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This article is about the history and lore of Karazhan. For the 10-player raid instance, see Karazhan (raid). For the 5-player dungeon, see Return to Karazhan. For other appearances, see Karazhan (disambiguation).
Chronicle Karazhan
Type Mage tower
Races UndeadUndead Undead
HumanHuman Human
Man'ari eredarMan'ari eredar Man'ari eredar
Satyr Satyr
Ethereal Ethereal
Ruler(s) IconSmall Khadgar Khadgar
Former ruler(s) IconSmall Man'ari Male Prince Malchezaar
IconSmall Medivh Medivh
IconSmall Aegwynn Aegwynn
Affiliation Kirin Tor
Former affiliation(s) Dark Riders, Burning Legion
Location Southern Deadwind Pass[54, 78]VZ-Deadwind PassBlip
Status Haunted

Karazhan (a.k.a. Medivh's Tower)[1] is an abandoned citadel (or castle)[2] located on a nexus of ley lines[3] in southern Deadwind Pass. The tower is best known for its last known occupant — Medivh, the last Guardian of Tirisfal. After Medivh was killed by Khadgar, Anduin Lothar, and Garona, the tower sealed itself off from the rest of the world. But recently, Karazhan has reawakened — an evil presence has taken the tower as its own, its halls crawling with spirits and demons, and with the Shade of Medivh, his power being so great that his magic still echoes through the halls of Karazhan.[4]

It is impossible to set eyes upon Karazhan without reflecting on the dark saga of its master. As befitting his title, the Last Guardian of Tirisfal had amassed a vast collection of writings and artifacts that dwarfs even that of the Kirin Tor.[5] The tower is vast, dangerous, with ghosts everywhere, and where some of the world's most powerful and dangerous artifacts are stored, brought for years by the Dark Riders. Following the third invasion of the Burning Legion, Khadgar moved into the tower, seeking knowledge to save Azeroth.[6][7]

Karazhan, as a level 70 ten-man raid instance, was opened in World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade. Return to Karazhan is a megadungeon released in World of Warcraft: Legion.


The land which the tower sits on "was similar in shape to a human skull. Many had noted it over the years, though only a few had been sufficiently brave, or powerful, or tactless to mention it to the property's owner".[8]

Karazhan's history begins with an explosion that carved out Deadwind Pass and weakened the fabric of reality in the region,[9] which was caused by Sataiel draining the land of life with Ulthalesh, the Deadwind Harvester.[10] The tower was built in secret by the Guardian Aegwynn using Aluneth[11] around 600 years before the First War, after she grew increasingly paranoid and hostile to her fellow members in the Council of Tirisfal — a result of the dark influence that the spirit of Sargeras was exerting over her. The tower acted both as a refuge from the council and as a conduit for the potent ley lines in the region, through which Aegwynn could siphon power as needed.[12] Aegwynn's son Medivh eventually took up residence in Karazhan, but mused that the explosion and the construction only happened because he would eventually arrive.[13]

As the structure was built atop a nexus of potent ley lines, the energies that coursed through Karazhan sometimes warped reality in the region. Because of that, the mage Arrexis came to Deadwind Pass to study the tower and its powers, experimenting with their warding magics outside Karazhan, attempting to neutralize the tower's strange powers.[14]

In time a small human village and its church flourished around the tower, but both ended up abandoned at some point.

The Last Guardian[]

Chronicle2 Young Khadgar

Khadgar seeing a vision while in Karazhan.

