Former leader of the Watchers; Jailor, prisoner and finally slayer of Illidan Stormrage
- "She has become vengeance itself, bound forever to the hunt. I only pray that in her zeal, she doesn't cause even more havoc than Illidan."
- — Malfurion Stormrage
Maiev Shadowsong is a night elf Warden and former Priestess of the moon. Along with her younger brother Jarod Shadowsong, Maiev played a key role in the battle against the Burning Legion during the War of the Ancients. In the aftermath, Maiev asked to be and was appointed the jailor of Illidan Stormrage and took on the mantle of leader of the Watchers. Chasing him across the seas, Maiev faced Illidan's Naga, her anger and lust for vengeance growing as her quest became more desperate. After Illidan rose to power in Outland, Maiev was imprisoned at the Warden's Cage in Shadowmoon Valley, where Akama and his Ashtongue Deathsworn served as her jailors.
Maiev allied with Akama and snuck into to the Black Temple during a Sha'tari attack, where she joined Akama and the adventurers he had rallied in the final battle against Illidan. Fueled by the desire for vengeance, Maiev struck the final blow that ended the Betrayer's life, but instead of relishing in her victory, she became a shell of her former self, admitting that with Illidan now dead, she was nothing. Driven utterly mad, Maiev is now a terrorist who wishes death to any whom she believes have wronged her, including Archdruid Malfurion Stormrage and Priestess Tyrande Whisperwind.
The Fortunes of War
Maiev Shadowsong belonged to the Sisters of Elune by the time the War of the Ancients broke out, and her brother, Jarod, had become a captain in the Guard of Suramar. The Shadowsong family was not of noble blood, and so both siblings had earned their positions through skill and hard work. Maiev was stationed at the Hajiri temple in northwestern Kalimdor just before the War of the Ancients. Like the rest of the sisterhood, Maiev took up arms against the Burning Legion at the start of the invasion, joining the resistance under Kur'talos Ravencrest. When Tyrande was declared the new High Priestess, a disgruntled Maiev raised an opposition, though she knew better than to deny Tyrande's power. Following her disappearance and the death of Marinda, Maiev was elected High Priestess by default. This reunited her with her estranged brother Jarod.
Maiev was an opponent of the leadership of Desdel Stareye, but took no action for fear of dividing the troops. She urged Jarod to do something, but her brother wouldn't listen. After Stareye fell in "combat", and Jarod was recognized commander of the host, Maiev neglected to say, "I told you so". Maiev continued to serve with distinction, and grudgingly relinquished the office of High Priestess back to Tyrande. She also helped in healing of injured Rhonin and helped Jarod with killing demons. After the Sundering, she was furious when she discovered that Illidan Stormrage had attacked and injured her brother. Jarod had been leading a scouting party on Mount Hyjal, and they had caught Illidan in the process of creating a second Well of Eternity. Outraged, the night elves hastened to apprehend the traitor. During Illidan's capture, he unleashed an arcane attempt to resist arrest that killed Lord Blackforest and many of the Highborne, and rendered the others (among which rendered Dath'Remar Sunstrider and Jarod) comatose. Illidan was captured immediately after this by Malfurion, while only the efforts of Tyrande, Shandris Feathermoon, Maiev herself and other priestesses ensured the heroes survival. Enraged, Maiev drew her weapon and went to kill the captive Illidan, but Tyrande stopped her and reminded her that Jarod still lived. Jarod gave Malfurion the right to decide Illidan's fate. Knowing full well where Illidan's ruthless schemes would eventually lead Malfurion decided to deal with his power-crazed brother once and for all. With Cenarius's help, Malfurion sealed Illidan within a vast underground barrow prison, where he would remain chained and powerless until the end of time.
