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The Blood Elves or Sin'dorei in Thalassian ("children of the blood"), are a race composed of former high elves who renamed themselves in honor of their people who were killed during the siege of Quel'Thalas by the Scourge during the Third War. The blood elves of Azeroth joined the Horde in the Burning Crusade expansion, seeking to reunite with Prince Kael'thas Sunstrider in Outland. They have since reclaimed their capital of Silvermoon City, situated in Eversong Woods. Lor'themar Theron led them in Kael'thas' absence. Now, having discovered Kael'thas' true objective (to summon Kil'jaeden to the world), the blood elves of Silvermoon have abandoned him. Lor'themar Theron, Halduron Brightwing and Grand Magister Rommath have been presiding over Silvermoon in the absence of any officially appointed leader.
Those now known as blood elves were once high elves. The transition came about during the Third War, when Prince Arthas turned his attention towards Quel'Thalas. The Scourge slew more than 90% of the high elven population, devastating their culture and leading to the renaming. Of the 10% of the high elven population that remained, 90% of them adopted the name Sin'dorei ("children of the blood") or Blood Elves. Prince Kael'thas Sunstrider was studying magic in Dalaran at the time of the disaster. He returned from his studies to find Quel'Thalas in ruins. Thirsting for vengeance, Kael'thas gathered the survivors and renamed them "blood elves" in honor of their fallen kin. Prior to the Sunwell's destruction, all high elves were constantly bathed in its magical power. Now bereft of this arcane energy, the blood elves (and high elves) suffered from their withdrawals. Kael'thas claimed that they would soon die without another magical source to replace the Sunwell. The blood elves therefore set about learning to drain magic from alternative sources.
Soon, the blood elves clashed with the Scourge and the Amani trolls, who were making inroads into former elven territory. The blood elves defended their homeland, and, eventually, having reestablished a degree of safety to their land and prevented their society from degenerating, Kael'thas left his homeland. He took a group of the strongest blood elf warriors and spell casters and joined the Alliance against the Scourge. They were eager to avenge themselves on the undead forces; however, bigotry prevented the human forces from seeing the aid the blood elves could bring to their fight. Due to those human prejudices, Kael'thas was forced to accept the assistance of the naga queen's servant, Lady Vashj, and the reptilian naga during a suicide mission commanded by Grand Marshall Garithos. When the humans discovered that the blood elves were working with the naga, they were imprisoned and sentenced to death by the racist human Grand Marshall Garithos (who had commanded the New Alliance). The blood elves who sided themselves with Kael'thas escaped with the aid of the naga, fled to Outland, and joined Illidan Stormrage's forces. This group of blood elves then helped defeat the demon Magtheridon and claimed his Black Citadel as their own.
In exchange for the blood elves' loyal service, Illidan gave them a place to live, as well as further techniques to siphon mana from anything with arcane power. Blood elves in Outland now hunt demons and feed off the demons' magic. As a consequence, despite what other races might suspect, blood elves are hardly on friendly terms with demons. Indeed, blood elves view demons with abhorrence as well. Even blood elf warlocks believe demons are useful tools, not potential allies. It should be noted that while many Blood Elves that followed Kael'thas to Outland fed upon fel energy, this was not the case for the Blood elves that remained on Azeroth that fed primarily upon mana. Not every blood elf lives in Outland and most blood elves still live in Azeroth, particularly in Quel'Thalas. These blood elves seek to reclaim their lost homeland and destroy the Scourge at any cost. A lone representative, Rommath, was sent back to Azeroth with a message of hope for the blood elves remaining in Quel'Thalas: That one day Kael'thas would return to lead his people to paradise. Rommath has made great progress in teaching the blood elves advanced techniques to manipulate arcane energies. With renewed purpose, the blood elves have now rebuilt the city of Silvermoon, though it is powered by volatile magics. Emboldened by the promise of Kael'thas' return, the weary citizens of Quel'Thalas now focus on regaining their strength, even as they forge a new path into an uncertain future. While they despise most other races, they have come to accept that the Forsaken are different, or at least share the same goals as the blood elves. The blood elves in Outland do not give the Alliance or the Horde much thought. They are busy seeking power and honing their abilities.
