Carith Halfien is, and perhaps, will forever be known as a soldier of the Alliance. Her loyalty to Stormwind is unquestionable, as well as her stalwart digelence to the Cause of the First Regiment of the Stormwind Army. Known for her strength and prowness as a warrior, she has become a staple of the military history and is known, even in the ranks of the Horde, as a ferocious advesary.
In no sense of the word is Carith beautiful. At some point, perhaps, she had been at least homely, but certainly such times have past. When asked to describe her, many simply note her scars. From head to heel, she is covered in them, bruises and the remnants of old wounds. Her square, strongly-lined face is crisscrossed quite dramatically with deep scar tissue that runs from the corner of her lips, all the way around the bottom of her chin. Her ever calculating, muddy eyes, too, have scars running from brow bone to cheek, narrowly missing them. Down the right side of her torso is a strange scar-- taking the shape of words that seemed to have been carved into her flesh. If stared at long enough, these horrific words read, "The Cult of Ner'zhul."
Carith is short for her strength, but no less imposing. The pure, rock-hard muscle that make up her bulky appearance is truly a feat for someone of her age. Though fuller of chest than one might expect with such muscle, her body shape is, more often than not, swathed in armor. Her posture is absolute in a soldier's straightness, which makes her seem taller than she really is. Likewise, her short-cropped hair is immaculately kept at a suitable, though crudely shaped, military-issue cut. Though deep brown in her youth, her hair has since sprouted a few grey and white hairs. Pieces of her ears are missing, as well as a good many burn scars around her neck and back. The only self-inflicted "scars" persay, are two Alliance sigils-- one on her right, upper shoulder blade, and the other on her left upper forearm, both are rumored to blaze gold when soaked with blood. Known to some as "Carith the Beauty" (though only called so behind her back), Carith is not one to care about apperances.
The one thing Carith does care about, is her armor and weapons. Both are constantly cleaned and upkept, shined and honed. Her military uniform shines in the sun, even with all of the dents, scrapes, and flecks of dried blood. Her sword and shield are perfecly immaculate, though they too, are covered with nicks and scrapes.
Carith Halfien is a simple soul. She has a big heart, but one guarded by armor too thick for many to get through. Emotions come hard to her and if they do, she is utterly confused by them. What she best understands is rage, anger, and loyalty. Unwavering in courage, and perhaps a bit of recklessness, she faces all challenges with a can-do attitude. If she can't get it done, she'll figure out a way to get it done. Incredibly disciplined, it takes a lot to break Cari. Many have tried, none will succeed.
Cari has made many friends over her long years as a soldier. She is loyal and trustyworthy to all of them, even unto death. Though she is generally a friendly fellow, she has a partial dislike towards those who are part of the who give up, and certainly against those wicked and corrupt. Due to both her mother's severity and her simplistic life, Cari has a natural mistrust torwards those of the nobility. She distanes women who cannot fight for themselves and those who are vain rather than strong.
Obedience comes naturally to this warrior, but that does not mean she is some brainless juggernaut.
Braver than a Lion, stronger than a Bear, and fiercer than a Wolf, it could be said that Carith is more animal than human, but a firm grasp on reality gives her a distinctly human way of thinking. She just simply never gives up.
Early Life: HearthglenEdit
Daughter to Gydfred and Marlena Halfien, Carith was born five years after her elder brother, Sardriel was born. The family owned a small, cozy home within the walls of Hearthglen in Lordaeron, where her father was a part of Tirion Fordring's defense of the city. As a paladin, Carith's father hoped that both his son and daughter might follow the path of the Light and trained both equally in arms. Her father liked to joke that moments after being born, Carith cried only when her father put his sword down to hold her. Her brother followed in his father's footsteps as a paladin, taking an affinity to using the Light and fighting with it. Though Carith, try as hard as she might, could not harness this power. Frustrated with her failure, she turned to training day and night in the practice of sword and shield, duel weapons and physical fitness.
