Field Photographer Friday is a weekly look at the lore and history behind locations around World of Warcraft. This week, we're taking a look at the Echo Isles!
The Echo Isles are a small group of tropical islands on the eastern coast of the Kalimdor continent. In ancient times, they were inhabited by sea giants and skeletons. The Isles would change hands several times over thousands of years, eventually becoming the home of the Darkspear trolls in recent times.
As mentioned, the first inhabitants of the Echo Isles were Sea King and his crew of sea giants, as well as a small band of skeletons and their unnamed-Deathlord. It seems these two groups coexisted peacefully, and weren't disturbed until the Third War. It was during this time that the Darkspear troll tribe was saved by Thrall, after which Vol'jin pledged their allegiance to the Horde. Following the establishment of Orgrimmar, and wanting to remain near the central hub of the Horde, the Darkspear colonized the nearby Echo Isles as their capital city location.
Not long after, Admiral Daelin Proudmoore of the Alliance lead an assault against the Horde and the Darkspear trolls on the Echo Isles, forcing them to retreat to Orgrimmar with the help of Rexxar. Rexxar would go on to lead a successful counterattack against Daelin and the Alliance at Theramore.
After moving back to the Isles, the Darkspear were quickly betrayed by one of their own. Hexmaster Zalazane, once Vol'jin's best-friend, was driven mad by his power and began draining the Darkspear trolls of their free will. Fearing all of his people would become slaves to Zalazane, Vol'jin retreated with his remaining tribe to the shores of Durotar where they founded Sen'jin Village. For years, the Darkspear trolls would lead attacks against the Echo Isles, but none of them succeeded. This is the first state which the Echo Isles appeared in World of Warcraft, filled with dense jungle, raptors and tigers, and simple troll structures.
As time passed, the Darkspear became more prominent members of the Horde. With this newfound respect, Vol'jin was able to call upon Horde heroes to assist in retaking the Echo Isles. Shortly before the Cataclysm expansion, Horde heroes took part in the "Zalazane's Fall" event. During the event, heroes fought alongside Vol'jin through a series of traps and defenses set up by Zalazane before finally killing him once and for all. With their islands once again in their hands, the Darkspear set to work rebuilding and upgrading the structures.
With the release of the Cataclysm expansion, the Echo Isles took on their current form. They're now home to a proper troll capital city as well as the beginning questlines for new troll heroes. With Azeroth's primary conflicts moving away from the Horde vs Alliance, it's unlikely the Echo Isles will see major conflicts again soon. Instead, they'll continue to serve as a refuge and training ground for the Darkspear for generations to come.
Recommended Reading for characters related to the Echo Isles
Former Chieftain of the Darkspear trolls and Warchief of the Horde.
The former slave known as Thrall brought unity to the Horde, turning ravagers into architects and securing a future for his people. -Battle.net
Half-ogre, half-orc beastmaster and Champion of the Horde.
Join me every Friday as I work to expand my lore knowledge while completing the Field Photographer achievement. Read lore summaries for each location and follow up with resources where you can go more indepth! I encourage you to share your own selfies and any additional lore resources you know of in the comments below, or tweet me @PrestonDvorak. Bonus points* if the selfie is somewhere you shouldn’t be (such as an Alliance player in Orgrimmar)!
*Points are meaningless and have no monetary value, but they’ll never give you up or let you down.