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  1. #1

    Mortal Races are Death Elementals



    According to Chronicle, the Shadowlands are like a negative version of the Emerald Dream. Just like the Emerald Dream is a green/life copy of Azeroth, the Shadowlands are a grey/death copy of Azeroth.

    When Ancient Guardians die, they return to the Dream and can come back to the Reality plane later. When Elementals die in Reality, they also return to their native plane and can be summoned back later.

    When Mortal races die, they go to the Shadowlands and can be brought back to Reality later, just like all other Elementals.

    From this, can we conclude that Mortal races are Death Elementals? A host of interesting questions result from this theory:

    • Is a ghost a pure manifestation of Death magic?
    • If a mortal dies in the Shadowlands, does it die permanently like other Elementals in their native plane?
    • Does the Curse of Flesh infect beings with Death Elementals?
    • Are Demons Fel Elementals? When they die they return to the Twisting Nether and can be brought back again (pre-Legion)

  2. #2
    Okay I'm gonna start off by saying that mortal races are NOT elementals. By your definition they might as well be Death Ancient Guardians. Same goes for demons. Just because they all go to their own (separate, completely un-related) planes upon death doesn't mean they are somehow related. This just means the Warcraft universe has an overarching theme of death not being the end.

    Secondly, the Shadowlands doesn't appear to be an exact negative replica of the Emerald Dream. The Emerald Dream was created by the titan-forged on Azeroth and only appears to cover that planet, while the Shadowlands possibly spans the entire universe (we've visited it on Draenor, Outland etc) and we don't know its origins.

    One thing I did take away from this post that I'd say is worth discussing: What happens to a spirit if it dies in the Shadowlands? If death for elementals and demons in the Elemental Planes and Twisting Nether respectively is any indication I'd say yes; mortal spirits do permanently die if killed in the Shadowlands.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Futhark View Post
    From this, can we conclude that Mortal races are Death Elementals?
    No, we can't. Not everything need to be, either fully or partly, an elemental.

    The Shadowlands were the default final destination for all things - maybe except beings aligned with the Light. The Emerald Dream and the Elemental Plane being destination of the Ancient Guardians and Azeroth Elementals after death weren't a natural occurrence. For one, the elementals themselves don't "return to their native plane" by default. Originally, they just respawn on Azeroth over time as they were bound to the planet ("The spirits of the elementals were bound to Azeroth itself"). They were only bound to the Elemental Plane - which is NOT a natural plane / dimension, but were created artificially by Ra and Helya - later as a mean to imprison them. Similarly, the Ancient Guardians - which I assume you meant the Wild Gods - don't return to the Dream by default. They were bound there by Freya ("It was on the slopes of Hyjal that Freya bound the spirits of her beloved Wild Gods to the Emerald Dream") while the more recent inhabitants of the Dreams were bound there by the Wild Gods / Ysera.

    Quote Originally Posted by chr2 View Post
    One thing I did take away from this post that I'd say is worth discussing: What happens to a spirit if it dies in the Shadowlands? If death for elementals and demons in the Elemental Planes and Twisting Nether respectively is any indication I'd say yes; mortal spirits do permanently die if killed in the Shadowlands.
    I think it's fair to assume that when a spirit is destroyed, it's gone. It doesn't matter where it is destroyed. Case in point, the demons' spirits can be destroyed (and lead to their permanent death) outside of the Twisting Nether with a place saturated with the Nether energy, and Sargeras was summoning a massive Fel storm to obliterate the Pantheon's spirits in real world instead of the Shadowlands. It's just that, as far as we know, there are too few abilities that outright destroy the soul in WoW - even Fel, which was said to damage the souls, doesn't destroy them that easily - so whenver something is killed, the soul would "escape" to the next destination instead (Shadowlands for mortals, the Nether for demons, formerly Azeroth / later the Elemental Plane for Azeroth elementals).
    Last edited by Qualia; 2018-03-13 at 03:08 PM.
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  4. #4
    Well, probably just the spirit, the "soul", as the body is definitely related to "life". Then again, we could argue that mortal bodies are an amalgation of life (growth, bodily functions) and death (aging, decay) and thus a sort of combined elemental form akin to e.g. the magma giants (fire+earth)
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  5. #5
    Maybe I got too hung up on the name 'Elemental' but it is good to see that others get the gist of what I was talking about. There is a recurring theme of things not really "dying" but returning to some plane of existence. I usually exempt players from these types of metaphysical things, but in Warcraft, the mortal races seem to follow the same pattern.

    Quote Originally Posted by Qualia View Post
    For one, the elementals themselves don't "return to their native plane" by default. Originally, they just respawn on Azeroth over time as they were bound to the planet ("The spirits of the elementals were bound to Azeroth itself"). They were only bound to the Elemental Plane - which is NOT a natural plane / dimension, but were created artificially by Ra and Helya - later as a mean to imprison them.
    I'm not arguing with this point because everything you said was right. Now I'm just curious why we had to go to the Firelands to defeat Ragnaros for good if that wasn't his plane of origin? Minor lore bug I guess.

