Once an esteemed magister, Dar'Khan Drathir would become one of Quel'Thalas' greatest traitors. His limitless ambition, combined with his egotistical mindset, made him an easy pawn for the forces of the Lich King. Empowered by the treacherous Prince Arthas himself, Dar'Khan opened the way for the Scourge to enter Quel'Thalas and ravage the land in their march to the Sunwell.
|Race||High elf (Undead)|
|Affiliation(s)||Scourge, Cult of the Damned|
|Former affiliation(s)||Quel'Thalas, Magisters|
|Occupation||Commander of the Scourge in Quel'Thalas|
|Location||Tower of the Damned in Deatholme, Ghostlands|
While Dar'Khan has met death several times (execution by Arthas, vaporization by Anveena, and killed with an enchanted arrow by Lor'themar Theron), he has consistently managed to cheat his fate and return from the grave. Most recently, he was resurrected by the Lich King and now resides at the fortress of Deatholme in the southern Ghostlands, where he commands the Scourge in Quel'Thalas. His presence at the doorstep of Quel'Thalas was one of the primary obstacles preventing the blood elves' full acceptance into the Horde.
Dar'Khan Drathir spent his childhood at Dawnstar Spire. At some point he researched the Void, and the bulk of his research was conducted there. He discovered the fragments of an ancient world teetering on the brink of the Void itself, which held an ancient object of unspeakable might. Thousand of years later, Dar'Khan's research would lead to the creation of the void elves.
As a magister of Quel'Thalas, Dar'Khan used the Sunwell to help construct the cities, shape the land, and attain whatever the high elves desired. At some point, he was sent to aid Priestess Liadrin in uncovering the mystery behind a runestone malfunction, though was captured and slated for torture. Beaten and exhausted, Dar'Khan struggled to free the group, though eventually succeeded in mustering the energy for a teleportation spell. The experience was the start of a friendship between himself, Liadrin, Galell, and future Regent Lord Lor'themar Theron, all of whom had survived the ordeal together.
Dar'Khan was a highly ambitious and egotistical elf, feeling he was never duly rewarded for his deeds. He greatly coveted the position of Grand Magister of Quel'Thalas, though was unable to attain it. Lack of recognition for his part in high elf society coupled with his own egotistical nature, pushed him down a dark path and he began to secretly develop his own magics, as well as an obsession with the Sunwell. Frustrated by a lack of progress, Dar'Khan was elated when Prince Arthas reached out to aid him, and pledged his loyalty to the despoiler of Lordaeron.
Manipulated and strengthened by his "Blessed Lord", it was his friendship with Lor'themar that allowed Dar'Khan to help Arthas and his army slip through the Thalassian defenses, slaughtering his own comrades in the process, all the while believing that Arthas was helping him to fulfill his desire for the Sunwell's power. Dar'Khan was tasked with binding the Sunwell, to ensure Ban'dinoriel could not protect the kingdom from the undead onslaught. Dar'Khan left for the Sunwell Plateau, and murdered several members of the Convocation of Silvermoon; though the first kill was difficult, he came to revel in the carnage as his murders became more frequent. Dar'Khan succeeded in his mission, though could not help but have a "taste" of the power that awaited him.
After the resurrection of Kel'Thuzad, Dar'Khan - having attempted to betray Arthas, just as he had betrayed his own people - was killed by the death knight, a fact that pleased the recently-raised banshee Sylvanas Windrunner to no end. At some point afterwards, he was brought back in the service of the Scourge.
The Sunwell Trilogy
The corrupted Sunwell would be later destroyed by Prince Kael'thas, but Dar'Khan realized that some of the magical pond's power had survived the incident. Drathir was sent by the Lich King to track down where the remaining magic had gone.
Following years of fruitless searching he finally neared his goal, detecting the Sunwell's presence near a peasant girl named Anveena Teague, who had also drawn attention from members of the blue dragonflight. Dar'Khan disguised himself as a human prince and hired the dragon hunter Harkyn Grymstone to hunt down any dragon that would be drawn to the Sunwell's essence.
