Hunter of the Betrayer
|Class||Warden, Priestess (former)|
|Affiliation(s)||Watchers, The Wardens, Darnassus, Alliance, Armies of Legionfall|
|Former affiliation(s)||Sentinels, Sisterhood of Elune, Kaldorei Resistance, Kaldorei Empire|
|Occupation||Leader of the Wardens, Tracker|
|Former occupation(s)||Jailor, prisoner, and eventual slayer of Illidan Stormrage, Priestess of Elune, Acting high priestess|
Jarod (younger brother),|
“She has become vengeance itself, bound forever to the hunt.
I only pray that in her zeal, she doesn't cause even more havoc than Illidan.”
- — Malfurion Stormrage, commenting on Maiev's fervor
Maiev Shadowsong (pronounced MY-ehv) is a legendary night elf warden and former priestess of the moon. Ruthlessly dedicated to her own sense of justice, she has been a part of many important events spanning the past 10,000 years.
Maiev grew up in the ancient Kaldorei Empire, eventually joining the esteemed Sisterhood of Elune and rising through its ranks to become a senior priestess. When the War of the Ancients threw the world into chaos, Maiev, along with her younger brother Jarod Shadowsong, played a major role in the fight against the demonic Burning Legion as part of the Kaldorei Resistance. Maiev's most defining role would come after the war, when she volunteered to become the leader of a newly-formed elite force known as the Watchers. These night elves were charged with watching over the prison of the infamous Illidan Stormrage, and Maiev would make this duty her life's work.
After millennia, Illidan would eventually be freed from captivity during the Third War. In response, Maiev began a desperate and all-consuming hunt to find the Betrayer and return him to his cell. This chase took her across Azeroth, and eventually even to the ruined world of Outland. There she launched a guerrilla war against Illidan and his allies, though she was ultimately captured. Her revenge would finally come when she and a group of heroes stormed the Black Temple and killed its master.
Following Illidan's death, Maiev returned home, but her sense of duty brought her into conflict with even the highest levels of night elf society. Despite this tension, Maiev remains dedicated to protecting the world and her people. She would marshal and lead her faction of wardens on the Broken Isles during the third invasion of the Burning Legion, reuniting with her brother Jarod and later taking part in the Assault on Broken Shore.
During the Fourth War and after the Burning of Teldrassil, Maiev Shadowsong, along with with most of her wardens, returned to Kalimdor and participated in the Battle for Darkshore, where she personally served as the Alliance commander and ultimately led the night elves to successfully reclaim Darkshore from the Horde.
The fortunes of war
Maiev belonged to the Sisters of Elune as a senior priestess by the time the War of the Ancients broke out, and her brother, Jarod, had become a captain in the Guard of Suramar. The Shadowsong family was not of noble blood, and so both siblings had earned their positions through skill and hard work. Maiev was stationed at the Hajiri temple in northwestern Kalimdor just before the War of the Ancients. Like the rest of the sisterhood, Maiev took up arms against the Burning Legion at the start of the invasion, joining the resistance under Kur'talos Ravencrest. When Tyrande Whisperwind was declared the new High Priestess, a disgruntled Maiev raised an opposition, though she knew better than to deny Tyrande's power. Following her disappearance and the death of Marinda, Maiev was elected High Priestess by default. This reunited her with her estranged brother Jarod.
Maiev was an opponent of the leadership of Desdel Stareye, but took no action for fear of dividing the troops. She urged Jarod to do something, but her brother wouldn't listen. After Stareye fell in "combat", and Jarod was recognized commander of the host, Maiev neglected to say, "I told you so". Maiev continued to serve with distinction, and grudgingly relinquished the office of High Priestess back to Tyrande. She also helped in the healing of the injured Rhonin and helped Jarod with killing demons. After the Sundering, she was furious when she discovered that Illidan Stormrage had attacked and injured her brother. Jarod had been leading a scouting party on Mount Hyjal, and they had caught Illidan in the process of creating a second Well of Eternity. Outraged, the night elves hastened to apprehend the traitor. During Illidan's capture, he unleashed an arcane attempt to resist arrest that killed Lord Blackforest and many of the Highborne, and rendered the others (among which Dath'Remar Sunstrider and Jarod) comatose. Illidan was captured immediately after this by Malfurion, while only the efforts of Tyrande, Shandris Feathermoon, Maiev herself and other priestesses ensured the heroes survival. Enraged, Maiev drew her weapon and went to kill the captive Illidan, but Tyrande stopped her and reminded her that Jarod still lived. Jarod gave Malfurion the right to decide Illidan's fate. Knowing full well where Illidan's ruthless schemes would eventually lead, Malfurion decided to deal with his power-crazed brother once and for all. With Cenarius's help, Malfurion sealed Illidan within a vast underground barrow prison, where he would remain chained and powerless until the end of time.
Formation of the Watchers
Although she deeply respected Malfurion, his merciful decision hardly satisfied Maiev. She offered to watch over Illidan, whose attack on his fellow night elves had been the last straw. Most night elves now recognized him as both reckless and powerful. They had not forgotten that he had chosen to serve Sargeras, and they did not believe him when he swore he had done so only to gain sufficient power to defeat the Legion. Malfurion agreed that the night elves dared not leave Illidan unguarded in the long term, and so he asked Maiev to gather additional volunteers from the Sisterhood of Elune. Together, Maiev and the other priestesses would guard Illidan and prevent him from escape. Maiev obeyed and established a new organization that became known as the Watchers. As the group's leader, Maiev was given the rank of Warden, which she later awarded to a select few who had proven their exceptional fighting abilities, tracking skills, and tenacity. When Jarod disappeared one night, Maiev was surprised and grieved that he had not spoken to her of his impending departure. In his absence, the Watchers became Maiev's sole companionship. As the years stretched into centuries and then millennia, she came to see the Watchers as her family.
