|Lord Berenal Grayblade, Leader of the Blades of Greymane|
Brigadier General of the Blades of Greymane
Aleyina Nathair (wife)
Berenal Grayblade (born Oct. 25th, 1116 F.A.) is the current leader of the Blades of Greymane, and a Brigadier General in the Gilnean Military. He is a large man with prominent features across his body, his face well maintained and his eyes a shining light blue; a crescent scar alongside his left eye. Berenal is known for his confidence in the face of danger, as well as his perseverance in adverse situations. His holdings of land lay in the Ashen Coast of the Kingdom of Gilneas, where he rules as Duke.
Berenal's life has been one of mostly hardships, from childhood to adulthood, he has always had a hard time keeping a grasp on things close to him.
Born to Haverin Grayblade and Erleia Darkoak, Berenal lived a comfortable life in the Fallow Crest for his earliest years, before moving to the city of Bannhurst. Born several years before the erection of the wall, Berenal had very limited experience of outside Gilneas, leaving it only on times when his family was visiting Lordaeron to visit his cousins in the region. Even then, any memories of this time are fleeting, remembering little of his younger years other than his friend Fleur DeWitt that later departed, and his home in the Fallow Crest.
Things took to change with the erection of the wall, with the former lord of Bannhurst having been displaced, Berenal's father was rewarded the land for his valor and service to the kingdom of Gilneas. Bannhurst was a slum, the former lord, Lord Balfred Cobalstant, having taken to rewarding himself with any fruits of the labor within the town, which cost him his life and caused his house's extinction when the townsfolk eventually rebelled and slew him in the middle of the night.
By the time the Second War began near 1120 F.A., the Cobalstants had all but left the area to rot, having imposed overly high taxes and demands of the people that left most families starving. Led by Galen Hallowfield, the citizens of Bannhurst stormed Cobalstant Manor in a rage, slaughtering the lord Balferd Cobalstant and his family. With no Cobalstants remaining, House Grayblade, a North Ashen Coast family that had been without land for quite sometime and held a minor blood relation to the Cobalstants, was placed as the head of Bannhurst and given control of Cobal's Hold and Karnsburg as well as their minor holds.
Lord Haverin Grayblade had been a loyal servant of the crown, as had the rest of his family, for generations, and his economic and political savvy ways secured crucial contracts for Bannhurst and its holdings. Focusing Cobal's Hold as the mining production town of the area, and Karnsburg as the agrarian center, the two stayed out of competition with each other, allowing both towns to flourish, while Bannhurst resumed its position as commerce capital of the Ashen Coast, having been industrialized to maintain a large holding of factories. The town was brought to the forefront by clever workings of contracts with specialists in the area, such as contracting the people of Rosefield to work in Karnsburg with their agrarian and druidic knowledge, while the hearty people of Brandon's Stead were contracted to work the plentiful mines near Cobal's Hold.
With the wall now closing off half of Arevass from the rest of Gilneas, those who had left those towns in search of a new home had come to the areas in southern Gilneas, seeking a new life, something that the cunning Haverin capitalized on to increase Ashen Coast population.
Following Bannhurst's example, Gregor's Crossing industrialized and formed a trade coalition with Bannhurst. Bannhurst would design and create the means for various machinations and Gregor's Crossing would finalize and improve on the designs then export them en mass with split profits going to each town. The coalition provided various sorts of crop harvesters to the rebuilding nation of Stormwind, while also improving on various gun designs.
Under Lord Grayblade, Bannhurst was revitalized in a short amount of years, and Cobalstant Manor was renamed to Grayblade Manor in their honor. As a gift, Galen Hallowfield gave the Lord Grayblade the last remaining Cobalstant Hearthstone, the signet of the ruler of Bannhurst, as a show of good faith from the people to their new leader.
It was this success that eventually led to the downfall of the town, and the start of the young Berenal's hardships. A group of Lordaeronian deserters had taken refuge in Gilneas to avoid being taken for their crimes. Taking the name the Seventh Skull Legion, the soldiers turned bandits ravaged the Gilnean country side, assaulting caravans and small villages to make their profits. Eventually turning to larger scale plans, they set their eyes on the now booming Bannhurst.
In the middle of the night, several assassins snuck into Grayblade Manor to assassinate the family. The now eight year old Berenal and his younger brother of six, Eredin, had snuck out in the middle of the night to play with their friends. This would spare them the fate of their parents, as they watched from the windows as their mother and father fought, their father tossing the family's knife out the window in an attempt to kill a man standing near it. While the two were a formidable pair, the final assassin lit the house ablaze, trapping the two within the house. He too would fall by the family's dog, who would return into the house to die at his master's side.
With the manor ablaze, the brothers Grayblade were saved by a family friend, James Lanworth, and taken away to the town hall as the town was invaded. In a daring attempt, James rallied the townsfolk to rise against the oncoming bandit horde. The children of the village escaped by carriage, guided by several townsfolk and the elder runemaster Elderic.
With their escape, Bannhurst was destroyed, any bandits were slain but so too were the townsfolk. What should have gone to Berenal and his brother in inheritance and care taking were hidden away, causing a power grab in the ruined portion of the Ashen Coast for many years, as well as the wealth of the Grayblade family going unclaimed. This left the brothers stranded on the streets of Gilneas City without anyone to care for them.
Possessing only the family knife, Berenal and his brother Eredin took to the life of petty thievery and a hooligan lifestyle to survive. Imbued with magical potential at a young age, Eredin was susceptible to terrible headaches that often caused him to lash out in magical bursts. In several occasions, Berenal was nearly killed by his brother's outbursts, though the trauma would cause him to never remember these accidental attacks.
The word of a magical child spread quickly through the seedy parts of the city, as many would find such a moldable figure to be a boon in crime. Tracking down Eredin and Berenal's location, several gang members cornered the two boys, demanding to know which of them was the mage. When Berenal lied, stating it was him, the gang members demanded a display of magic; which Berenal was incapable of. They began to savagely beat the young boy, while Eredin ran. Finding a nearby constable, Eredin attempted to get the office to listen, though instead he was seen as a lost child, rambling incoherently. Eredin was taken to an orphanage; separating him from his brother. Wounded and dying, Berenal was dumped in front of a morgue by the gang members. It was a chance encounter, as the business was run by his father's former advisor, Elderic. Elderic was a runemaster, though he kept this craft hidden due to the skepticism some of the rural class families had towards non-connventional magic. Taking Berenal in, Elderic aided Berenal's recovery before realizing who the youth was. Taking him in as a foster ward, Berenal had a home for the first time, though he could never find Eredin.
Though not as skilled with magic as his brother or mother, Berenal took to the art of runemastery as deftly as he could. When this was found to be almost non-existent by Elderic, he called upon his knowledge of Berenal's lineage. Knowing his family came from a long line of soldiers, Elderic arranged for Berenal to learn how to use a gun as well as hunt in the wilds. At the age of 16, Berenal began to train with mastiffs, taking up learning how to breed them as his family did before him.
With his life back on track, Berenal was gifted a pup by the name of Relekar. Having been the pup of a dog that was gifted to Elderic by Haverin long ago, the dog was of the same blood of the Grayblade's line of mastiffs. Fate was cruel, however, as Elderic came down with a terrible sickness. While the old man struggled to maintain his health, he eventually passed in his sleep, leaving what remained of his estate to Berenal; which was mostly just the home and very little gold.
Return of House Grayblade
After a few years of oddjobs, Berenal ended up coming upon an unruly sight. A nobleman's son by the name of Galin Darkoak was being abducted. Fighting off his would-be captors with vigor, but ultimately outmatched, the noble was assuredly going to be dragged off and held as ransom. Feeling pity for the man, Berenal aided him in fighting off his would be captors, becoming fast friends with the youth. It did not take long for the two to realize their connection went beyond a simple rescue during an abduction attempt, rather, the two realized they were cousins. Balaforth, Galin's father, was the brother of Berenal's mother, and had taken over after the Grayblades had believed to be made extinct. Convinced by Galin to attempt to reclaim his position in the Bite, proving Berenal's lineage ended up being more difficult than anticipated.
Many local nobles disputed Berenal as being the real son of Haverin, claiming that Berenal was believed dead for many years. Others fell behind the young Grayblade, claiming that his stories and the support of Eldric before his death corroborated his claim adequately. Notably, Lord Xavier Gregor supported Berenal during this period when others would not. Contracting a charge of law, Berenal made another chance encounter with someone from his past, his brother Eredin. Eredin had been fortunate enough to have been adopted by a wealthy merchant family, petitioning for courtiership. As a result, Eredin had been schooled in the manner of law, and was on his way to becoming a full barrister within his field. Though extremely wary of Eredin's intentions, Galin was convinced by Berenal to trust his brother, still clinging to the memory of the six year old boy that had been taken from him as a youth. Together, the trio began to break down, progressively, the evidence that Berenal was who he claimed.
When finally posed with the problem, Balaforth arranged a meeting between his nephew and himself within the halls of Rosefield.
When Berenal was finally able to meet with his uncle, it was not the joyous reunion the three of them had been hoping for. Isolated, Balaforth admitted to knowing of Berenal's existence for some time. It was revealed that Elderic had been futilely attempting to get Balaforth to acknowledge his nephew to no avail. Within the chambers of Rosefield, Berenal was surrounded by guardsmen who attempted to dispose of the would be lord, though the intervention of Galin saved Berenal's life. Forcing his way into the delegation chamber, Galin alongside several of his loyal guardsmen, and Eredin, swarmed Balaforth; demanding he stand down. Balaforth, futilely, attempted to explain that Berenal's re-legitimization would undo all of the work that the Darkoak family had done in the time the Grayblades were gone, but Galin refused to listen. At the apex of the standoff, Eredin conjured a magical lance, and impaled his uncle with it through the heart. Stricken by the death of his father, Galin attempted to confront Eredin, only to be stabbed in the heart as well, by a dagger concealed on Eredin's person. A melee broke out among the guardsmen, the resulting chaos leading to a standoff between the two Grayblade brothers. Eredin explained that as long as a Darkoak heir existed, pressure would be upon him to unseat Berenal again, and that he'd done him a favor. Unable to save Galin, and unwilling to accept what his brother had done, Berenal remained in the chamber in shock as Eredin left the scene.
Berenal was arrested for the murder and sent to Stoneward Prison. After a year in prison, Berenal was freed thanks to a testimony by a surviving guard. Few had witnessed what had happened due to the chaos of the moment, but the guardsman's testimony had claimed that magic led to the death of Lord Balaforth. As Berenal refused to name his brother as the culprit, he had been held on the idea that it could have been no one else. When it was proved that Berenal could not use magic, however, he became impossible as the suspect and the charges against him were removed. With that, Berenal was freed from prison and granted his titles, as well as that of his uncle's now that the Darkoaks were considered defunct.
Released from prison to find his loyal dog waiting for him, Berenal was unsure of where to turn with his life now that his aspirations had been achieved, albeit bittersweet. Having found that his inheritance was also finally granted, as well as the Darkoak's land and holdings having been given to him, Berenal finally had the means to re-establish his family. His time in the prison however had dampened the idea from his mind, deciding that the life of a noble was not for him.
Despite pleas from Lord Xavier Gregor, his father's partner during the golden age of the Ashen Coast, Berenal refused to return. It was only after continued pleas to at least appoint someone to manage the lands in his stead that Berenal called upon his right as Marcher Lord and issued regency to the House of Greyfield who would rule over the lands in his stead. Though not the answer the aged Lord was hoping for, he was forced to accept Berenal's decision.
Leaving the large area of the Ashen Coast in the hands of the Greyfields and Gregors, Berenal took to the life of a mercenary, once again fulfilling odd jobs. Deciding this was not the route he wanted to take his life once again, he came upon the recruitment stand for The Blades of Greymane, one of the few remaining active Gilnean military regiments. Finding purpose for the first time since his friend's murder, he signed up and joined the Blades as a recruit.
Under High Commander Haric, Berenal was assigned a squad and sent out beyond the wall to help combat the Scourge threat beyond the wall. His skills as a rifleman and devotion to the cause led to his promotion to corporal within two years time. It was during this time that Berenal first encountered the Worgen, the bestial wolf men summoned by Archmage Arugal at King Genn Greymane's request.
In his final days outside the wall, Berenal recieved a large scar across his left eye from the blade of one of the undead. Having been promoted to sergeant, Berenal and his group finally withdrew from beyond the wall to deal with the remaining Northgate Rebellion.
When the fighting finally ended, Berenal spent the remaining years with his squad rebuilding the damage in Gilneas City.
Outbreak and the fall of Gilneas
While on a routine re-supply pick up in the capital, Berenal and his squad were preparing to leave Gilneas City to meet with the other Blades in Duskhaven when the worgen outbreak began. With the call to arms sounded, Berenal and the members of his squad rose quickly to meet the threat in the city. With their commanding officer slain by the wolf men, Berenal took command of the squad and helped lead the evacuation of the Merchant Square.
With the Worgen bearing down on them, Berenal and his fellow blades helped hold the line as Darius Crowley and his Northgate rebels were freed to help with the call to arms. Unfortunately, Berenal did not see the evacuation of the city unscathed. In an attempt to save a mother and her child from the wolf men, Berenal held back a small horde of them as the family escaped what would be their demise. Ordering his fellows to continue aiding the evacuation of the city, Berenal laid in the ruins of the Military Quarter, eventually succumbing to the Worgen curse and becoming a Worgen himself.
Awakening in Duskhaven, Berenal was informed that he'd been saved from the curse with barely anytime left, as he'd already reached the point where most had hit the Mindless State. He'd been informed that the Blades had moved out to deal with the issue of the Greymane Wall having been breached; allowing threats outside of their kingdom to threaten Gilneas. As the only Blade remaining in Duskhaven, he'd requested to return to the wall to aid his armsmen; though was told his curse was still too uncertain to allow on the field of all places.
Aiding against the naval invasion of the Forsaken and the cataclysm wracking against the land, Berenal eventually made his way to Greymane Manor where he'd learned the Blades had fallen in battle. First responders to the destruction of the Wall, the Blades fought valiantly against the Forsaken invaders, but ultimately all of the order was slain in battle. With his comrades dead, Berenal found himself as the last to carry the mantle of the Blades.
Deciding to continue his work as a soldier of Gilneas, Berenal aided the civilian movements across Gilneas, eventually linking up with the feral worgen under Crowley and taking part of the ritual in Tal'doren. He was present for the retaking of Tempest's Reach and took part in the liberation of Emberstone. Most importantly, he was one of the many who'd risen to the occasion to fight in Gilneas City, witnessing the death of Prince Liam Greymane by the hands of the Banshee Queen Sylvanas Windrunner.
The most personal battle during this time came with the invasion of Keel Harbor. The orcish Horde had made landfall amongst the ruins in the Ashen Coast where Bannhurst once stood, essentially desecrating the graves of those who had fallen there. When the call came to evacuate Gilneas, Berenal chose to follow his people to Darnassus and later Stormwind following their joining the Alliance. Before departing, he ensured the Ashen Coast were secure; taking part in the daring rescue of Lady Sieglinde Greyfield before she could be murdered as the rest of the Greyfields had been.
In the destruction of Gilneas, the Ashen Coast had been mostly leveled as well. Lord Xavier Gregor and what remained of the Greyfield family swore themselves to the Blades under Berenal's leadership. As such, he placed Lord Xavier, who'd suffered a crippling during the rescue of Lady Greyfield, in charge of maintaining the region. For several years, Gregor's Crossing would be the site of the majority of the rebuilding as it had suffered heavy damage. Without the proper resources to fund the rebuilding, it would take much time. Lord Xavier would never live to see the Ashen Coast fully rebuilt, but his contribution during this time would eventually lead to its full restoration.
Reviving the Blades
Once in the city of Stormwind, Berenal found himself without purpose once more. The Blades were dead, Gilneas was a war field and he was the leader of a now dead order. Seeing that he was not the only Gilnean without purpose, Berenal took it upon himself to rally as many as he could under the once honored banner of the Blades, to revive it to aid in the reclamation of Gilneas.
Though a rocky start at first, Berenal found three people he could trust to help him make the Blades great again, Commanders Miliante, Marlone, and Nazja. The four rebuilt the Blades. It was during this time Berenal found his first love, Faieryn Listran, a Gilnean hunter who'd signed up in the Blades.
The two were inseparable for quite sometime, eventually leading to their engagement. In the coming days to their wedding, Faieryn mysteriously vanished without a trace, leaving Berenal to only have the Blades as the focus of his time.
Now possessing a sizable enough force, Berenal and his men marched across Silverpine into Pyrewood Village. Finding the village a smouldering wreck and the Bloodfang battling for control of Shadowfang Keep, the Blades lent their arms to the cause, eventually claiming Pyrewood Village as their base of operations and establishing themselves in the area.
Fall of Pyrewood
The Blades' time in Pyrewood without issue was shortlived. Seeing the Gilneans attempting to revitalize the village as a military camp, the Blades soon found them self assailed by Forsaken legions far beyond their numbers. Finally deciding to turn to the Alliance for aid, Berenal struck up an alliance with a division of the 7th legion and the League of Lordaeron, the very order his cousin was a part of before his turn to the Argent Crusade.
Alongside their new allies, the Alliance group held out against the Forsaken and eventually repelled them from Pyrewood. Unfortunately, the group failed to push the Forsaken out of the Sepulcher area, and the League was forced into a retreat. The Blades and Seventh fought on in the area until their losses were too great, a fire bomb causing the deaths of two loyal Blades members and the near loss of then Private John "Reaper" McCallan.
