Archmage Aethas Sunreaver
|Race||Blood elf (Humanoid)|
|Affiliation||The Sunreavers, Sunreaver Onslaught, Magisters (in collaboration), Quel'Thalas|
|Former affiliation(s)||Kirin Tor|
|Occupation||Archmage of Quel'Thalas; former member of the Council of Six|
|Location||Quel'Thalas, Isle of Thunder (lore); Dalaran (Wrath of the Lich King)|
Archmage Aethas Sunreaver is the leader of the Sunreavers, a group of sin'dorei magi who sought the readmittance of their people into the Kirin Tor. Aethas, despite his youthful age, quickly carved out a high rank in the Kirin Tor, eventually serving on its Council of Six. A heavy proponent of neutrality, Aethas worked to bridge the gaps between Silvermoon and Dalaran, though his eternal optimism and enthusiasm were tested when the Horde, now under Garrosh Hellscream, began attacking the Alliance after the Cataclysm.
When the Sunreavers were compromised by the warchief's use of its agents to serve his agenda, Aethas and his people were expelled from the Kirin Tor, though Aethas' refusal to abandon Dalaran led to their incarceration within the city instead. Grand Magister Rommath saved many of them from this fate, Aethas included, and Aethas pledged the service of both himself and the Sunreavers to Quel'Thalas once more.
Flight to Northrend
Archmage Aethas, a member of the enigmatic Council of Six of the Kirin Tor, was present during the magi's flight from Alterac. Along with his compatriots, Aethas assisted the magi of Dalaran in elevating their city into the skies of Northrend, where they planned to do battle with the dreaded Lich King and his minions. However, what they were met with was quite another beast: the crazed aspect of magic himself, Malygos. No sooner than the Kirin Tor had began to stabilize their place looming skyward had the Blue Dragonflight come upon them, eager to put an end to the mortals' reckless use of magic. Aethas spearheaded the defense of northern Dalaran along with Archmage Modera by creating a massive shield over the city, the great powers of the two archmages proving enough to supplement the lesser magi.
Archmage Rhonin established a line of telepathic communication with Aethas, to which Archmage Sunreaver urged the human to remain in control of the situation while he and Modera held off the attackers -- for regardless of whether the magi of the world hailed from the Horde or Alliance, the aspect of magic would not discriminate in robbing them all of their power.
As the battle for aerial supremacy raged on, Aethas and Modera held up a grand dome over the city, shielding it from even Malygos himself. Aethas, Rhonin and Modera planned to burn the blue dragons out, and then break their hold on the shield to obliterate them directly. However, treachery at the hands of Crevan -- a Kirin Tor mage who had sold his loyalty to Malygos -- led to the denizens of the Violet Hold being released, taking the city unawares from within. As the tide began to turn unfavourably, however, Aethas accompanied his fellow archmages to swiftly confront the duplicitous Crevan, and is present during the traitor's downfall. Aethas maintained that the shielding dome needed to be kept afloat for a while longer still, and sure enough it proves an adequate deterrent. The blue dragons flee the scene, though not before resolving to crush the Kirin Tor once and for all.
In the Shadow of the Sun
Shortly before the Northrend war, Aethas sent several letters to the Regent Lord of Quel'Thalas, Lor'themar Theron, to arrange an audience. Lor'themar deliberately ignored them at first, though Aethas gave up formalities and simply announced his intention to visit Silvermoon City.
He was greeted by Lor'themar, Halduron Brightwing, and less enthusiastically, Grand Magister Rommath. Lor'themar was both impressed and concerned with the rank Aethas had managed to carve out for himself at such a young age: while Aethas' ambition and inclination to peace were a good thing, he was also inexperienced as a leader and politician.
Aethas informed the three of Malygos the Spellweaver's intent to wipe out all mortal magic users, and that as such, the Kirin Tor had become the crazed Aspect's enemies. He asked for his people's aid in the matter, noting that the Kirin Tor are eager to mend their bridges with Quel'Thalas, though Rommath immediately challenged him, accusing his plight of being the work of other members of the Council of Six such as Archmage Modera, and ensuring him that the Kirin Tor would turn to the elves for help when desperate for their mastery over the arcane, but discard them soon after. Referencing the sin'dorei's slated execution in the dungeons of Dalaran years before, while the Kirin Tor did nothing to intervene, Rommath denied Aethas the aid of any of his Magisters. Lor'themar stopped their bickering, and had Aethas shown to his quarters. Turning to Lor'themar instead, Aethas offered to speak on behalf of the regency of Silvermoon, and ensured him that Quel'Thalas' interests will be protected. However, Lor'themar did not answer him immediately.
