Queen Azshara is one of the most dangerous villains in World of Warcraft. A Night Elf monarch and mage who struck a deal with the Burning Legion, she was stopped 10,000 years ago by Tyrande Whisperwind and the brothers Stormrage. After her reign ended and the Sundering tore the world apart, Azshara and her followers were swept under the waves. There, she struck a bargain with an Old God, and they rose again as the powerful Naga. We’ve known these details in the abstract, but the newest Warbringer short shows the moments of truth where Azshara drowned and was reborn, and it’s some of the most compelling cosmic horror around.
Since World of Warcraft’s debut, Azshara has been present on the fringes of the game. The Naga have been an enemy in zones as far back as vanilla WoW, and statues of her litter the Night Elf ruins. One of her generals, Lady Vashj, made a play at stealing the water of Outland in The Burning Crusade. We saw a vision of her past back in Cataclysm. Now, in Battle for Azeroth, she finally makes her debut. We also get to see her Old God patron, N’Zoth, and the entire experience is as compelling as it is unsettling.
If you’ve felt like the threat of the Naga has worn off after mowing down hundreds of them to collect their scales and protect villagers, Warbringers: Azshara will put a healthy dose of fear back in your heart. This is, by far, the most terrifying of the three shorts … and that’s pretty impressive, considering the other two had ghosts and genocide. Pull up a seat, prepare for a jump scare or two, and settle in for the last of the Warbringers series.
World of Warcraft’s first raid, Uldir, goes live on Sept. 4. Azshara is set to debut in a future raid, which will likely have more in-game events surrounding its launch.