Withdrawing back into Gilneas, the Blades would continue to fight on in the area against the Forsaken, eventually withdrawing out of the area to re-bolster their numbers.
Gates of Change
Seeing the boon their new allies finally were, Berenal decided to open the Blades' doors to non-Gilneans for the first time. This recruitment proved fruitful, as sympathizers to their cause from other races soon joined. During this time, the man named Alexander Allen would be recruited, a Gilnean born man who'd later rise through the ranks as Berenal's right hand man. It was during this time that a Gilnean paladin by the name of Miraania Angylous was recruited as well. Berenal courted her for sometime, but they eventually ended their relatonship following the reclaimation of Pyrewood on mutual terms.
With their new numbers and the village once again reclaimed, Berenal and the Blades took time away from the battlefield to fortify the village. During this time, Berenal began a relationship with a woman by the name of Katariena, the woman who would eventually become his wife.
Berenal was also approached by former League of Lordaeron commander Pyros Blackburn. Having worked alongside his cousin, the man was brought into the fold of the Blades as well, aiding in the rebuilding of Pyrewood as the Blades' new home.
Regularly during this time, Berenal would lead his men in charges against the Forsaken in the area to keep them away from the still rebuilding village, eventually pulling back into Gilneas to Keel Harbor as Pyrewood's re-construction made the area uninhabitable for a short while.
Trip to Hyjal
Berenal left for Kalimdor on a spiritual journey to visit the Shrine of Goldrinn, following sustaining heavy injuries during a botched raiding attempt of a Forsaken encampment. It was during this time that the Twilight's Hammer continued their assaults on the sacred mountain of Hyjal. Aiding the Cenarions in any way he could, he eventually came across a lone servitor of Goldrinn fending off several ogres preparing to assault the shrine.
The wolf, Logrinn, was outmanned and being overpowered, but fought on with a valiant effort. Reminded of his first encounter with Galin, Berenal rushed into the battle, even though weakened. The two were able to overpower the ogres, Logrinn pledging an oath to Berenal for having saved his life. The spirit wolf would from then on follow Berenal in his pursuits if he could.
Following his return, Berenal married Katariena, eventually having a son named Liam Eredin Grayblade; his middle name a sign of hope for his disenfranchised brother. The pair lived a comfortable life, until his wife's infidelity with now Blade Champion Alexander Allen. Having found out about the affair early on, Berenal continued on with his wife for their son, and after she'd pleaded him to stay with her. Much to Berenal's further displeasure, Alexander would later marry Miraania.
The Blasted Lands
Berenal and the Blades eventually left the north to the small village of Surwich, which had been besieged by demons following the fall of their druid Marl Wormthorn. It was during this time that Berenal's wife Kataerina was murdered, leaving Berenal widowed and to raise his son without a mother.
Promoting Alexander to commander following Miliante's retirement, the Blades set out on a campaign to purge the Tainted Forest, eventually foiling a plot to resurrect Marl Wormthorn by the demons that had corrupted him. During this time, Berenal was possessed by a minor demon and had frequent fits of rage, lashing out against his fellow Blades members and began a slow descent into feralcy.
He was eventually purged of the demon, the experience resulted in Berenal under going strenuous mental training to help resist against mind controlling effects. During this time, Miraania Angylous was dismissed from the Blades for assaulting several members. Berenal and Alexander reconnected during this time and rebuilt their friendship after the incident with Kataerina.
Once again the Blades teamed up with the League of Lordaeron, besieging the area with their combined might to take down the Sludgewerks. Having freed some of the human test subjects, Berenal and the League held their ground within against the feral undead subjects and the Forsaken. However, during the fight, Kerdic Lothinil was taken up by one of the val'kyr in the area, brought off to one of the towers to transform him into the undead.
Berenal alongside two members of the League led a daring rescue of Lothinil from the val'kyr who was attempting to transform him. Kerdic was left weakened, and the death of the val'kyr signaled the end of the battle. When the group prepared to march into the main building of the Sludgewerks, they found that the Forsaken had already begun fighting amongst each other, the Warden being accused of crimes by his own people. Having succeded in their mission, Berenal set the remainder of the fields ablaze to smoke their withdrawl from the area.
The League later departed from Hillsbrad to continue their own objectives, while Berenal led his men to Azurelode Mine. There, the Blades freed many of the captive humans from the mines as well as dispatching a large amount of the spiders the Forsaken had domesticated for war. With the mines and Sludgewerks out of the way, Berenal put forward a message for aid which was met by the Kingdom of Arathor under Coberan.
As the day arrived to assault Southshore, the Blades charged forth, Bloodfang allies already in the area ahead of time. Unfortunately, Coberan was nowhere to be found. Overwhelmed by the Forsaken, Berenal was forced to pull the Blades back into the ruined inn of Southshore. It was then when the horn of Arathor was sounded, Coberan's men finally arriving.
Despite their now much larger ranks, the Blades had suffered injuries that had effectively weakened them to the point that the battle was lost. Coberan immediately withdrew his men, leaving the Blades to die in Southshore. Berenal made the call for the Blades to withdraw by the docks, along the shore while he remained behind to cause a distraction.
Charging into the Forsaken lines, Berenal ended up causing a chain explosion using several charges he had on the plague vats, causing the Forsaken to be forced to abandon the area. Berenal was later found washed along the river, barely alive. Berenal was revitalized using the bond with Logrinn, causing his companion to enter a comatose state for several weeks in his stead.
Berenal led the Blades to one final area in Hillsbrad before their withdrawl, the dwarven fortress of Dun Garok. Within the fortress laid ruined war machines, but the supplies were still invaluable.
While the Blades took to gathering whatever supplies they could salvage from the fortress, Berenal repaired one of the siege engines, allowing the Blades to use it to escape the area once finished. However their rummaging through the ruins caused the spirits of the dwarves to rouse once more, resulting in a fight for their lives as they guarded the repair of the siege engine.
Return to Stormwind
Berenal later returned to Stormwind to recruit more men for the Blades, an endeavor that left the group within the south for quite some time. As they took about rebuilding the numbers of the forces specifically led by Berenal, he began to look further into restoring his homeland of the Ashen Coast. While he would not return into this region for some time, he adopted using the title of Marcher Lord of the Bite once more; something he'd avoided since it was bestowed upon him.
While in Stormwind, Berenal was introduced to a Lordaeron born noble woman by the name of Elizabeth Roslyn. After several encounters, the two began courting; despite Berenal's discovery that she was once a member of the Scarlet Crusade.Despite his poor experiences with the faction, Berenal looked past it.
Berenal's recruitment efforts paid off, bolstering the Blades' ranks and restoring them to a viable force. While originally intending to return to the north immediately, the Blades were once again petitioned to aid the town of Surwich.
Surwich and Reunion
Following the dwindling of the demons in the area of the Tainted Forest, the Horde began to set their sights on the lower half of the Blasted lands. Finding the forest in recovery from the demonic invasion and full of life, it was a natural boon to control, with the Gilneans being the only opposition in the area.
At the time, Surwich had little in way of defenses against the oncoming Horde invasion. The town had few well trained men, as most had perished upon Shattershore, and was mostly protected by the treants that wandered the forest; warding off would-be Horde who did not have any reason to trek into enemy territory. Yet, with Surwich now the target, they required more than just a few militiamen with rifles. Berenal led the Blades into the region, fending off several Horde offensives while also having his men see to the training of wardens to guard the town. Within a matter of weeks, the Blades had properly prepared the town's guards to fight off intruders. Shortly after the training was complete, a large horde offensive was laid upon Surwich. Alongside the new guardsmen, the Blades repelled the Horde with little issue. With the new generation of Surwich Wardens trained, the Blades returned to Pyrewood, preparing for the next bout with the Horde.
During this time, Elizabeth's infidelity came into light. Having gone about dalliances with a man in Surwich and another in the Blades its self, the two hit a massive stop in their relationship. Breaking apart from one another, Berenal set off for Gilneas and left Elizabeth behind in Stormwind. After two months apart, however, Elizabeth made contact with Berenal wishing to start anew. The two reunited and Elizabeth became pregnant with Berenal's second child. Much to her father's displeasure, the two were wed and she came to live with the marcher lord in Gilneas. Midway through her pregnancy, however, an assassination attempt on Berenal went awry. The attack left Elizabeth in a coma and she would later give birth to the child while unconscious.
Named Rose, Elizabeth's half elven nature passed off into the child, as she was born with slightly pointed ears. During this time, Leon, Elizabeth's father, attempted to take the child from Berenal, saying he didn't deserve to have her. Each time was met with hostility and Leon was batted away at each attempt to swipe the young girl from her father. Elizabeth's awakening eventually put an end to Leon's attempts, though it permanently soured Berenal's position towards him.
Elizabeth and Berenal's marriage continued rather normally as the Blades made small moves about the north while they gathered their strength. Garrisoning within Gilneas at Keel Harbor, the group was able to finally be at home while active. In time, Elizabeth became pregnant with Berenal's second child with her, leaving the pair to believe that they would have a large happy family together.
After years since the butchery in Rosefield, however, Eredin had resurfaced to track his brother down. The two were embroiled in a terse relationship, as Eredin claimed to have become lord of his foster father's lands, and had invited the two to his manor for dinner. Skeptical, Elizabeth pressed the matter as one of healing, and the pair departed for his brother's feast. At the dinner, Eredin attempted to make amends, even going as far as to present Elizabeth with several tokens after having heard of her pregnancy. He explained to Berenal that his family had always been ruthless, and had taught him to take any and all opportunities to upgrade his living. While he had originally intended to rule alongside Berenal, when he'd seen his brother reject him following Galin's murder, he had no choice but to flee. Giving in to his brother's pleas, Berenal shared a meal with him; though it would soon turn ill. The meal had been poisoned, laced with a paralyzing agent that left Berenal and Elizabeth unable to move.
Eredin explained that rejection by his brother was not so easily forgiven. For years, he replayed the events of Rosefield in his head, not understanding how Berenal could have chosen a dying man, the son of the man who had just tried to murder him, over his own brother. He'd explained that, in his youth, he was beaten by his foster father whenever he'd made sympathetic mistakes, and that putting anyone before himself was foolish. Ironically, these lessons made it possible for Eredin to eventually murder his foster parents and inherit their lands. Berenal explained, though dazed and unable to move much beyond his mouth, that it had been a heinous thing to do, and that Galin would not have betrayed him. Eredin disagreed, and noted that he was not fit to rule over the lands their father had. He'd done long hours of research into their lineage, and noted that the Cobalstants before them had too many soft leaders, which led to the Ashen Coast's downfall. In the days that followed, the two were tortured by Eredin as he attempted to get Berenal to sign a writ that acknowledged Eredin as his brother; as all records of this had long since been destroyed or outdated. Berenal refused, unwilling to give into the psychopathic demands until the stress caused Elizabeth to miscarry and fall unconscious; though Berenal believed her to have died.
Bereft with grief, Berenal lost control of himself and managed to break free of his bonds, slaughtering the guards who attempted to sedate him. He cornered his brother, who used magic to defend himself; but Berenal's training and worgen speed was too much for him, eventually impaling Eredin on his claws. In that moment, both brothers came to a terrible realization; they'd lost anything that connected them to one another. Just as with Galin, Berenal, futilely, attempted to stem the bleeding; though Eredin told him it was alright. He apologized in his final breaths, stating that he'd lost his way many years ago, and that vengeance for that slight years prior had consumed him entirely. Berenal kept him close as he spoke to him in his final moments, telling him as much as he could of his life that he'd missed; including the fact that his son bore his name as his middle name. Wracked with grief at the idea of losing both his wife and brother in the same evening, it was only the coughing of the now awakened woman that prevented Berenal from losing his mind. Taking her from the manor; Berenal later buried his brother in a plot near Bannhurst, where his father and mother had been put to rest.
Berenal and Elizabeth's marriage was not amiable after long. The incident with Eredin drove a wedge between them, as she believed that he was a monster even until his death. Soon after, the depression of losing their child furthered this wedge. Sleeping in separate rooms and refusing to talk to one another for days at a time, the two's marriage was ultimately shattered when it was revealed she had fallen into infidelity once again. The two divorced and split custody of their daughter initially, though Elizabeth would eventually begin to find interest in more singular pursuits in Stormwind that led to her being unable to see her daughter as much anymore. This ultimately ended with her life being taken after a dispute in the city; where she was murdered, the two never fully reconciling any of their bad blood. As a result, Berenal made mention of her scant as Rose began to grow up.
To add further strife to the time, Commander Allen took advantage of the situation to desert from the Blades of Greymane to form his own order known as the Grey Guard. With the odd desire to guard the ruins of Gilneas City rather than aid with the kingdom's restoration, Berenal denounced the man and those who left with him. Several days after the desertion, more than half of the forces who'd left were disillusioned with Allen's inability to actually lead and returned to the fold with demoted ranks. During this time, Berenal shifted the assignment of ranks about; promoting several new commanders as well as moving the group back towards the front lines. With his personal life in shambles, he surrounded himself with work to keep himself occupied.
Return to Pyrewood
Following the return to Pyrewood, the Blades were relatively quiet for quite sometime. With the front slowing down and focus shifting to ending the terror of Deathwing, the offensive against the Forsaken was paused to handle the Destroyer's end. Amongst the thousands that followed to end the twisted Black Dragon's reign of destruction, Berenal led his men across several battlefields. Taking his time to hunt drakes on his own, Berenal fashioned armor made of the scales of the fallen creatures and formed a small team of dragonslayers. Prowling areas such as the Twilight Highlands for the twisted dragonkin, the group was deadly efficient; disbanding only after Deathwing had fallen.
Following the death of the Destroyer, The Blades once again left Pyrewood to aid Gilnean settlements in Kalimdor, such as Farwatcher's Glen and Talonbranch Glade. For the most part, things had fallen into a soft lull in Berenal's life, and that of the Blades of Greymane.
It was also during this time he pursued a relationship with his longtime friend, Sage Claymoore. The relationship was one of the least conflict ridden he'd experienced, and they eventually wed.
Defense of Theramore
Berenal led his men to Theramore when the initial call went out for defense of the area. Alongside many other countless orders, Berenal and his men were amongst those defending the Isle from the onslaught of Horde.
Unfortunately during the fighting, Lilly Claymoore, Sage's adopted daughter, was slain after she'd been taken captive and sadistically murdered in capture, despite only being fifteen. The loss took a hard toll on Sage, who tried to block it out of her mind for over a week before finally accepting she was gone and going into mourning.
During the final battle, Berenal sustained a near fatal injury that ended up forcing him to remain out of the front for a time, much to his disappointment. While Sage and Berenal took this period to grow closer, the constant rumor of an even greater war upon the horizon left both feeling restless. Ultimately, by the time Berenal had healed, he was fully prepared to dive back in against the Horde.
The Pandaren Front
In the aftermath of the Destroyer's demise, the Blades were called into a the new continent of Pandaria. Berenal, alongside a select group of the Blades, were sent into the Jade Forest in order to help with the Alliance front in the area. It was there that the Blades were assigned to scout and map out the continent, to make connections with the native races, and to help where ever needed on the new land.
Before the expedition was headed in full swing, Berenal led his men to the northern half of the Jade Forest, where Alliance forces had made landfall and were fighting a brutal battle against the arriving Horde. The Blades arrived to find the outpost nearly defeated, adding their numbers to the waning lines, the Blades held the area out against a massive Horde invasion before being forced to retreat from the over whelming amount of Horde and the Hozen that were also bearing down in the area, though at the time they were working against the Horde as well. Before their retreat, Tristan Dragonsblade, a major in the Blades, had been captured and executed by one of the orcish leaders. As the Blades pulled back, the Horde gunship was sent crashing out of the sky.
Berenal headed the expedition across Pandaria with his men, observing several events that would shake the foundation of the once virgin land such as the culmination of the battles in the Jade Forest and the Mantid invasion of the Valley of Four Winds. The expedition was called to a halt once the Blades had reached the Dread Wastes, pulling back to Kun-lai to help train some of the newer Pandaren recruits.
Grand Alliance Summit
Recalled back from Pandaria, the Blades attended a large Grand Alliance summit in the war room of Stormwind Keep. Berenal witnessed the disarray within the Alliance orders at this time, keeping mostly out of it. It was during this time that Berenal began to move his order in the direction of joining a defensive pact with several other northern orders. Having made a few more contacts, the Blades returned to Pandaria to aid with the various natives and their causes, in the hopes of strengthening the ties these natives had with the Alliance.
It was also during this time that the Blades joined the Silver Hand Council. With several paladins in his order, Berenal found that the few paladins of Gilneas had been lacking in proper training that he had seen of the paladins of the Alliance. Seeking to better the men in his order, Berenal went through the processes to get the Blades involved with the council to ensure his men were able to hold their own on the field and wield the powers they had been given properly.
Battle in the Dwarven Lands
The Blades ended up returning to the Eastern Kingdoms to help secure the supply lanes that were headed from Loch Modan through the Wetlands after having been contacted by one of the delegates from the Dwarven Vanguard. Dragonmaw Orcs had been acting up in the area, moving out with hostility into the area, intercepting caravans that were traveling to and from the northern reaches of the continent.
Assigned to aid in the northern section of the Wetlands, Berenal led tactical strikes against the Dragonmaw, burning and sacking their camps as well as claiming any supplies they came across that had been stolen by the Dragonmaw raiders. Meeting up with the Vanguard, their combined forces raided the main Dragonmaw encampment. Having secured plans for a northern invasion from Arathi, Berenal led the Dwarves and the Blades to the town of Dun Modr, which had already come under siege by the orcs.
