- This article is about lore appearances and history of Dalaran. For the area in the Alterac Mountains, see Dalaran Crater. For the Northrend city, see Dalaran.
Dalaran was one of the original city-states founded during the Arathorian empire. Since its inception, the city has served as a hub of magical knowledge and experimentation in Lordaeron and the world. A multi-racial wizards’ council called the Kirin Tor ruled the city for centuries, overseeing Dalaran from the Violet Citadel — a great, slender spire in the city’s heart that housed the most extensive libraries and greatest laboratories in the world. The traitor Prince Arthas laid siege to Dalaran in the Third War. He murdered its citizens, including the great archmage Antonidas, and broke into the city’s heart. His ally, the lich Kel’Thuzad, then summoned Archimonde, the Burning Legion’s leader. Archimonde wielded foul magic to topple the city’s towers and sunder its walls. Shortly after Dalaran’s fall, the undead abandoned the city to the wind and mist. Months later, a resistance force led by the surviving Dalaran wizards arrived and laid claim to the ruins. Pooling their magical power, the wizards covered Dalaran in an opaque magical sphere. It is unknown what occurs beneath the dome and the wizards warn others not to get too close.
Founding and early history
The second city of the Nation of Arathor, Dalaran was founded in the lands northwest of Strom. Many fledgling wizards and magi who left the restraining confines of Strom behind traveled to Dalaran, where they hoped to use their new powers with greater freedom. These new settlers used their knowledge to form the enchanted spires of the Violet Citadel on Cross Island just ouside the city of Dalaran, and reveled in the pursuit of their studies. The citizens of Dalaran built up a bustling economy under the protection of their magic-using defenders.
Yet, as their numbers and influence grew, more and more magi practiced their arts, the fabric of reality around Dalaran began to weaken and tear, allowing demons of the Burning Legion into the world. These invaders caused havoc in the streets and countryside of Dalaran, despite the efforts of the Magocrats, the ruling archmagi, to deal with the problem. Fearing revolt and military action from Strom, the rulers of Dalaran turned to the high elves. The elves were able to determine that the daemons which had been summoned could be dealt with, but a more permanent solution was needed. The Magocrats entered into a deal with the Convocation of Silvermoon, and the Order of Tirisfal was founded.
Under the vigilant watch of the Order, Dalaran became the chief center of learning for magicians throughout the land. The Magocrats founded the Kirin Tor, a specialized sect and ruling council that was charged with cataloging and researching every spell, artifact, and magic item known at the time.
Dalaran during the wars
During the Second War, Dalaran pledged to support the Alliance of Lordaeron and gave large amounts of aid, mages, and sorcerers to the war effort. It was home to the four towers, sanctum to the lands' greatest sorcerers. The city was ravaged by the Horde, but was able to be rebuilt to its former glory. It was later attacked again for the Eye of Dalaran.
Prior to the Third War, the Violet Citadel was within the city. Dalaran was the home of an incredibly large library of books and tomes, in addition to many of the greatest sorcerers of the day including Archmage Antonidas, Khadgar, Jaina Proudmoore, Arugal and Kel'Thuzad. It was also the site of the vault where the staff of Medivh, Atiesh, was kept after the master mage's death. However after the Scourge was unleashed upon the land, one of their primary targets was Dalaran. The city was defended by Dalaran Guard Towers and archmagi, but was ultimately destroyed following the summoning of Archimonde to Azeroth. The great demon single-handedly laid waste to the city by creating a magical effigy out of the dust, which he then crushed; the mighty towers of Dalaran fell simultaneously. Soon after the defeat of the Burning Legion, however, Alliance forces under the command of Grand Marshal Garithos regained the ruins of the city; some refugees from Lordaeron eventually made their way there as well.
The surviving magi of the Kirin Tor later returned with the intent of rebuilding, and erected a large, magical time-and-space distortion field around the city to ward off a new attack while they slowly regained their strength. The shield is opaque and completely impenetrable by any known means. Now the lands around the ruins of Dalaran are the site of a guerrilla war between the Alliance and the Forsaken.
