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Isilye

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Isilye at a glance

Isilye-00

Demographic
Adult female night elf
Work
Druid, leatherworker, skinner
Alignment
Chaotic good
Motivation
Tranquility
Comportment
Even-tempered; charming
Family
Yarralomë (brother); Lomion (daughter/niece)


There are, quite literally, two Isilyes.

The original, career-minded Isilye was not the most well-liked elf; an abrasive and manipulative trickster par excellence, she was hated by many — even her associates — but her ill-gotten successes on behalf of Darnassus and the Cenarion Circle earned her the continual employment (and blind eye) of those that mattered. She was motivated primarily by ambition, and her crudeness, bravado and penchant for deception were more conscious counterbalances against being one of the few female druids in what was traditionally an all men’s club than reflections of her real personality — though her real and professional personalities became more undistinguishable as time went on.

The later, “restored” Isilye is not an adventurer by nature. If she had things her way, she’d spend her days fishing, or soaking in the hot springs of Winterspring, or communing with Elune in meditation. Tranquility and freedom are what she prizes most. It’s the ripples in the otherwise tranquil, undisturbed pools of her world — from the destructive Horde and Scourge on the one extreme to local bullies or noisy neighbors on the other — that she cannot abide and that compel her to put aside the comforts of home for the rigors of adventuring and war.

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Fishing astride a mushroom in the shadow of the World Tree

It’s a never-ending struggle, she knows, but this doesn’t discourage her; rather, she likens it to the trimming of fingernails; one does not give up trimming them simply because they keep growing back.

The new Isilye has another motivation, one that usually arises only in longer term quests — a sense of belonging. Because the new Isilye has no memory or emotional connection to the old Isilye’s friends and family, she has, consciously or unconsciously, sought new family in the various peoples she’s championed. But in the end, for all the exaltation she might earn, she finds she has greater affinity with the many animal companions she’s accumulated during her travels than with any “civilized” peoples.

As might be expected of someone who’s usually called upon only after the usual channels have failed, Isilye is an anarchist at heart, believing in neither state nor law. She does, however, believe in justice, and will generally follow the most direct and expedient route to getting it.

She’s a social anarchist as well, refusing to be boxed into any sort of convention that would impinge on her freedom to do whatever she wants. She might walk away in the middle of a conversation, or address the king stark naked while absently eating a live rat. She speaks with a directness that, while refreshing and part of her charm, would probably make people uncomfortable were it not for her general amiability and innocence of manner. Her punitive transformations effectively put her off any sort of romantic life (see below), but in her younger days she was a sexual libertine. Still, for all her aversion to commitment and cages of any sort, she has a strong sense of integrity, and if she says she’ll do something, she will.

Background

If Isilye could remember far back enough, she might recall that, even in her early days of druidical shapeshifting, she would sometimes wake up in a state of panicked confusion, uncertain of whether she was an elf who had been dreaming she was a panther or a panther that was now dreaming it was an elf.

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Occupational hazard: shapeshifting Isilye’s species identity crisis

That she came to lead a double life professionally didn’t help: While she was openly doing Nature’s work and fighting the good fight on behalf of the Cenarion Circle, she was also an agent of a secret organization within the Cenarion Enclave called informally “The Fire Brigade”, which had the sinister purpose of monitoring and neutralizing threats to Archdruid Fandral Staghelm’s power in Darnassus.

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The Tricky Dick of Teldrassil: Fandral Staghelm in the Cenarion Enclave

Isilye’s work with the Fire Brigade required her to be every bit as paranoid, cynical, scheming, and abrasive as its leader — and the longer she worked with it, the more her work persona became synonymous with her private one, until she finally alienated herself from everyone in her life but her younger brother Yarralomë, who was also a druid in the Fire Brigade.

Worse, after a team of Fire Brigade agents was caught scrying on the high priestess of Darnassus, Fandral decided to purge the organization of its lower-level, higher security risk members, including Isilye and Yarralomë, so as to protect the Cenarion Enclave from incrimination.

He did this by sending the unwanted agents on what amounted to suicide missions. Isilye and her brother, for their part, were tasked with assassinating Naurvellon, the Silvermoon advisor in Splintertree Post in Ashenvale, preferaby before his upcoming marriage into another powerful Silvermoon family.

Now while Isilye continued to suffer from her identity crises, her brother suffered from something else entirely: while staking out Splintertree Post, he had become unnaturally obsessed with Naurvellon’s bride Ruinwen, and could neither eat nor sleep on account of his feverish pining for her.

