Warlocks were former mages (or shamans) that delved too deeply into the roots of demonic power (or warlock magics). Consumed by a lust for dark knowledge, they've tapped into chaotic magics from beyond the world, magics that connected the myriad worlds together. The Burning Legion, a destructive army from beyond the stars, now feeds them their powers, allowing them to call upon the powerful emissaries of their demon masters and channel destructive energies.
If the energies of a world can be used for destruction, then energies of the underworld could destroy. Its this destructive power that the warlocks use in their incantations and rituals. As the most powerful of the sects, these dark brethren of Hades go where none others dare in search of ultimate power. Their Towers hold the keys to unleashing the very essence of evil upon those they see as a threat to their devious plans. Spells that channel the fire and brimstone of hell through their bodies, or can summon forth great creatures - even daemons - are theirs to use.
Before Life Edit
Before life even began, before even the cosmos took shape, there was Light ... and Void. In the form of a boundless prismatic sea, the Light swelled across all existence. The ocean of Light was dynamic and ever shifting. Yet as it expanded, some of its energies faded and dimmed, leaving behind pockets of cold nothingness. From the absence of Light in these spaces, a new power coalesced and came to be. This power was the Void, a dark and vampiric force driven to devour all energy, to twist creation inward to feed upon itself. The Void quickly grew and spread its influence, moving against the waves of Light. The mounting tension between these two opposing yet inseparable energies eventually ignited a series of catastrophic explosions, rupturing the fabric of creation and birthing a new realm into existence. In that moment, the physical universe was born.
The energies released by the clash of Light and Void raged across the nascent cosmos, raw matter merging and spinning into primordial worlds without number. Composed of the primordial matter from which the universe was born, the titans are godlike beings. Their spirits—known as world-souls—formed within a deep within the fiery core of a small number of worlds and for ages, these nascent titans slumbered, their energies suffusing the celestial bodies they inhabited. All titans were uniquely susceptible (and therefore connected) to fel magic and it seems that this connection allowed the titans to manipulate fel magic.
Rise of Twisted Souls Edit
Willingly or otherwise, all creatures who use the power of fel magic slowly take on the appearance of demons. Demons had been formed as a result of the Light and Void energies that had bled together at the borders of the Twisting Nether, an astral dimension that unstable energies coalesced into. The demons embraced their furious passions and reveled in pushing the boundaries of their power, heedless of the consequences. Many of these abberations indulged in the highly volatile energy that pervaded the Nether. Some learned to wield the all-consuming powers of fel magic. Before long, these demons clawed their way into the physical universe, terrorizing mortal civilizations and bringing ruin world after world.
No discussion of demons can be complete without mentioning Sargeras, the God of Fel and Flame. Over the course of millennia, he twisted many creatures into demons so that they would join his Burning Legion and work toward his goal: the destruction of the universe, which he believed to be fundamentally flawed. Fulfilling his grim design, the Legion has ravaged innumerable worlds. However, Sargeras was not the sole creator of demons, and there are demons that have no affiliation with the Legion. While many warlocks willingly follow the Burning Legion, there are those who work against it, using their magic to fight against evil. Warlocks have proven themselves to be powerful allies—as well as powerful foes.
The Burning Crusaders Edit
For all of Sargeras's vast power and intellect, he could not direct his entire army at once. Demons were vicious and bloodthirsty, but most lacked strategic thinking. Sargeras wanted cunning and tactically minded commanders to join his side, and he had seen a place from which to harvest such servants: a world called Argus. Argus was home to the highly advanced eredar and one of their greatest leaders, Thal'kiel, had unprecedented skill with summoning and binding magics. Driven by ambition, he reached into the Void and was answered with knowledge of dark creatures unlike any the eredar had seen before. However, Thal’kiel’s apprentice, Archimonde, discovered his master’s dark pact and revealed it to Thal'kiel's fellow rulers, who banded together to strike Thal'kiel down. After his defeat, they had his skull gilded and placed on display as a warning.The eredar hungered for knowledge above all else. By attaining it, they believed they could shape the universe into a better and more benevolent place. Believing that this gifted race would be crucial in his quest to undo all of creation, Sargeras contacted the eredar’s leaders – Kil'jaeden, Archimonde, and Velen, offering them knowledge and power in exchange for their loyalty. Only Velen abstained, for he had seen a vision. In it, his people were transformed into demons; members of Sargeras’ Burning Legion, a growing army of unspeakable evil. Velen gathered like-minded eredar and escaped Argus. These renegades would eventually call themselves the draenei, or “exiled ones.”