Dar'Khan, now skilled in necromancy and commanding Scourge forces, attempted to capture Anveena and ascertain the power's whereabouts. He led failed attempts at her home and again in Tarren Mill where he was defeated by Tyrygosa. He then finally came to the realization that Anveena was, in fact, an avatar of the Sunwell's power in humanoid form. Kidnapping her in Alterac Mountains and spiriting her to the ruined lands of Quel'Thalas, now known as the Ghostlands, he confronted her with the truth of her existence.
Dar'Khan then attempted to cast a spell which would allow him to absorb the energies from her, however with the aid of her allies, Anveena manifested the Sunwell's power and wielded it against him. More lich than a living being, he made a final desperate attempt to drain the energy from her directly, but was unable to withstand its brilliance and was burned away.
Blood of the Highborne
Against all odds, Dar'Khan had somehow survived his pulverization at the hands of Anveena, and was once again reanimated as a puppet of the Scourge. Two years after his previous death, the Lich King, intrigued by the possibility of Light-wielding warriors who adhered to no particular moral code, had tasked Drathir with luring out members of the new Blood Knight Order to be slain and raised into undeath. Dar'Khan, delighting in the notion of forcing Lady Liadrin to attack her beloved Silvermoon, left a number of clues regarding the delivery of the Stone of Light, Stone of Flame, and Stone of Spark to focus scrutiny on Dawnstar Spire and draw out an adequate number of knights. Posing as a man named "Thadirr," Dar'Khan ambushed the elves with an undead horde at his back, though Lor'themar had seen through his deceit and arrived with Astalor Bloodsworn and the royal guard to kill him. The tide turned further when Halduron Brightwing and his rangers relieved the battle, though Dar'Khan set Theron ablaze and prepared to flee. However, the Blood Knights healed the regent lord's wounds, and Lor'themar fired an arrow enchanted with a fragment of the Stone of Spark straight into Drathir's head, which caused the former magister to crumble into dust.
The Burning Crusade
This section concerns content related to The Burning Crusade.
Dar'Khan rose once more, this time directing agents of the Scourge from safely behind the walls of Deatholme. Dar'Khan is a level 21 elite undead located at the Tower of the Damned, the skull-topped structure in the center of Deatholme in southern Ghostlands.
Around level 15-16, a quest chain begins at the Sanctum of the Sun, sending the player to Farstrider Enclave. The Farstriders task the player with discovering clues of Dar'Khan's past, and how to potentially defeat him in the present. His journal is discovered at Dawnstar Spire, where Dar'Khan apparently spent much time; the journal reveals his contempt for his own race as well as his plans to allow the Scourge into Quel'Thalas.
Dar'Khan promised two artifacts, the and , to the Scourge. These were powerful artifacts imbued with the power of the Sunwell, used as wards against the Scourge. The player is sent to retrieve the stones, which are forged into a sword or an orb (depending on the player's class or preference), which would allow the power of the Sunwell to be used against Dar'Khan. The player is then sent to Deatholme to destroy Dar'Khan and return his head in .
Dar'Khan is located at the "dead center" of Deatholme, within the Tower of the Damned. The entrances are guarded by shades known as the Eyes of Dar'Khan. Inside are a Wailer banshee and four Deatholme Necromancers with skeletal minions - two inside Dar'Khan's inner sanctum, and one at each of the entrances to that chamber. The or from the previous quest have a special spell that can silence Dar'Khan for five seconds and cause 500 Arcane damage to him. It is recommended to have a group of five (or one person with a level 30+ friend) to kill Dar'Khan.
It is recommended to destroy the 2 necromancers by pulling their skeletons and killing the necromancers themselves with ranged attacks and spells for trying to get in melee range with them will aggro Dar'Khan himself. Dar'Khan is a warlock-type mob, his base attack is Shadowbolt, and he also has Corruption and Fear that can send you into adds, therefore it is advised to clear the whole tower before attacking him. He has a huge health pool and hits hard so it is advised to have a 5-man group (or the low-level player on the quest with a much higher-level friend) to kill him.