Dalaran was one of the original human cities in the Arathorian Empire. Long the center of magical learning, a conclave of mages called the Kirin Tor oversaw its mystic happenings from the Violet Citadel. Undead forces overran the city in the Third War; and Archimonde, then the Burning Legion’s commander, destroyed the city with his foul magic. The Scourge abandoned the ruins, but a group of mages reclaimed it months later. Now, an opaque violet dome of magical energy covers and protects Dalaran. No means, either magic or mundane, can determine the goings-on inside the dome. Archmages patrol its perimeter, but the dome is powerful enough to destroy creatures that venture too close. The mages are certainly working on something — but none can discover what it is.
Today, the Magocracy of Dalaran continues to rule its nation, the city. Despite the destruction of its capital, Dalaran has remained an important member of the Alliance. Dalaran currently has about 3000 citizens, only 120 of them are members of the Kirin Tor. The Kirin Tor continues to rule over the remains of their city, which is being rebuilt. They also have forces stationed in Ambermill, Nethergarde Keep, the Lordamere Internment Camp, and parts of Silverpine Forest. Dalaran also has a strong presence in Outland. Dalaran's army is largely responsible for the survival of Alliance power in Silverpine; without the aid of the mages, the town of Pyrewood Village would have fallen to the Scourge long ago. All travelers in southern Silverpine will note the massive presence of Dalaran's troops. The city is the northern-most state with a sizeable force after the invasion of the Scourge.
People and Culture
The exact number of people living within Dalaran’s protective dome is unknown, but believed to be around 3,000 or so. Mostly wizards and their conjured or created guardians inhabit Dalaran, and the city possesses few real citizens. A couple hundred troops probably dwell within and can be mustered when the call to arms is sounded. Wizards are often seen outside the dome. In particular, Archmage Ansirem Runeweaver constantly moves about the dome’s periphery. The archmage seems to be in charge of Dalaran and leads a conclave of fellow wizards in their vigil of the dome. The mages hold no love for the Scourge. They would see it destroyed.
Relations with other kingdoms
Dalaran has been an independent nation since some point after the Third War. Dalaran considers all Alliance nations to be their allies. They are officially at war with the Scourge, although they have driven the Scourge far enough away from their borders for this to not be a real war any longer. Dalaran is also opposed to the Syndicate. They openly support war with the Qiraji of Silithus.
The Violet Citadel does not support the Scarlet Crusade openly, but accept their movements and operations as long as they continue to cause disorder among the undead. Until recently, they were in open war with the Forsaken and did not have dealings with the Horde, having been invaded during the Second War by them. Also, now it would seem that Dalaran's situation with the blue dragonflight has deteriorated into a war between the two factions.
The original location of Dalaran is, as of Patch 3.0.2, a crater on the southern shores of Lordamere Lake, north of the Hillsbrad Foothills. The city itself currently hovers over Crystalsong Forest in Northrend.
Pre-patch 3.0.2, Dalaran was a ruined city. A magical dome surrounded the ruins, long the headquarters of magical study in the world of Azeroth. The dome was impenetrable, violet and opaque — nothing could be seen beyond it. Located on Lordamere Lake’s southern shore, the original location is a low-pressure region. The environment creates mists and clouds. The air is cool and damp. A rise to the city’s east marks where the demon lord Archimonde used his magic to shatter the city's spires. There were a few wrecked houses, with empty streets. Not much there.
It is suspected that the reason why Dalaran was not a fully functional Alliance city was due to the fact that it was far too close to the Undercity and thus would have tilted the balance of power far in favor of the Alliance in the Lordaeron region.
Regarding the Burning Legion
The Burning Legion as a whole was not attracted to Azeroth through Dalaran's use of arcane magic. The Second Invasion was sparked by a carefully-executed plan hatched by Kil'jaeden out of Archimonde's lust for revenge on the planet caused during the War of the Ancients. The Highborne use of magic ten thousand years ago was markedly different from that of the Kirin Tor, Azshara and her servants attracted the Legion through use of insanely powerful magic fueled by the Well of Eternity.