Situated between the Spires of Arak and Shadowmoon Valley is an extremely odd level 100 area called “Lost Veil Anzu”. After searching through WoWhead, I’ve found no quests mentioning it, and none of the level 100 garrison dailies appears to have sent anyone there. Besides its unusual location and lack of reason to visit, the most bizarre thing about Lost Veil Anzu is that it has an eerie similarity to places corrupted by the Old Gods…
Immediately upon entering Lost Veil Anzu, my character was given a buff and debuff each using a faceless one’s icon. They appeared to relate to… this thing:
The creature is called an “Amorphic Cognitor,” and several wild ones can be seen floating about throughout the Lost Veil.
Now, this model is best known for being used on the merciless ones, a type of Old God minion introduced in Cataclysm who would attach themselves to humanoid being’s heads and mind-control them. This matches the cognitor’s behavior in the Lost Veil, but that model has been used for other, unrelated creatures. These include “parasitoid sha” (though admittedly they too share an Old God origin) and normal, run-of-the-mill octopuses some of which are even able to float above water like the cognitors. So we cannot at this time be certain towards what they’re meant to be.
Inside the Veil are lots of mushrooms, a persistent spore-haze, and apexis arakkoa ruins.
At the entrance, they are being combed over by ogre “Arcane Seekers” presumably looking to harness ancient apexis artifacts and magic. Strangely, the ogres are fighting each other.
Aside from themselves, the ogres are also locked in combat with a fungal giant:
As well as abandoned arakkoa constructs.
Past the ogres, a group of Skyreach arakkoa have tunneled into a strange chamber. Based on the design, it appears to be a more intact portion of the Apexis settlement that Veil Anzu once was. It also looks oddly Titan-esque, and would not feel out of place in Uldum.
The chamber is a dead end, but if one returns outside and continues deeper into the ruins, the ogres and arakkoa are replaced by goblins. They too seem to have gone mad and are constantly shooting at each other. Strangely they’re also marked as being from “Venture Cove” which was renamed Pinchwhistle Point several builds ago. Presumably this group has been overlooked when the change was implemented.
Farther still, the ruins and mushrooms give way to a strange, and very neat looking, chasm.
The chasm finally ends in a cave entrance decorated with skeletons and highlighted, but currently unclickable, arakkoa artifacts.
The inside of the cave is nothing special design wise, but it is filled with pale orcs.
At this point it still hasn’t been made clear exactly what the pale orcs are, save that they wield void-magic and appear to have some relation to the void state of the naaru life-cycle. Many are currently serving Cho’gall.
Now what does all this mean, Red Shirt Guy? Everything with Lost Veil Anzu has a strange air about it. A familiarity with a force we know exists on Draenor, but have yet to find confirmation that it will be encountered: the Old Gods. Aside from the obvious maybe-merciless ones, there is the apparent madness that has overtaken the ogres and goblins. Madness and mind-control (here via the cogintors) are the Old Gods’ calling cards. The madness could be related to the spores in the air though, as also in Spires of Arak we’ve seen them drive people mad by fungal spores at Pinchwhistle Point, and at the Crimson Fen in Gorgrond. But there’s also the involvement of the pale orcs to consider. Many serve Cho’gall, who in the main timeline most people would recognize as the leader of the Twilight’s Hammer. Adding to this connection is that within the Underpale in Nagrand, the pale orcs have painted crude sigils on the walls which loosely resemble the Twilight Hammer’s insignia.
It’s too early to tell, but to me, Lost Veil Anzu has more than enough similarities to previous Old God areas to be watched very carefully as the Warlords of Draenor beta progresses. Who knows what might be lurking in this little, forgotten nook?
There are two other things I’ve found that are possibly Old God related.
The first is a conversation between two NPCs in Stormshield’s inn, regarding Ashran. It goes:
Stephen Hicklin: So I hear that they’re uncovering some interesting stuff in the mines. Harrison is staying pretty hush-hush about it, though.
Phillip Hillenbrand: Why do you think that it?
Stephen Hicklin: I spoke to one of the workers and they think the place is haunted. They say folks are disappearing, and then there’s the accidents…
Phillip Hillenbrand: The accidents? What kind of accidents?
Stephen Hicklin: Weird ones. Solid cave walls up and crumbling on a digger. Malfunctioning machinery chewing up its operator. They say it happens more and more the further you go down.
The second is the lore attached to the Arakkoa archaeology solve “Outcast Dreamcatcher”:
Outcast Arakkoa have repurposed the dreamcatcher not to ward off the Curse of Sethe, but to capture and harvest tiny amounts of essence from their lost gods. Rumors persist of an ever-growing mass of swirling energy buried deep beneath Skettis, whispering promises of power to any who will listen…