- This article is about the night elven city. For the in-game faction of the same name, see Darnassus (faction).
Theocracy; Elected Council
Darnassus (aka Darnassus City) is the capital city of the night elves of the Alliance. The High Priestess, Tyrande Whisperwind, resides in the Temple of the Moon, surrounded by other sisters of Elune and her mate, the Archdruid Malfurion Stormrage.
Darnassus is the greatest city of the night elves, housing the leaders of both the druids and the faithful of Elune. It is carefully guarded by Sentinels, ancient protectors, and ancients of war.
- 1 Description
- 2 History
- 3 Terraces
- 4 Notable characters
- 5 Points of interest
- 6 Travel connections
- 7 Faction
- 8 In the RPG
- 9 Notes & trivia
- 10 Speculation
- 11 Gallery
- 12 Patch changes
- 13 References
- 14 External links
The atmosphere inside the city is quiet and tranquil. It does not have the feeling of confinement that one would feel in Stormwind or Ironforge, where the buildings are grouped close together. Darnassus is open to the sky, and the graceful bridges spanning the lake around which it is built set the buildings wide apart. The elegant bridges, beautiful groves, and leaf-covered pathways that dot the city’s landscape are testaments to the night elves’ reverence for nature. One of Darnassus’s most notable structures is the stunning Temple of the Moon, the center of worship for High Priestess Tyrande Whisperwind and her Sisters of Elune. The prime reason why the city's population is so low is that it is isolated: Teldrassil is a small island away from the main mass of Azeroth, and the only way to gain access from another continent is to fly or sail to Rut'theran Village, a small settlement at the base of Teldrassil, and from there step into the glowing portal to the city proper. Darnassus is home to night elves of all vocations, and the city has recently opened its doors to human refugees from Gilneas as well. Many of these embattled humans have contracted a strange curse that transforms them into feral wolf-beasts known as worgen. Although they’re usually reclusive, the night elves have allowed these outsiders into Darnassus because they know the perils of the Gilneans’ cursed state all too well: it was, in fact, a group of night elf druids that created Azeroth’s first worgen millennia ago. Despite the arrival of these new residents, Darnassus remains a symbol of the night elves’ rich culture and glorious history.
After the Third War
In the aftermath of the Third War, the night elves had to adjust to their mortal existence. Such an adjustment was far from easy, and there were many night elves who could not adjust to the prospects of aging, disease and frailty. Seeking to regain their immortality, a number of wayward druids conspired to plant a special tree that would reestablish a link between their spirits and the eternal world. With Malfurion Stormrage missing, Fandral Staghelm — the leader of those who wished to plant the new World Tree — became the new Archdruid. In no time at all, he and his fellow druids had forged ahead and planted the great tree, Teldrassil, off the stormy coasts of northern Kalimdor. Under their care, the tree sprouted up above the clouds. Among the twilight boughs of the colossal tree, the wondrous city of Darnassus took root. Darnassus was built to honor the survival of the night elven race.
World of Warcraft
This section concerns content exclusive to World of Warcraft.
High atop the boughs of the enormous tree Teldrassil is the wondrous city of Darnassus, the new refuge of the reclusive night elves. Druids, hunters, and warriors alike make their homes among the rows of wood-crafted lodges and delicately tended groves. The Temple of the Moon rises like a shining beacon above the trees, flanked by the colonnaded Hall of Justice, where the vigilant Sentinels gather to safeguard the land. Ruled by the High Priestess Tyrande Whisperwind, Darnassus stands as a tranquil testament to all that the night elves hold sacred. A city in tune with the rush and flow of nature, Darnassus was built along the shores of a large lake, with elegant bridges spanning its crystalline waters. Elsewhere, the falling leaves of the forest carpet the soft pathways of the city.
Darnassus is the new capital city of the night elves and after the Third War they sided with the Alliance to repel the orcs' desecration of their forests. While they still hold a bond with their druid cousins, they didn't take it lightly when they joined the Horde. The easy way to enter the city is by taking a portal found at Rut'theran Village and to return to the village you simply take the same one. Most notable people to reside here are Fandral Staghelm where he sends adventurers to do some tasks and Tyrande Whisperwind who is the official leader of their society. The city is an Alliance only territory.
