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Nightmare Fuel / World of Warcraft

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Golems of rotting flesh are a common sight in this part of Azeroth.

With Demonic Invaders, Zombie Apocalypse, Eldritch Abominations and more, all presented with Blizzard's painstaking attention to detail, Warcraft can be quite spooky. All "Moments" pages are Spoiler Free. UNMARKED SPOILERS below.

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  • When you became a ghost after you're killed in World of Warcraft, look at the sky. There appears to be some kind of gateway between the living world and Afterlife.
  • Some places in World of Warcraft are very eerie. Such places include Duskwood, the Plaguelands (including the Undercity), and Silithus.
    • Another scary aspect of Silithus is that the instance it houses, Ahn'Qiraj, is the home of not one, but many That One Bosses. One of them, the Prophet Skeram, is very intimidating in himself, while another, General Rajaxx, committed a Moral Event Horizon moment (well, granted, we don't actually see it, but according to the backstory, it did indeed happen) and the last one in the instance, C'Thun, is an Eldritch Abomination who, on top of being one of the toughest raid bosses in the game, whispers ominous things to you as you fight him ("You are weak", "You Are Already Dead", "Your friends will abandon you").
      • Silithus is so nightmarish as to verge on Scrappy Level status. To say nothing of the constant buzzing...which is enough to make even the least squeamish WoW player's skin crawl.
      • If you turn up the ambient noise volume in Silthus, you can hear screaming on the wind.
      • One of the bosses in Ulduar is Yogg-Saron, an Old God like the aforementioned C'Thun. Supposedly without the benefit of being mostly dead already...
      Yogg Saron: I am the lucid dream. The monster in your nightmares. The fiend of a thousand faces. Cower before my true form. BOW DOWN BEFORE THE GOD OF DEATH!
    • An crypt near Karazhan (originally inaccessible without glitches, now opens during after solving the Riddle of the Lucid Nightmare) has, among its many sections, a huge underwater area filled with dead corpses hanging upside down from huge chains, appropriately named The Upside-Down Sinners.
      • Don't forget the part where if you turn off the music and turn the sound up, you can hear the sound of a muffled heartbeat in the background.
      • Another creepy part of Karazhan are the opera event bosses Romulo and Julianne. You can tell Karazhan is a messed-up and nightmarish place when it can turn two characters from one of the most well-known plays in Western literature into evil monsters.
      • Not to mention the "Tonight we plumb the depths of the human soul as a girl tries desperately to get home" narration before...heck, the whole Wizard of Oz opera which does the same thing to Dorothy and the gang.
      • "Oh I wish I had a heart... Say, can I have yours?"
      • "Oh at last, at last. I can go home..." * Shudders*
      • And don't forget the Lovecraftian beasts in the tower leading up to the terrace where Prince Malchezaar waits brooding...the way he always warn new players, "Don't go into the rooms! Go straight to the top!" is like something out of a horror novel.
    • The notorious Children of Goldshire. The sheer horror is arguably amplified by the fact that - contrary to the other examples mentioned here - Goldshire is supposed to be a friendly and peaceful place, where you certainly don't expect to run into any bone-chilling evil presence.
      • Fortunately, thanks to the ridiculously high amount of cybering that goes in Goldshire, the Children are pretty much ignored.
      • Fortunately, or is that part of their plan...?
      • Luckily, The Tribulations of a Megalomaniac Warlock offer some Nightmare Retardant for those children since the writer proposes a perfectly rational, and rather fun explanation for their behavior.
      • At certain times of the day in their room, you'll hear a voice clip saying something threatening, usually "You will die." It's in the exact same voice as C'thun.
    • If you turn up the ambient sound and turn down the music while within the Undercity, disturbing echoes of events from Warcraft III are heard. You will hear tolling bells in the entrance, and then cheering as you proceed along the hallway Arthas did (and those flower petals are still there), and in the throne room (where there's still blood on the floor) hear dialogue. The Prophet's warning, and Arthas brutally murdering his own father and declaring his intent to massacre and rez everyone in Lordaeron.
      • Oh, wanna know the best part about his 'succeeding you' line? If you're possessed of good headphones, because of the stereo channel shenanigans of the throne room's ambience you will hear this said next to and slightly behind your right ear. You hear this line spoken exactly as Terenas would have heard it.
      • Want to see something fun? Try using a "detect invisibility" sort of spell up in the aboveground courtyard and see the reason why you aren't supposed to cast area of effect spells up there. What could I possibly aggro? you think. There isn't anything here...
      • Want to see something funnier? Do it in the buildings close to the graveyard, in Duskwood. The ghosts there are about level 50. If you want to mess with a newbie, take him there and dare him to cast an AoE spell. WTFness guaranteed.
      • Eugggghhhh...the aptly-named abominations (although "flesh golem" is apparently another canon term) in Undercity.
      • Fun fact: for the Valentine's Day celebrations, you can go around wooing each city's guards for rewards. If you're Horde, to get the full reward, you need to go and pay a visit to Undercity. Pucker up...
      • Not to worry, as of Patch 3.3, they've been officially removed from the Undercity, replaced with the Kor'Kron (Elite Orc Guards).
      • A few Abominations can sort of avoid this, at least as far as personality goes. The ones that are given dialogue can possibly qualify as a weird form of Ugly Cute, mostly since they tend to come off as incredibly childlike and some as borderline innocent. The best example is Gory in the Western Plaguelands, who stays with the Alliance farmers and helps out on the farm and says that that's all he's ever wanted to do.
    • The silithid hives in Tanaris & Un'Goro, which look like insect hives covered in goo & crawling with bugs.
      • There's actually a good lore reason for this appearance: They are insect hives which are covered in goo and crawling with buts.
    • The giant spiders on Bloodmyst Isle. Most of the giant spiders in WoW actually look rather cuddly. These ones don't. They're just a tad too realistic for arachnophobia people.
      • And their horrible nails-on-a-chalkboard screeching only adds to their "charm."
      • Think that's bad? The spiders share a model with Maexxna, a boss from the Naxxramas raid instance. Maexxna's about 50 times larger, though...
    • On the subject of spiders, the giant Terrokarantula sits in a depression on a ledge on a mountainside. If you approach it from some angles, you will not see its body, just its enormous, twitching legs. This is by far worse than just seeing the whole thing.
      • And now with Warlords of Draenor, we have the Taladorantula, who while smaller, uses a more detailed model and appears as a Jump Scare.
    • Go find the cellar at the Ruins of Thundermar in the Twilight Highlands that houses the Black Recluse. When it gets close to death, its little babies come out and play...
    • There is a quest in the expansion zone of Zul'Drak where a dead serpent god sends you to hex and kill her three treacherous high priests. The hex has a different effect on each one. One is somewhat amusingly 'spun to death'. The other two explode and are quite graphically burnt to death respectively.
    • The Ghostlands. The second zone Blood Elves quest through. It's always dark and gloomy, there's undead everywhere, the grass and bushes are all dead, and the trees are deformed and covered with glowing mushrooms that, coincidentally, quite often grown in formations resembling upside-down screaming faces.
  • On the subject of Warcraft, believe it or not, at one point Blizzard was planning on making a game where the orcs would invade the modern-day world; you know, the one we live in right now. They abandoned the idea after they realized such a game wouldn't fit in with the feel of the Warcraft Universe, among other things. A lot of Warcraft fans agree with that move, but then you get hit with the Fridge Logic of what would happen if the Burning Legion did indeed invade our modern-day world.
    • Although given the Legion's shock troops aren't that bright and tend to work in a Zerg Rush, machine guns could mow them down no problem.
    • Now that more details have been given about the Titans in the new Chronicles book (they are living planets in the shape of collosal humanoids the size of planets), we wouldn't stand a chance against Sargeras, nuclear weapons or not. He has been show to easily cleave a planet in two with his sword. He could use Earth as a basketball if he so desired.
    • Between pre-existing lore and the revelation in Legion of their true capabilities, humanity would be in dire straits.
      • One of the favorite tactics of Kil'jaeden is to send dreadlords and succubi to subvert the military and government of their targets. All they need do is trigger a nuclear war between the major nations and then sweep up the rest afterwards.
      • Legion shows what their invasion can look like: An entirely unpredictable appearance of infantry, fortified emplacements, artillery, and spaceships anywhere they please. By the time the military could organize a response, entire towns or cities would be decimated. And even if the military can manage to drive the invasion back, the demons will just be reborn on Argus to invade again whereas the soldiers lost in battle will take years to replace. At best you're facing a slow war of attrition; at worst, entire cities will vanish without warning.
  • The Legend of Stalvan questline, starting in Duskwood. Basically, a woman tells you that she's had a vision of someone named Stalvan attacking her daughter, and asks you to find out why. You begin investigating, and are left to wonder why, every time you find one of this Stalvan (who, in he first few entries, seems to be a completely normal tutor) guy's diaries, a deranged ghost tries to murder you. Then you keep finding diaries. And you keep reading. And as you read, you're treated to the spectacle of Stalvan slowly but surely losing his goddamn mind, becoming obsessed with one of his students, and eventually butchering her and her entire family, in a brutal murder that's made worse because we don't get to see it, only hear second-hand accounts from people who are still too frightened to talk about it years later. Oh, and, coinciding with the vision that sent you on this nightmare voyage in the first place, all indications point to Stalvan having continued to hunt and slaughter young women on-and-off since then.
    • And of course, the Curse of Stalvan...
    • Even his death couldn't stop his killing. You eventually kill him while he's undead, literally living a few hundred feet from Darkshire. In his garden, there's a single flower called Tear of Tilloa (the first girl he killed). Also note that "Tilloa" is an anagram of Lolita.
    • The Stalvan quests were toned down in Cataclysm, but it's still creepy in a way. This time, you're being asked to find out what's going on by Stalvan's own brother. The contents of the notes are effectively unchanged and there's not ghosts or curses anymore, but still think about the idea of finding out that your brother was a murderer, years after his death.
  • Stitches <The Gift From the Embalmer> in Duskwood. A level 35 Elite Boss Abomination that walks the road in Duskwood, and if left alone will eventually assault the town of Darkshire. And there's no real warning that he's coming (unless you're the one who just reached the last step of the quest chain that summons him, or were lucky enough to not be questing (and in Darkshire) when his appearance begins). So you could be coming down the road from completing a quest in the Graveyard, pause for a brief moment because you wanted to look at your map, and then... wham, he's right behind you.
  • Mind Flay. Think about that for a moment.
    • For that matter, Mind Blast. From what it seems like, it's an explosion of dark power inside your head.
    • Or Soulfire. It LOOKS like a mere pyroblast, but it is implied to burn the victim's soul. Several other warlock spells qualify, especially affliction spells. An Affliction warlock's speciality is to kill the victim slowly and painfully and boy, do they do it well. Curse of Agony... Corruption... Unstable Affliction... just the names are enough to understand what an affliction warlock's victim is suffering.
      • To the uninitiated, or those who don't think about it...Curse of Agony essentially sets every nerve in the target's body on fire, Corruption does awful, unspeakable things to their body, likely melting things, Unstable Affliction similar...and then there's their ability to light anybody they please on fire.
  • The Razorfen Downs in the Barrens. Imagine, a mostly dark labyrinth with massive thorn vines hanging overhead. This, in its own right, isn't that creepy, but when you throw in a rather large army of zombies, including undead anthropomorphic pigs and zombified regular pigs (which is quite disgusting if you happen to be eating pork at the time), it gets a little hair-raising. The undead pig-men aren't too creepy in their own right, just how mutilated they actually look, much worse than most other zombies. They pretty much look more like normal pig-men wearing armor made of bacon. Then we get to the issue of how this happened. It's sort of implied that the leader of the quilboar people actually sold out her own people to the Scourge, and the majority of the race has no idea it's going on basically across the street.
    • While not full-on terrifying, the Bone Pile in Razorfen Downs gets a mention thanks to the creepy, nearly demonic music that plays when you enter. The dancing skeletons and the undead Fire Mage screaming words of motivation to them doesn't help matters much.
