Velen – or guerilla warfare on a cosmic scale

“The prophet must not be disturbed,” the guard said.
“Yeah, well, you said the same thing ten thousand years ago,” Zavannah said.
“I was just a girl then but seriously? All I want to know is – should I stay or should I go?”
“I’m no prophet, sugarplum, you better ask Velen.”
“I’m trying. Is he free?”
“The prophet must not be disturbed.”
“But … “Zavannah sighed. She was about to say something when a human, probably in is late teens, walked across the platform, made a cursory salute to the guard – and went inside Velens chamber. “Hey!”
The guard smiled, ever so faint. He nodded at the door and chuckled.
“That’s Andy,” he said.
“Honey, you don’t have heartbeat. Now bugger off.”
“That’s not very draenei of you, just so you know, you know.”
“I was stationed with a dwarf up in Northrend for two years. I guess he rubbed off on me.”
“Get a bloody beard then,” Zavannah said, turned around and walked away. Halfway through her angry stride she stumbled on someones moth and slid down the crystal walkway belly down.

She tried not to listen to the laughter.

– – – – –


This weeks community blog topic from WoW Insider ask who our favorite faction leader is. Judging from the comments section there’s strong support for Sylvanas. I can understand why; she’s a strong, ruthless character, one of the few women in World of Warcraft who’s actually more than just a pretty (ass) face to look at. Pity she’s dead.

However, it would be treason of me not to choose “our” (that is, my blueskinned sisters) most glorious if very much absent leader, the prophet Velen. 50 000 years old (or there about) and still kicking. not much salt in that diet, I’ll bet.

Much can be said about Velen and the struggle of the draenei. Most of it boils down to retreat. In fact, of all the faction leaders out there, Velen is the one who applies the hit and run tactic to the fullest.

It’s guerilla warfare on a cosmic scale!

We flee from “safe house” to “safe house” – worlds, that is. It usually involves a lot of collateral damage but that’s the arithmetic of war. It’s not nice. In fact, it’s not very good. Some would probably claim it’s almost … evil.

Velen is the anchor in a universe that’s really lost its marbles. Old gods everywhere, demons all around, elemental planes in a total flux … it’s hard to be on top of it. Unless you’re Velen. While everyone else scamper about like ants his eyes are fixed on the bigger picture. There’s a dire need for people like that in Azeroth. People who not only acts like an acnhor, like a beacon, but also acts as a radar. Sure, Wrathion is down with the spectacular holographic effects of the Burning Legions version of the 101 Airborne, but he’s proven a bit unreliable. Not quite sane (and he’s only two years old).

Not Velen. It’s like, “chill bro, I got this”.

There’s a quote from Blade Runner I come to think of, especially after reading the latest short story about him, the Prophets Lesson“I’ve seen things you men could not possibly understand”. That’s the trouble with a prophet. They are either too smart for the general public, or too weird to take seriously (unless you’re Thrall; everyone except Garrosh loves that … orc). Just think about how the other Alliance faction leaders usually treat Velen: They don’t invite him. They almost ignore him. Truer, he has secluded himself but he is, after all, still a faction leader.

Perhaps it’s uncertainty on the others behalf. It’s probable no one, Tyrande, Varian, all the others, really knows who Velen is. He’s an alien on an alien planet – like all draenei. I imagine there’s a lot of whispered “But can we trust them?” going on during the Strategic Alliance High Command meetings. After all, we draenei used to be Eredar … “demons” for the vast majority of people who can’t tell blue from red.

It’s interesting to see how Velen is passed by in almost all major events. I know, it’s a strict gameplay thing; there haven’t been much story for the draenei ever since the Burning Crusade. But still … In the “meta game” – the lore – Velen also seems to be very reclusive. Save prince Anduin, Velen isn’t someone any of the other faction leaders comes to for advice. That is strange. Who would be better suited than a far-seeing prophet aged 50 000 years? One who once was very, very close to both Archimonde and Kil’Jaeden, two of the most dangerous threats to Azeroths existence?

Anduin must have talked a lot about him, Velen. After all, Velen is Anduins mr Myagi, his sensei, teacher … his savior. It’s troubling – from a lore standpoint – that Velen continues to be the one no one ever cares about. It’s telling – from a lore standpoint – how far down the ladder the draenei actually are. We’re welcome as mercenaries – but as allies? Not so much. Unless … Unless Yeats is right:

“Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold”

You know what happens next, no? I’m going for a tiny pinch of poetic freedom here, just to … create some drama.

“And what beast, its hour come around at last,
slouches towards Azeroth to be born?”

That’s the unless. That’s the big kahuna. That’s the riddle hidden in a conundrum, the reason Velen haven’t been used so far – used as the cosmic power he truly is:

The hour of the draenei approaches. come patch 6.0 …

We fight back.


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