Void

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Bottled Void (from the TCG).
It rips. It tears. It is boundless and eternal...
Dia Darkwhisper

The Void (also referred to as Shadow) and the Light are the most fundamental forces in existence. Although contradictory by their very nature, they are bound together on a cosmic scale. One cannot exist without the other. Pure Light and Shadow dwell in realms outside the borders of reality. The Void is not necessarily "evil", it is a primal force with its morality characterized by how it is wielded.[1] Dimensius the All-Devouring opened gateways to the Void and the Twisting Nether when he invaded K'aresh.[2] However, shades of their presence are found in the physical universe: Light manifests as holy magic, while the Void appears as shadow magic.[3]

The Void can be a source of terrible power, the kind of power that comes at a price.[4] While the Light is often said to bring about feelings of positive emotion—hope, courage, comfort—and the like, Shadow abilities are the opposite, able to impart feelings like despair, doubt, and panic. In a poetic sense, it can be said that the emotions which the Light brings about come from the "heart", whereas the emotions manipulated by Shadow are often based on survival logic, and therefore affect the "mind".[5]

The Void shows only half truths.[6] It cannot fully see destiny, though neither can the Light, because neither are singularly responsible for creation. The Void seeks every possible path and sees them all as truth.[7]

History

In the very beginning of time, before even the cosmos existed, there was only the Light and the Void. Originally, only the Light existed as an unfettered, shifting ocean of living energy. However, as some of its energies faded and dimmed, pockets of cold nothingness were created. From the absence of Light in these spaces, a new power coalesced and came to be. This was the Void, a dark and vampiric force driven to devour all energy, to twist creation inward to feed upon itself. The Void quickly grew and began to move against the Light, and before long, the mounting tension between the two forces ignited a series of explosions that ruptured the very fabric of creation, giving birth to the physical universe. The most unstable energies coalesced into an astral dimension known as the Twisting Nether. Light and Void collided and bled together at the edges of this realm, throwing it into turmoil.[8]

Races of the Void

Creatures of the Void are naturally chaotic. They are a necessary part of the universe, but they must be kept in check by the Light.[9]

The Old Gods

The four Old Gods on Azeroth.
"The void sucks at your soul. It is content to feast slowly."
Yogg-Saron, the Old God of Death

The Old Gods were created by the malignant entities known as the void lords, and they live only to transform the worlds they infest into places of despair and death. Physical manifestations of the Void, they are nightmares incarnate: mountains of blighted flesh and writhing tentacles that grow like cancers within the worlds of the Great Dark Beyond. Their goal is to find and corrupt a world-soul in order to create a dark titan that would annihilate the universe.[10]

Many of the Old Gods' minions make extensive use of Shadow magic, and the terrifying dagger known as Xal'atath, which was used by dark priests during the height of the Black Empire, uses powerful Void energies and mind magics to warp everything around it for nefarious purpose.[11] In Ulduar, Faceless Horrors surround themselves with shadowy barriers and summon voidwalkers to aid them in combat.[12] Twilight magic is presumably Old God magic of the void branch.[13]

Voidwalkers

Velnoth, a voidwalker.

Voidwalkers are seemingly the most common type of Void being. They do not fear pain, so they are popular with warlocks who do.[14]

Void lords

The void lords are evil entities composed of pure shadow energy. These beings are cruel and merciless beyond mortal comprehension. Driven by an insatiable hunger, the void lords seek to devour all matter and energy in the physical universe. In their natural state, the void lords exist outside reality. Only the most powerful of these entities can manifest in the physical universe, and only for limited amounts of time. To maintain their presence in reality, the void lords must consume untold amounts of matter and energy.[15] They instead created the eldritch Old Gods to find and corrupt a titan world-soul and turn it into an unspeakably dark being that not even the Pantheon would be able to stand against.[16]

Void revenants

Nhallish, a void revenant.

Void revenants are a race of parasitic void-beings that tear holes through the planes of reality, consuming and absorbing the energies and beings within. There is one known occurence of a void revenant being fed overwhelming fel energy, Xhul'horac.

Others

There are many different types of beings that originate from the Void. Although they aren't demons,[17] they are often classified as such for gameplay reasons.[18] In Warlords of Draenor, most void creatures are classified as either elementals or aberrations (although the void revenant Nhallish is classified as undead).