Formation of the Watchers
Although she deeply respected Malfurion, his merciful decision hardly satisfied Maiev. She offered to watch over Illidan, whose attack on his fellow night elves had been the last straw. Most night elves now recognized him as both reckless and powerful. They had not forgotten that he had chosen to serve Sargeras, and they did not believe him when he swore he had done so only to gain sufficient power to defeat the Legion. Malfurion agreed that the night elves dared not leave Illidan unguarded in the long term, and so he asked Maiev to gather additional volunteers from the Sisterhood of Elune. Together, Maiev and the other priestesses would guard Illidan and prevent him from escape. Maiev obeyed and established a new organization that became known as the Watchers. As the group's leader, Maiev was given the rank of Warden, which she later awarded to a select few who had proven their exceptional fighting abilities, tracking skills, and tenacity. When Jarod disappeared one night, Maiev was surprised and grieved that he had not spoken to her of his impending departure. In his absence, the Watchers became Maiev's sole companionship. As the years stretched into centuries and then millennia, she came to see the Watchers as her family.
This section concerns content exclusive to Warcraft III.
Since Illidan's incarceration, the Watchers' primary mission remained their vigil over him. However, the Watchers' duties widened somewhat over time and began to include the capture, imprisonment, and - where necessary - the recapture of all dangerous criminals. These new tasks occasionally took a Watcher far abroad, where she would remain until she tracked down and captured the criminal. Shortly before the Third War broke out, Maiev departed the barrow prisons in order to accomplish one such mission. She returned to find Illidan missing and a number of Watchers slain. Subsequent investigation led to a shocking conclusion: Tyrande and her Sentinels had attacked the Watchers and freed Illidan. Even worse, Illidan had turned into a demon, confirming Maiev's worst fears. Filled with fury, Maiev gathered what she could of the remaining Watchers and began to track Illidan down.
With her lieutenant Naisha at her side, Maiev pursued Illidan throughout Kalimdor. With his impromptu force of satyrs and other corrupt creatures, Illidan managed to keep her at bay, but to her credit, Maiev stayed close to him as he fled. Finally, Maiev closed in on him in Queen Azshara's former provincial holdings, now on the coast of Kalimdor, where he had destroyed many fishing villages and left nothing but mutilated bodies and flaming footprints in his wake. But Maiev found some tracks which she could not identify. They identified themselves as the naga, and professed servitude to Illidan. Maiev defeated them, but was troubled that they were burning boats, and thought that perhaps Illidan meant to flee across the ocean. Maiev took to the port of Nendis, where she found Illidan stealing away in a transport. The naga began to destroy the ships, but Maiev killed them before they completed their task. Maiev quickly found some transport ships, and took the Watchers across the sea.
They stopped unexpectedly soon when they came across some islands which were not on their maps, but Maiev knew where they were, as she had once spent a great deal of time there. The Broken Isles were the remains of Suramar. As she established a base camp, Maiev found landmarks she recognized from the ancient, ruined city, such as the library of Izal-Shurah, and the Boughs of Azshara. Naisha realized that the city must have been raised from the seafloor for some sinister purpose, and Maiev commented that few powers were capable of such a thing.
Maiev found the answer when she came across Drak'Thul, a former warlock of the Stormreaver Clan. He recounted how he had been a disciple of Gul'dan, the warlock who raised the islands twenty years before to search for the powers of the Dark Titan. Gul'dan hoped to gain power, but instead he and the rest of his Stormreaver clan unleashed crazed demons who slaughtered all but a handful of the warlocks, Drak'Thul among the survivors. He had lived on the island since, haunted by the ghosts of his dead comrades. Maiev told him that he deserved a far worse punishment than that for what he and the Stormreavers had unleashed. Troubled by the news, Maiev suspected that the Tomb of Sargeras was Illidan's goal here, as well. After battling through his ample forces of naga, Maiev and Naisha chased Illidan into the Tomb itself.
