Shadowlands Major Characters

Author: WoWAnalytica
Posted: 14/04/2021
Shadowlands
Lore

The Eternal Ones, sometimes referred to as the Pantheon of Death, are a council of rulers of the Shadowlands. They each lead their own Covenant and Realms. The Pantheon of Death established the Shadowlands as we know them. They form a council that maintains the machine of Death.

Zovaal the Jailer

Zovaal the Jailer

Zovaal the Jailer (real name Zovaal) is a character appearing in a World of Warcraft expansion – Shadowlands. He is the ruler of the Maw, a grim dark realm within the Shadowlands to which all damned souls whose sins are very grave, such as: genocide, draining life, defiling or some other such thing, are sent. As a powerful entity, he makes sure that in his fortress – Torghast, the souls of the damned suffer unimaginable torture. The Jailer will be the main antagonist in the ninth expansion to the World of Warcraft, most likely being a more important villain than Sylvanas Windrunner, since she has been serving him for some time.

During the invasion of Gilneas in 28 ADP, the resurrected Lord Vincent Godfrey, betrayed Sylvanas Windrunner by killing her yet again. It was during this moment, since her death to resurrection by val'kyr, Arthura, Agatha, and Daschla, that the Dark Lady of the Forsaken first met the entity and agreed to serve in a co-operative capacity as his envoy to the world of Azeroth, while in turn he gave her some of his powers. However, not much is known about the history of Zovaal, as well as his nature itself, beyond basic traits. As a result, the Jailer remains a very mysterious figure, and the Banshee Queen herself has said nothing.

In 33 ADP, as instructed by her master, she initiated the Blood War in order to feed the Maw with the souls of the slain. This was the result of a Felstorm – opened by Gul'dan from an alternate Draenor the year before, to summon the Burning Legion to Azeroth and initiate the Third Invasion. Anyone who died at that time ended up not in front of the Arbiter, but straight in the domain of the Jailer, thus feeding the Maw with their Anima.

In World of Warcraft: Shadowlands, the Jailer is the main antagonist of the expansion. After defeating the Lich King, Bolvar Fordragon, in a duel and destroying the Helm of Domination, Sylvanas opened a passage, over the Citadel of the Icecrown, into the Shadowlands, thus allowing the Jailer to begin a conflict to merge Azeroth with the afterlife and take over all Anima.

Thanks to the souls of those fallen in the Third Invasion, the Fourth War, and the Black Empire Campaign, both the Jailer and the middle-sister of Windrunner now possessed powerful dark magic far beyond any power of mortals. The heroes of the Alliance and the Horde will be forced to enter into an alliance with the Covenants in order to return to Azeroth and to stop the fallen Queen of the Forsaken, before the world of the living becomes part of the Shadowlands for good.

The Winter Queen

The Winter Queen

The Winter Queen is the creator and ruler of the realm of Ardenweald and its inhabitants, the Night Fae, who defend the spirits of nature. She is charged with an important and sacred mission of maintaining the cycle of rebirth: bringing back the dead Wild Gods, Ancients, Loa, and other nature spirits, as well as restoring them to the mortal plane. The Winter Queen and the land are one – when the land flourishes, so does she.

Ardenweald suffered from the Anima drought more than any other kingdom in the Shadowlands, and it took its toll on the Queen. For the first time in countless centuries, she was forced to choose which of the land's lush groves, and which souls, would be fed with the last of the precious drops of anima, and which would disappear forever, a task acted out by the Wild Hunt.

During this mission, the Winter Queen personally accompanied the Wild Hunt as they sacrificed wild seeds in the grove of Tirna Noch, among which was the soul of the wild god, Ursoc. The keeper of the grove, Ara'lon, who had previously taken an oath to the Queen to protect the wildseeds, initially attacked the hunters, but when the Queen herself appeared, Ara'lon told her that he believed she would save them from the anima drought and did not understand why she had sent scavengers to his grove. In response, the queen showed Ara'lon a vision of the future of the Ardenweald, in which the dream trees would fall, and the entire forest would perish in a drought. Ara'lon was faced with the choice of honouring his oath or sacrificing Ursoc's soul to save the forest. The now weeping queen, told Ara'lon that his heart was pure and that she would respect his choice. However, sadly, Ara'lon decided to suck the anima out of Ursoc's wildseed and joined the forces of the Wild Hunt.

The Winter Queen may be Eonar or Elune’s sister, as she calls Ysera her sister's pet. Moreover, it is possible that Elune is her sister, given that Elune is the protector of the Emerald Dream and Ysera is the foster mother of Elune's son, Cenarius. Furthermore, the Winter Queen also described her sister as “vengeful”, likely referring to the Night Warrior, which is an aspect of Elune's anger. What is more, Eonar is possible, as the Emerald Dream was shaped to some degree by Freya, but it was Eonar who personally empowered Ysera and raised her from proto-drake to Dragon Aspect and tasked her with her duty in a manner similar to other experiments conducted by her keeper on Wild Gods, so “pet” fits accordingly. Similarly, the Titans were called the Pantheon of Order and the Eternals – the Pantheon of Death.

