Today we talk about Sargeras, The destroyer of worlds! One of the coolest Titans and our link to the Azeroth we know.
Champion of the Pantheon
Sargeras was a mighty giant of molten bronze who led the armies of the titans, the Champion of the Pantheon’s cause. Like the rest of his kind, he was altruistic and just, unable to conceive of pure evil. Sargeras was called upon to defeat and imprison the hordes of demons native to the Twisting Nether, so that their evil would not contaminate the titans’ vision of order. Sargeras went about his task devoutly for countless millennia.
During his never ending war against the evil in the universe, Sargeras became increasingly depressed by the chaos he saw wrought by all kinds of evil. While his confusion and misery deepened, Sargeras was forced to contend with another group intent on disrupting the titans’ order: the nathrezim. This dark race of vampiric demons (also known as dreadlords) conquered a number of populated worlds by possessing their inhabitants and turning them to the shadow. The nefarious, scheming dreadlords turned whole nations against one another by manipulating them into unthinking hatred and mistrust. Sargeras defeated the nathrezim easily, but their corruption affected him deeply.
Shaken by the evil of demons in general and the nathrezim in particular, Sargeras began to despair of his task and gradually slipped into a brooding depression. As doubt and despair overwhelmed Sargeras’s senses, he lost all faith not only in his mission, but also in the titans’ vision of an ordered universe. Eventually, he came to believe that the concept of order itself was folly, and that chaos and depravity were the only absolutes within the dark, lonely universe. His fellow titans tried to make Sargeras realize his erroneous way of thinking and calm his raging emotions, but he disregarded their more optimistic beliefs as self-serving delusions. Storming from their ranks forever, Sargeras set out to find his own place in the universe. Although the Pantheon was sorrowful at his departure, the titans could never have predicted just how far their lost brother would go.
Fall of Sargeras and the dawn of the Burning Legion
By the time Sargeras’ madness had consumed the last vestiges of his valiant spirit, he believed that the titans themselves were responsible for creation’s failure. Deciding at last to undo their works throughout the universe, he resolved to form an unstoppable army that would set the physical universe aflame.
Convinced that the titans’ ordering of the universe was unnatural and ultimately responsible for the corrupted nature of the demons, Sargeras decided to undo the work of the titans throughout the universe. The only way that he could correct their mistakes was to destroy all of the worlds that the titans had shaped and brought order to so long ago.
Sargeras roamed the Twisting Nether, freeing the many demon races that he had previously hunted down and imprisoned. He became known as the “great, dark god of the Nameless Void”. He bound the newly released demons to his will and used them to construct an army of massive proportions — one that eventually became known as the Burning Legion. These cunning creatures bowed before the dark titan’s vast rage and offered to serve him in whatever malicious ways they could. However, among the various beings who served him, none of them had the natural cunning and power to act as commanders and tacticians for his new army, so Sargeras looked about for a race who would serve as his favored agents in exchange for horrific power.
On the planet Argus, Sargeras found the agents he sought — the eredar, a race of highly intelligent beings with a natural affinity for magic in all its myriad forms. Sargeras appeared to the eredar’s three greatest leaders, namely Kil’jaeden, Archimonde, and Velen, and made his offer: untold power and prestige in exchange for their allegiance. Though Velen had doubts, Kil’jaeden and Archimonde readily agreed. Velen and his followers fled, becoming the draenei. The remainder of the eredar embraced the darkness and became the stuff of nightmares: the man’ari eredar.
Sargeras tasked Kil’jaeden the Deceiver to seek out the darkest races in the universe and recruit them into Sargeras’ ranks. Meanwhile, Archimonde the Defiler would lead Sargeras’ vast armies into battle against any who might resist the titan’s will. Now that his armies were amassed and ready to follow his every command, he launched his raging forces into the vastness of the Great Dark. To this date, it is still unclear how many worlds his Burning Legion has consumed and burned on their unholy Burning Crusade across the universe.
The First Invasion of Azeroth
Sargeras and the Legion eventually became aware of the young world of Azeroth due to the Night Elves’ reckless use of arcane magic, and Sargeras began to hunger for the limitless energies of the Well of Eternity. The elven Queen Azshara and her people, the Highborne, were wielding magic as their plaything. Sensing the great potential of the Well of Eternity, and knowing that it could satiate his hunger for magic, Sargeras called the Burning Legion to the ethereal outskirts of Azeroth, and the Enemy of All Life called to Azshara. The highborne queen was impressed and overwhelmed by Sargeras’ great power. He used a subtle form of mental manipulation while speaking to her and her councilor, Xavius. They saw Sargeras as a god and worshiped him. Azshara agreed to allow him entrance to her world if only for a taste of a portion of his knowledge and energy. (Furthermore she thought he would marry her.) Thus, the first invasion of Azeroth began.
Archimonde and the great pit lord Mannoroth stormed through Kalimdor, ripping the world to shreds and sucking every ounce of energy from it that they could. Sargeras waited in the Twisting Nether for Azshara to strengthen the portal enough to allow him entrance. That time was growing very near, very soon.
However, at the last moment, the night elves, aided by Cenarius’ woodfolk and Alexstrasza’s dragons, mustered their forces and rebelled against the highborne in a climactic battle that destroyed the Well of Eternity and crushed much of the continent to rubble. The defenders of Azeroth paid a great cost to throw the demons back into the Twisting Nether, but in the end, Sargeras’ mission had failed for the very first time. Because the portal rift into the Twisting Nether vanished in such a great display of magical power, the forces holding the worlds together ruptured, causing the Well of Eternity to implode. A massive part of Kalimdor sank beneath the ocean, and where the Well of Eternity had been before there was only a gigantic oceanic vortex, later named the Maelstrom.
