Purge of Dalaran
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|Purge of Dalaran|
|Conflict: Alliance-Horde war|
|Outcome: Decisive Alliance-aligned Kirin Tor victory|
|Commanders and leaders|
|Casualties and losses|
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- “Certain members of the Kirin Tor have put their allegiance to the Horde above the order, and I will NOT tolerate it.”
The Purge of Dalaran (spelled with lowercase in the Ultimate Visual Guides) was a civil war within the Kirin Tor that took place as part of the Alliance-Horde war on Pandaria. It saw elements of the Kirin Tor order, along with the Silver Covenant and forces of Stormwind, attempt to purge the blood elven Sunreavers faction from the city of Dalaran. The conflict began when it was discovered that Kirin Tor resources had been used to aid the Horde's theft of the Divine Bell, an ancient pandaren artefact. Lady Jaina Proudmoore, leader of the Kirin Tor, accused Archmage Aethas Sunreaver and his faction of having orchestrated the treason, and promptly declared the expulsion of all Sunreaver forces from Dalaran. It transpired that, while not having been directly involved in the theft himself, Aethas had been aware of it and chose to remain silent.
In a confrontation in the Violet Citadel, Aethas refused to leave Dalaran, citing that the city belonged to the Sunreavers' as much as it did any other. In response, Jaina imprisoned him within the Citadel and began mobilising the Silver Covenant, under the command of Vereesa Windrunner, to begin forcibly dealing with any Sunreavers who refused to surrender.
The purge proved to be a bloody affair. Though compliant Sunreavers were imprisoned, many proved defiant in the face of exile from Dalaran and took up arms against Jaina, the Alliance forces, and the Silver Covenant, while some Silver Covenant opportunists took the chance to rob, attack, and otherwise harass the civilians of their political rivals. In the midst of the chaos, Grand Magister Rommath led a strike team into the city in order to rescue the Sunreavers, with moderate success: some of the Sunreavers and Aethas himself were able to escape the city and reach Silvermoon, though many more remain imprisoned in the Violet Hold.
In the wake of the successful purge, Jaina pledged the Kirin Tor to the Alliance once more, while the Kingdom of Quel'Thalas added the remaining Sunreavers to their own ranks. The purge notably put an end to negotiations between King Varian Wrynn and Lor'themar Theron to bring the blood elves, who were dissatisfied with the callous leadership of Warchief Garrosh Hellscream, back into the Alliance. The mobilized Kirin Tor Offensive would eventually meet the Sunreaver Onslaught, supplemented by the Thalassian military, on the Isle of Thunder, as both factions attempt to claim Emperor Lei Shen's island stronghold and the artifacts contained within.
As the new leader of the Kirin Tor, Jaina Proudmoore had resolved to keep Dalaran a beacon of cross-faction cooperation and out of the war, a goal which she struggled to maintain daily. Similarly, Aethas Sunreaver, the Horde's voice in the Kirin Tor, was tested as the Horde began attacking the Alliance and the war increased in ferocity, a conflict in which his brethren in Silvermoon were a part of. Aethas began to push for Silvermoon and the blood elves' withdrawal from the Horde, viewing the path Garrosh Hellscream was leading it on to be similar to that of Kael'thas Sunstrider's descent into madness years before. He believed that Silvermoon's two-thousand-year friendship with Dalaran should be preserved and prioritised above that with the Horde.
Aethas also continued to clash with Grand Magister Rommath about the Kirin Tor itself. Rommath held little faith in the Kirin Tor's current neutrality, and believed that under Jaina's rule the citadel was squarely in the hands of the Alliance, posing a threat to the blood elves similar to what had almost occurred in Dalaran during the Third War. Likewise, King Varian Wrynn considered the presence of Horde in the Kirin Tor a threat to the Alliance's war effort, and sent his son Prince Anduin to negotiate the withdrawal of the Sunreavers from Dalaran. Jaina refused to evict the Sunreavers, holding faith in the Kirin Tor being above the war, and Dalaran being a place where Horde and Alliance magi alike can live in peace, reminding those present that some of these very Sunreavers were among those who had taught humanity magic to begin with. Anduin came to agree with Jaina's assessment, and left to inform his father of her decision.
