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Teiatha

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Teatha Steelbloom
STVTea
Game Information
Game Name Teiatha
Faction Alliance
Race Gnome
Class Warrior
Professions Herbalism, Alchemy
Statistics
Height 3'1"
Weight About six fat cats when armored.
Gender Female
Hair Black, fading to iron grey
Eyes Blue
Age 131
Alignment Neutral/Lawful Good


Appearance Edit

A pleasant, middle-aged Gnome of matronly bearing who smells faintly of lavender and other herbs. Her dark hair is shot through with iron grey, and her face bears a number of laugh lines. Her cloak fastener is adorned with the crest of the Kirin Tor, and she carries a few odd bits and pieces of arcana along with her pouches of herbs and her training weights. She peers curiously around through a pair of wire-rimmed spectacles.


Personality Edit

Teatha generally presents a calm, pleasant exterior, if laced with a bit of occasional grumpiness. However, her outward tranquility is fragile at best; a very potent rage indeed simmers just beneath the surface, forever driving her onward. She is certainly much more volatile than she used to be. She also harbors an incredible amount of regret, and is far less certain of herself than she used to be after looking back at her path of seemingly endless failures. She will still help people to the best of her ability, but has been burned far too many times to do so without reserve. Although she is as loyal as ever to her friends, she has by necessity become much more selective about who she befriends and exactly how far she will go to aid them.

Background Edit

Although inexperienced in the way of the warrior, Teatha has seen a great deal in her 130 years and been through more names than she cares to recall. The eldest child of Mekgineers Ioren and Ceara Steamwhistle, Teatha took to the arcane from an extremely early age, breaking the family tradition of engineering. (Her siblings continued that pattern, and quite successfully, until the fall of Gnomeregan.) However, not being particularly rigid on these matters, Ioren and Ceara shrugged this off and set Teatha up under Magus Bleriot Fizzlespark so that she might study full time. Ever responsible and eager to set a good example, Teatha promptly threw herself headlong into her studies, gobbling up every scrap of arcane she could until her instructors finally decided to send her to the Violet Citadel along with a few other promising students as part of an effort to foster deeper relations with the Kirin Tor.

Teatha, of course, was more than happy to. She spent much of her time in Dalaran from this point forth, taking a particular interest in the advanced concepts of the Ley Walkers, and returned home to Gnomeregan for the occasional holiday. During an extended trip she ran into an on again, off again boyfriend—Nigel Flumekettle, a charming alchemist—and the two began a relationship in earnest, marrying in record time. This would eventually prove disastrous, however, for while Nigel was warm and personable and deeply wanted nothing more than to spend time with his lady, Teatha was quite often far too absorbed in her studies and her increasing duties to the Kirin Tor to reciprocate. This improved for a time when he endeavored to teach her alchemy, which she picked up as naturally as almost anything arcane, but time and time again, duty called.

One of Teatha’s closest friends, whom she had met very early in her training, was a Quel’dorei woman named Raietha Bloodthorn—a fellow mage with a particular weakness for human men. While Teatha chided her for the string of lovers she entertained, the Gnome remained terribly unaware of the danger signs that were appearing in her own marriage to Nigel. Even the birth of their daughter, Bryony, merely forestalled the inevitable.

Bryony brought a much needed element of closeness, as Teatha by necessity had to cut back on her duties and cease taking field assignments in order to nurse the baby. Nigel was quite relieved at this turn of events and threw himself gladly into fatherhood, hinting strongly to his wife that he wished things to remain like this for the sake of their nascent family. Unfortunately, as Bryony grew, things began to revert to their usual state of affairs: workaholic Teatha on field duty and Nigel left in the lurch, now with the addition of a child to take care of.

Unfortunately, rather than confront Teatha about it, Nigel kept his resentment quiet to avoid upsetting Bryony—and it grew and festered for several years. Finally things came to a head after a particularly long field assignment, and Nigel coldly handed down an ultimatum: next time such a thing happened, he would take Bryony and leave.

