Vashj

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For her The Frozen Throne statistics, see Lady Vashj (Warcraft III). For information on how to defeat Lady Vashj in World of Warcraft, see Lady Vashj (tactics).
NeutralVashj
Image of Vashj
Title Baroness,
Matron of Spies
Formerly:
Lady,
Coilfang Matron,
Handmaiden of Queen Azshara[1]
Gender Female
Race(s) Naga (formerly night elf)
Class Sea witch
Affiliation(s) House of Eyes
Former affiliation(s) Illidan's Naga, Coilfang tribe, Illidari, Nazjatar Empire (presumed), Highborne, Kaldorei Empire, Vashj'ir
Occupation Baroness of the House of the Eyes
Former occupation(s) Ruler of the Illidari loyal naga, Matron of Coilfang Reservoir, Lieutenant of Illidan, Queen Azshara's foremost handmaiden
Location Various
Status Deceased (lore)[1]
Killable (The Burning Crusade)
Relative(s) Lestharia Vashj (mother)
Companion(s) Khaliiq (devoted),
Hydromancer Thespia (childhood friend and confidant)

Vashj (known in life as Lady Vashj and in death as Baroness Vashj; pronounced /vɒʒ/ — somewhere between Vash and Vosh) has, at various points in her existence, been a Highborne servant of Queen Azshara, one of the first of the serpentine naga, a lieutenant of Illidan Stormrage, and a Necrolord baroness of the House of Eyes.

Born the daughter of Lestharia Vashj, ruler of the city of Vashj'ir, Vashj was once the foremost of Queen Azshara's Highborne handmaidens. She was transformed into one of the monstrous naga when Azshara and her followers were sent to the bottom of the sea during the Great Sundering.

Ten thousand years later, Vashj answered Illidan Stormrage's call and followed him first to Lordaeron, where she met up with Kael'thas Sunstrider and rallied his blood elves to Illidan's cause, and then to Outland when Illidan deposed Magtheridon as lord of the shattered world. As the leader of Illidan's naga, Vashj and her followers set up operations in the Coilfang Reservoir in Zangarmarsh, where the naga began to pump water from the region's lakes into their underground lair. During the invasion of Outland, adventurers invaded the Serpentshrine Cavern where Vashj made her lair and slew the Coilfang matron.

After her death, Vashj's soul was sent to Maldraxxus—the warlike realm of the Necrolords in the Shadowlands—where she became a baroness serving under Margrave Akarek in the House of Eyes, a faction of spymasters and assassins. The house was ultimately betrayed and destroyed by the House of Rituals, but Vashj remained a leader of the surviving Eyes and eventually joined forces with the House of the Chosen in the war against the traitorous Necrolords.

Biography

Vashj, Azshara's handmaiden.

Lady Vashj was born in the Highborne city of Vashj'ir[2] as the daughter of Matron Lestharia Vashj, the city's beloved ruler. At some point, Vashj came to the night elf capital of Zin-Azshari and became one of Queen Azshara's personal handmaidens. Vashj considered it her birthright to serve Azshara. She copied the queen's hairstyle and clothing as much as possible. When the queen made Vashj her foremost handmaiden, remaining in the queen's favor became Vashj's sole concern.[3] She was described as "quite beautiful, with exotic, feline eyes" although she was still not as beautiful as Azshara herself.

War of the Ancients

WoW-novel-logo-16x62.png This section concerns content related to the Warcraft novels, novellas, or short stories.

When the Highborne were contacted by the titan Sargeras, Azshara was enthralled by Sargeras' vast might. Like the queen, Vashj looked forward to his arrival on Azeroth; both women were certain that he would find Azshara irresistible.

