Ice troll

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Ice troll
Great Father Arctikus.jpg
Faction/Affiliation
Character classes
Racial capital
  Formerly
Racial leader(s)
  Formerly

 Malakk † (Drakkari)

Racial mount
Homeworld
Environment

Cold environments

Area(s)
Language(s)

Ice trolls (also known as frost trolls)[1][2][3] are massive, barbaric trolls who can be found in frigid lands. They are more than twice the girth of their southern counterparts.[4] The most prominent tribe was the Drakkari, who once spanned the Drakkari Empire within Northrend; though the tribe and the empire has since fallen.

History

Ice trolls originated from the tribe known as the Drakkari who rose up around the same time as the Gurubashi and Amani and came to rival the power of the already existing Zandalari. Where the Amani and Gurubashi claimed the forests and jungles for themselves, the Drakkari claimed the north.[5]

Early history

After curious Zandalari awakened the ancient C'thrax, Kith'ix, the tribes united under the leadership of the Zandalari Empire; forming the Empire of Zul, to fight back the aqir, who threatened to wash over Azeroth; having already destroyed countless tribes. Under Zandalari instruction, the most ambitious, being the Drakkari, Amani, and Gurubashi, were instructed to spread far and establish new footholds. The Drakkari took the frozen north, battling against the aqir and winning many battles until they came upon a new type of creature, the corrupted tol'vir. Known as obsidian destroyers, the Drakkari were decimated in battle until new strategies were developed to over come them. Beating back the aqir, the Drakkari emerged victorious, and the ice trolls claimed domination over the tundra. The remnants of the destroyed aqir would burrow underground, eventually evolving into the nerubians, and their empire of Azjol-Nerub.[6] While smaller than the forest and jungle troll empires, the ice trolls still ruled enough land to be recognized as an empire of their own.

The ice trolls would spread out throughout Azeroth, with trolls colonizing Dun Morogh and the Alterac Mountains. When the first titan-forged of Uldaman awoke, the gnomes wandered to the west into Dun Morogh, where they clashed with ice trolls.[7]

Drakkari Empire

The troll empires at the end of the Aqir and Troll War, with the Drakkari Empire in blue.

The mighty Drakkari tribe would head the new Drakkari Empire from the temple city of Gundrak in the north. Though the smallest among the three newly-emerged troll powers (the others being the Amani Empire and the Gurubashi Empire) the Drakkari nonetheless thrived within their northern territories. Loa worship was deeply important to the Drakkari, and many such spirits occupied the empire's pantheon. Structures such as temple cities, shrines, altars, more were constructed to venerate their the loa as well as other gods.[8] In addition, the Drakkari used special prophets and high priests to commune with their deities, as well as oversee their worship.[9] The Frostmane and Winterax were two of the known member tribes of the Drakkari Empire at this time.

The empire of the Drakkari would survive relatively undisturbed for many thousands of years, even as troll mastery of Kalimdor was eventually ceded to the rising Kaldorei Empire of the night elves. Though they did not take part in the War of the Ancients, they would ultimately suffer its consequences. The resulting Sundering violently shattered the continent, forming new and smaller landmasses. Much of Drakkari Empire was now lost, with tribes such as the Winterax of Alterac and Frostmane of Dun Morogh completely separated from the Drakkari.

Despite this, the Drakkari civilization would survive in Zul'Drak on the new continent of Northrend. Drakkari influence was concentrated in the northeast of the continent, stretching from Gundrak in the east, to Drak'Tharon Keep in the west. After the end of the Second War, a group of dead ice trolls was found by Korialstrasz in the Nexus.[10] For thousands of years, they were allies to the Rageclaw tribe of wolvar.[11]

When Arthas Menethil came to Northrend and reunited with Muradin Bronzebeard and his expedition, the two armies fought together against the undead, wolves, and ice trolls.[12] The prince later hired mercenaries in order to burn the ships of his men to prevent them from returning home to Lordaeron and abandon the hunt for Mal'Ganis. Amongst these mercenaries were a fair number of native ice trolls.

