Dark ranger

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"Dark ranger" redirects here. For the Warcraft III hero unit, see Dark Ranger (Warcraft III).
For the Howling Fjord NPC, see Dark Ranger.
Dark ranger
Dark Lady Sylvanas Windrunner.jpg
Queen Sylvanas Windrunner, leader of the dark rangers.
Affiliation
Predecessor class
Favored by
Weapon proficiency

Bows, Blades, Crossbow, Axe

Weapon types

Longbows, daggers, swords, scythes, axes, crossbows

Armor proficiency

Leather armor

Skill(s)

Archery, Necromancy

Could also be
Special notes

Former rangers of Quel'Thalas, trained in the dark arts of necromancy by their progenitor, former ranger-general Lady Sylvanas Windrunner.

Sources: Warcraft III

The dark ranger is a type of undead high elf hunter. They are cunning individuals, adept at manipulating opponents. Forcibly raised from the dead, the former rangers of Quel'Thalas enjoy nothing more than sowing dissension and hatred within the enemy ranks.

Rarely seen prior to War against the Lich King, the Forsaken now use Dark Rangers as elite agents and personal guard of the Banshee Queen Sylvanas Windrunner. The introduction of the hunter class to the Forsaken is likely due their influence. Nathanos Blightcaller has been training a new generation of Forsaken rangers, thus including undead humans in their ranks.

Background

When Sylvanas Windrunner, Banshee Queen of the Forsaken, regained her physical body, she realized that the natural world would never respond to her wishes again. Angered by this development, she turned to the arts that were becoming more and more natural to her: Necromancy. She altered her elven ranger teachings into a new form. Thus, the dark rangers were born. When the Lich King's power began to wane, his mental domination was weakened, and many of his undead became free of will again. Many undead elves including the dark ranger Sylvanas, found themselves free of will, and Sylvanas rebelled against Arthas, turning her banshees against their former king. After gaining control of the Tirisfal Glades, Sylvanas proclaimed herself Queen of the Banshees and leader of the Forsaken (the free-willed undead).

Many dark rangers are former banshees. The difference is dark rangers have regained their physical bodies, thus possessing greater powers.[citation needed]

Appearance and attire

Dark rangers are most commonly undead elven women, with blood-red eyes and deathly pale skin. Typically, they are clad in a leather-looking outfit complete with a hood, which could be seen as a dark twist of the Farstrider attire. Nearly all of them are seen with a cloak. Dark Ranger Anya is a prominent example of this style.

Another dark ranger outfit, as sported by Dark Ranger Lyana, is also not an uncommon dark ranger style of choice.

Nathanos Blightcaller has recently been training a new generation of Forsaken rangers comprising of undead humans, making the undead racial composition of the order more diverse. These Forsaken hunters appear to favor the woodsman axe and the crossbow in contrast to the bow and arrow typically employed by their undead high elf counterparts. Like Nathanos, they sport a leather-looking outfit and optionally a hood and face mask.[1]

Races

Nearly all dark rangers are undead high elves found only among the Forsaken. No other faction has the elves' history coupled with the personal knowledge of shadows to learn the arts of a dark ranger. In fact, many dark rangers refuse to teach their arts to anyone who wasn't a former elf. While these rangers have slackened their restrictions some, most dark rangers were once elves.

There has been only one recording of a human ranger and subsequent dark ranger. Nathanos Blightcaller's resurrection as one of the Forsaken and service to the Dark Lady has earned him the rank of Champion of the Banshee Queen. He used to reside at Marris Stead in the Eastern Plaguelands, but now resides in the Undercity teaching hunters to learn new talents. Nathanos has recently been training a new generation of Forsaken rangers comprising of undead humans, making the undead racial composition more diverse.[1]

Warcraft III

WC3RoC logo 16x32.png This section concerns content exclusive to Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos or its expansion The Frozen Throne.

Warcraft III
The Dark Ranger hero unit from WCIII.
Main article: Dark Ranger (Warcraft III)

In The Frozen Throne, Sylvanas Windrunner — after being raised as a Banshee by Arthas — regained her physical body and became the first dark ranger. Dark Rangers are a playable hero class.

In World of Warcraft

WoW Icon 16x16.png This section concerns content exclusive to World of Warcraft.

