((This is the story of Leyola Swiftwillow and Leyola Lightweaver, the same individual in the branching histories of Azeroth’s existence. For more information on alternate dimensions based on rifts in the space-time continuum, refer to Chromie’s “Treastise on ininite Dragonflight time travel and alternate histories: Justifying the relentless farming of the Culling of Stratholme”))
Thousands of years ago, though I am not sure the exact length of that duration, my parents were once servants of the Highborne, a high-ranking caste of night elves that served the old queen, Azshara. With exclusive access to the Well of Eternity, the Highborne were infused with the arcane energies that emanated from the well, transforming themselves into a socially isolated society based on their ever growing addiction to magic.
This may be hard to believe, but my lineage dates back thousands of years ago to the age of the Night Elves. My ancestors were once a part of a race known as the Highborne, who served the old queen Azshara. With the might of the Well of Eternity, they revelled in the power of the arcane energies that flowed ceaselessly from it. Magic flowing through their veins, the Highborne became a special race, destined for greatness.
Then the foolish queen Azshara fell to the influence of the titan Sargeras and his Burning Legion. My father, selected as a handservant of the queen, witnessed the gradual plunge of Azshara into absolute insanity, promised with the power provided by the demon should he, alongside his vast army, be successfully summoned into Kalimdor. Helpless in his position, he could only watch as the events of the war unfolded.
Researching the tomes of family history, I managed to trace my lineage all the way back to the famous war of the ancients. When Azshara fell to the whim of the dark lord Sargeras and the infinite chaos that was his Burning Legion, the ancestor of my father, selected as a wielder of the arcane arts, was ordered against his will to assist the summoning of Sargaras’ forces into Kalimdor, plunging the world into a state of war.
For the duration of the war, the Burning Legion ravaged all in its path, including parts of Zin-Azshari where the homes of the Highborne servants dwelled. While those including my father lost his home, Azshara remained ignorant of her servants’ plight. This was the last straw for my father and many others; at the moment of peak opportunity, a group of them rode away from the castle with the Night Elf priestess Tyrande Whisperwind, away from the clutches of the evil queen and the Burning Legion.
As the war waged onwards, an endless army of demons flowed from the portal like the Wintergrasp River plowing its way into the Sholazar. Due to the steadfast resistance of the Kaldorei, my ancestor was instructed, along with Xavius and the other high-ranked officers of Azshara, to give themselves to the Legion, turning themselves into grotesque satyrs. Of course, he was too proud a Highborne to become something so despicable. It was only natural then, that he was banished from the upper echelon of spellcasters. A reject from society, he made away with the lower-class highborne and the Night Elf priestess, Tyrande Whisperwind, who was held prisoner for some time during this ordeal.
The war reached its climax when the Dragonqueen Alextrasza and the other remaining dragonflights came to the aid of the Night Elves and Malfurion Stormrage, the greatest Druid to ever come into existence, destroyed the Well of Eternity, resulting in what is forever known as the great sundering of the world. The Burning Legion’s portal destroyed, the Night Elves took back their lands, defeating the staggering forces left behind on Kalimdor.
The war was over when the dragons came, and while it was a victory for them, it came at the cost of the betrayal of one of their own and the near-extinction of an entire dragonflight. Worst of all, the “hero” Malfurion Stormrage destroyed the very essence of elven existence, the Well of Eternity. The destruction of the well caused what some believed to be a cataclysm of mana, destroying everything close to the well. Silvermoon mages claim that the cataclysm that rocked all of Kalimdor is what formed the vast system of leylines running through Azeroth today; regardless, the very few Highborne that survived were without a source of harvestable mana.
At the wake of the war, the Highborne that were exiled from Zin-Azshari were without a home, and were once again amongst their Kaldorei brothers and sisters. Father and a number of the servants were treated with kindness and compassion as a result of the outcome of the war, but at a severe cost. With the well destroyed, the Night Elves made sure that an immense source of mana such as the well would never be remade.
It was an outrage! Those who had spanned numerous generations, who had spent countless hours honing their skills in the arcane, they all had hungered for the magics that were now lost due to the sundering of the well. With Illidan’s betrayal and the failed creation of the second well at Hyjal, the remaining Highborne were starved without their source of power, their source of life. The untrusting Night Elves were against the use of magic, and it was quite apparent that a society of Night Elves and Highborne could never exist in harmony.
