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Next WoW Expansion Speculation: The Black Empire and Old Gods
31/10/2017 alle 17:02
With BlizzCon 2017 fast upon us, we're reviewing some of the potential theories for the next WoW expansion. Today we're focusing on hints pointing to the Wound in the World and the Old Gods--the Black Empire--in the expansion.
Warning: expansion speculation/spoilers ahead.
At the start of Nobbel's video, you can get a good overview of the Black Empire and the data leading to our speculation:
The Wound in the World
Patch 7.3.2 datamining shows a
massive wound in Silithus
. This is likely caused by Sargeras throwing a massive sword at Azeroth during the Argus the Unmaker encounter, before he is seized by the remaining titans. In this
, you can see that the earliest description for the
corroborates the datamining.
The gaping wound in the center of the map is likely Sargeras' sword, which is still an encrypted model, so it cannot be viewed.
Dialogue after defeating Argus:
: The tortured soul of Argus has been put to rest.
: It matters not. We have lost. Look to the skies!
: Sargeras will soon undo all we have fought for.
Voice of Amanthul
Voice of Amanthul
: We will use the last glimmer of Argus's power to bind him here. The Seat of the Pantheon shall become Sargeras's prison... and ours as well.
: You would condemn yourselves to stop him?
: Our world must survive... no matter the cost!
Voice of Amanthul
: A sacrifice must be made.
Voice of Amanthul
: Return home, children of Azeroth. Protect the final titan.
High Exarch Turalyon
: Prophet... what happened out there?
: Illidan serves as the Dark Titan's jailer. His sacrifice has ended the Legion. At long last, the Burning Crusade...is over.
The Legion is defeated. Its master, imprisoned.
But in his final spiteful act, Sargeras may have doomed us all. Our world is wounded, champion. Its life essence seeps out into the sands just as Magni foresaw.
This mere drop of Argus' blood surges with incredible power, the might of a titan. (Relates to turning in the
Il sangue di un Titano
if the blood of Azeroth also proves to be a source of such strength, those who seek to rule this world will stop at nothing to possess it. The days ahead may be dark indeed.
For now, go to Silithus, gaze upon the wound in the world with your own eyes. We will find a way to save Azeroth, I know it.
We also datamined broadcast text from a recent build about the Silithus changes, likely spoken by
Viaggio nel Tempo
to port you between the old and new versions:
Silithus has ever been a magnet for ancient, malevolent powers.
I could open a timeway to reveal how the Black Empire once sprawled across these sands. Or show you wars waged between mighty armies.
So much history. So much pain.
But that can wait. I believe you are here for another purpose.
Il sangue di un Titano
is started from
Sangue del Distruttore
, which is likely a drop from Heroic or Mythic Argus the Unmaker. The quest description references the bittersweet victory:
<Before your eyes, a trickle of blood from the fallen titan Argus congeals into a flawless gemstone. Holding it in your palm, you sense an almost unfathomable power emanating from within... along with echoes of pain and sorrow. It is the last remnant of a battle that should not have been winnable. An impossible achievement. Yet, as with all victories, this one came at tremendous cost. You realize immediately to whom you must convey this prize.>
Whispers of a Frightened World Scenario
, Magni felt Azeroth in distress. The titan planet was having nightmares about the Dark Master stabbing her.
The Dark Titan comes! We gotta stop him! Argus... the Legion's homeworld. She says our destiny lies there.
Her feelin's are a jumble. I need ta focus, let her thoughts flow into--UNNGG!
Sands... soaked in pain. Rivers... rivers of blood.
Skies aflame. A sword... in the darkness... the wound... burning...
Talkin' to a world soul ain't like chattin' with a mortal. Might be why she needed someone ta become her Speaker.
She's haunted by the Legion... and the Old Gods. But there be somethin' more... a greater darkness...
Magni's role also fulfills several of
"The King of Diamonds is made a pawn."
“Five keys to open our way. Five torches to light our path.”
“The Lord of Ravens will turn the key.”
Magni, a walking diamond, sent Khadgar, the Lord of Ravens, to seek the five
Pilastri della Creazione
, which in turn opened the
Tomb of Sargeras
. In the
, we learn Illidan pulls the planet Argus closer to Azeroth...which conveniently places Sargeras within striking range of Azeroth.
The Tyrande Dialogue
Throughout the expansion, players have wondered who
was referring to:
“Her heart is a crater, and we have filled it"
“At the hour of her third death, she will usher in our coming.”
It's more clear now that the
refers to the planet Azeroth. Her first death was the Sundering, her second death was the Shattering, and her third death is Sargeras' attack.
