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This article is about the nightborne lore. For the playable race, see Nightborne (playable). For the quest, see H [40-70] The Nightborne.
Star Aligner
Faction/Affiliation Suramar, The Nightfallen, Horde,[1] Independent
Burning Legion
Character classes

WoW Icon update Hunter, Mage, Monk, Priest, Rogue, Warlock, Warrior

Botanist, Felsworn, Leyweaver, Sorcerer, Telemancer
Racial capital Horde Suramar City
Racial leader(s)

Horde IconSmall Thalyssra Thalyssra

  Formerly Neutral IconSmall Elisande Elisande †
Racial mount IconSmall ManaSaber Manasaber
Homeworld Azeroth
Area(s) Broken Isles
Language(s) Shalassian

“May the downtrodden one day rise up and take the place of those that would oppress them.”

First Arcanist Thalyssra, the leader of the reunited nightborne[2]

The nightborne (also spelled the Nightborne)[3] or shal'dorei in the native tongue[4][5] are a powerful and mystical race of elves who live in Suramar. Since the city was first separated from the rest of the world over 10,000 years ago, they are no longer true night elves and have evolved by the Nightwell into a unique elven species.[6] For the majority of their secluded existence, virtually the entire group resided in the ancient city of Suramar and were led solely until recent times by Grand Magistrix Elisande. The nightborne race owes much of its unique physical characteristics to its long dependence on the Nightwell, an ancient source of power crafted by Suramar's Highborne residents during the War of the Ancients. Over their lengthy isolation, the exposure of the nightborne to the Nightwell's energies gradually transformed them from their original Kaldorei night elven appearance to their present darker, more night-based form.

At the climax of the War of the Ancients, as the Kaldorei Empire began to crumble, the night elves of Suramar City, led by the Highborne Elisande, erected an immensely powerful shield that protected and isolated the city from the remainder of the Legion that overran Azeroth and the erupting sundering. There they would remain in self-imposed isolation for millennia. For the long period of time following the war's conclusion, the nightborne continued excelling and progressing in the arcane arts and culture of the Kaldorei empire, their isolation preserving a strand of the ancient culture of the Kaldorei Empire pristinely over so many millennia.[7][8]

Cinematic Suramar Jewel of the Night elf Empire

Night elves of Suramar

This period of content isolation, which saw the shal'dorei flourish, would eventually come to an abrupt end with the onset of the Burning Legion's third invasion of Azeroth. Presented with a terrible ultimatum, a majority of the nightborne leaders, following the Grand Magistrix Elisande's lead, ultimately chose to ally with the demons in order to preserve their civilization. Despite this, the ensuing Legion invasion saw the Nightfallen rebellion, composed of nightborne dissidents opposed to the Legion and assisted by outlander adventurers, rise into open insurgency against Suramar's ruling powers. With the aid of various forces from outside the Broken Isles, the Nightfallen were successful in not only liberating Suramar City from the Burning Legion's control, but also in freeing the nightborne people from their addiction to the Nightwell. Through consuming the fruit of the powerful Arcan'dor tree, the shal'dorei thus finally succeeded in escaping their dependence on the power source that had at once both preserved and enslaved them.[9]

At its height, the nightborne civilization is thought to have reached the pinnacle of elven magical prowess and sophistication, continuing the only unbroken line of magical progression of the mighty Kaldorei Empire it alone of all the existing elven groups, successfully continued in.[10]


Legion creature concept 3

Concept art.

The nightborne are the night elves of Suramar[11] who fought the Legion in the great War of the Ancients to defend their home and close a second demonic portal using the Eye of Aman'thul that would have overtaken and outflanked the resistance forces led by Kur'talos Ravencrest and Malfurion Stormrage to stop Queen Azshara.[12][13]

The Great Sundering blasted some of Suramar to the bottom of the Great Sea, although a good portion of it remained above shore in the Broken Isles due to the efforts of the resident Highborne, who crafted a magical shield that kept the center of their city together. This shield would stay up for 10,000 years, as the Highborne led group believed the world outside of Suramar had been destroyed.[14] While the city was shielded, it was next to impossible for normal Nightborne to leave,[15] though some illegally did through skillful navigation[16] or by forced exile. Under their shield in a perpetual shroud of night they would evolve into an even deeper night-based state over millennia through the energies of their arcane font, the Nightwell, the great source of power they would come to totally rely on for survival within the impenetrable shield. These night elves would come to call themselves the shal'dorei or nightborne. When the city ran out of food the nightborne started utilizing the substance of their Nightwell as nourishment and thus were spared death.[17] However this soon caused them to become unable to survive without drawing magic from the Nightwell. Crime in the nightborne society was punished by exile. Cut off from their Nightwell, the exiled would first diminish into the starved Nightfallen[14] state. Continuing without nourishment in this state causes further degradation into mindless creatures called the withered. Unlike Nightfallen, the state of Withered is irreversible and death follows not long after.[citation needed] 

The Stars Align

A nightborne astronomer.

Legion This section concerns content related to Legion.

