This was long before the great Kaldorei civilization spanned throughout the lands of Kalimdor, before the Well of Eternity and the Great Sundering. Before the massive ancient Troll Empires of Gurubashi and Amani did battle against the swarming Aqir, before even the Titans...
They once ruled Azeroth. So powerful are They that even on the other side of the cosmos, even on alien worlds separated by distances so vast that they're almost unfathomable, their presence can be felt, their influence can be spread. Implacable, corruptive, creators of madness and strife, and even in defeat They may never truly be defeated. They exist on many worlds and in many forms, and wherever They exist, chaos, insanity, and destruction always follow. They are the ultimate manifestation of the cthonic, They are the primordial forces of madness that underpin sane, static reality.
They are the Old Gods and nothing can truly stop them.
"It is a small matter to control the mind of the weak...for I bear allegiance to powers untouched by time, unmoved by fate. No force on this world or beyond harbors the strength to bend our knee...not even the mighty Legion!"
I'm going to hope that some of you that enjoy my lore based segments are also the type that love a good read. Even better: you're well read. And if you are the name "H.P. Lovecraft" shouldn't be alien by any stretch. In fact, mention of that name should instantly hearken images of mighty Cthulhu rising from R'lyeh to devour the world, along with glimpses of the other ancient Old Ones. Insanity in the Mountains of Madness, the Cult of Cthulhu, and an evil that is so ancient, so pure, that it drives even the most steadfast of men insane.
It isn't a secret that it was from Lovecraft's work that Blizzard and Metzen drew their inspiration for the Old Gods. Yog'Sothoth, Cthulhu, Chaugnar Faugn, Nug and Yeb, Y'golonac, the list goes on and on. The universe that Lovecraft created with the Great Old Ones literally has no end because while he has long since passed away there are many eager to continue on what is now known as the Cthulhu mythos.
Believe me when I say, "I'm thankful for that."
Just like the Gods and Demi-Gods that Lovecraft created and described in his many novels, the Old Gods we face on Azeroth are much the same. Behemoth monstrosities, creatures that exist only to destroy and do so by not only physical means but through fear and manipulation as well. What is their final goal? Chaos, death, and destruction of course. Much like the creatures in the Cthulhu mythos (Lovecraft had a unique way of story telling, he never divulged to the reader the fine details but only left hints and speculation. It was enough to form your own theories and most of the time those were far more terrifying that what he could have come up with), we don't know a whole lot about the ones we have and will face.
Where did they come from? We don't know. Are there others? Yes. Most assuredly. For instance: it has been stated that there ARE Old Gods on worlds besides Azeroth (as the quotation above describes) and we've even witnessed the process of one being summoned into the physical plane in Shadowmoon Valley (remember that quest?).
Do they age? Can they die? We don't know. They live for eons to say the least, lengths of time that are so massive that a true measure is futile. They can be "defeated" but if they actually die or not is up for debate. For example: when the Titans "defeated" the Old Gods that were inhabiting Azeroth, they found themselves unable to destroy them, but why? Some sources say that to do so would have destroyed the planet while others state that they simply can't die, so they imprisoned them deep below the surface.
What else do we know? All Old Gods seem to share the following traits: a tendency to warp, twist, deform, and drive mad all living things that spend enough time in their proximity. C'thun did this directly in the case of the silithid race that later would become the Aqir and even later yet the Qiraj, while Yogg-Saron seems to have done so in the making of the Faceless Ones. A third Old God is revealed in Cataclysm, and this entity likewise seems to make use of twisted, corrupted followers. All known Old Gods seem to have the power to either directly or indirectly control or manipulate elementals even to the point of being able to control the most powerful elementals, the Elemental Lords.
Finally: the Old Gods are the ONLY entities in creation known to have ever gone toe to toe with the Titans and, if not outright win, then not exactly lose, either. It's true that the Pantheon was sufficiently powerful enough to imprison three Old Gods within the crust of Azeroth and reorder the roiling elemental chaos these unfathomable alien minds preferred into the world of oceans, continents, rivers, and forests that the mortal races inherited. It's also true that C'thun fought a Titan to a standstill, and while that Titan's name is lost to us today, both Old God and Titan fell in that battle. We don't know if the Titan died, or if they can die however. Today, while locked in their ancient prisons, the Old Gods reach forth tendrils of influence and corrupt races, lands, and even one of the Dragon Aspects created by the Titans and tasked with watching over Azeroth.
They're actions truly are unfathomable to the mortal mind. They delight in chaos, in anarchy, and constant warfare. They pit the enormously powerful Elemental Lords against one another seemingly as a form of amusement.
The Burning Legion (under Sargeras) has a twisted ethos that maintains that "all existence is a mistake" and that "all things should be reduced back to entropic nothingness;" in contrast, the Old Gods have no ethos, no real morality, and operate through a raw amorality that seems to be nothing more than endless, meaningless, motiveless destruction for its own sake. Under the Old Gods' rule, nothing like a society or civilization could ever arise. It's telling that even their former servitors, the Elemental Lords, do not seek their return or serve them willingly, rather seeming to be compelled through powerful sorceries such as the Cipher of Damnation. When a being as powerful as Ragnaros fears and hates something, you know it's bad fucking news. Today, the Old Gods on Azeroth often operate through the Twilight's Hammer cult, who seek the ultimate destruction of the world.
The three named Old Gods as of the Cataclysm expansion are C'thun, Yogg-Saron, and Soggoth the Slitherer. C'thun resides in the corrupted city of Ahn'Qiraj, once a satellite city of the Uldum complex seized by his Qiraji followers. It is unknown if the complex was built around C'thun by the Titans to observe the fallen Old God or if the Qiraji moved his regenerating form there afterwards, but based on C'thun and Yogg-Saron's massive size, it seems unlikely that he was moved.
