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For Darkmoon Card: Twisting Nether or Server:Twisting Nether. Note that the Netherstorm is not the same thing as the Twisting Nether.
The Twisting Nether is an astral dimension that lies in parallel with the Great Dark Beyond. The forces of Light and Void bleed together at the boundaries of the Twisting Nether, engulfing this realm in perpetual strife.

Twisting Nether concept art from the Art of World of Warcraft book.

The Twisting Nether is an ethereal dimension of undulating green "nether" which connects worlds.

The Twisting Nether (also known as the Nether Realm,[1] Nether World,[2] or the Nether) is the line between the ebb of Light and the flow of Void. A place of chaos and fragments.[3]


"...The stars march in order across the sky, the seasons fall on after the other with lockstepped regularity, and men and women live and die. If that does not happen, it's magic, the first warping of the universe, a few floorboards that are bent out of shape, waiting for industrious hands to pry them up."

Before the physical universe existed, there was Light and there was Void. In the formed of a boundless prismatic sea, the Light swelled across all existence unfettered by the confines of time and space. Great torrents of living energy flitted through its mirrored depths, their movements conjuring a symphony of joy and hope. However, the ocean of Light was ever shifting and dynamic. As it expanded, some of its energies dimmed and faded, leaving behind pockets of cold nothingness. A new power coalesced and came to be from the absence of Light in these spaces. A dark and vampiric force driven to devour all energy, to twist creation inward to feed upon itself, this power was the Void. Moving against the Light's flowing waves, the Void quickly grew and spread its influence. Eventually a series of catastrophic explosions was ignited by the mounting tension between these two opposing yet inseparable energies, rupturing the fabric of creation and birthing a new realm into existence. In that moment, the physical universe was born.[4]

The most unstable energies coalesced into an astral dimension known as the Twisting Nether. Light and Void collided and bled together at the edges of this realm, throwing it into turmoil. Although tangentially linked to the Great Dark Beyond, the Twisting Nether existed outside the borders of the physical universe. Even so, the volatile energies of the Twisting Nether would occasionally tear through the veil of the Great Dark, flooding into reality and warping creation.[5]


Demons are aberrations who had been formed as a result of the Light and Void energies that had bled together at the Twisting Nether's borders.[6]


Warlocks summon and command indomitable demons from the Twisting Nether to do their bidding. Demons, by their very nature, are leeches on the living universe—but the demonologist has mastered harnessing the power of these malefic beings on the field of battle. Warlocks harvest the souls of their defeated enemies; those specialized in the ways of demonology use this life essence to tap into the Void, pulling all manner of abomination from the chaos of the Twisting Nether. While such a practice is often considered by outsiders to be wicked and reckless, the demonologist maintains absolute control over the summoned creatures. These malignant entities are fully beholden to—and empowered by—the will of the warlock, until banished to the realm from whence they came.[7]

Please note: Demonic power (or warlock magics)[8] would exist in — and be drawn from — the Twisting Nether because demons (and the demonic powers they contain) are from the Twisting Nether. However, when asked if perhaps warlocks were harnessing their power from the Twisting Nether, Sean Copeland—Blizzard's Lead Historian—replied, "No, that’d be magi, IIRC.[9]

Highly destructive fel magic—the ways of the warlock—[10] is what Disorder is manifested as. This brutal and extremely addicting energy is stated to be fueled by drawing life from living beings. Conversely, Order is manifested as arcane magic, which mana is a measure of. This type of energy is innately volatile, and wielding it requires intense precision and concentration.[11]


Students gifted with a keen intellect and unwavering discipline may walk the path of the mage. The arcane magic available to magi is both great and dangerous, and thus is revealed only to the most devoted practitioners.[12]

Mages of the arcane are diviners of secrets, balancing the ebb and flow of incredible mystic energies. Unparalleled skill is required to manipulate the volatile forces of the universe. These practitioners push their magical knowledge to its very limits—often to the brink of their own exhaustion, and at great risk to the world around them. Those who master this craft are capable of releasing a barrage of unrelenting power upon their enemies, drawing upon replenishing energies to maintain their assault for as long as the battle demands.[13]

