|Playable races in World of Warcraft|
|Draenei · Dwarf · Gnome · Human · Night elf · Worgen|| Pandaren
||Blood elf · Goblin · Orc · Tauren · Troll · Undead|
|Faction/Affiliation||Independent, Alliance, Aldor, Sha'tar, Earthen Ring|
|Character classes||Hunter, Mage, Priest, Paladin, Warrior, Shaman, Death knight, Monk, Exarch, Necromancer|
|Racial mount||Elekk, Hippogryph|
|Area(s)||Azuremyst Isles, Forest Song,
mostly in all regions of Outland
|Secondary language(s)||Common, Orcish|
- For the playable race, see Draenei (playable). For the draenei language, see Draenei (language). For the draenei racial offshoots and tribes, see Broken draenei, Draenei Lost Ones and Draenei factions and organizations.
The draenei [ˈdɹænɑɪ] are a faction of uncorrupted eredar who fled their home world of Argus and settled on the Azuremyst Isles, near the west coast of Kalimdor. They join the Alliance in the Burning Crusade expansion. Their capital city is the Exodar.
Long ago, on the planet of Argus, the eredar race arose. They were extremely intelligent and had a natural affinity for magic in all of its forms. Using their gifts, they developed a vast and wondrous society. They were aided in this development by an ancient artifact known as the Ata'mal crystal, a triangular crystal whose origin was a mystery to the eredar, though their legends suggested it had been a gift bestowed upon them in ancient times.
At the height of their society, the eredar's three most prominent leaders, Kil'jaeden, Archimonde, and Velen, were approached by Sargeras, the Fallen Titan. Sargeras claimed he was impressed by the work of the eredar and wanted to supply them with even more power and knowledge in exchange for their loyalty. But while Kil'jaeden and Archimonde readily accepted the deal, Velen had doubts. After touching the Ata'mal crystal in its temple, he had a vision of the future that filled him with dread. He saw the dark future his people were heading towards: siding with the dark titan Sargeras and transformed into demons. Velen saw the Legion in all its terrible might and witnessed the destruction it would wreak upon all of creation. He hastened to warn Kil'jaeden and Archimonde, but they dismissed his concerns and proceeded to profess loyalty to Sargeras. Together, the latter transformed a majority of their people into an insidious race of warlocks and later allied themselves with the Burning Legion.
Velen knew he and those who shared his concerns would have to flee Argus, but the impossibility of such a feat brought him to despair. At that time, the Ata'mal crystal started to glow and arose from its pedestal. A voice came to Velen and explained that it was one of the naaru, a race of sapient energy beings bent on stopping the Burning Legion. The naaru offered to take Velen and any other like-minded eredar to safety, and instructed Velen to bring the Ata'mal crystal, revealing that it had been a gift from the naaru in ancient times and a beacon by which the naaru would find Velen and his followers. Deeply relieved, Velen gathered the other eredar loyal to him on the appointed day; they numbered only in the hundreds. With Kil'jaeden and Archimonde hot on their heels, they barely escaped from Argus in the naaru ship Oshu'gun. In their escape, the Ata'mal crystal was shattered into seven shards.
Kil'jaeden was furious with what he felt was Velen's betrayal, and the demon vowed to hunt Velen and the rest of his followers to the ends of the cosmos if need be.
Naming themselves the "draenei", or "exiled ones" in the Eredun language, they hid among many worlds and explored much of the cosmos in their quest to find safe harbor. Still, a hell-bent Kil'jaeden would not give up his pursuit, sending his agent Talgath to hunt them down. Meanwhile, the enigmatic naaru race blessed the draenei with Light-given knowledge and power. The naaru explained that there were other forces in the cosmos that would stand against the Burning Legion. One day the naaru would forge them into a single unstoppable Army of the Light. Deeply affected by the naaru's words, the draenei vowed to honor the Light and uphold the naaru's altruistic ideals.