Tyrande alludes to the three deaths of Azeroth as well in
In my lifetime, I have twice witness a sundering of the world. Mother moon, I pray I do not see a third.
Note that Tyrande is on the cover art for
World of Warcraft Chronicle: Volume 3
Tentacles on Kul Tiras Armor
As covered in our
Jaina and Kul Tiras speculation post
, we datamined armor named "Kul Tiras" which featured maps surrounded by tentacles from below.
Star Augur Planets
encounter back in the Nighthold, he showed us several different visions of the sky referencing the different threats affecting planets, such as Azeroth.
Phase 1 "Absolute Zero" has a Frost theme, like Wrath of the Lich King
Phase 2 "A Shattered Void" has a Fel theme, like the Burning Legion and Argus
Phase 3 "Inevitable Fate" has a Void theme, showing a planet encased in tentacles.
Phase 2 is Legion, and Phase 3 is a Void/Old God future.
Phase 2: A Shattered World
Phase 1: Absolute Zero
Phase 3: Inevitable Fate
Star Augur Etraeus yells: Is that not enough? Must I show you the true horror of our reality?
Star Augur Etraeus yells: Very well... witness what I have seen, and TREMBLE!
Star Augur Etraeus yells: These are the beings who will devour the future you so futilely fight to protect!
Star Augur Etraeus yells: Avatars of non-existence... knowing nothing but hunger.
In Patch 7.3.2, similar yet new files have been added. Perhaps these new assets will be used in the sky of Silithus or another part of the story.
History of the Black Empire
Zidorimi alludes to the reign of the Black Empire. Here's an overview of their history, from
World of Warcraft Chronicle
The Old Gods originated from the Void Lords' desire to create eternal torment. Their strategy was to create Old Gods, fling them into the Great Dark, and hope they would make contact with worlds and contaminate vulnerable titans in their pre-awakened state.
The Old Gods that found Azeroth quickly plunged it into a world of despair, forming the expansive Black Empire. They created two races--the "faceless ones" (n'raqi") and the aqir (later split into the Mantid, Qiraji, and Nerubian races).
The Elemental Forces--
--fought back against the Black Empire but were ultimately imprisoned. The Pantheon took pity on Azeroth, forming an army of metal and stone servants to fight the Black Empire, as well as titan-forged generals, known as the keepers, with special abilities to lead these forces. You may recognize these keepers from past content in World of Warcraft:
are encounters in Ulduar,
is a boss in
Sale del Fulmine
, Highkeeper Ra became
Regno del Tuono
(and was given the Elemental Shaman artifact
Pugno di Ra-Den
as a weapon in the war), Odyn is the namesake of the
Fury Warrior Artifact
is an encounter in
, and Tyr is the namesake of Tirisfal Glades and
The Silver Hand
The titan-forged were able to defeat the elemental lords, who were banished to the Elemental Plane. The Pantheon then turned to defeating the Old Gods, destroying Y'Shaarj first. The resulting chaos and destruction led the Pantheon to realize that destroying the other three Old Gods would destroy Azeroth itself. Instead, they decided to imprison C'Thun, N'Zoth, and Yogg-Saron deep underground. Y'Shaarj played a large role in Mists of Pandaria; learn about the history of Pandaria in our
World of Warcraft Chronicle: Pandaren
The destruction caused by eliminating Y'Shaarj and his stronghold was still corrupting Azeroth, so the keepers poured their energy into controlling this rift, turning it into the life-giving Well of Eternity. This location continued to be important in Azeroth's history, notably during the Sundering. Learn more about the Well of Eternity in our
World of Warcraft Chronicle: Night Elves
To further stabilize Azeroth, the titans built the Forge of Wills and the Halls of Origination. The Forge of Wills created new titan-forged servants to maintain order in the world. The
Sale della Creazione
in Uldum would be watched over by the Tol'vir, a race players encountered in
in Cataclysm, and the Halls would send healing energy through the world and also have the power to obliterate the world if it completely fell to corruption. Highkeeper Ra also retrieved the pieces of Y'Shaarj and sealed them into a vault. He then assigned the mogu followers with guarding the vault--this race later enslaved the Pandaren and became a major enemy in Mists of Pandaria.
N'Zoth is the one Old God we have not encountered yet in World of Warcraft, although he was a legendary card in Hearthstone. Several Il'gynoth whispers relate to him:
Il'gynoth whispers: N'zoth... I journey... to Ny'alotha...
Il'gynoth whispers: To find him, drown yourself in the circle of stars.
