Our guide to the backstory behind the playable races of World of Warcraft continues. Make sure you check out Part I.
In Part II, we reveal the lore behind the noble Draenei, the inquisitive Gnomes, and the bestial Worgen.
Sporting horns, a tail and cloven hooves, the Draenei are a people more otherworldly than just in their looks. Exiles from the distant world of Argus, the Draenei have wandered the blackness of the Great Dark Beyond for tens of thousands of years, the conquering armies of the Burning Legion ever at their backs. Their culture is one of faith and tenacity, for though they have fought a losing war against the Legion on many worlds, they still fight.
After discovering Draenor, the Draenei civilization had flourished for many years, until the Legion arrived and turned the indigenous Orcs against them. As their cities burned and their race became hunted to near-extinction, the Draenei were again forced to flee. Under the wizened Prophet Velen, a small group of Draenei refugees was able to escape to Azeroth, where their space-faring craft made an emergency crash-landing on an island near the Night Elven capital of Darnassus.
Quick to ally themselves with the noble races of the Alliance, the Draenei now find themselves once again making a stand against the overwhelming forces of the Legion... and this time, they will not run.
Standing at chest-height to a Dwarf, Gnomes are by far one of the shortest races of Azeroth, but more than make up for their short stature with their staggering intellect.
Genius inventors and brilliant military tacticians, Gnomish inventions such as the Gyrocopter and Siege Tanks have revolutionized warfare in Azeroth.
Recent victims of a devastating coup that left their home city irradiated and overrun with Dark Iron saboteurs, vile, demihuman Troggs and monstrous Oozes, the Gnomes have rallied under High Tinker Mekkatorque, who leads his people in an enduring military campaign to retake their beloved underground kingdom-city of Gnomeregan.
Formerly Humans from the walled kingdom of Gilneas, the Worgen were transformed via a curse of lycanthropy that swept through their realm like a plague. Initially having isolated their kingdom from the rest of Azeroth out of fear of the Burning Legion and later the Scourge, Gilneas's self-imposed quarantine proved the undoing of its people.
Once the Curse of the Worgen was able to infiltrate the city, it spread unchecked and infected every Gilnean trapped behind the walls of their city-state. It was only through the efforts of sorcery and a brilliant alchemist that many Gilneans were eventually able to control the savage nature of their bestial half. When the Forsaken armada began a massive naval bombardment of their coastlines, the kingdom of Gilneas was forced to end their decades-long seclusion, and sought aid from friends in the Alliance, both old and new.
Finding a tenuous link between the curse of the Worgen and an ancient sect of Night Elven druids known as the Druids of the Pack, the ragged survivors of Gilneas readily accepted the offer of aid from the Night Elves and have even been welcomed to lair in their capital city of Darnassus. Genn Greymane now leads his people both as their king and pack alpha, sharing their curse and the constant struggle to contain the beast within.