A Crash Course in Draconology in the Warcraft Universe


No one knows who or what created the universe, but from the earliest times an extremely powerful race of beings known as the Titans traveled the cosmos, carefully shaping and designing each new world.  They eventually came upon the planet Azeroth, a primordial land inhabited by fearsome elementals and noble dragons.  After dispatching the malevolent Old Gods and their elemental lieutenants, the Titans molded Azeroth to their own design.  Before they moved on to another world and left Azeroth behind, five of the Titans bestowed great power upon the leaders of the most powerful dragonflights.   In those early days there were many different colors of dragons, but today only the five blessed by the Titans survive, and even they have small numbers.

The Titan Aman'Thul gave the power to control time itself to the leader of the Bronze dragonflight, Nozdormu.
The Titan Eonar granted the title of "Life-Binder" to the Red dragonflight's queen, Alexstrasza, entrusting her with the nurturing and protecting of all life on Azeroth.
Eonar also bestowed power over the spirit realm of dreams and visions to Alexstrasza's younger sister, the Green dragonflight leader, Ysera.
The Titan Norgannon blessed the Blue dragonflight's leader, Malygos, with dominion over all the world's magic.
Last, the Titan Khaz'Goroth set his sights on the ruler of the Black dragonflight, Neltharion, and named him "Earth Warder," with power over the very rocks of the planet itself, from its highest peaks to its molten depths.

The Titans moved on, leaving Azeroth in the care of the five Dragon Aspects.  But the deposed Old Gods were not completely destroyed.  Some remained, trapped in the deepest core of the world, festering in their hatred for the Titans and their creations.   Their power was limited, unable to affect anything going on at the planet's surface.  But as the Old Gods watched and waited, they were able to form a connection with one who spent much of his time underground in vast caverns and tunnels of rock, nearer to their prison than any other.

Slowly, insidiously, and before the Earth Warder realized what was happening, the Old Gods whispered into his mind thoughts of power and paranoia.  In time, their subtle influence warped the mind of the greatest of all Black dragons, until Neltharion descended into madness.  Taking the name Deathwing for himself, he forged an amulet of terrible power, the Dragon Soul--or, as it would later and more aptly be called, the Demon Soul.   With it, he betrayed the other dragonflights and brought the Blues to the very brink of extinction.

Thus from the time of the Sundering, when the night elves first battled the Burning Legion, until the present day, the Black dragonflight has been at war with the Red, Blue, Green and Bronze.

Deathwing's evil talisman later enabled a tribe of orcs to capture the Red Aspect herself, Alexstrasza, and forced her progeny to serve them as slaves and beasts of burden.   When the Demon Soul was destroyed and the Dragonqueen finally freed, she and the other Aspects fought Deathwing with all their combined might, driving him into exile in a severely weakened state.

Now the Black leviathan is waiting...resting...building his strength...  His whereabouts are unknown, his agenda uncertain.  Perhaps he fled to Outland, where he is known to have kept a lair in the past.  Perhaps he was captured by the other Aspects after all and is held captive in Grim Batol.  Or perhaps he is at another, even more mysterious location.

In his absence, his two eldest children, Nefarian and Onyxia, lead the Black dragonflight on Azeroth.  Just how much contact, if any, they have with their sire and ruler is unknown.

Nefarian, sometimes seen in human form as Lord Victor Nefarius, rules from atop Blackrock Mountain and controls the Blackrock Clan of orcs.  Though one of the Old Gods' elemental lieutenants, Ragnaros, dwells deep beneath the mountain, and Dark Iron dwarves occupy some of the lower levels, the upper spire is securely Nefarian's domain.   From his unassailable aerie, he oversees the development of a sort of dragon master-race.  With so very few dragons left in the world, Nefarian seeks to remedy the dwindling population while improving upon the current breeds.  This "Chromatic" dragonflight is a genetic hodgepodge of all the different flights:   Red, Green, Blue and Bronze.  Yet none of these subjects are willing participants.  The Red flight in particular abhors this perversion of life, but its agent, Vaelstrasz, has met with no success in stopping Nefarian's plans.

Onyxia has a two-pronged duty to fill.  She maintains a lair in Kalimdor's Dustwallow Marsh, where she lays and incubates dozens of eggs, helping to bolster the Black flight's ranks in a more natural way than her older brother does.  When not tending to her brood there, she can be found in human disguise as Lady Katrana Prestor, right-hand advisor to the boy-king of the human realm of Stormwind.  Posing as a well-meaning noblewoman, she quietly influences young King Anduin, pulling the strings from behind the scenes to suit her own goals.

Although Nefarian and Onyxia are the two most powerful Black dragons on Azeroth at the moment, they are not the only ones.  Emberstrife has a lair near Onyxia's, Teremus the Devourer patrols near the Dark Portal in the Blasted Lands, Kalaran the Deceiver keeps watch in the Searing Gorge, and the three drakes Firemaw, Ebonroc and Flamegor reside with Nefarian in Blackwing Lair.

And then there is Obsidia...


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Story and screenshot editing by Katie Sullivan.  Warcraft, its characters, and designs all belong to Blizzard Entertainment and are used without permission for nonprofit fan tribute only.