The Story of The Old God Y’Shaarj [Lore]

The Old God Y’Shaarj was directly ripped out of the planet by the titans causing a whole bunch of destruction and many, many bad things for the future. But why were they on Azeroth to begin with and what was their influence? 

0:26 You may be wondering what is an Old God. The story takes us back in time, to the beginning. In a time before the reign of Azeroth, eons before the age of mortal races that would later call it home. A planet had formed around a slumbering World Soul in a far corner of the Great Dark Beyond. World Souls are a pretty big deal as when they awaken they become Titans. Titans are even a bigger deal because these are huge primordial beings imbued with the raw power of creation itself. They roam the cosmos, bringing order to the universe and seeing to awaken others of their kind who still lay in their slumber curled up in the shell of planets that had formed around them. 

On the other side of this domain of order, resides the Void Lords, beings of shadow energy. Cruel and merciless beyond comprehension and with an insatiable hunger to seek and devour all matter within the physical universe. They were envious of the power wielded by the Titans so the Void Lords sought to corrupt a slumbering world soul since corrupting a fully grown Titan proved to be impossible. This corrupted Titan would allow them to fulfill their dream, to consume it all and so into the great dark beyond, which is a term used for warcraft space the unexplored cosmos that is still out there, they sought out these slumbering world souls. Not an easy task, as like the Titans, the Void Lords had no idea where to look especially when they were neatly packaged inside millions of planets. The Void Lords had nothing but envy and malice and so they decided that creating dark creatures to do their work for them and sending said creatures wildly into the cosmos. Hoping that they would land on a planet harboring a world soul. These dark creatures are what we call the Old Gods

Elder Void Lord - NPC - World of Warcraft
Void Lord

2:21 Hurling through the great dark beyond, four of these Old Gods landed on the unlucky world of AzerothY’Shaarj, C’Thun, Yogg-Saron and N’Zoth. These four mutants struck lucky because not only was the planet they landed on supporting a nascent world soul, it was cradling a world soul far mightier than any of the Pantheon of Titans had encountered before. Rumored to be even stronger than their champion Sargeras. These hideous amalgamations of fleshy hatreds dug their tendrils deep into the earth. Seeking out the very heart of the world soul. Their darkness spread across its surface, the birth of the black empire. Azeroth’s elemental Lords were enslaved with the Aqir, the faceless ones. Dark powers emanated from the Old Gods spread further and further across the worlds. 

New official Y'Shaarj artwork by Blizzard (from new Hearthstone xpac) : wow

Azeroth was not doing too well until the Old God situation was discovered by Aggramar, lieutenant of one of the members of theTitan Pantheon, Sargeras. The Titan Pantheon, having been informed of the dire plight of a world soul, arrived on Azeroth to push the Old Gods back and save not only the worlds but also the Titan spirit inside. All four wicked creatures were vile and despicable but the most powerful of them all was Y’Shaarj. And when the Titan created guardians of Azeroth from the very earth itself, Y’Shaarj was capable of preying upon the minds of these so called Titan-Forged guardians. Drawing upon their fears and darkening their thoughts. It wasn’t just Y’Shaarj’s power that was formidable however his appearance was also pretty intimidating. Y’Shaarj was immense in size and was also sometimes known as “the beast with seven heads” or “the seven-headed one”. None of the artworks we have shows him having seven heads but it does show us a snake-like scaled body with a massive head, goat horns and seven yellow eyes glaring out above a dragon-like maw. 

Aggramar - NPC - World of Warcraft

4:25 The Titans set their sight on the huge temple city built around the immense bulk of Y’Shaarj. They had it in their mind that destroying the huge stronghold would destroy the enemies in one swift stroke. The Titans were mighty enough to just rip out the Old Gods and be done with it but they were afraid that using their phenomenal cosmic powers would deal too much damage to Azeroth itself that’s why they created these Titan-Forged. And when the battle against Y’Shaarj played out, they feared that the Old God would overwhelm the servants. Despite their better judgements, the Titans knew they had to take action. Aman’Thul, high father of the Pantheon, reached down through Azeroth’s skies and took hold of the riving body of Y’Shaarj. With a giant heave of his arm, Y’Shaarj was ripped from the crust of the world, his gargantuan body ripped apart. His death cries shattered mountaintops and obliterated hundreds of the Titan-Forged where they stood. It is also claimed that as his remains fell to the ground, Y’Shaarj final dying breath manifested as the seven prime Sha- Sha of Anger, Hatred, Violence, Fear, Doubt , Despair and Pride. That’s potentially that’s the description of the beast with seven heads. 

This was not the only consequence of destroying Y’Shaarj however. The Old God’s tendrils had worked their way down far deeper than the highfather had ever expected and ripping Y’Shaarj out of Azeroth. It caused eternal wounds on the planet’s surface. Through these wounds, volatile arcane energies, the lifeblood of the young world soul erupted and roiled out across the land. The Titans along with their Titan Keepers worked around the clock to seal the wound that Y’Shaarj had left behind. And it eventually became known as the Well of Eternity. They knew they could not risk tearing the other Old Gods in the same way they had torn Y’Shaarj from the world and instead decided imprisoning them. They also realized that Azeroth would need fortifying if it was to ever have a chance of waking up. And so they installed two machines to imbue the slumbering world soul with cosmic energies. The Forge of Wills was installed in an area known as the Storm Peaks. Highkeeper Ra led an expedition to install the Forge of Origination within the South. As he travelled, Ra came across the remnants of Y’Shaarj. Those pieces that had fallen back to the lands. The lands that we now know as Pandaria. These pieces had corrupted the land around them. The largest remnant was the icy heart of Y’Shaarj, a massive diseased flesh seething with void energies. Even in death, Y’Shaarj was proving to be a fierce opponent and Ra decided to seal the heart away in an underground vault called the Vault of Y’Shaarj. Ra was wise to think that the remains of an Old God would attract attention as Aqir had already been gathering near the prisons of their imprisoned masters. And they were also being attracted to the location of the heart. 

