- For the in-game mace, see . For lore surrounding the maces and in-game fixed device, see The Hammer of Twilight.
The Twilight's Hammer, also known as the Twilight's Hammer clan, Hammer clan, Twilight's Hammer cult, Twilight Cult, Cult of Twilight's Hammer or simply the Hammer, is a widespread nihilistic cult active across Azeroth that fanatically serves and worships the Old Gods and seeks to bring about the end of the world. Originally twisted from an orc clan into its current form by , the cult has been active since before the First War, but they became a major worldwide threat to both the Alliance and the Horde after 's return and the great Cataclysm shattered Azeroth.
Beneath the land of Nagrand on Draenor, a society of exiled orcs known as the Pale lived in catacombs under Oshu'gun. The reveled in the powers of the Void that leaked from the injured naaru , and through the Void they communed with the void lords that sought to bring about an end to all existence. The Pale orcs' dark power rivaled even fel magic in potency, and rumors of the Pale and their otherworldly abilities eventually reached . Though he paid little heed to the stories, his master, the eredar lord , was intrigued. Because Kil'jaeden pressed Gul'dan to ensure victory over the draenei at any cost, that meant investigating the Pale to determine if their magic could strengthen the Horde. Gul'dan sent his apprentice to investigate the Pale, and if they proved as mighty as the rumors claimed, to bring them into the Horde.
Cho'gall stormed into the The Underpale expecting a fight, but found none. The Pale did not resist his intrusion for they were eager to share their prophecy of doom: the Hour of Twilight, a time when the shadow would envelop the universe and snuff out all life in existence. Cho'gall had little interest in their prophecy but was very interested in their unfamiliar shadow magic. To win the Pale over, Cho'gall used their beliefs to his advantage and claimed that Horde was a weapon by which they could bring about the Hour of Twilight. The Pale reveled in the opportunity to serve as agents of the apocalypse. They committed themselves to the Horde and formed a new clan: the Twilight's Hammer clan.
As he too learned to master shadow magic, Cho'gall would see the truth in the Pale's prophecy. It would take him many years, but he would eventually devote himself to their quest.
First and Second War
Obsessed with the notion that the Horde was the harbinger of apocalyptic doom to all the lands that it ravages, the Twilight's Hammer felt a sacrosanct gratification in the destruction of all that it encountered. Led by the cunning ogre mage , the Twilight's Hammer had strong ties to and the Stormreaver clan. Its loyalty to the Horde was not as strong as its belief in its sacred mission of oblivion.
After coming to Azeroth the Twilight's Hammer clan, alongside with the Bleeding Hollow clan under the leadership of , led the orcish forces in the first attack on Stormwind Keep. The battle went horribly, as the Horde had not expected such resilient persistence against them. The two clan leaders blamed each other.
As the war raged, the Twilight's Hammer became a problem for Warchief . The Pale were prone to disobey orders and too many wandered off, never to be seen again. Blackhand considered making an example of them and wiping the entire clan out, but Cho'gall intervened; so far, he had only been the Twilight's Hammer's de facto leader, and he offered to become their official chieftain to keep them in line. Blackhand let him try, and was pleasantly surprised when Cho'gall was able to keep the Pale obedient, effective soldiers almost overnight.
Cho'gall's success was in his understanding of the Pale and their beliefs. They worshiped the powers of the Void, and the moment they had arrived on Azeroth they felt the Void call out louder and clearer than they ever had before. The Twilight's Hammer had been hearing the whispers of the Old Gods, ancient evils imprisoned deep within the earth that served the void lords. Discovering them had overwhelmed the Pale, driving them into a state of pure ecstasy. It was seen by the clan as a sign of destiny, that they had found the place where they belonged: the place where they would bring about the Hour of Twilight. As for Cho'gall, while he had believed the Void was a force, he had cared little at first for his clan's mad ravings about dark gods. But now, he had proof they existed. He agreed to help the Pale and brought them under control with a simple notion: the Hour of Twilight was not far off, and the Horde's success was the best way to bring it to fruition. Until then, they had to keep up appearances to Blackhand and obey their true masters in secret. The Pale agreed, and the Old Gods seemed please with the Horde's lust for war and destruction, so it was no great sacrifice to proceed with the conquest of the world.
