Afterlives - Protectors of Maldraxxus.png
Faction/Affiliation Necrolord Covenant; Mawsworn
Racial capital Seat of the Primus
Racial leader(s) IconSmall Primus.gif The Primus
Homeworld Maldraxxus, Shadowlands
Area(s) Maldraxxus; Bastion; Revendreth; The Maw; Oribos

Maldraxxi[1] (or Necrolords) are the various types of undead that inhabit the eponymous realm of the Shadowlands known as Maldraxxus and make up the forces of the Necrolord Covenant and its loyal Undying Army.

In Maldraxxus, the birthplace of necromantic magic among the necrolords, strength is rewarded and weakness cast aside. The souls of the ambitious and contentious are forged into an immortal army charged with the defense of the Shadowlands,[2] with masters of the powers of death turning legions of ambitious souls into relentless immortal armies, and necrotic soldiers being forged by an eternity of war or are made from the bodies taken as spoils of war.[3]

Maldraxxus is a place all about flesh shaping and resources given to soldiers to become the best army they can. Someone arriving in Maldraxxus is given a very basic kind of form that they can inhabit and then based on their victories or their losses they get upgrades or downgrades to that body, the little scrawny leftover abominations are an example for those that just didn't work out, whereas someone like Draka and Vashj who was successful working their way up the ladders very quickly they are in the position where they could start making some choices and are given some latitude in order to decide their form and start shaping their flesh their way, if someone doesn't prove themself then those choices dissipate pretty quickly.[4]


The Maldraxxi in the field of battle.

Maldraxxus is the birthplace of necromantic magic[5] and home to the forces that were called upon by the Lich King and the Scourge on Azeroth.[6] The Maldraxxi were unified under an Eternal One known as the Primus. The most tactical and long-thinking of the Eternal Ones,[7] he was a master strategist who was nearly unbeatable on the field of battle[3] and was notorious for always thinking far ahead of everyone else.[8] The Primus embodied the five traits of the ideal Maldraxxi soldier, traits he also instilled into the five houses: ambition, might, insight, guile, and the relentless pursuit of victory.[9][10] In addition to his military might, he was also known as a legendary weaponsmith.[11] The one rule the Primus impressed upon the houses was that the rivalry that existed between his five houses must never overshadow their duty to defend the realms of Death at any cost.[12]

The Maldraxxi are split into five houses, the House of the Chosen, the House of Constructs, the House of Eyes, the House of Rituals and the House of Plagues; each with their own specialties. These houses pledged unending loyalty to the Primus, but began to waver from his vision as protectors of the Shadowlands after his disappearance. This led to the destruction of the House of Eyes and Plagues by the House of Rituals and Constructs. In absence of the Primus, the leaders of the three remaining houses now ruthlessly fight one another to claim the Seat of the Primus and the position of commanding the armies of Maldraxxus. Before he disappeared, the Primus left behind cryptic messages and prophecies concerning the coming of one who would embody the might of Maldraxxus and save the realm from itself.[3][13]

Maldraxxi invading Bastion.

Maldraxxi encampment in Revendreth.

The House of Rituals and House of Constructs were the first to expose their betrayal by invading Bastion, to the horror of Margrave Krexus.[14] Margrave Krexus was betrayed by Vyraz, who had also aligned with these traitors and claimed the title of Margrave for himself,[15][16] and it is revealed both that Margrave Akarek and the House of Eyes as well as Margrave Stradama and the House of Plagues fell because of the House of Rituals.[17][18] It is revealed the civil war had been orchestrated by Kel'Thuzad as Baron of Rituals, working with Denathrius to help the Jailer,[19][20] who betrays Margrave Sin'dane and claims power.[21]

Prince Renathal and his forces help the Necrolords defeat Kel'Thuzad, as well as take back the Medallion of Dominion he had been promised by Denathrius[22] and given by the Tithelord[23] with which he could've subjugated all venthyr and altered the fabric of the Shadowlands itself.[24]

The remaining Maldraxxi loyal to the purpose of Maldraxxus and the leadership of the Primus took base in the Seat of the Primus; Margrave Sin'dane has allied herself with them after Kel'Thuzad's attempted betrayal. Margrave Vyraz retains control of the House of the Chosen and House of Constructs territory[citation needed] , with many members of the House of Rituals remaining loyal to Kel'Thuzad.


The Primus, the leader of the Necrolords.

