This article lists races that are able to become priests, along with the lore behind each.
- 1 Alliance
- 2 Horde
- 3 Alliance and Horde
- 4 Other priests
- 5 Starting attributes
- 6 References
- See also: Human (playable)#Racial traits
While the draenei were the first known physical race to be associated with the Holy Light, humans were the first to discover it on Azeroth, and were responsible for passing their religion on to other races, most notably the high elves and dwarves. The humans founded the Church of the Holy Light, an organization that has built mighty churches and blessed cathedrals as places of worship and teaching of its faith. Their religion teaches its followers to be virtuous in life, and while it is more philosophical than theistic, its practitioners do believe their devotion connects them to a greater and mysterious force in the universe. Humans have produced great priests who have called on the powers of the Light to either heal their allies or purge their enemies - the Clerics of Northshire served on the battlefield as healers during the First War. Following heavy casualties, the most virtuous of the knights of Lordaeron were magically empowered by the clergy with holy powers, ordained as paladins. The priesthood preaches against the Shadow, which the orcs were once strongly perceived to be creatures of. In times of darkness and suffering, some human priests lose their faith, and spread their frustration and negativity to their fellows.
The Church of the Light originated from human cults, and the high elves have made significant contributions to this evolving religion. Divine beings known as hopes guide the Light's worshipers with an unseen hand.
- See also: Draenei (playable)#Racial traits
Draenei priests, like the natives of Azeroth, practice The Holy Light; however the draenei were introduced to the religion by the enigmatic naaru, who with their Light-given powers, allowed the draenei to traverse The Great Dark in search of a safe refuge from The Burning Legion. The Legion's leaders, the eredar, sought to destroy the draenei as they viewed them as traitors, and the naaru are eternal enemies of the Legion. Draenei priests are deeply pious, as draenei owe their race's survival to "The Light".
Draenei priests became a character option in World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade .
- See also: Dwarf (playable)#Racial traits
The dwarves of Ironforge adopted The Holy Light from their human comrades, and most dwarven priests are members of the Church of the Light. In the wake of the discovery of evidence linking dwarves to the titans, many dwarven priests are also scholars and historians.
While a temptation to worship their potential creators might exist for some Dwarves (see Mystery of the Makers), it appears Dwarves wish to keep religious beliefs separate from historical studies, and maintain The Holy Light as the major religion amongst their society.
Night elf priests
- See also: Night elf (playable)#Racial traits
The night elven priesthood is the only major priesthood in the Alliance to not follow the Light, as the night elves have been practicing their own religion since long before their contact with the races of the Eastern Kingdoms. Until recently, like the Sentinels, the priesthood was a strictly female order, who worshiped the moon goddess Elune. The night elves believe that she is the protector of all living things and helps living things grow and avoid conflict, and has helped their race thrive, grow and survive.
Though the Sisters of Elune are still the highest religious order, male priests are now trained. In both genders, the priesthood (including player characters) appears to worship Elune exclusively.
- See also: Gnome (playable)#Racial traits
With the arrival of Cataclysm, Gnome healers are finally playable. Gnome priest NPCs (such as the Holdout Medics in Gnomeregan and the North Fleet Medics in the Howling Fjord) have existed in Azeroth for some time, but the destruction brought on by Deathwing will most likely inspire many more Gnomes to turn to their allies and adopt devotion to The Light.
Notably, following the examples prior to Cataclysm, gnome priests seem to focus heavily on the divine's ability of healing, though more with the intention of practicing medicine rather than sorcery. Their usage of it is actually very similar to first aid, as such most gnome priests refer to themselves as doctors and surgeons, though this not always true as High Cleric Alphus shows. As a result, although not confirmed, it is likely that they pay less attention to a priest's capability to control darker powers.
- See also: Worgen (playable)#Racial traits
Worgen are naturally drawn to and revere the wolf Ancient, Goldrinn, who in a way, is the progenitor of their race. Some worgen, having had a natural connection to nature, have also taken up druidism. Typically, those whose minds have been brought back from feralcy will continue to revere the same concepts they did prior to their turning into a worgen (such as the Gilneans, many of whom still believe in the Light). It is seen though that some of those who have been turned also embrace and revere the nature related spirits that resulted in the worgen concurrently with their former beliefs.
Horde priests follow various spiritualities, with the trolls following the Loa, the Forsaken following the shadow as members of the Cult of the Forgotten Shadow, and the blood elves calling upon different energies - even demonic ones.
