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 Between the AP grind and commitments to real life, I just haven’t had the time to write anything that didn’t get outdated by the time I got round to finishing it or that ended up being yet another WAWK article.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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Patch 5.4: Wasting Time on the Timeless Isle

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Ok, so I’ve been bad and am extremely late on writing this post up, but as you may or may not have noticed, we’ve had a new patch drop this week… And I may have gotten distracted that I totally forgot about writing this post for today’s blog – so apologies for lateness!

And yes, 5.4 is finally here, the final raid patch for this expansion where we end up fighting the big bad, Garrosh Hellscream. While we haven’t killed him yet, I have to say that overall the Siege of Orgrimmar is a fantastic raid with an excellent variety of bosses with different mechanics, and I can’t wait for the heroic versions of them (even on fights like Galakras where I get to complain more about how bad Hurricane and the nerfed Shooting Stars is than actually DPSing them). But yeah, we’re at 9/14 at the moment and despite how useless I feel on Galakras, so far I’d have to say the normal mode fight I’m most disappointed about was either Immerseus or Sha of Pride.

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Immerseus felt like Blizzard were trying to force too many healers into the fight, at least on normal mode – you need three in order to spread around the room, especially for phase 2, but the healing amount required was just meh, from what I’m led to believe from our healers. From a DPS perspective, there’s not an awful lot going on – moving void zones, constantly having to move because another void zone appeared underneath you, and then moving from mob to mob in phase 2 in order to get the damage buff… I picked a ranged class so that I can perform at ranged – especially in the case of Balance where WE DO NOT LIKE MOVEMENT! Sha of Pride on the other hand, is a fight where we don’t move much, unless we’re assigned to unlock people out of prisons. It is a particularly boring fight otherwise: stand out of bad, otherwise stack up, interrupt and kill the add when it spawns. Plus, ranking on that fight will be all about getting the Gift throughout the fight, especially when you have decent procs.

The first wing of Flex also opened up this week, giving us the first four bosses of SoO. While I’ve only been there the once so far on my Druid, I can quite easily see it being a popular thing on OpenRaid, as well as an end-of-patch boosting mechanism, where we can run either an undergeared alt or recruit to bring them up to scratch for normal/heroic progression while still bringing the entire team to easily explain tactics to them. Plus, with achievements being earned through there, I’m sure my raid team will be happy with me not saying “Achievement?” for every boss fight I don’t have the Glory on.

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Proving Grounds

5.4 also brings us a new concept in the Proving Grounds, first promised to us last BlizzCon. It is essentially a training ground if you want to try out a new spec or a new role without the scrutiny of others weighing down on your back. Sure, DPS have always had the target dummies, but what about the tanks and the healers? They have to essentially practise their role when they’re already in group content, and I know that before I started tanking I was absolutely petrified of it. We had an awesome tank back in vanilla through to TBC that made it seem like cakewalk, however when I tried it for myself, and I realised that I had to set the pace for the group, watch healers’ mana before pulling the next pack, be mindful of how much I could take, etc, it was kind of nerve wracking. I did make huge mistakes, I’ll hold my hands up to it – even as a Paladin tank in TBC I messed up pulls in Shadowlabs and Shattered Halls – fortunately back then the community was a lot more understanding of people trying things out. I’d hate to learn a new role from scratch now.

Fortunately, that’s where Proving Grounds has come in, and it’s come along at an excellent time with the Timeless Isle also being included in this patch (more on that later) to bring more alts into the foray. While I’ve only tried the DPS and Healer ones at around 2am both times so far, I have to say they are a suitable challenge once you get to Gold and Endless. For those that don’t know what happens in them – you essentially get a reforge vendor, an NPC to buy food and drink (no proper stat food – though I wouldn’t mind a Proving Ground-only version that gets removed once you leave) and you get all raid buffs, while the enemies get all raid debuffs. However your gear is scaled down to 463, same rules as Challenge Modes (so no legendary metas, gems don’t scale down, etc).

You then go through a series of waves: 5 at Bronze, 8 at Silver and 10 at Gold, to earn achievements and practise the spec or role. On both the tanking and DPS I managed to one-shot both Bronze and Silver, while at Gold I seem to be stuck on waves 7 or 8 before I lose focus from the lack of sleep and step in the wrong place and screw everything up (only once got to Wave 10 and I screwed up by not having any burst ready). As I said, a suitable challenge – it was only once I got to bed that I realised I could have used a completely different talent choice to make things an awful lot easier. But yeah – DPS on the move again, only this time without 14k crit rating to help boost my Starsurge procs and with much lower spellpower to make Moonfire spam worthwhile.

I also dislike the banshees spawning underneath a trapped mob that then becomes difficult to target and kill… On the move.

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Timeless Isle

Another major addition to the game in 5.4 is the introduction of the Timeless Isle… And I am loving it there! I’m sure I will get burned out and never return once I’ve gotten the achievements (Ugh@Going To Need a Bigger Bag) but ironically it’s not going to be a timeless feature of the game. We will have to leave at some point, for example. The Celestial Court is brilliant this week too, as when people defeat all four of the Celestials, it’s a quick relog between four of my alts to get a quick tap and chance at loot each week.

The lack of dailies is also fantastic, firstly for making a change from the rest of this expansion, but also because you can go at your own pace and do the things that you want to do, not what the game tells you to do. Sure, there’s the daily to kill elites and the lore daily, but other than that you can either farm up reputation with Shaohao from the yaungol, you can go rare hunting, you can go chest hunting, you can try to gear up your low-geared alts or soon-to-be-90’s with the different BoA armor tokens (though do note you have a higher chance to drop armor tokens of your armor class than of others, so for example my leather pieces that seem to be dropping all the time are being sent to my level 67 Monk, as I have no other level 90 leather wearers).

As pictured in the header of the article above however, one of the more annoying aspects of the Isle (now half-fixed) is the way to get to certain chests or rare spawns. Tapping an Albatross allows you to take a tour of the Isle… Very, very slowly – especially as the pickup point and where you need to go is pretty much the wrong way round the route. The trouble of it when it was first introduced, was that you’d be able to tap the Albatross, it’d kidnap you, and then the next tap on it would bring it to the floor and chase whoever tapped it the second time indefinitely until it’s killed. Cue the trolls when the bird flies you over the Celestial Court! Nevertheless, it was still amusing to see my Moonkin in the mouth of a much larger bird. Also, the last rare I need is also related to the picture above… Who only spawns rarely instead of the red crystal rock giants – with mechanics unfriendly to both ranged and melee, the fact they don’t offer much in rewards and there only being 4 of them means that I’m going to be camping this area for a while before the fabled Golganarr spawns.

How do you guys think 5.4 has been so far? Have you had a chance to check out all the different aspects of it? What are you eager to continue for the rest of the patch? Once again, sorry for the late post, and have a good weekend!