How does the Arbiter judge morally ambiguous characters?

Take for example a hypothetical posed by none other than one of Warcraft’s own characters, Sayge the Fortuneteller:

“You have been tasked by your liege to guard his fields of corn from poachers and thieves. One night, on patrol, you stumble across a haggard man in thread-bare clothing stealing corn from the field. You quickly confront him, and he immediately begs for his life. He claims he is stealing corn to feed his family since the lord of the land - your liege - demands too much in taxes. Your liege is indeed known from his harsh taxes throughout the land. Make your choice.”

Assuming this man is telling the truth, he’s committing a felon for what is by all means a noble cause: to feed his family.

Based on this alone, would he go to Bastion for having noble intent, or would he go to Revendreth for committing the felon in spite of this intent?

He would go to a corn realm where there’s plenty of corn to take and 0 taxes.

I don’t think your example is morally ambiguous at all. Try instead the trolley problem, where your direct action leads to the death of an individual, but inaction leads to the death of several. Which, I think, is what Velen was confronted with, ultimately.


Begging for his life? He sure as hell wouldn’t be going to Maldraxxus.

I’m sure that if he ended up in Revendreth, the Ven’thyr would look at the man, harvest a drop of sin anima, and be like “oh, dammit… another corn thief!?”, and send him back to the Arbiter with a nasty letter (written on exceedingly ornate parchment).

If he was really committed to service, he would have asked to work for the corn, so Bastion doesn’t want this guy either.

He goes straight to the Maw. Okay, probably not the Maw. But he goes to one of the really boring unnamed afterlives, where he and his family can grow their own corn.


It’s morally ambiguous because you can view him as both the hero and the villain. He’s the hero for providing food for his starving family, but he’s also the villain for stealing corn from a hard-working farmer who no doubt needs that corn to support his own family.

The trolley problem actually has a solution in the form of the option that results in less deaths. In a situation where death can’t be avoided no matter what, the one that leads to less is more morally sound

You mean your liege, who taxes workers to the point of starvation, forcing them to risk their life and steal just to survive? Doesn’t look like from your story, that he’d lose much if the guy takes some of his ta es back in the form of corn.

By that logic, I guess, you can redeem Sylvanas if it turns out that her actions lead to a “greater good” :man_shrugging:

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Revendreth is for the real baddies, not petty things like this lmao

In only the ways an immeasurably ancient entity can ponder on morality as well as circumstances of a life and the choices made within it.

There are an infinite number of realms to be sent to, Revendreth is not necessarily the only punishment realm you can go to. It feels more like federal prison for serious crimes like murder, with the maw being supermax prison for the most depraved and ireedemable.

The thing about the Arbiter is she does not make simple binary positions. She can review in a fraction of a fraction of a second your entire life. This is not only what you have done, but WHY you did it: Your hopes, dreams, and aspirations. With that knowledge she sends you to the realm most suited to your soul’s disposition at that moment.

An important point is souls are not stuck in one realm forever. As you grow and develop you can be resorted and migrate. Unless you are a Kyrian… as they are sort of…blanks, and thus unable to really grow.


The thing is, arguably the moral judgment for such a scenario wouldn’t necessarily hinge upon the final choice made, but rather from whether or not the person in question is troubled at all with what choice to make.

Someone who’s cavalier about abandoning their sworn loyalty or who’s readily dismissive about about condemning a man’s starving family would potentially be more in need of atonement than someone who in that same situation struggled with the moral implications of either choice before finally reaching a weighty decision in the knowledge that they still might be wrong. The former could be construed as acting out of unearned narrow-minded certainty, while the latter would be more framed by humility and a willingness to face the consequences of poptentially being mistaken.

Being judged in the hereafter is likely less about what you did than why you did it. So making even a terrible choice that haunts you and reinforces your own humility with the knowledge that you might be wrong would be less condemning than making that same terrible choice with the absolute certainty that there was no other way just because you couldn’t think of one.

The Arbiter being what she is, can probably weigh such factors in an instant to “calculate” what sort of person was produced by a lifetime of choices, rather than just looking at the choices themselves.


Is it wrong of me that I don’t find that scenario hard to deal with? Do nothing. It’s not your right to deem someone unworthy of life because they might save more people if you choose to kill them.

He’d go to a farming/village Afterlife, I’d say. But some people’s families are very poor, and it’s often steal or starve for them. If anything, he’d go to the Venthyr for… a month to a year or so, I guess? Not really that much of a sin, just an unfortunate part of life

“Says here you’re earmarked for our menial sins division. Go through that door.”
Farmer gets slapped “Welcome to your new life.”

Maw thresher.

I don’t have enough information on the soul that has come before me, so I must assume it is an anomaly and must be purged swiftly, as something that passes my depth for magical insight for judgement cannot be allowed to live.

He exists in a game where the writers wouldn’t know morally ambiguous if it hit them in the head.


We have no real idea how it judges.

Most evidence seems to suggest the Arbiter is very forgiving. Even the worst only go to Revendreth first, and most people go to a better place unless they really suck. I’d say anything morally ambiguous, and they go to a fitting, nice afterlife.


My interpretation:

It’s less morality and more one’s role in the Shadowlands. People who lived life in service and would be inclined to do so eternally go to Bastion-- It has little to do with inherently nobility. People who devoted themselves to nature go to Ardenweald. People who revel in conflict and battle but are willing to do so to protect the realms of death go to Maldraxxus. People who could potentially harm the Shadowlands go to Revendreth to more or less have their souls reeducated and sent someplace else. Those who feel a particular appreciation for this change stay in Revendreth to serve it. If they can’t be changed and would be a danger to the Shadowlands itself, they go to the Maw.

A man who is wicked but ultimately incapable of doing harm to the Shadowlands would go to another afterlife suited to him. Perhaps Maldraxxus to revel in the violence. A person who did no particularly evil things in life but has a soul steeped in it and would turn towards darkness once faced with eternity would likely get sent to Revendreth to be taught why that’s not a good idea.

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The people of Revendreth are implied to throw Souls that invent WMDs and lack virtues straight into the Maw!

Souls that simply exploit and reverse-engineer any already existing WMDs of course are reeducated as usual though the length of time in Revendreth depends on how many victims are killed.

The Venthyr Inquisitor Stelia AKA Zill’kee the World Reaper wiped out whole worlds with perfectly made sadistically cruel Toxins which I presume were invented by someone else(as Zill’kee had no intentional virtues to speak of) who was either thrown straight into the Maw or in grave danger of being thrown in there.

It is not hard to imagine Zill’kee was assumed by the other Venthyr to have joined due to her sadism yet her allying with the Accuser proves that she indeed changed as a result of her stay.

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The Good Place style.

Strict math.

If so, then I’ll genuinely join team Sylvanas, because surely whatever lunatic plan she expects to pull off would be more fair than the downright evil judgement math in that universe.