Origin and Upbringing
Ceranea Alexandra Fairfax was born in the year 592 K.C.(of the King's Calendar) on the twentieth of January. Her birthplace: the Lordaeronian lands northwest of Andorhal and east of Capital City. Her parents, Count Ulric Fairfax and Lady Maleah Astor-Fairfax, served well in their role as guardians of the pass, keeping open the way for trade between the capital and the northern provinces east of Lordamere Lake. Well-respected by their vassals and the common people alike, her father sat in the court of King Terenas Menethil II as a trusted advisor and friend. Her mother, meanwhile, handled the day to day tasks of maintaining the family's lands surrounding their fortress at Norhall, which boasted numerous farms, as well as prospering lumber and silver mining businesses.
During the early days of her youth, Ceranea was like many of the other children -- rambunctious, untameable. She thought only of escaping her mother's clutches to roam the yard in search of adventure. However, it was at the tender age of six that the Count was killed defending Capital City from the Horde during the siege of the Second War, and after that, her mother gave her no leeway; the grieving widow could not afford to. If their lands were to stay in the family, Ceranea would have to become every bit the lady her mother was ... but also every bit the ruler her father was.
So it was that a child grew to become a young woman, educated in both social graces and the duties of lordship. Sometime over the years, she had discovered a natural talent for the arcane magics commanded by the mages of the Kirin Tor, but this she kept hidden from her mother -- instead choosing to study in secret. When she turned sixteen, she was sent to pursue further education at the most prestigious learning institution in the human kingdoms north of Dalaran: the Royal College of Lordaeron, in Capital City.
The Fall of Lordaeron
Three years later, she received word from her mother at Norhall that the villagers surrounding their castle were falling ill, and that this same plague had been seen in other places to the east. Fearing for the safety of her daughter, Maleah requested that Ceranea put her advancement towards a degree on hold to flee south towards New Stormwind -- which was at the time under construction by the Stonemasons' Guild. So Ceranea went, though the journey was not an easy one, mistakenly believing that once she arrived, all would be well; but it was not so. Stormwind had been overwhelmed by a flood of humans seeking sanctuary from the rising Scourge. Lordaeron had fallen; her homeland was no more, and her mother was most probably dead.
Her only comfort was that, as a recognized member of the Lordaeronian nobility, she did not suffer from the shortages of food and shelter. Instead, she was given a room in the Keep and continued her education at the Royal College of Stormwind. At the age of twenty-two, Ceranea graduated with honors and received her degree: a Mastery in Finance. It was only afterward that she realized she had nothing to do with it. Her lands were all but destroyed, her wealth gone -- and there was no going back to reclaim it. In short, she was left without a purpose.
A New Home
But Ceranea was never one to stay idle for long. As the last living member of her house, she was her own master -- and she was now free to pursue that which had intrigued her since the early years of her adolescence: the arcane. She ventured to Dalaran, where she was accepted as a student and where she spent the next twelve years of her life studying. She chose to specialize in the School of Abjuration: protective magics. And as she furthered her knowledge, she was no longer the student, but the teacher -- the researcher. Between her classes, she began to formulate her own version of the popular mana shield, hoping that some day it might eclipse even that of the famous Kael'thas Sunstrider. Before that could happen, however, the Legion arrived -- and as part of the effort to raise money for the war, she lost the funding for her research, and her salary was cut considerably.
All of this contributed to her eventual decision to leave the Academy to seek out other sources of income, namely in the city of Stormwind. It had been twelve years since she'd left, but she found employment quickly -- as a member of the Stormwind City Watch. While there, she rose to the rank of Lieutenant, and received at least two special commendations. But as luck would have it, the funding for that, too, was cut -- to instead be given to a unit on Argus which had suffered heavy losses.
Now, she seeks out new opportunities ... unaware as to where the future might take her.
- – When it comes to new ideas, she isn't interested in brooding – she wants to go out and experience things, and doesn't hesitate to step out of her comfort zones to do so. She is imaginative and open-minded, seeing all things as part of a big, mysterious puzzle called life.