A common perception was shared that the magi's magic was unholy and possibly even demonic.[14] In the face of demonic power, most heroes see death. Warlocks see only opportunity. Dominance is their aim, and they have found a path to it in the dark arts. To fight beside them, these voracious spellcasters summon demonic minions. At first, they command only the service of imps, but as a warlock’s knowledge grows, seductive succubi, loyal voidwalkers, and horrific felhunters join the dark sorcerer’s ranks to wreak havoc on anyone who stands in their master’s way.[15]


Treading the chaotic spaces between worlds, the ethereals are astral travelers who dwell within the Twisting Nether.[16] K'aresh was an arid planet, home to a thriving ecosystem and several sentient species before the arrival of Dimensius the All-Devouring. How the void lord found K'aresh is still hotly debated among the surviving ethereals, but the effects of his coming were unmistakable: he opened countless gateways into the void and the Twisting Nether around the planet, bathing K'aresh in arcane and dark energies. Using every scrap of its advanced technology, one of the mortal races hastily attempted to construct magical barriers around its cities, but it was only partially successful; although the dark energies were blocked, the unimpeded flood of arcane energy tore away the mortals' corporeal shells and infused their souls with enough energy so that they could subsist without a body… barely. Members of this race, now called ethereals, took to binding themselves with enchanted strips of cloth to provide their souls with enough structure to survive. This altered state proved to be a blessing in disguise, as their enhanced minds and magical abilities allowed the ethereals to fight Dimensius and his limited forces to a standstill. Over the years, however, Dimensius eventually grew powerful enough to summon armies of fellow void creatures, forcing the ethereals to flee into the Twisting Nether.[17]


Questionmark-medium.png This section concerns content that is potentially inaccurate. Reason: Needs better refs.

Netherdrakes (or nether drakes) are notorious for their tenuous grasp on death.[18] Near the end of the Second War, the black dragon Deathwing traveled through the Dark Portal to Draenor. Believing the world to be a relatively safe haven for his offspring, he secreted away a cache of black dragon eggs. Following the war, Ner’zhul recklessly opened multiple portals on Draenor, and the magical stress tore the planet apart. The energies released in this catastrophe altered Deathwing’s eggs, resulting in the nether drakes: partially corporeal and partially ethereal dragons who possess the ability to shift between the astral and physical planes. Without Deathwing’s guidance, these otherworldly nether drakes are just now finding their own way among the blasted ruins of Outland.[19]

Rift of Aln

A vast deep fissure, known to the druids as the Rift of Aln, is believed to be where the magical realm known as the Emerald Dream first originated. Those of Malfurion's calling believed the Rift of Aln bled into the Twisting Nether and the Great Dark Beyond.[20]

In World of Warcraft

World of Warcraft This section concerns content exclusive to World of Warcraft.

Questionmark-medium.png This section concerns content that is potentially inaccurate.

Flying too far beyond the edges of Outland brings characters into a region called the "Twisting Nether". As of now, the Nether has no particular special purpose and despite the general lore descriptions, it has no special imagery as it appears as the sun rising and setting over a horizon with no visible ground beneath the player were they to fly there. Another way of getting your zone to "Twisting Nether" is to drink "Pure Energy" given to you in a quest in Toshleys Station.

The Twisting Nether does not seem to be part of any region of Outland, similar to how the Veiled Sea is not part of any region of Kalimdor but instead is adjacent to it. The Twisting Nether has its own general and local defense channels.

Note even though the Twisting Nether does not seem to be part of Outland, you can explore it with a flying mount and remount if you choose to explore the floating masses on foot. There does not appear to be a fatigue warning as one gets exploring the Veiled Sea. If you fly too far out or too high, you simply get an audible sound indicating that you can't go any farther. For a Druid in flight form the bird makes a screeching noise.

