The Earth-Warder, the Destroyer, the Black Scourge, Death Aspect, Blood's Shadow (used by the orcs), Blackwing Greatfather (used by Gruul)
|Character class||Not applicable|
|Occupation||Guardian of Azeroth's physical shape, insane enemy of non-draconic life|
|Relative(s)||Nefarian, Onyxia, Sabellian (children), Neltharaku(presumed son)|
The massive monstrosity before you rises up like a black, crag-covered mountain of scales and hide. The head is a spade-like terror spiked with cruel red eyes that shine with a frightening malevolence. Rivulets of lava and magma are visible beneath the great wyrm’s scorched scales.
Deathwing the Destroyer, originally Neltharion the Earth-Warder, is one of the five Dragon Aspects, and leader of the black dragonflight. Thousands of years ago, Neltharion was empowered by the Titan Khaz'goroth with dominion over the earth and the deep places of Azeroth. However, driven mad by the Old Gods, he turned against the other Aspects during the War of the Ancients, capturing a portion of their power in the Demon Soul. Among both humans and dragons his name has become one whispered with a feeling of fear and contempt.
During the Second War, Deathwing adopted the form of Lord Daval Prestor, seeking to gain the vacant throne of Alterac and eventually destroy the Alliance of Lordaeron. During the events of the novel Day of the Dragon, the Demon Soul is destroyed, and Neltharion the Black is defeated by the other Aspects. His current whereabouts are unknown.
Neltharion originally was the mighty black wyrm chosen by Khaz'goroth and given dominion over the earth and the deep places of the world. He was empowered by the Titans as one of the five Dragon Aspects.
In peaceful times, Neltharion's wisdom and power were renowned, he was known as Neltharion the Earth-Warder, a great protector of the land. Then came the madness that destroyed Neltharion's mind, caused by some unknown crisis in the distant past, which changed him and his kind forever. The ultimate cause of his fall into madness, was the item of great power known as The Dragon Soul, later known as The Demon Soul. The inner-voices of the Old Gods convinced him that he could have power beyond his imagination if he served them. The voices made him paranoid of even his black dragonflight. When he succumbed, Neltharion ceased to exist, taking up a new name and a bitter purpose. He became Deathwing and his subjects were placed beneath the iron rule of a tyrant. Upon his irrevocable shift to evil, he turned against his destiny, and his mind unwound, causing suffering wherever he could. Although originally bearing another name, he himself had long ago chosen Deathwing as his title, to better show his contempt and intentions for the lesser creatures around him.
War of the Ancients
Neltharion has control over the land, and its fathoms, including lava. His main attack, and that of his dragonflight's, is to use his breath as a cannon of lava. He can live within volcanoes and high temperature areas. Neltharion wanted a world where only he and his dragonflight and some servants that yield to him could exist — a world where all the other dragonflights no longer existed, and where Ysera and Alexstrasza would be his petty slaves for mating.
The Old Gods convinced Neltharion to create the Dragon Soul. With the help of goblins, Neltharion created a simple golden disc made of Neltharion's blood and forged in the goblin's cauldrons and anvils deep beneath the earth.
Empowered by Neltharion's magic, the simple golden disc was shielded magically so that the other Dragon Aspects couldn't see within the disc. There was an evil within the disc, some taint of the Old Gods. It is unknown as to what content of the Old Gods the disc had. Neltharion captured a demon of the Burning Legion during the War of the Ancients and placed the Dragon Soul on its forehead. The demon was consumed, leaving just his ashes and skull. Neltharion removed the disc from the remains of the demon's skull.
Back in the den of the Dragon Aspects, Neltharion convinced Malygos to help him with the other Dragon Aspects. All of them agreed to give a portion of their powers to the Dragon Soul, including all dragons of their dragonflights. Neltharion proposed that the Dragon Soul disc could be a weapon of great power to destroy the demons of the Burning Legion.
Neltharion, the Dragon Aspects and their dragonflights flew toward Zin-Azshari where the night elves held the demons at bay. The Ancients had not come. Seeing the sky full of dragons, the night elves thought they were now going to win the war. Heralded by the black dragon Neltharion, the dragons awaited his first attack. Neltharion grabbed the Dragon Soul and by channeling his destructive power through it decimated most of the demons with one swing of radiant magic. The Dragon Aspects watched in horror as Neltharion also killed hundreds of night elves and other allies along with the demons.
