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The eternal war of Trolls and Elves.
Now, this could easily also be phrased as the eternal war between Green Dragons and Trolls. Anyways, take a gander at this picture I just whipped up.

[Image: H9Dl34w.jpg]

Now, in green, I marked (approximately) where all the Great Trees are. For those unknowing, the Great Trees are portals from Azeroth to the Emerald Dream, and are used as Portals for Druids to go to the Emerald Dream. They are guarded by Green Dragons, and all, interestingly enough, happen to have a good amount of older Night Elf architecture. By older, of course, I mean things you would find from the pre-Sundering era. This architecture implies that the Highborne, or at least pre-Druidic Kaldorei, inhabited the area.

Now, I'll back away from the Highborne for the moment. However, as we all know, during the Long Vigil, the Night Elves and the Green Dragons had an incredible relationship. It's not too hard to make the stretch that these Great Trees were established in places that were convenient for the Druids, as the Druids need for travel to and fro the Emerald Dream were the sole purpose of them. So, these Great Trees were established whereever it was best fit for the Druids. However, this raises a question; Why are there Great Trees in places like the Hinterlands, Duskwood and Crystalsong forest?

Well, now we get to why I marked out areas in blue. Each of those is the area where Trolls are most common. In Northrend, we have Zul'drak, the land of the Frost Trolls. Northern Eastern Kingdoms is, of course, Zul'aman, or the home of the Forest Trolls. To the south, in Stranglethorn, we have the infamous kingdom of Jungle Trolls, Zul'gurub. Of course, the Trolls in Kalimdor, notably the Sand Trolls of Tanaris and the Dark Trolls of Ashenvale, are much less prevalent, for a reason. They have been stuck on the same continent as the Night Elves for 10 millenia. They're not going to fare too well against their sworn enemies.

Wait, sworn enemies? Now, hear me out on this. Quote is here.

Quote:The night elves systematically dismantled the troll’s defenses and supply chains. Unable to counter the elves’ destructive magics, the trolls buckled under the onslaught. The territories of the Gurubashi and Amani empires fragmented within only a few years, and the night elves' shockingly quick victory incurred the trolls' eternal hatred,[3] lasting to this very day.

Now, look back up to my picture earlier. Notice how close the Great Trees are to each respective Troll faction? Well, it's my theory that the Great Trees were not placed there to be convenient for the Druids, (bar those on Kalimdor), but they were there to allow quick and easy travel for the Night Elves to keep an eye on the Trolls, to make sure the respective Empires did not grow too large. The Trolls, after all, hated the Night Elves, so why would the Night Elves allow them to grow too powerful? This tradition of keeping an eye on the Trolls was not something unique to the Night Elves, though.

No, the Highborne had done it too, ever since they had won the first war between them. That's why there's so much architecture from the time-period around each of these Great Trees. The placement of these Great Trees was not random. They were placed at old Highborne fortresses that were there to do the same. Seradane, the Feralas fortress, is cut off from the rest of Feralas by a river, with only one bridge. Twilight Grove, the place in Duskwood, is inside an all-encircling valley. Dream Bough is in the center of a lake. Bough Shadow is literally adjacent to a Night Elven fortress.

Now, if the Night Elves were doing this, why were the Trolls so powerful come the invasion of the Trolls? Well, this is what originally stumped me, but I came up with this answer; after the War of the Shifting Sands, the Night Elves did not have the resources to watch the Trolls any further, be the resources people or not. Furthermore, the Emerald Nightmare posed a larger threat than two old Empires who were both seemingly broken from either infighting, or external forces. So, the Night Elves couldn't afford to keep a watch on anymore, which is why they've all but left the continent (bar their stone buildings) by the time Dwarves, Humans and High Elves begin to explore the land.

And I think that's all I had to say.

TL;DR; After the War between early Kal'dorei and the two Trollish Empires of Amani and Gurubashi, the Highborne set up fortresses in order to keep an eye on these Empires, as well as all other Trolls they knew of. After the overthrow of the Highborne, the Night Elves continued this tradition, using the Emerald Dream (instead of the Arcane Powers Highborne had used) to transport people and things through to these fortresses. However, after the War of the Shifting Sands/Emerald Nightmare showed up, the Night Elves were forced to abandon these posts and leave the Troll Empires be.

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