  • Remember the little jewel of terror that occurs in the normally peaceful little village of Goldshire, Elwynn Forest. While the entire town, neigh, the entire zone is very serene, there's the one little random spot of horror that is the infamous "Children of Goldshire." To elaborate, in the upstairs of one of the few buildings in town (think leatherworking trainers) there is a back room where you will, on somewhat rare occasions, find a group of six children huddled in a pentagram with one of them in the middle. They don't talk or interact at all, they just...stand there, staring. They will stare in one of a few directions, notably toward Stormwind to the west. When you enter the room, you'll notice that the room is slightly darker than the rest of the building. When the children are there (although I'm not sure if it will happen when they aren't there) you will hear one of several ominous and terrifying voice clips. Most famous is "you will die." Sometimes the children will actually leave the room and run off toward the Valley of Heroes in Stormwind or to the southeast corner of Northshire. When they get there, they'll just stand there, the same boy in the middle, and the other five will form the pentagram again, sometimes changing positions. Worst of all, the event is never explained at all. Speculation is that the Scourge are involved somehow.
  • NDA on Cataclysm was just lifted. Guess what the testers found!
    • Oh, it gets worse. Play the Starcraft II mission on Aiur and tell me that... thing in the screenshot doesn't look like the Overmind.
  • The old Blood Plague Incident, where a glitch caused an area-specific plague to get out into the rest of the world, infecting and pretty much instantly killing lower levels. Some cities were quarantined, some players, reportedly, went into a Social Darwinist fervor and got infected themselves and spread the disease to low levels just For the Evulz.
  • The quest of Jitters in Duskwood. When you read his journal telling the story of what happened to Sven Yorgen's family. Turns out the Dark Riders came to their house to question them on the Scythe of Elune. They were actually looking for Jitters, since he was hiding out in their barn without their knowledge, but since the Riders didn't know this, assumed the people living there had it. The mother very calmly tries to negotiate the Riders away from her children so they'd kill her out in the woods and then hopefully just go do something else. They then use a mind-reading technique (which according to Jitters' account sounds to be very painful) and determine that Mrs. Yorgen was lying. The lead Rider then orders his men to slaughter the family. When the story gets to this part, Jitters simply says that if he were to describe exactly what happened, he would surely go completely insane. Sven himself, who was in Darkshire when this happened, comes back to find his family's mutilated corpses.
  • Gnoll tents are made of human skin. There are faces on them.
  • If you're Alliance, go to the Southern Barrens, the dwarven digsite. Talk to the dwarf in front of the caved in hole in the cliff. They Dug Too Deep. And they found something. They don't say what, but they found something.
    • It's the Tears of the Moon. It's part of a horde quest given by an exiled dwarf who has a camp hidden nearby. It's EXTREMELY easy to miss (removed after Cata) if you don't simply enjoy exploring maps. Much like the Suntara stones, it's heavily corrupted by the old gods and corrupts the dwarf into a trogg before killing him horribly once you bring it back to him.
  • In The Sludge Fields in Hillsbrad, one area has "Human Seedlings", people buried up to their neck and completely helpless against the ghouls wandering around. Your character is so horrified by this (Even if you're a Forsaken character), that they help them out of their predicament as a quest.
    • That isn't the end of it. The quest has a moral choice system: You can either free them by right clicking the shovel you get in your inventory, or right click the Human Seedling to bash their head in with the shovel.
      • The only light part of this quest is that when you bash their head in, you get a debuff that tells you to "Rethink your definition of "right".
      • The Ray-Getz-Kalaba Monstrosity is particularly disturbing, especially if you consider the possibility that they're conscious.
  • If one goes to visit the mountains west of the Deathknell Cemetary in Tirisfal Glades (The Forsaken starting zone) that have been inaccessible since vanilla via flying mount, you'll find a somewhat large forest with a lake and... fairy dragons that dance and sing around a mushroom, it has been untouched by the plague, and is quite lonely. The only wildlife available are small packs of maddened/corrupted deer, and a single, corrupted white "Tirisfal Bear". What is it called? The Whispering Forest. If one has read the lore, you know that the high elves tried settling in Tirisfal, only for many of them to go mad because of something... There is no explanation for anything in the area, leaving only speculation as to what's going on there.
    • Somebody asked about it in a round of Ask the Creative Development Team, and Blizzard refused to elaborate on it any deeper than "it's not an Old God, but you probably shouldn't go digging there."
    • Good news! We find out in Legion! It's the burial site of Yogg-Saron's most powerful servants, and the location where Keeper Tyr self-destructed in an attempt to kill two of said servants and protect the fleeing ancestors of what would become humans, gnomes, and dwarves. He only managed to kill one... and the remnants of the Twilight's Hammer are in the process of resurrecting the corpse of the C'thraxxi when you get there.
  • The bears in Hillsbrad Foothills, the ones toward the start of the zone. The bears themselves are not scary, it's the fact that their backs are covered in spider eggs. It's exactly what it looks like.
  • Darrowshire had a fairly lengthy questline given by a ghost...of a young girl. Who wants her dolly. And misses her father and sister. You manage to make her a new dolly, save her father's soul, and find her still-living sister. It's sweet, triumphant, and one of the creepiest things in the entire game.
  • Behold the iconic Plague of Undeath? A sickness that infuses you with dark magic so that you swiftly decay into a corpse, without actually dying in the process, and then places you under More Than Mind Control.
    • And then there's the fact it's totally incurable — those Death Knights in Warcraft III? They used to be Paladins until their inability to cure those infected drove them mad enough to embrace Undeath themselves.
      • In one of the Warcraft The Roleplaying Game sourcebooks, it's mentioned that attempts to cure the Plague through holy magic have triggered effects like burning the infectee to ashes from the inside out. It's not necessarily canon, but sheesh...
      • It actually makes sense, since in WarCraft paladin's heal kills undead, and vice versa.
      • Forsaken Priests have been noted to walk a fine line of sanity at times. Calling on the Light too much can begin to restore their heavily dulled senses, allowing them to feel the maggots in their flesh and smell their own rot.
      • To stress upon how incurable it is: In Wot LK you encounter Crusader Bridenbrad, a heroic paladin who has contracted the Plague. Tirion Fordring resolves to not let him be turned into a zombie and sends you to Keeper Remulos who gives you an acorn from the Emerald Dream to try and cure Brindenbrad. It fails. So does the breath of Alextrazsa herself. Then you go to Outland and seek out A'dal who arrives and rescues the soul of the crusader from undeath. To clarify: a seed from the realm of eternal life cannot cure the plague. Neither can the queen of all life in the world. One of, if not the most powerful known divine being in the universe which is light incarnate can only save you if you die in the process. This is how powerful the Plague is.
  • Eastern Plaguelands. Like all undead areas this one is disturbing but unlike all of them, The place has this sickly orange mist throughout.
    • After you've progressed far enough you realize that the sky is orange because, even after five years of Scourge occupation, Stratholme is still burning.
  • The quest targets of the "Insane Druids" quest in Ashenvale have some rather creepy aggro dialogue:
    Taneel Darkwood says: Welcome, friend, welcome! There's always room for one more!
    Uthil Mooncall says: Hi! My name's Uthil. We're going to be such good friends once you're dead!
    Mavoris Cloudsbreak says: You're going to be so nice and warm down here with us forever, beautiful! note 
  • The geist is probably one of the creepiest mobs in the game. Look at one in 3D. Everything about them is so wrong.
  • This comic gives a whole new perspective on a simple quest from Redridge...
  • The Old Gods in general, unlike the Burning Legion who try to open gates into Azeroth, they're already in Azeroth, and they seek to bring the apocalypse on it. These guy's are super freaky, such as C'thun, and Yogg-Saron, and they are responsible for the Naga, and the corruption of Deathwing. The mortals know very little about them than the Legion, but they have plenty of followers to do their bidding for them. They have some powerful being such as Cho'gall and Deathwing under their thrall, and Azshara is also under their debt. Basically they have a serpentine demi-goddess who's powers are on par with Archimonde and Kil'Jaden who they might control, and what's gonna happen to the surface world has when they get her to do their bidding for them.
  • The Undead Zones.
    • Tirisfal Glades is a sunny area yet somehow has a dark and ghostly feel until you realize that the area is covered in a purple smog darkening the area.
    • Silverpine Forest has eerie ground which is made worse by the road lights. The place also has many Forsaken outposts with The Sepulcher being a huge graveyard.
  • Back in Warcraft III the Undead music themes tended to have this effect. Play Undead 3. Get to 02:00 and tell me you don't imagine a Hell Hound of some sort chasing you through a dark forest while your heart all but bursts through your ribcage. I dare you.
  • The Darkmoon Faire is a Circus of Fear which can be visited once a month. While it looks like an ordinary circus, veer off the beaten path, and you get "lovely" stuff such as:
    • a Forsaken woman selling some rather questionable meat products.
    • a Killer Rabbit based on the trope codifier.
    • the "Broken Promises" quest, which is started from a ring looted off the body of Erinys, a female felblood elf. You then return the ring to Chester, a member of the faire. Below are the description of the ring and Chester's comments when you return the ring to him. To add to the horror, there are a few felblood elves in the area where you find them, and they do emotes like cry, beg and roar.
    (Description of ring) Deep gash marks indicate that whatever once wore this ring tried in vain to remove it.
    (Chester's comments) Ah, I see that you've found my lovelies. Beautiful, aren't they? It's a shame that the process drives them so... insane. The ring is yours to keep, of course. Can you hear them whisper? Marvelous.
  • The game uses a pretty cartoony visual style, which can in some cases make the more horrifying and disgusting creatures easier to stomach. And then you get to the Ahn'Qiraj raids, where two of the bosses, Kurinnaxx and Fankriss the Unyielding, are a pair of enormous centipedes that, while still cartoony, look much more realistic than the game's other oversized creepy crawlies.
  • Gerhard Abernathy who keeps a tortured, lobotomized slave woman (taken from Alliance ranks) named Therese to carry his items, while casually explaining the torture method to mutilate her brain, and soul. The Undercity itself has a population of prisoners who are tortured and experimented upon even after the death of Apothecary Putress.
    • Nearby two blood elves are giving an impassioned speech to a crowd about the need to turn from the Horde and reconcile with the Alliance. In response the two are mind-controlled by a magister of Lor'themar to spout rhetoric supporting the status quo.
  • According to the new book Chronicles, there are these things called Void Gods that are all powerful, created the old gods (keep in mind, four old gods took the entire pantheon united sans Sargeras to defeat divided, though it should be noted this was only because it was the only way to preserve Azeroth from destruction as wellnote ) and hate all non-void life.
    • It goes deeper, the Void Gods corrupting a titan is the reason Sargeras went insane because he was so terrified of them that he believed the only way they could be stopped is to destroy the universe.
      • And, to make it worse, that isn't to kill them - you literally can't. No, it's merely to prevent them from conquering reality - basically, Sargeras is trying to commit murder-suicide on a universal scale...
  • The whole Deadwind Pass zone is pretty creepy, what with its sparse, foreboding atmosphere and troubled lore. It doesn't take long to get through, mitigating the scare factor, but it's still not very pleasant. On a side note: if you go off the beaten path a bit, you'll find a small area called Ariden's Camp...but it's completely deserted, and there's no record of character named Ariden in any other Blizzard media. What could have happened to them?
    • In Legion it is revealed that Ariden was a brigand cursed by Sargeras to forever hunt down magical relics for his host, Medivh. He's in possession of three different artifacts. Balance Druids finally wrest the Scythe of Elune from him and his Dark Riders—in which he loses control of the Scythe and becomes a mindless Worgen. Unholy Death Knights battle Ariden for the dreadblade Apocalypse, and defeating him causes the blade to overwhelm him with unholy power. And Affliction Warlocks battle him for Ulthalesh, The Deadwind Harvester. Shortly after, the scythe eats Ariden's soul.
  • "The Lost Pilot" and it's follow-up, "A Pilot's Revenge", deals with an Ironforge Steam Brigade pilot sending you to find his friend, Mori Hildelve, who was lost after having ran into the mountains in search of a special ore. When you find him, his body mauled, frozen, and picked clean by mountain scavengers. The following quest gives you a journal depicting how Hildelve knew that something was growling and following him for days: Mangeclaw the massive Ice Claw Bear. After four days of stalking him, Mangeclaw charged at him and mauled his leg, then waited for him to die. Hildelve's last wish was revenge on Mangeclaw. As soon as you accept the quest, Mangeclaw slowly starts to walk towards you from his cliff. Even worse: Hildelve died a horrible death at the hands of the mangy bear due to a tip-off about a powerful blasting powder ore from a fellow Steam Brigade pilot who may or may not have been joking about the ore.
  • Atiesh in Classic, before being purified. The corruption of Sargeras within is strong enough that it drives Archmage Tarsis Kir-Moldir and Archmage Angela Dosantos, your Mr. and Mrs. Exposition up to that point when it comes to Atiesh, to claw their own throats out when you present them with the frame of Atiesh. Thankfully it's been made non-canon due to Archmage Dosantos being alive and well in Cataclysm and most of the Atiesh story was retconned when it was given to Med'an and later Khadgar.
    Archmage Angela Dosantos: What have you done? FOOL! You brought it... NO!
    Angela rushes outside Light's Hope Chapel and starts scratching at her throat before dying.

