TROLL CALL... Your Guide to Warcraft’s Greatest Race
 
WARNING: DO NOT VIEW IF YOU ARE TRYING TO GO SPOILER-FREE FOR CATACLYSM!

Great wyvern’s-eye view of the upcoming changes to Sen’jin and the Echo Isles in Cataclysm. Is anyone else thinking about packing up the hammock and moving back home to the islands? Thanks to Raijah for passing this along!

 
 
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The following is Cataclysm news that relates (somewhat) to troll history. If you're trying to go spoiler-free, stop reading now...

The Isle of Kezan, sometimes spelled "Kazan," is the tropical island homeland of the goblins. It was originally home to a group of jungle trolls, and the goblins were enslaved by the trolls and forced to mine minerals. After discovering kaga’mite, the goblins gained a massive increase in intelligence and were able to fight off the jungle trolls and claim Kezan for themselves.

Kezan is located directly south of the Maelstrom, southwest of Zandalar. It is the largest and southernmost of the South Seas islands, and, despite the goblin presence, the safest. Unlike the surrounding islands, Kezan’s inhabitants won’t try to kill you on sight; rather, they first attempt to take your money and all your worldly possessions, then leave you to die on the rain-soaked cobblestone streets.

While Kezan was not officially announced as a zone in the third expansion, World of Warcraft: Cataclysm, at the Blizzcon 2009 convention, it is referred to in the official Blizzard Cataclysm FAQ as being part of the game.

Maybe one day we'll get to see Zandalar and the South Seas islands. I know a couple of my characters would love to go home again!


 
 
We featured the voiceover for the upcoming Echo Isles Liberation quests here. Now, thanks to Anamaris, we have the full score. The rhythm is gonna get yah...
 
 
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After years in exile, the Darkspear trolls are preparing to invade the Echo Isles and reclaim the land once bestowed to them by Thrall. Led by Vol'jin, a wise and highly regarded Darkspear, the tribe's bravest warriors will set out from Orgrimmar and Sen'jin Village, seeking to bring about Zalazane's fall and begin the process of rebuilding their homes and villages on the Echo Isles. In World of Warcraft: Cataclysm, new troll adventurers will begin their journey on these tiny islands off the coast of Durotar, where they'll be able to experience this time of trial and transition firsthand.

Though the Darkspears may once again have their land, the tribe's turmoil is far from over. The impending cataclysm will spark rivalry among the Horde leadership, and after years of running from a seemingly endless string of conflicts to preserve the Darkspear nation, Vol'jin is done fleeing. The Darkspears have reclaimed their islands and have no intention of settling elsewhere. Of course, as an untested member of the tribe, you'll have some training to do before tackling the Darkspears' larger matters.

Every great hero starts somewhere. As a troll of the Echo Isles, the journey begins with safeguarding your people's well-being. Early in your adventures, you'll be charged with protecting the local Bloodtalon raptors and hatchlings from the sorcery of a nearby sea witch, slaying the beasts that feast upon the Darkspears' primary food sources, and assaulting the naga who've overrun the northern isle. But it won't be long before Vol'jin trusts you with vital -- and potentially dangerous -- information about the political struggles plaguing the Horde and, ultimately, the fellow members of your tribe.

In World of Warcraft: Cataclysm, you'll face these trials and more in the trolls' new and enhanced introductory questing experience (level 1 to 5). Be steadfast and honorable, and your actions will help usher in a new era of Darkspear perseverance in a time of ultimate peril.

 
 
As we gear up for the Echo Isles Liberation patch and the new expansion, how could we forget the excitement of what has come before?
 
 
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Source: www.wow.com

WoW.com's prestige in the community has afforded us the opportunity to speak with major Azerothian leadership figures on any subject, and we're letting you, the reader, ask the questions. In this installment of Ask a Faction Leader, we'll be sitting with Vol'Jin, leader of the Darkspear trolls.

Our first reader question:


Dea' Vol'Jin,

W'at possesed ya ta train raptors fer ridin'? If ya hadn' noticed, we trolls be da tallest race of da Horde, and ridin' on da raptors only makes us even talla'! I can't fit though any of da doors in any of da major cities. Couldn' ya figure out how ta ride Crocklisks, instead? Dey be short 'nuff so I could git though da door into da Undacity elevator! So could ya give us some options? Would be nice...

