The Basics Edit
Full Name: Vortice Elsa Harridance
Title: Mistress Harridance
Race: Human, Female
Occupation: Instructor at Harridance Manor
Place of Birth: Harridance Manor, Duskwood
Current Residence: Harridance Manor
Weight: 130 lbs.
Hair: Light Brown, nearly Ash Blonde
Affiliations: The Harridance Family
Family History Edit
The Harridance name is an old one, having been around at least since the Troll Wars. Though little is known about their standing in that time, their use of dark magic throughout their history is a certainty.
Only after the forming of the Council of Tirisfal and subsequent ejection of early warlocks from society did they begin to practice their shadowcraft in secret. To make certain that they remained safely out of the crosshairs of the newly formed Council, the early members of the family went to great lengths to finger other warlocks outside of their small circle of friends as users of demonic energy. This act of silent betrayal paved the way for their eventual standing in Dalaran, while leaving several of their contemporaries penniless and without shelter.
For many years, they went about their arts in secret, forming an alliance with the handful of others remaining in Dalaran that did the same. The Harridance Family grew to some prominence in the magical city, as a result of their deeds throughout the community and their service to all human kingdoms. They enjoyed the status of socialites, amassing a large fortune for themselves, as did several of their closest peers. They found that living among the social elite came naturally, and they used their money and political influence to hide their practice from the Kirin Tor and the Council.
Feuding and "The Play" Edit
Being such prominent figures in Dalaran society, they were often pulled into several feuds with other families of nobles. The most notable instance of this is probably that of the Belmondo Family, who abandoned Dalaran, thinking themselves superior to their teachings. In an effort to keep up appearances, the Harridances became public detractors of the family's head, Trephus Belmondo. The act furthered their public standing, and they molded the satire into a moderately successful play lampooning the figure, written and acted by local performers. The residuals from ticket sales are said to make up a hefty portion of the Harridance fortune.
Though they enjoyed luxury and power for many years, a new tide was slowly rising. The Kirin Tor, once blissfully ignorant of the goings-on behind their backs, began feverishly searching their city for more warlocks. Due in no small part to the First War and the events that preceded it, it would not be long before they were discovered for who they truly were. Sensing this, the Harridance Family offered all the warlock families in their circle a place within their ranks, having been the most powerful of all the clans they consorted with.
In the brief weeks before their eventual exile, the Harridance Family (and the many branches within) took great care to silently steal away the majority of their wealth to private banks far away from Dalaran. When the time came, they put up little fight, knowing that any explanation they could offer would not suffice. Despite the vast differences in manner between the orcish warlocks of the old horde and the demonless warlocks of Dalaran, they were all too familiar in the eyes of the Kirin Tor.
After being forced from their homes, the warlocks of the Harridance Family made their way south, eventually settling in Duskwood. Here, Chester Harridance, leader of the families, could put into action his grand scheme. A gigantic mansion was to be built, serving as both private residence and training grounds for themselves and future generations. Though the war had brought much pain and suffering, the highly skilled warlocks of the horde also brought knowledge. Free to practice their arts uninhibited, they soon gained the ability to bind demons to their will, sinking even further from the eye of the civilization that had forsaken them. In time, the manor was complete, and new relationships were forged, setting into motion the legacy that would become the Harridance Family of today.
Personal History Edit
Growing up around Harridance Manor came easily to Vortice. Her birth was quiet and unremarkable, and she had the benefit of being reared by several servants and nannies. As such, she was quite spoiled, though she seldom encountered anyone outside of the manor that would be able to tell her so.
Vortice, the youngest of the three Harridance children directly related to the past heads of the family, was often the center of attention and a source of admiration amongst the other children. This practice eventually faded, however, as Vortice grew into adolescence, and it became clear that she was much more interested in adventuring outside of the manor's stone walls with her older brother, Adelai, than putting much effort into her studies. Not even the influence of their older sister, Zoe, a very talented and dignified warlock, was enough to set either of them on what was perceived as the "right track."
Adelai's Departure Edit
As the years wore on, the allure of magic and the family's dark past became a great source of interest for Vortice. Adelai, her older brother and best friend, remained defiantly uninterested, and the sudden change began to force them apart.
Vortice, seeing vast potential in the manipulation of demonic energy, threw herself completely into her studies, garnering the respect of her family. Furthermore, the stories of her family's past in Dalaran instilled in her a desire to learn and fill herself with knowledge. This left little time in her life for Adelai, and the young teen became even more rebellious, feeling abandoned by the one person he thought would always be there for him.
