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Trolls (aka trollkind) are a diverse sapient race in Azeroth and can be found in every part of the world. They average seven feet in height and two hundred pounds in weight. Two exceptions to this are the Drakkari and the Zandalari, who tend to be somewhat larger than their kindred. As with other races, there are also scattered trolls who far exceed the normal size range. For further discussion of these outliers, consult the below section on these so-called "monstrous" trolls. There are several races of troll.
Many trolls have no loyalty except amongst their own tribes, with the exception of the Darkspear tribe, Shatterspear tribe, and Revantusk tribe, the former two being part of the Horde, while the latter being allies of them. Darkspear are the playable trolls in World of Warcraft. Although the Darkspear are the weakest and smallest of all the troll races, they are the most cunning and intelligent and can still grow to rather immense sizes. For example, Darkspear Berserkers in Warcraft III were larger even than grunts.
Trolls are often tall, lanky, and muscular. They have both elven and orcish characteristics with their fierce fangs and long ears. Their long arms, strong legs and quick reflexes make them adept hunters. Trolls have only two fingers and a thumb on their hands, and they have only two toes on each foot. Some trolls have a toenail on their heels. Trolls do not wear standard shoes or boots due to their unusual foot shape and comfort in wading barefooted within different terrains.
The forest trolls' bodies can support plant life to a limited extent due to a mutation that took place many millennia ago. A thin layer of moss will inevitably grow on the skin of a forest troll shortly after they are born, giving them their characteristic green coloring. Their moss-like skin color ranges from light green to blue and purple. However, the jungle trolls' bodies are covered in a short, soft fur which cause the trolls to appear purple or gray.
Although enough physical damage will kill them, trolls can regenerate lost limbs and heal grievous physical injuries at an accelerated rate, giving them a large advantage in battle. Trolls are so well known for their regenerative abilities that alchemical mixtures, which induce regeneration in other races, are referred to as "troll's blood potions," despite not actually containing any troll blood. Militant tribes of trolls are efficient killers and have a strong lust for blood. Some may still cling to their heritage of cannibalism and voodoo.
Trolls have a characteristic way of speaking. Words like "yo" (a greeting) and "mon" (man) are common expressions.
Legends exist that suggest the possibility that the first night elves were pioneering Forest trolls or Dark trolls from the North who settled on the shores of the Well of Eternity. This is confirmed in World of Warcraft: The Magazine, Issue 5. See troll and elven lineage for more information.
The Twin Empires
About 16,000 years ago (long before the High-Borne summoned the wrath of the Burning Legion), trolls lorded over much of Kalimdor, which was then a single continent. The Zandalarians were the earliest known trolls - the first tribe from which all tribes originated.
Over time two distinct troll empires emerged: the Amani Empire of the middle forestlands and the Gurubashi Empire of the Southeastern jungles. Smaller tribes lived far North in the region now called Northrend. These tribes founded a small nation known as Zul'Drak, but they never achieved the size or prosperity of the southern empires.
The Gurubashi and Amani empires held some animosity for one another, but they rarely warred. At the time, their greatest common enemy was a third empire — the civilization of Azj'Aqir. The aqir were intelligent insectoids who ruled the lands of the far West. These insectoids were clever, greatly expansionary, and extremely hostile. The aqir aimed to eradicate all non-insect life from the fields of Kalimdor.
The trolls fought the aqir for many thousands of years but never succeeded in winning a true victory over them. Eventually, due to the trolls' persistence, the aqiri kingdom split in half as its citizens fled to separate colonies in the far Northern and Southern regions of the continent. Two aqiri city-states then emerged: Azjol-Nerub in the Northern wastes and Ahn'Qiraj in the Southern desert. Though the trolls suspected that there were other aqiri colonies beneath Kalimdor, their existence was never verified.
With the insectoids driven into exile, the twin troll empires returned to normalcy. Despite their great victories, neither civilization expanded much further than their original boundaries. However, ancient texts speak of a small faction of trolls who broke off from the Amani Empire and founded their own colony in the heart of the dark continent. There, pioneers discovered the cosmic Well of Eternity, which allegedly transformed them into beings of immense power. Some legends suggest that these troll adventurers were the first night elves, though this hypothesis has never been proven.
Aside from their shadowy origins, it is clear that the night elves came to power soon after their discovery of the Well of Eternity. Despite the trolls' attempts to keep them from expanding their territories, the night elves built a strong empire that expanded rapidly across primordial Kalimdor. Wielding magics never before seen by the trolls that remained largely superstitious, the night elves had little trouble demolishing the trolls' twin empires, an act the aqir could not accomplish.
