World of Warcraft: Legion This article concerns content exclusive to Legion.

Inv axe 2h artifactmaw d 01.png
  • Maw of the Damned
  • Item Level 750
    Disenchants into:
    Not disenchantable
  • Binds when picked up
  • Unique
  • Axe
  • Two-Hand
  • Speed 3.60
  • 2642 - 3963 Damage
  • (917.37 damage per second)
  • +511 Strength
    +766 Stamina
  • +346 Critical Strike
    +332 Mastery
  • Blood Artifact Relic Slot Blood Artifact Relic Slot
    Shadow Artifact Relic Slot Shadow Artifact Relic Slot
  • Equip: Your harmful attacks have a chance to deal x Blood damage and increase your health by 15% for 10 sec.
  • "The Maw's thirst is unquenchable. If it is not fed fresh victims, it will not hesitate to drink from its wielder instead."
  • Icon-3D-48x48.png
  • Sell Price: 232g 12s 25c

For eons, the demon known as Gorelix the Fleshripper used this massive axe to steal the life force of his enemies and replenish his own. The Maw will bleed dry anything it touches — eating is all it knows.

An ancient Legion axe forged from a metal that drains its victims' vital energies. The soul of its original creator is trapped within and cursed with unending hunger. For more than a thousand years, an old and cunning mo'arg has used the axe to butcher uprisings and consume the life force of the Legion's foes. Over its long and infamous history, the weapon has made its demonic bearer extraordinarily powerful.[1]


Blood death knights wield an axe of great power known as the Maw of the Damned. Forged for rending both soul and flesh, this weapon testifies to the wielder’s great power over mortality itself. The artifact weapon was introduced with World of Warcraft: Legion.


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In-Game Lorebook

Part One.

Despite its long history of bloodshed, the Maw of the Damned was not created for genocide. It was forged to take a single life: that of the great demon lord Kil'jaeden.

Kil'jaeden was one of the eredar race's most beloved leaders. With a mere word, he could sway the hearts and minds of his people. When he joined the demonic Burning Legion, many eredar blindly followed his path.

One of the first to do so was a gifted smith named Netrius. He adored Kil'jaeden, and he spent his life seeking the eredar leader's approval. Netrius saw pledging himself to the Legion as the ultimate expression of his loyalty.

As a reward for his loyalty, Netrius was remade in the Legion's all-consuming fel fire. Volatile magics blazed through his soul, warping his mind and body forever.

Netrius-now known by the Netrezaar-was never the same again. Even his feelings toward Kil'jaeden changed. What was once admiration had twisted into a dangerous obsession. It wasn't enough to simply win Kil'jaeden's approval. He needed more.

An idea took shape in Netrezaar's mind. To satisfy his obsession, he would create a weapon to consume Kil'jaeden's life force. That weapon would one day become known as the Maw of the Damned.

Part Two.

Netrezaar became a smith of much renown in the Burning Legion. His war machines terrorized worlds. his blades brought ruin to entire civilizations. yet in truth, most of these weapons were merely experiments in his quest for the perfect tool with which to consume Kil'jaeden.

Success hinged on finding a material that could draw out and contain the demon lord's life force. Netrezaar spent years searching for exotic ores, most of which proved useless.

He made a promising discovery on Nihilam, the Doom World. Long ago, a war between the legion's ruler, Sargeras, and his fellow titans had shaken the fabric of creation around Nihilam. Their apocalyptic battle had darkened the world and infused its metal ores with otherworldly properties.

When Netrezaar mined these metals, he found them nearly indestructible. In just the right light, the materials reflected brief images of the battle fought between Sargeras and the titans. Most important of all, these metals also leeched away the essence of any living thing that touched them.

For the first time in years, Netrezaar felt joy. He had finally found what he needed.

Part three:

Netrezaar shaped the Maw of the Damned on one of the great demon forges of Argus, homeworld of the eredar. When crafting other weapons, he often infused them with cruely and malice. Such was not the case with the Maw. Netrezaar poured all of his admiration and twisted obsession into the blade. He labored day and night, pushing himself to the brink of collapse. Perfection was his goal. He would accept nothing less for the weapon that would kiss Kil'jaeden's flesh. The axe would leech away every ounce of the demon lord's life force and channel it directly into Netrezaar. Nothing would go to waste. He also enchanted the weapon's haft so that when he wielded the axe, its metals would not drain his essence.When the work was done, Netrezaar has produced one of the greatest weapons in the Legion's arsenal. Nothing like it had ever been seen before, and nothing like it would ever be seen again.