The queen did indeed possess amazing charisma, and she doubtless enhanced it with magic. With a quiet word or a mere glance, Azshara could inspire any number of violent emotions; passion and rage were her favorite choices. Driven by sudden outbreaks of jealousy, her subjects occasionally squabbled over her affections and fought duels in the name of her honor. The queen was amused by such displays and did not always intervene to save the combatants from harm. It was precisely this sort of possessive fury that affected Vashj when Azshara and her handmaidens paid a visit to High Priestess Tyrande Whisperwind. Tyrande had been captured by the Burning Legion and imprisoned in the palace. On a whim, the queen offered to make Tyrande one of her handmaidens, but Tyrande politely declined, saying she was sworn to Elune before all others. Azshara was irritated by Tyrande's refusal, however diplomatic, and departed shortly thereafter.[3]

Vashj could not forget the queen's offer so easily: the memory became a torment. Despite the fact that Tyrande had refused the queen, Vashj came to see the priestess as a rival for Azshara's affections. Irrationally certain that she had to act, Vashj tried to kill Tyrande but failed. Vashj then fled the prison cell before her attempt on Tyrande's life could be discovered.[3]

Cursed and transformed

Despite the Highborne's attempts to aid the Legion in summoning Sargeras, the portal to the Twisting Nether was ultimately closed before Sargeras could reach Azeroth. The Well of Eternity was unable to withstand the added magical strain, and it began to collapse in on itself. Under the sudden impact, Zin-Azshari and the Well were blasted downward toward the ocean floor. The Well pierced the planet's molten core just before being utterly obliterated. Ancient Kalimdor was split apart, and the seas rushed into to fill the voids between the new landmasses. Azshara, Vashj, and quite a few other Highborne were caught in the rushing waters. Instead of drowning, however, Vashj and many others were cursed and transformed into naga. Despite her subsequent mutations, Vashj has managed to retain her memories and personality. She has also become immortal, and she is not the only naga to receive this unexpected boon.[3]

Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne

WC3RoC-logo.png This section concerns content related to Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos or its expansion The Frozen Throne.
Vashj as a naga.
Vashj in Warcraft III.

Some time after the Third War, the demon lord Kil'jaeden contacted Illidan Stormrage, who was on Azeroth. Although Illidan had worked against the Legion's interests in the past, Kil'jaeden was willing to give Illidan another chance. If Illidan destroyed the Frozen Throne, Kil'jaeden promised to grant anything Illidan might desire. Accordingly, Illidan sought out new allies. He cast a powerful spell that reached the depths of the ocean, and a group of naga led by Lady Vashj responded, calling in some old Highborne debts.[4] One and all, they pledged themselves to Illidan. The naga did not come because of the history they shared with the former night elf, nor did they respect his demonic power. They came because the Old Gods willed it and they sent them to make sure his campaign against the Lich King succeeded so that it could spark a new war on Azeroth. If the former night elf became troublesome, they could simply command the naga to cut out his fel-corrupted heart.[5] Their first act of loyalty was to facilitate Illidan's escape from Azshara in Kalimdor, and bring him to the Broken Isles and the Tomb of Sargeras.

When Maiev Shadowsong confronted Vashj, the sea witch inside of the tomb, she told Maiev that her justice had no place there, and when the warden demanded how she would know anything of the night elven way, Vashj replied by telling that the naga were night elves once. Then she slithered off to join Illidan in the Chamber of the Eye. Illidan and the naga retrieved a magical artifact known as the Eye of Sargeras. To use the eye, Illidan needed an additional source of magic. He located Dalaran and sent Vashj ahead to Lordaeron to scout the ley lines.[5] When she arrived, her presence was noticed by the Lich King, who sent the Scourge to the ruins as well. Illidan and naga sorcerers later channeled a destructive spell through the Eye in order to destroy the Frozen Throne. Vashj and her naga were awed by the display of raw power. However, their attempt was thwarted, and Illidan made a hasty retreat to Outland in the hope of evading Kil'jaeden's wrath.

Many naga died during the attack, but Lady Vashj and her surviving naga had managed to slip away from the fighting and take shelter deep within nearby Lordamere Lake. Illidan ordered her to find new allies for his army while he would scout Draenor.[6]

Further allies

Illidan, Akama, Vashj, and Kael'thas battle Magtheridon.

