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For the language, see Vrykul (language).
Victorious Vrykul HS
Faction/Affiliation Independent, Valarjar (Valkyra), Armies of Legionfall, Twilight's Hammer
Scourge, Burning Legion
Character classes Hunter, Mage, Monk,[1] Priest, Shaman,[2] Warlock, Warrior, Druid,[3], Death knight, Necromancer, Assassin,[4] Mystic, Seer, Dragon rider
Racial capital Utgarde Keep
Racial leader(s) Unknown (Northrend)
IconSmall Vrykul Female God-Queen Sigryn (Stormheim)

IconSmall Ymiron King Ymiron (Northrend)

IconSmall Skovald God-King Skovald (Stormheim)  †
Racial mount IconSmall ProtoRed Proto-dragon
IconSmall PolarBear Polar bear
IconSmall Mammoth Mammoth
IconSmall Felsteed Felsteed
Homeworld Azeroth
Language(s) Vrykul

The vrykul (pronounced /ˈvɹɑɪkuɫ/ or "VRYE-kool") are a race of fearsome half-giant warriors that live mostly in Northrend and are known for their close affinity with the sea and with the continent's native proto-dragons.[5] They are descended from titan-forged iron vrykul that were afflicted with the Curse of Flesh and are in turn the progenitors of the human race, who were originally vrykul children that were born weak and deformed as a result of the curse.

Before the Great Sundering, the vrykul of Northrend were led by King Ymiron from Utgarde Keep, and in an effort to stave off the curse of flesh, he ordered his people to put themselves into hibernation for the thousands of years that would follow. However, this was not the case for other vrykul around the world, as thousands of years ago, another group of vrykul migrated to the sacred region of Stormheim in search of their true gods.[6] Being a seafaring race, some also took to the seas, with one such group settling on Kul Tiras, inhabiting the region of Drustvar as the Drust.

When the Lich King began the war in the frozen wastes, the vrykul of Northrend awoke and saw him as a God of Death to serve. Led once again by King Ymiron, the vrykul pledged themselves to his cause and many were absorbed into the Scourge armies.[5] Following the victory of the living, the vrykul kept to themselves with no death god to serve,[7] returning to their former way of life.[8]




Iron vrykul were the vrykul's original form.

The iron vrykul were created as part of the titan-forged during the ordering of Azeroth.

When the other Keepers decided to ask the Pantheon to empower the Dragon Aspects for their heroism against Galakrond, Odyn was vehemently against it, stating that only titan-forged could be trusted to defend Azeroth, as did not trust the proto-dragons. He sought to create his own elite army, one of steadfast and valiant stature, and saw the vrykul to be the most desirable candidate for his army.[9] The Aspects were empowered despite his objections, and so Odyn with the help of his adopted daughter Helya took a section of Ulduar and raised it into the sky, creating the Halls of Valor, and in doing so relinquished his position of Prime Designate.[10] He later told the vrykul that those who died a worthy death in battle would have their spirits brought to the Halls and given new immortal bodies infused with the power of the storm to fight as his Valarjar, which Odyn thought would be better defenders than the dragons. In order to retrieve the spirits of the deceased, Odyn would need vrykul to volunteer to become Val'kyr - inspired by the Kyrian he had seen when he sacrificed his eye to Mueh'zala[11] - and take those heroic vrykul spirits from the Shadowlands. The vrykul objected, and Helya tried to talk him out of it. Instead, Odyn transformed Helya into the first Val'kyr and ordered her to do the job for him.[12]

After Keeper Loken had fallen under the Old God Yogg-Saron's sway, he established sole dominance of Ulduar and Ulduar's servant titan-forged. He also banished a great number of his servants to the Storm Peaks and sealed the fortress of Ulduar. As Helya nursed resentment against Odyn for thousands of years, Loken convinced her to turn against him. Helya used the same magic that had been used to lock the Elemental Plane to seal Odyn and his Valarjar army inside the Halls of Valor, and then decided to take vrykul souls in her new realm Helheim. Helya would be replaced by Eyir as the leader of the Val'kyr, and Loken would go on to steal Odyn's title of Prime Designate.[13]

Dragonflayer Berserker

A vrykul after the effects of the Curse of Flesh.

For many ages after Loken's betrayal, the titan-forged who were exiled from Ulduar spread across northern Kalimdor, many of the vrykul remained aboveground congregating into small clans. Some of these factions wandered the harsh northern wastes as nomads. Others established dwellings across the forested tundra of the region. A tenuous peace existed between these groups of titan-forged, but in time Loken's own creations the fire giants Volkhan and Ignis saw the Storm Peaks around Ulduar ripe for conquest. They armed the fierce Winterskorn clan of vrykul to attack other titan-forged across the Storm Peaks, thus beginning the Winterskorn War. However, as they began their conquest, anomalies began to appear in the Winterskorn. The vrykul's metallic skin became brittle and weak, and they began showing the first symptoms of the Curse of Flesh. They caught the attention of Tyr when they attacked the earthen. Tyr asked the Dragon Aspects for aid, and the war ended with Ysera and Nozdormu putting the Winterskorn into a timeless sleep beneath northern Kalimdor.[14] And so their campaign to seek and conquer the world was cut short and the world was spared from their barbaric ways.[15]

With the Winterskorn defeated in the war, the titan-forged were still divided. Tyr and his allies, Archaedas and Ironaya, stole the Discs of Norgannon from Loken and gathered great numbers of titan-forged who dwelled around Ulduar and whom they saw as innocent victims of Loken's treachery. A large group of peaceful vrykul afflicted by the curse of flesh, most of the surviving earthen, and many of the mechagnomes agreed to flee with them southward in preparation for their next move. They traveled for weeks until they reached what would one day become known as the Tirisfal Glades. It is here that Tyr sacrificed himself fighting a C'Thrax monstrosity in order to allow the rest of the titan-forged to flee further south. The vrykul were so moved by the keeper's deeds that they decided to settle at the battle site and stand vigil over his grave until the end of their days.