     Burning Crusade 

  • The Dead Scar is incredibly disturbing, due to its location in the game. Especially to a low level blood elf, who might be unaware of Warcraft lore, traveling across a picturesque, calming landscape, only to suddenly see a hideous black slash of decay and death, populated by rotting cannibals and changed elves...
  • If you've ever been to Hellfire Peninsula, you've probably seen a fel reaver. 70-foot demonic robots that stomp around and can be seen from halfway across the zone. If you happen to be in a position where you can't move when you see one, such as when you're eating, your only thought will be "please don't come this way, please don't come this way, please." Of course, there are also the occasions where you'll turn the camera to see one not too far away stomping directly at you. Of course since they walk a certain path, it'll probably turn before it reaches you. It should also be mentioned that they're level 70 elites, meaning that they're elite on top of being 7-10 levels above what most players in the area would be.
  • Shatter Point, Hellfire Peninsula. An Alliance quest hub. Avoid going there at all costs if you're afraid of heights because it is a small asteroid floating in space over a pitch black and bottomless abyss.
    • Canted slightly to one side so the ground is tilted.
      • Oh, and one quest giver states the entire thing sometimes rotates upside down. His advice for surviving that? Hang onto anything that can't float away.
  • In Hellfire Peninsula, on the very edge of the Warp Fields (so on the edge that you need to be able to fly to ensure you won't fall off the edge of the world and die), there is a tiny, extremely well-hidden "jar of ashes". Wrapped around it is a skeleton holding a spear. The jar gives the following message/warning, and the player can only wonder who this was, what happened to him to fill him with such hatred, and what may come to pass if he achieves what he wants.
    Here is a jar of ashes. These are the ashes of my sanity, my passion, and my drive. All, utterly destroyed by themselves. May all those who look upon these desolated lands of Hellfire remember this fallen peon. He shed blood for the Alliance, and sacrificed for the Horde only to be driven utterly mad by the wicked and soulless ones who devoured what he held most dear. As they feast from his toils, may they suffer his wrath. Maybe not in this world, but in every world hereafter. It is my declaration, my solemn oath, and my everlasting promise. I will avenge my suffering.
    • It's been speculated that the text actually refers to former Community Manager Tseric, who, long story short, had a major Creator Breakdown on the forums thanks to some trolls and ended up resigning some time later. No one knows whether the jar is actually reference to him or not, but read that again with the knowledge that there's the possibility of it reflecting the thoughts of an actual, real life person.
  • The Path of Glory in Hellfire Peninsula is actually paved with Draenei bones. You're walking on decomposed corpses. Worse, said road goes halfway across the zone, making it several miles long. Just how many Draenei would need to be killed for their bones to pave a very wide, miles long road?
  • If you think about it, Kael'thas' transformation from a brutal but well meaning ruler to a twisted, hateful, batshit insane warlord who reveres the Big Bad with a blind, almost loving zeal can be more than a little disturbing. The fact that his lines in Magister's Terrace, including his last words, are little more than insane ramblings and praises to Kil'jaeden does little to help.
  • In a rather subdued example, in Silvermoon City's tailor shop if you listen closely somebody is crying. Going into their back room and downstairs reveals that the tailor has enslaved a number of leper gnomes and put them to work on the looms, leaving a succubus to oversee them. After the bright environs above seeing this is rather disturbing.
  • Challe is an unassuming NPC appearing in both versions of Nagrand, but it's clear there's something... off with her.
    • In Burning Crusade's Outland, players can find Challe's Home For Little Tykes. In appearance it's a children daycare/orphanage where little kids are cared for and looked after by Challe, a nice female troll. The daycare is a small, hidden place without quests or mobs or anything of importance, but upon investigation some disturbing details are revealed. There's heaps of rotting meat in a doghouse (but no dog whatsoever), explosives in the sandbox, and cages of varying sizes (one of them containing a small humanoid skeleton) hidden behind the house. All this combined with a boiling cauldron and trolls' culinary habits hinted at Challe having some not-so benevolent intentions toward the kids, but whatever it is isn't revealed to the player.
    • Challe is also present in the alternate Draenor, but this time she's an orc living in a cave full of knives, skulls, wicker dolls and another cauldron. According to an old orc, she hasn't aged at all since he was a kid and he accuses her of murdering his wife Dahaka. When investigated by the player, she openly admits being a Wicked Witch who killed Dahaka to stay young and threatens to "devour" the player. During her fight she shapeshifts several times, once taking the troll form of her BC incarnation. It's never revealed what exactly Challe is (she can't be a troll because they're not native to Draenor, but then why assume the form of one? How old is she anyway?) but it does confirm that her main timeline version really was a Child Eater, and is probably still eating kids now as she was never dealt with.


    Wrath of the Lich King 

  • Go to the center of the Weeping Quarry in Icecrown, swim out to the middle of the lake, dive, and take a look directly downwards.
    • What makes that even creepier is that it's based on "The Colour Out of Space". What would happen to you if you stayed around it for too long? Let's just say that Body Horror doesn't even begin to cover it...
      • If you think the picture is scary, try watching the way it moves...
    • In the same area, there's the Matthias Lehner quest chain, which begins with an impossibly long fall into a pit of Eldritch Abominations shambling around. There's a shiny black rock in this area that, upon touching, Matthias tells you "he" is coming and urges you to smear yourself with the horrors' blood to conceal yourself from "him." Once you've done the whole quest chain it's pretty easy to work out who "he" is (Arthas, naturally. Matthias is the remaining sliver of good humanity (that, it turns out, was never particularly good in the first place) within his soul.), but this takes away none of the creepy factor.
      • The creepy is somewhat mitigated by the sheer levels of awesome in that quest chain, though. Being in the driver's seat for some of the defining moments in Arthas' past, including the fight with Illidan? Priceless. And the whole thing is capped by a Big Damn Heroes moment from the Knights of the Ebon Blade, of all people.
      • Shur'nab... shur'nab... Yogg-Saron!
  • Carrion Grubs and Carrion Worms. You'll find them in the Plaguelands; they are basically gigantic maggots. And the way they shuffle around blindly... * shudder*
    • It may not be quite that bad - consider the Paradoxical Frog, which is a quite small frog with ten inch long tadpoles.
  • Before Borelgore was nerfed into being just another quest mob, it was basically an overworld boss fight boasting 60,000+ hp and easily enough damage output to wipe out all but the hardiest groups.
  • Naxxramas itself. The final Spider Wing boss, Maexxna, is a nightmare for anyone with arachnophobia (she is even seen on Naxx's loading screen!). Loatheb has mushrooms growing out of his back, for chrissakes, and just look at his face. Sir Zeliek of the Four Horsemen: what makes him terrifying is that he was once a paladin, now he's a prisoner of his own body, forced to witness how the Lich King uses him to commit crimes against mankind, using his own Holy powers... and poor Sir Zeliek can do nothing but plead. He even tries to warn the players to run upon aggro! (while the other three Horsemen ridicule him for it). And of course the whole Abomination wing, from Patchwerk, to grotesque Grobbulus, to freaky Gluth, and finally Thaddius (who's so horrific he deserves his own paragraph, see below). The Scourge are monsters.
    • Special mention goes to the boss Thaddius. If you listen closely every so often, you can hear the occasional wail and moan of what sounds like a woman in pain from deep within the instance, often saying "Nooooooo...please" or "Save me!". It doesn't help to know that the screams are coming from the Abomination Wing, an area used to create... abominations. Some players guessed there are people being tortured there... but that's only half of it. The final boss of that wing? A towering giant called Thaddius, stitched from the flesh... of women and children. With their screaming souls ''still inside''. And there nothing you, the player, can do to save them! Thaddius' opening line, in the combined voices of all those women and children, is "You are too late... I... must... OBEY!!!" When Thaddius dies, he thanks you, and at that point, all of the screaming in the background stops.
      • Right after one of the women being spliced into Thaddius says save me you can hear a male voice telling her to stop screaming.
    • It might be worth mentioning that Patchwerk sees the whole fight as a game, and the raid group as his toys...
  • Then there's the Death Knight starting quests. The backstory - you were a champion of the Argent Dawn who died fighting the undead and brought back under their control - is bad enough. But as you progress through the quest line, you slaughter innocent villagers, harvest human skulls to help power a plague generator, and torture a random soldier (or, more likely, a lot of soldiers because the RNG hates you/them) for information. And all of this is before meeting a living Argent Dawn member held captive by the Scarlet Crusaders, who you knew in lifenote , and murdering them in cold blood. At least this finally starts you on the road to your eventual Heel–Face Turn.
    • The entire Death Knight starting area is one of the best scripted stories in the game, especially for starting a brand new class, as well as showing off their new "Zone Phasing" tech that moves you seamlessly from environment to environment. You can easily get caught up in the spectacle and then realize that the point of your entire existence is to terrorize and kill innocent men, women and children. As you move through the story you get further exposed to the desperate plight of the villagers, doing anything they can to escape the Scourge. Oh, and The Lich King is whispering things like "No survivors, no mercy" in your head the whole time.
      • They're not that innocent; this is the Scarlet Crusade we're talking about. Xenophobes being led by demons in disguise.
      • Then again, there are civilians present...
      • Bonus round: At one stage about halfway through, Scarlet civilians will begin fleeing to the dubious safety of the town of New Haven. Those civilians can often be critically injured by the hail of arrows being fired from Death's Landing. Killing those civilians who have already been shot down will still count towards the number of Scarlet civilians a certain quest requires you to kill - and you can usually retrieve the arrow(s) from their bodies before or after you slaughter them. You can complete that quest and the fetch quest involving the arrows by waiting for those arrows to pick off the fleeing civilians and then stalking up to them to finish them off while they lay helpless on the ground.
  • The Wrathgate cutscene. About 3:08. His face is melting out of his helmet.
    • If you completed the Wrathgate quests before they were removed from the game, every time you take a flight path or fly above the area you can hear screaming.
  • Frostmourne. Decent, kind human beings- including Uther the Lightbringer, a paladin and a good man in every way- are condemned to eternal damnation with no real hope of release purely because Arthas killed them with a damned sword. And they remain conscious and aware.
    • It doesn't help that it's apparent that Arthas himself may be a sort of case of this. The Halls of Reflection seems to reveal (or at least heavily imply) that Arthas' Orcus on His Throne status may be due to a bit of resisting mind control. One may go so far as to venture that Arthas was equal parts inhuman monster and in a state of And I Must Scream.
    • In Warcraft Legends (Volume 5, "Nightmares", I believe), Jaina dreams of following Arthas instead of leaving his side at the Culling of Stratholme. Her dream-self does all the things that Arthas would've done himself, such as incinerating innocent townspeople with her fire magic instead of having Arthas crushing them all with his hammer. All the things Arthas did, Jaina performed instead to keep Arthas from sliding down the evil path. In the end of her nightmare, Jaina grabs Frostmourne herself to keep Arthas from ever becoming the Lich King. All well and good, except that SHE becomes the Lich Queen now, saying how she did all this for her beloved Arthas, and will make him the FIRST of her many undead. Her nightmare ends with Jaina screaming in the inside of her in-dream possessed body which just screams And I Must Scream.
      • The Lich King is already a major prick with nigh-invincible armor, soul-claiming sword, and helm that controls ALL of the Scourge. And Arthas was just a corrupt Paladin/Death Knight. Nigh-invincible armor, soul-claiming sword, helm that controls ALL of the Scourge, MIXED with Jaina, who's already a powerful sorceress...
      • Jaina wielding the Frostmourne would be significantly less of a threat than Arthas wielding it. Remember, Arthas had tons of training with swords and weapons with Muradin and the Silver Hand, Jaina's probably got no idea how to even swing a sword without losing her balance.
    • The eventual fate of Bolvar Fordragon is very creepy. Having apparently been burned to a crisp by the Red Dragonflight during the Wrathgate he's now spending his time as an eternally burning but fully conscious undead. It's unclear whether or not he feels pain.
      • Best case scenario, Bolvar's facing an eternity of being frozen in a block of ice, doing all he can to prevent an undead horde from devouring the rest of the world while attempting to fight off demonic possession. Worst case? He's already possessed.
      • That might make it hurt more, since applying ice directly to burns makes it worse.
      • Ner'zhul is already confirmed dead so Bolvar isn't fighting him off. On the other hand not only did Bolvar's voice change after the Lich King died and not before despite being undead the confirmed dead Yogg-Saron's theme starts playing when Bolvar is convincing Tirion to give him the crown so Bolvar may infact be possessed by the Sha that comes from Yogg-Saron's corpse(a Sha of Death).
      • The theme(Halls of Iron) comes from Yogg-Saron's third phase and was first seen in the trailor that announced the Expansion associated with Whisper Gulch and Howling Fjord which in turn is associated with Yogg-Saron. When hearing it during the Yogg-Saron fight it seems epic yet when hearing it during cutscenes where Yogg-Saron seemingly has no involvement like Bolvar's ascension and the Wrathgate incident It starts to sound eerie.
    • Word of God: No one knows where the shards of Frostmourne disappeared to...
      • A bit of a Nightmare Retardant here, one of the artifact weapons in Legion will be a pair of swords forged from the shards of Frostmourne. Fittingly, this will be a Death Knight artifact. Why Retardant? Seriously, after all the WMG, the idea seems silly.
  • The Scholomance. More precisely, the history of the Scholomance as told by the ghost of Eva Sarkhoff at Caer Darrow. Even more precisely, how she tried to hide from the horrors that slowly creeped into the estate, failed, and was experimented on and tortured while magic kept her conscious and alive. Including in the end when ghouls feasted on her body. Finding the chamber of Doctor Theolen "The Butcher" Krastinov only added to this. At least you can kill him, even if he was a pretty difficult boss back in the day.
  • The Prophet Tharon'ja. The skeleton of a wind serpent (Quetzalcoatlesque winged snake). During the fight he steals your flesh to regrow hers and turns you into skeletons!
    • That, however, is a perfect example of Cursed With Awesome, because you're given VERY strong abilities when you're in skeletal form.
  • Forsaken Death Knights. The Forsaken are comprised of people who were killed by Scourge forces and resurrected as undead to serve the Lich King, who then broke free of his control. Death Knights are people who were killed by Scourge forces and resurrected to serve as the Lich King's elite forces. This means that the Forsaken Death Knights were killed once, resurrected, broke free from the control of the Lich King, killed again, and resurrected again to serve the Lich King, and break free again. Will these people never get to go to the Great Beyond?
    • Even lampshaded by the friend you must kill as a Forsaken Death Knight. "Don't let the Lich King use you for his evil purposes! ...again!"
  • Captain Falric in the Halls of Reflection dungeon has a substantial fanbase because of his excellent dialogue and delivery. Until you think about what he's saying...
  • The Halls of Reflection's final boss fight consists of running away from the Lich King. If you can't kill his minions, thus letting Sylvanas/Jaina break through his ice walls, fast enough he'll reach the group and instantly one shot the entire party. Oh and you take considerable (at the time) damage every second if you happen to fall behind him. It's the equivalent of fleeing a magical Terminator, knowing you can't even slow him down.


