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You may be looking for Darkmoon Card: Twisting Nether or Server:Twisting Nether. Note that the Netherstorm is not the same thing as the Twisting Nether.

The Twisting Nether is an ethereal dimension of undulating green "nether" which connects worlds.

Twisting Nether concept art from the Art of World of Warcraft book.

The Twisting Nether dimension is separate, but intertwined with parts of the primary material dimension (where your player character lives most of the time). This is not to be confused with the Great Dark (though there seems to be some overlap).[1]

The Twisting Nether is a formless place of magic and illusion. It is indistinct and chaotic, with no size or shape. Coterminous to all other worlds, the Twisting Nether can be a gateway for those who know how to use it. For mortals, the Twisting Nether is notoriously difficult to access. Spells and portals can take one there, but few other options exist. Traveling to a location within the Twisting Nether, such as Outland, can then lead a hero into the formless plane itself.[2]


The worlds of the universe are orderly, bound by physical law, comprehensible. The Twisting Nether is everything the worlds are not. It is a stream of pure chaos that surrounds the worlds and binds them together.[3]

Chunks of worlds float among prismatic clouds, and colorful energy ribbons twist through the void. All is spectral and shadowy — blurring together in a muted, multicolored haze that brushes and teases the senses. Physical laws do not exist in this realm of ghosts, save those that a traveler creates for his or herself. Magic and illusion dance across the ever-changing vastness.[4]


The Twisting Nether does not co-exist with the worlds in any physical sense. It is a completely different state of being, one that is fundamentally incompatible with the universe as most creatures know it. Someone cannot look from the Nether into a world and vice versa; it is much easier to move between the Nether and a world. A shadow walk spell will take one through the Nether as he moves from place to place, and one can reach the Twisting Nether and its inhabitants with just about any planar travel or communications spell. Entering the Twisting Nether brings one to a realm of pure, lunatic thought. Most of the Twisting Nether is protean, never appearing the same for more than a few seconds. Colors change, it grows dark and light from moment to moment, sparkles and strange sounds emit and then vanish. One moment someone is suspended in nothingness, the next he is standing at the bottom of a deep canyon of purple rocks. His next shift may be to a tiny rock suspended in a starry night, and he has no way of knowing whether the change will occur in seconds or days. The Nether is an intensely magical environment, and some speculate that it is the true source of all arcane magic.[3]

Gravity and movement in the Twisting Nether

The Twisting Nether has subjective directional gravity. The strength of gravity in the Twisting Nether is the same as on Azeroth, but each individual chooses the direction of gravity’s pull. Such a plane has no gravity for unattended objects and nonsentient creatures. The Twisting Nether can be very disorienting to the newcomer, and the plane appears weightless.[5]

Movement is controlled by the person's will power, and one can travel in any direction simply by deciding to do so.[3] Creatures in the Twisting Nether can move normally along a solid surface by imagining "down" near their feet. If suspended in midair, a person "flies" by merely choosing a "down" direction and "falling" that way in a straight line only. In order to stop, one has to slow one's movement by changing the designated "down" direction.[5] Though limited to regular movement speeds, one can sprint as long as he wishes without growing tired. The Twisting Nether does not restrict him from simply appearing wherever he wants to within it (this normally "impossible" action is known as point-to-point movement). Merely existing within the Nether strains the mind of non-native creatures, though, and ignoring traditional physical laws is even more painful.[3][6] Creatures native to the Twisting Nether, such as demons, can move point-to-point at will without any handicap.[3]

The Twisting Nether is of infinite size, there are no known borders of to the Nether. The Twisting Nether is timeless. Age, hunger, thirst, poison, and natural healing do not function in the Twisting Nether, though they resume functioning when the traveler leaves the plane. It is also strongly chaos-aligned. It also enhances magic. Magic is extremely powerful in the Nether. Any spell cast while in the Nether has its duration extended. Illusion spells cost no mana and last for extended periods.

Landscape and changes via thought and will power

The Twisting Nether is highly morphic and little shifts occur all the time in the Twisting Nether, and many changes are caused by the landscape adjusting itself to fit the thoughts of those within it. Think about war and violence and the landscape may become a battlefield populated with undead soldiers. If one is lonely, his lost love may step out of a nearby cottage. The solidity, detail, and potential danger these images possess depend on how well a creature can control its thoughts. If a creature is in control of its thoughts, then images the creature's mind triggers are benign or easily ignored. If it doesn't control its thoughts, then the images that appear are realistic and frightening. Strong-minded individuals may consciously influence the Twisting Nether. The changes made may be subtle or drastic. One can create an image of a dog wandering around the area sniffing others and licking any hand that is presented or place oneself and those nearby at the top of a windswept mountain. A creature cannot create any knowledge that it does not already have. If someone creates a well-appointed library, for instance, the only information in the books is information he already knows. If more than one creature tries to manipulate the environment, the one with the strongest will controls the environment. This control persists until another stronger willed creature changes it. The forces of the Twisting Nether steadily erodes any attempt at a static environment. If someone creates a cozy chalet with a roaring fire on the hearth, he should not be surprised if a few moments later the fire poker has morphed into a duck. A harmful environment created requires all those within the area to be willful to avoid being harmed by it.[7]

What is the Twisting Nether?

