- "Zandalar Tribe" redirects here. For the (former) in-game reputation faction, see Zandalar Tribe (faction).
- This article is about the Zandalari troll lore. For the playable race, see Zandalari troll (playable). For trolls in general, see Troll.
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The Zandalari are the original troll species. Their tribe was the most powerful one to arise, and as the most superstitious tribe of trolls, they settled on the highest peaks of a mountain range populated with loa, which they would name Zandalar, and where they would eventually build the massive temple city of Zuldazar. They united the other disparate tribes into a single mighty force which they called the Empire of Zul to fight off the aqir. The Zandalari are scholarly and value knowledge; they preserve troll history, and work to further the goals of troll society as a whole. They are also masters of war and strategy, having led the trolls in many battles before, and having for many millennia tamed massive dinosaurs.
Since the Cataclysm, alarmed by the terrible losses of life among all trolls, the Zandalari prophet and his followers traveled around the world to reunite their race and rebuild their once-powerful empire, conducting bloody raids on territories that had once been theirs. Zul then tried to retake the lands that the Thunder King had promised the Zandalari centuries ago, allying with the mogu once more and launching an assault on the continent of Pandaria.
- 1 History
- 1.1 Ancient history
- 1.2 The Aqir and Troll War
- 1.3 The mogu and pandaren
- 1.4 The Sundering
- 1.5 The Troll Wars
- 1.6 First war against the Soulflayer
- 1.7 The goblin rebellion
- 1.8 Wrath of the Soulflayer
- 1.9 Wrath of the Lich King
- 1.10 Cataclysm
- 1.11 Mists of Pandaria
- 1.12 Vol'jin: Shadows of the Horde
- 1.13 The Thunder King
- 1.14 Legion
- 1.15 Battle for Azeroth
- 2 Appearance & traits
- 3 Culture & people
- 4 Notable members
- 5 In the RPG
- 6 Notes & trivia
- 7 Speculation
- 8 Gallery
- 9 Patch changes
- 10 References
The Zandalari were one of the earliest known tribes of trolls, and the earliest known breed of trolls. The early trolls, who revered and worshiped the Wild Gods (or loa, as they called them), gathered around a sacred mountain range in southern Kalimdor, where many of the loa dwelled. Calling the mountain range Zandalar, the lesser tribes built small encampments upon its slopes, but the most powerful tribe, the Zandalari, claimed its highest plateaus and peaks. There, the Zandalari built a cluster of crude shrines that in time grew into the bustling temple city of Zuldazar. In these old days, before trolls gathered in great cities, the shadow hunters were the leaders of the small tribes. As cities grew and the Zandalari grew in power the shadow hunters' influence was lessened, but the position is still highly respected.
Their society was built heavily on a caste system, and as time went on those castes evolved into their own people. Most Zandalari were scholarly and valued knowledge; however, a significant portion desired conquest instead. These disaffected trolls eventually left the Zandalari to found other tribes, and the scholarly Zandalari were content to see them go, seeing them as children who would see the folly of youthful rebellion and come back begging for Zandalari approval. However, the trolls would not return.
Over the next several centuries, other troll tribes started to emerge. Two main empires were the forest troll nation of the Amani and the jungle troll nation of the Gurubashi, who challenged one another for territory and power. Other empires co-existed with them, whose focus was not to climb any further in power at the time. The ice troll nation of the Drakkari and the progenitor nation of them all, the Zandalari.
As time went on, other trolls came to regard the Zandalari as an overarching priest caste for all trolls. The Zandalari preserved troll history, and they worked to further the goals of troll society as a whole. Though they had the respect and admiration of all other trolls, the Zandalari did not wield sovereignty over the other trolls, nor did they seek such authority.
The Aqir and Troll War
- Main article: Aqir and Troll War
Only one place was forbidden by Zandalari's witch doctors and priests: a small mound of blackened stone at the base of the Zandalar Mountains. The loa warned the tribes' mystics of severe consequences should they disturb the black stones. For many years, none of the trolls dared disobey. But curiosity eventually won out, and a group of rebellious trolls pumbled the forbidden mound. They discovered that the black stones were not mere rocks - they were the jagged hide of a monstrous creature. The trolls believed it to be an undiscovered loa, and a powerful one at that, considering that the other loa were frightened by it. The trolls performed vile rituals and living sacrifices to awaken the slumbering monstrosity.
Roused by the blood offerings, the gigantic C'Thraxxi general known as emerged from its long slumber and slaughtered all those who had revived it. The ancient loa had in fact buried Kith'ix in ancient times when he collapsed before the Zandalar Mountains, fleeing, gravely wounded, from the fight he had with Keeper Tyr. Kith'ix, fully awakened, knew it would delight the Old Gods to see this pitiful civilization rent to ashes. He reached out with its mind and took control of the aqir dwelling underground. The aqiri swarms began building a vast subterranean empire known as Azj'Aqir, and when they had swollen enough in number, the C'Thrax led them to make war against the trolls.
The aqiri threat was unlike any the trolls had ever faced. Numerous smaller tribes fell before them. As they got dangerously close to the Zandalar Mountains, the Zandalari moved to act. They united the disparate troll tribes into a single mighty force, which they called the Empire of Zul. Its members would put aside their differences and work together to destroy the aqir.