Yogg-Saron was likewise trapped beneath Ulduar in the distant north of the original proto-continent of Kalimdor long before it was shattered into three large pieces during the ancient Sundering. From this location Yogg-Saron sent out its corrupting influence, which can be tracked from the Howling Fjord and Grizzly Hills to the very Icecrown Glacier itself in the form of Saronite. Even the very walls of Icecrown Citadel are, in a sense, made out of Yogg-Saron.
Finally we have Soggoth the Slitherer, the "new" Old God we're learning about in Cataclysm. He's not exactly new...if you've been to Darkshore and seen the Master's Glaive, with the enormous sword protruding from a vaguely nautoloid skull, you've seen Soggoth. Defeated after a battle that destroyed 20 of the Titans' stone giant servants, Soggoth lay buried in Darkshore for untold thousands of years until the Cataclysm disturbed his prison and the Twilight's Hammer began working to free it from torpor.
More to come, including in-depth discussion on each one of the individual Old Gods. -- Lore Nerd. Role Player. Raid Leader. Discipline Priest. Slightly Annoying. Also Likes Kittens.
My current guess is that his location is in Darkshore. Uldum is tied to Ahn'Qiraj, the latter being a satellite structure to the former. Uldum therefore is tied to C'thun (my speculation).
Uldum and Ahn'Qiraj are like the southern equivalent of Ulduar (with the Halls of Stone and Light being similar satellite structures). Since Soggoth is portrayed via the Master's Glaive it can only be assumed the Titans thought the Old God dead and never actually bothered to impression him, OR if there was a structure placed around his remains as a prison it is so far below the surface in Darkshore we have yet to encounter it.
As for your comment about a retcon Cpn, I don't disagree that they're changing things to help push along the expansion. However, just because they're CURRENTLY saying there are only three remaining Old Gods doesn't mean it will stay that way. If you notice, the location they picked for Soggoth is in Darkshore and it is at the Master's Glaive. The location being one of the points in the Pentagram theory. -- Lore Nerd. Role Player. Raid Leader. Discipline Priest. Slightly Annoying. Also Likes Kittens.
by Ahn'Qiraj being a satellite structure I would think that meant that ahn'qiraj to be a smaller or lesser structure
as it was said the old gods can reach very far so couldn't Uldum be just that huge?
It is smaller. Technically Uldum is an entire zone and a massive one. The gates leading into it being located in the southern tip of Tanaris. Who knows how much of the complex is buried underground? The same thing could have been said of Ulduar. We only saw a fraction of it and there were locations within the Storm Peaks that either were portions of Ulduar or satellite structures (Engine of the Makers for example).
I just remembered something about Medivh Please correct anything thats wrong here
He was corupted before birth in Tirisfal Glades could this somehow be related to the old gods?
Medivh was corrupted by Sargeras, not an Old God, though it is speculated that there is an Old God located both in the area of Tirisfall as well as in the Duskwood / Deadwind Pass / Swamp of Sorrows area.
We've discussed the Feist books a bit and it's surprising to see the grossly similar plot lines.
The "Old God" concept is apparently well plagerized.
A lot of more modern authors borrowed or were inspired by Lovecraft's work with the Cthulhu mythos. It isn't any secret that Lovecraft himself was inspired by various myths and legends dating back centuries or more, drawing from cults, secret societies, and pagan beliefs. -- Lore Nerd. Role Player. Raid Leader. Discipline Priest. Slightly Annoying. Also Likes Kittens.
I just did the Darkshore quest line (like, literally last night), and Soggoth is indeed there. However... It turns out Soggy is NOT an Old God, only their Herald. They even retcon it so he was killed by a platoon of Stone Giants in the Titans' employ, not by a titan or even a major titan servitor. And his avatar is easily disposed of by a level 20 toon and some ancients (not Ancients, but ancients... ie, big trees.) Soggoth is substantively changed to simply be a giant faceless one, and faceless ones wander his dig site, indicating that they're now not just Yogg Saron's province, but that of the old gods writ large. Needless to say, this throws the calculus of "what happened to which Old God, how many there are, and where they are" into quite a bit of uncertainty. -- "Terrible, Terrible Damage!"
Correct, though it doesn't really reveal what it does. It's where Brann re-assembles the shell and core of Norgannon via a terminal (Norgannon's Binding), but the terminal alone doesn't account for the massive machinery in place there. -- "Terrible, Terrible Damage!"
"The Old God would create avatars from the Silithid in its own image. These avatars were to be known as Qiraji. Sentient and with purpose, the Qiraji would name their creator: C'Thun was born...For many thousands of years the Qiraji worked feverishly to build a force capable of laying waste to the world that would betray their god. The great fortress city of Ahn'Qiraj was created to house their growing armies and prepare for the coming of C'Thun."
-The Prophecy of C'Thun
C'Thun has arguably had the most direct impact upon all of Azeroth when compared to what little we know of when dealing with the Old Gods. Not only did it indirectly create the nerubians and directly alter the Qiraji into their modern form, and battle a Titan to a standstill, but its connection to the Twilight's Hammer and their demented leader, Cho'gall, means that even during the upcoming Cataclysm, the consequences of its actions are still unfolding.
The history of C'thun on Azeroth dates so far back that it surpasses the point which it was given it's name by an army of arthropod followers. One of several of its kind to either discover or create Azeroth, it existed for countless millennia before their war against the Titans, bending Azeroth's elementals to its will alongside the other Old Gods and waging ceaseless chaotic war between proxy elemental lords for their own amusement. It is unknown how long this went on or if it started before or after the Titans' first efforts to shape Azeroth. Since the ancient Troll empires (Gurubashi and Amani) had records of the Titans it is entirely possible that the Titans came and left multiple times, perhaps in response to the Old Gods' machinations, as implied in the Curse of Flesh dialog.
What is known, however, is that the Titans and Old Gods eventually went to war over Azeroth and that the Old Gods "lost." Problem was though that they had managed to infiltrate the world so thoroughly that it would have destroyed Azeroth to destroy them. Now, don't get me wrong, while the Titans are not entirely unwilling to unmake their creations (as the Algalon protocol and encounter would show), they were loath to do so unless it was a the final last resort. Instead, they imprisoned their enemies in the core of the very world they'd sought to dominate, fashioning prisons like Ulduar and Uldum to hold them forever, or at least what they thought would be forever.