- See also: Troll (playable)#Racial traits
Most Priests throughout the various troll societies of Azeroth, including the Darkspear trolls of the Horde, follow an ancient tribal religion known as Voodoo, which worships and invokes powerful spirits which the trolls refer to as Loa. After a battle, the priests often decapitate foes and shrink their heads, so that the spirit of the foe will not escape. They practice voodoo magic and are highly feared for their shadowy tricks. Some trolls are followers of the Blood God Hakkar the Soulflayer, a tradition that has existed for generations, born in the ancient Gurubashi Empire. Troll priests are often selected to be the spiritual adviser (or witch doctor) of their local tribe, due to their ability to communicate with spirits and their respect for the old ways.
Blood elf priests
Blood elves follow, or at least did when they were high elves, the Holy Light just like humans and dwarves. Unlike the two others however, who derive their power from faith alone, high elf and blood elf priests seem to derive theirs from other sources. The first of these was the Sunwell, brought to end by the Scourge during the Third War when it was used to resurrect the Kel'thuzad. The remaining elves (most of them now calling themselves blood elves), addicted to magic, desperately sought a new source of of their hunger. They found it in demonic magic, which implies that the blood elves' actions have not been true to the virtues of The Light, and that their behaviors and attitudes contradict its teachings.
The blood elves found yet another source when their leader Kael'thas kidnapped M'uru, a naaru found in Outland. The being was shipped back to Silvermoon City where its Light-powers was siphoned by the elves, creating the Blood Knights. As such, blood elf priests were "directly" defying The Light, "taking" it instead of being granted to wield its powers. M'uru was however later kidnapped again, and the Sunwell has been restored. Blood elf priests are thus likely once more deriving their powers from their original source.
Blood elf priests became a character option in World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade .
- See also: Undead (playable)#Racial traits
After awakening from the Lich King's control, The Forsaken chose to abandon many of the morals and beliefs they held during their natural lives. However, those who were priests during their lives have not abandoned religion or become agnostic. Because of their changes, the Forsaken have embraced a twisted version of their former religion, the antithesis of The Holy Light, known simply as Forgotten Shadow. Dark priests are like the religion's archbishops, ruling over wide territories.
- See also: Tauren (playable)#Racial traits
With the arrival of Cataclysm, the Tauren have the ability to become priests. It is possible that they use the light of the Sun in their spells just like Tauren paladins do, as opposed to the Holy Light. If this is the case, it would similar to how the Night Elf priests use the power of the Moon, their goddess Elune, instead of the Holy Light. Tahu Sagewind became a priest trainer for the tauren. It is possible that he founded the group of tauren priests due to his conversation with Aponi Brightmane, the first Tauren paladin, before Cataclysm.
- See also: Goblin (playable)#Racial traits
Goblins use willpower to wield the Light, driven by greed.
While the orcs of the prime timeline have not been observed being priests, the Shadowmoon clan of the alternate Draenor have. Due to Grommash Hellscream forcing the Shadowmoon to either join the Iron Horde or die, Ner'zhul broke his people's ancient traditions and used the Dark Star to give his clan the power of the Void. Those who use the power of the Void in this way are called "Voidseers."
Unlike the night elves, the shal'dorei do not appear to worship Elune. They, instead, revere the stars themselves, without naming a specific divinity. Nightborne priests seem to call to the stars to channel their magic. For healing, the nightborne use chronomancy to rewind time, reversing the wounds rather than healing them in the traditional manner.
After the Amani and Gurubashi split off from the Zandalari, other trolls came to regard the Zandalar tribe as an overarching priest caste for all trolls. The Zandalari Empire are even closer to their loa than the Darkspear, as they are able to speak- and make bargains with their loa in Zandalar. The priests of these loa thus hold a high position of power in Zandalari society. They are also sometimes known as confessors, judges who keep the soul of the Zandalari safe and pure. While all loa seem to have priests among their worshippers, a priest of Gonk is instead counted as a druid, as the Loa of Shapes allows his servants to shapeshift into different forms.
- See also: Pandaren (playable)#Racial traits
Pandaren priests, what they believe in and from where they draw their powers have not yet been addressed by canon sources. However, some in-game references do exist. Omnia Priests provide several quotes which refer to the 'light':
- Let the light protect us!
- Our enemies underestimate the power of the light.
- The light will prevail.
The leader of the Omnia discipline, the priest Yalia Sagewhisper, also mentions the light in several of her quotes:
- May the light guide you.
- Be blessed by the light.
- Light is right.
- Even the light can run out of patience!
The above may be taken to suggest that pandaren priests do indeed wield the power of the Holy Light. The Omnia Priest quote "Shadows, begone!" and Yalia Sagewhisper's quote "Keep the shadows at bay" may be taken to further suggest that the pandaren share an experience of priestly ways (specifically the division between the Light and the Shadow) similar to races such as humans.
One contradiction to the above is provided by Jojo Ironbrow when first hearing of the term "the Light", responding "What's the Light?" However, this may be put down to simple (if surprising) ignorance on Jojo's part, or to a minor error by Blizzard. One other possibility would be that the term is not used on the Wandering Isle, Jojo's home, but is used widely among pandaren priests on Pandaria itself. Pandaren priests on the Wandering Isle may then share the same beliefs as their Pandarian brethren and simply use different terms, or may have more substantially differing ways.
In the RPG
Pandaren have a fierce and deep belief in the connection of the material and spiritual worlds. In many ways, their faith mirrors the ancient beliefs of the night elves, and the tribal beliefs of the tauren, troll, and orc races. However, pandaren veil their beliefs in the trappings of a mystical and ancient method called geomancy. Geomancy teaches that the land is a reflection of the spirits, but that spirits are also a reflection of the land. Like the furbolgs, tauren, and Wildhammer dwarves, the pandaren follow a shamanistic faith, worshiping the Earth Mother and giving passage to their dead. They are true geomancers, drawing their holy power directly from the Earth Mother. They also follow a new philosophy (new to the other residents of Kalimdor, of course); they are a society that reacts, instead of acting first. They claim to be the water that flows around a rock: The water does not push the rock out of the way, it merely goes around it. They use this uncomplicated way of thinking in their everyday life. If they set their minds to a task, and they fail, then they believe they went about it the wrong way and try again. They do not mourn for failures, believing that they simply have mapped out improper ways to do things and they will know better next time. This philosophy seems simple, but the pandaren apply it to every aspect of their lives, from brewing beer to adventuring. They are calm, affable types who will extend the hand of friendship to a stranger on the road — but if the stranger is hostile, the hand of friendship can quickly turn into an excruciating joint lock.
High elf priests
- See also: Priest (Warcraft III)
The high elves, like the dwarves, adopted the religion from their allies the humans, and the high elven priests have devoutly contributed to the Church of the Light. The elves displayed a strong mastery of divine Light magic throughout the ages and during the Third War, the high elf priests joined the Alliance alongside high elven mages and these priests served bravely as healers to their human and dwarven allies. The priests also fought alongside their brethren when trying to fend off Arthas and his undead forces as he attacked their capital Silvermoon City in Quel'Thalas.
The Holy Light has many devotees among elvenkind. They spread a message of comfort and protection to the displaced, the hope of unity among elves, half-elves, and men - and revenge against the Scourge. Clad in robes but protected by a chain shirt, priests of the Holy Light appear tailored to look like the bastion of their faith. They wear holy symbols around their neck and they bow their heads to say a brief prayer (or in silent, reverent, contemplation). As a priest of the Holy Light dedicated to the aspect of protection, these acolytes prefer not to wade into battle, but to serve in the middle ranks of a group of allies and support them with petitions, prayers and spells. His staff is reserved for use only when a gap in his protection is breached.
After the tragedies of the Third War, the high elven population is very small and few high elf priests remain, as most of those that are surviving now call themselves blood elves.
Priests are somewhat rare among ogres(or to be more specific Ogre Magi) still, yet they do exist. It is unlikely they follow the holy light, but not impossible. The two known objects of ogre worship are the gronn, who are worshiped by the gronn priest, and Nath, the ogre war god. No known priest worship Nath, whose followers are predominatly melee fighters.
- ^ Of Blood and Honor
- ^ World of Warcraft The Roleplaying Game, pg. 77
- ^ Arthaus. World of Warcraft: The Roleplaying Game, 71. ISBN 9781588467812.
- ^ "Doc"_Cogspin
- ^ Chief Surgeon Gashweld
- ^ Bennie, Scott; Richard Farrese, Bob Fitch. Horde Player's Guide, 160,161. ISBN 9781588467720.
- ^ [https://twitter.com/MickyNeilson/status/309835283426312192 Micky Neilson on Twitter]
- ^ Voidseer Kalurg, Ku'targ the Voidseer
- ^ Astral Farseer
- ^ Nobleborn Warpcaster (mob)
- ^ Troll Compendium/Other Trolls
- ^ Wowhead - Omnia Priest
- ^ [Quest:Joining the Alliance]
- ^ Dark Factions, pg. 16
- ^ Alliance & Horde Compendium, 74
- ^ White Wolf. Alliance Player's Guide, 188,189. ISBN 9781588467737.