Xal'atath, Blade of the Black Empire

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Not to be confused with  [Xal'atoh, Desecrated Image of Gorehowl].

Xal'atath, Blade of the Black Empire is one of the artifacts used by shadow priests in World of Warcraft: Legion. Equipping it will automatically place  [Secrets of the Void] in your off hand.

Source

This item is a quest reward from N Priest [98] Blade in Twilight.

Background

Xal'atath is truly ancient, dating back to the time of the Old Gods' Black Empire. Theories abound as to the nature of its creation, including such outlandish claims that the blade is the remains of a forgotten Old God or even the claw of Y'shaarj itself. Whatever the truth of its origin, the blade is infused with the Old Gods' power. Legends state that it can even grant its wielder visions of the Black Empire, though doing so inevitably drives the viewer mad.

After the Pantheon's titan-forged armies shattered the Black Empire and chained the Old Gods beneath Azeroth, Xal'atath remained free; changing hands many times over the millennia and sowing death and chaos wherever it went. Eventually, it found its way into the hands of a troll named Zan'do, an ambitious Gurubashi witch doctor ousted from his prestigious position by his rivals. Xal'atath easily twisted his mind, preying upon his anger and turning his thoughts of revenge into an obsession. Xal'atath guided Zan'do and his followers to a mound of black stone at the foot of the Zandalar mountains. Though the Zandalari mystics had forbidden all trolls from approaching it, Zan'do believed it held the power to defeat his rivals--a belief that was only magnified when he learned that it was the remains of a powerful creature named Kith'ix. Xal'atath encouraged Zan'do to make blood offerings to Kith'ix, and the witch doctor butchered his companions in a profane ritual. At its conclusion, Zan'do plunged Xal'atath into Kith'ix's hide. The beast awakened and rose once more, and Zan'do and his followers were never seen again.

Kith'ix awakened the slumbering aqir and sent them to scour the surface of Azeroth, unleashing the full extent of Xal'atath's dark powers against the trolls. Though they would eventually defeat him and his insectoid armies, they never forgot the might of Xal'atath. Many tribes still whisper stories about the black blade that nearly brought them to extinction.

Thousands of years later, Xal'atath was brought to Sorcerer-Thane Thaurissan's wife, Modgud, by one of the dark iron dwarves she employed to search for magical artifacts. An accomplished sorceress in her own right, Modgud was immediately enraptured by the blade and spent several days in her chambers trying to discern its secrets. When she emerged, she sought out the dwarf who had brought it to her to thank him... but no one could find him, or even remember his name or face. Modgud wielded Xal'atath throughout the War of the Three Hammers, using it against the Wildhammer dwarves of Grim Batol and summoning shadowy apparitions from the dark corners of the fortress. Eventually, Khardros Wildhammer fought his way through the dark iron armies and confronted Modgud herself. She reached for Xal'atath to defend herself, but found the blade inexplicably absent. Khardros struck her down with a single mighty blow from his hammer; as she lay dying, she repeated one phrase over and over: "You promised..."

Following the First War, a human priestess named Natalie Seline dedicated herself to studying the foul magics wielded by the orcs, knowing that knowledge of this power was key to fighting it. She heard stories of a dark blade that held sway over the shadows themselves. Troubled that such a blade could exist, she sought it out. As soon as she touched the dagger, Xal'atath spoke to her and she immediately understood that it could not be destroyed. From it, she learned of the Void and its interactions with the Light. By the time of the Second War she had not only learned how to wield shadow magic but taught it to her followers, using its power in secret to wage war against the orcs. Xal'atath's maddening whispers took their toll on her sanity, though, twisting her noble intentions into zealous fanaticism. She and her followers embraced shadow magic wholeheartedly, many even forsaking the Light entirely. Though Seline urged caution, her pleas fell on deaf ears. In time her followers decided that she was keeping the true secrets of shadow magic from them, murdering her in her sleep and taking Xal'atath.[1]

