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The Ravencrest clan was a noble one, but it was not of the Highborne caste. On the contrary, Kur'talos, like most of the night elf populace, regarded the Highborne with suspicion and dislike. He was a levelheaded man, a skilled warrior, and an inspiring leader on the battlefield. It was a matter of both honor and practicality for him to fight alongside his soldiers: his presence inspired others to greater feats of courage and skill. Even so, Kur'talos had many of the ancient night elves' prejudices against other races. He rejected any suggestion of asking the earthen or tauren for help. Furthermore, he considered dragons extremely powerful, but he believed they would simply devour any mortal envoys. He therefore refused to permit any night elves to appeal to the dragons for assistance in fighting the Legion.
Ravencrest once came across two ravens, Huginn and Muninn, who had a jewel called The Raven's Eye that let them read and understand any language. He tricked them into giving it to him in exchange for a piece of candy. With the Raven's Eye, Ravencrest had an almost perfect espionage team during the War of the Ancients.
Ravencrest became the formal patron of Illidan Stormrage after recruiting Illidan to help him track down Broxigar. It was Ravencrest who would promote Illidan to the leader of the Moon Guard, but he would come to question this decision because of Illidan's recklessness, as he had the mages channel their power into him to empower his own spells, which in turn left the channeling Moon Guard defenseless. Perhaps Kur'talos could have stopped Illidan's rash behavior, but he would never have the opportunity.
Kur'talos was deeply loyal to Queen Azshara and could not believe she had been involved in the Burning Legion's arrival on Azeroth. Indeed, he led the night elf forces against the demons into battle time and again, shouting the queen's name as a rallying cry. In reality, Azshara had given her loyalty to Sargeras, ruler of the Legion, and she was irritated by the night elf army's continued opposition to the Legion, which divided the demons' forces and delayed Sargeras from successfully entering Azeroth. Azshara thus eventually ordered her second-in-command, Captain Varo'then, to solve this issue. Eager to please his queen, Varo'then dispatched the assassin Kelorn Nightblade to the battlefront. The orc Broxigar spotted him and tried to warn Kur'talos, but his warning came too late. The assassin stabbed Kur'talos through the back of the neck before attempting to flee. Broxigar swiftly caught up to the assassin and slew him in turn.
Lord Desdel Stareye, who had been Kur'talos' second-in-command, succeeded Kur'talos as commander of the night elf defenders. However Stareye was incompetent, and so Ravencrest's ideals (and general competence) were not upheld until Jarod Shadowsong assumed the mantle. Lord Ravencrest's death broke his daughter, her hubris began to crumble away and she started to question everything and everyone. When Illidan left the resistance, Illysanna followed him, believing he was right about how to fight the demons.
In ancient times, the rise of magic in night elf society brought with it a variety of new abilities and concerns. Given the power of the Well, it seemed obvious that combat skill alone would not suffice to counteract magical attack. Only a few scattered soldiers were found to possess magical skills, and such abilities were minor at best.
Thus, a number of magic-based fighting organizations sprang up, each of them meant to defend a critical population center. Spellcasters of sufficient strength and ambition sought out the capital city of the night elf civilization, hoping to earn favor with some heroic deed. Eventually this particular group gained the monarchy's official sanction, and they were named the Moon Guard. Loyal only to the ruler of the night elves, the Moon Guard soon regarded other spellcasters with disdain and expected them by default to possess inferior magical ability.