| Melysa Marwyn-Ashvale|
Countess of Aberdeen
Melysa, Lady Aberdeen
Date of Birth:
November 1st, 584 K.C.
Committed Suicide, November 30th, 625 K.C.
She is a veteran paladin of the original Order of the Silver Hand, consecrated at the Alonsus Chapel in the city of Stratholme, Lordaeron 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 small chapter of the Silver hand in Stromgarde, known as the Order of the Crimson Fist in 623 K.C. Melysa also served two terms as Grand Knight of the Congregation of the Silver Hand until its dissolution by the Council of Bishops in July of 624 K.C. and returned to the Congregation when it was re-established by Alonsus II.
Melysa was found dead in her Stormwind home on the morning of November 30th, 625 K.C. The official report released by the Stormwind Guard listed the cause of death as a self-inflicted gunshot wound. With Melysa's death, the Countess of Aberdeen passed to her niece, Lady Merridyth Marwyn.
A striking woman in her forties, 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.
Once a woman of natural 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 (Arguably unfair expectations) on those who hold positions of influence in both government and military, and the standards to which she holds herself are higher still. She does not take disappointment well 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, untrustworthy, or dishonorable are treated with nothing short of contempt and will rarely be given a chance to redeem themselves.
Her pride and sense of self-worth have both suffered greatly in recent times, beginning with the March on the Highlands and the deterioration of her second marriage. While Melysa denies it, those who saw her on the day of the annulment believe that she may have even suffered a nervous breakdown and had perhaps entertained thoughts of throwing herself from the highest tower, overlooking Stormwind Harbor.
Her dedication to the Order of the Silver Hand and the maintenance of Uther's great legacy seems to be the driving force in her life today, although some might argue that her service to the Congregation of the Silver Hand was the source of her descent into despair and drink. Regardless, Melysa feels a great deal of responsibility for the future of the paladinhood, praising the most honorable paladins for their successes and blaming herself for their failures. She misses men like Uther the Lightbringer and Gavinrad the Dire, but most of all she misses her mentor and closest spiritual adviser, Sir Duncan Maclear who was slain in battle while attempting to reclaim some of the territory lost during the March on the Highlands.
What's In a Name?Edit
For some time after her husband's death, Melysa debated dropping his name altogether, and often referred to herself by her maiden name of Marwyn. While some believe the decision was made as a way to honor both her late husband and their son, there were certainly political reasons behind it. The Ashvale name was praised even by the Argent Crusade, due in large part to Lord Ethan's service during the Siege of Icecrown, and the annual donation of twenty thousand dollars, made in perpetuity by her deceased son's estate. The decision to keep her late husband's name came in late September of 623 K.C. when Melysa sought alliances with some of Lordaeron's remaining aristocracy.
Melysa remains unmarried and with no living children at present. Twice married and now forty years old, the likelihood of her finding a proper, noble husband is very small. In light of this, she seems to have dedicated her remaining years to her charities and the Order of the Silver Hand. She is not known to have any lovers at present.
Ethan Ashvale - First HusbandEdit
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.
Henry Sutton IV - Second HusbandEdit
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 it deteriorated. Although Henry failed to live up to numerous promises he had made, the downfall of the marriage could be largely attributed to the very public humiliation Henry suffered when Melysa's niece declined the generous offer he had arranged to make the Duchy of Seastone a vassal of Stormwind.
Karindir Stonewarden - ParamourEdit
In the year 623 K.C. at the age of 38, Melysa began a passionate affair with the 29 year-old Knight of questionable birth. 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. In July of 624 K.C.
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 of what is happening in the world than she would have people believe. A staunch supporter of the Grand Alliance, Melysa was in total support of Varian Wrynn becoming High King until his refusal to dismantle the Horde in the aftermath of the Siege of Orgrimmar. Her decision to swear an oath of fealty to Stormwind and its ruling family was one born of necessity as she could not have taken her late uncle's seat in the house of nobles without doing so. With that oath, Melysa renounced her Stromic citizenship and all claim to any titles in the Stromgarde and Lordaeron Peerage.
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 Stratholme, Lordaeron 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 Lightbringer, Saidan Dathrohan and many of the original Knights of the Silver Hand in her youth, 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 later served two terms as Grand Knight of the Congregation of the Silver Hand and penned a petition to see the title "Grand Master of the Silver Hand" remain out of use, because she felt so strongly that none of paladins since Uther were worthy of his great legacy.
Known for her charitable works, Melysa is presently involved with the following organizations:
Donor, The Westfall TrustEdit
Melysa has donated generous sums of money to the trust since its establishment in 623 K.C.
Treasurer, The Ashvale TrustEdit
A patron of the arts, and a supporter of education for underprivileged children, Melysa has been a donor since the Trust's establishment, and was recently elected to replace Sir Charles Eastvale as its Treasurer.
