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This article is about the lore. For the raid, see Ny'alotha, the Waking City. For the raid subzone, see Ny'alotha (subzone).
Visions of N'Zoth key art.jpg
Races N'raqiN'raqiN'raqiN'raqi N'raqi
IconSmall Aqir.gif Aqir
Ruler(s)  N'Zoth †
Affiliation Black Empire
Status Destroyed

“In my research, I came across references to a place called Ny'alotha. A sleeping city of numberless crimes, where only dark things walk. But the Void deals in potentials... possibilities. Perhaps this Ny'alotha is not so much a physical location on Azeroth as it is a vision waiting to be made real.”


Ny'alotha (pronounced /ˌnaɪəˈləʊθə/), also known as the Sleeping City,[2][3][4] the Dreaming City,[4] the Waking City,[5] and the Sunken City,[6][7] was an alternate reality[4][8] inhabited by the Old Gods and their minions. It depicted a future in which the Old Gods' ancient Black Empire had been restored and completely conquered Azeroth, and thus reflected the manifestation of all of the Old God N'Zoth's goals and his vision for the future of Azeroth made real.[3][4][9][10] After being freed from his titan prison during the Fourth War, N'Zoth began trying to tear down the veil separating Ny'alotha from the physical world[4] in order to merge the two realities into one and thereby transform Azeroth into the Black Empire.[8][11][12] This would also have erased all that previously was.[13] To stop the Old God, Azeroth's champions entered Ny'alotha and killed N'Zoth using the power of the Forge of Origination, destroying Ny'alotha in the process.[14]

Ny'alotha does not obey the rules of space and time.[15] Black Empire Obelisks are what anchor Ny'alotha to reality, allowing its denizens and structures to manifest in the real world.[16] Creations of the Old Gods that die in reality seem to return to Ny'alotha,[17][18] or at least they did before it was destroyed.

Ny'alotha is the setting of the raid instance of the same name. Players can also enter Ny'alotha through Lesser and Horrific Visions of N'Zoth, depicting versions of Uldum, the Vale of Eternal Blossoms, Stormwind City, and Orgrimmar that have fallen to N'Zoth's influence. The [Awakened] affix in Mythic+ dungeons causes the appearance of obelisks that allow players to temporarily cross over into Ny'alotha and confront powerful servants of N'Zoth.


Ny'alotha's destruction upon N'Zoth's death.

Battle for Azeroth This section concerns content related to Battle for Azeroth.

The events within the Eternal Palace have set the stage for the Old God N'Zoth's release from his titanwrought prison, and the Sleeping City of Ny'alotha has awakened. Under N'Zoth's command, the nightmarish armies of the Black Empire threaten to engulf the world and reshape it according to their master's vision.[19] As part of the Old God's efforts to bring Ny'alotha into being, N'Zoth's minions tried to corrupt the Forge of Origination in order to reshape Azeroth into the Black Empire.[11][20] The champions of Azeroth venture deep into the horrific realm to confront mad heralds and inscrutable horrors, and ultimately go eye-to-eyes with N'Zoth himself for one final confrontation against the Old God in a fateful battle for Azeroth's survival.[19] N'Zoth and Ny'alotha were ultimately destroyed together when Azeroth's champions used the  [Heart of Azeroth] to fire the powers of the Forge of Origination, empowered by the Engine of Nalak'sha, upon the Corruptor.[14]

After the Fourth War, Zekhan reported that soldiers who described the place gave two different descriptions. It was Wrathion who gave the clearest recounting and said that it was like a nightmare that the Old God's minions were trying to make real. Zekhan added that he was glad for the heroes with a sound mind that rose up and drove Ny'alotha back into slumber.[21]

Previous mentions

Before Ny'alotha's true nature was revealed in patch 8.3, it had been mentioned by various objects and servants of the Old Gods since as far back as Cataclysm.

Notes and trivia

  • The name Ny'alotha is likely derived from Nyarlathotep, a deity from H.P. Lovecraft's Cthulhu Mythos. The Puzzle Box of Yogg-Saron's description of Ny'alotha as a "city of old, terrible, unnumbered crimes" is a reference to Lovecraft's short story "Nyarlathotep" (1920), in which the narrator describes their home town as "the great, the old, the terrible city of unnumbered crimes". Ny'alotha's actual appearance may be inspired by R'lyeh, the underwater city where Cthulhu slept, or Y'ha-nthlei, an ancient sunken city of the Deep Ones.
  • Ny'alotha's architecture resembles Ahn'Qiraj. In lore, it is probably the other way around: that the qiraji modeled Ahn'Qiraj after the Black Empire.
  • Ny'alotha is similar to the Emerald Dream, both being alternate planes that are born from the dreams of powerful entities. For Ny'alotha, it is the Old Gods, and for the Emerald Dream it is Azeroth.


This article or section includes speculation, observations or opinions possibly supported by lore or by Blizzard officials. It should not be taken as representing official lore.

See also


  1. ^ B [50] Where the Heart Is
  2. ^ Ny'alotha, the Waking City#Adventure Guide
  3. ^ a b N [50] Whispers in the Dark
  4. ^ a b c d e World of Warcraft 2019-10-07. Watch the New Developer Content Update Preview (03:20). YouTube. Retrieved on 2019-10-07.
  5. ^ N [50R] Ny'alotha, the Waking City: The Corruptor's End
  6. ^  [Puzzle Box of Yogg-Saron]
  7. ^ Vol'zith the Whisperer ability, Grasp of the Sunken City
  8. ^ a b Tyler 2020-01-14. WoW 8.3: Exclusive interview with Ion Hazzikostas — Patch 8.3.5, Shadowlands, new Affix and more. Millenium. Archived from the original on 2020-02-19.
  9. ^ N [50] Investigating the Halls
  10. ^ Blizzard Entertainment Blizzard Entertainment 2020-01-09. Visions of N’Zoth: Assaults and Horrific Visions Preview. Archived from the original on 2020-01-11.
  11. ^ a b N [50] Opening the Gateway
  12. ^ Annex of Prophecy - N'Zoth the Corruptor whispers: Watch as my empire consumes your reality. Soon, all will be one.
  13. ^ N [50] Network Diagnostics - Wrathion says: It is not knowledge that N'Zoth seeks. The rise of Ny'alotha would erase all that we once were.
  14. ^ a b N'Zoth the Corruptor
  15. ^ N [50R] Ny'alotha: MOTHER's Guidance
  16. ^ N [50] Whispers in the Dark: Wrathion says: The obelisks are what anchor him here. We need to destroy them!
  17. ^ Il'gynoth, Heart of Corruption whispers: N'Zoth... I journey... to Ny'alotha...
  18. ^ Il'gynoth, Corruption Reborn#Adventure Journal
  19. ^ a b Blizzard Entertainment Blizzard Entertainment 2019-12-19. Battle for Azeroth: Visions of N'Zoth Goes Live January 14. World of Warcraft. Retrieved on 2019-12-19.
  20. ^ N [50] Assault: The Black Empire - Black Warden Rhothkozz says: You are too late. Your forge will bring Ny'alotha into being.
  21. ^ World of Warcraft: Exploring Azeroth: Kalimdor, pg. 134