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The Defender (Pre-Corruption), The Lord of the Burning Legion; see more below
Champion of the Pantheon (formerly), Supreme Commander, Master, Lord, and Creator of the Burning Legion
Avatar buried in Tomb of Sargeras, Spirit in the Twisting Nether
Sargeras (pronounced "SAHR-gair-ahs", [ˈsɑrʤəræs] or [sɑrˈgɛrəs]) is the creator and leader of the Burning Legion. Sargeras was once a vanir titan, a Champion of the Pantheon chosen to defend the worlds they had created. Sargeras has changed over the millennia. While he once served his race as guardian and protector, he is now the titans' worst enemy. Sargeras works to undo what the titans have strived for ages to achieve. His actions, or the effects of his actions, essentially make him the primary antagonist of the Warcraft series.
Champion of the Pantheon
Sargeras was a mighty giant of molten bronze who was elected to hunt down the demonic armies, the Champion of the Pantheon's cause. He originally possessed the title "The Defender" and was the "noblest of all". Like the rest of his kind, he was altruistic and just, unable to conceive of pure evil. During his never ending war against the evil in the universe, Sargeras became increasingly depressed by the chaos he saw wrought by all kinds of evil. While his confusion and misery deepened, Sargeras was forced to contend with several groups intent on disrupting the titans' order: the nathrezim, Mo'arg, and Infernals. These demonic creatures conquered a number of populated worlds by possessing their inhabitants and turning them to the shadow. The nefarious, scheming demons turned whole nations against one another by manipulating them into unthinking hatred and mistrust. Sargeras defeated them easily, but their corruption affected him deeply. Shaken by the evil of demons, Sargeras began to despair of his task and gradually slipped into a brooding depression.
Sargeras came to believe that a flaw in the fabric of creation set up an unwinnable battle against evil. He decided that the other titans were deeply misguided in trying to establish order throughout creation. Under the circumstances, the struggle was futile. The universe had to be destroyed utterly and remade without the underlying defect. Only then could true order be achieved. Thus, Sargeras conceived of a sweeping campaign to bring about the end of all things: the Burning Crusade.
Dawn of the Burning Legion
Sargeras freed the many demon races that he had previously hunted down and imprisoned. He became known as the "great, dark god of the Nameless Void". He also created demons by infusing creatures with fel energy. These cunning creatures bowed before the dark titan's vast rage and offered to serve him in whatever malicious ways they could. However, among the various beings who served him, none of them had the natural cunning and power to act as commanders and tacticians for his new army, so Sargeras looked about for a race who would serve as his favored agents in exchange for horrific power.
On the planet Argus, Sargeras found the agents he sought — the eredar, a race of highly intelligent beings with a natural affinity for magic in all its myriad forms. Sargeras appeared to the eredar's three greatest leaders, namely Kil'jaeden, Archimonde, and Velen, and made his offer: untold power and prestige in exchange for their allegiance. Though Velen had doubts, Kil'jaeden and Archimonde readily agreed. Velen and his followers fled, becoming the draenei. The remainder of the eredar embraced the darkness and became man'ari eredar, the first sentient race to join the Legion.
Sargeras tasked Kil'jaeden the Deceiver to seek out the darkest races in the universe and recruit them into Sargeras' ranks. Meanwhile, Archimonde the Defiler would lead Sargeras' vast armies into battle against any who might resist the titan's will. Now that his armies were amassed and ready to follow his every command, he launched his raging forces into the vastness of the Great Dark. To this date, it is still unclear how many worlds his Burning Legion has consumed and burned on their unholy Burning Crusade across the universe.
The First Invasion of Azeroth
The elven Queen Azshara and her people, the Highborne, were wielding magic as their plaything. Sensing the great potential of the Well of Eternity, and knowing that it could satiate his hunger for magic, Sargeras called the Burning Legion to the ethereal outskirts of Azeroth, and the Enemy of All Life called to Azshara. The highborne queen was impressed and overwhelmed by Sargeras' great power. He used a subtle form of mental manipulation while speaking to her and her councilor, Xavius. They saw Sargeras as a god and worshiped him. Azshara agreed to allow him entrance to her world if only for a taste of a portion of his knowledge and energy. (Furthermore she thought he would marry her.) Thus, the first invasion of Azeroth began.
