Please note that Gelles is inactive now. This entry remains, since it is historically important to the characters that interacted with Gelles and other members of the realm.
A well-built, muscular woman of just under average height, with severe facial features and weathered, tanned skin. She carries herself like an experienced soldier, and appears to be more comfortable in her armor than out of it. She has shoulder-length dark brown hair that, despite her apparent age, is salted with gray, and she typically wears it pulled back in a loose, messy pony tail. Years of combat have left her with a host of scars, most prominently along her left temple, as well a large diagonal scar across her chest.
Gelles is a very controlled individual (some would say tightly wound), quicker to show annoyance and exasperation then she is to crack a smile. She is constantly vigilant, rarely relaxing even in the company of friends. She is quick to anger at any perceived injustice, but also quick to give second chances. However, when pushed too far, her fury turns her cold, unforgiving, and unrelenting. She has absolute faith in herself and her abilities as a Paladin.
Early Years Edit
A young girl was raised on a farm in Arathi, however the Second War saw the farm razed and her family killed at the hands of marauding orcs. The girl was found near the ruins of her former home, mute and traumatized, by a passing paladin named Tabitha Magain, who adopted the girl and named her "Gelles," after an injured soldier that had managed to save the girl from the orcs.
Tabitha raised the girl in the relative isolation of her home in Arathi, treating Gelles more like a squire than a daughter, and teaching Gelles from a young age how to utilize the Light, how to fight with a sword, and instilling a strong sense of morality and judgement more akin to the beliefs of the Scarlet Crusade than the recently formed Silver Hand. As a consequence, the young girl grew up well educated in the arts of healing and war, but was severely lacking social skills.
For fifteen years, Gelles lived in the safe, if strict, peace of Tabitha's home, until the old knight passed away. On Tabitha's final orders, Gelles made her way south to Stormwind to formally complete her training as a paladin, and to fight injustice in a world she had only learned about from books.
Rini Dieb Edit
Lacking knowledge of the wider world, Gelles arrived in Stormwind and was almost immediately ambushed by a night elf named Farahl Shadewhisper, who convinced the naive human into joining the elf's guild Rini Dieb. Gelles, having never met a night elf before, quickly became enamored with the tall, easy-going kaldorei. She also met and became good friends with several other members of the guild, most notably Chiseta Hakubi and Xyra Lunastar. It wasn't long either until Gelles met another paladin, a man named Enrik Hannigan, and the two humans immediately felt an attraction towards each other, much to Farahl's annoyance.
Even as she worked for Rini Dieb, Gelles continued her training as a paladin. Her growth impressed and delighted Enrik, even though she found the concept of the Three Tenants disturbing. She confided her doubts only to Farahl, hiding her misgivings from Enrik to keep from disappointing him. But it wasn't until she was forced to watch Chiseta sacrifice herself to save Gelles from a demon that Gelles truly understood what it meant to be a paladin. While discussing it with Farahl, the night elf revealed her own feelings on the matter by kissing Gelles, much to the paladin's surprise and confusion, as she realized that she not only reciprocated Fahral's romantic feelings, but that they were stronger than her feelings for Enrik. Conflicted and upset by this revelation, Gelles told Farahl that she couldn't just abandon Enrik. In response, Farahl abandoned her, growing emotionally distant and detached. Sick at heart, and still hiding her true feelings from Enrik, Gelles funneled her emotions into her training, vowing that she would dedicate herself to becoming a "true" paladin. Shortly thereafter, she managed to resurrect Chiseta, and formally became a paladin.
For a time, Gelles was happy, even if that happiness was bittersweet due to Farahl's growing distance. While Enrik worked for the Argent Dawn, she continued to be an explorer in Rini Dieb, researching ancient tomes and various artifacts. She partnered up often with her friend Xyra, and Xyra's lover Rathen, a night elf druid, and traveled across the Eastern Kingdoms. But her happiness was short-lived.
After an expedition into Stratholme, Enrik returned bearing a runeblade, a cursed weapon normally wielded by death knights that was slowly eroding his sanity and corrupting his soul. Desperate to help, Gelles made her own expedition into Stratholme to find a way to help him, and there she stumbled upon the solution: the cursed sword's bloodlust could be sated if the owner of the sword used it to kill a love one. With a sick feeling in her chest, Gelles realized that meant Enrik could only be free if he killed her. The knowledge weighed heavily on her, but she knew that, as a paladin, there was only one path before her: the path of Sacrifice.
Gelles made her plans in secret. And then, with only a cryptic message to Xyra telling the elf not to blame him, she convinced Enrik to take her to where he had hidden the runeblade deep in Darkshire. As she expected, the sword's fury and bloodlust filled him, and, with no one else to attack, Enrik drove the sword through her chest, killing her. The sword's curse lifted.
Enrik was free.
Gelles' spirit lingered, weak but able to manifest as a ghost to Xyra just long enough to provide the rogue with instructions. Enrik had carried Gelles' body to Stormwind Cathedral for internment. Xyra broke in and swapped it with another body before last rites could be performed, and carried it all the way to a remote part of Westfall. There, at the bottom of a lake, the night elf retrieved a soulstone that Gelles had buried days earlier, and reunited Gelles' body and her soul, resurrecting her. The two friends had a tearful reunion on the shore.
Their reunion was short-lived. The resurrection had left Gelles weak, and she couldn't return to Stormwind or Enrik until she was certain that the runeblade had been sealed away, as there was no telling what would the sword would do if it knew that she had cheated death. Xyra would have to be Gelles' eyes and keep her presence a secret until things were safe again. Reluctant, but understanding, Xyra left her to recover in Westfall.
