This article is a copy of "The Burning Crusade Townhall", an official article by Blizzard Entertainment. It presented information about a variety of things in the Warcraft universe. The original article, formerly located at http://www.worldofwarcraft.com/burningcrusade/townhall/, did not survive the overhaul of the World of Warcraft Official Website.
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Chapter 1: The Founding of Quel'Thalas
Almost seven millennia before the First War, the exiled high elves landed on the shores of Lordaeron to seek out a new home. These outcasts were led by Dath'Remar Sunstrider, whose surname meant “he who walks by day”.
Cut off from the powerful energies of the Well of Eternity and no longer immortal, many of the high elves died from exposure or starvation during their long journey. In addition to these hardships, the elves were forced to flee the site of their first settlement, Tirisfal Glades, due to a mysterious evil influence that drove many of their number mad.
As they pressed further inland, the high elves developed a blood feud with the cunning, barbaric trolls of Zul'Aman, who controlled most of the northern reaches of Lordaeron. Finally the exiles reached a region whose forested glades reminded the high elves of their distant homeland in Kalimdor. The elves drove out the resident Amani trolls and founded the kingdom of Quel'Thalas.
Using a vial of sacred water stolen from the first Well of Eternity, the high elves created a fount of mystical power at a convergence of powerful ley energies in Quel'Thalas. They named this fountain the Sunwell, and its potent arcane magic fed and strengthened all high elves on Azeroth. Thus, the city of Silvermoon was established. The power of the high elves grew, and they cast an enchantment on the forest that would keep them bathed in eternal springtime.
Elven magi crafted monolithic Runestones along the borders of Quel’Thalas; these massive stones powered a magical shield intended to mask the elves' magic from extra-dimensional threats and protect the land from invasion. The hard-won peace of Quel'Thalas would endure for roughly four thousand years.
Chapter 2: Arathor and the Troll Wars
Thirsty for revenge, the Amani trolls eventually gathered together and staged a vicious campaign to destroy the elven civilization forever. The high elves were hopelessly outnumbered. The current king of Quel'Thalas, Anasterian Sunstrider, desperately sought allies to aid him in the war, and so it came to pass that the king struck a partnership with the human nation of Arathor.
The elves taught a small number of humans how to wield magic. With these new magi and the armies of Arathor, the high elves succeeded in destroying the trolls’ power base. The Amani empire would never fully recover from its defeat.
Quel'Thalas had been saved, and so the high elves pledged their loyalty and friendship to the nation of Arathor and to the bloodline of its king, Thoradin. As a result of the alliance between Arathor and Quel'Thalas, the wizard nation of Dalaran was formed, where humans and elves would study magic for years to come.
Chapter 3: The Second War (Warcraft 2)
The isolationist elves took little interest in the events of the Second War. Nevertheless, they provided the Alliance of Lordaeron with token support, for the last descendent of King Thoradin, Lord Anduin Lothar, commanded the Alliance military forces. The high elves had not forgotten their pledge.
Then the Horde recruited Amani trolls into its ranks. Shortly thereafter, the Horde burned down the borderlands of Quel’Thalas and slaughtered many high elf civilians. Furious at this wanton destruction of life, the elves subsequently committed all their resources to the war.
By the time the Horde was driven back, however, the orcs and trolls had already achieved their true goal: to steal and desecrate many of the Runestones that powered the elves’ defensive shield. The warlock Gul’dan then used the pilfered stones to power his devious Altars of Storms.
Nevertheless, the Alliance ultimately won the Second War, and most of the vanquished orcs were rounded up and placed in internment camps. In the war's aftermath, the cost of rebuilding was significant, particularly when added to the cost of maintaining the internment camps. Without a common enemy, the human nations began bickering over territorial claims. To make matters worse, the high elves abruptly seceded from the Alliance, blaming the humans' poor leadership for the burned forests of Quel'Thalas. High elves gradually grew further and further apart from their human and dwarven allies.
Chapter 4: The Third War (Warcraft 3)
During the Third War, the evil prince Arthas Menethil laid waste to Quel’Thalas, wiping out most of its population and reducing large tracts of the mighty kingdom to ash in his quest to reach the Sunwell. Yet not all who fell before Arthas stayed dead: his courageous archenemy, Ranger-General Sylvanas Windrunner, was raised into undeath to serve the merciless prince as a powerful, tormented banshee.
As the undead armies closed in on the Sunwell, a high elf named Dar'Khan Drathir (who hoped to gain the favor of the Lich King) aided Arthas by lowering the shields surrounding the Sunwell. Dar’Khan’s treachery resulted in an explosion that knocked him unconscious and scattered most of the Sunwell’s powers.
