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From the dawn of its reshaping by the mysterious titans, Azeroth had been guarded by demigod beings who were tied to the world as no other creatures could be. The dragons had been empowered by the titans, but Azeroth itself gave rise to the spirits and demigods, creatures eternal in nature yet capable of ultimate sacrifice.
Loa is the word that trolls use to refer to powerful spirits they revere, this includes the Wild Gods. Troll druids visiting Moonglade have been overheard calling the wisps who reside there loa, just as they refer to Goldrinn, Aviana, and the other returned Ancients as loa. Night elves and tauren have tried to counsel these trolls on "correct" druidic nomenclature, but the trolls thus far have been stuck in their ways.
As they were a fierce opponent for the Burning Legion in the War of the Ancients, the demons had Cenarius killed in the Third War. This resulted in the seclusion of the Wild Gods. Malfurion Stormrage sent his druids to rally them and bring them into the field. The death of Cenarius, however, made them almost impossible to find. Ultimately, the druids were unsuccessful.
List of Ancient Guardians
- Agamaggan, the Razorboar
- Aessina, the Mother Wisp
- Aviana, the Mistress of Birds
- Ela'lothen, the Moonspirit
- Goldrinn, the Great Wolf
- Malorne, the White Stag
- Tortolla, the Wise
- Ursoc and Ursol, the Bear Lords
- A being resembling a wolverine
- A tiny red fox with a sly yet gnomish visage
- A winged panther with hands almost human
- Sword-wielding pixies of a sort
- A reptilian warrior with a shell reminiscent of a turtle's
- Male figures with hooded faces and whose flesh (what little there was visible) was oak bark.
- A humanoid stick bug race
- A squat warrior
- A third Vashj'ir ancient was planned, but it was cut along the Abyssal Maw raid.
- Dark Ancients
The Twilight's Hammer feared that the Ancient Guardians may someday rise up to oppose them. They created twisted versions of the Ancients, summoned to replace them. They were a primal force of nature, but their origins were from a darker place. Those who birthed these beasts reached deep into the blackness, channeling powers never intended for this world. The Twilight's Hammer dreamed of creating their own pantheon of twisted ancients to rule over the land, sea, and air, though only two were summoned before the Twilight's Hammer was stopped.
- Lycanthoth <The Corruptor>, the dark version of the ancient Goldrinn.
- Nemesis <The Usurper>, the dark version of the ancient Tortolla.
- A Frog Ancient and the gorloc
- A Badger Ancient and the wolvar
- A Walrus Ancient and the Tuskarr
- A Hyena Ancient and the gnolls
- A Lobster Ancient and the makrura
- Aessina might have created the grell (she tells Brann "maybe")
- A Bull Ancient and the tauren (initially believed by Brann to be a Cow Ancient). Chronicle Volume 1 however revealed that the tauren descend from the yaungol. In that case, the yaungol might have been descended from a Bull ancient. Though the Yaungol resemble more the yaks, and as such that Ancient might in fact be Niuzao.
- Cenarius' descendants are the keepers of the grove, the magnataur, the centaur, the dryads, and their forest and frost descendants
- Something created the pandaren
- Agamaggan created the quilboar
- Aviana created the harpies
- Ursoc created the furbolg. Chronicle Volume 1 however reveals that the furbolg descend from the jalgar. In that case, Ursoc may be responsible for the creation of the jalgar, or for turning them into furbolg.
- The wolvar might be descended from the Ancient that "[resembled] a wolverine".
- The vulpera might be descended from the Ancient that was described as "a tiny red fox with a sly yet gnomish visage"
- The tortollan might be descended from the Ancient that was described as "a reptilian warrior with a shell reminiscent of a turtle's"
- Although the worgen are actually night elves or humans afflicted with a curse, the curse drew upon Goldrinn's fury. Thus, in a way, it can be said Goldrinn gave rise to the modern worgen.
In the RPG
Night elf culture speaks of both ancients and Ancients (note the capital A). Ancients (lower-case) are treelike sages and protectors. Ancients (upper-case) are old demigods, like Cenarius, who assisted the night elves at various points throughout their history.
Perhaps more so than other Eternals, the Ancients of the night elves are treated like deities. Primal spirits of the natural world when it was young, they personify its most distinct and most powerful qualities. Although several of them were effectively destroyed during the War of the Ancients and in later conflicts, they are honored still by races such as centaur, furbolgs, night elves and quilboar. Elune the Moon Goddess, Azeroth's one true deity, remains a focus of worship for the night elves and other races, while the world grows warier of what the changed Queen Azshara may attempt in the coming future.
Most of the inhabitants of northern Kalimdor — namely the night elves, but also the furbolgs and the satyrs — worship or revere the Ancients. The night elves worship Azeroth's only deity, the eternal moon goddess Elune. They revere most of the other Ancients, especially Cenarius, the only Ancient to spend considerable time on the physical plane. They also honor the moon goddess's companions, including Agamaggan, Aviana and Malorne. The furbolgs venerate the bear twins, Ursoc and Ursol; and the evil satyrs revere Lord Xavius. The Ancients rarely interfere with life on Azeroth, but these races hold fast in their fervent beliefs that the Ancients exist and are watching events unfold. The following are characters stated to be Ancients only in the RPG:
- In Warcraft III, the Ancient Guardian term was used as a class for the Primal Guardians heroes.
- ^ Warcraft III manual, pg. 61
- ^ a b c d e f
- ^ a b The Sundering, pg. 203
- ^ a b c Dave Kosak on Twitter (2014-05-08).
- ^ a b Legion: Druid Artifact Reveal
- ^ Loreology on Twitter
- ^ Wolfheart, chapter 1
- ^ World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 1
- ^ Ask CDev Answers - Round 2
- ^ World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 3, pg. 76, 80
- ^ a b c The Sundering, pg. 185
- ^ Matoclaw in the Grove of Aessina
- ^ Choluna in the Shrine of Aviana
- ^ Ian Duran in the Shrine of Goldrinn
- ^ Matoclaw in the Sanctuary of Malorne
- ^ Tales of the Hunt
- ^ Moons + Explosives = Lunar Festival!: "The Cenarion Circle have even more cause to celebrate this year than any previous, for this year also marks the first Lunar Festival since the return of many Ancients that had fallen in battles past: Goldrinn, Malorne, Aviana, and Cenarius himself. But this celebration is muted by the eternal torment of one of their own -- Omen, blessed by the moon goddess Elune, has risen again from the depths of Moonglade’s lake."
- ^ Hamuul Runetotem while in Sanctuary of Malorne
- ^ Statements by individuals at Promontory Point
- ^ Wavespeaker Valoren while inside Nespirah
- ^ a b c d e f g h The Sundering, pg. 185-186, 210-214
- ^ , referring to Lycanthoth
- ^ a b World of Warcraft: The Magazine Issue 5
- ^ Alliance Player's Guide, pg. 195
- ^ Shadows & Light, pg. 71
- ^ World of Warcraft: The Roleplaying Game, pg. 250