Short Shadowlands Story and lore Recap

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Eternity’s End is officially the last content update of Shadowlands, meaning its story is at an end. Today we will go over everything that happened in this Shadowlands story and lore recap. Spoilers ahead (obviously).

Part 1 – The Retcons

Let’s start by addressing the retcons that took place is this expansion.

Frostmourne’s origin: During our stay in Shadowlands we’ve learnt that the Frostmourne is the most powerful Mourneblade (a runeblade infused with domination magic) ever created by the Primus and not Dreadlords as it was originally known.

Soul-Shattering: Apparently, Frostmourne can shatter souls into multiple pieces, deliberately choosing what qualities of a soul should be taken away from its other half. We see that happen with Uther and more importantly with Sylvanas.

Dreadlords are not demons: Yet again, Dreadlords’ allegiance has been changed in the lore. Arguably, even their origin. It has come to our knowledge, that the true master to all Dreadlords is in fact Sire Denathrius, the Eternal One of Revendreth.

Titans and Void Lords are not the first beings in existence: So called “the First Ones” are what came before everything else. At least for now, but this information has been changed so many times that no one would be surprised if we will some being that created the First Ones in later years.

Part 2 – The Prelude to Shadowlands

Weather we knew it, or not – the story of Shadowlands has been being set up at least since Warcraft III, with the most significant events being the death of ranger-general Sylvanas Windrunner and Arthas Menethil’s acquisition of Maw-forged Helmet of Domination and Frostmourne, the mourneblade capable of shattering souls.

Sylvanas’ death and undeath were significant because the banshee that broke from Arthas’ control was no longer the same person as she was in life, but her cruelty, anger, sadness and woe taken shape, all while her compassion, love and affection for others were taken away, sealed in a soul fragment within the Frostmourne.

Driven by her hatred Sylvanas was ready to do anything in her power to see her vengeance fulfilled, even if that meant leading the undead that broke from Arthas’ control and join the Horde. Years later she will see the Lich King fall and have no other purpose to continue living. She would throw herself from atop the Icecrown Citadel ending her own unlife. That’s where she saw the Shadowlands, and specifically the Maw for the first time. There she met the Jailer and together they struck a pact. Jailer needed unimaginable amount of souls trapped in the Maw, and it was up to Sylvanas to send them there.

Using his Mawsworn and help from Sire Denathrius the Jailer managed to put the Arbiter of Shadowlands into coma, diverting the flow of souls directly into the Maw, meanwhile the rest of Shadowlands was robbed of anima, the very life force of this world.

All the conflicts in Azeroth, Draenor and other worlds fueled Jailer’s plan with souls in the background, while we were busy stopping cataclysm, fighting each other, stopping the Burning Legion and fighting each other once again.

With battle for Azeroth being over Sylvanas ventured to Northrend, where she fought and defeated Bolvar Fordragon. She claimed the Helmet of Domination and ripped it apart, resulting in massive rift in the sky leading straight to the Maw.

Part 3 – The Drought

Jailer sent his Mawsworn on Azeroth to kidnap leader of Alliance and Horde and succeeded. The combined forces of Azeroth under the banner of Ebon Blade had to put their differences to rest yet again, and act together in order to save the world once more. Remaining leaders and notable heroes gather atop of Icecrown and using the shards of Helmet of Domination opened a way to Shadowlands, starting counter-attack on the Maw. Too bad no one knew the true power of Jailer’s army that grew endlessly for many years and the assault on the Maw ended with heroes of Azeroth fleeing to Oribos, while faction leaders were taken captive to infamous Torghast Tower.

In Oribos, heroes learnt the direness of situation in Shadowlands. The only lead heroes had, was that Mawsworn looked a lot like Kyrians, and thus the search for answers begun. Heroes travelled to Bastion, where they helped identify a traitor within Kyrian Paragons and stopped Maldraxxi attack on the Bastion. That attack made the investigation continue in Maldraxxus, where Kel’Thuzad the archlich has returned. Heroes helped the honorary House of the Chosen get rid of betrayers and were sent further, to Ardenwealde to seek Winter Queen’s aid. Seeking the audience with the Queen to tell her the warning that Primus left for his fellow Eternal Ones, heroes helped the Night Fae in their troubling times of drought and constant attacks from Gorm and Drusts. Unfortunately, the sigil of Ardenwealde was stolen during a Mawsworn attack. Finally, heroes were sent to Revendreth, to warn Sire Denathrius. In Revendreth heroes learnt that Denathrius was in fact Jailer’s pawn, even though he himself thought himself as a brother to Jailer. Denathrius has also already given away his Sigil of Revendreth to Jailer willingly, and was in charge of anima being stolen all-across the Shadowlands. With freshly rescued Prince Renethal heroes confronted Denathrius when he poured an inconceivable amounts of anima into the Maw.

