The Highborne elves, or Quel'dorei in the ancient tongue, are an old race of elves, once the fortunate favored of Queen Azshara and responsible for much of the misery in the world today due to their experiments with the Well of Eternity.
Before the War of the Ancients and the Great Sundering, they were once the ruling elite of the ancient elven civilization and the favored few of Queen Azshara, treated as royalty and given preference over the other elves. It was they who were charged by the Queen with the experiments on the Well of Eternity and it was they who introduced arcane magic to the world. Sadly, they are also responsible for the introduction of the Burning Legion to Azeroth and bringing about the fall of the Queen.
The Highborne were originally the upper class of the Kaldorei, and found favor with the Queen. Their arrogance, greed and decadent habits created a feeling of distrust and enmity amongst the other night elves, who they treated with disdain and contempt. After ages of this behavior, these elite eventually convinced themselves that they were indeed the superiors of their race and began calling themselves the Highborne to further separate themselves from their lower class brethren. As she was of the same caste, the queen Azshara eventually made the term official for them.
After being charged by their Queen to explore the depths of the Well of Eternity, the eventually discovered the primitive magic in its depths. Once this magic was discovered, they began to further distance themselves from the lower castes and use their newly approved rank to guard this new found power. In doing so, they also restricted any and all access to the Well of Eternity from any but Highborne, guarding it jealously.
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