- "Darkspear" redirects here. For the in-game reputation faction, see Darkspear Trolls. For other uses, see Darkspear (disambiguation).
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- “Darkspear never die.”
- — Vol'jin
The Darkspear tribe are a tribe of jungle trolls (occasionally called island trolls) part of the Horde. During Thrall's exodus from Lordaeron, the Horde rescued the Darkspears from the mysterious naga sea witch Zar'jira. The Darkspear tribe owed Thrall and the orcs a great debt and allied themselves with the Horde in gratitude.
Led by Sen'jin and then later his son, Vol'jin, the Darkspear tribe became integral to the Horde, with Vol'jin acting as one of the most trusted advisers to the leaders of the Horde. This culminated with the troll himself becoming Warchief, though he would later be slain defending Azeroth against the Burning Legion. With his passing, the tribe went leaderless for a time, before Rokhan was approached by the leaders of the Horde to take up the mantle. Despite his death, Vol'jin is still active among his people as a spirit, having communicated with them throughout their adventures on Zandalar, and was key in advising Talanji when she was troubled in her path.
- 1 History
- 2 Philosophies
- 3 Darkspear loa
- 4 Notable leaders
- 5 Notable Darkspears
- 6 Darkspear trolls
- 7 Appearance
- 8 In the RPG
- 9 Notes and trivia
- 10 Speculation
- 11 See also
- 12 References
During their time in Stranglethorn, they would be plagued by constant famine and warfare for centuries as they were not so savage and ruthless like the other tribes, and that made them an easy target.
Third War and aftermath
As tribal rivalries erupted throughout the former Gurubashi Empire, the Darkspear tribe found themselves driven from their homeland in Stranglethorn Vale some time after they encountered the ogre mage Mai'Zoth. Having settled on the Darkspear islands, 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 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 bat riders, fighting alongside their Horde brethren led by the beastmaster Rexxar, evacuated their tribe to Dustwallow Marsh. There, they helped the Horde in gathering an army to fight against the Admiral in Theramore. Eventually, the enemy armada was defeated and the trolls returned to Echo Isles, only to be later betrayed by a witch doctor named Zalazane who 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 once again, 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 related to The Burning Crusade.
During the invasion of Outland, 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
Members of the Darkspear tribe were seen among the ranks of the Horde Expedition in Northrend during the war against the Lich King. In Dragonblight, Rokhan led a group of dragon-hunters and established a small camp named Dragon's Fall.
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.
With the changes wrought by the Cataclysm and the inclusion of the Bilgewater goblins into the original Valley of Spirits, the trolls repurposed the rest of the valley, transforming it into a troll district.
With the trolls controlling their home again, Zar'jira from the Darkspear Islands invaded the Echo Isles, leading her Spitescale naga. Soon her subjects and the sea witch herself were defeated by the trolls.
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
After Garrosh Hellscream failed to successfully assassinate the Darkspear Chieftain Vol'jin, the Kor'kron took control of the Echo Isles, declaring martial law. The hostile Kor'kron were defeated, Echo Isles liberated, and its inhabitants were protected by Thrall and Horde loyalists. As the events against Garrosh escalated, the Darkspears living in the Valley of Spirits were placed under martial law.
Fortunately, 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. The Kor'kron returned and this time attacked Sen'jin Village but failed to take it. After acquiring all the allies he could, he took the fight to Garrosh's loyalists across Durotar and 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
With Vol'jin as the new Warchief of the Horde, several headhunters have become guards of Orgrimmar along with tauren and many shadow hunters and other members of the tribe were deployed to the alternate Draenor, establishing Darkspear's Edge in Frostfire Ridge, serving the Frostwall garrison, and taking an active role in the events in Talador, Nagrand, and Tanaan Jungle during the final push against the Iron Horde.
When the Burning Legion invaded Azeroth, Vol'jin fought on the front lines along the Darkspear. In the heat of battle, he was gravely wounded, and his spirit later passed into the realm beyond. Though his tragic death at the fateful Battle for Broken Shore shook Darkspear society to its core, the Darkspear trolls are still as committed to the cause of the Horde as they ever were. With Vol'jin's death the tribe became leaderless and were figuring things out during the Legion's invasion.
Before the Storm
After the Legion's defeat, they participated in the Orgrimmar parade, awaiting Warchief Sylvanas at the Valley of Spirits. The Darkspears still have no new leader, though Rokhan and Gadrin may be potential public faces. Sylvanas plans to appoint someone she can work with and control, before the trolls choose someone who might want to challenge her position. The trolls also attended a dinner ceremony and participated in the presentation of their ritual, an idea requested by Baine Bloodhoof. Bwemba then attended the dinner itself with Horde leaders.
Battle for Azeroth
An expedition of Darkspears led by Rokhan worked alongside the Zandalari and Princess Talanji on Zandalar, battling the blood trolls. The tribe led the efforts to recruit the Zandalari to join the Horde, showing up prominently throughout both Zuldazar, where they were granted an embassy of their own, and Nazmir, where they aided with gathering the various Loa of the swamplands to the cause of the Zandalari to combat Zul as part of Talanji's Expedition. So close did the two tribes grow that Talanji attempted to honor the tribe and their fallen chieftain by allowing him to rest in Atal'Dazar, typically a place reserved for Zandalari kings and queens, before the intervention of Bwonsamdi. The Darkspear were also key in helping Talanji come to terms with her role as a leader in Zandalari society; with the spirit of Vol'jin advising the princess several times. 
