[setting] Power of Voodoo. Hoodoo? You do.

Role-Playing
This thread is finally being imported to the RP forum for general use, from its original "exclusive" home on the Argent Dawn forum. I hope some folks find it useful.

The introduction of two more "witch doctor" classes to the trolls has prompted many questions to be asked of me, regarding troll religion. The religion and magic of the trolls has received more development in the setting than perhaps any other, even including the Titans and the Light.

Worship of the troll gods has been a focus of roleplay in the <Darkspear Tribe> and <the Cult of the Raptor> as well as many other troll-themed guilds, for years. Over those years, we've gathered together lots of information from within the game and beyond.

Many players and guilds have been invited to browse that information on our own forums
over the years, but many would not even know to ask.

To make that information more readily available to the continued influx of troll characters, I have compiled much of it into this thread.

This post is the general introduction to the thread, and the table of contents.

General Introduction -- post 1
Table of Contents -- post 1
Troll Religion Introduction -- post 2
The Loa -- post 3
Witch Doctors -- post 4
Primal Loa -- post 5
Elemental Loa -- post 6
Ancestor Loa -- post 9
Muisek and E'ko -- post 10
Druids and Warlocks -- post 11

For more information on the <Darkspear Tribe> and <the Cult of the Raptor> guilds, visit:
http://argentarchives.org/Darkspear_Tribe
and
http://www.argentarchives.org/thecultoftheraptor
Troll Religion, a summary introduction
Some scholars view voodoo as a type of animism, and to an extent that theory is true. The trolls? religion takes a decidedly different dark bent than the shamanistic beliefs of the orcs and tauren, though. Trolls have a complex belief system involving malign spirits and their effect on the world, but no scholar has established what is truth and what is simply long-held belief. The Darkspear trolls come from a dark and bloodthirsty history of sacrifice, cannibalism and black magic. They consider spirits to be individuals much like living creatures. Spirits are greedy, hostile and dangerous.

Trolls also believe their ancestors linger on as jealous spirits who miss the land of the living and require blood sacrifices to appease them. Trolls sacrifice and eat their enemies. They conduct these practices for two reasons. First, they believe the sacrifice of sentient creatures appeases malicious spirits. Second, they believe that after death, an enemy?s spirit can visit misfortune on its killer. By consuming the flesh of their enemies, trolls believe they can also consume their enemy?s spirit, or at least damage it enough to render it impotent.

-- Horde Player's Guide (2006)


We see troll Voodoo throughout the game setting. Whether in Darkshore, Tanaris, Durotar, Eversong Woods, Stranglethorn, or beyond, trolls across the world have similar animist beliefs. The world is full of spirits [called "loa" by all the tribes of trolls seen in game thus far], and those spirits are fickle and greedy. Their assistance must be bargained for. Whilst all trolls seem to believe in these spirits, and will make appropriate obesiances and sacrifices to appease them in small ways, truly dealing with the loa falls to those in the role of the Witch Doctor. Further explored in post 4, the witch doctor is essential to troll religion. All troll caster classes are variations on the Witch Doctor. This is not to imply, however, that non-casters have no understanding or appreciation for the religious aspects of troll culture.

One can be Catholic without being a priest. One can be Buddhist without being a monk.

For a time, the Darkspear Tribe of jungle trolls certainly tempered the darker aspects of their religion. By Thrall's encouragement, sacrifices of sentient beings was curtailed and, when done, was hidden. By Thrall's encouragement, witch doctors did not enslave minor malignant loa [demons], and so no warlocks were seen amongst the Darkspear. Change was slow, and a number of troll witch doctors around the world gave quests which hinted that not all of these practices had disappeared. A number of events seem to have somewhat reversed that slow change:

Furthermore, all the currently known tribes of ice trolls practice cannibalism. Sand trolls, forest trolls, and jungle trolls are also frequently cannibalistic, though not always. Even the mysterious dark trolls are believed to be cannibals for the most part. Yet there are several notable exceptions. For example, the Zandalar and Revantusk tribes do not consume troll flesh. The Darkspear tribe, too, was cannibalistic until it joined the Horde, at which point the Darkspears officially gave up cannibalism.

