Elisande

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For the raid encounter, see Elisande (tactics).

NeutralElisande
Image of Elisande
Title Grand Magistrix,
High Magistrix[1]
Gender Female
Race Nightborne (Humanoid)
Reaction Alliance Horde
Affiliation(s) Kingdom of Suramar, Duskwatch, the Nightfallen (ultimately)[2]
Former affiliation(s) Highborne, Kaldorei Empire, Burning Legion
Occupation Grand Magistrix of Suramar
Location Various
Status Deceased (Lore), Killable (WoW)
Companion(s) Lalathin (pet)
Now I see a future where the Legion is victorious and my people endure. This is the thread that must be preserved. I will do everything in my power to make it so! Your deaths ensure the future of the Nightborne. Come forward, then. Let us speed you toward your fate.
— Elisande

Grand Magistrix Elisande was the ruler of Suramar City and the nightborne for over 10,000 years following the War of the Ancients. Through her role as Grand Magistrix, Elisande existed as sole ruler of her people, leading in a similar capacity to a monarch. In addition to this, Elisande was assisted in her role by a host of selected advisors, whose opinions she considered carefully. For her often cruel actions in attempting to put down the Nightfallen rebellion, many nightborne began to view Elisande as evil and uncaring towards the fate of her people. Despite this, in her final moments, the Grand Magistrix argued that her decisions were ultimately intended to save the shal'dorei at any cost.

Before the war, Elisande served as a highly influential member of the Highborne caste in the ancient Kaldorei Empire, acting directly at the behest of Queen Azshara herself. Ever distrustful of the demons of the Burning Legion which her Queen had allied with, Elisande eventually moved against them.

To prevent the potential destruction of Suramar, Elisande and her highborne succeeded in separating the city from the rest of Azeroth using the power of the Eye of Aman'thul to create an arcane shield. Over 10,000 years later, long after the Great Sundering that marked the war's conclusion, Elisande and her people became once more involved with the outside world. The Grand Magistrix's unlikely decision to ally with the Burning Legion at the beginning of the Third invasion of the Burning Legion served as one of the main contributing factors towards the creation of a movement in opposition to her rule: the Nightfallen.

As the Nightfallen rebellion grew in size, Elisande became more erratic and callous in her measures. Finally, with the aid of other forces, the rebels assaulted the Nighthold, the seat of Elisande's power. In the ensuing battle, Elisande was defeated and killed, heralding the end of her reign.

Biography

Kaldorei Empire

Thousands of years prior to her role as leader of the shal'dorei race, Elisande was a powerful lieutenant in the ancient Kaldorei Empire. Prizing arcane ability and power, the empire was largely governed by those in its upper class—the Highborne—of which Elisande was a member. The future Grand Magistrix was put in charge of an elite group of Highborne sorcerers who pledged their loyalty solely to the revered kaldorei queen, Azshara. This group was based from the important city of Suramar and acted, often in secret, to secure their queen's position and expand her influence throughout Old Kalimdor.[3]

In particular, one of the concerns which most drew the attention of Elisande and her Highborne was the accumulation of artifacts of power. They excelled at hunting down and securing these relics, which were usually stored in the Vault of Antiquities in Suramar City. One of their greatest finds came in the form of the primordial artifacts known as the Pillars of Creation. In ages past, these items had been used to shape and order the world of Azeroth by its ancient keepers, and represented immense and ancient power.[4]

The War of the Ancients brought with it a great deal of change, both for the night elf race and Elisande's Highborne. Through a desire for greater power, Queen Azshara and the Highborne in the capital of Zin-Azshari allied themselves with the demon lord Sargeras and his Burning Legion. Having aided in the creation of a portal for the Legion to reach Azeroth, the queen and her retainers watched as the demons began spread across the kaldorei nation, destroying all they encountered.[5]

Although Elisande and her Highborne associates in Suramar remained loyal to Queen Azshara, they became increasingly troubled as the Legion's invasion continued. Looking to the vast destruction caused by the demons, Elisande grew to deeply distrust them, fearing that their actions were not in the night elves' best interests. Eventually, she discovered that the Legion planned to create a large gateway to the Twisting Nether within Suramar itself. Elisande was horrified at this development; if the portal were opened, innumerable demon reinforcements would spill into Azeroth and quickly overwhelm the Kaldorei Resistance that was attempting to withstand the Legion's onslaught. It was Elisande's belief that the gateway would also destroy the city and its inhabitants in the process, and resolved to act.

