After Varian was split into two people by Onyxia's magic, the two ultimately found each other again and resolved to slay the black dragon. They were granted the elven blades Shalla'tor the Shadow Render and Ellemayne the Reaver by Jaina Proudmoore, who aided them in the assault on Onyxia's Lair.
When Onyxia inadvertently combined the two Varians back into one person, the two blades were merged into a single weapon as well.
It has a unique narrow edge at the point and a thicker, angled edge further down. The gem in the lower part of the blade glows like a sun. There is a backward arch at the bottom of the blade, and the hilt is long and slender.
Following the creation of Shalamayne, Varian was depicted using this sword in the comic book, in the Secrets of Ulduar trailer, in the BattleCry mosaic, and in the novel Stormrage. The sword is also mentioned in the book, The Shattering.
In World of Warcraft, Varian used two swords with the Shalamayne model until patch 3.3.3. He now wields only one.