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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
Major settlements
Minor settlements
PvP status

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 will be a max-level zone designed for exploration and 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 souls imprisoned in this hopeless realm are the unforgiven and irredeemable... but even their crimes cannot compare to those of their Jailer.[3] Souls damned to the Maw suffer without end. They are twisted until only a mere shade of their former glory remains. It is then that the tormented willingly serve their tormentor. [4] A place of misery awaits the wretched souls delivered into the Maw's embrace. Only the damned know the true extent of the Maw's cruelty. [5] The Maw is like a malevolent lantern: a realm not devoid of light, but one in which light is held captive like the damned the Maw was built to imprison. The Jailer's dwelling is a maze of terment chambers and endless despair, from which there is no escape. [6] 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. [7]

The Maw is a tumultuous, hopeless land where the vilest souls in the cosmos are imprisoned forever.[8] Normally, no souls are sent directly here; even the most evil and prideful beings in existence are given a last chance to atone for their sins under the venthyr of Revendreth, and only those who prove unwilling to seek redemption are condemned to an eternity in the Maw at the conclusion of the venthyr's Ritual of Judgment.[9][10][11][12]

All of the landmass in the Maw consists of pieces of land that have been ripped from other Shadowlands realms by the Jailer. As a result of entering the Maw's atmosphere, these areas have become burned and desiccated.[13]

Recent history

Around the time of the Burning Legion's third invasion of Azeroth,[14] the machine of death was broken, and all souls who enter the Shadowlands now pour directly into the Maw (including the casualties of the Burning of Teldrassil). As a result, the Maw grows larger and more powerful while other parts of the Shadowlands have become deprived of anima—soul essence—and 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 will be left behind.[1]


Maps and subregions

Map of the Maw.


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

Adjacent regions

Zone Name Faction Level Range Direction Access
Oribos HordeAlliance


The Eye of the Jailer

At max level, players will permanently gain [The Eye of the Jailer]. This system 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 stacking a damaging debuff (and -movement speed debuff...) that will kill the player outright.

Ve'nari's 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 and build out a portal network to other points in the zone. Ve'nari trades in [Stygia], acquired from various sources in the Maw.


Occasionally, players will find Soul Cages in the zone. Free the Caged Soul inside to gain progress on the weekly quest N [50W] Return Lost Souls, which requires saving twenty, but players will advance their progress on the Eye of the Jailer. Additionally, Wailing Souls serve the same purpose. Interact with them between their Overwhelming Misery casts to dodge the fear casts.


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 half their Stygia, but they can loot their corpse to recover it.

Item Cost Reputation Purpose
 [Cypher of Relocation] 25 n/a "Hearthstone"
 [Mysteriously Thrumming Orb] 250 n/a Stygia storage
 [Soultwinning Scepter] 50 Apprenshive Stat buff
 [Oil of Ethereal Force] 50 Apprenshive Stealth + movement speed buff
 [Vessel of Unfortunate Spirits] 500 Apprehensive Torghast upgrade (death)
 [Extradimensional Pockets] 500 Apprehensive Torghast upgrade (obleron armaments)
 [Encased Riftwalker Essence] 250 Apprehensive Maw upgrade (riftstones)
 [Mawrat Cannon] 250 Apprehensive Torghast Upgrade skill
 [Maw-Touched Miasma] 50 Tentative Torghast Mawrat skill
 [Oublion Cipher] 50 Tentative Gorgoa countermeasure
 [Animaflow Stabilizer] 250 Tentative Maw upgrade (teleporter)
 [Soul-Stabilizing Salve] 500 Tentative Maw upgrade (assassins)
 [Ritual Prism of Fortune] 500 Tentative Torghast upgrade (anima powers)
 [Bangle of Seniority] 500 Tentative Torghast upgrade (broker powers)
 [Phantasmic Infuser] 250 Ambivalent Torghast upgrade (phantasma)
 [Talisman of Destined Defiance] 500 Ambivalent Maw upgrade (abductors)
 [Rank Insignia: Acquisitionist] 500 Ambivalent Torghast upgrade (broker powers)
 [Memory of Jailer's Eye] 2500 Ambivalent Runecarver memory
 [Possibility Matrix] 500 Cordial Torghast upgrade (anima hoard)
 [Loup of Unusual Charm] 500 Cordial Torghast upgrade: (broker powers)
 [Spatial Realignment Apparatus] 2500 Appreciative Socket unlock
 [Unbound Reality Fragment] 500 Appreciative Conduit unlock/upgrade
 [Anima Supricifer] 50 n/a Quest item

Chaotic Riftstones

At various locations in the Maw are Chaotic Riftstones that will teleport players to another Riftstone somewhere in the zone. Each Riftstone will send the player to it's pair.

Maw map
Crucible of the Damned @ 19.2,47.7
The Tremaculum @ 25.2,17.9
Zoaal's Cauldron @ 34.8,43.6
Calcis @ 23.4,31.3


Main article: Maw storyline

Into the Maw

Players' first foray into the Shadowlands has them crash-land in the Maw during the Shadowlands intro experience.