The Zandalari took on the role of commanding the troll armies. With their temple city looming high in the mountains, they could detect enemy movements and direct attacks at weak points. Under their guidance, the other trolls used ambush tactics to whittle down the enemy's numbers in the surrounding jungles. Elsewhere, revered priests summoned the loa to assail their enemies, and they would join the troll warriors in battle, ripping through the aqiri ranks and even wounding Kith'ix.
The aqir were forced to retreat before they could mount a proper siege on the sacred mountains. Kith'ix, gravely wounded by the loa, fled to the northeast. The Zandalari knew that their enemy still posed a grave threat, as it would attack outlying troll territories. At the Zandalari's behest, the other tribes moved out to hunt down the aqir. The trolls quickly learned it was not enough to simply kill the insectoids : if any aqir escaped underground, they would establish a new colony and rise up again later. To permanently end the threat, no corner of the continent could be left unguarded. The Zandalari thus convinced the most power-hungry troll factions to establish new strongholds across Azeroth. Chief among these groups were the Amani, Gurubashi, and Drakkari. After defeating the aqir, they could claim the fertile new lands for themselves, without any competition.
And so the Drakkari pushed into the frigid north, but they faced unexpected resistance in the form of corrupted tol'vir, who had been enthralled by the aqir. The obsidian destroyers almost overpowered the Drakkari, but they devised brilliant ways to topple and shatter their foes.
The Gurubashi also encountered corrupted titan-forged in the southwest, where the aqir had overrun Ahn'Qiraj, in the form of enslaved anubisath giants. They slaugethered several large Gurubashi encampmants. The Zandalari instructed Gurubashi priests to separate their tribe into smaller, more mobile raiding groups instead of large armies, allowing them to bleed their enemies dry and win.
Meanwhile, the Amani had set out to destroy Kith'ix, and tracked his trail to the northeastern woodlands. In a suicidal attack against the C'Thrax, they defeated Kith'ix, and only a tiny fraction of the troll army survived. They became legend among the trolls and established a temple city known as Zul'Aman.
After many centuries of brutal fighting, the trolls shattered the aqir empire. Without war to bind them together, the troll factions grew ever more distant and insular. The tribes eventually grew into empires in their own right, and the Zandalari withdrew to their mountain plateaus to pursue spiritual knowledge, but they would always maintain an immense influence of the disparate troll societies.
The mogu and pandaren
Many millennia past the mogu and trolls met. , a high priest of the Zandalari, proposed to Emperor an exchange of each other's secrets; the mogu's arcane power for the trolls' knowledge of the lands beyond the vale. Together, the two empires would be unstoppable. They should have destroyed each other, but they understood that in a war, pitting strength against strength, the survivor would be weakened and might even succumb to creatures far weaker than it. That would be a tragedy that neither race wanted. With back firmly set against back, mogu and trolls carved out their positions in the world.
Both the mogu and Zandalari held contempt for one another. The Zandalari thought themselves above the mogu for two reasons: the presence of the loa, and that the Zandalari did not use slaves as the mogu did. The mutual contempt between the two would grow to polite indifference. They trusted the other not to attack, because they were confident they would defeat the other. While Zandalari and mogu stood back to back, they did not watch the other and did not see the other falter.
12,200 years before the Dark Portal, Lei Shen sought to claim the Forge of Origination in Uldum. Its tol'vir guardians were to become honored members of the mogu empire under his leadership. However, the tol'vir became furious upon learning that Lei Shen had betrayed Highkeeper Ra and refused. The mogu army marched on Uldum accompanied by their troll allies. The tol'vir could not resist them and instead configured the Forge of Origination to purge the area around Uldum of almost all life. The death of the Thunder King and most of the Zandalari leadership (including Zulathra) left massive power vacuums, striking a mortal blow to both empires.
300 years later, after the pandaren revolted against the mogu, great debate raged within the Zandalari capital of Zuldazar as to how to acquire a large plot of land that the Zandalari had been promised by their mogu allies. A descendant of the great high priest Zulathra, , convinced the other Zandalari that the best course of action was to take the territory by force, as the pandaren and their allies were unlikely to honor an agreement made by their cruel former masters. And so the Zandalari marched south into Pandaria, beginning the Zandalari Troll Wars.
Overcoming this threat was to be one of the Pandaren Empire's first tests of strength, but through tenacity, diplomacy, and a unique form of unarmed combat, the pandaren staged a successful revolution that deposed their tyrants and established an empire that would prosper for thousands of years. Imbued with mystic powers and riding great dinosaur war mounts, the Zandalari at first met with little resistance by the pandaren. The tide of war only turned when formed the Order of the Cloud Serpent by teaching her fellow pandaren how to tame and ride the powerful cloud serpents, thus giving the pandaren a counter to the Zandalari's airborne pterrorwings and batriders. The trolls realized they could not win by conventional means, so Mengazi turned to one final tactic: resurrecting Lei Shen. However, the trolls' efforts to resurrect the Thunder King from his resting place in the Tomb of Conquerors were thwarted by the serpent riders, as Jiang sacrificed herself in a final, desperate attack, killing Mengazi. The other Zandalari soon broke ranks and fled back to Zandalar in shame, ending the war. Despite being defeated and pushed from the island now called Pandaria, the Zandalari, just like the mogu, remained in Pandaren lore, and slowly turned into "bogeymen".
theorized that humans and possibly even some Zandalari may have sided with the Pandaren in the pandaren rebellion 12,000 years ago. When Vol'jin pointed out the attitude of the Zandalari and the uncivilised humans at that time, Taran Zhu explained that there are some exceptions in every race.
