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World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor This section concerns content exclusive to Warlords of Draenor.

"A great man once told me: "In the light, we are one". The future is ours, and we will see Draenor rebuilt.. together."

Exarch Yrel (pronounced "Yee-Rell")[1] is a draenei paladin who is one of the main Alliance protagonists in the Warlords of Draenor expansion.


Yrel begins her story as an acolyte who was born and raised at the temple of Karabor. She was dedicated to her faith and spent much of her time in the temple, caring for others and showing great promise as a healer. Her gifts caught the eye of Velen, who accepted her as his pupil. Velen taught Yrel the value of leadership and sacrifice as she developed her other gifts. However, Velen's prophetic mind also sensed Yrel would have a large role to play in the future.

While at the temple, Yrel witnessed the first battle with the Iron Horde under the command of their new Warchief, Grommash Hellscream. During their assault on Karabor, the Iron Horde captured Yrel, who remained a prisoner until she was rescued by a group of adventurers from Azeroth. Despite having never killed anyone before, Yrel recognized the necessity and joined the adventurers. She aided the group in any way she could, eventually helping them establish a garrison at Lunarfall. Travelling back to Shadowmoon valley with the adventurers, Yrel returned to Embaari Village where she was well known by the villagers. The children flocked around her, chanting her name, joyous that she had returned safely.

Yrel and Velen were reunited at Lunarfall. Velen began to further nurture Yrel's leadership skills by putting her in charge of a group of Rangari to search for prisoners in Shadowmoon Village. Yrel was hesitant, noting that she had never led soldiers before, but Velen told her she was capable of more than she knew. While the Shadowmoon Clan was in the process of summoning the Dark Star, she discovered her sister Samarra dying due to injuries inflicted by the summoning ritual. Upon her death, she was driven into a fit of mourning and weeping almost uncontrollably. She swore to Samaara: "I will become strong, I will protect our people. I. Will. Fight!", acknowledging that if needed, she would become her people's savior. Yrel and Velen eventually went with the Alliance Commander to stop Ner'zhul from summoning the Dark Star. Velen tried to reason with Ner'zhul while the three of them fought to interrupt his ritual, but this failed. Ner'zhul finished the ritual and teleported away as the dark star began to descend upon them. Velen realized the only way to stop the Dark Star and return K'ara to her true form of light, was for him to sacrifice his mortal body. He passed the mark of the Naaru to Yrel, who watched as her mentor was consumed by the darkness, purifying K'ara. Maraad arrived shortly after, telling Yrel that Karabor was being overrun and urging her to flee with her people. Wiping away a tear, Yrel stated that Velen's sacrifice would mean nothing if the temple fell. She joined Maraad in an aerial assault on the Iron Horde forces at Karabor. With the help of the Alliance forces and K'ara, the Iron Horde's forces were decimated.

After the annihilation of the Shadowmoon Orcs and the Iron Horde fleet, she traveled to Talador to aid in defeating Blackhand's fleet, which was stationed in Shattrath City. She, along with Maraad, Khadgar and a group of adventurers managed to break through his forces. On the deck of one of the ships, she witnessed Doomhammer's death and shortly after, was shielded from an explosion by Maraad who sacrificed himself to protect her. In Maraad's final moments, Yrel asked "Maraad, how?". His response and final words were "In the light, we are one...". Yrel had been saved by another mentor, although they had only just recently met. Shortly after, while Blackhand tortured Durotan on the deck of the ship, Yrel threw Maraad's warhammer into the back of Blackhand's head, diverting his attention. Blackhand chuckled and asked her "What do you want, little girl?" to which she replied calmly "Your head!". As Blackhand charged at Yrel, she quickly healed Durotan of his injuries. The massive Orc grabbed her by the throat and lifted her off the ground, but she managed to catch the Frostwolf chief's axe as he threw it to her, bringing it crashing down on Blackhand's shoulder, inflicting a deep wound. Seconds later, Yrel and Durotan were teleported to safety by Khadgar as the ship exploded.

