The Tidestone of Golganneth and Tomb of Sargeras Mystery in Rise of Azshara
The Tidestone of Golganneth, one of the Pillars of Creation last seen in the Tomb of Sargeras, plays an important role in Rise of Azshara, raising more questions than answers. Let's review the role of this relic and discuss the implications of its role in Patch 8.2.
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What is the Tidestone?
was one of the five Pillars of Creation created by the Pantheon and given to the titan-forged Keepers to shape the world of Azeroth. During the War of the Ancients, the Pillars were used by Grand Magistrix Elisande to seal the Burning Legion's portal by the Temple of Elune. These Pillars were later scattered to different corners of Azeroth.
At some point, the
was then moved to Nar'thalas Academy in
, where Prince Farondis sought to destroy the Well of Eternity using the Tidestone, in order to put an end to the Legion's invasion. Unfortunately, he was betrayed by
, leading Azshara to swiftly punish his entire court, turning them into cursed ghosts. We learn about this sad fate during
while trying to retrieve the Tidestone on Magni's orders, only to witness Tidemistress Athissa and Warlord Parjesh steal it during
. They then take the restored Tidestone to the
dungeon to summon the
Prince Farondis was shunned by his people, resentful of the destruction of their lands and Azshara's curse, but he stands up to Azshara towards the end of the Azsuna storyline in
, refusing to swear allegiance to her in return for breaking the curse. While this behavior damned his people years ago, this time, his court is impressed by his defiance of Azshara and accept him once again.
After the Tidestone is retrieved from the Eye of Azshara dungeon, it temporarily resides at the Portrait Hall in Dalaran before we bring it to the Tomb of Sargeras, once again hoping to seal the Legion portal. Azshara sends more minions to steal the Tidestone, the bosses
, and after defeating them the Tidestone is placed within the Abyssal Throne.
How Did Azshara Steal It?
In Patch 8.2, Azshara has apparently reclaimed the Tidestone, using it to part the seas surrounding Nazjatar and trap Alliance and Horde players within. While
both factions work together
to break into the Eternal Palace, using the Javelins of Suramar to destroy the Tidestone's wards, Azshara is watching our every move and is even happy to see us enter the raid.
Azshara: They seek the tidestone... but I will not leave it unguarded as they so foolishly did.
The Tidestone of Golganneth! That must be how she was able to part the sea!
The naga incursions must have been a distraction. But if the Tidestone can manipulate that much water, we are all in grave danger. She could flood Nazjatar in an instant.
Azshara is extremely cunning, but it's disheartening to think that after we worked so hard in Legion to retrieve the Pillars of Creation and set them in the Tomb, they were stolen soon after. A potential theory is that with the threat of the Legion removed, we couldn't think of other forces that would want the relics, and so left it unattended. However, this theory doesn't line up with
, as Magni emphasizes how important the Pillars of Creation are:
That sword of Sargeras is surgin' with dark energies. They're seepin' into Azeroth's heart like poison. The blade's power must be snuffed out.
The Pillars o' Creation could do it, but they're keepin' the tomb sealed.
So we need other vessels capable o' harnessin' vast energies. Vessels like those artifact weapons you and the other champions wield. It's a risk, $p. We don't know what Sargeras' power will do ta those weapons. But unless we act now, the heart of Azeroth is sure ta die.
lures us to the Titan Console imprisoning N'Zoth
, using our empowered Azerite necks to weaken the chains, perhaps she used Azerite to also secure the Tidestone of Golganneth.
Another possible explanation is that
, once freed from the Blade of the Black Empire in Patch 8.1.5, helped retrieve the Tidestone. During
, the Blade of the Black Empire had interesting whispers inside the Tomb of Sargeras, even trying to defile Elune's power, though it is rebuked by the goddess.
Xal'atath whispers: I can feel the pulse of your world quickening. Soon, all will be drenched in its life blood.
