Demons are evil immortals who feed upon magic and life. They delight in inflicting suffering, spreading corruption, and, of course, destroying all that is good. Most demons were once mortal. Not all demons are intelligent: various animals have been transformed into demons, for instance.
In order to become a demon, a creature must be infused with fel energy. As the existence of non-sentient demons suggests, a creature's wishes are irrelevant to the process. Willing or not, a creature can be changed into a demon. Such a transformation alters the affected creature on a fundamental level and typically leaves little or nothing of that creature's original personality.
Before life even began, before even the cosmos took shape, there was Light ... and Void. In the form of a boundless prismatic sea, the Light swelled across all existence. The ocean of Light was dynamic and ever shifting. Yet as it expanded, some of its energies faded and dimmed, leaving behind pockets of cold nothingness. From the absence of Light in these spaces, a new power coalesced and came to be. This power was the Void, a dark and vampiric force driven to devour all energy, to twist creation inward to feed upon itself. The Void quickly grew and spread its influence, moving against the waves of Light. The tension between these two opposing energies eventually ignited a series of explosions, rupturing the fabric of creation and birthing a new realm into existence. In that moment, the physical universe was born. The energies released by the clash of Light and Void raged across the cosmos, matter merging and spinning into worlds without number
The Rise of Twisted Souls
The most unstable energies coalesced into an astral dimension known as the Twisting Nether. The creatures that had emerged from this realm were known as demons. They had been formed as a result of the Light and Void energies that had bled together at the borders of the Twisting Nether. The demons embraced their furious passions and reveled in pushing the boundaries of their power, heedless of the consequences. Many of these abberations indulged in the energy that pervaded the Nether. Some learned to wield the all-consuming powers of fel magic and, before long, the bloodthisty demons clawed their way into the physical universe, terrorizing mortal civilizations and bringing ruin to world after world.
Demons of the Nether
Abyssal — infernal-like creature made of jagged stone.
Demonic hound — Two-headed hounds made of molten fel energies.
- Doomguard — These ironfisted demons serve as the Burning Legion’s captains and generals.
- Doomlord — The most powerful Doomguard can turn important high comanders of the Legion troops.
- Fiend (Terrorguard, Fear Fiend, Terrorfiend) — Shock troops and supervisors of the Legion, found on the front lines of the Burning Crusade in areas like Outland.
Floating eye (aka beholders) — Many-eyed demons of unknown origin.
Imp — Fel sprites that serve warlocks.
Infernal — Constructed fel elementals that are summoned by the warlocks' Inferno spell.
- Felguard — The main infantry of the Legion, these beings are Mo'arg formed into a shape of a warrior to suit the Legion's needs.
- Gan'arg — The main engineers of the legion; these beings are Mo'arg who have experimented on their own bodies, making them stunted and grotesque.
- Tothrezim (RPG) — Distant cousin race of the nathrezim, laborers and researchers of the Burning Legion, responsible for the creation of the infernals.
Shivarra — The fanatical shivarra are the religious commanders of the legion. They are totally devoted to Sargeras as their god, and inspire the troops — as well as being front line commanders.
Voidwalker — Ethereal minions utilized by warlocks as companions.
Void terror — Large, two-headed demons with vast magical powers.
Demonically-Corrupted RacesBroken — Some Draenei were filled with bitterness after the massacres committed by the orcs and so the demonic influence over Outland influenced them.
- Lost One — As the Broken, the demonic power corrupted these individuals to mutate and degenerate even more than the Broken.
Felsteed — Demonic steeds that can be summoned by experienced warlocks.
