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Tazavesh Lore Book - New Speculation on First Ones, Cosmology, Origins of the Universe
22.06.2021 в 08:00
posted screenshots of notes found within Tazavesh, the Veiled Market, Patch 9.1's new mega-dungeon.
Warning, 9.1 spoilers ahead.
These screenshots have caused quite a stir, as the information found within these notes seem to implicate some major lore reveals about the First Ones, the cosmos, and the origins of the World of Warcraft universe.
The notes are a series of Expedition Reports written by a Broker named Al'firim, who wished to access the Sepulcher of the First Ones and seemed interested in determining the origins of the known universe. It should be noted that there should be six sets of notes in all, but we are missing the 'Cartel Al Incident Report' and the conclusion of the notes, the 'Expedition Report A37J - Part 4'. We have the 'Forward' and Parts 1, 2, and 3 of the notes.
Expedition Report A37J
According to the
, Al'firim was attempting to access the Sepulcher of the First Ones.
It seems Al'firim managed to gain an understanding of the origins of the universe, which they detail in
: There are six primal forces that once existed in strife, but that were brought together in balance and harmony, possibly by a seventh force.
, Al'firim reports on attempting to learn more, but being thwarted - kicked out of Bastion after attempting to access the Kyrian archives of knowledge, and Maldraxxus after requesting to see tomes that were "for the eyes of the Primus alone". Finally, Al'firim arrived in Oribos, where they seemed to get along quite well with Kah-Sher until they realized the Keeper had shared similar conversations with "an old rival".
, Al'firim talks about their conversations with Irik-tu, a many-eyed, many-tongued, many-legged insectoid-like creature that was once a mortal soul. Al'firim was fascinated by the information that mortals do not trade in anima, and less fascinated to hear Irik-tu's clearly religious ideas about the origins of the universe.
By the end, Al'firim seems at first resigned to the idea that mortals believe in myths and false gods while those in the Shadowlands understand the true power of the First Ones. Until they found "a deeper truth", and their mind "splintered at the fractals".
I have no means to convey the tenure of my labor upon this quest. For how can time be measured in search for such a place? Sure the Sepulcher of the First Ones exists beyond any measure that one such as I could hope to comprehend, and I possess far more knowledge of these matters than most.
Forgive me. Their mockery has made me bitter. I must remind myself to ignore the petty envies of my lessers.
Where we finally discovered a tangible clue to the location of that sacred place after so many ages of speculation, I began my work with their full confidence. My gifts for deciphering the inscrutable had deservedly earned me an impeccable reputation.
How many ancient codes had I broken? How many lost tongues had I translated? No secret was beyond my grasp. They all knew this and had reaped the profits of my genius.
And here, so close to achieving, our goals, I faltered. Yes, I admit, for the first time I faced a challenge so daunting that I doubted my ability to overcome it. Al'firim the Fallible, they snickered in ill-concealed whispers.
But how among them faired better? None, I assure you. The complexity of the glyphs alone was... well, let me say it felt like an eternity passed before I grasped the first inkling of what they represented.
There others came and went. They brought in "helpers" and "apprentices" they claimed would aid me. None lasted. None proved worthy. They tried to tell me I should stop, that they had found another to take up the work. But I refused to leave. I knew who it was they planned to send, and I had vowed that she would never again usurp my position.
I was lost in the glyphs. The geometry. Every path seemed to curve in upon itself. Nothing made sense.
Until it did.
When at last the realization struck me. I swear to you that reality itself seemed to melt away. I saw visions of the unimaginable sights I could never hope to convey in mere words. When I became conscious of my surroundings again, I saw the others staring down, mocking my sprawled limbs.
It didn't matter. I had found the truth at last.
Understand: Despite this being the most wondrous revelation of my storied career, I stand upon the merest precipice of understanding. The language of the First Ones seems to shift and grow as I find greater depths within it.