Securing the town, the Alliance forces held a brutal battle on the Thandol Span which ended up causing a massive amount of destruction to occur to Dun Modr. A chance encounter with members of the Clergy of the Holy Light ended up quickening the Horde's defeat in the area, but explosions from the Horde's experimental siege weapon caused several missiles to launch into the town of Dun Modr.
Berenal led a relief effort to help save as many civilians as they possibly could, unfortunately the Blacksmith, where most of the civilians had hauled up for safety, was one of the areas that was hit by the missiles. A moderate amount of civilian casualties and a sermon held by Berenal's own cousin Chantale Corinthal marked the end of the battle. Berenal elected to keep the Blades in the area until Dun Modr was in workable condition again, and had sealed a lasting Alliance with the dwarves.
After several weeks of rebuilding, Dun Modr's physical damage was eventually repaired, just in time for the Blades to be called back to defend the oncoming Horde from the newly conquered Loch Modan. The Alliance once again beat back the oncoming Horde into Loch Modan, preventing a large scale invasion of Khaz Modan. While the Dwarven Vanguard continued to move to finish their work with the Horde, Berenal brought the Blades back to Pandaria once again to train the Blades in various martial combat techniques by their new Pandaren allies.
After a month of aiding the Pandaren locals, Berenal was contacted by some of the orders he'd met at the summit. The defensive pact that was discussed in brevity in the aftermath of the summit was coming to fruition and the Blades had been invited to be a part of it. Still wary of the other orders of the Alliance, Berenal approached this accord with a great amount of skepticism, making a clear note that he would help so long as the Accord was still within the best interests of his order.
Berenal's skepticism of the accord caused him to be very uncomfortable with some of the details outlined within the document, a sentiment shared by another one of the accord members. This was later quelled following a revision that prevented the accord being abused in certain situations.
For the most part, the alliance was a silent one, having only called on its members several months later off the coast of Pandaria, despite having originally been informed that the location was to be Arathi. Due to the confusion, Berenal was only able to bring a small force with him to board the ships headed for Pandaria.
At this time, Berenal observed what he felt was zealous charges with little planning and disregard for the well being of his men. Keeping to his original word at the discussion of the Accord, Berenal and his men withdrew from the battle in disgust, and later from the Accord it's self. Despite the qualms from the other accord members, the decision to withdraw met little to no opposition within the Blades' it's self, which cemented Berenal's choice of action.
In the months following the Blades' departure from the Northern Accord, Berenal alongside several other orders had been called to aid with the preparation of the shores for the arriving Alliance fleet. Working with such orders as the Dwarven Vanguard, who had also departed from the Northern Accord, and the League of Lordaeron, the Blades headed the expedition to find the Horde encampment in Krasarang.
Along the way, Berenal and his men encountered a small scout party of Horde, and after a quick skirmish, the Horde were allowed to flee the area. Monitoring the fleeing Horde, Berenal discovered the location of the Horde encampment. Accidentally getting too close to the encampment, Berenal and his men were found and outnumbered. Given the ultimatum to hand over the Horde defector Tiraus Voltain, Berenal refused and brazenly attacked the Sunguard, giving the others a chance to escape. Berenal was then incapacitated, disarmed, and tortured for information that he refused to give up.
Due to the improper procedure used to disarm the man, Berenal was able to lead a daring escape alongside the other captured alliance soldiers, having drawn a dagger and taking Raserus Tal'therin hostage in the process. The former captives and their own captive later returned to the Alliance camp on the other side of Krasarang, battered and worn before handing over Raserus to Demitria Lothinil for interrogation.
Berenal took part, as did all of the others, in helping with the construction of Lion's Landing, the Alliance's base of operations in Pandaria before engaging the oncoming forces of the Horde. Through hard fought battles, the Alliance eventually pushed the Horde back to the newly founded Domination Point, where Berenal led a group around to flank the area by capturing one of the towers then assaulting from the rear. The attack was successful as the Alliance raided the encampment, eventually defeating the Warlord Bloodhilt in a massive attack. Though he was not killed, the blow left a mark on the Horde in the area and the day was won by the Alliance.
In the days following this, the Blades remained in Krasarang to help with the Alliance front in the area, helping secure resources and sabotaging the Horde's efforts in the area.
Main Article: The Bulwark
In the month following Krasarang, Berenal called upon various the various organizations of the Alliance that he had grown to trust. Seeing that the warfront in Pandaria was mostly being handled by the main Alliance military, while other fronts still being waged in the world were being neglected, Berenal hosted a summit in Shadowfang Keep to create a coalition to aid these various fronts.
Kept in secrecy until the meeting, Berenal contacted the leaders of organizations such as the Dwarven Vanguard, the League of Lordaeron, Grey Haven, the Tainted Legion, the Violet Sanctum, the Scarlet Hammer, the Genome Project, the Clergy of the Holy Light, and the Lineage of the Moon. At the summit, Berenal pitched the idea of the Bulwark to these orders, in order to heed the call of the areas as a unified fighting force to deal with the Horde encroachments. Though initially dismissed by the League, Lineage and Violet Sanctum, the three eventually did agree to join by the time of the official signing of the Bulwark.
Within a month's time, the Bulwark set out on it's first campaign to Northrend, to deal with the remaining Sunreaver forces in the area following the purge of Dalaran. After making landfall in the Howling Fjord, the Bulwark set off to battle the arriving Horde that were attempting to evacuate the Sunreaver forces.
Since the Northrend campaign, the Bulwark remained in strong activity, acting in such areas as the Hinterlands and Silverpine to meet the Horde forces, having also recruited several other orders as well.
Following the end of the Bulwark's Hinterlands campaign, Berenal's fiancee Sage Claymoore was in a teleportation accident. While attempting to master a new form of arcane teleportation, the ritual went haywire and ended up incinerating her. Leaving Berenal with their kids to take care of, Berenal secluded himself for several weeks, jaded against magic as a memorial service was held in her honor by the Blades.
Following this catastrophe, the Forsaken revived their front in Silverpine, laying siege to Pyrewood for the final time as they razed it to the ground, burning and scorching most of the area, forcing Berenal to draw the Blades back into Gilneas to Stormglen Village. There, the Blades re outfitted the village to act as their new base of operations.
With the Horde aggression on the border, and the need for a new foothold in Silverpine for the Alliance, the Bulwark was called in to deal with the threat, using hard shock tactics to get through the Horde blockade in the area, and setting up within the abandoned town of Ambermill.
End of the Bulwark
The Bulwark would see its end at the Second Battle of Andorhal, where they were able to successfully reclaim most of the city. The battle was the end of the organization as internal disputes led to two orders leaving, namely the League of Lordaeron; which ended most friendly relations between the Blades and the League. In the months that followed, despite their successes the Bulwark slowly fell apart as orders disbanded within. While never officially disbanded, the Bulwark was put on indefinite hiatus.
Following the end of the Bulwark, Berenal received troubling news from the Ashen Coast, where the Blades had mostly left unattended in the past few years as Xavier Gregor handled its management without issue. Contacted by Adrian Gregor, Xavier's son, problems had arisen in the Ashen Coast that required more than just the Sons of the Ashen Coast division to handle.
More information can be found at Battle of the Bite
Elevation to Duke
Despite the strides made by the Triumvirate of the Ashen Coast, the regional divisions of the region made management of the Ashen Coast properly an arduous process that often required far more paperwork and formalities than what were required for the institution of new nobility or new land holdings. In addition, management of commerce and law were difficult as well due to the jurisdiction of the region being separated. Already functioning as though it were a duchy, the Lords of the Ashen Coast put forward a petition to unbar the creation of the Duchy of the Ashen Coast, that had been previously forcibly destroyed after the House of Cobalstant had led an uprising that led to the Kingdom of the Ashen Coast forming.
Due to this having been some centuries prior and the Grayblades holding no relation to the Cobalstants, the request was granted, formally re-introducing the region as a duchy rather than three separate regions all under the same lord as it was prior; which was extremely inefficient. As such, Lord Grayblade was granted the title of Duke and elevated past Marcher Lord. With the new title, it allows for proper reign over the region without confusion or disputes on rights of trade or border management, as well as the right to instate new nobility compliant to the goals of the Ashen Coast without fear of installation of unwilling families that may disrupt the union formed.
Despite being within his power to do so, the Triumvirate was not disbanded and remains as a sort of House of Nobles for the Ashen Coast families. Since his elevation, Berenal has taken a drastic shift in personality and demeanor, becoming more direct, ruthless and authoritative in his stances.
Since his elevation, Berenal has guided his people through a number of hardships, though it has left him tired and worn; looking slightly aged beyond his years, he has led the full restoration of the Duchy of the Ashen Coast. Having led through two rebellions, several outside threats, and ultimately aiding his kingdom against invasion and internally with the Blightlands, Berenal's mentality shifted drastically from his youth. Following the loss of his hand in the Blightlands, Berenal has taken on a more cautious approach to danger, preferring tactics and strategy over bold and blind charges; ultimately earning him favor and trust from his companions.
With the onset of the Legion Invasion, Berenal was promoted from High Commander to Brigadier General by King Greymane.
Berenal led the Blades of Greymane onto the field during the Broken Shore alongside the Ebonguard with fellow General, Marcus Ebongrove. After the disastrous defeat by the Legion in the area, Berenal led a defense of the beach head while those who were left behind evacuated onto ships. After High Admiral Crestdown's flagship was destroyed, the admiral injured, the Blades held the line as a ship returned to evacuate the remaining forces; narrowly escaping the Legion's grasp.
Having led a major defense of Gilneas against the Legion, he now supports his kingdom on the front of the Broken Isles; seeking vengeance on the Forsaken as well as to bring his King's will to all threats of their people. With the full might of the Ashen Coast behind him, Berenal leads his men and women to glory on this new frontier.
Shortly after Genn Greymane's destruction of the Soul Lantern, preventing Sylvanas from enslaving the titanic Val'kyr, Eyir, the Blades were tasked with the fortification of the Isle of Valor, upon which Greywatch and the Halls of Valor could be found. In addition to fortifying the island, they were requested to gain the blessing of the Valarjar in the area.
Calling together various orders of the Alliance, Berenal set off on assembling an Alliance force capable of combating the growing Horde forces led on the other side of the island, headed by the Hand of Vengeance. Having done battle with the Felsorrows before, Berenal led the offensive on the group with the goals of destroying the Forsaken port that had been established. After meeting fierce resistance, a bloody stalemate was reached over the course of several battles on the eastern portion of the isle, with the Horde just barely clawing the advantage.
Returning to the west, where the Alliance had based on a fortification known as Liam's Landing, the united forces found themselves besieged from the cove next to the Landing, with the Horde attempting to destroy the cliff face that the Landing was established on. Fighting tooth and nail, the Alliance was ultimately successful at repelling the Horde from completely destroying the Landing, but it was damaged due to one of the flanks failing to repel the invaders.
Approached by the Valarjar, the Alliance and Horde met within an ancient vrykul proving ground known as the Summit, where they battled for the favor of the Vrykul. Ultimately, the Alliance was victorious, and were invited to the Halls for a feast and tournament; however, it was not yet over. The Horde was able to successfully defeat the Alliance defenders at the Halls, and were granted access to the tournament. There, upon the final round, the Horde was able to defeat the Alliance champion, and secured the Valarjar's blessing.
Forced to retreat back to the Landing, Berenal took the defeat to the Horde bitterly for a time, before re-assessing the situation. Making contact with several clans within the mountains that were favored with the Valarjar, Berenal took upon the task to bring the Blades to treat with these Vrykul, hoping to dissuade any potential offenses from the Valarjar or their aspirants in the future by gaining allies with these clans.
Valley of the Vrykul
Approached by an ancient runeseer by the name of Hjalmar Fjarik, the Blades were granted a chance to gain an alliance with the Vrykul of the Nameless Valley, an area near the Halls of Valor. From this valley came many of the Valarjar's finest, from the valkyra to the Valarjar themselves.
The Valley had been beset by blood feud for generations, each divided by their own interpretation of ancient history when the ancient Fjarik clan split apart into three. The Fjarik clan, which once bred a long lineage of Runeseers that would chronicle the ages and spells of old. When the clan split into three, however, much of this art became lost in the war.
From the Fjarik came the three clans of the valley, whom revered the small remnant of the original clan, but ultimately claimed their legacy was to be claimed.
The Fjarscorn, a group that held closest to the Fjarik's legacy, they kept to the idea of rune magic and runeseeing, though, this fell into methods of war rather than chronicling history. Hjalmar had explained to the Blades that the Fjarscorn had originally held the most hope for restoring the Fjarik, though their falling to the bloodcraze of the war after the return of the Legion had ultimately destroyed these hopes.
The Hjarskar were another clan, a clan of dragon riding Vrykul who had stayed within the Hyarga Peaks to the north eastern part of the mountain. These vrykul were led by a Stormforged Valarjar watcher who was ordered to hold the peaks many ages ago, one of the few Stormforged who were not locked away in the Halls of Valor. He would infuse the Vrykul with his power, turning some of their skins blue, but ultimately making them stronger.
The final clan were the Vyrska, a clan of mostly warrior women shield maidens who aspired to become Val'kyr. Their upper echelons were all Valkyra, and were seen as some of the most deadly warriors in the Valley.
Accompanying Hjalmar to each village, the Blades met and treated with each of the chieftains and leaders of the clans, Heidi Vyrska, Ulric Fjarscorn, and Gatyr Hyarskar. Each held their own advantages and disadvantages to their mentality, though ultimately, Hjalmar encouraged the Blades to choose whom they believed would lead the Valley best.
Unfortunately, a triangular hatred had broken out within the clans, forcing the Blades to ultimately pick a Clan and support them in both subjugating a rival clan, as well as destroying the other. After reasoning with the clans, the Blades sided with the Hyarskar, leading them into battle against the Fjarscorn, who attempted to collapse Hyarga Peak with a massive spell. Ultimately, the Blades were able to convince Ulric Fjarscorn, the clan's leader, to stand down, allowing the Fjarscorn to be absorbed by the Hyarskar.
However, by allying with the Hyarskar, the Vyrska were outraged. Approached by the Legion, the Vyrska's leader, Heidi Vyrska, was tempted by their power. Despite her many accomplishments and accolades, Heidi had been reaching the end of her lifespan and had not been chosen to become a Val'kyr. This feeling of personal failure haunted Heidi, leading her to ally with the Legion in exchange with finding the power she desired at long last. If she could not be chosen, she would take it from the Vyrska's matron, Einhildur the Judge, a Val'kyr of Odyn who watched over the Valkyra of the clan for notable aspriants. Imprisoning Einhildur, Heidi began to drain her power into herself, her corrupted clan holding the tiers of Vyrstagg, the Vyrska's fortress.
Battling to the upper tiers, Berenal slew many of Heidi's guards before the fallen chieftess was finally confronted. Forcing the Blades into the Nether, Heidi attempted to defeat the Blades using her stolen power and that of the Legion, though found her opponents to be far too strong. Trapping the Blades in the Nether, she summoned a giant hungering maw from the abyss to devour the group, though Hjalmar intervened using his rune magic to teleport them away. Requiring a conduit, Hjalmar bound his soul to his spear, and sacrificed his physical form to the maw to allow his allies to escape and finish Heidi.
Defeated by the Blades, she was slain by Einhildur, who finally left her judgement upon the former Valkyra. Informing her that her pride and inability to look past her own desire for acknowledgement was why she could not advance to a Val'kyr, as she would never have been able to serve Odyn's forces if she could not aid anyone but her self. As Heidi felt her own spear pierce her abdomen, she finally saw her errors, though it was far too late.
With the Vyrska mostly wiped out, the Vrykul reunited under the banner of the Hyarskar, whom renamed the valley Hjalmar's Cradle after the fallen seer. His soul ascended to the Halls of Valor, thanks to Einhildur, the runeseer left his enchantment upon his spear, allowing the Blades to summon his spirit into battle for a short time if called upon. Granted to Sirus Blackmane, the Blades left from the Cradle, allies in hand.
Following the Vrykul, Berenal and his men engaged in several campaigns throughout Azeroth. Primarily focused on the Ashen Coast, whom were suffering from Nightmare corruption and Legion infiltration, and in the Broken Shore, the Blades took a brief stint into Northrend to attempt to secure further alliances and funding from relatively unaffected groups whom were small or otherwise in areas the Legion had not focused in on. For the Blades, this meant petitioning the Ursinic Federation, a group of Northrendic worgen and humans whom once counted themselves among the Wolf Cult. Due to Northrend having resisted the Legion incursion, the Ursinics laid open to trade and supporting the war against the Legion.
After meeting with several of the Ursinic's people, the Blades came upon realizing that the Federation Lands were not as idyllic as they were made out to be by prior contact. Rather, Iron Dwarves of Dun Agas had left their mountain fortress and laid siege to several of the Ursinic people's lands, seeking to conquer Ursinic it's self, the mountain city the Federation had rallied behind. The Dwarves' reason for aggression was outwardly unknown, as the Ursinics claimed they kept to themselves and merely guarded various vaults throughout the mountain. After the defeat of the Old Gods and the return of the Iron Dwarves to the titanic watcher's fold, they were mostly neutral. While they expressed displeasure that Ursinic was built upon an abandoned Iron Dwarf facility, they allowed the Ursinics to retain control out of indifference.
