|Played by Keira|
Wrath of the Lich King, prior to Icecrown Citadel raid
When she was alive, Sylvanas Windrunner achieved the position of Ranger-General of Silvermoon City at a relatively young age. She led all high elven forces, though she had a closer connection to the rangers than to the melee troops. This appointment was due mostly to her phenomenal skills in combat, and partly due to her unwavering strength of will, determination, and ruthless pursuit of her goals. Her leadership skills were without equal among her people, and most could imagine no better candidate for such a position. As Ranger-General, Sylvanas was completely fearless, and brazenly reckless. It was Sylvanas who led her people against the invasion of the orcs during the Second War, and Sylvanas who, alone, hunted down and slaughtered all that were left. It was Sylvanas who slowed the Scourge’s assault upon her people’s lands to the best of her abilities, and Sylvanas who, right at the end, with her rangers dead, fought blade for blade against Arthas Menethil himself, knowing that she would never survive.
Sylvanas is a phenomenal archer, capable of hitting moving objects accurately at considerable distance. She has been known to often boast that she can hit a flying bird in the eye with no problem. Her bow is ancient, having once belonged to Dath’remar Sunstrider, the very first of the high elven kings, who lived 10,000 years ago. It has since become a mark of the Ranger-General office, and was handed to her upon the promotion – it has since become her most prized possession, especially after she died and managed to retrieve both her corpse and the bow. She keeps it close at all times, and to steal it is probably the most unwise action one can take – if you do, she will hunt you down and not rest until she has your head on a spike and the weapon back in her possession. Both her quiver and her arrows were all made by her following her repossession of her body – while not much of a craftswoman like many of the high elves, her arrows were always the best in Quel’Thalas, and her quivers were always of high quality. Since her death, Sylvanas tends to make her bows with the same white feathers that adorn her spaulders, though she will sometimes use black.
Sylvanas’ position of Ranger-General, heading all elven forces, required not only skill with a bow, but also with swords. Sylvanas has higher than average skill with her dual blades, which were made for her at a young age, to her own specifications. However, she has little to no skill wielding anything that requires two hands, and her skills with her twin swords are much, much lower than those with her bow. Her two blades are curved and both very much deadly – she wields them with precision and proficiency, though it would likely be simple for one with higher skill in such an area to defeat her. Since her death, Sylvanas has had both of her swords enchanted, so that the blades glow with a red light, to further her somewhat sinister appearance. The enchantments also serve to occasionally increase her speed while fighting with them.
When Sylvanas was mutilated and subsequently murdered by Arthas, he corrupted her soul and ripped it from her corpse, causing her to become an incorporeal whirlwind of screaming anguish, hatred and fury, commonly known as a banshee. In this form, Sylvanas resembled nothing of her physical appearance – she was smaller, translucent, and barely anything approaching an elven female (Described further in Appearance below). As a banshee, Sylvanas was completely intangible, incapable of interacting with anything earthly, though she was able to converse with others. It is her transformation into a banshee that gave Sylvanas her powers in necromancy, allowing her the use of shadow magic, and giving her the abilities to drain the life slowly from a victim, possess corpses so that she may use them much like one would use a costume and resurrect others as simple, mindless skeletons under her control. Her skills with necromancy, however, are not high, and she only uses them under dire circumstances, though she is more than happy to threaten people with it.
While she was successful in hunting down her corpse and repossessing it, Sylvanas is no longer the high elf she appears to be. As mentioned above, possessing a corpse is just like wearing a costume – Sylvanas is not connected to her body, she merely puppeteers it to give herself a corporeal form, and in a vain attempt to try and retain some of her life. As she is not connected to the corpse in any way except by controlling its movements, Sylvanas is incapable of many things, such as eating, drinking, sneezing, crying, feeling heat or cold, or – most importantly – feeling pain. Sylvanas cannot feel any kind of pain – this has served to make her even more incapable of feeling fear than she was in life, and even more brash and reckless, as she knows that she can do anything and be hurt in any way and it will not affect her. While she cannot feel pain, her body can be destroyed, which will force Sylvanas out into her banshee form. In this form, the only things Sylvanas can do are her relatively weak necromantic attacks. If she can regain her body – or all pieces of it, whatever the situation may demand – she can regenerate it within a week or so, and once again possess it.
