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- For other beings of reverence see religions, Ancient guardian and demigods.
Eternals are Azeroth's immortal beings. These demigod-like beings are immortals with nearly divine powers. Eternals are conduits to divine power for several faiths; these include titans, Elune (in some sources called Azeroth's only deity) and other Ancients such as Cenarius, Ursoc and Ursol, Malorne the Waywatcher, Agamaggan, Aviana, Queen Azshara and Lord Xavius, the voodoo Loa spirits, the Elemental Lords and Old Gods, etc. Eternal is the term used for many of the gods, goddesses, demigods, deities, divinities, and other revered beings who have interacted in Azeroth's history and molded the world.
Eternals are the divine-like beings of Azeroth and the other planes, who shape the large arcs of history for good and ill. Many beings transcend the bounds of mortal power and play key roles in the world’s long history, either obvious or subtle. These beings are known as eternals. Wielding godlike powers, they battle to destroy or save the world, to disrupt or cultivate life upon Azeroth (and elsewhere).
These are beings known only in legends to the peoples of Azeroth. Yet they are beings who have shaped not only the course of history in the world of Azeroth, but often the world itself: the Elemental Lords, ruling over planes of pure power and awaiting the time when they will once again serve the banished Old Gods; the Titans, whom the dwarves believe created Azeroth and many of its races; the great and powerful dragons who watch over the titans’ creation; the moon goddess Elune, and the demigod-like beings She created to protect and guide the creatures of the land. They are the ancient powers. While mortals fight wars to lay claim to villages and kingdoms, the powers wage a perpetual struggle to determine who will dominate the whole of the universe, with Azeroth the nearest battlefield. Though rarely seen, the influence of the ancient powers is ever-present. It is known that They wrought Azeroth from pure chaos and formed it into the world it is today.
Most of the divine beings of Azeroth (known as eternals) are distant entities. They exist to assist those caught in the conflicts of a cruel, violent world. Never directly intervening in the affairs of the world, They use divine magic as a proxy. With their many healing and protective spells, practitioners of divine magic are at the vanguard of the Gods’ efforts to ensure Their peoples' survival. Priests whisper prayers to evoke power from beings such as Elune the Moon Goddess. Shadow hunters invoke the names of dark Gods (loa), ancient powers whose legends are stained in cruelty and bloodshed, but who are also capable of benevolence when appeased. For example a shadow hunter might venture onto grounds consecrated to the Old Gods and spill his own blood to entice the forces of primeval cruelty to come and visit their worst afflictions upon him.
The ancient powers rule supreme in their particular bastions, unsurpassed in power, knowledge and ability. Each also possesses its own personality and agenda, which has led each to interact with mortals in its own way. In some cases, an ancient power may take an interest in a hero early in her life. The powers have an innate understanding of prophecy and divination surpassing that of mortals, and they are often aware of a hero’s fate long before the hero takes her first steps onto the path of adventure. A power may send monsters to kill a nascent hero years before she has an opportunity to meddle in the power’s schemes, or it may subtly assist her by quietly guiding her toward allies, information or hidden artifacts that will help her achieve her destiny. When unable to act or unwilling to show their hands, the ancient powers use mortal heroes and villains as agents to further their own agendas — Sargeras used Azshara as his servant in an attempt to open the Well of Eternity, and the human wizard Rhonin was the cat's-paw of the dragons during the Second War. Heroes may be approached by an ancient power and asked to undertake a quest. They must take care when serving an Eternal, however, as completing a task for a power may mean incredible reward in thanks for a service well performed — or utter destruction as the Eternal hides its tracks.
A number of the eternals died during the War of the Ancients. This doesn’t, however, mean that those powers can have no influence in later eras. Many of the fallen powers still have followers 10,000 years later, such as the furbolg who follow in the path of the long-dead ursine demigods Ursoc and Ursol. Further, though written history says they perished, can eternals who possess the special quality of immortality truly die? Perhaps a "fallen" eternal simply sleeps away centuries while his wounds heal...
