The Warcraft Lore series is a collection of articles delving deep into the history of many important Warcraft figures and events. Since World of Warcraft’s story is ongoing in the famous MMORPG and in some new novel publications, I will try to constantly update these articles. My main sources are Warcraft books and comics, Warcraft 1 / 2 /3, World of Warcraft, WoWWiki, WoWpedia, YouTube and some theory-crafting sites. The following article will inform you about Lady Vashj.
Let me know in the comments about any errors or inconsistencies you may find. Feedback is greatly appreciated. Enjoy!
“We were Azshara’s chosen, the Highborne– banished beneath the cruel seas when the Well of Eternity imploded around us!”
Lady Vashj to Maiev Shadowsong
The Young Handmaiden
Lady Vashj, one of the most popular Naga in the Warcraft universe, was a Highborne Elf residing in the ancient city of Vashj’ir. A small note here, during the War of the Ancients, Vashj’ir sunk beneath the sea and was discovered several years later during the Cataclysm expansion. Lady Vashj was the daughter of Matron Lestharia Vashj, ruler of Vashj’ir under Queen Azshara’s command. Vashj was really beautiful and sharp, trying to copy her Queen’s hairstyle, movement and clothing all the time. This quickly got the attention of Azshara, who took the young Elf to the capital Zin-Azshari as her prime handmaiden.
Lady Vashj before her transformation
The Rivalry with Tyrande
When the Dark Titan Sargeras contacted Azshara, she was seduced by his unlimited power and huge army. She instantly sided with the Burning Legion, leaving no option to Vashj but to follow her. During the War, High Priestess Tyrande Whisperwind, one of the most important figures of the resistance, was captured by the Burning Legion. She was held imprisoned in Azshara’s palace when the later decided to visit her one day. The Queen realized the power Tyrande possessed and offered her to make her handmaiden if he pledged her allegiance to Sargeras. Tyrande refused stating that she was sworn to the Moon God Elune.
High Priestess Tyrande Whisperwind
Vashj was extremely irritated by Azshara’s offer to the “traitor” Elf. Despite the fact that Tyrande refused, she felt that her position as the Queen’s favorite handmaiden was questioned. Some days later, she decided to make an assassination attempt on Tyrande but failed. During the process he killed all witnesses and fled the prison cell so her attempt on the Priestess’ life would never be discovered. Her rivalry with Tyrande would become an endless torment for her until the day of her death, probably on a scale as big as Illidan’s obsession with the Priestess.
War of the Ancients
Despite Azshara’s, Archimonde’s and Mannoroth’s attempts, the portal to Twisting Nether was ultimately closed before Sargeras set foot on Azeroth. However, the Well of Eternity was unable to control this huge magical anomaly and it began to collapse in on itself. In a matter of seconds, Zin-Azshari, Vashj’ir and several other Highborne’s cities were blasted towards the ocean floor. During their final moments, the imprisoned Old God N’Zoth offered to save Azshara and the other Elves from drowning should they chose to obey him. The Queen made a pact with him and the Old One transformed every drowning Elf into the Naga in order to save them from the ocean.
Azhara accepts N’zoth’s offer and transforms her people into the Naga
The Naga were a cursed serpent-like race that would later become some of the most formidable villains of Azeroth. They had the ability to swim fast and breath underwater sacrificing their legs for tails and scales. Even so, the Naga knew they had little chance of reclaiming the lands that the Highborne had once dominated. Bitterly resentful at their enforced banishment to the sea, they resolved to bide their time until they could retake their rightful place in the surface world. Thousand years later, Illidan Stormrage would call upon those foul creatures in an attempt to destroy The Frozen Throne in the name of Kil’jaeden.
The Eye of Sargeras
The main reason the Naga heard Illidan’s call was not because they trusted him but because of the Old Gods’ will. N’zoth and his brethren benefited from the destruction of the Lich King that would ignite a new war on Azeroth. They instructed the Naga to get rid of Illidan as soon as he destroyed the Frozen Throne. Illidan’s first move was to travel to the Tomb of Sargeras. There he searched for an ancient artifact that would allow him to assassinate the Lich King without traveling to Northrend. Vashj and her Naga followed him to the tomb where they were confronted by Maiev Shadowsong.
Lady Vashj is confronted by Maiev Shadowsong
When Maiev first met Vashj, the later stated that her justice (referring to Maiev) had no place in this war. Maiev replied that a Sea Witch would never know anything of the Night Elven way and justice system. Vashj informed Maiev that she was also a Night Elf once before joining Illidan in his attempt to channel the Eye of Sargeras. Soon the Betrayer realized that he needed a stronger source of magic in order to activate the Eye. He immediately dispatched Vashj to Lordaeron in order to study the ley lines.
