"People have various responses to pain. 'How' denotes disbelief. 'Who' is a sign of truest betrayal. 'Where' is a want to return to a homeland. 'When' is so rarely used, and quite the enigma. But, my favorite will always be 'Why'."
-Myranaes Blackmaw, from The Word of Myranaes
Myranaes Blackmaw is a Demon Hunter, former Illidari, and a shell of a man once driven to do good. Myranaes once served the Illidari, but after a grave transgression, was exiled and forced to slowly be corrupted mind, body, and soul by the demon he is bound to.
After a reincarnation ceremony of forced reconstitution in the nether, Myranaes has changed from a rabid animal to a composed and deadly hunter. He is hellbent on the collection of knowledge, subterfuge, and obliteration of anything that stands against him or his.
After a ritual of forced reconstitution in the nether, Myranaes' mind and body healed. In the place of an animal driven by savagery and need, Blackmaw has become a man of unbridled cruelty and ambition. Proud, unashamed, and unrestrained in performing any action. The true epitome of a monster.
Myranaes' current form is almost entirely different from his old body, though not without obvious similarities. His patchy purple skin is completely covered in a ochre exoskeleton. His head, bared of chitin has actual hair rather than the wiry strands of before. They remain bone white, but are immaculately cared for-- save for the various cobwebs and small arachnids that skitter between his locks.
His mouth is in a serpentine shape, with a 'main' mouth used for speaking and polite eating, and a 'second' mouth that uses the whole of his jaws. His teeth are manifold, wicked sharp, and black, similar to his gums. Churning in the depths of his throat and coating his teeth is a virulent venom.
His horns are also different. Rather than going straight out to either side like a normal Aranasi they curve inward and rise upward, but hold the same axe-like shape and thickness. They are typically sharpened to act as a secondary blade in a pinch.
Rather than being lanky, Myranaes' new form is lean but muscular. The build of a professional runner. His arms reach a bit past his knees, and his hands posses shorter claws but more normal hands. His legs remain the same, though with the same build, and longer talons.
The most significant change is his lack of wings. Instead his back is just smooth chitin.
Myr's clothes are still unwashed, but never superbly dirty. The cloth is stained with demon blood, making it take on a pearly gray and black color. Small bits of metal cling to certain seams of the rags. The only thing untorn in some way is his belt, made of what appears to be wood from a tree of the Ghostlands, and a clutch of unhatching eggs. His tunic is completely torn away, only leaving bone shards and tattered cloth on his upper chest.
Myranaes' tattoos remain purple as a basis, but typically glow with whatever magic he's casting. They thrum with sorcery at almost all times, even when seemingly not in use, acting as a binding for his anarchic form.
Sirocco, the Wind of the South
Sirocco, the Wind of the South is a flaming scimitar of ancient make that Myranaes hunted for in Tanaris. The blade burns with ever flickering flames, and holds a power that even he has not fully gotten used to. The blade holds great power in arid environments.
Paired with the blade is a parrying sword, slightly dulled and curved to allow for ease in parrying strikes for riposting with devastating effect.
When not wielding his blade, Myranaes remains a formidable combatant, with millennia of experience in CQC and dexterity / strength that far outstrips a normal person. The Demon Hunter has long and sharp claws, hooked to tear flesh, but also to assist in climbing.
As mentioned previously, his mouth is lined with a virulent venom. This is similar to the bite of a black widow, with additional and more severe effects. In smaller doses, it causes stiff muscles, vomiting, pain, rash, and weakness. In larger doses, it can effect the brain directly, causing not only aforementioned symptoms, but paranoia, amnesia, insomnia, and death. Myranaes has given samples of his venom to allies in the past. He calls it 'Turtle Juice', due to its slow and steady progression to death.
