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  1. #1

    If souls can be destroyed, then why do they need the Maw?

    The Maw is supposed to be a prison for those who are irredeemable. In the real world we have prisons in order to lock dangerous people away, to punish them, and to find out if they can be rehabilitated and let back into society. This is one of the reasons why many people are against the death penalty. Because it robs people of the chance to redeem themselves.

    But the souls in the Maw are deemed irredeemable. So why do they need the Maw, if the souls could just be destroyed?

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by Ursoc18 View Post
    But the souls in the Maw are deemed irredeemable. So why do they need the Maw, if the souls could just be destroyed?
    It seems to me that the covenants adhere to some sort of code or law to keep the balance? Maybe the Maw needs souls too? So just throw the ones in there that suck or whatever? Maybe they all despise the Jailer and give him the awful souls on purpose? Maybe destroying souls is something that no one wants to do unless they absolutely have to?

    Who knows really, the real answer is what the writers think up.

  3. #3
    We do not know all the mechanics of death in the Shadowlands.
    Though even with that the obvious reason is that the souls are either too powerful to simply destroy, or more likely, you are not supposed to think about it.

  4. #4
    The entire concept of the Shadowlands if filled with inconsistencies in the worldbuilding of WOW. Heck, how does Shadowlands work with different time lines, what happens to souls trapped in soul shards, the question you just asked, etc. Better to just not think about it too much.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Very rare pepe View Post
    It seems to me that the covenants adhere to some sort of code or law to keep the balance? Maybe the Maw needs souls too? So just throw the ones in there that suck or whatever? Maybe they all despise the Jailer and give him the awful souls on purpose? Maybe destroying souls is something that no one wants to do unless they absolutely have to?

    Who knows really, the real answer is what the writers think up.
    I suppose there is also the slight possibility that souls that go to the Maw are so corrupt that destroying their souls would just spread their tainted anima across the Shadowlands to become a problem later.

    I mean, obviously this is a case where you are not supposed to think too much about it, but if I was to give an explanation that is what I would go for, souls that go to the Maw is like radioactive material for the Shadowlands, better to stick it in one place where it can be contained instead of letting it spread.

  6. #6
    If you destroy souls isn't that Fel Magic?

  7. #7
    Void Lord Aeluron Lightsong's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zogarth View Post
    The entire concept of the Shadowlands if filled with inconsistencies in the worldbuilding of WOW. Heck, how does Shadowlands work with different time lines, what happens to souls trapped in soul shards, the question you just asked, etc. Better to just not think about it too much.
    All mortal souls go to the Shadowlands, timelines or otherwise.
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  8. #8
    Perhaps because eternal suffering is an even worse punishment than ceasing to exist.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Aeluron Lightsong View Post
    All mortal souls go to the Shadowlands, timelines or otherwise.
    So, do we have several of each character? How many? Or does each timeline have their own Shadowlands? How would that work with how time is 'warped' in the shadowlands?

    Also, clearly the mechanics behind when and how a soul goes to the shadowlands is vague and undefined. How does undead work? Does the soul leave for the Shadowlands later? I remember a quest in BFA where you revive a guy who has been dead for a long time, and he retains memories, so it looks like he hasn't left for the Shadowlands yet. Or maybe his soul will leave when he dies 'for good', but that then brings up equally as many, if not more questions and inconsistencies.

  10. #10
    Maw is so bad that not existing would be a blessing?

  11. #11
    hopefully we will get answers to some of these questions, it'd certainly be interesting to see if different covenants and/or people have differing ideas on what counts as redeemable and whether souls should ever be destroyed. possibly blizz would feel that it'd be too close to some real life political issues with the death penalty though and steer clear, but that would be a shame

  12. #12
    Can AU Guldan meet MU Guldan?
    If they were "fel" infested at such a high level shouldnt 1 Guldan exist since he was more a demon rather than an Orc?

    Oh sorry I forgot it's bad world-building

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Ursoc18 View Post
    But the souls in the Maw are deemed irredeemable. So why do they need the Maw, if the souls could just be destroyed?
    If I'm not mistaken, the Souls contain varied amounts of Anima, or power.

    Maybe some Souls are simply... powerful. Maybe they fight back.

  14. #14
    Maw is like hell in religion? eternal suffering for horrible shit u done in life ?