In her corporeal form, Sylvanas is still able to use her necromancy, though the powers are weakened further than they already were when using so much of her ability to possess her corpse. Most of her power is spent on preserving the body – it was rotting when she finally managed to find it, and she almost hit the limit of her capability when restoring it to the appearance of a body only just felled. She regularly uses her shadow magic, however, to augment her arrows – the enchanted arrows will generally cause the victim to be consumed in black fire and shadows when shot.
As much as she will refuse to admit it, Sylvanas is psychologically linked to Arthas, the man who killed her and brought her back as a banshee. This link is a remnant of when she was under his control, as the Lich King controls the Scourge telepathically. While she has escaped from his domination, she can still feel him faintly in the back of her mind, like a filthy presence, though she has become adept at ignoring this and barely even notices it anymore. This link, as faint and currently largely useless as it is, prevents Sylvanas from properly dying – destroying her body will only force her into her banshee form, where she will float around ineffectually until she can regenerate and repossess it once again. This is, to her, a disadvantage, since death to her consists of nothing but constant pain, hatred and the only thing she desires more than a true death is revenge against Arthas. Not only does she wish to kill him in return for him killing her, killing him is the only way to allow her to die properly. She plans on committing suicide as soon as he is dead, simply so that she can finally have some peace.
As the Banshee Queen of the Forsaken, Sylvanas' already incredible leadership skills have only been honed and perfected - she is fully capable of rallying people to her cause, and, while cold and brutal, she is a ruler with the undying loyalty of her people.
For all of her skills, Sylvanas is highly reckless and strident, and she has a tendency to allow anger to control her actions, which often cause her to rush into combat with no thought for her own or others’ safety. Her ranger skills were, and are, without equal, but her thoughtlessness may yet spell her end.
As she still possesses her high elven body, Sylvanas has the heightened senses of all elves, as well as the grace and speed.
POST-ARRIVAL IN PANDORA - Over a month after arriving in Pandora, Sylvanas was given a birthday present by Dante - the amulent that had belonged to his mother, which possesses the power of his devil father. This amulet gives Sylvanas powers of regeneration equal to Dante's himself, causing wounds to heal themselves. As Sylvanas can already heal herself via her own necromantic regeneration - and cannot feel pain besides - the powers of the amulet are currently null and void, though she wears it at all times anyway.
In life, Sylvanas Windrunner was a noble young elf – selfless, loyal, and fiercely protective of those she cared about. She took her position of Ranger-General extremely seriously, and her only interest during her station was the safekeeping of the elven lands and her people. Her altruism in the face of peril led to her facing the assailant, Arthas Menethil, in combat, knowing that she would lose her life for it, and yet doing so anyway, with no fear, in an attempt to drive him back or, at the very least, slow him enough to allow the city defences to thwart him.
However, even when she was alive, Sylvanas was a vain woman, caring a great deal about her appearance, and she was notorious for her sharp tongue, general lack of respect unless required to give it, and her insultingly brusque comments and sarcasm. She was quite hard to get along with on a personal level, but once she made a friend, she would stick with them for life, and her reliability was unmatched.
In death, Sylvanas’ more... negative traits seemed to gain intensity, and she has cosseted herself in a thick protective shield of cold steel. She is a being who seems to be composed entirely of fury, anguish, and burning hatred, directed mostly towards her creator, Arthas, for whom she nurses extreme loathing and a desire to exact her revenge. However, she also directs these emotions towards humans and anything that seems to be alive – humans, in her eyes, are weak and will do anything to gain power, even if it means committing the atrocities that Arthas so brazenly perpetrated, and, despite the fact that she was once in love with a human man, looks down upon their race with nothing but contempt.
Towards the living, Sylvanas is extremely jealous and resentful, though she displays such emotions through the same contempt she holds for humans. She is exceptionally bitter towards anything with a heartbeat, as she hates the fact that she is dead but not dead, and wishes that she could either be alive again, or properly dead and at peace. Her longing for a return to life is shown through the fact that she spent a lot of power and energy on regenerating her body so that it remains fully preserved, and the constant supply of magic she feeds into it in a desperate attempt to keep any sign of rotting from touching it. She is as vain with her cadaver marionette as she was when she was alive.