Prior to the First War, the tower was inhabited by Medivh, his steward Moroes, and his cook named Cook. Though Medivh was the greatest wizard of his day (and humanity's intended custodian), Medivh was secretly possessed by the dark spirit of Sargeras, the Destroyer of Worlds. This led him to sometimes being sick and indisposed, and as such a group of would-be clerics once came to the tower to minister to his needs, but also to steal some of his valuables.[15] But another time, Medivh also revealed himself to be very influenced by the demon when he cursed a group of charlatan merchants who tried to sell him fraudulent magical artifacts by transforming them into the Dark Riders.[16]

At the Council of Six's behest, the Kirin Tor sent agents to infiltrate Karazhan and spy on the young Medivh, taking parts in his parties in the magical tower. The spies, however, always left empty-handed - Medivh made sure of it.[17] The Violet Eye, a secret sect founded by the Kirin Tor of Dalaran, was later assigned to keep an eye on Karazhan and to spy on the Guardian and his works. Among their agents sent inside, Koren the blacksmith was under their pay,[18] and pretended to serve Medivh.[19] The spy Keanna was also present in the tower, where she was staying up at the guest chambers.[20]

Corrupting Medivh more and more, Sargeras eventually opened the Dark Portal to allow the orcs to wage war upon the kingdoms of Azeroth, while also himself murdering the suspecting members of the Order of Tirisfal. Medivh hid this corruption behind a lavish lifestyle, inviting many nobles to party down in Karazhan. This didn't stop the dragon Arcanagos to travel to the tower with Aegwynn to confront Medivh about his acts. The night the tower was crowded with nobles who were expecting a gala, and so Aegwynn entered alone at first, hoping to convince Medivh to give up his power peacefully. After Medivh revealed that said power was that of Sargeras, he and Aegwynn began to fight, shaking the tower to its foundations and causing the would-be revelers to flee. Arcanagos was struck down by the spirit of Sargeras. As the duel between mother and son continued Aegwynn slowly gained the upper hand,[21] until Medivh resorted to draining the life of nearby all occupants of the tower in order to fuel his strength.[22] Now stronger but still unable to kill Aegwynn, Medivh instead banished her from his sight, leaving Karazhan a haunted tower of madness populated by ghosts and afterimages.

Khadgar later joined the tower as Medivh's apprentice. Garona Halforcen also resided here as an emissary at the same time as Khadgar's apprenticeship. As a result of the recent events and the region's already weakened reality, many strange and disturbing visions lurked within the tower, and Moroes was now wearing blinders to avoid seeing them. In the months that followed, Karazhan became darker and more twisted. Tormented spirits floated through the hallways in greater numbers than ever before. From time to time, Khadgar and Garona were subjected to vivid, horrific visions of the past, present, and future. Khadgar suspected this was all due to Medivh. The Guardian's mood swings had vanished entirely. That was a relief, but only at first; his rage had disappeared, but it seemed to have been replaced with nothing at all. It was as if Medivh had simply lost the ability to feel anything. As he withdrew from his humanity, the fabric of reality in Karazhan seemed to unravel.[23]

The visions were ultimately ended when most of Karazhan's ambient magical power was absorbed by the resurrected Medivh, reducing it to "a pile of stone in the remote reaches", its power taken to serve the Prophet.[24]

As the war progressed, Medivh fought against Sargeras' control. The raging conflict within him finally drove the wizard irrevocably insane, until his childhood friend, Anduin Lothar, aided Medivh's young apprentice, Khadgar, in storming Karazhan and slaying their former comrade. Since that day, a terrible curse has pervaded both the tower and the lands around it - casting a dark pall over Deadwind Pass and the region that is now known as Duskwood.

After the fall of Karazhan, the Kirin Tor dispatched an assembly of mages to search the tower and seize all items of import for the purposes of "research." It was then that Atiesh was discovered and brought back to Dalaran.[25]


Comics title This section concerns content related to the Warcraft manga or comics.

After the Second War an area, which would later be known as Duskwood and the town of Grand Hamlet (later known as Darkshire), became darkened and surrounded by dark creatures. The people of Grand Hamlet thought the evil was caused by the tower of Karazhan. Several townsfolk ventured there to investigate the tower but they did not return. A paladin named Dougan along with his friends Kardan and Voldana entered the tower but the raid failed and resulted in the death of Dougan. While there, time seemed to unfold in strange ways for the trio.

