Lady Melysa Marwyn-Ashvale
Melysa Armor.jpg
Melysa Marwyn-Ashvale

Date of Birth:

November 1st, 584 K.C.
(Aged 39 years)

Noble House:

House of Marwyn

Present Titles:

Dowager Lady Ashfort

Affiliations:

Stromgarde Peerage
Lordaeron Peerage
Order of the Silver Hand
Order of the Crimson Fist
House of Marwyn
House of Ashvale
Order of Saint Uther

Parents:

Joren Marwyn
Lizabet McGowen

First Husband:

Ethan Ashvale

Second Husband:

Henry Sutton IV (Annulled)

Children:

James Ashvale † (Son)
Arryc Ashvale (Step Son)

Other Relations:

Liam Marwyn † (Brother)
Merridyth Marwyn (Niece)
Hugh McGowen (Cousin)
Gavin Marwyn † (Cousin)
Varyc Marwyn † (Cousin)

Status

Alive

Melysa Lynn Marwyn-Ashvale (née Marwyn) is the only daughter of renowned Stromic war hero and former Field Marshal, Jarl Joren Marwyn and his wife, Lizabet McGowen. Following the deaths of her father and elder brother, she became the acting head of house Marwyn during her niece's minority and was created a Countess in her own right. Like many descendants of Strom, she is no stranger to combat and well-trained in the art of warfare, having fought for the Alliance in numerous conflicts against both the undead scourge and the new horde. Following the Northrend campaign and her return to her family's ancestral lands, she became one of Stromgarde's most prominent political figures, serving first as Ambassador of Stromgarde in Stormwind and Pandaria, and later as Lady Speaker in Stromgarde's house of nobles.

She is a veteran paladin of the original Order of the Silver Hand, consecrated at the Alonsus Chapel in the city of StratholmeLordaeron in 604 K.C. and the author of numerous texts, including From Squire to Paladin. Having served directly under Uther the Lightbringer, Saidan Dathrohan and many of the original Knights of the Silver Hand in her prime, Melysa was on the front lines during the plague of undeath and the rise of the undead scourge. She later founded a chapter of the Silver hand in Stromgarde, known as the Order of the Crimson Fist in 623 K.C. She was appointed by Archbishop Caspius to serve as Grand Master of the Silver Hand in March of 624 K.C. was later relieved of that duty as Caspius' actions weren't approved of by the Council.

Contents

Appearance[edit | edit source]

A striking woman in her late-thirties, she has the figure of a woman matured. Tall, well-endowed and aged like a fine wine, she is the very image of Stromic nobility. Her sapphire eyes are perhaps her most memorable feature, though they reveal much sadness at times. Her hair is quite long, easily reaching the small of her back and cascading in soft, reddish curls which accent a somewhat pale complexion, common to many highlanders.

She tends to favor long, elegant, and richly colored gowns of fine silk and shimmering samite, tailored to accentuate her figure while leaving just enough to the imagination. Save for a lavish diamond necklace fit for a Princess, and an equally impressive pair of diamond earrings, Melysa seldom wears much else in the way of jewels.

Though rarely seen in it now, she does own a handsomely crafted suit of armor, befitting a woman of her station. Upon closer inspection, the left knee appears to be reinforced with a metal brace.

Personality[edit | edit source]

A woman of grace and dignity with a good mind for politics and diplomacy, she often attended King Terenas' Court in Lordaeron and handled most matters of her late husband's estate. Once a woman of unconditional kindness, devotion and faith in the Holy Light, her husband's infidelities and the many tragedies she has endured during the last two decades have hardened her heart a great deal. She places high expectations on those who hold positions of influence in both government and military, and does not suffer fools lightly. 

Loyalty is of paramount importance to her and those who have earned her trust will find no more loyal an ally than Melysa. Contrarily, those who have proven themselves to be disloyal or dishonorable are treated with nothing short of contempt and will rarely be given a chance to redeem themselves.

Personal and Professional Relationships[edit | edit source]

Hellissa Brisby[edit | edit source]

Coming Soon!

Arryc Ashvale[edit | edit source]

Despite a rather difficult beginning and the fact that his very existence reminded her of her late husband's infidelity, Melysa has come to regard him as a son and maintains a very close relationship with the young Lord Blackwood. Through his generosity, Melysa now resides at the lovely, country estate of Rivergrove on the outskirts of Duskwood.

Muriah Anne Ashvale[edit | edit source]

Melysa could not have been more pleased with her step son's choice to wed the rather eccentric priestess and while the two are known to disagree on a number of things, Melysa sees her as the daughter she never had and one of the few people she trusts completely.

Sir Ivay Osrana[edit | edit source]

Sir Ivay is one of the handful of veteran paladins Melysa considers to be indispensible to the Order of the Silver Hand and the two share a similar vision of the Order's purpose. Together, they lead a small, orthodox order of Knights, known as the Order of Saint Uther.

Sir Cartres Portiave[edit | edit source]

One of the few veteran paladins left, who like Melysa, served under Uther Lightbringer during the high point of the Order's storied history in Lordaeron, Melysa considers him one of the finest paladins she has ever known. A man of honour and integrity who has treated her with nothing but kindness and respect, she has come to value his presence both in the Order of the Silver Hand and as a trusted friend and ally.

Bishop Niklos Adamant[edit | edit source]

While initially skeptic after learning more about the man and his history, Melysa has come to view him as one of the few trustworthy Bishops and a true servant of the Holy Light. She sees him as a model of what a Bishop should be--ever mindful of the well-being of his flock and possessing the courage to do what he believes is right, even when it goes against the majority.

Bishop Lilith Sahl Olethos[edit | edit source]

Melysa views the young Bishop of the Silver Hand as a bright future for the Council of Bishops and seems to have put a great deal of trust and faith in the woman of late.