The Lich King sensed the Naga’s presence and sent a huge number of Scourge reinforcements to intercept Vashj. Illidan still found a way to harness the power of the Eye and was ready to annihilate the Frozen Throne before he was interrupted by his brother, Malfurion. The Archdruid defeated Illidan and decided to spare his life a second time. In an attempt to escape Kil’jaeden’s wrath, Illidan quickly fled to Outland. Lady Vashj retreated in Lordamere Lake along with the remaining Naga waiting for Illidan’s orders.
The Pact with the Blood Elves
Several days later, Illidan contacted Vashj asking her to find the son of Anasterian Sunstrider, Prince Kael’thas Sunstrider. Kael and his party of Blood Elves were under the command of Lord Garithos during this time. Garithos was a racist Human warlord and extremely oppressive towards the Blood Elves. One day, he tasked the Prince to cross a river near Lordamere Lake. However, with the shipyard destroyed, Kael’thas had no meansto get across it. The serpentshrine Lady offered Kael the help of the Naga in order for them to complete their mission. Although hesitant, Kael accepted Vashj’s help, a decision that would later enrage Garithos.
Lady Vashj meets Kael’thas for the first time
When Kael’thas returned, Garithos was outraged by his betrayal. Unable to convict him yet, because of lack of proof, he sent him on a suicide mission to fight the Undead. He also recalled all siege and cavalry units from Kael’s command. Kael’thas was quickly overrun by the Scourge and in the final moment, Vashj with the Naga intervened and saved the Blood Elves a second time. Surprised, Garithos arrested Kael’thas and condemned him to death. For a third time, Lady Vashj and the Naga infiltrated the dungeons of Dalaran and freed the Blood Elves, escaping through the remains of an old Kel’Thuzad’s portal.
Vashj and the Naga help Kael escape and travel to Outland
The Lord of Outland
Vashj and Kael’thas along with the remaining Blood Elves, travelled to Outland in order to locate Illidan. Unfortunately, the Demon Hunter had been captured by Maiev and was being transported back to Azeroth. The combined forces of Naga and Blood Elves attacked the transport and managed to free Illidan. The Betrayer thanked them for their loyalty and informed them of their plan to take control of Outland by dethroning the current ruler Magtheridon. After several days of skirmishes, Illidan and his army reached Shadowmoon Valley and laid siege to Magtheridon’s capital, the Black Temple. Eventually, Illidan defeated Magtheridon and became the lord of Outland.
Kil’jaeden reminds Illidan of his mission to destroy the Frozen throne
However, Kil’jaeden had not forgotten about Illidan’s promise to destroy the Frozen Throne. He located him in Outland and commanded the Demon Hunter, Vashj and Kael to return back to Azeroth and advance towards Northrend. Arthas and the Crypt Lord, Anub’arak, had also travelled to Northrend in order to protect the Lich King. Ultimately, the battle came down to a single duel between Arthas Menethil and Illidan Stormrage. Arthas defeated Illidan and spared his life warning him to leave Azeroth and never return. Once more, Lady Vashj followed the Demon Hunter back to Outland.
The Draining of Zangamarsh
Over the next years, Vashj continued to serve Illidan from her fort in Serpentshrine Cavern. He sent her strongest champion, High Warlord Naj’entus, to guard the Black Temple and he put the rest of the Naga to drain the waters of Zangarmarsh. Her goal was to take control of all the waters of Outland and, through them, its people. Fortunately, her plan was interrupted by the champions of Azeroth that raided Serpentshrine Cavern and slew her. In her dying breath, Vashj remained loyal to Illidan by murmuring an apology to the Demon Hunter.
Lady Vashj’s seat of power, the Serpentshrine Cavern
The Afterlife in Maldraxxus
After her death, Vashj’s soul arrived in Maldraxxus, a Covenant for those who valued strength above all, in their past lives. Although she was given the option to return to her Night Elf form, she chose to remain a Naga because beauty was no longer important to her. Her magic and supreme archery skills quickly earned her the rank of Baroness under Margrave Akarek in the House of Eyes. The other Baroness in this House was Thrall’s mother, Draka. One day, Akarek sent Vashj to investigate an anomaly in House of Rituals. With Vashj gone, assassins attacked the House of Eyes murdering Akarek and destroying the House.
Baroness Vashj in Shadowlands
Draka, following her Margrave’s orders, joined the House of the Chosen. Vashj disagreed and formed a group in order to claim revenge against the Lich Mor’Bitan, responsible for Akarek’s death. When Draka learned of Vashj’s plan, she dispatched a messenger to offer her an invite to the House of the Chosen. The Serpent Lady refused the offer and with the help of the messenger ambushed Mor’Bitan and killed him. After getting her revenge, she travelled back to the Seat of the Primus and joined her forces with Drakas’ who were already defending the Seat from the traitor Baron, Vyraz.
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