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Dalaran (aka Dalaran City) is a magocratic city-state and was once located within the Alterac Mountains in the Eastern Kingdoms. Now, the city, including the Violet Citadel, resides above the Crystalsong Forest in Northrend. The top part of the city is sparkling and airy, while the sewers underground show the darker side of magic addiction and luxury.
Dalaran is the center for some cooking, fishing, and profession dailies. It is also the center for Wrath-quality Justice and Honor gear, as well as several mounts, pets, recipes, and vanity items.
The Violet Hold is an instance that is located within Dalaran.
Dalaran was one of several kingdoms that emerged as the Empire of Arathordeclined (see Seven Kingdoms and The Seven Kingdoms). Long ago, most human magicians lived in Strom. Wanting a place more suited to extensive use and study of magic, they traveled north to the Alterac Mountains and founded Dalaran with the High Elves. More wizards followed, and the city became a haven for magi and a center of arcane study. The mages of Dalaran protected inhabitants who weren't magic-users with powerful protection spells, and created a decadent, extravagant paradise. Dalaran was also built atop a massive ley line.
This overuse of magic with no proper protection or regulation, though, acted as a beacon for the Burning Legion, luring them back to Azeroth. Demons slipped through the gaps in reality, terrorizing the locals until the ruling Magocrats were forced to turn to the elves for aid. High Elf wizards quickly realized what had happened and warned that humanity would have to give up magic to subdue the threat completely. The Magocrats, unwilling to sacrifice their power, instead proposed selecting a mortal champion to protect them from the Legion.
This Guardian would have access to all their might, and would form a secret defense for the world. The elves agreed and, through the newly formed Order of Tirisfal, provided guidance in the selection. At the same time, the Magocrats sent some of their number to research and catalog all human magic. These wizards became the Kirin Tor.
The Kirin Tor became the city¡¯s ruling power. Dalaran, though not a large city, was a beautiful place of towering spires and glittering streets, and the people there were happy and well protected. The Kirin Tor¡¯s headquarters was the Violet Citadel, an impressive building so named for its stone walls which gave off a faint violet light. The building had many libraries, research chambers, testing rooms, classrooms, meeting alcoves, and bedrooms.
During the Second War, Dalaran entered the Alliance of Lordaeron in order to help fight the invading Horde. After the war, Teron Gorefiend and his Death Knights, aided by Deathwing, were able to successfully enter Dalaran's Arcane vaultand steal the Eye of Dalaran from it.
Later, Dalaran found itself powerless to stop Prince Arthas and his forces when he led the Scourge through Lordaeron. Arthas acquired the spellbook of Medivh and Kel'Thuzad used it to summon Archimonde, who destroyed Dalaran. The city was left in ruins.
The Kirin Tor refused to abandon their home, however. They returned to the ruins months later, destroying those few undead creatures that remained, and reclaimed their city. They erected a glowing dome around the entire city, powerful enough to destroy anyone who touches it, while they worked to rebuild their fallen city. (APG 154-155)
Eventually, the city, including the Violet Citadel, was somehow moved to its current location floating above theCrystalsong Forest in Northrend ¡ª close to the border with Icecrown. It left only a crater in its original place.