She is also fairly proficient in the shamanic arts, and she has grown to see the Elements as allies in their own right rather than just a mere source of power. Despite her abilities and her respect for their tutelage, she still maintains her faith in the Holy Light, owing her education and possibly even her survival to the good graces of the clergy. However, none of those loyalties even come close to matching her devotion to the Vanguard as a whole, seeing in her shield-siblings the truest expression of a family that she's ever had.
Honibelle's service to the Dwarven Vanguard began on December 19th, 35 LC.
Once, barely even half a decade ago, she was a down on her luck, but nonetheless chipper dwarf with little to her name but her tattered clothes, her trusty old broom, and her dauntless optimism. But the circumstances surrounding her origin are even now shrouded in mystery. To delve into those early days would allow just a glimpse, starting with a red-haired man of dubious character and the tiny dwarven babe he did everything in his power to care for. The man was simply called Honri, and the dwarf, he called Honibelle. Relying on his wits, Honri had managed to eke out a living for them on the streets of Stormwind, begging to get by when times were good, and delving into an unsavory sort of business he would never speak of in her presence when they weren't. It wasn't much, but to little Honibelle Brightslate, it was enough. As long as she had her uncle Honri, she knew things would be alright. And for a few short years, she seemed to have the right of it.
But those years were numbered, and one day, Honibelle would come to know it in a most tragic fashion. Honri took pride in how the girl had grown under his care. Compassionate, where he was jaded. Kind, where he was ruthless. Hopeful, where his own hope had been snuffed out. And earnest, where he would soon delve into the most painful of deceits. He realized that the hope she harbored was futile on its own, and he simply couldn't give her the life she deserved. And so, he had pulled some strings, and orchestrated a series of events that he hoped would pave the way to a more prosperous future for the girl. But Honibelle, in her youthful naivete, would know none of these truths. She knew only of the building that had suddenly caught fire. She heard only the screams of confused townsfolk as the only family she's ever known barged in through the window in one final act of selflessness. She saw only the roaring flames, proving deaf to her pleas and prayers for her uncle's safety until she had lost consciousness in those lonely hours. When morning came, there was nothing more than a charred corpse to greet her among the wreckage.
In the years that followed, a weary Honibelle would come to owe her continued survival to the clergy working in the Cathedral of Light. It was here that she would find solace in the faith of the Holy Light, taking comfort in the idea that her uncle's sacrifice wouldn't be in vain. She vowed to conduct herself with the same compassion and virtue that Honri had come to symbolize in his sacrifice; to be the ray of light for those stricken by darkness or despair. Of course, barely a decade old and brought up on a meager diet of water and old bread, Honibelle had a long way to go before she was in any shape to make good on those vows. To that end, she would start small, taking to cleaning up streets and walkways in exchange for the continued support of the clergy. This would continue on for many more years, where diligence, perseverance, and an (admitted involuntarily) ascetic lifestyle would forge Honibelle into a capable young woman...in some regards, at least. Bereft of any family ties, possessions, or any sort of training, it would seem that her ability to keep Stormwind's streets presentable was the only worthwhile skill she had. Aside from some meager ability to conjure and manipulate water, an ability she neither knew the origin of nor had any clue what to do with beyond assisting in her job.
One day however, she was approached by a pair of dwarves, one of whom was a mage by the name of Yorgin Rune-Eye. They had spotted her cleaning the steps of the cathedral, and had come to her with a most curious proposition: to join their esteemed ranks as a shield-sister of the Dwarven Vanguard, standing tall as a hero of their people against the villainous forces of Azeroth. Politely, she tried to decline, confessing that not only did she have nothing to offer to them in their time of need, but that she barely had any right to do so in the first place, as she knew almost nothing about dwarves or their way of life as a whole! But the mage Rune-Eye persisted, suggesting that perhaps there was more of a purpose to her life than she would admit. Whether due to kind words that had awakened her courage, or the fact that she was simply at a loss for polite ways to turn them down, the Vanguard Medical Division would soon avail themselves to their new shield-sibling, Recruit Honibelle Brightslate.
This one decision would come to change her life forever. It was not an easy journey for anyone, and it would prove even more difficult for one like her. She knew nothing of dwarven culture, and had no ties to any of their clans. She would come to know the awkwardness of lacking the dwarven language, and the embarrassment of being such a delicate lightweight that even a single mug of ale would utterly rob her of her sense. But even through this chaos, she came to know the truth of Rune-Eye's assessment as she worked to keep up with her fellow soldiers. She did everything in her power to support them, and availed herself of both the tutelage and camaraderie that her efforts garnered in turn. She was an adopted daughter at best, but she looked upon her shield-siblings as the kind of family she had always hoped to know. She drew strength from this devotion, and it spurred her onward until she found herself leading the very division that had helped her become the woman she was today.