Along with her group of Highborne, Elisande formulated a plan to sabotage the Legion's plans, thereby preserving Suramar. They severed all ties with the other Highborne outside the city, and moved to close the portal. Elisande and her party made use of the Pillars of Creation for their unchecked power, and launched an attack on the Temple of Elune, where the gateway was located. The Highborne began channeling their spell to shut the portal just as it began opening. Weaving a great spell, they succeeding in both closing and sealing the monstrous gateway, placing upon it impenetrable seals.[3]

Despite their perilous actions thwart the demons' plans, Elisande's Highborne were unwilling to join the continuing resistance to the invasion. Instead, they utilised the power of the Eye of Aman'thul, one of the Pillars, to create a font of boundless arcane power known as the Nightwell. This new source of power supplanted the elves' need for the Well of Eternity, and gave the sorcerers potent protection. Using the Nightwell, Elisande led the Highborne of Suramar in creating a massive shield that encompassed much of the city.[6] The shield sealed Suramar off from the remainder of the world and would eventually protect the city from the Great Sundering that marked the end of the War of the Ancients.

Their reliance on the Nightwell's energies gradually transformed Elisande, as well as those within Suramar, into a new race now altogether distinct from their night elven heritage: the Nightborne.

Twilight of Suramar

Comics title.png This section concerns content related to the Warcraft manga or comics.

Shortly after the conclusion of the War in Draenor, Suramar's 10,000 year period of isolation was shattered by the arrival of their enemy of old, the Burning Legion. The nightborne, as they had become, had been completely out of touch with the rest of the world since the War of the Ancients, but were now directly contacted by a representative of the demons in the form of the orc warlock Gul'dan.

Gul'dan presented himself before Grand Magistrix Elisande (who had led the nightborne people throughout their millennia-long isolation) and her closest advisors, and made them an offer on behalf of the Legion. If the nightborne would lower their protective shield and grant the Legion access to the energies of the Nightwell, then they would not only be spared the demons' wrath, but also be welcomed as allies; should Suramar refuse, then the Legion would lay waste to their entire civilization. Giving them three days to decide, Gul'dan left Elisande and her people to consider their options.[7]

Elisande and her allies lower Suramar's shield

Despite the gravity of the situation, Elisande remained unsure exactly how to proceed. The Grand Magistrix listened attentively to the counsel of her advisors, who remained bitterly divided on the best course of action. While Elisande's First Arcanist, Thalyssra, believed the Legion should not be trusted, others such as Advisor Vandros argued that agreement was the only path for survival for the nightborne.[8] Ultimately, despite her disgust with the Burning Legion itself, Elisande decided to acquiesce to their demands and lower the shield. Unbeknownst to many, the Grand Magistrix's grasp of time magic gave her the ability to peer into all potential futures, or so she thought. Having done so, Elisande came to the conclusion that resistance could only possibly lead to her people's annihilation.

Opposition to Elisande's choice culminated in a failed coup, led by First Arcanist Thalyssra. Seeking to depose the Grand Magistrix and prevent the lowering of the shield, Thalyssra led a small group in attempting to breach the Nighthold. The plot failed, however, when Advisor Melandrus betrayed Thalyssra, revealing himself as being loyal to Elisande. With no further opposition, Elisande and her retainers lowered the barrier around the city and watched, troubled, as the demons they once resisted began to pour in.

Legion

Legion This section concerns content related to Legion.

