei as a people. If he used Ashamal to shift the blame off of himself and his associates, it would be highly beneficial. The goal was to eliminate key Thalassian figures and their military assets in order to ensure that the Sin'dorei would not grow to become a true threat to any Alliance nation, and that goal could be accomplished with subtlety.
Fandral promised Ashamal that he would be pardoned of his accused crimes and his lifelong exile if he agreed to follow through with this plan. The offer was too tempting for Ashamal to pass up, and so he accepted. He received a full pardon, and his exile was lifted.
The Might of Staghelm
With the mutual support of Darnassus and Stormwind, Ashamal founded a permanent, chartered Alliance battalion, dubbed The Might of Staghelm. With a force of nearly three hundred Alliance soldiers, the Might of Staghelm's primary directive and mode of operation was concerned with highly-specialized warfare and international security.
Ashamal was promoted to Lieutenant Commander of the Alliance, given the authority to control a force of up to six hundred men to a batallion.
The Might of Staghelm would grow to become one of the most infamous fighting forces in Alliance history, known widespreadly among the Horde and Alliance alike for their effectiveness and ruthlessness, and their tendency to dole out cruel punishments upon their prisoners.
Enlisted officers comprising the command posts of the Might of Staghelm were mainly Human and Kaldorei. Most notable among the human officers was Verion Borscheon, a national of Kul Tiras who had earned a foul reputation for his brutality at sea, forcing many of his own men to perform hard labor as punishment for failed operations.
The majority of the human officers of the Might were far-right Alliance nationalists whom the Stormwind Peerage found favorable candidates. They'd grown up in a world where the Orcs and the Horde were seen inseperably as demonic savages driven by pure bloodlust, and loathed any race that would willingly align themselves with the green devils of Outland.
Kaldorei officers in the Might of Staghelm were Fandral Staghelm's own supporters and allies. The greater part of them were Cenarion Army veterans and Cenarion Circle Druids whom had helped Staghelm attain the position of Archdruid and follow through with his plan to plant the World Tree, Teldrassil. Like their human counterparts, they tended to be xenophobic and untrusting of outsiders, but shared a mutual hatred for the Orcs.
The brutal reputation of the Might was built upon the backs of its rank-and-file soldiers, many of whom were pulled from The Stockades and given an opportunity to win their freedom by fighting against the Horde worldwide. These ex-convicts were mainly petty criminals who'd once been thieves or brigands, but a portion of them were violent criminals who'd raped or murdered unfortunate innocents in Stormwind City. It was a common-held belief that war was a good outlet for these sorts of individuals, and that serving dutifully under an organized branch of the military would rehabilitate their mental sicknesses. Surprisingly, many of these ex-cons found companionship and a new life under Ashamal's command, and many more of them were redeemed by military service; unfortunately, the violent criminals who'd been integrated into the Might's ranks perpetrated their crimes upon the Horde's soldiers, sewing the Might's infamous reputation into the minds of enemy ranks.
Another portion of the Might's ranks were made up of members of the Alliance National Party, a political action group comprised of working-class humans and veterans from Westfall and Elwynn Forest who'd seen the savagery of the Orcs firsthand in the Second War and Third War. The Might recruited directly from the ANP, giving young, passionate members of the political group a chance to kill greenskins with their own weapons.
The rest of the Might's forces were Kaldorei soldiers, mostly from the Sentinels and Cenarion Army. They experienced some level of prejudice under the command of their human COs, but the Kaldorei and Human forces eventually found that their mutual hatred for the Horde outweighed their mistrust of each other.
Ashamal worked to cultivate a fanatic and nationalistic ethic within the Might of Staghelm's ranks, distrubing various treatises and pamphlets laced with propaganda of an anti-Horde sentiment. These documents framed the Horde as uncivilized, savage, and downright hateful of life and beauty. The most famous of these circulated papers was the Benevolent Savages, a treatise co-authored by Ashamal himself.
By the third month of training, the Might of Staghelm had been built into a formidable fighting force. Nationalistic fervor gripped the minds of the recruits, spurring them onward into war.
The effectiveness of the Might would be tested in direct combat against the forces of Quel'thalas, who had not expected a sudden surge of Alliance military operations in their region. With any luck, they would be caught by surprise; that was what Ashamal was hoping for.
The First Thalassian Conflict
As Ashamal and his men marched along the great northern roads leading to the kingdom of Quel'thalas, news reached their ears that the Scourge had led an assault on Stormwind City and Orgrimmar. Their forces halted in the Wetlands, awaiting orders from King Varian Wynn in case they would be called to war against the Scourge. A portion of the Might of Staghelm forces deserted in fear that they'd be facing the Scourge in Northrend, but the announcement came that the Might of Staghelm would continue their mission in Quel'thalas. Unlike the rest of the Horde's kingdoms, Quel'thalas was recuperating from their losses in the Burning Crusade, and only had a small presence in Northrend.
In order to demonstrate his authority over his men, Ashamal ordered the deserters of his force be hunted down. His men trudged through the Wetlands in pursuit of the escaped traitors, some of whom appeared to have crossed the Thandol Span into the Arathi Highlands. Verion Borscheon led the search party, who recovered nearly a dozen of the deserters.
Ashamal transported his traitors to Menethil Harbor, where he ordered them hung by the local Marshal. He forced his men to watch as their former companions were sent to death, and he did this to demonstrate that he would not forgive any of his soldiers if they disobeyed his orders. After all, he was working with ex-convicts, and he would need to beat them into submission. Thankfully, the former members of the Alliance National Party, now integrated directly into his batallion, kept a watchful eye over any potential problem individuals within the batallion itself. Ashamal rewarded those who spied for him, and quickly gained an army of ambitious sycophants.
The Might of Staghelm continued their long march north into the lands of the Eversong Woods, entering Lordaeron from the south. The Forsaken had drastically reduced their military presence in Tirisfal Glades, sailing with a full-sized navy to meet the Lich King in the frozen north, so it was not difficult to move through the region without being noticed.
When they finally arrived in the land of the Blood Elves, Ashamal's men established several concealed camps in the hillsides, making use of effective camouflage to hide their encampments from prying eyes. A number of the Might's scouts had been spotted by the Farstriders, who alerted Silvermoon City to the presence of the Alliance.
Tendael Dawnlight met Ashamal's forces with a host of his trusted officers and soldiers from the Sunguard. They intended to settle the disturbance peaceably and demand that Ashamal and his men leave their lands in peace. Ashamal did not realize at the time that Tendael would become his greatest rival.
Alliance military policy dictate that if the Horde followed standard military procedure and treated peacefully with any Alliance force, they would be given ample time to retreat and plan their next move. Ashamal allowed Tendael and his men to withdraw, but informed him that they intended to remain in Quel'thalas and continue their mission.
The Sunguard returned with a full-sized military force, outnumbering the Might three men to one. The battle was bloody, and large numbers of soldiers were slain and injured on both sides. At the end of the skirmish, the Sunguard and Might of Staghelm entered mutual retreat, opting to lick their wounds and continue their war after their injured men had been cared for; it was a draw.
The Might of Staghelm chose to implement a dishonorable strategy, and raided the Sunguard's outposts as their men were recovering from their wounds. They continued to exchange blows with the Sunguard in a series of hit-and-run assaults that staggered the defenses of the Kaldorei.
Concurrent with the War in Northrend, the Might of Staghelm and the Sunguard continued in a bitter battle over Eversong Woods for several months. Eventually, the Might chose with withdraw and sail across the sea to regroup with fresh reinforcements from Kalimdor, but they were pursued by Tendael's naval force.