Refuge on Draenor
More than 200 years before the First War, Velen and his draenei settled upon a remote and peaceful world that seemed an ideal refuge. They named it Draenor, and there they quietly cultivated their society once again. Ever wary of being discovered again by Kil'jaeden's forces, Velen and his mystics kept their magic hidden.
In time the draenei met and befriended the shamanic orc clans that already lived in the tranquil southern grasslands (later called Nagrand). Aside from engaging in some limited trade, the draenei and orcs regarded one another with respect but kept mostly to themselves.
However, no amount of preparation could keep the draenei hidden forever. Eventually, Talgath—after some 25,000 years of pursuit—stumbled upon Draenor sensing the sweet minting essence of eredar magic , and reported back to Kil'jaeden.
Kil'jaeden, however, ordered him to investigate this world. After confirming the presence of the draenei, the Deceiver asked for information regarding the other inhabitants of that world, particularly the orcs. The man'ari lord decided to "punish" the exiles: he wanted them dead, but broken and humilliated. Through his orc protégé Gul'dan, he quickly succeeded in corrupting the shamanistic orcs. Smoothly manipulated from a state of wary acceptance into blind rage and blood lust, the orcs attacked the draenei. This bloody conflict lasted nearly eight years, but the orcs' triumph was unequivocal. The orcs killed over eighty percent of the draenei race and sent the rest fleeing for safety to the remote corners of the world. Draenei who had fought the Horde and survived found that they had been affected by the fel energies wielded so freely by the orc warlocks. These draenei have since mutated into lesser forms, resulting in a series of subspecies.
Kil'jaeden's revenge was complete, or so he thought — Velen and a handful of untransformed draenei have survived the destruction of their cities by the orcs and fled to Zangarmarsh. There they have been hiding until recently.
Arrival of Illidan and the Blood Elves
One group of Lost Ones battling the Fel Orcs were lead by Akama, Elder Sage of the draenei, were slowly losing. Cursed orcs serve Magtheridon—a terrible lord whose Black Citadel lies to the west. Cursed orcs under the command of Magtheridon, hunted the draenei to the brink of extinction. With the help of Illidan and Kael'thas the draenei hoped to turn the balance in their favor and rid themselves of the fel orcs once and for all. With Illidan's help they fought back to retake their ancestral lands, and hoped that they would end their curse forever.
After coming to Draenor, the blood elves discovered the power of Tempest Keep and successfully seized it. To escape, the draenei came out of hiding and managed to wrestle control of a wing of the keep, The Exodar, and tried to use it to flee and find aid in retaking their home. Before they could, however, the blood elves managed to sabotage what is essentially the "engine" of the draenei's transdimensional travel. The remainder of the Keep lies in Outland in Netherstorm and is now the home of Prince Kael'thas.
Arrival on Azeroth
This section concerns content exclusive to The Burning Crusade.
When the draenei tried to planeshift, their sabotaged engine went haywire, and The Exodar ended up hurtling out of control through the Twisting Nether until it crash-landed on a chain of islands, the Azuremyst Isles, off the western coast of Kalimdor. Their arrival on Azeroth wasn't pretty - they ended up tearing up the landscape over on Azuremyst and Bloodmyst Isle. While they were of course concerned about their fellow survivors, they were just as concerned with what they'd done to the land and the creatures on it. As the surviving draenei salvaged what they could of their ship and tried to help what was left of their people, they began exploring this new world; contact with the night elves of Darkshore was imminent. Inspired by heroic tales of the Alliance and its victories against the Legion, the draenei sought out and pledged their loyalty to this courageous faction. Not long afterward, Velen and his noble refugees played a key role in urging the Alliance to invade Outland and disrupt the Legion’s nefarious activities. Armed with their unshakable faith in the Light, the draenei ventured to their embattled former home as steadfast members of the Alliance and defeated their ancient demonic rivals. The return to Outland offered many draenei a chance to reconnect with their brethren who had been left behind. While some of Velen’s race chose to rebuild their society in the shattered land, the majority of draenei remained on Azeroth, vowing to uphold their commitment to the Alliance.
