Elaenora has two personas: a public one, that of a ruthless-but-charitable matriarch of a noble house, and a private one, that of the pirate captain for-the-people, Mad Nel. Years of leading a double life have somewhat fractured her true personality, which seems to lie somewhere in between both facades, though not even Elaenora herself knows exactly where.
Elaenora is the eldest child of one of Quel'thalas' many fallen noble houses. Due to her family's devotion to the Holy Light and their patronage of the church, she was once sworn to the life of a priestess, but she escaped that fate during the invasion of Quel'thalas. Nel will always be grateful to the Scourge for freeing her from a life of solitude and asceticism.
After fleeing the ruins of the great city she once called home, Elaenora fell in with a group of human bandits, of all things, who roamed the Lordaeron countryside and raided the abandoned homes of the wealthy who had fled the area. Calling themselves The Red Testament, the group then "redistributed" that wealth to refugees of the Third War.
Though they were well-liked by most during the war, afterward their success and popularity saw sharp decline, even amongst the citizens they'd once aided. During times of peace, it was far easier to criticize their morally grey techniques, and soon the Testament found itself caught between the law and the Arathi Syndicate. It would ultimately be the Syndicate that wiped the Testament out, and those who survived - including Elaenora - were scattered to the wind.
Elaenora returned to Quel'thalas and began working tirelessly restore her house to some semblance of its former glory. She did this first by removing her drunken, cruel brother from his seat as patriarch, and then by establishing a small trading company.
This company, however, was largely a front for a pirate crew that hunted down and commandeered the ships of Elaenora's biggest and most corrupt competitors - a crew led by the Mad Captain Nel herself.