The Warcraft Lore series is a collection of articles delving deep into the history of many important Warcraft figures and events. Since World of Warcraft’s story is ongoing in the famous MMORPG and in some new novel publications, I will try to constantly update these articles. My main sources are Warcraft books and comics, Warcraft 1 / 2 /3, World of Warcraft, WoWWiki, WoWpedia, YouTube and some theory-crafting sites. The following article will inform you about the Old God Y’Shaarj.
In the end of the article you can find a mini Glossary that may prove helpful if you are new to Warcraft lore. Let me know in the comments about any errors or inconsistencies you may find. Feedback is greatly appreciated. Enjoy!
Prologue (Pre Warcraft Era)
Y’Shaarj was the leader (or at least the most powerful) of Azeroth’s Old Gods. The other were N’Zoth, Yogg’Saron and C’Thun. When the Old Gods invaded the planet, the Elemental Lords decided for the first time in their life to work together. Ragnaros the Firelord, Al’Akir the Windlord, Neptulon the Tidehunter and Therazane the Stonemother united their armies against their common enemy. However the Old Gods, with the help of the Aqir, defeated the Elementals and enslaved them.
The four Old Gods of Azeroth, Y’Shaarj, N’Zoth, C’thun and Yogg’Saron
When the Titans arrived in Azeroth, they had to face both the Old Gods and the Elemental Lords. In order to give their full attention to the, obviously stronger, Old Gods they created the Titanforged. The Titanforged was an army of “demigods” tasked to defeat the Elemental Lords and their elemental servants. Although they succeeded to imprison the Elemental Lords, Y’Shaarj managed to corrupt the Titanforged by brainwashing them. The Black Empire was winning the war.
The Titans decided that desperate situations require extreme measures. The leader of the Pantheon, Aman’Thul the Highfather, reached down through Azeroth’s skies and heaved Y’Shaarj from the surface of the world. Y’Shaarj tried to resist, but the power of Aman’Thul was enormous. In addition, the divine Titan was immune to the Old God’s whispers and corruption. Y’Shaarj was ripped apart.
Aman’thul rips Y’Shaarj from the surface of Azeroth
Aftermath (Pre Warcraft Era)
The death of Y’Shaarj, shattered the world. Mountains collapsed, seas overflooded and several Titanforged were instantly obliterated. Unintentionally, Aman’Thul had destroyed a big part of the planet. It was then, when the Titans realized that the Old Gods had entrenched themselves too deep to excise without destroying Azeroth itself. In order to avoid doing the same mistake twice, they chose to imprison the Old Gods beneath the surface of Azeroth instead of killing them. The world was safe. For now.
Y’Shaarj Remains (Pre Warcraft Era)
Centuries later, a Titanforged named Highkeeper Ra came upon the remains of Y’Shaarj when he was building a temple in Uldum. The Titanforged deemed that the Old God’s twisted heart was the most dangerous part of its remains, so he locked it in an underground vault in the Vale of Eternal Blossoms in Pandaria. He tasked some of the Mogu to protect the vault and he returned to continue his work in Uldum.
The Titanforged, Highkeeper Ra
When the Aqir lost to the Trolls and traveled south, they were attracted by the spiritual presense of the Y’Shaarj. The exposure to the demonic remains, transformed them into a new demonic race known as the Mantid. A World of Warcraft cutscene indicates that the Mantid continue to worship the Old Gods until today and should the Old Ones return, they are going to stand by their side. Y’Shaarj’s death also gave birth to the Sha, malevolent spirits who feed on negative emotions.
Garrosh Hellscream (Mists of Pandaria Expansion)
During Garrosh’s reign as a Warchief, he ordered some Goblin engineers to investigate a mysterious artifact in the Vale of Eternal Blossoms. However, the poor Goblins were dealing with something much larger than just an artifact. Inside the Vault, the corrupted heart of the Old One continued to beat. The mining crew lost their sanity and run away in terror. Adventurers were dispatched instead, to bring Y’Shaarj’s heart back to the Warchief.
Garrosh opens the chest with Y’Shaarj’s black heart
When Garrosh got his hand of the heart, he used the pools of Pandaria to fully restore it. Then, the heart was taken to Underhold in Orgrimmar. Although the Orc used the heart to empower himself and create some monstrosities, he did not manage to resurrect the Old God. After Garrosh’s defeat, he Heart has suffered a failure and then faded from existence, ending the life, influence, and corruption of Y’Shaarj. The strongest Old God in Azeroth had finally perished.
A corrupted Garrosh from the exposure to the Old One’s remains
I plan on making one big Warcraft lore post per week and maybe another article mid-week (hopefully some videos in the future). If you enjoyed the article and want to support me, feel free to throw a like on my site’s Facebook Page and a follow on Reddit. Thanks for reading!
If you want, you can also check my other Warcraft Lore articles. If you are new to Warcraft lore, you can find a Glossary below.
Aqir – Servants of the Old Gods, that during the Troll Wars years later, were split into three sub-races. The Nerubians of Azjol Nerub, the Qiraji of Ahn’Qiraj and the mantid of Manti’vess.
Azeroth – The main planet in the Warcraft Universe. (And not just a planet but that’s another story)
Elemental Lords – The powerful leaders of the four elementals.
Garrosh Hellscream – Son of Grommash Hellscream, served as the Horde’s Warchief after Thrall resigned.
Mogu – An ancient race that later was corrupted by the Old Gods and created a huge Empire in Pandaria.
Old Gods – One of the bad guys in Warcraft.
Orgrimmar – The capital city of Orcs.
Pandaria – An entire continent. Along with Kalimdor, the Eastern Kingdoms and Northrend they compose Azeroth.
Titans / Pantheon – The creators of the Universe.
Uldum – A dessert region in south Kalimdor.
Vale of Eternal Blossoms – A region in Pandaria.
Warchief – The leader of the Horde.
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