Dark rangers are generally found in Forsaken territory. Nathanos Blightcaller was once the most prominent dark ranger, situated in the Eastern Plaguelands. He did battle with the Alliance, the Scarlet Crusade and the Scourge prior to his return to the Undercity.

Wrath of the Lich King

WotLK This section concerns content exclusive to Wrath of the Lich King.

The dark rangers joined the Forsaken assault into Northrend, and many were seen as part of the Hand of Vengeance. After the events surrounding the Wrathgate, the Forsaken as a whole came under scrutiny, and the Kor'kron Elite were stationed in the Undercity. Among the changes made were the additions of Dark Ranger Clea, Dark Ranger Cyndia and Dark Ranger Anya, now serving as the elite patrols within the Undercity.

As the war in Northrend drew to a close, Lady Sylvanas herself traveled to the Frozen Halls to take vengeance upon Arthas. Dark Ranger Vorel enlisted agents of the Horde to meet with the Dark Lady along with Dark rangers Loralen and Kalira. Loralen is ultimately slain by the Lich King, though Kalira manages to gather reinforcements in the form of Orgrim's Hammer in order to escape the halls.

Their sudden reappearance during the Northrend Campaign would foreshadow the introduction of the hunter class to the Forsaken.

Cataclysm

Cataclysm This section concerns content exclusive to Cataclysm.

Following the death of the Lich King, the Forsaken have reinforced their territores with their culture seen briefly in Northrend, and are taking on a far more aggressive stance in their war against the remnants of the Scarlet Crusade, the Scourge, and the Alliance. The Dark rangers have taken on a more visible presence, and are seen throughout Silverpine Forest, Arathi Highlands and Hillsbrad Foothills.

A number of dark rangers accompany Lady Sylvanas in the Battle for Gilneas. They discover the  [Scythe of Elune], the likes of which would allow the Forsaken to have full dominion over the worgen, though it escaped their grasp.

Under the command of Dark Ranger Alina and Galen Trollbane, the Forsaken have set their sights on the Arathi Highlands. Alina believes that the fallen nation of Stromgarde would make a fine setting for a new Undercity.

Dark rangers are seen with domesticated spiders during the Hillsbrad conflict, doing battle with the Bloodfang worgen. They are empowered by Helcular.

With the Scarlet Crusade on its last legs, Dark Ranger Velonara is out to remove the last traces of it from Forsaken territory.

Legion

Legion This section concerns content exclusive to Legion.

Nathanos Blightcaller has recently been training a new generation of Forsaken rangers comprising of undead humans, making the undead racial composition of the order more diverse. These Forsaken hunters appear to favor the woodsman axe and the crossbow in contrast to the bow and arrow typically employed by their undead high elf counterparts.[1]

A contingent of dark rangers led by Dark Ranger Velonara have also joined the Unseen Path.

Notable

Lady Sylvanas Windrunner.
Name Role Status Location
Horde Sylvanas Windrunner Queen of the Forsaken Active Royal Quarter, Undercity
Horde Nathanos Blightcaller Hunter trainer and Champion of the Forsaken Active War Quarter, Undercity
Horde Ranger Captain Areiel Captain of the dark rangers Active Ghostblade Post, Howling Fjord
Horde Dark Ranger Alina Quest giver Active Galen's Fall, Arathi Highlands
Horde Dark Ranger Anya Active Undercity
Horde Dark Ranger Clea Active Undercity
Horde Dark Ranger Cyndia Active Undercity
Horde Dark Ranger Kalira Active Icecrown Citadel
Horde Dark Ranger Loralen Deceased Icecrown Citadel
Horde Dark Ranger Lyana Quest giver Active Howling Fjord
Horde Dark Ranger Marrah Quest giver Active Utgarde Keep
Horde Dark Ranger Thyala Leading the invasion of Gilneas Killable Duskmist Shore, Gilneas
Horde Dark Ranger Velonara Quest giver Active Scarlet Monastery
Horde Dark Ranger Vorel Active Dalaran

Notes

  • Dark rangers did not play a particularly large role in the original World of Warcraft, presumably because of the lack of unique high elf/blood elf models. Dark rangers have had a more visible presence since the addition of the base high/blood elven model.
  • It is possible to almost fully replicate the dark ranger look and outfit in World of Warcraft. A blood elf female using extremely pale skin (a death knight often works) can acquire the  [Stormshroud Armor] (legs, hands and shoulders),  [Tombstone Breastplate] (chest),  [Dar'toon's Cloak] (cape), and  [Traveler's Boots] (boots, or a similar model) can be found. The red eyes are difficult to bypass, though  [Stealther's Helmet of Second Sight] or an identical model conveniently offers both a hood and cosmetic red eyes.

