Jungle trolls patrol this steaming rainforest. Ancient Gurubashi trolls once ruled the region, and the ruins of their great cities crumble in the jungle’s heat and growth. Naga hunt along the coast and vicious animals and plants, including the eponymous strangle-thorns, make travel dangerous. The Arena, a center for gladiatorial games set in a ruined Gurubashi fighting stadium, draws shady characters of all races. The Blackwater Raiders, a vile group of pirates, make their home in Booty Bay, on the Stranglethorn’s southern coast.
The Vale was the primary center of the trolls of the Gurubashi Empire, and their cities were dotted all over the region. After the Empire's fall the cities of the troll empire fell into ruin, although they are still populated by trolls. In recent years, the Humans of Stormwind attempted to forge trade routes through this savage jungle. Though they managed to establish the small port town of Blackwater Cove, they were quickly overwhelmed by a crazed pack of Trolls and driven back to their homeland. In the wake of the Humans' departure, the crafty Goblin Trade Princes arrived on the jungle's shores and quickly set up their mining and deforesting operations. The Goblins have maintained a tenuous hold over these remote facilities, but they remain threatened by the Jungle Trolls' growing obsession with purging their ancient lands of any and all foreign invaders.
Stranglethorn is as deadly as it is beautiful. It is inhabited by a large variety of beasts and hostile creatures that low level characters should not face alone. The primary sentient inhabitants are the Bloodscalp and Skullsplitter trolls, in the northwest and east respectively. The troll city of Zul'Gurub sits in a valley in the northeast, which was once the capital of Troll civilization in Stranglethorn. In the north is a small village controlled by the renegade Colonel Kurzen. Other inhabitants include an encampment of ogres. Off the southeast coast is Jaguero Isle, inhabited by the enormous gorilla King Mukla. There is a renegade group of sailors, known as the Bloodsail Buccaneers, who have built camps on the southwestern and southern shores of Stranglethorn Vale. A small population of Naga can be found in the southwest, and murlocs inhabit some underwater ruins in the northwest. The Venture Company also has two mining operations in Stranglethorn. In the northwest, the Zandalar Tribe has its base in Yojamba Isle. The Water Gate from Deadmines can also been seen north of Yojamba Isle, though it cannot be entered.
The weekly Stranglethorn Fishing Extravaganza event happens every Sunday from 2-4pm.
Stranglethorn Vale has for millennia been the home of the jungle trolls, under the leadership of the Gurubashi tribe. Over time, the Gurubashi came to be unduly cruel, sacrificing trolls of other tribes to their evil god Hakkar the Soulflayer. After an extensive civil war, the tribes of Stranglethorn split, forever becoming enemies. The Darkspear tribe was one of these tribes, eventually driven offshore by a band of rampaging murlocs and taken in by the Horde. To this day, Stranglethorn remains a wild place full of danger.
"The ancient Gurubashi Empire was a source of many fascinating and intriguing legends that can be, no doubt, traced to their Environs. As examinations of their belief systems Societal practices have pointed to a great reverence for their natural surroundings. The Gurubashi Empire was surrounded on three sides by sea, so it comes as little surprise that water would figure prominently as an aspect of their society. Recent discoveries during Surveys of the Troll ruins in Stranglethorn have shown reference to an object called the "Stone of the Tides". Various fragments of troll legends can be pieced together to paint a rather complete picture of the stone and its importance to the Gurubashi Empire. It appears that the Stone of the Tides allowed its bearer to control water in its many forms."
In Troll legends, it is said that the Stone first made its appearance on the coast of Stranglethorn. It was found and picked up by a wandering Troll warrior. Intrigued by the blue stone he found, he took it with him on his journey. As time passed, the troll discovered that the stone gave him control over water. He could summon water elementals, manipulate the tides, and accomplish feats that only the powerful mages of the Kirin Tor were able to manifest. The warrior traveled back to Zul'Gurub to show his newfound abilities to the Emperor. He gained the court's audience easily with his powers and gained the title "Tidebearer", leaving his old name behind. The troll also received a place of honor in the Court of Gurubashi. Tidebearer served the Gurubashi Empire for years, but as time wore on, he became more reclusive. The Stone of Tides carried a curse as well. The Bearer of the stone would start to fade over time until he would disappear from the physical world forever. Keeping this secret from the Empire, the Tidebearer went to the beach where he found the stone and walked into the water, where he disappeared. Many generations later the stone would wash upon the Vale and be picked up by a new Tidebearer. This process would continue, and Tidebearers would come and go just as the last before them.
In addition to the inhabitants listed above, the zone is populated by a large variety of relatively high level wild creatures. On PvP servers, it is a strategically important area, given that it is sandwiched between both Horde and Alliance territories, and thus it is also often one of the most actively contested areas in the game. This is particularly true of the area immediately surrounding Nesingwary's Expedition at the north end of the zone, near the Duskwood border. However, questing and hunting here is challenging and profitable, provided you can dodge the bullets. Some high level players love ganking, especially around the Bal'lal Ruins and between Booty Bay and Grom'Gol Base Camp.
Stranglethorn should probably be avoided by flagged players under level 30, and even those above level 30 would be well advised to travel in groups of three or more. Only the brave should enter alone.
Stranglethorn Vale is a jungle on a cone-shaped peninsula that narrows as it goes south. There are several islands of varying sizes along its coasts. The Shattering nearly split the peninsula northeast of the great Gurubashi Arena, but even so it is difficult to travel between the north and south portions.