As a race that wasn't introduced until The Burning Crusade expansion, blood elves and their position in the Horde have always been a thorn in the side of roleplayers. On the one hand, you've got those who couldn't care less about the fact that the Horde was given a "pretty" race; on the other, you have a group of people vehemently opposed to their inclusion. Despite the opposition, the blood elves movement from Alliance to Horde is perfectly supported by lore, even if the naysayers would have you believe otherwise.
As for the current state of the blood elves ... well, it's slightly less chaotic than the times of The Burning Crusade, but there are still interesting points for blood elf roleplayers to play with. Even though Silvermoon and the surrounding areas weren't really affected by the Cataclysm revamp, what you find upon leaving the starting areas certainly has been. Information left behind in the wake of TBC gives blood elf roleplayers a lot to think about when considering current news for character development.
What happened Perhaps the most important development in the eyes of the blood elves is the rebirth of their beloved Sunwell. Yet that Sunwell isn't really the same as it used to be, for good reason. The Sunwell was irrevocably tainted when Arthas used the mystical font to resurrect Kel'Thuzad. The energies of the Sunwell were then tainted by necromantic powers, and if left alone, would have killed the blood elves for good.
Kael'thas Sunstrider made the painful decision to destroy the Sunwell for good. In the aftermath of the bloodshed and untold casualties caused by Arthas and his Scourge, Kael'thas renamed his people the blood elves, or sin'dorei. The rest of the story is told over the course of The Burning Crusade -- Kael'thas' downfall and descent into madness and his pact with the Burning Legion.
As for the Sunwell, it remained dead until the tail end of The Burning Crusade. Kael'thas sought to reignite the Sunwell and summon Kil'jaeden to Azeroth using what remaining energies were left behind. Those energies were conveniently given the form of a human girl named Anveena. Eventually, adventurers who fought their way into the heart of Sunwell Plateau foiled Kil'jaeden's plans.
And that's when something pretty curious happened. The Sunwell was reignited after Kil'jaeden's defeat, not by the blood elves but by the draenei -- specifically, Prophet Velen. He took the heart of M'uru and used it to light the Sunwell once again. Only this time, instead of a font of arcane magic, the Sunwell is a font of Light, the light of the naaru and the arcane.
How this affects your character One of the first points made to blood elf players is that the blood elves were addicted to magic and suffering withdrawal due to the loss of the Sunwell. Now, the blood elves have that Sunwell -- but it's a different type of magic entirely, a type of magic granted by the draenei, members of the Alliance. Ultimately, the salvation of the blood elves didn't come from the Horde; it came from Alliance hands, and the Sunwell itself carries a different kind of power than it used to.
What to consider If your blood elf is a paladin, there've been a lot of changes in the way things work. Originally, you got your powers by feeding off a naaru trapped in a basement; now, you get your powers directly from the Sunwell. How does your blood elf feel about that change? For all other blood elves, consider the fact that the restoration of your beloved Sunwell came at the hands of a member of the Alliance, not the Horde. How does your blood elf feel about that? Is he grateful for the restoration and thankful that the draenei stepped in? Does he trust the draenei now?
What happened Kael'thas Sunstrider was the leader of the blood elves for a time. He left for Outland to discover a cure for the withdrawals that blood elves were experiencing as a result of the Sunwell's destruction. Over the course of The Burning Crusade, it was revealed that the blood elves' beloved leader was actually acting in cahoots with the Burning Legion. In Magister's Terrace, the blood elves got to confront their treacherous leader one final time and see with their own eyes the results of his alliance.
With Kael'thas gone, leadership of the blood elves fell to Lor'themar Theron, former leader of the Farstriders. Lor'themar had been acting as regent lord in Kael'thas' absence; however, the death of Kael'thas required Lor'themar to step up and lead the blood elves in earnest.
How this affects your character As a blood elf, you've gone from having a beloved leader in Anasterian Sunstrider to his son, Kael'thas, and from Kael'thas to Lor'themar. The Sunstrider line that has led the blood elves since their original banishment from Kalimdor is no more; instead, a relative newcomer has taken up the role, as far as the blood elves are concerned. Lor'themar Theron doesn't come from a particularly noble or political background. He was the leader of the Farstriders, not a political mastermind.
What to consider The Sunstrider line led the blood elves from their first days on the Eastern Kingdoms all the way until the treachery of Kael'thas. Now, the blood elves are being led by a former ranger. How does your blood elf feel about this? Does he care about the political upheaval and change in management, or could he not care less about politics? Does he think that Lor'themar is doing a good job with his leadership, or does he wish he'd do more? Does he consider him a figurehead, the blood elves now leaderless, or does he view him as a competent ruler?
