In fairness to myself, there are actually very few notable Warlocks in WoW lore. The most famous ones are usually famous for something else, like taking tree hugging too far, but just happen to be Warlocks too. Nevertheless, onwards we go to examine the few Warlocks who have left a considerable impression on the world.
As we saw yesterday, many of the Eredar Mages became Warlocks once they were corrupted by Sargeras. Obviously, the more powerful the Mage, the more powerful the Warlock they became, and Kil’jaeden, one of the original three Eredar leaders, became perhaps the most powerful of them all. Ranked second only to Sargeras in the Burning Legion (although he has essentially taken over since Sargeras was banished), Kil’jaeden’s official role is to recruit new minions for the Legion and plan strategies and infiltration. He is responsible for the creation of the original Lich King, Ner’zhul, which involved a lot of shenanigans to do with torturing the Shaman’s soul (we Warlocks are good with souls) and also for originally inciting the bloodlust of the Orcs, in part by using his powers to appear to them as one of their ancestors.
To further prove his Warlock strength, he then went and enslaved the entire race of Dreadlords. Yeah, you know how we get one minor demon at a time for five minutes and it costs us a soul shard? He’s so powerful that he can control an entire race of demons more powerful than we can even defeat by ourselves (think Mal’Ganis from the CoT – pictured below – or Balnazzar from the original instance), let alone summon or enslave. The Dreadlords, or Nathrezim, now serve as Kil’jaeden’s henchmen, and while he was recently summoned by Kael’thas Sunstrider at the Sunwell, we fought him off and banished him back into the Nether, where he is currently plotting once again…
If Kil’jaeden is Sargeras’ number two, Archimonde is number three. One of the original trio of Eredar leaders alongside Kil’jaeden and Velen, Archimonde was also corrupted by Sargeras’ evil and was placed in charge of the Legion’s armies to lead them into battle. The great War of the Ancients began when he, alongside his servant Mannoroth the Pit Lord, invaded Azeroth through the Well of Eternity and Queen Azshara’s misuse of magic.
In the end, Archimonde and his hordes of demons were beaten back by the demi-god Cenarius and the Dragonflights, but not without leaving an impression – as he was forced back through the portal into the Twisting Nether, the portal collapsed from the energies and basically exploded, tearing the world in half and creating the Maelstrom which now sits in the centre of our ocean. This was called the Sundering.
During the second invasion by the Legion, Archimonde was again at its head, this time having been summoned by Kel’Thuzad. Upon arriving, he destroyed Dalaran. Just like that, by himself. What, you never wondered why it was in ruins before it was rebuilt and moved to Northrend?
Once more, however, he was defeated, and this time destroyed, but not without killing Cenarius. As he reached the top of Mount Hyjal and the World Tree, Malfurion Stormrage summoned the wisps from the surrounding forests, which surrounded the demon and destroyed him, and most of the forest, in one massive explosion.
Perhaps the most famous and memorable Warlock of all was the Orc Gul’dan. Remembered for leading the first Orcish invasion of Azeroth after opening the Dark Portal from Draenor (with the help of Medivh), he also founded the Shadow Council, a prevailing Legion-worshipping Warlock order in the current world today, and even after his death continued to have a huge impact on the world as his skull became a powerful and dark artifact. The skull was used by Ner’zhul to open the many portals on Draenor which we can see today, and then later on by Khadgar, Medivh’s apprentice, to close the Dark Portal. Eventually it was left on Azeroth and taken by Illidan (see the Burning Crusade intro movie), turning him into a half-demon himself. Oh, and the skull by itself corrupted the entirety of Felwood, which is why it’s all evil and full of baddies nowadays.
A lot of this was discussed yesterday, but basically Gul’dan was the first non-demon mortal Warlock, given powers by Kil’jaeden after agreeing to serve him and lead the now-corrupted Orcs into a war against the Draenei. He is also considered one of the most powerful mortal Warlocks ever to live – for example, he wiped out all the Arakkoa in Shadowmoon Valley with just one large spell that not only destroyed them and their structures, but caused their souls to live on and become evil and twisted, and he also raised the Hand of Gul’dan, the volcano in the same area, after he used his magics to try and cut off the Orcs from the Shamanistic elements once and for all. Additionally, he also created the Altars of Storms to create Ogre Warlocks alongside the final Warlock on our list…
While he may not make an appearance in WoW, Cho’gall is certainly a prominent lore figure. One of the most powerful Ogre Warlocks of his time, he was also completely insane, and happened to be Gul’dan’s apprentice, making him a very dangerous person. He took charge of the Twilight’s Hammer clan of Orcs, which has since expanded into a religious cult devoted to bringing about the end of the world, usually by trying to summon powerful elementals or even Old Gods – if you think of the Master’s Glaive area of Darkshore, where it’s rumoured an Old God lies dead, the Twilight’s Hammer are all over it, and they are also responsible for the problems during the Midsummer Festival as well as appearing about Northrend, drawn there by Yogg-Saron.
Cho’gall’s current location is unknown but before he went missing he began, or at least eased, the summoning of C’thun, an Old God and the hugely powerful last boss of the Ahn’Qiraj raid instance. This corrupted Cho’gall and deformed his body, which is now similar to that of C’thun’s.
And alas, that concludes today’s article, because I ran out of Warlocks. I do enjoy writing about lore!