After his regeneration, Myranaes is a far more lucid person, having a greater level of control over his own emotions and desires. His lack of empathy has been filled with true feeling. This has not made him any more repentant, or even much more of a good person. He is a ruthless, vile, cunning, and brutal man who obtains joy in the pain of others and satisfaction in destruction. However, in the same vein, he can be a courteous man; kind, giving, and sharing a sense of camaraderie with others.
With the addition of a sense of self worth, Myranaes has become even more of a self-centered person, though not for the same reasons. His ambition and desire to succeed is no longer for the sake of survival, but for himself. This has freed him of his whatever reservations existed previously, and skyrocketed his resolve. Having a mate has also helped this ambition, as he now fights for the sake of two people, rather than one.
He's still a cannibal. But really he only eats people stained or containing copious amounts of magic.
Myranaes holds a very primal 'survival of the fittest' mindset, with an emphasis on personal strength and power. Myranaes despises nobles for this very reason, seeing them as little more than parasites that leech off the blood of those who are stronger. Some exceptions exist(lords who fight on the front lines), but none for Highborne who still cling to nobility.
The Horde and Alliance seem to be no matter for Myranaes, though he does hold a high level of racism. He calls humans 'pink skins', Quel/Sin'dorei 'mutants', and so on. Different from other forms of racism, however, he sees no race as a 'master' over any other. As time has gone on, however, Myranaes has begun to see the Horde as not only a nuisance, but one that he feels should be destroyed root and stem to ensure a continuation of his own life.
He holds a specific disdain for those who remain with Illidari, primarily due to his banishment. He frequently calls Illidari 'filthy loyalists' and 'Kayn loving milk drinkers', among other things. He is not, however, above being civil when needed.
One aspect of his personality that isn't often seen is his cordiality to opponents. As seen during the Tournament of Ages, Myranaes bowed before his opponents after their fights and expressed a surprising level of politeness towards the Illidari loyalists he had faced.
House Starstream was, at one point, a lesser noble house assigned to a minor plot of land outside of Meredil(now known as Fel Soul Hold) within Suramar. This land, Are'taeis Valley, was known for its fertile soil and lush farmland. Myranaes' grandfather, Maes'ail Starstream, lead the family as patriarch, while his grandmother Danaia Starstream was known for her calm and kind demeanor. Seen as a champion of the people and a paragon of the peasantry, House Starstream thrived outside of the political games played by the noble houses.
The house was, for many years, seen as a peasants house, as many farming oriented houses were. Maes'ail, specifically, was seen as a fraud and one barely deserving the title of Highborn due to his marriage of Danaia, a commoner Night Elf. Indeed, House Starstream was seen as nothing but a political liability, but one whose contributions to Suramar were not negligible.
Thousands of years before the War of the Ancients, insects still roamed countrysides unmolested, as families lacked the abilities to ward them off. A particularly large swarm of locusts was born in a certain year, and laid waste to the farmlands. Famine in the communities struck hard and fast, killing many and forcing rationing. Even the capital of the region suffered greatly from this particular lack of food. The two areas exempt from this strike were the lush and far northwestern regions of Suramar nearest to Val'sharah, and Are'taeis Valley.
House Starstream helped the region through the famine, its peasants and people working overtime to feed the families of many. Though a large number of people in Suramar died from this unfortunate event, House Starstream redeemed itself in the eyes of the nobles for their selfless sacrifice, though the matriarch of the House was still seen as rabble, much to Maes'ail's dismay.
Suramar was not the only area that felt the influence of House Starstream's crops. The capital of the Kaldorei Empire, Zin'Azshari, also received a great bounty from the efforts of the house, including a notable restocking of already dwindling Starlight Rose supply, an essential ingredient in high levels of Alchemy.
As a personal token of thanks for the work of the House, the House was permitted rights to additional plots of fertile land in the valley, elevating the house from a Lordship to what amounted to a County among the Empire. Many farms at this point were placed under the command of House Starstream, though the greatest of them remained out of reach. Content in their position, House Starstream remained the valuable workhorse of the empire.