Xal'atath whispers: I do so enjoy seeing the shrine of a great enemy profaned by the spirits of its own worshippers.
Xal'atath whispers: A remnant of power lingers in this broken temple. It must be ours! Come, enter the circle and take it. My mistake. It seems the upstart "goddess" still holds sway here. Oh well...
Xal'atath whispers: At times it seems the naga beg from scraps from the Legion's table. But the queen they serve want far more than that.
For now, the exact details of the heist remain a mystery.
The Unsealed Tomb of Sargeras
All five Pillars of Creation were needed to seal the Legion Portal inside the Tomb of Sargeras, with the other four also found across the Broken Isles:
, kept by Odyn in the Halls of Valor, was previously used to defeat God-King Skovald. It now rests at the top of the
Cathedral of Eternal Night dungeon
, placed in the
Tears of Elune
, kept in the Temple of Elune in Val'sharah, was later used by Xavius to corrupt Ysera. It rests near the
Desolate Host Encounter
, placed in the
, used by Huln Highmountain to banish Deathwing during the War of the Ancients, was a prized artifact of the Highmountain Tribe until the
Drogbar stole it
. After retrieving it in
, it's placed by the
Eye of Aman'thul
, used to create the Nightwell, was retrieved by adventurers by the Font of Night in the Nighthold raid (
tells us to use it to "eradicate the Felstorm and sever the Legion's link to Azeroth." However, we forge ahead and face Kil'jaeden, which then takes us to Argus.
shows up in Cathedral of Eternal Night to explain the importance of using the pillars:
Image of Aegwynn says: I am Aegwynn, Guardian of Tirisfal. I left behind this echo of my power as a safeguard in the event that the wards I put in place to protect the tomb failed. Indeed, I sense that the master of the Burning Legion now schemes to claim his prize.
Image of Aegwynn says: Yet there is still hope. By anchoring the Pillars of Creation in the halls below, you will restore my wards and push back against the invaders. Then you must venture into the depths of the tomb and use the Eye of Aman'Thul to eradicate the Felstorm and sever the Legion's link to Azeroth.
Image of Aegwynn says: But the Pillars alone cannot bring victory. Only a united army founded on strength and courage can conquer the Legion. When you and your allies are prepared for the final battle, my echo will return to aid you. The fate of Azeroth rests in your hands.
With the Tidestone stolen from the Tomb, does that mean that the Tomb is once again unsealed? While the Legion may no longer be a threat, Sargeras, the creator of the Burning Legion, remains alive - imprisoned by Illidan Stormrage and the Titan Pantheon. As we learn in
, keeping the tomb sealed is of utmost importance - we sacrificed our artifact weapons to absorb Sargeras' corruption because we cannot risk moving the Pillars of Creation.
If the Tomb is no longer sealed anyway, could we repurpose the other four Pillars of Creation in order to revert Azeroth's decline? Or will we retrieve the Tidestone once again and try to place it back in the Tomb of Sargeras before more problems arise?
Stealing More of the Pillars
The stolen Tidestone also raises another question - what if more Pillars were stolen? Azshara has many allies, and it seems unlikely she'd break into the Tomb of Sargeras to retrieve one while leaving the rest untouched.
Some of the Pillars have had their stories continue in
Battle for Azeroth
, notably the
Tears of Elune
, initially used by Xavius to corrupt Ysera. In the
Heart of Azeroth Essence Questline
, we find the Emerald Dream corrupted, the Remnant of the Void growing, and Ysera's spirit missing from the dream.
The original purpose of
was to defend the "the young world soul against madness and corruption," and with all the foreshadowing that Azeroth is dying, sinister forces may want to get ahold of this relic to avoid it to healing Azeroth.
The Eye of Aman'thul, used to create the Nightwell, also demonstrates its powers of temporal magic during the
encounter. Bringing the Eye of Aman'thul to the ruins of the Well of Eternity could further empower the Maelstrom, creating a catastrophic tidal pull, or rewind time to resurrect fallen allies.
