Beckyann Eastberg is an undead human who is a full-fledged Knight of the Ebon Blade. She currently serves as a Captain in the 1113th Reformed Scourge Irregulars, the Knights of Menethil, and is a loyal supporter of both the Order of the Ebon Blade and of the Grand Alliance .
At first sight Beckyann seems like any other citizen of the Alliance . With golden blonde hair and a tan complexion, she is typically dressed in colorful/stylized and well-maintained plate armor, a long blade sheathed on her back or two smaller blades sheathed at her hips. Her armor tends to have rather extravagant filigreed designs on it in silver or other precious metals, and may be covered by a tabard of the Alliance or one of the many other orders that serve Alliance territory depending upon what duty she has taken up for the Crown. Often she may have pouches or other objects strapped to her belt, likely holding components for spell casting. A few of the objects appear to be books, and one might assume that they were prayer books based on their size and shape as well as her well-cut appearance.
As one comes closer, it begins to become obvious that the first impression of this woman was false, and that everything about her is a carefully maintained facade that fails to stand up to close inspection. Although she is indeed wearing well maintained plate armor, it is clear from the first glance into her unnaturally glowing blue eyes that there is something wrong with her. The smile that graces her face contains a subtle undertone of malice behind it, and her golden hair is faded, appearing almost brittle at times despite being carefully arranged. The objects at her belt which one might have assumed were used by a paladin or light-worshiper appear more ominous upon closer inspection, with the books having tattered leather covers covered in disturbing glyphs.
Her lips are a bluish-black, either from being painted that way or as the result of a natural condition, and beneath her tanned skin her veins are clearly visible, their sickly coloration indicating underlying ailments that are not reflected in her movements or demeanor. Her chest rises and falls irregularly, and if one looks long enough, one might notice that she goes long stretches without appearing to breathe normally.
After spending only a moment in her presence one could easily come away with the impression that this woman may no longer be amongst the living, despite the fact that she is walking amongst them.
From time to time, Beckyann will attempt to disguise herself as a living woman. She will typically do this when performing missions or simply to remain in practice. She will leave her plate armor behind, and wear elegant dresses in their place. These dresses typically appear to be made of fine materials and are well tailored, although they also tend to be a few seasons (and in some cases several years) out of fashion. (This is because she 'borrows' them from the recently dead and wealthy.)
Along with these dresses she will tend to wear fashionable high-heeled boots or shoes, although she is more likely to wear a thick heel since she never learned to walk in such clothing when she was alive. She will finish off her look with matching cloaks and silver or gold jewelry that is also somewhat out of fashion with the times.
When disguised, Beckyann will go to great lengths to make herself appear pleasant. She will apply an abundance of makeup to hide her unhealthy looking skin, although she tends towards darker colors since they more easily cover the bluish-black color of her lips and nails. She will move, position herself, and smile much as a living woman would, although there is a hint of 'wrongness' about her movements, as if her body was a puppet being ALMOST masterfully manipulated. She will also speak in lower tones in an attempt to make her unnatural voice less obvious.
This disguise is not perfect, and will fail under very close inspection or for the very observant. The dead woman can spend all of the time and effort she wishes attempting to mimic what she once was, but she cannot change the very nature of who and what she is now.
Beckyann will ALWAYS wear a pair of stylish, colored glasses that hide the unnatural glow of her eyes when disguised. No magic, no makeup, and no other methods will cover up this very obvious sign of her affliction.
The only child of rather poor parents, Beckyann was born in Corin's Crossing. She lived a relatively peaceful life, with her early childhood being typical to other children in the region. Beckyann's parents were both tinkerers and pot menders. Able to perform a wide array of useful skills, they scraped together enough coin to keep their daughter fed by serving the village with various odds and ends. Many of the other residents would give them work, pitying the poor family and wishing the best for their neighbors. Beckyann herself was not very useful when it came to helping her parents with such work. As her mother once jokingly put it, "Beckyann was born with two left feet and two left hands!"
When she became a teenager, the first hints of her future path revealed themselves in the signs that she might have some skill with magic. Unfortunately, her parents did not have the coin needed to send their daughter off to Dalaran for formal training. The young woman was forced to learn as best she could, studying what fragments of magic she was able to read about in the limited archives of Corin's Crossing.
