Know Your Lore: The Origins of the Titan-Forged
In the distant past, Aggramar the Avenger discovered a World-Soul by sensing its powerful dreams across the vast distances of the Great Dark. He investigated, for such dreams heralded a truly powerful World-Soul taking form, a power unlike any of the Pantheon that existed at that time.
However, to his horror, when he found the planet that hosted this soul, he found that it had already been infested by the Old Gods, the servitors of the Void Lords who sought to corrupt yet-unborn Titans to create a Void Titan, a being as powerful as one of them who would help them wreak their will on the cosmos. A dispute over these potential events had already cost the Pantheon their great protector Sargeras, who’d departed the Pantheon after warning of this fate for a world he’d destroyed.
So Aggramar returned to the Pantheon with this dire news, and a simple plea — the Pantheon must do all in their power to rescue this unborn Titan from the dire straits she found herself in, for clearly when she finally was born, she would be the Final Titan.
The Army of Metal and Stone
Aggramar’s plea was quickly taken up by Eonar, who helped convince the Titans as a whole that they could not abandon their sister in her time of need. But Aggramar saw the true problem of this effort. The Titans were vast beings, as befits entities born from the souls of worlds themselves — how could they do battle on Azeroth without risking damage or even death to the very World-Soul they sought to deliver from the Old Gods?
Already the Old Gods had subjugated Azeroth’s Elemental Lords and their Black Empire seethed across the world, choking its skies in void energies, preparing the planet to be corrupted. Yet to simply travel to the world and give battle to these parasites risked destroying the very thing they sought to save. A solution was needed, and as the tactician of the Titans it was Aggramar who devised that solution. If they could not risk giving battle themselves, then they would need proxies to do it for them.
These proxies would become known as the Titan-Forged.
Azeroth itself was a world in chaos and tumult when the Titans first started their plan for its rescue. They took the elements of the world itself, of its crust — metal and stone — and used these to fashion mighty servants, the Aesir and Vanir. The Aesir were metal skinned, with power over storms and the elements of the sea and air, while the Vanir were giants of stone with the power to control the rock and earth as well as the furious flames of the world’s core.
Nine of these powerful Titan-Forged were given additional power as the direct executors of the Titans’ will. Archaedas, Freya, Mimiron, Hodir, Loken, Thorim, Tyr, Odyn and Ra were named Keepers, while the rest of the Aesir and Vanir of that time became known as Watchers. This first generation of Titan-Forged were powerful, massive beings who immediately set to work opposing the work of the Black Empire across the surface of Azeroth.
First, they neutralized the Elemental Lords, which had been bound into service by the Old Gods upon their arrival as a threat to their design for the world. The Elemental Lords were immensely powerful beings but the Keepers and their Titan-Forged armies triumphed over them. Then the true war began.
Bane of the Black Empire
The most powerful and malevolent of the Old Gods was Y’Shaarj, and so that was the target of the Titan-Forged army. They encountered the same difficulty as the Elemental Lords had when battling the servitors of the Old Gods — their near limitless numbers. Y’Shaarj’s flesh spawned innumerable armies of N’raqi and Aqir servants to do battle with the metal and stone skinned giants, and while the Titan-Forged made progress, it was slow and painful. Odyn, as leader of the overall effort, endured a costly battle merely to reach the citadel of flesh that was the Old God.
And so Aman’Thul himself, the Highfather of the Pantheon, took action. It was risky, but he feared that even the Titan-Forged were not up to the task of defeating Y’Shaarj, and so he reached down with his mighty hand and he ripped the Old God from the surface of Azeroth, crushing and destroying its body while also rending its tendrils from the world below. Thus an Old God died… but in dying, revealed a horrible truth. The Old Gods were too deeply entrenched, their tendrils had gone far deeper than they’d expected. The wound created by Y’Shaarj’s violent death leaked the life blood of the unborn World-Soul in a torrent of arcane power.
Thus the Pantheon learned that they simply had no choice but to trust their Titan-Forged to contain the threat of the Old Gods. And contain it they did — after many long and arduous battles that cost many of the Titan-Forged their lives, the other Old Gods infesting the unborn Titan were trapped in the crust of the planet, far underground, where it was hoped they would lie still. Thus ended the War against the Black Empire.
But it was not the end of the Titan-Forged.
The Ordering of Azeroth
Now that the Old Gods were dealt with, the Pantheon set in motion an effort to reverse the damage the war had done to their as yet unborn sibling. In order to more effectively complete the work of shaping Azeroth, the Titan-Forged created servitors in much the same manner as they themselves were created. Using the Forge of Wills (one of two mighty engines, the other being the Forge of Origination) the Keepers created races of stone and metal. These races were often crafted for a specific purpose — for example the Mogu were originally designed to shape waterways and riverbeds while the Vrykul were intended to defend their masters and their works. The Tol’vir, the Mechagnomes, the Earthen, the Giants, the Anubisath were all created to serve in the great work of preparing Azeroth for its eventual birth as a Titan.
The grand complexes of Ulduar and Uldum were established around the Forges of Wills and Origination, linking up the entire planet in a grand effort to regulate the arcane power flowing within it, stabilizing and soothing the wounds of the conflict. The Old Gods were imprisoned and their prisons created as mighty installations such as what would become known as Ahn’Qiraj. And the many races of the Titan-Forged moved to execute the will of the Keepers, overseen by the Aesir and Vanir Watchers.
At first all seemed well. Highkeeper Ra took an army of Mogu, Tol’vir and Anubisath south to establish the Forge of Origination and complete the process of ordering the world, while the other Keepers remained in Ulduar, overseeing their servants. For his role in leading the defeat of the Old Gods, Odyn was named Prime Designate, first among the Keepers. Yet even as they worked to ensure their creator’s vision for the as-yet unborn World-Soul, soothing the wound that would become known as the Well of Eternity where Y’Shaarj had been destroyed, distant events transpired to change everything.
Next time, the fall of the Keepers.
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