Kardan and Voldana managed to escape, but Dougan did not and was killed inside. He would later discover that anyone who dies inside Karazhan will have their spirit trapped there, unable to escape.[26]

Years later, Dougan's daughters, Lieren and Loania teleported into the tower only to find the horrors of its curse. Having escaped from Moroes, they found the killer of their father, satyr Terestian Illhoof. They killed him but Loania was hurt. As they were trying to leave they found the ghost of Nielas Aran who tried to kill them. Loania summoned Dougan who protected them while the horrors went after them. The twins teleported out of the Karazhan, leaving Dougan still trapped there.[27]

World of Warcraft[]

WoW Icon update This section concerns content related to the original World of Warcraft.

The Banquet Hall.

In recent years, nobles of Darkshire ventured into Deadwind Pass to investigate the blight that had settled over the region. None who entered the dark tower ever emerged.[28]

Recently, despite Medivh's absence and the draining of magic, a new power seems to have made its home in Karazhan. The Dark Riders of Deadwind Pass, though rarely seen, have a connection to Karazhan. However, no one knows who their master is. One recent sighting is cause for concern — the Dark Riders seek the Scythe of Elune, a powerful artifact with the ability to summon the vile worgen into this world.

If you traced the ley lines traversing Azeroth, you would find they all converge under Karazhan.[29] However, this is no longer true after Malygos redirected Azeroth's ley lines to the Nexus.

The Burning Crusade[]

Bc icon This section concerns content related to The Burning Crusade.

Karazhan loading screen

Karazhan's in-game loading screen.

At some point, the tower of Karazhan had sealed itself and several agents of the Eye were trapped there.[30] Inside, the agents died for unknown reasons, and the magic of the tower notably prevented Koren's soul from finding eternal rest. Before the closing, demonic agents of the Burning Legion managed to enter into Karazhan, as the tower is a portal into Twisting Nether, a beacon shining into other worlds.[31]

Since this time, the mages of Violet Eye have been guarding and examining the tower and its secrets,[32] as it is their mission to ensure that the tower doesn't fall into the wrong hands, or the possible repercussions would be unthinkable.[31] With the help of the adventurers, Archmage Alturus discovered that the haunted tower was no longer emanating all manner of arcane currents, but instead, became a huge energy vacuum with a very faint demonic echo.[33]

With the help of Khadgar,[34] and somehow of Medivh in the past,[35] the adventurers managed to reform Inv misc key 07 [The Master's Key]. Once Karazhan was reopened, Archmage Alturus sent the adventurer to assess the situation inside and to find Inv misc book 06 [Keanna's Log], an encoded log of all her observations, and advised them to seek help from the ghost Koren.[36] In the meantime, the Violet Eye sent three agents to track down Inv misc book 06 [Medivh's Journal], but none of them came out and the adventurer was thus sent to accomplish the mission.[37] Inside the tower, the agents Wravien, Gradav, Kamsis, somehow succumbed to the dark magic of Karazhan during their investigation,[38] dooming their souls to relive their final moments forever.[39][40] Despite the curse, they still managed to help the adventurer who later brought back the diary to Archmage Alturus.[41]

The adventurers of the Horde and Alliance later raided the tower, defeating its ghostly inhabitants and Prince Malchezaar at the very top of the tower, in the Netherspace.

Scourge Invasion[]

During the second Scourge Invasion, Med'an, Medivh's son, entered the tower and met with the avatar of his father who told him about his history.[42]

Later, Karazhan was infiltrated by Tenris Mirkblood, an elven prince of the Scourge. The Argent Dawn sent Alliance and Horde heroes to kill him and learn Lich King's orders.[43]

Dark Riders[]

Comics title This section concerns content related to the Warcraft manga or comics.

Around the time of Shattering, a group of soldiers from the Night Watch militia led by Althea Ebonlocke along with Karlain, Mardigan, Revil Kost and Brink attacked the Dark Riders in Duskwood only to be teleported to Karazhan by one of the Dark Riders. While Karlain and Mardigan were watching a cursed vision in the Opera House, the rest battled against the Curator. Brink then found an amulet which he used to return their enemies and the Night Watch back in time preventing the events leading them to engage in battle. Brink and Revil then regrouped with Karlain and Mardigan in the Opera House, witnessing the true vision of Aredhel's death. After this, they teleported out of the cursed tower.[16]


Legion This section concerns content related to Legion.
Return to Karazhan loading screen

Return to Karazhan loading screen.

After witnessing the return of the Burning Legion, Khadgar entered Karazhan in order to find knowledge against the demons. He was approached by the spirit of Medivh who said that it is time to fulfill his destiny by becoming Azeroth's next Guardian. Khadgar refused and the spirit revealed himself to be, in fact, a dreadlord in disguise. The archmage defeated him stating that Karazhan will not become a stand for the demons.[44]

Later, after learning of the Pillars of Creation from Magni Bronzebeard in Ulduar, Khadgar returns to Karazhan with an adventurer to find their location, as knowledge of the pillars had been entrusted to the Guardian of Tirisfal. But Khadgar's reminiscing about his apprenticeship years ago is interrupted when an echo of Medivh himself interferes and brings down Khadgar's wards around the tower, allowing the Burning Legion to invade and try to stop them from finding the Pillars' location. Khadgar is able to alter the tower's defenders to fight off the Burning Legion while he and the adventurer retrieve a book authored by Alodi, the first Guardian, which contains information on the Pillars of Creation.[45]

By this time, Khadgar considers the Guardian's Library at the least to be his.[46]

Return to Karazhan[]

Some time later, Moroes has been overlooking the neighborhood of Karazhan, and noticed the forces of Burning Legion marching towards Karazhan, which he saw as an omen heralding the return of Medivh. He invited them into the tower. The Legion intended to use the tower as a conduit to each and every one of the countless worlds that they had consumed during their Burning Crusade, but Medivh severed the connection between Karazhan and those worlds.[47]

After he was killed by Moroes, Darius became a ghost and was granted the rank of mage posthumously. He then received the new charge of sprucing up Karazhan, in order for it to be a bit more inviting in case Khadgar had further need of it.[48] Now able to enter the tower safely, Darius enlisted the help of the adventurers in his tasks to clear the tower of the vermin inside,[49][50] to calm the ghosts in the Opera Hall,[51] and to disable The Curator once more.[52]

After the Argus Campaign, Khadgar returned here.[53] Magni later visited him and, studying the tomes here, they came up with a plan to destabilize the Sword of Sargeras in Silithus: The Wound.[54]

Battle for Azeroth[]

Battle for Azeroth This section concerns content related to Battle for Azeroth.

At the time of the Fourth War, the Black Prince Wrathion journeyed to Karazhan where he received information from the library that allowed him to craft a potion that could cleanse someone of the Old Gods' corruption. While there, he encountered the shade of Medivh, who encouraged him that while Wrathion could not change the past, he could forge a new legacy to leave for the future.[55]

Exploring Azeroth[]

WoW-novel-logo-16x62 This section concerns content related to the Warcraft novels, novellas, or short stories.

Following the Fourth War, Khadgar still occupied the tower, and SI:7 check up on the tower and him. The archmage wrote a letter to Mathias Shaw about the status of artifacts stored in Karazhan, its presence greatly facilitating the task, and revealed that he was also trying to repair the erratic Curator. Revil Kost came back to return the Cloak of Purity after availing himself of its protection as he hunted the Dark Riders.[56]


In the RPG[]

Icon-RPG This section contains information from the Warcraft RPG which is considered non-canon.