Ten thousand years ago, during the reign of the night elf Queen Azshara, there was an elite magic-using sect known as the Highborne, who dabbled in magics that many other elves considered heretical by drawing upon the power of the Well of Eternity. Fiercely loyal to their queen, the Highborne opened a number of portals under her direction that brought forth the Burning Legion, triggering the War of the Ancients. Some time after the Great Sundering, most of the surviving Highborne were exiled from Kalimdor and settled in the eastern continent, founding the kingdom of Quel'Thalas. They became known as high elves. During this time, they created the Sunwell, and switched to a diurnal waking cycle. Their purple skin eventually faded to a pale peach color, like that of some humans and dwarves as well as shrinking in stature (and posture).
For the history of the high elves in the years between their exile and the Third War, see high elf.
During the Third War, Prince Arthas led his army of the Scourge against them, ravaging Quel'Thalas and corrupting the Sunwell. Most of what was left of Quel'Thalas was burned down by the high elves in an effort to give the Scourge a psychological victory and leave the few high elves left who were making their last stand on Sunstrider Isle. Despite their efforts, most of the high elven population were eradicated during this conflict. In remembrance of their fallen brethren, most of them renamed themselves the blood elves, or sin'dorei, and swore to avenge their fallen race.
Cut off from their source of power once again, the elves went into magic withdrawal. Desperate for aid following the Third War, the blood elves allied with the naga. This was seen as treachery by the New Alliance led by Garithos and they were sentenced to death. Prince Kael'thas Sunstrider led his followers to freedom, to the extra dimensional wastes of Outland, the remnants of Draenor, and pledged allegiance to Illidan who promised to grant them a new source of magic by siphoning the chaotic energies of demons. Together with their allies the naga, Illidan led the blood elves to conquer Outland, gaining in the process the friendship of the nearly extinct Broken. The blood elves then followed Illidan to the Icecrown Glacier in an attempt to destroy the Lich King; however, they were defeated by Arthas, who wounded Illidan, forcing the blood elves and naga to retreat, allowing Arthas to ascend the glacier and merge with the Lich King. During the Northrend events, the most powerful blood elves were chosen by Arthas to serve the Scourge as darkfallen, members of the San'layn.
But not all blood elves currently reside in Outland with Illidan: Some have remained in Azeroth. Flushed with their newfound ability to siphon mana from creatures of the Twisting Nether, the blood elves have managed to retake their beloved land of Quel'Thalas. Silvermoon has been rebuilt and the resident blood elves there plot to return to Outland, where they can reunite with Kael'thas and achieve the golden destiny he promised them.
Unfortunately, the decisions of Kael'thas to continually accept the aid of the naga and willingness to use fel magic have caused blood elves to be shunned by the Alliance. Thus, the remaining blood elves on Azeroth looked to the Horde to help them reach Outland. Addiction to fel magics and the desperate search for a cure are things the Orcs are very familiar with, and many older orcs who've experienced similar addictions feel a kinship with the blood elves. The trolls who have been the ancient enemy of all quel'dorei since antiquity accepted them warily.
The Forsaken have been working closely with the blood elves to purge the greater Plaguelands of Scourge presence since their induction. Lor'themar Theron was Sylvanas Windrunner's second in command during the Second Battle of Quel'Thalas, and many Forsaken were high elves culled from the same battle. The aid provided by the Forsaken has included reinforcements, a number of outposts in and around the reclaimed blood elf territories, and a teleportation device between the Undercity and Silvermoon.
In Burning Crusade
This section concerns content exclusive to The Burning Crusade.
As of the events that followed in The Burning Crusade, the blood elves are caught in the throes of constant combat: with the Scourge presence emanating from Deatholme on one hand; and continued raids and attacks coming from the Amani trolls, who maintain their own holdings within the ruins and ziggurats of Zul'Aman on the other. Under direction from leaders within the Ghostlands, young Sin'dorei ventured forth and worked to disrupt the Scourge efforts, culminating with the eventual battle with and death of their leader, Dar'Khan Drathir. This set in motion the events that allowed the blood elves to be accepted into the Horde.
