Night Elf Roleplay Guide, Version 2.

Moon Guard
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As some may know, about a year ago I made a “How to RP a Night Elf” guide . Since then new information, new quests and new lore has surfaced. The RPG books have become non-canon. So that guide is now outdated.

However an update is not the only reason why I decided to make this guide. Night Elf lore can be vague at times and they're a race far from human, meaning that everything about them, from social interaction to biology can be different. A person who hasn't RP'd a Night Elf before or a fresh player might be intimidated by all the lore they have to sift through to get a good idea about what the Night Elves are about.

Ultimately, the plethora of quests, books and in game reading one has to do is astounding. I decided to take up that job so others don't have to, should they not want to. Buying books or doing every quest in a zone just to understand a race can get boring or drain your money. So I did all those quests, read all the books and comics, sifted through all the information and logged it all.

I care about the community, Moon Guard, the Night Elf / Darnassus community, the RP community as a whole. I want people to be able to join those groups without feeling intimidated (said the person writing the exceptionally TL:DR guide). I want this to be a resource everyone can use, from new Rpers, to experienced ones, to people just interested about the lore.

Before you jump into the guide, I just want to express my gratitude for reading it. I put a lot of work into this and I hope everyone enjoys what I've put down here. I hope people will refrain from trolling or being mean. I hope some debate or discussion happens because of this.

I've cited a lot of things. My sources include the WoW comics, Stormrage, Wolfheart, the War of the Ancients Trilogy, the quests from every Night Elf zone (and then some) from pre and post Cataclysm, archaeology finds, game manuals for both WoW and WC3, WC3 plus the expansion and things like the Cdevs and magazines.

So, without any more rambling, please enjoy the “How to Roleplay a Night Elf” guide. Version 2.

Table of Contents

Chapter One: Traditional vs Liberal:

Chapter Two: Biology:

Chapter Three: Culture:

Chapter Four: Religion:

Chapter Five: Racial Relations:

Chapter Six: Misc Outlooks:

Chapter Seven: Class Paths:

Chapter Eight: Trade Skills:

Chapter Nine: Language:

Chapter Ten: Lands and Cities:

Chapter Eleven: Timeline:

Chapter Twelve: Misconceptions

Chapter Thirteen: FAQ:

Chapter One: Traditional vs Adventurous vs Liberal

Tradition, heritage and change all matter to a race. No two Night Elves are the same, just like no two Dwarves or Humans are the same. One should realize that Night Elves do have sub-factions within their society, just like we do today, consisting of the the traditionalists, the liberals and those in between.

The key to roleplaying a Night Elf is, no matter what 'side' or outlook you choose, your character is a Night Elf and not a Human or Dwarf. They were raised in a culture much different than those other races and even if they're open minded, their roots still show.

For the sake of this section, imagine a scale going from 1 to 10, with 1 being extremely liberal and 10 being hardcore traditional.

Traditional (7-10)

Traditional Night Elves are those who cling to the old ways, the ways before the Third War and the rules and lifestyles of the Long Vigil. These elves very much so embody what it meant to be a Night Elf not even 15 years prior to the current timeline.

Those who are on the far end of the tradition scale will usually and religiously push for how things were prior to the Third War. They may dislike the changes to the Night Elf government and lifestyle, may dislike outlanders or believe that their old ways are superior. As they move closer to the middle of the scale, traditional elves mellow a bit and make concessions or compromises in their beliefs, perhaps still favoring the old ways but able to cope with the new, or approving of some of the gender changes, yet not the inclusion of foreign races. It is, of course, up to you where they fall on the traditional scale, but the higher up they are on it, the more set in the old ways they'll be.

It should also be noted that Night Elves are slow to change [1]. Because of this, it is very likely that the majority of Night Elf society falls in this range, not yet transitioned into the new ways and ties made since the Third War.

And example: A traditional Night Elf will choose a bow over a gun at every opportunity, even if the gun is slightly better.

Adventurous (4-6)

Adventurous Night Elves are those who are not quite liberal, yet not quite traditional. Here Night Elves may be getting used to outsiders, forming more bonds with non-Night Elves and travelling outside of Kalimdor and Night Elf territory. These elves are far more likely to break with tradition but may still lean one way or another, with traditional leaning elves still holding on to what they've learned for hundreds of years.

The traditional leaning may speak up or hesitate to break taboos or try new things, while liberal leaning ones may be more inclined to experiment. They may understand another race's viewpoints or plight, possibly mixing it with their own ways. They may be eager to understand yet awkward or out of place in another race's city or territory.

Example: An adventurous Night Elf will choose either rifle or bow and will choose whichever suits the situation or is in the best condition, though may still have a bias.

Liberal (1-4)

Liberal Night Elves are those who have broken away from tradition. These elves have embraced the new allies, techniques and lifestyles put forward to them. They may be very willing to surround themselves with other races, use new technology and break with heritage. They may feel just as at home in Stormwind as they do in Darnassus, though as said above, roots still show.

Those who join the Argent Dawn, go on away missions for the Cenarion Circle or become mercenaries may be this kind of elf, willing to be near those so very different than their old lives. On the flip side, those who fall into thieving or cults also fall into this range, by letting the new world overwhelm them.

At this point though, it should be remembered that Night Elves are still Night Elves. Even though liberal, they might prefer their traditional food or prefer the feel of grass on their feet. They'd still worship Elune, given the proof of her existance, but may be willing to accept the Light as a valid view on how to live one's life or even compare teachings and see which is better.

Example: A liberal Night Elf may become fascinated by firearms and will chose them over bows if presented the choice.
Chapter Two: Biology


Night Elves stand approximately 7 feet tall.[2] Using the height comparisons between avatars, and assuming avatars represent a near average height for each gender and race, this puts females at approximately 7 feet tall and males at 7.5 feet tall.[3]

If Night Elves have the same ratio of height variance as humans, male Night Elves stand at a minimum of about 7 feet tall and a maximum of 8 feet tall. Females, likewise, stand at a minimum of 6.5 feet tall and a maximum of 7.5 feet tall.


Night Elves tend to be on the athletic side in terms of body type.[1] Assuming Night Elves are not, inch for inch, heavier than a human, one can simply use modern day humans to estimate weight.

Yao Ming (Basket Ball player) stands 7'5 and weighs 310 pounds. Isis (Female wrestler) stands 7'0 and weighs 245 pounds.