After securing that the local Drakkari would not be an issue, the Blades made their way to Ursinic where they met Dimitri Tensikov, the leader of the Federation. He told them that the Iron Dwarves planned on destroying them and the city, though claimed he had no idea why they'd want such a thing. After meeting with the Iron Dwarves after brokering a cease fire, Iron-Thane Grimbold Steelbeard made it clear as to why the Iron Dwarves had become hostile; Ursinic was built upon a golem manufacturer. Dimitri boasted the Iron Golems forth, which they had made to protect Ursinic where the Fjargarde could not. Grimbold made it clear that the Ursinic's over use and rampant disregard for the machine to make their golems had caused the core to begin to overload, which would destroy the entire mountain valley and the Federation, along with Dun Agas. Knowing Dimitri would not allow the Dwarves to stop him from making his golems, the Iron Dwarves were left with little choice than to attack. Working together, including the Drakkari whom were summoned forth after peace was met with them by aiding them with corrupted Furbolgs, the Blades acted as a mediator, the group descended into the depths of the factory. There, they shut down the main failsafes and factory, though not before a massive golem was unleashed. The four forces destroyed the golem, but the Core was stolen away by the Drakkari, much to the displeasure of all involved.
Refusing to work alongside one another in a formal alliance, Dun Agas and the Ursinics brokered a truce, ceding the full control of the eastern mountains to Dun Agas. In return, the two forces offered their aid to the Blades, but they refused to both be a part of this agreement. After much deliberation, it was decided that Dun Agas would ally with the Blades, and the Ursinics remained neutral, but unaligned.
The White Wolf
Following their incursion into Stormheim; the Blades regrouped to find what their next point of contact should be. Having been gifted the fortress of Farimond in Val Sharah, the Blades' mission of establishing footholds were secured in both Stormheim and Val'Sharah.
Following a Horde attack on Farimond which was repelled, the Blades gathered information of an artifact known as the Eye of Goldrinn, which was held by the Horde. Arriving to claim the artifacts, the encampment was found to be entirely destroyed by the Nightmare, but the area surrounding the Eye could not be tainted.
The Blades used the power of the artifact to destroy the Nightmare in the area, at great cost to the wielder whom would nearly faint or become violently ill after using the gemstone. Taking the artifact back to Gilneas, the Nightmare revived the ancient enemy the Blades had once faced known as Kil'zoth. Empoweted by the Nightmare, the newly risen Kil'zoth resurrected the fallen Blade, Garn Talton. With General Talton as his thrall, Kil'zoth attacked the Dark Woods. Seeking to restore his full power, the Cult of the Drowned was restored to their lords side.
Seeing the Eye as a valuable asset, they brought the Eye to Wickenden, where Berenal requested the aid of the Council of the Coimeádaí. Contacting the wild god, Faralani, she elucidated the Gilneans to the origins of Kryfta, whom in truth was an avatar of Goldrinn sent to guard the worgen in the Emerald Dream. After falling in battle against the Old Gods, the corpse was preserved by Faralani in its memory. Using the Eye and the deceased son of Goldrinn, the Blades created a white wolf that held the power of both, effectively creating the demigod known as Kryfta. While not nearly as strong as his father, the consuming of the Eye of Goldrinn to create Kryfta gave him a natural resistance to the Nightmare.
Alongside the nascent Kryfta, the Blades destroyed the final vestiges of Kil'zoth and saved the soul of Garn Talton before returning him to the grave. Having risen in strength and intelligence, Kryfta gifted the Blades by purifying the woods in the center of the forest, promising that the Dark Woods would eventually finally heal. Departing, the Blades were given a new objective: to find the remaining wild gods of the Galuyn pantheon before the Dream was corrupted in Gilneas. Knowing this would take time, the Blades set out to different objectives.
Deciding to trek to Azsuna next, the Blades used their ties to the Nightfallen, Altanys Faemourn to contact the Nightborne of his estranged family that were attempting to restore their ancestral home of Fae'yrel. Berenal had met Altanys during the initial travels through the Broken Isles, searching for those who were lost upon the Spear of Decimation's crash along the Broken Shore and beyond. During that time, he met Vyronika Hyarskar, and Altanys Faemourn.
While Vyronika had remained behind in the Hjalmar's Cradle, Altanys continued to venture with the Blades from location to location, being given mana and whatever Arcwine they could find pilfered from Nightborne shipments. After word had reached the Blades of a large Suramarian funded compound being made, by the name of Fae'yrel, Altanys had approached Berenal in secret.
Revealing correspondence between himself and his brother, Ja'que, whom was assisting in the project, Altanys revealed the Faemourn were divided. Altanys' father, Lou'ys, had vanished after the Siege on Suramar, and was believed slain. Lou'ys, despite being a veteran of the War of the Ancients, had sided with Elisande, and made his intentions known to his family that they would keep the peace no matter the cost. It was this decision which led to Altanys' exile, as he spoke out against his father openly in Court, leading to a demand for his head. Lou'ys was able to bargain for Altanys to be exiled instead, arguing that he would likely perish outside of Suramar anyway. Given meager supplies, Altanys was sent away from Suramar, nearly leading to his Withering before coming into contact with the Blades.
With Lou'ys gone, the family was split into four factions. One faction under his Uncle refused to take part in the political scheming of the family, and had dedicated its self to retaining the land. As a result, the three major factions in this were all divided by Altanys' siblings. Altanys, being the eldest, was set to inherit the House of Faemourn, however, with his banishment, that came into question. Without Altanys, rule was divided between his sister, Elyse and his two brothers, the twins Absolyn and Ja'que. Elyse believed the Faemourn should remain neutral in the conflict between the Legion and Azeroth; only siding with one side after a clear victor had been determined. Absolyn believed they should continue with their father's vision, including Felborne in his retinue. Ja'que, however, whom had the smallest following, believed they should fight for Azeroth and align themselves with their Night Elf kin once again.
Berenal led the men of the Blades to Fae'Yrel alongside Altanys, meeting with Ja'que upon the roads outside of the Elven lands. Upon reaching them, the two brothers shared a reunion before Ja'que elaborated on the issues. Without a clear successor, as Lou'ys' other sons were twins and they could not say whom was born first, the Faemourn were tearing themselves apart internally. While fighting had not broken out, political skullduggery was abound. With Ja'que's assistance, Berenal was able to persuade Altanys' uncle, Albaric Faemourn, into letting the Blades enter Fae'yrel. This was only successful after the intervention of both Absolyn and Elyse, whom claimed the Blades should meet with all factions before choosing a side, as it would otherwise be unfair that Ja'que suddenly gained a clear power boost.
It became clear that Ja'que's intentions were not as innocent as they once were portrayed to be. While he gave his brother fruit from the Arcan'dor, that the house had secured by some unknown means, he also revealed that his faction was not only the weakest, but the most in debt. In order to stay in the running, Ja'que had borrowed money from several sources, accruing a massive amount of debt that would fall unto the Blades' shoulders should they take Fae'yrel on as a retainer as they originally intended. However, despite this, meetings with Elyse went poorly, as she intended to use the Blades for her victory then be done with them, and Absolyn rathered they leave entirely; as he already had the major force in the area.
Rather than accept Elyse's offers of ancient Nightborne knowledge as well as trade, or Absolyn's bribe of power and wealth, the Blades remained firmly with Ja'que, despite his lies. Through careful persuasion, Altanys was put in charge of Ja'que's faction of Nightborne, with Ja'que acting as a second in command. As a result, Altanys' forces were able to domineer over his siblings with Blades assistance, eventually destroying a golem manufactory that Absolyn intended to use to show his superiority and right to rule, and blackmailing Elyse out of the running by threatening to reveal her Tauren lover, Graff Highmountain.
With the two siblings defeated, Altanys was to be claimed as lord of Fae'yrel. However, before his coronation could begin, Lou'ys and his Felborne retainers arrived in Fae'yrel, domineering control. Forced to fight his father, Altanys and the Blades did battle with Lou'ys, defeating the aged veteran. As he awaited death, the Blades were able to convince Lou'ys to stand down and rejoin his family. Abdication to Altanys but acting as an advisor and guiding his family still could be his atonement for allying with Elisande and the Legion. Accepting these terms, Lou'ys' final order was to lift the disenfranchisement he'd placed upon his son, then abdicating, thus making Altanys the undisputed ruler of Fae'yrel.
With this done, the matter of the debt was also settled, as a mysterious Nightfallen that had been assisting the Blades in return for various objectives had returned to Altanys' court. Stating he would lift the debt, but a favor would be owed in the future, Altanys agreed to the man's terms. Mysteriously over the next few days, wealth began to flow into Fae'yrel by way of unmarked caravans. With all matters handled, even if the Nightfallen's deal seemed ominous, Altanys joined his men into the Blades, and as a result, the people of Fae'yrel joined the fight against the Legion and the Horde.
The Lady and the Serpent
Following the excursion with the Faemourn, Berenal found that the Ashen Coast was still hemorrhaging money. With the war efforts continuing to ramp up, and the vast treasury the Duchy had once amassed nearly depleted, Berenal received his salvation from an unlikely source, the Fallow Crest.
There, Berenal met with a woman named Aleyina Nathair, countess of the Earldom of Iscia's Cove, just across the Ashwake Gulf. Proposing a marriage alliance, Aleyina promised Berenal wealth and the aid of her men, both of which were crucial at this point to the Blades and the Ashen Coast. In return, Berenal would take Aleyina as his duchess, giving her an heir in her own name as well as having his men train Aleyina's in war, as the Fallow Crest lords became increasingly hostile as they pledged pacts with the Legion or became more and more fickle with their holdings. As well, the Galuyn in the area had begun to fall under the sway of the Dullahan, a clan of Legion-loyal galuyn peoples.
A woman who rose to her rank by her own right and wit, Berenal found the arrangement enticing but ultimately was apprehensive about marrying once again, let alone politically. Deciding he would judge her merit based on interaction, Berenal invited Aleyina to join with the Blades on their operations, stating he would give her what she wanted after deliberation. After things began to worsen in the Ashen Coast, Berenal pledged himself to the arrangement, though hesitated on signing the final contracts that would seal him to this woman.
Aleyina and her men were both of Galuyn descent, primarily the Wavewalkers, by way of the successor clan the Leanaí Iscia. They were devoted to a serpent demigod whom slumbered within the lake, known as Iscia. The sea serpent was the daughter of one of the Old Ways gods that the Galuyn worshipped, Gurnye, and went through an eternal cycle of life and rebirth, becoming old and large before withering away to a young serpent, only to repeat the cycle eternally. Seeing the advantage in marrying a Galuyn, particularly after the subjugation of Wickenden, Berenal continued with the arrangement, eventually marrying Aleyina fully and bringing in her household as well as the prestige that went with it. With Aleyina's hand and her assets, Berenal had finally secured a way for the Ashen Coast to stabilize, allowing them to continue forth with the objectives set before them, and hopefully, secure their economic downfall from spiraling further due to the war efforts.
In the wars that had been fought since the Cataclysm, the island of Cyrvall stood as an ally to the Blades and had partaken in many campaigns after it was liberated from a rebellion. Oswald Jartya stood as one of the Duke's primary advisors, and his sister, Crystine, had married with Lord Nicholas Graveshire. The Jartyas, however, had tasted the power of independence in Gilneas' long absence, and as such desired it once again.
The advent of the Legion, following the Blades' loss of the western Grip, had led to the Jartyas finding the Duchy in a waning state of power. During the invasion, all tie was suddenly cut from the Duchy, leaving the Blades absent a key ally in the fight against the demons. Crystine's marriage to Lord Graveshire dissolved, and for all intents and purposes, Cyrvall was its own again.
Ill portents soon followed, as it was found that the Jartyas had been behind the Blades of None, as well as having allied with the Burning Legion for power. Unable to ignore the betrayal any longer, the Duchy revealed the full extent of the island's corruption; stating that they would bring the King's justice to these traitors, and liberate the island in the name of Gilneas.
Berenal led the warpath onto Cyrvall alongside Lerren Darkoak, both men wishing to reap a terrible vengeance upon the traitor, Oswald. Calling in their allies, the Blades had gained the power of Dun Agas, the Hyarskar and the Faemourn at their back. After destroying the Legion's bastion at the port of Radiance; the Blades established a foothold upon the island and had found the house of Mournholde had not joined with Oswald. Having once defeated the Mournholdes in the Mournholde Uprising, which secured Cyrvall's joining the Duchy initially, the Blades found themselves now allied with their former enemies; fighting with them against the overwhelming forces of Cyrvall.
The Cyrvalli had drawn back towards their mountain ranges, where Lord Graveshire could sense the presence of a powerful spirit. Trekking towards Dawncrest, the last of the House of Toldoro power holdings, they had found that the entire town had been demolished by an enormous avalanche. Climbing the mountain, they found the Legion besetting the spirit, the ancient known as Hod. Freeing Hod and saving his children, the saber cat explained that he had exiled himself to these mountains following a great war many centuries ago; where he committed a terrible mistake. Beseeching the spirit to return to the Ashen Coast to aid with the growing Nightmare issue, Hod bestowed his blessings and sent his children alongside several members of the blades, stating he would return when the time was needed.
The western reaches of Cyrvall handled, the Blades headed, with their allies the Faemourn went south towards Goldwreathe, capturing it alongside the Mournholdes. The Hyarskar were sent ahead towards the Hills of Perfection, waylaying the Jartya armies as the Blades moved in to destroy the final demonic gateway upon the island of Exalt. Marching upon it, the Blades defeated the demonic and Jartya host, finding a population surging towards them that was fleeing the Legion.
The population set upon the Blades, stabbing and nearly killing several members who had let their guards down. Butchering the civilians, it was found that they were demons in disguise. As a second wave of civilians came through, the decision to let them pass was met with more treachery, as these demons too were put down. A final wave arrived, however, the Blades were not quick to let their guard down. Divided on whether or not they should allow them to pass, already with several members injured, the decision was made to let these men and women pass yet again. This time, however, they were truly innocents, thus keeping the blood of civilians off the Blades' hands.
The time came to march upon Skybreak, the seat of Jartya power. There, the Iron Dwarves of Dun Agas took control of the city, brutally slaughtering anyone attempting to resist or escape the city as the Blades ascended. Unknown to the Blades, however, Dun Agas was also killing civilians, a revelation they would find out only after they'd claimed victory over the Jartyas.
Finding Crystine outside of her brother's chambers, which were locked, the woman attempted to reason with the Blades to allow her to rule. She claimed she never supported her brother's gambit with the Legion, which many questioned considering that Crystine had always been supportive of her brother's pursuits. Regardless, with Crystine's help, they entereed Oswald's chamber. There, upon his throne, Oswald lay dead, having killed himself by poison after finding himself defeated.
Berift with grief, the Blades openly discussed what was to be done with the body and with Cyrvall, some claiming to hang it in the streets as an example. Unable to handle the idea of the Blades winning, especially after the sheer amount of debauchery they were speaking of in terms of her brother's corpse, Crystine killed herself by way of knife. There, an incantation took root between the two siblings; resulting in the rise of a Draconic creature to fight the Blades, which held the souls of both vengeful Jartyas. Tossed between the real world and an illusory one, the Blades fought off the vengeful siblings, eventually putting them both to rest.
It was then found that the Dwarves had butchered the city, and the relationship between the Blades and Dun Agas strained severely. Telling the Iron Dwarves to leave, the House of Mournholde claimed dominion over Cyrvall under Gilneas, and thanked the Blades. Victory turned to ashes in their mouth, as Berenal bitterly claimed to the Blades that they had left the island in shambles, consumed by their lust for vengeance. Leaving Cyrvall behind them, the Blades returned home; questioning their morality.
The Sons of Strom
Following the events of Cyrvall, a call for aid went out for aid from the Arathi Highlands. With the Kingdom of Stromgarde in its death throes, the Stromic people were in extreme disarray. All that remained of them were scattered groups and militant orders, one of which reached out for the Blades' help, that being the Sons of Strom; whom were holding the Northfold Peaks from the forces of the Burning Legion.
Arriving to aid the Stromics, lest the Legion gain a foothold in the Northern Eastern Kingdoms, the Blades arrived in Arath'al to find that they were not the only forces called in by the Sons of Strom for aid. Alongside them stood the Wildhammers of the Hinterlands, and surprisingly, the Syndicate remnants. Called together under common threat, tensions were thick due to the Wildhammers and Syndicate having opposing views.
Asked to break the tie in where we would advance, the north with the Syndicate, or the South with the Wildhammer, the Gilneans chose the Wildhammer, led by Traglin Featherbeard, to dismantle Jintha'watha. The Syndicate were not pleased, as they were promised control of Riverton, which was under the control of the Undead. With Jintha'watha being given priority, the Stromics and the Syndicate headed north to hold Sentinel's Watch, a fallen outpost, while the Blades and Wildhammers headed south to reclaim Trollslayer Point, another outpost.
Under Captain Tyria Geritain, Marshal Chapman's daughter, the Sons of Strom and the Syndicate forces headed north towards Sentinel's Watch. Sentinel's Watch was a catastrophic battle on both sides, the Sons of Strom losing the majority of their forces, while the remnants of the Syndicate quit the field, leaving a beleaguered force to hold the fortress against the House of Laign undead. However, the Undead stromics were butchered in the field, forcing them to fall back to Riverton, both parties left in a standstill.
The defenders of Trollslayer Point preformed more admirably than believed, with them disabling the majority of the Smoulderbranch's initial front, as well as destroying a weapon of war. While they suffered heavy casualties, there were survivors, despite initial belief of them all being slain. Ian Gawndey, Brother Borean, Lortik of the Wildhammer Clan, and Jarryd, a warhound, were the surviving party that delivered the crucial news that the Trolls were severely damaged, allowing the Dwarf-Gilnean force to march forth into Jintha'watha with little resistance.
