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"Dreadlord" redirects here. For the Warcraft III hero, see Dreadlord (Warcraft III). For other uses, see Dreadlord (disambiguation).
Nathrezim
Sathrovarr HS.jpg
Faction/Affiliation The Jailer, Burning Legion, Illidari, Army of the Light, Silver Hand, Independent
Character classes

WoW Icon update.png Necromancer,[1] Paladin,[2] Warlock,[3]

Icon-RPG.png Arcanist, Rogue, Warrior
Racial leader(s)  Sire Denathrius
  Formerly  Tichondrius
Racial mount IconSmall Dreadsteed.gif Nightmare
Homeworld Revendreth; Nathreza
Area(s) Shadowlands; Twisting Nether; Great Dark Beyond; Argus; Azeroth; Outland; Draenor
Language(s) Nathrezim, Eredun

“That's the problem with the Nathrezim - at least an infernal has the courtesy of announcing its presence.”

Thalanir Dawnrise, sin'dorei scholar[4]

Nathrezim, also called dread lords[5] or dreadlords[6][7] in the Common tongue[8] or thal'kituun in their language, meaning "the unseen guests",[8] are intelligent and cunning demons who usually act as intelligence agents, interrogators and emissaries. These incredibly powerful and malefic beings wield the powers of darkness and mental domination. Though dreadlords have been known to revel in the gore of single combat, they generally prefer to manipulate and beguile their enemies from the shadows.[6] They are merciless villains who feed upon the energies of mortal creatures. They utilize terror and subterfuge - often turning brother against brother as whole worlds fall before their dark influence.[9]

They were originally created by Sire Denathrius within Sinfall in Revendreth after creating the original venthyr Court of Harvesters, created from the will of Denathrius, and were assumed banished and exiled by Denathrius for their actions and treachery that led to the invasion of the Light within the Ember Ward.[10][11] Prince Renathal considers them more his brothers due to the nature of their creation than his own fellow venthyr, who are created from mortal souls, and hoped they would return to Revendreth penitent and as family.[12]

One conclave of nathrezim went to a Void-consumed planet, where they were found by Sargeras and told him of how the Void and the Old Gods planned to corrupt a titan world soul before their birth, in order to consume the universe, leading to his corruption.[13] Nathrezim worked for the fiery lords of the Burning Legion, notably Kil'jaeden, as well as tacticians and lieutenants[6] upon the field of battle in times of war. While they are powerful foes on the battlefield, they prefer to turn nations against each other through manipulation and guile.[14] Their homeworld in the Twisting Nether, Nathreza, found a similar fate to Draenor, as Illidan Stormrage obliterated a great part of it. The demon hunter believed that he caused a cataclysmic explosion by overloading the portal he had opened to Nathreza.

During the Third War, some dreadlords served as the Lich King's jailors, at the behest of Kil'jaeden, and commanded the Plague of Undeath and the Scourge that swept through Lordaeron.

Description

Dreadlord from Warcraft III.

Dreadlords are psychic vampire-like beings who feed on the weak-minded and often use their victims as slaves. They have dead, grey skin like a corpse, no hair, and two sharp canines jutted down their mouth.[15] They are cunning and extremely skilled at magic — on par with the eredar — they are also deadly fighters.[15] Their demonic magics can drain the life of their victims, and they have been reported to devour the souls of their slain victims.[16]

They can amass a swarm of bats and have been known to put their enemies to sleep. They can also summon an infernal,[17] while a few choice dreadlords can create a doomguard from their fallen foes.[18] They prefer to work from the shadows, corrupting slowly, as opposed to assaulting their enemies directly. This makes the dreadlords the perfect henchmen for the most cunning of demons, Kil'jaeden the Deceiver.[citation needed]  They also act as intelligence agents and interrogators, likely when not commanding on the field of battle or manipulating things behind the scenes.[14]

The nathrezim have a war-centered culture with an emphasis on codes of conduct. It is forbidden for one of the nathrezim to kill another, a law that has been broken at least twice: once by Varimathras when he was ordered to kill his brother Balnazzar by Sylvanas Windrunner, and another time when Balnazzar attempted to kill Lothraxion.[19] The nathrezim serve as both the tacticians and field commanders of Archimonde and the henchmen of Kil'jaeden.

The nathrezim also seem to be quite talented smiths, being responsible for some of the most horrific and dangerous weapons to ever grace the world of Azeroth. Primary among these is the plague-infused blade Apocalypse.

After adventurers dealt with Mal'Ganis on behalf of the Knights of the Ebon Blade and Balnazzar twice for the Argent Dawn and the Argent Crusade, the Argent Crusade started taking any report that a nathrezim was "dead and gone" with a grain of salt. Indeed, they stated that a nathrezim killed in a conventional manner in the mortal plane only sends it back to the Twisting Nether. As such, the Argent Crusade considered any defeated nathrezim known to them to be alive and active; by name, this includes the brothers Balnazzar, Varimathras, and Detheroc.[20]

History

Origins

Denathrius, the creator of the nathrezim.

Ember Ward in Revendreth was once home to the nathrezim.

The nathrezim originate from Revendreth, one of the infinite realms of the Shadowlands, the afterlife. They were created by Sire Denathrius countless ages ago, just after the first venthyr and Court of Harvesters were sired, to infiltrate the other cosmic forces and spread the influence of Death. Their infiltrations went mostly unnoticed, but the nathrezim who infiltrated the Light were discovered. In revenge, the naaru and their forces assaulted Revendreth and set the ward once held by the nathrezim ablaze. Revendreth was defended by the newly created Stone Legion, and were successful in pushing the naaru back, though the naaru Z'rali was left behind and found by the dreadlords. The losses they suffered caused the Stonewright to blame the nathrezim for the loss of so many of her children, as the Light's attack was ultimately their fault. In order to end the conflict between nathrezim and venthyr, Denathrius agreed to exile the nathrezim to a world beyond the Shadowlands: Nathreza.[21][22][23] This, however, according to Mal'ganis, was a ruse secretly created by Denathrius as it was part of his plan to spread the influence of Death.[citation needed] 

They were once an enlightened and powerful race with unmatched summoning abilities.[24] Though they became demons overtime due to exposure to the Twisting Nether and fel,[25] the nathrezim were believed by other races to be one of the original races of demons born from the chaotic energies of the Nether. Cunning and manipulative, they dedicated their existence to mastering shadow magic and infiltrating mortal civilizations, turning nation against nation and corrupting the populace into new horrific breeds of demons as their societies crumbled from within.[26]

Sargeras and the Burning Legion

Titan Sargeras fighting demons including nathrezim.