  • Deathwing is Back.
  • The Whale Shark, silently hanging out in Vashj'ir. Absolutely terrifying.
    • Fun fact: There are 3 of them!
    • Hell, the entire zone of Vashj'ir is nightmare fuel if you have a phobia of wide open empty areas, such as the ocean.
      • Even better? You can skip along the sea floor out of the zone... and back into the massive fatigue zone between Vashj'ir and Stormwind. With Epic Flight you can cross over the water before you run out of fatigue, but at the bottom, you really get a sense of the distance between the two zones. There's nothing between them but flat terrain. Nothing.
    • The hilarious Once More, With Eeling quest only serves to lull you into a false sense of security. You hate eels? Ha ha, so do we, everyone hates eels! Even eels don't like eels! Now here, have some gigantic freaking eels.
  • Patch 4.3 introduces End Time, showing piece of Northrend after a class-5 apocalypse takes out Azeroth in the wake of Deathwing's victory. It's not even a Villain World since the Twilight Dragonflight, left with nothing else to kill, swarm Deathwing and leave his lifeless husk to rot on the roof of Wyrmrest Temple.
    • Fortunately, players Set Right What Once Went Wrong by beating Murozond, the time-twisted evil alternate of time keeper Nozdormu.
    • The exact event that brought about the End Time, the Hour of Twilight. It is so horrific that simply reading a prophecy about it turned one of the most pious clergymen in the setting into a ranting, raving psychopath.
      • Even worst, the Hour of Twilight is so horrific, that Murozond calls what we see a blessing compared to the TRUE End time. Makes you wonder what he saw to consider a barren, dead world were the Old Gods won as a good alternative.
  • In the last quest of the Molten Front, Into the Depths, you are charged with killing Leyara, a Druid of the Flame, you start out with four Shadow Wardens helping you, but after damaging her enough, she starts encasing each Warden in a orb made of flame, destroying them without a body or anything left behind, one by one. Eventually she starts casting it on you, the debuff is called Crushing Flames, "The target in the bubble is crushed until nothing remains but a pile of ash". Hamuul Runetotem just narrowly spared you from getting roasted without a trace.
    • When you start out the Molten Front quests, the same Leyara burns Hamuul alive in front of you while you are completely unable to act. She definitely shared her father-in-law's racism towards tauren being in the Cenarion Circle...
      Leyara: BURN, TAUREN!! BURN!!!
  • Deathwing's final form at end of the Dragon Soul raid. After having his armor torn off to expose his molten flesh and shot through the chest with the Dragon Soul, he plunges into the Maelstrom and emerges as a mutating monstrosity. He has completely lost his mind after this and is simply a raving, mindless monster trying to destroy everything around him, complete with his dragon form gruesomely falling apart, to be replaced with a mass of molten tentacles. It's almost a relief not simply to save Azeroth, but to put him out of his misery.
    • Also, letting Deathwing cast the second Cataclysm. Everyone dies, its your standard wipe... and everything around you is black. Pitch-black emptiness...
  • "[Stood In The Fire]", creepy in more ways than one. The sky turns blood red to signal the *completely random* appearance of the Big Bad and the normal zone music fades out, becoming the tense "Stood In the Fire" track and you hear the roar of the boss, who then begins flying at about the speed of an epic flying mount (380% normal speed) down a set path torching everything: mobs, quest givers, critters, players... While that is really scary, what's possibly worse is the suicidal zeal that players have for being there for the achievement.
    • What's particularly bad about this one is that being in a cave or building, or underground base will not protect you from this event. So if you've spent the past few minutes in a microdungeon, you wouldn't even know this was happening, you'd just suddenly catch fire and die out of nowhere.
    • It can double as a Funny Moment - there's a glitch that renders you immune to the fire if you're on a flying mount and hover just above the ground (you still get the achievement even though you don't die). You get to watch the Mooks of the area respawn and die over and over again for the next five minutes.
    • There is another, less common glitch where a player dies to the fire, clicks the button to become a ghost, runs back to his/her body still in flames and notes that their ghost is making the "taking damage" sound. That's right, this fire is so hot, it burns your soul as well. Fridge Brilliance in hindsight, as Deathwing names himself the Aspect of Death in another zone.
  • And then this suddenly appeared.
  • Sinestra in the Heroic Bastion of Twilight - she's the mother of all the Black Dragonflight save Deathwing, and she is covered with scars and gashes that open into what looks like glowing yellow lava. Where did she get all these injuries? From Deathwing. They're the scars from when he attempted to mate with his consorts just after he was transformed from Neltharion the Earth-Warder. And yes, that was consorts, plural. Why do we only fight Sinestra? Of the three consorts he had, only she survived his touch.

    Mists of Pandaria 

  • When reaching exalted with the Klaxxi, Kil'ruk the Wind Reaver rewards you with an epic ring, and after explaining about what happened to the Old God they used to worship - he was literally ripped out of Azeroth's crust by the Titans and killed effortlessly, his remains becoming the Sha - he reminds you that the Klaxxi, despite all you've done for them, are only working with you because they have no other option, and if you're successful, your help may no longer be needed. If the Old Gods return, the Klaxxi will happily fall in line to serve them once more, and Kil'ruk is telling you all this only because you've been so helpful to them, ending his speech with a very simple ultimatum.
    "I tell you this now, because you have earned this warning. Your gods are not OUR Gods, outsider. When the Old Gods return, we mantid will once again stand by their side. The wisest amongst you should do the same."
    • And in 5.4, one of the bosses for the Siege of Orgrimmar raid is indeed 'The Paragons of the Klaxxi'. They ARE ready to kill you!
  • The mana bomb that destroyed Theramore was enhanced with the Focusing Iris, the most powerful artifact of the Blue Dragonflight, the guardians of magic. The blast was so powerful it warped the fabric of reality itself, altering the physical structure of anyone caught up in it. Keep in mind that this was a city inhabited mostly by refugees from Lordaeron who helped defeat Archimonde at Mount Hyjal. The only consolation is that it was probably a quick death for those who got caught up in the explosion...
    • According to the Bronze Dragonflight, the use of the Focusing Iris made the mana bomb powerful enough that its blast literally trancended time, annihilating Theramore's location in all timelines, even those where the city never existed. Anyone and anything existing in that place, in that timeframe, gone. The explosion is effectively what time-traveling shows like Doctor Who calls a Fixed Point in Time, a cosmological constant that will always happen no matter how it has to be arranged.
  • The beginning of the "Heart of Fear" raid instance has a bunch of presumed Klaxxi-loyal Mantid twitching and struggling to breathe, all while impaled and stuck on massive spears.
  • The final quests for Dominance Offensive/Operation: Shieldwall, regarding Garrosh and the Divine Bell...
  • When you are questing in the Golden Vale and taking care of mogu, you will see they have bonfires. Why is this horrific? It's a burning pile of pandaren corpses, with some cases of mogu holding a pandaren by the neck over the pile. The sheer brutality is jarring, to say the least.
  • Also in the Jade Forest in Pandaria, there's an old widow who lives alone in a hut. She has a lot of jade statues on her front yard that all look suspiciously lifelike. It turns out that she's a witch that has the power to turn people into jade statues, and by the looks of the number of statues she has, she's been doing it for quite a while. Even scarier when you notice that most of the statues are children...
  • They're just anthromorphic pandas, right? Nothing so sinister about that... until you read the Trial of the Red Blossoms:
    "Of course, you can refuse the mercy I have extendednote  and confirm Tao-Long's suspicions. And then we will take the scroll from you, as well as your life. But don't think that this means we will simply kill you, thief. When the Shado-pan take your life, it means that your life comes into our possession. We will bind you, take your eyes, your feet, and all but two of your fingers so that you can feed yourself. Then you will be strapped to a mount and carried to our monastery high in Kun-Lai Summit. Upon your arrival, you will be placed on an ice-rimmed ledge to wait for our Truthseekers."
    "The Shado-pan Truthseekers will teach you that the previous removal of your eyes was only the first and most gentle of our gifts. They will find out how you have been corrupted by the sha, what you know of their designs, and whether we should toss you to the canyon winds for judgment."
    • A Shado-Pan leader later calls this "softhearted", and he instead offers said urchin a choice between a quick and immediate death, or the long and drawn-out torture (with a mortality rate of "most") of attempting to join the Shado-Pan... and when he next appears, he pretty much admits to torturing perceived mantid spies/assassins for information, but having learned little from them he "removed their limbs anyway just to be certain", and shot them through an eye with a crossbow... who knows how much of that was before they died? Oh, and an otherwise throwaway exposition during the titular Trial strongly implies that these conversations took place during Mists of Pandaria, so...
    • More broadly speaking, Trial of the Red Blossom reveals via the point-of-view character's exposition that despite the last pandaren emperor's call for how to live their lives, the society that he left behind in Pandarianote  is actually a lot more like the landlocked societies of Azeroth "beyond the mists" than it looks at first glance, complete with thieving, poverty, murder... yet still generally ignorant of the existence of the sha, much less their nature and how negative emotions give rise to or empower them. Considering that the Shado-Pan are one of the only Pandaren organizations aware of the sha and their tie to negative emotions, how much of the seeming pandaren calm and peacefulness "naturally" comes from cultural teachings, and how much of it is (subtle or not) Shado-Pan manipulation of the Pandaren society?