  • Voidcaller Voidcaller — Void creatures draped in cloth and carrying lanterns that bridge the realms of the living and the dead.
  • Void God Void god — A very powerful type of Void being, created when a naaru is drained of its light.
  • VoidLord Voidlord — Large, powerful Void beings, armored in plate.
  • Voidwraith Voidwraith — Slender, wraith-like beings similar to voidwalkers.

Effects on beings

Rumor has it that some beasts that were touched by the Void exist in a space between this world and the next.[19]

The void can consume life or meld with it, but the latter often has unperceived consequences.[20]

Arakkoa

Talonpriests, arakkoa followers of Terokk, wield the Void.[21] They use special elixirs, made from shadow dust, to cross over into a realm of shadows, which is also where they sealed Terokk after he descended into madness and hatred.

The ancient Apexis arakkoa wielded Light and Void in balance (as well as arcane).

Dark naaru

M'uru, a darkened naaru.
"It is a facet of the naaru condition - without the void, the Light cannot exist."[22]
D'ore

It is exceedingly rare for a naaru to fall into a void state, and even rarer for a fallen naaru to be brought back into the Light. A naaru's fall into the void represents a catastrophic loss for the naaru and for the forces of the Light, and it is the saddest, most heart-wrenching event for the naaru to witness. Conversely, a naaru being reborn into the Light brings renewed hope and sense of purpose to every naaru.[23]

The few cases of dark naaru that Locus-Walker knows of all involved mortals in some way, which he thinks carries fascinating implications.[24]

Demons

Demons were originally formed as a result of the Light and Void energies that had bled together at the borders of the Twisting Nether. They wield the Void as part of their arsenal. The nathrezim, otherwise known as dreadlords, are cunning, manipulative, and masters of the arts of shadow magic.[25] The Burning Legion is known to summon and bind Void creatures to serve them.

Orcs

On the alternate Draenor, the Shadowmoon clan of orcs discovered the Void after the arrival of the Dark Star, but when necromancy was discovered, the clan leaders outlawed the Void's power. After the formation of the Iron Horde, Ner'zhul broke those laws for the sake of his clan's safety. Shadowmoon spellcasters began experimenting with unstable void magic near the Teluuna Observatory.[26] The void's effect on Draenor also became more pronounced. Vile bloods of the land emerged.[27] The Shadowmoon also began summoning void beasts through hastily opened portals that could have torn Draenor apart.[28]

Undead

The undead are beings who have died and become trapped between life and death. One of the consequences of the involvement of Void in the undead's metaphysics is that they only feel faint sensations of pain or discomfort from most physical stimuli. This is also why the Light is so painful to their existence. The dark energy serves as a buffer that prevents the souls of the undead from properly joining their bodies. As a result, their souls are imperfectly attached to them.[29]

When a spirit is consumed by the Void, an echo of the soul is all that is left behind. These echoes are not truly "alive" in either the physical or spiritual sense, and are merely twisted reverberations of the anguish of the soul left behind when it was consumed.[30]

Priests

"I draw deep from the shadows to slake my thirst for power. I'm never thirsty for long."

Priests are devoted to the spiritual, that which relates to Spirit. Priestly Shadow magic can deliver great amounts of immediate damage, or wracking pains that punish foes over longer periods of time.[31] The Light in which many priests bathe is brilliant and effervescent, granting them immense divine power. But the brightest light casts the darkest shadow—and from within this blackness, a rival power dwells. Shadow priests fully embrace this opposing polarity, their faith equally resolute as their holy counterparts—but focused on shadowy magics and mental manipulation. Like all priests, they dedicate much of their lives to worship—but they derive their power from the Void, straying dangerously close to the domain of the Old Gods. To truly understand such ancient, corruptive influence is to be driven mad. This is the state in which these dark priests thrive, embracing insanity and feeding off of the minds of their opponents to reach terrifying new limits.[32]

When entering [Voidform], shadow priests are forced to speak shath'yar, the language of the Old Gods.[33]

Necrolytes

Practitioners of religions, necrolytes are binders of souls and command the black powers that hold control over the earth.

