|Rennali Analisa Sunwhisper|
The Lady Phoenix of Quel'Athillien
Rennali Analisa Sunwhisper is a matron who was elected into her position by adoration of her family and peers. Born into a life of nobility - spcifically Thalassian royalty - she was an anomaly who had to work to earn her position in life as well as within her family.
"Amatúlië! Elen síla lúmenn' omentielvo." -- R.A. Sunwhisper
Delicate would be a suitable word to describe the Quel'dorei woman. Her features, while regal in their own right, carried soft, sloping angles and full, circular curves. Standing at a rather unimposing five-feet-six-inches, the Elven female would appear nothing short of atypical for her race: Long, meticulously-kept champagne-coloured hair, luminous sapphire eyes (with a healthy arcane glow), and very sweet, symetrical features. Full, pouting lips and unblemished porcelain skin are the last things that make her just like any other female Quel'dorei (if one doesn't account for the high, pointed and sharply angled ears).
Early Family LifeEdit
During the foundation of the Sunwell, it was raised by many that such a fount of power should have guardians - much like the Well of Eternity had once been guarded by the elite in order to protect its power. After years of having wandered and nearly starved to find such a "promised land," the High Elves were not about to allow their most precious gift to be squandered nor lost to them because of devious behaviors. Many of the noble houses at the time bickered amongst one another as to who would be given the sole responsibility of guardianship and why they felt their house was more inclined to do the job properly than any other house.
Dath'Remar could see his people tearing themselves apart in order to clamour for power and in order to ensure that his people did not suffer the plights that had befallen those who lived under Queen Azshara's reign, he had decided there would be five noble houses that would be given the task to guard the Sunwell and all of its glory: Dawnstrider, Sunshield, Sunreaver, D'Anthal and Sunwhisper. For these houses were the only ones who had not wished for the prestige and had many among them who were part of the priesthood.
In these families, the patriarch was given the responsibility of teaching their continued generations how to properly guard the Sunwell. This was the birth of the original Mage-Priest; a combination of magic usage from the Sunwell as well as strength from the Sun (their chosen deity at the time - before it was revamped to be "the Light"). Anadorin Sunwhisper was a magister of great power and even greater standing within the Court of Belore - the reigning court of nobles for Silvermoon City and all of Quel'Thalas at the time. His wife, X'anatel was one of the original Farstriders - men and women who pleged their allegiance to the land of Quel'Thalas and its continued prosperity. While the two of them had their allegiances to something other than the noble house Sunstrider, it made for a perfect beginning.
A Father's FollyEdit
During the time Anadorin had been a guardian of the Sunwell, there had been a heavy dispute over whether or not a person should be pure. An elf's purity was argued to determine loyalty and how they behaved. Many of the noble houses had been rumored to have various sons and daughters who had found themselves seeking pleasure and fulfillment in their lives by drinking, gambling until they were in debt, and causing trouble within the walls of Silvermoon City. These problems had become so that the city itself developed arcane constructs in order to maintain the peace. Essentially, Silvermoon City became a police-state and it was governed with an iron fist. While House Sunstrider maintained their regal status as the reigning household, their Court of Belore were viewed as their "senate" in almost every sense of the word. Trials were held before each patriarch of every noble house. Non-noble houses were permitted to attend trials but not permitted to speak.
Because of these trying times, there were a few who had argued that succeeding guardians of the Sunwell should be without passion or desire - trained to focus solely on their lifelong mission. The counter argument to this was that the households charged with such a task wouldn't flourish past one generation before the old arguments of who would secure the Sunwell's place would rise up again. With X'anatel having already given birth to the next generation of Sunwhisper guardians, Anadorin felt it necessary that he would not have his family line disassembled; even if it meant doing so for his beloved Quel'Thalas.
The next argument was the purity of the household bloodlines. If men and women guardians were far too busy philandering about and worrying about who they would mate with, it would detract from the mission at hand. Many houses were deemed "unfit" and "impure" to breed with guardians.
