Azjol-Nerub is the vast underground nation/empire of the arachnid-like Nerubians, located on the icy continent of Northrend. The entrance to Azjol-Nerub can be found in the Pit of Narjun in the western reaches of the Dragonblight. Before its destruction by the Scourge, Azjol-Nerub contained huge libraries of literature, philosophy, and arcane lore.
The ancient kingdom of Azjol-Nerub was a result of the aqir split. The Gurubashi and Amani troll empires managed to split the kingdom of Azj’Aqir into two: Azjol-Nerub and Ahn’Qiraj. Azjol-Nerub was the center of Nerubian civilization. It’s unknown if the Nerubians began here, but certainly most of their race, if not their entire, dwelled here. They left the rest of the world in peace and pursued their interests beneath the ground. Around 20 years ago, the Nerubian civilization was still alive and strong. Azjol-Nerub was their kingdom, and the spider-men controlled all its tunnels. Their culture is almost as old as the dwarves’, and every bit as attuned to life underground. The biggest difference is that the Nerubians focus more on the cerebral and less on the physical; their society had more scholars and artists and fewer smiths and miners.
That was all before the Lich King, of course. He saw immediately that the Nerubians posed a major threat. None of the other races in Northrend had their numbers, their organization, or their discipline. In fact, the Nerubians rarely ventured above-ground, but he couldn’t risk that chance. The Lich King eventually attacked; he chose to swarm the underground kingdom and wiped it clean during the War of the Spider. It was long and hard, and the Nerubians almost won — They may prefer thought and art but they’re fearsome foes when roused. Unfortunately, the Scourge had an endless supply of warriors and every dead Nerubian potentially added to its ranks. In the end the Scourge’s numbers prevailed, and the implacable undead swept through Azjol-Nerub and emptied its tunnels of defenders.
The Lich King defeated the Nerubians, killing most of them in the process and converting many of the survivors into crypt fiends and other undead. Those who could, fled his touch. The Lich King conquered, and the Nerubian civilization all but died. Now most of Azjol-Nerub lies in ruins. It’s still a fascinating place, and many of its murals, frescoes and columns stand intact. The Scourge doesn’t care about riches, material or scholarly, and rich tapestries still hang on the walls while impressive tomes line bookcases. One could spend months roaming the tunnels and still never see all of the great kingdom.
Two years ago, Arthas Menethil and the mighty Anub’arak traveled through this area on their way to the Frozen Throne. Azjol-Nerub is a mystery waiting to be explored. It once held a powerful and advanced civilization, and many of its treasures still rest there undamaged. Great riches litter the lower halls, not only gems and magic items but art and literature and scholarly tomes. The Scourge infests this place, and forgotten ones seethe below, eager to return to the world above. Despite the Lich King’s victory over the Spider Kingdom, numerous pockets of Nerubians remain, evading the wrath of Ner’zhul, while at the same time coordinating hit-and-run strikes against the forces of the Scourge; however, it is currently unknown who leads the remaining Nerubians, or if they even possess a centralized command at all.
Now dwarves are located near the main entrance to the city, keeping the gates shut in hopes that Scourge forces do not reach them. The undead hold many of the floors of the Upper Kingdom. The Nerubian rebels hold floors in the Old Kingdom. Many of deepest areas are held by faceless ones.
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