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The "soul" is what "Spirit", an elemental force, is synonymous for.[1] Spirit (sometimes referred to as the "fifth element" by shaman, or "chi" by monks) is a life-giving force that interconnects and binds all things in existence as one.[2]

Constructs

Legion Constructs

All Legion constructs are powered by souls.[3]

Denizens of the Cosmos

Demons

Demons are evil immortals who feed upon life and magic.[4] Even if a demon dies in the physical universe, its spirit will return to the Twisting Nether and manifest in corporeal form once again. To truly destroy a demon's spirit, the creature must be killed in the Twisting Nether itself, in places where that volatile maelstrom bleeds into mortal worlds, or in areas inundated with the energies of the Burning Legion,[5] a destructive army from beyond the stars. The Burning Legion has proven its capacity to corrupt mortal souls time and again.[6]

Elemental Spirits

The elemental spirits are primitive and chaotic beings of fire, earth, air, or water. They were some of the first sentient creatures to inhabit the nascent worlds of the waking universe. The elemental spirits appear in an almost infinite variety of shapes and sizes. Each of these creatures has a distinct personality and temperament, traits that are heavily influenced by a spirit's elemental nature. The presence of the fifth elementSpiritalso affects the disposition of these elemental beings. A world with an overabundance of Spirit may give rise to native elementals who are passive and lack physicality. Conversely, a world with too little Spirit may birth elementals who are highly aggressive and incredibly destructive.[7]

Ethereals

The Razaani ethereals have strange devices that emit small, pink floating light orbs. They remind one of souls.[8]

Fel Beasts

Fel beasts are described as soulless savages.[9]

Titans

Composed of the primordial matter from which this universe was born, the titans are colossal godlike beings[10] with spirits known as world-souls.[11] A burgeoning world-soul can be so vast that it draws in and consumes much of the fifth element, Spirit. Without this primordial force to create balance, elemental spirits descend into chaos.[12]

Undead

The undead are former mortals who have died and become trapped between life and death.[13] The souls of the undead (Forsaken, PC death knights, ghouls, etc.) are imperfectly attached to their bodies; the dark magic that sustains them is a buffer that prevents their souls from properly joining with their bodies. This is why undead feel only faint sensations of pain or discomfort from most physical stimuli, and why the Light is so painful to their existence. The primary exception to this rule are liches, as liches bind their souls to a phylactery and then use the phylactery to generate a physical form; this process is why lich bodies look nothing like their mortal bodies, and also why you have to destroy a lich’s phylactery to truly kill them.[14]

Ghosts are tortured spirits who writhe in the agony of undeath. Unable to realize that are no longer alive, they roam the trackless wastes between the Twisting Nether and the physical world, seeking release from their eternal suffering. Though they are not necessarily evil, they hunger for physical contact, often causing great harm to any living beings they touch.[15]

Entropy (Order vs. Disorder)

Entropy represents the unavailability of a system's energy for conversion into work, often interpreted as the degree of disorder or randomness in the system. Order, in reality, is most commonly perceived as arcane magic. This type of energy is innately volatile, and wielding it requires intense precision and concentration. Conversely, Disorder is manifested as highly destructive fel magic. This brutal and extremely addictive energy is fueled by drawing life from living beings.[16]

A Manifestation of the Void?

Disorder can be defined as a lack of order and is manifested as highly destructive fel magic. As such, fel magic essentially represents a void. Void would be chaotic since energies, naturally, want to spread out and become messy. Despite that fact, the Blizzard writer known as Matt Burns thinks there are exceptions to that rule when it comes to Warcraft powers since they're all magic.[17] It seems that Matt Burns doesn't understand that his thought cannot change the fact that the void is devoid of order, or disorder, which is manifested as highly destructive fel magic. Fel magic consumes souls[18] and when a spirit is consumed by the void, an echo of the soul is all that is left behind. Neither in the physical or spiritual sense of the word would these echoes be considered 'alive.' The echo is merely a twisted reverberation of the anguish left behind by the soul as it is consumed. If left unchecked, the echoes will lash out against the living and stir the spirits of the dead from their graves.[19]

Existence's Realms

The Emerald Dream

The Emerald Dream is an ethereal realm of spirits and untamed nature that exists alongside the world of Azeroth. Incredible beings known as the keepers forged the Emerald Dream to act as a map for the evolutionary path of Azeroth's flora and fauna. The two realms are bound as one: as life ebbs and flows across the physical world, the spiritual energies that saturate the Emerald Dream keep pace with it. Although tied to the physical world, the Emerald Dream is a place that most mortal minds would find alien and surreal. But some of those minds, by channeling druidic magic, can enter a state of dreaming and consciously navigate the Emerald Dream. Their thoughts can also shape and influence portions of this verdant spirit realm, but the imprint that these dreamers leave behind is never permanent. In the dreamways, time and distance are mutable. Spirits flow like living winds through lush tracts of constantly shifting primordial woodlands. What appears tangible one moment becomes intangible the next; seemingly impermeable landmarks transform in the blink of an eye.[20]

