Aegwynn (sometimes known as Magna Aegwynn; sometimes spelled Aegwyn), Matriarch of Tirisfal, Aegwynn was the penultimate guardian of Tirisfal and is recognized as the greatest guardian that has existed and as the most powerful magician of all time. Her son is the sorcerer and last guardian, Medivh.
The Order of Tirisfal was originally forged to protect the world from demonic corruption of magic (namely by the Burning Legion) — and these Guardians were given considerable power and longevity. The Order was kept as a secret amongst only the greatest magi. But over time, the Guardian became a puppet of the Order, and the focus was lost. When Aegwynn became the Guardian, however, she refused to be manipulated. She remained focused on the matter at hand — the demonic powers at play in Azeroth. The same hubris that led to the Guardian's diminishing caused their downfall.
Aegwynn served as the Guardian of Tirisfal for almost 500 years. Following the end of her reign, she would eventually serve as Jaina Proudmoore's chamberlain for a time near the end of her life. Aegwynn is recognized as one of the greatest sorcerers of all time.
Aegwynn was trained in magic by the Guardian Magna Scavell. Aegwynn was the only woman among five apprentices. Most of the males didn't treat her fairly, claiming that she couldn't become a wizard, but Aegwynn persevered. Before the end of her first year as an apprentice, she had mastered the lost incantations of the Meitre scrolls, the last surviving work of one of the powerful Highborne wizards from nine thousand years earlier (human mages were dissuaded from even reading the scrolls until well into their careers — even Quel'dorei couldn't read them until a decade into their apprenticeships).
For this feat, she was chosen to succeed Scavell as Guardian of Tirisfal. Though her fellow apprentices complained, the Council maintained that she was the best and the Guardian could not afford to be anything less. The elves on the Council at the time believed that as Aegwynn had faced greater challenges to become a mage than the others, she was most deserving — Erbag the gnome chided the boys for their immaturity.
Aegwynn was subsequently supplied with the power of the Tirisfalen, and began work immediately. One of Aegwynn's first challenges was the destruction of the demon Zmodlor who had begun to possess children in a schoolhouse. Aegwynn rushed in and vanquished the demon before damage to the children could be done. Erbag and Relfthra admonished her for her quick action — she had rushed in without a thought to Zmodlor's grand scheme, and could have put the world at further risk. Aegwynn fired back that she couldn't allow children to suffer just because the Council favored a reactive solution to demons.
Aegwynn against Twisting Nether
500 years following her initial Guardianship, Aegwynn traveled to the world's roof, Northrend, in order to defeat a hunting party of demons that were stalking dragons. After burning them to ashes with the dragons' help, an avatar of the Dark Titan Sargeras himself arose from the dust near the skeletal remains of Galakrond. With the help of the dragons, Aegwynn battled and ultimately defeated the Lord of the Legion. She carried and trapped his physical form near the Maelstrom, within the Tomb of Sargeras in what remained of Suramar, so that it might never be rejuvenated by the powers of the Nether. Following this historic event, Aegwynn, by her own admission, grew arrogant and cocky. She felt that she no longer needed to act in concert with the Council, that she had done the impossible, and thus she — not the Tirisfalen — would choose the next Guardian. However, the Destroyer had manipulated her in a way that she could not perceive...
After defeating Sargeras, Aegwynn withdrew from the Council, growing ever more concerned with their meddling in the politics of human nations. Though they felt their knowledge and power could shift the trajectory of the world in order to prevent war and end suffering, she viewed it as tantamount to doom.
Fearful they would choose another Guardian easier to control, she refused to vacate her position after her initial service. She used her magic to keep herself alive far longer than was normally possible and, though most of the Council did not object at first, her continued disagreement with their methods resulted in a relationship that continually frayed.
Aegwynn took solace in Karazhan within Deadwind Pass, a tower built by her hands, retreating there more and more to assuage her growing paranoia. The Council had no idea as to its whereabouts, and she could work in peace alone, taking advantage of the ley lines in the area. With the old guard of the Council dying, new members came into play that wanted to take a much harder stance against her.
Upon her last visit to Dalaran she was confronted by the Council, who demanded she relinquish her power and step down as Guardian. Aegwynn, incensed at their demand and continued meddling in world affairs, refused and fled back to Karazhan. The Council discussed at length how they could force her hand, ultimately deciding on a course of action that would culminate in the creation of a new order of magi - The Tirisgarde. Their only mission was to take powerful relics and armaments and, after training, hunt down the Guardian.
Though she succeeded in eluding capture, the hunters did discover Karazhan. With no option but to flee now that her bastion was discovered, Aegwynn decided to escape to the shattered remnants of Suramar. She remained protected within the Guardian Sanctum for centuries.
The Birth of Medivh
(778 years later; 70 years prior to World of Warcraft...) Though powerful, Aegwynn was at her core mortal and consequently knew that she would have to pass on her powers, lest the demons be given free reign of Azeroth. She was determined to prevent the council from manipulating her successor as they had continually tried to manipulate her. She chose the conjurer of Azeroth, Nielas Aran, to father her heir. Nielas was initially elated when it appeared that the Guardian had fallen in love with him, but was slightly thrown to realize that she had used him only to sire an heir and take the choice of next Guardian away from the Council.
Aegwynn gave birth to a son in the fall of that year, naming him Medivh, or "Keeper of Secrets" in the Elven tongue. Aegwynn left the baby Medivh in the care of his father at Stormwind Keep. She locked deep within him the knowledge of Tirisfal, to be made manifest when he reached physical maturity. When that time came however, the power of Tirisfal was too much for him to properly channel and the resulting backlash of magical energy pouring from the child killed his father Nielas and reduced Medivh to a comatose body.
