Burning Legion

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Neutral The Burning Legion
Sargeras and the Legion.jpg
The Invasion of Azeroth
Main leaders

IconSmall DarkTitan Male.gif Sargeras (Original)
IconSmall Kil'jaeden.gif Kil'jaeden (Interim)[1][2]

Secondary leaders
Former leaders

Estimated to number in the millions[3]

Main races
Other races
Base of operations
Theater of operations

All across the Great Dark Beyond, notably Azeroth

Main language
Secondary languages


Main factions
Other Membership
"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."
Archimonde, before the destruction of Dalaran

The Burning Legion (aka The Legion,[5] Burning Shadow,[6] great burning shadow,[7] or Legion of the Lower Planes[citation needed]) is a vast, innumerable army of demons, infernals, and corrupted races who seek to destroy any trace of order in the universe. They have thrice invaded Azeroth, and were only beaten back at a terrible cost. Much of Azeroth's history — including the First, Second, and Third War — were due to the Legion's influence. It can be said that the Legion is Azeroth's nemesis; it corrupted the orcs who then invaded Azeroth, created the Lich King and is the source of most of Azeroth's scars. It should also be noted that Azeroth is the only known planet that they have ever failed to conquer.

The Legion's mission is to utterly destroy the universe and remake it without the underlying defect preventing true order.[1] In practice, the Legion scours all life from the worlds it invades, they are cursed to roam the greater realms forever to consume the primal energies of magic to survive.[8]

The Legion has ravaged world after world in its mad lust for arcane power[8] and is responsible for the annihilation of countless species.[9]



The Titans, creators of order in the universe, were aware of the threat posed to their creations by the evil entities living in the Twisting Nether. These demonic beings existed only to devour the living energies of the universe. Over time, the demons began to make their way into the Titan's worlds from the nether. The Titans selected their greatest warrior, Sargeras, to act as their first line of defense. A noble giant of bronze, Sargeras carried out his duties for countless millennia, seeking out and destroying these demons wherever he could find them. Over the aeons, Sargeras encountered two powerful demonic races, both of which were bent on gaining power and dominance over the physical universe. Though Sargeras' nearly limitless powers were more than enough to defeat the demons he faced, he was greatly troubled by their corruption and all-consuming evil. Incapable of fathoming such depravity, the great Titan began to slip into a brooding depression.

While his confusion and misery deepened, Sargeras was forced to contend with several groups intent on disrupting the Titans' order: the nathrezim, Mo'arg, Ered'ruin and Infernals.[10] These demonic creatures conquered a number of populated worlds by possessing their inhabitants and turning them to the shadow. The nefarious, scheming demons turned whole nations against one another by manipulating them into unthinking hatred and mistrust. Sargeras defeated them easily, but their corruption affected him deeply.[11]

Shaken by the evil of demons, Sargeras began to despair of his task and gradually slipped into a brooding depression. As doubt and despair overwhelmed Sargeras's senses, he lost all faith in his mission.[11] Sargeras came to believe that a flaw in the fabric of creation set up an unwinnable battle against evil.[12] His fellow titans tried to make Sargeras realize his erroneous way of thinking and calm his raging emotions, but he disregarded their more optimistic beliefs as self-serving delusions. Storming from their ranks forever, Sargeras set out to find his own place in the universe. Although the Pantheon was sorrowful at his departure, the titans could never have predicted just how far their lost brother would go.[11]

By the time Sargeras' madness had consumed the last vestiges of his valiant spirit, he decided that the other titans were deeply misguided in trying to establish order throughout creation. Under the circumstances, the struggle was futile. The universe had to be destroyed utterly and remade without the underlying defect. Only then could true order be achieved. Thus, Sargeras conceived of a sweeping campaign to bring about the end of all things: the Burning Crusade.[1]

In his fury, Sargeras shattered the prisons of the Nathrezim and all the other demon races he had imprisoned during his time as the Titans' champion, and set the loathsome demons free. These cunning creatures bowed before the dark Titan's vast rage and offered to serve him in whatever malicious ways they could. Thus was born Sargeras' unstoppable army — the Burning Legion.

Even Sargeras' titanic form became distorted from the corruption that plagued his once-noble heart. His eyes, hair, and beard erupted in fire, and his metallic bronze skin split open to reveal an endless furnace of blistering hate.

On the planet Argus, Sargeras found the army he sought — the eredar, a race of highly intelligent beings with a natural affinity for magic in all its myriad forms. From the ranks of these mighty creatures, Sargeras picked two champions to command his demonic army of destruction. Kil'jaeden the Deceiver was chosen to seek out the darkest races in the universe and recruit them into Sargeras' ranks. The second champion, Archimonde the Defiler, was chosen to lead Sargeras' vast armies into battle against any who might resist the Titan's will.

Kil'jaeden's first move was to enslave the vampiric dreadlords under his terrible power. The dreadlords served as his personal agents throughout the universe, and they took pleasure in locating primitive races for their master to corrupt and bring into the fold. First amongst the dreadlords was Tichondrius the Darkener. Tichondrius served Kil'jaeden as the perfect soldier and agreed to bring Sargeras' burning will to all the dark corners of the universe.

The mighty Archimonde also empowered agents of his own. Calling upon the malefic pit lords and their barbarous leader, Mannoroth the Destructor, Archimonde hoped to establish a fighting elite that would scour creation of all life.

