Death knight, Demon hunter, Druid, Hunter, Mage, Monk, Priest, Rogue, WarriorAssassin, Archdruid, Archer, Dark ranger, Huntress, Hippogryph rider, Paladin, Priestess of the Moon, Ranger, Scout, Sentinel, Sorcerer, Warden Druid of the Claw, Druid of the Talon
Night elves (or kaldorei, for "children of the stars" in Darnassian), are a powerful and mystical race whose origins extend back to ancient times, being one of the longest-lived and most ancient cultures in existence today. These then-immortal beings were among the first to study magic and let it loose throughout the world nearly ten thousand years before the First War. The founders of a magical and advanced civilization which at its peak spanned the breadth of ancient Kalimdor, the night elves came into a horrific conflict with the Burning Legion but achieved a Pyrrhic victory that ended in the Great Sundering, turning Kalimdor's landmass into the continents of the present age. The devastation wrought by the chain of events birthed in conceit caused a wholesale shift in direction. Until very recently, the night elves abandoned and completely outlawed the use of arcane magic, fearing its use would draw the Legion back to their world.
The main survivors of the Sundering crafted a radically different society centered around druidism, striving to live in harmony and co-existence with nature and its inhabitants, and essentially becoming "venerable guardians" of the natural world as well as the World Tree Nordrassil instead of ruling most of Azeroth as its foremost superpower, in addition reconnecting with the widespread worship of their moon goddess Elune, under the guidance of their leaders Malfurion Stormrage and Tyrande Whisperwind. The night elves established their newest capital Darnassus in the boughs of the World Tree Teldrassil off the coasts of northwestern Kalimdor in recent times, where it stood as a living symbol of the night elves' rich culture and glorious history.
The far-reaching and ancient legacy of the night elves shaped them into a race of very self-sufficient and self-conscious individuals, who often display strong streaks of isolationism and eons of accumulated ancient wisdom. The night elves ended a long period of seclusion referred to as the Long Vigil in the aftermath of the Third War, standing with refugees from the Eastern Kingdoms during the Battle of Mount Hyjal. They then began to associate themselves with the Alliance, at least partly in response to the Horde's continued presence in Ashenvale.
The early night elf priests and seers studied the Well with an insatiable curiosity, driven to plumb its untold secrets and power. As their society grew, the night elves explored the breadth of Kalimdor and encountered its myriad denizens. The trees, flowers, and woodland creatures watched the night elves flourish, whispering news of them to the Wild Gods of Mount Hyjal. In time, the night elves' curiosity led them to meet and befriend a number of powerful entities, not the least of which was Cenarius, a mighty demigod of the primordial forestlands. The great-hearted Cenarius grew fond of the inquisitive night elves, claiming kinship with their race and spending a great deal of time teaching them about the natural world. Cenarius adored the night elves and believed they had the potential to become great caretakers of nature. He befriended the fledgling race and taught them about the natural world. It was Cenarius' hope that the night elves would strive to live in harmony with the wilds. Some night elves were so transformed by the teachings of the demigod that they never left his realm, choosing to remain by Cenarius' side as his defenders. These few would cease to be elves and became woodland guardians physically altered forever.
The tranquil kaldorei developed a strong empathy for the living forests of Kalimdor and reveled in the harmonious balance of nature. This grew alongside their curiosity of the Well and their continuous draw to its arcane essence. For many centuries, the night elves lived in harmony and balance with the world and their natural affinity for the arcane. They built a graceful society around the Well of Eternity and the capital of their small nation Elun'dris or "the Eye of Elune" sat on the shores of the font of power, where they continued uncovering the secrets of the Well and honing their ties with the surrounding woodlands and their myriad inhabitants. The only creatures that gave them pause were the ancient and powerful dragons. Though the great serpentine beasts were often reclusive, they did much to safeguard the known lands from potential threats. The night elves believed that the dragons held themselves to be the protectors of the world, and that they and their secrets were best left alone. Cenarius guided the night elves when necessary, pleased by the wisdom and benevolence that thrummed in their hearts.