While Vortice was happy with her books and dusty tomes, Adelai started lashing out, stealing and tormenting the people of nearby Darkshire with childish pranks and tricks. Eventually, the Harridance Family caught wind of this, and it was determined that something would have to be done to punish him. For his transgressions, Adelai was to stay at the manor indefinitely, until such time that he fall in line with the family's wishes. He called upon Vortice to help him state his case more eloquently, though she refused, fearing that all of the progress she had made in her studies would be for naught.
Adelai was crushed, and left the manor shortly thereafter, rather than be reprimanded for not following a tradition he didn't believe in. Vortice, having not considered this a possibility, was shocked. For a time, she refused to continue her training, having lost her only brother because of it. Eventually, she came around, realizing that losing both everything she had struggled to build for herself, as well as her brother, would be foolish. Vortice's unwillingness to help her brother when he needed her the most is, above all, her biggest regret.
While no member of the Harridance Family has had contact with Adelai since his departure, he has been seen around Stormwind, dispelling rumors that he was killed by Dark Iron Dwarves.
The Changing of Kings Edit
Years passed since Adelai's departure, and Vortice found herself more and more the studious young warlock. She had grown from a thin, shy tomboy into a tall, confident woman. The year before the start of the Third War was a busy one, with the manor finally finding a comfortable balance in how to train and handle the many branches of the family. Her sister, Zoe, had returned from a long stint outside of Harridance Manor and was poised to begin instructing on her own.
With Adelai gone, Vortice had taken quite a liking to her younger cousin, Mirahnda, and the two became practically inseparable. In a lot of ways, Vortice saw herself in the child, and she made every effort to ensure that she stay on the right path.
Despite the recent victories and successes of the Harridance Family, the summer before the war proved to be a sad one. Vortice's grandfather, Chester Harridance, was taken ill and died shortly before the outbreak of the plague. He was buried at the manor, like the other deceased members of the family. The loss of their leader, father, and grandfather was a hard blow to the family's morale, but they moved forward.
Following his passing, the title of Headmaster was awarded to Vortice's father, her Uncle Xaran having refused the position. Julian Harridance immediately set about restructuring the family, transforming it from a quiet homestead to a more formal school. The most skilled warlocks were enlisted as teachers, and loose instructing became strict teaching. Vortice, having no field experience, was passed over. Furthermore, Julian refused to permit any Harridance leaving the manor during a time of war. His brother Xaran, however, was exempt from this rule, having set out beforehand to visit the old Harridance homestead.
Another new policy was the decision that any Harridance to reach age eighteen would be tasked with leaving the manor to bring knowledge to humans and other creatures throughout Azeroth in an effort to show that not all warlocks were demon consorting psychopaths. However, this was not to go into effect until such time that the war ended.
Vortice longed for the opportunity to indulge herself in the Harridance Library and start teaching, but she knew she'd never get the chance without proving her worth to the new Headmaster.
Following the Third War and the changes it brought to the world of Azeroth, Vortice found herself on her own for the first time in her life. To prove herself to her family, she would have to overcome many obstacles and learn to wield her dark powers to their fullest extent.
Taking the advice of her father, Vortice made her way to Northshire Abbey, hoping to substantiate the claims that the wolves of Duskwood had made their way north to Elwynn Forest. While there, Vortice came to know a young woman named Avelais training to become a paladin. For most of her life, Vortice faced the bitter fact that most people of the Eastern Kingdoms were misunderstanding and in some cases threatening to her kind, though the friendship offered to her by the holy warrior was quite the awakening. They traveled together for a long time, and while they often found themselves in disagreement, the bond between them was strong. Eventually, they went their separate ways, having found their work in Elwynn coming to a close. Avelais had no strong calling to abandon Stormwind while leaving her training unfinished, and the pair parted ways. Despite finishing that chapter in her life, the impact the paladin left has never faded, and serves to explain quite a bit about the company Vortice keeps while away from the manor.
Finding herself alone again, Vortice was faced with the realization that she had refused financial aid from her family. The funds she had earned in her brief travels running low, due in no small part to "demonic upkeep," Vortice made her home beneath the Valley of Kings in Stormwind, sleeping on a pile of dirt out of view from other adventurers. It was in this very place should would meet her second traveling companion, an older dwarf named Valgrim Anvilmane. Vortice was familiar with dwarves, albeit only from books, a fact that clearly understated their vexing scent.
