- Not to be confused with demon.
The daemon was the original infernal creature of the Warcraft series — the chaotic evil denizens of the Lower Planes. Daemons were summonable by the warlock unit of Warcraft: Orcs & Humans and later appeared as the minions of Gul'dan in a mission of Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness. The daemon design was scrapped for Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos. (Note that daemon is pronounced the same as "demon".)
The daemon image does not directly conform to any race of the Burning Legion, but they do share enough similarities with the ered'ruin to assume that they might, in fact, have been Doomguard. World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade actually uses a doomguard model for the Summoned Daemon, implying that this speculation may be correct. (see below)
"Dae'mon" (with an apostrophe) means "twisted soul" or "demon" in Orcish and was used by Durotan to describe warlock pets and orcs who drank Mannoroth's blood. "Daemon" (without the apostrophe) is a term used by both the Horde and Alliance in varying sources such as Warcraft I, Warcraft II and World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade. It is believed it is used as a variant spelling of "demon" having nothing to do with the Orcish term. For example, in the Warcraft II manual they call Kil'jaeden a "daemon" and Sargeras is called Daemonlord Sargeras. Gul’dan is said to have entered in a pact with a sect of daemons led by the Daemonlord Sargeras. Medivh is said to have consorted with daemons and Gul'dan learned from Kil'jaeden about countless daemon races.
Daemons of the First WarThis section concerns content exclusive to Warcraft: Orcs & Humans (aka Warcraft I).
- Denizens of the underworld, these creatures are the most powerful entities to ever exist in the lands of Azeroth. Their aptitude in the arts of deception and combat are only equaled by their sadistic nature, and the puissance they possess in the black arts of magic. They command the searing fires of Hell as if it were their plaything. They are the true lords of chaos, wreaking havoc at every step and destroying what they wish. There is rumored to be a gateway that appears every thirteenth full moon that bridges the gap between Azeroth and the underworld, and it is during these brief moments that the daemons can come to this place. Legend also states that some have the power to summon these creatures and control them, but if this is so, none are alive to tell the tale of how it is accomplished.
- These hellspawn are evil incarnate. The ability to summon these dark minions of the underworld has long been lost, though the Warlocks seek to find those secrets once again. Breathing flame and wielding a blade forged in the fires of Hades, destruction and death are their greatest desire. These daemons possess cruelty beyond the imagining of even the sickest mind, and delight in the execution of their plans. If there is a way to send these monsters back into the pits that spawned them without the loss of many lives, it too is a secret locked away in time.
Daemons of the Second WarThis section concerns content exclusive to Warcraft II.
- Daemons are the ancient and corrupt denizens of the lower planes. These winged creatures of fire are legendary for their fondness of destruction and brutal cruelty. Daemons harbor a lustful hatred for all mortals and hunger for any chance to bring pain and death upon them. It is rumored that Gul’dan has entered into a pact with a sect of Daemons loyal to the Daemonlord Sargeras who are willing to aid the Warlock in finding their master’s tomb.
Daemons in the The Burning CrusadeThis section concerns content exclusive to The Burning Crusade.
The daemons of Warcraft: Orcs & Humans are referenced in Chess Event in Karazhan in the form of the Summoned Daemon chess piece. It takes the place of a Rook on the Horde side. It is a reference to the daemon of the warlock units in Warcraft I.
Daemons are ered'ruin?
The model used for the Summoned Daemon is that of a doomguard, which fits with speculation that the daemons of the first two Warcraft games are, in fact, ered'ruin. If this is the case, it may be possible that "daemon" is a name for this particular type of ered'ruin, in contrast to the other possible ered'ruin sub-type known as fiend. It is still possible that daemons may be a third race within the ered'ruin. Although, it is also possible and more likely that Blizzard may have just chosen to use an in-game model that looked the most similar to daemons from the early Warcraft games and never intended for them to be directly connected to the ered'ruin. Either way, we may never know.
They could have no connection as the creatures called "demons" are made up of "devils", "daemons", demodands" etc., which would make daemons seperate from doomguard.
Kil'jaeden's daemonic appearance
Kil'jaeden's image in Gul'dan's The History of Orcish Ascension matched the daemon image. However, later sources clearly list Kil'jaeden as one of the man'ari eredar and his appearance in Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne clearly uses the eredar model. Some sources suggest that Kil'jaeden used a form blending eredar and orc or using a daemon shape. It is explained that this is one of the powers of the Deceiver. He is capable of changing his form and appearance in front of people into a shape that they will most trust or be awestruck by. In Rise of the Horde, both Ner'zhul and Gul'dan noticed only a few physical similarities between Kil'jaeden and the draenei over the course of the story. This started with the legs, and much later in the book they noticed other similarities with other parts of his body.
In World of Warcraft, Kil'jaeden's appearance is shown to be a cross between eredar and daemon-like features including large horns and demonic wings.
Some fans contended that Kil'jaeden's form had simply been retconned along with his species. Others believed that the book was vague enough in its descriptions that it could have also been describing a "daemonic", or rather an "ered'ruin", form which also shared some similarities with the man'ari eredar and draenei form (for example, the legs). His new appearance in World of Warcraft fits the latter theory.