The Sunwell Trilogy
- "I am Dar'Khan, a gentle soul by nature...so you should know that what I do, I do by necessity! I am searching for something I have lost...through no fault of my own. I've been led to believe you little ones know something about it. Although you are not elves, I believe you may be able to help me. My people called it the Sunwell..."
- Monologue describing the Sunwell and his part in the Scourge Invasion
- It was the essence of our lives, the source of the magic that was as much a part of us as breathing or eating. We built our cities, molded the land to our purposes, and made for ourselves whatever we desired. But for all the glories created through the Sunwell, the reward for my part in it was nothing. So I began seeking to reward myself for my good work. Not exactly an elven notion, you must understand. My people, they are shortsighted. I was forced to cast my spells in secret, but cast them I did. Yet I learned too slowly, gained too little...until he reached out and found me.
- He...my Blessed Lord Arthas.
- He knew my desire and understood. He guided my hand, my work, and so I learned...but still it was not enough. I had reached the limit that my calling allowed from the Sunwell. So long as I was but one of many, I could never attain my true glory! And so, with the aid of my Blessed Lord, I sought to take the Sunwell from Quel'Thalas. Arthas' glorious legions attacked Quel'Thalas, slipping past its fabled defenses with my aid. Meanwhile, he taught me the spell of unbinding, and steeled my nerve when I set the plan into motion. The violence was regrettable...but some sacrifices must be made for the greater good, you understand. My people, of course, did not see this.
- Not that they had any choice anymore. The Sunwell was now ours...I could feel my Blessed Lord Arthas urging me on! I even sensed him using his own magic to draw forth the Sunwell's power...better enabling me to absorb all of it, of course. But there were those who refused to allow me my due! They dared cast their own spell in the midst of my glory! They dared to take my Sunwell from me! I fought them, my Blessed Lord aiding me with his mighty strength...and then, something went terribly wrong. Something tore the Sunwell's power from my grip! The destruction ravaged what little remained untouched by the Scourge, but I care not. I had shamed myself before my Blessed Lord. Yet he saved me, and sent me across the continent, to seek out where the Sunwell's magic had gone! And now...after so long...I sense it is near...you have only to tell me where it is.
- Kalec: Then what? You'll free us?
- Dar'Khan: Why, no! But I can promise you a relatively painless death.
Shadows of Ice
- Anveena: Dar'Khan! B-but you—you're...
- Dar'Khan: Dead? Not quite, my dear.
- Anveena: H-how --?
- Dar'Khan: Sleep, my delicious prize! <Dar'Khan touches Anveena's brow, and she goes unconscious.> A delicate young thing like yourself doesn't belong in such a place. But never you fear - I'm taking you home!
- "What have we here? Ah! Is it really my old comrade Lor'themar? I thought you dead! A mistake, I see...but one readily remedied!"
- "So many of your comrades perished protecting the Sunwell...they have missed you, Lor'themar! I think it is time you finally joined them, do you not agree?"
- "So! Our would-be hero! I should leave you to another, but why waste such force on the likes of you, when your pathetic attempt at rescue can be thwarted with merely a gesture?"
- "Hmm...a bit more defiant, eh? How admirable, if futile."
- "You were too late even before you arrived, my foolish friend. The spell is well under way. You cannot stop it. Already, the power of the Sunwell flows to me even though the shell has not yet completely dissipated! But that situation should not last much longer, from what I can see! Then...then I shall become a god to Azeroth! No one else deserves its power more than I! No more will I be twisted or forced to bow to the power of another! I shall make even my dear Lord Arthas kneel to me! My power shall spread beyond Azeroth, to realms merely whispered of! It will be glorious!"
