Whispers of the Old Gods

Il'gynoth

It’s been a while, there’s no denying that. Between the AP grind and commitments to real life, I just haven’t had the time to write anything that didn’t get outdated by the time I got round to finishing it or that ended up being yet another WAWK article. Fast forward to now, and my raiding time in WoW has now come to an end and while I still have interest in the game, I no longer feel as obligated to farm AP on my main, his offspecs or any of my alts. So now I have more time!

With Tomb of Sargeras just releasing and 7.3 and Argus on the PTR this week, I thought I’d backtrack to the first raid this expansion and use it to look toward the future of WoW. Namely the attractive fellow in the article picture, Il’gynoth the Heart of Corruption. When players fight against him he comes along with a series of quotes that are cryptic and potentially prophetic for the Old Gods’ plans for Azeroth and the lore forums went mad trying to decipher the different quotes. Now with a bit more time into the expansion some of these views have shifted and it’ll be interesting to see where Blizzard takes this part of WoW in the future.

I’ll be taking a look at the quotes here, and interpreting them how I see them. Bear in mind that as with all Old God whispers, they are there to incite fear, hopelessness, confusion and all sorts of negative feelings so while some may have obvious interpretations to lead us on, others may be complete fluff. Some link together fairly well despite the quotes being randomly dotted from encounter to encounter with Il’gynoth.

“Flesh is his gift. He is your true creator.”

This is one of the more obvious ones that links the Curse of Flesh to some of the player races. Il’gynoth tries the recruitment tactic that worked with the Twilight’s Hammer to prove that the Titans were not our creators and that we only exist because of the gift of the Curse of Flesh.

“From the earth, he draws strength. Our earth. Our strength.”

One of the more cryptic ones, many believed that this is another recruitment tactic in order to fight against the Legion. In an attempt to get the mortal races to believe that they are already on the side of the Old Gods by using their earth and by extension their strength. Many also thought this was in reference to Thrall filling the role of the Earth-Warder in Dragon Soul or even Wrathion as the last son of Deathwing, and that he’s being slowly corrupted by the whispers of the Old Gods similar to his father before him – this is also backed up by people believing the boy-king in another quote to be relating to Wrathion too.

I agree that the statement refers more to a particular person but also acts like a recruitment message. I believe that ‘he’ is in reference to Magni Bronzebeard, with links to quotes later of him being the king of diamonds (earth-related) and having been made a pawn (drawing from the Old Gods’ strength). It also links in with the previous quote suggesting to keep with the Gift of Flesh as working from the earth will play directly into their strengths.

Magni Diamond

“The king of diamonds has been made a pawn.”

Again one of the more obvious quotes in terms of who it is referring to, but the latter part is what makes it interesting and continues the chain of links between Il’gynoth’s quotes. The person is of course Magni Bronzebeard as the king of diamonds thanks to a ritual gone awry at the start of Cataclysm. With the elements in turmoil after the defeat of the Lich King, Magni sought to converse with them to understand what was going on. Unfortunately due to misinterpretation of the ritual, Magni ended up turning into a diamond and only woke up at the end of the Draenor campaign to warn us of the Legion invasion.

He tells us to collect the Pillars of Creation to use at the Tomb of Sargeras to close the gateway between worlds, but other quotes by Il’gynoth suggests that these Pillars will also usher in the coming of the Old Gods and as such collecting them will ultimately be for them to take over Azeroth once more.

It also has a chilling underline that while we can be expected to be corrupted by the Old Gods because of the gift of flesh mentioned above, even the earthen and other non-flesh entities of the world can be made their pawns.

Most people speculated this to be Anduin as he’d recently been made King after Varian’s death at the Broken Shore at the start of Legion. With his links to Priesthood and this expansion’s closer ties to the void for Shadow Priests, this is the link to the ‘master’s table’. We’ve yet to see any evidence of the three lies all expansion, though, but then again it may be the case where the lies have yet to come to life anyway and might end up being the link into the next/future expansions.

“The boy-king serves at the master’s table. Three lies will he offer you.”

Another popular and potential link would be to Wrathion as he’s one of the last Black Dragons. Serving at the master’s table would be the link to the dragonflight and Deathwing’s links to the Old Gods. He’s known to be fairly devious already, so him lying to us is much more likely than Anduin.