~Fellow troll raptor rider

De way I see it, dis issue be about one t'ing and one t'ing alone.

Feddas.

Das' right. Sen'Jin, he tell me about dis a long time ago. When de old trolls decided dey needed to be ridin' somet'in', dey made dis decree: trolls only be ridin' somet'in' wit feddas. Trolls be decoratin' dey armor wit 'em. Dey weapons. Dey huts. So it only be makin' sense dat our mounts have 'em too. So dey had ta choose between all da rideable beasties a da world wit feddas.

  • Harpies. Dey not too fonda' bein' rode. Not too fond at all.
  • Gryphons. Dem dwarves already be ridin' dem an' we don' wanna be accuseda' imitatin' dem.
  • Moonkin. Dey definitely sturdy but dey dumb as rocks, mon.
  • Furbolgs. Dey tribal like we trolls, but we don' like goin' bareback.
  • Dragonhawks. Like we trolls gonna be usin' elf pets fa' ridin'!
  • Hawkstriders. LIKE WE GONNA BE USIN' DEY MOUNTS TOO.
So, in de end, dey be pickin' de only udda beastie left who be usin' feddas. Dem raptas. Of course, we still be havin' no idea where dey get dey feddas from. No idea. We got top trolls dat be figurin' it out. Top. Trolls.


Dear Vol'jin,


I keep hearing your people warn me to "stay away from the voodoo," but a troll woman told me something to the effect of "come get the voodoo". I'm getting mixed messages here. What am I supposed to do for real?

~Vexed by Voodoo

Listen, mon. Sometimes, people call good t'ings bad t'ings. Y'eva heard somebody say "do da bad t'ing"? Ain't no bad t'ing!

Ya, mon, ya stay away from da voodoo, but if a troll lady say she wantcha ta come get da voodoo, you go get da voodoo. Ya big idiot.

 

Vol'Jin,

As a troll of the Darkspear, I've helped Master Gadrin in Sen'jin Village clean up the Echo Isles and still we don't occupy it. Would it possible for you to use your influence with Thrall to get him to help us build a real capital city for our tribe?

~Sul'kar

Ev'rybody be givin' Vol'Jin a hard time ova de Echo Isles. Dey wanna know why he not be orderin' reconstruction on de old troll home. Listen to Vol'Jin.

Back when Zalazane be givin' us trouble, Darkspears be hurtin' bad. Dwindlin' population, enemies on all sides. Was some serious bad mojo. But t'ings be pretty good for Darkspear nowadays. We be safe in da Horde. We got time and we got space to rebuild. We got troll babies bein' born for da first time in years. Dere be more of us dan eva.

Now look at de Echo Isles. Dey was pretty good when we was gettin' wiped out. But nowadays dey be lookin' pretty small. T'ree lil' islands to hold all of us? Not enough, mon. Trolls be askin' me to move 'em back dere, but what we be needin' is a new home dat can be fittin' all of us. And all of us dat be comin' soon.

Sure, we live on de Isles for a while, but we also used to be eatin' each udda. Da trolls, mon, dey be a-changin'. Dey gotta be.

 

Hey Mon,

Me and me girlfriend be wantin' to take things to tah next level and actually kiss, but me tusks keep gettin' in da way. Dere surely can't be dis problem for all da trolls, but me tusks be especially big.

Be there some voodoo I can be workin' to make dis issue go away?

~Frustrated in Stranglethorn

 I be gettin' a lotta questions about tusks dis week. Vol'Jin gonna tell you a secret. Ev'rybody know dat trolls be best at growin' back body parts if dey cut off. Ya cut off we arm, we grow it back. Whatchoo might not be knowin' is somet'in' else about troll biology.

Dese tusks? Detachable. Das' right. Ya take 'em right out if ya wanna get wit ya lady. Dey pop right back in when ya done. If ya lose 'em, ya grow 'em right back anyway.

Jes' be careful. Dem udda t'ing you might be usin' wit ya lady? Also detachable. Ya been warned, mon.

 

Vol'Jin,

As a Troll Priest, I was pleased to find that the armor earned through battle in the Trial of Champions was named after the Troll Priest Zabra Hexx. However, I noticed that of the 9 different Armors, You and Cairne were not represented, despite a traitor such as Gul'dan being represented. Do you feel slighted by this, or did you just feel there was no role that closely identified with you and your abilities?

