|Title||The Dark Lady, The Banshee Queen, Mistress Sylvanas.|
|Race(s)||Unique undead (Forsaken Undead elf) (formerly Banshee, High elf)|
|Character class||Dark Ranger (WC3); Fighter, Sorceress, Elven Ranger (WCRPG); Warrior, Mage, Elven Ranger (WoWRPG)|
|Affiliation||Forsaken, Horde, Quel'Thalas, (formerly Scourge, Alliance)|
|Position||Leader of the Forsaken, Ruler of the Tirisfal, Horde leader in the Eastern Kingdoms, former Ranger-General of Silvermoon|
|Location||Royal Quarter, Undercity|
|Relative(s)||Alleria, Vereesa, Lirath (siblings), Rhonin (brother-in-law), Zendarin (cousin), Arator, Giramar and Galdarin (nephews), Arthas Menethil (creator when Undead)|
|Student(s)||Nathanos Blightcaller (champion)|
|Comp(s)||High Warlord Cromush, Agatha (in Silverpine Forest); Thrall, Vol'jin (During Battle for the Undercity); Varimathras (formerly); Kel'Thuzad, Arthas Menethil (Before she was free); Lor'themar Theron|
|Alignment|| Chaotic Neutral
(Formerly Lawful Good)
Once the Ranger-General of Silvermoon, Sylvanas Windrunner was murdered by the death knight, Arthas, and brought back as a creature of undeath. After regaining her free will, she rebelled against the Lich King and the Scourge and became the founder of the Forsaken faction of undead, who are allied with the Horde. She has styled herself the Dark Lady, Queen of the Forsaken, an expansion of her original title, "the Banshee Queen".
As leader of the Forsaken and the Horde on the Eastern Kingdoms, Sylvanas is a military genius. The middle sister of Alleria and Vereesa Windrunner, she was Ranger-General of the high elf kingdom of Quel'Thalas. She fought valiantly against Arthas when he invaded Quel'Thalas, but during the fall of Silvermoon, Arthas raised her as an undead minion as a form of petty revenge. When the Lich King's hold on his minions weakened, Sylvanas, among other undead, regained her free will, and she led her forces against the dreadlords who had taken hold over Lordaeron, ultimately affirming her sovereignty by killing off two of the nathrezim and bending the third, Varimathras, to her will. She renamed her force of self-aware undead the Forsaken and declared herself their queen.
Under her leadership, the Forsaken have managed to not only fend off the Scourge, but also the Scarlet Crusade. She has a certain mastery of leadership, military strategy, and the bow. She is also adept at demon magic— having the ability to drain life, create skeletons, and use mind control. Sylvanas is the best archer on Azeroth— she claimed she could hit a flying bird in the eye. She wields Sunstrider's Longbow— once owned by Dath'Remar Sunstrider, it was passed on to Sylvanas when she became Ranger-General.
Sylvanas was a member of the prominent Windrunner family of the high elves. Her siblings were Alleria, Vereesa, and at least two other brothers (one named Lirath - as seen in the novel Beyond the Dark Portal- and the other name is not revealed). Her family lived at Windrunner Spire in the tranquil forests of Quel'Thalas. Sylvanas joined the rangers and eventually became their leader, rising to the rank of Ranger-General of Silvermoon, military leader of all high elven forces.
During the Second War, the high elves initially sent only token support to the Alliance, though Sylvanas' older sister, Alleria, took her squad of rangers as well. Soon after, the forests of Quel'Thalas mysteriously began to burn. Sylvanas and her rangers set out to discover the cause when she came across both her sisters being chased by a band of forest trolls, whom they dispatched quickly. Alleria alerted Sylvanas of the coming orcish Horde, and that it was they who were burning Quel'Thalas with dragon fire. Sylvanas and her rangers moved quickly to meet the Horde and trap them between themselves and the Alliance forces under the command of the paladin, Turalyon. The battle took many turns but ultimately the Horde abandoned Quel'Thalas. Sylvanas stayed behind to hunt down any remaining orcs. Shortly after, the Horde was defeated, the Dark Portal was destroyed, and the Second War had ended.