Well, all but one...
"In the time before time, when the world was still in its infancy, a battle between a Titan and a being of unimaginable evil and power raged on this very soil. The prophecy is unclear about whether or not the Titan was vanquished in this battle but it illustrates that a Titan fell. An Old God had also fallen - or so it was thought.
For millennium this being lay dormant beneath the world - biding its time. From its prison it waited for the exact moment at which to strike back at those that would see it harmed."
- The Prophecy of C'Thun
Alone among its brethren, one Old God did battle against a Titan and brought that Titan down, although whether it died or not is unknown. (Recent speculation about the Titanic Watcher known as Tyr makes it plausible that C'Thun cost him his hand, as the description of the entity that maimed Tyr and of the entity who would be named C'Thun are very similar.) This entity (who had yet to recieve the name C'Thun) was imprisoned beneath the surface of the world, as were the others (perhaps under the complex that would become known as Ahn'Qiraj when his Qiraji slaves managed to seize control of it) but unlike them, it had displayed the strength to defeat a Titan and so was not easily bound.
Over vast stretches of time, it worked its malevolent slumbering will, not sleeping, not dead, eternally seeking to subvert and corrupt the creations of its enemies. The very Well of Eternity gave it the Proto-Silithid, who would come to C'Thun and conquer for it the Titan complex that lies today in the sands of Silithus, the fortress temple of Ahn'Qiraj. And in its corrupted titanic halls, the great dark god would dream of conquest over the entire world.
Over the thousands of years that passed, through the Sundering that shattered Kalimdor, past the final destruction of the ancient Troll empires at the hands of the Tidehunter and his minions, the Old God that had become C'Thun waited, until at least its forces had grown strong enough to contest the hated Kaldorei for dominion over Kalimdor itself. Thus began the War of the Shifting Sands, which would see corrupted Titan creations like the Tol'vir battle side by side with Silithid hordes and Qiraji leaders to push the Night Elves out of Kalimdor.
C'Thun's plan nearly succeeded. At first, the Night Elves held fast and defeated the Qiraji in several battles, thanks to the brilliant leadership of an Archdruid. C'Thun was not so easily balked. His followers managed to discover the one weak spot of the formidable Fandral Staghelm, the Druid leading the Night Elf resistance against the Qiraji: his deep and abiding love for his son. Exploiting the elder Staghelm's pride in and love for his boy, the Qiraji General Rajaxx managed to destroy the Night Elf commander's resolve in one battle.
"On the third day as the noon-day sun reached its zenith, the Qiraji appeared, their numbers reinforced. Once again the buzz of insect wings stirred the air; once again interminable multitudes crested the rim of the horizon. They spread out before Fandral and the others like the shadow cast by a giant cloud obscuring the sun...and stopped.
Fandral formed his lines and stood at the forefront of the ranks as Stormcrows circled overhead and the Druids in bear form clawed the dirt in anticipation, all watching intently. Moments later the ocean of insects parted, and the hulking form of the Qiraji General approached, carrying a wounded figure in its clawed appendage. It proceeded to the front of the Qiraji lines and held Valstann Staghelm aloft for all to see.
Gasps spread through the ranks. Shiromar felt her heart sink. Fandral stood mute, knowing that Southwind had fallen, and fearing that his son may already be dead. he cursed himself for allowing the boy to leave and stood, frozen by a mixture of fear, anger, and despair.
Within the general's claw, Valstann stirred and spoke to the General though he was too far away to be heard.
At once the spell that had fallen over Fandral broke and he bolted forward, followed by the Night Elf forces, but the distance was great...and even before the Qiraji General acted, Shiromar knew they could not reach Valstann in time.
The Qiraji General fixed his second claw onto Valstann's bloodied form, and with both he squeezed...and pulled apart, separating the young Night Elf's body at the waist."
- The War of the Shifting Sands
Following Valstann's death, the Kaldorei were driven out of Silithus by the Qiraji, and victory for C'Thun seemed nigh. Perhaps if they'd stopped at the border to Silithus and entrenched themselves, we would now be living in a world dominated by the servants of the Old God but in pursuing the Night Elves, the Qiraji crossed into the "God Lands," the Titan nature preserve of Un'Goro. In so doing, they exposed themselves to the devices created by the Titans to preserve it. Furthermore, while Fandral Staghelm was not persuasive enough to commit the Bronze Dragonflight to his cause, an attack by the Qiraji themselves (possibly out of desperation due to their discomfort with Un'Goro) stirred the servants of Nozdormu and eventually of the Red, Green, and Blue dragons as well.
Together, these forces drove the frenzied Qiraji back. Despite the power of creations such as Ossirian the Unscarred, the Twin Emperors of the Qiraji could not prevail against the Night Elf Druids and Sentinels with the aid of four Dragonflights at their backs, but neither could those forces hope to win out against the Old God itself in its den. Rather than risk so apocalyptic a conflict, a solution was enacted that sealed the Qiraji and C'Thun up inside their very fortress, the city complex of Ahn'Qiraj itself. Fandral Staghelm, entrusted with the Sceptre used to seal Ahn'Qiraj, shattered it out of bitterness over the death of his son.
For a thousand years, C'Thun and his servitors lay confined within their citadel prison. Eventually, the Silithid began to find ways to tunnel through the earth and indirectly menace Kalimdor once again. This led to what would turn out to be the last successful joint operation of the Horde and Alliance: the Might of Kalimdor led by Varok Saurfang. While the Might led armed forces of both factions into battle, the Cenarion Circle enlisted mighty heroes to recombine the shattered Scepter of the Shifting Sands and breach the very walls of Ahn'Qiraj. These heroes would seemingly do whatever the Titans could not and kill the Old God in his lair.
