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This article is about the Shadowlands zone. For the Val'sharah NPC, see The Maw (Val'sharah). For the quest, see N [54] The Maw. For other uses, see Maw (disambiguation).
NeutralThe Maw
Level: 50 - 60
Press Kit - Maw.jpg
Capital(s) Mob Torghast
Races IconSmall Mawsworn Kyrian.gif Mawsworn kyrian
IconSmall MawShade.gifIconSmall MawShade2.gif Shade
Maw guard
Maw caster
IconSmall MawNecromancer.gif Maw necromancer
IconSmall Soul.gif Soul
IconSmall CharredBehemoth.gif Charred behemoth
Ruler(s) IconSmall TheJailer.gif The Jailer
Major settlements Mob Detrithos
Mob The Tremaculum
Minor settlements Mob Crucible of the Damned
Neutral Forlorn Respite
Affiliation Mawsworn
Location Shadowlands
PvP status Contested territory

The Maw is one of the realms of the Shadowlands. This horrific place houses the most vile and irredeemable souls in existence. Ruled by the enigmatic Jailer, the Maw inspires nightmares and legends even among the denizens of the Shadowlands. No one has ever escaped this vile place, and any foolish enough to venture here are never heard from again. At its center lies Torghast, a cursed otherworldly prison where the most wicked souls in the universe are locked away.[1][2] In recent years, the machinery of Death has been broken, and all souls who enter the Shadowlands are now condemned to torment in the Maw, no matter their deeds in life. This has caused the Maw to begin growing larger and more powerful while the rest of the Shadowlands wither from a lack of anima. The Maw is antithetical to Oribos.

The Maw is a max-level zone designed for exploration and (somewhat) open-ended play, without settlements or inns to let players catch their breath.


Concept art of Mawsworn.

In the deepest depths of the Shadowlands lies the inescapable Maw. The wretched souls imprisoned in this hopeless realm are the unforgiven and irredeemable.[3] They are imprisoned forever and suffer without end,[4][5] until they are twisted into a mere shade of their former glory. It is then that the tormented willingly serve their tormentor.[6]

Normally, few souls are sent directly here, as even the most evil and prideful beings in existence are given a last chance to atone for their sins in Revendreth. If they fail or refuse to seek redemption, they are condemned to an eternity in the Maw.[7][8][9][10]

The landmass within the Maw consists of pieces of land that have been ripped from a realm that was destroyed upon entering the Maw's atmosphere and whose pieces have become burned and desiccated. The Jailer pieced these together into a single landmass by throwing out chains in every direction within the Maw from Torghast and pulling them inwards.[11] The Maw was sealed and made inescapable with the magic of the Heart of the Forest, with the goal of banishing The Jailer forever.[12]

As the Jailer's dwelling, the Maw is a tumultuous, hopeless maze of torment chambers and endless despair.[13] The laws that bind the Shadowlands are meaningless within the Jailer's realm. Reality is ever-changing within the Maw, which is continually altering itself to the whims of its singular master[14] who resides in Torghast, Tower of the Damned.

Recent history

Around the time of the Burning Legion's third invasion of Azeroth,[15] the machine of death was broken, causing all souls who enter the Shadowlands to pour directly into the Maw. As a result, the Maw grows larger and more powerful while other parts of the Shadowlands have become deprived of anima and have started withering.

Sylvanas Windrunner has been working with the Jailer since her attempted suicide at Icecrown Citadel and has been perpetrating acts to bring about great amounts of death in the world of the living. As she has fed the Maw with new souls, both she and the Jailer have grown more powerful.[1]

Thanks to their intimate connection to Azeroth's world-soul, adventurers will be able to escape the Maw and further explore the Shadowlands, though some of their allies were left behind.[1]

Getting there

Players enter the Maw by jumping into the soul well from the second layer of Oribos.


Maps and subregions

Map of the Maw.


Instance name Level range Group size Approximate run time
Instance portal Torghast, Tower of the Damned 60 1-5

Adjacent regions

Zone Name Faction Level Range Direction Access
Oribos HordeAlliance 50-60 n/a Waystone to Oribos

Gameplay mechanics

The Maw is not a typical zone, and it has some unique mechanics to encourage players to drop by, gain some currencies by doing activities, and then leave.

The three currencies

The overall objective of the Maw is to gain Stygia and the reputation to use it with Ve'nari, but balanced against drawing the Eye of the Jailer. Additionally, the covenants would really like some more freed souls to power their way of life once a week.

