The kvaldir, or tuk-hariq (meaning "walkers of the fog" or "sons of the mist" in the tuskarr language), also known as sea vrykul, are fearsome seafaring vrykul raiders who roam the seas raiding ships and coastal settlements.
Long ago, tribes of vrykul were scattered across ancient northern Kalimdor. One tribe in particular struggled against a terrible malaise that ravaged its people.
Combatting this affliction, this "curse of flesh," all but consumed the tribe. After exhausting all natural attempts, the tribe sought the aid of its priestesses. These women plumbed the world of spirits for answers, but they found only a malevolent entity lying in wait.
Their ritual went horribly wrong, as the entity further corrupted those that sought freedom from their curse. These eternally vengeful beings would later be called the Kvaldir.
Wrath of the Lich King
This section concerns content exclusive to Wrath of the Lich King.
The vrykul had a burial ground in Howling Fjord called Shield Hill, and at some point just prior to Wrath of the Lich King, a band of pirates happened upon the graveyard and stole several artifacts from several graves - graves of very important vrykul that had perished years before. The angry spirits of the disturbed graves are left howling for vengeance.
The theft is discovered by the tuskarr, who were unfortunate enough to have several hunters approach the area due to the strange activity of the restless spirits of the dead. As for the pirates, they've been hiding out and dealing with troubles of their own, as the artifacts they've stolen have proven to be far more trouble than their apparent worth. According to "Silvermoon" Harry at Scalawag Point, everyone who has come into touch with these artifacts has ended up dead, missing or both. drove one of the pirates insane, and now "Mad" Jonah Sterling hides in a cavern near the pirate cove, having assigned a bear to guard the artifact. had much the same effect on a crew member named Abdul the Insane, who now holds the staff on a ship at Iskaal. The giant Sorlof is holding , and the only way to retrieve it is to gain the trust of the now-undead crew of the Sister Mercy and help them defeat the giant. As for , the armor was to be brought to Scalawag Point when the ship was attacked by Forsaken. The Forsaken boarded the ship and killed everyone aboard, looting everything of value until a small army of undead Kvaldir appeared and murdered the Forsaken. The ghosts of Kvaldir quickly overran the ship and now guard the armor from further tampering.
All of these items can be retrieved, and the plan of the tuskarr was to simply return the artifacts to their proper resting places. After all, if the spirits were angry at the loss of the items, surely returning them would appease the ghosts and cease the attacks upon anyone who ventured to Shield Hill. But the results of their plan did not play out as expected as the offering came too late.
The theft triggered the reappearance of the Kvaldir along the coasts of Northrend, including those located in Borean Tundra. But the Kvaldir didn't start their vengeance with the tuskarr - they started with the naga, and the sheer scope of their planned revenge for the stolen goods was far larger than anyone could've imagined. A naga priestess in Riplash named Veehja tells that five hundred years ago Queen Azshara imprisoned a being named Leviroth in the waters below. Now the Kvaldir seek to undo our queen's work by sacrificing naga and later on tuskarr. The Kvaldir were trying to free the kraken and presumably use it on the naga of Riplash, or on the tuskarr of the coast, or possibly on any living things that happen to be standing in the way.
Far in the upper reaches of Northrend, north of the newly constructed Argent Tournament, lies the fishing village of Tualiq. This small tuskarr village was also attacked by the Kvaldir and was quickly overrun, the bodies of slain Tualiq villagers littering the icy beaches. Led by Drottinn Hrothgar, they recently took over a tuskarr village on an island off the northern coast of Icecrown and renamed it Hrothgar's Landing. It is now a mist-shrouded staging point from which they launch attacks against Silver Covenant and Sunreavers' ships in the waters between the island and Icecrown. The Kvaldir seem to have one motive in mind - to summon another kraken from the depths of the Northrend seas. Adventurers can kill the summoners that seek to use the kraken, and they can kill the kraken itself from above, riding hippogryphs and hurling spears at the attacking creature. Once again, the Kvaldir seem to be focused on using a kraken to obtain their vengeance.
This section concerns content exclusive to Cataclysm.
The Kvaldir make an appearance in the Shimmering Expanse of Vashj'ir. They appear mainly in flashback quest chains beginning with . They were lead by a general known as Varkul the Unrelenting and were fighting Queen Azshara's naga, who wanted the the city of Vashj'ir but mostly the Crucible of Nazsharin from them. In a series of quests in Vash'jir, players take on the role of a naga battlemaiden who witnesses and helps with the summoning of Ozumat. However, the sunken city of Vash'jir is being overrun by Kvaldir, who seem intent on wiping the naga out entirely. During the battle, the Kvaldir managed to steal the artifact that was to be used for the summoning ritual of Ozumat. The naga battlemaiden has to retrieve the artifact so that Ozmat may be summoned and so the Kvaldir can be summarily wiped out. Some remnants of the kvaldir force can still be seen at Biel'aran Ridge.
Appearance and nature
The tuskarr think they are the angered spirits of slain vrykul. They believe that the mists enable them to manifest. The kvaldir are actually living vrykul in costumes, with flesh and blood and bones, and are capable of bleeding and dying normally. The mist is nothing more than a sinister cover.
Kvaldir can apparently breathe underwater, but so can the player. Fathom-Lord Zin'jatar calls them "rotting" but that may just be an insult. Soon after, Varkul the Unrelenting says "Kvaldir never die".
Very similar to vrykul, these creatures are covered in green scales, barnacles, and seaweed. The Kvaldir typically reside deep in the ocean, where their corporeal forms would be crushed if their mistweaving magics didn't hold off the ravages of the depths. Although they remain flesh and blood in life, their deaths result in a backlash of mistweaving energies, dissolving the Kvaldir into mist over time. All that remains are patches of sea growth that had accumulated on their bodies and, of course, any loot they were carrying.
It is unknown why the kvaldir killed by Garrosh did not dissolve.
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A smaller group, named the Skadir, is believed to have broken off the main clan, also known as the Kvaldir.
- They appear to be based on the recordings of vikings having used mist as a way to mask their movements and create sneak attacks, which the kvaldir seem to excel at.
- They may be a reference to John Carpenter's The Fog which also features a race of raiders that are linked to a fog, much as the Kvaldir are linked to the mist.
The kvaldir cannot exist outside the mist with the exception of the raiders in Kaskala, however, this could simply be that Blizzard opted not to cover the area in mist. It is possible that the Kaskalan Elder Muahit's quest to secure the aid of the elements against the kvaldir raiders is impacting the area. He mentions that the weather is assisting the Tuskarr, possibly by driving away the mist. However, the mist is absent before his quests are completed. His quests summon a blizzard to stop their ships.
Battle Plans of the Kvaldir
It seems possible that the Kvaldir worship Neptulon. Their conquest of Vashj'ir hindered the naga from summoning their faceless one allies to aid them in overthrowing the Tidehunter. The kvaldir refer to Neptulon by name in . While there are naga that do worship Neptulon, like Skar'this the Heretic, many of them (as in Vashj'ir) do not and worship Azshara. The "entity" that transformed the vrykul into Kvaldir may have been Neptulon.