Neltharion revealed the depths of his betrayal at last. He was the only one who did not give of his powers to the Dragon Soul. Now with the disc at his command he wanted all races and the demons to see his power and to bow to him. The Dragon Aspects attacked Neltharion in an attempt to take the Dragon Soul from him and to reason with him in hopes of determining the cause of his perfidy.
Malygos' Blue Dragonflight surrounded Neltharion, but with a swing of the Dragon Soul most of the blue dragons perished. The next swing of the Demon Soul paralyzed all dragonflights and the Dragon Aspects in mid-air, rendering them unable to move or speak. Only Alexstrasza was allowed by Neltharion to speak when he wished.
The growing corruption in Neltharion's heart warped his body, as the angelic dragon began taking a more demonic appearance similar to how Sargeras changed to a more demonic form after his corruption. Neltharion's body cracked open, revealing his molten heart, and magma and fire flowed off his chest. His eyes became aflame in red, demonstrating the magnitude of his power and the depths of his evil. Thus was Deathwing the Destroyer born, and the Dragon Soul was renamed: the Demon Soul.
Rise of the Destroyer
Deathwing struck out at the Dragon Aspects and their dragonflights, destroying them and scattering them far across the land. In desperation, the Aspects shielded themselves and hid to become undetected even by each other.
Neltharion's betrayal had struck a great blow to the Aspects, and their fear to be destroyed like the blue dragonflight kept them in seclusion. Deathwing returned to his lair beneath a mountain. His proximity to the Demon Soul was ripping his body apart, so the goblins forged an armor of adamantium to serve as a vessel to contain Deathwing's raging powers in check. Only the adamantium plates kept the power from destroying his body.
The Old Gods had manipulated Deathwing into creating the Demon Soul, but their true intention was that the demons would inform their lord Sargeras of the great power of the weapon used against them. Sargeras would no doubt want the Demon Soul to power the gateway that would let him enter Azeroth.
By using the Demon Soul to amplify the gateway, the three Old Gods hoped to escape their prison beneath the planet. However, Malfurion Stormrage used the Emerald Dream to find Deathwing's lair and stole the Demon Soul from the black dragon. Malfurion could hear the voices of the Old Gods coming from within the Demon Soul, asking him to wield the power. He used the Demon Soul to escape by opening a path through the mountain.
The more Malfurion used the Demon Soul's power, the more tainted he became with the voices. Malfurion finally broke away from the corrupting thoughts, and put the Demon Soul away, lest he be tempted to use it.
Illidan and Varo'then captured Malfurion and took the Demon Soul. Varo'then, successor in command in replacement to Lord Xavius by order of Queen Azshara, held the Demon Soul on their way back to Zin-Azshari. During his travel, even Varo'then felt the whisperings of the Old Gods. Once at the palace, Varo'then gave the Demon Soul to Mannoroth the Destructor, the general of the Legion's armies. It was used to power up the portal that would allow Sargeras to enter Azeroth.
After the Burning Legion was defeated, the Dragon Aspects sealed the Demon Soul with their energies, and now Neltharion may never use the Demon Soul. The artifact was hidden in an undisclosed location by Malfurion at the request of the Dragon Aspects. No longer in possession of the artifact and now unable to use it, Neltharion vowed to destroy most life and to wreak havoc on the planet. With his powers over earth, Neltharion caused volcanoes to rise along with the destruction already caused by the Well of Eternity's implosion, sinking most of Kalimdor below the ocean.
Certain legends surrounding Deathwing claim that as the Earth-Warder, Deathwing shaped the land so the races would not go to war over land and resources. When he went mad, Deathwing lowered the mountains and allowed the races to intermingle. He ruined fertile land and destroyed other terrain so that the races would be forced to fight for food. Deathwing's efforts gave birth to an occupation that has remained with all races since then: war.
Ten thousand years later, after the Second War, Deathwing ended up in a fight with some of the archmagi of Dalaran and feigned defeat, falling into the sea, where most of the council assumed at the time that he died.He was not dead however and he took a human guise, pretending to be a heroic noble named Lord Prestor in an effort to be declared king of Alterac, where he could manipulate the Alliance from within.