Part four:

The Maw of the damned's first victim was not Kil'jaeden. It was one of Netrezaar's servants.Netrezaar commanded dozens of mo'arg, highly resourceful demons who specialized in engineering and blacksmithing. All of them looked up to eredar smith with awe, but he cared little for his followers. Like hammers and tongs, they were simply tools at his disposal. To test the Maw, Netrezaar subjected a pair of mo'arg to gruesome experiments. He slowly cut their flesh with the axe, studying how quickly it drained their life force. The Maw worked just as planned. The demons' vital energies passed through the blade and flooded into Netrezaar.

Part five:

Of the two mo'arg experimented on by Netrezaar. one survived. His name was Gorelix. and he was the eredar smith's most devoted follower. At least, he had been. The experiments had left Gorelix shriveled and disfigured. His admiration for Netrezaar darkened into a hatred hotter than any demon forge. Gorelix did not have the physical strength to rise against Netrezaar. Even if he could, rebelling would mean a fate worse than death. Netrezaar was one of the eredar-one of Kil'jaeden's chosen. The broken mo'arg vowed to find another way to exact vengeance on his master. He watched Netrezaar's every movement, seeking a weakness. Over time. Gorelix discovered something odd. Netrezaar's axe was powerful. and yet he would not use it in battle. He kept it hidden from other demons, save his mo'arg servants. What was its purpose. if not to strike down the Legion's enemies? It dawned on Gorelix that Netrezaar had no intention of ever using the axe for the Legion. He had crafted it for another purpose.

Part six:

Netrezaar was pleased with the Maw. and he decided the time had come to use it on Kil'jaeden. He would present the axe as a gift to his master and then strike at the unsuspecting demon lord. Perhaps it would have worked. if not for Gorelix. When the mo'arg learned of the meeting with Kil'jaeden. the last puzzle piece slid into place. He finally realized the true purpose of Netrezaar's axe. He warned Kil'jaeden of the impending betrayal. and the demon lord plotted his own in return. Kil'jaeden met with Netrezaar just as planned. But before the smith could present his "gift." the demon lord struck. He used his magics to lock Netrezaar's spirit in place. while Gorelix took up the Maw. As Netrezaar's screams of torment echoed over Argus. Gorelix slowly cut away his master's flesh. He did not stop until only bone remained.

Part Seven

Netrezaar's fate was worse than death. Kil'jaeden made sure of that. He locked Netrezaar's howling spirit within the smith's own skull. Then he ordered Gorelix to fuse the bone onto the Maw of the Damned.

In this way, Netrezaar would be one with his beloved axe forever. The weapon's metals would constantly drain his spirit, leaving him racked with hunger. No amount of life force would ever satisfy him. To the contrary, the more Netrezaar consumed, the worse his pangs of hunger would grow.

Kil'jaeden gifted the axe to Gorelix as a reward for his loyalty. He gave the mo'arg only one specific order: keep Netrezaar's spirit fed to continue his torture.

Gorelix experimented with the axe, using it to draw the life essence from the Legion's prisoners. The energies drained by the Maw of the Damned were often too much for Netrezaar's spirit to consume. What was left over flowed into Gorelix himself, and strength gradually returned to his broken form.

As word of the axe and its origins spread, demons referred to its prisoner as Netrezaar the Damned. It was from this moniker that Gorelix renamed the weapon.

He called it the Maw of the Damned.

Part Eight

On a small world under siege by the Legion, Gorelix learned of the Maw's true power and potential.

He and a team of mo'arg had been tasked with building a citadel to serve as a base of operations. In one battle, this stronghold came under attack from the world's brave defenders. A massive breach opened in the wall. If the mo'arg could not repair it soon, the entire citadel would fall to the Legion's enemies.

Gorelix volunteered to defend the breach while the other mo'arg worked. Hundreds of enemies stormed the opening in the wall, howling battle cries in their alien tongue. Gorelix stood fast, rending any who came within the Maw's deadly reach. He never flagged. On the contrary, every kill infused his body with greater strength and vitality.

When the last attacker had fallen, the other mo'arg found that they no longer needed to repair the breach. Gorelix had filled it with corpses.

Part Nine

The more Gorelix used the Maw, the more it changed him. He grew into a hulking mass of taut muscle, dwarfing every other mo'arg in size. His monstrous appearance earned him a new name: the Fleshripper.

Despite the power the Maw gave him, there were times when Gorelix did not use the axe. Sometimes he would watch from a distance while the Legion besieged new worlds. All the while, Gorelix would taunt Netrezaar's spirit, describing the battle and all the lives lost in great detail.