As the weeks passed and Cho'gall attuned himself to the Old Gods, he branded the Twilight's Hammer's prophecies onto the skin of the Pale orcs. He then cut off their flesh to form pages, making a book that codified teachings of the Void: the Twilight Canticle. The book would become a source of power and motivation for the followers of the Old Gods for decades.
Cho'gall survived the rise and fall of , and the destruction of the Shadow Council. He served a useful purpose to who, with Gul'dan, wished to bring ogres through the Portal to enforce inter-clan civility. Cho'gall was placed as overseer for the oil refineries in Grim Batol.
When Gul'dan discovered the Tomb of Sargeras, Cho'gall believed that it would herald the end of the world, and so was quick to unlock its secrets. Orgrim Doomhammer ordered the traitorous clans destroyed and while Cho'gall was thought to have been killed in the battle it later turned out that he had survived the battle and then sailed west to the mysterious continent of Kalimdor, drawn in by the whispers of the Old Gods.
World of WarcraftThis section concerns content exclusive to World of Warcraft.
After several years undisturbed on Kalimdor, the orcish clan was able to recover and expand into a large multiracial cult of the Old Gods. Former members of the Alliance and Horde, not just orcs, flock to join the service of the elemental lords and help bring about the complete destruction of Azeroth. The largest groups of the Twilight's hammer now camp near the locations where they believe the Old Gods and their minions are sealed away; many wait for C'Thun's awakening in Silithus, and others serve Ragnaros in the Blackrock Depths along side the Dark Iron dwarves.
The Twilight's Hammer clan is still seen in Azeroth. The cult was always obsessed with signs of an apocalypse — as had the clan in earlier times—and indeed often sought to bring such doom about by their actions. The Twilight's Hammer has representatives of all races among its members and employs a myriad of classes from simple warriors to Aquamancers and Shadowmages.
The organization has a fixation on the Old Gods, worshiping and seeking power from such eldritch places as Maraudon, which has very strong ties to the element of Earth, and thus may hold powers long held at rest. They also show strong resistance in Blackfathom Deeps, the submerged domain of the Old God's servant, , and Silithus, where savage winds blow across the desert outside the ruined city of Ahn'Qiraj, domain of mighty C'thun. They even have ambassadors among the dwarves of Blackrock Depths, in the court of Emperor Dagran Thaurissan.
In Darkshore, the Hammer may be found in the Master's Glaive, the site of a large skeleton of a colossal dead N'raqi named . In Ashenvale, their presence is felt most powerfully in the Blackfathom Deeps instance where they worship the ancient beast , favored pet of the Old Gods. Their leader there is , an orc caster who sits in meditation before a statue of , waiting for adventurers on the "" quest. In Ironforge, founded the shop Bonegrip's Runes and Dooms for the Twilight's Hammer and assists those seeking to free Princess , and the Forsaken in Undercity secretly works for the cult. Their strong activity in Silithus might be ascribed to the presence of , an Old God. Recently, they have been particularly active in Silithus, using the Windstones to summon powerful Elementals of the Abyssal Council, which may direct the movements of the organization.
Midsummer Fire Festival
World of Warcraft: The ComicThis section concerns content exclusive to the World of Warcraft comics.
Following the death of C'Thun by an army of mortal adventurers (assisted by trapped members of the Red, Blue and Green dragonflights), the infamous Cho'gall himself apparently took up residence in the Temple of Ahn'Qiraj itself. He kidnapped and brainwashed to be his assassin, using her as a tool to sow seeds of distrust between the Alliance and Horde. Cho'gall intended to sacrifice , the prophesied child of three worlds, to release his dark master from his bonds. However, Med'an and his compatriots founded the New Council of Tirisfal. As the Guardian of this new Council Med'an was able to defeat Cho'gall and foil his schemes.
