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For the Warcraft III faction, see Faceless Ones.
Faceless ones
FacelessOneComic
Faction/AffiliationOld Gods, Faceless Ones
Racial capitaln/a
Racial leader(s)Yogg-Saron
Racial mountUnknown
HomeworldAzeroth
Primary language(s)Faceless (language)
Average heightUnknown

Faceless ones (aka The faceless) are mysterious monsters that reside in Azjol-Nerub and Icecrown in Northrend.

Appereance

General Vezax
General Vezax

Faceless ones are vaguely humanoid creatures who, as the name implies, have no discernible faces insofar as other races recognize them. One arm is much larger than the other, grotesque and misshapen, while the other is little more than a prehensile tentacle.

Generals

Faceless generals are massive faceless with a hardened shell. They seem to be the leaders of the Faceless ones.

History

Facelessone
A faceless one from Warcraft III.

Tales say they lived in Azjol-Nerub long before the Scourge came, dwelling too deep for the nerubians to hunt them. The strange faceless ones are ancient monsters long imprisoned beneath the ice and recently loosed again.[1] Faceless ones have a long magical heritage. They draw upon their race's legacy of arcane spellcasting traditions to increase their power. Although faceless ones have a racially low intellect, they have a strong heritage of necromantic magic.[2] A second passage into the Old Kingdom has been discovered by the Scourge, and Baelgun knows the faceless ones will overpower even the undead and then be free to escape into Northrend proper, and so he vows to stop them.[3]

In Warcraft III

WC3RoC logo 16x32 This section concerns content exclusive to Warcraft III.

During Arthas and Anub'arak's desperate flight towards Icecrown to defend the Lich King from Illidan and his army, they were forced to cross through the mostly underground nerubian kingdom of Azjol-Nerub. There they encountered still living nerubian freedom fighters and dwarves left over from Arthas' last trip to Northrend.[4] But as they delved deeper into the ruins, they also encountered "horrors" (as the dwarf leader Baelgun called them) released by Illidan's recently caused earthquakes: strange, vaguely humanoid beings that had arisen, and the giant tentacles of one massive creature. As they fought their way through, they soon encountered the monster who Anub'arak called "A forgotten one". The crypt lord Anub'arak seemed stunned that such a creature actually existed, saying he thought they were only a myth. He then told Arthas to "fight as you've never fought before". The undead barely managed to defeat the creature, but as more faceless ones appeared and the cavern began to collapse, they were forced to press on.[5] Eventually, they made it out of Azjol-Nerub and did battle with Illidan, but not until after surviving great peril.[6]

In the Comics

WoW-comic-logo-16x68 This section concerns content exclusive to the World of Warcraft: The Comic.

Theramore came under attack from a Faceless One that had been awakened by Cho'gall to take Med'an with him. During the battle, Med'an intuitively wove together arcane and shamanic magic to defeat the ancient creature.

In Wrath of the Lich King

Wrath-Logo-Small This section concerns content exclusive to Wrath of the Lich King.
Volazj
Volazj, a faceless one in World of Warcraft
Water Faceless One - Abyssal Maw
A faceless one in the Abyssal Maw

In the quests The Faceless Ones and Proof of Demise: Herald Volazj, Kilix the Unraveler and Archmage Lan'dalock say that as the nerubians fought the Scourge, they dug deeper underground as they lost ground to the undead. "We inadvertently exposed a tendril of the old god's will, which was made manifest in the creatures known only as the Faceless." He then goes on to say that they lost the war because "In the end, we could not fight on two fronts against such powerful enemies. Our misfortune cost us the war against the undead, and ultimately, our home." implying that the nerubians discovered the faceless ones by accident.[7] Interestingly, "faceless ones" (see the Faceless Lurker), and "forgotten ones" (see the mob known as Forgotten One) look similiar.

Multiple faceless ones appear including Herald Volazj, the leader of the Old God's forces,[8] and Darkspeaker R'khem.

Faceless ones are also encountered underneath Icecrown Citadel in a place called Naz'anak: The Forgotten Depths. Killing the Faceless Lurkers there is required for the quest Neutral 15 [80] Time to Hide. Much like gnolls or ogres, faceless ones have a "battlecry": "Shur'nab... shur'nab... Yogg-Saron!". It would appear, therefore, that the darkest fears about the faceless ones are true.

In Ulduar faceless ones are led by General Vezax guarding the twisted passages leading to the Prison of Yogg-Saron.[9]

In Cataclysm

Cataclysm-Logo-Small This section concerns content exclusive to Cataclysm.

World of Warcraft: Cataclysm might bring new faceless ones within the Abyssal Maw. They seem to be allied with the Naga and fight against Neptulon. The Faceless Ones can also be seen in many places around Vashj'ir. The Faceless of the Deep appears as leader of the Naga at the Ruins of Vashj'elan on the Lost Isles.