The Zandalari eventually clashed with the nascent night elves. Drawing arcane magic from the Well of Eternity, the night elves shocked the trolls by handing them a rapid and resounding defeat. The night elves pushed the trolls out of some of their lands and were then able to establish the Kaldorei Empire.
When the Great Sundering came, the wise Zandalari trolls wove swift magics to protect their realm. The land around their territory shuddered; waves crashed in and trees and soil sank beneath the waves. Through it all, the Zandalari's land remained largely intact. After the Sundering, the Zandalari discovered that their territory was now an island. Seeing no reason to leave it, they set about rebuilding their settlements and continuing their studies. They adapted to island life, and over thousands of years, learned how to master the seas.
After the Sundering, the Zandalari started exploring numerous islands that dotted the newly formed Great Sea. During one of these trips, they discovered Kezan and the goblin race, who were very primitive but still possessed some intellect. Initially the two races kept a distance as the Zandalari only came to the island in order to mine the rare mineral kaja'mite. While the trolls didn't know too much about it, they realized that it was very potent, and used it as a sacred component in their rituals and ceremonies. For many centuries the trolls mined and occasionally even paid goblins in trinkets in order to work for them, but this arrangement was soon to change. At some point the trolls, while digging, discovered that Kezan possessed an unimaginable deposit of kaja'mite underground, more than they would ever need. So rather than digging themselves, they enslaved the goblins and force them to drill in terrible conditions. For thousands of years the goblins, too weak to resist, suffered under the rule of the Zandalari.
The Troll Wars
Thousands of years after the Sundering, 2,800 years before the Dark Portal was opened, the Zandalari traveled to the Eastern Kingdoms to help the forest trolls of Zul'Aman against the high elves of Quel'Thalas. In the Amani, the Zandalari saw an opportunity to revitalize one of their race's most powerful tribes and reassert dominance on the Eastern Kingdoms.
The Zandalari formed an alliance with the Amani, and marshaled their forces for the impending conquest. The Zandalari would ensure that the mighty loa demigods would aid the trolls in battle. To settle the matter of leadership and infighting that had plagued the forest trolls, the Zandalari made one of the Amani's fiercest warriors, , the ruler of his people. Small Amani warbands ventured from Zul'Aman to raid the high elves and test their strength.The cunning trolls hid their true numbers and capabilities; and after several successful attacks, decided that the time for all-out war had finally come. Without warning, tens of thousands of troll fighters exploded from the shadowy forests. Fearsome loa demigods marched alongside the Amani, infusing their adherents with supernatural power. The high elves struggled desperately to hold back the trolls, but were forced to give ground. With astonishing speed, the Amani laid waste to the outer reaches of Quel'Thalas. The Zandalari emissaries were pleased by what they saw: even the elves and their potent arcane powers could not withstand the might of the Amani—the might of the troll race.
Eventually, the elves would find help in the humans, whose tribes had been united into the kingdom of Arathor by . The union of elves and humans ultimately ended in the trolls losing what would come to be known as the Troll Wars, with Jintha and hundreds of troll soldiers dying to a horrific firestorm conjured by the first human mages in history. The disastrous battle floored the Zandalari emissaries. Once so confident of victory, they skulked back to their island home in disbelief and shame. For them, the defeat marked a dark turning point in troll history, one from which their beleaguered race might never recover.
First war against the Soulflayer
1,500 years before the opening of the Dark Portal, the Zandalari noticed that their Gurubashi brethren on the mainland were growing rapidly in power and territory, attributing their victories to the influence of the god . At first, the Zandalari were glad for the fellow trolls. However, as Zul'Gurub continued to expand, the Zandalari's pleased surprise turned to disquiet. They consulted myths and delved into historical accounts. What they learned horrified them: Hakkar was also known as the "Soulflayer", a name he had richly earned. He filled his adherents with murderous rage and reveled in their dark emotions. The carnage that invariably followed Hakkar suited him perfectly, for having consumed blood he had developed a taste for it. Worse, he became more powerful as he consumed the blood shed in his name, and his tie to the world that was feeding him grew stronger.
Every Zandalari who could fight immediately set out for Stranglethorn Vale and brought the terrible tidings to the jungle trolls. They were branded as heretics. Heathens, known as freethinkers, dared to challenge the priests of Hakkar, and were therefore hunted and killed as vermin. However, those heathens never wavered in their fight against the Blood God. The Gurubashi Empire was already in a state of civil unrest due to the numerous sacrifices that Hakkar was demanding. With the Zandalar tribe's news, the jungle trolls banded together with the Zandalar tribe and rose up in open revolt against the bloodthirsty Soulflayer. The united tribes narrowly defeated the Blood God and cast out the Atal'ai. Despite their victory, however, the Gurubashi Empire soon fell.
Shortly after the fall of the Gurubashi, the Zandalar almost succumbed to a final defeat from evil within their own tribe. It was then that the confessors amongst them arose, preserving the tribe by banishing out those who would destroy their own kind. In the dark days after the Gurubashi Empire ripped itself up, the augurs led the Zandalari to the tribe's safe haven in the South Seas. In those dark times, Zandalar predators used their prowess to provide sustenance for the tribe.