- – She believes that there are no irrelevant actions, that every shift in sentiment, every move, and every idea is part of something bigger. To satisfy her curiosity, she tries to notice all of these things and to never miss a moment.
- – As she observes, forming new connections and ideas, she won’t hold her tongue – she's excited about her findings, and wants to share them with anyone who’ll listen. This infectious enthusiasm has the dual benefit of giving her a chance to make more social connections, and of giving her a new source of information and experience, as she fits her new friends’ opinions into her existing ideas.
- – It’s a good thing that she has such strong people skills, or she'd never express her ideas. She enjoys both small talk and deep, meaningful conversations, which are just two sides of the same coin for her, and is adept at steering conversations towards her desired subjects in ways that feel completely natural and unforced.
- – It’s not all “nature of the cosmos” discussions with her – she knows that sometimes, nothing is as important as simply having fun and experiencing life’s joys. That intuitive trait lets her know that it’s time to shake things up, and these wild bursts of enthusiastic energy can surprise even her closest friends.
- – All this adaptability and spontaneity comes together to form a person who is approachable, interesting and exciting, with a cooperative and altruistic spirit and friendly, empathetic disposition. She gets along with pretty much everyone, and her circle of friends stretches far and wide.
- – When it comes to conceiving ideas and starting projects, especially involving other people, she has exceptional talent. Unfortunately her skill with upkeep, administration, and follow-through on those projects struggles. Without more hands-on people to help push day-to-day things along, her ideas are likely to remain just that – ideas.
- – She is a natural explorer of interpersonal connections and philosophy, but this backfires when what needs to be done is that report sitting right in front of her. It’s hard for her to maintain interest as tasks drift towards routine, administrative matters, and away from broader concepts.
- – She doesn’t take things at face value – she looks for underlying motives in even the simplest things. It’s not uncommon for her to lose a bit of sleep asking herself why someone did what they did, what it might mean, and what to do about it.
- – All this overthinking isn’t just for her own benefit – she is very sensitive, and cares deeply about others’ feelings. A consequence of her popularity is that others often look to her for guidance and help, which takes time, and it’s easy to see why she sometimes gets overwhelmed, especially when she can’t say yes to every request.
- – While emotional expression is healthy and natural, with her even viewing it as a core part of her identity, it can come out strongly enough to cause problems for her. Particularly when under stress, criticism or conflict, she can experience emotional bursts that are counter-productive at best.
- – She loathes being micromanaged and restrained by heavy-handed rules – she wants to be seen as a highly independent master of her own fate, even a possessor of an altruistic wisdom that goes beyond draconian law. The challenge for her is that she lives in a world of checks and balances, a pill she's not always happy to swallow.
The Fairfaxes have long been a Light worshipping family. From the time she was born, Ceranea was raised to believe in the power of the Light as a driving force for the betterment of society, and the world as a whole. To this day, she still believes the Light to be a powerful agent for good, not only on Azeroth but in the entirety of the universe.
Nevertheless, she's not as devout a follower as she was raised to be. Rather than praying and attending sermons, she keeps the Light in the back of her mind -- to call to her immediate memory should she have a question of faith or morality. Most of the time, however, she has no such questions -- and the questions she does have are better answered by the corporeal sciences of the world, including magic.
"A group of thoughtful people, even small, can change the world; indeed, they're the only people who ever have."
"The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination."
"Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around."
Ceranea, while still the daughter of a noble family, has little to do with the politics either of the Kirin Tor or of the Kingdom of Stormwind. Having long since lost most of her wealth and status, she now focuses on other things, such as her education and her research. Rather than try to insert herself into the political scene, she sits quite happily outside of it. Nevertheless, she looks in, and has a thorough knowledge of the relations between various races, organizations, and other groups. If you ask her a question, she could probably find the answer for you -- and if she doesn't know, she more than likely knows someone else who does.
