Long ago, most wizards lived in Strom. Things were difficult there, though, so some of them fled north, where they created the city of Dalaran with the help of the high elves. More wizards followed, and the city became a haven for magi and a center of arcane study. They used their arts to make Dalaran magnificent and to protect it and its more mundane residents, who in return provided basics like food and trade. Unfortunately, with nobody to control them the magi cast spells whenever they liked, and the constant magic tore at reality. These tears acted as beacons to the Burning Legion, luring them back to Azeroth. Demons slipped through the gaps, terrorizing the locals until the ruling Magocrats were forced to turn to the elves for aid. Elf wizards quickly realized what had happened and warned that humanity would have to give up magic to avoid the threat completely. The Magocrats didn’t like that, and instead proposed selecting a mortal champion to protect them from the Legion. This Guardian would have access to all their might, and would form a secret defense for the world. The elves agreed and, through the newly formed Order of Tirisfal, provided guidance in the selection. At the same time, the Magocrats set some of their number to research and catalog all human magic. These wizards became the Kirin Tor.
Before Dalaran’s destruction, the Kirin Tor was the city’s ruling power. Dalaran was not a large city, but it was a beautiful place of towering spires and glittering streets, and the people there were happy and well protected. The Kirin Tor’s headquarters was the Violet Citadel, an impressive building so named for its stone walls which gave off a faint violet light. The building had many libraries, research chambers, testing rooms, classrooms, meeting alcoves, and bedrooms. The ruling council, six members in all, met in the Chamber of the Air, a room with no visible walls — the gray stone floor with its central diamond symbol stood beneath an open sky that shifted and changed rapidly, as if the time sped past within the chamber.
Even the Kirin Tor, however, found itself powerless to stop Prince Arthas and his forces when he led the Scourge through Lordaeron. Arthas acquired the spellbook of Medivh and Kel'Thuzad used it to summon Archimonde, who destroyed Dalaran. The city was left in ruins. Some felt the devastation was well-deserved, since Kel’Thuzad had himself been one of the Kirin Tor (before he left to form the Scholomance). Since Kel’Thuzad was responsible for creating the Plague of Undeath and releasing the Scourge upon the world, many felt the Kirin Tor should share in the blame and the consequences.
The Kirin Tor refused to abandon their home, however. They returned to the ruins months later, destroying those few undead creatures that remained, and reclaimed their city. They erected a glowing dome around the entire city, powerful enough to destroy anyone who touches it. The Kirin Tor is a sect of wizards trying to study and record all of humanity’s magic. They are also determined to rebuild the fallen city of Dalaran. ( )
Following the establishment of the city-state of Dalaran, the magocrats formed the Kirin Tor as a specialized sect that was charged with cataloging and researching every spell, artifact, and magic item known to mankind at the time.
The "Head of the Kirin Tor", Antonidas, was the leader of the Kirin Tor. He was a member of the ruling council and was seen as "Kirin Tor's true ruler, and the Sect's public face". ( ) ( He was later replaced by )Ansirem Runeweaver (. It seems )Rhonin has taken over in recent times.
The Kirin Tor has a ruling council of six archmagi. The council meets to discuss important issues and vote on matters — no single member holds sway, and the majority vote decides every issue. In case of a tie, the members reconvene a day later, during which interval each member considers his or her vote and all relevant information. ( )
Beneath the ruling council are the archmagi, each of whom is given tasks as the council sees fit. Archmagi do not hold specific positions or responsibilities, beyond the general loyalty to the Kirin Tor and to the world, and the standing obligation to study new human magic whenever it appears. In reality, however, some archmagi have been given the same tasks so often they have essentially assumed responsibility for those jobs. Thus one archmage might be in charge of cataloging all wands, while another handles researching and cataloging all illusions. Several work to monitor and maintain the city’s protective dome. ( )
Magi are the lowest members of the Kirin Tor, and answer to the archmagi. Any archmage in the sect can issue orders to a mage, provided the instructions still fit within the organization’s goals. As with archmagi, however, most magi settle into specific positions and tasks and work exclusively for one archmage. The ruling council can change this at any time but rarely does so, unless they feel a mage has become a problem in his current position, or if they need him for a different task. Most magi are allowed the freedom to pursue their tasks and studies in whatever manner they choose. Despite the fact that they are the lowest members in the hierarchy, many magi possess great power. ( )
The Kirin Tor is also referred to as the Magus Senate or Magocracy of Dalaran.
