The Fall of Neltharion the Earth-Warder:
Early history shows Neltharion originally was the mighty black wyrm chosen by Khaz'goroth and given dominion over the earth and the deep places of the world. He was empowered by the titans as one of the five Dragon Aspects. In peaceful times, Neltharion's wisdom and power were renowned, and he was known as Neltharion the Earth-Warder, a great protector of the land. Malygos the Spell-Weaver, the Aspect of magic, was his closest friend.
Then came the madness that destroyed Neltharion's mind, which changed him and his kind forever. The ultimate cause of his fall into madness was the item of great power known as the Dragon Soul, later known as the Demon Soul. The inner-voices of the Old Gods convinced him that he could have power beyond his imagination if he served them. The voices made him paranoid of even his black dragonflight. Neltharion began to want a world where only he and his dragonflight and some servants that yield to him could exist, a world where all the other dragonflights no longer existed and where Ysera and Alexstrasza would be his petty slaves for mating.
The Old Gods convinced Neltharion to create the Dragon Soul. With the help of goblins, Neltharion created a simple golden disc made of Neltharion's blood and forged in the goblin's cauldrons and anvils deep beneath the earth. Empowered by Neltharion's magic, the simple golden disc was shielded magically so that the other Dragon Aspects couldn't see within the disc. There was an evil within the disc, some taint of the Old Gods, though what exactly it is not known.
War of the Ancients:
When the Burning Legion entered Azeroth during the War of the Ancients, Neltharion saw the opportunity to complete his Dragon Soul. Guided by the voices of the Old Gods, he first captured demons of the Burning Legion, and added their powers to the Dragon Soul. Neltharion then convinced Malygos to help him with the other Dragon Aspects. All of them agreed to give a portion of their powers to the Dragon Soul, including all dragons of their dragonflights. Neltharion proposed that the Dragon Soul disc could be a weapon of great power to destroy the demons of the Burning Legion. Unkown to the rest, Neltharion was the only one who did not give of his powers to the Dragon Soul.
Neltharion, the Dragon Aspects and their dragonflights flew toward Zin-Azshari where the night elves held the demons at bay. Heralded by the black dragon Neltharion, the dragons awaited his first attack. Neltharion grabbed the Dragon Soul and by channeling his destructive power through it destroyed thousands of demons with one swing of radiant magic. The Dragon Aspects watched in horror as Neltharion also killed hundreds of night elves and other allies along with the demons.
Neltharion revealed the depths of his betrayal at last. Now with the disc at his command he wanted all races and the demons to see his power and to bow to him. The Dragon Aspects attacked Neltharion in an attempt to take the Dragon Soul from him and to reason with him in hopes of determining the cause of his perfidy. Malygos' blue dragonflight surrounded Neltharion, but with a swing of the Dragon Soul most of the blue dragons perished. The next swing of the Dragon Soul paralyzed all dragonflights and the Dragon Aspects in mid-air, rendering them unable to move or speak. Neltharion then struck out at the Dragon Aspects and their dragonflights, destroying many and scattering them far across the land.
Neltharion's betrayal had struck a great blow to the Aspects, and their fear of being destroyed like the blue dragonflight kept them in seclusion. In desperation, the Aspects shielded themselves and hid to become undetected even by each other.
Rise of the Destroyer:
Deathwing in Warcraft LegendsThe growing corruption in Neltharion's heart warped his body, as the angelic dragon began taking a more demonic appearance, similar to how Sargeras changed to a more demonic form after his corruption. Neltharion's body cracked open, revealing his molten heart, and magma and fire flowed off his chest. His eyes became aflame in red, demonstrating the magnitude of his power and the depths of his evil. Thus was Deathwing the Destroyer born, and the Dragon Soul was renamed: the Demon Soul.
Deathwing returned to his lair beneath a mountain. His proximity to the Demon Soul was ripping his body apart, so the goblins forged an armor of adamantium to serve as a vessel to contain Deathwing`s raging powers and keep them in check. Only the adamantium plates kept the power from destroying his body.
The Old Gods had manipulated Deathwing into creating the Demon Soul, but their true intention was that the demons would inform their lord Sargeras of the great power of the weapon used against them. Sargeras would no doubt want the Demon Soul to power the gateway that would let him enter Azeroth. By using the Demon Soul to amplify the gateway, the three Old Gods hoped to escape their prison beneath the planet.