Wrath of the Lich KingThis section concerns content exclusive to Wrath of the Lich King.
The Twilight's Hammer has also made a presence in Northrend inhabiting the Dungeon of Ahn'kahet: The Old Kingdom deep in Azjol-Nerub. They appear to be drawn by the presence of the Old God and the Faceless Ones which serve him and seek to bring about their dark plans. An unknown number of Twilight Cultists inhabit the Old Kingdom and are led by , a servant of Yogg-Saron. A number of Twilight cultists are also seen within the Descent into Madness of Ulduar. Their Banner can also be seen in the Ruby Sanctum.
During the Elemental Invasion, members of the Hammer appeared under the name Doomsday Cult in Stormwind and Orgrimmar, preaching apocalypse and trying to destroy those cities. They were ultimately stopped and imprisoned.
The Shattering: Prelude to CataclysmThis section concerns content exclusive to the Warcraft novels or short stories.
Some time prior the Cataclysm the Twilight's Hammer was responsible for two mass murder incidents in Ashenvale, in a calculated plot to sabotage any remaining relations between the Alliance and Horde. Not only were tensions between both sides increased, would severely be injured during the second mass murder incident. Receiving Hamuul's message and under the belief that the orcs were sent by , who highly disagreed with any treaty between the Alliance and the Horde, the mighty would confront Garrosh. In the subsequent duel between them Cairne would lose his life due to , who exploited Hellscream's ignorance of his own culture. As such the Twilight Hammer is indirectly responsible for Cairne's death and in a stroke of good luck their role in Ashenvale has remained undiscovered. As such the perpetrators of the mass murder incidents have yet to be found, and have not made any in-game appearance.
CataclysmThis section concerns content exclusive to Cataclysm.
Seduced by the promises of power and the destructive intentions of the twisted Aspect of Death, they join him in his quest to unmake the world of Azeroth. Loyal to the Old Gods, the cultists forged new plates to hold Deathwing's torn body. Their goal was to bring Armageddon to the world.
They claimed the ancient dwarven fortress of Grim Batol and the surrounding Twilight Highlands, turning it into their main base of operations under leadership of their chieftain, the ogre mage , wreaking havoc wherever they can. They also have enlisted the help of the dangerous twilight dragonflight to bolster their ranks. They lead various campaigns against the world such as the assault on Mount Hyjal, preforming a ritual to connect the Vashj'ir ancient with a powerful creature far below or undermining the efforts of rebuilding the World Pillar in Deepholm. They also maintain a strong presence within Blackrock Caverns, where they ascend to transform into drakonids and are sending supplies back and forth through subterranean tunnels the length of Azeroth itself. They work with the tol'vir to reconfigured the pyramid inside the Maker's Terrace at Uldum to become a superweapon capable of destroying all life on Azeroth. Notably, their role in the game is very similar to that of the Cult of the Damned in Wrath of the Lich King, and may be considered a Cataclysm-version of it.
Thrall: Twilight of the AspectsThis section concerns content exclusive to the Warcraft novels or short stories.
With the Twilight Cult in disarray following the demise of its leader, Cho'gall, an enigmatic figure known as the "Twilight Father" had taken on a more active role in the cult's affairs. delivered his sister, , to the cult. The Twilight father sent a group of Twilight dragons to the reunion of the four dragonflights. The assault had to destroy and did a diversion to corrupt the eggs of all dragonflights. Thanks to the sacrifice of , the sanctum was destroyed and the eggs too. The loss was heavy for the dragonflights especially for . The dragons were chased away from the Wyrmrest Temple and it became the cult's base. They sent a infinite assassin to kill wherever he goes. Arygos, wanting to become the aspect of magic, wanted to deliver the whole blue dragonflight to the cult. , however, became the new aspect and the Twilight Father betrayed the blue dragon. Aedelas Blackmoore killed him in the Eye of Eternity. His blood activated the Focusing Iris and the flux of arcane magic gave the life to . Kirygosa had to breed with Chromatus in order to create a new chromatic dragonflight, stronger and more stable. The cult spent his time to hunt the Elk in Dragonblight feeding the five-headed dragon and to keep an eye on Kyrigosa. Thrall ended up killing Aedelas. Kyri killed some cultist and escaped. On the back of Chromatus, the Twilight Father assited the final assault on the aspects. However, thanks to Thrall, for a little time, the aspects were once again five and ended the chromatus' life. The Twilight Father fled and in spite of his failure wasn't killed by Deathwing but took his role as back on.
FirelandsThis section concerns content exclusive to Cataclysm.
The Druids of the Flame are members of the cult under the leadership of . Fandral with his servants arrived during the Earthen Ring and the Cenarion Circle union to jail Thralls soul in the elemental plane.
During the opening of the portal on Nordune Ridge, Leyara led a assault of fire minions to lay waste to the invaders. The flame druids resurect into . A long time after that, she attempted to kill Hamuul during a rendezvous at Leyara's Sorrow. Alongside the fire elementals, the flame druids didn't stop the attack on the Molten Front. The Druids of the Flame attempted to perform a ritual here, but were stopped by the Shadow Wardens. Later, Leyara was spotted in the Igneous Depths and killed by four Shadow Wardens.
During the final assault, the druids defended their master. The blazing talon assisted Alysrazor during his fight while and his men were defending the Sulfuron Keep. However, the Avengers of Hyjal won the war and the Druids of the Flame were annihilated.
Hour of TwilightThis section concerns content exclusive to Cataclysm.
, with the aid of adventurers, faced off with the Twilight Prophet during the Hour of Twilight once and for all. The Twilight Prophet is defeated, however the Twilight's Hammer continued to lay siege to Wyrmrest. The cultists fled once was defeated. Some members lead by guarded the Focusing Iris within the Eye of Eternity, but Hagara and her group were also slain by heroes. The Twilight's Hammer then makes one final attempt to stop the Dragon Aspects, and a war party of Twilight Dragons accompanied by their Vrykul riders damaged the engines of The Skyfire in an attempt to stop them from catching up to Deathwing as he fled back to Deepholm. Once the Dragons and the Vrykul were slain, however, accompanied by boarded the ship and attempted to dispose of the heroes, but were ultimately slain, allowing the Skyfire to catch up to Deathwing and finally destroy him with the power of the Dragon Soul.
With the death of Deathwing and leadership of the cult the status of the cult is unknown but it can be presumed that the cultist who survived still worship the Old Gods and will remain a threat, however diminished they may be.
Mists of PandariaThis section concerns content exclusive to Mists of Pandaria.
While the cult has fallen, some remaining members infiltrated the Ragefire Chasm and founded the Dark Shaman. The legacy of the Hammer is still pursued by several groups such as Council of the Black Harvest, bent on unlocking the mysteries of the cult's dark arts.
Warlords of DraenorThis section concerns content exclusive to Warlords of Draenor.
A still active cell of Twilight's Hammer led by an elemental ascendant, has persisted within Blackfathom Deeps. Acting on the orders of the Old Gods themselves, they intend to summon into the world of Azeroth. The cult has been capturing prisoners in order to perform blood sacrifices that will serve as a catalyst for the monstrosity's summoning.
LegionThis section concerns content exclusive to Legion.
At the time of the Burning Legion's third great invasion of Azeroth, the remnants of the Twilight cult traveled to the tomb of the heroic titanic watcher , hidden beneath the Whispering Forest in Tirisfal Glades. There, led by the human traitor now known as Twilight Deacon Farthing, they attempted to resurrect an ancient monstrosity — — using .
In the Deep Roads of Highmountain are drogbar, former slaves of , allied with the Twilight's Hammer. Twilight Shardkeepers command bound elementals while Twilight Orelifters carry elementium through the tunnels.
Doomsday CultThis section concerns content exclusive to Cataclysm.
These members appeared during the patch 4.0.3a pre-event.
