Adventure Hooks

• Lord Maxwell Tyrosus calls for a strike against Baron Rivendare in Stratholme. Argent Dawn members gather from around Azeroth (and bring allies) for a massive assault.

• A Forsaken enchanter wants to study Argent Dawn magic items. He hires a group of Horde heroes to procure some of these items, whether through force or guile.

Membership: Unknown; perhaps 200.

Alignment: Chaotic evil.

Regions of Influence: At the moment, the Atal'ai and Hakkari's influence is limited to two locations: Zul'Gurub and the Temple of Atal'Hakkar ("Devoted to Hakkar" or "In Honor of Hakkar") in the Swamp of Sorrows. However, if they have their way, the whole of Azeroth could be in danger.

Activities: The Atal'ai and Hakkari serve the evil god Hakkar the Soulflayer, whom they recently summoned to Azeroth.

The Atal'ai (which means "Devoted Ones" in Zandali) and Hakkari are two groups of evil troll priests who seek to reincarnate their master, the god Hakkar. Recently, the trolls summoned their god to Azeroth; he dwells in Zul'Gurub, where his power builds. Many trolls follow him; the Atal'ai are his most favored servants. Their members are primarily jungle trolls, as these were the ones who originally revered Hakkar a millennium ago.

Histor

Once, in ancient times, before the kaldorei and the War of the Ancients, two great troll empires existed: the Gurubashi and the Amani. The Sundering, as one might imagine, crippled their civilizations. The ages following the Sundering were dark ones, and the Gurubashi trolls prayed to their pantheon of primitive gods to help them. Eventually, one of these gods, Hakkar the Soulflayer, answered their prayers. Hakkar was the darkest of the trolls' gods, though they did not yet realize how dark he was.

Hakkar has a couple appellations, and neither of them inspires warmth in this dwarf's heart. At times he is called the Soulflayer, and at other times he is the Blood God. In return for his help (the specifics of which remain vague in the histories I heard), he demanded sacrifices — sacrifices of living, intelligent creatures — of trolls, in fact, if what I am given to understand is true. As time went on, Hakkar demanded more and more sacrifices; eventually, the Hakkari, Hakkar's priesthood, slaughtered their people every day to sate the Blood God's mad thirst.

Finally, Hakkar demanded that the trolls discover a way to summon him to Azeroth — he dreamed of consuming all the souls in the world. At this time, the Gurubashi realized the truth about the god who vowed to "help" them. Even the Hakkari realized the depth of his hunger — it could not be sated. The Gurubashi and the Hakkari renounced the Soulflayer.

However, by this time it was almost too late. The Atal'ai, an extremist faction of the Hakkari, remained loyal to Hakkar and resolved to bring him to Azeroth. While they were unable to summon Hakkar himself, a physical avatar of the god was manifest in Zul'Gurub. (You can be sure that wasn't a pretty thing.) The trolls speak of the subsequent conflict only in whispers: Troll fought troll as the Gurubashi and Hakkari clashed with the Atal'ai, attempting to rid Hakkar's taint from their civilization.

It wasn't an easy fight; the war ravaged Zul'Gurub, and even the Zandalar tribe entered the conflict. Yet eventually the Gurubashi and Hakkari emerged triumphant. They destroyed Hakkar's avatar. They hunted the Atal'ai, slaying them and sending a few scattering into the wilderness. The Gurubashi then turned on the Hakkari. Though the priests had helped the Gurubashi against Hakkar, the other trolls blamed them as being partly responsible for the events that culminated the in civil war. The Gurubashi were merciless; Hakkari died by the handful. Some of them managed to escape their fellows' wrath and fled into the jungle.

The escaped Hakkari were desperate. They could not return to Zul'Gurb. They could turn to only one place.

The Hakkari tracked the Atal'ai who had also fled Zul'Gurub at the end of the war. Eventually they located the Atal'ai in the Swamp of Sorrows, where they had secretly built a new temple to their god: the Temple of Atal'Hakkar, where they continued their efforts at summoning Hakakr to Azeroth. The Atal'ai had also supplemented their numbers with undead Atal'ai — Hakkar was pleased with the Atal'ai, despite their failure, and taught them more dark secrets, including necromancy. In a series of daring raids, the Atal'ai had returned to Zul'Gurb and reclaimed the bodies of their fellows.

The Hakkari came to the Atal'ai and pledged their service to Hakkar. They spoke of their persecution at the hands of the Gurubashi. The Atal'ai were pleased that the Hakkari had suffered and allowed them into the temple. However, because the Atal'ai had remained devoted to Hakkar throughout the conflict, Hakkar regarded the Atal'ai with more favor — as he has done ever since.

The Atal'ai and Hakkari then bent their efforts toward summoning Hakkar. The Gurubashi didn't attempt to track the surviving priests, more's the pity; they had other problems. Zul'Gurub was devastated, and many trolls had died. They didn't have the resources to scour the wilderness for Atal'ai and Hakkari who might be able to survive in the hostile jungle. So, the Gurubashi did not impede the Atal'ai and Hakkari's progress. That task fell to another.

The green Dragon Aspect Ysera learned of the trolls' plan and smashed Atal'Hakkar to the bottom of the swamp, beneath the Pool of Tears. (For a thousand years, w o ft L

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