- “Alexstrasza, the Lifebinder, placed a single, enchanted acorn within the heart of the Well of Eternity. The acorn, activated by the potent, magical waters, sprung to life as a colossal tree. The mighty tree's roots grew from the Well's waters, and its verdant canopy seemed to scrape the roof of the sky. The immense tree would be an everlasting symbol of the night elves' bond with nature, and its life-giving energies would extend out to heal the rest of the world over time.”
Nordrassil, meaning the "Crown of the Heavens" in Darnassian, is the original World Tree of the night elves, located on the new Well of Eternity, atop Mount Hyjal, in the mountain's summit. It granted the elves immortality, and allowed the druids to enter the Emerald Dream with ease, until the Battle of Mount Hyjal, which severely wound the tree and where the night elves lost its powers. Nordrassil's roots grow deep into the earth, spreading life-giving energy across the world. This is similar to what the first Well of Eternity did before it was destroyed.
Originally, Nordrassil had served two purposes - Not only had it been designed to keep others from abusing the magic of the new Well, but also to prevent the second fount's power from growing too great overtime.
The tree was grown from a single acorn of the recently lost Mother Tree, G'Hanir, by the great dragon Alexstrasza in the waters of the newly reborn Well of Eternity on the sacred Mount Hyjal. After that, she blessed the tree with strength and vitality, which also extended the night elves. Ysera's blessing upon the tree bound it and the elven druids to the Emerald Dream, allowing them to enter her realm freely where before it required difficult meditation. But the most important blessing came from Nozdormu, which ensured that so long as the tree existed the night elves would remain immortal. This would ensure that even the most corrupt of night elves would be drawn to protect the tree.
The night elves then took up residence in Nordrassil and the surrounding forests.
During the Battle of Mount Hyjal, Malfurion Stormrage proposed a plan to sacrifice the Dragon Aspects enchantments upon Nordrassil to save Azeroth. He and his druids prepared the tree, and he blew on the Horn of Cenarius to summon forth hundreds of nature spirits to defeat Archimonde, who was about to rip Nordrassil in order to gain control of the second Well of Eternity, thereby sacrificing the night elves' immunity to diseases and aging, and causing a devastating shockwave which destroyed the Legion, and heavily damaged Nordrassil. Fandral Staghelm believed that planting a new World Tree, Teldrassil, would restore the night elves' immortality. However, Teldrassil was not blessed by the Aspect of Time, Nozdormu, who was the one to give immortality to the night elves through Nordrassil.
In World of Warcraft: Cataclysm, Nordrassil has fully regrown but the elemental Lord Ragnaros has set his forces to attack the tree, with the goal of destroying it. Malfurion, having returned from the Emerald Dream, along with the armies of Cenarius are defending the World Tree.
A dream portal opens up by the shores of the Well of Eternity, nestled within the roots of Nordrassil itself, allowing druids exclusive access to the Emerald Dreamway.
While attempting to cleanse the branch of G'Hanir from corruption, the druid hero and Lyessa Bloomwatcher come upon the aftermath of a terrible battle. Nordrassil itself is unharmed, but the Burning Legion was able to destroy most of the Well of Eternity. There they aid Omnuron, Hamuul Runetotem, Zen'tabra and Celestine in fighting back the Pit Lord Destromath, protecting the last vestiges of the stricken Well. After the battle, some of its magical waters yet remain and, according to Celestine, as long as at least one drop remains there is still hope.
The druid hero returns here with the most senior of the Cenarion Circle as they attempt to commune with the spirit of Malorne. They discover that he has become trapped within the Nightmare and resolve to rescue him.
The Well of Eternity in Legion.
Battle for Azeroth
During the Fourth War, Azerite scars and elementals appeared in the area under the World Tree, disturbing the local faerie dragons. Tholo Whitehoof and Anren Shadowseeker fought against them and Hyjal Wardens stood in defense as well. Aviana came to aid, fighting against an Azerite Leviathan that had emerged in the lake. Magni Bronzebeard felt that Nordrassil is in danger and arrived here with an adventurer to aid it.
