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- "Prisoner? Ha! With its bindings shattered, its influence unchecked, it's gonna come after us...and WE'RE gonna be the prisoners."
- - Brann Bronzebeard on Yogg-Saron
Yogg-Saron is the Demon Old God of Death, one of the mysterious and dreaded elder beings that were defeated and sequestered by the Titans during Azeroth's primordial ages. Upon their fall at the hands of the Pantheon countless millennia ago, Yogg-Saron was imprisoned inside a Titan complex within the depths of what would become the continent of Northrend.
The official title of Yogg-Saron is "Hope's End". With the powerful Old God being one of the most feared in Azeroth, this title suits it perfectly and has been whispered throughout the world.
One of the greatly malevolent and ancient entities known only as Old Gods, Yogg-Saron held chaotic tyranny over the world of Azeroth in its very distant past and was responsible for the creation of the Curse of Flesh to "facilitate assimilation" of the Titans' creations. When the Titans waged war against the Old Gods and shattered their citadels, they found that the entities' infestation had grown so severe that destroying the Old Gods would also lead to the annihilation of Azeroth. Instead, the Pantheon took measures to neutralize the Old Gods' power and to bind them within Azeroth for the remainder of its existence. Yogg-Saron was sealed away within the depths of Ulduar in the far northern reaches of the infant world, and had six watchers assigned to it which served as wardens for its near eternal imprisonment; the Titanic watchers known as Loken, Thorim, Hodir, Tyr, Mimiron and Freya.
Yet despite the power of the shackles which the Titans placed on the Old God, Yogg-Saron's influence has been felt throughout Azeroth's history, including during some of its most pivotal events. The whispers of Yogg-Saron proved capable of eventually overtaking the mind of its prime warden, Loken, who was then able to subdue the other watchers, facilitating any possible escape Yogg-Saron might seek to attempt.
During the encounter with the Old God in the Ulduar raid, three visions are shown to players which represent key moments in the history of Azeroth; strongly implying Yogg-Saron can be directly linked to these events somehow. These visions include the creation of the Dragon Soul by Neltharion and the Dragon Aspects during the War of the Ancients (which resulted in the Sundering of the world), King Llane's assassination by Garona Halforcen (which caused the fall of Stormwind at the end of the First War), and a vision of the Lich King torturing Bolvar Fordragon (the man who would become the new Lich King after Arthas Menethil's death). During this third vision, the voice of Yogg-Saron can be heard proclaiming: "He will learn--no king rules forever! Only death is eternal!", a prophecy of the Old God that would come to pass with Arthas' defeat by the Ashen Verdict, and the words of which are eerily repeated by the spirit of Terenas Menethil as his final words to his dying son.
Yogg-Saron also appears to have been the source of the corruption that befell the world tree Vordrassil, after its roots grew too close to the Old God's prison. The ancient druids growing Vordrassil destroyed the tree immediately upon discovering the sheer power behind Yogg-Saron's tainting influence, however the corruption nonetheless continued to spread to the Grizzlemaw Furbolgs who came to inhabit the tree's stump ages later. They became murderously insane soon after settling within Vordrassil's remains, and began attempting to regrow the afflicted world tree. The Furbolgs also used the dire power still emanating from the tree's stump to resurrect the bear god Ursoc, who returned to the world as a viciously twisted reflection of his former self.
Saronite and the Scourge
Throughout Northrend, deposits of a mysterious ore named "Saronite" can be found, which is called "The Black Blood of Yogg-Saron" by the Tuskarr people and who advise any who will listen to keep their distance from it. Saronite is capable of driving any who come into contact with it to violent insanity, and it appears to be a type of byproduct of the Old God's physical manifestation. The Scourge mine extensively for this material; It is used in their fuel, armament, weapons and most notably in the construction of their buildings, including Icecrown Citadel itself. Alliance questing reveals however that the Scourge mysteriously utter the name "Yogg-Saron" with great hatred and contempt.
Blizzard representatives have stated that they feel the connection between Yogg-Saron and the Lich King ended up being poorly expressed in-game, but added that it "had a lot to do with the ability for mortals to become corrupted."
