How to roleplay a Night Elf.

Moon Guard
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I’ve seen a lot of Night Elves around my server. However, ever since I started my guild, which operates inside Darnassus and various Kaldorei territories, I’ve noticed a distinct trend. A large majority of Night Elf roleplayers roleplay in places outside their territory. After roleplaying with a number of these characters I have found a theme and cliché, one that many have dubbed “Purple Human”. This is where a Kaldorei roleplays much like how a human would and doesn’t adhere to a lot of the Night Elf lore.

So! I figured I’d write up an easy to read guide about Night Elf culture and lore. This guide includes both sourced material and logical speculation based on the facts. The sources include wowwiki, the warcraft novels, the warcraft RPG books and in game references.



Biology

Height
Kaldorei are almost always going to be taller than human beings. The average height for a female Night Elf is approximately 7 feet tall and the average height of a male is approximately 7.5 feet tall. An appropriate height range would be to add or subtract half a foot from either gender, with 6.5 feet being very short for a female or 8 feet tall being very tall for a male, as examples.

Weight
Because Night Elves are taller than humans they’re obviously heavier. This is also helped because, on average, Kaldorei seem to have more muscle than an average human. If the weight and height ratios are the same as a human an average female Night Elf would weight about 200lbs and a male would weight 240lbs.

Age
The true Night Elf age, without their immortality, is unknown. However one can speculate using Blood Elf aging (who were at one point Kaldorei and have been cut off from their immortality). If Blood Elves are of any indication, Night Elves live for approximately three hundred years before naturally dying; however some are capable of living for a thousand years even without immortality.

Kaldorei also seem to have a similar rate of growth as humans. Shandris Feathermoon was a young woman at the age of 16 when the War of the Ancients broke out. It is likely that once Night Elves reach a specific age, possibly their mid twenties or thirties, their aging process slowly down or stops completely.

It is said that Night Elves reach adulthood in the eyes of the society at approximately 100 years of age.

Blood
Kaldorei Blood appeared as purple in Warcraft 3 and the expansion. However, in World of Warcraft blood splatter effects almost all use the same graphic, with red blood (The exception being splatter from undead, which is green). I’m more inclined to say that their blood is purple, as in the RTS games we see Night Elf blood in copious amounts.

Eyes
Because Night Elf eyes glow we don’t know their true eye colour. We do know though that their eyes glow in only two colours, silver and amber. It is well established that both genders can have either colour. It is also suggested that Amber eye glow is either unrelated to genetics or, at least, that silver is a dominant trait, as Illidan had Amber eyes while Malfurion, his brother, did not. Amber eyes were once considered a sign of a great destiny or power in old Kaldorei culture.
Gender Roles

Men
Men in traditional Kaldorei culture are the reverse of human culture. In Night Elf society men used to be the artisans, craftsmen and homemakers of the race. Relatively few men were druids but that order within the culture was almost entirely male. Men seemed to take care of children in the same way human females do, often worrying or doting on their children as seen in the game. While nuclear families are not traditional, men still would've likely been the most likely candidates to take care of the children.

Women
Women took on the roles of soldiers and priestesses. Even up until present time The Sentinels, Darnassus’ standing army is made up almost entirely of women. Females were also the keepers of Elune, learning about the Goddess and the theology of their people. It also seemed that women would’ve also been able to be artisans as well, alongside men. Even during the time of the Highborne women ruled the Night Elf people.

Recent Upheaval
Within the last ten years the gender roles within Night Elf society has been blurred. Women were allowed to become druids, men were allowed to be priests. However, it should be noted that even with these lines blurred one does not undo ten thousand years of tradition in just a decade. Priestesses and Druids of their traditional gender likely have a huge social and practical advantage over newcomers, both because of social stigma and that the traditional genders have centuries of experience. It would be almost impossible for a female to become an Archdruid and for a male to reach any rank of importance in the Temple.



Religion

Elune
Elune is the main deity of the Night Elf people. The Kaldorei don’t normally worship anything else other than her and usually do not partake in other religions. Elune is the moon goddess and iconography of the moon shows up all over Night Elf jewellery, clothing and architecture. To view the importance of Elune to the people realize that her temple in Darnassus is the largest building present and that the temple gardens take up more than half the city.

Elune represents peace but does not necessarily represent pacifism, being represented as a great warrior. One would use her name while battling for a just cause or to defend something, it would be considered a great offense to ask for her strength in the name of slaughter and senseless violence.

