San'layn

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For the priest talent, see [San'layn]. For the Krokul sometimes referred to as Darkfallen, see Argussian Reach.
San'layn
Prince Tenris Mirkblood.jpg
A San'layn blood prince
Faction/Affiliation
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Racial leader(s)
Racial mount
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The San'layn (also called Darkfallen[1][2][3] or vampyr[4]) are a unique kind of vampiric undead blood elf in service to the Scourge[5] that were raised as undead following Illidan Stormrage's failed assault on the Frozen Throne.[6] In life, the San'layn were among Kael'thas' greatest followers.[7]

Introduction

The San'layn is a race of vampiric undead blood elves, under the command of the Blood-Queen Lana'thel. They are an addition to the Scourge army, introduced after Arthas' second visit to Northrend.

The Crimson Hall contains the leaders of the San'layn, undead blood elves who oversee the Scourge's operations throughout Azeroth. The blood-princes Valanar, Keleseth, and Taldaram were raised into undeath by the Lich King to avenge themselves while protecting their blood-queen, Lana'thel.[8]

The only non-named San'layn seen regularly in-game appear in the Temple City of En'kilah in northeastern Borean Tundra and in the Crimson Hall in Icecrown Citadel.

History

Blood elves being killed during Arthas' return to Northrend.

In the aftermath of the Third War, the blood elves were cut off from their source of magic, the Sunwell. Desperate for aid, their prince Kael'thas Sunstrider pledged allegiance to Illidan Stormrage who granted them a new source of magic.[9] Together with their new allies, the blood elves went to Northrend in an attempt to destroy the Lich King, seeking to avenge their fallen brethren.[10]

After the blood elves were defeated by Arthas,[10][11] most of the survivors returned to Outland with Kael'thas, but a handful were lost and scattered in the frozen wastes of Northrend, where they were hunted down and slaughtered by Arthas, who raised the most powerful ones into his service as San'layn.[6]

Amongst those survivors was Lana'thel, wielder of the draconic blade Quel'Delar, who was no match for the power of Frostmourne and was overwhelmed, chosen by the Lich King to serve him in undeath as the queen of the San'layn.[12]

The Burning Crusade

The Burning Crusade This section concerns content exclusive to The Burning Crusade.

During the second Scourge Invasion the Prince Tenris Mirkblood invaded Karazhan by the orders from the Lich King, in a mission to know about the strenghts of their enemies. The operation was stopped by the efforts of heroes sent by the Argent Dawn.[13]

Wrath of the Lich King

Wrath of the Lich King This section concerns content exclusive to Wrath of the Lich King.
Spire of Blood in Temple City of En'kilah.

The San'layn oversaw the Scourge's operations throughout Northrend, being gradually killed by heroes in the efforts against the threat posed by the Scourge.

They took part in the assault upon the Scarlet Enclave, acted as agents of the Scourge forces attempting to conquer Azjol-Nerub and as ambassadors to the vrykul of Howling Fjord.

The San'layn maintained a strong presence in Borean Tundra, leading the assaults from Temple City of En'kilah.

They were also responsible for the ressurection of Archmage Arugal and the creation of the massive flesh titan Thrym.

With most of their blood princes slain, by the end of the Northrend campaign a group of heroes with the help of the Ashen Verdict raided the Crimson Hall inside Icecrown Citadel, killing the last of the San'layn's leadership, including their blood-queen.[5]

Legion

Legion This section concerns content exclusive to Legion.

The Blood-Princess Thal'ena, the daughter of Blood-Queen Lana'thel imprisoned in the Violet Hold by the Kirin Tor in the aftermath of the Northrend campaign, was freed by Lord Malgath in an attempt to strike Dalaran from within, and was killed by a group of heroes.

Appearance

San'layn mostly retain the builds of their still-living kin. However, unlike blood elves, their flesh appears necrotic and, though universally pale, ranges from fleshy pinks and red to gray and light green, and they tend to have either white, blond or dark hair.

Their eyes have white, green, blue or black glows. Some San'layn have clawed fingers and ears more closely resembling those of a bat; in addition, a few have developed wings and horns.

Culture

The Crimson Hall in Icecrown Citadel

The San'layn are cold, arrogant and skilled in a variety of magic schools, often make use of vampiric skills that involve blood, and have even demonstrated some shape-shifting abilities. They are vampiric in nature, especially in the case of the Blood Princes, who are known to consume the flesh, blood, and souls of their victims.[14][15]

San'layn, most of the times, dress in red, orange and black garments, similar to their living cousins, the blood elves. They have assimilated the Scourge shared culture, and contributed with their own, which can be seen in the decoration of the Crimson Hall, inside the Icecrown Citadel.

They are often found in strongholds of other Scourge-affiliated races alongside with its local leadership, or in command of Scourge bases or operations across Northrend. Elder Ko'nani of the Kalu'ak states that "the Dark One rides forth again with his San'layn..." showing that they are a major, or at least leading, part of the Scourge offensive. Depending on how the sentence is read, it may mean the San'layn were part of a previous attack of some kind.

