|Location||Within the fabric of the Shadowlands|
Zereth Mortis is the forbidden realm of the First Ones, tucked away in the fabric of the Shadowlands itself. It was crafted by the First Ones to act as their workshop and is intended to create afterlives, a process carried out by the enormous Forge of Afterlives floating at the center of the realm. A race of mechanical caretakers called the automa were left behind by the First Ones to facilitate this process. The realm's most notable feature is the Sepulcher of the First Ones, which contains knowledge that could rewrite reality.
Zereth Mortis is a strange, alien location that defies all concepts of reality or physics. It is divided between a dry desert biome—perhaps showing what the realm looked like when the First Ones were establishing the space for themselves—and a lush forested one—a testbed for their experimentation on plant and animal life. The water in Zereth Mortis can be walked on, creating a threshold between it and another, even more primordial space below it. Aside from the automa, the realm is home to a broker faction called the Enlightened, who seek to protect the First Ones' secrets. Their home of Haven serves as the zone's main hub.
After obtaining the five sigils of the Eternal Ones, the Jailer Zovaal opened a portal to Zereth Mortis, with the goal of using the knowledge in the Sepulcher to remake reality. The Primus collected the four replacement sigils created by the covenants in order to forge a key to follow Zovaal to the land of the First Ones. After the Primus creates a portal to Zereth Mortis, Maw Walkers will need to push back against Zovaal's Mawsworn, help the automa deal with devourers who've slipped into the realm, and ally with the Enlightened in order to learn to understand the automa's language through the , which opens up new content across the zone.
Zereth is a word in the language of the First Ones, but whether it is best translated as "cornerstone" or "keystone" remains a matter of subtle debate among brokers.
Maps and subregions
Notes and trivia
- In his search for Zereth Mortis, the Jailer pulled a fragment of the realm—called the Chained Precipice—into the Sanctum of Domination. If players look around Zereth Mortis closely enough, they will be able to find the spot that the precipice was ripped from.
- Specifically, the ripped out area was originally located just south of Antecedent Isle.
- Zereth is a Hebrew name found in the Tanakh (צֶרֶת) translated as meaning perplexity or splendor depending on possible root word, as well as a unit of measurement (זרת). Mortis means "of death" in Latin.
- When designing Zereth Mortis, the artists wanted the zone to look as unique and alien as possible and looked at "a lot of real-life examples of very strange places in the real world" for inspiration. They included a lot of water in the zone since "water is really the catalyst for any kind of creation".
- Zereth Mortis is thematically similar to Mortis from Star Wars and Ulnar from Blizzard's StarCraft franchise. Both Zereth Mortis and Ulnar are described as locations that should not be able to exist according to the laws of physics of their respective universes.
- Patch 9.2.0 (2022-02-22): Added.
- ^ a b c d e World of Warcraft 2021-11-11. Eternity’s End – Developer Preview | World of Warcraft: Shadowlands. YouTube.
- ^ a b c d Blizzard Entertainment 2021-11-11. Shadowlands: Watch the Eternity’s End developer preview. Archived from the original on 2021-11-11.
- ^ World of Warcraft: Grimoire of the Shadowlands and Beyond, pg. 160
- ^ Kit 2021-11-11. Shadowlands, Eternity’s End Q&A with Steve Danuser and Morgan Day: End of Book One?. GamerBraves. Archived from the original on 2021-11-11.