The goblin rebellion
As the trolls' goblin slaves worked the kaja'mite mines on Kezan, they breathed in the dust of the ore that clouded the mines, over time it began to awake the goblins' dormant intelligence. Secretly they plotted to start a rebellion, gathering any materials they could find and hide in order to create a wide range of weapons, traps and explosives. One hundred years before the opening of the Dark Portal, the troll overseers were caught completely off guard when the goblin masses stormed out from the mines, armed with technology that the Zandalari couldn't even imagine at the time. The trolls' hold over Kezan was shattered completely, their mining operation failed and the surviving Zandalari fled. The goblins were now free, and in order to celebrate their new found freedom they turned on each other, creating chaos as countless feuds were waged and alliances formed. Soon enough they were split into various different groups, with the most powerful of these groups known as the cartels.
Although they no longer inhabit it, Kezan is still sacred to the Zandalari to this day.
Wrath of the SoulflayerThis section concerns content exclusive to World of Warcraft.
In recent years the exiled Atal'ai priests have discovered that Hakkar's physical form can only be summoned within the ancient and once-deserted capital of the Gurubashi Empire, Zul'Gurub. Unfortunately, the priests have met with success in their quest to call forth Hakkar — reports confirm the presence of the dreaded Soulflayer in the heart of the ruins.
And so the Zandalar tribe arrived on the shores of Azeroth at Yojamba Isle to battle Hakkar once again. But the Blood God had grown increasingly powerful, bending several tribes to his will and even commanded the avatars of the Gurubashi's loa — Bat, Panther, Tiger, Spider, and Snake. With the tribes splintered, the Zandalari had been forced to recruit champions from Azeroth's varied and disparate races to battle the Soulflayer.
Wrath of the Lich KingThis section concerns content exclusive to Wrath of the Lich King.
The Zandalari trolls traveled to Zul'Drak in Northrend to record the fall of the Drakkari to the Scourge. They established bases at Zim'Torga and Dubra'Jin. In doing so, they discovered that the Drakkari were killing their loa to obtain their powers. This was something new; in the recent conflicts at Zul'Aman and Zul'Gurub the loa had been imprisoned, not outright killed. The Zandalari opposed the Drakkari in their efforts to slay their gods, but still did not help them against the Scourge.
CataclysmThis section concerns content exclusive to Cataclysm.
With the Gurubashi trolls and Hakkar no longer an issue, most of the Zandalari in Stranglethorn Vale returned to Zandalar, leaving Yojamba Isle empty.
Years ago, God King Rastakhan's most trusted prophet, , warned him of a terrible Cataclysm. For Zul had seen a vision of a great armored dragon clenching the world in his ferocious jaws. Months later Zul returned, bearing more grim news from his visions. He saw a legion of serpents pouring forth from a gaping fissure that tore open the floor of the ocean. Still, King Rastakhan did nothing. Finally, mere months before the Cataclysm, Zul returned. Tearing his clothes and throwing his staff to the ground, Zul spoke of earthquakes and tidal waves. He described the golden capital of Zandalar slowly sinking beneath the waves in the aftermath of the Cataclysm, its once-great people drowning as their mighty works slipped forever beneath the sea. He advised the council and the king to unite with the other troll tribes and to abandon their doomed homeland. Despite Zul's infamy, the council refused to believe in the scope of the disaster to come. Many felt that Zul was grandstanding to increase his own status and power. But the Cataclysm would come just as Zul foresaw and Zandalar would indeed be damaged; the spine of the land split in two, parts of the island fell into the sea, and the region of Nazmir began to sink.
In years past, the Zandalar tribe, encompassing the wise and scholarly progenitors of the trolls, heroically assisted the Horde and the Alliance with thwarting the nefarious activities of their brethren in Zul'Gurub and Zul'Drak. Yet the chaos unleashed by the recent Cataclysm has reshaped the Zandalari's philosophy about the world and the dwindling remnants of their race. Led by Zul, the Zandalari have issued a call to Azeroth's embattled troll populations: unite into a single mighty empire and save their race from extinction. Thus far, the Gurubashi and Amani trolls have answered the summons and received aid from the Zandalari, allowing them to rebuild their respective capitals in Zul'Gurub and Zul'Aman. Not all trolls, however, have so eagerly adopted the Zandalari's grandiose vision of a new troll empire. Vol'jin and his Darkspear tribe are opposed to the warmongering espoused by Zul. To prevent the burgeoning Gurubashi and Amani troll forces from wreaking havoc on Azeroth, Vol'jin has reached out to his Horde comrades and members of the Alliance for assistance. Should the Darkspears' campaign fail, a new troll empire shall rise and bring war to a world already beset by suffering and conflict.
The Zandalar tribe returned, resulting in the Gurubashi tribe's plan to retake Stranglethorn Vale, leading to a new assault on Zul'Gurub. Their involvement is also touched in Zul'Aman. They are being opposed by and his Darkspear followers, who claim that they are manipulating the Amani and are the real threat. Vol'jin explains that the Zandalari are seeking to create a new troll empire, reaching out to all of the troll tribes, including the Amani, Gurubashi and his own Darkspear tribe - the likes of which would be a grave threat if not immediately dealt with. With aid from both and Vol'jin was able to create an appropriate battle plan and personally leads a strike force into Zul'Aman and with the aid of adventurers puts an end to and the Zandalari's efforts within Zul'Aman.
