The Old Gods were malevolent deities who ruled Azeroth in the ancient past before they and their Elemental Lieutenants were defeated by the Titans. Very few mortals know of the Old Gods, fewer still consider them anything more than a legend. The malign Old Gods - colossal beings of elemental fury - once ruled the world and the savage elementals that dwelt upon it. ( )
Long ago, Azeroth was a primordial world filled with the hostile elemental servants of the Old Gods. When the Titans visited the world in their quest to bring order to the universe, they fought first against the Old Gods' lieutenants who were the elemental gods of Azeroth and the source of the elementals themselves, Ragnaros the Firelord, Therazane the Stonemother, Al'Akir the Windlord, and Neptulon the Tidehunter, then against the Old Gods themselves. Soon, the Titans defeated the Old Gods, then chained the raging beings beneath the earth where supposedly, they remain to this day. ( Then set about the long process of forming the lands and seas of Azeroth. )
Deceased Old Gods
Of the five initial Old Gods, it is believed that at least two have been slain; their remains can be seen at the Master's Glaive in Darkshore. One or more is believed to have been buried in the Valley of Bones.
The quest giver Onu makes this reference to the Master's Glaive being and old lord and the RPG also mentions that its believed to be an Old God. Brann Bronzebeard speculates that a Titan killed one of the Old Gods here, or its one of their minions. ( )
The three Gods imprisoned beneath the earth continued to exert their will, though in limited ways.
- They corrupted the great benevolent Dragon Aspect Neltharion, to create for them the extremely powerful Demon Soul which they empowered as well, to have Sargeras use to unintentionally set them free. The Demon Soul was taken from Neltharion by Malfurion, then taken from him by Illidan and put in the Sargeras-summoning matrix, then taken back by Neltharion, who shortly thereafter was struck away by the Old Gods, who wished to have the summoning completed. Malfurion picked up the Demon Soul after Neltharion dropped it, and used it (in conjunction with Illidan) to prevent Sargeras' entry. It was then given to the dragons, stolen by Nekros ten-thousand years later, taken back by the dragons, and then destroyed.
- They corrupted some of the Highborne, and used them to lure the Burning Legion to Azeroth. Many of the Highborne were transformed into the Naga, who serve the Old Gods still.
- They invaded Nozdormu's realm and managed to open a rift in time, that, as they had planned, tossed some beings back through time, beings that would change the way the war of the ancients took place, and give Sargeras a new chance to enter the world, and therefore them a new chance to set themselves free. Their plans were although again crushed by the very same Malfurion Stormrage.
- Since the Old God in the Master's Glaive is completely and utterly destroyed in all forms, and also according to Malfurion Stormrage, one of the three is behind the Nightmare corrupting the Emerald Dream (see also Hakkar the Soulflayer).
- Still others assert that the ancient Sundering awakened something that dwelled in the deepest part of the ocean, something that will eventually burst forth in a tidal wave of destruction. ( This may be hinting at an imprisoned Old God, and seems to mirror descriptions made for rising of Cthulu. )
- Developers speaking at BlizzCon 2007 stated that one of the Old Gods dwells within Azjol'Nerub in Northrend. It may be the Forgotten One faced by Arthas and Anub'arak.
C'Thun is the only one of the Old Gods to be named so far, having received that name from his servants, the Qiraji. He was defeated in Silithus in a battle which also resulted in the defeat of a Titan. C'Thun was believed to have been permanently defeated, but reemerged as the driving force behind the Qiraji. He is trapped deep beneath the ruined temples of Ahn'Qiraj, where he has exerted his will for thousands of years over the Qiraji, who in turn command the Silithid.
C'Thun is the final boss in the Temple of Ahn'Qiraj.
Other Old Gods & Old God minions
Ula-tek the Serpent Goddess
Ula-tek is believed to be a bonafide Old God.
Hakkar the Soulflayer
Ancient and powerful evil
The ancient and powerful evil is a creature of C'thun's race, being summoned by the arakkoa. Perhaps another Old God.
The Forgotten Ones are implied to either be Old Gods or a spawn of the Old Gods.
Wrath of the Lich King
In a blue post on the forums, it was stated that the Nerubians are "followers of the Old Gods in Northrend." This implies that we will be seeing another Old God in Northrend - indeed, if we pay attention to the pluralization, more than one Old God.
The Number of Old Gods Imprisoned
There are various sources as to the number of Old Gods imprisoned:
- The Warcraft III manual states that five Old Gods were chained beneath the world.
- The Pantheon shattered the Old Gods' citadels and chained the five evil gods far beneath the surface of the world. Source: Warcraft Lore FAQ 1 2
- According to the War of the Ancients Trilogy, there are three Old Gods still living, imprisoned and chained by the Titans deep beneath the surface of Azeroth.
- According to The Old Gods and the Ordering of Azeroth, four Old Gods were imprisoned beneath the world. This could perhaps be reconciled with the War of the Ancients Trilogy if it were taken to include the fallen C'Thun in the count of the imprisoned Gods.
- Old Gods speculation
- The Old Gods and the Ordering of Azeroth (part of the History of Warcraft)
- Elemental Lieutenants
More than five Old Gods
The RPG seems to imply that there may are more Old Gods than the five chained below Azeroth. The remains of one or more of these other Old Gods are found on the surface of the world. If so perhaps these other Old Gods are lesser ones.