The Faceless Ones
The Faceless Ones are unnatural, grotesquely misshapen and insane beings of unknown origin which appear to be closely connected to Yogg-Saron. Described by Kilix the Unraveler as "a tendril of the Old God's will, made manifest in the creatures known only as The Faceless", the Faceless Ones have liquid Saronite for blood and seem to function as Yogg-Saron's heralds and guardians. Named Faceless Ones in World of Warcraft include Herald Volazj, Darkspeaker R'khem and General Vezax.
Official Ulduar intro
For millennia, Ulduar has remained undisturbed by mortals, far away from their concerns and their struggles. Yet since its recent discovery, many have wondered what the structure's original purpose may have been. Some thought it a city, built to herald the glory of its makers; some thought it a vault containing innumerable treasures, perhaps even relics of the mighty Titans themselves. Such speculations were wrong. Beyond Ulduar's gates lies no city, no treasure vault, no final answer to the Titan's mysteries. All that awaits those who dare set foot in Ulduar is a horror even the Titans could not, would not destroy, an evil they merely... contained.
The Whispers of Yogg-Saron
- See also: Old Gods#Whispers of the Old Gods
- They are coming for you...
- Give in to your fear...
- Kill them all... before they kill you...
- They have turned against you... now, take your revenge...
- It WAS your fault...
- Tell yourself again that these are not truly your friends...
- You are a pawn of forces unseen...
- There is no escape... not in this life... not in the next...
In the 5-man Ahn'kahet instance, which features a desecrated Nerubian temple now dedicated to Yogg-Saron, "A Mysterious Voice" can sometimes be heard whispering to players at random. This voice most likely is Yogg-Saron's as well:
- Trust is your weakness...
- Hope is an illusion...
- All that you know will fade...
- You will be alone in the end...
In the Cataclysm expansion, the archeology profession will allow players to obtain a rare and ancient Nerubian puzzle box related to Yogg-Saron's dread and mysterious nature. The puzzle appears impossible to solve properly, but with every attempt the player makes they hear the Old God whispering oracular and chilling knowledge to them, several of which are references to HP Lovecraft's "The Call of Cthulhu" and the famous paired That is not dead which can eternal lie/And with strange aeons even death may die: Additionally, the quote, "What can change the nature of a man?" is a direct reference to the 1999 RPG Planescape: Torment, which features the posed question prominently in its plot.
- At the bottom of the ocean even light must die...
- The silent, sleeping, staring houses in the backwoods always dream... It would be merciful to tear them down...
- There is no sharp distinction between the real and the unreal...
- Even death may die...
- There is a little lamb lost in dark woods...
- All places, all things have souls... All souls can be devoured...
- What can change the nature of a man?
- The stars sweep chill currents that make men shiver in the dark...
- Do you dream while you sleep or is it an escape from the horrors of reality?
- Look around... They will all betray you... Flee screaming into the black forest...
- In the land of Ny'alotha there is only sleep...
- In the sleeping city of Ny'alotha walk only mad things...
- Ny'alotha is a city of old, terrible, unnumbered crimes...
- Y'knath k'th'rygg k'yi mrr'ungha gr'mula...
- The void sucks at your soul. It is content to feast slowly...
- The drowned god's heart is black ice...
- It is standing right behind you... Do not move... Do not breathe...
- Have you had the dream again? A black goat with seven eyes that watches from the outside...
- In the sunken city, he lays dreaming...
- Open me! Open me! Open me! Then only will you know peace.
- You resist... You cling to your life as if it actually matters... You will learn...
"Yogg-Saron" is a composition of several different NPCs in the Ulduar encounter:
- Body of Yogg-Saron
- Brain of Yogg-Saron
- Constrictor Tentacle
- Corruptor Tentacle
- Crusher Tentacle
- Influence Tentacle
Connection to C'ThunThis section concerns content exclusive to Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne.In Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne, Arthas encountered and defeated a "Forgotten One" while traveling through Azjol-Nerub which bore physical similarities to C'Thun, the first named Old God, and which was being defended by faceless ones, which are typically associated with Yogg-Saron, hinting at a close connection between the two Old Gods.
