The dark trolls (also known as dark forest trolls) are an elusive and mysterious subspecies of dark-skinned trolls that once lived under Mount Hyjal and several other scattered areas around the western and central parts of ancient Kalimdor. Notably, it was a group of dark trolls living on the borders of the Well of Eternity that evolved into the first night elves. According to scattered reports, dark trolls have gray to black skin and lead a mostly subterranean existence. They are believed to be cannibals for the most part. Only a single dark troll tribe has been seen in the modern era: the Shadowtooth clan.
Before their war with the aqir, the troll tribes claimed most of ancient Kalimdor. Many of the tribes constantly clashed with each other, but one tribe, the dark trolls, lived in a network of deep caverns stretching beneath Mount Hyjal. They hated the daylight and only emerged from their caverns at night. In time, these nocturnal habits turned their blue skin into hues of gray. The dark trolls were unconcerned with the other tribes' skirmishes and cherished their independence from the rest of troll society, mostly ignoring the activity of the other tribes. Unlike the Amani or Gurubashi, the dark trolls sought a peaceful connection to the natural world, and their mystics sought ways to commune and live in harmony with the land.
Gradually, many dark trolls migrated towards the labyrinthine groves at the heart of Kalimdor, encountering creatures such as dryads and faerie dragons along the way. They eventually discovered an enormous lake filled with magical energies at the very center of the continent. Calling the lake the "Well of Eternity", the dark trolls settled upon its shores. Over generations, the energies of the Well transformed them, elevating their forms and transforming them into highly intelligent and virtually immortal beings.
These former trolls gradually abandoned their ancient heritage, and the tribe's mystics started worshipping "Elune", a nocturnal moon goddess which they believed slumbered in the Well's depths during the day. They also discovered the name "Kalimdor" and other titan-forged words from communing with Elune and investigating strange artifacts scattered around the Well. Influenced by this newfound language, they called themselves kaldorei ("children of the stars") or night elves.
During the Third War, when Grommash Hellscream first arrived in Ashenvale Forest, he found and destroyed a dark troll settlement there and took a crystal ball. Later, small settlements of dark trolls were also destroyed by a night elf army led by Tyrande Whisperwind and Malfurion Stormrage during their search for the Druids of the Talon. However, towards the end of the war, the Shadowtooth clan joined the night elves, humans and orcs in their last stand against Archimonde and his soldiers of the Burning Legion at the Battle of Mount Hyjal.
This section concerns content related to Cataclysm.
As of the Cataclysm, the dark trolls are nowhere to be found on Mount Hyjal. Brann Bronzebeard believes that they were wiped out by the Twilight's Hammer, but he hasn't had a chance to check their caves yet.
Battle for Azeroth
This section concerns content related to Battle for Azeroth.
Speaker Ik'nal can be found in Zuldazar on Zandalar. She confirms that the Shadowtooth were wiped out by the Twilight's Hammer. However, the Zandalari keep one representative around as a memento of the past. Ik'nal is now nothing more than a curiosity.
In the RPG
Dark trolls are the tallest and rarest known subspecies of trollkind. Dark trolls are muscular, wiry humanoids that stand almost 10 feet tall. They have a royal purple hue of skin and pointed features. Their choice of war paint tends to be black or a shade of purple. They have pale yellow eyes that glare as they slip out of shadows.
Dark trolls lead a mostly subterranean existence, and emerge at night to hunt. They have a tribal structure, in which physical power and cunning are held in great esteem. Tribal shamans offer spiritual guidance and divine magic when necessary. This is similar — but far more primitive — in social structure to jungle trolls, the most civilized of trollkind. They practice voodoo, ritual sacrifices and even occasional cannibalism. Dark trolls are possibly the most violent of all troll subspecies and are feared even among their own kind.
Dark troll culture is as primitive as their forest troll cousins but they are more violent than forest trolls, and it has been theorized that dark trolls are much less intelligent than the other trolls. It is said that there are various tribes within the dark trolls. They attack with battleaxes or spears in combat, but they are by no means limited to using weapons. Even when disarmed, they can be lethal with their claws. They fight without fear, relying on their natural healing ability to keep them going. A dark troll's favored class is barbarian. Though they can be found nearly anywhere, they prefer darkness to daylight. The blood elves find the dark trolls of interest. Goblins are becoming fast friends with the dark trolls as both races enjoy the stolen loot the pirates obtain.
Notes and trivia
- In Warcraft III, dark trolls could be found in the Ashenvale tileset. Like most other trolls, dark trolls could be berserkers, trappers, shadow priests, and high priests, and were led by warlords.
- Concept art for dark trolls was created for World of Warcraft: Cataclysm but went unused during the expansion.
- The only dark troll seen in World of Warcraft, Speaker Ik'nal, uses a skin tint normally used by some jungle trolls, including Hidetrader Jun'ik, Darkspear Spear Throwers, and most members of the Shatterspear tribe.
- The dark troll entry in the Troll Compendium on the original World of Warcraft site presented the race as brutish creatures whose intelligence, numbers and even alleged existence was considered questionable. This depiction differed drastically from how the race was later described in World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 1.
- The The Twin Empires chapter from the History of Warcraft mentions ancient texts indicating that the dark trolls were originally a small forest troll faction that broke off from the Amani Empire and founded their own colony in the heart of Kalimdor some time after the war with the aqir. Chronicle Volume 1, however, established that the dark trolls were already their own separate group from the Amani before the war with the aqir, and placed their original settlements beneath Mount Hyjal, not in the middle forestlands controlled by the Amani.
- The may be a remnant from a time when the dark trolls were transitioning from worshiping the loa to only worshiping Elune.
- The dark trolls' Crystal Ball came from Astranaar, meaning that they may have found it, traded it, or stolen it.
- The Twilight Vanquishers in Mount Hyjal can be male trolls with purple skin, indicating they may be dark trolls.
- The troll version of Dark Strand Enforcers in Ashenvale had dark skin, indicating that they may be dark trolls. Alternatively, they may have been recruited from the nearby Shatterspear tribe of jungle trolls, many of which had gray skin.
- The Zandalari Infiltrators can spawn dark blue-purple skin. To further differentiate them from other trolls, the males spawn as forest troll models with this skintone, a unique occurrence, which could indicate dark troll ethnicity.
- The dark trolls' loa would presumably have been the same pantheon that their night elf descendants revere.
- ^ a b c The Troll Compendium: Dark Trolls
- ^ "Eternity's End: The Druids Arise", Warcraft III. Blizzard Entertainment. Dark Forest Troll Hut.
- ^ a b c World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 1, pg. 93
- ^ a b World of Warcraft: The Magazine Volume II Issue I, troll lineage chart
- ^ The Troll Compendium: Cannibalism
- ^ a b "Eternity's End: Twilight of the Gods", Warcraft III. Blizzard Entertainment.
- ^ Blizzard Entertainment. Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos Game Manual, 47.
- ^ "The Invasion of Kalimdor: The Spirits of Ashenvale", Warcraft III. Blizzard Entertainment.
- ^ "Eternity's End: The Druids Arise", Warcraft III. Blizzard Entertainment.
- ^ a b c d e f g h Manual of Monsters, pg. 99
- ^ Manual of Monsters pg. 100
- ^ Alliance & Horde Compendium, pg. 68
- ^ Alliance & Horde Compendium, pg. 71
- ^ Warcraft III units - Dark trolls
- ^ The Twin Empires