"Those who stand before me are my enemies. Those who stand behind me are my allies. But those who stand beside me, they are my friends. And for them, I'd give the world."
-The Creed of House Swiftarrow
War hero, renegade, traitor, patriot. Cyonos Swiftarrow has been called numerous things over the years, due to being known for unorthodox methods to achieve his goals. His actions have often been verging on scandalous, but the results have always out-weighed the risks. Of the most recent note, he has been exiled from Quel'thalas for willfully rejoining the Alliance a scant few months following the Purge of Dalaran, in an attempt to rally more Elven people against Garrosh Hellscream.
He stands just under six feet tall with jet black hair held back in a foxtail styling. While not exactly as slim in build as other High/Blood Elves, he's not as stocky as Night Elves, being well-toned in his muscle mass from years of military service. His body and face has numerous scars, most notably one along his chin up to below his ear. Beneath is armor is a few large ones running along his back, and one across his chest. No tattoos are branded upon his skin.
His most notable distinction is his eyes. While he freely identifies himself as a Blood Elf, his eyes betray a far different story. Instead of the green glow and irises most often accompany the heavily-fel infused Blood Elfs, and their distant Felblood cousins, Cyonos's glow with a fainter green, while his irises are blue streaked with green. The afore mentioned is because, while Cyonos identifies himself as a Blood Elf, he did not heavily partake in Fel Energy usage as others did. Meaning, where other Blood Elves became so enraptured by it, Cyonos' affection was only passing glances.
Of late, he has ceased identifying as a Blood Elf, and instead simply addresses himself as Thalassian. He's began to wear a much, much older suit of armor, emblazoned with the crests of House Swiftarrow, colored black and gold. It can be noted that he still wields Longstrike, a bow he had crafted in Silvermoon following the restoration of the Sunwell, which still bears Sin'dorei aspects.
Cyonos was born nearly three and a half centuries before the opening of the Dark Portal. His days as a youth were wrought with hardship, as from the first day he could walk and talk, he was gruelingly trained. Days were spent in the courtyards of Swiftarrow Estate, under his father's near-fanatical training regiment, while nights were spent in the library to learn things any other youth would learn. While these events of his early life shaped him in the future, it left a gaping schism between he and his father.
At the age of sixteen, Cyonos was formally inducted in the Farstrider Academy. With his childhood of training, he was able to far exceed his fellow students, going so far as to even exceed a few teachers. He came under the tutelage of one Ranger-Captain Surthas Dawnwhisper, to whom Cyonos quickly took a fond respect for. Dawnwhisper taught Swiftarrow to think far outside the norm, to see possibilities where few may be seen. The impacts of these teachings would not be seen until years later, far after Cyonos graduated top of his class.
After completing his official training, Cyonos was put under the command of Ranger-Captain Athelan Skybreak. In the deployments to follow, Cyonos repeatedly fell back to his training under Captain Dawnwhisper. In such instances, he would blatantly break formation and disobey commands. Though he would achieve results that the entire squad could not replicate, Cyonos was often reprimanded as being "Hot-headed, disobedient, and a downright nuisance", as described by Captain Skybreak. It was during this time that he was pressed with immediate dishonorable discharge from the Ranger Corps as well as exile from House Swiftarrow, with support of such coming from Captain Skybreak, and even his own father, citing that "No Swiftarrow son shall act in such regard." His saving grace came from his grandfather, Ranger-Lord Seremas Swiftarrow. It was due to Seremas' political and hierarchical pull that Cyonos did not face penalties, but was rather promoted to Ranger-Sergeant, and placed under the command of none other then his old friend and mentor, Captain Surthas Dawnwhisper.
The Dawn's Whisper and The Vengeance
Induction into Captain Surthas' squad, called the Dawn's Whisper, came with tumult in House Swiftarrow. The Dawn's Whisper was one of the Ranger-Corps numerous special operations squads, and was in direct rivalry with House Swiftarrow's own Vengeance. While the bulk of Swiftarrow's Vengeance saw this as an interesting way to poke fun at one another, Lazarus Swiftarrow saw it as an affront. Father and son soon after degraded into a hated rivalry of their own, often coming to blows. Even at home, their rivalry would remain unabated.
