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The cosmic forces, realms and denizens of the universe.

Planes, also known as dimensions, realms of existence or simply realms, are cosmic regions within the Warcraft universe.

The multiverse is a term used to refer to all the possible universes in World of Warcraft.[1][2]

Great Dark Beyond

Main article: Great Dark Beyond

The Great Dark Beyond represents the physical universe. It is an infinite living realm composed of innumerable stars, worlds, moons, and mortal civilizations. Azeroth is found in it, and it is merely one of the countless worlds drifting through the Great Dark.[3][4]

The physical world is referred to as the material world and is in contrast with the realm of spirits.[5][6][7][8]

Azeroth's planes

Elemental Plane

Main article: Elemental Plane

The Elemental Plane is the home of all elementals that were removed from Azeroth when the titans imprisoned them millennia ago. It is a pocket dimension.[9]

Emerald Dream

Main article: Emerald Dream

The Emerald Dream is an ethereal realm of spirits and untamed nature that exists alongside Azeroth. The titanic keepers forged it to act as a map for the evolutionary path of Azeroth's flora and fauna. As life ebbs and flows across the physical world, the spiritual energies that stature the Dream keep pace with it.[9]

Other planes in Azeroth

  • Pocket dimensions
  • Realm of Y'Shaarj
  • Heaven: It is said that guardians took up swords of light to defend the heavens.[10] It has also been said that the Light "burns eternal" in this realm.[11]
  • Hell: A few references have been made to Hell, as a place where evil individuals go to after death.[12][13] Sylvanas Windrunner once wished such a fate upon Arthas Menethil, and later found his ghost (and temporarily, herself) in a dark void, where she only felt terror, cold, hopelessness, fear, and regret.[14]


Main article: Shadowlands

The Shadowlands are nightmarish realms of decay, labyrinthine spiritual planes teeming with the souls of the dead who have passed from the world of the living. They have existed ever since mortal life arose in the physical universe.[9]

Twisting Nether

Main article: Twisting Nether

The Twisting Nether is the astral plane between worlds that lies in parallel with the Great Dark Beyond. The forces of Light and Void bleed together at its boundaries, engulfing the Twisting Nether in perpetual chaos. Sometimes, the volatile energies that pervade the Nether intrude upon the physical universe, warping reality beyond measure.[9][15]

Light and Void

Main articles: Light, Void

Light and Shadow are the most fundamental cosmic forces in existence. Although contradictory in nature, they are bound together on a cosmic scale as one cannot exist without the other. Pure Light and Shadow dwell in a realm outside the borders of reality, but shades of their presence are found in the psychical universe. Light and Shadow bleed together at its boundaries, engulfing the Twisting Nether in perpetual chaos.[16]

Other planes



Pocket dimensions

Pocket dimensions seem to be little parts of a dimension secluded by magic.

Pocket dimensions in Azeroth



Pocket dimensions in the Twisting Nether

In the RPG

Khadgar and Leyan Steelson discussing planar travel on one of the towers at Nethergarde.

The RPG Icon 16x36.png This section contains information from the Warcraft RPG which is considered non-canon.

Beyond the physical world there is something greater it lies infinitely far away, yet also infinitesimally close. It has places of brilliant purity and the darkest chaos. Creatures of air, fire, and shadow call these places their homes; and those from Azeroth who dare to travel into these realms will find them unlike anything they have ever seen before. They are the planes, and the physical world of Azeroth is but one of them. Those from Azeroth who dare to travel into these realms will find them unlike anything they have ever seen before.[19]

Some adventurers go beyond Azeroth to other planes of existence. It is there that they encounter eternals and demons, adventurers and villains, strange and vastly powerful creatures, and conflicts that span worlds — if not the universe itself.[20]

The human magocracy made great advances in their studies of planar travel after the orc invasion, and copies of the archmage Khadgar’s Contemplations on Many Worlds are found in several libraries in the eastern lands.

Among the elves, it is commonly believed that mortal planes such as Azeroth and Outland are the crudest reflections of planes of greater power such as the Twisting Nether and the Emerald Dream.

