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The Gurubashi Empire was once one of the most powerful forces of Azeroth, controlling much of the southern part of the eastern continents. It took its name from the strongest tribe of jungle trolls at the time, the Gurubashi. Their former capital of Zul'Gurub is located in Stranglethorn Vale. Eventually, this great nation splintered into separate tribes such as the Darkspear Tribe.
When a group of trolls awakened the C'Thrax viewed the troll nations with contempt and thus sought to destroy them with the aqir. At the onset of the Aqir and Troll War numerous smaller tribes fell before the aqir. The Gurubashi were one of the many troll tribes to join the Empire of Zul, in which the Zandalari took on the role of commanding the troll armies. The Empire of Zul forced the aqir to retreat and Kith'ix would be gravely wounded by the trolls and their loa allies.
Seeking to permanently end the aqir threat, the Zandalari knew that no corner of the continent could be left unguarded, and so the Zandalari convinced the most power-hungry of the troll factions to establish new and permanent strongholds across Kalimdor. At the forefront of these groups were the Gurubashi, Amani, and Drakkari tribes. After they had fully vanquished the aqir in their new regions, they could lay uncontested claim to the untouched fertile lands that they now lived in. The ambitious tribes listened to the Zandalari and readily agreed.
The Gurubashi tribe would then venture to the southwest, where they encountered corrupted titan forged. The trolls soon discovered that the aqir had overrun the ancient city of Ahn'Qiraj, originally built as a prison complex for the Old God . When they seized the fortress, the aqir enslaved the resident guardians, the anubisath giants who guarded the prison. Early engagements between the two forces proved disastrous for the Gurubashi. The insectoids, along with their constructs, marched on and massacred several large troll forces and razed numerous encampments. Observing the situation, the Zandalari instructed the Gurubashi leaders to separate their tribe into smaller, more maneuverable raiding parties instead of large and easily-targeted armies. This new tactic allowed the Gurubashi to constantly bleed the aqiri forces over years, whittling down their numbers while remaining impossible to effectively be attacked themselves. This worked extremely well and, although not quite able to wipe out the aqir completely, the Gurubashi were successful in securing uncontested control of the entire region. And so the Gurubashi Empire was born.
1,500 years before the opening of the Dark Portal, the powerful Gurubashi Empire was torn apart by a massive civil war. An influential group of troll priests, known as the Atal'ai, called forth the avatar of an ancient and terrible blood god named . Though the priests were defeated and ultimately exiled, the great troll empire collapsed upon itself. The exiled priests fled far to the north, into the Swamp of Sorrows, where they erected a great temple to Hakkar in order to prepare for his arrival into the physical world.
In time, the Atal'ai priests discovered that Hakkar's physical form could only be summoned within the ancient capital of the Gurubashi Empire, Zul'Gurub. Unfortunately, the priests have met with recent success in their quest to call forth Hakkar—reports confirm the presence of the dreaded Soulflayer in the heart of the Gurubashi ruins.
Var'gazul, Min'loth and the Fall of Gurubashi
It is told in The Fall of Gurubashi, that the last chief (or emperor) of Gurubashi was one . From his capital he prepared plans of war, an invasion on unknown enemy. However his plans were thwarted by appearance of and his Krakken, who destroyed all of the land west of Zul'Gurub and sunk the city (or region) of I'lalai.
Settlements of Gurubashi Empire
Majority if not all of the Gurubashi Empire is located in Azeroth subcontinent of Eastern Kingdoms. The following is a list of ruins that are currently associated with tribes descended from the Gurubashi Empire and given their antiquity are also likely to be part of the Gurubashi Empire during its reign.
- Stranglethorn Vale
- Gurubashi Arena
- Silvershard Mines
- The western wing in the Silvershard Mines is that of an underground jungle troll area, having been part of the Gurubashi Empire (and possibly connected to Zul'Gurub) as the mines are located in Stranglethorn Vale.