After the high elves withdrew from the Alliance, Sylvanas and her Rangers were the primary guard against any would-be attackers on Silvermoon. Despite the odd forest troll, murloc, or gnoll every now and then, Sylvanas saw little action, and a peaceful tranquillity had descended upon the forests. She remained, however, ever vigilant, knowing that this peace— however refreshing —was tenuous at best.
Her fears were soon realized when Arthas, the betrayer of Lordaeron, arrived unexpectedly on the doorstep of Quel'Thalas with a horde of undead at his back. He began to attack outlying villages and immediately, Sylvanas and her Ranger Corps moved against him. His superior numbers and tireless warriors always kept her in a state of retreat.
Arthas continued relentlessly towards the Elfgate, killing every elf who got in his way. Finally, despite Sylvanas' best efforts, he breached the Outer Elfgate. Sylvanas ordered the corps to immediately fall back to the Inner Gate, which was only passable with the use of the Key of the Three Moons, assembled from the Mooncrystals hidden within the forest. Sylvanas destroyed the bridge leading to the Inner Gate to stay his advances. Despite her valiant efforts, Arthas managed to recover the Key of the Three Moons and destroyed the Inner Elfgate. Nothing stood in his way to Silvermoon.
Sylvanas gathered her forces and went to warn Silvermoon, but Arthas blocked her passage at every turn, and murdered every runner she tried to get through. Sylvanas continued the resistance, but eventually, she was targeted directly. The two battled each other, and Sylvanas was struck a mortal blow.
The official story given by the high elves of Silvermoon had the Ranger-General having perished valiantly in battle against the undead Scourge in the defense of Quel'Thalas, and her body being burned to ashes in the fire that had devastated half the capital.
The true story was quite different. Sylvanas was not killed, but rather captured. Barely clinging to life, Sylvanas Windrunner was brought before Arthas in his dark temple . She protested, saying she deserved a clean death, but Arthas, having had to fight her every step of the way, responded by telling her after what she had put him through the last thing he would give her was the peace of death. She was tortured, mutilated, and finally killed for Arthas' pleasure [ ]. He desecrated her spirit, corrupting her body and soul, and brought her back as a whirlwind of torment and hatred. Thus, Sylvanas Windrunner became the first of the high elven banshees. Sylvanas, now an undead banshee, was a complete and total slave of the Lich King. In her undeath, she aided Arthas in his assault against her own beloved Silvermoon in order to secure the legendary Sunwell for the Scourge. Her mangled body was sealed in an iron coffin by Arthas, as a way to further torture the ranger.
Sylvanas became one of Arthas' primary generals, and she remained behind in Lordaeron with Kel'Thuzad under the watchful eye of the dreadlords, whom had been left stationed in Lordaeron to protect it in the name of the Legion. When Archimonde was defeated at the Battle of Mount Hyjal, Sylvanas would quickly learn of this news from Kel'Thuzad. As the months passed, the dreadlords were still ignorant of their masters' defeat. Varimathras, Detheroc and Balnazzar, the three prime dreadlords overseeing Lordaeron, were convening under Sylvanas' undead watchful eyes when Arthas stormed into the stronghold, fresh from his journey to Kalimdor. He informed them of the Legion's failure and his intentions to take control of the Scourge. The dreadlords fled, outraged but unwilling to risk their lives by battling the new King of Lordaeron.
Arthas approached his servants, and ordered that Lordaeron be purged of all life as a tribute to Ner'zhul. Kel'Thuzad, however, informed him that human refugees had begun to flee from the outer villages, and that, should they escape into the mountain passes, they would be impossible to track. Arthas stationed himself and his two generals on the three possible escape routes and they each led detachments of undead troops against the fleeing humans, while taking great pains to ensure that few, if any, made it past their blockade to safety. Despite the efforts of the paladin Dagren the Orcslayer and his companions, Sylvanas led her banshees into battle against the human refugees, aided in the destruction of all the remaining villages in her area, and slaughtered any human trying to escape. Finally, Sylvanas, Arthas, and Kel'Thuzad arrived at the central headquarters of the paladins and killed them all in a vicious battle, annihilating the last of the civilian presence in Lordaeron.
