Wild God

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“From the dawn of its reshaping by the mysterious titans, Azeroth had been guarded by beings who were tied to the world as no other creatures could be. The dragons had been empowered by the titans, but Azeroth itself gave rise to the spirits and demigods, creatures eternal in nature yet capable of ultimate sacrifice.”

Wolfheart, chapter I

Wild Gods are primal manifestations of life and nature[1] found on both Azeroth and other planets.[2][3][4] Many of them appear in the form of gargantuan animals, such as wolves, bears, tigers, or birds. The Wild Gods of Azeroth are creatures of two realms, for while they inhabit the physical world, their spirits are bound to the ethereal Emerald Dream.[1] When Wild Gods die, they go to Ardenweald and enter a wildseed to be taken care of by keepers of the groves of one of the celestial trees until they are ready to be reborn through the Grove of Awakening. No matter their moral alignment in life, in death all are under the protection of the Winter Queen.[5] Wild God, Ancient Guardian, Loa, and August Celestial are interchangeable when referring to great spirits aligned with nature destined to Ardenweald.[6][7]

Origins

As the titan-forged began shaping Azeroth, Keeper Freya wandered the world, creating enclaves of life and nature in the places where the energies of the Well of Eternity had coalesced, such as Un'Goro Crater, Sholazar Basin and the Vale of Eternal Blossoms. The greatest creatures to emerge from Freya's enclaves were the colossal Wild Gods. Seeing these creatures as her own children, Freya and the Wild Gods often wandered side by side through the primal forests and grasslands of early Azeroth. The area that they spent the most time at was the massive forested peak known as Mount Hyjal, and it was upon the slopes of Hyjal that Freya bound the spirits of her beloved Wild Gods to the Emerald Dream. Forever after, Hyjal would remain a sacred refuge to the Wild Gods.[8]

Wild Gods are described as both primordial creatures who emerged from the early, unchecked abundance of Freya's enclaves[9] and also as having been made into one by Freya.[10] More generally, they are spirits of nature which are found on all worlds.[11][12]

Characteristics

  • Wild Gods are immortal and ageless.[13][14] Their spirits will return to the Emerald Dream when killed in the physical world, after which they can be ushered back into the world.[15]
    • When Yu'lon was killed by Lei Shen, she had to rely on a statue to reincarnate.[16]
    • It is unclear if the August Celestials visit the Emerald Dream.[17]
  • Not all Wild Gods are capable of speech, as this ability was a gift bestowed by Freya only to certain chosen Wild Gods. Notable examples include the August Celestials, who were chosen for their intelligence, and the twin Bear Lords Ursoc and Ursol, who were chosen for their stubborn bravery.[13]
  • Much like dragons, the August Celestials have the ability to shift into humanoid forms. During the trial of Garrosh Hellscream, Chi-Ji appeared as a red-haired blood elf, Niuzao as a glowing tauren and Xuen as a pale blue human.[18] Yu'lon has assumed the form of a pandaren child named Fei on several occasions, including the aforementioned trial, while Chi-Ji has also been known to use the form of Fat Long-Fat, a red-haired pandaren brawler. Ban-Lu, one of Xuen's children, uses the disguise of a pandaren elder named Master Bu.
  • Some Wild Gods can be revived within Ardenweald, such as Lord Renard and Droman Aliothe.

Groups

Different cultures around Azeroth have referred to the Wild Gods by various names.

Ancient Guardians

Main article: Ancient Guardian

The Ancient Guardians are Wild Gods worshiped by the night elves, found in Kalimdor.[19][20] They are greatly revered by druids. Famous Ancients include Cenarius, Malorne, Goldrinn, Aviana, Ursoc and Ursol.

August Celestials

Main article: August Celestial

The August Celestials — Yu'lon, Xuen, Chi-Ji and Niuzao — are Wild Gods who remained in Pandaria after the Great Sundering.[19] They have helped and guided the pandaren people for thousands of years.[21]

Loa

Main article: Loa

"Loa" is the name given by the trolls to the beings they worship as deities, such as the Wild Gods,[22][23][24] including the Ancient Guardians,[25] but also other entities such as C'Thraxxi,[26] wisps[25] and spirits like Bwonsamdi or Zanza. The first, early troll tribes already called Kalimdor's elusive Wild Gods as such, and lived among them on the Zandalar Mountains.[22] Countless loa exist, most weak, but some very powerful. Most are shapeless, whereas others have animal or creature forms. The Zandalari believe that powerful, enlightened members of their tribe can become loas upon their death.[27] Some loa, like Gonk, can enter the Emerald Dream.[28] A few of the more famous loa include Hakkar, Shadra, Bwonsamdi, Gonk, Akali, Shirvallah, Nalorakk and Hir'eek.