10,000 years later, the nightborne would lower their shield and surrender to the Burning Legion under the orders of their leader. Gul'dan worked alongside this leader, Grand Magistrix Elisande, at the Nighthold. Not many nightborne agree with Elisande's decision, though they keep their disagreement a secret. With loyalists and demons marching together in the streets of Suramar, fear and distrust grips other elves' hearts and family turns against family.[18] Arcwine is the method by which the nightborne imbibe the Nightwell's energies, and the palace rations it to control the populace.[19]

A resistance group of nightborne and Nightfallen led by First Arcanist Thalyssra formed in the hidden hallways of the ruins of Shal'aran and is now backed up by Ly'leth Lunastre. Together they seek to overthrow Grand Magistrix Elisande and inspire the nightborne populace to remember they were once brave and noble thus overcoming their fear of exile in order to rise up against the current Legion occupation and bring to justice those who betrayed their people by allying with them.

Battle for Azeroth This section concerns content related to Battle for Azeroth.

During the war in Zandalar, nightborne were present in Zuldazar alongside the Reliquary and competed against the Alliance and their Dark Iron dwarves.

Arcanist Valtrois personally joined the Horde in its war campaign against the Alliance, notably helping to rescue Priscilla Ashvane from Kul Tiran captivity.[20] Thalyssra and Chief Telemancer Oculeth later journeyed with Lor'themar Theron and the remnants of the Horde navy to Nazjatar, the underwater remnants of Suramar's former sister city Zin-Azshari. Oculeth helped provide a portal for Horde adventurers, while Thalyssra and Lor'themar eventually faced and managed to narrowly defeat the Highborne's former ruler, Queen Azshara herself.[21]

After the Fourth War, Kiro and his vulpera helped the nightborne Vintner Iltheux manage arcwine production for the Horde, an achievement which helped contribute to their people joining their ranks shortly afterwards.[22]



Suramar rulers

The rulers of Suramar, with Grand Magistrix Elisande in the center.

The culture of the Shal'dorei is the culture of the Suramar region of the Kaldorei Empire preserved pristinely in seclusion for over 10,000 years.[7] Isolated in their city refuge under the impenetrable shield, the night elven empire arcane culture of Suramar continued uninterrupted in relative safety and serenity, while their counterparts who survived the aftermath of the Great Sundering on Mount Hyjal, laid aside the arcane culture for a nature-based one under their self-imposed ban on the use of the Arcane for spells. Similar to the night elven Highborne group of House Shen'dralar in Eldre'Thalas, the night elves of Suramar continued on in the traditions and customs of that era, but unlike the Shen'dralar of Eldre'Thalas that eventually fell to ruin towards the end of its 10 000 year isolation, their refuge endured under diligent and faithful stewardship. The great terror of the Legion invasion would fade and life as they always knew it would resume in the timeless bubble. With the Nightwell ingeniously employed to solve even shortages of food and armor,[17] the night elves would advance their knowledge and hone their craft in the arcane arts to new heights over the millennia as they transitioned into nightborne.

The night elves ruled the world 10,000 years ago, and no one came close when they built elegant cities and sculpted graceful forests, nor was any race a match for their mastery of magic, knowledge, and wisdom. In time they would grow haughty and regard other races with contempt, and one of the reasons Malfurion Stormrage who saw value in other races often found himself a social pariah in his home city of Suramar.[13]

The nightborne of Suramar have an air of superiority that often comes across, especially amongst loyalists and the elite (with exceptions) as pompous. They revel in their unparalleled magical civilization but having no exposure to the current races of Azeroth till the rebellion led an invading force to free Suramar, many still regard outside races and the world as it was back then, full of the unworthy, the uncultured, and low born far beneath the standards and levels of the nightborne civilization. These were the less admirable qualities of kaldorei civilization back then, and the shal'dorei continue in them as if nothing has changed and as if they still remain the center of the world.

An ancient Kaldorei tradition Tal'ashar is an honor duel to death still used by the nightborne, though in very rare occasions. It can be used to settle disputes and prove oneself worthy over an adversary, usually when key positions or appointments are made that the challenger isn't satisfied with. The challenger or defender may appoint a champion to fight on their behalf. The victor also gets to keep the nobility titles of the defeated participant.[23]

While several nightborne NPCs seem to vaguely acknowledge Elune (such as Oculeth recalling how the Temple of Fal'adora once "glowed with with prayers to Elune"), it is implied that worship of Elune gradually receded after Suramar was sealed off from the rest of the world, without sunlight or moonlight,[24] and its inhabitants turned to the arcane-based Nightwell instead of traditional religion to shape and sustain their culture, with there being no known priestess of Elune remaining within the city.


Suramar Nightwell

The Nightwell

Nightborne withering

The steps of withering: nightborne, nightfallen, withered

The nightborne present, at first hand, the Highborne society of pre-Sundering Azeroth. Whilst the kaldorei group of Northern Kalimdor that recently joined the Alliance moved on from such occupancy with status and a city-centric civilization after the Sundering and the high elves broke away to create a new type of society, the nightborne have continued on this pre-Sundering Highborne path to the present.