One conclave of nathrezim dwelled on a world almost completely corrupted by the Old Gods, basking in their shadowy power, until the titan champion Sargeras discovered them. He ruthlessly interrogated the dreadlords, and it was from them that he learned of the Old Gods and the void lords. The dreadlords revealed that the void lords had sent the Old Gods out into the cosmos in order to find and corrupt a titan world-soul, transforming it into an unspeakably dark creature that not even the Pantheon could stand against. Enraged by this discovery, Sargeras killed the nathrezim and shattered the corrupted world upon which they dwelled.[27]

Ulthalesh was a nathrezim who rose to take control of the prison dimension of Mardum. When the titan Sargeras later returned and shattered Mardum to recruit forces for the Burning Legion, scores of demons refused to join him and instead rallied around Ulthalesh. From the fires of Mardum's destruction Sargeras forged a scythe and used it to harvest the souls of the rebellious demons, trapping them in a new prison. Ulthalesh, strongest of will, was the last to be devoured. Sargeras named the weapon Ulthalesh.[28]

Sometime after the creation of the Burning Legion Sargeras recruited the eredar into his service and one of their leaders, Kil'jaeden, enslaved the nathrezim under his terrible power. The dreadlords would serve as his personal agents through the universe, and they took pleasure in locating primitive races for their master to corrupt and bring into the fold. First amongst the dreadlords was Tichondrius the Darkener. Tichondrius served Kil'jaeden as the perfect soldier and agreed to bring Sargeras' burning will to all the dark corners of the universe.[29]

Kathra'natir turned the armies of the planet Navane against themselves. He held the sword  [Apocalypse] during this time.[30]

During the War of the Ancients, Tichondrius battled Jarod Shadowsong and Huln Highmountain at Eldarath in Azshara.[31] He was among many[32] dreadlord warriors who fought during the war.

More than 2,600 years before the First War, Kathra'natir returned to Dalaran. He spread plagues and disease, and used Apocalypse to warp the minds of the non-mage civilians, turning them against the magi.[30] He stole the Amulet of Waters from the Council, and through it he was able to control and corrupt Lordamere Lake.[33] He was later banished by Alodi, the first Guardian of Tirisfal and the Council of Tirisfal.[34] When he was banished, his sword Apocalypse was left behind.[30]

Third War

WC3RoC-logo.png This section concerns content related to Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos or its expansion The Frozen Throne.

At Kil'jaeden's command a group of dreadlords consisting of Tichondrius, Mal'Ganis, Balnazzar, Detheroc, and Varimathras tortured the orc shaman Ner'zhul after he had escaped from Draenor to the Twisting Nether. Eventually, Ner'zhul, his sanity cracking, would agree to serve Kil'jaeden. Kil'jaeden passed the orc's spirit through death and revived as a spectral entity. The dreadlords bound his disembodied spirit to a specifically crafted set of armor and a mighty runeblade called Frostmourne. These items were locked in a diamond-hard block of ice to imprison Ner'zhul.[35] The Lich King and the dreadlords who had tortured him were then sent to Azeroth in order to weaken any resistance that the Burning Legion would face during the Third War. While the Lich King gathered his strength, Tichondrius and his fellow dreadlords would serve as jailors and executors meant to hasten the Lich King's task by any means necessary. To this end, they would construct the Icecrown Citadel within Northrend. Though seemingly broken by the dreadlords, Ner'zhul sought vengeance and was able to play on the dreadlord's fears of Kil'jaeden in order trick them into allowing him to hurl Frostmourne out of the Frozen Throne.[36]

Mal'Ganis in Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos.

In time Ner'zhul recruited Kel'Thuzad, who subsequently created the Cult of the Damned, which helped spread the Plague of Undeath throughout Lordaeron. Kel'Thuzad's success allowed Ner'zhul to convince the dreadlords that the key to the Legion's victory would be through mortal servants. Thus when Ner'zhul saw potential in turning Arthas Menethil, the dreadlords agreed, to the point of having Kel'Thuzad reveal to Arthas and Jaina Proudmoore, who were investigating rumors of plague, that it was Mal'Ganis was the leader of the Scourge. As the Scourge destroyed town after town, the nathrezim hit at Arthas' weakness, his pride. Arthas began to take his inability to protect his people from the Scourge personally, and soon became obsessed with killing the dreadlord, especially after Mal'Ganis led Arthas to plague infected Stratholme and the young prince put the town to sword, over letting Mal'Ganis convert all of its inhabitants into undeath.

Determined to end Mal'Ganis Arthas journeyed to Northrend, where the nathrezim were prepared to turn him into the Lich King's greatest servant. Knowing that Arthas would become suspicious if Mal'Ganis led him to Frostmourne, the dreadlords manipulated Muradin Bronzebeard and his Dwarven Expedition into seeking out the runeblade as apart of their quest to locate ancient artifacts. With the dwarves seeking the runeblade, the Lich King used the Scourge to herd Muradin and Arthas into joining forces. In time Arthas obsession with the hated dreadlord led him further down the path of evil, first lying to his men, betraying his mercenaries, and finally forsaking his own soul to take up the runeblade Frostmourne, grievously wounding Muradin Bronzebeard in the process.[37]

Tichondrius in Warcraft III.

