Nightborne allied race

Nightborne allied race DEFAULT
This article is about the playable race. For the nightborne lore, see Nightborne.

The nightborne (also spelled the Nightborne)[1] or shal'dorei in their native tongue[2][3] are one of the playable Hordeallied races in World of Warcraft, introduced at the end of Legion. An offshoot of night elves that chose to seal themselves away from the world during the Burning Legion's first attack on Azeroth, the shal'dorei found themselves forced to ally with the demons upon their third invasion. Once liberated, the nightborne felt a kinship with the blood elves, and promptly joined the Horde.

Led by First Arcanist Thalyssra, nightborne begin in their capital city of Suramar before reporting to the Horde's embassy (much like all other allied races). Shal'dorei ride manasabers as their racial mount. Due to their isolation, the nightborne's language of Shalassian is unique to them. However, they have also learned Orcish from their new allies.


Main article: Nightborne#History

Race preview

Isolated behind a protective barrier for 10,000 years, the elves of Suramar grew increasingly dependent upon the arcane magic of the Nightwell. To protect this font of power, the leaders of the Nightborne struck a bargain with the Burning Legion that plunged their kingdom into civil war. After fighting for freedom from their demonic masters, the Nightborne seek allies in the Horde to help them reclaim their place in the world.[4]

Creation screen description

The nightborne of Suramar spent millennia isolated behind an arcane barrier, slowly transformed by the magic of the Nightwell. These proud, noble elves now seek to reclaim their place in Azeroth.

Opening cutscene

Thalyssra:For ten-thousand years, Suramar was the only world we knew. As the ages passed, Azeroth changed around us... and fell into the Legion's grasp. To secure our people's future, you must help reclaim our place in Azeroth. Venture forth alongside new allies and show the world that the legacy of the nightborne is one of nobility... and strength.


After the death of Grand Magistrix Elisande and the end of the Third invasion of the Burning Legion, the shal'dorei wished to rejoin the world. Thalyssra believed that it was unlikely they would share any common ground with the Horde, and that it would only be natural to join (or re-join, as it were) with the night elves, which Thalyssra herself was born as. After an exchange between Thalyssra and a sceptically cautious Tyrande Whisperwind, Thalyssra became disillusioned with the night elves' apparent arrogance and mistrust, while Lady Liadrin of the blood elves expressed a similar relationship with the night elves. Thalyssra also felt that the Alliance as an organization was too walled off and too cloistered, an undesirable trait after having been literally walled off for 10,000 years. After an offer of mutual friendship from Regent Lord Lor'themar Theron of Silvermoon, the shal'dorei leader decided that it would be best to ally with the Horde, who share ideals similar to those of the nightborne.[5]


The nightborne look similar to night elves, but their overall appearance is darker. Their skin does not have the brighter skin tones of purple and pink that night elves do, instead having more pale skin with dark blue-purpleish tones. A shal'dorei's hair is also far less colorful than the kal'dorei's, having only white, gray, black, or very pale-blue hair colors. Glowing tattoos seem common among nightborne, though whether these are cosmetic or a result of the Nightwell's energy is unknown. Their eyes glow light-blue.


In order to unlock the ability to play as nightborne, players need to have completed the achievement  [Insurrection] and have a level 50 Horde character. These requirements are account.wide in that players do not have to earn all requirements on the same character or even a Horde character to unlock.

Once these requirements are met, players must then complete the following recruitment questline:

  1. H [45] Thalyssra's Estate
  2. H [45] Silvermoon City
  3. H [45] Remember the Sunwell
  4. H [45] The Nightborne


Racial traits



Main articles: Jokes#Nightborne male, Jokes#Nightborne female
Main articles: Flirt#Nightborne male, Flirt#Nightborne female

