- This article is about about the troll empire lore. For the in-game faction, see Zandalari Empire (faction). For the (former) Classic in-game faction, see Zandalar Tribe.
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The Zandalari Empire (or the Zandalar Empire) is one of the great troll nations, home of the Zandalari trolls, ruled by Queen Talanji. It is located on the island of Zandalar, formerly a mountain range where the first trolls settled around over 16,000 years ago. The most powerful tribe inhabited the highest peaks of the mountains, and called themselves Zandalari. Now the oldest-lasting empire on Azeroth, having been around for at least over 16,000 years, they possess one of the most powerful navies in existence, one that is unmatched on the Great Sea.
- 1 History
- 1.1 Ancient history
- 1.2 The Aqir and Troll War
- 1.3 The mogu and pandaren
- 1.4 The night elves and the Sundering
- 1.5 The Council of Tribes
- 1.6 The Troll Wars
- 1.7 First war against the Soulflayer
- 1.8 The goblin rebellion
- 1.9 Wrath of the Soulflayer
- 1.10 Wrath of the Lich King
- 1.11 Cataclysm
- 1.12 Mists of Pandaria
- 1.13 Legion
- 1.14 Battle for Azeroth
- 2 Notable members
- 3 Military
- 4 Organizations
- 5 Notes
- 6 Speculation
- 7 References
The early trolls gathered around a mountain range in southern Kalimdor, where many Wild Gods, which they called loa, dwelled. They named the mountain range Zandalar, and built small encampments upon its slopes. 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. Dazar was the founder and first King of Zandalar, who led an exodus of his people out of the muck and mire and built a city of gold. It is implied that the heart of their civilization was originally Nazmir with the city of Zul'Nazman, but they moved south into the mountains to avoid G'huun. The most powerful group of trolls was called the Zandalar tribe, who claimed the Zandalar Mountains' highest plateaus. They built a small cluster of crude shrines that in time grew into the bustling temple city of Zuldazar.
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, but a significant portion desired conquest instead. Over the next several centuries, these disaffected trolls left the Zandalari to found other tribes. The scholarly Zandalari were content to see them go, they saw them as children who would see the folly of youthful rebellion and come back begging for Zandalari approval. However, the trolls would not return.
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 16,000 years ago a group of rebellious trolls plumbed 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 Kith'ix 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 it collapsed before the Zandalar Mountains, fleeing, gravely wounded, from the fight it had with Keeper Tyr. Kith'ix, fully awakened, knew it would delight the Old Gods to see this pitiful civilization rent to ashes. It 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 slaughtered several large Gurubashi encampments. 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 its 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
Between 15,000 and 12,000 years ago, Zulathra, a high priest of the Zandalari, proposed to the mogu Emperor Lei Shen 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, whose life had been artificially extended by Lei Shen) left massive power vacuums, striking a mortal blow to both empires.
300 years later, after the pandaren revolted against the mogu, a 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, Mengazi, 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 Jiang 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".
Taran Zhu 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 uncivilized humans at that time, Taran Zhu explained that there are some exceptions in every race.
The night elves and the Sundering
In the millennia that followed the founding of the empire, the troll race continued to maintain control over much of the continent of Ancient Kalimdor. This changed, however, when a new race known as the kaldorei emerged near the waters of the mystical Well of Eternity. Although originally evolved from trolls (greatly influenced by their proximity to the well) the kaldorei, or night elves, bore very little resemblance at all to the other ancient race. Physically, they were much more sleek and elegant, but culturally they had adopted their own traditions. They adopted new religious beliefs and quickly established their own civilization in the center of Kalimdor. The night elves, highly intelligent and able to harness the innate magical forces of the world, began to forge their own empire completely independent of their troll ancestors.
Despite the size and glory of the mighty Empire of Zul, despite its vast temple cities and rich culture, it was utterly eclipsed by the rapid expansion and development of the glorious Kaldorei Empire. In an ensuing golden age, the night elves expanded across the entire continent, driving the other races, including the trolls, farther away. At this point, the Empire of Zul was a shadow of its former self, devoid of the unity and energy it possessed when it warred with the aqir. Eventually, under the fantastic reign of the kaldorei monarch known as Queen Azshara, the two empires came into direct conflict. Of all the threats that the kaldorei encountered during the expansion of their empire, only the trolls had drawn their full attention.
Sporadic battles soon broke out between the two sides in the south and although what remained of the Empire of Zul fought ferociously to defend their lands, they were simply unable to resist the power of the night elves' sorcery. Their armies buckled under the onslaught and they found themselves unable to prevail against their elven foes. Azshara, however, had no interest in controlling the trolls' lands and so an accord was reached between the kaldorei and the Zandalari tribe, ever the leaders of the troll race. In exchange for a strict end to all troll incursions and expansion near night elf territory, they would—by Azshara's grace—be permitted to remain in possession of their sacred mountain ranges to the south. Though the terms were extremely uneven and humiliating for the trolls, they had no choice but to acquiesce. The shame of this agreement would sow the seeds of resentment among all trolls for thousands of years to come. Even in the modern day, the inherent troll resentment of elves can be attributed to these events.