Without their immortality we don't know exactly how long a Night Elf lives. It is said that the Night Elves now share a similar lifespan as their High and Blood Elven cousins. [4] And while Blood Elf and High Elf age is suspect, it still puts Night Elves far and beyond other Azerothian races.

Night Elf aging also appears to be the same as human aging up to a point, with Shandris Feathermoon being an adolescent during the War of the Ancients and looking the part.[5] As well, children have started 'growing up' on Teldrassil, meaning that within the less 8-10 years since Teldrassil's growth they have matured steadily into teens.[6] Around the Night Elf's 20s to 30s the aging process slows or stops.


Night Elf skin tends to come in shades of purple. These can range from dark, such as plum and maroon, to light, such as lavender. It is unknown if Night Elves can 'tan'.

Their skin color has led to the 'slang' term “Purple” in reference to their entire race.[7]


Night Elf hair comes in a variety of colors. These include raven black, midnight blue, light blue, light green, forest green, silver, dark purple and light purple. Female Night Elf Death Knights exhibit pink hair, yet this seems to be tied to their undead state as no living elves show this hair color.

Hair styles are varied. Long and short hair are both unisex, as are ponytails and braids. Females are shown to decorate their hair with tiaras, leaves[8] and feathers.[9] Men sport a wide variety of beards, some being quite thick and Dwarf-like.


Night Elf blood is purple.[10] Because of this, a Night Elf's blush would be very dark, almost maroon or black in color.


Night Elves have heightened senses. Furthermore, they are able to see in the low light situations.[4]

A major power Night Elves have is they are able to detect and sense 'wrongness', corruption and evil, at least in a general area.[11][12][13][14]


Night Elves only have two naturally occurring eye glow colors; amber and silver.[4] A blue glow occurs in Death Knights.

Before the War of the Ancients, amber eyes were considered to be a sign of great power or destiny. After Night Elves started to dabble in druidic magic it was revealed that amber eyes are a sign of druidic potential. It is possible for a Night Elf's eyes to turn from silver to amber after taking up druidic studies.[4]

Night Elves also seem to have some issue with daylight, as they are a nocturnal race. At least once we see Night Elves having to squint during the day to make something out in the distance.[15]

Fangs and Claws

Art is conflicting in if Night Elves have claws or not. Earlier art portrayed them with long, claw-like nails, yet art (especially after WoW) depicts them without. As of Cataclysm, however, every new or updated Night Elf model, including Azshara, Malfuion, Illidan and Tyrande, have been displayed with elongated nails.

However, almost all art depicts Night Elves, both male and female, with sharp, elongated canines.


Recently it has been confirmed that Night Elves evolved from Dark Trolls.[16]

It is unknown if this is known to the race as a whole. Even if it was revealed it may not provide any source of strife as Night Elves believe they are Elune's children. It has been speculated that Elune did have her hand in the Night Elves' creation, given her son, Cenarius', appearance.
Chapter Three: Culture

The Kaldorei

The term “Night Elf” is a general, layman's term in reference to the race. The Night Elves, in their own language, call themselves “The Kaldorei”, which translates to “The Children of the Stars”.[17] Unlike the Quel'Dorei and Sin'dorei (High and Blood Elves, respectively), Kaldorei is not spelled with an apostrophe.

Gender Roles

In traditional Night Elf society there is a clear distinction between male and female gender roles. Beyond the civilian sector, women could progress to the formal military or the priesthood while men could only progress into the Cenarion Circle.[18][19][20] Recently, because of the losses from the Third War, the Night Elves have lifted the restrictions on their society, yet women still hold the majority in the temple and military while men hold the majority in the Circle.[18][19]

A common misconception is that the majority of men became druids, leaving the women behind to enter the Emerald Dream, the realm of Ysera the Aspect of Nature. However, this was not the case and in truth only a small number of men were druids.[4] This meant that a large portion of the populace was male during the 10,000 year period between the War of the Ancients and the Third War.

Another misconception is that men were/are looked down upon in Night Elf society. This was and is not the case. There is no proof that such opinions were held. In truth, because Night Elf men had only one path beyond the civilian sector, while women had a few more choices, this would ultimately lead males down the path of being artisans, traders and hunters, all key facets of a society. Men could be warriors, archers or scouts, holding those skills without being in the formal military, similar to how one can own a gun without joining the army in modern life.

Because the gender roles have been lifted, males can become Sentinels and priests, while women can become druids. It is important to recognize that there is a vast power gap in these positions. The restrictions were only lifted less than ten years prior to the current timeline. This means that your male priest or Sentinel or female druid will only have at most a decade of experience compared to the hundreds or thousands of years the opposite gender possesses.


Darnassian government is fairly simple. In modern terms, Night Elf territories are considered a theocracy and military dictatorship. What this means is that the individual who runs the religion also runs the government and that order is kept through the formal military. This does not mean that Night Elf society is oppressive in any way, just that the military is who keeps the peace.

Tyrande Whisperwind is the head of the Temple and, thus, the leader of the Night Elves. With her marriage to Malfurion Stormrage, he has also aquired the title of leadership.[21] Tyrande also runs the Sentinel army through her adopted daughter General Shandris Feathermoon, who happens to be next in line for Tyrande's position of High Priestesses should anything happen to her.[22]

In smaller settlements and towns there is usually a village elder and/or a council. These both control the local Sentinel guards and seem to handle local politics, passing judgement and running the town.[23][24]

The Temple

The Sisterhood of Elune is the main religion of The Night Elves. These elves count themselves among Elune's servants, leading day-to-day Night Elf society and the faith. They work as healers and spellcasters, calling down Elune's power to heal and to destroy.

As mentioned above, the majority of the Sisterhood is still female, though some males have taken to their ranks. Most men would only still be acolytes, considering the age gap between the new male adherents and the more experienced female priests.
The Sentinels

The Sentinel Army is the formal, official army of the Night Elves. They employ a wide variety of units, including archers, mounted cavalry, scouts, outrunners, foot soldiers and priests from the Sisterhood.

