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|See also, Dalaran Organizations|
The Kirin Tor is the elite conclave that leads the Magocracy of Dalaran. They direct the dealings of Dalaran and ensure that magic is practiced safely in Azeroth. Amongst its members are some of the most powerful mages of Azeroth.
As Dalaran became the chief center of learning for wizards and magicians throughout the land, the Magocrat Lords of Dalaran founded the Kirin Tor as a specialized sect charged with cataloging and researching every spell, artifact and magic item known to mankind at the time. Originally known as the Kirin Tor Advanced Research and Illumination Sect, decades ago it was but a sect in Dalaran. As the magocrat lords were replaced by the Council of Six, the Kirin Tor became the nation's Magus Senate.
However, even the Kirin Tor were powerless to stop Prince Arthas Menethil and his forces when he led the Scourge through Lordaeron. Arthas acquired the Book of Medivh and the lich Kel'thuzad used it to summon Archimonde, the leader of the armies of the Burning Legion, who proceeded to destroy Dalaran. Because Kel'thuzad himself had been part of the Kirin Tor prior to forming the Cult of the Damned, some feel that the devastation was deserved. Because he released the Scourge on the world and was responsible for the creation of the Plague of Undeath, many felt that the Kirin Tor should share in the blame and the consequences.
The mages refused to abandon their home, however. Returning to the ruins months later, they destroyed the few undead creatures remaining and retook their city. Erecting a giant dome around their city powerful enough to destroy anyone who touched it, they worked to rebuild their fallen city. Eventually, Dalaran had been completely rebuilt, and the mages lifted the entire city from its site. The city's earth-shattering exit from the ground left a gaping crater and some magical residue. Declaring themselves neutral in the war between the Alliance and the Horde, they moved their city to Northrend, above the Crystalsong Forest to combat the threat of Malygos, the crazed Aspect of Magic, in the Nexus War.
When the Horde started massing armies at Northwatch Hold, Lady Jaina Proudmoore asked for Dalaran's support against them. The council agreed to send mages to help Theramore, with Archmage Aethas Sunreaver casting the decisive vote. However, Theramore was bombed by the forces under Warchief Garrosh Hellscream, and the Kirin Tor's leader, Rhonin, died sacrificing his life to save Jaina and a few others by teleporting them to safety and pulling the bomb within the tower, minimizing the damage done. Jaina replaced Rhonin on the Council of Six and as leader of the Kirin Tor some time afterwards.
Despite trying to keep Dalaran neutral, Jaina pledged the Kirin Tor to the Alliance after discovering that the Sunreavers helped Garrosh Hellscream steal the Diving Bell by using Dalaran portals to infiltrate Darnassus. Mobilizing the Kirin Tor, Alliance forces and the Silver Covenant, the Horde were purged from Dalaran.
Adapted from Wowpedia.