The original Satyrs are the descendants of the kaldorei highborne, the first being Xavius, who allied directly with the Burning Legion during the first invasion ten thousand years before the First War.
Unlike most Highborne who aided the Legion simply to gain access to more magic, those who would become Satyrs embraced demonic power for its own sake and swore their allegiance to Xavius, the first satyr. Xavius had been corrupted by Sargeras himself and had the power to turn other willing night elves into Satyrs.
These former elves were taken by the demons and twisted into shapes that more accurately reflected their nature. In place of their former sinewy elven bodies, they now possessed massive hairy forms, standing upwards of 9 feet tall. Their hands became claws, their feet replaced by cloven hooves and horns sprouted from their head. Even after the destruction of the Well of Eternity, the Satyrs continued to serve the Legion, working to corrupt the land and pave the way for a second invasion.
During the Third War, the Satyrs fought with the Legion and the Scourge against the Horde and the Alliance. Satyrs are often found guarding corrupted moonwells. The Satyrs tend these moonwells corrupted with demonic energy. It is said that these pools are the source of new satyrs, transforming night elves into the twisted minions of the Legion. No one knows if corrupted moon wells work similar transformations in other species.
Though high elf Satyrs are rare, they do exist. Non-elves may not differentiate between High-Elven and Night-Elven Satyrs, but Elves and Satyrs claim the differences as clear as night and day. In the years since the War of the Ancients, other races have also joined the ranks of the satyrs, including; goblins, orcs, half-elves, high elves, blood elves, and Low Common speaking races.
It may be possible for members of nearly every race to become Satyrs. A critical hit from the Dirk of the Beast can transform others into Satyrs, regardless of race. The black magic invoked in the transformations is known as the shadow curse.
The Satyrs still work to spread corruption and death, and are especially prevalent in Felwood, though they inhabit most of regions of Northern Kalimdor around Mount Hyjal. Most Satyrs are capable of using warlock magic and are described as masters of demonic magic and so incredibly dangerous. But the Satyrs seem to still have connections to druidism. This can be seen at the corruption of plants they often create, and the fact that Lord Melenas can turn into a black cat and Alzzin the Wildshaper turns into a treant.
War of the Ancients
The history of the Satyrs starts with Xavius and the first Burning Legion Invasion in the world of Azeroth. Xavius was a Highborne loyal to Queen Azshara and the Burning Legion, tasked with opening and securing a portal connecting the Twisting Nether and Azeroth, a portal that Malfurion later managed to seal. Because of his failure, Sargeras punished Xavius, tortured his spirit, and later, as a sign of mercy, ressurected Xavius, but in a twisted version of his body. He was the first Satyr to ever walk on the world of Azeroth.
Thousands of years later, during the Third War, the Satyrs play a small, but still important role in the Legion's invasion. They first appear during the Orc campaign of Reign of Chaos, after Mannoroth spills his blood into a Fountain and corrupts the surrounding area. The Satyrs (attracted by the Fountain's corrupted powers or even former Night Elves changed into Satyrs by the Fountain's corruption) try to defend the Fountain from the Orcs that try to consume its energies in order to defeat Cenarius. As a result of this confrontation, this small group of Satyrs are slaughtered by the Orcs.
Later, the Satyrs appear during the Night Elf campaign of Reign of Chaos, now as demons under the command of the Burning Legion (under the Dread Lord Tichondrius). They try to stop the Night Elves, led by Tyrande and Malfurion, from awakening the Druids of the Talon, but they are killed by the Night Elven raid. Later the Satyrs face and try to stop Illidan Stormrage, who wants to not only cleanse the land known as Felwood, but also to consume the power of the Skull of Gul'dan, the source of fel energy that was corrupting the land. They failed to defend the Skull, and were murdered by Illidan's army. Ironicaly, the Satyrs will reappear during The Frozen Throne events under Illidan's command.
The Frozen Throne Events
A small group of Satyrs join Illidan's (now twisted into a demonic body) ranks alongside the Naga. This group, located in Azshara, tries to stop the group led by Maiev Shadowsong from reaching their master, near the Night Elf docks. They also manage to capture and torture a few Night Elves. Luckily for the Night Elves, Maiev manages to free them all and kill all Satyrs who tried to stop her group.
PS 1: During The Frozen Throne events, this group of Satyrs was still made of members of the Burning Legion, since Illidan was an agent of the Legion.
PS 2: It seems that not all Satyrs led by Illidan were slain. During The Burning Crusade events, players can notice that Illidan has some Satyrs under his command, who probably joined his ranks during The Frozen Throne, based on the fact that that was the only moment when Illidan (now as a demon lord) was seen in Kalimdor (the only place where you could find Satyrs by that time).
World of Warcraft Events
Five years have passed since the Legion's defeat, yet a great number of Satyrs can be found living in the lands of Kalimdor. They live in small groups, each group with its own leader, and each group with its own goals. The ultimate goal of all the groups is still the same of the first Satyrs to ever wander Azeroth: Corrupt the land and its creatures. Some groups still remain in contact with the Burning Legion, while others act independently, but one thing is certain; they are not fully independent beings at all. When the Legion calls, they will answer.