Carith's mother a small, though cruel woman, disliked that her only daughter was being trained to fight, rather than wear dresses and play with dolls. Her constant attempts to restrain her daughter within the walls of their home and teach her to be a Lady failed, miserably-- often times with Carith fleeing for days or more until her father could coax her to return. One day, as her father and brother were out, Carith's mother showed her true colors. She chained her young daughter to a chair and attempted to use a form of mind control and torture to change her daughter's ways. Luckily, her brother returned early and broke Cari's bonds. Their father dispelled their mother from the home and the woman was not heard from again. Carith continued her training as her father and brother defended the walls. Though Tirion Fordring was exiled, her father remained at Hearthglen serving under Barthalias. Years later, the rumors of the Scourge and Plague became truth as they infected Lordaeron.
Fleeing the Dark: The Scourge and the Birth of BloodthirstEdit
Now into her early teens, Carith had grown into a remarkable young woman. She had trained herself to the peak of physical fitness and was a match for any of her father's man, paladin or no. Close to her brother, they often sparred in the training yard, drawing crowds to watch their endless dance. When the Plague reached Hearthglen via grain shipment, Carith, her brother, and their father were luckily, unaffected. However, the two children were both forever scarred as Prince Arthas slew friends and loved ones to protect the town from the Plague. As the Scourge marched toward Hearthglen, Gydfred Halfien made the decision to send his children south-- away from the undead hordes.
Though both protested, Carith and Sardriel left with nothing more than a few days food, cloaks, and swords in the dead of night. Though they escaped detection, they ran past the huge forces of the Scourge approaching Lordaeron. Their father would later succumb to wounds suffered in the siege of Hearthglen by the Scourge. One night, as the two made their way through the forests of Tiris Fall, the brother and sister ran across a Scourge patrol. In the confusion of fighting, Carith lost her brother and was wounded. Though she escaped, she did not find her brother and presumed him dead. The wound she recieved on her upper right shoulder from an Abomination hook festered and she wandered aimless, sick and dying, to Hillsbrad where she at last collapsed on the side of the road. Unfortunately, a group of traders picked up Carith and smuggled her onto a ship at Southshore. On the ship, a dwarven woman healed her wounds and helped her build up strength. The woman explained to Carith, as she healed, that they were to be bought and sold at Booty Bay in Stranglethorn. Healed, though weak from the passage, Carith was sold to the Gurubashi arena as a gladiator.
It was in the arena that Carith learned to beserk, as some would call it. From all that had happened to her, her rage grew. She was brutal in the arena, a favorite of the crowd, though she was no showman. She killed merciliously and was treated well by her owners for it. She was carted all over the jungle to fight to appease the local troll tribes, dispatching their best warriors. She grew ever stronger and more bloodthirsty as the year turned.
The Lion's CallEdit
As she was marched all over Stranglethorn, Carith yearned for her freedom. Her use as a gladiator was coming to a close, she knew, as her performances were growing stale with the crowds. That night, as the caravan stopped near the arena, she planned to escape. She ran when the moon was just rising, crashing through the underbrush. Though she got out of the camp unharmed, a watchman caught her in the leg with an arrow. Wounded once more, she fled as far as Duskwood, where a chance patrol of Stormwind soldiers found her and brought her back to Stormwind. In a feverish haze, she remembered little of entering the city, or of the kind soldiers who had found her.
It took two weeks for Carith to be healed from her many ailments-- malnutrition and dehydration nearly killing her, rather than that blasted arrow. Even then, she was weak and took to wandering about the city in a daze. She met many and made friends among the shopkeeps and tavern owners-- finding work on the docks to pay her rent at the Pig n' Whistle in Old Town. She fell in love with Stormwind and made the place her home. She worked, still, returning herself to her former strength. She trained day and night to control her rage, slowly gaining a mastery of it. In this time, still young, she found herself married to a man she thought she loved. When she found him with another woman, she beat him within an inch of his life and left him for dead. From then on, she loved no one but her blades and her city.
At twenty-one, she became part of a mission to Redridge, bringing building supplies and medical assitance to the King's men based there. She had heard rumors of these soldiers-- They were the best, the strongest, and the most disciplined. An eite fighting force, led by a mysterious noble and full of great men. It was not until she wandered into town that she realized just how great the First Regiment was.Shy of herself and unsure, it took Carith two days to bulk up the courage to speak with a recruitment officer. The man was kind, though, and put her at ease. Claumn McBride welcomed her into the ranks of the Regiment. Nothing was ever the same.
