N'raqi

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For the Warcraft III faction, see Faceless Ones.
N'raqi
The faceless ones
Faceless Behemoth.jpg
Faction/Affiliation
Racial leader(s)
Homeworld
Primary language(s)

Shath'yar (presumed)

The n'raqi, commonly known as the faceless ones or the faceless, are a monstrous race that arose from the organic matter that seeped from the Old Gods' blighted forms during the primordial era of Azeroth.[1] Cunning and intelligent, they serve their eldritch masters with fanatical loyalty.

The faceless ones were first seen serving a forgotten one in the depths of Azjol-Nerub during the events of Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne. They made their first appearance in World of Warcraft with the second expansion, Wrath of the Lich King, and have since become one of the most common sightings in areas influenced by the Old Gods.

History

The faceless ones commanding the aqir under the rule of the Black Empire.

When the Old Gods first embedded themselves into Azeroth, they spread their corruptive influence across the landscape. Two distinct races arose from the Old Gods' blighted forms: the n'raqi and the aqir. As the physical manifestations of the Old Gods' will, both served their masters with fanatical loyalty. The n'raqi acted as ruthless taskmasters, employing the aqir as laborers to erect towering citadels and temple cities around ther masters' colossal bulks. This burgeoning civilization was located near the center of Azeroth's largest continent. As it spread across the world, it became known as the Black Empire.[1] Countless eons ago, the n'raqi waged endless wars against each other as part of the forces of N'Zoth, C'Thun and Yogg-Saron.[3]

When the Old Gods were sealed below the earth by the titan-forged, many of the n'raqi were imprisoned alongside them.[4]

Reawakening in Northrend

Amid the Scourge's invasion of Azjol-Nerub, many of the kingdom's denizens tunneled underground to escape the Lich King's minions. Yet some of them dug too deep, exposing the tendrils of Yogg-Saron.[5] Rousing its awareness, the Old God sent his n'raqi under the leadership of Herald Volazj against them, and the nerubians were caught between the proverbial rock and a hard place.[6] The nerubians' misfortune costed them the war against the undead, and ultimately, their home.

The Frozen Throne

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

A faceless one from Warcraft III.
A faceless one from Warcraft III.

During the desperate flight of Arthas Menethil and the crypt lord Anub'arak to defend the Lich King from Illidan Stormrage and his armies, the Scourge were forced to make their way through the ancient, underground nerubian kingdom of Azjol-Nerub. At first, the invading undead army preyed only on the pockets of still living Nerubian resistance fighters and dwarves that were left over from Arthas' last journey to Northrend.[7] Yet, as Anub'arak and Arthas journeyed ever deeper into these ruins, they found that the lower regions of the kingdom had become infested by "ancient, horrid things", as the dwarf leader Baelgun had described them, released from the dark below by the earthquakes that were being caused by Illidan's sorcery. These beings appeared as strange, vaguely humanoid creatures, and were accompanied by massive tentacles that seemed to be a part of a single, monstrous entity which Anub'arak referred to as a "Forgotten one". The crypt lord seemed to know of these creatures, but was startled to discover they truly existed and warned Arthas to "Look to your defenses, death knight! Fight as you've never fought before!".[8] The two champions of the Lich King and their Scourge forces managed to barely defeat the forgotten one, but as ever more n'raqi emerged from the deeps to stalk the undead army and the caverns began collapsing under the flailing of the massive tentacles, Arthas and Anub'arak were forced to flee from Azjol-Nerub.[9] Eventually, Arthas made it out of fallen kingdom and was able to confront Illidan, but not until making it through the greatest peril he had yet faced.[10]

A faceless one in the the comic.

War against the Lich King

WoW-comic-logo-16x68.png This section concerns content exclusive to the World of Warcraft comics.

Theramore came under attack from a n'raqi that had been awakened by Cho'gall to take Med'an with him. During the battle, Med'an intuitively wove together arcane and shamanic magic to defeat the ancient creature.[11]

WotLK This section concerns content exclusive to Wrath of the Lich King.

In Northrend, multiple faceless ones appear, including Herald Volazj, the leader of the Old Gods' forces,[6] and Darkspeaker R'khem, a captive of the vrykul in the Saronite Mines. N'raqi are also encountered underneath Icecrown Citadel in a place called Naz'anak: The Forgotten Depths. Killing the Faceless Lurkers there is required for the quest N [80] Time to Hide. In Ulduar, the n'raqi are led by General Vezax, a massive faceless general guarding the twisted passages leading to the Prison of Yogg-Saron.[12]

Cataclysm

Cataclysm This section concerns content exclusive to Cataclysm.

New faceless can be found throughout the Abyssal Depths region of Vashj'ir, as well as inside the Throne of the Tides, where they were sent by the Old Gods in order to aid the naga in capturing Neptulon. N'raqi can also be found in others region of Kalimdor and Eastern Kingdoms, such as Darkshore, Ashenvale, the Stonetalon Mountains, Swamp of Sorrows and Twilight Highlands. Erudax serves as boss in Grim Batol and is involved in producing Twilight Hatchlings.

The Faceless of the Deep appears in the Lost Isles commanding the naga there against the shipwrecked goblins from Kezan. The goblins, however, believe him to be a deformed naga.

During the assault on Wyrmrest Temple, Warlord Zon'ozz and Yor'sahj the Unsleeping appeared in the maws of Go'rath and Shu'ma, respectively. They were ultimately killed by adventurers.

Legion

Legion This section concerns content exclusive to Legion.

The Kirin Tor and the Wardens have kept faceless ones imprisoned in the Violet Hold and the Vault of the Wardens, respectively. During the Burning Legion's third invasion of Azeroth, these n'raqi were set free as a result of the Legion's attacks on these areas.