Since Illidan's incarceration, the Watchers' primary mission remained their vigil over him. However, the Watchers' duties widened somewhat over time and began to include the capture, imprisonment, and - where necessary - the recapture of all dangerous criminals. These new tasks occasionally took a Watcher far abroad, where she would remain until she tracked down and captured the criminal. Shortly before the Third War broke out, Maiev departed the barrow prisons in order to accomplish one such mission. She returned to find Illidan missing and a number of Watchers slain. Subsequent investigation led to a shocking conclusion: Tyrande and her Sentinels had attacked the Watchers and freed Illidan. Even worse, Illidan had turned into a demon, confirming Maiev's worst fears. Filled with fury, Maiev gathered what she could of the remaining Watchers and began to track Illidan down.
With her lieutenant Naisha at her side, Maiev pursued Illidan throughout Kalimdor. With his impromptu force of satyrs and other corrupt creatures, Illidan managed to keep her at bay, but to her credit, Maiev stayed close to him as he fled. Finally, Maiev closed in on him in Queen Azshara's former provincial holdings, now on the coast of Kalimdor, where he had destroyed many fishing villages and left nothing but mutilated bodies and flaming footprints in his wake. But Maiev found some tracks which she could not identify. They identified themselves as the naga, and professed servitude to Illidan. Maiev defeated them, but was troubled that they were burning boats, and thought that perhaps Illidan meant to flee across the ocean. Maiev took to the port of Nendis, where she found Illidan stealing away in a transport. The naga began to destroy the ships, but Maiev killed them before they completed their task. Maiev quickly found some transport ships, and took the Watchers across the sea.
They stopped unexpectedly soon when they came across some islands which were not on their maps, but Maiev knew where they were, as she had once spent a great deal of time there. The Broken Isles were the remains of Suramar. As she established a base camp, Maiev found landmarks she recognized from the ancient, ruined city, such as the library of Izal-Shurah, and the Boughs of Azshara. Naisha realized that the city must have been raised from the seafloor for some sinister purpose, and Maiev commented that few powers were capable of such a thing.
Maiev found the answer when she came across Drak'thul, a former warlock of the Stormreaver Clan. Drak'thul told Maiev that if she destroyed the battling apparitions of his former brethren, he would tell her his story. Maiev destroyed the skeletal orcs and the summoning pits from which they spawned. After returning to Drak'thul, he recounted how he had been a disciple of Gul'dan, the warlock who raised the islands twenty years before to search for the powers of the Dark Titan. Gul'dan hoped to gain power, but instead he and the rest of his Stormreaver clan unleashed crazed demons who slaughtered all but a handful of the warlocks, Drak'thul among the survivors. He had lived on the island since, haunted by the ghosts of his dead comrades. Maiev told him that he deserved a far worse punishment than that for what he and the Stormreavers had unleashed. Troubled by the news, Maiev suspected that the Tomb of Sargeras was Illidan's goal here, as well. After battling through his ample forces of naga, Maiev and Naisha chased Illidan into the Tomb itself.
While there, Maiev read magical orcish runes Gul'dan had created to relate his tale. It continually referenced an "Eye," which seemed to be an artifact, and Maiev guessed that this was what Illidan sought. Maiev and Naisha realized that the Eye must have been tremendously powerful for Gul'dan to have been lured by it so potently. Maiev soon had a run-in with the leader of the naga, Lady Vashj, who told her that the night elves' justice had no place in the Broken Isles. Maiev asked Vashj what she knew of their justice, and Vashj replied that she was once a night elf herself, and that the explosion of the Well of Eternity had transformed them into the naga. Maiev, however, displayed a simple revulsion for the Naga, and chased Illidan into the central chamber, where he had already found the Eye of Sargeras. Since Illidan had been confined by Maiev for ten thousand years, he felt that trapping her in the tomb (alive or otherwise) was the least he could do to repay her, caving in the Eye Chamber before teleporting himself out. Maiev, using her abilities, teleported through the temple and reluctantly left her dear friend, Naisha, and the rest of the Watchers to die stranded in the dark tomb.
Maiev battled an army of naga as she sent a runner out to sea to get a message to Malfurion Stormrage to plea for assistance. She was being attacked by a large naga force led by Serena Scarscale. After a desperate battle, the runner was away, and Maiev quickly returned to her base to defend her Watchers.
After taking heavy damage on the Broken Isles, south of Izal-Shurah, Maiev was finally reinforced by Malfurion, but was displeased to find that Tyrande had come along as well. She snidely proclaimed that Tyrande deserved to be locked in a cage just as Illidan was, to which Tyrande fired back that she was doing what was right at the time. Before they could come to blows, Malfurion told them to let it be for now and focus on the matters at hand, namely winning the battle against the naga forces led by Lady Serpentra. After they defeated the naga, however, Illidan took to the sea and fled once again. The three heroes were quick to follow.
They arrived upon the shores of Silverpine Forest in Lordaeron. After Malfurion left them to commune with the forests, Maiev bowed to Tyrande's greater knowledge of the Alliance and Tyrande met Kael'thas, the prince of the blood elves. When told of Illidan, Kael thought that perhaps that was the reason that the undead were so agitated in Dalaran. Maiev wanted to get back on the hunt as soon as possible, but Tyrande wished to help Kael; Maiev's objections were silenced when Kael agreed to help them fight Illidan. The two warriors escorted Kael's caravan to Pyrewood Village, where they were suddenly ambushed. Kael and Maiev saw his caravan across the river while Tyrande held the line on the bridge. When she called down the stars of Elune to destroy the undead, Elune's fury was unleashed. The bridge, unable to stand the weight of a fully armored night elf on tigerback, crumbled beneath Tyrande, and she was swept down the river.
Kael was about to attempt to save her when Maiev stopped him. She knew that time was growing short, and that Illidan had to be stopped, and insisted that Tyrande had been prepared to make the sacrifice if needed. She demanded that Kael help her find the demon in return for her assistance protecting his caravan. Kael helped her track Illidan to Dalaran's ruins, where they met up with Malfurion, who had felt the land being torn apart and seen a vision that it was Illidan's doing. He suspected the worst and feared for the fate of the world itself. Maiev told Malfurion that Tyrande had been torn apart, and that his only recourse was to gain revenge on Illidan. Maiev reminded Malfurion that Tyrande would never have come to Lordaeron and met her alleged death if not for Illidan's actions, and thus he was to blame. Malfurion's grief and anger made him completely focused on stopping and punishing his brother, just as Maiev had hoped.