Experienced with battling on the waters, Ashamal led his flagship and fleet in a wildly successful battle against Tendael's forces, but the Blood Elf general continued to pursue him despite his losses. This shattered the resolve of the Might's men, who were weary of war.
Eventually, the Might's remaining forces reached the eastern shores of Kalimdor, docking in Theramore as their ships were repaired and serviced. New reinforcements arrived from Stormwind and Darnassus, increasing the batallion's size to 400, although they'd lost over a hundred men during the duration of the armed conflict in Quel'thalas.
The Wedding Ceremony
Ashamal received word that Tendael Dawnlight was planning a wedding ceremony with his beloved in an undisclosed location in Nagrand. After interrogating a number of their Sin'dorei prisoners, they had a rough idea where Tendael would be hosting his wedding feast and celebration. They'd learnt of his extravagant spending habits when it came to private ceremonies, but Tendael was concerned with his men's morale, and spared no expense to allow them to wind down and enjoy the finer luxuries that Quel'thalas had to offer.
Tendael's choice to have his wedding ceremony in Outland was not only sentimental, but he was on the planet on busisiness to secure new weaponry and resources for his army. It would be an ample opportunity to assassinate Tendael and his officers and complete the first objective of the Might's mission in Quel'thalas: the elimination of Silvermoon's key military figures and political opposition to the Alliance.
Employing the help of a talented Draenei marksman and tracker known as Calidian, Ashamal and a small detachment of his main batallion entered Outland with the intention to end Tendael's life, and that of his wife and closest officers. This time, he would be vulnerable and unarmed, and unable to defend himself against a sudden assault.
The lavish wedding ceremony was held in a small camp next to a glimmering waterfall in Nagrand. Several Thalassian officers were in attendance, as well as the majority of Tendael's most trusted allies in Silvermoon. A host of Horde dignitaries and generals had also arrived to enjoy the feast and celebration.
Ashamal tasked Calidian with positioning his men along a forested hillside overlooking the wedding procession. The skilled Draenei huntsman led a team of snipers to crawl prone through the vegetation, leaving no trace of their presence in the region.
Tendael's wedding ceremony was interrupted with a hail of bullets and the distant sonic boom of high-powered ammunition. His would-be wife was killed on-site, and several of his officers and companions were injured. Tendael managed to come out of the situation without any serious injuries.
Heartbroken at the loss of his beloved, Tendael struck out to find the party responsible for the dishonorable assualt. The Sunguard captured one of the Might's men, torturing him until he revealed the next move of his Lieutenant Commander, Ashamal.
The Final Confrontation
Ashamal and his men enjoyed food and drink in the banquet hall of Stormwind Keep, celebrated for their victory against one of the major forces of Quel'thalas, the Sunguard. The people of Stormwind needed good news, in light of the somber reports of mass casualities in Northrend.
Tendael Dawnlight was smuggled into Stormwind's city limits by an ally within the Stormwind Guard, and walked through the city in disguise. His intent was to kill Ashamal and injure as many of the men of the Might of Staghelm as possible.
Ashamal and his men were gathered at a banquet table in Stormwind Harbor, where they celebrated their success in the light of a beautiful sunset. Tendael approached the ceremony and beheaded one of Ashamal's soldiers while taking another into his grasp. He held the soldier hostage and demanded that Ashamal fight him, one-on-one.
Ashamal accepted Dawnlight's challenge. While Ashamal was more of a talented archer than a swordsman, he was willing to engage Tendael in an honorable duel. Tendael, a far superior melee fighter, struck Ashamal down and left a large wound that ran from the Night Elf's hip to his chest.
Tendael fled the scene but was pursued by Ashamal's men and a contingent of Stormwind Guard officers. He leapt into the waters of the Harbor, but arrows and lead shot followed behind him. The gathered men watched as Tendael's seemingly lifeless body floated out to sea.
The Demon of the West
After the Sunguard withdrew the majority of their forces back to Quel'thalas, they slowly recovered from the apparent death of their supreme commanding officer, Tendael Dawnlight. Felthier Truefeather, the newly-incumbent leader of the Sunguard, was determined to recoup the losses of his army.
The Might of Staghelm was now known by the Horde, especially the Sin'dorei, to be a malicious and unavoidable element of the global Alliance military strategy that spoke ill of past efforts at peace. The events at the Wrathgate greatly heightened Alliance-Horde animosity, which only helped to spread troubling word of the Might of Staghelm.
Ashamal had received a particularly dishonorable moniker, the Demon of the West, by the Sin'dorei. To be called a "Demon" in elven society was the ultimate insult. Instead of taking offense, Ashamal claimed the title for his own and used it to empower his infamous reputation, going so far as to have a Darnassian smith forge him a steel mask resembling a Hydra. The mask itself was modeled after the crown of his first-known ancestor, Vanadar I.
Ashamal replaced his commanding officer within the Alliance Navy as a newly-elected Commander of the Alliance, leaving his officer Verion Borscheon to become Lieutenant Commander of the Might's batallion. The size of Ashamal's total forces increased to a small regiment, roughly one thousand men.
The Might was tasked to cripple the efforts of the Warsong Clan and their expeditionary force, the Warsong Outriders, led by Warlord Grognir.
The Warsong Outriders
The conflict between the Might of Staghelm and the Warsong Outriders began with a quick and violent operation beneath the shadows of the canyons in the Thousand Needles. The Outriders clashed with the Might's senior soldiers, and the two forces left gore in their wake.
After the main battle had passed and the wounded soldiers on each side where wheeled away to medical tents, Warlord Grognir challenged Ashamal to a duel of honor to dispute the superior leader. The Warlord agreed to withdraw from Thousand Needles if the Night Elf could secure victory, but asked Ashamal to honor the same condition if Grognir won the day.
Ashamal and Grognir were encircled by a chanting group of Orcs, stricken with bloodlust from the recent combat. Grognir and Ashamal were allowed only to use knives and their bodies as weapons, and were forced to discard their armor. After a scuffle, Ashamal struck Grognir down. To prove himself as a formidable enemy general to the Orcs, he tore Grognir's left eye from its socket and painted his own face with black, Orcish blood.
Because the Orcs attributed titles relating to the most notable honorable deed of an individual, Ashamal was known forever more as "Trk'moga" by the Orcs, or "Of Black Blood".
The conflict between the Outriders and the Might was short and memorable, leading in the utter defeat of Warlord Grognir's forces and a cripping blow to the Warsong effort in Kalimdor.
The Second Thalassian Conflict
Felthier Truefeather, the reigning leader of the Sunguard, had replaced the fallen Tendael Dawnlight. who was missing and assumed dead. Ashamal's forces in the Might of Staghelm were focusing on fighting the Horde in Kalimdor, as the Orcs had rapidly expanded their efforts to claim resources from Kaldorei lands.
War between the Sunguard and the Might of Staghelm stretched across continents, with major theatres in Kalimdor and the Eastern Kingdoms. Likewise, other Horde and Alliance parties joined in the conflict, perpetuating further violence during the Cold War between the two factions.
Like Tendael who had come before him, Felthier developed a bitter and bloody rivalry with Ashamal. Felthier was every bit as competent and successful as his predecessor, and Ashamal was aware of this. Unfortunately, the Sunguard was far more cautious after the incident at Tendael's wedding, which made Ashamal's efforts to plan a successful assassination fruitless.
With major battles taking place along the eastern seabord of Kalimdor, the Might's navy clashed with the Kor'kron Legion and other Sunguard supporters. Felthier's generals and advisors led several successful assaults against Ashamal and his men, forcing their ultimate retreat.
