The Curse of Flesh is a curse suffered by some of the descendants of Azeroth's seed races, notably the dwarves and gnomes, who were mainly housed in Ulduar. As they migrated south to the areas that would become Uldum, Lordaeron, and Pandaria they spread the curse unknowingly to other titan creations. The curse changed the structure and appearance of these races from their original stony/metallic forms into mortal beings of flesh and sinew.
The Curse of Flesh was created by the Old Gods early in Azeroth's history to "facilitate assimilation". The titans attempted to remove the curse (and the Old Gods), but found that the Old God infestation had grown too severe to remove without completely destroying Azeroth. Instead they bound the Old Gods within Azeroth.
Though the curse was meant to make it easier for the mortal races to fall under the sway of the Old Gods, it also gave them the greatest weapons they would have against their would-be conquerors: courage, hope, and the virtues that would bring together those mortal groups to overcome great obstacles.
Direct mentions of the Curse of Flesh Edit
Brann Bronzebeard Edit
Fizzcrank Fullthrottle Edit
In the quest , a dialogue with Fizzcrank Fullthrottle details the removal of the curse from several gnomes by Gearmaster Mechazod which transformed the gnomes into "mechanical beings". The dialogue mentions that all creations of the titans eventually fell victim to it.
Sjonnir the Ironshaper Edit
Sjonnir The Ironshaper mentions the curse when engaged.
Indirect mentions of the Curse of Flesh Edit
While the Lorekeeper's Knowledge in Uldaman doesn't mention the Curse of Flesh by name, it clearly refers to the same events that are later described by the Tribunal of Ages. Interestingly, this dialogue was written during the original World of Warcraft, indicating that either this plotline has been planned for many years or has been built out of existing lore.
Jotun's title suggests that he is cursed, or bears a curse to others (which could be believed to be the Curse of Flesh).
In Archavon's Log (before Patch 3.3.0), for the Day 1051213, Archavon wrote "Archavon wake up, notice face feel soft. Not important. Go back to sleep." This could hint that he was, more or less, affected by the Curse of Flesh.
While General Bjarngrim in the Halls of Lightning does not directly utter the name of the curse, he does refer to it during the fight. His quotes imply that he compares himself with the player. Apparently, he also considers killing lifeforms affected by the curse to be the the solution of removing it.
In Icecrown Citadel, some of her dialogue states that the Curse of Flesh is a joke played by the Creators on their own creations. She also states that the sooner the cultists come to terms with the 'fact' that the Curse is a defect, the sooner they will come into a position to transcend it.
In Emerald Nightmare, Il'gynoth mentions it when you fight him
Afflicted races Edit
The Tribunal of Ages dialogue reveals that it was the curse that caused the transformation from stony earthen to fleshy dwarves while they were asleep in Uldaman. In the Warcraft Novel The Sundering by Richard A. Knaak, the altered timeline of The War of the Ancients descibes the dwarves as earthen. "His rough-hewn skin appeared to be a gray granite, his squinting eyes glittering diamonds. The beard was actually an intricate series of mineral growths that even made it looks as if the figure was graying with age." This suggests that the Curse of Flesh took place over a longer period of time and was still occuring upto at least 10,000 years ago.
The troggs too, were initially stone creatures. Like the Earthen, some were affected by the curse, turning them into fleshy troggs.
If Gearmaster Mechazod is to be believed, prior to the curse, gnomes appeared as mechagnomes. Unaffected mechagnomes have been found in the Storm Peaks, maintaining the mechanical systems of the Titans. There is a quest chain located north of the Borean Tundra in Northrend about the curse.
Sjonnir the Ironshaper appears as a vrykul with metallic skin. As such, it was thought possible by some players that the vrykul also had an original, more stony, appearance and also suffered from the curse. However, the 'iron' races were constructed by Loken, after and separately from all other titan creations. Instead, based on the quests  and  , it was discovered that the birthing of humans was originally a severe side-effect of the curse on the vrykul.
Aesir, the storm giants Edit
The tol'vir of Uldum are a race of stone cat-centaur introduced in Cataclysm. The curse of flesh causes them to turn into the fleshy, wingless Ramkahen. The process can be reverted by powerful beings such as Siamat, and is some kind of a 'reward' for swearing allegiance to Deathwing.
The Mogu were originally stone guardians of Pandaria's greatest secret: The Dark Heart of Y'Sharrj, the old god. Some time before the age of the first Mogu empire, the Mogu's stone bodies became flesh, throwing the race into years of chaotic, clan-based warfare.