With the help of Kael'thas and a paladin of the Silver Hand — Magroth the Defender — Maiev and Malfurion pushed back Illidan's naga on the Dalaran ruins and destroyed the Naga Summoners casting spells around the Eye. Cornering Illidan with the night elf and Alliance forces, Malfurion grimly told his brother that for what he had done this time confinement would not be sufficient and that he was to be put to death. Maiev enthusiastically volunteered to execute him personally then and there. Illidan explained that his spell had not been meant to harm anybody but the Lich King at Northrend and his undead servants, whom the Night Elves surely had no love for. His spell had been specifically targeting the area where the Frozen Throne was based. Not placated, Malfurion raged that Illidan had given no thought to the cost of his actions and that Tyrande had died because of him. Illidan was shattered by this statement, since he had never wanted anything to happen to the woman he loved and had even tried to dissuade her from following him to Lordaeron since he was concerned for her safety. Then Kael spoke up, much to Maiev's chagrin, saying it was premature to pronounce her dead. The blood elven prince explained the bridge's collapse and the noted absence of tearing apart. Malfurion, understandably furious with Maiev for her lies, entangled her. He asked her bitterly who the "betrayer" was now.
Freeing herself from the grasping plants and gathering her few remaining soldiers took Maiev long enough that Illidan succeeded in saving the high priestess. By the time Maiev caught up with the demon, Malfurion and Tyrande were bidding him a farewell that sounded almost fond. They were letting him go. He was a demon who had murdered countless innocents, spread corruption and madness among the beasts of the forest, and nearly caused irreparable harm to Azeroth. Jarod had given Malfurion the responsibility to determine Illidan's fate, but Malfurion was letting the demon go because Illidan had saved Tyrande's life. Evidently Malfurion felt that Illidan had been washed clean of all the blood he had spilled. Maiev disagreed. The Watchers were gone, betrayed by their own government. If that government would not at least avenge their deaths, then by Elune, Maiev would see it done herself. Thus, when Illidan suddenly opened a portal and stepped through it, Maiev and her soldiers followed him without a second thought. She knew that Illidan placed great value on his life and would never deliberately endanger it. Malfurion alone knew what Maiev had become: she was now vengeance itself.
Curse of the blood elves
When she arrived on the other side, she found herself in the ruins of the orcish homeworld, Draenor. They soon discovered that Illidan had come alone, leaving his naga servants on Azeroth. Greatly outnumbered, Illidan discovered that his evil powers were of little use against cold steel, and his recapture proved to be fairly easy. She caught him and imprisoned him into an enchanted cage under a magical sedative. Although she had captured Illidan, Maiev was unable to find a way to return home. The gateway Maiev followed Illidan through had vanished, and none of the many other portals in Outland led to Azeroth. The geography of the shattered world was unknown to her, and she did not know what dangers they would face. Maiev and the Watchers explored cautiously until they were surprised to discover Alliance soldiers. These soldiers were part of the Sons of Lothar and had been established in a base called Honor Hold. Maiev was hopeful they could help her find a way to leave Outland. However, before the Watchers could reach it, Illidan's allies attacked. The naga had arrived on Outland, and they had brought new allies: the same blood elves that Maiev had helped escape the Scourge earlier. Maiev and her soldiers fought the naga and their traitorous elven friends, but the new army outnumbered hers, and eventually she was defeated. The naga and blood elves recaptured Illidan and freed him.
With Illidan freed and bolstered by new allies, Maiev and her remaining followers were forced to retreat. Sometime after Illidan's failure to destroy the Frozen Throne, Maiev was contacted by Akama (himself unsatisfied by not being given the Black Temple as promised, and the further defiling the temple underwent while in Illidan's control) and the wary Maiev agreed to enter a partnership. Before they departed, Akama handed her a stone that would allow him to contact her. With Akama spying on Illidan's movements, Maiev sought more allies to her cause, and gained many of the young draenei and Broken of Outland as recruits for her army. At the suggestion of Arechron, Maiev sought his cousin Alexius, within Shattrath. Upon arriving, Alexius was able to inform the Warden of the various factions within Shattrath. Using this knowledge, Maiev decided to seek out the Aldor and Sha'tar, while having no intention of contacting the Scryers. However both factions ultimately rejected aiding her due to dealing with other matters, and though the Scryers sought to speak with her, Maiev found herself unable to trust the blood elves and refused to even meet with Voren'thal the Seer.
After leaving Shattrath, Maiev trained her new recruits, and spent the next few years making hit and run strikes against Illidan's forces, while being informed by Akama of what the Broken gleaned of Illidan's plans. Following Illidan's discovery of Akama's treason, the Lord of Outland bound a portion of the Broken's soul to his will. Under Illidan's command, Akama ultimately tricked Maiev into leading her forces into an ambush in Shadowmoon Valley, with Maiev being the only survivor. The Warden was then captured by Illidan and placed within a cell. Maiev spent the following days trying to crush the guilt that resided within her due to getting her army killed, while trying to discover why Akama would betray her. It was during this time that Akama appeared before her, and a bitter Maiev lashed out at him. Despite this, Akama was able to convince the Warden to hear him out, and revealed that both Illidan and himself had plans for her. Even as Akama departed, Maiev found herself wondering if she could trust him and spent time plotting the composition of a spell that would help her trap Illidan.
The Burning Crusade
This section concerns content related to The Burning Crusade.
For many years, Maiev's fate remained a mystery, and many believed she had died on Outland. After the Dark Portal was opened, however, she was discovered to have been imprisoned within the Warden's Cage in Shadowmoon Valley, guarded by Akama and his Ashtongue Deathsworn. She was indignant that Akama seemed to be merely sitting there, scheming, while Illidan's grasp over Outland tightened.
