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For the priest talent, see Achievement boss lanathel [San'layn].
Prince Tenris Mirkblood
Tenris Mirkblood, a San'layn blood prince
Main leader Unknown
  Formerly Horde IconSmall San'layn Prince Blood Prince Dreven †
Mob IconSmall San'layn Queen Blood-Queen Lana'thel †
Mob IconSmall San'layn Prince Blood Prince Council †
Race(s) San'laynSan'layn Darkfallen
Character classes Death knight, Mage, Priest, Rogue, Warlock, Warrior
Capital None[1]
  Formerly Crimson Hall (within Icecrown Citadel)
Language(s) Thalassian
Affiliation Scourge, Independent
  Formerly Horde
Status Active

“The San'layn are the Lich King's immortal soldiers!”

Blood-Queen Lana'thel

The San'layn (sometimes spelled in lowercase) are a sect[2][3] of vampiric darkfallen elves in service to the Scourge.[4] They are known for their guile and dark magic, particularly the manipulation of blood and shadow magic.[2] They used to be among Kael'thas Sunstrider's greatest followers,[5] until they were raised into undeath by Arthas following Illidan Stormrage's failed assault on the Frozen Throne.[6][7] During Battle for Azeroth, a number of San'layn led by Blood Prince Dreven were given a chance to join the Horde by Warchief Sylvanas if they could work with them, but Dreven was killed during his mission.[8]


The Frozen Throne[]

WC3RoC-logo This section concerns content related to Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos or its expansion The Frozen Throne.
Return to Northrend

Blood elves being killed during Arthas' return to Northrend.

In the aftermath of the Third War, the blood elves were cut off from their source of magic, the Sunwell. Desperate for aid, their prince Kael'thas Sunstrider pledged allegiance to Illidan Stormrage who taught them how to siphon magic, and how to wield fel.[9] The blood elves, or Sunfury, seeking to avenge their fallen brethren, participated in Illidan's attempt to destroy the Lich King.[10] Arthas intervened, and the two armies clashed, but the undead ultimately defeated Illidan's forces at the foot of Icecrown.[10][11] The surviving blood elves returned to Outland along with Kael'thas.

A few remained lost and scattered in the frozen wastes of Northrend, but Arthas sought out one by one those who had challenged the Lich King. He shattered their forces and raised the most powerful ones into the Lich King's service as vampyr Darkfallen, organizing them into the San'layn.[7] Among those survivors was Lana'thel, wielder of the draconic blade Quel'Delar, who was no match for the power of Frostmourne. She was chosen by the Lich King to serve him in undeath as the queen of the San'layn.[12]

Wrath of the Lich King[]

Wrath-Logo-Small This section concerns content related to Wrath of the Lich King.
Crimson Hall

The Crimson Hall in Icecrown Citadel.

Blood-Queen Lana'thel HS

Blood-Queen Lana'thel, leader of the San'layn.

The San'layn oversaw the Scourge's operations throughout Azeroth,[4] holding an important position amongst the Scourge offensive,[13] with its members, most of the times, performing important tasks on the behalf of the Lich King.[14][15] They were often found in strongholds of other Scourge-affiliated races alongside with its local leadership, or in command of Scourge bases or operations across Northrend, acting as agents, leaders, or ambassadors.[16]

During the Scourge's second invasion, the San'layn Prince Tenris Mirkblood had infiltrated Karazhan by orders from the Lich King, in a mission to learn about the strengths of their enemies. The operation was thwarted by experienced heroes sent by the Argent Dawn.[17]

They took part in the assault upon the Scarlet Enclave, were responsible for the resurrection of Archmage Arugal, the creation of the massive flesh titan Thrym, challenged heroes in battle at Valhalas, and acted as ambassadors to the vrykul of the Howling Fjord and as agents of the Scourge forces attempting to conquer Azjol-Nerub. The San'layn maintained an especially strong presence in the Borean Tundra, leading the assaults from Temple City of En'kilah and the necropolis Naxxanar floating above the fortress.

The alliance between King Ymiron and the Scourge meant that the Lich King sent an ambassador, the San'layn Prince Keleseth, to reside at Utgarde Keep. He oversaw Scourge operations in Howling Fjord, working with Ingvar the Plunderer to organize raids. Adventurers eventually killed him.[3]

The San'layn faced heavy resistance from the Alliance and the Horde. With most of their blood princes slain by the end of the Northrend campaign, the Ashen Verdict and a group of heroes raided the Crimson Hall within Icecrown Citadel, their headquarters. The blood-princes Valanar, Keleseth, and Taldaram were raised into undeath by the Lich King to avenge themselves, but were killed again, along with their blood-queen.[4]


Legion This section concerns content related to Legion.

