Role Play: Roleplaying a member of the Army of the Light
Patch 7.3 has arrived, and with it a new faction — the Grand Army of the Light. While we’ve seen evidence of the Army on Azeroth, only now have we encountered the majority of its forces. Over the course of 7.3, we ally with the Army, becoming members in our own right. Velen once had a vision of a grand united army of all of Azeroth’s races. It looks like that vision is coming to fruition.
As far as roleplay goes, you can choose to incorporate Argus if you like. You can also choose to ignore it, and focus on your character’s life on Azeroth. But there’s a third option here as well. What if you wanted to roleplay a member of that Grand Army? Not a recent addition, but someone who has been with the Army all along? What would that character look like?
History of the Army
Way, way back — we’re talking a little over 25,000 years ago — the leaders of Argus were approached by Sargeras. While many of the Eredar chose to join the Burning Legion, there were others that refused Sargeras’ offer. Velen took many of these survivors with him and fled the world, thanks to the help of the enigmatic naaru.
As they fled, the naaru taught the Draenei about the Light, blessing the race with Light-given knowledge and power. The Draenei were told that they were not alone — there were other forces in the universe out there, fighting the Burning Legion. Eventually, some of the Draenei’s finest fighters followed Xe’ra, the prime naaru, across the cosmos in an eternal war to bring the Legion to an end.
The followers of Xe’ra became the Grand Army of the Light. Eventually, they were joined by other races, survivors of the Legion’s Burning Crusade — but the backbone of the Army has always been the Draenei. For millennia, they’ve been waging battles against the Burning Legion — and it’s a war they’ve been slowly losing.
Realistically, you can choose any race to be a member of that Grand Army. After all, Turalyon and Alleria joined the Army and have been fighting along with the rest of the Lightforged for quite some time. It’s not too preposterous to assume that other races were called to do the same. Class-wise, you’d probably want to go with a Priest or a Paladin, since the Army is Light-based. But it’s not what I’d call a hard requirement — you can roleplay whatever you’d like.
A Draenei is the most logical choice for a member of the Army of the Light. But if you’re choosing one of Azeroth’s native races, you’ll want to determine how your character came in contact with the group. Presumably they had some kind of deep connection to the Light. Maybe they spoke to a naaru that directed them to the organization. Or perhaps they were simply called to their destiny while fighting the Legion in the Third War.
Whatever you choose, keep in mind that Azeroth isn’t your character’s home anymore. It’s the Xenedar — the Army’s flagship — or one of any number of other naaru ships out there. Your character’s focus isn’t on preserving Azeroth; it’s on protecting the entirety of creation. You aren’t just concerned with one world; you’re concerned with all of them.
As such, you’ve got a character that isn’t necessarily focused on the more mundane concerns of day-to-day living. They’ve been focused on battle for so long that they may be a little out-of-touch, otherworldly, and downright alien. Yet they are absolutely grateful for the arrival of more potential members for the Lightforged. It’s been a grim battle so far, and the situation was particularly dire when Azeroth’s forces arrived.
The Church of the Holy Light teaches the practice of three virtues — Respect, Tenacity, and Compassion. Each of these virtues is part of the Light as a whole, and a member of the Light’s Army is going to reflect these virtues. Their allies are precious — every life is precious — and every Legion death means one more life saved. That’s what keeps them fighting. It’s not just blind vengeance for what they’ve suffered. It’s the righteous battle to ensure that fate doesn’t happen to anyone else.
This doesn’t mean a member of the Army is going to automatically be some kind of goody two-shoes. It means that they’re trying to be. That struggle to put aside petty vengeance and grievances can make for a pretty compelling character. The Army’s been fighting for a long, long time — that struggle has doubtless made some members grim or doubtful about their chance of success.
As a member of the Grand Army of the Light, you’ve been removed from current history. You may not be at all familiar with what’s been happening on Azeroth. If you’re a Draenei, it’s possible you’ve never seen Azeroth at all — it’s just one of many worlds you’re fighting to protect. Your character may not have even seen Draenor before, for that matter.
You could also be playing an Azeroth native that was called to join the Army at some point in history. It’s up to you to determine when your character was called away. What did they miss? Who did they leave behind? How will they react to the world’s changes? How many years were they gone? These points are all entirely up to you.
Your character has been more or less focused on the fight against the Burning Legion. It’s been their main focus for potentially thousands of years. How has this affected them? Are they worn down, tired of battle? Are they suffused with single-minded tenacity? Do they stop to think about themselves? Do they ever question or second-guess their decision to join the Army? Or are they wholly devoted to the Army’s cause?
Time appears to be odd where the Lightforged are concerned. Alleria and Turalyon have only been missing for a few decades, yet Alleria flat out states it’s been much, much longer than that for the two of them. This implies there’s some kind of magic in play, extending the lives of the Lightforged far longer than their expected life spans. So your character could be thousands of years old at this point, regardless of race.
If this is the case, you’ll want to think about how that extended life span affected them. A Human only expects to live perhaps a hundred years or so — less than that, if they’re regularly participating in battles. To go from that expectation to hundreds upon hundreds of years longer is quite the adaptation. On top of that, all those extra years have been spent fighting the Burning Legion on one front or another.
You’ll also want to pinpoint just how much of Azeroth’s history they missed. When did they leave to join the Army of the Light? What was going on at that point in time? What’s happened since then? Are any of those events something your character would be interested in hearing more about? All that missed information — all those missed years — are roleplay opportunities waiting to happen.
The Grand Army of the Light is completely new. We don’t know anything about the millennia they’ve been fighting. This means you have a pretty blank slate to fill in with your character’s history. It also means that some roleplayers may not be willing to accept your background. Keep that in mind when you’re creating your character — this might limit your roleplay opportunities. But don’t let that discourage you. The Lightforged are at the center of the latest Legion lore, and they’re a fascinating bunch.
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