Notes and trivia

  • Playable Nightborne start at Exalted reputation with The Nightfallen faction, with the main storyline of the  [Good Suramaritan] achievement and the entirety of the  [Insurrection] achievement completed. As a result of the latter, the Eye of Aman'thul is already placed within the Portrait Room in the Chamber of the Guardian in Dalaran, and Nightborne players can benefit from the [Gaze of Aman'Thul] immediately upon entering the Broken Isles.
  • The modern Nightborne crest features the dusk lily as one of the main elements, no doubt added after Thalyssra's rise to power.
  • Early in the patch 7.3.5 PTR, they had two racial traits based on the gameplay mechanics of Suramar City: [Masquerade] and [Dispel Illusions].
  • Also during the PTR, their racial description read, "Isolated behind a protective barrier for ten-thousand years, the elves of Suramar grew increasingly dependent upon the arcane magic of the Nightwell. To protect this font of power, the leaders of the nightborne struck a bargain with the Burning Legion that plunged their kingdom into civil war. After fighting for freedom from their demonic masters, the nightborne seek allies to help them reclaim their place in the world."


  • Original playable Nightborne crest, as displayed on the Battle for Azeroth website.

  • Nightborne male.jpg
  • Nightborne female.jpg
  • New customizations in patch 9.1.5

Patch changes



How To Unlock The Nightborne Allied Race In World Of Warcraft: Shadowlands

With the announcement of new customization features coming to some Allied Races who were lacking compared to the rest, Horde players may want to begin unlocking the Nightborne before the patch arrives to prepare.

Allied races are different than traditional World of Warcraft races, and players will need to complete in-game achievements and a unique questline to unlock them.

To unlock the Nightborne, players will need to complete the Insurrection achievement, which will require players to complete the Suramar storyline in Legion, before traveling to the Embassy in Orgrimmar to begin the unlock quest.

Before Shadowlands, players would need to reach exalted with the relevant faction to their new race as well, however, this has been changes and only the achievement is required.

Read more:World Of Warcraft: How To Unlock All Allied Races In The Shadowlands.

How To Unlock The Nightborne Allied Race In World Of Warcraft: Shadowlands

This is true to unlock all Allied Races now, greatly reducing the amount of time required to unlock them, especially for new or returning players.

Players who unlock the Nightborne race will also be rewarded with an achievement and the Nightborne Manasaber mount.

Screenshot of the Nightborne Manasaber mount rewarded for completing the questline to unlock the Nightborne Allied Race in World of Warcraft.
click to enlarge

The new customization options will not be available until 9.1.5 releases which at this point in time has no current release date.

Players who create a Nightborne character before the release of 9.1.5 will be able to visit a barbershop after the patch has been released to use all the new customization options that will have been released.

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How to Unlock Nightborne Fast in Shadowlands [2021]

A quick guide to every step required to unlock the Nightborne allied race in World of Warcraft: Shadowlands

Figuring out how to unlock allied races from past expansions can be challenging — especially if you are new to World of Warcraft. To make things more complicated, unlock requirements have changed over time, but online guides and forums have not been updated. In this article, I want to give you the most up-to-date information to unlock the Nightborne allied race fast in Shadowlands. At a high level, here is what you need to do to create a Nightborne character.

You can unlock the Nightborne allied race in Shadowlands by completing 2 steps (requires level 45+):

  1. Earn the Insurrectionachievement by finishing the Suramar storyline
  2. Complete 4 recruitment quests, which start at the Orgrimmar Embassy

For the remainder of this article, I will explain how to get to Suramar, what storylines you need to complete, and how to begin the recruitment quest chain.

Let’s do it! 

How to get to Suramar in Shadowlands

Screenshot of Suramar in World of Warcraft

After reaching level 45+, make your way to Legion (new) Dalaran via your Dalaran hearthstone or portal to Azsuna found in the Orgrimmar or Stormwind portal rooms.

If you haven’t been to Dalaran before, you can visit the Hero’s Call Board in Orgrimmar and select “Fight the Legion.” This will provide you with a scenario and a quest that grants your hearthstone at the end.

After arriving in Legion Dalaran, make your way to The Violet Citadel found on the city’s west side. Once inside the citadel, talk to Archmage Khadgar to pick up the quest Khadgar’s Discovery. Once you complete that quest and a few other small ones that all take place in that same room, you will be teleported to Suramar to help First Arcanist Thalyssra.