Archimonde and the great pit lord Mannoroth stormed through Kalimdor, ripping the world to shreds and sucking every ounce of energy from it that they could. Sargeras waited in the Twisting Nether for Azshara to strengthen the portal enough to allow him entrance. That time was growing very near, very soon. Sargeras also transformed Xavius into first satyr and gifted Illidan Stormrage with burning out his eyes as well as with arcane tattoos that enshrouded both of his shoulders, permeating the night elf with Sargeras' dark magic.
However, at the last moment, the night elves, aided by Cenarius' woodfolk and Alexstrasza's dragons, mustered their forces and rebelled against the highborne in a climactic battle that destroyed the Well of Eternity and crushed much of the continent to rubble. The defenders of Azeroth paid a great cost to throw the demons back into the Twisting Nether, but in the end, Sargeras' mission had failed for the very first time. Because the portal rift into the Twisting Nether vanished in such a great display of magical power, the forces holding the worlds together ruptured, causing the Well of Eternity to implode. A massive part of Kalimdor sank beneath the ocean, and where the Well of Eternity had been before there was only a gigantic oceanic vortex, later named the Maelstrom.
In the novel War of the Ancients, Krasus, Rhonin, and Brox are thrown back in time and are able to help the demi-god Cenarius and the dragon Aspects fight the Burning Legion. Once again, in this new timeline, Sargeras' first invasion of Azeroth failed. During the end of the war, Broxigar lept through the portal and using the Axe of Cenarius crafted by Malfurion Stormrage killed many demons before catching the attention of Sargeras himself. In a last desperate attempt to buy time for his allies, Broxigar personally attacked the huge titan with the Axe of Cenarius, wounding him in his leg - an extraordinary feat for anyone as he was said to be invincible. Sargeras then killed Broxigar, however, the distraction was pivotal, as the portal then rapidly began to close. As Sargeras stepped into it, it imploded, destroying his physical body and casting him in to the Nether.
Aegwynn & Medivh
Some nine thousand years after the War of the Ancients, the Guardian of Tirisfal, Magna Aegwynn, kept a constant vigil over Azeroth, destroying demons wherever she found them. Sargeras saw that Aegwynn was a serious threat, but he also saw how she could be manipulated. The Dark Titan sent demonic agents on a great dragonhunt. The demons killed several dragons, but Aegwynn inevitably appeared to aid the great beasts. It was then that Sargeras sent his own avatar to battle the Guardian. Though Aegwynn emerged victorious with the help of the dragons, defeat had been Sargeras's plan all along; his spirit entered her body, lying in wait for centuries.
Years later, the Order of Tirisfal informed Aegwynn that her time as a Guardian was up and asked her to proceed to Dalaran to choose her successor. Aegwynn disobeyed the Order's command, deciding that only one of her own lineage would suffice. She sought out the great mage and advisor to King Landen Wrynn, Nielas Aran. Aegwynn seduced the mage, eventually mothering a son by him. Eventually Sargeras’s spirit awoke and possessed the mind of Aegwynn’s unborn son, Medivh. Medivh, son of Aegwynn, was born.
When Medivh reached fourteen, his powers as a Guardian manifested themselves throwing him into a coma that lasted for twenty years. During this time, Sargeras tapped into the Guardian's enormous power, and when Medivh at last awoke, the dark titan had nearly taken complete control. In his new body, Sargeras contacted the orcish warlock Gul'dan, leader of a host of orcs on the world of Draenor — a world which had been discovered by his lieutenant, Kil'jaeden, a few generations beforehand. Medivh went to the Black Morass in the remote, southern parts of Azeroth and opened the Dark Portal allowing the orcs permanent access to the planet. Gul'dan's Orcish Horde swarmed through the rift, waging war upon the native humans of the Kingdom of Azeroth.
Medivh's nature was thoroughly changed after his coma, and his closest friends and relatives noticed something was wrong. Medivh's mother Aegwynn, now banished from the realm for her misdeeds against the Order of Tirisfal, had figured out what Sargeras had done to her, and got into contact with King Llane and his general, Lord Lothar. Lothar felt he had no choice but to destroy the corrupted Medivh in order to prevent the evil Guardian from doing any more damage to Azeroth. Medivh's apprentice, Khadgar, helped Lothar and an orcish emissary, Garona, infiltrate Medivh's dark tower, Karazhan. Despite his enormous power, Medivh was caught off his guard, and was in the end killed by his former friends and comrades in his underground sanctum.
