The Isle of Kezan (pronounced "KEH-zawn") located in the South Seas is the tropical homeland of the goblins. Their capital of Undermine is located beneath the island, deep in the bowels of Mount Kajaro. Thanks to Kezan's prominence as a mercantile hub, it's been divided into dozens of districts by the trade princes, who view every inch of land as an opportunity waiting to be converted into gold and silver. Kezan's tropical palms are bisected with miles of roadway, and even the beaches are beginning to be paved over by goblin ambitions. Nature eventually reclaimed the island of Kezan as the massive Mount Kajaro erupted with the Cataclysm, flooding the island with searing lava and sending tidal recoil sweeping through Kezan's harbors.
The playable goblin race experiences a phased instance of Kezan in their earliest levels before evacuating to the Lost Isles. Kezan is not reachable by other races or beyond these initial levels. Many of the denizens now live in Bilgewater Harbor in Azshara.
The first recorded inhabitants of Kezan arrived around ten thousand years ago, following the Great Sundering, when some of the goblins that had previously resided near Ulduar took refuge on the island.
After the Sundering, the Zandalari trolls that once ruled a large part of Azeroth started exploring numerous islands that dotted the newly formed sea. During one of these trips, they discovered Kezan and the goblin race, who were very primitive but still possessed some intellect. Initially the two races kept a distance as the Zandalari only came to the island in order to mine the rare mineral kaja'mite. While the trolls didn't know too much about it, they realized that it was very potent, and used it as a sacred component in their rituals and ceremonies. For many centuries the trolls mined and occasionally even paid goblins in trinkets in order to work for them, but this arrangement was soon to change. At some point the trolls, while digging, discovered that Kezan possessed an unimaginable deposit of kaja'mite underground, more than they would ever need. So rather than digging for it themselves, they enslaved the goblins and forced them to drill in terrible conditions. For thousands of years the goblins, too weak to resist, suffered under the rule of the Zandalari.
While Kezan was thus part of the Zandalari Empire, it was kaja'mite that finally led the goblins to their salvation. By this time the goblins had long forgotten the role kaja'mite had once played in their society, enhancing their then remarkable intellect. But, over time, as the slaves breathed in the dust of the ore which clouded the mines, it began to awaken the goblins' dormant intelligence. Secretly they plotted to start a rebellion, gathering any materials they could find and hide in order to create a wide range of weapons, traps and explosives.
One hundred years before the opening of the Dark Portal, the troll overseers were caught completely off guard when the goblin masses stormed out from the mines, armed with technology that the Zandalari couldn't even imagine at the time. The trolls' hold over Kezan was shattered completely, their mining operation failed and the surviving Zandalari fled. Though they no longer inhabit the island, the Zandalari still consider it sacred to this day.
The goblins were now free, and in order to celebrate their new found freedom they turned on each other, creating chaos as countless feuds were waged and alliances formed. Soon enough they were split into various different groups, with the most powerful of these groups known as the cartels. However, as the battles raged on and it became clear no one was actually winning, the cartels realized it was in their mutual interests to broker a truce. Despite this, the conflict would never really end, as the goblins now turned to trade, doing battle in the economic arena. For years to come the cartels were rivals, constantly outshining and outsmarting each other as they continued in their quest for wealth and power.
With kaja'mite once more enhancing their intellect and innate craftiness, the goblins of Kezan rapidly expanded their knowledge of technology. As the cartels branched out into commerce, goblins established themselves as master technicians, selling their goods on the open market. Eventually, kaja'mite supplies ran low and as the goblins' intelligence dwindled, their inventions became more and more unreliable. As a result, the goblins turned increasingly to mercantilism as a source of income, in the process transforming Kezan into a profitable trading hub.
Kezan received heavy damage when Mount Kajaro erupted due to the arrival of Deathwing. The Bilgewater Cartel evacuated their city of Bilgewater Port, but how the other cartels reacted is unknown. The status of the capital of Undermine is also unknown.
Jastor Gallywix later revealed to Warchief Sylvanas that when they were still on Kezan, his cartel had dug really deep and found a small vein of Azerite and took its substance. He also admitted that there's a possibility that the deep digging may have contributed to the volcano eruption together with Deathwing's Cataclysm.