Just before Beckyann reached adulthood, her parents took ill and passed away from a flu. The disease spread through the village, killing several other people before it died down. Having no money to bury her parents, Beckyann, with the help of some of the other villagers, burned them on a pyre. It should be noted that this later prevented her parents from being raised as Scourge when Lordaeron fell to the plague, and Beckyann's family remains peacefully at rest.
Determined not to let the tragedy destroy her, the young woman took the remaining coin that she had managed to scrape together and, combined with what little her parents had left her, traveled to Dalaran. After weeks of living on the edge of starvation as a pauper in the city, she was finally able to catch the ear of one of the mages and demonstrate her talent for the Art. She was given formal training, and allowed to work off the cost as an apprentice for several years. She worked as hard as she could at her lessons, sacrificing everything else in her one driving goal not to die in poverty as her parents had done. She made few friends during this time, her obsession driving her onward.
After her training was complete, Beckyann became lucky and was able to find a position in one of the noble houses of Lordaeron, serving as the resident mage for the Woodbury family. Being only a lowly ranked mage of the Kirin Tor, Beckyann's primary responsibilities were as tutor to the Woodbury's children, several of whom had shown signs that they might grow in the arts as they matured. During this time in her life, Beckyann had come to a point where she had some coin, a comfortable set of quarters in the Woodbury manor, and the luxury that she had always dreamed of when she was a child. It seemed that her aspirations and dreams had finally come to be.
To add to the riches of her life, Beckyann became first close friends, and then the lover of the Woodbury family Guard Captain, a man named Frederick Lightstone. Although their relationship would have been frowned on by their wealthy employers, the two enjoyed a thriving courtship beneath the noses of their superiors, sneaking moments together and enjoying all that life had given them.
It was around this time that the first hints of plague began to show themselves amongst the populace of Lordaeron.
The reaction to the spread of the plague and the rise of the undead varied depending on where one was located and how one viewed the world. Some took their own lives, while others tried to flee to safe havens that would, in time, also be overrun by the undead. For the Woodbury family, the reaction was simple; they would use their vast fortunes to find a way to protect themselves with magic. To this end, they assigned Beckyann to the task of researching the plague and the magic behind it, sparing no expense. The young mage took this task up with gusto, her desire to prove herself and gain fame and power driving her onward.
Beckyann took several of House Woodbury's guards and research assistants with her and went out into the most plague infested portions of Lordaeron, convinced that her magic and the might of the men-at-arms with her would be sufficient to protect her. Frederick Lightstone accompanied her on this venture, leading the men that made up the expedition, cautioning her of the dangers they would face. Beckyann's desire to complete the task that was given to her made her ignore most words of caution as they traveled towards Stratholme . Her arrogance and naivete would be her downfall.
There was no salvation for Lordaeron. The kingdom was falling to undeath even as Beckyann's expedition set out. The further into plagued territory they passed, the more often they came under assault until overwhelming waves of undead washed over them. Pinned in the village of Northdale, Beckyann paused the expedition's march so that she could tend to the sick and dying there, hoping to glean knowledge of the plague that would lead to a cure.
During this research, Beckyann accidentally infected many dozens of men, women, and children with the plague via a vaccination. She had developed the injection believing she had weakened the disease enough to help provide some protection, not realizing that it had a magical component to it that defied such attempts. Horrified by what she had done, she confessed her failure and guilt to Frederick, and he ordered the expedition to pull out of the town. Unbeknownst to Beckyann, at this time Frederick also ordered the town burned behind them as they withdrew.
Beckyann convinced Frederick that she was confident that with just a little more research she could find a cure. Her belief that she had learned enough about the plague to make a difference would result in the expedition pushing on into the area now known as the Plaguewood. In this place, the dead assaulted them relentlessly, taxing the survivors to the breaking point.
Desperate, Beckyann and her retainers fought back, using magic and blades to hold off the inevitable as long as possible. Eventually they were overrun despite the mage's power, and Beckyann was cut off from friendly forces when Frederick ordered a retreat, effectively leaving her to die. To her horror, Beckyann found herself a prisoner in the clutches of the Cult of the Damned.
Eager to understand the research the young mage had already made into the plague, Beckyann was subjected to questioning under torture. The process was brutal and was regrettably not short, leaving her body and spirit broken before she finally passed into death. Her corpse was dumped amongst the piles of the dead that the Cult had earmarked for transportation to Acherus for further research. This was not to be the end however, but the beginning of a new unlife.
