Shadow hunter

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For the The Frozen Throne unit, see Shadow Hunter (Warcraft III).

Shadow hunter
Vol'jin Escalation.jpg
Vol'jin, former chieftain of the Darkspear tribe
Affiliation
Origin

Masters of voodoo and shadow, these trolls act often as secondary or primary leaders of troll tribes. Once the highest authority a troll could achieve.

Favored by
Weapon proficiency
Armor proficiency

Light armor
Rush'kah masks

Skill(s)

Voodoo & shadow magic manipulation

Organization(s)
Sources: World of Warcraft
[...] To be a shadow hunter [is] to master chaos.
Vol'jin's thoughts[1]

The shadow hunters (also spelled as shadowhunters and shadow-hunters) are masters of voodoo and shadow magic and were once the highest authority amongst trolls.[2] Their spirit powers can both heal and curse, walking the line of dark and light in hope of saving the future of trollkind, doing whatever it takes to secure a future for their kin. The loa can channel themselves through the shadow hunters when they use their ceremonial rush'kah masks.[3] The traditional shadow hunter weapon is a long double-bladed sword[4] or glaive.

Background

In the old days of trolls, even before the Zandalari Empire, the shadow hunters were the leaders of the small tribes.[5] Over time, as trolls gathered in great cities, their influence was lessened. Despite this, the position is still a highly respected one. It was Sen'jin's dream for trollkind to once again be led by shadow hunters, as they had in the past.[6]

When the Darkspear tribe lived on the Darkspear Islands, trolls aspiring to be shadow hunters needed to enter the jungle known as First Home to be judged by the loa. In First Home, ancient spirits of those who had transcended death could give a troll second sight or drive him mad so that he would pull out his own eyes. The loa, which could grant wondrous boons or inflict terrible punishments, made judgments upon those that entered the jungle. These judgments were vicious, swift, and unpredictable. Nobody entered First Home besides shadow hunters and fools. Sometimes the shadow hunters returned, but the fools never did.[7] Now that the Darkspears live on the Echo Isles, it is unknown where the trial for new shadow hunters is held. It's furthermore unknown what the trials for non-Darkspear tribes entail.

If a shadow hunter happens to be taken under captivity of other trolls, they are still revered to the extent that they're attired appropriately and are granted an ornate, sacrificial dagger to be strapped in a sheath to their upper-left arm with the intent to make them "shine like a god", as is custom.[8] Shadow hunters are revered by the loa, and mistreating them, even under capture could lead to the displeasure of the loa.[9]

Shadow hunters are able to sense titan magic around them and in other beings.[10]

In World of Warcraft

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

Shadow hunters can be found in areas with high troll population such as Zul'Farrak and Sunken Temple.

Cataclysm This section concerns content related to Cataclysm.

It was revealed that Vol'jin had an elite shadow hunter group known as the Siame-Quashi who assisted him on his assault of Zul'Gurub and Zul'Aman.

Warlords of Draenor This section concerns content related to Warlords of Draenor.

A number of shadow hunters accompanied the Horde and are seen in the various areas of the alternate Draenor.

In Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne

WC3RoC-logo.png This section concerns content related to Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos or its expansion The Frozen Throne.

Main article: Shadow Hunter (Warcraft III)
A shadow hunter in Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne.

These reclusive, wily jungle trolls are considered to be the highest authority within their respective warbands. They are masters of voodoo magics who can use their spirit-powers to both heal their allies and place curses upon their hapless enemies.[3] Donning their ceremonial rush'kah masks -- that channel the spirits of their dark gods --[11] the Shadow Hunters walk the line between darkness and light in hopes of salvaging the future for their savage brethren.[3]

Shadowhunter.gif

Shadow hunters can cast Chain heal, turn enemies to harmless critters with Hex, summon ward to assist him in battle, and point-blank area of effect spell that turns allies around shadow hunter invincible.

Shadow Hunter names: Zul'kis, Zul'abar, Zul'rajas, Zul'maran, Jo Jo Headshrinker, Shaka-zahn, Shakti-lar, Mezil-kree - these names are the names of the randomly generated Shadow Hunters in Warcraft III.