In the RPG

The RPG Icon 16x36.png This section concerns content exclusive to the Warcraft RPG and is considered non-canon.

Abilities

Darkranger.JPG

Dark rangers are similar to their high elven cousins, but focus on shadowcraft more than nature. Dark rangers are silent and invisible stalkers of the shadows, felling unsuspecting opponents with a single arrow. Dark rangers still favor the bow as the ultimate weapon, using the same arts that Quel'Thalas taught for millennia. Their spells work with manipulating the essences of life and death, as well as various horrible curses and mind-enslaving abilities.[2]

Dark rangers' senses grow sharper than even those of other Forsaken. The dark ranger learns how to fade into dark conditions, wrapping herself with shadows. The skilled dark ranger can notice the tiny movements of her enemies along with other visual and auditory cues that allow her to react more quickly in combat.[3]

While they no longer study nature, dark rangers remain some of the best trackers in the world. Naturally, most dark rangers hail from the scout class, but many newer rangers are former rogues, who use their stealth abilities to act as silent and near-invisible slayers for the Dark Lady.[2]

Relations

Once fully trained, Sylvanas's dark rangers once again assumed their roles as guardians and hunters, now working for the Forsaken. Some undead, especially former elves, view rangers as a necessary force, and trust them implicitly. Other Forsaken view these shadow killers as relics of an old past, with an inability to move along with the times.

Dark Rangers serve as generals for Forsaken armies, as well as elite scouts and assassins. Like most Forsaken, dark rangers remain in the back lines, performing precision attacks and curses.[4]

Conversion from elven to dark

An elven ranger who dies and returns as a Forsaken undergoes a great shock. She can no longer cast elven ranger spells, and loses her woodland stride ability. While some may choose to let things be, most immediately seek out a dark ranger to relearn their arts.

An elven ranger seeking to convert to a dark ranger must, of course, have died, returned as a Forsaken, and seek to learn the arts of the shadow rather than the wild. This ordeal is difficult, as the dark ranger must twist everything she was taught about nature to start learning her darker trade. Then comes the hard part. A dark ranger-to-be must undergo a lengthy trial, where she unlearns everything she was taught as an elf and learns the new arts of a Forsaken.[2]

Faith

A recent movement among the Forsaken has taken hold of dark rangers. The Cult of Forgotten Shadow moves like wildfire among the undead, and the dark rangers are no exception to the obsession with the faith.

To fill the void left by the "loss of their druidism,"[2] the dark rangers latched onto the Forgotten Shadow. Most dark rangers sympathize with the origins of the Forgotten Shadow and perhaps understand the Shadow more than any other undead in Lordaeron. While this movement disturbs Lady Sylvanas, she allows it to continue. [2]

Comparisons to dark elves

Sylvanas' dark ranger form has been compared with dark elves by some fans, a race thought to have been the basis of her physical form, however, this is unconfirmed. Though it's partially implied in Horde Player's Guide, where dark rangers are considered cousins to high elves, and the idea of converting to "dark" is given.[2] Dark elves were first mentioned in Day of the Dragon,[5] but to date have not appeared in other sources, though Ul'haik Hadanot is an example that the potential for a similar race evolving from high elves is possible. In Burning Crusade, there is a new wretched elven type which has darkened grey skin and a gaunt appearance and who are enemies of the blood elves in Quel'Thalas, often living as bandits, thieves, and urchins. Some are undead, while others are humanoid. Many are aligned with the Scourge. Night elves have also been said to have been inspired by dark elves as well, however, they are benevolent compared to most other stories.

In Horde Player's Guide they are a prestige class though, and not a race. Another distinction between dark rangers and dark elves would be that dark rangers were former elven rangers who have died, become Forsaken, and then learned the "arts of the shadow" and unlearn the "arts of the wild" rather than dark elves, who would be living elves.

Speculation

Questionmark-medium.png
This article or section includes speculation, observations or opinions possibly supported by lore or by Blizzard officials. It should not be taken as representing official lore.

Imhadria, a stable master of the Knights of the Ebon Blade at the Shadow Vault, may be a dark ranger.

See also

References

External links