The wounds are still fresh for many WoW players with the underwater area Vashj’ir from the Cataclysm expansion. While I don’t believe a fully underwater expansion is on the horizon, I believe the next one will most certainly revolve around the water. The following is my personal opinion on the lore surrounding what may be the new expansion.
If you’re unfamiliar with the old gods of Azeroth, I recommend taking 17 minutes to watch Mr. Rhexx’s video. Go ahead, I’ll wait.
At this point, we are aware an old god named N’Zoth has been mentioned since Cataclysm. As we face the Burning Legion, N’Zoth keeps cropping up more and more. It starts with the shadow priest’s artifact weapon, Xal’atath, the Blade of the Black Empire. This talking dagger has some insightful words for the player.
“The God of the Deep writhes in his prison, breaking free ever so slowly. You should hurry and defeat the fallen titan… there are greater battles yet to fight.”
Just like our adventure in Northrend, we’ll return back from Argus at the end of Legion to discover that N’Zoth is making his move. Based on Yogg-Saron’s Puzzle Box, we know that N’Zoth is the old god who was sealed under water.
Then we meet Ilgynoth in the Emerald Nightmare raid. He, too, has a lot to say about what’s coming.
“The boy-king serves at the master’s table. Three lies will he offer you.”
I’ve read some debate on who the boy-king is, but after Guldan also refers to Anduin as “the boy-king,” I think it’s pretty safe to say he’s the one. Fresh off the death of his father and coming to terms with becoming a good leader, Anduin is at his most vulnerable. Old gods love the vulnerable, and I’ll talk about Jaina here in a minute.
I don’t think we’ve seen the lies yet, but coming from Anduin, he might feel they are honorable when he gives them. We’ve already witnessed the beginning, sneaking back to the broken shore when he was told to stay in Stormwind.
Who wants to see Anduin go full-on shadow priest? I do.
“To find him, drown yourself in the circle of stars.”
We’ve known since Cataclysm of the mysteries spewing forth from the archeology toy Yogg-Saron’s Puzzle Box. It talks about a sunken city called Ny’alotha and an old god named N’Zoth who slumbers below the water. I feel he’s refering to N’Zoth, so the word “drown” here is literal. I’m still not convinced we will have an underwater expansion. I feel this sunken city might be housed like the Vashj’ir dungeon, Throne of Tides, encased in magic walls and coral. I will even go so far as to predict Ny’alotha will be a raid, like Ulduar, a vast and complex prison.
44Y’Shaarg, in the Dark Heart scenario, talks about Ny’alotha as if it’s some kind of afterlife. And like the box says, in Ny’alotha, there is only sleep. There is heavy speculation that N’Zoth is the old god who corrupted the Emerald Dream, and perhaps Ny’alotha is a sister-realm for the void.
“N’Zoth… I journey… to Ny’alotha…”
Il’gynoth says this one upon his death. Again, it references Ny’alotha as a dream state or afterlife. If Ny’alotha is a raid, I think we might see everyone’s favorite gynecological boss again.
“Her heart is a crater, and we have filled it.”
There are lots of speculations on who this might refer to, including Azeroth herself. I’d be willing to put my money on Jaina Proudmoore. Once considered a “Horde lover” by Alliance, we’ve watched Jaina descend into rage and madness against the Horde when her city, Theramore, was destroyed. A literal crater resides where the inn and tower once were, and I feel whispers of N’Zoth have contributed to her gross overreaction.
I’m sure you’ve seen the datamined armor in the 7.3 PTR by now that may hint at Kul’Tiras being the main focus of the next expansion. Kul’Tiras is a naval base in the South Seas and has strong ties to the Proudmoore family.
Also, at the beginning of Legion, Jaina raged about teaming up with the Hode against the Legion and left. She hasn’t been seen since. She’s not back in Theramore. Kul’Tiras seems like a viable option.
“At the hour of her third death, she ushers in our coming.”