Around this point, the weakened Ner'zhul began to lose control of the minds of Sylvanas and a number of banshees. She kept this discovery from Arthas and Kel'Thuzad while continuing to serve. The dreadlords contacted Sylvanas and explained that they knew the cause, and arranged a secret meeting with her. They told her that Ner'zhul's— and by extension Arthas' —powers were beginning to diminish. The nathrezim intended to use this opportunity to seize control of Lordaeron. Sylvanas tentatively agreed to assist, but under the condition that her aid would be provided on her own terms.
The dreadlords planned on killing Arthas within the capital, but Sylvanas created a contingency plan in the case of Arthas' escape. She arranged for her banshees to feign allegiance and escort him to a place in the woods where she would be waiting for him. After Arthas survived the dreadlords' ambush and escaped the capital, Sylvanas' loyal sisters saw him to the arranged place, and then killed his bodyguards.
Sylvanas had, at this point, succeeded in using her abilities as a banshee to repossess the body that belonged to her in life. Sylvanas was now a corporeal undead creature. Hiding in the shadows, she struck him with an arrow she had crafted— a venomous sting that would paralyze him. Arthas was furious at her betrayal, and demanded that she finish him. But Sylvanas refused to show him the mercy of a quick death and intended to make him suffer— as he had made her suffer in undeath. She was about to begin her grisly work when Kel'Thuzad arrived and intervened, killing her banshees and chasing her off. In her physical body, she realized that the natural world would never respond to her wishes again. Angered by this development, she turned to the arts that were becoming more and more natural to her: necromancy. She then altered her elven ranger teachings into a new form. Thus the dark rangers were born.
Arthas left for Northrend, having been summoned by the Lich King, and Kel'Thuzad went into hiding. Sylvanas and her sisters were freed, but Sylvanas was still troubled. Though free from Ner'zhul, she and the other free-willed loyalists remained monstrous abominations in appearance.
Her thoughts were interrupted as Varimathras arrived on the scene. The dreadlord invited the banshee to join him and his brothers in their new order. But Sylvanas was not so quick to relinquish what freedom she had just gained. She told him that her assistance was enough, and demanded to be left alone. Varimathras ominously warned that those who were not part of this new land would be cast aside, and that she had best not vex the new rulers of the Plaguelands. Sylvanas was adamant. As Varimathras departed, Sylvanas knew that an attack was imminent. But with only her banshees and some lesser undead to serve her, Sylvanas was certain that she would soon fall. She needed to acquire an army.
Scouting the outer wilderness, Sylvanas found a plethora of creatures who would serve her well, and with her banshees at her disposal, they would have little choice in the matter. She sent out her banshees to possess Mug'thol, the leader of the local ogres, the Bandit Lord, Blackthorn, the gnoll ruler, Snarlmane, and the Murloc Puddle Lord. Those she did not possess were killed. With so many new allies, Varimathras was quick to fall before her. But after she defeated him, Varimathras begged for his life, saying that he could serve her well. He knew his brothers' tactics, and where their bases were located. Sylvanas knew trusting such an insidious creature was a risk, but felt that she could control him enough for her purposes. With Varimathras' assistance, they moved against Detheroc's forces.
Detheroc had acquired a human puppet, Garithos, and his men, and was using them to protect himself. Sylvanas had his scouts possessed, and then infiltrated his base while their guard was down. As they slept, Sylvanas swept through the twin bases and slaughtered any before her. Though they eventually awoke and raised the alarm, it was too late. Sylvanas disabled the humans and ravaged Detheroc's forces, eventually coming to the dreadlord himself, and killing him swiftly. With the dreadlord dead, Garithos was freed from his mental control. Sylvanas saw him as arrogant and foolish, but felt that she could use him. She lied and promised to relinquish control of the Capital to him if he helped her kill Balnazzar.