At the Lich King's command, Arthas killed Mal'Ganis, an act that infuriated the other dreadlords. However they did not punish the Lich King, as the entity convinced them that the death was an unfortunate accident, and had promised that with Arthas now under his complete control, the death knight would never again raise a hand against them.[38] Following the corruption of Prince Arthas Menethil, Tichondrius introduced himself to the death knight, providing him with orders from Ner'zhul, especially concerning the resurrection of Kel'Thuzad. Because he didn't entirely trust Arthas, Tichondrius pretended to be another one of the Lich King's followers. The ghost of Kel'Thuzad, however, informed Arthas that Tichondrius and the other dreadlords were actually the Lich King's jailers.

Anetheron, Tichondrius, and Mephistroth: at the Dreadlords' citadel, somewhere in the Twisting Nether.

Tichondrius regularly discussed the Scourge's progress with his colleagues, Anetheron and Mephistroth, who remained on a Legion planet in the Nether. The Darkener expressed (justified) concern that Ner'zhul had alternative plans for his new "champion", but Mephistroth pointed out that he "wouldn't dare undermine our efforts now."

The dreadlord continued his work, eventually overseeing the death of Uther the Lightbringer, the invasion and destruction of Quel'Thalas, and the siege of Dalaran. Once Archimonde was summoned, he decreed that the Lich King was no longer needed, and gave the dreadlords control of the Scourge.[39]

Invasion of Kalimdor

While the nathrezim aided the Legion in the destruction of Lordaeron, Tichondrius and the pitlord Mannoroth successfully engineered the death of Cenarius by taking advantage of the demi-god's quarrel with Grom Hellscream and the Warsong Clan by corrupted the orcs into the service of the Burning Legion. However soon after this the Warsong were defeated by the Horde and Human Expedition, who then purged Grom of the corruption, who at the cost of his own life killed Mannoroth.

Despite Mannoroth's death, the Burning Legion and thus the nathrezim commenced with the invasion of Kalimdor, the Scourge, more dangerous than ever thanks to the demonic support of felhounds, doomguard and infernals, was more than successful in penetrating Ashenvale without Cenarius's intervention. Though unbeknownst to the dreadlords, the Lich secretly hampered their command over the Scourge during this time.[40] The combined forces of the orcs and the humans, coupled with the resistance of the night elves, eventually managed to halt their progress.

Tichondrius defeated by Illidan in Felwood.

As the invasion of Kalimdor progressed, Tichondrius began corrupting the forests of Felwood using a powerful warlock artifact, the Skull of Gul'dan. However, the skull was consumed by Illidan Stormrage, who had been tipped off by none other than Arthas. Transformed by the skull into a demon-hybrid, Illidan used his newfound power to defeat Tichondrius.

Meanwhile, Anetheron had gone with Archimonde, and served as a personal guardsman. Anetheron showed his tenacity when he led the Scourge against the Sentinels, Alliance, and Horde in the final, climactic Battle of Mount Hyjal. He invaded the Great Alliance's base several times during the battle, calling infernals to serve him, with the objective of defeating the resistance so that Archimonde could ascend to crush the World Tree. However, Anetheron was killed during the battle.

Plaguelands civil war

Detheroc in Warcraft III: Reforged.

Unaware of the Burning Legion's defeat at Mount Hyjal, the nathrezim continued to lead the Scourge against the remnant Alliance forces within Lordaeron, under the leadership of Detheroc.[41] Over the course of the fighting, Dalvengyr was slain by blood elves and naga forces led by Kael'thas Sunstrider and Lady Vashj. At an unknown point in time following this, Detheroc would use his telepathy to enslave Othmar Garithos and his men.

Detheroc, Balnazzar, and Varimathras finally discovered that the Legion was defeated when Arthas returned from his sabbatical to Kalimdor and announced Archimonde's destruction. Arthas then attempted to slay them in order to complete the circle but the brothers quickly teleported away before Arthas could strike.[42]

Detheroc, Balnazzar and Varimathras meet Sylvanas in a plan to overthrow the Lich King.

The Dreadlord Insurgents plotted in the safety of the Tirisfal Glades and began to form a plan to ruin the undead king. Knowing that Ner'zhul, and Arthas, were losing their powers, they called to Sylvanas, who was no longer locked in loyalty to the Lich King, and asked for her assistance in the coup that was sure to entail. Sylvanas, hungry for vengeance for her current form and the slaughter of her people, agreed. Balnazzar and his brothers staged an ambush for Arthas within the Capital City ruins, separating Kel'Thuzad from him and attacking him with their minions. Balnazzar even loosed other dreadlords on him, but Arthas, rounding up the forces he could find still loyal to him, escaped, or so he thought.

Escorted by a cadre of banshees, Arthas was attacked by Sylvanas, who had prepared a long, grisly death for her murderer, and was about to begin her work when Kel'Thuzad interrupted and chased her off. Though he still lived, Arthas was gone from Lordaeron, or the Plaguelands as they were now called, and Balnazzar was free to reign over it as he liked. He sent Varimathras to bring Sylvanas to join their new order, but things went horribly awry.

Varimathras "kills" Balnazzar.

Unfortunately for Balnazzar, Sylvanas had plans of her own and laid siege to Lordaeron. She had defeated Balnazzar's brother Varimathras, who offered to serve her in exchange for his life. Sylvanas accepted and the dreadlord fought at her side in the attack on Lordaeron. Balnazzar received word from his scouts that Sylvanas had coerced Varimathras to her side, killed Detheroc, and allied with his human minion, Garithos. The banshee and her forces laid siege to Balnazzar's base, which he had fortified within the city ruins. Even armed with demons as his minions, Balnazzar found himself attacked from both ends by Sylvanas and Garithos, and despite his many threats, Balnazzar's forces were defeated.