Meanwhile in Shattrath City, a small remnant of the draenei priesthood still conducted its rites in a ruined temple. This remnant, known as the Aldor, were more than happy to see the naaru A'dal, and with their combined efforts, Shattrath began to truly flourish for the first time in years. Unfortunately, the tentative peace was not to last - Illidan's armies began to attack, including a large regiment of blood elves. These blood elves, led by Voren'thal, were sent to lay waste to the city when something unexpected happened: The blood elves lay down their weapons, and Voren'thal stormed into the Terrace of Light, demanding to speak to A'dal. Kneeling before the naaru, Voren'thal simply said: "I've seen you in a vision, naaru. My race's only hope for survival lies with you. My followers and I are here to serve you." Voren'thal took up residence along with his followers, forming the Scryer faction.
Meanwhile the blood elves of Silvermoon had been siphoning the Light from a naaru named M'uru that had been given to them by Prince Kael'thas, using its energies to form an order of Blood Knights that bore the same powers as paladins. Kael'thas Sunstrider, unhappy with Illidan's lack of progress, decided to move a step up on the food chain and ally himself with the Burning Legion - specifically Kil'jaeden. So Kael'thas took Mu'ru from the blood elves and fled to the Sunwell, intent on bringing Kil'jaeden to Azeroth. The Aldor and Scryers immediately dropped their petty bickering and differences and threw themselves into the creation of the Shattered Sun Offensive at the behest of the naaru. This is where the line blurs even further between the two races - both worked together, as one, to take back the Isle of Quel'danas, and both encouraged Alliance and Horde to work together.
And it was by working together that the Shattered Sun Offensive succeeded in retaking the Isle and to prevent Kil'jaeden's return. Mu'ru, who had become a darkened naaru and perished, however Velen appeared shortly thereafter and uses the naaru M'uru's "spark" to reignite the Sunwell, returning the blood elves' "fount of power."
Wrath of the Lich King
This section concerns content exclusive to Wrath of the Lich King.
There are a few draenei in Northrend. Vindicator Yaala and Harbinger Vurenn investigate the mysterious Cult of the Damned in Borean Tundra, who have stowed away to Northrend on an Alliance ship. Thoralius the Wise helps players with a vision in Howling Fjord. Vindicator Maraad is traveling aboard the Skybreaker in Icecrown. They also make a presence at the Argent Tournament later on. The sudden absence of the draenei is explained in Borean Tundra, where draenei that have traveled to Northrend are told that there's no need for them in the north, due to the meddling of the Cult of the Damned.
This section concerns content exclusive to Cataclysm.
In Cataclysm Anchorite Avuun travelled to The Harborage eager to learn all that he can from Magtoor and the Lost Ones of the Swamp of Sorrows. Avuun has faith that there is a way to bring the Lost Ones back from the brink and find a way to cure the fel energies that have consumed them. He worked for years to try to cure the affliction of the Broken. The foul energies that corrupted them did more than twist their bodies - it took the comfort of the Light from them so they cannot feel its warmth. Avuun was also eager to help Magtoor who grew weaker every second. As Magtoor passed away and Avuun thought that the Light forsake the innocent a portal from the Exodar opened and Prophet Velen steped through. Velen explained that the Light wishes suffering on none, but it does not reign unopposed in our realm. As Magtoor had embraced his plight bravely he was ready to return to the embrace of the Light
Warlords of Draenor
This section concerns content exclusive to Warlords of Draenor.
The Draenei will be a major Alliance force during the events of Warlords of Draenor, which takes place in the alternate version of past Draenor, roughly 35 years in the past. The Iron Horde onslaught threatens Draenei cities such as Karabor and Shattrath, and the cornered draenei will align themselves with the Alliance expedition from current Azeroth in order to stop the advancing orcish armies.