Duskwood and the Cult of Ner'zhulEdit
The first deployment Carith Halfien was allowed on took her to the nearby province of Duskwood. In the time between her acceptance into the First Regiment, she had risen through the ranks to Corporal and continued to impress her officers with her undying loyalty and determination. In the few times she had met the then, Field-Marshal Maxen Montclair, she had been awed by his leadership and attracted by his compassion. It was not until she was kidnapped by a cult in Duskwood would she realize just how much she cared for him.
Still nieve, Carith Halfien found herself ambushed during a patrol of Duskwood with her fellow soldiers. The cultists who attacked her group spirited her away to a nearby crypt, where she was tortured for information. Their leader at the time, a demon by the name of Hal'desh, personally carved the Cult's name into her torso with a cursed, burning knife. One of the torturers lost himself in rage and severed Carith's jaw from her mouth, letting it dangle by a thread. The torturers sew it back on and healed it with dark, painful magic. Though they mentally and physically destroyed her, Carith retained her information and refused them what they wanted. Inches from death, she was dumped in an abandoned shack and left to die. Here, Maxen Montclair found her. She remembered only being carried by him back to Duskwood, where the healers attempted to allieviate the damage.
From that day forth, Carith held a deep, burning vendetta for the Cult of Ner'zhul. She hunted and fought them at any opportunity. Even when she left the Regiment for a time to persue news of her brother in Northrend, she killed many in the battle of Darrow Hill, and hunted cultists across the ice in Icecrown. She found her brother, turned death knight, in Icecrown. He died defending her from a frostwyrn reanimated by the cultists.
She fought for the Regiment everywhere, even traveling to Kalimdor. There, she fought off an ambush by cultists, as well as the sea monsters that attacked their passage. When they landed on the shores of Thousand needles, she fought for the lives of her comrades in single combat-- against the hostile Centaur's chief. She held her ground and defeated the chief, earning the title of Humtaur (Human-Centaur) from the now accepting tribe.
She was one of the first knighted by Lord-Marshal Maxen Montclair into the brotherhood of the horse-- but Carith was not one for a noble life. Though she was deeply honored by this title, she never truly accepted her knighthood. She was never called Dame and preferred to remain among her men, hot-headed and loyal as always.
After the Regiment's deployment to Kalimdor, Carith remained in Westbrook Garrison as a Sergeant-- training new recruits and filling the First Regiment with soldiers. One day, she was tricked by cultists to believe that one of her recruits was drowning in a nearby river. There, the cultists ambushed her and stole her away for the last and final time.
Death and VengenceEdit
Carith woke once more in the clutches of the Cult of Ner'zhul, now named the Eyes of Old and led by a female warlock, Dalavesta. She, along with a young priest, were made the entertainment of the evening. They were bound, gagged and tortured, only to be brought to a final crescendo of cruelty. The priest was forced to kneel beneath the archway of the old abandoned church in Deadwind Pass and Carith-- all hundred and eighty pounds of muscle, was forced to stand atop the weak man's shoulders with a noose around her neck. The cultists shot the priest and shattered his kneecap, but he refused to falter-- should he hang the woman who's life depended on his stregnth.
In a final burst of energy, Carith Halfien could no longer watch them torture the priest. She twisted his neck with her knees-- giving him the mercy of a swift and painless death. The noose pulled taught. A roar-- one some say echoed to Stormwind-- shook the earth as the air grew less and less. She kicked Dalavesta in the face, leaving a deep gouge. She clawed at the rope around her neck. As the darkness closed in around her, she only thought of all those she had failed.
For those who found her-- body made a mockery of in a white wedding dress splattered with the priest's blood-- they knew her gone. However, at the last moment, a shadow priest grabbed hold of her spirit and stopped the hanging before she could suffocate or break her neck. He held the mind control about her, creating the allusion of one long dead, until her friends and comrades buried her. Once six feet under, the shadow priest dug her up and body-napped her far to the Blasted Lands. When Carith woke, she found herself held captive by the very priest she had killed. Twisted by the Cult's cruel magics, he attempted to likewise, to turn her into an unstoppable force of evil to gain favor with his new masters. His attempts failed.