The Arbiter

The Arbiter

The Arbiter is an ancient, mysterious being who lives in the centre of the city of Oribos and judges mortal souls who enter the Shadowlands. According to some accounts, her existence predates all memory, making her an entity even older than the Titans. When a soul is brought before the Arbiter, all of its contents – deeds, misdeeds, thoughts, achievements, and failures, are immediately uncovered, absorbed, and understood by her. The Arbiter then sends the soul to one of the infinite realms of the Shadowlands, defined by the soul's disposition. Oribos is cared for by a race of beings known as the Attendants, who also help the Arbiter carry out her duties peacefully. From among the circle of Attendants known as Scholars, an Honored Voice is chosen to speak for the ever silent Arbiter. For reasons no one can explain, the Arbiter has recently gone to sleep and no longer directs souls to their places after death. Instead, all souls now flow past her and rush directly to the Maw. Attendants have tried to uncover this mystery, but without success.

Archon Kyrestia the Firstborn

Archon Kyrestia the Firstborn

Kyrestia has ruled over Bastion for countless centuries and oversaw the transformation of the virtuous and brave into the Ascended. Her process required mortal souls to purge themselves of their memories, storing them so they could perform their tasks objectively and neutrally. However, this process had long had defects, as aspirants had to let go of both good and bad memories. It used to be rare for an aspirant to find this process so difficult that they abandoned the path. He becomes a Forsworn, wandering the outer reaches of Bastion, lamenting their failure.

When the Paragon of Loyalty, Devos, learned from her apprentice Uther's memories that an agent, wielding the power of the Maw, was rampaging through the mortal world, she tried to convince Kyrestia that the path of purging the new kyrian of their memories was wrong. Kyrestia interrupted Devos, telling her that the Shadowlands depended on the kyrian to carry out their charge and that she must abandon her rebellious course. In response, Devos took matters into her own hands, turning Uther into an Ascended, and later convincing him to cast Arthas' soul into the Maw.

From then on, Devos secretly gathered the Forsworn into an army. When the Shadowlands were hit by a severe drought caused by the dormancy of the Arbiter, many kyrian, both aspirants and ascended, found themselves without their assignments – pondering and questioning their decisions. They began to feel that they were arbitrarily giving up their identities, and slowly began to reject the paths of the Archon more and more. When they lost their way, they were sent to the Temple of Loyalty and straight into the hands of Devos. Many of the Forsworn went further by becoming Mawsworn for the Jailer.

All of this led to an offensive against Bastion by the Forsworn, shortly after the arrival of the mortal Maw Walkers in the Shadowlands. This initial offensive turned out to be part of a strategy created in tandem with the Houses of Constructs and Rituals of Maldraxxus, who proceeded to launch a surprise attack on the Temple of Courage, when the Kyrian were distracted by the Foresworn’s struggles. Sometime later, when Devos and the Foresworn attacked the Spires of Ascension, Kyrestia stood at the head of the defence while a group of mortal Maw Walkers came to their aid. The Mortals broke through the forces of the Foresworn, eventually arriving in time to stop Devos from destroying the Archon and, with a little help from her, managed to destroy the corrupted Paragon instead. Kyrestia was ultimately not furious at Devos' betrayal, but rather mourned the event. Seeing that it was mortals who saved her and her kingdom from destruction, she acknowledged that the path she had designed may, indeed, have been flawed, and that once the Jailer crisis was over, Kyrestia would have much to discuss with the kyrian.

Sire Denathrius

Sire Denathrius

Sire Denathrius is the creator and leader of the realm of Revendreth and its people, the Venthyr, whom he rules from Castle Nathria. Calculating and methodical, Denathrius is ancient as well as one of the most powerful beings in all of the Shadowlands. He created the venthyr in his own image, forging them from redeemed souls. The first venthyr were born directly from Denathrius' will, such as Prince Renathal, who considers him his father.

Rumours suggest that Denathrius may no longer be fit to be ruler of Revendreth. The crowning of a new Sire may restore the surface to its former glory or leave it mired in the same decadence and sin for the purging of which he would be responsible. Denathrius pleads with the champions of Azeroth to help quell a rebellion led by Prince Renathal that threatens to destroy venthyr's way of life, but not all is as Denathrius claims.

The Primus

The Primus

The Primus is the missing ruler of Maldraxxus and the Necrolord Covenant. A master strategist and tactician, he was nearly unbeatable on the battlefield and served as the collective leader of all five Necrolord ruling houses. At some point, Primus disappeared from his sanctuary, and in his absence, the leaders of the three remaining families mercilessly battle each other for Primus' Seat and command of Maldraxxus' armies. However, before he disappeared, Primus left mysterious messages and prophecies about the coming of the one who would embody the power of Maldraxxus and save the kingdom from itself.

In order for Maldraxxus to produce the strongest fighting force possible, to defend the Shadowlands from external threats, Primus devised a system of great houses, barons, and eternal war games to eliminate weakness and allow the Necrolords’ army to continually improve. Primus himself used his time to hone his tactical and strategic skills beyond mortal limits. It is said that he once sought out an unknown ally who could show him an infinite timeways and allow him to watch the same battle over and over again to see how small differences in strategy and troop deployment could change the outcome of a conflict. After eons of such study, Primus could instantly assess any situation and devise the most likely path to victory.

He also secured the Sepulcher of Knowledge, a library tower containing all the military writings of Maldraxxus' greatest minds, overseen by Primus.

Moreover, Primus played a role in the Jailer’s imprisonment in the Maw after detecting signs of the Jailer’s treachery. At some point, Primus began to notice that his influence was leaking outside of the Maw. Suspecting that the Jailer was working with some allies, Primus left Maldraxxus to investigate, leaving the margraves and barons of the realm to their own devices. However, due to his tactical genius, he foresaw a time when the Shadowlands would face grave danger and could only be saved by someone from outside the realm, so he left behind a trail of messages and boons to help the mortals outside fix the situation.

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