And he did precisely that, leaving nothing but a scathingly penned letter in his wake. Teatha was quite devastated over this: as her star had risen within the Kirin Tor, her family life had crashed and burned and ultimately she had lost the two people she cared most about. She filled this void by taking on a series of apprentices, most of them Gnomes, and taking great pains to better attune herself to other people.

She still remembered all this years later when Raietha finally settled down and married a human Knight from Stratholme named Malkai Tielhart, who later went on to earn a noble title and the last name Silverblade. Due to the extreme caution her ill-fated marriage had engendered and Raietha’s known preference for doing things her own way and everyone else be damned, Teatha strongly advised her to try and pay attention to things at home lest Malkai took after Nigel. Raietha, however, with typical Quel’dorei hauteur, thought she knew better. She and Malkai went on to adopt two half-Elven boys, Vharelan and Iarethion, and set about raising their new family. Raietha also gave birth to a daughter, Liuceijya, a very… strange child.

In the midst of all this came the First War, whereupon Teatha found herself in the wrong place at the wrong time. An unfortunate field assignment saw her swept headlong into dire circumstances as Stormwind tried fruitlessly to fight off the otherworldly Horde; in the wake of the city’s destruction a massive wave of refugees fled northward to Lordaeron and surrounding countries, Teatha right along with them. Although she had not personally borne witness to Stormwind’s fall she had, on many occasions, had to fight for her life and those of others and made the trip back north with many, many stories to tell.

At around the same time it had become increasingly apparent to Teatha that her half-Elven goddaughter had some serious problems. Liuceijya’s issues became especially obvious during a particularly disastrous interaction between her and Khiriana Pinecroft, a young mage and the wife of an equally young Stromgarde soldier named Ashrinn Pinecroft. The confrontation ended with Malkai coming home just in time to send Khiriana home packing and ban her from ever returning to the Silverblade manor, but not before Raietha had needled Teatha quite thoroughly about Bryony. As was becoming more and more typical, the Gnome’s advice went almost completely unheeded except by Malkai, when Raietha was away in Silvermoon, and Ashrinn, whom Malkai had begun to associate with more and more—particularly after the establishment of the Order of the Silver Hand, which both men joined.

This pattern of strife showed itself even more with the birth of Raietha and Malkai’s fourth and last child, Roseiantha. Rosi was a sickly little thing, and would be for her entire life, but her dependence and tractability were, for Raietha, a welcome break from Liuceijya’s truculence and emotional volatility. This, too, became a point of contention as Raietha cosseted Rosi at the expense of her elder daughter, who seemed to draw nothing but cold disapproval. Also against Teatha’s advice she sent Liuceijya to Dalaran to study magic like Vharelan and Iarethion; the girl was quite talented at it, yes, but temperamentally unsuited. On the cusp of the Second War, Liuceijya went home to Stratholme and never looked back.

Having battled Orcs the first time around and armed with plenty of experience as a Ley Walker, Teatha was probably in a better position than many of her Kirin Tor brethren to deal with this menace. While many of the Magi fretted behind the walls of the Violet Citadel, Teatha took to the field in order to get a firsthand look at matters. To this end she talked her way into an assignment with the Endless Storm, the unit Ashrinn commanded, and remained with them for much of the war to work with a would-be Ley Walker attached to the unit. By the final, earth-shattering battle at Blackrock Mountain, she had become something of an ‘honorary Stormie’ and waded fearlessly into battle right alongside Ashrinn and his men and women, spells at the ready.

Just as with the rest of the Grand Alliance’s army, that battle incurred quite a few losses within the Storm. Teatha, having grown quite attached to them, mourned with the rest—however, the time had come for her to return to Dalaran and some semblance of a normal life. Although other Magi such as Khadgar and Filinthus went through the Dark Portal, Teatha remained behind, citing personal responsibilities. She had recently gained a new apprentice, Tibylt, the daughter of her recently deceased friend and gyrocopter pilot Mercuria Highwind; the young Gnome would go on to be the most promising and the most challenging of all of Teatha’s students. She also wanted to keep tabs on the four Tielhart children: Vharelan was now a war veteran himself, Iarethion was quickly growing in his power, and Liuceijya, to Raietha’s dismay, had declared her intention to become a Paladin like Malkai. For Rosi it was still much too early to tell, but it seemed the child was preternaturally attuned to other people.