At a time of weakness, Carith took her vengence on the priest with her own two hands. She fled, finding herself wandering the deserted wastes. Weak and mentally unstable, she wandered back through Deadwind Pass and into Duskwood, where the Night's Watch found her. She healed in Duskwood at the home of an old friend and before long, returned to Stormwind, a ghost among the city she loved so dearly.
She still found an old friend-- Aliaes Lamente, who grew to be her brother in everything but blood. The two were inseperable, and though Aliaes left Stormwind to pursue a life elsewhere, the two remain fast friends. He returned her to the old Carith, some would say-- taught her how to smile again.
A Soldier Once More Edit
It took some time for Carith to return to daily life. Many of her friends and comrades had died in Northrend or on a recent Kalimdorian campaign, or simply would not speak to her. She sought solace in taking a trip to Kalimdor to fight the Horde and find the bones of her fallen comrades. She grew as a soldier, and as a person. She found compassion where once was only rage and tempered her loyalty with thought. When she returned to Stormwind, she at last found the courage to seek Maxen Montclair out once more. It had been years since the two had seen each other, but it was if nothing had changed-- except, of course, Carith's realization that if there was anyone she had loved more than her swords, it was Maxen himself.
She divulged such information to the Lord-Marshal, only to realize the truth of their situation. Him, a lord, and she, only a soldier, would never come to pass. Likewise, she knew from all of the endless fighting, wounds and Hell she had been through, that she could never produce and heir to his lands.Though she could not love the Lord-Marshal, she devoted her life to his cause and protection. Ever loyal and obedient, her love for the Lord and her love for Stormwind grew to be one and the same. She was a constant patroller of the streets, a recruiter for the army, and the bane of many a criminal. Her connections throughout the city grew and her friends, more numerous by the day. She protected all and trained many apprentices in fighting and soldiering.
Though older now, Carith retained her strength and fighting abilities. She trained each day-- waking at the break of dawn for a jog around the city, swimming in the harbor, and sparring whenever she got the chance. For once, Carith was content with her life.
The Pandarian Front Edit
After suffering a near fatal-concussion in the Northrend campaign with the First Regiment, Carith remained in Stormwind for many months, upkeeping the training of recruits. However, when the call rang out for the best of the best soldiers to fight in the new contenent of Pandaria, Carith took the first boat there.
The endless fighting hardened Carith Halfien. She grew more lean and vicious, called the "She-Bear" by her new Pandarian friends, she relished in the waves of Horde that fell upon her blade. Anger filled her every waking moment-- a fierce, burning anger that swelled within her bones. She killed without remorse or mercy, day and night. Once, out on patrol, she was separated from her group in The Karasong Wilds. Saved by a wandering Pandaren who recognized her endless rage as the influence of the Sha, she was led to the Valley of the Four Winds. There, she rested and healed-- working as a farm hand for the Pandaren and learning much of their ways. Fascinated by this land, she travled to Kun-lai summit where the challenge of a lifetime awaited her. With nothing more than a few days supplies and a sword at her hip, Carith climbed Mount Neverest. At it's peak, she remained in solitude, learning to control her rage, even in a land as vicious as Pandaria. Though her control over this part of her would never be as strong as it once was, she descended the mountain relieved of the burden of losing control... or so she thought.
A Monster in Soldier's Armor Edit
Being in the first wave of soldiers sent to Pandaria, Carith returned to once more take up the cause of the First Regiment. She retained her rank of Sergeant, drilling her recruits ruthlessly, as was her custom and renown. She met knew friends-- Olendir Fahennia, her fellow Sergeant, and many new soldiers among the ranks of her company. They defended Stormwind at home for the holiday months-- a new criminal order, The Blackwolf Company coming to defy them. Though many scuffles in the streets resulted, nothing major happened for quite some time. In this time, however, Carith learned that Lord Maxen Montclair was corting a new-made Knight in the Regiment. Though she spoke no ill-will to her friend, a painful spark festered in Carith's heart. To suppress such pain, she became more machine than woman.
One evening, as Sergeant Fahennia and Carith stood watch near the Command Center, the two began a friendly spar. It started easily enough, both exchanging equal and opposite blows-- only something changed. Something snapped. Carith began rampaging against her friend and companion, pummeling into him with all of her power. A blood haze had descended on her. It was not until she was knocked out by Lord Levi Morne and restrained that the haze faded. She woke in the morning with the maddness lifted from her, but the shame and guilt ran deep. After years of training and discipline, she had lost control and nearly killed a close friend.