The draenei culture is centered around two things: the Holy Light of Creation and magic. The first is the result of their unique relationship with the naaru, while the second is the path that the eredar have always followed. As a result, draenei usually choose religious professions, such as priests or paladins, or magical ones, such as the mage. A few have started to follow the path of the shaman under the guidance of Farseer Nobundo.
As a people, the draenei have devoted themselves to preparing for the day when they will join the Army of the Light, when they will finally take the fight back to the Burning Legion and atone for the sins of their man'ari brethren. In spite of this overarching goal, the draenei still lead personal lives and pursue their own interests, just as other races do.
As far as interracial relations go, the draenei still distrust or in some cases hate the orcs after having lost so many of their kind when the orcs turned on them. Certain characteristics of modern orcs, such as their still-green skin and the fact that some still practice warlock magic (though their new allies, the humans and the gnomes, are also guilty of this), as well as personal grudges on both sides, make the road to forgiveness difficult, regardless of whatever peace initiatives Velen or Thrall are willing to launch. Nevertheless there are still cases of acceptance between the two; for instance, the Horde aligned Earthen Ring has accepted draenei and Broken shamans to heal Outland. The draenei are also coming to loathe the blood elves, due to the unprovoked assault on Tempest Keep by the blood elves under Kael'thas and their new methods of feeding their magical addiction. They do see that not all blood elves serve Kael'thas and even Velen himself has forebodingly told of the redemption of the elven race in the Sunwell Plateau epilogue. As with any other races though, there are people among them that have strong opinions and beliefs based on first impressions: Despite the help offered by the Scryers and Naaru's acceptance of them the Aldor are in strict competition with them, going so far as not to associate at all with those who have chosen to side with the Scryers.
Early overtures of friendship with the Alliance had been met with varying degrees of success. Many of the Alliance races have trouble distinguishing the draenei from the man'ari eredar who nearly brought about their destruction. The night elves in particular have twice suffered heavily at the hands of Archimonde. However, the draenei are quickly being accepted by most races, and ambassadors from the Exodar have been welcomed into the Alliance's halls of power — even those of the night elves, where a draenei emissary stands at the right of Tyrande herself.
In the RPG, draenei were said to have only been said to speak Draenei, with no other primary or secondary languages listed. In World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade, they also speak Common. Many high-ranking draenei who have been in contact with orcs before their corruption also know Orcish.
Draenei are physically different from the eredar of the Burning Legion. They do not, however, seem to exhibit the red skin of demonic eredar. Draenei also lack the horns that demonic eredar have on their faces (this is not noticeable in-game models, only in artwork). They do have fangs. Draenei are described as being all or overall blue (with the exception of Velen who is described as having white skin later in his life). In World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade, draenei skin appears in most shades of color between very pinkish-white to light blue up to dark violet. Their blood is also blue.
Draenei males have tendrils coming out of their chin and a fan-like forehead plate which rises and overlaps other forehead plates behind it. Male draenei have large tails which are held erect by developed muscle structure. The female of the species exhibits marked differences: rather than the forehead plates featured on the male, they have vaguely horn-shaped cranial extensions that extend over the upper cranium and end on either side of the crown. Female cranial tendrils sprout behind the ear and are typically long enough to reach the shoulders. Their tendrils are thinner than the male's. Female draenei tails are shorter and have a lower muscle density. In both genders, the hooves are relatively large, in contrast to the more compacted hooves of their demonic counterparts.