Meanwhile, the blood elves that had remained in Silvermoon began to find their way to the Dark Portal and Outland in search of their prince and believed-to-be savior. Their search for Kael'thas instead led to a most shocking discovery: Kael'thas' lust for power had led him to break off his alliance with Illidan and pledge his loyalties to Kil'jaeden and the Burning Legion, the very creators of the Scourge that destroyed their beloved Quel'Thalas. A group of blood elves who had originally entered Outland with the prince recognized him for the betrayer he was and, in turn, betrayed him. This group, known as the Scryers, pledged their loyalties to A'dal and the naaru of Shattrath City and worked in concert with them (and to some extent the Aldor, though they were more rivals than anything) to bring down Kael'thas as well as his erstwhile allies Illidan and Lady Vashj. Eventually they would assault Kael's stronghold at the former draenei complex of Tempest Keep and presumably defeat him, though events would prove this to be "but a setback..."
Soon after the defeat of Vashj and Illidan, Kael'thas made his next bold move: he and his felbloods managed to gain entrance into Silvermoon, kidnap the naaru M'uru that Kael had sent to the Blood Knights from Tempest Keep to use as a source of magic, and spirited him off to the Isle of Quel'Danas. There they hoped to restart the Sunwell for the purpose of summoning Kil'Jaeden into Azeroth. Such was the depths of Sunstrider’s betrayal that the Blood Knights, under the leadership of their matriarch Lady Liadrin, renounced his leadership and pledged their support to A'dal and the Sha'tar. Working with the Scryers and the Aldor factions in Shattrath City to create the Shattered Sun Offensive, they took the fight to Kael on the isle. Inside the Magisters' Terrace, the much-diminished former Sun King faced these unified forces (and heroes of the Horde and Alliance) and was ultimately brought to his final defeat.
The Sunwell Restored
After the encounter involving Kil'jaeden, it appeared that the Sunwell's powers were exhausted due to Anveena sacrificing herself, banishing Kil'jaeden back to the Twisting Nether; however, Prophet Velen and Lady Liadrin appeared to the scene shortly afterwards. Velen dropped M'uru's small flickering "spark" into the Sunwell and, with that, a huge pillar of light emerged from the Sunwell, at which Velen responded: "In time, the light and hope within,[sic] will rebirth more than this mere fount of power... Mayhap - they will rebirth the soul of a nation."
In Wrath of the Lich King
This section concerns content exclusive to Wrath of the Lich King.
After the Lich King attacked Azeroth both the Horde and Alliance rallied to launch a counter attack and end the threat of the Lich King once and for all. However the Lich King was not the only threat as Malygos the Spellweaver decided to destroy all mortal magic users that would not align themselves with the blue dragonflight. Thanks to the efforts of Aethas Sunreaver and the Sunreavers the Horde was allowed entry into Dalaran. Both the Horde and Alliance helped the Argent Crusade with creating the Argent Tournament through the Sunreavers and Silver Covenant respectively.
Blood elves between the Third War and World of Warcraft were physically identical to high elves, save that they dressed primarily in blacks and reds to remind themselves of their terrible losses. Many painted runes or mysterious tattoos on their faces, arms and shoulders for warding off demons or celebrating significant kills or simply to look intimidating — something high elves would never do. As well, they adopted hairstyles that went against the norms of high elf society. Nevertheless when approaching Alliance towns blood elves would often disguise themselves as high elves to avoid harm. Sin'dorei also likely have long life spans, and as well, they may grow old and age in a similar way to high elves. How fast they age is unknown but there is evidence of some Sin'dorei being old enough to have existed since their exile from their Kaldorei cousins.
Blood elven males typically have slender, muscular, and athletic bodies. They also possess long pointy ears, acute senses and keen sight in the darkness. Night elves have long, slanted ears while blood elves' ears are shorter and tend to point upwards. Blood elven females can possess much the same, albeit typically sporting a slim elven physique. Like all elves, blood elves are considered highly attractive by the standards of most mortal races.
While it was once believed that blood elves and high elves were exactly the same biological race, separated more by cultural differences than physiological ones, it has since been determined that they are, in fact, beginning to evolve into a separate race, due largely to their consumption of mana from primarily fel sources. This reliance on fel magic causes the eyes of blood elves to glow green. This readily available source of energy also tends to give blood elves a ruddier or paler look compared to their quel'dorei cousins. A blood elf can appear like a high elf bearing odd red tattoos across his or her face and arms. However, his or her hair and skin is much paler than that of a high elf, their eyes glint with a green light, and they wear blood-red robes. These represent signs of evolution from their high elven cousins, and it is believed that, with time, they may become as physically distant to high elves as satyrs are to night elves.