Sylvanas is, and always has been, completely fearless. Since her death, this has led to absolute arrogance in the face of danger, and a precarious tendency to provoke anything that might prove to be a threat. She is quite rude, acerbic, candid and never thinks before speaking, something that used to land her in hot water when she was alive more often than not.
The Banshee Queen is unfailingly determined, and merciless in her willpower. She was the first to be able to break free from Arthas’ telepathic control, and it was she who freed those who would become her own people – the kingdom of shambling, rotting corpses who call themselves the Forsaken. Many of her subjects were humans in life, and when the humans turned them away, she vowed that the Forsaken would have their own lands – their own empire. She immediately made good on that vow, ruthlessly conquering settlements and driving out or murdering the human inhabitants. She became quickly known as the most brutal and cruel monarch in Azeroth, though she does what she has to do to ensure that her people have their own lives, despite being devoid of life itself.
Since her death, Sylvanas has kept herself locked away behind a steel wall, and she has hardened herself against such weak emotions as sympathy or remorse. Everything she does is for the good of the Forsaken, or to drive them towards her ultimate goal of vengeance against Arthas, so she refuses to feel any shame for the atrocities she herself has to commit or order in order to reach her goals. She remains cold, driven by the rage, detestation and agony that is all her banshee self can feel.
In a nutshell, Sylvanas Windrunner, the Banshee Queen of the Forsaken, is a cold, hard, indomitable ruler who will stop at nothing to allow her people to expand and progress, and who is driven by the sheer hatred she holds for Arthas Menethil. She is a somewhat distasteful person to speak to, as she holds contempt for pretty much anyone who is not dead – and more often than not, contempt for those who are dead, also. She will stop at nothing to achieve her goal of murdering her creator in as horrifying and excruciating a way as she can manage. She will ally with anyone she needs to, and anyone who stands in her way will be cut down. She is not afraid to murder or torture her way to revenge.
She has, however, retained the loyalty and protectiveness of life, and is faithful to her people – and they to her. The vast majority of the Forsaken worship her, and would lay down their lives for her... a fact that makes them a formidable army, something she knows all too well. The Deathguards, the elite of all Forsaken forces, are some of the most fearsome and dangerous troops upon Azeroth, and she keeps a group of the best, the Royal Deathguards, as her personal bodyguard, though she is not afraid of being without them, as she is in Pandora.
Beneath the cold, bitter exterior that she has wrapped herself so tightly in, Sylvanas has a vulnerability – what was once her noble high elven self. She distances herself from anything that may remind her of her life, besides her cherished weapons, especially if they concern her beloved sisters, Alleria and Vereesa. Being reminded of everything that she has lost – everything that was torn away from her – cuts her to the core. She has learnt how to harness the pain that thinking of her life brings, and twist it inwards into steel and anger and focus on revenge. The vulnerability is still there, however, buried deeply.
In life, Sylvanas was one of the most beautiful of the high elves, a fact that never much helped her vanity. She had smooth, flawless peach skin, and her slightly tilted eyes glowed blue. Her hair fell to her waist and was a bright blonde. As Ranger-General, her attire consisted of blue and russet leather, and was, especially in comparison to what she currently wears, modest.
When in her banshee form, Sylvanas resembles nothing of her physical body. She is small, perhaps four foot, floating in mid air, with a barely distinguishable figure, and wispy smoke where her legs should be. She seems to be made entirely of white vapour, which makes discerning any features extremely difficult. Her fingers end in long, sharp talon-like claws, which, in such a form, are largely useless as she is incapable of any physical interaction. Her hair, as wispy and misty as the rest of her, stands up on end in a wild disarray. Her face – what can be made of it through the misty vapours that make up her form – is the only thing that looks anything like her physical body, and is permanently twisted in anger and pain.
After having retrieved her rotting body and regenerating it, feeding magic into it to keep it fully preserved, Sylvanas once again resembles her high elven self, with some major differences.
Her skin, once with so perfect a complexion, is now ashen grey and cold to the touch, and her lips, once so red, are darkened, and tinged blue. Her once beautifully clear blue eyes are now a frightfully vivid crimson, glowing with a light far more eerie than she had in life. While magic keeps her body preserved and in the perfectly toned state one sees it in, it is still quite obvious that she is dead, a fact that she is bitter that she is unable to change.