Archbishop Alonsus Secundus[edit | edit source]

A person Melysa once considered a friend, trusted above all other Bishops and often went to for guidance, their relationship has certainly had its share of obstacles in past months. Although there still exists some degree of mutual distrust between them, his recent actions and the long conversations between them have gone a long way toward restoring her faith in the old dwarf. Elated to discover that he shares her vision for the Congregation of the Silver Hand, she seems to have redoubled her efforts to revitalize what she saw as an ineffective body.

((More to come. This section is a work in progress.))

Romantic Involvements[edit | edit source]

Ethan Ashvale - First Husband[edit | edit source]

Though she initially loved and respected her first husband, Lord Ethan was not faithful to her and was known to have fathered a bastard boy with one of his mistresses during a vist to the South. When Ethan returned from Stormwind with another woman's child, Melysa's initial reaction was rage and she is said to have knocked out one of her husband's teeth during the heated argument that followed. The couple eventually reconciled and Melysa attempted to put the matter behind them.

Karindir Stonewarden - Lover[edit | edit source]

In the year 623 K.C. at the age of 38, Melysa began a secret affair with the 29 year-old low-born, and somewhat reclusive Knight. Unfortunately this relationship did not remain a secret for long, and her family did not approve. After the Marwyns and Melysa's closest advisers put a great deal of pressure on them both, Stonewarden fled the Arathi Highlands, never to return. Melysa has admitted to members of her family that she loved Karindir, and would have married him if he had remained in Seastone. Rumour has it that the pair have recently reunited in the aftermath of the annulment of her second marriage to Henry Sutton.

Henry Sutton IV - Second Husband[edit | edit source]

The 8th Duke of Newcastle, and Melysa's second husband, Henry's proposal in February of 624 K.C. had come as quite a surprise to the 39 year-old widow. As Henry was a man she had always admired and respected, Melysa gladly accepted his marriage proposal, and the vast wealth that came with marrying into one of Stormwind's eldest, and most affluent aristocratic families, the house of Sutton. Sadly, the marriage lasted only two months and was annulled in late April of 624 K.C. after Henry failed to live up to numerous promises he had made.

Political Relationships[edit | edit source]

As a former Ambassador of Stromgarde and former Lady Speaker in Stromgarde's house of nobles, Melysa has cultivated relationships with people and organizations throughout the known world, reaching as far as Pandaria. Her contacts range from ranking members of the intelligence community to key figures within the governments of various Kingdoms. Though at times she may pretend to be ignorant of certain matters, the woman knows a great deal more than she would have people believe. A staunch supporter of the Grand Alliance, Melysa was in support of Varian Wrynn becoming High King until his refusal to dismantle the Horde in the aftermath of the Siege of Orgrimmar.

Faith[edit | edit source]

Like all Marwyns, Melysa has always been a member of the Church of the Holy Light. She is also a veteran paladin of the original Order of the Silver Hand, consecrated at Alonsus Chapel in StratholmeLordaeron in 604 K.C. and the author of numerous texts, including From Squire to Paladin and an autobiography she was encouraged to write, entitled Strength In Virtue. Having served directly under Uther the LightbringerSaidan Dathrohan and many of the original Knights of the Silver Hand in her prime, Melysa was on the front lines during the plague of undeath and the rise of the undead scourge. She later founded a chapter of the Silver hand in Stromgarde, known as the Order of the Crimson Fist in 623 K.C. She was appointed by Archbishop Caspius to serve as Grand Master of the Silver Hand in March of 624 K.C. and continues to serve under Archbishop Alonsus Secundus.

Charitable Works[edit | edit source]

Founder and former chairwoman of the Seastone Orphanage[edit | edit source]

Founded in 623 K.C. the Seastone Orphanage remains one of the largest, privately funded homes for orphanaed children of war veterans in the Arathi Highlands.

Donor, The Westfall Trust[edit | edit source]

Melysa has donated generous sums of money to the trust since its establishment in 623 K.C.

Donor, The Ashvale Trust[edit | edit source]

A patron of the arts, and a supporter of education for underprivileged children, Melysa has been a donor since the Trust's establishment.

The James Ashvale Memorial and Crusader's Chapel[edit | edit source]

A recent project, scheduled to be completed in late August of 624 K.C. The Chapel is to be built in Icecrown, and dedicated to her son, James Ashvale, and to all the brave Crusaders who fought with the Ashen Verdict to defeat the Lich King. Melysa has personally funded the project, and intends to donate it to the Diocese of Northrend.

The Stromgarde Relief Fund[edit | edit source]

A charity organisation, which was founded in March of 624 K.C. in the aftermath of the March on the Highlands. Born of the generosity and vision of Melysa and her husband, the organisation exists with the sole purpose of raising money for the citizens of Stromgarde who have found themselves without homes after the recent conflict. Melysa was removed from its board of directors after her marriage to Newcastle was annulled.

Residences and Wealth[edit | edit source]

For a woman who has sat in the highest houses of government in both the Kingdoms of Lordaeron and Stromgarde, the annulment of her marriage to the Duke of Newcastle and the loss of her titles and property has not been an easy adjustment. Near penniless when she left the marriage and known by courtesy as the Dowager Lady Ashfort, Melysa has been forced to rely upon the generosity of her step son, the Earl of Blackwood. Lord Blackwood has graciously allowed her to manage the estate of Rivergrove in Westbank County, Duskwood.

