"I won't be another servile wretch for Ravenholdt. We're the new royalty. I'll make the Syndicate worth something."
Art by Guavasaur
Patriarch of House Kessler,
Lord Thirnas Kessler is a master assassin and prominent Syndicate kingpin based within Alterac Valley. He is a sworn enemy of Ravenholdt and SI:7. He has made fortunes off of trafficking highly potent ritual reagents, chiefly bloodstones.
- 1 Description
- 2 History
- 2.1 The Collapse
- 2.2 Ravenholdt
- 2.3 "...I guess that was the ninth."
- 2.4 Janara and the Argus Wake
- 2.5 Freeze the Queen
- 2.6 Dance with the King
- 2.7 Reset the Board
- 2.8 The Durnholde Incident
- 2.9 Return to the Valley
- 2.10 Capturing the Iron Roost
- 2.11 Pyrebane Upheaval
- 2.12 The Banshee, Dawnsworn
- 2.13 The Shattering
- 3 Allsbrad
- 4 Return to Durnholde
- 5 Bloodmoon Heist
Thirnas is a passionate, prolific thief, ambitious kingpin, and talented assassin, all respectable things that make him a feared and respected operative among the criminal world inhabited by the Syndicate. He exemplifies the cruelty, ruthlessness, greed, pluckiness, and intellect that is needed to endure the cutthroat business of an outlaw. Despite this, he is known to have fragile ego, living in the shadow of his father, resenting being compared to him whatsoever. His twisted sense of generosity to his vassals and those who work for him often manifests in a possessive nature, as well as general entitlement that compromises his diplomatic endeavors. Provoking a grandiose, hysteric, selfish tirade from the man is dangerously easy.
When his passions run high, Thirnas is as greedy as one can be, and an utter slave to his sadistic lust. This has thrust him into conflicts that could have otherwise been avoided had he maintained a less fragile ego. Nevertheless, he is as driven as he is dangerous, and is beyond capable of making good on his cavalier threats.
Should one not stumble across the minefield of violence that is interacting with Thirnas, they would find a man who is more than willing to share a civil conversation, never too austere or haughty to exchange simple banter.
Thirnas was born into the wealthy family of House Kessler, a member of the Alteraci Peerage made prominent by its prestigious patriarch, Lord Abel Kessler. Owing much of his expertise on business and entrepreneurship from his father's tutelage, Thirnas was primed for success later in his life, and would no doubt be a worthy heir of Kessler Estate.
Timeline: The Second War
Abel wouldn't be able to conceal the seedier side of his business once matters grew tumultuous in Alterac during the Second War. Thirnas was eventually exposed to the criminal underbelly that permitted the estate to thrive. Feuds, settling disputes, and reigning through fear and ruthlessness were quickly ingrained into young Kessler's mind as the eve of Alterac's collapse approached.
The manor was left in the clutches the Silver Hand for some time. Abel was executed by the Silver Hand, and Thirnas, still an adolescent, was now displaced from his home and thrust into banditry soon after. Luckily, his mother managed to evade the consequences of the house's late patriarch, and ferried her son to mysterious group that she simply referred to as "a fencing club."
Timeline: The Third War
Thirnas was under the care of this "fencing club," but it wasn't quite what his mother detailed. In earnest, this place was known as Ravenholdt, a new league of assassins that promised fortune for displaced men and women of Alterac, as well as a mecca for rogues spanning Azeroth. Here, Thirnas learned another skill that would prove useful to his continued survival in the lawless turf of his homeland: survival. Learning the art of combat and guile was the next step in finding his place in this new order.
Once the Third War began, Thirnas started to reclaim the territories of his estate, though he found that the land of Norlaran, an area belonging to the Kessler's vassals, had endured and was participating in the war effort against the emergent threat of the Undead Scourge.
