The Old God Whispers Added in 8.1.5 and What The Clues Could Mean (Spoilers)
With the start of 8.1.5, we've datamined some interesting whispers from N'Zoth! Besides their general spookiness, many lines are notable as they reference whispers from past expansions, including specific phrases. It seems like we're moving closer to fulfilling the prophecies hinted at in expansions past.
Here's our look at what the possible clues could be in the latest round of datamined whispers. You can also
the raw unedited list of whispers.
General spoiler warning for 8.1.5 story updates.
Circle of Stars and Gifts
8.1.5: Receive now the greatest of all gifts. My dream has become your own. The circle of stars made flesh.
8.1.5: When she struck her bargain with N'Zoth ten thousand years ago, Queen Azshara offered one of her most devoted followers into the Old God's service. Now Uu'nat and the crawling masses he commands herald the coming of their master, as foretold by the stars
8.1.5: She is not the last, but the first. Drown her and you will see.
Il'gynoth: To find him, drown yourself in the Circle of Stars.
Il'gynoth: Your coming was foretold in the rings. The long circle is nearly complete.
Xal'atath: This trifling skirmish is little more than a distraction. The true battle draws neigh as the circle nears completion.
8.1.5: Receive my gift and see all truths before you.
8.1.5: At last... embrace the truth of shadow.
Il'gynoth: Flesh is his gift. He is your true creator.
Much has been made of the Circle of Stars, a recurring motif first introduced in Il'gynoth's whispers. The
cinematic brought this motif to the forefront again with ominous circle imagery throughout, from N'Zoth's blinking eyes to Azshara's floating crown. We're getting closer to completing the circle, which likely means the re-appearance of N'Zoth.
When you look up in the sky in certain areas, such as the Maelstrom, you can see a circle of stars. So the "circle of stars" could also refer to Azeroth, and "made flesh" the further corruption and weakening of the planet, allowing the Old Gods to seize more control. Black Empire v2 anyone?
(Back when Warbringers: Azshara came out, we wrote up a visual analysis of the Circle of Stars, which you can read more about
The gift could be the Curse of Flesh, usually associated with Yogg-Saron. This Curse was first applied to the titan-forged, and over time, gave rise to races such as humans and dwarves.
Another interpretation of the gift is the manifestation of the Void in characters, allowing them to see all possibilities: "The Light seeks one path and shuns all others as lies. The Shadow seeks every possible path and sees them all as truth." In Patch 8.1.5, players that
complete the Xal'atath questline
, a buff that places eyes on everyone's head:
Is that why I can see N'zoth's eye on so many people?
The darkness within you swells. I warn you, this will be very painful.
Now, stand very still. That's it. Let me pull N'zoth's defilement from you.
Hour of Death
8.1.5: She will show you the way. Come... come. The hour approaches when all eyes shall be opened.
Il'gynoth: At the hour of her third death, she ushers in our coming.
it's still unclear who "she" refers to, but both phrases appear to be related. Some time has passed since Il'gynoth's whispers, and we're closer to this crucial moment.
Alleria could be one option for the unknown woman, as she states "Sometimes I feel that I have already died twice. Once when we were presumed lost on Draenor, and again when gripped by the shadow of the fallen naaru."
Another option is Sylvanas, who was brought back to her current state twice by the Val'kyr--once after committing suicide in Icecrown Ciatadel, and once after being shot by Lord Godfrey. Perhaps this quote means that if Sylvanas dies one more time, she cannot be resurrected again and will fail in her mission of Undeath, possibly a threat to cosmic forces like the Void. This option is a bit muddied though by Sylvanas initial death, as the Ranger-General of Silvermoon, at the hands of Arthas. She's died three times total, once as an Elf, and twice as Undead.
Another option is more abstract--Azeroth, who has been through both the Sundering and Shattering, now deeply wounded in Battle for Azeroth.
8.1.5: This blade is more than a mere dagger. It is a torch that shall light our path forward.
Il'gynoth: Five keys to open our way. Five torches light our path.
Awfully worrying that Sylvanas, when describing Xal'atath, uses similar phrasing to Il'gynoth. BlizzCon 2018 depicted Sylvanas holding the Blade of the Black Empire. The
Story and Lore Livestream
also concluded with the phrase "when the last torch has been snuffed."
Xal'atath shows up on the 8.1.5 PTR and you can check out our
quest play through here
8.1.5: The Light has struck a bargain with the enemy of all.
At the end of
Before the Storm
, the Battle for Azeroth pre-patch novel, Calia Menethil is resurrected as an Undead touched by the Light.