The first whisper references Ny'alotha, N'Zoth's city of madness. The second whisper appears to relate to N'Zoth because he's underwater.
a circle of stars visible from the Maelstrom, but if it's uncertain if it relates to N'Zoth because past information points to N'Zoth in Vash'jir.
Xal'atath also has a whisper about N'Zoth:
Xal'atath whispers: The God of the Deep writhes in his prison, breaking free ever so slowly. You should hurry and defeat the fallen titan... there are greater battles yet to fight.
Here is what we've learned about N'Zoth from past expansions:
Scatola Rompicapo di Yogg-Saron
, an Archaeology solve, has whispers that alluded to a drowned god in a sunken city:
At the bottom of the ocean even light must die
The drowned god's heart is black ice.
In the sunken city, he lays dreaming.
The fish know all the secrets. They know the cold. They know the dark.
In the land of Ny'alotha there is only sleep.
In the sleeping city of Ny'alotha walk only mad things.
Ny'alotha is a city of old, terrible, unnumbered crimes.
While questing in the underwater zone Vash’jir, there are several references to an Old God underneath. The Undershell area of L’ghorek sprouts enormous tentacles. In
, the player summons Ick'thys the Unfathomable who states ”I laugh at you, feeble <name>, but I will oblige. Now, let us return to my master, below!” In the followup quest
L'ghorek is the ancient that rests upon the shelf across from us. It is being controlled and its life energies slowly consumed by something immense beneath us.
There is a cave known as the Undershell down below L'ghorek. In that cave are three powerful ogre magi that are maintaining a ritual connecting the thing below with the ancient.
The Dragon Soul boss
Zon'ozz il Signore della Guerra
has lines about N’Zoth:
Gaze into the heart of N'Zoth.
The will of N'Zoth corrupts you.
Your deaths shall sing of N'Zoth's unending glory.
Your skulls shall adorn N'Zoth's writhing throne.
Victory for Deathwing. For the glory of N'Zoth!
Your souls shall sate N'Zoth's endless hunger.
Once more shall the twisted flesh-banners of N'Zoth chitter and howl above the fly-blown corpse of this world. After millennia, we have returned.
N'Zoth is also a card in the Hearthstone expansion
Whispers of the Old Gods
and Blizzard shared some
details about his involvement in Warcraft
. However as
, perhaps some details are not 100% accurate between games:
: The Emerald Nightmare is a corrupted version of the Emerald Dream. In
World of Warcraft Chronicle
, we learn that the Emerald Nightmare was started when the Night Elves planted World Trees, one of which reached Yogg-Saron's prison. This allowed the other Old Gods to use the trees as a gateway to corrupt the Emerald Nightmare. In early WoW expansions, players encountered the Emerald Nightmare through Naralex's disciples in
Caverna dei Lamenti
, The Overgrowth in
, the corrupted Green Dragon world bosses (removed in Cataclysm), and the
encounter in Icecrown Citadel. The Emerald Nightmare also has a major role in Legion.
The Emerald Nightmare is spreading from Shala'drassil in
in the Broken Isles. As part of the corruption, Xavius captures Malfurion Stormrage and corrupts Ysera. The final quest in
sends you to help Tyrande subdue Ysera and thwart the attack on the Temple of Elune. The
is also the first raid in Legion with bosses Cenarius and Xavius.
: Before Deathwing, Neltharion was the noble leader of the Black Dragonflight, helping his allies protect Azeroth. HIs moment of betrayal happened during the War of the Ancients when he used the power of the Dragon Soul, an item with the essence of all the Dragonflights, on both the Burning Legion and the Dragonflights. You can watch his moment of betrayal after defeating
. Deathwing is later defeated in
Anima del Drago
in the encounters
Spine of Deathwing
Madness of Deathwing
. Deathwing was responsible for the massive destruction in Azeroth during the Cataclysm.
: The destruction of the Well of Eternity turned Azshara and her loyal Highborne into Naga. Several items reference this transformation, like the Archaeology solve
Ossa della Trasformazione
. One of the most well-known Naga is
, the final boss of Serpentshrine Cavern. In Legion, Azshara and her handmaidens hope to retrieve the Restoration Shaman artifact
Sharas'dal, Scettro delle Maree
so they can gain more control over the plane of water. There is also a quest series with Naga,
Visione del passato di Vashj'ir
, in Vashj'ir which is likely the location for N'Zoth's prison.
With N'Zoth linked to Azshara, the Old God's return in an expansion leads to speculation that Azshara would be a major raid boss.