She is taller than average even for an elf, standing at 6’5”, and slender to match the height, with hints of musculature beneath the toned, smooth grey skin. Her figure is deliberately perfect, and she retains the stunning elven beauty she had in life, though her cheeks have since hollowed through death. Her ears, long, pointed and slender, poke upwards through her hair, which, while once a striking shade of golden blonde, is now bleached of all colour and a shimmering white, now falling to just short of the small of her back, though it is mostly kept beneath her hood.
Her leather clothing is sparse to allow for fluid movements, and to showcase the fact that she need feel no fear of any kind of harm. She wears a detailed chest plate that exposes her toned midriff, and greaves atop light, green cotton trousers. Her gauntlets are decorated with a large gem on each, and her spaulders are adorned with spikes, skulls and white feathers than match her own blanched hair. She wears a crimson hooded cloak, tattered and ripped at the bottom, the hood of which is nearly always up. She keeps her quiver and her bow slung across her back most of the time, and can often be seen with her two blades sheathed at her waist.
>The Windrunner line was a prominent, famed family in the high elven lands of Quel’Thalas. Sylvanas was the middle of three daughters, between her elder sister Alleria and her younger sister Vereesa. They also had three brothers. They lived at Windrunner Spire in the beautiful, peaceful forests of Quel’Thalas. At a young age, Sylvanas joined the Rangers, and rose up to become Ranger-General of Silvermoon City, the military leader of all high elven forces.
During the Second War, between the newly formed human Alliance of Lordaeron and the orcish Old Horde from the planet of Draenor, the high elves only sent small bands of rangers to support them. Shortly afterwards, the forests of Quel’Thalas began to burn, and Sylvanas took her rangers to discover the cause. They discovered that the orcs were coming to destroy their lands, and that it was they who were burning the forests. Sylvanas took her rangers to trap the orcs between them and the Alliance forces under command of Turalyon, the human paladin. The battle was long and hard, but eventually the Old Horde gave up on Quel’thalas and retreated. Sylvanas stayed behind, alone, to hunt down any remainders.
The invasion of the orcs led to the deaths of everyone in the Windrunner family, with the exception of the three sisters. Their brothers, parents, grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins... All perished at the hands of the orcs, which prompted the elder sister to travel to the orcs' home world with a force of humans - included the paladin she herself had fallen for - to avenge her people. Alleria never returned, and is presumed MIA.
As the elves of Quel’Thalas were still a part of the Alliance, despite how tenuous their allegiance was, Sylvanas permitted a highly talented human ranged named Nathanos Marris into the elven ranks of the Farstrider rangers. She trained him personally, taking a lot of pride in her human disciple, though many of her comrades strongly opposed the permission of a non-elf to train with them. Even the elven Prince himself wrote a strongly-worded letter to her demanding that she remove him from elven lands. She persisted, showing her determination and strength of will, and eventually her disciple became the first and last human Ranger Lord, proving to be a valuable and powerful ally. Sylvanas and Nathanos became close, even pursuing a romantic relationship for a time. She eventually fell in love with him, and he with her, though their relationship was short-lived with the coming of the Scourge.
After the Second War, the high elves of Quel’Thalas withdrew from the Alliance, preferring to keep themselves to themselves in the pride expected of elves, and Sylvanas and her rangers were once again the only protection Quel’Thalas had against any potential attackers. The lands were peaceful, but Sylvanas was sure that the peace was not to last.
This proved true when Arthas Menethil, Crown-Prince of Lordaeron and betrayer of his people, was seen to approach the first elfgate – heavy gates protecting the outskirts of the forests from the outside – with a horde of undead Scourge. Sylvanas rallied her rangers, and went to see this report for herself.
When she came to meet Arthas, she suggested that he turn back, but he told her death itself had come to Quel’Thalas. Despite everything they tried, Arthas and his army of undead were able to break through the elfgate, despite its powerful magic. Sylvanas and her troops fled back to the second gate, which could only be opened by a special key, and hoped against hope that the magisters in the city would be able to help repel the vast army of undead moving inexorably through their lands. She sent a scout to warn them that Quel’Thalas had been betrayed, and watched in horror as the Scourge wrought destruction on the land.
