Posted by: Jess Riley | January 9, 2009

How Well You Know Other Characters

In lore, there is only one battle at the end of the Death Knight starting area. All Death Knights were there at the same time in lore. We roleplay it out differently, and in actuality, we see it at different times, but we were all ‘there’. All player Death Knights worked together at the same time.

Does this mean that we’re all supposed to know each other? A lot of people don’t like this idea – it’s a little like saying that all the draenei ought to know each other, because they all came down on the same ship, and this also seems to be a little flawed. Well, that’s certainly true, there is a comparison to be made there, but let’s be honest; whatever the actual stats on play say, there are a lot more draenei than there are Death Knights.

But how well should the Death Knights (and indeed, the draenei – let’s expand this out a little more) know each other? There was reportedly only a ‘small legion’ of Death Knights, but this is still a pretty high number. I can tell you, after three years of classes with the same maybe 100 or so people, I couldn’t tell you anything about the personal life of even a fifth of them. I could barely give you a list of a quarter of the names. If someone gave me a list of 200 names, I might be able to pick a fair percentage of them as being from my classes. Maybe.

As Death Knights working together for the Lich King, or as draenei on a big ship together, how much could we expect them to know one another – more or less than my example with the hundred students I have classes with? There were more than a hundred Death Knights, and way, way more than a hundred draenei. There’s also no reason to believe that any given Death Knight or any given draenei would have had any contact with any given other DK/draenei – after all, the Lich King’s services spread far and wide, and the draenei ship was a big place.

So where does that leave you for roleplay? Well, if it really concerns you, or interests you, and you really want some kind of connection to someone else, drop them a line out-of-character and ask what their feelings on it are. This works in other situations than just the draenei and the Death Knights, of course – if you’re both human priests, maybe you were in training at the same time and the same place, for instance. If you want to have a connection to someone else, which can be a lot of fun, there’s no harm in bringing it up to them.

(In a polite way, of course – it might be weird to message people and ask for particularly intimate or gory connections, but to suggestion some kind of shared backstory normally wouldn’t be out of line.)

Otherwise, if you don’t want to bother them, or something they’ve said really makes you think that they would have at least some kind of connection, there’s no danger in playing it low-key. Maybe you recognise them a bit, or have a fuzzy recollection of them, but not a strong one. Or, of course, if you think there’s some chance they may have met before in their backstory, bring it up in character. “You were born in Tyr’s Hand? What a coincidence – so was I!”.

A lot can come from this – even if they didn’t really know each other before, they may be able to bond over shared experiences in the present. You never know unless you try to bring it up somehow, so don’t be afraid to communicate about the matter.

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Responses

  1. This is a tricky subject. We don’t really have any canonical numbers of death knights and/or draenei that survived the Battle for Light’s Hope Chapel and/or the Exodar crash (that I can find on Wowwiki,) so it’s difficult to say just how ridiculously unlikely it is for two given characters to have known each other beforehand, but fiction in general is based around ridiculously unlikely things happening, so it’s probably best not to concern yourself with in unduly.

    The registry called “The Death Knights of Acherus” (look it up on Wowhead, I don’t know what markup WordPress uses. Sorry.) that shows up in each phase of the Scarlet Enclave is explicitly stated to “go on for hundreds of pages,” but that isn’t a very good indicator.

  2. First, I think your personal comparison of the classmates you remember is a bit off for this subject. Because one, nowadays while we are connected to so much, we seem to be less connected to people at the same time. As back in the day, people often were a lot more personable and would often have the whole “knowing everyone in town” kind of thing. And generally, that is how it be on Azeroth. Sure there are lots of people on Azeroth, but people definitely be substantially more personable than we are today. And second, we are talking about people who see each other every day and interact on a decent level. Where as truth be told, classmates barely interact every day and what interaction they have is very brief and usually of no real meaning on any level.

    But even with that, its doubtful the death knights know each other well. And this is mainly because of how they were used, as death knights were used more like generals for armies of varying sizes similar to how Liches are used. So as a result, it be rare for a bunch of death knight to be together long enough to really get to know each other as they be sent on missions frequently. And probably the only time they spend the most time together with fellow death knights would be during the training process we experience in the starting zone. But with that being so brief, its doubtful anyone develop a meaningful relationship. And even if they had the time, being undead and all probably make them want to not have such relationships and the Lich King’s will might even dissuade them from such behavior so not to spur hope or whatever that could ultimately result in some sort of revolt like with the forsaken and with what happens later on with the death knights.

    As for draenei, they should know each other decently overall I would say. Because living together on one ship/temporary colony on a planet for thousands of years would make it so most draenei get to know each other quite good. (even in light of there possible numbers, just because of the sheer time span we are talking) Of course this is not to say, if your a draenei then you know every other draenei well. It just means, most draenei probably know most other draenei at least enough to know there name and perhaps some of their background/history; especially when you consider much of it is so shared amongst the draenei as a people.

    End rant… 🙂

  3. Alex is probably right that the DKs wouldn’t know one another in the same way that people who lived in the same town get to know one another. Their minds and wills weren’t their own, so there may not have been much normal social interaction going on at all.

    In fact the quest in the starting zone where Thasarrian sends you out to find a comrade who’s been taken prisoner suggests that this is a strange reaction. The other DK quest-giver in the house at the time mocks him for being concerned and suggests that the normal DK attitude is that if you can’t keep up, you’re not worth saving anyway.

    The Draenei should be at least acquainted with all the other survivors. The oldest of them have been travelling together for something like 25,000 years after all. Even if they weren’t close, or didn’t much like one another, they’d at least know who these people were.

    Given that the Draenei have had to live at fairly close quarters with one another for millenia, they’ve probably developed protocols for getting along whether they like an individual or not. Likely fairly formal politeness with everyone except actual friends/family members.

    In fact, depending on how many there were in the initial party and how much they’ve intermarried and had children over the millenia, they’re probably almost all cousins in one degree or another by now. This would be so at least for the ones born since they left Argus, and we don’t really know how many besides Velen and a few of the initial questgivers are left of the original group from Argus.

  4. One Death Knight quest in particular– the one that has you killing an Argent Dawn prisoner of your race– posits a ‘stock’ background for your character, ie, a human born in Elwynn (if everyone took that as canon for their character ALL human DKs would be Elwynn-born), a dwarf from Ironforge (Moon Guard has a LOT of Wildhammers), etcetera and so forth.

    The Draenei NPC? Exhorts your character to remember Argus, thus suggesting that it is not in the least bit unusual for a Draenei PC to be over 25,000 years old. Who only knows how much older than that Velen must be…

    /end tangent

  5. @ LadyFirehawk

    That is very interesting and if true, it could add an interesting perspective to who your death knight was before becoming such.


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