It is interesting how destiny can run many different paths depending on the choices that people make. It’s almost like a shallow stream that branches off when it hits a rock. For my father, the rock was Malfurion Stormrage. The greatest druid to ever live, had seen the plight that the Highborne had suffered due to the starvation of magic. Somehow sympathetic with their situation, which I suspect had something to do with Illidan, he offered to train a number of highborne the art of meditation and druidism as a means to escape the cycle of mana addiction.
My father made his choice, and thousands of years later, he would become a respected druid of the feral arts, instead of an outcast. Along the way, he found counsel with a fellow druid and former Highborne, my mother. Together they trained in druidism, constantly fighting the addiction that perhaps still plagues them today as they sleep.
The foolish Night Elves starved the Highborne, from being able to use magic, all out of twisted reaction to the extreme faults of Illidan the Betrayer. They could never understand what they were denying to Father’s people. By punishing magic use with death, there was no option left for the Highborne but death.
That is why the Highborne exiled themselves from Night Elven society, and made their way across the twisted maelstrom into what is now known as Quel’thalas. My father’s ancestral line traces back to a noble who, through his objections against Azshara, became a high-ranking mage in their city council. The lineage was preserved as each of his descendants took his place in the council of Silvermoon.
If I learned anything from this now finite life, it is that each person is destined to lead his or her own life, regardless of the lives that preceded him or her. I value what Father and Mother did for their people. When the dreaded Burning Legion came back during the third war, they fought valiantly at Hyjal, and became heroes of the Battle at Mount Hyjal. Their accomplishments were revered greatly, despite their history with the Highborne.
It is inherent in nature that those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it. With the Sunwell as their new source of power, the Highborne became their own again, destined for greatness, changing over many generations to become a completely different race from their former brethren. The high elves were what we were called, and despite our differences with the Humans, we fought side by side as allies up until the third war. Up until the emergence of the Scourge. An undead Burning Legion, the high elves were doomed to their merciless march towards the Sunwell, countless slain by Arthas, the Lich King, including my parents, who died in a valiant last stand at the well itself.
When the war was over, the world tree was gone, and the Night Elves were stripped of their immortality. My parents receded to perpetual slumber in the Emerald Dream, in order to distance themselves from their lingering hunger for magic. Left to my own devices, I blazed a trail for myself when I became of age, also becoming a druid.
Against the preconceived notions amongst those who I grew up with, that I would become like my mother and father, I chose not to be a master of the feral arts, but instead specialized in healing and restoring nature. With the threat of the Scourge looming in Lordaeron, I joined the Argent Crusade in their quest to vanquish the undead enemy.
In the wake of all the destruction, the surviving high elves were left once again without mana. Barely of age, I was lucky enough to have fled the city under the order of my parents, who entrusted me with continuing the tradition of their deep and rich ancestry. What good was that now? Their new brand of magic was disgusting, reminiscent of the Burning Legion itself. I could never be what my parents wished for me, and it killed me inside.
Becoming of age, I sought against the dying wishes of my parents, knowing that I would be doomed to the repeated cycle of addiction and suffering. Instead, I found solace in the Holy Light of the Naruu, and joined the order of the Blood Knights, changing my family name from Swiftwillow to Lightweaver. To atone for my personal sin of destroying thousands of years of tradition, I sought to eliminate every last member of the scourge, swearing allegiance to the Horde and their noble ways.
With the threat of the Lich King ever growing in the continent of Northrend, I am more ready than ever to mark my place in the world of Azeroth, much like my parents. I am here on my own terms, with my own friends, and I will stop at nothing to reach my dream!
With the Lich King in Northrend, the opportunity to strike back at the villain who destroyed everything we’ve worked for has come. Bathed by the power of the Holy Light, I have come so far, but there is still much that I need to learn about the Light, and where I fit into the grand scheme of history and its ever-changing peoples that claim their stake in it. Whatever my destiny is with my suffering people, I will strive to do whatever it takes to fulfill it.