Blood Elf History Part One: We Make Withdrawal Look Pretty

The history of the Blood Elves in World of Warcraft is somewhat convoluted, as the little buggers originally started out as…well, as kaldorei. That’s right, night elves and blood elves were once the same thing. Physically, they look very different – and from a societal standpoint, they’re incredibly different as well. So why are the blood elves now a part of the Horde, while night elves are firmly on the Alliance’s side? What happened to make the Blood Elves a bunch of bad guys? And just how do they get such beautiful hair without a lot of product buildup? Some of these questions to be answered this week!

The Sin’dorei as they are currently called weren’t always the blonde, bright-eyed, egomaniacal self obsessed little buggers that you see in World of Warcraft today. Sin’dorei is a name they gave themselves after events in their history warranted the name change. Originally, they were called the Quel’dorei, or high elves – children of noble birth. In order to properly understand where these elves came from, one should probably take a look at the Night Elf History segments from a few weeks ago: Part One, Part Two, and Part Three. I will be picking up with elf history shortly after the timeline presented in the night elf history segment – after the Sundering that split the world into the continents we know today.

Don’t Bleach, Use Chamomile Tea For Natural, Sun-Kissed Highlights

The kaldorei had been firmly split into two different factions – there were the night elves, and the quel’dorei. While the night elves worshipped Elune and followed a largely druidic, nature-based path, the Quel’dorei had become masters of managing the arcane energies and magic of the Well of Eternity – a mastery that had proven disastrous in the War of the Ancients. There was another difference between the two factions however. As the night elves never came out during the day, and usually did their work and worship by night, they had darkened skin and hair, brilliant hues of purple, blue and green, and their eyes retained a normal silver glow – gold in the cases of those that showed druidic potential. The quel’dorei however found it better to work under the light of the sun, and found their skin and their hair fading as well into a lighter version of the night elves dark colors.

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Night Elf History, A Summary

Whew. The history of the night elves is probably one of the most complicated pieces of Warcraft history created, spanning thousands of years with a huge cast of characters. There was no possible way to touch on them all, so I tried to keep it brief – and even brief, it was still incredibly long.

The Night Elves are members of the Alliance, and many view them as Good Guys, intent on protecting Azeroth and keeping it from harm under the charge of the Dragonflights. Let’s address some common thoughts about Night Elves:

1. Night Elves are good! They’re druids and they protect the planet!

Well…sorta. They do NOW – after having learned a valuable lesson. But in the process of learning that lesson, the world was ripped apart. And while the explosion was because of trying to prevent actions that the quel’dorei had set into motion, it was ultimately a druid that ripped the planet into pieces. Was there any other way? It’s…doubtful. The Burning Legion is a pretty badass bunch of characters, and it takes a lot to defeat them – or it did then. …now you just need seven or so level 80’s to click some rocks and beat the stuffing out of a pit lord, and about that many to go make Archimonde your personal punching bag. But back then? Ooo. Bad. Bad bad bad.

2. Illidan Stormrage was a hero!

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History of the Night Elves – Dragons, Druids and Demigods, Oh My!

Welcome back to Night Elf History! This is where the history of the night elves gets a little muddled. See, there’s several different versions of the timeline surrounding the Well of Eternity – one in the game manual for Warcraft III, the one on the official site of the game as part of the History of Warcraft section, and then a couple more from the War of the Ancients Trilogy by Richard A. Knaak. In the War of the Ancients Trilogy, there were two distinct timelines – one version that happened before history was altered, and one that was created by three characters from present day that traveled back in time to witness the whole shebang, and invariably change parts of it for good.

While I prefer the unaltered version, Blizzard considers the War of the Ancients Trilogy as the official source of ‘true’ history, and so there will be brief (very brief) mentions of the characters that traveled back in time. Confusing enough yet? Just keep in mind that humans and orcs didn’t really exist yet, and that dragons largely kept to themselves. Moving on!

The Druidic Kaldorei and Elune

While the quel’dorei were making Zin-Azshari their home, the kaldorei were making a home of their own – Suramar. Suramar was considered the religious capital of elven society, built along the outskirts of Zin-Azshari and home to the temples and the academies. Essentially, if one was training in the arts of magic, be it druidic or arcane, one trained out in Suramar. If one grew badass enough to be considered a Highborne, one moved further INTO the city, closer to the well.  Suramar had several sections within it. Foremost was a great garden in the middle that was home to the Boughs of Azshara, two twin trees that were sacred to all kaldorei and quel’dorei. It also contained the temple district, which bordered the edges of the Well of Eternity and contained the Eternal Palace that Queen Azshara called home.

There were several notable residents of Suramar, but there are three that stand out from the rest – Tyrande Whisperwind, and the brothers Stormrage.

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History of the Night Elves – Azshara’s Got Some Mighty Tracts of Land

When we last left our little would-be-could-be trolls or elves, they were settling quite nicely by the Well of Eternity. But what comes next in elven history? Why is Azeroth plagued with so many different elves? Is there some sort of vaccination one can take to prevent turning into one? Some of these questions to be answered…now.

The Kaldorei and the Quel’dorei

The night elves continued their development over time, working with the Well of Eternity and happily worshipping Elune. They created a truly massive capital city, built on the banks of the Well of Eternity – but the night elves soon found themselves diverging down two very different paths. There were the original kaldorei, who faithfully continued to worship Elune in all her glory, and then there were those elves that were more attentive to the Well than Elune. These elves were known as the Quel’dorei, translated to ‘noble children’, or simply ‘high elves’.

The night elves found themselves leaning more towards a druidic type of magic – the magic that comes from nature and all living things. The quel’dorei, on the other hand, were much more attracted to power – the arcane power of the Well of Eternity, and the majority of them settled in the capital city in order to be nearer to the source of their magic. Both the night elves and the quel’dorei would go on to expand their civilization across the continent of Kalimdor, crushing the Amani and Gurubashi empires in the process and striking fear and awe into the hearts of those who witnessed their prowess. The civilization was stronger than ever, despite the split between the two factions of elves, and the power and magic they manipulated seemed to grant them an almost immortal status. Elves lived longer, thrived longer, fought harder and won more battles than any other species on the planet. Indeed, it seemed as if there was little that could overcome them, their mastery of magic being that adept.

This led to their ultimate folly. For the Well of Eternity was tied to the Great Dark Beyond, and where there was the space between everything and nothing, there was the Burning Legion. More specifically, there was Sargeras, whose attention was called to the little world due to the sheer amount of magical power upon it.

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History of the Night Elves – Well Well Well…

This week’s lore history focus is on one of the most complex races in Warcraft History – the Night Elves. The night elves are allied with the Alliance, all that is good and noble and pure in the land of Azeroth. But a deeper look into night elf history uncovers far less good intentions and noble behavior than one would be led to believe…

The history of the night elves is long, complicated, and spans over sixteen thousand years. That’s a whole lot of history to cover, so for today I’m going to focus on one of the more irritating points of contention in night elf history.  Where exactly did the night elves come from in the first place?

To answer this we have to go back to the beginning of Azeroth, when the world contained only one continent – Kalimdor.

The Well of Eternity

Once Upon A Time, there was a planet called Azeroth. And on this planet was a continent – a single one, named Kalimdor. Kalimdor was home to several races of beings, but the one we’re going to focus on for the moment is the troll.

The troll? Wait – wasn’t this supposed to be an article about the origins of night elves?

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