To this day, Honibelle Brightslate of the Vanguard Medical Division devotes her life to the cause, hoping to enact a new era of peace and prosperity of her fellow dwarves, and hopefully for the Alliance as a whole. She bears the distinction of being the first member of the Medical Division to attain the rank of Mountain Guard through the completion of the seven trials, and she has maintained the rank of Captain in her duties for a number of years. She has only recently resigned from that rank, opting instead to direct her efforts towards the Brightslate Conservancy in the Thanedom of Modr. She hopes to one day convert the Conservancy into a proper dwarven academy, hoping that both its knowledge and its resources can be utilized for the betterment of the dwarven people as a whole. However, she still served the Vanguard in an official capacity as the newly designated Thanesguard Vanir; a personal guard to the current Thane of the Vanguard. In this capacity, she has served both the former Thane, Foghas Lightbeard, and the current Thane, Bromas Ebonram. Currently, she has returned to the Vanguard's officer core as the Captain of the Sorcerer Division; a daunting task for those familiar with the position's infamous reputation.
Thus far, her exploits have earned her the following medals:
The Khaz Modan Medical Cross
The Grand Alliance Medical Cross
The Grand Alliance Airman's Ribbon
The Grand Alliance Campaign Service Medal
Honibelle is a peculiar dwarf in appearance, standing at an impressive 4'8, her features softer and her build not nearly as stocky as those of her kind. While she still retains her light complexion and slender, almost waifish (for a dwarf) physique, her intense years of military service along with her preference for a physically intensive fighting style that relies on agility has resulted in lithely toned musculature, particularly in her arms and legs. In fact, if her displays of shamanic power weren't enough, Honibelle's physical training and weapon preferences have availed her to a peculiar aptitude for unarmed combat, and it's not uncommon to see her utilizing her capabilities in creative ways. However, it's difficult to look at her modest figure and not entertain the idea that she might have mixed blood in her veins. Of course, she would sooner chalk this up to a life of humble station and meager nutrition, even by human standards. Another point of note is her accent; or rather, her lack thereof. When she talks, she does so without the accent commonly found in other dwarves, to the point where she probably never had it in the first place.
Her auburn hair tends to be either neatly combed into a relatively simple fashion, or otherwise left to blow freely in the wind when she forgets. Whether freshly cut and just making it down to her chin, or left to grow to shoulder-length at most, that hair frames a youthful and heavily freckled face with expressive blue eyes and a thin pair of lips that always seemed to have a smile on. Unlike a great many of her kin, she doesn't sport any braids in her hair or tattoos on her body, as she feels it isn't her place to simply adopt the cultural touchstones of any dwarven clans without any concrete ties to one.
Having come a long way from her humble beginnings in Stormwind, Honibelle has a number of outfits that she regularly employs. While on active duty, she bears a set of peculiar set of half-plate armor that incorporates both fine dwarven metalwork primarily composed of khorium, and various basilisk bones fortified through alchemical processes. Beyond its capacity to daunt foes, her armor is unique in the fact that the protective layers are placed with a measure of asymmetrical intent, allowing Honibelle's right side to function like heavy armor while maintaining the mobility that so often sees her through the day. Beyond her armor, she bears a peculiar weapon in the form of a two-pronged claw incorporated into her heavy gauntlet. This unique weapon was forged from elementium, and is equally capable of punching through armor and tearing through hide, as it is at serving as a focus for her shamanic arts. Both her weapon and much of the metalwork incorporated into her armor were actually reforged from the shattered remnants of Terra-Yorgin, the second weapon she had availed herself to in the traditional Vanguard custom of the Forging Ceremony.
If there was one single quality that would define someone like Honibelle Brightslate, it would be her earnest desire to make the world better. Having grown up in meager circumstances herself, she knows how tempting it can be to let morals fall to the wayside when one's survival is on the line. To that end, Honibelle often spends her free time performing small services to the communities she comes across, such as making donations of money and food to provide for the unfortunate, lending her ear to those who just need someone to listen, or even engaging in her old habit of cleaning around the city.
Perhaps such activities would be seen as beneath one of her lofty station, but if Honibelle had her way, the beneficiaries of her charitable acts would never need to know of such things at all. She would much rather keep her position a secret when off duty, as she would much rather endear herself to people on her own merits, as opposed to relying on her rank or station. To her mind, demonstrating a capacity for boundless good can inspire more people under the guise of meager means and hardship, as opposed to being seen as mere charity from one who could never truly understand their day to day struggles.