Draenei can choose from a diverse selection of hair colors including gray, white, blue/black, brown, and purple. Similarly, the number of facial tentacles on male draenei can be customized. They can feature zero, one, two, or four tentacles of different shape and size.
|Prophet Velen||Political and spiritual leader of most draenei.||Alive||Vault of Lights, The Exodar||Alliance, Exodar|
|High Priestess Ishanah||Leader of the Aldor in Shattrath City.||Alive||Shrine of Unending Light, Aldor Rise, Shattrath City||Aldor|
|Iridi||Draenei priestess featured in Richard A. Knaak's novel Night of the Dragon.||Deceased||Buried in Outland||Unknown|
|Vindicator Maraad||Draenei paladin formerly stationed aboard the Skybreaker above Icecrown. Member of the Alliance expedition to Draenor. Uncle of Garona Halforcen and mentor of his great-nephew Med'an.||Alive||Draenor||Valiance Expedition, New Council of Tirisfal|
|Yrel||Draenei paladin heroine of Draenor.||Alive||Draenor||Alliance|
|Dornaa||Shattrath's orphan from Children's Week. Through the questline it appears she is fated to grand things in the future.||Alive||Shattrath City||Unknown|
|Farseer Nobundo||Former draenei vindicator and one of the most tragic heroes among the Broken of Outland. First of the draenei shaman.||Alive||The Crystal Hall, Exodar||Alliance, Exodar|
|Akama||Master of Ashtongue Deathsworn, a faction of Broken draenei that first aided and then dethroned Illidan Stormrage.||Alive||Warden's Cage, Shadowmoon Valley or Black Temple, Shadowmoon Valley||Ashtongue Deathsworn, Sha'tar|
|Nemuraan||A survivor of the draenei massacre||Unknown||Unknown, Last seen at Auchindoun||Auchenai|
|Erunak Stonespeaker||Member of Earthen Ring in Vashj'ir.||Alive||Vashj'ir; Throne of the Tides||Earthen Ring|
|Garona Halforcen||Half-orc of draenei descent, was alleged to be half-human.||Alive, captured||Unknown||Shadow Council, Stormreaver clan|
|Lantresor of the Blade||Half-draenei of half-orc descent.||Alive||Nagrand||Boulderfist|
|Med'an||Guardian of Tirisfal||Alive||Unknown||New Council of Tirisfal|
- Main article: Draenei Factions
Broken - Scattered tribes of Broken draenei wander amongst the devastated fields of Outland. Akama's tribe is known as the Ashtongue, while the elite are known as Ashtongue Deathsworn. Some of these tribes are at odds with Akama's tribe. See Kurenai, Murkblood. and the draenei Lost Ones are examples.
Designing the Draenei
The developers had serious villains like Archimonde and Kil'jaeden from the race called the eredar - big giant demons and kind of a no-brainer for a demonic race to lead the Burning Legion. As the developers were searching for a new Alliance race the eredar concept and their models came back again and again leading to decision that it would be great to have a lawful good version of them. One of the difficultes with the draenei was that you can't summeries them in just one informative speech. So the Draenei were much harder to design than Worgen because it was harder to define what kind of race they were. Everyone understood the Worgen were supposed to have an Eastern European Gothic look. With the draenei they wanted to create a very heroic theme for them leading to the "superman-poses" the draenei model has today. When creating the draenei the developers also wanted to create them very "otherwordly" with their blue skin, their interesting proportions, their tail, horns and the rune on their head. They also decided very early during the designing process that the draenei theme would be also defined by crystals. So a lot of crystal energy and crystal related architecture were added to their concept. Even their armor, cloths, items and weapons have those crystals on them to make a connection between the item you get and the race those items are from.
The creation of the draenei and their backstory led to a lot of controversy since their history contradicted Sargaras downfall as described in the Warcraft III manual. Also the inclusion of certain sci-fi elements into the setting led to concerns. Chris Metzen replayed by stating that: "The obvious lore contradiction with Sargeras and his encounter with the eredar was clearly documented in the Warcraft III manual. I wrote those bits about four years ago, and to be totally honest, I simply forgot. [...] At this point, even though the NEW lore directly counters the Warcraft III manual, we’re still going to run with it. There are a lot of reasons for this, not the least of which is that I think it’s far stronger than what I crafted back in the day. The eredar were not necessarily all evil. Sargeras did come to them and tempt them with power. They did NOT make Sargeras crazy. This gives the eredar more dimensionality and roots the draenei to a key moment in Burning Legion history. [...] I remember people getting really upset about dwarves with guns, steam-tech, Gnomeregan as a hi-tech city – many people had a hard time rolling with those technologies in a fantasy setting. But I ask you all – can you imagine WoW without those elements now? To be clear, we’re not talking about having the Millennium Falcon cruising around the Twisting Nether (I’m certain there would be some legal issues there, to say the least). The draenei ‘nether-ship’ you’ve been hearing about is far more than it seems. It’s part of a larger dimension-traveling fortress called Tempest Keep that essentially teleports through alternate realities. It doesn’t bank and roll or shoot proton torpedoes (not yet, anyway)."