Downfall of the Drakkari

The Drakkari Empire survived seemingly comfortably for over 10,000 years following the Sundering (longer than they had done before so). The ice trolls maintained large farms, supplied with a vast aqueduct system spanning the region of Zul'Drak. Worship of the loa also remained extremely prevalent. Following the war between the Horde and Alliance in Alterac Valley, the Winterax were forced to rejoin their Drakkari cousins in Zul'Drak, as their home of Winterax Hold was destroyed by an avalanche, and the tribe could no longer sustain itself in the valley.

Drak'Tharon Keep would be one of the first to fall to the Undead Scourge.

Northrend would ultimately become home to the Scourge, the undead armies of the Lich King, based from Icecrown. When the Lich King awoke and began a major war against the living of Azeroth, Zul'Drak and the Drakkari found themselves in peril. By the time of the Lich King's awakening, the Drakkari were desperate. Many of their people were being slain and used as fodder, turned into Scourge trolls. The legions of undead assaulted the Drakkari kingdom relentlessly, eventually seizing the fortress of Drak'Tharon Keep as countless trolls were turned to undeath. The Lich King's forces continued their advance into Zul'Drak, threatening the entire Drakkari civilization.

Desperate to turn back the undead, the Drakkari turned on their own gods for strength. Maddened high prophets and their followers sacrificed the animal loa, spilling their blood and harnessing the untapped power. As more parts of the nation fell to the Scourge, the Argent Crusade and Knights of the Ebon Blade also arrived to fight both the restless undead and the frenzied trolls. The Winterax were sent to the Amphitheater of Anguish as a 'power move' against its new inhabitants by the Drakkari, with Korrak the Bloodrager, leader of the Winterax, infused with the power of the loa. Despite this, Korrak was defeated.[13]

In the depths of the capital of Gundrak, the most sacred shrines were said to be steeped in the mojo of slain gods. Surrounded by this dark energy, twisted Drakkari zealots grew in power, infusing their followers with incredible strength. If left undisturbed, the trolls of Gundrak would unleash their burgeoning might, plunging the entire region into chaos. Mortal champions would succeed in attacking the temple city, preventing this. Some of the histories of the Drakkari tribe and empire were recovered by a mission of Zandalari based from Zim'Torga, in the hope of preserving the ice trolls' past and heritage.[14][15][16]

Current status

The fall of Zul'Drak had a lasting effect on all ice trolls. During the Cataclysm, the Zandalari would once more try to unite the troll tribes of Azeroth, and held a meeting of representatives from each. Ice trolls were present at the gathering, alongside Gurubashi, Amani, and Darkspear, though the Drakkari did not play a role in the following events, presumably too weak to do so.[17] Forced to flee Northrend, the Drakkari would ultimately ally with the Zandalari as they attempted to rebuild the mighty troll empire.

The remaining Drakkari would bolster the Zandalari Invaders, a united force of trolls that would eventually invade the northern shores of Pandaria, along with the Gurubashi, Amani, and Farraki tribes. To mark their suffering at the hands of the Scourge, they had added undead to their strength.[18] They took part to the fight during the battle of Horridon and the defense of the Council of Elders, but were ultimately defeated. The death of their king, Malakk, was the final blow for the Drakkari; as the tribe was no more afterwards.

Some years later, Speaker Malaka'raz in the House of the Fallen Tribes in Zuldazar said that the empire no longer existed, and the Zandalari had left him as little more then a curiosity for others to gawk at. Zul and his rebels would learn from the Drakkari's example and attempt to drain the Zandalari loa in the same way the Drakkari had their loa.

The Winterax tribe survived where the Drakkari did not. While they were forced to leave Alterac Valley by the Stormpike clan and Frostwolf clan and watch the downfall of Zul'Drak, the tribe retains a presence within Dazar'alor, unlike the Drakkari. Following the defeat of the Drakkari, it is unknown where the Winterax reside now, having last been seen in Zul'Drak. A fair number of Winterax reside in Dazar'alor, where they retain presence as speakers, alongside the Frostmane tribe. Mourners from each tribe were also present following the death of King Rastakhan, showing that if no where else, the Winterax may be refugees in Zandalar.

In the aftermath of the Lich King's defeat, the Icetusk tribe was formed by Drakani Death-Defilers. The group settled upon a chain of islands known as the Dread Chain. In order to survive, the Icetusk turned to necromancy, with many of their dead having been risen as servants. They mined Azerite along the isles, and came into conflict with adventurers looking to do the same.

