A brief recap: The quel’dorei, or ‘high elves’ were banished from Kalimdor by the night elves after throwing a bit of a temper tantrum, and headed to the Eastern Kingdoms. Once there, they made some new friends in the humans of the Arathor Empire, and some new enemies in the trolls of the Amani Empire. They joined the first forming of the Alliance that came about as a result of Stormwind’s destruction, but a lot of their trees got burned down in the resulting war with the orcs and trolls. After the war, they threw another, smaller, more polite temper tantrum and withdrew from the Alliance; choosing to live solely in Quel’Thelas and ignore the Alliance goings on, save for a small minority of high elves that chose instead to work with the humans.
So by this point in high elf history, there are, once again, two factions starting to come into play. While most of the elves were content to once more retreat to the Sunwell and the spires of Quel’Thalas, there were others, priests and sorcerers, that wished to continue exploring the world and teaching the humans the arts of magic. Among the high elves that chose to live outside of Quel’Thalas was the son of Anasterian, Prince Kael’thas Sunstrider.