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Trollvember Part 3 - Hybrid Theories


Introduction

James: Bartholemew J. Troll

Freeman: Choen the Barbarian

Source: Blood Lords AP, Book 1 “Zombie Feast”, Bestiary 2 pgs. 266-268

Reading List:

Thunderbolts #145 – Marvel Comics (first Troll)

Image Zero – Image Comics (first Troll)

Troll Bridge – Terry Pratchett

Troll Bridge – Snowgum Files (based on the short by T. Pratchett)

Pathfinder Lore – Freeman

TOMBSTONE TROLL

Appearance

· Resembling their former selves, the tombstone troll is a mockery of it’s past.

· Small, bloated from starvation and sickly in appearance.

· Their teeth and fingernails and hair falling out from rot, and then regenerate every few days in an endless cycle.

· It is both painful and sickening to observe.


Ecology

· How did they come to be this way you ask?

· Life-threatening wounds caused by Necromantic and Negative[FI1] energies.

· These energies become intwined with the regenerative abilities of the troll and what should have killed it becomes part of its physiology.

· They are not undead, but the energy within constantly eats at their body and soul, which causes them to shrink down become these sickly things.

· Other trolls shun them. Even despise them.

· Trolls that come across their Tombstone kin often a moment to pity them. But it’s not long before disgust takes over and they go in for the kill.

· Tombstones trolls themselves shun confrontation of any kind, which is very different from the norm.

· In fact they get their name from their habit of digging up graves for an easy meal that can’t fight back.

· Which is also a little problematic sometimes for them because “graverobbing” occasionally causes them to come up against a powerful undead

· They will burrow and stay underground for days at a time. Digging their way up again to eat another corpse and then back down to safety.

· If food runs out, they will travel in the night to find knew feeding grounds. Preferably another graveyard.

· If the travel is too long, and the hunger becomes too great…this is when they may attack the living. But only in desperation.

· They breed sometimes by stealing infant trolls, nearly killing them and then exposing them to their grave breath ability, hoping the energy takes hold in the victim just as it once did for themselves.

· That’s fucked up.

TROLLHOUND

Appearance

· Squat, bulky and basically a troll if it were a canine.

· They are however covered in weeping sores, as they carry an awful contagion known as Bloodfire Fever (which causes those who contract it to feel a deep burning pain, as if their blood were on fire).

· You can also expect loss of muscle coordination, pus-filled blisters and major fatigue.

· Despite how the Trollhound looks though, they and other Trollkin are immune to the major effects of this affliction.

Ecology

· The first trollhounds were an unexpected result of an experiment on Wargs with alchemically prepared Troll Blood.

· It was hoped to create an ooze with regenerative properties.

· Most of the Wargs died, and those who survived lost their cunning and replacing it was the famous troll appetite and the regenerative ability.

· There is a instinctual bond between Trollhounds and Trolls, which leads them to hunting together.

· Trolls have been very successful in domesticating, training and even befriending their hound kin.

· Others…not so much. Too much is stacked against it. Disease, ravenous hunger that’s never properly sated, quick-to-bite temperament, etc.

· Stuff only a Troll can handle or tolerate properly.

· Trollhounds are fearless while on the hunt, have a great sense of smell for tracking and very motivated given their constant hunger.

· They need to eat almost constantly in order to keep of the metabolism required by their regeneration.

· Not even fire gives them pause, because they don’t understand the threat it presents to them.

· But it is no less dangerous for them than for a troll and their regenerative properties are no less powerful either.



1e

· We mostly get the same info but also some physical measurements.

· 4 ft tall at the shoulder, and about 350 lbs.

· Somewhat scaly skin with patchy greenish-black fur.

· Oversized jaws with a prominent underbite.

· Eyes that are a “dull, and hateful orange”.


TWO-HEADED TROLL

Appearance

· Picture a troll. Stand it upright instead of hunched over. Move one head over to the side and then add a second one on the other side. Make sure you’ve got a point of reference to view it as 13 ft tall and roughly 1700 lbs.

· Now you have a Two-headed troll. Congratulations, you skipped the gross part.

Ecology

· What’s the gross part you ask? Well picture an Ettin. Now picture a troll. