This article is dedicated to Carson Fulford, one of my brightest Pride Warriors. May you shine even in the darkest of nights.
While World of Warcraft is a fantasy-based world that deals with different variations of prejudice, one thing is a constant: sex and its many, many complications. Plenty of characters in this beloved world have struggled with the concept of sex, from their gender identities to their sexual orientations. Though these struggles presented uncertainty, isolation, and frustration, each character’s trial never stopped them from finding pride in who they were and rising to greatness.
Pride In Yourself
Chromie, one of Warcraft’s most prominent characters and a pride icon, struggled with understanding her true self. To the heroes of Azeroth, she is a spunky gnome with a penchant for complex timelines. However, this was not always so. Before she was Chromie, her name was Chronormu, and the bronze dragon was male at birth.
Visage Day is a coming-of-age ceremony wherein dragons choose what their mortal form would be. The days leading up to this celebration saw Chronormu disheartened and tormented with indecision, for he had yet to decide his visage. How could he choose how mortals would see him when he was not sure how he saw himself? When he expressed this distress to his friend Zidormi, she urged the young drake to seek council from their leader Nozdormu.
Understanding From Others
Chronormu spent an age circling the Bronze Dragonshrine before finally descending. The young male was hesitant to approach his leader and fumbled over words when he finally did so. He hoped to persuade Nozdormu to peer into the future and simply tell him what form the future Chronormu would take.
Instead, Nozdormu focused energy on calming his charge. Then the Aspect asked Chronormu what the ceremony meant to him. Chronormu responded that the ceremony meant the Aspects trusted him to teach mortals about their great race, which was why Visage Day was so crucial; Chronormu wanted to choose a form to show the mortals who he faithfully was.
Nozdormu took his visage form then, a male brown-haired high elf with blue eyes; he told Chronormu that just as their guises let them see the world as the young races of Azeroth do, it also determined how those races would perceive the dragon. The choice was profoundly intimate, so Nozdormu did not want to say anything that might influence the young drake. Instead, the Bronze Aspect suggested Chronormu ask other dragons how they chose their forms.
Zidormi chose to ask Kalecgos of the Blue Dragonflight for advice on behalf of Chronormu. The bronze drakes met with Kalecgos at the Nexus, where Kalecgos revealed that he chose the modest guise of a half-elf. Blue dragons were known to take beautiful forms, but Kalecgos wanted Azeroth’s races to find him approachable.
He desired to walk among the mortals as a friend, an ally, and an equal. When Chronormu inquired about Kalecgos’s blue hair in his half-elf form, he simply said, “It suits me.” Before Chronormu’s departure, Kalecgos advised that the younger drake seek out a dragon with a different outlook on mortal relations.
Chronormu chose a dragon opposite of Kalecgos -Onyxia of the Black Dragonflight. Deathwing’s daughter scoffed when Chronormu told her of his desire to select a visage that would help him better relate to the creatures of Azeroth. The black drake believed their visage was to control the young races, not connect with them.
Onyxia assumed her form, a human woman, and told Chronormu dragons were natural hunters and killers. Their ability to shapeshift was just one of the many tools dragons possessed to take what they wanted.
Onyxia then extended an offer to Chronormu; the black dragon told Chronormu he could remain by her side, and she would teach him how to become the greatest member of the Bronze Dragonflight. Onyxia promised that even Nozdormu would kneel before Chronormu. Frightened and unsettled, Chronormu fled from the Obsidian Dragonshrine. The conversation with Onyxia upset him, but he felt more certain about the upcoming decision as he left.
On Visage Day, the likes of every dragonflight were in attendance. Queen Alexstrasza herself presided over the ceremony. Though Chronormu was initially panicked, a calm settled over him when the dragon queen offered to postpone the ceremony. Chronormu declined the kind offer -he now knew what he wanted to do.
Chronormu began with a practiced speech but then began to speak from his heart halfway through. He confessed to the onlookers that he had felt something was wrong with him for some time. This decision to choose one’s form came naturally to many others, but he had grappled with it for so long.
After speaking with the other dragons about his decision, Chronormu realized that a dragon’s mortal form not only determined how the young races would see the drake but also expressed how the dragon saw itself. Chronormu wanted to experience the world as a small, cheerful creature. Then the male dragon Chronormu transformed into the visage that would define him from that point on -a female gnome the mortals of Azeroth would recognize as Chromie.
The onlooking dragons cheered as Chromie introduced herself. Queen Alexstrasza said that it was nice to meet her, Onyxia nodded in approval, Nozdormu declared that she had made a wise choice, and Zidormi pulled her friend into an embrace. Kalec approached Chromie to congratulate her and stated that she had taught them all a lesson. When he asked why Chronormu had chosen a female form, she repeated what he had told her when they last spoke: “It suits me.”
When she went to sleep that night, Chromie knew a sense of peace and pride she had never before experienced.
Another character in the Warcraft universe to face this struggle is Pelagos, a Kyrian aspirant that became the new Arbiter of the Shadowlands. Pelagos did not remember what race his former life was or what his name had been, but he did recall that he was a woman. He also remembered how little he felt his body represented him. He never felt at peace with his female identity.
Pelagos found an unrivaled pride in who he was after his soul went to Bastion. The aspirant was reborn with a male body. Though he did not think that his family from his past life would recognize him now, he still felt pride, joy, and excitement. Pelagos felt like his body reflected who he was inside for the first time.
Pride In All Things
One of the hardest things to do is simply be proud of oneself. The image someone has for themself is seldom what the rest of the world expects to see, and that can be one of the saddest and most frustrating things to deal with throughout life. It is a fight millions and millions have fought throughout time, for what is worse than expectations so opposite from what a person wants to be? A loved one tells that person they cannot be who they are meant to be. These are but a few of the many reasons why Pride Month is such a monumental thing for so many people; no one can say who a person can or can not be. You are wholly, unequivocally you. Own that, and have pride in it.
Please follow the link below to enjoy Christie Golden’s “Terror by Torchlight.” This short story, which serves as a prequel to Golden’s World of Warcraft: Exploring Azeroth -the Eastern Kingdoms, features Flynn Fairwind and Mattias Shaw on a treasure hunt gone wrong.
Happy Pride Month from the Vibe staff!
I’m a Wonder Woman fanatic, married to my Superman, with a mild addiction to tea and World of Warcraft. One day I hope to write a book that history recognizes as a classic; it will most likely involve dragons.