The First Ones, our new “Titanic Mystery” in Shadowlands and for the years to come. Just like how Titans were a mystery for us throughout early years of Warcraft. They are the creators of the Cosmic System we live in.
The attendants in Oribos claim that should Zovaal manage to escape from The Maw, all that The First Ones have built would be perished. But, what if this is a lie? What if Oribos and The Arbiter were not supposed to exist in the first place. Rather has been built by Eternal Ones to replace Zovaal? Why there is a ” city of secrets” named Korthia in “The In-Between” which is inhabited by The Attendants?
Why The First Ones do not even try to stop what Zovaal and Sylvanas are trying to do if the system they built is about to be destroyed?
Because maybe they have been betrayed and the betrayal came from their own children?
“FOR UNCOUNTED EONS THE SHADOWLANDS WAS IN PERFECT ORDER”
You should always be worried whenever you hear something is in “perfect order”.” Which means it is not natural at all and it has been shaped by others into an extension to work like a machine. Just like Arbiter! If you remember, I have also told about that Zovaal may be the original “arbiter of souls” before.
So, what if Zovaal was the original champion of The First Ones? Their attended, original “Arbiter” of the mortal souls, directing them to their own chosen place, respecting their past, mortal experiences and most importantly… Free will.
If you remember the ending of Revendreth quest line, Sire Denathrius has said;
When the original place that later became Maw (and Korthia) was working as The First Ones have intended, what if it was not enough for other Eternal Ones, including Primus? What if they have wanted more Anima and thus more power for themselves? For that, did they break this system by overthrowing Zovaal and chaining him down using the Heart of the Forest? And by doing so, making The Maw inescapable and Zovaal its Jailer?
But what exactly has happened there? What would have happened to make Zovaal and his brothers and sisters have clashed? It seems, except Zovaal, all other Eternal Ones have rebelled against The First Ones and their original design of the Shadowlands. Just like how the Gods of Olympos have overthrown the Titans in the Greek Mythology. The “Creation killed/banished its creator” story. Also like how the Protoss have rebelled against Xel’naga in the StarCraft Lore, another good example with the same theme as well.
“DEATH WAS NEVER MEANT TO BE CHAINED” AND KORTHIA
So, in our opinion, Zovaal’s main goal is to set The First Ones, his original creators free and with that restore the supposed “order” as intended, where the Anima would be distributed throughout Shadowlands in a just way; through the free will and choices of the mortals, not through their “Anima Value” or “Usefulness”. That is why Zovaal said that “Death was never meant to be chained.”
Then, in that original design Korthia could have been a part of the same zone maybe with Oribos too? But after this rebellion, it has been broken away and hidden in the In-Between to hide the true secrets of The First Ones and the remaining part has been turned into The Maw.
You know, in the Warcraft Universe there is another cosmic dimension of reality plane that works just like The Maw. Inescapable, where the souls are flooded in a river and are being tormented… The Void!
We think the rebelling Eternal Ones have managed to banish The First Ones into The Void and in time these Godly beings have not perished there like other poor souls but instead adapted to survive this dimension and transformed into… The Void Lords!
This may be why the supposed Lords of the Void can not pass through and directly access our physical reality and dimensions… And also why The Void has that immense knowledge and claim in The Cosmic War.
N’Zoth, an Old God and the servant of the Void have repeatedly warned us with his whispers about what is to come, saying:
Clearly N’Zoth implies Zovaal, the Jailer with this and even his saviour, Queen Azshara is aware of that, because, from a servant to another, she said:
But what if N’zoth and Zovaal have the same goal,but N’zoth finds Zovaal pretty aggresive unlike him? Think about it, he and the other Old Gods have been corrupting (or manipulating) The World Soul for uncounted ages. True, Zovaal is a master strategist as well. For milennia, he has been trying to set free from The Maw or at the least, extend his reach beyond its borders.
Zovaal wants to claim the World Soul that is true. But the thing is, he never said that he wants to kill the World Soul or something. He just want to claim it as we know. What if he wants the World Soul so he can open a portal to Void directly to free The First Ones? At this point we can be sure that Azeroth is at the center of the lore. She is a key to move forward.
DIRECT CONNECTION BETWEEN DEATH AND THE VOID
Thanks to the Shadowmoon Burial Grounds dungeon from Warlords of Draenor, I have once pointed out that there may be a connection linking Death and Void.
Let’s take a closer look:
These lines resemble some recent terms, right? “River of Souls”, originally “A Place for Eternal Rest” becoming “An Eternity in Darkness” and inescapable; “Cannot… Escape…”
Sounds like they are talking about The Maw, right? But no, you hear these lines inside the Shadowmoon Burial Grounds. The place where the Shadowmoon Orcs lead by Ner’zhul blended the magic of Death and Void together.
Like that’s not enough, according to a single line from the Windrunner: Three Sisters comic, we were hinted that Death and Void seem like mortal enemies.
