"Stormwind. The regaled city. The last great bastion of humanity. This was not my home. These white stone walls, the busy streets and warm, brackish air. I was from a different place, a kingdom laid to ruin and rot in the north. My home was forgotten, as it should never have been.
The tides of war swept to and fro, always breaking peace along our shores and relentlessly eating away at our resolve like waves crashing against the salt-washed stone of a cliff bed. And as the land shall never give way to the sea, we too will not yield. It is not in our nature.
It is not in my nature. I have bled for Stormwind, I have buried loved ones for this city. I have lost hope and found it again because of this place, these people. Stormwind was not my home, but I have since learned that home is more than where your blood was sown. It is more than bittersweet memories of a life long past, however cherished those memories may be.
He paid an unforgettable price for the chance to see us through this hellish assault. We will not see that chance wasted.
I will not see it wasted. I will fight for Stormwind, my king. For home."
Her cloak is a heavy made thing, silvery white and embroidered with gold trim. It flows long and wide, ample enough to envelope its wearer fully. Much like her robe, it's weathered with use but sees repair often. It bears the mark of its tailor, Vur Sa-Chi, on the inner panel.
She wields a staff of Light known by few as Oathborn.
A dagger is nearly always within reach, either sheathed on her hip or tucked into the pocket of a shoulder-slung satchel.
Annaveil was born to the good family of Gerot Greywood of Andorhal and his wife Evelie Betterment, whose maiden name hails from Brill. She was the youngest of two, having an elder brother of four years by the name of Anselm. When Andorhal laid in prosperity, the Greywood family name was one known to the local folk as petty nobility. Gerot was a clever man who had a profound understanding of politics, agriculture, and the land that he grew up in. From commoner to Lord he rose, all of his own volition, and saw over a large portion of the farmland to the west for his King - Terenas Menethil.
Thusly, Annaveil was born into wealth and as a child, experienced what luxuries the countryside gentry could afford. She enjoyed the simple pleasures of modest schooling, social instruction, arts, histories, and the teachings of the Holy Light in which she seemed to take a keen interest. Her mother, wanting more for her daughter than the life of a noble farmer, encouraged her studious nature to the point of seeking out the possibility of fostering her with the Northshire Clerics. The arrangement was never seen to fruition, as the Plague of Undeath uprooted the Greywoode family and sent them south before the Scourge saw to the wasting of the Tirisfal Glades.
In Stormwind they sought refuge, and there they found a new life of prosperity and purpose. As their livelihood depended on working the land, Gerot managed to obtain a sizeable plot of farmland in Westfall as a means to provide for his family and a way to prove his worth to the Kingdom of Stormwind. Evelie saw to her daughter's future by sending her to the Archbishop of the Stormwind Cathedral whereupon she was taken in as an acolyte.
As the years passed, and Annaveil rose to the rank of Priestess within the Church, it became apparent that she desired more out of the world than reading scripture in the candlelit halls of the Cathedral. She had grown into a spectacle of a young woman, fiery of heart and complex of disposition. Her convictions were solidly founded in the teachings of the Light, though her naievty didn't allow for her understanding of it.
When the call to Northrend was sent out, Annaveil and her brother Anselm were both given leave to travel with the Argent Crusade to fight back the tyranny of the Lich King. At the Wrathgate, she watched in horror as the relentless cruelty of evil swept her brother away in a tide of hate-filled revenge and undeath. Forevermore did she avow to see to the end of the Scourge and her oath was kept as she took part in the storming of Icecrown Citadel.
After the Lich King's fall, Annaveil would never return to a world of peace. The reprieve from battle was short-lived as the black dragon Deathwing attacked Stormwind City and threatened to see the world turn to ash. Again she ventured out, marching against the Twilight Hammer where she aided in the taking down of Gul'dan's once-apprentice - the magi ogre Cho'gall - and Deathwing's consort, Sintharia. It was there that she found a chance to see beyond the reach of the Church of Holy Light, and joined forces with a select group of achieved individuals seeking to do good by the Alliance and all that it stands for. The Steelbound.
From Zul'Aman, to the swirling and legendary dunes of Uldum, the Steelbound swept across the land in the wake of Deathwing's terror in an effort to keep the world from falling in on itself. That duty extended beyond the Earth Warder's death, until whispers of sin incarnate came to her ear. The threat of a maddened warlord and the fearful promise of an old god's power seeped into her heart and she traveled to Orgrimmar to lay siege to the corruption of the Horde.