With the Winterskorn clan asleep in their deep vaults, and many of the earthen being sealed within Uldaman, the remaining iron vrykul clans continued to dominate the north of Kalimdor. Over the eons, their disparate cultures flourished in unique ways across the unforgiving north. One of the mightiest clans, the Dragonflayer clan much like the Winterskorn found their iron hides were gradually turning to flesh over time. They tried to balance their diminishing strength by enslaving proto-dragons much like the Winterskorn did in previous centuries. Unlike the Winterskorn clan, they didn't see them as mere beasts of war. They used the dragons as hunting companions and rode them during the battle. Oktel Dragonblood was among one of the first to ride these dragons. The proto-dragons proved instrumental against the Dragonflayer's mortal enemy the jalgar, and under King Ymiron the vrykul defeated their foes driving them south.[16][17]

One clan, in particular, struggled against the curse of flesh. After exhausting all natural attempts, the tribe sought the aid of its priestesses. These women plumbed the world of spirits for answers, but they found the malevolent Helya, lying in wait. Their ritual went horribly wrong, as Helya further corrupted those that sought freedom from their curse. These eternally vengeful beings would swell the ranks of Helya's Kvaldir.[18]

The birth of humanity[]

An Ancient Portent

The vrykul's desendents, who survived the purge, became the human race in the Eastern Kingdoms.

Under King Ymiron's reign, 15,000 years ago,[19] on the heels of the Dragonflayer's victory over the jalgar, the curse of flesh took another turn vrykul's children started to be born smaller, which was considered "weak and ugly" by vrykul standards. These infants were dubbed "aberrations" and "runts", and vrykul society was deeply divided on how to deal with them. Some vrykul were disgusted by these "aberrations" and beseeched their ruler, Ymiron, to have them all killed, citing a need to keep the vrykul race pure; others pleaded with him to show them mercy, protesting that despite their weakness, these infants were still their children. Ymiron meditated on the issue for some time before reaching a dangerous conclusion: that because the titans had not come to aid them in their hour of need, and because the vrykul knew of no other beings with power on the same level as their gods, the curse must have been created by the titans. Although this was not the case, the vrykul believed it, and at Ymiron's bidding they forsook their gods and titan worship was outlawed. Ymiron then took the side of those calling for the death of their malformed infants, and decreed that all parents with so-afflicted children must kill their young or be taken to Gjalerbron for execution.[20][16][21]

However, not all vrykul could bear to kill their own flesh and blood. Despite their king's harsh decree, they sheltered their children and took them away to a land far away from Northrend, the modern Tirisfal Glades. They had heard stories of the vrykul clan that had followed Tyr and had settled in that area and decided it was a safe haven for their children. There they nursed and raised their children in secret, and taught them the stories and values of ancient vrykul society[16] as well as the ways of foraging, masonry, smithing, and warfare.[22] Finally, with heavy hearts, they left them in the care of the vrykul that inhabited Tirisfal, before returning to Northrend. These outcast vrykul "runts" would later form their own cultures and kingdoms, and became known as humans.[16]

It is unclear what happened to all of those parents who did not kill their children, but many if not most of them would come to no good end; a vicious vrykul warrior, Skadi, relentlessly hunted them down and killed any of them he came across. For this he was judged to have committed a true act of depravity, and was thereafter known as Skadi the Ruthless.[23]

Hand of Tyr

Tyr's silver hand and its vrykul caretakers.

Most of the vrykul that had settled in Tirisfal Glades eventually died off or succumbed to the curse of flesh. One group lasted longer than the others and formed a secretive order known as Tyr's Guard to protect Tyr's tomb. These vrykul knew that they would not live forever and decided to induct some of the new humans into their ranks to ensure the future of the group. They taught these new members the history of Tyr and the truth about the tomb.[24] By the time that Thoradin united the humans into the Arathorian Empire, the last vrykul of the human lands had long since gone extinct. However, tales persisted of a race of giants who had once walked among the humans and watched over them, like parents watching over their children. Weapons left behind by the vrykul were treated by the early humans as sacred heirlooms and tribal symbols.[22]

Eventually, in an effort to stave off the curse of flesh, the Dragonflayers put themselves into hibernation in facilities such as Gjalerbron.[25][21] The Tribunal of Ages, a record of false history created by Loken,[26] erroneously claims that he ordered this hibernation. The vrykul left their homes, villages, and keeps vacant as they slept. There they would remain undisturbed for thousands of years, even by the Great Sundering of the world.

Other vrykul in ancient times[]

Among the djaradin, there is a legend that long ago a warband of vrykul landed on the shores of the Dragon Isles. Led by their king, they carved their way through the land and destroyed several tribes, until they eventually fell against the elemental half-giants. Only their king survived and stood alone on the battlefield, where he fought without rest for eight days and nights. In the end, he earned his place among the Qalashi djaradin as a dragonhunter, and fought alongside them for years, slaying countless dragons as he proved his worth a hundredfold. One day, he finally fell in battle with a powerful dragon a hundred times his size.[27]