However, Akama was secretly biding his time until he could strike at Illidan, and when the time came, he joined forces with Maiev to overthrow Illidan and, aided by the Aldor and Scryers, entered the Black Temple. Maiev quickly split off from the rest of the forces to go after Illidan alone, eventually finding him at the top of the temple with a band of adventurers at his mercy. Freeing them, she joined the battle against him, laying traps to incapacitate him and decrying the pain he had caused her, from forcing her to guard his prison for ten thousand years by committing his crimes, to causing the death of Naisha. In the end, as Illidan lay dying, Maiev told him he was beaten, but Illidan retorted that the huntress is nothing without the hunt. With her quarry slain, Maiev realized that Illidan was right, and that she was indeed nothing without him. Feeling hollow and distressed, she briefly considered attacking Azeroth's heroes, but purged the thought soon after and left the summit.
Maiev returned to the summit right after, now accompanied by several wardens, and took the Betrayer's corpse and encased it in the Vault of the Wardens so that his dark, lingering soul could suffer the rest of eternal sentence, as justice to be forever served. She also imprisoned his surviving Illidari along with the body in the Vault, vowing never to allow the fel-touched demon hunters to roam free ever again.
Searching for something to live for following Illidan's death, Maiev left Outland and journeyed to Darnassus to rejoin her people. Despite her role in leaving Tyrande for dead during their venture into the Eastern Kingdoms, she was permitted to return to Darnassus to begin training a new generation of Watchers, some of whom were fanatically loyal to Maiev and her cause, such as Neva, her new second-in-command. When Malfurion and Tyrande allowed for the Highborne and the Worgen to live in Darnassus, Maiev was secretly outraged — despising the Highborne for their part in the War of the Ancients, and the other races of the Alliance for bringing the night elves into their affairs.
Around this time her brother, Jarod Shadowsong, returned to night elf society after ten thousand years of self-imposed exile. Seeing her little brother's desire for a simple life while he could have been the leader of the night elves, was shameful in her opinion. To her, his seclusion was an abandonment of his duty to his people. Though the reunion between the Shadowsong siblings started off bitter, Maiev eventually softened her demeanor towards her brother when he sympathized with the hard choices she had to make in order to fulfill her duties. She still felt proud of Jarod, and even thought she could manipulate him as a puppet for her own ends.
When the Highborne mage Thera'brin was assassinated and his corpse was found near the Watchers' training grounds, it seemed to be intended to impute the Watchers. Maiev offered her services to investigate the matter and bring the murderer to justice, to which Malfurion and Tyrande consented. In truth however, she was secretly the one responsible for the Highborne killings. Maiev had planned to slaughter the Highborne and their leaders first, and then give Malfurion a slow rotting death. In her opinion, Malfurion was guilty of the same arrogance that his twin, Illidan, displayed. By believing that he knew what was best for the night elf people, she felt Malfurion condemned them by not having Teldrassil properly blessed, thus taking away their immortality (although Teldrassil was not his idea, and only the Dragon Aspect Nozdormu could do so). She also despised him for forgiving the Highborne and accepting them back into night elf society. It is suspected that the trauma caused by years of dedication to her duty, combined with the torture inflicted upon her when she was Illidan's prisoner had finally driven her insane. Now she has become a megalomaniac who deludes herself into believing that only she can exact "justice" on those she deems guilty. Her ability to mask such madness, though, is a credit to her skills as a survivor.
Jarod Shadowsong later freed Malfurion and joined him in confronting Maiev and her Watchers. Jarod distracted Maiev while Malfurion was rescuing the Highborne, whom Maiev had captured in a deadly trap. Jarod subsequently drove Maiev off, unable to kill his own sister. The Highborne were safe, and most of the new Watchers were dead, though their mistress had vanished into the night. Maiev has vowed that she will be the one to restore the night elves to greatness.
The Tomb of Sargeras
Seeking to locate Gul'dan, Khadgar eventually tracked his magical signature to the Broken Isles. Upon arrival, he met with Maiev Shadowsong. Recognizing the Warden's abilities, he sought her help. Initially, the Warden refused to help Khadgar, as she held him responsible for Cordana's betrayal and disapproved of his rashness. Disappointed, Khadgar departed to continue his search for Gul'dan. However, Maiev eventually had a change of heart and pursued the Archmage. She joined up with Khadgar while he and Gul'dan clashed in a magical duel.
Working together, the pair breached the chamber and assaulted Gul'dan, who, with little effort and fueled by Kil'jaeden's might, brushed their attacks away again and again. Yet, the pair was unrelenting. Recognizing his need for assistance, Gul'dan let his power slip away from him and down towards the portal, at last allowing the Burning Legion's third invasion of Azeroth to commence. Khadgar and Maiev were forced to the floor, and Kil'jaeden commended Gul'dan for his choice. Gul'dan now had something he never before had from the Legion: their trust.
If the Watchers are infamous among the night elves, Maiev Shadowsong is a legend. Famed for her uncanny ability to capture any enemy, Maiev tracked Illidan Stormrage, the Betrayer, all the way to the Black Temple in Outland. After his demise, she imprisoned his surviving followers, the Illidari, vowing never to allow the fel-touched demon hunters to roam free ever again.
However, Maiev would have little choice. When the Burning Legion began their largest invasion of Azeroth ever, they attacked the Vault of the Wardens in search of Illidan's imprisoned corpse. With no other choice, Maiev freed the demon hunters who had languished in her prison for years. Together, Maiev, the demon hunters, and Wardens still loyal to Maiev fought off the demons from the Vault of the Wardens, but it was too late to stop what the Legion had come there to do. Gul'dan and Cordana Felsong succeeded in retrieving Illidan's body and left the battlefield.
When Illidan's corpse was stolen from the Vault of the Wardens, Maiev pursued them and subsequently went missing. Once Maiev was captured, Sira Moonwarden stepped up as the leader of the Wardens. Wardens loyal to Maiev began to search for her across the Broken Isles, and Jarod volunteered to help them. Jarod feels he has been a poor brother to Maiev, for he knows Maiev would never have committed the murders during the events of Wolfheart unless she was under some foul influence, but he did not investigate and simply assumed the worst.
