- "Wielding fel magic is like fixing a machine - you have to break a few things to get it to work."
- — Bizzik Sparkcog
- "Many authorities on fel magic have thoroughly calculated that it will ultimately consume all who attempt to master it. Until that day arrives, though - woohoo!"
- — Mazar
Fel magic, the language of chaos and the primal force of chaos, is a destructive form of magic often used by members of the Burning Legion. It is demonic, entropic, and essentially death energy. Its use frequently results in corruption that manifests in a physical transformation, such as a change to an individual's eyes or skin color. All of the Burning Legion carry the taint of fel magic within their very blood, allowing them to spread greater evil.
Fel energy works a bit like radiation; it permeates the area and seeps into anything in the vicinity. Anything near a source of fel energy shows signs of slight "corruption". Fel fire cannot be put out by regular water, but the water of enchanted water elementals seems to be able to do the trick.
- "Sacrificial magic was considered the greatest violation of life and we were attuned to instantly punish those who delved into such... delicious sorcery."
Demons contain fel magic, but they aren't "the" source. The nature of this magic is created from destroying something else. It requires but an insignificant sacrifice—a living fish or two, a few strands of seaweed—to fuel the magic.
Fel energy originates as a result of the mutual destruction of light and shadow as they collide in the Twisting Nether.
- Fel energies: the dark magic of demons, all corrupting and all-consuming if the craving for it was not held in check.
Demons are evil immortals who feed upon magic and life. They delight in inflicting suffering, spreading corruption, and, of course, destroying all that is good. In order to become a demon, a creature must be infused with fel energy, which burns life to create magic.
The term Demonology can translate into the study and practice of evil immortals who feed upon life and magic. By their very nature, demons are leeches on the living universe—but the demonologist has mastered harnessing the power of these malefic beings on the field of battle. Warlocks harvest the souls of their defeated enemies; those specialized in the ways of demonology use this life essence to tap into the Void, pulling all manner of abomination from the chaos of the Twisting Nether. While such a practice is often considered by outsiders to be wicked and reckless, the demonologist maintains absolute control over the summoned creatures. These malignant entities are fully beholden to—and empowered by—the will of the warlock, until banished to the realm from whence they came.
The official teachings in the Violet Citadel, in Kirin Tor, is that demonology is to be eschewed, avoided, and abjured. Any attempt to summon demons are to be found out and stopped at once, and those involved are to be expelled or worse. A student of Antonidas asked, "Why are there so many limitations on traditional portals, when Fel portals can be made twice as large and last ten times as long?" The student was not yet educated in the abstraction of what is practical versus what is achievable, yet the question held within Antonidas a certain duality: What future is there for the established practices of magic when so many wild variations threaten to overshadow them? He did all he could to stifle studies of Fel magics and necromancy here, yet he found himself both disturbed and enthralled by their potential. He refused to believe that that their efficiency so soundly trumps the common criticisms of being unstable or "evil" that these schools hold the monopoly of avenues for magical progress. Yet when witnessing the massive infernal for one's self, or seeing acres of land blighted at the wave of an hand, he feared his beliefs may soon shift from gospel to dogma in the minds of his peers.
Influence on Class
Demon hunters, disciples of Illidan Stormrage, uphold a dark legacy, one that frightens their allies and enemies alike. The Illidari embrace fel and chaotic magics—energies that have long threatened the world of Azeroth—believing them necessary to challenge the Burning Legion. Wielding the powers of demons they've slain, they develop demonic features that incite revulsion and dread in fellow elves.
- "The warlock's way was quicker, more effective, or so it seemed. But there comes a time when a price must be paid, and sometimes, it is dear indeed."