Upon making eye contact with this woman, one thing becomes shockingly obvious: here is a lady unafraid of scrutiny; anyone else would have shied away from a prying gaze, but not she. Instead, she stares defiantly back at all who espy her — as if daring them to approach. Within the brown-gold depths of her eyes swirls a strange mixture of curiosity and challenge, and no doubt many have wondered of her intentions. Yet before they can be discovered, she cleverly averts her gaze, giving way to long, sweeping lashes.
A statuesque woman by all accounts, she stands at around five feet and eight inches in height. Her slender form suggests a life lived in relative comfort — her days possibly spent in study or in prayer. What curves she may bear, she hides beneath long, flowing robes which drag at her feet. Otherwise, she is undeniably lovely — her skin sun-kissed in all places save her face, where a rosy blush dusts her rounded cheekbones and slim nose. Her lips are of the same color, supple and upturned in the smallest of gentle smiles. Most of her hair is held back by a jeweled clip, allowing only a few stray curls to frame her feminine face. But when it is down, soft waves of auburn cascade to her mid-back, seeming as if woven from a blend of the purest copper and bronze.
If it were not for the faint crow’s feet peeking out from the corners of her green-flecked eyes, she might be hailed as a vision of youth and beauty. But whatever her age, she has lost none of her elegance. Her every movement is graceful, and she seems almost constantly to be surrounded by an aura of pervading thoughtfulness. As she walks by, a pleasant and tasteful scent fills the nostrils of the people around her. Those with knowledge of herbs might recognize it to be Mountain Silversage, a rare plant most commonly found in the frigid lands of Winterspring. If she opens her mouth to speak, her voice is found to be distinctly fluid, like the gentle flowing of a stream on a spring morning.
- Countess Ceranea Fairfax of Norhall
- Miss Fairfax, Mage of the Kirin Tor
- Lieutenant Fairfax
- Professor Fairfax
Family, Friends, and Lovers
Ulric Fairfax was one in a long line of Fairfaxes, though he was the only son of his generation -- and therefore the only choice to replace his father as the head of the household. From the very beginning, Ulric was a strong lad -- powerful enough to make any father proud. So it was that he was trained not only to be a ruler but to be a warrior as well. It was not long after his father passed and he took over the reins of the family that the King, Terenas Menethil II, recognized Ulric as a potential asset to the crown.
Though he had a wife and a young child at home, Ulric felt it was his duty to see to his King's wishes. So he went to Capital City, and there he stayed as a trusted advisor until the time of his death when Ceranea was six years old. Due to her young age, Ceranea remembers little if nothing about her father. Yet, that doesn't stop her from wondering what he was like -- and whether or not she's anything like him.
Maleah Astor-Fairfax was born an Astor -- the older sister to Clemence. At the young age of eighteen, she wed Ceranea's father, Lord Ulric Fairfax, and moved to his castle at Norhall to be with her husband, and eventually to raise their only child. Though it was several years before they conceived, their marriage was relatively short -- as Ulric was killed when Ceranea was only six years old.
Afterwards, Maleah took it upon herself to see that her daughter would be raised to become the matriarch of the household -- that the legacy of the Fairfax family might never be lost to time, for one reason or another. No one could have guessed that Lordaeron would fall as it did, presumably taking Maleah with it, but one thing is certain: though their lands are gone, Ceranea carries on their family name.
Lady Clemence Astor is mother to Tabitha and Grayson, and the oldest surviving relative of Ceranea's. Her husband, much like Ceranea's father, was killed during the siege of Capital City by the Horde. Though it was a painful time for both of their families, she always remained a strong woman -- and never failed to help Ceranea where she could. Though she's a bit eccentric, Ceranea views her aunt like a second mother.
It makes her glad, then, to know that her cousin takes care of his mother, as she lives with him and his wife at their estate in the Elwynn Forest. It's rare that Ceranea visits nowadays, but she knows very well that when she does visit, she'll have a welcoming family to greet her.