    Warlords of Draenor 

  • Warlords of Draenor adds a few terrifying and disturbing races to the mix.
    • The Botani are humanoid plants, serving giant carnivorous plant demigods called the Genesaurs. They are at constant war with Breakers (which consist of mountainous stone-like giants called Magnaron, and their minions, the Ogron and Gronn/Gronnlings), and fight to either turn all of Draenor into a earth-broken catastrophic world of death, or a verdant green world of plants and death. And the Botani themselves can also make their plants, as well as their own bodies, kill and convert any non-plant-based lifeform into one of them! Whether it's by spores controlling your body while you're helpless to stop it and begging for death (like with the Kirin Tor expedition in The Everbloom), or by having your entire body twisted and warped into horrific vine and bark appendages and skin (like with the Infested Orc/Behemoth adds). Kinda glad they weren't alive during Outland...
    • Pale Orcs are another disgusting mess that existed back in regular Draenor. Young orcs, twisted and shaped by dark whispers and black magics (presumably by a Draenor Old God), and come out as writhing, gaunt, Geist-like husks of dark magic and cruelty.
    • Podlings are small plant-creatures, with huge eyes and razor-sharp teeth. That's unsettling enough, but the podlings will eat anything and anyone unfortunate to cross their path. And they're clever enough to set traps. And if something's too big or stubborn for traps, they might just jump on and start chewing!


  • The premise of the new sixth expansion is an invasion by the Burning Legion outright stated to be larger than even the one during the War of the Ancients. If that's not enough Illidan is up to something and Queen Azshara (aka the strongest mortal mage ever) has returned.
  • Varian Wrynn's death. Impaled through the chest, he's brought before Gul'dan who floods his body with Fel energy, resulting in him exploding when it finally overwhelms him. You get to witness the pleasant scene of his body and armor crack with Fel lines as the energy levels rise all while he screams in pain. The explosion was large enough for Genn and Sylvanas to be able to see it several miles away.
  • Tirion Fordring's death shortly before is also horrible to witness. Since it takes place outside a cutscene, it isn't as graphic to watch... But the screaming that accompanies it is hard to listen to. Worse still, he manages to briefly call down the Holy Light once more as he had at Light's Hope and Icecrown, but his will is quickly overpowered and he is dunked straight into a pool of liquid Fel as his shield shatters. Retribution Paladins later learn that even this didn't kill him, so a dreadlord continued to torture him and use both him and the Ashbringer as bait to lure in the Silver Hand's new Highlord (you) and snatch them as a new vessel.
  • Suramar. Fucking Suramar. It's a very lovely city, with a light purple, blue, and faintly lavender color scheme... whose draconian martial law (thanks to Gul'dan and the Legion "making a deal") makes Silvermoon's repressive regime seem open and welcoming of dissent... and a vast majority of the city is okay with it all. But... if you state you think that maybe the Grand Magistrix shouldn't have allied your people with the demons? Exile. Actively foment dissent? Death, or self-imposed exile before the guard get you - and they'll hunt you down outside the border anyway, just to be sure. Discipline your servants too harshly? Exile note . Considered by the ruling class to be unworthy to live in their great city? Well, they might be lenient there; you won't get exiled, but you will have your arcwine rations cut heavily... and thanks to literal millennia of dependency, arcwine is the only thing that provides you nutrition, and without enough of it, you start to "wither", becoming a mana addict whose mental faculties degenerate as the hunger grows. If it gets too great, you transform into a Withered, a mindless thing who hungers only for mana and flesh. And, to add the cherry on top, the transformation from "Nightborne", to "Nightfallen", to "Withered" can progress in less than a day. The Blood Elves, comparatively, got lucky with their addiction. If it weren't for the number of guards around, players would probably rampage through Suramar, killing as many of the population as they could - and in some cases, even that's not enough to stop them.
    • To drive home just how disgusting this regime is, one of the world quests involves freeing prisoners being held in transparent cells along a main street as examples. Some are even positioned as decorations for an outdoor cafe. While many are still healthy when released, others are in the process of Withering, or have completely Withered. None have actually had any punishment assigned, and some are only in there due to saying the wrong thing. And some of the prisoners are children.
  • The Falanaar Tunnels, a crypt that is filled to the brim with literal demonic spiders. These spiders look absolutely grotesque by the way. The males have Nightborne faces on a spiders body, and they also have spider eyes placed below that face as well. And yes, it looks just as horrible as you think it is. The females are slightly better, looking like shrouded Nightborne with four insect legs coming out of their dress. But still, there is something about these things that's just wrong. Even people who are fine with or like spiders are horrified by these things.
    • You learn later that these "Fal'dorei" are the result of the Arcan'dor failing to find proper root in Falnaar, and if things go wrong in Meredil, the exact same thing or something just as horrible could happen to Thalyssra and the rest of the friendly Nightfallen rebels.
  • Vault of the Wardens dungeon. Specifically, the section just before the dungeon's final boss, Cordana Felsong. The place is barely lit (except for player who carries Elune's Light), filled with damaging spider webs, large amounts of spiders, tormented spirits of vengeance and upon entering the Vault of the Betrayer, Elune's Light is extinguished by a trap and the players must get another before facing Cordana. The fight itself can be eerie as well, especially during the "Creeping Doom", during which ghostly images of the Wardens can kill you if you bump into them too many times. None of this is helped by the dungeon's creepy and intimidating music that is associated with the Burning Legion.
    • Also, on Mythic difficulty, if you'll get knocked of the platform, you fall to your death rather than being brought back to the arena.
  • In the Emerald Nightmare raid, you face Xavius. Having met the guy's "shadow" in Val'sharah and Darkheart Thicket, you think you know what to expect. Just a satyr with a bit of red on him. As it turns out, the real deal is rather... different. A huge, hulking creature with massive red claws, spiky spiny tree-like protrusions from his back like blood-soaked branches, a long and devilish forked tongue, and an almost comically tiny pair of hoofs showing off just how unnatural the size of the rest of his body is. The fight against him is pretty unsettling as well. Taking place in a foggy void, you spend the beginning of the fight facing only him, until slowly... things start to shamble out of the fog. Nightmare creatures all more monstrous than any you've seen so far, all lumbering towards Xavius, ready to empowered him, or slaughter you. And as the fight progresses there gets to be more, and more, and more of them, all endlessly shambling out of the dark...
  • Early in the Legion questlines, you get a mission to go to The Exodar, which you find under Legion attack. One of your quests inside is to rescue terrified citizens cowering in corners and such from the rampaging demons. A very large percentage of which are children.
  • On the Broken Shore, if you get too close to the Tomb of Sargeras you're instantly killed. How? A "dark presence" on the other side of the portal reaches out and barely touches you. That's how powerful Sargeras is; he can kill you with a thought from another world.
  • The Insurrection questline in Suramar starts with almost everyone in the Waning Crescent section of Suramar City being either killed by demons or imprisoned to be taken to Felsoul Hold to be used as fuel for the Soul Engine. It's horrific enough that even the guards who were previously loyal to Elisande turn against her.
  • In Val'sharah, there's a place called Dreadroot that's been taken over by the Emerald Nightmare. You can find an abandoned, overgrown Night Elf house and carriage with notes strewn around, written in Darnassian. If you have a look at the notes on a Night Elf, they read "Every rose has its thorn" and "I am a rose" over and over and over, completely filling up the pages. If you look behind the house, there are Night Elf skeletons in a variety of sizes, and some have roses jammed into their eye sockets. If you look in the house, you find this note on a dresser:
    If I am a rose then I have a thorn but if I have a thorn I am not pure and if I am not pure then I am not worthy and if I am not worthy I will suffer and if I suffer then I shall make those who are also not worthy suffer and suffer and suffer and suffer and suffer and suffer...
  • Burning Legion ships and buildings are powered by thousands of tortured souls. And they have entire armadas.
    • One ship and a nearby Soul Engine are destroyed during the assault on the Broken Shore, releasing their fuel: The defiled remains of enough humanoids to fill an entire valley.
    • They have also created the Ur'zul fiends: Hound-like abominations created by fusing together the tortured bodies and souls of their captives. The Many-Faced Devourer has a chance of dropping a pet based on one of its component souls: A child.
  • From the Rejection of the Gift cinematic, Xe'ra becomes quite possibly the creepiest naaru, if not the creepiest representative of the Light, by essentially trying to force the Light onto Illidan whether he wishes for it or not. While Illidan has done some questionable and immoral things (even doing a worse version of what Xe'ra tried to do to him to Akama), some found it very chilling to hear a naaru saying things like "Your old life has passed. The Light will forge you a new one." with clear undertones of Heel–Face Brainwashing going on.
    • There is some Nightmare Retardant though. If Xe'ra had infused Illidan, he would then take the fight to the Burning Legion... exactly what he was doing beforehand and gave his life and soul to do. It's also possible that Xe'ra was merely replacing Illidan's fel magic with the Light, not controlling him. Especially since there's no evidence that Xe'ra infusing people with the Light takes away their free will; in the audio novel "A Thousands Years of War", Turalyon and the Light-infused Dreadlord Lothraxion talked Xe'ra out of killing Alleria for refusing to stop using the Void, something they couldn't have done if she controlled them.
  • Chronicles revealed that the Titans, the gods many have been hoping will be able to stop the Legion, have been dead for millennia. And Legion reveals that Sargeras captured almost all of their souls and has spent a good portion of that time torturing them in an attempt to create his own Dark Pantheon. And it's starting to work: Aggramar has been made to serve Sargeras, as has Argus.
  • In Legion we see the fate that befell the eredar who refused the Legion's offer but did not leave Argus. Like their relatives in Outland, they have devolved into Broken and live in the shadows of their broken homeland. And they've endured this hellish existence for millennia, many having been alive long enough to see their world's fall.
    • In Krokuun they must evade slave raids by the Legion which lead to two horrible fates. The lucky are further corrupted with fel and turned into demon slaves laboring for the rest of eternity. The unlucky are tortured to death only for their very souls to be captured and further tormented to fuel the Legion's weapons.
    • In Mac'aree the survivors slowly gave into despair and succumbed to the whispers of the Void. Most are insane or have degenerated into withered creatures with only a handful mastering the taint.
  • If the fate of the Krokuul is bad, the fate of the planet's Titan soul is arguably worse. While still an infant by his race's standards, Sargeras discovered him and used Argus as a power source to fuel the Legion's ability to reincarnate. The devastation of the planet and its corruption by fel energy were all felt by him while he was still in the womb, driving him insane over eons. When he's finally freed by the Pantheon, Argus manifests as a monstrously powerful Titan intent on destroying all of creation.
  • The scenario taking place after Uuna gets taken by the Void. You have to first die and talk to a Spirit Healer to get access to it, then when you find her, she is in a forest with a circle of huge trees completely engulfed in darkness, with her wandering about in the middle of the open area in between them. When you approach her and cheer her up, monstrous creatures known as Soul Eaters will come out from the darkness, intent on devouring Uuna alive and causing her to cease to exist. They cannot be harmed or even targetted, with the only thing you can do being to run at them to scare them off for a few scant seconds at best. Slowly, more and more of them will shamble out until you and Uuna are completely surrounded. If you do not survive long enough to hug her after a certain piece of dialogue, you get to watch them pin her down and eat her while she screams for help.
  • The Endless Halls. As the penultimate step to get the obscure Lucid Nightmare mount, you journey to Kun-Lai Summit into a Mogu tomb. There, you consume the ashes of an evil sorcerer and black out. When you come to, you find yourself in a dark room, with the exits either blocked off or covered with black fog. Going through the fog brings you to an identical room and it soon becomes evident that it is a huge and disorienting maze. Your goal is to find the five orbs scattered throughout and match them to the respective colored rune. The entire time, the only noise in the area essentially comes from you and the footsteps you make. The music itself is silently foreboding and you keep expecting SOMETHING to pop out at you. In the end, you are completely alone in the dark, wandering endlessly through the halls in search of your goal. Nothing Is Scarier at its finest.
    • To add to the confusing layout, one of the rooms can teleport you to a random part of the maze and reaching the edges sends you elsewhere as well.
    • In addition, the labyrinth is generated randomly based on Player ID and the day of the week, meaning there exists no premade map of the place. However, the colored runes and orbs can be used as landmarks to map out the labyrinth, as it is not infinite and follows certain rules.
  • And the final step in the Lucid Nightmare chain is just as noteworthy: after clearing the Endless Halls, you're directed to Kharazan Crypt. Yes, one of the most horrific hidden locations in the game has finally been opened up to true, full access, with all of its content intact. And yes, you have to go/swim through the "Upside-down Sinners" room to get your new mount.
  • Towards the end of the Antorus raid a cloud of fel energy can be seen slowly engulfing Azeroth, which would undoubtedly wipe out all life if not stopped. The revived Titan Pantheon drags the cloud away, revealing it to be Sargeras who is currently the size of a planet.
    • And even though Sargeras is captured by the Pantheon, he leaves a parting gift: His sword, driven deep into the planet's crust. The entire zone of Silithus is obliterated and renamed "The Wound". This is why Azerite begins appearing in the next expansion: Azeroth is bleeding from a nearly mortal wound.