The night elves systematically dismantled the trolls' defenses and supply chains. The trolls, unable to counter the elves' destructive magics, buckled under the onslaught. The actions of the night elves incurred the trolls' long-lasting hatred and disdain. The Gurubashi and Amani Empires fragmented within only a few short years.
Eventually, the night elves' reckless overuse of magic lured the demonic Burning Legion to the world. The demons destroyed much of the night elves' civilization. Though there are no records to indicate that the Legion attacked either troll civilization, it is likely that battles took place across the breadth of the continent.
At the end of this conflict, known as the War of the Ancients, the Well of Eternity imploded. The resulting shockwave shattered the greater landmass of Kalimdor. The center of the continent was blasted beneath the sea, leaving only a small group of broken, single continents. Thus, great chunks of both the Amani and Gurubashi Empires still exist in the present day lands of Quel'Thalas and Stranglethorn (respectively). The Azj'Aqir kingdoms of Azjol-Nerub and Ahn'Qiraj have also survived in present day Northrend and Silithus (respectively).
Both troll civilizations recoiled from the vast destruction of the world they had known. The trolls later rebuilt their ravaged cities and set about to reclaim some of their former power.
Wrath of the Soulflayer
The long centuries following the Great Sundering of the world were difficult ones for the troll race. Famine and death were commonplace within the broken kingdoms. The Gurubashi trolls, driven to desperate ends, sought aid from ancient, mystical forces. Though both of the troll kingdoms shared a central belief in a great pantheon of primitive gods, the Gurubashi fell under the sway of a darker one.
Hakkar the Soulflayer (not to be confused with Hakkar the Houndmaster from War of the Ancients), a darker spirit, heard the trolls' calls of distress and decided to aid them. Hakkar gave his secrets of blood to the Gurubashi and helped them extend their civilization across most of Stranglethorn Vale and certain islands of the South Seas. Though he brought them great power, Hakkar demanded souls be sacrificed to him daily. He wanted to gain access to the physical world so that he could terrorize and devour mortal creatures. In time the Zandalari helped the Gurubashi realize what kind of creature they had courted with, and both forces turned against him. The strongest tribes rose up against Hakkar and his loyal priests, the Atal'ai.
The devastating war that ensued between Hakkar's followers and the rest of the Gurubashi tribes was not well-recorded and has mostly been passed on through oral tradition. The budding empire was shattered by the magic unleashed between the angry god and his rebel children. Just as the war began turning away from the trolls' favor, they succeeded in destroying Hakkar's avatar and banishing him from the mortal world.
The Atal'ai priests were eventually driven from the capital of Zul'Gurub and forced to survive in the uncharted swamplands of the North. Within the dense ferns they built a great temple, Atal'Hakkar, in honor of their fallen god, where they continued to worship and serve him.
The rest of the Gurubashi tribes separated after the great civil war had left their lands in ruins. The Skullsplitter, Bloodscalp, and Darkspear tribes set off to claim their own lands within the vast jungles of Stranglethorn. Though a fragile peace had settled over the broken empire, rumors of a prophecy that Hakkar would one day be reborn into the world spread.
The Troll Wars
- Main article: The Troll Wars
One of the oldest wars in the lands of Warcraft was between the forest trolls of Zul'Aman and the high elves. High elves founded their kingdom of Quel'Thalas over ground sacred to the trolls, beneath which lay a ruined troll city. This sparked conflict between the high elves and trolls, and elven magic frightened away superstitious and angry troll warbands. 4,000 years passed before the trolls began to orchestrate an earnest war against the high elves.
The trolls proved very likely to win the war, but humans arrived to aid the high elves. Together the high elves and humans used fire magic to prevent the trolls from regenerating their wounds. The troll armies broke and attempted to flee, but many were chased by enemy forces and eventually killed.
The forest trolls would never fully recover from their defeat, and history would never see them rise as one nation again.
Trolls are very isolated beings. Most trolls, excluding a few tribes (one such being the Darkspear), don't speak any of the common languages. Wild jungle trolls and coastal trolls are territorial and hostile toward trolls of other tribes. They are highly tribally spiritual. The center of a tribe's spirit is the tribe's priest or superior hunter.
Other than tribes such as the Darkspear, most trolls will attack outsiders on sight, even trolls of other tribes. Uncivilized trolls live all across Kalimdor and the Eastern Kingdoms. The jungle near Booty Bay in the Eastern Kingdoms is infamous for its many aggressive jungle troll inhabitants.