Nearly everything in the zone affects some or all of the "currencies". Looting generic mobs will award a granule or two of Stygia. Freeing lost souls for the weekly covenant quest will award much more Stygia, but also advance the Eye of the Jailer progress. Rares and events will award more stygia, advance the Eye progress, and award reputation with Ve'nari. Completing quest objectives will advance Eye threat at that moment, while turning in will award the reputation and Stygia.

To direct players' efforts, there are several high-level activities that players are encouraged to complete daily and weekly:

Maw currencies
Source Reputation Stygia Threat Threat per rep
Generic mob 0 ~1 6 n/a
Generic elite 0 ~2-3 12 n/a
Rescue soul 0 ~20 100 n/a
Event mob 40 ~45 300 7.5
Rare mob 80 ~50 300 3.75
Rare elite mob 100 ~75 500 5
Daily quests 75 140 500 6.67
Wrath of the Jailer (weekly) 250 100 500 2
Perdition/Beastwarrens daily 100 225 667 6.67
Weekly quests 850 425 1000 1.18
Beastwarrens Hunt 525 ~300 1000 1.90
Perdition Hold weekly 1100 700 1200 1.09
Maw Lore (one-time) 100-150 0 0 n/a

The Eye of the Jailer

The Eye interface

To keep players from grinding Ve'nari reputation and Stygia all day, the daily [The Eye of the Jailer] comes into play. This mechanic gently encourages players to not idle in the zone and, after a while, less-than-gently encourages players to leave the zone as more advanced threats are unleashed. Eventually, the Jailer will have had enough and starts rapidly eroding the player's life force, killing the Maw Walker outright.

The Eye of the Jailer threat level resets daily, alongside daily quests.

  1. None
  2. Soulseekers attack you on sight
  3. Towers bombard your location, dealing damage and slowing you
  4. Assassins are sent to kill you
  5. Winged Abductors hunt you from above
  6. The jailer rapidly erodes your life force

At tier three and above, the Jailer will send Assasins to harry the player as they enter combat. Defeat it to survive. Defeat 100 to earn the achievement [Who Sent You?].

At tier four, with no warning at all, a Stygian Abductor will snag the player from the ground and fly up high, winding up a long cast that will likely throw them off the edge of the zone.

At tier five, players lose 10% incoming healing every 20 seconds. Once all incoming healing is gone, players lose 3% of their max health every tick. Thus, once players hit the maximum for the day, they have 200 seconds (3 minutes, 20 seconds) to exit the Maw or make it to Ve'nari's Refuge.

During this tier, players are ineligible to loot any additional Stygia or gain reputation with Ve'nari. However, should they desire to run Torghast, they have enough time between landing in the Maw and running down hill to the refuge to make it to her Torghast portal.

Ve'nari and her refuge

Ve'nari's Refuge

On the southeastern part of the mainland is Ve'nari's Refuge, home to the broker Ve'nari. At the refuge, players are immune to the Eye of the Jailer, have easy access to Torghast, and slowly build out a portal network to other points in the zone. Ve'nari trades in Stygia, acquired from various sources in the Maw.

However, Ve'nari is not a trusting character, and the Maw Walker will need to gain standing with her over time to purchase more of her wares. Such standing comes from completing her daily and weekly quests, killing notable foes, and taking part in other events in the zone. Additionally, two subzones, Perdition Hold and the Beastwarrens, are gated behind her reputation standing, and will award the achievements [Prepare for Trouble!] and [Make it Double!] when unlocked.

Standing Overall rep To next level
Dubious 0 - 999 1,000
Apprehensive 1,000 - 6,999 6,000
Tentative 7,000 - 13,999 7,000
Ambivalent 14,000 - 20,999 7,000
Cordial 21,000 - 41,999 21,000
Appreciative 42,000 n/a


A graveyard in the Maw

Completing objectives in the Maw (freeing souls, daily quests, bonus objectives, etc...) will award some [Stygia]. Ve'nari will trade the player's gathered Stygia for various upgrades, like a portal network, or quality-of-life improvements in Torghast, like the ability to always see at least two Anima power choices when interacting with Anima hoards.

Should players die in the Maw, they will drop roughly 20% their Stygia, but they can loot their corpse to recover it. Players respawn instantly at a graveyard with the [Edict of the Eternal Ones] buff and will need to run back to their corpse while alive. However, if players die again before looting their first corpse, the Stygia on that corpse will be lost permanently. Should players fall off the edge of the Maw, the lost Stygia is gone permanently.

