Loa

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Loa is the name given by trolls to the beings they worship, such as the Wild Gods,[1] G'huun, spirits like wisps,[2] and "ascended" trolls like Zanza. Countless loa exist, most weak, but some very powerful. Most are shapeless, whereas others have animal or creature forms.[3] Powerful, enlightened Zandalari can become loa upon their death - or so it is believed.[3]

Background

Early troll tribes, though varying wildly in customs and traditions, all shared a common religion: the worship and reverence for the Wild Gods. The mountain range of Zandalar in southern Kalimdor was home to many loa, and was thus treated as being sacred.[1] Troll priests are devoted to only one loa per troll, while troll druids use the powers of several loa at once. This is something the loa do not like, as they prefer to be worshiped one at a time.[4] Shadow hunters commune with multiple loa as well, and the loa can even channel themselves through the shadow hunters when they use their ceremonial rush'kah masks.[5]

The loa can grant wondrous boons or inflict terrible punishments to trolls. Tales abound in troll culture, of those blessed by the loa with extraordinary regenerative abilities, strengthening their already powerful, natural regeneration.[6] The tale of Vula'jin the Void speaks of how he regrew almost his entire body after standing in a pool of shadowflame. But just as the loa can bless, they can also curse; troll children are taught legends of those cursed by the loa, such as Gri'lek, unable to heal even flesh wounds, to instill the proper respect for their patron spirits.[2]

Zandalari (as well as Darkspear)[7] families often worship their own family loa, cities usually have their own civic deities, and the greatest loa are worshiped by the nation as a whole. Powerful, enlightened Zandalari can become loa upon their death - or so it is believed.[3] An example of such a case is Zanza the Restless. Different troll tribes may call upon different sets of loa.[8]

Troll druids visiting the Moonglade have been overheard calling the wisps who reside there loa, just as they refer to Goldrinn, Aviana, and the other returned Ancients as loa. Night elves and tauren have tried to counsel these trolls on "correct" druidic nomenclature, but the trolls thus far have been stuck in their ways.[2] The loa were later confirmed to be the same type of being as the Ancient Guardians.[1]

After Vol'jin was mortally wounded during the battle at the Broken Shore, the Loa spirits spoke to him, claiming that the death will come soon. They also whispered the name Sylvanas Windrunner. Vol'jin thus named her Warchief of the Horde with his last breath.[9]

Some jungle trolls of the Darkspear tribe consider bird spirits to be weak, capricious, undeserving of their worship, and best left to the Amani.[10]

Loa gain strength and power from their worshipers and the offerings, sacrifices and idols they bring in their name.[11]

Known loa

Amani loa

Bloodscalp totemic spirits

Darkspear loa

Originally part of the Gurubashi Empire, the Darkspear also continue to worship many of the Gurubashi loa:[12]

Drakkari loa

Drakkari gods

These were called gods and not loa.

Gurubashi loa

Sandfury loa

  • IconSmall Kimbul.gif Eraka no Kimbul, God of Tigers, Lord of Beasts, King of Cats, the Prey's Doom.[15]
  • IconSmall Unknown.gif Ueetay no Mueh'zala, God of Death, Father of Sleep, Son of Time, the Night's Friend.[15]
  • IconSmall SpiderGiant.gif Elortha no Shadra, the Spider, God of Spiders, The Venom Queen, Mother of Venom, Silk Dancer, Death's Love.[15]

Vilebranch loa

Witherbark loa

  • IconSmall SpiderGiant.gif Elortha no Shadra, the Spider, God of Spiders, The Venom Queen, Mother of Venom, Silk Dancer, Death's Love.[16]

Zandalari loa

Zandalari loa are also referred to as ancient Zandalari gods,[31] Ancient Zandalari Guardians,[32] and the Zandalari Ancients.[33]

Presumed

Other loa

The trolls respect and consider the following to be loa.

Servitors of the loa

High priests & priestesses

High prophets

Drakkari prophets

In the RPG

The RPG Icon 16x36.png This section concerns content exclusive to the Warcraft RPG and is considered non-canon.

All trolls worship a pantheon of primal forces; a sacred animal represents each aspect of the pantheon.[35]

The trolls draw power for their voodoo magics by performing rituals and invoking the Primal Gods, Old Gods,[36] forest spirits, and ancestral spirits: their Loa spirits and gods.

Loa spirits are more powerful than the elementals, but not as powerful as gods.[37] Supposedly, these spirits are mighty entities that grant the faithful extraordinary powers. By calling upon these voodoo spirits, the shadow hunter gains special blessings with which he can combat darkness and help those in need. The abilities granted vary according to the Loa the shadow hunter calls upon.[38] Almost any being who has died and transcended death can be worshiped as a loa, including Forsaken shadow ascendants.

The shadow hunters' faith and communion with the Loa gods grants them shadow and healing magic, and other abilities. Shadow Hunters learn magic that hinders enemies and aids allies, gaining a unique mix of spells that delve into the more occult aspects of the Loa.