As a result, the Blades and Wildhammers circumvented Trollslayer Point entirely, leaving behind Blades soldiers and Captain Daniel Geritain, Tyria's husband, to take the fort on their own while the elite of the Blades and Wildhammers struck at the heart of the Ziggurat of Jintha'watha. Catching the trolls off guard, the Alliance forces ascended to the peak of the Ziggurat, finding it to be a giant Soul Engine. Defeating Vol'zan by repeatedly forcing him to suffuse himself in fel, Barreck Evinsson braved the conduit of the Soul Engine. Redirecting the fel into Vol'zan, his body was bloated and eventually exploded from overloading with fel. His death radiated through the Smoulderbranch tribes, disbanding the overarching tribe while the remaining Forest Trolls descended back into fighting. Following Vol'zan's explosive demise, the group escaped in the chaos. To further the Troll's defeat, the Wildhammer bombarded the Ziggurat into ruins.
Trollslayer Point was a critical success for the Alliance, Blades forces butchering the trolls without a single loss. Following the destruction of Jintha'watha, the Alliance forces split yet again, half headed north to aid the beleaguered Sons of Strom in Sentinel's Watch. Moving into the valley just before the Conquest Gate, the Blades met up with Marshal Heinran Chapman; preparing to move in on Forge Camp: Conquest.
After meeting with Marshal Chapman and determining the northern flank was a liability, the Blades left to reinforce Sentinel's Watch from Terisa Laign's personal retinue. Marching north, the Blades met with what remained of Tyria Geritain's forces. While there were still Stromics prepared to fight, the bulk of her manpower had been weakened and injured and needed to be defended.
The Undead beset the fortress heavily, though the defenses and superior tactics of the Blades were capable of pushing them away from the outer wall up until Terisa used her magic to destroy it. Swarmed on all sides, the Blades held a valiant defense against the Legion's assault until Terisa was finally slain.
As one of the last defenders remaining in fighting condition, Berenal made a quick head for the warlock as she attempted to retreat. Beating her down with one of his fists, he dragged her before the courtyard where the Stromics could clearly see her. As she attempted to shout her final curses, Berenal proceeded to behead her.
By the end of the battle, few of the Alliance vanguard forces were still left standing, but the fortress was held. Terisa's head was mounted on a spike upon the walls, to ward away any remaining Undead attackers.
The next morning, the united forces of the Blades, Sons of Strom, and Wildhammers charged into Forge Camp: Conquest. While Alliance soldiery was enough to decimate what little demonic host was left, the Inner Circle, accompanied by Traglin Featherbeard and Heinran Chapman, faced off with Apoclyon the Corruptor, a massive battle-scarred pitlord who was at the head of the invasion.
Attempting to persuade the Alliance to join the Legion, Apoclyon's attempts were for naught as the group engaged in battle. Mid way through the fight, Apoclyon attempted yet again to persuade his attackers by showing them0 a vision of a siege on the Undercity, aided by the Burning Legion to accomplish this. Serving as King Genn Greymane's honor guard against Sylvanas Windrunner, the group beheld a false prophecy, where with the Legion's aid, the Alliance felled the Banshee Queen. However, the Pitlord's magicks wavered, allowing the group to resist the mind control. Turning Greymane and the royal guard against them, the group destroyed the apparitions and freed themselves fully from the haze.
Livid at the repeated resistance, Apoclyon showed himself yet again in another vision, this time of a smouldering burning Gilneas. Once more, the Alliance persisted, felling Apoclyon even as he used his magic to mind control several of the attacking group. With his fall, Northfold Peaks were finally free of the Legion. With this victory, the Blades also gained the friendship of the Sons of Strom, whom promised to answer a similar call if the need ever arose.
Berenal partook in limited campaigns as the needs of the Ashen Coast at large demanded his attention above that of others.
Debt of the Coast
Following the Sons of Strom, the Coastlands could finally feel calm for the first time in some months. Argus had arisen in the sky, the Legion was focused on the defense of its homeworld, and while there were still monoliths arriving to beset the Eastern Kingdoms; the Legion could no longer unleash the havoc they had so readily desired.
With that, Berenal arrived back to find the finances of the Ashen Coast in shambles. Calling forth his lords and retainers, Berenal put an emphasis on the resurgance of management in their lands. Against the Legion, everyone had unanimously decided to pool forth their men, money and resources. However, such costly pursuits had drained the treasury of the Ashen Coast, and ultimately, nearly sent the Duchy spiraling into debt. While his marriage to Aleyina Nathair had successfully abated the Duchy's lapse; it would only last for so long. A surge of money could not prevent the entirity of the Duchy from going bankrupt if the Lords did not re-assess their situations.
To compound matters, to the east in Flame's Berth, ill portents crept upon the Coastlands. Within a matter of weeks, the Blades were called to deploy to the mountain to aid the Gabhatine, and to cease the earthquakes that were wracking the Ashen Coast. While Berenal yearned to aid, he was needed back at home, someone needed to lead the restoration of the land and the re-analysis of the Duchy's finances. As his wife and many of his comrades departed into the mountain, Berenal grasped what he could of the remaining Duchy's economy.
Re-purposing the Court of the Coast, he restored the previous methods of commercial influx. With the need for the war against the Legion ramping down, the duke found that culminating all resources divided by Marches, the Rignweald excluded due to its frontier status, that the Ashen Coast's debt could be managed more efficiently. Effectively declaring each march responsible for their own commerce, the Ashen Coast began to turn the gears of nobility once again after their long hiatus from true ruling power.
The first test came in the form of the Earthquakes, even after the Blades had been victorious in Flame's Berth. Their destruction had ultimately wrought damage across the Ashen Coast, and while it was a narrow endeavor, the Coastlands pulled through. Taking their first breaths of fresh air, the debt of the Coast was settled for the month, yet, as time went on; it became apparent that this would need to be a monthly task until the Coast had finally reached a point of concrete stability. When that would be, however, was uncertain.
During the Legion invasion of Azeroth, the Blades were called to arms to aid the Wildhammer clan upon the island of Duramyr; an isle that was just east of the Hinterlands and had long been contested between the Alliance and Horde. Fel pocked and destroyed beyond recognition, the Island had fallen prey to fel corruption after the destruction of a Legion ship tainted and irradiated the island.
Completely worthless outside of its position and potential for the Legion, the Blades moved in to aid the Wildhammer by way of meeting with the Thane of the island, Molderan Thunderhammer. The Blades' initial meeting with the Thane was poor. Snide comments and remarks his way as well as repeated insults caused him to get testy with the order and ultimately rethink his decision, though it wasn't enough to have him lose faith in the Gilneans all together. His faith was restored when the group successfully convinced Farlig Twinbraid, a recruiter for his son's dwarves in Far-Forge who refused to follow Thane Thunderhammer's orders anymore, that the Blades and Molderan were worth the effort. This led Farlig to believe that perhaps the thane wasn't exactly so idiotic.
Past that, the Blades were instructed to recruit seven dwarves for the Far-Forge band. Farlig promised to take us to the gate, but without those dwarves, he stated they would not open the gates to him. Before they could do so, an elf messenger, Ly'reesa Dawnwind, arrived. Injured, she was healed by Zale Marshoak and Baelias Runeoak whom were able to allow her to deliver her message. The local high elves, their eyes now fel green from the radiation of Duramyr, had been betrayed.
Rather than retain their original contract to recruit the dwarves, the Blades departed for Treeheart Sanctum and pledged to aid Lord Senin Aranas in escorting what remained of his people back to Dun Garrak. The Blades did, however, commit still to the idea of Far-Forge over reclaiming the Elven town of Thas'aranal. As a result, the Gilneans saved the elves of Treeheart Sanctum, but did not commit to their cause, and they committed to rallying the dwarves together, but did not meet the requirements.
After the Blades had failed to get the 7 dwarves we were instructed to find, they went to Torin empty handed and he was not very pleased. In addition, Molderan made his presence known very early on, causing a fight to nearly break out between the two dwarves. It was revealed that Torin did not leave on his own accord, rather, he was banished as many were trying to appoint him as leader instead of his father, despite the fact that Torin did not want to usurp his father and was one of Molderan's most vocal supporters.
Despite this, the Blades were able to continue on into Far-Forge, tasked with Torin to find his missing men. As Lord Aranas and his entourage accompanied the party in place of the dwarves, they were able to help hold back the mind-broken Horde whom had taken over Far-Forge. In addition to finding the men, we were also tasked with finding an ancient hammer known as the Thunderhammer, the name sake of Clan Thunderhammer. An ancient two handed stormhammer forged and gifted by Kharnos Wildhammer to the Thunderhammers after the War of the Three Hammers, it became imperative to Molderan to recover the weapon.
Molderan placed more of an emphasis on the hammer than the men, which was upsetting to Torin, but the Blades continued on and rescued Torin's men rather than immediately take the hammer. The Blades rescued Torin's men, then doubled back for the Thunderhammer after convincing the Thane that it was the proper course of action. Blinded by the idea that recovering the hammer would restore his prestige among his people, he agreed with the Blades' plans and eventually the hammer was reclaimed as well. However, somehow, the Horde had managed to begin to syphon the incredible power of the hammer; sending it back to Tor'ka's Rise for whatever goal they had in mind.
Distraught, the hammer was brought back to Dun Garrak, the dwarves rejoicing at its return as well as Torin falling in line under his father. For a time, the Thane's prestige was fully restored, as he predicted. However, the hammer was not the weapon it once was. The Hammer's stormforging, which allowed it to make Stormhammers at an alarming rate as well as grant weapons the temporary power of the storm, was gone due to the syphoning. This made the hammer little more than a glorified mantle piece, and without the ability to make Stormforged weaponry, the dwarves' key to victory was lost.
Molderan insisted that the party stay silent about the loss of the power and recover it when the group went to attack Tor'ka's Rise. However, he was convinced that lying was not the way to go about keeping his people's trust.
Ultimately, Molderan revealed to his people that the hammer was drained of its power, and it needed to be recovered. Once more, the Thane's prestige was gone, but hope remained. If the Party could successfully return the power to the Thunderhammer, the Dwarves would fall in line.
While readying an assault on Tor'ka's Rise, it was discovered by Torin that the energy from the Thunderhammer was being used by a Horde shamans to destroy the madness that had gripped their minds. A handful of voodoo masters had managed to resist the mist and had been using the Thunderhammer's energy to revive their fellow's minds, hence why there was Horde at Far-Forge. Torin suggested against attacking the Horde, instead, letting them revitalize themselves, upholding their old truce, then charge for Bael Magna instead; a lost fortress in the north that was making the majority of the Legion's infernals.
Molderan insisted the Blades stay the course and attack the Horde, stealing back the power of the Thunderhammer. However, the opportunity to hit the Legion in two areas was too good to ignore, thus the thane's opinion was snuffed yet again. Outraged that the Blades once again decided to not listen to him, Molderan remained behind in Dun Garrak as the Blades moved forward to handle Bael Magna. Once at Bael Magna, it was discovered the fortress had become such an immense plant for making infernals that it was impossible to move through. Using secret tunnels, the Blades found that at the precipice of the fortress lay the surviving forces of Bael Magna, led by the intrepid gnome Gearix Sparkcrank. Gearix explained that the survivors had run out of supplies and were planning to explode Bael Magna, however, the Blades had already dismissed their air support until the mission had ended, stranding them and the survivors in the Fortress. Intending for a sacrificial charge, Gearix was now committed to survival, showing the Blades one of two Legion pylons that were powering the infernal making, as well as a dampening field that prevented teleportation. With one pylon under the survivor's control, Gearix explained both pylons needed to be disabled at the same time to destroy the main generator.
The Blades set out to formulating a plan to disabling the final pylon's shield, the final pylon in the heart of the Legion operations. After formulating many ideas that ultimately would not work, a plan was made by Jack Oathbourne and Cullen Ashmeadow. Using Cullen and Zale, they would fly Gearix down to the console of the pylon, Gearix disguised as a demon. Atop the precipice, Adaliene, Inas'thas and Senin would snipe any encroaching Terrorfiends who could break Gearix's illusion; the chaos of the Fortress already falling apart distracting the demons from realizing the assassinations were taking place. Once the pylon shield was disabled, the Pylon would be blown up, alongside the one that the Blades had in their possession, and the dampening field would be disabled, allowing Inas'thas and Adaliene to teleport the group out of the doomed Bael Magna. This plan worked, allowing the Blades to escape with the survivors. They returned to an odd sight, however, the sight of Dun Garrak in celebration for Thane Molderan.
Approaching the Thane, the Thunderhammer crackled with power once more as it was revealed the Thane had led a charge to Tor'ka's Rise, razing it to the ground and slaughtering the shaman of the Horde. Empowering the Thunderhammer once more, he'd lead a bombardment of the ridge that the Horde were battling the Legion at near Insanity Gate; destroying both armies. However, in his hubris, the Thane neglected to actually destroy Insanity Gate it's self. Having wiped out the Horde, the southern flank was left fully exposed to the Legion's advance. The thane, however, would not see it this way. Having lost himself to his pride and the hype that his people were generating around him, he boastfully proclaimed to the party that he would simply beat back the Legion if they attempted to advance from the south; even though now the east and south were open to attack. Leaving the party, he stated he was done listening to the Blades' commands, that their inability to make tough calls had cost him enough and he would lead his people now; with the Blades able to follow or not.
Torin and Senin, concerned, pointed out that Thas'aranal could hold the eastern flank while Molderan's bloodlust held the southern flank for a time, they'd merely need to retake it. Agreeing this was the best course of action, the Blades committed to this plan. Torin, however, was concerned with his father's pride. While they were not enemies, it was clear that Molderan would be doing everything in his power to achieve more and more glory, blinded by the feeling of acceptance from his people once again over a victory that would ultimately harm their chances more than aid it.
The Blades ultimately alienated Thane Molderan from aiding them for the rest of the campaign. However, the order managed to convince Torin, Senin and now Gearix to follow the Blades' lead; which means not all was not yet lost for the order. If Thas'aranal could be claimed, they could prevent the Thane's misjudgment from bringing ruin to the last defenders of Duramyr.
The Eastern Front
After having gathered in the courtyard of Dun Garrak, it was found that the Thane had gathered up his men and departed for the south flank to assail the remnants of the Horde in Tor'ka Pass up til Insanity Gate, hell bent on destroying whatever opposition existed in the southern regions of Duramyr. While this was handled, the Blades, Senin, Torin and Gearix gathered together to plan their attack on Thas'aranal.
Torin opted to remain behind to keep an eye on his father, unsure of what would happen otherwise, while the rest of the party departed for Thas'aranal. There, it was found that the elves were in the process of creating Felblood Elves with the Legion's blessings that they were being gifted, and that Elyas was still alive. Taking control of the Sanctum without notice, the party called upon an illusion to make them appear as elves while they plannned; the translocation orb that allowed them to scale the spire without attracting attention within their grasp, but it was inactive without two failsafe keys that Hauldon Flamewing's main captains held.
Devising a plan of attack, Idrya Haven, under disguise as an elf, seduced Captain Bloodsworn, bringing her into a room only to assassinate her and take her key. Shortly there after, Inas'thas Sunbrook undertook rather unorthodox methods to distract the town, running around in the nude slapping guards and magi while screaming inane nonsense. Ultimately, this disruption forced the guards away from the center of town to chase after Sunbrook. Otiana Frost took advantage of this distraction, overloading the mana sphere in the center of town that had gathered up the energy to protect Thas'aranal from the fel taint outside. Once the orb had overloaded due to shadow magic, elementals were loosed upon the town. In this havoc, Baelias Runeoak called forth his own elementals, using them to strategically target the guardsmen in the chaos and take them out of the picture without killing them. Sir Gallowood of the Wolf's Guard then moved in on Captain Varadis, and after a short duel during all of the chaos, killed the captain and recovered his failsafe key. With the keys in hand, the Blades had only the ritual to transform the guards into demon-infused elves left to disrupt. A mash of the Blades' warriors, such as John McCallan, Asher Domitri, Asylla Wolfcrest and several others amassed in the courtyard under illusion and began to brawl one another; causing the spire guards to be forced from their post to stop the fighting that was happening alongside the elemental disruption. With the guards gone, the light users of the Blades moved in.
Nulric Ironcrag, Elestri Bloodrose, Jack Oathbourne and Hymus Windsor moved into the spire, using their mastery over the light to completely disrupt the ritual, forcing a feedback effect that killed the few Felblood Elves that had been created. With the ritual disrupted, the town in chaos, and the keys in hand; the party scaled the tower with aid from Ly'reesa Dawnwind and Vasus Conghaile; alongside the other casters the group contacted, whom had activated the translocation orb. Scaling the spire, they found the former seneschal Flamewing holding Elyas hostage, threatening to kill the young elf if he was not allowed to depart. He would leave for Silvermoon, forsaking any and all oaths he had to Duramyr and the House of Aranas, as well as the Alliance. In order to spare the boy's life, the Blades allowed the treasonous mage to depart, the man using his translocation orb behind him to escape. However, during the arguing with Hauldon, Gearix Sparkcrank snuck behind him and tampered with the translocation orb, causing it to launch the elf hundreds of feet in the air and crashing to his death. With Thas'aranal under control, the Blades took a shakey breath at the idea of the eastern flank being secured, thus once again leaving only one flank open to attack from the Legion, being that of the southern flank. When they returned to Dun Garrak, they found the Thane triumphant over the south. After a bitter deliberation, the Thane denounced the Blades and those whom had been working with them, claiming that he was the one doing most of the leg work and effort being placed into the defense against the Legion. Threatening the group, he ousted them from his hall, fully drunk on power and pride after having successfully defeated his enemies in the south; even after Nulric threatened to reveal Molderan's conduct to the Council of Three Hammers.
