“From the dawn of its reshaping by the mysterious titans, Azeroth had been guarded by beings who were tied to the world as no other creatures could be. The dragons had been empowered by the titans, but Azeroth itself gave rise to the spirits and demigods, creatures eternal in nature yet capable of ultimate sacrifice.”
- — Wolfheart, chapter I
Wild Gods are primal manifestations of life and nature found on both Azeroth and other planets. Many of them appear in the form of gargantuan animals, such as wolves, bears, tigers, or birds. The Wild Gods of Azeroth are creatures of two realms, for while they inhabit the physical world, their spirits are bound to the ethereal Emerald Dream. When Wild Gods die, they go to Ardenweald and enter a wildseed to be taken care of by keepers of the groves of one of the celestial trees until they are ready to be reborn through the Grove of Awakening.
As the titan-forged began shaping Azeroth, Keeper Freya wandered the world, creating enclaves of life and nature in the places where the waters of the Well of Eternity had coalesced, such as Un'Goro Crater, Sholazar Basin and the Vale of Eternal Blossoms. The greatest creatures to emerge from Freya's enclaves were the colossal Wild Gods. Seeing these creatures as her own children, Freya and the Wild Gods often wandered side by side through the primal forests and grasslands of early Azeroth. The area that they spent the most time at was the massive forested peak known as Mount Hyjal, and it was upon the slopes of Hyjal that Freya bound the spirits of her beloved Wild Gods to the Emerald Dream. Forever after, Hyjal would remain a sacred refuge to the Wild Gods.
- Wild Gods are immortal and ageless. Their spirits will return to the Emerald Dream when killed in the physical world, after which they can be ushered back into the world.
- Not all Wild Gods are capable of speech, as this ability was a gift bestowed by Freya only to certain chosen Wild Gods. Notable examples include the August Celestials, who were chosen for their intelligence, and the twin Bear Lords Ursoc and Ursol, who were chosen for their stubborn bravery.
- Much like dragons, the August Celestials have the ability to shift into humanoid forms. During the trial of Garrosh Hellscream, Chi-Ji appeared as a red-haired blood elf, Niuzao as a glowing tauren and Xuen as a pale blue human. Yu'lon has assumed the form of a pandaren child named Fei on several occasions, including the aforementioned trial, while Chi-Ji has also been known to use the form of Fat Long-Fat, a red-haired pandaren brawler. Ban-Lu, one of Xuen's children, uses the disguise of a pandaren elder named Master Bu.
Different cultures around Azeroth have referred to the Wild Gods by various names.
- Main article: Ancient Guardian
The Ancient Guardians are Wild Gods worshiped by the night elves, found in Kalimdor. They are greatly revered by druids. Famous Ancients include Cenarius, Malorne, Goldrinn, Aviana, Ursoc and Ursol.
- Main article: August Celestial
The August Celestials — Yu'lon, Xuen, Chi-Ji and Niuzao — are Wild Gods who remained in Pandaria after the Great Sundering. They have helped and guided the pandaren people for thousands of years.
- Main article: Loa
"Loa" is the name given by the trolls to the beings they worship as deities, such as the Wild Gods, including the Ancient Guardians, but also other entities such as C'Thraxxi, wisps and spirits like Bwonsamdi or Zanza. The first, early troll tribes already called Kalimdor's elusive Wild Gods as such, and lived among them on the Zandalar Mountains. Countless loa exist, most weak, but some very powerful. Most are shapeless, whereas others have animal or creature forms. The Zandalari believe that powerful, enlightened members of their tribe can become loas upon their death. Some loa, like Gonk, can enter the Emerald Dream. A few of the more famous loa include Hakkar, Shadra, Bwonsamdi, Gonk, Akali, Shirvallah, Nalorakk and Hir'eek.
