So I'm sitting here, thinking about the next expansion. Shocker, I know.
One of the prevalent theories online is that we'll be going to pay a visit to N'Zoth.
(Before anyone goes "Lol, you said Burning Legion!", I'll just remind you that I believe the Legion is a sort of framework narrative. We could be fighting both Azshara and N'Zoth before the Legion crisis is over.)
But what can the Old Gods actually tell us of the next expansion? After all, they never seem to shut up. I'll link a few quotes and highlight some words below.
Puzzle Box of Yogg-Saron:
This is basically Yogg-Saron in the form of a box.
- At the bottom of the ocean even light must die...
- The silent, sleeping, staring houses in the backwoods always dream... It would be merciful to tear them down...
- There is no sharp distinction between the real and the unreal...
- Even death may die...
- There is a little lamb lost in dark woods...
- All places, all things have souls... All souls can be devoured...
- What can change the nature of a man?
- The stars sweep chill currents that make men shiver in the dark...
- Do you dream while you sleep or is it an escape from the horrors of reality?
- Look around... They will all betray you... Flee screaming into the black forest...
- In the land of Ny'alotha there is only sleep...
- In the sleeping city of Ny'alotha walk only mad things.
- Ny'alotha is a city of old, terrible, unnumbered crimes...
- Y'knath k'th'rygg k'yi mrr'ungha gr'mula...
- The void sucks at your soul. It is content to feast slowly...
- The drowned god's heart is black ice...
- It is standing right behind you... Do not move... Do not breathe...
- Have you had the dream again? A black goat with seven eyes that watches from the outside.
- In the sunken city, he lays dreaming.
- Open me! Open me! Open me! Then only will you know peace.
- You resist... You cling to your life as if it actually matters... You will learn...
- The tortured spirits of your ancestors cling to you, screaming in silence. Apparently they are quite numerous.
- The fish know all the secrets. They know the cold. They know the dark.
- The giant rook watches from the dead trees. Nothing breathes beneath his shadow.
- Beneath the shadow of the darkened spire, there is no light, no mercy, only void, and the chaos within.
- You will all be alone in the end.
Xal'atoh, Desecrated Image of Gorehowl:
This is basically Y'Shaarj in the form of a weapon.
- With each threat unraveled, a step closer to my realm.
- Another blemish on your soul.
- You will rest in Ny'alotha.
- You should kill them all. You must kill them all.
- Eyes are the windows to the soul. Shatter them forever.
- Pluck their wings. Leave them broken.
- Pay the cost of greatness.
- All should bow before you. Make them!
- All that you have accomplished, all that you have won, yet still you lick the boots of kings.
- Carve more slowly, that I may feed.
- Embrace your rage.
- Caress your fear.
- Gorge your hatred.
- Voice your doubts.
- When you walk among the black forest, you will see.
- I can taste the essence of your soul... it is sweet...
Not much going on here. C'thun was a long time ago, and they might not yet have pinned down what they wanted the Whispers of the Old Gods to reveal back then. Instead, C'thun mostly goes on about betrayal and discouraging the player - a re-occurring theme.
- Death is close...
- You are already dead.
- Your courage will fail.
- Your friends will abandon you.
- You will betray your friends.
- You will die.
- You are weak.
- Your heart will explode.
So there you have it. Here are my thoughts:
Emerald Dream Connections?
To me, a lot of it really sounds like a description of what we know as "The Dark Below", and the Emerald Dream. All the references to sleeping and dreaming. We know the Rift of Aln within the Dream is likely where N'Zoth accesses it, from the Rift within the Maelstrom.
Old God in the Eastern Kingdoms?
We had an Old God in the west, one in the north, and one in the south. N'Zoth might be in the middle, and there could be one in the east.
However, it should be noted that all of them were probably much closer before the Sundering, when the continents drifted apart.
If there is one in the east, then that could potentially be an argument for why we won't be going to visit N'Zoth in the next expansion. After all, he seems to be the central one, mentioned by the other Old Gods. The main dude. Xal'atoh says "with each threat unravelled, a step closer to my realm", which could mean "with each Old God beaten, you come closer to me". So maybe we need to finish the potential Old God in the East before taking on N'Zoth, the central one?
Is Y'shaarj really N'Zoth?
Could Y'shaarj even be N'Zoth, but as interpreted by the peoples of Pandaria? After all, there is a strong connection between the waters of Pandaria and the Well of Eternity. If Y'shaarj is around those waters, then perhaps he was at the centre of the world, where the Well of Eternity used to be? Plus, Xal'atoh says "closer to MY realm", but was introduced as a weapon after the events of Pandaria. We sure aren't going into Y'shaarj's realm, if there even is one. So who is the Old God saying "My realm"?
On top of that, the Puzzle-Box refers to a "black goat with seven eyes". Sounds pretty much like Y'shaarj who is said to have had seven heads, no?
And what the heck is this "forest" the whispers keep mentioning? Is it a corrupted forest within the Emerald Dream? Is it a metaphor for kelp at the bottom of the ocean? Is it a metaphor for us? Is it a place on Azeroth?
Give me what you've got!