Some Satyrs work by themselves, spreading the corruption amongst groups of Furbolgs and Moonwells and even giving missions to anyone who accepts them. One Satyr in particular is part of a very complex, and still promising part of the lore, the Twilight Corrupter. It looks like he was attempting to corrupt a moonwell, located near one of the portals that lead to the Emerald Dream. He was the only Satyr, by the time World of Warcraft events began, who lived in the Eastern Kingdoms (Duskwood), making people wonder how he got there. Possibly he used the Portal, indicating that he came from the Emerald Dream.
This could indicate that the Satyrs or the Burning Legion are behind the Emerald Dream's corruption by the Nightmare. Then again, as the Nightmare seems to have been created by the Old Gods, it could just mean some satyrs have chosen the Old Gods as their new masters similar to how some Satyrs followed Illidan. Only time will tell the answer...
The Burning Crusade Events
Some Satyrs, who likely followed Illidan, now serve their new master. That was the first time when Satyrs cut the relations with the Burning Legion and served a new master. They are very few and located in Shadowmoon Valley. This group shares territories (old Draenei ruins) with other Servants of Illidan, such as Succubi and Dread Lords, while others live in the Black Temple and help with its defense against the Shattrath offensive against the temple.
Wrath of the Lich King Events
A small group of Satyrs, known as the Unbound, live in the Crystalsong Forest. This group share a peculiar mutation that turned them into "crystal satyrs". What caused this mutation and what this sect of Satyrs is doing in Crystalsong is still unknown, but evidence shows that they are corrupting the Treants and Ancients that wander there.
Satyrs possess little culture. Their society is loosely hierarchical, and they are organized into groups. Each group is called a "sect". A sect of satyrs lives in the same geographical region and has a specific mission. Satyrs of different sects get along only some of the time. They live in ruins scattered throughout northern Kalimdor and Desolace; satyrs prefer places of corruption to make their homes, such as Felwood and certain areas of Darkshore. Their sects are small, usually no more than a hundred individuals. Satyrs are cruel and sadistic creatures. They enjoy tormenting other creatures, particularly intelligent ones. Satyrs patrol their territory, hoping they can find travelers they can eviscerate in the most bloody manner possible. They operate at a faster level than their former selves — while before they may have been stately and calm, they now burn with feverish energy. Their movements are swift and jagged, like predators sensing prey.
Satyrs are organized only loosely, into a variety of sects. When the alarm sounds, all members of a sect throw themselves into battle. Like all demons, when the Legion calls, they scramble to obey.
Few creatures clash with satyrs on their own territory, however. Satyr camps are well hidden and often located in areas already dangerous, like Felwood. They are also well protected; only army divisions or powerful adventurers could hope to rampage through a satyr community. Thus, most encounters with satyr forces occur elsewhere — often on the roads and paths through the forests.
Satyrs have no sense of honor, especially concerning warfare. They do whatever is necessary to destroy their opponents, preferably causing a good deal of pain — both physical and psychological — at the same time. They prefer ambushes and scare tactics, perhaps stalking a group for several days, leaving subtle clues to their presence to make their prey more and more paranoid and fearful; then they strike. They enjoy incapacitating their enemies with nets and dark magic so they can carve them up at their leisure; they also enjoy the fear and panic they cause when they weaken and capture and bleed instead of outright kill.
Few satyrs become warriors or barbarians, so they do not possess the tough, front line soldiers that other forces do. In their strongholds, they must rely on corrupted ancient protectors to serve in this capacity; but when they strike out at others, they are weak in this area. Many satyrs become rogues, and this disparity is one reason they prefer ambushes and guerilla tactics — hopefully, satyr rogues can incapacitate enemy warriors soon after combat is joined, thereby leaving them free to strike at vulnerable spellcasters and war machine crews.
Satyr rogues who distinguish themselves — or show a certain penchant for painful traps and ambushes — are called satyr tricksters. Satyrs ranged support usually comes from magic. A few satyrs become necromancers or warlocks; some become dark spellcasters called soulstealers or hellcallers. Satyr rogues are fairly common. Some rogues take some training as warlocks in order to add some curses to their repertoire; these individuals are called shadowdancers. Warlocks, necromancers, hellcallers, and rogues work well together; the rogues dart in to disembowel their enemies while the spellcasters summon reinforcements, enhance their allies, hamper their enemies, and call up blasts of entropic flame.
Most of the Satyrs' camps, if not all of them, have no large buildings—most of them are made of small tents and a few firepits. Some encampments are built in the ruins of former Highborne settlements.
In some camps there can be found corrupted Moon Wells, sacrificial altars and wooden walls to defend themselves from outsiders. One structure that can be spotted in many Satyr camps is the Shrine, a strange red monument. While its use is unknown, it looks like an important structure for the satyrs, since it's not uncommon to be seen.
Satyr naming practices are similar to those of their original race, but focus on their unique and corrupt natures. Their surnames often develop from their evil deeds, while some go without surnames. A few satyrs don’t change their names after their transformations.
