Things are heating up again in World of Warcraft! Patch 9.2 is on its way and we are curious to see where our heroes will go next. Blizzard announces that we will soon be heading to Zereth Mortis. The midwayers have already talked about this mystical place, located somewhere in the middle of nowhere, at the beginning of our Korthia adventure.

But Zereth Mortis is more than just a new area of the Shadowlands. The magical area is a forge, a kind of workshop or laboratory of the creators. This does not mean the Titans, but the First Ones. No one knows exactly who or what these First Ones were. All we know so far is that these mysterious beings ordered the cosmic powers and created reality eons ago. According to Ve'nari, Zereth Mortis is the home of the Creators, and the Tomb of the First is located there.

WoW Patch 9.2: Developer video on the end of eternity

Before we dive into the lore and secrets of Zereth Mortis, let's summarize the story of Korthia so far.

Patch 9.1: Chains of Domination - What Happened So Far

The story of Chains of Domination ends with the Battle for Oribos. The Dungeon Master wrests the remaining Eternals from their seals and breaks the chains that bound him to the Maw. While in Korthia exploring the writings and artifacts of the First Ones, the Dungeon Master, Sylvanas, and Anduin attack the capital of the Shadowlands. Their target is the judge, who has been vegetating in her chamber since the beginning of WoW (buy now 14,99 € )

: Shadowlands.

The jailer gets his heart and his old form back in the sanctum of dominion. Source: Blizzard

The villain finally takes the heart of the judge and gets his old form back. Zovaal appears in his full glory and brings all mortals to their knees. His words suddenly remind Sylvanas of her own martyrdom in the Third War and she rebels against the jailer. Instead of punishing the Banshee Queen with death for her treachery, Zovaal devises a special torture for Sylvanas. He gives her back the lost soul shard that Arthas had once stolen from her. Moments later, the jailer and Anduin leave the judge's chamber and walk together through an ominous portal.

Before Anduin follows his new master, the king of the Alliance drops a compass. Jaina now wants to use this gem to free Anduin from the clutches of Zovaal. Upon our return to Korthia, the Primus reassures us that the battle against the dungeon master is not yet lost. The Lord of the Maldraxxi promises that he can reforge the Keys of the Eternals.

And Sylvanas?

Before the dungeon master disappears into the portal, Zovaal gives Sylvanas back part of her soul in the form of a frost shard. The banshee queen then collapses. Source: Blizzard

The Knights of the Black Blade are currently holding the Banshee Queen in the dungeon somewhere in Oribos. Bolvar, Thrall and Jaina spared Sylvanas to question her later. However, the Banshee is also interested in Zovaal not reaching his destination, which is the Tomb of the First. She was one of the jailer's closest confidants and knows for sure where Zovaal disappeared to.

Sylvanas will definitely lead us to the tomb. But what happens after that? One of many fan theories is that at the end of Shadowlands, the Banshee Queen brings Zovaal to her knees and then takes the place of the Judge in Oribos

Anduin, the enslaved king

In the next chapter of Shadowlands, Anduin emerges from the long shadow of his master. After Zovaal left his previous favorite, Sylvanas, in the Sanctum of Domination, Anduin becomes the jailer's new right-hand man. The enslaved king now commands the forces of the Maw as army commander. His task is to conquer Zereth Mortis and make life as difficult as possible for our heroes. Where exactly the dungeon master has disappeared to remains a mystery for now in Patch 9.2. However, he is most likely targeting the Shrine of the Creators - the Tomb of the First.
There is still no trace of the First Ones. In the video, we see all the technology they left behind. The gigantic afterlife forge is particularly impressive! Source: Blizzard

The Heart of Zereth Mortis

The aforementioned temple and the machines of the First can be seen in the sky above the new area. The whole thing is strongly reminiscent of the titanic structures we already know from Azeroth. However, the First's explorers' facilities look much more advanced compared to the Titans' creations. The creators focused less on ornate design and more on pure functionality.

In one small detail, a hovering transporter can be seen. There are no steps in structures of the First. It seems that the creators themselves had no physical form, but were made of pure energy. The Astral Guardian, briefly seen in the video, is the prime example of the powerful beings that may have existed before the order of cosmic powers.

Zereth Mortis and the Watchers

The guardian looks amazingly similar to Algalon, doesn't it? WoW veterans will definitely remember the astral watcher. The Watcher traveled to Ulduar in Wrath of the Lich King to press the big red reset button. Fortunately, we were able to convince Algalon not to trigger the apocalypse. The remarkable thing about the Watcher, however, was that he was very different from the rest of the Guardians of Ulduar and from the Titans themselves. In our first encounter with Algalon, he seemed like another servant of the Titans. However, the Firsts and the territory of Zereth Mortis shed new light on his story.

The dungeon master corrupts an astral guardian in Zereth Mortis that looks quite similar to Algalon. Source: Blizzard

Algalon was not a servant of the Titans, but a secret ally of the Pantheon. We suspect that he originally came from Zereth Mortis and later joined the Titans to assist them in their mission. If this is true, then the World Soul of Azeroth holds great significance for the First Ones. The Sleeping Titan certainly did not get her unique name without reason. Zereth means something similar to "key" or "cornerstone" in the ancient language of the Creators. There are certain linguistic parallels between Azeroth and Zereth, especially when you say both words out loud.

The World Soul of Azeroth could be the key to a new creation. Source: Blizzard

The Prime of Maldraxxus issues a warning at the end of the Korthia campaign. He says that Death is after the soul of Azeroth. By death, the Primus surely meant his corrupted brother Zovaal. But why would the dungeon master be interested in a world soul? Especially if he is destroying the cosmic order and thus reality, won't Azeroth have to believe in it as well? Or is there more to it? Is the World Soul of our planet the final key to the end or a new beginning?

Perhaps the First Ones created Azeroth as a backup or contingency plan to save creation from final extinction. That would at least explain why the cosmic powers are so interested in the sleeping Titan. Whoever holds Azeroth in his hands is the true ruler of the entire cosmos.

  • If you want to learn more about the story of Shadowlands and cosmic secrets, be sure to read our big lore special: The Secret Records of Tazavesh and the Tomb of the Firsts

The language of the creators

The runes are like musical notes. Each one has a meaning and a sound of its own. Those who skillfully combine the runes of the First attain great power. Source: Blizzard

Another interesting point in the lore of Zereth Mortis are the runes of the first. These characters can be seen briefly in the video and were also the subject of a teaser tweet from Blizzard. They are the language of the creators, with which they once breathed life into the first creatures. Where language is not the right expression. The runes are like musical notes whose sound brings things to life. As runes of life, they are the opposite of the runes of domination, which the dungeon master uses to subjugate mortals.

Our task is to learn this language. Only in this way can we defy the dungeon master. He demonstrated to us in the Sanctum of Domination on Thrall, Jaina, and Bolvar how easy it is to take out mortals. The Runes of the First could save us from Zovaal's power. It's a good thing that the midwayers of Zereth Mortis are helping us decipher the runes. We can't wait to see how the story of the jailer and the creators in the Tomb of the First ends.

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