Most trolls speak Zandali and Common as their primary languages. However, due to their isolation, some trolls have forgotten Zandali and use Low Common as their primary language instead. Darkspear trolls, having been somewhat assimilated into the culture of Orgrimmar and its surrounding settlements, also speak Orcish.
Cannibalism and voodoo
Cannibalism is a relatively common troll practice. Several specific troll tribes have been confirmed as cannibalistic, including the Mossflayer and Vilebranch tribes. All of the currently known tribes of ice trolls practice cannibalism. Sand trolls, forest trolls, dark trolls, and jungle trolls are also frequently cannibalistic. Notable exceptions include the Zandalar and Revantusk tribes. The Darkspear tribe practiced cannibalism until they joined forces with the Horde, who forbade the practice. 
Not all trolls practice voodoo, but it is as widespread as cannibalism. Little is known about the emergence of voodoo among the trolls, for most tribes that possess such knowledge are unwilling to share it with outsiders. However, with the recent advent of Zandalari trolls to Yojamba Isle, many researchers have speculated that voodoo may have originated with the Zandalari.
A small number of trolls are strikingly larger and more heavily muscled than the rest of their brethren. Dire trolls do not have a racial distinction from the rest of the troll race. A variety of reasons might be behind this unusual size and musculature. For example, these trolls might have been altered alchemically or magically (see troll berserker). They might also simply have evolved to be larger than average. These large trolls are not regarded as monstrous by other trolls.  They are called dire trolls.
Trolls are 7-8 feet tall: they are one of the tallest races in Azeroth. Males frequently squat in place, but females do not. Trolls only have three fingers per hand and two toes per foot. Both males and females have a variety of tusk styles and wild hair styles and colors.
- Main article: Darkspear
In World of Warcraft, only trolls of the Darkspear tribe are playable, however, the Zandalari trolls are to be playable soon in the Battle for Azeroth expansion
At one time, only four races of trolls had been discovered on the continents of the Eastern Kingdoms and other known lands. It was commonly believed by eminent scholars from Dalaran and elsewhere that these were the only four races of trolls on all of Azeroth. These included forest trolls, jungle trolls, ice trolls, and the Zandalari themselves. Alonda of the Kirin Tor strongly believed that there was a fifth race yet to be discovered based on references she had discovered in her research. Her theory was commonly ridiculed as bushwah by most scholars in the world, including Medivh. It was also believed that trolls were nearly extinct, but were reappearing with the coming of the orcs.
During the Third War, with the discovery of Kalimdor, two more races were discovered including the rare desert trolls and dark trolls, found only on that continent. The orcs discovered the Darkspear island trolls, an offshoot of the jungle trolls, on the Darkspear islands (believed today to be part of the Broken Isles) during their flight from Lordaeron. The Zandalari trolls were first encountered by various races when they set up an expedition on Yojamba Isle in Stranglethorn Vale in order to find allies to defeat the god Hakkar, mentioned above.
Historians and physicians generally classify trolls into four categories: forest trolls, jungle trolls, ice trolls, and sand trolls. The trolls of the Zandalar tribe are considered unclassifiable because the Zandalari are the earliest known trolls, from whom all other trolls are descended. Some debate exists as to how many categories are necessary in order to describe the troll race. Several notable authorities on the topic have chosen to specify a fifth category: namely, the dark trolls. Some of the scholarly debate includes those that classify Zandalar trolls as jungle trolls or as their own race. Trolls found in desert areas are classified as desert trolls. Because there is only evidence of a single tribe of the race in existence, scholars have begun to classify the race as the Sandfury trolls. Most scholars think them a small and anomalous deviation of the more common troll races, namely the jungle trolls. Some refer to dark trolls as dark forest trolls, implying they believe them to be a type of forest troll or derivative thereof. Darkspear trolls are mainly classified as island trolls.
In Day of the Dragon, Vereesa Windrunner talks about trolls. "As with elves, dwarves, and especially humans, there had existed different types of trolls. Some few spoke with the sophistication of elves — even while they tried to take one's head. Others ranged toward the more savage, especially those who frequented the barrows and other underground realms. Yet Veressa doubted that there could be any lower form of troll than the three base creatures that had captured her and Falstad — and clearly had darker designs for them."
- Zandalar trolls: The progenitor race from which all other trolls came.
- Forest trolls: The Amani Empire, living in the northern mountain forests of the Hinterlands and Quel'Thalas (Amani tribe).
- Jungle trolls: The Gurubashi Empire and its break-away tribes, the Bloodscalp, Skullsplitter, Darkspear, and Shatterspear.
- Island trolls - Subclass and/or offshoot of jungle trolls, the Darkspears.
