World of Warcraft Cosmology with Nobbel87
For this month's lore spotlight with Nobbel87, we are looking at the cosmology of World of Warcraft. In recent expansions we've been exploring the cosmology in some detail, with
shaping up to be no exception. So in this video, Nobbel will talk about the different concepts on the cosmology chart, first depicted in
World of Warcraft Chronicle
, and what this could mean for the future story of WoW.
Light and Void
The fundamental forces of Light and Void have existed since the start, igniting a series of catastrophic explosions which created the physical universe. Currently in-game, the most-familiar manifestations of these energies are the Naaru for the Light and Old Gods for the Void, although there are many facets which are still unexplored such as the Void Lords and a possibly-higher entity for the Light.
Shadows of Argus
explored the Light and Void through the story of Alleria and Turalyon, while
Visions of N'Zoth
delved specifically into the lore surrounding Old God N'Zoth, but there's still much to cover in upcoming stories.
While we learned more about the motivations and plans of N'Zoth in Patch 8.3, we still haven't delved into the true driving force of the Void, the Void Lords. According to
, these beings seek to devour all matter and energy in the physical universe and are responsible for ushering forth the Old Gods into the universe, infecting random planets. Their ultimate goal would be to find a planet with a slumbering titan spirit and corrupt it--which makes one think about the unfinished storyline of Azeroth and Sargeras' sword,
confirmed in an interview
to play a role in a future expansion. We also have the unfinished stories surrounding
and her voices from the Void, as well as
freed from the Blade of the Black Empire. And finally, there is the
of where Old Gods go when they die, which was teased at BlizzCon 2019.
As for the Light, what started as a straightforward and benevolent force in earlier expansions is now receiving a more-nuanced depicting in recent stories. We've seen the Prime Naaru Xe'ra try to enforce a prophecy on Illidan and Yrel on alternate Draenor zealously attack the Orcs who would not join her holy crusade in the
Mag'har Orc Intro
. We also don't know the equivalent of the Void Lords for the Light, a force higher than the Naaru. There's also the ongoing story of the Scarlet Crusade, which may make a reappearance as
hinted through datamining
Order and Disorder
Order and Disorder govern the cosmic systems of the physical universe. Order is most-commonly perceived in reality as arcane magic. This type of energy is innately volatile, and wielding it requires intense precision and concentration. Conversely, Disorder is manifested as highly destructive fel magic. This brutal and extremely addictive energy is fueled by drawing life from living beings.
The Burning Legion was created by Sargeras, formerly the greatest champion of the titans, whose mission was to bring order to the world. Sargeras, when he learned of the Void's mission to corrupt a slumbering titan spirit, formed the Burning Legion and became infused with fel. The far-reaching consequences of this event culminated in the
expansion, which concluded with Sargeras locked away with the Pantheon and Illidan, their prison a red star in the sky, but many questions were still left unanswered regarding the true identity of Argus, the motivations of the Pantheon, and the fate of the demons no longer bound by the Burning Legion.
There's also questions raised by the POV of
, as highlighted in a
recent Shadowlands lore interview
is not written specifically by the Titans, it's informed by their perspective, which may leave out some details from the bigger picture. We'll learn more about the larger story in
, which may further complicate the story--and we've already seen many
examples of titan aesthetics
in the capital city of Oribos. There may also be more Titan lore on the horizon as that same interview also discussed Titan homeworlds while a
different Shadowlands interview
discussed a "Pantheon of Death."
Order doesn't necessarily mean
as well, as the volatile properties of Arcane magic can be used to bend space and time. This was the same type of magic present in the Well of Eternity, formed from the world-soul of Azeroth and the spot of Old God Y'Shaarj's death. The powers from the Well of Eternity originally led to many new life forms on Azeroth, but tragically led to Queen Azshara's obsession with the well, ushering in the War of the Ancients, and the destruction of Kalimdor.
remains unfinished, as we last saw her Ny'alotha in search of the true throne of power, so her quest to master the Arcane may continue in a future story.
Life and Death
Finally we have the two forces that are slated to play a large role in the
; Life and Death. These forces hold sway over every living thing in the physical universe. The energies of life, known commonly as nature magic, promote growth and renewal in all things. Death, in the form of necromantic magic, acts as a counterbalance to life. It is an unavoidable force that breeds despair in mortal hearts and pushes everything toward a state of entropic decay and eventual oblivion.
On the side of nature, we have the Wild Gods as primal manifestations, believed to exist two realms--the physical world of Azeroth and the spiritual realm of the Emerald Dream. While not the focus of past expansions, we've dabbled in the Emerald Dream lately, first in
when we fought to drive back the corruption from the
Emerald Nightmare raid
and later in
Battle for Azeroth
when we revisited the Dream during the
Heart of Azeroth Essence questline
to fight off the Void. Now in
we learned there’s another step, the zone of Ardenweald. The process of rebirth begins here until spirits are ready to return to the dream, and eventually, Azeroth itself.
In the zone of Ardenweald, we'll also explore the story of
Tyrande and the Night Elves
, as the Battle for Azeroth never truly ended for the Night Elves. We're poised to learn more about the origins of the Night Warrior, why Elune couldn't aid the Night Elves during the Battle for Teldrassil, and based on
, what happened to Ysera after her corruption and death in
One mystery of
is why do some forces want to upset the balance between Life and Death? We'll meet the Jailer and other forces aligned with Death, both his allies and those opposed to his tactics, like Bwonsamdi and Bolvar. It's very likely that we'd learn more about the origin story of the Lich King, between Bolvar's presence and our forays into Torghast, Tower of the Damned, which houses the creator of the Helm of Domination. Plus we still have Sylvanas' story to explore--while her confrontation with Saurfang at Orgrimmar revealed some of her motives, we still don't know
she aligned with the Jailer and what she hopes to gain from this partnership.
The addition of the cosmology chart has deepened and unified the lore of
, with interesting possibilities for future stories across the cosmos. What forces would you like to see explored in more detail in future expansions?
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