Garithos attacked from the rear entrance to the city as Sylvanas and Varimathras came from the front. As they moved into the city, Sylvanas found caches of items left by the Lordaeron royals, and used them to further the assault. Despite the dreadlord's demonic allies, his forces were destroyed, and, as a final test of loyalty, Sylvanas demanded that Varimathras kill Balnazzar. Varimathras froze, saying that it was forbidden for one Nathrezim to kill another. But she required Varimathras to prove his loyalty to her. Varimathras obeyed, and struck down Balnazzar. However, whether by accident or design, Balnazzar survived, later re-emerging as a leader of the Scarlet Crusade. Varimathras was not so reluctant when Sylvanas ordered him to do the same to Garithos.
With all their enemies dead, Sylvanas made a proclamation to Varimathras. They would rule the Plaguelands as the Forsaken, and would stake out their own destiny, where none would get in their way.
Interestingly, reports say Sylvanas moves to and from Northrend; it's unknown if she is scouting for a possible attack on the Lich King, or if she has darker plans. There are rumors that Lady Sylvanas Windrunner is setting up a Forsaken city up there somewhere. In any case, she remains an enigmatic figure— her motivations unknown even to her most trusted advisers.
Sylvanas, the Banshee Queen, and leader of the Forsaken traveled to Quel'Thalas for her own reasons, but soon encountered the traitor Dar'Khan, confronting him in the ruins of Silvermoon. She aided Kalecgos in attempting to stop the traitor from claiming the Sunwell's energies; though she was initially unsuccessful, she distracted Dar'Khan long enough for Anveena to regain her power and vaporize him. Sylvanas agreed to keep Anveena's identity a secret in the interests of preventing Arthas from gaining the Sunwell's power.
Now, she rules over the Forsaken from Undercity. Her goal is to one day take vengeance upon Arthas, and find lasting freedom for her cursed people. She sends promising warriors to train under her champion, Nathanos Blightcaller.
Lady Sylvanas Windrunner' is a level ?? faction leader located in the Royal Quarter in Undercity. She is also the only racial leader who is not (technically) the same race as most of her people (she being a high elf in life, and most forsaken being known to be undead humans).
She starts the following quests:
And finishes the following quests:
Sylvanas also appears in the Hallow's End celebration, talking about the Forsaken's freedom. There she still uses her first high elf model (Which never left the Beta verson of Wrath of the Lich King,) and her old statistic.
In death, Sylvanas still considers herself one of the foremost protectors of Quel'Thalas, and repeatedly offers assistance in the form of supplies and troops to the blood elves. This may be due in some part to the fact that the Dark Lady still grieves over her failure to protect Quel'Thalas from the Scourge invasion during the Third War, when she fell in battle. Though the blood elves initially declined most of Sylvanas' offers, fearing a trick, the beleaguered elves eventually allowed Sylvanas to station Forsaken soldiers in their lands, most prominently in the village of Tranquillien. Sylvanas played a large part in convincing Thrall to accept the blood elves into the Horde.
Sylvanas Windrunner's appearance has been updated for patch 3.0.2. Her model before patch 3.0.2 was a female night elf. Her model is now almost unique; Alexstrasza's humanoid model is very similar.
One of the new Forsaken camps in Northrend is New Agamand. It is here that the plague the Royal Apothecary Society has been developing to combat the Scourge will be tested, as indicated from this section of the Howling Fjord background on the official site:
On the eastern shore, the Forsaken have arrived, carrying a plague of their own to unleash upon the Lich King. Queen Sylvanas has been methodically and patiently overseeing the formulation of this contagion for several years, and the time has come at last to test its effectiveness against the Scourge.
As the combined Horde and Alliance forces began their assault upon Angrathar the Wrathgate, an uprising broke out within the Undercity. Varimathras and hordes of his demonic brethren overran the city, slaying all those who would not submit to their dark rule. Sylvanas claims she nearly died in the coup, but managed to escape with a number of loyalists and fled to Orgrimmar. Determined not to allow the dreadlords a foothold in Horde territory, Thrall and Sylvanas planned an immediate counter-attack. In the midst of their planning however, Jaina Proudmoore arrived with terrible news: in the wake of Bolvar Fordragon's death, Varian Wrynn had ordered an assault on the Undercity to bring Putress to justice and liberate Lordaeron for the Alliance.