Torin, however, elucidated the group that while yes, the Thane had destroyed the last of the Horde, he drove a massive amount of the orcish survivors to joining the Legion in the sake of survival. Insanity Gate, which was once undermanned, was now manned by Fel Orc converts. The Blades affirmed their loyalty to the mission, even if the Thane was making things difficult, and agreed to join Torin in his advance attack in the Vanguard of the Thane's armies that would be marching on Insanity Gate; given that the dwarf had already forsaken tactics under the pretense that he was some sort of undefeatable warrior with the Thunderhammer in hand.
March on Insanity Gate
After meeting with Torin in the courtyard of Dun Garrak, the Blades were instructed that Molderan wanted to meet with them. Torin informed the group he'd successfully gotten them in the vanguard, to open the Insanity Gate and allow the forces of Dun Garrak through. However, Torin believed that was not enough. While he'd convinced his father that bluntly assaulting the walls was a bad idea, Torin believed that while the orcish leaders were still alive, they'd be able to coordinate a defense that would leave Dun Garrak too weakened to make the final strike against Lord Vingeroth and the demons of the Legion.
As a result, Torin told the group that while they were to open the gates as instructed, they'd also slaughter the leadership that was known to be within a bunker atop the fortification. Leaving Torin as instructed, the Blades met with Molderan and minced few words with the prideful thane, whom instructed them that they were to open the gates and nothing else, the Blades could slaughter any orcs in their way, but once the gates were open the Blades were to await further instruction. Past this point, the Blades left for Insanity Gate. Once at Insanity Gate, it was found that the orcs had mounted a defense along the ramparts of the upper area, having been air dropped in by Torin and Gearix. Battling their way to the top, the bunker was found to be near the chains that loosed Insanity Gate's doors, but if they were to be loosed before slaughtering the leadership, the Leaders could escape in the ensuing chaos and lead the defense. Opting to slaughter the leadership first, the Blades made their way up the ramparts until they found the warlord of Insanity Gate. There, several orcish spellcasters had enchanted a special gem, which the Warlord used to shoot vicious red lightning towards the group that instantly knocked the party down. When moving in to finish us off, the gem unleashed a feed back effect, the spellcasters having warned the Warlord it wasn't ready for use yet. As a result, the orcs across the pallisade were hit with the lightning, draining their vitality and leaving them as husks.
Following this, the Blades opened the gates to the Dwarves whom proceeded to slaughter the remaining leaderless orcs. After a period of rest, Thane Thunderhammer scaled the pallisade to meet with the group. After berating the Blades' timeliness on opening the gates, it was revealed that the group had also, inadvertantly, caused the death of the orcish leadership. Enraged, Molderan claimed that the Blades had denied him vengeance for his wife and his fallen kin by killing the warlord, and that he'd been warring with these Orcs for years. By taking that kill from him, he had lost all patience for the order. Ordering his men to surround the Blades, the group explained that the death of the Orcs was caused by the mysterious Red Gem, which Berenal had kept in his possession after it had been used. Molderan demanded the gem, but the Blades refused. Accusing the party of treason, the Dwarves prepared to move in to detain the group until Berenal had stepped forward and offered himself as a political hostage in exchange for a ceasefire. Entrusting the Gem to Cedrec Delcarn, Berenal was taken captive by the dwarves.
Moved to an outpost just outside the walls of Dun Garrak, as the Blades were no longer welcome within the fortress proper, the Blades were left outside Berenal's cell. Farlig Twinbraid, still loyal to Torin, snuck in a Gnomecorder that allowed the party to speak to Torin, whom was unable to leave Dun Garrak after his father had struck him with the Thunderhammer earlier on when the party initially refused to hand over the gem. Stating that his father had to be stopped, but only after the Legion was defeated, Torin asked the group to work with them one final time before this was all over.
Leaving Berenal within the cell, which he requested, command was passed to the most senior officer in the area, Idrya Haven. Instructing the group not to do anything rash just because he'd been imprisoned, the Blades prepared for the final battle against Vingeroth, and what was presumably to come, the dethroning of Thane Molderan if words could not sway him once his vengeance against the Legion was finished.
Berenal was not mistreated while imprisoned, as Torin was able to place his own men in place as the Duke's guards. Free to leave if he so pleased, the man elected to remain and allow the Blades to carry out his order without him; so as to avoid further conflict with the Dwarves. Ultimately, the hubris of Molderan led to his demise, but the Blades were able to destroy the Legion, kill Lord Vingeroth, and save the isle from Legion occupation.
In the aftermath, Torin and his clan swore an oath of friendship to the Ashen Coast, while Lord Aranas was given a place upon Quel'shala by Inas'thas Sunbrook. Duramyr it's self was blasted beyond repair, there was no hope for the isle for generations to come. With their pride wounded, the Thunderhammers were told of their thane's foolishness and his lust for power. Disgraced, they fell inline under Torin, hoping to redeem themselves.
Gearix Sparkcrank retired from his service with Torin, instead preferring to work on his own for a time. Offered a job by Khloros Darkwatcher, Gearix departed with the Blades to work on Ironwood Keep as one of their engineers, the man insisting he would now attempt to make a stealth machine.
Ultimately, the Blades returned back to Gilneas; having succeeded in their mission despite the bumps along the way.
The End of the Legion
In the aftermath of Duramyr and the various campaigns the Blades had faced against, the group was approached by an unlikely source during a war meeting, Lord Astaroth, spymaster for the Azi'kar. Revealing to the group that the Legion was on a downward spiral after the death of Kil'jaedan and the failure to successfully invade Azeroth; Astaroth informed them of the coming Azi'kar Legion, which was planning to wipe out the Blades for their continued efforts against them.
Confused to his motives, Astaroth revealed that he had no intention to join this assault, as he believed the Legion was doomed and falling apart. Many demonic forces were splitting away as Antorus was under siege; and he intended to join them, though he was trapped upon Azeroth. Denying Astaroth's aid, as well as the opportunity to aid him in return, the Dreadlord left with a grim warning of the future; seeking an alternative method off of Azeroth. Holding the information that they had been given, the Blades now began to be wary of the increasing amount of demonic sightings in the Ashen Coast. Over the past few months prior to Astaroth's return, the Blades had been hunting down demonic incursions across the Coastlands that had grown in their severity, as well as their boldness. This came to a head when the Spear of Decimation, the flagship of the Azi'kar that the Blades had destroyed in the beginning of the Burning Legion's invasion of Azeroth, erupted from the skies over Gilneas. Bombarding Bannhurst, the Azi'kar launched a shock invasion across the region as they attempted to cut the head off of Gilneas' defense. The bombardment attracted the attention of a detatchment of the Army of the Light, sent to Azeroth to aid with the Legion invasions, the Auros'i, led by Vindicator Auros. The Vindicator alongside his forces aided the Blades, though they remained wary of his intentions.
Rallying together, the Blades defeated, one by one, various commanders or their replacements that they had faced off against across their various campaigns since the Legion invasion had begun. One by one, however, each commander fell until finally the Azi'kar had completely collapsed. Setting his ship on a crash course into Bannhurst, the Blades managed to secure a Legion teleporter to stop Azi'kal from destroying the capitol of the Ashen Coast. By the end of the campaign, it had been revealed that Auros had come to the Ashen Coast for the Aldrachi Blade that was now wielded by Roderick Gallowood; which was taken from the Azi'kar during their original defeat. After this reveal, the Auros'i were denied, and told to leave from the Ashen Coast. Seeking to make good for their transgressions, the Vindicator was able to convince the Blades to allow them to finish their job to make up for the duplicity.
Atop the careening Spear of Decimation, the Blades once more faced off against their hated foe. Atop the vessel, Azi'kal explained that he held no hatred for the Blades; in truth he admired their tenacity. The Legion's goal was to destroy the void, and while Azeroth was but a speck in comparison to the thousands of worlds the Legion had faced in that goal. While Gilneas would not be the end all for the Legion's conquest, it was a stepping stone to something greater, just as all of the other invasion points had been. With the Spear's destruction, the area would be ripe for another warband to finish the Azi'kar's job, and ultimately, further the goals of the Legion. However, Azi'kal was incapable of defeating the Blades, and the spear was redirected to an empty shoreline where it crashed. Drained by the crash, Azi'kal's form was withered to that of a Broken, where he stared at the skyline and ocean as he died; his soul entrapped within the Aldrachi blade to prevent his return ever again.
Following Azi'kal's defeat, the Auros'i departed from the Ashen Coast, though several made requests to stay in the region upon Marshpine Isle as delegates. While initially suspicious of the Army of the Light's intentions, their later pledge to the Alliance removed a great deal of this wariness, though the Auros'i's initial duplicity was not forgotten. The victory was short lived in its jovial-nature, as shortly after the defeat of the Azi'kar, Sargeras plunged his blade into Azeroth, setting off an un-imaginable chain of events across the planet.
In the aftermath of the Legion, Berenal took extended leave to spend time with his family, namely his wife. They'd both been shaken by the events that had played out, the numerous deaths and betrayals, and ultimately; the strain had gotten to both of them. In addition, at the beginning of the Azi'kar invasion, Aleyina had found details of Berenal's past that she deemed unsavory, heavily straining their marriage. While the two pledged to salvage the marriage, rather than divorce, things had become tense between the two of them. With the fall of the Legion, the time for healing, for both the Ashen Coast and themselves. While things became mended over time, Berenal endeavored to grow closer to his wife by understanding her culture better, as well as showing he was a partner to her and her people, rather than another dictator.
The Galuyn Hunt
Following the turbulence in his marriage, Berenal re-committed himself to attempting to make it more than what it had originally been. He'd grown attached to Aleyina, and while she was still icey towards him at times, he could tell by her revelation of his past that she'd taken more of a personal offense than one who had completely cut emotional connection would have.
The revelation that Aleyina had become pregnant was something that allowed him to bridge his way further into fixing their marriage, primarily, by convincing her to allow him to take part in the Galuyn spring festival; the hunt of the stag. The stag it's self was said to be the lover of Faye, the goddess of fertility, who was driven mad with grief according to the legends. Those who claimed it as their kill would be blessed with Faye's bounty, meaning their children would be blessed. Learning the ropes of the hunt, he found that it was less conventional than he'd originally believed. While a skilled huntsman in his own right, the Galuyn hunt allowed no ranged weapons or equipment that was not provided to the huntsmen, which was scarce. In addition, they'd need to hunt in a group and trap a beast that was blessed by nature; despite his befoulment.
The man was initially wary of such a task, though after the continued provocation of a man known as Steafán an Leanaí Iscia, he committed fully into the idea of winning his wife over through this task. The man himself had, on multiple occassions, attempted to win the eye of the duchess; though to no avail. While certainly not pleased with Berenal, she had no intention of cheating on her husband, though the continued remarks and passes at Aleyina angered Berenal to no end. The man was a skilled hunter, having won the hunt before, and had similar features to Berenal in regard to their eye color, facial features and even hair color. Rumors would spread quickly that the children were not, infact, Berenal's if the man were to win the tournament; despite the invalid nature of such claims.
Throughout the process of training and growing towards the culture, the wound that Berenal's deceit had caused was mended; though the threat of humiliation still loomed over the horizon even though his marital issues had been quelled. The hunt represented political aspirations in terms of Gilnean-Galuyn relations, and the idea of the Duke winning it within the parameters of their culture would allow for a better relationship in terms of accepting Gilnean rule. As a result, Berenal assembled his team out of several members of the Leanaí Iscia and their allied clans that his wife suggested to him, as well as ones he picked himself.
They were as follows:
- Morraig an Adhmad-saoirse, the son of Durstan Warpwood
- Finian an Achrann-croí, a Gnarled clansman whose clan departed from the Reach to seek refuge in the Fallow Crest.
- Kelseth an Leanaí Iscia, a keeper of the lake where Iscia resides
- Alroy an Leanaí Iscia, one of the Wolf's Guard and one of Aleyina's advisors.
While in the case of Alroy, Berenal was familiar with him, the rest were near strangers to the man. He'd seen Morraig in passing, though quickly warmed up to the man as their goals aligned; and he was far less hostile than his father. For Finian, he held some difficulty understanding the man due to his poor common, though his intentions, as with Morraig, aligned with his own. Kelseth as well seemed genuine in her desire to help the group, and her place as a keeper of the Lake meant that she was above suspicion in terms of potential hidden loyalty to Steafan (who had been attempting to sabotage the Duke at several points).
Ultimately, the group was united by their belief that a divided Gilnean-Galuyn relationship was negative for everyone involved. As such, they grew together as a team, eventually overcoming any misgivings that the five of them had of one another. By the time of the hunt, they worked as one; eventually felling the stag and claiming its skull victoriously. With their win, the Duke was able to relax in terms of his standing with both his wife, and her people, for the first time since the Legion was defeated.
In the weeks following the Galuyn Spring Festival, the children within Aleyina blessed by the Sages of the Leanaí Iscia following Berenal's victory, Aleyina began to have contractions following a debate in Stormwind with the House of Nobles.
Quickly spirited off by Berenal and their Wolf's Guard Captain, Roderick Gallowood, back to Gilneas, the woman gave birth privately to two healthy children in the fashion of the Wavewalkers; in the water. The twins Desmond Nathair-Grayblade and Dahlia Grayblade were born without complication.
As per their agreement, Desmond was given the last name of Nathair; as he will inherit the lands of his mother rather than the Nathair line be absorbed into the Grayblade line. Named for her fallen brother, Desmond Nathair, their son showed similar features between the two.
Their daughter, Dahlia, followed the naming convention used for her older sister, Rose, and was named after a flower. The two were swiftly brought back to Gilneas with their parents; to remain with the other children safe at home. In the aftermath of the children's birth, the two took an extended leave of absence to allow for time to recover and bond with the new members of their family.
Flames of War: Blood Maul Conflict
While longing to stay with his family, Berenal was called to action to respond to a call for aid in southern Feralas, as the Horde had been spotted moving en masse to gather a strange new resource known as Azerite. In the wake of the fallen Titan's defeat, his plunging blade had erupted forth the strange material, which was strongly desired by both factions. Aleyina remained behind, to care for the children, while Berenal set off on the warpath.
While the Alliance gathered their forces to Feathermoon Stronghold, the Horde claimed Sardor Isle from a forward group of Sentinels sent to secure it, using it as a forward position to attack the Forgotten Coast with the intent of securing a beachhead. Upon receiving word of the deaths of the Sentinels and the Horde's presence on the isle, the Alliance scrambled their forces to prevent the Horde from taking advantage of the now surging Azerite along the compromised beachhead, as well as claiming the Forgotten Coast as a forward position to meet up with their incoming forces from Desolace.
Though the fighting was fierce, the Alliance managed to win the day, preventing the Horde from establishing a beachhead on the coastline and forcing them to re-route through Shadowprey Village.
Despite their setback on the Forgotten Coast, the Horde sent reinforcements from Desolace and managed to arrive at the ruins of Ravenwind, setting their perimeter at Camp Ataya. As the Alliance mustered their forces to choke the Horde at the Twin Colossals and prevent them from moving any further south into Feralas, as well as sending strike teams behind enemy lines into Desolace, large amounts of Azerite began to form and erupt along the forest line. Calling forth the power of the elements, the Horde summoned forth stone giants, some laced with the Azerite within them, to claim domination over the area.
The Alliance, in turn, called upon the ancient pact the Night Elves hold with the Mountain Giants of the region, and thus the Alliance and Horde clashed while their respective giant allies held the ridgeline.
Despite the Alliance's efforts and minor victories in Desolace, the Horde forces overwhelmed the Alliance in Feralas and secured their claim to the largest amount of Azerite that had surfaced in Feralas as of yet.
With the western front conflicts having died down, just as the region was about to come to a standstill a final eruption of Azerite occurred. Scouts reported that the Ogres of Dire Maul had begun to muster their forces heavily around their city, leading to the assumption that Azerite had sprouted within the ancient elven city.
Horde forces, with aid from the Stonemaul, broke through to diplomatic relations with the ogres, whom have invited the Horde into the main pavillion of Eldre'thalas. The Alliance, on the other hand, took to the offensive this time; gathering their forces to lay siege to the city of the Highborne and claim the massive stockpile of Azerite the Ogres had gathered.
The final battle was waged deep within the city streets after the Alliance broke through into Eldre'thalas, and though the Alliance were ultimately repulsed and the Horde ultimately proved themselves victorious with a lion's share of Azerite, their presence was contested heavily however by the Alliance in the final battle, and the troops of Sylvanas' tenuous presence were forced from Dire Maul by the ogres after a majority of the Azerite had been looted.
Returning home, Berenal's warlust against the Horde had been re-ignited. Marshalling together the forces of the Blades, the time had come to begin securing themselves.
In the aftermath of the Legion's defeat and Aleyina's recovery following her pregnancy, the Blades turned their attention to the north. While the truce between the Horde and Alliance was still upheld, the Blades operated covertly in destroying several border-forts that the Forsaken had established along the edges of Silverpine to watch over Gilneas. The time for war was coming fast, and as a result, leaving these fortifications would harm Gilneas' war efforts when the time came to push out from beyond the tattered remains of the Greymane Wall.
Targeting several villages and fortifications along the borders of Silverpine, the Blades ripped holes in the defenses of the Forsaken. This relieved a great deal of pressure upon the country's borders, and established supply routes from allies beyond Gilneas to aid the nation.
While during this time the Blades had operated in limited capacity, the order was preparing to deal with one of their last internal threats, the Gnarled Confederation. When the pressure was lifted from the border, this allowed for them to finally strike, and secure the Ashen Coast's borders which had weakened significantly because of the Burning Legion.
