Planes, also known as dimensions, realms of existence or simply realms, are cosmic regions within the Warcraft universe, created by the First Ones. Besides reality and its physical realm, six cosmic forces form the universe. All these forces push and pull against one another in an unending tug of war, constantly vying for power over each other. If one fell, all worlds would fall into chaos.
- 1 Great Dark Beyond
- 2 Twisting Nether
- 3 Emerald Dream
- 4 Shadowlands
- 5 Light and Void
- 6 Pocket dimensions
- 7 Other realms
- 8 In the RPG
- 9 Notes
- 10 Speculation
- 11 See also
- 12 References
Great Dark Beyond
- Main article: Great Dark Beyond
The Great Dark Beyond represents the mortal and 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 vast reaches of the Great Dark.
- 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 strife. Sometimes, the volatile energies that pervade the Nether intrude upon the physical universe, warping reality beyond measure.
- 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.
- 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. Its main realms are Ardenweald, Bastion, Maldraxxus, Revendreth, and the Maw.
Light and Void
Pure Light and Shadow dwell in a realm outside the borders of reality, but shades of their presence are found in the physical universe as well as engulf the Twisting Nether in perpetual chaos. Light and Shadow are the most fundamental cosmic forces in existence predating the physical universe. Although contradictory in nature, they are bound together on a cosmic scale as one cannot exist without the other. The Void realm is visited in alternate Draenor and on Argus.
- Main article: Elemental Plane
The Elemental Plane is the home of all elementals that were removed from Azeroth when the titan-forged Ra and Helya created four interlinked domains within a pocket dimension, imprisoning them millennia ago.
Halls of Valor and Helheim
Helya called upon the same powers she had used to secure the Elemental Plane and sealed off Odyn's fortress—the Halls of Valor—with an impregnable, magical barrier. She then proceeded to create Helheim as an enchanted refuge for herself and the other Val'kyr far below the Halls.
De Other Side
- Main article: Other Side
Other pocket dimensions
- A pocket universe was used by Krasus during the War of the Ancients in order to ensure the future of the blue dragonflight. The mage tore an opening in reality and put a few viable dragon eggs into this "pocket universe". He then sealed the opening until a later time when he could surrender the eggs to someone trustworthy. It is noted that time is significantly slower in the dimension.
- The Battle for Mount Hyjal timeway in the Caverns of Time is described as happening in a "time pocket" separated from the world and history.
- Phantasm Zone is a prison dimension in the Twisting Nether in which Magnus Manastorm is imprisoned.
- A spiritual realm is shown to exist inside Frostmourne and as well as in the Blades of the Fallen Prince.
- The mages of Dalaran wove a type of pocket dimension around Ambermill, hiding it from the Forsaken. A Horde adventurer eventually shattered the pocket dimension, bringing Ambermill back to reality.
- A pocket universe was created by Chromie, a bronze dragon in the guise of a gnome, within a room in the inn of Ruins of Andorhal.
- Malfurion Stormrage banished the worgen to a pocket dimension of the Emerald Dream where Daral'nir is located. From there Arugal summoned them.
- The chrysalun chambers are draconic artifacts that have a pocket universe within themselves.
- Void Storage is accomplished by housing items in a pocket dimension.
- Mardum, the Shattered Abyss was formerly an impregnable pocket dimension within the Twisting Nether called "Mardum, the Plane of Banishment". It was a prison-world created by the titan Sargeras where he imprisoned all the demons he defeated.
- Akazamzarak's Hat is a pocket dimension within the top hat of the goblin mage Akazamzarak.
- Prison of Ink is a location inside the Bloodshed Compendium book that inscription adventurers are sent to with the guidance of master blood scribe Kronah.
These realms exist but there is not much known about them:
- Quetz'lun's underworld is separate from the material world, created by the loa at the time of her death as a home for her and the cursed worshipers that killed her.
- Ny'alotha is an alternate world inhabited by the Old Gods and their minions. It is separated from the physical world by a thin veil.
- The Twilight Realm is a plane used by members of the Twilight dragonflight.
- The Realm of Y'Shaarj is a twisted version of Azeroth visited when fighting the tyrannical Warchief Garrosh Hellscream.
- A Shadow Realm is visited by the arakkoa in alternate Draenor. It is related to the Void.
- Thros, the realm of the Drust, is on the precipice of a lot of confluences and has a connection to the Shadowlands as well as to the Nightmare.
- Za'qul casts spells which move adventurers into a "Fear realm" or a "Delirium realm". These two realms are referred to as "insanity realms".