Anadorin's suggestion to the Court of Belore was to arrange marriages amongst guardians so that they would be able to continue keeping the households flourishing and the bloodlines would not be muddled. Anadorin's suggestion was taken and then made into a law: Guardians were to remain celibate until such a time that their mate would be chosen for them by the Court of Belore. Anadorin and X'anatel went on to have four more children: Silvius, Yerin, Galariel and Samanthiel. All of their children, save for Samanthiel, became Mage-Priests. Samanthiel detoured from her intended guardianship to become a Farstrider. At this time, Farstriders were seen as defects of the Court of Belore since they did not represent any one household and were sole keepers of Quel'Thalas' lands and beasts. ===Sentenced to a Life of Unease===
Raised by a BrotherEdit
From Darkness, Comes Light: Guardian of the SunwellEdit
Days of TrainingEdit
Seeking That Which Cannot Be FoundEdit
Truth Behind Blue EyesEdit
The Meaning of FamilyEdit
(Taken from "the Shadow of Mortality")
It had been some time since Anadorian had thought to seek out his youngest daughter's ear. By Velroth's word, he had gone against his initial judgement about such a disappointing birth that Rennali had been for him, and set out to teach her; train her to be worthy of a prince's hand in marriage should his ambitions give him such a prize. She was beautiful, far more than her sisters before her and only to the equivalent of what her mother had been: long fair hair like spun strands of golden silk and a captivating smile that veiled her grief. While he had found himself hesitant to even want her associated as his heir, he had come to terms that she might be yet the means to a greater good and the source of a marriage to a house that would further his own quest for power and immortality... if only in the historical sense.
Now, as he paced in tight, lacquered slippers across the polished alabaster floors of his home - namely his parlor - he felt that twinge of hesitance once more build in his chest. He had placed his hopes for a stronger generation - in his image - in the only legitimate heir he had that could do so and was gifted with disappointment. Across from his father, Velroth sat in a high-backed wooden chair padded with blue velvet. He might have had half of a mind to enjoy the comfort of such a luxury had he not been summoned under such circumstances.
"You told me she could be tamed," Anadorian hissed disapprovingly toward his first-born son. A son that he had hoped would have been his legitimate heir: strong, tactful and the paragon of what a male elf was meant to be - glorified in golden armor and the ability to wield a blade. "You told me--"
"I told you she could be, Father." Velroth interjected with a bit of irritation in his voice.
Anadorian glanced to his son - the product of a woman he did not love, but yet like the phoenix, he had risen from his station as a bastardized son to carry his father's surname with honor and pride. Anadorian's heart clenched each time he lay eyes on Velroth; knowing this prize could never be what he had hoped for and yet, somehow, seemed content with the idea that his sister would take up such a mantle. A silly, vapid little girl with not the sense Belore had gifted to those of a lesser station.
"She cannot marry this man." Anadorian announced as he tucked his hands to the small of his back where the ends of his blonde hair tickled at the base. The room seemed to darken around them despite the welcoming cool breeze of an early Fall. Rarely did the temperature change in such a mystical place, as if time had no welcome in Quel'Thalas; a home of eternal summer and of a swift Fall. "He is not of our kind, and to that end, she will not bear his offspring."
Velroth turned his eyes to the open door of the parlor. Behind charcoal and blue clouds, the sun set in the West, coloring the horizon in the pinks and dazzling oranges that often littered the trees of Eversong in the north. Magical colors; a rainbow of shades that seemed to carry a magic all their own. Now as he looked to it, Velroth felt withdrawn from the sun's warmth and even more removed from the preternatural glow of the Sunwell. "Do you wish me to tell her?" Velroth asked in a sullen manner. It rarely pleased him to have to make such speeches to one he revered as his own child.
"No," Anadorian clipped in, "I will be the one to explain to my heir that she is not to choose her destiny. That is my position and right as her father."