Do not assume the strength of which I speak is based on physical might alone. The talents of the Margraves who govern the Houses of Maldraxxus are a testament to that.[25]

The Houses of Maldraxxus are the five divisions of the Undying Army. A soul is selected for a House by its Margrave in the midst of combat upon arrival, with the Primus serving as the tie-breaker.[26] Each House has a specific approach to training and development corresponding to the nature and role of their forces.

However, many aspects of Maldraxxus by necessity require collaboration, such as all necropoli requiring a lich to fly,[27] a construct to serve as the mechanic,[28] and an aranakk to navigate,[29] or how both fleshcrafting of the constructs and soul manipulation of the liches is needed in the creation of abomination,[30] or how the slimes of the plagues would create the poisons of the eyes.[31]

All Necrolords receive a portion of the Primus' power in order to carry out their duty of defending the Shadowlands from external forces.[32] The defectors among the Maldraxxi following Kel'Thuzad and Vyraz serve the Jailer.

House Current Margrave Current Barons Primary Forces
House of the Chosen  Draka  Alexandros Mograine
IconSmall Gladiator Male.gifIconSmall Gladiator Female.gif Maldraxxi gladiators
House of Eyes Vacant* (see below) IconSmall MalVashj.gif Baroness Vashj
IconSmall Aranakk.gif Aranakk
House of Plagues Vacant Vacant* (see below)
Vacant* (see below)
IconSmall Necrolord.gif Plague Inventors
IconSmall Sludge.gif Plague Slimes
IconSmall SlimeSkeleton.gif Plague Constructs
House of Constructs Vacant Vacant
IconSmall Abomination2.gifIconSmall PlagueEruptor2.gifIconSmall Leftover.gif Abomination
IconSmall MadScientist2.gif Fleshstitcher Surgeons
House of Rituals  Sin'dane IconSmall Lich2.gif Balmedar
IconSmall Lich2.gif Liches
IconSmall Necrolord.gif Necromancers
  • Note: IconSmall Aranakk.gifManipulator Zalisar has reformed the House of Eyes under his leadership, but is not described or named "Margrave" and is killed in the same quest he is introduced.[33]
  • Note: IconSmall Necrolord.gifPlague Deviser Marileth was the soulbind[34] and confidant of the late Margrave Stradama and considered himself responsible for the House of Plagues before his madness.[18] Likewise, the other survivors seem to take direction from him. The game does not refer to him as Baron explicitly, however.
  • Note: IconSmall Necrolord.gifFoul-Tongue Cyrlix is the "Master of Mixing" and directing the other survivors in their continued experimentation,[35] and thus may be the other Baron.

Former Margraves:


As stated, the Maldraxxi take various forms and shapes to fit and suit their roles. From the imposing gladiators to the stealthy aranakk, some are also able to choose largely unique shapes.


A Maldraxxi skeleton.

In Maldraxxus, skeletons, also called animates,[36][37][38] appear to be the most common form of undead within the realm of the Shadowlands, seen in all five houses. They serve a multitude of roles amongst the Maldraxxi; from serving as mages, warriors, craftsmen, and fodder. They are shown to be capable of being summoned by some of the greater Maldraxxi necromancers in great numbers, though they should not be underestimated. Quite a few skeletons serve in high positions, such as Bonesmith Heirmir, who was apprenticed by the Primus himself.

Unlike traditional skeletons, these warriors have flesh that still sticks to their frames like sinew and come in a uniform style that appears to be unique to the Maldraxxi.


A Maldraxxi necromancer.

A form typically adopted by spellcasters and researchers; the necromancers[39] of Maldraxxus draw reminiscent claim to the Liches and mortal necromancers of Azeroth. Adorned in flowing robes with magnificent crystals and dark hoods, these undead typically fall into the employ of the House of Rituals as eponymous necromancers, the House of Constructs as those who piece together the various abominations that give the house its name and, before its destruction, the House of Plagues as researchers such as Plague Deviser Marileth.

Despite this, necromancers could be found in the employ of the Chosen and Eyes, though in lesser numbers. Some of these necromancers also seem to take on the path of the warrior, fighting with blades or riding atop massive beasts. Necromancers experiment on the souls of the ambitious and contentious, reforming only the greatest into undead soldiers who protect the Shadowlands.[13]


Maldraxxi gladiators.