When the Burning Legion invaded Azeroth from the Broken Isles, the dwarven queen Moira Thaurissan worked with the undead bishop Alonsus Faol to search for weapons to fight them. Through double agents within the Twilight's Hammer, they learned the cult was using Xal'atath in some sort of unholy ritual in Tirisfal Glades. They sent a priest to investigate, discovering that the Twilight's Hammer had broken into the Tomb of Tyr. Within, Twilight Deacon Farthing was using the blade to attempt to reanimate Zakajz the Corruptor, a C'Thrax who had once served Yogg-Saron alongside Kith'ix. Farthing turned Xal'atath's power against the priest, but when he began to lose the battle the blade abandoned him. Calling him weak, it devoured his soul and told the priest to take hold of it. As the priest clutched the black blade, it whispered that the only way to ensure Zakajz would never rise again was to use Xal'atath to devour its essence. The priest agreed, and as Xal'atath grew in power they departed from the Broken Isles to do battle together against the Legion.[2]

Artifact traits

Ability Ranks Linked powers
[Call to the Void] 1 Touch of Darkness
[Creeping Shadows] 3 Sphere of Insanity; To the Pain
Darkening Whispers 1 None
[Death's Embrace] 3 From the Shadows; Void Siphon
[From the Shadows] 3 Death's Embrace; Mind Shattering; Thrive in the Shadows
[Mass Hysteria] 1 Mind Shattering
[Mental Fortitude] 1 Void Corruption
[Mind Shattering] 3 From the Shadows; Mass Hysteria
[Sinister Thoughts] 1 Thoughts of Insanity
[Sphere of Insanity] 1 Creeping Shadows
[Thoughts of Insanity] 3 Sinister Thoughts; Touch of Darkness; Void Corruption; Void Siphon
[Thrive in the Shadows] 1 From the Shadows; To the Pain
[To the Pain] 3 Creeping Shadows; Thriving Shadows; Unleash the Shadows
[Touch of Darkness] 3 Call to the Void; Thoughts of Insanity
[Unleash the Shadows] 3 To the Pain; Void Siphon
[Void Corruption] 3 Mental Fortitude; Thoughts of Insanity; Void Siphon
[Void Siphon] 1 Death's Embrace; Thoughts of Insanity; Unleash the Shadows; Void Corruption; Void Torrent
[Void Torrent] 1 Void Siphon

Hidden trait: Xal'atath will occasionally whisper to you, similar to other Old God-themed weapons.

Appearances

Inv knife 1h artifactcthun d 01.pngInv offhand 1h artifactcthun d 01.png Classic

Achievement: [Fighting with Style: Classic]

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This is the default appearance. Recover one of the Pillars of Creation. Recover Light's Heart and bring it to the safety of your Order Hall. (N [98] Light's Charge) Complete the first major campaign effort with your order. (N Priest [103] Velen's Vision)

Inv knife 1h artifactcthun d 02.pngInv offhand 1h artifactcthun d 02.png Upgraded: Embrace of the Old Gods

Achievement: [Fighting with Style: Upgraded]

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Complete the priest class hall campaign. ( [Forged for Battle]) Unlock every Artifact Trait. ( [Power Realized]) Fully research the history of your artifact in your class hall. ( [Part of History]) Complete the achievement " [This Side Up]."

Inv knife 1h artifactcthun d 03.pngInv offhand 1h artifactcthun d 03.png Valorous: The Fallen Blade

Achievement: [Fighting with Style: Valorous]

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Complete the questline, "Balance of Power" ( [Improving on History]) Complete the achievement " [Unleashed Monstrosities]." Complete a Challenge Mode Dungeon using a level 15 keystone. ( [Keystone Master]) Complete the achievement " [Glory of the Legion Hero]."

Inv knife 1h artifactcthun d 04.pngInv offhand 1h artifactcthun d 04.png War-torn: Vision of Madness

Achievement: Alliance [Fighting with Style: War-torn]/Horde [Fighting with Style: War-torn]

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Complete the quest "B [100] The Victor's Spoils" after reaching Prestige level 1, Rank 50. Reach Prestige level 5 and earn a  [Crest of Heroism]. Reach Prestige level 9 and earn a  [Crest of Carnage]. Reach Prestige level 13 and earn a  [Crest of Devastation].