To the nightborne, reputation and status are of the utmost concern, and morality and principles of right and wrong are viewed too often in that light. At their core, however, the nightborne, like their night elven kin, do not find themselves short of noble souls stepping up to take a stand against the crashing tide of darkness that threatens to sweep their beloved city and the rest of the world in fel fire.

Like all night elven culture, beauty and perfection are often the end goal, but their vanity has set them apart from their druidic kin.[25] But beneath the pomp and airy rhetoric of the loyalists, the real plight of the city under the Legion's occupation is witnessed by visiting heroes ushered in under disguise by the nightfallen resistance and guided by the Lady Lunastre and her friend Vanthir. They expose the true suffering of the nightborne and the noble character of these ancient night elven folk. They diligently and tenaciously encourage the heart of their people in the face of oppression and callous indifference of a not insubstantial number of the nobility often too willing to turn a blind eye. Nightborne society is full of Artisans, Vintners, highly skilled Craftsmen, the military Duskwatch guard, and the elites of society, magic is woven into every aspect and discipline. As it was in the days of the Kaldorei Empire, spell casting is taught from a very early age amongst nightborne children.[13][26]


Suramar concept by Jimmy Lo

The City of Suramar

There are four main groups identifiable among the nightborne:

  • The loyalists: These dote on Elisande and — often too zealously — carry out her every whim. They are given an abundance of arcwine and are the ones in charge of rationing the supplies to the main populace to keep them compliant. Elisande claimed to the populace that there is a shortage of arcwine and thus the reason for rationing, however, this is a lie. The entire 'shortage' is a ruse in order to, once again, keep them in line.[19][27] The military and its Duskwatch form the bulk of the most loyal and fanatical supporters of Elisande. It is the Loyalist-dominated military that invade Moon Guard Stronghold and are the military muscle of Elisande. Yet even within the Duskwatch sympathizers and undercover rebels can be found such as Silgryn and Vanthir, Arluin, Cyrille, Lorin and Sylessa who carry on the fight to save Suramar with a tenacity that outstrips their over-zealous colleagues.
  • The citizens: These are the vast majority, nobles and non-alike who do not want the Legion around but are too afraid to speak out against them openly after Thalyssra's failed coup. While the nobles continue to vie for position and standing, too many for comfort turn a blind eye to the suffering of their kin, so as not to be found out of favor with the Grand Magistrix. This is the motivator that keeps them all but a few nobles in line. The non-elites, in contrast, are overworked, threatened with imprisonment or exile, or worse kidnapped to feed the terrible soul engines of the Burning Legion. They are given rations of the vital arcwine, the nourishment their bodies cannot do without to keep them obedient and in line to meet the burdensome whims and quotas of the Legion. Where once there was plenty for all, hunger now gnaws and bites at the people, continuing this strategy to force their compliance through fear of not having arcwine, thus beginning their dependence into the Withered State. These are the hearts Ly'leth Lunastre and the resistance seek to stir into open opposition against the legion by reminding them of their noble night elven heritage.
Sign of the Dusk Lily

The Dusk Lily, the symbol of the resistance

  • The Resistance: The group that opposes Grand Magistrix Elisande's decision to align the nightborne with the Legion; they fight to put an end to the new allegiance before it becomes irreversible and seals the nightborne and Suramar to an irreversible and irredeemable fate. Through stealth and subterfuge at first, they fight in the hope of building enough support and strength to fully assault the Palace and drive out the evil before it takes root. Their main headquarters is outside in the hidden sanctum and refuge for outcasts, Shal'aran, an abandoned cave in the ruins of Melidor. Here they are utilizing all the resources of the zone in partnership with the other nightfallen of the land to liberate the city. The resistance seeks to bring Elisande to justice and eradicate the Legion, thus saving both Suramar and Azeroth and returning the Nightwell's use for good, not evil.
  • The Felsworn/Felborne: Fel infusion has become all the rage among those eager to please the Legion; Lady Ly'leth declares that there is no redeeming these traitors, as she directs the rebellion to hunt them down in the city. The nightborne that have pledged undying loyalty to the Grand Magistrix are now indirectly in the service of the Legion and have to do anything in their power to ensure the Legion's goals are accomplished. They flaunt their newly gained powers lording it over their peers in a bid for more power but find themselves unwelcome and with few friends even amongst the noble elite. They are however feared by all which some find desirable[28] thus given a wide berth by elite and non-elite alike.

Life with the Legion amidst[]


Grand Magistrix Elisande

The full horror of the Legion occupation unfolded as the storyline progressed, as despite allying with these people, the legion use them to fuel their soul engines and devices, some have rightly risen in outrage, but too many are cowed for fear of losing access to their food source and exiled to become withered. Seeing what needs to be done, the resistance aims to help and stir the people up against their occupiers, Thalyssra "I would rather die than be a puppet for the legion."