    Battle for Azeroth 

  • Any hope that the battle against the Burning Legion would unite the races of Azeroth has been dashed. Battle For Azeroth brings the world back to the kind of all-out-warfare the series hasn't seen since Garrosh's ascension and Warcraft III.
    • The war seems to be edging toward genocide as the New Features video for Battle shows the entire Night Elf capital Teldrassil turned into kindling. Little surprise this is soon followed by the Alliance launching a major offensive to retake Lordaeron, which Undercity is the site of.
  • When Horde players return to Draenor to recruit the Mag'har Orcs to their war effort, we discover that much has changed; in the wake of the Iron/Fel Horde the Draenei have started evangelising the Light to the Orcs, similar to how some Draenei took up Shamanism in the main timeline. While not nightmarish in and of itself, things head into that territory when most of the Draenei start to get fanatical and try to convert all denizens of Draenor to the Light by force if they deem it necessary. Worst of all is the implication that at least a handful were indoctrinated to fight for the Light against their will, and all this is under the leadership of the new High Exarch, Yrel...
  • In the first of the Warbringers animated shorts, Jaina returns to the shores of Durotar one last time, ferried by an old specter that turns out to be her father, whom she betrayed for Thrall and the Horde's sake. As Kul Tiran sailors join her in singing a cold, bitter sea shanty about how they saw her actions that fateful day, ghosts of the dead swirl about and glare accusingly at her - once the pride of Kul Tiras, now little more than a patricidal traitor. She proceeds to admit her father was right when he went after the Horde back then - they would never have peace with the Alliance - and effortlessly pulls his old galleon out of the depths, effectively intact and still seaworthy. Jaina then adds her own ending to the song, her icy tone a chilling reminder that this woman, one of the most powerful Human mages on Azeroth, has lost everything to the Horde despite all her attempts at peaceful relations, and that she will bring all her power and influence to bear in order to destroy it.
    Jaina: Beware, beware, the Daughter of the Sea. Beware, beware... of me.
  • "Warbringers: Sylvanas" shows just exactly how far the Banshee Queen has fallen. As she chats with a fatally injured Delaryn Summermoon, Delaryn tells Sylvanas that she grieves for her. She's made life her enemy and will never win because you simply can't kill hope. Sylvanas just quietly asks, "Can't I?". Then she turns the injured warrior so she's facing Teldrassil, which now only has innocent civilians on it, and gives the order to have the world tree burned. Even her second-in-command, Nathanos, visibly double-takes at the order, and Saurfang is so horrified that he all but renounces the Horde in his Old Soldier cinematic, warning Sylvanas that the Alliance will throw everything it has at Undercity to wipe it off the map as vengeance.
  • During the Siege of Lordaeron, Sylvanas callously blights both armies then raises them as skeletons to fight the Alliance. Saurfang, Genn, and Anduin are horrified that Sylvanas doesn't even care that she's killing her own soldiers by doing so.
  • Nazmir, home of the blood trolls, is easily the most terrifying zone in Battle for Azeroth so far. From the creepy music, to dark swamps, to a village where people are sacrificed to a bat loa, enemies that laugh maniacally when they die and keep screaming about blood... This zone wouldn't be out of a place in a Diablo game!
    • It gets worse yet, too! The primary antagonist of the zone, Grand Ma'da Ateena, will often show up to gloat at the player. Her voice has a very unsettling vibe to it, one that's difficult to pin down... until realization hits. It's one person speaking, but two voices, the typical blood troll's voice, and a sibilant hissing whisper. The same whisper that the blood trolls listen to and obey. An Old God is speaking through her.
  • Drustvar takes the cake as one of the scariest zones in all of World of Warcraft. The region's been having a bit of a witch problem recently, and Alliance adventurers are sent there to discover the fate of the ruling Waycrest Family, who haven't been heard from in some time. The first thing an adventurer sees when entering the place is a village where all of animals are hexed into bloodlust and all of the villagers are frozen in place, some with screams of fear or agony still on their faces. It gets far worse from there.
    • A sausage vendor asks you to check on a nearby pig farm, since he hasn't gotten a shipment of meat in some time. When you arrive, you find that many of the townsfolk have been turned into pigs, save for the foreman of the farm and the butcher who has gone mad and is enthusiastically "processing" the transformed farm workers.
    • Another village is entirely deserted save for a little girl who wants you to join her for a tea party, all the while telling nursery rhymes about the grisly fate the other villagers met.
      • A world quest later has an NPC send you to that town to kill a powerful monster. On completion the NPC doesn't say anything; instead the little girl just giggles.
    • You find yet another village under attack by monsters, some made of wicker and bone, others vaguely humanoid in shape but with pig's heads crudely stitched onto their torsos. It's all but stated that witches have been kidnapping villagers and turning them into these monsters.
  • In Stormsong Valley, you find a crumpled letter that begins an optional quest chain. The quest is called "Ruin Has Come" and it leads you to "The Lost Estate", where you are greeted by none other than this game's version of The Ancestor. The entire section adds a new "Strain" mechanic that increases when you take damage, you'll fight all kinds of strong trash mobs (and possibly player from the opposing faction) and the creepy chanting that plays along the music in this area - all of this make it seem like you wandered into a completely different world. A horrifying, dangerous world...
  • Out of all the enemies we've ever faced, Azshara may be the most intimidating and dangerous; a woman cunning enough to strike deals with a fallen titan and an Old God, who has the ability to strike fear into the most fearsome of demons... And her Warbringers short does everything it can to drive that fact home. At death's door after her home is wiped out by a tidal wave large enough to blot out the sun, N'Zoth attempts to bargain with her, giving her the option of either serving him and rebuilding the Black Empire, or dying beneath the waves. Correctly assuming he needs her alive, Azshara ends up Taking a Third Option and rebutting with a Sadistic Choice; Take her people and use them to rebuild his empire, with her as its Queen, or let her die and stay trapped at the bottom of the ocean forever. "The god of nothing", as she so eloquently puts it. And the final shot of the short is enough to make one's blood run cold, with the newly transformed Azshara, Naga, AND N'Zoth's massive eye all staring directly at you.
    N'Zoth: Arise, Azshara… ARISE, MY QUEEN!
    [Cue Azshara flashing the camera a Slasher Smile for the ages as her evil laughter echoes out with the shot panning across rank upon rank of elves transformed into the first Naga]
    Azshara: Magnificent...
    • It also shows just how dangerous N'Zoth is. While Azshara had the guts to defy him and the cunning to bargain, N'Zoth had planned for that all along. He'd watched Azshara for a thousand years so he had to know she'd never accept an offer which involved her servitude, and even his outrage at Azshara's refusal, genuine or not, played into his plans. This shows just how dangerous N'Zoth is; in addition to being an Old God, he's a master manipulator with the skill to manipulate other clever, manipulative individuals with ages of experience.
    • The transformation itself is excruciating. We're shown enough detail to form an idea of what's happening, but much of it is left to our imagination Yet perhaps the worst part is that Azshara herself, the woman who held the entire weight of the ocean on her shoulders less than an hour ago, and then stared down and taunted an Eldritch Abomination immediately thereafter, is shrieking in agony, the scream itself becoming more inhuman the longer it goes on... The transformation also doesn't happen right away. The scene lingers on Azshara's face as her triumphant smile turns to confusion and fear while she struggles to hold her breath, believing N'Zoth is about to let her drown... And then she starts transforming just as she runs out of air.
      • That brief pause itself is terrifyingly telling. By using no words at all, N'Zoth is effectively telling Azshara that yes, she is replaceable. Her death might set his plans back, but he can afford to wait for a replacement. He might have accepted her version of the bargain, but he makes it clear that he still is the one calling the shots.
    • You see the final changes from a distance, with Azshara silhouetted against a strange backdrop. With all your focus on her, it takes a moment to sink in that the entire "background" has begun to move, revealing itself to be one of N'Zoth's eyes, gazing directly at you, with Azshara's bending and twisting form outlined by the blood-red iris.
  • In Tiragarde Sound the rare mob Twin-Hearted Construct. Young lovers seeking to be together went to a witch who killed them and implanted their hearts into a construct infused with their souls. The two are still aware enough to express horror as the construct attacks.
  • Terror Of Darkshore shows everyone how terrifying Malfurion can really be. Gone is the suicidally neutral character listed under The Scrappy. Now Malfurion is utterly done with the Horde's shit, and proves it by inflicting a Mook Horror Show on a Horde caravan. Not only does he tear through them in bear form, but one unlucky grunt gets dragged into the ground by roots. And he's still alive and unable to even scream the whole time! The troll only survives because Malfurion wanted to Spare a Messenger and even hours afterwards is reduced to desperately praying that he won't die.
  • Everything to do with Derek Proudmoore's death and reanimation.
    • While the theft of Derek's corpse in itself may not quite count as nightmare fuel, the reason for the theft as laid out by Sylvanas most certainly does: The Warchief plans to reanimate Derek, "condition" him, and then either send him back to his family or allow him to be "rescued" - all so that he can slaughter his mother and siblings the moment they let their guards down.
      • This entire plan, and the casual way in which Sylvanas explains it - to a furious Baine, no less - makes one wonder if perhaps Koltira's rescue in Legion wasn't just a little too easy after all. She did seem rather unhappy with his friendship with an Alliance-loyal Thassarian...