However, when one refers to the Old Gods one speaks of beings that may not be able to die. Although supposedly "dead" and its Qiraji followers dispersed, C'Thun still managed to draw Cho'gall to the ruins of Ahn'Qiraj, still managed to twist and deform the ogre mage beyond all recognition, and still managed to send him and his Twilight's Hammer Cultists off to harass a group of mortal heroes in an attempt to kidnap the son of Medivh. And although those forces were supposedly defeated as well, it's telling that the Twilight's Hammer has only grown in strength and can be seen hard at work come the Cataclysm. C'Thun's best trick may well be convincing this host of enemies that it is dead. Only time will tell. -- Lore Nerd. Role Player. Raid Leader. Discipline Priest. Slightly Annoying. Also Likes Kittens.
After doing a bit more reading I've discovered a bit of information that will correlate with what CpnObvious said earlier concerning Soggoth the Slitherer:
There is an entity located withing the Twilight Highlands by the name of Isorath. This may (or may not) be an Old God. Soggoth the Slitherer is indeed NOT and Old God but as CnpObvious said, "an avatar" or really powerful servant.
Now then, on to the Beast with a Thousand Maws!
In the eons before the Sundering, Azeroth (blessed with one continent) was home to the Well of Eternity. The Well was created by the Titans for some great unspecified purpose and imbued with the ability to draw mystical power directly from the depths of the Great Dark Beyond. The Great Dark Beyond is basically the black void of space surrounding Azeroth and other worlds, as opposed to the Twisting Nether, a place of demons and other fel intelligences where the ruined remains of Outland currently reside. On this ancient continent, the Titans left behind many structures, facilities build to shepherd Azeroth and its development. Some were also built as prisons. One such facility was the enormous city-complex known today as Ulduar. And within Ulduar, chained at its very heart with shackles made of pure cosmic matter, lay the dreaded Yogg-Saron.
Unlike C'Thun, Yogg-Saron appears to have named itself. If not, no records remain to tell us who named it. Also unlike its peer, Yogg-Saron seems to have given itself a portfolio of sorts, declaring itself to be the Old God of Death. Trapped without recourse to the Well of Eternity, Yogg-Saron seemed to have slept in confinement for countless eons.
"Seemed" is the operative word there, because the beast with a thousand maws was anything but quiescent during its durance while in Ulduar. We don't as yet know how much of what Yogg-Saron shows those who oppose it is truly accurate and how much the beast itself has to do with those visions, but we do know that it is possible and even likely that Yogg-Saron was one of the Old Gods who helped to corrupt Deathwing. Given his title of "the Lucid Dream," Yogg would seem a very likely candidate. Yogg-Saron's display of the events of the formation of the Dragon Soul (later known as the Demon Soul) certainly indicates that he either has or claims a level of involvement with the madness that overcame Neltharion the Earth Warder.
It's also telling, however, that Yogg-Saron displays the murder of King Llane Wrynn at the hands of Garon Halforcen. We know that Garona was acting on the orders of the Shadow Council, who had used their warlock magics to condition her over the years. We know that Gul'dan, leader of the Shadow Council, had used warlock magic to age her and dominate Garona's mind and had entrusted the ogre mage Cho'gall, his own creation, with the task of controlling her. And we know that Cho'gall again attempted to use his power over Garona to help bring C'Thun back to life. So why did Yogg-Saron show us Garona's murder of the human king who had trusted and respected her? Was he claiming to have had control over Cho'gall even then? Is that why we find Twilight's Hammer soldiers and mages in Ulduar server General Vezax? Just how deep do Yogg-Saron's machinations go?
The third vision we see, that of Arthas Menethil torturing Bolvar Fordragon is fairly simple: Arthas had made extensive use of Yogg-Saron's own blood for his undead minions. Yogg-Saron's words, "He will learn that no king rules forever," proved prophetic indeed, as Arthas is dead. At any rate, Bolvar took up the mantle of the Lich King, and we're left to wonder why Yogg-Saron, who claimed such extensive influence, helped to cause the creation of the Demon Soul (and inadvertently the Sundering itself), the death of King Llane and destruction of Stormwind, and the ultimate fate of the Lich King, was so unprepared for his own death.
Then again, when we look at the circumstances surrounding Ulduar, we're forced to wonder if it was unpreparedness.
Over the course of the millennia, Yogg-Saron enslaved the will of Loken, the Prime Designate charged with watching over the Ulduar installation and Azeroth entire. Using Loken as a proxy, Yogg-Saron manipulated the servants of its own Titan enemies, engaging them in a long and ultimately pointless war that ended with many of them being forced into stasis by Loken and thus unable to interfere with the corrupted watcher's plans for Azeroth. Loken went so far as to murder his brother Thorim's wife, Sif, and pin the blame on the servants of Hodir, another of his siblings watchers. Eventually Freya, Hodir, and Mimiron all found themselves imprisoned and slowly driven made by the being they themselves had been set to ward over. The last watcher besides brooding Thorim was Tyr, a great champion of order who'd sacrificed his own hand in battle with the forces of the Old Gods. His fate remains unknown. There's speculation that Yogg-Saron used the corrupting force of his Saronite blood to alter Tyr into General Vezax but no evidence to support this has come about as of yet.
Eventually, as great heroes from the mortal races reached the Storm Peaks in their quest to find a way to halt the Lich king's advances, Yogg-Saron used Loken to manipulate and capture Thorim, the final watcher of Ulduar with a component of the Algalon fail-safe. It's unknown why neither Loken nor Tyr had a piece of the device, perhaps as a check on these two supposedly most orderly of the watchers to keep them from summoning Algalon prematurely. With Thorim in his reach, Yogg either failed to keep a close enough watch on his servitor or deliberately sacrificed to vengeful heroes in order to activate the Algalon protocol.