~Kersimus, Troll Priest, Azgalor

Ah, I be appreciatin' da sentiment, mon. Ya gotta be t'inkin' I be pretty mad about not gettin' any armor named afta me. But Sylvanas be pretty good at da huntin', and bein' dat she be walkin' around in a metal t'ong, well. Whoeva be namin' dat armor probably had dat on he brain. Dat kinda armor, it do t'ings to da male mind.

I don't t'ink I be havin' any armor named after me 'til dey make da Shadow Hunter hero class. Den me name be all ova dem purple lettas.

 

Was gwan on mebrudda,

I an i nah wantan to be a beetch, an me neya carie cus Ogrimmar be a rite proper crib man ferreal but aint it na time feh move up yah? Fi be needn yah own space man. Drive dem bambaclat buggah Allyants outta dah Stranglethorn. Peace to yah brudda z'ullove.

~Bat'etroll

Whatchoo even be sayin' in dis letter, mon? Trolls dese days, writin' like dey was speakin'. Wearin' dem baggy pants. Lis'nin' to dem hip-hops. We be teachin' you Orcish, mon! Use it!

 

Dear Mr. Vol'jin,

Congratulations! You've just won a free zeppelin ride for three!

~Ona'boat

Whoa! Free zeppelin ride for t'ree! But who should I take?

Thrall. Aaaaaaannnd... T-Pain.


 
 
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Troll Call’s first guild spotlight focuses on The Darkspear, a long-standing and highly respected guild on the Scarlet Crusade server. The Darkspear was founded some five years ago by Cael’jin, who these days goes by the name Ixnextli and still leads the tribe. To check them out, look up Ixnextli in game or peek at their website, Wiki or Facebook pages.  

How and when did The Darkspear come into being? 

The Darkspear really began on Cenarion Circle as the guild The Hand of Itzul. We went live with the launch of WoW, and it took some time figuring out how the game worked and learning the ropes of being trolls and guild leaders. Scarlet Crusade was opened in late February 2005, and we created new toons there. Once I hit the ripe level of 20, I set up The Darkspear with six of the old Hand of Itzul members and a few other interested trolls. 

What is the focus or foundation of the guild? 

We’ve always been an RP guild, and back then RP was thick and new. We had some interaction with other RP guilds on the server, but mostly we remained a pure tribe of trolls based on upholding the traditional ways of the race and its culture. At the onset, we capped the guild limit at 20 members to form a solid foundation. We worked on relationships, stories and roles. Once the cap was lifted and we started to grow again, we would lock recruitment every three months or so; we’d have a large intake, then consolidate. This is an important part of why the guild didn’t implode like others in the realm during the same time. 

How are you organized? How does the guild function in game? 

We’re very similar to a working tribe. We have a group of elders that run the day to day guild, a group of tribe members that perform assistance roles and the “Speaker” who is the administrator of the guild (someone has to do it, and try to manage the guild assets and guild conflicts; it’s still the most thankless role out there). 

You place a lot of emphasis on organizing and supporting guild events. Describe some of the events you have run and how they have been successful. 

Kandiyah opened the first series of guild events. These were in-character group runs through the Wailing Caverns and group missions throughout the Barrens and Stonetalon. We held weekly meetings, normally in Sen’jin or along the Darkspear Strand. 

Kazulin organized the first cross-faction event, a fishing tournament held in Ratchet. This was huge. In all, there were almost 200 people there and we recruited a lot of new members; we didn’t need to say we were, people just came to us. From that event, we doubled our numbers: Khalua, Zuljani, Chadou, Helcaite, Jonji and Mizan were just some of the people to join. 

The Darkspear became a heavily used resource, as we held a large number of priests and shamans (a healing monopoly). This also gave our members an avenue for raiding. World PvP was becoming large and widespread, rankings were introduced and you could always find The Darkspear in the thick of the fray. 

The Darkspear has been around a long time. To what do you attribute the longevity? 