Maiev is freed from Black Rook Hold, where she reveals that Gul'dan raised Kur'talos Ravencrest and his soldiers to protect the secrets within the tower, with the ghost of Desdel Stareye protecting the dungeons. In her reunion with Jarod she is surprised that he came for her even after she tried to kill him, but Jarod says to forget about it, that he heard what happened in the Vault of the Wardens, and jokes that luckily his hair cannot get any grayer. He thanks Elune that his sister is still alive, and together the Shadowsong siblings defeat Stareye, who, like all the undead in Black Rook Hold, believes them to be demons.
Illidan arrives late to the second battle at the Broken Shore, prompting Maiev to snark that her wardens are doing all the work while his demon hunters play with their felbats, before Prophet Velen tells both of them to stop arguing.
Illidan and Maiev work together to travel to the top of the Cathedral of Eternal Night and use the there. They bicker throughout the dungeon. After Mephistroth's defeat and the activation of the Aegis, an echo of Aegwynn, the Guardian of Tirisfal who created the Tomb of Sargeras, appears and reveals that said echo was placed there by Aegwynn in case the wards on the tomb failed. She explains that the Pillars of Creation can restore her wards and that the Eye of Aman'thul can destroy the felstorm.
After the Cathedral was reclaimed by Azeroth's heroes, Maiev appointed her Wardens to guard its upper halls.
Maiev later aided in breaching the Tomb of Sargeras.
Battle for Azeroth
Some time after the War of the Thorns which resulted in the burning of Teldrassil by the Horde, Maiev, Shandris Feathermoon, and Sira Moonwarden spoke to Anduin Wrynn to try and convince him to assault Darkshore and retake it from the Horde, but with the war focused on Zandalar, Arathi, and Kul Tiras; Anduin did not have the troops to do so. As the three night elves spoke to Anduin, Tyrande went on ahead of the army to try and retake Darkshore herself. Maiev, Shandris, Sira, and an adventurer located Tyrande's ruined ship at the Zoram Strand, which contained a book about the ancient ritual of the Night Warrior. The Night Warrior was the incarnation of Elune's wrath. The ritual to become the avatar of the Night Warrior was extremely dangerous, and even witnessing it would put you in danger. Legend said that long ago, the Night Warrior was used by the night elves to secure Kalimdor. None who have attempted the ritual since then have survived, for Elune's raw power tore them apart.
Upon journeying to Darkshore, Maiev tasked Sira with scouting the coast while she, Shandris, and the adventurer searched the Ruins of Auberdine for the Eye of Elune that Tyrande would need for the ritual. Though the Eye had already been taken, they were cornered by Deathstalker Commander Belmont of the Forsaken. Maiev easily slew his forces, blinking past their Blight, and drove him off. After leaving Auberdine and saving Tyrande's mount Ash'alah from the Horde, they met with the High Priestess at Bashal'Aran where she underwent and survived the ritual to become the Night Warrior, instantly slaying all the Horde forces present. Tyrande told Shandris and Maiev to prepare for war while she left to confront Nathanos Blightcaller. The confrontation ended with Nathanos raising both Delaryn Summermoon and Sira who had just died minutes before, but Tyrande slaying one of the Val'kyr. Afterward, Tyrande put Maiev in charge of the night elves' efforts in Darkshore as despite their checkered history with each other the future of their race was on the line. When Maiev asked Tyrande what had happened to Sira, Tyrande wished to speak to her alone.
As Tyrande ordered, Maiev commanded the Alliance forces in the Battle for Darkshore and faced off against the Horde force led by Sira. She ultimately led them to victory over the Horde, though Sira and other Horde forces were able to escape and flee the battlefield.
Following the fall of N'Zoth, Malfurion, Tyrande, and the night elven people made their new home in Nordrassil. Malfurion and Tyrande had taken to ignoring any and all missives sent to them by the young King Anduin Wrynn. In light of both the Cenarion Circle and Earthen Ring sensing something horrible within the spirit world, Malfurion and Tyrande agreed for Thrall to meet with them under the condition that the Earthen Ring Yukha was to be present and for Thrall to bring what was owed.
After Thrall and his companions Baine Bloodhoof and Calia Menethil arrived at Mount Hyjal, Malfurion, Tyrande, Shandris Feathermoon, and Maiev Shadowsong greeted them with frosty, rigid silence. Thrall formally apologized to the night elves and explained how the Horde sought to change. While Shandris was willing to listen, Maiev refused to entertain the notion, declaring that she wouldn't be content with just Sylvanas Windrunner dead as she wasn't alone when the Horde burned Teldrassil, and further accusing the Horde of hiding behind cowardly revisions of history. Baine subsequently asked Maiev what justice was to her and asked her if Thunder Bluff or Orgrimmar must burn, if the death of their innocents would appease her, and if she thought pain does not simply bring more pain. After Tyrande stated that she saw their words as empty pledges of justice, Maiev witnessed Thrall promising to give Tyrande the head of Sylvanas Windrunner.
Some time later, the night elven leadership received another missive from Anduin revealing that the Horde had sent them a gift, a start to what was owed. In response, Tyrande, Shandris, and Maiev journeyed to Stormwind where they encountered the imprisoned Sira Moonwarden within the Stockades. Maiev mentioned to Tyrande that she had lived a life consumed by vengeance and though there was no great love between them, she had no desire to see Tyrande become what she was. After Tyrande cut a shallow cut into Sira's neck, Shandris took her blade, and Maiev encouraged her to have mercy towards Sira, who Maiev saw as a sad defeated thing. Tyrande subsequently departed while Maiev and Shandris remained to interrogate her.
Maiev was present in Bashal'Aran and witnessed Tyrande's speech about Horde's defeat in Darkshore. She stated that while she disagreed with Tyrande's methods, she acknowledged her as the night elf leader and noted that they would not have succeeded without her assistance, remarking that their victory was "the first step" towards the kaldorei's retribution.
