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For her pre-Cataclysm encounter, see Onyxia (original). For her strategy on the current encounter, see Onyxia (tactics). For her appearance in Blackwing Descent, see Onyxia (Blackwing Descent).
Image of Onyxia
Gender Female
Race Black dragon (Dragonkin)
Affiliation(s) Black dragonflight, Kingdom of Stormwind (as Lady Prestor)
Occupation Broodmother and formerly matriarch of the Black dragonflight, previously royal advisor to the King of Stormwind (as Lady Prestor)
Location Various
Status Deceased (Lore);[1]
Killable (WoW)
Relative(s) Deathwing (father), Sintharia (mother), Nefarian (brother), Nyxondra (sister),[2]
Sabellian (half-brother),[3]
Wrathion (nephew, in conflict)
"How fortuitous. Usually, I must leave my lair in order to feed."

Onyxia (pronounced Oh-NIX-ee-uh)[4] was the daughter of Deathwing and his Prime Consort Sintharia and the broodmother of the black dragonflight on Azeroth. Like her father and her brother Nefarian, she had a human guise, appearing as Stormwind noblewoman Katrana Prestor. Seeking to take control of the Kingdom of Stormwind, she manipulated a conflict between the Stonemasons and the House of Nobles that led to the death of Queen Tiffin Wrynn. She later had King Varian Wrynn abducted by the Defias Brotherhood on route to Theramore Isle. Prestor subsequently became a royal councilor to his 10-year-old son Anduin Wrynn and controlled Highlord Bolvar Fordragon with the  [Drakefire Amulet]. Onyxia was slain and beheaded in her lair by King Varian upon his return when her true identity was revealed, thus restoring the line of Stormwind's kings. After the return of her father and the Shattering that resulted, she was reanimated by her brother Nefarian as an electrical undead monstrosity. Ultimately, she would be destroyed once more, along with Nefarian, in the Blackwing Descent.


Beyond the Dark Portal

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

Shortly before Deathwing's departure, Deathwing commanded Onyxia and Nefarian to secure orcs of the Blackrock Spire as their new force. His children agreed to do that.

After Deathwing's departure, Onyxia and her older brother Nefarian rose to lead their brethren and recoup their failing numbers. Nefarian claimed Blackrock Spire as his aerie, subverted the remaining Blackrock Orcs and ensnared the black dragons not already under his control. Onyxia became one of Nefarian's mightiest supporters. Onyxia aided Nefarian with the orchestrations of their human personas, in order to work toward replenishing the black dragonflight.[5]

As Katrana Prestor

Main article: Katrana Prestor
WoW-comic-logo-16x68.png This section concerns content exclusive to the World of Warcraft comics.

For several years, Onyxia masqueraded as one of the highest nobles in Stormwind, Lady Katrana Prestor, preventing the people there from sending much-needed aid to the areas near the Burning Steppes (where her brother has great power and influence). Her final goal was to become the ruler of Stormwind, through manipulation and evil schemes.

When the Stonemasons who had rebuilt Stormwind demanded to be paid for their service to King Varian Wrynn and the House of Nobles, the corrupt House of Nobles, under the influence of Katrana Prestor, refused to adequately pay the guild for its work. King Varian was unable to negotiate a resolution that appeased both parties. It is suspected that Lady Katrana had ensorcelled half the House of Nobles and half the Stonemasons and because of this, both sides refused to begrudge their positions, with the House of Nobles only offering meager compensation while the Stonemasons continued to demand extravagant sums. Though the Stonemasons were compensated for their work, they received only a fraction of the pay they felt they had earned, and so Edwin VanCleef and the Stonemasons set to rioting leading to Tiffin Wrynn's death. Onyxia greatly gained influence over Varian after his wife's death, using foul sorcery on him while she politically outmaneuvered him during the span of the Third War.[6] Over time, she increasingly lost control over Varian as Varian's attachment to Anduin grew so she attempted to reassert her control by using a spell that would not kill Varian but would remove and destroy his conscience, will, and responsibility.


Soon after the dust had settled from the Third War, Varian journeyed to Theramore to speak with Lady Jaina Proudmoore regarding Horde/Alliance relations. On route, he was abducted by Onyxia's forces and brought to Alcaz Island. On Alcaz Island, Varian was tied to the ground; cloaked figures casted dark magic causing unbearable pain as Varian desperately tries to break himself free. In a blinding flash of light he awakes to find himself laying next to an exact duplicate. Onyxia unmasked herself intending to kill the strong-willed Varian but is stopped by the arrival of Morgala Darksquall and her naga. The cloaked figures and Onyxia turn into dragonkin and battle the naga while the strong-willed Varian breaks himself free and begins to fight. He tried to free the other Varian and implores him to find a weapon but discovered his other is too unnerved to properly wield a weapon. The other Varian is knocked off a cliff, falls into the ocean and is captured by the naga. Varian is left alone to fight and tricks Onyxia into believing she had killed him. Pleased, Onyxia left before more naga appeared.