Notable Wild Gods

  • Unnamed

    Numerous unnamed Ancients appeared during the War of the Ancients.[46]

  • Dark Ancients

    The Twilight's Hammer feared that the Ancient Guardians may someday rise up to oppose them. They created twisted versions of the Ancients, summoned to replace them. They were a primal force of nature, but their origins were from a darker place. Those who birthed these beasts reached deep into the blackness, channeling powers never intended for this world.[47] The Twilight's Hammer dreamed of creating their own pantheon of twisted ancients to rule over the land, sea, and air,[48] though only two were summoned before the Twilight's Hammer was stopped.

Racial ancestry progeneration

Playable races

  • Brann confirmed that something created the pandaren. Given that pandaren are similar to bears, they could have been created or be descendants of Ursoc or Ursol.
  • The worgen are night elves or humans transformed by the fury of Goldrinn and magic of Elune. Thus, in a way, it could be said that worgen originate from Goldrinn.

Confirmed

Brann Bronzebeard has confirmed that several races originate from the Ancients:[49]

Unknown

Ursoc and the Furbolg

Older lore stated that Brann Bronzebeard believes the furbolgs are the descendants of Ursoc.[53] However World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 1 established that the furbolg race evolved from the jalgar.

  • It is possible the jalgar are the race descended from Ursoc.
  • The introduction of Aurostor, a runebear Wild God, in Patch 10.2 complicates this as his adventure guide states that he is "the Furbolg Wild God".

Brann's speculations

Brann also speculates on the existence of several Ancients and their creation of descendant races:[49]

  • Gorloc and a frog Ancient
  • Wolvar and a badger Ancient
  • Tuskarr and a walrus Ancient
  • Aessina might have created the grell (she told Brann "maybe")
  • Gnolls and a hyena Ancient
  • Makrura and a lobster Ancient

Playable race speculations

Questionmark-medium.png
This article or section includes speculation, observations or opinions possibly supported by lore or by Blizzard officials. It should not be taken as representing official lore.
  • Tauren and a bull Ancient. It is possible this might have been Niuzao. In Chronicle Volume 1, Brann learned they came from the yaungol, but the bull may have created the yaungol.
  • Vulpera may be descendants of a tiny red fox Ancient with a "sly yet gnomish visage" that appeared during the War of the Ancients.[54] This may be Lord Renard.

Notes

  • The term "wild god" first appeared in N [20-30] Strange Mojo and N [20-30] Trouble at the Altar of Sseratus in Zul'Drak. The Adventure Guide entry for Gundrak mentions the term "wild deities". The proper version of the term ("Wild Gods") was first mentioned by Dave Kosak on Twitter in 2014 as a categorization for the Ancient Guardians and the August Celestials.[19] The concept was elaborated and expanded upon with the release of World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 1, which also established at least some loa as being Wild Gods.
  • While the primal gods of Draenor, including Anzu, Sethe, and Rukhmar, were born from a large amount of spirit as opposed to the coalesced power of the Well of Eternity,[55] they have similarities with Wild Gods such as massive size, age, speech, and even Rukhmar creating the arakkoa like some Wild Gods made races of their own. In 2017, Matt Burns stated that he was hesitant to call them Wild Gods as the term has direct ties to the keepers on Azeroth, but added that he does think they're part of a greater set of similar creatures.[56][57] In Shadowlands, "wild god" (written in lowercase) is used for some non-Azerothian nature spirits,[2][3] making it no longer specific to Azeroth.

Speculation

Questionmark-medium.png
This article or section includes speculation, observations or opinions possibly supported by lore or by Blizzard officials. It should not be taken as representing official lore.
  • Since it is unknown if they visit the Emerald Dream, it is possible that Freya never linked the August Celestials to it like she did the other Wild Gods. Alternatively, they may simply choose not to, given their dedication to providing teaching to mortals.