Battle for Azeroth
Battle for Azeroth This section concerns content related to Battle for Azeroth.
Rent asunder by the eruption of Mount Kajaro, Kezan is now brimming with Azerite in the aftermath of Sargeras' assault on Azeroth. Seeking to make a fortune and stake his claim to the title of Trade Prince, Mogul Razdunk has focused the Venture Company's efforts on weaponizing Azerite and selling it to the highest bidder, taking over the MOTHERLODE!! as their base of operations in Kezan.
Kezan is a tropical and volcanic island located in the South Seas, not far from the Maelstrom and the Lost Isles. Bilgewater Port was located in the northern coast and the capital of the Undermine is located within and under the isle itself. Due to the Cataclysm, Mount Kajaro erupted destroying Bilgewater Port and possibly the other settlements around the island, also presumably changing the landscape.
Old maps and subregions
The Isle of Kezan had been in the planning stages long before Cataclysm. This section details its previous, unused incarnations.
Other than the Undermine, notable locations include Mount Kajaro, an active volcano in the southern part of the island, and Bilgewater Port on the northern coast. The non-canon RPG also featured Edj on the northeastern coast, and Voodress Village inhabited by trolls. Voodress is mentioned in World of Warcraft by Maywiki as being in the South Seas, but whether it is on Kezan or not is unstated.
The island of Kezan is located southwest of the Maelstrom, northwest of Zandalar. It cannot be seen on maps in the World of Warcraft.
On the World of Warcraft Behind the Scenes DVD there was a map of the Isle of Kezan, which is above the Undermine, visible on a whiteboard. It shows:
Three transportation paths to: Booty Bay (by boat), Kul Tiras (by boat), and Ratchet (by zeppelin). Valgarde is also somehow connected.
What seems to be a lake in the center of the island, with rivers connecting it to both ports and Mount Kajaro.
Four coastal zones: "Resort Beach", "Savage Beach", "Black Beach", and "Rain Forest".
"Naga Gate" off the western coast.
Kezan is home to several goblins of status. From the greedy Trade Prince Gallywix to the enthusiastic Sassy Hardwrench, the sexy Candy Cane and Chip Endale, and the Bilgewater Buccaneers trainer Coach Crosscheck, the personalities are as varied as they are colorful. Be sure to take the time to absorb the local culture before you head out to the Lost Isles, as you may never be able to return.
The Trade Princes reside here, as does Mogul Razdunk, the founder and ruler of the Venture Company, and Director Riddlevox, the leader of the goblin Tinkers' Union.
Cataclysm This section concerns content related to Cataclysm.
Kezan is the initial starting zone for the goblins in Cataclysm. The goblin player begins as a mid-level executive on Kezan, possessing great riches and power. Deathwing causes Mount Kajaro to erupt, forcing the evacuation of Kezan. Fleeing across the Great Sea, the goblins end up shipwrecking on the Lost Isles after getting caught in an Alliance-Horde crossfire.
The Bilgewater Port area was the only explorable area of Kezan. In the starting zone, an open bridge and an invisible wall prevents access to the rest of Kezan.
In the RPG
This section contains information from the Warcraft RPG which is considered non-canon.
Goblins are in charge on the Isle of Kezan, making the whole place a swarming cesspool of corruption, chaos, scheming and invention. Several cities exist on Kezan, including the nefarious Undermine, the de facto capital of the goblins' trade empire. Kezan is a tropical island, and palm trees and other greenery appear in profusion. Kezan's many ports bustle day and night as merchant ships approach and depart, carrying goods of all sorts to places of all sorts for people of all sorts. Kezan is a valuable way station between the eastern and western lands, and almost all travelers stop here, whether traveling by ship or gryphon or more esoteric means. The island is the heart of the goblins' mercantile efforts, pumping trade throughout Azeroth.