An ancestral homeland of the vrykul, Stormheim was at one point occupied by Highborne elves. Vrykul forces led by the heroic king Magnar Icebreaker launched a massive attack on Stormheim, surprising the Highborne with their ferocity. For weeks the elves and vrykul skirmished, with the latter scoring immediate victories and gaining enough momentum to push the Highborne out of the city. The elves' last chance to reclaim Stormheim happened at the Battle of Suramar Pass, but in the end the vrykul stood victorious. The Highborne were forced to flee and never made a claim upon Stormheim again. Moments after the vrykul victory, traitors loyal to Helya and her Helarjar arose within Magnar's ranks and managed to kill both the king and his son Hruthnir, but Magnar's people were able to rally and prevented the Helarjar from claiming Stormheim.[28]

The Halls of Valor, serving as a makeshift prison for Odyn and his Valarjar, would come to occupy the clouds high above Stormheim, and this would grant the region a special significance for the vrykul people. They worshiped Odyn as a deity and yearned to join the ranks of his formidable Valarjar. Though native to Northrend, many vrykul would make the voyage to the Broken Isles over the years and gravitated towards Stormheim.[29]

After the Sundering, many vrykul groups took the seas. Some of them settled on Kul Tiras and became known as the Drust.[30]

Arrival of the Lich King[]

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

As the Lich King initially tested his power in Northrend, lost vrykul tribes were slain by the Lich King's servants in their unending sleep that they were put under millennia ago by the Dragon Aspects, and they were raised into undeath as powerful new warriors.[15]

Wrath of the Lich King[]

Wrath-Logo-Small This section concerns content related to Wrath of the Lich King.
Utgarde Keep 3

Utgarde Keep in the Howling Fjord.

Shortly before the beginning of the War against the Lich King, the Lich King stirred from his Frozen Throne and sent his Scourge minions to swarm across the land, destroying all in their path. The slumbering vrykul awakened soon after, beginning with those of Jotunheim,[31] the largest vrykul village in Northrend.[7] Many of them would come to believe that the Lich King was a god of death, and pledged themselves to him and the Scourge. The Winterskorn clan was made subservient to the Dragonflayer.[32]

While Arthas woke the vrykul, it was the simple greed of the Northsea Freebooters' pirates that brought the kvaldir to Northrend's shores, as they stole artifacts from a vrykul burial ground in Howling Fjord called Shield Hill, and disturbed the spirits of the dead; later, the tuskarr tried to lay the spirits to rest by returning the stolen items, but it was too late. These cursed souls were called in from the sea to raid the coasts and take souls to their mistress Helya.[33]

When they arrived in Northrend, the Alliance and the Horde built two ports on the shores of the Howling Fjord, Valgarde and Vengeance Landing. A month later, the vrykul of the Dragonflayer clan were awake, setting their worgs on his soldiers and blasting the half-built walls with fire from their proto-drakes.[34] They turned against Valgarde,[35] launching an ongoing series of attacks which were coordinated by Ingvar the Plunderer from the fortress of Utgarde Keep. In turn, the Winterskorn clan turned against Vengeance Landing.[36]

The dwarven Explorer's League set to work excavating Dragonflayer ruins near Valgarde, speculating that the vrykul were related to humans and that they were connected by evolution, via a "missing link" of some kind. It was then that a draenei shaman, Thoralius the Wise, sent an Alliance adventurer into the spirit world to uncover the vrykul's past, where they found two visions of the past that revealed the events described above, thus revealing that there was no "missing link"; rather, the vrykul themselves were the missing link – they were the progenitors of humanity.[37]

King Ymiron

King Ymiron, leader of the vrykul in Northrend.

Other vrykul were seen around Northrend, often aiding the Scourge in their endeavors. They held competitions where many elite warriors competed for the chance to become powerful undead servants of the Lich King. In Icecrown, vrykul fought each other in the pit of Valhalas;[7] the winners of these combats became one of their Ymirjar,[38] the elite warrior caste created by King Ymiron in service of the Lich King, and the loser became a vargul, an undead creature.[39] The responsibility for raising the dead in this fashion fell to a new type of Val'kyr, winged spirits of vrykul women with vast necromantic powers under the control of the Lich King. The inhabitants of Valkyrion aspired towards this state, and many obtained it.[40] However, even the vrykul loyal to the Scourge were fighting each other.[41] Had King Ymiron blown the horns and called for all of the leaders of the ymirjar and mjordin to unite, the vrykul would've become a force more powerful than any other within the Scourge. This action would've organized the vrykul nation, but Ymiron fell before he could return triumphantly to Icecrown.[42]

Other vrykul refused the call of the Lich King, such as the Hyldnir, the main vrykul tribe in Storm Peaks, whose stronghold is situated at Brunnhildar Village, and who reasserted their loyalty to the titans, or at least to the Keeper Thorim. They have a strict matriarchal society with the males, both Hyldnir and other races, as they think men are good for naught but slave labor. Because of that disdain, most weren't interested in allying with the Scourge, with the exception of Yulda the Stormspeaker in Valkyrion, who delivered her village to the Lich King in exchange for him making her Val'kyr.[43] One of their number, Sif, had been Thorim's wife a long time ago, and they held a contest, the Hyldsmeet, to see which among them would prove worthy to rule alongside Thor in her place.[44]

Finally, within the halls of Ulduar, a number of vrykul could be found as members of the Twilight's Hammer.[45] The mad keeper Loken also used the Forge of Wills inside the complex to create new titan-forged vrykul, iron vrykul uncorrupted by the curse of flesh, to serve in his Iron army.[46]

Fall of the Lich King[]

By the time the Ashen Verdict lay siege to Icecrown Citadel, most of the vrykul loyal to the Scourge had been either killed or wiped out entirely in Icecrown.[47] With the Lich King's defeat atop the Frozen Throne, some of the last remaining Val'kyr pledged themselves to Sylvanas Windrunner afterward, becoming part of the Forsaken.[48]


Cataclysm This section concerns content related to Cataclysm.