Calia would come to me when the dreams of what was past were too painful to endure. I cautioned her to have patience. There were things she had to do before the dreams would cease, things she must understand. People who would need her help. And I assured her of this seemingly strange truth; that sometimes the most beautiful and important gifts come wrapped in pain and blood. There will be no more of those battles for hew now. Calia Menethil will be freed from the pains of the living, from the nightmares that once rent her heart. She understood that those on that field were her people. And she accepted that responsibility by giving her life to try to save them. Not human, as they were when she was young, but Forsaken, as they were in that moment. Light and dark. Forsaken priest and human priest. Together you shall bring her back as the Light and she herself would have her be.
Undeath is generally seen as the enemy of all forces--especially the Void. Look back to the alarming nature of Alleria's Void Whispers in
when faced with Sylvanas:
This one is dangerous, she is a threat and must be ended. Beware this one, she seeks the death of all things...all possibilities. End her threat. Murder her. Murder her, save yourself, and murder her. Save the world and murder her.
She is a violation, she serves the true enemy. Kill her now, kill her, kill her now. Remove her from this world and take from her what you need. Now. Now. Now.
8.1.5: He gave himself to the deep places. He gave himself to me.
This could reference Magni, when paired with the Il'gynoth whisper "The King of Diamonds has been made a pawn." Poor Magni just wanted to help us collect the Pillars of Creation and heal Azeroth. Magni, a walking diamond, sent Khadgar, the Lord of Ravens, to seek the five Pillars of Creation, which in turn opened the Tomb of Sargeras. Then, Illidan opens a path between Argus and Azeroth using the Sargerite Keystone, the same one that Gul'dan tried to use to infuse Illidan's body with Sargeras' Essence, and when we finally confront Sargeras at the end of Antorus, he stabs Azeroth right before his imprisonment.
Now, Magni is having us collect Azerite, but we all seem awfully eager to collect the substance to strengthen our combat prowess in the faction conflict, or use it for War Machines. Perhaps the whole task to collect Azerite is merely a way to either free N'zoth or empower Azshara.
We have an alarming surprise encounter underground when we reach Champions of Azeroth revered. Magni seems
optimistic, considering a herald of the Old Gods just visited our Azerite ritual...
8.1.5: The fall of night reveals her true face. She will bring only ruin.
With the events of Patch 8.1 still fresh, this could refer to Tyrande as the Night Warrior or Elune. At the start of the patch, Tyrande undergoes an ancient ritual to become the Night Warrior, an avatar of vengeance empowered by Elune itself, drawing strength from the Dark Side of the Moon. This also causes Darkshore to become enveloped in perpetual night, a New Moon bathing the zone:
Maiev Shadowsong says: Legends say that long ago, Elune bestowed her fury upon our greatest warriors to secure Kalimdor.
Maiev Shadowsong says: In a sacred ritual, the strongest among them became her avatar--the Night Warrior. Our victory was swift.
Maiev Shadowsong says: None who have attempted the ritual since then have survived. Elune's raw power tears them apart.
, we see a dystopian version of Azeroth where Deathwing was not stopped during the events of the
raid. The Hour of Twilight meant the doom of Azeroth, displayed by Deathwing's carcass impaled on top of Wyrmrest Temple, as well as several leaders roaming the empty world. All of them show grief for Azeroth's destruction in one way or another.
Tyrande's in-game description reads:
Once the leader of the night elves and High Priestess of Elune, this time-twisted fragment of Tyrande Whisperwind now wanders the wastes of the desolate future of Azeroth. Enveloped in a perpetual midnight, she has all but lost sight of the comforting light of Elune.
Echo of Tyrande says: There is nothing left for you here, nothing but death and sorrow.
Echo of Tyrande says: The darkness surrounds you, the light of Elune is your only salvation.
Echo of Tyrande says: The moonlight can bring rest to your weary souls in this forgotten place.
Echo of Tyrande says: Give yourselves to the night, Elune will guide you from this mortal prison.
Echo of Tyrande says: You have chosen a path of darkness. Mother moon, guide my hand; allow me to bring rest to these misbegotten souls.
Another possibility is pinning this statement on Sylvanas, as usual. In the short story
"Edge of Night"
, Sylvanas falls from Icecrown Citadel, expecting death but instead finding herself in endless torment. She then strikes a deal with the Valkyr and returns with a newfound purpose--to postpone her fate.
8.1.5: When the arrow finds its mark, the last fetter will fall away.
Arrows are commonly associated with the Windrunner sisters. Due to the wording of this quote, it could reference Alleria more so than Sylvanas.
When Magister Umbric discusses his struggle with the Void, he also uses the word fetter: "I struggle to fetter the whispers, same as you. Thankfully, Alleria Windrunner continues to offer us her guidance."
