Nathanos Blightcaller

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HordeNathanos Blightcaller
Image of Nathanos Blightcaller
Title Blightcaller,
Champion of the Banshee Queen,
Hunter Trainer,
Ranger Lord[1]
Gender Male
Race Forsaken
Character class Ranger, Hunter, Dark ranger
Reaction Alliance Horde
Affiliation(s) Forsaken, Horde
Former affiliation(s) Farstriders (Quel'Thalas), Alliance of Lordaeron, Scourge, Orgrimmar[2]
Occupation Champion of the Banshee Queen, Ranger Lord of the Forsaken, former Ranger Lord of the Farstriders
Location Various
Status Active (Undead)
Relative(s) Stephon Marris (cousin)[3]
Mentor(s) Sylvanas Windrunner
"Amidst our ranks, there are few with more dedication or vigor."
– Lady Sylvanas Windrunner[4]

Nathanos Blightcaller (born Nathanos Marris) is the champion of the Banshee Queen of the Forsaken, and a teacher of new Forsaken hunters. In life, Nathanos was the first and only human "Ranger Lord," trained by the high elves of Quel'Thalas, and was close to Sylvanas Windrunner. He died and became undead during the Third War, joining Sylvanas' rogue Forsaken shortly afterward. As Nathanos Blightcaller, he would stand in the Eastern Plaguelands, battling the Alliance heroes sent to kill him and faking his death. Recently, he received a new body with the help of Sylvanas' val'kyr and now serves his liege with renewed strength.

Biography

The Ranger Lord

WoW-novel-logo-16x62.png This section concerns content exclusive to the Warcraft novels or short stories.

A younger version of Nathanos Marris seen in Old Hillsbrad Foothills.

In life, Nathanos Marris was trained by the high elves in the ways of war, and was admitted to the elven Farstriders. Nathanos' accomplishments were unprecedented. He was a tactical genius, responsible for Alliance victories spanning a decade of conflict.[5] Nathanos Marris was the first and only human ranger lord, the highest rank in the Farstriders' hierarchy below ranger-general, appointed as such by Ranger General Sylvanas Windrunner.

His inclusion in the ranks of the ranger lords was not without its conflicts. Nathanos was on the receiving end of prejudice from his elven comrades, many of whom objected to the presence of a human in their ranks. Halduron Brightwing and Renthar Hawkspear both argued against his inclusion in their ranks,[6] and Nathanos had a particular animosity with Sylvanas' second-in-command, Lor'themar Theron, who claimed Nathanos felt intimidated by the elven rangers; Nathanos believed he could match Theron shot-for-shot. Kael'thas Sunstrider, the crown prince of Quel'Thalas (who was rumored to have sought Sylvanas' hand in marriage) also opposed the appointment, but Sylvanas insisted on it anyway, impressed with Nathanos' ability and believing that the high elves must practice tolerance with the outside world.[7] Still, Nathanos felt unwelcome in the ancient city of the elves and tired of their politics, instead choosing to reside in his native Lordaeron, at his childhood home. As a Ranger Lord, Nathanos owed allegiance to Silvermoon, and was obligated to fight in its defense should the elves demand it. Sylvanas frequently visited him at the stead, officially to hear his reports, but rumor spread throughout the Farstriders - and the elven kingdom at large - that Sylvanas had been continuing a romantic relationship with her human pupil. Nathanos worried that these rumors would negatively impact Sylvanas, who required the goodwill of her compatriots as ranger-general.

Sylvanas visited Nathanos at the Marris Stead shortly before the onset of the Second War. She spoke to him of a potential invasion of Quel'Thalas from the Old Horde, and met Nathanos' young cousin, Stephon Marris. Before leaving, Sylvanas spent the night at the stead.[3]

Death and freedom

WoW-novel-logo-16x62.png This section concerns content exclusive to the Warcraft novels or short stories.

After the fall of Stratholme, the Scourge swept over the once-great nation of Lordaeron, killing all in its path and raising the fallen as cadaverous undead. Despite his great skill, Nathanos Marris fell as well at his house, murdered by the abomination Ramstein the Gorger.[8] Nathanos rose as a mindless thrall of the Scourge, bound to the will of the Lich King, spreading the plague of undeath through the kingdom of his birth. Somehow though, deep in his soul, he knew that Sylvanas would come for him, and she did.[8]

Sylvanas had been freed from Arthas' grasp during the Civil War in the Plaguelands, and scoured Lordaeron for signs of Nathanos. When she found her old disciple, he had been reduced to a pitiful sight, a decaying slave feasting on corpses of his own making. Nathanos did not immediately recognise her, and attempted to attack her with the unending rage filling the void in his soul, but was fettered by dark ranger arrows while Sylvanas called him to his senses. Sylvanas tore Nathanos free from the Lich King's will and told her disheveled former pupil of the plight of the Forsaken. She named Nathanos her champion, in their quest to avenge themselves upon Arthas.

