Old Gods' forces

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NeutralOld Gods' forces
Old Gods' Forces.jpg
Clockwise from top left: The Prophet Skeram, Deathwing, Queen Azshara, Warlord Zon'ozz, Emberscar the Devourer, and Ragnaros.
Main leader
Secondary leaders

Claimed to "Number in the millions" prior to the Pandaren Campaign[1]

Other major cities
Base of operations
Theater of operations
Main language
Secondary languages

Mostly defeated

"It is a small matter to control the mind of the weak... for I bear allegiance to powers untouched by time, unmoved by fate. No force on this world or beyond harbors the strength to bend our knee... not even the mighty Legion!"
Harbinger Skyriss

The forces of the Old Gods, known in ancient times as the Black Empire,[2] are a vaguely united faction of all the entities and organizations that serve the Old Gods. In recent times its members either serve the Old Gods directly, or had allied with Deathwing, to achieve their own objectives with the support of the Old Gods. Deathwing is perhaps the most powerful servant of the Old Gods.[3]

Although they suffered a crushing defeat long ago at the hands of the Pantheon, and the Old Gods along with most of their minions had been imprisoned, the Old Gods' activities on Azeroth have been steadily increasing, culminating in the Cataclysm, when they launched a major offensive in an attempt to escape their prisons, crush opposition and return to power, until eventually being pushed back by Horde and Alliance forces.


Major Members

Old Gods' creatures and creations

C'Thun ruling over the young Azeroth

The Old Gods have spawned and favoured many creatures throughout the ages for their servitude:

Twilight's Hammer

The Twilight Citadel

The Twilight's Hammer Cult is a clan composed of the pale orcs of the planet Draenor founded by the ogre-mage Cho'gall as a destructive cult hell-bent on bringing about the apocalypse. Based in Silithus since the defeat of the Horde during the Second War, in the midst of the cataclysm they have been found recruiting members of both the Alliance and the Horde with doomsayers proclaiming the imminent destruction of the world itself and promising its members glory and power. Other than the Horde and Alliance they have influenced weaker or desperate factions, including the almost extinct sand trolls and the rebellious dark iron dwarves. Led by Cho'gall and the Twilight Council, they attempt to claim the Twilight Highlands for the Old Gods who they believe to be the world's true masters, and eventually all of Azeroth itself.[6] More recently with the fall of Cho'gall at the hands of Azeroth's champions Archbishop Benedictus, now dubbing himself the "Twilight Father", and later the "Twilight Prophet", has risen to guide the remains of the cult.

N'Zoth's forces

Deathwing Dragonkin †
Deathwing, herald of the Old Gods

Neltharion the Earthwarder[11] was corrupted during the War of the Ancients into the service of the Old Gods with his dragonflight and renamed himself Deathwing.[12] However he suffered wounds too great in the events of the Day of the Dragon and had to retreat into Deepholm to heal himself[13], where he beat the stone dragons into submission to serve him.[14] In his absence, his mate Sintharia and their children Onyxia and Nefarian took over his dragonflight. With the Cataclysm, Deathwing and his flight returned and resurrected Sinestra and Nefarian as undead, the latter which resurrected his sister Onyxia. Reinforced by Sinestra's creation the Twilight Dragonflight, they allied with the elemental lords Ragnaros of the Firelands and Al'akir of the Skywall, and together with the Twilight's Hammer they work to bring the Hour of Twilight.[10]
Many other dragonkin have been corrupted and changed by the old gods.

The Dark Horde †

The Dark Horde is a renegade group of various races made of troops from the Old Horde that managed to avoid capture and reject the leadership of the Horde. Now under the control of Nefarian and the Black Dragonflight, they are based around Blackrock Mountain and have forces from Elwynn Forest to the Wetlands, though they are stronger in the Burning Steppes. The Dark Horde wages war against both the Alliance and the Horde, and used to fight the Dark Iron clan and its master Ragnaros until the return of Deathwing and his alliance with the Elemental Lord of fire.