All was not well in the capital, at this time. Queen Azshara had been making deals with the Burning Legion, being assured power even greater than the Well could give. House Starstream was unaware of the Queen's betrayal until it was far too late. Even then, Lord Maes'ail could not accept that their beautiful and wise queen had turned to the darkness. Though it took a great deal of convincing from his wife, the patriarch chose to throw in his allegiance with the rebellion.
Although the lands of Azsuna and Val'sharah proved valuable buffers to the holdings of the House, the demonic army was cunning and powerful beyond imagination.
The Dreadlord Vezelahc, in particular, saw the crops and farmland of House Starstream as a valuable asset to aid their mortal collaborators. After having demonic agents kill Danais in her sleep, Vezelahc took the form of Danais to slowly corrupt Maes'ail. Over the years of the War of the Ancients, Maes'ail was turned from the path of the rebellion, and began supplying the loyalist forces of Azshara once more.
Following the battle of Zin'Azshari and the collapse of the Well of Eternity, Maes'ail and the outlying territories of House Starstream were swallowed by the sea. The corrupt lord was consumed by the land, along with over 60% of his territory.
Myrais Starstream and Tenia Starstream, the children of Maes'ail, found no respite among the capital they had once supplied. It was locked behind a massive arcane shield, due to the decision of Elisande and what would become the Nightborne.
To survive, the holdings of the Starstream family were abandoned and the family became transient rogues, little more than bandits feeding on the survivors of the empire's destruction.
Myranaes was born from an incestuous birth from Myraeis and Tenia, an act that had become commonplace since the fall of the empire. His name had no solid meaning behind it, outside of holding the "M" at the start of their name customary to the House. Myranaes was born with a cleft lip and various facial deformations, as well as having a particularly weak immune system.
The child's survival past the first week was seen as a miracle, his survival in the coming years deemed a near impossibility. Myranaes was never referred to by his surname, both by parents and others alike. He was seen as a mistake, without the ability to fend for the family and thrive. Regular beatings from his mother and the cold apathy of his father made Myranaes a cynic quickly, losing most of his hope for a happy childhood and a prosperous life.
House Starstream had reason for its violence-- their poor and nomadic lifestyle had depleted most of their ranks, being killed off by the residents of Val'sharah, unwelcome in the lands of Azsuna, and helpless against the Vrykul of Stormheim. The bandits lifestyle became difficult as supplies dwindled. Some attempted to return to the Starstream homeland of Are'tais, only to find that it had been overran by the specters and ghosts of vengeful ancestors, restless and spiteful to the disgraced house.
Myranaes, however, remained with his family, with very little else to do. To put his lanky form and excellence in escaping beatings or stealing food to use, Myranaes became a hunter for the family.
Of course, the meat Myranaes hunted was elven.
Youth to Adulthood
Though hated by his family and seen as little more than a timed death, Myranaes chose to assist his dwindling house by thievery and killing newly exiled Night Elves from Suramar City. Myranaes' form and trained swiftness became his greatest strength, as he and some members of his house became experts at robbing caravans. Myranaes himself was an excellent bait for careless caravans and altruistic exiles.
Very little discrimination went into these raids, be they deposed nobles to druids. All that mattered was survival of the fittest, and Myranaes wanted to be the fittest, even if he could not by birth. The nearly anorexic youth barely survived by the table scraps of his raids, never once questioning the beatings he received. He did find himself stealing food more and more often as time went on.
Though it was at one point an unspoken and shameful thing, the Starstream tribe slowly begun to eat more and more elves, not just the hunters. Cannibalism became commonplace among House Starstream, as it became one of the few means of survival. Myranaes was disgusted with the acts of his people, but nonetheless, ate in the flesh of kin. Though deep down, the hunter actually enjoyed consuming the flesh of men.
