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The Ethereals Guide

A common Loremaster’s Corner theme is races that are forgotten about in World of Warcraft. This week let’s talk about those energetic mummies known as Ethereals. They were a big part of The Burning Crusade but only make one cameo appearance in Wrath of the Lich King. Where did they go, who were they, and why didn’t they make it into WotLK? Let’s look back at this strange race and find out.

Ethereals were traders that travel through the Twisting Nether. Their home planet, K’aresh, was destroyed by Dimensius who now resides in Manageforge Ultris. They then moved on to Outland where they decided to loot as much treasure as possible to turn a profit. That almost seems kind of like your average play, eh? They’re not enemies, but there is a faction that is hostile to players known as The Ethereum.

Many players consider the Ethereals as “Space Mummy Goblins” which is very true. They’re built politically just like the Goblins with many different mini-corporations working independently of one another. The friendly side, The Consortium and the Protectorate, work with players to fight the Void and the Ethereum in Nagrand and Netherstorm. They are beings of pure energy and look like Voidwraiths without their magical wrappings (which give them the appearance of a mummy). This allows them to travel through space easily.

This is the only spot in WotLK where you'll see our electro-mummy friends
They are beyond any other WoW race in regards to technology. Not only can they travel space easily but they built the massive eco-domes and have mastered teleportation. This is probably why we don’t see them a lot anymore because of how out of place they are. Not to mention how they play such a small role in the overall story. They have bases in Nagrand and in Netherstorm and make appearances in a few instances, but they don’t have much to do with The Burning Crusade or Illidan. This makes them more of a non-factor lorewise than anything else.

They also make an appearance in Blade’s Edge Mountains, but those are mostly for daily quests which involve stealing things from them or fighting them for drops. There isn’t a lot of lore involved either way.

They make one appearance in WotLK where you see them trying to deal with the Blue Dragonflight in Dragonblight. Of course, that encounter is soon forgotten about and you don’t hear about them anymore. It’s disappointing to me that such a rich and fun race is forgotten about it so easily. Do you think Cataclysm should bring back some of these awesome races? Come post your thoughts on our forums.

Lore Theorycrafting
The Ethereum was once a faction in the TBC beta that worked like many of the other factions. This meant that you may have been able to choose sides at one time like the Aldors/Scryers. These kinds of scenarios are interesting to me because I love when player decisions are allowed to affect the story in your game and opens up different point of views.

What do you think about picking sides? For myself I think it should be encouraged and that large portions of the game should be giant forks in the road where your decisions affects which story you’re told. Your loyalty to warring sides should even determine who gets to attack you in certain areas so that it’s not always just Horde vs. Alliance. Discounting the natural balance issues, there would be a ton of room for fun things you could do.

Not to mention how you could run intertwining stories that come to the same end. Say one faction is warring with another, but in the end both sides have to work together to take down something that was manipulating the war. So, while you see the war from different sides, you would still be fighting the same enemy at the end which would allow the story to unfold in a way that both sides are canon (instead of one side having to be the victor).