- Wrathguard — Members of the man'ari eredar species that act as an honor guard for the more important members of their race
"If I have wings, why am I always walking?" - Dreadlord in Warcraft III
"Wings, horns, hooves...what are we saying, is this Diablo?" - Illidan Stormrage in Warcraft III
Usually demons have one or more of a set of demonic physical traits.
|Character(s)||Horns||Scales||Bat Wings||Hooves||Fangs||Red Skin||Flames|
|Man'ari eredar||Yes||Yes||One (Kil'jaeden)||Yes||Yes||Some||Some|
- Only one eredar, Kil'jaeden, has been seen with wings (it is unknown if this is part of his illusions or if he has become greatly mutated). Eredar also display a variety of skin tones, including but not limited to demonic red.
- Gul'dan saw Sargeras in the Tomb of Sargeras and had wings, however, he is shown without them in the artworks.
- Not all pit lords have been observed to possess flames. Mannoroth is an example of one characterized by flames.
- Illidan's flames are a result of his triggered immolation ability and not a result of anatomy, though his arcane tattoos have been known to smolder on occasion, as do his hoofprints (they also bubble when in or on water)
Professions of the Cosmos
Of the arcane, mages are diviners of secrets and a common perception was shared that the magi's magic was unholy and possibly even demonic. Volatile arcane energies—the lifeblood of a nascent titan— are the energies of the Twisting Nether, a demonic realm, and the energies of a demonic realm are demonic.
Warlocks, channelers of forbidden powers, were former mages (or former shamans) that delved too deeply into the roots of demonic power. Consumed by a lust for dark knowledge, they've tapped into chaotic magics from beyond the world—magics that connected the myriad worlds together. The Burning Legion now feeds them their powers, allowing them to channel destructive energies and call upon the powerful emissaries of their demon masters.
By their very nature, demons are leeches on the living universe—but the demonologist has mastered harnessing the power of these malefic beings on the field of battle. Warlocks harvest the souls of their defeated enemies; those specialized in the ways of demonology use this life essence to tap into the Void, pulling all manner of abomination from the chaos of the Twisting Nether. While such a practice is often considered by outsiders to be wicked and reckless, the demonologist maintains absolute control over the summoned creatures. These malignant entities are fully beholden to—and empowered by—the will of the warlock, until banished to the realm from whence they came.
Are Demons Astral Spirits?
"Within the Twisting Nether I discovered that the spirits of the dead do linger on, floating on the astral winds between the worlds." - The warlock Gul'dan
Unstable energies coalesced into the astral dimension known as the Twisting Nether. Because the Twisting Nether is just an astral coalition of astral, unstable energies that is separate from the physical universe, the Twisting Nether has no physical borders or boundaries. It is a non-physical place that transcends all realities and is, essentially, not real. As such, demons - entities that transcend all realities because they're from the Twisting Nether — are not from reality and are, therefore, not "real". They are non-physical beings — disembodied spirits that warlocks can give constructed shells to — if they're from the Twisting Nether and claiming that the physical can exist inside the non-physical is akin to claiming that a rock can exist inside a ghost. Despite that fact, the Blizzard writer Matt Burns stated that he thinks there are physical stuff in the Twisting Nether after he was asked if demons are disembodied spirits that warlocks can give physical shells to. Truth be told, he can't honestly believe that because the non-physical is separate from the physical. If the physical can exist inside the non-physical, it stands to reason that a physical being can possess a spirit as if it's a spirit.
Are Demons Liches?
A demon's demonic, chaotic energies can rip apart and remake beings in the Twisting Nether as skeletal liches. Liches are abberations that bind their souls to phylacteries and then use the phylacteries to generate physical forms. As such, demons seem to be liches themselves: Despite the fact that demons seem to be astral spirits from the Twisting Nether, it is stated that the demons that fill the rank of the Burning Legion are aberrations that have their spirits tethered to the Twisting Nether. It is stated that even if a demon dies in the physical universe, its spirit will return to the Twisting Nether.
Are Demons Living Beings That Die (Mortals)?
