The Elemental Lords were the most trusted and powerful lieutenants in the elemental armies of the Old Gods. Their purpose was to keep the world of Azeroth in a perpetual state of chaos. The current Elemental Lords are:
- Neptulon the Tidehunter (water elemental)
- Smolderon the Firelord (fire elemental)
- Therazane the Stonemother (earth elemental)
- Thunderaan the Windlord (air elemental)
During the Cataclysm, two of the original four Elemental Lords were slain:
The four Lords are used to finding new ways to wage war against each other, however some of their factions work for the good of Azeroth, though some work for the opposite goal. During the Third invasion of the Burning Legion, the Earthen Ring managed to make the four Elemental Lords band together against the Legion. Shaman and Elementals now work actively to fight the Legion off the Broken Isles.
Note: Not all "lords" found among elementals are Elemental Lords (capital). For example, there are many firelords, but only one fire Elemental Lord, Ragnaros.
The elemental spirits of Azeroth became erratic and destructive as its slumbering world-soul consumed much of the fifth element, Spirit. Reveling in unending strife, the four elemental lords reigned supreme over innumerable lesser spirits. Al'Akir sent his minions to spy on his enemies and sow distrust to weaken them. Ragnaros embraced brute force, seeking to boil the seas, reduce mountains to slag, and choke the skies with ash. Therazane was reclusive, entrenching herself behind towering mountain ranges before attacking her exhausted foes. Neptulon fought strategically, allowing the forces of the other elements to clash, before crushing his divided rivals.
Eventually, the world of Azeroth became threatened by a group of Old Gods. These entities of chaos and destruction wreaked havoc on the world. Plummeting down from the Great Dark Beyond, C'Thun, Yogg-Saron, N'Zoth and Y'Shaarj slammed into Azeroth's surface, embedding themselves in various locations of the world. A miasma of despair soon enveloped everything that lay in their writhing shadows as they spread their corruptive influence across the land, all the while sending their tendrils down through the world's crust, towards the planet's defenseless world-soul. When they arrived, the Old Gods enslaved the elementals that had once raged freely on primordial Azeroth, though not before a brutal war in which the four Elemental Lords banded together in an attempt to fight the Old Gods' fledgling empire. Though the elementals were mighty, they could not stand against the constant swarm of n'raqi and aqir. Without the native spirits of Azeroth to counter the Old Gods' influence, the borders of the Black Empire crept over much of the world. As perpetual twilight descended, the world spiraled into an abyss of death and suffering.
Ragnaros, Neptulon, Al'Akir, and Therazane, having now been enslaved by the Old Gods, led their respective armies in an eternal conflict that ravaged the world to no end. Meanwhile, the n'raqi servants of the Old God N'Zoth raged war with the combined forces of C'Thun and Yogg-Saron.
During their journey across the cosmos, the titans eventually made their way to Azeroth and encountered the elementals, who vowed to drive the Pantheon back in the name of their dark masters. Upon discovering the deep and insatiable hunger for destruction in the Old Gods and seeing them as immensely evil, the titans initiated a war with them. Fearing that their enormous forms would severely harm or even kill Azeroth's world-soul — the most powerful one yet encountered by the Pantheon — the titans instead created mighty servants to do battle in their stead. Known as the titan-forged, these beings waged war against the elemental servants of the Old Gods, eventually managing to defeat them and seal them within the newly-created Elemental Plane, divided into four regions: the Abyssal Maw, Firelands, Deepholm, and Skywall.
Even while locked within the Elemental Plane, the Elemental Lords continued to war with each other. The Elemental Sundering was a 5,000 year-long battle at the core of Azeroth. Ragnaros defeated Thunderaan, Prince of Air, and feasted upon his essence. The remains of Thunderaan's essence was stored within a talisman of elemental binding, which was split in two and assigned to Ragnaros' lieutenants.