After the dismantling of Hellscream, the Steelbound were summoned to the Blasted Lands where a new threat worried the hearts of the people of Azeroth. The Dark Portal had reopened and poured an endless stream of orcish aggression, fighting under the banner of a new Iron Horde. Wary and afraid, but determined, Annaveil pushed through the portal and into a world unknown to her time.
It was a journey that led her through the Shadowmoon Valley and the Spires of Arak, and finally into the lush Tanaan Jungle. Only after she had faced the might of the Fel-Horde did she find her way home, weary and worn from battle. Knowing little else, she returned to the betterment of the world as she had done in years past, doing what she can for the people of Azeroth.
Most recently, a trail of Twilight Cultists and shadowy riders led her to the foot of Karazhan where a witch revealed a terrible fate for all of Azeroth. Fears were later realized when the call to arms was issued to bring a stop to Gul'dan once and for all. She set out to the Broken Shore, and would be amongst those that would return from the brink of death.
Weeks later, and after fending off the relentless fel invasion of the Eastern Kingdoms, Annaveil accompanied Genn Greymane's party into the tumultuous skies of Stormheim.
As a woman not quite young, but not quite so old, Annaveil has developed a rather cool and sensible personality. Though hope yet keeps her spirits warm, often her serenity is mistaken for frigidness. She is a quiet soul, but hardly lacking in passion or ferocity, and enjoys the same comforts any woman would take pleasure in. Intimate conversation, beautiful dresses, books and fantastic stories all catch her attention with nary a plaint. She takes her blessings as they come, after having learned to enjoy the quiet moments of the world.
If she were to describe herself, Annaveil would insist on a modest portrait of a woman with hair akin to wet straw and eyes as dreary as rain clouds. While not not entirely untrue, her words neglect to mention the care taken to plait that ashen hair, the clarity in those steel eyes, the subtle arch of bold brows above them, or the sharp curve of a strong jaw. By nature, she's never lacked in warmth yet her few years of travel beneath the sun are well shown for in the healthy glow of her skin. She is, by most accounts, a beautiful woman aside from a few lingering scars - both fleshly and otherwise.
As an acolyte of the Church, Annaveil was confined to the hallowed halls of Stormwind's Cathedral in her youth. There she met Emmeline Veris, a young paladin from Andorhal with whom she nurtured a pleasant friendship. Being that Emmeline was several years older, she and Annaveil eventually parted ways as Emmeline left Stormwind with her husband to raise a family in the country and pursue her duties as a paladin. It was several years later when they had the chance to reunite, under the looming shadow of the Lich King in the north. At Icecrown they fought alongside one another and ever since have remained close friends, no matter how distant.
Aeadon Veris was always a trusted name to Annaveil. For many years he was little more to her than a name, in fact, having heard it amongst the priests and bishops and from her dear friend Emmeline, who was his wife. Though passing glances and amiable hellos were often exchanged, it wouldn't be until the icy shores of Northrend that Annaveil would call this revered paladin an ally, and a friend.
Odelle Ashery and Annaveil are the very definition of "cordial" acquaintances. They met in Dalaran over the Broken Isles after Annaveil's partner, Halcyrus, introduced them at the Hero's Welcome. Odelle considers Annaveil to be "out of style" and "opposition" (to something) and though Annaveil finds Odelle mildly annoying, the two occasionally engage in friendly banter.
After the events on Draenor, Annaveil was sent out to investigate strange occurrences in Duskwood along with a choice gathering of Stormwind soldiers. Amongst them was Leoric Halcyrus, a warrior often called on for his successes in small expeditions and his prowess in close combat. Together they thwarted a cultist threat plaguing the woodland country, but soon realized that the shadowy trail pointed to a more dangerous end. Setting out with their king, they flew to rid the world of Gul'dan once again, only to return with heavy hearts and eyes set on the Broken Isles.
They share a close relationship, each finding solace in their work and as a result, finding solace in one another.
Years ago, Annaveil was one of the thousands that stormed through to Icecrown Citadel. There she met a fallen soldier by the name of Carvain, whose promise of rest had been stolen away by the Lich King. The two formed a bond, one that ultimately ended in the bitter realization that the dead have no place amongst the living.