The Shadowlands

Like the Emerald Dream, the Shadowlands are tangentially linked to the world of Azeroth. Yet whereas the Emerald Dream represents life, the Shadowlands represent death. They are nightmarish realms of decay, labyrinthine spiritual planes teeming with the souls of the dead who have passed from the world of the living. The origins of the Shadowlands remain uncertain but they have existed every since mortal life first arose in the physical universe. Many believe that mortal souls are drawn into this dark place at the point of death, where they remain forever after. Still others hope that their souls will go on to a brighter place, rather than languish for eternity within the cold confines of the Shadowlands.[21]

The Twisting Nether

The Twisting Nether is an astral dimension. A soul can act like a beacon, guiding one through the Twisting Nether.[22]

Professions of the Cosmos

Priests

Priests are devoted to the spiritual, and express their unwavering faith by serving the people. For millennia they have left behind the confines of their temples and the comfort of their shrines so they can support their allies in war-torn lands. In the midst of terrible conflict, no hero questions the value of the priestly orders. Priests’ connection with the minds and spirits of living beings allows them to control and manipulate others.[23]

Necrolytes

Practitioners of the religions, necrolytes are binders of souls who command the black powers that hold control over the earth.[24] A necrolyte can partake in a ritual that invokes the recipient with a mystic armor of invulnerability known as unholy armor. This armor is constructed from the souls of the damned, and they absorb the pain that any blows would normally inflict upon the wearer. The price that is exacted from those who are bestowed with this invulnerability is a high one, however, for they must sacrifice a portion of their soul to act as a magnet to bind these lost souls to themselves.[25]Please Note: The necrolytes' unholy armor seems to be a variation of the death knights' unholy armor, an ancient Necromantic spell that transforms a portion of the recipient's life force and seems to be a variation of the warlockian spell known as Life Tap, which transforms a portion of the warlock's own life force into fel power.[26] According to the liar known as Justin Parker, warlocks aren't necromancers even though they have necromantic abilities. It seems like Justin Parker doesn't understand that warlocks can't practice necromancy without being necromancers.

Shaman

Shaman are spiritual guides and practitioners, not of the divine, but of the very elements. Unlike some other mystics, shaman commune with forces that are not strictly benevolent. The elements are chaotic, and left to their own devices, they rage against one another in unending primal fury. It is the call of the shaman to bring balance to this chaos. By calling on their spiritual power, shaman can restore health to injured allies.[27]

Warlocks

Warlocks are magical practitioners who seek to understand darker, fel-based magics, including destructive spells.[28] Warlocks harvest the souls of their defeated enemies. Affliction warlocks revel in agonizing souls, 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, and the destruction warlock is well-versed in discharging a dizzying array of shadow, fel, fire, and chaos magics upon opponents that rattle souls.[29]

Soulbinding

Soulbinding is presumably the art of binding souls. To act as a magnet to bind lost souls, a portion of the soul must be sacrificed.[25]

Soul Pyre

A soul pyre is a heap of combustible material, especially one for burning a corpse as part of a funeral ceremony. A fire can bind a soul through foul magic.[30]

Soul Engine(s)

The soul engine is where the harvested souls are collected and stored.[31]

Soul Shards

A soul shard (or soul fragment) is a foul crystal that creates a connection to the Twisting Nether, pulling a demon through against its will.[32] A soul shard can also be used to purify twisted and maddned souls.[33]

Soul Trap

Soul shards can be combined into a soul trap,[34] a trap that is presumably designed to catch and retain a soul.

The Devourer of Souls

The dark industries Bronjahm carries out in the Forge of Souls produce tortured, fragmented spirits. To prevent their escape, and use every scrap of the damned, the Lich King created the Devourer of Souls. The Devourer of Souls hunts and consumes the stray spirits, and slowly breaks them down within its terrible form. The consumed souls are driven mad with anguish and suffering, but the Devourer's hunger is never sated.[35]

References

  1. Dave Kosak on Twitter
  2. World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 1 pg. 17-18 on iBooks
  3. Quest:A Very Special Kind of Fuel
  4. The Warcraft Encyclopedia/Demons
  5. World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 1 pg. 25-26 on iBooks
  6. Quest:Against the Legion
  7. World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 1 pg. 27 on iBooks
  8. Quest:Gather the Orbs
  9. Quest:Blood of Fallen Brothers (Horde)
  10. World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 1 pg. 25 on iBooks
  11. World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 1 pg. 32 on iBooks
  12. World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 1 pg. 50-51 on iBooks
  13. World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 1 pg. 27-28 on iBooks
  14. http://eu.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/3313064613?page=3#49
  15. Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos Game Manual - Ghost
  16. World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 1 pg. 17 on iBooks
  17. Matt Burns on Twitter
  18. Jeremy Feasel on Twitter
  19. Quest:Echoes of the Past
  20. World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 1 pg. 22 on iBooks
  21. World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 1 pg. 23 on iBooks
  22. Quest:An Unclaimed Soul
  23. World of Warcraft > Game Guide > Classes > Priest
  24. Warcraft: Orcs & Humans manual - Necrolyte
  25. 25.0 25.1 Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness manual - Necrolyte spells
  26. Ben Brode on Twitter
  27. World of Warcraft > Game Guide > Classes > Shaman
  28. Ultimate Visual Guide pg. 21
  29. Legion Class Preview Series: Warlock
  30. Quest:Break the Bonds
  31. Quest:A Fate Worse Than Dying
  32. Quest:Soul Shards of Summoning
  33. Quest:Cleansing the Souls
  34. Quest:Forging the Soul Trap
  35. Devourer of Souls

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