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Does anyone know the lore behind them? It seems odd to me they are numerous to be considered a playable class when I've heard so little about them. As far as I know, the pantheon of Troll deities and voodoo beliefs coupled with their other magical manipulations would only lead to shaman and priests.

Thanks!

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From the standpoint of that old RPG book, Trolls practice voodoo and tend to become "witch doctors and shadow hunters". Some troll characters seem to play arcane/fire/ice as a form of voodoo. Others play that they've picked up magic from the Forsaken or other means. Nothing preventing them from learning to read necessarily! Considering their interaction with the Horde is essentially entirely reliant on the Orcs, you can pretty much start there and decide.

The mage list in the same book does say "Dwarves, gnomes, high elves, humans, trolls and Forsaken are all capable of becoming mages." So it seems to be accepted canon all around, but I've never seen it laid out anywhere that "This is where trolls learned magic, and this is why, and this is how they use it," or anything like that.

wowwiki also has this wonderful ambiguous contribution to make:

Many may wonder how a race performing primitive rituals based around a spiritual religion could wield the arts of the arcane. Yet the recent alliance between the Darkspear Tribe and the Horde showed that the trolls are quite a perceptive race, willing to learn new ways if it is for the best of the tribe, much like the humans back in their primitive days.

The arcane arts were once exclusively elven and human, governed by the mages of Quel'thalas and the Kirin Tor of Dalaran. However, the fall of these organizations during the Third War resulted in many scattered mages across Azeroth searching for a place to settle. It is not unlikely that the trolls might have adapted their arcane knowledge from these scavengers, as well as from their recent allies, the Forsaken, who still possess knowledge of the arcane arts in undeath.

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This is a great question, and you know, I never gave it the same level of thought...

For my troll mage Vesker I just established he was an orphan, and just happened to have learned the traditions of the magecraft during his years in Durotar, through other Horde members (that and he's always been obsessed with shinies!)

Thanks for the share of information and the thought-provoking question. :) If I stumble upon anything, I'll post it here.

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Thanks for the posts.

I was just trying to think of a good standpoint from where a Troll would actually know how to manipulate the arcane without interracial tutoring. However, given their short lifespan and great chance to have had to learn the magic forces from another individual rather recently, would Trolls not be less potent mages than the other races?

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Technically, humans don't live all that long either, but they don't have any problem with "potency", so I doubt it would make a huge difference. *cough* If anything, maybe something to do with their berserking tendencies or regenerative capability gives them a certain strength with it? *shrug* Because very little has been established on the matter, I think it becomes up to the one working with the details how they want to play with them.

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Think of magic like dancing. Voodoo is salsa, shamanism is hip-hop, spiritualism is waltz, and arcane is swing/blues. If I am an expert at salsa, I can pick up swing much more quickly than I originally did learning my native Latin dance.

Some dancers like to do all forms, but most have a particularly style that suits them. All dancing helps with understanding other forms, but some styles more readily adapt to one another. Arcane would be the most intricate and transcendent form of magic, sort of like a gnostic understanding; without making a philosophical point I'd rather not defend that arcane is using the unspoken "rules" of magic directly rather than abiding within them, I'd say an understanding of any magic would make you a good candidate for possibly learning arcane.

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Then my understanding is flawed. I was of the impression the arcane was the true wizard-like, D&D style, magic. What I mean by this is the arcane seemed more like a science than a magic to me, the only powerful manipulations of it coming after a long time of intense study. And I'm not generalizing by magic school - moonfire and arcane shot are not included here. I'm specifically talking about mages.

Humans are stated as (overall) taking especially well to magic though. Again, with the D&D analogy, they've a little sorcerer in all of them. Given their lifespan, unless they were _much_ smarter than the elves, humans must rely on this innate natural boost to magic learning or would be second-best without a doubt to the elves who may spend multiple human lives each honing their skills. Trolls would be in much the same boat - they've got to have this little bit of sorcerer in them.

Problem is, if they have that innate ability to catch up with the elves, how/why did the elves, descendants of the Trolls, lose it?

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I'd say trolls would have had to have had practicing mages for a while now, since there are troll mage trainers and the trolls have only been part of the horde for what, three years at the beginning of WoW? (five now)

And the Forsaken have been around less than that by a year, I believe. So them (trolls) picking it up and becoming masters in two or three years is pretty iffy.

Meaning they'd have to have been using it all along. Possibly stole it from the elves they (as a race) have been fighting with for time immemorial.

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Then my understanding is flawed. I was of the impression the arcane was the true wizard-like, D&D style, magic. What I mean by this is the arcane seemed more like a science than a magic to me, the only powerful manipulations of it coming after a long time of intense study.

Well, my understanding is most definitely flawed, so take it with a grain of salt. You'd have to ask one of these lore nuts who've read the official WoW fiction whether their impression of arcane is like yours.

Arcane magic seems to find its source from the Well of Eternity. The reason the elves practice arcane while the trolls did not (until recently) would be that the elves are more connected with the Well of Eternity. Also, if my understanding of the history is correct, arcane magic is something like a twisting of the fabric of reality, a warping of the rules of nature, which is naturally very powerful, but also draws the attention of the Burning Legion. Generally speaking, druidic magic and voodoo do not appear to do this.

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Problem is, if they have that innate ability to catch up with the elves, how/why did the elves, descendants of the Trolls, lose it?