Argent Dawn embassy is also located here.
Recently, Malfurion returned from the Emerald Dream and helped imprison Fandral, who, as it turned out, had been turned insane by Lord Xavius and responsible for the corruption of Teldrassil. Malfurion, druids and Alexstrasza with Ysera redeemed and blessed the Tree. Archdruid Stormrage now stands in the Temple of the Moon alongside his beloved.
Seeds of Faith
Shortly after the Shattering, a memorial service was held there by Tyrande for all those who died in the villages hit by the Shattering.
This section concerns content exclusive to Cataclysm.
In the wake of the Cataclysm, Tyrande and Malfurion conducted a summit near Darnassus in order to vote the proud worgen of Gilneas into the Alliance. However, resentment of Gilneas and its ruler, Genn Greymane, runs deep in Stormwind's King Varian Wrynn. His refusal to forgive Genn for closing his nation off from the rest of the world years ago endangers more than just the summit: it threatens to unravel the Alliance itself. However, Varian's animosity was only one of many unsettling developments in Darnassus. An uneasiness creeps over the once-immortal night elves as the first of them fall victim to the infirmities of age. While they cope with their mortality, tensions flare over the reintroduction of the Highborne, formerly the highest caste of night elf nobility, into their society. Many night elves are unable to pardon the Highborne for the destruction unleashed on Azeroth millennia ago by their reckless use of magic. When a murdered Highborne was discovered on the outskirts of Darnassus, Malfurion and Tyrande move to stop further bloodshed and unrest by appointing one of the night elves' most cunning and skilled agents to find the killer: the renowned warden Maiev Shadowsong. Jarod Shadowsong, Maiev's brother, had also returned, and brought his wife with him in attempt to heal her of her illness. Jarod then cooperated with Maiev in helping her with her case. Meanwhile, Malfurion attempted to mend fences between Varian and Genn. After the battle for Ashenvale was over, the identity of the Highborne murderer was discovered and the Alliance resolved their issues and voted Gilneas back into the Alliance.
This section concerns content exclusive to Mists of Pandaria.
Thanks to the efforts of Agent Connelly, the Alliance found out what the horde were up to and took the upper hand. Night elf sentinels located the hidden crypt, found and secured the and took it to Darnassus, all thanks to the sacrifice of Sarannha Skyglaive.However, it was all in vain, as a sunreaver agent working for the horde infiltrated the city under the banner of neutrality by the Kirin Tor and entered undetected, he located the bell in the Cenarion Enclave and teleported it to Silvermoon City. After learning of the theft, Jaina goes to its former location and found specs of magic leading a path to the city's exit. After finding the source, she saw a portal leading to Dalaran and it was at this point that she realized that action needs to be taken. Soon after the discovery, the Purge of Dalaran began.
This section concerns content exclusive to Legion.
Battle for Azeroth
This section concerns content exclusive to Battle for Azeroth.
Darnassus was destroyed in the Burning of Teldrassil. The survivors moved to Stormwind City, where they settled in the area around Olivia's Pond with injured refugees in the Cathedral of Light, Stormwind Harbor and along the canals.
Darnassus is arranged in a few terraces on the north, east and southern sides of a central lake area.
- Warrior's Terrace - Area beyond and including the city gate.
- The Temple Gardens - West over causeway from Warrior's Terrace.
- Craftsmen's Terrace - North of Warrior's Terrace.
- Tradesmen's Terrace - South of Warrior's Terrace.
- The Temple of the Moon - South over causeway from Temple Gardens.
- Cenarion Enclave - West of Craftsmen's Terrace.
- The Howling Oak - North, between Cenarion Enclave and Craftsmen's Terrace.
- Main article: Darnassus NPCs
From her seat in the Temple of the Moon, the high priestess Tyrande Whisperwind rules with the support of her fellow priestesses of the Moon. Next to her, her husband Archdruid Malfurion Stormrage presides over his druidic compatriots. Before the Cataclysm, Archdruid Fandral Staghelm led the druids and struggled to control Darnassus. For his corruption of Teldrassil, he was eventually imprisoned in Moonglade.
Points of interest
- The Bough of the Eternals , which contains the bank of Darnassus. It is located on the central island of the Temple Gardens.
