|Age||Born before the Sundering|
|Affiliation||The Cenarion Guardians|
|Occupation||Scout, warrior, hunter of demons and rogue dragons|
Kestrel, since the war - before that Ecestre Wolfstep, originally Windshear.
Physical Traits Edit
Skinny, covered by a multitude of scars old and new, and generally looks like she's been sleeping outdoors in her armour since before she was born. Very rarely stands straight or looks anyone directly in the eye. She favours simple, animalistic language and speaks in short, clipped sentences (though this decreases on the rare occasions when she has to speak a lot, suggesting it's a matter of habit, not ability).
She is never without armour and weapons, or without a young, heavily scarred and very obviously feral direwolf. Kes and the wolf manhandle each other casually, regularly, and sometimes even affectionately. People who try to pat it generally get bitten (or if Kes is feeling charitable, see her snarl and wrestle the wolf's head around by grabbing his jaw, till he quits trying to bite and they're friends again).
An old soul, worn down to essentials by time. She has few strong opinions, but the ones she does have are extreme: a violent dislike for civilisation (which she sometimes calls the root of all evil, second only to magic - she has no respect for empty platitudes or common manners), an equally violent love for Balance and the natural order of things. Above all is her obsession with truth and reponsibility, "true things", even if they are unpleasant or inconvenient. On true things she will not compromise: she seems physically incapable of lying.
For the most part, Kestrel is an extremely practical creature. She believes in expediency, rule of the fittest, and in fighting only where there is something to be gained by it. She wears her emotions (such as they are) with unembarrassed openness, but considers actually acting on emotion a trait of the young or plain foolish. She holds everyone to the same uncompromising standard she has for herself, and considers this both reasonable and fair. To Kestrel, if it won't matter a thousand years from now, it shouldn't matter now either, and everyone who fails to recognize this hasn't yet earned the right to call themselves an adult. That said, outside battle conditions she has fair patience with pups and their ways.
Kestrel rarely forms personal attachments (or enmities). She tolerates almost any company, but people she notices enough to have an opinion about are few and far between. She is unquestioningly loyal to the Circle, seems almost brothers with her wolf, and has worlds of personal hatred for the Highborne and their descendants. In battle she is diligent about the safety of others, but has no care for her own if it serves a purpose. This goes past plain bravery - at times, she can seem outright selfdestructive.
To Kestrel, the world boils down to three things. What is true - what is needful - and the rest, which is neither. The first two are to be honoured and done, respectively: the third to be cast aside as irrelevant.
Kestrel has no blood-family of importance. Her father is long dead, her mother either the same, or so estranged the relationship no longer matters to her. She has mentioned a sister, but given that night elves count siblings by who they were raised with, this is a trivial relationship.
Of non-blood relationships, she has mentioned two: Vinga Nightspear, a Dragon Rider of Loreth'Aran, "dearest sister to my mother, who taught all I know of the fighting", and Arriana Starsight, "leader of my sisters and me". Both are dead, Vinga since the War of the Ancients and Arriana since the exile of the Highborne.
Criminal Record Edit
Reputation as an accomplished smuggler in Booty Bay. Hasn't been around for over two years now.
Convicted in Stormwind for possession of contraband, assault, endangering the public and resisting arrest (her wolf bit a random fool who tried to pat it, then assaulted the guards that arrested her). She was released into the custody of sir Welden of Wigamor, on his personal guarantee. Stormwind still considers her free on pain of good behaviour only.
"Doesn't matter, over now", is how Kestrel usually answers questions regarding her past. Direct questions make her uncomfortable, and more often than not, she just refuses to answer.