Karazhan is also known as the Ivory Tower of Karazhan or Ivory Spire of Karazhan.[57]

Notes and trivia[]


The Karazhan gryphon roost.[58]

  • Revil Kost described Karazhan as a blasphemous place infested by the fel, forcing him to wear the Cloak of Purity to be protected from its corruption.[16]
  • The head maid of the tower was an animated broom called Babblet.
  • Christopher Lesson once performed in the opera at Karazhan.
  • In the tower was a fully equipped pantry of spell components, including a larder of aromatic and thaumaturgic herbs, and a lapidarium of crushed semi-precious stones.[59]
  • The tower of Karazhan contains horse head animal motifs in various ornamentation as a reference to Anduin Lothar and the Brotherhood of the Horse.[60]
  • During Medivh's life, a dwarven gryphon rider visited Karazhan twice a week to act as a courier between the mage and the outside world.[61] But horseback messengers and supply wagons also regularly came for less urgent matters and to restock the tower's larders.[62]
  • When heading to confront Onyxia in Stormwind City, Reginald Windsor declared that "As was fated a lifetime ago in Karazhan, monster - I come - and with me I bring justice." and "You will not escape your fate, Onyxia. It has been prophesied - a vision resonating from the great halls of Karazhan. It ends now..."[63] Karazhan has no other known connection to Windsor or Onyxia, and no explanation has been provided for these statements.
  • Karazhan was originally described as an isolated tower with Medivh living as a hermit. This has since been retconned with various guests visiting the tower.[64]
  • The Karazhan gryphon roost is a leftover from the planning phase of Karazhan. Before the teleport to Aran's room was implemented, the original plan was to have a flight path that connected to the top of Karazhan for the convenience of groups who had already cleared most of the instance.[citation needed]  With the ability to fly in Azeroth it is now possible to reach the ledge, but the portal is still blocked. It is notable that a skeletal gryphon can be seen flying around the tower too.
    • In The Last Guardian, Medivh and Khadgar used the gryphons to reach Stormwind and the Black Morass.
  • When Karazhan was first announced, there were rumors that an upside-down version of the tower existed, extending down from the bottom floor, deep underground. This rumor referred to The Last Guardian by Jeff Grubb, a novel that details the last weeks of (living) activity within the tower. Lower Karazhan's layout is the same as the above-ground areas, but reversed, with the layout of the top floor of the normal tower being the same as the layout of the bottom floor in this tower and so on. Medivh's secret chambers are at the very bottom.
  • A curious easter egg is hidden below the tower outside the instance. If you can get under it, you can find a Smiley face on the ground.
  • An abandoned village in Deadwind Pass can be seen from inside the instance, but the village doesn't exist in the outer game world. It can be explored by using spells such as Spell nature farsight [Far Sight] from Nightbane's terrace.
  • Karazhan was originally planned to play a role in the event preceding the release of Warlords of Draenor, with a phased scenario taking place inside Karazhan. Players would have been sent to Karazhan to investigate its links to the destruction of the Dark Portal. However, this plan was scrapped before the expansion's beta.[65]
  • The tower was intended to have a garden maze in its Warcraft III: Reforged depiction.[66]
  • says the following about Karazhan: The decrepit tower of Karazhan once housed one of the greatest powers Azeroth has ever known: the sorcerer Medivh. Since his death, a terrible curse has pervaded the tower and the surrounding lands. The spirits of nobles from nearby Darkshire reportedly walk its halls, suffering a fate worse than death for their curiosity. More dangerous spirits wait within Medivh's study, for it was there that he summoned demonic entities to do his bidding. However, the brave and foolish are still relentlessly drawn to Karazhan, tempted by rumors of unspeakable secrets and powerful treasures. Forge a group of ten stalwart heroes, and journey to the tower in Deadwind Pass — but be warned that only those who have achieved level 70 should dare enter.


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.
  • In The Last Guardian, Medivh theorized that the arcane explosion that formed the crater and the building of Karazhan itself only happened because some day he would come to live there.[13] With the revelation in Chronicle that Aegwynn built the tower and was at least partially manipulated by Sargeras within her,[67] it's possible the construction was all a plan of Sargeras' to eventually use as his base while possessing Medivh. In addition, Sargeras also sent the necrolyte Sataiel to turn Deadwind Pass into a magical nexus in the first place,[68] which was the reason it was chosen as Karazhan's location.
  • It is likely that the inhabitants of the tower are not permanently killed after their defeat. It is supported by the returns of the Curator and Terestian Illhoof.