- The portal to Rut'theran Village , west of the bank. This portal is also usable by Horde characters, allowing raids on the city.
- The Flight Master and the Quartermasters for Darnassus and Gilneas , next to the portal. Because of the nearly 2-minute flight to Rut'theran, it is recommended to use the portal instead.
- The Temple of the Moon , home of the Sisters of Elune, the high-priestess order of the Night Elves. This is where the leaders of the night elves, Tyrande Whisperwind and Malfurion Stormrage, can be found.
- The Cenarion Enclave , containing druid and hunter trainers.
- The Howling Oak , home of the Gilnean worgen who have settled in Darnassus. Has an Innkeeper for setting hearth.
- The Auction House , located in the Tradesmen's Terrace.
- The inn , located in Craftsmen's Terrace. It is the second most eastern big building in the terrace, and also has an Innkeeper.
- Five mailboxes: outside the bank , on the Warrior's Terrace , outside the auction house , outside the Craftsmen's Terrace inn , and in the upper tier of the Tradesmen's Terrace .
- The forge and anvil , located in Warrior's Terrace, next to Blacksmith trainer Rolf Karner.
- The training dummys and , at the entrance to the Warrior's Terrace.
- Main article: Darnassus (faction)
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(for non-Night Elf members of the Alliance)
In the RPG
The city is formidable in spite of the peaceful natures of the night elves. In addition to the night elves, many guests and diplomats from elsewhere reside here, such as groups from the Explorers' Guild and the Knights of the Silver Hand, as well as a few representatives of the Horde negotiating peace treaties. The population here is almost entirely elven, and most of the night elves are tolerant of others. However, there is political strife between the druids and priests.
Notes & trivia
- Early and unused sound files for Landfall stated that Darnassus was to be attacked and damaged by the sha.
- The architecture of the night elves, according to an interview with Chris Metzen, draws its influences from both Nordic and Japanese building style. This is most obviously apparent in Darnassus, which includes several tower buildings in the style of the pagoda at Yakushi-ji (薬師寺), located in Nara, Japan.
- Darnassus is a Rare Location card in the World of Warcraft: Trading Card Game's Drums of War set.
- In Hearthstone, the Darnassus card back was rewarded for achieving Rank 20 in Ranked Season 15, which took place during June 2015. The flavor text reads: "Nestled in the boughs a giant tree, Darnassus is the capital city of the night elves. Also home of the world famous Darnassus Kimchi Pie!"
Oddly, in World of Warcraft: Illidan, Maiev Shadowsong reminisces about Darnassus in scenes that take place during Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne, before the city was previously said to have been built. If this is not simply a continuity error, it may mean that either Darnassus existed before Teldrassil did or Teldrassil's planting has been retconned to take place a few years earlier than before.
The statue of Haidene, first high priestess of Elune, is in the Temple of the Moon.
Map in the World of Warcraft: Game Manual.
A map of Darnassus prior to the Cataclysm.
- Patch 7.2.0 (2017-03-28): An outdoor cafe is added in the Warrior's Terrace near the main entrance to the city.
- Patch 4.0.3a (2010-11-23): Fandral removed, Malfurion added. Now contains the Howling Oak. Flight path and reputation quartermaster added.
- Patch 3.2.0 (2009-08-04): One mailbox added.
- Patch 2.4.0 (2008-03-25): One mailbox added.
- Patch 1.6.0 (2005-07-12):
- Darnassus has been converted over to the new graveyard system. The system will place your character's spirit at the closest allowed graveyard in the zone.
- An Alliance-only graveyard has been added at the eastern end of Darnassus. Alliance characters dying in Darnassus will use this new graveyard. Horde characters dying on Teldrassil will still only be able to use the graveyard at Dolanaar.
- Patch 1.4.0 (2005-05-05): Patrolling scouts that can see through stealth and invisibility have been added to Darnassus.
- Patch 1.3.0 (2005-03-07): Added a mailbox to the Darnassus Bank.
- The mailbox next to the inn was actually moved, rather than a new mailbox added.
- The mailbox next to the inn was actually moved, rather than a new mailbox added.
- Patch 0.6 (2004-04-13): Darnassus had undergone layout changes.