From chapter 1 of the World of Warcraft story from the official site, the Twisting Nether is described as:

An ethereal dimension of chaotic magics that connected the myriad worlds of the universe, and
Home to an infinite number of malefic, demonic beings who sought only to destroy life and devour the energies of the living universe.

The Twisting Nether, though it remains invisible and unknowable, is typically envisioned/theorized as a sort of dimensional net that links all the various worlds of the mortal plane. It is a realm of chaos, where colored, misty clouds and bright streamers mingle into a muted form that teases mortal minds. Innumerable worlds, including Azeroth, exist within the Twisting Nether, and many speculate that its protean energies are the stuff that creates existence. Magic currents are strong in the Nether, for it is demonic magic’s birthplace. Demons have their genesis in the Twisting Nether. They alone control its secrets and master its energies, using it as weapon, armor and cloak. They feel it through its madness, invading planes and whispering dark things to mortals on countless worlds.

Most translocation or teleportation spells are thought to send the user through the Twisting Nether. Examples include the Shaman spell Astral Recall, the Warlock spell Ritual of Summoning, and the Mage collection of portal spells, and the Rogue Spell Shadowstep.

Some say that the Titans also live in the Twisting Nether, but since the Burning Legion runs wild and unimpeded in the Nether, it is more likely that they live in some corner of the Great Dark inaccessible from the Nether. Other creatures, made of energy and lunacy, also stem from the Nether's winds. To travelers, the Twisting Nether can be a doorway to other worlds. It is a dangerous path, however; demons and other creatures threaten wanderers, and the plane itself causes the mind to recoil when asked to navigate its wonders. Chaos seethes in the Nether, and only the most powerful can exert control.

Twisting Nether

The Twisting Nether is sometimes referred to as "Hades" or "Hell" and other similar words in sources including the Warcraft: Orcs & Humans manual and Manual of Monsters. The terms appear to be synonymous and do not have altered meanings.

The Twisting Nether is sometimes described as the realm of death, or realm of spirits, and is thought to be place where spirits of the dead go upon death. This may explain the twisting rotating sky seen in the so called "spirit realm" that players see when they are killed in World of Warcraft. Some quests require the player to die in order to visit this realm to solve requirements. Though the Nether may be considered an afterlife by some, it is only one of a few. Paladins generally are sent to the Holy Light upon death, whereas there is also evidence that druids spend the afterlife in the Emerald Dream, and it is also assumable that Shamans would roam the world with the spirits of the elements.

In World of Warcraft

An abandoned ship stranded on a rock in the Twisting Nether.

Flying too far beyond the edges of Outland brings characters into a region called the "Twisting Nether". As of now, the Nether has no particular special purpose and despite the general lore descriptions, it has no special imagery as it appears as the sun rising and setting over a horizon with no visible ground beneath the player were they to fly there. Another way of getting your zone to "Twisting Nether" is to drink "Pure Energy" given to you in a quest in Toshleys Station.

The Twisting Nether does not seem to be part of any region of Outland, similar to how the Veiled Sea is not part of any region of Kalimdor but instead is adjacent to it. The Twisting Nether has its own general and local defense channels.

Note even though the Twisting Nether does not seem to be part of Outland, you can explore it with a flying mount and remount if you choose to explore the floating masses on foot. There does not appear to be a fatigue warning as one gets exploring the Veiled Sea. If you fly to far out or too high, you simply get an audible sound indicating that you can't go any farther. For a Druid in flight form the bird makes a screeching noise.

Sometimes, taking the boat from Auberdine to Valaar's Berth will make you join Twisting Nether chat channels for a split second just after the loading screen. This happens because Azuremyst Isle, like the nearby Bloodmyst Isle, is actually located on the Outland map despite appearing geographically in the Veiled Sea.

The Twisting Nether and the Great Dark Beyond

Goblins are very practical for not letting you fall into the Nether.