Following Lor'themar's return from failed negotiations at Quel'Lithien Lodge, Aethas revealed that several high elven members of the Kirin Tor under Vereesa Windrunner share a similar attitude. Aethas had hoped that as a ranger, Lor'themar could have helped bridge the gap between them, though concluded that it would be to no avail.
Sylvanas Windrunner later traveled to Sunfury Spire to enlist the sin'dorei's aid against the Lich King, reasoning that as members of the Horde they are obligated to commit support. Despite Lor'themar's apprehension to commit troops so soon after the battle on Quel'Danas, Sylvanas was able to twist his arm enough to warrant co-operation, citing that their refusal to battle the Lich King would likely lead to further death in Quel'Thalas, and the loss of Horde -- specifically Forsaken -- support in their lands. With the sin'dorei's presence in Northrend confirmed either way, Lor'themar agreed to support Aethas' endeavor, though made a point that it would not be for the Kirin Tor's agenda. Lor'themar instructed Aethas to confer with Rommath, certain that the grand magister would have "much use" for him.
Aethas was pleased enough with the support of his country, though noted that he would rather have seen Lor'themar agree to send aid of his own volition rather than Sylvanas'. Frustrated, the regent lord merely informed him that his own free will is what rules Quel'Thalas, and Aethas concurred with what Lor'themar viewed as insincerity, irritating the regent lord further. Lor'themar later admitted that his talk of "free will" in this matter was truly a lie, and that Aethas knew it just as well as he.
Wrath of the Lich King
This section concerns content exclusive to Wrath of the Lich King.
As a member of the Council of Six, Aethas was able to secure his people a place in the magical (and traditionally Alliance) city of Dalaran. Through his efforts, the blood elves' allies in the Horde were also welcomed, and Dalaran proclaimed itself an independent city. Aethas' followers took up his name, and the Horde was granted a sanctuary within the city that also bears the name of Sunreaver. Aethas sent blood elven members of the Kirin Tor to the various Horde cities and bases in Northrend, and Aethas himself appeared via projection to advise Overlord Agmar from the Horde fortress of Agmar's Hammer.
Aethas assisted members of the Horde in their battles against the Blue Dragonflight; learning of the ley lines connected to the Nexus and Malygos' plans to destroy them - sending their power back to the Nexus in turn. Aethas presents himself to Alexstrasza the Lifebinder, revealing his position on the Council of Six in the process.
After the Argent Crusade procured a foothold in Icecrown, the legendary elven blade Quel'Delar was unearthed in the frozen ice in its northern region. Though shattered by its twisted former wielder, Blood-Queen Lana'thel, the blade is ultimately restored. In the outcome of the Horde version of events, Horde heroes are tasked by Grand Magister Rommath to hand the blade to his uneasy ally in Dalaran, Aethas. For a non-blood elf, Aethas expresses curiosity that the blade would bind itself to someone not of Quel'Thalas, though praises the player nonetheless and informs them that Quel'Delar is adapting itself to their own unique abilities.
For a blood elf, Aethas is elated, giving the sin'dorei hero similar words of support as Rommath did before him.
Tides of War
Aethas was present when Jaina Proudmoore traveled to Dalaran to beseech the Kirin Tor's aid in the looming battle against Garrosh Hellscream. Though ostensibly neutral, the Six agreed to discuss the possibility of lending aid as a "deterrence" to conflict of this scale, though Aethas made it clear to Jaina that once the Horde had seen its prize, this would likely not be enough to deter them from their attack. Still, Aethas cast the deciding vote, in favour of sending a token force to Theramore, reasoning that not doing so would be tacitly aiding the Horde. Both Aethas and Rhonin recommended a mage named Thalen Songweaver for the task.
During the battle, however, Thalen turned on his Kirin Tor comrades, revealing himself as a spy for Garrosh Hellscream, abandoning his post and assisting the Horde army in breaking through. Theramore was promptly annihilated via mana bomb, in a particularly brutal and lingering fashion.
Enraged, Jaina went on the warpath, and traveled to Dalaran once more to demand their aid. However, this time they were unwilling to give it, having lost their leader as a direct result of getting involved in the war. Aethas maintained that he had no part in Thalen's treachery, stating that he will make any amends he can for the treachery of Songweaver, and pointed out the presence of traitors in any given race. He furthermore told Jaina that the Kirin Tor breaking their neutrality for vengeance is not the answer, a sentiment the Council of Six agree with. Though agitated by this turn of events, Aethas and the Six still agreed to consider all options. When denied their aid, Jaina instead stole certain tomes regarding the Focusing Iris, and left to bring about her own retaliation.