The draenei lived alongside orcs for countless generations on the planet Draenor. When that world exploded and crumbled into what is now known as Outland, most of the draenei perished. A few managed to survive the cataclysm, however. When the Dark Portal was reopened into Azeroth, a small number of draenei traveled through, scarred by the ordeal of their world's destruction. These ragged wretches now call themselves the "Lost Ones," in mourning of their former world. Though otherwise a peaceful, private race, the draenei carry an intense hatred for all orcs and will slay them whenever the opportunity arises. Their home on Azeroth lies within the Swamp of Sorrows, though some have begun to travel beyond the Swamp’s borders in recent times. Scattered tribes of draenei are rumored to wander still the devastated fields of Outland, the last remnants of Draenor that still float within the Twisting Nether.
Having lost their home ages ago, the draenei struggle to reclaim their former lives - an impossibility, since their home no longer exists. Still, without the attempt, they would wither and die. Another factor that keeps the draenei alive is revenge against the orcs who once lived among them. They will take any risk to see an orc killed. If they can wipe out the entire race, so much the better. The draenei avoid combat unless the enemy in question is an orc. Then the normally peaceful draenei lash out in a fury, doing everything in their power to destroy their hated enemy. They established a colony in the Swamp of Sorrows called the Fallow Sanctuary. They became vicious draenei and sequester themselves from outsiders, called themselves "lost ones".
- ^ Rise of the Horde, pg. 4
- ^ Rise of the Horde, pg. 1-8
- ^ Rise of the Horde, pg. 9-11
- ^ Nielson on Twitter
- ^ Rise of the Horde - "It was over two hundred summers ago that your people came here. We were not as We are now."
- ^ World of Warcraft: The Comic Volume 4
- ^ Beyond the Dark Portal - "Draenor is name they call world, yes. They proud of selves, they name whole world for selves. They strong . . . before."
- ^ Rise of the Horde - And they had named the world Draenor., or "Exiles' Refuge"
- ^ Rise of the Horde - And I have sensed their peculiar brand of magic minting the area
- ^ Rise of the Horde - (...)the sweet essence of eredar magic(...)
- ^ Rise of the Horde - Velen and his upstart companions would be punished. But not quickly, not with an army of enhanced eredar to rend them to pieces of bloody pulp. That would be too merciful. Kil’jaeden wanted them dead, yes. But he wanted them broken. Humiliated. Crushed as utterly and completely as an insect beneath a booted foot.
- ^ Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne
- ^ http://us.battle.net/wow/en/game/race/draenei
- ^ Anchorite Avuun#Quotes
- ^ The Burning Crusade Townhall - FAQ - Races
- ^ http://www.gametrailers.com/umwatcher.php?id=12019
- ^ http://sonsofthestorm.com/viewer.php?artist=thammer&cat=warcraft&art=16
- ^ Rise of the Horde, ?.
- ^ Rise of the Horde, 136.
- ^ The Shattering, pg. 126
- ^ a b c d Manual of Monsters, pg. 26
- ^ Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne
- ^ a b Burning Crusade Behind The Scenes - The Draenei
- ^ Interview with Game Producer Jason Hutchins and Gary Platner, Lead Enviroment Artis
- ^ Metzen on lore
- ^ Lands of Conflict, pg. 58-59