The Arbiter is the only god with a physical form in this world, as he fights for peace and order against those who would create chaos. The history of his development has been fascinating to say the least, but what will be an interesting topic to investigate is just how did one member of a species become immortal? Does it have anything at all to do with their backstory?
The “arbiter halo” is an article that analyzes the Arbiter and what makes a god in Warcraft. The piece has a lot of information about the Arbiter, including his history and how he fits into Halo lore.
We take part in something truly extraordinary this week in the last chapter of Secrets of the First Ones, 9.2’s major plotline, which has us asking the question: What constitutes a God in World of Warcraft?
There are spoilers in this article for 9.2’s main narrative campaign.
A Soul and a Vessel
We assisted in the reclaiming of an empty vessel – one with a unique purpose – last week at the request of the Oracle Saezurah. That purpose was revealed to us this week. The vessel is used to generate a new Shadowlands Arbiter.
We assist Saezurah in transporting the vessel to the Eternal Crypts, which house many strong and renowned souls. The plan is to employ a ceremony to unite one of these souls with the Vessel, resulting in the creation of our new Arbiter. This instantly creates concerns, as Pelagos points out. Who sent these souls here if this is where the Arbiter was created? Can these souls be utilized to produce other creatures if they can be used to create a new Artiber?
Pelagos asks: If here is where the Arbiter was created, who came first: the Arbiter or the Arbiter? So many questions about these spirits or… According to Pelagos, these souls can be used to create the Arbiter, but may they also be utilized to create other beings?
Argus the Unmaker is a character in the game Argus the Unmaker
Unfortunately, the ceremony goes awry when Dreadlords appear, filling the vessel with Argus’ soul and establishing that it was this same world soul, combined with Death magic, that originally shattered the Arbiter.
Death has corrupted the world-soul of Darkseeer Corrupter. A maul to smash the Arbiter with…
Argus the Unmaker is the focus of this week’s Lore Spotlight. is a character in the game Argus the Unmaker
The eredar’s original homeworld was Argus, “the emerald star.” This world, like Azeroth, was unusual in that it housed the world-soul of a sleeping Titan – a race of godlike, planet-sized cosmic Order creatures. The world-soul within the planet was twisted and perverted when it fell to the Burning Legion, and it was utilized to feed the Legion’s limitless army.
We needed to break this link to the world-soul in order to battle the Burning Legion. The Pantheon of Titans carried Argus to the Seat of the Pantheon during the Antorus, the Burning Throne raid, where we fought and murdered the anguished world-soul. Though this relieved Argus’ suffering and spared Azeroth from the Burning Legion, it seems that the Legion’s Dreadlords were playing the Jailer’s, or possibly Denathrius’, long game.
We now know that Argus’ own death, imbued with Death magic by the Dreadlords, shattered the Arbiter, sending the Shadowlands into the disarray we found it in when we arrived.
Even after we destroy the echo of Argus, the Dreadlord’s influence prevents us from infusing the vessel with a worthy soul. Fortunately, everything is not lost. Pelagos is one of us who is deserving of the distinction.
Kleia asks, “What do you mean by Pelagos?” Pelagos declares, “I devote my soul in service to the Shadowlands.” Kleia exclaims, “What?” No! Pelagos replies to Kleia, “I have yet to climb.” There may have been a cause behind it. But your soul, Kleia says, you don’t have to do this! Pelagos responds, “I know.” Sister, this is my decision. Pelagos says, “This is my goal.” I don’t want to let you go, Kleia says. Our spirits are connected together, says Pelagos. Pelagos says: We’ll never be separated, Saezurah replies. “A fresh voice, freely provided,” Saezurah remarks. Saezurah describes him as a deserving spirit who is both pure and unburdened. Balance has been restored, according to Saezurah.
What Does This Mean?
It’s worth noting that, as Arbiter, Pelagos has now attained a level of power comparable to many of the other gods in the World of Warcraft universe. An Arbiter, like the Primus and the Winter Queen, is an Eternal One. The Pantheon of Death is made up of the Eternal Ones, much as the Titans are made up of the Pantheon of Order, and the goddess Elune is a strong deity of Life. In actuality, Elune’s sister is the Winter Queen.
We saw how an Eternal One is produced via this ritual: a vessel is combined with a strong soul. This is consistent with what we’ve observed so far. We fight incomplete copies of the Eternal Ones in the Prototype Pantheon encounter in the Sepulcher of the First Ones raid – possibly they are vessels that have been fused with unworthy souls. We see Zovaal turn back into the empty vessel his soul previously filled after we murder him.
This is also consistent with our knowledge of other huge and strong entities. World Souls are used to create Titans. And if World Souls can become gods, why couldn’t others, who are just as strong and deserving?
It’s possible that this explains how the Winter Queen and Elune may be sisters while being from separate Pantheons. Of course, this begs the issue of how the remainder of the Eternal Ones were created. We keep thinking about how one of Azeroth’s moons, the White Lady, is already linked to Elune, as well as Azeroth’s lesser-known second moon, the Blue Child. Is it feasible, for example, that the Primus was fashioned from a mighty entity from Azeroth’s past?
We find ourselves returning to Azeroth once again, and the manner that every cosmic force appears to be fascinated by our world. The Titans believe that, like them, Azeroth will one day become a Titan of Order. We do know, however, that the Void have been vying for Azeroth’s soul for quite some time. If Argus’ soul can be combined with one of Zereth Mortis’ empty vessels, then certainly Azeroth’s soul can as well? Titans don’t generally visit the Shadowlands – Argus was an exception – but, as we’d been informed again, “Death comes for the spirit of your planet.”
When granting us the vision that would lead us to the empty vessel, the Oracle used titanic, draconic, demonic, and old god language to speak the word ‘vessel’. What Does This Mean? does seem to be that this ritual is not restricted to creating new members of the Pantheon of Death.
(Titanic) Midnir, Saezurah remarks. (Draconic) Rethul, says Saezurah. (Demonic) Kasharu, says Saezurah. (Shath’Yar) An’qoth, Saezurah states. Vessel, says Saezurah. Vessel, says Saezurah. Vessel, says Saezurah.
While it’s evident that the soul utilized doesn’t have to be from a certain planet in order to become as strong as an Eternal One, it does have to be worthy, Azeroth herself seems to be in high demand – maybe some souls have the potential to grow more powerful than others.
As our new Arbiter Pelagos put it, we’re left with a lot of unanswered questions…
This and other legend nuggets may be found in The Story of the First Ones’ Secrets, our 9.2 Lore Guide.