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Know Your Lore: The Eredar

The World of Warcraft is an expansive universe. You're playing the game, you're fighting the bosses, you know the how -- but do you know the why? Each week, Matthew Rossi and Anne Stickney make sure you Know Your Lore by covering the history of the story behind World of Warcraft.

On Argus, Mac'Aree was the most sacred of our cities. Would you believe me if I told you that the walkways were lined with precious minerals? That the rivers glittered even in complete darkness? I long for those days... How long has it been? A thousand years? Ten-thousand?
-- Jessera of Mac'Aree

Many peoples have had a golden age. The ancient kaldorei on Azeroth had one, over ten thousand years ago, when their mastery of the magic of the Well of Eternity made them effectively the most powerful people in Azeroth. Before that, the mogu ruled a nation carves from slave labor while the ancient trolls of Zandalar held their empire. These events are distant to us, the long past.

The eredar had already had at least two golden ages before any of this had ever happened. Over twenty five thousand years ago, on the planet Argus, a people worked wonders so profound and magnificent that they drew the attention of a power beyond anything they could have imagined. Everything they were up until that point, their ancient and magnificent works, their intelligence and magical acumen, it is all long lost now. Then, they were the eredar, one people. Now, they are two - draenei, exiles, and man'ari, what we today simply call by the name of that long vanished people. Be not mistaken, however - the eredar of today are the twisted, corrupted, magically powerful but spiritually debased remnant of that people, just as the draenei are the last remnant of what they were before their fall.

But fall they did. Who were the eredar, and who are they now?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Burning Crusade, Lore, Know your Lore, Wrath of the Lich King

How the Draenei make WoW a better place

How the Draenei make WoW a better place

The light wishes suffering on none, my child. But it does not reign unopposed in our realm
- The Prophet Velen


It's no secret that I dig the draenei. They're my favorite race in the game (my second favorite are tauren, with worgen in third) and in all honesty for a long time, I never really knew why aside from my having really loved the draenei starting zone when I first played through it during the Burning Crusade beta. I really enjoyed the feeling of camaraderie I got from the various surviving crew members, all pulling together to survive, and as the history of the long displaced race unfolded and linked up to their appearance in Warcraft III and the broken ones I'd already met back in my vanilla days running through Swamp of Sorrows, I was hooked.

I liked that they were in turns noble yet murderous - I've never forgotten that it was Velen, supposedly kindly and peace loving Prophet, who ordered my draenei to go find the blood elves and their eredar allies on Bloodmyst and eradicate them. Kill them all, Velen said to me, and I did it. They even threw a party for me afterwards. I liked that for all our obvious compassion, we still were deeply flawed - there was clear racism and disquiet aimed at the Broken, whose mutated condition filled some of our people with disgust - you could see it in how we shoved them into the darkest corners of the crashed Exodar and forced them to toil out of sight. The draenei were many things - linked to the man'ari eredar through a common origin, forever exiled from their home, hunted by their former kin - but their long relationship with the Naaru and the Holy Light hadn't made plaster saints out of the draenei. I liked their having survived the orc genocide on Draenor has hardened, but not warped them.

And to be honest, I just really liked playing in one. I like how they move, how they run, how they look in plate or mail (most of my draenei are warriors or shaman, with one paladin who doesn't get out much), how their racial Gift of the Naaru makes a sigil float over their heads, their combat animations (especially how they use staves or polearms) - but it wasn't until recently that I really thought for a while about why, exactly, I still hold such a fondness for the draenei.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Burning Crusade, Lore, Wrath of the Lich King, Cataclysm, Mists of Pandaria

Know Your Lore: Worlds lost, worlds unknown

The World of Warcraft is an expansive universe. You're playing the game, you're fighting the bosses, you know the how -- but do you know the why? Each week, Matthew Rossi and Anne Stickney make sure you Know Your Lore by covering the history of the story behind World of Warcraft.

There are worlds we have not yet visited. Realms we have not seen, do not know. Some are demon-haunted nightmares, still others lost to our understanding, destroyed. The Burning Legion has been thwarted twice on Azeroth, but make no mistake - they have yet to bring their full power to bear, seeking instead to seize the world's unique magical energies for their own use. The dead world Xerrath demonstrates that the Legion has in the past destroyed entire worlds merely as a show of force to cow others into submission and slavery. What's worse is, there are races that were wiped out by them, but others who proved their worth were instead made into servants and slaves to the Legion - and Azeroth has balked their advance twice, putting us squarely in the strong enough to make good slaves category.