Yrel later aided in the assault on Grommashar, leading a small force to battle Garrosh Hellscream, who she learned was behind all that had transpired. Yrel and the Alliance commander gave Garrosh quite a beating in the battle before he managed to incapacitate them. Luckily, Thrall arrived at that moment and challenged Garrosh to Mak'Gora, saving Yrel from being killed by Garrosh. The two orcs then left everyone else behind and headed to the Stones of Prophecy, where Thrall was eventually victorious, killing Garrosh with the power of the elements.

Eventually, Yrel answered the Exarch's call. Accompanied by a champion, she set out accomplishing tasks for the Council of Exarchs which tested her faith, courage and strength of heart, and ultimately passing the council's final test of combat. With her actions, she proved to the Exarchs that she was worthy, so they granted her a seat on their council and the title of "Exarch" so that she might help them lead the Draenei people.

Yrel was part of the force which invaded Hellfire Citadel after it had been taken over by Gul'dan and the Shadow Council. Following the defeat of Archimonde, Yrel approached Khadgar and asked him if he thought the Legion invasion was over. Khadgar replied that Gul'dan and his demon masters are not beaten so easily and voiced his fear that this was only the beginning. Yrel told Khadgar that if he ever needed the aid of Draenor, the Orcs and Draenei would be ready. Khadgar smiled and bid her farewell until their next meeting, before flying off. Yrel then stood with Durotan and Grom to witness a new dawn for Draenor.

In Warlords of Draenor

World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor This section concerns content exclusive to Warlords of Draenor.

Yrel plays a major role throughout the Alliance campaign of Warlords of Draenor. Players first encounter Yrel during the Assault on the Dark Portal, as a prisoner of the Iron Horde. Over the course of the main expansion campaign, she hones both her combat and leadership skills, joining players as they quest through each of Draenor's zones. She eventually rises to become a respected hero of the Alliance and a member of the Council of Exarchs. She ultimately joins in the final assault on Archimonde within Hellfire Citadel.



"No... Samaara!" -Yrel discovering a dying Samaara.

Yrel had a very close bond with her sister Samaara with the two taking care of each other and Samaara being supportive of Yrel's decision to be a healer. When Yrel was imprisoned by the Iron Horde, Samaara assumed she was dead and entered a period of mourning. Yrel was very pleased to surprise her sister when she returned to Embaari Village, as they hadn't seen each other since Yrel had been taken prisoner. When Samaara was kidnapped by the Shadowmoon Clan, Yrel showed clear signs of concern. When she found her sister dying in the Shadowmoon fortress, she instantly fell to her knees and went into a fit of weeping. As Samaara lay dying, she told Yrel that although she did not choose this fate, Yrel could still choose her own. With her last breath, Samaara told Yrel she would be watching over her. Yrel vowed to become strong and protect her people by fighting the Iron Horde.


Prophet of the Naaru

Yrel became Velen's student after showing promise as a healer and devoted acolyte. Velen began to teach her the meaning of leadership and the need for sacrifice. The two developed a close bond as mentor and student, with Yrel calling Velen "uncle" as a nickname. Velen sensed a dark secret dwelling within her soul and believed that at some point in the future, she would have a much larger role to play. During the events in Shadowmoon Valley, Velen nurtured Yrel's leadership skills further by putting her in charge of a group of Rangari. Yrel was hesitant, noting that she had never led soldiers before, but Velen told her she was capable of more than she knew. After Velen's death in the act of purifying K'ara, Yrel looked up at the now-restored Naaru, full of both joy and sorrow. Velen's death further convinced Yrel that her fate was no longer that of a healer. Although Velen's death didn't have as big of an impact as Samaara's had, it still cemented her fate.


When Yrel first learned of Ner'zhul, she only knew that he was the leader of the Shadowmoon Clan. As she saw the Shadowmoon's atrocities increase, she developed an anger toward the chieftain for attacking her people without explanation. When Yrel learned that her own sister had been sacrificed to summon the Dark Star, she developed a seething hatred for him. Yrel's opinion of Ner'zhul may have been affected when she learned that he was blackmailed into doing everything he had done, but this is not made clear. It is also unknown if Yrel was pleased with his eventual death, or was saddened due to the fact that he and his clan had lost everything due to her actions.