Any elf who got in his way was brutally killed by Arthas as he made his way relentlessly to the second gate, having acq uired the key with the help of the traitor. Every elf who fell was brought back as a mindless slave of the Scourge, so the numbers of Arthas’ army kept rising and rising and rising. In desperation, Sylvanas burned the bridge leading to the second elfgate in an attempt to hinder their progress, but Arthas ordered his minions to create a bridge of bodies to make up for the loss of the real one.
She fled to Fairbreeze Village, now only with her hardiest rangers at her side, but she determined to make a stand before Arthas, despite seeing the hour of her death approach. She and her few remaining rangers were alone before a sea of undead as the Scourge approached, but they made their final stand, Sylvanas fighting against Arthas himself. Exhausted, the Ranger-General was unable to match the death knight, and was cut down.
Hanging to life by only a thread, Sylvanas was later taken to Arthas. She insisted on a clean death, but Arthas, frustrated at having had to fight against her every step of the way through his invasion of Quel’Thalas, told her that after everything she had put him through, the last thing he would give her was the peace of death.
For a time, Arthas tortured and mutilated Sylvanas for his pleasure, and eventually, she was killed by his hand. But this was not enough. He corrupted her body and soul, and brought her back into the world as a screaming vortex of torment, anger and hatred.
Sylvanas Windrunner had become the first of the high elven banshees.
Her body was lost among the thousands upon thousands claimed by the Scourge, and later locked in an iron coffin as yet another act of revenge upon the former Ranger-General.
Now a bodiless banshee, Sylvanas was paraded as a trophy in front of the high elves of Quel’Thalas, who were horrified to the core to witness what had become of their finest military leader. Despite her completely enslavement to Arthas, she was proud to see how her people continued to fight against Arthas and the Scourge, but was dismayed as he managed to breach every one of their defenses. She was forced to watch helplessly, hopelessly, as Arthas engaged, and killed, her king. She witnessed the rebirth of Arthas’ prized servant, Kel’Thuzad, after the murder of her beloved liege, and let out a banshee’s scream of despair and anguish that only served to amuse Arthas further.
For a while, Sylvanas became one of Arthas’ primary and best generals, forced into aiding and serving him. Eventually, however, Arthas’ control over the minds of Sylvanas and several other banshees began to weaken. She hid this knowledge, continuing to serve, until the demonic Nathrezim told her that his powers were diminishing. They intended to take the opportunity to seize control of Lordaeron, and Sylvanas reluctantly agreed to assist, but only if she could do so on her own terms. The Nathrezim planned to kill Arthas in the capital city, and Sylvanas took a number of other banshees to an ambush point in case he escaped.
He did escape, and Sylvanas – who had managed to hunt down the coffin containing her body and succeeded in using her banshee powers to once again possess it – shot him with an arrow tipped with a paralytic. He demanded that she finish him quickly, but she refused, given the torture she had gone through at his hands. As she was about to begin her work, Kel’Thuzad arrived. He killed her banshees and she fled.
When Arthas left for Northrend, Sylvanas and many others were freed of the control over their minds. Sylvanas sent out her banshees to possess powerful figures, and they threw down the Nathrezim Varimathras who wished to take over Lordaeron in Arthas’ absence. He begged for his life, promising to serve her. She was reluctant to trust him, but was certain of her abilities to control him. With his help, she moved against his brother Detheroc, who had acquired humans to protect him. She killed them all, and slaughtered Detheroc. With that done, they moved on the Capital to remove Varimathras’ other brother Balnazzar.
With the city eventually theirs, Sylvanas proclaimed that they would rule over the remains of the Lordaeron as the Forsaken, carving out their own destiny, as their own race. She went about founding her new kingdom, releasing many undead from the psychological grasp of Arthas. They took over the Capital and set up a home in the palace catacombs – the Undercity – claiming it as the capital of their new nation.
Having created their own functional empire of their own, with Sylvanas at their head as their beloved Banshee Queen, the undead Forsaken set about finding allies in their quest to see Arthas dead. Sylvanas sent ambassadors to Thrall, the Warchief of the new Horde, and though they were reluctantly accepted, many of the faction’s prominent members contested the inclusion of the Forsaken into the Horde. The reluctant allegiance, merely an alliance of convenience, allowed the Horde to gain better holdings in the Eastern Kingdoms, with Lordaeron as their own.