Eternals usually only appear before mortals only when they have truly earned the audience through their actions, such as by performing a great service to the eternal or by making a formidable stand against its plans. The tangled web of relationships among the eternals means that a favor performed for one may be a slight to several others.
Ancient powers operate not just on levels of power far above mortals, but also on a vastly different time scale: the youngest have lived a hundred mortal lifetimes, and their goals can lay millennia away. Events of the mortal world may be more than meaningless in the larger scope of history to Eternals. For those who are asked to undertake a mission on behalf of an Eternal, the Eternal may be unable or simply unwilling to explain the reasons behind the task to "mere mortals" who cannot possibly comprehend. The immortal lifespan of Eternals allows them to collect on debts from many decades previous, and they hold grudges much longer. For example; the great dragon Neltharion spent a lifetime disguised as a human noble, infiltrating the royal courts of Lordaeron and consolidating power in order to avenge himself upon the other dragon Aspects.
Eternals in the Warcraft universe include the titans, the Old Gods, demigods, and other powerful entities worshipped or venerated by the mortal races on Azeroth, often as part of Creation Myths of various people in the world.
History of the Eternals
Below is a brief history covering eternals from the earliest known accounts to the present.
The Dawn of History
Most of the ancient powers were encountered during Azeroth's earliest days. It was the golden age of the powers, the dragons and Elune's servants watched over the young world, Elemental Lords thought the untamed land as comfortable as their home plane. Legends claim that the world's creators still lurked in the shadows finishing the details of their creation.
The Shattered World
In the aftermath of the War of the Ancients and the sundering of the world, the Burning Legion was forced off Azeroth. Azshara vanished, and the dragons went into hiding. Even the elementals retreated, and thousands of years would passed before mortal spellcasters discovered how to summon them back across the planar boundaries. Though the eternals who survived were largely unseen for almost 10,000 years, they were occasionally encountered. The eternals were humbled by Azshara's bold attempt to rise to their level of power, and remained reserved and distrustful of both mortals who sought them out and mortals whom they employed.
Seers and scholars maintain that the Horde's arrival through the Dark Portal heralded the return of the ancient powers to mortal events. In the years since, the great dragons and the Elemental Lords have involved themselves in the war, and both Cenarius and Sargeras have returned. As the dwarves delve deeper into the lost secrets of the Titans, some have wondered whether the Titans ever truly left. Some have found they have unwittingly been drawn into or run afoul of the schemes of a returned eternal. The Eternals appear to have recovered from any uncertainty they suffered during their millennia of retreat, however, and those who seek them out do so at their own risk. Nearly every eternal has followers in the current age, from the worshippers of Elune among the night elves to the demon cults that revere the Burning Legion.
List of eternals
Of the beings listed here, Elune is considered the only "true god/goddess of Azeroth". Certain godlike entities exist other than those the night elves revere. In the same way the night elves draw divine magic from their devotion to Cenarius and Elune, other individuals may bear a faith in their "god" that allows them to tap into a divine source. These other gods include Dragon Aspects, the Burning Legion, the Old Gods, and the titans. The "gods" Hakkar the Soulflayer and the Old Gods may be close. Titans are not true "gods" per se but are demigods; and the most famous demigods include the Ancients. All Eternals are demigod-like beings. They are immortal and wield divine power, but not all of them aspire to be Gods.
Very little is known about the titans save for scraps the dwarves have unearthed and some vague night elf folklore. Few scholars actually believe the mighty demigods even existed. Legend holds that the great ones shaped the land when the world was young, then left the world to its own devices.
The Titans are considered demigods, though they are about as close to gods as any being presently known can be. Seeing that the lesser races have been able to kill some of the demigods — an example being Cenarius — while even the allied forces of the night elves, humans, and orcs were not able to kill Archimonde, who was only a lieutenant of a titan, suggests that the titans are more powerful than any demigod. They might not be gods, but must be seen as almost effectively that, being the most powerful beings to show themselves in the universe up to this point. (Elune is the only formal god/goddess known at the moment and to date has had no recorded contact with the physical universe).