Yet despite Grand Magistrix Elisande's decision to accept the Legion's ultimatum, and some of the cruelty exhibited by the loyalists, some measure of justice is meted out. A nightborne noble is thrown out for punishing her servants too much. Iadreth is not happy about it.[29]


While the usage of some forms of magic limited to higher-ranked officials,[30] magic is all-encompassing in Suramar and the nightborne culture. Magic constructs are common, some of them for patrol and guard duty while others for cleaning duties.[31] Enchanted magic collars were used in the Suramar Menagerie to keep its exhibition animals tame.[32] Other magic objects such as enchanted books and pens,[33] brooms, and magic-based security modules[34] can be found across Suramar. Some nightborne seem to have great respect for magic, such as Oculeth.[35]

Besides arcwine, the nightborne also favored mana gems as magical "snacks".[36]

Likely in part due to the Nightwell's connection to Aman'thul, Elisande's mastery over temporal magic was said to rival that of the bronze dragonflight, and she was capable of placing an entire army of three elven groups into a long-term stasis,[37] as well as stopping time and sending her enemies back into the recent past.[38] Some nightborne guards as well as other elves such as Advisor Vandros, Tempomancer Virinya and Thalyssra herself also appear capable of using time magic (the latter casting a time stop spell to suspend Erasmus Moonblade in midair),[39] notably to reverse damage and heal themselves as well as to increase the haste of their attacks, and it is even used to expedite their manufacturing of arcwine.[40] However, Elisande's level of mastery nevertheless does not appear to be extremely widespread, as Oculeth stated that much of the nightborne's knowledge died with their former leader.[41]

Relationships with other elven groups[]

The nightborne are a group of kaldorei Highborne transformed into a new race by the power of the Nightwell.[12] They represent the ancient night elf culture from when they were the rulers of the world,[11] before they abandoned arcane for druidism. Though they use the night elven names, themes, castes, and saber mounts of the original ancient night elven culture along with its traditions,[citation needed]  the nightborne speak an offshoot of the ancient elvish language.[42][43]

Nightborne and night elves[]

First Arcanist Thalyssra Cured

First Arcanist Thalyssra

“Magic has long been a vice of the elves. It shaped us, and lifted us out of the darkness - but without balance, it also threatens to unmake us. The shal'dorei are too proud to admit it, but they are the product of indulgence. They live without harmony. But I sense potential among the Nightfallen. Losing everything has humbled them. It has made them stronger.”

Valewalker Farodin, last of the kaldorei keepers

Night elves worked alongside the nightborne aiding the nightborne resistance led by First Arcanist Thalyssra. All is not lost with the Nightfallen state, as already the night elves are at work with the rebellion in trying to help them, and at the forefront of the various efforts is Valewalker Farodin standing alongside the First Arcanist herself, stating that: "In the changing of seasons, the truth will be revealed."[44] and sensing potential within the nightborne.[45]

The destructive effect of Grand Magistrix Elisande's allegiance with the Legion continued in the attack on Moon Guard Stronghold, hours after the shield vanished,[46] as the interaction between the city group and their surrounding country counterparts continues with the arcane Moon Guard group. Although the nightborne loyalists managed to wipe out most of the Moon Guard despite considerable resistance, "Commander Domitille represents the very essence of the nightborne's corruption. Abhorrent of power not their own, enamored with their Grand Magistrix to the point of zealotry, and focused utterly on the destruction of the Moon Guard. Take her helm to Lothrius Mooncaller as proof of her demise."[47] Despite the nightborne believing them to wield "inferior magics", the Moon Guard remnant in reality seem to be much more effective against the nightborne invaders than they against them, though their superior numbers nevertheless won the day.[48]

According to Thalrenus Rivertree, a Moon Guard survivor, "The nightborne came to our gates hours after the shield over Suramar fell. We thought them friends, despite our long separation. We were wrong. They poured into our stronghold and began the slaughter. We were unprepared. Though we fought, we were beaten. The keep is lost. Our leaders have perished and their corpses lay in the streets. Find them, give them their final rites." Later, Lothrius, Thalrenus, and Syrana Starweaver were invited to Shal'Aran by Thalyssra, who sought to make amends for Elisande's crimes against their ancient neighbors and friends.[49] The three Moon Guard survivors subsequently openly joined the rebellion, journeying to Meredil and observing the arrival of Tyrande and Liadrin's elves. Apparently, the nightborne initially feigned friendship with some of their old acquaintances, at least long enough for books to be lent by the Moon Guard to some of their elite in the Court of Stars.[50] The Moon Guard were familiar with the nightborne's magics, but were never allowed access to the Spell shaman maelstromweapon [Heart of Zin-Azshari], reserved only for the Queen's favored among the Highborne, but were still able to tap its power with some assistance.[51]

Nighteyes, a kaldorei druid, was shocked by the nightborne loyalists using magical devices to trap animals and take them back to the zoo, remarking, "Have they fallen so far whiles they were under the shield all this time..." He soon realized that such behavior did not pertain to all the nightborne of Suramar, although most of the nightborne, having been secluded in a major center for millennia, lacked the high standards the night elves hold themselves to the reverence of wildlife and nature.[52][53][54] Night elven druidic refugees from neighboring Val'sharah eventually joined the nightborne rebels, some even traveling to their haven in Shal'Aran and assisting their efforts against the Legion in Suramar.