Notable

Name Role Affiliation Status Location
Horde  Vol'jin Former Chieftain of the Darkspear tribe and Warchief of the Horde Darkspear Trolls, Horde Deceased Various
Horde  Rokhan Darkspear chief scout Darkspear Trolls, Warsong Offensive Alive Various
Horde  Askia Conversing with Rala Wildheart Darkspear Trolls Alive Warspear
Horde  Bwu'ja Spying on the Bloodmaul ogres at the Stonefury Cliffs Horde Alive Stonefury Cliffs, Frostfire Ridge; Nazmir
Horde  Da'jul Hunts the lich Zardrax through Nazmir Darkspear Trolls Alive Nazmir
Horde  Denjai Leader of Zabra'jin, quartermaster of Vol'jin's Headhunters Darkspear Trolls, Vol'jin's Headhunters Alive Various
Horde  Gar'ant Scout commander in Warspear Darkspear Trolls Alive Warspear Hold, Warspear
Horde  J'wan Slain by the Warsong orcs in Telaar Horde Deceased Telaar, Nagrand
Horde  Ju'loa Member of the Headhunters Headhunters Killable Island Expeditions; Port of Zandalar, Dazar'alor
Horde  Kajassa Leader of a shadow hunter group sent to survey Telaar Darkspear Trolls Alive Frostwall; Vol'jin's Pride, Talador; Telaar, Nagrand
Horde  Mala Stationed at Darkspear's Edge, sister of Shadow Hunter Rala Horde Alive Darkspear's Edge, Frostfire Ridge
Horde  Maloa Slain by the Warsong orcs in Telaar Horde Deceased Telaar, Nagrand
Horde  Mezil-kree Darkspear Master of Arms at the Argent Tournament Darkspear Trolls Alive Sunreaver Pavilion, Icecrown
Horde  Moj'jar Sends Horde adventurers to check up on Shadow Hunter Bwu'ja Horde Alive Frostwall
Horde  Mok'e Poisoned by the mist in the Cerulean Lagoon Horde Alive Cerulean Lagoon, Nagrand
Horde  Mutumba Participates in the assault on Tanaan Jungle and in recruiting Krag'wa's aid in Nazmir Vol'jin's Headhunters Alive Vol'mar, Tanaan Jungle; Nazmir
Horde  Narez Worshipper of Krag'wa Darkspear Trolls Alive Krag'wa's Shore, Nazmir
Horde  Rala Master scout stationed at Darkspear's Edge, brother of Shadow Hunter Mala Horde Alive Darkspear's Edge, Frostfire Ridge
Horde  Spar'kuhl Slain by the Warsong orcs in Telaar but somehow returns to life to attend Vol'jin's funeral Horde Alive Telaar, Nagrand; Dranosh'ar Blockade, Durotar
Horde  Taz Arguing with Stalker Ogka about hunting techniques Horde Alive Wor'var, Nagrand
Horde  Ty'jin Ears of the Warchief Orgrimmar Alive Various
Horde  Ukambe Informs the commander of available assault missions Darkspear Trolls Alive Frostwall
Horde  Vol'tris Defends Nazmir from the Alliance during Faction Assaults Horde Killable Nazmir
Boss  Vosh'gajin Master shadow hunter, member of the Dark Horde Dark Horde Killable Hall of Blackhand, Lower Blackrock Spire
Horde  Zasta Sent to Nagrand to spy on the Iron Horde, killed by Azuka Bladefury Horde Deceased Hidden Camp, Nagrand
Horde  Zel'duk Scout in Tanaan Jungle Horde Alive Tanaan Jungle

Types

In the RPG

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

Description

Like other practitioners of voodoo, shadow hunters deal with the darker aspects of the spirit world. Unlike witch doctors and members of other professions associated with this ancient faith, shadow hunters claim to develop a special bond with voodoo spirits called the Loa. Able to channel the essence of some of these extremely potent beings - and often acting with their blessing - shadow hunters gain special abilities only the Loa can grant. As they grow in experience, the shadow hunters' bond with the Loa strengthens and their connection to these powerful voodoo spirits eventually gives them the ability to curse and heal at a whim.

Brave practitioners of rituals and dark rites, shadow hunters tread a cautious line between darkness and light. Often misunderstood but always respected by those who have witnessed their eerie powers, shadow hunters rely on faith in the Loa and the ability to communicate with them. Through the magic of prayer and ritual, a shadow hunter spends a lot of time maintaining the particular relationship he shares with the Loa.[12]

Roughly spoken, shadow hunters are former headhunters who have gone deeply into the arts of voodoo and Loa. However, they have not forgotten their hunting skills, which makes a shadow hunter very dangerous in combat. They can stand far away from their enemies while throwing weapons at rapid speed, track down enemies with ease, and also heal themselves and allies. Of all trolls, shadow hunters are the most feared. The traditional shadow hunter weapon is a fel glaive, a long double sword (with a blade set on either end of the handle) which looks a bit different from a moon glaive.[13]

Loa blessings

The voodoo faith of the shadow hunter deals with beings they call the Loa. 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.

The Loa Legba is a master of swift motion. Through him, the shadow hunter learns to bestow great speed and grace to his allies.