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 Council of Tribes
There was once a time when no single emperor could rule Zandalar. After a period of civil war, the heads of three families formed an uneasy coalition and tried to rule the empire together: the Council of Tribes. Though they did not often agree, there was peace in Zandalar. Briefly.
During the final era of the Council of Tribes, a blood plague broke out, when a foolish troll tried to summon Hakkar the Soulflayer to the island of Zandalar, killing thousands of trolls. It was deemed that the bodies, too polluted for proper burial, would instead be burned and kept in special urns. As time progressed, this method became commonplace among the Zandalari in disposing of their dead. After the great plague, there were still those who clung to the magics of the blood god. They tested their magics and perfected them. One such relic was a totem, which when concentrated upon, would drain not just the life from their enemies, but also their blood, infusing the caster with it and altering them in unusual ways. This was the dawn of who the Zandalari call, "the blood trolls".
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, Jintha, 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 Thoradin. 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 Hakkar the Soulflayer. 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 bloodshed 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 Soulflayer
The Zandalari were shocked to learn of the attempt to summon Hakkar in the Sunken Temple and believed the loa's return would herald a dark time for trolls. They were pleased to hear that the Atal'ai had been defeated in the temple by the Alliance, but their relief soon turned to horror. Some of Hakkar's adherents survived, and they were continuing their quest. In time, 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 were forced to recruit champions from Azeroth's varied and disparate races to battle the Soulflayer. The champions and their Primal God aspects fed the awesome power of the Soulflayer. Adventurers brave enough to venture into the foreboding ruins had to overcome the High Priests if they were to have any hope of confronting the mighty blood god.
The Zandalari knew that they did not have the resources to scour the Atal'ai and their leader, Jin'do the Hexxer, from Zul'Gurub. They sent word through the Darkspear tribe that the Horde needed to act immediately for Hakkar being successfully summoned would throw the world into chaos. A large Horde strike force was sent to Zul'Gurub in turn. After the Soulflayer was defeated, his cursed heart, the still-burning kernel of Hakkar's power, was brought to Molthor in the hope the Zandalari would know how to destroy it. The heart was banished.
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.
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, Zul, 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 its capital fell into the sea, and the region of Nazmir began to sink. But though Zandalar was indeed damaged, it did not sink as Zul predicted. While Zul and the Golden Fleet left Zandalar, those that stayed behind endured and rebuilt.
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 Vol'jin 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 Halduron Brightwing and Vereesa Windrunner, 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 Daakara and the Zandalari's efforts within Zul'Aman.
Darkspear agents inside Zul'Gurub have discovered that Jin'do is wrestling Hakkar the Soulflayer 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 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 Lei Shen, the Thunder King. While King Rastakhan was in support of the plan to unite the lesser troll tribes after the Cataclysm, he was actually against the plan to revive Lei Shen.
The forces of Zandalari in Pandaria are led by Prophet Khar'zul 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 Lei Shen, 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.
Vol'jin: Shadows of the Horde
Several weeks after Lei Shen's revival, the Zandalari sent a second attack force to Zouchin Village. Led by Khal'ak, 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 Tyrathan Khort 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 Warlord Kao. 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 King
Most of the Zandalari supporting Zul 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 Varian Wrynn.
Battle for Azeroth
|This section is a lore stub.|
With the new arising conflict between the two main powers of Azeroth, the Horde has come to Zandalar to recruit the remaining Zandalari on the island into its ranks as a result of the new war. The Zandalari are under attack by the blood trolls and in a civil war between the followers of Zul and the followers of Rastakhan.
During the conflict, Rastakhan would be attacked by Zul but barely survive, and the Loa of Kings Rezan would remind King Rastakhan of his duties and convince him to take the threat of Zul more seriously. This lead to a final confrontation with Zul, however during the fight Zul would kill the Loa of Kings. The death of Rezan left Rastakahn vulnerable, and he was later killed during the Battle of Dazar'alor. Leadership would pass to his daughter Talanji.
Following the Fourth War, Talanji's rule was threatened by the Widow's Bite led by her childhood friend Apari. Not approving of the Horde and Bwonsamdi, the rebels spread false rumors, made attempts on the new queen's life, attacked Dazar'alor, and kidnapped noblemen. Although the Horde wanted to help Talanji, they also needed to know what was happening in Zandalar, so they elevated Zekhan to the rank of Horde ambassador and was then sent to Zuldazar. Although Talanji's forces were bigger, they could not apprehend the rebels in time, being spread across the swamps. Seeking the death of Bwonsamdi, the rebels allied with Sylvanas' loyalists and worked on dismantling his shrines.