Once Sargeras saw that his armies were amassed and ready to follow his every command, he launched his raging forces into the vastness of the Great Dark. He referred to his growing army as the Burning Legion. To this date, it is still unclear how many worlds they consumed and burned on their unholy Burning Crusade across the universe.[11]

In terms of exact dates, these events are difficult to pinpoint. The empowerment of the Dragon Aspects is listed as having occurred some 64,000 years ago, which most sources agree happened after Sargeras fell. However, the defection of the eredar didn't occur until 25,000 years ago, some 39 millennia later. This is confusing, as it means neither the eredar nor the Nathrezim (the most important minions of the Legion) joined until long after the Legion's foundation. Alternatively, the Legion was only formed after the eredar's defection 25,000 years ago, and not Sargeras's fall 39,000 years earlier. In other words, the foundation of the Legion is shrouded in mystery.

The First Invasion

The Path of Corruption
Main article: War of the Ancients

Many thousands of years ago (10,000 years before Warcraft I) the Burning Legion became attracted to the world of Azeroth due to the reckless use of magic taking place on that world. The night elf "Highborne" under the direction of the Night Elf queen Azshara and her counselor Xavius had been undertaking experiments to draw greater and greater amounts of energy from the Well of Eternity, the source of magical power on Azeroth.

The Highborne's reckless use of magic sent ripples of energy spiraling out from the Well of Eternity and into the Great Dark Beyond. The streaming ripples of energy were felt by terrible alien minds. Sargeras — the Great Enemy of all life, the Destroyer of Worlds — felt the potent ripples and was drawn to their distant point of origin. Spying the primordial world of Azeroth and sensing the limitless energies of the Well of Eternity, Sargeras was consumed by an insatiable hunger. The great dark god of the Nameless Void resolved to destroy the fledgling world and claim its energies as his own.

Sargeras gathered his vast Burning Legion and made his way towards the unsuspecting world of Azeroth. The Legion was composed of a million screaming demons, all ripped from the far corners of the universe, and the demons hungered for conquest. Sargeras' lieutenants, Archimonde the Defiler and Mannoroth the Destructor, prepared their infernal minions to strike.

Queen Azshara, overwhelmed by the terrible ecstasy of her magic, fell victim to Sargeras' undeniable power and agreed to grant him entrance to her world. Even her Highborne servitors gave themselves over to magic's inevitable corruption and began to worship Sargeras as their god. To show their allegiance to the Legion, the Highborne aided their queen in opening a vast, swirling portal within the depths of the Well of Eternity.

Once all his preparations had been made, Sargeras began his catastrophic invasion of Azeroth. The warrior-demons of the Burning Legion stormed into the world through the Well of Eternity and laid siege to the night elves' sleeping cities. Led by Archimonde and Mannoroth, the Legion swarmed over the lands of Kalimdor, leaving only ash and sorrow in its wake. The demon warlocks called down searing Infernals that crashed like hellish meteors into the graceful spires of Kalimdor's temples. A band of burning, bloodletting killers known as the Doomguard marched across Kalimdor's fields, slaughtering everyone in their path. Packs of wild, demonic Felhounds ravaged the countryside unopposed. Though the brave Kaldorei warriors rushed to defend their ancient homeland, they were forced to give ground, inch by inch, before the fury of the Legion's onslaught.

It fell to Malfurion Stormrage to find help for his beleaguered people. Stormrage, whose own brother, Illidan, practiced the Highborne's magics, was incensed by the growing corruption amongst the upper class. Convincing Illidan to forsake his dangerous obsession, Malfurion set out to find Cenarius and muster a resistance force. The beautiful young priestess, Tyrande, agreed to accompany the brothers in the name of Elune. Though Malfurion and Illidan shared a love for the idealistic priestess, Tyrande's heart belonged to Malfurion alone. Illidan resented his brother's budding romance with Tyrande, but knew that his heartache was nothing compared to the pain of his magical addiction.

Illidan, who had grown dependent on magic's empowering energies, struggled to keep control of his nearly overwhelming hunger to tap the Well's energies once again. However, with Tyrande's patient support, he was able to restrain himself and help his brother find the reclusive demigod, Cenarius. Cenarius, who dwelt within the sacred Moonglades of the distant Mount Hyjal, agreed to help the night elves by finding the ancient dragons and enlisting their aid. The dragons, led by the great red leviathan, Alexstrasza, agreed to send their mighty flights to engage the demons and their infernal masters.

Cenarius, calling on the spirits of the enchanted forests, rallied an army of ancient tree-men and led them against the Legion in a daring ground assault. As the night elves' allies converged upon Azshara's temple and the Well of Eternity, all-out warfare erupted. Despite the strength of their newfound allies, Malfurion and his colleagues realized that the Legion could not be defeated by martial strength alone.

As the titanic battle raged around Azshara's capital city, the delusional queen waited in anticipation for Sargeras' arrival. The lord of the Legion was preparing to pass through the Well of Eternity and enter the ravaged world. As his impossibly huge shadow drew ever closer to the Well's raging surface, Azshara gathered the most powerful of her Highborne followers. Only by linking their magics together in one focused spell would they be able to create a gateway large enough for Sargeras to enter.

Malfurion, convinced that the Well of Eternity was the demons' umbilical link to the physical world, insisted that it should be destroyed. His companions, knowing that the Well was the source of their immortality and powers, were horrified by the rash notion. Yet Tyrande saw the wisdom of Malfurion's theory, so she convinced Cenarius and their comrades to storm Azshara's temple and find a way to shut the Well down for good.