Following their victory Sylvanas, Varimathras, and Garithos approached Balnazzar. Sylvanas ordered Varimathras to kill his brother as a testament to his loyalty to her. Varimathras was reluctant as killing another nathrezim was forbidden, but Sylvanas was adamant. Balnazzar was sure that Varimathras would never take that final step and was apparently destroyed.

After the civil war

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

Despite the Legion's defeat a number of dreadlords still remained on Azeroth, particularly in the Blasted Lands, with the most notable of them being Razelikh the Defiler, who sought to secure the land for the Legion. Razelikh was ultimately thwarted in this endeavor by Loramus Thalipedes.[43] At the same time in the northern Eastern Kingdoms, Balnazzar having faked his death, took on the guise of Saidan Dathrohan. As Saidan Dathrohan, he gained control of the Scarlet Crusade, who believed that they alone were not infected by the plague and attacked and killed all non-Crusaders on sight.

Within the forests of Ashenvale, the dreadlords Gorgannon and Diathorus the Seeker, plotted an attack against the Draenei at Forest Song and desired to enslave the orcs of Splintertree Post.[44] After becoming aware of their intentions Vindicator Vedaar and Valusha respectively sent Alliance and Horde agents with ending the nathrezim.[45]

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

After the fall of Magtheridon and the ascension of Illidan Stormrage as Lord of Outland, a number of nathrezim defected to the Illidari. Chief among them Lothros and Vagath, who would ultimately be slain during the invasion of Outland.[46][47] Prior to the arrival of Horde and Alliance forces to Outland, Illidan led his demon hunters on a daring raid to Nathreza, the nathrezim home world, in order to claim the Seal of Argus, a disc which held the record of the Legion's actions on the planet Argus, containing its location. When claiming the Seal of Argus, Illidan made a point of damaging the majority of the discs within Nathreza's vast archives.

After claiming his prize, Illidan and his force retreated to the portal back to Outland and retreated through it, fighting off more demons. Once all were through, Illidan collapsed the portal; by his calculations, this should have caused such damage to Nathreza as to shatter the planet in the same fashion as Draenor.[48] Indeed, shortly after the portal closed, Nathreza blew apart. Every demon on its surface perished.[49]

Sathrovarr the Corruptor possessed Kalecgos in the Sunwell Plateau and the dreadlord is fought inside the spectral realm.

Wrath of the Lich King This section concerns content related to Wrath of the Lich King.

Meanwhile, Mal'Ganis, who had reformed in the Twisting Nether,[50] returned to Azeroth during the War against the Lich King as Barean Westwind. Taking a page out of Balnazzar's book, Mal'ganis had taken control of the Scarlet Onslaught, he led them to the Dragonblight in Northrend to get revenge on the traitorous Lich King. He stood in seclusion in the Onslaught Harbor until agents from the Knights of the Ebon Blade confronted him, and forced him to flee.[51]

After the Battle of Angrathar the Wrathgate, Varimathras led demons of the Burning Legion and Forsaken renegades in a coup against Sylvanas Windrunner. Ultimately, Varimathras and his conspirators were defeated at the Battle for the Undercity, but his betrayal elicited war between the Horde and the Alliance.

Cataclysm This section concerns content related to Cataclysm.

After the Cataclysm rocked the world, Balnazzar slaughtered the Scarlet Crusaders in Stratholme and transformed them into the undead creatures they once hated as the Risen, using his necromantic powers to resurrect them.[52][53] Eligor Dawnbringer tasked adventurers to slay him.[54]

Warlords of Draenor This section concerns content related to Warlords of Draenor.

A number of dreadlords appeared in the Throne of Kil'jaeden on the alternate Draenor. Following the Burning Legion take over of the Iron Horde, Anetheron arrived to Draenor at the Black Gate. Anetheron and his master Archimonde were soon after defeated by the champions of Azeroth.

Third invasion of the Burning Legion

Legion This section concerns content related to Legion.

After Archimonde's death, the Legion launched its third invasion of Azeroth and the nathrezim participated in its events. One of them disguised himself as the spirit of Medivh in Karazhan and tempted Khadgar to accept power in order to become Legion's pawn.[55] Another one infiltrated Stormwind Keep taking a guise of a Stormwindian soldier who tried to assassinate the new High King of the Alliance, Anduin Wrynn. The king bested him and the dreadlord offered him to join the Legion, but Anduin ultimately destroyed him.[56]

As the dreadlords are major commanders of the Burning Legion, many of the newly united orders saw themselves put in heavy time and resources to take these demons down.

Tichondrius

Tichondrius in the Nighthold.

Tichondrius was sent to Suramar to watch over Gul'dan in the name of the Burning Legion, to ensure he does not fail his masters. He serves as a boss in the Nighthold, where he voices contempt that the Nightborne were unable to stop their own palace from invasion. He would ultimately be defeated himself, his dying words expressing his disbelief. This marks Tichondrius' third defeat, his first coming at the hands of Huln Highmountain during the War of the Ancients, and his second by Illidan Stormrage during the Third War.

Mephistroth

Mephistroth in the Cathedral of Eternal Night.

Mephistroth made an appearance on the Dreadscar Rift to see that one of his generals, Jagganoth, was slain by the First of the Black Harvest, costing him the Legion portal-world. He told the warlock that it is nowhere close to being over and exclaimed that they would meet again. The leader of the Black Harvest thus became the Overlord of the Dreadscar.

Mephistroth was also found at Felsoul Hold in Suramar, where he battled the First of the Black Harvest who had come to take the Skull of the Man'ari and escaped before he could be defeated.

Mephistroth would later orchestrate the Legion forces during the Assault on Broken Shore. After mana bombs were planted to destroy his Legion ship, Mephistroth battled the attacking order leader while the united order halls of Legionfall assaulted the demons on the island below. Partway through the battle, the dreadlord fell back to the Cathedral of Eternal Night, where he employed all his cunning to ensure the heroes failed in securing the  [Aegis of Aggramar]. He was defeated by Illidan Stormrage and the order leaders, while Maiev Shadowsong guarded the entrance to the room from demons. After his defeat, the Aegis of Aggramar was activated.