Sometimes, taking the boat from Auberdine to Valaar's Berth will make you join Twisting Nether chat channels for a split second just after the loading screen. This happens because Azuremyst Isle, like the nearby Bloodmyst Isle, is actually located on the Outland map despite appearing geographically in the Veiled Sea. Also, if you would jump off the boat on that second you would fall into the Twisting Nether and can resurect on a graveyard in Hellfire Peninsula.

in the RPG

Warcraft RPG - may not be canon This section concerns content exclusive to the Warcraft RPG, and thus unlikely to be canon.


The Twisting Nether does not co-exist with the worlds in any physical sense. It is a completely different state of being, one that is fundamentally incompatible with the universe as most creatures know it. Someone cannot look from the Nether into a world and vice versa; it is much easier to move between the Nether and a world. A shadow walk spell will take one through the Nether as he moves from place to place, and one can reach the Twisting Nether and its inhabitants with just about any planar travel or communications spell. Entering the Twisting Nether brings one to a realm of pure, lunatic thought. Most of the Twisting Nether is protean, never appearing the same for more than a few seconds. Colors change, it grows dark and light from moment to moment, sparkles and strange sounds emit and then vanish. One moment someone is suspended in nothingness, the next he is standing at the bottom of a deep canyon of purple rocks. His next shift may be to a tiny rock suspended in a starry night, and he has no way of knowing whether the change will occur in seconds or days. The Nether is an intensely magical environment, and some speculate that it is the true source of all arcane magic.[21]


Twisting nether icon.png

The worlds of the universe are orderly, bound by physical law, comprehensible. The Twisting Nether is everything the worlds are not. It is a stream of pure chaos that surrounds the worlds and binds them together.[21]

Chunks of worlds float among prismatic clouds, and colorful energy ribbons twist through the void. All is spectral and shadowy — blurring together in a muted, multicolored haze that brushes and teases the senses. Physical laws do not exist in this realm of ghosts, save those that a traveler creates for his or herself. Magic and illusion dance across the ever-changing vastness.[22]

Gravity and movement in the Twisting Nether

The Twisting Nether has subjective directional gravity. The strength of gravity in the Twisting Nether is the same as on Azeroth, but each individual chooses the direction of gravity’s pull. Such a plane has no gravity for unattended objects and nonsentient creatures. The Twisting Nether can be very disorienting to the newcomer, and the plane appears weightless.[23]

Movement is controlled by the person's will power, and one can travel in any direction simply by deciding to do so.[21] Creatures in the Twisting Nether can move normally along a solid surface by imagining "down" near their feet. If suspended in midair, a person "flies" by merely choosing a "down" direction and "falling" that way in a straight line only. In order to stop, one has to slow one's movement by changing the designated "down" direction.[23] Though limited to regular movement speeds, one can sprint as long as he wishes without growing tired. The Twisting Nether does not restrict him from simply appearing wherever he wants to within it (this normally "impossible" action is known as point-to-point movement). Merely existing within the Nether strains the mind of non-native creatures, though, and ignoring traditional physical laws is even more painful.[21][24] Creatures native to the Twisting Nether, such as demons, can move point-to-point at will without any handicap.[21]

The Twisting Nether is of infinite size, there are no known borders of to the Nether. The Twisting Nether is timeless. Age, hunger, thirst, poison, and natural healing do not function in the Twisting Nether, though they resume functioning when the traveler leaves the plane. It is also strongly chaos-aligned. It also enhances magic. Magic is extremely powerful in the Nether. Any spell cast while in the Nether has its duration extended. Illusion spells cost no mana and last for extended periods.

Landscape and changes via thought and will power

An abandoned ship stranded on a rock in the Twisting Nether.

