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#14178579 Jul 21, 2019 at 02:21 PM · Edited 3 years ago
Silversworn
103 Posts
Inspired by lore from Chronicle Vol 1, in-game lore, and the Silver Flame headcanon. Art and screenshots are not my own.

Early Night Elf Empire: Between 15,000 and 12,000 Years Ago


15,000 years ago the Dark Trolls, who would later evolve into the first kaldorei, began worshiping the moon goddess, Elune, who they believed was bound to the Well of Eternity itself. The mystics of the nocturnal tribes claimed that Elune slept in the fount's depths during the day and rose to bless them at night.

The dark troll tribes gradually migrated to the Well of Eternity and settled by the shores of the lake. Over generations, the energies radiating from the lake suffused the trolls' flesh and bones, elevating their forms to match their graceful spirits. The independent and nomadic dark trolls were thereby transformed into highly intelligent being with vastly longer-lived lives that made them seem virtually immortal.

The former trolls began communing with the goddess and discovered titan-forged words from Elune such as the name "Kalimdor" from which they named the land. Influenced by this newfound language, the former trolls renamed themselves kaldorei - "children of the stars". For many centuries, the kaldorei built a graceful society throughout central Kalimdor. In time, the kaldorei mystics began calling themselves Oracles of Elune and formed the first priesthood that would become known as the Sisterhood of Elune.

The early kaldorei empire was scattered throughout the Kalimdor Landmass with their cities and settlements fractured by mountains, rivers, plains and forests. They were often preyed upon by neighboring troll empires, who were frequent aggressors against the peaceful kaldorei explorers. Of all the troll empires, none were more aggressive against the kaldorei than the Amani.

When the kaldorei settled in the mountains east of the Well of Eternity the Amani led regular raids against their settlements. During this time, the legendary kaldorei warrior Anasili Moonblade (the "Night Warrior"), who was said to be the Scion of Elune, rose up to oppose the oppressive Amani trolls and won the kaldorei land in the east.

It was during this time the early Sisterhood of Elune discovered that in order to spread the will of Elune throughout their scattered Empire, they would need to find ways to protect themselves during their travels.

Elun'nora, Warriors of Elune: Between 12,000 and 11,000 Years Ago

The Elun'nora or "Justice of Elune" (also known as the Elun'serrar "Blade of Elune", Warriors of Elune or Honor Guards of Elune) was an initiative brought forth by the first priestesses of Elune. The original purpose of the initiative was to train warriors in the faith to offer the members of the Sisterhood protection on their travels throughout the Night Elf Empire.

Elun’nora served as guardians in a subdivision of the Sisterhood and were formally trained in both martial warfare and Elunarian spellcraft, and unlike the priesthood the Elun'nora were comprised of both men and women. They learned to embellish their martial combat with divine magics granted to them by Elune, and through that they became formidable foes.

In ancient times the Elun’nora devoted themselves to the protection of the Sisterhood. Some Elun’nora were assigned to one or more priestesses, while others simply watched over a coven, temple or shrine that was tended to by the Sisterhood. They were not servants. They were shields of the faith, the ones ready to stand in the fire of Elune’s foes. And while most of their practices were rooted in physical and active protection, they also eased potential burdens on a priestess’ shoulder by becoming close confidants.

Becoming an Elun’dora once granted an individual some amount of respect in the eyes of the kaldorei. These honor guards were permitted many of the same privileges as sisters of the temple, provided their motivations were in alignment with the Sisterhood’s needs.

Reign of Queen Azshara: Between 11,000 and 10,000 Years Ago


In time, the kaldorei became obsessed with unlocking the Well of Eternity's secrets. They began rigorous studies of the fount's arcane energies and learned to become sorcerers. They harnessed the powers of the lake to construct wondrous cities and roadways. Magic became in inseparable part of life and pushing the boundaries of their intellect became the driving force of their culture.

It was during this era of unprecedented growth that the kaldorei's most prolific leader came to power. Her name was Queen Azshara.