Balnazzar

Balnazzar in Netherlight Temple.

When Tirion Fordring was captured following the catastrophic Battle for the Broken Shore, Balnazzar guarded the lost Ashbringer in order to ambush and take the body of the one who claimed it. Though he failed, he swore to return in time, saying to the new wielder of the Ashbringer that their "journey together has only just begun."

Balnazzar later led an attack against the Conclave priests of Netherlight Temple, and the Knights of the Silver Hand arrived to aid the priests in its defense. As Balnazzar began to summon in more demons, a dreadlord infused with the Light named Lothraxion, High Commander of the Grand Army of the Light, arrived, sent by High Exarch Turalyon. Lothraxion assisted the Highlord of the Silver Hand and the High Priest of Netherlight Temple in defeating Balnazzar. As Netherlight Temple is located deep in the Twisting Nether, and demons can truly be killed only in the Nether, Balnazzar (along with the reinforcements he summoned during the fight) is dead for good.

Lothraxion

Lothraxion in the Sanctum of Light.

Lothraxion was held captive on Niskara, where he was freed by the Highlord of the Silver Hand, Lothraxion, informed the Highlord that the Legion planned to attack Netherlight Temple and then left to get reinforcements.[57]

When Balnazzar attacked the Conclave of Netherlight Temple Lothraxion and reinforcements from the Army of the Light arrived and helped to defeat Balnazzar.[58][59] Afterward, he traveled to Light's Hope Chapel in order to support the Order of the Silver Hand.

Lothraxion later travels aboard the Vindicaar to Argus and reunites with Turalyon at Krokuun.[60]

Kathra'natir

Kathra'natir in the Violet Hold.

Despite the efforts of Meryl Felstorm to subdue him, the dreadlord Kathra'natir broke free of his bonds, and later attacked the Violet Hold in Dalaran. With the aid of a mage adventurer and the spirit of Alodi, Meryl fought Kathra'natir off, but Kathra'natir escaped into the Twisting Nether before he could be killed. Meryl and Alodi gathered the Forge of the Guardian, and within the Hall of the Guardian, Meryl reformed the Tirisgarde - a group of magi used by the Council of Tirisfal in the absence of a Guardian - and declared that its goal was to hunt Kathra'natir down.

He later possessed Archmage Vargoth and used the  [Nightborne Soulstone], along with the power of the Nexus, to drain Meryl of his power, which manifested as a sickness that put Meryl out of commission. When Vargoth was freed, he and the champion of the Tirisgarde trapped Kathra'natir inside the Nightborne Soulstone.

Kathra'natir's power was later siphoned from the Soulstone with the help of the Sunreavers, to power a weapon defense system located in the tallest spire atop Dalaran's Violet Citadel.

Detheroc

Detheroc ambushing SI:7 agents on the Broken Shore.

Just before the battle for the Broken Shore, SI:7 discovered a trap set by the Burning Legion. Before they could warn the Alliance, Detheroc ambushed the SI:7 agents and captured their leader, Mathias Shaw, and impersonated him. Amber Kearnen managed to get away and tried to warn the Uncrowned, but Detheroc, posing as Shaw, ordered SI:7 agents to kill her.

As Shaw, Detheroc spoke lies to King Anduin Wrynn about the Horde, and manipulated the new king into preparing Stormwind's armies to attack them, intent on instigating another conflict between the Alliance and Horde when the world could least afford it. To cover his tracks, Detheroc placed wanted posters of the members of the Uncrowned all over Stormwind, claiming they had conspired with the Burning Legion and offering rewards for their deaths. After a member of the Uncrowned freed the real Mathias Shaw, Fleet Admiral Tethys snuck them and Taoshi into Stormwind during the night. The three rogues made their way to SI:7 headquarters, where they exposed and killed Detheroc.

Varimathras

Varimathras in Antorus, after being tortured by the Coven of Shivarra.

During the invasion of Antorus, the Burning Throne on the demon world of Argus, the heroes of Azeroth encountered Varimathras. In payment for his blunders at the Undercity, Varimathras had been tortured by the Coven of Shivarra. The vindictive sisters stripped away both flesh and sanity, leaving only a singular desire to inflict suffering upon the mortals who cost him everything. Upon encountering the heroes, he spoke in cryptic prophecies about the Alliance and Horde, but then dismissed them in favor of a "darkness" they were blind to. He was then killed by the adventurers of the Alliance and Horde.

Other dreadlords

Diathorus the Seeker, Lord Banehollow, Solenor the Slayer, Baelinar, Varudis, and Anostronoth all defended the Black City at the time of the Battle for Broken Shore. Anetheron, Mal'Ganis, and Sathrovarr the Corruptor were both summoned by Gul'dan outside the Tomb of Sargeras alongside many other dreadlords, but none were seen after this.

Dantalionax traveled to Black Rook Hold, where he disguised himself as the late Latosius to manipulate the newly risen ghost of Kur'talos Ravencrest and his forces. He was later unmasked and defeated, releasing Kur'talos from the deception.

Gerenth the Vile disguised himself as a nightborne noble at a party in the Court of Stars, only to be found out and killed by a group looking to take out Grand Magistrix Elisande.

Gul'dan summoned Dalvengyr, Azagrim, and Beltheris to defend him in the Nighthold.

Following the Assault on Broken Shore, Lord Hel'nurath was summoned to oversee a part of Legion operations, appropriately surrounded by Xorothian Fel Knights and Xorothian Cultists. He also dropped the  [Shadowy Reins of the Accursed Wrathsteed] for the Netherlord of the Black Harvest, in reference to his previous involvement in warlocks obtaining their [Dreadsteed].

Malificus, who was seen during the Battle for Broken Shore mind-controlling Argent Dawnbringers, was a world boss outside the Tomb of Sargeras.