The next several years passed fairly quietly save the occasional ruckus at the internment camps, which Teatha had little part in. She instead focused on her bevy of students, with the occasional trip to Stratholme when she could manage it. Tibylt in particular looked up to her as a surrogate mother—this alarmed Teatha somewhat, as all these years later she still remembered Bryony—but the younger Gnome’s emotional disturbances often got in the way, and so, too, did her pride. No sooner had some of these issues finally begun to calm down than two other students, Terpen and Iona, abruptly vanished. They later turned up as members of the Cult of the Damned, students at the Scholomance.

By this time Liuceijya had defied expectations and grown into a very competent Paladin indeed, and Teatha was quite excited for her goddaughter’s impending marriage to Ashrinn’s son, Coren. The date was set, the plans were made but it never came to fruition: word of a horrible plague came and both young Paladins, along with many others under Prince Arthas, were dispatched to investigate.

In the meantime Dalaran was also a flurry of activity, and it was at this point that Teatha largely lost contact with Malkai, Raietha and their daughters. The Scourge advanced across Lordaeron, wasting city after city; when Teatha heard that Stratholme itself had been razed—by Prince Arthas himself, at that!—she was quite distraught.

Soon, all too soon, Dalaran’s turn came. With the traitor Prince and his undead minions besetting the city, the only choices were to stand and fight a futile battle, or flee. In the interest of saving those she could Teatha chose the latter, just barely making it out as the very city itself began to collapse around her ears. Marshaling every shred of power she could call upon she ripped a portal through the Nether—

—And found herself, of all places, in Ironforge. Teatha had been there once or twice; however, the masses of staring, shell-shocked Gnomes that crammed the Dwarven city astounded her. She immediately realized that something had gone terribly, terribly wrong and soon learned that Gnomeregan had fallen to Troggs. Stunned beyond words but feeling utterly helpless to do anything for her Gnomish brethren, Teatha came to the grim realization that her place, alas, was back in Lordaeron. There, at least, she might do some good. After taking some time to recuperate she quietly informed Tibylt that she had some unfinished business to take care of, and promised the apprentice Mage that she would return. Tibylt, although rather unhappy about this, reluctantly accepted.

Upon her return north Teatha finally learned the fates of Raietha and her family: The High Elf in question had vanished, presumably to be with her own people, after the deaths of Malkai and Vharelan at Mount Hyjal. Rosi had, as suspected, died in the Stratholme purge, cut down in the streets along with the rest of the acolyte priests, whereas Iarethion and Liuceijya remained yet unaccounted for.

News of the latter came in the form of a desperate Coren Pinecroft. The Scarlet Crusade, the one human power of any consequence in the broken remains of Lordaeron, had begun an abrupt descent into corruption with the betrayal of its leader, Highlord Alexandros Mograine. Coren had been one of those fortunate enough—or perhaps unfortunate enough—to receive word and act upon it; it was this rag-tag band of former Scarlets who formed the Argent Dawn, which Teatha quickly jumped on board with. Liuceijya, on the other hand, was still ensconced deep within Scarlet territory. In spite of Teatha’s offers of aid Coren grew increasingly fretful for his wife, finally disappearing in the dead of night—presumably to try and rescue Liuceijya. He was never seen alive again, the victim of either Scourge or Scarlets.

At this time Teatha turned to a new friend, a Wildhammer priestess named Cetrinh Stormcrest. Although deeply entrenched in the shadow arts she seemed friendly enough and could relate all too well on the subject of friends and relatives fallen to zealotry. It was thus that she pledged her aid to Teatha should an opportunity present itself to extricate Liuceijya from the Crusade, as it had been clearly established that the half-Elf still lived. However, Teatha never learned until years later just how far gone Liuceijya had been.

