|Race(s)||Water elementals, Kraken|
|Throne of the Tides (5)|
The Abyssal Maw is the Elemental Plane of Water.
BackgroundThis section concerns content exclusive to the Warcraft RPG, and thus unlikely to be canon.
Surrounding the land and constantly assaulting it with waves and storms sprawls the great ocean of the Elemental Plane. The water is vast and in many places very deep, sometimes nearly reaching the realm of fire far below. The liquid itself is constantly changing — sometimes salty or murky, other times fresh and clear. Creatures of the element abound, along with some large beasts such as the kraken, but the seas are otherwise curiously devoid of life.
Neptulon the Tidehunter lives within the depths of the seas, jealously protecting his realm from any threat. His kingdom is called the Abyssal Maw. He constantly battles with Ragnaros the Firelord, who is always trying to break through to smite the ocean with his heat. The Tidehunter keeps the seas surging and in constant motion, battering at the earthly realm with waves and storms. A wise and powerful being, Neptulon keeps many secrets, for reasons only a creature of water can truly understand.
The surface of the Elemental Plane's ocean is dotted with a few small islands of rock that yet resist Neptulon's endless assault on the land. At the point farthest from Therazane's domain there floats a mile-wide shelf of solid ice known as the Frostland. Like an immense iceberg, the Frostland extends far underneath the surface, almost to the ocean floor. Smaller chunks of ice break free occasionally and drift across the seas, slowly melting as they come nearer to Deepholm. Some of these bergs are occupied by ice elemental conglomerates or other creatures.
Traveling beneath the waves, within the Abyssal Maw itself, can be troublesome, and not just because of the need to breathe underwater. Vortices occasionally form of their own accord, creating tremendous tidal forces that threaten to tear apart their victims. Violent temperature shifts also move upward through the waters like bubbles rising from the ocean floor, subjecting travelers to bone-numbing cold. Parts of the Abyssal Maw are thousands of feet deep — so far down that even light doesn't reach the ocean floor. Traveling beneath the surface in these areas subjects travelers to intense pressure.
Traveling on the surface of the Abyssal Maw can be very dangerous. Visitors rarely have cover, and Neptulon will have no trouble spotting unwelcome travelers. Furthermore, both Neptulon and Al'Akir contest the border between the Maw and the Skywall, so anyone floating upon the waves can be subjected to the attacks of either realm.
World of Warcraft: CataclysmThis section concerns content exclusive to Cataclysm.
The second wing, known simply as Abyssal Maw, was announced at BlizzCon 2009 but was not included in Cataclysm's original release. The Dungeons and Raids panel at Blizzcon 2010 featured a preview of this dungeon which will be released as part of the 4.1 patch in early 2011. It would potentially be suitable for a 5-man level 85 party at both regular and heroic difficulty.
Unfortunately for those looking forward to the release of Abyssal Maw in some patch of Cataclysm, (it didn't come to pass in 4.1, so people came to expect it in 4.2 alongside Firelands; that didn't happen either), Blizzard's Cory Stockton announced that they were shelving Abyssal Maw indefinitely, as it did not fit in with the storyline of the Cataclysm patch cycle. This announcement was part of the 30-minute BlizzCon 2011: World of Warcraft Dungeon and Raids Panel Q&A. Stockton went on to say that since they had moved on from the Cataclysm story at the time of the Panel, that they would likely not return to the idea of an Abyssal Maw raid in future patches.
- Azeroth's native elementals wreaked havoc across the world while they were under the influence of the Old Gods.
- To keep Azeroth safe from these threats, the titans imprisoned the Old Gods underground and banished the savage elementals to the titan-constructed Elemental Plane, a secure dominion where the elementals could dwell without harming Azeroth.
- Four domains were created within this primordial realm to serve as ideal environments for each type of elemental. For ages since, the elementals of air, water, earth, and fire have engaged in endless strife with each other, waging titanic battles in the confines of their realm. One of the Elemental Plane's domains, a vast ocean known as the Abyssal Maw, is home to the water elementals. Legend says that Neptulon the Tidehunter, the powerful being who rules over the aquatic realm, possesses a potent weapon that allows its owner to control the very seas of Azeroth. Thus far, the artifact has remained secure inside the water elementals' domain... but that will soon change.
- Within Deepholm, the domain of the earth elementals, the malefic Dragon Aspect Deathwing is on the verge of executing a catastrophic act: to burst forth from the Elemental Plane into Azeroth. Doing so will ravage the surface of the world and breach the barrier that separates Azeroth from the elementals' realm. Whether Neptulon and his subjects have entered into an alliance with Deathwing remains unknown. Regardless, if Deathwing's actions create an opening into the Abyssal Maw, nefarious and honorable factions alike will seek out the fabled weapon carried by Neptulon. Whoever secures the artifact will have control over the world's seas, a power that perhaps no one, not even members of the Horde or the Alliance, should possess.
Creatures of the Abyssal Maw