The following is information about an Alternate Universe, or Realm, as we like to say.
The Duskthorn Realm is an Azeroth in which the War of the Ancients took a very different turn, as did the aftermath. This realm is populated heavily by the Silverthorn bloodline, but one greatly changed from the Main Realm.
Differences Between the Main Realm and the Duskthorn Realm
The primary differentiation point, or fulcrum, between the Duskthorn Realm (DR for short) and the Main Realm lies with events during the War of the Ancients.
In the DR, Illidan and Malfurion Stormrage were killed by a host of demons fairly early in the war. Without Malfurion’s leadership and Illidan’s masterful infiltration of the Legion’s forces, kal’dorei defenses quickly collapsed. What defensive forces remained coalesced around Jarod Shadowsong and his band.
Kalithil Silverthorn, having recently returned from his self-imposed exile, and summarily seduced by the Matriarch of the House of Silverthorn, conceived of a desperate plan to defeat the Legion. Using his connection with the extra-planar entity Suburos, Kalithil performed a great ritual that forced Elune into a state of permanent eclipse with Azeroth’s sun. This had the effect of granting the legendary power of the Night Warrior upon all of those of Kalithil’s bloodline. Thus enhanced, the Silverthorns were able to overcome the Legion, drive them from Azeroth, and close the portal being opened at the Well of Eternity.
In addition to their newfound power, the ritual forever changed the traditional pale hair and skin of the SIlverthorns to its opposite; all of Kalithil’s descendants now sport dark, near-black skin and ebon black hair. The ritual also granted the Silverthorn bloodline immortality, supplanting the pact that, in the Main Realm, would later be made with the Green Dragonflight. It should be noted that, due to the power of the Night Warrior being diffused among all those of Silverthorn blood, the madness and bloodlust that often accompanies the power was avoided.
After the War of the Ancients
After the Legion was cast out, the Silverthorns regrouped and began to rebuild their society. As before, any child of Silverthorn blood inherited their now-darkened coloring, as well as their immortality and a share of the power of the Night Warrior. In this way, the kal’dorei of old were eventually supplanted, until all that remained were the dusky breed, now called Shar’dorei.
Queen Azshara’s complicity with the Legion was uncovered by Kalithil’s daughter Silea. Azshara was overthrown and put to death, as were her Highborn followers, leaving the way open for the shar’dorei to ascend.
A Different World
With the Legion’s defeat, the Well of Eternity was never destabilized, and the Sundering never took place. Kalimdor remains to this day an undivided landmass. Various smaller landmasses and island chains exist. The shar’dorei are by far the most numerous race, and the lands of the Shar’dorei Empire stretch across much of the continent. There remain various troll kingdoms, which have a tense relationship with the shar’dorei. Open conflict between the two has broken out at regular intervals throughout history. The history of Pandaria is somewhat similar to that of the Main Realm, except it was not an island. That area of Kalimdor (in the southeast) was shrouded in mist and hidden, however. It was re-discovered much earlier, and the Pandaren and the shar’dorei are on reasonably friendly terms.
Due to the death of Malfurion Stormrage as well as there never being a pact with the Green Dragonflight, druidism did not become a focal point of shar’dorei society. Sorcery was not reviled and its practice thrived. Sorcerers, or mages, hold a place of esteem. Druids are respected as well, but they have less influence than in the Main Realm.
The uprisings revolving around the various imprisoned Old Gods never took place. The shar’dorei were warned by the dragon flights about them and built great keeps either over them or nearby, maintaining an eternal watch over these prisons. Due to this oversight, and great wards being erected on the ancient titan facilities, the human, dwarf and gnome races never appeared. There exist scattered settlements of Vrykul in the northern reaches, and deep within the Titan keeps, Earthen and Mechagnomes still toil.
The Legion did attempt another invasion (similar to Warcraft: Orcs and Humans) using the orcs of Draenor as their dupes. However, this occurred far earlier than in the history of the Dusk AU, perhaps due to the end of the War of the Ancients going so differently. They found the shar’dorei to be far more formidable. The orcs were driven back to Draenor and the Dark Portal was destroyed. Like the Old God’s prisons, a great keep was erected there to keep watch. There has, thus far, been no other concerted Legion effort to invade Kalimdor.
Meddling with the powers of the Fel or the Void is strictly forbidden, and punishment in swift and final.
The Political Landscape
Something similar to the Great House system exists, with a twist. The various Houses all serve as subordinate to the House of Duskthorn, the name that Kalithil bestowed upon his immediate descendants. While all shar’dorei carry Kalithil’s blood, only those in direct line of descent are considered Duskthorn. Kalithil does not rule the Shar’dorei Empire directly, however. He rules the House of Duskthorn, and the House of Duskthorn, in turn, directs the other Great Houses in the Great Council, which is usually presided over by one of Kalithil’s children. The House of Duskthorn acts primarily to protect the shar’dorei people and secure their future. Among the shar’dorei population,The House of Duskthorn is considered a benevolent ruling House. Only among his own children is Kalithil considered a tyrant*.