The draenei visited many worlds and explored much of the known cosmos in their quest to find safe harbor. Eventually Velen and his draenei settled upon a remote and peaceful world that seemed an ideal refuge. They named it Draenor, or "Exiles' Refuge", and there they quietly cultivated their society once again.
Being a draenei enthusiast, watching the announcement of Warlords of Draenor was an exciting experience! My brain happily filtered out all the orcs and the savagery; what I saw in the trailer was a draenei hunter, a draenei scout, Velen, breathtaking scenery and beautiful draenei cities. IN A TRAILER ANNOUNCING THE NEXT EXPANSION! WHEEE!!!
I'm no lore expert, the things I know are from WoW Insider's Anne Stickney and Matthew Rossi. I haven't read any of the franchise's books yet, but I do have "Rise of the Horde" on my nightstand, and I'm hoping to read it before the expansion releases. I've also heard that "Beyond the Dark Portal" is a good one to pick up for us that are more than averagely interested.
The story of the draenei on the Draenor we know didn't have a happy ending at all. Over 80 % of the entire draenei population was cleaned out, massacred by the orcs. Some escaped with Velen in The Exodar, which proceeded to crashland into Azeroth, others remained and became Broken or Lost Ones.
Questing through Outland, one can't help but notice that most of the draenei settlements are either invaded or in ruins. Warlords of Draenor will take us back in time through a loop, to a Draenor where all of this hasn't happened (yet). I can't wait to get over there and help!
A couple of days ago I went to Outland to do some exploring. I wanted to find all draenei settlements and ruins, so that I can see if I find them again when we travel to Draenor. I'm not intending to use this map as a way to "arrest" Blizzard if not everything is 100 % accurate. I'm gonna use it to go look for familiar places that will now be beautiful and alive instead of broken and sad. And I will take joy in the thought that in this alternate timeline, the draenei's fate is gonna be much better! And I'm personally gonna see to that.
Tip: Clicking on the pictures will make them a lot bigger and open them in slideshow.
Draenei settlements in Outland
A beautiful and poetic name for a wrecked and tormented zone. This valley is a grim spectacle of demonic magic run amok. Day and night, molten fel energy erupts from the land and lights the sky with bilious green flame. To the east lies the Black Temple, Illidan Stormrage's seat of power.
This is where the main capital city for the alliance will be in Warlords of Draenor; Temple of Karabor. And from what the screenshots at Blizzcon showed, the zone will finally live up to it's promising name. The draenei ruins in the zone are big and many, so there must have been quite a lot of draenei living here back in time. The ruins are now inhabitated by blood elves, broken, demons, naga and Illidan.
The Black Temple
Long ago on Draenor, the Temple of Karabor was the center of draenei worship. But the devout priests who prayed there are long dead, slaughtered by marauding, demonically corrupted orcs. In the massacre's aftermath the warlocks of the Shadow Council seized the structure and bestowed upon it a new name: The Black Temple. When Illidan the Betrayer fled to Draenor, he ousted the Temple's ruler, the pit lord Magtheridon, and claimed his throne as the lord of the blasted world.
|Xi'ri in front of The Black Temple|
|This place is huge|
Altar of Sha’tar
Altar of Sha'tar is an Aldor-controlled temple. It is the staging grounds for the warriors of the Aldor of Shattrath City to face the forces of Illidan. (Yay, not a ruin!)
|Altar of Sha'tar|
Ruins of Baa'ri
Broken from the Ashtongue tribe are the inhabitants of the Ruins of Baa'ri in Outland.
