- Full Name: Vesperal Swiftshade
- Title: Avatar, Lord Swiftshade
- Allegiances: None known
- Race: Kal'Dorei (Night Elf)
- Class: Rogue
- Professions: Alchemy (300), Herbalism (300)
- Gender: Male
- Apparent Age: Late forties to early fifties (to those who perhaps don't have an understanding of Kal'Dorei lifespans)
- Height: 7'2"
- Weight: 240lbs
- Eye Color: Hazel Green
- Hair Color: White
- Age: nearly 10,000 years.
- Home: Stormwind- a flat he rents in the Mage district.
- Place of Birth: Eldarath
- Siblings: Tenebrai Swiftshade
- Other Relations: None known
- Language(s): Darnassian, Common, Thelassian (High Elven), et al.; Vesperal also was taught a "Language of Flowers" by his mother from the time he was very young, and while it is not a spoken language- depending on the arrangements of various blooms- it is quite complex and comprehensive. In the case of certain personal disputes with others- particularly when the individual or individuls involved have provoked him to the point where he would kill- those marked for death have recieved a bouquet of sorts before meeting a mysterious end...
- Occupation: Publically, Vesperal plays himself off as a botanist and chemist- diverting attention from his extensive knowledge of poisons.
- Associates: None Known
- Alignment: N/A
Vesperal appears old at a glance. This isn't merely due to his snow-white mane of hair, but a slight pall that always hangs about him- a certain ennui, or world-weariness. On the surface, he appears profoundly tired. To those with a more keen eye, he might appear to be a Kal'dorei that has lived through many ages of the world.
Despite his wearied appearance, it would be folly to mistake him as weak. Beneath a brow laden with sorrow and the consequences of millennia, stare out two sharp eyes wreathed with hazel green glow, and they are quick to pick up on any detail. The shoulders that bear the weight of thousands of years spent in contemplation are well-toned and wiry, posessed of an uncommon and unexpected degree of flexibility when in motion.
He dresses as one well-off and in manners and words he is ever the gentleman and scholar- though he is posessed of a biting wit than can sometimes grate in the most subtle of ways...
Vesperal was born in the early years of innocence, the time just preceeding the War of the Ancients to a reputable but humble Kaldorei family in Eldareth (or Azshara, as it would later come to be known). Vesperal's Father was a stout Druid of the Claw, strong in the ways of Cenarius. Vesperal's mother, as many of the Kaldorei women were wont to be was a Preistess of Elune, well regarded among her own people not only as a spiritual healer, but as an expert in all manner of Apothecary practices with herbs and natural plant extracts. And while his father found it difficult to impress on Vesperal the importance of respecting and following the piety and selfless humility which dedication to Cenarius' teachings demanded, his mother was able to impart upon him a deep and abiding respect for the natural world.
Through his mother's exhaustive knowledge of plants and herbs which she passed to her son, Vesperal learned every beneficial property held by the flora of his environment, as well as the many dangers posed by that same flora. She taught him as well a certain secret language only known to the highest preistesses among the Temple of Elune. A language spelled out in the arrangement of flowers. One of the tenderest expressions of the depth of the bond Vesperal shared with his mother was expressed in this secret language shared between mother and son- which they sometimes used to communicate over great distances. Though his father often fretted about the nature of his son's exploits, his mother was graced by a certain calm concerning her son's activities, and perhaps this is due in no small part to how openly the two communicated.
Though still pure of heart, Vesperal did find himself enthralled by the pursuit of self-gratification, a pasttime many of his brother Kaldorei frowned upon, for they felt he should live a pious existence dedicated to nature, as they did. It would do much honor to the character of Vesperal to say the youth thought much on these things and had concluded that either extreme- absolute hedonism or absolute piety- was folly, a foolish pursuit which imbalanced one's character, and even perhaps, one's spirituality... In truth Vesperal merely acted impetuously and from a youthful instinct to doggedly resist all forms of coercion regarding how others felt he should live out his life.
It would only be much later, when age had sobered his mind more that he would come to that realization and conviction.