Notable Wild Gods
- Aessina <The Mother Wisp>
- Agamaggan <The Razorboar>
- Aviana <Mistress of Birds>
- Cenarius <Lord of the Forest>
- Chi-Ji <The Red Crane>
- Ela'lothen <The Moonspirit>
- Goldrinn (Lo'Gosh) <The Great Wolf>
- Malorne (Apa'ro) <The White Stag>
- Niuzao <The Black Ox>
- Ohn'ahra <Eagle Spirit>
- Tortolla <The Wise>
- Ursoc <The Mighty>
- Ursol <The Wise>
- Xuen <The White Tiger>
- Yu'lon <The Jade Serpent>
- A being resembling a wolverine
- A tiny red fox with a sly yet gnomish visage
- A winged panther with hands almost human (possibly Ashamane)
- Sword-wielding pixies of a sort
- A reptilian warrior with a shell reminiscent of a turtle's
- Male figures with hooded faces and whose flesh (what little there was visible) was oak bark.
- A humanoid stick bug race
- A squat warrior
The Twilight's Hammer feared that the Ancient Guardians may someday rise up to oppose them. They created twisted versions of the Ancients, summoned to replace them. They were a primal force of nature, but their origins were from a darker place. Those who birthed these beasts reached deep into the blackness, channeling powers never intended for this world. The Twilight's Hammer dreamed of creating their own pantheon of twisted ancients to rule over the land, sea, and air, though only two were summoned before the Twilight's Hammer was stopped.
- Cenarius' descendants are the magnataur, centaur, keepers of the grove, and dryads (along with their forest and frost offshoots).
- Something created the pandaren
- Agamaggan created the quilboar
- Aviana created the harpies
- Ursoc created the furbolg. Chronicle Volume 1 revealed they came from the jalgar, but Ursoc may have created the jalgar.
- Gorloc and a frog Ancient
- Wolvar and a badger Ancient
- Tauren and a bull Ancient. It is possible this might have been Niuzao. Chronicle Volume 1 revealed they came from the yaungol, but the bull may have created the yaungol.
- Tuskarr and a walrus Ancient
- Aessina might have created the grell (she told Brann "maybe")
- Gnolls and a hyena Ancient
- Makrura and a lobster Ancient
- The term "wild god" first appeared in and in Zul'Drak. The Adventure Guide entry for Gundrak mentions the term "wild deities". The proper version of the term ("Wild Gods") was first mentioned by Dave Kosak on Twitter in 2014 as a categorization for the Ancient Guardians and the August Celestials. The concept was elaborated and expanded upon with the release of World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 1, which also established at least some loa as being Wild Gods.
- While the primal gods of Draenor, including Anzu, Sethe, and Rukhmar, 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. In 2017, Matt Burns stated that he was hesitant to call them Wild Gods as the term has direct ties to the keepers on Azeroth, but added that he does think they're part of a greater set of similar creatures. In Shadowlands, "wild god" (written in lowercase) is used for some non-Azerothian nature spirits, making it no longer specific to Azeroth.
- The worgen are night elves or humans transformed by the fury of Goldrinn and magic of Elune. Thus, in a way, it could be said that worgen originate from Goldrinn.
- Since it is unknown if they visit the Emerald Dream, it is possible that Freya never linked the August Celestials to it like she did the other Wild Gods. Alternatively, they may simply choose not to, given their dedication to providing teaching to mortals.
Possible Wild Gods
The following beings may or may not be Wild Gods.
- Since Wild Gods are usually animals, some animal loa might be Wild Gods too.
- It is unclear whether or not the more humanoid-looking loa, such as Bwonsamdi and Zanza would be Wild Gods or if they are simply some other kind of powerful spirit.
- The spirits of wind serpent loa such as Hakkar the Soulflayer, Quetz'lun, and Tharon'ja, were found in the Shadowlands instead of the Emerald Dream.
- The spirit beasts may be Wild Gods as well.
- The Great Bear Spirit and the Great Cat Spirit could have been Wild Gods.
- Ysildar was speculated to be one of Keeper Freya's animal followers, likely meaning one of the Wild Gods.
- Ai'twen is a sea turtle in Stormsong Valley that once saved many tortollans from the "great purge of the Inky Grotto." He needs to be enticed back to our world.
- Athair is a white stag who befriended Arom Waycrest around 2,700 years ago. He can still be found in Drustvar today, and that longevity, his ability to speak, and his title "Heart of the Forest" may mean he is a Wild God.