Here’s another quote with a lot of speculation on who the “her” is referring to. I’m a firm sitter in the Sylvanas camp. There seems to be a lot of disagreement amongst lore aficionados if Sylvanas has died twice or three times already. Because of this uncertainty, and the large role she’s played so far in Legion, I’m convinced this quote is about her.
When the Many Deaths of Chromie scenario came out, I nearly jumped ship. In the last quest for the scenario, the description says “Three time’s a charm.” However, after realizing that Chromie’s death can ultimately be prevented, I’m keeping my seat in camp Sylvanas.
To further push this point, Vol’jin called for Sylvanas to be the new Warchief in his stead after communing with spirits. As an avid watcher of ghost-hunting shows, there’s a chance your good spirits can be bad in disguise. Who’s to say what he heard wasn’t whispers from an old god. And speaking of speaking to foul spirits, Vol’jin isn’t the only one.
“The king of diamonds has been made a pawn.”
The king of diamonds, with pretty much a unanimous suspicion, is King Magni Bronzebeard. King Magni was found in the halls of Ulduar at the start of Legion after a ritual turned him to crystal. He claimed he could now commune with the Titan spirit that is Azeroth herself. He also states that he cannot return to Ironforge for awhile, as the spirit of Azeroth has plans for him.
I’m feeling pretty confident he’s actually been talking to N’Zoth. Remember how Yogg-Saron used a false image called “Sarah” in Ulduar to warp Thor?
Five keys to open our way. Five torches to light our path.
Is it a coincidence that there are five pillars of creation? I think not.
Under the notes section on the “Pillars of Creation” article on Wowpedia, it states “During Legion’s reveal at Gamescom, 2015, it was stated that the Pillars of Creation were used twelve-thousand years ago by the Highborne to seal a wound in the earth, who then built the Temple of Elune over it.” Perhaps this wound had something to do with an old god. To undo a seal, often you need the items that sealed it in the first place.
Though, I’m not entirely convinced N’Zoth is right under the Temple of Elune, which resides in the Broken Isles in Valsharah. Though, I won’t count out an old god residing there, just not N’Zoth. As of now, an old god rests in each continent of Azeroth. Kalimdor hosts C’Thun, Yogg-Saron is imprioned in Northrend, and what’s left of Y’Shaarg is in Pandaria. Eastern Kingdoms has yet to reveal its host, but speculation points to the location, east of Tirisfall Glade.
There is an uninhabited chunk of land only accessable by flying mount. It’s called the Whispering Forest, and it features a strange ring of mushrooms surrounded by Fey-Drunk Darters that break out into song every so often. (Side note, when they’re singing, you can pick up a Garrison jukebox music piece by looting the Darter eggs in the center of the circle.)
In the neighboring lake, there is a downed plane and a large stone disc. On one shore is a Twilight camp with level 99 mobs. According to Wowpedia: “Beneath the lake within the Whispering Forest lies a terrible, long-forgotten secret. Torn open by the Twilight’s Hammer and their new Deacon, the former Bishop Farthing, the ancient tomb of the great titanic watcher, Tyr, has been revealed, as well as the final resting place of a terrible C’Thraxxi beast by the name of Zakajz the Corruptor.”
To obtain the shadow priest’s artifact weapon, Xal’atath, the scenario involves using the blade to kill Zakajz and seal him once again. It’s no coincidence that C’Thraxxi are N’Zoth’s minions and that same blade whispers of old gods. It’s no coincidence that old gods are known for whispering, and the forest is named just that.
Some speculate that the tomb of Sargaras is the location of the prison, since the Pillars of Creation are used to seal the tomb. It’s suggested that sealing the tomb also opens N’Zoth’s prison. That’s not the camp I sit in, however. I think the Pillars will be used again either during or after our journey to Argus.
“The lord of ravens will turn the key.”
I think this one is another straightforward answer. Khadgar is the lord of ravens, and he will (inadvertently) use the pillars of creation in such a way that sets N’Zoth’s plans into motion, ushering in the next expansion.
I think we’ll find out for sure come Blizzcon 2017.