Thirnas' first attempts to integrate with society would naturally begin with claiming his birthright, the Kessler Manor itself. Unfortunately, while the Silver Hand had long departed the grounds, he would need to cease his land back from one a warlord who stationed a band of thugs there. At first, he was hesitant when this group known as the Syndicate propositioned Kessler into joining their ranks. This, of course, meant that he would be playing second fiddle to another rival lord vying for influence among the criminal ring. A bandit leader known as "Mountain Lion" Braun demanded Thirnas to surrender his rightful land as tribute for a newfound allegiance.
Thirnas, of course, was conflicted. On one hand, he truly had little attachment to the haunted manor his father built, and Ravenholdt marked any and all Syndicate for death. Conversely, he heavily doubted the brazen claims of Braun, who boasted of having "nine lives" and believed he had "feline blood." Granted, Thirnas was already beginning to chafe at the commands of Ravenholdt, believing their smug superiority and hollow creed to be a poison that would only bring further ruin to Alterac. Thirnas also despised cats, vehemently so, and oddly enough it was this petty reason that eventually drove him to challenge the warlord. Braun was large man with a berserker's strength, and it was certainly be protracted, violent duel had Thirnas not simply drew a flintlock pistol and shot the man in the head. Though it was unceremonious, and admittedly underhanded, the sheer gall of the act lent Thirnas the favor the mercenaries who followed Braun, now pledging fealty to House Kessler.
"...I guess that was the ninth."
Janara and the Argus Wake
Timeline: The Third War - Ending
--Meeting Janara, enlisting vassals
--Reforming Kessler Estate, begins to make ties with the Syndicate and pledges loyalty to Lord Falconcrest
--Feud with Ravenholdt Agent Primrose, sparking turf war
--Thirnas and Janara discuss land affairs
--The two team up to deal with Ravenholdt, with Thirnas supporting Janara's activities by trafficking bloodstones en masse
--Thirnas starts to find lucrative ways to make money, quickly finding gold to be a valuable means to bolster his estate
Freeze the Queen
--Primrose finds out about Thirnas' betrayal, emboldening her to take action against him
--Primrose manages to kidnap Janara, though to her surprise, the warlock is more than willing cooperate, claiming that Thirnas was simply utilizing her for his own goals
--Janara reveals to Primrose a shoddy estimate as to the location of the Kessler Manor, for only the Church of the Holy Light knew its location precisely until this point
--With Janara being a convincing informant, Primrose decides to send her personal team of party of specialists to deal with Thirnas
--Janara returns to the manor, subtly warning Thirnas of Primrose's plot
--Janara returns to Primrose, only to find that they are aware of the double agent ploy
--This time, Janara is taken captive in earnest, and is starting to get really sick of being imprisoned, though she's less melancholy about the matter this time, knowing she was at least able to play her hand still.
Dance with the King
--Primrose's group began to cull Kessler's cadre, as it was only comprised of Braun's men at this point, leaving only Thirnas himself to defend his Estate
--The assassins hone in on Kessler's grounds. Janara is sent in to smoke him out. Primrose expects betrayal, so Janara is placed cuffs designed to nullify magic
--Despite this, Janara is able to prepare conventional snares to help Thirnas fight off the ambush
--Primrose's gang fight 6 on 2, and through a degree of trickery, Thirnas manages to outmaneuver each assassin, leaving only Primrose herself
--Janara had managed to trap Primrose with her in the basement, but it was only a matter of time before she would find herself, barely standing a chance against the agent without her magic
--Having bought enough time, Janara opens the basement door, and Thirnas uncuffs Janara using the keys he found off one of Primrose's men.
--Both were in a somewhat ragged state at this point, especially Thirnas after narrowly taking out five of the assassins Primrose sent.