Hearer of this hint, Alleria even implied Death was like an “antidote” of The Void. She suggested Anduin to stand aside against N’Zoth, an agent of The Void, and let Sylvanas and the army she is commanding to deal with the Old God, because she thought Sylvanas was commanding the only army that may be capable of defeating N’Zoth.
At this point, this detail from the comic and maybe these in-game quotes are the only evidence most Warcraft Lore content creators rely on. Meanwhile, as we have pointed out, however an Alternate Universe, we have a dungeon in Warlords of Draenor where the magic of Void and Death were harnessed together and Void feasting upon the souls of the Ancestors of Orcs.
Enough concrete evidence? But wait, there is more!;
During the Shadowlands introduction quests, when we are trying to save Baine from the effects of an unknown dark magic, Thrall says that the magic of The Maw reminds him the magic of the (original) Shadowmoon Clan and we try to cure Baine like it was inflicted by the Shadowmoon; a clan which was empowered by The Void, most importantly by a Dark Naaru, which has nothing to do with Death, right?
THE NAARU AND A MEAN TO ESCAPE
Now… What if The Naaru are not what we think they are? What if they are just like Old Gods; beings that are sent by The Void Lords (AKA The First Ones?) to infiltrate mortal physical realm and to set the beings of these reality on a Path of “Light”?
What if when adapted to the dimension of Void, The First Ones created Naaru for this purpose? So, through them they would have some effect and eventually control over the acts of the mortal races?
Yet, the problem about this is, as beings originally of Void, almost every Naaru seem to have a tendency, almost an “urge” to die as a Light being so they can be transformed into their original form: A Void God!
We have seen this happening in the Sunwell, M’uru, a Naaru which was drained of its Light was in a state of Dark Naaru form and during the final confrontation against us, it died and transformed into Entropius, a Void God.
After this particular event we have seen several similar examples following the same pattern. Some had outer push, but some were by themselves and that somewhat explained the extremely aggressive and unexpected behavior of Xe’ra against Illidan or K’ara in Alternate Draenor, which dominated the entire Draenei and turned them into the fanatic Lightbound through now High Exarch Yrel’s leadership.
This extreme aggression of a being of Light seemed like it was trying to spend the Light in it as soon as possible so they can get rid of this somewhat “cocoon” stage and eventually become their actual original self: A powerful being of the Void, inside the physical realm.
So, the more aggressively they act, they would deplete their Light that fast and as Void Gods, open the way for the Void Lords (again… AKA The First Ones) and save them from their banishment.
While talking about the Naaru, did you know the Eredar race that they have met and seperated one-third of as the Draenei have been using an interesting “technology” that can be named as: Soul Magic?
Besides, this was one of the main reasons why Sargeras had an interest in them in the first place. Because, one of the interesting traditional habits of the Eredar was to put their ancestors’ souls into mechanisms called Vigilants and they were using the same technique with to power their “Soul Engines”. One of the most famous examples is none other than the Draenei “Burial Ground” and also a “City of the Dead” named: Auchindoun, where the dead of the Draenei laid under the “merciful” gaze of the Naaru in both realities we know of, both in Outland and Alternate Draenor.
Considering the Eredar, we must also point out the first Warlock ever, who was none other than Archimonde, one of the three leaders of the Eredar race with Kil’jaeden and Velen. Through Archimonde’s abilities we know Soul Magic, Death Magic and Fel Magic are all directly linked with eachother. Because Archimonde could use all three at the same time and after the Eredar have joined the Legion, they took this “technology” further by constructing “Soul Forges” and “Soul Engines” using their knowledge and experience.
Yet, the followers of Velen (or mainly, the Naaru K’ure) who refused Sargeras’s offer and exiled from Eredar to become the Draenei later would forbid the Warlock-like use of Soul Magic as Archimonde have invented and practiced.
The reason why Naaru prohibited the use of Soul Magic was simple: Because using Souls or; Anima as a source of power is the biggest crime you can commit against the order of Shadowlands. It means you will simply deny Anima from the Machine of Death to use it for your own power.
THE KNOWLEDGE OF THE EREDAR
So, logically if they were aware of this particular knowledge about Shadowlands, both Archimonde and Kil’jaeden would know they would be condemned to an eternity of punishment in the inescapable Maw. Because of that, for both their own sake and for the salvation of their race they may have seen Sargeras’s offer as an obvious way to prevent that from ever happening and by becoming Demons, they would instead tie their souls to the chaotic dimension of Twisting Nether.
But the Eredar Exiles; the Draenei of Velen and K’ure would stay out of this practice and that way, the First Ones; through the Naaru would ensure Draenei souls to properly journey to the afterlife where they belong (in their design) and would not deny the Anima from the Shadowlands and the Machine of Death.
Must be added right here that there is another race of beings we all know in the Warcraft Universe which also involuntarily(?) deny their mortal souls and Anima from the Shadowlands: The Night Elves!
Because, traditionally and as a racial trait: Disembodied spirits of the Night Elves who have became one with the forest they were living in would turn into Wisps upon death and that way, their physical body would perish but their souls would remain on the mortal realm and kept its existence and used its power to help the remaining Night Elves.
