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- "Faceless" redirects here. For the language, see faceless (language).
|Faction/Affiliation||Old Gods' forces|
Faceless ones, also known as the faceless, are mysterious and powerful monsters which are closely connected to the Old Gods. They were first seen in Azjol-Nerub during the events of Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne.
Countless aeons ago, the faceless ones waged endless wars against each other as part of the forces of N'Zoth, C'Thun and Yogg-Saron. The Old Gods have since been imprisoned and oceans of time have passed, yet the faceless still serve the will of the Old Ones. Their numbers are endless and their power is beyond reckoning, but they are imprisoned deep beneath the earth.
In Warcraft III
This section concerns content exclusive to Warcraft III.
During the desperate flight of Arthas Menethil and the crypt lord Anub'arak to defend the Lich King from Illidan Stormrage and his armies, the Scourge were forced to make their way through the ancient, underground Nerubian kingdom of Azjol-Nerub. At first, the invading undead army preyed only on the pockets of still living Nerubian resistance fighters and dwarves that were left over from Arthas' last journey to Northrend. Yet, as Anub'arak and Arthas journeyed ever deeper into these ruins, they found that the lower regions of the kingdom had become infested by "ancient, horrid things", as the dwarf leader Baelgun had described them, released from the dark below by the earthquakes that were being caused by Illidan's sorcery. These beings appeared as strange, vaguely humanoid creatures, and were accompanied by massive tentacles that seemed to be a part of a single, monstrous entity which Anub'arak referred to as a "Forgotten one". The crypt lord seemed to know of these creatures, but was startled to discover they truly existed and warned Arthas to "Look to your defenses, death knight! Fight as you've never fought before!". The two champions of the Lich King and their Scourge forces managed to barely defeat the forgotten one, but as ever more faceless emerged from the deeps to stalk the undead army and the caverns began collapsing under the flailing of the massive tentacles, Arthas and Anub'arak were forced to flee from Azjol-Nerub. Eventually, Arthas made it out of fallen kingdom and was able to confront Illidan, but not until making it through the greatest peril he had yet faced.
In the Comics
Theramore came under attack from a Faceless One that had been awakened by Cho'gall to take Med'an with him. During the battle, Med'an intuitively wove together arcane and shamanic magic to defeat the ancient creature.
In Wrath of the Lich King
This section concerns content exclusive to Wrath of the Lich King.
In the quests and , Kilix the Unraveler and Archmage Lan'dalock say that as the nerubians fought the Scourge, they dug deeper underground as they lost ground to the undead. "We inadvertently exposed a tendril of the old god's will, which was made manifest in the creatures known only as the Faceless." He then goes on to say that they lost the war because "In the end, we could not fight on two fronts against such powerful enemies. Our misfortune cost us the war against the undead, and ultimately, our home." implying that the nerubians discovered the faceless ones by accident. Interestingly, "faceless ones" (see the Faceless Lurker), and "forgotten ones" (see the mob known as Forgotten One) look similiar.
Faceless ones are also encountered underneath Icecrown Citadel in a place called Naz'anak: The Forgotten Depths. Killing the Faceless Lurkers there is required for the quest  . Much like gnolls or ogres, faceless ones have a "battlecry": "Shur'nab... shur'nab... Yogg-Saron!". It would appear, therefore, that the darkest fears about the faceless ones are true.
This section concerns content exclusive to Cataclysm.
New faceless ones can be found throughout the Abyssal Depths region of Vashj'ir and inside the Throne of the Tides. The Old Gods provided the faceless ones to help aid the Naga. They were called upon by the Naga to aid in the fight against Neptulon along with Ozumat. Faceless ones can also be found in others region of Kalimdor and Eastern Kingdoms like Darkshore, Ashenvale, Stonetalon Mountains, Swamp of Sorrows and Twilight Highlands. Erudax serves as boss in Grim Batol and is involved in producing Twilight Hatchlings.
Several Faceless ones have begun appearing in ambushes directed during important events on important figures, it is unknown how these clever infiltrators managed to bypass their unsuspecting foes. One example of defection into Faceless ones ranks exist in Major Samuelson, who secretly betrayed the Alliance and became swayed by the powers of the Old Gods, turning him into a Faceless one.
Standard faceless one
Faceless ones are vaguely humanoid creatures who, as the name implies, have no discernible faces insofar as other races recognize them. One arm is much larger than the other, grotesque and misshapen, while the other is little more than a prehensile tentacle.
Aquatic faceless one
A type of underwater faceless one that, unlike their Northrend brethren, have much bigger eyes.
A type of faceless caster that wear masks and has thinner tentacle arms than other types of Faceless one.
Faceless generals are massive faceless with a hardened shell, among other differences. They seem to be the leaders of the faceless ones.