The Dawn was, for the most part, still in its young and idealistic stage: given that a majority were ex-Scarlets they still thought that their estranged brethren could be saved, thus Teatha’s efforts on behalf of Liuceijya raised few eyebrows. An unexpected opportunity came up when a mission gone terribly wrong pitted Liuceijya, virtually alone, against a demon far too powerful for her to take on—especially in her badly weakened state. Vaguely, Teatha recalled a few rumors that had cropped up around Liuceijya, but maternal instinct won out in the end. Stepping in, she, Cetrinh and the other Dawn members engaged the demon: after all, wouldn’t the redemption of Commander Silverblade be a coup? However, the demon proved far more challenging than even they anticipated and Teatha, as the resident arcanist, took it upon herself to find a way to send it packing.

She did not like what she came up with: she quickly realized that using its own Fel energies to banish it back to the Nether would be the only way to avert catastrophe in so little time. Teatha voiced this and her caveats; however, Cetrinh pointedly told her that she had better do something if everyone was to live, especially Liuceijya. Drawing upon her years of learning Teatha reached into the seething mass of Fel energy and turned it inside out with all of the willpower she could muster, accomplishing her intended purpose. Unfortunately the contact had effects far, far beyond what even she could have anticipated and the backlash left her spirit terribly scarred; it was only Cetrinh’s intervention and her own dogged will that allowed her to cling to any remnant of sanity.

This time it was the Wildhammer priestess’s turn to save the day. Cetrinh had a few other shadow priest contacts, one of them a woman named Kaleaday Soulforge of the Order of the Lotus. Between the two they managed to have Liuceijya and Teatha spirited to Northshire Valley, where they could get better care. Teatha was up and awake fairly quickly, and just as quickly discovered that she could no longer touch the arcane in any way. However, some of that Fel energy had begun to incubate within her and she realized that fateful choice had doomed her: she was now, for all intents and purposes, a Warlock. Liuceijya had not come out unscathed, either; it took all of Cetrinh’s ministrations and a great deal of memory repression with regards to the Crusade to restore her to some semblance of normal functioning.

Teatha left Liuceijya in the capable hands of the Order of the Lotus and spoke in particular with one of its leaders, a Night Elf named Keliesto Gryphonknight, before striking off for Ironforge to find someone who could help her come to grips with the Fel energy that flickered within her. Nor had she forgotten her promise to Tibylt last time she had been in the Dwarven city and, with the best of intentions, she sought her former apprentice out. However, Tibylt almost immediately sensed Teatha’s taint and refused to have anything whatsoever to do with her, regarding her as a traitor of the worst sort.

Resigned to living as a pariah and coming up empty on ways to regain her touch with the arcane, Teatha steeled herself for the grim work ahead of her. After gaining some skill with the Fel arts she returned to the Lotus and was pleased to find Liuceijya doing far better, if a bit altered mentally. This period of time passed in relative peace—although the members of the Lotus were a bit of a fractious lot, with Keliesto eventually pulling off a coup—and Teatha just managed to stave off bitterness and anger by becoming something of a den mother to the bunch. Slowly, cautiously, she began to think that maybe—just maybe—she had done something right for once, even if the cost was a bit steeper than she would have liked.

Unfortunately, the peace didn’t last long. The arrival of the Scarlet Inquisition in Stormwind jolted Liuceijya’s memories, leading to a nervous breakdown. This was quickly followed by the arrival of one Estly Morante, who, apparently, had been Liuceijya’s closest friend within the Crusade. Upon discovering that her half-Elven friend was alive but had no intention of rejoining, Estly waged a terrifying psychological campaign to rectify that—and her merciless gaze fell upon Teatha, the one she blamed for that. After all, Warlocks made convenient scapegoats.

The situation put Liuceijya to rout for a number of months until finally she vanished, only to resurface nearly a month later bearing the insignia of the Scarlet Inquisition. Any attempt to approach her met only absolute cold and maybe a death threat or two. Clearly Estly had succeeded in breaking her.