Sylvanas returned to the Undercity at the head of a Horde army, determined to retake her city. Along with Thrall and Vol'jin, she led the assault into Undercity itself, a cry for her people upon her lips. In the Throne Room, Sylvanas fought and finally slew Varimathras, retaking her throne. However, how much power remains in her hands is currently unknown, and Thrall has sent Kor'kron elites to the Undercity to watch the Forsaken.
Sylvanas leads Horde forces to the Frozen Halls inside Icecrown Citadel, to confront the Lich King and gain her vengeance against Arthas for destroying Quel'Thalas and damning her to undeath. Upon reaching his private chambers in the Halls of Reflection and standing so close to Frostmourne, Sylvanas felt the pain of her death to this blade renewed. Nonetheless, she attempted to commune with the spirits within the sword, hoping that "salvation lies within". At that point, the spirit of Uther the Lightbringer appeared, warning her that the Lich King was on his way, and of the foolishness of attempting to defeat him there. He reveals that even if Arthas were to be destroyed, there must be someone to take his place as master of the Scourge, lest they wash across the world like locusts, consuming everything in their path. To defeat the Lich King, Uther said, he must be destroyed at the place he was created: The Frozen Throne.
Just then, the Lich King arrives and reclaims his blade, consuming the soul of Uther within it. He summons Falric and Marwyn, his two top lieutenants, to kill the intruders. While her escorts (the players) battle the pair and the ghosts they summon, Sylvanas and Dark Ranger Loralen give chase as the Lich King flees to his inner sanctum. Upon defeating the death knights and their ghostly allies, the party finds Loralen dead in the hallway and the sounds of battle coming from the chamber before them - Sylvanas and the Lich King in single combat. Realizing he was too powerful to confront there, as Uther had warned, Sylvanas and her escorts flee, breaking through the ice walls and packs of undead minions the Lich King summons to slow their progress. As they reach the outside, they realize that it is a dead end, and resolve themselves to dying in battle against the Dark Lord. Just then, the gunship Orgrim's Hammer arrives on scene to rescue them. As they flee the Halls of Reflection, Sylvanas realizes that the Lich King's powers have increased tenfold, and that to defeat him, a mighty army was needed, one greater than even the Horde could muster.
With the death of the Lich King, an adventurer bearingfinds a , containing various items, among them a vial of blood. The adventurer brings the vial to Sylvanas, waiting in Light's Hammer.
In an interview Chris Metzen revealed that Sylvanas was ordered to move south into Gilneas because the Horde wanted a port in northern Lordaeron. Metzen mentioned Sylvanas was "in the dog house" with the Horde after the Wrathgate events and has to move when the leadership of the Horde orders her to do so.
Sylvanas has been resorting to increasingly unscrupulous tactics ever since the Wrathgate. Despite orders from the new Warchief, Garrosh Hellscream, to cease production of the Forsaken Blight that was used by Putress, she continues to use it against her enemies, including in the invasion of Gilneas and against the town of Southshore in Hillsbrad. She has also conscripted the val'kyr, the ascended vrykul women who once served the Lich King, and uses them to raise dead enemies as Forsaken as a solution to the undead not being able to procreate.
As during the Invasion of Gilneas the tide was turning against Sylvanas, she used her dark powers to stun every one in the immediate area and aimed a poisoned arrow at Genn Greymane. His son Liam jumped in front of the bowshot, saving his father from certain doom. As Sylvanas fled the scene, Liam died with the knowledge that the city had been freed from Forsaken control.
While fighting the Gilneas Liberation Front in Silverpine Forest Sylvanas arranges for the resurrection of Lord Godfrey. After Godfrey captures Lorna Crowley and delivers her to Sylvanas, Sylvanas heads towards the shattered Greymane Wall and gives Darius Crowley a choice: the surrender of the Gilneas Liberation Front or Lorna becomes one of the Forsaken. Darius decides to surrender and Sylvanas allows him to leave with his daughter and his men. Shortly afterwards she is killed by Godfrey, who quickly flees to Shadowfang Keep. High Warlord Cromush orders the val'kyr Agatha, Arthura, and Daschla to fix her. After a moment of thought the three val'kyr sacrifice themselves and give Sylvanas life once more. This convinces Sylvanas beyond a shadow of a doubt that the val'kyr are the future of the forsaken.