As he heard this, Velroth could only swear at himself for having even mentioned to his father such a benefit of keeping Rennali alive. Now that she was of age and she had proven herself before the Court of Belore, she was now eligible to wed any man her father had viewed as being worthy of such a possession. Yes, that was the word Velroth wanted to use. She was no heir; she was a possession that was to be used to further his father's own agenda.
"I will fetch my beloved lady," Velroth finally said as he began to stand. Anadorian nodded to his son and allowed the crestfallen elf to attend to his sister.Walking the distance between the parlor and the main estate put him through the gardens. On any given day, Velroth would have cherished such a moment to take his sister outside. In years gone past, he would steal part of her day to try and teach her basic swordsmanship and archery - anything to keep herself protected from the darkness beyond Thalassian borders. Many times, it was she who would teach him - having him sit and read books on philosophy and economics. He was never interested in things he didn't understand, yet for her sake, he made good to pretend to want to know. The trees around the garden now made shadows that looked as ominous as any demon - claws of branches stretching beneath the pale moon's light as if inching toward their victims. His eyes stopped to look skyward when he approached the back door to the kitchen. Elune they called it.
The moon's face reflected vaguely in the windows that led into his sister's room just above the kitchen. Such a room might have been spared for a knight or someone of only mediocre means within in the family, and yet, he could see the warm, soft glow of the lamps in her room kept bright by magic's grace.
Were this any other day, he might have tossed a small stone against the glass to catch her attention. Were this any other night, he might have been content to watch his sister sing and dance with the handmaiden she had befriended - a sign of good, prosperous times. Now, as he witnessed her in her most jovial of moments, he wanted to keep that close to his heart. Velroth's steps were naturally heavy from his years of wearing weighted-down armor, but as he ascended the narrow stairs to her bedroom from the kitchen, he felt a weight that he could not shake loose. In his years, he had borne witness to many atrocities, some of those being from his own knights in how they had to break a woman's heart be it from news that her loved one had died or simply that her love was not returned. In each instance, the woman was never the same and seemed to always carry a badge of pain with her - even in moments where a woman ought to be her happiest.
"Renna?" Velroth whispered as he tapped on her door. The large oak door creaked open to her modest room. By many standards, her bedroom was fit for any noblewoman with a large canopy bed, trinkets of silver, sapphire and gold littering her shelves, a closet filled with embroidered dresses tailored to her form and tapestries of the family draping her walls. To many elves, this could have been viewed as a servant's quarters. "Renna, tell me you are decent..."
"Of course I am, brother!" She called back with a laugh. Velroth strained to find any humor as he tried to mask his pain of what was to come. "Isn't it grand?" She asked as she spun on the ball of her foot. The leaves on her silk gown seemed to fade from green to gold before Velroth's eyes - much like the trees in Northdale in the late days of Summer, just before the breath of Winter came through. Northdale was where she met him. It was where he had given her that dress.
"Is what grand?" Velroth asked to feign ignorance.
"Her ladyship was telling me of a fetching Human man. His hair was dark like the soft soil beneath the trees and his eyes--" The handmaiden began to spin the tale as if she were reciting erotic poetry.
"Yes, his eyes!" Rennali swooned mockingly to her own admiration of the man. "His eyes were like the sea after a storm... A green with a forboding gray tint to them. I could stare at them for hours."
"And likely be labeled a silly girl with no sense in her head." Velroth chimed in as if to playfully scold his sister. "No man wants to be with a woman who cannot compose herself in his sight."
Rennali glanced to Velroth and smiled in such a way that as happy as she was - simply glowing from how her heart blossomed - he found himself equally as entrenched by pain he could not show. "Do you think I ought to be aloof and allow him to think I have no interest? I do not wish to be coy with my emotions as some. I would not wish to lose a love that might become the greatest love--"
"Of all time!" The handmaiden interjected, which made the two women burst into a fit of laughter. As the handmaiden caught Velroth's stern glare, her laughter stopped abruptly; her head dipping in apology. When it was only her laughter that echoed back, Rennali stopped and looked to her brother's hardening features. The handmaiden wasted no time in remembering her place and scurrying around Velroth and vanishing into the darkness of the hallway behind him like a mouse being given warning by a dog.