With this in mind, Varian approached the regent lord of Quel'Thalas, Lor'themar Theron (who, coincidentally, was reconsidering "old Alliances" himself after multiple occasions of the Horde disregarding the welfare of his people), and began talks to bring the blood elves back into the Alliance.
Theft of the Divine Bell
Under orders from Warchief Garrosh, a Sunreaver agent conjured a Sunreaver portal at Domination Point, and Fanlyr Silverthorn, along with Horde adventurers, entered the night elven city of Darnassus in order to steal the Divine Bell, a powerful mogu artifact that had evaded them on Pandaria. Jaina herself had set wards around the city, and had slain any Horde intruders who had attempted to claim it. Using Dalaran's own portals, however, the Horde was able to circumvent Jaina's defenses, and succeeded in infiltrating the city, claiming the bell, and escaping again.
Aghast, Jaina discovered that her wards had been breached, and followed a trail of arcane residue that led her to the Sunreaver portal at the outskirts of Darnassus. Enraged at what she believed was yet another betrayal, Jaina returned to the Violet Citadel to confront the leader of the Sunreavers, Archmage Aethas.
Arriving in the Violet Citadel, Jaina slew Aethas's High Sunreaver Magi and called him out directly. Accusing him of treachery (an accusation Aethas claimed was false), Jaina ordered him to take his people and leave the city. Unwilling to accept her ultimatum, Aethas proclaimed that Dalaran was the home of his people, too; as Jaina herself had said, many of the Sunreavers had called Dalaran home for over two thousand years. Resolved, Jaina simply stated that she would have to remove them by force. She took Aethas captive and teleported out of the fray.
The early stages of the purge were left in the hands of Vereesa Windrunner, who instructed Alliance agents to pacify the Sunreavers in the sewers and eliminate the uprising inside the Sunreaver's Sanctuary, to stop and kill a Magister attempting to withdraw assets from the bank and flee the city, to kill the shopkeepers who had refused to side with the Silver Covenant, and to either subdue or kill the dragonhawks in Krasus' Landing, thus disallowing the Sunreavers a method of escape from the city. When the deeds are done, the Silver Covenant is mobilized to join in the purge, and Jaina calls in Alliance forces waiting at the Antonidas Memorial to battle the Sunreavers as well.
After imprisoning Aethas within the Violet Citadel, Jaina and her water elementals took to patrolling the city streets, teleporting some Sunreaver citizens to the Violet Hold and attacking others - both with those that attempted to fight her and some civilians attempting to flee.
Grand Magister Rommath soon led a strike team into Dalaran to evacuate the remaining Sunreavers. Beginning with the sewers—the farthest tunnels of which had, as of then, been unaffected by the purge—Rommath and Horde agents warn the Sunreaver civilians of their impending arrest, and order them to flee the city. Here, Silver Covenant agents had taken to holding several Sunreaver civilians captive, while others were attacking unarmed Sunreavers without explaining anything to them. After thinning the Silver Covenant's ranks, Rommath left the sewers and entered Dalaran proper, temporarily taking over the center of the city as a makeshift base to strike against Jaina's forces, as the Sunreaver resistance group holding it continued their search for Aethas.
Rommath, incensed at the events unfolding in the city, sent Horde agents to break out the Sunreaver VIPs remaining in the sanctuary, to free the captured dragonhawks at Krasus' Landing (thus giving them a method of escape), to stage a raid on the Silver Enclave in an effort to locate Aethas, and to neutralize the Alliance forces Jaina had called upon for support.
Ultimately, Rommath located Aethas in the Citadel, and, after rescuing him, the two escaped back to the sewers following the demise of Aethas's jailer. There, they leapt out of the city to land atop the dragonhawks rescued earlier. Rommath, content with having evacuated as many as he could, returned with Aethas to Silvermoon City. While, thanks to Rommath and the Horde champions, many Sunreavers were rescued, many others were still imprisoned in Dalaran's Violet Hold or killed.