Infazzar the Shade disguised himself as Skylord Shadegrove, a druid defending the Shrine of Aviana in Mount Hyjal. During a Legion assault on the Shrine, he stole the Idol of Aviana allowing druids to assume their flight form. He headed to Rhut'van Peak in Azsuna, and used the idol to corrupt the Cragtalon harpies there in order to use them to assault Dalaran. He was slain aboard his ship by Thisalee Crow and the Archdruid of the Dreamgrove, with the help of a pair of Lunarwing owls sent by Aviana herself.

At the Stormstout Brewery, Brewmaster Blanche was killed by Varagol the Coercer, who then poisoned her Celebration Brew and stole her form. The Grandmaster of the Order of the Broken Temple, along with Brewer Almai made their way to the brewery to find many of the brewers diseased by some mysterious force. After detoxing the diseased brewers, the duo found the dreadlord, who then shed his Blanche disguise and attacked. However, before his demise, Varagol informed them that the poisoned brew has already made its way to the Wandering Isle, forcing the Grandmaster and Almai to make a hasty return. Varagol's plot proved to be in vain, as the Grandmaster, Almai, and the spirit of the slain Blanche managed to cure the poisoned monks in time.

Volzarak the Deceiver infiltrated Light's Hope Chapel under the guise of a Silver Hand Recruit, but was unmasked and slain by the Highlord.

Corrine the Deceiver attempted to siphon the powers of the demonic Kanrethad Ebonlocke under the guise of Corrine the Devout, but was slain by the Netherlord.

A number of nathrezim invaded Stormheim during the Assault on Stormheim. Zemorath corrupted the local Bilgefin murlocs during the assault on Stormheim but was slain by Murgulis.

Vagath was seen in Nath'raxas Hold on Krokuun, having returned to the Legion's service. Illidan sought his death and remarked that after falling to Maiev's blade and the hero's, his punishment in Antorus would be severe.

Shadowlands

Shadowlands This section concerns content related to Shadowlands.

The nathrezim have infiltrated Korthia, an ancient city that the Jailer has recently chained to the Maw. They have disguised themselves as some of the resident attendants, and seemingly have done so for a very long time.[61]

The dreadlords returned en masse to the Shadowlands, though the Primus wonders if they ever truly left at all.[62] A number of nathrezim infiltrated Sinfall within Revendreth as apart of their scheme to acquire Remornia, and thus free Denathrius from his imprisonment.[63]

Notable

The names of individual eredar and pit lords are not commonly known, as the former have not been seen in great numbers on Azeroth and the latter are never encountered in a situation where their names will be remembered. However, Archimonde relied heavily on the dreadlords during the second invasion, as they are useful as mages, strategists, and warriors (they were also on Azeroth already and required the least energy to summon). Many of the nathrezim became known during this period. Many of Kil'jaeden's dreadlords watched over the Lich King and aided him at times, while some of Archimonde's dreadlords commanded the Scourge after the invasion commenced.

Name Role Status Location
Neutral  Tichondrius Former Lord of the nathrezim Defeated Twisting Nether (lore), Various
Neutral  Anetheron Second-in-command of the dreadlords Alive Unknown (lore), Various
Neutral  Mephistroth Third-in-command of the dreadlords Defeated Twisting Nether (lore), Various
Mob  Balnazzar Lord of the Risen Deceased Various
Neutral  Kathra'natir Rival of the New Council of Tirisfal Imprisoned Violet Citadel (lore), Various
Neutral  Lothraxion High General of the Army of the Light Alive Various
Neutral  Mal'Ganis Led Arthas to pick up Frostmourne, formerly leader of the Scarlet Onslaught and jailor of the Lich King Alive Dominance Keep (lore), Various
Boss  Varimathras Former Arch Lord of the Undercity and majordomo of Sylvanas Windrunner Deceased Antorus, the Burning Throne
Mob  Azagrim Slain by Hargal, summoned by Gul'dan in the Nighthold Defeatable The Nighthold
Mob  Beltheris Slain by Holia Sunshield, summoned by Gul'dan in the Nighthold Defeatable The Nighthold
Mob  Count Nefarious Overseer of the Soul Engine Defeatable Soul Engine, Mardum
Mob  Culuthas Renegade dreadlord and holder of the Spirit's Song Defeatable Ruins of Farahlon, Netherstorm
Mob  Dalvengyr Leader of the Scourge forces in Dalaran, summoned in the Nighthold Defeatable The Nighthold
Mob  Detheroc Custodian of the Plaguelands Defeated Twisting Nether (lore), Various
Mob  Diathorus the Seeker Leader of demonic forces in Ashenvale Defeatable Black City (Broken Shore), formerly Demon Fall Ridge (Ashenvale)
Mob  Gorgannon Leader of demonic forces in Demon Fall Canyon Defeatable Demon Fall Canyon, Ashenvale
Mob  Lord Banehollow Leader of Jaedenar Defeatable Black City (Broken Shore), formerly Shadow Hold (Felwood)
Mob  Lord Hel'nurath Stablemaster of Xoroth Defeatable Dark Stockades (Broken Shore), formerly Dire Maul
Mob  Lothros Servant of Illidan Defeatable Illidari Point, Shadowmoon Valley
Mob  Pentatharon Leader of a scavenging crew Defeatable Arklon Ruins, Netherstorm
Mob  Razelikh the Defiler Overseer of demonic activity in the Blasted Lands Possessing Loramus Fel Hammer, formerly Rise of the Defiler (Blasted Lands)
Boss  Sathrovarr the Corruptor Corruptor of Kalecgos Alive Unknown (lore), formerly Inner Veil (Sunwell Plateau)
Mob  Solenor the Slayer Legion agent in Silithus Defeatable Black City (Broken Shore), formerly in Silithus
Neutral  Talnivarr the Sleeper Demonic gladiator Unknown* Twisting Nether (presumed)
Neutral  Ulthalesh Former self-proclaimed ruler of Mardum and opponent of Sargeras Active Sealed within  [Ulthalesh, the Deadwind Harvester]
Mob  Vagath Jailor of Maiev Shadowsong Defeatable Nath'raxas Hold (Krokuun), Various
Mob  Xanatos the Defiler Holder of Sha'tari Defeatable Deathweb Hollow, Talador
Neutral  Xaraax Master of the Hidden Defeated Twisting Nether

* Not defeated in the Twisting Nether, and thus presumed to still be alive

Other dreadlords: Bleakill, Fearoth, Darthias, Dethecus, Maldibion, Nochthitus, Rashgarroth, Aramachus, Lorthiras, Zenedar, Mullioch, Algammon, Necros, Nerothos, Zilfallon, Terrodar, Ven'Gyr.