With that done, Estly pursued Teatha in earnest. Teatha saw the probable end result and conspired with a half-Elven Warlock, Lacryma, to enact a contingency plan. This was far deeper into the Fel than Teatha had ever been before but it was, to her mind, for a good cause. It was very, very chancy, of course, but the potential payoff seemed worth the risk.

Estly did, of course, catch up to her, with the expected result. That time in limbo is generally something Teatha does not speak of save the occasional flippant remark. She finally did manage to return months later with Lacryma’s aid—and, surprisingly, that of two of the Scarlets, Meliadain Almeris and Seiana Finch. Between them they managed to figure out how to undo Liuceijya’s brainwashing and finally succeeded in doing so after much effort.

Unfortunately for both Teatha and Liuceijya, however, the Lotus had fallen apart completely and they went their separate ways: Liuceijya to Alahni lo Andu, which, coincidentially, put her with Tibylt, and Teatha to the Nightsaber Vanguard after trying and failing to hold the remnants of the Lotus together. They kept in touch, but Liuceijya had clearly been marked by her experience and remained unstable. This was somewhat mitigated by her budding friendship with the Draenei woman Ashantae, her relationship with the Night Elf Vanni Silvante and her truce with Raietha, who was by now a Blood Elf, but the lull, as usual, did not last for long.

Ashantae and Tibylt left and founded the Azure Order with Culgrim Darkstorm; Teatha struck up an improbable friendship with another of the Order’s members, the Druid Aerdeth Blackpaw. Unfortunately Ashantae was kidnapped by Blood Knights; it was in the wake of her rescue weeks later—which Liuceijya participated in—that things began to fall apart yet again. Not long afterwards, Liuceijya disappeared again; the news officially broke later on after that with word from the Cathedral of Light, along with a frightening list of charges, that she had been arrested for crimes committed as a Scarlet.

This prompted by far the worst crisis of conscience Teatha had yet experienced—definitely saying something considering how many of them she had had over the years. She had known that Liuceijya’s history with the Crusade had been far from pretty, but had chalked much of that off as brainwashing. She had no inkling of the true enormity of her goddaughter’s crimes until now, but suddenly more and more things snapped into focus. Coren, for starters—Liuceijya herself had been his murderer, and that of untold others as well. She was still reeling when the church accosted her, suspicious as always of the mild-mannered Warlock, and ruthlessly cross-examined her about her relations with Liuceijya. Finally reluctantly conceding that she had acted in good faith on Liuceijya’s behalf, they dismissed her… but the entire thing still rankled terribly and brought greater depths of bitterness and self-loathing than she thought possible.

Had she really wasted the past several years of her life trying to save an illusion? Had she imperiled her soul for the sake of a lie? These and thousands of other unanswered questions she drowned in alcohol when she wasn’t clashing with her friends over Liuceijya’s impending trial. Teatha considered them much too forgiving; some pointed out that she, being a Warlock, was scarcely one to talk. This point in particular plagued her incessantly, and she mulled it over with Aerdeth with the help of some Brewfest ale. She could no longer countenance being a Warlock, as her entire reasoning for it had been built upon a monstrous lie. Returning to the arcane was out of the question as there was often much too fine a line between it and the Fel… but what to do then?

Aerdeth sensibly suggested that Teatha take up the sword: although she herself was now a Druid, she still had old skills that she may as well pass on. It would be a long and difficult road for an older Gnome with an arcane background to learn an art that was purely physical in nature, but not altogether impossible. Finding this vastly preferable to losing her soul to Fel corruption, Teatha agreed. She spent the intervening months training with Aerdeth when she could, channeling her rage and despair into the budding ability to beat the crap out of anything that moved. Soon, all too soon yet far too late, Liuceijya’s trial was at hand. The preliminaries brought Teatha face to face with Ashrinn once more, who had discovered the truth behind Coren’s death and had his daughter-in-law apprehended; he expressed disbelief at her new career path (which had the added benefit of bolstering her credibility with the Cathedral) and distrust due to her stint as a Warlock. Ashantae, however, took an immediate liking to her, being large with child and perhaps drawn to Teatha’s maternal aspect, and even Tibylt expressed the beginnings of forgiveness. The Draenei and the two Gnomes were nigh inseparable throughout the entire trial, with Ashantae and Teatha giving particularly damning testimonies. The verdict was unanimous: death by the headsman’s sword. Some thought even that was insufficient a penalty; for Teatha, it was the one mercy she could possibly have asked for on Liuceijya’s behalf.

