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The Unforgotten Artifact: Xal’atath Returns

As datamining of 8.1 continues, more information surrounding the artifact weapon has surfaced. Known as the Blade of the Black Empire, Xal’atath was a ritual weapon used for sacrifices during the height of the old gods’ empire.

With the finale of Legion, the Shadow Priest artifact weapon lost its power like all the other artifact weapons. Despite this, the blade has clearly continued its journey around Azeroth.

Referential Spells, Items, and Zones

Map of the Black Empire

The first hint comes from a new item: Xal’atath, Blade of the Black Empire. However, this is not the artifact priests are familiar with. The quest text attached reads,

Xal’atath has a mind of its own. Once a prized weapon of priests used against the Burning Legion, this artifact has lost its power and is in a dormant state. For now.”

And while this quote is enough to send twitter into a storm, there is more. There are dozens of new spells labelled Xal Talk 01, Xal Talk 02, Xal’atah Fed, Locked in Awe, and the most interesting: Xal Leaves Dagger.

Speculation

Could this mean Xal’atath will finally be taking a corporeal form outside of the dagger?Maybe. It is too early to tell, though the hints are tantalizing.

Furthermore, Ion Hazzikostas revealed the new raid, ‘Crucible of Storms,’ and said there will be supporting content to contextualize the instance. It is likely Xal’atath will play a role in this content. The dagger may aid in fending off the threat beneath Stormsong valley. From the spell “Xal’atath Fed,” we see it has no issue consuming Naga souls.

More Artifact Returns in the Future?

When asked about the return of Hati, the Beast Mastery pet from Legion, Ion Hazzikostas replied,

…it’s not to say we have seen the last of her, the last of Hati. Nothing to announce right now, but there’s definitely an understanding of the depth of affection out there, not just for Hati, but also for some of the more unique artifacts that had companions or personalities associated with them. That’s not something we totally want to leave behind.”