The most powerful warriors and champions become gladiators within the ranks of the House of the Chosen. These peerless battlefield tacticians tirelessly train with a variety of rune-forged weapons and are unmatched in martial combat. They are much more stocky than their ossein skeleton companions; garbed in anything from simple small clothes to full sets of imposing boneplate armor. They are, as stated, almost exclusively in service to the House of the Chosen; seen as the hallmark warriors of the house. Peerless battlefield tacticians, gladiators are unmatched in martial combat and train with a variety of rune-forged weapons.[3]

The gladiators make their appearance predominantly in the Necrolord Covenant as part of the forces of Baroness Draka and Baron Mograine, though they also make up the treasonous host of Vyraz, who usurped the House of the Chosen from Krexus after slaying him.


A Maldraxxi scientist.

A form very reminiscent of the Forsaken of Azeroth, the scientists of Maldraxxus are a semi-common form of undead that specialize in scientific pursuits. These mad surgeons typically give their employ to the House of Constructs and the now fallen House of Plagues. They are typically accompanied either by vicious abominations and beasts of flesh, or plague-formed monstrosities as a result. Most carry backpacks with containers of plague upon their back, as well as numerous vials and potions from their unstable concoctions. Most unsettlingly, their heads are typically wrenched open; containing domes of what seem to be plague fluid or their exposed brains.


See also: Lich

A Maldraxxi lich.

In Maldraxxus, liches are scheming skeletal sorcerers who use anima to fuel their potent magic and practice their craft primarily in the House of Rituals.[3] Margrave Sin'dane had been manipulated by her new Baron, Kel'Thuzad, who in turn was in service to the Jailer, causing a civil war within Maldraxxus and helping an invasion of Bastion and Revendreth.

Liches are virtually identical to their Azerothian counterparts, including possessing a phylactery that allows them to reincarnate as long as it is not destroyed. They have been found working for houses outside of the House of Rituals, such as the House of the Chosen.


See also: Abomination

A Maldraxxi abomination, with a similar appearance to Scourge abominations.

In Maldraxxus, the corpses of the slain are brought to the House of Constructs, where the finest pieces of flesh and bone are skillfully assembled into a new form. These reanimated monstrosities are given a new purpose in a body that is greater than the sum of its once separate parts.[3] Constructs have formed the backbone of Maldraxxi armies in more wars than anyone can count. A well-constructed body can turn any soul into a potent frontline weapon.[40] These abominations are far more advanced than those of the Scourge, being fully sealed, sometimes possessing extra mouths, and, most notably, being capable of far greater intelligence. Indeed the leader of the House of Constructs is an abomination, Margrave Gharmal, with intelligence fully suited to match its station.

Unlike Azerothian abominations, Maldraxxi abominations come in all shapes and sizes, with some resembling Plague eruptors, while others resemble Ghouls. Some of these abominations have been found working for houses outside of the House of Constructs, such as Ansid the Mechanic, who works as a member of the House of Eyes.


An Aranakk.

The aranakk are a spider-like race belonging primarily to the House of Eyes in Maldraxxus. They once served as the house's master assassins and scouts, but with their necropolis lying in ruins, they now find themselves bannerless nomads. However, they still retain their sense of purpose and are willing to share their secrets for a price.[3] A venthyr historian speculated that the aranakk were created long ago specifically for their purpose to be spies for Maldraxxus.[42]

Some Aranakk have been found outside of the House of Eyes, with a number of them working for the House of Constructs. Under Thread Mistress Leeda, they appear to be providing the silk used for stitchwork that the house uses.


A boneguard.

Boneguards[43] are a type of powerful, skeletal Maldraxxi construct. Summoning one of these beings requires a large amount of anima.[43][44] Successfully summoning one and defeating it is the test of the House of Rituals for the ritualist's mantle.[45]

Boneguards appear most dangerously as an ascended form of another soul, as seen with Mortanis who transforms himself from a necromancer into a boneguard, and with Thanikos; who is forcibly changed from a kyrian into a boneguard as Thanikos Spinerender. In the latter case, Thanikos was capable of being controlled by another Maldraxxi. Some are considered elder spirits of Maldraxxus itself, like Carcaeus.

Boneguards appear to be the precursors to the similar-looking bone wraiths of Azeroth.

Soul-rotted fleshes

A soul-rotted flesh.

Soul-rotted fleshes in Maldraxxus are amalgamations of countless fallen warriors, these monolithic guardians make the earth beneath them tremble with every step they take during their patrols. Should outsiders be foolish enough to invade Maldraxxus, they will find themselves cowering in fear before these behemoths.[3]

Champion Bloodrot is a soul-rotted flesh champion that takes part in the Theater of Pain with other contestants.

The fact that soul-rotted fleshes are amalgamations of many fallen warriors makes them similar to abominations.