8:02 The Mantids had found themselves drawn to the valley around the vault of Y’Shaarj. Unaware that they were drawn to the lingering essence of the Old God and unaware that his heart was locked beneath the land. They launched an attack on the Mogu Guardians standing watching over the vault but they were ultimately pushed back. The Klaxxi did not consider this defeat as a failure. The surviving Mantid warriors had matured, grown more powerful and cunning. The Klaxxi patiently waited 100 years before assaulting the Mogu again. They dispatched a new generation of young Mantids to besiege the Titan-Forged. Once again the survivors returned stronger. And thus began the Mantids cycle. Every century, a new Mantid clutch made war upon the Mogu. The ferocious battles removed the weak from the swarm and only the strongest returned. With only a few cycles, Mantid civilization had become tightly honed and rigid. Utterly focused on eradicating weakness and empowering the mightiest of their kind. The Mogu marked the change with concern. They launched their own attack to eradicate this Mantid threat and might have succeeded if it was not for one single mantid, Korven. 

DNT] Credit - Mantid Ambush Defeated - NPC - World of Warcraft

Korven eviscerated the Mogu ranks and sent them into retreat. However the honored warrior was still not satisfied. He knew it was only chance that he arose in his race’s greatest hour of need and did not want to leave the Mantid’s defense to chance alone. After years of experimentation, they eventually figured out a way to preserve these so-called paragons of their race. Preserved in Amber, stored away to be released whenever the need was dire. 

9:47 Fast forward to the time of the Mists of Pandaria. The alliance and horde rediscovered the land, bringing their war and their many emotions with them. The curse of Y’Shaarj, the Sha, had become somewhat under control since the Pandaren and the land, learned to control their emotions and contain their enemy. Our arrival kicked up a storm, it fret the Sha and caused a whole bunch of trouble. The Empress of the Mantrid, Grand Empress Shek’zara is taken over by the Sha of Fear disrupting their ancient cycle and corrupting their race. We’re able to join them in awakening the paragons in their hour of need, learn more about this ancient race and even end up ending their queen. However that does not make them our loyal allies. 

Warchief Garrosh had his people search Panderia for new troops, artifacts and power.  Everyone was surprised when they found their way to the Vault of Y’Shaarj. Garrosh had sent a group of Goblins, led by Grizzle Gearslip, to excavate the Vault and see what lay inside. What the Goblins discovered was something beyond the Warchief’s wildest dreams, the heart of Y’Shaarj. Grizzle was thrown aside by Hellscream’s personal bodyguard, a giant oaf called Malkorok who immediately claimed it for the Warchief. Garrosh having any kind of artifact is bad news all around. When it comes to Garrosh having the heart of Y’Shaarj, that’s bordering on apocalyptic. 

Garrosh Hellscream, Alliance General | WoW Amino

11:28 He wasted no time reviving the heart by using the magical pools in the Vale of Eternal Blossom. And then he took it to his inner sanctum in Orgrimmar’s Underhold. And as the Mantids promised us, they would always stand with their Old God and this quite had a lot of people wondering why they were against the Sha taking over their queen. Isn’t the Sha just an extension from Y’Shaarj? I guess the Mantids didn’t recognize its curse as their true Old God. 

The heart empowered by the sacred waters of the Vale in the hands of Garrosh makes them allies to the Warchief. Meaning that they stand between us and confronting Hellscream ourselves. We take our former allies on and fight through the siege of Orgrimmar where Garrosh awaits. Having tossed aside Gorehowl, the weapon of his father and his clan in favor of Xal’atoh desecrated the image of Gorehowl. He and the Old God have had quite a bit of bonding time, viewing visions of the future, handing out shiny new weapons, empowering the Warchief which made him quite jealous to deal with. Nearing defeat, Garrosh will absorb all of the heart’s power in a last ditch effort. Dragging us into the vision of the future that he wants to make a reality. With Garrrosh’s defeat, the last powers of the heart ebbed away. Leaving only a Fading Breath behind which will also gradually decay into nothingness. 

14:48 Y’Shaarj, the seven headed beast was finally vanquished. The first Old God to truly be dead and gone by first being ripped out of the world by Titans then its heart locked away and fully consumed. At least that’s what we thought back then. Later on in an interview, they have stated that Old Gods like C’Thun and Yogg-Saron, are apparently also gone. And with Battle for Azeroth, the final Old God N’Zoth has also been cleansed of the world. Old Gods however are powerful, capable of great and terrible things. So it may come as no surprise that Y’Shaarj simply relocated. Appearing in Hearthstone with the Whispers of the Old Gods expansion

Whispers of the Old Gods – The Entourage of Y'Shaarj - Hearthstone

The new post describing Y’Shaarj arrival in the game is joyfully chock-a-block with easter eggs from its Warcraft days. Including a mention of his fury, of his remains being “panda-handled” by scruffy little mortals and mentioning how his last terrible breath is capable of whole continents. The Darkmoon Faire expansion has him party hard as Y’Shaarj the Defiler. We can only wonder if the Old Gods will ever make a return in the story of Warcraft. We might have cleansed the planet of the Old Gods infection but there are more planets out there potentially still infected. There’s also still the Void Lords, the source behind them are still out there somewhere. Time is going to tell if and when they’ll make their appearance. 

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