The Shen'dralar are an obscure and secretive faction of Highborne who dwell in The Athenaeum within Dire Maul. They are a remnant of the Highborne who once populated Dire Maul, or Eldre'Thalas, as it was known in antiquity. Though insular and largely forgotten by the outside world, they are still wise and knowledgeable about a great many secrets including, tantalizingly, the location of the Ashbringer.
The Shen'dralar were Queen Azshara's most revered arcanists. Within the walls of Eldre'Thalas the Queen's most important demands were processed - often in secret. After the destruction of the Well of Eternity and the subsequent lethargy that overcame the Highborne and lesser night elf sects, the Prince of Eldre'Thalas, Tortheldrin, began construction of pylons now littering the halls of the west wing. The Prince plotted to imprison a demon of immense power, Immol'thar behind a grand force field. The pylons would channel latent energies into the shield, keeping it operational. While imprisoned, Immol'thar would serve as a battery to the populace of Eldre'Thalas. The siphoned energies would sustain the Highborne's magic, allowing those within the walls of Eldre'Thalas to feed their endless and growing magical pangs.
Thousands of years passed and the power required to keep Immol'thar imprisoned while sustaining life within Eldre'Thalas began to shift. The cost to keep Immol'thar bound grew to overshadow the rate at which energy could be siphoned and distributed. The once net gain turned to loss. In response to this crisis, Prince Tortheldrin and his Shen'dralar loyalists began murdering their fellow Highborne, sacrificing their victims' life force to fuel the pylons in order to keep Immol'thar imprisoned and preserve their immortality. At least one Highborne, a quest giver named Azj'Tordin, has escaped death at the hands of Prince Tortheldrin, but most have not been so lucky. Their spirits now wander the corridors and courtyards of Dire Maul. Unsurprisingly, Prince Tortheldrin guards jealously the secret of this arrangement, and those who meddle in his domain, such as the blood elf Kariel Winthalus, can expect a brutal end.
Should the demon break free of its bonds, it would surely destroy what little is left of this once great bastion of arcana.
The Return of the Highborne
This section concerns content exclusive to Wrath of the Lich King.
With Patch 3.2.2 Blizzard introduced a new Alliance quest near the portals in the Silver Enclave. Something urgent has made the Highborne leave the walls of Eldre’Thalas to seek audience with High Priestess Tyrande Whisperwind.
- Archmage Mordent Evenshade says: Sentinel, I would speak with your High Priestess.
- Sentinel Stillbough says: You must wait for an audience.
- Archmage Mordent Evenshade says: Must I? I doubt Tyrande has more pressing business.
- Sentinel Stillbough says: You show some nerve coming to Teldrassil, Highborne. Your kind are unwelcome here. We have not forgotten the War of the Ancients or the minds behind it.
- Archmage Mordent Evenshade says: The lure of power is great. Mistakes were made.
- Sentinel Stillbough says: And we would not see those mistakes repeated. Return to your exile.
- Archmage Mordent Evenshade says: I will not return until I am heard. There is too much at stake. There is a change on the wind, and we cannot ignore it. I have traveled from the dust and ruin of the past to come to an accord. The time may soon come when the kaldorei require the knowledge and skill we have to offer. I will wait, Sentinel... but I will have my audience.
- Archmage Mordent Evenshade looks over at the moonwell with a sigh.
- Sentinel Stillbough says: Take your gaze off the moonwell, exile. The power within is not yours to wield.
- Archmage Mordent Evenshade says: Calm yourself, Sentinel. I do not seek to use it. I am merely... remembering.
- Sentinel Stillbough says: Recalling your treachery?
- Archmage Mordent Evenshade says: Enough. I have been apart from this for centuries. The well within this temple may be a pale spectre of the Well of Eternity, but it still holds the same... beauty. Purity.
- Archmage Mordent Evenshade says: I had forgotten.
- Archmage Mordent Evenshade says: I do not believe admiration and wistful thoughts are against the societal norm.
- Sentinel Stillbough says: Watch yourself, Highborne.
- Archmage Mordent Evenshade says: You were the one who challenged me for merely looking. I still await my audience with Tyrande.
- Sentinel Stillbough says: In good time.
The following text appears in the gossip panel when you click on Archmage Mordent Evenshade <The Highborne>:
- I suppose I should not be surprised at this cold reception. We have long been in hiding, and the separation from our brethren was necessary.
- That time, however, is done. Whether the residents of this young tree come to accept us or not, the Highborne are returning to light, and we will not turn our backs on what we are.
This section concerns content exclusive to Cataclysm.
