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#13932642 Dec 31, 2018 at 04:16 PM · Edited 3 years ago
836 Posts


This headcanon post was developed by Mythanil and Feyawen of the <Silver Circle> as a means of explaining how the Night Warrior appearance can be reasonably obtained by night elf players in-game. Should any information be released by Blizzard Entertainment that contradicts the information below, it will be edited to reflect their statements.

Elune is the goddess of peace. Her divinity and domains of magic are strongly associated with healing, tolerance, and nurturing life. But she is not a pacifist and will not advocate peace at all costs. One of her aspects is the Night Warrior, the goddess of war. The Mother Moon (peace) and Night Warrior (war) aspects imply to an even greater degree the importance of Balance in life, death; love, hate; peace, war; and the relevance of those cyclical themes in the Elunarian faith and in World of Warcraft stories.

In Tides of Vengeance (Patch 8.1) we learn a little more about the Night Warrior and rituals associated with this aspect of Elune. The Night Warrior aspect of Elune is the incarnation of Elune's wrath and is specifically associated with warfare and honoring the 'valiant dead'. Descriptions of the Night Warrior, or War Aspect of Elune, that we have in lore include the following:

"The Night Warrior takes the valiant among the dead and sets them riding across the sky as stars."
Necklace with Elune Pendant

"One of Elune's aspects since ancient times has been the Night Warrior, who is said to take the valiant dead from the battlefield [...]"
World of Warcraft Encyclopedia/Elune

"Elune guided Shalasyr's spirit from her remains and allowed her husband, Jarod Shadowsong, to relive all the tender moments of their marriage. Meant to be a private experience between lovers, Elune showed only Jarod and the spirit Shalasyr what she did, even excluding the High Priestess who officiated the funeral."
Wolfheart, pg 124

"It would seem that one could expect special power from washing their face in the fountain... Upon opening your eyes, you are able to see the spirits of ancient elves."
Quest: Nothing a Couple of Melons Won't Fix

One of Elune's rituals is literally called "Elune's Ritual of War", wherein her followers offer up the weapons of their enemies to the moonwell statue called Elune's Handmaiden.

"In ancient time, after battle, the enemies' weapons were to be cast upon the basin in exchange for a divine gift of some sort."
Quest: To the Hilt!

"According to ancient legend, this ancient brazier was placed here for the performing of sacrifices. From what little you remember of the stories, a blessing is bestowed upon the being who places the flesh of Elune's enemies on the brazier's burning embers."
Quest: Ten Pounds of Flesh

Upon Ysera's death, Elune reached down and cleansed Ysera's body and spirit as well as her relic the Tears of Elune. Ysera's spirit was seen lifted and dispersed in a dragon-shaped constellation.
Quest: The Fate of Val'sharah

"Legend says that long ago, Elune bestowed her fury upon our greatest warriors to secure Kalimdor. In a sacred ritual, the strongest among them became her avatar - the Night Warrior. Our victory was swift. None who have attempted the ritual since then have survived. Elune's raw power tears them apart."
Quest: In Darkest Night

"In contrast to the previous times that they had met, the novice priestess of Elune-the Mother Moon-wore an outfit more befitting the way of war than the peace of the temple...

To Malfurion, she looked more like the priestess of a war god and evidently Tyrande could read such in his expression. With a bit of defensiveness, she admonished him, "You may excel at your new calling, Malfurion, but you seem to have forgotten the elements of Mother Moon! Do you not recall her aspect as the Night Warrior, she who takes the courageous dead from the field and sets them riding across the evening sky as stars for their reward?"
The Demon Soul, page 54

"The Sisters of Elune did likewise, their groups poised to aid in whatever way necessary, be it healing or war."
The Demon Soul, page 79

"Then, another welcome surprise-chanting came from the center of the advance. The Sisterhood of Elune, resplendent in their battle armor, strengthened the fighters further. Day might have held precedence at the moment, but the priestesses' rhythmic singing literally fed the nocturnal warriors. It was as if the moon herself suddenly hung over the host."
The Demon Soul, page 128

"Warriors astride night sabers charged into the battle from all sides, their beasts mauling some of the demons before the latter realized they were under assault. As the newcomers attacked, they sang. Malfurion gaped at them, only belatedly realizing that they were not the soldiers of Jarod Shadowsong. Their armor was more silver and-he looked twice-shaped for more feminine figures. The song he heard was in praise of the Night Warrior, the fearsome battle incarnation of the Mother Moon."
The Demon Soul, page 159

The lore implies that there is only ever one Night Warrior at any given time. The Night Warrior is the vessel of Elune's wrath on Azeroth, the mortal body that holds Elune's power and serves as Her Avatar. After the quest In Darkest Night Tyrande Whisperwind becomes the Night Warrior; which was foreshadowed in the Knaak novel "The Demon Soul" published November 2004.