Ancients
The Ancients are not gods directly, more like Demi-Gods, exceptionally powerful beings on par with Legion lords like Mannoroth or Tichondrius. While the Night Elves do not openly worship these beings many, mostly druids, venerate them and respect them greatly. Many druids seek to be like these Ancients and, as such, we have the druidic forms of the bear, wolf and raven. It would not be uncommon for a druid or singular Kaldorei to choose one Ancient and to follow their path.

The Ancients we know of are: Tortolla, the turtle. Agamaggan, the boar, worshipped by the quillboar. Aessina, possibly a dryad, heard but not seen. Goldrinn, the wolf and the inspiration of the Druid of the Pack. Ursoc and Ursol, the bear gods, revered by the furbolg. Malorne, the stag, Cenarius’ father. Aviana, the queen of all birds, possible progenitor of the harpies. Cenarius, the lord of the forests and friend to the druids.
Culture

Overview
Kaldorei, translated to Children of the Stars, are a proud, xenophobic race. They are fierce, highly traditional and have a wild, yet civilized, culture. Much of their tradition spans over ten thousand years and due to immortality they it is likely that any living Night Elf has been steeped in this lifestyle for hundreds of years.

Food
As with many races food tends to intermingle as beings share space, however every people have their own racial dishes. Night Elves seem have their diet modeled after oriental cuisine and some speculation can be drawn from this assumption.

Kaldorei seem to have a mostly vegetarian diet. Kimchi, a stewed and fermented vegetable dish, seems to be a staple, alongside dumplings and rice. This does not mean that meat is excluded as Night Elves do have very skilled hunters. It's likely that deer, boar and bear meat are popular and we've seen that Kaldorei have little issue with eating insect meat.

Beverages would likely be fruit based and there is at least one confirmed example that Night Elves do have their own wine, specifically ones created with ginger. Moonberry wine is also created, an apparently potent spirit that is created from the berries that accumulate around Moonwells.

Clothing
In the past it was recorded that the Highborne had a huge interest in clothing, though to be more exact, terribly gaudy and brightly coloured clothing. It seems now that the Kaldorei have abandoned such habits and have gone to a more relaxed and natural fashion.

For casual wear many Night Elves seem to enjoy a simple shirt and pants. Formal or semi-formal wear includes dresses, robes, hakama style robes and hanboks, again inspired by oriental culture. It should be noted that many Kaldorei seem to prefer being barefoot or wear sandals compared to true shoes.

Night elves are also unafraid to show skin, males are often seen without a shirt and females sometimes wear revealing armour or outfits. None of this seems to be to titillate anyone and rather appears to be more of a personal choice.

Children
Kaldorei children grow at the same rate as human children do. They grow up learning how to hunt, fight and play, often taking to the forests or woods. Male and female children intermingle without much of segregation. Common toys are dolls and carved figurines. Women choose to receive tattoos after coming of age as a rite of passage. This is not required though.

Kaldorei, while they age similar to humans, only reach societal maturity at about age 100.

Love
Love in Night Elf culture seems to be a very private matter, with displays of affection rarely being seen in public. Due to how strong females are in the culture it is likely that either gender can initiate a relationship. Courting seems to include gift giving and private picnics and strolls in the moonlight, a more traditionally romantic concept to humans. Jewellery is considered an appropriate gift in this case. As seen in the Archaeology finds, station comes into play between lovers, a lower class being an unacceptable mate for somebody of higher class.

Kaldorei normally do not marry. There is one recorded case of a ‘wedding’, between Malfurion Stormrage and Tyrande Whisperwind, but this was actually more of a union celebration than a wedding. It is likely that Kaldorei simply come to an understanding between one another and become life mates without a ceremony. Both parties retain their surnames and their children likely are given one surname agreed upon by the two parents.

There is one implied, some say confirmed, case of homosexuality displayed by a Kaldorei. Sentinel Sweetspring at Star’s Rest openly flirts with Sentinel Amberline, the latter flustered by the approach.
Military

Sentinels
The Sentinels is the standing army of the Kaldorei, almost every one of them is female. These warriors are split into a handful of units, from outrunners to soldiers, to archers, to huntresses. The Sentinels are considered one of the best fighting forces on Azeroth, being highly trained and highly disciplined. Outrunners and soldiers act as front line units, with archers bringing up the rear and huntresses commanding, usually interspersed through the ranks.

Wardens
Wardens are an elite group of Night Elf special ops. Wardens are tasked with destroying or capturing dangerous targets that are either too strong or too well hidden for normal Sentinels to apprehend. Wardens have a special weapon called the Umbra Crescent, the unit’s signature circular blade. A Warden would likely have a lengthy military background, even by Night Elves standards.

Armor
There is a stereotype that the Kaldorei military all dress in skimpy outfits. This is only true for light combat units, such as the archer or outrunner. Logically this is because both these units rely on speed and stealth for combat. The warden, huntress and normal foot soldiers of the military wear almost full body plate.

