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Runestone

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Runestones are large blocks of rock carved with powerful magical runes. The high elves of Quel'Thalas built several runestones along their borders.

History

Some times after the founding of Quel'Thalas, many of the high elves grew wary of their rampant use of arcane magic, fearing that it could once more draw the Burning Legion to Azeroth. Dath'Remar Sunstrider sent his most powerful arcanists to find a solution. Over several decades, they built a series of monolithic runestones around Quel'Thalas' borders. This barrier was called Ban'dinoriel, or "the Gatekeeper" in the high elven tongue.[1] It would prevent others from detecting the high elves' use of magic, ward off the superstitious Amani, and weaken the magic of all non-elves within it.[2]

Second War

WC2BnE logo 16x42.png This section concerns content exclusive to Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness or its expansion Beyond the Dark Portal.

Warcraft II Runestones.png
Main article: Runestone (Warcraft II)

Original Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness description of the runestone at Caer Darrow: The runestone was an ancient monolith erected by the elven druids and inscribed with powerful runes of protection and warding. The runestone, seized by Gul'dan and his ogres, was eventually hewn into slates that were then used to construct the Altars of Storms. The elves, knowing that their sacred artifact had been defiled to create the ogre-magi, had sworn to destroy all of the unholy Altars across the kingdom.[3]

The original story about elven druids was later changed so that it was mages who had placed them instead.[1] The description was also broadened when it was said that diabolical orcish necromancers had found a way to dismantle and draw energy from several runestones instead of just Gul'dan and one runestone.[4]

Gul'dan himself speculated that the high elves had used enslaved trolls to physically move the stones into place, similarly to how he used ogre slaves to destroy them and build the altars, but this remains unconfirmed.[5]

Thought it was never mentioned again and probably retconned, a Dalaran expedition sent to the Tomb of Sargeras during the invasion of Draenor used two runestones along its entrance to protect it from demons.[6]

Third War

WC3RoC logo 16x32.png This section concerns content exclusive to Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos or its expansion The Frozen Throne.

Five runestones were shown on a map of Quel'Thalas in the Warcraft III manual but were later omitted in the game's loading screens.

In the RPG

The RPG Icon 16x36.png This section concerns content exclusive to the Warcraft RPG and is considered non-canon.

The runestones were placed by the high elves to mark the boundaries of their new kingdom, Quel'Thalas, when the elves had just found it. These enchanted monuments created a magical barrier that prevented the savage forest trolls from penetrating the elven lands. The barrier was not used for millennia, but the runestones, untouched by fire and blade, remained until the Second War.[7]

World of Warcraft

WoW Icon 16x16.png This section concerns content exclusive to World of Warcraft.

The remaining runestones are used to protect Quel'Thalas against the Scourge. Most of them were destroyed or lost after the attack on the Sunwell.[8] Runewarden Deryan re-energizes and maintains the remaining runestones in Quel'Thalas.[9]

Known Runestones

Quel'Thalas

Other

Runestones as items

WoW Icon 16x16.png This section concerns content exclusive to World of Warcraft.

These items appear to have no relation to the elven runestones described above.

TBC This section concerns content exclusive to The Burning Crusade.

WotLK This section concerns content exclusive to Wrath of the Lich King.

Cataclysm This section concerns content exclusive to Cataclysm.

MoP This section concerns content exclusive to Mists of Pandaria.

WoD This section concerns content exclusive to Warlords of Draenor.

Notes

References