"Mortals die, but demons are forever!" - The warlock Ulrac Bloodshadow
Life and death are cyclical. Undeath is forever. - Julia Graves
Demons are immortals and, as immortals, are the opposite of mortals — living beings that die. They are the opposite of living beings that die and the antonym of living is dead. According to the designer Jeremy Feasel, a demon can be considered undead yet, despite the fact that demons aren't living by any sense of the term, Feasel claims that the World of Warcraft team made warlocks about living demons - which is not true - and that demons can die - which is also not true. Demons are immortals and, as immortals, they cannot die. They cannot die because if they can die, they can become dead. And if they can become dead, they can become undead. Demons can't become undead — not if they're already undead — and death, according to the Lich King, is for the living. Jeremy Feasel's claim that demons are merely living beings that can die should not fool anyone looking at this section. If demons are living beings that can die, they're merely mortals who cheat death, which means that they can become undead (former mortals) just so long as their death-cheating way is prevented.
If demons are death-cheaters, demonologists (warlocks) are death-cheaters because they study, and practice the art of, demons. According to Justin Parker, warlocks aren't necromancers even though they have necromantic abilities. It seems that he doesn't understand that in the face of demonic power, most heroes see death. Warlocks see only opportunity. Dominance is their aim and they have found a path to it in the dark arts, the arts of necromancy. Perhaps a warlock is merely a necrolyte even though necrolytes are referred to as necromancers? Necrolytes are binders of souls who command the black powers that hold control over the earth. A world can be defined as the earth and the titans, who awoke as living worlds, were uniquely susceptible (and therefore connected) to fel magic—the ways of the warlock. With the strength to command the spirits of the living and the dead with fel magic, Sataiel was the so-called first necrolyte, and it seems that this connection fel magic had with worlds allowed its users to control a world and the spirits of the living and the dead residing in it. As such, perhaps using the demonic fel magic—the ways of the warlock—is essentially necromancy on a large scale.
Can A Demonologist Exist Without A Demon?
Warlocks summon demons from the Twisting Nether, including their demonic power. Demonic power is a nether-touched power that exists in - and is derived from - the Twisting Nether because demons are from the Twisting Nether. Despite that fact, after he was asked if perhaps warlocks are harnessing their power from the Twisting Nether, Blizzard's very own Historian - Sean Copeland - stated, “No, that’d be magi, IIRC. They gain power by the destruction of another source (recall the undead warlock in original cinematic)." Additionally, he claims that demons contain fel magic but aren't the source, stating that the nature of this magic is created by destroying something else. So not only is this person denying that demons are the source of the demonic fel magic, he is also denying that warlocks harness their power from the place demons and demonic powers are from. Ultimately, Blizzard's own Historian is claiming that a demonologist, when regarding to World of Warcraft lore, can exist without a demon and why is that? Does he believe demons aren't spirits that exist in the Twisting Nether? Could it be because warlocks are essentially necromancers, magi who have dabbled in dark magic, if their power is from the Twisting Nether?
Warlock magics are demonic powers of entropy and destruction, which is a process - not a living thing. Warlock magics do not come from the living and warlock energy spreads like radiation, which means that warlock energy could seep into - and exist inside - warlocks. As warlocks are at least a - if not the - source of demonic power (or warlock magics), warlocks are essentially demons themselves. Mayhap, demons only exist within the minds of warlocks and warlocks are able to release the "demonic" powers inside structures by destroying those structures then give them a constructed form, creating demonic constructs or entropic horrors, pure fel magic given form to lash out at all life — the essence they drop is poisonous and would - or does - poison living beings with a sickness that drains life.
Plague of Undeath
"Friends turned into foes; life into death that yet was not. There could be no hesistation, no mercy, no quarter. This was the plague. This was sorcery of a wickedness that only one such as Gul'dan could have conceived of, yet Gul'dan was long dead."
The Plague of Undeath was a life-draining sickness that drained life. The mage known as Jaina claimed that demonic energy may be involved and the land around the plagued granary reminded her of what happened with the Dark Portal and the Blasted Lands. When the portal was opened, the demonic energies that sapped the life from Draenor spilled through into Azeroth and the land around the portal died. Arthas then questioned if this grain carried demonic energy. Eventually, it is established that those who were infused with the plague limned with a green, sickly glow and that the sick green hue is the hue of something tainted with demonic energies.