In Silvermoon City
Back in Silvermoon City, Lor'themar Theron and Halduron Brightwing moved to oversee the return of the escaped Sunreavers being funnelled back to Silvermoon via portals. Aethas and Rommath arrived, and informed an incredulous Lor'themar of the situation within Dalaran.
Lor'themar was infuriated with how far Jaina had gone, and was just as vexed at Garrosh, hoping dearly that the Warchief's new "treasure"—the Divine Bell—destroys him. Lor'themar concluded that the time had come for the blood elves to take matters into their own hands, and ordered Halduron to summon the Farstriders and Rommath to assemble the Magisters, subsequently adding the Sunreavers' strength to his own.
As the blood elves were blamed for the theft, the negotiations between the blood elves and the Alliance were thus sabotaged by Garrosh's actions.
Most of the surviving Sunreavers are now held in the Violet Hold. The ones that successfully escaped have come to hold Garrosh (whose agents, actively supporting the Horde war effort, had sparked the purge in the first place) just as responsible for their removal from Dalaran as Jaina herself. The purge put an end to ongoing talks between Lor'themar and King Varian Wrynn, who had approached the regent under the impression that the Sunreavers' right to live in the city was defended by Jaina herself and so would not be leaving Dalaran. Many Sunreavers felt seriously betrayed by the purge, having called Dalaran home "before Jaina's grandparents were born".
In Lion's Landing
Back in Lion's Landing, Jaina met with Varian to declare the Kirin Tor's allegiance to the Alliance. Varian was confused at this turn of events, having been told of Jaina's high opinion of the Sunreavers by Anduin prior to the purge, and more so for acting without consulting him. Varian chided Jaina for acting so rashly, revealing that he had been entering discussions to bring the blood elves back into the Alliance, and that by attacking their people Jaina had forced their hand. Jaina was unapologetic, however, stating her newfound belief that "once Horde, always Horde". Varian stated that the Alliance must act as one if they are to win this war; unfazed, Jaina departed to mobilize the Kirin Tor.
Though Garrosh had essentially solved two problems with one clever manoeuvre—forcing the blood elves away from the Alliance and plucking the bell from Darnassus with few losses of his own—this victory was not without its costs in the long-term. Jaina had resolved to see Garrosh removed from power as far back as the Battle of Theramore, but now the Kirin Tor was firmly and actively working against him. Rather than beaten into obedience, Lor'themar simply took a different approach to the problem Garrosh presented, and began preparing his people for the likelihood of rebellion.
The Divine Bell proved to be a short-lived conquest. Garrosh used it to infuse some of his own Kor'kron with sha power, which cost them their lives, and the bell was soon after destroyed by Anduin Wrynn, though it nearly cost him his life.
This section concerns content related to Mists of Pandaria.
The Kirin Tor spent the remainder of the Pandaria campaign as members of the Alliance. They organised the Kirin Tor Offensive to lay claim to the Isle of Thunder, coming into conflict with the Sunreaver Onslaught, the escaped Sunreavers backed by forces from Silvermoon. The Kirin Tor was planned to assist in the Siege of Orgrimmar, with Dalaran itself raining fire down upon Orgrimmar, but technical constraints interfered; Jaina, Vereesa, and Aethas still appear. Lor'themar and Jaina interact several times following the purge, their meetings ranging from mutually belligerent to fairly civil. The Sunreavers held in the Violet Hold were kept as prisoners of war; if or when they were released remains unknown.
This section concerns content related to the Dawn of the Aspects novel.
Although purging the Sunreavers was not a change Jaina wanted to make, she maintained the belief that it was necessary. Jaina struggled with other political intrigue around this time as well, with Kalecgos worrying that Jaina's attitude, including shirking her duties and disregarding the opinions of her council, could jeopardize her position. The purge itself was not a topic covered during Garrosh Hellscream's trial, but the theft that sparked it was relevant to the court. During an argument with Varian Wrynn, Jaina reflected that the Kirin Tor's previous rulers might have had the right idea regarding neutrality, and threatened to leave the Alliance should her autonomy not be respected; however, she did not go through with this.
