- For strategy in the Well of Eternity dungeon, see Queen Azshara (tactics). For the zone in eastern Kalimdor, see Azshara.
Queen of the Naga, Light of Lights; see more below
Queen Azshara was the beloved ruler of the kaldorei ten thousand years ago, and is the current ruler of the monstrous naga. Entrancingly beautiful and beloved by her people, Azshara began a descent into madness when she was corrupted by the Dark Titan Sargeras, master of the Burning Legion. After her defeat at the hands of Malfurion Stormrage, and the Great Sundering that sent her and much of her Highborne into the depths of the sea, Azshara was transformed into the Empress of Nazjatar — progenitor of the serpentine naga. Azshara is often thought to be the greatest mortal mage ever to live - although she may no longer be mortal.
In Search of Ultimate Power
Queen Azshara was born with golden eyes, which were quite rare in night elves before the Great Sundering. Thus, golden eyes were commonly regarded as a sign of future greatness. Indeed, she was widely considered the most beautiful of night elves and swiftly became the most beloved monarch in night elf history. Strong-willed, manipulative, and incomparably beautiful, Azshara possessed far more magical talent than almost any other night elf. As one of the Highborne and sole heir to the throne, she had long been fascinated with the Well of Eternity. After her coronation, she indulged her interests to the fullest. Soon she ordered the construction of a lavishly bejewelled palace on one of the Well's shores.
Seeking to please the queen, the nobles proposed that the night elf capital city be renamed in her honor. Azshara graciously accepted, and after much heated debate, the city's name was changed to Zin-Azshari, or "glory of Azshara". Night elves everywhere celebrated the city's new name, for they loved their queen as much as they distrusted the decadent Highborne. Such was her charm that her people did not truly consider her one of the Highborne. Azshara was adored by all kaldorei, but she reserved her love only for her Highborne, the corrupt noble elite, who were hated among the jealous masses, for amongst the Highborne were some of the most powerful practitioners of magic.
Azshara and her court took up residence in the new palace as soon as it was complete. Many of the Highborne living in the palace devoted themselves to constant study of the Well. As their obsession grew, these Highborne drew magic from the Well's depths at reckless speed and channelled the chaotic energies into ever-greater spells. The Well was thrown into constant turmoil. Dark storms broke out over its surface, and its waters darkened until they became utterly black.
Dreams of Glory
One day, the queen was approached by her most trusted advisor, Counselor Xavius, who approached her with an idea of using the power of the Well of Eternity to cleanse the world, and make it perfect in her eyes. Their meddling with immense magic, however, drew the eye of an interested observer: Sargeras. Seeking to unleash his Burning Legion upon Azeroth, the Dark Titan entranced Xavius, pulling him under his power, following quickly with most of the Highborne and eventually Azshara herself. Xavius helped the queen communicate with Sargeras, whom she told of her desire to cleanse the world of the lesser races. Sargeras tricked the queen into making a portal from which was launched the first invasion of Azeroth by the Burning Legion, an event which is now known as the War of the Ancients.
The Burning Legion's first attack on the world of Azeroth was located at Zin-Azshari, the capital city of the ancient night elf civilization. The Burning Legion, spearheaded by Hakkar and Mannoroth, quickly decimated Zin-Azshari with no mercy, killing all that stood in their path. The second most powerful and populated city in the night elf empire, Suramar, was next in line to taste the fires of the Burning Legion. Thousands of night elves were slaughtered as the dark Highborne stood safely atop their walls and Azshara laughed at the deaths of her kind. "Azshara help us!" "For Azshara!" "Run Azshara!" were among the few battle roars emanating from the chaos, but Azshara just looked away and knew that her peoples' deaths were necessary so she could be the matriarch of a new perfect world that would be shaped after her own vision.
Eventually a resistance was formed, but Azshara paid no attention to their efforts. Sargeras dispatched three of his most dangerous minions to do his bidding: Hakkar the Houndmaster, Mannoroth the Destructor and finally Archimonde the Defiler. All three commanded and watched over the Legion and would have prevailed had it not been for the efforts of three night elves: Malfurion Stormrage the druid, Illidan Stormrage the sorcerer (twin to Malfurion), and Tyrande Whisperwind the priestess (beloved of both brothers), and three heroes from far into the future: A dragonmage in a high elf form known in humanoid shape as Krasus and as a dragon Korialstrasz, a skilled human wizard named Rhonin, and a seasoned orc warrior named Broxigar.
