Early Troll Civilization
Below you can read the history of the trolls, beginning from 16,000 years ago and continuing up to the Second War. From their beginnings as lords of Kalimdor to the devastation of the Sundering and the rise and fall of the Gurubashi and Amani empires, the trolls share a blood-stained history.
- The Rise of Troll Civilization
- Newer Foes: The Kaldorei
- A Savage God
- Civil War Among the Jungle Trolls
- Defeat of the Amani Empire
The Rise of Troll Civilization
The earliest known trolls belonged to the Zandalar tribe, from which all other trolls are descended. On the whole, the Zandalari valued knowledge above all else, but a significant portion of the tribe hungered for conquest instead. These disaffected trolls eventually departed to form tribes of their own. As time went on, what remained of the Zandalar tribe came to be regarded as an overarching priest caste for all trolls. The Zandalari worked tirelessly to record and preserve troll history and traditions, and these wise trolls acted to further the goals of troll society as a whole. Greatly respected by all other trolls, the Zandalari nevertheless remained apart from the day-to-day politics of their people.
About 16,000 years ago, trolls lorded over much of ancient Kalimdor, which was the only continent on Azeroth at the time. Out of the tribes that had split off from the Zandalari, two troll empires had emerged: the Gurubashi empire of the southeastern jungles and the Amani empire of the middle forestlands.
Several smaller troll tribes were also driven out of civilized lands and into the far north, where they settled in the region that would later be known as Northrend. These tribes founded a small nation known as Zul'Drak, but this kingdom never achieved the size or prosperity of the southern empires.
The Gurubashi and Amani empires had little love for one another, but their conflict rarely escalated into war. At the time, their greatest common enemy was a third empire: the civilization of Azj'Aqir. The aqir were intelligent insectoids who ruled the lands of the far west. These clever insectoids were greatly expansionistic and incredibly evil. The aqir were obsessed with eradicating all non-insect life from the fields of Kalimdor.
The trolls fought the aqir for thousands of years, but never succeeded in winning a true victory. Eventually, due to the trolls' persistence, the aqiri kingdom split in half. Its citizens fled to separate colonies in the far northern and southern regions of the continent. Two aqiri city-states emerged: Azjol-Nerub in the northern wastes, and Ahn'Qiraj in the southern desert. Although the trolls suspected that there were other aqiri colonies beneath Kalimdor, their existence was never verified.
With the insectoids driven into exile, the two troll empires returned to business as usual. Neither civilization expanded much farther than its original boundaries.
Newer Foes: The Kaldorei
The night elves developed along the shores of the Well of Eternity, and so they were strengthened by its energies. Despite the trolls' attempts to keep this new race from claiming further territories, the night elves built up a mighty empire that expanded rapidly across Kalimdor. Wielding fierce magics never before imagined by the trolls, the night elves soon threatened the two greatest empires in the world.
The night elves systematically dismantled the trolls' defenses and supply chains. Unable to counter the elves' destructive magics, the trolls buckled under the onslaught. The territories of the Gurubashi and Amani empires fragmented within only a few years, and the night elves' shockingly quick victory incurred the trolls' eternal hatred.
Eventually the night elves were burned by the arcane fires they had sought to control: the elves' reckless use of magic lured the Burning Legion to the world of Azeroth. The demons crushed much of the night elves' civilization. There are no records to indicate that the Legion attacked either troll civilization, but it is likely that battles took place across the breadth of the continent.
At the end of this terrible conflict, known today as the War of the Ancients, the Well of Eternity imploded. The resulting shockwave shattered ancient Kalimdor into several landmasses and drove the center of the continent far beneath the sea. Large tracts of land that once belonged to the Amani and Gurubashi empires still exist in the present-day lands of Quel'Thalas and Stranglethorn, respectively.
A Savage God
The long centuries following the Great Sundering were difficult ones for the troll race. The dauntless trolls rebuilt their ravaged cities and set about reclaiming some of their former power. Even so, famine and terror became commonplace within the broken kingdoms. The jungle trolls, driven to desperate ends, sought aid from ancient mystical forces. Both troll empires shared a central belief in a great pantheon of primitive gods, but the Gurubashi empire alone would fall under the sway of the darkest one.
