Long before the rise and fall of the kingdoms of men, the Amani trolls of Lordaeron had built an enormous troll-empire. After centuries of war and hate, an alliance of elves and humans finally dealt a crushing blow to the Amani when they defeated a great troll army at the foot of the Alterac Mountains.
The empire did not recover from the defeat, and the trolls never rose as one nation again. Yet some forest trolls survived, each generation nurturing their hatred of the elves in the dark forests of the north for thousands of years.
As their name suggests, these trolls are found in forests — at least, forests not dominated by elves or other humanoid species. Some forest trolls are jealous of their jungle and ice kin, as these forest trolls have never known the glories of their own kingdom.
Forest trolls hold all other races in contempt — especially high elves, whom they consider the despoilers of their ancient homeland. (The civilization of the forest trolls of Lordaeron predates that of the high elves by several thousand years.) They will only work with others if it means the elimination of an even more hated enemy. They allied with the Horde during the Second War in this manner, abandoning the orcs after their defeat.
In the depths of time
Forest trolls are native to northern Lordaeron. In the time before the rise of the night elves, the trolls ruled the vast Amani Empire. Together with the jungle troll's Gurubashi Empire they fought the aqir, eventually disrupting the insectoid empire into two nations. It is rumored that exiles from the Amani Empire journeyed to the Well of Eternity and were transformed into the first night elves, though this has never been proven.
With the arising of the night elves the Amani Empire was all but dismantled with the magics of the Kaldorei. With the arrival of the Burning Legion the forest trolls retreated into the wilderness and took no direct part in the conflict.
The rebuilding and the Troll Wars
In the aftermath of Kalimdor's shattering, the forest trolls began to once again expand their lands across the newly formed Lordaeron, naming their new territory Zul'Aman. However the arrival of the high elves led to a burning rivalry that would last millennia. The high elves founded their new Kingdom on an ancient troll city that was sacred. This led to the forest trolls attacking the fledgling elven kingdom for the desecration of their city. The stubborn elves, by using magic, drove the trolls back and for a time no conflict arose between the elves and trolls.
After two thousand years had passed the Amani warbands, armed with their own magic, struck out of Zul'Aman determined to destroy the high elves once and for all. They scored victory after victory against the elves, pushing them slowly back. The desperate elves forged an alliance with the human empire of Arathor, teaching a hundred humans the way of magic. The combined human and elf armies met the trolls at the base of the Alterac Mountains.
For days the trolls assaulted the allies' lines until, at the right moment, the more powerful human and elven magi unleashed a fury of fiery magic onto the forest troll army. The searing flames stopped the troll's wounds from regenerating and then the human knights charged, slaughtering most of the troll army and driving them back into Zul'Aman. The trolls suffered a defeat from which they would never recover.
The Second War
At the time of the First War orcish warchief Blackhand sent Orgrim Doomhammer to invite the forest trolls to join the horde. The trolls declined, having little interest in anything beyond their own forests. However at the beginning of the Second War orc forces rescued the troll's leader, Zul'jin, from Alliance soldiers and in gratitude Zul'jin pledged the forest trolls to the now warchief Doomhammer. Zul'jin had done what no other forest troll had done since the Troll Wars: he united the numerous tribes of Zul'Aman under one banner and joined the Horde. He hoped that by joining the orcish invaders they could attempt to retake Quel'Thalas from the elves.
The forest trolls contributed their axe throwers, berserkers, and destroyer ships to the forces of the Horde fighting with the Orcs throughout the Hinterlands and Quel'thalas, slaughtered thousands of humans and elves and razed to the ground all villages they found in their way. Ogrim Doomhammer and Zul'jin attacked the elf homeland and made it to Eversong Woods until Alliance reinforcements could arrive. Doomhammer however focused his strength on Lordaeron and did not destroy Quel'Thalas as Zul'jin wanted. When defeat for the orcs seemed inevitable, the trolls abandoned the Horde as suddenly as they joined.
In the aftermath of the Second War, the forest trolls returned to the old ways of rivalry and fighting between the tribes. Two tribes, the Smolderthorn and Firetree joined Rend Blackhand's Dark Horde and took up residence in Blackrock Mountain. During the Third War the majority of the forest trolls remained untouched by the Scourge's destruction of Lordaeron with only small numbers falling and being reanimated as mindless undead. The destruction of Quel'Thalas and Lordaeron provided a unique opportunity to once again attempt to reclaim their ancestral lands, and in the wake of the loss of the Sunwell several tribes attacked the weakened elves. Zul'jin also returned after years missing to lead the trolls against the elves and their new allies – the Horde.
