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Lore 101: The Old Gods’ Role in the Shaping

Lore 101: The Old Gods’ Role in the Shaping

the old gods

During the early ages of the shaping of Azeroth, the Titans of the Pantheon came across what later became known as the Old Gods, ancient beings of immense power who ruled over the chaos that made up the planet. The primal beings that sought to bring nothing but chaos, disorder and madness to all living beings and enslaved the greater elementals for their own whims.

There are conflicting references of the number of Old Gods that called Azeroth home, ranging from three to as many as five or six. The first of the Old Gods to fall to the Titans was Y’Shaarj, with the help of the Titans’ creation, the Mogu. Using the last vestiges of its power as it died, Y’Shaarj cursed the land (which later became Pandaria), creating the Sha, which later went on to corrupt the hearts and ambitions of those who came across them. The Titans buried its heart (the only intact portion left of the god’s body) in the Vale of Eternal Blossoms, under the Mogu’s guard. Eons later, it was recovered by Garrosh Hellscream, who had been corrupted by the sha and sought to use its power to destroy the other races of Azeroth. Eventually the heart itself was destroyed; Garrosh was imprisoned and put on trial (World of Warcraft Siege of Orgrimmar, Mists of Pandaria).

The earliest of the Old Gods that the people of Azeroth stumbled across was C’Thun, buried beneath the Titan temple of Ahn’Qiraj, in the area later called Silithus (after the Old Gods’ minions, the Silithid). Unearthed during the War of the Shifting Sands, the beings of Kalimdor fought against the forces of C’Thun, the qiraji. While the Titans presumed that they had defeated C’Thun, the Old God had feigned its death and bid its time waiting for a release, its forces growing ever stronger. While war waged it seemed as though the minions of the god were winning, until the dragons stepped in and turned the tide, pushing the Old God back into its prison. Years later it fully awoke, but was killed by adventurers (World of Warcraft raid Ahn’Qiraj 40 man, original release).

Following the pattern of burying the Old Gods underneath their own creations, the Titans buried Yogg-Saron under their citadel city of Ulduar in Northrend. Presuming that no mortal being would find the Old God there, the Titans set a guard of six Watchers to guard its prison. The damage that the Old God had wrought was great though, in its attempts to corrupt or undo the work on the races the Titans had created. Called the curse of the flesh, it turned the Earthen into what later would become dwarves, and softened the stone and metal bodies of their other creations such as the Mogu and Mechagnomes. As with C’Thun, Yogg-Saron was eventually defeated by adventurers (World of Warcraft Ulduar raid, Wrath of the Lich King).

As they defeated and subdued the Old Gods, the Titans realized that in order to preserve the work they had been doing, they could not kill all of the gods but rather only imprison them. As the gods were tied so closely to the land itself, the Titans sought to imprison them in places where they would hopefully never be found. When they charged the five dragonflights with the powers to keep balance in Azeroth, they made one mistake: upon charging the dragon Neltharion (later re-named Deathwing) with domain over the land in which they imprisoned the Gods, they opened the aspect to become susceptible to the whispers of the gods who were still alive, as well as the echoes from the remnants and memories of those whom the Titans had killed. It would eventually drive the dragon insane, leaving him to believe that the world had to be destroyed and he tried to bring the Hour of Twilight, thus resurrecting the Old Gods and drowning the world back into the chaos that once ruled. Neltharion himself was eventually defeated (World of Warcraft Dragon Soul raid, Cataclysm), but in the long run, this would prove only a minor setback to the remaining Old Gods.

They are still out there, unknown and spreading their corruption through those who either seek out their power, or who accidentally stumble across it one way or another.

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