Long ago Dalaran was a city in the nation of Arathor, and began early in its history to serve as a sort of refuge for the magic practicers who lived under the strict tyrannical laws of Strom. Quickly Dalaran grew into a center for magical arts, and built for themselves a palace completely out of magic, the Violet Citadel. The society prospered, and was ruled by a magocracy, and more or less everything about Dalaran was tied to magic. Sound familiar? For those of you who play Blood Elves it should, and Dalaran's fate is much the same as that of Quel'Thalas. It makes sense, really, since the two cities were tied together in their love of magic, even creating the Order of Tirisfal as they banded together.
At the height of their power the magocrats of Dalaran founded the Kirin Tor, a ruling council dedicated to amassing every bit of knowledge surrounding magic, and when we talk about every bit you can believe it: every spell, every incantation, every item containing the least bit of magical spark, all of it was catalogued by this small sect within the city. At as result of this research, Dalaran was home to a massive magical library, something I am eager to see with my own magey eyes when we are finally able to set foot in the city again. That is if any of it still exists.
Much of the great city that was Dalaran is no more, having been destroyed first by the Horde and then by the Scourge, embodied in the demonic presence of Archimonde. Of what little was left, we cannot be certain, because the instant that the mages of the Kirin Tor got the least bit of strength back, they surrounded the city in a magical barrier, and have been working secretly to rebuild their home ever since. It's been said that there are about 3000 mages living within Dalaran today, and of them a little over 100 are members of the Kirin Tor. Despite the attacks on the city Dalaran continues to hold dominion over various places in Azeroth, including Nethegarde Keep and Lordamere Internment Camp.
As fascinating as the history of Dalaran is, what the future holds for the city is even more interesting. At BlizzCon we were told that Dalaran would serve as the capital city for the campaigns into Northrend, a city transported by magical means to the frozen continent to the north, to remain hovering in the air above the land. Why will the city be moved? Because the Kirin Tor led by Archmage Rhonin has been building their defenses over the years, knowing that Arthas/The Lich King would strike again in the hopes of destroying the mages of the world. In order to defend those of their order, they will move their city to where the fight will be, essentially bringing the mountain to Mohammed.
Think of what this means for mages as a class. This is the first time in the lore of Warcraft that I can recall the storyline surrounding one particular class as a whole. I remember a large portion of the War of the Ancients trilogy dealing with the dangers of magic, and the struggle between the druidic and the magical arts (i.e. between Malfurion and Illidan). But now one class is singled out to stand in the spotlight. The mages of Azeroth will be under attack, hence they will also be the main characters in the story to unfold. Although we may not know that story yet, we can be certain that mages will be at the center of it.