Sargeras bent the other eredar to his unholy will. Fanatical fel whisperings surged through the minds of the world's inhabitants, drowning out their ability to reason. Sargeras also infused the eredar with fel energies, twisting their forms to resemble hideous demons. Sargeras found quick use for his new fel-corrupted converts. Born of the eredar race, warlocks are absolutely corrupt and unimaginably powerful. Their chaos magics have burnt out whole worlds and annihilated countless species over the aeons. Under Archimonde, the warlocks serve as the Legion's tacticians and strategists.
The Shadow Pact Edit
Kil’jaeden, infuriated by the draenei’s flight from Argus and their refusal of Sargeras’ offer, led the Legion’s armies in pursuit of his former people throughout the cosmos. But the draenei eluded their hunters, discovering sanctuary on a remote world that they would name Draenor, the homeworld of the orcs. However, Kil'jaeden eventually found Draenor and enthralled the orc shaman, Ner'zhul. Using the cunning shaman as his conduit, the demon spread battle lust and savagery throughout the orc clans. Before long, the spiritual race was transformed into a bloodthirsty people. Kil'jaeden then urged Ner'zhul and his people to take the last step: to give themselves over entirely to the pursuit of death and war. Yet the old shaman, sensing that his people would be enslaved to hatred forever, somehow resisted the demon's command.
Frustrated by Ner'zhul's resistance, Kil'jaeden searched for another orc who would deliver his people into the Legion's hands. The clever demonlord finally found the willing disciple he sought - Ner'zhul's ambitious apprentice, Gul'dan. Gul’dan was promised unfathomable power in the form of mastery over fel magic—the ways of the warlock—if he would only swear fealty to the demon lord and usurp his mentor. In turn, Gul'dan taught other young orcs the arcane arts and strove to eradicate the orcs' shamanistic traditions. Gul'dan showed a new brand of magic to his brethren, a terrible new power that reeked of doom. And to tighten his hold over the orcs, Kil'jaeden helped Gul'dan found the Shadow Council, a secretive sect that manipulated the clans and spread the use of warlock magics throughout Draenor. As more and more orcs began to wield warlock magics, the gentle fields and streams of Draenor began to blacken and fade. Over time, the vast prairies the orcs had called home for generations withered away, leaving only red barren soil. The demon energies were slowly killing the world.
Warlocks of Azeroth Edit
"Say what you like about the orcs; their warlocks wielded great power. Power against which we had precious little defense. We have an obligation: we must learn to wield and counter these magics ourselves." - Kel'Thuzad
With the aid of the sorcerer Medivh and the Dark Portal that connected Draenor to Azeroth, Gul'dan led his orcish horde to Azeroth. In time, the magi of Azeroth would seek to understand the demonic Dark Portal and the demonic energies that the orcish warlocks wielded.
Dark Practices Edit
Warlocks are the most volatile and insatiable of spellcasters. Though they often pledge themselves to the service of noble causes and are not innately evil, their desire to understand darker magics and exercise unwavering command over demonic forces breeds mistrust among even their closest allies.Warlocks peer into the Void without hesitation, leveraging the chaos they glimpse within to devastating ends in battle—their greatest abilities are fueled by the souls they’ve harvested from their victims. They exploit powerful Shadow magic to manipulate and degrade the minds and bodies of their enemies. They employ Fire magic, dropping hellish rain from the sky, to immolate the opposition. They summon and command indomitable demons from the Twisting Nether to do their bidding, or even to be sacrificed as the Warlock sees fit, empowering and protecting the dark caster from harm.
In the face of demonic power, most heroes see death. Warlocks see only opportunity. Dominance is their aim and they have found a path to it in the dark arts, the arts of necromancy. According to the Blizzard Historian Justin Parker, warlocks have necromantic abilities but aren't necromancers. It seems that Justin Parker doesn't understand that warlocks can't have the abilities OF necromancers without being necromancers themselves and that these voracious spellcasters summon demonic minions to fight beside them. At first, they command only the service of imps, but as a warlock’s knowledge grows, seductive succubi, loyal voidwalkers, and horrific felhunters join the dark sorcerer’s ranks to wreak havoc on anyone who stands in their master’s way.
