|Affiliation||Bilgewater Cartel (formerly), Mercenary's Guild (formerly), Horde (formerly), the Argent Dawn, the Argent Crusade|
- "I have faced the horrors spawned from the demons, gladiator arenas, Outland, and from the 'grand' factions of the Alliance and the Horde! You think I'm gonna tremble from you or your damned necromancy?!
Vol'Zil, also known as Vol, was a a troll with a long and active history. Born to a Zandali scholar and a tribal shaman, Vol'Zil was a victim of war ever since the age of twenty, when rival troll tribes attacked his village. He was later sold into slavery and became a gladiator to fight in the fabled Gurubashi Arena. After fighting for years under the tutelage of his cold-blooded slavemaster, Vol was able to gain his freedom in the midst of a raid by escaping in the midst of the chaos. From there he worked as an engineer at Booty Bay, during which he got connections to the goblin city of Undermine. Gaining favor with one of the trade princes there, he also began his career of bounty hunting. During his travels, Vol heeded the call of the Horde during a visit to Kalimdor. It was then that his skills in combat were renown, and was highly praised in the Horde's military. However, due to circumstances, Vol abandoned the Horde several years later. Posing as a mercenary, Vol travelled the known world until he stumbled upon the Argent Dawn. His work with the Order was secretive, yet his actions helped save the world from the threats posed by the undead menace.
A Brutal StartEdit
Vol'Zil was born on Gillijim's Isle, west of what is now known as Stranglethorn Vale. His parents were an odd couple; a Zandali scholar by the name of Ros'Zil and a tribal shaman named Shi'mah. His parents' union created a rich environment of knowledge for the young troll, who aspired to be a scholar much like his father. His mother, Shi'mah, attempted to convince him to heed the elements and follow in her footsteps, but it was in vain. Nevertheless, Vol was influenced by his shamanic mother; his interest of literature, plus the study of the elements, gave him a unique perspective of the world. A world filled with knowledge and harmony with the wilds. A world where one's understanding counts and was praised.
A world that does not exist.
Unfortunately, Vol was brutally thrust into the fangs of the real world as his homeland came under attack by a group of rival trolls. During the raid, his father was brutally murdered while he and his mother were tethered in chains and sent to the slave market. Vol, having barely reached adulthood, struggled against his captors only to be beat down repeatedly. Eventually, the raiding party had finished pillaging what they can and burned the rest and headed back to the mainland.
On the coast of Stranglethorn, a human by the name of Gyram Folsam purchased the young troll from the slave traders. After the deal was done, Gyram took his captive over to a province in the region now known as Duskwood. There, Vol ended up being a household slave to the human and his family for a couple years. Mostly, he was tasked to do all the labor work around the area, from working in the fields and felling trees to gathering ore in the Folsam mine. Despite working for his masters with a furrowed brow and determination, Vol bided his time for the right moment to break free. As he endured and waited, his work earned off as he became physically fit from all the labor.
However, his bid for freedom was delayed for several more years during which Gyram became interested in the gladiator business going on in Stranglethorn Vale. He decided to enlist Vol'Zil as a combatant in the Gurubashi Arena after becoming convinced of the troll's physical prowess. As a result, Vol began to fight for his very life in the gladiator arena.
At first, Vol was considered a local troll whelp that wouldn't last long against the ferocious combat of the gladiators. Indeed, in his first match he would have succumbed to his opponent had it not been for his sheer determination. Driven by his desire to live and distaste of his master, Vol was capable of decapitating his opponent, much to the surprise of his audience. Sooner than expected, Vol began to face even tougher opponents at the bidding of his master. Many were felled at the hands of the young troll, including some that were former title bearers. His infamy began to spread throughout the gladiatorial community as he surpassed every challenge they threw at him.