Known members

Name Role Condition
IconSmall FacelessOne Avatar of Soggoth Avatar of Soggoth the Slitherer. Killable
IconSmall FacelessOne Harbinger Aph'lass Leader of the Stonetalon Peak invasion. Killable
IconSmall FacelessOne Harbinger Aphotic Leader of the Ashenvale invasion. Killable
IconSmall FacelessGeneral Erudax Last boss in Grim Batol. Killable
IconSmall FacelessOne Hr'nglth the Lost Found in Swamp of Sorrows Killable
IconSmall FacelessOne Ick'thys the Unfathomable Killable
IconSmall FacelessOne Darkspeaker R'khem Quest giver inside the Saronite Mines in Icecrown chained by the vrykul. Alive
IconSmall FacelessOne Soggoth the Slitherer Buried in Master's Glaive. Killable
IconSmall FacelessOne Commander Ulthok Second boss of Throne of the Tides. Killable
IconSmall FacelessGeneral General Vezax Leader of the faceless ones in Ulduar guarding the twisted passages leading to the Prison of Yogg-Saron. Killable
IconSmall FacelessOne Herald Volazj The last boss of Ahn'kahet: The Old Kingdom located within the Fallen Temple of Ahn'kahet. Killable
IconSmall FacelessOne Yoth'al the Devourer Keeper of the Devouring Artifact in Ashenvale. Killable

Language

The faceless ones speak a " language" which no race on Azeroth is capable of understanding or pronouncing. The only known example of this language is Herald Volazj. His strange utterings are somehow translated directly into the minds of nearby players through telepathic whispers. Darkspeaker R'khem also communicates with other beings by projecting telepathic thoughts into their mind, together with a wave of soothing, euphoric feelings that are mixed with a sense of pain. After completing Neutral 15 [80] Mind Tricks, he disappears with a noise that is translated as laughter in the player's mind. Faceless Lurkers sometimes utter "Shur'nab... shur'nab... Yogg-Saron!" when assaulting their victims, which never appears to be accompanied by telepathic whispers, so it seems only powerful faceless ones can express themselves in this manner.

Factions

Types

Connections

Questionmark-medium
This article or section includes speculation, observations or opinions possibly supported by lore or by Blizzard officials. It should not be taken as representing official lore.
Facelessone2
  • Anub'arak's experience suggests that the faceless represent a forgotten race that was buried aeons ago within the deeps of the world, of whom only myths ever reached the nerubian people. As it is now known that the nerubians are descended from the ancient aqir, the notion of a species that appears to predate both the aqir and the night elves raises many questions.
  • The Curse of Flesh, instigated by the Old Gods, was intended to make the nascent races susceptible to "assimilation". It is, therefore, entirely possible that the faceless ones were the unfortunates among Azeroth's first mortal beings who were successfully assimilated during the dawning of the world. If this is true, it means that the faceless are ancient beyond reckoning.
  • Hakkar the Soulflayer is referred to as the "faceless blood God" by Primal Torntusk in the Hinterlands and as "the faceless one" by Molthor at Yojamba Isle. One piece of loot that Hakkar drops is the Fang of the Faceless. It is not known if this description of Hakkar indicates a connection to the faceless ones that Arthas encountered or if it is simply a title.
  • These creatures could also be connected in one way or another to the Old Gods. The creature Arthas and Anub'arak destroyed bears a few physical similarities to C'Thun. Hakkar is also speculated to be an agent of the Old Gods (or perhaps an Old God himself), demanding blood tribute from the trolls (who were enemies of the aqir). Millenia ago, Hakkar created a schism between the troll tribes, shattering the troll empire.
  • Since it is never specified what the avatars of C'Thun looked like, it may be possible that these faceless ones or forgotten ones are the avatars. After the split of the Azj'Aqir empire, C'Thun obviously lost "control" over the Azjol-Nerub "sub-empire", therefore after the countless millennia since the split, it may be possible that the faceless ones are the avatars of C'Thun or forgotten ones.
  • The faceless one mobs in the Old Kingdom are actually called forgotten ones, which may suggest that the term forgotten one in fact refers to a faction of some sort.
  • Kilix the Unraveler, a nerubian supplying quests related to Azjol'Nerub, speaks of the monsters as being in some way connected to the Old Gods:
"In my peoples' struggle against the forces of the undead, they dug deeper as they lost ground. In desperation, they dug too deep.
We inadvertently exposed a tendril of the old god's will, which was made manifest in the creatures known only as the Faceless."
There are many ways to interpret this statement, among them that in breaking free part of the Old God, the nerubians released his slaves. One could also argue that the Old God "manifested" the creatures out of himself as creations or extensions of himself. The forgotten one in WC3 did seem to have similar powers of creation. This might explain why the faceless ones are actually called forgotten ones in World of Warcraft.
Then again, Kilix could have just been speaking metaphorically as he goes on to refer to them as separate "insane creatures" only belonging to the Old Gods.

Inspiration

It is possible that Blizzard based the Faceless Ones loosely on the Illithids from the Forgotten Realms books and Dungeons and Dragons games. Both races have an affinity with magic and telepathy, and both are evil races. Also, Illithids and Faceless Ones both have been described as slimey humanoids with "almost octopus-like heads", and both races live traditionally underground and are feared by most land-dwellers. It is likely that both creatures are based on HP Lovecraft's Cthulu mythos, which includes ancient, tentacled creatures that worship a god called Yog-Sothoth.

References


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