The next evening, true chaos took hold. After responding to a call issued to rescue Sergeant Fahennia from The Blackwolf Company, she was ambushed by the criminal along with many of her men. At one point in the fighting, Carith was launched into a pile of lumber. Thought to be dead, she was left, forgotten. She rose, eyes black with rage, weilding a sword and a splintered piece of lumber. Her rage had broken loose once more.
She jumped back into the fray-- a bristling ball of fury. An armored scorpion attacked her, only to have the beast lose a claw. Ever, she chased after the leader of the Company-- a rogue. She was unstoppable. Even as her fellow soldiers were overwhelmed, she fought on. Only when the whole Company descended on her did she fall to the ground, blackness overtaking her.
When she woke, she was near naked and chained to a rock-- three of the Company surrounding her, asking her her name and rank. She refused. Torture insued, but to Carith, it was only routine. She retreated deep within herself, as she had trained to do, and felt none of the horrific things done to her. To the torturers, her eyes turned black. She laughed hysterically at them as they stabbed a dagger into her upper thigh, up to it's hilt, and criss crossed her body with more scars. Though her training held, it was only just. Soon, her concentration began to slip and the pain leaked through...
Luckily for Carith, she was rescued by men sent out looking for her after her trusty messanger bird, Tarp, brought back a piece of swampmoss from Dustwallow Marsh, where she was being held. Four heroes returned her to Stormwind and a paladin remained with her for hours, healing her wounds. Though painfully sore and unsettled, Carith survived the ordeal. She swore vengeance upon these Blackwolf and their leader.
Back to the Frozen North: Old Wounds Do Not HealEdit
The arrival in Northrend was bittersweet for Carith Halfien. Eager for battle against the Horde, her blood sang for a chance to defend Dalaran against their vicious masses. However, a certain heaviness of heart fell upon her shoulders. Now into her middle thirties, Carith had survived many things-- one too many, she believed. Each scar that riddled her body reminded her of all those close calls, narrow escapes and luck-filled encounters. Indeed, she believed her luck to be too far stretched to survive fighting endless Horde in open combat beneath the city of Dalaran. As the Regiment marched into Dragonblight and she saw her soldiers freezing, she reigned in her doubts and emboldened her soldiers. She found peace in telling her tales around the fire and reassuring the men.
The Battle of the Bridge Edit
The first of the many battles came not within Dalaran, but in the surrounding area of Grizzly Hills. When the Marshal asked for volunteers-- as other leaders agreeed, the fighting would be bloody and the Horde would outnumber them-- Carith and her new found friend Knight-Lieutenant Olendir Fahennia-- volunteered to lead the troops. They made their way to the Amberpine Lodge and met up with the other forces of the Alliance, few in number, but strong in courage. The army first made their way to the beach front where they hoped to intercept the Horde-- only to fall straight into the hands of an ambush. The fighting was bloody and desperate-- the Alliance forces losing near a third of their men in this confrontation alone. When the order to retreat was called, Carith followed orders, making sure to round up the Lieutenant and their men before making for the retreat point-- a small bridge in Northwestern Grizzly Hills.
The Horde, as they attempted to make their way through the Hills to Crystalsong, found themselves on the otherside of the bridge opposite the Alliance forces. Spurred on by their bloody victory, they charged the bridge. The front lines of the Alliance defense held strong-- pushing forward onto the bridge to hold it. The water ran red and became choked with Horde corpses. The Alliance claimed the bridge and continued pushing forward-- a frieght train of heroic might. In the fighting, Cari and Len fought back to back. A circle of bodies soon surrounded them. They lost sight of one another as they both plunged into the bloody mists once more-- though Cari found him again, watching in horror as an orc barrled down on him from behind. She lept with all of her strength, catching the axe at the last minute across her chest. Her sword flashed up, streaming with blood. The orc's head fell at her feet. She did not let the Lieutenant out of her sight after that.
At last, the Horde forces broke and scattered under the relentless assault. The Alliance chased them through the hills, up into the once-Troll stronghold Drak'Tharon Keep. The Horde were slaughtered.