During the time spent as a gladiator, Gyram was able to purchase an exotic gladiator; a pandaren blademaster that was only known as Paws. Paws harbored a racist hatred for Vol, notably for the fact that it was marauding trolls that bought him into slavery. There were times where he would subtly try to cripple Vol so that he'd perform poorly in his next match and even lead to his death. On several other occasions, both would exchange blows with one another, leaving them scarred and angered. However, the two gladiators found a common element in hating their master who was becoming more cruel and arrogant with every victory they achieved. This was apparent as the pair were forced to fight more powerful opponents than before, as their master continued to raise his betting and gambling on his own team. During one of these impossible matches, where they both faced off against a fire elemental, Paws was felled by the monstrosity. He would have perished had it not been for Vol'Zil dismantling its bracers, which sent it back to the elemental plane from whence it came. Two things resulted from this act: another victory, and a friendship with the aggressive pandaren. As Paws noticed Vol's potential and his background, he came to respect the young troll as well as earning his.
With this strengthened relationship between the two gladiators, they were able to overcome more powerful enemies easier than before. However, this resulted in them earning more fame. With fame came money cascading into the pockets of Gyram, and with money came more recklessness and arrogance. He decided to host a week-long event in which his two gladiators would fight all incoming challenges. From such an event, he believed he'll have gained more than enough money for whatever he may need.
Vol and Paws prepared themselves for the ridiculous event. Everyday of the week-long event held at least two skirmishes that they had to endure. The duo managed to tear apart the first four matches before they began to falter. Nevertheless, they continued onward. On the third and fourth days of the event, the Gurubashi Arena was flooded to make way for battles against aquatic foes. This took a toll on the two gladiators, as they never fought in such an environment as they were in. Again, they fought on. The fifth day of the event was a regular battle against former title-bearing teams, which fell at the hands of the two. On the sixth day, however, they were met with a surprise. Instead of a two-man team or one colossal beast, the two were forced to fight an entire village which had been captured days earlier. Armed with whatever the armory had for them, the group of thirty-or-so people attacked the troll and the pandaren. Both fought viciously and voraciously against the mob, until a few remained. Those few attempted to run for their lives, which were quickly ended by the guards overlooking the battle.
One final opponent stood amongst the group of dead humans. A young child stood in the middle of the scene, barely able to hold on to a sword twice his size. Wearing overlarged gear, the child stood in a puddle of blood, outright horrified at the slaughter of his kin. Vol chose not to kill the boy due to his innocence. Vol also saw within the boy a bit of himself, a victim of war and raids and the cruel world. So the troll stowed his weapons away and began to walk off, much to the disappointment of the audience. Gyram, in rage, snatched an archer's bow and threatened to kill the child or be killed himself. Paws eventually stepped in and finished the skirmish by throwing a sword into the boy's chest, instantly killing him.
As the sixth day came to a close, Gyram did all in his power to torture Vol'Zil. Depriving him of food and water and other necessities, the merciless human flogged him repeatedly. Throughout the night, Vol was waterboarded and nearly lost consciousness from it. It was later revealed on the dawn of the seventh day that Gyram had made a huge bet on Vol's head, and lost it all because of his refusal to kill. As a result, Vol was tortured throughout the night and was forced to fight the next match alone, with much of his gear deprived of him.
As Vol was about to engage (or, since his energy was depleted, defend against) his newest opponent, a colossal dire troll from Zul'Gurub, the arena came under assault by Stormwind's 122th Infantry Division. Ever since they figured out about the sack of one of their towns to have its inhabitants be used in cold-blooded slaughter, as well as the underground gladiator movement, Stormwind decided to end the arena's gladiatorial career. As a result, chaos was strewn all around the arena, from within the gladiator pens up to the stands, with everyone fighting for their life.
Vol, taking his chances, slipped under the cover of the battle and relieved Paws from his restraints. From there, the two entered a sewage system which led out of the arena into the surrounding jungle. Emerging from their prison, the two ran for freedom.
