In Azshara's perfect world, every living thing would bow to her, and her alone. In order to accomplish this, the surface-dwellers need to be wiped out -- and so does the rest of dry land for that matter. I'm going to refer once more to the description on Blizzard's website regarding the Borean Tundra:
Well, we went to Borean Tundra and all we got were a bunch of mechanical gnomes and walrus men. Where are all the naga? Dead. Mostly. The only naga survivor appears to be Veehja, a lone naga priestess who has been captured by the kvaldir that have wiped the rest of the naga of Riplash Strand out. Veehja will give players a quest, after explaining the situation a little:The Alliance has established a smaller presence here as well, and as both factions prepare to launch an offensive against the Lich King and his undead armies, they must first address the more immediate threat: the naga. The sinister serpentine race is using massive generators to melt the surrounding glaciers and ice caps, threatening to flood the entire region.
So it seems whatever plans Azshara had for the icy coasts of Northrend were brought to an abrupt halt, not by adventurers but by the mysterious kvaldir that appeared seemingly out of nowhere. But there are other small traces, here and there, of Azshara's plans. In Desolace, a member of the Argent Dawn sits on a remote portion of the coastline. He's looking for an artifact called the Sceptre of Light that was stolen from the naga. According to Azore, "Legend tells that the sceptre is able to sink entire cities under the great seas."Five hundred years ago Azshara imprisoned a being named Leviroth in the waters below. Now these barbarians seek to undo our queen's work.
They took over our city and began to sacrifice my brethren to awaken him! When they ran out of naga, they began to take tuskarr. Their spirits will know no peace!
I will help you, for it will go a long way towards quelling my vengeance. Their captain, Ragnar, dwells deep inside northeastern Riplash. He has in his possession a golden trident. Bring it to me!
All along the coasts of Azeroth, other naga settlements have popped up here and there. In Azshara, the ruins of Eldarath are overrun with naga who guard ancient tablets. In Hillsbrad Foothills, they plague the coastline near Southshore. The naga have always had a presence in both Kalimdor and the Eastern Kingdoms -- but they don't serve Neptulon. That's why Skar'this and others are viewed as heretics, because they follow Neptulon's ways. Azshara and the rest of the naga, however, follow what made them the creatures they are today -- the Old Gods.
That time is soon approaching. In Cataclysm, Azshara and the naga begin their attacks in earnest, aided by the Twilight Cult that also serves the Old Gods without question. Queen Azshara's first plan of attack? Darkshore. Between the Twilight's manipulation of the elements and Azshara's naga, the entire zone threatens to fall into the sea, which is exactly where Azshara would like it to be. Thankfully, the recently awakened Arch Druid Malfurion Stormrage shows up to help turn the tides and to hold the ragged land together.You will be more than you have ever been ... promised the voices. And when the time comes, for what we grant you ... you will serve us well ...
Well, sort of. Queen Azshara wanted Stormrage's attention -- after all, it was he who ruined her plans for a perfect world, and both he and the rest of the traitors that followed him should be made to pay for their insolence. And while she keeps Stormrage occupied with Darkshore, the rest of her people can turn their attention to a much larger threat that until now, Azshara had no hope of defeating -- Neptulon, the Elemental Lord of water. While all the mayhem is happening in Darkshore, a large fleet of naga is advancing on Neptulon's home, the Throne of the Tides.
The naga of Azeroth are quickly taking power -- but who is really in control here? As it stands, Azshara and her people were saved and transformed into the creatures they are today by the Old Gods. The naga are now working hand in hand with the Twilight Cult, which also serves the Old Gods -- though the motives of the Twilight Cult are more along the lines of "destroy everything" than "let the scaly lady rule over everyone."
It's possible that the Old Gods promised Azshara that she would have supremacy over the water, if she would only help them escape their prison. While the Old Gods originally used the Elemental Lords as their lieutenants, it appears that the time-out they received at the hands of the Titans has led a couple of the Elemental Lords to change their minds. Ragnaros is still eager to wreak havoc, whether it be by the will of the Old Gods or no, but Neptulon appears to be more interested in keeping his watery domain firmly under his control. In that case, it makes much more sense for the Old Gods to simply let the naga tear Neptulon apart. If he's not going to serve, then he should be eliminated.
The sad part of all of this, however, is Azshara -- once beloved queen of the night elves, now a nightmarish husk of the beautiful creature she once was. Once upon a time, the Burning Legion promised Queen Azshara the world, yet Sargeras had no intention of letting her rule; he simply used her for his own ends and left her to her fate. Now it seems the Old Gods are promising her the world again -- but as before, it appears that there is little truth to the promises of power. The Old Gods are simply using her and her people because they are powerful and incredibly easy to control. Is it possible that a second betrayal of that magnitude will lead the naga of Azeroth to ally with the land-dwelling creatures?
Whether or not Azshara's plans of global domination will come to pass is unknown. But the naga of Azeroth, who have been quietly working away all these years, seem to finally achieve far more moments of triumph in Cataclysm than we've ever seen before. Though the continents have yet to fall into the sea, the elements are raging and Neptulon's hold over the deep oceans of the world is faltering. Will the naga triumph over all, or will the inevitable betrayal of the Old Gods lead to the naga's unexpected redemption?
As it stands, the naga are working for the Old Gods, who are pretty much just conveniently using them, as they did with the Elemental Lords back during their first attempt to take over Azeroth. Much like the Twilight Cult and even Deathwing, the naga are the unwitting puppets of the dark ones that lurk beneath the earth, the Old Gods whose powers seem to largely involve empty promises made to unwitting followers. The only question left to ask is will we confront the Old Gods directly in this expansion -- or the next?
For more information on the people, places and history mentioned here, check out other Know Your Lore columns, such as:
- The Elements part four: Hold any form, take any shape
- The Old Gods
- The Twilight's Hammer
- Lady Vashj
While you don't need to have played the previous Warcraft games to enjoy World of Warcraft, a little history goes a long way toward making the game a lot more fun. Dig into even more of the lore and history behind the World of Warcraft in WoW Insider's Guide to Warcraft Lore.