During these "younger, wilder years", the years that frame the events surrounding the era of the Well of Eternity, Vesperal was fortunate to find himself in a position many Kaldorei could not bosat of. Vesperal, through his less grave disposition, carefree ways, and open-minded approach to the world around him, had earned him a welcome into the social circles of the highborne- allowing him to attend many of their courtly functions. In time, he even found acceptence into the inner circles of their lives, ways, and tragically, their politics.
Throughout this time, he found his way into many of their social gatherings and had many a love affair with the courtiers of the Quel'Dorei Courts. He was regarded by Highborne and Kaldorei alike as quite the notorious hedonist and cassanova of sorts- much to the embarrasment of his noble Kal'Dorei family. And he was known to woo multiple partners, and at least in the accounts of some, even had a part to play in some of the more scandalous love affairs of those lofty houses.
Though there was one lover in particular he always came back to. Her name was Arza'il, and she was known throughout the houses of the Highborne as a staunch, dedicated defender of the Noble houses- schooled as a battle Mage, a lieutenant among the Queen's Guard- one of Queen Azshara's finest and a fearsome combatant by any account. Arza'il was among the first to fall for the charms of the unusually foppish and free-spirited young Kaldorei Vesperal, though her pride and dutiful demeanor prevented her from acknowledging it openly so early on.
The two exchanged practices and ideologies, sharing much of what the other's heritage and ways had to offer. Arza'il could not quite instill in him the love of magic that she had, but her passion for scholarly study did rub off on her young lover. Vesperal in turn was able to endear a respect in Arza'il for the natural world when he shared with her his love for bottany and herbology- even imparting on her that language of flowers that his mother had once shared with him. Through this the lovers sometimes communicated when spoken words could not be uttered.
Arza'il's fellow Highborne took note of the mutual affinity the two shared, and amidst the growing rift between the Highborne and their Kaldorei brethren they encouraged Arza'il to further train Vesperal in the art of war. Secretly hoping that this interest in the young Kaldorei meant Vesperal had been accepted more completely by her fellow Highborne, she eagerly complied, missing entirely a somewhat more sinister motive of Azshara's court: they needed a spy among the Kaldorei, and saw an opportunity to aquire that spy in Vesperal. Vesperal, cheifly seeking to impress Arza'il, but also further gain the trust of the Highborne Courts, was no slouch as a student. And though she was not so successful in teaching him the disciplines of magic required for the art of battle-wizadry, he soon enough became nearly as capable with the blade as Arza'il was herself.
At first, Vesperal was only asked to surveil the Kaldorei for disconcerting signs that they may betray the Highborne, and seeing no harm in merely watching, Vesperal, with the encouragement of Arza'il, did so quite capably. Sadly this made him one of the agents precipitating the growing mistrust between the two Elvish factions, but once again, youth graces one with the ability to ignore such grave contemplations, and Vesperal was distracted by more trivial reflections. Indeed he was heady with this apparent air of new responsibility and trust the Highborne had placed in him. And it would be a lie to say that the even more "notorious" reputation this gained him among the Nobles did not give him a thrill of sorts. It was one thing to be thought of as "dangerous" and yet another to be dangerous- Vesperal had the advantage of both.
Nor were the Kaldorei oblivious to the opportunity an individual in a position such as Vesperal was presented in terms of intelligence-gathering. It was not long before Vesperal was summoned to meet in secret with a deeply unsettled Malfurion Stormrage, who confided in Vesperal some of his greatest fears, chiefest among them, that Queen Aszhara had stared too too long into the Well of Eternity, and that some malevolent shadow had begun to peer back at her, perhaps even through her. Due to her newfound reclusiveness, none but her most trusted inner circle, priests, advisers and attendants were allowed audience with her, and as he knew well of Vesperal's position and hoped that the young Kaldorei could make use of it and report back what he could of the Queen's present state.
Vesperal found himself increasingly encroached upon in duty and responsibility from both sides, yet a deeper wish in the young Kaldorei was as work in his motivations that neither side could see. Vesperal had long been aware of the growing divide among the Kal'Dorei and the Quel'Dorei, and he loathed it. He saw merit in the ways of both houses and wished only for them to once again be at peace.
