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This article is about the draenei lore. For the playable race, see Draenei (playable). For the race in general, see Eredar. For the language, see draenei (language). For the other subspecies see Lightforged draenei, Broken, Lost One and Man'ari.
Character classes
Racial capital

Alliance Exodar
Neutral Shattrath City
Alternate Draenor:
Alliance Karabor

Racial leader(s)

Alliance  Velen
Alliance  Nobundo
Neutral  Akama
Aldor  Ishanah
Alternate Draenor:
Alliance DraeneiDraenei Council of Exarchs
Neutral   Socrethar †

Racial mount

Kalimdor, Outland
Draenor (Alternate universe)

Primary language(s)
Secondary language(s)
In moments of great strife, I gaze into the heavens and see just how far we have already come.
— The Prophet Velen[1]

The draenei [ˈdɹænɑɪ] (meaning Exiled Ones in their own tongue) are a faction of uncorrupted eredar who fled their home world of Argus to escape the corruption of the demonic Burning Legion. Led by Prophet Velen and guided by the divine naaru, they traveled throughout the cosmos in search of a safe world to settle on, eventually landing on a planet they would come to call Draenor, or "Exiles' Refuge". For centuries, the draenei lived in relative peace with Draenor's native orcs, until agents of the Burning Legion found them. As the orcs were corrupted by the Legion and formed the original Horde, the draenei were slaughtered en masse and driven into hiding. Eventually, they managed to escape Draenor on the Exodar, a vessel of the naaru fortress of Tempest Keep, crash-landing on Azeroth; more specifically, on the Azuremyst Isles off the western coast of Kalimdor. Once they had arrived on Azeroth, the draenei allied with the Alliance and aided them in the war in Outland.

The draenei as they are known today were first introduced with World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade, though corrupted draenei — later identified as Lost Ones and Broken — were seen as early as Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne. The draenei of alternate Draenor also play a significant role in the Warlords of Draenor expansion.



A draenei shrine in Shadowmoon Valley, detailing the flight from Argus.

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, in which art, science, magic and technology were all as one.[2] 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.[3]

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.[4]

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, K'ure, 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. He entrusted an old friend, Talgath, in this task, but Talgath was himself seduced by Sargeras' tantalizing offer and betrayed Velen and his cohorts to Kil'jaeden.[5] With Kil'jaeden and Archimonde hot on their heels, they barely escaped from Argus in the naaru ship Genedar. In their escape, the Ata'mal crystal was shattered into seven shards. The naaru L'ura sacrificed her well being by staying behind to delay their pursuers and buy them more time.

Kil'jaeden was furious with Talgath's failure and 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.[6]

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; deciding on mercy for Talgath, he sent his new agent 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.

In the following years, the draenei temporarily visited dozens of worlds aboard the Genedar,[7] but not all of them were aboard the ship,[8] as the Xenedar and those draenei who would later become Lightforged split off some time after they fled Argus.[9]

Refuge on Draenor

[Heroism] - "We must bring calm to the troubled elemental spirits of this land. Ma-no icta, my brethren."[10]

More than 200 years before the First War,[11][12][13][14] Velen and his draenei settled upon a remote and peaceful world that seemed an ideal refuge. They named it Draenor,[15][16] 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.[17]

In time the draenei met and befriended the shamanic orc clans that already lived in the tranquil southern grasslands of Nagrand. Aside from engaging in some limited trade, the draenei and orcs regarded one another with respect but kept mostly to themselves.[17]

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,[18][19] 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 humiliated.[20] 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:[17] approximately nine of every ten individuals.[21] 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, and both anchorites and vindicators alike, such as Akama and Nobundo, immediately found their link to the Light had been broken.[22] 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 one of the marshes on the coast of the Zangar Sea; presumably it was either the Zangar Shore or Zangarra, as they were the closest to Shattrath. There they have been hiding until recently.

Arrival of Illidan and the blood elves

One group of Lost Ones battling the fel orcs were led by Akama, Elder Sage of the draenei, and were slowly losing. Cursed orcs served Magtheridon—a terrible lord whose Black Temple lied 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.[23]

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

The Burning Crusade This section concerns content exclusive to The Burning Crusade.
A IconSmall Draenei Male.gifIconSmall Draenei Female.gif [2] Rescue the Survivors! - "We'll survive this yet with your help." (Zalduun)
The Exodar crash site.

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,[24] they were just as concerned with what they'd done to the land and the creatures on it.[25] 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.[26]

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 Scryers 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 M'uru 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. M'uru, 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

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.[27] Thoralius the Wise helps players with a vision in Howling Fjord.[28] 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.[29]


Cataclysm This section concerns content exclusive to Cataclysm.