Beckyann's research into the plague and the necromantic magic that spawned it was brilliant, as was her defiance under questioning. Despite her naivete, it was clear that she would make a valuable asset to the Scourge. She was raised as a Death Knight in Acherus, and served the Scourge legions until the Battle for Light's Hope, where she finally regained her free will and the burning desire to become more than she had been.
Eager now to expand her own power and find her place, Beckyann has returned to the world of the living to find her place there; and to further her own private research into the dark arts that she has been imbued with.
Beckyann believes that it is her right to exist, personally believing that her state of undeath is due and just punishment for the sins she committed in life. She holds little regret for what she did while under the control of the Lich King, and has no aspirations to reclaim the life that she once lead. She is comfortable with being a death knight, and not apologetic for what she has become.
She will directly aid other 'brothers and sisters', even death knights dedicated to the Horde provided they are not assaulting Alliance territory. She believes that her kind must stick together to present a unified front to the world, both to make themselves useful and to prevent prejudice and fear from driving the mobs of the living to burn them all.
Beckyann believes that coddling the living and making them feel that death knights are both useful and repentant is the best way to ensure that her continued existence is not threatened. As such, she strives to be pleasant to them where possible; a champion that they can go to for aid.
Beckyann believes that she is a tool designed to make war, crafted by the Lich King for such a purpose. As such, she does not shy from combat and in fact uses it as her primary method for achieving the state of agony in others that she needs to feel complete. She will volunteer for combat whenever such opportunities arise, lending blade and spell to the cause of the Alliance or the Ebon Blade .
As indicated by her personal views, Beckyann will generally put on a pleasant demeanor when dealing with the living. This may fade when she is in a particularly sour mood, but for the most part she is approachable, managing to hide the fact that she detests living beings behind a carefully constructed facade. Everything about how she presents herself, from her looks to her manner of speaking, is designed to soothe others and mask what she really feels.
Beckyann, having died at the age of 24 and having lived without parental guidance from the age of 17 on, acts very much like a spoiled teenager when she is thwarted. Known to throw hissy fits when she does not get her way, she is also easily distracted by flattery or conversation about her interests, particularly about fashion.
She is generally predictable, both in her pleasant moods and in her ire.
HOBBIES AND INTERESTSEdit
Beckyann is deeply interested in art and archaeology. She believes that well crafted tombs and memorials for the dead are a source of artistic inspiration. Lovingly carved or particularly beautiful gravestones or tombs will draw her attention, and she can often be found studying inscriptions on such things.
Like the woman she once was in life, Beckyann is also interested in fashion and style. She will collect clothing, shoes, jewelry, and other finery like a living woman might, often sending her undead minions to collect old clothing from ruined cities such as Stratholme. She will also enter and rob tombs and take such items for herself if they catch her fancy, although she generally will only do this with tombs that show signs of abandonment so as not to anger the living.
Beckyann firmly believes that items that were left to honor the dead are meant for the dead, which means they were meant for HER. She has little qualms about taking such things, and will often strip such materials from the tombs of her foes with little thought about the ramifications.
Beckyann is also very interested in Archeology. She works with a particular team of gnomes to fund new dig sites and discover ancient and buried treasures. Most of these artifacts are not handled in a scholarly fashion, but instead sold for profit to enrich both the death knight and those she has hired. Particularly beautiful or rare pieces will be retained as art, especially death masks and the like.
Beckyann is a fanatically loyal to the Alliance and to the Ebon Blade. She believes that serving as a tool of war shows her usefulness to the living, and will engage in battle for the Alliance as needed. She will often either directly or indirectly support groups or organizations that fight for the Alliance or for the retaking of Lordaeron, especially if such organizations have a positive outlook on her kind.
Beckyann is loyal to the 1113th, and will obey all lawful orders given by her commanding officers unless they appear to be treasonous to the Ebon Blade as a whole. It should be noted that this death knight has very little compassion for her enemies, and will deal with them harshly. She has little concern for those who are crushed beneath the Alliance, the Ebon Blade, or those organizations that support the causes she favors.
Beckyann Eastberg has a large collection of short stories written about her. For those interested, the blog below contains the entirety of the collection: