- Not to be confused with daemon.
- "Demonic" redirects here. For the demon hunter talent, see .
Demons or dae'mons ("twisted souls"), female demonesses, are immortal beings linked to the Twisting Nether. Most of them feed upon magic and life, and delight in inflicting suffering, spreading corruption, and destroying all that is good.
Originally, "demon" is what the races born from the Twisting Nether (annihilan, sayaad, nathrezim, shivan etc.) are called, as opposed to the races of the Great Dark Beyond (such as humans). A demon is fundamentally a creature whose soul is bound to the Twisting Nether, and as such returns to that plane upon death. They can be truly killed only inside the Twisting Nether or in places where its chaotic energies leak.
Most demons were once mortal. Indeed, mortal creatures can be turned into demons by being infused with large quantities of fel magic, usually in the form of a gift or blessing such as the one Sargeras offered the eredar.
Not all demons are sentient, various animals have been transformed into demons for instance, and some started as constructs such as infernals. Though most demons have a deep connection with fel magic, not all of them use it, such as the demons that joined Illidan Stormrage and who fed upon his arcane source of energy instead, freed of the dependence of fel, or Lothraxion, a nathrezim infused with Light magic. Not all demons are evil either, many are neutral such as the observers, who serve anyone that would allow them to observe the mysteries of the universe and feed upon all sorts of magic, or the demons serving the Illidari and the Black Harvest against the Legion.
As the universe formed, the most chaotic energies unleashed by the clash between Light and Void coalesced into an astral dimension known as the Twisting Nether. Light and Void bled together at the borders of this realm, throwing it into turmoil with chaotic magics. Life would arise in the Twisting Nether too in the form of the first demons, born as a result of this clash between the two energies. The Twisting Nether became home to an infinite number of demonic beings, most of whom sought only to destroy life and devour the energies of the livings. Where the Twisting Nether bled into the Great Dark Beyond, demons would pour and destroy civilizations and worlds.
To combat the demonic entities that made their way into the titan's worlds from the Twisting Nether, the Pantheon elected their greatest warrior, Sargeras, to act as their first line of defense. Sargeras, the most powerful warrior among the Pantheon, carried out his duties for countless millennia, seeking out and destroying the demons wherever he could find them.
After realizing that the demons he defeated did not truly die and simply returned to the Twisting Nether to reform, Sargeras created the planet Mardum, the Plane of Banishment to which he would bind all the souls of all the demons he'd defeat so when they would return to the Nether, they would reform on Mardum and remain imprisoned for all eternity.
Eventually, Sargeras learned about the fundamental flaw in the universe, a flaw that made his primary purpose an impossible goal. As long as the Void lords tried to corrupt nascent titans, there could be no peace. Under these circumstances, the struggle was futile. The universe had to be destroyed utterly and remade without the underlying defect. World-souls needed to be gone or there would always be a risk for a dark titan to awaken. Only then could true order be achieved. Thus, Sargeras conceived of a sweeping campaign to bring about the end of all things: the Burning Crusade. To carry out his plan, he shattered Mardum and freed the demons to create the Burning Legion, an infinite army who would annihilate all life in the universe.
Demons transcend all realities, destroying their possible worlds. Their spirits are tethered to the Twisting Nether and, as such, when demons are killed, their souls are sent back to the Twisting Nether, where they await for some time to be reborn in new bodies, with all the knowledge of their previous lives. Thus, demons can only be destroyed in the Twisting Nether, in places where it bleeds into the world of mortals, or in places utterly saturated with fel. Not all of a demon's power returns to the Twisting Nether, however.
Physical death for a demon is not a pleasant experience however for it still causes pain, even though they're temporary, as multiple demons have expressed anger and despair about their deaths. Since the recent story development of demons being immortal and being able to reform and return from the Nether, phenomenon that is now often reflected through their quotes, this behavior has been more and more diluted. It is very common now for demons to refer to their future return or virtual defeat, and some demons have used this fact as a taunt. When a demon is killed in the Great Dark Beyond, their soul drifts calmly in the Twisting Nether, which Lothraxion describes as a pleasant experience, before being dragged by Argus and reborn, although not before their soul is punished severely for failure.