According to the Warcraft Encyclopedia entry on the Twisting Nether,[1] it is connected to the Great Dark Beyond (the "outer space" of the Warcraft Universe).

The Twisting Nether is the astral plane between worlds. It is a chaotic and magical environment that overlaps with the Great Dark Beyond, yet is normally imperceptible to mortals.

In the Warcraft RPG it states that the Twisting Nether is a part of the Great Dark, their boundaries are imperceptible. The Twisting Nether can be seen (not entered because of its far reach) in Outland above the Hellfire Peninsula also including the planets Azeroth, Argus,and Former Draenor's moon. The Twisting Nether is the glowing chaotic greenness in the sky also seen in Netherstorm.

Based on this description, one might interpret the Twisting Nether as having a similar connection to the Great Dark Beyond as the Emerald Dream does to Azeroth. This idea of a magical representation of physical space meshes well with what is known of the creation of Outland. When Draenor was ripped apart by Ner'zhul's portals, the portion of the world which has become Outland was pulled into the Twisting Nether rather than remaining in the physical realm of the Great Dark Beyond due to the sheer power of the magicks being unleashed.

Other names

The Twisting Nether goes by many names, to some it is the Great Dark and they see no boundaries between it and the Twisting Nether.

To others it is known as the Abyssal Plane or Astral Plane.

To some it is known as the underworld, the lower planes, Hell, Hades, and even possibly the Dark Below.

Races and creatures

The RPG Icon 16x36.png This section concerns content exclusive to the Warcraft RPG, and thus is not necessarily canon.

  • Belker (RPG)
  • Celestial Steed
  • Chaos beast (RPG)
  • Devourer (RPG)
  • Doomguard
  • Ethereal
  • Felsteed
  • Felhound
  • Force dragon (RPG)
  • Prismatic dragon (RPG)
  • Genius Iocus (RPG)
  • Gibbering orb (RPG)
  • Hagunemnon (RPG)
  • Howler (RPG)
  • Invisible stalker (RPG)
  • Imp
  • Mephit (RPG)
  • Mimic (RPG)
  • Neh-thalggu (RPG)
  • Night hag (RPG)
  • Nightmare (RPG)
  • Nightshade (RPG)
  • Phase spider (RPG)
  • Phasm (RPG)
  • Pseudonatural creature (RPG)
  • Ravid (RPG)
  • Shadow mastiff (RPG)
  • Succubus (RPG)
  • Vargouille (RPG)
  • Voidwalker
  • Umbral blot (RPG)
  • Uvuudaum (RPG)
  • Will-o'-wisp (RPG)
  • Yeth hound (RPG)
  • Infernal
  • Tothrezim (RPG)
  • Nether dragon
  • Nether drake
  • Netherwyrm (RPG)
  • Vanir titan
  • Aesir titan

Note: Many of these creatures are drawn from the Shadows & Light sourcebook.[8]


The Twisting Nether resembles The Warp from the Warhammer 40,000 universe. The Warp is where the powers of Chaos and their servants reside; they are always trying to corrupt and invade the universe.

Another likely source of inspiration is the Astral Plane in the Dungeons & Dragons campaign setting of PlaneScape, which has a lot of things in common with the Nether, such as subjective gravity and amorphous, magical environments. The PlaneScape Astral Plane also works as a gateway between worlds.


  • Dorna the draenei Children's Week orphan makes a joke about the Twisting Nether, "Is the Twisting Nether shaped like a pretzel? And just what is a nether? The Orphan Matron said I shouldn't ask people about their nethers."
  • Falling off the edge of a landmass while unable to access any sort of flight assist (i.e., 'in combat') will cause death, apparently from sheer fright as there is no impact, long before anything interesting or different is reached.
  • A quick note to those deciding to venture out into the Twisting Nether: There are random, invisible dismount flags strewn about the Twisting Nether. So far, the only known indication that you are nearing one of these flags is your mount (and with it, your character) will make a strange jerking motion about every second. At least one of these flags is located between Hellfire Peninsula and Shadowmoon Valley, if you angle your character so that when you pull up your map, the arrow that indicates where you are is pointing toward Netherwing Fields.[citation needed]


  1. Twisting Nether at the official Warcraft Encyclopedia
  2. Shadows & Light, pg. 215
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 Warcraft: The Roleplaying Game, pg. 215
  4. Shadows & Light, pg. 152
  5. 5.0 5.1 World of Warcraft: The Roleplaying Game, pg. 24
  6. World of Warcraft: The Roleplaying Game, pg. 25
  7. Warcraft: The Roleplaying Game, pg. 215-216
  8. Shadows & Light, pg. 152-155

External links

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