|Guild||Legion Of Shadows|
|Age||18 (at apparent death)|
|Current Residence||Back of her horse|
- "Do Not WANNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNT!"
Artazia was the daughter of minor nobility with several family members serving in Paladin orders. She is now a semi-undead menace to the Scourge that seduced her to evil.
Artazia once looked much the way one might expect a young noblewoman of Lodaeron to have looked. Long flowing blonde hair, Blue eyes glowing with her firey spirit, refined features, and a complexion like fresh cream. The complexion has faded to a more parchment hue, and her eyes glow not with her spirit, but with the unholy powers of the Lich King. Her slender frame seems dwarfed by the heavy plate mail she wares, and her rune blade appears like it would snap her wrists if she lifted it. Appearances can be deceiving however. Under the unfeeling tutelage of the Scourge, she has become a fearsome warrior, capable of inflicting devastating injuries upon her opponents. Around her left ankle is a shackle with a short length of broken chain.
Artazia is pretty much the shattered remains of a personality. The transition from a life of pampered splendour, to a refugee damaged her, and then the transition to a death knight did more still. The final blow, that one that severed her ties to the Lich king also destabilized her further. At times she will be moody and depressive, and at other times she will explode in rage. She is particularly hate filled towards the orcish race, although she’s not the friend of anything alive. If there is one constant, it is her burning desire to get her revenge upon Arthus Menthil.
A privileged youthEdit
Growing up the spoilt daughter of a Lordaeron noble, Artazia’s youth was spent learning to be a lady. Needlework. Dressage. Presentation. Her father was always a distant figure, his noble rank in the military ensuring he was usually about the king’s business somewhere. So the men she were closest to were her older brother Quattro, and her maternal uncle, a gruff and grizzled knight of the silver hand, Ramba the Reliant. Ramba was responsible for training her brother to his hereditary place in the knighthood.
If Artazia had any regrets about her childhood, it was that she couldn’t participate as much. Not having any magical abilities, the path of the mage lay closed to her, and thus the path usually taken by Lordaeron women who didn’t want to be wives. Artazia had some regrets here, because she felt that she could not contribute to the kingdom like her heroic uncle and brother, but her mother assured her that the correct alliance in marriage would ensure her a life of comfort and subtle power. Of course, this soured her perception of other women. Now seing other girls her age as potential competitors for the more desirable noblemen, she tolerated only the company of those both less wealthy and less gorgeous than herself.
Although it would require a stretch of the imagination to call these other girls friends, or even well treated, the possibility of the patronage of the Azinable family was enough to ensure a steady supply. As her 18th birthday approached she began planning her society debut with her mother and her associates.
Happy birthday, have a warEdit
Artazia’s 18th was to be a huge social celebration. Her father would be present. And he was bringing one of the Knights of the Silver hand’s most promising new recruits, prince Arthus Menthil himself! People from all the best houses would be present. She wouldn’t have a chance at the prince, gossip had linked him to admiral proudmore's daughter, but with the beautiful but dumb ones drooling over the prince this would be the perfect start for her campaign to find a powerful husband.
Unfortunately for Artazia, rumours of a plague stared spreading in the week before. A state of emergency was declared. All socal events were cancelled. Her 18th birthday was spent having a tantrum and throwing expensive, breakable things. With the rise of the scourge, and the increasing instability of certain members of the Knights of the Silver Hand, her father send a tersely written note to her mother. It ordered an evacuation of the household to Hillsbrad.
Artazia’s mother was not comfortable with the idea, but she acknowledged the wisdom in heading for greener pastures. They would head south through Silverpine Forest, and take ferry for Dalaran. Unfortunately for them, the Scourge’s attack on Dalaran coincided with their travel plans, and no ferryman would dare to cross in the face of that. They would have to travel the long way round.
They began to head deeper into Silverpine. This was quite the shock to young Artazia, who had never spent a night without a roof over her head. After her initial shock, she began to discover within herself a strange enjoyment. Although 99% of Azeroth’s human population would not have described the nobleman’s caravan they were travelling in as a trial, the daily challenges faced in a life here every whim would not be pampered to began to broaden the young woman’s horizons. Although her mother complained bitterly, Artazia began to almost wish the journey would not end. Life as a refugee, no matter how luxurious wouldn’t compare to this, and Hillsbrad was apparently little more than a frontier town. Her former lifestyle would be impossible. Perhaps they could keep going as far as Arathi, or even all the way to Stormwind.