In the depths of the mountains around Tel'anor, Myranaes and his family made permanent camp. Their raids were quick and efficient, bringing back weeks worth of meals and supplies for his people. For a time, Myranaes seemed to be truly happy. Beatings were rare, his father had died, life was good. But deep down, he still understood there was no greatness to be found with his kin.
Indeed, house Starstream became little more than a feral clan of cannibals, fallen far from grace. Myranaes would become its sole heir, but even he would cast off the ruined house name after his rise to being a demon hunter.
Becoming a Hunter
By this time, Myranaes was easily over 300 years old, and had been the only one to remain relatively true to himself. Myranaes partook in the cannibalistic tendencies of his family, though remained relatively sane through this time. He found himself as one of the few sane members of his family remaining, as the flesh and isolation begun to cloud their minds, and inbreeding mutated children into stunted and gross forms.
After a chance encounter with a warlock from the old Highborne empire, Myranaes would meet with his soon-to-be Shan'do, Ther'enoch the Vigil. Ther'enoch disappeared shortly after the encounter, not to appear again for more than five years.
When he did reappear, Ther'enoch saved Myranaes from a squad of Moon Guard who had tracked him down, obliterating the magi with potent Fel magics. Ther'enoch offered Myranaes the chance to become like him, a creature of immeasurable power and transcended existence- a demon hunter. Myranaes was hesitant at first, but eventually accepted Ther'enoch's offer of power. He never looked back to his family.
Myranaes soon after left Suramar, going to the abandoned isle of Faronaar where Ther'enoch kept camp, to begin the long path of darkness.
Myranaes lived with his Shan'do to train and condition him to become the ultimate weapon. Alongside a handful of others, Ther'enoch was one of the few Demon Hunters who existed after the War of the Ancients, such as Illysanna Ravencrest. His training was physically and mentally exhausting, designed to root out any weakness and annihilate it. Trials by fire were often, as was hitting the books to learn the intricacies of magic and physically conditioning his body to be the best it could be.
For example, Myranaes held an extreme fear of the open ocean due to an event in his early childhood. To alleviate this, Ther'enoch threw Myranaes into a hostile stretch of the ocean and directed him to swim back. Unbeknownst to Myranaes, said stretch was mostly harmless, though the fear convinced the young Thero'shan it was treacherous.
Myranaes was trained in sparring, magical use, and swordplay by his master for over three thousand years. Most of this training after the first thousand years was the killing of feral demons and remnants of the Highborne empire, those few warlocks that remained loyal to the memory of Azshara. The Broken Isles remained secluded from outside eyes, and would remain so until the Guardian, Aegwynn, would bury the Avatar of Sargeras within the Tomb of Sargeras.
Throughout his training, Myranaes never chose to visit-- or even see-- Suramar. What little he saw of his family at the time seemed nigh indistinguishable from the withered, and were slain as such. Myranaes himself did not know what happened to his family, and yet still remains unsure, six thousand years later.
Thus, once countless years had passed, Myranaes was deemed ready to be bound.
The Aranasi who would become Myranaes' bind, Vex'nala, was a commander during the War of the Ancients. One of the most feared of the Aranasi for her brutality and cunning, Vex'nala was fought by Ther'enoch during the War. This battle took hours on end, without either one seeming to be any more victorious.
When finally defeated, the Aranasi commander's soul was severely wounded with a powerful spell from the Shan'do. This attack significantly weakened Ther'enoch to perform, and the Hunter would never fully recover from the injury he had inflicted upon himself.
Myranaes, when he was deemed worthy, was given the tattoos of binding and presented with the brutal soul of Vex'nala. Thousands of years of solitude had driven the ancient demon to near insanity, little more than a beast of extreme power, though incredibly dangerous and cunning nonetheless. Myranaes was given only one glaive to slay the demon.
Thousands of years of training had did the man well, and had trained him to fight with what he held. After a lengthy conflict, a battle of cunning against cunning, Myranaes slew Vex'nala and consumed her heart.
