Archimonde

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For his Warcraft III statistics, see Archimonde (Warcraft III). For his tactics in the Caverns of Time, see Archimonde (tactics). For his tactics in Hellfire Citadel, see Archimonde (Hellfire Citadel tactics).
NeutralArchimonde
Image of Archimonde
Title The Defiler,
Eredar Overlord of the Legion Forces,[1]
Master of the Augari (formerly)
Gender Male
Race Man'ari eredar (Demon[2])
Character class Warlock[3][4]
Affiliation(s) Burning Legion
Former affiliation(s) Wakeners, Augari
Occupation Lord of the Burning Legion[5]
Location Various
Status Deceased (lore)[6]
Defeatable (WoD)
Mentor(s) Thal'kiel, Sargeras
Student(s) Gul'dan
"Let the echoes of doom resound across this wretched world, that all who live may hear them and despair."

Archimonde (pronounced ARK-i-mond) was one of the three leaders of the eredar, ruling his people on Argus alongside Kil'jaeden and Velen in peace and harmony. He eagerly joined the fallen titan Sargeras who promised them knowledge, power and, most importantly, the answer to question "what is the one underlying flaw of the universe?", in exchange for loyalty. While most eredar, a knowledge-seeking race, joined the Burning Crusade because of their thirst for knowledge, Archimonde joined Sargeras for power.[7]

He loyally served his master and the Burning Legion for thousands of years, though he was defeated during the Third War by the mortal armies.[5] Sargeras' right hand,[8] he was heartless, brutal, cunning and far sighted. The colossal demon wielded limitless fel magics and primal strength to lay waste to any who would oppose his fiery will, and had destroyed countless worlds. In his heart of hearts, he sought to become a god and wield powers that rivaled those of Sargeras himself.[9] He was described as powerful, elegant, smooth, and intelligent.[10]

During the War in Draenor, Archimonde returned to lead the Legion's invasion of the alternate Draenor following Kil'jaeden's initial failed attempt to gain control over the orcs of that world.

He was the primary antagonist in Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos, the tertiary antagonist in World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade, and one of the primary antagonists in World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor.

Biography

Youth

In his youth, Archimonde was the apprentice to the skilled eredar sorcerer Thal'kiel, leader of an order of magi called the Wakeners. There were rumors that Archimonde coveted his master's power and influence, but Thal'kiel himself dismissed these claims, for Archimonde had showed him nothing but devotion, having even gone to great lengths to create a custom-made crown for the eredar leader, taking the measurements for his head himself. At the time, Thal'kiel and Archimonde were among the most prominent proponents of phrenology — the study of skull shape as a means to determine intellectual aptitude — and Thal'kiel in particular was noted for having the archetypal sorcerer's skull, for which he was widely admired.[11]

However, when Thal'kiel began preparing to install himself as dictator of Argus by summoning an army of powerful demons, Archimonde was the only one of the Wakeners to not be united behind their leader. Although he had no aversion to demons — in fact, he rather enjoyed them — Archimonde was highly ambitious and was eager to prove himself to the eredar's two leaders, Kil'jaeden and Velen. The night prior to the Wakeners' planned coup, he snuck away and revealed his master's plans to the rulers or Argus and promised to bring them the traitor's head himself.[11]

Archimonde himself broke the magical wards hiding Thal'kiel's army and led a contingent of magi to storm the Wakeners' secret training grounds. The Wakeners were caught off guard and easily defeated, and the demons were quickly slaughtered when they found themselves leaderless. As Thal'kiel tried to summon in more reinforcements, Archimonde decapitated his former master with a single stroke of his blade. After the battle, the Wakeners' bodies were burned and their writings destroyed, and Archimonde was hailed as a hero. Soon afterward, he commissioned one of Argus' finest jewelers to gild Thal'kiel's skull and then proudly displayed it in his domicile, ostensibly as a warning to the other eredar not to follow in Thal'kiel's footsteps, though in truth he had it adorned with metals that would enhance its magic-channeling abilities.[11]

