Home > Lore, The Light is Full of Assholes > The Light is Full of Assholes – Velen, the Draenei and K’ure

The Light is Full of Assholes – Velen, the Draenei and K’ure

I don’t care that your Light-worshipping character/pet NPC is a perfectly upstanding citizen with enough moral fiber to relieve a constipated angel. “The Light is Full of Assholes” does not mean “All Light Followers are Assholes;” it means “Many Light Followers are Assholes.” Given that the same could be said of any reasonably-sized group of people, this shouldn’t even need to be stated; but since sometime during the late Burning Crusade Blizzard has become so enamored of their Christianity expy that they appear incapable of acknowledging that anyone involved might be a colossal asshole.

Anyway, let’s talk about Velen, Prophet of the Naaru and leader of the draenei on Azeroth. He is held up by the community and by Blizzard as Spiritual Authority and All Around Good Guy.

When the Sunwell needed to be purified at the end of TBC, they brought him into Silvermoon to do the honors. He has had centuries of friendly contact with the physical manifestations of the Light, the Naaru. And he is a coward and a bigot, unfit to lead the Draenei people.

The Lore

The former best friend of Kil’jaeden and Archimonde, Velen, had the gift of prophecy where his co-rulers of the Eredar did not. The Naaru K’ure gave him a vision of what would occur if he threw his lot in with the Burning Legion; but instead of sharing his visions of what the future would be like with his friends, Velen and K’ure ran. His two best friends were being twisted into demons and he refused to warn them. (Note also that K’ure didn’t bother to appear to them, either.)

Where did they run to? Well, he and his followers planet-hopped across the cosmos until they had finally shaken demonic pursuit, and eventually settled on Draenor. Draenor, where there lived only peaceful, shamanistic people – most notably the orcs and ogres – technologically far inferior to the draenei. The orcs did not even put up a fight as the draenei colonized their world, most likely because the draenei were so technologically superior that they could see which way the wind was blowing. So the draenei lived on Draenor for thousands of years at the expense of the orcs, knowing that they were pursued by the Burning Legion, knowing that the orcs could have no defense against it, and not sharing a single tidbit of their technology or knowledge that might help defend against them when they inevitably arrived. Though K’ure did alter the entire system of worship of the Mag’har in Nagrand so that they would unknowingly structure their spiritual practices around caring for him.

Yeah, so, apparently those are the twisted souls of Mag'har ancestors, made possible by K'ure's decision to prolong his life instead of dying when his time came.

So when Kil’jaeden caught up with Velen, the orcs were an easy target for corruption, having received no warning in the thousands of years since the Draenei had arrived to beware of demonic influence, nor any knowledge of how to identify it. The orcs, naturally, fell; and the draenei reaped the consequences of their irresponsibility. So did K’ure: he is dying. Worst of all, by manipulating the orcs into caring for him for so long, postponing his death, he is now dying at a time when the Legion can take advantage of it. They are using his dying form to attract the spirits of the Mag’har ancestors and convert them into voidwalkers. K’ure is such a selfish bastard that he enslaved generations of orcs so that he might live long enough for the Legion to enslave their souls, too. Even though it was an accident, when you manipulate people into servitude and unintended consequences follow, you lose the use of that excuse. “I only wanted to enslave them and all of their descendants over the course of their entire culture – I never wanted to enslave their souls for eternity!” QQ moar, asshole.

So after his past finally caught up with him and destroyed the civilization of an entire world of innocent bystanders, Velen went into hiding with the few of his people that weren’t dead or deformed. You heard that right – even in the wake of so much tragedy and death, the draenei had to consider their racial purity! Not until the Broken Nobundo had power to offer him – knowledge of the shamanic arts – did Velen accept a single Broken back into his society. Even by the time the Draenei hijacked the Exodar the only Broken among Velen’s followers were shaman or manual laborers.

Why This Pisses Me Off

The first toon I rolled with a serious intent to play – that is, the first toon I rolled on my very own account – was a draenei protection warrior. I being me, I had done a little research before the fact and was hoping to roll a Broken. I’ve always been a roleplayer at heart, even in games that discourage it; and in roleplaying games and stories in general, I’ve always gravitated towards characters with disabilities who kick ass anyway. Lucky me, Broken weren’t even an option on the character creation screen. Oh well, an unbroken draenei would have to do.