Note: Some of these are the randomly assigned names for the Dreadlords in Warcraft III.

In the RPG

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

From the Monster Guide.

Masters of trickery, deceit, and guile, they take pride in the fiendish destruction they have wrought on Azeroth. Affiliated with the Burning Legion, the nathrezim — also termed dreadlords — acted as commanders of the undead Scourge during the Burning Legion's second invasion, slaughtering thousands with their unnatural hordes. The dreadlords lost much power when several of their most influential members fell to the Forsaken armies under Sylvanas Windrunner's banner. For a while, the dreadlords seemed almost a myth, a story told to frighten children. People felt safer when they thought the dreadlords were a remote tale; some instead comforted themselves with the lie that the great Varimathras was the only surviving dreadlord. More practical sorts knew that evil never truly dies and that just because they couldn't see something did not mean it was not there.

Dreadlords invariably stay behind the scenes and affect change through proxies. Adventurers might go their whole lives and never realize a dreadlord has acted against them in countless, seemingly unrelated ways. Only after much exertion and investigation do the heroes uncover the dreadlord behind a plot. Even then, the task of tracking and slaying a dreadlord can overwhelm the most competent hunter of evil. Dreadlords live in heavily fortified lairs or march at the center of an army.[64]

In the nathrezim's eyes, malice is the ultimate gift. To torment another creature with physical and moral agony offers something superior to happiness or contentment. Dreadlords prefer to turn their talents to psychic assault and manipulation, seeking to dissolve the bonds that unify individuals, groups, and nations and leave their mortal victims floundering amidst chaos and decay. A nathrezim-occupied world eventually abandons higher morality as irrelevant to the context in which its inhabitants find themselves, joining the dreadlords in their callous worship of the malign. Although fierce warriors, nathrezim prefer a leadership role, standing behind a wall of ghouls or other allies and retreating when their enemies press too close. This is particularly true of the weaker nathrezim, whose magical abilities cannot always prevent their swift, bloody execution by a determined fighter, wizard, or rogue.[65] A dreadlord engages in melee combat only when convinced he holds the upper hand. A dreadlord studies his opponent first and learns their weaknesses. Then he remains at range, unleashing his most powerful spells on his enemy.[64]

Nearly all dreadlords choose to study both the arts of war and the arts of magic. Some of them, such as Mal'Ganis, are proficient at necromancy. It is important to note that the nathrezim are not as talented in magic as the eredar — whereas the eredar have become adept at almost all forms of magic, the nathrezim show talent for only a handful of types.[citation needed]  They most often are arcanists, but some dreadlords favor the physical arts of the rogue or warrior.[64] The nathrezim are called nathrezite two times in the non-canonical Warcraft: The Roleplaying Game,[66] but it is unknown if this is a misspelling or an alternate name.

Tothrezim are distant cousins of the dread nathrezim.

Languages

Dreadlords can apparently understand any tongue psychically. Dreadlords can speak with any creature that has a language.[64] However, since they are members of the Burning Legion, it can be assumed they would speak Eredun most of the time.

Notes and trivia

From left to right: Varimathras, Mephistroth, Mal'Ganis, Tichondrius, Dalvengyr, Balnazzar, Anetheron, and Detheroc. Put together through the world editor.

  • Nathrezim have dark blood.[67]
  • While the nathrezim are competent necromancers, they were derided by Amal'thazad, who said they were merely making "puppets of bone" when trying to recreate the masterpiece that was the Scourge.[68]
  • Dreadlords are a step below pit lords in the Burning Legion's hierarchy.[69]
  • Accounts from the War of the Ancients state that the nathrezim can fly without using magic.[citation needed] 
  • In Revendreth, there is the Spire of the Unseen Guests, containing  [Enemy Infiltration - Preface].  [Nathrezim Relic] is also obtained from chests in Revendreth.
  • Their description during the Warcraft III alpha was as such: "Dread Lords are incredibly powerful demonic entities that are masters of darkness and mental domination. These cunning, malefic beings were once considered to be the most trusted lieutenants of the Burning Legion. Yet Kil'jaeden, the Lord of the Legion, tasked his faithful Dread Lords to watch over the Lich King Ner'zhul, and ensure that he carried out his orders to sew chaos in the mortal world. The Dread Lords carried out their task flawlessly, yet over time they fell under the influence of Ner'zhul's undead plague. Now, unbeknownst to Kil'jaeden and his Legion, the Dread Lords serve the Lich King and live only to carry out his dark agenda. Dread Lords generally appear as dashing human males and are adept at charming and beguiling mortal creatures through telepathy. Dread Lords radiate darkness around them and are fond of traveling within shadows."[70]
  • In Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos and Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne, nathrezim had long tails, but they lack tails altogether in later games and artwork.
  • Originally the nathrezim were one of the reasons for Sargeras's fall. The exact text stated: "While his confusion and misery deepened, Sargeras was forced to contend with another group intent on disrupting the Titans' order: the nathrezim. This dark race of vampiric demons (also known as dreadlords) conquered a number of populated worlds by possessing their inhabitants and turning them to the shadow. The nefarious, scheming dreadlords turned whole nations against one another by manipulating them into unthinking hatred and mistrust. Sargeras defeated the nathrezim easily, but their corruption affected him deeply."[29]
  • Strangely, some nathrezim are labeled as undead in-game. This is likely a game mechanic preventing them to be enslaved by warlocks.
  • A Nathrezim Blood Orb artifact was available during the alpha stage of Heroes of the Storm.
  • Nathrezim have been end bosses of several dungeons. These include Balnazzar in Stratholme, Mal'Ganis in the Culling of Stratholme, Dantalionax in Black Rook Hold, and Mephistroth in the Cathedral of Eternal Night.
  • It is likely that the nathrezim were inspired by the Zhentarim of the Dungeons & Dragons Forgotten Realms universe, as the two words are anagrams of each other. The Zhentarim consisted of thieves, spies, assassins, and malevolent wizards, and at one point were referred to as the Black Network. The Zhentarim were servants of Bane, Lord of Darkness, and Cyric, Prince of Lies.
  • The Shadowlands nathrezim model introduced in patch 9.1 uses demon hunter Metamorphosis animations. As a result of this new animation rig, the new models have five fingers instead of the previous four. The new models also introduced female dreadlords for the first time.
  • The Stonewright had a hard time believing the Maw Walkers were not nathrezim when she first met them.