Triumvirate

Archimonde would eventually rise to lead the eredar alongside Velen and Kil'jaeden. Archimonde became Master of the Augari. The Sigil of Awakening was the Conservatory of the Arcane's highest honor. Only Archimonde's chosen could pursue this accolade. He had created trials specifically for this purpose, but the uninitiated could also participate.[12]

Archimonde was not known for his willingness to suffer indecision, he preferred to teach by rewarding frustration with more frustration-- punishment with more punishment. Absolute conviction was required to succeed under him. Archimonde expected greatness from his pupils. Only the most imaginative minds, the most adroit of intellects, could ever truly fathom the deepest reaches of their magic. He was an individual consumed by the pursuit of power. Only those who could match his lust would fare well under his tutelage.[13][14][15]

Over time, however, a demonic presence began to infiltrate Archimonde's mind, using Thal'kiel's adorned skull as a conduit. When he slept, Archimonde saw visions of entire civilizations being consumed by a glorious army, at the head of which was a dark god who whispered promises of unimaginable strength. Thus, Archimonde was the first to accept Sargeras' offer when the Dark Titan arrived on Argus.[11]

Demon of the Burning Legion

WoW-novel-logo-16x62.png This section concerns content exclusive to the Warcraft novels or short stories.

Roughly twenty-five thousand years ago, the three rulers were contacted by Sargeras and offered the answer to the single most important question: "what is the ultimate underlying flaw of the universe?" in exchange for loyalty. The eredar, as a race thirsty for knowledge, accepted the offer, though Archimonde did so mostly for power, while Velen not only rejected it, but rebelled and fled Argus with his followers thanks to the naaru to become the draenei. Kil'jaeden then vowed that he would seek for them and destroy them. Archimonde was against Kil'jaeden's search of draenei, but did not take any action.[10]

Archimonde became Sargeras' military commander, triumphing on many worlds,[5] and used his powerful will to drive the demonic masses to extreme violence and barbarism, drawing out and tempering the strength of all those who served beneath him. After the recruitment of the eredar, the ranks of Sargeras' Burning Legion swelled with new demonic races. Among them were the monstrous annihilan, or "pit lords", whom Archimonde empowered and conscripted to serve as living siege engines.[16] Archimonde put the skull of his old master, Thal'kiel, to good use against the Legion's enemies, using it to exert his control over multitudes of demons to obliterate his opponents, though it has since passed between a handful of Sargeras' elite generals.[11]

The War of the Ancients

WoW-novel-logo-16x62.png This section concerns content exclusive to the Warcraft novels or short stories.

Malorne battling Archimonde.

Some fifteen thousand years later, when Queen Azshara's reckless magics began to attract the attention of Sargeras, Archimonde, Mannoroth, and Hakkar the Houndmaster led the catastrophic, destructive invasion. With thousands of demonic servants in their wake, they poured through the portal beneath the Well of Eternity, and were let loose upon the ancient land of Kalimdor — razing every structure and spilling the blood of every creature they came across. During the war, Archimonde succeeded in killing the Ancient Malorne, one of the most powerful of Azeroth's demigods, by snapping his neck. This event was one of the only times in recorded history where Ysera opened her eyes.

However, a young druid — Malfurion Stormrage — gathered a small band of night elves, and with the help of Cenarius' woodland allies combined with Alexstrasza's mighty dragonflights, managed to beat back the demonic hordes. Before the destruction, Archimonde caught Jarod Shadowsong and sadistically toyed with him - beating him to death. In the titanic battle, the portal became unstable and collapsed — sundering the world. This event banished Archimonde and his minions back into the burning pits of the Twisting Nether.

The Second Invasion

WC3RoC logo 16x32.png This section concerns content exclusive to Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos or its expansion The Frozen Throne.

Preparations

Archimonde prepares to destroy Dalaran.