The Second War
Over the years, Cyonos and the Dawn's Whisper came to be begrudgingly respected. They were infamous for their use of unorthodox methods, often employing traps, ambushes, and methods that left their enemies scattered and frayed at the nerves rather then just dead. They were also reputable for causing infighting in their enemies, notably by stealing possessions and replacing them entirely elsewhere. Having been denied the ability to join in the First War, the Rangers would not miss their opportunity to join the brewing Second War. With the Razing of Quel'thalas, the Convocation of Silvermoon officially brought Quel'thalas into the Alliance of Lordaeron, and with it, the Ranger Corps.
In a surprising turn of events, House Swiftarrow's Vengeance was the first to sustain casualties, having been captured and detained in Hillsbrad. Captain Surthas, while laughing at the idea, lead the Dawn's Whisper and Alliance forces in rescuing the way-laid Vengeance Squad. The joint squads then razed the nearby Troll and Horde base of operations, and after a tense stand-off between Cyonos and Lazarus, parted ways.
The Dawn's Whisper moved south along the warpath, fighting it's way through Khaz Modan as Alliance forces liberated the Dwarves. It moved further south, always with it's own mindset in the war, striking victory after morale-breaking victory over the Horde. It was not until the final battle did the Dawn's Whisper taste defeat. Facing down the Horde in a critical moment, Captain Surthas Dawnwhisper was killed. Rather then be broken by the loss of their leader, Cyonos rallied the men and women he had fought beside for centuries. The Horde was routed at the Dark Portal, and the Alliance held victory of the Second War. For his actions, Cyonos was promoted to Ranger-Captain, and the Dawn's Whisper renamed to Dawnwhisper's Memory. Though tempted to follow Ranger-Captain Alleria Windrunner to Draenor, they instead returned home to Quel'thalas, awaiting their next mission.
Fall of House Swiftarrow
The Horde was routed, it's remnants scattered or put in internment camps. Quel'thalas retracted from the Alliance, much to the displeasure of House Swiftarrow, who fully believed that for a better Azeroth, they should remain. After their words fell on deaf ears, House Swiftarrow relegated itself back to it's previous missions. For twenty years they remained, hounding the Amani trolls, just as they had in the past. So close to the borders of Quel'thalas, House Swiftarrow began hearing rumors of Crown Prince Arthas Menethil degrading into madness, with rumors even attesting that he had murdered his own father. Such rumors were quickly found true, as Arthas began leading his army of the undead into Quel'thalas. With such a threat ravaging it's way through the ancient forests, it's denizens were quick to rally to a new war. Under the command of the Ranger-General herself, House Swiftarrow was the first to the frontlines.
Skirmishes were quick and bloody. For every hundred Undead that the Rangers of House Swiftarrow slew, they lost a Retainer or Kinsmen. Before Arthas had even breached the First Elfgate, House Swiftarrow's forces had been nearly quartered. It was during this first assualt that Seremas Swiftarrow was killed. Cyonos offered no arguement as Lazarus Swiftarrow took the mantle of Lordship and continued the command of the House. It would later weigh heavily on Cyonos' heart that, to his eyes, his father lead them to a quick and dark demise using rank and file strategies that were all too predictable, and with the fall of the Second Elfgate, House Swiftarrow was brought to the brink of death with only a hundred remaining. Falling back to the island of Quel'Danas, the defenders made their last stand. Hope seemed bleak following the death of Sylvanas Windrunner, but morale was restored as Anastarian Sunstrider took to the battlefield. The morale was short-lived, and tragically, the Scourge were victorious, tainting the Sunwell and leaving Quel'thalas a desolate, broken shadow of the past. House Swiftarrow had been killed to the last few men and women. It's Bloodline, which had spanned since the War of the Ancients, was destroyed down to Cyonos and his cousin Andrenor. It was an incident that would forever-more weigh on him.