Knowing that the Well's destruction would prevent him from ever wielding magic again, Illidan selfishly abandoned the group and set out to warn the Highborne of Malfurion's plan. Due to the insanity brought on by his addiction and the stinging resentment towards his brother's affair with Tyrande, Illidan felt no remorse at betraying Malfurion and siding with Azshara and her ilk. Above all else, Illidan vowed to protect the Well's power by any means necessary.

Heartbroken by his brother's departure, Malfurion led his companions into the heart of Azshara's temple. Yet as they stormed into the main audience chamber, they found the Highborne in the midst of their final dark incantation. The communal spell created an unstable vortex of power within the Well's turbulent depths. As Sargeras' ominous shadow drew ever closer to the surface, Malfurion and his allies rushed to attack.

Azshara, having received Illidan's warning, was more than prepared for them. Nearly all of Malfurion's followers fell before the mad queen's powers. Tyrande, attempting to attack Azshara from behind, was caught off-guard by the queen's Highborne guardsmen. Though she vanquished the guardsmen, Tyrande suffered grievous wounds at their hands. When Malfurion saw his love fall, he went into a murderous rage and resolved to end Azshara's life.

As the battle raged inside and outside of the temple, Illidan appeared from the shadows near the shores of the great Well. Producing a set of specially crafted vials, Illidan knelt and filled each with the Well's shimmering waters. Convinced that the demons would crush the night elves' civilization, he planned to steal the sacred waters and keep their energies for himself.

The ensuing battle between Malfurion and Azshara threw the Highborne's carefully crafted spellwork into chaos. The unstable vortex within the Well's depths exploded and ignited a catastrophic chain of events that would sunder the world forever. The massive explosion rocked the temple to its foundations and sent massive quakes ripping through the tortured earth. As the horrific battle between the Legion and the night elves' allies raged around and above the ruined capital city, the surging Well of Eternity buckled in upon itself and collapsed.

The resultant catastrophic explosion shattered the earth and blotted out the skies (see The Great Sundering).

As the aftershocks from the Well's implosion rattled the bones of the world, the seas rushed in to fill the gaping wound left in the earth. Nearly eighty percent of Kalimdor's landmass had been blasted apart, leaving only a handful of separate continents surrounding the new, raging sea. At the center of the new sea, where the Well of Eternity once stood, was a tumultuous storm of tidal fury and chaotic energies. This terrible scar, known as the Maelstrom, would never cease its furious spinning. It would remain a constant reminder of the terrible catastrophe... and the Utopian era that had been lost forever.

Somehow, against all odds, Queen Azshara and her Highborne elite managed to survive the ordeal. Tortured and twisted by the powers they had released, Azshara and her followers were dragged down beneath the raging sea by the Well's implosion. Cursed — transformed — they took on new shapes and became the hateful serpentine naga. Azshara herself expanded with hate and rage, becoming a massive monstrosity, reflecting the wickedness and malice that had always hidden within her core.

There, at the bottom of the Maelstrom, the naga built for themselves a new city, Nazjatar, from which they would rebuild their power. It would take over ten thousand years before the naga would reveal their existence to the surface world.

Sargeras' return

Main articles: Aegwynn and the Dragon Hunt, The Song of Aegwynn

Somewhere in Northrend, the demon forces invaded once again. Aegwynn fought against them here and even faced, and defeated, the avatar of Sargeras himself.

The Second Invasion

Main article: Second Invasion

For years, since their defeat at the hands of Malfurion Stormrage, the Legion had watched and waited for the moment to be right for a second attempt to conquer Azeroth. Kil'jaeden was given orders to plan the second invasion of Azeroth and was unwilling to take any chances on the Legion's success. He decided that a new force would be necessary in order to weaken the defenses of Azeroth before the Legion's main invasion force arrived.

Around this time Kil'jaeden discovered the world of Draenor and its two races, the shamanistic, clan based orcs and the peaceful Draenei. Of the two races, Kil'jaeden surmised that the orcs, a race seemingly bred as warriors, would be the perfect tool of the Legion. By bending the elder Shaman Ner'zhul to his will, Kil'jaeden was able to enact a series of events that would see to the enslavement of the orcs to the will of the Legion. Complete control was established when Kil'jaeden orchestrated a meeting between the orc chieftains and Mannoroth. At this meeting, the orcs were convinced to drink the blood of Mannoroth and thus cursed themselves to bloodlust and savagery.

The orcs attempted to invade Azeroth twice through the Dark Portal.[13][14] However, the natives of the planet formed together into an alliance led by the humans, fought back with unexpected determination and casualties were high on both sides. At the end of the Second War, the Alliance of Lordaeron had defeated the orcs and their homeworld of Draenor destroyed by Ner'zhul's attempt to escape into another dimension. The remaining orcs were rounded up and placed in various internment camps by the Alliance.

After the defeat of the orcs, Kil'jaeden determined to create a new force, one that would succeed where the orcs had failed. To this end he captured Ner'zhul and remade him as the Lich King. Trapping his essence in the Frozen Throne, a large block of ice, Kil'jaeden hurled the Lich King to Azeroth, where he crashed on the frozen continent of Northrend. The Lich King's new mission was to prepare Azeroth for subjugation through the release of a Plague of Undeath. Thus, the Scourge was born.

