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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 . For other uses, see Maw (disambiguation).
|Level: 50 - 60|
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. 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.
- 1 Background
- 2 Geography
- 3 Mechanics
- 4 Quests
- 5 Rares and elites
- 6 Achievements
- 7 Notes and trivia
- 8 Gallery
- 9 Patch changes
- 10 References
- 11 External links
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. 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.  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.  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.  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. 
The Maw is a tumultuous, hopeless land where the vilest souls in the cosmos are imprisoned forever. 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.
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.
Around the time of the Burning Legion's third invasion of Azeroth, 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.
Maps and subregions
|Instance name||Level range||Group size||Approximate run time|
|Torghast, Tower of the Damned||60||5|
|Zone Name||Faction||Level Range||Direction||Access|
The Eye of the Jailer
At max level, players will permanently gain . 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.
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 , 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 , 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 . 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.
|50||Apprenshive||Stealth + movement speed buff|
|500||Apprehensive||Torghast upgrade (death)|
|500||Apprehensive||Torghast upgrade (obleron armaments)|
|250||Apprehensive||Maw upgrade (riftstones)|
|250||Apprehensive||Torghast Upgrade skill|
|50||Tentative||Torghast Mawrat skill|
|250||Tentative||Maw upgrade (teleporter)|
|500||Tentative||Maw upgrade (assassins)|
|500||Tentative||Torghast upgrade (anima powers)|
|500||Tentative||Torghast upgrade (broker powers)|
|250||Ambivalent||Torghast upgrade (phantasma)|
|500||Ambivalent||Maw upgrade (abductors)|
|500||Ambivalent||Torghast upgrade (broker powers)|
|500||Cordial||Torghast upgrade (anima hoard)|
|500||Cordial||Torghast upgrade: (broker powers)|
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.
- 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.
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.
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!
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).
At some later point, Ve'nari adds more rules to her list, unlocking more of the Maw:
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 , advance the 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.
|Convocation of Loss||Crucible of the Damned||Rare|
|Morguliax, Lord of Decapitation||Rare|
|Eketra, Death's Champion||Rare|
|Orrholyn, Lord of Bloodletting||Detrithos||Elite|
|Oldalrik||Gorgoa: River of Souls||Elite|
|Drifting Sorrow||Planes of Torment||Elite|
|Convocation of Pain||Tremaculum||Rare|
|Dartanos, Lord of Chains||Elite|
Notes and trivia
- It was previously stated that the Arbiter sends some souls directly to the Maw, but this is not affirmed in-game, where souls are instead always given a last chance at redemption in Revendreth.
- 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.
- 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 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".
- Patch 9.0.2 (TBD): Added.
- ^ a b c Blizzard Entertainment 2019-11-01. BlizzCon 2019 - World of Warcraft: What's Next. Retrieved on 2019-11-02.
- ^ Blizzard Entertainment 2019-11-01. World of Warcraft: What’s Next Panel Recap. Retrieved on 2019-11-02.
- ^ The Art of World of Warcraft: Shadowlands, page 169
- ^ The Art of World of Warcraft: Shadowlands, page 174
- ^ The Art of World of Warcraft: Shadowlands, page 180
- ^ The Art of World of Warcraft: Shadowlands, page 184
- ^ The Art of World of Warcraft: Shadowlands, page 187
- ^ worldofwarcraft.com - Shadowlands
- ^ a b Afterlives: Revendreth
- ^ a b Garth Holden 2020-07-09. Interview with World of Warcraft art director Ely Cannon. SA Gamer. Archived from the original on 2020-08-04.
- ^ Azeroth Radio 2019-11-03. John Hight & Johnny Cash SHADOWLANDS Interview! | BLIZZCON 2019! (06:57). YouTube. Retrieved on 2019-11-07.
- ^ Blizzard Entertainment 2019-11-26. BlizzCon 2019 | World of Warcraft: What's Next | Full Panel (19:40). Retrieved on 2020-09-19.
- ^ Shadows Rising