After Ner'zhul reopened the portal to Azeroth, he sent emissaries to the remaining Blackrock clan forces stationed at Blackrock Spire, in order to get red dragons as mounts. They were refused by Rend but later approached by Deathwing, whom had been recently beset on all sides by Alliance forces until the arrival of the fresh Horde forces. He offered his own children in assistance in exchange for safe passage to Draenor. They agreed and Deathwing helped them prepare for several key battles to steal two artifacts from the Alliance, in order to create new portals to other worlds. They then fled back to the Dark Portal to Draenor. He believed the world would be a relatively safe haven for his offspring, and secreted away a cache of black dragon eggs there. While at his great mountain lair, he was attacked by the forces of the Alliance Expedition, and was defeated. However, he survived yet again. Having escaped back to Azeroth, he re-assumed his identity of Lord Daval Prestor, the noble.
Soon after Ner'zhul recklessly opened multiple portals on Draenor the magical stress tore the planet apart. The energies released in this catastrophe altered Deathwing's eggs, resulting in the nether drakes: partially corporeal and partially ethereal dragons who possess the ability to shift between the astral and physical planes. Without Deathwing's guidance, these otherworldly nether drakes are just now finding their own way among the blasted ruins of Outland.
Day of the Dragon
Sometime during the Second War, Deathwing discovered the Demon Soul's location. Although he couldn't wield its power because of the enchantment placed upon it by the Dragon Aspects, he realized that he could manipulate someone else to do so. And eventually he found the perfect pawns: the orcs of the Dragonmaw Clan.
Kryll, a goblin servant of Deathwing, was sent to infiltrate the Dragonmaw Clan and to serve the warlock Nekros Skullcrusher. Nekros ended up being manipulated by Kryll into doing Deathwing's bidding. Nekros was given the Demon Soul by his chieftain, Zuluhed the Whacked, who believed that the warlock would have more luck in using it than the shaman himself had. Although Nekros had no clue as to the power he was wielding, he was able to tap into enough of its power to kidnap Alexstrasza, her elder consort Tyranastrasz and some of her eggs. The goblin served as an "advisor" to Nekros, whispering ideas to the orc in order to further Deathwing's aims.
Deathwing used his many pawns to manipulate the mage Rhonin. He saved the young mage and, consequently, Falstad Dragonreaver and Vereesa Windrunner, several times, hoping to use them to get him in a position close enough to the Dragonqueen to either capture her himself or kill her. Rhonin was also being manipulated by the red dragon Korialstrasz, Deathwing's nemesis, into an attempt to free Korialstrasz's lover Alexstrasza, trapped in Grim Batol. Deathwing tried to frighten the orcs into believing that the humans were attacking, so that they would move Alexstrasza, and more importantly her eggs, north to Dun Algaz, leaving her open for attack and her eggs vulnerable. Deathwing wished to steal Alextrasza's latest cache for himself to create a new dragonflight — though bearing the crimson scales of the Dragonqueen, they would be raised by Deathwing and carry his hatred for the mortal races.
His attack, however, failed. Rhonin discovered the weakness of the Demon Soul and destroyed it, releasing all the powers of the dragons who had given their power ten thousand years earlier. Deathwing was sent retreating with four very angry, fully-empowered Dragon Aspects on his heels.
It is said that it will be long before he attempts to once again cause havoc upon the world. Onyxia and Nefarian, offspring of Deathwing and masters of the Black Dragonflight in the absence of their father, now try to take control over the world. Onyxia's lair is in the Wyrmbog in Southern Dustwallow Marsh on Kalimdor, while Nefarian's lair is now Blackrock Spire, atop the Blackrock Mountain in the Burning Steppes.
Onyxia is posing as a human counselor for the new child King of Stormwind under the name of Lady Katrana Prestor (an homage to her father's alias during the Alterac crisis). Nefarian poses as a human named Lord Victor Nefarius, Lord of the Blackrock Mountain. He was able to enslave the Blackrock Clan orcs who now serve him. Nefarian wishes to take control of the lower Blackrock Mountain, trying to destroy the Dark Iron Dwarves and Ragnaros. Once the nuisance has been dealt with, Nefarian plans to take control of the world.
Of Deathwing, nothing is known. Not even his offspring knows. He could be hiding, but another is that Deathwing might possibly be held prisoner by Alexstrasza at Grim Batol. Whether true or not, Alexstrasza and the Red Dragonflight do not let anyone near Grim Batol, for they are protecting something zealously within the walls of the fortress. It's improbable Deathwing returned to his lair on Draenor, since the Portals were closed, but there is a slim chance. The other Aspects might be loathe to eliminate him, as the consequences are unforeseeable.