Speculation

Questionmark-medium.png
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.

It's yet unclear whether, as beings originating from the realm of death, nathrezim can only be properly be killed in the Shadowlands; or if they have infiltrated the Twisting Nether (and other realms) so thoroughly that they would be permanently slain there instead.

Scourge

The abilities of the vampiric San'layn to serve both as field commanders and infiltrators imply that they were created by the Lich King to replace the nathrezim, who stayed loyal to the Burning Legion.

Gallery

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See also

References

 
  1. ^ The Demon Soul, chapter 14, pg. 396. "Brox had found the necromancers. The two Nathrezim had done the abominable, successfully raising the dead they and their comrades had so brutally slaughtered."
  2. ^ Lothraxion is a protection paladin
  3. ^ The Sundering, chapter 13, pg. 455 (ebook). "Nathrezim and Eredar cast monstrous spells, but they were caught between defending against the dragons and fighting the Moon Guard. The warlocks could not do both. They perished more often than they slew, mostly under the unyielding flame of a leviathan's breath."
  4. ^ Scheming Dreadlord
  5. ^ http://classic.battle.net/war3/undead/units/dreadlord.shtml
  6. ^ a b c Dreadlord (Warcraft III)
  7. ^ Ultimate Visual Guide, pg. 38
  8. ^ a b Death is Contagious
  9. ^ Exodar Holographic Emitter
  10. ^ N [60] Dread Tidings
  11. ^ N [60] Convoy of the Covenants
  12. ^ N [60] The Nathrezim
  13. ^ World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 1, pg. 23
  14. ^ a b  [Scepter of the Nathrezim]
  15. ^ a b The Demon Soul
  16. ^ Digging up the Dead (WC3 Undead)#Quotes Tichondrius : "I must feast on souls!"
  17. ^ Dreadlord (Warcraft III)#Spells and abilities
  18. ^ Varimathras (Warcraft III)
  19. ^ N Paladin [110] A Light in the Darkness
  20. ^ N [15-30D] The Dreadlord Balnazzar
  21. ^ N [60] Convoy of the Covenants
  22. ^ Z'rali#Quotes
  23. ^ Prince Renathal#Notes
  24. ^ N Warlock [35] An Unusual Tome
  25. ^  [Enemy Infiltration - Preface]
  26. ^ World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 1, pg. 21
  27. ^ World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 1, pg. 24
  28. ^ Tome of Blighted Implements
  29. ^ a b Sargeras and the Betrayal
  30. ^ a b c Libram of the Dead: Apocalypse
  31. ^ N [100 - 110] Huln's War - The Nathrezim
  32. ^ Dreadlord Defenders and Dreadlord Debilitators are encountered in the Well of Eternity dungeon
  33. ^ The First Guardian
  34. ^ Whispers, pg. 5
  35. ^ World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 3, pg. 17
  36. ^ World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 3, pg. 39
  37. ^ World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 3, pg. 50 - 52
  38. ^ World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 3, pg. 53
  39. ^ Under the Burning Sky (WC3 Undead)
  40. ^ World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 3, pg. 77
  41. ^ Arthas: Rise of the Lich King, chapter 21
  42. ^ King Arthas (WC3 Undead)
  43. ^ B [15-30] You Are Rakh'likh, Demon
  44. ^  [Diabolical Plans]
  45. ^ B [7-30] Never Again!
  46. ^ N [25-30] Against the Illidari
  47. ^ World of Warcraft: Illidan, chapter 29
  48. ^ World of Warcraft: Illidan, chapters 18 - 19
  49. ^ World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 3, pg. 148
  50. ^ World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 3
  51. ^ N [25-30G5] The Admiral Revealed
  52. ^ Balnazzar (tactics)
  53. ^ Ultimate Visual Guide, pg. 191
  54. ^ N [15-30D] The Dreadlord Balnazzar
  55. ^ Harbingers
  56. ^ Anduin: Son of the Wolf
  57. ^ The Mind of the Enemy
  58. ^ N Paladin [110] A Light in the Darkness
  59. ^ N Priest [110] A Light in the Darkness
  60. ^ N [110] Rendezvous
  61. ^ N [60] Under the Illusion
  62. ^ N [60] Dread Tidings
  63. ^ N [60] The Nathrezim
  64. ^ a b c d Monster Guide, pg. 50
  65. ^ Manual of Monsters, pg. 117
  66. ^ Warcraft: The Roleplaying Game, pg. 96
  67. ^ Arthas: Rise of the Lich King, pg. 345 (ebook)
  68. ^ N Death knight [45WQ] Life's a Lich
  69. ^ Sean Copeland on Twitter (Dead link)
  70. ^ Dreadlord
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