Having spent most of her life in Stormwind has given her a relatively unique perspective on life, and despite her sincere enthusiasm, she's still chock full of surprises here and there. At her best, she is kind, honest, compassionate, and an inexorably cheerful spirit. At less fortuitous times, she can be faulted for being naive, indecisive, meek, or her own harshest critic. She loves animals of all kinds, and can find something to enjoy just about anywhere, as long as she remembers to be careful. Finally, she's come to consider her fellow soldiers as the closest thing she's ever had to a true family, and would leap to the aid of any of her shield-siblings.
Of course, growing up in such a colorful town as Stormwind also comes with a great many stories, ranging from humorous to frightful to outright embarrassing, and Honibelle is certainly no exception in that regard. From bizarre interactions with exotic visitors, to a large number of doomed attempts at romance, to the many, many times she had erroneously mistaken druids for mere alley cats, Honibelle has a story relevant to just about any situation. Her repertoire of tall tales has only been further bolstered for both the opportunities she's pursued as the Vanguard Sorcerer Captain, along with the thrilling escapades she's prone to taking in the company of her gnomish wife, Tintsy Brightslate.
In the days since joining the Vanguard, Honibelle has come to understand a great deal more about both the world at large, and her own place within it. While she currently maintains her active duty as the Sorcerer Captain, she has a number of pursuits that she has decided to undertake, some of which stem from her desire to piece together the history behind her origins.
A Lost Uncle
Honibelle's origins are a mystery even to her, and that is in no small part due to her uncle's unwillingness to indulge her curiosity. Despite their best efforts however, a dire revelation would eventually reveal itself to Honibelle in time. At around her fourth year of service to the Vanguard, she was made aware of a recent grave robbing that had plundered a number of graves in the Stormwind cemetery; her uncle's grave being one of the targets. After tracking down the small necromancer cult that had committed the act, the Vanguard mobilized to dispatch them and put the profaned souls to rest with the aid of their Light-aligned soldiers. It was in one such encounter that a dire truth was unveiled; that the charred husk she thought was her uncle's body had in fact belonged to someone else, and someone whom her uncle had apparently betrayed in life and sentenced to death in the fire.
In light of this discovery, Honibelle was sorely conflicted. On one hand, her uncle may very well be alive after all. On the other, she realized that not only had he arranged to disappear while leaving her completely in the dark, but that he was willing to kill in order to keep the secret from coming to light. In either case, now that she knew her uncle might still be alive, she resolved to find him and make him answer for his deception. It wouldn't be easy, as whatever trail they might've left had a few decades to grow cold, but did Honibelle manage to find traces of her uncle's past dealings in the land of Kul Tiras. For now, she would gather what information she could, and hope that delving into her uncle's past would light the way back to him.
Power Out Of Place
The other great mystery in Honibelle's life is her curious penchant for the shamanic arts. After all, she had no formalized training before her powers had manifested, and the blessings of the Elements do not simply happen without reason. Having always been curious about her connection to the elemental spirits, Honibelle had confided with her peers in the Earthen Ring during her brief association in the wake of the Legion's second invasion. It was then that she learned about the circumstances surrounding her connection to the Elements; primarily that it might've actually been established from the other end.
The prevailing theory is that an elemental had surreptitiously sought Honibelle out, using their blessings and subtle guidance to affect her development to its liking. While she was certainly grateful for the power it bestowed, the idea of her growth being steered by a elemental's scheming didn't sit well with her, and she hopes to one day discern both the elemental's identity, and its motives as well.
The Brightslate Conservancy
Having distinguished herself through her service to the Vanguard, Honibelle has recently been gifted a sizable plot of land within the Thanedom of Modr to make use of. Honibelle was ecstatic about the prospect, as having land could allow her a place to build a proper home for herself; the first real home she would have beyond her cot in Dun Modr. However, in the wake of a vicious attack upon the Thanedom by the Horde, Honibelle had put those thoughts aside in favor of ways to help Khaz Modan recover. Eventually, she came to the conclusion that the best way to help was to ensure that medicine was never far from home, and decided to use her plot of land to create a plant conservancy, specializing in the conservation and growth of medicinal herbs for the Vanguard to rely upon and employ.
Construction on what is now known as the Brightslate Conservancy had proceeded well in the months to follow, and it is currently operating well enough to maintain an ample reserve of medicinal herbs for the Vanguard's use. However, those who are privy to Honibelle's designs know that she fully intends to expand her operations as the conservancy develops, and she hopes to one day convert the building into a full-blown medical academy. Should her efforts be met with success, Honibelle hopes that the academy proves a worthy contribution to the continued peace and prosperity of the Modr Range, and perhaps to all of Khaz Modan as well.