At the time of the Cataclysm, a group of vrykul became elite twilight drake riders who served as Deathwing's personal guard, under the command of the tauren Warmaster Blackhorn. They fought against the Alliance and Horde forces during the aerial battle in the Dragon Soul.[49]

Mists of Pandaria[]

Mists of Pandaria This section concerns content related to Mists of Pandaria.

In Pandaria, Lorewalker Cho showed an undead adventurer their ancestors, and two vrykul appeared as the character's furthest ancestors, confirming humanity's evolutionary lineage.[50]

Ruben Holen in the Shrine of Two Moons mentioned the pandaren having books about the vrykul, but he didn't know how they could possibly have encountered them.


Legion This section concerns content related to Legion.

Stub Please add any available information to this section.


God-King Skovald, ruler of Stormheim, corrupted by the fel after he joined the Burning Legion.

The vrykul of Stormheim on the Broken Isles were ruled by a king until recently, when the day his son, Jarl Skovald, murdered him with the assistance of his brothers Voldgar, Agnol and Uldgar. The brothers then turned on each other, with Skovald's blade proving to be the fastest.[51] He then fought his mother at Kingsfall Pass, Queen Bretta, and proclaimed himself king.[52]

During the third invasion of the Burning Legion, Gul'dan approached God-King Skovald with a simple proposition, join the Burning Legion and receive ultimate power, or be destroyed. Dreaming of conquest and glory, Skovald and his Tideskorn vrykul allied themselves with the Burning Legion and sought to claim one of the Pillars of Creation for their demonic masters.[53] In his quest to gain access to the Halls of Valor, Skovald perverted the ancient trials that open the Gates of Valor. During the Trial of Might, he shattered Yotnar instead of besting him and attempted to destroy Aggramar's Vault so that no one else could know the criteria for the other trials from the titan databases.[54][55] In the Trial of Will, he opted to enslave the Thorignir.[56] During the Trial of Valor, he used the Bonespeakers to attempt to enslave the souls of the ancient rulers of Stormheim, forcing them to give their blessing.[57]

Meanwhile, Odyn, under the guise of Havi, guided an order champion in their quest to beat the trials and retrieve the Aegis before Skovald. While the Felskorn assaulted the Gates of Valor, both challengers met, but Skovald left the fight before there could be a victor. The order champions proceeded to beat Odyn's own challenges within the Halls of Valor and earned the right to wield the Aegis of Aggramar. Skovald suddenly appeared, however, demanding that Odyn acknowledge his claim to the Aegis, a protest that Odyn said came too late. Skovald thus attempted to claim the Aegis by force but was killed, declaring in his final breath that all his plans had been brought to ruin.[53]

Other vrykul did not follow Skovald in his alliance with the Legion, instead, they remained loyal to Odyn. These Valarjar vrykul mainly stood in Valdisdall. An adventurer who fought valiantly a pit lord by Odyn alongside other vrykul who took up arms against the demons was uplifted by Odyn and made Battlelord of the Valarjar armies.[58]

The forgotten Tomb of the Old Kings contained the remains of several great vrykul Kings. Odyn sent his Battlelord, with the help of Hruthnir, son of Magnar, to the tomb to reclaim the armament of the Black Wyrm from the hand of the King Magnar Icebreaker. However, the tomb was deconsecrated by the unholy magic from the Burning Legion, and the guardian didn't recognize Odyn's envoys. The Battlelord and Hruthnir fought the tortured spirits of Magnar and his soldiers. Vanquished, Magnar recognized his son and gave the Inv shield 1h artifactmagnar d 01 [Scale of the Earth-Warder] to the Battlelord to avenge his death in fighting Helya. Finally, the spirits of Magnar and his soldiers were sent to the Halls of Valor.[59]

In the Shield Hill, the spirit of Gorvold Ironbrow was called by the Tahu Sagewind and Orik Trueheart in order to find the place of a powerful artifact of the Light against the demons.[60] The Gorvold's Story led the paladins group to the Tomb of the Old Kings. Inna the Cryptstalker tried to stop the despoilers to enter the tomb but she was killed by the paladins. In the Shrine of the Truthguard, Yrgrim the Truthseeker, champion of Tyr, and Runeshaper Griselda challenged the paladin's group and lost the battle. He accepted his defeat and gave Inv shield 1h artifactnorgannon d 01 [Truthguard] in order for the future Highlord of the Silver Hand to become the new champion of Tyr.[61]

Later, Prustaga helped the Unseen Path to penetrate the Tomb of the Old Kings in order to find a powerful artifact against the Legion. When they entered the tomb of Warlord Volund, his spirit was awakened. Taking the intruders for thieves, he decided to defend his tomb.[62] When his spirit had been vanished, Prustaga betrayed the Unseen Path and took the Inv firearm 2h artifactlegion d 01 [Titanstrike].[63] Her next and last move was to lead her vrykul followers to the Temple of Storms in order to absorb the powers of the storm and the makers. Finally, she has been killed with several of her followers by an alliance between Thorim and the Unseen Path.[64]

Next, several vrykul from Valarjar led by Thorim, Hymdall and the Battlelord helped to the free Hodir, who was trapped in Felblaze Ingress by Lady Ran'zara and her demons.[65]

Sigryn, the heir of God-King Skovald, was prophesized by Eyir long ago to unite the Tideskorn against the Burning Legion.[66] Seeking to make right the damage done by her father, Sigryn decided to fulfill her destiny.[67] Queen She defeated the leaders of the Bonespeakers and Drekirjar in single combat and forced them to acknowledge her claim.[68][69] But when her brother Torvald, whom she believed was long dead, revealed that the assassination of their family was orchestrated by Odyn himself, which Eyir confirmed, Sigryn was consumed by anger.[70] She let the fel power in her blood consume her and headed to the Halls of Valor in an attempt to confront Odyn.[71] Fortunately, an order champion was able to dissuade her before she faced Odyn, who would not have been kind to her. She apologized to Eyir for her rampage and sought her judgment. Despite her misgivings, Sigryn showed that she possessed the strength and willpower to overcome the fel, something no vrykul had done before.[72] Eyir thus decided that, instead of being punished, she was to assume the burden of the crown and rule the Tideskorn as their God-Queen.[73]

Battle for Azeroth[]

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

At the time of the Fourth War, after Zandalar opened its port to non-trolls for the first time in centuries,[74] a group of vrykul traders arrived to sell their wares. Enges, a vrykul Fjarnskaggl trader could also be found in Boralus Harbor, though because of the herb's popularity among the nobles her stocks have run out.