After several months of fighting, the Horde and Alliance had lost hundreds of soldiers, but neither had made any lasting progress or decisive victories.
The Return of Dawnlight
It would be a surprise to Ashamal, his soldiers, and the whole of the Horde and the Alliance when Tendael Dawnlight returned to Silvermoon City. Tendael was demanding that his successor, Felthier Truefeather, relinquish his command over the Sunguard and return the power to him. Felthier, surprisingly, refused this offer.
Tendael chose to form his own legion, known as the Dominion of the Sun. It would succeed the Sunguard in power and influence, although gradually. The Sunguard began to draw upon non-Sin'dorei to fill their depleted ranks, and built a successful mercenary force as a venture.
Ashamal faced the prospect of being forced to battle not one, but two formidable legions protecting the borders of Quel'thalas. He felt that his men were not prepared to face such a threat, and called upon allies from the First Regiment, the Knights of Menethil, the Dwarven Vanguard, the Infallible, and several other Alliance orders to stage a long-term campaign against Tendael, Felthier, and their considerable war assets.
The war grew more violent than ever, with losses numbering into the low thousands. Silvermoon in particular was negatively affected by the conflict, as the majority of battles in what came to be known as Second Thalassian Conflict would be staged in Eversong Woods, the Ghostlands, and the far northern regions of the Eastern Kingdoms.
Ashamal's reputation as a ruthless commander and perennial enemy of the Blood Elven people won him the ire of the general population of Silvermoon. This greatly assisted Tendael and Felthier in rallying new recruits against the cause of the Might of Staghelm, which had besieged Sin'dorei caravans and settlements on the outskirts of Quel'thalas for months.
The Capture of Ashamal Shalah'aman
Ashamal was spending time with his lifemate, Leafsong Shalah'aman, in an undisclosed location in Silverpine Forest. He had closely guarded the location of his temporary home in the Eastern Kingdoms, which was an old Gilnean manor that was abandoned after the construction of the Greymane Wall. His men secured the manor and the surrounding farmlands, but Ashamal had not informed the majority of his soldiers that he planned on staying in the manor with his family.
Somehow, a leak came from within the Might's command structure, which reached the ears of Tendael Dawnlight. The Dominion of the Sun and the Sunguard took a posse of three dozen men to Silverpine Forest to capture Ashamal Shalah'aman and his lifemate.
Their mission was successful, and Ashamal was, for the first time, a prisoner in the hands of the Horde. He was held in a prison outside of Silvermoon City by the Dominion of the Sun, who only gave him basic provisions. Ashamal did not cooperate with any of their interrogations, and even started an incident when he used a shard of metal to cut the hand of one of the prison guards.
As he continued to be held, he protested being fed, and tried to bite and lash out at anyone who entered his cell. He demanded that his lifemate be freed, but the Dominion denied her this mercy due to the fact that they believed she would inform the Might of Staghelm the the location where Ashamal was being held.
Eventually, the Sin'dorei generals present decided that Ashamal would not be given a chance to stand up for himself against a military tribunal, and he was sentenced to death. His execution was slated to take place a mere twenty four hours after the sentencing in order to avoid Alliance interception.
With several thousand Horde soldiers and citizens in attendance, Ashamal was marched to the shores of Quel'thalas, where he was beaten and abused by the crowd as he was escorted by Tendael's guardsmen.
Surprisingly, the Dominion of the Sun decided to release Leafsong unscathed, which put Ashamal's soul at rest. He was not afraid of death at this point, knowning that his lifemate would be able to escape and live a prosperous life with their children.
Just as the procession entered its final ceremony, Ashamal's men from the Might stormed the shores. A battle ensued between the Horde and the Alliance forces, but the archers still released their arrows at Ashamal, who was blindfolded, facing the ocean.
The first arrow struck him in the back, but the second and third arrows were intercepted by Aruman, a Draenei soldier who had served under the Might of Staghelm for some time. Still, it appeared to be too late. Ashamal was sent adrift as his body lay limp in the waters.
The Might recovered Ashamal's body and escaped Quel'thalas hastily. They were tailed by a legion of Tendael's loyals, and suffered heavy losses in order to ensure Ashamal's remains would be given a proper ceremony in Stormwind City.
As the Might of Staghelm left Quel'thalas with the Dominion of the Sun in tow, Ashamal's seemingly lifeless corpse suddenly drew breath again. The Hunter, now heavily injured and emaciated from his time in the Sin'dorei prison, had used a Kaldorei breathing technique to feign his death and slow his heartrate. He had feigned his own death as a defense mechanism, drawing on his knowledge from the natural world.
Many of Ashamal's cuts were infected from his poor treatment in the prison facilities, and his self-imposed starvation had left him bare of his strength. He could not draw upon enough of his own strength to stand on two feet, nor sit up straight on the saddle of a horse or saber.
When the Might returned to Stormwind City to recoup their losses and assemble their remaining forces, Ashamal was comitted to bedrest and was carefully watched over by a team of the Alliance's finest alchemists and apothecaries. Leafsong Shalah'aman stayed by his side during the recovery process, which would take almost four months.
Ashamal spent the majority of his time reading new books and getting caught up with the war in Northrend. He received regular letters from fellow Alliance officers and soldiers formerly under his command.
Ashamal's second child, Mirae Shalah'aman, was born during the length of his recovery. His children were essential in his home therapy, and gave him the strength to pull through the worst symptoms of his infections. He nearly passed away during a night in his third month of recovery, as he took to a high fever that the apothecaries were unable to successfully treat. The infection gradually remedied itself, and this was most likely due to his innate resistance to disease as a Kaldorei.
He was visited by General Marcus Jonathan during the end of his recuperation. The General thanked Ashamal for his bravery and service under the command of the Alliance, and awarded him with the Stormwind Navy Distinguished Service Cross, a commendation given to members of the Stormwind Navy who placed their own lives in terrible danger in defense of Alliance lives or military interests. At the time, Ashamal had second thoughts about remaining in the Alliance military, as he remained fearful of his life and his family's safety.
Ashamal contemplated retiring from his command post, changing his identity, and living in a remote corner of Kalimdor in order to protect Leafsong and his children, but he eventually decided that it would be better to continue serving the Alliance.
The news of Ashamal's recovery and living status had not yet circulated through the Horde, who had assumed Ashamal was dead.
Promotion to Marshal
Ashamal, walking now with a sturdy cane, attended an awards ceremony of Alliance officers and soldiers who had fought in Northrend and various other theatres across Azeroth against the Scourge and other forces. Plans were announced that the Stormwind City Graveyard would be greatly expanded to make room for the bodies of the recently fallen veterans of the assault on Icecrown.
Thousands of dead soldiers returned from Northrend, and the Lich King had fallen. Ashamal awarded several survivors of the attack on Icecrown with the Iron Star.
To his complete surprise, Ashamal was called to the podium and officially promoted to Marshal of the Alliance. He would join the Alliance High Command council as a tactical advisor of the Alliance's global military strategy. He was given an office in the Stormwind Keep, where he would spend the majority of his daily life thereafter.
Ashamal's regiment was upgraded to a division, and he was given the authority to command several regiments at one time, numbering up to a total of ten thousand men.
He was wary to go war to again, despite being promoted. He began to feel great anxiety at the prospect of facing his enemies. Luckily, Ashamal was ordered by his commanding officers to keep his men in Stormwind City while the High Command council determined whether or not the Horde were planning to attack Alliance settlements.