The Hammer of Khaz'goroth "forged ancient wonders and shaped the earth itself"; it could be used to reshape parts of Azeroth or even modify Titan creations. Should this fall into the wrong hands, the Hammer could possibly even be used to destroy otherwise-infallible structures.
This brings us to another mystery of 8.2 - why is N'Zoth's prison apparently under the Well of Eternity, instead of elsewhere in the Great Sea? We previously wrote a
on this, speculating that the prison was moved due to the Sundering, though the possibility of the Old Gods bending the Pillars of Creation to their will is intriguing.
Of course, when discussing potential threats to Azeroth, we can't just talk about cosmic forces, we also need to mention
, the current wielder of the Blade of the Black Empire. Sylvanas was told by a mysterious character to travel to Nazjatar, knowing there would be a significant loss of life - how much of Azshara's plan did she know of in advance? Would she want to get her hands on some of the Pillars of Creation? In
, she struck a deal with Helya, Odyn's fiercest enemy, so stealing the
tie back into that storyline.
Lady Sylvanas Windrunner: Nathanos. The next phase of our campaign is at hand.
Lady Sylvanas Windrunner: Sail out with what remains of our fleet. The blade will guide you to the rendezvous.
Lady Sylvanas Windrunner: Casualties on both sides will be substantial. Consider this an opportunity to weed out the disloyal.
Lady Sylvanas Windrunner: The threads we have woven with such care will soon be drawn together. The war is serving its purpose. Stay focused on the endgame. You know what is to come.
Lady Sylvanas Windrunner: We have been through so much together, you and I. Trust in me, as I have ever trusted in you.
Reintroducing Ignored Characters
As many players expressed disappointment that
Tyrande's story appears to be on hold
for now, revisiting the Tomb of Sargeras and exploring its roots as the Temple of Elune could provide a way to further the High Priestess's story. She tapped into the power of the
in Tides of Vengeance; perhaps she'd want to revisit the latent power of Elune within the Tomb of Sargeras in a future patch as well. Clearly power still resides there, as Xal'atath waws subdued after trying to siphon the goddess's power after defeating the Sisters of Elune:
Xal'atath whispers: A remnant of power lingers in this broken temple. It must be ours! Come, enter the circle and take it. (this event has a chance to trigger after defeating Sisters of the Moon)
Xal'atath whispers: My mistake. It seems the upstart "goddess" still holds sway here. Oh well...
The ongoing saga of the Tidestone could also bring Prince Farondis back into the main story, another character players expected to see in the Azshara encounter due to his continued defiance after the destruction of his kingdom in Azsuna. After the portal revamp in Patch 8.1.5, a Legion portal was even added to Azsuna, implying the zone may be a central hub or relevant in some way during
Battle for Azeroth
Finally, Khadgar vanished after Legion after becoming disillusioned with our faction war in Silithus. As he played such an instrumental role in retrieving the Pillars of Creation, perhaps he'd return once again to help us control these powerful relics.
Battle for Azeroth
unravels many of the victories we achieved in
- corruption is spreading within the Emerald Nightmare, the factions are once again at war, our artifact weapons have been burned out, and Azeroth's safety is more perilous than ever. Now in Patch 8.2, we've lost our hold over the Pillars of Creation, diminishing our victory at the end of Tomb of Sargeras. While we as players face several immediate threats in 8.2 like the Horde's internal conflict and Azshara's trap within Nazjatar, we can't forget about the long-reaching implications of the unsealed Tomb of Sargeras, stolen Pillar, and what it might mean for the fate of Azeroth. The Pillars of Creation were once used to reshape the world of Azeroth after the Titan's war against the Old Gods; with N'Zoth growing ever stronger, perhaps the most devious of the Old Gods plans to use them for that very same purpose once again - creating a new world for a new Black Empire.
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