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Sleepless in Astranaar: Yarralomë’s growing obsession with the blood elf Ruinwen

Ruinwen’s family had come to Splintertree with a sizable force that would make assassination difficult at best, so Isilye devised a plan that would capitalize on her brother’s affliction: she created a diversion that left Ruinwen unguarded so that Yarralomë could sneak in as a cat and finally have his way with her, and when Naurvellon returned to find that Ruinwen was no longer a virgin, the marriage was called off. Ruinwen, her family, and its troops went home, thereby creating the security reduction necessary for Isilye and Yarralomë to kill Naurvellon at last.

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Love in the time of Warcraft: Yarralomë sneaks into Splintertree Post as a panther and disqualifies the virginal Ruinwen for marriage

Unfortunately, Yarralomë’s fixation with Ruinwen did not abate after the rape, and he continued to stalk her until he was caught by the Splintertree scouts, who later captured Isilye as well once they learned that she was his accomplice.

As punishment for raping — and impregnating — Ruinwen, her sorcerer father Grawdagnir turned Isilye and her brother into a breeding pair of panthers for a year, marking them with his sigil so as to be able to hunt them down later and take any offspring they produced. The next year he turned them into a breeding pair of bears (alternating which of them was the female and which the male), then sea lions, then cheetahs, and finally moonkins.

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The indignities of payback: Isilye and Yarralomë are transformed into rutting panthers of the opposite gender, and as Yarralomë impregnated Ruinwen, so now is he impregnated by his sister Isilye...

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...only to bring back the offspring to Grawdagnir one year later — then repeat the process four more times as different animals and genders

But when their final year of punishment was at an end and Grawdagnir came looking for them to take their offspring, he found that they had joined a tribe of other moonkins in Darkshore who had taken a fancy to his sigil and decorated themselves with it, making it impossible to distinguish Isilye and Yarralomë from the real moonkins. (Indeed, sneetch-like tensions had developed between those moonkins in the tribe who bore the sigil and those who did not.) Grawdagnir studied the situation for a long time before ferreting out the night elf pair and restoring them to their former selves.

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Fast fashion: Grawdagnir’s mark catches on among the moonkins of Darkshore

Alas, after five years spent in one animal form or another, Isilye and Yarralomë had no memory of having ever been anything but moonkins, even though the moonkin tribe no longer recognized them as such and expelled them from their midst. So the amnesiac siblings continued to live a marginal moonkin existence until elves from nearby Auberdine discovered them starving and eating one of their young.

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Kids — the other white meat: Isilye and Yarralomë are transformed back into elves in body only, and aren’t above eating the fruit of Isilye’s womb when the going gets tough

Isilye and Yarralomë were brought back to Auberdine and eventually Darnassus, where, after years of unpleasant rehabilitation efforts, they were restored to something like their former selves. Their one surviving offspring was taken to Forest Song in Ashenvale, where she was called Lomion and groomed to be a warrior.

After Fandral’s removal from Darnassus, it was rumored that he had planned to have Isilye and Yarralomë killed outright after they survived the assassination attempt on Naurvellon at Splintertree Post, but that he changed his mind about finishing them off after he saw for himself how amnesiac the pair had become.

Not one to live with regret, Isilye was able to put her ordeal behind her and go on to become an accomplished druid and an exalted hero at home and in far-flung lands. But she never could shake the haunting dreams of being fundamentally something other than an elf — indeed, her dreams had gotten even more confusing, for now she was starting to recall a savage life in Darkshore that preceded the time she was said to have gone there…

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Isilye standing over the Temple of Earth in Deepholm





Many years later, after Deathwing wreaked his fiery havoc in Darkshore and survivors began fishing bodies out of the water, Isilye returned to its ravaged shores to help with the rescues and cleanup.

After the survivors from Auberdine had been recovered and the dead disposed of, Isilye found herself inexplicably drawn to the old moonkin grounds, where she and her cleanup detail began piling up the feathery corpses they found strewn about for burning. It was there that Isilye found a disturbingly familiar face — her own — staring back at her through the cloudy, lifeless eyes of a bloated cadaver. And close by was the body of her brother Yarralomë.

Isilye’s dreams started to make more sense as she pieced together what had happened: Ruinwen’s father had guessed wrong when he changed Isilye and her brother “back” into elves.

This presented a crisis for Isilye, since what standing and celebrity she still enjoyed as the once feral child of Darkshore, what relationships she had inherited and many of those she had forged since her recovery — especially with her one surviving daughter — were all predicated on her being the elf everyone thought she was. Could she go on living this Isilye person’s life — now that she knew the truth — like some cuckoo hatchling that had been slipped into another bird’s nest?

One of the other elves in the cleanup party asked Isilye if everything was alright. Isilye covered the bodies of the elf corpses and piled them up with the moonkins. Everything was fine, she said.

Yes, she decided. She could do this.

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An inconvenient truth: elves that look a lot like Isilye and Yarralomë found dead among the moonkins in Darkshore

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