Know Your Lore: Fate of the shattered sin’dorei
The situation in Silvermoon is… interesting, to say the least. The sin’dorei have been stuck in a nebulous state of trying to rebuild ever since the Third War. A gigantic chunk of the elven population was summarily wiped out by the Scourge advance through Quel’thalas. Kael’thas brought the tattered remnants of his people together, dubbing them Blood Elves, and then left to seek a new future for his beleaguered kin.
In his place, he left behind one Regent-Lord Lor’themar Theron to rule in his stead. Lor’themar’s position was meant to be temporary. One day, the Prince would return, and Lor’themar could in theory resume his old life. But that day never came to pass – and Lor’themar was left with the bedraggled remnants of a once-proud civilization in his careful protection, looking to him for guidance.
This all makes the exclusion of the Void Elves from the Horde particularly puzzling. But not quite as puzzling as the trust that seems to have been placed in Grand Magister Rommath.
It’s odd that anyone would fully trust Rommath, given his history. He was once affiliated with the Kirin Tor, and was one of the troops who were imprisoned beneath Dalaran during the Third War by Garithos. The imprisonment only served to sever any kindness Rommath felt for the Kirin Tor: they looked the other way when Garithos ordered the elves arrested and sentenced for execution. He escaped with Kael’thas and traveled to Outland with their new allies.
Rommath was dedicated to Kael’thas, and rapidly learned the new method Illidan taught in order to sate the addiction to magic that plagued them all. He returned to Silvermoon, and taught the sin’dorei how to siphon magic from arcane and demonic entities alike. He fostered the idea of siphoning the Light from M’uru, heedless of how the naaru reacted or suffered. He did all this while touting the virtues of Prince Kael’thas and the glorious promised land he’d found. When Kael’thas returned only to betray his people, it nearly shattered Rommath.
But Rommath persevered both in his work, and in his irritation with how the sin’dorei were faring. He was upset with Lor’themar for providing troops for Northrend, upset with Aethas Sunreaver’s affiliation with the Kirin Tor. He was angry at Garrosh for sending the mogu artifact to Silvermoon, angry and unsurprised that Jaina purged the Sunreavers from Dalaran. The only real moment of approval from Rommath came when Lor’themar declared, after the events in Dalaran, that the sin’dorei would take their future into their own hands.
He didn’t say Lor’themar was a good leader. He said Lor’themar would make a fine Warchief.
All of this makes one wonder what exactly Rommath is up to. His motivations are all over the place. He dismisses the Alliance outright and yet he seems to prize the restored Sunwell. The Sunwell that never would have been restored were it not for Velen’s actions following Kil’jaeden’s defeat. He’s just as critical of the Horde, when push comes to shove, and he displayed a distrust of Sylvanas even before she became Warchief. How does he feel about her now? What’s his agenda?
And then we have Lor’themar Theron – proud leader of the sin’dorei. He didn’t necessarily want the position, but he stepped into it and does the best he can to lead his people and keep Quel’Thalas safe. At one point, Lor’themar was questioning the Horde enough to seek out the Alliance instead. Jaina’s actions caused him to dismiss that idea. Anduin had nothing to do with it. And yet he’s outright dismissive and insulting towards Alleria, even though her overtures were made with nothing but the best interests of Quel’Thalas in mind.
The part that sticks with me, and continues to baffle me, is the general attitude of both Lor’themar and Lady Liadrin. Liadrin was there when Velen restored the Sunwell. She knew what he and his people had done – what M’uru willingly sacrificed. She and her troops were first in line to help the Draenei of Draenor when Auchindoun came under Legion attack. But Velen and the Draenei are as much a part of the Alliance as any of its other allies. Liadrin knows this. Lor’themar knows this.
What, exactly, have the Alliance done to cause such derision, outside of Jaina’s actions? It’s made eminently clear in Legion that Jaina’s views aren’t shared by everyone. The Horde is allowed back into Dalaran, despite her protests.
One has to wonder… what happened? There’s a fracture within the sin’dorei, one that the battered race can scarce afford. In Mists, Lor’themar solemnly decided the sin’dorei needed to take matters into their own hands. Where did that Lor’themar go? Why is he so willing to listen to Rommath, of all people? Why was he so rude to Alleria and so willing to dismiss her, despite the general lack of knowledge surrounding the Void?
Because that’s what this all boils down to, as far as the Void Elves are concerned. They’re dealing with powers we don’t fully understand. Is it scary? Yes. Is it potentially bad? Yes. But the Void isn’t a new concept – Shadow Priests have been dealing with the Void for years. Void Elves are essentially specialists in this field. Why wouldn’t the sin’dorei want to know more?
Both Blood Elves and High Elves are incredibly few in number. Lor’themar knows this. He also knows – or he’s learned along the way – that as much as the sin’dorei may appear to have allies, they are very much alone. Why, then, wouldn’t he take the opportunity to learn all he can about whatever new powers might help them? In the face of all the splintering his people have suffered over the last ten years or so, why would he take an action that only serves to splinter them further?
In this case, the Alliance may be dabbling in powers they don’t quite understand. But it’s in the interests of understanding, of learning, of utilizing a powerful tool that could be used as an advantage, if wielded correctly. The Void isn’t something to be feared – it’s something we don’t yet understand. Instead of embracing the idea of trying to learn more, the Horde chose instead to turn it away outright.
The devil’s bargain
And the sin’dorei lost another smattering of their population in the process. Not by death or betrayal, but by sheer banishment. In the short story In The Shadow of the Sun, Lor’themar reflects on decisions he’s had to make as Regent-Lord. One of these was the move to exile several of his former comrades to the Plaguelands, where they established Quel’Lithien Lodge. Lor’themar still regrets that decision – and is horrified to learn that the Lodge came under attack by Horde agents, acting under orders of Sylvanas’ champion, Nathanos Blightcaller.
“You send us here to be ignored, inconvenient as we are, and then dare to be shocked when we suffer? There are no curses foul enough to describe you, Lor’themar. I know whose troops sit in Tranquillien, Regent Lord. I wonder how many of your own, sin’dorei rangers, they have killed beneath your very nose. Deal with the devil as you please. I can only hope that you get what you deserve.”
Lor’themar was unaware of these attacks. The words of his former allies appeared to affect him deeply – but was it really deeply enough? He may be unwilling to dabble with the Void, but he’s certainly made his deal with the devil – his Warchief. Where her guidance will lead the Horde is currently unknown, although battle lines have already begun to be drawn in the sand.
And where Lor’themar will lead the sin’dorei is just as uncertain – the fate of a fractured people lies in his hands. We’ll have to wait and see what fate has in store for the sin’dorei and their erstwhile kin.
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