Her companionship with the dwarven hunter carried her through many encounters with the Defias Brotherhood and their operation in Moonbrook, and eventually into the presence of a budding mage by the name of Thanari. Still relatively new to the Elwynn area, they agreed to join her operation, the "Night Watch." Their mission was simple, to police the lands controlled by the Alliance and root out one-sided concepts like "evil" and "injustice." However silly it seemed at the time, Vortice saw it as an opportunity to do good, which would serve her father's vision perfectly, and reaped the added benefits of pay (though small) and companions (though few). While with the Night Watch, Vortice found herself in Duskwood for the first time in quite a while. Big changes followed her return to the dark forest, first with Valgrim's departure to the frosty mountains of Ironforge to take care of his family. The two would see each other infrequently over the subsequent years, though it was clear their adventuring days were over. Soon after, the Night Watch disbanded due to a lack of funding (as would be expected of an independent organization working for the Alliance), and Vortice took an extended break from business in Stormwind to work back at the manor.
During this time, Vortice traveled frequently between Stranglethorn Vale to the north and the manor back in Duskwood, still committed to the wishes of her family. Seeing the world, or at least a good deal of it, opened seemingly unlimited opportunities for learning in Vortice's eyes. Over time, she had amassed a small library of her own, and she jumped at the chance to learn about new cultures and theories. However, it was while on hiatus from her travels and after a chance encounter with another young paladin that Vortice would be given the biggest opportunity to travel and continue her work and studies.
The Comrades of Destiny Edit
On an evening that would have otherwise been quiet and mostly uneventful, Vortice happened upon a group of adventurers hoping to conquer a few of Duskwood's more well known evils. Having grown up there, she offered her services, and they set about cleaning up Raven Hill. Toward the end of their evening together, she was approached by a member of the party, a spirited girl named Treyelle. Her personality reminded her immediately of her cousin Mirahnda, and it proved to be an icebreaker that would have otherwise annoyed her to no end. It became clear that the small party had no long term ties to one another, though Treyelle herself was the rather unconventional leader of a burgeoning collection of travelers known as the Comrades of Destiny. Not a militarized faction by any stretch of the imagination, they existed solely as a group of friends, determined to explore, adventure, and grow together as people. After a short period of consideration, Vortice agreed to join, as much to further her own ambition as to get to know Treyelle better, as she had become quite taken by her.
Things went smoothly for a while after that. She met and enjoyed the company of most of her fellow Comrades and grew comfortable in her new home. Vortice saw several people come and go over the months, though there seemed to be a strong core that persisted. While she remained cautious and distant from most of the Comrades, the only member she vocally disagreed with on more than a few occasions was Enrik Hannigan, yet another paladin. She initially saw him as cocky and brash, if not arrogant and foolish. It wasn't until much later that she saw his worth as a person, a handy tool in battle and a dedicated (though empty-headed) friend. After a time, Vortice was asked to become a "chum" of the Comrades of Destiny, the friendly equivalent of an officer. She was initially reluctant, but welcomed the new opportunity, accepting the position soon after.
After her promotion, it didn't take long for things to slowly begin to fall apart. Enrik, who had strangely disappeared the month before, resurfaced to the announcement that his marriage was in turmoil. The two of them reconnected, but on less than friendly terms, and it seemed like they would never see each other as friends. Even the intervention and meeting of Raphaella and Alastar Belmondo did little to bring them together, although they inevitably began to get over their initial reluctance to count each other as friends. It wasn't until a late night of conversation in Stormwind on a stone bench with a brave squirrel as a conversation piece did they truly accept one another. It wouldn't take long for their brief alliance to dissolve.
Around the time of her promotion, Vortice began having trouble controlling the demonic energy she harnessed. The symptoms came slow at first, attacking her not unlike a virus. Using her dark magic would cause her to cough, sneeze, or rub her eyes uncontrollably. To everyone but herself, it seemed like she had little more than a cold or fever. She knew, however, that having stayed away from Harridance Manor for so long, thus out of touch with those that could anchor her, had caused her to slowly begin to spiral out of control. She was unwilling to burden her friends with the troubles of a warlock, being too proud, and her condition slowly worsened.
One night, while spending the evening with Raphaella and Enrik, Vortice explained her situation while Enrik was off with Alastar. Her cryptic explanation left Raphaella little chance of helping her. After weighing her options, Vortice decided to leave her friends and "CoD" for good, having realized that being unable to prove her worth to Enrik, who she spent a good deal of time trying to win the respect of, spoke volumes about who she truly was. Vortice spent the evening in quiet turmoil, deciding to avoid Harridance Manor and face her troubles head on.
Not long after, Enrik and Raphaella located Vortice at the Altar of Storms in the Blasted Lands, after being apporached by her niece who had left the Manor to help her cousin after she failed to return home. Vortice had read about the altars and their construction by the orc warlock Gul'dan to empower Ogre-Magi with demonic energy, and had ventured there to better understand the similar power that she possessed. A very brief confrontation followed, with Enrik storming off after spouting insults and accusations. Raphaella remained behind long enough for Vortice to give her a message to tell Mirahnda: "Keep trying."