-- Blizzard's "Troll Compendium" on the Warcraft website at http://www.worldofwarcraft.com/info/story/troll/biology.html


The bargain with Bwonsamdi during the Zalazane's Fall event was one. Chief Vol'jin promised that ancestor loa [more on Ancestor Loa in post 7] that sacrifices would resume. Since the rebuilding of the Echo Isles, piles of skulls are certainly seen surrounding various shrines and idols on the Isles. They may be the skulls of humans or centaur, but both those races still technically count as sentient [grins].

Thrall's departure and Vol'jin's "disagreement" with Garrosh is another. Vol'jin agreed to Thrall's terms, because Thrall was the great hero predicted by the great Witch Doctor Chief Sen'jin [Vol'jin's father, now dead]. With Thrall away, there is much question about whether this Horde is Thrall's Horde, and Sen'jin did not promise the trolls to Garrosh, but specifically to Thrall. Some trolls may see this as a reason to turn back towards their older style of voodoo in Thrall's absence. Certainly, little is done to hide or disguise the warlock class amongst the witch doctor trainees on the Echo Isles.

So, how to roleplay this? Just remember that whether or not your Darkspear is a witch doctor, they will generally believe that every thing, every person, every place has its own "loa" spirit, and that said spirit may not be friendly, and likely should be appeased to gain or maintain its favour. Thematically, in-game trollish voodoo is a blending of Hollywood's cinematic view of voodoo with actual MesoAmerican [Aztec, Mayan] religious elements.
the Loa, overview

The limited amount of information involving troll Loa and gods can be frustrating to those trying to research troll lore. However for the active roleplayer it presents a unique kind of open canvas -- trolls have gods for just about everything under the sun, and the number of gods in the troll pantheon has never been fully defined. This leaves an almost limitless amount of room to play when roleplaying a troll character, and creates all kinds of opportunities for myths and legends. Need a god? Make one up -- the trolls have so many, it's not far-fetched at all to produce one that was previously unheard of.
-- Anne Stickney, Know Your Lore: The Eternals part two -- the Loa gods of the trolls
-- http://wow.joystiq.com/2010/07/17/know-your-lore-the-eternals-part-two-the-loa-gods-of-the-tro/


The trolls draw power for their voodoo magics by performing rituals and invoking the Primal Gods, Old Gods, forest spirits, and ancestral spirits: their Loa spirits and gods.
-- Magic & Mayhem, p.22


Both troll empires shared a central belief in a great pantheon of primitive gods, but the Gurubashi empire alone would fall under the sway of the darkest one.
-- Troll Compendium
http://www.wow-europe.com/en/info/story/trolls/history.html


There are no hard and fast rules to define what it means to be a god in Warcraft, save that all gods are immortal. Gods can be fundamentally incorporeal, like Elune, or they may have physical bodies.

Gods are neither omniscient nor omnipotent. Take for example the case of the Soulflayer. Many of the trolls in the Gurubashi empire rose up against his bloody rule. They succeeded in destroying his avatar and banishing him from the world of Azeroth.

It is possible for a god to exert influence over several locations simultaneously. Yet the power of a god is limited.
-- Warcraft Encyclopedia
http://www.wow-europe.com/en/info/encyclopedia/417.xml
Witch Doctors

Several quests in the history of the game have referenced Kin'weelay [now found in
Bambala] to be the most powerful witch doctor amongst the Darkspear. "But he is only
level 39!" you may cry. Perhaps, but he has abilities that are not reflected by mere
combat voodoo, and are very powerful indeed.

Trolls are the ultimate witch doctors. Witch doctors are actually a mixture
between the priest's hexes, curses and healing abilities, and the shamans totems. It was
the trolls, so they say, who invented the art. Their pots ever bubble with strange
concoctions, and they scatter protective and decorative totems around their dwellings.
They speak in tongues most can't understand, communing with the strange and dark voodoo
spirits from their tribal religion that grant them their power. They decorate themselves
with ritual tattoos and designs, and shrunken heads dangle from their staves. The iconic
troll witch doctor focuses on helping his allies with his strange blend of science and
faith. He plants magic totems to help his allies, uses voodoo-based shadow magic, curses
his enemies with hexes, and gives them powerful buffs before battle. He's not a
particularly skillful combatant, but when the Horde is in a sc%#*%, somebody calls for
the doctor.

