Also known as: the Sisters of Elune
Leader: High Priestess Tyrande Whisperwind
The Sisterhood of Elune is the highest echelon of the priesthood that serves the goddess of the moon, Elune.
Once, all priests who served Elune were night elf women. However, after the devastation of the Third War, traditional gender roles were discarded in favor of permitting night elves to choose the vocations they most desired. As a result, although a majority of Elune's priests are still women, the order now welcomes men into its ranks. Since the night elves emerged from their societal isolation, the priests of Elune have also extended membership to a few priests of other races.
Similarly the Sisters of Elune have on occasion admitted a priest from outside the night elf race. Yet there is a widespread belief to this day that the deepest mysteries of the changeable moon goddess can only be comprehended by other women. The Sisterhood has therefore remained exclusively female thus far.
History and Organization
For millennia, the priestesses of Elune were both spiritual leaders and powerful fighters for their society. When the night elves rode into battle, the Sisters of Elune fought side by side with the soldiers, singing to Elune and calling upon her power. Oftentimes the lunar goddess responded by visiting her wrath upon the night elves' enemies. It was even said that the priestesses could bring a semblance of the moon into the noonday sky, lending some of Elune's strength to the nocturnal night elves. After the battle was won, the priestesses prayed over the wounded and brought them healing.
Victory at last brought peace to the night elves, and the Sisters of Elune were content to retreat somewhat from the public eye. As time passed, their combat skills became a distant memory. The priestesses could mend injuries if necessary, but with peace and immortality, the Sisterhood's intervention was rarely necessary.
Then the War of the Ancients broke out, and the Sisterhood rode into battle again. The extraordinary combat skills and healing abilities of Tyrande Whisperwind in particular reminded the night elves of what the order had once been--and had, in fact, never ceased to be. After the Great Sundering, Tyrande decreed sweeping changes throughout night elf society. As part of these changes, Tyrande disbanded the old army, most of which had no desire for further battle, and established the Sentinels.
The Sisterhood of Elune was one of the few major organizations to survive the war largely intact, and membership in its ranks had never been a matter of bloodline. Furthermore, members of the order had trained extensively in combat, tactics, and healing. Yet in spite of all their knowledge and experience, the priestesses had become somewhat aloof from the rest of night elf society.
Tyrande believed that this distance was partly to blame for the cataclysmic war, and she resolved that her order would take up the duty of directing the Sentinels. The high priestess of Elune became both the leader of the Sentinels and the head of night elf government. Never again would the Sisterhood fail to guide the night elf people.
Beliefs and Practices
Elune is a being of many different aspects, and so the Sisterhood must provide a wide and varied education. The goddess' teachings emphasize love and tolerance for all creatures of Azeroth. Many initiates to the order find their faith tested and meditate regularly as they struggle to acknowledge and overcome their prejudices.
Even so, Elune does not advocate pacifism at any cost. Indeed, novices in the Sisters of Elune are required to train extensively in tactics and combat, for such abilities are essential to military leadership.
The Sisterhood never quite approved of the way in which higher-caste night elves made use of arcane magic, due to the magic's chaotic nature. Consequently novices must follow a rigorous course of study that delves into both history and spellcasting. The first Well of Eternity in particular was considered a potential source of danger. Indeed, long before the Highborne's abuse of the Well's magic brought about disaster, the Well had become the subject of extensive discussion in the Sisterhood's classrooms.