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The naaru (pronounced ['na:ru]) are a race of living, sentient energy beings made up of shards of fractured Light. They are perhaps the purest expression of the Holy Light that exists in the Great Dark Beyond, and have vowed to bring peace and hope to all mortal civilizations and waylay the forces of the Void. They are known to travel through dimensions, and are the sworn enemies of the Burning Legion.
In the primordial era following the birth of the universe — a result of the clash between the Light and Void — shards of fractured Light occasionally gathered in the Great Dark Beyond and formed clouds of Light from which powerful beings emerged, among which were the benevolent naaru. When the naaru gazed out across the universe, they saw limitless possibilities and vowed to use their mastery over holy magic to nurture life and hope throughout the cosmos. believes that created the prime naaru, , whose last descendant was .
Shepherding the draenei
When came to the world of Argus and began convincing the eredar to join the Burning Legion, , one of the three eredar leader, prayed for help. The naaru appeared to him in visions, offering to take Velen and any other like-minded eredar to safety. Velen and his faction accepted, and the naaru came to rescue Velen and his followers with a dimensional ship named the Genedar. They thus began to call themselves draenei, meaning "the Exiled Ones" in eredun.
During the draenei's journey, the enigmatic naaru race taught them the ways of the Light, though they already had a certain experience with it through Velen and . 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. The naaru also bestowed a blessing, the , upon the draenei to signify their new connection the Light.  Deeply affected by the naaru's words, the draenei vowed to honor the Light and uphold the naaru's altruistic ideals.
Communing with humans
Following the Troll Wars, a number of human priests began having faint dreams and visions of angelic forms thrumming with living light. They did not know it, but they had actually managed to commune with the naaru in the Great Dark Beyond, and through this connection, the Holy Light was introduced to the early humans for the first time.
was the first of these prophets, receiving visions of holiness, protection, justice, retribution, and compassion. With others who had also reported seeing the visions, they codified and wrote down the wisdom of this higher power. The movement sparked widespread faith in the Light and became the predominant human religion, and centuries later the different Light-based traditions and belief systems were codified by Lordaeron's leaders into the Church of the Holy Light.
This section concerns content exclusive to The Burning Crusade.
Sometime before the Dark Portal's reopening, used his magic to reach into the Great Dark Beyond for help and found the naaru led by . He convinced them to come to Outland to aid in stopping the Legion's incursion on the shattered planet.
When the shattered realm of Outland became a strategic battlefront in the Burning Crusade, the naaru used the mighty fortress of Tempest Keep to reach the shattered land. However, when the naaru set out from their stronghold, Prince and his blood elves quickly raided the dimensional fortress and assumed control over its satellite structures. Though most of the naaru had already left the fortress, the blood elves succeeded in capturing the sole remaining guardian of Tempest Keep, , and transported him back to Silvermoon City to serve as power source for the Blood Knights.
An elder naaru met some time before the siege of the Black Temple and granted him a vision of possible future in which he is one of the leaders of the Army of the Light battling both the forces of the Burning Legion and the Void. His feature was described as "calm and strong and at peace. His face was filled with confidence, shorn of all suffering". Illidan was, at first, not sure whether he could trust the naaru, nor if it was even actually a naaru at all.
Warlords of Draenor
This section concerns content exclusive to Warlords of Draenor.
This section concerns content exclusive to Legion.
, the core of the naaru prime , was sent to Azeroth by High Exarch Turalyon and crashed off the coast of Suramar on the Broken Isles. It was to be brought to Velen aboard the Exodar. , as the last naaru in the line of Xe'ra, was the only one with the ability to unlock the core, but the Burning Legion attacked the Exodar and killed O'ros to prevent that from happening. Light's Heart was then stored within a Class Order Hall for safekeeping, and was finally unlocked using the Tears of Elune.
Xe'ra later started communing with the order leader through Light's Heart and revealed that she was searching for her prophecized "child of Light and Shadow" destined to bring an end to the age of demons: . Xe'ra then taught the order leader the story of Illidan, and revealed at the end that the goal was, in fact, not to prepare Light's Heart but to prepare the class leader, for Xe'ra wept over the death of Illidan at the hands of the then-adventurer and in her eyes, the class leader needed to redeem their self.