I have no doubt that further meanings will reveal themselves as the glyphs and geometry of this fractal tongue become more known to me, so please consider the chapters ahead to be but works-in-progress. It is not that there is a chance they will change: there is certainty of it.
Enough preamble. Read now the greatest discovery of our time.
The Dawn of All Things.
It is no small irony that the first specimens of their language remain the most inscrutable. Perhaps that is what hindered my progress for so long. Regardless, the particulars are beyond my present ability to decipher. With time, I am certain I will succeed. But Not yet.
There are references to forces so primal that we have no frame of reference for them. Roiling and churning, or measured and deliberate? The words here have multiple meanings, I must set them aside for now.
What is clear is that great powers took shape. How many? There are numbers within numbers, my friends. At first I thought only two, until I perceived an infinite array -- O, the terror of it! -- but as of late I have settled on six. Possibly seven, but the last might be an artifact of the geometry. A fractal.
I will tell you what I know.
These six forces existed in strife. Well, not strife in the way one such as you or I would see it. Opposition surely, but whether malignant or benign is unclear. There was imbalance, until there was a need for something more.
They came together (or were brought together, depending on how one interprets the fractal) and gave form to their design. Forged? Scribed? Shaped? The exact word is elusive. Each architect gave a portion of themselves, and thus the pattern was drawn.
It is from here that the language becomes clearer.
With a framework in place, all that we now comprehend came to be. As if reality were nothing more than a fungus growing upon the frame. Six forces now in balance, and from their intersections arose others. A simple structure growing infinitely more complex.
Now do you understand why my translations took such time? Why they still elude me? It grows! It changes! Glyphs and geometry and fractals everywhere!
As each emptiness abated and grew fuller, the pattern alone was not enough. Shapes arose within shapes, begotten by the six to beget more.
Now it grows clearer. More certain. Each layer more fathomable to a meager mind such as yours.
Six realms. Many intersections. Countless fractals.
In balance? Possibly. But that might be wrong. If six equal one, then what is the other? The one outside the pattern.
(Note: I must return to this chapter later to afford greater clarity. It is possibly I possess a propensity to ramble.)
Before delving deeper into the great mysteries, it is worth framing their wonder within the context of our own existence. What we know of it, at least.
It fills me with sorrow that, of the many beings I encountered on my travels through the nimbus, so few possessed any interest beyond their sense of duty. I sought out scholars, philosophers, explorers; I found only simpletons and servitors.
This journey took ages, and many times along the way felt fruitless. If only I had known of the existence of the Sepulcher! But of course I would not learn of its wonders until much later, and so I plodded along the only way I could.
I came close to finding wisdom on occasion. Joining a trade expedition to the Bastion, I met an amenable aspirant who told me of a great archive of knowledge. Countless records of souls the Kyrians carried across from the mortal realm, as well as collections of their own long-shed memories.
The aspirant was even willing to bring me to this repository, until a nosy steward alerted one of the Ascended. My expedition was escorted back to the anima gate, warned never to return.
Some ages later, I secured an invitation to a tournament in the arena of Maldraxxus. While my companions reveled in the sport, I made my way to an ancient library nestled between the great houses. They called it "sepulcher," but I assure you it was not the one we seek!
The horrors I encountered on my journey there still haunt me to this day, but so fixed was I upon my goal that I braved nightmarish constructs and rivulets of toxic plague.
When I arrived, the liches agreed to tolerate my presence for a time, so I sought out their most ancient texts for any history I could glean.
Oh, I found histories -- of great battles fought against the outer planes, of the rise and fall of legendary combatants, of mighty weapons forged and lost.
When I asked if there were any older tomes, the implacable liches told me those were for the eyes of the Primus alone, and I was commanded to leave at once.
It was not until I arrived in Oribos that I at last found others who shared my curiosity. Among the Arbiter's attendants was a knowledgeable sort named Kah-Sher, who had seen many ages pass through the course of his duties.
