According to the War of the Ancients Trilogy, there are only 3 Old Gods, trapped by the Titans...somewhere. There has been some dispute over this, as the Warcraft III manual state that there where 5 Old Gods, and the World of Warcraft official site state that there are 4. It is possible that 2 have died in the meantime, explaining the discrepancy.
- Note: it took the combined might of the Titans to imprison the Old Gods, suggesting that one-on-one, they are the most powerful beings in the universe.
Known elemental lieutenants of the Old Gods:
- Ragnaros the Firelord (fire elemental)
- Therazane the Stonemother (earth elemental)
- Al'Akir the Windlord (air elemental)
- Neptulon the Tidehunter (water elemental)
From Warcraft History on the old World of Warcraft official site (, ):
- As the Titans made their way across the primordial landscape, they encountered a number of hostile elemental beings. These elementals, who worshipped a race of unfathomably evil beings known only as the Old Gods, vowed to drive the Titans back and keep their world inviolate from the invaders' metallic touch.
- The Pantheon, disturbed by the Old Gods' penchant for evil, waged war upon the elementals and their dark masters. The Old Gods' armies were led by the most powerful elemental lieutenants: Ragnaros the Firelord, Therazane the Stonemother, Al'Akir the Windlord, and Neptulon the Tidehunter. Their chaotic forces raged across the face of the world and clashed with the colossal Titans. Though the elementals were powerful beyond mortal comprehension, their combined forces could not stop the mighty Titans. One by one, the elemental lords fell, and their forces dispersed.
- The Pantheon shattered the Old Gods' citadels and chained the four evil gods far beneath the surface of the world. Without the Old Gods' power to keep their raging spirits bound to the physical world, the elementals were banished to an abyssal plane, where they would contend with one another for all eternity. With the elementals' departure, nature calmed, and the world settled into a peaceful harmony. The Titans saw that the threat was contained and set to work.
- Ragnaros and his fire elemental armies are locked in a war with Nefarion for dominion over Blackrock Mountain and, through its conquest, the rest of Azeroth.
- It seems that Neptulon may have turned against the other elemental lords, and may even be working to help Azeroth. His agent, Duke Hydraxis (leader of the Hydraxian Waterlords), gives players high-level quests involving killing other types of elementals, eventually leading you into Molten Core to fight the Firelords. It's worth noting that the Duke is about as close to the Maelstrom as you can get so far, perhaps suggesting that Neptulon will be an encounter in the future. Another agent, Tsunaman at Sun Rock Retreat, gives much lower-level quests against the fire elementals in the Charred Vale.