Biggest Lore Reveals in Early Shadowlands Alpha - Tyrande, Vol'jin, Kael'thas
Shadowlands is shaping up to be another expansion packed with characters and story elements, expanding on previously unanswered questions and bringing new questions to the fore. So far we've
We've gathered the most interesting bits of lore, unanswered questions, hints, references, and mentions from the various datamined scenarios
, along with a healthy bit of speculation, for you to check out below!
WARNING: SHADOWLANDS STORY SPOILERS AHEAD!
All Shadowlands Datamining and News
Covenant Abilities Deep Dive
Covenant Ability Upgrades
Comprehensive Class Changes
Dungeon and Raid Bosses
Soulbind Calculator Now Live
Level Squish Details
Biggest Lore Reveals
Bastion Zone Preview
Broadcast Text Including Vol'jin
Necrotic Wake Dungeon
Exile's Reach Quests
New Quest Markers
Maldraxxus Covenant Transmog Sets
Night Fae Covenant Transmog Sets
Kyrian Covenant Transmog Sets
Venthyr Covenant Transmog Sets
Sprite Darter Transmog Set
Cloth Maw Raid Armor Set
Plate Maw Raid Armor Set
NPC Models - Sylvanas, Kael
Kyrian and Swolekin NPCs
Faun Ardenweald NPCs
Vampire Revendreth NPCs
Characters in Shadowlands
Shadowlands is another character focused expansion, but not all of the characters within it will necessarily be dead. There are many stories left to be told, but rather than bringing back every deceased character for a "greatest hits" tour, the team is making deliberate choices to further illuminate Shadowland's plot and the Jailer's story.
Shadowlands is the realm of the afterlife, and as such, life and death have different meanings in the Shadowlands, so not every character involved in the expansion may come out of it unchanged.
The Lich Kings: Bolvar Fordragon and Arthas Menethil
Bolvar will play a role similar to Khadgar and Magni
. The one time Jailer of the Damned has particular insights, due to the connection between Icecrown Citadel and Shadowlands, and Bolvar will use that knowledge to help us on our journey. We may also learn a bit more about his own past, as well as his estranged daughter Taelia.
Arthas has not yet been found in datamining
. Blizzard has been tight lipped on whether or not he will make an appearance; although the developers have stated their intent to tell the best story possible without cheapening the iconic character's storyline.
The Night Warrior, Tyrande Whisperwind
Tyrande gets into trouble in Torghast and features prominently in Ardenweald
. Her storyline from
Battle for Azeroth
remains unfinished, as she
continues to seek vengeance
for the crimes committed against the Night Elves under the guise of the Night Warrior.
In one of the many
Relive the last moments of the Night Warrior
, relating to one who came before Tyrande, but we still know she gets into some trouble in another scenario titled
Recovering Tyrande Whisperwind
, as follow her through Torghast, fighting off various minions of the Maw and culminating in a battle against tortured Night Elf souls.
While there isn't a lot of information to go off of, the implication is that Tyrande follows Sylvanas into the Shadowlands, tracking the Banshee Queen into the Maw, where the Night Warrior is defeated and sent to Torghast, after which we race to recover the Night Elf Priestess. Having been told that Tyrande will play a large role in the story of Ardenweld at launch and in future patches, it's hard to say whether we actually
in saving Tyrande... or if she dies and enters the cycle of Ardenweld afterlife, similar to Uther in Bastion.
Bwonsamdi and Vol'jin
We'll learn who tricked Vol'jin into naming Sylvanas as Warchief
continuing plot thread
Battle for Azeroth
, the spirit of the former Warchief and Bwonsamdi head into the Shadowlands to unravel the mystery, coming into conflict with the Sandfury Loa of Death, Mueh'zala, and coming to the attention of the Winter Queen, leader of the Night Fae in Ardenweld.
Azeroth is in ruins... and all because of one... little... whisper to a dying warchief.
What? No... de whisper dat told me to make Sylvanas warchief... it be you?
You played your part perfectly, troll. And I would have tortured you for eternity... if not for someone's intervention.
I be hearin' enough! I want ya ta be knowin' sometin' before I destroy ya, Mueh'zala.
Dere only be room for one loa o' death.
And it be Bwonsamdi.
Hey dere Winter Queen! Ol' Bwonsamdi can be explainin'... see, I be findin' out dat Mueh'zala be takin' ya loa away.
We face this challenge with dignity and remain united behind the Master. Revendreth remains resolute!
So I be helpin' dis one find where dey be... deep in da Maw.
... Even if Ardenweald does not have the power to rebirth all spirits, they must all flow through here to try to be saved.
I will take these three spirits into our care. And you will find your way out of my land, Bwonsamdi.
Uther the Lightbringer
Uther returns as a Forsworn Kyrian
. The Kyrian are souls ascended souls reborn within Bastion in an afterlife revolving around order and virtue. Central to the story of Bastion however is their conflict with the Forsworn - Kyrian aspirants who fail their trials and become dark icons of vengeance rather than virtue. Uther appears to have been caught in this conflict, seen at various times throughout the zone as a Forsworn Kyrian, rather than one of the ascended.
Ysera, the Dreamer
Ysera returns with peculiar blue eyes
. Although corrupted and slain during
, we see her ghost return to the Emerald Dream. Given the Dream's connection with Ardenweald, it's likely we'll find her there, though both her human and dragon form models contain peculiar blue eyes - typically representative of Death Knights/undead, but it could also just be a byproduct of the Shadowlands.
Other Supporting Characters
Several famous characters will be found in dealing with the various Covenants
. Based on
, some of them will be allies, while others will stand in our way.
Kel'Thuzad, except that the spirit of the Arch Lich and former master of Naxxramas has made its way to Maldraxxus. Based on datamined scenario steps, he's continued his treacherous and manipulative ways.
Alexandros Mograine and Lady Vashj (now called Baroness Vashj) are being tested within the House of the Chosen.
The scenario steps
would imply they're allies, despite their varied past.
Kael'thas Sunstrider returns yet again, seeking vengeance on an enemy from his past while confined to Revendreth for the crimes he committed in life. He is also listed as a boss encounter within the Castle Nathria dungeon, although it would appear that we attempt to
him from Denathrius', rather than defeat the Prince of Quel'Thalas yet again.
Rezan, the Loa of Kings who was killed early in
Battle for Azeroth
apparently made his own deal with Bwonsamdi, which means we may not have seen the last of him either.
Familiar Boss Encounters
Other familiar faces appear to be dungeon and raid bosses
. Including Mueh'zala (Sandfury Loa of Death, seemingly involved in conflict with Bwonsamdi & Vol'jin), Hakkar the Soulflayer (the Gurubashi Blood God), Millhouse & Millificent Manastorm, and Kael'thas Sunstrider. We don't know much about them other than what is stated in their
, though not all of these familiar faces appear to be enemies.
Sylvanas Windrunner, the Banshee Queen
Sylvanas has a new model, new color scheme, and Saurfang's scar
. We already know she's central to the story of
, though what exactly the Banshee Queen has planned with the Jailer and whether it'll be as an ally, enemy, or usurper is a mystery that we'll likely spend the majority of the expansion uncovering. What we do know is that she's down to three of her original nine Val'kyr, bringing her that much closer to the "true death" and endless torture within the Jailer's Maw that she's worked so hard to avoid since the day Arthas was defeated.
Check out our
Sylvanas in Shadowlands
lore speculation for a greater deep dive on Sylvanas' motivations and connection to the mysterious Jailer.
Sylvanas' Loyalists have abandoned her
. While players were given the choice to side with Sylvanas or Saurfang during the War Campaign, there won't be any future choices as to whether to side with the Banshee Queen during
. There may be some flavor moments when interacting with certain NPCs which allude to the choices that were previously made, but there's a single unified story in mind that the developers want to tell.
This follows the story elements seen in the close of
Battle for Azeroth
, as several NPC conversations
discuss Sylvanas' abandonment of her loyalists
, and how any who are repentant should be allowed to stay in Orgrimmar. While some players may feel it means their choice has been rendered meaningless, it follows the narrative taken by NPCs - that choice was made before her duel with Saurfang and resulting abandonment of the Horde, which would probably cause some of them to rethink their loyalties. It also makes sense that the developers wish to tell a more straightforward story concerning Sylvanas and the Jailer, which may not include any kind of choice for the players... though only time will tell how that narrative will ultimately play out.
Fate of the Forsaken
It'll be part of the story, but it won't be rushed
. Leaderless, abandoned, and future uncertain, Blizzard doesn't want to rush the story so it will take some time for that turmoil to play out in its entirety.
There've also long been rumors of Calia Menethil and the "Lightforged Forsaken" either as a new faction or customization for the current Forsaken. There hasn't been any sign of that in Shadowlands so far, and a change that major would likely have a lot of lead up, though it does have interesting potential implications for the future of Warcraft.
The expansion will be driven by the Jailer, what he's after, and how to stop him
Battle for Azeroth
was frequently ambiguous, but
is much more clear - the Jailer is the major threat. His machinations have been causing problems in both Azeroth and the Shadowlands for some time now, but he has more allies than just Sylvanas, which we'll learn about in Oribos and other storylines.
Torghast, Tower of the Damned
Torghast is an endless dungeon, but it won't be tacked on
. The developers want to ensure that it serves as both an important gameplay element and narrative role.
From a story perspective, it is the base of the Jailer's power within the Maw, meant meant to hold the most dangerous creatures within the cosmos, but has now become a prison for many of Azeroth's greatest heroes who would threaten the Jailer's plans.
From a gameplay perspective, it serves as an infinite dungeon with roguelike progression, changing each time players enter and rewarding the materials used to craft legendary items at the Forge of Domination.
The World of Warcraft Cosmos
The Chronicles were told from the Titan's perspective, Shadowlands tells it differently
. The universe contains realms of many different denizens and their viewpoints. What we've seen so far is of the Titans and their conflict, but Shadowlands tells a story through a different lens. In essence, the Chronicle is a framework, whereas
adds meat to the bones. There was no clear answer in the
interview with Steve Danuser
as to whether Titans will be involved in Shadowlands or not, but it was pointed out that we've never seen an actual Titan home world, so that may be something to explore at some point in the future as well.
Gorribal, the Wound in the World
The sword has a role to play in things to come
. Another hanging plot thread not resolved in
Battle for Azeroth
; while we healed the injured world soul, the sword remains. It's interesting to think that even if removing Sargeras' sword from Azeroth wouldn't cause further harm to the titan within, it's so large that it probably
be removed by mortal means, and would instead require something of similar size... such as the titan currently growing within Azeroth.
Azeroth, the World Soul
We'll have to wait and see what happens with the titan within Azeroth
. A major long-term plot element which they're not keen to spoil is whether Azeroth (the titan) will ever be born. The Pantheon believe that Azeroth has the potential to become one of the greatest titans, more powerful than Sargeras or the Void Lords, which is one of the reasons Sargeras moved against the budding world soul in the first place. Unfortunately it's not something that seems like it will be resolved any time soon, with the focus currently on Shadowlands rather than Azeroth itself. The real question is what will happen to the creatures inhabiting the world once that titan is born; will the titan contained within merely emerge, or will the entire planet be torn asunder in the process?
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