- Aman'Thul the Highfather
- Eonar the Lifebinder
- Norgannon the Lorekeeper
- Khaz'goroth the Forger
- Golganneth the Thunderer
- Aggramar the Avenger
- Sargeras the Destroyer, a fallen titan. Disillusioned, he rejected the creative mission of his fellow gods, and then created the Burning Legion to destroy the ordered worlds they had created.
Titans were powerful enough to chain the Old Gods.
According to some sources, such as the Warcraft Encyclopedia, it is said that the titans are not actually gods, though they are more powerful than a number of gods encountered in Azeroth Other sources such as The Sunwell Trilogy claim that they are "Gods from the far reaches of the cosmos". Shadows and Light calls them "demigods". Alliance Player's Guide calls them akin to gods. They are also simply called a progenitor race.
Some accounts give them titles such as "Patron of All Life". To put it simply, they are intelligent designers.
The Old Gods
The Old Gods were the evil rulers of Azeroth before being defeated by the titans. They were the masters of the Elemental Lords. Three remain imprisoned beneath the world, but continue to be worshipped by the Twilight's Hammer Cult and the naga. One of the Old Gods, C'Thun, managed to survive and has recently reemerged in southern Silithus to command the qiraji and the silithid. Another was revealed by the resurrected Ursoc as Yogg-Saron, "the beast with a thousand maws". The roots of the failed World Tree Vordrassil had penetrated his prison lair, and through them corrupted the rest of the tree, as well as the Grizzlemaw tribe of furbolgs that had moved into its shattered stump.
- Ula-Tek is a goddess serpent, who is widely worshipped among forest trolls in Zul'Aman. Believed to be an Old God.
The Burning Legion is undoubtedly potent and some of its leaders possess demigod-like power. Those who worship demons draw terrible divine magic from their dark faith. Most demons are not eternals. Sargeras, Archimonde, Xavius, and Kil'jaeden are the only confirmed exceptions. Archimonde wanted to become a god and wield powers that rival those of Sargeras himself.
The Earthmother is a benevolent and primitive earth goddess whom the tauren worship above all else. The tauren search for the wisdom of their eternal Goddess. She is the harmony of nature itself. She is described as the creator of the land, of the sun and moon, and of the tauren people. In some accounts, She may be roughly equivalent to Elune Herself (although in the legend Elune is Her Eye). Some conjecture that She may be a manifestation of the legendary Alextrasza, the red dragon Aspect of Life.
Elune is the benevolent moon Goddess of the night elves. She is the few full deities on Azeroth, the personification of the White Lady, and one of the Ancients. The tauren refer to her as Mu'sha, the Left Eye of the Earthmother. She is the counterpart to An'she.
Perhaps more so than other eternals, the Ancients of the night elves are treated like deities. Primal spirits of the natural world when it was young, They personify its most distinct and most powerful qualities. Although several of Them were effectively destroyed during the War of the Ancients and in later conflicts, They are honored still by races such as centaur, furbolgs, night elves, and quillboar. Elune the Moon Goddess, Azeroth's one true deity, remains a focus of worship for the night elves and other races, while the world grows warier of what the changed Queen Azshara may attempt in the coming future. Ancients are demigods.
- Malorne, called Apa'ro by the tauren, a white stag hunted by the tauren.
- Aviana, the falcon Goddess revered by all winged creatures and mistress of G'Hanir, the Mother Tree.
- Agamaggan, boar god of the quilboar.
- Ursol and Ursoc, the twin bear gods.
- Goldrinn (Lo'Gosh)
- Queen Azshara was the queen of the kaldorei. After the War of the Ancients she was mutated into a terrible demigod. Everything the naga do is according to her design — and she has had ten millennia to refine her plans. In modern times, the naga build statues and temples to Azshara in their underwater realm and worship her as the mother of their people. On the surface, there are many who curse Azshara for the destruction she brought to Azeroth…but there are some — particularly among the high elves and blood elves, and even mages of other races — who make offerings and dedicate spells they create and items they craft to Azshara's memory in thanks for opening the doors of magical power.