While the Resistance apparently welcomed the night elves with open arms, the view was seemingly not shared by Elisande and those loyal to her. When the night elves gathered their forces and finally confronted her at the gates of Suramar, Tyrande, one of her former subjects who fled their city millennia ago, was the first to be addressed, with Elisande accusing her people of disgracing their ancient heritage, followed by insulting the quel'dorei of the Silver Covenant for "diluting their heritage", and then the blood elves for allying with "misfits and monsters". This exchange also indicates that Elisande at least is aware of both the night elves and the high elves, as well as their activities and societies to some extent.[55]

Some night elves in Suramar such as Sentinel Moonshade express dismay at how their nightborne brethren has seemingly forgotten how much their race lost in the War of the Ancients, although most of the nightborne seem to remember the conflict itself, with Thalyssra recalling how Azshara betrayed their people to the ruin of the world, and Silgryn remembering how the legendary Kur'talos Ravencrest was a "brilliant tactician".[56] Prince Farondis also acknowledges that the nightborne were once his people's kin, but he can no longer tolerate their transgressors, such as Leodrath, in Azsuna,[57] and asks adventurers to slay the withered, whom he still regards as his brethren, at the Ley-Ruins of Zarkhenar.[58] Vereesa Windrunner further states that the nightborne are foreign to the other elves, despite their common heritage, noting that they have apparently changed immensely in their long separation from the other elven groups.[59] Valewalker Farodin later expressed his belief that his "long lost brethren" in Suramar belonged under a starry sky like their ancestors, not a conjured one.[60]

Some of the nightborne also apparently believe that the night elves' traditions are somewhat old-fashioned, with Silgryn remarking that it was difficult to imagine how they were all descended from the same elves, and that none of them were impervious to the passage of time. He also mentions that Suramar has not made bows in centuries when observing the Sentinels practice archery,[61] with Victoire believing that Spell nature starfall [Arcane Missiles] served as a far more potent substitute to such "primitive instruments".[62] However, despite these differences, Valtrois, one of Suramar's elite arcanists, nevertheless pays respects to the night elves buried at Tel'anor, noting that her people owed their unmatched grace and intellect to the "noble heritage" of their kaldorei ancestors,[63] and Thaedris Feathersong also remained there, mourning what his people have become as well as the loss of his long-deceased Sentinel wife, Latara.[64]

Initially, Tyrande says that the regrets she had for the highborne "vanished when they went under that shield" ten thousand years ago, as mentioned when she first had to attack the city of Suramar controlled by Magistrix Elisande.[65] When the rebellion started however, she sided with Thalyssra's nightborne.

Thalyssra implied that "Elune's wisdom" guided Tyrande away from the nightborne, while the blood elves retained close relations with them. She found the Alliance too walled off and cloistered, and didn't want her people to "endure such stagnation again".[66] She ultimately decided to heir ally with the Horde and give her people "a fresh start".[67]

Much later, attacking Azshara's armies in Zin-Azshari, Shandris Feathermoon criticized the Highborne for the downfall of night elven civilization and, jointly, the people of Suramar for walling their city off as Kalimdor burned around them. Thalyssra pointed out that they still courageously rebelled against Azshara.[68]

Nightborne and blood elves[]

Like the Highborne of House Shen'dralar introduced in Cataclysm, there is very little interaction between the blood elves and the new night elven group the nightborne until the final assault against the Nighthold is about to begin. The blood elves found some familiarity in the Highborne-based culture of the pre-Sundering night elves on display in the nightborne of Suramar as theirs, though different, was built off that. The blood elves joined the allied force of the Alliance and Horde under the direction of the Resistance in the final assault on the Nighthold.

Some blood elves have great sympathy for the nightborne and understand their situation with a genuine desire to help. Grand Magister Rommath said that the battle for the liberation of Suramar is of enormous importance to the elf-kind future.[citation needed] 

A few nightborne respect the blood elves, as Victoire and Silgryn made these comments about the blood elves:

Silgryn: "These blood elves are battle-hardened and disciplined. Their strength will be most useful."

Victoire: "These blood elves have some formidable magic. Let us hope it is enough to counter the might of the Nightwell."

However, this doesn't seem to be the case for the nobility as Elisande showed:

Elisande: "Sin'dorei? Of all the elves, I thought you might understand the choice I made to save my people. Instead, you ally with misfits and monsters. [...] Each of you has debased your proud lineage. Each of you has forgotten the ancient power that is our birthright."

Grand Magister Rommath explained that the blood elven blood knights and magisters will form the core of the assault, striking true into the heart of the city.

Silgryn and Lady Liadrin journeyed abroad the Vindicaar to contribute their respective peoples' talents and strengths to the Argus Campaign. During a deep conversation, Silgryn and Liadrin noted their people's similar experiences, and Liadrin mentioned that the Horde provided the necessary allies they required to stand against a world which often turned its back to them, leaving Silgryn with much to ponder.

Civilian noble and Military Unit

Nightborne civilian noble and military champion.