However, Malfurion Stormrage used the Emerald Dream to find Deathwing's lair and stole the Demon Soul from the black dragon, who tried to pursue the thief in vain. Illidan and Varo'then captured Malfurion and took the Demon Soul back to Zin-Azshari, to Mannoroth the Destructor, the general of the Legion's armies. It was used to power up the portal that would allow Sargeras to enter Azeroth.
Deathwing tried one last time to recover the disk, when it was being used by both Sargeras and the Old Gods, and actually succeeded in reaching it. Deathwing was almost destroyed in the attempt, but after he had gotten the Demon Soul, an enormous surge of power made him lose his grip on the disk, and sent him spiralling far away from the portal.
After the Burning Legion was defeated, the Dragon Aspects sealed the Demon Soul with their energies, so that Deathwing should never be able to manipulate the Demon Soul. The artifact was hidden in an undisclosed location by Malfurion at the request of the Dragon Aspects. No longer in possession of the artifact and now unable to use it, Deathwing vowed to destroy most life and to wreak havoc on the planet. With his powers over earth, Neltharion caused volcanoes to rise along with the destruction already caused by the Well of Eternity's implosion, sinking most of Kalimdor below the ocean.
When he succumbed, Neltharion ceased to exist, taking up a new name and a bitter purpose. He became Deathwing and his subjects were placed beneath the iron rule of a tyrant. Upon his irrevocable shift to evil, he turned against his destiny, and his mind unwound, causing suffering wherever he could. He himself chose Deathwing as his title, to better show his contempt and intentions for the lesser creatures around him.
Certain legends surrounding Deathwing claim that as the Earth-Warder, Deathwing shaped the land so the races would not go to war over land and resources. When he went mad, Deathwing lowered the mountains and allowed the races to intermingle. He ruined fertile land and destroyed other terrain so that the races would be forced to fight for food. Deathwing's efforts gave birth to an occupation that has remained with all races since then: war.
The Second War:
Deathwing in Warcraft II.
Deathwing as depicted in the Warcraft II manual.
Deathwing in a Warcraft II cinematic.Ten thousand years later, during the Second War, Deathwing discovered the Demon Soul's location. Although he couldn't wield its power because of the enchantment placed upon it by the Dragon Aspects, he realized that he could manipulate someone else to do so. Eventually, he found the perfect pawns: the orcs of the Dragonmaw clan. Through visions, Deathwing led the chieftain of the clan, Zuluhed the Whacked, to find the Demon Soul. Zuluhed in turn gave the Demon Soul to the warlock Nekros Skullcrusher. Nekros had no clue as to the power he was wielding, but was able to tap into enough of its power to capture and enslave Alexstrasza and her consorts in order to breed dragons for the Horde.
Kryll, a goblin servant of Deathwing, was sent to infiltrate the Dragonmaw clan and to serve Nekros Skullcrusher. Nekros ended up being manipulated by Kryll into doing Deathwing's bidding. The goblin served as an "advisor" to Nekros, whispering ideas to the orc in order to further Deathwing's aims.
After Ner'zhul reopened the portal to Azeroth, his forces were approached by Deathwing. He offered his own children for assistance in exchange for safe passage to Draenor. They agreed and Deathwing helped them prepare for several key battles to steal two artifacts from the Alliance in order for Ner'zhul's newly reformed Horde to create new portals to other worlds. They then fled back to the Dark Portal to Draenor. Deathwing believed the world would be a relatively safe haven for his offspring and secreted away a cache of black dragon eggs there. While at his great mountain lair, he was attacked by the forces of the Alliance Expedition, who destroyed several of his eggs.Deathwing was temporarily defeated but survived.
Having escaped back to Azeroth, Deathwing ended up in a fight with some of the archmagi of Dalaran and feigned defeat, falling into the sea, where most of the council assumed at the time that he died. He was not dead, however, and he took a human guise, pretending to be a heroic noble named Lord Prestor in an effort to be declared king of Alterac, where he could manipulate the Alliance from within.
Soon after Ner'zhul recklessly opened multiple portals on Draenor, the magical stress tore the planet apart. The energies released in this catastrophe altered Deathwing's eggs, resulting in the nether drakes: partially corporeal and partially ethereal dragons who possess the ability to shift between the astral and physical planes. Without Deathwing's guidance, these otherworldly nether drakes are just now finding their own way among the blasted ruins of Outland.