The Sentinel Army was created 10,000 years prior to the Third War, for the purpose of defending Kaldorei land and preparing for the Legion's return. They replaced the old, devastated Highborne army, which had become more of a spot for nobility than soldiers, resulting in poor tactical and military command during the War of the Ancients. The Sentinels were crafted from the existing Sisterhood of Elune and thus were composed of only women.[18]

The longer a Night Elf stays in the Sentinels, the more skilled they become. They are subjected to a great deal of specialized training and drills, keeping them sharp even during times of peace.[18] Veteran Sentinels could potentially have served in several campaigns prior to joining the Alliance, including the War of the Ancients, War of the Satyr, War of the Shifting Sands and the Third War. They are potentially the most experienced soldiers of any Azerothian race.

However, The Sentinels lost a great deal of their numbers, meaning new recruits and men were accepted into the ranks. The army is still composed of mostly women and, due to the gap in training, the men tend to be lower rank than the more experienced women.

The Cenarion Circle

Initially the Cenarion Circle was an entirely Night Elf organization, sans the Sons and Daughters of Cenarius. The Circle's name itself comes from the demigod Cenarius, who was the trainer of Malfurion Stormrage, the first druid of the order.[19]

The Cenarions initially were a male only organization, with the druids going for extended dream walks through the Emerald Dream. These dreams could last hundreds to thousands of years.[25] After the Third War, the Malfurion taught druidism to the Tauren and opened the Circle to them. At the same time, because of the causalities of the war the order opened its doors to females as well. Since the Cataclysm, Worgen and Trolls have also entered the Circle's service.

Unlike The Sentinels and The Sisterhood, the Cenarion Circle has moved away from being a purely Night Elven organization. They have pulled away from the race slightly and focus on the world at large, becoming neutral in many conflicts and recruiting aid from both the Alliance and Horde.

Still, even with a neutral tie they still have a presence in Darnassus, with many druids pledging themselves to their beliefs.

They are currently being led by Malfurion Stormrage and Hamuul Runetotem. The Cenarion Circle was formed to deal with the Druids of the Scythe, though this was covered up.[132]


As with any race, Night Elves look after their young and help them grow to maturity. While we don't know much about Night Elven children and how they live, we know a few key facts.

We know Night Elf children participate in 'plain' activities by modern standard; chasing wisps,[26] racing, hunting,[27] playing with dolls,[28] and collecting glass figurines.[29]

Upon coming of age, Night Elf women tattoo their faces as a rite of passage.[30]


Love for Night Elves seems fairly similar to other races. Courting seems to involve gift giving, between both genders.[31][32] At some point there may have been a restriction on two castes or levels of society from being in a relationship.[33] Love can blossom early on in Night Elven life and doesn't appear to need the two to be extremely old.[29]

It appears that love is a long lasting emotion for Night Elves, with numerous cases of Night Elves holding on to relationships for thousands of years. Malfurion and Tyrande were loyal to one another, even with there being thousands of years without contact. Jerod and Shalasyr were together for thousands of years as well. We even see Night Elves who stay devoted long after the death of their spouse.[34][35] Because of such devotion it is likely that these relationships are not jumped into spur of the moment.

If two Night Elves do manage to get married, both keep their surnames. It is unknown if children normally take the mother or father's surname or if it is something agreed upon by the two.

We have one possible case of same sex interest in Night Elves. Sentinel Sweetspring in Dragonblight seems to flirt with her commanding officer without nothing but slight exasperation in response.[36]
Food and Drink

Night Elves are omnivores, meaning they eat both meat and vegetables. Night Elves have no large farms and tend to hunt for their meat. Hunting is an old tradition amongst the Night Elves.[37]

We know Night Elves eat kimchi as a staple.[38][39][40] Kimchi is made by fermenting and pickling specific spices and vegetables in pots over the course of weeks or months. The vegetables can vary but usually it is cabbage. The taste depends on the vegetables and spices included, but one can make the comparison between it and sauerkraut.

Rice, both white and wild,also seems to be a staple, with most houses having a bag of rice flour.[41] Rice flour can be used to make dumplings, breadings, rice bread and rice noodles. Rice can also be molded into rice cakes, which Night Elves consume.[42]

Night Elves also have a staple called pine nut bread.[43] It isn't known if this is bread with pine nuts in it or a type of bread made using ground nuts as an ingredient. Either way, pine nuts taste like how you would expect, like a pine tree or pine cone.

It also seems like Night Elves consume a great deal of fresh fruits. Moonberries, eyes of elune, sunfruit and lunar pears grow around moonwells[44] and Night Elf vendors sell heaven peaches.[45]

Likely a side-dish, Night Elves also appear to eat a variety of dumplings. We know they're served as part of the lunar festival[46] and mandu is readily available from Night Elf vendors.[47] Mandu tends to be a dumpling filled with shredded or ground meat of varying types.

Meat tends to be implied by the animals Night Elves have access to. We know they use deer meat[48], tallstrider[49] and have no issue with consuming giant bugs.[50] However, Night Elves also have access to boar, wolf and bear meat. They don't seem to have had access to beef or lamb prior to off continent contact with the Alliance.

Because of the above mentioned lack of cow or sheep/goats there comes the question of where darnassian bleu comes from. After some research, I've found out that it isn't possible to make cheese out of carnivore milk, meaning nightsabers, wolves, bears and such are out. After more research I found that it is possible, however, to make cheese out of deer milk.

Fish also seems to be a fairly important part of the Night Elf diet. Clams are eaten,[51] octopus.[52], herring[53] and whitefish[54].

For drinks, Night Elves seem to have invented moonberry juice as they grow by moon wells.[44] Presumably they also drink other fruit juices.

In terms of alcohol, we know that Night Elves make wine and we haven't seen a case of Night Elf ale, beer or mead. In some cases Night Elves add ginger to their wines.[55] Some Night Elf wine can be sweet.[56] Considering their aging and access to exceptionally sweet moonberries, it is likely that Night Elven wine can be exceptionally strong and/or well aged. It should be noted that wine can go bad, the oldest drinkable wine to date is approximately 350 years old.


Clothing in Night Elf culture varies, especially from caste to caste. Druids can often be seen wearing furs, priestesses dresses and robes made from mooncloth and sentinels in their armor. Civilians can be seen wearing a wide variety of dresses, robes, shirts, vests and pants. Many wear sandals or go bare footed.

Skin isn't something that is shied away from. Women, often archers or soldiers, can be seen wearing revealing armor and men are free to walk around shirtless. Modesty seems to be taken differently by the Night Elves.