Magic
The Kaldorei only use two types of magic outside of the Highborne. These are holy magic and nature magic. Druids, especially Druids of the Talon, call down the power of the moon and stars, which is classified as holy magic (though Arcane in the game) and use natural magic to make plants grow and to heal wounds. Priestesses use holy magic that comes from their faith in Elune. Wardens have magic, specifically their Blink spell, which comes from their conviction and belief in Elune .



Classes

Priests
Priests and Priestesses are always members of the Temple of Elune. As said above females likely have an advantage over male priests, the women having decades or centuries of practice. Shadow Priests are not yet explained by Kaldorei lore, though one could argue that Shadow Priests do not necessarily use darkness and evil, but instead manipulate mental force to harm a foe.

Mages
The Highborne are ancient Night Elves who were exiled from their home after refusing to stop practicing arcane magic. They have returned and it should be said that other races, specifically the Blood Elves, have them beat in magical progression. The majority of Kaldorei society would still outright fear the Highborne and anyone who practices the arcane.

Rogues
Kaldorei assassins are rarely just that, a vast majority of rogues would be recruited into The Sentinels, where their skills would be put toward spying and reconnaissance.

Druids
Druids are a large part of Kaldorei culture, the Cenarion Enclave having slightly less power than the Temple of the Moon. Female druids are normally lower on the chain than males due to a lack of time spent in the Emerald Dream. There are two female Archdruids though both are doing ambassadorial duties. Take that as you will.

Druids are split into various branches of druidism; Pack, Claw, Talon, Fang and Wild. Druids of the Claw draw strength from the bear twins and take on bear forms and often wear pelts of those animals to connect with their spirit. Druids of the Talon revere Avianna have an affinity with birds of prey. Druids of the Pack attempted to imitate Goldrinn and became the first Worgen, their branch is discontinued. Druids of the Fang took on snake forms, they were perverted by the power of the Wailing Caverns and had to be put down. Druids of the Wild take on aspects of other animals, such as Nightsabers and aquatic forms.

Hunters
Like rogues, hunters likely are recruits of the Sentinels if they’re female. Kaldorei archers are said to be some of the most skilled in the world, only rivalled by Blood Elf rangers. Traditional animal companions of Night Elf hunters are sabers and owls.

Warriors
Female warriors are likely a member of the Sentinels while males are either freelance or part of the Cenarion Circle. Kaldorei warriors prefer to be quick on their feet instead of fighting through brute force, though they are certainly capable of it. The backbone of both the Cenarion and Darnassian armies are the warrior.

Death Knight
Kaldorei Death Knights are pariahs, even more so than human death knights. Night Elves revere nature and undeath is at odds with nature. The vast majority of Night Elves would likely shun or even act hostile toward a Night Elf who is undead. The death knight itself is likely even more bitter and self loathing than usual. I would not count it out that there was a mass suicide of Night Elf death knights after their freedom, many not even wanting to continue on in such a state.
Racial Relations

Humans
Humans seem to be the closest ally to the Kaldorei in the Eastern Kingdoms. At the same time humans also seem to be the youngest race that ally with them, barely able to reach what a Night Elf would consider an adult age. Stormwind would likely be an uncomfortable for a Kaldorei to be in, with cobblestones under their feet and walls on all sides.

Dwarves
Dwarves, while not as close an ally, do reach an age that would be considered mature to a Kaldorei. As such, middle aged dwarves would likely be treated with a greater degree of respect than humans. Ironforge would be extremely irritating to be in, both because of the forge’s heat and being underground, away from the fresh air.

Gnomes
Gnomes are probably the furthest ally in terms of connection to the Kaldorei. Night Elves would find their speaking and actions to be hasty and almost annoying. Their engineering machines and disrespect for nature in the name of progress also would be a bone of contention between the races.

Draenei
Draenei appear to be one of the few races the Kaldorei actively share space with. There are many common interests and aspects between the two races, especially age. Close alliances between Night Elves and Draenei exist.

Worgen
Worgen have a strange relationship with the Kaldorei. They share their city and are being taught druidism but share very few goals and beliefs that their hosts do. Gilneans believe in the Holy Light and have more of a grudge against the Forsaken than the Orcs. While the Night Elves may desire to keep the Worgen close, it would be a challenge to relate to them.

Orcs
Orcs are the chief enemy of the Kaldorei in the Horde. They push into their forests and killed Cenarius during the third war, which eventually ended in the Kaldorei’s loss of immortality. The Night Elves view everything north of the Barrens as their ancestral home and any who invade that territory their enemy.