In Cataclysm Anchorite Avuun traveled 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.[30] 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.[31] 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 stepped 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[32]

At some point, a group of young draenei moved into the Hinterlands under the lead of Ambassador Rualeth. While some of them are seen in the Aerie Peak, others moved to the Quel'Danil lodge.

As part of the Forsaken offensive in all the continent, the lodge came under attack. With the help of adventurers, the Highvale high elves and the draenei settlers were able to repel the invaders.[33] The Highvale documents were also retrieved from the chaos by Alliance adventurers and safely delivered to Anchorite Traska.[34]

Warlords of Draenor

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.

Maraad also will make his return as one of the key characters of the Alliance forces in Old Draenor.


A draenei paladin.
By their very being, the draenei lend their inner strength to their allies.[35]

The draenei culture is centered around two things: the Holy Light of Creation[36] 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. Some draenei such as the Auchenai have even mastered the art of talking to the dead. A few have started to follow the path of the shaman under the guidance of Farseer Nobundo.

[Heroic Presence] - The draenei's steadfast resilience against the Legion is the definition of perseverance.[37]

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.

Draenei do not often have children because they are so long-lived.[38] Draenei children on Draenor are taught to keep a wide berth of shallow waters due to riverbeasts.[39]

The draenei favor graceful crystalline weapons and sculptured armor.[40]

The draenei built Auchindoun to protect and shield the souls of their dead from their eternal enemies: the Burning Legion, who hunger eternally for draenei spirits.[41]


The draenei have learned to shape crystals for all kinds of purposes ranging from power containment to data storage.[42] The purple crystals often associated with draenei that decorate their buildings, weapons, and armor are known as arkonite crystals and are used to power everyday draenei society.[43] On Draenor, arkonite pylons were used to generate power for the tombs outside Auchindoun, though they were sometimes repurposed to power small towns in emergencies.[44] Arkonite is a powerful source of arcane energy.[45] Before Draenor's destruction, it was primarily mined across Talador with additional mines in Shadowmoon Valley and Tanaan Jungle. The draenei at the Temple of Sha'naar would often mine the mountains of Tanaan for perfect crystals to power their arcane devices[46] and channel their magics.[47] Luminescent Heartglobes are installed atop poles by draenei civil engineers to provide well-lit paths and common areas.[48]

The engineers of the draenei are known as the Artificers, and on Draenor were led by Exarch Hataaru. The Artificers excelled in working with arkonite crystals. However, the technology available now is only a shadow of what the draenei had on Argus.[2]

The souls of the greatest warriors of the draenei may be called upon for one final service as they stand on the precipice of the afterlife: inhabiting one of the armored vigilants that serve as the eternal protectors of Auchindoun and the draenei civilization on Draenor.[49]

Contrary to popular belief, the dimensional ships used by the draenei, such as Tempest Keep and its satellites, were not created by the draenei themselves. They are actually an example of naaru technology.


All draenei settlements make excellent cheese, but only the Telmor-Aruuna farming region of Talador can lay claim to the original recipe.[50]

Talbuks are the favored food of the draenei.[51]


Draenei is the name of the official language used by all types of draenei from Outland or Azeroth,[52] including Broken, Lost Ones and uncorrupted draenei. It is likely most of the language is derived from the original dialect of Eredun. 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. Before the slaughter of the draenei on Draenor, there were orcs who learned Draenei to facilitate trade between the two races;[53] the reverse could also be plausible.

Innkeepers are called "caregivers".


Though the draenei rely on the Prophet Velen's leadership and guidance, the administration of the Exiled Ones' society on Draenor was run by the Council of Exarchs. This body, called the "Hand of the Prophet", was formed by the heads of various fields of draenei society and they voted on bureaucratic matters. The Exarch Council consisted of:

Following the destruction of Draenor and collapse of draenei society, the Exarch Council appears to have become obsolete. The Triumvirate of the Hand may be some form of replacement for it to at least some extent.

The draenei of Shadowmoon Valley were also ruled by prelate administrators.