The Twilight's Hammer is obsessed with bringing the End Times or other scenarios of reckoning in the name of the Old Gods upon the world. This may have been already started on Draenor, as archaeology revealed a set of Doomsday Prophecies marked with the iconography of a flaming hammer. With this apocalyptic mindset, new recruits are often sent on difficult or impossible tasks, such as obtaining a black dragon scale or phoenix feather, and sorted out with deadly trials. Their fanatical views can also be seen in their newspaper in Silithus, the True Believer, which is gathered from Encrypted Twilight Texts. Other texts, like , the or the , speak of their worship and sacrifices to the Old Gods.
Military forcesThis section concerns content exclusive to the Warcraft RPG and is considered non-canon.
What the Twilight's Hammer lacks in military training, it more than makes up for in fervor. Every member would willingly die for the cult, fully believing the Old Gods would reward them for their sacrifice.
Members of lower echelons of the Twilight Hammer (which is most of them) are predominately of the non-magical classes, mostly barbarians, rogues, and warriors. Other non-magical classes are known, but less common. As one ascends through the ranks of the organization, spellcasters become more common. The twilight overlords are almost exclusively spellcasters. Most of the spellcasters are arcanists, specifically elementalists.
This hierarchical pyramid is also indicative of how the Twilight's Hammer cult approaches defense. The first cultists the heroes encounter are likely to be low-level initiates. Only if that fails to deter them do the heroes face higher-ranking members, increasing in rank and power as they plunge into the depths of the temple. To catch sight of the inner circle, the heroes must breach the inner sanctum. The twilight lord deigns to fight only if the sect as a whole is threatened (in other words, to preserve his own life or goals). By that point, of course, the heroes are depleted from fighting the cultists, in theory making them easy prey for the twilight lord (which makes him look even more impressive to his followers).
Should a Twilight's Hammer sect be incited to attack another group, their offensive tactics differ little from their defense. Low-level members act as scouts, while the main force attacks in waves of incrementally increasing power, until they subdue their foe, and the twilight lord — or one of his representatives — can swoop in and claim victory. The Twilight's Hammer rarely uses such overt measures, however, preferring instead to scare off those who stand in its way. Accompanying each act of sabotage, kidnapping, or assassination is always an unambiguous — and gruesome — sign that the Twilight's Hammer is responsible.
Since the eary stages of Cataclysm's development, the Twilight's Hammer Cult was intented to be a face of the Cataclysm, with entire dungeons and zones devoted to them. What was once Cho'gall and his clan became an enormous, world-hating cult that involved all races of Azeroth. The developers felt that they could use existing art of all races and add it to the pre-existing art of the Cult. However, the only art direction the developers came up with was the banner found in the Cult's camps, so they didn't have much to give the Cult their own unique look. One angle that was explored was the Old God connection: statues of Faceless Ones and lamps with the same motif worked into them were designed. The final art direction for the Cult's environment were dragon's heads, scales, and horns, purple flames, and Elementium blades. Elementium was chosen to be the Cult's "key-mineral," like Saronite was the Scourge's in Wrath of the Lich King. Since the Twilight's Hammer was summoning Elementium up from the ground, the developers decided to give unforged Elementium the organic, spiny look found within the Bastion of Twilight and the Twilight Highlands.
In Warcraft IIThis section concerns content exclusive to Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness or its expansion Beyond the Dark Portal.
Chieftain: Cho'gall the Ogre-Mage
Clan Colors: Violet
Background: Obsessed with the notion that the Horde is the harbinger of apocalyptic doom to all the lands that it ravages, the Twilight's Hammer feels a sacrosanct gratification in the destruction of all that it encounters. Led by the cunning Ogre Mage Cho'gall, the Twilight's Hammer has strong ties to and the Stormreaver clan. Its loyalty to the Horde is not as strong as its belief in its sacred mission of oblivion.
In the RPGThis section concerns content exclusive to the Warcraft RPG and is considered non-canon.
The history of the Twilight's Hammer begins with . Cho'gall was made the leader of an orc clan after its previous chieftain was executed for disobeying the Shadow Council. The clan's name was then changed to Twilight's Hammer; its original name and that of its former chieftain was stricken from all records.