When the portal to the other realm was almost open, the combined force of the night elves and their allies from the future (see War of the Ancients) charged in to destroy it. Irritated by the lack of order, Azshara approached Mannoroth and demanded an explanation. Enraged by both his own failure and the questions asked by the Queen, he wanted to rip her head off, but quickly saw the error of his ways when he realized that Azshara was "a force against which only his lord and Archimonde would prove superior". Azshara forgave him that mistake and urged him on to allow Sargeras entrance to Kalimdor.
At some point around this moment Azshara was herself assaulted by a small band of night elves, in actuality Adventurers from the future. She used her Keepers of Eternity essentially as living shields to fight for her while using a mystical shield to prevent any wounds to her. She escaped after this skirmish.
Birth of the Naga
Not much later, the portal was destroyed and the Sundering was upon Kalimdor. Realizing that Sargeras would not be coming, she decided not to tell her handmaidens and most loyal followers. When the black waters of the Well of Eternity poured into the palace, she created a magical shield that would protect her and the remaining Highborne from drowning. It was at that time that a voice in her head whispered of an escape: "There is a way...there is a way...you will become more than you ever were...more than you ever were...we can help...we can help...You will be more than you have ever been...and when the time comes, for what we grant you...you will serve us well..." Her spell collapsed but as the Well filled her lungs she did not drown. She instead expanded with hate and rage, becoming a massive monstrosity, reflecting the wickedness and malice that had always hidden within her core.
World of Warcraft
This section concerns content exclusive to World of Warcraft.
Statues of Azshara appear frequently throughout Azeroth and Outland, usually in ruins inhabited by her naga.
This section concerns content exclusive to Cataclysm.
Prior to the release of World of Warcraft: Cataclysm, in the Q&A section of the "World of Warcraft Raids and Dungeons" panel at the 2009 Blizzcon convention, game designer Tom Chilton confirmed that appearances by Queen Azshara and the city of Nazjatar were not intended to be part of the expansion, although her Naga would make an appearance in the new leveling zone, Vashj'ir.
Despite this, Azshara plays in a minor role at Nazj'vel in southern Darkshore opposite Malfurion Stormrage. It is revealed that Queen Azshara is primarily responsible for the troubles in Darkshore, as she attempts to divert Malfurion Stormrage's attention from Hyjal. Both Alliance and Horde players can trigger her appearance at will by killing the four Darkscale Priestesses surrounding the . Her appearance here serves more as a preview of things to come than a major part of the storyline, as evidenced by the fact that she uses the Lady Vashj model.
It is later revealed that Queen Azshara would like nothing more than the total destruction of the Elemental Lord Neptulon, because that would leave her free to rule over the oceans in his stead.
Personality and Powers
Strong-willed, manipulative, and incomparably beautiful, Azshara possessed far more magical talent than almost any other night elf in her time. Ten thousand years ago, she and the other Highborne brought Azeroth dangerously close to complete destruction when their meddling with arcane magic caught the attention of the Great Enemy, Sargeras. Corrupted by the influence of the fallen titan, Azshara set in motion a plan to bring the Burning Legion to Azeroth, a plan that caused the War of the Ancients and the Great Sundering of Azeroth. Beautiful, cruel Azshara was swallowed by the seas, never to be seen again... or so it was believed. The naga revere Azshara as a demigod, one who is still very much alive. How she could have survived the Sundering, and at what cost, remain mysteries that not many would dare to probe.
Azshara was extremely charismatic. Her physical and mental appeal were such that virtually no one noticed her more negative qualities. The vast majority of her servitors were willing to go to any means to elevate themselves in her eyes, even at the cost of their own lives. When Sargeras was contacted Azshara was elated, thinking she had finally found a mate worthy of her. Azshara is known to have used sorcery to increase her appeal, as proved when Illidan detected her spell shortly after receiving his new eyes. Xavius, who considered himself above her charms, was, in fact, completely enamored; Azshara was certainly powerful enough to do so. Mannoroth discovered, to his chagrin, that Azshara was far more powerful than he, and that only Archimonde, Kil'Jaeden and Sargeras could've matched her.