-- Horde Player's Guide (2006)

The witch doctor is an alchemical master, skilled at not only simply brewing
potions and alchemical goods, but at awakening the spirits of the ingredients that go
into her goods. A witch doctor at work can be unsettling, for she croons and chants to
the herbs and animal parts that go into her brew, shaking a rattle to awaken them from
their slumber, and sometimes even bursting into dance to appease them and make them favor
her. The powers that witch doctors revere are creatures of wild, ecstatic worship who
demand dynamism from their servants.

-- More Magic & Mayhem (2005)


Witch doctors use and bargain with the loa - whether powerful loa or minor loa - to have
them work for and not against the witch doctor, and by extension other
trolls of the tribe. Considering the trolls' views on the loa, it is not surprising that
much of the magic involved in these bargains is quite dark and unsettling to others.

Kin'weelay? He traps the souls of the newly dead into their own shrunken skulls, then
torments them into granting him their knowledge and power. He does so quickly, easily,
and without fail. And not just to enemies. When the Darkspear Chieftain's youngest son
Yenniku is given to Zul'Gurub in the years before the events of warcraft III, he is taken
by Zanzil. Kin'weelay's plan to rescue him? He makes a magical prison, in which to trap Yenniku's soul forever, just like a shrunken skull.

The various caster classes of troll characters are all variations within the witch doctor
archetype.


Many of these variations have titles to be found amongst the troll NPCs in different
parts of the game setting. See post 10 for a look at some of the titles most appropriate
for troll warlocks [and druids].

Although they are savage and nefarious in the extreme, the Troll Witch Doctors
have aligned themselves with the Horde out of pure necessity. These dastardly magic users
are adept at manipulating the chemical processes within their fellow warriors in order to
augment their combat abilities.

--- Warcraft III game manual (2002)
the Primal Loa

The Primal Loa appear to be almost totemic animal spirits, akin to those found in many
Real World animist religions. The animal spirits called Primals are considered both
ancient and powerful, and they seem to be worshipped as much as petitioned - something
seeming to be unusual with the Warcraft troll cultures. There is hinted possibility that
they may be the Ancients seen in night elf and tauren stories, but no confirmation at
all. The various troll tribes and empires each worship their own selection of Primal
loa, based largely it would appear upon the varieties of local fauna. This is not
wholly, the case, however, as one Darkspear witch doctor quest-giver found in Zangarmarsh
states that
No self-respecting Darkspear troll engages in bird worship. Their spirits are
weak, capricious, and best left to the Amani.

In many examples found within the game, troll witch doctors of a variety of tribes either
invite or force various Primal loa to possess them, taking on aspects of that loa, both
magically and physically. The High Priests of old Zul'Gurub, of Zul'Aman, and Zul'Drak
have all done so.

It is also unclear whether differing tribes who have Primal Loa of the same totem animal
are merely worshipping the same loa under differing aspects or names, or whether they are
actually separate spirits. Similarly to the way the Greeks and Romans, or the Aztecs and
Mayans shared pantheons, it may be that Ula-tek and Hethiss and Sseratuss are all the
same Primal Loa, worshipped under different names, and with some differing archetypes.

Assuming that this is so, we find the following list of Primal Loa, and their themes. The
first name given in each case is the name under which the Darkspear Trolls worship that
Primal Spirit.

Shadra [Elortha no Shadra], the Spider. Cunning plans and romance and poison are all her demesne.
Shirvallah [Eraka no Kimbul], the Tiger. A hunter and warrior, full of fury, the Lord
of Cats, Prey's Doom.
Bethekk [Har'Koa?], the Panther. Stealth and guile and misdirection.
Hir'eek, the Bat. Flyer in the Dark, and Collecter of Secrets
Hethiss [Sseratuss, Ula-tek], the Snake. Ula-tek is a patron of treachery and deceit,
but Hethiss seems mostly patron of speed.
Gonk, the Raptor. Worshipped or known from "ancient Zandalarian tales" the green raptor loa recently taught Zen'tabra and other Darkspear witch doctors what might be called the way of the Druid.