As well, there seems to be a small group of Night Elven outfits that herald back to their oriental style. Hanboks and dangui are both korean style dresses, dangui typically being worn like a jacket over top of the hanbok.[57] As well, some Night Elves can be seen wearing an almost hakama-esque outfit, with robes and a jacket over top.[58]
Chapter Four: Religion


Elune is the chief deity of the Night Elves. She is depicted as the larger of the two Azerothian moons, the White Lady. The Night Elves refer to her as Elune, “The Goddess” and “Mother Moon”.

The Night Elves believe that they originally were born in darkness and that Elune's light allowed them to see. This light filled the Night Elves and allowed them to see in the dark and to channel her power even when the moon was not visible.[59]

While she is a goddess of peace, Elune also is a warrior.[60] She accepts sacrifices of weapons and flesh of the Night Elves' enemies in exchange for her blessings.[61][62] It is said that she takes the souls of dead Night Elf soldiers and guides them to the afterlife.[60]

Most consider Elune to be kind and loving to her children. Her priestesses are to be devoted to her, yet she did not expect the complete and total attention of her clergy.[63] However, all priestesses are required to have an unshakably strong faith to become a member of the temple.[64]

Calling upon Elune's power invokes moonlight, starlight,[65], moonfire,[66] and falling stars.[67]

Washing one's face is considered a religious act to the Night Elves.[68]

The Ancients

Aside from Elune, the Night Elves venerate the Ancients, aspects of nature and demi-gods. While the Night Elves worship Elune, pray to her and give her offerings, the same does not seem to be true of the Ancients. A comparison I've seen used describe the Ancients much like how the Virgin Mary and Saints are depicted in Catholic faith, being revered and venerated without being the focus of true worship.

Druids often work alongside and walk the path of these beings. Should an Ancient gain a following of druids, they become a 'totem' ancient. The current totems include:

-Ursoc and Ursol, the bear siblings. Druids of the Claw follow these two and can transform into bears and felines.
-Aviana, the sky ancient. Druids of the Talon follow her path and control storms, winds and can transform into birds, particularly the Storm Crow.
-Malorne, the stag. Druids of the Antler are said to follow his path but their skills are unknown. Presumably they can transform into deer.
-Goldrinn, the wolf. Druids of the Pack, a defunct sect, followed his example. They became the first worgen and propagated the curse.

Other venerated Ancients include:

-Tortolla, the turtle.
-Aessina, the forest spirit
-Cenarius, the son of Elune and Malorne

Other Ancients have existed in the past but many were slain. We only know of a sparse few that the Night Elves focus on.


Typically Night Elves bury their dead, believing to return them to the earth. In special cases, a druid may hasten the process and burial is not needed.[59][69] Prior to the funeral and burial, the body is washed, clothed and any injuries are hidden.[69]

Night Elves believe that Elune calls them to the hereafter. It is not known exactly what the Night Elf afterlife is like or even if they know themselves.

Small shrines and cemeteries are constructed for the dead, graves marked by small, rounded stones. A common custom is to lay food, specifically blessed rice cakes, by the shrines as an offering to the deceased.[70]

The Balance

The balance is the philosophy of 'The balance of nature'. This entails keeping nature going on, keeping things in order and for the natural cycle to continue, preventing unnatural means from taking hold.[71] Archdruid Malfurion Stormrage would often reference the balance during the third war.

This philosophy permits for the culling of excess fauna.[72][73]


The well of eternity's waters are placed within a stone well and allowed to absorb moonlight during the night.[74] These are called moonwells. These wells have many practical purposes but Sentinels (and presumably priestesses) keep them as shrines to Elune.[75]
Chapter Five: Racial Relations

In general, Night Elves prefer the company of their own race to others, staying solitary and aloof.[2] They are reclusive[76] and non-Kaldorei are not normally seen on Teldrassil.[77] Some don't trust other races and believe peace can fall apart at any time.[78] Even the newly arrived Worgen seem to stay on the outskirts of the city or in the wilderness.[79]


Humans and Night Elves met ten years prior to the current timeline. They fought together in the defence of Hyjal. Now the Night Elves have joined the Alliance. Humans are perhaps the alliance race that has the most interaction with the Night Elves, even sharing a ship route. Up until recently the Stormwind Park was a spot for the few Night Elves within the city to stay and rest. Now that it has been destroyed, the Night Elves are staying outside the city, near the docks.


Dwarves and Night Elves have occasional interactions. They met alongside the human forces during the Third War. The only permanent Night Elf settlement in the Eastern Kingdoms is found in Dwarf land, the Greenwarden's Grove. Dwarves are permitted to dig in Night Elf territory for artifacts and research.


Night Elf and Gnome relations are strained. Night Elves take issue with Gnomish technology[80] and it is said that only in dire situations will the two races cooperate.[81]


Draenei are somewhat distant allies of the Night Elves. They work together in Forest Song, Ashenvale, but beyond that there seems to be little interaction. Even after a few years, ambassadors still work in the temple. During the Alliance summit, Tyrande and Malfurion were surprised to see the Draenei in attendance, showing how much they were aware of the race's current situation.[82]


The Night Elves went to the Eastern Kingdoms to save the Gilneans from destruction. As the Night Elves were the result for their curse, the Night Elves gave the refugees a home within their city. Many willingly stay outside the city in the wilds to hunt.[79]


The Orcs are the main enemy of the Night Elves in the current day. Since their incursion into the forests of Ashenvale, they have not stopped and have only pushed deeper and deeper as time went on. After the cataclysm, the Orcs pushed even further into the forest, slaying many Night Elves in the process. They have been described as monsters.[83]


Trolls are one of the Night Elves' longest foes, going as far back as 10,000 years. However, the Darkspear were not the breed that were normally encountered since then. As they fight alongside the Orcs, they are considered enemies. It is entirely possible that because of the past crushing defeats the Night Elves have delivered to the Trolls they have a hard time taking them seriously.[84]


Tauren used to live in relative seclusion with the Night Elves but without any hostility between the two Kalimdor natives. This led to the Archdruid Malfurion Stormrage teaching the Tauren their lost skill of druidism. Since then the Tauren have sided with the Horde in the war against the Alliance, making them enemies. Those of the Cenarion Circle work together readily but on the battlefield the two races will fight.


The forsaken have little contact with the Night Elves, save for some Orc supervised operations in Kalimdor. However, simply because they are allied with the Orcs puts them at odds with the Night Elves. Furthermore, their destruction of life, nature and the balance would instantly make them enemies, regardless of their tie to the Horde.