Inv knife 1h artifactcthun d 05.pngInv offhand 1h artifactcthun d 05.png Challenging: Twisted Reflection

Achievement: Fighting with Style: Challenging

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 ??? Defeat Heroic Kil'jaeden using this challenge artifact appearance. Win 10 rated battlegrounds using this challenge artifact appearance. Defeat all Legion dungeon bosses using this challenge artifact appearance.

Inv knife 1h artifactcthun d 06.pngInv offhand 1h artifactcthun d 06.png Hidden: Claw of N'Zoth

Achievement: [Fighting with Style: Hidden]

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Acquire  [Claw of N'Zoth]. Complete 100 dungeons using a hidden artifact appearance. Complete 200 World Quests using a hidden artifact appearance. Kill 1,000 enemy players using a hidden artifact appearance.

Whispers

When equipped, Xal'atath will occasionally whisper to you, similar to other Old God-themed weapons. A large range of possible whispers exist. Some appear to be triggered by events or combat, while others may occur without any trigger. Some are also zone-specific, while others can take place at any location. Many of the localised whispers refer to specific characters, races and events.

Xal'atath's whispers contain a substantial amount of background lore on characters and events within the Warcraft universe, not found in any other source. However, as the flavor text for the weapon reminds the bearer, Xal'atath's whispers cannot be trusted.