Fan art



  1. ^ The Last Guardian, prologue
  2. ^ The Last Guardian, pg. 195, 250
  3. ^ N [45] Holding the Lines
  4. ^ Shade of Medivh#Adventure Guide
  5. ^ Inv misc book 16 [Wrathion's Journal]
  6. ^ World of Warcraft: Exploring Azeroth: The Eastern Kingdoms, pg. 24
  7. ^ World of Warcraft: Exploring Azeroth: The Eastern Kingdoms, pg. 31
  8. ^ The Last Guardian, Prologue
  9. ^ The Last Guardian, pg. 89
  10. ^ Tome of Blighted Implements
  11. ^ Archive of the Tirisgarde#Aluneth, Greatstaff of Magna
  12. ^ World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 1, pg. 152
  13. ^ a b The Last Guardian, pg. 91 - 92
  14. ^ Archive of the Tirisgarde#Ebonchill, Greatstaff of Alodi
  15. ^ The Last Guardian, chapter 9
  16. ^ a b c Dark Riders
  17. ^ World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 1, pg. 112
  18. ^ N [70R] Assessing the Situation
  19. ^ Koren#Quotes
  20. ^ N [70R] Keanna's Log
  21. ^ World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 2, pg. 117
  22. ^ World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 2, pg. 118
  23. ^ World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 2, pg. 133
  24. ^ The Last Guardian, pg. 306 - 308
  25. ^ Archmage Angela Dosantos#Quotes
  26. ^ Warrior: Divided
  27. ^ Warrior: United
  28. ^ Zones - Karazhan
  29. ^ Archmage Alturus#Quotes
  30. ^ N [70] Khadgar
  31. ^ a b N [70R] A Demonic Presence
  32. ^ N [70] The Contact from Dalaran
  33. ^ N [70] Arcane Disturbances
  34. ^ N [70D] Entry Into Karazhan
  35. ^ N [70] Return to Khadgar
  36. ^ N [70R] Assessing the Situation
  37. ^ N [70R] Medivh's Journal
  38. ^ N [70R] The Shade of Aran
  39. ^ N [70] In Good Hands
  40. ^ N [70] Kamsis
  41. ^ N [70R] The Master's Terrace
  42. ^ World of Warcraft: The Comic: Hard Choices
  43. ^ N [70R] Chamber of Secrets
  44. ^ Harbingers
  45. ^ N [10-45] Hiding in the Stacks
  46. ^ N [10-45] The Diamond King, Archmage Khadgar says: It is not every day a planet points me to my own library.
  47. ^ Viz'aduum the Watcher fight
  48. ^ Mage Darius#Quotes
  49. ^ N [45D] Return to Karazhan: Book Wyrms
  50. ^ N [45D] Return to Karazhan: Clearing Out the Cobwebs
  51. ^ N [45D] Return to Karazhan: High Stress Hiatus
  52. ^ N [45D] Return to Karazhan: Rebooting the Cleaner
  53. ^ B [45] The Speaker's Perspective
  54. ^ B [110] The Speaker's Call
  55. ^ Torn Journal Page #58
  56. ^ World of Warcraft: Exploring Azeroth: The Eastern Kingdoms, pg. 33
  57. ^ Lands of Conflict, pg. 44
  58. ^ WoW Insider, 2008-02-17.
  59. ^ The Last Guardian, chapter 6
  60. ^ New York Times article
  61. ^ The Last Guardian, chapter 5
  62. ^ The Last Guardian, chapter 9
  63. ^ A [60R] The Great Masquerade
  64. ^ World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 2
  65. ^ Warlords of Draenor Dev Interviews, Proving Grounds Requirement in WoD, Blue Tweets (2014-02-23).
  66. ^ Warcraft III: Reforged: The First War/Mission08
  67. ^ World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 1, pg. 152
  68. ^ Legion: Warlock Artifact Reveal