? -- [Nalorakk, Rhunok], the Bear. Most likely a loa of brute force and endurance.
? -- [Akil'zon], the Eagle.
? -- [Halazzi], the Lynx. An Amani [forest troll] loa, he may be a direct parallel of
Shirvallah, but may be not.
? -- [Jan'alai], the Dragonhawk. Almost certainly a patron of Arcane Magics and
knowledge.
? -- [Mam'toth], the Mammoth.
? -- [Akali], the Rhino.
? -- [Quetz'lun], the Wind Serpent. Of note, despite the similarity of shape, Quetz'lun
does NOT appear to be the same "spirit" as Hakkar. To begin with, the Zandalari appear
to have no problem with Quetz'lun or her worship by the Drakkari.
the Elemental Loa

The trolls recognize the elements and the elementals, and have since the days of the
Great Troll Empires. The elemental lords and their servants seem to be treated much as
is any other loa - as a fickle and potentially malevolent spirit whose aid must be
carefully wrangled, or if possible forced. The tale of the Stone of the Tides comes from
an in-game book, and explores how one witch doctor failed in his dealings with Neptulon's
servants, and his village was wiped from the face of the world:

LEGENDS OF THE TROLLS, VOLUME III
Stone of the Tides

INTRODUCTION

The ancient Gurubashi Empire was a source of many fascinating and intriguing legends that
can be no doubt traced to their environs, as examinations of their belief systems and
societal practices have pointed to a great reverence for their natural surroundings.

While I have delved into many aspects of their snake-worship in previous volumes of this
study, I put forth here an examination of the trolls' interesting and unique relationship
with the sea.

THE GREAT SEA

The Gurubashi Empire was surrounded on three sides by the sea, so it comes as little
surprise that water would figure prominently as an aspect of their society. While the
trolls were able to roam and control the large areas of their jungle empire, the sea
eluded them. It was vast and immeasurable, no doubt a disconcerting neighbor for the
powerful trolls.

It should be noted here that recent discoveries seem to suggest that the trolls had
little interest in exploring the lands beyond the Great Sea. While the troll species have
been encountered along the length and breadth of Azeroth, Khaz Modan and Lordaeron,
little evidence of their civilization has been found in the newly discovered lands of
Kalimdor or upon the islands in the South Seas. Whether this demonstrates an
unwillingness of the trolls to venture away from their terrestrial holdings or a failure
on their part to develop the technologies needed to make such a journey will take further
research and analysis that is out of the scope of my writings here.

But one can hardly ignore so large a presence, and new findings in the extensive troll
ruins of Stranglethorn Vale show and aspect of their relationship with the sea previously
unknown and undocumented.

THE STONE OF THE TIDES

Recent discoveries during surveys of the troll ruins of Stranglethorn Vale have shown
references to an object known as the "Stone of the Tides". Various fragments of the troll
legends can be pieced together to paint a rather complete picture of the Stone and its
importance to the ancient Gurubashi Empire.

It appears that the Stone of the Tides allowed its bearer to control water in its many
forms, rivers, rain, and the tides. Because of the stories related to use of the Stone of
the Tides. I have conjectured that it is actually a physical manifestation of the powers
of the Waterlord, a powerful elemental of the seas. How and why such an object would
leave the Waterlord's control and fall into the hands of the trolls is another question
that is beyond the scope of my knowledge.

[cntd]
[the Elemental Loa cntd]
THE TIDEBEARER

Like the movements of the eponymous tides, the Stone of the Tides entered the world of
the trolls and departed, never constantly staying in the trolls' hands for longer than a
generation at a time.

In troll legends, it is said that the first time the Stone of the Tides came to the
Gurubashi Empire, it was found by a troll warrior wandering along the coast of
Stranglethorn. He came upon a mysterious blue stone within which milky white strands
floated and flowed. Intrigued by the stone, the warrior took it with him and continued
upon his journey.

Over the weeks and months, the warrior discovered that the stone had given him control
over water. He could summon forth water elementals, creatures formed completely of
water--duplicating a feat that only powerful mages of the Kirin Tor are able to perform.

The warrior traveled to Zul'Guru, to the heart of the empire, to show his newfound
abilities to the Emperor. He easily gained a court audience after demonstrating his
powers in the center of the Imperial capital. His powers easily amazed the Gurubashi
Emperor, who immediately gave him a place of honor at court, naming the warrior
"Tidebearer", leaving his old name behind.

