The Void is coming around – hugely.
With Week 3 of Shadows of Argus, the conclusion of the current patch story came about, and there are some huge lore consequences to discuss.
First, let me say this – the Void is a fantastic enemy as setup in this week’s quests. I already want more of them, which I haven’t often said about demons, even with the new ones we’ve seen added in Legion. The areas of Mac’Aree the Void enemies occupy look so visually interesting and fresh, that I just need more of that in my WoW life. The pure black fields, the contrast of your character in front of them, and the interesting dialogue lines about ending all existence, stated as a reason FOR existence by an enemy – it’s fascinating, interesting, and makes me really want to dig into their lore.
What I also really appreciate is the developing lore on the Light and Turalyon side of this. Velen and company make it quite clear to the Army of the Light NPCs and Turalyon that Naaru turn to Void, a fact that apparently shocks them. Xe’ra, it turns out, was hiding this from them…interestingly. The dialogue was delivered during the questing, not during a cutscene or stopping point, but instead as a random line while running around. You could very easily miss it, but I caught it and it makes me giddy for the story going forward. We do not know for sure that Xe’ra is dead and gone – indeed, we use her power for the Netherlight Crucible, and further, the dungeon ending shows us that “killing” a Naaru doesn’t strictly end their existence.
This leads us to Alleria and Locus Walker, the enigmatic ethereal that finally appeared on live servers this week, and already I must know more about him. In a race of lone wolves hungry for profit, Locus Walker seems to have burned many bridges. The Relinquished vendor has no nice things to say about him, and during the void sneak quest, the Ethereals in the tunnel will often emote nasty things about him. In a race full of those that have embraced the Void, he seems to be an outcast even still.
Alleria, too, gets her moment and the unveiling of Void Alleria comes finally at the end of the Seat of the Triumvirate. Her shocking transformation happens as L’ura channels her dying void essence into Alleria’s body, and while this seems like a violent act of willbreaking, it turns out if you ask Alleria about it on the Vindicaar after, she’ll tell you that it’s totally normal and she can control the void form.
Sure. That’s what they all say.
Her dialogue during the quests with Locus Walker points at an interesting contrast between herself and Turalyon, not just as lovers, but also as Light and Void, juxtaposed at opposite alignments but both necessary for each other’s shared existence. Light cannot shine as brightly without Shadow, and Shadow does not exist without Light – the contrast here is made apparent and utilized somewhat effectively to indicate that Alleria pursues the path of the Void expecting Turalyon will remain at her side. Locus Walker does not believe this, though.
The biggest takeaway for me is that all of this, both sides of the week’s questing, set up huge lore hooks for a Void expansion (Veil of Shadows, maybe…). Without strong characters, a modern WoW expansion would fall flat. A Void expansion, absent of other themes (seafaring being the most likely accompaniment) wouldn’t have had great characters on the antagonist side…until now. With this week’s quests, we have firmly established Alleria as a friendly, void-aligned NPC – but she is still a novice in the Void, and we could lose her (for so many reasons, Blizzard, do not turn her!). Locus Walker is friendly to a point, but the dialogue options you get that discuss him all very clearly point to him as a betrayer, which means that any alliance with him is tenuous at best. Turalyon continues to have doubts in the Light piled upon him with the revelation that Naaru can also be beings of Void, and Xe’ra may very well come to Void through the events of Rejection of the Gift – putting her into play as a villain, potentially.
I really liked the idea of Veil of Shadows as “leaked” because the character cast was strong and deep, even with the limited info in the supposed notes. With this week’s questing in Mac’Aree. way more options are on the table, and that is very, very exciting.