April 21, 2024
WoW – Azeroth Story: The Shadowlands

WoW – Azeroth Story: The Shadowlands

World of Warcraft’s eighth expansion has been around for a fortnight now and you’ve certainly had time to roam the pretty (and less pretty) landscapes of the Shadowlands.

A good opportunity to take stock of the Shadowlands and above all to inaugurate a series of articles devoted to the lore of World of Warcraft, and more particularly that of Shadowlands.

Warning, this article is subject to many spoilers on the history of Shadowlands and World of Warcraft in general.

The realm of death

We can’t make it any clearer. The Shadowlands is the realm of death, present in every corner. The first volume of the Chronicles also describes it to us as in opposition to the Emerald Dream (where life reigns), nightmarish realms […] where the souls of the dead swarm, from the world of the living.

We can clearly see in Cosmology that the two planes are at the same level, one linked to Life and the other to Death.

But who actually created the Shadowlands? Well, at the moment, we don’t know. There is mention in the extension of the “Founders”, without for the moment having more details. We find everywhere in the Shadowlands the marks of their passage. The obelisk in the Den, which allows us to find ourselves in Oribos, is for example one of them. We could speak of them as “gods”, who would have created the entire universe, therefore potentially still above the Pantheon of the Titans.

The Jailer is also looking for a “final price”, which would have been hidden by the Founders (information given during a cutscene, after having recovered 15 Memories of the Runomancer).

Everyone has their role

So the Founders created the Shadowlands, but they’re obviously no longer there, for one reason or another. It is therefore a council of six members which is responsible for reigning over the kingdom, each representing a faction (congregation) having its own function within the Shadowlands.

The Arbiter is linked to Oribos, the capital of the Shadowlands. She is the judge of all souls, the one who arrives in the beyond after their death. It absorbs everything that the soul has experienced (actions, misdeeds, successes, failures, etc.) and sends it to one of the areas of the kingdom according to its past life.

The Kyrians are a congregation of noble souls, acting as messengers. They are the ones who accompany the souls of the deceased to the Shadowlands. They are led by Archon Kyrestia, in the Bastion area.

Based in Maldraxxus, the Necrolords form the Shadowlands’ first line of defense, welcoming souls seeking glory and greatness.

The Night Fae, led by the Winter Queen, heal sleeping spirits by infusing them with anima. This was the case, for example, of Cenarius, defeated by the troops of Grom Hellscream (Warcraft III), then returned to life in Cataclysm.

In Revendreth, the Venthyr welcome souls who are not ready for another covenant, especially those who have not been able to leave their lives behind.

Finally, the Den, led with an iron fist by the Jailer, reign supreme over the Den. It is a cursed place, where the worst and irrecoverable souls end up suffering eternal suffering.

Anima shortage

All was well in the “best of” worlds, until the Jailer got involved and went after the Arbiter, thus causing what seemed like a long sleep for her. The souls are thus no longer judged and they are all sent directly to the Cave, thereby increasing the power of the master of the place.

The shortage of souls, and therefore of anima (the life force of souls, so to speak), has repercussions throughout the Shadowlands, with congregations sorely lacking in manpower, especially since infighting, almost civil wars, begin to emerge.

It is at this precise moment that we, Champions of Azeroth, arrive in the Shadowlands, sent directly to the Maw. And let the Shadowlands story begin!

If you want a little reminder of the previous events that took place on Azeroth and which led to the current situation, I invite you to reread my little point on the story .

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