Because how else could it have happened? It's clear that Yogg-Saron must have known of the protocol after thousands of years of controlling Loken even more thoroughly than Deathwing has even been controlled. Neltharion, for all his flaws, has never blindly obeyed the Old Gods, working with them only when it suits him. Why would Yogg-Saron, the Old God of Death, the Lucid Dream itself, allow Loken to die alone in a side wing of the Ulduar complex if it didn't exactly suit his plans? Look at the larger picture:
As with C'Thun, we see an Old God confronted and slain in its own lair by mortal hands, when the Titans themselves supposedly could not do so without destroying Azeroth. Perhaps the issue isn't that the Old Gods can't be slain but that to slay them utterly requires the complete eradication of Azeroth back down to its primary unmixed materials (as Algalon himself implies when he arrives) and therefore, Yogg-Saron can't possibly be dead now. I don't know about you, but when I killed him, I didn't reduce Azeroth to its primary components just to be sure. However, in manipulating a group of mortals to not only kill Loken but then to storm Ulduar, regain the fragments of the Celestial Planetarium key, and take a key role in preventing Algalon himself from reorganizing Azeroth, Yogg-Saron ensures its own survival and the survival of the Old Gods.
It's not that Yogg-Saron particularly wants Azeroth to survive, but the Old Gods have shown a remarkable tendency to enjoy their own existences. Allowing Algalon to wipe Azeroth down to the raw cosmic matter that formed it and root out the slumbering and presumably vulnerable Old Gods trapped within wouldn't suit the Old God of Death at all, since it happens to be one of those selfsame trapped beings. But look now: not only has Yogg-Saron slain, corrupted, or weakened his eternal jailers, it has convinced them and Algalon that it has been destroyed and is no longer a threat. Furthermore, even if clear and present evidence of even more widespread systemic Old God corruption of Azeroth should surface, Algalon's not coming back to deal with it.
Azeroth belongs to the Old Gods now. While there have been a handful of mortals who have shown the ability to balk them, these same mortals run the risk of corruption every time they raise a weapon against the Old Gods. Just ask Milhouse Manastorm about the "insidious whispers of the madness that crawls behind reality's mask." Can mortal heroes who have accepted the Faustian bargain and worn the very blood of an Old God possibly hope to retain their sanity and battle a hopeless fight against forces that threaten to swallow the world in chaos, and do so without the help of the Titans?
Sure, Yogg-Saron is dead. Of course it is. The alternative...that events unfold exactly as it hoped they would...is too horrible to contemplate...
We may be in trouble... -- Lore Nerd. Role Player. Raid Leader. Discipline Priest. Slightly Annoying. Also Likes Kittens.
I missed this article but since we're discussing Old Gods, Deathwing, the Cataclysm, AND someone decided to bring up the Pentagon Theory...
Well from the mouth of Annie Stickney (Shade) I give you "The Final Boss of Cataclysm."
The image above was taken from a blog post I made back in January of this year, a post discussing possible links between the Old Gods, the dragonflights and Deathwing. Unfortunately, not more than a month or so after it originally aired, several points in the post were disproved, largely due to the release of the Stormrage novel and revelations contained therein. But with the release of Cataclysm and the events playing out on beta servers, I feel this deserves another look -- because what we are potentially looking at is a sequence of events that prove that Deathwing isn't really the one responsible for all this disaster we're going to see on Azeroth, nor is Deathwing the one we should really be worried about.
Please note that this post is a "Tin Foil Hat" edition. It is pure speculation based on events already presented in Warcraft lore and certain things I've seen lurking around the Cataclysm beta servers. There are potential spoilers for Cataclysm in this post -- but only if my mad, deranged theories are somehow correct. However, I am going to include several screenshots from the Cataclysm servers, so if you'd rather not be spoiled in any way by the upcoming expansion, I'd advise steering away now.
The Old Gods
The Old Gods are malevolent deities that at one point in time in Azeroth's history, way back before the night elves' existence or the Sundering, showed up to essentially wreak havoc on the little planet. In the world of storytelling, every hero has to have a villain working against him, because without a villain, that hero isn't really a hero at all. In Azeroth, there are several good guy/bad guy situations that have been set up. Of course we have the Scourge, and we living mortals of Azeroth are the heroes that combat it.
Then we have the Burning Legion, an organization that's been a thorn in everyone's sides since the beginning of time. With the release of The Burning Crusade, we were introduced to the Naaru, an ethereal, light-based race of creatures that have so mastered the use of the Light that they are as godlike as anyone could hope to be. The Naaru are dead set on stopping the Burning Legion in its tracks. While some may argue that we mortals of Azeroth are the heroes that exist in counterpoint to the Burning Legion, it's really the Naaru -- and more specifically, the Light they wield -- that was written in as the "ultimate foil" for the Burning Legion. And then we have the Titans and the Old Gods.
Where the Titans have been described as being creatures of order, creation and organization, the Old Gods exist purely to wreak havoc and destruction. Why they chose to focus on Azeroth is a mystery in and of itself that has never been fully explained. Whether or not these Old Gods exist on other worlds that have felt the Titan's touch is also a mystery. What we do know, from the foggy bits of history we've been shown, is that Azeroth existed; the Titans came to it to create harmony and order and then left it to its own devices. The Old Gods showed up to wreck the world in their chaotic fashion, and the Titans caught wind of this and returned to fight the Old Gods.
It's the way these Old Gods work that presented a problem, however; the Old Gods had assimilated themselves with the world of Azeroth so completely that the Titans realized that destroying the Old Gods meant destroying Azeroth. This is revealed during the Tribunal of Ages event in the Halls of Stone:
Abedneum: Accessing. In the early stages of its development cycle Azeroth suffered infection by parasitic, necrophotic symbiotes.
Brann Bronzebeard: Necro-what? Speak bloody common will ya?
Abedneum: Designation: Old Gods. Old Gods rendered all systems, including Earthen defenseless in order to facilitate assimilation. This matrix destabilization has been termed the Curse of Flesh. Effects of destabilization increased over time.
Brann Bronzebeard: Old Gods eh? So they zapped the Earthen with this Curse of Flesh. And then what?
Kaddrak: Accessing. Creators arrived to extirpate symbiotic infection. Assessment revealed that Old God infestation had grown malignant. Excising parasites would result in loss of host.