    • Derek's voice actor delivers his lines with an absolutely gut-wrenching dedication to the confusion, fear, and creeping horror that Derek exhibits upon his reanimation. Of particular note is his speech regarding his own death: He was burned in dragon fire so hot that he doesn't even recall the pain of it - his last memory is of seeing the then Horde-controlled red dragons approach the battlefield, and then darkness. His desperate cries for his family and pleas for those near him not to leave him alone again are almost impossible to listen to, but much worse is the instant he realizes exactly how it is that he is conscious and while once more after having died to dragon flame.
    • Remember, Derek died before the plague of undeath first swept Lordaeron in Reign of Chaos. His first encounter with undeath (outside of a few possible encounters with Horde death knights during Tides of Darkness) is his own unwilling resurrection, meaning he doesn't even have prior knowledge of undeath, its causes, or any part of the reality of it to buffer him from the worst of the horror. He has no idea why he's "alive," or why his flesh and bones are still rotted to such a horrific degree in spite of his resurrection. Imagine waking up and seeing the flesh has begun to slough away from the bones in your hand, and have no idea why it's doing that...
  • By defying orders, Baine was able to spirit Derek away from Sylvanas and bring him, mind intact, to Jaina. But upon seeing her kin as Forsaken, Jaina's pain and anger hit hard as she comes close to killing Baine.
    Jaina: Derek... My own brother. I had thought better of you, Baine. So tell me. Is he the Banshee's puppet? Crammed full of Blight? Is he the bomb this time?!
  • Mechagon, while having a light-hearted feel to it as befitting a gnome zone, has quite a few creepy vibes to it, largely coming from the junker gnomes. To be put simply, they mutilate themselves in order to install more mechanical upgrades, so as to become closer to their mechagnome forefathers. What's worse, they're conditioned to see it as an honour.
    • King Mechagon's plan is to use the Mechoriginator, a device that will revert every organic being on the world to their original Titan-forged forms. However doing so will simply kill any being not originally created by the Titans. It's not clear whether Mechagon knows this or simply doesn't care about the multiple genocides he would commit.
      • An alternate future shows that he wouldn't even achieve this due to his research being "corrupted". On activating the Mechoriginator it wiped out nearly every living creature with only those Mechagnomes that had been sufficiently augmented surviving; undead skeletons of gnomes and goblins still wander the faction camps. Following the activation King Mechagon has been capturing and converting the last of the Resistance, including Erazmin who is unable to resist his father's orders.
    • One quest has the player recovering mechanical limbs for a gnome engineer by searching junk piles. Worryingly often the player finds mechagnomes whose limbs are malfunctioning, leaving them with no control over where their body goes.
    • In the sewage outflow from the city there are the Failed Experiments, gnome skeletons which have become undead and were apparently flushed away as trash.
    • On defeating a battle pet the player recovers a gnome skull which appears to be from a child. When taken to a mechagnome they explain it's not real as Mechagon has developed a 3D printing machine. He's dumping fake children skulls out of Mechagon as a form of psychological warfare.
    • The end of the Mechagon comic. The old gnomish explorer, who has been searching for Mechagon to reverse his aging, is exposed to the Mechoriginator. He has hoped to continue his adventures forever; instead, the device strips most of his mind away, leaving just enough of him to mutter "Found it" repeatedly as his mechanical eyes are twisted into a grimace of agony.
    • After killing King Mechagon, the Prince states that it wasn't actually his father. Mechagon had replaced so much of himself that he ended up replacing himself, effectively leaving an AI with none of his positive traits.
  • One that's a bit easy to overlook, but early on into the Rise of Azshara content there's a spot where, through the use of magic, adventurers are able to witness Azshara powering up one of her servants... through the eyes of a dying intruder who is finished off as the vision ends. The adventurer just got to watch someone's last moments through that person's own eyes...
  • Though Aszhara is defeated at the end of the raid, she has managed to buy enough time for the chains holding N'zoth to be broken. This immediately causes N'zoth's black tendrils to engulf her, ressurect her, and allow her to escape. N'zoth is free. Every old god we have faced so far was limited in some aspect or another. C'thun was barely awake, Yogg'saron was in the process of breaking free, yet still confined to his prison, and we had titan watcher aid, and Y'shaarj was Curb-stomped by Aman'thul at the height of his Black Empire, leaving only his heart to spread his influence through the Sha. We don't have such luxuries here, repeat: N'zoth, the being responsible for Deathwing, for Aszhara, for the Emerald Nightmare, The Chessmaster amongst the Old Gods, and player of The Long Game is free!
    N'zoth: "All eyes shall be opened..."
    • And he does not waste time. As Wrathion points out, you don't fight N'zoth with swords or spells, because he is not going to fight you on the battlefield. Friends, allies, companions.. any one of them might turn on you at any moment, and when the haze clears, you find out that in actuality.. you were the one who turned on them.
      Wrathion: "N'zoth will strike here.." *points to Anduin's forehead, indicating his mind.* "Don't you see, old friend? It's already begun."
  • The horrific visions really do live up to their name, showing a horrible Bad Future where N'zoth wins and the world's greatest heroes are either corrupted or fighting a losing battle desperately trying to hold on to whatever's left.
    • Orgrimmar;
      • The setting as Wrathion notes at the start, N'zoth obviously taking inspiration from the Legion pretends to be the voice of the elements and makes Thrall drink the Old God's blood, twisting him further into believing it's the only way the Horde can be saved. Those who followed him into this madness hunting down the others and forcing them to drink as well, or be killed. When killed, Thrall thanks you for freeing him from the grip of N'zoth's corruption.
      • Garona is in the drag desperately trying to save the civilians as K'thir and Faceless roam the streets preying on anyone who doesn't submit, orphans, vendors, trainers. At one point when freeing the Tailoring trainer, his apprentice bursts out having succumbed and needs to be killed.
      • Rexxar and his entire menagerie of powerful beasts have been corrupted, serving as trackers and exterminators for any holdouts and mercilessly killing everyone he comes across.
    • Stormwind's is arguably worse, because unlike Orgrimmar, where even civilians can hold their own, most of the humans inside are completely helpless.
      • The setting; Alleria and the Void Elves, despite being able to resist normally, had no hope in a world where Ny'alotha had fully emerged and have all fallen to the void. You come across Turalyon just in time for him to beg for you to save his son before dying of his injuries. Alleria herself is found ranting about seeing "the truth" to Arator while he's pulled into an eye-shaped portal, the implication that she's giving her own son directly to N'zoth to Mind Rape, the scream he makes as his Defiant to the End statement gives way to pain and terror is bone-chilling. When finally freed, Alleria's last words are a horrified My God, What Have I Done?
      • The Dark Iron Dwarves have taken over the Dwarven district and are using the forge within to develop horrible weapons of war for N'zoth's army to use, the Dark Irons' time with the Alliance having made them even better at making superweapons than they were as servants of Ragnaros.
      • Mathias Shaw serves a similar role to Rexxar in the corrupted Stormwind. Imagine one of the best rogues and intelligence agents in the world and his entire network of equally talented spies hunting down anyone from wayward heroes to innocent people. It's made even more horrific by the text associated with the Faceless Mask of the Pained: "Trading in secrets, trading in lies, operating on the fringes are all the Spymaster knows. His lost passions, lost loves are all gone, crushed under his own duty and loyalty to the crown. Nothing is left, nothing but the pain." When killed, he gasps, "We are all murderers."
      • The Trade District is probably one of the most harrowing sites, with the bodies of innocent civilians who couldn't serve N'zoth's purposes being hung upside down (The models are from the Karazhan Crypt's infamous "pool of forgotten sinners", in fact). You find Halford Wyrmbane, one of the other strongest Paladins and he has just enough time left to tell you to kill the slavemaster and free the civilians before dying of his torture. In the course of this you'll also be forced to kill vendors, profession trainers, and non-combatant civilians who have been utterly broken by the torturers. Oh, and it's been renamed The Slave District.
      • Inbetween the Trade District and Cathedral district, one of the random cats around Stormwind may whisper you asking you kill a mouse for it, if you hit the mouse it starts begging for mercy. If that doesn't set off enough red flags, fully killing it reveals that the Old-God-corrupted cat just tricked you into killing one of Stormwind's homeless so it could eat his corpse.
      • In the Cathedral District, you can find the orphans standing over the corpse of their orphan matron in a pentagram shape like the infamous Goldshire children, playing hackeysack with the matron's skull and speaking in creepy rhymes. The shadow around them and the fact the various forces and abominations don't react to their presence at all suggests their youth made them no challenge for N'zoth to corrupt.
      • Visiting shops around the city reveal smaller horrors. A tailor whose mouth has been sewn shut, a winery whose owner is filling bottles with blood, a plant shop now overgrown with vines with the skeletons of the owners and their child nearby.
      • Finally, Wrathion will outright refuse to let you go into Stormwind Keep. Given his Odd Friendship and respect towards Anduin, he very clearly doesn't want to see what kind of death, torture or insanity N'zoth would have in mind for the Boy King, and given what else you see going on, the fact Wrathion vetoes seeing it says enough.
    • But perhaps, one of the most unsettling thing depending on your phobia is the madnesses. In each zone within a vision, you will be afflicted by at least one madness which causes a variety of negative effects; one of them, Entomophobia, causes a stacking debuff which makes you run around uncontrollably if it stacks too high. This debuff is presented like any other debuff... and by having giant pulsating bugs crawling all over your monitor
  • The Alliance has technically won the Fourth War. But do you want to know how much of a Pyrrhic Victory it was? The Fourth War is also known as The Blood War, not just because of Azerite, but for having the highest body count on both sides of the conflict than any previous war. Tens of thousands are dead. All to fuel Sylvanas' lust for power.