Use stygia to unlock permanent rewards and earn the achievements [To 'Ghast, Two Curios] and ['Ghast Five].

Reputation Item Cost Purpose
n/a  [Cypher of Relocation] 60 Teleports the player to Ve'nari's refuge
 [Anima Supricifer] 50 Quest item
Apprehensive  [Vessel of Unfortunate Spirits] 527 Torghast upgrade (death)
 [Extradimensional Pockets] 800 Torghast upgrade (obleron armaments)
 [Encased Riftwalker Essence] 1130 Maw upgrade (Chaotic Riftstones)
 [Soultwinning Scepter] 205 Stat buff
 [Oil of Ethereal Force] 165 Stealth + movement speed buff
Tentative  [Bangle of Seniority] 1135 Torghast upgrade (broker powers)
 [Sigil of the Unseen] 666 Maw upgrade (assassins)
 [Animated Levitating Chain] 1050 Maw upgrade (grappling hook)
 [Animaflow Stabilizer] 1650 Maw upgrade (Animaflow Teleporter)
 [Maw-Touched Miasma] 230 Torghast Mawrat skill
 [Sticky-Fingered Skeletal Hand] 210 Torghast lock bypass
Ambivalent  [Soul-Stabilizing Talisman] 775 Maw upgrade (abductors)
 [Ritual Prism of Fortune] 1025 Torghast upgrade (anima powers)
 [Phantasmic Infuser] 3760 Torghast upgrade (phantasma)
 [Memory of Jailer's Eye] 4986 Runecarver memory
Cordial  [Loupe of Unusual Charm] 1330 Torghast upgrade (broker powers)
 [Rank Insignia: Acquisitionist] 1575 Torghast upgrade (broker powers)
 [Unbound Reality Fragment] 1900 Conduit unlock/upgrade
 [Recipe: Crafter's Mark II] 300 Crafting reagent
Appreciative  [Possibility Matrix] 1525 Torghast upgrade (anima hoard)
 [Spatial Realignment Apparatus] 7200 Socket unlock


A Soul Cage

Occasionally, players will find Soul Cages in the zone. Free the Caged Soul inside to gain progress on the weekly quest N [60W] Return Lost Souls, which requires saving between five and twenty, but players will advance their progress on the Eye of the Jailer. Additionally, Wailing Souls serve the same purpose.

Free 200 (over the course of several months!) to earn the achievement [Soulkeeper's Burden].

Rares and events

The minimap keeps track of both rare mobs (marked with a star), and Maw events (marked with a skull). Events respawn quickly (roughly every 5 minutes), while rares can take hours.

Killing rares or marked events will award a decent amount of [Stygia], advance the [The Eye of the Jailer] and award some standing with Ve'nari. The rares are also tracked in achievements [It's About Sending a Message] and [Better to Be Lucky Than Dead].