Nathanos eagerly accepted his new title of Champion of the Banshee Queen. He even took a new name: Nathanos Blightcaller. Nathanos continued to wear the clothing he'd worn in life even as a Scourge puppet and a Forsaken dark ranger. Whether this was due to pragmatism or sentimentality, he could not say.[citation needed]

In death, Nathanos retained the deep loyalty he had felt towards Sylvanas in life. Were she to perish at the end of their quest, he knew he would happily follow her.[3]

World of Warcraft

WoW Icon 16x16.png This section concerns content exclusive to World of Warcraft.

Nathanos, the Blightcaller.
Nathanos at The Marris Stead.

Nathanos resided at his old home, the Marris Stead in the Eastern Plaguelands with his pet blighthounds on the banshee queen's orders. There he recruited Horde soldiers to fight against corrupted animals (such as plaguebats), the Scourge, and the Scarlet Crusaders of Tyr's Hand.

Nathanos collected relics from the battle of Darrowshire, for unknown reasons. He kept them in his home.[9] Nathanos appeared to be secretive regarding personal details of his former life, even sending Horde adventurers to retrieve the Quel'Thalas Registry that contained his file.[10] He made sure to inform adventurers that the registry was not to be read. Nathanos took a special pleasure in tormenting the lodge's elven residents, his former comrades, who had scorned him even while alive.[3]

Nathanos' death did not go unnoticed, nor did the fact that a body had never been found. Master Mathias Shaw, head of SI:7 - the Stormwind intelligence agency - received some disturbing reports of unusual Forsaken activity in the Eastern Plaguelands, and sent five agents to investigate. Only one of those agents returned, babbling incoherently about "Nathanos" and the word "Blightcaller." He died in his sleep just days after his return, and Alliance adventurers were asked to go investigate their disappearance.[11] The only thing SI:7 had to go on was that Nathanos Marris may have been slain by this "Blightcaller," but the truth was far less pleasant. After investigating the grounds around the Marris Stead, adventurers uncovered the ugly reality - Nathanos was the Blightcaller, now a champion of the Banshee Queen.

Once it was determined that Nathanos was the Blightcaller, King Varian Wrynn and Bolvar Fordragon enlisted Alliance adventurers to gather an army and destroy him. Nathanos, however, managed to survive this through faking death.

Cataclysm

Cataclysm This section concerns content exclusive to Cataclysm.

After surviving the Alliance assassination attempt on his life, Nathanos has decided to reside in the War Quarter of the Undercity and trains new Forsaken hunters in their trade. The quests he gave are now given by other NPCs.

Nathanos and Sylvanas were training a new generation of Forsaken rangers, representing both their past and their future.[12]

Nathanos was the only person Sylvanas confided in regarding her experience atop Icecrown following the Lich King's defeat. Nathanos knew that should Sylvanas ever find herself facing that damnation again, he would gladly end his own undeath to face it at her side. Part of him hoped for it.[3]

Dark Mirror

WoW-novel-logo-16x62.png This section concerns content exclusive to the Warcraft novels or short stories.

Nathanos marveling at his new appearance.

As the Legion began invading Azeroth, Sylvanas called Nathanos to partake in a ritual meant to make him stronger. He agreed to take part, thought not before attempting to provoke her. When he discovered that the ritual would involve the val'kyr sacrificing his cousin Stephon Marris, he felt no regret, only the duty bound oath he had made towards Sylvanas. The val'kyr proceeded to place herself between the human and the undead and began chanting guttural words in an ancient tongue, flashes of blue and gold pulsing from her hands. Nathanos lost his senses for a time, his world exploding in fire and pain. When the Blightcaller's wits returned, he found that he had been transformed to become stronger than before and not be as decayed and withered as he had been. However, upon looking into a mirror, he noticed that his new face was not entirely his own. He then noticed that the second ritual table was empty save for a bit of ash and oily residue stains. Sylvanas directed Dark Ranger Anya to escort her champion to the armory to see him outfitted in a manner that befit his station. Along the way, Anya implied to Nathanos that Sylvanas had feelings for her champion, a notion that the Blightcaller disagreed with, as he personally felt that whatever emotion his mortal heart might have held, now it had room only for rage and contempt. After picking out a green and gray mix of mail and leather, a clean and well-maintained breastplate caught his eye and caused him to reflect back to the ritual and to the empty altar next to his. For the briefest of moments, Nathanos felt regret.[3]

Legion

Legion This section concerns content exclusive to Legion.

