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A runestag.
A runedeer.

Runestags (or, more generally, runedeer) are a type of deer native to Ardenweald. They have long served as companions to the Night Fae.[1]


Calm and enduring,[1] the majestic runestags of Ardenweald can siphon anima from the ambient light of the forest with their elaborate antlers. The anima is used as nourishment and to power the runestag's speed and magic.[2] In combat, runestags can use anima to heal themselves and damage attacking predators.[3]

Those who have pledged their service to the Winter Queen and the Court of Night are granted runestag mounts.[4] The Night Fae use runestag leather to craft tools.[5] The Wild Hunt breed shadeleaf runestags for their ferocity and beauty.[6] A shadeleaf can gore creatures as powerful as a gorm matriarch in defense of its herd, and the Wild Hunt ride them into dangerous areas of the Shadowlands when Ardenweald must be defended from threats.[7]

Wakener runestags enjoy lying near wildseeds and are believed to be able to hear the dreams of the spirits sleeping within. The stags display a range of emotions, reflecting the spirits' dreams or nightmares,[8] and they fiercely protect the groves where the wildseeds lie. When the groves began to fail during the anima drought, many runestags went berserk.[9]

Winterborn runestags are blessed by the Winter Queen herself. They can warn their herds of predators by the flaring of their runes.[10] They serve as the Winter Queen's own favored mounts, and she only bestows them on her most favored subjects.[11]




Concept art.
  • Night Fae characters can unlock a runestag appearance for [Soulshape] by obtaining  [Runestag Soul].
  • Druids can unlock runestag appearances for their [Travel Form] with  [Mark of the Midnight Runestag] and  [Mark of the Twilight Runestag].
  • Runestags were designed by character artist Natacha Nielsen, who wanted a powerful and elegant creature that would instantly read as a stag while also feeling different from anything seen on Azeroth. She incorporated leaves into the coat and tail and glowing anima shapes along the body to show that the creatures are truly a part of Ardenweald's forest, as well as three distinct antler variations to ensure a lot of variety among the stags in the zone. When designing the mount version of the model, she echoed the overall look of Ardenweald with leaf-like designs and materials matching those used by the Night Fae (primarily leather, followed by sap glass, leaves, and very small amounts of metal accents).[12]