--Only Primrose herself was left. Thirnas and her fight but it's ultimately in favor of Primrose
--Before Primrose could finish Thirnas off, Janara blindsides her
--Primrose staggers and is ultimately subdued. Thirnas, now more wary of Ravenholdt than ever, decides he needs a bargaining chip in the form of a captured agent
--Primrose is taken prisoner
Reset the Board
--Thirnas rifles through his father's documents and discovers a correspondence with Durnholde, he decides to use a cell block annex to begin an internment operation
--Thirnas comes into contact with Henry Stormwall, a man whom he learned about from the documents
--Stormwall oversaw the cellblock, and he was still alive
--Thirnas offers Stormwall a job, promising wealth and an apt position
--Stormwall wasn't a criminal, however, and hadn't any clue that Thirnas' father was involved with crime business. Thirnas' enterprise was much more evidently unsavory, so it would only be a matter of time before Stormwall started expressing discomfort
--Luckily, Thirnas found out about Stormwall's family and use them as collateral should push come to shove
--This kept Stormwall in place, and urged him to enlist even more Lordaeronian turncoats into Kessler's operation
--As adventurers began to wander the world abroad in order to answer the Alliance and Horde's calls to action, the Kessler's Syndicate began taking them captive and ransom them to whatever foolish questgiver sent them.
The Durnholde Incident
Timeline: The Eve of the Dark Times.
Thirnas' operation had become high profile enough to warrant a bounty from both Southshore and Tarren Mill, though the two factions were far too busy warring with each other to dedicate their own resources. Regardless, individuals with their own personal vendettas had taken interest, and figured they would engage in a bit of sabotage. This pit Kessler against an intrusion of various actors; Aelfric Hassler, Markus Quinn, Deathstalker Bloodkill, Daelath Hijaar, and Leon King.
Quinn and Hassler managed to infiltrate the complex of Prison Block: Stormwall, though the latter of the two men was personally defeated and captured by Kessler. Though Hassler was left in Stormwall's hands, Quinn managed to evade detection as he crept through the keep, dodging detection handily thanks to his extensive knowledge of the place. After rendezvousing with Leon King, the two started a prison break and set a smokescreen with a sudden prison riot, and during the furor, the two broke into Stormwall's sector. They coordinated efforts to free the valued prisoners and kill Stormwall.
After this, Quinn and Hassler were reunited, though they were left behind to deal with the kingpin. The two were ensnared by Janara and trapped in the brawling pit. Here, Kessler ambushed the men, brutally injuring both, but he was unable to finish the job due to the arrival of rogue incursion of Scarlet Crusaders lead by Donnagar Blackforge and Nemond Eastmirror, who both managed to temporarily displace the presence of Thirnas' mercenaries after setting fire to the prison block.
Return to the Valley
Capturing the Iron Roost
--Alterac Valley, engage in talks with Dinlan Balefrost, owner of the Roost.
--Deal goes south, Dinlan is killed
--Engineers start to work against Thirnas subtly. Holcomb takes interest in Markus' concerns and sends a covert squad to infiltrate the roost.
--Despite Thirnas preparations, he goes down like a sack of bricks, though things seem a little too easy. Regardless, he was captured, and in control of the inquisition now.
--Return to Pyrebane crypts. Agents are sent to keep things covert and under wraps on the surface as refugees amass in the town. Chase begins to suspect something awry.
--action and explosions
Timeline: Broken Shore Conquest
Kessler initially sheltered the farmlands of Allsbrad under the protection and resources of his estate due to a vested interest in a steady supply of crops that could supply his enterprise. Initial dealings with the overseer Allan O'Siaghail were magnanimous and mutual, as Thirnas was able to deliver on his promise of protecting the settlement from potential external threats and the less organized Syndicate gangs.
Only as time pressed on did Thirnas find Ravenholdt's repeated attempts to stymie his power and sack his estate did he begin to grow more vicious in his dealings with the farmhands. Allsbrad and its inhabitants were considered innocents under the yoke of oppression by a tyrant outlaw in according to Ravenholdt and SI:7. Thus, Kessler began to tighten his grasp on the land, practically holding the land hostage in order to keep any agents at bay.
Allan chafed and the continued demand and oppressive treatment his farm was receiving from Kessler. The farmhands began to realize the volatile nature of the Syndicate and that they would not provide a safe future for the scant agriculture within the Uplands. Luckily a man was hunting Thirnas as per a vendetta, one over a decade in the making. That man was Markus Quinn, and Quinn would supply the seeds of rebellion.
