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I've heard somewhere that Elves were once humans, who happened to settle around a magical well, and this well twisted and mutated them into magical beings with immense power capable of controlling nature herself.

Is this story valid in Warcraft? Did the Elves in Warcraft originate from humans and if so, how did they became superior than human beings in almost every aspect?

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    In the case of Warcraft at least the Elves are all descendants of the night elves who in turn were once darktrolls who came to settle around the well of eternity becoming elves. as for the rest of fiction elves themselves started as mythological creatures in a i think (?) the nordic faiths. but where first adopted into high fantasy by Tolkien where they were just created by their creator deity like the rest of us – Ummdustry Feb 18 '18 at 8:12
  • Night elves? Aren't they the descendant of Blood elves? – SlayerDiAngelo Feb 18 '18 at 11:22
  • @SlayerDiAngelo - Other way around. Night Elves were first. High Elves were the first offshoot race. Blood Elves then descended out of the remains of the High Elves. – Radhil Feb 18 '18 at 13:50
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    @SlayerDiAngelo - uh, Blood elves are descended from High elves, like I said. If you want the full story, it'd be recounting most of the plot of Warcraft III. – Radhil Feb 18 '18 at 17:51
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    @Ummdustry - Actually the first Elves in high fantasy might have been the Elves in Lord Dunsany's The King of Elfland's Daughter, 1924. Though Tolkien first created his elves before that novel was published in 1924. – M. A. Golding Feb 19 '18 at 19:16
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No, they did not originate from humans.

Warcraft: Chronicle, Vol. 1 tells the tale of most of the species origins on Azeroth.

While there were a great many diverse races in the very early days of what we would call Azeroth (after the Titans were done chilling out the place), trolls were the most dominant. One particular clan was known as dark trolls, known for being nocturnal and more peaceful than others (trolls are known throughout history for their violence). This clan settled in the area around the Well of Eternity. The immense power in the well got slowly absorbed by the dark trolls and altered them. Their minds grew quicker, their form less hunched. Eventually, other than pointy ears and skin tone, they barely resembled trolls at all. They became the first night elves. Their immense power also stems from the Well, giving them both an innate talent for channeling magic due to how it altered them, and a giant source of it to wield against their enemies.

While night elves later had a few disasters (understatement) that led to the offshoot elven races, and led night elves to seek natural power rather than magic power, humans aren't in any way related to them. Humans are descended from Vrykul, the giants of the north, who in turn were descended from the original stone and metal Titan creations and servants. A degenerative Curse of Flesh first transformed the titan servants from elementals to flesh and blood creatures, creating the Vrykul, then that curse evolved and hit them again, making them give birth to "weakling runts". Said runts were the first humans, and enough of them were exiled to safety to start their own civilization in what would later be called Tirisfal. Dwarves and Gnomes have a similar origin story, also being descended from Titan creations, so those would be the closest kin to humans under the current history.

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Just expanding Radhil's answer:

The tribe of trolls that settled near the Well of Eternity were slowly turned into Night Elves. They nobility - Highborne - started learning to harness the power of the Well, while the rest stayed more attuned with the Nature.

The power of the Well allowed elves to conquer wast areas of the land and cripple the troll empires. Unfortunately it also attracted the attention of the Burning Legion and started corrupting the Queen Azshara. When she decided to summon Sargeras, the leader of the Burning Legion to the Azeroth, the group of elves (Malfurion, Illidan and Tyrande) seeing the folly of her ways struck and managed to destroy the Well of Eternity - Azshara and her followers sunk into ocean and were turned into Naga.

Unwilling to completely banish the magic, before destroying the Well, Illidan has filled few vials with the water - for that he has been imprisoned by his brother and the surviving Highborne have been exiled to the new continent, where they've used the Illidan's gift to create the Sunwell - a smaller version of the Well of Eternity. Those exiles called themselves the High Elves.

For thousands of years the High Elves were living constantly exposed to the magic of the Sunwell, until Arthas destoyed the city and used it to raise the necromancer Kel'Thusad, thus destroying the Sunwell. The surviving remnants living in Silvermoon (calling themselves now the Blood Elves) quickly noticed that they are suffering the magic-withdrawal effects. To negate those effects, they started to feed on other magical energies, including demons.

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    Don't forget the Nightborne, who were cut off from the rest of the world, but depended on the nightwell; the fal'dorei, (driders) who were created by the first attempt at the arcan'dor; and the void elves, night elves who were touched by the Void. – CBredlow Jun 20 '18 at 20:37

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