For years, the Tidebearer served the Gurubashi Empire, summoning his thrall water
elementals in battle and manipulating the flow of water in Stranglethorn Vale for the
benefit of the Empire. But as the years went on, the Tidebearer became more reclusive,
tending to stay for long periods of time away from court.

The Tidebearer was hiding a secret from the prying eyes of court. The abilities granted
to him by the Stone of the Tides also came with a curse. As the years passed, the
Tidebearer was fading away. With each coming and going of the tides, the Tidebearer
became less of himself, losing his corporeal form--pulsing in and out of existence--until
in his dying days he traveled to the beach where he had first found the Stone, and walked
into the sea, disappearing for the last time.

Generations later, the Stone of the Tides washed upon the shores of Stranglethorn, and
another Tidebearer was chosen, as the troll brought the Stone to Zul'Gurub. So the
process continued for generations, the Stone appearing with the tide, and the Tidebearer
leaving into the tide.

Modern day accounts of the Stone of the Tides have appeared from place to place, but one
must still wonder why an object of such power would appear with such regularity, and by
whose design.

-- In Game Text

[cntd]
[the Elemental Loa cntd]
A second in-game book from before the Cataclysm also shows the seaside villages of the
Gurubashi Empire having conflicts with the water elemental loa when they have not been
well enough propitiated:
"Fall of Gurubashi"

Rising from the ocean, a tower of water, Neptulon sent the great Krakken to doomed
I'lalai. So huge were their forms that jungles of kelp swayed through their limbs, and
leviathans swam through bodies.

The largest Krakken then raised his arms high and crashed them into the sea, sending
waves about him. And they raged toward I'lalai.

The Krakken roared, and their voices thundered like an ocean storm:

"We come."

Min'loth, standing firm, called forth his magic. The waves sent to I'lalia parted and
washed to both sides, and they flooded the jungle beyond. Min'loth then bade his minions
chant spells of binding, and a din rang out as dozens of troll voices rose.

And one voice rose above the rest.

Min'loth bellowed and his magic gathered the power of his minion's spells, and he cast it
at the approaching Krakken.

The seas parted and Min'loth's spell sped toward the servants of Neptulon. Lightning tore
the sky and the spell struck them, and a thousand bolts fell, boiling water and burning
craters in the earth.

Min'loth cried in triumph, knowing his spell would fell the great beasts.

But the Krakken are old, very old. They remembered when the land was first born from the
sea.

They remembered when the Old Ones ruled and when the Travelers came and cast them down.
They remembered when magic was new.

They are old and they hold many secrets. And though Min'loth's spell was strong, it, like
the troll, was mortal.

And so it failed.

It failed to bind the Krakken, but it enraged them. Not in aeons had a mortal caused them
pain, and the troll's spell was painful.

And so they shed the bindings of Minloth's spell, but then roared and stuck with fury.

A rumble was heard as great waves rose from the deep and raced toward the land. When they reached I'lalai they cast a shadow on the city.

But before they destroyed it the Krakken halted, poised.

The troll witchdoctors trembled and cried out to their master. Min'loth gazed at the
mountains of the sea, doomed and defiant. He turned to his adepts and whispered, and the
trolls etched his last words into stone. Min'loth then faced the looming Krakken.

He grimaced and hurled his staff, his last bold act.

The Krakken then bent their fury upon Min'loth, and an ocean fell upon I'lalai.

And it was no more.

And then the waters fell upon the jungle, washing clean all they met. Trolls and beasts
cried out as the waters smashed and drowned them.

Many Gurubashi wondered why the ocean swallowed them, but then they died and knew nothing.

And finally, when the waters reached the mountains, they stopped. Appeased, they
retreated back beyond the shores, and they left a wake of death.

They retreated, but they surged around I'lalai and remained, drowning it forever.

And the chief Var'gazul, safe behind the mountains in Zul'Gurub, went out to the jungle
and found it washed clean of his people.

And he despaired, for his dreams of conquest were thwarted.

And never was Min'loth the Serpent found.
the Ancestor Loa

Like other shamanistic cultures in the game, the troll voodoo culture reveres its ancestors. A number of former-trolls-turned-spirits are specifically referred to in-game as loa, and others are evident. The pen-and-paper game setting refers explicitly to many more, as well.