Blood-Queen Lana'thel's daughter, Blood-Princess Thal'ena, had been imprisoned in the Violet Hold by the Kirin Tor in the aftermath of the war against the Lich King. She was freed by Lord Malgath in an attempt to strike Dalaran from within, but was killed by a group of heroes.

Battle for Azeroth[]

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

Blood Prince Dreven and Rokhan

With no home left, several San'layn were employed into the Horde's ranks, although Talanji did not trust them. Sylvanas came into an agreement and gave them a chance; besides having to respect the hierarchy of authority within the Horde, if the Darkfallen could work with them they would get a home with the Horde, if not they would be gone.[1]

They were tasked to clear the rubble in a collapsed tunnel that connects Nazmir to Vol'dun. Blood Prince Dreven and his followers came into conflict with Shandris Feathermoon, eventually killing members of her party. Hunted by the Alliance, the blood prince was cornered traveling via boat. Aboard the Crimson Squall he was training other San'layn and alongside his followers were siphoning power from blood-infused crystals to bolster their unholy abilities, indicating that the San'layn were growing their ranks again. When cornered, Dreven killed and drained the Forsaken troops aboard his ship, intending to blame their deaths on the Alliance. The blood prince and his followers were ultimately slain by Shandris and an Alliance adventurer.[8]


Shadowlands This section concerns content related to Shadowlands.

With the breaking of the Helm of Domination, the san'layn Vorath marshaled the Scourge in the Ghostlands and marched them to attack the blood elves settlement of Tranquillien.[18] In response, the sin'dorei helmed by the Blood Knights defended the village and launched a counteroffensive across the Dead Scar into Deatholme where adventurers managed to kill Vorath with their newly empowered ranseurs.[19]


Prince Taldaram HS

Prince Taldaram in Hearthstone.

San'layn mostly retain the builds of their still-living kin, with slim, athletic, and strong bodies, and have fairly long hair.

However, unlike blood elves, their flesh appears necrotic and, though universally pale, ranges from fleshy pinks and red to gray and light green, and they tend to have either white, blond, red or dark hair. Their eyes have white, yellow, green, blue, or black glows. Some San'layn have clawed fingers and ears more closely resembling those of a bat, and a few have developed wings.


San'layn banner

The banner of the San'layn.

The San'layn are cold, arrogant vampyr who inflict pain for pure entertainment.[20] Bearer of a curse which makes them hunger for blood,[21] they are often found siphoning from blood globes and crystals.

San'layn, most of the times, dress in red, orange and black garments, like tarnished versions of their living cousins, the blood elves. They have assimilated the Scourge shared culture, and contributed with their own, which can be seen in the decoration of the Crimson Hall, inside the Icecrown Citadel.

Their most common mount is the skeletal horse and they have been shown to keep bats, spiders and blood worms around them.

Skilled in a variety of magic schools, they often make use of vampiric skills, have even demonstrated some shape-shifting abilities and possess great mental influence over human minds, when empowered by the Lich King.[22]


During the Northrend campaign, the San'layn possessed two main bases of operations across Northrend: the Temple City of En'kilah and the Crimson Hall. The Temple City of En'kilah served as the command center of the Scourge in the Borean Tundra. The Crimson Hall was the headquarters and home of the San'layn, located inside the Icecrown Citadel, and was the place where the most powerful ones could be found. Blood-Queen Lana'thel held the leading position in the San'layn hierarchy, and the Blood Prince Council were the second in the chain of command of the faction.

Later, during the Horde War Campaign, the San'layn attempted to join the Horde's ranks, only to be slain alongside their leader Blood Prince Dreven by the hands of the Alliance.

The current status of their leadership and its organization is unknown.