As a night elf
Queen Azshara was tall - even taller than many men, and she moved with a grace that even a cat would envy her, with great pride and grace. She spoke with a voice so enchanting it could send any man running into his certain death. Her skin was a deep violet, and her long, luscious hair cascaded as silver down her shoulders and back. Her eyes were golden and, as with other night elves, without pupils in them.
This description did not, however, fit how she was modelled in the previews of her appearance in the Well of Eternity instance in Patch 4.3.0, where she was displayed with dark blue hair, rather than moonlight silver, blue eyes, rather than golden, and a skin tone that's almost gray, rather than deep violet. Nor was her hair cascading, as Richard Knaak describes her several times in The Well of Eternity book, but rather appeared tied up in an elaborate knot. It appeared to be based on a popular piece of fan art, seen below. This however was later changed and Azshara got a brand new texture fitting the description of the novel.
As a naga
Shadows & Light suggests that Azshara's altered body is with octopus-like tentacles quite different from those of ordinary naga. In World of Warcraft, statues of the queen depict her as any other female naga. These are most likely stylized representations, and not accurate representations of her appearance.
When Tyrande attempted to rescue Malfurion, the Emerald Nightmare produced a hallucination of Azshara (playing on Tyrande's fears of becoming like the evil queen) that contradicts the above information:
- A monstrous, blue-green face leered at her. It was elven, yet almost akin to some monstrous fish. Finlike projections extended not only from the head, but coursed down the scaled back. Indeed, scales covered the face and the curved chest as well. The hands were webbed and clawed, more like those of some ocean predator. They, though, were still more akin to a night elf's form than the lower part of the things body. Rather than legs, it moved upon what appeared some combination of a snake's and an eel's slippery torso. It was, in fact, the spiny tail of that torso which sought to strangle Tyrande. ... It was and was not the queen. There was just enough of Azshara's features in the scaled face, though the eyes were fiery red orbs that sought to burn into the high priestess's mind.
The above description lacks both the mollusc-like limbs of the S&L description and the serpentine hair and four arms that are diagnostic of high-ranking female naga. It is not known whether this description indicates a re-imagining of Azshara's naga biology, or if this image was based on Tyrande's imagination (as there is no mention that she ever saw Azshara after the Sundering) and is thus inaccurate.
Titles and epithets
- Cherished Heart of the People
- Daughter of the Moon
- Flower of Life
- Flower of the Moon
- Glory of Our People
- Her Glory
- Light of Lights
- Light of the Moon
- Light of a Thousand Moons
- Radiance of the Moon
- Vision of Perfection
(Several of these are specific to night elven civilization, so any names referencing the moon are probably no longer used.)
- "There has only ever been, only ever will be... one Azshara."
- "To fully prepare for a world of perfection, all the imperfect must be swept away."
- "Sacrifices are always required in the name of glorious pursuits."
- "What is Elune to the great Sargeras?"
- "Dear Kur'talos... I always thought him my most cherished servant, and this is how he rewards me. I've decided that Lord Ravencrest has displeased me, Varo'then. Can you remedy that?"
- 500 years ago, Azshara imprisoned a being named Leviroth in the waters Riplash Ruins. She also blessed the belonging to the Riplash's emperor Raj Naz'jan.
- Azshara was reputedly one of the most powerful magic-users in Azeroth's history.
- At some point she wore .
- Queen Azshara makes an appearance as Tyrande's nightmare in the novel Stormrage.
- Her current model in-game is a placeholder, as she uses the same one as her servant Lady Vashj.
- At least one night elf considers Azshara to be dead.
- Her snake hair and snake-like body may be a tribute to Medusa, a monster from Greek Mythology.
- She also has some of the features of Kali, the Hindu goddess of death and destruction.