What happened And then there's the little matter of the Horde and the change of leadership there. Garrosh Hellscream is the new Warchief of the Horde, and his distaste for the blood elves is almost palpable. Though trolls, tauren, and even the goblins were given a place in new Orgrimmar, the blood elves -- along with the forsaken -- were left out. A small contingent of blood elf ambassadors stands in Garrosh's chambers, but other than that and a few trainers, there is a distinct lack of anything sin'dorei in the Horde's capital. It is painfully obvious that Garrosh, when considering who would make strong, capable warriors for the Horde, able to defend Orgrimmar from any attackers, didn't even give the sind'orei a second thought.
How this affects your character As a blood elf in Orgrimmar, it should be noticeably apparent that the only blood elves running around doing business and possibly living there are travelers and adventurers like yourself. Though not blatant, the subtle snub still exists -- all Horde races were included when Orgrimmar was rebuilt, save yourselves and the Forsaken. Vendors and traders in Orgrimmar may not treat you with disgust, but the implication is still there -- as far as the Warchief is concerned, your people aren't strong enough to warrant a true place in the heart of the Horde, the capital.
What to consider Is this something that concerns your blood elf? Is he angry about the exclusion? What does he think about Garrosh Hellscream? Does he consider him a competent leader, or is he silently disgusted with his leadership?
What happened When the quel'dorei were first looking for a land to settle in, long, long ago, they unfortunately chose to settle on Amani territory. This resulted in the Troll Wars and a lifelong hatred of the Amani trolls. While the Amani were put in their place, they still haunt the edges of the Ghostlands, engaging in skirmishes with the settlements of the area. As for the Amani fortress of Zul'Aman, it rose to power during The Burning Crusade and was subsequently snuffed out along with Zul'jin. But lately, reports have been coming in of a new threat arisen in Zul'Aman, a new leader put in power not by the Amani, but by the Zandalar ...
How this affects your character The distaste that blood elves hold for the Amani trolls is something that has been carried since the founding of Silvermoon. Though blood elves alive today wouldn't have been present for the Troll Wars, the history of that war and how it affected the blood elves is something that has been passed down from generation to generation. Now, the Amani are rising again -- and they're backed by the oldest troll tribe in existence, along with every other troll tribe out there save the Darkspear. Vol'jin has chosen to take a stand against the Zandalar and their lust for one true troll empire, and he is asking the Horde for help.
What to consider Racial animosity between the blood elves and the trolls has been a constant in blood elf history. Though the blood elves hold a notorious hatred for the trolls, the Darkspear had nothing to do with the Troll Wars of ages gone past. How does your blood elf feel about the recent resurgence of Amani attacks? How do they affect your blood elf? How does your blood elf feel about the efforts of Vol'jin? Does he support the Darkspear leader, or does he view him with distrust, much the same as he does the Amani? Is he stepping forward to help, or is he hiding away?
What happened As former highborne, the blood elves -- at that time in history called high elves or quel'dorei -- were banished from Kalimdor by the night elves and forced to settle in the Eastern Kingdoms. This was because the quel'dorei practiced arcane magic, something the night elves held a high amount of loathing for due to the War of the Ancients. The night elves forbade the quel'dorei from practicing magic, but the quel'dorei rebelled, unleashing a magical storm on Ashenvale. It was this action that got them booted out of Kalimdor.
After arriving in the Eastern Kingdoms, the former highborne underwent a series of physical changes that led to the distinct physical differences between blood elf and night elf . In the process, they lost the immortality granted to them by the World Tree. The quel'dorei, a proud people, continued to live on and survive despite the banishment. Lately, however, rumors circulate that the night elves are now practicing arcane magic and training mages.
How this affects your character This is actually a pretty solid point of contention. The night elves originally banished the quel'dorei from Kalimdor for practicing arcane magic. Now, thousands of years later, it seems the night elves are quietly condoning the activity and actually practicing it themselves. Not only are they practicing it, but rumors abound that the Shen'dralar, a sect of highborn formerly hidden in Feralas, are now allied with the night elves and teaching them the arcane arts that were once forbidden.
What to consider Is this something that affects your blood elf? Do they view the night elves as a bunch of hypocrites? This may be something that affects your character. While it isn't a major event in blood elf history, the news that the kal'dorei are now condoning the very thing that got your people banished from Kalimdor and made them what they are may be a little annoying and at the very least, a subject for conversation.
Though the blood elves haven't had many major plot points since the days of The Burning Crusade, there's still plenty out there to keep in mind when roleplaying a blood elf character. Tensions between the various races of the Horde are a major plot point in Cataclysm, and the blood elves are one of those races that have fallen on Hellscream's not-so-good graces, through no fault of their own. In addition, the sudden rise of the Amani may give blood elf roleplayers a fair amount of RP to play with, given the history between the two.
Blood elves are still one of the most fascinating races Warcraft has to offer. Evolved from an Alliance race, formerly a member of that first, tenuous Alliance, the blood elves remain the only race in Warcraft's history that's had a sudden switch of allegiances from Alliance to Horde. As such, it may be only right that they remain in a place of faint distrust as far as Hellscream is concerned. After all, they switched sides once -- who's to say they won't do so again? Regardless, despite the lack of major activity in Cataclysm, blood elf roleplayers still have much to consider.
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