Personally, Old Gods are old. The clue is in their name. Magni Bronzebeard could be referred to as a boy-king in their old eyes, especially as the quote previously still refers to him as a king. It also references how he has been made a pawn, linking him to serving at the master’s table. As for the three lies, it could reference the three mounts that Magni helps Priests attain in their Legionfall questline – one of them already corrupted by void. The premise of taking them is to prevent the void-touched one from spreading its corruption to the rest of the vault – but the vault seems to only be guarding them. Could the three lies be these three seekers to take the seekers and plant the seeds of the void into our armies?Seeker Priest Mounts

“Its surface blazes bright, masking shadows below.”

People refer to this quote as being the Maelstrom itself, linking it to another quote regarding how bright the Maelstrom looks ingame and how it could be hiding the shadows of the Old Gods (notably N’Zoth) underneath. I’m personally of the opinion that this quote refers to the previous one regarding the three lies: originally the Seekers all blazed brightly to fight against corruption and the void, but as we can see with the shadow priest’s variant, they are just as likely to fall into shadow.

It might also link with the Army of the Light eventually falling to corruption as we know we’ll be fighting against void creatures on Argus or even Illidan himself as the Child of Light and Shadow. Perhaps one or both of these will fall or have already fallen to the corruption of the void but are merely masking it for now.

Then again the entire series of quotes can be interpreted on a much grander, global scale. It might simply be referring to Azeroth who’s meant to be this all-powerful titan in slumber and Il’gynoth is boasting/taunting about how she’s already falling to the shadow of the Void Lords.

“Five keys to open our way. Five torches to light our path.”

The popular theory is that the Pillars of Creation are the five keys or five torches, but a hint for something else happens at the end of the Trial of Valor raid. With Helya’s defeat, the wards keeping Odyn in the Halls of Valor break and he mentions that he wishes to make a return to Ulduar to meet with his fellow keepers.

The keepers that still reside at Ulduar are Mimiron, Thorim, Freya and Hodir. With Odyn, that makes five keepers in Ulduar that are in very close proximity to an Old God – a dead one, but Y’Shaarj has made it obvious that dead Gods can still provide plenty of influence. When we went to Ulduar at the start of the expansion there certainly was still Old God influence.

What if the whispers of Yogg-Saron have affected the keepers once more, or Odyn convinced them to trigger Reply Code Omega and use the Forge of Origination to eradicate all life on Azeroth and allow it to start anew? Or perhaps, mixing the two theories together and separating the keys and torches into separate entities, he and the four keepers of Ulduar will use the Pillars of Creation to enact something on a global scale?

Or on a scale surpassing even the Old Gods, the five keys (being the Pillars of Creation) close the gateway between Argus and Azeroth at the end of 7.3.5 end up lighting the Great Dark Beyond enough to guide the Void to Azeroth itself.odyn.jpg

“The lord of ravens will turn the key.”

Speculation of the lord of ravens range from Kur’talos Ravencrest, to Medivh, to Khadgar and even to Odyn as he was accompanied by the two ravens Huginn and Muninn. Judging by what I’ve already discussed previously, you can likely tell that I’m believing this quote to reference Odyn as the lord of ravens where he will end up ‘turning the key’ for Reply Code Omega to re-originate the planet.

Something catastrophic happens on a global scale, and leads into the next two quotes…

“At the hour of her third death, she will usher in our coming.”

Popular speculation leads toward Sylvanas and Jaina in physical and metaphorical senses respectively. I personally believe that that “her” refers to Azeroth itself. The Sundering was her first death, the Shattering her second. What if when Odyn turns the key we end up with the Splitting or Severing or whatever of Azeroth signalling her third death?

“Her heart is a crater, and we have filled it.”

Similar to the last quote, most people seemed to gravitate towards Jaina or Sylvanas. I however believe that “her” refers to Azeroth, similar to the previous quote. The Shaman’s order hall is called the Heart of Azeroth and so far in my speculation I’ve been discussing the potential links between all of the quotes. It would be far too outlandish to suddenly start talking about the small mortals of Azeroth when the quotes so far have been referencing the grander scale of things. Even when talking about Magni, he is still titled the “Speaker” or the “Herald of Azeroth”.