Lord Daval Prestor
- Main article: Lord Daval Prestor
For a time during and after the Second War, Deathwing disguised himself as a human nobleman named Lord Daval Prestor, and attempted to gain control over the nation of Alterac (Alterac had been annexed by the Alliance after Lord Perenolde's betrayal) by marrying Calia Menethil, the daughter of King Terenas.
Through magic, he managed to make himself extremely popular with King Terenas and the nobles (including, surprisingly, Genn Greymane of Gilneas, and Lord Admiral Daelin Proudmoore of Kul Tiras) and for a while gained strong influence in the decisions of state. Using subtle magic, he was able to ensnare the minds of the human leaders and forced them to grant him the title of king of Alterac. His ultimate goal was to obtain a high level of power and influence within the Alliance, so he could destroy it from within. He attempted to begin his campaign against the Alliance by pitting the kingdoms of Lordaeron, Stromgarde, Gilneas and Kul Tiras against the Kirin Tor of Dalaran - who Deathwing considered threats to his new identity.
When Deathwing was forced to go into hiding, he was no longer able to keep up the disguise. Lord Prestor mysteriously vanished, and Deathwing's influence over the nobles disappeared along with him, although his daughter Onyxia followed in her father's footsteps taking the Prestor name to attempt to also manipulate the Alliance. The only one to ever fully uncover the truth about his identity was the dragon mage Krasus, the mortal form of Korialstrasz (so presumably Alexstrasza knows as well). However, the Kirin Tor were able to discern that he was powerful being hiding in a human form. The mage Rhonin recognized the form Deathwing took as Daval Prestor, but did not know his name.
Thrall's encounter with Deathwing
Thrall may have once encountered Deathwing, but the story of that event has never been told. According to GameSpot, present Horde Warchief Thrall would meet with Deathwing in order to match wits, within the canceled game Warcraft Adventures: Lord of the Clans. Whether this is now part of lore remains to be seen, since no other source mentions a meeting of the two. The reason why Deathwing would be smoking a hookah here is blamed on 'miscommunication', though Blizzard decided to leave it in.
- Grim Batol; which "...has the distinction of being the last place that the evil black dragon Deathwing was spotted. I do not believe that he is dead - perhaps the red dragons have taken him captive?".
- Daval Prestor's Kingdom in northern Lordaeron(Northeron?). Perhaps there was some truth, mixed within Deathwing's lies to the high council of the Alliance, and he really did come from northern Lordaeron.
- Gilneas; from when Genn Greymane sponsored Deathwing as Lord Prestor
- Mount Kajaro (Kezan); because Deathwing's usual lair on Azeroth was in a volcano, attended by goblins.
- Deathwing's Lair; Deathwing has been absent from his lair for several years.(The book is unclear if it is speaking about his lair on Azeroth, or his lair in Outland.)
- Mount Hyjal; When Furion was exploring the Barrow Deeps of Mount Hyjal, he encountered black dragon whelps, the "spawn of Deathwing" that had taken up residence in the caves. In the inaccessible zone of Mount Hyjal in the game, there is a cave entrance similar to Onyxia's Lair as it is a giant dragon skull. This has been speculated by some to be Deathwing's Lair on Azeroth and his possible current location, the source of the "spawn of Deathwing" in the mountain. On the other hand, the cave is exactly the same as Onyxia's, and may have been just an earlier location planned before it was moved to Dustwallow Marsh.
- Wyrmrest Temple (Dragonblight); There are rumors of the ancient black dragon Deathwing returning to Northrend. He landed in the Dragonblight, at the foot of Wyrmrest Temple, and announced that he was close to death and wished to end his life there with others already present. However it may have just been a ruse.
- Still in command; some black dragons, claim to receive regular messages from Deathwing (though none has been confirmed as yet)...
- Dead; Some of the black dragons assert that Deathwing is dead and that a new monarch of their flight must be chosen. Some wonder if he has in fact been slain.
- Some fans speculate that Deathwing is in fact one of the large, armored black dragons impaled on the spikes of Dragons' End, although it is extremely unlikely that a major lore figure would appear as an unidentified corpse with no mention of his death (not to mention the fact that there are several).
- Caverns of Time; some have speculated that he is waging war with Nozdormu, with the Infinite Dragonflight at his command, and that his transformation by the Demon Soul may have been the basis for a new brood. Who his mate would be in this instance, however, is unknown. Possibly a bronze female, as would explain the similar abilities and attributes of the black-skinned infinite flight.