Resistance

Grand Magistrix Elisande in World of Warcraft

After Suramar's shield was lowered on Elisande's orders, forces of the Burning Legion moved in to occupy much of the city. Despite the reservations some nightborne held, order was maintained at this time. This continued until a movement known as the Nightfallen soon emerged and began working to disrupt the plans of the Grand Magistrix and her demon allies. Led by First Arcanist Thalyssra, who managed to survive the failed coup attempt, the Nightfallen rebellion quickly erupted in and around Suramar City. The rebellion received much assistance from champions of the Alliance and Horde, and began to carry out covert operations in Suramar with the aim of undermining the Grand Magistrix's power in the city.[9]

In response to this unrest caused by the Legion's arrival, Elisande and the city's leadership hastily instigated rationing on arcwine, a drink that provided the nightborne people with the energy from the Nightwell that they had become dependent upon.[10] This tactic was used primarily to keep the population of Suramar in line, particularly those of the lower classes that resided in the city's southwest and who were more sympathetic to the Nightfallen cause. The measures introduced by Elisande to maintain order within Suramar were carried out by the Duskwatch, the primary nightborne military force, who remained highly loyal to the Grand Magistrix.

With the increasing influence of the Nightfallen, Grand Magistrix Elisande and her advisors decided to fill an opening in their inner council. An individual was traditionally chosen based on the support of Suramar's noble families. Eventually, a candidate in the form of Lady Ly'leth Lunastre (who, unbeknownst to Elisande, was actually a member of the rebellion) emerged with the required support. Elisande personally attended the appointment ceremony which took place in the Sanctum of Order, and watched as Coryn of House Stelleris challenged Ly'leth to Tal'ashar — an honor duel — for the position. Ultimately, Ly'leth emerged triumphant with the aid of a champion and occupied her new position on Elisande's council of advisors within the Nighthold.[11]

Elisande attempted to reassure the more influential citizens of Suramar by attending in person a large social gathering in the Court of Stars, amid the recent turmoil. Hoping to use this opportunity to eliminate the Grand Magistrix, Nightfallen agents infiltrated the event and succeeded in forcing their way to Elisande herself, who was conversing with Advisor Melandrus on a balcony. Elisande, however, teleported back to the Nighthold, leaving Melandrus to deal with the intruders. Although Melandrus was defeated, the assassination attempt failed to claim the life of the Grand Magistrix.[12]

Rebellion

The massacre at the Waning Crescent

Despite various crackdowns, rebel activity within Suramar City continued to grow, becoming more bold and widespread, and beginning to gain the support of much of the populace who were disillusioned with Elisande's leadership. To combat this, the Grand Magistrix now adopted extremely harsh measures. This reached its climax with the massacre at the Waning Crescent. Elisande mercilessly ordered Duskwatch and demon forces to slaughter everyone dwelling in and around the Waning Crescent district of the city, a known base for rebel activity. As a result, large amounts of citizens were killed outright[13], an act which horrified the majority of nightborne, including many of Elisande's loyal supporters.

Much of the populace was both outraged and frightened, the rebellion took more direct action. Around this time, the Grand Magistrix also began the process of having large groups of the population abducted and taken to Astravar Harbor in the centre of the city. There, the nightborne citizens were transported to the Burning Legion base at Felsoul Advance outside Suramar. The prisoners then awaited execution at the hands of the Legion, who used their souls to feed their magic and machinery. Having discovered this, the Nightfallen eventually launched an assault on the camp, freeing many prisoners and slaying the overseer.[14] Despite this, these operations continued.

As a result of these recent events, armed conflict began to erupt in Suramar's very streets. The actions of the Grand Magistrix had, at this point, alienated a great deal of the nightborne people, and the majority no longer viewed Elisande as having the best interests of Suramar at heart. Even members of the once-loyal Duskwatch began to desert from its ranks in response to Elisande's actions.[15]

When Elisande's forces attacked the Waning Crescent, one of the Nightfallen leaders, Vanthir, was captured. To further emphasize her point, the Grand Magistrix ordered that an example be made of the prisoner. She assigned her Second Blade, Thoramir, to guard Vanthir's cage on the Terrace of Order as the nightborne slowly degenerated into a withered state. Thalyssra and her allies were successful in discerning Vanthir's location, however, and they quickly moved to slay Thoramir and rescue the prisoner.[16] To send their own message, the insurgents placed the sign of the Dusk Lily, a notorious symbol of Thalyssra and her movement, above the now-empty cage. When she became aware of it, Elisande was both furious and deeply shaken by the display, as were many of her remaining supporters.[17] Since the beginning of the conflict, Elisande had been troubled to learn of Thalyssra's potential involvement, even going so far as to order the dismantling of the former First Arcanist's estate in the city.[18] She would eventually appoint a replacement to Thalyssra's post in the form of the felborne sorcerer Andaris Narassin.[19]