Legion of Valor Award
Ashamal was invited to a second ceremony for recipients of the Alliance Legion of Valor, an award given to Alliance combatants who go above and beyond the call of duty to protect their comrades and the lives of Alliance citizens and soldiers. He joined thirteen other recipients of the award.
Ashamal was nominated to receive the Legion of Valor by his fellow officers and several Stormwind Navy admirals after he was captured by Tendael Dawnlight. Likewise, six of Ashamal's men received the Legion of Valor Award for their bravery in the long-term campaign against Quel'thalas.
Ashamal was approached by Alvin Richter Goras, CEO and founder of Stormwind Royal Industries, a private engineering firm based out Stormwind City. Goras was determined to make more friends within the Alliance command structure, and had heard that Ashamal was fervently opposed to peace talks with the Horde. War was good for Goras and his business, and they had recently struck gold with the Skybreaker airship contract, having built the titanic weapon of war in their hangars in the Stormwind Harbor.
Goras and Ashamal became fast friends, sharing their philosophies and their love for the intricate designs behind the Alliance's machines of war. Goras invited Ashamal to give feedback on their latest prototypes. Stormwind Royal Industries were working on a new generation of high-powered rifles built off of the Titan technology stolen from Ulduar. While they were imperfect copies, the technological discoveries in Ulduar allowed the Alliance and Horde to create powerful new siege weaponry and small weapons systems, basing their new works on the framework of the ancient Titan weapons they plundered from the halls of Ulduar.
Promising wealth and other benefits, Goras encouraged Ashamal and other conservative members of the Alliance High Command to ensure that peace talks between the Alliance and Horde were not reached. So long as violence continued between the Alliance and Horde, Goras and his company would receive constant orders for large volumes of ammunition and weaponry.
The Fall of Staghelm
Ashamal was entirely unaware that his long-time ally, the Archdruid Fandral Staghelm, was conspiring to overthrow the Darnassian government. Madness had gripped Fandral's mind, and it was revealed that Malfurion Stormrage had only remained in the Emerald Dream due to deilberate poisoning. Staghelm had been using the herb known as Morrowgrain to keep Stormrage in a deep slumber, so that he could continue to guide the Cenarion Circle as he saw fit.
While it has always been suspected that Fandral Staghelm was deliberately subverting Tyrande Whisperwind and the Darnassian establishment, no one, not even his closest allies expected that he'd played a direct hand in the disappearance of Malfurion Stormrage.
Ashamal, along with dozens of Staghelm's advisors and most ardent supporters, were called before the Sisters of Elune to speak of Fandral and what they knew about his operations. Ashamal was oblivious to the majority of Fandral's plans, but he was suspected to be complicit in the former Archdruid's malevolent plot by a number of the Sisters, who mistrusted him because of his exile and family history.
After extended questioning and a long trial, former Archdruid Staghelm was interned in an undisclosed Barrow Den. The trial itself was kept a secret from the general public, and many Kaldorei were left to ponder Fandral's fate. The arrest and apparent disappearance of Staghelm had the unintended effect of stirring dissent within Darnassus, and several followers of Maiev Shadowsong and Fandral's Cenarion faction began to hatch their own plots against the establishment.
The majority of Fandral's former lieutenants disavowed the Archdruid's actions. Ashamal was careful to choose his next move, but no longer felt safe in Kalimdor. He relocated to Stormwind City where he would remain for the forseeable future.
On vacation with his family in the Redridge Mountains, Ashamal and Leafsong Shalah'aman narrowly escaped death at the hands of Deathwing. Since Ashamal and Leafsong lived in the Park in Stormwind City, they would have been among the thousands of Kaldorei and human citizens of the Park District who met their end when Deathwing assaulted Stromwind.
The city was left in chaos after Deathwing left the Park utterly destroyed. Even the front gates of Stormwind City were scarred with the remains of Deathwing's violent assault on the kingdom. Not weeks before, tremors had threatened to destabilize Ironforge, and elementals raged through the streets of Stormwind as Azeroth was thrown into turmoil from the initial waves of the Shattering.
Meanwhile, news reached the ears of the Alliance that Garrosh Hellscream had risen to command the Horde as its new Warchief. Hundreds of Alliance officers were called to an emergency meeting in the Stormwind Keep to discuss international events. The Shattering had left Orgrimmar utterly bankrupt, as the Orcs were forced to empty their treasury in order to pay for repairs. A surge of Orcish forces in Ashenvale signaled new troubles for the Horde, who appeared to be expanding rapidly in Kalimdor to recoup their losses after Orgrimmar's apparent economic crisis. Several Alliance Marshals pleaded with King Varian Wrynn to urge the Alliance to assault Orgrimmar, as many of the Alliance's officers believed that Garrosh Hellscream and Thrall were behind the elemental tragedies that plunged Azeroth into chaos. This time, Ashamal argued that making a blind assault on Orcish assets would be a foolish idea, and this won him temporary respect from some of his perrennial adversaries in the Alliance High Command council, who believed him to be leaning towards progressive policies for peace.
Promotion to Grand Marshal
Rallying the support of many of his peers during the chaos of the Shattering, Ashamal was elected as the Alliance's newest Grand Marshal, and was given command over an entire theatre of warfare spanning from the northern Eastern Kingdoms to the mountains of Khaz Modan. Under the orders of King Varian Wrynn, Ashamal's main directive was to ensure that the Blackrock and Dragonmaw clans were not given the chance to grow their forces to substantial numbers, to ensure that the Sin'dorei and Forsaken did not plan critical assaults against the Alliance settlements in the north, and that the ports and main waterways of the Alliance were bolstered and guarded constantly by the Stormwind Navy.
In the first few months of his position as Grand Marshal, Ashamal failed to prove that he was capable of handling as many commanding officers under his thrall as he was given. The strategies he implemented on a grand scale were ineffective, and many fellow Marshals argued that he was promoted too quickly and was not given an opportunity to transition from commanding a single legion to leading several large legions of men and their commanders.
Ashamal's ineffectiveness as a Grand Marshal stemmed mostly from his frequent anxiety attacks and inability to keep a cool demeanor; after he was captured and marched to his own attempted execution months before, he had recurring nightmares that disturbed him greatly. He was concerned for his family's safety, and he and Leafsong grew apart as he was forced to remain abroad for several months at a time.
The Battle of the Barrens
Ashamal was given another opportunity to prove himself as worthy of the position of Grand Marshal during the Battle of the Barrens, where he served as a supreme commanding officer aside Kerdic Lothinil. The presence of Tendael Dawnlight and Felthier Truefeather on the battlefield motivated Ashamal to put forth a great effort in leading his men and directing the overall strategy of the extended campaign.
Several of Ashamal's long-time officers were slain combat during an ambush in the Barrens. A supply caravan from Theramore traversed the oases in the center of the province, and Ashamal's trusted lieutenants were in attendance, not expecting that the Horde would have the resources to plan a successful attack on their well-armed vanguard. Unfortunately, the Alliance had vastly underestimated the capability of the Horde's forces, and several key figures from various deployed Alliance militaries were killed in the assault.
After a bitter month of battle, the majority of the Barrens fell under the control of the Alliance. Northwatch Hold, unfortunately, was left inadequately guarded at the end of the conflict, and the number of permanent residents at the barracks were halved. The conflict ended in near-total Alliance victory, but not without major casualties.
Through the duration of the Cataclysm, the Alliance and Horde clashed in a great number of battles spanning Kalimdor, the Eastern Kingdoms, and Northrend. Ashamal proved himself time and time again to be an uncompromising and ruthless Alliance officer. As a Grand Marshal, he led the Alliance to many victories on the battlefield. Unfortunately, support for Ashamal was not widespread, and he was reviled by many of the Alliance's more peace-driven figures.