  • The Exodar: The Exodar is the capital of the draenei in Azeroth, made up of the draenei who followed their Prophet, Velen. Velen led a raid on the naaru fortress of Tempest Keep and stole the Exodar, one of its satellite structures, from Kael'thas Sunstrider. The Exodar draenei joined the Alliance because of their common faith in Light and because they have little love for two of the Horde's races - orcs (primarily because of their genocidal campaigns in the past) and blood elves.
  • The Aldor: The Aldor is an order of draenei priests that were acolytes of the Prophet Velen. They survived the destruction of Shattrath City and remained in hiding until the arrival of A'dal. Today, they are led by the High Priestess Ishanah and reside at the Aldor Rise, where they try to serve the naaru. They're at odds with the Scryers, a group of blood elf defectors from armies of Prince Kael'thas, due to their origins, and compete with them for the favor of the naaru.
  • The Sha'tar: "Sha'tar" - "born from light" - is usually used to refer to the naaru masters of Shattrath City. However, the majority of their military are draenei. In addition to standing guard in Shattrath, there is a Sha'tari Base Camp near Auchindoun, where the soldiers of the Sha'tar battle against the demonic and undead forces of the Bone Wastes. Their leader is the naaru A'dal.
  • The Auchenai: The Auchenai are the only known group of "evil" unmutated draenei. Known also as death-priests, the Auchenai appear to have been corrupted by the void energies of the dead naaru D'ore, and practice necromancy and warlock magics. They are led by Exarch Maladaar.
  • The Rangari: The Rangari was an organization of draenei scouts that existed before Draenor's destruction. They were gathering intelligence and explored the world in order to gain advantage of their surroundings and eventually, use the land's resources against their enemies. Their leader is Exarch Naielle.


Male draenei artwork.
Female draenei artwork.

Draenei are 7–8 feet tall.[54] They are physically different from the eredar of the Burning Legion.[55] 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.[56] 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).[57] 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.[58]

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. Apparently, draenei females are obsessed with the way their horns look, and according to Beezil Linkspanner, draenei horns shed "or something".[59] 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.

As already noted by the WoW player base, draenei females are very aesthetically pleasing to human males, which also happens to include Prince Anduin Wrynn.[60]


While most Draenei have a glowing blue eye color, there are some that have been seen with a glowing purple hue.[61][62][63][64] Since these examples are either Paladins or Shaman, there doesn't seem to be anything that causes this color difference that's out of the ordinary (such as practicing Void magic or the like). We have also seen examples of glowing green eyes as well,[65][66] which also don't seem to show any signs of being anything else other than a purely natural eye color.

When draenei die, the glow will fade away.[67] The same is true for man'ari eredar.[68]

Gift of the Naaru

Main article: Gift of the Naaru

The [Gift of the Naaru] is a blessing bestowed by the naaru upon all draenei which manifests in the form of a glowing blue rune on their forehead.[69] All draenei can tap into this gift to heal injured allies.[70]

Notable draenei

Main universe
Name Role Affiliation Status Location
Alliance  Velen Leader of the draenei, Prophet of the Naaru Alliance, Exodar Alive Various Locations
Neutral  Akama Elder Sage of the Ashtongue Broken Ashtongue tribe, Illidari Alive Various Locations
Neutral  Askara Former wielder of T'uure, Beacon of the Naaru Deceased Unknown
Alliance  Iridi Shadow priestess who aided Kalecgos and Krasus in defeating Dargonax Independent Deceased Buried in Outland
Aldor  Ishanah High Priestess of the Aldor Aldor, Sha'tar Alive Shrine of Unending Light, Shattrath City
Boss  Exarch Maladaar Leader of the Auchenai Auchenai Killable Crypt of Remembrance, Auchenai Crypts
Alliance  Vindicator Maraad Paladin representative on the New Council of Tirisfal, military leader in Draenor Exodar, Valiance Expedition, New Council of Tirisfal Deceased Various Locations
Alliance  Farseer Nobundo First of the draenei shaman Alliance, Exodar, Earthen Ring Alive Various Locations
Alternate universe
Name Role Affiliation Status Location
Alliance  Velen Leader of the draenei, Prophet of the Naaru Alliance Deceased Karabor, Shadowmoon Valley
Alliance  Exarch Akama High Vindicator on the Council of Exarchs Vindicators, Council of Exarchs Alive Various Locations
Alliance  Exarch Hataaru Chief Artificer on the Council of Exarchs Artificers, Council of Exarchs Deceased Elodor Fields, Shadowmoon Valley
Alliance  Exarch Maladaar Speaker for the Dead on the Council of Exarchs Auchenai, Council of Exarchs Alive Various Locations
Alliance  Exarch Naielle Rangari Prime on the Council of Exarchs Rangari, Council of Exarchs Alive Various Locations
Combat   Socrethar Leader of the Sargerei, former Sha'tari Proconsul on the Council of Exarchs Sargerei, Shadow Council, Burning Legion Killable Various Locations
Alliance  Yrel Member of the Council of Exarchs Council of Exarchs, Hand of the Prophet Alive Various Locations


Patient and strong, the elekk exemplify the draenei attitude towards the hardships of life.[71] Some legends say the draenei first befriended the elekk after one of the beasts saved an injured scout from a pack of vicious podlings.[72] The draenei perfected elekk husbandry long ago, adorning the creatures with Light-infused crystals to make them more docile.[73] Exodar Elekk are elekk which have been anointed by O'ros, the naaru who journeyed from Draenor to Azeroth with Velen and his followers.[74]

In addition to elekk, many draenei on Draenor have been shown to ride enormous faerie dragons, and Azerothian draenei commonly use hippogryphs to travel quickly through the air.