Shortly after King Varian was kidnapped, Bolvar Fordragon was made Regent-Lord of Stormwind and vowed to find and rescue King Varian at any cost. Lady Prestor also became a royal advisor, and convinced Highlord Bolvar to have King Varian's 10-year-old son, Anduin Wrynn, crowned King of Stormwind, though the actual power remained in Fordragon's hands until either Varian was returned or Anduin reached the Age of Ascension. Onyxia controlled Highlord Bolvar Fordragon through the use of the  [Drakefire Amulet].[7] She may also have used the kidnapping to convince Stormwind's nobles (particularly Bolvar) to not send troops to Westfall, Lakeshire, and Darkshire, in an attempt to increase the strength of the Brotherhood and the Blackrock clan in those regions, which are both rumored to be allied to the black dragonflight, and cause chaos throughout the human lands.

At some point Onyxia drove the Stonemaul ogres from the caves in Dragonmurk, a dismal swamp located within Dustwallow Marsh.[8] She did so in order to procure a place to raise her numerous children, who would then leave to infest the Wyrmbog. She and her children became known for terrorizing any travelers who strayed too close to her home.[citation needed]

Return of the Kings

Some time later a massive ceremony was held in Stormwind to welcome home their king. However, the Varian that returned was arrogant, frivolous, and markedly interested in Katrana Prestor. The people of Stormwind had only been informed that Defias had ransomed the king, a ransom paid with a painful new tax. Upon his return, however, Varian seemed concerned only with spending more of his people's money, leaving affairs of state by the wayside. Anduin Wrynn was distressed by his father's change.

One day in Stormwind City, King Magni Bronzebeard was on a visit and was discussing war plans against the orcs and Dark Iron dwarves with King "Varian" and Bolvar Fordragon. However, Varian Wrynn was counseled by Lady Katrana Prestor to not send troops to help the dwarves fight against the dark irons. King Magni left disappointed in Varian's subservience to Lady Prestor's wishes and his dishonorable demeanor.

Onyxia revealed.

Eventually the other Varian - Lo'Gosh - and his friends arrived in Stormwind and were halted by General Marcus Jonathan under the direct jurisdiction of Katrana Prestor, who ordered their immediate arrest and execution as traitors. Reginald Windsor succeeded in convincing Marcus of his loyalty to Stormwind as they had previously served together under Turalyon. Katrana Prestor hastily gathered soldiers only to have the frivolous Varian tell her that she was disobeying the chain of command and was not in charge of Stormwind. Entering Stormwind Keep, Lo'Gosh declared Katrana's masquerade was over and called her by her true name: Onyxia. Revealing her dragon form and transforming multiple guards into dragonspawn, Lo'Gosh and his allies began battle in the great hall of Stormwind Keep. The arrival of Highlord Bolvar Fordragon along with Anduin greatly aided them in securing the keep but Reginald Windsor was killed moments later by Onyxia. Lo'Gosh engaged his doppelganger, claiming he threatened the stability of his kingdom and nearly cost the Alliance Thandol Span, only to have his doppelganger retort he was starting to repress her spells and regain control of his actions. Anduin, surprised by seeing two Varians, urged them to stop fighting each other and face the true threat, the brood mother Onyxia. The great dragon snatched Anduin and teleported them to her lair daring Varian to follow suit. Regrouping with their friends, Varian and Lo'Gosh were left to grieve the loss of their son. Lo'Gosh announced to their friends and allies that the final battle would end in Onyxia's Lair.

Corruption Ends

Stormwind Footmen carrying off the head of Onyxia.
Onyxia's Head seen in-game hanging from the gates of Stormwind.

Leading a mounted charge, both Varians cut bloody swathes into Onyxia's dragonspawn ranks. Jaina disabled the impeding magical barriers while Varian and his allies used steel and magic to slay Onyxia's brood. Eventually they encountered the brood mother herself, with Anduin imprisoned under her iron grip. Onyxia held Anduin hostage, threatening to kill him if Varian didn't surrender Stormwind over to her. Anduin urged his father not to give in to her threats and Lo'Gosh agreed to fight and die with Anduin if need be. Lo'Gosh threw a knife at the dragon's claw to loosen her hold over Anduin. Anduin fell at a great height but was caught and saved by Broll Bearmantle, who had taken his raven form to catch him mid air. With Anduin's safety secured, the Stormwind army continued the battle.