Blood Elves

The exiled Highborne eventaully evolved in the High Elves, which then became the Blood Elves. The Blood Elf practice of magic instantly puts them at odds with the Night Elves.[2] Even prior to their joining the Horde, the Night Elves invaded Quel'Thalas and set up spying camps throughout the forest, making hostile attacks against the Blood Elves. On their side, the Blood Elves seemingly take glee in any chance to attack and humiliate the Night Elves.[85][86]


Goblins have a nasty habit of deforestation, strip mining and creating pollution. Any Goblin organization that does this earns the ire of the Night Elves.[87] Because both the Bilgewater and Venture Co care little for nature, they tend to be at war with the Night Elves. The Steamwheedle Cartel, however, seems to be slightly less destructive and remains a neutral party. Because of this it is unknown how the Night Elves would view the varying factions within the cartels.
Chapter Six: Misc Outlooks

Night Elves and the Highborne / Arcane Magic

Less than one year ago, the Highborne were allowed to return the Night Elf society. The Highborne were originally exiled after the events of the Sundering, where Azeroth was split in two due to the Well of Eternity's destruction.

During this period, the Night Elves decreed it illegal to practice arcane magic, punishable by death.[4][88] Furthermore, the offender's entire family would be publicly shamed over this event.[88]

With the return of the Highborne, this ban was lifted in a way. The study of magic was permitted and the Highborne were allowed to return, but arcane magic was still forbidden on Teldrassil.[89][90] The Highborne are still ostracized and treated somewhat poorly, though are protected from harm by the Temple.[89] Even Shandris makes mention that it is only Tyrande's word keeping the Highborne safe.[91]

Recent Night Elven students and apprentices to the Highborne have been showing up. The majority of these are younger elves, who came of age near the time of the Third War.[92] Those who take up the arcane studies are usually met with confusion and misunderstanding from those around them.[92]

The Undead

There appears to be a rift in what Night Elves deem 'undead' and what they deem as 'spirits'. Spirits are phantasms while the undead are usually raised unnaturally by necromancy. Spirits seem to be pitied and should be destroyed to be given peace.[35]

Corporeal undead, specifically The Scourge, has been referred to in a number of ways; Evil,[93][94] miserable,[95] and 'a direct affront to nature'.[96] Furthermore, Elune's power, through the moonwells can actively destroy undead corruption and items.[97][98]

The first encounter with necromancy the Night Elves had was in the War of the Ancients. Dreadlords were capable of raising the dead elves to fight for them.[99]

Fel Magic and Demon Hunters

As fel magic is simply an extension of arcane magic, the same rules would apply to it as arcane magic does, at the very least. However, even Metzen has said that demons and the like are not welcome in the city. He speaks about Stormwind and, ultimately, the Night Elves are a lot more strict about magic usage than the humans are.[100]

Demon Hunters, as well, are outcasted and despised by the rest of Night Elf society.[101] As well, Maiev killed a Demon Hunter by the name of Telarius Voidstrider in Darkshore. Since Illidan's escape took her from Hyjal to Azshara, this would mean this confrontation happened prior to her vendetta. This likely means she slew Telarius for being a Demon Hunter, as an official arm of Night Elf justice.[102]


Night Elves seem to have a dislike for large scale technology, like canons and other gnomish weapons of war.[80] But this does not mean they are completely without technology. There is at least one case of clockwork, a simple music box.[103] Night Elves are capable of operating firearms and have had access to gunpowder, via their fireworks, however they still seem to prefer the bow.]

Wisps absorb stone, wood and metal from the land and use these raw essences to grow buildings and other constructs as well as repairing them.[104]
Chapter Seven: Class Paths


Warriors are martial masters, which allows for a wide range of interpretation. If your character is a soldier, gender comes into play. As the Sentinels were female only up until approximately 10 years before the current timeline,[18] male warrior Sentinels will only have a decade's worth of formal military training, maximum. Females, however, could have Sentinel training as far back as 10,000 years back. Sentinel Warriors can be either your standard foot soldier or they can be part of the mounted, shield wielding cavalry, Huntresses (note: Huntresses are not the hunter class, per say, they are unique to Night Elf military).

If one is not a standard soldier there are more options. You could be a wandering blademaster, moving from spot to spot. You could be a part of a town militia. Perhaps a blacksmith who trains with the weapons he/she makes? Or you could be part of the military arm of the Cenarion Circle, which we see in Silithus.


Like with Warriors, Rogues follow the same, vague prerequisites. They can be spies, assassins or simply thugs or self-learned fighters. Also like the above, Rogues can be part of the Sentinels, meaning the gender restriction still applies. Rogues in the Sentinel army can act as runners, spies, scouts, assassins and other stealth oriented ranks.

Outside the military, Rogues fall into a few ranges. Crime seems to be fairly low in Night Elf society, which means playing a thug or thief seems less viable. However, you could easily play freelance spies, bounty hunters, self -learned fighter, a sailor or swashbuckler or an information gatherer.


Hunters are those who employ beasts and archery in their adventures. Again, like the above, this has a fairly wide range of paths one can follow. Hunters can fall into a number of specializations, from marksmen to beast tamers to simple trackers. However, in Night Elf culture, hunting is steeped in tradition.[37]

Archers are frequently employed by the Sentinels, which once again means there are the above gender restrictions.[105] Here, they are generally archers and trackers, alongside an animal companion. Those who aren't in the Sentinels can simply be your usual hunter, beastmaster, archer or woodsman.

Even though Hunters can tame most any beast there are some that lend themselves to a Night Elf flavor:

-Owls: Owls were the favored companions of Priestesses of the Moon and Huntresses.[67][106]
-Chimaeras: These beasts were once used by the elves as aerial fighters. [107]
-Nightsabers: The have tamed them and are even able to communicate between one another. [108]
-Bears: Often tied to the druids of the claw, also with the Ancients Ursoc and Ursol
-Wolves: Tied to the Ancient Goldrinn.


Druids are set into the reverse gender roles as the Sentinels, with the Cenarion Circle only taking females starting 10 years ago. This means that the males are, for the most part, going to be more experienced. Most druids have to choose a path or 'totem'.