Rokhan also led the tribe in the Battle for Stromgarde, where the Darkspear would take to the field in force. There, they fielded all manner of troll warriors, including troll golems for the first time, known as Darkspear Trollems. The tribe was one of three major forces in the region, fighting alongside the veterans of the Horde led by Eitrigg, and the elves of Silvermoon led by Lady Liadrin and her Blood Knights. They were also key during invasions in Drustvar, where they worked alongside Zandalari witch doctors to invoke voodoo spirits to attack the Alliance at Master Gadrin's behest.
The tribe defended the city of Dazar'alor alongside various races of the Horde and the Zandalari. Darkspear trolls were present in the procession for Rastakhan after his death in the Battle of Dazar'alor. They were later guests of honor during Talanji's coronation as Queen, where Rokhan represented the tribe in special garb and rode alongside the Speaker of the Horde as part of Talanji's personal entourage. During this time, the spirit of Vol'jin watched on as Talanji underwent her trials by the Loa to be appointed the new queen as well. Rokhan appeared as a vision by Gonk, alongside Lor'themar and Thalyssra, to represent the Zandalari's new pact with the Horde.
Members of the tribe sided with Varok Saurfang's rebellion during the battle at the Gates of Orgrimmar. The troll, Zekhan, who had acted as Saurfang's confidant, stood alongside him in his final moments until his mak'gora with Sylvanas Windrunner. In the aftermath, the leadership of the Horde requested Rokhan to take up the mantle of chieftain for the Darkspear tribe, which he accepted.
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". Nimboya refers to a "Great Serpent", likely a serpentine loa though which one is unknown.
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 bat riders skill with chemicals and the ability to upgrade Headhunters to Berserkers apparently through potions.
- Main article: Loa
- Shadow Hunter Vol'jin: Former chieftain of the Darkspear tribe, successor to Sen'jin, ally to Thrall, first troll Warchief of the Horde. Killed during the Legion's invasion.
- Witch Doctor Sen'jin: Former chieftain of the Darkspear tribe, killed while defending the Darkspear Islands from invasion. Vol'jin's father.
- Shadow Hunter Rokhan: Chieftain of the Darkspear tribe. Lead scout of the Darkspear tribe and the Horde. Expert in many areas of troll society. Became chieftain after the battle at the Gates of Orgrimmar.
- Master Gadrin: Trusted advisor to Vol'jin. Mystic guide of the Darkpear tribe formerly along with Zalazane.
- 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 Uru'zin: Champion and quartermaster of the tribe. Participated in Zalazane's Fall.
- Zen'tabra: First Darkspear troll druid in history, taught by the raptor loa Gonk.
- Bwemba: Darkspear emissary sent to Orgrimmar and Stormwind, helped fighting the Gurubashi resurgence in Northern Stranglethorn.
- Kin'weelay: Most powerful witch doctor of the Darkspear trolls.
- Ur'kyo: Greatest of the tribe's priests.
- Zekhan: Confidant and companion of Varok Saurfang during the Blood War.
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 initially thought of the blood elves, but since the elves were addicted to and freely practiced demonic magic, it is likely that the trolls did not think much higher of them than they do of the Forsaken. However, during the Rise of the Zandalari, the Darkspears worked together with the sin'dorei and quel'dorei rangers against the Amani tribe and their Zandalari allies in Zul'Aman.
"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.
In the RPG
Vok'fon is a Darkspear outcast because he openly spoke against the Horde that they would make the Darkspears weak. Ana Bloodteeth is another Darkspear who left the tribe because she wouldn't abandon cannibalism.
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. They tell tales of the green witch.
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).
Notes and trivia
- Occasionally, some Darkspear trolls travel to Thunder Bluff to live with the tauren and adopt their ways. Chen Stormstout refers to these trolls as "blue tauren".
- One of Rokhan's on-click quotes in Warcraft III is: "Sadly, the name Pinkspear tribe was already taken."
- The Darkspear tribe seems to have had a village in Quel'Thalas until burned by the Amani trolls during the year 26.
- Until they joined the Horde, the Darkspear tribe were cannibals. Since then, they officially gave up cannibalism.
- 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, 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."
- Whilst they are never seen using utilizing dire trolls, Zalazane's army of hexed Darkspear trolls included Hexed Dire Trolls.
The exact date of their exile from Stranglethorn Vale is not stated, but due to the mention of how they remember Mai'Zoth, the exile may have happened some time after the Second War, considering Mai'Zoth was likely created by Gul'dan during the war. Alternatively, it could have happened as early as the First War, as Mai'Zoth could have been a rare example of a naturally born ogre mage who traveled through the Dark Portal from Draenor with the Old Horde.
- ^ World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 1
- ^ Countdown to Extinction (WC3 demo)
- ^ Before the Storm
- ^ Trolls on the Official Website - "Leader: None"
- ^ Troll Compendium/Jungle Troll Tribes
- ^ World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 3, pg. 53
- ^ Troll Compendium/Jungle Troll Tribes#Darkspear Tribe
- ^ Archived page
- ^ http://us.battle.net/wow/en/game/race/troll
- ^ Vol'jin: Shadows of the Horde
- ^ Trolls on the Official Website
- ^ Ion Hazzikostas Q&A, Gamescom 2017
- ^ Before the Storm, chapter 3
- ^ Legion Epilogue Horde Cinematic
- ^ Terran Gregory on Twitter
- ^ Ask CDev - Round 1
- ^ http://www.blizzard.com/war3/demo/
- ^ Alliance & Horde Compendium, pg. 66
- ^ Horde Player's Guide, pg. 140 - 145
- ^ World of Warcraft: The Roleplaying Game, pg. 50
- ^ Horde Player's Guide, pg. 87
- ^ Horde Player's Guide, pg. 166
- ^ Vol'jin: Shadows of the Horde, pg. 36, 100
- ^ Troll Compendium/Troll Traits
- ^ Vol'jin: Shadows of the Horde, pg. 31