There are scholars who study the concept of planes and wonder if there are more to discover.[19]


Though the titans and eternals have known about the planes for longer than the recorded history of the world, the first time mortal creatures on Azeroth suspected there was something other than the world around them was when the Kaldorei made their way out of the jungles to the shores of the Well of Eternity and stared deep into its waters. There they sensed a great power, and in a course of events that would change the world forever, dedicated themselves to its study. They hoped that they would discover the moon goddess Elune within its waters, but instead they plumbed the darkness and felt the cold touch of the Burning Legion waiting on another plane, the Twisting Nether.[19]

Higher planes

When the term "higher plane" is used, it is in reference to one of the known planes, such as the Emerald Dream, the Twisting Nether, the Great Dark Beyond, the Elemental Plane, or simply another planet out in the Great Dark Beyond.[21]

Material Plane

The Material Plane refers to the mortal, material worlds such as Azeroth, and, in the past, Draenor. All material worlds are made from the same planar material as the known material worlds, though some of them might possess different basic planar traits (from basic physical traits to magic traits).[22]

Each of these worlds, though they share most of the same planar traits, is separated from the rest in its particular material pocket. As such, each world is treated as its own separate plane — spells such as "teleport" that allow for transport within the Material Plane do not allow for transport between isolated material pockets. Another plane, the Twisting Nether, must be traversed to journey from one to another.

The eternals and even the goddess Elune share residence on the Material Plane of Azeroth with mortal beings.[23]

Elemental Plane

Main article: Elemental Plane#In the RPG

The Elemental Plane is a prison within the Twisting Nether fashioned by the titans as a separate plane to hold their old foes. The plane the titans created is spherical and comparatively small — about the size of a single world. It is a three tiered realm. The domain of Air sits atop the middle layer, which supports both the Water and Earth domains. Beneath these lies a third layer of Fire and molten rock.[24]

Emerald Dream

Main article: Emerald Dream#In the RPG

The Emerald Dream is a kind of echo of what Azeroth would be like if intelligent beings had not altered its surface.[25]


Main article: Outland#In the RPG

Chunks of barren red rock float in the Twisting Nether’s spectral void.[26]

Twisting Nether

Main article: Twisting Nether#In the RPG

Chunks of worlds float among prismatic clouds, and colorful energy ribbons twist through the void. All is spectral and shadowy — blurring together in a muted, multicolored haze that brushes and teases the senses. Physical laws do not exist in this realm of ghosts, save those that a traveler creates for herself. Magic and illusion dance across the ever-changing vastness. Coterminous with all other worlds, the Twisting Nether can be a gateway for those who know how to use it.[27]

  • Titanic Armory: A group of heroes discovered a small portal in the Nether. The portal lead to a demiplane full of titan artifacts — weapons the Pantheon deemed too destructive to use.[28]

Great Dark Beyond

Main article: Great Dark Beyond#In the RPG

A philosophical placeholder as an answer was agreed that beyond the boundaries of the Twisting Nether, there is the Great Dark Beyond. The Beyond is all that is unknowable about the cosmos. Were part of it to be journeyed to or defined, it would become its own plane.[23]


Malygos studies the various planes of the multiverse both remotely and in person.[29] It is said that Al'Akir is aware of all air spells that are cast anywhere throughout the multiverse, although if this is true, he rarely becomes personally involved in their resolution unless they affect him directly.[30]

Non-existant planes

According to the books, there are no Dungeons & Dragons style planes within the Warcraft universe. The Warcraft universe is both simple and vast. Unlike the standard D&D world, Azeroth has no distinct Astral, Ethereal, Inner, Outer, Positive, or Negative Planes — just a measureless nothing known as the Great Dark Beyond. An infinite number of worlds spin within the multiverse and it's impossible to say whether they are scattered across the universe or superimposed upon each other.[31] However, although those planes don't exist, they have a counterpart or are somehow related to the Warcraft universe.[22][23]

Astral Plane

The Astral Plane does not exist in Warcraft universe,[32] it is replaced by the Twisting Nether.[23] Outland exists in this plane.[22]

