Three brothers and the Swan is a traditional folk-tale of the Draenei, most often told to children. It is one of the best examples of both Draenei humanism and draenei universalism found within the core of their literature. Ferenold Stormshend is remarked as saying, in regard to it: "A manifestation of all that is ignoble and weak about the Draenei race...and a warrant for the worst kind of spiritualism imperialism that seeks to drain the divine from all men and replace it with a hollow morality."
In the Old Days there were more stars in the sky, an infinite number of galaxies and nebulae. At the center of the universe were three stars who were brothers. They were called Xeroth, Sha’radi, and Telendii. Xeroth was the brightest of the three. It was his greatest wish to shine throughout the cosmos as a beacon for those who had lost their way home. Sha’radi also yearned to shine brightly, however, he wished to expand and burn as a hotter star. Telendii was not as concerned with shining as his brothers were. Instead, he spent his years gazing upon the mortal and immortal races. It was his desire to learn as much as he could about the universe for knowledge was his treasure. They lived happily together in the sky, sharing their wisdom with each other.
When some time had passed a great swan visited the brothers. This swan was unlike anything they had seen. Its feathers glowed with starlight and its eyes sparkled like two great moons. The swan perched itself in the sky to gaze upon the triad.
“My goodness,” the swan exclaimed. “I have traveled across the universe and never have I seen three stars as radiant as you!” The brothers were so flattered they invited the strange creature to stay with them a while to share wisdom with each other. They were greatly intrigued by where the swan hailed and what he had seen on his journey.
“There is a great darkness approaching. A darkness that extinguishes bright stars,” the swan said woefully. This concerned and frightened the brothers who had never even thought of the concept being extinguished. “I am searching for those who will aid me to banish it from the universe.”
“How can we help?” They asked in unison.
“To help you would need to accept my gifts so that you may shine so bright you banish the darkness. For you, Xeroth, you would pierce the veil of night with clarity and precision. You would truly be the brightest star in all the cosmos. For you, Sha’radi, you would burn hotter and grow bigger; so big that all the planets in all the galaxies would orbit you. And for you, little Telendii, I would give you a body to walk among the people of the planets you love to watch. You can tell them of all the worlds and stars. You can learn as much as you wish.”
“This is a great task, we must consider this for a while before we accept,” said Telendii. The swan bowed its long neck.
“I will return soon and ask what it is you wish to do.” He flew away.
The brothers discussed this impending darkness for some time. Xeroth and Sha’radi soon came to an agreement that the only way to help was to aid the mighty swan. They were anxious to become the best and brightest in all the sky. How could they pass up this opportunity? Telendii was reserved on his opinion for he was weary of the swan. He was more familiar with lying and deception for he had often gazed upon many planets and many people. They agreed they would sleep on it.
Soon after, Telendii awoke and discovered the swan was back. There was also something different about his brothers, they had changed. Xeroth was blinding and proudly sat in the sky. Sha’radi looked twice as bigger and happier than ever.
“Did you decide without me, brothers?” Telendii asked in a dulcet tone.
“We could not wait for you, the universe is in peril. Hurry, brother, join us and we will conquer it together,” said Xeroth and Sha’radi.
Telendii was unnerved by the transformation of his brothers. It was unnatural. Telendii refused the swan’s offer.
“You will accept me, little star,” the swan said. Its voice became deeper and more sinister. Suddenly it became apparent what had really happened to his brothers. Xeroth was shining so brightly that he could not see. Sha’radi was growing hotter because he was consuming smaller stars around him and he grew hungrier and hungrier. “Or I will pluck you from the sky and gobble you up!”
The swan lunged for Telendii. It narrowly missed the star and its sharp beak tore a great hole in the sky. The great hole was black and awful. Unspeakable things reached out of it and at the same time nothing reached out of it. Telendii gazed deep within it and screamed as he began to fall, dislodged by the swan’s beak. As he fell, he fled as quickly as he could. He flew through the universe, shooting fast. Behind him the great tear had started to suck away all the stars, including his brothers. They were vanishing into the horrible pit.
“I will find you, little star!” The swan’s terrible voice rang out across the cosmos as the tear in the sky became bigger and bigger behind the shooting star. “And I will eat you up!”
Telendii traversed many galaxies and solar systems. He hid behind great asteroids and planets. He felt his light was slowly burning away. He desperately searched for a planet to land on. In his last days, he came upon a small planet of humble people. Telendii fell into the open window of a nursery and into the crib of an infant.
“At last,” he said, his brightness flickering dim. “I have found you.”
Telendii told the infant of the stars, the swan, and the great hole. He whispered the secrets of the universe into the babe’s ear. He spoke of the terrible darkness and of the vastness of the universe. He told the child that though all are capable of great darkness, there is also a light within each being. It is a light of goodness. And if every being embraces that light they can form an army; an army that is more powerful than all the darkness.
“All of you are stars,” he whispered. “You must burn with the light of goodness and kindness. It is the only way to expel the darkness.”
Then the little star bequeathed upon the babe his final gift. The star asked the child to swallow him so that babe might one day become strong and bright. He gave the child his courage and wisdom so that he could one day face the horrible darkness. When the child swallowed the star, Telendii nestled in the babe’s heart.
Soon the infant would forget all that the star had taught him. However, in his heart the message lived on. When the child grew much older he passed this knowledge of the light on to every person he spoke to. He passed along stories like this one so that others would know of the great darkness and that there is hope. There will also be hope as long as we remember the light within us all.