"Search for power in the places behind your soul where the Light cannot reach." - Drom'kor, Timewalker Necrolyte
Indulging in fel energies that wither away their life force over time, warlocks can be considered the masters of shadow magic. Shadow magic can be described as priestly and perhaps warlocks can be considered priests if they worship demons. Priests are devoted to the spiritual, that which pertains to the "Spirit", the primal life force that shamans tap into. Shamanism is stated to be a deeply spiritual form of magic and, presumably, it is connected to the necromantic abilities of the warlocks.Afflictions warlocks are masters of shadow-touched powers, but unlike shadow priests—deadliest when pushed to the brink of insanity—these warlocks delight in using fel forces to cause intense pain and suffering in others. They revel in corrupting minds and agonizing souls, leaving enemies in a state of torment that would see them undone in due time. Even the most battle-hardened warriors can be deceived, landing blow after blow against the warlock, only to succumb to their suffering as their very vitality is siphoned away by the dark spellcaster.
"No matter how learned and knowledgeable, how wise and wonderful, how powerful and puissant, there is always one more sliver of power, one more bit of knowledge, one more secret to be learned by any mage." - Medivh, Keeper of Secrets
Demonology is a branch of study relating to a demon (or demons). Students gifted with a keen intellect and unwavering discipline may walk the path of the mage. The arcane magic available to magi is both great and dangerous, and thus is revealed only to the most devoted practitioners. Of the arcane, the language of order, mages are diviners of secrets (including demonic secrets?), balancing the ebb and flow of incredible mystic energies. Unparalleled skill is required to manipulate the volatile forces of the universe. These practitioners push their magical knowledge to its very limits—often to the brink of their own exhaustion, and at great risk to the world around them. Those who master this craft are capable of releasing a barrage of unrelenting power upon their enemies, drawing upon replenishing energies to maintain their assault for as long as the battle demands.
Volatile arcane energies—the lifeblood of a nascent titan— are the energies of the Twisting Nether and a common perception was shared that the magi's magic was unholy and possibly even demonic. By their very nature, demons are leeches on the living universe—but the demonologist has mastered harnessing the power of these malefic beings on the field of battle. Warlocks harvest the souls of their defeated enemies; those specialized in the ways of demonology use this life essence to tap into the Void, pulling all manner of abomination from the chaos of the Twisting Nether. While such a practice is often considered by outsiders to be wicked and reckless, the demonologist maintains absolute control over the summoned creatures. These malignant entities are fully beholden to—and empowered by—the will of the warlock, until banished to the realm from whence they came.
Demonic power is a nether-based (or necromantic power) that exists in - and can be derived from - the Twisting Nether because demons are from the Twisting Nether. Despite that fact, Blizzard's Lead Lore Historian, Sean Copeland, denied that warlocks harness their power from the Nether after someone asked if perhaps warlocks harness their power from the Nether, stating "No, that’d be magi, IIRC. They gain power by the destruction of another source (recall the undead warlock in original cinematic)". Additionally, Sean claims that demons contain fel magic but aren't the source, stating that the nature of this magic is created from destruction of something else.
"ALL falls to chaos, ALL will be destroyed. (Chaos, chaos!)" - Cho'gall
If warlocks get their power from destruction, they would get it from the destruction of demons or demonic constructs because their power is demonic. Demons are constructs if they can be destroyed because destruction is the process of destroying structures, breaking them down into the parts that they're constructed of. Despite that fact, Jeremy Feasel claims that the wow team made warlocks about living demons, which is simply not true IF demons are constructs. Unless constructs can be considered alive, the study and use of magic to control demons can be defined as necromancy, the study and use of magic to raise and control the dead.
Warlock energy spreads like radiation and could seep into - and exist inside - warlocks. Presumably, warlocks infused with demonic power (or warlock magics) have a bond/connection to a demon (or demons) - a connection that warlocks can use to pull a demon (or demons) from the Twisting Nether. And, presumably, warlocks can harness their power from the destruction of these constructs and give them form, creating entropic horrors: Energies can be so chaotic that they manifest as entropic horrors, pure fel magic given form to lash out at all life.
Demons of the Warlocks Edit
As immortals, the demons of the warlocks are not living beings that die (mortals) by definition. As such, these non-living entities are technically undead and so warlocks are necromancers.