Recently, those blood elves which were most loyal to Kael'thas Sunstrider have been gifted by Kil'jaeden with the privilege of engorging themselves on copious amounts of demonic blood, seemingly hastening their demonic evolution into what have come to be known as felblood elves, developing a variety of demonic traits in the process. Those blood elves and high elves who succumb to their magical addiction and descend into madness are counted among the Wretched.
Although in lore, their eyes are said to be green, they have been shown to be different in some sources:
In The Frozen Throne, blood elven eyes were depicted white and pupil-less, both in-game and in official artwork. A possible explanation for this is that when the blood elves first began to feed on demonic magic, it took a while for their eyes to change to the green they are known for today. However, since they were deprived of the magic of the Sunwell their eyes lost their blue hue and became white. This is probably false though, since when Valeera Sanguinar absorbed the magic of a naga Sea Witch's trident, her eyes instantly turned purple, the color of the magic in the trident.
In classic World of Warcraft, blood elves had normal white eyes with pupils. The Sunwell Trilogy also depicted them with this appearance. A possible explanation is that all blood elves having green eyes in World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade is simply an exaggeration by Blizzard to help differentiate blood and high elf NPCs, or it's simply a mistake by Blizzard.
Blood elves wear crimson-colored robes to suggest their fiery affiliation and the blood of the fallen elves in Quel'Thalas. Many concentrate on studying arcane and fire magic, as opposed to the traditional frost and water spells of their lost high elf society.
Blood elf architecture is much like high elf architecture (Allerian Stronghold as an example of high elf architecture in-game) it involves pendulous creations of wondrous curves and columns, its designs natural, floral, flowing, animal, and borrows much from the French Art Nouveau style. Certain buildings share remarkable resemblance to French-European Christian Era architectures. Their fountains seem to defy physical boundaries, creating or warping water in impossible ways. Blood elves have flags that feature a phoenix. In the Third War, blood mages had the ability to call phoenixes from the Elemental Plane of fire. These creatures appear to be deeply connected with the blood elves, possibly because they share a destructive nature, or perhaps due to their purely magical composition. This could allow the blood elves to have increased control over them. Since the phoenix dies and becomes reborn, it could be a symbol for the blood elves — the blood elves metaphorically 'died' as high elves and were reborn as blood elves.
Since the destruction of the Sunwell at the hands of Arthas and the Scourge, the blood elves have been forced to deal with the sudden relapse of their addiction to arcane energy. A constant curse since the original Well of Eternity was destroyed, the addiction has become more powerful than ever. Blood elves and Highelves spend their waking days struggling with their weakness, seeking either to sate it by siphoning magical energy from their surroundings or to resist the urge to feed.
Due to their addiction, a blood elf must spend one hour each morning in meditation, resisting any distractions from their withdrawal. Blood elves have learned to slake their thirst through the art of Mana tapping, which involves absorbing mana from items and, in the case of bloodelves, living things such as "small mana-bearing vermin".  Within the Warcraft RPG, it is stated that blood elves slaked their thirst through the absorption of fel energies. It is also stated that if a blood elf partakes of demon’s blood, the magic addiction abates for a number of days. This is later debunked with the non-canonization of the RPG. While the blood elves do not abstain from draining arcane power directly, they are careful to keep their addictions under control, keeping the power their new abilities offer while maintaining self-discipline. Those who lose control over their addiction change into Wretched, and invariably fall into insanity and corruption.
As Arcanist Helion (a starting zone quest NPC) says, "Control your thirst for magic... It is a thirst unending."
It is unknown what state of magical addiction they are in after the Sunwell was restored.
Many blood elves are warlocks or mages, though some become hunters, scouts, or warriors — especially those seeking to be spell breakers, demon hunters, and rangers. A few continue to draw power from the Light and remain priests and later, paladins. Some blood elves take their demonic obsession one step further and become felsworn, while others choose to draw on the magic of the Legion and become blood mages.
