Ruins of Shandaral

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An aerial view of the Ruins of Shandaral.

The Ruins of Shandaral are the remnants of an ancient kaldorei city located in the eastern part of Crystalsong Forest, in the center of the Unbound Thicket.


The blue dragons descending upon Shandaral

The outpost of Shandaral was established during the height of the Kaldorei Empire, around 10,000 BDP, in the northern reaches of Ancient Kalimdor. It was to be a repository of arcane relics and artifacts that the Highborne collected. When the continent was shattered by the Great Sundering, the elves living there were isolated from the rest of the world. With no source of power to sustain them, they were left vulnerable to disease and other ailments. For centuries, the Shandaral Highborne scoured the forests of Moonsong for a means to sustain themselves.[1]

Around 6,000 BDP, after witnessing blue dragons crystallize living things and draw power from them, the elves tried to interact with the dragons, who responded with either ignorance or open hostility. Out of desperation, a group of Highborne sorcerers infiltrated the Nexus and learned the dragons' techniques, but greed pushed them to pilfer some of the powerful relics stored in the blue flight's lair. This triggered magical wards which sent the blues into a frenzy. Though the elves managed to escape with their lives, they knew that the dragons would retaliate.

Dozens of blue dragons indeed came down upon Shandaral. The elven sorcerers, desperate to save themselves, gathered on a cliff overlooking Moonsong, and agreed to use techniques they had acquired from the Nexus. They focused their power into the  [Crystal Focus] that they had stolen, hoping to crystallize a small portion of the forest and use its energies as a weapon to destroy the dragons. Their attempt failed horribly, as their reckless casting set off an enormous explosion, releasing a torrent of energy that crystallized the entire forest. All that seems to have survived the transformation of the forest are the stone columns and arches, and there isn't anything whole in sight.[2]

The physical form of almost every living creature in the region, except for the blue dragons who had sensed the impending spellwork and left, was instantly shattered, while their spirits were warped by the spell and cursed to mindlessly wander the haunted land which would become known as Crystalsong Forest.[3] Those that survived were twisted into maddened half-crystal creatures that attacked anyone they saw, such as the crystal satyrs and crystal dryads. Their last living remnants appear to be the Unbound, who still wander the ruins of their ancient home.[4]


Dragonflight This section concerns content related to Dragonflight.

Lanigosa spent years in the ruins researching a way to break the spell binding the elven spirits to the place. She eventually succeded with the aid of an adventurer, allowing the spirits to pass on with time.[5]

Ruins of Shandaral digsite

Crystalsong Forest digsites.jpg

The Ruins of Shandaral are a night elf archaeology dig site.

According to Muradin Bronzebeard, trying to piece back together what Shandaral must have looked like as a living city is a feat of imagination. At some point, Brann Bronzebeard found some coins and the delicate shards of crystal vials among the stones. It's a place with a lot of secrets still.[2]



  • According to the article The Six Best Romantic Picnic Spots, the Ruins of Shandaral are surrounded by the crystalline remains of the magic of the blue dragonflight, which was almost wiped from existence by the black dragonflight in this place.
    • This appears to be inspired by the non-canon information about the Crystalsong Forest from Lands of Mystery.
  • The elves of Shandaral are depicted inconsistently. In-game they are depicted as Highborne spirits, with their surviving remnants being seen in the form of the crystal satyrs. In artwork, however, they are depicted as similar to the high elves. Given that there was a gap of several thousand years between the sundering and their elimination, it is possible that they went through an evolution, similar to other Highborne, especially considering Shandaral existed prior to, and up to 800 years following the founding of Quel'Thalas.
  • The elves of Shandaral were likely the same civilization that inhabited the Moonrest Gardens and Riplash Ruins. How these other areas came to ruin is unknown, as the spell that destroyed their city was isolated to Crystalsong Forest.

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