The Most Notable Demons
|Archimonde||Legion Field Commander||Defeatable||Unknown||Eredar||Burning Legion|
|Kil'jaeden||Supreme commander of the Burning Legion, Chief lieutenant of Sargeras||Defeatable||Sunwell Plateau||Eredar||Burning Legion, Eredar|
|Tichondrius||Leader and the most powerful of all the Dreadlords; Chief Infiltration Specialist, Legion Intelligence||Dead||Unknown||Nathrezim||Burning Legion, Scourge|
|Hakkar the Houndmaster||Master of the Felhounds||Dead||Unknown||
|Mannoroth||King of the Pit lords, General of the Burning Legion||Dead||Orgrimmar (Remains)||Annihilan||Burning Legion|
|Magtheridon||Former Lord of Outland||Killable||Hellfire Citadel||Annihilan||Burning Legion|
|Kazzak||Lord of the Doomguard demons, Doom Lord||Killable||Throne of Kil'jaeden, Hellfire Peninsula||Ered'ruin||Burning Legion|
|Xavius||First of the Satyrs, Satyr Lord, Lord of the Satyrs||Eternal||Unknown||Satyr||Burning Legion, Queen Azshara|
|Mal'Ganis||Leader of the Scarlet Onslaught (while in the form of Barean Westwind)||Defeatable||Culling of Stratholme, Caverns of Time or Hidden Hollow, Icecrown||Nathrezim||Burning Legion, Scourge, Scarlet Crusade / Scarlet Onslaught|
In the Roleplaying GameThis section concerns content exclusive to the Warcraft RPG, and thus unlikely to be canon.The change to a demon being includes a powerful command of arcane energy. Similar to sorcerers and wizards, demons control their power with the force of their will, but their magic is innate. The demonic magic that infuses them also confers certain immunities and resistances (acid, cold, electricity, and fire among others) and they radiate an aura that induces fear into the weak willed.
- Cannot be skinned except for felhounds, darkhounds and their variants, and helboars.
- Medium Level (24 upwards) demons can drop Silk Cloth.
- Higher level demons in the 50-60 range can drop Felcloth.
- Enchanters can enchant weapons with Demonslaying which gives the player bonus attack power against demons and also causes their weapon to become engulfed in flames.
- Some can be banished or enslaved by warlocks
- Can be feared by a Paladin's Turn Evil.
- According to Altruis, knowing the true name of a demon will grant a certain amount of power over that demon.
- Apparently, demons are somehow able to know the names of random individuals they encounter. It is unknown if this is related to the power concerning their own names.
- Demons turned mortals can be purified. This can be seen on Avrus Illwhisper, a satyr who seek redemption from Elune by aiding the adventurers to find cure for a sick girl. After the purification, he regained his night elven form and became Avrus the Redeemed. Another example of a purified demon blessed by the Holy Light is Lothraxion, a holy dreadlord that makes an appearance in World of Warcraft: Legion.
- Demons look is similar to the look of Demons from Blizzard's Diablo.
- ^ a b c The Warcraft Encyclopedia/Demons
- ^ World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 1 pg. 30-31 on iBooks
- ^ a b World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 1 pg. 31 on iBooks
- ^ World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 1 pg. 38 on iBooks
- ^ World of Warcraft > Legion Class Preview Series: Mage
- ^ Tides of Darkness pg. 395 on iBooks
- ^ World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 1 pg. 65 on iBooks
- ^ Warcraft II manual - Cho'gall
- ^ World of Warcraft > Game Guide > Classes > Shaman
- ^ Kil'jaeden and the Shadow Pact
- ^ a b World of Warcraft > Game Guide > Classes > Warlock
- ^ Lord of the Clans: These former shamans, these new warlocks, had had the briefest taste of power and, like the barest drop of honey on the tongue, found it sweet indeed.