Myranaes' transformation was into a significantly different form. He became androgynous(due to the consumption of a broodmother), with scaly skin, and developed the double jointed legs and lanky form of the Aranasi. With it, Myranaes gained a psychic control over arachnids and significant magical prowess.
Following this binding, Myranaes changed his surname to Sharptalon, and began the arduous work of a vigilant hunter. Ther'enoch would not be present to join him.
The Thero'shan having become a master of his art, Ther'enoch held little more to teach the newly formed hunter. Mere days after the binding, Ther'enoch disappeared from Faronaar, without a trace. Myranaes would spend years searching, but only found breadcrumbs leading to nothing
For the first time in his life, Myranaes was alone.
For thousands of years until the liberation of Illidan Stormrage, Myranaes would wander across Azeroth, learning about the world and freeing himself from the bindings of the isles. From the Eastern Kingdoms to Kalimdor, Myranaes explored uncharted lands.
From the high deserts and forests to the sand dunes and jungles, Myranaes slew demon and man alike. For many years, this was his life, an isolated man. Very little of significance occurred during these years, as the Hunter simply went through life and did as he willed.
Myranaes' solitude would end with the re-awakening of Illidan, and his exodus to the Black Temple(though Myranaes continued to stalk the wilds during the majority of the Third War). The Hunter joined the master at the temple, where he would stay for the years leading up to the second opening of the Black Portal.
Rise and Fall
Myranaes became a respected, if somewhat unliked, member of the Illidari. His millennia of experience in combat and magic made him a valued ally and skilled combatant. Slowly, the Spider rose through the ranks to great heights. During this time, his ambition and lust of knowledge began to crystallize into cruel determination to achieve. Thus, when both ambition and lust for power were one, tragedy was destined to strike.
During a binding of an initiate, the ritual was botched and forced to be aborted. Said initiate was corrupted beyond salvaging-- or so most assumed. The girl's body was brought to Myranaes, where he executed a long forbidden Draenei ritual of soul manipulation.
The spell worked, in a sense. While he was able to separate the soul of the demon from the mortal, the mortal soul had been all but consumed by the demon. Myranaes consumed the soul of the demon, and did something far worse with that of the initiate.
He placed the fragment of the soul, still sentient to some degree, into an arachnid homonculus.
In secrecy, Myranaes began to harvest the souls of failed initiates and dead hunters, placing them within sapient and mobile soulstones. These crystal spiders became symbols of his work; his lust for knowledge and ambition to transcend mortality. He collected his research into a diary / journal that he would call the Word of Myranaes, which remains lost to this day.
His actions did not stop at the harvesting of initiates. Myranaes tested on the Ashtongue, Naga, and even his fellow Hunters who had been sent on missions with him. With honeyed and sorrowing tones he would claim they had perished, when in truth they languished in his chambers. At times, his tests were for the purpose of knowledge, writing in his journal among a chorus of screams. Sometimes, it was just for the thrill of making another disappear in agony and solitude.
Of course, this deception and cruelty would go unnoticed until the focus of the Illidari had turned inward in the months preceding the Siege of the Black Temple. Azhek Bloodthorn, an enforcer among the Illidari, broke into his chamber to inspect it, finding the flayed bodies of allies and enemies alike. Disgusted, the enforcer fought and won against Myranaes before bringing him to justice.
Myranaes was brought before the Illidari Council and his peers to receive judgement for his crimes against the Illidari. Rather than death(deemed a far too lenient punishment), the bindings between Myranaes' demon and his own soul were shattered, throwing him into chaos. Azhek himself would be the one to shatter Myranaes' essence, a strike similar to Ther'enoch's act against Vex'nala. He was then banished from the Black Temple, and left to rot, go insane, or some combination of the two, while his kin invaded Mardum.