- — Grom Hellscream
Born of the Eredar race, warlocks are absolutely corrupt and unimaginably powerful. Their chaos magics have burnt out whole worlds and annihilated countless species over the aeons. Kil'jaeden taught the orcs the secrets of warlock magics, but the orcs could never master the powers of entropy and destruction as well the wicked Eredar. Under Archimonde's command, the warlocks serve as the Legion's tacticians and strategists
In the face of demonic power (or warlock magics), most heroes see death. Warlocks see only opportunity. Dominance is their aim, and they have found a path to it in the dark arts. Warlocks are magical practitioners that seek to understand darker, fel-based magics, including destructive spells. While many warlocks willingly follow the Burning Legion, there are those who work against it, using their magic to fight against evil. Warlocks have proven themselves to be powerful allies-as well as powerful foes.
Warlocks have the ability to convert their own life force into rewards - both material and evanescent.
Influence on Race
Blood elves are high elves who had turned to absorbing demonic magic after the loss of their vaunted power source, the Sunwell, and had subsequently become addicted to the fel energies. You could be the most pious of priests or most outdoorsy of Farstriders, chances are, if you were a high elf in Quel'Thalas or Outland following the Third War, you were around fel energies, and your eyes would turn green.
Demonstrated by the , not even dragons are immune to the corruption of fel magic.
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Nearly twenty-five thousand years ago, the eredar race arose on the world of Argus. They were extremely intelligent and had a natural affinity for magic in all its myriad forms. Using their gifts, they developed a vast and wondrous society. Unfortunately the eredar's accomplishments caught the attention of Sargeras, the Destroyer of Worlds. He had already begun his Burning Crusade to eradicate all life from the cosmos, and he believed that the brilliant eredar would be pivotal in leading the vast demonic army he was gathering. Thus, he contacted the eredar's three most prominent leaders: Kil'jaeden, Archimonde, and Velen. In exchange for the loyalty of the eredar race, Sargeras offered untold power and knowledge. Although the offer sounded very tempting, Velen had a vision of the future that filled him with sick dread. Sargeras had spoken the truth: the eredar who joined the Dark Titan would indeed gain enormous power and knowledge. However, the eredar would themselves be transformed into demons. Velen saw the Legion in all its terrible might and witnessed the destruction it would wreak upon all of creation. He hastened to warn Kil'jaeden and Archimonde, but they dismissed his concerns, for they had been enticed by Sargeras' promises. They gave Sargeras their allegiance and were transformed into colossal beings of depthless evil.
The sheer power that Sargeras commanded made direct opposition unthinkable. Velen nearly despaired, but his prayer for help was overheard. A being came to Velen and explained that it was one of the naaru, a race of sentient energy beings bent on stopping the Burning Crusade. The naaru offered to take Velen and any other like-minded eredar to safety. Deeply relieved, Velen gathered the other eredar who had thus far refused to join Sargeras. Naming themselves the draenei, or "exiled ones" in the Eredun language, the renegades barely escaped from Argus, with the Burning Legion only moments behind. Kil'jaeden was furious with what he felt was Velen's betrayal, and the demon vowed to hunt Velen and the rest of the draenei to the ends of the cosmos if need be. The Legion chased the draenei for many thousands of years. The draenei visited many worlds and explored much of the known cosmos in their quest to find safe harbor. Still the Legion would not give up its pursuit. Meanwhile, the enigmatic naaru race blessed the draenei with Light-given knowledge and power. The naaru explained that there were other forces in the cosmos that would stand against the Burning Legion. One day the naaru would forge them into a single unstoppable army of the Light. Deeply affected by the naaru's words, the draenei vowed to honor the Light and uphold the naaru's altruistic ideals. Eventually Velen and his draenei settled upon a remote and peaceful world that seemed an ideal refuge. They named it Draenor, or "Exiles' Refuge", and there they quietly cultivated their society once again. Ever wary of being discovered again by Kil'jaeden's forces, Velen and his mystics kept their magics hidden for generations.