- Wolverine Ancient
- Fox Ancient
- Panther Ancient
- Pixies (possibly)
- Xavius is an Ancient revered and worshiped by the satyrs. Most Satyrs venerate Xavius as their creator and patron. Satyrs pay homage to Xavius by living gleeful, sinful lives and committing acts of treachery they feel will honor their dark Lord. Some worry about encountering eternals such as Lord Xavius; they worry he will return to take revenge on the night elves. Aside from demons, only a few warped individuals here and there pray to Xavius today, and they do so in the hope of being transformed into satyrs. A horde of Satyr may indicate the presence or influence of the eternal.
Many of them perished in the War of the Ancients; one of the few survivors of the War of the Ancients was the Forest Lord Cenarius, the child of Elune and Malorne, who serves as patron of all druids. He was killed by Grom Hellscream shortly before the Battle of Mount Hyjal, but continues to exist in the spirit realm of the Emerald Dream. It is said that Malorne may have been resurrected and lives at the side of His wife, Elune.
An'she is a male sun deity in tauren mythology, the right Eye of the Earthmother and the counterpart to the goddess Mu'sha (Elune), the moon. Since Mu'sha is Elune, it is possible that An'she is an as-yet-named elven sun god.
Troll Pantheon (Loa)
The Loa are primal troll gods, each representing a different animal or domain. The ages following the Sundering were dark ones, and the Gurubashi trolls prayed to their pantheon of primitive gods to help them. Eventually, one of these gods, Hakkar the Soulflayer, answered their prayers. Hakkar was the darkest of the trolls' gods, though at the time they did not yet realize how dark He was. Shadow hunters revere many of these ancient dark gods, including the Old Gods as Loa. It is said that although these beings are mightier than elementals they are not quite as powerful as gods.
Hakkar the Soulflayer is the evil Blood God worshipped by the majority of troll tribes, and brought into existence in Azeroth by them, both in the ancient past, and in modern times. Hakkar is considered a god. He may be an Old God or the son of an Old God.
- Legba, Loa of Speed.
- Lukou, Loa of Healing and Respite.
- Ogoun, Loa of War.
- Dambala, Loa of serpents and treachery.
- Samedi, Loa of the cemeteries and the restful sleep of the dead.
- Shango, Controller of the Realm of Storms.
- Hir'eek, the Bat, channeled by High Priestess Jeklik.
- Shirvallah, the Tiger, channeled by High Priest Thekal.
- Hethiss, the Snake, channeled by High Priest Venoxis.
- Shadra, the Spider, channeled by High Priestess Mar'li.
- Bethekk, the Panther, channeled by High Priestess Arlokk.
- The Bear, channeled by Nalorakk.
- The Eagle, channeled by Akil'zon.
- The Dragonhawk, channeled by Jan'alai.
- The Lynx, channeled by Halazzi.
God was a deity connected to certain members of the Church of the Holy Light, referenced in early Warcraft Lore and sources, and alluded to in Day of the Dragon. The belief also included angels, Heaven, and Hell.
Elemental Lords & the elemental spirits
Former servants of the evil Old Gods, the Elemental Lords once ruled Azeroth. Yet when the titans defeated the Old Gods, they banished the Elemental Lords and all elementals to a planar prison known now as the Elemental Plane. Currently, Ragnaros the Firelord inhabits Azeroth, a somewhat unwilling captive of the Dark Iron dwarves who worship him; and while he seeks to return to the Elemental Plane, he may still wreak grave destruction upon Azeroth.
Elemental spirits include creatures that represent the power of the elements, these include beings such as elementals, spirits of the wilds, and pandaren elemental spirits. Not all elemental spirits are eternals. The Elemental Lords are known to be classified as Eternals, however, their minions are not Eternals.
The shamans draw their power from five natural elements: Earth, Air, Fire, Water, and the Wilds. The Elemental Spirits are primordial elementals which embody these elements. They do not appear to be connected with the Old Gods, nor do they appear connected to their Elemental lieutenants. The Spirits communicate with the shamans through trances, dreams, images and emotions. Their exact motivations remain unknown, and it is unclear whether they act according to some grander design, or whether they act in reaction to events that threaten the balance. The Spirits may not even be connected to Azeroth, having a presence upon most, if not all, living worlds in the Great Dark Beyond.