C'Thun, Silithus, and Ahn'Qiraj
The wound in Silithus is suspiciously close to the Old God C'Thun. It's likely he has some opinions on being rudely jostled, so let's review C'Thun's role in Warcraft so far.
World of Warcraft Chronicle
we learn the titans imprisoned C’Thun underneath Silithus, reinforcing his prison by building the
. This was a 40-player raid in classic WoW that dropped Tier 2.5 and notable upgrades for players progressing through Naxxramas. It opened alongside the 20-player raid
Rovine di Ahn'qiraj
which offered more-casual players a chance at
reputations and books that granted more-powerful spell ranks.
On a mission to revitalize the desert of Silithus and transform it into a lush forest, the night elves discovered Ahn’Qiraj and entered the temple. This awakened C’Thun and the qiraji, starting the War of the Shifting Sands. The only way to subdue the qiraji was to seal them behind a magical wall, which could only be opened with the Scepter of the Shifting Sands.
The events of the War of the Shifting sands are heavily referenced in the questline to Ring the Scarab Gong, a massive server-wide event in classic WoW. Players across realms had to do numerous turn-ins of trade goods while raiders worked towards retrieving the scattered pieces of the Scepter around the world. These quests involved a variety of tasks such as farming green dragons for
, raid all classic content and defeat Dr. Weevil for
, and complete a speed run of Blackwing Lair in
. You can read more about the questline on the
Scettro delle Sabbie Mutevoli
page. It is no longer possible to do, but players could complete it until Cataclysm to get the
Veterano delle Sabbie Mutevoli
C’Thun was the first old god players faced in World of Warcraft, as the final boss of
. While this encounter is easily soloable now, it was challenging due to his chaining Eye Beam ability, one-shot ability Dark Glare, numerous spawning tentacles, and stomach phase with the dangerous stacking Digestive Acid debuff.
Old God-themed loot includes
Fascione dell'Occhio Risolutore
Fascia del Dio Antico
Tentacolo Dominato di C'thun
Lama Oscura della Follia
transmog sets from this instance
also have beetle elements.
Throughout the instance, C’Thun whispers you:
"Death... is... close..."
"You are already dead."
"You are weak."
"Your courage will fail."
"Your friends will abandon you."
"Your heart will explode.”
"You will betray your friends."
"You... will... die..."
tried to resurrect C’Thun, and his close ties to the Old God are reflected in his loot:
Shalug'doom, Ascia della Decadenza
Membrana di C'thun
Elmo dei Sussurri Esasperanti
The archaeology item
Benedizione del Dio Antico
has C’Thun’s whispers as the flavor text. This item turns you into a Green qiraji tank. You can also loot Qiraji tank mounts from AQ40 trash:
Cristallo Echeggiante Qiraji Rosso
Cristallo Echeggiante Qiraji Blu
Cristallo Echeggiante Qiraji Giallo
Cristallo Echeggiante Qiraji Verde
is fighting the qiraji in Silithus and you can earn reputation with them by killing cultists, insects, and NPCs in AQ. Reputation with the Cenarion Circle was needed to complete a 3-piece class-specific set from AQ20. The weapons from this set had a distinctive insect appearance.
Signora Natalia Mar'alith
is a Night Elf who grew corrupted by C'Thun.
explains how, while on an expedition, she became entranced with the hives in Silithus. She demanded to return to them, and eventually attacked other members of her exploration party. In
Nelle Fauci della Follia
Signora Natalia Mar'alith
who is now the High Priestess of C'Thun.
In Cataclysm, placeholder quests were added for Silithus which never made it to live:
. These quests show the Twilight Hammer’s renewed activity in Silithus. The final quests could
briefly be completed
, depicting Cenarion Hold overrun with tentacles and
Visione di C'thun
, who says Hi! when you fly into him.
Yogg Saron - The Gift of Flesh
One of Il'gynoth's quotes references the gift of flesh--and since several whispers may be coming true very soon, let's examine this one as well. You can find more details about related in-game quests and NPCs in
Betrayal of the Titans
Il'gynoth whispers: Flesh is his gift. He is your true creator.
Yogg-Saron is the Old God responsible for the Curse of Flesh:
Yogg-Saron was the most challenging Old God for the Titan-Forged to subdue.
World of Warcraft Chronicle
describes the C’Thraxxi, monstrous generals unleashed by Yogg-Saron, that were so powerful they could mind-control the Titan-Forged. Once defeated, Yogg-Saron was sealed inside
(later a raid zone).
A number of titan watchers were sent to guard Yogg-Saron, but Yogg-Saron turned Loken against the rest, and brought the Curse of Flesh to the creations in the Forge of Wills.