Main article: Shalassian

Outside world[]

Isolation did somewhat taint the view of the outside world for most nightborne. As exemplified by their menagerie in Suramar, they now have a naive view of other lands and their inhabitants. Now that they have rejoined the other races of Azeroth, many nightborne started exploring the world again. Those that volunteered for the Zuldazar expedition alongside the Reliquary were surprised to learn that jungles were actually wet, hot and full of insects.[69]


  • IconSmall Fal'dorei MaleIconSmall Fal'dorei Female Fal'dorei — A race of former elves found in Suramar twisted into spider-like creatures.
  • IconSmall Felborne MaleIconSmall Felborne Female Felborne — Nightborne who have fully embraced the fel energies of the Burning Legion, turning their eyes green and their skin lighter with a green taint.
  • IconSmall Nightfallen MaleIconSmall Nightfallen Female Nightfallen — Outcast nightborne elves that have been cut off from the nourishment of the Nightwell due to being exiled from Suramar City and have begun to wither into a state of withdrawal.
    • IconSmall Withered Withered — Nightfallen who could not find sources of arcane to feed their starvation.


Name Role Status Location
Mob IconSmall Elisande Grand Magistrix Elisande Grand Magistrix of Suramar. Deceased-Killable Various Locations
Horde IconSmall Thalyssra IconSmall Nightfallen Female First Arcanist Thalyssra First Arcanist of Suramar and leader of the nightborne resistance. Alive Various Locations
Horde IconSmall Nightborne Female Ly'leth Lunastre Nightborne noble, leads the opposition within Suramar City. Alive Various Locations
Horde IconSmall Oculeth IconSmall Nightfallen Male Oculeth Inventor of the city's teleportation system, expelled for opposing the Legion. Alive Shal'Aran, Suramar
Horde IconSmall Valtrois IconSmall Nightfallen Female Valtrois Foremost expert on Leyline magical conduits and the Nightwell, opposes the Legion. Alive Shal'Aran, Suramar
Horde IconSmall Silgryn Silgryn A Nightwatch guard that assists with entry into the city and helping the populace of Suramar. Alive Suramar City, Suramar
Horde IconSmall Nightborne Female Victoire Guard of the Duskwatch who defected to the Nightfallen resistance during the Insurrection of Suramar City. Alive Suramar City, Suramar
Mob IconSmall Nightborne Female Spellblade Aluriel The first Spellblade. Killable Nighthold, Suramar
Mob IconSmall Tel'arn High Botanist Tel'arn High Botanist of Suramar. Killable Nighthold, Suramar
Mob IconSmall Nightborne Male Advisor Vandros High-ranking advisor to the Grand Magistrix. Killable The Arcway, Suramar
Mob IconSmall Nightborne Male Advisor Melandrus First Blade of Elisande. Killable Court of Stars, Suramar
Mob IconSmall Nightborne Male Erasmus Moonblade Second Blade of Elisande. Killable Meredil, Suramar
Mob IconSmall Nightborne Male Thoramir Replacement Second Blade of Elisande. Killable Terrace of Order, Suramar
Mob IconSmall Nightborne Male Star Augur Etraeus High-ranking astromancer. Killable Nighthold, Suramar
Mob IconSmall Nightborne Male Patrol Captain Gerdo Captain of the Duskwatch. Killable Court of Stars, Suramar
Mob IconSmall Nightborne Male Allaris Narassin High-ranking member of the Shadow Council. Killable Tomb of Sargeras, Broken Shore
Mob IconSmall Nightborne Female IconSmall Felborne Female Andaris Narassin Newly-appointed First Arcanist of the Duskwatch. Killable Suramar City, Suramar
Neutral IconSmall Nightborne Male IconSmall Nightfallen Male Thaedris Feathersong An exile and historian who kept alive the memories of the night elves who died to save Suramar. Alive Tel'anor, Suramar
Neutral IconSmall Nightborne Male Vanthir A tavern owner and known contact of Ly'leth, he champions the inner city fight. Alive Suramar City, Suramar
Neutral IconSmall Nightborne Male Lespin Silverleaf A jeweler of unsavory and haughty character who would stoop low to get his way. Killable Suramar City, Suramar
Neutral IconSmall Nightborne Female Margaux The vintner that manages the Twilight Vineyards and the supply of arcwine for the city; sympathetic to the resistance. Deceased Suramar City, Suramar
Neutral IconSmall Nightborne Male Arluin Sacrificed his life to provide the arcan'dor with enough arcane energy to grow fruit. Deceased Suramar City, Suramar
Neutral IconSmall Nightborne Female Arluelle Sister of Arluin, trainee of Silgryn. Alive Suramar City, Suramar

Notes and trivia[]

BlizzCon 2015 female nightborne

Nightborne females at BlizzCon 2015.

