Realm of Shadows

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Agmar's Hammer seen in the Shadow Realm

The Realm of Shadows (aka Realm of Shadow,[1] Shadow Realm[2] or World of Shadows[3]) is a dimension, referred to as a "place between worlds".[4] It appears as a shadowy version of the real world.

It also exists on the alternate Draenor.[2] (and thus probably in the original Draenor). It is likely within this realm that Terokk was sealed by the Talonpriests.[5][6]

Crossing over

Apparently, powerful death knights such as Lady Alistra, Salanar the Horseman, Koltira Deathweaver and the Lich King can teleport others (and probably themselves) to and from the Realm of Shadows.

The Arakkoa Outcasts are also able to travel to the Realm of Shadow at will, through use of magics, scrying orbs and special elixirs.[7][2][1] However, crossing over often takes quite a toll on the uninitiated, leaving them grappling with their own minds in confusion.[8]

Inhabitants

Notes

The Shadow Realm appears differently in different instances, with varying inhabitants. The Shadow Realm of the Spires of Arak is filled with shadowy fiends, flesh beasts and shades. Huge and nightmarish shapes float high above the trees, while the lower denizens of the realm feast on the dead, feeding on the stray life essence that seeps through from the living world.[4]  [Shadow Dust] can be collected from the remains of these aberrations; this is used to create the elixirs that allow crossing over into the Shadow Realm, and is also used in the rites of the Talonpriests.[4]

While within the Realm of Shadow, arakkoa claim to be able to move more quickly than in the normal world, although this may simply refer to travelling unhindered by their adversaries.[9] Outcasts may hide in the Shadow Realm to escape their enemies, including the Adherents of Rukhmar, who appear unable to perceive their presence there.[1][7] However, especially powerful individuals may attract unwanted attention from the Shadow Realm's inhabitants while within it.[9] The Outcasts sometimes also hide powerful relics and items within the Realm of Shadow, usually at shrines to Terokk.

Salanar noted that while years had passed in the regular world, for him in the Realm of Shadows, it had been mere days since he had helped the Deathlord claim their own deathcharger.[10]

Appearances

Salanar the Horseman's dark riders kill captured horses and raise them as Acherus Deathchargers there, while death knight initiates must venture into this realm to defeat the horsemen and take the deathchargers for themselves, a task in which few of the initiates succeed.

Shadowy Tormentors inhabit this dimension, and emerge from it to torment death knights such as Koltira Deathweaver, who implies that it is the Lich King who commands them. He even appears in the World of the Dead, as he calls it, riding a Frost wyrm during H [73] The Power to Destroy.

Lady Alistra summons Shadow Constructs, Forgotten Servants and a Cenarion Scout from the Shadow Realm to train her Disciples of the Unholy. It's unknown how the Scout came there, but after wondering shortly Lady Alistra kills her too.

Speculation

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This article or section includes speculation, observations or opinions possibly supported by lore or by Blizzard officials. It should not be taken as representing official lore.

The Realm of Shadows may be the same World of Shadows as the one that becomes visible when an [Elixir of Shadows] is consumed. It may also have something to do with shadow magic and shades. Death knights, necromancers, and undead as a whole share a strong connection with the Realm of Shadows from many hints that can be seen in game. In the death knight starting zone, death knights are given the task to enter the Realm of Shadows in order to gain their Deathcharger. Later on death knights are eventually able to learn the ability [Raise Ally] which pulls their ally's spirit back from the Realm of the Dead and forces it back into their body. Upon doing so, a buff is applied to the player stating that: "A touch of the spirit realm still lingers..." This shows that death knights and necromancers both have a connection to the Realm of the Shadows/Dead to preform necromancy which furthers the idea that they actually are drawing their magical power from it.

Furthermore, upon the Lich King's death he even spoke of "Seeing only darkness before him" while Sylvanas Windrunner said the same in Silverpine Forest after being risen from the dead by the Val'kyr. This may hint that because undead, death knights, and necromancers are connected to the Realm of Shadows, when they die (again) they actually become apart of the Realm of Shadows and are forced to wanders in its dark mists for the rest of eternity. If this is so, then it can also be implied that when a death knight is given his/her own personal runeblade, the runeblade is actually used to bind the individual to the Realm of Shadows in mind and body, making it impossible to ever be rid of the death knight curse. In Howling Fjord, players are even able to witness the Lich King himself standing within the Realm of Shadows with two Val'kyr. The idea that necromantic magic and death knight runes drawing power from the Realm of Shadows itself is not yet proven, but it is heavily supported by in-game quests and lore.

Given how the Realm of Shadows seemingly is connected to the undead, it may be related to or even be the same as the Shadowlands.

Associated quests

References