- Male Names: Zalan, Delmanis, Makron, Zevrim.
- Female Names: Akhzor, Marigore, Nektis, Zydaxxis
- Tribe Names: Banebreath, Darkthought, Thornhoof, Vileclaw
Satyrs speak Eredun, and whatever was the primary language of the satyr's former life. Darnassian, Low Common, Goblin, Orcish, and Thalassian are often secondary languages (unless one of these was the satyr's primary language in his former life then it remains one of their primary languages). Satyrs pick up the languages of their enemies and those creatures who they might find useful.
- Bloodmyst Isle
- Shadowmoon Valley
- Crystalsong Forest
- The Unbound Thicket (and surrounding areas)
- Prince Xavalis, Felwood (presumed son of Xavius)
- Prince Raze, Ashenvale (presumed son of Xavius)
- Prince Kellen, Desolace (presumed son of Xavius)
- Aligar the Tormentor, Darkshore
- Alshirr Banebreath, Felwood
- Alzzin the Wildshaper, Dire Maul
- Ambassador Jerrikar, Shadowmoon Valley
- Balizar the Umbrage, Darkshore
- Caedakar the Vicious, Darkshore
- Delmanis the Hated, Darkshore
- Garaxxas, Magisters' Terrace
- Geltharis, Ashenvale
- Lord Melenas, Teldrassil
- Terestian Illhoof, Karazhan
- Thorngrin the Tender, Tempest Keep
- Twilight Corrupter, Duskwood
- Vorlus Vilehoof, Teldrassil
- Vyletongue, Maraudon
- Xabraxxis, Darkshore
- Xandivious, Winterspring
- Xavaric, Felwood
- Xavathras, Felwood
- Zandras, Shadowmoon Valley
- Zevrax, Bloodmyst Isle
- Zevrim Thornhoof, Dire Maul
There are many tribes (sects) of Satyrs on Kalimdor, though how exactly and why are they distinct from each other, is hard to tell:
- The Axxarien, at Bloodmyst Isle
- The Bleakheart, in Ashenvale
- The Deth'ryll, in Darkshore
- The Fallenroot, in Blackfathom Deeps
- The Felmusk, in Ashenvale
- The Haldarr, in Azshara
- The Hatefury, in Desolace
- The Jadefire, in Felwood
- The Legashi, in Azshara
- The Nazzivus, at Bloodmyst Isle
- The Nethervine, in The Botanica
- The Putridus, in Maraudon
- The Sargeron, in The Arcatraz
- The Shadowhoof, in Shadowmoon Valley
- The Unbound, in Crystalsong Forest
- The Wildspawn, in Dire Maul
- The Xavian, in Ashenvale
Although Satyrs are usually thought of as a race of Demons, some unique Satyrs are classified as Humanoids for inexplicable reasons. It is possible that these Satyrs have, somehow, established a spiritual connection with Azeroth, or that they have severed their bond with their demonic masters.
Or, it might just be a mistake on Blizzard's part. However, Satyrs encountered in the WCIII and RPG material related to that era were treated as Humanoids, so Humanoid Satyrs may exist.
Satyrs in Warcraft III
The Satyrs of Warcraft III, most of the times, appear as members of a faction called Corrupted Ancients. a faction made of Satyrs, Skeletons and Corrupted Treants.
- Corrupted Tree of Life
- Corrupted Tree of Ages
- Corrupted Tree of Eternity
- Corrupted Ancient of War
- Corrupted Ancient Protector
- Corrupted Moon Well
- Satyr Incinerator (Monolith custom scenario)
The Satyrs were woodland spirits who occasionally accompanied Dionysos on his exploits. Unlike the Warcraft satyr, who are devious and evil, these Satyrs were simply wild. The Satyrs could have been representations of the animal that lay barely chained within the male gender. Alternatively, they were a metaphor for no responsibility and freedom; either way, they were classified as Dionysian (chaotic), and Hesiod simply uses the term "Satyr" to mean "male follower of Dionysus" (the opposite number of the Maenads). They were typically portrayed in Greek and Roman art with erections.
The Romans compared the Satyrs to the Faunus, a carefree and benevolent woodland sprite; for that reason, Satyrs are often portrayed with goatish features. In typical modern fantasy, a Faun is a human with the legs and horns of a goat (the Roman Satyr), while a Satyr has elements of goat anatomy all over.
- Official images
- Fan art
- ^ Monster Guide, pg. 117
- ^ a b c Manual of Monsters, pg. 90
- ^ Monster Guide, pg. 117-118
- ^ Manual of Monsters, pg. 202
- ^ Shadows & Light, pg. 87
- ^ Shadows & Light, pg. 165
- ^ Dark Factions, pg. 121
- ^ Dark Factions, pg. 24
- ^ a b c Dark Factions, pg. 20
- ^ Dark Factions, pg. 122
- ^ Dark Factions, pg. 183
- ^ Dark Factions, pg. 184
- ^ Monster Guide, pg. 118