Later during the Battle for Andorhal Sylvanas disguises herself as Lindsay Ravensun. After the Alliance is defeated, Sylvanas confronts Koltira about his truce with Thassarian, and scolds him for being weak. A portal to the Undercity is opened and Koltira is pulled through by a hooked chain, where Sylvanas will attempt to purge him of his compassion for Thassarian and make him more of a servant of the Horde - more specifically, a servant of Sylvanas and the Forsaken.
As of the Twilight Highlands, Sylvanas and Garrosh are "mending broken fences," as put by a Forsaken NPC questgiver sent by Sylvanas to help the Dragonmaw and Garrosh.
Some have wondered if something has changed within Sylvanas due to her extreme behavior in the recent battles against the Alliance. A forsaken apothecary even leaves the forsaken and joins the Argent Crusade at Plaguewood Tower. He says that "I used to admire her, but something's changed within her. She's not herself anymore". Whether something has happened to her is unknown, but many members of the Horde and Alliance have noticed her acting differently to what she once was.
In the second section of the Siege of Orgrimmar on Heroic raid difficulty (as the Horde) you see a small conversation between Sylvanas and Lor'themar. The summary of the conversation is Sylvanas makes a "joke" that she desires to raise the blood elves as Forsaken so they may fight again, to which Lor'themar responds by threatening the Banshee Queen to not touch his fallen warriors.
Also, after the cinematic following Garrosh's defeat in the SoO raid (as Horde), you can speak to the Banshee Queen who explains she has no loyalty for the new Troll Warchief, Vol'jin, but respects him for what he has accomplished and is eager to see what will come of his leadership.
Lastly, as Alliance, you may speak to Varian, who exclaims that halting Sylvanas's forces will be a large goal of Alliance efforts in retaking Gilneas.
She will have an important subplot in this novel.
Sylvanas is set to appear in the latest expansion, though what exactly her role will be will most likely depend on what happens in the novel, War Crimes.
Battling the Dark Lady can prove disastrous if certain steps are not taken by raid members. First is to enter the Undercity through the sewer entrance, an obvious and well used tactic since the start of World of Warcraft. Second, upon entering Sylvanas’ chamber raid members must hug the right wall as much as possible, the Undercity’s battle masters as well as the Wintergrasp battle mage will be pulled if the raid goes left, and battling them can waste valuable time (each having 500k health and up) and give the Horde time to mount a defense.
Upon engaging Sylvanas it is an absolute must to have a druid put Faerie Fire on her, this will prevent her from vanishing, while this may seem like a trivial thing; every time Sylvanas vanishes is precious seconds your raid is not DPSing her down. Her Black Arrow is also something to watch for, while the skeleton summoned has been raised to level 80 recently, it is still weak, but a large number of them can prove distracting. The raid should also keep on her altar as much as possible, while Sylvanas will not reset unless you attempt to pull her from her chamber, this will prevent raid members from pulling the aforementioned battle masters and give a clear view of oncoming Horde players.
Sylvanas is often considered to be the hardest city boss, but upon disabling her vanish ability she is standard tank and spank with little in terms of additional abilities.
Note: After Patch 3.2.0 Sylvanas has appeared to have gotten a new voice actor, her quotes all remain the same however. She is currently voiced by P.J Mattson, best known for her voice of Catwoman in the game "Mortal Kombat vs DC Universe".
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Sylvanas sings the Lament of the Highborne in the Burning Crusade.
Sylvanas, like most capital city leaders, has a 2-hour respawn timer after being killed by an Alliance raid.
|Royal Quarter||Hallow's End|
|Forge of Souls||Pit of Saron||Halls of|
| Preceded by:|
Ranger-general of Silvermoon
| Succeeded by:|
| Preceded by:|
Ruler of Lordaeron
| Succeeded by:|
| Preceded by:|
Ruler of Lordaeron
| Succeeded by:|
Incumbent, Calia Menethil ("true hier")