Possible Wild Gods

The following beings may or may not be Wild Gods:

  • Since Wild Gods are usually animals, some animal loa might be Wild Gods too.
    • It is unclear whether or not the more humanoid-looking loa, such as Bwonsamdi and Zanza would be Wild Gods or if they are simply some other kind of powerful spirit.
  • The spirit beasts may be Wild Gods as well.
  • The Great Bear Spirit and the Great Cat Spirit could have been Wild Gods.
  • Ysildar was speculated to be one of Keeper Freya's animal followers, likely meaning one of the Wild Gods.
  • The generic deities that can be revived in Ardenweald may be Wild Gods from other worlds.
  • Three totemic spirits worshipped by the Bloodscalp tribe:
  • The Azure Span animal spirits worshiped by tuskarr:
  • IconSmall SeaTurtle.gif Ai'twen is a sea turtle in Stormsong Valley that once saved many tortollans from the "great purge of the Inky Grotto." He needs to be enticed back to our world.[58]
  • IconSmall WindSerpent.gif Arikara is a powerful, talking wind serpent from tauren legends. She has been around long enough to feature in tauren legends, and has come back from the dead on at least one occasion, between Classic and Cataclysm.
  • IconSmall Elk.gif Athair is a white stag who befriended Arom Waycrest around 2,700 years ago. He can still be found in Drustvar today, and that longevity, his ability to speak, and his title "Heart of the Forest" may mean he is a Wild God.
  • IconSmall Doe.gif Athainne, the "Secret Keeper of the Forest", is a blue doe with glowing eyes and a moon sigil above her head who can sometimes be found accompanying Athair.
  • IconSmall RavenGod.gif Blaithe, consort of Aviana.
  • IconSmall Frog.gif Cro'akan is larger than a normal frog. He can instantly kill everyone on his island with Frog Justice.
  • IconSmall Moose.gif Eche'ro is a powerful moose favored and blessed by Malorne.
  • IconSmall Chicken.gif El Pollo Grande is a giant, 500 pound chicken also known as the Black Chicken of Death. Summoned by a warlock who was trying to call an infernal powerful enough to destroy Stormwind City, it is said that no one who has seen it has lived to tell the tale.
  • IconSmall Eel.gif G'nathus is believed by some pandaren to be an ancient Zandalari loa left behind to guard the waters south of Lei Shen's island citadel.[59]
  • IconSmall Thornclaw.gif Greenstalker was an ally of the Thornspeakers and protector of the forests in Drustvar, until he was corrupted by the Heartsbane Coven. When he died his spirit visibly left his body and ran off into the wilds.[60]
  • IconSmall Mammoth.gif Khu'nok the Behemoth is a wise and ancient mammoth of a much larger size than the average mammoth. He also possesses the ability to speak.
  • IconSmall Devilsaur2.gif Kros is a devilsaur deity fervently worshiped by the Skumblade saurok and who may be a Wild God. The Skumblade saur-priests claim that the saurok were not the result of mogu flesh-shaping but that they instead evolved from the great creator, Kros. While this claim is false, the Echo of Kros and the blessings invoked by the tribe's brutes suggest that the entity very much exists.
  • IconSmall SpiritLeopard.gif Loque'nahak, mate of Har'koa.
  • IconSmall Moose.gif Morashu is described as an "ancient spirit" that has lingered in Highmountain "as long as any tribe", and Maltha Silenthoof states that his presence is required to carry out the cycle of life and death that keeps nature in balance.
  • IconSmall Rhino.gif Nozronn is a large skeletal rhino worshiped by the Oracles. His size and ability to speak suggest that he is a Wild God.
  • IconSmall Penguin.gif The Penguin King encountered by Arthas Menethil and Anub'arak in Northrend was a giant, invulnerable penguin with his own throne room who offered a magical ring to the undead.
  • IconSmall Kraken.gif Oacha'noa, a tuskarr sea goddess, asks adventurers if they are working with "the trolls of this land" and if they have come to kill her and take her power, indicating that she is a loa akin to the Drakkari loa that were killed by their worshipers.
    • The other three known tuskarr deities — Tayutka, Issliruk, and Karkut — may be Wild Gods as well. Issliruk, the spirit of war, is depicted as a silver eagle, and tuskarr stories tell of how he fought against a hundred worgs to save his young.[61]
  • IconSmall Bear.gif Orsonn and Kodian, the son and daughter of Ursoc, may be Wild Gods themselves due to their parentage.
  • IconSmall ThunderLizard.gif Owa'nohe is a thunder lizard spirit of considerable power considered the protector of Thunder Ridge.
  • IconSmall Elk.gif Redhoof the Ancient may be a Wild God as he is able to give out blessings like his neighbor Ela'lothen.
  • IconSmall Tarantula.gif Lady Sathrah was a tarantula beloved by Elune. After Sathrah was killed, it was said that the forest would mourn her, and her spirit could be seen in the Temple of the Moon. Priestess A'moora also said Sathrah would be reborn.[62]
  • IconSmall Shen-zin Su.gif Shen-zin Su may be a Wild God given his colossal size, his ability to speak, and his long lifespan.
  • IconSmall Nightsaber.gif Silverfang may be a Wild God as she is able to give out blessings like his neighbor Ela'lothen.
  • IconSmall Frog.gif Vodyanoi is a giant frog only visible while under the influence of a  [Marshroom] who will impart his wisdom about all creation and offer a  [Rune of the Stars] to druids who wish to converse with him.

