This guide to Draenei role-playing was posted by Akiruum on the Moon Guard Forums.


After reading Melyria's most excellent Night Elf guide, I decided to tackle the other race of the Alliance that is sorely misrepresented: the Draenei.

Very much like Melyria's Night Elf guide, this one will be based both on fact from WoWPedia and other credible sources (what little there is of it) and logical speculation (more so than fact, at least until Blizzard does the Draenei justice.)

Draenei BiologyEdit

Height: Draenei are taller than Night Elves, with many males exceeding 7' and the females close behind. This is not to say that a Draenei would be over 10' tall. I would think that close to 8.5' would be acceptable for a very tall Draenei, 7.5' for an average Draenei, and 7' for a short Draenei.

Weight: Male Draenei tend to be powerfully built, with broad shoulders. They average around 320-380lbs. Females are much more slender, likely anywhere from 240-300lbs.

Age: Ah, the great mystery of the Draenei. Draenei are an ancient race, dating back 25,000 years, at the least, to the planet Argus. There is no definitive source for whether or not Draenei are truly immortal or instead have insanely long life spans. I have seen everything from 33,427 years old (Akirum; Dalla; Archaeduun, kinda) to 1,000 years old (the majority of PCs).

What we do know, is that Velen is likely the oldest Draenei alive, well over 25,000 years old. In fact, he was said to be pretty old on Argus, so who knows his true age. Kil'jaeden and Archimonde, before they turned, were likely very much the same.

Draenei likely have a similar growth rate as humans, but like Night Elves, it is safe to say that at some point their aging basically halts. Whether or not this is an indefinite halt has yet to be confirmed, but I usually say that Draenei don't view time and aging the same as the other races. They just exist. For how long is unknown.

Blood: Draenei have blue blood.

Hair: Draenei hair can range from gray to purple. The most common colors are white, brown, black, and blue.

Skin: Although many Draenei have blue skin, there are examples of many colors ranging from pinkish-white to light blue to dark violet.

Eyes: All Draenei eyes glow a luminescent blue. Whether they have other colors beneath the glow, or even pupils, is unknown.

Tendrils: Probably one of the most defining characteristics of the Draenei are their tendrils. Males have more prominent tendrils that protrude from their chin. Some Draenei males have no tendrils, but it is unknown if this is due to a birth defect or some other circumstance. Draenei females have thinner tendrils that protrude from behind the ears and can reach down to the shoulders.

Tails: Male Draenei tails are large and are held erect by their well developed muscle structure. Female trails are smaller and thinner.

Forehead: Male Draenei have large cranial plates, with a large one overlapping other smaller plates. Female Draenei have no plates, but instead they have horn-shaped cranial extensions.

Hooves: Unlike their demonic kin, Draenei of both genders have large hooves.

Draenei CultureEdit

Overview: First and foremost, the Draenei culture is primarily centered around two things: the Holy Light 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 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.

Notable Racial RelationsEdit

Orcs: The Draenei lived in harmony with orcs of Draenor for about 1,000 years. After the orcs were corrupted by the Burning Legion, they turned on the Draenei. As a result, there are many Draenei who distrust or even hate the orcs for what they did. Certain characteristics of modern orcs, such as their still-green skin and the fact that some still practice Warlock magic, 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.

However, there are cases of mutual acceptance, such as the case of The Earthen Ring and The Argent Dawn/Argent Crusade/Ashen Verdict. Akirum, as an example, does not hate orcs. In fact, one of his closest friends on Draenei was an orc farmer who taught him Orcish.

I have been asked on many occasions (both ICly and OOCly) how I could play a Draenei with no hate for the orcs. It's simple, in my mind. Akirum believes that had the Draenei not come to Draenor, then the orcs would never have been consumed by the Legion. To him, the Draenei are partially responsible for the corruption. In addition, he is ancient, so he has seen the Legion's evil many times before, and he knows that when the time comes and they return again, Azeroth will need to stand together to fight.

A Draenei who hates the orcs is just as reasonable as a Draenei who does not hate the orcs.

Blood Elves: 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.

The Alliance: 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 left of Tyrande herself.

The Horde (Trolls, Tauren, and Forsaken): Because the Trolls side with the orcs, individual Draenei likely have the same opinion of them as they do the orcs, though less intense. Having never been personally affected by the Trolls, however, I am sure there are varying degrees of like and dislike.