Nathanos Blightcaller in The Violet Citadel.

Following the death of Vol'jin, he and the other dark rangers are seen protecting Sylvanas, the new Warchief of the Horde. He fought against the demons when they were revealed by the newly-accepted Illidari.

Nathanos issued summons to the Horde champion on behalf of Sylvanas and leading them to the Forsaken fleet approaching Stormheim. Predictably, Nathanos has retained his dry humor and low regard for most of the figures he crosses paths with (particularly the worgen, whom he writes off as "beasts"), save of course for Sylvanas. He is accompanied by his pet bat, Bloodwing.

When the Alliance led by Genn Greymane and Sky Admiral Rogers take the chance to bombard the Forsaken fleet, Nathanos makes his queen's safety his first priority, but is ordered to take the fleet on the offensive. He leads the Forsaken forces in a counterattack against the 7th Legion and worgen troops, flying from ship to deal with the Alliance soldiers. The Blightcaller and his men board the Skyfire and cause havoc in the hull, planting vials of blight to take it apart from within. Nathanos battles Greymane on the ship's deck, unimpressed with his opponent until goading Genn into assuming his worgen form. Nathanos gains the upper hand and manages to wound Greymane but the battle abruptly ends with the destruction of the Skyfire, which plummets down into Stormheim, but both Nathanos and Greymane survive - although Nathanos' face is now apparently "even uglier" than it was before.[1]

Nathanos takes command of the Forsaken stragglers, and leads his rangers in a ruthless hunt across the region to locate the missing Sylvanas.[13] He is certain that the queen is alive and out there; and for their arrogance in striking the Banshee Queen, Nathanos goes out of his way to take bloody revenge on the Alliance forces remaining in the area.[14] With the help of the champion, Nathanos is able to discover that Sylvanas safely escaped, but did not wish to be pursued.[15] Respecting the Dark Lady's wishes Nathanos turned his attention to claiming the  [Aegis of Aggramar], though would ultimately leave the quest to Horde adventures after reconnecting with his master in Dreadwake's Landing.

When a Horde player reaches Prestige Rank 2, Nathanos can be found in the Undercity alongside other notable leaders of the Horde. During H [100] A Royal Audience, he is present at the ceremony hosted by Warchief Sylvanas Windrunner that congratulates the character for their battles against the Alliance, following their receiving of the  [High Warlord's Medal of Valor] from the Warchief, as well as an artifact appearance.

Locations

Notable appearances
Location Level range Health range
Western Plaguelands 62 38,850
Undercity 62 46,830
Durotar 110 155,463,600
Stormheim 100 6,397,000

Quests

Nathanos Blightcaller as a hunter trainer in Undercity.

Legion This section concerns content exclusive to Legion.

Removed from game The subject of this section has been removed from World of Warcraft.

Horde

Nathanos was involved in the following quests:

Alliance

His death was the objective of the quest A [60R] Order Must Be Restored.

One strategy was to take Nathanos down as fast as possible, whilst reducing the aggro on weaker party members. This enabled the group to at least complete the quest, or gain honor under the Honor system for the kill, while all the party were (still) alive.

You needed at least 8 people in a raid group at lower levels, with a main and off-tank.

Focus on Nathanos himself and take him down as fast as possible. He can be taken down in a minute or so, at which point no more skeletons will be added. The Blighthounds will not do any serious damage until he is down. Deal with them second, and the skeletons third.

Avoid healing as 2-4 skeletons are attracted to the healer. This includes direct heals, heal over time spells, Warlock's drain spells, bandages, potions, pet heals, and life stealing enchants. Rather than heal, run; stop fighting to reduce threat (trinkets etc. with Spirit bonuses are useful here) and heal normally; or let your tanks do the healing to attract aggro back.

It was easy to solo him at level 80, especially if you are a tank.

Quotes

Battle

Removed from game The subject of this section has been removed from World of Warcraft.

