Deathlords of Xa’tac

HwarneIt’s hard to write anything definitive about the Xa’tac civilization. Most people out there among the stars know them only as “Deathlords of Xa’tac”, but in this way they omit the long history of the Xa’tac people, most of which wasn’t that different from histories of other worlds – as in, not filled with gruesome ritual sacrifices and enslavement of millions into undeath. They have come to be known in this way due to their short and brutal rule of many worlds and the campaign of conquest that enslaved and completely exterminated multiple worlds. They became a threat so powerful the Burning Legion itself stepped up to destroy them. And once they were wiped out to the last man, the demons were content to simply fly away and never look back. The Deathlords of Xa’tac became a boogeyman that mothers scared unruly children with. But we can’t forget where they came from and how they became what they were.

It’s difficult to even find any material on the Xa’tac before the Deathlords and their dread empire, so most of what follows is largely speculation with fragmentary evidence at best. They were human, or at least mostly human, in appearance and for the longest they were rather unremarkable. Their vrykul forefathers were asleep just like on Azeroth, and the various human kingdoms fought with each other in a series of pointless wars. But among them, there was one sect that acted underground and included members from all the realms. It’s unknown what that sect called themselves, but they believed that their polytheistic religion hid the truth about the universe, and only by communing with the darkness and the beings that dwelt there they could find the truth. So they dug greedily and deeply until they encountered the final resting place of at least some of their vrykul ancestors. It is said that chief among them were three great and ancient vrykul that remembered the titans themselves – Huitzil, Totec and Tlaloc. That sect woke these vrykul up.

These three vrykul were in their time Titanic constructs, outcast members of a larger pantheon. While most of the constructs remained faithful to the Titans after they were cursed with flesh and continued to overlook their human children (even if they sometimes abused them), these three dabbled in dark powers their superiors forbade them to touch. For that, they were forced to slumber deep underground, in the hopes they will once be fixed. But after countless millennia in forced stasis where the Old Gods continued to whisper them, the three vrykul were driven completely mad, and their bodies were twisted into undead monstrosities. These three proclaimed themselves the Death Gods of Xa’tac and told their new worshipers their brethren must be destroyed.

With the appearance of these new gods, ranks of the mysterious sect swelled. With the dark powers they wielded, even with inferior numbers the Death Gods and their servants, calling themselves Deathlords, were winning. One kingdom after another fell to this new, dark force and those who opposed their rise were risen as slaves – soldiers and workers, while the Deathlords became the new elite that never had to work for themselves. Within a century, the entire world of Xa’tac was conquered and the three Death Gods took up a place in a former seat of their brethren and former gods of the Xa’tac, who they slain with the powers stolen from the Old Gods.

But for those three, conquering one world was not enough. Because their broken bodies, filled with negative energy, required constant upkeep of living beings, they demanded more and more lives to be slaughtered at the altar of their temple. Soon, the Deathlords knew they can never fulfill their gods’ demands with just their enslaved enemies and their descendants. They communed with their gods, asking for a way to bring them more sacrifices and the Death Gods, now in control of the Titanic facility where they were forged eons ago, used Titanic technology to invent great deathships – giant citadels of death capable of travel through the Twisting Nether towards unsuspecting neighboring worlds. The Deathlords oversaw the construction by their skeletal slaves until finally, a fleet of deathships was launched towards the world now known as Cha’pocam – “the first harvest” in Xa’tac.

Many, many worlds followed Cha’pocam, because the appetite of the Death Gods was unending. Deathships lowered themselves into the atmosphere of groundling worlds and dropped on the surface thousands of pods containing skeletal warriors. When these pods landed, the skeletons erupted from inside and slaughtered anyone strong enough to pose a challenge and knocked out anyone worthy of a sacrifice. The new “cattle” was then teleported back onto the ship and transported to Xa’tac to feed the Death Gods. In time, their appetites grew so much they would no longer wait for transports and would join their fleets to feed on the spot.

Meanwhile, back on Xa’tac and other conquered worlds where the Xa’tac people settled, Deathlords ruled as an aristocracy. Their mindless undead slaves did all the labor, while they ruled and enjoyed their lives. Unlike your Azerothian Scourge, Deathlords did not utilize many fleshy undead, as they did not like the smell or disease they brought with them. While reproducing and thus creating new life was considered one of the greatest affronts to their philosophy, Death Gods allowed it to further their goals. The greatest punishment under Xa’tac law was not death, but enslavement as an undead minion and the greatest honor was to be allowed to return as a revenant – a free-willed undead creature that served the Death Gods directly – something Deathlords saw as immortality.

The Xa’tac reign of terror did not last indefinitely. After centuries of terrorizing other worlds and conquering numerous others, they began to meet resistance from other powers in the Galaxy. Soon, the young Dwarven Empire and the Gnadra Confederacy began to defend their borders and their allies, and even ethereals began to lower the prices for their mercenaries. The Naaru dimensional fortresses dipped out of their upper dimensions and began proactively fighting the threat. But it wasn’t until the Burning Legion got involved that the Xa’tac truly met their doom. While the Naaru downed a vessel that carried Totec, leading to his disappearance, something or someone summoned the Legion to one of the Xa’tac worlds. A full-scale invasion quickly followed, albeit in this case, the war was long and destroyed many demons. After over fifty years, all Xa’tac ships were destroyed and all their worlds were wiped out, slaves and lords alike. And then the Burning Legion retreated and left the dead husks of their worlds to rot.

It’s unknown why the demons left the Xa’tac worlds, or what happened to the other two Death Gods (whether they were destroyed by the Legion, corrupted, or whether they somehow escaped). What is known, that the whole Galaxy breathed with relief and for once thanked the Burning Legion. Undoubtedly, they had ulterior motives and weren’t just helping the tyrannized mortals, and surely enough, they soon came up with the Scourge to send against your world. What else they took from the Xa’tac is unknown, but many say it was a worthy price to pay for the end of the Xa’tac.

About Arakkoa

Verroak Krasha, an Arakkoa druid with over 50 years of experience. Formerly from Farahlon, during the Orcish expansion relocated to Skettis, then to Sethekk Halls, then to rebuilt Shattrath, following the heresies in each of those places. Finally, he founded his own succesfull alchemy business and set out into the wide cosmos to explore strange new worlds and seek out new life and boldly go where no bird has flown before. View all posts by Arakkoa

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