|Avatar of Soggoth the Slitherer.||Killable|
|Leader of the Stonetalon Peak invasion.||Killable|
|Leader of the Ashenvale invasion.||Killable|
|Disguised as the dwarf at Kirthaven, Twilight Highlands.||Killable|
|The Duke of Below. Last boss in Grim Batol.||Killable|
|Leader of the Vashj'elan naga in the Ruins of Vashj'elan in the Lost Isles.||Killable|
|Found in Swamp of Sorrows.||Killable|
|Found in Abyssal Depths, Vashj'ir.||Killable|
|Quest giver inside the Saronite Mines in Icecrown chained by the vrykul.||Alive|
|Disguised as Major Samuelson in Stormwind Keep.||Killable|
|Found in the Scalding Chasm in Abyssal Depths.||Killable|
|Buried in Master's Glaive, Darkshore.||Killable|
|The Festering Prince. Second boss of Throne of the Tides.||Killable|
|Leader of the faceless ones in Ulduar guarding the twisted passages leading to the Prison of Yogg-Saron.||Killable|
|The last boss of Ahn'kahet: The Old Kingdom located within the Fallen Temple of Ahn'kahet.||Killable|
|A faithful servant of Deathwing since the fall of the Bastion of Twilight. He assisted the Aspect in releasing more faceless ones from the Maw of Shu'ma.||Killable|
|Keeper of the Devouring Artifact in Darkshore.||Killable|
|Leader of one of N'Zoth's mighty armies. Millenia before aiding Deathwing at Wyrmrest Temple he fought the forces of Yogg-Saron and C'thun.||Killable|
The faceless ones speak a "language" which no race on Azeroth is capable of understanding or pronouncing. The only known example of this language is Herald Volazj. His strange utterings are somehow translated directly into the minds of nearby players through telepathic whispers. Darkspeaker R'khem also communicates with other beings by projecting telepathic thoughts into their mind, together with a wave of soothing, euphoric feelings that are mixed with a sense of pain. After completing [80G3] , he disappears with a noise that is translated as laughter in the player's mind. Faceless Lurkers sometimes utter "Shur'nab... shur'nab... Yogg-Saron!" when assaulting their victims, which never appears to be accompanied by telepathic whispers, so it seems only powerful faceless ones can express themselves in this manner.
Tales say they lived in Azjol-Nerub long before the Scourge came, dwelling too deep for the nerubians to hunt them. The strange faceless ones are ancient monsters long imprisoned beneath the ice and recently loosed again. Faceless ones have a long magical heritage. They draw upon their race's legacy of arcane spellcasting traditions to increase their power. Although faceless ones have a racially low intellect, they have a strong heritage of necromantic magic. A second passage into the Old Kingdom has been discovered by the Scourge, and Baelgun knows the faceless ones will overpower even the undead and then be free to escape into Northrend proper, and so he vows to stop them.
- Anub'arak's experience suggests that the faceless represent a forgotten race that was buried aeons ago within the deeps of the world, of whom only myths ever reached the nerubian people. As it is now known that the nerubians are descended from the ancient aqir, the notion of a species that appears to predate both the aqir and the night elves raises many questions.
- The Curse of Flesh, instigated by the Old Gods, was intended to make the nascent races susceptible to "assimilation". It is, therefore, entirely possible that the faceless ones were the unfortunates among Azeroth's first mortal beings who were successfully assimilated during the dawning of the world. If this is true, it means that the faceless are ancient beyond reckoning.
- During the quest Surrender or Else!, the Faceless of the Deep claims to remember when the goblin race was created, indicating that they have very long a life span.
- Hakkar the Soulflayer is referred to as the "faceless blood God" by Primal Torntusk in the Hinterlands and as "the faceless one" by Molthor at Yojamba Isle. One piece of loot that Hakkar drops is the . It is not known if this description of Hakkar indicates a connection to the faceless ones that Arthas encountered or if it is simply a title.
- These creatures could also be connected in one way or another to the Old Gods. The creature Arthas and Anub'arak destroyed bears a few physical similarities to C'Thun. Hakkar is also speculated to be an agent of the Old Gods (or perhaps an Old God himself), demanding blood tribute from the trolls (who were enemies of the aqir). Millenia ago, Hakkar created a schism between the troll tribes, shattering the troll empire.
- Since it is never specified what the avatars of C'Thun looked like, it may be possible that these faceless ones or forgotten ones are the avatars. After the split of the Azj'Aqir empire, C'Thun obviously lost "control" over the Azjol-Nerub "sub-empire", therefore after the countless millennia since the split, it may be possible that the faceless ones are the avatars of C'Thun or forgotten ones.
- The faceless one mobs in the Old Kingdom are actually called forgotten ones, which may suggest that the term forgotten one in fact refers to a faction of some sort.
- Kilix the Unraveler, a nerubian supplying quests related to Azjol'Nerub, speaks of the monsters as being in some way connected to the Old Gods:
- "In my peoples' struggle against the forces of the undead, they dug deeper as they lost ground. In desperation, they dug too deep.
- We inadvertently exposed a tendril of the old god's will, which was made manifest in the creatures known only as the Faceless."
- There are many ways to interpret this statement, among them that in breaking free part of the Old God, the nerubians released his slaves. One could also argue that the Old God "manifested" the creatures out of himself as creations or extensions of himself. The forgotten one in WC3 did seem to have similar powers of creation. This might explain why the faceless ones are actually called forgotten ones in World of Warcraft.
- Then again, Kilix could have just been speaking metaphorically as he goes on to refer to them as separate "insane creatures" only belonging to the Old Gods.
- Faceless ones appear to use three different classifications: humanoid, aberration, and uncategorized.
It is possible that Blizzard based the Faceless Ones loosely on the Illithids from the Forgotten Realms books and Dungeons and Dragons games. Both races have an affinity with magic and telepathy, and both are evil races. Also, Illithids and Faceless Ones both have been described as slimey humanoids with "almost octopus-like heads", and both races live traditionally underground and are feared by most land-dwellers. It is likely that both creatures are based on H.P. Lovecraft's Cthulhu Mythos, which includes ancient, tentacled creatures that worship a god called Yog-Sothoth.
- ^ Patch 4.3 Raid Preview: Dragon Soul
- ^ Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne - Into the Shadow Web Caverns
- ^ The Forgotten Ones
- ^ Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne - The Forgotten Ones
- ^ Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne - Ascent to the Upper Kingdom
- ^ Word of Warcraft: Bosstiary
- ^ Lands of Mystery, 90
- ^ Dark Factions, 53
- ^ Lands of Mystery, 91