Where the orcs had failed the Scourge succeeded impressively. Within months the Eastern Kingdoms were in disarray. Each soldier or townsfolk who fell to the Scourge was reborn as an undead minion of the Lich King. Finally, the time for the Legion's return was nigh.

Servants of the scourge were able to summon Archimonde himself to lead the assault...with him came the myriad demons of the legion. The second invasion had truly begun. The forces of the Legion swept across the Eastern Kingdoms and soon reached the shores of Kalimdor, home of their old enemy, the night elves.

The Legion chose as its main goal the consumption of the World Tree on Mount Hyjal, which contained the essence of all life on Azeroth and granted immortality to the night elves. At the final hour, an alliance of humans, orcs, and night elves fought desperately to hold back Archimonde and the legion while Malfurion Stormrage performed a desperate druidic ritual upon the World Tree itself. Finally, Malfurion gave the signal that he was ready and the Legion was allowed to reach their goal...the World Tree stood exposed to Archimonde. As the demon embraced the tree, and began to feed upon its magics, Malfurion's spell took hold. The World Tree released all of its energy into Archimonde at once, destroying both the World Tree and the demon. The ensuing explosion destroyed the tree and laid waste to Hyjal summit. The Legion had been defeated once again, but at the cost of the night elves' immortality.

With Archimonde finally defeated, Kil'jaeden has assumed complete control of the Legion.

Aftermath of the Third War

An army of human and blood elves arose, the New Alliance under the leadership of Lord Garithos and Kael'thas Sunstrider.[15] This New Alliance fought back against the Scourge and the Burning Legion. They managed to retake Dalaran[16] and fought against the undead in Silverpine Forest[17][18] and Alterac Mountains.[15]


The Majority Satyr groups are still loyal to the Burning Legion and have stayed on Kalimdor waiting for the return of their dark masters. The remains of the Legion itself can be found in the region of felwood where demons of all varieties can be found, including a few corrupted species such a furbolgs. The Legion also has many still loyal orcish warlocks of the Burning Blade clan hiding in Durotar and even Orgrimmar itself.


Although the New Alliance suffered a great loss with the blood elves, they continued fighting against the Scourge. However, they were not a serious threat to the Burning Legion. Rather, the dreadlords Balnazzar, Detheroc, and Varimathras who were in charge of the Scourge were impatient for orders from Archimonde and ensured that the Scourge was ready for action, ignorant of the death of their leader. Soon after, Arthas returned to Lordaeron's Capital City. He told the undead leaders that the city was now his and that he wouldn't require the dreadlords' services to watch over it. When Balnazzar retorted that the Scourge belonged to the Legion, Arthas replied that their masters had been defeated, and that the Burning Legion was "undone." He then tried to slaughter the dreadlords but they managed to escape and warn Arthas of their inevitable retribution.[16] Later, the dreadlords found out that the Lich King was weakening, and together with Sylvannas Windrunner planned to overthrow Arthas.[19]

Luckily for the Scourge, Arthas escaped the Capital City and Sylvanas's assassination attempt was thwarted by Kel'thuzad.[20] Soon after Varimathras invited Sylvanas to join the dreadlord's new order, Sylvanas however had no intention of losing her freedom again denied the offer and knew it was only a moment of time before she would be attacked. Using her sister banshees Sylvanas possessed Blackthorn, Mug'thol, Snarlmane, and possibly the Murloc Puddle Lord to bloster her forces and not only did she destroy the attacking undead, she even "turned" Varimathras to her side.[21] Soon after the future forsaken killed Detheroc and acquired an ally in the freed Garithos.[22]

The banshee and her forces laid siege to Balnazzar's base, which he had fortified within the city ruins. Balnazzar then found himself attacked from both sides by Sylvanas and Garithos. Though he was armed with demons and had made many threats, Balnazzar's forces were defeated.[18]

Sylvanas, Varimathras, and Garithos approached Balnazzar. Sylvanas ordered Varimathras to kill his brother as a testament of his loyalty to her. Varimathras was reluctant. Killing another nathrezim was forbidden but Sylvanas was adamant. Balnazzar was sure that Varimathras would never take that final step. He was wrong.[18] However, Balnazzar survived — Varimathras allowed his brother to fake his death in order to fool Sylvanas.[citation needed] Varimathras then killed Garithos on Sylvanas' orders.[18]

With all their enemies dead, Sylvanas made a proclamation to Varimathras. They would rule the Plaguelands as the Forsaken, and would stake out their own destiny, where none would get in their way.[18]

At some point Balnazzar killed and possessed Saidan Dathrohan's body and began using the Scarlet Crusade.[23]

The Outland

Main article: Magtheridon's Forces

Magtheridon still ruled Outland after the Legion's defeat, but, with the help of the escaped blood elves, Illidan Stormrage stormed his citadel and claimed Outland for his own.[24] Although the pit lord was chained and his forces are now part of Illidan's forces, there are still numerous Legion strongholds over the planet and the Cabal, cultists of the Shadow Council, are trying to provide adventage to thier demon masters. The draenei are resisting to the Legion, even a group led by Akama had to join Illidan to defeat Magtheridon.


The Burning Legion in the Blasted Lands were under the command of Lord Kazzak. Thanks to the efforts of Razelikh the Defiler the Burning Legion blostered its ranks with Grol the Destroyer and his Dreadmaul Ogres, Lady Sevine, and Archmage Allistarj. This sect of the legion also includes Ilifar, the only death knight who sided with the legion during the scourge rebellion.