Xal'atath whispers: Enjoy that?
Xal'atath whispers: <short chuckle>
Xal'atath whispers: <evil laughter>
Xal'atath whispers: Did you feel it cease to exist?
Xal'atath whispers: Every little death helps.
Xal'atath whispers: Boring.
Xal'atath whispers: Delicious.
Xal'atath whispers: Skovald seeks to join the ranks of the destroyers, unaware that so many of those who dare are betrayed. (at God-King Skovald)
Xal'atath whispers: The dragons are weak here. You would do well to exploit this fact. (in Azsuna)
Xal'atath whispers: 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.
Xal'atath whispers: This city of the elves pales in comparison to the sleeping city... (near Suramar city)
Xal'atath whispers: Suramar, its "noble" citizens greedily slurping at their world's very lifeblood. (in Suramar)
Xal'atath whispers: The fallen elves cower behind their wall. They know no other way...
Xal'atath whispers: I long for the day our masters can truly pass into this realm. You have only seen fragments, shadows; the faintest of echoes. Ask the Ethereals what one of these manifestations are capable of. (at Star Augur Etraeus)
Xal'atath whispers: Do the naaru speak of the eternal conflict? That the entire history of your world is but a fraction of the time that has passed? Of those that came before the draenei? No? <short chuckle> (in Netherlight Temple)
Xal'atath whispers: The walls between realms are thin here, so easy to tear open. Do you know what would happen if true shadow and light would meet here? (in Netherlight Temple)
Xal'atath whispers: Another fool who believed Illidan's lies of sacrifice and righteousness. Tormented, he turns on everyone. (at Tirathon Saltheril)
Xal'atath whispers: Another mindwarped servant of Xavius. A druid should have better control of his own mind, don't you think? (at Arch-Druid Glaidalis)
Xal'atath whispers: Ymiron was a fine tool. He did more to spread the blessing of flesh than any other of his kind. (in the Maw of Souls)
Xal'atath whispers: Loken did find work turning her. But in truth, Odyn's arrogance takes most of the credit. (at Helya in the Maw of Souls)
Xal'atath whispers: Though he is not one of our servants, he has heard our whispers. They darkened him forever. (at Ularogg Cragshaper)
Xal'atath whispers: Do not be impressed by tall icons of the titans which stand here. The towers of sacrifice in Ny'alotha dwarf these pathetic temples. (in Stormheim)
Xal'atath whispers: How far the Manastorms have fallen! Relying on crude machines and weak arcane wizardry did them no favors. Still, they had their uses. (at Millificent Manastorm)
Xal'atath whispers: It is possible N'Zoth may be responsible for her form, but her arrogance is all her own. (at Lady Hatecoil)
Xal'atath whispers: Behold the wasted power of the titans before you. Done in their name no less. (at Wrath of Azshara)
Xal'atath whispers: The fallen Aspect's lair is near. He was the strongest of them, and yet the easiest one for us to corrupt. (in Highmountain)
Xal'atath whispers: For this idiotic pustule of N'Zoth to have lived so long... it does little to refute my opinion of this world's new owners. (at Mindflayer Kaahrj)
Xal'atath whispers: A corrupted corpse of a dragon... How dangerous could that be? (at Nythendra and Dresaron)
Xal'atath whispers: Xavius' tricks are cunning. Why reveal yourself when you can control from afar? (at Shade of Xavius)
Xal'atath whispers: Odyn was a great enemy... until his own arrogance proved his undoing. You should ask him if he's considered Loken's final words to him. Go ahead. (at the Seat of Ascension, note that this triggers a fatal dialogue option with Odyn)
Xal'atath whispers: The Legion burrows deep here. If they burrow deeper, they may not like what they find. (in Azsuna)
Xal'atath whispers: I know the naaru consider us horrors to be resisted. We do not share this view. They are merely beloved brethren that lost the true path. They will return to their masters... in time. (in Netherlight Temple)
Xal'atath whispers: The research into the Void here is commendable, but ultimately futile. How could you possibly understand what the titans did not? (in the Sanctuary of the Void)
Xal'atath whispers: Helya and her cult are strong here. So close to the truth, yet so far. (in Helheim)
Xal'atath whispers: A beast of stone who ignorantly throws around power he barely controls. He should be put down before he ruins our plans. (at Dargrul)
Xal'atath whispers: So much fury in this soul! It will be a good harvest. (at Illysanna Ravencrest)
Xal'atath whispers: Another tortured soul, long overdue for oblivion. I am more interested in his advisor, though… (at Lord Kur'talos Ravencrest and Latosius)
Xal'atath whispers: Xavius, running from one master to the next, scrambling for power, yet defeated again and again. The God of the Deep picks a poor champion? Or, is there something else at play? (when facing Xavius)
Xal'atath whispers: Disaster abounds here. Elf ruins filled with unquiet souls ripe for harvest. (in Azsuna)
Xal'atath whispers: The tauren here are remarkably resilient to corruption, considering their origins. (in Highmountain)
