- For the world boss, see Rukhmar (tactics). For the alternate universe version, see Rukhmar (alternate universe).
|Race(s)||Firehawk / primal god|
|Occupation||Sun Goddess of the Arakkoa, Mother of the Kaliri|
|Relative(s)||Kaliri, arakkoa ("children")|
Rukhmar is an avian sun goddess from Draenor who helped Anzu to slay Sethe. After the Raven Lord faded into darkness, she created the arakkoa to represent her grace and his cunning. Her loyal high arakkoa followers, the Adherents of Rukhmar, wage war on the cursed arakkoa in her name. The kaliri are Rukhmar's children as well, and Rukhran is rumored to be her progeny.
As the mother of the arakkoa, Rukhmar was their main and traditional deity; her veneration was eventually abandoned in favor of numerous other deities, such as Anzu, Ka'alu and Sethe, and later an unnamed Old God.
Her children associated Rukhmar with their Talon King Terokk, the goddess' chosen: it was thought they were both one and the same. When the arakkoan hero vanished, the believed reason was that the Arakkoa Outcasts had turned from Rukhmar; however, the truth is he went into a world of shadows in order to rejuvenate his weakened body. Thus, it seems unlikely that Terokk and Rukhmar were the same individuals after all.
The Gods of Arak
The Spirit of Life that saturated the world of Draenor birthed many kinds of animals, but almost all of them were consumed by the Evergrowth and the Sporemounds. But with the end of the Evergrowth by the colossals, life had a chance to thrive on Draenor once more, and the remains of Botaan became forests that teemed with Spirit and accelerated the development of new species. The first to arise were enormous creatures with extraordinary power over the land: some tapped into the power of nature, some the elements, and others the Light and Void. Yet survival was a challenge because of the Primals and Breakers, and winged species proved to be most suited to thrive on Draenor for they could fly out of reach of both forces. Most of Draenor's avians developed in a region called Arak, dominated by a massive spire that towered over dense woods. Three godlike creatures who took form in Arak were Anzu, Rukhmar, and Sethe.
Rukhmar's spirit was touched by the primordial force of Light. Her connection to this energy allowed her to summon enchanted flames that could either destroy life or nourish it. White-hot fire constantly rippled over her reddish-orange wings without ever singeing her. For ages, the three largely kept to themselves, fighting off attacks from Primals and Breakers. Only Anzu dreamed of a better world for him and his feathered kin. He called on Rukhmar and Sethe to work together to transform Arak into a sanctuary for winged creatures of all kinds. As one, Anzu and his allies drove the children of stone and root from Arak. With the Primals and Breakers gone, Arak became a haven for winged species. Anzu, Rukhmar, and Sethe settled in as caretakers of the land and its varied species. Rukhmar developed close ties with the most beautiful birds: kaliri. She treated them as her own beloved children. She and the kaliri spent much of their time perched at the apex of Arak's spire, basking in the warmth of the sun. But while Rukhmar was noble, she was also arrogant. She saw herself as the epitome of grace and beauty among the world's creatures. She never set her talons on the ground, and she regarded the creatures that dwelled in and around the forests with disdain.
Over the years, Sethe became envious of Rukhmar. He coveted the favor of the wind and the warmth of the sun that Anzu and Rukhmar had. Sethe convinced Anzu to help him slay Rukhmar, but Anzu was cunning and cared little for the wind serpents. In addition, unbeknownst to even Rukhmar, Anzu had feelings for her that he did not have the courage to confess. In the dark of the night, he sent one of his dread ravens to warn Rukhmar of Sethe's plot. Anzu watched from the top of a mountain spire as Rukhmar and Sethe clashed. Thanks to Anzu's warning, Rukhmar avoided Sethe. She flew high, put the sun at her back, and dove at Sethe. With a flap of her wings, she split the sky upon Sethe like the crack of a whip. Sethe crashed into the spire where they fought with such force that it crumbled and fell around him, creating the Broken Spire.
Anzu stepped into the battle then, pinning Sethe under his foot. Looking up at the raven god, Sethe uttered a dying curse: that his blood shall blacken the sea until it runs thick as tar, and his flesh shall fester and soil until the very sky rots with it. Anzu responded that they shall then leave no blood nor flesh and devoured Sethe whole, picking the bones clean. But a small trickle of blood escaped and blighted the valley below, creating the Sethekk Hollow.