Following the defeat of the Jailer, Maiev accompanied Tyrande and Shandris to Oribos to attend the trial of a remorseful Sylvanas Windrunner. Sylvanas willingly submitted to Tyrande's judgment, and the high priestess had Shandris and Maiev escort her to the Ring of Transference. Tyrande sentenced Sylvanas to begin her penance by scouring the Maw and freeing all of the souls trapped therein. Maiev reflected that her own life should've been forfeit after her actions during the Cataclysm, and yet she was given a chance to mend the damage she'd caused for the sake of those she'd wronged, something she hoped would be true for Sira as well. She did not know if Sylvanas' fate was justice, but she believed that it was right.
|Location||Level range||Health range|
|Shadowmoon Valley (Outland)||72||405,900|
|Vault of the Wardens||100||1,076,394|
|Hall of the Moon||??||11,122,130|
|Sacristy of Elune||112||111,221,296|
- Broken Shore
Maiev is a driven and ruthless individual, utterly dedicated to her mission to see Illidan either recaptured or killed. Almost every thought she has is poisoned by her obsession with the demon hunter; even wistful memories of her youth inevitably come back to Illidan. She feels entirely justified in her actions and considers her cause to be a righteous one, accepting personal responsibility for the many losses and setbacks she's suffered only under very specific circumstances; more commonly, she lays blame for her defeats at the feet of others, either for not adequately supporting her or finding fault with her methods. Maiev believes that there is little wrong with utilizing questionable methods for the sake of destroying a greater evil. She is quick to anger and not above risking rash and destructive actions, exerting control over her thirst for vengeance and remaining civil in the face of opposition with considerable effort.
Nevertheless, she is unusually resourceful and extremely effective at trapping and countering powerful magic-wielding opponents, easily killing several members of the Highborne as well as nearly killing Malfurion Stormrage. She was also able to easily capture several highly trained demon hunters within seconds and locked them within enchanted crystals within the Vault of the Wardens for years. Her powers as a Warden appear to be substantially enhanced by her thirst for vengeance, even summoning several Avatars of Smoldering Vengeance against the Horde, and as a former high priestess of the moon goddess, she retains ancient knowledge that even Shandris Feathermoon was unaware of, such as the darker and forbidden aspects of Elune.
Maiev's love for the night elf people is undeniable, but the way in which she seeks to see her race restored to greatness has, in the past, put her at odds with the night elves' leaders. She is fairly xenophobic, believing her people have been weakened by their association with the "lesser races" of the Alliance and their problems. Despite briefly cooperating with Kael'thas Sunstrider, Maiev generally had a special hatred for her Highborne kin and their descendants, viewing magic in general as a vile and untrustworthy thing, and was a strong supporter of the kaldorei's magic ban. She even once referred to the naga and blood elves as "bastard races" and an affront to everything her people stood for after they allied themselves with Illidan. For a long while, she believed that Tyrande Whisperwind was a traitor to the night elves for her part in freeing Illidan, and should be locked in a cell alongside the Betrayer; she also apparently came to consider Malfurion little better than his brother. Her own brother, Jarod, believed that this was not the result of madness on Maiev's part, but due to outside corruption, although it remains somewhat ambiguous as to whether Maiev truly was influenced or not by some outside force during her time at Teldrassil.
However, Maiev's relationships with Malfurion, Tyrande, Jarod, and even Mordent Evenshade and the worgen appear to have improved significantly as of the Fourth War, bringing her Wardens to successfully defend Tyrande against Horde forces during her Night Warrior ritual at Bashal'Aran, and openly cooperating with them in the Battle for Darkshore, Mordent even acknowledging her as his "commander" and Maiev sarcastically remarking that they did not need his hyperbolic account of his contributions.
Maiev fervently rejects any comparison between her and Illidan, but several characters who have dealt with both on a personal level have reflected on the striking similarities of their attitudes and methods, Akama and Malfurion most prominently among them. Although she appears to retain mistrust for Illidan and his demon hunters, she is nevertheless pragmatic enough to release and fight alongside them in the face of an existential threat, and she played a major role in breaching the Tomb of Sargeras.
In the RPG
When the War of the Ancients broke out, she could do little but observe the destruction, and witnessed demons slaughtering her family and friends. She was horrified. When she miraculously survived the War of the Ancients, she was certain that arcane magic was a horrid, filthy power that had brought doom to the world.
Maiev is a driven, austere individual. She both fears and despises arcane magic, and shows her derision openly to its practitioners. Aloof and silent, Maiev is always concerned with her duties or latest assignment. She does not care for the company of others; she refuses to let interpersonal relationships interfere with her cause. Maiev moves with fluid, deadly grace. Her voice is velvet-covered steel. Maiev is cold; her only warmth comes from her rage when she thinks of the Legion's destruction and Illidan’s horrible treason. Hers is an achingly lonely existence.
Maiev sees things very much in black and white, and in recent years, lost belief in the concepts of rehabilitation or redemption that she was trained to uphold in Elune's name. She is unwilling to forgive any association that is tied to the Legion or brings harm to others, whether a large one such as Illidan's ultimately siding with Azshara and causing the deaths of millions of life-forms or a comparatively small one such as Drak'thul's presence during the raising of the Tomb of Sargeras, leading to the deaths of many orcs.
Maiev is loyal to her comrades and determined to ensure they come to no harm. Her fury at Illidan was originally motivated by her disapproval of his actions with Azshara and the fact that he nearly killed Jarod. Later, she is driven to blind hatred after his murder of Naisha and the other Watchers.
By tracing her personality first as a priestess, then as a warden, and finally as vengeance, we can see how she came to hate Illidan in particular. Her election as Illidan's jailor really meant that she became as much a prisoner as he; they merely occupied opposite sides of the bars. Given that, her resentment and rage towards Illidan is easy to understand.
Her first motivation was to punish Illidan for his transgression (which a Kaldorei tribunal sentenced him to, not she), then to stop him from killing anyone else, and finally, pure vengeance.
Maiev prefers to strike vulnerable targets from surprise, often sending her forces to distract the enemy while she uses her blink ability to appear behind them. She throws a slicing torrent against lesser opponents, or uses her Fan of Knives if surrounded. If facing her quarry, she uses the umbra crescents greater shadow strike ability before moving in to attack. After one strike, she blinks away and casts hold person. If the target succumbs to the spell, she moves forward quickly to finish him off or secure the captive. If he resists hold person, Maiev activates her weapon's quickened shadow strike abilities to assail her target at range. If the enemy still stands, she uses her own lesser shadow strike ability and charges into melee, where she wields her umbra crescent with two hands. If pressed, Maiev flees via blink, greater invisibility, and expeditious retreat.