While there, Maiev read magical orcish runes Gul'dan had created to relate his tale. It continually referenced an "Eye," which seemed to be an artifact, and Maiev guessed that this was what Illidan sought. Maiev and Naisha realized that the Eye must have been tremendously powerful for Gul'dan to have been lured by it so potently. Maiev soon had a run-in with the leader of the naga, Lady Vashj, who told her that the night elves' justice had no place in the Broken Isles. Maiev asked Vashj what she knew of their justice, and Vashj replied that she was once a night elf herself, and that the explosion of the Well of Eternity had transformed them into the naga. Maiev, however, displayed a simple revulsion for the Naga, and chased Illidan into the central chamber, where he had already found the Eye of Sargeras. Since Illidan had been confined by Maiev for ten thousand years, he felt that trapping her in the tomb (alive or otherwise) was the least he could do to repay her, caving in the Eye Chamber before teleporting himself out. Maiev, using her abilities, teleported through the temple and reluctantly left her dear friend, Naisha, and the rest of the Watchers to die stranded in the dark tomb.
Maiev battled an army of naga as she sent a runner out to sea to get a message to Malfurion Stormrage to plea for assistance. She was being attacked by a large naga force led by Serena Scarscale. After a desperate battle, the runner was away, and Maiev quickly returned to her base to defend her Watchers.
After taking heavy damage, on the island of the Broken Isles south of Izal-Shurah, Maiev was finally reinforced by Malfurion, but was displeased to find that Tyrande had come along as well. She snidely proclaimed that Tyrande deserved to be locked in a cage just as Illidan was, to which Tyrande fired back that she was doing what was right at the time. Before they could come to blows, Malfurion told them to let it be for now and focus on the matters at hand, namely winning the battle against the naga forces led by Lady Serpentra. After they defeated the naga, however, Illidan took to the sea and fled once again. The three heroes were quick to follow.
They arrived upon the shores of Silverpine Forest in Lordaeron. After Malfurion left them to commune with the forests, Maiev bowed to Tyrande's greater knowledge of the Alliance and Tyrande met Kael'thas, the prince of the blood elves. When told of Illidan, Kael thought that perhaps that was the reason that the undead were so agitated in Dalaran. Maiev wanted to get back on the hunt as soon as possible, but Tyrande wished to help Kael; Maiev's objections were silenced when Kael agreed to help them fight Illidan. The two warriors escorted Kael's caravan to Pyrewood Village, where they were suddenly ambushed. Kael and Maiev saw his caravan across the river while Tyrande held the line on the bridge. When she called down the stars of Elune to destroy the undead, Elune's fury was unleashed. The bridge, unable to stand the weight of a fully armored night elf on tigerback, crumbled beneath Tyrande, and she was swept down the river.
Kael was about to attempt to save her when Maiev stopped him. She knew that time was growing short, and that Illidan had to be stopped, and insisted that Tyrande had been prepared to make the sacrifice if needed. She demanded that Kael help her find the demon in return for her assistance protecting his caravan. Kael helped her track Illidan to Dalaran's ruins, where they met up with Malfurion, who had felt the land being torn apart and seen a vision that it was Illidan's doing. He suspected the worst and feared for the fate of the world itself. Maiev told Malfurion that Tyrande had been torn apart, and that his only recourse was to gain revenge on Illidan. Maiev reminded Malfurion that Tyrande would never have come to Lordaeron and met her alleged death if not for Illidan's actions, and thus he was to blame. Malfurion's grief and anger made him completely focused on stopping and punishing his brother, just as Maiev had hoped.
With the help of Kael and a paladin of the Silver Hand — Magroth the Defender — Maiev and Malfurion pushed back Illidan's naga on the Dalaran ruins and destroyed the Naga Summoners casting spells around the Eye. Cornering Illidan with the night elf and Alliance forces, Malfurion grimly told his brother that for what he had done this time confinement would not be sufficient and that he was to be put to death. Maiev enthusiastically volunteered to execute him personally then and there. Illidan explained that his spell had not been meant to harm anybody but the Lich King at Northrend and his undead servants, whom the Night Elves surely had no love for. His spell had been specifically targeting the area where the Frozen Throne was based. Not placated, Malfurion raged that Illidan had given no thought to the cost of his actions and that Tyrande had died because of him. Illidan was shattered by this statement, since he had never wanted anything to happen to the woman he loved and had even tried to dissuade her from following him to Lordaeron since he was concerned for her safety. Then Kael spoke up, much to Maiev's chagrin, saying it was premature to pronounce her dead. The blood elven prince explained the bridge's collapse and the noted absence of tearing apart. Malfurion, understandably furious with Maiev for her lies, entangled her. He asked her bitterly who the "betrayer" was now.
