Some view the introduction of the draenei as the biggest mistake that Blizzard could have made from a lore standpoint. Sci-fi? In our Warcraft? Spaceships and technology? Well…yes, actually. The thing that most people seem to forget when playing a game like this is that it’s an ongoing story. If WoW’s story remained the same, static and unchanging, it would hardly be the sort of game that captured the attention of so many people for so long. From a pure story standpoint, WoW is ongoing, and changing – and it’s up to the storywriters to decide in what way that story will evolve. While some view the science fiction elements of Burning Crusade as far-fetched, I don’t think it’s that major of a stepping-stone – we’ve already had some elements introduced, portals and dual worlds, Titans and engineering – science very much has a place in the WoW universe. What the storywriters have done is create a natural blend of science fiction and magic that for some reason works.
The mysterious race known as the draenei have been referenced in Warcraft lore prior to Burning Crusade, however the draenei we were presented with were very different from the playable race. Little guys that look largely like potato sacks with legs, it was difficult for players to imagine how anyone could ever want to play them as a character in game. But the draenei’s origins are a startling departure from the magic-wielding elves, the savage orcs, and the other playable races available. The draenei were covered briefly in Orc History – you can go back and read parts One and Two here, or simply read ahead, as I’ll be recapping the events presented in the orc history segment.
The Eredar, the Naaru, and the Birth of the Burning Legion
The draenei originated as a race known as the Eredar – a group of supremely talented magic users who originated on the planet Argus, millions of years prior to Azeroth’s creation. These creatures were led by three of the strongest magic users – Archimonde, Kil’jaeden, and Velen. Sargeras, the dark titan intent on destroying worlds and devouring magic, was in the middle of building a vast army to carry out his dark purposes – and the inherent power of the Eredar quickly drew his attention. He approached the three leaders, offering them both vast powers and immortality in exchange for their allegiance.