Most demons' hunger for life and magic can never be sated for long. Their innate cruelty makes a moot point of whatever temporary satisfaction they can know. As a result, destruction tends to follow these demons, whether or not they are part of the Legion. If a demon cannot maintain a source of magic, they will weaken and perish.
Chaos, however, does not come easily to all demons - some struggle with the ways of the Burning Legion. That is why some carry an enchanted orb that invokes the rage required of any good demon. It is not known how the orbs are made, or who makes them. Others decided to not follow the Legion at all and serve their own agendas, or band with like-minded people such as the Shivarra serving Illidan Stormrage against Sargeras. However rebellion against the Legion is heavily punished, normally with eternal torture, as was done to Lothraxion, submission as was done to Ner'zhul, or death as happened to Gul'dan.
Demons killed outside of the Twisting Nether simply return to the Nether, where their souls drift until they are reborn. Sargeras modified this process slightly by having demon souls brought back through the world-soul of the titan Argus. This is not unlike how he originally had bound demon souls to Mardum before. This would allow them to be reborn in the same location until Argus was killed by adventurers.
There is contradicting information regarding demonic regeneration on Argus. On one hand, it was established that:
- In World of Warcraft: Illidan, Illidan stated that Argus was so saturated with fel that a demon's death there was permanent. Illidan also said that Argus is situated on the brink between the Nether and the Great Dark.
- Likewise, Chronicle Volume 1 reiterated that demons die permanently when slain within the Twisting Nether, or in areas permeated with fel energy.
- The audio drama A Thousand Years of War also stated multiple times that if a demon was killed within the Twisting Nether, it would die for good. Lothraxion is used as an example, he avoided permanent death by dying outside of the Nether, which allowed the world-soul of Argus to resurrect him. It also stated that Argus is fully shrouded by, and situated within, the Twisting Nether.
- In the patch 7.3.0 trailer, Illidan can be heard again stating that "every demon that dies here dies their final death".
On the other hand, on Argus:
- Talestra the Vile last exclaimed "I will be reborn by Argus' flame! I will never... stop... fighting." Turalyon then stated that "her soul will return to Antorus to be reborn, but not without punishment. Sargeras does not take kindly to failure."
- After slaying Vagath the Betrayed in the Antoran Wastes, Illidan stated that "his punishment in Antorus will be severe."
- Quartermistress Kl'azz also exclaimed "By Argus' flame I will be renewed."
- Felbound Drudges, after being freed in Krokuun, exclaim "There is no fighting them. With each death, they return!"
- After hearing about Argus' world-soul in , Turalyon said "A titan... the Legion must have harnessed the power of its soul to regenerate its armies in the Twisting Nether! If we can destroy it, the infinite army..." to which Alleria adds "... would become finite."
- According to , the Legion is harnessing the world-soul's power to "fuel the Legion's infinite army". Striking down the heart of Argus would sever the "Legion's connection to the world-soul", and defeat the Legion.
Demon souls thus seemed to survive even after being killed on Argus, which should be impossible as Argus is supposed to be situated in the Twisting Nether. When asked about this, Jeremy Feasel replied that "[we were] free to speculate", which was likely in reference to the audio-drama published not long after the tweet and which answered some questions.
- It is possible that the world-soul of Argus allowed demons to be reborn despite dying what should've been a true death.
- Turalyon, Alleria and Velen stating that severing the Legion's connection to the world-soul would equal to the Legion's defeat, or that without it the Legion's infinite armies would become finite, still remains a plothole since demons were already able to regenerate in the Twisting Nether long before Sargeras even discovered Argus. However, one could imagine a few reasons why that may be so:
- Argus seemed to serve as an anchor point for demonic regeneration, not unlike Mardum used to serve as an anchor for the demons Sargeras killed. Without the world-soul, the demonic forces would be spread out through the Nether regenerating individually, heavily crippling the demons as a united and organized force - even though they could still move throughout the Nether in spirit form (as Illidan does in the demon hunter campaign).
- However, Antorus showed that the Legion possessed a great nexus of portals connecting many of their worlds - including Nathreza, Xoroth and Rancora - which Khadgar even compared to the Dark Portal, so while the loss of a universal anchor point would indeed be hindering, it may not be as much as one would've thought thanks to their network of dimensional gates.