The trolls of Zul'Aman worship primal beings they call the Forest Gods.[39]

Loas

Notes & trivia

  • The Zandalari gods empowered King Rastakhan.[40]
  • A Darkspear unit called loa-singer is a priest.
  • While weaving her garb, Shadow Hunter Bwu'ja communed with the loa.[41]
  • Some loa might be unable to die.[42][43][44] This is also supported by how Hakkar has kept on returning, loa spirits cannot die, their physical manifestations can (Drakkari loa are evidence to that as well), but they can all return, if they were to find a suitable vessel (exception: Mam'toth).
  • Some loa prefer being the only one worshiped by an individual troll, rather than said troll worshiping multiple at a time.[45] Though this seems to not always be the case.
  •  [Brittle Chitinous Shoulderpads] are etched with loa sigils.

Speculation

Questionmark-medium.png
This article or section includes speculation, observations or opinions possibly supported by lore or by Blizzard officials. It should not be taken as representing official lore.
  • From the conversation you have with Zen'tabra in the troll starting zone, it can be assumed that the loa, or at least the primal loa like Gonk, either reside in or have access to the Emerald Dream.
  • Sen'jin has been hinted at in Vol'jin's short story The Judgment to possibly be among the loa.
  • Oacha'noa, a sea-goddess revered by the tuskarr, wonders if the player was instead sent by the Drakkari trolls of Zul'Drak to kill her in order to take her power as their own, apparently aware of the fate of the Drakkari loas. This likely means that she is a loa herself.
  • Some Pandaren believe G'nathus to be an ancient Zandalari Loa left behind to guard the waters south of Lei Shen's island citadel.[46]
  • The author of the  [Blood-Spattered Zandalari Journal] writes how they were tormented by loa, hungry for blood and hate, who talked to them and told them to give up. This likely means that they were not true loa, but sha.
  • The markings on the  [Crumbling Ceremonial Vestments] resemble both the sign of Elune and several venerated loa spirits.[47] This seems to imply that some trolls used to or still do revere Elune as a loa, and may be intended to represent a transition phase between the loa worship of the original dark trolls and the Elune worship of the night elves.

Inspiration

The names of the Loa gods are inspired by the true Haitian Vodoun Lwa. Some of their attributes are correct also, but others are pure creative license.

References

  1. ^ a b c World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 1
  2. ^ a b c d e Ask CDev - Round 2
  3. ^ a b c Shadows of the Loa
  4. ^ Zen'tabra gossip text on Echo Isles
  5. ^ http://classic.battle.net/war3/orc/units/shadowhunter.shtml
  6. ^ World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 1 pg. 68
  7. ^ H [92] Lurkers
  8. ^ World of Warcraft: The Magazine Volume I Issue IV
  9. ^ H [98] Fate of the Horde
  10. ^ H [62] Spirits of the Feralfen
  11. ^ Quest: House of the King
  12. ^ Ask CDev - Round 1
  13. ^ Zen'tabra Gossip text
  14. ^ High Priestess Mar'li's presence in Zul'gurub
  15. ^ a b c Tablet of Theka
  16. ^ A [35] The Shell of Shadra
  17. ^ H [110 - 120] The Necropolis
  18. ^ Quest:Awaken a God
  19. ^  [Frayed Zandalari Journal]
  20. ^ Quest:Curse of Jani
  21. ^ Teachings of Kimbul
  22. ^ Rezan Adventure Guide
  23. ^ Quest:The Temple of Rezan
  24. ^ Rezan's gossip text
  25. ^  [The Warmace of Shirvallah]
  26. ^ Summoned at Isle of Thunder by Zur'chaka the Bonecrafter
  27. ^ Zanza_the_Restless#Quotes
  28. ^ Priest of the Hawk
  29. ^ Priest of the Hydra
  30. ^ Priest of the Serpent
  31. ^ Wowhead: Spell: Glory of the Zandalari
  32. ^ Wowhead: Spell: Ancient Guardian
  33. ^ Wowhead: Spell: Blessing of Zandalar
  34. ^ Chronicle Volume 1 - Kith'ix was worshipped as a loa and roused through the blood offerings of the Amani tribe
  35. ^ Dark Factions, 89
  36. ^ Magic & Mayhem, 22
  37. ^ Magic & Mayhem, 46
  38. ^ Horde Player's Guide, 68
  39. ^ Lands of Conflict, 115
  40. ^ For Council and King
  41. ^  [Shadow Hunter Garb]
  42. ^ N [77] Back to Har'koa: Har'koa mentioning Rhunok's spirit living on forever.
  43. ^ The Prophet Tharon'ja mentions how Tharon'ja is eternal.
  44. ^ Eternal Spirit of Tharon'ja Returns on the Isle of Thunder.
  45. ^ Zen'tabra's dialogue.
  46. ^  [Spawn of G'nathus]
  47. ^  [Crumbling Ceremonial Vestments]