Under Azshara's reign, the kaldorei empire blossomed into a sprawling civilization that radiated out to the far corners of Kalimdor. Finally, after millennia the cities and settlements of the Empire were united. However, while Azshara was the first to accomplish this great feat, it was also under her reign that the kaldorei caste struggles were born. During Azshara's reign the most powerful nobles of the empire became known as the Highborne. The highborne were gifted sorcerers, loyal handmaidens or guardians to the Queen, or ruled the empire as magistrates or trusted advisors to the royals.

All highborne occupied the upper echelons of the empire and believed themselves and their magic to be superior to the rest of their race and the archaic faiths. The practice of the arcane ruled the empire and in time the former capital that once honored the moon goddess was renamed to honor the Queen, changing from "Elun'dris" to "Zin-Azshari".

During this era of arcane and vanity, the city of Suramar became the center of night elf worship and home to the Sisterhood of Elune. Kaldorei throughout the empire flocked to Suramar to become priestesses or Elun'nora, no longer feeling welcome to practice their faith among the self-important highborne of Zin-Azshari. The respect the titles priestess or Elun'nora once afforded no longer seemed substantial when compared to Azshara's highborne or other practitioners of magic. In time, the Sisterhood and its honor guards became sparse.

Some Elun'nora left their posts, seeking new opportunities in the service of the highborne. Those who chose this path were no longer independent guardians of the Elunarian faith, they had chosen to become servants of the nobility. They began to pursue the arcane to better serve their masters and adapted new martial forms that would later become known as Spellblades and Battlemages. The highborne became fascinated by these ways of combat and spellcraft and began practicing it themselves, eventually forming the Eternal Champions.

The Sisterhood began setting particularly difficult trials to those who sought to become Elun'nora, with the intention of weeding out the undevoted. One such trial involved an independent pilgrimage with nothing but a plain robe to a shrine at the peak of one of the northernmost mountains of the Empire. There, the aspiring Elun'nora was to meditate without food or water until they cleansed themselves of their inner turmoil to lighten their souls and connect to Elune.

War of the Ancients & The Sundering: 10,000 Years Ago

Art by Jian Guo.

As the highborne toiled with the Well of Eternity, the kaldorei began getting in touch with druidism under the teachings of Cenarius, who hoped new druids like Malfurion Stormrage would help their people return to their harmonious roots. Yet, this change would not come. Unbeknownst to all save the highborne, Lord Xavius and Queen Azshara had begun communicating with Sargeras. The fallen titan promised to grant Azshara and her followers unfathomable power. Enthralled, Azshara and her highborne used the Well of Eternity to summon the Legion.

Demons stormed across the empire from the capital city, leaving death and destruction in their wake. War, the likes of which no mortal empire had ever witnessed, had come to Azeroth.

A kaldorei resistance formed to stand against the Legion's furious onslaught. The resistance consisted of several brave organizations including the Moon Guard, Sisterhood of Elune and the Elun'nora, the Rooksguard, Earthen, Tauren, Furbolgs and the Wild Gods and dragonflights.

The skill set of the Elun'nora made them perfectly adapted for battle on the front lines, which was were most served. Their skills in warfare and healing proved incredibly valuable and unfortunately it made them prime targets of the Legion.

By the end of the War of the Ancients and the Sundering, the Elun'nora were so few their division was dissolved and they became either priestess, sentinel or watcher in the ages to follow.

Modern Elun'nora: Paladins of Elune

The Paladins of Elune is a new initiative brought forth to the High Priestess at the suggestion of several Priestesses, including Priestess Delas Moonfang. They are warrior-priests or priestesses devoted to Elune. They are inspired by the old lore and old teachings of the ancient Elun'nora, as well as their new allies within the Alliance.
#14178584 Jul 21, 2019 at 02:42 PM
Silversworn
103 Posts
All are encouraged to reply with night elf paladin concepts they have. History, spells, rituals, culture are all welcome!
#14178878 Jul 22, 2019 at 07:17 AM · Edited 3 years ago
Wandering Si...
8 Posts
A great write-up, pretty much nails down my own idea of a theoretical caste of Kaldorei Paladins acting as guards to priestesses and holy sites. And as an aside, I love your headcanon term of Elun'nora, which as you've probably seen I've adapted into my own profile.