Name Role Status Location
IconSmall San'layn Queen Blood-Queen Lana'thel <The San'layn> Leader of the San'layn, former wielder of Quel'Delar. Deceased (lore); Killable (WoW) Icecrown and Icecrown Citadel
IconSmall San'layn Queen Blood-Princess Thal'ena Legion Daughter of Lana'thel. Imprisoned in the Violet Hold. Killable (WoW) Violet Hold
IconSmall San'layn Prince Blood Prince Dreven Battle for Azeroth Leader of a group that sought to join the Horde. Deceased (lore); Killable (WoW) Zandalar
IconSmall San'layn Prince Prince Taldaram Agent of the Scourge forces attempting to conquer Azjol-Nerub. Raised in undeath to serve in Icecrown Citadel as a member of the Blood Prince Council. Deceased (lore); Killable (WoW) Ahn'kahet and Icecrown Citadel
IconSmall San'layn Prince Prince Keleseth <The San'layn> Overlord of Howling Fjord, ruler of the South-Eastern reaches of Northrend and ambassador to the vrykul; also took part in the assault upon the Scarlet Enclave and the ritual to raise Arugal. Raised in undeath to serve in Icecrown Citadel as a member of the Blood Prince Council. Prince Valanar's brother.[23] Deceased (lore); Killable (WoW) Scarlet Enclave, Howling Fjord, Utgarde Keep and Icecrown Citadel
IconSmall San'layn Prince Prince Valanar <The San'layn> Overlord of Borean Tundra and master of Naxxanar; also took part in the assault upon the Scarlet Enclave and the ritual to raise Arugal. Raised in undeath to serve in Icecrown Citadel as a member of the Blood Prince Council. Prince Keleseth's brother. Deceased (lore); Killable (WoW) Scarlet Enclave, Borean Tundra and Icecrown Citadel
IconSmall San'layn Prince Prince Tenris Mirkblood <The San'layn> Agent of the Scourge during the second Scourge Invasion. Deceased Karazhan
IconSmall San'layn Prince Prince Sandoval Challenges fighters to battle at Valhalas. Deceased (lore); Killable (WoW) Icecrown Citadel and Icecrown Glacier
IconSmall San'layn Prince Prince Navarius Masterminded the creation of the massive flesh titan, Thrym, and likely other flesh giants. Deceased (lore); Killable (WoW) Zul'Drak
IconSmall San'layn Prince Prince Atherann <The San'layn> Took part in the ritual to raise Archmage Arugal. Unknown Last seen in Silverpine Forest
IconSmall San'layn Prince Prince Theraldis <The San'layn> Led the ritual to raise Arugal. Unknown Last seen in Silverpine Forest
IconSmall San'layn Prince Vorath Mustered the leaderless Scourge to attack Tranquillien. Deceased (lore); Killable (WoW) Ghostlands
IconSmall San'layn Male High Priest Andorath One of Prince Valanar's lieutenants. Deceased (lore); Killable (WoW) Borean Tundra
IconSmall San'layn Male Luthion the Vile <The San'layn> One of Prince Valanar's lieutenants. Deceased (lore); Killable (WoW) Borean Tundra
IconSmall San'layn Male Vanthryn the Merciless <The San'layn> One of Prince Valanar's lieutenants. Deceased (lore); Killable (WoW) Borean Tundra

Ranks and types[]

Crimson Hall 01

Darkfallen in the Crimson Hall.

Notes and trivia[]


Concept art from The Art of Wrath of the Lich King.

  • Sir Finley Mrrgglton speculates that the vrykul vampyr of Stormheim may have suffered the same curse the blood elves did.[24]
  • Achievement boss lanathel [San'layn] is a level 75 Shadow Priest talent which increases the damage of Spell holy stoicism [Vampiric Touch] and the healing of Spell shadow unsummonbuilding [Vampiric Embrace].
  • In Heroes of the Storm, Sylvanas has a color variant of her "Dark Lady" skin called "San'layn Dark Lady Sylvanas".
  • During early WotLK beta, they used undead blood elf models, with some wearing the Malefic Raiment.[25]
  • Chris Metzen said at BlizzCon 2007 that the vrykul were also vampiric, something that is not visited in-game.
  • The San'layn hold a few similarities with the nathrezim, who previously served the Lich King, both being inspired from vampires and overseeing the Scourge's efforts. The similarities may be intentional in-universe, as the Lich King could have wanted to fill the gap previously occupied by the dreadlords in his armies.
  • The San'layn are jokingly referred by female void elves as another type of "emo elves" who drink blood.[26]
  • The San'layn, specifically their Princes, are inspired from vampires from folklore and fiction. They drink blood, have bat-like ears, wear cloaks with high collars, possess fangs, and display similar mannerisms, characteristics and accent. The Art of Wrath of the Lich King includes a concept art titled "High Elf Nosferatu", which appears to be inspired by Count Orlok from the classic German silent film Nosferatu.


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.
  • Elder Ko'nani of the Kalu'ak states that "the Dark One rides forth again with his San'layn..." showing that they are a major, or at least leading, part of the Scourge offensive. Depending on how the sentence is read, it may mean the San'layn were part of a previous attack of some kind.


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See also[]