This practice has kept souls and Anima from Shadowlands for thousands of years since their particular evolution made them to take this turn after generations of living by the energies surrounding the Well of Eternity. For a detailed talk and more explanation about this particular subject, you can check this post.
Keeping this knowledge we just mentioned about Soul Magic in mind, let us continue examining the practices of Eredar and the Legion. At this point, besides these arsenal of magics, we also know The Burning Legion was using Necromancy too. There are several notable major Legion acts that are tied to the use of Necromancy, one in particular was Kael’thas himself!
After being killed in the Tempest Keep, Kael’thas Sunstrider’s corpse was raised back from the dead by a Shivarra with the command of Kil’jaeden. Considering it was also Kil’jaeden who had plotted to form the Scourge and the Lich King using weapons and armor crafted right at The Maw, we can easily assume he had immense knowledge and awareness about Shadowlands and Necromancy too.
As a last note, there is no solid evidence about Archimonde being truly dead, however our final confrontation with him took place inside the Twisting Nether (even if we consider the Mythic Phase canon) he still gave his last breath at Alternate Draenor; meaning physical realm, not Twisting Nether. *And if this is not enough, you can enjoy how Dave Kosak was struggling to answer that particular question during the Q&A back at BlizzCon 2015.
Considering everything we have been pointing out and mentioning here, we can now vaguely see a certain bigger picture about the real intent and current state of Shadowlands:
It was a dimension of reality inside Warcraft Universe defining the cosmic power of Death, originating from the once untamed power of the souls: Anima.
We think the mysterious First Ones created a realm of reality to harness and use this power, so the soul energies of the mortals would not waste away and instead be used to keep this Machine of Death going, so the mortal beings and their life’s experiences would be protected from vanishing into non existence.
For the “original” design of the First Ones to work, they had created powerful beings from Anima itself, these embodiments of Anima are the Eternal Ones as we know today.
Kyrestia was the Firstborne, she was created to be a watcher and she would decide if mortal souls were ready to enter Shadowlands and she would lead their way to the Shadowlands so their existence would not perish in the great unknown.
The Winter Queen was created to keep the wild souls and the cycle of life connected to it in check, she would guard and guide the beings that were manifesting the natural order of the mortal life into death and life again so the basis of mortal life that would create the souls would be protected.
Primus was the constructor. The First Ones have manifested him to help them to create the realms and machinations of Shadowlands including the weapons, armors and defensive structure of Shadowlands to keep other cosmic powers and possible invaders at bay.
Denathrius was created as the original Jailer and the Punisher of evil mortal souls, he would cleanse them of their sins and give them a chance to be useful in afterlife.
Finally, Zovaal was created to be the Champion of Death and the most wise. He was the ultimate guide of the mortal souls, with the artifact that has been placed on his chest by the First Ones, he would attract all the normally dispersed mortal souls to himself and then guide them into their afterlives according to their life’s experience, choices and free will.
At some point some of the Eternal Ones got greedy, they rebelled against the order First Ones have put in place and they have overthrown their Champion and broke this system to enforce their own.
By perishing countless mortal souls they empowered themselves, by stealing their existence and abusing needless amounts of Anima they could at last stood against the First Ones and Zovaal.
In the end, they have managed to defeat them, with their newfound power they have banished The First Ones into the inescapable Void and closed the way back with keys formed from their very beings.
They destroyed the once central realm of Shadowlands into two and threw one part into the mists of the in-between with the knowledge and remains of the First Ones so it would not be questioned or later learned. They have sunk the other part and made it The Maw and imprisoned Zovaal; their brother and once leader there to be forevermore its Jailer.
The triumphant Eternal Ones enforced a new order to get most power and advantage of mortal souls and Anima. Primus crafted a new machination named Arbiter and formed a city around her.
This Arbiter would not have the conscience and wisdom of Zovaal but instead would order souls according to their level of Anima and usefulness, not their memories or past lives. By placing Zovaal’s gift given him by the First Ones, this new flow was built. Now every soul would instead be attracted to Arbiter just to be used like this.
Kyrestia would lead every possible soul to Shadowlands to be harnessed despite their time and life to be completed.
The Winter Queen would not need to respect the cycle of life as long as she could harness the most of the souls from life.
And Primus would now be totally free to use Necromantic powers to ensure his machinations
Yet, eventually this unjust order would be broken, because Death was not meant to be chained.
With the secret help of uneasy Denathrius and his Dreadlord servants Zovaal managed to reach into every cosmic power and gathered allies.
Through the use of these mortals’ help, Zovaal managed to break the purpose of his jailers and broke Arbiter into directing the souls back to him again.
Eventually he plans to gather all the keys and with help of the most powerful Titan Soul he will open the way back to the Void and free The First Ones.
But the problem is… While Zovaal was jailed, too much time has passed and The First Ones that created him may not be the ones he has once known anymore!
~ the end ~
(or is it? ;o)
If you wish to see listen this theory in a video format, check out here!;