Loa is the name given by trolls to the beings they worship, such as the Wild Gods, beings such as Kith'ix or G'huun, or spirits like wisps. Countless loa exist, most weak, but some very powerful. Most are shapeless, whereas others have animal or creature forms. Powerful, enlightened Zandalari can become loa upon their death - or so it is believed. Many of the Loa make their home in the Garden of the Loa in Zuldazar, or across Zandalar more generally, with major temples found in traditional troll lands.
Early troll tribes, though varying wildly in customs and traditions, all shared a common religion: the worship and reverence for the Wild Gods. The mountain range of Zandalar in southern Kalimdor was home to many loa, and was thus treated as being sacred. Troll priests are devoted to only one loa per troll, while troll druids use the powers of several loa at once. This is something the loa do not like, as they prefer to be worshiped one at a time. Shadow hunters commune with multiple loa as well, and the loa can even channel themselves through the shadow hunters when they use their ceremonial rush'kah masks.
The loa can grant wondrous boons or inflict terrible punishments to trolls. Tales abound in troll culture, of those blessed by the loa with extraordinary regenerative abilities, strengthening their already powerful, natural regeneration. The tale of Vula'jin the Void speaks of how he regrew almost his entire body after standing in a pool of shadowflame. But just as the loa can bless, they can also curse; troll children are taught legends of those cursed by the loa, such as Gri'lek, unable to heal even flesh wounds, to instill the proper respect for their patron spirits.
Zandalari (as well as Darkspear) families often worship their own family loa, cities usually have their own civic deities, and the greatest loa are worshiped by the nation as a whole. Powerful, enlightened Zandalari can become loa upon their death - or so it is believed. An example of such a case is Zanza the Restless. Different troll tribes may call upon different sets of loa.
Troll druids visiting the Moonglade have been overheard calling the wisps who reside there loa, just as they refer to Goldrinn, Aviana, and the other returned Ancients as loa. Night elves and tauren have tried to counsel these trolls on "correct" druidic nomenclature, but the trolls thus far have been stuck in their ways. The loa were later confirmed to be the same type of being as the Ancient Guardians.
After Vol'jin was mortally wounded during the battle at the Broken Shore, he thought that the loa spirits spoke to him, claiming that the death will come soon. They also whispered the name Sylvanas Windrunner. Vol'jin, thus, named her Warchief of the Horde with his last breath. However, during the Fourth War, the spirit of Vol'jin was summoned by Talanji, Master Gadrin, and Spiritwalker Ebonhorn, and Vol'jin revealed that it was not the loa spirits who told him to name Sylvanas Warchief but something far more powerful. He could not tell who the voices belonged to, the memory being denied by some shadows. It was eventually revealed that the culprit behind getting Vol'jin to name Sylvanas Warchief was Mueh'zala.
Loa gain in strength and power the more worshipers, offerings, idols and sacrifices they receive. Carrying the symbol of a loa can help strengthen them. Bwonsamdi also grows in power with every soul under his care.
|Akunda||Loa of storms and new beginnings||Zandalari||Active|
|Bwonsamdi||Guardian of the Dead
Loa of Graves
Loa of Kings
|Dambala||Loa of Treachery||Darkspear
|Elortha no Shadra||God of Spiders,
The Venom Queen,
Mother of Venom,
Mistress of Spies
|Eraka no Kimbul||God of Tigers,
Lord of Beasts,
King of Cats,
the Prey's Doom
|G'huun||The Blood God||Blood trolls||Deceased|
|Gonk||The Great Hunter,
Lord of the Pack,
Loa of the Hunt
|Gral||Loa of the sea||Zandalari||Active|
The Blood God,
The Faceless One,
The Loa of Blood
|Hir'eek||Lord of the Midnight Sky||Blood trolls
|Jani||Patron of Scavengers,
the Lord of Thieves,
the God of Garbage,
Master of Minions,
the Keeper of Secrets
|Lakali||Loa of knowledge||Unknown||Cocooned|
|Pa'ku||Loa of the Winds||Zandalari||Active|
|Quetz'lun||Loa of cunning||Drakkari
|Rezan||Loa of Kings,
King of Kings,
God of the Hunt
|Rhunok||Bear of the North||Drakkari
|Samedi||Loa of the Grave||Darkspear||Active|
|Shango||Loa of Storms||Darkspear||Active|
|Sseratus||God of Snakes||Drakkari
|Torcali||The Moving Mountain,
The Wandering Bulwark
|Torga||Wise and Benevolent||Zandalari
|Ueetay no Mueh'zala||God of Death,
Father of Sleep,
Son of Time,
the Night's Friend
Loa of Zandalar
- Wild Gods
- The being that the Lun'alai worship.