Grommash Hellscream

Yrel had initially only seen Grommash twice and had never met him, but developed an anger toward him due to the fact that his minions had enslaved her. She was further infuriated when she learned that Ner'zhul had been blackmailed by Grommash into summoning the Dark Star, thus Samaara and Velen could still be alive if Grommash had left the Shadowmoon alone. Events such as the murder of Doomhammer at the hands of Blackhand when he refused to comply with Blackhand's belief of conquest in Grom's name, as well as watching Maraad die, further increased her dislike of him.

During the events in Hellfire Citadel, Yrel and Grommash were forced to fight along-side one another against the larger foe of the Burning Legion. It would appear as though this experience caused Yrel to possibly develop some forgiveness, or a better understanding of why he had done all he had. If nothing else, she now seems to at least be willing to work along-side Grommash for the good of Draenor.


Yrel developed a respect for Maraad shortly after the two met, with Maraad teaching and training her in magic, combat and leadership. The two became mentor and student during their plight in Gorgrond, later increasing to friendship during their adventures in Talador. When Blackhand used a fire blast during the battle on his flagship, Maraad used the last of his power to prevent the blast from killing Yrel. She knelt and asked him how he did it. With his final breath, he told her "in the light, we are one". Yrel briefly looked down upon his broken and lifeless body sadly, before turning back to Blackhand. She took his warhammer as her own, possibly in honor.

Maraad and Yrel got the chance to meet once again in the catacombs of Auchindoun during Yrel's trial to become an Exarch (although Maraad was then a spirit). Their teacher-student relationship was further cemented, as Maraad questioned Yrel and pushed her to use her abilities to the fullest as they fought one another. When Yrel bested Maraad in combat, Maraad told her that she had surpassed even his own abilities, and that Velen would have been be proud. He gave Yrel his blessings in uniting the Draenei people, before bidding a final farewell.


Yrel developed a serious hatred of Blackhand upon witnessing his actions in Talador, especially in the slaughter of hundreds of innocents willingly. She was further infuriated when she learned that he had joined the Horde out of his own will, unlike Ner'zhul who had been blackmailed into joining. She therefore saw him as a cold monster. When Blackhand killed Maraad on the deck of his ship, a personal enmity developed between him and Yrel. Yrel, with Durotan's aid cut into Blackhand's shoulder with the Frostwolf leader's axe. Blackhand, dazed and severely wounded, vowed that they all would die. Yrel coldly told him that he would die alone, and the vessel was torn to shreds as Khadgar rescued the two. Blackhand managed to escape, fleeing to Blackrock Foundry.


Yrel and Durotan are tolerant and respectful of one another, as they have a common enemy and both of them have lost close friends to Blackhand, but their friendship is wary. The two fought side-by-side in Talador against Blackhand, and again in Nagrand to defeat Garrosh Hellscream.

Garrosh Hellscream

"You will be brought to justice this day, monster!!!" - Yrel confronting Garrosh Hellscream

Yrel had never met Garrosh, but upon learning that Garrosh had set everything in motion, along with possibly learning of his actions in the Prime universe, Yrel saw him as nothing more than a monster who needed to be brought to justice.


  • At the end of the cinematic showing Velen's death, a small glimmer can be seen on her eyes, which could be a tear, implying that Yrel is crying over her mentor's death. This was confirmed at the end of "Darkness Falls" when she wipes away a tear.


This article or section includes speculation, observations or opinions possibly supported by lore or by Blizzard officials. It should not be taken as representing official lore.
  • Her fate in the Prime universe is unknown though likely dead, killed either by the Orcs or in Draenor's explosion. Another possibility is that she survived and is living on Azeroth.
  • Yrel is stated to possess a dark secret that Velen sensed, and believed she had a larger role to play, according to Blizzard. This foreshadows the large role she plays in the game, and could imply that something may happen with her in a future patch, or expansion. 




See also

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