A New FutureEdit
As they escaped the battlefield of the Gurubashi Arena, Vol'Zil and Paws were finally able to feel the freedom that they have been denied for so long. However, that feeling quickly evaporated as they took notice of their surroundings. As neither of them were familiar with the jungle, they were hard put at finding a way out of it. For days, the pair struggled in the new environment as they tried to find signs of civilization. It was during this period that Vol learned the art of tracking from Paws. After days of searching and living off of the local fauna, they finally stumbled upon a road that was built into the heart of the jungle. Within days after finding the road, the two found themselves walking through the entrance of the goblin-run port, Booty Bay.
Since they came with nothing but the items on their back, they were forced to turn to petty crime in order to start their life anew. Stealing what they can and when they could, without being detected, earned them enough to pay for living quarters and food. Once that was secured, they looked for jobs to ek out a living in their new home. Paws found work at the Salty Sailor Tavern as a brewing apprentice, while Vol found a job with the engineering crew. As he worked at the shop and learned under the tutelage of his employer, he gained a fascination of the technological art. Within months, the young troll was able to surpass the other engineering apprentices that were in his league, and gained the favor of his mentors.
Unfortunately, the months that passed prepared the two for the parting of ways. Paws had finally gathered enough money to buy his own yacht, which he planned to use to return to his homeland of Pandaria. Vol was sorry to see him go; they both went through thick times and grew fond of one another. Before Paws left, he gave Vol his katana from Pandaria, as well as revealing that his real name was Chen Stormstout. As Chen set sail towards his homeland, Vol felt that this wouldn't be the last time the two would cross paths.
A year later, Vol'Zil exceeded in the field of engineering and was promoted to Journeyman engineer. He was then given permission by his instructor to head for the goblin homeland, Kezan, to increase his skill in engineering. Without further ado, Vol took his chance and set sail for the South Seas.
Meeting the BilgewaterEdit
Upon arrival at Kezan, Vol met with a goblin representative of the Steamwheedle Cartel who gave him a tour of the island. He learned of the different cartels that originated from Kezan, notably the two corporate giants Venture Co. and Steamwheedle Cartel. He was also told of the kaja'mite, which they mined from the heart of their island. The goblin decided to take Vol down to the city of Undermine, where he was fascinated by the amount of technology that ran abound in the area. However, he was shocked by the rampant explosions occurring from engineering labs and workshops, where he was told that such explosions were common throughout the city.
Vol was led to a building in the backwater area of the Steamwheedle district. There, he was told to wait in a small, enclosed room for his instructor to appear. Vol wasn't feeling secure about the room, and asked the goblin of his instructor. The instructor, apparently, was out gathering supplies for his workshop. Not convinced, Vol insisted to know the whereabouts of the engineer. Then, he quickly asked where was he, since he didn't notice anything that held any engineering significance in the building. Just then, several hobgoblins were set upon him and attempted to enslave him. Vol quickly overpowered the ambush and threatened the goblin for a way out. Before he could escape, however, several goblin bruisers appeared and caught him in a net. Unable to move, Vol was quickly subdued and was detained by the bruisers.
For a while, Vol was held in captivity by the goblins. They had accused him of attempted murder of a Steamwheedle Cartel official (hobgoblins aren't given consideration in goblin laws) and was awaiting execution. However, he was saved by an unexpected turn of events. The Bilgewater Cartel had gained an interest in Vol from his history and escaping slavery. As a result, Trade Prince Mandy of the Bilgewater bought him his freedom. Through the Cartel, Vol was connected with a Bilgewater engineering instructor to continue his education. However, there was a catch: Vol was forced to play as Mandy's bodyguard for as long as the seen future. Vol determined that killing for his freedom was a price to pay to learn goblin engineering, especially in the heart of Kezan; he agreed to serve as the Trade Prince's bodyguard.