In time the draenei met and befriended the shamanistic orc clans that already lived in the tranquil southern grasslands of Nagrand. Aside from engaging in some limited trade, the draenei and orcs regarded one another with respect but kept mostly to themselves. In spite of the draenei's caution, Kil'jaeden discovered their secret refuge on Draenor. He learned more of the world and its inhabitants, and he grew intrigued by the mighty orc race. A plan unfolded in his mind, and the demon lord began to laugh. He could see precisely how to mold the orcs into the instrument of his wrath. It was merely a matter of time and pressure. And so Kil'jaeden began to corrupt the orcs, first through the elderly shaman Ner'zhul, and then through his apprentice, Gul'dan. The orc clans dedicated themselves to the art of war and joined to form a single, murderous Horde. Even the wisest shaman learned warlock magics and abandoned the teachings they had once revered. Smoothly manipulated from a state of wary acceptance into blind rage and bloodlust, the orcs attacked the draenei. This bloody conflict lasted nearly eight years, but the orcs' triumph was inevitable. The draenei were mighty due to their Light-given powers, but the demon-maddened Horde was mightier still. The orcs killed over eighty percent of the draenei race and sent the rest fleeing for safety to the remote corners of the world.
Afterwards, draenei who had fought the Horde and survived found that they had been affected by the fel energies wielded so freely by the orc warlocks. These draenei have since mutated into lesser forms, resulting in a series of subspecies. The Broken and the Lost Ones (as seen above) are two such genetic offshoots. Their warped bodies bear only a rough resemblance to the proud draenei they once were, and quite a few have lost their grip on sanity.
Gul'dan was the first orc warlock and is considered one of the most powerful warlocks to have ever existed. He taught other young orcs the arcane arts and strove to eradicate the orcs' shamanistic traditions. Kil'jaeden, seeking to tighten his hold over the orcs, helped Gul'dan found the Shadow Council, a secretive sect that manipulated the clans and spread the use of warlock magics throughout Draenor. As more and more orcs began to wield warlock magics, the gentle fields and streams of Draenor began to blacken and fade. From every account, the demonic energies, used so freely and with no heed given as to their cost, leeched all that was wholesome and life-giving from the world of Draenor.
Plague of Undeath
- Main article: Plague of Undeath
- “Friends turned into foes; life into death that yet was not. There could be no hesitation, no mercy, no quarter. This was the plague. This was sorcery of a wickedness that only one such as Gul'dan could have conceived of, yet Gul'dan was long dead.”
When Jaina saw the land around the plagued granary dying she was reminded of what happened with the Dark Portal and the Blasted Lands. When the portal was opened, the demonic energies that sapped the life from Draenor spilled through into Azeroth, and the land around the portal died. Arthas then questioned if this grain was carrying demonic energy.
In the RPG
The ultimate manifestation of the demonic arcane on Azeroth is fel energy. Fel energy, which most commonly manifests itself as ghastly, green-yellow flame, is arcane magic at its most corrupt, for it employs the blood of demons. Unlike arcane magic the use of fel magic corrupts the user's body and soul. By contrast the chief danger of arcane magic is that using it inevitably leads to the desire to wield greater power: power that only fel magic can provide. When the demons brought death and damnation to Azeroth, they also carried their own brand of magic to the world. Fel magic is pure, evil and arcane; it resides in the blood of demons. This blood has magical properties; it is addictive to arcane magic users and can be used to create evil weapons. When a weapon is forged in demon blood, it becomes a fel weapon. It glows with a foul, yellow-green fire and deals extra damage to good-aligned opponents. Some arcanists can cast fel spells, perhaps after drinking demon blood. Since the Burning Legion returned to Azeroth, the world's heroes have encountered fel weapons and fel magic at an increasing frequency. As demon cults continue to fester and grow in Desolace, Ashenvale Forest, and other remote corners, gruesome sacrifices are held to entice demons into giving their blood in trade. The cultists use their blood to enchant the weapons that they hope will bring about their masters' ultimate victory.
Demons sometimes tempt spellcasters by offering small amounts of their blood in exchange for services. If the recipient drinks the demon's blood within 24 hours of the offering, the next arcane spell he casts will be empowered by the fel. Fel blood is highly addictive as well as corruptive. Anyone who drinks it risks becoming dependent on fel blood, and unless the person continues to drink it daily, he will suffer withdrawal symptoms. He has a chance of breaking the addiction seven days after first drinking the fel blood.