Allsbrad became militarized, staunchly so. The bitter farmers were eager to station the fields with weaponry suited to thwart their foes, even employing harvest reapers as matters escalated. Allan, now in charge of these militants, were primed with zeal and vengeance to overthrow Thirnas' tyrannical reign and liberate their farmstead.
Thirnas began to take note of this stirring unrest. He was, needless to say, less than pleased with what was taking place. There was little need for the Syndicate make a display of force, however, as they still had need Allsbrad's means at that particular juncture. Kessler's intuition paid off in spades as he infiltrated the farmstead, promptly subduing both O'Siaghail and Quinn by sparing them within an inch of their life.
It was here that Thirnas was certain he had claimed victory, and dissuaded the threat with the head of the snake nearly severed; however, he had more cards to play. A two pronged ambush from both the SI:7 and Truthful forces had come to clash within the region, as Kessler made a prior arrangement under his Ravenholdt alias to temporarily draw the Alliance's attention upon the farmstead. While not ideal, he was be able to spare the Syndicate's strength, and allow the matter to sort itself out without their intervention.
The Truthful had managed to sway favor of the Allsbrad forces to lead them against the Alliance occupancy, with Quinn and O'Siaghail being liberated with the eventual defeat of the operation's chief agent, Arthur Bloodfang along with Uncrowned associate Leighton Kercher. Kessler favored this outcome, believing the SI:7 presence to be more insidious and agitating. He could more easily predict the age-old foe that was Quinn's ilk, though the presence of the Legion and his wife's involvement in the Argus Wake's machinations had made it difficult to capitalize on his advantage, as Thirnas could not predict demons, nor the nature of cabal's rituals.
The Kesslers would at long last taste defeat, however, as Norlaran had been starved of forces due to the sacrificial ceremonies Janara had made in order to prepare her escape. As the Truthful and Allsbrad militia marched through the Uplands, they dealt with Thirnas' chief enforcers, and eventually laid waste to Norlaran proper, though they could not penetrate the mage tower that remained, for it had been sealed shut in the endeavor.
Thirnas was not eager to taste defeat, but he knew that he would need to wait until the dust settled before finding an opportune time to re-emerge. For now, House Kessler's presence was pressed back, forced to hide in the shrouded peaks of Alterac.
Return to Durnholde
A familiar foe in that of the agents, Leighton Kercher, had encountered Thirnas' operators scavenging within the ruins of Durnholde Keep. After nearly subduing both Meronc Nescas and Grigaria Gonzette, the latter agent managed to gain the upper briefly, grievously injuring Kercher.
Leighton's narrow escape was near, making a daring leap off the cliff to rendezvous with fellow agent Tybalt Vanderbeck. It turned out Kessler was not far behind, however. Having little time for either agent's meddling, he brandished a rifle packed with a devastatingly powerful round.
Unfortunately for Thirnas, his fury would only be unleashed upon the Arcane illusions of Vanderbeck's, a ruse which would buy the clutch escape of the two agents. Kessler fears another incursion into the mountains is nigh.
Due to the debt that Estate owed thanks to Janara Kessler's dealing with Death Knight Kora Deathwhisper in Icecrown, Thirnas was unwitting pulled into an intricate heist involving the corpse of knight's squire, that of Valythra Bloodmoon. However, there few hitches the plan prior. Kessler's operatives were ambushed amid their bold meeting at the head of Sorrow Hill by veteran paladin Rolafo Rendfield.
They managed to subdue the paladin, though there was a brief window of escape to be had, and Rendfield narrowly avoided death. Had been permanently blinded by the incident, much to her dismay. They continued on regardless, using a death gate rift to infiltrate Miralyne Valetender's where the body was held. Though they had seemingly sprung a few traps, the heist continued on with little hitch, most of it being among the Syndicate mercenaries on whether or not they should loot the place.
Though an alarm had been sounded, they managed to escape unscathed.
The debt owed by Thirnas' wife was now repaid, with only a minor expense at the well-being of Gonzette.