The Gnarled Confederation Assault
In the aftermath of the Legion's defeat, scouts had reported that Kolrick an Dualach-laoch had been planning against the Ashen Coast. During the period following the Legion's defeat, Aleyina had found out about one of several children Kolrick had, a son by the name Koilin an Dualach-Iaoch. Abducting him to assure a foot in against Kolrick, there was confusion when the attacks from the Gnarled Confederation never came; especially after several shore raids performed by the group.
The Blades launched their own assault under the Duchess in the wake of the uncomfortable silence, launching a siege on the Grip in order to end the threat of the rivaling Galuyn power once and for all. Unfortunately for the group, Kolrick had hauled himself, and his men, up towards their region of the Grip and forced the Blades to find a weakness in the Gnarled's defenses before they could face the Warlord.
Attacking the ports and ships of the Confederation, the Blades launched an assault on Kolrick's seat of power, facing off against one of Kolrick's many sons, Sigismund; leaving Kolrick's fleet in flames after executing the son of the Warlord. Facing Kolrick in the field, the group managed to slay several of Kolrick's sons, as the man crowned himself king upon the field by way of his troll advisor, Zulizan. An insult to the Galuyn who had allied with the Blades, the group defeated some of Kolrick's forces before it was revealed that the battle had been a farce; the souls of the fallen fueling a ritual that was marked by many runestones along the ridges of the battlefield. Splitting the island in half, troll magic pushed the land away from the Ashen Coast, causing a significant rift that ended with the creation of the Warrior Isles; revealing that Kolrick had been amassing an inordinate amount of energy in the downtime from the Legion's defeat.
While not the victory that was hoped, it had ended Kolrick's threats for the time being, as the Warrior Isles were far enough away from the Ashen Coast to no longer be a direct threat.
Flames of War: Shadows of Ashenvale Conflict
Once more called away from Gilneas, Berenal and the Blades arrived in Ashenvale to aid with the securing of the region after the night elven forces were being recalled back to Darnassus. In the wake of their arrival, news had also spread of the assassination of a Highmountain delegate; the tribe having only recently just joined the Horde to much controversy. With the death of Halian Shlavahawk; conflict seemed inevitable.
With tensions on the rise, the Alliance rallied to Astranaar to protect Kaldorei interests while the Horde reported to the Warsong Lumber Camp in order to establish a perimeter. Two delegations met in the designated neutral meeting area of the Howling Vale to discuss a non-violent resolution. Despite attempts by both sides to reach a peaceful conclusion, the only condition deemed acceptable by the Horde was the surrender of the sentinel who slew the Highmountain emissary, and tensions rose as both sides began to draw their weapons.
Before conflict could erupt in the Vale, both sides returned to their bases to assess the situation, with the Horde giving the Alliance twenty-four hours to turn over the sentinel to them, lest they enter the forest to find the sentinel themselves.
Just an hour short of the deadline to turn in the killer of Halian Shlavahawk, a clash between Silverwing Sentinels and Warsong clansmen took place, with the instigator unclear. The Alliance report states that a scouting group was ambushed by the Warsong for refusing to surrender the killer, while the Horde report states that the Sentinels opened fire first. Despite the unverifiability of the instigator, the conflict, along with the fact that the deadline was reached without the Sentinel being surrendered to the Horde resulted in conflict sparking across the forest, starting at the Silverwind Refuge.
By the end of the night, the Horde managed to barely claim victory against the Alliance vanguard forces, though a secondary Alliance force had managed to successfully free a large amount of feral furbolgs, letting them loose into Silverwind Refuge. While the Horde retained control of the base, the rampancy of Furbolgs meant that they couldn't launch a counter-offensive.
In the aftermath of the incident at Silverwind Refuge, conflict became inevitable. The tensions had grown too high to talk the Warsong or the Silverwing Sentinels down from fighting one another; and they came to blows within the passes that lie between Splintertree Post and Raynewood Retreat.
The Alliance flank, attempting to head off the Horde under Commander Kerdic Lothinil was counter-struck by Captain Thanidiel Highdawn. In this bout, the Horde were able to repel off the Alliance, forcing them into a retreat and taking several captives.
Meanwhile, the Splintertree Raid under General Grayblade clashed with Archon Telchis Truefeather's forces, where the Alliance was able to secure victory and raid the town and its outward posts, forcing the Horde to fall back from the area.
Ultimately, however, as neither side's counter offensive was successful, it was a stalemate in terms of movement of territory.
The assault on Raynewood was successfully repelled, though damage was done to the outpost. Forces under Sentinel-Lieutenant Wisp Ivymoon and Marshal Maxen Montclair were able to prevent the post from being overrun by the Horde.
On the night of the battles in Raynewood and Splintertree, numerous prisoners were taken on both sides. In order to facilitate negotiations for the safe transferal of each side's prisoners, an armistice was arranged the following day, declared to last from the striking of the agreement to the following day, at 3:30 PM precisely. With the Cenarion Circle acting as mediators, they escorted Alliance and Horde forces to gather their fallen across the forest and inspect both encampments to ensure that no body or pieces of bodies were hidden away.
Among the prisoners was Berenal's own wife. After having been informed that the Horde was torturing their prisoners, Berenal's rage took the better of him. Taking one of the prisoners, a leader by the name of Erilihn Autumnsong, Berenal tortured the woman for information in secret. While torture had been outlawed by the Alliance camp at the time, the man drug the elf away from the main camp; away from prying eyes. Having broken her spirit, he claimed information of a western assault, and earned her eternal ire. Making excuse for her injuries, which included a bite that he had given her to threaten the Worgen Curse upon her, the General returned Erilihn to the prisoner camp and avoided major suspicion from the majority of those within it.
In the days that followed, the prisoners were exchanged, and Aleyina was returned to Berenal in terrible condition alongside Inas'thas Sunbrook. Giving the man the Worgen curse, as he had been nearly crippled by the Horde, as well as re-affirming the elf's eternal loyalty to the Blades, Berenal spent time alone with his wife as she recovered from her injuries alongside the other, his bloodlust only rising when he'd seen that the Horde had held no qualms with torturing their prisoners, despite the Alliance's apprehension to such matters.
The demon settlement of Satyrnaar was a key strategic point for both faction. For the Alliance, it is a road to sever the connecting route to Splintertree and the Warsong Camp, for the Horde, it is a key point of expansion to dominate over Eastern Ashenvale entirely; to eventually snuff out Forest Song. Both factions converged on the area to gain an advantageous position on the eastern roads, though the Satyrs themselves defended their holding with demonic ferocity.
The purification group was able to rout a large amount of the Bleakheart Tribe of Satyrs, though purification could not be completed. Rather, the city was mostly destroyed by way of the Alliance's actions, leaving a large crater that some theorize is deep enough to sprout Azerite, cleansed of the powerful fel corruption that once tainted the area, plantlife already beginning to regain hold. Meanwhile, the Alliance's rear guard was heartily routed, and while the remaining Horde were fairly injured, their numbers were still great enough to continue into the ruins of Satyrnaar.
The Horde secured Satyrnaar; intending on setting up operation to see if there is indeed Azerite in the colossal crater left behind in the Alliance's wake, while others believe the crater should simply be sealed up with shamanistic magic and left be. Regardless, the region is under Horde watch; effectively closing Forest Song off as an Alliance contact and securing the Warsong Lumber Camp's safety.
Despite the Horde's overwhelming victory, the Alliance attempted a risky gambit: a war party rode back to Satyrnaar, distracting the Horde forces present while a fake order signed and sealed by General Fernfeather detailing the movement of the Sentinel who killed Halian Shlavahawk was planted on one of the bodies of the fallen.
The Alliance's gambit worked, having handily defeated the Horde's forces in an overwhelming victory and allowing a checkpoint to be established and strangle the Horde supply line; forcing them to rely solely on the river from Orgrimmar, which has to paddle supplies up stream. This resulted in the Warsong Camp suffering in terms of supply and ability to maintain their fortification with such strength.
The Alliance also managed to raid the Silverwind Refuge while the Horde was occupied defending the Ramparts, stealing and destroying several palettes of supplies, worsening the situation for the Horde.
The Horde managed to narrowly defeat the Alliance's rear guard, though, their forces were beleaguered heavily. By the time they arrived to reinforce the Horde position, with what few soldiers they had able to, the Alliance had already established their hold, and they were forced to retreat. As a result, the Alliance was successful in strangling the eastern supply line.
With this, the Horde and Alliance were locked in a bitter stalemate. The events of the campaign in total have reeked havoc across the forest, and both forces had suffered many casualties. The Alliance had succeeded in reinforcing their position in the forest, though with heavy casualties and the Warsong still remain. Meanwhile, the Horde has succeeded in re-establishing the Warsong in the forest, but their supply line is scarce and Halian goes unavenged.
At this point, both forces were left to skirmishes, hoping only to achieve whatever bitter victories they could scrounge out until the conflict came to an end with the re-establishment of forces on both sides at the closing of the week.
On the final day of the conflict, the Alliance and Horde clashed across Ashenvale, the skirmishes ultimately serving to gain minor goals throughout the forest.
The Horde attempted a final strike against Astranaar, covertly heading around to the Zoram Strand. From their base at Zoram'gar, they attempted to blitz Maestra's Post to strike the Alliance from its most defenseless position. The intention was twofold, as this also served as a distraction to split the alliance forces from being able to concentrate on the east. Ultimately, however, timely action prevented The Horde from reaching the town, though both sides were blooded.
Meanwhile, both Horde and Alliance forces returned to Satyrnaar, seeking to capitalize on the Azerite that had begun to surface in the aftermath of the failed attempt to cleanse the city. Both forces battled it out, with the Horde ultimately claiming victory and securing a very small cache of Azurite, before sealing the wound that had caused it to surface to begin with. In particular, Celandoril Emberlight has been commended for plucking the Horde from the jaws of defeat.
Lastly, the Alliance patrolled along the new checkpoint established just north of the Mor'shan Rampart. After engaging Horde scout forces and successfully defeating them, the Alliance captured two blood elf Kirin Tor members. Mending their injuries, they sent the two blood elves back to Dalaran, as they had no place in the conflict.
Ultimately, the back and forth between the Horde and Alliance ended with both sides taking major victories over one another, forcing a white peace as the Sentinels returned to Ashenvale. Though battered and bloodied, Alliance forces were able to withdraw from the forest with their head held high. While the Horde may still remain with in Ashenvale, the Alliance had succeeded in preventing the forest from being overrun in the Sentinels' absence. Whispers on the wind speak of the large Horde Army finalizing its creation, headed south for Feralas. In response, the Sentinel Army has prepared to send its fleet to counter the Horde. Despite having lost the opportunity to see the Highmountain avenged, Horde forces remain in the forest on orders of the Warchief, with detailed reports of Alliance defenses being sent back to Horde High Command alongside the recalling of the Crimson Vanguard. Though Halian's killer escaped, the Vanguard was commended for it's valuable service to The Horde, without much explanation being given as to what was actually achieved; almost as if the effort had been subverted to test the defenses of Ashenvale.
With the Ashenvale skirmishes ended, Berenal returned home; where he and his wife had found that things had begun to run awry with the Galuyn in the Reach; as the Council had made a foolish decision; causing a great deal of blood to be spilled among their own people.
The Darkest Waters
Flames of War: The Siege of Tirisfal & Battle for Lordaeron
Following the destruction of Teldrassil, the Alliance fleet sailed north to Tirisfal, landing on the North Coast where they established a perimeter. From their landing area, they claimed the Scarlet Monastery for use as their base of operations, which was nearly abandoned after the majority of the Scarlets were butchered by the Order of the Ebon Blade during the Legion invasion. The few remaining Scarlets that held the Monastery and the Scarlet Watch Post overlooking the coastline were killed or captured, with the Watch Post being re-purposed into a prisoner camp where they kept the captured Scarlets.
The arriving Horde forces, many streaming up from Silverpine’s docks, rallied to the throne room in the ruins of Lordaeron, where the Crimson Vanguard prepared to defend Tirisfal and the Undercity.
The Alliance and Horde faced off over the eastern reaches of Tirisfal, primarily the Bulwark and Balnir Farmstead; with the Alliance attempting to choke off reinforcements from Quel'thalas and Andorhal while the Horde attempted to keep the pass open for supply and aide.
Under Kerdic Lothinil, the Alliance was unable to successfully rout the Horde from Balnir Farmstead, forcing the Alliance to fall back from the position after a series of back and forth matches. As a result, the Horde, led by Sibelius Felsorrow, was capable of holding the farmstead and prevented it from being garrisoned by Alliance forces as a forward command post.
At the same time, Lord-Marshal Montclair and his forces were able to successfully defend the monastery from both Scarlet insurgency as well as an aerial bombardment by the Forsaken; thus leading to the solidification of the Alliance position within the foothills of Lordaeron. However, the Truthful insurgents still managed to steal a number of Alliance supplies during the attack.
Wisp Ivymoon, Owaeran Umbardacil and Wey-Chung Brokenarrow led a strike team to prevent Horde from flanking the forces assailing the Bulwark, successfully repelling the Forsaken and laying waste to the Death's Watch Waystation.
Finally, the Bulwark was ransacked by an Alliance force led by Berenal, repelling the forces of Vaknosh Blackwolf, going as far as to capture the Horde commander as well. Without the Bulwark, the eastern pass has been choked and the Horde cannot send aid from Andorhal.
Ultimately, the Horde, despite claiming victory over Balnir Farmstead, declared the position strategically disadvantageous to continue holding. Under Felsorrow's orders, the area was salted and completely destroyed, everything put to the torch. As the Alliance had been hoping to use the position defensively and potentially strategically, this was a blow to the potential of the Alliance's victory in the east.
Both sides took several prisoners, and in the wake of Teldrassil, conduct towards them had mostly been discarded in favor of tactics of total war; thus leading further on the conflict ridden path of the Horde and the Alliance.
Following the battles in eastern Tirisfal, both factions vied for control over the coastline, with fighting breaking out primarily over the region of Garren's Haunt.
By the end of the battle, the Alliance claimed dominion over the North Coast, taking control of Garren's Haunt and destroying the plague factories. With this, the Alliance now had a powerful choke hold over Tirisfal.
Multiple groups flanked along the roads and woods, preventing major Horde excursion, though the Horde was still able to bleed the Alliance troupe that faced off in the Haunt. In particular, a Huojin Pandaren named Gulong Sunpaw managed to stave off waves of Alliance defenders before finally being defeated, marking the Horde's final stand in the area.
More prisoners were taken on both sides, however, tensions rose further and further as both set their sights on the more advantageous positions in the Glades. With that night, however, the Alliance had solidified a dangerous foothold, no longer secluded to their mountain citadel.
With most of the north coastline secured, the Alliance forces, bolstered by the momentum of their recent victories, looked to the nearby Agamand Mills, a strategic position overlooking the recently-conquered Garren's Haunt that was held by the Horde.
Believing it to be an easy target, Leah Beaumont rallied the Alliance to raid the Mills, mustering a small party to break through the outer defenses. Despite protest from various Alliance members criticizing the impromptu attack, many answered Beaumont's call and rode to the northern end of the Mills, where the Horde was still preparing for the Alliance. Despite heavy Horde resistance and a trap laid just beyond the outer perimeter that collapsed their pathway out, the Alliance force was able to defeat the Horde's vanguard and steal a number of supplies as well as securing three Plague carts for disposal, and the efforts of members of the Pride of Gnomeregan saw the collapsed pathway be cleared in time for their retreat, all with minimal casualties.
Following the departure of Beaumont's war party, Captain Cartres Portiave rallied some of the remaining Alliance forces who didn't follow her in order to plan a strategic strike on the Horde instead. Using daring tactics, they teleported themselves onto a zeppelin carrying elite Kor'kron troops, planted explosives and destroyed it. Though they weren't able to escape in time, recovery teams lying in wait managed to find the Alliance troops, and the strike culminated in the destruction of the zeppelin and the Forsaken forces that investigated the "accidental crash", with minimal Alliance casualties.
Meanwhile, during the night an unauthorized attempted prison escape when awry when Rilennia Rimeshard, a member of the Alliance-aligned Silver Covenant disregarded the Kirin Tor's neutrality in favor of her loyalties to Zaria Blackmoore, who had been taken captive by the Horde. Disguising herself as the Hand of Vengeance's Head Apothecary Seleste Felsorrow. Though she was able to save a handful of prisoners - namely Zaria herself, Illithyl Harkon, Janewell Broadbent, Alyserah Helstrom, and Cedric Elengarde - she was discovered by Seleste's husband, and subsequently killed and raised as an undead.
The Forsaken citizens from the Lordaeronian countryside were evacuated into the ruins of Lordaeron, where the Kor'kron Legion helped portal out a portion of them in order to make more space.
Ultimately, the Alliance claimed minor victories and disrupted Horde movements, but there were no important territorial changes.
The Alliance sacked along the western half of Tirisfal, laying waste to a vast swath of Forsaken territory as well as claiming several key locations. Most notably among these was the sacking of the Calston Estate, claiming the bridge that leads to Brill by way of a small post in Cold Hearth Manor, ultimately choking Brill off from western support.
The Alliance and Horde clashed over the southern half of Agamand Mills, and despite both sides having a strong showing, the Horde managed to claim victory. Establishing a watchpost, the Horde retained a force within the mills, prepared to ride out along the western half of Tirisfal should the Alliance over extend themselves past the Calston Estate.
Following these battles, both the Horde and Alliance managed to break the majority of their respective prisoners free, and both sides took up the narrative of no quarter, thus meaning that prisoners would no longer be taken for the remaining duration of the siege.
With the sacking of the Calson Estate and Cold Hearth Manor, Brill was now isolated, and Kings Anduin Wrynn and Genn Greymane were expected to arrive any day now. The Alliance mustered the next night to lay siege to Brill, to destroy the town and pave a clear path towards the Undercity, and Lordaeron Keep.