Darkspear agents inside Zul'Gurub have discovered that is wrestling into submission, holding him by spirit chains and stripping out his power into himself. They enlist adventurers to put an end to Jin'do's mad plans once and for all. Upon destroying the spiritual chains holding the Soulflayer in place, Hakkar turns upon Jin'do, and utterly destroys him, leaving only the corpse of Jin'do the Broken. Hakkar then returns the adventurers to the mortal realm, promising to deal with them another time, before vanishing. Though Hakkar is free, the Zandalari have lost their hold on Zul'Gurub.
Mists of PandariaThis section concerns content exclusive to Mists of Pandaria.
After the mists of Pandaria collapsed, the Zandalari were intensely curious about Pandaria, even more so perhaps than the Horde and Alliance were. Even with their defeat in Zul'Aman and Zul'Gurub the Zandalari have decided to continue their war efforts and appear in the Kun-Lai Summit of Pandaria. Having set up their base of operations on the island north of the mainland, they now pour down the shores of the region, attacking the denizens. They also hired and brought the gnolls of Blackmane.
Long before the pandaren have established their empire on the continent, the Zandalari were allies with the then-ruling mogu and fought the pandaren for a long time. Now that the mists cloaking the continent have disappeared, the warmongering tribe returns to the ancient continent once more. With their homeland damaged by the Cataclysm, the Zandalari wish to make Pandaria their new home, before Zandalar sinks beneath the sea. To support them in their campaign, they plan to reforge their old alliance with the mogu by reviving , the Thunder King.
The forces of Zandalari in Pandaria are led by under direct orders from the mysterious dark prophet Zul. Most of them are involved in the art of spiritbinding: a common art of dark magic practiced by them and their mogu allies, that can transfer a spirit into a new host body. They plan to reanimate the teracotta bodies slumbering within the crypts of Valley of the Emperors in Kun-Lai Summit in order to fuel the growing mogu army intended to reclaim Pandaria, and eventually the dreaded figure that terrorized the land and "lesser races" inhabiting it in ancient times, the infamous emperor , the Thunder King himself. The Zandalari eventually manage to reclaim the body and move it to the Isle of Reckoning, where the prophet made his lair. The Zandalari along with the help of all united troll tribes and mercenaries started to assault Zouchin Village near the Summit's coast, but the invasion was ultimately repelled, the prophet slain, but it was too late to stop Thunder King's resurrection.
Some of the Zandalari have managed to break into Mogu'shan Vaults, searching for arcane secrets. is leading the incursion.
Vol'jin: Shadows of the HordeThis section concerns content exclusive to the Warcraft novels or short stories.
Several weeks after Lei Shen's revival, the Zandalari sent a second attack force to Zouchin Village. Led by , the purpose of this attack was to secure a landing spot for Zandalari ships going between Pandaria and the Isle of Thunder. The attack was met with resistance from the Shado-Pan, as well as and Vol'jin. Despite the defense, the Zandalari successfully took Zouchin and the pandaren living there were forced to flee.
Khal'ak and her forces would later travel to Tu Shen Burial Ground in the Vale of Eternal Blossoms to revive Lei Shen's trusted . Once again they found resistance from the Shado-Pan, though they were taken prisoner by the Zandalari save for Vol'jin, who Khal'ak attempted to convince to leave the Horde and join the Zandalari. Khal'ak and her forces brought the prisoners and Vol'jin to the Isle of Thunder, where Vol'jin freed his comrades and they returned to the Shado-Pan Monastery.
The Zandalari, their mogu allies, and their Gurubashi and Amani servants attacked the Monastery and found themselves facing The Thirty-three. Despite the overwhelming numbers, the Zandalari forces fell to traps and the superior fighting skills of the Monastery's defenders. Khal'ak was killed when Vol'jin pierced her throat with a monk technique.
The Thunder KingThis section concerns content exclusive to Mists of Pandaria.
Most of the Zandalari have joined Lei Shen in his island fortress - Throne of Thunder. Under Lei Shen's orders, the Zandalari begin building massive ships in areas already under mogu occupation. Zandalari and mogu forces have landed at most of the coastlines in Pandaria, and have begun to invade the surrounding regions. This Zandalari army that marched on the island of the Thunder King is not the entire Zandalari race, but one branch of their force that's cruising out around the world. The Zandalari were promised generous holdings along the northern coast of Pandaria by Lei Shen.
Sometime after the events at the Isle of Thunder, the Zandalari have turned their focus on rallying the Frostmane tribe of Dun Morogh against Ironforge, but their plans were thwarted by Moira Bronzebeard and .
LegionThis section concerns content exclusive to Legion.
Battle for AzerothThis section concerns content exclusive to Battle for Azeroth.
In the new expansion, Battle for Azeroth, the Horde have come to Zandalar to recruit the Zandalari into the Horde as a result of another war with the Alliance. The Zandalari are under attack by the blood trolls and in a civil war between the followers of Zul and the followers of Rastakhan.
Appearance & traits
Up until Rise of the Zandalari, most Zandalari appeared as skinny pinkish-white trolls. In Cataclysm they were given a re-skinned ice troll model and had a larger build than before, with a yellowish-tan skin. This new look was used for their appearance until patch 5.2.0 where it was updated once more. Their newest appearance has them standing upright with skin colours ranging from gray, black, green and blue, accompanied by glowing eyes in the colour of yellow or blue. This new design is how Blizzard always envisioned them. The Zandalari received another model update in Battle for Azeroth when they became playable. This kept their Mists of Pandaria design but updated their animations to match the quality of player races, and also introduced female Zandalari with the Mists design.