Chairwoman, The Aberdeen Castle TrustEdit
A fund recently established to preserve for the public benefit, the estate known as Aberdeen Castle in Duskwood together with its ancillary buildings, public library, gardens, woodlands and park.
Residences and WealthEdit
On the death of her uncle Charles, Lord Aberdeen, his titles and estate passed to Melysa as his closest living relative. She has also inherited the somewhat dilapadated Aberdeen Castle, and its small garrison of forty men-at-arms. Her primary income is now derived from the tenant farms, orchard, and rental cottages located on the estate. Sadly, Melysa must pay death duties on the entire estate, a cost estimated at more than four hundred thousand Crowns. It is estimated that it will take as many as five years for her to pay the taxes in their entirety. When the house of nobles is in session, Melysa resides at Aberdeen House in Stormwind City, which overlooks Stormwind Harbor. When the house is not in session, she will often visit friends and relatives throughout the Eastern Kingdoms.
As Treasurer of the Ashvale Trust, Melysa receives a stipend of sixty thousand Crowns per year, which much to everyone's surprise, she has insisted on donating to the Trust.
While assisting the League of Lordaeron, Melysa is known to have stayed at Mardenholde Keep as a guest of Tirion Fordring, who has alowed her to do so in recognition of her late husband's contributions to the Argent Crusade during the Northrend campaign. It is unknown whether or not she has received any compensation from the League of Lordaeron.
Appearences In Recent EventsEdit
- The Founding of the Order of the Crimson Fist
- The Siege of Orgrimmar: Cutting Off the Supply Lines
- Harlow's Folly
- The Siege of Seastone
- Reformed Congregation of the Silver Hand
- The Arathi War Council
- March on the Highlands
- Second Reformation of the Congregation of the Silver Hand
- Bleeding the Mountain
- The Alliance-Horde War on Draenor
Coat of ArmsEdit
Like most aristocrats, Melysa's personal standard has a great deal of significance. Originally a single Argent Seashell, she added a second after her marriage to the Lordaeronian Lord Ashfort, and a third when she inherited her uncle's title and estate in Stormwind. Now Countess of Aberdeen in her own right, Melysa proudly displays her personal standard above her uncle's device, a black dragon. (See Countess of Aberdeen for the crest, supporters, and motto)
|Melysa's personal coat of arms consists of her personal standard, three Seashells, over the Aberdeen Shield.|
Titles and OfficesEdit
| Countess of Aberdeen|
624 K.C. - Present
| Preceded by|
|Melysa Marwyn|| Succeeded by|
Offices Recently HeldEdit
In order from oldest to most recent:
| Exemplar of the|
Order of the Crimson Fist
623 K.C. - 624 K.C.
| Preceded by|
|Melysa Marwyn|| Succeeded by|
| Grand Knight of the Congregation of the Silver Hand|
623K.C. - 624 K.C.
| Preceded by|
|Melysa Marwyn|| Succeeded by|
| Treasurer of the Ashvale Trust|
624K.C. - Present
| Preceded by|
|Melysa Marwyn|| Succeeded by|
| Chairwoman of the Aberdeen Castle Trust|
624K.C. - Present
| Preceded by|
|Melysa Marwyn|| Succeeded by|
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.
Born in Stonegarde City in what is now the Duchy of Seastone, 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 noble 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.
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 a second 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 LordaeronEdit
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. While it has not seen battle in many years, the hammer is among her most prized possessions and is proudly displayed in Aberdeen House's main hall. Her husband was also present at the ceremony and placed upon her, 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, and with such wealth came a life of many pleasures and great excess. His 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 of her husband's estate in his stead. Despite Ethan's numerous indiscretions, Melysa remained faithful and dedicated herself to raising their son to be an honorable man and to serving the Order of the Silver Hand in any capacity she was required.
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 LordaeronEdit
By the time the Cult of the Damned became known, Melysa was an anointed 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 after a siege that lasted six weeks 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 exiles 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 CampaignEdit
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 unharmed.
A Mother's NightmareEdit
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, and she 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 had his body cremated to prevent the forsaken from raising him into undeath and laid his ashes to rest beside his father at Light's Hope Chapel. 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 journey alone 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 whilse seeking financial support, 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 late husband's 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 StromgardeEdit
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 Order of the Crimson FistEdit
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 original Congregation of the Silver Hand, a body governed by the Council of Bishops and based from Northshire Abbey. This would be the first of two terms she would serve as Grand Knight of the Congregation.
The Duchy of SeastoneEdit
Unwilling to allow her family's ancestral lands to be ruled over 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 and a means to usurp her own niece, Melysa used her influence as Duchess of Seastone to prevent any would-be usurpers from stealing the Trollbane Throne.
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, but was largely left uninformed by Dawnsorrow and Dungalion.