For the next couple of years, Vol spent his time protecting the Trade Prince as well as learning in the workshops. Both jobs were equally dangerous and troublesome; Vol tended with protecting the trade prince from assassinations and coups, while he dodged the rampant explosions and flying shrapnel in the engineering labs. Despite the amount of effort he put in his jobs, he still didn't have the respect of the Trade Prince, who apparently dealt with his other bodyguards the same way. He usually forgot Vol's name, calling him "Troll" most of the time, and talked about his small amount of failures. Vol, however, wouldn't let the Trade Prince's negative attitude impede his work, and so continued his work as usual.
By the age of 42, Vol had learned much from his instructor to the point that he opened his own shop from where he operated. Though he sold mainly items that he invented and was inventing, he put considerable effort in the production of firearms. Displeased with the single-round rifles that were common amongst goblins and dwarves, he began to refine the rifle to hold more rounds as well as an easier way to reload. His final product turned out to be a bolt-action rifle that carried a clip of 8 bullets. The populace favored this new type of gun, notably the security forces who found this rifle to be superior than their old "boomstick".
Such a rifle came into service sooner than expected. Vol was present at a joint Bilgewater-Steamwheedle party at the Bilgewater Port when the area came under attack by a large freebooter raid on the place. The bruisers were quickly on the scene and began to dispatch many of the raiders, while the Trade Princes were taken to a safehouse. In the safehouse, though, there was an assassin sitting in wait for the two Trade Princes. Vol, who was with Mandy's security detail, quickly sniffed out the assassin and put a round through his head before he managed to kill either of the Trade Princes. Suspecting something bigger than a regular freebooter raid, the two sent Vol to beat a confession out of the freebooter's leader. Vol managed to find his way through the carnage and swim his way to where the freebooter ships were docked away from Kezan. Climbing onboard the flagship, he managed to take down most of the opposition before heading to the captain's quarters. However, he was hit with a shock upon realizing who he was facing.
The captain was no other than Gyram Folsam, who had escaped the wrath of the Stormwind assault years ago. Apparently he met up with the Southsea Pirates and made his way through their ranks to be a captain. Therefore, he was in charge of the whole operation. Overcoming his shock, Vol engaged in melee combat with his former master, relishing the opportunity to take his revenge at last. And indeed he did, for when he finished his little brawl, Gyram was a bloodied pulp. With his opponent defeated, Vol demanded to know his associates that were operating behind the scenes. Gyram, after struggling with hemorrhage, finally said that he was in league with the Venture Co., which intended to take out the two cartels and absorb them to be the dominant power of Kezan. Vol thanked him for the information with a well-deserved stab in the abdomen with his Pandarian katana.
After delivering his report to the two Trade Princes, the two decided to take actions against the Venture Co. While they dealt with the main organization on Kezan, Mandy sent Vol abroad to Kalimdor to deal with their operating branches. Before leaving, he was personally told by Mandy that he had gained his respect. Steamwheedle also apologized for his attempt at forcing him into slavery, and gave him a gadget bracer as a gift of good faith. Accepting both of the Trade Princes, Vol took his leave and sailed for Kalimdor.
Vol'Zil landed at the goblin port of Ratchet, where he found an intense power struggle going on between the Steamwheedle Cartel and Venture Co. assets within the area. However, things haven't gone hostile yet, as word of the coup hasn't reached their ears. Deciding to spill the beans, Vol seeked the head of the Steamwheedle operations of Ratchet to inform him of the recent turn of events. Gazlowe, the head of Ratchet and the Steamwheedle operations in the area, immediately took actions to route out the Venture Co. by sending in quick response teams to various enemy assets. Surprisingly, the Steamwheedle forces were met with a fully armed Venture Co. assault party, whom have recently begun their assault on Ratchet. Instantly, the state dissolved into civil war.
Despite having prepared themselves and were prepared for combat, the Venture Co. forces were caught off guard by the Steamwheedle forces, as they didn't expect such an action to occur until late into the assault. As a result, Gazlowe was able to capture many of the enemy assets, notably the bank, smithy, and the engineering districts of Ratchet. The battle ultimately climaxed at the judicial district, where the Steamwheedle forces (with a little assistance from Vol'Zil) managed to finally cripple the Venture Co. and forced the remaining troops to flee. Those that didn't flee either were put down or surrendered.