Because of his close connections with Stormwind City's law enforcement and powerful private entities in the Alliance, Ashamal evaded prosection for accused war crimes on a number of occasions. He was accused of executing Horde prisoners in breach of international military law, and more bizzarely, he was investigated for creating a network of hidden labor camps powered entirely by Horde prisoners throughout Azeroth. Ashamal pled complete ignorance of any such labor camps, and eventually, one of his officers came forth to plead his own guilt.
Ashamal was suspected of involving himself with Stormwind's organized crime networks, as he kept the company of many shady figures who were known associates of criminals in the city; thankfully, these suspicions remained unsubtantiated. A long-term investigation of Ashamal's supposed criminal associates was halted unexpectedly by a high-ranking captain of the Stormwind Guard, who did not give an explanation as to why the investigation was ended.
Unfortunately, Ashamal had to learn to tone down his more radical anti-Horde beliefs in order to win the favor of Stormwind's people, who were war-weary and stricken with grief from their personal loses throughout the last decade. When Ashamal was not deployed in theaters of war, he played the role of a part-time statesman and politician in Stormwind City, where he influenced local policy to a moderately notable extent. He continued to remain a relatively popular figure in Stormwind City, and his success came with a great cost. Ashamal pushed for a decrease on the kingdom's taxes for large, private companies in order to win their support, and thus he alienated the influential merchant's and farmer's unions in Stormwind.
Because of his private contracts with companies like the Stormwind Royal Industries and the benefits of his membership in Alliance High Comand, Ashamal accumulated considerable wealth, allowing his family to live quite comfortably. Since personal wealth was not a high priority in Kaldorei society, Ashamal was repeatedly referred to as a "lapdog of humankind" by the more xenophobic Alliance skeptics in Darnassus. Ashamal's popularity in his homeland hit a new low point, and he avoided returning to Kalimdor in any public capacity out of fear for his life.
Third Thalassian Conflict
Ashamal was called upon for aid by Erundo, the leader of the Sha'nash. The Sha'nash was an ecclesiatical Draenei organization based out of the Exodar that violently opposed the Horde. While their primary pursuits were religious in nature, they had come under attack by Tendael Dawnlight and the Dominion of the Sun, who had been staging an assault on the Draenei from the nearby Bloodmyst Isle. So far, no Alliance military had offered to come to the defense of the Sha'nash, and Ashamal was the first commanding officer to send aid.
The Might of Stormrage led a successful counterattack against the Dominion of the Sun that led in the total retreat of Tendael's forces. Ashamal urged the Sha'nash to pursue the Dominion of the Sun across the sea, as he believed that their forces could be completely eradicated in this weak state. The Sha'nash were more interested in recovering from their losses, and decined. Ashamal led his men in aggressive pursuit of the Dominion's forces, and chased them all the way to Quel'thalas. An aggressive strategy worked well for the Might, who were able to capture important sites in Quel'thalas in the opening weeks of the campaign.
The Third Thalassian Conflict was marked by especially bloody battles. The Might and Dominion had developed a bitter rivalry after suffering through nearly three years of combat, and prisoners on both sides were treated with remarkable cruelty.
The Shadow of Auchindoun
In order to cement a continued alliance with the Sha'nash, the Might of Stormrage agreed to assist Dralosa and Erundo in recovering an ancient Auchenai artifact from the bowels of Auchindoun. Returning to the Bone Wastes allowed many traumatic memories to resurface in Ashamal's mind, as he'd been held in the tombs as a prisoner not three years before by the Ethereum.
After facing unspeakable, shadowy horrors in the labyrinthine halls of the tomb, the Might of Stormrage recovered the artifact that the Sha'nash had been so keen to recover. Seeing the darkness that the aritfact was able to unleash, the Might of Stormrage's forces chose to destroy the artifact before consulting with the leaders of the Sha'nash. This drove tensions high between the two militaries, and they formally broke off relations following the events of their expedition into Auchindoun.
Ashamal was ordered to back down from conflict with the Dominion of the Sun after King Varian Wrynn informed officers of the Alliance that the Sin'dorei were in the process of writing a peace treaty with Stormwind. Ashamal's men felt frustrated at the news, and reluctantly departed from the battlefield.
The Destruction of Theramore
Intelligence had reached the Alliance that the Horde were planning an assault on Theramore. Originally, the scope of this conflict was thought to be much smaller than it actually was. A contingent of Alliance forces arrived in the Dustwallow Marsh to establish a large number of fallback outposts for Alliance scouts in preparation for a potential Orcish assault. Ashamal and his men joined several Alliance legions in securing the Marsh. They mopped up a three week operation against the Horde's agents in the area, before abruptly pulling out of the conflict to attend an important security summit in the Eastern Kingdoms.
Weeks later, Theramore was utterly destroyed by a Mana Bomb that had been constructed by the Sin'dorei, plunging the Horde and Alliance into a global conflict. Garrosh Hellscream launched major assaults against various Alliance outposts worldwide. Meanwhile, Stormwind's finest soldiers began to funnel into Pandaria to recover Anduin Wrynn. A continent-wide conflict for control of Pandaria ensued.
The Dalaran Insurgency
The Third Thalassian Conflict was ended by the Battle for Dalaran, a campaign that erupted after Jaina Proudmoore ordered the mass execution of members of the Sunreavers. The Dominion of the Sun was determined to reclaim Dalaran for the Horde after the faction was banished indefinitely from the city. Dalaran was currently in-transit over the sea, making it difficult for the Horde to plan a successful invasion.
The weeks leading up to the major part of the conflict were chaotic, and almost led to conflict between several Alliance factions. Ashamal was ordered to take his men to oversee domestic security in Dalaran after Proudmoore made her move. Ashamal oversaw the public execution of several Sunreavers and the Silver Covenant traitors who aided them in their escape. The proceedings were halted by Maxen Montclair. who convinced Ashamal to await the judgement of the Alliance before he took the fate of the prisoners into his hands.
Ashamal and his men detained Horde-sympathetic members of the Magus Senate of Dalaran, holding them in the Borean Tundra. One Magi was tortured until he confessed that he was feeding information to the Horde, and was subsequently freed after betraying the full details of his exchange the Dominion of the Sun. The information pried out of the Mage would give the Alliance ample time to prepare for the Horde's invasion, revealing critical Horde strategies long before the campaign began.
Tendael Dawnlight and several other Horde generals led a large army to Northrend, as they had discovered that the crystals and runes that remained in Crystalsong Forest could facilitate their immediate translocation to Dalaran. The Alliance gathered an equally large force to defend Crystalsong Forest from Horde incursion, leading their forces to victory against the Horde in Grizzly Hills and in battles along the coast of Northrend. The Horde gained steam as they pushed to the center of the continent, defeating the Alliance in several battles as they began to funnel into Crystalsong Forest in preparation for their invasion.
Ashamal defended the southern entrance of Crystalsong with his men and several Alliance reserve forces. He successfully drove the Horde's forces back into Dragonblight; unfortunately, Ashamal's fellow commanders had not shared in his success in the eastern and western halves of Crystalsong itself.
Ashamal called Tendael and the Horde's other representatives to a meeting on neutral ground in Icecrown. The Argent Tourmament served as their place of deliberation. While Ashamal appeared to be seeking a peaceful resolution to the conflict, he was actually more interested in ensuring Tendael's demise. The Alliance demanded that Tendael surrender himself to be tried for his war crimes, and that the Horde would be forced to render substantial amounts of gold for past grievances. The Horde accepted these terms, but only on the condition that a peace treaty was not realized and that the Alliance release a large portion of their Sunreaver prisoners from the Violet Hold.