If you have already been to Suramar, you can get there by flight path directly from Dalaran.

Screenshot of new Dalaran map in World of Warcraft

Complete the Suramar storyline

One of the most confusing aspects of unlocking Nightborne is completing the Suramar storyline. Most guides will simply tell you that you just need to do the story until you earn the Insurrection achievement.

But how do you start those storylines? Can you skip some quests to unlock Nightborne faster?

To answer these questions, I decided to make a little graphic to show you how all the quests connect. The graphic is a treemap that displays the name of each storyline and first quest in the series to unlock Nightborne.

Map of all quests required to complete Insurrection achievement in World of Warcraft to unlock Nightborne

As illustrated by the graphic, you can begin the Suramar storyline by accepting the Khadgar’s Discovery quest with a level 45+ character. This can be a Horde or Alliance character. Still, I would recommend using a Horde character since you will need one for the second part of the Nightborne unlock anyway.

I left out several storylines in the graphic that you can skip if your only goal is to unlock Nightborne. These are required for the Good Suramaritanachievement but should be safe to ignore for the unlock. If you find any issues in the graphic, let me know in the comments so I can update it for other players.

Here are the skippable storylines:

  • Breaking the Lightbreaker
  • Moon Guard Stronghold
  • Jandvik’s Jarl
  • Eminent Grown-Main
  • Tidying Tel’Anor

Overall, these storylines will take you a while to complete. If I had to guess, I would say that it would take 6 – 7 hours over a couple of days to finish.

Once you finish the storyline and earn Insurrection, you are most of the way there in your mission to recruit the Nightborne.

Do the 4 recruitment quests

With the Suramar story completed and achievement in hand, it is time to recruit the Nightborne.

To begin the recruitment quest, you need to visit the Orgrimmar Embassy. Once inside the building, Ji Firepaw should offer you a quest called Thalyssra’s Estate that requires you to travel back to Suramar. From there, you will go through some backstory in Silvermoon before returning to the embassy to unlock Nightborne.

If you are curious, you will need to complete the following quests:

Screenshot of Orgrimmar map with embassy location

If you are looking to unlock other allied races, please check out my other guides in the table below. I plan on writing one for each race but still have one more to write. The ones I have done have links attached and are blue.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. How long does it take to unlock Nightborne?

Given the length of the Suramar questlines, I would expect it to take you around 6 – 8 hours to unlock Nightborne from scratch. However, it could take much longer if you need to level a Horde character to level 45 to start the recruitment quest.

Q. What classes can Nightborne be?

The Nightborne allied race can play as 8 different classes in World of Warcraft. They cannot play as demon hunters, druids, paladins, or shamans. Every other class is fair game, including:

Death Knight

Q. What racial traits do Nightborne have?

Nightborne characters have 2 active racial abilities. The first is Arcane Pulse, an AoE burst which deals damage and slows enemy movement speed. Damage pulses occur every 2 seconds over a total of 20 seconds. The slow movement speed lasts for a total of 12 seconds.

The second active racial ability is called Cantrips. This allows the Nightborne to summon a book that grants access to their mailbox for 1.5 minutes.
Outside of that, Nightborne have 3 passive racial abilities, including:

Ancient History – Inscription skill boosted by 15
Magical Affinity  – Deals 1% more magic damage
Arcane Resistance – Take 1% less arcane damage

Final Thoughts

Unlocking the Nightborne allied race requires completing a significant portion of Suramar’s storyline and a short recruitment quest. To begin, you will need a character at or above level 45. You can start the Suramar storyline from The Violet Citadel in Legion Dalaran. All in all, the process is will likely take a few days of questing to complete.

Thanks for reading, and enjoy exploring Azeroth on your brand new Nightborne Manasaber!


Filed Under: Allied Race, guideTagged With: allied races, guide, legion, world of warcraft, wow


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Allied race nightborne

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How to Unlock Allied Races in Shadowlands: Highmountain Tauren \u0026 Nightborne

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