Years ago, the dreaded warlock known as Gul'dan raised the volcano in the middle of Shadowmoon. The draenei village of Baa'ri, to the southwest, was buried under the lava along with its inhabitants and artifacts of religious importance.
|Ruins of Baa'ri|
Eclipse Point is a Blood elf controlled Draenei ruin. The population is composed of Eclipsion Blood elves, a faction loyal to Illidan Stormrage. The ruins are filled with a deep blood-red haze, in sharp contrast to the black and fel green colors elsewhere in the valley. The original name of the place is unknown.
|Eclipse Point -overview|
|Eclipse Point - when you enter the ruins the sky goes red|
Illidari Point is a staging ground for Illidan's loyal demons. The ruins themselves are originally of draenei make, but its given name has been lost to the times.
Coilskar Point is a naga-infested draenei ruin. The original name of the place is unknown.
New hope has come to this ancient forest. Aided by the benevolent naaru, a group of draenei has rebuilt Shattrath City. The city has since thrown open its doors to welcome refugees of many different races from all over Outland. Yet the past has not left this area unmarked. To this day, only adventurers and graverobbers visit the haunted subterranean ruins of Auchindoun.
Shattrath, the City of Light, is the players capital city of Outland. Its name in the Draenei language means "dwelling of light." Shattrath City is maintained by the naaru known as the Sha'tar, who are centered at the Terrace of Light. Their ruler is A'dal. The lower city is flooded with refugees of all sorts from the various conflicts of Outland; naaru, draenei, blood elves, humans, orcs, high elves, dwarves, sporelings, ogres, arakkoa, goblins, ethereals, Mag'har orcs, Forsaken, trolls, gnomes, night elves, mo'arg, Broken draenei, and draenei Lost Ones can all be found in varying quantities within Shattrath City.
A player character can ally with either the Aldor or the Scryers. The Aldor is an ancient draenei priesthood working with the Sha'tar to battle the Burning Legion. They are located at Aldor's Rise. The Scryers are a group of blood elves that broke away from Prince Kael'thas, and offered to assist the naaru of Shattrath. They are located at Scryer's Tier.
In Warlords of Draenor, we will see Shattrath in its former glory. Unfortunately it will be occupied by the iron horde. (Let's kick them out of there, who's with me!!?)
When we as players first arrive at Shattrath, we get a quest to follow Khadgar's Servant around. This is what he tells, the history of Shattrath:
When the Burning Legion turned the orcs against the draenei, the fiercest battle was fought in Shattrath. The draenei fought tooth and nail, but in the end the city fell. The city was left in ruins and darkness... until the Sha'tar arrived. The Sha'tar, or "born from light" are the naaru that came to Outland to fight the demons of the Burning Legion. They were drawn to the ruins of Shattrath City where a small remnant of the draenei priesthood conducted its rites inside a ruined temple.
The priesthood, known as the Aldor, quickly regained its strength as word spread that the naaru had returned and reconstruction soon began. The ruined temple is now used as an infirmary for injured refugees. It wouldn't be long, however, before the city came under attack once again. This time, the attack came from Illidan's armies. A large regiment of blood elves had been sent by Illidan's ally, Kael'thas Sunstrider, to lay waste to the city. As the regiment of blood elves crossed the bridge, the Aldor's exarchs and vindicators lined up to defend the Terrace of Light.
But then the unexpected happened. The blood elves laid down their weapons in front of the city's defenders; their leader Voren'thal stormed into the Terrace of Light and demanded to speak to A'dal. As the naaru approached him, Voren'thal kneeled before him and uttered the following words: "I've seen you in a vision, naaru. My race's only hope for survival lies with you. My followers and I are here to serve you." The defection of Voren'thal and his followers was the largest loss ever incurred by Kael's forces. And these weren't just any blood elves. Many of the best and brightest among Kael's scholars and magisters had been swayed by Voren'thal's influence. The naaru accepted the defectors, who would be known as the Scryers.