The Tauren are probably the Horde race most readily accepted by the Draenei. They are not a violent, bloodthirsty lot and I'm sure the Draenei admire that. I would think a Draenei would see why they'd be loyal to the orcs.

The Forsaken ... explanation needed really. Abominations.

The Broken: Despite the (in most cases) accidental regression into Broken draenei, many draenei not only distrust them but despise them. Although understandable of those Broken draenei who remain corrupted or in service to the Legion, one would think that the draenei would be willing to welcome any of their people that survived the orcs' genocide.

Talking with Nobundo, however, reveals a possible reason for this distrust and hatred. Broken draenei are unable to draw upon the Light's powers, being infused with fel energies. The draenei, being deeply religious, could view this in very negative context. The fact there are so many Broken draenei working in and on the Exodar is a testament to Velen's unending compassion for his people.

Draenei Shaman are probably the most likely to accept the Broken willingly.


Family is very important to Draenei. They probably had large families on Argus, with several generations alive at the same time. Though, in recent times, Draenei families have declined, for obvious reasons.

Draenei probably form strong bonds with their romantic partners, since they are a noble and virtuous race. Because they are so affiliated with the Light, they probably have marriages very much like humans. They likely have many children also, especially in the current days.

Gender Roles: There is little information regarding Draenei gender roles. Though, I would say that both male and female are respected equally and can hold the same positions.


The Holy Light: The vast majority of Draenei are devout followers of the Light. They have a special relationship with the naaru and they aspire to one day join the Army of the Light.

Draenei are perhaps the most devout followers of the Light, if the Aldor are any indication. Many of their most respected kin are Paladins and Priests and even the Warriors, Magi, and Hunters among them are devout followers. Shaman are a bit of a different story.

Shamanism: Firstly, shamanism is not popular among the Draenei. It is somewhat looked down upon, as it is viewed as getting in the way of Light worship. However, Nobundo is rather well respected by Velen and not all Draenei shaman fully abandon the Light.

Still, some maintain that the Light is merely the emergent characteristic of the interconnectivity of the spirit world, not a single person's connection with the universe. The belief that the paladin is a direct agent of the Light is a dismissal of the concept that each shaman is but a mere conduit through which the powers of the spirits flow. Truly, in their rush to embrace the Light, the humans (and Draenei, in this example) missed the very point of its existence.

Draenei Shaman can be represented either way. For Akirum, he is not a believer in the Light the same way as, for example, Archaeduun. He is more aligned with the Horde beliefs of shamanism, but he is respectful of other's views.


Warriors: There are no famous draenei warriors as very little is known of their lore. Though there probably have been many a draenei warrior-hero in the past. It could be possible that younger Draenei have a lesser feeling of responsibility to worship and show gratitude to the Naaru, at least not in learning the arts of the Paladin, but possibly still in thoughts and personal religious actions outside of battle.

Mages: Draenei have always been natural magic users. When aboard the Exodar for long journeys the draenei had plenty of hours to study and practice magic. They are one of the oldest races in the universe and therefore have had a lot of time to research and improve their knowledge of the arcane arts. Since they have had so much knowledge passed down and live such long lives to practice it, the draenei are among the most powerful mages in the known universe.

Priests: 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".

Paladins: Draenei paladins, for the most part, are part of the Hand of Argus. The Hand is the military and police force of the Exodar. There are other paladins who aren't part of the Hand, however. Many Draenei paladins are Vindicators or Exarchs, and are pious much like Draenei priests.

Hunters: It has only been since the draenei's time living on Draenor that they have embraced the art of hunting, likely taught to them by the orcs. Hunting was the primary source of the draenei's sustenance during their time on Draenor, and since their arrival on Azeroth they have continued this practice.

Shaman: As stated above, shamanism is not popular amongst the Draenei. Draenei Shaman are usually students of Nobundo who have embraced the call of the Spirits. They are of a different sort than Horde shaman, but some (such as Akirum) have come to align with the beliefs of Horde shaman. They are a mysterious caste, no doubt, and are often misunderstood.

Death Knights: The Lich King cares little for who he converts into his fearsome death knights, however, Arthas finds pleasure in corrupting those of pure heart and the draenei, arguably the most "pious" race, are the pinnacle of this pleasure. Furthermore, as exemplified by the corruption of Archimonde and Kil'jaeden, those draenei who do succumb to corruption prove to be powerful adversaries.


The Story of Prophet Velen (and the Draenei) Lore20:42

The Story of Prophet Velen (and the Draenei) Lore

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