Rogues

Subtlety rogues are the masters of the shadows, and they strike unseen. They don't have the lethal poison-tipped daggers of the assassin or the brawling prowess of the outlaw, but their acumen on the battlefield and ability to hide in plain sight are unrivaled. Some claim the art of subtlety looks like malevolent shadow magic—but no matter from where their power is derived, these rogues are capable of performing devastating assaults on their enemies, slipping away unharmed to strike again without detection. Most rogues train their entire lives to learn how to walk in the shadows—subtlety rogues were born there.[34]

Shaman

Shaman are spiritual guides and practitioners, not of the divine, but of the very elements. The Void is capable of dominating and enslaving elementals.[35] One way for a shaman to become a dark shaman is to use the Void to control the elements.[4]

A group of dark shaman of the Warsong clan also began channeling Void energies near Oshu'gun in Nagrand, using the elements to channel the darkness of the void.[4] The dark shaman used Void Beacons, powered from within the Twisting Nether itself, to connect to the void,[36] and hidden behind the veil of the Twisting Nether, the abominations of the void began marching upon Oshu'gun.[37]

Warlocks

Bildros Nullvoid: "Fools are quick to dismiss what they don't understand as evil. I see what I do as a series of calculated risks in exchange for greater power and insight. Oh, with demons."

Warlocks are magical practitioners who seek to understand darker, fel-based magics, including destructive spells.[38] Warlocks peer into the Void without hesitation, leveraging the chaos they glimpse within to devastating ends in battle. Their greatest abilities are fueled by the souls they've harvested from their victims and they exploit powerful shadow magic to manipulate and degrade the minds and bodies of their enemies. Affliction warlocks are masters of shadow-touched powers, but unlike shadow priests—deadliest when pushed to the brink of insanity—these warlocks delight in using fel forces to cause intense pain and suffering in others. They revel in corrupting minds and agonizing souls, leaving enemies in a state of torment that would see them undone in due time. Even the most battle-hardened warriors can be deceived, landing blow after blow against the warlock, only to succumb to their suffering as their very vitality is siphoned away by the dark spellcaster.[39]

By their very nature, demons are leeches on the living universe—but the demonologist has mastered harnessing the power of these malefic beings on the field of battle. Warlocks harvest the souls of their defeated enemies; those specialized in the ways of demonology use this life essence to tap into the Void, pulling all manner of abomination from the chaos of the Twisting Nether. While such a practice is often considered by outsiders to be wicked and reckless, the demonologist maintains absolute control over the summoned creatures. These malignant entities are fully beholden to—and empowered by—the will of the warlock, until banished to the realm from whence they came. Warlocks who command the power of destruction favor incantations of pure chaos and aggression in battle. In this regard, they'd find a stronger kinship with fire mages than warlocks of other disciplines—if not for their propensity to make use of magic deemed detestable by all mage orders. The destruction warlock is well-versed in discharging a dizzying array of shadow, fel, fire, and chaos magics upon opponents that rattle souls and conflagrate bodies. They require little motivation for the havoc they wreak, happy to revel in the destruction they cause—thrilled at any opportunity to watch the world erupt in discord around them.[39]

Cult of Forgotten Shadows

After the First War, Bishop Seline investigated the dark magic used by the orc necrolytes to raise their dead. Her studies became obsessed as she tried to discover why such energy existed at all and why she began to see the ebb and flow of it in the world around her. She began preaching about the necessity of balance between dark and light, but after her death, her books were locked away in the Kirin Tor's vaults in Dalaran.[40]

Her teachings, rediscovered by Forsaken priests during the capture of the Undercity, served as the theological base for the Cult of Forgotten Shadow. This cult uses the term Shadow to refer to reality and believes that there must be balance between the wielders of holy and dark energies; because of that, they mostly manipulate the dark energies "discovered" by Natalie Seline.[40]

Trivia

  • Aku'mai the Devourer, herald of the Old Gods, was trying to emerge from the Void.[41]
  • The quest N [90 Daily] Flames of the Void involves putting out "Void Flames" created by the sha running rampant throughout the Temple of the Jade Serpent.
  • The Twisting Nether used to be sometimes called the Void. There is now a clear distinction between the two.[42] This originally led to some believing that the Void was also a faction of voidwalkers led by Dimensius the All-Devouring, rather than the universal force.
  • Using a Void Totem weakens the barrier between the mortal world and the Twisting Nether.[43]
  • The term used to describe the combination of fel and Void energies seems to be Shadowfel. The void revenant known as Xhul'horac was infused with fel energy and became known as a "Shadowfel Amalgamation", and deals Shadowfel damage during the encounter with it.

References