Fall of the Nighthold

Elisande's projection at the gates of the Nighthold
The Nighthold, Elisande's seat of power

A major turning point in the rebellion came with the arrival of forces from the other elven races of Azeroth, who joined the Nightfallen rebels in their fight for Suramar. Elisande and her lieutenants quickly deployed Duskwatch soldiers to the city's outer districts as the new elven army, consisting of nightborne rebels, blood elves, high elves, and night elves, started to mass at Suramar's gates. After preliminary attacks that targeted the Duskwatch and Legion defenses, the combined elven forces launched a massive assault on the city proper, eventually clearing a path directly to the gates of the Nighthold itself.[20]

As the gathered forces approached the walls of Elisande's citadel, the Grand Magistrix herself appeared as an immense projection and addressed the elven commanders. She proceeded to point out, with distaste, the various failings of each of the gathered races, before claiming that their failure would act as a symbol to any who would challenge the Nightborne. With her speech concluded, Elisande cast an enormous spell which trapped the entire force gathered before the Nighthold in a great time spell. Frozen in place, the assault of the Grand Magistrix's enemies was completely halted. The sheer magnitude and power of the spell was said to rival that of the Bronze dragonflight, and left the fates of those caught inside unclear.[21]

Before long, however, in an attempt to salvage the situation, Nightfallen agents guided by Thalyssra and Archmage Khadgar gained access to the Nighthold via an underground breach.[22] With her champions by her side, Thalyssra and the other Nightfallen pushed their way through the great citadel, defeating many of Elisande's chief lieutenants, such as the captain of her guard, Spellblade Aluriel. The party even succeeded in breaking the time spell holding the elven forces in stasis outside, who quickly joined the assault.

Elisande harnesses the power of the Nightwell

Ultimately, the Nightfallen champions confronted Elisande herself atop the Nightspire, where they found her in the midst of an important ritual. After her courtesans were defeated, Elisande addressed her enemies, claiming to have foreseen their coming. She defended her actions to those gathered, revealing that she had looked at every possible outcome in which the nightborne defied the Legion, and that each outcome ended in disaster. Before engaging the champions, Elisande justified killing them, believing it to be vital for the survival of the nightborne race.[23]

In the battle that followed, the Grand Magistrix drew on the Nightwell's power, using her skill with time magic launch attack after attack against her foes, and even rewinding time itself to overcome them. Despite her efforts, Elisande was ultimately slain. Shortly afterwards, an 'echo' of the Grand Magistrix once more spoke to the Nightfallen champions. Stunned by their victory, which Elisande had not foreseen in her exhaustive scrying of the future, she rescinded her allegiance to the Legion and chanced her people's future on Gul'dan's defeat to atone for the decisions she made. In the final battle against Gul'dan, an echo of Elisande provides champions with a measure of power over time.

Following Gul'dan's defeat, Elisande is not seen again, her echo having faded during the final moments of the battle. The death of Gul'dan and the failure of his ritual marked the end of the Legion's influence within Suramar and over the shal'dorei people.

Locations

Notable appearances
Location Level range Health range
Sanctum of Order ?? 1,150,587
Court of Stars ?? 560,911,168
Elisande (tactics) ??
LFRScales
Normal +Scales
Heroic +Scales
Mythic2,826,719

Quotes

Twilight of Suramar

Comics title.png This section concerns content related to the Warcraft manga or comics.

  • "Leave me. I must have time alone to think on our future."
  • "There is no guarantee we will live if we accept the Legion's offer or if we reject it. I have spent these past days considering every path that lies before us... Every outcome. Every possibility. Always, I have placed the well-being of our people above my own desires. Allegiance is the only way to save our people and our city. Gather my advisors, Vandros. We will bring down the barrier tomorrow."

World of Warcraft

Legion This section concerns content related to Legion.