"We were only--" Rennali began.
"I know what you were only doing, Renna," Velroth grunted. "You were swooning over some militant man from Lordaeron as if you had never seen one before."
"I'm sorry..." she whispered in a low tone. "I am simply--"
"You are taken by a man who is younger than yourself by many years." Velroth pointed out. While in their society, an age was no different than a day, the difference between herself and the human male she had found herself smitten with was now vastly changed. "He is mortal; you are elf-kind. This is only a dream."
Rennali stood looking at her brother for the longest time. No more than a few hours before, he had shared in her girlish fantasies of the man and now... Now he acted as if she were attempting to blaspheme Belore's name in speech and deed. Feeling a bit haughty on the issue, she puffed out her chest and gave her brother - her protector and surrogate father - a deep frown.
"Then I will see what father says. I feel this will be a most advantageous marriage." She snapped to him as she tried to squeeze between Velroth's hulking form and he narrow passage of her doorway. For a few moments, Velroth enacted himself as a barrier, knowing what lay in wait beyond the sanctity of the gardens outside. Seeing his sister's determination caused him to move and suddenly regret doing so. It was his father's will that he be the one to do it, and yet, it was Velroth's will that she be allowed to choose the course of her own destiny.
You will never know her burden, Velroth - Rennali's mother Analisa once told him - and for that, I must ask that you watch over her as Belore watches over us in nightfall through the eyes of the stars.
It was about this time Velroth wished he had her burden for her...
Rennali entered her father's parlor in much the same way as anyone else who might have not been invited: she knocked and announced her presence as formal as she could. To her surprise, Anadorian had been expecting her and ushered her in toward a chaise lounge that seemed to have been set up for company. "You expected me, Father?" she asked in her surprise.
"I did, my daughter," he cooed to her as his long, bony hand motioned for her to sit. Such an occasion where he offered her kindness was not wasted on the girl with pauses for formality. Quickly, she took the seat intended for her and watched her father's lithe form walk about his room like a wraith who carried a golden halo of hair atop its head. "I am told that you have found a suitor that has made you blind to all else."
Rennali perked at her father's soothing tone; a possible sign that she would be given approval where she had once thought approval was not capable. "Yes," she replied cheerfully. "He is--"
"Human," Anadorian interjected.
"Yes..." Rennali replied cautiously as she toned down her initial happiness so as not to seem flighty or immature. "He is an honorable man from Lordaeron who has left from Northdale to the larger city at his sovereign's request. He strives to be as his father and become something greater - a paladin-knight, perhaps."
Anadorian nodded, pouring himself tea as he listened to her masked joy. "He is mortal..."
"I know this." Rennali said.
"Even if your precious human survives his time in his regiment, you will still be parted. At some point, my daughter, you will have to taste the bitterness of mortality," Anadorian commented as he stood with his teacup in hand. Rennali's stare lingered on the floor before her as his words seemed to strike a raw nerve. "He may make himself a glorified paladin and have himself exalted above all others. Whether by the sword or by time, he will die, and when this happens, my daughter, there will be no comfort to ease the pain of his passing. As you say your unwilling farewells, you will dwell - bound to your grief - until the long years of your life are utterly spent."
Anadorian turned to look to his youngest child. Rennali had not moved, yet her eyes had been made dim by his words; tears clinging to her lashes as the thought of losing someone she had loved with no fault of her own would die... and she would still live on for hundreds more years clinging to the thought of his passing as if it happened everyday since.
"Rennali," he murmured to her in a baritone. "You cannot marry this man. I could not bear to watch you sink into shadow over something as trivial as a human's passing."
She finally glanced up to her father and heaved a sigh. "As you wish, Father."