, encounters you can fight in Ulduar, were now trapped there against their will. In Legion,
Beast Mastery Hunters
are aided by the now-freed Mimiron and Thorim to acquire
To prevent further chaos in Azeroth, Tyr, one of the watchers that resisted Loken, prepared to overthrow Loken by stealing the Discs of Norgannon. These relics recorded the history of everything in Azeroth, and studying them would provide key information about Loken’s betrayal. When Loken discovered the Discs were missing, he sent several C’Thraxxi to fight Tyr.
Tyr sacrificed himself to destroy Zakajz the Corruptor, and his resting place is in Tirisfal Glades, now the starting zone for the Undead. Several Legion Artifact questlines send players to the Tomb of Tyr, when the Twilight Cultists try to reawaken Zakajz in the hopes that he will corrupt Tyr. The Shadow Priest Artifact
Xal'atath, Blade of the Black Empire
has Old God themes in its appearance.
World of Warcraft Chronicle
, we learn that Yogg-Saron was awakened when the roots of the World Tree, Andrassil, reached him. The world tree was originally planted to counteract the growth of Saronite, a byproduct of Yogg-Saron’s corruption.
The Nerubian race was also a byproduct of Yogg-Saron’s influence. Originally a group of aqir that had settled in Northrend, due to their proximity to Yogg-Saron they mutated into the Nerubian race. You can find them in
Ahn'kahet, il Regno Antico
. Their leader,
, was the final boss in
Ordalia dei Crociati
Andrassil was chopped down to avoid the corruption spreading to the inhabitants of Northrend. Vordrassil, the fallen world tree, lies in the heart of Grizzly Hills. Several quests send you to investigate the corruption, such as
La caduta di Vordrassil
The other trees were planted in Feralas, Ashenvale, Duskwood, and the Hinterlands. At Warcraft’s launch, these portals would spawn Green Dragons--world bosses who dropped powerful loot and recipes. Players would call each other to frantically assemble groups when one finally spawned! Unfortunately, these trees also served as avenues for the Old Gods to corrupt the Emerald Dream, and the
is now a raid in Legion.
Minerale di Saronite
was one of the main crafting materials in Wrath of the Lich King. Saronite nodes are primarily found in Storm Peaks, Icecrown, and Sholazar Basin and were used to craft Blacksmithing Weapons and Armor. Icecrown Citadel was built from Saronite, and
is an item required for Shadowmourne.
, an Ulduar encounter, required players to defeat Saronite Vapors in order to replenish their mana. In Heroic Mode, a Saronite Animus spawned and the related achievement was
Mi piace l'odore della Saronite al mattino (10)
Yogg-Saron’s whispers can be heard in areas filled with Saronite - Whisper Gulch and the Ymirhiem Saronite Mines:
All that you know will fade.
Give in to your fear.
Hope is an illusion.
It WAS your fault.
Kill them all before they kill you.
Tell yourself again that these are not truly your friends.
There is no escape. Not in this life, not in the next.
They are coming for you.
They have turned against you. Now, take your revenge.
Trust is your weakness.
You are a pawn of forces unseen.
You will be alone in the end.
is the final encounter in Ulduar, considered one of the most difficult raid encounters. Players who participated in the Realm-First kill with no assistance from the Keepers were awarded the title , and
Testa di Mimiron
was a 100% drop. Yogg-Saron was a unique 3 part encounter: in the first part, players slowly damaged Sara, the vrykul image of Yogg, by killing Faceless Guardians; in the 2nd phase, players defeated different types of tentacles while one group attacked his brain, and in the final phase, players handled constantly-spawning Immortal Guardians. Throughout the encounter, players had to closely monitor their Insanity - when you hit 0 Sanity, you became mind-controlled.
Players witness three important events in Yogg-Saron’s brain, implying that the Old God was behind these key moments: the creation of the Dragon Soul by Neltharion, the assassination of King Llane by Garona, and the Lich King torturing Bolvar Fordragon. This image were tied to major events: Deathwing’s corruption, the sundering of Azeroth, the fall of Stormwind, and the fall of the Lich King.
Old God-themed loot includes:
Chele Dominate di Yogg-Saron
Elmo Foderato dell'Orrore Cieco
Tocco della Pazzia
Carezza della Follia
Martello dei Sospiri Schiaccianti
Uhn'agh Fash, il Tradimento Oscuro
from Cho'gall has Yogg-Saron's last words as its flavor text.
Scatola Rompicapo di Yogg-Saron
is an archaeology solve that whispers the player about despair and the Old Gods. A full list of whispers can be found in
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