Emerald Mosaic and Betrayal Edit
Through Xyra, Gelles learned that Enrik had purified the runeblade and was no longer at risk of corruption. She returned to Enrik and, much to his, hers, and everyone's joy, the two were happily married. Everyone, that is, except for Farahl. With barely a word to Gelles or anyone else, the leader of Rini Dieb dissolved the guild and vanished. Xyra gathered the shocked guildmembers and formed them into a new guild: Emerald Mosaic.
Under her new guild, Gelles resumed her work as a paladin and scholar. But, only a scant few weeks after their marriage, Enrik was seriously injured and left bedridden. Even then, he continued to praise Gelles' progress as a paladin, dismissing his own accomplishments. Xyra, too, had started to look upon Gelles more and more as perfect example of what a paladin should be, despite her protests that she was just doing what she thought was right. Their growing expectation, combined with Farahl's abandonment, dismayed Gelles, but again, unwilling to disappoint her friends, she kept her feelings to herself, even as those feelings made her feel increasingly isolated and alone.
Things came to a head when Emerald Mosaic gained a new recruit: a human rogue named Aveana. Ave quickly attached herself to Gelles, flirting shamelessly, much to the paladin's chagrin. At the same time, she found herself drawn to the woman who treated her much the way Farahl had- as though Gelles were a person instead of a concept- and Gelles finally forced herself to confront her own feelings for her now absent guild leader, as well as the uncomfortable rationale that had made her choose Enrik instead of Farahl. Ultimately, despite her attraction to Ave and the rogue's willingness, Gelles chose to remain loyal to her husband.
But her doubt persisted, aggravated by Enrik's constant claims that she was the better paladin. She finally confessed to her doubt and her thoughts about sleeping with Ave. Enrik was heart-broken but, much to her shock, claimed that he understood why Gelles wouldn't want to be with someone as strong as she was. Despondent, he left her in Ironforge, reeling at his sudden capitulation without even a fight.
While she was still struggling to understand why Enrik hadn't argued, Xyra contacted her. Furious at what Gelles had done, Xyra kicked her out of Emerald Mosaic. In one stroke, Gelles' moment of weakness had cost her her friends, her family, and her husband. Only Ave would talk to her, outraged on Gelles' behalf, but a dejected Gelles warned the rogue away, lest Xyra kick her from the guild as well. Feeling more alone than when she had left Arathi, Gelles left the Eastern Kingdoms for the Outlands.
Months later, Gelles returned to Ironforge a changed woman. And while Xyra would reach out to her and apologize, hoping to rekindle their friendship, the paladin would remain emotionally distant. She accepted the news of Enrik's divorce with little response. She rejected Xyra's offer to re-join the guild. Instead of continuing her work as a scholar, she hired herself out as a freelancer, working with numerous other guilds that were working to uncover the secrets of ruins like the Serpentshrine Cavern and the like.
People saw her only as a paladin. She would be only a paladin.
But while she immersed herself in her work, Xyra was injured, falling into a coma, and Gelles was faced with the prospect of losing her one remaining friend. During Gelles' absence, Xyra's older sister, a druid named Allorna, had joined Emerald Mosaic. When Xyra was hurt, Allorna took her sister's comatose body to Shattrah, and forebade Gelles from seeing her. Gelles grew angry, and brute forced herself into Xyra's bedroom when Allorna was gone. She used the Light to heal Xyra, waking her, an act that infuriated Allorna and revealed that Allorna had not only been poisoning Xyra to keep her in a coma, but had been poisoning Xyra for long time out of a misguided and insane attempt to protect her sister from harm.
Allorna fled to Stranglethorn Vale. Gelles and Xyra pursued her. Deep in the jungle, the druid attacked them, knocking out Xyra and trying to kill Gelles. However, Gelles disabled Allorna and, while the druid begged for mercy, Gelles drove her sword into Allorna's stomach. Allorna died messily, cursing Gelles even as Gelles watched her die with cold, furious eyes. Xyra awoke to find her sister dead, and her best friend standing impassively over her body. Horrified by Gelles' ruthlessness, Xyra took her sister's body and fled.
While Gelles and Xyra would reconcile, their relationship remained strained by both Gelles' unrelenting paladinism and Xyra's decision to become an agent of the Red Flight. After a particularly tense argument in Northrend, the duo parted ways yet again. But Gelles, working at the time for the Argent Crusade, would suffer a head wound serious enough to damage her memory and see her formally discharged from the Crusade. Unknown to Xyra, Gelles traveled to Southern Kalimdor, taking work as a guard, and so was missing when the Cataclysm occurred. It would be years until Gelles returned to Stormwind, unaware that Xyra believed her to be dead.
Gelles' injury made her unfit for traditional service, plagued as she was by a fractured memory and occasional bouts of vertigo. Unable to find traditional work, she settled for smaller jobs as as mercenary for hire. Eventually, Xyra found her, and the two had a tearful reunion, moreso due to Xyra's joy at finding Gelles alive after several years. Xyra had been living with the Pandaren, and in doing so had finally accepted that her anger at Gelles' betrayal of Enrik, and at Gelles' murder of Allorna, had all been because she had been in love with Gelles and afraid that Gelles would be hurt. Xyra had just been unwilling to admit it to herself, a sentiment that Gelles found she could sympathize with much to their shared amusement. She was even okay with Gelles not reciprocating. She only wanted Gelles to be happy.
The pair now share an apartment in Stormwind, working together on jobs, and keeping each other grounded. Gelles won't let Xyra keep thinking she's a perfect, infallible paragon of Light, and Xyra won't let Gelles dismiss her own wants and needs out of an ingrained need to martyr herself. They're an odd pair- the stoic paladin and the carefree rogue-turned-monk- but it works. Gelles isn't happy, but she's a long way towards content.