I SHOULD BE DOING HOMEWORK buuuuuuut….
The one thing that I didn’t actually include as a part of my project (and may yet) is something of a timeline of pre-Sundering events. You can find bits and pieces of my thoughts on a timeline throughout my posts, but here’s a rough one for your convenience:
15,000 years BDP: The dark trolls settle along the Well of Eternity’s shores and, over generations, eventually evolve into night elves.
14,000 years BDP: This was supposedly the date of earliest ‘official’ worship of Elune, which means the elven capital, Elun’dris (later to be renamed Zin-Azshari) may not have even been built until this point. However, primitive worship of Elune combined with loa worship had existed starting from when the elves discovered the Well of Eternity.
13,000 - 12,000 years BDP: My estimate for when Azshara became queen. The reason there’s not much lore from when before she was queen (or knowledge of other queens) is because the elven empire didn’t really “start” until after she ascended to the throne. Azshara’s reign (which I guess is 2000-3000 years), although incredibly long by human standards, saw the inception and evolution of magical studies, scientific studies, the expansion of the empire across Kalimdor, and so many other things and advancements. The reason I give this date is because Eldre’thalas (a city built primarily to store her secret tomes) was built at her behest approximately 12,000 years ago. Another item, the Highborne Astrolabe, similarly dates back to 12,000 years ago and indicates the existence of scientific studies (which in part answers your question, since the Highborne Astrolabe comes from Suramar, so Suramar is at least 12,000+ years old).
Unknown BDP: At some point pre-Sundering, there was a conflict between the night elves and the earthen. Not much is known about it except that the power of Black Rook Hold and the Ravencrests turned the war in favor of the night elves, leading the Ravencrest clan (and thus Kur’talos) to be favored of the royalty. Although it never specifies, I’ve conjectured that this happened before Azshara’s reign, or at least early into it. I say that just because post-Azshara, once the Highborne were capable of wielding magic, hardly any sizable conflicts occurred between the night elves and other races until the War of the Ancients. The best example I can give of this is the skirmishes between the Gurubashi trolls and the night elves. Essentially, the trolls were easily overcome by the elves and Azshara could have conquered them if she wanted to, but it wasn’t really worth her time.
I have some other guesses for why the conflict may be pre-Azshara, but they’re harder to offer as actual evidence. It just has to do with how that event is worded (which is in one of the WotA novels), because nothing is ever said about Azshara or Kur’talos explicitly. Instead, the passage only identifies the “Ravencrests” and “royalty” and, I think, implies that they had some intimate relations. That, however, is not to say Kur’talos and Azshara never had intimate relations themselves, especially since she considered him one of her more favored subjects.
10,000 years BDP: War of the Ancients!
To put this all in a little context…
Unfortunately, the age of Tyrande/Illidan/Malfurion is a little vague due to retcons and it wasn’t something I studied for my project so I’m going off of wowpedia sources. The source that I’m pretty sure is outdated states Tyrande is 13,836 years old and the twins about 15,032 (people think it’s outdated because the age gap is ridiculous and other sources since then have said that they grew up together). But to be fair, putting that in the context of this timeline means that Illidan and Malfurion Stormrage would’ve been dark trolls if they were born over 15,000 years ago. Thanks to new Legion lore, however, we can see that’s very obviously not true. In fact, they had priestesses presiding over their birth, which suggests it couldn’t have been any time after14,000 years ago since that’s the date official worship started.
Apparently the WotA novels state that the trio were only a few decades old by the War of the Ancients, which makes a bit more sense, but the Encyclopedia dis-similarly states that they were some millennia old by the time the War of the Ancients happened.
Another thing to help out the passage of time: there are three known High Priestesses of Elune up until the War of the Ancients. This includes Haidene, the first High Priestess, Kalo’thera, and Dejahna who died during the war. Kalo’thera was only high priestess “centuries before” the War of the Ancients, however she was considered something of a demigoddess. Since earlier High Priestesses were regarded as living incarnations of Elune, this may suggest that Kalo’thera was on the earlier side of the line of High Priestesses, but that’s hard to really say.
So going off of that, you could maybe assume that there were over two queens before Azshara came to rule (since I assume queens ruled for about as long as High Priestesses, both being high ranking positions and all). Night elf lifespan is much longer than troll lifespan, but the existence of early troll-elf queens/kings depends on whether or not dark trolls practiced that kind of hierarchy.
I’m going to edit this post in a bit later to include links to Highborne posts I’ve done in the past, which have more evidence for some of my claims here. However, this is a link to the master post for Highborne cities which also provides a link to Suramar if you want to learn more about its history!
@ everyone: feel free to always aks questions this is the greatest