  • I can smell your fear, <race>.
  • Prepare for a severe beating.
  • I shall wear your entrails as a necklace.
  • How dare you!
  • If you run now, you may live.
  • You merely prolong the inevitable. Succumb. She will free your misguided soul.

Legion

Legion This section concerns content exclusive to Legion.

Greetings
  • Out with it.
  • Do not test me.
  • What is it?
  • Make it quick.
  • Hmmmm.
Irritated
  • How dare you?!
  • I should wear your entrails as a necklace!
  • If you run now you may live.
Farewell
  • Hmmh.
  • Make yourself useful.
  • For the Dark Lady.
  • Try not to get yourself killed.
  • Get moving.

Vol'jin's funeral

After the meeting held inside Grommash Hold during H [98] Fate of the Horde, Nathanos and the dark rangers are providing security for the funeral service outside Orgrimmar. However, this doesn't stop a curious adventurer from inquiring about his new appearance...

Not now!
Gossip There's something different about you, Blightcaller...
I'm here to ensure the Warchief's protection. Draw your weapon against her and you'll be dead before the first drop of your blood hits the ground.
As for anything else... it doesn't concern you. Understood?

Relationship with Sylvanas

There are strong implications that Nathanos and Sylvanas may have had a romantic relationship while alive - with echoes of this perhaps persisting in their undeath.

  • Nathanos was unpopular with his high elf comrades during his time as a Farstrider. Sylvanas championed Nathanos' cause in the face of all adversity, from her comrades and even from elven royalty. It was widely rumored throughout the Farstriders that their ranger-general had a romantic interest in her disciple. Neither denied it; Nathanos' only concern was that it might adversely effect Sylvanas' authority.
  • In the short story Dark Mirror, Nathanos expresses an explicit attraction and deep personal loyalty to Sylvanas, stating that she is more important to him than his home, or his position as ranger lord. The text further places emphasis on the physical closeness between the two, such as Sylvanas brushing his hand with her fingertips and requesting his "company" for the night at the Marris Stead.
  • Dark Ranger Anya outright mocked Nathanos for not seeing Sylvanas' lingering favor and affection for him for what it is. "Sylvanas defied a kingdom to name you ranger lord. She scoured the Plaguelands to reclaim you from the Scourge. And today she drew upon her most precious resource to restore your strength. Think upon these things, Blightcaller, and tell me how someone so cunning can be blind to the simplest of truths."[3]

Trivia

  • Although referred to only as a ranger, Nathanos appears to be a dark ranger; his in-game abilities (the summoning of skeletons and the usage of a special black arrow) being identical to the dark rangers' attack methods. Furthermore, both he and Sylvanas (his mentor and the most prominent dark ranger in existence) are classified as such in the TCG.
  • Despite his extremely poor treatment of the player, often referring to him or her as "imbecile" and numerous variations thereof, Nathanos has become a popular character in the franchise, and his return to the Undercity has been largely met with affection. This is perhaps due to fond memories of vanilla Warcraft, where Nathanos was a force to be reckoned with and Horde players would often defend the powerful Blightcaller from the Alliance.
  • When talked to in-game, Nathanos says he survived the attempts on his life by playing possum.
  • In the Leaders of Azeroth short story for Lor'themar Theron, Renthar Hawkspear and Aurora Skycaller make the inference that Nathanos "never became Scourge," and that Sylvanas must have "called him to her service" before Arthas could exert a proper dominion over him. This is curious, as their version of events is in direct contradiction to Nathanos' own, in which the banshee queen's champion reiterates his time spent as a mindless thrall of the Lich King before Sylvanas freed him. Of course, they would reasonably not have access to this information; the player only learns because Nathanos himself lets them know.
  • Nathanos Marris can be seen in the Old Hillsbrad instance in Southshore's Town Hall speaking with Bilger the Straight-laced.
  •  [Nathanos Blightcaller's Coin] can be fished up from the fountain in the Legion version of Dalaran.
  • Nathanos is voiced by Jim Pirri in Legion.

Relatives

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

He may be related to Marshal Marris.

Patch changes

  • Legion Patch 7.0.3 (2016-07-19): Updated with a new model and voice.
  • Cataclysm Patch 4.0.3a (2010-11-23): Moved from the Marris Stead to the Undercity. Now a hunter trainer.
  • WoW Icon 16x16.png Patch 1.5.0 (2005-06-07): Added.

References

External links