For the TCG set, see The Hunt for Illidan. For the quest, see N [45] The Hunt for Illidan Stormrage.
The Search for Illidan
Location Hellfire Peninsula
Result Kael'thas and Vashj manage to rescue Illidan

Blood Elves

Commanders and leaders

Blood Elves



Casualties and losses

Blood Elves

  • Moderate


  • Moderate
Previous The Crossing
Next Gates of the Abyss
This article contains lore taken from Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos, Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne, the manuals, and/or official bonus maps.

The Search for Illidan is chapter 4 of Curse of the Blood Elves.

While searching for Illidan, Lady Vashj is surprise when she catches the scent of Night Elves. Soon after she and Prince Kael'thas discover that the Warden Maiev Shadowsong has captured Illidan within a cage and launch an attack to free him. The battle becomes a tug of war which each side trying to gain control of the cage so that it would be directed to their base. Eventually the combined Naga and Blood Elf forces prove successful and Illidan is freed.

Loading screen

After three days of fruitless searching, Prince Kael'thas and Lady Vashj realize they are lost in the barren wilderness of the Hellfire Peninsula.


Main Quests

Availablequest BTNEvilIllidan.png The Demon Within

  • Use your Heroes to recapture Illidan's cage
  • The cage must not reach the Night Elf base

Lord Illidan has been captured by the cunning Warden in a cage of magical enchantments. Slay the guardians of the cage and take it from the Night Elves before they reach the safety of their base.

Availablequest BTNBloodMage2.png Escort Illidan

  • Bring Illidan's cage to the Blood Elf base.

Though free from the Warden's grasp, Illidan remains weak, and the enchantments on the cage cannot be broken easily. You must escort Illidan's cage to the Blood Elf base, where the protection of Kael's army will give you time to break the magical locks.



IconSmall Kael'thas.gif Prince Kael'thas: This place is unnerving. We've marched for three days and seen no signs of life. Still, I can't shake the feeling that we're not alone out here.
IconSmall Vashj.gif Lady Vashj: We aren't. I caught the scent just as the wind shifted...
They walk just a bit further and see a night elf base.
IconSmall Vashj.gif Lady Vashj: Night elves! What could they be doing here?
IconSmall Kael'thas.gif Prince Kael'thas: The warden, Maiev, swore to capture Illidan at any cost. She must have brought her warriors here to hunt him!
They spot Maiev and the Watchers transporting a cage.
IconSmall Kael'thas.gif Prince Kael'thas: There! Illidan lies chained in that cage! The night elves must be taking him to their stronghold.
IconSmall Vashj.gif Lady Vashj: Then we must rescue him before they reach safety.

During the Mission

  • IconSmall Maiev.gif Maiev Shadowsong: I grow tired of these games! Illidan will be mine!
  • IconSmall Maiev.gif Maiev Shadowsong: Death to all who side with the Betrayer!
  • IconSmall Maiev.gif Maiev Shadowsong: Blood Elves and Naga! Your bastard races are an affront to everything the night elves stand for!
  • IconSmall Kael'thas.gif Prince Kael'thas: Illidan is unconscious, and his magical lock will take too long to open out here!
IconSmall Kael'thas.gif Prince Kael'thas: Damn! We lost the cage!
IconSmall Vashj.gif Lady Vashj: There is still time, Kael. If we move quickly, we can reclaim it before the night elves reach sanctuary.
  • IconSmall Kael'thas.gif Prince Kael'thas: They've retaken the cage! We must get it back!
  • IconSmall Kael'thas.gif Prince Kael'thas: The cage is lost! We've got to follow them and reclaim it!
  • IconSmall Kael'thas.gif Prince Kael'thas: They're getting away with Illidan, move quickly my warriors!
  • IconSmall Kael'thas.gif Prince Kael'thas: We've rescued Illidan, but we got to get him to safety!


Vashj breaks Illidan out of the cage.
IconSmall Illidan.gif Illidan Stormrage: Lady Vashj, your rescue was most timely. The thought of spending another ten thousand years in Maiev's prison was not a pleasant one.
IconSmall Vashj.gif Lady Vashj: We could not forsake you, Lord Illidan. But you owe your freedom to them.
Vashj turns to the nearby blood elves.
IconSmall Illidan.gif Illidan Stormrage: Who are they, Vashj? The young elf looks familiar, but...
IconSmall Vashj.gif Lady Vashj: They call themselves the blood elves, my lord. They are the last mortal descendants of the Highborne who served you long ago.
IconSmall Vashj.gif Lady Vashj: This is Prince Kael'thas. He and his brethren have come to bask in your wisdom--and pledge themselves to your will.

Unused quotes

IconSmall Kael'thas.gif Prince Kael'thas: We have to bring the cage back to the Draenei village before we can free him!

The Search for Illidan Map.jpg


Blood Elves


  • Night elven units that run into the battle are seen under the name Sentinels, while Maiev, night elven units that help Maiev guard the cage, night elven units that remain in the base, and night elven buildings are seen under the name Watchers. They were all likely meant to be Watchers, as Maiev was leading them during this time.
  • Players who have sucessfully completed the secret level The Crossing will receive a Pandaren Brewmaster as an additional hero for this mission.
  • Unused sound files suggest Akama and his draenei were at some point intended to be first encountered on this mission instead of the following one, Gates of the Abyss.
WC3Reforged-icon.png This section concerns content related to Warcraft III: Reforged.
  • The Brewmaster now has an inventory.
    • Items within the Brewmaster's inventory will not be carried over into the next mission.
  • Illidan's cage is now a green crystal, similar to ones the Wardens used to trap the demon hunters in Legion.