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Decay Totem

A gnoll Decay Totem.

Decay Gnolls

Decay takes the appearance of a muckus-like substance.

Decay, sometimes referred to as the "sixth element", is a primordial force. It can be seen as the opposite of Spirit, the fifth element.[1] It is believed that both Spirit and Decay influence the soul's creation of anima.[2] Unlike Spirit, which is used to communicate with the elements and/or heal, Decay binds the elements to one's will, forces them into servitude and weaponize them. This is also the main reason why dark shaman are able to use the elements (in a twisted form nonetheless) even without asking the elements for permission.[1]

The gnolls scattered across the Azure Span found the source for their decay magic from Brackenhide Hollow and the teachings of Decatriarch Wratheye, though they seem to use its power directly and not as a means for dark shamanism.


It seems that Decay, as its name suggests, accelerates body decomposition, and also induces a state of permanent need of feeding and spreading Decay, "rotting the mind".[3] Decay does not affect the gnolls in a consistent manner, it acts like a sickness that weakens them to the point of near death, then there is a turn in the illness, they develop an unusual strength that both accelerate their recovery and increases their hunger to the point where they are hunting beyond their means.[citation needed] 

Decay can even rot ley lines,[4] and affect arcane magic.[5]

Notes and trivia[]

  • The Shadowlands are described as nightmarish realms of decay,[6] and Thros as a realm of death, decay, and nightmare.[7]


  1. ^ a b World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 1, pg. 10
  2. ^ World of Warcraft: Grimoire of the Shadowlands and Beyond, pg. 31
  3. ^ Brackenhide Hollow - Description mentions "withered kin." Treemouth: "...leaving a creature bent on nothing more than the need to feed and spread Decay."
  4. ^ N [65-68] Realignment
  5. ^ N [65-68] Ley Litter
  6. ^ World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 1, pg. 12
  7. ^ 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.