It was around this same time that the Dark Portal was once again opened, the timing of which proved quite beneficial to Vortice. Seeing the horrors of the Legion first hand, and realizing that she very nearly fell into the same darkness that surrounded them, brought her to her senses. While fighting alongside the Argent Dawn, Vortice decided to test herself by enslaving a felguard, a demon with more power and intelligence than she had encountered before. She proved successful, and kept the demon named Flaaroon as a permanent reminder of her control and the might of her enemy.
After the fighting died down, Vortice joined the many warriors, explorers, and profiteers journeying to the shattered world of Outland. Her experiences there finally healed her, though she lost much along the way. She had turned in her Comrades of Destiny tabard, severed ties with her family, and abandoned her friends.
While Outland had taught her to trust and rely on people, due to her missing her Comrades and meeting a brave warrior named Koriasz that helped her in her many endeavors, maturing her greatly as a person, it was at the cost of everything she left behind on Azeroth.
Vortice has had limited experience with romance despite traveling far and wide. Little is known about what she looks for in a companion or if she even thinks much about courtship at all. It was speculated by some that she was romantically involved with Enrik Hannigan, due mostly to the amount of time they spent arguing with one another. For a time, she was nearly paired with a like-minded night elf named Jenrai, though Vortice's perpetual state of activity permanently halted any chance for a relationship. She has made several coy remarks referencing a sexual relationship with her succubus, Nazyla, though in a purely joking manner.
Known Relatives Edit
The reclusive, private path that the Harridance Family follows has afforded them the luxury of an extensive family. Full of uncles, aunts, cousins, and servants, the following are just a few of Vortice's immediate kin.
Chester Harridance: The original founder of Harridance Manor, Vortice's grandfather was a powerful warlock and a caring husband. Forced to leave Dalaran with the rest of his family after they were discovered to be practitioners of demonic magic, they eventually settled in Duskwood. After the construction of Harridance Manor, he lived a quiet life, instructing his ever-growing extended family in the ways of shadow magic with the help of his wife and their children. Eventually, the title of headmaster was passed to his son, Julian (his oldest son having refused the position), and old age inevitably got the best of him. He died shortly before the Third War.
Title: Former Headmaster of Harridance Manor (Deceased)
Emma Harridance: Vortice's grandmother, Emma Harridance (born Emma Greenbrier), was the last child of the Greenbrier line. Members of the same social elite as that of the Harridances, and also users of demonic energy behind the backs of the Kirin Tor, she was practically fated to marry Chester. Shortly before her seventeenth birthday, they were wed, and the remaining Greenbrier branches were absorbed into the Harridance Family to shake the social stigma of being members of a dying family. As time wore on, she grew to be a formidable warlock herself, bearing two children and assuming the role of Headmistress of Harridance Manor. After her husband's death, the title was given to her youngest son's wife.
Title: Former Headmistress of Harridance Manor (Title given to Daughter-in-Law)
Xaran Harridance: Coming soon.
Title: Master of the House, overseeing the many servants and affairs of the Harridance Family, outside of teaching.
Julian Harridance: Vortice's father and the Headmaster of the Manor, he is a strict and stern man. The second child of Chester and Emma, he was unusually serious and determined as a child, unlike his brother. He afforded himself little time for games and leisure, instead focusing on his studies for the better part of his early years. He met Alexandra Wick, a member of one of the few families seeking refuge with the Harridances (having suffered the same fate of exile), and they were quite taken with one another. Before long, they were married. Over the years, Alexandra softened Julian, though he remained quite firm when it came to the family's affairs. After being given the title of Headmaster, he restructured the family, creating a position for his brother, Xaran, and insisting that all Harridance warlocks do their part to better the reputation of their kind across Azeroth, instead of hiding in the woods. His three children were among the first to endure this policy, with varying results.
Alexandra Harridance: At a young age, it became obvious that being a member of the Wick Family was a source of great misfortune. Revealed to be early "warlocks" during a long hunt for such people in Dalaran, the majority of her relatives feigned ignorance, and successfully placed blame squarely on the shoulders of Alexandra's immediate family. As such, only a quarter of those with the name Wick were banished from their hometown, forcing them to seek sanctuary in Duskwood. After minor negotiations for positions of moderate power within the Harridance Family, they adopted the name as their own, ostensibly becoming members of the family themselves. Seeing this as an opportunity to better herself and win back some of the respect her family had lost, she became quite studious, working hard to become the best she could be. Becoming a prominent young warlock, she embraced the identity that was carved out for her in Dalaran, and wed Julian Harridance, arguably the only child of the Manor to know more than she did. Over time, they had three children, and she inherited the title of Headmistress after her mother-in-law stepped down.
