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About 16,000 years ago, the Gurubashi and Amani empires had little love for one another, but rarely warred against each other. 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 them for many thousands of years, but never succeeded in winning a true victory over the aqir. Eventually, due to the trolls' persistence, the aqiri kingdom split in half as its citizens fled to separate colonies in the far northern and southern regions of the continent.
Two Aqiri city-states emerged in the northern wastes and in the southern desert, built upon conquered tol'vir cities. Though the trolls suspected that there were other aqiri colonies beneath Kalimdor, their existence was never verified. As a third kingdom is known to have risen in the lands now known as Pandaria, the trolls' suspicions may have been proven correct.
The Azj'Aqir kingdoms of Azjol-Nerub and Ahn'Qiraj have survived in present day Northrend and Tanaris (respectively). The Mantid kingdom have also survived, protected with the rest of Pandaria from the catastrophic Sundering that ended the War of the Ancients. In a conversation he has with , credits their survival to the Kypari trees.
- It is hinted that the aqiri empire stretched as far as the lands that would much later be known as Quel'Thalas.