“Ten thousand years before the orcs and humans clashed in their First War, the world of Azeroth cradled only one massive continent, surrounded by the sea. That landmass, known as Kalimdor, was home to a number of disparate races and creatures, all vying for survival amongst the savage elements of the waking world. At the dark continent’s center was a mysterious lake of incandescent energies. The lake, which would later be called the Well of Eternity, was the true heart of the world’s magic and natural power. Drawing its energies from the infinite Great Dark beyond the world, the Well acted as a mystical fount, sending its potent energies out across the world to nourish life in all its wondrous forms.” – WoWWiki
Long long ago…
So there’s this big Well see.. elves are fascinated by it.. and learn arcane magic because of it. They attracts the attention of big baddies roaming the ether of the Warcraft-o-verse (Burning Legion) and to repel the baddies the well is blown up (The Sundering) transforming some elves into Satry and others into Naga. (I believe this is also where they initially lost thier immortality.)
Some surviving elves adopted druidism and outlawed the practice of arcane magics (Night Elves). They eventually exiled the arcane magic using elves who sail off to the Eastern Kingdom (High Elves) and establish their own civilization.
Night elves go on to pour vials of water taken from the original Well of Eternity on the top of a mountain (Mount Hyjal) and plant a -really- big tree (Nordrassil) (granting the Night Elves immortality again) and then blow it up (ending their immortality)(also implies that Nordrassil is the reason Night Elves have wisp form)… The tree -may- be healing.. but it’s currently inaccessable so its status is unknown. They then go on to plant an even bigger tree (Teldrassil) (which doesn’t give them immortality) and use that for their base of operations.
The High elves sail off to their new land.. and eventually established the kingdom of Quelâ€™Thalas and setup lines of Runestones to protect their use of arcane energies from the Burning Legion (though how a simple line of fancy stones across the southern border of thier new land was sufficient to keep out a big baddie force cruising through the ether of the Warcraft-o-verse is beyond me). The high elves then used one of their vials from the original Well of Eternity to create the Sunwell. Since their not all touch-feely about nature they don’t plant a tree. BUT they do get to siphon energy out of the Sunwell feeding their arcane magic addiction.
Eventually this new well of power attracts the eyes of new baddies (Human Prince Arthas Menethil and the Scourge). They burned the forests in the south of Eversong, befouled the Sunwell (by using its energies to re-animate Kel’Thesad), and then blew it up (recurring theme with elves). The undead then killed the High Elven King and a majority of Silvermoon’s population.
Prince Kael’thas Sunstrider rallied the survivors and renamed them the sin’dorei, or “blood elves”, in honor of those who had fallen to the Scourge and swore to avenge their race.
At this point the “blood elves” are part of the Alliance.
Five years ago…
Kael is living happily in Dalaran. Arathas invades and destroys Silvermoon (killing Kael’s dad). Kael meets with Grand Marshal Garithos at Dalaran who sends Kael to repair some arcane observatories. Kael leaves to do this but finds that the shipyard at Lordamere Lake was in ruins so he had no way to get to the observatories. Lady Vashj, a naga, arrives and offers Kael some ships to use. He accepts, repairs the observatories.. but when he tells Garithos about borrowing Vashj’s ships, Garithos blows a fuse. Garithos warns that he will not tolerate treason and then leaves Kael in charge of Dalaran.
Later Garithos sends an Emissary telling Kael that Kael needs to go defend the observatories from an undead attack. The emissary also sends all of the non-elf troops away from Kael. This leaves Kael with insufficient troops to defeat the undead. The undead attack, Kael is almost overwhelmed and Vashj shows up to save Kael’s butt.
Garithos shows up, catching Kael with Vashj, and arrests Kael on a charge of treason and consorting with the enemy (the nagas). Vashj crawls through the sewer of the Dungeons of Dalaran and frees Kael and his people. She then takes them through Kel’Thuzad’s (the guy whose re-animation as a lich destroyed the Sunwell) interdimensional portal to the Outlands to eventually meet up with Illidan.
Illidan promises Kael that if the blood elves join with him he’ll make sure they are kept in constant supply of the arcane energies they need to sate thier addiction.
Kael sends Rommath back to Quel’Thalas with word of this agreement.
Everybody heads back to Azeroth.. and we have this big fight in Northrend where Arathas ends up getting possessed by (and becoming one with) the Lich King and Illidan gets defeated. Vashj and Kael snatch up Illidan and high-tail it back to the Outlands.
Ya but, why did the blood elves side with the Horde? And how do they justify imprisoning a Na’aru in the basement of the Paladin training room? And where did they get that Na’aru? Hrm. A little birdy told me the “alligning with Horde” is explained with a quest at ~level 20 but I haven’t completed it yet. Maybe I’ll know soon.
As for the Na’aru… there’s something about that Na’aru being the keeper for “Tempest Keep”.. and the Exodar being a wing of the keep that the Draenei hoisted to escape from Outlands… and something about Blood Elves sabatoging that hoist.. but I -really- don’t know the details. Still digging though.