Ultimately, Horde forces arrived to Zandalar and helped Talanji and the Zandalari forces to defeat the rebels as well as the undead loyalists led by Nathanos Blightcaller. This was also achieved with the help of Tayo, a former rebel who started disapproving with their methods when Apari wanted to sacrifice children, who provided the Zandalari and Horde crucial information about traps laid by Nathanos. This victory brought the Zandalari Empire closer to the Horde, with Talanji taking her seat at the Horde Council, and Tayo becoming the empire's ambassador to the Horde.
|This section is a lore stub.|
|Molthor||Deceased||Stormsea Landing||Isle of Thunder|
|Jin'rokh the Breaker||Deceased||Throne of Thunder||Isle of Thunder|
|Al'tabim the All-Seeing||Deceased||Bay of Echoes||Isle of Thunder|
|Maywiki||Alive||Explorers' League Digsite
|Cape of Stranglethorn|
|Rin'wosho the Trader||Alive||Yojamba Exchange||Zuldazar|
|Falthir the Sightless||Unknown||Yojamba Isle||Stranglethorn Vale|
|Vinchaxa||Unknown||Yojamba Isle||Stranglethorn Vale|
|Chabal||Alive||Hardwrench Hideaway||Cape of Stranglethorn|
|Ghaliri||Alive||Fort Livingston||Northern Stranglethorn|
|King Dazar||Killable||Kings' Rest||Zuldazar|
|Aka'ali the Conqueror||Killable||Kings' Rest||Zuldazar|
|King A'akul||Killable||Kings' Rest||Zuldazar|
|King Rahu'ai||Killable||Kings' Rest||Zuldazar|
|Queen Patlaa||Killable||Kings' Rest||Zuldazar|
|Kula the Butcher||Killable||Kings' Rest||Zuldazar|
|Zanazal the Wise||Killable||Kings' Rest||Zuldazar|
|King Rastakhan||Killable||Great Seal||Dazar'alor|
- An unnamed queen buried within the catacombs of the Necropolis. Guarded by Za'amar the Queen's Blade.
The Zandalari Empire military organizations:
- Zanchuli Council
- Talanji's Expedition
- Loa organizations
The "final defeat from evil within their own tribe" that was mentioned by the Zandalari at Yojamba's isle may allude to the summoning of Hakkar on Zandalar and the subsequent release of the blood plague and the creation of the blood trolls. This led to the Zandalari "banishing the trolls who would destroy their own kind", which would correspond to the trolls who summoned the blood god. However, Hakkar was summoned to Zandalar "many millennia ago", which would be an odd choice of words if it was the same incident as this one which occurred 1,500 years ago.
- The mention that confessors not only "keep them in tune with the spirits, but they also preserve the flesh" may allude to the blood magic employed by the blood trolls, which has been described as "corrupting the creatures around them and turning them into blood beasts".
- ^ Zandalarian Shadow Talisman (quest)
- ^ a b Zandalari Empire (faction)#Faction description
- ^ a b BlizzCon 2017 World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth Panel Transcript - Page 3 of 12 - Blizzplanet (2017-11-04). Retrieved on 2017-11-05.
- ^ Vol'jin: Shadows of the Horde, pg. 255
- ^ King Dazar#Adventure Guide
- ^ Ancient Nazmani Tablet
- ^ Cracked Tablet
- ^ World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 1, pg. ??
- ^ 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. 70
- ^ World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 1, pg. 81
- ^ World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 1, pg. 82
- ^ a b Vol'jin: Shadows of the Horde
- ^ World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 1, 85 - 87
- ^ a b c The Zandalari-Mogu Alliance
- ^ World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 1, pg. 93
- ^ World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 1, pg. 98
- ^ World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 1, pg. 159
- ^ Council of Tribes (tactics)#Adventure Guide
- ^ The Golden Serpent#Adventure Guide
- ^ World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 1, pg. 129 - 131
- ^ World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 1, pg. 138
- ^ a b
- ^ World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 1, pg. 158
- ^ a b World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 3, pg. 123
- ^ Zandalar Tribe. Archived from the original on 2010-09-26. Retrieved on 2011-10-28.
- ^ WoW -> Info -> Under Development -> Zulgurub [sic] (Retrieved 09-10-2010)
- ^ The Word of Zul I
- ^ The Dark Prophet Zul
- ^ 2017-11-03, WOW: BATTLE FOR AZEROTH NEW CONTINENTS, ZONES, BLIZZCON 2017. Blizzpro, retrieved on 2017-04-11
- ^ : Dockmaster Cobo says: He was wrong. Oh there was damage, but Zul fled, with our fleet, and started a few wars. Those of us who stayed, endured. We rebuilt. Because THAT is what it means to be a Zandalari.
- ^ Manaflask interviews Dave Kosak
- ^ Dave Kosak on Twitter
- ^ Outside Zul'Aman: Vol'jin says: King Rastakhan, he be plannin' to unite da troll tribes under his Zandalari.
- ^ Patch 5.2 and beyond with Dave Kosak
- ^ The Zandalar Agreement
- ^ Blood in the Snow
- ^ Shadows Rising
- ^ World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 1
- ^ The Art of World of Warcraft - MMO-Champion (2017-11-04). Retrieved on 2018-06-12.