Freeing herself from the grasping plants and gathering her few remaining soldiers took Maiev long enough that Illidan succeeded in saving the high priestess. By the time Maiev caught up with the demon, Malfurion and Tyrande were bidding him a farewell that sounded almost fond. They were letting him go. He was a demon who had murdered countless innocents, spread corruption and madness among the beasts of the forest, and nearly caused irreparable harm to Azeroth. Jarod had given Malfurion the responsibility to determine Illidan's fate, but Malfurion was letting the demon go because Illidan had saved Tyrande's life. Evidently Malfurion felt that Illidan had been washed clean of the all the blood he had spilled. Maiev disagreed. The Watchers were gone, betrayed by their own government. If that government would not at least avenge their deaths, then by Elune, Maiev would see it done herself. Thus, when Illidan suddenly opened a portal and stepped through it, Maiev and her soldiers followed him without a second thought. She knew that Illidan placed great value on his life and would never deliberately endanger it. Furion alone knew what Maiev had become: she was now vengeance itself.
Curse of the Blood Elves
When she arrived on the other side, she found herself in the ruins of the orcish homeworld, Draenor. They soon discovered that Illidan had come alone, leaving his naga servants on Azeroth. Greatly outnumbered, Illidan discovered that his evil powers were of little use against cold steel, and his recapture proved to be fairly easy. She caught him and imprisoned him under a magical sedative. The naga had arrived on Outland, and they had brought new allies: the same blood elves that Maiev had helped escape the Scourge earlier. Maiev and her soldiers fought the naga and their traitorous elven friends, but the new army outnumbered hers, and eventually she was defeated. The naga and blood elves recaptured Illidan and freed him.
The Burning Crusade
This section concerns content exclusive to The Burning Crusade.
For many years, Maiev's fate remained a mystery, and many believed she had died on Outland. After the Dark Portal was opened, however, she was discovered to have been imprisoned within the Warden's Cage in Shadowmoon Valley, guarded by Akama and his Ashtongue Deathsworn. She was indignant that Akama seemed to be merely sitting there, scheming, while Illidan's grasp over Outland tightened.
However, Akama was secretly biding his time until he could strike at Illidan, and when the time came he joined forces with Maiev to overthrow Illidan and, aided by the Aldor and Scryers, entered the Black Temple. Maiev quickly split off from the rest of the forces to go after Illidan alone, eventually finding him at the top of the temple with a band of adventurers at his mercy. Freeing them, she joined the battle against him, laying traps to incapacitate him and decrying the pain he had caused her, from forcing her to guard his prison for ten thousand years by committing his crimes to causing the death of Naisha. In the end, as Illidan lay dying, Maiev told him he was beaten, but Illidan retorted that the huntress is nothing without the hunt. With her quarry slain, Maiev realized that Illidan was right, and that she was indeed nothing without him.
Searching for something to live for following Illidan's death, Maiev left Outland and journeyed to Darnassus to rejoin her people. Despite her role in leaving Tyrande for dead during their venture into the Eastern Kingdoms, she was permitted to return to Darnassus to begin training a new generation of Watchers, some of whom were fanatically loyal to Maiev and her cause. When Malfurion and Tyrande allowed for the Highborne and the Worgen to live in Darnassus, Maiev was secretly outraged — despising the Highborne for their part in the War of the Ancients, and the other races of the Alliance for bringing the night elves into their affairs.