At Illidan's direction, Lady Vashj and her naga sought out the Prince Kael'thas Sunstrider and his group of blood elves. Kael had been under the oppressive whip of a human general named Garithos, who had sent Kael and his people on missions that any laymen could do while keeping the elves from the front lines. Kael first encountered Vashj when he found his shipyard ruined, and thus his means across the river scuttled. She approached him with an offer of assistance. Kael was hesitant, having fought the naga alongside Maiev at Dalaran—but Vashj insisted, and Kael accepted. Vashj watched Garithos' rage at Kael's dealings with her. But Garithos then sent Kael and his elves against an invading force of undead. Kael was eager to prove himself in battle, but Garithos recalled Kael's support, siege, and cavalry units to the front lines, leaving Kael with a very meager standing force.

Vashj felt that the time was ripe to intervene, and so offered her troops to strengthen his own. Kael was again hesitant, but Vashj insisted that it was better to survive than to obey the word of a rash tyrant. Together they defeated the undead forces and recaptured their bases. When Garithos approached, Kael ushered Vashj away, saying he could not ensure her safety. She did, but watched as Kael and his people were taken away in shackles supposedly for betraying the Alliance by siding with the naga. Vashj infiltrated the dungeons of Dalaran through the sewer system and found Kael, killed his guards, and freed him. Vashj told Kael that escape was possible through the remains of the gate Kel'Thuzad had erected to summon Archimonde. She helped Kael escape the jails and kill Jailor Kassan, robbing valuable items from the magical stores as they went, and freeing his people from their cells. Upon reaching the streets, however, Garithos proceeded to assault the portal with his forces. After a perilous defense, they fled through the portal to Outland.

When they came through the portal to the shattered landscape of Outland, Vashj explained that it was once the homeworld of the orcs, but the destruction had turned it into the barren, broken waste it now was, and that Illidan was somewhere waiting for them. Vashj and Kael searched fruitlessly for days, until Vashj caught a familiar scent on the wind. Illidan had been captured by Maiev and was being hauled back to her base in a magical prison wagon. Vashj and Kael battled Maiev for dominance, but finally reclaimed the wagon and brought it back to their base, where Illidan was freed. Illidan thanked Vashj for her loyalty, but Vashj gave credit to Kael. Illidan then told them of his plan to rule Outland by overthrowing the current ruler Magtheridon.

And so Vashj and Kael defended Illidan as he closed the dimensional gates that supplied Magtheridon with his reinforcements. After they were all successfully closed, Illidan's armies marched on the Black Temple. Vashj and her naga infiltrated the aqueducts and attacked the Black Temple from a side entrance, as Akama and his Broken destroyed the automated defenses. Vashj was responsible for killing the Mistress of Torment with aid from only a few myrmidons and snap dragons for support. Eventually, they battled their way to Magtheridon, and in a titanic battle, defeated him.

But Kil'jaeden appeared and mocked their foolhardy attempt to betray him. He then commanded that they find the Frozen Throne and destroy it. Vashj, Kael, and Illidan went back to Azeroth and advanced upon Northrend, only to be met at every turn by Arthas and Anub'arak, Ner'zhul's prime generals. The battle came down to single combat between Illidan and the death knight Arthas Menethil. Arthas won the fight and warned Illidan to leave the planet and never return.

The Burning Crusade

The Burning Crusade This section concerns content related to The Burning Crusade.

Main article: Lady Vashj (tactics)
Lady Vashj in World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade.

To this day, Lady Vashj still serves her master Illidan in the wastes of Outland. After Gathios surveyed the defenses of Black Temple and found a weak point in its sewers, the blood elf asked Lady Vashj for assistance. She sent her champion, High Warlord Naj'entus and a small group of naga to guard the sewers.[7]

Under the command of Vashj, the naga recently have begun to enslave the tribes of the Broken in an effort to bolster the naga's workforce and further their agenda in Outland. Nearly all of the Wastewalker tribe has been captured and put to work to drain the waters of Zangarmarsh. The plan was to take control of all the waters of Outland, and through them, its people.[8] To command the engineers who maintain and operate this machinery, Lady Vashj hired the renowned Mekgineer Steamrigger, a gifted gnome technician whose illness has damaged his sanity.[9]

Vashj herself carefully monitors Coilfang's operations from her seat of power within Serpentshrine Cavern. Far more at home here among the waters of the reservoir than locked within the cold stone walls of Black Temple, Vashj maintains a close eye on her minions and personally oversees the draining of Zangarmarsh.[10] Lady Vashj would later partake in the battle that would destroy Warden Shadowsong's forces and result in the warden's capture.[11]

During the invasion of Outland, adventurers invaded the Serpentshrine Cavern where Vashj made her lair and slew the Coilfang matron, her dying breath an apology to her master.