Vol'Zil was later offered various bounties on select Venture Co. targets for goblin gadgets and gold from Gazlowe himself. Unable to refuse such a deal, Vol headed out across Kalimdor to sabotage Venture Co. operations, assassinations, kidnapping, and various other actions. As a result of completing these bounties, Vol was able to buy himself a place in Ratchet to set up as his headquarters as well as his abode. From there, he performed things in accordance with his desires and that of Gazlowe.
Unfortunately, having his own abode made him a very easy target for those of the Venture Co. desiring some revenge. As a result, a group of hired thugs ambushed Vol at his house one night. Fending off the attack, Vol managed to escape before more reinforcements arrived. As the new reinforcements ransacked his place, the young troll set a charge that blew up his abode, killing all those inside. Since he was assumed dead, Vol headed out into the wild.
For years afterwards, Vol'Zil worked as a mercenary, fighting the elements of Kalimdor to survive. He was employed in the services of Gadgetzan to fight off water bandits, worked as an enforcer of the Dire Maul gladiator arena, even fought in proxy wars where his skills were renowned. Bearing the name of Shadowtusk, Vol'Zil eked a hard life of constant battles and warfare.
Meeting the HordeEdit
During the course of his work, Vol'Zil was tasked with hunting down a furbolg that was organizing raids on a goblin caravan in Ashenvale. As he tracked his target through the thick forest, he sensed a new, unpleasant feeling permeate the surrounding. The winds swishing amongst the trees whispered corruption into his ears, the ground beneath his feet trembled in rage. Vol, who learned to an extent how to communicate with the elements, did not understand their messages. Fearing that the elements are unstable in the area he was in, he abandoned his quarry and retreated.
Unbeknown to Vol'Zil, the Burning Legion had began its second invasion of the world, and were establishing a foothold in Ashenvale. Vol did not notice its corruptive influence until he stumbled upon the very furbolg he was hunting in the first place. However, he found that his target was dead with a claw mark in its neck, indicating that another of his kin killed him. Soon, Vol noticed that the very raiding party began to kill one another in relentless hate and anger. Some of them noticed the troll and charged after him in an attempt to kill him. Vol was able to fend off the attack until an unexpected surge of extra furbolgs attacked the area. Finding himself outnumbered, he began to flee.
As he ran, with the furbolgs hard on his heels, the elements whispered to him again. This time, it wasn't in a threatening voice, but that of a soothing coo. Startled by the sudden change, Vol tripped and fell over. He was soon set upon by the furbolgs, and he blacked out.
Once he regained consciousness, he noticed that he had been bandaged and healed from his ordeal. And he was sheltered. Before he could even get up from where he was, he was greeted by a vision from the past; a person thought long dead. There, Vol finally set eyes upon his mother, Shi'mah, once again. As he began to recollect what was going on, he found out from the shaman that they were in the company of the Horde, a large unity of orcs and trolls. They had recently came from the Eastern Kingdoms and set up shop in Kalimdor. It was also their patrols that found Vol'Zil being assaulted by the furbolgs and came to his aid.
He also came to realize the case of their business in Ashenvale. Under the leadership of Warchief Thrall, they had made a temporary alliance with the humans (whom also came from the Eastern Kingdoms) to assault Burning Legion outposts in Ashenvale, with the main objective of capturing Warsong chieftain Grommash Hellscream.
Willing to aid his newfound allies, Vol'Zil joined his mother and her unit to begin the assault. There, he managed to fell several fel orcs and demons with a mere bow and a quiver of arrows, as he lost most of his equipment from his ordeal with the furbolgs. He listened as the elements aided Shi'mah in dealing with the corrupt beings by either being thrown into the air by powerful gusts, or having the very earth consume them whole. At last, after hours of being on the offensive, the fel orcs dispersed, and Grom Hellscream was captured and purified from his fel taint.