  • It can take up to as much as 50 days for nightfallen to turn into withered.[70] While the nightfallen state is reversible with Arcan'dor fruits, currently there is no coming back from Withered.
  • They are known to build special nightborne constructs.
  • Nightborne reuse most night elf animations, except for the standing animation.
  • Elisande and Spellblade Aluriel are female nightborne that don't have the characteristic upward pointing ears as other nightborne but have ears that are the same shape as the ears on night elves. At BlizzCon 2015 the regular female nightborne shown also had ears that looked the same as night elves ears.
  • Many "imperial" characters can be found in the ranks of the nightborne, including Arcbinders, Arcanists, Conjurers, Servants and Spellbreakers. These may all have been members of the Kaldorei Empire.
  • Nightborne children are too young to be fed arcwine below a certain age.[26] They subsist on 'mana juice' instead.
  • Some of the nightborne humor quotes (if at all taken seriously or canonically) seem to indicate that they still remember Tyrande from her time in Suramar; that the nightborne regard the kaldorei as "country elves" who lack the cultural sophistication to reside in a real city; and that some of the night elves believe that the nightborne's culture, such as their fashion, is severely outdated.
  • Some of the nightborne, aside from their close kinship with the blood elves, appeared to initially harbor reservations about some of the Horde's races and their cultures. For example, Elisande herself called the Horde "misfits and monsters" when she mocked the blood elves for allying with them. Thalyssra was at first skeptical that they would share common ground with them, and felt the night elves of Kalimdor would be obvious allies before Tyrande rejected her; she later mentioned that Suramar still warned nightborne children of the Zandalari's dark ways, and her people had thought the trolls nothing but "bloodthirsty savages". Some Leyline Navigators mentioned that the orcs' mood lighting was not conducive to studying, seemingly different than what they were familiar with, and Melitier Vahlouran noted Orgrimmar was not as beautiful as Suramar, acknowledged the orcs' "interesting" aesthetic choices, and warned nightborne adventurers to be careful of the spikes and smells.[71] Valtrois also noted she was skeptical of the Forsaken when she first joined the Horde, and was particularly perturbed by Sylvanas raising Derek Proudmoore. However, after the Fourth War, the nightborne seem to have become far more comfortable with their new allies, with Suramar even sending arcwine to the Horde.[72]
  • In a 2019 interview with Steve Danuser and Steve Burke, it was mentioned that the writers were not surprised that some Alliance players were somewhat upset by the nightborne becoming a Horde playable race, as they had the same reaction internally, but they had to make a choice between the two sides, despite "interesting arguments" from both. The nightborne apparently provided a sense of gravitas to the Horde, while the void elves gave the Alliance a potentially darker side that might be explored in the future.[73]
  • Nightborne use mostly French historical elements and the drow of Dungeons and Dragons.
    • Names like Grand Magistrix Elisande, Margaux, Arluelle, and Victoire are all French or French-styled inventions.
    • The nightborne bear a superficial resemblance to the drow of Dungeons And Dragons aesthetically calling to mind the classic "dark elf" fantasy, and using similar story themes to the blood elves, something that is even acknowledged in-universe.[74][75]
    • The fal'dorei are thus a reference to the Driders, being drow that were transformed into spider-like beings.
    • The nighborne dependency on arcwine and vintners resembles the real-world association of France with wine.
    • The use of the "dusk lily" as the revolutionary flower motif of Thalyssra's revolution is likely a combination of the cockade of France (in turn said to be based upon the carnation used in later revolutions world-wide) and the fleur-de-lis (meaning lily flower) common to French heraldry.


This article or section includes speculation, observations or opinions possibly supported by lore or by Blizzard officials. It should not be taken as representing official lore.
  • Blood elves should be somewhat familiar with the struggles facing the Nightfallen, as they have recently transitioned from a state of arcane longing.
    • Lady Liadrin and Grand Magister Rommath show great understanding and desire to help their "long-lost kindred"[citation needed] 
  • "Kaldorei" means "Children of the Stars" in Darnassian.[76] It is thus possible that "shal'dorei" means "Children of Shadow" since Shalla'tor means "Shadow Render", or "Children of the Night" since shal'dorei are also called "Nightborne".
  • It is unclear how the nightborne reacted to the Burning of Teldrassil, which they and the other allied races did not apparently participate in, although they remained with the Horde and followed Sylvanas for most of the Fourth War. Despite the fact that the World Tree was only a decade old, presumably some of the nightborne had relatives living in Teldrassil and Kalimdor, as Tyrande, Malfurion, Maiev and Jarod (who was Captain of Suramar's Guard) all originally came from the city or its surrounding regions. Aside from Thalyssra and Shandris's confrontation at Nazjatar, where they put aside their differences and successfully cooperated against their former Queen Azshara, the two peoples seemingly did not directly fight with each other to any significant degree during the conflict.