Organization

San'layn's banner

The San'layn oversee the Scourge's operations throughout Azeroth, acting as agents, leaders, or ambassadors.[16] The faction holds an important position amongst the Scourge offensive,[17] with its members, most of the times, performing important tasks on the behalf of the Lich King.[18][19]

They possess two main bases of operations across Northrend: the Temple City of En'kilah and the Crimson Hall. The Temple City of En'kilah serves as the command center of the Scourge in the Borean Tundra, with the necropolis Naxxanar floating above the city where Prince Valanar, the overlord of the operation, resides. The Crimson Hall is the headquarters and home of the San'layn, located inside the Icecrown Citadel, and is the place where the most powerful San'layn can be found.

Blood-Queen Lana'thel holds the leading position in the San'layn hierarchy. The Blood princes, especially the Blood Prince Council, are the second in the chain of command of the faction, often receiving direct orders from the Lich King himself.

Notable San'layn

Name Role Status Location
IconSmall San'layn Female.gif Blood-Queen Lana'thel <The San'layn> Leader of the San'layn, former wielder of Quel'Delar Deceased (Lore); Killable (WoW) Icecrown and Icecrown Citadel
IconSmall San'layn Female.gif Blood-Princess Thal'ena Daughter of Lana'thel. Imprisoned in the Violet Hold Alive (Lore); Killable (WoW) Violet Hold
IconSmall San'layn Male.gif Prince Taldaram Agent of the Scourge forces attempting to conquer Azjol-Nerub. Raised in undeath to serve in Icecrown Citadel as a member of the Blood Prince Council Deceased (Lore); Killable (WoW) Ahn'kahet and Icecrown Citadel
IconSmall San'layn Male.gif Prince Keleseth <The San'layn> Overlord of Howling Fjord, ruler of the South-Eastern reaches of Northrend and ambassador to the vrykul; also took part in the assault upon the Scarlet Enclave and the ritual to raise Arugal. Raised in undeath to serve in Icecrown Citadel as a member of the Blood Prince Council. Prince Valanar's brother[20] Deceased (Lore); Killable (WoW) Scarlet Enclave, Howling Fjord, Utgarde Keep and Icecrown Citadel
IconSmall San'layn Male.gif Prince Valanar <The San'layn> Overlord of Borean Tundra and master of Naxxanar; also took part in the assault upon the Scarlet Enclave and the ritual to raise Arugal. Raised in undeath to serve in Icecrown Citadel as a member of the Blood Prince Council. Prince Keleseth's brother Deceased (Lore); Killable (WoW) Scarlet Enclave, Borean Tundra and Icecrown Citadel
IconSmall San'layn Male.gif Prince Tenris Mirkblood <The San'layn> Agent of the Scourge during the Second Scourge Invasion Deceased Karazhan
IconSmall San'layn Male.gif Prince Sandoval Challenges fighters to battle at Valhalas Deceased (Lore); Killable (WoW) Icecrown Citadel and Icecrown Glacier
IconSmall San'layn Male.gif Prince Navarius Masterminded the creation of the massive flesh titan, Thrym, and likely other flesh giants Deceased (Lore); Killable (WoW) Zul'Drak
IconSmall San'layn Male.gif Prince Atherann <The San'layn> Took part in the ritual to raise Archmage Arugal. Unknown Last seen in Silverpine Forest
IconSmall San'layn Male.gif Prince Theraldis <The San'layn> Led the ritual to raise Arugal. Unknown Last seen in Silverpine Forest
IconSmall San'layn Male.gif Blood Lord Vorath TCGlore.jpg Appears in The Warcraft TCG. Unknown Unknown
IconSmall UndeadElf Male.gif High Priest Andorath One of Prince Valanar's lieutenants Deceased (Lore); Killable (WoW) Borean Tundra
IconSmall UndeadElf Male.gif Luthion the Vile <The San'layn> One of Prince Valanar's lieutenants Deceased (Lore); Killable (WoW) Borean Tundra
IconSmall UndeadElf Male.gif Vanthryn the Merciless <The San'layn> One of Prince Valanar's lieutenants Deceased (Lore); Killable (WoW) Borean Tundra

Ranks and types

File-Crimson Hall 02.jpg

Notes & trivia

concept art

Vampire inspiration

The Art of World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King includes two pieces of concept art for the race; the first, titled "High Elf Nosferatu", is clearly inspired by Count Orlok from the classic German silent film Nosferatu, while the second depicts what appears to be a high elf with stitched-together flesh, dressed in elegant armor and wielding wing-like arrays of shields across his arms, which double as weapon racks, holding a number of blades.

The San'layn, specifically the Princes, appear to be strongly inspired by the portrayals of vampires in both film and fiction, having bat-like ears, wearing cloaks with high collars and masks with fang patterns over their mouths. They also display mannerisms and characteristics strongly associated with the classic vampires of film and fiction, such as Bela Lugosi's portrayal of Count Dracula, and even have voice acting with a similar accent. Additional references have also been made to the Castlevania series of video games by Konami.

Vrykul origin

Early reports (of unknown accuracy) about the WotLK Alpha implied that what is now the darkfallen were vrykul wearing the Malefic Raiment.[22] Later, but before they got their current model, they were changed to elves wearing the Malefic Raiment.[23] Chris Metzen said at BlizzCon 2007 that the vrykul were vampiric, something that is not visited in-game. It may be that the darkfallen were the vampiric vrykul, but the idea that they were vrykul was scrapped.

Gallery

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.

The word "San'layn" might be Thalassian for "Darkfallen".

Their abilities to serve both as field commanders and infiltrators imply that they were created by the Lich King to replace the nathrezim, who stayed loyal to the Burning Legion.

References