In the RPG
- Main article: Plane (RPG)
- There have been references to the "Heavens" and "Hell". These are likely flavor lore.
- Heavens: It is said that archangels or guardians took up swords of light to defend the heavens.
- Hell: Warcraft I makes reference to Hell and Hades.
- As Uther the Lightbringer died he told Arthas Menethil that "I dearly hope that there's a special place in hell waiting for you, Arthas." and Sylvanas Windrunner when almost killing Arthas Menethil with a poison arrow told him to "Give my regards to hell".
- The red dragon Caelestrasz wished to see C'Thun "banished back to the hell from whence it came".
- In A Found Memento: Raising a King, Genn Greymane call the Broken Shore where Varian Wrynn died "the very gates of Hell".
- Hell could be referring to: the Shadowlands as that's where souls of the dead travel to, Helheim where some of the spirits of the dishonorable spend eternity, the Twisting Nether as Warcraft I says daemons are hellspawn, the Firelands in the Elemental Plane as there are creatures called hell hounds from there and there is a quest called with the goal of entering the Firelands.
- Murmur came from a dimension of the cosmos unfathomable to mortal minds.
- The Reliquary owns a "Grand Vault", the location of which is a closely-guarded secret. Some believe it is not even on this plane of existence.
- When Garrosh Hellscream had Theramore Isle destroyed with a mana bomb, its arcane power caused anomalies of realities and dimensions ripped asunder. One could even glimpse other worlds.
- The 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.
- Warp Shades partially tear an enemy into another dimension.
- Aluneth is a strange, fickle and powerful entity of pure arcane energy hailing from another realm of existence that was brought to the Nexus when blue dragons at some point while manipulating the fabric of reality tapped into this other realm and made contact with the strange arcane entity.
- Frostshard Infernals come from an unknown plane.
- Consumers of souls in Brawler's Guilds are seen in an alternate dimension by wearing special goggles.
- The Wizard's Sanctum Stormwind Portal Room could be its own pocket dimension, as it's entered from a portal atop the Wizard's Sanctum tower.
- Caverns of Time could be its own plane.
- The Eye of Eternity is the personal domain of Malygos and as such may be its own plane.
- The Mind's Eye entered by portals open in the fight with Yogg-Saron could be its own plane.
- There are five portals within the Chamber of Aspects beneath Wyrmrest Temple two of which are open and lead to the Ruby Sanctum and Obsidian Sanctum. They may be their own planes or unknown locations in the world.
- Bastion of Twilight entered through a portal above the Twilight Citadel could be in a separate plane.
- Dread Expanse is a location where the Sha of Fear retreats to, it could be its own plane.
- The Nexus Vault is accessed by way of portal and has a specific otherworldly appearance so it may be its own plane. But Kalec says: "The Nexus Vault lies deep beneath the main spire. You will find its entrance in the lowest chamber of the spire's base." But this may only mean its former entrance was there.
- Realm of the Mage Hunter is the domain of the eredar lord Balaadur, however the Archive of the Tirisgarde mentions that Balaadur took Ebonchill when its owner got ripped into the Twisting Nether, so it's uncertain if Balaadur's realm is a place in the Twisting Nether or its own dimension. For comparison the quest has Kruul's Twisting Nether location described as his realm.
- A Found Memento: Raising a King has Anduin Wrynn in a surprising vision see his father Varian Wrynn, it's unclear if this is a memory or perhaps a vision of Varian from some sort of afterlife.
- Forge of Aeons a place sacred to the Army of the Light accessed by a Lightforged beacon on the Vindicaar may be its own plane.
- Telogrus Rift is described in Umbric's Notes - Dawnstar Spire as "teetering on the brink of the void itself" and that "it existed within a rift in the very fabric of reality", so it's unknown on what plane it's located.
- While Infestation of Madness in Nazjatar is alive and you're on the platform with it, the sky transforms to the same one that is in the tunnel in Caverns of Time. This could mean you enter or see a vision of a different plane, perhaps the void realm.
- Visions of N'Zoth could be on a separate plane.
- A version of the Chamber of Heart that Wrathion has constructed as a place between places as a way to distance himself from the corruption of the Horrific Visions entered from the Chamber of Heart.
- Entering the mind of N'Zoth is done in the N'Zoth the Corruptor raid fight which could be its own plane.
- Chamber of the Sigil is entered by a portal in the quest which could make it its own plane. As to the Vault of Secrets was built to store countless secrets and artifacts, so it could be larger than the Chamber of the Sigil or there could specific realms for different vault chambers. The Vault of Secrets could be similar to Void Storage.
Planes for all the cosmic forces?
