Nielas Aran was the court conjurer of Stormwind, an archmage of Kirin Tor, advisor to the throne, acolyte of the Order of Tirisfal, and father and teacher of the sorcerer Medivh. Of all the mages, wizards, conjurers, and sorcerers, he had the most potential to protect and strengthen Medivh.
Meeting with Aegwynn
Aegwynn planned to give birth to a son whom she would divest her power to. She had no intention of allowing the Order of Tirisfal to manipulate her successor as they had tried to manipulate her. Traveling to the southern nation of Azeroth, Aegwynn found the perfect man to father her son: a skilled human magician known as Nielas Aran. Aegwynn thought he would be the perfect mortal father to her son, and so he was. By the time Aegwynn met him, Aran was the court conjurer and advisor for Azeroth's king. Aegwynn seduced the magician and conceived a son by him. Nielas's natural affinity for magic would run deep within the unborn child and define the tragic steps the child would later take. The power of Tirisfal was also implanted in the child, yet it wasn't to awaken until he reached physical maturity.
Aegwynn left the baby Medivh in the care of his father and his people at Stormwind Keep. On the eve of Medivh's Age of Ascension, Medivh awoke to fevered dreams, and sought his father. Upon merely touching the boy, a backlash of energies poured from the child, and only the combined powers of a hundred clerics and the Conjurer himself were able to properly contain him. Medivh and Nielas were locked in a magical trance for hours or possibly days, before, finally, they both collapsed. Nielas was dead, drained of all life, and Medivh was in a deep sleep. Medivh was taken to Northshire to be tended by the Clerics.
Trapped in Karazhan
Nielas Aran is dead, but he does not slumber peacefully in death; a boss called the Shade of Aran — a white-haired human mage — appears in the Guardian's Library in Medivh's tower of Karazhan. It has been confirmed that this ghost is in fact that of Nielas Aran, though how he became trapped in his son's tower is unknown. After arriving in Karazhan, he took Medivh's Journal from Kamsis and now carries it with him.
It is possible, considering that it was well known that mysterious visions lurked the halls of Karazhan, that Nielas' spirit was drawn to the tower because of a vision experienced by Khadgar decades before - showing Nielas and Aegwynn shortly after Medivh was conceived. Alternatively, Nielas's death could have occurred within Karazhan and his spirit simply remained there.
- Two Random Archmages from Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos had part of his name: Aran Spellweaver and Fordred Aran.
- The armor worn by his WoW model is the D2 mage set, Sorcerer's Regalia.
- In Warcraft: Orcs & Humans he appeared just as an unnamed character in the manual, referred simply as the "father" of Medivh. In Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness he was given a name.