Unfortunately, the bandits who had been following the caravan had other ideas. They recognized the Azinable family crest of a Phoenix rampant over a golden chevron on a field of salmon. They were deserters from her father’s own unit. In the early dawn on their 10th day out of Lordaeron, the bandits struck. The male servants and guards were slaughtered. Artazia and her mother were forced to watch as their maids were brutalized, and then were forced under the threat of the same treatment to send a letter to their relatives, begging for their ransom.
A dire choiceEdit
Chained to a tentpole in the bandit’s camp, forced to listen to the nightly attacks on girls she had considered valuable assistants, if not bosom companions, Artazia began to loose her grip on her sanity. At first she begged the light to help her, the light her uncle and her brother had used so effectively. Then she cried out for her brother, her uncle, and even her father to rescue them. After a month with no reply, the bandits carved a lock off her hair to send in another missive. What they were planning to do to her mother was much worse. Showing them the spirit of a Loredon noblewoman, she bit through her tongue and allowed herself to drown in her own blood, rather than endure the indignities they were visiting upon her. Weeping from the brutal display, Artazia begged someone, anyone to save her. She was not expecting an answer, and certainly not an answer in a voice that sounded suspiciously like prince Arthus.
“Do not cry little one. The power to gain your revenge will be yours. Open your eyes and look ahead of you.”
Artazia opened her eyes, blinking away the tears. Before her hovered a sword, its steel a strange green, its surface covered in purple runes.
“Your family has abandoned you. So has the light. You are lost. But your prince would not let such a flower of Lordaeron nobility suffer such indignities. Take the sword, and you will be granted power such as your uncle and your brother could not dream of.”
Artazia didn’t even hesitate. Her hand reached forward to grasp the runeblade. A noblewoman died. A Death Knight was born.
With a single stroke of her new weapon, she cleaved through her chain. The newly born Death Knight, wearing the ragged remains of a noblewoman’s travelling garb, tore through the bandits like the miserable sum they were, their feable skills no mach for the hate of the young woman and the powers of the litch king. Looking over their hacked and mutilated bodies, she commanded them to rise and serve. To her shock, not only did the bandits rise, but the spirits of her tortured maids also arose, ready to serve in death as they had in life. Her mother also arose, a powerful ghost.
Servant of the ScourgeEdit
Artazia served the Lich King with a will. Convinced from her own experience that life was wasted on the living, she killed with passion and drive. Unsurprisingly, she relished the slaughter of bandits, and when ever possible went out of her way to destroy them. Her warband slaughtered its way up through Silverpine to Lordaeron. It was here she saw her brother again. His decayed corpse was a twisted mockery of the paladin she once knew. Deep within her, something screamed in impotent rage at the damage done to her family. But she was the Lich King’s plaything, body and soul. By his orders she left her minions in the shattered city, and reported to the city of Stratholme for more advanced training.
It was while in training that Artazia’s emotions slowly began to awaken. She began to realise that she was not in fact dead, but simply a commander of the dead. When she was resting, she would be occasionally haunted by flashes, images of her mother and her brother as undead. Somehow this was wrong, strange? And where was Arthus? Kel'Thuzud was rather mysterious on the whole matter, and it probably was not a good idea to seem to independent anyway. Why was she even thinking these things? She was the Lich King’s possession, body and soul.
Of course, the truth was that with the Burning Leigon’s defeat, her mother and brother had become Forsaken, joining Sylvannas Windrunner’s rebellion. Her mother once again was ghostly nobility, and her brother was once again on the side of the law, this time as a Deathstalker.Meanwhile she couldn’t help but notice signs of increased free thought and independence in her fellow Death Knights. In particular there was one young man. Joe had been a farm hand in the village of Brill, and had taken the blade to get his revenge upon those nobles who had abused him and his family their whole lives. Despite their wildly separate backgrounds, she felt herself drawn to him. He was uncouth, brutish and rude, the exact opposite of everything she’d grown up believing a man should be. But he was also funny, within the limits of his thought, and charming, and showed her a deference that was pleasing without being patronising or fawning. Against the odds, and all expectations, the two became friends.
It was on a lengthy patrol outside of Stratholme they discovered they were something more. After an afternoon of pounding refugees into recruits, Artazia decided that her gore smeared gauntlets needed a wash, to avoid bits of blood and bone fouling them. Joe agreed this was a good idea. While crouched over the stream, gauntlets removed, their hands brushed against each other.
Almost hesitantly, they touched hands again. Eyes shining blue with necromantic power stared at the joined hands in shock.
They were alive!
Each had assumed the price of the other’s soul was undeath. Each had believed they were the exception not the rule.