Xal'atath whispers: To see Yogg-Saron's nightmare in full bloom fills me with jealousy... and some pride. (in Val'sharah)
Xal'atath whispers: Here you will see why the Legion's invasion is ultimately futile. All can be corrupted, dreams and demons alike. (in Val'sharah)
Xal'atath whispers: We may face some of my brethren in this conflict... a prospect that delights me. Their power will be mine! They will pay for what was done to me long ago. (in Orgrimmar)
Xal'atath whispers: More of the titans' failed experiments grow here unchecked. The drogbar prove their failure as creators. (in Highmountain)
Xal'atath whispers: Almost completely gone, as if it never existed. But the rift is deep and vast, and somewhere down there it stirs. Something has changed, the last prison weakens. We must prepare. (Interacting with Remnant of the Void at the Rift of Aln after defeating Xavius)
Xal'atath whispers: It is ironic that the weakest of us may be the ultimate victor. C'Thun, Yogg-Saron, Y'Shaarj, and... well. Only one would remain to consume the world, that was always meant to be. (in the Hall of Glory in Halls of Valor)
Xal'atath whispers: Xavius uses the power of his new master well. Warping the mind of a demigod is no mean feat. (at Cenarius)
Xal'atath whispers: It appears the prison of N’zoth is not as strong as it once was. What you see is a tiny growth of the behemoth that may yet consume your world. (at Il'gynoth the Heart of Corruption)
Xal'atath whispers: Another seed of corruption planted in death. An unquiet spirit will wander in anger and grow in pain. Easy prey for the God of the Deep. (at Elerethe Renferal)
Xal'atath whispers: An interesting amalgamation of fel species. I wonder, are there more of its kind? (at Krosus)
Xal'atath whispers: Such arrogance, even for a long-lived elf. The taste of her life force is exquisite. (at Spellblade Aluriel)
Xal'atath whispers: She claims to know the future. But those who have lived far longer than her know the truth. Her desperate bid to remain in control dooms her people. (at Elisande)
Xal'atath whispers: Another defender of the Titans brought low. Every death makes it easier. Perhaps now his misery will end, though I doubt it. (at Ursoc)
Xal'atath whispers: A great dragon, bent to the will of Xavius, who serves the God of the Deep. Instead of breathing life, she consumes all around her. (at Nythendra)
Xal'atath whispers: Corrupting the guardians of the dream is a bold move. But Xavius may be overreaching. He would be better off quietly spread the nightmare’s influence, instead of raising such alarm. (at the Dragons of Nightmare)
Xal'atath whispers: An interesting mutation of an ancient species. Its shell is nearly impregnable. Nearly... (at Skorpyron)
Xal'atath whispers: Long has this one's time been coming. A true servant of the fallen titan, he seeks the doom of all things. As if that would really save them from the Void. (at Gul'dan)
Xal'atath whispers: Here is one who has caught the merest glimpse of your grim reality. It warped his mind forever. (at Star Augur Etraeus)
Xal'atath whispers: A servant of the Old Gods. Let us consume it.
Xal'atath whispers: There! A spy for N'Zoth. We should kill it.
Xal'atath whispers: Do you see it? The poor host cannot be saved, only put down.
Xal'atath whispers: A traitor to this world and to his kind. His end was never in question, only who deliver it.
Xal'atath whispers: Another nameless brute of Sargeras pretending to aid these elves. Little do they know their fate. (At General Xakal)
Xal'atath whispers: The recruitment of the eredar was quite a win for Sargeras. He desperately needed more intelligence in his warhost. (at Talixae Flamewreath)
Xal'atath whispers: The nearness of the Void here is comforting. I was used in a sacrifice of many creatures in a place like this. Every death brought us closer to the complete corruption of this world.
Xal'atath whispers: I remember the Dark Iron fondly. Modgud was so easy to influence, such was her hate. Imagine her fury when I abandoned her to the Wildhammer at the worst time. I can be very easy to lose. Remember that.
Xal'atath whispers: It was thought his was incorruptible. A lesson from my brothers I suppose.
Xal'atath whispers: Oh! You've gathered quite the group of followers. It is fortunate they are focused on this incursion and not the true war. The scope of it might destroy your minds.
Xal'atath whispers: A powerful dragon could be a powerful tool. Alas, gone are the days of Galakrond.
Xal'atath whispers: These three have enjoyed the secret favor of N'Zoth for long enough. Sadly, their breathing days are done.
Xal'atath whispers: The spawn of the Titans infest this area. Despite our "gift" of the flesh, they still worship those false gods. (in Hrydshal)
Xal'atath whispers: The elves here are desperate to save themselves from the Nightmare, while the demons seek to harness its might. Both will fail.
Xal'atath whispers: When do you think she turned? Centuries ago? She hides her hunger for power behind a cloak of suffering in righteousness. (at Cordana Felsong)