Brann Bronzebeard: If they killed the Old Gods Azeroth would have been destroyed.
Kaddrak: Correct. Creators neutralized parasitic threat and contained it within the host.
Basically what happened is that the Old Gods entwined themselves so completely with the world that there wasn't any way to remove them without destroying the world. The Curse of Flesh was created by the Old Gods to weaken the Earthen that the Titans had left to defend the world. The Curse was designed to turn the stone Earthen into fleshy creatures that could be easily manipulated and corrupted. That's how the Old Gods operate; they insert malevolent and chaotic thoughts into the minds of creatures to sway them to their dark cause. If it has a mind, the Old Gods can do something about it.
Since the Titans could not destroy the Old Gods to rid the world of them, they instead imprisoned them deep beneath the earth where they couldn't affect anyone and left them there to rot for eternity. The Titans then created a few safeguards to make sure that nothing would happen to Azeroth in the future. They created a new series of Earthen that were immune to the Curse of Flesh and its effects, and they assigned Titanic watchers to keep an eye on the world. In the event that one of these watchers was killed, a signal would be sent to Alganon, who would come and assess the situation. If it was determined the Old Gods were a large enough threat, this time Azeroth would simply be destroyed and started from scratch.
There was another set of safeguards the Titans put together, however. The Titans used the great proto-dragon Galakrond to create a group of dragons that would also watch over the world. There were five main dragonflights, and each was appointed a leader, an Aspect that was assigned to watch over a particular portion of the world.
Malygos was the Aspect of the Blue Dragonflight, charged with watching over the magic of the world and the hidden spells and arcanum, the world's mysteries.
Nozdormu was the Aspect of the Bronze Dragonflight, charged with watching over the flow of time to make sure there were no disruptions to Azeroth's history.
Ysera was the Aspect of the Green Dragonflight, charged to watch over the natural aspects of the world through the dream of creation, otherwise known as the Emerald Dream.
Alexstrasza was the Aspect of the Red Dragonflight, charged with watching over all life in the world of Azeroth. She was also appointed queen of all dragons; Alexstraza had pretty much the largest job out of them all.
Neltharion was the Aspect of the Black Dragonflight. Neltharion was charged with watching over the earth, the deep places of Azeroth. It was Neltharion that was responsible for watching over the land that all living things lived upon. But the Titans made a critical error by choosing Neltharion as the Earth Warder, and we'll get into that in a little bit.
There are several different theories about the Old Gods, their motives, their locations, and their numbers. Stories suggest anywhere from three to five of these Old Gods actually exist, but that number has never been pinpointed with an exact figure. For the sake of the map I created, I went with the number five -- because five seemed like a logical choice at the time. We know of the location of at least three of these Old Gods:
Ahn'Qiraj: Ahn'Qiraj is where the Old God C'thun makes his home. We fought him back in vanilla during the days of AQ-20 and AQ-40.
Ulduar: Ulduar is the home of Yogg-Saron in the snowy reaches of Northrend. We fought him during the Wrath of the Lich King expansion. Note that despite Yogg Saron's location, his presence can be felt all the way down in Whisper Gulch in Howling Fjord.
Tirisfal Glades: The Tirisfal Glades have never been 100 percent confirmed; however, the first Quel'dorei who were banished after the Sundering had records of their original settlement on the shores of Tirisfal. These records, found in the in-game book The Founding of Quel'Thalas, read as follows:
Forging inland, the high elves founded a settlement within the tranquil Tirisfal Glades. After a few years, many of them began to go mad. It was theorized that something evil slept beneath that particular part of the world, but the rumors were never proven to be true. The high elves packed up their encampment and moved northward towards another land rich with ley energies.
Evil sleeping beneath the earth? That sounds like an Old God to me.
There was a fourth location I talked about in the original article, The Master's Glaive located in Darkshore. It was revealed some time after the alpha's release that the thing I had presumed to be the corpse of an Old God was actually the corpse of something more like a lieutenant of an Old God -- a skeleton reminiscent of General Vezax in Ulduar.
The fifth location I chose on the map above was completely arbitrary and chosen to finish connecting the dots. That star on the map had some sort of peculiar significance, but I couldn't figure out that fifth point to my satisfaction. However, the three known locations plus the addition of the fourth made things a little clearer to me as I was trying to figure out the Old Gods' design and what they were actually up to.
Neltharion and the Demon Soul
Poor Neltharion. After doing a lot of research, I can't help but feel bad for him. You see, what happened to Neltharion wasn't really his fault. The Titan Khaz'goroth charged him with watching the deep places of the world, with forming the mountains and valleys we see on Azeroth today, and it was Neltharion's job to make sure the earth was taken care of. Unfortunately, Neltharion's domain was also the site of a few other guys that weren't particularly happy with the Titans: the Old Gods.
At least one of those Old Gods felt the presence of Neltharion and began to whisper to the great black dragon, speaking of power, of betrayal, of desire. They told him the other flights were simply there to stand in his way. They convinced him that even his own flight could not be trusted, that all dragonkind was out to get him. They spoke to him of a better world, one in which he and the few chosen to serve him would exist alone, and all other flights, all other life on the world would be destroyed. All would bow and serve to Neltharion.
And he bought it. It's unlikely that the Titans thought the Old Gods were this clever or that they actually had thoughts or plans. According to the Tribunal of Ages, the Old Gods were merely parasitic symbiotes -- things, not really creatures that could think or feel, not really living beings that could come up with any kind of cohesive plans. Neltharion's downfall was primarily due to the underestimation of the Titans -- they imprisoned the Old Gods under the earth and assumed that these nasty creatures would simply stay put. And then they assigned living creatures, creatures made of flesh with minds that could be easily influenced by the Old Gods' whispers, to watch over the world. Nice job, Titans.