Sadly what Vesperal himself was blind to was that there was indeed a real evil brewing within the Well that had tainted all the magics of the Queen and her Highborne followers, and that a reckoning would soon be due. A well-meaning Vesperal had convinced himself that through these acts of espionage, perhaps he could in some way act as a sort of clandestine ambassador between the sides. If through his reports, the fears and mistrust of each side could be quelled- and he assured himself they could be- then perhaps things would once again return to the happy state they had once been in.
This was not merely a youthful conceit, but the fondest of wishes, for he found for Arza'il a deepening affection and loved her as he had no other before. Vesperal well knew that despite his unique position with the Highborne, the two lovers were firmly entrenched on either side of the divide that would not only tear their respective peoples apart, but their love as well. For her, Vesperal resolved that he must help mend the divide, titanic a task though it may seem.
Then came the day Vesperal would remember in times of deepest sorrow for millenia to come.
The Queen's madness and paranoia had struck a fever-pitch by now, and it was at this time that she commanded her shieldmaiden Arza'il to ask of Vesperal a most terrible thing. Azshara was not ignorant of the threat Malfurion posed to her and her regime, indeed she long suspected that Malfurion was drawing up plots against her. Thus is was that she ordered Arza'il to send Vesperal to infiltrate his ranks and assasinate the druid before his plans against the Queen could come to fruition.
Though the fact that this edict from her Queen involved a cold-blooded murder unsettled her, Arza'il was loyal to her Queen. To add to her perturbment, she was posessed of a genuine fear that her way of life would soon come to an end, and saw no other way this present crisis could be averted. She did her best to convince herself that this was the right course, to steel herself for when she would have to impart the details of this dread imperative to her beloved. What would he say? She was asking him to betray his own people, was she not?
Vesperal was struck with this news as one might be struck by an avalanche, his spirit was crushed. Had things gone this wrong? Had he failed this completely? His youthful idealism had taken a sobering blow, and while his spirit reeled from the implications of this end of innocence, a rage welled up within him. Having no other upon which to vent this swelling anguish he unleashed it on Arza'il, feeling that she must have grossly misunderstood his character to ask of him such a dreadful betrayal. The unkindest of words were exchanged between the lovers, as Vesperal made clear his commitment not to murder an innocent man in cold blood, and Arza'il accused Vesperal of sanctioning not only the genocide of her people, but of her very way of life. A terrible parting of ways ensued between the two.
Vesperal himself could no longer bear the heartache that the very city of Eldareth now represented to him, to gaze longingly at the spires of the temple where the Highborne resided, and feel his love for Arza'il turn to poison in his veins. The night before the cataclysmic demoniac invasion, the eve of the destruction Malfurion would unleash by destroying the Well, Vesperal booked passage on the swiftest of Eldareth's ships, sailing Eastward along the coast of Kalimdor, perhaps to brighter shores, but surely away from his pain.
Later that morning, as the first rays of dawn lit the horizon, Vesperal chanced to cast a last sorrowful glance at the dream-city he had left behind. Only moments later was he nearly blinded by a flash brighter than all the stars in the night sky, brighter even than the sun itself. When that flash finally subsided, at the point on that lonely horizon where Eldareth should be, a billow of dust, ash and debris could be clearly seen even though the schooner he sailed upon was surely many miles from Eldareth. Vesperal knew that something had gone horribly wrong. Then came the rumble, and not minutes later, the wave...
Vesperal's ship was tossed as the toy of a child might be in a bath, everything went black.
((TO BE CONTINUED...))
Herein may be found a list of stories concerning Vesperal:
A space for related, but arguably out-of-character information regarding Vesperal.
Vesperal VES-pur-ul - Latin for 'twilight'. One of my many night/dark/shadow-related Night Elf names.
Vesperal was my very first character in WoW. I've always liked elves in fantasy settings, and Night Elves was all WoW had to offer at the time. I wasn't entirely satisfied, I suppose, but it was fun. And I always enjoyed the Rogue aesthetic of play then and since.