The Trial of Tendael Dawnlight
Tendael Dawnlight was tried for war crimes against the Alliance as a result of the bargaining during the Battle for Dalaran, which ended in his capture. In exchange for Tendael, the Alliance freed several hundred Sunreaver prisoners and transported them safely to Horde lands. Ashamal stood beside Maxen Montclair and Erich Gottfried Manstein as judges in the Westbrook Military Tribunal.
Tendael was charged with High Treason against the Grand Alliance, and was temporaily held in the prisons of the Westbrook Garrison as he awaited trial. Ashamal and his many allies in the Alliance were determined to ensure that Tendael was convicted of his crimes and sentenced to death. Kalimdor stood beside Ashamal, and Anamaleth Mistbloom of the Lineage of the Moon was in attendance. In addition, Berenal Grayblade of the Blades of Greymane supported a death sentence for Tendael Dawnlight. Unfortunately, Erich Manstein was likely to choose a life sentence for Tendael's crimes, and Maxen Montclair had yet to express his beliefs on how Tendael's sentencing should be handled.
The trial commenced, and the judges gathered to hear the witnesses. The deliberations were short and concise, lasting a mere two hours. Witnesses from various Alliance parties and militaries gave passionate testimonies, with the Might of Stormrage, the Lineage of the Moon, the Blades of Greymane, and several other militaries painting a picture of Tendael as a mass-murderer. The Clergy of the Holy Light took a more neutral stance, favoring an outcome that would please both Tendael's sympathizers and his enemies.
In an unexpected turn of events, Tendael Dawnlight pleaded for his life and swore fealty to the Alliance in order to ensure that he was not put to death. Maxen, Ashamal, and Erich gathered privately to come to an agreement. Maxen was swayed by Tendael's plea, and decided to sentence Tendael to life imprisonment in an undisclosed Alliance prison. Outraged, Ashamal appeared distraught and angered to the crowd as the sentencing was read, and refused to take his position at the table beside Maxen and Manstein. When Erich Manstein declared that Tendael was guilty of High Treason and sentenced to life imprisonment, a large portion of the crowd burst into anger.
Tendael was evacuated from Westbrook Garrison with plans to relocate to Stormwind City temporarily as they decided where he would be detained. As Tendael exited the building, Ashamal felt years worth of hatred well up; his enemy had escaped his grasp, and now the Alliance would be forced to care for Dawnlight for the rest of his life in a high-security military prison.
Acting on impulse, Ashamal followed the procession and drew a one-shot pistol from his belt, shooting Tendael dead. Ashamal shouted, "Glory to the Alliance" as Tendael was killed. Dawnlight was declared deceased on-site, and Ashamal wrestled with several Alliance guardsmen who'd attempted to detain him. His lifemate, Leafsong Shalah'aman, prepared a portal to Outland. With great struggle, Ashamal managed to escape through the makeshift portal as it closed.
Flight to Outland
Pursued by no less than one hundred Alliance assets, Ashamal arrived in Shattrath City by way of a portal conjured by his lifemate, Leafsong Shalah'aman. Leafsong and Ashamal had managed to escape the events of the Westbrook Military Tribunal where Ashamal had extrajudicially assassinated Tendael Dawnlight, a long-time enemy and rival. They fled the city with a pack of basic supplies that Ashamal had quickly gathered, and wandered the wilds of Outland.
With assistance from Zaraki Theristan, Ashamal's companions in the Might of Stormrage, and the Blades of Greymane, Ashamal was able to escape to an obscure corner of Nagrand where he and Leafsong subsisted on local foods and natural resources for several months.
Several Alliance agents were injured in pursuing Ashamal, who had hired mercenaries protect himself and his family during his time in Outland. One Alliance pursuer stepped into a home-made bear trap that Ashamal had assembled from scrap metal, and the agent was forced to regroup with his companions. After several months of trying to track down Ashamal, the Alliance cancelled all further attempts at his capture. Not only were their efforts fruitless, but Ashamal's actions were popular with the majority of the Alliance's military.
Return to Stormwind & Escape to Darnassus
WIth widespread support from Darnassus and a large division of Stormwind City, Ashamal was motivated to return to Stormwind, where the criminality of his actions was, at best, disputed. The Alliance High Command council welcomed Ashamal to Stormwind Keep, but advised him that he would most likely be arrested by parties sympathetic to Maxen Montclair if he remained in Stormwind. Assuming his office once again, Ashamal brazenly taunted Johannes Moorwhelp in-person at the Cathedral of the Holy Light. Shortly thereafter, Ashamal's arrogance led to his arrest by the First Regiment.
As Ashamal was transported to the Stockades by Erich Gottfried Manstein, Maxen Montclair, and a contingent of two dozen members of the local law enforcement, Berenal Grayblade, Anamaleth Mistbloom, and several Kaldorei members of the Lineage of the Moon arrived to protest Ashamal's arrest. Ashamal's escape was facilitated by the Blades of Greymane, who transported him to Stormwind Harbor. Ashamal left for Kalimdor with his allies, arriving in Darnassus. Surprisingly, his people celebrated his return, as Anamaleth Mistbloom had worked hard to improve Ashamal's image with the local population.
Bishop Johannes Moorwhelp comically excommunicated Ashamal from the Church of the Holy Light, posting a public notice that Ashamal was to be regarded as "no longer" a member of the Church, even though he'd not been a member in the first place. This action further bolstered Ashamal's support and credibility, since Moorwhelp had, with this move, greatly discredited his own and Maxen's camp.
Weeks later, Maxen Montclair and the First Regiment arrived at the Temple of the Moon, demanding that Darnassus surrender Ashamal to be detained in Stormwind City. Because the matter was tenuous and Tendael Dawnlight was not recognized universally as a citizen of the Alliance posthumously, Darnassus refused Maxen's order for extradition. Anamaleth Mistbloom threatened that Maxen's actions would cause heightened tensions between Stormwind City and Darnassus, and that he should withdraw his request.
After discussing the events with his fellow allies, Maxen Montclair decided to pardon Ashamal of his crime, even though there had been considerable contention as to whether or not Ashamal's actions were criminal. The counterargument pointed out that Ashamal, as a high-ranking member of the Alliance military, had the authority to choose the fate of an enemy commander during wartimes, and that his choice to kill Tendael Dawnlight was a sanctioned act of war against the Horde rather than a criminal act. To this day, there remains a considerable amount of discussion over whether or not Ashamal's actions were illegal.
The Lineage of the Moon
Ashamal chose to surrender power of his legion over to Verion Borscheon, one of his most trusted lieutenants. Ashamal decided to remain in Darnassus with his family, unsure of his future in Stormwind City. Until he knew that Maxen Montclair would no longer attempt to pursue criminal charges against him, he loathed to return to the Eastern Kingdoms.
Anamaleth Mistbloom was gifted with the gauntlet of Tendael Dawnlight by Ashamal, as a token of his loyalty to the Kaldorei cause. Ashamal was welcomed into the forces of the Lineage of the Moon, where he would remain for half of a year.
Ashamal quickly climbed the ranks of the Lineage of the Moon, eventually becoming a wartime officer of the Lineage's military branch alongside Jalcynter Swiftshadow. Ashamal reformed the Lineage's military, turning them into a capable fighting force in Kalimdor.
Anamaleth Mistbloom and Mavei Lightleaf, the leaders of the Lineage of the Moon, fell in combat against a legion of Orcs, leaving the Lineage of the Moon to the command of Jalcynter and Ashamal. The Lineage was rapidly militarized, with much of its cultual and ecclesiastical functions no longer present with the absence of Sisters of Elune at the helm.