Around this time her brother, Jarod Shadowsong, returned to night elf society after ten thousand years of self-imposed exile. Seeing her little brother's desire for a simple life, while he could have been the leader of the night elves, was shameful in her opinion. To her, his seclusion was an abandonment of his duty to his people. Though the reunion between the Shadowsong siblings started off bitter, Maiev eventually softened her demeanor towards her brother when he sympathized with the hard choices she had to make in order to fulfill her duties. She still felt proud of Jarod and even thought she could manipulate him as a puppet for her own ends.
When the Highborne mage Thera'brin was assassinated and his corpse was found by the Watchers' training grounds, it seemed to be intended to impute the Watchers. Maiev offered her services to investigate the matter and bring the murderer to justice, to which Malfurion and Tyrande consented. In truth however, she was secretly the one responsible for the Highborne killings. Maiev had planned to slaughter the Highborne and their leaders first, and then give Malfurion a slow rotting death. In her opinion, Malfurion was guilty of the same arrogance that his twin, Illidan, displayed. By believing that he knew what was best for the night elf people, she felt Malfurion condemned them by not having Teldrassil properly blessed, thus taking away their immortality. She also despised him for forgiving the Highborne and accepting them back into night elf society. It is suspected that the trauma caused by years of dedication to her duty, combined with the torture inflicted upon her when she was Illidan's prisoner had finally driven her insane. Now she has become a megalomaniac who deludes herself into believing that only she can exact "justice" on those she deems guilty. Though her ability to mask such madness is a credit to her skills as a survivor.
Jarod Shadowsong later freed Malfurion and joined him in confronting Maiev and her Watchers. Jarod distracted Maiev while Malfurion was rescuing the Highborne, whom Maiev had captured in a deadly trap. Jarod subsequently drove Maiev off, unable to kill his own sister. The Highborne were safe, and most of the new Watchers were dead, though their mistress had vanished into the night. Maiev has vowed that she will be the one to restore the night elves to greatness.
In the RPG
When the War of the Ancients broke out, she could do little but observe the destruction, and witnessed demons slaughtering her family and friends. She was horrified. When she miraculously survived the War of the Ancients, she was certain that arcane magic was a horrid, filthy power that had brought doom to the world.
Maiev is a driven, austere individual. She both fears and despises arcane magic, and shows her derision openly to its practitioners. Aloof and silent, Maiev is always concerned with her duties or latest assignment. She does not care for the company of others; she refuses to let interpersonal relationships interfere with her cause. Maiev moves with fluid, deadly grace. Her voice is velvet-covered steel. Maiev is cold; her only warmth comes from her rage when she thinks of the Legion’s destruction and Illidan’s horrible treason. Hers is an achingly lonely existence.
Maiev sees things very much in black and white, and in recent years, lost belief in the concepts of rehabilitation or redemption that she was trained to uphold in Elune's name. She is unwilling to forgive any association that is tied to the Legion or brings harm to others, whether a large one such as Illidan's ultimately siding with Azshara and causing the deaths of millions of life-forms or a comparatively small one such as Drak'Thul's presence during the raising of the Tomb of Sargeras, leading to the deaths of many orcs.
Maiev is loyal to her comrades and determined to ensure they come to no harm. Her fury at Illidan was originally motivated by her disapproval of his actions with Azshara and the fact that he nearly killed Jarod. Later, she is driven to blind hatred after his murder of Naisha and the other Watchers.
By tracing her personality first as a priestess, then as a warden, and finally as vengeance, we can see how she came to hate Illidan in particular. Her election as Illidan's jailor really meant that she became as much a prisoner as he; they merely occupied opposite sides of the bars. Given that, her resentment and rage towards Illidan is easy to understand.
Her first motivation was to punish Illidan for his transgression (which a Kaldorei tribunal sentenced him to, not she), then to stop him from killing anyone else, and finally, pure vengeance.