Trolls
Trolls are even worse than Orcs. Within Hyjal and Ashenvale the Night Elves warred with one specific enemy, the Dark Trolls. Before that the ancient Kaldorei fought for survival against the great Zandalari Empire. Hatred for all trolls runs deep and the fact that they are allied with the Orcs and aid them in their conquest of Ashenvale only strengthens that hate. Troll druids would likely be grudgingly accepted into the Cenarion Enclave at the Tauren’s request.

Tauren
The Tauren are the only Horde race the Night Elves actually would ally with. However, because they ally with the Orcs they make themselves enemies of the Kaldorei. Tauren would likely be a case by case situation. It should be noted that the Night Elves helped the Tauren learn druidic magic.

Forsaken
The Forsaken are abominations in the Kaldorei’s eyes. The fact that they actively and maliciously attempt to corrupt nature and life intensifies the disgust toward them. More so than Orcs, taking down a Forsaken would likely be seen as an act of purification.

Blood Elves
Blood Elves are viewed much like how Orcs view their fel corrupted kin, with a mix of disgust and shame. They view Blood Elves and High Elves as bastard races who only spit in the face of everything their people stand for. Hostility is expected.

Goblins
Goblins seem to be a strange relation since there are many different factions that have different goals. Obvious enemies are the Bilgewater and the Venture Co Goblins, who actively tear up land and clearcut forests for their own needs. Night Elves usually tolerate neutral Goblin forces so long as they respect nature.

Common Misconceptions

<If you know of any common misconceptions, please suggest some I can add in here>

"I was born in Teldrassil"
Teldrassil was only planted about ten years prior to modern day Warcraft. If your Night Elf was born ten thousand years ago then it is likely they were born in Suramar, Zin-Azshari or Vashj’ir. If they were born after the War of the Ancients they were likely born in Astranaar, Auberdine, Nighthaven, Starfall Village or on the hills of Hyjal.

All Night Elves men left to go to the Emerald Dream
Only the druids slept in the Dream. There were plenty of men around during this period.

All Night Elf women are attracted to other women
Sort of a by-product of the previous point. While it is hinted at that such relationships exist (see above under “Love”), there is no implication that it is widespread. There were plenty of men to start families with during the time the druids were asleep.

This may also be player driven, as people may not like the male model.

Night Elves are flower children/hippies/ditzy
Night Elves are a fierce, xenophobic, feral race. They are almost fanatical about protecting nature and do kill to achieve their goals. It is also strongly suggested that Night Elves bottle their emotions to put on a strong and/or proper front for everyone who watches them. The usual outward appearance of a Night Elf is usually stoic, strong and direct. Ditzy, giggly or boisterous attitudes would be considered shameful and childish.



F.A.Q.s

<Feel free to ask questions, I will answer them ASAP>
Melyria, I love this thread and I love your attention to lore.

Let's have horrible hybrid babies. Brace yourself for the cuttle.


Oh lawd.
OT: So far, a very nice read and seemingly appropriate information. I'm not very knowledgeable on this topic, but you seem to be from what I've read so far. Cant wait for the rest.
Nice! It's good to learn about other races. Especially things like culture. History I can just read up on my own but getting a hold of the specifics of the races like this is truly hard to get a hold of.
I'll finish posting this tomorrow. I still have race relations and common misconceptions to touch up.
I love you for this. Maybe we can educate the sparkleprincess night elves! :D
Great thread, I found it helpful.

Weight
Because Night Elves are taller than humans they’re obviously heavier. This is also helped because, on average, Kaldorei seem to have more muscle than an average human. If the weight and height ratios are the same as a human an average female Night Elf would weight about 200lbs and a male would weight 240lbs.


This I do not agree with. At 7-7.5 ft and with that muscle tone Nelfs would weigh much more than 200-240 lbs.

Really good post, however!
Finally. One of these that gives Lore, and not strict guidelines.

Thank you.
An excellent thread! I have only one correction to provide: The Kaldorei mages that are still Kaldorei were never exiled -- contact between them and the elves of Hyjal after the sundering didn't exist. The only ones who were exiled were those who mutated into High Elves.
An excellent thread! I have only one correction to provide: The Kaldorei mages that are still Kaldorei were never exiled -- contact between them and the elves of Hyjal after the sundering didn't exist. The only ones who were exiled were those who mutated into High Elves.


While this is true, the practice of the Arcane was completely shunned in the Kaldorei community, so anyone wishing or wanting to practice it basically exiled themselves for their own wants. The first sentence of the Mage subsection clearly states that they refused to stop practicing it, I find that to be pretty much all inclusive for any Night Elf that did so.

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