With the re-emergence of the Shen'dralar many points of speculation arise:
- In Cataclysm they make approaches to rejoin the rest of the Night Elves stating their skills will be needed in the time ahead. Although considering the rejection of the Night Elves of Highborne descendants such as High Elves and Blood Elves, especially as both still use arcane arts it seems unlikely that the Night Elf people will accept the Shen'dralar who are the same Highborne from the War of the Ancients.
- Considering Tyrande Whisperwind was the one who let Illidan the Betrayer out of his prison, involving killing his Night Elf guards including a Keeper of the Grove, it seems likely she would know accepting the Highborne would be a step too far on her part. Of course it is unknown if she would even be open to such a proposal in the first place.
- Although yet to be revealed in Cataclysm, the re-emergence of the Shen'dralar might have implications for their descendants: the High Elves and Blood Elves. If they are rejected by Night Elf society they might have to seek out a union with either High Elves or Blood Elves, not just for Elven fellowship but for survival.
- The Shen'dralar have sent representatives to the Krin Tor making it likely they would have come into contact with both the High Elf Silver Covenant and the Blood Elf Sunreavers and might seek to forge some sort of political union with their descendants.
- The High Elf article states how they are searching for a new homeland in Kalimdor and have been looking in Northern Kalimdor due to the Moonwell’s to supply them with energy because of their magic addiction. Now that the Sunwell has been restored and they receive its power it is assumed they are no longer constrained by such considerations. The Shen'dralar city of Eldre’Thalas, or Dire Maul, could be an ideal location to build a new homeland and learn from their ancestors.
- For the High Elves it could be trumpeted as a return to their ancestral Highborne heritage and an end to their reliance on the younger races of the Alliance which the High Elves detest.
- The vast majority of High Elves are members of the Alliance of which the Night Elves are also apart of so the Highborne would still be in some form of union with the Night Elves if they came to some sort of union with the High Elves.
- Although there is one matter which might cause both Night Elves and High Elves to reject the Shen'dralar, but not so for the Blood Elves. The Shen'dralar’s power and immortality has been derived from the captured demon Immol’thar, using similar methods the Blood Elves used to feed their own magic addiction.
- The Blood Elves use of magic has often been described as careless being compared to the "Highborne of old" of which the Shen'dralar are apart of. Given this and feeding off a demon it seems the Shen'dralar and the Blood Elves might have a great deal ideologically in common which might make for a better political union. Given the Shen'dralar have ancient arcane secrets to teach this could increase the power of the Blood Elves substantially as well as providing Dire Maul as a base of operations in Kalimdor.
- Although something to consider is that many of the Shen'dralar were not aware of the means Prince Tortheldrin used to feed their addiction and give them immortality as indictated by the passage regarding his sacrifice of fellow Highborne to keep the demon bound "Unsurprisingly, Prince Tortheldrin guards jealously the secret of this arrangement". It can be assumed in the storyline that both Prince Tortheldrin and Immol’thar are dead, as there are quests to slay both. Indeed this might have given rise to the re-emergence of the Highborne in the wider world.
- We have yet to see but the Shen'dralar could rip Night Elf society apart, give the High Elves a new homeland or make the Blood Elves more dangerous.
As a faction
This section concerns content exclusive to World of Warcraft.
Characters automatically become neutral with the Shen'dralar upon first meeting them. From there, it is possible to gain reputation with the Shen'dralar by turning in librams and class books, such as the for warriors and for rogues. Each libram and class book turned in nets +500 reputation points. Further, turning in librams rewards characters with an augment for their head piece. While librams may be turned in repeatedly, class books may only be turned in once.
- Insane in the Membrane
In patch 3.1.0, a new Feat of Strength has been added, which when exalted with the four Steamwheedle Cartel cities, honored with Bloodsail Buccaneers, and exalted with Ravenholdt, Darkmoon Faire, and Shen'dralar will give the player the title "<name> the Insane"
Fannin of Crushridge has taken the time to write an extensive guide on how to do this achievement: Insane in the Membrane FoS Guide - By Fannin of Crushridge-US
There is a section dedicated to reaching exalted with Shen'dralar. It is recommended that you read this guide (in addition to this page) if you are serious about attempting to get "the Insane" title.
Note: As of Patch 4.0.3 (15-Nov-2010): This faction is no longer required for Insane in the Membrane, because the faction was removed.
Instead, those that have earned exalted status will receive a separate Feat of Strength for the Shen'dralar.
- Class Books
- - Warrior
- - Shaman
- - Rogue
- - Warlock
- - Priest
- - Mage
- - Druid
- - Hunter
- - Paladin
- - Warrior & Paladin (no longer obtainable with Patch 3.2.2)
Patch 1.3.0 (07-Mar-2005): Added.