Attempted Third Invasion

Attempt to enter through the Dark Portal

After Illidan's failure to destroy the Frozen Throne, Kil'jaeden sent forces to Outland to destroy him, however, Illidan's forces proved to be equally as powerful and the Legion has so far been unable to gain revenge. During the invasion of Outland, the Legion managed to open the Dark Portal and send troops into Azeroth, led by Highlord Kruul, but the Argent Dawn managed to hold the area surrounding the portal until reinforcements from the Alliance and Horde arrived.[25] After that, the Azerothian resistance pressed on and managed to drive the demons back into Outland where they fought at The Stair of Destiny.[3]

The march of the Legion

The Alliance and Horde managed to defeat the Burning Legion in the first battle and entered through the Dark Portal, going to the middle Hellfire Peninsula, there the Horde established Thrallmar[26] and the initial Expeditionary Force of the Alliance reinforced Honor Hold.[27] However, a Pit Commander and more Legion forces blocked the reinforcements of both factions, and they stood together to fight in The Stair of Destiny[26][27] for a long time.[3] Lieutenant General Orion sent an Horde adventurer for reinforcements of Thrallmar, after the notice General Krakork sent out what forces he could.[28] The Legion stationed dreadlords in Felspark Ravine, but the Alliance[29] and Horde defeated them, their imps and infernals.[30] The Alliance and Horde finally managed to destroy the portals defeating the Legion's forces by ground[31][32] and by air.[33][34][35][36] However the Burning Legion continued to produce fel reavers in Forge Camp: Mageddon, the Alliance and Horde detected this and sent adventurers[37] that defeated this force and destroyed the fel reavers.[38][39] After the defeat of the fel reavers they aimed Thrallmar with fel cannons, but both Alliance and Horde destroyed the cannons.[40][41] The final Legion's base, commanded by Warbringer Arix'Amal, still housed warp-portals from which they were drawing reinforcements, but the Alliance located the base[42] and both Alliance and Horde sent adventurers which destroyed the portals and defeated the Legion in Hellfire Peninsula.[42][43] Kil'jaeden's invasion may have been unsuccessful, but few people know just what he has planned for Azeroth next...

Activities in Outland

TBC This section concerns content exclusive to The Burning Crusade.

The Dark Portal being attacked by the Legion.

Doom Lord Kazzak is the commander of the Burning Legion in Outland, he resides in the Throne of Kil'jaeden.[29][30] Although the Burning Legion in Hellfire Peninsula was defeated, there is presence through all other zones of Outland with the exception of Zangarmarsh.

In Terokkar Forest the Shadow Council is still active, there are many cultists, who are part of a branch called Cabal.

In Blade's Edge Mountains the Legion has accomplished several things:

In Netherstorm the main activities are of the blood elves allied with the Legion, the Kael'thas' forces, with mainly the Sunfury outside of Tempest Keep and other groups inside of it. The demons in the zone were led by the eredar Socrethar[56] and did several things:

Kael'thas summons Kil'Jaeden to Azeroth.
The Fury of The Sunwell

Kil'jaeden was not finished yet however, for he had found a new pawn to manipulate in Prince Kael'thas Sunstrider. After his defeat at Tempest Keep, and still blinded by his lust for power, Kael become an all too willing participant in The Burning Legion's next attempt to invade and conquer Azeroth. Kil'jaeden restored Kael'thas' life and power through demonic means and empowered many of his followers will fel energy. Kael'thas sent his new Felblood elves to Silvermoon, where they captured M'uru from Kael's own people and took him to the Sunwell. Kael'thas also discovered that the energies of the Sunwell still existed, in the form of the human girl Anveena, and she was imprisoned and taken to the Sunwell, with Kael hoping to use her energies to reignite the Sunwell, to both bring his new master Kil'jaeden into Azeroth, and to supply himself with a new font of limitless power. However, with the intervention of the Blue Dragonflight and numerous mortal heroes of Azeroth, Kael'thas was killed once and for all in the Magister's Terrace and Kil'jaeden's plans to enter Azeroth were foiled. Anveena sacrificed herself to weaken Kil'jaeden so that the mortal heroes battling him could finally defeat him and send him back through the Sunwell. After the battle at the Sunwell, Velen used what was left of M'uru "body" to reignite the Sunwell, saving the blood elves from their addiction to demonic power and allowing them to continue to use the powers of the Light.

The Royal Coup

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

Putress oversees the destruction wrought upon the Wrathgate by the New Plague.

In the wake of the Battle of Angrathar the Wrathgate, it was revealed that Varimathras plotted his way into controlling a substantial part of the Forsaken faction, using them and his chief underling, Grand Apothecary Putress, to launch a surprise assault upon the combatants at the Wrathgate. This ambush resulted in the deaths of hundreds of Alliance and Horde soldiers, including famed Alliance hero Bolvar Fordragon. At the same time Burning Legion forces under the command of Varimathras successfully took control of the Undercity and nearly killed The Dark Lady herself.

He was eventually faced and defeated by Thrall, Sylvanas, and adventurers during H [74] The Battle For The Undercity, after which he is not seen again. During the battle, Varimathras made reference to "years of planning" (attempting to undermine Sylvanas) and the voice of an unseen "Master" was heard berating Varimathras for his failure to prevent the Horde party from reaching the throne room, after which point Varimathras enters the fray himself — where he is defeated.

While the Burning Legion was tactically successful in rekindling Alliance-Horde tensions, it ultimately failed in its strategic goal of re-summoning yet another Legion invasion. It remains unknown who the unseen "Master" was, but is presumably Sargeras.