- The Fetid Devourer was a chimaera-like creature created by G'huun from the corpse of several loa who inhabited the forests around Zandalar and who were experimented upon in Uldir by the titanic watchers. After the experiments proved lethal, the loa's remains were improperly disposed of. Its three heads are reptilian, avian and leonine, and it possesses hooves on its back legs, hints of the species of loa it was made of.
- Guardian Tak'u was a Zandalari golem that had the power of four different loa channeled into it by the Priest of the Direhorn, Priest of the Serpent, Priest of the Hydra and the Priest of the Hawk.
Servitors of the loa
- Arlokk, high priestess of Bethekk
- Hawinni, high priest of Quetz'lun
- Jeklik, high priestess of Hir'eek
- Kilnara, high priestess of Bethekk
- Loti, high priestess of Gonk
- Mar'li, high priestess of Shadra
- Mu'funu, high priest of Quetz'lun
- Raal, high priest of Pa'ku
- Thekal, high priest of Shirvallah
- Tua-Tua, high priestess of Quetz'lun
- Venoxis, high priest of Hethiss
- Qiaga, high priestess of Shadra
- Yazma, high priestess of Shadra
- Gal'darah, high prophet of Akali
- Moorabi, high prophet of Mam'toth
- Slad'ran, high prophet of Sseratus
- Prophet Tharon'ja, high prophet of Tharon'ja
In the RPG
All trolls worship a pantheon of primal forces; a sacred animal represents each aspect of the pantheon.
Loa spirits are more powerful than the elementals, but not as powerful as gods. Supposedly, these spirits are mighty entities that grant the faithful extraordinary powers. By calling upon these voodoo spirits, the shadow hunter gains special blessings with which he can combat darkness and help those in need. The abilities granted vary according to the Loa the shadow hunter calls upon. Almost any being who has died and transcended death can be worshiped as a loa, including Forsaken shadow ascendants.
The shadow hunters' faith and communion with the Loa gods grant them shadow and healing magic, and other abilities. Shadow Hunters learn magic that hinders enemies and aids allies, gaining a unique mix of spells that delve into the more occult aspects of the Loa.
The trolls of Zul'Aman worship primal beings they call the Forest Gods.
- Ula-tek, Goddess of Serpents. (never stated to be a Loa)
- Shadow ascendants
- Shadowhunter
There are several loa idols, loa-blessed, or other loa-referencing gear items:
Notes and trivia
- The Zandalari gods empowered King Rastakhan.
- Loa are referred to as spirit gods.
- Gurubashi Worshippers prayed to "the Zandalari gods of darkness".
- A Darkspear unit called loa-singer is a priest.
- Shadow Hunter Bwu'ja communed with the loa while weaving her garb.
- The stresses on the land from the Scourge and the death of many gods in Zul'Drak caused the wall between worlds to weaken, and water elementals to emerge at Drak'Sotra Fields.
- Some loa prefer being the only one worshiped by an individual troll, rather than said troll worshiping multiple at a time. Though this seems to not always be the case.
- Brittle Chitinous Shoulderpads are etched with loa sigils.
- creates a loa-blessed flame.
- Krag'wa allowed the spirit of his witch doctor, Zentimo, to live on after death, and join his children.
- Many aspects of Loa worship in-game are derivatives of or based upon real-world African, African Diasporic, and Amerindigenous peoples and history, or media based on them.
- Troll loa worship started with the Zandalari practices, much like how West African Vodun is the mother of African Diasporic Voodoo and much of their Lwa.
- Two in-game loa bear the name of two real-world voodoo loa, Bwonsamdi and Dambala, another two bear the name or name based on real-world Amerindigenous deities, Xibala and Quetz'lun, and another two likely derive their name from the Spanish language world for eagle aguila based on the latin aquila (AH-key-la), Akil'darah and Akil'zon.