Druids of the Talon use aerial forms, such as stormcrows, and command spells such as faerie fire and cyclone. This tends to put them more in the 'Balance' tree. The biggest issue for this was the Moonkin form. Come Pandaria, however, one can glyph out of this.

Druids of the Claw transform into beasts, such as bears and cats. They usually prefer melee and stay on the ground. This generally puts them in the Guardian and Feral trees.

Druids of the Antler, we don't know much about. Come Cataclysm, one can glyph their travel form to a Stag, making this totem a possibility.

Druids of the Wild are druids who are prompted to train slightly from each totem, giving them some aptitude with each form.

Druids of the Flame and Druids of the Fang are considered enemies of Darnassus.

All druids have the capacity to heal and commune with nature, such as calling roots from the ground or healing rain from the sky. Some just are better or more focused on this aspect of druidism.

Archdruids are incredibly powerful members of the Cenarion Circle and generally lead their own groups of druids. To roleplay an Archdruid would to imply that their skill and mastery of druidism is far beyond others. This may be frowned upon by others.

Druids and Night Elves in general only have antlers growing from their brows as a sign of great, arch-druid level power and aptitude.[109]

Priestesses are much like the Sentinels in that they only started allowing males to join about 10 years prior to the current timeline. Because of this a male priest may still only be an acolyte while females can be very experienced.

There are no known Shadow Priests of Elune. The Night Elf creation myth specifically states that Elune's power is present during times when the moon is not seen, meaning her light shines no matter what.[61] Night Elf Priests specifically call to Elune for their holy power but there seems to be no source for the Shadow Priest's magic.

Tyrande is the High Priestess of Elune. One should refrain from using the title 'High Priestess'.


Mages are split into two subsections, Highborne refugees and Night Elf apprentices. When the Highborne returned they were permitted to teach the arcane arts to others. Because of this, the Highborne can have up to 10,000 years worth of magical experience, yet the Night Elf learners will have less than a year.

As a Night Elf mage, you may be fairly young, as it is noted that those who joined the Highborne were only of age.[92] Overall they will be much more liberal than the other Night Elves, having picked up a previously forbidden practice.

Highborne, on the other hand, are very different from Night Elves. Prior to their return they were holed up in Dire Maul, draining magic from the demon Immol'thar. Highborne are not exclusively mages, as they can be warriors or rangers as well.[110][111] Most Highborne respect only power,[112] and are generally known for their haughty, arrogant attitudes.[112][113][114]

Because of their isolation for some several thousand years, the Highborne use outdated arcana. Other, more progressed races, such as the Blood Elves (who were free to practice, advance and study magic without being in a hole) moved past or improved upon the Highborne magics still used today.[85]

Highborne are known to wear extremely outlandish outfits, gaudy and clashing in color.[115]

Arcane magic is forbidden on Teldrassil.[89]
Chapter Eight: Trade Skills


In large scale 'mining' Night Elves use wisps, which absorb stone and metal from the ground without harming it.[116] However, on a smaller, less damaging scale there likely wouldn't be any objections to mining exposed mineral nodes. Night Elves have access to special, blessed ore called Elunite.[117]


Much like the First Nations, it would likely be seen as a good act to make use of everything a slain animal has to offer.


Night Elves have a number of botanists.[118][119] Because of their study plants, it is likely Night Elves have a wide understanding of plants, flowers and roots.


Wardens, at the very least, have access to poisons, which would require alchemy.[120] Furthermore, their use of botanists and study of plants lends itself to the practice of alchemy.


Most races have a written language and would have need of scribes. Night Elves seem to use glyphs for magical reasons, such as the elfgate in Darnassus.


Because hunting is a tradition in Night Elf culture, skinning and leatherworking would go hand in hand. Druids often use animal parts in their clothing, such as druids of the claw wearing bear pelts.[121]


Many consider Dwarves to be master smiths (which they are) but they are not the only race with a proficiency in smithing. Night Elves are able to make vorpal-edged glaives[122] and and are credited with the creation of both Quel'Serrar and Quel'Delar.[123]


Night Elves females, particularly priestesses and sentinels, wear jewelry. The kinds of jewelry made can range from nose studs, moon crested earrings, and circlets[124] to pearl necklaces,[125] hairpins,[31] and ornate rings.[126]


Night Elf didn't even have trainers for the profession until Cataclysm. And even now, they're entirely Worgen. However, this does not mean Night Elves don't have engineers, just that it doesn't match the overarching profession. Engineering takes several different elements and mashes them together. This includes gunsmithing, bow making, lens crafting, tinkering, explosives and robotics.

Night Elf 'engineers' would have taken from a few, but not all of those elements. We know Night Elves use bows, so bowyers would be present. We know Night Elves employ fireworks and gunpowder, yet don't seem to use them for military use.[127] Glass or lens crafting seem to be possible, as some Night Elf buildings have stained-glass (such as the temple). Glaive throwers may need some adjustments and the weapons they make may require special calculations to create.

We also know Night Elves are capable of using low-tech, hand wound clockwork, as seen by their use of music boxes.[103]

However, the use of tinkering, robotics and complex technology would not have been an option for the Night Elves until after joining the Alliance. Even now, Gnomish technology is described as “obnoxious”.[128]


Night Elves can be skilled tailors. Their moonwells are required to create their signature material, mooncloth. Primal mooncloth also requires a moonwell, yet it is unknown if this fabric was made by the Night Elves or just inspired by the original.

We know Night Elves have skill in weaving silk.[129]


Unfortunately we do not know what kind of magic is employed to enchant objects. It seems like the simple process of withdrawing the essence of an object and then using it to imbue another. We know Night Elves use enchantments, such as on their weapons.[106]

It is likely enchanting is not viewed as an arcane based skill due to the presence of Night Elven enchanter trainers, even back when there were no engineer trainers in Darnassus.


Because of the age of many Night Elves, archaeology would be less about digging up their forgotten past and more about recovering artifacts. Many Night Elven ruins contain artifacts from before the War of the Ancients, some powerful and magical.