Alleria struggles to keep the Void in check, visible in the short story "
A Thousand Years of War
" and the comic "
." In both stories, her love for Arator is described as her anchor, preventing her from turning to darkness.
In the short story, she has a vision about killing her son, Arator, before serving N'Zoth. (Hey, that sounds just like the 8.1.5 whisper!)
More visions. Possible futures. She saw Xe'ra, the Mother of Light, declaring her a heretic and calling for her death. She saw her blood on Turalyon's sword. She saw Arator calling an army of paladins to hunt her down, only to fall with her arrows in his throat. She saw herself kneeling before the One Who Slumbers beneath Azeroth's waves. She saw herself killing it and taking its place, leading a throng of horrors to consume every nation.
8.1.5: Six seats at the high table. Six mouths that hunger. One will consume all others.
There are six remaining members of the Pantheon--Aggramar, Eonar, Golganneth, Khaz'goroth, Norgannon, and Aman'Thul. Sargeras turned on the others, after they refused to destroy all worlds to prevent the corruption of the Void. Could one remaining member turn on the others?
There are also six cosmic forces--Void and Light, Life and Death, Order and Chaos. Of these forces, we know that the Void and Light can be tyrannical when left unchecked.
A Thousand Years of War
," we learn about the sinister side of the Light:
"The Light seeks one path and shuns all others as lies. The Shadow seeks every possible path and sees them all as truth."
Xe'ra: Make no mistake, Alleria: if you pursue contact with the Void, your destiny will fall into ruin. You will lose Turalyon. You will lose Arator. You will lose Silvermoon, Azeroth, and everything else you hold dear. The Light and the Shadow cannot exist together. You already know how to strike down the Void. That is all you need to know.
Mag'har Orc Scenario
then provides an AU in which the Light has taken over Draenor, leading to fanatical Lightbound Draenei and persecuted Mag'har Orcs.
Decades have passed since the last vestiges of the Legion were driven from Draenor. We could not have accomplished this noble undertaking without the aid of the orc clans, united as the Mag'har.
Our fondest wish is for all the people of Draenor to remain unified in purpose. Sadly, this dream is not shared by all of those who once stood beside us.
Many noble orcs have embraced the Light. Exarch Hellscream has been an example for his people to follow. Yet sadly, even his own father resists the true path.
I believe with all my heart that the Mag'har are destined to join us as servants of the Light. But first, they must be taught to trust the naaru as we do.
The Light Mother has blessed me with visions. I know that one day the Army of the Light will march across the Great Dark Beyond and bring order to countless troubled worlds.
That bold future begins here. With us. We must make Draenor whole again.
I call upon you all to ensure that the future promised by the Light Mother is fulfilled. Purge the infection that prevents Draenor's heart from being whole.
The Light will forge a new future for the orcs... but first, we must save the Mag'har from themselves.
No more division. No more defiance. In the Light, we shall be one.
There's also the showdown between Xe'ra and Illidan in Patch 7.3, which was many players' introduction to the idea that the Light was not totally benevolent:
As for the discussion of the Old Gods and the Void...well, that's what most of this article is about. Note again the language used to discuss this force--"hunger" and "consume"--words used throughout these whispers to usually refer to N'Zoth.
8.1.5: The veil wanes. His crown will open the way.
The usage of the word "veil" reminds us of the description of Odyn peering into the Shadowlands:
A great spirit appeared to Odyn from this circle, billowing up from ethereal mists, shapeless, to surround the keeper in shadow. "What will you give," the spirit asked, "to peer beyond the veil of this world?
Wise Odyn considered the wraith's question. "I have two eyes," he replied. "One to see in this world of mortals, and one to see into the realm of spirits." And with that, Odyn plucked his own eye from his head and presented it to the spirit. The spirit clasped his eye and swallowed it whole, and great Odyn saw.
Seeing through this given eye, great Odyn saw the Shadowlands. He saw life, saw it even in the land of death, and he was satisfied that his Valarjar would live beyond the mortal realm.
Sylvanas' experiences in the Shadowlands in the short story
"Edge of Night"
are a crucial moment for her character development--when faced with an eternity of torment, she decides to return to Azeroth with the help of the val'kyr. As for the crown? This could refer to the Lich King's crown, the Helm of Domination. Sylvanas frequently talks about wanting to master Death, and both the
Lich King and Bwonsamdi
dislike her disruptions:
Bwonsamdi: Why would me want da Banshee Queen in charge? Nononono. Sure, I be all for war and death, but dat Sylvanas... she be tippin' da scales too far.