Unproven myth! Unknown speculation!

They didn't lose anything? The high elf types, Highborne, etc., have been using magic all of their known history. The night elf types chose to stop using unnatural magic when they realized it was incredibly dangerous and had a tendency to act as a beacon for Sargeras and the original Well was destroyed. That was where they split. There was no discontinuing the use of magic for the high elves, and the release of the Well's magic throughout the world meant they were also no longer reliant on the moon for their power. Silvermoon managed to keep doing what it did for so long because of the runestone warding in place that actually worked.

I don't believe it's necessarily true that the high elves take any longer to master it than the short lived races. What they do have is longer to practice and learn its intricacies, though. I like to think of humans as having access to all the big important things that can be learned from books, like fireballs to the face, but missing out on the intricacies like dropping a tiny ice shard to put out a candle from a mile away. Unless they end up a Guardian, because then they have all the time in the world to learn the little things.

The suggestion in the wowwiki is that Trolls could have been learning magic from any rogue mage when they scattered after the Third War, not necessarily Forsaken. While it's interesting to think of some individual human or high elf mage, probably insane, feeling such a dire need for students that they'd take anyone, even a Troll, it does seem unlikely. And of course wowwiki isn't exactly anyone's authority. But that's not to say some quick Troll student couldn't have had the ambition to teach others.

I like the dance analogy. Besides, Deino, Enyo, and Pephredo have that creepy, blindfolded three witches/muses thing going on. I don't know why, but I wouldn't be surprised if what they teach has a touch of salsa style.

It also brings into question the nature of ley which has always kind of been in the background with regards to mages, but is brought up a lot again in the conflict with the blue dragonflight. If the magic itself has always been accessible, then all it takes is someone to demonstrate how to access it. The rest can be learned by trial and error? Ha!

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Unproven myth! Unknown speculation!

Silly boy. Say as you wish!

Your distinction between potency and intricacy I don't really feel disjoint, however. Some can have both. You obviously have noted this in the Elves. My concern is it seems the Trolls simply don't have the time to become lerned in the breadth the Elves are, yet they are seen as ~ on the same page as far as potency in many manners. For example the Twilight mages found in a certain instance or raid may well be comprised of Trolls and Elves with the some potency in a fight.

Socially, however, the Trolls' magical ability I've never seen lauded except for (rarely) with voodoo natural magic.

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I suppose to some degree what they can learn and accomplish depends on their teachers? If you've got a teacher who's an elf who has been learning for 300 years, they can probably make sure you know the important stuff first, and leave out some of the fancy less useful things, so it starts to look like it's evened out, even if there are a few hundred years of practical experience missing. The cults no doubt have some of those rogue mages in them, learning from each other.

But really? It's all speculative, I think. Unless someone else knows something more, which would be really cool to know, but I don't know where it is out there.

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I suppose to some degree what they can learn and accomplish depends on their teachers? If you've got a teacher who's an elf who has been learning for 300 years

Sort of like how in college I was doing physics and calculus beyond the knowledge of Sir Isaac Newton, even though he was way, way smarter than me.

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Unproven myth! Unknown speculation!

All but canonized myth! Inevitable speculation!

On the OT I would have to say they learned it sometime in the past. The trolls have been living side by side with the humans since ancient times, hell the trolls outdate all other races on Azeroth. Who's to say a few didn't listen in when the elves discovered the arcane? Who's to say the trolls didn't steal information along that twenty thousand year span?

It's not like magic is hard to learn, or we wouldn't have fifty thousand mages and warlocks running around.

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Who's to say a few didn't listen in when the elves discovered the arcane? Who's to say the trolls didn't steal information along that twenty thousand year span?

Considering that magic is given as the reason that the Elves and the Humans were able to decimate the Amani horde...

Lack of evidence is not definitive proof, but it does bar some conclusions; unless Blizz ret-cons, the trolls have not been using arcane magic on anything but a minuscule scale until recently.

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It depends how you define smarter.

Though Newton may well have understood the fomulas behind nuclear weapons, he certainly didn't have the ideas in his head. He had the potential , but it was not actualized.

The Trolls could have the deep potential or they could actualize a shallow potential, but not both. Ortherwise, we surely would've heard stories about great Troll mages thus far. Problem is then, lvl 80 Troll mages popping off arcane blasts with the turning tide doing more damage than the Elf next to them are a head-scratcher to me as they seem to contradict the previous point. Why allow them in the first place?

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There is nothing saying that an elf who has lived for centuries has been studying as a mage all that time. It is entirely possible that they lived their lives as most citizens of Silvermoon did; in luxury and relaxation, until the Sunwell was destroyed and they were forced to learn to fend for themselves. This would give them (roughly) six years to learn the magics. It is entirely possible that a troll could've spent seven years learning to be a mage and be better than the elf.

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Possible but not likely - there are always individuals whose curiosity drives them to learn more. Some of the Elves surely studied intensely, even if most did not. These studies accelerated the people's learning - much as those who worked out the basics of calculus centuries ago made it much easier for teens today to learn it. It's not the teens' minds now are any more capable - it's the fact the material has been condensed and presented in a concise and organized format.

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The Zandalar kingdom, which all Trolls came from, are collectors of knowledge and were/are very powerful spellcasters, they prevented their large island from being destroyed by a worldwide cataclym after all.

All trolls in the world meet there regularly, so I can easily see horde trolls picking up some mage skills.

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