Lord Prestor and the battle of Grim Batol Main article: Lord Daval Prestor
Deathwing, posing as Lord Prestor, managed to make himself popular with King Terenas and the kings of the Alliance nations, and for a while had strong influence in the decisions of state. Using subtle magic, he was able to ensnare the minds of the human leaders and forced them to grant him the title of king of Alterac. He also managed to trick King Terenas into giving him the hand of his daughter, Calia Menethil. His ultimate goal was to obtain a high level of power and influence within the Alliance, so he could destroy it from within.
Deathwing began his campaign against the Alliance by pitting the kingdoms of Lordaeron, Stromgarde, Gilneas and Kul Tiras against the Kirin Tor of Dalaran - who Deathwing considered threats to his new identity. The only one to ever fully uncover the truth about his identity was the dragon mage Krasus, the mortal form of Korialstrasz. However, the Kirin Tor were able to discern that he was a powerful being hiding in a human form, and tried to devise a way to stop him.
The orcs of the Dragonmaw clan at Grim Batol kept their hold over Alexstrasza, even though the bulk of the Horde had already been defeated. Deathwing tried to frighten the Dragonmaw orcs into believing that the humans were attacking Grim Batol, so that they would move Alexstrasza and her eggs north to Dun Algaz; this left her eggs vulnerable. Deathwing hoped to steal Alextrasza's latest cache for himself to create a new dragonflight; though bearing the crimson scales of the Dragonqueen, they would be raised by Deathwing and carry his hatred for the mortal races.
Deathwing used his pawns to manipulate the mage Rhonin, who had been sent to Grim Batol by Krasus, as part of a plan to free Alexstrasza. He saved the young mage several times, and helped him reach Grim Batol, hoping that his appearance inside the mountain fortress would further convince Nekros to flee from it. Though the orcs were convinced and began leaving Grim Batol, Deathwing's attack on the caravan, however, failed. Nekros tried to use the Demon Soul on Deathwing, but was unsuccessful due to the disk having no power over the black dragon. He then sent Tyranastrasz, old and sick, to stop the Deathwing, but he failed and was killed.
At the behest of Krasus, the three remaining free aspects, Malygos, Ysera and Nozdormu, grudgingly decided to come out of their lairs and attack Deathwing. However, due to the power they had given to the Demon Soul, they were no match for the black leviathan. But Rhonin was able to steal the Demon Soul from Nekros, freeing Alexstrasza in the process. Furthermore, he discovered its weakness and destroyed it, releasing all the powers of the dragons who had given their power ten thousand years earlier. Deathwing was sent retreating with four very angry, fully-empowered Dragon Aspects on his heels, though he managed to elude them in the end. Lord Prestor vanished when Deathwing was forced to go into hiding, and Deathwing's influence over the nobles disappeared along with him.
Onyxia and Nefarian, offspring of Deathwing and masters of the black dragonflight in the absence of their father, have tried to control the world. Onyxia followed in her father's footsteps by taking the Prestor name to attempt to manipulate the Alliance. She posed as a human counselor named Katrana Prestor for the new child King of Stormwind. Her lair is in the Wyrmbog in Southern Dustwallow Marsh on Kalimdor. Nefarian, meanwhile, poses as a human named Lord Victor Nefarius, Lord of the Blackrock Mountain in the Burning Steppes. He was able to enslave the Blackrock Clan orcs who now serve him on the top of the mountain, the Blackrock Spire. Nefarian wishes to take control of the lower Blackrock Mountain, trying to destroy the Dark Iron dwarves and Ragnaros. Once they have been dealt with, Nefarian plans to take control of the world.
Hidden away in Deeplholm, the corrupted Dragon Aspect Deathwing waited, recovering from the wounds of his last battle against Azeroth and biding his time until he could reforge the world in molten fire. That time came; Deathwing tore a rift between the Elemental Plane and Azeroth, causing the Cataclysm. His subsequent flight to Grim Batol in the Twilight Highlands laid waste to much of the landscape of the world. He now resides in Grim Batol
, and has begun his own experiments to improve upon the horrific twilight dragonflight created by his mate Sintharia.