I have a couple of minor ideas to throw out there:

  • Armors: I like to think Kaldorei in service to the Sisterhood would've worn extravagant and ornately-designed armor and uniforms, parallel to the designs of the Priestess gowns such as the cloth robes found in-game from Ahn-Qiraj. Generally for ceremonial use during times of peace, these armors could have been silver or blue, and gold-trimmed. In more recent times, they might have adapted more of a purple color scheme, or adopt uniforms similar to that of the 7th Legion's colors or the Silver Hand. In general, they would maintain the usual imagery of the Kaldorei religion, with the crescent moon being common, or perhaps in other cases a new moon to symbolize the Night Warrior.

  • Weapons: I'd imagine their standard weapons to be greatswords and the usual glaives. Given the axe from the Argent Tournament Grounds, it's possible that crescent-bladed axes and halberds were also used. Their armaments would be regularly blessed by Priestesses, and similar to human paladins wielding heavy warhammers as though they were weightless, these weapons likewise would be light and easy to wield with elegance and finesse.

  • Accessories: I'd expect such warriors would commonly wear jewelry associated with the Sisterhood and Kaldorei religion, such as a lunar circlet or amulet. I like the idea of Kaldorei Paladins acting as bookkeepers for the Sisterhood, taking charge of and guarding remnants of Elunarian scripture. Some might carry tomes or runed scrolls into battle for spellcasting and calling down Elune's light on the battlefield. In addition, they might regularly be equipped with phials of moonwell water for cleansing rituals.

  • Present-day Organizations: This is an aside and more of a personal wish, but something that'd be nice to see would be collaboration between the Kaldorei and the Draenei on Kalimdor, wherein both races exchange information on their respective religions in an effort to better-understand one another, and to work together on holy missions throughout the continent. An equivalent to the Eastern Kingdoms being home to the Silver Hand of the Humans and Dwarves.
#14178883 Jul 22, 2019 at 07:31 AM
Keeper
836 Posts
#14178878 Laranel Ellin'ia wrote:

  • Present-day Organizations: This is an aside and more of a personal wish, but something that'd be nice to see would be collaboration between the Kaldorei and the Draenei on Kalimdor, wherein both races exchange information on their respective religions in an effort to better-understand one another, and to work together on holy missions throughout the continent. An equivalent to the Eastern Kingdoms being home to the Silver Hand of the Humans and Dwarves.

I love this concept, and I very much see this idea thriving in areas such as Forest Song, Ashenvale where the kaldorei and draenei have been actively working together to create a new settlement. Due to their proximity to the Warsong Lumber Camps, I imagine that Vindicators and Sentinels, as well as Paladins of Elune, would be ideal guards for such a settlement.

To further this idea, we know there is speculation in the canon of the WoW universe that suggests Elune created the Prime Naaru. This connection alone is, in my opinion, sufficient to merrit a unified clergy and order such as this.
#14178927 Jul 22, 2019 at 09:45 AM · Edited 3 years ago
Keeper
836 Posts
I thought I would add some transmog options for the modern night elf paladin concept, specifically for Classic characters (*edit: Soulforge pieces apparently are unuseable by night elves, BIG RIP, but look-alikes can be obtained and worn by night elves in retail; I'll leave these here still, for aesthetic purposes).


Other fun transmog sets for retail that are already out there are:

#14967303 Jun 17, 2022 at 06:11 PM · Edited 2 months ago
Warden
110 Posts
The Nightform


Art by Cherita of Mythanil Briarblade

Headcannon Lore
In the blossoming age of the Kaldorei Empire there existed the Elun’nora, warrior priests who emulated Anasili Moonblade, the first Night Warrior by wielding the dark moon’s wrath with blade and Elune’s grace with gentle hand. Whilst combating the Amani the Elun’nora and the priestess’ they protected grew strong bonds of kinship, it is said that this bond was so strong that it brought about the creation of a sacred ritual, the Nightform.

First appearing between three sisters of the Moon, the ritual allowed each of them to manifest an incarnation of Elune’s cycles, specifically the New Moon, Half Moon, and Full Moon, representing the Night Warrior, balance, And Elune's radiance respectively. This brief ritual bestowed each sister during the course it's short duration; immense strength, power & speed. Though it was a distant & pale shadow of the Aspect of the Night Warrior itself, the Nightform became one of the most revered and respected talents of those few Elun’nora capable of even the first phase of the ritual.