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  1. ^ H [40-70] The Nightborne
  2. ^ Inv misc coin 19 [First Arcanist Thalyssra's Coin]
  3. ^ N [45] Fate of the Guard
  4. ^ Inv tailoring 70 silkweave [Shal'dorei Silk]
  5. ^ N [45] Magic Message
  6. ^ BlizzCon 2015 - World of Warcraft Legion - World and Content Overview (49:19) (2016-02-24). Retrieved on 2018-07-25.​ “Now the elves with Suramar City are no longer true night elves. They've evolved into a unique elven species now known as the nightborne.
  7. ^ a b Treasure Forgotten Knowledge
  8. ^ Suramar Intro: The in-game cinematic.
  9. ^ N [45] Arcan'dor, Gift of the Ancient Magi
  10. ^ Raid Preview: The Nighthold
  11. ^ a b Legion Zone Overview: Suramar
  12. ^ a b World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 1, pg. 103 - 104
  13. ^ a b c War of the Ancients Trilogy
  14. ^ a b BlizzCon 2015: World and Content Overview Panel
  15. ^ Alex Afrasiabi on Twitter: "When the bubble was up it was probably next to impossible for normal Nightborne to leave."
  16. ^ Captain Caspartine#Quotes
  17. ^ a b Gamescom 2015 Panel
  18. ^ N [45] Blood of My Blood
  19. ^ a b N [45] Dispensing Compassion
  20. ^ H [60] Through the Front Door
  21. ^ B [50R] The Eternal Palace: Queen's Gambit
  22. ^ H [40-70] The Vintner's Assistants
  23. ^ N [45] Ly'leth's Champion
  24. ^ N [45] The Nightborne Pact
  25. ^ World of Warcraft Legion: Various Suramar City Quests
  26. ^ a b World of Warcraft Legion: Suramar City Zone: Child audio.
  27. ^ N [45] Redistribution
  28. ^ N [45] Death Becomes Him
  29. ^ N [45] A Desperate Journey
  30. ^ N [45] Special Delivery
  31. ^ Nightborne construct
  32. ^ N [45] Survival of the Fittest
  33. ^ Palace Minder
  34. ^ Deactivated Security Module
  35. ^ Chief Telemancer Oculeth#On-click
  36. ^ Inv misc gem emeraldrough 01 [Corrupted Mana Gems]
  37. ^ N [45] Temporal Investigations
  38. ^ Grand Magistrix Elisande (tactics)
  39. ^ N [45] Trail of Echoes
  40. ^ N [45] How It's Made: Arcwine
  41. ^ H [40-70] Caverns of Time
  42. ^ Don Adams on Twitter: "it's a unique dialect of ancient elvish - we haven't actually given a name for it"
  43. ^ Don Adams on Twitter: "Correct. It's an offshoot, similar to Thalassian."
  44. ^ N [45] Seed of Hope
  45. ^ N [45] Growing Strong
  46. ^ N [45] Fate of the Guard
  47. ^ N [45] Zealot's Dues
  48. ^ Lyrea Windfeather
  49. ^ N [45] Last Stand of the Moon Guard
  50. ^ N [45D] Court of Stars: Literary Perfection
  51. ^ N [45] Lost Knowledge
  52. ^ N [45] Apex Predator
  53. ^ N [45] Survival of the Fittest
  54. ^ N [45] Shalassic Park
  55. ^ N [45] Gates of the Nighthold -
    Elisande says: Kaldorei? You disgrace a glorious past, hiding in trees and cloaking yourselves in false piety. You have grown as savage as the trolls that skulk about your forests.
    Elisande says: Quel'dorei? You are peasants playing at nobility, all too willing to mingle with lesser races that dilute your bloodline. You are unworthy of the name high elves.
    Elisande says: Sin'dorei? Of all the elves, I thought you might understand the choice I made to save my people. Instead, you ally with misfits and monsters.
    Elisande says: Each of you has debased your proud lineage. Each of you has forgotten the ancient power that is our birthright.
    Elisande says: Let this failed rebellion be a lesson to any that would stand against the shal'dorei!
  56. ^ N [45] Learning From the Dead
  57. ^ N [45WQ] Leodrath's Kin
  58. ^ N [45WQ] Those Beyond Redemption
  59. ^ B [45] Taking a Promenade
  60. ^ N [45] Redemption for the Fallen
  61. ^ Silgryn: "The night elves use bows! I do not think a bow has been made in Suramar in centuries! I wonder if they would let me use one for target practice..."
  62. ^ Victoire: "I saw the Sentinels doing target practice over in their camp. They sure can shoot...We never really embraced the bow. After all, who needs such primitive instruments when you can craft the fabric of the world to fire missiles for you?"
  63. ^ N [45WQ] Honoring the Past
  64. ^ N [45] Feathersong's Redemption
  65. ^ A [45] Down to Business
  66. ^ H [40-70] Thalyssra's Estate
  67. ^ H IconSmall Nightborne MaleIconSmall Nightborne Female [10] For the Horde
  68. ^ H [50] The Handmaiden's Tale
  69. ^ Nightborne Scholar#Quotes
  70. ^ N [45] Scattered Memories
  71. ^ H IconSmall Nightborne MaleIconSmall Nightborne Female [10] Stranger in a Strange Land
  72. ^ H [40-70] The Vintner's Assistants
  73. ^ The original Allied Races still have a part to play in World of Warcraft’s story
  74. ^ H [45] Take Me To Your Leader
  75. ^ Silgryn#Quotes
  76. ^ The Warcraft Encyclopedia/Darnassian