Not all Maldraxxi share a template. Some have managed to craft for themselves unique bodies. Some notable characters Draka, Alexandros Mograine and Vashj took forms that resemble what they looked like in life. Vashj was given the opportunity to return to a night elf form, but opted instead for a take on her naga appearance, preferring the way people treated her when she was a naga over a handmaiden.[46] The margraves, Krexus, Sin'dane, Gharmal and Akarek all have unique variants of the most iconic form their own house uses.

Mordretha, the Endless Empress has a skeletal naga form.

In the explosion that destroyed the House of Plagues Margrave Stradama was transformed into a monstrous new form, while others in the explosion have become mindless slime giants.

Scrapper Minoire a lich melts into a form of an ooze.[47]

Neena a former worgen requested a construct form in a shape of a dog, something that her Margrave didn't want to give her.

Beckoned Wraiths and War Wraiths in Bastion also appear to be types of Maldraxxi.[48][49]

Micromancer from Maldraxxus has the appearance of a gnome skeleton with a necromancer headgear and staff.


In addition to the current leadership or prominent members of the armies of Maldraxxus, in the Iron Trench Faded Epitaphs are placed to memorialize fallen Necrolord heroes.

Notes and trivia

  • The Necrolord Covenant mage ability [Deathborne] transforms the caster into a Maldraxxi skeleton.
  • One of the random effects of  [The Necronom-i-nom] toy turns the player into a Maldraxxi skeleton.
  • The Necrotic Acolyte disguise[50] in Maldraxxus turns the player into a Maldraxxi necromancer, with nine customizations for the disguise.[51][52] The Mannequin near Moret the Vogue is used to alter the appearance of the Necrotic Acolyte disguise.
  • The aranakk of the Maldraxxi are the fifth spider-like race in Warcraft, after the nerubians, some of the fire spiders, the aranasi, and the fal'dorei.
  • Maldraxxi necromancers are visually inspired by the undead unit of the same name from Warcraft III. Artist Matthew McKeown started designing the Maldraxxian necromancers by pushing shapes to get a distinct silhouette and incorporating iconic elements from the Warcraft III necromancers, such as crossing daggers, large sleeves, and a giant spell book. These elements show the necromancers' ritualistic nature and keeps them recognizable as necromancers that players know. Since necromancers live alongside liches in the House of Rituals, they wear similar purple-and-gold clothing and have similarly-shaped skulls with long chins resembling Egyptian pharaohs.[7][53]
  • Purple robes on Maldraxxi necromancers seem to indicate allegiance to the House of Rituals, green is usually only seen in the Houses of Plagues and Constructs, and black is primarily used in the House of the Chosen.
  • In-game Maldraxxi necromancers have three fingers on each hand, but Afterlives: Maldraxxus depicts a necromancer with a five-fingered hand.
  • Maldraxxi skeletons use the Kul Tiran male rigging.
  • Maldraxxi necromancers use the same animations as male Zandalari trolls.
  • Maldraxxi gladiator female version has the Kul Tiran female animation rig.
  • Maldraxxi gladiator male version has the ogre animation rig with a different standing posture.
  • Maldraxxi scientists use the same animations as the Forsaken male. They appear to be a spin on the mad scientist characters that can be found in the Forsaken and Scourge.
  • Maldraxxi skeletons sound files are named "ossien summon" for combat sounds,[54] "bony skeleton" for males,[55] and "salgin" and "Maldraxxus Skeleton" for females.[56][57] Both males and females use the same model.
  • Maldraxxi gladiators sound files are named "Maldraxxus Gladiator".[58]
  • Maldraxxi scientists sound files are named "MadScientist2".[59]
  • Soul-rotted flesh Maldraxxi use a recolored version of the "blood abomination" model.
  • Some elements of the Maldraxxi take from certain music genres, popular references, and some cultural derivatives such as from Rome and Norse cultures.

See also

Creatures that can be formed from fallen Maldraxxi:

  • IconSmall HandSkeletal.gif Crawling hand
  • IconSmall Spine.gif Crawling spine
  • IconSmall Corpsehound.gif Darkhound, a stitched version is crafted by the House of Constructs.[60]
  • IconSmall Deathroc.gif Deathroc, are stitched monstrosities from the discarded viscera, bone, and organs that were not required to construct soldiers for the House of Constructs.
  • IconSmall SlimeSkeleton.gif Slime giant, are mindless beings of animated slime created after the explosion that destroyed the House of Plagues.


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.

Dead Newcomers could be an indication that forms given to new souls that arrive in Maldraxxus are skeletons.