- Queen Azshara is most likely a reference to "Asherah", a Semitic mother goddess who was worshipped in the ancient middle east. She is in the Ba'al Epic, and her name translates to "She who treads on the sea".
- She's voiced by Laura Post.
Azshara has become an Ancient and lurks beneath the waves, biding her time to reclaim her worldly power. Queen Azshara was not drowned, but transformed into a hideous aquatic thing who will someday lead her accursed followers to retake the surface world. Queen Azshara, her handmaidens, and many Highborne sunk into the sea. The Old Gods chose Azshara as another useful tool and transformed her, her Highborne, and her Handmaidens into Naga. The mighty Queen Azshara still lives and rules the naga. Once she awoke at the bottom of the sea, she ordered a palace built to rival her home in Azshara.
Queen Azshara lives still, in the vast city of Nazjatar at the bottom of a deep ocean trench. She has embraced the power of the naga, grown in size, and possesses many tentacles bedecked in jewels and items of power. She plots her revenge on the treacherous Night Elves, biding her time until the growing might of the naga can be brought to bear. Living under the sea, she has become queen of the naga. The naga serve Azshara without question. Most naga live in Nazjatar, their capital city. This city is built into a massive abyssal sea trench in the ocean floor, and houses Azshara's imperial palace.
The creature moves on five slithering, octopus-like tentacles, its massive round and bulbous body shifting constantly. A humanoid torso covered in thick scales rises from the body, the creature reaching at least 20 feet in height. Four arms extend from the torso, with two hands holding javelins of dark polished wood and gold-leafed tips. Despite the monstrosity of its body, the creature’s face still possesses an otherworldly, feminine, almost elven beauty. Snakes writhe about her head, serving as her hair and as further eyes. A cruel smile plays across her lips, as though she is deciding whether to play with her enemies a moment longer or simply destroy them now.
When Azshara finally decided to make the naga's existence known, she sent Lady Vashj to establish contact with the surface dwellers. She yet seeks revenge against the night elves who defeated her, slowly readying her naga subjects in Nazjatar to show their might to all of Azeroth. The world grows wary of what the changed Queen Azshara may attempt in the coming future.
Javelins of Suramar
Javelins of Suramar were wielded by Azshara in the Eternal Palace, and she wields them still in Nazjatar as queen of the naga. Each Javelin of Suramar is a 2-foot shaft of dark, polished wood with one end tapering to a point and clad in goldleafed steel.
Statue of Azshara in the Tomb of Sargeras. Maiev Shadowsong notices that she looks like a night elf but has a snake-like tail. Not mentioned, it also has an extra set of arms. During flashbacks in the mission, statues like this appear more night elven, and gold in color. They morph during scene transitions.
- Patch 4.3.0 (2011-11-29): Appears in the Well of Eternity dungeon.
- Patch 4.0.3a (2010-11-23): Appears during (with a placeholder model).
- ^ Ultimate Visual Guide
- ^ Dark Factions, pg. 34
- ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l The Warcraft Encyclopedia/Azshara
- ^ http://www.worldofwarcraft.com/cataclysm/features/lore.html
- ^ The Sundering, pg. 310
- ^ The Well of Eternity, pg. 89
- ^ The Well of Eternity, pg. 2
- ^ Stormrage, pages 189-190
- ^ The Well of Eternity, pg. 90
- ^ a b c Enchanted Magus
- ^ The Well of Eternity, pg. 89
- ^ The Well of Eternity, pg. 108
- ^ World of Warcraft: The Roleplaying Game, pg. 251
- ^ Warcraft: The Roleplaying Game, pg. 187
- ^ Alliance & Horde Compendium, pg. 72-73
- ^ Manual of Monsters, pg. 66
- ^ a b Shadows & Light, pg. 76
- ^ Alliance & Horde Compendium, pg. 19
- ^ Shadows & Light, pg. 75
- ^ Manual of Monsters, pg. 189
- ^ Shadows & Light, pg. 71
- ^ Shadows & Light, pg. 169
|Darkshore||Well of Eternity|
Ruler of the Kaldorei (official)
Kur'talos Ravencrest (unofficial)
Queen of the Naga