Appearences In Recent Events[edit | edit source]

Coat of Arms[edit | edit source]

File:MMA1.png
The Arms: Gules two seashells argent (Melysa's Personal Standard), two castles sable (Ashvale)

Titles and Offices[edit | edit source]

Stromgarde Peerage[edit | edit source]

Duchess of Seastone
623 K.C. - 624 K.C.
Preceded by
Created in 623 K.C.
Melysa Marwyn Succeeded by
Merridyth Marwyn
Countess of Seastone
623 K.C. - 624 K.C.
Preceded by
Created in 623 K.C.
Melysa Marwyn Succeeded by
Title Extinct
Viscountess Marwyn of Silverbrook
623 K.C. - 624 K.C.
Preceded by
Created in 623 K.C.
Melysa Marwyn Succeeded by
Merridyth Marwyn

Lordaeron Peerage[edit | edit source]

Lady Ashfort
601 K.C. - 620 K.C.
Preceded by
Mira Ashvale
Melysa Marwyn Succeeded by
Muriah Anne Ashvale
Dowager Lady Ashfort
620 K.C. - Present
Preceded by
Mira Ashvale
Melysa Marwyn Succeeded by
Incumbent

Offices Held[edit | edit source]

In order from oldest to most recent:

Governor of Ashfort
601 K.C. - 618 K.C.
Preceded by
Ethan Ashvale
Melysa Marwyn Succeeded by
Office No Longer Exists
Stormwind Ambassador of Stromgarde
623 K.C. - 624 K.C.
Preceded by
Elizabeth Maclear
Melysa Marwyn Succeeded by
Appointed by the house of nobles
Pandaria Ambassador of Stromgarde
623 K.C. - 624 K.C.
Preceded by
Elizabeth Maclear
Melysa Marwyn Succeeded by
Appointed by the house of nobles
Exemplar of the
Order of the Crimson Fist
623 K.C. - Present
Preceded by
Position Created 623 K.C.
Melysa Marwyn Succeeded by
Incumbent
Grand Knight of the
Congregation of the Silver Hand
623K.C. - 623 K.C.
Preceded by
Erich Gottfried Manstein
Melysa Marwyn Succeeded by
Title Extinct
Grand Master of the Silver Hand
624 K.C. - Present
Preceded by
Appointed by Caspius
Melysa Marwyn Succeeded by
Dismissed

Portraits[edit | edit source]

Although she has been painted many times over the past three decades, only a handful of portraits survived the siege of the Ashfort in 618 K.C.

History[edit | edit source]

Early Years[edit | edit source]

Born in Stonegarde City in the Kingdom of Stromgarde, Melysa was the second child of Joren and Lizabet Marwyn. She was afforded the very finest in education and trained in the arts of combat and warfare like all Stromgarde's aristocracy. In her childhood, Melysa showed a distinct lack of interest in all things befitting a proper young lady, but took to swordplay like a moth to a flame. Her father was not pleased. Her favorite books were those that told the tales of Stromgarde's gallant Knights, the great Orcish War and even her great, great grandfather, Ingvar the Cunning's treatise on strategic warfare. During a conversation at a feast held by her father, Lord Joren was quoted as having said "It would seem my daughter was switched at birth and now I have two sons."

It was her father who decided to put an end to her swordplay and insisted she become a proper lady, but Melysa defied him and continued to practice with Stonegarde's master at arms while her father tended to matters of state. As many second sons of the region aspired to Knighthood due to being unable to inherit, Melysa saw herself no different from the men and at the tender age of thirteen, announced that she intended to join the Order of the Silver Hand. By the time she was fourteen, offers for her hand in marriage came from a handful of Stromgarde's aristocratic families, but Joren had other plans for his only daughter and after the Alliance of Lordaeron disintegrated, he believed he might salvage relations with the neighboring Kingdom of Lordaeron by marrying his daughter to the new Lord Ashfort, whose father had been slain during the Second War.

Marriage Negotiations[edit | edit source]

Desiring to maintain an individual alliance with Lordaeron after Stromgarde's unfortunate departure from the Alliance of Lordaeron, Joren worked for months to arrange a marriage pact with the 6th Lord Ashfort, Sir Ethan Ashvale. Sir Ethan had inherrited the Ashfort and all its attended lands after his father's death in combat, and stood to inherrit an Earldom from his uncle. By the time he was forty, Ethan would have been one of the most wealthy men in Lordaeron and Melysa's father could not have been more pleased with the prospect of his daughter marrying into such a family.

When Sir Ethan demanded to see his intended, Melysa's father commissioned the most renowned painter in Stromgarde to paint her portrait and just days after it was delivered to the Ashfort, a letter was sent, announcing his acceptance and how very pleased he was with her beauty. Melysa was never consulted until the negotiations had been finalized. She was barely sixteen and the prospect of leaving the only home she had ever known was daunting at first. She had received a handful of letters from her intended, but had not as yet set eyes upon him. In his letters, Ethan told her of his service to the Knights of the Silver Hand and the fact that he was an anointed paladin put her at ease.

Wife, Mother and Paladin Defender of Lordaeron[edit | edit source]

Her paladin training was put on hold and the pair were married at the great Cathedral in Capital City, Lordaeron just weeks after Melysa's sixteenth birthday. It was the first time they had ever seen one another and though he was much older than she was, Melysa found his appearance pleasing. Although the couple hardly knew one another, theirs was not an unhappy union in its beginning and Melysa seemed very pleased to have married such a well-respected paladin. The pair were then taken by carriage to Ethan's Summer Cottage on Lordamere Lake where the marriage was consumated. The newly-wed couple spent three weeks traveling throughout Lordaeron during their honeymoon and Melysa was introduced to many of the Kingdom's most influential aristocrats before being formally presented at King Terenas' Court.

Melysa was rumored to have already been with child by the time the couple returned to the Ashfort so that she could see her new home. Just nine months after their honeymoon had ended, Melysa gave birth to the son and heir Ethan had wanted. Having done her duty and produced an heir so early on, her new husband could not have been more pleased. Their son was named James Ethan Ashvale in honor of his father and another gallant Knight who shared Ethan's ancestry. He was consecrated in a ceremony performed by a Bishop and Melysa was then allowed to resume training as a paladin.

