Dark troll

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For the Warcraft III units, see Dark troll (Warcraft III).
Dark trolls
Speaker Ik'nal.jpg
Faction/Affiliation Shadowtooth clan, Independent
Character classes WC3RoC-logo.png Berserker, Trapper, High priest, Shadow priest, Warlord
Racial capital None[1]
Homeworld Azeroth
Area(s) Mount Hyjal
Language(s) Zandali

The dark trolls are an elusive subgroup of gray-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 shores of the Well of Eternity that evolved into the first night elves.[2][3] Only a single dark troll tribe has been seen in the modern era: the Shadowtooth clan,[4] which was destroyed by the Twilight's Hammer cult.[5]


Ancient times

Dark troll territories (in purple) in ancient Kalimdor.

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.[2] According to some ancient texts, they originated from a small faction that had broken off from the Amani Empire.[6] The dark trolls 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.[2]

Circa 15,000 BDP, many dark trolls gradually 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 whom they believed slumbered in the Well's depths during the day. They also discovered the name Kalimdor and other Titan words from communing with Elune and investigating titan-forged artifacts scattered around the Well. Influenced by this newfound language, they called themselves kaldorei ("children of the stars") or night elves.[2][7]

Third War

WC3RoC-logo.png This section concerns content related to Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos or its expansion The Frozen Throne.

A dark troll in Warcraft III: Reforged.

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.[8] 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.[9] However, towards the end of the war, the Shadowtooth clan joined the night elves, humans and orcs in their last stand against the Burning Legion at the Battle of Mount Hyjal.[4]

World of Warcraft

WoW Icon update.png This section concerns content related to the original World of Warcraft.

The Shadowtooth clan took notice when Mount Hyjal's nature spirits began to disappear due to corruption from the Emerald Nightmare. A Shadowtooth Emissary stationed in Felwood enlisted adventurers to investigate, and offered her clan's treasures in exchange for offerings retrieved from defeated corrupted spirits.[10][11]

At this time, dark trolls were so rare that little was known of them among Azeroth's scholars outside scattered alleged sightings.[1] Although authorities on the topic had identified dark trolls as their own category of troll,[12] their estimated numbers were so few that their existence as a distinct race (or even existence in general) was considered controversial.[1]


Cataclysm This section concerns content related to Cataclysm.

As of the Cataclysm, the dark trolls were nowhere to be found on Mount Hyjal. Brann Bronzebeard believed that they had been wiped out by the Twilight's Hammer, but he had not had a chance to check their caves at the time of writing.[3]

Battle for Azeroth

Battle for Azeroth This section concerns content related to Battle for Azeroth.

As of the Fourth War, the Shadowooth clan's ambassador and last living member, Speaker Ik'nal, lives in Dazar'alor on Zandalar. She confirms that the Shadowtooth were wiped out by the Twilight's Hammer, and the Zandalari now keep her around only as a curiosity and memento of the past.[5]


Dark trolls have gray to black skin and lead a mostly subterranean existence. Alleged modern-day sightings of dark trolls have usually described them as hulking creatures that seem to be much less intelligent than other trolls,[1] but in reality, the ancient dark trolls were a people who sought a peaceful connection to the natural world and whose mystics sought ways to commune and live in harmony with the land.[2] The modern-day Shadowtooth clan worshipped the Wild Gods of Mount Hyjal as loa, and considered Agamaggan to be the greatest of them.[10] Dark trolls are believed to be cannibals for the most part.[13]

Night elven view

Night elves as troll descendants: a controversial idea.

Due to the large amount of time that has passed since the first night elves evolved from dark trolls, little hard evidence of the event remains and the fact of the elves' origin has long been a matter of controversy.[14][15] It is widely accepted and known for certain that the night elves originated from a tribe of nocturnal, nomadic humanoids that settled near the Well of Eternity,[7][14][15][16] but whereas many trolls correctly believe that these humanoids were trolls, many night elves find the idea to be abhorrent. Night elves tend to try to discredit the theory and argue that it was fabricated by trolls in an attempt to marginalize the night elves' accomplishments and come to terms with their own defeats at the hands of the early Kaldorei Empire.[14][15] The archdruid Fandral Staghelm found the trolls' claims of having birthed the night elves to be so preposterous that he ordered the extermination of all Darkspear trolls that fought for the Horde in Alterac Valley.[17][18] The in-universe narrator of the History of Warcraft noted that: "Some legends suggest that [the dark trolls] were the first Night Elves,[sic] though this theory has never been proven."[6]

During the Cataclysm, Brann Bronzebeard ascertained once and for all that night elves were descended from dark trolls after receiving independent confirmation from Cenarius, Freya, and the Tribunal of Ages. He noted that this would be sure to "ruffle some feathers".[3]

During the Nightfallen rebellion, blood elf soldiers in Meredil harassed the nearby night elf camp by leaving insulting prank items that referenced their troll ancestry.[19]

In the RPG

Icon-RPG.png This section contains information from the Warcraft RPG which is considered non-canon.

Dark trolls are the tallest and rarest known species of trollkind.[20] Dark trolls are muscular, wiry humanoids that stand almost 10 feet tall.[20] 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.[20]

Dark trolls lead a mostly subterranean existence and emerge at night to hunt.[20] 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 species and are feared even among their own kind.[20]

Dark troll culture is as primitive as their forest troll cousins but they are more violent than forest trolls,[21] 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.[20] 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.[20] Though they can be found nearly anywhere, they prefer darkness to daylight.[20] The blood elves find the dark trolls of interest.[22] Goblins are becoming fast friends with the dark trolls as both races enjoy the stolen loot the pirates obtain.[23]

Notes and trivia

Cataclysm concept art of a dark troll by Mark Gibbons.


This article or section includes speculation, observations or opinions possibly supported by lore or by Blizzard officials. It should not be taken as representing official lore.