During the foray into the Krasarang Wilds, Annaveil was taken captive by a swarm of Klaxxi. In the night, an unexpected rescuer atop a bronze drake exterminated the vermin and freed their prisoners. That rescuer was Elizalith Carvain, an ardent young mage of the Kirin Tor who had been sent back in time to right a wrong done to one of her own. Elizalith promised that they would meet again in the future, and again they did meet. Since then, Annaveil and Elizalith have worked together on numerous occasions in conjunction with the Kirin Tor and the Church of Holy Light.
The warm summer gales blew in roughly from the shore. They were deep in the thick pine forest of Tirisfal now, but the deathly stillness of the place made every footstep, every gust of wind, every breath sound and feel acutely unnatural. Annaveil could smell the stale salt air of the sea, even this far inland. It was tainted with the acrid stench of decay, like everything else on this hallowed ground.
"Nearly there now," a haggard voice called out from ahead, sounding like little more than a ragged whisper. A Forsaken woman was at the forefront of the small party, leading them through what she promised to be a safe passage around the derelict Agamand Mills and Deathknell. So far, her promise had held up but it took no large amount of reminding for Annaveil to remember where they were, and with whom.
Five companions they were. Melondrius, a Kaldorei druid of the Cenarion Circle; Gideon Gearglocket, a gnomish scholar of the arcane; Eloaste Silverfall, a Sentinel sent from Teldrassil; Rorin Brewer, one of what he called "Greymane's Silvercoats" and Annaveil Greywood, a Priestess of Stormwind's Cathedral and a representative of her order, the Steelbound.
"We have gone too far north," Eloaste whispered to Annaveil as she lightly stepped up beside her. "I can hear the waves, and the repulsive cries of half-dead murlocs. It is enough to make my skin crawl."
"They are well and fully dead," said their guide. "And we are indeed north, but no more north than I intended us to be. Your senses betray you, elf. What sounds near may be far, and what sounds far...may be near." Annaveil was sure she could hear the wet sound of a rotting mouth with rotting teeth, smiling.
"Keep it quiet," Rorin growled, stepping ahead of the others and taking the lead alongside the Forsaken. He'd had his hand perched on the hilt of the sword hanging on his hip since they'd stepped out of the portal in the old Dalaran crater.
They all obeyed, as Rorin was the only one of their group that had any real knowledge about this Light-forsaken place. They trusted him, or at least, they trusted him more than Abatha.
Abatha, the Witch of Deadwind Pass. The corpse who offered knowledge in exchange for passage. Their deal was that Abatha would lead them across broken mountains and barren fields, under fetid lakes and through ominous forests to find the source of a great evil that lay undisturbed beneath Lordaeron. If they took her with them.
"I hold no allegiances. I exist solely for myself. There is no harbored love for that Dark Lady in this heart," she grinned a black grin as she pulled the neck of her torn robe aside, showing a space behind broken ribs where a shriveled mass hung in the darkness of her hollowed breast.
If they had not already been on the trail of a group of Twilight Cultists, and heard rumor of their plans to steal an artifact at the behest of Cho'gall himself, they may not have given attention to Abatha and her oddly timely appearance.
"Fire," Melondrius said, lifting his nose into the air and breathing deep. "Do you smell it too?"
The others sniffed, but only Eloaste gave him a firm nod.
"Can't smell a thing out here in the forest. Nothing but pine needles and ichor- augh!" Gideon cried out and stumbled off to the side, shaking his arm madly. "Get it off! Get it off me!" His cries echoed through the mist, piercing through the darkness and shaking the brittle branches of the pines.
Rorin spun around, sword unsheathed and extended towards the flailing gnome. "Quiet him!" he bellowed, and stepped forward to do the task himself if none other would.
In an instant, Annaveil appeared behind the gnome and swiftly swept a palm-sized spider off Gideon's jacket. It hissed and skittered away to some shadowy retreat.
"Are you alright, Gideon?" she asked, kneeling beside him and offering a hand to help steady himself. Without taking her hand, he nodded indignantly and straightened his attire before marching onward as though nothing had happened.
But indeed, something had happened. Abatha had come to a dead stop, and the stillness of the forest suddenly seemed ... less.