Archimonde raged and brooded for ten thousand years in the dark recesses of the Twisting Nether as they planned for a new invasion as per Sargeras's will. Again, their target would be the second Well of Eternity.[5] His colleague, Kil'jaeden, found the means through Ner'zhul and, eventually, Gul'dan, on the world of Draenor. With Mannoroth's sinister help, the chieftains of the orcish Hordes were corrupted, and a bloodlust came over them that swept them into a tumultuous frenzy that engulfed their world. The orcs were to be the harbinger of the Legion's return, destroying all they beheld so that none could oppose the Legion. However, after the exodus into Azeroth and Draenor's eventual destruction, the Horde was defeated by the humans of former Arathor and their allies, and the orcs failed in their unholy mission.

However, an old tool was found that could once again be put to use. Ner'zhul, the dark shaman of the Shadowmoon Clan, was sent spiraling with his most faithful disciples into the Twisting Nether after attempting to find new worlds to control, and he was found by Kil'jaeden and the Burning Legion. Over time, he was transformed into the Lich King, an ethereal spirit that controlled the undead Scourge, a force so mighty, that it was expected to succeed where the Horde had failed.

The Undead Scourge had exceeded their expectations.

Archimonde was to command the Legion's invasion, but he needed the means of getting to Azeroth. Due to his monumental power gain much more magic was needed to summon him, and he waited until finally he was contacted by Kel'Thuzad the Summoner, who, after stealing the Book of Medivh from Dalaran with Arthas' assistance, began the lengthy summoning process. As he proceeded, the skies were split asunder, and mighty infernals and felhounds were brought to aid the Scourge. Finally, it was completed, and Archimonde was brought into the world of Azeroth.

Invasion in Lordaeron and Kalimdor

Archimonde in Warcraft III.
Archimonde at the Battle of Mount Hyjal.

Archimonde first placed Tichondrius in charge of the Scourge, saying that there was no longer any need of the Lich King. Unknown to him, the Lich King had been well prepared for this in his greater plan.

Before starting the invasion, Archimonde made an example of what would happen to anyone who would resist the Legion. He picked the city Dalaran and proceeded to destroy it single-handedly with his magic. Except the fountain.

The invasion of Lordaeron continued unabated, the magics of Archimonde summoned hordes of demonic followers, including the diabolical Pit Lord, Mannoroth. Together, they plowed through the nations of Lordaeron, devastating all they beheld. However, Tichondrius soon found that the orcs were missing. The Legion followed them across the sea, where they found not only the orcs but also, the vile night elves who had banished them millennia before. Archimonde, Mannoroth, and Tichondrius came up with a plot to re-enslave the orcs and use them to destroy the night elves' demigod Cenarius. The plan was partially successful; Mannoroth corrupted Grom Hellscream and the Warsong clan and drove them to slay Cenarius. However, Hellscream later broke free and sacrificed himself to destroy Mannoroth, thus severing the Legion's control over the orcs permanently.

Despite Mannoroth's death, Archimonde had achieved what he wanted - the destruction of Cenarius. He launched the invasion of Kalimdor and openly confronted his night elf enemies. He even met Tyrande Whisperwind, the insolent leader of the Sentinels, who woke the ancient druids, and together, they battled the Legion once again.

The Defiler continued the invasion of Kalimdor ruthlessly, battling on many fronts, against the combined forces of the Alliance and Horde, as well as the Sentinels. Under Archimonde's orders, Tichondrius used The Skull of Gul'dan to corrupt the forests of Ashenvale, bringing many of the indigenous creatures into the Legion's fold. However, the Legion suffered a major setback when the rogue night elf Illidan Stormrage stole the Skull and used its powers to kill Tichondrius. Archimonde seemed to have little concern for this loss, and placed his most loyal Dreadlord, Anetheron in joint command of the Scourge with Rage Winterchill, one of the few trustworthy liches.

Defiler's End

Archimonde, moments before his destruction.
Archimonde's end.