At the age of just nineteen, Melysa had finally completed her trials and was formally inducted into the Order of the Silver Hand at Alonsus Chapel in Stratholme. Her dear friend and mentor, Sir Duncan Maclear of Stromgarde personally proposed her for membership that year, citing that while she was younger than most were when attaining their Knighthood, she had certainly proved her dedication to the Holy Light, mastery of the Order's code and skill in combat. Sir Duncan attended the ceremony and presented her with a handsomely crafted warhammer--the traditional weapon of a paladin. The weapon has since been affectionately referred to as "The Hammer of Truth" and to her absolute astonishment, Melysa discovered that once she had been imbued with the Light's strength, the weapon felt light as a sword in her hands. Her husband was also present at the ceremony and placed upon her shoulders, the ceremonial shoulder plates of the Order.

Despite such a promising beginning, difficult times were in store for Lordaeron, and the couple conceived no more children that would live. Melysa became pregnant again just two years after giving birth to James, but complications in the later term of the pregnancy led to the child being still born, and nearly killed her. After the physicians told her husband that the child was male, Ethan flew into a rage and did not return to the Ashfort for nearly six months. Melysa seldom speaks of it, because she feels it was the single event that drove her husband from her, and into the arms of another. 

Ethan later inherited a staggering sum of money from an uncle on his mother's side of the family, and with such wealth came a life of many pleasures and great excess. Ethan's many affairs during their son's younger years put a great deal of strain on the marriage, and his frequent absence left Melysa to manage all matters in her husband's stead. Despite Ethan's numerous indiscretions, Melysa remained faithful and dedicated herself to raising their son to be an honorable man.

Their marriage nearly ended with the scandal Ethan created in Stormwind by taking Lady Danica Blackfyre for his official mistress, and it was rumored that he intended to divorce Melysa so that he could marry the younger woman. As far as Melysa was concerned, the only thing worse than scandal was divorce, so when Lady Danica died while giving birth to Ethan's bastard, she took him back. The pair lived mostly separate lives afterward, and would hardly speak to one another until the fall of Lordaeron.

The Fall of Lordaeron[edit | edit source]

By the time the Cult of the Damned became known, Melysa was a veteran paladin of the Silver Hand and would battle the scourge while serving under Uther the Lightbringer, Gavinrad the Dire and a number of renowned paladins of the day. She rode with Uther to the City of Stratholme, where she had been anointed paladin defender of Lordaeron, only to discover to her absolute horror that Prince Arthas wished to slaughter every man, woman and child within its walls, simply because they may have been infected by plagued grain shipments from Andorhal. She prayed silently that Uther would talk sense into the Prince and her prayers were answered, albeit not in the manner she would have preferred. Uther's refusal to order the paladins to purge the city only prompted the Prince to relieve him of his command and suspend the paladins. Melysa chose to leave with Uther and the others, turning her back on the Prince. She would regret having done so for the rest of her life.

The years that followed were marked by tragedy in many forms, beginning with the fall of the Royal house of Menethil, the splintering of Lordaeron's nobility after the formation of the Scarlet Crusade, and the rise of the undead scourge that swept over the land like locusts. Although the Order of the Silver Hand suffered its greatest defeat in the loss of Uther, Melysa and many others like her continued to battle the scourge for years.

The rise of the forsaken brought a new enemy to the remaining humans and elves of Lordaeron, and in 618 K.C. the Ashfort was lost and the household was forced to retreat to Ambermill, leaving behind their collection of priceless artwork and the house's treasury, which remained sealed in the Ashfort's vault. Melysa and her family lived as refugees for many months, during which her husband made several more attempts to retake the Ashfort. The household would later establish a small outpost for refugees, deep in hostile, forsaken territory.

The Northrend Campaign[edit | edit source]

Both her husband and their son joined forces with Tirion Fordring's Argent Crusade after the battle for Light's Hope Chapel, and despite her ill-feelings toward Fordring, Melysa accompanied them to Northrend. After a bitter fight with her husband, Ethan demanded that she return to Lordaeron and remain with their household. Ever a dutiful wife, Melysa did as she was told while her husband and their son stormed Icecrown Citadel. Lord Ethan was later slain in battle during the Siege of Icecrown Citadel, but her son was returned to her in one piece.

A Mother's Nightmare[edit | edit source]

During a final attempt to retake the Ashfort, Melysa's only son was slain in battle. Like his father, James refused to wait while the forsaken held his seat of power and with less than a hundred men at arms, he stormed the battered castle and was pierced by more than a dozen arrows. Melysa was forced to lead what remained of their household guard on a raid that many considered to be suicidal in order to recover his remains, and prevent him from being risen to undeath. During the raid, Melysa was wounded once by arrow and once by blade, is is said to have died on the battlefield. Though she refuses to speak of it, it is known that Father Thomas Doran ressurected her on the field of battle at great peril to himself. Though it is rarely seen, Melysa still bears a scar beneath her left breast from where the arrow pierced her.

After recovering her son's remains, Melysa laid him to rest beside his father at Light's Hope Chapel, and spent the next few months recovering from her wounds and mourning the loss of her only child. She recovered from her wounds, but many believe she has never truly recovered from the loss of her only son. After a long period of isolation, Melysa began a long journey on horseback to the Southern Kingdom of Stormwind, visiting the Cathedral of Light for the first time and praying fervently for the Light's forgiveness for having failed to persuade her son from beginning the campaign that cost his and so many other lives.

After visiting the Duke of Newcastle and a number of other friends of her family, Melysa felt as though she could not return to Lordaeron, nor could she live out the rest of her days in Stormwind. Having gathered the survivors of Ashfort City and what remained of her household, Melysa began another long journey, this time returning to her family's home at Stonegarde. She had not seen her brother in many years, nor had she been present for the birth of his only child, and more than anything, Melysa longed for the comfort that only came from being near her family.