Leading an assault against Onyxia, both Varians engaged her in battle. Weapons and magic clashed with her numerous dragonkin with both sides determined to win. Onyxia cast a fear spell on Broll and tail swiped Jaina, removing them from the battle after growing agitated by their constant spellcasting. Becoming desperate to end the fight, Onyxia began casting the spell she was going to use on Alcaz Island to kill Lo'Gosh, but Lo'Gosh's double responded by stepping in front of the blast, saying he should die because Lo'Gosh was the embodiment of the true Varian. Not willing to sacrifice his double, Lo'Gosh leapt alongside his other self hoping to save him. The magic spell became disrupted by having the two Varians in the spell, and after a moment of silence Varian emerged, his two halves fused back together. Onyxia desperately tries to incinerate him, but Varian swiftly reached Onyxia's head and impaled her with his newly-fused elven sword, Shalamayne. With Onyxia dead, Varian reunited with his son and friends, telling them their long and noble deeds will be rewarded and Stormwind has been reborn with a new hope for the future. King Varian then decapitated Onyxia and sent her head to be hung from the ramparts of Stormwind while Broll Bearmantle summoned roots from the ground to seal her lair's entrance and to kill her unhatched progeny.

Blackwing Descent

Onyxia, brought back to life.
Cataclysm This section concerns content exclusive to Cataclysm.
Main article: Onyxia (Blackwing Descent)

This wasn't her end, however. Onyxia's body and head were somehow retrieved by Nefarian and taken inside Blackwing Descent. When players engage Nefarian, as Lord Victor Nefarius, he will reveal that he has found a way to raise Onyxia from the dead. A platform then rises from the lava in the middle of the vault with Onyxia's stitched-together form lying on it, and she is restored to a semblance of life via bolts of electricity. The first phase of the Nefarian fight consists of trying to kill Onyxia while also managing Nefarian, who will attack the raid after a brief respite.


Notable appearances
Location Level range Health range
Onyxia (original)  ?? 1,099,000
Onyxia (tactics)  ??
Onyxia (Blackwing Descent)  ??

Political Influence

Lady Katrana Prestor.
Onyxia revealed.

In World of Warcraft, Onyxia's human alias, Lady Katrana Prestor, was the woman who used to stand immediately to the right of the boy king, Anduin Wrynn. She could be revealed as a dragonkin by Hunter dragonkin detection, and did not show up as a humanoid when using "Track Humanoids".

She had significant influence over the following organizations, manipulating them against each other to further her plans and strengthen the black dragonflight:

Other allies by extension whom she had influence over


A clever, highly intelligent dragon, Onyxia is fond of assuming mortal guises, which she uses to secretly manipulate the affairs of mortal politics and commerce. Though Onyxia is relatively small for a black dragon of her age, she shares the same powers and abilities as the rest of her terrible flight. Her searing breath weapon can melt both stone and iron. Her physical attacks, whether bites, scrapes or tail lashes, are lightning quick and nearly unstoppable. When cornered, Onyxia is fond of taking flight and blasting her troublesome prey from above.

Though Onyxia has been sighted traveling to and from Blackrock Mountain, her main lair is located in a fiery cave below the Dragonmurk. It's also whispered that her brood of new eggs is hidden within her lair - awaiting maturation. Should anyone ever threaten Onyxia within her lair - within distance of her precious eggs - her wrath would be terrible beyond comprehension.

In the RPG

The RPG Icon 16x36.png This section concerns content exclusive to the Warcraft RPG and is considered non-canon.

After carefully calculating her plans for many years, she entered into a pact with her elder brother, Nefarian, to take over for their missing father and gain control of the entire flight. To this end, she had begun manipulating many mortals and dragons alike to her own ends and wielded considerable political power over many groups.[9] Onyxia speaks Common, Darnassian, Draconic, Dwarven, Orcish, Thalassian, and Zandali.[9]

Onyxia initiates combat using her breath weapon and then moves directly into melee, preferably targeting soft targets such as spellcasters. If given a chance to prepare before battle, she uses defensive spells to augment her fighting ability. When she is damaged too much, Onyxia takes to the air. If she is still sustaining a great deal of damage in the air, she sticks to spells, to make sure she can retreat if badly wounded. If heavily injured she either retreats (if in open air) or descends to the ground to reenter melee (if inside her lair). She attempts to land on her enemies and crush them as she comes down to the ground. When she reaches the ground, she immediately uses Deep Breath against the largest group of opponents within range. At this point, she fights to the death if necessary, retreating only if a chance presents itself. If engaged while in human form, she fights using spells unless her attackers clearly know she is a dragon; if her enemies know her identity, she tries to retreat to her lair.[9]