Medivh awoke twenty years later, assuring the clergy of Northshire that he was in full control of his powers. Aegwynn suspected that something was amiss and her suspicions were confirmed when she watched, in shock, as Medivh made pacts with the Burning Legion and brought the orcs to Azeroth.
Aegwynn confronted Medivh seeking to turn him away from his chaotic course and back to the Guardianship for which he was intended. When he refused her she attempted to battle him but, having given all her power to him so long ago, she was defeated. It was then that Medivh revealed all to her.
As he died in battle before her, Sargeras had spirited his essence into Aegwynn's own body like a cancer, lying in wait for her to conceive as he knew she would. Sargeras later stitched himself into the fabric of Medivh's unborn body so that when he awoke and realized the power of Tirisfal he would also manifest his unholy, demonic heritage. Before Medivh could kill her, she used the last of her powers to teleport out of his sight to escape him.
In a desperate attempt to spread word of Medivh’s evil, Aegwynn had an audience with King Llane. She warned him that Medivh was behind the orcish invasion and that he would eventually have to be dealt with. Llane listened gratefully.
Aegwynn, knowing that she had done all she could possibly do, watched the events unfold before her. She watched her son die, the fall of Blackhand and Gul’dan, and her last testament was a praise to the Alliance before she left to prepare herself for her death.
Exile and Return to Society
After witnessing the fall of her son, Aegwynn evaded death's grasp. At some point in the proceedings above, Medivh had stripped her of all remaining magic, but neglected to drain her anti-aging spells. Unraveling the spells, Aegwynn used them to teleport herself as far away as she possibly could — to the far side of Mulgore on Kalimdor. Aegwynn then built herself a small home in the hills near Ratchet, and grew a garden, to live out her life in solitude.
Or so she thought. Aegwynn's magic was still effective enough to scry using her well. When Medivh died a few weeks later, she formulated a plan — she would save up her magic, piece by piece until she could bring back The Last Guardian. It took her 21 years, and again nearly cost her her life. It was accomplished though and Medivh had returned.
After his disappearance, Aegwynn again sought solitude, but was rudely interrupted by Jaina Proudmoore. Though Aegwynn was willing to assist Jaina in her attempt to relocate a herd of thunder lizards, she was annoyed by the deference Jaina showed her, and the continued use of the title "Magna". Shortly after Jaina's arrival they were sealed in Aegwynn's home by familiar magic: Zmodlor's. After a well-timed escape, Jaina, Aegwynn, and Jaina's colonel Lorena discovered Zmodlor had been freed and was now working to create a war between Durotar and Theramore. The trio confronted the demon, but Jaina was incapacitated by the warlocks. In a last desperate act to fulfill her duties as Guardian (which she had never shirked in the past) Aegwynn supplemented Jaina with her last source of magic: her own life.
Aegwynn almost died after giving her life force to Jaina Proudmoore, but she survived due to the few powers she retained from her Guardianship. She accepted the position of advisor to Jaina, but insisted that her identity remain secret to keep people, demons, and the Burning Legion from bothering her. There are two women in Dustwallow Marsh that players have thought to be Aegwynn in disguise: the hermit questgiver Tabetha and Jaina's elf companion Pained. However, she's not necessarily in the game right now.
Against all conceivable odds, Aegwynn survived yet again. Declared by Theramore's surgeons to "have the constitution of an elf," she began serving as Lady Jaina's chamberlain and advisor, under an assumed name to avoid any unwanted guests.
She assisted Jaina in helping to uncover some of King Varian's lost memories, and also assisted the blood elf gladiator Valeera in subduing her magical addiction. Shortly after she was present at a summit where the half-orc assassin Garona made an attempt on Varian's life. In the events that followed, Aegwynn discovered Garona's son, Med'an, bore a striking resemblance to her own son. Adding to the fact was that Med'an gave off powerful aura like a "beacon of power", much like Medivh did. Aegwynn could only conclude that he must be her grandson. This knowledge gave her a new surge of hope and joy, and she began to see him as a chance for redemption, likely from her choices that had shaped Medivh's life.
Aegwynn considered whether or not to tell Med'an how Medivh is related to him, but also believed that revealing herself as his grandmother was ultimately a selfish wish on her part. As her arrogance had killed her son and brought disaster to her world, whatever was best for Med'an would take precedence: his future was too important. Though the boy's guardian, Meryl Felstorm, strongly disagreed, she would come to decide that no one, especially Med'an, should know who had fathered him. She believed that the son of Medivh would be distrusted and shunned by any who learned of it: his future would be blighted, and his potential wasted. Aegwynn convinced Meryl into silence only by agreeing to keep quiet about his possession of Kathra'Natir. She is one of the founding members of the New Council of Tirisfal.
In the final battle between the New Council and the newly empowered ogre mage Cho'gall, she sacrificed herself to give her grandchild the extra power he needed to defeat the evil Ogre. Afterwards, the council buried her at Morgan's Plot by Karazhan, next to her son.
- "Honestly, they don't teach you young mages anything these days. Violet Citadel's gone to pot, and that's the truth."
- "Don't go calling me 'Magna'. That was another time and another place, and I'm not that woman anymore."
- "I was facing dangers far worse than that little twerp of a demon when your great-grandparents were infants."
World of Warcraft
- See: Realm Names and their place in Warcraft Lore
- Lore within World of Warcraft: Aegwynn and the Dragon Hunt
Guardian of Tirisfal