Sargeras desired vengeance against the human kingdoms and expected the orcs to travel through the portal and destroy the humans. Although the orcs did enter the portal, and eventually caused a great amount of damage to the human kingdoms, Sargeras ultimately failed in his plans because of Medivh's early death. Eventually, Sargeras wanted to shed the body of Medivh and once again enter his avatar, but he didn't have enough time to do so.
In an interview to Chris Metzen and Micky Neilson they said that "he's out there somewhere", that "you can't put him down" and "he's not going to stay down for long". At last Metzen said: I'd be very disappointed in us if we didn't leverage him fully.
Gul'dan's encounter with Sargeras
The orcish warlock Gul'dan believed the Tomb of Sargeras to hold amazing power since he had been told as much by both Medivh and the eredar demon Kil'jaeden. Gul'dan attempted to claim the tomb for himself, but when he gained access to the grave, Sargeras' avatar was not there. Instead Gul'dan found a plethora of demons that had been driven mad by their long imprisonment, the demons proceeded to tear Gul'dan to shreds but he survived the first ambush. Then Gul'dan saw Sargeras (or at least an illusion of him) laughing at him and understood that he had been a pawn, a fool. Now that he knew he would not get the Eye of Sargeras and would instead die in the tomb, he wrote his story in runes with his own blood. Shortly afterwards, the demons came for him and killed him, eventually using his skull as a focal point of demonic power.
Sargeras is a huge being almost beyond comprehension. He is fully clad in a burning suit of molten, black armor, and his skin cracked with veins of magma. Wildly dancing flames surround his head and form a thick mass of hair and a sweeping beard. A pair of horns extends from his forehead and a pair of demonic wings lie on his back.
The exact powers at the dark titan's command are unclear, though certainly formidable given his status as a former titan and lord of the Legion.
He has been shown to display the following powers:
- Telepathy (able to commune with his servants, such as Mannoroth and Archimonde, from the Nether)
- Illusion (created a false vision of what he offered to the eredar in exchange for their obedience). He can also use his former angelic voice.
- Invulnerability against mortal weapons, and limited immunity to immortal weapons (Broxigar's Axe of Cenarius was able to scratch him, but not to any great effect, while the powers of the Demon Soul had no effect) as well as complete immunity to fire and fel magics.
- Various magical abilities (lashed out with energy at Illidan via the portal being opened to summon him).
- Ability to enter mortal bodies (remained within Aegwynn's womb for nearly a millennium) and take control of them (Medivh).
- The strength of 100 dragons is merely a fraction of Sargeras' strength; his strength nearly matches the power of a portal closing.
- In comparison to Sargeras, Mannoroth and Archimonde were as fleas. This could be a reference to either power or height.
- He wields the horrific broken sword, Gorribal.
Titles and epithets
- Dark Titan
- Fallen Titan
- God of Fel and Flame
- The Daemon Lord
- The Destroyer
- The Destroyer of Worlds
- The Evil One
- The Fallen
- The Great Enemy of All Life
- The Great One
- The Ravager of Worlds
In the original lore, Sargeras was sent to confront the insidious eredar prior to his confrontation with the Nathrezim. This has now been retconned by new lore that establishes that the eredar, and many (but not all) races were transformed into demons by Sargeras. It was fighting the Nathrezim, Ered'ruin, Sayaad, and Infernals that corrupted him as revealed in the second issue of the WoW magazine.
Sargeras was originally a footnote in Warcraft lore, a fallen Daemonlord whose dark legacy was used by Medivh to manipulate Gul'dan. Gradually, novels and game material built up his role to the primary lore villain.
Sargeras has various weapons:
- Jeweled Scepter of Sargeras — This powerful stave was used by Sargeras for purposes unknown, but it is known that it can make portals. It was eventually stolen by Ner'zhul and was used to make the portals that destroyed Draenor. Its fate is unknown, though given the fact that it was in Ner'zhul's possession when he entered the rift, it has probably been returned to Kil'jaeden.