In time, many of the night elves yearned for a different life, drawn to the arcane, they became obsessed with unlocking the Well of Eternity's secrets. They rigorously studied the fount's arcane energies becoming learned sorcerers. They harnessed the powers of the arcane lake and constructed wondrous temples and roadways around it. Magic became an inseparable part of life as the night elves reveled in the power at their fingertips. Pushing the boundaries of their intellect became the driving force of their culture. It was during this era of unprecedented growth that Queen Azshara came to power. She was adored by night elves of every social standing, seemingly immune to the ire the lower castes developed against some of their Highborne nobles. The elves were so enamored with her that they renamed their wondrous capital Zin-Azshari, or "the Glory of Azshara". Sharing the priests' curiosity towards the Well of Eternity, Azshara pushed the educated Highborne to plumb its secrets and reveal its true purpose in the world. The Highborne buried themselves in their work and studied the Well ceaselessly.
The night elf empire then started their rise to power by defeating the nearby troll tribes. Against their enemies, the kaldorei used overwhelming military power, their armies supported by Elune's blessings. The night elves' greatest soldiers were bestowed the goddess' fury through dangerous rituals, and these Night Warriors secured Kalimdor for the empire.
But only the openly hostile troll nations drew the full attention of the elves. Despite their battles with the trolls, the night elves had built up the mighty Kaldorei Empire that expanded rapidly across Kalimdor. Not since the Black Empire in ages past had a territory grown so vast in size and scope. The immense influence Azshara held over the world and its denizens eclipsed even Lei Shen's wildest dreams of power. Empowered by the Well and wielding fierce magics never before imagined by the trolls, the night elves soon threatened the two greatest empires on Azeroth: the Amani and Gurubashi.
The night elves systematically dismantled the troll's defenses and supply chains. Unable to counter the elves' destructive magics, the trolls buckled under the onslaught. The territories of the Gurubashi and Amani empires fragmented within only a few years. The elves however were not interested in more conquest. In the eyes of Queen Azshara, the trolls were a minor nuisance, their battle lust a symptom of primitive and unenlightened minds. Ultimately, the queen struck an accord with the Zandalar tribe, which held immense influence over all other trolls. In exchange for ending troll incursions into night elf territory, the Zandalari would be allowed to keep the sacred Zandalar Mountains south of the Well of Eternity. Fully aware they stood no chance against their enemies' arcane powers, the trolls begrudgingly agreed. The night elves' shockingly quick victory and the trolls' shameful acquiescence fostered the trolls' deep resentment and eternal hatred toward night elves, lasting to this very day.
Yet, as the seemingly endless ages passed, the night elves' civilization expanded both territorially and culturally. Their temples, roads, and dwelling places stretched across the breadth of the dark continent. Azshara built an immense, wondrous palace on the Well's shore that housed her favored servitors within its bejeweled halls. There the most powerful nobles, whom she called the Quel'dorei or "Highborne", doted on her every command and believed themselves to be greater than the rest of their lower-caste brethren. The leaders of regions in the night elf empire were called prince/princess, such as Prince Tortheldrin of Eldre'Thalas, Prince Farondis of Azsuna, and Prince Toreth of Loreth'Aran.
They continued developing the ability to manipulate and control the Well's cosmic energies to great heights and power not wielded before, even today. Azshara believed the night elves so far had only tapped a small portion of its power. As their reckless experiments progressed, the Highborne found that they could wield the cosmic powers of the universe to either create or destroy with devastating effect at their leisure. Although they agreed that arcane magic was inherently dangerous if handled irresponsibly, Azshara and her Highborne began to practice their spellcraft with reckless abandon performing increasingly dangerous experiments causing waves of arcane energy cascading into the Twisting Nether.
Cenarius and many of the wizened night elf scholars warned that only calamity would result from such abuse. Cenarius had watched the night elf empire expand with growing unease. Year by year, he became increasingly frustrated with the hubris and thoughtless actions of the sorcerous Highborne. The majority of night elf society continued honoring the old ways of revering the wilds. The fact that these folk still lived in harmony with the land alongside their great magical advancement warmed Cenarius' heart, but he knew that they had no influence over Azshara and her arrogant followers whose regard for living in harmony lessened as their power and arrogance grew. As time passed, the night elves began eschewing diplomacy and largely ignored Azeroth's other cultures. Azshara's dogmatic beliefs regarding racial purity seeped into the night elves' psyche, creating an atmosphere rife with xenophobia. But, Azshara and her followers stubbornly continued to expand their burgeoning powers. 041b061a72