Highborne, specifically the ones from Dire Maul, are known to horde and seek knowledge, as evidence by their massive libraries and lorekeepers.
Chapter Nine: Language

Here, there will be specific words and phrases found in the Night Elven language. These words have been either confirmed or near confirmed, due to the presence of certain phrases found repeatedly (Nordrassil, Teldrassil sharing the phrase “drassil”, for intance). The Night Elven language is called Darnassae in their own tongue.[130]

Lore Confirmed

"An'da!" = "Father!"*
"Alor'el" = "Lover's leaf"*
"Ande'thoras-ethil." = "May your troubles be diminished."**
"Andu-falah-dor!" = "Let balance be restored!"**
"Ash Karath!" = "Do it!"**
"Bandu Thoribas! = "Prepare to fight!"**
"Elune-Adore." = "Elune be with you."**
"Fandu-dath-belore?" = "Who goes there?**
"Ishnu-alah." = "Good fortune to you"**
"Ishnu-dal-dieb." = "Good fortune to your family."**
"Jai'alator" = "Noble blade of Elune"***
"Min'da" = "Mother"*
"Shan'do" = "Honored Teacher"**
"Thero'shan" = "Honored student"**
"Tor ilisar'thera'nal!" = "Let our enemies beware!"**
"Kaldorei" = "children of the stars", "people of the stars".**
"Nordrassil" = "crown of the heavens"**
"Quel'dorei" = "children of noble birth" ("Highborne", "High-borne", "high elves").**
“Sael'ah” = A untranslated greeting. (Quest: Encrypted Sigil)
"Sunstrider" = "he who walks the day"**
"Teldrassil" = "crown of the earth"**
"Xaxas" = Chaotic, elemental fury. Also the name for Deathwing.**
"Zin-Azshari" = "The glory of Azshara"**

* = Located in the “Seeds of Faith” story
**= Located in the Warcraft Enclyclopedia
***= Stormrage Novel

Likely Translations

“Alah” = “To you” (Ishnu-Alah and Ishnu-dal-dieb, Ishnu likely meaning “Good fortune”. Alah would mean “To you”)
“Do” = “Teacher” (Shan'do = “Honored Teacher”, with Shan meaning honored)
“Dorei” = “Children, Borne” (Kaldorei, “Children of the Stars” and Quel'Dorei, “The Highborne”)
“Drassil” = “Crown” (Teldrassil = “Crown of the Earth”, Nordrassil = “Crown of the Heavens”)
“Ishnu” = “Good fortune” (Ishnu-Alah = “Good fortune to you”, Ishnu-dal-dieb = “Good fortune to your family”)
“Kal” = “Star(s)” (Kaldorei = “Children of the Stars”, Dorei being children)
“Naar” = “Settlement” (Astranaar, Dolanaar, Thalanaar, all towns or outposts)
“Nor” = “Heavens” (as in sky) (Nordrassil = “Crown of the Heavens”, Drassil meaning crown)
“Quel” = “High” (as in noble) (Quel'dorei = “Highborne”, Dorei meaning children)
“Serrar” = “Blade or Sword” (Quel'Serrar = “High Blade”, Quel meaning high)
“Shan” = “Honored” (in reference to a person) (Thero'shan = “Honored Student”, “Shan'do = “Honored Teacher”)
“Thero” = “Student” (Thero'Shan = “Honored Student”, Shan meaning honored)
“Zin” = “Glory” (Zin'Azshari = “Glory of Azshara”, with Azshari referencing Azshara)


Night Elves have surnames and given names. Their given, or first, name is not usually something you'd expect a modern day human to have (John, Jack, etc) but more exotic and flowing (Maiev, Tyrande, Malfurion, Shandris).

Surnames, however, are much easier to decide upon. Often these names are a combining of two words. These two words tend to fall into defined categories. These can include animals (usually ones important to the Night Elves, such as ancients), actions (movement, etc), celestial bodies (particularly the moon and stars), the night, natural forces (such as storms, leaves, trees, etc), clothing (crown, cloaks) or weapons (glaive, blade).


Raene Wolfrunner: Animal (wolf) + action (Run)
Broll Bearmantle: Animal (bear) + clothing (mantle)
Tyrande Whisperwind: Action (whisper) + natural force (wind)
Fandral Staghelm: Animal (stag) + clothing (helm)
Shandris Feathermoon: Animal (feather) + celestial object (moon)
Maiev Shadowsong: Night (shadow) + action (song)
Kur'thalos Ravencrest: Animal (raven) + clothing (crest)
Daros Moonlance: Celestial object (moon) + weapon (lance)

If you are really stuck for a last name, take a look around Darnassus, Teldrassil or a Night Elf heavy zone and pick two names you like. Break them apart and combine them into a new name! For instance:

Erion Shadewhisper (Rogue Trainer: Darnassus) and Jeen'ra Nightrunner (Hunter Trainer: Darnassus). These names now give you the terms “Shade” and “Night”, then “Whisper” and “Runner”. Combined you could take the name “Shaderunner” or “Nightwhisper”!
Chapter Ten: Lands and Cities

A question many have to answer is “Where did my elf grow up?” or “Where were they born?”. Because of their age, this leaves a lot for confusion. The following is a list of Night Elf territories, followed by appropriate ages to be born/raised in each, plus a blurb about the area if needed.

Pre-War of the Ancients

Zin-Azshari: The Night Elf capitol city, the center of Highborne activity, by the Well of Eternity. Destroyed.
Suramar: An ancient city. Destroyed.

Ruins but still present:
Bashal'Aran: Ancient Highborne town. Ruins located in Darkshore.
Ameth'Aran: Ancient Highborne town. Ruins located in Darkshore.
Eldre'thar: Ancient Highborne town. Highborne only. Ruins located in Stonetalon.
Ethel Rethor: Ruins located in Desolace.
Isildien: Highborne only. Ruins located in Feralas.
Kel'theril: Night Elven city. Ruins located in Winterspring.
Loreth'Aran: Night Elf city. Home of the Green Dragon Riders. Ruins located in Bloodmyst Isle.

Still habitable:
Eldre'thalas: Hold home of the Dire Maul Highborne. Highborne only. Barely habitable.

Post War of the Ancients (9,999 to present)

Auberdine / Darkshore: Auberdine was a coastal village in Darkshore. Recently it was destroyed in the Cataclysm. Lor'danel now resides up the coast from it, a place for the refugees and survivors.

Ashenvale / Astranaar

Moonglade / Nighthaven: A bastion for the druids, both currently and in the past. Nighthaven was/is the center for the Lunar Festival.

Felwood: Unknown towns/settlements. Felwood was where the Skull of Gul'dan resided during the Third War. This was used by the demons to utterly corrupt the land, making it impossible to live in. Recently, attempts have been made to heal the land and purge the demons.