When the Maw began to physically tremble in Gorelix's hands, he knew that Netrezaar's spirit was suffering. The mo'arg found as much satisfaction from these acts of torture as he did from imbibing the life force of his victims.

Part Ten

On the world of Centralis, the Maw of the Damned secured its place as a weapon of legend.

Centralis was home to a mighty warrior people. They resisted the Legion's attempts at conquest for much longer than other races. Yet like all who stood against the demons, they were doomed to fall eventually.

Rather than simply destroy Centralis's inhabitants, Kil'jaeden decided they would make fitting victims for the Maw of the Damned. Their potent life essence would engorge Netrezaar's spirit and push him to new realms of torment.

At Kil'jaeden's command, Gorelix traveled to Centralis. He marched at the head of a vast Legion army, Maw in hand. The blade bit through the armor, flesh, and souls of all who fell under his gaze. No corner of Centralis was safe from Gorelix's reach. No creature, not even the smallest wild beast, was shown mercy.

When his long march had ended, only a dead world remained at his back.

Maw of the Damned, Part Eleven

After the massacre of Centralis, Gorelix continued learning how to maximize the Maw's destructive power. So effective was he at wielding the axe that he became one of the Legion's most invaluable tools. Rather than waste Gorelix's talents in minor battles, Kil'jaeden saved the mo'arg for special tasks.

This also allowed Kil'jaeden to keep close watch over the Maw and its whereabouts. Though he trusted Gorelix, he could not bear the thought of the axe falling into enemy hands.

While in Gorelix's care, the Maw claimed countless victims. No matter how much Netrezaar's spirit feasted, his wild screams continued echoing through the axe. Even demons began to fear the Maw and its cursed prisoner. They had seen the weapon consume entire races. An entire world. Yet still it wanted more.

Whether Netrezaar's hunger will ever die is unknown.

The New Master

Upon arrival of the Legion and the defeat of the heroes and combined mights of the Horde and Alliance, the new Lich King Bolvar Fordragon assists the Knights of the Ebon Blade order of Death Knights by directing their Blood knights toward the Maw of the Damned, which has been called upon by the Legion, along with its wielder Gorelix, to assist in overtaking Azeroth.

The champion travels to Darkstone Island from Dalaran in pursuit of Baron Sliver, a Knight already on the weapon's trail. After entering the portal, Sliver is seen captured by a jailer demon. The champion and Sliver continue on, now fully under the gaze of Gorelix, and urged to flee by his prisoner, the Death Knight Mahrgrave Dhakar. Investigating further, Sliver leads them to a chained Knight named Minerva Ravensorrow, Dhakar's own apprentice. She begs to be released to inflict the same pain on the Legion, and overcoming objections by Sliver to 'leave the weak', she is rescued and joins the hero in his quest to retrieve the maw and rescue her mentor.

After fighting through the demonic forces, the group reaches Mahrgrave, who is quickly cut down by a massive, empowered Gorelix the Fleshripper. The mighty battle ends in victory for the Death Knights, and the Maw is taken up by the future Deathlord of the Knights of the Ebon Blade Order.

Sliver opens a portal to Icecrown Citadel, where the Lich King himself rewards the hero with his sigil.

The Maw was present in the cleansing of Xavius from the Emerald Nightmare, the freeing of Odyn and Helya's defeat in the Trial of Valor, the prevention of Sargeras taking Illidan's body and the death of Gul'dan in the Siege of the Nighthold, and finally - much to the chagrin of Netrezaar's trapped spirit within the Maw itself - the defeat of Kil'Jaeden aboard his ship, and the discovery of Argus.


Quest line

  1. Stage 1 – Hunting the Hunters
  2. Stage 2 – Scout the Path
  3. Stage 3 – Breaching the Defenses
  4. Stage 4 – The Search Continues
  5. Stage 5 – End of the Inquisition
  6. Stage 6 – Back to the Prisoner
  7. Stage 7 – Sieging the Citadel
  8. Stage 8 – Into the Depths
  9. Stage 9 – The Fleshripper
  10. Stage 10 – The Maw of the Damned
  11. Final Stage – The Call of Icecrown


  • The Maw elicits responses from certain NPCs in the game.
    • Quotes
      • The Maw of the Damned begins to tug at your grip as you approach the Deceiver.
      • Spirit of Netrezaar whispers: At long last! Revenge... revenge is mine! (Kil'jaeden's death)

Patch changes


External links