World of Warcraft Cosmology Chart in Color by AJT_GameArt
Redditor AJT_GameArt has created another version of his popular
World of Warcraft Cosmology Chart in Color
, adding even more recognizable leaders and paragons from each respective power. A lot of interesting little detail, such as the Jailer's chains emanating from the Necromantic sphere, make it an astounding piece of art.
The chart also brings up a lot of interesting lore beats tying into Shadowlands, as this new version adds important characters from recent stories, such as Turalyon for Light, Shadowlands rulers for Death, and Ysera for life. We've also recently seen the cosmology chart resurface as a hot topic due to the
Enemy Infiltration book
describing a cosmic-wide war waged by the forces of Death.
You can download high-rez versions at DeviantArt:
What is the Cosmology Chart?
The Cosmology Chart shows the alignment of cosmic forces within the World of Warcraft universe, the fundamental forces of existence. While some realms we as players have visited are made up almost entirely of one particular element, such as the elemental plane of Fire and Water, all of these forces are necessary components of the universe, even the ones which intrinsically oppose one another - without death, there is no circle of life, and without life, there's nothing to feed death, thus at least some semblance of balance must always be maintained, lest the entire system collapse.
These forces are categorized into six basic primordial powers which oppose one another.
Light and Shadow
Life and Death
Order and Disorder
All of which break down into elemental powers - Holy, Void, Nature, Necromancy, Arcane, and Fel, which further make up the Elemental Planes and Spirit Realms - Earth, Air, Water, Fire, Spirit, Decay, the Emerald Dream, and the Shadowlands. At the center of it all lies Reality; the place where our character exist and the world they live on inhabit is made up of pieces from every force, and each elemental byproduct of it. Even worlds like Argus, near fully in the grasp of the Fel forces of the Burning Legion is still comprised of elements of Arcane, Nature, and the rest of the elements; it has to be, it couldn't exist otherwise.
One final realm, the Twisting Nether, is not represented. It's described as the astral plane between worlds, an ethereal dimension which connects all these myriad powers which transcends all realities. It is essentially the canvas which the cosmic chart rests on. The Twisting Nether has been somewhat ill-defined, as various new sources of information have come out over the years, but it's a combination of
and the Lovecraftian
. Like space, worlds exist within it, but it stretches beyond the realms of reality found on the cosmology chart to tie together all of those cosmic forces. We've been told that demons such as Archimonde don't truly die when they're killed on a material plane such as Azeroth or Draenor; they'll eventually be reborn and must be defeated inside the Twisting Nether to be fully destroyed (such as the last encounter of Hellfire Citadel, wherein Gul'dan opened a gateway to the Twisting Nether for Archimonde to come through). Even then, the energies which made up the creature persist, eventually coalescing once again to form a new creature - it won't be Archimonde anymore, but the energies that made up the creature are seemingly never truly gone. The same is true for beings of the Shadowlands such as the Bastion Stewards; when one is destroyed, eventually the energies it was made up of will form into a new Steward (a lot of overlap here with the
Parallels in Shadowlands
In Shadowlands, we go outside the realm of reality, into the literal Shadowlands. It may look like our realm, and it's still made up of the various primordial powers in at least some part, just not as fully as our own. For example, Nature is still clearly represented in the Ardenweald, but the Shadowlands is a realm of the afterlife, not true creation. In this, a 2D representation of the cosmology might be somewhat limiting, because although they are opposite elements, Nature is still a byproduct of Death, just as Necromancy is dependent on Life. In truth, the elements and planes are more a series of overlapping venn-diagrams stemming from the six prime powers.
This particular fan-made chart is very interesting because WoW has frequently used color schemes to always been big on color aesthetics to express character alignment. We saw a
of this in
Battle for Azeroth
, the pink and purple
regality of Azshara
, blue and silver
representing the ocean
, with red, gold, and black
well before the Old God's first actual appearance. We've already seen color shifts in Shadowlands as well, with Sylvanas' new model eschewing her former purple armor for a deathly blue palette similar to that of the Jailer.
The Titan's Perspective
It's important to remember though that the
World of Warcraft: Chronicle
, from which the cosmology chart and virtually everything we know about the forces that make up the WoW universe originates was written "from the Titan's perspective". While that doesn't necessarily mean that the information contained therein is
, particularly the broad strokes such as these, it does mean that some of the smaller detail could be misleading or differently linked than at first appears. We already know that Azeroth is a dormant Titan world soul, so it's strange to think that Titan's are fully creatures of Order, when the reality their World Souls inhabit is made up of all elements. Again, this doesn't mean the information is wrong per se, but our understanding of them may not be ironclad. Also "out of character" it gives Blizzard more creative room to evolve their stories as time goes on; the Warcraft universe created in 1994 clearly wasn't written to support 20+ years of ongoing lore.
interview during the Shadowlands beta
ago we were told by Game Director Ion Hazzikostas that there is a connection between the Titan Pantheon we've interacted with so far, and the Pantheon of Death that rules over the four parts of the Shadowlands that we journey to. Part of that story will involve uncovering how the Shadowlands came to be, just as Azeroth was shaped by the Titans. While only a small tidbit, it indicates that there may be more to the Shadowlands than meets the eye and it could continue the Titan story beats we've so far explored throughout Legion and Battle for Azeroth, perhaps even relating back to the dormant world soul of Azeroth itself.
Lore beats aside, this colored update is a great piece of art, and you can compare it to the original original cosmology chart from the
World of Warcraft: Chronicle
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