The ice trolls of Dun Morogh — the Frostmane tribe — are currently fighting a guerrilla war against the dwarves of Ironforge. The trolls once ruled the surface before the dwarves conquered it from them.[19] They have been forced to live in caves and small encampments surrounding Iceflow Lake. It is unknown where the location of their former capital was, however the seat of their power was once in the large cave complex of Frostmane Hold. In the hills of Shimmer Ridge, the ice trolls grow  [Shimmerweed] and have several encampments.

Following the Cataclysm, the Frostmane Hold was over run by troggs, and the Frostmane were forced to retreat to the hills, forming the Frostmane Retreat. There, they were approached by the Zandalari Empire, who sought to bring them into the fold as well as use their position to strike against Ironforge. This attempt was thwarted by the efforts of Varian Wrynn and Moira Thaurissan, though the tribe was not wiped out.[20]

Society

Interior of Drak'Tharon Keep.

Like their forest troll cousins, ice trolls revel in carnage and wickedness. Cannibalistic by nature, ice trolls are renowned for their love of eating their recently slain enemies raw. Their social structure is very similar to that of their forest dwelling cousins.[21] Trolls such as Trollgore were paragons of the savagery of the tribe.[22] The trolls of Northrend were the largest still functioning troll empire until the rise of the Scourge, where they progressively lost more and more territory against them.[23]

Appearance

Ice trolls are a troll subspecies that live in cold climates. They have angular features, red eyes, and skin that ranges from blue to white and possess many different hair colours. They stand taller and much more muscular than most other trolls, rivaling the Zandalari in height.[24][25]

A few green-skinned ice trolls have also been observed, but they are very rare, for such cases are matters of pigmentation alone (not plant growth, as with the forest trolls). Ice trolls typically have thick manes of hair, and despite being called ice trolls, they have little to no trouble living in other climates.[26]

The ice trolls of the Winterax tribe are unique in that they do not share the bulky physique of their cousins. Instead, they are scrawny, akin to jungle trolls, with pale white skin.

Culture

Ice troll culture differs depending on the tribe.

Drakkari culture was circulated around Zul'Drak and its construction. Hunting and farming were common, as the Drakkari had made an intricate aqueduct system that spanned the entire subzone; allowing for the Drakkari to build across it with little issues or worry for food or water. The Drakkari worshiped several loa and faith was heavily focused upon; as many shrines to the different gods were scattered throughout Zul'Drak. At the apex was the temple-city of Gundrak, where the high prophets made offerings and great blessings to the gods. When the Scourge came, the animal loa that were worshiped by the Drakkari were sacrificed, Zim'Torga, the Mother of Prosperity, Zim'Abwa, and Zim'Rhuk, the Wise One, were neglected entirely. The entire area was a sprawling temple city, filled with many areas for fortresses, living quarters and temples.

Winterax society was based around hunting and gathering from the Alterac Valley. After the avalanche that nearly wiped out the tribe occurred and the tribe was forced to head north, they likely adopted whatever cultural norms were present among the Drakkari. They worshiped the same loa as the Drakkari, as Korrak was blessed by their power before he was defeated in the Amphitheater.

Frostmane society is geared around their state of guerilla war, with even the whelps and novices of their tribe being enlisted into the battle. Headhunters, hideskinners, and snowstriders form the core of their warrior force, making up the hunter-killer and ranger type warriors of their armies, and seers and shadowcasters act as their magic users and spiritual advisers.

In the last great war it was observed that the ice trolls of Northrend also had trapper, berserker, priest, high priest, and warlord type martial units, similar to most other troll military forces, and many of them acted as mercenaries for the Alliance forces of Prince Arthas in the belief that the Lich King was their common enemy. Unfortunately, Arthas framed and betrayed the ice troll mercenaries, having his men kill them.

Ice trolls outside of the Drakkari have been observed to live in both igloo-like structures and simple tents. Their igloo structures are skilfully crafted and range widely in design, many being equipped with doors. Ice trolls generally live in small villages, usually located in areas shielded from icy winds. This can be seen with the Icetusk tribe, who live near exclusively out of tents. In all cases, the tribes have dire trolls; with them being so prevalent that Drakkari God-Hulks were one of the few non-Zandalari forces that patrolled the Isle of Thunder alongside the Zandalari tribe.