  • Rares
    Maw map
    Apholeias, Herald of Loss (Convocation of Loss) @ 19.3, 41.7
    Borr-Geth @ 39.0, 41.1
    Conjured Death @ 27.7, 13.0
    Darithis the Bleak @ 60.9, 48.0
    Adjutant Dekaris @ 25.9, 31.2
    Dolos @ 30.7, 60.3
    Eketra, Death's Champion @ 23.7, 53.3
    Ekphoras, Herald of Grief (Convocation of Grief) @ 42.3, 21.1
    Eternas the Tormentor @ 19.2, 46.1
    Exos, Herald of Domination (Convocation of Domination) @ 20.6, 69.4
    Ikras the Devourer (flies) @ 33, 52
    Morguliax, Lord of Decapitation @ 16.3, 50.2
    Nascent Devourer @ 45.5, 73.7
    Oblos @ 48.8, 18.3
    Orophea @ 23.7, 21.4
    Dath Rezara @ 19.0, 57.9
    Soulforger Rhovus @ 35.9, 41.5
    Talaporas, Herald of Pain (Convocation of Pain) @ 28.7, 12.0
    Darklord Taraxis @ 49.1, 81.8
    Thanassos @ 27.3, 71.5
    Yero the Skittish @ 37.6, 65.9
    Shadeweaver Zeris @ 32.9, 66.4
  • Events
    Maw map
    Agonix @ 28.2, 45.5
    Akros @ 34.0, 73.1
    Cyrixia @ 28.7, 25.1
    Dartanos, Lord of Chains @ 24.5, 14.9
    Drifting Sorrow @ 32.0, 21.3
    Huwerath @ 20.9, 29.7
    Krala @ 30.8, 68.6
    Malevolent Stygia @ 27.3, 17.5
    Oldalrik @ 38.7, 28.8
    Orrholyn, Lord of Bloodletting @ 25.4, 48.7
    Ratgusher @ 22.6, 42.2
    Razkazzar @ 26.2, 37.4
    Dath Rezara @ 19.2, 57.4
    Sanngror the Torturer @ 55.6, 63.2
    Skittering Broodmother @ 61.7, 77.9
    Stygian Incinerator @ 36.4, 43.9
    Houndmaster Vasanok @ 60.4, 64.8
    Soulsmith Yol-Mattar @ 36.3, 37.5
    Valis the Cruel @ 40.7, 59.6
Rares and events
Rare Coords Subzone Type
Agonix [28.2, 45.5] Detrithos Event
Akros [34.0, 73.1] Perdition Hold Event
Apholeias, Herald of Loss [19.3, 41.7] Crucible of the Damned Rare
Borr-Geth [39.0, 41.2] Zovaal's Cauldron Rare
Conjured Death [27.7, 13.1] Tremaculum Rare
Cyrixia [28.2, 24.8] Ruin's Cradle Event
Darithis the Bleak [60.9, 48.1] Beastwarrens Rare
Dartanos, Lord of Chains [25.8, 14.9] Tremaculum Event
Adjutant Dekaris [25.9, 31.2] Calcis Rare
Dolos [31.0, 60.5] Perdition Hold Rare
Drifting Sorrow [32.0, 21.3] Planes of Torment Event
Ekphoras, Herald of Grief [42.3, 21.1] Gorgoa: River of Souls Rare
Eketra, Death's Champion [23.6, 53.4] Crucible of the Damned Rare
Exos, Herald of Domination [20.9, 69.4] Perdition Hold Rare
Eternas the Tormentor [27.4, 49.5] Detrithos Rare
Huwerath [20.9, 29.7] Calcis Event
Ikras the Devourer [33, 52] Cocyrus (flies) Rare
Krala [30.8, 69.0] Perdition Hold Event
Malevolent Sygia [27.3, 17.5] Tremaculum Event
Morguliax, Lord of Decapitation [16.3, 50.2] Crucible of the Damned Rare
Nascent Devourer [46.2, 74.2] Beastwarrens Rare
Oldalrik [38.7, 28.8] Gorgoa: River of Souls Event
Orophea [23.7, 21.4] Ruin's Cradle Rare
Orrholyn, Lord of Bloodletting [25.4, 48.7] Detrithos Event
Razkazzar [27.0, 37.3] Calcis Event
Ratgusher [22.6, 42.2] Desolate Hollow Event
Dath Rezara [19.0, 57.9] Crucible of the Damned Rare
Soulforger Rhovus [35.9, 41.5] Zovaal's Cauldron Rare
Sanngror the Torturer [55.8, 68.1] Beastwarrens Event
Skittering Broodmother [59.3, 79.9] Beastwarrens Event
Stygian Incinerator [36.4, 43.9] Zovaal's Cauldron Event
Talaporas, Herald of Pain [28.6, 11.6] Tremaculum Rare
Darklord Taraxis [49.1, 81.8] Beastwarrens Rare
Thanassos [27.4, 71.3] Perdition Hold Rare
Houndmaster Vasanok [60.1, 65.0] Beastwarrens Event
Valis the Cruel [40.3, 59.8] Perdition Hold Event
Yero the Skittish [37.6, 65.6] Perdition Hold Rare
Soulsmith Yol-Mattar [36.3, 37.5] Zovaal's Cauldron Event
Shadeweaver Zeris [32.9, 66.5] Perdition Hold Rare

Chaotic Riftstones and Animaflow Teleporter

Once unlocked with  [Encased Riftwalker Essence], purchased from Ve'nari with Stygia, players can use Chaotic Riftstones to more quickly get around the Maw. Each Riftstone will send the player to it's pair.