The draenei have long relied on the swift breezestrider, the swiftest of all talbuk breeds, to relay messengers and their missives safely to their destinations.[75]


Designing the draenei

Two draenei as they appeared prior to the player character revamp of Warlords of Draenor.

The developers had serious villains like Archimonde and Kil'jaeden from the race called the eredar — big giant demons leading the Burning Legion. As the developers were searching for a new Alliance race, the eredar concept led to a decision that it would be great to have a lawful good version of them. One of the difficulties with the draenei was that they couldn't summarize them in one informative speech.[69] 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.[76] 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 wanted them to be very "otherworldly" with their blue skin, interesting proportions, height, horns, and the runes on their head. They also decided very early during the designing process that the draenei theme would be defined by crystals. A lot of crystal energy and crystal-related architecture was added to their concept. Even their armor, clothes, items, and weapons have those crystals on them to make a connection between the items you get and the race those items are from.[69]

The addition of the draenei as a playable race and their backstory in relation to the eredar led to a lot of controversy since their history contradicted Sargeras' downfall as described in the Warcraft III manual. The inclusion of certain sci-fi elements into the setting also led to concerns.

Chris Metzen replied: "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)."[77]

Timeframe of arrival

Warcraft II stated that the draenei were here since nearly five thousand years.[78] The TBC flash site said Auchindoun had been used by the draenei for thousands of years.[79] Rise of the Horde said the draenei arrived on Draenor when Oshu'gun crashed 200 years ago.[80] According to Durotan, "... at least ten generations of orcs had lived and died since the draenei had arrived." And "It was over two hundred summers ago that your people came here."[81] In-game, K'ure said they crashed "many hundreds of years ago"[82] and D'ore said it was "nearly a thousand years" ago.[83] Beyond the Dark Portal described Auchindoun as well over a hundred summers old.[84] Dave Kosak clarified that Blizzard will be moving forward with the 200-300 year timeframe of Oshu'gun's crash.[85] World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 2 establishes draenei's arrival to 200 years before the Dark Portal.

In the RPG

The RPG Icon 16x36.png This section concerns content exclusive to the Warcraft RPG and is considered non-canon.

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.[86]

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.[86] 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".[87]

The draenei only speak Draenei. There are no other primary or secondary languages.


  • Draenei tails are a potent necromantic ingredient when ground finely.[88]
  • Draenei, like their eredar brethren, have the habit of using tail jewelry, such as  [Delicate Tail Band] or  [Small Tail Ring].
  • Draenei tend to roll their Rs due to their thick Russian accent.


See also


  1. ^ The Art of World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor, pg. 43
  2. ^ a b A [91] Invisible Ramparts
  3. ^ Rise of the Horde, 4
  4. ^ Rise of the Horde, 1-8
  5. ^ Golden, Christie. Rise of the Horde, 12, 14-18. ISBN 978-0-7434-7138-1. 
  6. ^ Rise of the Horde, 9-11
  7. ^ World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 2, page 63
  8. ^ World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 2, page 53
  9. ^ Lost Codex BlizzCon 2017 Interview
  10. ^ Heroism (Fires of Outland)
  11. ^ Micky Neilson on Twitter
  12. ^ Dave Kosak on Twitter
  13. ^ Rise of the Horde - "It was over two hundred summers ago that your people came here. We were not as We are now."
  14. ^ World of Warcraft: The Comic Volume 4
  15. ^ Beyond the Dark Portal - "Draenor is name they call world, yes. They proud of selves, they name whole world for selves. They strong . . . before."
  16. ^ Rise of the Horde - And they had named the world Draenor., or "Exiles' Refuge"
  17. ^ a b c The Burning Crusade Townhall/Draenei
  18. ^ Rise of the Horde - And I have sensed their peculiar brand of magic minting the area
  19. ^ Rise of the Horde - (...)the sweet essence of eredar magic(...)
  20. ^ 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.
  21. ^ Loreology on Twitter
  22. ^ Unbroken
  23. ^ Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne
  24. ^ A IconSmall Draenei Male.gifIconSmall Draenei Female.gif [2] Rescue the Survivors!
  25. ^ A [4] Inoculation
  26. ^ http://us.battle.net/wow/en/game/race/draenei
  27. ^ A [71] Further Investigation
  28. ^ A [71] Into the World of Spirits
  29. ^ A [71] Enemies of the Light
  30. ^ Anchorite Avuun#Quotes
  31. ^ A [55] Prayerblossom
  32. ^ A [55] Remember the Light
  33. ^ A [35] In Defense of Quel'Danil
  34. ^ A [35] The Highvale Documents
  35. ^ Tomadae the Magnificent
  36. ^ The Burning Crusade Townhall: FAQ - Races
  37. ^ Heroic Presence (Through the Dark Portal)
  38. ^ Rise of the Horde, pg. 76 (ebook)
  39. ^ Beasts of the Savage Lands — Shadowmoon Valley
  40. ^ The Art of World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor, pg. 139
  41. ^ Auchindoun (alternate universe)#Adventure Guide
  42. ^  [Annals of Aruuna]
  43. ^  [Arkonite Crystal], N [96] We Must Construct Additional Pylons
  44. ^  [Arkonite Pylon]
  45. ^ Vindicator Doruu
  46. ^ A [100 Daily] Disarming Sha'naar
  47. ^ H [100 Daily] Disarming Sha'naar
  48. ^  [Luminescent Heartglobe]
  49. ^ Adventure Guide entry for Vigilant Kaathar
  50. ^  [Telmor-Aruuna Hard Cheese]
  51. ^ http://web.archive.org/web/20101107212050/http://www.worldofwarcraft.com/info/basics/mounts/special.html#aq
  52. ^ Micky Neilson on Twitter
  53. ^ Legends Volume 2, Family Values
  54. ^ World of Warcraft: Official Beginner's Guide, 25
  55. ^ http://www.gametrailers.com/umwatcher.php?id=12019
  56. ^ http://sonsofthestorm.com/viewer.php?artist=thammer&cat=warcraft&art=16
  57. ^ Rise of the Horde, ?
  58. ^ Rise of the Horde, 136
  59. ^ A [90] Forever Young
  60. ^ The Shattering, 126
  61. ^ http://us.battle.net/wow/en/media/artwork/trading-card-game/series7?view=tcg-series7-087
  62. ^ http://us.battle.net/wow/en/media/artwork/trading-card-game/series6?view=tcg-series6-096
  63. ^ http://us.battle.net/wow/en/media/artwork/trading-card-game/series6?view=tcg-series6-073
  64. ^ http://us.battle.net/wow/en/media/artwork/trading-card-game/series2?view=tcg-series2-082
  65. ^ http://us.battle.net/wow/en/media/artwork/trading-card-game/series4?view=tcg-series4-122
  66. ^ http://us.battle.net/wow/en/media/artwork/trading-card-game/series4?view=tcg-series4-146
  67. ^ B [95] The Battle for Shattrath
  68. ^ Hellfire Citadel ending cinematic
  69. ^ a b c Burning Crusade Behind The Scenes - The Draenei
  70. ^ A IconSmall Draenei Male.gifIconSmall Draenei Female.gif [2] Rescue the Survivors!
  71. ^ Mount Journal entry for  [Brown Elekk],  [Gray Elekk] and  [Purple Elekk]
  72. ^ Mount Journal entry for  [Shadowhide Pearltusk]
  73. ^ Mount Journal entry for  [Trained Meadowstomper]
  74. ^ Mount Journal entry for  [Exodar Elekk]
  75. ^ Mount Journal entry for  [Swift Breezestrider]
  76. ^ Interview with Game Producer Jason Hutchins and Gary Platner, Lead Environment Artist
  77. ^ Metzen on lore
  78. ^ Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness manual, The History of Orcish Ascension, The Rise of the Shadow Council
  79. ^ Auchindoun - The Burning Crusade flash site
  80. ^ Rise of the Horde, 203 (ebook). "K’ure was dying, trapped in the very vessel that it had provided when it had crashed into this world two hundred years past."
  81. ^ Rise of the Horde, chapter 3
  82. ^ H [68] When Spirits Speak
  83. ^ H [68D] Auchindoun...
  84. ^ Beyond the Dark Portal, 370 (ebook). "Auchindoun had been well over a hundred summers old when Ner'zhul himself had been only a baby."
  85. ^ Dave Kosak on Twitter (2013-12-11)
  86. ^ a b Manual of Monsters, 26
  87. ^ Lands of Conflict, 58-59
  88. ^  [Draenei Tail]