Leveled through the starting area… no Broken. Oh well, I thought, I’m bound to see some sooner or later. Got to the Exodar… well, the Draenei shaman are supposed to be Broken; after all, why would they use shaman powers if they were connected to the Light? I’ll go over to the shaman tier and see them. There’s Nobundo… a few more Broken shaman, ok that’s cool… what’s this over here? A mine in the middle of a city? And… wait…

…They’re… they’re Broken. Only Broken are mining. They have no names, they have no shamanism, they’re kept where the normal, whole Draenei can’t see them, they don’t even have speech bubbles; for all intents and purposes they don’t appear to be people. What the hell?

I went back to wowwiki, to see if maybe there was some lore reason why the only Broken on Azeroth (with 3 shaman exceptions) are manual laborers. (I didn’t know at the time about the Lost Ones in Swamp of Sorrows and the Blasted Lands). And I found this:

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.

What. What. What.

Seriously? Seriously? You think that the fact that this bigotry is religiously-motivated excuses it? What. The. Fuck., Alliance apologists. I don’t even know how to… OK. Let’s reword this sentence, in such a way that you can understand the douchebaggery. “Amputees are unable to make the sign of the cross, being without hands. Catholics, being deeply religious, could view this in very negative context. The fact there are a handful of amputees working in the Vatican is a testament to the Pope’s unending compassion for his people.”

Of course this isn’t true: the Catholic church is willing to make allowances for people who can’t make the sign of the cross. Amputees are generally in their current state through no fault of their own, and even in cases where they were responsible for their own loss of limb, it doesn’t make them bad people or any less worthy of participation in worship/society. If the Catholics or any other religious group were to make such a ruling, they would be loudly decried for their douchebaggery – not lauded for continuing to tolerate amputees in their presence!

Image courtesy of tvtropes.org

Not allowing the sick or disabled to participate in society is not OK. It is some serious Eugenic/dare I say it, Third Reich shit.

And you know, what, it’s a game. It’s understandable and realistic that the draenei faction would have these attitudes; hell, I would normally applaud the writers for including such a morally ambiguous faction. Except that the Draenei aren’t presented as morally ambiguous. I’ve played through the entire Draenei starting area, and I’ve done my research on Alliance plots in Outland. I haven’t been able to find any reference to an author calling the Draenei out on their shit.

Those Obsessed With Purity is an old trope and has its place in fiction: as bad guys, or at the very least as a morally ambiguous faction. It gains value only from the problems with such a group being addressed in some way by the author or the plot. When you portray a bigoted holy man and only ever refer to his holiness, well… that tells you more about the author of the character than about the character itself.

I’ve come to find that there’s tons of moral ambiguity over on the Horde side – the politics and machinations are complex, and you often find yourself working for people you probably shouldn’t be helping, like the Grimtotems or the Apothecaries. When you help these people, you see the consequences of their evil – or at least you’re left with a feeling of dread about what you’ve done, as some of those plots left hooks hanging. You helped the bad guys and your character is now complicit in their crimes. Consequences follow, and you must redeem yourself. The Battle for the Undercity is a perfect example. You did some terrible things in Dragonblight, so now it’s up to you to address the consequences. So it’s not as though Blizzard’s writers are incapable of observing and addressing moral ambiguity.

They just choose to whitewash evil or assholish acts when the culprits follow their Mary Sue religion.

P.S.

[19:32] Blanket: Also Button, this is the Light.
[19:32] Blanket: (keep watching.  You’ll know when you see it)
[19:34] Button: Do I really have to watch this? This music sucks
[19:36] Blanket: Yes.  Yes you do.
[19:36] Button: :D OK the Light is hilarious.
[19:37] Blanket: And then the Burning Crusade arrives.

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  1. September 28, 2010 at 5:33 pm

    Ohai.

    I like the part where the light fries everything. It happened in AV once, I believe. When strategy existed, and people could finish the summon quest.

  2. October 13, 2010 at 8:32 am

    I neve trusted the Naru. I think they have a super evil plan that has yet to be revealed.

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