At this stage, heroes of Azeroth made new allies in every afterlife and were given choice to join one of four Covenants, in order to help them finish all the unsettled business in their respective afterlifes, meanwhile doing recon and rescue missions within Torghast with a help of a Broker named Ve’Nari, who helped them escape the maw the first time. That way heroes were able to bring most of faction leaders back home, except Anduin Wrynn, the king of Alliance.

Anduin was imprisoned personally by Jailer, because he saw a strong will in the boy, the will that he wanted to brake so very much. Jailer saw a perfect puppet in Anduin – a strong warrior that represents hope for his people. Making him serve Jailer would certainly lower the morale of what little opposition Jailer had at the moment. And so, Zovaal used his domination magic to fullest extent to turn the boy-king and reforging his father’s sword into a mourneblade – the Kingsmourne.

Part 4 – The Chains of Domination

One day Anduin Wrynn suddenly appeared in Bastion, asking for audience with the Archon. She was surprized, yet let the King see her. Approaching her the Archon, Anduin quickly showed his true nature as Jailer’s new favorite toy, taking Archon down with a single hit, stealing her Sigil of Bastion, but not killing, perhaps due to his true self still fighting somewhere deep within, or perhaps just by a pure coincidence. That was the third Sigil in Jailer’s possession, and if he was to collect all five – he would restore all of his power taken away from him by the Eternal Ones.

With three Sigils and Anduin by his side Jailer started to make preparations for his endgame. He found the place lost in cosmos, that had many secrets hidden within it – Korthia. Using his oversized harpoons mount on Torghast Jailer pulled Korthia from depths of cosmos into the Maw. And it was just the information he was after. Information about the place where the First Ones lived. During the campaign in Korthia heroes of Azeroth were able to find Primus, who was Jailer’s Runecarver this whole time. Unfortunately this rescue mission was not a flawless one, and Primus had to give away his Sigil of Maldraxxus. With 4 Sigils and information that sought after in Korthia Jailer was ready to finally to attack Oribos head on and continue with his plan.

Jailer accompanied by Sylvanas and Anduin made it to Oribos and took the final Sigil from the Arbiter, while Sylvanas was protecting him from the heroes of Azeroth. With his true form restored he showed his true face to her, a face of someone who cares not for anyone but himself. Sylvanas saw that Jailer wants everyone to serve him, friend or foe, and so she pulled her bow on him. But Zovaal had no need of her no more and as a symbol of mockery – he returned Sylvanas’ soul shard that contained her true self since her death, so that she could see her own actions from a perspective of someone who actually cares for all living beings.

Then he opened a portal to the cradle of creation – Zereth Mortis, land of the First Ones and proceeded there with Anduin by his side.

Part 5 – Eternity’s End

Heroes of Azeroth followed Jailer to Zereth Mortis and with help of local Enlightened Brokers and the Automa readied an assault on the Sepulcher of First Ones, where Jailer was about to finally fulfill his plan and use Azeroth’s soul as power to rewrite creation. Heroes faced all of Jailer’s most loyal protectors including Anduin, who managed to brake from domination with a help from his father’s and Saurfang’s spirits.

In the end heroes faced against Zovaal himself in a fight where the very existence was at the cost. And defeated him. In his final moments the Jailer warned us about some unknown enemies that we are yet to face, while his lifeforce was fading away leaving only his prototype automa body behind.

Part 6 – Final thoughts

Honestly, I was not a fan of Shadowlands’ ending due to Jailer being set up as a Thanos-like figure, with his “infinity sigils” and what-not. I was hoping that we would finally lose a battle and face consequences of Warcraft version of “Thanos’s snap” yet, that didn’t happen. The Rift above Icecrown was sealed and Shadowlands story had no cliffhanger, except for Jailer’s vague warnings. It is very hard to guess what’s next with the information given to us in-game.

Epilogue – Next Expansion?

Originally I was planning to tell you about shop assets that got datamined that might hint at the next expansion, but Blizzard recently gave us a date on next expansion’s announcement. It’s April 19, which is just a little more than a month away. So, let’s not speculate, and just wait a little more, until we see what’s next.

Make sure to check back with our blogpost regularly, so that you won’t miss our coverage of next expansion’s detail. We will make sure to tell you everything we will learn from next expansion after Shadowlands release date to class changes!

See you on the Dragon Isles.

Written by Marshall V.

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