The War of the Shifting Sands
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It has been nearly a thousand years since the 'War of the Shifting Sands'. It was during this war, in the heart of the Silithus desert, that a great tragedy and even greater burden beset Fandral Staghelm. It is thought that the events described herein are what ultimately shaped the unsavory disposition of the Arch Druid.
An ancient sentient insectoid race known as the Qiraji vied for dominance over much of Kalimdor at one point in time. It was the pompous, imperialistic Staghelm and his army of night elves who met the Qiraji head on in battle.
Father and son fought fervently to contain the rising tide of the insectoid swarm in Silithus. From the fortress of Ahn'Qiraj, a seemingly endless stream of silithid continued to bolster the ranks of the invading Qiraji forces. The whole of Silithus was under siege.
In a decision that Staghelm would regret, the younger Staghelm, Valstann, was ordered to defend the night elf outpost of Southwind Village. Regrettably, Valstann would lose his life that day as Southwind Village would fall to the armies of Ahn'Qiraj.
Undaunted and with heavy heart, a vengeful Fandral Staghelm would push on. Defeat in Silithus would result in great loss for the night elf nation and quite possibly the world.
The battle raged on for months. All of Silithus was overtaken by the Qiraji. Staghelm and his army were pushed back to Tanaris. With a decimated army and countless innocents slain, the arrogance that had driven Fandral Staghelm was snuffed out completely.
His pride wholly crushed. Staghelm would, for the second time in his existence, feel the flutter in the pit of his stomach that could only be brought on by fear. It was in Tanaris, then, that Staghelm would approach Anachronos, progeny of Nozdormu, and plead for the assistance of the Bronze Flight.
Initially, Anachronos refused to involve the Bronze Flight in the affairs of the lesser races. It was not until the Qiraji brashly attacked the Caverns of Time that Anachronos would agree to join forces with the night elves.
Anachronos would soon realize that even the mighty Bronze Flight could not stem the tide of the invading Qiraji forces. For every fifty of the insects that were annihilated by his breath, one hundred would be waiting to take their place. With the night elf lines faltering and the threat of being pushed further north to the wilds of Feralas ever looming, Anachronos decided that the children of the Aspects must be made aware.
He would call out to Ysera's Dragonflight first. Merithra of the Dream would answer his call and from there, Alexstrasza's Dragonflight and Malygos's Dragonflight would be made aware.
The dragons would meet in the stratosphere high above Silithus: Thousands of feet above the fortress of Ahn'Qiraj.
There was Anachronos, child of the Nozdormu, Aspect of Time.
From the Emerald Dream would come Merithra, child of Ysera, Aspect of Nature.
Caelestrasz, child of Alexstrasza, Aspect of Life, would represent the Red Dragonflight.
Arygos, child of Malygos, Aspect of Magic, would represent the Blue Dragonflight.
The dragons watched as an endless stream of silithid and Qiraji poured out of Ahn'Qiraj. It became clear to them that no amount of force could ever end this war. From inside the main temple, tens of thousands of the Qiraji forces waited. With each passing second, more were hatched and primed; ready to be unleashed into the world.
Arygos was the first to notice the strange emanations. The monolithic temple in the southern quadrant of Ahn'Qiraj radiated a dim magic unlike anything they had sensed coming from the Qiraji. Try as they might, none were able to penetrate further into the temple to find the source of this energy. Only something of immense power could shield itself so completely. Perhaps... something controlling the insects. Something controlling even the Qiraji.
The dragons knew that they had to react quickly, lest the world suffer another epic catastrophe. After careful deliberation, it was decided that the best course of action would be to stop the host armies at or near their source.
A great barrier would be created, drawing from the essence of both the night elves and the dragonflight. A magical barrier that could contain the silithid and their overlords within the walls of Ahn'Qiraj and prevent future incursions. Ahn'Qiraj would itself become a prison.
- Patch 1.9.0 (2006-01-03): Added.