Most blood elves are not insane or evil—they just choose to fight fire with fire. They are suffering due to the loss of their precious Sunwell; they all needed—and still need—to feed on arcane energies, even though most of them aren't spellcasters. The most powerful blood elf spellcasters are insane, as the magic they wield is corrupting. On the other hand, the Farstriders, using little magic, are considered to be the epitome of selfless dedication. This blood elven sect is considered valiant, honorable and noble on the official site.
While they hate most races, they have come to accept the Forsaken, as they share the same goals. The western Horde recognizes the blood elves as dangerous, volatile and ultimately destructive. They are on neutral terms with the western Horde, though they still have the idea of them being barbaric.
Blood elves feel betrayed by the Alliance and are enemies of both humanity and the night elves. The blood elves try to draw the remaining high elves into their fold — a concept the high elves view with horror and revulsion. Indeed, the existence of the blood elves demonstrates the depth of the corruption possible for this once mighty race, and the high elves see them as a dire warning. Many high elves seek to make amends for evils wrought by their demented kin. Blood elves get along well with the naga — with whom they share Highborne ancestry — and other independent factions. They are not welcome in Alliance lands. The Alliance represents all that the blood elves hate in the world. The humans led the Exodus from Lordaeron, abandoning the blood elves to the Scourge, taking many high elves with them. The high elves are weak; they have potential to reach blood elf status, but they will not embrace the power and therefore are of little use. The night elves are remembered as the elves who banished them from their homes so very long ago, and those grudges still run deep. The other races are disliked merely for their representation in the Alliance — the friend of my enemy is my enemy, so to speak. The Alliance view them as dangerous (and mad, in some cases). The arcane spellcasters in the Alliance agree that the blood elves have gone too far in their quest for power — even the high elves are sickened and frightened by their former allies' loss of compassion and self-control. The blood elves have little use for the Alliance, and the downfall of this faction is next on their list after they have purged the Scourge from Lordaeron. However, this view may have changed as with King Varian's return as he has come to understand their position through Valeera Sanguinar.
The blood elves consider the naga their allies and friends. The other neutral races that interest them are the goblins and some of dark trolls. The goblins are the only merchants who will sell to the blood elves without prejudice; if an Alliance or Horde merchant would even allow a blood elf to look at her goods, she would most certainly raise the prices astronomically. The troll tribes often have items or information of use to the blood elves, and they hate the night elves with almost the same passion.
Many blood elves have insinuated their way back into the world and seek out places rich in magical power — such as Ashenvale Forest. Some blood elves, steeped so thick in pain and anger, have joined the Shadow Council in Felwood.
Notable blood elves
Illidari Council In the December 2005 issue of Computer Gaming World, Metzen had said blood elves are not an evil race.
Tensions from the aftermath of the Second War have become burning hatreds. The high elves officially withdrew from the Alliance after the Second War under the belief that not enough troops were sent to protect Quel'Thalas, and thus led to a needlessly engorged amount of slaughter and destruction. A few high elves remained under their own volition to continue serving the Alliance, but the loyalty of even these voluntary troops waned after the second sacking of Quel'Thalas by Arthas — who had recently destroyed his own kingdom — to which the remnants of the Alliance of Lordaeron took no steps in intervening. Finally, with Lord Garithos's dismissive, blatantly racist treatment of blood elven troops and attempt to execute many blood elves for accepting boats from naga, even more fell under the sway of Kael'thas' new vision for his people.
As a result, blood elves are fierce jingoists, believing that the only people they can truly trust are their own. They are perceived as reckless and haughty, exhibiting none of the serenity or calm judgment of their ancestral peoples, and jumping at opportunity and quick solutions with little regard for the consequences. They believe power is not something to be earned — it is to be taken. Power is something to be manipulated for yourself and the greater good of all blood elves. This reasoning also plays into how the blood elves successfully drained pure Light energy from the naaru to become Blood Knights, and paying no interest to the paladin credos of benevolence or balance with the universe (although regular paladins can unknowingly be corrupt). This may have changed with the Blood Knights' introduction to the Shattered Sun Offensive, however.
