Updated Wed, Nov 16, 2011 by Saia
The one thing learned from World of Warcraft lore is that the Old Gods are behind almost everything bad that happens in Azeroth - from the corruption of Sargeras to the creation of the Demon Soul and that’s what we’re going to be looking at today.
The Demon Soul is one of those legendary artifacts that no one should wield. It’s also been lost to the mists of time, which is why Nozdormu will be sending us to Azshara’s palace to retrieve it during 4.3. But where did it come from and how was it created?
That act can be blamed squarely on Deathwing … or at least on his non-insane incarnation Neltharion. The Dragon Soul looks like a plain gold disc and was crafted by goblins on Neltharion's orders to battle the Burning Legion. The nefarious Old Gods started whispering in his ear, drove Neltharion insane and twisted his world view. Along the way, the Earth Warder started getting delusions of grandeur and decided, rather than being Azeroth’s protector, he wanted to be its ruler.
The formation of the Dragon Soul can be seen during the Yogg-Saron encounter.
So he took the Dragon Soul to his fellow Aspects and had them empower it - as seen during the Yogg-Saron encounter - which led to the creation of a magical amulet of terrifying power which also had the ability to control the Aspects who had helped charge it.
Of course, Alexstrasza and company had no idea about all this. They believed their brother-Aspect just wanted to keep Azeroth free from the Burning Legion - until he unleashed the Dragon Soul’s power, killing both members of the Burning Legion and Night Elves alike. For refusing to bow down and worship him, Neltharion also murdered almost all of Malgyos’ Blue Dragonflight, leaving their leader to watch his kind die. Despite this and thanks to the intervention of Korielstrasz, the former Earth Warder lost the battle and retreated with his tail between his legs and he took the Dragon Soul - or, as it was soon renamed, the Demon Soul - with him.
The problem with such a powerful artifact was that it was ripping the Earth Warder apart. The same goblins who created the Soul then forged the great dragon his familiar adamantium plates. Without it, the dragon would been ripped apart and it was around this time his form changed into the creature of flame and magma we know today and so Neltharion ceased to be and Deathwing took his place.
Though plain, the Dragon Soul (on the left) is a weapon of unimaginable power.
But, as with most of their minions, the Old Gods didn’t care about Deathwing’s dream of becoming Azeroth’s new tyrannical deity. They just wanted to open up portals that would allow Sargeras’ minions to take over the planet and free the Old Gods for their prisons below.
Malfurion then snuck into Deathwing’s lair via the Emerald Dream and stole the Demon Soul. A great move for the forces of good, except that Illidan then captured his brother and stole the Demon Soul. He then delivered this to Mannoroth the Destroyer in Zin-Azshari who used it to turn the Well of Eternity into a massive portal which would let Sargeras and his minions into Azeroth.
As we know from the fact Azeroth still exists, the crisis was averted even if the destruction of the Well of Eternity caused the Sundering of Kalimdor and the creation of the Maelstrom. It is this event we will go and witness - and ultimately watch happen. It would be another ten thousand years before both the Demon Soul was actually destroyed - thanks to Rhonin of the Kirin Tor and a scale Deathwing had once given him. But even then Sinestra tried to reforge it and it ranks as the most important and dangerous artifact known to the mortal and eternal races.
Regardless, once Deathwing’s most prized weapon, it is now the only thing that can stop the Aspect of Death. The encounter is still vague but it will be Thrall who wields the Soul during the battle of Wrymrest Temple. Just as Deathwing learned that any damage to him can weaken the Dragon Soul's power, so the reverse is true and it will help champions to rip off his armor and strike a fatal blow. What happens to the weapon afterwards remains to be seen but this is one thing no one will ever get from a loot table. We can only hope the dragons either hide it away or destroy it, lest it fall into the hands of any other beings who might use and abuse its power.