With the help of Vex'nala, her voice having become audible once the chains to her ego were weakened, Myranaes was able to understand the means of his execution and wound. Fate continued to be on the Demon Hunter's side, as he kept his soul together by the consumption of other souls. Faux bonds were formed from the souls of other creatures, to glue the hunter's decaying form together. This matter, of course, required the nigh constant consumption of others. A choice Myranaes accepted with gusto.
Thus, Myranaes hearkened back to his roots and once more became a cannibal, hunting the wastes for soldiers and demons alike. His bonds worked, though they didn't stop his body itself from rotting and changing into a horror. Myranaes mutated into a beast with the form of a man-- not Aranasi, and not elf either. He was something more and something less.
Myranaes returned to Azeroth and begun to feast and hunt in areas that were forgotten by the governments of the world. He roamed the countryside of Elwynn, consuming farms and their families on a hungering whim. He became a boogeyman for the residents of Quel'thalas, hunting down travelers on the road and feasting on their flesh and their essence. On occasion, he would sneak into boats to travel to Kalimdor, revisiting the land and hunting there too.
However, one event would change Myranaes from his chaotic and cruel ways. Killing an elven child brought back emotions to the man he had lost, and forced introspection and grief.
In a sort of penance, Myranaes returned to the Broken Isles(during the Pandaria campaign, nearly five years before the Isles were revisited) and made a home in the tunnels beneath Suramar City. There he continued his hunt, as it was essential to his survival, but became far less of a monster and more of an animal.
Five years later, Myranaes would have his life changed.
Myranaes welcomed the new arrivals to the Broken Isles as any hunter would-- as nice new morsels. This time, however, the man was pursued and found by members of the 177th division, the "Shadowtalon Company". In return for something he had lost, Myranaes would join the 177th as a contracted killer.
During this time, the Spider was kept on a tight leash and expected to be more 'civil'. Though he detested being tamed once more, Myranaes eventually became a civil and "respected" person again. Though it would not be for a few months that Myranaes would truly shed his shell of a monster.
Myranaes became infatuated with a fellow Demon Hunter. Though it was not to be, as she already had a lover. Through a conversation with the woman, Myranaes began to understand that his "taming" was more of a facade to convince himself that he had become a person. In reality, he was still as heartless and cruel as he was before, simply behind a mask of civility.
The Demon Hunter found only one solution to remake himself from his very base. Reconstitution.
In a complex ritual that lasted multiple days and was considerably painful, Myranaes was killed and resurrected into a brand new shell. The new Myranaes was less monstrous, and more sociable in personality. Though with it, his ego and personality shifted from inhumane to cunning and brutal. In many ways, he had returned to his self before his soul was shattered.
Myranaes remained in the Shadowtalon Company for months. This included meeting with his friend (now lover) Perwinn, and participating in the fourth annual Tournament of the Ages, in which he would win the Demon Hunter bracket.
Shortly after this, Myranaes met Grand Marshal Ashamal "Aphel" Shalah'aman. The pair developed a working relationship, finding a mutual belief in the inhumanity of the Horde and a path to peace through absolute destruction. Iahri Kel'rasus would become, if not a friend, an ally of Myranaes' at this time as well.
Ashamal approached Myranaes and Iahri with a proposition; the re-creation of the 117th division, the Might of the Alliance, with the two as high leadership positions. Myranaes readily agreed, and left Shadowtalon not long after.
Without a moral compass, the Hunter begun to do what he did best. Unrestrained cruelty. Now, however, he had a purpose to expend it on, and laws that protected him.
A Field of Wildflowers
See main article: A Field of Wildflowers
After the events of A Field of Wildflowers, Myranaes briefly performed a hostile takeover of a gang known as underWorld operating in the Boralus gambling and hit rings. This act came months before the Might became inactive once more. Following the Siege of Boralus, the headquarters of his gang was discovered to be destroyed during the conflict after gang-specific documents were pulled from the ruins.
Myranaes has been deemed AWOL and extremely hostile by the Military. He was last spotted sailing towards Northrend, but his current status is unknown.