More notably, however, the faceless appear within the Emerald Nightmare under the command of the Nightmare Lord Xavius, providing one of the many indications as to whom the Emerald Nightmare truly belongs. These n'raqi assist Xavius in his battle against the invading adventurers, both assaulting them ahead of his emergence, and keeping his enemies on their toes with their massive, Nightmare-enhanced size. However, even with the aid of these horrors, Xavius is unable to best the adventurers who assault him and is killed. Upon his death the Nightmare dissipates, seemingly forever ending the Old Gods' grip on the realm.

Appearance

Standard faceless

N'raqi are vaguely humanoid creatures who, as the name implies, have no discernible faces insofar as other races recognize them. One arm is much larger than the other, grotesque and misshapen, while the other is little more than a prehensile tentacle.

Aquatic faceless

A type of underwater n'raqi that, unlike their brethren, have much bigger eyes and nautilus-like heads.

Faceless spellcaster

A type of n'raqi caster that wear masks and has thinner tentacle arms than other types of n'raqi.

C'Thraxxi

Main article: C'Thrax

C'Thraxxi, or "faceless generals", are massive n'raqi warbringers, larger and more resilient than their lesser brethren.[13]

Communication

The n'raqi likely speak the language of the Old Gods, Shath'yar, which no race on Azeroth is capable of understanding or pronouncing.[citation needed] The only known example of this language is Herald Volazj. His strange utterings are somehow translated directly into the minds of nearby players through telepathic whispers. Darkspeaker R'khem also communicates with other beings by projecting telepathic thoughts into their mind, together with a wave of soothing, euphoric feelings that are mixed with a sense of pain. After completing N [80G3] Mind Tricks, he disappears with a noise that is translated as laughter in the player's mind. Faceless Lurkers sometimes utter "Shur'nab... shur'nab... Yogg-Saron!" when assaulting their victims, which never appears to be accompanied by telepathic whispers, so it seems only powerful n'raqi can express themselves in this manner.

Notable

Name Role Status Location
Combat  Avatar of Soggoth Avatar of Soggoth the Slitherer Killable Master's Glaive, Darkshore
Boss  Commander Ulthok Sent by his Old God masters to aid Lady Naz'jar in capturing the Throne of the Tides Killable Neptulon's Rise, Throne of the Tides
Neutral  Darkspeaker R'khem Prisoner of the Ymirjar vrykul in the Saronite Mines Alive Saronite Mines, Icecrown
Combat  Faceless of the Deep Leader of the Vashj'elan naga at the Ruins of Vashj'elan Killable Ruins of Vashj'elan, Lost Isles
Combat  Harbinger Aph'lass Leader of the invasion at Stonetalon Peak Killable Stonetalon Peak, Stonetalon Mountains
Combat  Harbinger Aphotic Leader of the invasion at Lake Falathim Killable Lake Falathim, Ashenvale
Boss  Herald Volazj Herald of Yogg-Saron Killable Fallen Temple of Ahn'kahet, Ahn'kahet: The Old Kingdom
Combat  Hr'nglth the Lost Luring sea creatures into Stagalbog Cave Killable Stagalbog Cave, Swamp of Sorrows
Combat  Ick'thys the Unfathomable Leader of the Corrupting Faceless in the Scalding Chasm Killable Scalding Chasm, Abyssal Depths
Boss  Mindflayer Kaahrj Prisoner of the Violet Hold Killable Violet Hold
Combat  Samuelson Unmasked Disguised as Major Samuelson Killable Throne Room, Stormwind City
Combat  Shok'sharak Unknown Killable Scalding Chasm, Abyssal Depths
Neutral  Soggoth the Slitherer Herald of the Old Gods, wiped out nineteen stone giants before being slain by Kronn Deceased Master's Glaive, Darkshore
Combat  The Beast Unleashed Corrupted version of Grundy MacGraff Killable Kirthaven, Twilight Highlands
Boss  Yor'sahj the Unsleeping Lieutenant of Deathwing Killable Maw of Shu'ma, Dragon Soul
Combat  Yoth'al the Devourer Devourer of Darkshore, keeper of the Devouring Artifact Killable Darkshore

Types

Notes

Gallery

In the RPG

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

Tales say they lived in Azjol-Nerub long before the Scourge came, dwelling too deep for the nerubians to hunt them. The strange faceless ones are ancient monsters long imprisoned beneath the ice and recently loosed again.[19] Faceless ones have a long magical heritage. They draw upon their race's legacy of arcane spellcasting traditions to increase their power. Although faceless ones have a racially low intellect, they have a strong heritage of necromantic magic.[20] A second passage into the Old Kingdom has been discovered by the Scourge, and Baelgun knows the faceless ones will overpower even the undead and then be free to escape into Northrend proper, and so he vows to stop them.[21]

Speculation

Questionmark-medium.png
This article or section includes speculation, observations or opinions possibly supported by lore or by Blizzard officials. It should not be taken as representing official lore.

Inspiration

The faceless ones may be loosely based on the illithids, or "mind flayers", from Dungeons & Dragons. Both illithids and n'raqi are evil races with an affinity for magic and telepathy, and they have both been described as slimy humanoids with "almost octopus-like heads". Both races also traditionally live underground, and are mostly feared by land-dwellers. It is likely that both creatures are based on H. P. Lovecraft's shared Cthulhu Mythos (which the Old Gods and their minions draw heavy inspiration from), or perhaps more accurately, the Cthulhi, the "Star-Spawn" of Cthulhu.

Patch changes

  • MoP Patch 5.1.0 (2012-11-27): Faceless ones once considered uncategorized are now classified as Aberrations.
  • WotLK Patch 3.0.2 (2008-10-14): Introduced.

References