In the RPG, Maiev was originally stated to have died in Outland: "Sinking into vengeful madness, Maiev pursued Illidan all the way to Outland. Emotion clouded her vision, and Illidan slipped away from her several times. Finally, when Maiev was all but blinded by frustration and vengeance, the Betrayer got the better of her. Maiev died alone on the red sand, unmourned, unsung, with none to remember her fall, her soul empty of all but rage."
Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne
- For unit quotes, see Quotes of Warcraft III/Night Elf Sentinels#Maiev Shadowsong.
- "Naga? Many craven races have tempted our wrath over the centuries. None have survived!"
- "Illidan has grown powerful: of that, there is no doubt. He consumed the energies of the Skull of Gul'dan. Now he is neither night elf nor demon, but something more."
- "Illidan has much to answer for. He'll wish he were still chained in his cell when I get through with him."
- "I am the hand of justice, Illidan. Long ago, I swore an oath to keep you chained... and by all the Gods – I shall!"
- "Illidan Stormrage, for recklessly endangering countless lives and threatening the very balance of the world, I hereby sentence you to death!"
- "Blood elves and naga! Your bastard races are an affront to everything the night elves stand for!"
The Burning Crusade
This section concerns content related to The Burning Crusade.
- Main article: Akama (quest)#Notes
- Main article: A Distraction for Akama#Notes
- Main article: Illidan Stormrage (tactics)#Quotes
- Main article: Return to the Black Temple#Notes
- Main article: Breaking Out#Notes
- Main article: Stop Gul'dan!#Notes
- Main article: Brotherly Love#Notes
- Main article: Lieutenant of the Tower#Notes
- Main article: Assault on Broken Shore (quest)#Notes
- Main article: Cathedral of Eternal Night: Altar of the Aegis#Notes
- Main article: Hall of the Moon#Quotes
- Main article: Mephistroth (tactics)#Quotes
- Main article: Kil'jaeden (Tomb of Sargeras tactics)#Quotes
- We have much work to do. Grant this demon a swift death.
- Time to deliver a message to the Legion. Send this one back in pieces!
- Our scouts report a significant threat in this area. Wipe it out!
- Just ahead... a new target. Send it screaming back to the Twisting Nether!
- Demons multiply like rats. Slay this one before it summons more of its foul kin into our world!
- A threat must be dispatched. Be swift about it.
- A threat looms near. Eliminate the target.
- A potent threat lurks nearby. Seek it out and destroy it!
- Victory by victory, we push back against the tide of this invasion. Well done!
- Well done! Your skills are sharper than any weapon of the Legion.
- Well struck, champion. Remain on your guard.
- That was more mercy than the fiend deserved. On to the next target!
- Impressive! That wretch didn't stand a chance.
- Another menace eradicated. Excellent!
- A fitting end to a vile invader.
- The Burning Legion will fall!
- The Wardens are watching.
- What is your report?
- What is it?
- Don't test my patience!
- I would hate to be your Warden...
- Serious business only!
- My glaive is very, very sharp!
- Do you wish for death?!
- Until next time.
- Back to your duties.
- Stay sharp.
- My vigil continues.
- Vault of the Wardens (demon hunter questline)
The Burning Legion has overrun the vault and most of my wardens are dead. That's why I'm setting you free. No one kills demons like you, <name>.
They're heading for Illidan's tomb. We have to work together to stop the Legion.
- Broken Shore
I will never trust the Betrayer or his Illidari lackeys, but I am willing to set aside my misgivings for the sake of the greater good.
But once the Legion falls, what sue will we have for those tainted by its corruption?
- Broken Shore gossip after finishing the Cathedral of Eternal Night
My wardens hold the Cathedral, but it will all be for naught if Kil'jaeden awakens his master's fallen avatar in the depths of the Tomb. It seems Illidan and his followers are still needed... for now.
Battle for Azeroth
Prepare yourself for battle. We will not leave Darkshore without Tyrande.
- "Have a care, Shandris. Listen to his honeyed words at your peril, believe him at your peril, join the Horde to hunt Sylvanas at your peril, for once the deed is done, you will again find their daggers at your back."
- "Whose action? The Horde’s? Whose action? What justice? For I will not be content with only Sylvanas Windrunner receiving her due. She was not alone when Teldrassil burned."
- "And yet she spoke for your side, acted for your side. The warchief is the voice of the Horde, the hand of the Horde, but now you have scattered yourselves to a council, dispersing the blame, hiding behind cowardly revisions of a history that will not be forgotten!"
- "For ten thousand years, I have served as Warden of the barrow prisons. In that time, only one has escaped, and you will not be the second! Abandon hope, for I am Maiev Shadowsong, and none shall flee my grasp!"
- "Where's Illidan?"
- "My long hunt is finally over. Today, justice will be done!"
- "Take this as my promise to you that when the time comes and you face Illidan, I will be on your side."
Quotes about Maiev
- "She has become vengeance itself, bound forever to the hunt. I only pray that in her zeal, she doesn't cause even more havoc than Illidan." (Malfurion Stormrage on Maiev and her hunt for Illidan.)
"You are more like him [Illidan] than you can possibly know. You are just as ruthless and just as obsessed. You sacrificed your friends without a second thought when it suited your purpose. You sacrificed the lives of all your followers." (Akama to Maiev) 
Maiev is the alternate hero (player character) for the rogue class in Hearthstone, and the seventh alternate hero to be revealed. She was obtained by winning 10 games of Hearthstone in Standard Ranked or Casual mode following the launch of the first expansion of 2017. Her flavor text reads: "Dedicated to rooting out demonic corruption, Maiev once jailed Illidan for ten thousand years. And that was just his first offense."
Notes and trivia
- In Darkshore, Maiev rides a nightsaber and a violet hippogryph.
- During her first visit of the Tomb of Sargeras, Maiev found a Shadow Orb. It's unknown if she still has it.