Cotinual disagreements between Ashamal and Jalcynter led to Jalcynter's departure from the Lineage of the Moon.
The Iron Wolf
After paying a visit to the remains of Gilneas City, Ashamal met with an obscure Gilnean lord who claimed to breed the most vicious and tenacious guard dogs in the Eastern Kingdoms. The Mastiff hailed from the gloomy, rainslick lowlands of Gilneas, bred for the explicit purpose of assisting Gilnean rangers and huntsmen, and providing extra security for pioneering families deep in the dangerous woods and marshes of the afflicted kingdom.
While Ashamal scarcely believed that human-bred dogs could provide as much combat support as a Worg or Wolf, he was taken by the stout sturdiness, low-profile build, and boneshattering bite of the Gilnean Mastiff. He'd been developing war plans to release a pack of wild dogs into the enemy ranks, but he'd originally believed that Hyenas would do the job better. Convinced by the persuasive lord, and by the tenacity of the Mastiff dogs, he purchased a lot of twenty of the breeder's finest hounds.
Integrating the Mastiff hounds with an assortment of other wolves, worgs, and wild dogs, Ashamal forged a formidable weapon against Horde ground forces in Kalimdor. Not only was the tactic effective, but it was also befitting of his reputation as a ruthless officer of war. He would release his pack just ahead of an engagement, watching the dogs tear through the enemy and tackle several of the less experienced soldiers to the ground. It demoralized the enemy forces to the level that many senior Horde generals demanded that the dogs be killed on-sight, or poisoned before battle by an assassin.
Ashamal field dressed the remains of his hounds, fashioning their hides into pelts worn by his cadet officers and Houndmasters. He joined in this tradition by wearing a red wolf's pelt over his armor. A new epithet for the Kaldorei Grand Marshal began to circulate between Horde soldiers, working in his favor to further intimidate the enemy. He came to be known as the "Iron Wolf" for his usage of dogs in combat, and for the red pelt he wore over his armor.
Eventually, Ashamal chose to disband the Lineage of the Moon and return to Stormwind City in order to continue his career as a Grand Marshal of the Alliance. Jalcynter Swiftshadow, Ashamal's former co-leader, now commands Dor Serrar.
Pandaria and Beyond
With the forces of the Stormwind Navy, Ashamal joined the Alliance's Pandaren Campaign in the Krasarang Wilds. King Varian Wrynn led the finest forces of the Grand Alliance to battle against the Horde in the jungles of Pandaria, establishing a permanent military outpost for the Alliance in this new, foreign land.
Ashamal's task was to secure a port for the Alliance, doing battle with the Horde' navy at sea aborad the HMS Glorious Dawn. While the Horde's forces numbered far fewer, their ships were clad in iron and equipped with powerful Goblin guns. Ashamal clashed with the flagship of Garrosh Hellscream, but the Warchief was not aboard his craft. Ashamal's flagship, an Alliance galleon outfitted with eighty guns, was able to sink four of Orgrimmar's finest brigs, and one of the most infamous Orcish iron warships in a single battle.
Ashamal equipped his boarding parties with Dwarven breach shotguns, designed for quickly capturing the decks of enemy ships. A Sin'dorei admiral from Silvermoon's small navy was taken into custody by Ashamal's men, and summarily executed a day later.
The battles at sea raged on for nearly four months. Several ships from Kul Tiras joined Ashamal's fleet, lending aid to the Alliance effort to secure a permanent port in Pandaria. At the end of the conflict, the Alliance established Lion's Landing, a well-armed military fortress that would serve as the Alliance's staging headquarters for operations across all of Pandaria.
Ashamal was awarded the Navy Cross of Boralus for his effective leadership at sea.
The Siege of Orgrimmar
Ashamal was among the many Alliance officers chosen to lead the vanguard alongsde King Varian Wrynn into Orgrimmar to depose Garrosh Hellscream. During the initial fighting, Ashamal found himself stricken with a crippling anxiety attack when he witnessed the razing of a Horde-owned farm. The heat of the flames and the terrifying sounds of war proved to be too much for the Grand Marshal, and he withdrew from battle, leaving one of his lieutenants to command his legion.
Ashamal felt great embarassment when he noticed that the only other troops on the Stormwind Navy medical ship were those who had sustained major or fatal injuries during the battle, but he could still not bring himself to return to participate in the Siege of Orgrimmar. Along with several hundred critically-injured soldiers, Ashamal returned to Stormwind City to recuperate from his sudden breakdown.
It is not known why Ashamal's anxiety suddenly became so overwhelming, but it has crippled him and his ability to lead his men on the field of battle.
Aftermath & Mental Trauma
After the events of the Siege of Orgrimmar, Ashamal was sent into a downward spiral of serious depression and mental trauma. He frequently came to blows with loved ones and his wife, Leafsong, when he overreacted to situations that would have otherwise had simple solutions. His uncontrollable outbursts began to cause tension in his home.
While Ashamal held tremendous wealth, he had no history of spending his money recklessly and was known to be a frugal person. This all changed during his extended mental breakdown, and he began to expend considerable amounts of money on luxury goods in Stormwind City, spending much of his time around his fellow officers and away from home. He found it difficult to sleep, and spent many nights without getting more than an hour of rest.
Ashamal's severe sleep deprivation and new habits began to affect his family life negatively, so his wife consoled him and convinced him to seek more professional help. He was admitted to an apothecary in Stormwind who specialized in treating the mind, and was prescribed a potion that supposedly would alleviate many of his symptoms and allow him to sleep peacefully. Unfortunately, the medicine only worked so well, and Ashamal found little relief from it.
During a routine check-up, Ashamal was declared unfit for military duty, but was welcomed to return as a full-time member of the Alliance High Command to provide strategic assessments to the Crown and the Grand Alliance as a whole.
The assault ended in total victory for the Warbound Brotherhood and their allies, with Garrosh's loyalists expelled from the settlement.
The Honors of Pandaria
The Horde, Alliance, and people of Pandaria came to a tentative consensus that Garrosh Hellscream was to be tried in the Temple of the White Tiger for his crimes against Azeroth as a whole. Ashamal originally disagreed with the final decision that King Varian Wrynn had made in regards to the fate of Hellscream, but came to see the logic in his course of action after deliberating with the Alliance High Command council.
After all, history had proven that the Orcish Horde could only be quelled through mercy. Nothing was more dishonorable to an Orc than to be spared of a glorious death, as the policy of Internment had shown in wars past; if it was possible to prevent the rise of another Garrosh Hellscream, this would be the way to do it. If the Alliance had disbanded the Horde and slain the remaining Orcs in Orgrimmar, it would only empower further Orcish conquest in the future; to be spared was the ultimate insult.
Ashamal, as well as hundreds of Horde and Alliance heroes and military officers who'd taken part in the worldwide conflict, were called forth by Emperor Shaohao and other Pandaren leaders to the ancient land of Pandaria. Vincent Ravenwing, one of Ashamal's lieutenants, joined him in a ceremony to celebrate the triumph over Garrosh Hellscream and the Sha.
