In Shadowlands, souls are flooding right into the Maw unchecked instead of being effectively assigned come Covenants. The machine of death is broken, and no one knows who (or what) did it or how it taken place — yet there’s lot of of room because that speculation. (And for spoilers. You’ll find some minor spoilers for alpha contents in this article, but most of it is speculation.)

In the alpha, we’re starting to see ideas of what may have happened. In Ardenweald, us discover crucial clue that further narrows the timeline: Ysera was among the critical souls to get in the Shadowlands prior to the maker broke.

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While players could quest v the zones in Legion in any kind of order, canonically, the story starts in Azsuna, and also follows right into Val’sharah prior to reaching the culmination in Stormheim. Ysera passed away in the conclusion that Val’sharah, and we currently know, at the time, the maker of death was working.

So what taken place next? We have a few theories regarding why the device of fatality stopped working.


Ysera and the puzzle of judging a being of Life and Nightmare

In a killing investigation, you question the last person to check out the victim alive. The last heart we know of who saw the Arbiter fully functional to be Ysera. Any kind of investigation into what damaged the an equipment of fatality should begin with her.

This appears to be the theory of Pyromancer, a renowned lore speculator in the WoW community. In his video, he lays out his concept that the Arbiter acts an in similar way to a computer system or AI prefer MOTHER. When Ysera died, she came before the Arbiter. Right here was this gift infused by the Titan of Life, Eonar, and also the guardian the the verdant Emerald Dream. Yet, as the Arbiter looks end Yesera’s life, her last moments are as a biology of chaos, imbued with power that the Nightmare.

This dichotomy was too much for the Arbiter’s logic and also algorithms come process. As computers will periodically do as soon as presented v data castle can’t handle, the Arbiter merely shut down.

That’s one suspect, however we can’t finish our examination there. Who else need to we question? maybe someone who’s caused trouble for Azeroth in multiple timelines.


Gul’dan and also the conundrum that celestial double jeopardy

Our very own lore expert, Matthew Rossi, suggest Gul’dan together a feasible trigger. In a similar line of reasoning to Ysera, Gul’dan presented the Arbiter with a set of circumstances she couldn’t process. The Gul’dan we defeat atop the Nighthold in Suramar is no from ours timeline or reality. Ours Gul’dan died in the 2nd War. This Gul’dan came from the alternating version that Draenor we complied with Garrosh Hellscream come in Warlords of Draenor.

The Arbiter is challenged with a heart that she currently dealt with, one that should be in the Maw. How do you procedure someone you already judged?

That’s 2 solid suspects, yet we desire to it is in thorough, and there’s one more death in Legion that requirements our attention.


Argus and also the death of the Titan of Death

While it’s no overtly displayed in game, Argus the Unmaker is the Titan of Death. His spells are referred to as things like death Fog, Cone that Death, Soulbomb, and Soulburst — and also in the World the Warcraft database, these spell are labeled through “deathtitan.” The hints continue with his weapon: a scythe, memory of the Grim Reaper.

And think around how the burning Legion used him: because that eons, they offered his power over death to bring the slain demons ago to life.

We killed Argus in the penultimate raid that Legion, so that after the fatality of Ysera i beg your pardon fits the timeline. Death the really Titan of fatality could, in and also of itself, break the machine of death.

But his death led come the imprisonment that Azeroth’s oldest foe, Sargeras, and his rather large sword impaling our planet.


The stays of Sargaras’ power and also the pieces of Frostmourne

Frostmourne came from the Shadowlands. It to be forged in Torgast. During Legion, the Deathlord takes fragments of the Frostmourne and forges the twin blades of Icebringer and also Frostreaper, which would have inherited Frostmourne’s connections to the Shadowlands.

In a final act that defiance after ~ his defeat, Sargeras plunges his very own sword right into Azeroth. We usage our artifact tools to drain Sargeras’ knife of that power, which means Icebringer and also Frostreaper might have channeled the raw power of Sargeras right into the Shadowlands itself. Prefer overloading a circuit breaker, that much power would have been too much for the Arbiter to handle, and down she goes.