- Gorshalach — Sargeras wielded this sword when he was still the Champion of the Pantheon. It sundered itself into two pieces upon Sargeras' fall into madness. Sargeras reforged one of the two fragments into his current weapon, Gorribal, while the other fragment was claimed by Aggramar and reforged into Taeshalach.
- Eye of Sargeras — It is unknown if it was his real eye or a trinket he had with him when he was "killed" by Aegwynn. It appears to have had the ability to focus magics into a single destructive force. It was destroyed in Dalaran when Illidan's spellwork was interrupted.
- Atiesh, Greatstaff of the Guardian — This weapon was used by Medivh. Sargeras made a powerful demon inhabit it when he possessed Medivh. The demon still inhabited the staff, even when it was shattered. The demon is now known as Atiesh. He must be killed to purify the staff.
- The unnamed spear of Sargeras, wielded when Aegwynn battled his avatar. The spear is inscribed with runes that continuously bleed. (It is believed to be a mix between Gorshalach and the Jeweled Scepter of Sargeras, though he has gained a separate spear in recent artwork.)
- It is possible that Sargeras is the "master" to which Varimathras referred during the Battle for the Undercity. The theory that Varimathras' master is Sargeras is heavily supported by the fact that the sound file for the distant voice of the master is labeled "Sound\\Creature\\Sargeras\\WG_Sargeras_HOR01.wav". However, it seems that Blizzard has moved away from this idea as they've later stated that Sargeras is still MIA and Kil'jaeden is running things.
- Sargeras may be partially inspired by:
- Sargonnas, a god from Dragonlance. This is supported by the fact that pictures of Sargeras usually have bull-like horns, while Sargonnas is a god of minotaurs and is usually depicted as having horns.
- Surtur, a villan from Marvel Comics' Thor, who is in turn based on Surt from Norse Mythology. Surtur and Surt are both depicted as a giant of flame wielding an enormous sword, who leads a massive army of demons with the ultimate goal of setting the world (and in Surtur's case, the universe) aflame.
Sargeras was called upon to defeat and imprison the hordes of demons native to the Twisting Nether, so that their evil would not contaminate the titans' vision of order. Sargeras went about his task devoutly for countless millennia.
During his never ending war against the evil in the universe, Sargeras became increasingly depressed by the chaos he saw wrought by all kinds of evil. While his confusion and misery deepened, Sargeras was forced to contend with several groups intent on disrupting the titans' order: the nathrezim, the Ered'ruin, Infernals, and the Sayaad. These demonic creatures conquered a number of populated worlds by possessing their inhabitants and turning them to the shadow. The nefarious, scheming demons turned whole nations against one another by manipulating them into unthinking hatred and mistrust. Sargeras defeated them easily, but their corruption affected him deeply.
Shaken by the evil of demons, Sargeras began to despair of his task and gradually slipped into a brooding depression. As doubt and despair overwhelmed Sargeras's senses, he lost all faith not only in his mission, but also in the titans' vision of an ordered universe. Eventually, he came to believe that the concept of order itself was folly, and that chaos and depravity were the only absolutes within the dark, lonely universe. His fellow titans tried to make Sargeras realize his erroneous way of thinking and calm his raging emotions, but he disregarded their more optimistic beliefs as self-serving delusions. Storming from their ranks forever, Sargeras set out to find his own place in the universe. Although the Pantheon was sorrowful at his departure, the titans could never have predicted just how far their lost brother would go.
By the time Sargeras' madness had consumed the last vestiges of his valiant spirit, he believed that the titans themselves were responsible for creation's failure. Deciding at last to undo their works throughout the universe, he resolved to form an unstoppable army that would set the physical universe aflame.
Convinced that the titans’ ordering of the universe was unnatural and ultimately responsible for the corrupted nature of the demons, Sargeras decided to undo the work of the titans throughout the universe. The only way that he could correct their mistakes was to destroy all of the worlds that the titans had shaped and brought order to so long ago.
He bound the newly released demons to his will and used them to construct an army of massive proportions — one that eventually became known as the Burning Legion.
Sargeras and the Legion eventually became aware of the young world of Azeroth due to the Night Elves’ reckless use of arcane magic, and Sargeras began to hunger for the limitless energies of the Well of Eternity.