Ceranea and Grayson have not only always been cousins, but friends also -- like siblings, even. They are near the same age, and thus grew up together -- his family would often come to visit hers, and vice versa. As the eldest and only son, he has long since inherited his father's title as Lord Astor, but like Ceranea herself, his lands were essentially forfeited after the loss of Lordaeron.
Nevertheless, he found a land to rule by marrying the wealthy daughter of one of Stormwind's noble families. As far as Ceranea can tell, their marriage is a happy one -- and they are, in fact, very much in love with one another. Rumor has it that they're expecting their first child, and if that's the case, Ceranea will make a very excitable would-be aunt.
The youngest of the remaining Astors and Ceranea's cousin, Tabitha is the only one to have been too young to remember the events of the Third War. Nevertheless, she grew up hearing stories from her family and has since fully devoted herself to the practices of the Light. Today, she is a priestess at the Cathedral in Stormwind, where she learns from the most spiritual in all of the remaining human lands.
Despite their differences in faith, Ceranea has always been rather fond of Tabitha. Perhaps it's because she never had a sibling, and always wanted a sister -- but whenever possible, she's sure to visit.
Ceranea first met Anayla five years ago whilst she was visiting Northshire Abbey, in the Elwynn Forest. The younger woman was assigned to show her around the grounds, and the two soon got to talking - it turned out that, despite their age difference, they had much in common. So it was that over the course of the weeks to come, they forged a friendship which would survive both distance and time. After a long pause in their communication, they met again in Stormwind. Anayla was there with the hope that she could become a paladin of the Light, and devote her life to stopping the Legion from destroying their beloved planet.
For Ceranea, it felt like no time had passed at all - she enjoyed Anayla's company as much as she did when they first met. So, happily, she offered to connect Anayla with her contacts in Dalaran, who worked closely with the remnants of the Silver Hand. Now, they merely wait to hear word that Anayla has indeed been accepted into their ranks.
The day Ceranea first met Jayla was the day she joined the Stormwind City Watch. At the time, Jayla was a Constable, which made her Ceranea's superior officer. Even so, they were both relatively new members, and as the only two human females, they bonded quickly. Often they would share tea and discuss womanly things. There were times, also, when Ceranea had to defend the dear Jayla from the advances of all sorts of scoundrels. Being young, beautiful, and kind -- there were many men who admired her, several of whom were not decent fellows.
Despite the disbanding of the Watch, Jayla and Ceranea have remained relatively close. At times, they have their differences, but Ceranea considers Jayla a true friend -- and only wishes to see her happy. It is her hope that their friendship will persist long into the future, whereupon they'll be old bats discussing past adventures over their tea.
Arguably her first love, Edmund Nunnally was the family's stable boy all throughout her early years. As children, he and Ceranea would play together, and though as they grew they became more distant, they each remained fond of the other. Of course, Maleah wasn't particularly happy about the conversations she would have with him, as it became increasingly clear to her that her daughter harbored feelings of romantic affection towards the young man.
In an effort to keep her away from him, the lady of the house declared that Ceranea could no longer go on rides outside of the castle's gates; it was too dangerous, she said. Nevertheless, the young woman found other reasons to visit Edmund at the stables, and her affections were eventually returned. Unfortunately, before anything could come of it, Ceranea was sent to Capital City to study at the Royal College there. She never saw poor Edmund again, and her letters were never returned. To this day, she doesn't know what became of him.
Much the opposite of Ceranea's first love, Donovan Bradley was a charismatic nobleman whom she met whilst studying at the Royal College in Stormwind. He had good looks, money, wit, and charm. From the outside, he was the complete package -- her mother would have been proud of her for catching the eye of such a man. Yet as their courtship progressed, Ceranea began to see a darker side of Donovan. At first, it seemed as though he was only jealous, but he soon became controlling.
When Ceranea refused to do as he asked, he would quickly become angry -- and often yelled. And yet still, she put up with him. Not a month after she finished her degree, he proposed. It was at that moment, when she felt nothing, that Ceranea knew she'd made a mistake; so she declined. Donovan flew into a rage and struck her, at which point she fled the city to journey north to Dalaran. Years later, she heard a rumor that Donovan had drunken himself fat and stupid and consequentially had gambled away his family's money. Where he is and what he's doing now is unknown to her, but she lives happily knowing that he got some amount of come-uppance.