- "Ahh, what's this? Your friends have come to die with you. I shall be only too happy to oblige them..."
World of Warcraft
This section concerns content related to The Burning Crusade.
- Mortal fools! The ghouls of Deatholme will feast on your remains!
- Your deaths shall be slow and painful!
- Killed a player
Notes and trivia
- His eye color was blue-green.
- Even in undeath, he was referred to as a mage using shadow magic. He was also called a deceiver.
- Dar'Khan has one of the highest canonical death counts in Warcraft lore. He was killed by Arthas, Anveena, Lor'themar, and then players. Also Tyrygosa thought to have killed him by her dragon fire in Tarren Mill.
- Dar'Khan's in-game model is somewhat unique. He has the appearance of a disheveled undead elf; his skin color has a unique, deathly complexion that playable blood elves could not unlock in The Burning Crusade, as well as a face that could not be replicated until the addition of blood elf death knights. His eyes do not glow.
- According to Micky Neilson, the Blood of the Highborne novella's first chapter was originally meant to take place during the Troll Wars, which would have made both Dar'Khan and Zul'jin around 3,000 years old. This seems dubious as trolls haven't been known to live that long.
- The Sunwell Trilogy described Dar'Khan destroying the Sunwell. That bit was retconned by other sources like Blood of the Highborne.
How did he return?
Dar'Khan's appearance in World of Warcraft remains something of a mystery. Though he was apparently vaporized by Anveena at the conclusion of the Sunwell Trilogy, and killed again by Lor'themar in Blood of the Highborne, he has returned yet again to command the Scourge forces in Quel'Thalas with no explanation as to the method of his revival.
Similarly, in the Sunwell Trilogy, Dar'Khan experienced a variety of bodily injuries including a severed finger and being completely consumed by flames, however, he simply regenerates his wounds or reappears later, seemingly unharmed, offering little explanation beyond stating that he is, "more than mortal," and "not quite" dead. A detailed summary appearing online prior to the book's release described Dar'Khan as more lich than mortal, indicated that like liches, his physical form might be capable of regeneration so long as his soul remains grounded in the physical world.
A theory put forward after Blood of the Highborne may explain Dar'Khan's lich-like powers. After binding the Sunwell, Dar'Khan could not help but taste and gorge upon its energies directly, against Arthas' orders. When Arthas hurled Kel'Thuzad's remains into the well, its energies became dark and tainted, raising the former necromancer as a lich. However, Dar'Khan was also affected by this ritual, having directly consumed some of the Sunwell shortly beforehand -- Arthas informed him that the well was now contaminated, and having tasted it after its binding, so too was Dar'Khan, who could feel an alteration in the very "depths of his being." It may be that Dar'Khan was also imbued with similar lich-like properties to Kel'Thuzad after "surviving" this experience.
A great quel'dorei noble's relative?
During the Second War, there was a member of the Convocation of Silvermoon that Alleria Windrunner thought was named Dar'Khan. When warned by her of the potential threat of an alliance between the Horde and the Amani forest trolls under Zul'jin, this elven mage scoffed and believed that they would not be able to get past the runestones that protected the borders of Eversong Woods.
Given Dar'Khan's characterization in Blood of the Highborne as an individual interested in gaining power and recognition, it's possible that the mage that Alleria saw was a relative of Dar'Khan.
- Patch 2.0.3 (2007-01-09): Added.
- ^ Farstrider Solanna#Quotes
- ^ Ultimate Visual Guide, pg. 144
- ^ Micky Neilson on Twitter
- ^ Blood of the Highborne, chapter 1
- ^ Blood of the Highborne, chapter 2
- ^ Arthas: Rise of the Lich King, pg. 239
- ^ The Sunwell Trilogy
- ^ Blood of the Highborne
- ^ Blood of the Highborne, pg. ??
- ^ Blood of the Highborne, pg. ??
- ^ Micky Neilson
- ^ Micky Neilson on Twitter
- ^ Tides of Darkness, pg. 206