Return To Stromgarde[edit | edit source]

After arriving safely in Stromgarde, Melysa was dealt another crippling blow when she was informed that the Alterac Syndicate had assassinated her brother Liam and many of his soldiers. Her bittersweet homecoming did afford her the opportunity to meet her niece for the first time and Melysa could not help but admire the girl's courage in the face of such an awful tragedy. She and Lady Merridyth visited the crypt where Liam Marwyn was laid to rest and Melysa said her final farewell to the brother she had not seen in nearly twenty years. Informed of his last wishes, Melysa would act as guardian to her Niece and Regent of the house of Marwyn until Merridyth reached the age of twenty one.

With the aid of her Cousin, Varyc Marwyn (then a soldier in the League of Arathor) Melysa managed to rally what remained of her brother's men at arms, and even went so far as to arm any tenants willing to join in the campaign to retake all Marwyn lands. She personally led them into battle against the syndicate, and slew Lord Darren Longshadow in single combat. Inspired by the veteran paladin of the Silver Hand, her brother's soldiers and the tenants she had armed fought vailiantly to drive out the Syndicate men. Victory was finally achieved when Melysa convinced the remaining people of the neighboring village of Alden's Rise to attack from the East while her own force attacked from the West, trapping the syndicate men in the stone quarry, from which the city of Stonegarde received its name. Immediately after the battle, Melysa Knighted her cousin for his bravery and set herself to the task of rebuilding the numerous villages on Marwyn land.

The Arathorian Coalition[edit | edit source]

Although she was quite skeptical at first, Melysa began working with Hellissa Brisby and the other Stromic nobles who supported her as Regent. The Coalition became the largest power in the Arathi Highlands and because of her skill in diplomacy, Melysa was appointed to serve as Stromgarde's Ambassador to Stormwind and Pandaria. She would later serve as Lady Speaker of the Stromic house of nobles, where she gained a great deal of influence. She put such influence to use by acquiring a great deal of unclaimed land for the house of Marwyn, including Alden's Rise and Widow's Watch. While many believed she would never be able to defend such vast holdings, Melysa was regarded as a benevolent landlord and so loved by her people that she was created a Countess in her own Right by Regent Brisby and the house of nobles.

The Order of the Crimson Fist[edit | edit source]

Disenfranchised with what had become of the Silver Hand in Stormwind and never one to join a neutral organization such as the Argent Crusade, Melysa labored for months to establish a small chapter of the Order of the Silver Hand in Stromgarde, later known as the Crimson Fist. The order, still in its infancy was featured in the Stormwind Herald's eighth issue and received the blessing of both the Church and the people of the Arathi Highlands. Despite her misgivings, and after much encouragement from the Bishop of Stromgarde, Melysa was eventually elected to serve as the head of Stromgarde's chapter and represent the order in the Congregation of the Silver Hand, a body governed by the Council of Bishops and based from Northshire Abbey.

The Siege of Orgrimmar[edit | edit source]

With the Grand Alliance preparing for a siege and the Darkspear rebellion in full swing, a number of military orders within the Alliance called meetings to discuss strategy Melysa was invited to many such gatherings, and would be instrumental in weeks leading up to the siege. She and Seastone's forces engaged in numerous campaigns, which devasted Orgrimmar's supply lines.

The War Council - 8/26/623 K.C.[edit | edit source]

File:War Council.jpg

350px

Melysa attended the war council headed by Baldrec Ashcroft on August 26th. where after setting aside their many differences, it was decided that those leaders present would assemble their troops at the ruins of Tiragarde Keep in preparation for an assault on various Horde targets in Durotar. Melysa ordered Sir Varyc Marwyn to assemble one third of Seastone's forces and prepare for the journey to Durotar. Unwilling to risk losing her holdings to another syndicate attack, the bulk of her forces would remain in Stonegarde.

Meeting In Dalaran - 8/27/623 K.C.[edit | edit source]

File:AlburtonMeeting.jpg

300px

When Bishop Luther Alburton summoned various leaders to Dalaran to discuss similar plans, Melysa gladly attended on behalf of the Arathorian Coalition in the hope of acquiring additional military intelligence. Somewhat insulted by the beginning of the Bishop's speech, she remained seated, listening until the Bishop began to talk of signing a treaty and electing military officers for the campaign against Garrosh Hellscream, a concept which she found to be utterly ridiculous. Deciding that nothing useful would come of the meeting, Melysa excused herself and returned by portal to Stormwind. A day later, she was invited to a second gathering by the Duke of Rockvale, Tenevus Stromheart, which she was unable to attend.

Cutting Off the Supply Lines (Multi-Guild DMed Event)[edit | edit source]

Acting on the information her scouts had gathered after assessing the Kor'Kron supply lines, Melysa planned to ambush a large, heavily-guarded caravan bound for Orgrimmar. On the night of September 4th, 623 K.C. an elite force under her command, comprised of members of the Arathorian Coalition, the Seventh Vanguard, the Magus Senate of Dalaran, the League of Lordaeron, the Kul TIras Marines and a handful of other organizations under the banner of the Grand Alliance lay in wait for the caravan to pass through the Northern Barrens.

The intelligence provided by Seastone's scouts proved to be only partially accurate when it was discovered that the Kor'Kron escort included not one, but three Kor'Kron Officers, and a much larger force of armored riders than was expected. Melysa ordered the Alliance force to carry out the ambush, personally riding out with the main force and her own men-at-arms to bring the wagons to a halt upon the road while two other groups attacked from the East and West. To close off the Kor'Kron's retreat, the fourth group attacked from the South, forcing the orcs to defend themselves from all sides at once.