Additionally, players can unlock the Animaflow Teleporter with the  [Animaflow Stabilizer], which provides one-way trips to the Tremaculum and the Beastwarrens:

Maw map
Crucible of the Damned @ 19.2, 47.7
The Tremaculum @ 25.2, 17.9
Zovaal's Cauldron @ 34.8, 43.6
Calcis @ 23.4, 31.3
Animaflow Teleporter @ 48.3, 41.4
The Tremaculum Animaflow drop-off @ 34.2, 14.7
The Beastwarrens Animaflow drop-off @ 53.4, 63.6


Main article: Maw storyline

Players visit the Maw a few times during the level-up campaign, then at max level have access to a few storylines regarding Ve'nari and Torghast, Tower of the Damned.

During the Shadowlands intro experience, players crash-land in the Maw, fight their way through new enemies, catch up with the kidnapped leaders, and then activate the Eroded Waystone and leave the leaders behind.

Late in the Maldraxxus storyline, the Maw Walker is tasked to return to the Maw to retrieve a Baron of Maldraxxus.

Near the end of the Revendreth storyline, players are asked to return to the Maw again to retrieve Prince Renathal, which ends up sending players into Torghast for the first time.

At max level, midway through the first chapter of their covenant campaign, players are sent to the Maw to recover souls to power their covenant sanctum. While working on Ve'nari's tasks, adventurers see Baine get captured and sent to Torghast!

After completing the first chapter of the covenant campaign, Bolvar Fordrgaon asks players to return to Torghast to save Baine. In the process, they will recover a key that leads to the Runecarver, crafter of artifacts (and legendaries).

After freeing Baine, the rest of the Ve'nari storyline plays out -- which is gated behind her reputation.


Notes and trivia

  • During development, the [Deciphering Death's Intentions] items had flavor text per item alluding to details otherwise not mentioned in the storytelling. Most flavor text was moved as descriptions of the corresponding quest, but the following were removed:
    • It was implied that there was a time "before the Maw was called the Maw."[16]
    • A night elf Maw Walker had been tortured through physical abuse, gnomish tavern jigs (which led to guards abandoning their duties), and had their soul finally break after 115 repeats of the burning of Teldrassil.[17]
    • There used to be some form of currency in what is now the Maw.[18]
    • The attribution of  [Words of the Warden] to Warden Korrath.
    • All the Korrath's Grimoires were readable; sadly, no player during development wrote down what the books said to the knowledge of the editors.[19][20][21]
    • The  [Indecipherable Map] used to have the Waystone to Oribos and other locations of the Maw circled; on live the map is "covered in scribles" and "hint[s] at realms unknown".
    • The  [Discarded Torments] mentioned the Mawsworn use time-based punishments.
  • It was previously stated that the Arbiter sends some souls directly to the Maw,[22] but this is not affirmed in-game, where souls are instead always given a last chance at redemption in Revendreth.[10]
  • Bwonsamdi has been using his powers to prevent troll souls from falling into the Maw, to the point of grabbing Zekhan from it and shoving the soul back into his body.[23]
  • The Maw could be seen as the Warcraft equivalent of Hell. It also draws inspiration from the underworld of Greek mythology. The soul river Gorgoa is similar in concept to the rivers that flow through the Greek underworld, and the subzone Cocyrus and the [Stygia] currency are respectively named after two of said rivers: Cocytus and Styx.
    • Furthering this comparison, many of the inhabitants of the Shadowlands use the Maw in a style reminiscent of mortal and real-life expletives involving Hell. e. g. "The Maw take you!"
    • The fact Zovaal was banished here after doing something such that the Eternal Ones felt forced to do so is likewise comparable to the way Satan is dealt with in multiple Abrahamic traditions. Specifically the ice-like nature of Stygia and the cold themes of Desmotaeron are parallel how the last circle of Hell in Dante's Inferno is frozen over.
    • The term "Maw" itself used for this hell-like realm could be a reference to the medieval Anglo-Saxon depiction of what the entrance of Hell looks like, the Hellmouth.
  • Art director Ely Cannon has described the level design of the Maw as being a "very difficult" process, as the artists had to create a zone that was very desolate without being a typical desert landscape. The artists tried to take a few of the themes included elsewhere in the Shadowlands and include them in the Maw, but in a way that was only vaguely reminiscent as opposed to specific parts from other zones. According to Cannon, the pieces of land that make up the Maw are probably not taken from the primary Shadowlands zones players can visit, such as Bastion or Revendreth, but rather from the millions of other possible afterlives that exist; the artists wanted the Maw to showcase something different from the other playable zones while still having elements that would allow players to understand that "this was a place but it's obviously not what it was before".[11]



Patch changes


External links