One tribe, the Revantusks, still felt some loyalty toward the Horde, and agreed to a pact of friendship and mutual assistance with the new Horde under Thrall. However they declined to fully join up as the Darkspears had, remembering the recklessness and corruption of the first Horde.
Magic and religion
Forest trolls are vicious and cunning. As cannibals, they eat the flesh of their enemies and even sometimes each other. Forest trolls have few allies, they hate orcs who they see as weak and who failed on their promise to return the forest trolls to their former glory. Many of tribes of forest trolls are also hostile towards each other.
The Revantusk tribe is the only tribe friendly towards the Horde. Relations between the Alliance and forest trolls is unknown as it has not been stated anywhere, but they no doubt hold a grudge towards the humans for helping the high elves at the end of the conflict between the trolls and high elves.
Forest Trolls and High Elves
Forest trolls and high elves see each other as sworn enemies. The trolls hate the elves as they invaded their lands and almost wiped them out, and the elves see the forest trolls as barbarians intent on destroying their homeland. The high elves had been in the dominant position for centuries since the Troll Wars.
However, with the recent destruction of their homeland, the elves are weakened and the forest trolls see a chance for revenge.
- Zul'jin - Leader of forest troll forces during the Second War. Arguably the most important individual troll in history. Current leader of the Amani tribe.
- Hex Lord Malacrass - Imbued four warriors of Zul'Aman with the essences of mighty animal gods.
- Warlord Thresh'jin - Leader of a force from Zul'Aman in charge of retaking the Eastern Plaguelands for his people.
- Kel'gash the Wicked - Chieftain of the Shadowpine tribe
- Primal Torntusk - Leader of the Revantusk trolls.
- Vile Priestess Hexx - Ruler of the Vilebranch tribe.
- War Master Voone - Chief of the Smolderthorn tribe.
- Jin'zakk - A warlord of Zul'Aman.
- Zul'rogg - A troll chieftain who was killed by Sylvanas Windrunner.
- Krag'jin - A forest troll warlord and leader of the Shadowglen tribe, he was killed by Illidan.
- Moz'jin - Is an old troll from the Revantusk tribe who once sat down with Brann Bronzebeard and explained everything he wanted to know about the history of the forest trolls.
Forest trolls resemble their jungle troll cousins, but are taller and more muscled. Their hair ranges from red to black, while their skins are green. Forest trolls decorate their bodies with ritual scarring and piercings, and they prefer white or dark warpaint symbolizing their power and glory. ( These humanoids are easily seven feet tall, with an impressive build and mottled, dark green skin covered with moss. Yellow teeth show under a large, hooked nose. ) ( )
Due to a mutation that took place many millennia ago, the forest trolls' bodies can support plant life to a limited extent. A thin layer of moss inevitably grows on the skin of forest trolls shortly after they are born and gives them their characteristic green coloring.
- Amani tribe - the Amani tribe of forest trolls were the leading tribe of the old Amani Empire and currently live in Zul'Aman under the leadership of the legendary Zul'jin.
- Firetree tribe - the Firetree trolls are one of two tribes of forest trolls that belong to the Dark Horde.
- Mossflayer tribe - the Mossflayer tribe lives in the Eastern Plaguelands, some of its members have been converted into undead.
- Revantusk tribe - the Revantusk trolls live in the Hinterlands and have agreed to a pact of friendship and mutual assistance with the Horde.
- Smolderthorn tribe - the Smolderthorn trolls are one of two tribes of forest trolls that belong to the Dark Horde.
- Vilebranch tribe - the Vilebranch tribe of forest trolls live in the Hinterlands and worship the blood god Hakkar the Soulflayer.
- Witherbark tribe - the Witherbark is a tribe of forest trolls that live in the Hinterlands and the Arathi Highlands.
- Shadowpine tribe - the Shadowpine tribe of forest trolls live near Quel'Thalas.
- Shadowglen Trolls - the Shadowglen Trolls lived in Silverpine before they were killed by Illidan and Malfurion.
- As of patch 3.0.2, all male forest trolls except for Qeeju now use a smaller version of the Zul'Aman troll model with green skin.
- The models for Forest trolls have the hands and feet a different color then the skin. It may be because the hands and feet are covered with moss while the body is moss free or the body may be covered with moss and the feet are uncovered.
Forest troll buildings
Locations in World of Warcraft
- Eversong Woods
- Arathi Highlands
- Eastern Plaguelands
- Zul'Mashar (Undead)
- Forest troll NPCs
- Forest troll (WCIII)
- Forest troll berserker (WCIII)
- Forest troll trapper (WCIII)