In the RPG
The key point of interest on Hyjal is Nordrassil, the World Tree. It stands thousands of feet high, and its vast canopy almost blocks out the sky. Although the tree suffered much damage in the Third War, it is healing itself. It did not flower or grow leaves the year past the war, but the druids hoped that the coming year it would begin to grow again. Guarded by three dragonflights, the World Tree Nordrassil is slowly regrowing. The bones of Archimonde, the great demon lord who led the invasion of Azeroth in the Third War, still hang from the massive tree’s mighty branches. Many speculate that when the tree regrows completely, the night elves will regain their immortality; but that day may never come if they fail to assist the dragons against the continuing threat of the Burning Legion.
Notes and trivia
- The trees of life are enchanted saplings from Nordrassil. During the Third War, they managed to channel Nordrassil's energy of immortality, granting benefits to the night elves. The trees of life could after time grow into trees of ages that were more powerful and tempered the balance of nature and forged a strong bond. After more time, they grew into trees of eternity, which has the strongest possible bond with the World Tree and the Well of Eternity. At this point, the night elves draw freely from the tree's nearly unlimited power. Like the other Ancients, they likely suffered heavy losses too. Given that the night elves lost the immortality, it's likely that the Ancients lost Nordrassil's power too.
- Malfurion Stormrage said that Archimonde wanted the energies of the world tree. The same was said by Matoclaw in Cataclysm. The UVGs later changed it to ripping Nordrassil in order to access the second Well of Eternity.
- The original timeline (before the War of the Ancients Trilogy) put the creation and blessing of Nordrassil to year 9,000, 1,000 years after the Great Sundering. According to the Trilogy and newer sources, it happened right after the Sundering.
- According to Malfurion, Nordrassil could be restored in time.
- While Nordrassil has been referred to as the first World Tree, Oakheart is stated to be an offshoot of Shaladrassil that has purportedly survived the Great Sundering, which in turn suggests that Shaladrassil predated the Sundering. This would make Shaladrassil older than Nordrassil, as Nordrassil was only planted after the Sundering.
- Nordrassil, the World Tree is almost certainly a reference to the World Tree of Norse mythology, Yggdrasil. Their names are similar, they both have wells underneath them: the Well of Eternity beneath Nordrassil, and the Well of Urd beneath one of the roots of Yggdrasil. Also Nidhoggr, a dragon, gnawed at the roots of Yggdrasil, which could reference back to either Deathwing or Archimonde. These parallels only apply to Nordrassil, the first World Tree, and not Teldrassil, Vordrassil, or Shaladrassil.
- When the in-game view distance setting is set to its maximum, Nordrassil can be seen from as far away as southern Dustwallow Marsh.
- Nordrassil's roots spread far beyond the immediate vicinity of the tree itself, and are visible running through the mountainside in other zones such as Winterspring.
- ^ Shadows Rising, pg. 133
- ^ The World Tree and the Emerald Dream
- ^ Wolfheart, chapter 1
- ^ a b World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 1, pg. 114
- ^ The Waking World and the Well of Eternity
- ^ World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 1, pg. 70
- ^ Stormrage, chapter 1
- ^ Ultimate Visual Guide, pg. 41
- ^ World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 3, pg. 80
- ^ Ultimate Visual Guide, pg. 36
- ^ World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 3
- ^ BlizzCon 2009
- ^ http://omgrpg.blogfaction.com/article/110448/omgrpg-blizzcon-2009-world-of-warcraft-cataclysm-announced-liveblog
- ^ http://www.worldofwarcraft.com/cataclysm/features/hyjal.html
- ^ Shadows Rising, prologue
- ^ Madeleine Roux on Twitter - "I wouldn't call it de facto capital, just where those specific folks have chosen to post up for now"
- ^ Warcraft: The Roleplaying Game, pg. 203
- ^ a b Lands of Mystery, pg. 17
- ^ Lands of Mystery, pg. 116
- ^ Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos Game Manual#Tree of Life
- ^ Ask CDev 3
- ^ "Eternity's End: The Druids Arise", Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos. Blizzard Entertainment. Malfurion Stormrage: "No doubt Archimonde will make his way to Hyjal Summit and attack the World Tree. If he succeeds in draining the tree's energies, this world will be doomed.".
- ^ If You're Not Against Us...#Notes
- ^ Timeline (from official site, 2004)
- ^ Timeline (from official site, 2007)
- ^ The Sundering, chapter 22
- ^ World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 1
- ^ Stormrage, chapter 20
- ^ Wolfheart, chapter 1
- ^ Oakheart#Adventure Guide