It’s the access to variety that has given The Darkspear much of its longevity. Of course, the guild has had drama — normally around conflict over how the guild is run, recruitment, policies, crikey all guilds have this — but we’re still here. Honestly, it will always be here, and for those that have left, it will always be a part of them. For many of us, The Darkspear is more than a guild. It’s an integral part of the realm community, and as people leave or transfer, it’s always good to see them recreate the best parts of the guild on other realms. It shows that The Darkspear made a difference to their game. 

Are you part of any alliances, and why? 

Yes. Though we’d love to do things solo, it’s just the way of the realm to be part of the bigger picture. We participate in other guild events, raids, etc, normally with guilds like Storm Wolves, Integrity, Darkblood and the new Raid Awesome. This is done for the reason of giving the members of the guild many avenues to enjoy the game. 

What are the requirements to join The Darkspear? 

The want to explore the role of being troll, and of course being troll. There has been one exception to this requirement in the past, but the current standing on other races is troll only. 

What is the application process like? 

By sponsorship. One member can invite you, then its up to the applicant to obtain the support of two elders to become a full member. We find this is the most successful way for applicants into our guild because it ensures they are active and that the fit is right for them and the guild. 

I know The Darkspear has achieved a few notable goals. Would you explain what your guild has accomplished?

Being the oldest RP guild on the realm. Being part of many world events, especially the opening of Zul’Gurub. The Darkspear took down Hakkar without the use of vent, and did much of it in-character. We were part of the first group to take down AQ20; this was with Darkblood, and in character. We’ve been part of some of the most successful faction events, fishing tournaments, races, arena (Gurubashi) fights, stories circles, etc. We’ve also been interviewed by Blizzard Insider and MMOChampion. 

What goals do you have going forward? 

We’re looking forward to the Echo Isles phase coming up in 3.3.5., as well as the new expansion and beyond. But mostly, enjoying the gifts of being a troll! RAWR! 

If there was one thing you could tell players considering The Darkspear, what would it be? 

One thing? That’s easy...DARKSPEAR! 

Is there anything else you would like to add about The Darkspear? 

Over the five years, we’ve had more than 300 separate accounts as part of the guild. It’s good to think of the impact we’ve had and the many parts people have left and influenced over that time. Like many of the past guild leaders and original members, I’m proud of where we are, what we have done, what friends we have made and what the future will bring.

 
 
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Could it be true? See a better version of the picture at the link below. Personally, I think it's a fan rendering and not the real thing. But, to be honest, I kinda like it. Muscular, fierce, distinctive, yet adorably furry and cuddly at the same time. Bad kitteh! Bad, bad troll kitteh. Grrrrrr. *scratch behind the ears*

Source:
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3439/3865698310_2aab980dae_o.png

 
 
As of Patch 3.3.3, our favorite shadow hunter looks a lot more wicked and fearsome than he used to, which is a welcome change. But don’t take my word for it…Seeing is believing!

Vol’jin before 3.3.3: 

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Vol’jin after 3.3.3: 

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The environment in WoW is full of secrets and fun bugs and discoveries. A couple of my favorites are relevant here because they make great, clandestine locations for troll-themed events, character-generated quests and RP.
Rumor has it Shatterspear Village on the northeast edge of Darkshore will be accessible with the next expansion, forever changing what has been a fun foray for trolls who felt the driving need to visit their long-lost cousins. If you want to defy death (and the best efforts of Blizzard’s designers) and experience the Shatterspear up close and personal, do it now before it’s too late and you lose your bragging rights. It’s a great place to party – with decorated, lighted huts and a dance floor – or recharge alongside the scenic lake and boat or inside the cave with ancient tablets. Everything is irie in Shatterspear-topia. For now. But it won’t stay this way forever.
Let’s face it, there’s no place with cooler troll atmosphere, architecture, layout and scenery than Zul’Gurub. Too bad the only time we get to see it is while taking a beating from deranged priests, horrific dire trolls and those cursed bats. Curse you, bats! But wait! There’s a way to sneak into the “side door” of this city that gets you into an uninstanced version, complete with all the amazing buildings and beauty but none of the annoying mobs. And the best part is, it’s easy to get there and the area is big enough for the largest events and gatherings – even multiple events and gatherings at the same time! Perform a ceremony at the altar atop the main pyramid, host a gnome-cooking contest in the bubbling caldrons or just joy ride through streets on your raptors. I’ve known folks who have even taken up residence in the city; it’s as close to player housing as we have.