Later, after Kalecgos succeeded in stopping Jaina from giving the people of Orgrimmar a similar treatment to those of Theramore, a humbled Jaina returned to Dalaran. Having lost everything she had worked for, she apologized for having stolen Kirin Tor tomes, and requested to join the organization as a novice. However, her actions in the face of despair had endeared her to the Kirin Tor's leaders, who offered to make her the new head of the Kirin Tor instead. Aethas is in support of this, and gave the closing speech to cement Jaina's leadership.
Aethas later attended Rhonin's funeral along with most of the other members of the Kirin Tor, joining in with the magical gesture of mourning and respect for their fallen leader.
Mists of Pandaria
This section concerns content exclusive to Mists of Pandaria.
Aethas was called upon by Regent Lord Lor'themar Theron to help uncover the secrets of a mogu device found on Pandaria. Though he and Rommath made considerable progress with deducting its modus operandi, Aethas was increasing wary of Lor'themar taking orders from the regent lord's "master," Warchief Garrosh Hellscream. Likening Garrosh's penchant for such dubious methods as a reflection of Prince Kael'thas Sunstrider's own, he believed the sin'dorei would be forced to walk down the same path under Garrosh's leadership as they had under Kael's. As such, Aethas believed that the sin'dorei would do well to break their ties with Hellscream's Horde, and gave voice to such beliefs after a released sha briefly heightened his emotions.
Like Jaina, Aethas continued to take pride in the Kirin Tor's status as a place of learning and cooperation for Horde and Alliance magi alike. Rommath, however, did not share his enthusiasm; indeed, the grand magister suspected that under Jaina's leadership, the Kirin Tor was now firmly in the hands of the Alliance, whether Aethas realized it or not.
Later, Fanlyr Silverthorn conjured a Sunreaver portal at Domination Point, allowing members of the Horde to circumvent Jaina's wards around Darnassus and steal an artifact named the . Jaina learned of this, however, and incensed at yet another betrayal on behalf of the Horde, expelled the entirety of the Sunreavers from Dalaran. Aethas attemptted to deter her from this, professing his innocence and Dalaran's status as the Sunreavers' city too, though Jaina imprisoned him in the Violet Citadel and begins a purge of those unwilling to surrender.
In the midst of the chaos, Rommath, who had feared this would happen, led a strike team into Dalaran to rescue Aethas and the Sunreavers. After fighting his way through the city (now mostly under the Alliance's control), Rommath succeeded in freeing Aethas from the citadel. Aethas and Rommath escaped from the city, aided by dragonhawks Horde heroes had freed from Krasus' Landing. Aethas returned to Quel'Thalas, where he informed Lor'themar and Halduron of the situation, and is present to witness Lor'themar's vow to take matters into his own hands. The regent lord ordered Rommath to add the Sunreavers' strength to his own, as the rescued elves are funneled back to Silvermoon via portal.
In the wake of the purge, Aethas and the Sunreavers came to hold Garrosh (whose agents in the purge, actively assisting the Horde war effort, had led to the purge in the first place) just as responsible for their banishment from Dalaran as Jaina herself. Though many Sunreavers made it out of the city, Aethas also made it clear that more still are held captive in the Violet Hold.
It was revealed that Aethas, struggling with his conflicting loyalties, indeed chose to "look the other way" regarding the Darnassus heist, though it remains unclear as to whether he admitted this to Silvermoon's leadership.
The Thunder King
Aethas accompanied Rommath, Halduron and Lor'themar to the Isle of Thunder, bringing with him a formidable amount of Sunreaver faces both new and old. Aethas is part of the Sunreaver Onslaught as a commander, advisor, and secondary leader, though he defers to Lor'themar's overall leadership. Prior to the Horde's landing on the isle, Aethas was stationed alongside Lor'themar aboard one of the regent lord's destroyers, The Crimson Treader. He was dispensed to the isle itself after the regent lord took Horde heroes aside for a private audience.
Aethas focused on dealing with the saurok and the mogu. Like Halduron and Rommath, Aethas will routinely returning to the Dawnseeker Promontory as construction of the camp progresses. Aethas also devised theories regarding Lei Shen's magic, which has engulfed the isle in an anti-flying stasis. Aethas believed the unnatural storms protecting the isle originate from within the emperor's palace.
