The Elemental Lords are the most powerful elementals in existence and the leaders of their respective types. Their purpose was to keep the world of Azeroth in a perpetual state of chaos, thriving in such a state. In primordial Azeroth, they were defeated and enslaved as part of the armies of the Old Gods. The current Elemental Lords are:
- Neptulon the Tidehunter - water
- Smolderon the Firelord - fire
- Therazane the Stonemother - earth
- Thunderaan the Windlord - air
Note: Not all "lords" found among elementals are Elemental Lords (capital). For example, there are many firelords, but only one fire Elemental Lord, Smolderon.
The elemental spirits of Azeroth became more and more erratic as the fifth element, Spirit, became less available. The slumbering world-soul consumed much of it, rendering the elements of Azeroth extremely violent and destructive.
The elementals raged freely on primordial Azeroth, waging war upon one another for endless millenia, and the four Elemental Lords reigned supreme over innumerable lesser spirits. Al'Akir used to send 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.
When the Old Gods plummeted down from the Great Dark Beyond, they slammed into Azeroth's surface and embedded themselves in the continent of Kalimdor. For the first time in history, 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, and they were enslaved by the Old Gods. Without the native spirits of Azeroth to counter the Old Gods' influence, the borders of the Black Empire crept over much of the world.
The titan-forged armies of the Pantheon would eventually come to assault the Old Gods, defeat them and sealing them deep beneath the surface of the planet, after having imprisoned the elemental armies in the Elemental Plane, divided into four regions: the Abyssal Maw, the 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. The Lieutenants of Ragnaros, Geddon and Garr, perpetrated the betrayal against Thunderaan, Prince of Air, who was caught unaware. The Firelord's advances were wholly unknown to Thunderaan, and before he could react, Sulfuras, legendary hammer of Ragnaros, struck an unmerciful blow, and Thunderaan fell, utterly defeated.
The Firelord feasted upon the essence of Thunderaan, but was unable to consume him entirely. He stored what little remained of Thunderaan's essence within a talisman of elemental binding. Ragnaros then shattered the talisman in two flawless pieces, called the , and assigned them to his 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 Emperor Thaurissan. It was his intent to use the Firelord for domination of the other dwarf clans. Ironically however, Ragnaros enslaved them for his own purposes. His violent entry into the world scarred the surrounding area, creating Blackrock Mountain, the Burning Steppes, and the 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.
This section concerns content exclusive to Cataclysm.
When Deathwing entered Azeroth from Deepholm, the World Pillar was shattered, causing the Elemental Plane to collapse onto Azeroth, and parts of it to manifest in the real world. While Al'Akir and Ragnaros accepted Deathwing's offer of sowing destruction, Neptulon and Therazane refused to do so.
Ragnaros's armies launched a full scale assault on Mount Hyjal in an attempt the World Tree Nordrassil. The Guardians of Hyjal led by Cenarius, Malfurion Stormrage and Hamuul Runetotem along with the adventurers of the Alliance and Horde pushed his minions back into the Firelands, where he was slain.
He assisted Deathwing's efforts at reclaiming the ancient re-origination device and lended his elemental forces at crushing Uldum's native defenders and his old enemy, the Tol'vir. One of his first acts after the Cataclysm was destroying the inhabitants of Orsis in revenge for having refused Deathwing's offer of curing their Curse of Flesh. The armies and strongest minions of Al'Akir resided within the Vortex Pinnacle, training in formation and torturing tol'vir as they prepared to lash out yet again at Uldum. At some point prior to his death, Al'Akir ensnared and twisted Hagara the Stormbinder with new powers for trying to bind elementals to her will.
This section concerns content exclusive to Legion.
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. They also 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.
- A common theory is that Therazane is the Earthmother that the tauren worship. While it is likely that the Earthmother is a goddess similar to Elune, Therazane is well known as the most benevolent of the Elemental Lords (all things being relative), unlike the chaotic Ragnaros and Al'Akir.
(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 World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 1, 28-30.
- ^ Ultimate Visual Guide, 176.
- ^ 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.
- ^ Throne of the Four Winds
- ^ Hagara the Stormbinder#Dungeon Journal
- ^ a b Shadows & Light, 99.
- ^ The Codex of Blood