As Aegwynn surveyed the scene, she found the rift from which the Legion's agents had come through in the Storm Peaks. Using this portal, Sargeras entered Azeroth in the form of an avatar. It is said that this avatar was infused with a portion of Sargeras' soul which he controlled. The Guardian of Tirisfal did not hesitate in attacking, but Sargeras held back, letting the mage destroy his physical body. However, as it died, Sargeras’ spirit reached inside Aegwynn’s body and hid, lying dormant for many years. Unaware of the tainted presence inside her body, Aegwynn buried Sargeras’s physical body in a tomb and cast it deep into the ocean.
As Medivh died, the portion of Sargeras’ spirit that had possessed him was released and swiftly dispersed. This spirit was sent reeling in pain back into the Twisting Nether. To this day, it is unknown what really happened to Sargeras' real body or avatar. Many believe that Sargeras’ spirit yet endures, hungering for revenge against the only world ever to withstand the Burning Legion’s might...
Brann Bronzebeard is fairly confident that the real Sargeras never actually set foot on Azeroth, implying the real Sargeras is still around in the Twisting Nether. Lending this theory further credibility is in War of the Ancients, the power of the Well of Eternity was needed to create a portal strong enough for Sargeras to attempt to enter Azeroth, the creation of which took a long time to be completed. The portal used to bring the Sargeras that Aegwynn fought was powered by a handful of demons and was created in only a few minutes.
Skills and abilities
As a former Champion of the Pantheon, Sargeras is nearly impervious to physical damage. He is highly resistant to magical attacks. His natural attacks are more powerful than other titans. Demonic influences have given Sargeras' body flames and made him totally immune to fire damage and fel damage. Sargeras' flesh burns with demonic energy, scorching everything in his path. Sargeras' body flames slowly increase the ambient temperature by up to fifty degrees in every direction for one thousand miles. The effect on natural climates can be devastating. Body Flames (Sargeras’ flesh burns with demonic energy, scorching everything in his path. Sargeras’s body flames slowly increase the ambient temperature by up to 50 degrees in every direction for 1,000 miles. The effect on natural climates can be devastating.) His molten armor can nearly burn your eyes.
- ^ a b c d Ultimate Visual Guide
- ^ http://us.blizzard.com/blizzcast/archive/episode7.xml BlizzCast Episode 7. J. Allen Brack: "...Sargeras is still out there..." "...I’m certain that he’s not done..."
- ^ Loreology on Twitter (30 May 2014)
- ^ a b c d World of Warcraft: The Magazine Issue 5
- ^ Warcraft III - manual, 133
- ^ Sargeras and the Betrayal
- ^ a b The Warcraft Encyclopedia: Burning Legion
- ^ Warcraft III - manual, 49
- ^ The Warcraft Encyclopedia: Demons
- ^ Rise of the Horde
- ^ Warcraft III - manual, 135
- ^ War of the Ancients
- ^ Richard A. Knaak Interview: War of the Ancients: The Sundering
- ^ Aegwynn and the Dragon Hunt
- ^ The Last Guardian
- ^ The Last Guardian, 292
- ^ http://www.blizzplanet.com/blog/comments/chris_metzen_micky_neilson_pocket_star_books_lore_qa_video_interview/ "Chris Metzen & Micky Neilson Pocket Star Books Lore Q&A Video Interview". Retrieved on 24/02/2008.
- ^ Tides of Darkness, 299-305
- ^ Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne - manual, Night Elves 3
- ^ https://twitter.com/DaveKosak/status/494611267617710080 Dave Kosak on Twitter
- ^ a b The Sundering, 324
- ^ Khadgar's story
- ^ The Demon Soul, 92 (ebook)
- ^ Beyond the Dark Portal, 338
- ^ The Last Guardian, 121
- ^ Sean Copeland on Twitter (2014-02-07)
- ^ a b c d Shadows & Light, 122
- ^ a b c d e f g Shadows & Light, 123
- ^ a b c Alliance Player's Guide, 133
- ^ a b Shadows & Light, 124
Champion of the Pantheon
Lord of the Legion
Kil'jaeden and Archimonde (conjointly)