Whether this lack of communication was intentional or not, Melysa was so outraged upon learning that prisoners had been tortured, she is said to have insisted on the immediate removal of Dawnsorrow from Command. It was Binor Dungalion who managed to calm the rather tense situation during a private meeting between the three of them, but Melysa has not forgotten it and it seems to have resulted in the eventual errosion of her faith in the Ranger-Lady.
Despite many close friends and advisers urging her to remain within the city walls due to the old injury she suffered during the onset of the Siege of Orgrimmar, Melysa ignored them, insisting that it was her duty to fight side-by-side with her countrymen. She personally engaged the Horde in numerous skirmishes during the long conflict and sustained minor wounds during a particularly brutal attack on the city gates.
During the attempt to transport the many wounded South of the Thandol Span for evacuation, 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 fell, and was left utterly defenseless. Instead, the Sin'dorei risked her own standing within the Horde by driving her blade into the ground beside the prone paladin and rolling her down the hill to safety.
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. She 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. 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 desired more than anything after the tragic death of her only son.
The two were later 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. The marriage, and her subsequent status as a citizen of Stormwind required her to relinquish all offices she once held in Stromgarde, and so on the day before the wedding, Melysa relinquished everything to her niece, Merridyth Marwyn.
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.
Despair and a Failed Second MarriageEdit
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 in order to increase her chances of having a child, and while it was a decision she made with no small measure of reluctance, she 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.
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 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 then 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 remained for some time.
A Silver LiningEdit
In June, the eldest of Melysa's relatives, Lord Aberdeen passed away at the age of 86. Though the loss of another family member was yet another in a long list of heartbreaking moments for Melysa, with no living children of his own, her uncle's lands and title in Stormwind passed to her as his only lawful heir. This tragic twist of fate robbed her of the last of her uncles, but made her a Countess in her own right.
On the morning of July sixth, 624 K.C. Melysa returned to Stormwind to publicly swear her oath of fealty to King Varian, thus lawfully granting her the seat in the house of nobles formerly held by her late uncle. known to be a conservative, and a staunch supporter of both the Monarchy and the aristocracy, she fully intends to take an active role in the Kingdom's politics. Some suspect that she will attempt to gain more power for the house of nobles, which in recent years has suffered much after the riots resulting from the stonemasons debacle.
Dissolution of the Congregation of the Silver Hand and a Brief RetirementEdit
When the Council of Bishops voted to dissolve the Congregation in secret on July 5th, offering no opportunity for its members to speak against such dissolution, Melysa felt that both the Order of the Silver Hand, and the Council had sunk to an all time low. She felt betrayed by the Congregation's Prefect, who in her opinion, did little, or nothing to further the Congregation's revival, and may even have acted against it at the behest of others.
Unwilling to be part of what the Order would become under such direction, Melysa chose instead to retire from active duty, concentrate on the management of her late uncle's estate, the charities of which she is a part, and the betterment of Stormwind by taking her uncle's seat in the house of nobles. After deciding that retirement was not for her, she later returned to Draenor, where she spent four months training novice paladins to combat the forces of the Burning Legion after being pressured to serve the Silver Hand once more.
Return to Active Service in the Order of the Silver Hand Edit
In mid-August of 625 K.C. Melysa returned from Draenor and was offered a training position and the rank of Champion within Stormwind's local Chapter of the Silver Hand by Sir Ritchard Elric, which she accepted. She has also made it clear that despite the limitations brought on by the injury she sustained during the siege of Orgrimmar, she will be taking the field in the upcoming Crusade against the Forsaken.
On the morning of November 30th, 625 K.C. Melysa was found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound in her Stormwind Residence, Aberdeen House. Her body and a note were discovered in her bedchamber by a servant after she did not rise for breakfast. Known to suffer from alcoholism and depression, the Countess had become a recluse in the final months of her life, her apparent suicide still came as a shock to the staff at Aberdeen House. The official report from the Stormwind Guard states that she died of a single, self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head and an ornate dueling pistol was found on the bed beside her body.
- 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 former Kingdom of Stromgarde.
- Though it is rarely seen, Melysa bears a scar 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 many would 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 nightly drinking when taking confession, none of her efforts to stop have proved successful.
- 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 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.
- Melysa is often blamed for the scathing letter written by her niece, Merridyth, which condemned then Bishop of Stormwind, Johannes Moorwhelp and the Holy League. While she had no part in the letter and repeatedly urged her niece to retract such condemnation, the letter seems to have damaged her reputation at least within the Council of Bishops.
- After four months of active service on Draenor, Melysa has finally returned to Stormwind after learning that the Archbishop has approved a crusade against certain rogue elements of the forsaken. She intends to take part, if only to avenge the death of her only son.
"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.
"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.
"You robbed me of my fate and for that, I can never forgive you. I should be with my son in the afterlife and instead, I am left here alone and without purpose." Said during a fit of rage to the Priest who resurrected her on the field of battle after she was pierced through the heart by a forsaken arrow.