File:Kor'kron Commander.jpg

While Melysa's tactics proved quite effective, the Alliance force soon discovered that the Kor'Kron were not prepared to give up their precious cargo without a fight to the death, and a bloody battle ensued. Well-organized as they were, the Alliance managed to cut down more than twenty of the Kor'Kron riders without suffering a single casualty, and only a handful of wounded. Melysa quickly became a target once the Kor'Kron's Commanding Officer, Kriegar Spinebreaker discovered she was in command of the operation and ordered his soldiers to bring him her head so that he might present it as a gift to the Warchief. A blow from an orcish axe to her horse's neck brought down both horse and rider, pinning the veteran paladin beneath the beast and causing a devastating injury to her left leg and knee.

It was Kriegar Spinebreaker who proved to be the finest warrior among the Kor'Kron, defeating two Alliance Champions in single combat and severely wounding both. After defeating both challengers, the Commander turned his attention back to Melysa, intent on finishing the job his soldiers had started. Despite numerous wounds, Spinebreaker managed to reach Melysa and engage her in single combat. Already wounded, she was forced to use the Light to dull the blinding pain in her left leg, allowing her to defend herself against the Kor'Kron Commander and by the Light's grace and the aid of her allies, finally managed to slay him in single combat before collapsing on the field.

There but for the Light's Grace[edit | edit source]

Melysa's Injury
File:Knee Before.jpg

Before Reconstruction

File:After.jpg

After Reconstruction

Despite being informed by Doctor Augustine McPherson that while her leg would not have to be amputated, the break in her left femur and the shattered knee below it would effectively end her involvement in the siege effort and that she may never take the field of battle again, Melysa refused to give up so easily. With her left leg in a plaster cast, she appointed her Cousin, Sir Varyc Marwyn to serve as Supreme Commander of Seastone's forces in her stead and spent her recovery in Dalaran.

After being transported via portal to Dalaran, Melysa underwent a second round of healing from fellow Stromic paladin, Laurana Lightfaith. While Lightfaith was able to speed up the recovery process a good deal, her recovery took a number of weeks, during which time, Melysa underwent intense physical therapy in the effort to regain a full range of movement. Sadly, the injury never fully healed, forcing her to reinforce her left knee with a metal brace when wearing armor.

The First Congregation of the Silver Hand[edit | edit source]

Though Melysa rarely attended meetings of the first congregation, and openly opposed the former Grand Knight's use of its Knights in a campaign she believed was more about glory than justice and the true purpose of the Silver Hand, her return to the congregation in the aftermath of the campaign came out of her desire to see if it could indeed be salvaged after Lord Manstein's demise.

On the night of September 24th, 623 K.C. The Bishop of Stormwind, Johannes Moorwhelp personally nominated her to serve as Grand Knight, much to Melysa's surprise and that of her peers. What followed was a lengthy election process, and after three consecutave rounds of voting, Melysa was elected by a narrow margin to serve as Grand Knight. The decision seemed to displease several peers, who subsequently abandoned the Congregation and lent further credence to her suspicion that the organization was little more than another political vehicle.

Despite the state of the Congregation, Melysa worked to see its officer positions filled while preparing for a campaign that would never come to fruition due to a number of factors. She soon discovered that for all his faults, Lord Manstein had somehow managed to accomplish the daunting task of getting such a diverse group of men and women to work together toward a common goal--a task which seemed impossible for her as she held to the very letter of the Congregation's constitution.

In the end, Melysa elected to resign before the end of her two-month term, because she believed that in its present form, mired in bureaucracy and doing little more than arguing around a table, the Congregation was a mockery of the Order of the Silver Hand and an insult to those who served the old order of paladins in Lordaeron. The fact that the injury to her left knee was a constant source of excruciating pain did little to help matters, and for a time, the woman who had served the paladinhood for two decades began to wonder if she would still be capable of leading them into battle.

The Duchy of Seastone[edit | edit source]

When the Arathi Highlands was split in half by Bishop Allrick Antonius from East to West, leaving Hellissa Brisby to serve as regent in the East, while Mathilan Lionblood held Stromgarde City and the Western half of the highlands, Melysa was outraged. This dual Regency left Seastone under the region of the Highlands in Lionblood's control, a man she knew to be a violent usurper. Unwilling to be ruled by anyone but a Trollbane, Melysa used her considerable influence within the house of nobles to call for an emergency session that would create the Duchy of Seastone, and annex all the unclaimed lands to the East of Alden's Rise, known as Silverbrook. While many regarded this as a grab for power, Melysa used her influence as Duchess of Seastone to prevent any would-be usurpers from stealing the Trollbane Throne.

March on the Highlands[edit | edit source]

With the threat of a Horde invasion of the Arathi Highlands looming overhead, Melysa urged Stromgarde's house of nobles to form the Arathi War Council with the sole purpose of organising a defensive effort. Melysa was later chosen to serve as one of three Alliance Commanders responsible for the defense of Stromgarde City.

Despite many friends and advisers urging her to remain within the walls, Melysa ignored them, insisting that her duty was to fight side-by-side with her countrymen. She personally engaged the Horde on numerous occasions during the March on the Highlands and sustained minor wounds during a particularly brutal attack on the gates of Stromgarde.

Near the end of the campaign, Melysa was gravely-wounded when facing a Sin'dorei paladin in single combat. Much to her surprise, her opponent did not finish her when she lay on the ground, utterly defenseless. Instead, the Sin'dorei risked her own standing within the Horde to ensure that Melysa survived.

Second Marriage[edit | edit source]

Although her niece had refused a marriage with the Duke of Newcastle's eldest son, it was no secret that Henry Sutton IV had long desired a political marriage with the house of Marwyn, and thus his invitation to Newcastle House for a private dinner upon hearing she had returned to Stormwind came as no surprise. Feeling uncertain of the future, and perhaps even a bit lonely, Melysa opened the letter Newcastle's messenger had brought, and could not believe what she was reading.

