Aethas Sunreaver, Archmage
This article is part of a series on
Magus Senate of Dalaran · Dalaran Chancellery · Dalaran Ministry of Foreign Affairs · Dalaran Ministry of the Interior · Dalaran Ministry of War · Dalaran Ministry of Intelligence · Dalaran Guard · Dalaran Navy · Kirin Tor · Sunreavers · Silver Covenant · Council of Six · Magocracy of Dalaran
|See also, Dalaran Organizations|
Archmage Aethas Sunreaver is the leader of the Sunreavers, a group of Sin'dorei magi who sought the readmission 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 hard to repair and uphold the millennia-old alliance between Silvermoon and Dalaran, though his eternal optimism and enthusiasm were tested when the Horde, now under Garrosh Hellscream's rule, began attacking the Alliance after the Cataclysm.
Sometime after Jaina Proudmoore came into power, Aethas and his people were expelled from the Kirin Tor, though Aethas' refusal to abandon Dalaran led to his faction's 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. Aethas eventually sought out Felo'melorn, high blade of the Sunstrider dynasty, and with the help of his friend Archmage Modera was able to rejoin the Kirin Tor.
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 begun 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 unfavorably, 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
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.
Ultimately, Aethas's plight to see his people readmitted into the Kirin Tor was a resounding success.
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 favor 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
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 Divine Bell. While not shown in-game it was revealed that Aethas, after stumbling upon the portal, admonished Horde adventurers for using Kirin Tor resources for the war effort and would end up being threatened into backing down. Knowing that Garrosh would know exactly who spilled the beans (which would cost blood elven lives) and struggling with conflicting loyalties, Aethas made the decision to "to look the other way," gambling on Jaina's wrath being less than Garrosh's should she find out. Soon time the after heist Jaina learned of it and incensed at yet another betrayal on behalf of the Horde, expelled the entirety of the Sunreavers from Dalaran. Aethas attempted 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 a portal.
In the wake of the purge, Aethas and the Sunreavers came to hold Garrosh (whose agents in their organization, 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.
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 the 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.
Since their expulsion from the Kirin Tor, Aethas has sought to regain the Sunreavers' place in the conclave. However, some of the Council of Six were still unwilling to overlook Aethas' own betrayal during the Divine Bell incident. Working secretly with his old friend Archmage Modera, Aethas revealed his friendship with Lyandra Sunstrider, a distant relative of King Anasterian who became obsessed with recovering the runeblade Felo'melorn following Prince Kael'thas' death. Lyandra had disappeared some years prior, her fate unknown, and Aethas himself began an unrelated search for the blade when news of the Burning Legion's return came. Although he was unsuccessful, he claims to have seen visions of Lyandra in an icy land resembling Icecrown and decided to use this opportunity to reclaim the lost blade for use against the Legion, and with it, the Sunreavers' place in the Kirin Tor.
In return for this information, Aethas hoped the council would allow him back into Dalaran. Modera agreed to speak on his behalf, and Aethas left for Icecrown to support a fire-favoring hero in a quest for the blade. During the battle against Lyandra, now an undead servant of the Lich King wielding Felo'melorn, Aethas disrupted her casting and held her at bay while her minions were dealt with. Lyandra was incredulous that Aethas would fight her, but the archmage did not acknowledge the creature she'd become like the friend he once knew. After the battle, Aethas returned to the Violet Citadel to present the hero as the new bearer of Felo'melorn and put his request before the new Council of Six.
Archmage Khadgar led the council in a vote to decide Aethas' readmission. Ansirem Runeweaver questioned whether he would betray the Kirin Tor again, but Karlain and Modera vouched for his trustworthiness in light of his role in Felo'melorn's recovery–particularly him bequeathing it to the champion rather than one of his own Sunreavers. Ansirem conceded; Vargoth also gave his approval, and finally, Kalecgos gave his support. With a unanimous vote, Aethas was welcomed back into the Kirin Tor, urged not to misuse this chance to make things right.
Aethas now has an apprentice, the Nightborne Arcanist Ryanna. They met at Tel'anor, where Aethas was stark naked, trapped in a harpy's bonds, with the harpy and a banshee arguing over who got to play with him first. Ryanna saved him.
After one of his Sunreavers turned to the Legion, Aethas traveled to the Hall of the Guardian to seek the aid of the Tirisgarde in setting the matter right. Aethas aids in re-powering Dalaran's defensive weapon atop the Violet Citadel by siphoning the power of Kathra'natir, the dreadlord imprisoned inside the Nightborne Soulstone. He then becomes a champion of the Tirisgarde. Aethas states that while he does not regret his past actions, he deeply regrets what they led to. In time, Aethas hopes that the Kirin Tor and all of Azeroth will better understand his loyalties.
Shadows of Argus
Aethas journeys to the Exodar and boards the Vindicaar in order to take the fight to the Legion on Argus. He can be found within the Vindicaar's Matrix Core room alongside Khadgar, where the two discussed how each feels overwhelmed by the powers at play.
Aethas can also be found at Darkfall Ridge in Krokuun where he fights demons seeking to reach the Vindicaar.