- ^ Origin of the Burning Legion - The Titans and the Ordering: The Nether, an ethereal dimension of chaotic magics that connected the myriad worlds of the universe together, was home to an infinite number of malefic, demonic beings, who sought only to destroy life and devour the energies of the living universe.
- ^ http://web.archive.org/web/20031002110845/http://www.blizzard.com/wow/townhall/classes.shtml#warlock
- ^ a b World of Warcraft > Legion Class Preview Series: Warlock
- ^ Warcraft II manual#The Rise of the Shadow Council
- ^ Alex Afrasiabi on Twitter
- ^ Matt Burns on Twitter
- ^ Undead History - Kil'jaeden and the New Deal: Ner'zhul's spirit was placed within a specially crafted block of diamond-hard ice gathered from the far reaches of the Twisting Nether. Encased within the frozen cask, Ner'zhul felt his consciousness expand ten thousandfold. Warped by the demon's chaotic powers, Ner'zhul became a spectral being of unfathomable power. At that moment, the Orc known as Ner'zhul was shattered forever, and the Lich King was born. Ner'zhul's loyal Death Knights and warlock followers were also transformed by the demon's chaotic energies. The wicked spellcasters were ripped apart and remade as skeletal Liches. The demons had ensured that even in death, Ner'zhul's followers would serve him unquestioningly.
- ^ Lich (Warcraft III)
- ^ World of Warcraft > Forums > Story > Death Knights and souls?
- ^ World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 1 pg. 25-26 on iBooks
- ^ World of Warcraft: Illidan pg. 32 on iBooks
- ^ WoW TCG Card: Ulrac Bloodshadow
- ^ WoW TCG Card: Julia Graves
- ^ Google Search: Antonym of Living
- ^ Jeremy Feasel on Twitter
- ^ Jeremy Feasel on Twitter
- ^ Jeremy Feasel on Twitter: Twisting Nether is the only place where demons can truly die, yes. The specifics are yet unknown.
- ^ Heroes and Villains - Kel'Thuzad: Kel’Thuzad was one of the greatest Archmagi of Dalaran. He was one of the members of the Kirin Tor and a dear friend of the Archmage Antonidas. However, his lust to delve into the dark arts of necromancy made him an outcast amongst his fellow wizards.
- ^ Warcraft: Orcs & Humans manual - Necrolyte
- ^ World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 1 pg. 32 on iBooks
- ^ World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 1 pg. 97 on iBooks
- ^ Hearthstone > News > Gul'dan, The Warlock
- ^ Tome of Blighted Implements
- ^ Archived lore tweets from Loreology
- ^ MMO-Champion >> Forum >> World of Warcraft >> Lore >> Thinking with Fel Magic
- ^ Rise of the Lich King pg. 207 on iBooks
- ^ Undead History - The Shaman, Ner'zhul: Origin of the Lich King: With Kil'jaeden’s help, Gul'dan succeeded where his teacher had faltered. The evil, power-hungry Orc not only abolished the ancient practice of shamanism – which he replaced with the study of demonic Warlock magics – but united the Orc clans into the volatile Horde that Kil'jaeden had envisioned. Ner'zhul, powerless to stop his former apprentice, could only watch as Gul'dan masterfully transformed the orcs into mindless agents of destruction.
- ^ Micky Neilson on Twitter
- ^ Orcish History (After the Second War) - Lethargy and Internment: Researching what little he could find of Orcish history, Antonidas learned that the Orcs had been under the crippling influence of demonic power (or warlock magics) for generations.
- ^ Quest:Collecting Corruption
- ^ Paragons pg. 29 on iBooks
- ^ Rise of the Lich King pg. 207 on iBooks
- ^ Rise of the Lich King pg. 198-199 on iBooks
- ^ Rise of the Lich King pg. 420 on iBooks
- ^ Manual of Monsters, pg. 112
- ^ Vi'el