  6. #6
    If anything, anything that is considered a ghost, wraith, specter, and/or a spirit are death elementals due to their physiology and current status.

    I understand what you are saying though, but are you referring to the player characters when you say we go to the Shadowlands but can be brought back? In-game mechanical reasons have little bearing on story/lore.

    There are few instances in the lore when plain humans (I should say mortals) have died and been brought back to life... and when I mean brought back to life I mean brought back as they once were, not at as anything more or less (ie: death knights).
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    This game clearly has some kind of supernatural hold on people. Not only do people still play it, but some people who don't play it still want to come on to the forums and spend their time talking about it!

    WHAT A CRAZY WORLD THIS IS.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Futhark View Post
    Now I'm just curious why we had to go to the Firelands to defeat Ragnaros for good if that wasn't his plane of origin? Minor lore bug I guess.
    What we saw in Molten Core (which is still a part of Blackrock) was a weakened, summoned form. I'm not sure why, in the 250 years he ruled over the Blackrock and the Dark Iron, he didn't either try to fully enter this plane or retreat into the Firelands for another approach.
    Nevertheless, when the Adventurers stormed the Molten Core, they took advantage of Executus' cowardice and made him "awaken" that avatar to vanquish it. While that defeat presumably ended the Fire Elementals' presence in Blackrock and rule over the Dark Iron, it did not kill Ragnaros.
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  8. #8
    What are you on about?

    We wuz titanforged and shiet.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Nathanyel View Post
    Well, probably just the spirit, the "soul", as the body is definitely related to "life". Then again, we could argue that mortal bodies are an amalgation of life (growth, bodily functions) and death (aging, decay) and thus a sort of combined elemental form akin to e.g. the magma giants (fire+earth)
    Technically orcs are a fusion of arcane (titan), nature, and fel elements.

    Those affected by the curse of flesh might be considered a mix of arcane and shadow elements.

    In think the idea is that the mortal races have a choice to nourish and/or transform the elements that compose them. Like how Demon Hunters transform themselves into demons or shamans into elemental avatars.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Futhark View Post
    I'm not arguing with this point because everything you said was right. Now I'm just curious why we had to go to the Firelands to defeat Ragnaros for good if that wasn't his plane of origin? Minor lore bug I guess.
    You are right. Now that I think about it, that's a strange small part of the story. Why couldn't the Keepers kill the Elementals on Azeroth when their spirits were originally bound there, but we can kill demons where their spirits are naturally bound to (the Twisting Nether) or the Elementals at the Elemental Plane where their spirits are bound artificially by the Keepers now? The way it works doesn't seem consistent. So, is it something special limited to Azeroth only due to the world-soul being an extremely powerful Titan, or is it something applied to the elementals everywhere else too? I guess we have to wait for an explanation from Blizzard, but given that this is just such a tiny bit of lore, we probably will never get one.
    Je veux le sang, sang, sang, et sang
    Donnons le sang de guillotine
    Pour guerir la secheresse de la guillotine
    Je veux le sang, sang, sang, et sang.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by chr2 View Post
    Okay I'm gonna start off by saying that mortal races are NOT elementals. By your definition they might as well be Death Ancient Guardians. Same goes for demons. Just because they all go to their own (separate, completely un-related) planes upon death doesn't mean they are somehow related. This just means the Warcraft universe has an overarching theme of death not being the end.

    Secondly, the Shadowlands doesn't appear to be an exact negative replica of the Emerald Dream. The Emerald Dream was created by the titan-forged on Azeroth and only appears to cover that planet, while the Shadowlands possibly spans the entire universe (we've visited it on Draenor, Outland etc) and we don't know its origins.

    One thing I did take away from this post that I'd say is worth discussing: What happens to a spirit if it dies in the Shadowlands? If death for elementals and demons in the Elemental Planes and Twisting Nether respectively is any indication I'd say yes; mortal spirits do permanently die if killed in the Shadowlands.
    If anything we're something between titan and void. Titans made the races we came from and the curse of flesh came from the old gods which made us what we are today.

  12. #12
    I think dying and reviving are game mechanics and not cannon, outside of certain quests like the Azuregos one in Azshara, or Illidan commenting on you sacrificing yourself during the DH intro.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Qualia View Post
    You are right. Now that I think about it, that's a strange small part of the story. Why couldn't the Keepers kill the Elementals on Azeroth when their spirits were originally bound there, but we can kill demons where their spirits are naturally bound to (the Twisting Nether) or the Elementals at the Elemental Plane where their spirits are bound artificially by the Keepers now? The way it works doesn't seem consistent. So, is it something special limited to Azeroth only due to the world-soul being an extremely powerful Titan, or is it something applied to the elementals everywhere else too? I guess we have to wait for an explanation from Blizzard, but given that this is just such a tiny bit of lore, we probably will never get one.
    I think the thing with the elementals is they're integral to Azeroth. I think it was the first Chronicle that said there was a connection between elements and a planet/titan spirit.