During the final stages of the assault on Lei Shen's stronghold, Aethas accompanied Lor'themar and Scout Captain Elsia to the Bloodied Crossing. He fought against Shan Bu's forces in the courtyard, and faced off against Jaina Proudmoore's group when the battle was over. Jaina demanded that Lor'themar hand Aethas over to her, though the regent lord rebuked this and ordered the release of the Sunreavers from the Violet Hold. Aethas was uncomfortable throughout the meeting, and witnessed Lor'themar and Jaina's truce after Taran Zhu intervenes.
After Lor'themar acquired a powerful cadre of blood golems, he set Aethas and his top archmagi to the task of getting them operational.
Siege of Orgrimmar
Aethas accompanied Lor'themar's force to seize Bladefist Bay from Hellscream's forces, and took part in the Galakras encounter. He has changed his outfit for the encounter, revealing his face for the first time in-game.
|Purge of Dalaran||??||87,227,400|
|Isle of Thunder||90||157,576,496|
|Siege of Orgrimmar||93||69,781,800|
Wrath of the Lich King
- Quests come from the Image of Archmage Aethas Sunreaver.
Mists of Pandaria
Archmage Aethas Sunreaver yells: As the leader of the Sunreavers, it is with great pride that I present <name> as the new bearer of Quel'Delar!
- "We will hold, human. Do your part."
- "Quel'Delar rises again, as we sin'dorei have risen from the ashes of defeat and betrayal."
- "What took you so long? Time waits only for Aspects, <race>. We have much work to do, you and I."
- "Nonetheless, that's two less worms we'll have to worry about. Let us get on to more important business."
- Archmage Aethas Sunreaver: "For someone who claims to care so little, you seem to be rather well informed, Grand Magister."
- Grand Magister Rommath: "Which would be one of the reasons I am the grand magister of Quel'Thalas, and you are not, I would think."
- "There have been human traitors, and high elf, and gnome, and orc. I will do what I can to atone for the treachery of Songweaver. The irony that I sent him as a gesture of goodwill does not escape me. But we must not abandon our stance of neutrality for vengeance!"
- "You have always been strong, my lady. In your power, and in your character. Even when tested and tried. And when you faced both an unimaginable horror and an inconceivable temptation—and were perhaps yourself tainted by the effects of the mana bomb—you still chose a path that was fair and just, rather than vengeful and dark. It is, you must admit, unlikely that anything else will ever tempt you so again. And I do not think there stands among us anyone who, were he or she in your place, could have done better. Indeed... we might not have done even half so well."
- "Silvermoon has been allies with Dalaran for over 2000 years. It is not a friendship we should toss idly aside at the whim of our "esteemed" Warchief Garrosh."
- "This is the same road Kael'thas Sunstrider once walked, and it nearly destroyed our people. Why are we taking orders from someone who would have us walk down this road again?"
It has been discovered that the ley line intersection at Moonrest Gardens was unfettered by the blue dragonflight. Their forces used a surge needle to destroy the capstone, but instead of flowing the power back to the Nexus, they utilized a series of foci to clumsily run and augment the power under the land to the Azure Dragonshrine.
Needless to say, this has had dire consequences wherever the magic shot up through the ground. The Ancients of the woodlands, the Kalu'ak, and other creatures have been adversely affected. <name>, the <race> who stands before you, was very helpful in tracking down and dealing with these issues.
In my opinion, <name> could be useful for Wyrmrest in dealing with the problems that the temple currently faces. I humbly ask that you consider <him/her> an asset, one which I found to be quite acceptable.
Yours ever respectfully,
Archmage and Member of the Six
- At some point, Aethas' seemingly "out-of-no-where" appearance in the position Kael'thas Sunstrider once held was speculated to be more than coincidence -- some players suggested that Archmage Sunreaver could, in fact, have been a redeemed Kael'thas, his lack of a head being obscured by his helmet. Though clearly unlikely, and outright disproved in Mists of Pandaria, a number of lore fans have taken amusement in the thought.
- is named after him.
- Though Aethas and Grand Magister Rommath hold a highly antagonistic relationship, the two appear to have found some common ground during the quest to restore Quel'Delar. The two also share a similar mindset in regards to Sylvanas' treatment of Regent Lord Lor'themar; ironically, Aethas was the one to approach this point with more pragmatism, while Rommath abandoned all semblance of grace to try and make the regent lord see sense.
- By his own admission, Aethas's interests are primarily for the benefit of his people, though his desire to mediate between the Kirin Tor and Quel'Thalas has been scrutinized by individuals such as Lor'themar Theron, who holds that Aethas -- already garbing himself in the Kirin Tor's colours -- may be a dubious liaison to faithfully represent the regency's interests. This somewhat mirrors a quandary experienced by Anasterian Sunstrider in regards to Kael'thas years before; the king had pondered whether Kael would put his people or his affiliation with the Kirin Tor first during the prince's time on the Council of Six.
