Welcome to Walking with Bronze, LoreCrafted's weekly column where we speculate about the future of Warcraft lore. Every Friday (or so) we peer into one of the many potential futures for this beloved franchise of ours and wax philosophical about what may eventually come.
With Wrath of the Lich King deep into beta and on the horizon for a live release, I figured it was about time we began to speculate upon the next expansion. Hey, it's never too early, right?
The popular guess right now is the Emerald Dream, and while I tend to think that's definitely good fodder for another expansion, a part of me expects that the next big bad will be Azshara herself. Afterall, she is the last of the original tier of villains introduced prior to World of Warcraft, which puts her near Arthas in terms of tenure. If this is the case, then we're likely to be traveling beneath the waves into the dark realms of Nazjatar, the home of the naga.
As you may know, Nazjatar was once known as Zin-Azshari, the ancient palace of the kaldorei highborne. When the Well of Eternity was destroyed and the world sundered, the palace and most of what remained of the city sank beneath the encroaching flood waters. There, beneath the waves, dark voices whispered to a drowning Queen Azshara and offered her power in exchange for subservience. Azshara agreed, and thus were born the naga.
I have a personal speculation about what would be neat to see happen to the world of Warcraft should Azshara be our next target (as well as what I'd like to see in World of Warcraft as a game, too):
With the shattering of the Lich King's base of power in Northrend, Queen Azshara finally decides to make her move. Calling forth her loyal sea witches, Azshara raises the naga nation of Nazjatar from its ten thousand year slumber at the bottom of the Maelstrom and brings it gloriously to the surface.
As the raging stormwaters batter the twisted mixture of new and old architecture of once-Zin-Azshari, the forces of the Alliance and Horde find themselves stranded on Northrend. Unable to easily return home by ship, the gnomes and goblins work feverishly to provide air travel.
Upon the mainlands the waters of the Great Sea begin to flood to coastal nations of Azeroth. Gilneas, long locked away behind the safety of the Greymane Wall, opens its gates to the Alliance once again as refugees pour forth from the deadly tides. Kul Tiras, too, mobilizes itself for the first time since Daelin Proudmoore's defeat on kalimdor. The oceans are angry, and it is time for the sea-faring nation to go to war against the minions of the deep and protect its landlocked neighbors.
While chaos rages upon the surface above her, Queen Azshara herself remains hidden away below the sea. She and her powerful attendants initiate the beginning of a ritual that would leave nothing but destruction in their Drowning Wake--the unshaping of Azeroth!