Winterspring / Starfall Village: An out of the way village up in snowy Winterspring. Presides over a barrow den for sleeping druids.

Azshara / Nendis: Azshara was a coastal area, though a Satyr threat was present there was a small town called Nendis on the shore. When the Naga first appeared 10 years ago they wiped out the city in an attempt to aid Illidan's escape.

Feralas / Dire Maul: Feralas was not rediscovered until approximately 10 years ago.[131] Highborne, however, have been in the area for 10,000 years. Currently, Feathermoon Stronghold has been rebuilt here after it was destroyed by the Cataclysm. Sentinels train here and Shandris Feathermoon leads the army from this position.

Desolace / Nigel's Point: Because Feralas had not been rediscovered until recently, the same is likely true of Desolace. The outpost of Nigel's Point is sparse and has a heavy human population.

The Barrens, Durotar, etc: There is no evidence that the Night Elves built any post-sundering settlements in these areas.

The hills of Hyjal: A generic term for anywhere on the slopes of the mountain, from the actual hyjal zone, to ashenvale, to what is now felwood.

Teldrassil / Darnassus: Teldrassil is less than 10 years old. Those who are born on it would be that young or younger. This is the Night Elven capital city now, housing the Temple of Elune.
Chapter Eleven: Timeline

I== Beyond recorded history: Night Elves evolve from Trolls
I== Beyond recorded history: Night Elves defeat the Troll Empire and establish the Kaldorei Empire
I== 10,000 Before Battle for Hyjal (BBH): War of the Ancients, the Shattering, Illidan's betrayal and the new
I--- Well of Eternity
I== 9,000 BBH: The growing of Nordrassil
I== 7,300 BBH: Highborne uprising, exile of the Highborne
I== Between 7,000 BBH and 1000 BBH: War of the Satyr, formation of the Druids of the Pack
I== 1,000 BBH: War of the Shifting Sands, death of Valstann Staghelm
I== 0: Battle for Hyjal: Death of Cenarius, Illidan's freedom, sacrifice of Nordrassil
I== 1 ABH: Maiev's pursuit of Illidan, Maiev's exile
I== Between 1ABH and 4ABH: Gender roles loosened, Teldrassil grown, Tauren join the Cenarion Circle
I== 4 ABH: Vanilla WoW. The war in Silithus.
I== 5 ABH: Burning Crusade: Maiev's release, Illidan's death
I== 6 ABH: Wrath of the Lich King
I== Prior to Cataclysm: Stormrage Novel: Malfurion's awakening, Fandral's betrayal
I== 10 ABH: The Cataclysm
I== Immediately after the Cataclysm: Seeds of Faith: Destruction of Auberdine, destruction of Feathermoon
I== During the events of Cataclysm: Wolfheart: Alliance summit, Maiev's betrayal, Jerod's return
I== During the events of Cataclysm: The buring of Hyjal, the Molten Front offensive
I== 11ABH (estimated): Deathwing's fall, Mists of Pandaria
Chapter Twelve: Common Misconceptions

Here will be where I place any misconceptions people note often. This will be by the community and I will do my best to cite as much as I can. If you want to contribute, simply post in the thread and mark it as a common misconception you've seen.
Chapter Thirteen: FAQ

If anyone has any questions about the guide or about Night Elves in general, I'll post them here with my answer. I'll do my best to keep on top of these. I'll start out with two that I've gotten, even before posting this.

Q: How long did this take you?
A: About a month. It took me about two weeks to do all my research, then two weeks of writing it all down and organizing it.

Q: How long is this thing?
A: Without the introduction, table of contents, citations, FAQ and misconceptions, approximately 8500 words. Each page would run between 3500 and 4900 characters.
Chapter 14: Citations

[1] World of Warcraft Battlechest Guide, page 153
[2] World of Warcraft Beginners Guide, page 17
[3] World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade, Game Manual, pages 16-17
[4] The Warcraft Encyclopedia/Night Elves
[5] War of the Anchients Archive, page 328
[6] Quest: The Sister's Pendant -
[7] Wolfheart, page 82
[10] Warcraft 3: Reign of Chaos
[11] Warcraft 3: The Frozen Throne, Tides of Terror, Chapter 6
[12] Warcraft 3: Reign of Chaos, Eternity's End, Chapter 1
[15] Wolfheart, page 26
[16] World of Warcraft: The Magazine Volume 2 Issue 1
[17] Warcraft 3: Reign of Chaos Game Manual, page 109
[18] The Warcraft Encyclopedia/The Sentinels
[19] The Warcraft Encyclopedia/The Cenarion Circle
[20] Archaeology: Druid and Priestess Statue
[22] Stormrage, page 82
[25] Warcraft 3: Reign of Chaos, Eternity's End, Chapter 3
[27] War of the Ancients Trilogy, Well of Eternity, page 46
[28] Archaeology: Tyrande's Favorite Doll
[29] Archaeology: Chest of Tiny Glass Animals
[30] Stormrage, page 81
[31] Archaeology: Hair Pin of Silver and Malachite
[32] Archaeology: Cloak Clasp with Antlers
[33] Archaeology: Silver Scroll Case
[34] Leyara
[55[ Archaeology: Night Elf Amphora
[56] Wolfheart, page 204
[59] Wolfheart, page 98
[60] Archaeology: Necklace with Elune Pendant
[63] Well of Eternity, page 110
[64] Seeds of Faith, page 4
[66] Seeds of Faith, page 4
[69] Seeds of Faith, page 1
[79] Wolfheart, page 195
[82] Wolfheart, page 113-114
[89] Wolfheart, page 63-64
[99] Demon Soul, page 226
[103] Archaeology: Delicate Music Box
[109] Stormrage, page 343
[112] Wolfheart, pages 64-66

[115] Archaeology: Highborne Soul Mirror
[125] Archaeology: String of Small Pink Pearls
[126] Archaeology: Green Dragon Ring
[129] Archaeology: Scandalous Silk Nightgown

Additional Citations

This will be where I place any citations added after posting this guide. They will continue from citation #131.

[132] The Worgen Comics
Change Log

This is where I'll be dating any additions to the guide.

April 02, 2012: Guide posted

April 03, 2012: Fixed the Night Elf weight scale, using real life humans of that size.

April 04, 2021: Added small tidbit about the Cenarion Circle's formation.

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