Know Your Lore: The Lord Admiral of Kul Tiras
When last we left off, Katherine Proudmoore had finally realized that her nation was in trouble. Her best friend, Priscilla Ashvane, had stabbed her in the back and attempted a coup with the help of Azerite laced weapons and a fleet of pirates, destroying the protective Daelin’s Gate in the process and leaving Boralus exposed. But that was far from the only troubles that Kul Tiras faced. Mad cultists had infected the Tidesages of Stormsong Valley with their lunacy, threatening to hand the entire Kul Tiras fleet over to Queen Azshara herself, and Drustvar had fallen silent as the Heartsbane Coven spread.
Devastated at having lost her dearest friend, Katherine took stock and after a conversation with Alliance representative Genn Greymane and a Death Knight, realized that the one person she needed most to find was the very person she’d abandoned to Priscilla Ashvane’s version of justice when she arrived in Boralus — Lady Jaina Proudmoore, her daughter.
To find her, Katherine’s agent would be forced to deal with all of the evil that was besieging Kul Tiras, and in the end, it wasn’t just a daughter that Katherine found.
This post contains spoilers for the main Alliance storyline in Battle for Azeroth.
At first, Jaina’s location was unknown. The Ashvane Company had taken her somewhere — not to Tol Dagon, the prison Priscilla was running as her own private fiefdom — and it was up to the Alliance’s best to find out where she’d been placed. With the aid of Cyrus Crestfall, Taelia Fordragon, and Flynn Fairwind, and a judicious amount of brutality towards Ashvane Company operatives, a cipher was discovered that contained clues to her location. But of course it’s never that simple, and soon raids were being organized on Freeport to gain a chest that was in Harlan Sweet’s possession and then Tol Dagon itself for the very key needed to open said chest.
But once this was accomplished, the truth was revealed. Jaina had not been executed, as Katherine had feared, but in a way it might have been worse — for she’d been exiled to Fate’s End, a desolate hunk of rock off the coast of Stormsong that only Tidesages could travel to and which not even they dared to set foot upon.
Alliance heroes are made of stern stuff, of course. Still, to get to Fate’s End, the aid of Brother Pike of the Storm’s Wake was enlisted. It took some doing, but in the end, Brother Pike aided in the trip out to Fate’s End, but all was not as it seemed. Jaina’s staff was found, but Jaina herself was not. A confrontation with the Drust soon made it clear that the original inhabitants of Kul Tiras had spirited away Jaina Proudmoore to Thros itself, the Blighted Lands where the souls of the Drust languished eternally.
The Proudmoore Legacy
Katherine would not accept this indignity. She’d lost her husband and her sons, and would not suffer the loss of Jaina to Gorak Tul and his wicker abominations. Enlisting the aid of Lucille Waycrest and her Order of Embers, she sent her agent to Drustvar to find a way into Thros itself. Raids on the Heartsbane Coven in their strongholds soon followed and Lucille determined that by finding the heart of Gorak Tul’s power in the basement of her own family home, they could empower a means to enter Thros.
That raid accomplished, Waycrest sent word to Katherine Proudmore herself that in order to enter Thros, they would need to find Gol Inath, a massive tree sacred to the ancient Drust. Katherine and her escort journeyed to Gol Inath but the escorting forces were all slain by the Heartsbane Coven, leaving Katherine and the Alliance agent alone to voyage into Thros in search of Jaina.
Within Thros, Katherine was able to witness key events from Jaina’s past from her daughter’s perspective and came to an understanding of why Jaina had done what had seemed some unthinkable — why she’d stepped aside and allowed Daelin to die at the hands of the Horde at Theramore. She saw the weight Jaina was carrying, the doubt that came from having witnessed so much calamity and disaster. The day Arthas decided to cull Stratholme, and how it agonized her that she’d just left instead of trying to stay and convince him. The choice of the Kirin Tor to allow the Horde back in, the Battle for Undercity and how Jaina had prevented Varian Wrynn and the Alliance from destroying the Horde right there, and of course Daelin Proudmoore’s death all haunted Jaina. Katherine got to witness all of it.
Escaping Thros and confronting Ashvane
Katherine managed to bring Jaina back to herself by interrupting the vision of Jaina’s return to Kul Tiras just as the memory of herself was about to tear the pendant Jaina had worn to the island nation from her neck. She managed to reach out to Jaina, saying that it was time they did it right, that she couldn’t have saved her father from himself.
Even after managing to convince Jaina’s splintered soul that it was better to move on then wallow in despair, there was still the menace of Gorak Tul to be dealt with. Fortunately, Jaina’s ordeal had done nothing to lessen her command of the arcane and together with a truly fearsome Death Knight she dispatched Gorak Tul and escaped Thros with Katherine.
Any jubilation at this reunion would have to wait, however — Priscilla Ashvane had not been idle while Katherine sought out her daughter. With the full might of the Irontide Pirates at her back and an alliance with minions of the deep such as Viq’Goth, Priscilla nearly succeeded in her quest to overthrow the Proudmoore line and sizes Boralus for herself. But in the end, Katherine proved she’d learned from what she’d experienced by returning Daelin’s pendant to Jaina. Jaina used the pendant and her own power to find the ensorcelled Kul Tiran fleet, trapped by the rogue Tidesages who served Queen Azshara. Then she brought them home, and suddenly Priscilla’s fleet was outnumbered and outgunned by the massive Kul Tiran navy.
The return of the Lord Admiral
In the end, Priscilla felt surrender preferable to being blasted into pieces by the fleet. But with her surrender and the undreamt of return of her son Tandred, Katherine realized that her time as Lord Admiral had come to an end. She never wanted the position in the first place, having only taken it up because Daelin had died. Now, with great relief, she could finally pass it on to the person who had done what she’d hoped of doing — her prodigal daughter, who had returned to Kul Tiras, faced her past, and freed the country from Priscilla’s schemes once and for all.
Thus did Jaina Proudmoore become Lord Admiral of Kul Tiras, and Kul Tiras joined the Alliance. The Lord Admiral had at last returned home.
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