The Aldor are followers of the light, and forgiveness and redemption are values they understand. However, they found it hard to forget the deeds of the blood elves while under Kael's command. Many of the priesthood had been slain by the same magisters who now vowed to serve the naaru. They were not happy to share the city with former enemies. The attacks against Shattrath continued, but the city did not fall, as you can see. On the contrary, the naaru known as Xi'ri led a successful incursion into Shadowmoon Valley - Illidan's doorstep. There he continues to wage war on Illidan with the assistance of the Aldor and the Scryers. The two factions have not given up on their old feuds, though. Such is the animosity that they vie for the honor of being sent to assist the naaru there. Each day, that decision is made here by A'dal. The armies gather here to receive A'dal's blessing before heading to Shadowmoon.
Auchindoun is a mausoleum, a "city of the dead", a former draenei holy site where the dead were laid to rest, placed in the ground. It was a holy ground for draenei burial until the Shadow Council took over, summoning an extremely powerful elemental as old as time itself. The blast unleashed by this elemental shattered Auchindoun and laid waste to half of Terokkar Forest, creating the Bone Wastes. The shattered remnants of Auchindoun stand at the very center of the wastes. Its crypt-filled interiors are overrun by multiple factions:
- Ethereals under Nexus-Prince Shaffar within the Mana-Tombs, seeking to gain more powers to use against the creatures of the Twisting Nether.
- Servitors of the Burning Legion in the Auchenai Crypts, raising the resting spirits of fallen draenei.
- A renegade clan of arakkoa within the Sethekk Halls, practicing their dark magics.
- Elements of the Shadow Council in the secure Shadow Labyrinth, who have raised a creature so powerful it defies imagination.
Tuurem was one of the first draenei cities overrun by the orcs before the first opening of the Dark Portal. Now it's inhabited by hostile mutated draenei: the Wrekt broken and the Tuurem Lost Ones.
Sha’tari Base Camp
The Sha'tari Base Camp is an encampment defended by Sha'tar vindicators. It's just a camp, not a village or even a building. But there are alive draenei there, which is refreshing. :'(
|Sha'tari Base Camp|
Many view Nagrand as their favorite Outland zone. It's green and sunny, a positive contrast to all the doom, gloom and fire elsewhere in Outland. Nagrand was the zone least impacted when Draenor was destroyed, so it might even be recognizeable when we go back in time.
Nagrand is orcish for "Land of Winds". It was here that Oshu'gun — the vessel that brought the draenei from Argus — crashlanded on Draenor.
|Oshu'gun - you can venture inside and visit K'ure|
Telaar is a Kurenai-factioned Alliance town. It's one of the only intact examples of undamaged Draenei architecture in all of what is left of Draenor.
Halaa is a capturable town. The architecture is draenic, and when alliance holds it, there are draenei guards. I would be very interested to hear what the story is behind the town, but unfortunately there is no lore released that I'm aware of.
Zangarmarsh is a hauntingly beautiful swamp covered with a forest of giant mushrooms. Though largely teeming with life, sections of the swamp have begun to die of late, and the sapient fungi of the region seek help in returning it to life. Velen and his surviving followers hid in Zangarmarsh after the orcish genocide.
We won't be spending much time in Zangarmarsh in Warlords of Draenor, as it's gonna turn into the Zangar Sea! Wherein Shattrath will have a harbor.
I think Telredor must be my favorite draenei town. It's located in a giant mushroom! There's a beautiful fountain in the middle of it, and the draenic ornaments and crystals combines very well with the light in the zone .
Telredor was originally a calm settlement of draenei anchorites. Many draenei refugees flocked to it when the orcs started attacking their villages. Telredor turned out to be an impregnable fortress, and a safe haven for many draenei. Telredor does not have food vendors, for a lore-based reason; many of the quests relate to food gathering, and because they are close to starving, food is shared among their own people and they would not sell it to outsiders.
|The fountain in Telredor|
Orebor Harborage is an Alliance-affiliated town in northern Zangarmarsh. It is comprised mostly of Kurenai, a faction of Broken who seek to reestablish their ties with the uncorrupted draenei.