Kezan is the largest and southernmost of the South Seas islands, and, despite the goblin presence, the safest. Unlike the surrounding islands, Kezan's inhabitants won't try to kill you on sight; rather, they first attempt to take your money and all your worldly possessions, then leave you to die on the rain-soaked cobblestone streets. Kezan's ports are valuable neutral areas for both the Alliance and the Horde, and if not for the goblins trade would grind to a standstill and there wouldn't be adventurer shops in places like Stranglethorn Vale.
They've ranged out and allowed people of all races to buy silly merchandise at exorbitant prices. They allied themselves to the Horde in the Second War (because the orcs paid and/or intimidated them), but in the Third War they were a neutral force, making money off every side.
People and culture
Goblins are short and green and they don't laugh; they cackle. They wear leather clothing, often cut into aprons to protect themselves from the caustic fluids they handle. Their entire culture is focused on mercantile enterprises, and they work hard to expand their markets in any way possible. Most goblins seem friendly but insane. Goblins can be cutthroat merchants, and this ruthlessness is more prevalent on Kezan than anywhere else — probably because the goblins are competing against their own kind. While goblins answer to no king or other such titular head, a collection of trade princes rules their merchant empire, which is called the Trade Coalition.
Officially, five trade princes exist, though one or two may be lurking about in the shadows. The goblins don't elect their trade princes, nor are the positions hereditary; the trade princes killed, blackmailed and schemed their way to the top. Together, these five goblins make the mercantile machine run, organizing the extensive and complex Trade Fleets. The Trade Coalition is huge, far-reaching and massively complicated. In addition, numerous other, smaller goblin companies, created and run by entrepreneurs called moguls, operate throughout Azeroth. Perhaps the most famous of these smaller businesses is the Venture Company, founded and ruled by Mogul Razdunk.
Goblins engage in any activity that earns them a profit. They traffic in legitimate dealings, including food, spices and textiles, as well as more esoteric and questionable wares, such as magic items and arms dealing. Goblins have no respect for nature and engage in deforestation and mining on vast scales (the Venture Company is particularly notorious for such activities). In addition, goblins run morally corrupt businesses such as smuggling and slave trading. While the Trade Coalition condones all such activities, goblin smugglers and slavers prefer to maintain low profiles — for obvious reasons. Goblins are mad but brilliant. Their technology is just as ingenious, if usually more volatile, than gnomish inventions. Goblins are also the best alchemists around, with the possible exception of the Forsaken. Goblin tinkers and alchemists are found throughout Kezan.
As chaotic as it is, goblin society does have some order to it. Goblin barons serve as magistrates to run the trade princes' lands and holdings, and goblin captains command vessels for the Trade Fleets or for private merchants. Every city on the island is a bit like Ratchet on a larger scale.
Notes and trivia
The demonym for the people of Kezan is "Kezanian".
At some point, Grandmaster Rochu and Ban-Lu swam all the way to Kezan.
There seems to be an inconsistency of when the Undermine was established. The creation screen when choosing a goblin character says that the trolls enslaved goblins and forced them to mine kaja'mite out of the Undermine, deep in the bowels of Mount Kajaro. The official site says that the Undermine was created from the camps in the mines after they overthrew the trolls.
Jungle trolls were initially said to have enslaved the goblins of Kezan. It was later changed to the Zandalari trolls. Moreover, the game portrays the troll slaves on the island as forest trolls, yet one quest says there were jungle troll slaves once.
There is an organization called "Kezan Blasterboots Inc."
At BlizzCon 2010, Alex Afrasiabi said that the goblin starting zone was only "a small segment of the actual whole' of Kezan", and that the goblins "did want to go back to Undermine and the other goblin land holdings, just a question of when." The MOTHERLODE!! in Kezan was then finally added in Battle for Azeroth, eight years later.
Goblins control just about everything on Kezan. Non-goblins always leave the island with less gold than they had when they came.
Where to start? Well, somebody would say all the way back to Warcraft I (aka Warcraft: Orcs & Humans or the First War), or maybe Warcraft II (aka Tides of Darkness or the Second War up to and including Wrath of the Lich King, Warcraft III is the best place to start. Also, this game then elicits more interesting questions. For instance, how Illidan Stormrage became so hated or where the Scourge started. You will learn all the history and geography of the Warcraft with our help and dedication.