Felhunters EditFelhunters are magic eaters that feed on arcane energy, an energy that fel energy is counteracted by. Volatile arcane energies—the lifeblood of a nascent titan—are the energies of the Twisting Nether and so the warlocks' felhunters presumably reside in the Twisting Nether, searching for arcane energy to feast upon, or travel in-between the Twisting Nether and the physical universe.
Imps EditThe imps are, presumably, former grell who have been destroyed and trapped between life and nether. Presumably, these beings derive power from the fel energies that pervade the nether. As demons, they hungered for nothing less than the destruction of all life.
Infernals EditWarlocks can summon many demonic soldiers to destroy their enemies. The powerful Infernal is just one of these. Infernals seem to be constructed fel elementals who are trapped between fel construction and fel destruction. These beings derive power from the fel energies that pervade the nether.
Succubi EditSuccubi, or sayaad, are agile fighters with command of the mystic arts—particularly the ability to magically charm their targets. While there are many sayaad that loyally serve the Burning Legion, there are also those that serve only themselves or can be impressed by a warlock master. Those in the grasp of a warlock's succubi can undergo brainwashing and so a warlock can, presumably, use his - or her - succubus to brainwash his - or her - victim into servitude - whether the victim is alive or undead.
Voidwalkers EditEnigmatic and emanating pure demonic fury, a voidwalker is sometimes the last thing someone encounters before crossing over into death.
Fel energies can (always does?) consume souls. When fel energies consume souls, a fragment of the soul is left behind. This fragment is, presumably, known as a soul shard. A soul shard is a foul crystal that creates a connection to the Twisting Nether, pulling a demon through against its will. Despite that fact, Chris Metzen retconed the spirits of the dead residing in the Twisting Nether to going to a place called the Shadowlands. As such, warlocks - as of now - cannot use soul shards to pull a demon through the Nether because a soul shard would create a connection to the Shadowlands instead. Perhaps warlocks are able to harvest mortal souls from the Shadowlands or in-between the physical realm and the Shadowlands, then twist them into demonic souls - souls that would have a connection to the Twisting Nether.
Warlockian Tower Edit
This is where the knowledge of the dark magics are revealed. Warlocks reside here to focus their energies towards harnessing the forces of the underworld. Their sect demands payment in precious metals for any services they may offer, as it is then converted into the mystic symbols used in their castings. Metal cages in which to place the subjects of their experiments must be constructed, as well as the ornate metal runes that need to be built into the stone floors for their summoning spells.
- ^ http://web.archive.org/web/20031002110845/http://www.blizzard.com/wow/townhall/classes.shtml#warlock
- ^ Warcraft: Orcs & Humans manual - Warlock
- ^ World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 1 pg. 30-31 on iBooks
- ^ World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 1 pg. 31-32 on iBooks
- ^ World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 1 pg. 39 on iBooks
- ^ Warcraft Encyclopedia
- ^ Ultimate Visual Guide pg. 21
- ^ World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 1 pg. 101-102
- ^ a b World of Warcraft > Game Guide > Races > Draenei
- ^ World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 1 pg. 103-104 on iBooks
- ^ a b c Kil'jaeden and the Shadow Pact
- ^ Hearthstone > News > Gul'dan, The Warlock
- ^ Paragons pg. 426 on iBooks
- ^ World of Warcraft > Legion Class Preview Series: Warlock
- ^ World of Warcraft > Game Guide > Classes > Warlock
- ^ WoW TCG Card: Timeless Shadow
- ^ World of Warcraft > Legion: Warlock Artifact Reveal
- ^ World of Warcraft > Game Guide > Classes > Priest
- ^ Dave Kosak on Twitter
- ^ Ultimate Visual Guide pg. 21
- ^ a b World of Warcraft > Legion Class Preview Series: Warlock
- ^ The Last Guardian pg. 166 on iBooks
- ^ World of Warcraft > Game Guide > Classes > Mage
- ^ World of Warcraft > Legion Class Preview Series: Mage
- ^ World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 1 pg. 66 on iBooks
- ^ Warcraft II manual - Cho'gall
- ^ Tides of Darkness pg. 374-375 on iBooks
- ^ Archived lore tweets from Loreology
- ^ MMO-Champion >> Forum >> World of Warcraft >> Lore >> Thinking with Fel Magic
- ^ WoW TCG Card: Cho'gall (warlock)
- ^ Ultimate Visual Guide pg. 21
- ^ Micky Neilson on Twitter
- ^ Quest:Collecting Corruption
- ^ Tower (Warcraft: Orcs & Humans)