Before leaving Azeroth, the titans empowered five dragons with tremendous power. They were to serve as Aspects, guardians over the world. They rule over their flights as powerful gods looking down on their less fortunate descendants. However, though several are revered as gods, most of the Aspects would not claim such status. The Aspects have many worshippers among the night elves and other isolated groups such as Dragonspawn.
- Nozdormu, the Timeless One. He has few worshippers, save perhaps among the Night Elves who wish to become once again timeless themselves. He pays no attention to those who venerate him, neither accepting nor disapproving of their efforts.
- Alexstrasza, the Life-Binder. Although many of Azeroth’s natural creatures revere the Great Red Leviathan, she is not a goddess and does not pretend to be otherwise. Alexstrasza is rarely venerated by any particular group, although some elven communities pay her homage. Druids of the Wild in particular appreciate her serene presence, considering her second in importance only to Ysera.
- Ysera, the Dreamer. The green Dragonflight is ruled by the dreaming goddess. Most Druids of the Wild venerate her; and even if some do not treat her as a deity, she is at least acknowledged as one of the greatest paragons of nature in existence.
- Malygos, the Spell-Weaver. His command of magic is quite impressive, rivaling that of a demigod, although he does not aspire to such power. The blue dragons are not at all religious. He is not revered as a god by his flight, for the Blue Dragons do not see godhood in scientific fact. They see science is truth, and religion only myth and misinterpretation. Despite that, they treat Malygos with a reverence one normally expect only due a god. Some sorcerers and magical creatures pay him homage, but he is not a deity and does not answer or acknowledge their efforts.
- Neltharion, the Earth-Warder, who would succumb to madness and take the name Deathwing. Although he is no deity, he is often worshipped by evil creatures and enjoys basking in the glow of abject servitude. He also likes to watch his allies fight among each other for favor in his eyes. Those who please him earn rewards; those he dislikes tend to meet with a torturous end. Venerating such a “god” is a dangerous proposition indeed.
Note: While Dragons are Eternals, they can die by the sword, or from poor living conditions. Ex: Tyranastrasz died while battling Deathwing, because of his old age and fragile health (induced by his low living conditions while captive).
Medivh is classified as an eternal in the legends chapter of Shadows & Light, but the book is unclear as to how or when he reached that status. It doesn't seem related to the fact he was a guardian, as other guardians are not Eternals, for example Aranda. Furthermore, there is no evidence to support that Medivh was worshiped. So it must have either been while he was possessed by the avatar of Sargeras, an Eternal, or when he became the legendary Oracle. The article is mostly about the period of time when he was possessed by Sargeras, so the former may be the case.
- The term "eternal" was coined by Bob Fitch and Chris Metzen because “immortal” didn’t feel right and “divine” also felt a bit awkward, although it was used in Warcraft III for units such as Cenarius (Whitewolf Quarterly, Fall 2004).
- All eternals are immortal, but not all immortals are eternals.
- Any dragon, elemental, fey, humanoid, monstrous humanoid, outsider, or undead could potentially become an eternal.
- Note that in the RPG game, contacting an eternal is the same as an Outer Plane demigod for the purpose of the Contact Other Plane ability. No beings are generally more powerful than eternals in the Warcraft universe, so making contact with a "lesser deity" or anything more powerful than a demigod is impossible.
- In the Cataclysm expansion, Cenarius is brought back to life. This shows that some eternals can come back some time after death, or at least their powers (like the power of the Aspect of Magic being induced into Kalecgos after Malygos's death).
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- ^ World of Warcraft: The Roleplaying Game, 250-251
- ^ a b c d Manual of Monsters, 22
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- ^ a b World of Warcraft: The Roleplaying Game, 71
- ^ a b Shadows & Light, 71
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- ^ Warcraft III manual, 89
- ^ World of Warcraft manual, 183
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- ^ Xavius
- ^ Dark Factions, 127
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- ^ Manual of Monsters, 27
- ^ Shadows & Light, ??
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- ^ a b Shadows & Light, 90
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- ^ Shadows & Light, 46