The Dragon facet of Life, the leader the the shadow Council, the Titan of Death, and the foolish Titan himself.

That’s quite a lineup of suspects, however we’re absent one of the most important personalities in Battle for Azeroth: the half an hour Queen herself, Sylvanas Windrunner. No investigation deserve to be complete without questioning her.


Sylvanas and the not correct Soulcage

The next significant event in the story after ~ Ysera’s fatality is the conclusion of Stormheim questing, where we discover Sylvanas torturing Eyir in the vault the Skold-Ashil v a an effective artifact referred to as the Soulcage. In her moment of triumph, Genn Greymane attacks Sylvanas, steals the Soulcage, and also shatters it as retribution for the banshee Queen murdering his son.

But in his remote rage, walk he execute irreparable damage to the Shadowlands? it seems prefer he could have.

Everything around the Soulcage web links it to the Arbiter. The in-game description reads “Gifted by Helya, the Soulcage hosted the power to compel the soul of any kind of being.” even someone as an effective as Eyir, a Titanic Watcher, couldn’t withstand it. Compelling souls is the Arbiter’s key function. Would anyone willingly go to Revendreth or the Maw? No, they have to be compelled there.

The Soulcage may very well have actually been the source of the Arbiter’s power. V no means to carry out her duty any longer, she merely shut down.

Did she loan the Soulcage to Helya? was it stolen from her? What duty might Helya have played in break the an equipment of death? ns think we have actually yet another suspect on our hands.

Helya and the hunt for even much more power

Whatever Helya’s arrangement might have been, it doesn’t matter. We killed Helya. She’s dead, right? not so fast, mine friend.

One of the drops native Island expeditions is the Ring that Reefs. As soon as you revolve it in to Valdemar Stormseeker, he has actually something exciting to say:

Helya is farming in power.

What, tiny one, are you surprised? Did friend think she was defeated?

You cannot death death!

Helya and Sylvanas make a bargain. Helya’s component was to administer Sylvanas v the Soulcage. Sylvanas would use the Soulcage to force Eyir to give her the Val’kyr, ostensibly come create more Forsaken. I offer the Dark Lady’s stated motives a heavy dose of next eye.

What was Sylvanas’ end of the bargain? What did Helya want? Heyla want Eyir subjugated. Sure, Sylvanas could have the Val’kyr. Helya made the Valy’kyr. However with Eyir under Sylvanas’ control, what might Helya have actually demanded Sylvanas do her do?

During a conversation I had with Jalamenos in the Queue, he put forth the idea that Helya want a bridge between the Shadowlands and also Helheim. Helya currently had Helheim, her own realm the Death, favor the Maw, where none were supposed to leave.


But in she pride and hubris, possibly Helya want more: the Shadowlands, the realm of death itself. So solid was she desire for the Shadowlands, she even named component of her realm the Maw… that Souls.

She currently had a level of accessibility to the Shadowlands. It was Helya, after all, who allowed Odyn to peer right into the Shadowlands. Yet to glimpse she future kingdom wasn’t enough. She want to dominance it. Much like Sargeras seeking a way into Azeroth through the fine of eternity in the war of the Ancients, Helya necessary a way into the Shadowlands.

Eyir to be to be her Rainbow Bridge. A beautiful plan, destroyed by Genn Greymane. But despite this setback, Helya wasn’t walking to it is in denied. She devised a brand-new plan. The Helarjar began attacking the damaged Isles with little rhyme or reason and also they lured us back into Helheim. She played Odyn because that the fool and had that send us right into her realm.

To do what we execute best. To kill her.

In the trial of Valor raid, we do the deed. Importantly, we kill her in her aboriginal realm that Helheim. That would have actually been a “real” death, and also she’d be sent to the Shadowlands and also to the Arbiter. The Arbiter had actually likely never ever seen a soul with so much Anima before. Helya overwhelmed the Arbiter and also shut she down.

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But whereby is she now? 

So those space our suspects, because that now. Maybe as we continue to venture into the alpha, we’ll find new clues to small our search. I m sorry one carry out you think is the guilty party? Is there some various other suspect we’ve let go completely? allow us know in the comments.