What she has mentioned is that her mentor Vinga Nightspear was a Dragon Rider, and died with the order in the War of the Ancients - which means Kestrel was probably in training for the same duty, and has been a warrior over 10,000 years. She has mentioned military service under Arriana Starsight's command, and a mission for the Cenarion Circle during the Exile of the Highbourne - their unit was sent to steal and destroy an extraordinarily powerful Highbourne relic, the Evenstar. The mission was a failure, which ended with the relic lost and most of the unit killed by the Highborne before the Circle's druids rescued the survivors. Kestrel has also claimed she was once taught a little druidic magic - but she learned badly, and never became one. This was probably a blessing, given her teacher was a druid of the Pack. Instead she served the Circle as a scout and hunter, mostly hunting the deranged remnants of Deathwing's brood, or demons unleashed by the Highborne. She has fought in most major Kaldorei battles, including the Shifting Sands and Mount Hyjal.
For ten thousand years, that isn't telling much. It's all Kestrel will say of the past, though - she prefers staying firmly in the present.
After the Third War Kestrel was among the first to leave Kalimdor, presumably again on the Circle's orders. She made a name for herself as a smuggler and mercenary, and spent several years travelling the east, associating with unsavoury elements, tracking underground trade that might lead to enemies of the Balance. This is when she met Nardja (who at the time travelled with a buccaneer crew) and convinced her to also keep an eye out for the Circle - she also had dealings with Silnaen, which have put the two on distinctly hostile footing. She spent some time in the Stockades due to a mishap involving smuggling and wolf bites, but was released into the custody of sir Welden of Wigamor. In recignition of the debt, she spent a year under oath serving his brotherhood (Circle of Seven) as a scout and pathfinder in the Plaguelands.
Kestrel returned to Kalimdor some months before war flared up in Northrend. She struck some deal with Arch Druid Fandral Staghelm, and spent several months running his errands. Though she chastised a number of rebellious younglings on proper respect for their elders and reminded them Staghelm came to his position as much through merist as personal ambition, in retrospect it's clear this was out of loyalty to the Circle and it's elders in genral rather than to Staghelm personally. As Stagheml's orders began to become more and more extreme, Kestrel began defaulting to Stormrage's advisor Keeper Remulos for opinions solid enough (at least to her) to overrule even an Archdruid.
One of Staghelm's errands put Kestrel in touch with the drunken ex-Sentinel Sarama, and eventually led to her being assigned as reinforcements to help rebuild the Cenarion Guardians, who had been very nearly wiped out during a campaign on the Black Temple some months earlier. This is what happened next.
Current Status Edit
Out of action following a near-fatal encounter with a blue dragon. Refused to return to Moonglade for healing, and vanished into the wilds of Northrend to heal or die; has recently resurfaced, doing the Circle's work in Gilneas.
Personal Notes Edit
Dealing with Kes is like dealing with a feral wolfchild version of those incredibly zen old men from Kung Fu movies.
Kes has bloodhound quality senses, and claims to hear other things too -- most often the earth, but generally things of nature. She seems physically uncomfortable in Teldrassil and Borean Tundra, claiming one stinks of corruption and the other cries like a hurt thing. Whether this is an actual sense of nature or just psychosomatic on her part is anyone's guess. Her tracking people and animals by scent is definitely real, though.
The Cenarion Circle knows all about Kestrel. They say her life is her business, ask her. No, you may not learn about her past by reading the stories and saying "the Circle told you".
Kestrel's my first WoW character, played on and off since launch. Inspired by Metallica's Of Wolf And Man, and by a personal experiment on how badly you can hurt a character without it making them weak, angsty, vengeance-obsessed, or intolerably Suey in general. The answer seems to be, "as badly as you want, so long as this isn't what drives the character and what their play revolves around". Other influences include Tool's Parabola, Älymystö's Kehät and reading a lot more about wolves, ecology and animal psychology than normal people actually should.
When asked why she fights, Kestrel always says the same thing: "Love." To date, she has never explained.
The Precipice - Sometimes what you want turns out to be something else than you thought it was. Fits in just before Kestrel's arrangement with Staghelm.
[The Dark Before Dawn] - Introspection, just after the Cataclysm.
The Company of Wolves - The past that Kestrel has never talked about, and in all likelihood never will either.