Ethereal Plane

There is no Ethereal Plan in the Warcraft universe.[33] No exact equivalent of the Ethereal Plane exists in the Warcraft universe. Only the Emerald Dream can be clearly mapped to another plane, that of the physical world of Azeroth, yet they remain distinct places in the cosmos and grow more disparate with each change made in the mortal realm. Ethereal Spells result in the target becoming invisible and intangible to all creatures and effects on the Material Plane.[22]

As such, any creature described as existing or otherwise interacting with the Ethereal Plane is treated as simply being incorporeal on the Material Plane, but are considered invisible.[34][35]

Inner and Outer Planes

Only the titans remain as creatures who may originate from a place beyond the known planes, and the dwarves have yet to discover the answer to their mystery.[23]

The final destination of the spirits of the deceased remains a mystery to the priests and philosophers of Azeroth. However, as spells such as resurrection can reunite a dead body with its spirit, and a majority of living creatures from the tauren to the troll shadow hunters claim they can communicate with and call upon the power of the spirits, a widely held belief is that the spirits of the dead remain on the Material Plane — in an immaterial state that can only be altered or contacted through the use of magic.[23]

Positive Energy Plane, Negative Energy Plane, and Shadow Plane

These planes don't appear to exist. But their forces are known to flow through Azeroth and the Twisting Nether.[36] These forces are not limited to any single plane; they are instead an integral part of every aspect of the Warcraft universe, woven into every plane. Thus, spells that call upon these energies such as harm, heal and shadow conjuration instead draw upon local sources rather than reaching to another plane.[23]

Positive energy remains associated with the energies possessed by living beings, and negative energy with the motive forces of death and the undead. Thus, spells that aid the living with positive energy will harm the undead, and spells that would injure the living using negative energy will heal the undead.[23]

Magical weapons that have effects wielding these energies draw upon that positive or negative energy bound into their own material, freed by enchantment.[23]



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.

See also


  1. ^ Alex Afrasiabi on Warlords, Garrosh, and alternate Azeroth
  2. ^ Bashiok
  3. ^ World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 1, pg. 13
  4. ^ The Warcraft Encyclopedia/The Warcraft Universe
  5. ^ N Enchanting [120] The Sixth Sense
  6. ^ N Enchanting [120] Exhumed
  7. ^ N [77] You Reap What You Sow
  8. ^  [Quetz'lun's Ritual]
  9. ^ a b c d World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 1, pg. 32
  10. ^ Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness manual
  11. ^ World of Warcraft Paladin Legendary Class Women's Tee
  12. ^ "Path of the Damned: Digging up the Dead", Warcraft III. Blizzard Entertainment.
  13. ^ "Legacy of the Damned: Sylvanas' Farewell", Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne. Blizzard Entertainment.
  14. ^ Edge of Night
  15. ^ The Warcraft Encyclopedia/Twisting Nether
  16. ^ World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 1, pg. 11 - 32
  17. ^ The Sundering, pg. 25
  18. ^ Curse of the Worgen
  19. ^ a b c Shadows & Light, pg. 128
  20. ^ Shadows & Light, pg. 136
  21. ^ Manual of Monsters, pg. 191
  22. ^ a b c d Shadows & Light, pg. 131
  23. ^ a b c d e f g h i Shadows & Light, pg. 132
  24. ^ Shadows & Light, pg. 136
  25. ^ Shadows & Light, pg. 144
  26. ^ Shadows & Light, pg. 149
  27. ^ Shadows & Light, pg. 152
  28. ^ Shadows & Light, pg. 155
  29. ^ Shadows & Light, pg. 91
  30. ^ Shadows & Light, pg. 101
  31. ^ Warcraft: The Roleplaying Game, pg. 215
  32. ^ Warcraft: The Roleplaying Game, pg. 156
  33. ^ Warcraft: The Roleplaying Game, pg. 157
  34. ^ Manual of Monsters, pg. 134
  35. ^ World of Warcraft: The Roleplaying Game, pg. 243
  36. ^ Warcraft: The Roleplaying Game, pg. 157 - 158
  37. ^ Jaina Proudmoore: Tides of War, pg. 225
  38. ^ The Sundering, pg. 156
  39. ^ Adventure Guide entry for Xhul'horac
  40. ^ B [120] The Precious 13-Tooth Gogglegear