Naaru are composed of shards of solid Light that may freely move around a central "core."
Naaru are believed to be immortal. If their physical form is damaged, it may bleed their energy causing them to enter a "darkened" state in which they are weakened and produce void energies. Their energy may take up to one thousand years to regenerate. It should be noted that some darkened naaru still appear to harbor altruistic intentions ; however, their weakened state may be exploited for nefarious purposes, such as creating void minions and raising the undead. It is unknown if this cycle occurs naturally without an external catalyst. Examples of darkened naaru are , , , and . Thrice, darkened naaru have also been shown to transform into void gods; though in both occasions this was only when their light was forcibly drained by an outside party, but it is not a natural phenomenon and is normally extremely rare.
A naaru's darkened state is different than death. Naaru can die, but if wounded they will become Dark Naaru.
Naaru may leave a "spark" when they die, as in the case of .
It is unknown whether or not the naaru have separate genders. , , and have all been described using the pronoun "he," and is referred to as female. However, the pronoun "it" has also been used. It is possible that the naaru are genderless, given that "gender" only exists in races that engage in sexual reproduction, and it is unknown if naaru do, though O'ros was part of Xe'ra's lineage.
- See also: Dimensional Ship
The naaru have advanced knowledge of magic and access to otherworldly materials and reagents that have not been seen in Azeroth. The Mechanar, for example, employs naaru technology to create manacells, objects which provide great amounts of power. The only factual knowledge we have is that Tempest Keep has "automated" defenses, the ability to fly, the ability to travel through other dimensions such as the Twisting Nether or the Great Dark Beyond, and the ability to teleport itself and anything in it.
- Main universe
|Leader of the Sha'tar, master of Shattrath City||Alive||Terrace of Light, Shattrath City|
|"Died" when the Genedar crash landed on Draenor||Alive||Crypt of Remembrance, Auchenai Crypts|
|Sha'tar quartermaster||Alive||Terrace of Light, Shattrath City|
|Assisting the Shattered Sun Offensive||Alive||Sun's Reach Harbor, Isle of Quel'Danas|
|First naaru to contact the draenei||Alive||Oshu'gun, Nagrand|
|Accompanied when trying to save||Alive||Silent Vigil, Icecrown|
|Accompanied when trying to save||Alive||Silent Vigil, Icecrown|
|Captured and drained by the blood elves until it turned into||Deceased-Killable||Shrine of the Eclipse, Sunwell Plateau|
|Journeyed to Azeroth aboard the Exodar, slain by||Deceased||Seat of the Naaru, Exodar|
|Redeemed from the void god by the Conclave||Alive||Hall of Balance, Netherlight Temple|
|Sacrificed itself to save Karkora from ||Deceased|
|Unknown||Alive||Terrace of Light, Shattrath City|
|One of the first naaru, seeking to defeat the Burning Legion||Active||Various Class Halls (as )|
|Leader of the Sha'tari assault on the Black Temple||Alive||Ruins of Karabor, Shadowmoon Valley|
- Alternate universe
|Ejected from the Genedar during the crash and became the Dark Star||Alive||Various Locations|
|Corrupted into the void god by Cho'gall||Killable||Sanctum of the Naaru, Nagrand|
As a companion pet
- Main article: Holy Chime
- The naaru act in a similar manner to the angels of real life religions such as Islam, Christianity and Judaism. They are described as angelic by  as well as in Chronicle Volume 1, and Chris Metzen has described them as "the angels of the Warcraft universe" in an interview. See Myth for more information.
- Characters used to be able to gain the title '' by completing certain requirements.
- With the revelation that and the Alliance Expedition have been fighting the Burning Legion alongside the naaru, it is highly probable that the Alliance and the Horde are the precursors of the "Army of the Light" — of which the naaru promised the draenei would be a part.
- "Naru" means "River God" in Babylonian, "nūru" (also rendered nuuru) "light".
- When General and his command were interrogating a captured death knight, a naaru appeared to Turalyon and encouraged him to proceed with his decision to stop the Horde.
- Naaru are the only known beings that are, without visual cues, uniformly impossible to discern their back from their front. (It's possible they're not actually limited to such dimensions, and as NPCs a "front side" had to be designated.)