While Ashamal had only a limited understanding of the Pandaren and their strife, he'd played a major role in the war that prevented Garrosh from forcing Pandaria to toil under his heel. Ashamal's initial plans weren't far from Garrosh's own, as he'd hoped to claim Pandaria for the Alliance in order to create a supply chain of essential materials from the continent to Kalimdor and the Eastern Kingdoms both. Despite this, the Pandaren were never privy to his motives. Ashamal was not alone in these ambitions, for the more conservative members of Alliance High Command had originally planned to strip mine Pandaria's valuable minerals and mill its expansive forests in order to prevent the Horde from utilizing the continent's resources, as well as adding a substantial amount of materials to Alliance reserves. Eventually, it was decided by King Wrynn that this international move would alienate the Tushui and Kaldorei, and blocked High Command's efforts to enact a fast grab for natural resources.
The gathered leaders of the Alliance and Horde offensive campaigns against Hellscream's regime were awarded with various honors and campaign commendations during the ceremony, and Ashamal joined other Alliance Marshals in accepting the gratitude of the Pandaren and of their allies in the Grand Alliance.
A Time for Rest
Ashamal spent several months abroad, vacationing with his lifemate and children in Kalimdor and Pandaria. This set his mind at ease and allowed him to focus on his familial duties, which he'd neglected in the recent months as his officership demanded his full attention. He spent much of his time writing, chronicling the most memorable moments of the recent years in private journals.
The Warbound Brotherhood
Ashamal's time abroad had brought him out of his depression, and he felt competent enough to return to the field of battle as a flag officer.
Recouping the losses of the extended war against the Horde, Ashamal decided to re-open recruitment for the 117th Division of the Alliance military. The division was re-named the Warbound Brotherhood, with Calidian, Serpico Shar'adore, Vincent Ravenwing, Verion Borscheon, and Atsumorr Wredinn returning to reprise their roles as Ashamal's most trusted generals and lieutenants.
The Attack on Razor Hill
In coordination with Alliance and Horde forces alike, the 117th attacked Razor Hill in hopes of drawing out the remaining loyalists of Garrosh Hellscream who had infiltrated the town. Thereafter, the 117th left the Horde civillians and military forces in peace.
The March on the Highlands
- See main article: March on the Highlands
Ashamal was urged to attend a war council in Northshire Abbey with several dozen Alliance parties. A council of Alliance leaders were called to discuss the impending March on the Highlands. It was an unconventional location for such an event, and the entire summit seldom rose above petty insults and raucous behavior. Despite Ashamal's suggestions to cancel the occasion and relocate it to Stormwind Keep, the meeting dragged on. Eventually, it was made apparent by Melysa Marwyn-Ashvale that the location of Northshire was selected for an explicit purpose, as Bishop Johannes Moorwhelp was planning to use the gathering to promote the lofty goals of his Holy League.
Ashamal withdrew his support immediately from the proposed campaign, learning that the March on the Highlands operation was religious in nature. For several months, the Clergy of the Holy Light were plotting to secure a foothold in the Arathi Highlands and aggressively drive the Horde out of their settlements. This was originally planned before the Alliance struck a pact of non-aggression with the Horde following the events of the Siege of Orgrimmar, but Bishop Moorwhelp appeared to hold the same ambitions. The 117th Division wanted no part in a conflict that was not only illegal, but was also for the explicit purpose of making an aggressive power play against the Horde in the northern regions.
Late negotiations by several parties led to the re-entry of the 117th Division into the March on the Highlands campaign, but Ashamal made it very clear that he would cut off his support abruptly if he witnessed the involved military organizations acting out against Alliance interests implicitly or overtly.
There is a considerable amount of debate regarding the true intentions of Bishop Moorwhelp and his followers, and information has begun to emerge that shows Melysa Marwyn-Ashvale to be self-interested in her depictions of the Bishop, in an attempt to defame him and assassinate his character and legitimacy.
The Horde led an assault on Stromgarde City, which was secured by the Alliance last-minute as a ramshackle outpost. It was revealed that the Horde were making a pre-emptive assault against the Alliance to prevent a siege against Hammerfall, which is what Bishop Moorwhelp and his compatriots had planned all along. Once again, the 117th withdrew their forces from the battle, declaring the campaign to be in violation of several international treatires. After the departure of the 117th, the representatives of the Alliance and the Church of the Holy Light were defeated in a landslide military victory by the Horde. Jonathan Theristan was the only officer of the 117th who remained behind to fight.
Bleeding the Mountain
- See main article: Bleeding the Mountain
Small-scale warfare in the Stonetalon Mountains drew the attention of the Alliance High Command council. Skirmishes between Goblin corporate parties and regional Kaldorei forces threatened to spiral out of control and inadvertently spill over into Alliance-owned territories. Along with Lord-Marshal Maxen Montclair, Ashamal was urged by Stormwind to take a detachment of Alliance military police and high-risk contractors to oversee security in the region, and ensure that Alliance outposts would be adequately defended.
Various groups gathered in the region to defend their interests, which led to an escalation of force and a gradual ramp-up of both Horde and Alliance forces in the region. With the conflict threatening to shake the already tenuous foundations of the Post-Siege Alliance-Horde Armistice, parties representing the two factions were careful to keep their engagements well out of the way of official outposts and fortresses.
Ashamal led the Alliance forces to victory in every engagement that he had command over, leading a wide array of various Alliance reservists and forces alongside Ranger-Captain Jalcynter Swiftshadow, who formerly ruled alongside Ashamal in the now-defunct Lineage of the Moon. Ashamal sustained a seemingly serious wound from being gouged with a Horde pikeman's polearm, and withdrew from the final battle to allow field surgeons to tend to the injury. The wound proved to be superficial with timely medical care, but Ashamal chose to take a month of medical leave off of his work with the Alliance High Command Council.
Draenor, Retirement, and Political Intrigue
Ashamal joined the initial foray into Draenor, battling against the Iron Horde. With other Alliance officers, he helped establish permanent defensive fortifications across the savage land. A botched sortie led to his injury on the field, and he spent weeks in recovery after an emergency surgical procedure removed a fragment of an arrow from his chest.
The Grand Marshal retired from his position shortly after returning to Azeroth from Draenor in order to focus on political and private ambitions in Stormwind City, although this did not last. Ensnared by political intrigue, the Kaldorei soon took an active role within the officership of the Grand Alliance Nationalists Party, a right-wing populist political organization headquartered in Ironforge. Shared goals and ideals found the Senator Ahldrig Runemason in alignment with Ashamal's interests, and the two forged a strong personal alliance.
After nearly a year of sabbatical from the Alliance High Command, the Night Elf returned to the Alliance's command structure, much to the surprise of his companions and former soldiers.
Ashamal lives with his family in Stormwind City, with Leafsong currently practicing as a traditional dancer under the tutelage of the finest performers in the kingdom. Ashamal has five children and two known living relatives, although he is not on good terms with any members of his extended family.
Currently, Ashamal is working to procure funding for greater security in southern waters, and plans to use his forces to recapture several sea ports and trade bases from pirate factions in the South Seas.
Honors & Awards
Alliance Legion of Valor - For distinguished service to the Grand Alliance during times of war, going above and beyond the call of duty. Ashamal was awarded the Legion of Valor following his capture by Tendael Dawnlight.
Ironforge Senatorial Anvil of Bravery - For victory and excellence in the Battle of Baradin Bay.
Silver Glaive - For service to Kalimdor in times of war.
Scarab Cross - For service in the War of the Shifting Sands. Revoked and later re-awarded.
Trivia & Facts
- Ashamal's name can be transliterated syllabically into Arabic without a deviation in pronounciation. (اشامال شلاهمن)
- Ashamal's first name and surname in the ancient Darnassian dialect translate roughly to, "Dweller of the highest places."
- Ashamal is a devout follower of Elune, and has not had a drink of wine or any alcohollic beverage since before the Sundering.
- Ashamal has been played consistently for ten years in roleplay, spanning two servers.