Xal'atath whispers: This one is old, but still not one of the first. These creatures were too hungry for magic to obey our masters, though they still prove useful from time to time. (at Glazer)
Xal'atath whispers: Her mother was more impressive. This one's hunger is uncontrollable and her tactics overused. An easy target.
Xal'atath whispers: Really? These thugs of Sargeras are so interchangeable. This one is good with his axe! How unique.
Xal'atath whispers: That fel edifice towering over this land pales in comparison to the grandeur of what stood here long ago. (on the Broken Shore)
Xal'atath whispers: Your allies consider me a bad influence. Yet all I've ever done is speed you along the path you chose. (in Deliverance Point)
Xal'atath whispers: Is this not the site of what you mortals consider your greatest humiliation? I hope you fare better this time... (on the Broken Shore)
Xal'atath whispers: This conflict is but a shadow of an ancient war that predated the meddling of the titans. Infinite armies clashed in ceaseless battle. But I'm sure your little war is impressive... in its own way. (on the Broken Shore)
Xal'atath whispers: Long has this one been a blight upon your world. Not all his schemes came to fruition, but those that did caused untold ruin. (at Mephistroth)
Xal'atath whispers: You were a good choice. No other wielder has murdered their way across a continent like you have. I admire your endurance. (after beating all raids in a single expansion)
Xal'atath whispers: It took ages to make my return to the surface after the Sundering. The naga can be so possessive of artifacts.
Xal'atath whispers: This was always a place of power. Aegwynn was drawn here, and before her, the elves, and before them, the trolls. And before them... (on the Broken Shore)
Xal'atath whispers: I don't believe these lands have seen such carnage since the Battle for K'tanth. Such a long time ago... (on the Broken Shore)
Xal'atath whispers: Let me guide you as you battle this vessel. Though it retains but a fraction of the fallen titan's power, you will not survive its onslaught without my expertise. (before the Fallen Avatar)
Xal'atath whispers: I can feel the pulse of your world quickening. Soon, all will be drenched in its life blood. (after defeating Kil'jaeden in Tomb of Sargeras)
Xal'atath whispers: At times it seems the naga beg from scraps from the Legion's table. But the queen they serve want far more than that. (at Mistress Sassz'ine)
Xal'atath whispers: You must face the Deceiver on his own ground, where he is vulnerable. Come, let us taste his soul. (at Kil'jaeden)
Xal'atath whispers: It was here in ages past that the God of the Deep lost a great battle to the God of Seven Heads. But as was so often the case even defeat ultimately worked in N'zoth's favor.
Xal'atath whispers: This trifling skirmish is little more than a distraction. The true battle draws neigh as the circle nears completion.
Xal'atath whispers: This land has seen so much upheaval. The Cataclysm, the Sundering, the Scouring. You really have no idea.
Xal'atath whispers: The Light would have your kind remain obedient and stagnant. I offer the gifts of freedom and strength. I hope you remember my kindness. (in Sunwell Plateau)
Xal'atath whispers: From birth, pit lords are oversized and stupid. Somehow the Legion manages to magnify both traits. (at Goroth)
Xal'atath whispers: I do so enjoy seeing the shrine of a great enemy profaned by the spirits of its own worshippers. (at Sisters of the Moon)
Xal'atath whispers: A remnant of power lingers in this broken temple. It must be ours! Come, enter the circle and take it.
Xal'atath whispers: My mistake. It seems the upstart "goddess" still holds sway here. Oh well...
Xal'atath whispers: So much death here, so much power.
Xal'atath whispers: The haughty elves of old had such regard for their own spirits. Such a delicious indignity. (at The Desolate Host)
Xal'atath whispers: Invaders messily corrupting other invaders. Typical. Far more useful to coax them along the proper path. Don't you think? (at Maiden of Vigilance)

Trivia

  • Its name is very similar to  [Xal'atoh, Desecrated Image of Gorehowl], further pointing towards their shared origin as tools created from the power of Y'Shaarj. Both also whisper to the wielder.
  • Its flavor text was changed from "Do not put your faith in the black blade. It will deceive you. It will not be controlled." during the Alpha.
  • The 'outlandish' theory of its origin could be a reference to a comment once made on the number of Old Gods on Azeroth changing from five to four.[3]
  • The dagger has a mind of its own, a weakness that can be exploited against its wielder, an aspect shared with other artifact weapon, the  [Skull of the Man'ari] and  [Aluneth].
  • Xal'atath is voiced by Claudia Christian.[4]
  • The name of this dagger is similar, and may be a reference, to that of Xel'lotath, one of the Ancients in Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem, whose main power is in driving her enemies mad by whispering to them.

Videos

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References

External links