Long ago, Aviana was a normal raven, until she was chosen by Elune to deliver messages from the moon goddess to the demigod Cenarius. Soon she was carrying messages among many of the powers of the ancient world; each power granted the raven new abilities required to carry out her duties until she eventually became an equal among them.

As the Kaldorei gathered at the Well of Eternity, Aviana took the form of a night elf and joined their studies of magic. When Queen Azshara built her temple and gathered together her chosen servants to revel in their arcane power, Aviana realized the corrupting influence of magic and returned to Elune's side. During the War of the Ancients, Aviana would occasionally take mortal form and guide groups of endangered humans or night elves away from the Doomguard. However, most of the time she flew high above the land gathering information for Cenarius on the movements of the Burning Legion.

The native races of Azeroth depict Aviana differently. The night elves see her as an enormous raven, taller than even the tallest tauren, but other races see her as a dove or an eagle, and she loves all such forms. Yet each race also knows her as one of its own kind, combined with scores of faces and roles — from a human wanderer or a Quel'dorei sorcerer to a dwarven explorer or a troll priest. Even the night elves revere the Lady Raven as one who walked the path of magic yet was wise enough to turn away before being corrupted. Though she is the patron of those seeking knowledge, they understand that she carefully guards that which she knows lest she let slip the secrets of the gods themselves. Still, she has a fondness for mortals that leads her to protect and aid them whenever she feels able.

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