- Many of the animals represented through the loa bear similarity to animal-cultural associations either in comics, mythologies, or otherwise: The Gurubashi worshipping the black panther Bethekk may be a gesture to how the royal tribe in Marvel's Black Panther worships one; the description Shadra bears similarity to Anansi and Spider Grandmother; the Tyrannosaurus that Rezan is based on most commonly lived in North America during the Cretaceous period.
There is contradicting information regarding the deaths of certain loa. Notably, the House of the Lost Loa seems to consider many loa as "lost", gone, or dead, despite some having been shown to return or maintain influence in some form after their death.
- Hakkar the Soulflayer was originally slain by the Zandalari and the Gurubashi over 1,500 years ago. Yet he recently returned to Zul'Gurub, where he was defeated once more. After his defeat, his cursed heart was banished by the Zandalari which still did not stop him as three years later, during the events of Cataclysm, he was still active from within the spirit realm. He sought to have his avatar summoned into the physical world. Jin'do the Godbreaker attempted to subdue his spirit, but the loa was freed by adventurers, whom he told that he would "deal with [them] another time" before returning them to the physical plane.
- When Mam'toth committed suicide, Har'koa said that there was nothing they could do to bring him back to life. This is because he used his own spirit as a bomb, thus killing his spirit as well as his physical manifestation.
- Rhunok was sacrificed by his followers during the events in Zul'Drak, but his spirit lived on and appeared to an adventurer, asking them to return to Har'koa and tell her "No matter what, we [loa] are eternal." Har'koa stated that Rhunok would return as his spirit would live on forever. This is most likely also the fate of the other Drakkari loa that did not have their fate mentioned in quests; Akali and Sseratus.
- Quetz'lun was too sacrificed by her followers. She lived on, and created her own underworld domain where she tortured the followers and high priests that turned on her.
- Tharon'ja was also sacrificed during the events of Zul'Drak, but his eternal spirit was still called to the Isle of Thunder by the Zandalari years later.
- There is an ancient sethrak belief that loa can be reborn.
- Sethraliss' physical manifestation died long ago after sacrificing herself to kill Mythrax. After the battle, her followers "awaited her rebirth". They could still feel her presence, and believed that one day she would be returned to them. She also still possesses an avatar.
- Shadra was originally killed in Shadra'Alor. Despite this, her spirit remained and was held against her will in Zul'Gurub. In Cataclysm, she was summoned and killed once more. Yet she was still active during the Pandaren Campaign, and communicated with Vol'jin. She was also summoned by the sand trolls who offered her sacrifices. Her high priestess, Yazma, consumed Shadra at her underground temple in the Garden of the Loa.
- Torga was slain by blood trolls. However, his spirit could still be called upon and interacted with through the help of the loa of the dead, Bwonsamdi. When the tortollans tried to put Torga's spirit to rest, Torga decided to be reincarnated instead.
It was, however, confirmed that the lost loa are not permanently gone and that they could return.
- From the conversation the player has with Zen'tabra in the troll starting zone, it can be assumed that Gonk either resides in or has access to the Emerald Dream.
- The author of the writes how they were tormented by loa, hungry for blood and hate, who talked to them and told them to give up. This likely means that they were not true loa, but sha.
- The markings on the resemble both the sign of Elune and several venerated loa spirits. This seems to imply that some trolls used to or still do revere Elune as a loa, and may be intended to represent a transition phase between the loa worship of the original dark trolls and the Elune worship of the night elves.
- It seems likely that most, or perhaps all, talking animal loa are Wild Gods, due to their extreme similarity to established Wild Gods.
- Though souls killed within the Shadowlands are meant to die permanently, with their energy dispersing and joining the greater whole of the magic of Death, after Hakkar the Soulflayer is killed in the De Other Side Bwonsamdi outright states that he will return. Thus it is unknown if that is something unique to Hakkar himself (as his origins are unknown) or if loa can only be permanently killed from within the wildseed or if this is because the area where Hakkar is encountered is in a version of Zul'Gurub as the map indicates and thus was within reality to some extent, similar to the Manastorm encounter being in Mechagon.
The following beings were never called "loa" but may share similarities with them and thus may or may not be loa:
- Sen'jin has been hinted at to possibly be among the loa.