Cataclysm This section concerns content exclusive to Cataclysm.

By the time of the Cataclysm, the Burning Legion's command structure is mostly wiped out, with only a few survivors and their masters' whereabouts unknown. The Burning Legion may still be a devastating threat to the universe, however, though it has a weaker hold on Azeroth. With the devastation caused by the Cataclysm the Twilight's Hammer Cult were able to successfully take Darkwhisper Gorge from the Burning Legion. Despite this defeat the Legion were able to keep their holdouts in Felwood, Desolace and the Blasted Lands. Despite Balnazzar's defeat and the collapse of the Scarlet Crusade in Stratholme, the legion was able to keep a hold on the city through Balnazzar's new Risen army, which consists of Scarlet Crusaders who are now in a state of undeath. The Scarlets at Tyr's Hand have also fallen to this fate, securing the town for the Legion.

However the denizens of Azeroth are not allowing the Legion to keep these areas in peace. In Desolace the Cenarion Circle aid Khan Leh'Prah of the Kolkar clan in his quest to unite the centaur in Desolace (Kolkar, Magram and Gelkis) and successfully launch an assault on Shok'thokar. In Felwood the Emerald Circle and Cenarion Circle launch their own assaults on the Legion holdouts in the area. In the Blasted Lands both the Horde and the Alliance secure the Dark Portal and send adventures into the Tainted Forest to end the Legion's hold on the region. Meanwhile the Argent Crusade sent adventures into both Tyr's Hand and Stratholme and claimed them for the Crusade.

While the legion tried to hold on to it's bastions of power in Azeroth they were able launch an assault to reclaim Darkwhisper Gorge from the Twilight's Hammer that allowed them to require the Gates of Sothann.

Current Status

There is no current additional activity of the Burning Legion in Mists of Pandaria, however the words of Wrathion suggests that the Horde and Alliance will have to unite to fight a greater foe that will come from beyond Azeroth. The image that he displays while saying this shows Azeroth under bombardment by balls of green and yellow fire. This threat was confirmed to be the Burning Legion during the Chi-Ji portion of N [90] Celestial Blessings.

Notable Characters


Sargeras, Ruler of the Legion

The Lords of the Burning Legion are as follows:[67]

Name Title Race Description Status
IconSmall DarkTitan Male.gif Sargeras The Destroyer Titan Creator and leader of the Burning Legion. Formerly the Champion of the Pantheon, succeeded by Aggramar. Current whereabouts are unknown. Fragmented
IconSmall Kil'jaeden.gif Kil'jaeden The Deceiver Man'ari Eredar Acting leader and self-assumed Supreme Commander of the Burning Legion in Sargeras' apparent banishment. Banished by players during the Sunwell Plateau encounter. Alive
IconSmall Archimonde.gif Archimonde The Defiler Man'ari Eredar Legion Field Commander on Azeroth who lead the armies of the Burning Legion. He was destroyed during the Battle of Mount Hyjal. Deceased
IconSmall PitLord.gif Mannoroth The Destructor Annihilan The General of the Burning Legion and King of the Pit Lords. He was the corrupter of the Orcs and was later killed by Grom Hellscream. Deceased
IconSmall Nathrezim.gif Tichondrius The Darkener Nathrezim Leader of the Nathrezim and it's Chief Infiltration Specialist. He was slain by Illidan Stormrage. Unknown

Commanders and allies

Name Description Status
IconSmall Dreadlord.gif Anetheron Second Lord of the Nathrezim. Took command of the Scourge after the death of Tichondrius. He was slain at the Battle of Mount Hyjal by adventurers and Jaina Proudmoore. Unknown
IconSmall Dreadlord.gif Mephistroth Third Lord of the Natrhezim. Considered to be the new lord of the Nathrezim after the deaths of Anetheron and Tichondrius on Azeroth. Alive
IconSmall PitLord.gif Azgalor Became King of the Pit Lords after the death of Mannoroth. Deceased
IconSmall Nathrezim.gif Balnazzar One of the three Dread Lords that ruled the Scourge. He now corrupts the Scarlet Crusade, first taking the form of Grand Crusade Saidan Dathrohan and currently as the leader of the Risen. Unknown
IconSmall Gul'dan.gif Gul'dan The founder and master of the Shadow Council and the creator of Death Knights. While being pursued by the angry clans of the Horde, he was obliterated by demons in the Tomb of Sargeras. Deceased
IconSmall Doomlord.gif Kazzak the Supreme Lord of the Doomguards and Right Hand of Kil'jaeden and most trusted lieutenant of Archimonde. He was responsible for the reopening of the Dark Portal. Deceased
IconSmall Dreadlord.gif Detheroc The leader of the Dreadlord Insurgents. Unknown
IconSmall Doomlord.gif Highlord Kruul The current Burning Legion Field Commander on Azeroth, in the place of Kazzak the Supreme. Deceased
IconSmall Kael'thas.gif IconSmall KaelWretched.gif Prince Kael'thas Sunstrider Lord of the Blood Elves and former servant of Illidan Stormrage. Defeated in Magister's Terrace by adventurers and the Shattered Sun Offensive. Deceased
IconSmall Man'ari Male.gif Lord Jaraxxus A Man'ari Eredar found in the Crusaders' Coliseum. Deceased
IconSmall Man'ari Male.gif Talgath A high ranking agent of the Burning Legion tasked with scouring the Nether for living Draenei. Alive
IconSmall Nathrezim.gif Varimathras One of three Dread Lords that ruled the Scourge. He was forced into allying with the Forsaken, under the direct control of Sylvanas Windrunner, in exchange for sparing his life after he and his brothers were overcome by her undead forces. Though he swore allegiance to Sylvanas, Varimathras remained loyal to the Legion and eventually staged a coup for control of the Undercity. Unknown