Ancestor loa appear to be dead trolls who, having died and passed into the "spirit world," continue to be able to affect the living. Their advice can be sought, their power can grow, and their aid or appeasement can be sought.

Zanza is a loa revered by the Zandalari and the Gurubashi and others, as the first troll [or the first troll witch doctor]. His embodiment could be met in the Zul'Gurub instance, prior to cataclysm. He spoke of being a troll witch doctor at the time when the night elves rose up against the troll empires, and of being the creator of the magics which became the highborn night elf Arcanums. The altar complex on Yojamba Island was dedicated to Zanza, and the altar complex at Bambala outpost may well be the same one.

Bwonsamdi is a loa revered by the Darkspear, and would appear to be an ancestor loa, as during the Fall of Zalazane event he appeared as the ghost of a troll. He is claimed to guard the gates of death, ushering in the dead Darkspear, and either preventing or allowing their return. He seems to parallel the loa Mueh'zala worshipped by the Sandfury.

Also during the Fall of Zalazane event, one of the troll witch doctors called upon the massed ancestor loa and spirits of the dead, to possess him and give advice.

The ancestor loa appear to be as fickle and demanding as any other loa, and likewise bargain for their favour, or for appeasement. Bwonsamdi demands ritual and sacrifice for his aid during the event, Zanza demands that various magics be brought to him to avenge the "theft" of his magics by the highborne. Even T'chali [a ghost or "loa" in Outland] demands the player characters help him revenge himself on the nearby ogres, and gather up his lost possessions.
Some scholars view voodoo as a type of animism, and to an extent that theory is true. The trolls' religion takes a decidedly different dark bent than the shamanistic beliefs of
the orcs and tauren, though. Trolls have a complex belief system involving malign spirits
and their effect on the world, but no scholar has established what is truth and what is
simply long-held belief. The Darkspear trolls come from a dark and bloodthirsty history
of sacrifice, cannibalism and black magic. They consider spirits to be individuals much
like living creatures. Spirits are greedy, hostile and dangerous. Trolls also believe
their ancestors linger on as jealous spirits who miss the land of the living and require
blood sacrifices to appease them.
Trolls sacrifice and eat their enemies. They conduct
these practices for two reasons. First, they believe the sacrifice of sentient creatures
appeases malicious spirits. Second, they believe that after death, an enemy's spirit can
visit misfortune on its killer.
By consuming the flesh of their enemies, trolls believe
they can also consume their enemy's spirit, or at least damage it enough to render it
impotent.
-- Horde Player's Guide

Troll ancestors [ancestor loa] are not considered benevolent, any more than are other loa. Jeavous and selfish, requiring bargains and appeasement, the ancestor loa can be a source of great power to the living, or a source of great threat.
Muisek and E'ko

Troll hoodoo, voodoo, and appeasement of the Loa shows a few distinct elements in
Warcraft. One of the central elements binding together many of the troll-related stories
in the game, is music and dance. Sound and drumming and dance seem to pervade trollish
magics.

From the bone-pounded skin drums of Revantusk Village, to troll NPCs randomly bursting
into dance, it is everywhere. Here is a look at some of the troll Hoodoo as performed by
NPCs throughout the game. Perhaps it can help to inspire you Witch Doctors out there.

Witch Doctor Uzer'i makes use of the "Muisek" [pronounced: "music"] of various beasts
and, eventually, sentient species. Night Elves, he says, use this magic as well, trapping
the Muisek of a dying beast in a vessel, and then using that Muisek to enhance one's own
prowess. Uzer'i is also capable of shrinking heads - he has shrunk the head of a dwarf
already. In fact, according to the RPG, head shrinking is designed to trap the victim's
soul in the shrunken skull, so that the Witch Doctor can use its power. To capture the
Muisek of animals, Uzer'i has prepared a special vessel which shrinks the slain beast,
and traps the Muisek inside... sounding much like the head-shrinking in WoW. To imbue the
Muisek into a weapon, Uzer'i dances to the Muisek.

Witch Doctor Mau'ari makes use of the E'ko from various beasts and Winterfall. Carrying
her small cache will allow the bearer to collect the E'ko [pronounced: "echo"] from slain
beasts. Mau'ari then uses that E'ko to make juju which can be used to empower its user,
making them "full of juju." Note the similarity in naming style - this is the "echo" of
the slain beasts, while Uzer'i is collecting the "music" from them.