Attunement to the Battle of Mount Hyjal

After the Sundering ten thousand years earlier, Illidan had taken seven vials containing the waters of the Well of Eternity in order to create a new one at the top of Mt. Hyjal. Illidan used three to create the new Well of Eternity, but it was not known what happened to the other four until recently. It was revealed that Vashj received one of these vials, as did Kael'thas. In order to access the Battle of Mount Hyjal in the Caverns of Time, one must enter Serpentshrine Cavern, Vashj's inner sanctum. The players must then slay Vashj and take her Vial of Eternity. Since the 2.4 patch Black Temple and Mount Hyjal no longer require attunement.

Shadowlands

Shadowlands This section concerns content related to Shadowlands.

Shortly after her death, Vashj's soul arrived in Maldraxxus, an afterlife for those who value strength, serving the House of Eyes, who are the spymasters of the Necrolord Covenant. Although she could have chosen to use her night elf form in the afterlife, she chose to stay a naga because it was in that form that she was recognized and rewarded for her cunning and resolve, as opposed to being a simple handmaiden only valued for her beauty as a night elf. Vashj swiftly earned the rank of baroness and came to serve as the trusted hand of Margrave Akarek. The house's other baroness was Draka, but she and Vashj did not get along.[12]

Akarek at one point sent Vashj to investigate mysterious behavior in the House of Rituals. Shortly after, the same house destroyed the House of Eyes and killed Akarek. Draka—following the margrave's orders—went on to join the House of the Chosen, but Vashj saw this as Draka abandoning her loyalties and duties. Along with a group of surviving Eyes, including her servant Khaliiq, Vashj continued trying to complete her final mission by claiming revenge against Mor'Bitan, the lich responsible for her house's fall. Draka eventually sent the Maw Walker to find Vashj in the marsh of Glutharn's Decay and recruit her help to the Chosen's side, but Vashj refused to do so before her mission was complete. On the baroness' request, the Maw Walker captured Mor'Bitan's lieutenant Mephiles,[12][13] allowing Vashj to extract his memories and learn of a secret ritual Mor'Bitan was planning at the nearby Rotting Mound.[14] The Maw Walker and baroness worked together to sabotage the ritual before luring the lich into the open and killing him. This act of deception empowered one of the runes on the Maw Walker's runeblade, which Vashj recognized as having been forged by Maldraxxus' lost ruler, the Primus. She admitted that this changed things and that the hero's help had earned her allegiance, and so she agreed to travel to the Seat of the Primus to join her forces with Draka's.[15][16]

Locations

Notable appearances
Location Level range Health range
Lady Vashj (tactics) ?? 4,249,280
Memory of Vashj 82
5187,485
5H232,740
Maldraxxus ?? Boss 117,000

Appearance

Before her monstrous transformation, Vashj was described as being "quite beautiful". Her clothes were similar to those of her mistress, but lower quality. The only thing that made her stand out from the other handmaidens were her exotic feline eyes.[citation needed] 

After the Great Sundering, Vashj had turquoise/light blue skin, six arms with long, clawed and webbed fingers, and a long, scaly tail (which she joked about tripping over from time to time) with pink fins. In place of hair, she had about eighteen snakes on her head (one of which was actually a moray eel), which served as her "extra" eyes. Like most other female naga, her face largely retained its elven features, though it had exotic markings on it.

Quotes

Warcraft III:The Frozen Throne

For unit quotes, see Quotes of Warcraft III/Neutral Heroes#Naga Sea Witch.