Zoe Harridance: The first child of Julian and Alexandra, Zoe is strict and unrelenting, much like her father. At thirty-three, she is one of the few members of the new generation of Harridances to put much stock in old traditions. Though the oldest of three, she remained distant from her brother and sister. Every bit her father's daughter, she was the first to win some semblance of respect throughout Azeroth following her father's decry. Upon returning, she was given the title of Lead Instructor, as much due to her as experience as it was a ploy to relieve Julian and Alexandra of some of their more monotonous duties. Despite her maturity, she has been known to suffer from violent tendencies. Assuming she is married before Vortice, trend would dictate that she be named Headmistress of Harridance Manor when her father and mother are retired or become deceased.
Title: Lead Instructor
Adelai Harridance: Without question, the black sheep of the family. Two years Vortice's senior, they were very close growing up, finding themselves on the wrong end of their father's wrath due to their behavior many times. While Vortice was a willing student of the demonic, Adelai was not. This difference eventually drove them apart, and Adelai left the Manor to pursue his own destiny. Regrettably, the circumstances behind Adelai's departure are a sad, unfortunate mix of tradition overshadowing one's own path, and it has never been discussed at length. Little is known about Adelai's current whereabouts, though he spent a great deal of time imprisoned by the Dark Iron Dwarves in the depths of their mountain. Vortice's dreadsteed is named Adelai in his honor.
Title: None, deserted the family at a young age.
Mirahnda Harridance: One of the few people to have had a true impact on Vortice's life, Mirahnda Harridance is the exuberant daughter of Alexandra Harridance's brother. Bubbly by her very nature, her personality is nearly the complete opposite of a standard warlock. This is due in large part to the era she was born in, having the privilege of learning the old tricks and warnings from her older relatives and peers as well as the new way of thinking and acting as the use of dark power becomes more commonplace. At sixteen years of age, she is still a warlock in training, and a couple of years off from being technically eligible for adventuring around Azeroth. Despite this, when Vortice recently went through a tough time with her own abilities, Mirahnda left the Manor to search for her, meeting Enrik Hannigan, as well as Raphaella and Alastar Belmondo. Though they agreed to help her search for her cousin, things patched themselves up with time, and Vortice saw to it that Mirahnda found her way back to the Manor. Dodging severe punishment from her uncle, she has once again taken up her studies, being taught personally by her favorite cousin. She eagerly awaits the day she might return to Stormwind.
Current Whereabouts Edit
After returning from Outland, Vortice briefly reconnected with many of those she left behind. The Comrades of Destiny dissolved for good, not long after Vortice rejoined the fold, following Treyelle's imprisonment at Sun Rock Retreat. The small band of adventurers went quietly, and Vortice has yet to see any of them since.
Upon returning to Harridance Manor, Vortice was recieved with open arms. Her father, impressed with her growth, had finally accepted her as a peer and a vital member of the family. As such, she was named the newest instructor at the manor, and serves the family with pride, overjoyed at filling the job she always wanted.
The Ley Lines Edit
Despite many personal victories, Vortice has also been forced to sever ties with the few people which she regularly associated. Though many people of Azeroth take the path of the wanderer, Vortice is seldom in the company of others. In addition to her regular duties as an instructor, she is often called upon to do field work for the Harridance Family. More recently, she was been given the task of investigating strange sources of power on either side of the Dark Portal, the most prominent of which being the powerful ley lines that traverse the whole of Azeroth's surface. The Harridance family seeks to understand energy and magic, and the many ways it can be controlled and manipulated. Through this, they hope to find the means to better control their own power. This mission would also see the last time Vortice would speak to Enrik on friendly terms, another falling out following a peculiar meeting atop the snow capped mountains surrounding Ironforge.
It was on another excursion into the mountains that she began to connect with the warlock Alastar Belmondo, whom had accompanied her. Vortice found something of a kindred spirit in the man, strengthened by the discovery a connection between their families. Criasjain Lefebvre also proved to be a great ally, accompanying Vortice to Grim Batol in search of the ley line pattern of shielding.
The Manaforges of Netherstorm Edit
Unable to find any meaningful use of the ley lines, and unsuccessful in becoming a ley walker, Vortice returned to the Manor. In the following days Vortice would make a handful of attempts at probing the ancient tower of Karazhan, rumored to be the place where all ley lines converge.