- A carrier in Lunarfall Shipyard on the alternate Draenor is named Maiev's Blade.
- Her type of weapon is .
- can be fished from the Dalaran Fountain.
- Maiev is briefly mentioned after the defeat of the ghost of Telarius Voidstrider. Telarius was a very powerful demon hunter, but he was slain during a confrontation with Maiev many years ago.
- Maiev may not be the most balanced individual on Azeroth, but she does understand the value of intimidating her enemies.
- Maiev's ability to use comes from Elune.
- Maiev is voiced by Debi Mae West. West initially had Maiev speak in an Irish accent.
- There was a shrine in Azshara known as Shadowsong Shrine. It is not clear what relation, if any, this had to the Shadowsong siblings.
- When The Burning Crusade was originally released, Maiev's model was the same as a blood elf female model but with her own unique armor. When patch 2.1.0 was released, her model was updated with unique animations.
- Perhaps ironically, the name Shadowsong is one of the random demon hunter names from Warcraft III.
- Maiev had never been seen unmasked in any Warcraft game or in any official artwork until World of Warcraft: Legion, though she removed her helm in Wolfheart.
- Starting with Cataclysm, Maiev is featured with Akama on the loading screen for Outland.
- Maiev is a playable character in Heroes of the Storm. In the game, the fact that her crimes against Malfurion and the Highborne are apparently ignored is briefly mentioned in one of her quotes; she also displays great hostility towards Horde characters despite her limited interactions with them in the lore.
- She was briefly considered as the potential Night Warrior candidate instead of Tyrande for the Tides of Vengeance storyline, but the idea was abandoned since Maiev already had a full story arc in Legion.
- The new World of Warcraft website presents Maiev as an Alliance character, which seems contrary to the events of the book Wolfheart, where she killed many Highborne, worgen, and attempted to kill Malfurion. Except for the time before her betrayal in Wolfheart, Maiev has, in fact, never been directly associated with the Alliance before the website article. Maiev apparently sent her wardens to alternate Draenor to aid Khadgar, where they joined with their kaldorei kin and other Alliance forces at Starfall Outpost. In Battle for Azeroth, Maiev is seen as an Alliance character, being present in Stormwind City, and led the kaldorei to victory as an Alliance commander in the Battle for Darkshore.
- The website also states Maiev to be leader of the Watchers. Yet, after the events of Wolfheart, another Watcher appointed by Tyrande was to be their leader. Several members of the Watchers, however, are under her command in the force called The Wardens. More regarding the Watchers and Wardens see this section. This distinction appears to be rendered somewhat moot, however, as both Jarod and Maiev have essentially combined their forces for a common cause under the Alliance as of the Fourth War.
- Besides being Jarod's sister, Maiev may also be related to Nessa Shadowsong, Fiskal Shadowsong and Eileese Shadowsong.
Warden concept art for Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne, all appeared same as Maiev.
Maiev, depicted with other heroes from Warcraft III.
Warcraft III: Reforged concept art.
Maiev supervising prisoners in her Hearthstone character trailer.
Maiev Shadowsong alternate rogue hero.
The artwork used by Maiev's minion card.
Priestess Maiev, reused TCG art of Leisha of Darnassus.
Mariner Maiev alternate rogue hero.
- The Story of Maiev Shadowsong
- A Parting of Ways
- Demon Hunter 2
- New Hearthstone Hero: Maiev Shadowsong
- Patch 2.0.3 (2007-01-09): Added.
- , Hunt for Illidan TCG card
- Warden Maiev, Reign of Fire TCG card
- ^ a b Warcraft Lore/Maiev Shadowsong
- ^ World of Warcraft: Illidan, chapter 6
- ^ a b c The Tomb of Sargeras
- ^ The Well of Eternity, chapter 3
- ^ The Demon Soul
- ^ A Parting of Ways
- ^ Warcraft Lore/Maiev Shadowsong
- ^ World of Warcraft: Illidan, chapter 7
- ^ Wolfheart, chapter 16
- ^ a b c d e f g The Warcraft Encyclopedia/Maiev Shadowsong
- ^ Warcraft III: Rise of the Naga
- ^ a b The Broken Isles
- ^ Warcraft III: The Tomb of Sargeras
- ^ Warcraft III: Wrath of the Betrayer
- ^ Warcraft III: Balancing the Scales
- ^ Warcraft III: Shards of the Alliance
- ^ Warcraft III: The Ruins of Dalaran
- ^ Warcraft III: The Brothers Stormrage
- ^ Warcraft III: The Search for Illidan
- ^ World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 3, pg. 95
- ^ World of Warcraft: Illidan, chapter 3
- ^ World of Warcraft: Illidan, chapter 10
- ^ World of Warcraft: Illidan, chapter 16
- ^ World of Warcraft: Illidan, chapter 18
- ^ World of Warcraft: Illidan, chapter 31
- ^ a b Legion - Characters
- ^ a b
- ^ a b Wolfheart
- ^ , Jarod's gossip text
- ^ a b c d
- ^ BlizzCon 2019: Q&A panel
- ^ Shadows Rising
- ^ World of Warcraft: Illidan
- ^ The Search for Illidan (WC3 BloodElf)
- ^ a b Shadows & Light, pg. 167
- ^ a b c Shadows & Light, pg. 51
- ^ Alliance & Horde Compendium, pg. 9
- ^ New Hearthstone Hero: Maiev Shadowsong
- ^ World of Warcraft Trading Card Game: . . 202:.
- ^ World of Warcraft Trading Card Game: . . 236:.
- ^ A Parting of Ways
- ^ World of Warcraft: Illidan, chapter 20
- ^ Blizzard Entertainment 2017-02-16. A Year of Mammoth Proportions!. Retrieved on 2017-02-19.
- ^ Ask CDev, Round 3
- ^ World of Warcraft: Illidan, pg. 300
- ^ 2017-11-05, THE POWERFUL WOMEN OF WARCRAFT VOICE ACTOR PANEL. Blizzpro, retrieved on 2017-11-19
- ^ Polygon - In Battle for Azeroth, the Alliance are set to take the stage
Leader of the Watchers
High Priestess of Elune (interim)