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- "Darkspear never die."
- — Warchief Vol'jin
During Thrall’s exodus from Lordaeron, the Horde rescued the Darkspear tribe of jungle trolls from the mysterious Sea Witch. The Darkspear tribe owed Thrall and the orcs a great debt and so allied themselves with the Horde in gratitude. Their relationship with the noble orcs and tauren has begun to change the Darkspear trolls’ savage natures. Darkspear trolls, however, deny their dark legacy. The Horde has taught them camaraderie, restraint and, to a lesser extent, kindness.
Once a part of the Gurubashi Empire, the portion that would eventually become Darkspear suffered heavily when the empire split into seperate tribes as they were the smallest in numbers.
As tribal rivalries erupted throughout the former Gurubashi Empire, the Darkspear tribe found themselves driven from their homeland in Stranglethorn Vale. Having settled on the Darkspear islands, which are believed today to have been a part of the Broken Isles, the tribe soon found themselves entangled in a conflict with a group of murlocs. Eventually they also found new enemies in humans when a Kul Tiras-fleet led by Kelen the Seeker landed on the island in search for some orcs who had stolen some ships. The trolls' fate seemed sealed until the orcish Warchief Thrall and his band of newly freed orcs, which were the orcs the humans were looking for, took shelter on the island after a heavy storm. The orcs managed to defeat the humans, but their victory was short-lived. Controlled by a Sea Witch, the Underworld Minions captured the Darkspears' leader Sen'jin along with Thrall and several orcs, trolls and humans. They were all brought to a complex prison made by caves below the island. Thrall managed to free himself and his companions, but was ultimately unable to save the trolls' leader. Although Sen'jin was sacrificed to the Sea Witch, he was able to reveal a vision he had in which Thrall would lead the Darkspear trolls from the island.
After returning to the island's surface, Thrall and his followers managed to fend off further attacks by the Sea Witch and her murloc minions, and set sail for Kalimdor once again. Under the new leadership of Vol'jin, the Darkspear swore allegiance to Thrall's Horde and followed him to Kalimdor. Now considered enemies by all other troll organizations except the Revantusk, Shatterspear, and the Zandalari, the Darkspear are held in contempt to this day. Yet, the Darkspear have not forgotten being driven from their ancestral homes, and this animosity is eagerly returned - especially towards the other jungle trolls. Having reached and founded the orc's new homeland, Durotar, the trolls carved out another home for themselves — this time among the Echo Isles on the eastern shores of the new orc kingdom.
However, with another approach by Kul Tiras and its navy, the Darkspear were forced to retreat inland under an onslaught of Destroyers, battleships, and Gryphon riders of the commander Admiral Daelin Proudmoore. The trolls Berserkers and Batriders fighting alongside their Horde brethren led by the beastmaster Rexxar, defeated the enemy armada and reclaimed their new home. Shortly thereafter, a witch doctor by the name of Zalazane began using dark magic to take the minds of his fellow Darkspear. As his army of mindless followers grew, Vol'jin ordered the free trolls to evacuate, and Zalazane took control of the Echo Isles. The Darkspear have since settled on the nearby shore, naming their new village after their old leader, Sen'jin. From Sen'jin Village they, along with their allies, send forces to battle Zalazane and his enslaved army. The Darkspears’ efforts, however, failed to drive Zalazane from the Echo Isles.
This section concerns content exclusive to The Burning Crusade.
During the course of Burning Crusade, the trolls kept a relatively low profile, although they did establish a fairly large presence in the swamplands of Zangarmarsh. From there, they seek to not only establish a solid base for the Horde in which they can defend the area against Alliance attacks and other threats, but to commune with and possibly call on the spirits of the broken world of Outland.
Wrath of the Lich King
This section concerns content exclusive to Wrath of the Lich King.