Kin'weelay in Grom'gol is the most powerful Witch Doctor of the Darkspear tribe. He
completes a number of quests for you on the same theme: shrunken heads. Kin'weelay holds
the power to create shrunken heads in his cauldron, when the heads are brought to him,
and bind the souls of the deceased into them. He can then force information from the
Shrunken Heads, and perhaps other power as well.

If the form is consistent, he does this by imprisoning the Muisek, the E'ko, in the
shrunken head.
Druids and Warlocks

Aye, mon. Our kind have joined the Horde because they be good for us. They loyal,
and they teach us much 'bout tings like honor. But our old ways die hard. The orcs may
not approve of all our traditions, but that not mean we can't continue to practice some
them in secret.

You know this, an' that's why I send you to Tai'jin in Razor Hill. She teach you more
'bout our history. She teach you the ways of our tribe. Go to her when you be ready.

-- Ken'jai, quest text for troll priests, prior to patch 3.3.5


The Darkspear did not entirely give up the practices of voodoo during their allegiance to
Thrall. Some, such as those of the shadow priest class within the witch doctors, held
closer to their old ways. Troll Warlocks appear as NPC mobs scattered throughout the
game, and would appear to regard minor demons as malevolent spirits to be enslaved. In
this regard, they have some similarities to the warlocks of the Blood Elves during TBC
and WotLK. They make others uncomfortable, they are often shunned socially, but they are
important and valuable parts of the trollish religion.

A few NPC mob titles may be entirely appropriate for Darkspear troll warlocks. The
player of Adnaw had posted on the old forum an extensive list of troll mob titles. The
following from that list seem most appropriate for warlocks:

Flame caster - Mage, Shaman - These Trolls have mastered the art of flame and the element of fire.
Hexxer - Priest (shadow), Mage - These trolls are fearsome and vile. They use dark voodoo to hurt, control, and even transform their enemies.
Mystic - Mage, Priest, Shaman - These elders are revered for their voodoo but even more so for their wisdom.
Oracle - Priest, Shaman, Mage - These trolls use their voodoo to interpret signs and the world around them.
Shadow Caster - Priest (shadow) - This troll concentrates all her voodoo on being able to bring the shadows alive to aid her in her fights and life.
Witch Doctor - Shaman, Priest, Mage - These trolls are revered for their potent voodoo and their council. These trolls are often the righthand of a chief.
Souleater - Warlock - Demonic arts. These trolls were not playable in game due to the
lack of a warlock class.

Druidism also fits quite easily within the trollish voodoo mindset. Inviting a given Primal Loa [or even Ancestor Loa] to step into your body, giving some aspects or features of that loa's power, but at the same time taking on some of the "restrictions" of that spirit's identity, is something done by some priests of ALL of the various troll cultures encountered in the game, Jungle Troll, Forest Troll, Ice Troll. Even the Darkspear witch doctors invited the Ancestor Spirits of the tribe to step inside one of their number during the Zalazane's Fall event, allowing the departed spirits to communicate with the living [and making the possessed witch doctor both ghostly and gigantic during the possession].

The pen-and-paper game's version of the setting also refers to troll "Primals." Not the same as the Primal Loa, these "primals" dedicate themselves so thoroughly to a single Primal Loa that they begin to both take on some minor physical aspects of that totem spirit, but also to become more feral, more beast than mon.

Shape-changing, then, is something which suits troll voodoo quite easily.
I be havin' a vision! 'Twas a jungle bigger and wilder dan I ever seen! And before me, de ancient raptor loa only talked about in Zandalari tales-Gonk, de Great Hunter! De raptor spirit spoke ta me, told me he had brought me spirit to a place called de Emerald Dreem. Gonk needed us ta save de life on de isles. But since we not be able ta draw upon de power o' de loa wit Zalazane in power, Gonk be showin' us a new way ta connect wit ALL de spirits o' nature, ta work WIT de spirits, not just be servin' a single loa at a time. It be difficult at first, ya, mon, but Gonk be showin' us how ta also reach inta de Emerald Dream wit de spirits and learn from dem directly!De other loa, 'specially Shirvallah, did not much care for dis plan. Dey still be wantin' us ta work just for one o' dem at a time, not wit all de spirits at once.We been workin' wit de spirits for many moons now, mon, but many o' us already knew de forms o' de loa we served before. It not be easy, but de Emerald Dream be a powerful teacher by itself-havin' de spirits demselves also teachin' ya... it hurries tings along.
-- Zentabra, in-game text
Who are the Zandalari, and this "Hand of Rastakhan" fellow?