The Empire of Nazjatar
The Naga, deep sea servants of the Old Gods

In the end of the War of the Ancients, after the Shattering happened, Queen Azshara and the Highborne tried their best to keep the waters at bay, but struck a pact with a mysterious power that turned them into the reptile Naga.[19] Now as underwater inhabitants in a sunken city they worked their way into shaping a underwater empire, enslaving many aquatic races like murlocs, and taming many beasts like tube wyrms, couatl, dragon turles and snap dragons, with Azshara leading them and against beings like Leviroth and the Kvaldir.[20]

Ysera corrupted by the Nightmare
The Emerald Nightmare

Although the Old Gods created the Emerald Nightmare and transformed Xavius, first of the satyrs, into the Nightmare Lord, Xavius was defeated. Now revived, he has rejoined his former allies and spreads the Nightmare in their name.[27] But his true loyalties still remain with the Old Gods.[28]

Warlord Zon'ozz, commander of N'Zoth's ancient armies

Infinite Dragonflight

Infinite dragonflight Infinite dragonflight - The meddlesome force focused on destroying the true timeway. They are helping the Old Gods to bring about the Hour of Twilight,[30] though their reasons for doing so are not entirely clear.

Yogg-saron's forces

Ulduar is where the old god Yogg-Saron was sealed, but it wasn't strong enough to stop his influence from spreading over the milleniums, corrupting the Prime-designate Loken[31], the other Titanic watchers (Frejya, Hodir, Mimiron and Thorim)[32][33], and other titanic constructs, like giants[34] and mechagnomes and their creations[35]. With control over the Forge of Wills, the corrupted Loken started creating a new army like many other's of the titan's creation's (earthen, giants and vrykul) but made of iron instead of stone and empowered by runes.[36]. However the Explorers' League together with the Kirin Tor and the Horde mounted an offensive against Yogg-Saron's forces and managed to kill him and save the corrupted watchers, except for Loken which was killed earlier by heroes in the Halls of Lightning, and with the death of the Prime designate, Algalon the observer came to Azeroth to judge its corruption in order to re-originate it.

C'Thun's forces

Kingdom of Ahn'Qiraj †
The Prophet Skeram leading a host of Silithid

Ahn'Qiraj is a fortress city in southern silithus, and it's the home of the qiraji a race descended from the aqir, that were shaped by C'thun, from the silithid. They first threatened the world with the War of the Shifting Sands, where they were sealed inside their own fortress city.[46] They tried a new offensive but utterly failed against the Might of Kalimdor, ending with the death of the Twin Emperors, rulers of the qiraji, and with them their master C'thun.[47] Cho'gall and the Twilight Hammer took over Ahn'Qiraj while he mutated, and tried using C'thun's corpse to corrupt the Med'an the soon-to-be Guardian.[48]

Y'Shaarj's forces †

Mantid Empire

Living in what is now called Pandaria, the mantid are the oldest inhabitants of the western part of the continent and followers of a dead Old God Y'Shaarj. Throughout countless millenia, they awaited for his return, until his heart was discovered and subsequently revived by Garrosh Hellscream.

The Firelands minions of Ragnaros

The Elemental Lords, lieutenants of the Old Gods

Ragnaros allied with Deathwing when he was promised to burn Azeroth together with his minions. Without Therazane or Neptulon interfering, he decided to start with the world tree of Nordrassil with the support of the Twilight Hammer,[10] prompting the druids of the Cenarion Circle and the Ancient Guardians to oppose him. He was beaten back to the Firelands by Cenarius, Hamuul and Malfurion,[55] and after some days of preparations, the druids are prepared to invade the Firelands and kill Ragnaros forever.[56]

The Skywall minions of Al'Akir

Free from the imprisonment of the Skywall, Al'Akir and his air elementals joined forces with Deathwing in an attempt to obtain the re-origination device the titans left in Uldum. To fight the Tol'vir, his ancient enemies, he called the support of the Conclave of Wind and Skywall's many denizens.[59]

Beyond Azeroth

More Old Gods exist beyond the five of Azeroth, but it takes significant power to summon them.[53] Their influence can be seen mostly in Outland.