Demons can possess various characteristics, though they don't necessarily each possess all of them.
|Race||Horns||Scales||Bat Wings||Hooves||Fangs||Claws||Red or Green Skin||Flames|
- The eredar display a variety of skin tones, including but not limited to blue, brown, orange, red and green.
- Fel imps have wings, while regular imps do not.
- Several demon hunters have been known to evolve scales.
|Annihilan (or pit lords)||Gigantic generals who lead the armies of the Legion, surpassed in power only by the demonic eredar.||Unknown|
|Antaen||Giant humanoid demons of unknown origin.||Unknown|
|Bilescourge||Bug-like demons found on Argus.||Unknown|
|Darkhound||These vile creatures are canines somehow twisted by demonic energy.||Unknown|
|Iron-fisted demons who serve as the Burning Legion's captains and generals.||Unknown|
|The most powerful doomguard are important, high commanders of the Legion troops.||Unknown|
|Felbat||Gargoyle-like winged demons.||Unknown|
|Fel beast||Two-headed hounds made of molten fel energies.||Unknown|
|Felhound||Animalistic creatures who are attracted and feed on all magic.||Unknown|
|Felstalker||Similar to felhounds, but pack hunters instead of magical leeches.||Unknown|
|Terrorguard||Shock troops and supervisors of the Legion found on the front lines of the Burning Crusade in areas like Outland.||Unknown|
|Imp||Small, horned spellcaster demons, often seen accompanying warlocks.||Unknown|
|More powerful imps with wings and bigger horns.||Unknown|
|Large females who produce tons of imps.||Unknown|
|Infernal||Great burning stone amalgamations of matter and fel energy, infamous for falling from the sky like burning meteors.||Unknown|
|Infernal-like creature made of jagged stone.||Unknown|
|Inquisitor||Blind demons who see through magical floating eyes and specialize in dark pacts.||Unknown|
|Jailer||Capture both the soul and body of their enemies and imprison them in their cages.||Unknown|
|Man'ari eredar||The brain of the Legion, turned into demons by Sargeras||Argus|
|Eredar that serve as honor guards for the Legion's leadership.||Argus|
|Mo'arg||Armorers of the Legion, forging fel-infused weaponry and constructs.||Unknown|
|The main engineers of the Legion.||Unknown|
|Brutish mo'arg focusing on melee combat.||Unknown|
|Lethal and dangerous, they are the main infantry of the Legion.||Unknown|
|Enforcers in the direct service of Archimonde.||Unknown|
|Nathrezim||Usually serve as commanders of Legion troops or supervisors, or as spies and interrogators.||Nathreza|
|Demonic steeds that can be summoned by experienced warlocks.||Unknown|
|Great demonic steeds who only respond to the call of the most powerful warlocks in the land.||Xoroth|
|Observer||Many-eyed demons thirsting for knowledge about magic.||Unknown|
|Darkglare||Floating, horned, one-eyed or five-eyed octopus-like demon similar to an observer.||Unknown|
|Overfiend||Unknown demons under the Burning Legion.||Unknown|
|Satyr||Mortals corrupted as a reward or as punishment by Sargeras' curse.||Azeroth, Xoroth|
|They serve the Burning Legion by conducting nightmarish interrogations.||Unknown|
|Shivarra||Religious front line commanders of the legion. They are totally devoted to Sargeras as their god, and inspire the troops.||Unknown|
|Tothrezim||Distant cousin race of the nathrezim, laborers and researchers of the Burning Legion, responsible for the creation of the infernals.||Unknown|
|Ur'zul||Demons formed from the tormented bodies and souls of fallen members of the Army of the Light or Broken.||Argus|
|Vilefiend||Bestial demons infused with acidic blood through a terrifying ritual.||Unknown|
|Void terror||Large, two-headed demons with vast magical powers.||Unknown|
|Wyrmtongue||Slaves used by the Legion for manual labor.||Unknown|
|Demonhunter||Rarely seen demon type that seems connected to Demon Hunters.||Unknown|
|Archimonde||Eredar||The Defiler, overlord of Legion forces during the Third War and the invasion of alternate Draenor||Deceased-Defeatable||Hyjal Summit; Black Gate, Hellfire Citadel|
|Hakkar||Unknown||Master of felhounds, prominent Legion general during the War of the Ancients||Alive||Various Locations|
|Illidan Stormrage||Demon||The Betrayer, Lord of the Illidari||Alive-Defeatable||Various Locations|
