Goblin Knowledge

What a character knows about goblin history and culture depends on her intelligence and training, which a Knowledge check represents. A hero who makes an appropriate Knowledge check knows the following information about goblins at the indicated DCs.

• DC 10 Knowledge (history) or Knowledge (local): Goblins are a diminutive race of merchants and tinkers who live everywhere in Azeroth. While some goblins were once members of the Horde, all goblins now declare permanent neutrality, in the hopes of higher profits.

• DC 15 Knowledge (geography) or Knowledge (nobility & royalty): Goblins rule out of Undermine, the capital of the Isle of Kezan. Here, probably five goblin rulers, known as trade princes, control the shipping and mercantile power of the world.

• DC 20 Knowledge (local) or Knowledge (nobility and royalty): Goblins still hold several slave rings around Azeroth, capturing exotic races and selling them on the black market. Undermine condones this behavior, bestowing rank and title upon wealthy slavers.

• DC 25 Knowledge (arcana) or Knowledge (geography): Undermine is a subterranean fortress, much larger than goblins normally let others know. Here, goblins build war machines, demolition devices such as shredders, and other vile implements. They also practice alchemical augmentations, creating the occasional mutant monstrosities that exist in Undermine's labs. They have even experimented on their own race, creating the purple-skinned hobgoblins.

• DC 40 Knowledge (arcana) or Knowledge (history): Goblins were not always intelligent. Long ago, goblins were barely intelligent and primitive, slaves to the jungle troll empire. The race discovered a now-exhausted mineral known as kaja'mite, which increased the goblins' intelligence vastly. The goblins rebelled and defeated the trolls, claiming Kezan as their own and inventing some of the world's first technologies. Early goblin technology was far superior to their current endeavors. However, the goblins have since run out of kaja'mite. Now, goblins have decreased in intelligence, and their technology has likewise suffered.

Some goblins go so far as to build items that are especially intimidating, to give them that extra edge in battle. And, believe me, goblin weaponry is scary. From steam-powered saws and multifire cluster rockets to gigantic robotic armors wielding two-ton hammers, goblins have the market cornered when it comes to unconventional warfare.

Ten thousand years ago, as most learned folk these days know, a great civilization existed. The beings who created this civilization were called kaldorei, and they looked a lot like modern night elves (for good reason). The primary reason that their civilization was so great was that they had discovered the Well of Eternity: A luminous pool pulsing with magic energy. The Well of Eternity was the source of all arcane magic in the world, which at that point consisted of a single landmass called Kalimdor. The kaldorei learned to tap into the magical energies of the well, and thus their first arcanists came to be.

Arcane magic is dangerous, however. Frequent use leads to a desire for more and, eventually, to a desire for the evil fel energy. Eventually a great kaldorei queen, Azshara, came to prominence. Azshara was the most powerful mage in the world and had a cadre of loyal arcanists about her. Azshara and her followers — called the Highborne — turned their society's interest in arcane magic into an obsession. They cast spells with greater and greater potency. Such abuse destabilized the Well.

Exactly when the first demonic whispers reached Azshara and the Highborne I don't know, but I believe it was a good while after her coronation. By this time, the kaldorei capital bore the queen's name: It was Zin-Azshari, rechristened at the demands of the populace. Azshara and the Highborne grew ever more arrogant, casting ever more powerful spells. This abuse attracted the attention of Sargeras, master of the Burning Legion. However, it was not Sargeras or the Legion that corrupted Azshara and the Highborne — it was their own power.

After Sargeras contacted the Highborne, they worked to summon the demons into the world. Eventually, they succeeded. The sky rained fire. What followed was the War of the Ancients, a momentous time in which infernals crashed through forests, demigods clashed with demon lords, and kaldorei fought kaldorei. Finally, the young druid Malfurion Stormrage, with the help of many powerful allies, caused the Well of Eternity to implode. The resulting catastrophe was the Sundering. The land split apart to become the continents and islands as we now know them. Thousands perished, and the kaldorei lands were devastated. The Burning Legion was banished. The land around the destroyed Well of Eternity and most of Zin-Azshari blasted downward, to the bottom of the inrushing seas, to smash into the ocean floor.

The Maelstrom formed above the ocean at this location, creating lasting testament to its history. The Maelstrom exists to this day. It is a large and violent magical storm that rages over the ocean. The Maelstrom whips the sea beneath it into an enormous whirlpool, the center of which is called the Eye. Once caught in the whirlpool's currents, most creatures have no chance of escaping. Furthermore, under the waves is an impassable whirling wall of water surrounding the Eye.

Many night elves, including Azshara, sank to the seafloor with their city. These Highborne survived. They were cursed and became the naga — serpentlike, water-breathing monstrosities. Their men and women diverged in appearance, physicality and mindset. They lived at the bottom of the ocean, beneath the Maelstrom, for 10,000 years.

Yet they did more than survive. The imploded Well of Eternity left behind residual energies, which twisted in the ocean depths near the naga's city. Over ten millennia these energies mutated die fallen Highborne, altering them even further to suit dieir new environment.

The naga recast ruined Zin-Azshari into a new capital: Nazjatar. Ruling the naga was Azshara, now mutated into a terrible demigod.

Naga history takes a breather for 10,000 years. What they did while they sat in Nazjatar, aside from mutate, I don't know. They probably tamed some native creatures to use in warfare. Studied arcane magic. I imagine they clashed with the makrura, whose capital Mak'aru is in the same neighborhood.

The naga resurfaced in the time around the Third War. One of the first sightings of naga took place when Warchief Thrall rescued the Darkspear trolls from a tribe of murlocs on a stormswept isle in the South Seas. The murlocs worshipped a creature they called a sea witch. The ores and trolls ■ didn't recognize her as a naga at the time, but later, when they learned of diis race, they realized the truth.

with naga occurred shordy after die Third War. Kael'dias Sunstrider, prince of die newly-dubbed blood elves, encountered a naga emissary, Lady Vashj, who offered to help him battle the Scourge. Kael'thas agreed. However, when the blood elves' human commander, Grand Marshall Garithos, discovered this alliance, he denounced the blood elves. He believed naga were irredeemably evil, and the blood elves must also be evil for consorting with them. Garithos imprisoned Kael'thas and the rest of the blood elves. He sentenced them to death. Before he could carry out this sentence, Lady Vashj appeared and offered to help Kael'thas escape. The blood elf, very sensibly, accepted. The two forces fought together and eventually joined Illidan in Outland, where they remain.

Now, naga expeditions range across the world on missions for their queen. One thing I can tell you for certain: Though the surface world forgot them, they did not forget us.

Naga Culture

Few people know anything about naga culture, but I'm one of them. In fact, I know, comparatively, a lot, because I was foolish enough to visit their capital... alone. All in the name of research!

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