Before the draenei were decimated by the orcs, Telredor served as a retreat for draenei anchorites and spiritualists. A small order of anchorites and vindicators maintained a number of shrines in Zangarmarsh, among them Boha'mu Temple.
Twin Spire Ruins
Twin Spire Ruins are the remains of a holy draenei site in Zangarmarsh now contested by the Alliance and Horde. Two towers flank a burial ground, with the towers being capturable. Despite the name, the ruins contain only one ruined tower in the center. The "twin spires" are two small buildings that are not spire-like. Back when Outland was still Draenor, the towers were twin lighthouses in the middle of the Zangar Sea.
The Hellfire Peninsula was known as Tanaan Jungle before Draenor was destroyed. It is a pivotal area of Outland that has been the location of many of the most brutal battles in Warcraft history. This is where the other side of the Dark Portal is located. As its name implies, the Hellfire Peninsula is a grim place.
When you travel on the ground, you note bones cracking and shattering beneath your feet. These would be the remains of the countless draenei that the blood-crazed orcs systematically slaughtered prior to bringing their war to Azeroth.
Temple of Telhamat
Temple of Telhamat is a draenei stronghold and religious site. The temple is an Alliance port of call and a good gateway for travelers venturing into Zangarmarsh.
|Temple of Telhamat|
Ruins of Sha’naar
Occupied by Illidari forces that have enslaved the broken draenei that live there.
|Ruins of Sha'naar|
Blade’s Edge Mountains
There is not a single draenei ruin in Blade's Edge Mountains! There's lots of spikes though. And ogres and night elves.
The region of Netherstorm was a verdant open range called the Fields of Farahlon until Draenor was ripped apart by Ner'zhul's dimensional portals. It consists of several large land fragments and countless smaller shards of rock all floating in the Twisting Nether. Normally imperceptible to mortals, the Twisting Nether bled into the physical realm and unleashed a tumultuous arcane storm that warped the surrounding territory. Magical lightning arcs across the skies within a thick haze of violet cloud and bands of pure magical energy wrap their way across the sky. The blood elves are now using the technology of a captured naaru vessel to harness the storm's magic, further compromising the already unstable land.
The battleground "Eye of the Storm" is meant to be happening in Netherstorm. So next time you're there, defend those Draenei Ruins, ok? :)
Farahlon won't be one of the zones that are available from launch, but will instead open in a later patch. According to Michael Sacco at WoW Insider, "Farahlon was one of the most beautiful places in the universe". Can't wait to see it for myself!
From left: The Botanica, The Arcatraz, The Eye and The Mechanar
The Exodar is the missing vessel, now located on Azuremyst Isle on Azeroth
|Manaforge Ara. There's also Manaforge B'naar, Coruu, Duro and Ultris spread across Netherstorm|
Ruins of Enkaat
The remains of a draenei settlement, now haunted by the disembodied ghosts of the dead draenei who once live there.
|Ruins of Enkaat|
The Stormspire is a neutral Consortium-run town located inside one of the eco-domes in Netherstorm. The town itself is of draenei architecture, although there are no draenei to be seen here now. They have possibly left their holdings for Zangarmarsh, as part of their diversionary strategy towards the old orcish Horde. Stormspire is one of the only intact exemplars of undamaged Draenei architecture in all of what is left of Draenor.
Ruins of Farahlon
The Ruins of Farahlon were once a draenei settlement. A mighty dreadlord named Culuthas holds the ruins. He has an Ata'mal crystal, a powerful draenei artifact.
|Ruins of Farahlon|
Arklon Ruins is now occupied by agents of the Burning Legion.
Draenei Settlements on Draenor
|Draenor as it will be in Warlords of Draenor|
Even I will build something on Draenor, my own Garrison. I'm looking forward to deciding where to place it! And I very much hope they take into concideration all of us who have voiced that we want more themes to choose between when it comes to buildings, and not just the standard alliance buildings. (Where would I find the white bricks anyway?)
Are you excited as well!?!