While the cosmology chart in World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 1 shows the Emerald Dream as a counterpart to the Shadowlands, the book also asserts that the Emerald Dream is mostly an artificial phenomenon unique to Azeroth, even though the quest chain to get the hinted at a cosmic scale. The Shadowlands has been asserted to be the cosmic realm of Death, with the Veil being more akin to the Emerald Dream, and as such there could be additional cosmic-scale realms for the other cosmic forces.
There are some hints to that possibility:
- written by a broker Al'firim states that there are six forces and that there are six realms.
- Nathrezim were forged to be the ultimate infiltrators, they bore the influence of Death into the realms of Death's rivals as well as the worlds of the living.
- A Stubborn Animate in the Ossein Foundry mentions fighting "Emissaries of the Light, minions of the Void, meddlers from the Gardens of Life... all have fallen before me! Soon the very planes of reality will kneel to my greatness!" The "Gardens of Life" could be a name for a realm of the cosmic force of Life.
- Steve Danuser in interview statements indicate a possibility of planes for other cosmic forces:
- Where do Naaru go when they die?: “So that same rule that we established in Legion for a being of an influence goes back, if it’s killed in the mortal realm, or some other realm, it goes back to its home realm, it’s home plane if you will. That is true of demons and it’s true of other forces as well. So if Naaru are fighting in the mortal realm, for example, and a Naaru is struck down its essence would go back to the realm of Light and would be reconstituted there“.
- "Remember that while the history of Azeroth is one part of our storyline, the universe that Azeroth inhabits is much much much older and places like the Shadowlands, or other realms that are on that cosmology chart, date back to the very beginnings of this universe".
- There could be a titan homeworld or homeworlds as players have so far seen titan influence only on Azeroth expressions and on Elunaria.
- With the Void kind of like Shadowlands we have dipped our toes into pockets that are supposed be Void or Void adjacent.
These sentiments indicate that there is an Order plane separate from the Great Dark Beyond, a Disorder plane separate from the Twisting Nether, and a Life plane separate from the Emerald Dream. Additionally, it seems that the Light and Void as "planes" may not be so straightforward as well.
- ^ a b c d e World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 1, pg. 12
- ^ World of Warcraft Devs Talk the New Raid and Mythic+ Score Coming to the Chains of Domination Expansion - "the First Ones, the progenitors who created the Shadowlands and other cosmic realms."
- ^ Judgehype - Interview de Steve Danuser sur l'histoire de Shadowlands
- ^ Alex Afrasiabi on Warlords, Garrosh, and alternate Azeroth
- ^ Bashiok
- ^ The Warcraft Encyclopedia/The Warcraft Universe
- ^ The Desolate Host
- ^ World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 1, pg. 11, 13, 18
- ^ World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 1, pg. 12, 32
- ^ World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 1, pg. 57 - 58
- ^ The Sundering, pg. 25
- ^ Battle for Mount Hyjal (instance)#Infinite dragonflight
- ^ Curse of the Worgen
- ^ Night of the Dragon
- ^ Thaumaturge Rafir#Quotes
- ^ World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 1, pg. 23
- ^ Tome of Blighted Implements
- ^ Quetz'lun's Spirit
- ^ World of Warcraft 2019-10-07. Watch the New Developer Content Update Preview (03:20). YouTube. Retrieved on 2019-10-07.
- ^ BlizzConline Developer Interview: Steve Danuser & Morgan Day | Chains of Domination & Shadowlands, The Lost Codex
- ^ https://www.wowhead.com/spell=300584/reality-portal
- ^ Warcraft: Orcs & Humans manual
- ^ Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness manual
- ^ JINX World of Warcraft Paladin Legendary Class Men's Gamer Tee Shirt
- ^ Warcraft: Orcs & Humans manual
- ^ Medivh (WC1 Human)
- ^ "Path of the Damned: Digging up the Dead", Warcraft III. Blizzard Entertainment.
- ^ "Legacy of the Damned: Sylvanas' Farewell", Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne. Blizzard Entertainment.
- ^ Aelnara gossip text
- ^ Jaina Proudmoore: Tides of War, pg. 225
- ^ Adventure Guide entry for Xhul'horac
- ^ Archive of the Tirisgarde#Aluneth, Greatstaff of Magna
- ^ Image of Wrathion
- ^ a b https://sagamer.co.za/2020/10/01/steve-danuser-interview-about-world-of-warcraft-dying-in-the-shadowlands-and-opening-doors-for-the-future/
- ^ Steve Danuser with Taliesin & Evitel - 00:38:10
- ^ Steve Danuser with Taliesin & Evitel - 00:38:45