It is also possible that the Forgotten One which Arthas fought was a manifestation or tendril of Yogg Saron's power, but which was not at full strength due to Ulduar not yet having been fully compromised.
The fate of TyrThis section concerns content exclusive to Wrath of the Lich King.The watcher Tyr is seemingly missing from the Ulduar encounter, and questing reveals that unlike with the other watchers, Tyr's temple is the only one which shows no sign of violent overthrowing by Loken's armies. When asked about this, Blizzard's lead world designer Valnoth implied Tyr may in fact be none other than General Vezax, who has been completely corrupted and assimilated by Yogg-Saron's power. Other developers however commented that Tyr "was not in Ulduar" when Yogg-Saron was defeated.
Val'sharah and the Emerald NightmareThis section concerns content exclusive to Legion.Yogg-Saron is probably responsible for the nightmare corruption in Val'sharah and possibly all the Emerald Nightmare. When you enter this region with a shadow priest equipped with , it whispers: "To see Yogg-Saron's nightmare in full bloom fills me with jealousy... and some pride."
- Yogg-Saron's name is derived from Yog-Sothoth from H.P. Lovecraft's Cthulhu Mythos. His titles "The Beast with a Thousand Maws," or "Fiend of a Thousand Faces" are references to Shub-Niggurath, who is refered to as "The Black Goat of the Woods with a Thousand Young" and to whom Yogg-Saron bears a resemblance. "That Which Must Not Be Named" may be a reference to Hastur, whose role in the Cthulhu mythos remains unclear.
- "Yogg" might also be an intentional misspelling of "Ygg", referring to Yggdrasil, the World Tree of Norse mythology, tying in with Yogg-Saron's corruption of Vordrassil.
- "Ygg" is also one of the aliases of the Norse God "Odin".
- The name "Saron" could also refer to Sauron, maia and antagonist of the novel The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien.
- Ulduar, his prison may also be a reference to Uldar, another "elder god" of the Cthulhu Mythos
- Similar in appearance to Xagor, the final boss of the classic Game Boy game, Final Fantasy Legend III.
- The quote, "It is standing right behind you... Do not move... Do not breathe..." appears to be quite similar to the statements made by the Devil character in the Doctor Who episode entitled, “The Impossible Planet” This Devil character also advanced its agenda by influencing or corrupting mortals.
- ^ "The end is nigh! Which Must Not Be Named is almost free!" - said by Deranged Explorers
- ^ Blizzard Entertainment. Under Development (US): Ulduar. Retrieved on 2009-02-17.
- ^ Michael Sacco 2009-12-03. Ulduar achievements unveiled. Retrieved on 2009-12-03.
- ^  : Spirit of Ursoc says: I thank you all. The druids of old were wise to tear down Vordrassil, for its roots seep deep into the dwelling of an ancient evil. You know their kind as old gods. Beware Yogg-Saron, the beast with a thousand maws. His evil extends beyond Vordrassil's roots.
- ^ a b
- ^ Uther the Lightbringer: "You have forged this blade from saronite, the very blood of an old god. The power of the Lich King calls to this weapon." ()
- ^ Phil Kollar 2010-02-17. Afterwords: World of Warcraft: Wrath Of The Lich King 3. Retrieved on 2010-02-19. “There is supposed to be a tie-in between Yogg-Saron (the boss of Ulduar) and the Lich King, and that’s how that was supposed to make sense – through Yogg-Saron’s manipulation of world events. I don’t think that was obvious enough to the players. It’s hard for them to draw that connection even though theoretically that connection exists. In the planning stages, that wasn’t much of a factor for us, because in our minds that connection existed and was clear. We just didn’t do a very good job of expressing it.”
- ^ Bornakk 2010-02-26. Re: #BlizzChat Developer Chat on Twitter 2/26. Retrieved on 2010-02-27.
- ^ Ulduar. Blizzard. Retrieved on 2009-06-14.
- ^ Valnoth 2009-09-01. Why doesn't Tyr have a room in Ulduar?. Old official World of Warcraft forums (US). Archived from the original on 2009-09-01.
- ^ World of Warcraft Forums - Ask CDev #1 Answers. Retrieved on 2010-06-30.
- Presence of Yogg-Saron