On that fateful, perversely beautiful evening a week later, the sword came down, in its glittering arc encompassing much that Teatha had come to regret over the past several decades. Liuceijya, yes, for what had gone wrong there? However, it also brought Nigel and Bryony to the fore, and Raietha, and Vharelan, Iarethion and Rosi… her apprentices in Dalaran… the simpering words of Liuceijya’s ‘friends’ incensed her; why could they not see the half-Elf’s evil for what it was? At the same time she wanted to mourn, but for a criminal? It was… uncouth. Better to burn her to ashes and bury her unmarked; Coren had never had the nicety of a grave. Teatha coldly expressed these sentiments when asked by the priest seeing to Liuceijya’s remains and wandered off for a drink. Or several.

In the months since then, Teatha has mostly been trying to regain some sense of focus. She knows she has her own redemption to work out, and training to keep busy with… but then what? She has been helping Ashantae with her baby when feasible, but there is always that part of her that craves a higher purpose. She has considered approaching the Azure Order but is far too ambivalent about her sometimes strained relationship with Tibylt, and of her own recent path to actually apply with a clear conscience. Currently she is playing around with the idea of founding her own order, a haven for those whose darkest chapters were those they wrote themselves. For now it is but a thought, but it may yet become reality. And maybe this time she won’t screw it up.

Goals and Motivations Edit

A twisted knot of rage, regret, despair and a pressing need for redemption and a higher purpose drives Teatha perpetually onward; she particularly wants to atone for the sins she committed as a Warlock and the mistakes she made with Nigel and Bryony. Eventually she would like to help others caught in straits similar to her own and wishes to found an order towards this purpose; however, this is a long ways in the future.

RelationshipsEdit

Has leaned heavily on the Azure Order a great deal in recent months, what with her change in vocation, and is thus on good terms with most of them. She has, however, become estranged from many of her former friends due to serious disagreements concerning Liuceijya's trial.

Idiosyncrasies Edit

Likes telling war stories; although many of the events detailed are horrific, they are still less painful than her interpersonal life.

Has a veritable zoo of pets: she is constantly taking in strays.

Likes drink far too much but refuses to admit that she might have a problem.

Adores nature and is far more comfortable out in the wilds than surrounded by gadgets, unlike most Gnomes.

Still has a bit of a Fel taint, to those who know how to look.

Public Knowledge and Rumors Edit

Known as a former Warlock, and a Magus of the Kirin Tor even before that.

Rumors indicate that, following her renouncement of the Fel, angry Warlocks burned her house down. Blood in, blood out?

A veteran of many, many battles, although most certainly not as a warrior.

A former mentor to Gnomish Mage and Engineer Tibylt Sprocketsnap of the Azure Order; the two were estranged for several years due to Teatha's foray into Warlockery, but have recently made their peace with each other.

Testified at Liuceijya's trial along with Draenei Warrior Ashantae Bitingrock; of all of the people who took the witness stands, their statements were by far the most damning. They were also, by most reports, inseparable throughout most of the proceedings.

No longer on speaking terms with Raietha after Liuceijya's execution.

Seems to play godmother to Ashantae's daughter Solaadra; hopefully things won't go south this time.

QuotesEdit

"Good judgment comes from wisdom, wisdom from experience, and experience, unfortunately, usually with bad judgment. I should know; it's the story of my life."

"Remember where my height puts my blade in relation to human anatomy. Now, try not to piss me off."

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