- The naaru do not have any "proper" attack animation. When they fight, they just spin around in order to face their opponents. While their preferred attacks, such as those used by A'dal, M'uru, and X'iri are spells, it seems they can physically hit their opponents too.
- Naaru do not have any proper death-animation either. When they die, they will simply freeze in the air, and the crystals spinning around them will halt. After a few seconds the entire being will disappear in thin air.
- Specific music plays around naaru, different for their light or void state.
- Speculation existed saying that they are somehow related to the (non-titan) gods of Azeroth, such as . This has been somewhat confirmed by who found that was created by Elune, confirming the link between at least one naaru, Xe'ra, and Elune.
Dark or Light?
Some players have expressed suspicion of the perceived perfection and altruism of the naaru. Some believe that the naaru have ulterior motives, or there is an undiscovered faction of "dark" naaru. As himself says,
"It is a facet of the naaru condition - without the void, the Light cannot exist."
This could be taken to mean that if these naaru are pure light and good, then there must be a polar opposite - that is, naaru or another race who are as much darkness and evil as the ones we have encountered so far are good and pure. But as Chronicle explained, this quote is probably referencing the dualistic nature of the Void/Light dichotomy, that both these forces are defined by their opposition to each other.
M'uru, now a darkened naaru, is a boss in Sunwell Plateau. It is not clear if he is now "evil" or simply a darkened naaru whose weakened state has been exploited by or Kael'thas. After the raid gets him to 0%, he transforms into a void god named .
The confusion was later addressed by Blizzard.
A: Because three cases of this "cycle" have been demonstrated in Nagrand, Auchindoun, and Sunwell Plateau (K'ure, D'ore, and M'uru, respectively), players may have received the wrong impression with regard to the magnitude and rarity of these events: it is EXCEEDINGLY rare for a naaru to fall into a void state, and even rarer for a fallen naaru to be brought back into the Light. A naaru's fall into the void represents a catastrophic loss for the naaru and for the forces of the Light, and it is the saddest, most heart-wrenching event for the naaru to witness. Conversely, a naaru being reborn into the Light brings renewed hope and sense of purpose to every naaru; if energy beings could weep tears of joy, this would do it.
In relation to Ashbringer
- Main article: Ashbringer#The_crystal
Speculation exists that Ashbringer was crafted from part of a naaru, or is at least somehow related to the naaru.
- ^ World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 1, pg. 13
- ^ World of Warcraft: Paragons pg. 912
- ^ a b The Mechanar. Retrieved on 2016-03-18.
- ^ World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 1, pg. 18-19
- ^ a b The Burning Crusade Bestiary
- ^ a b Burning Crusade Behind The Scenes - The Draenei (2008-03-19). Retrieved on 2016-05-26.
- ^ a b World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 1, pg. 142
- ^ World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 2, page 126
- ^ Khadgar#Khadgar's story in his own words
- ^ World of Warcraft: Illidan
- ^ Sunwell Plateau epilogue
- ^ A'dal/Lady Lidarin Scripted Event
- ^ Velen repeatedly called her a "she" in . However, while Velen's audio uses "she" the text in his speech bubbles uses the gender-neutral "it."
- ^ Golden, Christie. "Nine", Rise of the Horde, 201 (ebook). ISBN 978-0-7434-7138-1. “Each time the Naaru, particularly the one that called itself K'ure...”
- ^ , "It was a fallen naaru, ejected from our vessel in moments of panic and terror. Its name was K'ara."
- ^ Quest:The Defense of Karabor#Stage 3: Protect K'ara from the invading forces, Yrel says: Champion, the naaru has come to aid us. We must defend it while it gathers power!
- ^ King, William. "Twenty-Seven", Illidan, 482 (ebook). ISBN 978-0399-17756-9. “If anything, this creature was possessed of even more power than A'dal and its followers.”
- ^ Of Light and Void
- ^ Rosenberg, Aaron; Christie Golden. Beyond the Dark Portal, 190. ISBN 978-1-4165-5086-0.
- ^ Youtube: "A'dal, Uvuros and Me"
- ^ Youtube: "Malarion Solos A'dal"
- ^ Acacia 2007-12-20. New Sunwell Details; Kael’Thas Back – Part 1. Retrieved on 2007-12-24.