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For the Warlords of Draenor faction, see Auchenai (alternate universe).
Ixamos the Corrupted.jpg
Main leader IconSmall Soul.gif Exarch Maladaar
  Formerly IconSmall Draenei Male.gif Anonymous Exarch †
Race(s) DraeneiDraenei Draenei
IconSmall Soul.gif Ghost
IconSmall Vigilant.gif Vigilant
Character classes Death priest, Hunter, Mage, Monk, Paladin, Priest, Vindicator, Warrior (formerly Necromancer and Warlock)
Capital Auchindoun
Theater of operations Terokkar Forest, Azuremyst Isle
Language(s) Draenei, Eredun, Common
Affiliation Exodar
Status Active

“Those who do not respect the dead may become entombed along with them.”

— Auchenai warning[1]

The Auchenai [ˈɔːkənaɪ], pronounced "AW-ken-eye" are the guardians of the draenei grave-city of Auchindoun in Terokkar Forest.[1]

They are called "death priests"[2] and "soulpriests"[3] and their duty for over two hundred years was to take care of the spirits and dead of Auchindoun using the Light. However, all changed following the genocide of the draenei who led Exarch Maladaar to madness, leading him to ordain his death priests to begin practicing necromancy and bring back the dead to serve them.

Years after the defeat of Maladaar and his forces by the adventurers, the Auchenai regained control of Auchindoun. Under the command of the spirit of Exarch Maladaar, now free from his madness, they formed new death priests to fill their ranks and resumed their duty to care for the souls of their kin.


Origins and fall

Auchindoun before the destruction of Draenor.

The Auchenai were a later addition to organizations under the Council of Exarchs, after Maladaar - at the time a member of the Sha'tari - discovered that D'ore's remains had drifted deeper into a Void state, and that they were attracting the souls of draenei who died in the Genedar's crash, which allowed the living draenei to commune with their fallen brethren. As nothing like this had ever happened before in the history of eredar society, the Prophet Velen immediately directed Maladaar and a group of Sha'tari to move D'ore's remains to a secluded place. They found a location on the outskirts of Terokkar Forest that was a safe distance from all other civilizations, and then built an immense mausoleum to house the naaru that the draenei spirits were following. The site became known as Auchindoun, "a Home for the Honored Dead", and Maladaar was named as the fifth exarch on the draenei council as the leader of an order called the Auchenai, responsible for communing with the draenei dead and protecting their souls from harm.[4]

During the Orcish campaign against their kin, the Auchenai fled into the tunnels of Auchindoun. Many vindicators, priests, and Rangari joined them later with civilians who escaped Shattrath, seeking refuge from the Horde's onslaught and to protect their holiest site in Draenor, as they could not bear the thought of the orcs desecrating their ancestors or the naaru housed within. Exarch Maladaar organized the military forces and fortified the tomb city's catacombs, waiting for the inevitable attack. When Teron'gor and his followers stormed Auchindoun on the orders of Gul'dan, they met fierce resistance from the tomb's defenders with their Light-given abilities, while Maladaar and the Auchenai also received aid from Auchindoun's spirits, slaughtering many of the Shadow Council's agents.

As Maladaar and his forces closed in, Teron'gor called on his remaining allies to summon a powerful demon, but in their wild desperation they summoned an otherwordly elemental creature known as Murmur who materialized within Auchindoun. The shockwave of its arrival ripped the earth asunder, killing many of the draenei and blasting apart the tomb city. Exarch Maladaar and a handful of his followers used their magics to shield themselves from the blast. Though they survived, they no longer had the numbers to resist the Shadow Council who overwhelmed the draenei and bound them in chains.[5]

Beyond the Dark Portal

WoW-novel-logo-16x62.png This section concerns content related to the Warcraft novels, novellas, or short stories.

During the invasion of Draenor, the Auchenai anchorite Nemuraan helped the Alliance Expedition by guiding them inside the ruins of Auchindoun. Before the battle to rescue Kurdran Wildhammer, he appealed to the spirit of Boulestraan the Blinding Light alongside an army of spectral draenei warriors, and their combined forces stormed the orc forces within the grave-city. In the aftermath, Danath Trollbane offered Nemuraan and his group of survivors to take refuge on Azeroth once they defeated Ner'zhul and the Horde of Draenor, but the death priest refused, stating that they would stay in Draenor as long as their dead lay there, for they would be tended.[6]

The Burning Crusade

Bc icon.gif This section concerns content related to The Burning Crusade.

The Auchenai Crypts, where the death priests took refuge and practiced the dark arts of necromancy.