Former allies

  • IconSmall Neptulon.gifIconSmall RevenantWater.gifIconSmall Water.gif Neptulon's water servants:
    • Abyssal Maw is their realm.
    • Elemental Lord is Neptulon.
    • Neptulon was attacked by the naga backed by the Old Gods' faceless ones in a attempt to conquer his realm. After a confrontation with Lady Nazjar and Ozumat he was beaten back to the Abyssal Maw, at which point heroes attempted to rescue him,[66] but ultimately failed as Neptulon was quickly taken away by Ozumat.
  • IconSmall Therazane.gifIconSmall RevenantEarth.gifIconSmall Earth.gif Therazane's earth followers:
    • Elemental Lord is Therazane.
    • Deepholm is their realm.
    • Therazane has taken no liking to the Old Gods' plans for Deepholm after Deathwing broke the world pillar, endangering her plane and Azeroth.[67] After an invasion by the Twilight Hammer,[68] she and her kin made a temporary alliance with the Earthen Ring to solve those problems[69] that the Old Gods indirectly caused. After the pillar is rebuilt she requests the hero to help her rebuild Deepholm, damaged by the Old Gods' forces.[70]

Notable leaders

Known Old Gods

Yogg-Saron, the Old God of Death

Secondary leaders

IconSmall NagaSeaWitch.gif Azshara
IconSmall Xavius.gif Xavius †
IconSmall Deathwing.gif Deathwing †

Cho'gall, mortal follower of the Old Gods and leader of the Twilight's Hammer

IconSmall OldCho'gall.gifIconSmall Cho'gall.gif Cho'gall †

IconSmall Ragnaros.gif Ragnaros †

IconSmall Vezax.gif General Vezax †
IconSmall Erudax.gif Warlord Zon'ozz †
IconSmall Al'Akir.gif Al'Akir †

IconSmall Loken.gif Loken †

IconSmall QirajiEmperor.gif Vek'nilash †
IconSmall QirajiEmperor.gif Vek'lor †
IconSmall Murozond.gif Murozond †

IconSmall Mantid.gifIconSmall MantidVizier.gif Paragons of the Klaxxi †

Status of the factions

Known major factions

Faction Pre-Titanic Azeroth Titanic Ordering of Azeroth Post-Titanic Azeroth and War of the Ancients Post-WotA and Before Dark Portal After Dark Portal and Before WoW World of Warcraft Cataclysm Future Current Status
Yogg-Saron's forces Already Existed; fighting against N'Zoth's forces Joined in the Old God link[citation needed], defeated and imprisoned Still imprisoned seeking freedom Expanding their influence, boosted by Loken's betrayal - - - - Recovering
N'Zoth's forces Already Existed; fighting against C'Thun's forces and Yogg-Saron's forces Joined in the Old God link[citation needed], defeated and imprisoned Still imprisoned seeking freedom; helps to corrupt Neltharion Expanding their influence, boosted by the Empire of Nazjatar - - - - Healthy/Active
C'Thun's forces Already Existed; fighting against N'Zoth's forces Joined in the Old God link[citation needed], defeated and heavy weakened Trying to recover Partially recovered, but sealed into the Scarab wall Healthy/Active - Weakened/Active - Defeated
Y'Shaarj's forces Already Existed Joined in the Old God link[citation needed], defeated and heavy weakened; Y'Shaarj is effectively killed cursing the land with Sha, but the Mantid still loyal to him - - - - - - Destroyed

Affiliated members

Faction Titanic Shaping of Azeroth Post-Titanic Azeroth until War of the Ancients Post-WotA and Before Dark Portal After Dark Portal and Before WoW World of Warcraft Cataclysm Unknown Future Current Status
Black Dragonflight Created Joined in N'Zoth's forces - - - - - Uncorrupted
Empire of Nazjatar - - Created - - Joined in N'Zoth's forces - Unknown
Emerald Nightmare - - - - Created - - Traitor
Kingdom of Ahn'Qiraj - Created and joined C'Thun's forces - Imprisoned Defeated and Destroyed - - Destroyed
Twilight's Hammer - - - - - - - Weakened
Iron Army - - - - - - - Defeated
Infinite Dragonflight - - - - - - Created Unknown
Deepholm - - - - - Defected - Healthy
Firelands - - - - - - - Defeated
Skywall - - - - - - - Defeated
Abyssal Maw - - - - - Defected - Defeated
Mantid - - - - - - - Healthy


  • Shapeless ones were concepted as the "Play-Doh of the Old Gods" for Cataclysm but were eventually cut.
  • Even though the sha are fragments of Y'Shaarj's power, they are aimless, not affiliated to the Old Gods' forces.