Lady Vashj: You've come far enough, little warden. Your vaunted night elf justice has no jurisdiction here.
Maiev Shadowsong: What would you know of us or our justice, naga witch?
Lady Vashj: Why, my dear, we naga were once night elves!
The scene changes to several night elves assembled before a golden statue of Queen Azshara.
Lady Vashj: We were Azshara's chosen, the Highborne-- banished beneath the cruel seas when the Well of Eternity imploded around us!
Maiev Shadowsong: Impossible...
The scene changes again subtly. The night elves are twisted naga and the statue of beautiful Queen Azshara now bears a naga's tail.
Lady Vashj: Cursed, transformed... we have waited ten thousand years to retake our rightful place in the world. And now, with Lord Illidan's help, we shall!
Maiev Shadowsong: Not while I draw breath!
Lady Vashj: Your courage is commendable, but it shall avail you nothing.

The Burning Crusade

Main article: Lady Vashj (tactics)#Quotes

Shadowlands

Dialogue

Main article: A Common Peril#Notes
Main article: Glorious Pursuits#Notes
Main article: War is Deception#Notes
Main article: Entangling Web#Notes
Main article: Seek Your Mark#Notes
Main article: Straight to the Heart#Notes
Main article: Her Rightful Place#Notes

On-click

Greetings
  • From strife comes opportunity.
  • Grief accomplishes nothing.
  • I stand ready.
  • I will not be trifled with.
  • Let our will be done.
  • Make it quick.
  • Vengeance awaits.
Irritated
Farewell
  • Do not miss your mark.
  • I do so enjoy our conversations.
  • I will not linger here forever.
  • In Akarek's name.
  • Power belongs to those who claim it.
  • The shadows cannot obscure my glory.
  • You are either an asset or a liability.

Gossip

Glutharn's Decay
I grow anxious to act.

If the player has defeated her encounter in Serpentshrine Cavern:

Gossip Lady Vashj? What are you doing in Maldraxxus?
The title is "Baroness", little <race>.
Are you truly surprised to see me? After all, you are the one who sent me here. My soul arrived in Maldraxxus shortly after you... dispatched me in Serpentshrine Cavern.
My aptitude swiftly earned me a place at the side of Margrave Akarek. I was his trusted hand, eager to execute his vision.
He is only a memory now. The House of Eyes is gone, but I will not rest until I have my vengeance.
Seat of the Primus
I had always imagined the afterlife would be extravagant and beautiful--a realm all my own where I could dote and be doted on.
Imagine my surprise when I arrived in a necrotic wasteland more barren than Outland and more hostile than the crushing depths...
Imagine my surprise when I liked it.
This fight for dominance is more exhilarating than any luxuries could ever be.

In the TCG

Icon-TCG.png This section contains information from the World of Warcraft Trading Card Game and is considered non-canon.

In her pre-Sundering night elf form, Vashj is classified as a night elf priest.[17]

In Hearthstone

Hearthstone This section contains information exclusive to Hearthstone and is considered non-canon.
  • Lady Vashj appears as a legendary minion for the shaman class in the Ashes of Outland expansion for Hearthstone. Upon death, she shuffles back into the player's deck as Vashj Prime. Her flavor text reads: "Personal handmaiden to Queen Azshara turned lieutenant to Illidan Stormrage. Also quite the hair sssstylist."
  • Players who prepurchased the Ashes of Outland Mega Bundle also unlocked Vashj as an alternate shaman hero. Her flavor text reads: "Handmaiden to Queen Azshara, Lieutenant to Illidan Stormrage. Also responsible for many people's fear of swimming."
  • In addition, pre-purchasing the Mega Bundle unlocked the Vashj-themed "Serpentine" card back. The flavor text reads: "We have artfully arranged the remnants from Lady Vashj's last haircut for your viewing pleasure."

In the RPG

Icon-RPG.png This section contains information from the Warcraft RPG which is considered non-canon.

Abilities

Vashj leans on her combat abilities more than her magic, but she is still a formidable sorceress. She is peerless with her magic bow. She wears Witch's Circlet. Her longbow, Frostfathom, was crafted by the Moon Guard and enchanted by Queen Azshara.[19] Lady Vashj favors wind and water elemental powers when casting offensively. A retinue of naga myrmidon bodyguards always accompanies her.[20]

Notes and trivia

Gallery

Fan art

Videos

See also

References

External links