- Dark trolls: (aka dark forest trolls) Dark-skinned trolls who live on Mount Hyjal, never held an empire (WC3/RPG). May be a subclass or offshoot of forest trolls (rather than its own type), includes Shadowtooth tribe.
- Ice trolls: Blue and (occasionally) white-skinned trolls, held cities in Dun Morogh (Frostmane tribe) and Northrend (Drakkari tribe).
- Sandfury trolls (aka desert trolls or sand trolls): The Sandfury tribe in Zul'Farrak live in the desert wastelands of Tanaris.
- Steppe trolls: Said to live on the steppes and grasslands of Azeroth. Maybe a subclass or offshoot of forest trolls or jungle trolls. (RPG)
Named forest trolls
- 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.
- 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.
Named jungle trolls
- Ana'thek the Cruel - Chief of the Skullsplitter tribe.
- Gan'zulah - Chief of the Bloodscalp tribe.
- Bloodlord Mandokir - Leader of the Gurubashi Tribe and the trolls of Zul'Gurub.
- Jammal'an the Prophet - Spiritual Leader of the Atal'ai in the Temple of Atal'Hakkar.
- Zanzil the Outcast - Outcast witch doctor.
Named Darkspear trolls
- Vol'jin - Current leader of the Darkspear trolls and the Horde post-Garrosh
- Sen'jin - Former chieftain of the Darkspear trolls.
- Rokhan - Shadow hunter of the Darkspear tribe.
- Master Gadrin: Trusted adviser to Vol'jin. Mystic guide of the Darkspear tribe formerly along with Zalazane.
- Zalazane: Mad witch doctor who drove the Darkspear from their home on the Echo Isles.
Named ice trolls
- Frost King Malakk - Leader of the Drakkari tribe.
- Overlord Drakuru - Scourge overlord in Zul'Drak.
- Warlord Zol'Maz - A warlord of Zul'Drak.
- Great Father Arctikus - Leader of the Frostmane tribe.
- Korrak the Bloodrager - Leader of the Winterax tribe.
Other named trolls
- King Rastakhan - King of the Zandalar trolls and democratic leader of all the trolls on Azeroth.
- Chief Ukorz Sandscalp - Chief of the Sandfury tribe.
- Dire troll - a larger, extra-muscled troll
- Mummified troll
- Scourge troll - undead
- In Manual of Monsters Appendix Three two other types of trolls are mentioned: the Troll Abomination and the Spectral Troll; however the validity of the source is disputed.
- Zandalar tribe - The progenitor troll race.
- Amani tribe - Namesake and largest tribe of the Amani Empire.
- Firetree tribe
- Revantusk tribe
- Vilebranch tribe
- Shadowpine tribe
- Mossflayer tribe
- Smolderthorn tribe
- Witherbark tribe
- Shadowglen Trolls
- Gurubashi tribe - Namesake and largest tribe of the Gurubashi Empire.
- Bloodscalp tribe
- Darkspear tribe
- Skullsplitter tribe
- Shatterspear tribe
- Hakkari tribe
- Atal'ai tribe - Originally the extremist priest caste of the Hakkari.
- Drakkari tribe - Likely the main tribe of all ice trolls.
- Frostmane tribe
- Winterax tribe
- Winterfang tribe
- Sandfury tribe - Desert trolls, very possiblly a lost jungle tribe separated by the Great Sundering.
- ShadowTooth Clan - Dark troll tribe and only one known also.
- Their accents are akin to east and west Caribbean island accents.
- ^ Troll Compendium archived pages. Old official World of Warcraft community site (US). Archived from the original on 2010-11-07.
Troll Compendium archived pages. Old official World of Warcraft community site (EU). Archived from the original on 2009-12-14.
- ^ http://www.scrollsoflore.com/forums/showthread.php?p=329308#post329308 Scrolls of Lore
- ^ a b Lands of Mystery, 34
- ^ Horde Player's Guide, 10
- ^ World of Warcraft: The Roleplaying Game, 50
- ^ Alliance & Horde Compendium, 23
- ^ a b Biology: Physical Features from Troll Compendium
- ^ The Last Guardian, 10, 31-32, 98-103, 107, 162, 174
- ^ Other Trolls: Dark Trolls in the Troll Compendium
- ^ Lands of Mystery, 81-83
- ^ Alliance Player's Guide, 179
- ^ a b c Monster Guide, 138
- ^ Lands of Mystery, 81
- ^ Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos Demo - Chapter 5: Countdown to Extinction OPTIONAL QUEST Island Trolls; Countdown to Extinction
- ^ Day of the Dragon, 254