What the Titans didn't realize was that the Old Gods were far more cunning and lethal than imagined. Neltharion's corruption was swift, and the Old Gods convinced the black Aspect that the best way to overcome the dragons would be to create a device that would control all of them: the Dragon Soul. This small golden disk would be infused with the powers of all the dragonflights. But the Old Gods needed a cover, something that would give a good reason for Neltharion to make such a thing and keep the other Aspects from suspecting anything was wrong.
The opportunity presented itself with the Burning Legion's advance into Azeroth and the War of the Ancients. Neltharion told the other flights that this device would be capable of destroying the Burning Legion and defending Azeroth, and so the other flights simply gave parts of their power to the small golden disc, assuming it would be Azeroth's savior. What they didn't realize was that the disc would be turned against them -- and why should they? Until that point, Neltharion had been Alexstraza's strongest supporter, and the five flights had worked in harmony to help Azeroth thrive.
Neltharion took the Dragon Soul, flew to Zin'Azshari and promptly used the thing to kill not only demons, but also night elves, their allies, and ... dragons. Neltharion's betrayal was revealed in full, and the other Aspects rose up against him, but it was too late. The Dragon Soul ripped through Malygos' blue dragonflight, decimating their numbers, then paralyzed those that still lived. Neltharion shattered the remaining flights and they fled from the scene, shocked and unable to comprehend why their ally had suddenly turned on them.
The Aspect of the black dragonflight took a new name, Deathwing, and the Dragon Soul also took a new name, the Demon Soul. By this time, the black dragon's very body had fallen to corruption; his scales cracked open, revealed the molten lava that flowed within, and he had his goblin servants construct plates of metal to literally hold himself together. He hid away in the mountains, planning his next attack, when a druid named Malfurion Stormrage crept into his lair and managed to steal the Demon Soul, intending to use it to stop the Burning Legion.
Malfurion's plans didn't quite work out the way he'd hoped. His brother Illidan stole the Demon Soul and gave it to Mannoroth, the general of the Burning Legion's armies. The Demon Soul was used to power the portal that would bring Sargeras, leader of the Burning Legion, to Azeroth. The events that followed are well known by now -- the portal was destroyed but, in its destruction, caused the Sundering that split the world of Azeroth into the continents we know today. And that Sundering had other effects that hadn't really been considered by any of the mortal races.
Pawns in a game of chess
You see, the Old Gods didn't want Neltharion to have absolute power. They wanted him to make the Dragon Soul, wanted him to go up against the Burning Legion. They wanted Malfurion Stormrage to steal the device; they even wanted Illidan to take it to the Burning Legion. They knew that if all these events worked out as planned, the earth of Azeroth would tear apart. And that would allow them to break free from the prison in which the Titans had placed them and allow them dominion over Azeroth once more.
If we wanted to delve deeper, we could argue that Azshara's mad plans of global domination, the curious fascination her high court held with the waters of the Well of Eternity, all the magical meddling that originally captured the Burning Legion's attentions -- all of it was due to whispers heard late at night. Whispers of power untold, of the greatness that could be achieved through the use of this magic, whispers that spoke of allies from other worlds that would help those goals be achieved. Dark whispers from deep beneath the earth, the same whispers that drove Neltharion mad.
The Old Gods wanted the Burning Legion's attention. They wanted the attention of Sargeras. They wanted him to try and enter the world because it would wreak havoc with Azeroth -- but more importantly, because it would ultimately set them free. And there was nothing in the world they wanted more than release from their prison. Neltharion was simply a tool, a weapon they used to achieve that purpose.
But it didn't work. While Azeroth shattered and some of the Old Gods like C'thun and Yogg-Saron could begin to leech their essence into the earth, others were still imprisoned far below. Their plan had failed to a degree. Deathwing moved on, continuing to try and retrieve the Demon Soul because he was convinced it was the source of his triumphant victory. And in the meantime, he worked against the mortals of Azeroth, disguising himself as a human to earn their trust and ultimately betray them all.
The Old Gods carefully orchestrated Deathwing's defeat at the hands of Rhonin and the other Aspects. They couldn't let him simply take over the world; they needed the world shattered, not run by a black dragon. His refuge in Deepholm was planned -- because there, deep under the earth, they could continue to speak to him. They could push him even further into madness, until he at last ripped through Deepholm into Azeroth, destroying the pillar that balanced the two worlds and once again ripping apart the continents of Azeroth.
The Cataclysm that Deathwing brings about with the next expansion isn't the actions of Deathwing -- it's the actions of the Old Gods that continue to speak to him. It's the actions of ancient, malevolent creatures that want to be released, and it's the reason that in Cataclysm, we not only have Deathwing, but we have the Twilight Cult that openly worships the Old Gods. We may defeat Deathwing, but his defeat only leaves the Old Gods with one less weapon in their arsenal, and his explosion into Azeroth has left the world weakened and malleable.
While the Horde and Alliance fight for territory in this new, shattered land, the Old Gods continue to plan and thrive. Strange tentacles have emerged at the other points of the star that I put together on that map, ages ago. Ashenvale is littered with the things. The Twilight Highlands seem to be the actual location of that Old God that managed to reach all the way to Tirisfal Glades, and as we've seen with Northrend, an Old God can influence places far, far from its original location. Down in Stranglethorn Vale, reports are coming in about Colonel Kurzen and his allies and their strange descent into madness -- which suggests that fifth Old God I'd speculated about months ago really does exist.
One of the arguments most often used to refute the map that I made was that it wasn't a proper star, and nothing really lined up. Take a look at that from another perspective: It didn't line up because the Sundering didn't properly do the job that the Old Gods intended. It was sloppy because the Sundering was sloppy, and it didn't exactly work like the Old Gods intended it to. It was a job half-finished, rather than the completed, perfect final product. So let's take a look at what that map looks like in Cataclysm, now that Deathwing has ripped the world apart:
Right. Notice what's at the heart of the star: the Maelstrom, the link to Deepholm and the World Pillar that holds Azeroth and the elemental plane of earth together. That's where Deathwing rips through the world in Cataclysm, and that's where the chain reaction that settled the world into place began. It is highly unlikely that the way these things line up is unintentional.