- Oacha'noa, a sea-goddess revered by the tuskarr, wonders if the player was instead sent by the Drakkari trolls of Zul'Drak to kill her in order to take her power as their own, apparently aware of the fate of the Drakkari loa.
- Some pandaren believe G'nathus to be an ancient Zandalari loa left behind to guard the waters south of Lei Shen's island citadel.
- The Bloodscalp tribe worships three totemic spirits known as Mahamba, a crocodile called "the Water Spirit", Tsul'Kalu, a gorilla called "the Earth Spirit", and Pogeyan, a mountain lion called "the Fire Spirit".
- The four Drakkari gods Dubra'Jin, Zim'Abwa, Zim'Rhuk, and Zim'Torga
- Gahz'rilla was worshiped by the Sandfury tribe and called a demigod
- Kith'ix was believed to be an undiscovered loa, however, he turned out to be a C'Thrax.
- Xolotal, a being supposedly manifesting as a lightning wolf in Zuldazar.
- Ksu'la, whose spirit infused and transformed Arcanital Ra'kul into an arcane serpent on the Isle of Thunder.
- ^ a b c d World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 1
- ^ Blizzard Entertainment 2018-04-30. Battle for Azeroth Preview: Zuldazar Visitor’s Guide. Retrieved on 2018-05-02.
- ^ a b c d e Ask CDev - Round 2
- ^ a b c Shadows of the Loa
- ^ Zen'tabra gossip text on Echo Isles
- ^ Blizzard Entertainment. Shadow Hunter. Archived from the original on 2003-02-20. Retrieved on 2009-10-16.
- ^ World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 1 pg. 68
- ^ World of Warcraft: The Magazine Volume I Issue IV
- ^ Mueh'zala yells: It be Mueh'zala who brought Helya to da Jailer's side... struck a deal for ol' Odyn's eye... and made da Banshee warchief with a whisper!
- ^ a b c d e House of the Lost Loa
- ^ a b c d
- ^ Priest of Bethekk in Hall of the Lesser Loa
- ^ Shadows Rising, pg. 278
- ^ a b c d Tablet of Theka
- ^ a b Ask CDev - Round 1
- ^ a b c d The Lost Codex 2018-11-03. Blizzcon 2018 Interview: Alex Afrasiabi & Patrick Dawson - Story and Systems | The Lost Codex. YouTube. Retrieved on 2018-11-03.
- ^ a b Zen'tabra Gossip text
- ^ Shadow Hunter Narez
- ^ Rezan#Dungeon Journal
- ^ Rezan#Zeb'ahari
- ^ Summoned at Isle of Thunder by Zur'chaka the Bonecrafter
- ^ Zanza the Restless#Quotes
- ^ Fetid Devourer#Adventure Guide
- ^ Dark Factions, pg. 89
- ^ Magic & Mayhem, pg. 22
- ^ Magic & Mayhem, 46
- ^ Horde Player's Guide, pg. 68
- ^ Lands of Conflict, pg. 115
- ^ For Council and King
- ^ Zen'tabra's dialogue.
Krag'wa the Huge yells: I bless you with a small portion of my power. Use it to help Zentimo join my children.
Krag'wa the Huge says: Zentimo has served me well. His spirit will live on among my children.
- ^ World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 1, pg. 138
- ^ World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 3, pg. 123
- ^ Jin'do the Godbreaker#Quotes
- ^ Quetz'lun#Quotes
- ^ Vorrik#Quotes
- ^ Avatar of Sethraliss#Adventure Guide
- ^ High Priestess Mar'li (Classic)
- ^ Vol'jin: Shadows of the Horde
- ^ Traveler: The Spiral Path, pg. 332 - 333
- ^ Yazma (tactics)#Adventure Guide
- ^ Wam 2020-09-24. Maldraxxus Deep Dive With Steve Danuser. GamerBraves. Archived from the original on 2020-09-25.
- ^ Cass Marshall 2020-09-24. World of Warcraft’s Maldraxxus is the grittiest zone in the Shadowlands. Polygon. Archived from the original on 2020-09-24.
- ^ Sybia 2020-09-24. WoW Shadowlands : Interview exclusive de Steve Danuser à propos de Maldraxxus (in French). Millenium. Archived from the original on 2020-09-24.
- ^ The Judgment