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WoWApr 22, 2020 3:07 pm CT

Revendreth and the Venthyr are revealed in all their Gothic splendor in latest Shadowlands preview

Seriously, and I mean this with all love, this latest Shadowlands preview reminds me of Ravenloft in the best possible way. Revendreth, home of the Venthyr, channels decades of classic horror from Murnau’s Nosferatu to our old friend Varney the Vampire, and wraps it all up in World of Warcraft‘s  unique style. We get a look at the Halls of Atonement, meet three of the major players in the zone (Sire Denathrius, his rebellious firstborn Venthyr Prince Renathal, and the stoneborn General Draven), and in general, you really get the sense that Revendreth is not exactly what I would call a tourist destination.

We know that the Shadowlands storyline unfolds in a linear manner, and now we know that Revendreth is the final stop on that journey, with the players arriving to gain an audience with Sire Denathrius, the master of Revendreth and the overlord of all your survey in this brooding land of secrets, But just as the Anima Drought has affected other zones in the Shadowlands, it’s caused a rebellion in Revendreth that you’ll be forced to navigate if you want to get to the bottom of Revendreth’s miserable little pile of secrets.

Yes, I made a Castlevania reference. Revendreth is just that kind of zone, chock full of mood and sinister atmosphere.

Unrest is brewing in Revendreth

Revendreth as a zone is broken up into seven districts ruled by Harvesters, who are the lords of the Venthyr and who serve to keep the place working towards its mission of redemption. See, Revendreth isn’t just a spooky Vampire hangout: it exists to find and leech away the sins of pride and arrogance that led mortal souls to ruin in life.

Those souls that end up in Revendreth are intended to go through the often painful process of being taught the lesson that it was their pride that got them there. While there is still a chance for their redemption — and thus they came to Revendreth instead of the Maw — they won’t get there without some pain. Pain which the Venthyr are more than happy to administer.

Souls that endure Revendreth’s harrowing end up with a choice — shorn of their sins, they move on to Oribos to be assigned a permanent role in the afterlife. Or, after enduring their own punishment, they can join the Venthyr and become punishers of those who were wicked in life as they were. Who better to scourge the prideful than those who were once guilty of pride themselves?

But this process has been disrupted by the loss of Anima, as the entire basis of Revendreth is harvesting Anima from those that come to be scourged. Without new souls, there’s no Anima to create Stoneborn for the Stone Legion, and the entire zone is slowly decaying under the weight of its traditions while insurrection spreads throughout the Venthyr. Some of the vampire lords believe that Sire Denathrius, the Master of Revendreth himself, knows more about the Anima Drought than he’s admitting. Under Prince Renathalm, a movement is fighting to overthrow him.

And you get thrown in the middle of this mess, because of course you do. What would you even do if everything was calm and orderly and nobody needed help? Face it, you bring chaos wherever you go or chaos brings you, and there’s no way to know which is which anymore, Maw Walker.

Not the domain of dread, but certainly a domain of dread

Travelers to Revendreth will see magnificent sights such as Castle Nathria, the Master’s seat of power where absolutely nothing untoward is going on and you’re certainly not going to end up kicking in the doors to find out what because it’s all good, nothing to see here. The Halls of Absolution, jam packed full of spoilers that you’ll go expose yourself to during your stay. The seven Wards, each ruled by a Harvester lord or lady who is certainly not planning to betray you, each other, and either the Sire or the Prince as the rebellion continues. Really, you’re a very suspicious sort, it’s kind of sad.

Oh, and be sure to take care of your Sinstone, that weird tombstone that appears in a location somewhere in Revendreth that has your true name and all the crimes and evils you committed in life inscribed upon it. Just as a head’s up, you might want to purge those sins from the stone before any Venthyr sees it, learns how to best hurt you, and gets on with the process of purging you of your pride. Just a friendly warning.

Revendreth is as goth as it gets and I am extremely excited to find out who’s on the level and who’s plotting against us, if anyone in the whole zone can be said to not be plotting against us, which seems unlikely. Come to Revendreth to explore a court of Byzantine intrigue, be hunted through a macabre forest, and match wits and sometimes blades with those that feed on your very sins.

Tell me that doesn’t sound like a party.

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