Though he was as blindly obeisant to his mistress as the rest of his kind, I admit that, standing within the grandeur of the fabled Eternal City, I could understand his devotion. Kah-Sher enjoyed conversing with me, sharing all that he had seen and knowledge that had been passed down by his predecessors.
Yet within all his words, and in the rituals of service he allowed me to observe, I found little of true value. They city had stood forever, he said. The Arbiter was ever wise and just, he said. Ours was not to question those from beyond the veil, but to facilitate their journeys, he said.
It was when Kah-Sher let slip that he had shared similar conversations with an old rival of mine -- I vowed she would never thwart me again! -- that I knew this was a pointless course. I left Kah-Sher to his blathering.
The Hundred Eyes of Irik-tu
It was upon stormming out of the attendant's presence that I stumbled upon a true find! There, passing through Oribos on their way to another destination, I encountered a transcendant soul.
They held a form I did not recognize, for they resumed a shape resembling the one they held in the mortal plane. I begged them to speak with me, and they agreed.
They said their name was Irik-tu, and though I asked thrice where they had come from, the name of their home was one I could barely understand, let along repeat or inscribe (it appeared Irik-tu spoke with four tongues, and in concert with the clicking of many legs, I did at times have trouble catching every detail).
Irik-tu claimed the place beyond the veil was populated by countless worlds, many inhabited by all manner of beings very different from their own people.
When I asked if this world of theirs was rich with anima, Irik-tu assumed an expression I took to be puzzlement (though the hundred eyes of Irik-tu were admittedly difficult to read).
The living did not trade in anima, they said, I phrase I asked them to repeat several times to be certain I heard it correctly.
No anima! How? Could their existence truly be so different from our own?
It was indeed, Irik-tu assured me. They told me of this realm of mortals, where their animaless existence ceased with the terminus of their fragile forms.
Irik-tu met their end in a terrible war, they claimed, their home ravaged by the demons of the Twisting Nether.
I nodded in solemn camaraderie, for we all recall the tale of the Burning Legion's assault on Maldraxxus and the terrible cost of the necrolords' victory.
Irik-tu brightened when they recalled the Arbiter's kindness in sending them along to a hive where others of their kind shared a long and pleasant coexistence.
After many ages caring for their kin, Irik-tu was ready to venture on, returning to Oribos to marvel at its splendor.
Of course I asked Irik-tu what they knew of the origins of the realm of mortals, but what they told me made little sense. Does every mortal believe a different tale of fancy?
I nodded as they spoke of their thousand-legged god whose eggs brought forth all existence, but soon I grew tired of their quaint fables and bid Irik-tu good journeys.
So it seemed even the halls of Oribos could not grant me the truths I sought. Mortal souls believed in a myriad of myths that spoke of false gods, while we basked in the splendor of beings of true might. We were blessed in the presence of the Arbiter, the Archon, the Winter Queen, the Sire, and the Primus.
Until I found a deeper truth on my way to the Sepulcher, and my mind splintered at the fractals.
Al'firim's Female Rival - Ve'nari?
of Al'firim's notes mention a female Broker rival, one who Al'afirm seems to feel quite strongly about. More than once, Al'afirm vows that "she" will "never again" usurp their position, and simply finding out Kah-Sher has spoken with this rival before is enough to sour Al'afirm to Oribos's Overseer completely.
The most obvious candidate for this rival is Ve'nari, who is both suspiciously knowledgeable and secretive, and who we know is hunted by both the Jailer and certain other Brokers.
The Story of Ve'nari
Another possible candidate is So'leah, Tazavesh's final boss, as she is known to collect artifacts and knowledge specifically because of her thirst for power.
Six or Seven Primal Forces - The Cosmology Chart
, Al'firim speaks of six primal forces that once existed in strife. They also speak of a seventh possible force, but one that's described as "an artifact of the geometry. A fractal". Al'firim suggests this "fractal" brought together the other six, creating the "pattern" of the forces in balance rather than conflict. Once the framework was in place, Al'firim claims reality as we know it was added to this framework in layers, "as if reality were nothing more than a fungus growing upon the frame".