Main article: Advisor Melandrus#Quotes
Main article: Gates of the Nighthold#Notes
Main article: Elisande (tactics)#Quotes

Notes and trivia

  • Magistrix Elisande's coin can be fished up from the fountain in Dalaran.
  • According to Khadgar, Elisande's mastery of time magic rivaled that of the bronze dragonflight.[24] This was due to the Nightwell's power.[25] This is likely possible due to the fact that the Nightwell was powered by the Eye of Aman'Thul and Aman'Thul empowered the bronze dragonflight.
    • It is unknown if Khadgar was comparing Elisande with the bronze dragonflight as they are now, or if he meant their time magic from before the defeat of Deathwing, which greatly weakened the dragonflights.
  • According to Ly'leth Lunastre, Elisande was a remarkably unpunctual person. This is incredibly ironic, as Elisande was one of Azeroth's foremost masters of time magic.
  • She was protected by several bodyguards, called Blades: Advisor Melandrus, Erasmus Moonblade, and Thoramir.
  • Elisande's displays of unrivaled and unchecked power as Grand Magistrix would imply that the position is a dictatorial one, or was at least transformed into such by her.
    • In fact, Elisande's rule bears striking resemblances to one of a queen or monarch (specifically Queen Azshara, who also made a pact with the Burning Legion) though she is never officially referred to as such.
  • The title of 'Grand Magistrix' is unusual among the normal trend of kaldorei leadership titles, which are monarchical, such as Queen Azshara or Prince Farondis.
    • Despite this, the nightborne civilization of Suramar has been referred to as a kingdom.[26][27]
    • Dialogue between Skorpyron and the Chronomatic Anomaly has First Arcanist Thalyssra calling her a queen.
  • Elisande had secret quarters within the Nighthold, filled with her nightborne concubines, and one "exotic" concubine: a gnome.
  • Elisande is voiced by Jennifer Hale.

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.

There is speculation that Elisande's visions, which convinced her that allying with the Legion was the only way to save her people, may have been influenced or manipulated by Gul'dan (or another member of the Legion). Gul'dan had showed that he could teleport an image of himself even through the Nightborne's bubble, and the comic depicts Elisande's visions with a green tint. Some commentary on this alliance from other parties also suggests that the nightborne becoming the Legion's allies would have led to destruction: Xal'atath claims that it is the Legion's modus operandi to betray those who join their side, and Tichondrius, who was personally overseeing the Legion's forces in the Nighthold, strongly implies that the Legion plans to "reward" the nightborne in a very different way than they imagine. Of course, it is also a re-occuring theme that the heroes of Azeroth go against destiny and forge their own.

Gallery

Fan art

Videos

Patch changes

See also

References

  1. ^  [Blue Or'ligai Egg]
  2. ^ Elisande (tactics)#Quotes: "Fates be damned! I cast my lot in with yours, champions. Go now, face Gul'dan. I will aid you as best I can, and perhaps together we can save us all."
  3. ^ a b World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 1, pg. 103
  4. ^ World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 1, pg. 40
  5. ^ War of the Ancients Trilogy
  6. ^ World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 1, pg. 104
  7. ^ Twilight of Suramar, pg. 4
  8. ^ Twilight of Suramar, pg. 5
  9. ^ [Good Suramaritan] questlines
  10. ^ N [110] Dispensing Compassion
  11. ^ N [110] Ly'leth's Champion
  12. ^ N [110D] Court of Stars: Beware the Fury of a Patient Elf
  13. ^ N [110] Crackdown
  14. ^ N [110] In the Business of Souls
  15. ^ N [110] More Like Me
  16. ^ N [110] Waxing Crescent
  17. ^ Image of Ly'leth Lunastre, third message
  18. ^ N [110] Thalyssra's Drawers
  19. ^ N [110] Those Scrying Eyes
  20. ^ N [110] Full Might of the Elves
  21. ^ N [110] Gates of the Nighthold
  22. ^ N [110] Breaching the Sanctum
  23. ^ Elisande (tactics)
  24. ^ N [110] Temporal Investigations
  25. ^ Valtrois gossip text after completing Temporal Investigations
  26. ^ H [110] The Call for Allies
  27. ^ Battle for Azeroth - Allied Races - Nightborne

External links

Preceded by:
None
Position:
Ruler of the Nightborne
Succeeded by:
Thalyssra