Spells with the fel descriptor are very difficult to resist. Casting a fel spell is described by many spellcasters as a euphoric experience. If arcane magic is an addiction, fel magic is the embodiment of the drug in its purest form.
Entropic fire is fel energy given substance: it is entropic fire that burns on infernals, and it is entropic fire that ran down the body of the pit lord Mannoroth the Destructor. Entropic fire burns, as does normal fire, but it is more sinister still: it feeds on life, including the life of its wielder.
A gray ore known as fel stone litters the physical spaces of the Nether. It functions as a conduit for the Nether's entropic energies.
- World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 1 states that Fel energy was, and still is, created from mutual destruction of light and darkness as they collide inside the Twisting Nether. In this way, Fel magic is neither life magic, death magic, nor divine magic, but as Micky Neilson stated, its own category, a sort of chaos magic. The reason why it consumes souls, or is produced when sacrificing life energy is unknown. Perhaps the sacrifice is a way of artificially recreating the scenario in which Fel energy is created in the Twisting Nether. Warlocks may use shadow energy to destroy life energy, which in essence may be energy of the light of creation, causing the two energies to collide, destroying one another as in the twisting nether, and create Fel.
- As Loreology recalls warlocks don't get their power from the Nether. However, when someone pointed out that Destro locks have a passive called that says “You drain energy directly from the twisting nether.” he replied with, "Highly possible,..."  According to Jeremy Feasel "Real Fel energy consumes souls, yes. Hence, soul shards." The foul crystal creates a connection to the Twisting Nether. Perhaps warlocks sacrifice portions of their own souls, creating connections to the Twisting Nether, then draw fel energies from there.
Vendellin Soulfire sacrificing the living essence all around him.
- ^ TCG Heroes of Azeroth/17
- ^ TCG Fires of Outland/4
- ^ Dave Kosak on Twitter (2015-11-10)
- ^ Dave Kosak on Twitter (2015-12-03)
- ^ Dave Kosak on Twitter
- ^ BlizzCon 2005 - Lore Panel
- ^ a b Ultimate Visual Guide
- ^ a b Ask CDev Answers: Round 3
- ^ The Tomb of Sargeras
- ^ Quest:Fire!
- ^ Quest:Seeking the Soulstones: Blade's Edge Memory
- ^ Loreology on Twitter (dead link)
- ^ The Comic Volume 4 - Whispers. "Let me help you fight that monster...for fel magic is powerful...and we are near the sea. It requires but an insignificant sacrifice—a living fish or two, a few strands of seaweed—to fuel the magic."
- ^ World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 1
- ^ Paragons pg. 894
- ^ The Warcraft Encyclopedia/Demons
- ^ Legion Class Preview Series: Warlock
- ^ The Last Guardian, pg. 230
- ^ Journal of Archmage Antonidas
- ^ "Official Demon Hunter"
- ^ Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos Manual - Warlock
- ^ Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos Game Manual: Lethargy and Internment - Researching what little he could find of orcish history, Antonidas learned that the orcs had been under the crippling influence of demonic power (or warlock magics) for generations.
- ^ Classes of World of Warcraft - Warlock
- ^ WoW TCG Card: Kena Shadowbrand - Warlocks have the ability to convert their own life force into rewards - both material and evanescent.
- ^ Stormrage pg.292
- ^ The Burning Crusade Townhall/Draenei
- ^ Kil'jaeden and the Shadow Pact
- ^ Rise of the Horde, pg. 498
- ^ The Warcraft Encyclopedia/Satyrs
- ^ World of Warcraft: Paragons pg. 37
- ^ Rise of the Lich King, pg. 253
- ^ a b c Johnstone, Mike. Magic & Mayhem, 24. ISBN 9781588469540.
- ^ Johnson, Luke. Dark Factions, 37. ISBN 9781588464460.
- ^ Arthaus. World of Warcraft: The Roleplaying Game, 252. ISBN 9781588467812.
- ^ Dark Factions, 37
- ^ Shadows & Light
- ^ Archive lore tweets from loreology
- ^ Jeremy Feasel on Twitter