Lukou is the Loa of healing and respite. She grants the shadow hunter the ability to heal his allies. With a word, the shadow hunter can invoke a scintillating rain of positive energy, which drops from the sky to heal all living allies it touches.

Samedi is the Loa of cemeteries and the restful sleep of the dead. In Samedi’s eyes, the undead are abominations that should be destroyed. A shadow hunter with this ability may attempt to smite an undead with one normal melee attack. If the shadow hunter accidentally smites a creature that is not undead, the smite has no effect.

Shango controls the realm of storms, and he guards the secrets of lightning and mayhem. By channeling the fury of this powerful and often unpredictable Loa, the shadow hunter can throw a lightning bolt that deals electrical damage.

Ogoun, the Loa of war, teaches the shadow hunter to place dire curses upon his enemies. The shadow hunter may change a single targeted individual into a frog. This ability functions like a shaman's [Hex].

Dambala, the Loa of serpents and treachery, teaches the shadow hunter to move swiftly and quietly by changing his shape into that of a serpent.[14]

Shadow hunters in the world

SHM&M.jpg

The shadow hunter's craft originated within jungle troll society. Since joining the Horde, this breed of civilized trolls has taught voodoo to others deemed worthy of the ancient faith. They also taught the shadow hunter craft to a few special individuals who shared a passion for the faith. Some orcs and tauren have since then become skilled shadow hunters, but the vast majority of members of this class remain jungle trolls. Shadow hunters may be members of any culture and society, but most are part of the Horde. Their intrinsic connection with the Loa and their strong faith in the traditional religion of the jungle trolls make shadow hunters veritable paragons of the faith. Thus, most jungle trolls view shadow hunters as the sacred keepers of their ancient beliefs. As such, shadow hunters ensure that the Loa continue to bless their people by maintaining the age-old traditions and strengthening bonds with the powerful spirits.

Traditionally, most shadow hunters remain in their homelands, providing sound counsel to tribal chieftains and warriors as well as lending a hand in battle and during other times of need. Today, many shadow hunters roam the world in search of adventure while seeking to further their faith as well as the interests of their people. In olden times, shadow hunters donned special rush'kah masks when performing ceremonies. As they travel throughout the lands of Azeroth, many shadow hunters wear these unique ceremonial masks to cover their features and inspire fear in others.[12]

Notable

Notes and trivia

  • Shadow hunters were already a playable hero unit in the Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos early beta. Among the possible names were "Zul'Araj" and "Alar Heartkiller".
    • When the shadow hunter was re-announced for Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne, the unit model included a wooden mask. Sometime during beta, however, the mask was removed. Even the concept art was updated with a maskless version. No reason has been given for the change. Though the fantasy of the mask was kept and remains until today, namely, a Rush'kah.
  • There are human shadow hunters, with no similarities to troll shadow hunters except for their name.
  • Shadow Hunter Bwu'ja heard screams from the Shadowlands.[15] Connection between the shadow hunters and the spirit world was first mentioned in now non-canon books.
  • Shadow hunters have been spelt differently over the years, "Shadow Hunter", "Shadowhunter" and "Shadow-Hunter". With "Shadow Hunter" being the most commonly used, and might be the most correct spelling out of the three.
  • Some shadow hunters dual-wield glaives, similarly to demon hunters.[16]
  • In World of Warcraft terms, different shadow hunters have been seen as variants of hunters, shamans, rogues, or priests.
    • While shadow hunters primarily use glaives, they have also been seen with bows and polearms, weapons usable by hunters, and many have been depicted wearing hunter-variant mail. Some have also been seen with animal pets, such as the panthers in Zul'Gurub which tail behind Gurubashi shadow hunters. Vol'jin mentions in Shadows of the Horde that he once had a pet that died.[citation needed] 
    • [Healing Wave] and [Hex] were Warcraft III shadow hunter abilities that were given to shamans (though the shadow hunter spell functioned more like [Chain Heal], another shaman spell).  [Vol'jin's Serpent Totem] is a shaman-exclusive toy that summons the Serpent Ward shadow hunters used in Warcraft III. Vol'jin has also been called a shaman,[17] but this could have been an oversight
    • Vol'jin and other shadow hunter NPCs have also used shadow priest abilities throughout World of Warcraft, such as Shadow Word: Pain, something not part of the Warcraft III unit's skill set.
    • Some shadow hunter NPCs have been seen using rogue abilities, and have been depicted wearing rogue leather armor. They've also been seen in different places using either the rogue's variant of stealth, or the hunter's variant of camouflage.
  • Like troll druids, shadow hunters commune with multiple loa. This is in contrast with troll priests, who are devoted to only one loa.[18]
  • It is possible the Zandalari stalker guards were originally intended to be shadow hunters instead.

Gallery

References