Monday, September 28, 2009

Warcraft Race Origins: Blood Elves

For the next installment of our examination of the history behind World of Warcraft's playable races we will be looking at the Horde's most recent additions: the Blood Elves.

The Blood Elves and the Night Elves are in fact the same race, the Kaldorei. The distant history of the Night Elves then adds a great deal to the Blood Elves origin story. Where the Night Elves rejected their racial lust for magic and turned to Druidism, the Blood Elves reveled in it.

After the Well of Eternity was destroyed by Sargeras, the Kaldorei nobility failed to learn from the lessons of their past and elected to seek out a new source of magical power. Known as High Elves because of their former prestige amongst the Kaldorei, the Elves battled back the Troll Amani Empire founded the kingdom of Quel'Thalas in Lordaron. At its heart, the High Elves created a new beacon of magical energy using water from the Well of Eternity. They called their new boon the Sunwell and it provided all the magical energy their addiction required. Aside from assaults from the Amani Trolls, which the High Elves battled back with the help of the Humans, the High Elves lived rather peacefully for many years.

Unfortunately, once again the Elves magical beacon attracted the wrong kind of attention. Requiring the Sunwell's power, the Lich King's avatar Arthas Menethil launched a massive Scourge assault on Quel'Thalas. Many High Elves were killed and the Sunwell was tainted. After the loss of the Sunwell, it became clear just how magic addicted the High Elves had become. As a result, the Humans began to forsake their former allies forcing the Elves to seek other comrades in their battle against the Scourage. Ultimately, they turned to the Naga, severing any ties which might have bound them with the Humans. In fact, the Humans began capturing the High Elves, including their leader Kael'thas, with the intention of putting them to death.

The leader of the Naga, Lady Vashj, came to the imprisoned Elves rescue, helping them escape to Outland. There, Kael'thas pledged allegiance to the only being who appeared capable of feeding his peoples hunger for magic, the "Lord" of Outland, Illidan Stormrage. Kael'thas sent a representative to those High Elves who remained on Azeroth promising his eventual return and an ultimate solution to the race's magic addiction. The Elves remaining on Azeroth, calling themselves Blood Elves because of the hardships they had endured, began preparations for their leader's return, motivated by their belief in his lofty promises.

In need of allies to fight the Amani and the Scourge, the Blood Elves turned to the Horde because all bridges with the Humans had been completely burned. After retaking much of their capital, Silvermoon, the Blood Elves came to discover the true nature of Kael'thas' solution to the Blood Elves addiction, feeding it by drawing on powerful demonic forces. Feeling betrayed and heart broken, the Blood Elves have attempted to carry on the reclamation and reconstruction of Quel'Thalas, but progress has been slow.

The Blood Elves are a broken people in a soon to be broken world. Addicted to magic and barely holding on to the remains of their kingdom, it is uncertain how the Blood Elves will fare when Azeroth is torn asunder. Perhaps the coming defeat of Arthas will give the former nobles the inspiration they need to defeat both their metaphorical and physical demons. Only time will tell.

Warcraft Race Origins: Gnomes
Warcraft Race Origins: Trolls
Warcraft Race Origins: Night Elves
Warcraft Race Origins: Tauren
Warcraft Race Origins: Humans
Warcraft Race Origins: Orcs
Warcraft Race Origins: Dwarves
Warcraft Race Origins: Forsaken
Warcraft Race Origins: Draenei
Warcraft Race Origins: Worgen
Warcraft Race Origins: Goblins

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