- Aethas apparently entrusted the task of washing his clothes to Shandy Glossgleam and his pet water elemental Aquanos, though on at least one occasion was mortified to see his pants flung in Dalaran's fountain.
- Unlike his Alliance equivalent, Vereesa Windrunner, in Wrath of the Lich King Aethas bore the title of the <Kirin Tor> as a blanket statement rather than his sub-faction of Dalaran, the Sunreavers. This was likely due to his presence on the Council of Six, and his in-game title was altered to "The Sunreavers" after the events of The Purge of Dalaran.
- Aethas's outfit is essentially the inversion of Grand Magister Rommath's. Instead of a longrobe, he wears pants and a tabard; in place of a mask, he wears a helmet; while Rommath eschews shoulderpads and sports runic tattoos on his arms, Aethas has one of the bulkier mage shoulder models (a Tier 8 set look alike from Ulduar) and an outfit that covers almost the entirety of his body; from a more lore-inclined standpoint, Aethas's outfit in general (though tinted with crimson) is one of the Kirin Tor sets, while Rommath's, though unique, is more reminiscent of the Thalassian gear found in the Sunwell Plateau.
- Amusingly, Aethas's helmet gives him the same model bug that Rommath once had years before: his hair is treated as the default cropped blood elven helmet hair, yet on player characters wearing Aethas's particular headpiece and identical models, their chosen hairstyles will still persist through the helm. In the game files, Aethas's models all use the relatively slicked forward "falcon" hairstyle for blood elf males, in contrast to Rommath's slicked back high tail.
- Aethas appears to have a preference for arcane magic, in contrast to Rommath's penchant for fire and Jaina's preference for frost. The spells he can be seen using in-game (such as at the Bloodied Crossing) are mostly derived from the arcane tree, though he does utilize fire spells in the Galakras encounter.
- Exactly when Aethas was elevated to his place on the council of six is unclear, given Aethas himself wasn't introduced until the Wrath of the Lich King era, though it was likely after the Third War.
- Aethas' involvement in the Dalaran purge (and to what extent he knew of Garrosh's spies in the Sunreavers in general) has led to some speculation. While the Alliance pre-quests offer little insight into his motives or thought processes, as players don't interact with Aethas at all until moments before the purge, the Horde quests go to lengths to convey his deep disdain for Garrosh and what the Horde has become, with him even advocating Silvermoon's complete withdrawal from it. While this suggests he would not willingly "look the other way" while Garrosh abused his authority, Aethas' dubious mannerisms on the Isle of Thunder (he uncomfortably shifts after Lor'themar champions his innocence) cast some doubt over this. Some players believe he was loyal to Garrosh all along, while others have a hard time believing Aethas' established character would have willingly betrayed his life's work for the sake of an orc whom he despises, and put Aethas' potential complicity more down to threats or coercion on Garrosh's part. Others still maintain that Aethas was genuinely innocent, and merely a leader who, as Lor'themar noted as far back as In the Shadow of the Sun, was simply too young, optimistic, and inexperienced to juggle the responsibilities laid out for him, and could not control the actions of every elf under his jurisdiction.
- Aspects of the latter two theories were eventually revealed to have been the case: while Aethas was not supporting Garrosh, he was unable to juggle his conflicting loyalties, and chose to "look the other way" regarding the heist in Darnassus that sparked the Purge of Dalaran.
- Following Dave Kosak's tweet, Sarah Pine revealed more background on Tumblr: Blizzard intended for an extra scene that bugged out and didn't show up in the actual game. While the Horde was stealing the from Darnassus, Aethas was supposed to stumble upon our portal and admonish us for using Kirin Tor resources for the war effort. One of the orcs accompanying us threatens Aethas into backing down. Had Aethas gone to Jaina with his discovery, Garrosh would have known exactly who spilled the beans and it would have put a lot of Blood Elf lives in immediate danger. Aethas gambled on Jaina's wrath being less severe than Garrosh's.
- Aethas' uncomfortable shifting during the Isle of Thunder event was supposed to be a reference to that previous interaction, not put Aethas' loyalties into question. Aethas was, truly, a Kirin Tor loyal. He had found out about the heist and didn't know "nothing", but he wasn't an active participant in the deception like in Jaina's accusations.
Aethas at Dranosh'ar Landing.