The Bloodwake clan vrykul from Jorundall island with their fleet in the Great Sea were after azerite found on islands. They were led by the greatest raider to ever live Jorun, the Bloodwake, who long ago left Stormheim to seek a life at sea living only to raid, but never in one place for long.[75][76]

Exploring Azeroth[]

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

Following the war against the Jailer, the brothers Bronzebeard visited Northrend after many years and notably reported the activities of the vrykul on the frozen continent.

In Howling Fjord, the vrykul clans are keeping to themselves,[8] the Winterskorn vrykul mostly rebuilt Skorn,[77] while those of the Dragonflayer clan continue to regularly attack the walls of Valgarde due to its proximity to Wyrmskull Village.[34] They also reported that the fortress Gjalerhorn is still half-filled with slumbering vrykul, slowly being coaxed back to waking life by the vrykul necrolords.[78]

In Grizzly Hills, the vrykul of Voldrune have been fair quiet in recent days, Muradin Bronzebeard assumed it is due to the Horde troops in Conquest Hold.[79]

In Sholazar Basin, they are still coming to the Savage Thicket, in order to capture wild Proto-dragons to ride or when they need fresh blood amongst the ones they keep in their villages.[80]

In Icecrown, the vrykul of Jotunheim are still challenging each other in the pit of Valhalas, but they have no death god to serve, at least.[7]


Syreian the Bonecarver TCG

Syreian the Bonecarver, a vrykul huntress.

The vrykul use proto-dragons as mounts. It is said that they were the first to recognize their potential. Or maybe the second, depending on how you look at it.[81] In Northrend, the vrykul come to the Savage Thicket of the Sholazar Basin, in order to capture wild proto-drakes to ride or when they need fresh blood amongst the ones they keep in their villages.[80]

Contrary to popular belief, vrykul drinking horns were not common drinking vessels. While most drank mead or ale from bowls or cups, only those of great prestige quaffed wine from elaborate horns. Indeed, even the passing of such a vessel to the vrykul in question was a matter of ceremony, usually performed by the highest-ranking female present along with formal declarations of rank and deed.[82]

In vrykul culture, it is the woman of the household who keeps all the keys, often displaying them prominently to show her status.[83]

In the Howling Fjord, the height of Utgarde Keep is like the social ladder for the vrykul: the higher on the food chain they are, the higher up in the keep they live.[84]

The frost vrykul believe that wearing a necklace of polar bear claws will grant them otherworldly strength.[85]

The vrykul assign nicknames based on accomplishments. Cleansing a Drakkari bloodline or decapitating taunka might garner the appellation of "dutiful" but it takes a true act of depravity to be called "ruthless".[86]

It's a vrykul tradition to make unlikely partners work together. Some say it's to allow divergent abilities to complement each other; others say it's for the amusement of King Ymiron.[87]

There's an old vrykul saying that goes, "Let sleeping worgs lie, unless you don't want your face anymore."[88]

The Jotunheim vrykul were the first to be reawakened, and as such Jotunheim is of significant importance to the vrykul race, second only to Ymirheim.[31]

Vrykul see manual labor as beneath them, and as such they use mindless undead to dig a tunnel from Utgarde Keep to Gjalerbron.[89] They also use slaves in the Saronite Mines, but forging seems to be seen as a worthy pursuit, as there are many vrykul blacksmiths in Utgarde. Vargul possess enough of their minds to be used for labor, but are not pleased to do it.[90]


“Do not fear death. To live as a vrykul is to know danger. A glorious death will not be the end. The second life begins in the sky. Odyn's refuge must stand.”

— The Prophecy of Rythas the Oracle

Much of Stormheim vrykul society is shaped by their devotion to Odyn, and their relationship to death is no different. Vrykuls are raised not to fear death and to live the life of a warrior so as to join the ranks of his formidable Valarjar at the Halls of Valor in the afterlife. The bodies of the honored dead are then taken care of by the Bonespeakers, a group of vrykul mystics. They are responsible for burying kings, thanes[91] and many others so they can be judged, although it is unknown if they kept their functions following their heretical actions during the third invasion of the Burning Legion.

Vrykul who want to be judged by their ancestors can organize a ritual of wakening to conjure up their spirit. To complete this ritual it is required to bring an aromatic to burn[92] and an offering to present. As it is believed that the afterlife leaves the dead hungry for the delicacies of their former lives, a feast such as a Bjornharta makes for a suitable offering.[93]

Northrend vrykul use burial mounds.[94]

Technology and armaments[]

Jotunheim Rapid-Fire Harpoon

Vrykul's harpoon gun in Jotunheim.

The vrykul craft their homes and armaments from wood, stone, metal and whatever else they can gather from their surroundings.[95] Animal motifs are known to be used on vrykul tools, weapons and armor, such as a flint striker with a rod carved like a dragon's head, with the flat blade of metal fashioned to look like a stylized fish.[96] They also use proto-dragon fangs for tools, such as cloak pins.[97] Vrykul technology, however, is slightly behind that of the Horde or Alliance.[83] They use harpoon guns.