Long ago Aman’thul ripped Y’Shaarj from the surface of Azeroth and realised that in doing that he caused a massive wound cratering into the planet. After warding it and fixing it up the wound ended up becoming the Well of Eternity. The Great Sundering caused the Well to collapse in on itself, forcing the Pangaea continent of Azeroth to split off into a few large landmasses, but the site of the Well remains as a massive vortex of water named today as the Maelstrom. With the Shattering, Deathwing left Deepholm through the rift at the Maelstrom and ended up causing massive damage to that same crater dubbed as the ‘Heart of Azeroth’.

With the supposed proximity of N’Zoth’s prison to the Maelstrom and Azeroth’s third death imminent (according to my personal speculation) the Old God’s having filled that crater with their corruption could be the signalling point of the next expansion being Old God themed and potentially another Azeroth rework. We are after all at the point where post-Cataclysm content has been around for longer than pre-Cata content so we might be due another rework soon! With the Azeroth rotating in the skybox on Argus in 7.3 it proves there aren’t really any more large landmasses to discover, so underwater, new worlds and reworks are likely going to be the focus points for future expansion content.n'zoth

“To find him, drown yourself in the circle of stars.”

Many people thought this to be finding the location of the prison for N’Zoth as he’s underwater and you’d have to drown yourself to find him – either near Suramar or near the Maelstrom as both have indications for references to circles of stars. Others thought it referred to finding Gul’dan at the Nightwell to stop the Burning Legion from knocking on the door to Azeroth. Or even finding Illidan (him) in the Twisting Nether (circle of stars).

I honestly didn’t know how to interpret this quote. I toyed with the idea of finding ‘him’ to be Magni again and he would be found in the ‘circle of stars’ in Algalon’s room in Ulduar. It became a redundant theory firstly because he brought us to the Celestial Planetarium long before we met with Il’gynoth, and secondly because he’s also moved to help with the Priest campaign. It could reference Odyn where we have to chase him down to try and stop him from turning the keys and we go into the depths of the Planetarium to find worse horrors deep within Ulduar.

The only other link I can find is to go with the Puzzle Box of Yogg-Saron. There is a star-related quote from there, that also cryptically links with drowning that reads: The stars sweep chill currents that make men shiver in the dark.” This quote is in reference to H.P. Lovecraft’s description of Nyarlathotep where “A sense of monstrous guilt was upon the land, and out of the abysses between the stars swept chill currents that made men shiver in dark and lonely places.”

Ny’alotha has been speculated to be Warcraft’s adaptation of Nyarlathotep, so it would stand to reason that the circle of stars in addition to the link to the Puzzle Box could be where we find ‘him’.

“N’Zoth… I journey… to Ny’alotha…”

Finally, his death quote to round out the chain of quotes. Ny’alotha has been a speculation point of WoW ever since Wrath’s days and the Puzzle Box of Yogg-Saron came to surface. It’s usually been synonymous with the sunken city at the bottom of the ocean referenced in other quotes from the box and the resting place of N’Zoth, but the two have never really been quoted together. This theory could support the idea from the previous quote where you’d have to drown yourself to find him, but I’m not entirely certain that Ny’alotha is a place in the physical realm.

What if Ny’alotha is the Old Gods’ form of the afterlife, their infestation in the Shadowlands? They infested the Emerald Dream, why not the land of the dead? With Il’gynoth’s death quote, Xal’atoh quoting when you die You will rest in Ny’alotha” and a couple of quotes from the Puzzle box: In the land of Ny’alotha there is only sleep…” and In the sleeping city of Ny’alotha walk only mad things” it points closer and closer that Ny’alotha may not be the city in which N’Zoth resides in the physical realm of Azeroth, but is in one of its other planes. It could be within the Dream/Nightmare to literally link it to sleeping, but I’m leaning more on the idea of the state of eternal rest.

I can accept that he is the drowned god and his prison is deep under the Great Sea, but in order to find ‘him’ we’re going to have to enter the Shadowlands and fight him within the ‘circle of stars’ Ny’alotha itself.

 

 

 

 

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