One of the tasks of the Kirin Tor was to safeguard and wield the Eye of Dalaran in defense of their city. However it was captured by the Horde for Ner'zhul.
Currently, the remaining members of the Kirin Tor strive to rebuild their once-magnificent capital following its destruction by Archimonde.
Before the Scourge came, any human mage was welcome in Dalaran. They found peers and a place to stay and to work in peace. Magi with an eye for detail and a strong focus on research were offered membership in the Kirin Tor. This process could take anywhere from a few months to several years — the ruling council did not invite magi until it was sure of their abilities and allegiances. They became even more cautious about admittance after Kel’Thuzad defected and took many other magi with him. ( )
Being a collection of the greatest mages in the land, the Kirin Tor naturally has many members who have had significant effects on the history of Azeroth, including both great wizards and those who delved too deeply into necromancy, demonology, and other warlock magics.
|Allistarj||Former member of the Kirin Tor, enslaved by Razelikh the Defiler||Killable|
|Alonda||Maintained the Kirin Tor bestiaries||Unknown|
|Antonidas||Leader of the Kirin Tor during the Second and Third Wars; killed by Arthas Menethil||Deceased|
|Arrexis||Member of the Order of Tirisfal; killed by demons||Deceased|
|Archmage Ataeric||Overseer of Ambermill||Killable|
|Arugal||Former member of the Kirin Tor, now residing in Shadowfang Keep; responsible for summoning the Worgen||Killable|
|Baratea||Recent member of the Kirin Tor||Alive|
|Belmara||Abjurist of Kirin'Var Village, killed by Kael'thas' forces||Undead|
|Dathric||Battle-Mage of Kirin'Var Village, killed by Kael'thas' forces||Undead|
|Lady Delth||Requested tomes of elven history from Medivh's library||Unknown|
|Drenden||Member of the Six||Unknown|
|Cohlien Frostweaver||Mage of Kirin'Var Village, killed by Kael'thas' forces||Undead|
|Guzbah||Khadgar's first instructor; killed by demons||Deceased|
|File:IconSmall Lich.gif Kel'Thuzad||Member of the Six, turned to the Scourge||Killable|
|Khadgar||Apprentice to Medivh, Supreme Commander of the Alliance Expedition, advisor to A'dal||Alive|
|Korrigan||Chief Librarian of the Violet Citadel||Unknown|
|File:IconSmall Red.gif Krasus||Member of the Six, Consort of the Dragonqueen Alexstrasza||Alive|
|Luminrath||Conjurer of Kirin'Var Village, killed by Kael'thas' forces||Undead|
|Modera||Member of the Six||Unknown|
|Norlan||Chief Artificer of the Violet Citadel||Unknown|
|Phin Odelic||Former mage of the Kirin Tor, resides in Southshore||Alive|
|Jaina Proudmoore||Apprentice to Antonidas, Special Agent of the Kirin Tor, Ruler of Theramore||Alive|
|Rhonin||Leader of the Kirin Tor in Northrend||Alive|
|Ansirem Runeweaver||Current leader of the Kirin Tor||Alive|
|Kael'thas Sunstrider||Member of the Six and Prince of Quel'Thalas, turned to the Illidari (and later the Burning Legion)||Killable|
|Vargoth||Leader of Kirin'Var Village, in what is now Netherstorm in Outland||Alive|
The novel Day of the Dragon describes a meeting of six members of the ruling council. The Last Guardian mentions seven members of the Kirin Tor and lists five by name. Krasus, Antonidas, Jaina and Kel'Thuzad are the only ones mentioned in the games.
The novel Tides of Darkness gives more of an indication of who the six members of the ruling council were at the time of the Second War, as they question Khadgar on the events in Karazhan (chronicled in Last Guardian). Antonidas, Krasus, Kel'Thuzad and Kael'thas are named; the other two - based on what lore has been established - may be Drenden and Modera, but they are not referred to by name. Its possible that the members of the ruling council at the time of Tides of Darkness may not be the same ones at the time of The Last Guardian, or include the the exact same members as seen in Day of the Dragon.