The Blackened Woods were once Quel'Thalas, where the elven kingdom of the same name makes its home. Razed by dragonfire in the Second War and ravaged by undead in the Third War, the land is a dead, ghostly realm. No living creatures, not even animals, remain in this haunted region. The spirits of slaughtered elves roam the landscape like mist given form and voice. The land is now burnt and covered with ash and sorrow. Forlorn ruins jut from the ground and black trees stretch into the distance. Wispy elven spirits flit among them.
Though the Blackened Woods is a barren land, it has a rich history, which makes its current state all the more tragic. Ages ago, after the Kaldorei banished their arcanist brethren from Kalimdor, the exiled elves made landfall here. They termed themselves the Quel'dorei, the “high elves”, and named their new land Quel'Thalas, “High Kingdom” or “High Home”. They created the Sunwell to grant them magic sustenance and established their capital of Silvermoon in the northeast. Eventually, they allied with Lordaeron's human tribes and taught them arcane magic in exchange for help in defeating Zul'Aman's forest trolls. The high elves had good relations with the humans for centuries.
Quel'Thalas committed its rangers, priests and sorceresses to the Second War, standing valiantly beside its human allies. The Horde's dragons breathed fire across Quel'Thalas, razing the land, but ultimately the Alliance triumphed and the elves started to rebuild. Not long after, the Third War began and the elves again sent their warriors to fight alongside their allies. The death knight Arthas, leading a huge undead host, attacked Quel'Thalas, slew its leaders and murdered its citizens. The high elves lost at least 90% of their population in the Second and Third Wars. The embittered survivors, calling themselves “blood elves”, resolved that the Scourge would not relish its victory. They set fire to their beloved forests and joined forces with Illidan the Betrayer. The undead had no use for a dead realm and abandoned the place as well. Now Quel'Thalas is the Blackened Woods, scorched and lifeless.
Gemmuel Whitespire, one of the few high elves remaining in Lordaeron, wants to establish a small village for his people in the Blackened Woods. The village would provide safety and succor for people of all races, even Forsaken. Gemmuel believes this dream is possible because he thinks the ancient runestones can be activated to recreate their magical barrier — a force that could keep out all of his foes. Gemmuel seeks heroes to help in his endeavor and protect him from those who would prevent accomplishing this task.
There is no much left in this land. Black scorched trees march away on all sides. Ash and grief, almost tangible, cover the ground. Elven ruins jut from the grayblack ash like the bones of the dead, and ghosts of murdered elves pass through the trees. While this land is not under any supernatural or magical curse, you could feel the bitterness, the sorrow and the hopelessness in the air. The runestones still stand.
- It seems in World of Warcraft: The Roleplaying Game the Blackened Woods are just a region within Quel'Thalas instead of being the whole elven land.