- Athainne, the "Secret Keeper of the Forest", is a blue doe with glowing eyes and a moon sigil above her head who can sometimes be found accompanying Athair.
- Blaithe, consort of Aviana.
- Cro'akan is larger than a normal frog. He can instantly kill everyone on his island with Frog Justice.
- Eche'ro is a powerful moose favored and blessed by Malorne.
- G'nathus is believed by some pandaren to be an ancient Zandalari loa left behind to guard the waters south of Lei Shen's island citadel.
- Greenstalker was an ally of the Thornspeakers and protector of the forests in Drustvar, until he was corrupted by the Heartsbane Coven. When he died his spirit visibly left his body and ran off into the wilds.
- Khu'nok the Behemoth is a wise and ancient mammoth of a much larger size than the average mammoth. He also possesses the ability to speak.
- Kros is a devilsaur deity fervently worshiped by the Skumblade saurok and who may be a Wild God. The Skumblade saur-priests claim that the saurok were not the result of mogu flesh-shaping but that they instead evolved from the great creator, Kros. While this claim is false, the Echo of Kros and the blessings invoked by the tribe's brutes suggest that the entity very much exists.
- Loque'nahak, mate of Har'koa.
- Morashu is described as an "ancient spirit" that has lingered in Highmountain "as long as any tribe", and Maltha Silenthoof states that his presence is required to carry out the cycle of life and death that keeps nature in balance. This may mean that he is a Wild God.
- Nozronn is a large skeletal rhino worshiped by the Oracles. His size and ability to speak suggest that he is a Wild God.
- Oacha'noa, a tuskarr sea goddess, asks adventurers if they are working with "the trolls of this land" and if they have come to kill her and take her power, indicating that she is a loa akin to the Drakkari loa that were killed by their worshipers.
- Orsonn and Kodian, the son and daughter of Ursoc, may be Wild Gods themselves due to their parentage.
- Redhoof the Ancient may be a Wild God as he is able to give out blessings like his neighbor Ela'lothen.
- Shen-zin Su may be a Wild God given his colossal size, his ability to speak, and his long lifespan.
- Silverfang may be a Wild God as she is able to give out blessings like his neighbor Ela'lothen.
- Lady Sathrah was a tarantula beloved by Elune. After Sathrah was killed, it was said that the forest would mourn her, and her spirit could be seen in the Temple of the Moon. Priestess A'moora also said Sathrah would be reborn.
- ^ a b World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 1, pg. 14
- ^ a b
- ^ a b c Ember Court description of Droman Aliothe
- ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 1, pg. 39 - 40
- ^ a b Tome of the Ancients
- ^ The Warcraft Encyclopedia: Demigods
- ^ The Jade Hunters
- ^ Dave Kosak on Twitter (2013-03-12): "The August Celestials are very much like the ancients (Goldrinn, Tortolla, etc). Unclear if they visit the dream, tho"
- ^ War Crimes, pg. 16
- ^ a b c Dave Kosak on Twitter (2014-05-08)
- ^ Legion: Druid Artifact Reveal
- ^ World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 1, pg. 78
- ^ a b World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 1, pg. 70
- ^ Blizzard Entertainment 2018-04-30. Battle for Azeroth Preview: Zuldazar Visitor’s Guide. Retrieved on 2018-05-02.
- ^ a b Ask CDev#Ask CDev Answers - Round 2
- ^ Kith'ix
- ^ Shadows of the Loa
- ^ Zen'tabra#Gossip text
- ^ Blizzard Entertainment 2015-01-23. Legion: Druid Artifact Reveal. Retrieved on 2018-03-20.
- ^ World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 1, pg. 89
- ^ Wavespeaker Valoren while inside Nespirah
- ^ a b Tales of the Hunt
- ^ The Sundering, pg. 185-186, 210-214
- ^ , referring to Lycanthoth
- ^ a b c World of Warcraft: The Magazine Issue 5
- ^ World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 1, pg. 144 - 145
- ^ a b World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 1, pg. 119
- ^ World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 2, pg. 21
- ^ Matt Burns on Twitter
- ^ Matt Burns on Twitter