This article or section includes speculation, observations or opinions possibly supported by lore or by Blizzard officials. It should not be taken as representing official lore.


The Old Gods' prisons can be seen as the capitals of their forces. They are:


  1. ^ Karsh Steelbender quotes
  2. ^ Chris Metzen, Mists of Pandaria launch party, 2012
  3. ^ World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 2, pg. 127
  4. ^ N [80] Proof of Demise: Herald Volazj
  5. ^ Mindbender Ghur'sha
  6. ^ The Shattering: Prelude to Cataclysm
  7. ^ B [85] Ogres & Ettins
  8. ^ B [85] Skullcrusher the Mountain
  9. ^ B [80D] Water They Up To?
  10. ^ a b c d e f Encounter Journal
  11. ^ The History of Warcraft - Chapter I: Mythos, pg 4 (dead link)
  12. ^ The History of Warcraft - Chapter I: Mythos, pg 6 (dead link)
  13. ^ Dungeon: Stonecore
  14. ^ N [83] Don't. Stop. Moving.
  15. ^ Blackrock Spire
  16. ^ A [16] They've Wised Up...
  17. ^ A [19] The Dark Tower
  18. ^ Burning demon mobs in Blackrock Spire
  19. ^ Warcraft Encyclopedia: Naga
  20. ^ N [71] The Emissary
  21. ^ The History of Warcraft - Chapter I: Mythos, pg 7
  22. ^ Naga sea witch unit
  23. ^ N [81] Slave Labor
  24. ^ N [57] Atrocities
  25. ^ Lady Naz'jar fight in Throne of Tides
  26. ^ Naga faction in Warcraft III
  27. ^ World of Warcraft: Legion
  28. ^ Emerald Nightmare raid: Malfurion Stormrage yells: No doubt Xavius and his ancient master delight that so much of our attention goes to fighting the Legion. Their insidious shadow seeps into our world, distracting us with whispers and doubts.
  29. ^ a b World of Warcraft: Stormrage
  30. ^ Golden, Christie. Thrall: Twilight of the Aspects. 
  31. ^ a b Dungeons - Ulduar
  32. ^ N [80] The Reckoning
  33. ^ A [80] Fate of the Titans
  34. ^ a b c N [80] Mending Fences
  35. ^ N [80] Slaves of the Stormforged
  36. ^ http://forums.worldofwarcraft.com/thread.html?topicId=25626575587&sid=1
  37. ^ a b Ulduar Bosstiary
  38. ^ N [80] The Reckoning
  39. ^ A [80] Fate of the Titans
  40. ^ N [80] Slaves of the Stormforged
  41. ^ N [80D] Diametrically Opposed
  42. ^ a b Brann's comments when Sjonnir The Ironshaper is slain
  43. ^ N [80] Facing the Storm
  44. ^ Ulduar Bosstiary
  45. ^ B [75G3] Ursoc, the Bear God
  46. ^ a b Prophecy of C'Thun
  47. ^ N [60R] C'Thun's Legacy
  48. ^ World of Warcraft: The Comic, Hard Choices
  49. ^ Twin Emperors
  50. ^  [Staff of the Qiraji Prophets]
  51. ^ Monsters of Ahn'Qiraj - Anubisath
  52. ^ Monsters of Ahn'Qiraj - Obsidian Destroyer
  53. ^ a b c Ask CDev 1
  54. ^ N [60G] The Calling
  55. ^ N [82] The Firelord
  56. ^ 4.2 preview
  57. ^ Firelands (instance)
  58. ^ Molten Front
  59. ^ Raid: Throne of the Four Winds
  60. ^ Vortex Pinnacle
  61. ^ Throne of the Four Winds
  62. ^ B [42] Go Blow that Horn
  63. ^ N [83] Traitors!
  64. ^ H [56] ... and a Batch of Ooze
  65. ^ N [70D] Harbinger of Doom
  66. ^ Dungeon: Throne of the Tides
  67. ^ N [82] Deepholm, Realm of Earth
  68. ^ Diamant the Patient in Deepholm
  69. ^ N [83] Audience with the Stonemother
  70. ^ N [83] The Stone Throne
  71. ^ World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 1, pg. 44-45 (map)