Yet, too, there are worlds beyond even the Legion's control, worlds dominated by the vast hosts that the Old Gods and their servants such as the Prophet Skerram, worlds like K'aresh (home of the Ethereals), worlds shaped by the Titans, and worlds that yet sleep in their infancy, unaware of the struggle between ancient inimical forces. Azeroth was one such world not too long ago. The destruction of K'aresh by Dimensius the All-Devouring proves that there are forces, hungry and ravening, that serve no masters and have destruction on their mind completely unrelated to the Legion or the Old Gods.

We know barely a fragment of the vast cosmos. Let us explore what little we do know.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Machinima, The Burning Crusade, Lore, Know your Lore, Mists of Pandaria

Know Your Lore: Velen, the Prophet

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The World of Warcraft is an expansive universe. You're playing the game, you're fighting the bosses, you know the how -- but do you know the why? Each week, Matthew Rossi and Anne Stickney make sure you Know Your Lore by covering the history of the story behind World of Warcraft.

"I failed long ago to turn my brothers from their course. And creation has paid the price."

How must it feel to be ageless? To watch as millennia tick by, each century the span of a breath and gone in an instant? To the draenei, the lives of humans must seem incredibly short-lived. To the Prophet Velen, who is at least 25,000 years old, we must seem like motes of dust, winking in and out of existence so quickly that we can scarcely be recognized as entities before we cease to exist. Velen has led the draenei through terror and triumph, from world to world, always gently spreading the benevolent message of the Light to any who wish to hear.

Yet for a being of such grace, purity and peace, Velen is also a creature of unfathomable sorrow. For Velen has been granted the gift of Sight, and with the gift he can see the infinite paths of futures that may not be, of worlds born and fallen in the blink of an eye. And despite that gift, Velen cannot prevent what is yet to pass. He cannot prevent that which has gone before, and will come again. And he could not prevent the path his friends chose, nor could he persuade them their new ally was in fact a monster so horrific that his hellish grasp would wreak havoc on immeasurable worlds.

For one that treasures life in the way only the Light can teach, it is a heavy burden to bear.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Know Your Lore: Sargeras and speculation on the next expansion

The World of Warcraft is an expansive universe. You're playing the game, you're fighting the bosses, you know the how -- but do you know the why? Each week, Matthew Rossi and Anne Stickney make sure you Know Your Lore by covering the history of the story behind World of Warcraft.

Planes and planets, demons and mortals -- we've covered the gamut of the Warcraft universe in the past few weeks, including rampant speculation. With BlizzCon 2011 not too far away, people are already talking about what may or may not be announced, including whether or not we'll see news about the next Warcraft expansion and what that expansion could be.

Beyond all of that, however, we have the matter of identifying who exactly the real bad guy of this expansion is. Is it Deathwing? Is it the Old Gods? We don't know, and we won't know until we're closer to the expansion's end and dealing with Deathwing personally -- but whether Deathwing will be the final boss of this expansion is something that's still up in the air. Matthew Rossi wrote an interesting article last week questioning whether Cataclysm has too much potential content, and it's an excellent question. Given all we've seen of the expansion so far and the sheer amount of plot threads that have yet to be addressed, it makes one wonder exactly what else will be revealed in the months to come.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Know Your Lore: The Warcraft cosmos, part one: The Material Plane

The World of Warcraft is an expansive universe. You're playing the game, you're fighting the bosses, you know the how -- but do you know the why? Each week, Matthew Rossi and Anne Stickney make sure you Know Your Lore by covering the history of the story behind World of Warcraft.

Even now, the true battle between the forces of Light and Darkness approaches. We will all be called to join, and in the face of this conflict, all mortal suffering will be meaningless. -- Prophet Velen

Far beyond the tiny planet of Azeroth, beyond the shattered shores of Outland -- or Draenor, as it was once called -- there lies the Great Dark Beyond. This dark, empty void between worlds exists even beyond the Twisting Nether. It is the space between planets, existing in the same material plane as the planets themselves. While the Twisting Nether exists within it, it should not be confused with the Nether, because they are two distinctly different entities.

In the existing universe of Warcraft, only a small handful of planets have been defined, floating somewhere out there in the vast, empty space of the Great Dark Beyond. All of these planets are connected, which gives way to a larger, slightly more tinfoil hat theory regarding the greater Warcraft cosmos and what it all means, when it comes down to it. But before we indulge in any speculation, we should define what lies within that Great Dark Beyond and how it all plays together in the vastness of the universe.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

The Queue: Guest introduction

Welcome back to The Queue, WoW.com's daily Q&A column where the WoW.com team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Alex Ziebart will be your host today.

On the last edition of The Queue, I requested that readers write me an intro for this thing, and I would pick my favorite of the bunch to use to introduce the column. So here we go, an intro from Teregwynn:

"Each end every day, except those days when he doesn't, Alex Ziebart takes time out of his busy schedule to sift through your annoying, and often repetitive, questions to find those worthy of answers. Once selected, he conjures answers for these questions which baffle the minds of mere mortals, endowing them with a level of insight which they could not, but for having read earlier editions of this very column, have ever imagined."

Search asked...


"I have recently started on getting Loremaster and find it quite frustrating that I don't know how many quests I have accomplished in each area. Is there any way to see how much I have already done in an area and how much left still to do? Maybe some sort of clever addon that has eluded my search."

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Add-Ons, The Queue

Ask a Lore Nerd: Holy Warriors


Welcome to Ask a Lore Nerd, where each week blogger and columnist Alex Ziebart answers your questions about the lore and history of the World of Warcraft. Ask your questions in the comments section below, and we'll try to answer it in a future edition.

Insert snappy preamble here.

jealouspirate asked...

"I have a question about the Draenei. Mainly, why have they stayed in Azeroth? I mean, I know for the sake of gameplay this is how things are, but is there any justification for it? Shouldn't Velen be in Shattrath?"

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Filed under: Paladin, Analysis / Opinion, Lore, Ask a Lore Nerd

Beyond the Lich: looking forward to future patches

Patch 3.0.2 is out today, and so goes the ways of old. Buffs have undergone the largest change since release, Protection Warriors can now AoE tank like a pro, Retribution Paladins are all screaming "Don't nerf me, bro!" and casters around the world are getting their heads around spellpower.

All this change begs the question, what's in store for the future? Could this be the last great patch we see? Is this the beginning of the end of the World of Warcraft? Highly unlikely, and we already know that there is a bit in store for us in a few 3.x.x patches.

Read on after the break for what we know is coming, as well as for what my predictions of the future hold.

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Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, The Burning Crusade, Wrath of the Lich King

Know Your Lore: Oshu'gun


Oshu'gun, the largest known diamond in the universe, means many things to many people. To the ethereals of the Consortium, Oshu'gun means profit. To the Orcs of old, it was holy ground. To the Draenei and the Naaru, Oshu'gun is a transdimensional spaceship that was used to save a dying race from their doomed homeworld which had been overrun by demons. Sweet.

We all know, or should know, the story of the Draenei by now. It's been beaten into our heads in many different ways in the World of Warcraft. If you don't know the story, let me sum it up for you: About 25,000 years ago, Velen, Archimonde, and Kil'jaeden were the top cats of a race called the Eredar. Sargeras approached them with promises of power and whatever else, with a hidden malicious intent. Archimonde and Kil'jaeden jumped on it, but Velen, being a prophet, had bad feelings about the arrangement. He and those loyal to him avoided falling into the grasp of the Destroyer of Worlds until a savior(...sort of) in the form of K'ure came along. K'ure explained the nature of the Naaru to the Prophet, and Velen gathered the Eredar loyal to him. They loaded up into a ship(later named Oshu'gun by the orcs) and escaped Argus, taking the name "draenei" meaning "exiled ones" in the language of the Eredar.

They rocketed around space for awhile, all was good. Then they crashed on some random planet. That's okay though, it was a pretty cool planet so they decided to name it after themselves. They named it 'Draenor' which translates to "Exile's Refuge." It beats me how 'or' means 'refuge' but who am I to question galactic fantasy languages? When Oshu'gun crashed, the Naaru that dwelled within and powered the vessel were severely damaged or outright killed. K'ure was severely wounded and still dwells within the vessel, sitting on the brink between life and death. D'ore, the other Naaru involved in the crash, died on impact. He was relocated to the area now known as Auchindoun and buried there, the first to be buried in the area later known as the Auchenai Crypts.

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Filed under: The Burning Crusade, Lore, Know your Lore

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