Like other trolls, the ice trolls follow the voodoo traditions, with a focus on priestly rather than shamanistic voodoo.

Tribes

Notable

Drakkari tribe

Name Role Status Location
Mob  Frost King Malakk Frost King of the Drakkari Killable Throne of Thunder
Mob  Warlord Zol'Maz Drakkari Warlord Killable Zul'Drak
Neutral  Drakuru Betrayed his people to the Lich King for power. Deceased Granite Springs (Grizzly Hills); Drak'Tharon Keep, Voltarus, (Zul'Drak)
Mob  Kutube'sa First of the three leaders of Jin'Alai. Opposed the Zandalari in Zul'Drak. Killable Pools of Jin'Alai, Zul'Drak
Mob  Gawanil Second of the three leaders of Jin'Alai. Opposed the Zandalari in Zul'Drak. Killable Pools of Jin'Alai, Zul'Drak
Mob  Chulo the Mad Third of the three leaders of Jin'Alai. Opposed the Zandalari in Zul'Drak. Killable Pools of Jin'Alai, Zul'Drak

Frostmane tribe

Name Role Status Location
Mob  Grik'nir the Cold Killable Dun Morogh
Mob  Battok the Berserker Chieftain of the Frostmane tribe Killable Dun Morogh
Mob  Great Father Arctikus Former chieftain of the Frostmane tribe Killable Dun Morogh
Mob  Skullcrusher Gundu Killable Blood in the Snow
Mob  Bonechiller Barafu Killable Blood in the Snow

Winterax tribe

Name Role Status Location
Mob  Korrak the Bloodrager Chieftain of the Winterax tribe Killable Alterac Valley WoW Icon update.png, Zul'Drak Wrath of the Lich King

Locations in World of Warcraft

Eastern Kingdoms

WoW Icon update.png This section concerns content related to the original World of Warcraft.

The Frostmane tribe inhabit Dun Morogh, while the Winterax tribe once inhabited Alterac Valley.

Northrend

Wrath of the Lich King This section concerns content related to Wrath of the Lich King.

The Ice trolls are featured in Wrath of The Lich King. They reside mainly in Zul'Drak but can also be found in Grizzly Hills and Dragonblight.

Pandaria

Mists of Pandaria This section concerns content related to Mists of Pandaria.

Frost King Malakk and his forces can be found in the Throne of Thunder and Hekima the Wise leads the Frostmane tribe in the Blood in the Snow scenario.

In the RPG

The RPG Icon 16x36.png This section contains information from the Warcraft RPG which is considered non-canon.

Ice trolls are generally evil and like most trolls, they are fierce protectors of their homes and may attack travelers to gain weapons, materials, clothing and food. They practice cannibalism and sometimes eat their slain enemies raw.

The ice trolls of the Frostmane tribe had been the enemies of the dwarven kingdom since the dwarves invaded the surface of Dun Morogh and took it from the trolls hundreds of years ago. Before this catastrophe befell them, the ice trolls had controlled a small empire in Dun Morogh.[27]

Their spellcasters wield voodoo, and their culture is primitive and tribal. Also like other trolls, ice trolls seek to reclaim their lost empire. The Frostmane have a particular hatred for Ironforge dwarves, who they believe drove them out of their lands in ages past. Ice trolls in Khaz Modan take advantage of the current chaos there to strike against their ancient enemies. However, ice troll mercenaries and slaves are not unknown; an adventurer who purchases the services of an ice troll mercenary can usually count on him to be a steadfast ally, and some such mercenaries take extended contracts. Ice trolls enjoy killing, and as long as their employers allow them to keep doing so, they serve well. Some ice troll mercenaries and slaves reach Lordaeron and Kalimdor through the goblin merchant empire. Ice trolls like to get to grips with their enemies, and most throw themselves into melee combat. Ice troll spellcasters stay behind to cast spells. Some ice troll warlords are charismatic and savvy enough to impose more sophisticated tactics on their warriors.[28]

Notes

  • Before the release of Chronicle Volume 1, the ice trolls were said to have been exiled by the original Zandalar tribe due to their highly unnatural bloodlust and brutality which included a hatred for their own kind.[29] The Warcraft III manual said that they were driven into the desolate wastes of Northrend in ancient times, and that they had carved out a meager society for themselves amongst the cold stone and lifeless plains.

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