  14. #14
    Mortals don’t have to go to Shadowlands after their death though.
    Some go to the Light
    Some join the Emerald Dream
    Some go to Valhalla rip-off

  15. #15
    Mechagnome WolfRider's Avatar
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    Here how I see it:

    1/ Spirit Element is the source of "life".

    2/ A nascent Titan needs to absorb an amount of Spirit Element to grow.

    3/ The Emerald Dream was created by Azeroth as an idea, a concept, a dream, but wasn't mastered. She used it clumsily to spread life but it was a fragile one, threatened by the Elemental War that was happening on the planet. When the living being died, their Spirit Element returned to the planet. It was a short and simple cycle.

    4/ The Old Gods absorbed a bit of Azeroth's spirit and matter (earth) to grow. This matter was used to feed them and allow their bodies to grow bigger. Then they created the Aquir from their own flesh and the Spirit they absorbed to bind these minions to their will.

    5/ This operation altered the used Spirit Element, the Aquir and other Old Gods minions were sent to war against the Elemental Lords. When these minions died, the Spirit Element within them gathered and created the Shadowlands, a spiritual plane

    6/ During the Scouring, Freya shaped and developed the Emerald Dream as a kind of "factory". This would allow the Spirit Element to be preserved in part and avoid Azeroth to absorb the whole amount. From this Emerald Dream, physical "life" could spread on the planet.

    7/ Life born from the Emerald Dream was meant to return there if it physically ended.

    8/ In the beginning, only animals were created by the Emerald Dream, based on the prototypes imagined by Azeroth in her Dream. These prototypes are the Wild Gods.

    9/ The Well of Eternity changed some animals living by its shores:
    - Raptors > Trolls (known as Zandalari)
    - Pandas > Pandarens
    - Murlocs > Jinyus
    - Bufalos > Yaungols
    - Monkeys > Hozen

    10/ These altered animals, now humanoïds, developed a free-will, changing their Spirit Element into Soul because of the nature of the Well of Eternity. Their Soul won't return to the Emerald Dream, but will fall into the Shadowlands if they died.

    11/ Old Gods altered the lesser titanic creations called Earthen, Meccagnomes and Vrykuls with the Curse of flesh. This changed their Spirit Element into Soul too and they would suffer the same fate into the Shadowlands if they died.

    12/ Old Gods wanted to corrupt the Emerald Dream because it is an untainted source of Spirit Element. If life was coming out from this Emerald Nightmare, it would corrupt Nature and kill everything, sending their Souls into the Shadowlands.

    13/ The objective was to convert every pure Spirit Element into corrupted Souls, changing positive energy (Light) into negative one (Shadow), and force Azeroth to tap into the Shadowlands to feed herself, changing her into a Void Titan.

    14/ It is possible that a Soul stays in the physical plane for many reasons: bound there with a spell or by a charmed object, or because it denies its own physical death. It also can be bring back from the Shadowlands into a vessel. It is very difficult to bring it back into it's original body, because the physical death implies that something is broken and hardly fixable, like a deadly wound, missing part etc... You can bring it back into a dead body, but it will short lifespan.

    15/ Echoes are manifestations/prints of energy left by the Souls, they are not Souls or Spirit Element.

  16. #16
    That was very comprehensive, and a great read.

  17. #17
    Shadowlands expansion main feature: Perma Death! Die in the Shadowlands and lose your character forever!

    Before Chronicles I've thought Spirit Healers are Spirit Elementals but now we could call them Death Elementals I guess?

  18. #18
    The Insane Aquamonkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Futhark View Post
    When Ancient Guardians die, they return to the Dream and can come back to the Reality plane later.
    That's only because Freya bound them to the Emerald Dream she created.

    Quote Originally Posted by Futhark View Post
    When Elementals die in Reality, they also return to their native plane and can be summoned back later.
    The Elemental Plane is not their native plane. It's a prison created by the titanforged.
    Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
    ´So.. sorry to bring this up but..you know that .."thing" (Med'an).. is that "thing" cannon still?
    ...as much have some have wished otherwise, yes. (Loreology)

    RPG is non-canon by default. (MickyNeilson)

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Nalorakk View Post
    I think dying and reviving are game mechanics and not cannon, outside of certain quests like the Azuregos one in Azshara, or Illidan commenting on you sacrificing yourself during the DH intro.
    Death and revival are technically canon in warcraft, but the frequency at which our heroes comeback certainly is due to game mechanics.
    In the lore, Spirit Healers are Val'kyr that never returned to Odyn and stayed in the shadowlands to guide lost souls back to the realm of the living. The players are individuals chosen by the Spirit Healers to stay and protect Azeroth. Besides our characters however, very few people ever comeback to life, and not without great effort.

  20. #20
    Maybe when the Titankeepers created the Elemental Plane, they also bound the spirits of the Elementals there, so from this point forward Elementals could only truly be killed in their prison? Meanwhile the Titans still made sure that enough power of the elements and Elementals remained on the planet Azeroth itself, because these powers are absolutely necessary for the survival of the world.

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