Bwonsamdi: Balance be important! Besides, dat one got a nasty habit of keepin' what she kills. No, ya warchief be no friend to ol' Bwonsamdi.
Lich King: The Banshee Queen's schemes threaten the balance. I had no hand in them.
8.1.5: She leads the lamb to slaughter. A worthy sacrifice.
: There is a little lamb lost in dark woods
: Ogmot sees lady wrapped in dark swirlies. She leads herd of blind sheep. Da sheepies follow her everplace she go. Do everthin she say. Never doubt lady. She guide dem over tall cliff! SPLAT SPLAT SPLAT! Stupid sheepies!
Sylvanas uses the Horde for her own plans of conquest, creating a sharp divide between her followers and the Old Horde. They followed her orders to burn Teldrassil, now going along with her plans to raise
Elves in Darkshore
, mind control
arrest Baine Bloodhoof
. While some do not trust Sylvanas, such as Zekhan, many members of the Horde still do follow her. By creating conflict between the factions, perhaps Sylvanas aims to first weaken the Alliance, then turn on the Horde.
Back in "A Good War," we had our first hints that Sylvanas had larger plans beyond her faction conflict:
The look in Sylvanas’ eyes gave Saurfang pause. She was more annoyed than he would have expected. If the Horde managed to kill both Tyrande and Malfurion, yes, it would be a great victory that would weaken the Alliance, but the objective was supposed to be conquering the World Tree. That wedge would split the Alliance no matter who ruled the night elves.
Saurfang considered, not for the first time, that Sylvanas wasn’t telling him everything.
Elune had intervened. Perhaps she had even stayed Saurfang’s killing blow. And she wouldn’t be the only force beyond the Alliance to oppose Sylvanas’ true objective.
Sylvanas’s anger grew cold.
She had known this would happen. It had simply come sooner than expected. That was all.
In the 8.1.5 broadcast text, Brother Pike speculates that this faction war plays right into N'Zoth's plan:
The Old God wants us fractured. Divided. I fear this war has given N'Zoth exactly what he wants.
Anduin 8.1.5: The Alliance stands on the brink of victory. Of ending this conflict and bringing peace to Azeroth.
Sylvanas 8.1.5: Fools. The boy-king has lied to himself and his people. He hasn't the faintest inkling of what he's truly up against.
Il'gynoth: The boy-king serves at the master's table. Three lies will he offer you.
Anduin, the young and inexperienced King of the Alliance, is generally accepted as the "boy-king" from the whispers of Il'gynoth. Based on Sylvanas' quote, he may have said two out of the three important lies that Il'gynoth is counting.
Also in the 8.1.5 broadcast text, Anduin conveniently supplies us with an
optimistic statement--we're about to win the faction war and create everlasting peace. This sounds very unlikely as there's no real plan for defeating Sylvanas, the mastermind for the faction war, and there are so many other tensions in Azeroth the faction conflict has reopened. Even at the end of Legion, things were not peaceful. We may have defeated the Burning Legion, but the Nightborne had a falling out with the Night Elves, Alleria destabilized the Sunwell, and the Void Elves were exiled from Silvermoon. Conflict is everywhere and a victory over the Horde in the
Battle of Dazar'alor
does not mean that the end of the conflict, let alone a clean resolution, is near.
It also looks like some opposing forces are eager to cause strife among the Alliance, based on these datamined 8.1.5 books:
: The AWFUL King of Stormwind has betrayed us all!"
: "The MONGREL King of Gilneas can be of use to us!"
: "Our beloved princess has been transformed into a CORPSE BRIDE!"
: "The Menethil Dynasty will yet ENDURE!"
8.1.5: Patience... patience. They may yet prove worthy of my gift. I will taste their dreams... their flesh.
Warbringers Azshara: For a thousand years, bound beneath these waves, I have watched you. I have tasted your essence.
: I can taste the essence of your soul, it is sweet...
Unnat calls upon N'Zoth in the Crucible of Storms, who urges patience--he wants to learn more about us. This echoes the revelation in
that he's been observing her for many years, which also parallels the observation of
, the weapon of Garrosh. One of the tactics of the Old Gods are to learn what we desire, then dangling it in front of us as part of a deal.
With Azeroth caught in the midst of a faction war, N'Zoth almost sounds like a comforting presence--one who talks of bestowing an amazing gift to open possibilities.
8.1.5: His gaze falls upon every path... every dream given form!
8.1.5: Let the tides draw you into my dream...
: Dat blade has shiny eye. Always watchin us. Why you no see it?
: Have you had the dream again? A black goat with seven eyes that watches from the outside.
: In the sunken city, he lays dreaming.
: Do you dream while you sleep or is it an escape from the horrors of reality?