Indeed there were significant drawbacks to wielding even a fraction of a fraction of the goddess’ power; it could be undertaken by a single warrior, or three that shared a strong enough bond to both each other and Elune, the latter being the safer of the two methods.

However, following the rise of Queen Azshara and the events of the Sundering, the Elun’nora dissolved into the other branches of the Kaldorei that remained, though today their history and traditions have not remained entirely forgotten. In the hands of newer generations of Kaldorei a number still seek to emulate the legends of the Elun’serrar especially following The Ritual of the Night Warrior performed in darkshore that lent to the retaking of the Kaldorei’s homeland.


Risks of the Nightform
The Nightform is naught without peril, much is at risk for those who partake in the ritual, whether alone or with three as like the sisters of old, it carries dangerous consequences, and for those who are merely novices to attempt it surely they risk their own life.

Entering the Nightform is a committed risk, even for those that share its power their physical forms must contend with the abrasive and overwhelming power of a goddess’ gentle touch, the Nightform lasts only so long as its wielder can bear the suffering. Ending either in death, torn apart by the goddess’ power, or severely wounded, in the rarest of cases some are only brought to the brink of collapse.

Each cycle of Elune a participant attempts to embody is rife with its own unique punishments it bears on the body, thus intense and severe precautions were taken long ago to mitigate the risk of outright death or dismemberment. It is for each Elun’nora to judge whether the risk of the Nightform is truly worth these drawbacks, one thing is for certain, that such a ritual is never to be taken lightly.


Guideline
The New Moon
This celestial alignment represents the Night Warrior’s wrath, her shadow cloaks skin, armor and weapon alike in a blanket steeped in shadow, blessing the wielder with brief but incredible amounts of physical fortitude, strength and dexterity. Those spells associated with Elune’s shadow are strongest in this phase, however the aspects of healing and her divine light are weakest during this time.

The Half Moon
This celestial alignment represents equilibrium between both the shadow and light of elune, darkness tangles with light, an explosive chemistry that through sheer will is suspended giving the benefits of both the New Moon and the Full Moon but the mastery of neither. As opposed to the embrace of the New Moon whose role is offensive, the Half-Moon’s unity reinforces armor and even skin against harmful outside forces making it primarily useful for defense.

The Full Moon
The final celestial alignment of the Nightform swathes the wielder in silver light, shedding all darkness in place for the shadow of Elune’s Radiance, though this alignment carries forth the benefits of blessed strength, speed and protection it relies mostly on it’s impressive amplification of Elune's more radiant incantations.


OOC Notes on Usage
The purpose of the ‘Nightform’ is to flesh out the headcanon of the Elun’nora/Elun’serrar (Nelf Paladins) by giving them a tool in their toolkit similar & equal in power to the paladin ability ingame ‘Avenging Wrath.’ The Elun’nora version of this spell is not meant to be portrayed as being stronger than Avenging Wrath, just different and unique in its own way to reflect the intricacy of Elune.

The design choice in creating a drawback to this unique ability stemmed from much of the dialogue around Tyrande’s own questline in becoming the Night Warrior, how taking on the Goddess’ power often led to disastrous results. Even a distant shadow of the Night Warrior, the Nightform brings with it similar but not exaggerated risks regarding what we already know of similar lore.


If you’re interested in making a special perk close to this using our d20 system I recommend taking and re-flavoring the Warlock’s [Power Overwhelming] Ability OR following the risk mechanics below!

[Leaving the Nightform] DC 7 to retain consciousness.
[Crit Fail during ritual] Roll 20, the damage you take is what you roll.


Invocations
New Moon (Wrath) : Shallore’noras serrar!
To anoint/bless (By the night) heaven’s blade

Half Moon (Balance) : Tharore noras’shalla rae adala!
To see/understand heaven's shadow and light

Full Moon (Radiance) : Na Nal’noras Shanna!
To Know/feel Heavens truth/sacred truth
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