References

 
  1. ^ a b World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 1, pg. 14
  2. ^ a b  [Swift Gloomhoof]
  3. ^ a b c Ember Court description of Droman Aliothe
  4. ^  [Wild Godrune]
  5. ^ N [60] Following the Trail
  6. ^ World of Warcraft: Grimoire of the Shadowlands and Beyond, pg. 50
  7. ^ Exploring Azeroth: Northrend, p. 54
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 1, pg. 39 - 40
  9. ^ World of Warcraft: The Dragonflight Codex, pg. 85
  10. ^ Exploring Azeroth: Northrend, pg. 26
  11. ^ Ember Court description of Droman Aliothe
  12. ^  [Wild Godrune]
  13. ^ a b Tome of the Ancients
  14. ^ The Warcraft Encyclopedia: Demigods
  15. ^ N [30-35] Return to Nordrassil
  16. ^ The Jade Hunters
  17. ^ Dave Kosak on Twitter (2013-03-12): "The August Celestials are very much like the ancients (Goldrinn, Tortolla, etc). Unclear if they visit the dream, tho"
  18. ^ War Crimes, pg. 16
  19. ^ a b c Dave Kosak on Twitter (2014-05-08): "Celestials are Wild Gods, like the Ancients. They just stayed in Pandaria."
  20. ^ Legion: Druid Artifact Reveal
  21. ^ World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 1, pg. 78
  22. ^ a b World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 1, pg. 70
  23. ^ Blizzard Entertainment Blizzard Entertainment 2018-04-30. Battle for Azeroth Preview: Zuldazar Visitor’s Guide. Retrieved on 2018-05-02.
  24. ^ Prophet of Sseratus quotes
  25. ^ a b Ask CDev#Ask CDev Answers - Round 2
  26. ^ Kith'ix
  27. ^ Shadows of the Loa
  28. ^ Zen'tabra#Gossip text
  29. ^ a b c d e f g Prophet of Sseratus quotes
  30. ^ a b c d e f g N [20-30] Trouble at the Altar of Sseratus
  31. ^ a b c d e f g N [20-30] Strange Mojo
  32. ^ Defend the Dream When Guardians of the Dream Arrives the Week of November 7 (2023-10-26). Retrieved on 2023-11-07.
  33. ^ Blizzard Entertainment Blizzard Entertainment 2015-01-23. Legion: Druid Artifact Reveal. Retrieved on 2018-03-20.
  34. ^ World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 1, pg. 89
  35. ^  [Feather of the Moonspirit]
  36. ^ N [60] A Rare and Unusual Spirit
  37. ^ N [30-35] ... It Will Come
  38. ^ N [30-35] Unplug L'ghorek
  39. ^ N [30-35] Communing with the Ancient
  40. ^ N [60] A Rare and Unusual Spirit
  41. ^ Wavespeaker Valoren while inside Nespirah
  42. ^ N [60] A Rare and Unusual Spirit
  43. ^ a b Tales of the Hunt
  44. ^ N [70] The Answers You've Earned
  45. ^ World of Warcraft: Grimoire of the Shadowlands and Beyond, pg. 59
  46. ^ The Sundering, pg. 185-186, 210-214
  47. ^ B [30-35] Lycanthoth the Corruptor, referring to Lycanthoth
  48. ^ N [30-35] Finish Nemesis
  49. ^ a b c World of Warcraft: The Magazine Issue 5
  50. ^ N [10-30D] Princess Theradras
  51. ^ World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 1, pg. 144 - 145
  52. ^ a b World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 1, pg. 119
  53. ^ World of Warcraft: The Magazine Volume II Issue I
  54. ^ The Sundering, pg. 185-186, 210-214
  55. ^ World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 2, pg. 21
  56. ^ Matt Burns on Twitter: "I think they're part of a greater set of similar creatures. I'm hesitant to call them Wild Gods specifically though, just b/c--"
  57. ^ Matt Burns on Twitter: "--the term has direct ties to Keepers on Azeroth."
  58. ^ N [30-60] Flavorable Offering
  59. ^  [Spawn of G'nathus]
  60. ^ A [20-60] Greenstalker
  61. ^ N [10-30] Arming Kamagua
  62. ^ A [12] Tears of the Moon