The earliest known trolls belonged to the Zandalar tribe, from which all other trolls are descended. On the whole, the Zandalari valued knowledge above all else, but a significant portion of the tribe hungered for conquest instead. These disaffected trolls eventually departed to form tribes of their own. As time went on, what remained of the Zandalar tribe came to be regarded as an overarching priest caste for all trolls. The Zandalari worked tirelessly to record and preserve troll history and traditions, and these wise trolls acted to further the goals of troll society as a whole. Greatly respected by all other trolls, the Zandalari nevertheless remained apart from the day-to-day politics of their people.

-- Blizzard's "Troll Compendium" at http://www.wow-europe.com/en/info/story/trolls/history.html

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.

-- Dark Factions

Surkhan is the current, principal representative of King Rastakhan in Stranglethorn, residing at Bambala outpost amongst the Darkspear Trolls there. He oversees the Darkspear warden-ing of Zul'Gurub, and sends Darkspear into the jungle to punish the Skullsplitters. Ghaliri also acts as an emissary of Rastakhan, currently residing in an Alliance camp at the edge of Northern Stranglethorn, but remaining friendly to Darkspear characters and their Horde allies.
Of note, an update to the "Zandalari and Rastakhan" post in the thread is necessary, and upcoming.
Other notes from the original thread at http://eu.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/916826889

Personaly I think that a warlock, as long as not using any demonic spells, fits great as a hexxer.
But thats just my opinion.


11/05/2011 09:29Posted by Falseboom
I must add that it seems from your guide that troll Warlocks = Witch Doctor? or that the warlocks at least have always existed and just been in hiding/not practising out of reverence of all Thrall has done for them?


Yes, Falseboom, it does appear to me that warlocks have always existed as a segment of the "witch doctor" [a catch-all term, it would appear, for all troll caster classes], and been practicing likely as shadow priests or mages.

And Nazvan, it's not only your opinion. The list of NPC mob titles given above would ALL suit warlocks, to some degree or other, just as they COULD be applied to most any troll caster class. Even shamans have Hex, and so COULD be hexxers [though other classes are even better suited for that role, in particular shadow priests, warlocks, and mages].

As for WHY were they not summoning demonic spirits [which, being "spirits" are, I suppose, a kind of little loa]? Out of reverence for Thrall? Well, maybe partly. Also maybe partly in reverence for Sen'jin and Vol'jin, one the revered witch doctor and chieftain who foresaw the future and pledged the tribe in Blood Oath to Thrall, the other an incredibly powerful Shadow Hunter who kept that oath.

But as noted, events immediately before the Cataclysm changed that outlook. Garrosh is not Thrall, for one, and Bwonsamdi demanded a return to the old worship [sacrifice of sentients], for another. I suspect it is less a case of "suddenly, poof! warlocks!" and more a case of "oh, we can start enslaving demonic loa again!"

Note however, that this is interpretation, and not stated explicitly EXCEPT in the quest text quoted earlier, wherein the troll priest trainers told troll priest characters that some of the old ways were still kept in secret, not forgotten.
Excellent introduction to Trollish Voodoo and Witch Doctors. Requesting a sticky!
I liek!
Witch-doctorish brofist!



And sticky request.
Edited for some [though probably not all] inconsistencies in spelling and grammar, and to enhance elements of the text with bolding and italicization.
I have a question about
Hexxer - Priest (shadow), Mage - These trolls are fearsome and vile. They use dark voodoo to hurt, control, and even transform their enemies.

I don't get why shamans are less fitting to the Hexxer archetipe than mages: they both can transform their enemies.
As mentioned in the posts themselves, all of the troll caster classes are suitable. Shadow Priest, Warlock and Mage are merely MORE suited, having a wider range of such effects to call upon: curses, mind control, polymorph in a variety of shapes... but yes, shaman can do so too. In fact, shaman is the witch doctor style that in game actually gets Hex specifically.

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