But what is intended is the assumption that Deathwing is the final boss of Cataclysm. Every bit of information released about Cataclysm to date has emphasized Deathwing and his horrible plot. The Old Gods are mentioned, but they are deliberately presented as a side sort of enemy. The end boss of Hyjal is Ragnaros, the Elemental Lord of fire. The end bosses of Vash'jir are the naga that pollute the depths of the water and seek to destroy Neptulon. The main goal of Deepholm is to put that World Pillar back together so that Azeroth doesn't fall apart.
The Elemental Lords were originally lieutenants of the Old Gods. The Old Gods created the naga, when Azshara and her court sunk to the middle of the ocean after the Sundering. The destruction of the World Pillar would decimate Azeroth and cause it to shatter in much the same way as Draenor.
Rossi theorized in his article regarding Deathwing's conspiracy that Outland was a deliberate "test run" created by Deathwing to observe the effects of a world shattering into pieces, and that he was deliberately trying to see how far he could bend a world before it broke entirely. I theorize that yes, Outland was a test run -- but Deathwing isn't working under his own mind. He's working under the influence of the Old Gods. They wanted the world torn asunder as a test run for what they were planning to do to Azeroth. Splitting the world into a floating chunk of rocks? Not quite what they'd imagined.
But the world of Cataclysm, a world split apart just far enough that they can begin to emerge, is exactly what they had in mind. Deathwing is not the final boss; Deathwing is a tool, just like every other evil faction that features in Cataclysm. The real threat behind Cataclysm? It's the Old Gods -- and even Deathwing's defeat will not sway the malevolent deities from their plans. After all, they have many other tools to work with, now that their reach has been sufficiently extended as a result of Deathwing's emergence. They have the Twilight Cult. They have the naga. They have the Elemental Lords. -- Lore Nerd. Role Player. Raid Leader. Discipline Priest. Slightly Annoying. Also Likes Kittens.
yet another good read Its funny that you should mention Milhouse Manastorm
as just last weekend I ran into him while rep grinding and wowwiki has this to add for cata
Millhouse returns in Cataclysm as a member of Twilight's Hammer cult. He is involved in their operations in Deepholm, and appears numerous times in the Stonecore. He has apparently acquired a new spell called "Impending Doooooom!", but it's effects are unknown as he is interrupted by the arrival of Corborus. He is easily knocked out of the way and is predicted to have been killed in the impact
Naaru / Light vs The Burning Legion Titans vs The Old Gods
Which I would agree with.
Edit: To Expand
The Burning Legion is under the control of Sargeras, who IS a Fallen Titan. All demons, fel creatures, shit that hangs out in the Twisted Nether? Yeah, that is all the Burning Legion and they all answer to Sargeras.
Archimonde? Kil'jaeden? Both answer to Sargeras (I believe I covered this in a post long, long ago when questions were asked about the Eredar and Draenei which would have went off into a tangent about those two and the Prophet Valen). -- Lore Nerd. Role Player. Raid Leader. Discipline Priest. Slightly Annoying. Also Likes Kittens.
wow so the mortals on az really are just pawns. We're like mailroom workers with the titans old gods naaru and BL making moves up in the board rooms.
What would be kick ass IMHO is if at some point they do away with "factions" and provide 4 different sides to represent the 4 major players out there. Race wouldn't be an issue, alligence to OG, Titans, BL, or Light would be what differentiates us all. -- »www.nomorenoob.com - Wow help site Noob of the month - »www.nomorenoob.com/p/noob-of-month.html
Yes but in the grand scheme of things the Burning Legion is focusing on Azeroth.
If we don't have the Titans there to help deal with the Old Gods the ain't going to come running when we have another full scale invasion, if we do.
As for the "pawn" comment, I wouldn't say that is entirely true. We have the ability to change the outcome but just how big of a chance it will be is up for debate. -- Lore Nerd. Role Player. Raid Leader. Discipline Priest. Slightly Annoying. Also Likes Kittens.
Sargeras technically isn't dead, only his physical form. No, we haven't seen the last of him nor the Legion.
As for the Naaru, no we don't know a whole lot about them other than the fact that they are deeply connected the Prophet Valen and his people, they oppose the Burning Legion, and they're so in tune with the Light that they are essentially the definition of it.
The Burning Legion wants everything gone. Wiped from existence. -- Lore Nerd. Role Player. Raid Leader. Discipline Priest. Slightly Annoying. Also Likes Kittens.
Elune is neither Old God or Titan Creation, she is a "true deity" and one of few.
Ironically however it has been widely speculated that Elune may actually be an Old God of some sort. Theories range from her being just as evil as the others (using the Night Elves as C'Thun and Yogg-Saron have used the Qiraji and the Faceless Ones) to her being the only "good" Old God. Common Night elf phrases like "I heed the voice of Elune," may refer to the same sort of "whispers" used by Yogg-Saron. Similarly, some speculate that the transformation of trolls into Night elves (if that tale is true) is similar to the biological changes wrought by the Old Gods upon the Qiraji (originally the Aqir), Naga (originally Night Elves), and Faceless Ones. If she is an Old Good, it is possible she is the one trapped beneath the maelstrom given that Elune was believed by early Kaldorei to sleep beneath the original Well of Eternity. Elune and the Old Gods usually described as the only actual "gods" in the Warcraft setting, making it possible there is some kind of connection...
...BUT on the other hand, Elune, through Tyrande, assisted the brothers Stormage in destroying the Well (preventing both the arrival of Sargeras and the release of the Old Gods) and her followers have routinely disrupted the plans of the Qiraji and Naga, two of the Old Gods' servant races. Elune also gave Tyrande the power to free Eranikus from the Emerald Nightmare. Additionally, several materials indicate that Elune is fundamentally non-corporeal, while the Old Gods clearly have physical bodies of some sort.
Maybe? My opinion, no. -- Lore Nerd. Role Player. Raid Leader. Discipline Priest. Slightly Annoying. Also Likes Kittens.