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Shadowlands Afterlives: Ardenweald

 

Ardenweald is a realm of the Shadowlands founded by the Winter Queen and inhabited by the Night Fae Covenant. An enchanted, mystical forest of rest and hibernation, Ardenweald is where Wild Gods and other spirits of nature travel upon death. Giant dream trees across the forest draw in anima, which is then used by the Night Fae to rejuvenate the spirits as they slumber inside wildseeds and prepare them to be reborn into the world of the living. In addition, Ardenweald serves as an afterlife for mortal souls who shared a close bond with the natural cycle, like druids and hunters. Upon arrival, these souls can choose an animal form infused with Ardenweald’s celestial magic and spend an eternity caring for the wilds. Ardenweald can be compared to the Emerald Dream, but where the Dream represents the spring and summer of the cycle of life, Ardenweald reflects autumn and winter. In essence, the realm is the highest expression of the relationship between endings and beginnings—between Death and Life.

Ardenweald is where the demigod Cenarius recovered after his death during the Third War, before returning to Azeroth during the Cataclysm. Recently, Ardenweald has suffered more keenly from soul-drought than any other realm in the Shadowlands. For the first time in endless ages, the Night Fae’s Winter Queen must choose which of the land’s formerly lush groves—and which souls—will be fed the last precious drops of anima and which will fade away forever. In addition, Ardenweald is also under attack by the Drust, who are invading from their realm of Thros in order to use the rebirth mechanisms of Ardenweald as a means to escape their fate

 

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