The final chapter of World of Warcraft: Shadowlands story hit the live servers this week. An expansion that has been rife with controversy and resentment from the fanbase has finally come to a close. Now, fans have begun hypothesizing what the next expansion will be, and many are excited to leave the Shadowlands behind and never think about them again.
Before World of Warcraft: Shadowlands could end, there was a lot to tie up in the final campaign, Eternity’s End. The Jailer had breached Zereth Mortis at the end of Chains of Domination and players were tasked with pursuing him to the realm of the first ones. They had to stop his army, confront him, help build a new Arbiter, and pass judgment on Sylvanas Windrunner for her actions during Battle for Azeroth and shadowlands. It was a lot to tie up in one storyline, but Blizzard sought to do it in eight chapters told over multiple weeks.
Into The Unknown
After The Jailer breached Zereth Mortis, the players and covenant leaders gathered in Oribos to figure out what comes next. Alongside Pelagos, the player pursued the Jailer to Zereth Mortis in hopes of stopping him from fulfilling his mission. The player encountered the Broker Firim who helped guide them to Haven. In Haven, the player met the Enlightened, a group of Brokers who have all left their various cartels and dedicated their lives to pursuing knowledge.
The Enlightened did not trust the player or Pelagos, but they were quickly given a chance to prove themselves when the Mawsworn attack. Before the Mawsworn could destroy Haven, the Jailer called them back to the Sepulcher of the First Ones. Grateful for the help that the player provided, the Enlightened told them of an ancient prophecy that the Waystones dotting Zereth Mortis were placed by the first ones and that they will only react to the mortal souls who are destined to save the Shadowlands. The player activated one of these Waystones near Haven, and a portal to Oribos was created which allowed the Covenant forces and heroes of Azeroth to enter Zereth Mortis.
We Battle Onward
The player soon learned that the Mawsworn were attempting to destabilize the Forge of the Afterlives, and they went off to stop them. Sadly, the Mawsworn were not so easily stopped and the Dreadlord Mal’Ganis impersonated the player character in an attempt to sow dissent in the Covenant army. The Covenant armies failed to stop the Mawsworn, and the player watched helplessly as Anduin and the Jailer utilized the Forge of the Afterlives to break into the Sepulcher of the First Ones to reshape reality. They then closed the entrance behind them.
Forming an Understanding
The Mawsworn were not the only threat that Zereth Mortis was facing, the Devourers had been seeing into the land and wreaking havoc. The player and Pelagos are recruited to assist in combating the Devourers, and they soon came across a badly injured Oracle. They tried to convince the Enlightened to help, but they declared it blasphemy to talk to an Oracle and sent the player away. Instead of stopping, the player and Pelagos found Firim and requested his help. The player has to protect him from Cartel Xy assassins who had been tracking him down since the Waystone to Oribos was opened.
After defeating the Assassins, Firim agreed to assist the player in their quest to communicate with the Oracle. The Oracle used what little energy she had left to create a small Automa named Pocopoc. After expending her energy, she fell into a deep sleep. Pocopoc introduced the player to the Cypher of the First Ones system, the Eternity’s End progression system that allows the player to slowly unlock the secrets of Zereth Mortis and power up Pocopoc.
Forging a New Path
Uther the Lightbringer went to Haven and requested the player. He filled the player in on important news that Sylvanas Windrunner had woken up after being reunited with her entire soul at the end of the Sanctum of Domination raid. She wished to help save Anduin, but before the player can do anything, they had to first find a way to the Sepulcher of the First Ones. With the help of Elder Ara, the player tracked down a translocator key that would help unlock the way to the Sepulcher. Using the Creation Catalyst, the player was able to repair the key and open the way to the Sepulcher.
Crown of Wills
After freeing Anduin from the Sepulcher of the First Ones, the player had to learn a way to resist Domination magic if they wanted a chance at beating the Jailer. Alongside Bolvar Fordragon, the player is tasked with performing various experiments using the fragments of the Helm of Domination. They discovered that the language of the First Ones can help with resisting Domination and that the more complex a phrase, the more resistance it would create. The player infused the fragments of the Helm with these complex phrases and the will of people who have broken the Helm’s Domination before, like Sylvanas Windrunner and Bolvar Fordragon.
The Primus took these newly infused fragments and forged them into the Crown of Wills. The Crown was the last thing needed to confront the Jailer, and it signaled the end of the Lich King on Azeroth. The covenant forces gathered and prepared for a final assault.
A Means to an End
Through Pocopoc, the Oracle contacted the player and sent them to track down an empty vessel. The player had to traverse through a system of loci and cyphers to track down the vessel on top of a mountain in Zereth Mortis. The player brought the vessel back to Firim’s cave and the Oracle introduced herself as Saezurah. The energy that Pocopoc had gathered was used to revive the Oracle, and she told the player that the vessel would be used to create a new Arbiter to save the Shadowlands.
The player is tasked with transporting the empty vessel to the Crypts of the Eternal so that they can infuse it with a worthy soul to create a new Arbiter. The ritual begins, but Dreadlords quickly revealed themselves among the crowd and they hijacked the vessel. They infused it with Argus’ soul, and they revealed that the Titan’s death fused with Death magic was what caused the original Arbiter to be destroyed. The player beat back the Dreadlords, but they no longer had a soul to plunge into the vessel. In a selfless act, Pelagos offered his soul to be fused with the Vessel, and he is found worthy. He transformed into the new Arbiter and the Shadowlands were restored, allowing all eyes to be set on stopping the Jailer.
After the player defeated the Jailer in Sepulcher of the First Ones, the champions of Azeroth and forces of the Covenants gathered in Oribos to bear witness to the final judgment of Sylvanas Windrunner. The player escorted Sylvanas to the Arbiter’s chambers where her sisters, Thrall, Genn Greymane, Tyrande Whisperwind, and so many others had gathered. Sylvanas subjected herself to Tyrande’s judgment and Tyrande ordered her to be sent to the Maw. The only way that she could repent for burning Teldrassil and causing so much death was to traverse every corner of the Maw to find the souls she sent there and guide them to the Arbiter, so that they can be sent to their correct afterlife.
After eight chapters, the shadowlands story has come to an end. The story arc has been very controversial in the eyes of players, but it has reached its conclusion, and now they can look to what comes next. As a new expansion is going to be revealed on April 19, the World of Warcraft community will not have long to wait before the next world ending threat is revealed.
World of Warcraft is available now on PC.
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