August 17, 2013

The Dark Below

"At the bottom of the ocean even light must die"
N'Zoth - from WoWwiki
So we're still not sure if Blizzard has truly trademarked the name The Dark Below. There was much debate on whether or not this was going to tie into the Diablo or Warcraft universe. A few nights ago a Diablo 3 teaser popped up with the title Reaper of Souls! While we now know this is not related to D3, there is still a possibility this could be a hoax. I would like to think that it isn't though!

What do I think The Dark Below means for WoW if it is indeed true... Old Gods, Naga's, and possibly the Emerald Dream! Here is my post, all speculation, on what is hopefully the new WoW expansion - The Dark Below!

Note: I am by no means perfect on my lore (so much of it!), but I try to link and site as best as I can.

Let us travel back to Cataclysm for a second. Namely to a dungeon called the Throne of Tides. The whole place is filled with Naga and even a Faceless One (who seem to have direct connections to Old Gods). Anyway, we're really interested in the last boss - Ozumat <Fiend of the Dark Below>. What little lore he has says that Lady Naz'jar used him as a weapon to help imprison the Elemental Lord Neptulon. Ultimately with Neptulon's help, you slay the beast and order is restored... at least for the time being. So many interesting characters in this dungeon. Ozumat's name leads us to believe that below the Abyssal Maw lies a deeper and darker place. With Lady Naz'jar's presence in the dungeon, this links Queen Azshara back to everything. Lady Naz'jar is one of Queen Azshara's high ranking commanders, similar to what Lady Vashj was to her. Not only do I believe that the city of Nazjatar is located deep into those waters, I also believe it contains a "darker" entity.
 Ozumat from the Warcraft TCG
Also during Cataclysm, Blizzard was going to release a raid called the Abyssal Maw, but the project was scrapped; We got updated ZA and ZG instead. You can see the video of the unfinished Abyssal Maw here!
Perhaps the Throne of Tides used bosses that were supposed to be in there, just tweaked to be suited for a dungeon. The entire place looks very overdone for a simple dungeon... including the cinematic. The potential was there, and I'm hoping Blizzard saved it for a rainy day. Sadly though, it will probably remain one of those unfinished projects. 

Back to the ocean! The Rift of Aln, from the Stormrage novel, is speculated to be connected to the rift in the Maelstrom. Malfurion states that he senses an ancient evil somewhere deep in Azeroth's Seas. He and Tyrande cleansed what they could in the Emerald Dream except for the rift which they did their best to seal away the "nightmares" coming from it for the time being.

Well, what does the Dark Below have to do with the Emerald Dream/Nightmare? Well I'm going to once again consult the Puzzle Box of Yogg Saron for some quotes:

In the land of Ny'alotha there is only sleep.
In the sleeping city of Ny'alotha walk only mad things.
Ny'alotha is a city of old, terrible, unnumbered crimes.
Twilight Grove portal
The box refers to the city of Ny'alotha which some people speculate to be part of the Emerald Nightmare, hence all this talk about sleeping (which could also just be a term for eternal sleep *ahem* death). Regardless, I'm certain N'zoth is the Old God who is responsible for the rift that Malfurion and Tyrande wasn't able to seal in the Emerald Dream. I also believe he's hidden deep under the waters of Azeroth and using the Naga's to his advantage through Queen Azshara
Queen Azshara - from WoWwiki
The drowned god's heart is black ice.
In the sunken city, he lays dreaming.
The fish know all the secrets. They know the cold. They know the dark.

So, if The Dark Below is indeed the new WoW expansion and not a hoax, I believe we will be going back into the Ocean and exploring a ton of islands around the Maelstrom. Hell, I don't even PvP, but I'm hoping to see some kind of naval styled PvP mode this time around... or a little boat mount able to be used in any water. 
Ny'alotha - from Scrolls of Lore
There's a great thread at Scrolls of Lore speculating on a new expansion based on what I've touched upon here. I'm going to remain hopeful on this. I'm always ready for an Old God to be thrown into the mix again!

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