Many of the axes forged by the vrykul display an unusual style: the bottom edge of the axe blade extends down below the width of the butt. This style increases cutting area while minimizing weight; it can be used on both weapon and tools. Some dwarven axes show a similar construction.[98] Scramseax are large, straight knives with a single edge and a simple hilt worn by many vrykul warriors as a sidearm. One common fighting style among warriors involves an axe in the main hand and the scramseax in the offhand.[99]

Vrykul appear to use shoveltusk bones for weapons and armor, as can be seen in the Shaman Tier 10 armor set (Frost Witch's Garb) and Inv staff 97 [Twin's Pact]. This can also be seen in concept art for a female vrykul warrior.


While Northrend's vrykul naturally know little magic, some have been trained in necromancy by the Lich King.[100] A few of Ingvar's raiders also learned to master the arcane arts. Most vrykul magic seems to draw from mysterious runes that even the most experienced magi find unfamiliar. These rune-casters are among the deadliest of all the vrykul, possessing the power to freeze their foes in solid ice and shatter them into a thousand jagged shards.[89] The mystic vrykul of Stormheim are masters of this rune magic.[101][102] Many are known to infuse their tattoos with ancient magic and, culturally, hold their inkbinders in very high regard.[103]



Vrykul art from the official site.

Vrykul appear as very large and muscular humans. Their infants, unlike human infants, apparently are able to stand on their own not long after birth.[19] The males are usually, but not always, bearded; indeed, some vrykul skeletons retain their facial hair long after their flesh has rotted away, as evidenced by the Risen Vrykul Ancestors at the ancient burial ground known as Shield Hill. Many males also have intricate tattoos on their arms and torso.

Cairne Bloodhoof (who had never seen one in person) described them in the following way: "They looked like humans—if humans were larger than tauren and sometimes had skin that was covered in ice, or made of metal or stone."[104]

Note that this is the only known official mention of "stone vrykul" that some players assume to have existed at some point. Interestingly, Cairne implies that they have already been seen. He may mean that iron vrykul have some stone parts, though it is possible that this was meant to be confirmation that there were stone vrykul. World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 1 reveals that the original vrykul were iron, not stone like the other titan races.

Both men and women have deep voices.


Name Role Affiliation Status Location
Neutral IconSmall Ymiron IconSmall Ymiron2 King Ymiron Champion of the Valarjar, former King of the Northrend vrykul and ruler of the Dragonflayer clan. Valarjar (formerly Scourge and Dragonflayer clan) Alive Various
Mob IconSmall Vrykul Female Queen Angerboda Queen of the Vrykul and wife of Ymiron, killed by the adventurers. Scourge, Dragonflayer clan Deceased Winter's Terrace, Howling Fjord
Boss IconSmall Skovald God-King Skovald Former King of the vrykul on the Broken Isles and ally of the Burning Legion. Tideskorn clan, Burning Legion Deceased Various
Neutral IconSmall Vrykul Female God-Queen Sigryn Daughter of Skovald and Queen of the vrykul on the Broken Isles. Tideskorn clan Alive Various
Neutral IconSmall Vrykul Male Gjonner the Merciless Death knight and arena master of Valhalas. Jotunheim vrykul Active Valhalas, Icecrown
Neutral IconSmall Vrykul Male Helgus Famed bard who lived in the town of Nifflevar and wrote three sagas. Unknown Unknown Unknown
Neutral IconSmall Vrykul Female Ashildir Queen of the Valkyra, she is long dead but still leads them to this day. Valkyra Active Stormheim
Boss IconSmall Vrykul Male IconSmall Vargul Ingvar the Plunderer Commander of the attacks on Valgarde; raised as a vargul by Annhylde the Caller. Dragonflayer clan, Scourge Deceased Tyr's Terrace, Utgarde Keep
Mob IconSmall Vrykul Male Iskalder Mjordin hero, rumored to have been the finest vrykul warrior to ever live. Mjordin Killable Halls of the Ancestors, Icecrown
Neutral IconSmall Vrykul Male Runeseer Faljar Leader of the Bonespeakers in Stormheim. Bonespeakers Alive Various
Neutral IconSmall Vrykul Male Jarl Velbrand Leader of the Drekirjar in Stormheim. Drekirjar Alive Various
Boss IconSmall Vrykul Male Skarvald the Constructor "Companion" of the necromancer Dalronn the Controller in Utgarde Keep. Dragonflayer clan Killable Utgarde Keep
Boss IconSmall Vrykul Female IconSmall Val'kyr Svala Sorrowgrave Lieutenant of Ingvar the Plunderer; transformed into a Val'kyr by the Lich King for her service. Dragonflayer clan, Scourge Killable Observance Hall, Utgarde Pinnacle
Mob IconSmall Vrykul Male Thane Ufrang the Mighty Thane of the Mjordin, commander of the forces at Savage Ledge. Mjordin, Jotunheim vrykul Killable Ufrang's Hall, Icecrown


