•   Thursday, May 26, 2022
World of Warcraft

WoW: This villain broke the machinery of death! (Spoiler)

The fate of the Judge has been on our minds since the beginning of WoW: Shadowlands. She determined the fate of countless mortals after their deaths and was thus one of the most important figures in the afterlife of World of Warcraft. However, we never saw the Judge in action, as she fell into a coma long before our arrival. This misfortune plunged the Shadowlands into a deep crisis. The anima that the machinery of death drew from the souls of mortals was diverted into the Maw, while the rest of the realms of the dead suffered from the anima drought.

The Judge's coma has left us with many mysteries to this day. Who broke the machinery of death and how did the dungeon master manage to knock the judge out of the maw? Fortunately, there are new clues on the test server for WoW Patch 9.2 about the culprit who was responsible for the fall of the judge. Caution and a bold warning at this point, because massive story spoilers for Patch 9.2 now follow - so read on after the video at your own risk!

11:26
WoW Patch 9.2: Developer video about the end of eternity

The last secret of the judge

After his return in patch 9.1, the Primus of Maldraxxus revealed a great secret. The Judge was just a construct, a machine that the Pantheon of Eternals created to replace the first Judge. Yes, the first judge was the jailer. Eons ago, he determined in Oribos where the souls of mortals went after they died.

But Zovaal was never really satisfied with his role. He thirsted for forbidden knowledge. Although it was taboo, he sought the way to the Shrine of the First, where he hoped to discover the last great secret of the Creators. He was willing to use any means to achieve his ambitious goals. Zovaal was not afraid to attack his siblings in order to take their seals by force.
The jailer had enough time in the maw to work out his plans to the smallest detail. Source: Blizzard For this outrage, Zovaal was finally punished with banishment. The Eternals banded together and brought their brother to his knees. The Primus forged chains that bound Zovaal to the Maw, where he would forever rule over the souls of the damned. From the seal of the jailer, the Pantheon created a new judge, who henceforth determined the fate of the souls.

Zovaal, who was given the name Dungeon Master, fell further and further into oblivion in the Shadow Lands. This was just fine with him, as the jailer devised a new diabolical plan. He allied himself with all kinds of dark forces and caused chaos and destruction in all cosmic domains. Today we know that Zovaal was behind almost every great catastrophe. However, all this was only preliminary skirmishes, after all, the jailer feels called to something higher.

The Silent Death in Oribos

The first highlight of Zovaal's grand plan was the case of the judge, who fell into a coma after a mysterious event. We have already reported about the fate of the judge at the beginning of WoW (buy now ): Shadowlands. In doing so, we searched for the reason for her deep sleep and made many guesses as to who exactly broke the machinery of death. The servants of Oribos reported that a corrupted soul hit the judge in the heart and knocked her out immediately. In the video in which Tal-Inara tells us the story of Oribos and the judge, we see the exact moment when the machinery of death broke and the judge fell into a coma.

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In mythic mode, the body and soul of Argus glowed a fiery red color! Source: wowhead Summarizing all the information about the Great Anima Drought from the Shadowlands campaign, the judge fell into a coma in the period between Ysera's death and the end of Legion. Some Lore fans suspected it was the tortured World Soul of Argus. The newborn Titan was associated with death in Legion, and its body and soul glowed the same fiery red hue as the soul that sent the judge into a coma in Antorus' mythic difficulty mode.

The end of Argus actually fits roughly within the time frame of the breach. And on the test server for WoW Patch 9.2, there are new clues that suggest Argus played an important role in the dungeon master's grand plan.

The Ritual

The Primus makes it clear to us before our journey to Zereth Mortis that the peoples of the Shadowlands desperately need a new judge. Only she can put an end to the Anima Drought and redirect the flow of souls out of the Maw and into the realms of the dead. To create a new judge, our heroes must first ask the Guardians of Zereth Mortis for help. They task us with eliminating the corruption in the Crypt of the Eternal. Once the task is done, we must obtain many cosmic components to create a vessel, that is, a kind of new body.

We must then give this being a voice and prepare it for its new role. Just before the conclusion, however, the Nathrezim burst into the chamber and interrupt the ritual. They succeed in corrupting the vessel with the soul of Argus the Disruptor. The essence of the dead titan takes over the creature's body and then attacks our heroes. We have no other choice, we must destroy the body and the remains of Argus' soul.
Body and Spirit: The Guardians of Zereth Mortis will help us create the new judge. Source: wowhead The soul of Argus takes over the vessel and attacks our heroes. Source: wowhead Saezurah: The time has come. The halls have healed. A new Arbiter waits in the wings.
Saezurah: The chorus assembles. The vessel awaits. Your voice must join them.
Saezurah: Dissonance...a melody lost long ago...
Pelagos: Something is interfering with the ritual!
Darkseer Corrupter: Long have we awaited this moment. The Banished One's gambit made manifest....
Darkseer Corrupter: A world-soul twisted by Death. A maul with which to crush the Arbiter...
Darkseer Corrupter: And now it shall take this vessel! Argus will be Eternal!





The new judge

The ritual has failed and the new body for the judge is destroyed. This is a bitter setback. But giving up is not in our nature. The Kyrian Pelagos offers himself as a new vessel for the essence of the judge. In a cutscene, Pelagos says goodbye to his friend Kleia and takes the Judge's place.

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The exciting thing about Pelagos' metamorphosis is that he shows much more personality than his predecessor. We see that he didn't have to completely give up on himself for his new role. Pelagos is able to retain much of his soul and even his face.

The tool of the Nathrezim

So, the soul of Argus was in the possession of the Nathrezim all along. The terror lords have been toying with the Titan, using him as a tool. At first, we didn't think it was possible that it was Argus who took out the judge. He was a Titan, after all, so technically his soul would be bound to the domain of Order. But we didn't reckon with the diabolical scheming of the Nathrezim, who are in fact not demons but the corrupted children of Count Denathrius.

Putting one and one together, the terror lords stole the soul of Argus and threw it into the great anima stream. In the video we saw how great the agony of the judge was when she met the red soul. Only the soul of an extremely powerful being could cause her so much pain. These clues speak a clear language: it was Argus' soul that hit the judge in the heart at the end of WoW: Legion.

04:37
WoW: Shattered Legacies - In-game cinematic shows Sylvanas' brokenness

It is no longer a big secret that Zovaal is interested in the Titans. With the help of the Nathrezim, he has divided the Titan pantheon and caused the Burning Legion to corrupt the World Soul of Argus. In the final battle in the Mausoleum of the First, Zovaal attacks us not only with attacks of the Lich King, but also with the grip of the Shatterer of Argus.

The Dungeon Master is a truly cosmic boss, no question about it. Still, the arc Blizzard takes in this story is very broad. Many connections between Zovaal and past WoW history are still unclear or you have to dig deep into lore to understand the story. In addition, the dungeon master's grand plan still leaves us with many mysteries. Nevertheless, we are curious to see if and how the developers will resolve the big story tangle in a meaningful way again.

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