Hakkar the Soulflayer answered the jungle trolls' plea. Hakkar gave the trolls his secrets of blood and helped them extend their civilization across most of Stranglethorn Vale and certain islands in the South Seas. He brought the jungle trolls great power, but in return the bloodthirsty god required that souls be sacrificed to him.
His demands quickly escalated, and he grew impatient with his loyal priests, the Hakkari. He told them to find a way to summon him physically into the world, so that he might directly drain the blood of his victims. So vast was his hunger that he dreamed of devouring the lives of all mortal creatures. Most of the Hakkari had already begun to guess at his insatiable appetite, and they were horrified at the prospect of the damage he might wreak and the power he might gain if given the ability to feed unchecked. Nonetheless, the Atal'ai, a small extremist faction of the Hakkari, decided to do as Hakkar wished.
Civil War Among the Jungle Trolls
Before the Atal'ai could complete the summoning, the other jungle trolls, including the Hakkari, rose up in open revolt against the cruel god. Even the Zandalar tribe was drawn into the conflict, for they saw that Hakkar presented a deadly threat to the entire world. The magics that were unleashed laid waste to Zul'Gurub, but just as the battle seemed most hopeless, the trolls succeeded in destroying Hakkar's avatar. Driven from the jungles, the Atal'ai were hunted nearly to extinction. Only a small group of Atal'ai escaped into the Swamp of Sorrows, where they secretly built a great temple to their god: the Temple of Atal'Hakkar.
Having helped fight the fanatical Atal'ai, the Hakkari hoped their role in carrying out sacrifices for Hakkar would go unpunished. They soon discovered otherwise. Once the more immediate threat of the Atal'ai had been eliminated, the jungle trolls turned on the Hakkari as well. Many former priests were tortured and executed in grisly public spectacles. Others were torn apart in mob violence. The luckiest Hakkari were simply stripped of all their possessions and forcibly ejected from Zul'Gurub. They were warned not to return on pain of death.
Bitter and desperate, the surviving Hakkari reached a terrible decision. They tracked down their former enemies, the Atal'ai, and offered to help them summon Hakkar into the world. Pleased by the suffering that the Hakkari had clearly undergone, the Atal'ai were convinced of the Hakkari's change of heart, and accordingly welcomed them into the temple. The Atal'ai and Hakkari continued to do their god's work there, preparing for his arrival into the physical world. The green Dragon Aspect, Ysera the Dreamer, soon learned of the evil priests' plans and smashed the temple beneath the marshes. To this day, the temple's ruins are guarded by mighty green dragons.
The remnants of the Gurubashi empire went their separate ways, claiming territories in the vast jungles of Stranglethorn Vale. These scattered tribes began fighting one another, and at length the Darkspear tribe, which was smaller than most of the other tribes, was driven off the continent altogether and took to the ocean. Hoping to avoid further conflict, they settled on a remote desert island.
A fragile peace settled over the broken empire. Nevertheless, trolls spoke of a prophecy that Hakkar would one day be reborn into the world, and on that day, he would consume it whole.
Defeat of the Amani Empire
The War of the Ancients and the Sundering both came about because the night elves had abused arcane magic. Still, the highest caste of night elves, the Highborne, refused to relinquish arcane magic. As a result, they were exiled from Kalimdor, and they sailed across the sea and landed in Lordaeron. These exiles renamed themselves the high elves.
As they pressed further inland, the high elves developed a blood feud with the forest trolls, who controlled most of the northern reaches of Lordaeron. Finally the weary elves reached a forested region that reminded them of their distant homeland in Kalimdor. Driving out the resident trolls, the high elves established the kingdom of Quel'Thalas.
Elven magi crafted monolithic Runestones along the borders of Quel'Thalas. These massive stones powered a magical shield intended to mask the elves' magic from extra-dimensional threats and protect the land from invasion. The Runestones also frightened away the superstitious trolls for a time.
The hard-won peace of Quel'Thalas endured for roughly four thousand years, at which point the forest trolls gathered together and staged a vicious campaign to destroy the elven intruders forever. The high elves were hopelessly outnumbered. King Anasterian Sunstrider of Quel'Thalas desperately sought allies to aid him in the war, and so it came to pass that the king struck a partnership with the human nation of Arathor.
The elves taught a small number of humans how to wield magic. With these new magi and the armies of Arathor, the high elves succeeded in destroying the trolls' power base. The Amani empire would never fully recover from its defeat.