Have stone or metal-like skin with engraved runes. Sjonnir The Ironshaper appears to be this type of vrykul. The current generation of iron vrykul serves the titan watcher Loken, as well as his master, Yogg-Saron. They are the original form of vrykul made of iron and are to the vrykul as the earthen are to the dwarves.
Vrykul found mainly in Icecrown Citadel and the Storm Peaks. They have blue and pale skin. They have been found in multiple groups, such as the Ymirjar and the all-female Hyldnir. Vrykul brought to undeath that were found worthy by the Lich King.[106] The Ymirjar are the winners of the challenge to "ascend" at Jotunheim.
Incorporeal undead raised from vrykul females. Two similar versions exist: those created by Odyn (through Helya, and later through Eyir), and those created by the Lich King. The Valkyra aspire to be transformed into the first type; the inhabitants of Valkyrion aspire to be transformed into the second type.
Vrykul brought to undeath that weren't found worthy by the Lich King.[107] They are the losers of the challenge to "ascend" at Jotunheim. The winners are the Ymirjar.[108]
Undead spirits, covered in green scales and barnacles. They were created by Helya in order to serve her in Helheim, and to kill and capture new spirits for her. They attack the beaches of southern Northrend and sections of Stormheim. Additionally in a chain of flashbacks,[109] Varkul the Unrelenting leads a huge army and claims the then abandoned Ruins of Vashj'ir. Both he and his kvaldir were defeated by an army of naga led by Lady Naz'jar and Fathom-Lord Zin'jatar.
A population of seafaring vrykul who settled on Kul Tiras and especially Drustvar. They had a strong affinity for nature, as seen with the Thornspeakers led by Ulfar. They are depicted in visions with similar builds to humans, though taller and paler (Both peoples descend from vrykul stock). When human settlers from Gilneas landed on Kul Tiras, the Drust waged war to drive them out. However, after the eventual defeat of their king, Gorak Tul, they were all but wiped out by the early Kul Tirans. Few remain alive today, but their dead's influence still lingers as they continue their fight from beyond the veil. Having made an unknown ritual with the realm known as Thros, the Drust do not pass on to the Shadowlands when they die, instead going to Thros to await rebirth via the realm's dark powers. Here they are able to poke through the veil to the living to corrupt unwitting humans to act as their servants. This led to the creation of the Heartsbane Coven, witches who were nearly successful in tearing open the veil between the realms. The Drust spirits are also seen possessing constructs as well as raising their fallen warriors to fight again.

Notes and trivia[]

Leoric HotS Vrykul

Leoric, a character from Diablo, using a vrykul-themed skin in Heroes of the Storm


  • The vrykul seem to be largely inspired by Scandinavian culture and Germanic culture, Norse mythology, as well as cultural media regarding Vikings. A couple of examples below:
    • "vri" and "kul" are both words that together would mean "Free Hawk" in some older Germanic languages.
    • The original lore of descent from giants gestures to the descent of some Germanic royal lineages from jotunn and other mythological beings.
    • The names of groups such as the Valarjar or Ymirjar are inspired by the Einherjar of Norse mythology, the warriors who died glorious deaths in battle and were brought to Valhalla by the valkyries, being a composite of various mythological figures like Ymir and the word jarl.
    • The Halls of Valor is based upon Valhalla and Asgard, whereas Helheim is based upon Helheim.
    • Many of the Titan Keepers and their current and former servants (both people like Helya i.e. Hel and also animals like Fenryr i.e. Fenrir) are based upon Norse deities and mythological creatures.
    • The Valkyr, and their selection from among vrykul women, is based upon the valkyrie, with some of the Valkyr being named after specific ones from mythology, like Eyir (Eir) and Hyrja (Herja).
    • They use Futhark runes.
    • The usually positive relationship between the Highmountain tauren and the Stormheim vrykul gesture to the short-lived relationship between North American indigenous peoples and the Vikings during the norse colonization of North America.
  • Although the vrykul seem to be based on Norse mythology and Viking culture throughout history, the horns on their helmets are actually derived from a common Hollywood trope that is historically inaccurate.
  • The "vrykul" name itself may come from the Greek equivalent of the vampire, the vrykolakas, gesturing to their original presentation as "vampiric".
  • "Vrykul" were the name of vampiric, revenants in the Sovereign Stone series.


Card games
Fan art

See also[]


