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For other uses of the term "Shadow", see Shadow (disambiguation).

Shadow and Light are the most fundamental forces in existence. They are bound together on a cosmic scale, although contradictory by their very nature. One cannot exist without the other. Pure Shadow and Light dwell in a realm outside the borders of reality, but shades of their presence are found in the physical universe. Shadow and Darkness (also referred to as "the Void") appears as shadow magic.[1]

The Light is often said to bring about feelings of positive emotion—hope, courage, comfort—and the like. Shadow abilities are just the opposite, able to impart feelings like despair, doubt, and panic. In a poetic sense, it can be said that the emotions which the Light brings about come from the "heart," whereas the emotions manipulated by shadow are often based on survival logic, and therefore affect the "mind."[2]


"For every light, there is a shadow." - Anathema[3]

It is stated that before life began, before even the cosmos took shape, there was Light ... and there was Void. However, the Light, unfettered by the confines of time and space, swelled across all existence in the form of a boundless prismatic sea. Great torrents of living energy flitted through its mirrored depths, their movements conjuring a symphony of joy and hope. The Light's ocean was dynamic and ever shifting. Yet as it grew, some of its energies faded and dimmed, leaving behind pockets of seemingly cold nothingness.[4]

From the absence of Light in these spaces, a new power coalesced and came to be. A dark and vampiric force driven to devour all energy, to twist creation inward to feed upon itself, this power was the Void. The Void quickly grew and spread its influence, moving against the Light's flowing waves. The mounting tension between these two seemingly opposing yet inseparable energies eventually ignited a series of catastrophic explosions, rupturing the fabric of creation and birthing a new realm into existence. In that moment, the physical universe was born.[5]

The most unstable energies coalesced into an astral dimension known as the Twisting Nether. Light and Void collided and bled together at this realm's edges, throwing it into turmoil. Linked to the Great Dark Beyond, although tangentially, the Twisting Nether existed outside the physical universe's borders.[6]

Denizens of the Cosmos

Dark Naaru

The dark naaru are creatures of living holy energy and, presumably, shadow energy. It is EXCEEDINGLY rare for a naaru to fall into a void state, and even rarer for a fallen naaru to be brought back into the Light. A naaru's fall into the void represents a catastrophic loss for the naaru and for the forces of the Light, and it is the saddest, most heart-wrenching event for the naaru to witness. Conversely, a naaru being reborn into the Light brings renewed hope and sense of purpose to every naaru.[7]

If dark have both Light and Void energies, it could be possible that the Light and Void energies a dark naaru can have can become unstable and coalesce into nether or bled together at the borders of nether.

Old Gods

The Old Gods are physical manifestations of the Void. They are nightmares incarnate: mountains of blighted flesh and writhing tentacles that grow like cancers within the worlds of the Great Dark.[8]


Enigmatic and emanating pure demonic fury, a voidwalker is sometimes the last thing someone encounters before crossing over into death.

Void Lords

Composed of pure shadow energy, the void lords are monstrous entities. These beings are cruel and merciless beyond mortal comprehension. Driven by an insatiable hunger, the void lords seek to devour all matter and energy in the physical universe. The void lords exist outside reality in their natural state. Only the most powerful of these entities can manifest in the physical universe, and only for limited amounts of time. To maintain their presence in reality, the void lords must consume untold amounts of matter and energy.[9]

Old Gods are malignant entities that serve the void lords, and they live only to transform the worlds they infest into places of despair and death.[10]

Professions of the Cosmos


Priests are devoted to the spiritual. Some priests pride themselves on pragmatism. They understand that light casts a shadow, that darkness is defined by light, and that true discipline stems from one’s ability to balance these opposing powers in services of a greater cause. While these priests possess many holy virtues to aid their allies, they also dabble in the dark arts to debilitate their enemies—always exercising immense discipline to keep themselves away from the brink of insanity. Many would say the ends justify the means; scriptures both virtuous and vile should be studied and understood to protect the congregation.[11]

The Light in which many priests bathe is brilliant and effervescent, granting them immense divine power. But the brightest light casts the darkest shadow—and from within this blackness, a rival power dwells. Shadow priests fully embrace this opposing polarity, their faith equally resolute as their holy counterparts—but focused on shadowy magics and mental manipulation. Like all priests, they dedicate much of their lives to worship—but they derive their power from the Void, straying dangerously close to the domain of the Old Gods. To truly understand such ancient, corruptive influence is to be driven mad. This is the state in which these dark priests thrive, embracing insanity and feeding off of the minds of their opponents to reach terrifying new limits.[11]


Warlocks are magical practitioners who seek to understand darker, fel-based magics, including destructive spells. Warlocks peer into the Void without hesitation, leveraging the chaos they glimpse within to devastating ends in battle—their greatest abilities are fueled by the souls they’ve harvested from their victims. They also exploit powerful shadow magic to manipulate and degrade the minds and bodies of their enemies.[12]

Indulging in fel energies that wither away their life force over time, affliction warlocks are the masters of shadow magic.[13] They revel in corrupting minds and agonizing souls, leaving enemies in a state of torment that would see them undone in due time. Even the most battle-hardened warriors can be deceived, landing blow after blow against the warlock, only to succumb to their suffering as their very vitality is siphoned away by the dark spellcaster. To cause intense pain and suffering in others, these warlocks delight in using fel forces.[12]

Void Entropy

"Beneath the shadow of the darkened spire, there is no light, no mercy, only void, and the chaos within." - Puzzle Box of Yogg-Saron, the Old God of Death[14]

Void entropy can be defined as the void representation of the unavailability of a system's thermal energy for conversion into work, often interpreted as the degree of disorder or randomness in the system. Disorder is manifested as highly destructive fel magic, a brutal and extremely addictive energy fueled by drawing life from living beings.[15] Because fel magic is the manifestation of disorder, which can be defined as a lack of order,[16] one can consider fel magic to be a manifestation of a - or the - void, which can be defined as a lack. The void is chaotic since energies, naturally, want to spread out and become messy. Despite that fact, Matt Burns thinks there are exceptions to that rule when it comes to Warcraft powers since they are all magic.[17] It seems that Matt Burns doesn't understand that his thoughts cannot change the fact that the void is devoid of order (disorder), which is manifested as highly destructive fel magic.

Entropic Horrors

Energies can be so chaotic that they manifest as entropic horrors, pure fel magic given form to lash out at all life—the essence they drop is poisonous[18] and would — or does — poison living beings with a sickness that drains life.


According to Dave Kosak, shadowflame is likely fel magic infused with shadow. However, it seems that shadowflame is actually a combination of shadow (void) and fire - a combination that doesn't seem possible to create. The void is dark and cold whereas fire is defined as light and heat. It seems that the void cannot be combined with light and heat because it would just suck the light and heat into non-existence. As such, fel magic itself seems to be shadowflame, which again, seems to be a combination of shadow and fire (light and heat).

Void Horrors

Void horrors are horrors with an entropic nature that causes them to drift into the Twisting Nether.




See also

External links

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