They looked at each other, blue power muting as their eyes filled with questions. Slowly Joe removed his helmet, revealing a fully human face. Artazia began to reach for her own helmet’s straps. And then a hellish scream erupted from the bushes.
An Orc berserker came tearing towards the Death Knights. Eynormus Zham of the Warsong clan was newly returned to the eastern kingdoms, and keen to get revenge on the hideous Scourge for the death of his beloved leader Grom Hellscream. His left hand flickered, sending knives of super hardened thorium into Artazia’s helmet, sending her reeling. In his right he carried an axe of enormous size.
Scrambling to his feet, Joe tore his runesword from its scabbard. As Artazia knelt to retrieve her gauntlets, the peasant from Lordaeron counter charged the ravening orc. Joe fought hard, but Zham was an experienced and canny fighter. He aimed his strokes at the unprotected hands of the male death knight. Joe parried low, leaving his equally unguarded head exposed. Again the left hand flickered a sliver of thorium sinking through Joe’s left eye socket.
With a flare of blue power, Joe collapsed like a puppet with its strings cut. Now garbed for battle, Artazia saw this and screamed in rage and loss. Fully bezerk herself, she set her shield, raised her rune blade and charged. A hail of throwing knives were battered aside by her runeblade, her arm moving at inhuman sped to intercept. Her mighty sword began lashing at the Orc, aiming for the chinks and fittings in his armour. Back peddling furiously, Zham attempted to regain his footing, only to trip over the downed corpse of Joe. With a hellish scream Artazia struck for the joining of his hauberk and helm, severing the thick orc neck with one clean blow.
She lent down to check on Joe. The knife was buried to its crosspiece in his eye. His flesh had gone pale, and he was no longer breathing. Then a bright blue light flared up in the ravaged socket, burning the metal out. Joe sat. The life which had animated his features, revealed to the light so briefly was gone. They instead hung slack. His remaining human eye was no longer questioning, but blank. And his once warm hand was growing colder by the minute. “We must resume patrol” he said, as emotionlessly as he would have prior to the fall of the Leigon.
Over the next few days she realised her friend was in fact completely gone, and the perfect servant of Arthus had returned. This troubled her immensely, because she saw how limited Joe was now. Would she go down the same route? And what would the Lich King think of her newly found independence?
During the second great Scourge invasion of Azaroth, Artazia was tasked with leading a group of skeletal flayers in an attack upon Azshara. Her cluster of undead teleported to a landing crystal being assaulted by a mixed group of forsaken and Orcs. She looked forward to getting her revenge on those she saw as “polluting” her former homeland, as well as the Orcs. The battle quickly swung the way of the Scourge, the undead spirits of the Highborne Elves that had once lived in the area joining in the fray. Desperately, one of the Forsaken, a battered Deathstalker, pressed a horn to his ragged lips and blew a mighty call summoning Argent Dawn reinforcements.
He called in vain, as Artazia’s sword cleaved into his rotting ribcage, drinking hungarly of the magics sustaining his lifeforce. There was something… naggingly familiar about the dead rouge’s face, but Artazia had no time to consider who he was, as a mightly paladin astride a white charger was hurtling towards her. With all the grace and precision of her noble upbringing, and her necromantic strength, she swang her blade 2-handed, catching the knight’s steed a leg shattering blow. The Argent Dawn crusader went flying from his stirrups, collecting the ground in a shuddering crash of plate mail. But astonishingly enough he climbed to his feet.Dismounted, bruised and unhelmeted, armour plate hanging askew, her uncle, Ramba the Reliant stood in front of her. Scowling, he gripped his hammer and charged. Training, instinct, and the ever present presence of Arthus in her brain took over from her shock, and her counterthrust unerringly found a gap in his armour, spilling her beloved uncle’s guts onto the already blood soaked soil.
Something in Artazia’s mind snapped. The control of the Litch King was weakend. Screaming out her rage, she tore the helmet from her head, and rushed to her uncle’s aid. He coughed weakly.
“Little Artazia? It can’t be you. You vanished!”
“It is me uncle” The girl wept.
“But but..” he stammered. “It was your brother’s horn I answered. Forgive us for not rescuing you. Spare him if you can.”
A hideous rattle escaped from the Paladin, as his life passed from him. She looked to the motionless forsaken. His face was horribly ravaged, but around his neck hung a golden chain. When Artazia removed it, she discovered hanging from it a signet bearing the family crest.
The last hold of the Litch King broke. Artazia realised what she really wanted all this time was her family back. Her family that was now forever denied to her. The family she had killed herself, thanks to the power grated to her by Arthus Menthil.
Arthus Menthil would pay, this she vowed.