  • Having been ousted from the Horde, Sylvanas takes the next step. She invades Icecrown Citadel and battles Bolvar the Lich King. With the powers from her backer in the Shadowlands, Sylvanas overpowers the Jailer of the Damned and removes the Helm of Domination from him. It seems like Sylvanas is going to wear the crown and take over the Scourge, but she destroys the Helm. In so doing, the sky shatters, revealing the entrance to the Shadowlands, the afterlife of World of Warcraft.
    • The destruction of the Helm means there is no more Lich King. Without Bolvar to hold them in check, the Scourge are set to go on a rampage across Azeroth in the lead-up to Shadowlands.
  • The natural cycle of death sees every soul judged and sent to a suitable afterlife. Only the most irredeemable and vile souls are banished to the hellish Maw, from which there is no escape. However the mechanisms governing this process have broken down and in recent years every soul has been sent into the Maw. The other realms of the Shadowlands are being starved while the Maw is growing ever stronger and more dangerous.
    • Among the souls sent to the Shadowlands are all those who died at Teldrassil and throughout the Fourth War. This goes a long way to explain why the Night Elves Sylvanas raised as undead are so vicious and angry: After a lifetime of faith in Elune, their deaths saw them banished to Hell. How much did that experience warp their souls?
    • And we're shown how things went wrong in a cinematic. The Arbiter is calmly doing her job, sorting souls... and then a giant red meteor of something nails her square in the chest, causing her audible pain and knocking her comatose. And we now know what it was: the Maw successfully weaponsized Argus upon his death.
  • Blizzard has made very clear that Sylvanas is working with the Jailer, not for. One possible interpretation of this is that they are both unwitting pawns of whoever's really in behind the ruination of the afterlife, which raises the question of what being could be so terrifying that they can control the Jailer (who everyone in the Shadowlands seems to be scared of.).
  • With the Advent of the animated 'Afterlives' series, we get to see the part of Uther's soul that the Light managed to save from Frostmourne unable to let go. Wanting Arthas punished at any cost - when it's revealed to Devos that his soul was damaged by the Lich King, wielding the necromantic energies of The Maw, she has a minor Freak Out - and after her concerns are dismissed, we see her immediately recruiting Uther to her side, ascending him prematurely. By the time the Lich King falls, she and Uther are there to grab Arthas' soul and, without judgment by the Arbiter, throw it into The Maw. Barthilas learned it back before Warcraft III, and now Arthas knows it too: Fear the anger of a gentle man.
    • When Uther pulls his tunic back, you can see a blue gaping wound in his chest where Frostmourn stabbed him. Devos sounds horrified to see that someone's soul can be wounded. This is the danger the Maw presents, and we will have to be the ones to fight it.
    • At first, we only see Uther closing his eyes as he prepares for his death, and then he simply wakes up in his afterlife. When Devos makes him remember, however, we see what was left out (mercifully forgotten) in his final moments. The Frostmourne has literally cut Uther's soul in two, devouring one half and sending the other fleeing to Shadowlands in agony. The normally stoic Uther, who has been bravely withstanding all kinds of pain in life, lets out such a bloodcurdling scream as his soul is torn apart that even Devos pulls back in shock.
    • Attentive viewers have noticed how the whole Arthas issue changed both Uther and Devos: in their quest for vengeance (which they call justice), they betray the Archon and send the prince to the Maw (instead of Revendreth). Note how Devos's voice and color of her eyes change as she tells the hesitant Uther to remember what Arthas did.
    • Also pay very close attention to Uther's intonation when he utters "He was my student" the second time. It's not pity for Arthas; it's Uther blaming himself for everything that led to this moment, not unlike a father would blame himself for his son's transgressions and failing to prevent those. He knows that once he takes that leap, there will be no turning back; it takes one simple reminder to make him go through with it nonetheless, the Light be damned.
  • In "Afterlives: Revendreth", we see that the anima drought brought by the Maw has lead this covenant to its lowest point. Once Revendreth was sworn to the charge of helping damned souls find redemption and avoid being cast into the Maw. Good work to help those gone astray find the light again. Now, most of these souls, like Garrosh Hellscream, are used as "workhorses", glorified batteries to be bled of anima. And while Sire Denathrius claims to be rationing anima for the sake of all of Revendreth's populace, the reality is that he's forcing the lower class of his people to give up all of their anima so that the aristocracy is free to continue living in luxury and power. For one poor soul who broke away to try and provide his meager anima to his fellow man, one of Denathrius' guards capture him and have him executed, all while the sire keeps dictating his edict and promising a "brighter future".
  • All of the Covenants are definitely in the Good Is Not Nice territory. Amongst all the infinite afterlives of the Shadowlands, the four most important offer no paradise; there are only the varying degrees of eternal servitude.
    • Revendreth is basically the Purgatory of Warcraft, where every soul is subjected to unbearable torture for their past sins. The list of their transgressions is carved into a large stone that is then chained to their back, forever a reminder of everything they did, and to most inhabitants just reading this list, often simply showing them their sinstone, is enough to make them paralyzed with grief and pain. The torment varies depending on the tastes of the assigned venthyr, but one thing remains constant: until the soul sincerely repents their sin, they are being bled of their essence, then regenerate, then torment begins anew; those most stubborn, unwilling to beg for forgiveness, are either cast into the Maw or bled continuously because hey, that's at least some use they bring. Only when their sins are cleansed can they discard the sinstone, and either go back to be judged anew by the Arbiter, or become venthyr themselves, and torture those who come after them. Even before the drought, Revendreth was a weak link in the Shadowlands; an endless flow of souls must be bled of anima so that other realms can continue their noble purposes. The other realms are dependent enough on Revendreth that it was only a matter of time before someone would abuse such an imbalance of power. And what would happen if one day there were a shortage of sufficiently wicked souls to power the Shadowlands? Would the Venthyr be reduced to invading other realms or kidnapping innocent souls?.
    • Ardenweald may look like a tranquil forest and a blue version of the Emerald Dream, but it's far from being simply a place where souls await their rebirth. It was drawn after real-life ecosystems, where parasites and decay are everywhere. The forest is filled to the brim with both insectoid and humanoid vermin that spend every waking second trying to pierce through the defenses of the Wild Hunt and feast on the helpless souls in their groves. By the time you arrive, they already picked several of the border groves clean, and slowly advance like locusts towards the Heart of the Forest. And the souls, despite dreaming, can feel when the danger approaches, turning their dreams into horrific nightmares.
    • Bastion may appear like a stereotypical Crystal Spires and Togas heaven with Kyrian as its guardians. It is, in fact, as close to the paradise as this universe has ever shown, but Bastion is not a Fluffy Cloud Heaven; it is a place where those souls who were sincerely self-sacrificing in life are sent because in order to maintain this utopia, as well as fulfil its role as reality's psychopomps, the Kyrian covenant is a terrifyingly dogmatic society where there is just one 'Path', and any member must be willing to unquestioningly serve it. In order to render themselves Above Good and Evil, this Path requires any member to give up everything that made them their mortal selves - every personal memory, every relationship, every mortal bias. The goal of the Path is to get the aspirant to a point where they realize that their mortal existence no longer matters - That person already died, their story is done, it's time to shed that personality and become Kyrian. The end product is a soul that is a purified, not-even-In Name Only vision of their former selves, having discarded all they ever loved and unquestioningly follow the lead of their superiors, stopping just short Individuality Is Illegal because each Kyrian is clearly still an individual, just with no connection to who they once were. If they stray away from the Path, and they are first sent to the Temple of Purity for cleaning your memories and relieving them of the burden that comes with realizing just what they have already given up, and if that does not help, to the appropriately named Citadel of Loyalty, where a more direct approach will be taken. A keen player, upon arriving, will immediately see all the red flags that ultimately lead to the uprising of Forsworn trying to overthrow the Archon's reign. And if that wasn't enough, the Forsworn somehow turn out to be even worse, more than willing to slaughter anyone who does not join them immediately, especially after Devos dies, and her completely unhinged second-in-command takes her place.
    • Maldraxxus is probably the only Covenant where there are no dark secrets because war, with all its horrors, and all its glory, is laid out in the open. The realm is the ultimate incarnation of both War Is Hell and Hell Is War: nothing but endless fighting, and they all actively enjoy it. Every waking moment in this realm is spent either in destroying something, creating something that can destroy, and in turn be destroyed, or aiding either; nothing here serves any purpose other than a weapon or its target, oftentimes both. If there isn't an external enemy out there, the Maldraxxi will attack each other in gladitorial combat and conducting all kinds of sabotage and espionage. The Primus managed to hold the five houses more or less in balance, but the moment he left, the power vaccuum his disappearance created caused the virtues Maldraxxus espouses (ambition, insight, guile, relentlessness, and might) to drive its inhabitants to turn on each other nigh-instantly, the five houses that normally kept a balance of power wiping each other out in a civil war, and that was without any real help from the Jailer: he basically just watched as legions of souls slaughter whatever they see for the sake of it. The scariest part is that their existence is justified: considering what attacks Shadowlands from the other planes every now and then, from Void Lords, to the Burning Legion, and even forces of the Light, they just have to keep an unstoppable, fearless, merciless army ready to trample the invaders - but as the Primus' disappearance proved, it's a Keystone Army if there ever was one.
  • What is Sylvanas' first order of business after breaking the cycle of death? Abduct several of the leaders of both the Horde and Alliance, starting with Anduin who we see get abducted from the middle of Stormwind by two heavily armored Valkyr as Genn can only watch in horror.
    • Genn and Lor'Themar both acknowledge a chilling fact. The leaders Sylvanas targeted (Anduin, Jaina, Tyrande, Baine and Thrall) all had one thing in common: all of them played a key role in foiling her plans during the Fourth War. Sylvanas isn't simply moving on to the next phase of her and the Jailer's master plan; she's out for revenge.
  • Souls like Prince Kael'thas, Garrosh, Kel'Thuzad and likely even Arthas himself are supposed to go to Revendreth or Maldraxxus and not the Maw, at least not instantly, to seek redemption and earn forgiveness. If genocidal maniacs, demon worshippers, child killers, assassins, undead masters and kinslayers can have a chance in the Shadowlands, what kind of horrific souls are supposed to go to the Maw?
    • The lore is inconsistent about whether the Arbiter actually sends anyone directly to the Maw. If not, they get what's coming to them if they fail their enforced Redemption Quest in Revendreth. (Or Denathrius turns them into a "workhorse" if they're useful to him.) It's entirely possible that the Maw was intended for Jailer alone, until Denathrius himself decided to discard souls that refuse to accept their sins there. But how did Kel'Thuzad, a shameless schemer who orchestrated countless deaths in pursuit of power, avoid Revendreth?
  • With the Helm of Domination destroyed, Bolvar has lost control of the Scourge, and they immediately begin rampaging across Azeroth and directly attacking the Alliance and Horde capitols, just like they did during the prologue to the war against Arthas, only even worse. This time, the players themselves are in danger of contracting the Plague of Undeath, and the Cult of the Damned has returned stronger than ever, to the point that the Argent Crusade is struggling to keep them away from the faction capitals. And even worse is that the Ebon Blade, who were accepted into the Alliance and the Horde in the first place for their ability to resist the call of the Lich King, end up vulnerable to the call of the Maw that was used to create them; Bolvar is terrified to even step into that realm, for if he does, he may be lost to its hold forever.
  • What happened to Margrave Stradama of the House of Plagues. When the House of Plagues fell their entire territory was destroyed in a large plague explosion, releasing deadly concoctions and diseases upon the Houses members. Margrave Stradama was at ground zero of the Houses fall and has gone completely insane with pain from the sheer amount of plagues and diseases infesting whatever is left of her body and soul. What makes it worse is Stradama is still somewhat aware of shes become and will tell her loyal friend Marileth, whom went slightly insane himself from the House's fall, to move on without her as she deems herself completely lost. In the Plaguefall dungeon you Mercy Kill Stradama.
  • At the end of the Revendreth campaign, Sire Denathrius reveals that he is responsible for the drought of anima, having stolen vast amounts and stored them in his castle. And as a Self-Destructive Charge is made on his position, he unleashes it all, right into the Maw itself, turning it completely blood-red. As the remaining Eternal Ones agree on at the conclusion of the initial campaign; if not for the mortals, the Shadowlands are doomed.
    • Worst is that Denathrius himself is completely unfazed by what he has done. He does not even flinch as he condemns his own realm to oblivion, and does not bother with killing his opponent: he has already won. This changes as he is defeated in the Castle Nathria raid: as he is bound to his blade, placed into the Naaru light to burn, die, resurrect and die again forever, he loses his composure and screams in fear. The worst part of his punishment, as other venthyr put it? Being Forced to Watch them rebuild the realm and turn his plans into smoldering memory.
  • With The Reveal that all this time Dreadlords were controlled by the Jailer (via their master, Sire Denathrius). The Nathrezim were the demons who originally corrupted Sargeras, giving him just that little push he needed for his Start of Darkness. In other words, Jailer indirectly corrupted the Fallen Titan, doing that which even the Void Lords could not. Which, in turn, means that he's not just threatening to consume the World Soul of Azeroth: he is more than capable of doing so, and it is not even his first time.
  • Through all of the realms there exist the Devourers, invaders from some unknown part of the Shadowlands which it is assumed they have overrun. Despite being apparently mindless beasts, they can tear open portals to the other realms and invade to feast on the anima. Their feeding is so violent that entire portions of the realms break away if they are not stopped, and the sheer number of Devourers that come through the portals means stopping them is unlikely. Many residents of the Shadowlands fear the Devourers are a sure sign of the end times.
  • And lets not forget the pinnacle of nightmare fuel within the warcraft universe; The Maw. This universe has seen ancient eldritch gods, primordial horrors, mad star-gods that shape reality itself, twisted realms of nightmarish fantasy and literal demonic homeworld, and yet the Maw manages to be worse than all of these, freezing the great heroes and leaders in terror. A gloomy, opressive place where time has no meaning, this lends to one moment being indistinguishable from the next - hours blurs into days, into weeks, into months, into years.. You escape your captors as you have countless times before. At least you think you have. Maybe that's all a deception played on your mind by the Jailer's tormentors as they drain your soul of anima. Every escape you make, you are forced with the reality that there is no escape. You try everything in your power, you get aid from friends and allies (who later turn out to be your tormentors in disguise), and yet the Maw does not yield - despite time having no meaning, one constant remains unshakable. You're here forever.
    • Souls trapped within the Maw face two final fates. The lucky ones are obliterated until nothing remains of them save their stygic remains and the harvested anima. The unlucky ones are broken and their wills wiped clean before being forged into one of the Jailer's mindless servants.
    • Jaina claims she has escaped countless times in the mere weeks that it took between Sylvanas shattering the Helm of Domination and the Ebon Blade charging into the Maw. After the first maw walker escapes, it takes a few more weeks before Jaina is tracked down again, and by that time she is near-broken, unable to discern whether her rescue party is yet another trick of the Jailer, yet going along with it despite her suspicions because what does she have to lose?.
    • Even for the undead, the Maw offers no respite; Darion Mograine, the leader of the Lich King's Four Horsemen, a man who is no stranger to suffering that would break the living, loses track of time in the Maw - unable to discern whether he has been there for a day or an eternity. You get the feeling when you rescue him that the only reason he hasn't broken completely is because he's a borderline Perpetual-Motion Monster.
    • The Maw does not offer any respite for the immortal either; Whether they be Venthyr, Fae, Kyrian, or Maldraxxian, all are affected as soon as they step foot in it, even if they are soulbound with a mawwalker and thus at least have a hope of escape.
      Kleia: This place sends a shiver down my spine. My skin is prickling, constantly on edge. My body wants to flinch at every otherworldly sound.
    • Even within the Maw, Torghast, the Tower of the Damned, stands out. It's a prison, and seat of power for the Jailer, that constantly shifts. Icecrown Citadel, built in its likeness, is a bright and joyful royal palace compared to the dark walls, deadly traps and endless chambers of Torghast. Every torment necessary to break a soul past the Despair Event Horizon is available here, and those souls who aren't broken are instead infused into armor for the armies of those who break. Ever since the Arbiter was rendered unconscious, this has been the final destination for everyone. During the Kyrian campaign, you take aspirant Kleia, a fearless warrior, to witness the flow of souls from real world to the Maw, and she breaks down in tears, unable to process the sheer cosmic horror, as she simply thinks of what is going on outside her realm.
    • The currencies earned in the Maw and Torghast are horrifying in their own right. From the Maw the player gathers Stygia, the remnants of souls destroyed in the Maw. Worryingly, there is enough of the substance that is forming ore which the Jailer's forces are forging into weapons. Meanwhile the player collects Soul Ash in Torghast, the last remnants of a soul destroyed through the prison's endless torments.
  • Emeni, a former sethrak princess, is the self-proclaimed 'Slaughter Daughter' of the Necrolord Covenant, who casually kills adversaries who are on her never-ending list of enemies. In order for Venthyr-aligned players to acquire Maldraxxi security for the Ember Court, they must do a favor for her. They must go to Vol'dun, outside of the Temple of Sethraliss, and summon her avatar to life in order to help her slaughter her ancient enemies and their descendants, who are on her list of enemies. Her reign of terror and death in life was so terrifying that her people, hundreds of years later, regard her as a myth and a boogeyman... until she returns and starts killing scores of sethrak begging for their lives, and wondering what they've done to deserve this. Her simple response? She just hates EVERYONE equally, including her own kind, departing after she's satisfied with her murder, proclaiming that she'll return one day to continue her rampage, because, as she summarizes, "YOU'RE ALL ON MY LIST!!"


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