  1. N [50] A Chilling Summons
  2. N [50] Through the Shattered Sky
  3. Complete all of:
  4. N [50] Fear to Tread
  5. N [50] On Blackened Wings
  6. N [50] A Flight from Darkness
  7. N [50] A Moment's Respite
  8. N [50] Field Seance
  9. N [50] Speaking to the Dead
  10. N [50] Soul in Hand
  11. N [50] The Lion's Cage
  12. N [50] The Afflictor's Key and N [50] An Undeserved Fate
  13. N [50] From the Mouths of Madness
  14. N [50] By and Down the River
  15. N [50] Wounds Beyond Flesh and N [50] A Good Axe
  16. N [50] Draw Out the Darkness
  17. N [50] The Path to Salvation
  18. N [50] Stand as One

Ritual for the Damned

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

  1. N [54] Among the Chosen
  2. N [54] The Maw
  3. N [54] Seeking the Baron
  4. N [54] The Hunt for the Baron
  5. N [54] A Cooling Trail
  6. N [54] The Brand Holds the Key
  7. N [54] Hope Never Dies
  8. N [54] Delving Deeper
  9. N [54] A Bond Beyond Death
  10. N [54] Wake of Ashes
  11. N [54] Maw Walker
  12. N [54] A Soul Saved

Prince Renathal

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.

  1. N [57] In the Ruin of Rebellion
  2. N [57] Prince Renathal
  3. N [57] Cages For All Occasions
  4. N [57] A Royal Key
  5. N [57] Torghast, Tower of the Damned
  6. N [57] Refuge of Revendreth

Under the Jailer's Eye

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!

  1. N [60] Friends in Dark Places or N [60] The Soul Contact or N [60] Do What We Cannot or N [60] Back into the Darkness
  2. N [55] Setting the Ground Rules
  3. N [55] Rule 1: Have an Escape Plan
  4. N [54] Rule 2: Keep a Low Profile
  5. N [54] Rule 3: Trust is Earned
  6. N [60] Hopeful News

Recovering Baine and the Runecarver

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).

  1. N [60] The Highlord Calls
  2. N [60] Into Torghast
  3. N [60] The Search for Baine
    • Optional side chain to unlock the Runecarver:
    1. N [50] Prison of the Forgotten
    2. N [50] Deep Within
    3. N [50] Reawakening
    4. N [50] A Damned Pact
    5. N [50] A Grave Chance
    6. N [50] The Weak Link
    7. N [50] Ashes of the Tower
    8. N [50] The Final Pieces
  4. N [60] Explore Torghast
  5. N [60] Remnants of Hope
  6. N [60] Information for a Price
  7. N [60] Torment Chamber: Jaina
  8. N [60] Explore Torghast Further
  9. N [60] Tracking Thrall
  10. N [60] Torment Chamber: Thrall
  11. N [60] Signs of the Lion
  12. N [60] The Captive King

New Rules

At some later point, Ve'nari adds more rules to her list, unlocking more of the Maw:

  1. N [50] Trust Issues
  2. N [60] Rule 4: Make A List
  3. N [60] Rule 5: Be Audacious
  4. N [60] Rule 6: Concealment is Everything
  5. N [60] Rule 7: Betrayal is Inevitable

Rares and elites

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

Killing rares or marked elites 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.

Maw map
Bor-Geth @ 39.0,41.1
Soulforger Rhovus @ 35.9,41.5
Soulsmith Yol-Mattar @ 36.3,37.5
Stygian Incinerator @ 36.4,43.9
Oldalrik @ 38.7,28.8
Drifting Sorrow @ 32.0,21.3
Convocation of Pain @ 28.7,12.0
Conjured Death @ 27.7,13.0
Malevolent Stygia @ 27.3,17.5
Dartanos, Lord of Chains @ 24.5,14.9
Orophea @ 23.7,21.4
Huwerath @ 20.9,29.7
Ratgusher @ 22.6,42.2
Morguliax, Lord of Decapitation @ 16.3,50.2
Dath Rezara @ 19.0,57.9
Eketra, Death's Champion @ 23.7,53.3
Orrholyn, Lord of Bloodletting @ 25.4,48.7
Agonix @ 28.2,45.5
Rares and rare elites
Rare Coords Subzone Type
Huwerath [20.9, 29.7] Calcis Elite
Convocation of Loss [19.4, 41.6] Crucible of the Damned Rare
Ratgusher [22.6, 42.2] Elite
Morguliax, Lord of Decapitation [16.3, 50.2] Rare
Dath Rezara [19.0, 57.9] Rare
Eketra, Death's Champion [23.7, 53.3] Rare
Orrholyn, Lord of Bloodletting [25.4, 48.7] Detrithos Elite
Agonix [28.2, 45.5] Elite
Oldalrik [38.7, 28.8] Gorgoa: River of Souls Elite
Drifting Sorrow [32.0, 21.3] Planes of Torment Elite
Orophea [23.7, 21.4] Ruin's Cradle Rare
Convocation of Pain [28.7, 12.0] Tremaculum Rare
Conjured Death [27.7, 13.0] Rare
Malevolent Sygia [27.3, 17.5] Elite
Dartanos, Lord of Chains [25.8, 14.9] Elite
Bor-Geth [39.0, 41.1] Zovaal's Cauldron Rare
Soulforger Rhovus [35.9, 41.5] Rare
Soulsmith Yol-Mattar [36.3, 37.5] Elite
Stygian Incinerator [36.4, 43.9] Elite


Notes and trivia

  • It was previously stated that the Arbiter sends some souls directly to the Maw,[15] but this is not affirmed in-game, where souls are instead always given a last chance at redemption in Revendreth.[12]
  • 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.[16]
  • 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.
  • 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".[13]


Patch changes


External links