With Brill completely cut off from all reinforcements, the Alliance mustered its forces to lay siege to it with the intention of razing it to the ground. The Alliance was able to secure two of the three gates leading into Brill, but as the Horde routed the Alliance forces attacking the western gate they realized that the town had been taken by the Alliance. Escaping through the western path out of Brill that had been able to secure, they fell back to Lordaeron Keep to force the Alliance armies to meet them at the walls.
With nothing to stand in the way of the oncoming Alliance Army, the remaining forces were given leave to wreak havoc across Tirisfal to weaken the defenses of the Horde in preparation for the reclamation of Lordaeron.
In preparation for the siege, the Horde collapsed the sewer tunnels with a mix of explosives and shamanistic magic. Furthermore, in an act of desperation the Orb of Translocation connecting Lordaeron and Quel'thalas as two allied nations had been shattered, its energy dispersed and consumed by a team of Sin'dorei and a lone Forsaken ally.
With the coastline secured and Brill put to the flame, Alliance war parties roamed across the fields of Tirisfal, and multiple skirmishes took place as they sacked the Horde's remaining holdings, routing them towards Lordaeron Keep.
As the siege of Tirisfal came to a close, High King Anduin and King Genn's flagships landed, command was exchanged and the Alliance began to solidify the choke on Lordaeron that has been established. In response, Horde leaders such as Saurfang, Baine, Lor'themar and Nathanos rallied to Sylvanas to defend the Undercity. The siege of Lordaeron Keep began.
During the fighting, Berenal remained out on the field with the Blades; forced to retreat when a massive wave of Blight was unleashed. When the blight had dissipated; the Blades retained command in Brill while the Alliance forces moved up to fight within Lordaeron Keep; though the later destruction of the Undercity signaled their need for retreat. Falling back towards the west, towards the Forsaken High Command which had been plunged into disarray; the Blades' retreat was covered by a large amount of undead unleashed by Vathir Bloodsorrow, a death knight in their employ. Angered by this, Berenal told the Death Knight not to return to Gilneas until he was contacted again, and the Blades fell back fully to Fenris Keep. Despite the siege not having ended with Lordaeron's reclamation, Berenal breathed easy for the first time in years in terms of Gilneas' position, as the Undercity's destruction spelled the end of the Horde's constant blade over Gilneas' head.
The War Path
Kul Tiras: Grymmtide's Hollow
Berenal has been known to have had many a woman warm his bed at night, something he isn't ashamed of admitting. However, not many of them have actually been relationships.
Faieryn was a Gilnean huntress Berenal met while rebuilding the Blades, the two had courted for quite sometime. Having proposed to Faieryn during a time of prosperity within the order, the two were near inseperable for quite sometime. Berenal would often go off with her on small trips around the forests to wander and hunt with each other.
She vanished mysteriously one day and her body later turned up several months after her disappearance, much to Berenal's dismay.
Miraania was a Gilnean paladin and was the second person Berenal had any sort of long lasting relationship with. Theirs was mostly flirtatious and caring on their off hours. Despite having had a very close bond, the two did eventually seperate due to various reasons. Miraania eventually ended up marrying Alexander Allen, who would go on to have an affair with Berenal's own wife Katariena. After various outbreaks of violence against other Blades members, her friendship with Berenal eventually ended. She would later disappear, leaving Alexander.
Following the discovery of Pandaria, Miraania once again resurfaced, rejoining the Blades under a false name. Berenal would eventually discover her, and despite their bad ending embraced her back into the fold happily. She would later be killed and resurrected outside of Berenal's knowledge. Upon resurrection her will was bent to the control of a powerful shadowmage under Berenal's employ by sheer chance. Upon discovery of who she was, she was set free and rejoined the Blades while on the path of returning to her roots as a paladin.
Katariena was an afflicted gilnean woman, Berenal's first wife and the mother of his son Liam Eredin Grayblade. Despite her outward appearance as a loving mother and wife, Katariena was prone to spurts of infidelity, especially with Alexander Allen. Upon discovery of this, Berenal threatened to leave her several times, only staying because of the child and her pleading. Though he'd only caught her with Alexander, others have stated to have seen Katariena with other men during her time with Berenal, much to his displeasure.
Katariena went missing following one of the campaigns and ended up being found sometime later dead. She was buried in Stormwind City, where Berenal visited her grave regularly until the news of how deep her infidelity truly was drove him to hate her memory.
Elizabeth was a Lordaeronian scarlet half elf, Berenal's second wife, and the mother of his daughter Rose Grayblade. A former noblewoman with a fair amount of wealth from assets that were reclaimed by her family, the fair Lordaeronian was able to easily seduce the man upon their initial meetings. Elizabeth and Berenal's relationship was troubled early on with infidelity, with frequent bouts between the two of them that would end with neither side pleased. Eventually her infidelity was curbed, but other obstacles made the relationship sour.
Her father, Leon Roslyn, and herself were once members of the Scarlet Crusade, and her father disapproved not only of her relationship with a Gilnean, but with one that was a Worgen. After Elizabeth was nearly assassinated and entered a coma while pregnant with Rose, Leon attempted to take her body from the Blades custody, only to be fended off.
Leon would return several times to attempt to steal Rose from Berenal, each being met with hostility until Elizabeth's awakening. She'd suffered multiple mental lapses during her time following her coma, and had slipped once again into infidelity with another member of the Blades. Berenal, having run out of patience with her constant shifts away from him, ousted her from his life. They divorced and both moved on, with their daughter remaining in Berenal's custody. Some time later, Elizabeth ended up dying; having offended several people during her stints in Stormwind, she was shanked to death in a back alleyway and left for dead.
Sage was a Stormwind born Kirin tor magus, Berenal's fiancee. Having been close friends with Berenal for quite sometime, a romance blossomed one day sometime after both of them had divorced from their spouses. It was a tender and caring relationship, though sometimes strained by the times away from each other they'd spent and how often it would happen.
Unlike his previous two wives, Sage was extremely devoted to Berenal, even in times of absence. They never wed, though were engaged, living a happy life in Gilneas for the most part, both of them having children outside of each other.
Tragically, several months after the marriage Sage was killed in a magical experiment gone wrong that incinerated her body. The incident left Berenal jaded against magic for a short time. She had a memorial built by the Blades in Tempest's Reach that was sent off to sea, and her children are currently in the custody of Sage's uncle, with the exception of Sebastian, who is enlisted in the Blades and has taken Berenal's name.
Caridis is a Lordaeronian born Worgen woman who Berenal met shortly after the forming of the Bulwark and the death of his companion, Sage. Though at first the two were merely flirtatious. Caridis initially sought the commander out for his skills in Engineering, as she was learning the trade and sought some aid in designing a Flying Machine. Eager to help, Lord Grayblade assisted Caridis with constructing her first (working) flying machine. Following this, the commander grew fond of her company and the pair was seen with one another in Silverpine Forest and Gilneas on and off. The two eventually spent a night together and following this spent several months apart.
Following the decline of Grey Haven, Caridis sought Berenal out shortly after the reclamation of Gregor's Crossing. Seeing as many of her old friends had suddenly vanished or gone onto other prospects, Caridis enlisted in the Blades. It wasn't long after until Berenal and Cari's relationship kicked back up, and eventually became official shortly after Karnsburg was secured from the Cobalstants. The two became inseparable, days often spent in each others company alone.
The two's relationship strained due to distance until it came to an abrupt end due to the War against the Iron Horde. Still reeling form the Second Range Rebellion, the Ashen Coast nobility was ordered to remain within Azeroth. Despite this, Caridis charged through the portal after having claimed she would only vanguard up until the portal was clear. As a result, Berenal no longer sought to continue their relationship; as it had been the final straw.
Berenal had a brief tryst with the sin'dorei Nelany Faersong. The two came together in the aftermath of the Shadows of Valor campaign, though it never blossomed into anything extremely significant in terms of the relationship it's self.
The two met on and off during their down periods, and they held an extremely close friendship during their time together. When Faersong ultimately ended up joining the Blades full time alongside some of her order, the two of them ended their tryst, though remain very close friends.
A noblewoman from the Fallow Crest, Berenal met Aleyina as result of an agreement to secure aid for the Ashen Coast and additional funding for the Blades of Greymane. Their interaction was decided from the beginning, as Lady Nathair sought a political arrangement between herself and Berenal.
The arrangement thus far has become more than just agreeable, with the two finding genuine enjoyment with one another's company, though the word 'love' would be a far judgement on the pair.
Since they were married, his wife has acclimated very quickly to his children. Having formally adopted them as her own, his daughter, Rose, in particular has attached herself to Aleyina.
In the time since then, they have had two more children, the twins Desmond and Dahlia.
Berenal's appearance can be split into two categories, his human and worgen form. In both of his forms he possessed a multitude of scars, though most could be seen with greater ease in his human form, without the fur in the way.
Standing at about 6'4", Berenal gives off the appearance of a calculated yet calm man. An ever vigilant gaze to his surroundings, coupled by a face devoid of emotions in most situations, the man could be easily perceived as unsettling to those who might expect the average man. Even with his vigilant disposition, his body language was that of a calmed man.
When closer, one could see his striking light blue eyes which almost at times seem incandescent in nature. Coupled with his piercing gaze, the man seemed to exude a sense of control and even temperament. Running along the left side of his face is a large crescent shaped scar that just barely skates around the eye it's self. Though the eye remains undamaged, the scar still looks like it would have been extremely painful to have obtained as it is somewhat jagged along the outer reaches of the scar, likely from a serrated edge.
His jet black hair sits loftily on his head, billowing down to a neat length and is connected on his face to a rather plentiful beard. Despite the wealth of hair, he takes care to ensure he maintains a well kept and managed appearance. His skin is an average tone, leaning towards the pale side due to the nature of his homeland. Though signs of stress are evident on his features, his face lacks wrinkles and he carries a youthful, if not tempered, appearance.
His body is rigidly trained, broad shoulders coupled with solid muscles and fitting abdominal shaping. A physique that demands maintenance, the man's form showed a perfect blend of strength without sacrificing his mobility. Scars line his chest and arms, eventually running down to his left arm which abruptly meets a metal brace. Along the brace is a hand crafted of moonsteel and obsidium, a replacement for his hand that was lost. The contraption moves fluidly, irremovably attached to the man, and substitutes his missing appendage with ease.
His demeanor depends on the situation at hand, in most situations he is calm and speaks with a commanding presence to his voice. His voice is a deep, somewhat scratchy, tone; coupled with an accent that varies in clarity depending on his mood. In battle or amongst those he is casual with, his accent veers into a less practiced variant; a stark contrast to his usual business tone of clarity.
As a Worgen, Berenal stands at a height larger than most. The pale skin and jet black hair now replaced with dark ebon fur. If possible, his eyes have become even more piercing, taking on the unwavering gaze of the wolf. In this form, his cunning has coupled now with ferocity; adding together to an unsettling mix of control and reckless abandon. Acute awareness seems prominent in his body language, as though constantly taking stock of his surroundings.
His face was that of a large wolf. A maw filled with razor sharp teeth, a nose possessing considerably more strength in terms of its sense. His body language was akin to his human side, though with a distinct edge onto the composure. Rather than the even temperament and calmness, he instead exuded a much more guarded demeanor, the calmness now more akin to a hunter's cunning than a politician or businessman. Once more, his crescent scar made its appearance in this form as well through slightly discolored fur that ran along the marred skin.
In this form, his muscles expand out to suit his larger height. Still evenly toned, the worgen's inherent swiftness along with his built body allows for the man to strike with even more power and agility. With fur to cover it, the scars that lined the worgen's body were oft not seen, aside from occasional discoloration of the fur akin to his facial scar. The metalic hand shifts to suit his transformation, now similar to that of his worgen claw, so as to continue the transition as a suitable replacement to match his still flesh wolvine claw.
His demeanor in his worgen form is, as before, dependant on mood. More often than not, he will not transition ito this form outside of a hostile situation. As a result, his voice is often met with a less practiced accent, a deeper baratone now added on top of his typically scratchy voice.
Weaponry and Armaments
Berenal is known for his use of various types of weapons. From guns to bows to swords, the man has been known for a wide arsenal at his disposal, but prefers a few specific weapons when on the field.
Berenal's most well known armor is a set of finely crafted Moonsteel armor. Coupled with sturdy leather, the armor is a mix of lobstered mail and very minor amounts of plate along his shoulders. Blackened and usually accompanied by a cloak of some sort, the mail has seen Berenal through the entirity of the Legion's invasion to Azeroth, and has served him well in many battles. The armor it's self is well maintained and parts are often replaced as they are damaged in battle; though the style of the armor is almost always kept the same.
Because of its lighter quality, Berenal is often able to retain his agility when using this armor; as it has been fitted specially to adapt between his human and worgen forms.
A gift from his wife, Aleyina Nathair, the Iscian plate is a set of Galuyn-made platemail that was gifted to Berenal following a near disastrous excursion beyond the wall. Taking inspiration from the woman's diety, Iscia, the plate is inspired partially off of a serpentine design. Coupled with chainmail and leather, the armor is much more durable than Berenal's standard Moonwrought Armor; but otherwise serves its purpose well.
While he still prefers his moonwrought armor, Berenal has taken to wearing the Iscian Plate when intense battles are upon the horizon, as the extra protection allows him to continue fighting. While rarely adorned with it, the Plate comes with a helmet akin to a headdress; inspired from the appearance of the water serpent Iscia.
Berenal's favored weapon in his arsenal is a two handed sword named Fenrus. Finely crafted with a iron vine motif along the blade, the sword was gifted to him by Lord Xavier Gregor for his leadership and service to the Kingdom of Gilneas. Following Bite's being damaged at the Battle of Andorhal, Berenal took up Fenrus in order to continue defending himself on the field. The blade saw its first use during the Blades' return to the Ashen Coast of Gilneas in order to reclaim Gregor's Crossing from the mercenaries that had besieged it.
During the push to reclaim the town's docks, Fenrus was shattered by a tauren mercenary, and was later repaired using Elven steel by Ranger Lady Aeriyth Dawnsorrow. This was done as an insurance measure for the blade to be even more durable should it break again. As the High Commander became more accustomed to plate mail armor, Fenrus slowly began to replace Bite as his primary weapon until the gun was repaired following the retaking of Karnsburg.
The Blade went through a final iteration when it was re-crafted entirely out of Ash Iron; as Xavier's original iteration had been a blend of the material and standard steel. Having lasted Berenal through many a war, it was enchanted by a scion of Goldrinn, thus allowing it to channel the fury of the Wolf Ancient. While Berenal is not adapt at channeling magic, the blade's ability comes forth as enhancing his strikes; only erupting out when he needs it the most.
Berenal's most long lived weapon is his heavily modified rifle named Bite. Originally a simple hunting rifle, Berenal's constant modifications and switching of parts on the piece have left little of the original design in tact. A highly accurate scope, custom made ammunition, a mahogany wood stock and a barrel made of the finest metal money can buy, the weapon is truly an example of fine Gilnean craftsmanship. The gun is finished with a sharpened bayonet used for slicing, rather than stabbing as the blade is not longer than the barrel.
Bite was damaged and broken at the Second Battle of Andorhal by a member of the Kor'kron during final assault on the Forsaken's section of the city. The gun was repaired following the purge of Cobal's Hold and the retaking of Karnsburg, however it has seen little use since then. Having an emotional tie to the sword with the death of Lord Xavier, and having grown accustomed to leading alongside his men, Berenal rarely brandishes the gun, favoring his blade instead.
An extremely old yet well maintained dagger knife that has been in the Grayblade family for generations. Designed with wolf head pommel, the knife has seen Berenal through many situations and he always keeps it on him at all times. It was used by Haverin Grayblade when the Grayblade Manor was raided, and was tossed out the window in an attempt to slay one of the home invaders. Berenal found the knife on the streets of Bannhurst before the evacuation and has kept it with him ever since then.
Originally an elven runeblade known as Faral'amir, gifted to Berenal. It was an extremely old, yet durable blade made of fine elven steel and engraved with several runes of unknown power. It was shattered during the Battle for Andorhal when Berenal deflected an oncoming blow meant for the League of Lordaeron soldier Alverdo Blackmoore. Following the battle, Faral'amir was reforged into a different weapon.
Following Faral'amir's shattering, Berenal had the blades' metal smelted with dwarven steel to create an entirely new longsword. Naming it Cerberus, the longsword can be found on Berenal's person at all times, bearing none of the runes of its predecessor. Cerberus is commonly used alongside a large spiked shield when used in battle. Cerberus was altered and forged alongside a second blade into two serrated true gold broadswords, used when the Duke dual wields.
Berenal is known to be a kind soul to those who have earned his trust, and respectful to those he has just met (bar the Horde). A strong believer in Alliance unification, Berenal is opposed to internal fighting within the Alliance, having seen how it weakened Gilneas as a nation, and how strong they stood against the Forsaken threat when finally reunited.
His opinions of those who cross him are usually harsh at first, but mellow over time and are eventually forgiving. Those who cross him a second time do not get such graces ever again.
Though initially apprehensive of the life of courts and nobility, Berenal has become surprisingly adept at managing and maneuvering the political landscape. Possessing some what of a silver tongue, the Duke has been known to win over potential allies and make fast friends.
Berenal is a worshiper of the Light and the Old Ways, though he rarely professes his faith in the latter. He is known to venerate Goldrinn for the tenacity and virtues he exemplifies. Though not a religious man, Berenal has taken time on occasion to pray, normally at night when his children are asleep.