War of the Three Hammers
During the War of the Three Hammers, 230 years before the Dark Portal, Ragnaros the Firelord was summoned to the Redridge Mountains by the Dark Iron dwarves. It was their intent to use him for domination of the other dwarf clans. Ironically however, he enslaved them for his own purposes. His violent entry into the world scarred the surrounding area, creating Blackrock Mountain, Burning Steppes, and Searing Gorge.
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Neptulon, then at war with Ragnaros, seemed to use mostly mortal races to weaken the forces of the other three Elemental Lords. His agent, Duke Hydraxis, leader of the Hydraxian Waterlords, sought to bring others to his side. He sent adventurers into the Molten Core to fight against the Firelord. Another agent, Tsunaman at Sun Rock Retreat, also sought to destroy Ragnaros's elementals in the Charred Vale.
The other two Lords, Al'Akir and Therazane, had not attempted to exert their influence on Azeroth to such an extent.
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Deathwing had enlisted the aid of the former Old Gods' lieutenants. While Al'Akir and Ragnaros joined him, Neptulon and Therazane refused. Neptulon the Tidehunter was attacked by the naga and the n'raqi that worked with the Twilight's Hammer cult, servants of Deathwing and the Old Gods. Therazane was also at odds with the Twilight's Hammer that had intruded in Deepholm.
Both Ragnaros and Al'Akir were slain within their elemental realms.
This section concerns content exclusive to Legion.
In light of the latest invasion of the Burning Legion, the Earthen Ring managed to get the Elemental Lords to work together and helped new ones to replace Ragnaros and Al'Akir: Smolderon and Thunderaan respectively.
Elemental Lords have the power to take control over specific elementals of their own type, but only when those elementals are within the area of its divine presence. This ability does not work on primal or elder elementals. All smaller elementals will obey their Lord unquestioningly. Larger ones usually do also, but should they wish to resist the Lieutenant's commands, they may attempt to do so, but it is unlikely for that to happen. The Elemental Lord can also break another being's control of a summoned or enchanted elemental; those who have control over the elemental will have a difficult time maintaining control. Should the controller maintain command of the elemental, the Elemental Lord may not make another attempt to control or command that elemental for one full day.
Whenever a spell is cast of the same magic type within the area of the Lord's presence, it becomes instantly aware, and can take control of the magic as he wishes. The spell can be countered, transferred to another target or area, or reflected back at the caster. This ability also functions against elemental spell-like abilities employed by other creatures, elementals or otherwise, with the sole exception of those used by creatures more powerful than the Elemental Lord. In much the same vein, the Elemental Lords can exert their control over magical items which employ spell or spell-like abilities, with the sole exception of those imbued within major artifacts.
- It is possible that Therazane is the Earthmother that the tauren worship. While it is likely that the Earthmother is a goddess similar to Elune that arose after the titans shaped Azeroth, Therazane is well known as the most benevolent of the Elemental Lords (all things being relative of course), unlike the chaotic Ragnaros and Al'Akir, or the evil Neptulon.
(Not to be confused with Elemental Lords such as Neptulon and Therazane)
- Aetherion, an elemental lord of air.
- Ahune the Frost Lord, an elemental lord under Neptulon's command.
- Avalanchion <Elemental Lord>, leader of Therazane's forces
- Cyrukh the Firelord, decribed as an elemental lord (lower case).
- Murmur, the essence of sound
Amphitheater of Anguish
- Az'Barin, Prince of the Gust
- Duke Singen <The New Hotness>
- Erathius, King of Dirt
- Gargoral the Water Lord
- ^ a b c World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 1, 28-30.
- ^ Ultimate Visual Guide, 33.
- ^ Ultimate Visual Guide, 176.
- ^ Patch 4.3 Raid Preview: Dragon Soul
- ^ a b The Old Gods and the Ordering of Azeroth
- ^ World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 1, 31-32.
- ^ Highlord Demitrian#Dialogue
- ^ World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 1, 154-6.
- ^ a b Shadows & Light, 99.
- ^ The Codex of Blood