|Title||Blightcaller, Champion of the Banshee Queen, Ranger Lord|
|Character class||Ranger, Hunter, Dark ranger|
|Former affiliation(s)||Farstriders (Alliance of Lordaeron)|
|Occupation||Champion of the Banshee Queen, former Ranger Lord of the Alliance|
|Location||War Quarter, Undercity|
- Amidst our ranks, there are few with more dedication or vigor. - Lady Sylvanas Windrunner
Nathanos Blightcaller (born Nathanos Marris) is a level 62 elite located in the War Quarter in the Undercity. He is the champion of the Banshee Queen of the Forsaken, and a teacher of new Forsaken hunters.
In life, Nathanos Marris was trained by the high elves in the ways of war. Nathanos's accomplishments were unprecedented. He was a tactical genius, responsible for Alliance victories spanning a decade of conflict. Nathanos Marris was the first and only human ranger lord, appointed as such by Ranger General Sylvanas Windrunner. His inclusion in the ranks of the ranger lords was not without its conflicts. Kael'thas Sunstrider opposed the appointment, but Sylvanas did it anyway, impressed with Nathanos' ability. Though trained by high elves, Nathanos appears to have spent much of his time south of Quel'Thalas at his home, the Marris Stead - but despite the fact that his travels aren't documented, those that remember him, remember him with the reverence of a hero - much like Bolvar Fordragon or even Anduin Lothar.
His heroics were not to last. After the fall of Stratholme, the Scourge swept over the once-great nation. Despite his training, Nathanos Marris fell as well at his house, murdered by the abomination Ramstein the Gorger. Eventually, he became undead, and joined the Forsaken. Sylvanas appointed Nathanos as her champion - the Champion of the Banshee Queen. He even took a new name: Nathanos Blightcaller.
Nathanos appears to care very little for his former life, even sending Horde adventurers to retrieve the that contained his file. He makes sure to inform adventurers that the registry is not to be read. He resided at the Marris Stead in the Eastern Plaguelands with his pet blighthounds. There he recruited Horde soldiers to fight against corrupted animals (such as plaguebats), the Scourge, and the Scarlet Crusaders of Tyr's Hand.
Nathanos Marris was, after all, a hero of the Alliance - and his death did not go unnoticed, nor did the fact that a body had never been found. Master Mathias Shaw, head of SI:7 - the Stormwind intelligence agency - received some disturbing reports of unusual Forsaken activity in the Eastern Plaguelands, and sent five agents to investigate. Only one of those agents returned, babbling incoherently about "Nathanos" and the word "Blightcaller." He died in his sleep just days after his return, and Alliance adventurers are asked to go investigate their disappearance. The only thing SI:7 had to go on was that Nathanos Marris may have been slain by this "Blightcaller," but the truth was far less pleasant. After investigating the grounds around the Marris Stead, adventurers uncover the ugly reality - Nathanos is the Blightcaller, now a champion of the Banshee Queen.
Once it was determined that Nathanos was the Blightcaller, King Varian Wrynn and Bolvar Fordragon enlisted Alliance adventurers to gather an army and destroy him. Nathanos, however, managed to survive this through faking death.
This section concerns content exclusive to Cataclysm.
After surviving the Alliance assassination attempt on his life, Nathanos has decided to reside in the War Quarter of the Undercity and trains new Forsaken hunters in their trade. The quests he gave are now given by other NPCs.
- Nathanos Blightcaller says: I can smell your fear, <race>.
- Nathanos Blightcaller says: Prepare for a severe beating.
- Nathanos Blightcaller says: I shall wear your entrails as a necklace.
- Nathanos Blightcaller says: How dare you!
- Nathanos Blightcaller says: If you run now, you may live.
- Nathanos Blightcaller yells: You merely prolong the inevitable. Succumb. She will free your misguided soul.
Nathanos was involved in the following quests:
One strategy was to take Nathanos down as fast as possible, whilst reducing the aggro on weaker party members. This enabled the group to at least complete the quest, or gain honor under the Honor system for the kill, while all the party were (still) alive.
You needed at least 8 people in a raid group at lower levels, with a main and off-tank.
Focus on Nathanos himself and take him down as fast as possible. He can be taken down in a minute or so, at which point no more skeletons will be added. The Blighthounds will not do any serious damage until he is down. Deal with them second, and the skeletons third.
Avoid healing as 2-4 skeletons are attracted to the healer. This includes direct heals, heal over time spells, Warlock's drain spells, bandages, potions, pet heals, and life stealing enchants. Rather than heal, run; stop fighting to reduce threat (trinkets etc with Spirit bonuses are useful here) and heal normally; or let your tanks do the healing to attract aggro back.
It was easy to solo him at level 80, especially if you are a tank.
- Nathanos appears to be a dark ranger; his in-game abilities (the summoning of skeletons, the usage of a special black arrow, etc) being identical to the dark rangers' attack methods. Furthermore, both he and Sylvanas (his mentor and the most prominent dark ranger in existence) are classified as such in the TCG.
- Despite his extremely poor treatment of the player, often referring to him or her as "imbecile" and numerous variations thereof, Nathanos has become a popular character in the franchise, and his return to the Undercity has been largely met with affection. This is perhaps due to fond memories of vanilla Warcraft, where Nathanos was a force to be reckoned with and Horde players would often defend the powerful Blightcaller from the Alliance.
- When talked to in-game, Nathanos says he survived the attempts on his life by playing possum.
- Nathanos seems to hold something of a close kinship with Lady Sylvanas. While ferocious loyalty to their Queen is not uncommon within the Forsaken, the bond between Nathanos and Sylvanas predates their undeath. During Nathanos' time as one of her disciples, Prince Kael'thas Sunstrider grew frustrated with the notion of a human gaining the knowledge of the elven rangers, and had on at least one occasion demanded Sylvanas banish him from the order. She flatly denied her Prince's request.
- Nathanos appears to be rather protective of this aspect of his past, and gladly had his one time allies killed to keep it hidden. Prior to gaining his freedom from the Scourge, Nathanos admits to having "somehow known" that "she" would come for him. To this day, the Banshee Queen and her champion speak highly (and arguably, affectionately) of one another, though whether this is respect in both life and death for close allies, or perhaps something more like her two sisters pursued, will likely never be known. Regardless, the relationship between Sylvanas and Nathanos has become a fan-favourite, due in part to their tragic circumstances.
- The relationship between Nathanos and Sylvanas has been noted by a number of characters, notably those who were part of their ranger corps. Lor'themar Theron and Renthar Hawkspear, who were part of Sylvanas and Nathanos' company, both make reference to a close relationship between the two. Halduron Brightwing also mentions that Sylvanas and Nathanos had a certain connection, and that she was always "championing" him.
- In the Leaders of Azeroth short story for Lor'themar Theron, Renthar Hawkspear and Aurora Skycaller make the inference that Nathanos "never became Scourge," and that Sylvanas must have "called him to her service" before Arthas could exert a proper dominion over him. This is curious, as their version of events is in direct contradiction to Nathanos' own, in which the banshee queen's champion reiterates his time spent as a mindless thrall of the Lich King before Sylvanas freed him.
At The Marris Stead, in game
- Patch 4.0.3a (2010-11-23): Moved from the Marris Stead to the Undercity. Now a hunter trainer.