The Twisting Nether is highly morphic and little shifts occur all the time in the Twisting Nether, and many changes are caused by the landscape adjusting itself to fit the thoughts of those within it. Think about war and violence and the landscape may become a battlefield populated with undead soldiers and orcs. If one is lonely, his lost love may step out of a nearby cottage. The solidity, detail, and potential danger these images possess depend on how well a creature can control its thoughts. If a creature is in control of its thoughts, then images the creature's mind triggers are benign or easily ignored. If it doesn't control its thoughts, then the images that appear are realistic and frightening. Strong-minded individuals may consciously influence the Twisting Nether. The changes made may be subtle or drastic. One can create an image of a dog wandering around the area sniffing others and licking any hand that is presented or place oneself and those nearby at the top of a windswept mountain. A creature cannot create any knowledge that it does not already have. If someone creates a well-appointed library, for instance, the only information in the books is information he already knows. If more than one creature tries to manipulate the environment, the one with the strongest will controls the environment. This control persists until another stronger willed creature changes it. The forces of the Twisting Nether steadily erodes any attempt at a static environment. If someone creates a cozy chalet with a roaring fire on the hearth, he should not be surprised if a few moments later the fire poker has morphed into a duck. A harmful environment created requires all those within the area to be willful to avoid being harmed by it.[25]

Races and creatures

Note: Many of these creatures are drawn from the Shadows & Light sourcebook.[26]


Questionmark-medium.png This section's content needs citations, references, or sources.
  • The Twisting Nether resembles The Warp from the Warhammer 40,000 universe. The Warp is where the powers of Chaos and their servants reside; they are always trying to corrupt and invade the universe.
  • Another likely source of inspiration is the Astral Plane in the Dungeons & Dragons campaign setting of PlaneScape, which has a lot of things in common with the Nether, such as subjective gravity and amorphous, magical environments. The PlaneScape Astral Plane also works as a gateway between worlds.


  • Dornaa, the draenei Children's Week orphan makes a joke about the Twisting Nether, "Is the Twisting Nether shaped like a pretzel? And just what is a nether? The Orphan Matron said I shouldn't ask people about their nethers."
  • Falling off the edge of a landmass while unable to access any sort of flight assist (i.e., 'in combat') will cause death, apparently from sheer fright as there is no impact, long before anything interesting or different is reached.


  1. ^ The Sundering pg. 409 on iBooks
  2. ^ The Sundering pg. 473 on iBooks
  3. ^ Jeremy Feasel on Twitter: The Twisting Nether is the line between the ebb of Light and the flow of Void. A place of chaos and fragments.
  4. ^ World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 1 pg. 40-41 on iBooks
  5. ^ World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 1 pg. 41-42 on iBooks
  6. ^ World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 1 pg. 52 on iBooks
  7. ^ World of Warcraft > Legion Class Preview Series: Warlock
  8. ^ Orcish History (After the Second War) - Lethargy and Internment: Researching what little he could find of Orcish history, Antonidas learned that the Orcs had been under the crippling influence of demonic power (or warlock magics) for generations.
  9. ^ Archived lore tweets from Loreology - Archive from 2014
  10. ^ Hearthstone > News > Gul'dan, The Warlock Gul’dan was promised unfathomable power in the form of mastery over fel magic—the ways of the warlock—if he would only swear fealty to the demon lord and usurp his mentor.
  11. ^ World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 1 pg. 22-23 on iBooks
  12. ^ World of Warcraft > Game Guide > Classes > Mage
  13. ^ World of Warcraft > Legion Class Preview Series: Mage
  14. ^ Tides of Darkness pg. 537 on iBooks
  15. ^ World of Warcraft > Game Guide > Classes > Warlock
  16. ^ World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade- Bestiary archive page (2010-11-24).
  17. ^ Ask Creative Development - Ethereals
  18. ^ WoW TCG Card: Nether drake
  19. ^ Netherdrake
  20. ^ Stormrage pg. 876 -877 on iBooks
  21. ^ a b c d e Warcraft: The Roleplaying Game, pg. 215
  22. ^ Shadows & Light, pg. 152
  23. ^ a b World of Warcraft: The Roleplaying Game, pg. 24
  24. ^ World of Warcraft: The Roleplaying Game, pg. 25
  25. ^ Warcraft: The Roleplaying Game, pg. 215-216
  26. ^ Shadows & Light, pg. 152-155

See Also

External links