Nerubians are an ancient race of highly intelligent arachnoids. Native to Northrend, these spider-men once ruled over the kingdom of Azjol-Nerub that stretched like a great web beneath the desolate glaciers of "the roof of the world". However, the Lich King crushed their dark empire and sent them skittering into the arctic wastelands. Though there were few pockets of nerubian warriors left, they still sought to gain vengeance upon Ner'zhul and reclaim their subterranean kingdom.
The trolls fought them for many thousands of years, but never succeeded in winning a true victory over the Aqir. Eventually, due to the trolls' persistence, the aqiri kingdom split in half as its citizens fled to separate colonies in the far northern and southern regions of the continent. Not long after the troll empires divided the insectoid kingdom of the aqir, the aqir that traveled north discovered and overthrew the tol'vir society in the northern wastes of Northrend. These aqir would eventually become the race we know as the nerubians today, having adapted the tol'vir's architecture for their own purposes. Similarly, the aqir that traveled south ransacked and overthrew a titan research station near Uldum, renaming themselves the qiraji and calling their new home in the southern desert Ahn'Qiraj.
War of the Spider
Thousands of years later, when the Lich King extended his influence over Northrend, the shadowy empire stood against his power. The ancient subterranean kingdom of Azjol-Nerub sent their elite warrior-guard to attack Icecrown and end the Lich King's mad bid for dominance. Much to his frustration, Ner'zhul found that the evil nerubians were immune not only to the undead plague, but to his telepathic domination as well.
The nerubian spiderlords commanded vast forces, and had an underground network that stretched nearly half the breadth of Northrend. Their hit-and-run tactics on the Lich King's strongholds stymied his efforts to root them out time after time. Ultimately, Ner'zhul's war against the nerubians was won by attrition. With the aid of the sinister dreadlords and innumerable undead warriors, the Lich King invaded Azjol-Nerub and brought its subterranean temples crashing down upon the spider lords' heads.
Though the nerubians were immune to his plague, Ner'zhul's growing necromantic powers allowed him to raise the spider-warriors' corpses and bend them to his will. As a testament to their tenacity and fearlessness, Ner'zhul adopted the nerubians' distinctive architectural style for his own fortresses and structures. Though there are few pockets of nerubian warriors left, they still seek to gain vengeance upon Ner’zhul and reclaim their subterranean kingdom.
Wrath of the Lich King
This section concerns content exclusive to Wrath of the Lich King.
With the death of their former leaders, the nerubian viziers have risen to power. They serve an "unseen emperor", one who is destined to lead the ancient spider-people to a final victory over the Scourge. This does not seem to be touched upon in WotLK.
According to Kilix the Unraveler and Archmage Lan'dalock, the nerubians fought the Scourge, they dug deeper underground as they lost ground to the undead. "We inadvertently exposed a tendril of the Old God's will, which was made manifest in the creatures known only as the Faceless." He then goes on to say that they lost the war because "In the end, we could not fight on two fronts against such powerful enemies. Our misfortune cost us the war against the undead, and ultimately, our home." implying that the nerubians discovered the faceless ones by accident.
This section concerns content exclusive to Cataclysm.
It is revealed that the nerubians have an enormous secret stash of their own eggs hidden safely, so that after the wipe out of the Scourge from Azjol-Nerub, they can finally begin repopulating their people.
Legends tell of the nerubians' using the jormungar as creatures of labor, forcing them to carve massive tunnels through Northrend's subterranean ice and lay the groundwork for the nerubians' ancient civilization.
Nerubian culture resembles the ancient Egyptian and Mesopotamian culture in terms of their architecture, though the ziggurats are of a completely different design.
The Nerubian architectural style was adopted by the Lich King after the War of the Spider and so Ziggurats, the big Necropolises Naxxramas and Acherus refer to their building style. Of course most of the architecture can be seen in Azjol-Nerub itself. Another good example for their style is the statue in the Pit of Fiends.
- Nerubian flyer
- Nerubian spiderling (name speculative)
- Nerubian spiderlord
- Nerubian vizier
In the RPG
At the ancient continent Kalimdor's center was a mysterious lake of incandescent energies, the Well of Eternity. It was the true heart of the world's magic and natural power. From this magical ether the silithid were born. As the fallen Old God C'Thun recognized their appearance, he attempted to sunder the world that it once held in its unmerciful grasp. The Old God created avatars from the silithid in its own image. These avatars were to be known as the qiraji.
16,000 years before the Orcish invasion of Azeroth the aqir ruled the lands far west of Kalimdor. These clever insectoids were greatly expansionistic and incredibly evil. The aqir were obsessed with eradicating all non-Arthropod life from the fields of Kalimdor. So the two big troll empires of Gurubashi and Amani found their common enemy in the third empire — the nation of Azj'Aqir.