Onyxia in her reanimated form, as seen in Hearthstone.
  • Before her debut in World of Warcraft, she was mentioned in Warcraft: The Roleplaying Game.
  • Onyxia's name is derived from the word "onyx", a precious stone, opaque and completely black. It is often used to describe something that is extremely black and dark. In Ancient Greek, "ὄνυξ" (Onyx) stands for "hoof" or "talon".
  • Onyxia's head used to hang from the left arch into Stormwind City or be mounted on a large pillar near the front of Orgrimmar if she had recently been killed. This no longer happens as of 3.2.2.
  • Onyxia is the most used boss encounter: Players fought her in her original level 60 encounter, in the revamp as a level 80 encounter, as a memory in Trial of the Champion and after being reanimated in Blackwing Descent.
  • Her father claims her undead state was just one of a number of experiments towards the creation of Ultraxion.
  • Onyxia was the first raid boss ever defeated in World of Warcraft, with Chosen from Elune-KR claiming the kill on January 28th, 2005.
  • Both the Horde and the Alliance wanted her dead, and her head was asked to be brought to the capital cities. However, this part was retconned as seen in World of Warcraft: The Comic.
    • According to Micky Neilson the reaction to the death of Onyxia within the comics had an impact on the creation process of the Curse of the Worgen series: "We learned that when Varian killed Onyxia, players had a very visceral reaction to that, because they had a gone through those quest lines and they had killed Onyxia. And so, it was a response from the players saying 'Hey, wait a minute, Varian didn't do that. I did that.' It felt like we had robbed the player of that experience. That was something we took into Curse of the Worgen was figuring out ways not to rob the players experience of going through Gilneas and everything that happens there, but still relaying events and conveying all that information."[10]
  • Lady Sinestra reuses Onyxia's model during her Shadowmoon Valley appearance.
  • A concept for Onyxia existed in Heroes of the Storm. The concept included various types of dragonkin.[11]
  • While Wrathion is listed as Onyxia's half-brother in the Ultimate Visual Guide and claims to be Deathwing's son, it is hinted that Deathwing isn't Wrathion's literal father. Moreover, at one occasion he called her "auntie Onyxia".
  • She appears as a legendary card in Hearthstone. Her flavor text reads: "Onyxia long manipulated the Stormwind Court by disguising herself as Lady Katrana Prestor. You would have thought that the giant wings and scales would have been a giveaway."
    • She also appears as in her reanimated form in the final battle against Nefarian in the Hidden Laboratory (Blackwing Descent), the fifth and final wing of the Blackrock Mountain adventure. After removing all of Nefarian's armor by dealing sufficient damage to him, Nefarian flies up into the air and the player must then defeat Onyxia before facing Nefarian again.

See also


Trading Card Game

Patch changes

  • Wrath of the Lich King Patch 3.2.2 (2009-09-22): "She has lurked in her lair and done battle with the many brave adventurers who travelled to that familiar location over the years. Now, in honor of the World of Warcraft 5-year anniversary, the dreaded brood mother Onyxia is being revamped to make a return to the forefront of Azeroth, as part of our big plans for the upcoming 3.2.2 content patch.

    This permanent update to Onyxia will convert the dungeon into 10- and 25-player modes. We will be adding new items to Onyxia's loot table that have the same model as some of the classic loot from this dungeon, like Tier 2 helms, with stats updated to match the current level of content. There will be a special new item too: a normal drake-sized 310% speed flying mount modeled after Onyxia herself called Brood of Onyxia. We will also be updating the encounter mechanics to be more fitting for modern raiding, but we can guarantee players will get to experience the frightening horror of deep breaths once again.

    Then for a limited time, after the 5-year anniversary event officially begins in November, anybody who logs in will receive an Onyxia Brood Whelpling pet.

    We're very excited to bring this classic encounter back to provide a fun new experience for both new and veteran players. Further details will be available in the near future, and we will be setting up the Public Test Realms soon to help test out this fight along with all the new content we have planned for the patch. Keep an eye on the forums for updates!
    " (Source)
    Please note that Tier 2 Helm now drop from Nefarian.
  • Wrath of the Lich King Patch 3.2.2 (2009-09-22): "There is no change in the lore, the story works just the same as it does with Onyxia in the game right now. This a celebration of the 5 year anniversary of World of Warcraft and we are doing something a little more than just adding a pet this year." (Source)


See also

External links

Onyxia's Lair Blackwing Descent
Preceded by:
Ruler of the black dragonflight (with Nefarian)
Succeeded by:
Preceded by:
Matriarch of the black dragonflight
Succeeded by: