Night elves are a race of purple-skinned elves from Kalimdor, the western continent of Azeroth. They are known as kaldorei, meaning "children of the stars", in their native tongue of Darnassian.
The kaldorei are a reclusive and mystical race born during the waking of the world, though some groups of trolls have been in existence almost, or some speculate even as long, as they have. Theirs is a most ancient heritage, which has shaped them into a very self-sufficient and self-conscious people that often display strong streaks of isolationism.
Anatomy and appearanceEdit
Night elves are imposing in stature, males being on average 7 feet tall. Male kaldorei are very muscular, with broad chests and shoulders, indicative of the strength that lies within both their minds and bodies. Female night elves are lithe and curvaceous, yet still muscular and strong. The race’s prominent eyebrows, long pointed ears and natural aspects imply a feral grace. Skin tones range from purple (dark to light), blue, and even bright pink. Their hair ranges from blue, green, dark violet, white or black. Female night elven eyes glow silver while male's eyes have an amber glow to them. For the most part, they are suited to quick and deadly combat.
Culture and societyEdit
The night elves are a people who have dedicated their individual lives, as well as the very organization of their entire society, in the pursuit of the protection of the natural world. They are at one with the subtle ebb and flow of the Kalimdor forests they call home. The druids of their people spent ages walking in a spectral realm guarded by the great Green Dragon Ysera the Dreamer known as the Emerald Dream. The night elves were once immortal but after the Third War, they gave up their immortal nature to defeat the Burning Legion, and were forced to fully rejoin the world and fight for its survival. Though the night elves venerate and honor many creatures, Moon Goddess Elune is honored above all others.
Prior to the conclusion of the Third War, night elf society was sharply divided by gender, with the vast majority of men being druids and most women serving as warriors, priestesses, or a combination thereof. These gender roles more or less defined the culture of the kaldorei for ten thousand years. In the years since the end of the Third War, this gender division appears to have eased in favor of more practical concerns, setting aside its historical strictures on membership. Women have taken up the mantle of the druids, just as men have begun to choose the path of war and have affiliated with the Sentinels.
The night elves are honorable to a fault; a strict but just and sometimes even compassionate people. However, they tend to be dismissive and distrustful of the younger races they now find within the world, and whom they consider to either be living in stubborn ignorance or as too short-lived to ever attain the responsibility and wisdom which the kaldorei have gained through their burdened past. In turn, many of these younger cultures perceive the night elves' attitude as one of mere arrogance or of superiority, and the kaldorei tend to be mistrusted themselves, if not for their shadowy and secretive nature then for their aloof and judging demeanor.
Night elves rely on their magic and the benefits of the natural world around them to maintain their society. Their magic is druidic in nature and flows straight from the natural world. They use this magic and their affinity for nature to shape the trees and stone and make friends with the animals around them. It is with these skills rather than engineering, steam power, or metalcraft that they survive.
While they cultivate a relatively low-tech society, when compared to those of the dwarves or gnomes, they seem to have been able to create some relatively simple mechanical weaponry, such as the large glaive Thrower, a mechanical siege weapon, which they developed during their period of isolation from other races.
Though the night elves obviously have metallurgical skills, the city of Darnassus exemplifies that night elves are also skilled at building and stonecraft. These skills probably date from before the War of the Ancients, when the kaldorei were more "traditional" in terms of technology. It should be noted that their lifestyle is not "anti-technology," but rather one where technology is not the goal.
At the beginning of the world, now known as Azeroth, the god-like titans created a magical well — dubbed the Well of Eternity by the night elves. Over time it became the source of their power, wisdom, and immortality. This immense source of mystical energy shone like a beacon throughout the Twisting Nether, eventually claiming the attention of Sargeras, the dark titan, Destroyer of Worlds, as he sought to claim its power as his own.
With the Well of Eternity once located at the very center of their civilization, the night elves were the first and the greatest wielders of magic, putting the craft to use with unmatched brilliance and inspiration. However, the arrogance of the highest caste of the ancient kaldorei, the Highborne, caused increasingly reckless use of the magic powers that the Well granted, which ultimately allowed the Burning Legion to first find its way into Azeroth. The Highborne fell under the thrall of Sargeras, and an apocalyptic confrontation between the remaining night elves and the invading Legion was set into motion that became known as the War of the Ancients. The outcome changed Azeroth for all time, causing a Sundering which tore the landmasses of the world apart.
Although the mighty kaldorei proved themselves able of putting a decisive halt to the Legion's onslaught, both their civilization and the world itself were shattered as a result of their mistakes. Left with nothing else than their lives, grief and sorrow, the night elves withdrew to their ancestral forests of Ashenvale and isolated their culture from the rest of Azeroth for nearly ten millenia, renouncing magic and becoming devoted wholly to the natural cycle of the world they had almost led to ruin. Ever since, the kaldorei's ways have revolved around an intimate connection to the natural forces, animistic powers and the worship of their mysterious moon goddess, Elune. The night elves now stand as a people who are both highly spiritual and pragmatic, an often sophisticated paradox, and are possessed with a deeply seated desire to find their solace.