  15. #15
    They're not destroyed, the shadowlands are an aberration of the cosmic-scale by existing in the same way the emrald dream does, it's an interplaniary realm between reality and the true realm of death itself as a force.
    Ursoc will be back in 11 years when we go to the realm of true and final death.

  16. #16
    The Undying Slowpoke is a Gamer's Avatar
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    Doesn't the Maw destroy souls anyway? I thought that was the entire reason it was bad is it just drains them of anima entirely over time and then the Jailer uses that to power his monstrosities.

    My guess is the only reason they feed the Maw, though, is because they feel bad for their "Brother" and can't bring themselves to just destroy him.
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  17. #17
    It's really important not to think too hard about the lore in general or the afterlife in particular.

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by A Chozo View Post
    If I'm not mistaken, the Souls contain varied amounts of Anima, or power.

    Maybe some Souls are simply... powerful. Maybe they fight back.
    From what we can glean from the storyline on the beta, souls are a source of anima. More powerful and prominent souls are a much larger source of anima. However, it's inferred (but not necessarily confirmed) that you can extract anima from a soul, but you can also gain anima back. You will see examples of people taking anima for personal use while questing, but there's off-comments that indicate that your soul regains anima naturally over time. It wouldn't be a stretch to say that powerful and prominent souls not only have a large capacity for anima, but they could probably regenerate anima faster if it's possible. From the animated shorts, this actually works against the regeneration capabilities, but it could be that there's a regeneration limit even for powerful souls. Simple stated, while a powerful soul may be able to generate anima faster, they may not produce enough to sustain themselves initially or they may need anima infusions to transition completely (i.e. if a soul like Ursoc experienced enough trauma, the recovery process to fix or stablize their soul may require external anima, and lots of it, to be reborn).

    Now why wouldn't you just destroy souls instead of sending them to the Maw? It's probably a multifaceted answer, but one utilitarian reason is that it'd be a waste of anima. Also, we also see examples of anima able to be shifted around the Shadowlands as needed, so the Maw could end up being just a spare anima source for those that need it beyond the Maw's own sustainability. We do see examples of souls getting destroyed in other realms, whether out of necessity or as part of their atonement process in the form of a threat, and this all likely has to do with the moral aspects of what souls go through depending upon which area of the Shadowlands they attend. I wouldn't say destroying souls is necessarily taboo, but it may be heavily frowned upon. Revendreth, while it may seem to operate outside of the rules a bit, may actually be the delineation of what's allowed and what isn't, as soul destruction there seems to be a choice of the soul itself in most cases. Basically, Revendreth has roughly three outcomes for a soul: they achieve atonement, they get sent to the Maw because they cannot be redeemed, or they end up destroying themselves to avoid both.

    Regardless, it appears that the destruction of souls isn't a common affair, even in the Maw. The actual existence and building blocks of every area, including the Maw, is based on anima... and destroying souls left and right is basically destroying your individual realm within the Shadowlands. There can potentially be other aspects beyond our knowledge when it comes to the consequences of destroying a soul, as how it plays into the whole rebirth cycle of souls returning to the realm of Reality (or even if/how new souls are made, unless the assumption is there's a finite amount of souls, the net creation-to-destruction of souls via external sources is negative, etc., there's tons of things to delve into). I think viewing the Maw as a place of eternal damnation for certain souls still works and may even be the main driver of its existence, I just think there could be more to it... whether in the moral reasons, or utilitarian aspects and how it all feeds into the 'machine of death' that's been referenced a lot.

    Anyways, this was the super short version.
    Last edited by exochaft; 2020-09-12 at 08:25 PM.
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  19. #19
    I wouldn't be surprised if there was a very small chance of working your way out of the Maw and into Revendreth.

  20. #20
    I am Murloc! Dellis0991's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ursoc18 View Post
    The Maw is supposed to be a prison for those who are irredeemable. In the real world we have prisons in order to lock dangerous people away, to punish them, and to find out if they can be rehabilitated and let back into society. This is one of the reasons why many people are against the death penalty. Because it robs people of the chance to redeem themselves.

    But the souls in the Maw are deemed irredeemable. So why do they need the Maw, if the souls could just be destroyed?
    The maw is meant to punish, killing a soul ends everything.

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