Darkfallen are a unique kind of undead blood elf in service to the Scourge[1] that were raised as undead following Illidan's failed assault on the Frozen Throne.[2]



Spire of Blood in Temple City of En'kilah

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

They possess their own racial faction, the San'layn, which plays an important role in the Scourge army.

The greatest concentrations of darkfallen are located in the Temple City of En'kilah in northeastern Borean Tundra, and in the Crimson Hall inside Icecrown Citadel; these are also the only places where unnamed darkfallen appear.



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.[3] 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.[4]

The blood elves were defeated by Arthas,[4][5] who raised the most powerful ones into his service as darkfallen of the San'layn.[2]

Most of the surviving blood elves 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. One of these survivors was Lana'thel. Although she wielded the draconic blade Quel'Delar, she was no match for the power of Frostmourne and was overwhelmed. The Lich King chose Lana'thel to serve him in undeath as the queen of the San'layn.[6]

The darkfallen now oversee the Scourge's operations throughout Azeroth, with their masters residing in The Crimson Hall[1].


Darkfallen 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 Darkfallen have clawed fingers and ears more closely resembling those of a bat; in addition, a few have developed wings and horns.



Prince Tenris Mirkblood's room in Karazhan

Crimson Hall

The Crimson Hall in Icecrown Citadel

The darkfallen are 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.[7][8]

Darkfallen, 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.

The San'layn

San'layn banner
See also: San'layn
Blood Prince Emblem

The San'layn is the Darkfallen racial facton of the Scourge. They oversee the Scourge's operations throughout Azeroth, acting as agents, leaders, or ambassadors.[9] The faction holds an important position amongst the Scourge offensive,[10] with its members, most of the times, performing important tasks on the behalf of the Lich King.[11][12]

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, lives. 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 recieving direct orders from the Lich King himself.

The only darkfallen not marked as members of the San'layn are High Priest Andorath, Prince Navarius, Prince Taldaram and Prince Sandoval.

Notable darkfallen

Name Role Status Location
IconSmall Darkfallen Female 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 Darkfallen Male 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 Killable Ahn'kahet and Icecrown Citadel
IconSmall Darkfallen Male 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[13] Killable Scarlet Enclave, Howling Fjord, Utgarde Keep and Icecrown Citadel
IconSmall Darkfallen Male 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 Killable Scarlet Enclave, Borean Tundra and Icecrown Citadel
IconSmall Darkfallen Male Prince Tenris Mirkblood <The San'layn> Agent of the Scourge during the Second Scourge Invasion Deceased Karazhan
IconSmall Darkfallen Male Prince Sandoval Challenges fighters to battle at Valhalas Deceased (Lore); Killable (WoW) Icecrown Citadel and Icecrown Glacier
IconSmall Darkfallen Male Prince Navarius Masterminded the creation of the massive flesh titan, Thrym, and likely other flesh giants Deceased (Lore); Killable (WoW) Zul'Drak
IconSmall Darkfallen Male Prince Atherann <The San'layn> Took part in the ritual to raise Archmage Arugal. Unknown Last seen in Silverpine Forest
IconSmall Darkfallen Male Prince Theraldis <The San'layn> Led the ritual to raise Arugal. Unknown Last seen in Silverpine Forest
IconSmall UndeadElf Male High Priest Andorath One of Prince Valanar's lieutenants Deceased (Lore); Killable (WoW) Borean Tundra
IconSmall UndeadElf Male Luthion the Vile <The San'layn> One of Prince Valanar's lieutenants Deceased (Lore); Killable (WoW) Borean Tundra
IconSmall UndeadElf Male 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



Though the Darkfallen are listed in the World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King Bestiary, their entry was never added.

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 darkfallen, 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.[14] Later, but before they got their current model, they were changed to elves wearing the Malefic Raiment.[15] 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.


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.

It is believed that the word "San'layn" is possibly Thalassian for "Darkfallen".[citation needed]


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