Following the victory against the Lich King in the frozen continent of Northrend, Vol’jin renewed his bid to defeat Zalazane and launched a brilliant assault on the isles. With the help of the tribe’s ancestral loa, the courageous Darkspears killed the maddened witch doctor and seized their embattled home. Of late, political changes within the Horde have sparked fears among the Darkspear tribe regarding its future. Vol’jin’s close ally Thrall recently named Garrosh Hellscream temporary Horde warchief. Thus far, the brash young orc has put the Darkspear leader and his tribe on edge, causing many trolls to leave the Horde capital, Orgrimmar. Although spirits are high among the Darkspears after Zalazane's Fall, tension lingers concerning what place the trolls will have in Garrosh’s Horde.
This section concerns content exclusive to Cataclysm.
In the wake of the Cataclysm, the Zandalari trolls gathered together Azeroth's troll tribes in an attempt to unify them and restore them to their former glory - even if it meant turning against the other races of Azeroth. Despite ensuring the aid of Daakara and the Amani and Jin'do and Gurubashi, the Zandalari failed in securing the allegiance Vol'jin and the Darkspear who view the Horde as their true people. Knowing the grave threat on the horizon and realizing that the Horde alone could not stop it, the Darkspear sent emissaries to both the Horde and the Alliance to combat the emerging threats in Zul'Gurub and Zul'Aman.
Mists of Pandaria
This section concerns content exclusive to Mists of Pandaria.
- See also: Troll (playable)
After Garrosh Hellscream failed to successfully assassinate the Darkspear Chieftain Vol'jin, Vol'jin recovered from his wounds in Pandaria and returned to Kalimdor to form the Darkspear Rebellion: an open Horde rebellion against Garrosh's tyranny. After acquiring all the allies he could, he took the fight to Garrosh's loyalists in the Barrens; culminating with Garrosh being overthrown in the Siege of Orgrimmar. Having earned the respect of the other Horde revolutionaries, Vol'jin was named the new Warchief of the Horde.
Warlords of Draenor
This section concerns content exclusive to Warlords of Draenor.
Darkspear trolls are often found in the company of reptiles. Their mount are raptors, they sell snakes as pets, and their shadow hunters summon cobras. According to Seer Janidi in Zabra'jin, the Darkspear consider the serpent to be a powerful spirit, but they disdain bird spirits as "weak, capricious, and best left to the Amani".
Like the other jungle troll tribes, the Darkspear are shown to be quite egalitarian in regards to gender. Some female trolls wear wedding nose rings.
They would seem to be skilled with alchemy based on the Troll Batriders skill with chemicals and the ability to upgrade Headhunters to Berserkers apparently through potions.
Among the Darkspears, two philosophies hold equal sway.
- Live in the Future
The Darkspears who were present when Thrall saved their tribe hold a great respect for the orc leader. Thrall’s spirituality and strength intrigued them, and the trolls decided that Thrall’s teachings held merit. These trolls see shamanism as a way to improve their race. They choose to live in the future. They enjoy their alliance with the Horde and support their new allies by revering what they revere.
Female trolls hold no place in regular troll society. Male trolls consider them mates, nothing more — though they honor female trolls who prove themselves in battle. Tauren (and orcs, due to a recent decree from Thrall) value their females as more than mates, and allow them to rise to positions of power. Female Darkspears find this concept interesting, and some choose to live in the future because they sense it affords them greater opportunities than standard troll culture.
Making a choice and implementing that choice are two different things, though. The Darkspears who try to live in the future struggle to reconcile their old habits with these new ways. Some come closer to the target than others, but what marks these trolls is their willingness to try.
- Do What it Takes
The Darkspears were in big trouble, and then Thrall saved them. The tribe swore loyalty to Thrall and joined the Horde, but some still cling to the old ways. They value their elaborate, structured culture, but they know the Horde does not approve. These trolls decided to do what it takes. They maintain the facade of embracing shamanism but either practice their voodoo traditions in secret, or blend the two in a strange amalgam. The Darkspears who have not entirely discarded their tie to voodoo don’t see themselves as betraying their Horde allies. They serve Thrall with utter loyalty, but remain pragmatic. Should the Horde fail the trolls, they have their ancestral faith to fall back on. Trolls who do what it takes also favor the witch doctor class, but carefully avoid the darker aspects of the calling (at least when other races are watching).