In the novel War of the Ancients, Krasus, Rhonin, and Brox are thrown back in time and are able to help the demi-god Cenarius and the dragon Aspects fight the Burning Legion. Once again, in this new timeline, Sargeras’ first invasion of Azeroth failed. During the end of the war, Broxigar lept through the portal and using the wooden axe crafted by Malfurion Stormrage killed many demons before catching the attention of Sargeras himself. In a last desperate attempt to buy time for his allies, Broxigar personally attacked the huge titan, wounding him in his leg - an extraordinary feat for anyone as he was said to be invincible before standing back and awaiting descruction. Sargeras crushed Broxigar, however, unlike the orc, Sargeras bore no smile as the portal he was going to use to enter Azeroth through was rapidly closing. Sargeras stepped into the midst of it, and while he was in the middle of the portal, it imploded and he ceased to be.
Aegwynn & Medivh
Some nine thousand years after the War of the Ancients, Aegwynn kept a constant vigil over Azeroth, destroying demons wherever she found them. Sargeras saw that Aegwynn was a serious threat, but he also saw how she could be manipulated. The Dark Titan sent demonic agents on a great dragonhunt. The demons killed several dragons, but Aegwynn inevitably appeared to aid the great beasts. Together, they destroyed the band of demons before they could do irreparable damage.
As Aegwynn surveyed the scene, she found the rift from which the Legion’s agents had come through in the Storm Peaks. Using this portal, Sargeras entered Azeroth in the form of an avatar. It is said that this avatar was infused with a portion of Sargeras’ soul which he controlled. The Guardian of Tirisfal did not hesitate in attacking, but Sargeras held back, letting the mage destroy his physical body. However, as it died, Sargeras’ spirit reached inside Aegwynn’s body and hid, lying dormant for many years. Unaware of the tainted presence inside her body, Aegwynn buried Sargeras’s physical body in a tomb and cast it deep into the ocean.
Years later, the Order of Tirisfal informed Aegwynn that her time as a Guardian was up and asked her to proceed to Dalaran to choose her successor. Aegwynn disobeyed the Order’s command, deciding that only one of her own lineage would suffice. She sought out the great mage and advisor to King Landen Wrynn, Nielas Aran. Aegwynn seduced the mage, eventually mothering a son by him. Eventually Sargeras’s spirit awoke and possessed the mind of Aegwynn’s unborn son, Medivh. Medivh, son of Aegwynn, was born.
When Medivh reached fourteen, his powers as a Guardian manifested themselves throwing him into a coma that lasted for twenty years. During this time, Sargeras tapped into the Guardian’s enormous power, and when Medivh at last awoke, the dark titan had nearly taken complete control. In his new body, Sargeras contacted the orcish warlock Gul’dan, leader of a host of orcs on the world of Draenor — a world which had been discovered by his lieutenant, Kil’jaeden, a few generations beforehand. Medivh went to the Black Morass in the remote, southern parts of Azeroth and opened the Dark Portal allowing the orcs permanent access to the planet. Gul’dan’s Orcish Horde swarmed through the rift, waging war upon the native humans of the Kingdom of Azeroth.
Medivh’s nature was thoroughly changed after his coma, and his closest friends and relatives noticed something was wrong. Medivh’s mother Aegwynn, now banished from the realm for her misdeeds against the Order of Tirisfal, had figured out what Sargeras had done to her, and got into contact with King Llane and his general, Lord Lothar. Lothar felt he had no choice but to destroy the corrupted Medivh in order to prevent the evil Guardian from doing any more damage to Azeroth. Medivh’s apprentice, Khadgar, helped Lothar and an orcish emissary, Garona, infiltrate Medivh’s dark tower, Karazhan. Despite his enormous power, Medivh was caught off his guard, and was in the end killed by his former friends and comrades in his underground sanctum.
Sargeras desired vengeance against the human kingdoms and expected the orcs to travel through the portal and destroy the humans. Although the orcs did enter the portal, and eventually caused a great amount of damage to the human kingdoms, Sargeras ultimately failed in his plans because of Medivh’s early death. Eventually, Sargeras wanted to shed the body of Medivh and once again enter his avatar, but he didn’t have enough time to do so.
As Medivh died, the portion of Sargeras’ spirit that had possessed him was released and swiftly dispersed. This spirit was sent reeling in pain back into the Twisting Nether. To this day, it is unknown what really happened to Sargeras’ real body or avatar. Many believe that Sargeras’ spirit yet endures, hungering for revenge against the only world ever to withstand the Burning Legion’s might…
Gul’dan’s encounter with Sargeras
Brann Bronzebeard is fairly confident that the real Sargeras never actually set foot on Azeroth, implying the real Sargeras is still around in the Twisting Nether. Lending this theory further credibility is in War of the Ancients, the power of the Well of Eternity was needed to create a portal strong enough for Sargeras to attempt to enter Azeroth, the creation of which took a long time to be completed. The portal used to bring the Sargeras that Aegwynn fought was powered by a handful of demons and was created in only a few minutes.
The orcish warlock, Gul’dan, believed the Tomb of Sargeras to hold amazing power, since he had been told as much by both Medivh and the eredar demon, Kil’jaeden. Gul’dan attempted to claim the tomb for himself, but, when he gained access to the grave, Sargeras’ avatar was not there. Instead, Gul’dan found a plethora of demons that had been driven mad by their long imprisonment. The demons proceeded to tear Gul’dan to shreds, but he survived the first ambush. Then Gul’dan saw Sargeras (or at least an illusion of him) laughing at him and understood that he had been a pawn, a fool. Now that he knew he would not get the Eye of Sargeras and would instead die in the tomb, he wrote his story in runes with his own blood. Shortly afterwards, the demons came for him and killed him, eventually using his skull as a focal point of demonic power.