Some Zandalari are seen with stone-esque patches on various areas of their bodies. Such as their brows, shoulders, forearms, hands and ankles. Though not all Zandalari have these patches, and retain a much smoother appearance. The stone-esque patches some Zandalari have can also grow into spikes.
As with other trolls, the Zandalari have three fingers on each hand as well as two frontal toes. However, unlike their descendants, they seem to lack a heel-toe. Which might either be a mutation among the other troll subspecies, or missed during development.
Many male Zandalari stand a head taller than an upright jungle troll on average, most even more. And even short males tend to be taller.
Female Zandalari stand taller than male and female trolls from other subspecies, excluding ice trolls and dark trolls.
The Zandalari are considered the finest specimen of all troll tribes, with their royal stature and being the original species of troll. Some humans even called them the "elves of trolls", much to their immense offense. Their beauty and noble physical appearances were inherited by their descendants - the night elves, the Nightborne, the high elves and the blood elves, explaining these races' typical beauty.
They are quick learners and carry out tasks well. Having mastered the usage of magic and communing with the spirits, they are able to wield magic with incredible power, backed up by fifteen millennia of accumulated knowledge due to their scholarly nature. They are long-lived, though how long is unknown. An example is who has ruled the modern Zandalari for over 200 years.
After patch 5.2
Culture & people
Zandalari society has remained an unchanging hierarchy for thousands of years. Hardworking farmers, fishers, and craftsmen form the peasant caste, the foundation of the empire. Zandalari elders tell them what to harvest, when to plant, and how to behave. To disobey the elders is to disobey the gods, an offense punishable by exile or death. The Zandalari warrior caste sits above the peasantry, acting as the arms of the King and the might of the council. Dexterity is not prized among Zandalari warriors: Brute force, backed by ancient magics, is the preferred combat style. Dictating every aspect of Zandalari society down to the very last detail are the scholars of the priesthood. Masters of magic and communing with the spirits, these respected bastions of knowledge stand upon fifteen millennia worth of accumulated knowledge. The highest of these have a seat on the Zanchuli Council, which both advise the King and ensures his every command is executed upon. The council is consulted before every battle or major decision. From a golden throne, lording over all of the Zandalari, rests the great King . Empowered by the Zandalari gods themselves to act as their voice, he has ruled for over two hundred years.
Being a Zandalari farmer apparently involves taking the "rock test" by lifting heavy stones above one's head and show that one's back is strong, after which one gets a job pushing plow living on dirt.
There is no room for weakness among the Zandalari. Strength, ferocity, stamina, power: These are the traits by which success is measured. At adolescence, those Zandalari males not chosen to be priests or scholars must prove their strength to the council, the king, and the gods themselves. Any display of physical power will do. Tournaments and competitions are held as children come of age. Adolescents prepare for their trials with years of training, communion with the spirits, and by tattooing sigils of power onto their skin. A common rite is to travel to one of the violent, beast-ruled islands near the capital to steal or subdue a wild creature. The lesser troll races have their own, humbler versions of this tradition. But the mastery of ravasaurs or raptors is nothing compared to the power required to call upon a devilsaur or direhorn.
The ultimate symbol of power amongst the Zandalari is the garb they wear in battle, and the tribe acknowledges station and power through what the Zandalari wear. The Zandalar prize what they wear as a symbol of accomplishment. One doesn't need to be able to see what one wears to be able to sense what emanates from it - power transcends sight.
The Zandalari, during the aftermath of the Sundering that had turned Zandalar into an island, mastered the seas over thousands of years and as such their navy rivals, if not surpasses that of Kul Tiras.
Their cloth features dinosaur leather and gold.
The Zandalari worship beings referred to as loa. Countless loa exist, most weak, but some very powerful. Most are shapeless, whereas others have animal or creature forms. Zandalari 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. These spirits are central to the Zandalari worldview: so say the loa, so go the Zandalari.
The homeland of the Zandalari, Zandalar, was once a mountain range on ancient Kalimdor that was home to many loa. It was there that the Zandalari built their bustling capital of Zuldazar, a temple city. Following the Great Sundering, Zandalar is now a large island located in the South Seas.
Zandalari casters, priests and Loa Speakers utilize their faith in the loa to bestow incredible powers upon their weaponry, as well as their bestial companions. Items and animals empowered this way are referred to as "Loa-Infused". Loa-Infused items are often passed down through generations, with each generation adding more power to the item. Two such items are: and having belonged to two Zandalari brothers, and respectively.
Zandalari classes vary with regular ones in names and in several aspects.
- Demoniac, dinomancer, freethinker, haruspex, illusionist, madcap, predator, confessor, augur, vindicator.