In time, the Void energies emanating from D'ore turned mad this priory, as they no longer believed that the dead should be left alone to rest. The Auchenai leader Exarch Maladaar was eventually driven mad by the loss of everyone and everything he had ever loved. His lunatic dedication to the preservation of their memory drove him to a mastery of the dark arts.[7][8] Once he turned to necromancy, he created Shirrak the Dead Watcher to guard over the fallen draenei spirits who wander the Auchenai Crypts.[9] Many unsavory experiments were then undertaken in the Auchenai Crypts in the pursuit of a greater understanding of the necromantic arts. Many spirits were tortured or destroyed therein.[10]

In the month before the fall of the Black Temple, a force of Shadowmoon clan fel orcs led by Grimbak Shadowrage accompanied Illidan Stormrage when he ventured to Auchindoun to gather souls for a portal to Argus. All of the fel orcs, including Grimbak, were slain during the subsequent battle by the Auchenai defending the area.[11]

Later, Commander Ra'vaj and his soldiers came into conflict with the Auchenai and fought them for days in the Bone Wastes. As the souls from both camps were lifted and taken to parts unknown, the commander asks adventurers to burn the bodies of his soldiers and the Auchenai on the battlefield,[12] then to keep occupied the Auchenai who continue to grow in number as his scouts get behind their lines.[13] They discovered that the Auchenai were feeding the souls they stole to a coffin, that they had dragged out from the Auchenai Crypts, in order to resurrect the first exarch of the crypt inside to defeat the Sha'tar. However, their attempt was unsuccessful as the adventurers destroyed the coffin and the undead exarch.[14]

Eventually, adventurers were sent by Greatfather Aldrimus to destroy Exarch Maladaar and his abominations, so that the spirits trapped in the Auchenai Crypts can finally rest in peace. After his death, the naaru D'ore appeared and redeemed the spirit of Maladaar, which eventually appeared to Aldrimus, kneeling in front of his master to thank him for releasing him from the dark ones' hold.[15]


Cataclysm This section concerns content related to Cataclysm.

Following the Cataclysm, a Tormented Soulpriest appeared in the Auchenai Crypts, furious that the Auchenai have turned their backs on everything they used to stand for, as they continue to raise the dead as unholy minions. She asked adventurers to put the spirits back to rest and to massacre those responsible for raising them into undeath.[16]


Legion This section concerns content related to Legion.

During the Burning Legion's third invasion of Azeroth, the corrupted Auchenai were still active in the ruined halls of Auchindoun. At the request of the naaru Saa'ra, in order to fill the  [Spark of Light] and reveal its full potential with pure Light, the Auchenai were attacked by the champions of the Conclave who entered the halls and fought against Idra the Crazed and some Auchenai zealots, and managed to get to the regenerating D'ore and its holy shrine.[17]

Battle for Azeroth

Battle for Azeroth This section concerns content related to Battle for Azeroth.

During the Fourth War, Auchenai ballistae were present at the Battle for Lordaeron, indicating that part of the organization still existed as part of Azeroth's draenei society.[18]


Dragonflight This section concerns content related to Dragonflight.

Years later, the Auchenai started to reclaim the ruins of Auchindoun, with the help of the Omenai. Although dead, but now free of his madness, Exarch Maladaar continues to lead them as a ghost. The Auchenai have slowly been taking the ashes of the cremated dead from the Siege of Shattrath to Auchindoun, and planned to do the same to those who died in the Path of Glory. They were also housing many of the broken and weakened souls in vigilants temporarily, because a physical body will ground the damaged souls' emotions until they heal.[19]

When the Auchenai received word of the Tishamaat celebration, they began moving souls from Auchindoun into vigilants so they could attend the holiday at the Exodar.[20]

Culture and abilities

The "death priests" are allowed to see the world of the dead after drinking a potion during a rite of initiation. Many did go mad from it, though.[21]

They are able to summon their fallen kin using the Light,[6] while those who once fell into madness used necromancy to enslave the souls under their responsibility.

The death priest Nemuraan showed Danath Trollbane that he was able to use his magic to learn their language and speak it perfectly.[6]

Known members

Exarch Maladaar, the "Speaker for the Dead" and leader of the Auchenai.
Name Role Location Status
Neutral  Exarch Maladaar Leader of the Auchenai. Auchenai Crypts, Terokkar Forest Active
Neutral  Boulestraan the Blinding Light Commander of Auchenai defenders. Auchindoun, Terokkar Forest Active
Neutral  Greatfather Aldrimus Mentor of Exarch Maladaar. Auchindoun, Terokkar Forest Active
Mob  Idra the Crazed Member of the Auchenai. Auchindoun, Terokkar Forest Deceased
Neutral  Nemuraan Keeper of the dead in Auchindoun. Auchindoun, Terokkar Forest Alive
Mob  Reanimated Exarch Former leader of the Auchenai. Auchenai Crypts, Terokkar Forest Deceased
Icon-TCG.png IconSmall Draenei Male.gif Ixamos the Corrupted Member of the Auchenai. Unknown Unknown
Icon-TCG.png IconSmall Draenei Female.gif Obora the Mad Member of the Auchenai. Unknown Unknown


Name Role Location Status
Mob  Levixus the Soul Caller Former death priest, agent of the Legion. Auchindoun, Terokkar Forest Killable
Neutral  Nitrin the Learned Former death priest, father of Levixus. Abandoned Armory, Nagrand Alive
Neutral  Ramdor the Mad Spirit and former death priest. Auchenai Crypts, Terokkar Forest Active




  • In The Burning Crusade, Exarch Maladaar's Dungeon Journal entry implied that none of them were alive, despite not being marked as undead.[7]