Melysa traveled by carriage to Newcastle House, and met the Duke for dinner. Henry expressed his desire to marry her in no uncertain terms, and all that was left was to negotiate a settlement. She would later become the next Duchess of Newcastle, and upon Henry's death, she would receive the standard 1/3 of Newcastle's income for life, and live out her remaining years as Dowager Duchess of Newcastle at Heartwood Hall. Most importantly, the match would unite two of the eldest aristocratic families of the Grand Alliance, and despite the Duke being in his early sixties, there was at least some small chance that Melya might conceive another child--the one thing she wanted more than anything after the tragic death of her only son.

The two were married at the Duke's private Chapel in Castle Rock, and as a wedding gift, Henry vowed to garrison all three Marwyn Castles with soldiers of his own in the interest of deterring the horde from attacking Marwyn lands. Furthermore, the Duke promised to send at least three warships to guarantee the security of Port Marwyn, and the Isle of Longspear.

While it was not a marriage of lovers, Melysa seemed quite optimistic with regard to her chances for happiness, and spoke very highly of her new husband. The couple spent their honeymoon at the Duke's Stormwind residence, and were said to have scarcely left the bedchamber for three days, indicating that despite his age, Henry was not only capable, but rather enthusiastic about consumating his second marriage.

The Reformation of the Congregation of the Silver Hand[edit | edit source]

After the first congregation was suspended by the Council of Bishops on November 10th, 623 K.C. Melysa spent several weeks drafting a proposal for the reformation of the Congregation under a new constitution. Using her work as a beginning, Archbishop Caspius rewrote the constitution and many of the changes she wished to see made, establishing clear and firm boundaries and duties for the reinstated congregation.

The new Constitution was promulgated on 1 March, 624K.C. at Tyr's HandLordaeron, and the Congregation was officially reformed under its new constitution. At the promulgation, Melysa was appointed Grand Master of the Silver Hand, and took her oath of office before the Archbishop within the walls of Tyr's Hand's small Chapel. Sir Binor Dungalion was elected to serve as Speaker and while she considered the man a friend, Melysa did not lend him her vote, believing that he was ill-suited to the Office.

Ultimately, such boundaries and bureaucracy imposed by the new constitution would render the Congregation virtually useless to the Holy Church and the lengthy meetings, pointless round table discussions, and lack of real activity would lead many organizations to withdraw their membership entirely. Regarding the new constitution as a total failure, Melysa began drafting a new one in secret, hoping to find support for a more drastic reformation with the various Church leaders.

Despair and a Failed Second Marriage[edit | edit source]

When Melysa discovered much to her dismay that she was not with child in late March of 624 K.C. she decided to briefly retire from public life, and while it was a decision she made with no small measure of reluctance, the Duchess announced that she would likely resign all public offices in April of 624 K.C. She briefly resided at the magnificent country estate of Castle Sutton, where she intended to remain in the hope of conceiving a child with her new husband. Unfortunately, their marriage had already begun to deteriorate as a result of Henry's frequent absence and unwillingness even to try for another child with her.

Although the couple had not officially separated, Melysa moved into Westvale House and had hardly spoken with him since. Henry made it evident that he was displeased, complaining that her niece had made a fool of him with the King's Council after refusing the generous offer he had arranged for Seastone to become a vassal of Stormwind. He simply could not forgive her for being unable to persuade her niece to make what he believed was the only right decision. 

Worse in her eyes than any scandal brought on by her first husband's adultery, divorce was something Melysa refused to consider, nor could she allow herself to remain in another unhappy marriage after all she had been through with her first husband. To spare both parties the public shame of a divorce, she and her husband have recently discussed the possibility of an annulment. For Melysa, the eventual annulment would be disastrous, resulting in her leaving the marriage with only her name. Henry proved to be utterly ruthless about it, doing everything in his power to make her suffer for her niece's choice. The annulment took place in late April, leaving Melysa without property, wealth or even titles of her own. The woman who had twice been a Duchess and sat in the highest houses of Government in two Kingdoms was now known by courtesy as the Dowager Lady Ashfort, which only served to remind her of what she considered to be her own failure.

Feeling utterly alone and perhaps more broken than ever, Melysa was thoroughly convinced that the idea of love in an aristocratic marriage was a fairytale, or perhaps she was simply not as appealing as she had been in her youth. The day after the annulment, Melysa was in a sad state, wandering the cobblestone roads of Stormwind. She was said to have been so intoxicated that she could be heard muttering to herself as if she had undergone a nervous breakdown, eventually passing out on a bench outside Westvale House. It was her step son, Arryc Ashvale that discovered her the next morning. Knowing well that she would never ask for such aid, Arryc insisted that she should reside at his country estate in Rivergrove, where she has remained ever since. 

Present Day[edit | edit source]

Despite her misgivings, Melysa met with the Bishop of the Silver Hand on the night of May 10th, 624 K.C. to discuss the future of the Congregation, the charges of alleged Corruption within the Council of Bishops and the very nature of what it means to be a paladin. Believing Lilith Olethos to be a true servant of the Light, dedicated to maintaining the integrity of the Order of the Silver Hand, Melysa agreed to work with her in reforming the Congregation, rather than divorcing it entirely from the Council of Bishops. The two have already exchanged a number of ideas and while her faith in the Council of Bishops is near non-existent, Melysa seems to have placed a great deal of trust and faith in Olethos.

The Order of Saint Uther[edit | edit source]

Staying true to her vow to restore the integrity of the paladinhood, Melysa has begun working with another veteran paladin, Sir Ivay Osrana of Andorhal. A charter was drafted for the formation of a new order of paladins, which would be governed by the code of the original Order of the Silver Hand. This new order, now referred to as the Order of Saint Uther would suffer no corruption within its ranks and its senior members would dedicate themselves to establishing and maintaining a seminary of paladins that would facilitate the continued spiritual and physical training of aspirants.

