Ten thousand years ago, the lands of Azeroth were torn apart by the Sundering. As the continents cracked open and the ocean rushed in, the Highborne elves and their great queen, Azshara, seemed doomed to a watery grave. But what she found in the deep was not oblivion . . . but opportunity.
N'Zoth: Hmm. Deal? I like deals.
Azshara: Who are you? Show yourself! At once.
N'Zoth: For a thousand years, bound beneath these waves, I have watched you.I have tasted your essence.
N'Zoth: It won't be long now. Your death is now. Only I can sustain you. Let go. Serve me.
Azshara: You? You are nothing.
N'Zoth: Nothing? I am a god. Before you walked this land, I ruled.
N'Zoth: Serve me. And we will rebuild my empire.
N'Zoth: No? You dare... you will die!
Azshara: A queen! Not a slave. You've watched me for a thousand years. So you know what I want. Take my people. With them, I will raise an army, conquer your enemies, build an empire...as queen. Or...let me die and you will remain here...a prisoner. The god...of nothing.
Sharas'dal, Scepter of Tides, Part Seven
An excerpt from The War of the Ancients, by the historian Llore:
Azshara's obsession with remaking the world led her straight into the clutches of the Legion's ruler, Sargeras. The queen forged a pact with him for unfathomable power. All that Sargeras asked in return was for Azshara and her Highborne to summon his minions into Azeroth.
It was a difficult request, even for such gifted sorcerers. Azshara and the Highborne approached the challenge with great fervor. Legends say the queen helped her servants open a gateway for the Legion's agents. She used Sharas'dal to gather the Well of Eternity's energies and fuel the Highborne's spellwork.
Through this portal, the first armor-clad demons spilled into Azeroth. Many more would follow. The Legion would march across the land, spreading fire and death, bringing war and cataclysm.
Sharas'dal, Scepter of Tides, Part Eight
The War of the Ancients ended in catastrophe. Azshara's hubris and abuse of power would lead to the destruction of the Well of Eternity. The enormous lake buckled in upon itself, eventually igniting a monstrous explosion that shattered the world's surface.
Azshara watched these events unfold from her broken palace. She refused to believe that her dreams of paradise were dead, that the world she had once cradled in her palms was coming apart beneath her feet. Many of the Highborne were just as delusional as the queen, and they remained at her side.
As the ocean roared in to fill the void left by the destroyed Well of Eternity, Azshara raised Sharas'dal high. She wove a magical shield around herself and the Highborne, saving them from being crushed by the colossal waves.
But it was only a momentary reprieve. The howling ocean soon swallowed the queen, Sharas'dal, and her followers.
Then it sucked them down and down into darkness.
Sharas'dal, Scepter of Tides, Part Nine
From a fragmented text called The Song of Scales, author unknown:
They drifted into the abyss, but Azshara and her Highborne remained unbroken.
The darkness around them was absolute, and so the queen willed Sharas'dal to bring them light. It did.
Azshara's and the Highborne's blood ran cold, and so the queen willed Sharas'dal to warm them. It did.
Their lungs burned for air, and so the queen willed Sharas'dal to let them breathe the water... but it did not. The scepter could not save them. Oblivion spread its arms and beckoned the desperate Highborne.
As the ocean crushed the life from their bodies, ancient creatures stirred in the darkness. Their whispers flowed through the currents. Their powers wrapped tight around the queen and her servants.
The Highborne became something new. Something more.
A fleece of scales shimmered over their skin. Tails thrashed against the currents. The unknown entities made the queen and her followers one with the sea... they made them into the naga.
Sharas'dal, Scepter of Tides, Part Ten
Though Azshara's old empire was in ruins, she crafted a new one far from the light of the sun. The queen and her naga servants created a capital, Nazjatar, at the bottom of the sea. With patience and cunning, they expanded their dominion over the oceans. It is even said that Azshara nurtured an alliance with the mysterious and powerful entities who had transformed them into Naga.
As the years wore on, Azshara relied on Sharas'dal less and less. She still treasured the scepter, but she found it was more useful in the hands of her fearsome sea witches. These loyal servants wielded Sharas'dal as a weapon to spread the naga's domain and crush all who opposed them.
Sharas'dal, Scepter of Tides, Part Eleven
It was not long before the naga sea witches learned to harness Sharas'dal as Azshara had. With a swipe of the scepter, they drove thousands of aquatic predators into a frenzy and unleashed them against troublesome sea giants. With a whispered incantation, they boiled Kvaldir raiders from the inside out and scattered their remains to the currents.
When the sea witches were not wielding Sharas'dal, Azshara would often carry it at her side and reminisce about times long past. She still remembered Lord Xavius's promise: so long as she kept the scepter close, it would bring her prosperity and great power.
The queen had lost much, but she was not dead. Far from it. In her heart, she knew that one day her empire under the sea would eclipse even that of the ancient night elves. One day, the world would be hers again, and she would not let it slip through her fingers a second time.