This lines up with the cosmology chart from the
World of Warcraft: Chronicles
, which shows us six major forces: Light, Shadow, Order, Disorder, Life, and, of course, Death. Other, lesser, forces, such as "Arcane, Decay, Wild Gods, Fire, Earth", etc, do indeed seem to be grown from this framework of those six.
What really makes Al'firim's notes interesting is the implication that these forces were specifically ordered by a seventh, as yet unnamed force. The
World of Warcraft: Chronicles
series suggest that all of reality was created from Light and Shadow clashing. From the ensuing explosion, all other forces were brought into existence. Al'firim, however, suggests that all six of the cosmic primal forces have always existed, and that it was their ordering by this seventh force that created the rest of reality.
believes the implication is that the First Ones are this seventh cosmic force, and even that the conflict between Light and Shadow was planned by them - that they're not just the organizers of the Shadowlands, but the organizers of the Universe itself. It's a good theory, especially as we know the Chronicles are
written from the perspective of the Titans
, and therefore fallible. The fact that the Sepulcher of the First Ones seems to contain "fractals", the exact word Al'firim uses to describe the seventh force several times, also lends itself to this theory.
The Sepulcher of the First Ones
We first heard about the Sepulcher of the First Ones during the final chapter of
the Story of Maldraxxus
- the Voice of the Primus mentions it during his warning to the other First Ones. Specifically, he warns that Zovaal must not be allowed to reach the Sepulcher.
The Story of Maldraxxus: The Empty Throne
Voice of the Primus says: I am the Primus. Your presence within my sanctum means a darkness has fallen upon Maldraxxus... and all the realms of Death.
Voice of the Primus says: Ages ago, the Eternal Ones punished our brother Zovaal for his treachery. He was bound within the inescapable Maw, to be forever its Jailer.
Voice of the Primus says: Now I fear that Zovaal did not act alone. I suspect he had ancient allies... and will seek to win others to his cause.
Voice of the Primus says: That you are hearing this message means my suspicions proved true. Zovaal has forged his chains into a weapon... and brought about my defeat.
Voice of the Primus says: There is but one hope to save the Shadowlands. The Eternal Ones must stand together once more, before the Jailer escapes the Maw.
Voice of the Primus says: Bring my warning to the Archon, the Winter Queen, and the Sire. They must see to our defenses.
Do not let Zovaal reach the sepulcher.
Voice of the Primus says: The Arbiter is the final key. Protect her, or all is lost.
The Jailer, for his part, has seemed pretty hell-bent on reaching the Sepulcher. Now that we know how much power and knowledge are apparently contained within this chamber, it's easy to see why - and why the First Ones would want to stop him. As for protecting the Arbiter at all costs, we know that the
Sanctum of Domination raid takes us into the Arbiter's Chamber
. Right now, it looks like Zovaal might be able to achieve exactly what he wants - which is worrying.
The Eternal Ones - What Are They Hiding?
of Al'firim's notes make it clear that the Eternal Ones specifically do not want them to gain knowledge about the origins of the universe. When Al'firim tries to access the Kyrian archives of records and memories of the mortal realms, they are kicked out of Bastion. And while they were allowed to access Maldraxxus's Sepulcher of Knowledge, which Al'firim makes clear is
the Sepulcher of the First Ones, they are not allowed to access the "older tomes", which presumably contain more information about the origins of the universe, that are "for the eyes of the Primus alone".
We visit both of these areas ourselves in side quests, though the information we gather from them is also limited.
Bastion Side Quests: The Temple of Purity Maldraxxus Side Quests: Archival Protection
It could be that the Eternal Ones are, indeed, hiding information about the origins of the Universe. It could just be that they don't want nosey Brokers to have unlimited access to all their knowledge - which would be fair in itself.
Either way, it should be very interesting to see what happens next, especially if the Jailer does reach the Sepulcher before we can stop him.
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