  1. ^ Aegira
  2. ^ Inv jewelry ring 96 [Focuser of Jonat, the Elder]
  3. ^ The Drust
  4. ^ Hidden Assassin
  5. ^ a b Archaeology description
  6. ^ BlizzCon 2015 World and Content Overview Panel (around 29:40)
  7. ^ a b c d Exploring Azeroth: Northrend, pg. 132
  8. ^ a b Exploring Azeroth: Northrend, pg. 15
  9. ^ Exploring Azeroth: Northrend, pg. 155
  10. ^ N Warrior [45] Ulduar's Oath
  11. ^ Mueh'zala yells: It be Mueh'zala who brought Helya to da Jailer's side... struck a deal for ol' Odyn's eye... and made da Banshee warchief with a whisper!
  12. ^ The Legend of Odyn
  13. ^ World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 1, pg. 59
  14. ^ World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 1, pg. 59 - 60 - 61
  15. ^ a b World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 3, pg. 18
  16. ^ a b c d World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 1
  17. ^ Class Hall Mission: Generic Dragonblood
  18. ^ Ask CDev - Round 4 Answers
  19. ^ a b A [10-30] Anguish of Nifflevar
  20. ^ A [10-30] The Echo of Ymiron
  21. ^ a b Exploring Azeroth: Northrend, pg. 20
  22. ^ a b Saga of the Valarjar: Strom'kar, the Warbreaker
  23. ^ Skadi the Ruthless#Dungeon Journal
  24. ^ Libram of Ancient Kings: The Silver Hand
  25. ^ World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 1, pg. 65 - 66
  26. ^ World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 1, pg. 65
  27. ^ Tarjin the Blind#Quotes
  28. ^ Saga of the Valarjar: Scale of the Earth-Warder
  29. ^ The Art of World of Warcraft: Legion, pg. 84
  30. ^ The Lost Codex 2018-11-03. Blizzcon 2018 Interview: Alex Afrasiabi & Patrick Dawson - Story and Systems | The Lost Codex. YouTube. Retrieved on 2018-11-03.
  31. ^ a b N [25-30] Vandalizing Jotunheim
  32. ^ Bjorn Halgurdsson yells: Drive the invaders out! For Queen Angerboda! Angerboda is the wife of Ymiron, king of the Dragonflayer
  33. ^ Exploring Azeroth: Northrend, pg. 94
  34. ^ a b Exploring Azeroth: Northrend, pg. 18
  35. ^ A [10-30] If Valgarde Falls...
  36. ^ H [10-30] A Lesson in Fear and H [10-30] Baleheim Bodycount
  37. ^ A [10-30] The Echo of Ymiron and A [10-30] Anguish of Nifflevar
  38. ^ H [25-30 Daily] Blood of the Chosen
  39. ^ N [25-30] The Duke
  40. ^ N [25-30] Off With Their Black Wings
  41. ^ Thane Ufrang the Mighty#Quotes
  42. ^ N [80H] Proof of Demise: King Ymiron
  43. ^ Exploring Azeroth: Northrend, pg. 148
  44. ^ N [25-30] The Hyldsmeet
  45. ^ Twilight Slayer
  46. ^ World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 3, pg. 163
  47. ^ Icecrown Citadel (instance)
  48. ^ Edge of Night
  49. ^ Dungeon Journal entry for Warmaster Blackhorn
  50. ^ H [10-35] Family Tree
  51. ^ N [45WQ] Brothers of Skovald
  52. ^ N [45WQ] Rise of Skovald
  53. ^ a b 'God-King Skovald (tactics)
  54. ^ N [10-45] Ahead of the Game
  55. ^ N [10-45] The Shattered Watcher
  56. ^ N [10-45] A Trial of Will
  57. ^ N [10-45] Regal Remains
  58. ^ B Warrior [10-45] Return to the Broken Shore
  59. ^ N Warrior [10-45] Legacy of the Icebreaker
  60. ^ N Paladin [10-45] The End of the Saga
  61. ^ N Paladin [10-45] Shrine of the Truthguard
  62. ^ N Hunter [10-45] A Beastly Expedition
  63. ^ N Hunter [10-45] Stolen Thunder
  64. ^ N Hunter [10-45] Hunter to Hunter
  65. ^ N Warrior [45] The Fate of Hodir
  66. ^ N [45] Fate of the Tideskorn
  67. ^ The Reluctant
  68. ^ N [45] To Silence the Bonespeakers
  69. ^ N [45] To Tame the Drekirjar
  70. ^ N [45] The Forgotten Heir
  71. ^ N [45] Unanswered Questions
  72. ^ N [110] The God-Queen's Fury
  73. ^ N [110] Eyir's Forgiveness
  74. ^ H [10-60] Shakedown
  75. ^ N [10-50] Bloodwake Drinking Horn
  76. ^ Inv misc coinbag11 [Jorundall Salvage]
  77. ^ Exploring Azeroth: Northrend, pg. 17
  78. ^ Exploring Azeroth: Northrend, pg. 16
  79. ^ Exploring Azeroth: Northrend, pg. 28
  80. ^ a b Exploring Azeroth: Northrend, pg. 122
  81. ^ Mount Journal entry for Ability mount drake proto [Reins of the Red Proto-Drake] and Ability mount drake proto [Reins of the Green Proto-Drake]
  82. ^ Inv misc archaeology vrykuldrinkinghorn [Vrykul Drinking Horn]
  83. ^ a b Inv misc key 07 [Intricate Treasure Chest Key]
  84. ^ Exploring Azeroth: Northrend, pg. 20
  85. ^ Mount Journal entry for Ability mount polarbear white [Reins of the White Polar Bear]
  86. ^ Adventure Guide entry for Skadi the Ruthless
  87. ^ Adventure Guide entry for Skarvald and Dalronn
  88. ^ Fjord Worg Pup
  89. ^ a b Wrath of the Lich King Expansion Features/Utgarde Keep
  90. ^ N [25-30] Matchmaker
  91. ^ N [10-45] What the Bonespeakers Buried
  92. ^ N [10-45] The Dreaming Fungus
  93. ^ N [10-45] Bjornharta
  94. ^ N [10-30] A Return to Resting
  95. ^ The Art of World of Warcraft: Legion, pg. 85
  96. ^ Inv stone grindingstone 02 [Flint Striker]
  97. ^ Inv jewelry trinket 01 [Fanged Cloak Pin]
  98. ^ Inv axe 97 [Nifflevar Bearded Axe]
  99. ^ Inv sword 118 [Scramseax]
  100. ^ The Old Wizard's Almanac
  101. ^ Inv kilt cloth 02 [Mystic Kilt of the Rune Master]
  102. ^ BlizzCon 2015 World and Content Overview Panel (around 30:30)
  103. ^ Generic Inked
  104. ^ The Shattering: Prelude to Cataclysm, pg. 17
  105. ^ N [25-30] The Duke
  106. ^ N [20-30] Light Won't Grant Me Vengeance
  107. ^ N [20-30] Light Won't Grant Me Vengeance
  108. ^ N [25-30] The Duke
  109. ^ B [30-35] Visions of the Past: The Invasion of Vashj'ir
  110. ^ Treasure The Rocks Below
  111. ^ Chris Metzen at BlizzCon 2007's Lore panel - "The first time we started talking about these guys, there were probably six different things that defined them, right? They're giant... dark... vampiric... barbarian... vikings... from hell, right? The list just kept going."
  112. ^ N [10-45] What the Bonespeakers Buried
  113. ^ Voice Work & Comedy: World of Warcraft
  114. ^ File:Jag hund.jpg