Anzu felt Sethe's hatred coursing through him. His body contorted, his wings shriveled, and he became cursed without flight. His mind was wracked with painful visions. Anzu had contained Sethe's curse by taking it upon himself, and he would grapple with the curse for some time. Anzu could not bear to present himself to Rukhmar, for if she had not seen him worthy before then surely she would now be disgusted by the aberration he had become. He disappeared into the forest deeps, and he ignored Rukhmar whenever she called for Anzu to show himself. Though Sethe's curse weakened Anzu, it also gave him new power: the power of the Void that Sethe had once commanded. As Anzu grew more familiar with his abilities, he shrouded himself in a realm of shadow to hide from Rukhmar forever.
After much fruitless searching, Rukhmar gave up. She was humbled by Anzu's sacrifice, but she was also horrified by the curse that now darkened her home. Rukhmar took to the skies and left Arak, eventually settling atop Gorgrond's highest peak. Rukhmar decided that if she could not find Anzu to thank him, then she would reward his sacrifice by creating a new race in his honor. Using her own life energies, Rukhmar transformed some of her kaliri followers into the arakkoa: "heirs of Arak". They embodied Rukhmar's physical grace and majesty, as well as Anzu's intellect and cleverness. Rukhmar intended that the arakkoa would one day return to Arak, but not yet. Sethe's curse still lingered, and she did not want her children to suffer from it. After they had matured and become wise, Rukhmar intended to lead her children back to their ancestral home. Her only fear was that she would not live long enough to do so, for she had expended much of her life essence in creating the arakkoa. She would never be as powerful as she had once been, and she knew she would eventually grow old and die.
For many generations, Rukhmar watched the arakkoa develop from afar. Occasionally she communed with them, telling them stories of Arak, Sethe's evil, and Anzu's nobility. She taught them the rudimentary ways of commanding the Light, and they were quick learners. They mastered the Light and became adept healers and seers. Much of their primitive customs revolved around the worship of Rukhmar, who they revered as the goddess of the sun, which they saw as the source of their Light magic. But they were not content with the Light alone. Due to Rukhmar's teachings, they revered Anzu just as much as they did she, and they studied the arcane that he had excelled in, becoming great sorcerers as well.
Three thousand years before the opening of the Dark Portal, as the arakkoa flourished, Rukhmar felt her own life fading. She communed with her children one last time and urged them to claim Arak for themselves. Rukhmar took to the winds and soared south, and the arakkoa followed. But just as they reached Arak, Rukhmar breathed her last breath. Flames consumed her form and she burned like a second sun in the sky. The arakkoa saw Rukhmar's passing as a sign of their ascendancy. They vowed to create a grand civilization that would outshine any other culture on Draenor in order to honor her. The light of their knowledge and their power would blaze in the heavens just as Rukhmar had.
The arakkoa society would come to be called the Apexis, with a group called the Anhar using the Light and the Skalax using arcane and the Void, both with equal prestige and influence. During the height of Apexis culture, a small group of Anhari priests sought out the remains of Rukhmar. They found her charred bones near the spire, and they used their magics to resurrect her. But it was only a partial success. This new Rukhmar had only a sliver of the original's power and intelligence. Nonetheless, the Apexis worshiped her as their goddess reborn. The Anhari infused her with their Light powers, granting her a long life so she could soar the skies for millennia.
Terokk would eventually come to be seen as Rukhmar herself. The arakkoa eventually were split into two races; the High Arakkoa and the Arakkoa Outcasts. Rukhmar continued to favor the High Arakkoa but shunned the Outcast. The High Arakkoa began a war of genocide in her name against the Outcasts while she soared above, but this only prompted the Outcasts to sink into corruption and darkness.
- "Rukh" is a Persian word, assimilated into English as roc, a giant mythical bird found in the tale of Sindbad the Sailor and other stories of the MENA region. Rocs can also be found in World of Warcraft.
- While Rukhmar was first mentioned in The Burning Crusade by Isfar, nothing was known about her except that she was the arakkoa god until Warlords of Draenor.
While Rukhmar, Anzu, and Sethe were born from a large amount of spirit as opposed to the coalesced power of the Well of Eternity, they have similarities with Wild Gods such as massive size, age, speech, and even Rukhmar creating the arakkoa like some Wild Gods made races of their own.