Now, the nerubians are a depleted and embittered people. Most live in Northrend and shun all contact with outsiders — indeed, they attack intruders on sight, viewing all creatures not of their kind with suspicion. Understandably, they possess a vitriolic hatred of undead, especially crypt fiends and crypt lords. They realize that they are too weak to overthrow the Lich King, and must content themselves with their pathetic guerrilla war.
Now, the nerubians exist only as scattered families in northern Kalimdor and in a few settlements throughout Ashenvale. In their quiet and passionless manner, nerubians despise the Scourge and will take any opportunity to do it harm.
Different types of nerubian are referred to as castes with a life-long occupation and responsibility in society. Seers, for example, are relatively high-level nerubians who act as priests and mages. Spider lords are the rulers of the society in the same mold as the aristocracy of humanoid races.
The spider is the most common motif of the nerubians, and they have appeared to have evolved at least partially into an arachnid race (eight limbs) from an insectoid race (six limbs). Despite the nerubian cultural association with spiders (who reproduce through any male and any female), they reproduce as social insects do, through queens.
Undead nerubians are usually under control of the Scourge and are known as crypt fiends (in the case of most nerubians) and crypt lords (undead spiderlords). Too few crypt fiends appear in Azeroth, so nobody knows yet what nerubian females look like or are called.
Nerubians tend toward evil; they have always been ruthless and aggressive, and since the fall of the Spider Kingdom these traits are more pronounced. Still, nerubians are intelligent, and not all fall into dark ways. They may join a group of adventurers in the hopes of striking against the Lich King, or of gaining the power to do so. Other nerubians, often young ones, leave their homes because they want no part of their people's hopeless conflict and desire to become more than embittered survivors — perhaps they want to attain, at an individual level at least, the heights their people once possessed. The remote possibility exists that a handful of nerubians are not evil and could get along with other races better than their brethren.
Many nerubians are fluent in Common as well as their own tongue (a clicking rasping language).
In ancient Azjol-Nerub, there were five or six schools of religious thought, and theological debates were common. Eventually, however, nerubians have come to a conclusion that worshiping creatures from beyond the world is insane, and, in the words of the seer Ul'Tomon, "makes as much sense as a fly caught in a web worshiping the spider who is about to devour him". To modern nerubians, even the concept of "worship" itself is alien.
- Nerubian king (only a single one)
- Nerubian queen
- Nerubian seer
- Nerubian spiderling
- Nerubian spiderlord
- Nerubian warrior
- Nerubian webspinner
- Nerubian worker
Nerubians lived in or drew power from Ziggurats in Warcraft III.
A nerubian building. A hint of qiraji style can be seen.
In a Hearthstone: Curse of Naxxramas trailer
- At Blizzcon 2007, the nerubians and the Old Gods were described as B.F.F.
- There are still pockets of nerubians down there literally fighting for their lives, and we have any number of plans about how they play into things. What are they about? Are they principled, or even worse in some ways than the Scourge itself? -Chris Metzen
- A creature who bears some distant resemblance to the nerubians is described in the Manual of Monsters Appendix Three, the Ankhegs, however, the validity of the source is disputed.
- ^ Ultimate Visual Guide
- ^ Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos manual
- ^ http://forums.worldofwarcraft.com/thread.html?topicId=25626575587&pageNo=1&sid=1#0[broken link]
- ^ a b War of the Spider (History of Warcraft)
- ^ a b Wrath of the Lich King Bestiary
- ^ Arthas: Rise of the Lich King, page 216
- ^ Blizzard Entertainment. Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos Manual, 44.
- ^ "Legacy of the Damned: Into the Shadow Web Caverns", Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne. Blizzard Entertainment.
- ^ Johnson, Luke. Dark Factions, 43. ISBN 9781588464460.
- ^ a b c Johnson, Luke. Dark Factions, 44. ISBN 9781588464460.
- ^ Manual of Monsters, pg. 69
- ^ a b Borgstrom, Rebecca; Eric Brennan, Genevieve Cogman, and Michael Goodwin. Manual of Monsters, 69. ISBN 978-1588-4607-07.
- ^ a b Kiley, Ellen P.. Lands of Mystery, 146. ISBN 9781588467843.
- ^ Kiley, Ellen P.. Lands of Mystery, 144. ISBN 9781588467843.
- ^ Kiley, Ellen P.. Lands of Mystery, 143. ISBN 9781588467843.
- ^ http://www.wowinsider.com/2007/08/04/blizzcon-day-2-wow-lore-and-quests-panel-liveblog/
- ^ http://www.1up.com/do/previewPage?pager.offset=1&cId=3163178