Archimonde then proceeded with the original objective of the invasion. The demonlord launched a massive attack on the World Tree, Nordrassil. Malfurion believed Archimonde's goal was to draining the Tree's energies,[17] which would drain the night elves of their source of power and immortality. However, Archimonde's target was actually to drain the second Well of Eternity[5] to further his goal of gaining powers to rival those of Sargeras.[18] But Tyrande and Malfurion had allied with Thrall and Jaina Proudmoore, as well as the Shadowtooth Dark Trolls and the Barkskin Furbolgs. Archimonde's ascent up Mount Hyjal was agonizingly slow, being forced to destroy every successive base with the help of Azgalor, Rage Winterchill and Anetheron.

The bases, consisting of the humans, orcs and night elves, did slow his ascent — however, his cunning mind and monumental power enabled the Legion to destroy the bases one by one. First he destroyed Jaina Proudmoore's base, then Thrall's base, and finally he reached the night elves' base which he destroyed easily with a wave of his hand. Archimonde smashed the magical gates guarding the World Tree and started climbing the Tree. He grew in size as he climbed, determined to destroy the World Tree and consume its energies. The demon lord paid no attention to the seemingly harmless wisps gathering nearby.

As Archimonde attempted to rip the World Tree from the Well, energies arose as Malfurion raised the Horn of Cenarius and called out to the ancestral guardians of the forest. Thousands of wisps rose from the surrounding forests and amassed around Archimonde, detonating in a massive explosion that destroyed the demon lord and incinerated the forests and the World Tree itself. Nature herself would not allow his defilement to occur. While the World Tree would eventually heal itself in time, Archimonde was gone from Azeroth.

The Burning Crusade

TBC This section concerns content exclusive to The Burning Crusade.

Main article: Archimonde (tactics)

Adventurers sent by the Keepers of Time went back to the climactic Battle of Mount Hyjal and assisted in the battle against Archimonde's undead armies. They held off the Defiler himself, buying time for Malfurion to slay him.

Alternate Draenor

WoD This section concerns content exclusive to Warlords of Draenor.

The sky will rain fire...the oceans will be filled with blood.... DRAENOR WILL BURN!

While Archimonde cared little for Kil'jaeden's vendetta against Velen and the draenei, he sought in the alternate Draenor an opportunity. Believing that the time for subtlety had passed, Archimonde took command of the Burning Legion's invasion of the planet. His approach was much more abrupt than Kil'jaeden's, and the demons invaded en masse, contrary to the main timeline.

Hellfire Citadel
Main article: Archimonde (Hellfire Citadel tactics)

Archimonde was the final encounter of Hellfire Citadel, having come to Draenor across time and space to ensure the Burning Legion invasion of Azeroth went according to plan.[19] He was this time defeated by the united armies of the draenei, orcs, and adventurers, led by Khadgar, Yrel, and Durotan. With his last breath, he sent Gul'dan in a beam of green energy into the the Black Gate, reminding him of the pact he had made and causing the portal to crumble.

A fragment of power from the Rift of Aln was retrieved from Archimonde's corpse, which disturbed Malfurion greatly when it was brought to him on Azeroth since the Rift should have been sealed away at the end of the War Against the Nightmare. Malfurion thus headed back to the ancient, verdant forests of Val'sharah, the place of his tutelage, to seek guidance.[20]

Legion

Legion This section concerns content exclusive to Legion.

Malorne was taken by the Emerald Nightmare, trapped in a recreation of his death at the hands of Archimonde during the War of the Ancients. The archdruid of the Dreamgrove aided Malorne in defeating the figment of Archimonde and saving him from the Nightmare.[21]

Locations

Notable appearances
Location Level range Health range
Archimonde (tactics)  ?? 3,983,700
 [Burning Legion Missive]  ?? 27,517,500
Archimonde (Hellfire Citadel tactics)  ??
LFR Scales
Normal + Scales
Heroic + Scales
Mythic 232,066,192
Malorne's Nightmare 110 20,785,340

Personality

Prior to joining the Legion, Archimonde was bold and had a gift for finding the strengths in those around him, filling them with confidence and courage.[22] He was described as usually having sound judgement, but occasionally being susceptible to appeals to his vanity. Velen described him as instinctively impetuous. Archimonde viewed Velen's hesitancy in accepting Sargeras' offer as an obstacle to what he wanted, which had always been in the best interest of those they led.[23]

Archimonde was so brutal that he became known for killing even those who served him. Failure at any level was often punishable by death.[24][5] Archimonde as a demon was heartless and brutal, but very cunning and far-sighted.[18] While he seemed to be more forgiving of failures of the underlings that he couldn't replace, his brutal nature was enough of a motivation not to fail him.