- Main article: Zandalari Beast Ward
However, the Zandalari Beast Ward on the Isle of Thunder have resorted to ancient ways of magically breaking the animals with the aid of charms and fetishes, due to their lack of time to bond with them.
|God King of the Zandalari||Alive||Zuldazar, Zandalar|
|Dark Prophet of the Zanchuli Council||Alive||Unknown|
|Formerly part of the expedition to Yojamba Isle||Killable||East of Bay of Echoes, Isle of Thunder|
|Right hand of||Deceased||Unknown|
|Watches over Zul'Gurub along with||Alive||Hardwrench Hideaway, Cape of Stranglethorn|
|Seeks to record the final hours of the Drakkari Empire||Alive||Cave of Mam'toth, Gundrak|
|Attempting to command||Killable||Isle of Giants|
|Servitor of Rastakhan||Unknown||Formerly Yojamba Isle, Stranglethorn Vale|
|Formerly part of the expedition to Yojamba Isle||Unknown||Formerly Yojamba Isle, Stranglethorn Vale|
|Lead the Zandalari assault on Mogu'shan Vaults; Zandalari representative on the||Killable||Emperor's Reach, Mogu'shan Vaults; Lightning Promenade, Throne of Thunder|
|Emissary of||Alive||Fort Livingston, Northern Stranglethorn|
|Herald of Rastakhan||Killable||Shimmer Ridge, Blood in the Snow|
|Berserker imbued with power by||Killable||Overgrown Statuary, Throne of Thunder|
|Leader of the Kabal||Alive||Gadgetzan|
|Took part in the invasion of Pandaria||Deceased||Unknown|
|Watches over Zul'Gurub along with||Alive||Explorers' League Digsite, Cape of Stranglethorn|
|Commander of the Zandalari forces during the Zandalari Troll Wars||Deceased||Unknown|
|The Gatekeeper, formerly Hand of Rastakhan||Killable||Stormsea Landing, Isle of Thunder|
|Lord of Tempest||Killable||Throne of Thunder|
|Acquired 's corpse||Killable||Thunder's Call, Kun-Lai Summit|
|Emissary of||Alive||Bambala, Northern Stranglethorn|
|Daughter of Rastakhan, Princess of the Zandalari||Alive||Zuldazar, Zandalar|
|One of the leaders of the invasion of Pandaria||Unknown||Unknown|
|Servitor of Zanza||Unknown||Formerly Yojamba Isle, Stranglethorn Vale|
|Warlord blessed by||Killable||Conqueror's Terrace, Isle of Thunder|
|Warlord||Killable||Isle of Giants|
|Leader of the Zandalari Beast Ward||Killable||Royal Amphitheater, Throne of Thunder|
|Witch doctor||Alive||Zim'Torga, Zul'Drak|
In the RPGThis section concerns content exclusive to the Warcraft RPG and is considered non-canon.
Zandalar is an island in the South Seas to the southwest of Westfall on Azeroth. On this island live trolls — thousands upon thousands of trolls. It is understandably a difficult place to visit for anyone who isn’t a troll. The Zandalar tribe is the progenitor tribe from which all other troll tribes sprang. Zandalar has long been the heart of all troll culture throughout the world. Zandalari are their own separate sort of troll — not jungle trolls, not forest trolls, not ice or dark or sand. (However, several groups of other trolls live on Zandalar, including jungle trolls beneath the canopy and ice trolls on snowy Mount Mugamba.) The Zandalari’s overall goal remains what it always has been: to maintain troll history and continue their research. They also again oppose Hakkar.
Every 6 years, Zandalar also plays host to a meeting of all troll tribes. Trolls from all over the world meet in the great ziggurat-city of Zuldazar to discuss matters of importance to all trolls. Zandalar is neutral ground for trolls. Though many tribes don’t get along with each other, they all meet on peaceful terms in Zandalar.
King Rastakhan, a hoary and formidable witch doctor, rules the Zandalari from his capital of Zuldazar. The Zandalari are mystical and ancient trolls who revere knowledge and history; their organization is loose. They represent an overall priest caste for all trolls, yet they do not attempt to parley this position into real power with those trolls.
The Zandalar tribe is a group of mystical trolls who serve as the priest caste for all other trolls. They have few warriors, and what warriors they do have are dedicated to protecting their home island of Zandalar. Thus, when the Zandalari need people to accomplish tasks in the larger world, they work through agents of other races. Were an unfriendly member of such a race to enter Zandalar, however, he would find himself contending with the Zandalari’s warriors. Though few, they are rumored to be excellent fighters.
The Zandalari make their home in the jungle. As such, their warriors prefer to attack from ambush, lurking in the trees’ shadows, in the underbrush, or in the canopy before bursting out to attack. They set themselves up in the wilderness along their enemy’s path well in advance, then leap forward when the time is right. They hurl javelins; then, depending on the reaction, they either continue to fling their weapons, they charge into melee, or they melt back into the shadows to perform the same tactic again.
Many priests and witch doctors work among the Zandalari, so almost all Zandalar warriors are in possession of a few bottles of brews they can slug back to make themselves stronger, fiercer, or heal their wounds. Zandalar leaders carry many such concoctions and are sure to have witch doctors at their sides who provide them with more. If they expect to go to battle, the trolls drink the brews immediately beforehand, allowing them to crush their enemies with ease.
If battle is joined, Zandalar priests and witch doctors support their warriors with enhancement spells and healing in addition to entering the fray directly. Bloodlust and inner fire are particularly devastating — spells that affect many allies at once. Of course, the spellcasters don’t mind blasting their enemies when the situation calls for it, and Zandalari potion docs spend battles hurling explosive potions into enemy ranks.
The few Zandalari warriors take the front lines, though they prefer to soften up the enemy with thrown javelins and axes first. This tactic also allows their spellcasters more time to cast beneficial spells on them before melee is joined. Zandalari warriors are fierce and wild, and they do not often retreat; once a troll throws himself into melee, he isn’t coming back until the enemy’s corpses lie about him.
Zandalar warriors perform other functions as well, including reconnaissance, discovering the best places to set their ambushes. They also harry enemy forces with guerilla tactics, which can make the enemy foolish. Priests and witch doctors help these endeavors with divination magic.
