The winged stallions of Valhalla
Brightwind is on of the winged stallions of Valhalla. These stallions are magical creatures imbued with the power of Odin. There are many stallions similar to Brightwind, some slightly different in appearance, but their powers are still the same. No ordinary horse at all, these steed are granted flight by naturally grown wings on their backs. When the stallion selects their rider and bonds with her, they always pick females, they share their power and turn them into "Choosers of The Slain" also known as a Valkyrie.
Valkries are both a title and position in Asgard. As a Valkyrie, the female rider is granted a death premonition allowing the to see a death aura around those soon to die. The rider is also able to battle Death to attempt to save the life of the individual. Though this requires great strength and is a feat that many can't do. Generally, the Valkyrie are workers for the goddess of death, Hela. They are to arrive to those who die and accompany their soul to Hel.
These stallions are also very attached to their riders on a very intimate level. As such, the winged stallions physical appearance changes with the rider. The best example was when Danielle Moonstar had been turned evil and was constantly engulfed in flames. Her steed too shared the flamed status, but would be cured as she would, nearly simultaneously.
The origin of Brightwind
Brightwind is a winged stallion from Valhalla. These winged horse can grant the power of Odin himself, to be one of the 'Chooses of the slain.' In bestowing this power upon one, they shall become a Valkyries.
I choose you, Danielle Moonstar
In one adventure, the New Mutants (along with Storm) were kidnapped by the Enchantress of Asgard at Loki’s request. When Illyana Rasputin attempted to teleport them all away, the New Mutants found themselves scattered through Asgard. Dani found herself in a grassy plain. She spotted a fully white, winged horse that had been trapped by hunters and began to attempt to free it. While trying to set the winged horse free, an army began to charge at her. Unwilling to leave the horse helpless and not willing to run, Dani chose to fight back. Which led her to using her telepathic abilities to draw forth the image that the oncoming warriors feared most, Hela Asgardian Goddess of Death. The enemies froze in fear and left immediately, without a backwards glance. Dani not recognizing who the image was, cared less and returned to the winged-horse and freed it. The horse instantly began trust and bond Dani, which is possibly due to Dani's mutant ability to telepathically communicate with animals. It turns out that the horse was one of the winged-steeds of the Valkyor who had chosen her to be a Valkyrie, one of the “choosers of the slain”. It is possible that Dani’s moments of seeing her parents and grandfather’s deaths may have indicated a previously existing mystical ability in this area.
The New Mutants joined forces with the X-Men, who had come to Asgard to rescue them and Storm, to defeat Loki. The steed, which Dani named “ Brightwind” returned to Earth with her. Upon her connection with “ Brightwind” Dani was very different though, in powers as well as responsibilities. Dani was no longer just a human mutant but a Valkrie, a "chooser of the slain" now. This title gifted her with the ability to "see" death, or an aura of death around individuals who were to die soon. This gift also allowed Dani the ability to fight Death its self. On a couple of occasions, Dani attempted to fight Death to save the lives, though she was not always successful and learned that Death was a natural process of life not always to be feared.
Brightwind's connection to Dani was nearly absolute. If she went through a personality shift, Brightwind would show physical changes matching that of Dani's. When Dani went undercover in the Mutant Liberation Front, she took on a darker persona as would Brightwind. He changed and became completely black in appearance. This resulted in his name change to Darkwind. Unfortunately the MLF's then leader began to question her loyalties and became enraged. He would lash out with his vast powers, connecting and immediately killing the newly dubbed Darkwind, thus ending his journey and connection to Dani and that of Asgard.
During the events of Utopia, to stop Ares Dani made a deal with Hela and was rewarded with a flaming sword and the return of Brightwind to the living.
X-Men: The End
In the X-Men: The End, it chronicles the end of the X-Men twenty years in the future. In this reality, Danielle is captured and placed in a coma in a newly created Neverland Ranch located on the blue side of the moon. Whilst she is in a coma many of her friends and family (X-Men she has known for years) are being killed, and she can do nothing to help. During an attack on Xavier Institute, Wolfsbane was caught in an explosion saving students. In her last dying thoughts she called out to Dani for help. With Dani's mutant ability telepathically communicate with animals and her psychic rapport with Wolfsbane provided her with enough energy to try to break out of her coma. She began to chant spells, with runes manifesting above and around her body. The scientists begin to get nervous and decided to kill her, to stop what she was doing. In her death, she awakens no longer a mutant or even human. Danielle Moonstar becomes a Valkyrie, finally reaching her potential and her magical steed Brightwind appears with her. She destroys Neverland Ranch as her final help to her allies on Earth. She then leaves Earth never to return. Thereafter, she later helped destroy Hela and took her place as the Norse Goddess of Death and ruler of Hel.