However, despite being the more hot-tempered of the two eredar leaders who sided with the Legion, Archimonde did not despise Velen and his followers in the same personal manner as Kil'jaeden and was puzzled by his deep-seated grudge against the Prophet.[25]

In the RPG

Archimonde from Shadows & Light.

The RPG Icon 16x36.png This section concerns content exclusive to the Warcraft RPG and is considered non-canon.

Burning Legion

His ruthless and cunning personality quickly earned him station and power within the eredar ranks, until finally he was one of the first among them. He is described as one of the lieutenants[26][27] and generals[28] of Sargeras.

Archimonde was appointed as the field commander of the Legion's forces, directing troop movements and overseeing military invasions. Kil'jaeden was charged with more covert operations and recruiting new races and minions into the Legion. Due to their positions, Kil'jaeden and Archimonde each built their own hierarchy of demons that acted as if competitors. Pit lords, doomguards, and eminences served under Archimonde and the dreadlords, while risen terrors and shadow priests followed Kil'jaeden.[29]

Memorable quotes

Rise of the Horde

  • "This is not a glimpse into the future that we can verify. It is only your hunch."[30]
  • "There are worlds aplenty to conquer and devour, in service to our master Sargeras. Let the fool go. We would sense it if he used his talents on any level that would pose a threat. Let him rot on some world, bereft of everything that mattered to him."[31]

Warcraft III

  • Kel'Thuzad: I call upon thee, Archimonde! Your humble servant seeks an audience!
Archimonde: You called my name, puny lich, and I have come. You are Kel'Thuzad, are you not?
Kel'Thuzad: Yes, great one. I am the summoner.
Archimonde: Very well, then. There is a special tome you must find... the only remaining spellbook of Medivh, the Last Guardian. Only his lost incantations are powerful enough to bring me into your world.
Kel'Thuzad: Where should we search for it, great one?
Archimonde: Seek out the mortal city of Dalaran. It is that the tome is kept. At twilight, three days from now, you will begin the summoning.
  • Tremble, mortals, and despair! Doom has come to this world!
  • Let this scar signify the first blow against the mortal world.
From this seal shall arise the doom of men,
who, in their arrogance, sought to wield our fire as their own.
Blindly they build their kingdoms upon stolen knowledge and conceit.
Now they shall be consumed by the very flame they sought to control.
Let the echoes of doom resound across this wretched world, that all who live may hear them and despair.
<Before and after destroying Dalaran.>
  • And you are mine, Mannoroth! You would do well to remember that fact. We will watch the wayward orcs and wait. Despite their failure, they may still prove useful to us.
  • The Legion has returned to consume this world, woman. And this time, your troublesome race will not stop us.
  • FOOLS! You let her slip away! Find her, damn you... find her and kill her!
  • You are very brave to stand against me, little human. If only your countrymen had been as bold, I would have had more fun scouring your wretched nations from the world!
  • You orcs are weak and hardly worth the effort! I wonder why Mannoroth even bothered with you!
  • Come, you night elves! Where is the fire and the passion with which you fought so long ago?
  • At last! The way to the World Tree is clear! Witness the end, you mortals! The final hour has come!

World of Warcraft

Burning Crusade

TBC This section concerns content exclusive to The Burning Crusade.

Main article: Archimonde (tactics)#Quotes

Warlords of Draenor

WoD This section concerns content exclusive to Warlords of Draenor.