Zandalar is a sizeable island a ways southwest of Westfall. Two huge mountains rise from its green canopy; one of these mountains is in fact the great ziggurat-city Zuldazar, while the other is snowy Mount Mugamba. Other, smaller ziggurats — the domains of troll priests and witch doctors — also jut from the jungle, and birds and stranger beasts fl it above and among the trees. Troll priests and witch doctors live all over the island. It is a lush and tropical place, and a deadly one.
You are either born a Zandalari or you are not; you cannot enter into the tribe unless a parent is a Zandalari.
Averaging eight feet in height, the Zandalari trolls are among the largest, strongest trolls in the world; only the Drakkari ice trolls of Northrend are as big. They are just as ferocious as other trolls, and just as cunning, if not more so.
A typical Zandalari spends his days hunting in the jungles or fishing along the coastlines. Many spend their days researching ancient lore and cataloguing history. Religion is important to the Zandalari —they are the trolls’ priest caste, after all — and they revere their pantheon of primitive, animalistic gods that take the forms of bats, snakes, and the like. Zandalar priests carve totems and engage in rituals, while Zandalar witch doctors brew potions and administer to wounded trolls. The Zandalari are constantly vigilant against invaders.
Notes & trivia
- The patch 5.2.0 Zandalari model uses the same skeleton and animations of the original male night elf model, giving them a more civilized, imperial and noble stature.
- They are voiced by Steve Blum.
- Some animations were altered to still give them a unique look. Their main idle animation was changed along with their walk and run and several combat animations.
- Some of the 5.2.0 model Zandalari NPCs use the wrong UV mapping for their hair, making it appear with stripes of transparency and armor-mapped bits.
- Zandalari druids' travel forms are: raptor as their ground form and pterrordax for their flight form.
- The Zandalari Empire is the longest-lasting empire on Azeroth, formed about 16,000 years ago as part of the Empire of Zul, a coalition of all the troll tribes.
- It appears that not all members of the Zandalari seek to declare war on the land, based on warning the Alliance about the Gurubashi threat, as well as and 's continued presence in the Explorer's League Digsite and Bambala, respectively. It is possible that they are members of the group of Zandalari who are opposed to 's plans. Alternatively, both Ghaliri and Surkhan may have defected to the Darkspear tribe. If the latter is true, they would be the only Zandalari to be not be part of the Zandalari Empire.
- The assumed and speculated average height for a male Zandalari lies around 10' as opposed to RPG's statement on 8'. You can read more about this here. To bolster the supposition, it was mentioned in the novel Vol'jin: Shadows of the Horde that a Zandalari stands a head taller than a Darkspear, assuming the latter stood upright. This is based on the in-game model height for jungle trolls, which can be found here, along with the other playable races.
- Zul's vision of Deathwing may have been a vision from the Old Gods, though on the other hand he has apparently been having accurate visions of future events since he was a child.
- Patch 8.0.1 (NYI): Female model introduced; unnamed mobs on Pandaria now randomize between genders.
- Zandalari child models have been added.
- Zandalari child models have been added.
- Patch 5.2.0 (2013-03-05): The Zandalari males received a very unique look that stands them apart from the other types of trolls.
- Patch 4.1.0 (2011-04-26): The Zandalari received a new model similar to the ice troll model but with lighter skin.
- ^ a b Chronicle Volume 1, pg. 70
- ^ a b c d e World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 1
- ^ "The Thunder King"
- ^ Vol'jin: Shadows of the Horde, pg. 255
- ^ a b Vol'jin: Shadows of the Horde, pg. 200
- ^ a b c d The Troll Compendium: Zandalar Tribe
- ^ World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 1, pg. 82
- ^ a b c d e Vol'jin: Shadows of the Horde
- ^ World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 1, 85-87.
- ^ a b c The Zandalari-Mogu Alliance
- ^ 2017-11-04, BlizzCon 2017 World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth Panel Transcript. Blizzplanet, retrieved on 2017-11-05
- ^ World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 1, pg. 159
- ^ World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 1, pg. 129-131
- ^ World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 1, pg. 138
- ^ World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 1, pg. 158
- ^ Zandalar Tribe. Archived from the original on 2010-09-26. Retrieved on 2011-10-28.
- ^ The Dark Prophet Zul
- ^ Manaflask interviews Dave Kosak
- ^ Dave Kosak on Twitter
- ^ Patch 5.2 and beyond with Dave Kosak
- ^ The Zandalar Agreement
- ^ Blood in the Snow
- ^ Dave Kosak on Twitter
- ^ 's model
- ^ King Rastakhan's model
- ^ The Dark Prophet Zul
- ^ a b For Council and King
- ^ Vol'jin: Shadows of the Horde pg. 257
- ^ For Council and King
- ^ Coming of Age
- ^ BlizzCon 2017, World of Warcraft | What's Next (14:40)
- ^ MMO-Champion: The Art of World of Warcraft
- ^ Shadows of the Loa
- ^ World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 1, pg. 70
- ^ a b Adventure Guide: Oondasta
- ^ Binding Raptors
- ^ a b Johnson, Luke. Dark Factions, 166. ISBN 9781588464460.
- ^ a b c d e Johnson, Luke. Dark Factions, 167. ISBN 9781588464460.
- ^ Johnson, Luke. Dark Factions, 188-189. ISBN 9781588464460.
- ^ The Dark Prophet Zul