Victory was called. The Alliance was victorious.
The Battle of the Crystal Vice Edit
It was not long before the Horde forces were able to recouperate and form again. They began their advance to Crystalsong-- coming from both Dragonblight and Grizzly Hills. The First Platoon was ordered to defend the Crystal vice-- a long, narrow chasm of ice between Crystalsong and Dragonblight. Lieutenant Fahennia, called back to Stormwind to attend to his Regimental duties, was unable to lead the troops. It fell to Carith to hold together the Regiment men and women who came to the fight. She promised to buy them all drinks that evening.
And so the First Platoon waited. The men grew restless. An hour past-- then two. No sign of the Horde force. Some even had the bravado to declare the Horde forces had fled tail back to Garrosh. And then they heard it. A rumble... growing... booming like a giant, beating like the heart of a giant, sleeping beast. Carith felt it in the air. The hatred. The power. The bloodlust. The Horde had come.
A bird flew in to the Commander-- The Second and Third Platoons had fallen. The men of the First Platoon became enraged by grief-- their friends and family slaughtered at the other choke point in Crystalsong. Their cries of rage soon became fear, as more reports came in that it was the entire Horde force coming down on them through the vice. It hit Cari that their was only one reason for this battle tactic-- complete and utter obliteration of the Alliance forces.
Carith gripped her war axe and lifted it above her head. In the distance, the drums exploded like thunder upon the ice. Snow fell from the sides of the chasm-- ice shards crashed. The Horde produced a chaos of noise-- deafening, endless...injecting fear into young men's hearts... yet a sound slowly began to rise among the Aliance. A single horn, then another... clear and bright as fresh winter ice. The sound lifted upon the carcophony raised, filling the whole chasm with pure sound. "DEATH!" Carith cried, her voice joining with the war cries of others. "FOR KING. FOR HOME. FOR THE ALLIANCE!" She turned to her Regiment men, raising her axe once more, "Make the snow red, boys!" And charged.
The two sides hit with the force of mountains-- each, unstopple forces, meeting an equal and opposite reaction. The lines held strong. In the center, red and blue swirled while others rushed forward, eager for blood. "FORWARD!" Carith cried as she locked her shield with an elf. His eyes shone bright and hard with killer fury. She shield-bashed his face sending him whirlling to the snow, before slamming a foot down to break his windpipe. She ended him quickly, the snow around him indeed, turning red. With no one to watch her back, Cari took many hits. She soon grew exhausted-- after hours the stalemate still went nowhere.
Then she heard it-- the horn, the horns... Oh the horns how they lifted again over the chaos. The rippling banner of the lion raised up over the swirling bodies, flapping in the wind-- the lion was alive, roaring, leaping over foes and ripping them apart. Carith returned to the battle with renewed vigor and slowly... so terribly slowly... the tide of battle began to turn. The Alliance pushed forward. The Horde lines shattered. They ran and the Alliance hunted them into the snow like dogs. The killing was mercilious. Some still say the Crystal Vice echoes with the sounds of dying men. The Alliance was victorious once more.
The Return to Stormwind; a new dream. Edit
Though the battles sated her need for fighting, Carith Halfien found something more in the frozen north: Companionship. After healing the wound she took for him, Olendir Fahennia confessed his feelings for Cari. She mutually responded, in earnest. The two were perfect for one another-- more than just lovers. They would always have each others backs. Both shy to love's feelings, it was not until the two returned to Stormwind that Len formally asked to court. Often times in Northrend, Len proposed a wish for a more peaceful life... And Cari, after years of bloodshed, chaos and running, began to seek for it herself. The two came up for a wish that should they survive their last years of service, they would open a bar together and live the rest of their lives in peace. That wishful dream gave Cari hope, though meager, for her redemption.
Back in Stormwind, the two were constantly torn apart by their duties. Carith, yelling at new recruits, ("My GRANDMOTHER can run fater than you, and she's DEAD.") and Len, dealing with mountains of paperwork ("Uuugh..." *facedesk*). But as often as they were apart, a bond of true trust and understanding grew. For the first time, Carith no longer felt as if she was a monster-- but rather someone who could do something right in the world. And so they fought, loved, and lived.