With Quel'thalas in ruins, his family dead or scattered, and all he fought for torn to pieces around him, Cyonos left Quel'thalas. Across all of Northern Lordaeron were pieces of the Scourge. In a survivor-guilt induced anguish, Cyonos began his own war against the Scourge, assassinating cultists, disrupting their covens, all the while hunting for faces he knew from home. On ocassion, he had some contact with Alliance forces, who delivered the knowledge that Kael'thas Sunstrider had given the High Elves renewed hope, and a fitting new name. While he was quick to adopt the Blood Elven name, he kept his distance from the rest of his kinsmen, eventually taking a departure from the ruins of Silvermoon.
It has only of late been revealed why he departed. During the Invasion of Quel'thalas, numerous members of his family were resurrected as ghouls, banshees, and other forms of Undead. Cyonos took it upon himself to hunt them down and lay them to rest, and in some hopes, find his own death, and an escape from the guilt he carried of surviving. For years, he wandered through the Plaguelands of Northern Lordaeron, numerous treks from the ruins of Stratholme down all the way to Silverpine Forests, and after a grueling journey, found the end of his quest at Agamand Mills. There, he hunted down and ended the sufferings of his family, laying to rest a father he despised, and a brother he loved. His brother was given a proper cremation. His father, simply thrown off the cliff side, for the oceans to take.
Three years spent away from Silvermoon, away from the ruins and wreckage, the ghost and echoes. After his self-imposed exile came to an end, Cyonos carried himself back to Quel'thalas, weary and seeking any glimmer of hope. He returned to find Silvermoon rising once more. Under the guidance of Grand Magister Rommath, the city had magical power aplenty to feed upon. Though to Cyonos, it was bitter-sweet. The Sunwell was tainted, and only to be repalced by fel magics. And like so many others who carried the name Blood Elf, he learned how to feed upon these fel magics. Though he rarely indulged on the magics that flowed through Quel'thalas, the ambient energy often rolled his stomach, and he was soon caught midway between appearances. The soft blue glow that signified so many of his High Elven brethren soon took on the unearthly green hue associated with the Sin'dorei. But he was home at last. And that home needed it's Rangers.
He started on Sunstrider isle, among so many refugees who had lost their way. He saw first had the new troubles that would plague the Thalassian people, the horrors that became Wretched. He saw still the Scourge who gripped his homeland in a rotting fist. With grim determination, he joined in the newest adventurers, purging the Ghostlands of numerous Scourge strongholds. It was soon after that the rebuilding nation of Quel'thalas found itself under the banner of the Horde. Cyonos soon found himself marching along side some of the very same Orcs who he stood against some two decades prior. He always had a penchant, though, for using non-lethal attacks on his new enemies in the Alliance.
After months of earning his place in the Horde, he was eager to join the rest of his kin in the newly explored Outlands. Promised a paradise by Rommath, it was an anxious venture for all Sin'dorei. One that did not lead to the promised land, but to another warzone. In the broken remains of Outland, the beloved Prince Kael'thas had lost his mind, serving a new, dark master and turning on those fortunate enough to have just arrived. Cyonos quickly fell in with a group of renegades from the ranks of Kael'thas' elite, becoming a valuable asset to the Scryers, and Shattrath City as a whole. Following the downfall of the Sunfury Blood Elves, Cyonos enjoyed a brief respite, taking some downtime in Shattrath City, intent on aiding the numerous refugees that came into the city.
This would all change some months later during the Shattered Sun. A twisted, malformed Kael'thas returned to Azeroth, intent on his dark master's bidding, of bringing forth Kil'jaeden the Deceiver. The famous alliance of Scryers and Aldor, come to be known as the Shattered Sun Offensive, was mobilized to the Isle of Quel'Danas. Cyonos was quick to join this new battlefront, but not without new merits. Having proven himself once again loyal to his homeland, he was officially recognized as the Lord of the House Swiftarrow, and promoted in rank to Ranger-Lord. Cyonos would find himself leading battles in the days to come as the battles for Quel'Danas raged.