Fairfax Alchemical Company
The Fairfax Alchemical Company was Ceranea's pride and joy. After losing everything she had, it represented her success in forging a new future for herself. Though it was small, she had great hopes for its future, and she employed a few persons to help her run it. Unfortunately, with the arrival of the Legion and the subsequent teleportation of Dalaran to its resting place over the Broken Isles, business dropped considerably. Combined with the loss of her professiorial position at the Academy, she was forced to seek other sources of income. Thus, the Alchemical Company was closed. Recently, however, she has reopened it in Stormwind.
Always on her person is a leather bound journal. It used to be that the book was oddly old and bedraggled, yet she seemed to carry it everywhere. After it was stolen, she had it replaced, and now the book is quite new. It follows her around everywhere -- she's quite fond of placing enchantments. Either way, the book is full of a variety of secrets, both personal and related to her research. It's no surprise, then, that she guards it fiercely. Anyone who tries to get their hands on it without her permission is liable to get a fist to the face.
Signet Ring of House Fairfax
On the middle finger of her right hand, Ceranea bears the signet of her house. It is a pretty thing -- shaped of gold, engraved, and garnished by a sizable ruby carved into the shape of a lion. When examined, the inscription reads: I will do it so long as I live. These words are the house's motto -- a constant reminder of the family's determination. It was given to the mage as a child, after the death of her father. For many years, she wore it on a chain around her neck. Only when she came of age did she have it resized to fit her finger, and she wore it up until the day it was stolen from her. Though she's since had it recreated, it is not the same ring that her father wore.
Brass Wedding Band
On the index finger of her other hand, Ceranea used to wear a simple brass wedding band. Despite its modesty, she seemed to cherish it a great deal. In fact, she rarely went anywhere without it. And when she couldn't wear it on her finger, she kept it safely tucked away on her person. If one had looked closely, they might note that it didn't appear to have been made for her. It fit, but it was quite loose on her slender fingers. Yet, she never seemed to have any interest in having it resized. It was given to her as a gift by Zolk Gardner. It was his mother's wedding ring, and in effort to keep it from collecting dust in his pocket, he gave it to Ceranea for safekeeping. Unfortunately, along with several of her other things, it was stolen. Though she did eventually get it back, she chose to return it to its original owner. He only gave it back to her to wear upon a leather band around her neck.
The Martyr's Sigil
Another item given to her by Zolk Gardner, this sigil was used by Zolk himself and his mentor, Father Dannon. It protects the user from harm by diverting their pain to another connected with the sigil. In this way, Zolk has often born Ceranea's pain whilst the pair adventure together. Though ensured that it could not see Zolk killed on her behalf, Ceranea does not find herself entirely convinced. It is, after all, called the Martyr's Sigil, and what is a martyr if not a person who has died for some cause? Regardless, she holds it close per Zolk's request. Despite its nature, he seems to treasure it much as he treasures his mother's ring ... it represents one of the few items he possesses of Dannon's.
- Ceranea has an irrational fear of tight spaces, otherwise known as claustrophobia.
- Of her hobbies, perhaps the strangest is her love of candle-making.
- She has quite the singing voice, but she rarely makes use of it.
- Ceranea has a talent for language. She's fluent in at least four languages, and has at least basic knowledge of most major ones.
- Strange, obscure trivia has a tendency to flow from her mouth when on a topic that she enjoys.
- She has a collection of memorabilia from all the places she's been to in her lifetime.
- She has a personal garden with the specific purpose of her own use in alchemy.
- Ceranea writes obsessively, and none of it is very organized. On one page might be notes on her research, and on the next: a description of the meal she ate that day.
- Coffee is her go-to drink for every situation. If she's working, she almost always has a mug in hand.
- She meditates daily, for no specific reason other than that it gives her clarity of mind.