Trolls

For centuries, Trolls have lived in various regions of the Ancient Lands, including Argatoria and the northern ridges of the Ugruk-hor peaks. Although these beasts tend to hide in old caves and forests, they try to remain as close as they can to the source of food. Provided they are fed regularly, Trolls can wreak terror and havoc in the area for hundreds of years. Sometimes unwary villagers that enter the forest to gather wood or food are never to be seen again. At other times, priests and messengers that head to the remote villages never reach their destinations. Such missings can go on for years until someone eventually finds out the source of them.

Recently, Trolls are noticed in places that years ago were free from beasts of all sorts. More often they are spotted by the villagers of Morten and seen trodding through the thick forests of Autumne lured by the elven meat which they consider a treat. The beasts are rightfully feared, but it was only after their attacks on the monks from Boria the world began to tremble before their might. A Troll called Blueface slaughtered many clerics during the sacred rites for the Grand Lady. Archprelate Hektorian miraculously managed to avoid ending up in the beast’s belly, but many of his brothers became its food for the next months. Many say that the Trolls have different tastes. Some appear to be fond of villagers, others appreciate the flesh of travellers. There are even those who enjoy ‘opening up’ knights and warriors clad in full armour – just like children unpack gifts from their parents.

Trolls are not particularly intelligent creatures, but the historical records prove that there were exceptions to the rule. Smagrun from Tastarra, also called ‘Blackskinned’, not only knew the human language but also controlled the domain of magic. There was an albino Troll named Galbash who trotted across the northern part of Argatoria and preached to wild Orcs the coming of the god of slaughter. His words shocked even the priests of the Northern Dwarves, who believed the entity the Troll spoke about was Grom, the god they worship. There are many beasts whose names and deeds remained in the stories of old, but none of them was even close to Alablug, who convinced the villagers that he was a god. The cult he established and the prophecies of Ardal he spoke about in the northern Morten to this day raise concerns amongst the clerics and the villagers who look for the coming of their next hungry god along with his retainers.

Despite these examples, most of the Trolls are in fact stupid. They are afraid of sunlight and believe that they are born from rocks that give them their strength. Trolls grin when they kill their victims, carry their bodies back to their lairs, and savour the smell of the rotting flesh. The tales about innumerable riches the beasts gather in their caves are mostly true. They are fond of collecting all sorts of junk they loot from those they kill. One would call a madman a person attempting to gain the Troll’s trust. On the fields of great battles of Riwarat, however, the hosts of the High Elves were dropping like flies from the blows of Trolls commanded by the orcish horde. Amongst the fallen was Elfarion A-Uldur who single-handedly cut off the head of the goblin prophet Astal-awag-gnug. After that, the Goblins fled, leaving the army of Orcs on the battlefield which eventually had to retreat to Ugruk-hor.

There are times when the Trolls fall for the promises or bribes and join groups of bandits to ravage and terrorize the countryside. Amongst them were infamous Darkling murderers from Sesarre. Despite their small and rather unimposing postures, for many years they were considered the most cunning and corrupt rouges in northern Istania. The answer to their success was a Troll with a long, grey beard, before whom frightened villagers hastily opened the gates of their farms and villages. After one failed robbery, however, the treacherous nature of Trolls took over Greybeard and the beast got a taste for Darkling meat, ending quickly and painfully the winning streak of the murderers from Sesarre.The character of Trolls is difficult to handle, and their minds belong to the dark. Their bloody-yellow eyes blaze with hatred since the beginning of time. Warlocks and shamans after many years of study managed to distinguish many species of these beasts. Bogs and swamps are inhabited by the Mud Trolls with brown skin. Many say that they protect underground crypts where they perform primitive rituals. Mountain Trolls on the other hand are known to ambush unwary travellers on the trails and mountain passes. Their grey, cracked skin resembles the stone, making it easy for them to hide in the rocky areas. Trolls from the far Azuria, studied and described by the sages from the Tao-fu monastery, are considered to be a fallen super race. There are also common Trolls that wreak havoc in most of the known lands. They have green skin and, just like their other cousins, measure up to thirteen feet high. Due to their notorious slouching, however, they may appear smaller as they are.