As Maldraxxus is home to the forces that were called upon by the Lich King and the Scourge on Azeroth this could mean that the undead of the Scourge and Forsaken could be considered forms of Maldraxxi.



  1. ^ N [60] You're Dead To Me
  2. ^ Necrolord Covenant: A Closer Look Inside the Might of Maldraxxus
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h Blizzard Entertainment Blizzard Entertainment 2020-06-11. Shadowlands Preview: Maldraxxus and the Necrolord Covenant. Archived from the original on 2020-06-11.
  4. ^ The Lost Codex, Feb 22, 2021, from 18min15sec to 19min48sec in the video
  5. ^ Blizzard Entertainment Blizzard Entertainment. Shadowlands - Home. Retrieved on 2019-11-02.
  6. ^ Blizzard Entertainment Blizzard Entertainment 2019-11-01. BlizzCon 2019 - World of Warcraft: What's Next. Retrieved on 2019-11-02. (dead link)
  7. ^ a b Cass Marshall 2020-09-24. World of Warcraft’s Maldraxxus is the grittiest zone in the Shadowlands. Polygon. Archived from the original on 2020-09-24.
  8. ^ N [52] The Path to Glory
  9. ^ N [52] Meet the Margrave
  10. ^ N [60] Welcome To Our House: Baroness Draka yells: Though the Primus has long been absent from these halls, the Maw Walker embodies the virtues he instilled in the five houses.
  11. ^ N [52] The Seat of the Primus
  12. ^ World of Warcraft: Grimoire of the Shadowlands and Beyond, pg. 115
  13. ^ a b Blizzard Entertainment Blizzard Entertainment. Necrolord - Covenants - Shadowlands. Retrieved on 2020-06-11.
  14. ^ N [52] Land of Opportunity
  15. ^ N [54] Among the Chosen
  16. ^ N [54] In Death We Are Truly Tested
  17. ^ N [52] War is Deception
  18. ^ a b N [53] Applied Science
  19. ^ N [60] It's Treason, Then
  20. ^ N [60] Lady Ouix'Ara
  21. ^ N [60] The Traitor Unmasked
  22. ^ Renathal's Notes
  23. ^ N [60] The Tithelord
  24. ^ N [60] The Third Fall of Kel'Thuzad
  25. ^ The Art of World of Warcraft: Shadowlands, pg. 107
  26. ^ The Lost Codex BlizzConline Developer Interview: Steve Danuser & Morgan Day | Chains of Domination & Shadowlands
  27. ^ N [60] Outside Influence
  28. ^ N [60] Rage Against the Cage
  29. ^ N [60] Extra Limbs
  30. ^ N [53] Breaking Down Barriers
  31. ^ N [60 Daily] Volatile Reactions
  32. ^ N [60] Power of the Primus
  33. ^ N [60 Daily] Spider's Lair
  34. ^ N [60] Come On, We're Simpatico!
  35. ^ N [53W] Callous Concoctions
  36. ^ N [53W] Ani-Matter Animator
  37. ^ N [60] Cut to the Bone
  38. ^ N [60] Blade of Blades
  39. ^ Crawbat#Pet Journal
  40. ^ N [60] Abominable Stitching and Me
  41. ^ The Lost Codex, Feb 22, 2021, at 19min05sec in the video
  42. ^ The Malice of Maldraxxus
  43. ^ a b N [52] Maintaining Order
  44. ^ Visectus
  45. ^ N [60G5] Mantle of Mastery
  46. ^ Vashj - Shadowlands quotes
  47. ^ N [53] Side Effects
  48. ^ Beckoned Wraith#Quotes
  49. ^ N [52] Double Tap
  50. ^ N [60] A Fitting Guise
  51. ^  [Crypt Couture]
  52. ^  [Plague Doctor's Mask]
  53. ^ Garth Holden 2020-09-24. A deep dive into Maldraxxus, the defenders of Death. SA Gamer. Archived from the original on 2020-09-24.
  54. ^ Wowhead - MON_Ossien_Summon_Attack_01_155624
  55. ^ Wowhead - MON_Bony_Skeleton_Greetings_01_154354
  56. ^ Wowhead - MON_Salgin_Greetings_01_153701
  57. ^ Wowhead - MON_MaldraxxusSkeleton_Greetings_01_153704
  58. ^ - MON_MaldraxxusGladiator_Attack_00_166298
  59. ^ Wowhead - MON_MadScientist2_Attack_00_159825
  60. ^  [Warstitched Darkhound]