- Emerald Dream; It is known that the Old Gods are behind the Emerald Nightmare and they corrupted Deathwing. So it is possible that they sent Deathwing there, being a Dragon Aspect he has the ability to enter the Emerald Dream.
- Chamber of the Aspects; It has been revealed that this will be the location of a single dragon boss raid encounter in Wrath of the Lich King. Given the fact that the Chamber has a strong connection to Deathwing's past, it is possible that he will be fought here.
- Maw of Neltharion; Not much is known about this area in the dragonblight, but early pictures indicate a lair that seems to have a river of lava flowing through it, and as Deathwing controls Earth and lava, it seems that a lava filled lair using his previous name would be a good place to meet him, even though nothing has really been mentioned
However, recent revelations in World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade may have given us more information:
"His progeny's failure"
It appears that "The Master" (likely Deathwing) has come to learn of Nefarian's attempts at creating a new dragonflight. He now wishes that the Dragonmaw hand his Netherwing over to him so that he may continue that experiment. Apparently, he will be most grateful for them, as he has sent Lady Sinestra to bargain with Overlord Mor'ghor for them.
Lady Sinestra says: Overlord Mor'ghor, I presume... A pleasure to finally make your acquaintance. I am Lady Sinestra.
Overlord Mor'ghor says: I will not drag this out any further than it needs, Lady Sinestra. You have bent my ear, now tell me what it is that you want from the Dragonmaw.
Lady Sinestra says: You have no doubt heard about Nefarian's failures on Azeroth... While he has fallen, the experiment continues. My master... He continues the work that his progeny began.
Overlord Mor'ghor says: The... The master? He lives?
Lady Sinestra nods.
Lady Sinestra says: You were once a chief lieutenant, Mor'ghor. Your work in Grim Batol is not easily forgotten. Now... We need the eggs that you recovered. The Netherwing eggs. They are, after all, a product of the master. We will pay whatever price that you ask.
Overlord Mor'ghor stammers.
Overlord Mor'ghor says: Ye... Yes, yes... Of course. We need only the crystals and ore from this place. There is... We will need mounts.
Lady Sinestra says: The master will be most pleased with this news. The Black Dragonflight will provide you all that you ask. You will be allowed to ride upon the backs of our drakes as needed. I thank you for your graciousness, Mor'ghor. I must now take my leave.
After this conversation, Sinestra transforms into a black dragon and flies away.
This conversation makes it apparent that Deathwing is almost certainly alive and is most likely somewhere in Outland.
Names and title
He is usually referred to as "Deathwing" by the majority of beings. Only a few mages, night elves, and dragons still call him "Neltharion." However, over the years Deathwing has been given many names, including, but probably not limited to:
- Neltharion the Earth-Warder
- Neltharion the Betrayer
- Deathwing the Destroyer
- Xaxas (night elven name; lit. "chaos", "fury" "elemental fury" in Darnassian).
- Blood's Shadow (orc name)
- Lord Daval Prestor/King Prestor the First, ruler of Alterac. (human disguise)
- The Black Scourge (used among dragons)
- The Dark One
- Death Aspect
- Blackwing Greatfather (Used by the Gronn)
- "Yes, and you will press him time and time again with it, will you not?" (In a discussion about whether Nozdormu should be granted more time for his choirs or not)
- "I am power incarnate! You are nothing but shadows of the past!"
- "Have you not been through enough? Will you continue to fight what you cannot defeat?"
- "What are they to me - or, for that matter, even you? I will never understand that!"
- "I have faced the ravages of time, the curse of nightmares, and the mists of sorcery, thanks to the others! What weapons do you bring?"
- "You know me... but I do not know you. You would speak against me... make the others see me as you do... you would have them distrust their comrade of old... their brother... You will not be allowed to spread any of your malicious falsehoods..."
- "No! I will say what will be done from here on! I, not you, Alexstrasza! Be silent!"
- "After I have slain all of you, I shall take your eggs, Alexstrasza, and create my perfect world!"
- "Do you like fire? I'm full of it."
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- ↑ Bill Roper. Warcraft Adventures. PC Gaming Graveyard 3. GameSpot. Retrieved on 2007-08-15.
- ↑ Unknown. Deathwing - Dead or Alive?. File:Icon-blizzplanet-22x22.png Blizzplanet. Retrieved on 2007-08-15.
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- ↑ Quest:Look to an Old Friend
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- ↑ http://www.worldofwar.net/articles/413362/jeff-kaplan-video-interview-transcript/page2
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