Former allies

Name Title Description Status
IconSmall Highborne Female.gifIconSmall NagaSeaWitch.gif Queen Azshara Queen of the Naga The Queen of the Kaldorei and believed herself "betrothed" to Sargeras, was likely transformed into the first of the Naga and became the Empress of Nazjatar. Alive
IconSmall LichKing.gifIconSmall Ner'zhul.gif Ner'zhul Elder Shaman The elder Shaman responsible for the foundation of the Horde. Was later transformed by Kil'jaeden into the Lich King. After the Battle of Mount Hyjal, Ner'zhul openly betrayed the Legion. After Bolvar Fordragon's rise as the Lich King, Ner'zhul is expected to be deceased along with Arthas Menethil. Deceased
IconSmall LichKing.gifIconSmall ArthasDK.gif Arthas Menethil Lich King Helped summon Archimonde at the instructions of the Dread Lord Tichondrius. Later merged himself with Ner'zhul and became the Lich King and overthrew the Burning Legion. Deceased
IconSmall Kel'Thuzad.gif Kel'Thuzad The Archlich Founder of the Cult of the Damned and principle agent of the Lich King in spreading the Scourge. He was eternally loyal to the Lich King even in death and served as one of his most powerful lieutenants. Unknown
IconSmall Illidan.gif Illidan Stormrage The Betrayer The Lord of Outland and brother to Malfurion Stormrage. Former ally of the Burning Legion and Kael'thas Sunstrider. Deceased
IconSmall Satyr.gif Xavius Lord of the Satyrs The Highbourne high counsilor to Queen Azshara, he became the first of the Satyrs at the hands of Sargeras. Was transformed into a tree by Malfurion Stormrage and sent to the bottom of the Great Sea after the Sundering. He was later found to have been the one controlling the Nightmare in the Emerald Dream, serving the Old God N'Zoth. Incarcerated

Major Enemies

Name Title Description Status
IconSmall Ner'zhul.gif Ner'zhul Elder Shaman The elder shaman responsible for the foundation of the Horde. Was later transformed by Kil'jaeden into the Lich King. After the Battle of Mount Hyjal, Ner'zhul openly betrayed the Legion. After Bolvar Fordragon's rise as the Lich King, Ner'zhul is expected to be deceased along with Arthas Menethil. Deceased
IconSmall ArthasDK.gif Arthas Menethil Lich King Helped summon Archimonde at the instructions of the dreadlord Tichondrius. Later merged himself with Ner'zhul and became the Lich King and overthrew the Burning Legion. Deceased
IconSmall Vol'jin.gif Vol'jin Warchief of the Horde Current Warchief of the Horde, and the first non-orc to hold the position. Vol'jin has only recently come into power but his stance against the Legion is no doubt the same as his predecessors. Alive
IconSmall Varian.gif Varian Wrynn High King of the Alliance The High King of the Alliance forces with a strong hatred for all demons. Many loyal Alliance members helped repel the Legion from Azeroth at his command. Alive
IconSmall Kel'Thuzad.gif Kel'Thuzad The Archlich Founder of the Cult of the Damned and principle agent of the Lich King in spreading the Scourge. He was eternally loyal to the Lich King even in death and served as one of his most powerful lieutenants. Unknown
IconSmall Illidan.gif Illidan Stormrage The Betrayer The Lord of Outland and brother to Malfurion Stormrage. Former ally of the Burning Legion and Kael'thas Sunstrider. Deceased
IconSmall Naaru.gif A'dal Leader of the Sha'tar Current leader of the Sha'tar. Led the Sha'tar in fighting the Burning Legion in Outland. Guides mortals to band together to form the fabled "Army of the Light". Alive
IconSmall Velen.gif Prophet Velen Prophet of the naaru, leader of the draenei. Former co-leader of Argus, Velen was granted a vision by the naaru of Sargeras' true intentions and, with their help, gathered many like-minded eredar and escaped, calling themselves draenei, or "exiled ones." Under Velen's leadership, the draenei have sought a new homeworld to gather their strength and take the fight to the Legion as part of the prophesied Army of the Light. Alive

Non-Sapient Species

Felblood elves.png

The Burning Legion races consists mainly in demons, but other non-demonic species serve them as well.



Races of other organizations

This list includes the organizations that serve the Burning Legion.


For more background information on this organization, see The Warcraft Encyclopedia/Burning Legion.