Grand Master of the Silver Hand[edit | edit source]

After speaking with Alonsus Secundus for several hours following May 17th's meeting of the Congregation of the Silver Hand, Melysa agreed to continue to serve as Grand Master. She attended the Archbishop's coronation on Sunday, May 18th, where she swore the following oath before witnesses:

"In sight of these witnesses and the Holy Light, I Melysa Lynn Marwyn Ashvale swear to serve our Holy Church, its rightful head and the Order of the Silver Hand. I swear to uphold the honour and code of the Order of the Silver Hand, to walk in the Light's grace and spread its word throughout Alliance lands, to protect the weak and innocent with my very life and to vanquish evil wherever it may be found."

Immediately after swearing the oath, Melysa turned her attention to the reformation of the Congregation of the Silver Hand and submitted a number of unpopular, but necessary changes to its constitution. Having gained the approval of the Bishop of the SIlver Hand and the Archbishop, Melysa penned the second edition of the Constitution of the Congregation of the Silver Hand and set herself to the task of approaching numerous orders whose paladins had not previously attended. Known to have a large following of support, Melysa put her influence to work once more and convinced members of the newly-formed Order of Saint Uther to join the Congregation, with Sir Ivay Osrana to appoint a representative. This was almost certainly an effort on her behalf to garner widespread support for the Congregation, knowing that the Order of Saint Uther is one of, if not the most traditional chapter of the Order of the Silver Hand.

Revitalization of the Congregation of the Silver Hand[edit | edit source]

Elated to discover that Archbishop Alonsus Secundus shares her long-term vision for the Congregation and its true purpose, Melysa has already made a number of necessary changes to the Congregation in the effort to transform it from a mostly ineffective group, known for spending more time debating around a table than in the field where it belongs to what she refers to as: "The mighty hammer of the Light's wrath, striking down its most unholy enemies." With the Archbishop's approval, she has cut out meetings except where truly necessary in favor of rigorous training sessions and military action. Her vision has already garnered the support of many of those who fled from its previous incarnation.

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • Despite her stoic facade, when under the influence of spirits, Melysa can be quite bitter and resentful, especially toward the forsaken for the loss of her only son.
  • Her hatred of the forsaken is rivaled only by her hatred of those who have profited from the devastation of Lordaeron and her own Kingdom of Stromgarde.
  • Though it is rarely seen, Melysa bears a scar just beneath her left breast, where she was pierced by the arrow that stopped her heart during the raid she led to recover her son's remains. Resurected by a priest while the battle raged on, she seldom speaks of the experience and in brief periods of despair, wishes she had been allowed to die so that she might be reunited with her son and all her lost loved ones.
  • Although she hides it well and rarely--if ever--drinks to excess in public, Melysa is what some might refer to as a functioning alcoholic. Plagued by nightmares from the memory of the Third War, her first marriage and the loss of her only son, she consumes at least two bottles of wine each evening and in some cases, even strong, Highland whiskey in an effort to achieve a peaceful night's rest. While she has mentioned her drinking when taking confession, none of her efforts to stop have proved successful.
  • At the age of 39, Melysa married the 8th Duke of Newcastle, despite the fact that he was 25 years her senior. She hopes to have another child, and seems optimistic with regard to her happiness in this second marriage. The brief marriage landed her a nickname in Stormwind: "The Double Duchess" The eventual annulment and the precarious financial situation she was left in is something she feels quite ashamed of.
  • Melysa agreed to work with the Bishop of the Silver Hand in the effort to reform the Congregation of the SIlver Hand, rather than see it divorced entirely from the Council of Bishops. With the approval of the Archbishop, she has already made a number of necessary changes to the Congregation in the effort to transform it from a mostly ineffective group, known for spending more time debating around a table than in the field to what she refers to as "The hammer of the Light's wrath against its most unholy enemies." and cutting out meetings almost entirely in favor of training sessions and military action. Her vision has already garnered the support of many of those who fled from its previous incarnation.

Quotes[edit | edit source]

"Never let an enemy know your true feelings." To Hellissa Brisby.

"The collective wisdom of one's peers is a resource often overlooked by those who lack humility." To her squire.

"The forsaken are no better than the scourge that spawned them and they should all burn in holy fire." To her Niece, when speaking of the assassination of Prince Gallen Trollbane.

"Pay no mind to this talk of reform and equality for the commonwealth. I will never allow the destruction of this Kingdom's nobility so long as I draw breath." To another Arathi noble while speaking of the Freedom Papers.

"Nothing would please me more than to stand by and allow our enemies to destroy one another without a single alliance life lost, but that, my friends is naught but fantasy. The fact remains that the horde rebellion alone is not enough to end Hellscream's reign. Without the Grand Alliance, there will be no victory against Hellscream. Make no mistake... I have no appetite for this war, having lost so many I love to such conflicts. Yet there are some wars that -must- be fought and this is one of them. We cannot afford another Theramore." Melysa addressing the war council in preparation for the siege of Orgrimmar.

"With or without your permission, I will stand and fight beside my countrymen in Arathi. For over a thousand years, we Marwyns have held Stonegarde and its attended lands, and I will not sit here in Stormwind while it is in peril." To her second husband, two days after their wedding regarding her involvement in the March on the Highlands.

"Marriage is different for the aristocracy. For us, a marriage is an alliance, and while love is not impossible when one marries for political reasons, it must be built over time, beginning with mutual respect and a sense of duty." To her niece, Merridyth Marwyn.

"Paladins of the Silver Hand belong on the battlefield, not in a soup line." To Archbishop Alonsus Secundus, following a meeting of the Council of Bishops.

Gallery[edit | edit source]

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