 [Burning Legion Missive]
  • You have failed, Kil'jaeden. The orcs did not drink of Mannoroth's blood as you promised. I care not for your vendetta against the draenei... but their souls may still prove useful to us.
  • We will take this world with the unending strength of the Legion. The time for subtlety has passed. Orcs and Draenei both will bow in fealty to the Legion. Our hordes will scorch the earth beneath them. Together, Kil'jaeden, we are unstoppable.
  • Lord Mongrethod, rally your forces. The time is close at hand. Our orc pawn readies portals into the heart of Auchindoun as I speak. We will devour their souls and usher in the full might of our forces.
  • It is time, Lord Mongrethod. Gul'dan's work is nearly complete. Tonight we will FEAST!
  • Azzakel, you will be our vanguard. Lead the charge. You will herald the end of this world.
  • The draenei's souls will empower us. Any living orcs and draenei will become our puppets. Nothing can stop your might. Pour into this world... and feast!
  • Yes... Auchindoun will be ours. The portals are nearly ready for our full invasion. Rise, Legion, and turn this world to ash!
  • The sky will rain fire...the oceans will be filled with blood.... DRAENOR WILL BURN!
  • Do not fail again.
Hellfire Citadel
Main article: Archimonde (Hellfire Citadel tactics)#Quotes

Legion

Legion This section concerns content exclusive to Legion.

Main article: Quest:Archimonde, The Defiler#Notes

Trivia

Gallery

Fan art

Videos

See also

References

  1. ^ Heroes and Villains
  2. ^ Alex Afrasiabi on Twitter
  3. ^ "Eredar Warlock", Warcraft III
  4. ^ Shadows & Light, 58
  5. ^ a b c d e f Ultimate Visual Guide
  6. ^ BlizzCon 2015 - Interview with Dave Kosak. "And the idea was if you played in Mythic and defeated Archimonde, you actually defeated him in the Nether and that he'd be dead dead for good. That was the idea that we played with. We tried to explain that and I don't know if... that certainly doesn't come across in-game because it's not necessarily explained in-game."
  7. ^ Tome of Blighted Implements
  8. ^ War of the Ancients Trilogy
  9. ^ Bestiary (WC3 Manual)#Archimonde
  10. ^ a b Rise of the Horde
  11. ^ a b c d e Tome of Blighted Implements
  12. ^ Quest:The Longest Vigil
  13. ^ Quest:Gatekeeper's Challenge: Tenacity
  14. ^ Quest:Gatekeeper's Challenge: Cunning
  15. ^ Quest:Gatekeeper's Challenge: Mastery
  16. ^ Chronicle Volume 1, pg. 52
  17. ^ "Eternity's End: The Druids Arise", Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos. Blizzard Entertainment. Malfurion Stormrage: "No doubt Archimonde will make his way to Hyjal Summit and attack the World Tree. If he succeeds in draining the tree's energies, this world will be doomed.".
  18. ^ a b "Archimonde", Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos manual, 89.
  19. ^ Patch 6.2 Raid Preview: Hellfire Citadel
  20. ^ N [100] Dark Waters
  21. ^ N Druid [110] Archimonde, The Defiler
  22. ^ World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 1, 51.
  23. ^ Rise of the Horde, prologue.
  24. ^ Golden, Christie. "Five", Rise of the Horde, 119 (ebook). ISBN 978-0-7434-7138-1. 
  25. ^ Rise of the Horde, chapter 5
  26. ^ Warcraft: The Roleplaying Game, 20
  27. ^ Lands of Conflict, 30
  28. ^ Shadows & Light, 59
  29. ^ Manual of Monsters, 112
  30. ^ Rise of the Horde, 17.
  31. ^ Rise of the Horde, 126.
  32. ^ World of Warcraft: Illidan, chapter 9
  33. ^ Blizzcon 2015 - WoW Lore Interview with Dave Kosak

External links

Preceded by:
None
Position:
The RPG Icon 16x36.pngLegion Field Commander on Azeroth
Succeeded by:
Kazzak the Supreme
Preceded by:
Kil'jaeden
Position:
Legion Field Commander[citation needed] on Draenor
Succeeded by:
Incumbent