Sargeras was the original leader, but Kil'jaeden is running things while Sargeras is MIA.[2]. The Eredar Warlocks serve as the Legion's overlords and strategists. Pit Lords serve as generals and ground commanders.[68] Dreadlords are a step below Pit Lords.[69] Doomguard are four steps below dreadlords, serving as "Marines - captains, military leaders, etc."[70] Terrorguards are close in rank and role to doomguard.[71] Felguard serve as rank and file soldiers.[68]


The number of demons in the Twisting Nethers are infinite.[72] However not all demons are part of the Buring Legion. During the War of the Ancients, Sargeras gathered the Burning Legion, at that time it consisted of one million demons.[73] Despite the Legion's defeats, their numbers do not appear to have decreased.[3]

Organizations who serve the Legion



  1. ^ a b c d The Warcraft Encyclopedia: Burning Legion
  2. ^ a b Sean Copeland on Twitter (2014-02-07)
  3. ^ a b c d Blizzard Entertainment Inc. 2007-04-19. Crisis at the Portal (English). News From Outland: Crisis at Da Portal. Retrieved on 2009-06-20. “How long do you think this assault will last? Given that the Legion is estimated to number in the millions! - Wendy Breezy
  4. ^ Azzakel Dungeon Journal
  5. ^ "Legacy of the Damned: King Arthas", Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne. Blizzard Entertainment. Sylvanas Windrunner: "The Legion was defeated months ago. How could they not know?".
  6. ^ Warcraft III: Prologue's cinematic
  7. ^ "Exodus of the Horde: Chasing Visions", Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos. Blizzard Entertainment. Medivh: "Human? I left my humanity behind long ago. I am something ... different now. Know that I have seen the future and beheld the great burning shadow that is coming to consume this world. You sense it as well, don't you?".
  8. ^ a b Blizzard Entertainment. Warcraft III official site (English) (HTML). Description. Archived from the original on 2000-08-31. Retrieved on 2000-12-23.
  9. ^ Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos manual, pg. 80
  10. ^ World of Warcraft manual, pg. 5
  11. ^ a b c d Sargeras and the Betrayal
  12. ^ Ultimate Visual Guide
  13. ^ Warcraft: Orcs & Humans, Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness
  14. ^ Warcraft II: Beyond the Dark Portal
  15. ^ a b "Curse of the Blood Elves: Misconceptions", Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne. Blizzard Entertainment.
  16. ^ a b "Legacy of the Damned: King Arthas", Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne. Blizzard Entertainment.
  17. ^ "Terror of the Tides: Shards of the Alliance", Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne. Blizzard Entertainment.
  18. ^ a b c d e "Legacy of the Damned: A New Power in Lordaeron", Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne. Blizzard Entertainment.
  19. ^ "Legacy of the Damned: A Kingdom Divided", Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne. Blizzard Entertainment.
  20. ^ "Legacy of the Damned: Sylvanas' Farewell", Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne. Blizzard Entertainment.
  21. ^ "Legacy of the Damned: The Dark Lady", Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne. Blizzard Entertainment.
  22. ^ "Legacy of the Damned: Dreadlord's Fall", Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne. Blizzard Entertainment.
  23. ^ Death is Contagious
  24. ^ "Curse of the Blood Elves: Lord of Outland", Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne. Blizzard Entertainment.
  25. ^ http://www.worldofwarcraft.com/news/rss-01-2007.xml
  26. ^ a b H [61] Through the Dark Portal
  27. ^ a b A [61] Through the Dark Portal
  28. ^ H [61] Journey to Thrallmar
  29. ^ a b A [61] The Path of Anguish
  30. ^ a b H [61] Felspark Ravine
  31. ^ H [62] Disrupt Their Reinforcements
  32. ^ A [62] Disrupt Their Reinforcements
  33. ^ H [62] Mission: Gateways Murketh and Shaadraz
  34. ^ A [62] Mission: The Murketh and Shaadraz Gateways
  35. ^ H [62] Mission: The Abyssal Shelf
  36. ^ A [62] Mission: The Abyssal Shelf
  37. ^ H [61] Return to Thrallmar
  38. ^ A [61] Disruption - Forge Camp: Mageddon
  39. ^ H [61] Forge Camp: Mageddon
  40. ^ H [61] Cannons of Rage
  41. ^ A [61] Enemy of my Enemy...
  42. ^ a b A [61] Invasion Point: Annihilator
  43. ^ H [61] Doorway to the Abyss
  44. ^ N [67] From the Ashes
  45. ^ N [67] Little Embers
  46. ^ N [67] Culling the Wild
  47. ^ N [68] Felsworn Gas Mask
  48. ^ N [68] Damaged Mask
  49. ^ N [68] Mystery Mask
  50. ^ a b N [68] Deceive thy Enemy
  51. ^ N [68] You're Fired!
  52. ^ "Curse of the Blood Elves: Gates of the Abyss", Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne. Blizzard Entertainment.
  53. ^ N [68G] Harvesting the Fel Ammunition
  54. ^ N [68] Fire At Will!
  55. ^ N [68] The Hound-Master
  56. ^ a b c d N [68] The Archmage's Staff
  57. ^ a b c N [69] Consortium Crystal Collection
  58. ^ N [70G] Full Triangle
  59. ^ Conversation between Socrethar and Culuthas.
  60. ^ N [69] In A Scrap With The Legion
  61. ^ a b N [70] A Dark Pact
  62. ^ N [70] Damning Evidence
  63. ^ a b N [70G5] Deathblow to the Legion
  64. ^ N [70] Aldor No More
  65. ^ a b N [70G2] A Gift for Voren'thal
  66. ^ N [70G5] Turning Point
  67. ^ Shadows & Light, p.52
  68. ^ a b Exodar Holographic Emitter
  69. ^ Sean Copeland on Twitter (2014-08-05)
  70. ^ Sean Copeland on Twitter (2014-08-05)
  71. ^ Sean Copeland on Twitter (2014-08-27)
  72. ^ Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos manual, 77
  73. ^ Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos manual, 48

External links