Now that the full powers of the Night Warrior are contained within Tyrande Whisperwind, we can assume that any other kaldorei that receives the "Blessing of the Night Warrior" receives the boon to a lesser degree.

There are a few different ways to obtain the Blessing of the Night Warrior which last anywhere from 1 hour to 1 year. While the blessing is temporary, it can be renewed by the user at any time - Elune willing.

(1 Hour - A Few Days) Blessing: Divine Endowment
This endowment provides no physical changes to the user but fills them with Elune's divine energy, empowering their bodies for hasty thought and action. This endowment can be achieved by completing one of the following:
  • Making an offer of enemy flesh (or the ashes of enemy flesh) to Elune at any moonwell or a sacred fire.
  • Make an offer of enemy weapons at any moonwell or a sacred fire.
  • Rinsing the face in the waters of a Night Warrior-blessed moonwell at Bashal'Aran.
  • Chanting or singing to call down the powers of the Night Warrior when marching into battle, or when battling.

(1 Week - 1 Month) Blessing: Warrior's Boon
This boon physically changes the user's skin tone and eye color to the "Night Warrior" customization for a limited time at the user's discretion. This boon can be achieved by completing one of the following:
  • Make an offer of enemy flesh to Elune at a Night Warrior-blessed moonwell, then sip of the waters.
  • Make an offering of enemy weapons at a Night Warrior-blessed moonwell, then sip of the waters.
  • Make a personal offering to prove your willingness to serve as an agent of Elune's wrath, then receive a Priestess's blessing with waters from a Night Warrior-blessed moonwell in Bashal'Aran.

(1 Year) Ritual: Blessing of the Night Warrior
This ritual physically changes the user's skin tone and eye color to the "Night Warrior" customization for up to one year, with the ability to renew it with the above ritual during New Moon nights for a near-permanent effect. Unlike the previous blessings, this one requires the completion of an elaborate ritual at a Night Warrior-blessed Moonwell, with an offering of enemy flesh and two personal sacrifices: something earned and a loved one's gift.

What are acceptable flesh offerings?
Elune has many enemies. Demons and undead are the greatest affront to nature and are thus worthy sacrifices, but orcs, ogres, goblins, trolls and other enemies of the kaldorei or nature are also permissible. The enemy should be selected and slain by the one who means to complete the ritual. Whether or not they accept help from allies is their own choice, as proof of their tenacity and capability to channel Elune's wrath and execute justice.

What are acceptable sacrifices?
Two personal sacrifices are required for the elaborate Night Warrior ritual. First, something earned or achieved must be relinquished by the one who means to complete the ritual as proof of their devotion and resolve. To complete her own ritual, Tyrande relinquished Elun'tara, Bow of the High Priestess. Comparable examples include one's own emblem, weapon, or relic of station or status; more zealous individuals may scar their Rite of Passage markings.

Second, something that had been gifted by a loved one (family or friend) must be relinquished by the one who means to complete the ritual as a dark acknowledgement: to go to war with Elune's darkest face means they must leave behind hearth and home, knowing they may never return. To complete her own ritual, Tyrande abandoned her frostsaber companion of more than 10,000 years, Ash'alah, and she left behind the Lover's Leaf gifted to her by her adoptive daughter, Shandris Feathermoon. Similar examples of this might be relinquishing a token such as a meaningful piece of jewelry, trinket or charm; symbolic sacrifices may also be given such as abandoning a family name in exchange for a new one that honors the Night Warrior aspect of Elune.

Those who seek to earn the Warrior's Boon blessing need only offer one sacrifice.

Stages of the Ritual
Typically, a Priestess of Elune presides over the ritual to ensure it is safe and properly executed. The priestess opens the ritual with a chant to call upon Elune's Night Warrior aspect. Then, the offerings are freely given by the one who means to complete the ritual. The ritual then concludes by cleansing the face with, or drinking from, the Night Warrior-blessed moonwell waters.

Are there potential drawbacks?
The Night Warrior Ascension ritual, as successfully completed by Tyrande Whisperwind, is the only ritual with a known side effect: death. This occurs when the vessel or body in question cannot sustain the raw power of Elune.

Less extreme side effects can occur at the player's discretion. Below is a list of potential side effects that specifically come from rituals to obtain the Night Warrior cosmetic appearance:
  • Headaches from sustaining the power of Elune for too long.
  • Hue distortion. Odd bluish birthmarks that appear on those who have been changed by the ritual before.
  • Sudden fatigue after losing one of the blessings or boons.
  • Eye sensitivity to any kind of light, even dim light.
  • Intermittent fits of anger or frustration.
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