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Maiev Shadowsong was a prominent Night Elf Watcher. After the War of Ancients around 9400 before common era, when the Well of Eternity was destroyed by the clash between the Burning Legion and the Night Elves and it was thought that the Demons will never return due to the destruction of the well, Malfurion Stormrage became the new Night Elf Archdruid. To his horror, however, his younger brother Illidan Stormrage, against his command, saved a few drops of the water of the Well, and emptied them into a previously tranquil lake in a depression atop Mt. Hyjal, thus creating a new Well of Eternity. Malfurion arrested Illidan and locked him in an underground prison in Felwood interconnected with the Barrow Deeps, a hybernating place for Druids of the Claw.
Maiev Shadowsong and her Watchers were appointed by Malfurion to guard the prison of Illidan, where he remained chained for about 10 000 years. It is not certain how long Illidan's imprisonment and Maiev's watch duty would have lasted had not the Burning Legion invaded Azeroth a second time in 613 CE. Tyrande Whisperwind, the Night Elf Priestess of the Moon, after waging a losing battle with the agents of the Burning Legion, ventured into the Barrow Deeps with Malfurion and a handful of escorts. Their initial objective was to awaken the Druids of the Claw from their hibernated slumber, but when Tyrande stumbled upon the entrance to Illidan's prison, she and the females in the group deserted Malfurion, defying his direct orders, and liberated Illidan, hoping to enlist his aid to defeat the Burning Legion. Tyrande and her followers were so desperate to get to Illidan that they ruthlessly massacred Maiev's Watchers, an act Maiev never forgave Tyrande.
Tyrande never encountered Maiev in the prison, however, at least not while on the way to Illidan's cell. It is unclear where she was at that time and why she could not personally prevent the liberation of Illidan.
After still power-hungry Illidan consumed the Skull of Gul'dan, becoming a half-demon himself, he was exiled from Night Elf lands by his brother Malfurion. Maiev, furious at Malfurion's foolishness of letting a convicted criminal loose, swore to track Illidan down at all costs.
Illidan fled to the Night Elf fishing village of Nendis in Azshara, a coastal region to the east of Mt. Hyjal. He cast a powerful spell that awakened the Naga, serpentine sea creatures who were once Night Elves, but their addiction to arcane magic and the immense magical energies released when the original Well of Eternity buckled upon itself greatly deformed their bodies. The Naga began to plunder settlements in Azshara. Maiev, and her watchers, including the Huntress Naisha, defeated the Naga, and followed Illidan to the port of Nendis. Illidan sailed east, and Maiev and her watchers followed him.
The group landed in an archipelago that was littered with Night Elf ruins. Maiev recognized the ruins as the former Night Elf capital city that was buried beneath the waves when the Well of Eternity collapsed. From an Orcish hermit stuck on one of the islands, Maiev learned that the islands were raised from the seafloor by powerful warlock Gul'dan nearly 25 years earlier. Maiev concluded that Illidan was heading to the Tomb of Sargeras to reclaim a powerful artifact, the Eye of Sargeras. The Watchers carefully infiltrated the Tomb, finding Illidan already in possession of the Eye. Upon encounter with the Night Elves, Illidan cast a spell that shook the ground violently, collapsing parts, eventually the entire Tomb onto the helpless Watchers. Maiev sprinted out of the Tomb, thus saving herself and living to tell the story.
Upon return to her base camp, she sent a runner back to the mainland to let Malfurion know that she needed urgent reinforcements. Fighting valiantly alongside her soldiers, she held Illidan's advances back until Malfurion's reinforcements arrived. The joint Night Elf force laid waste to Illidan's base of operations, but he managed to escape once again.
(... To be continued, work in progress ...)
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