Zandalari Troll Wars
- Not to be confused with Troll Wars.
|Zandalari Troll Wars|
|Outcome: Pandaren independence secured. Order of the Cloud Serpent founded. Zandalari invasion of Pandaria repelled. Scattering of mogu clans.|
|Commanders and leaders|
|Casualties and losses|
|Previous: Pandaren revolution|
|Concurrent: Burning Crusade|
|Next: War between the Kaldorei and the Twin Empires|
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The Zandalari Troll Wars, also known as the Zandalari Wars or Zandalari Invasion, were local conflicts in Pandaria fought between the Zandalar tribe of trolls and the Pandaren Empire, 11,900 years before the First War. The Zandalari, allies of the mogu that the pandaren had previously overthrown, sought to claim large territories in Pandaria promised to them by the mogu, but the tide of war was turned when a pandaren girl named Jiang learned to befriend and ride the mighty cloud serpents, founding the Order of the Cloud Serpent and driving back the trolls.
The Zandalari and the mogu boasted the most powerful empires on Azeroth, and were allied with each other. The mogu warlords, who ruled Pandaria, kept the pandaren, the hozen and the jinyu as their slaves, along with the grummles, a slave race they created.
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.
Though the Zandalari had always maintained a distant relationship to the mogu after Lei Shen's death — the trolls loathed the constant internal conflict of the mogu empire — they never forgot that Lei Shen had promised them a large plot of land near the Vale of Eternal Blossoms. When the mogu fell during the pandaren revolution, the Zandalari saw an opportuntity to finally claim the land that was rightfully theirs, but they did not act immediately. Internal debate raged within the walls of Zuldazar about whether to take the territory by force or by diplomacy, but in the end it was Mengazi, descendant of Zulathra, who convinced the others that the Zandalari had to claim the land by force, since the former slaves of the mogu were unlikely to honor the agreement between the mogu and the trolls.
The Zandalari marched south, imbued with mystic powers and riding enormous dinosaurs, obliterating a pandaren farming village north of Kun-Lai. They then moved on to the Jade Forest, now the heart of the fledgling Pandaren Empire, as panic gripped the pandaren people. The only fighting force the pandaren had, an order of monks sworn to protect the western Serpent's Spine wall, quickly found themselves outnumbered and outmaneuvered by the Zandalari's pterrorwings and bats.
The Zandalari numbers were vast, and their bat riders fought in such a way the pandaren had no counter to, until a young girl named Jiang used the cloud serpent Lo she had been raising to strike at them from the sky. The Zandalari's assault lasted several years, even bringing their dreaded dinosaurs into the fight. However, during the Zandalari invasion of the Jade Forest, more cloud serpents were trained to bear riders, and Jiang's newly-formed Order of the Cloud Serpent turned the tide of the war. Weapons for serpent riders were also developed and crafted, such as the .
After the cloud serpent riders entered the war, the Zandalari knew that there was little they could do to win by conventional means, so instead Mengazi planned to resurrect the first mogu emperor, Lei Shen, who would have the power to crush both the serpent riders and the pandaren ground forces. The final battle of the Zandalari Troll Wars took place at the Tomb of Conquerors, where Lei Shen's body was enshrined. The battle ended when Jiang sacrificed herself to kill Mengazi, causing the Zandalari forces to break ranks and flee back to their homeland of Zandalar in shame.
There was great celebration throughout the empire, but also great mourning, especially for Jiang. Her cloud serpent, Lo, could be seen circling above the Jade Forest for decades after the conflict, as if searching for his old friend. The Order of the Cloud Serpent that Jiang created honored her memory by ensuring that her teachings and tradition of befriending and training the cloud serpents endured for millennia.