This section concerns content related to Warlords of Draenor.
Under Archmage Khadgar, agents of the Kirin Tor, including at least one blood elf, appear in the War in Draenor. The mages are friendly to the Alliance and neutral to the Horde, although Jaina makes it clear that she does not want non-Kirin Tor personnel, especially Horde, in Kirin Tor territory. Khadgar's decision to enlist Horde support is a contentious issue back in Dalaran, as Jaina and some of the council do not approve of working with the Horde again, while Khadgar and Modera accept aid from both factions on Draenor.
This section concerns content related to Legion.
At the outset of the Burning Legion's third invasion, in a historic occasion, Dalaran and the Kirin Tor have decided to readmit the Sunreavers (and by extension the Horde). Khadgar subsequently beseeches the Council of Six to reconsider the Horde's exile from the Kirin Tor. Jaina is incredulous and flatly refuses to support any such decision.
When the Council vote on the matter, Jaina's desires are defeated 4-2. Feeling betrayed by her own, Jaina promptly teleports out of the city, leaving the Order in Khadgar's hands. The fallout from the purge and the figures involved in the Horde's return, however, remains unclear.
Later, Aethas Sunreaver would assist Archmage Modera and the Conjuror of the Tirisgarde in locating the legendary . Following this, the Council of Six voted to allow him and the Sunreavers back into the city, albeit no longer part of the Council.
The casualties of the purge appear to have been almost entirely elven. Kirin Tor members of other races are seen cowering at their posts or shops, or else not present, but are not involved in the purge itself.
The named characters confirmed to have been slain are as follows:
In addition, Archmage Lan'dalock (who was guarding the entrance to the Violet Hold) can be fought by Horde players, though this is entirely optional if they avoid being teleported there. As he is present as a Kirin Tor questgiver on the Isle of Thunder, he apparently survived this encounter.
Lieutenant Corwin (the only named human casualty) was also killed during the purge.
- It was initially believed that the purge would be sparked by the Divine Bell being sounded in Darnassus after its theft, unleashing the sha to cause damage to the city; early sound files suggested this would be what compelled Jaina to purge the Sunreavers. Instead, the Darnassus mission is low-key and covert, the bell is transported immediately, and the player is specifically told not to harm any night elves or let themselves be seen at all. Perplexingly, later interactions between Jaina and Lor'themar actually seem to proceed with the first scenario in mind (Jaina mentions the Sunreavers "orchestrating an attack" on Darnassus and Lor'themar counters that they knew nothing of Garrosh's "raid on Darnassus", neither of which occurred), though it could be reconciled as exaggeration.
- Aethas Sunreaver was intended to have a larger role in the bell's heist, stumbling across the player after the deed was done, admonishing the Horde for using Kirin Tor resources in the war effort, then being threatened by an orc into saying nothing about it. With Garrosh's wrath on one side and Jaina's on another, Aethas would have to gamble on one of them, ultimately choosing to risk Jaina's. After a conversation with Dave Kosak on the subject, Blizzard writer Sarah Pine stated that this scene actually was supposed to play out in the game, but was bugged. This, too, is referenced in later content: Aethas shifts uncomfortably when Lor'themar champions his innocence on the Isle of Thunder; this casts doubt about his loyalties, when it should have been affirmation to the player of what they would already know (that Aethas discovered the theft, but was not an active participant in it).
Notes and trivia
- Lead Narrative Designer Dave Kosak has pointed to the purge as a good example of grey morality in Warcraft. Each faction's quests depict the other in a questionable light, while the quest givers involved (Jaina, Vereesa, Rommath, and Lor'themar) inject their own opinions and inferences into the events unfolding around them. For example, the Alliance quests deal mostly with militant Sunreavers who resist arrest and choose to strike out against them, while the Horde quests draw attention to the Sunreaver civilians swept up in the chaos and portray the Silver Covenant as the aggressive party out for blood. While both events run concurrently in the purge, only one side witnesses each. Aethas Sunreaver's depiction is another: his role in the heist and loyalty to Dalaran are muddied and appear suspicious in the Alliance quests, justifying his imprisonment. The Horde quests depict him as a more sympathetic character with good intentions, loyalty to the Kirin Tor, and an honest hatred of Garrosh, justifying his rescue.
