Long before the fallen titan, Sargeras, unleashed his demonic Legion on Azeroth, he turned his baleful gaze upon the world of Argus and its highly intelligent inhabitants, the eredar. Believing that this magically gifted race would be a crucial component in his dark quest to undo all of creation, Sargeras contacted the eredar’s three leaders – Kil’jaeden, Archimonde, and Velen – and offered them knowledge and power in exchange for their loyalty.
Only Velen abstained, for he had seen a vision. In it, his people were transformed into hideous demons, and they joined the ranks of Sargeras’ Burning Legion: an army of unspeakable evil that would grow vast and decimate life on countless worlds. With the aid of the naaru, benevolent energy beings who had resolved to combat the fallen titan’s nihilistic crusade, Velen gathered other like-minded eredar and narrowly escaped Argus. Forever after, these renegades would call themselves the draenei, or “exiled ones.”
Kil’jaeden, who had loved Velen like a brother, was infuriated by the draenei’s flight from Argus and their ungrateful refusal of Sargeras’ offer. In retaliation, Kil’jaeden led the Legion’s armies on a relentless pursuit of the draenei throughout the cosmos. Eventually, Velen and his beleaguered people eluded their hunters and found sanctuary on a remote world that they would name Draenor, or “Exiles’ Refuge.” Having been instructed by the naaru in the ways of the Light, the draenei developed an extraordinary society on their new home and came to know the shamanistic orc clans native to Draenor.
Yet the draenei’s peaceful existence did not last. Upon discovering the renegades’ home, Kil’jaeden corrupted the noble orcs into a single, bloodthirsty force of destruction: the Horde. Blinded by rage, the orcs wreaked havoc upon the draenei, slaughtering over eighty percent of the race and forcing Velen and other survivors into hiding. Many draenei also mutated into lesser forms known as the Krokul, or “Broken,” after being exposed to the fel energies wielded by orc warlocks. Decades after the Horde’s genocidal campaign, the shaman Ner’zhul opened magical portals throughout Draenor, and the resulting magical stress tore the dying world apart.
In the wake of the calamity, what remained of Draenor – known henceforth as Outland – devolved into a battleground among the Burning Legion and other factions vying for control of the ruined landscape. To escape the mounting chaos, Velen and a number of his followers commandeered the Exodar, a satellite structure of the stunning naaru dimensional fortress named Tempest Keep. Using this craft to search for new allies, the draenei left Outland and later crash-landed upon the world of Azeroth.
Inspired by heroic tales of the Alliance and its victories against the Legion, the draenei sought out and pledged their loyalty to this courageous faction. Not long afterward, Velen and his noble refugees played a key role in urging the Alliance to invade Outland and disrupt the Legion’s nefarious activities. Armed with their unshakable faith in the Light, the draenei ventured to their embattled former home as steadfast members of the Alliance and defeated their ancient demonic rivals.
The return to Outland offered many draenei a chance to reconnect with their brethren who had been left behind. While some of Velen’s race chose to rebuild their society in the shattered land, the majority of draenei remained on Azeroth, vowing to uphold their commitment to the Alliance. Recently, Velen was granted a dire vision concerning a war between the forces of light and darkness that would take place on Azeroth. Thus, the draenei and their sage leader are now bravely preparing to stand against the shadow that they believe is fast approaching.