Dreaming is an important component of Old God whispers, both referring to N'Zoth slumbering in his prison and dreams manifesting our desires that the Old Gods can exploit. The endless possibilities of dreams also echo the myriad of outcomes presented by the whispers of the void.
Power of N'Zoth
8.1.5: Tremble before his hunger! His darkness! All will be consumed!
Warlord Zon'ozz: Your souls shall sate N'Zoth's endless hunger.
Xal'atath: It is ironic that the weakest of us may be the ultimate victor. C'Thun, Yogg-Saron, Y'Shaarj, and... well. Only one would remain to consume the world, that was always meant to be.
Xal'atath: It appears the prison of N’zoth is not as strong as it once was. What you see is a tiny growth of the behemoth that may yet consume your world.
That Which Hungers: The master hungers...the Heart shall feed his waking dream...
Consume and Hunger are two words frequently associated with N'Zoth. While N'Zoth may not have been the strongest Old God, he may end up as the only one freed from his prison, gathering strength for future patches.
Based on the last quote, the collection of Azerite for the
Heart of Azeroth
may be feeding N'Zoth...which is quite unfortunate for us. The revelation that the Heart of Azeroth is used for sinister purposes could provide a story motivation for the
8.1.5: That which was sunken shall rise.
: In the sunken city, he lays dreaming.
8.1.5: The fish shall feast...
: The fish know all the secrets. They know the cold. They know the dark.
8.1.5: A pity it now lies dormant. But anything that slumbers can be awakened.
8.1.5: All that were sleeping... shall be awakened.
: In the land of Ny'alotha there is only sleep.
: In the sleeping city of Ny'alotha walk only mad things.
8.1.5: His eyes behold every truth... every unnumbered crime!
: Ny'alotha is a city of old, terrible, unnumbered crimes.
Azshara pledges to help N'Zoth rebuild his magnificent empire at the end of
but we haven't seen much--until Patch 8.2. The parallel nature of several 8.1.5 quotes to
quotes leave no question that the Old Gods are still talking about the same city. 'A pity it now lies dormant. But anything that slumbers can be awakened." is especially troubling as it's spoken by Sylvanas about Xal'atath, but parallels the wording use to discuss N'Zoth.
In Patch 8.2, Rise of Azshara, we will travel to Nazjatar. This zone will not be completely underwater based on early pictures, and we've received some
hints in a BlizzCon interview
that Azshara is raising part of the empire.
At BlizzCon 2018, we also learned that the
Crucible of Storms is a piece of N'Zoth's prison
--this, plus the knowledge we help Xal'atath in 8.1.5, means that N'Zoth is likely to be awakened.
JF: After the Battle for Dazar'alor, Nagas will resume their assaults on the coasts of Zandalar and Kul Tiras. We will be sent there by the King or Warchief to find what's lurking in the Stormsong Valley. I'm not gonna spoil it for you, but the story ends with weird gigantic eyeballs! The Crucible of Storms is the first proof both factions have that dark powers are agitating below the seas. The Horde and the Alliance notice that a whole piece of N'Zoth is behind the Shrine of the Storms.
As for the fish--we've had the
quote for ages, but it received more context in Battle for Azeroth with N'Zoth taking the appearance of a fish when negotiating with Azshara. This same fish appeared at the very end of the BlizzCon What's Next panel, implying even more is in store beyond 8.2 with the Old Gods!
8.1.5: I alone can save you from what is to come.
Warbringers Azshara: It won't be long now. Your death is now. Only I can sustain you. Let go. Serve me.
8.1.5: With every choice, you become more my servant.
Faceless Ones: You are a pawn of forces unseen.
8.1.5: Let it be as you command! They will serve... or they will die!
Warbringers Azshara: Serve me. And we will rebuild my empire. No? You dare... you will die!
N'Zoth alternates between presenting compelling deals and offering ultimatums. The tense showdown between N'Zoth and Azshara in
was fascinating as we never quite knew who had the upper hand. While the visual imagery at the end of the cinematic indicated that N'Zoth was way more powerful than Azshara, we still had a sense that Azshara is pleased with her end of the bargain and stung N'Zoth with her proclamation that he'd end up the "God of Nothing." Without servants, N'Zoth is nothing. (Read more about the deal between N'Zoth and Azshara in our
8.1.5: Harness your fury... make your hatred a weapon.
: Caress your fear. Gorge your hatred. Embrace your rage.
With the BlizzCon quote that Sylvanas would view
Garrosh as an amateur
, it's always good to read up on the quotes of
, the weapon of Garrosh...and then imagine Sylvanas' weapon being so much worse.
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