Now is the time to open
the door that was once closed
Like wolves we will eat
out in Human's land
-Inscription found in a cave deep in the Trollfel, translated from the Trollish runes
Adventurer's log, 15th past Midwinter, 1009 since the fall of Hosteria
My fellow colleagues, I greet you warmly with great salutations! I have returned from my year long sojourn into the Trollfel on a quest to research the ways of the mysterious cousins to the mighty Jotun we call Trolls in our Hosterian tongue. It is my hope that this can add to our annals of knowledge on all the things of our world.
First, a review of Trollish traits as we know them today. Trolls are greenish, gangly creatures that stand about 8-12 feet tall and roughly 500-800 pounds, with the females of the species noticeably larger and heavier than the males. Their arms are longer and legs are shorter than what is typical in most humanoid creatures, with a stopped posture and shambling gait. Their skin is a mottled greenish color, with greenish hair that twists itself into writhing matted knots. Their noses tend to be overly large for their faces, with small eyes and large mouths filled with sharp teeth. Most notable, of course, is their famed regeneration powers. Even the most severe injuries can be recovered from in a mere instance. The only known remedies are fire and acid, which harm trolls in a way that they heal at a rate in a more normal speed. As a result, many trolls fear fire and acid greater than a creature of their size would indicate, although exceptions abound. Indeed, the species as a whole seems somewhat unstable, trolls are frequently born with bizarre mutations and deformities, some of which breed true into entirely new strains of troll. (The trolls I observed are commonly called Rock Trolls in the Hosterian tongue, they call themselves Grottans Barn, or “Cave Children”)
I observed the trolls for a year. Their language is a form of the Jotun tongue, but with a different inflection, and altered vowel sounds. However, speakers of Jotun and Trollspek can often get their points across to each other with some difficulty. Their culture is simple. It seems that trolls are a Matriarchal society, ruled by the largest and meanest female in the tribe. Unlike most humanoids, elderly trolls do not seem to weaken with age, it is unsure whether or not they die of old age at all by my observations. The female rules the tribe with an iron fist, and also serves as a religious leader. Although many of the rites are similar to the Ogre destroyer deity, Troll worship is different. They seem to venerate a being that they call Mustakrakish, who sired the trolls and brought them into this world. Their legends speak of the day that Mustakrakish tried to steal the power away from the other Jotun deities, but was banished in a deep lake to the far north for his insolence. To add insult to injury, Trolls were cursed to live a life deep below the earth away from the sun. Wolves seem to be sacred to Mustakrakish, and the Trolls exhibited an strange fear of Blackbirds. Most of their rites involved the feeding of various prisoners to the ravenous wolves they attract to their camp (Elves and Dwarfs seem to be a favorite, but anything that screams seems to do in a pinch.) Also observed are many of the troll leaders and warriors forming peculiar bonds with certain of the wolves. These warriors seem to be strong in a strange form of curse-oriented magic. It seems a bit crude compared to my mastery of the arcane arts, but nonetheless there's a distinct similarity.
Troll culture does suffer a bit from the neighboring Orcish tribes. Specialized Orcs will stalk trolls armed with flaming whips and subdue trolls to use in their armies as brutes and shock troops. The poor wretches, mad with pain and frustration, will gleefully tear apart anyone the keeper will allow them to. Lately, Orc raids have increased in the Trollfel, I do not know what this portends. Troll legends speak of a legendary leader and emissary of Mustakrakish they refer to as the “Troll-hammer”, who will come from the north and finally crush the hated Orcs and their whips.
Lastly, I will go over the other tribes of Trolls that I've had only brief glimpses of, as the troll tribes seem to communicate with each other. The Forest clan are much smaller and nowhere near as resistant to injury as a Rock Troll, but still resilient to the extreme. They are rumored to have great stealth, and nearly all of them are magicians of some merit. Their bites are rumored to be as a serpent. The Cave Trolls are rumored to be fierce combatants, but stupid beyond imagination. The Mountain Trolls are the biggest of the Trolls, standing almost 20' tall and strong enough to destroy a building with one swipe of their massive oaken clubs. Finally, the Grendels of the human lands deserve an honorable mention. These mewling creatures stand about 2-3 feet tall, and live exclusively in Human towns. It is said that removing a troll from their lands cuts off their source to the Earth itself, and each generation gets smaller and weaker. The Grendels are the descendants of Rock Trolls taken in by human conquerers hundreds of years ago, diminished to a fraction of their former might.
This concludes my survey of the area, glory be to the Wayfinder's guild and praises to Fharlanghn of the neverending road!