As time passed, Sylvanas gained a considerable faction of her own, freeing the minds of those still in the Scourge. She even found her former disciple Nathanos Marris, and freed his mind, naming him the Champion of the Banshee Queen. Two societies rose up under Sylvanas’ rule – the Deathstalkers, which became one of the most powerful spy organisation in Azeroth, and the Royal Apothecary Society, which was founded to develop a plague that would destroy the Scourge.
Even while dead, Sylvanas still considers herself an elf and a protector of Quel’Thalas, and sent assistance and supplies to the blood elves – high elves who had renamed themselves in tribute to all those killed by Arthas. Sylvanas helped convince Thrall to accept the blood elves into the Horde.
Eventually, the Horde decided it was time to move against Arthas, now the Lich King, and remove him, after Scourge forces were sent against the Horde’s capital, Orgrimmar. Thrall declares war on Arthas, and Sylvanas deploys her chief apothecary Putress to assist them in Northrend with his plague knowledge.
In Northrend, the Forsaken forces under Sylvanas meticulously develop the plague that would destroy the Scourge. Putress takes it upon himself to test it at Angrathar, the gate where both the Horde and the Alliance come face to face with Arthas. The plague slaughtered the undead, but also killed the Horde and the Alliance indiscriminately.
In the Undercity, the Nathrezim Varimathras and an army of demons attempted to take over, and though Sylvanas almost died a second time, she managed to destroy them, only to discover that the human king Varian Wrynn was on his way with Alliance forces to kill Putress for his actions at Angrathar, and liberate Lordaeron for the Alliance. Shortly after Varimathras’ defeat, Varian entered the Royal Quarter, and attempted to kill both the Warchief and the Banshee Queen. However, his mage ally Jaina Proudmoore teleported him and their forces away before they could come to blows.
With the rebels killed, Sylvanas reclaimed her throne, though the events in Northrend had caused the Horde to become even more suspicious of her. Orcish guards were sent to the Undercity to keep an eye on her apothecaries while Sylvanas travelled to Northrend to bring about Arthas’ end.
It is as she makes her way through Icecrown to confront him that she and her skeletal steed, Dancer, are seized by black tendrils writhing out of the ground, and pulled roughly into darkness. She wakes up in Pandora, confused and disoriented, with only her mount for company.
Sylvanas was brought into Pandora from Icecrown, on March 27th 1BP. She was knocked unconscious from the transition between worlds, and woke up in the woods, soon to be confronted by a being who called himself Fëanor and claimed to also be a high elf, despite physical discrepancies between the two of them. This was Sylvanas' first encounter with an elf from another world, and while both of them were suspicious of the other, they have not yet made enemies of each other.
A few days after arriving, Sylvanas appeared to have a busy period, with many different events - in the space of two days, she had managed to antagonise a mutant into threatening to kill her with her own arrows, ended up attacked by a young man with weapons that managed to paralyse her dead puppet, and met two bizarre figures, one of whom proceeded to reward her insolence by trapping her in chains.
All of this excitement was not to end, however, as the very next morning after her encounter with Pinhead and Judge Death, she was approached by one Dr. Doom and 'persuaded' to join his cause - his plan to take the throne of Pandora so that he can control resources to build a machine with which to escape the town. Though Sylvanas is not at all interested in working for him, he convincingly threatens to extract her banshee form and trap it in an inescapable prison. Unwilling to feel captured again, Sylvanas feels she has no choice but to work for him, until such time as she can wriggle out of such an arrangement.
In the following weeks, Sylvanas meets various figures around the dimension of Pandora, the vast majority of whom she manages to piss off, if they don't piss her off first. There seems to be only two exceptions to this rule so far - Judge Death, with whom she is steadily developing some kind of undead-to-undead bond, and Dante, the young man who attacked her due to belief she was a demon. Though initially wary, Sylvanas began to spend more and more time with him, until she eventually realised that they were, in many ways, similar. By the first week of May, Sylvanas has almost tentatively entered into a cautious relationship with him, the first since her romance with Nathanos.
Most of those whom she has meet, however, appear to dislike Sylvanas, and she them. From coming across one of her factional enemies from her own world, to being shot in the head by an assassin, she has yet to make any friends besides her own partner.
With the coming of summer, however, Sylvanas' entire existence is going to be turned upside down.