by Betria Eilyn Tallrock
The Twilight’s Hammer is not a new enemy. Originally an invading orc clan in the Second War, it came under the sway of the eldritch abominations long buried under the surface by the Titans, and quickly grew in the shadows. The insane doomsday cult took both Alliance and Horde by surprise in the wake of Deathwing’s return, claiming vast swaths of territory and quickly fortifying their positions with summoned elementium bulwarks. Their early victories; however, quickly crumbled as the defenders of Azeroth reacted and pushed back.
Nefarian, also known as Blackwing, and Onyxia, two of Deathwing’s dead spawn that had been reanimated as rotten abominations by the Aspect of Death, have been destroyed for good in Blackwing Descent, along with a host of Nefarian’s twisted experiments and abominations. The monstrously mutated two-headed ogre Cho’gall, the official leader of the Twilight’s Hammer, was also defeated and killed in a daring battle at the Twilight Citadel, and the upper echelons of his twisted cult died with him. Even Al’akir, the Elemental Lord of air who had sided with Deathwing and Ragnaros in trying to usher the end of the world as we know it, had his own plane of existence invaded through a breach in the skies of Uldum, and was then defeated. A similar fate awaits Ragnaros.
But the fight is not over yet. Even as adventurers and heroes pour into the Firelands, defeating the minions of Ragnaros and working their way towards the Firelord himself, the fight against the Twilight’s Hammer and its minions in Azeroth continues. Their forces have been ousted out of their fortresses in Azeroth and beyond, with a sizable operation in Deepholm having been soundly defeated early in the conflict by combined efforts of both factions’ champions. With the renewed heroic efforts in Hyjal and the Molten Front, the Twilight Highlands are quickly becoming the last cultist refuge in Azeroth.
With the fall of the former cultist bulwarks of Twilight Citadel and Grim Batol, along with the death of its most powerful servants in the Eastern Kingdoms, the Twilights have mostly retreated into the open fields of the Highlands, and even there we have taken the upper hand. Alliance leadership in the area is cautiously optimistic about its progress fighting the cultists, and has been gradually shifting its main combat forces towards supporting the Wildhammer dwarf clans in their fight against the Horde-aligned Dragonmaw orcs. Adventurers have been tasked with keeping a close eye on Twilight activity, hunting down remaining cultists and elemental invaders in the area. The Twilight’s Hammer is an insidious and elusive enemy, but it seems they are finally on the path to defeat.
With Ragnaros’ end coming, Alliance strategists speculate that only Deathwing and his closest (and most powerful) minions remain on Azeroth. This is a very similar situation to what happened to the Lich King last year, cornered by the Argent Crusade in Icecrown Citadel, surrounded by his last surviving lieutenants. The battle for Icecrown Citadel was brutal, but the Lich King eventually fell to Tirion Fordring and his intrepid champions. The corrupted Aspect will soon face the same destiny as Arthas Menethil. We do not yet know where Deathwing will make his last stand, or how he will be defeated, but one thing is certain: he cannot hide forever.