|Kazzak||Ered'ruin||Legion field commander on Azeroth, re-opener of the Dark Portal||Alive-Defeatable||Throne of Kil'jaeden, Tanaan Jungle|
|Kil'jaeden||Eredar||The Deceiver, acting leader of the Burning Legion, corruptor of the orcs and creator of the Lich King||Deceased-Defeatable||Various Locations|
|Mal'Ganis||Nathrezim||Started Arthas Menethil on his path to become the Lich King, secret leader of the Scarlet Onslaught||Alive||Unknown|
|Mannoroth||Annihilan||Demon King of the Pit Lords, creator of the Blood Curse||Alive-Defeatable||Twisting Nether|
|Tichondrius||Nathrezim||Lord of the Nathrezim||Alive-Defeatable||Various Locations|
|Xavius||Satyr||First of the Satyrs, ruler of the Emerald Nightmare||Deceased-Defeatable||Various Locations|
- Mardum, the Shattered Abyss
- An unnamed Legion world showed by Star Augur Etraeus.
Some demons that were not born demons can be redeemed from their demonic forms into who they originally were. While there has long been speculation on this topic, one recorded example of complete demonic redemption exists: the satyr Avrus Illwhisper. After assisting the player in curing a sick girl in Astranaar as a toll, Avrus was purged of his demonic shell by Elune's blessing, turning back into a night elf and being renamed Avrus the Redeemed. Based on Avrus' experience, it seems possible that someone who is truly repentant and is willing to earn a powerful enough blessing can regain mortality even after corruption.
Demons can also be altered magically, for example Lothraxion, a member of the Grand Army of the Light under High Exarch Turalyon and Lady Alleria, is a Light-infused nathrezim. Demons altered by this way are also capable of traits such as altruism and compassion. There are also void-infused satyrs and imps in service of the Old Gods and the Nightmare, such as Xavius. Illidan Stormrage freed many demons from the fel corruption of the Legion's magic by feeding them the arcane energy held within the Shrine of Lost Souls.
Warcraft I and II
In Warcraft I and II, demons were referred to as daemons, which is a variation of the term demon.
Daemons of the First War
- Main article: Daemon (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 War
- Main article: Daemon (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.
In the RPG
Demons (aka the demonspawn) are evil creatures that inspire dread and fear in mortals. Almost all demons are members of the Burning Legion, a group with phenomenal power, that roams the cosmos preying on worlds. All demons are evil.
Most demons were once mortal creatures found on the worlds conquered by the Burning Legion, but have been transformed by their conversion into demonic beings. This change includes a powerful command of arcane energy. They define and control this arcane power with the force of their will, much as sorcerers and wizards do.
The demonic usage of magic will deploy fel magic, which uses the blood of demons to create the most corrupt and ultimate type of arcane magic. This type of magic exists naturally in demonic blood. As a result, "fel" and "demonic" is often considered the same, and the trait of being affected by "fel" is one of the most distinctive attributes of the demonic. Fel magic used by other creatures (often acquired by drinking demon blood) will grant demonic powers and, if enough is applied, even transform them into demons.
In Monster Manual there is a distinct breed of demons which use the "demonic" subtype. This kind of demons are described in Manual of Monsters Appendix Three and as told before the description doesn't match the demons described in the Warcraft universe. Throughout the Manual of Monsters the term "demon" refers to the minions of the Burning Legion, but in the section of "demons" of the Appendix Three they refer to the demons of D&D. However, the validity of the Appendix Three is disputed.
- Game mechanics
- Voidwalkers and other Void creatures are considered demons for gameplay reasons, but are not demons in lore.
- Demons cannot be skinned except for felhounds, darkhounds, and their variants.
- Medium level (24+) demons can drop .
- Higher level demons in the 50-60 range can drop .
- Enchanters can enchant weapons with Enchant Weapon - Demonslaying which gives the player bonus attack power against demons and also causes their weapon to become engulfed in flames.
- Some can be banished or enslaved by warlocks.
- Hunters can locate demons on their minimap with . Prior to patch 4.0.1, warlocks could do the same with .
- Prior to patch 7.0.3, paladins could afflict them with fear by using .
- All creatures who use the power of fel magic, willingly or otherwise, slowly take on the appearance of demons. This is particularly notable with demon hunters and certain warlocks.
- Knowing the true name of a demon can grant a certain amount of power over that demon. A weapon can hold this power if it is forged with the demon's true name.
- They can also be undead, as was the case with Mannoroth at Hellfire Citadel.
- Before Warcraft III really solidified, Chris Metzen envisioned demons as shapeshifters who used magical illusions and deceit, and this version of demons was initially planned to be a playable race in classic World of Warcraft alongside naga and goblins. According to Johnathan Staats, this was likely a relic from when the Burning Legion was planned to be a playable race in Warcraft III. However, as Warcraft III developed, the demons got a lot more brutish, and on the development side, having a shapeshifting race proved too expensive as it would effectively entail making a whole additional race with its own animation sets in addition to the base race. Thus, playable demons were cut from classic WoW.
- ^ Rise of the Horde, pg. 464
- ^ a b c World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 1
- ^ a b c The Warcraft Encyclopedia: Demons
- ^ Golden, Christie. "Further Reading", Arthas: Rise of the Lich King, 570 (ebook). ISBN 978-1439-15760-2. “Like most demons, Kil'jaeden was originally a mortal.”
- ^ a b
- ^ World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 1, pg. 18
- ^ a b World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 1, pg. 21 - 24
- ^ Sargeras and the Betrayal
- ^ Afrasiabi on twitter (2015-05-06)
- ^ World of Warcraft: Illidan, chapter 9: This time he saw not just one universe but a near infinity of them, a complex fractal structure, where new worlds were born each minute from the decisions made a heartbeat before. Everywhere the Burning Legion marched, destroying world after world.
- ^ a b World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 1, Introduction, "Denizens of the Cosmos"
- ^ a b World of Warcraft: Illidan, chapter 25
- ^ Jeremy Feasel on Twitter (2015-06-06)
- ^ Blizzcon 2015 - WoW Lore Interview with Dave Kosak
- ^ During the War of the Ancients, the demons feared for their lives during the confrontation with the Wild Gods and the devastating might of the Demon Soul.
- ^ Dread Commander Arganoth: "The master will mend my flesh again and again. You have not won. You cannot win. We are endless! We are Legion!"
- ^ Brutallus: "Agghh! Well done! Now this gets... interesting..."
- ^ a b c d A Thousand Years of War
- ^ World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 2, pg. 169
- ^ a b World of Warcraft: Illidan
- ^ BlizzCon 2019 Interview: Steve Danuser & Frank Kowalkowski - Story and Systems | The Lost Codex
- ^ World of Warcraft: Illidan, pg. 249
- ^ The Path to Argus
- ^ Jeremy Feasel on Twitter
- ^ a b Battle for the Exodar
- ^ Demon hunter character customization options.
- ^ Xorothian Satyr
- ^ Blizzard Entertainment. Warcraft: Orcs & Humans manual (Humans), 41.
- ^ Blizzard Entertainment. Warcraft: Orcs & Humans manual (Orcs), 61.
- ^ Warcraft II manual#Daemons
- ^ Warcraft: The Roleplaying Game, pg. 17
- ^ a b Monster Guide, pg. 188
- ^ a b c Manual of Monsters, pg. 112
- ^ a b Manual of Monsters, pg. 191
- ^ Dave Kosak on Twitter (2014-03-07)
- ^ Ask CDev Answers - Round 4
- ^ The Maker#Adventure Guide
- ^ Fel Wolf
- ^ a b c MMO-Champion 2018-09-24. John Staats Interview - The World of Warcraft Diary (1:11:30). YouTube. Retrieved on 2018-09-24.
- ^ a b Countdown To Classic: Episode #63 – The Making Of World Of Warcraft With Vanilla Dev, John Staats (2:23:50) (2018-08-20). Retrieved on 2018-09-24.