Indeed, one can even argue that — while they officially are a monarchy undergoing an interregnum — the blood elves border on being a fascist state. Their contempt for other races and feelings of superiority to them, their aggressive use of propaganda (such as the Arcane Guardians promoting a messianic view of first Kael'thas and then Lor'themar) and mind-control (such as the silencing of the dissidents in the Silvermoon City Bazaar), and their general "us against the world" attitude all are hallmarks of historical real-world fascist governments. Only time will tell whether continued cooperation with and exposure to the other Horde races and their philosophies will begin to change the blood elves' view of the world and their place in it.
The official World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade webpage mentions blood elves having a "dark destiny". This likely refers to the fact that blood elves under Kael'thas had joined with the Burning Legion, under the demonic Illidan and the naga. This likely is not in reference to the majority of blood elves who were left on Azeroth who do not know about Kael'thas' decision. Indeed, many of those back on Azeroth chose to turn against Kael'thas when they learned of it. A large faction of blood elves previously under the direct command of Kael'thas defected, and are now known as the Scryers, and currently operate to fight against the prince.
Blood elf physical traits are likely to be passed down genetically, though it is also possible that some traits may also be passed down from mothers to children while they are in the womb, or even by breast feeding. Given that most of these traits are the result of exposure to fel energy and not withdrawal (the surviving high elves do not suffer any withdrawal symptoms other than a slightly more haggard appearance), they have been theorized to be permanent, as with the color of orcish skin, changing from brown to green when the race was corrupted with the blood of demons.
From a gameplay standpoint it is unlikely that the green eyes would be changed as aside from faction, this is the only way players can tell apart Blood and High Elf Npcs.
Could blood elves rejoin the high elves?
With the recent developments of the banishment of Kil'jaeden and the restoration of the Sunwell, one could argue that the blood elves have in effect been restored to high elves or could return to being high elves. The elves no longer have to turn to fel magic to feed their addiction, and it has been speculated that the Sunwell's energies can reverse the physical changes that come with fel consumption (although there is not yet any evidence to support this), hinting at the possibility of reconciliation.
At this point, however, there are many cultural differences between the high elves and the blood elves, and there are probably only a handful of blood elves who would even choose to revert. On the flip side, most high elves regard the blood elves as traitors, and would not take them back. This is later confirmed with Wrath of the Lich King, where in Dalaran, a faction of high elves, the Silver Covenant stand as direct opposition of the blood elves, the Sunreavers in Dalaran despite the fact that with the Sunwells return the blood elves no longer have to consume fel energies.
Despite this opposition, some blood elves continue to hold the desire to unify their once glorious race. A prime example of this mindset is Tae'thelan Bloodwatcher, the leader of the Reliquary. His goal to cure the elves of their addiction for good, through controlled methods, combined with the Sin'dorei allowing their cousins access to the Sunwell, could see the already small gap between the two sides of the Silvermoon coin become even smaller.
- The Thalassian name for the Blood Elves, Sin'dorei, could be inspired by one of the elven languages mentioned in The Lord of the Rings, Sindarin.
- Blood elf (playable)
- Rise of the Blood Elves, from the History of Warcraft
- History of the blood elves
- List of blood elves in Azeroth
- Blood elf units in Warcraft III
- Blood elf controversy
- ^ a b c d e f g Monster Guide, pg. 64
- ^ a b c d e f Monster Guide, pg. 65
- ^ World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade manual, pg. 12-13
- ^ Wrath of the Lich King game manual, 9
- ^ a b c d Alliance & Horde Compendium, pg. 15
- ^ a b Alliance & Horde Compendium, pg. 68
- ^ http://www.worldofwarcraft.com/info/encyclopedia/339.xml
- ^ Alliance & Horde Compendium, pg. 6-7, 14-15, 67-69
- ^ Monster Guide, pg. 54-55
- ^ Alliance & Horde Compendium, pg. 16
- ^ Blood of the Highborne
- ^ https://us.battle.net/forums/en/wow/topic/2721372142
- ^ http://pc.gamespy.com/pc/world-of-warcraft-expansion/662489p1.html
- ^ Monster Guide, pg. 64-65
- ^ . Computer Gaming World, December 2005
- ^ http://www.worldofwarcraft.com/burningcrusade/townhall/index.html