Maiev prefers to strike vulnerable targets from surprise, often sending her forces to distract the enemy while she uses her blink ability to appear behind them. She throws a slicing torrent against lesser opponents, or uses her Fan of Knives if surrounded. If facing her quarry, she uses the umbra crescents greater shadow strike ability before moving in to attack. After one strike, she blinks away and casts hold person. If the target succumbs to the spell, she moves forward quickly to finish him off or secure the captive. If he resists hold person, Maiev activates her weapon's quickened shadow strike abilities to assail her target at range. If the enemy still stands, she uses her own lesser shadow strike ability and charges into melee, where she wields her umbra crescent with two hands. If pressed, Maiev flees via blink, greater invisibility, and expeditious retreat.
- “Blood elves and naga! Your bastard races are an affront to everything the night elves stand for!”
- “Illidan has grown powerful - of that there is no doubt. He consumed the energies of the Skull of Gul'dan. Now he is neither night elf nor demon – but something more.”
- “Naga? Many craven races have tempted our wrath over the centuries. None have survived!”
- “Illidan has much to answer for. He'll wish he were still chained in his cell when I get through with him.”
- “I am the hand of justice, Illidan. Long ago, I swore an oath to keep you chained... and by all the Gods – I shall!”
- “Illidan Stormrage, for recklessly endangering countless lives and threatening the very balance of the world, I hereby sentence you to death!”
- “Their fury pales before mine, Illidan. We have some unsettled business between us.”
- “He is right. I feel nothing. I am...nothing.”
- “Where’s Illidan?”
- "My long hunt is finally over. Today, justice will be done!"
- "Take this as my promise to you that when the time comes and you face Illidan, I will be on your side."
- Maiev is voiced by the actress Debi Mae West in both Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne and World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade.
- Maiev is briefly mentioned after the defeat of the ghost of Telarius Voidstrider. Telarius was a very powerful demon hunter, but he was slain during a confrontation with Maeiv many years ago.
- There was a shrine in Azshara known as Shadowsong Shrine. It is not clear what relation, if any, this had to the Shadowsong siblings.
- It has been hinted that Maeiv's appearance and, to some degree, personality has been inspired by the comicbook character "Judge Dredd".
- When The Burning Crusade was originally released, Maiev's model was the same as a Blood Elf female model but with her own unique armour. When Patch 2.1.0 was released, her model was updated with unique animations.
- Perhaps ironically, the name Shadowsong is one of the random demon hunter names from Warcraft III.
- Maiev has never been seen unmasked in any Warcraft game or in any official artwork, though she removed her helm in Wolfheart.
- Starting with Cataclysm, Maiev is featured with Akama on the loading screen for Outland.
- Maiev may not be the most balanced individual on Azeroth, but she does understand the value of intimidating her enemies.
- can be fished from the Dalaran Fountain.
Maiev Shadowsong from Shadows & Light.
Maiev Shadowsong artwork from the TCG.
Maiev in World of Warcraft before Patch 2.1.0.
Maiev in World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade.
- Patch 2.0.3 (2007-01-09): Added.
- ^ A Parting of Ways
- ^ a b c d e f g The Warcraft Encyclopedia/Maiev Shadowsong
- ^ Warcraft III: Rise of the Naga
- ^ a b Warcraft III: The Broken Isles
- ^ Warcraft III: The Tomb of Sargeras
- ^ Warcraft III: Wrath of the Betrayer
- ^ Warcraft III: Balancing the Scales
- ^ Warcraft III: Shards of the Alliance
- ^ Warcraft III: The Ruins of Dalaran
- ^ Warcraft III: The Brothers Stormrage
- ^ Warcraft III: The Search for Illidan
- ^ Wolfheart
- ^ a b Shadows & Light, 167
- ^ a b Shadows & Light, pg 51
- ^ TCG Hunt for Illidan, 202
- ^ TCG Hunt for Illidan, 236
- ^ Ask CDev, Round 3
|Warden's Cage||Black Temple|
Leader of the Watchers
High Priestess of Elune (interim)