- This was not the first time Grand Magister Rommath dealt with a situation of this nature. He was one of Kael'thas Sunstrider's closest advisors and was present in the Dungeons of Dalaran when the blood elves had to fight to escape in the Third War.
- Aethas's conflicting loyalties were commented upon as far back as In the Shadow of the Sun - Lor'themar worried that Aethas was too young and inexperienced for the responsibilities laid out before him. Aethas's conflicting loyalties were the reason he made the decision he did.
- It is possible to visit this instanced version of Dalaran even after its quests by speaking with Kromthar. There Rommath can be found at his usual spot in Runeweaver Square and gives .
- This is presumably an oversight as the quest is officially given by Lor'themar Theron. Blizzard may have forgotten to remove the line of flight to Dalaran from Kromthar once the quest-line is complete.
- It's unknown why Stormwind troops were present when Varian Wrynn was unaware of the purge taking place and disapproved of it when he found out.
- During , Horde players enter The Situation in Dalaran scenario to participate in these events.
- The Violet Hold loading screen is used for Dalaran in the purge phase.
- The exact number of Sunreavers aware of the plot to steal the Divine Bell is unclear, sources varying from a single Sunreaver (mentioned in War Crimes) to a small handful of "certain" agents chosen by Garrosh. The game depicts it as somewhere in-between; players take a single Sunreaver's portal in and out of Darnassus, and four or five mages in Sunreaver tabards can be seen upholding the small cloaking barrier on the city's outskirts. Though obviously implausible for any considerable number to be aware of a secret plot devised by the leader of a world superpower when only one of them was needed, the fact that Aethas Sunreaver himself became aware of it and chose inaction in spite of his duty as a member of the Council of Six is arguably more damning than a few Horde sympathizers acting against his wishes.
- Where Fanlyr Silverthorn fits into the purge has led to some speculation. He is first met on Pandaria as a Reliquary commander, and after a brief conflict with Garrosh, has his life threatened by the warchief should he ever question him again. He then travels through a Sunreaver mage's portal to Darnassus and assists the Horde player in stealing the Divine Bell, telling them to return to Domination Point through his portal while he covers their tracks. However, Jaina discovers the portal's residue with relative ease, following it to an open portal to Dalaran on Darnassus's outskirts. This is bizarre, as the portal players take is straight to Domination Point, while Fanlyr was instructed to take the bell straight to Silvermoon. Considering Garrosh's ploy hinged on focusing blame on the Sunreavers, there is a chance that Fanlyr's failure to conceal that Kirin Tor resources had been used–and moreover, directing Jaina straight to Dalaran–was more deliberate than it seemed.
- At the start of the third invasion of the Burning Legion, when Dalaran was relocated above Karazhan, Sunreaver's Sanctuary was held by Kirin Tor units (the Silver Enclave was guarded by Silver Covenant Guardian Mages). When the demons later attacked the city, the district was defended by Sunreaver Guardian Mages. These mages could probably be the released blood elves that were imprisoned into the Violet Hold during the Purge.
- ^ Dave Kosak on Twitter
- ^ Suneaver citizens' text & scripted events
- ^ Ultimate Visual Guide: Aethas Sunreaver
- ^ a b c
- ^ High elf#New world diplomacy
- ^ War Crimes... “A Sunreaver agent, acting on orders from Garrosh..."
- ^ Sunreaver Citizen gossip text
- ^ The Characters of Warcraft/Lor'themar Theron
- ^ Girana the Blooded gossip text
- ^ Magistrix Vesara -
- ^ Dawn of the Aspects
- ^ Dawn of the Aspects
- ^ War Crimes
- ^ Sarah Pine on Tumblr
- ^ In the Shadow of the Sun