The wizard Borel (also known as Krasus and the dragon Korialstrasz) sensed the mystical energy being unleashed and succeeded in trapping a portion of it inside an avatar disguised as a young human girl, Anveena. Unaware of Borel's deed, Arthas then used the remaining energies of the Sunwell to reanimate the spirit of Kel'Thuzad in the form of a nightmarish lich.
In the aftermath of the battle, King Anasterian lay dead along with the members of the Convocation of Silvermoon, the high elves’ ruling body. Lor'themar Theron, Sylvanas Windrunner’s second–in–command, assumed temporary leadership of the high elves, for the true heir to the throne, Prince Kael’thas Sunstrider, was still in Dalaran. The few remaining high elves to survive the Scourge's invasion quickly grew ill and apathetic.
It became clear that the high elves had become addicted to the Sunwell’s arcane energies. Being constantly suffused in magic had fundamentally changed their race. Now that the source of their magic was gone, they were suffering acute pangs of withdrawal.
Chapter 5: Rise of the Blood Elves
Prince Kael’thas was the last of the royal line and a member of Dalaran’s ruling council, the Kirin Tor. When the Sunwell was defiled, he was studying magic in Dalaran. He returned to find his homeland in ruins and most of his people dead. He realized that the surviving high elves were all suffering from the same lethargy, which had been brought on by their loss of magic. Determined to salvage what he could, Kael’thas rallied the survivors and renamed them the sin’dorei, or "blood elves", in honor of those who had fallen to the Scourge.
Thirsting for vengeance, Prince Kael’thas and the healthiest of his warriors immediately joined the campaign against the Scourge in Lordaeron while Lor’themar and a ranger named Halduron Brightwing remained behind to safeguard the land and seek a cure for their people.
In joining the Alliance resistance forces, Kael’thas and his people were met with suspicion and outright hostility, particularly from the prejudiced human Grand Marshal Garithos. Garithos assigned the blood elves increasingly difficult missions until Kael'thas was forced to accept the assistance of Lady Vashj and her naga. When Garithos discovered that the blood elves were working with the naga, he felt that his distrust had been vindicated. He imprisoned the hapless blood elf soldiers in the dungeons of Dalaran and sentenced them to execution.
Fortunately for Kael'thas, Lady Vashj arrived in time to break the prisoners free. She then led them to the portal that Kel'Thuzad had opened during the Third War in order to allow Archimonde entry into Azeroth. Kael'thas and his warriors followed the naga through the portal and into the shattered realm of Outland. There, the elves met the one being capable of putting an end to their painful hunger: the renegade demon, Illidan Stormrage.
Most of Kael'thas' group chose to stay in Outland, but Rommath was sent back to carry a message of hope to those blood elves remaining in Quel’Thalas. Rommath accomplished his mission: relaying tales of a glorious promised land, spreading the teachings of Illidan (teachings which Rommath smoothly attributed to Prince Kael'thas), and planting the notion that Kael'thas might one day return to lead his people to paradise. Rommath has since remained in Quel’Thalas to help rebuild and await the prince’s return.
Chapter 6: Reconstruction
Months later, the traitor Dar’Khan – now a powerful agent of the Scourge – returned to Quel’Thalas. There he battled the avatar of the Sunwell, Anveena, and a band of heroes aided by blue dragons. Despite the magics he wielded, Dar’Khan was destroyed in the end. Under the watchful protection of Lor’themar and Halduron, Anveena has decided to stay in the ruined city and begin the process of renewal.
Only a handful of individuals know that Anveena is actually the avatar of the Sunwell’s power. Lor’themar and his people keep this secret tightly guarded.
Meanwhile, Rommath and the new order of elven magi made great progress in tutoring their brethren to manipulate arcane energies. Soon the spires of Silvermoon rose skyward once again, powered by volatile magics. The blood elves have even begun retaking portions of Eversong Forest. Emboldened by the promise of Kael’thas' return, the prince’s weary people now focus on regaining their strength and forging a new path into an uncertain future.
- Prince Kael’thas Sunstrider
- Ruler of the blood elves, currently residing in Outland.
- Lor'themar Theron
- Regent of Quel’Thalas, leader of the blood elves on Azeroth in the prince's absence.
- Halduron Brightwing
- Ranger-General of Silvermoon, the blood elves' military commander on Azeroth.
- Grand Magister Rommath
- Leader of all blood elf magi on Azeroth, and a fiercely loyal servant of Kael'thas.