- Main article: Loa
- : Leader of the Darkspear tribe, successor to Sen'jin, ally to Thrall, first troll Warchief of the Horde.
- : Former leader of the Darkspear tribe, killed while defending the Broken Isles from invasion. Vol'jin's father.
- : Lead scout of the Darkspear tribe and the Horde. Expert in many areas of troll society.
- : Trusted advisor to Vol'jin. Mystic guide of the Darkpear tribe formerly along with Zalazane.
- : Former apprentice of Gadrin who enslaved most of the Darkspear tribe and took over the Echo Isles, until he was destroyed by Vol'jin and his allies.
- : Champion and quartermaster of the tribe. Participated in Zalazane's Fall.
- : First troll druid in history, taught by the raptor loa Gonk.
- : Darkspear emissary sent to Orgrimmar and Stormwind, helped fighting the Gurubashi resurgence in Northern Stranglethorn.
One tribe of jungle trolls was forced to overcome its prejudices when it encountered the orc Warchief Thrall, and his mighty Horde. The trolls of the Darkspear tribe, long since exiled from their ancestral lands in Stranglethorn Vale, were nearly destroyed by a band of aquatic murlocs, but Thrall and the Horde managed to save them. In return the grateful trolls swore an oath of eternal allegiance to the Horde.
Led by the cunning Shadow Hunter, Vol'jin, the Darkspear trolls now make their home in Durotar along with their orcish allies. Their village, named after their fallen tribal elder Sen'jin, lies along the eastern coast of the harsh, rocky land. The Darkspear tribe also occupies tracks within the nearby jungles of the Echo Isles.
As part of the Horde, the trolls have extended their loyalty to the mighty Tauren, but they have little trust for the manipulative undead, whom they believe will visit only misery and strife upon their allies. It is not explicitly known what they think of the blood elves, but since the elves are addicted to and freely practice demonic magic, it is likely that the trolls do not think much higher of them than they do of the Forsaken.
"Island Trolls" was the name, which later was retconned to Darkspear tribe, given to this group of trolls in the Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos demo. The missions involving them were not included in the retail release; however, they did reappear in Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne as a custom campaign.
This could suggest that the Darkspear trolls, while once being jungle trolls, have become and may be considered island trolls.
Darkspear trolls have skin colors that range from pale, ghostly blue to bruised purple to sickly green. Their skin color is usually just one of those three colors, although sometimes there are trolls with mixed skin pigments but this is not so popular. Male trolls are hunched over in WoW and generally have long, protruding tusks that grow from under their upper or lower lip. Male trolls also have rather long noses and very messy, matted hair. Female trolls, on the other hand, stand up straight and erect in WoW, have rather small or squashed-in noses, and usually have hair in a wild updo or strewn across their breasts in thick braids.
- The Alliance & Horde Compendium mistakenly calls the Darkspear tribe the Darkspear clan.
- The Darkspear capital of Echo Isles as depicted in WoW shrunk massively from its appearance in Frozen Throne and, unlike Gnomeregan, was not made into an instance.
- The Darkspear tribe seems to have a fondness for rice.
- It is common practice in the Echo Isles for Darkspear to either sleep directly on the hard ground, or lay out rough mats outside of huts to sleep on.
- The crimson snake is favored among the Darkspear trolls for not only its vicious nature, but also its steadfast loyalty.
- In Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft, the Darkspear card back was rewarded for achieving Rank 20 in Ranked Season 16, which took place during July 2015. The flavor text reads: "Vol'jin's tribe, the Darkspear trolls, no longer practices cannibalism. Officially."
- ^ World of Warcraft: The Roleplaying Game, pg. 50
- ^ http://www.worldofwarcraft.com/info/story/troll/jungletribes.html#darkspear
- ^ http://us.battle.net/wow/en/game/race/troll
- ^ http://us.battle.net/wow/en/game/race/troll
- ^ Horde Player's Guide, pg. 87
- ^ Ask CDev - Round 1
- ^ http://www.blizzard.com/war3/demo/
- ^ Alliance & Horde Compendium, pg. 66
- ^ Vol'jin: Shadows of the Horde pg. 31