Thros, the Blighted Lands
Thros, the Blighted Lands, is a realm where the Drust and their king Gorak Tul have resided in since their war against the human sailors. This death realm is also inhabited by strange fiends. The entrance to Thros is the great tree Gol Inath. It can also be accessed through the island of Fate's End or through magical rituals.
The ancient Drust used to live in harmony with nature, their druidic ways preserving the balance of the wilds. When humans started to settle Kul Tiras and the region of Drustvar, the Drust and their King Gorak Tul declared war on them. However, not all Drust agreed with this, and the Thornspeakers left Drust society.
As the war went on, the desperate Drust called onto dark powers. Unbeknownst to them, they had reached the Emerald Nightmare. Their fallen warriors would find refuge in Thros, an offshoot of the Nightmare which they named differently as they were not aware of what the Nightmare was. Having run out of living warriors in his war, Gorak Tul began to bind his people's souls to stone constructs. Though the Waycrests had wiped out the Drust, they did not succeed in killing Gorak Tul, who had escaped.
Battle for Azeroth
Gorak Tul, trapped within the Blighted Lands, bided his time, waiting for an opportunity to exact his revenge. After countless years, he recently corrupted the House Waycrest, the seat of power of Drustvar, and Lady Waycrest formed a group of witches known as the Heartsbane Coven. Gorak Tul and his new followers then feverishly conspired to release him from prison.
The Heartsbane conducted a ritual at the great tree, Gol Inath. The spirit of the Drust were summoned in the physical world and were given bodies to inhabit through wicker constructs. They were however defeated by Inquisitors from the revived Order of Embers, and Gorak Tul was pushed back. Later, Lady Waycrest provided herself the means to his return in Waycrest Manor, which was built above ancient Drust ruins. Gorak Tul re-entered the physical world through the Rupture under the manor, but he was pushed back once more, his spirit still residing within Thros.
Unbeknownst to Katherine Proudmoore, her daughter Jaina Proudmoore had been sent off to the island of Fate's End as punishment, which none returned from due to being pulled into the Blighted Lands. Together with an Alliance emissary, Katherine later ventured into Thros, where Ulfar said Gorak Tul was most vulnerable. While in the realm, they came across five dead captives on the road; Katherine took this as evidence that the Drust were not interested in keeping their prisoners alive. They saved Jaina, and defeated Gorak Tul within his own realm, after which Jaina teleported everyone back into the physical world.
- The Drust created prisons for later use of souls in their dark rituals, during which time the soul would suffer within Thros, and become a twisted version of what it once had been.
- Thros looks like an otherworldly version of Drustvar, reusing the same map, even though the players are limited to the Crimson Forest area. The quest in Elderstone Mine also features the same visual effect as when in Thros, which along with the presence of Drust fiends might imply that the mine was temporarily plunged into the Blighted Lands.
- When Blizzard's artists were brainstorming concepts for Thros during the development of Battle for Azeroth, one ideas was to depict the realm as a celestial treescape in permanent nighttime with stars located on the underside of the tree canopies. This concept later helped inspire the zone of Ardenweald in World of Warcraft: Shadowlands.
- At BlizzCon 2017, it was stated that Thros was where the Drust retreated after their defeat. After their death, the Drust would live on as spirits, trying to return to the physical world. In the final version of the game, however, the relationship between the Drust and Thros is more one-sided. While the Drust still liberally use Thros' powers and hold it as a seat of uncontested power, they are unable to leave it freely, as Gorak Tul was forced to break free of Thros through his corruption of Lady Waycrest.
- Braedan Whitewall seems to have been corrupted by Thros.
Thros may be related to the Shadowlands. This is evidenced by the fact that it bears a similarity to the Shadowlands realm of Ardenweald. Some parts of Ardenweald aren't faring as well as others and reflect the power wielded by the Drust of Kul Tiras, who are deeply connected to Ardenweald and death. Furthermore, it was Gorak Tul who perverted the druidic rituals of the Drust and set them upon the path of death and domination, wherein the term domination has been used in the context of the Maw. It could be that Thros is thus an intersection of the Emerald Dream and/or the Nightmare and/or Ardenweald and/or The Maw.
- ^ Lord and Lady Waycrest#Quotes
- ^ Ulfar#Quotes
- ^ a b The Lost Codex 2018-11-03. Blizzcon 2018 Interview: Alex Afrasiabi & Patrick Dawson - Story and Systems | The Lost Codex. YouTube. Retrieved on 2018-11-03.
- ^ a b c Gorak Tul (tactics)#Adventure Guide
- ^ Lord and Lady Waycrest#Quotes
- ^ Ingra Maloch Adventure Guide
- ^ perculia 2020-07-09. Shadowlands Zones, Covenant Armor, and Character Customization Interview with Art Director Ely Cannon. Wowhead. Archived from the original on 2020-07-09.
- ^ 2017-05-11, BlizzCon 2017 Jeremy Feasel Interview – World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth. Blizzplanet, accessed on 2017-11-05
- ^ Blizzard Entertainment 2019-11-01. BlizzCon 2019 - World of Warcraft: What's Next. Retrieved on 2019-11-03.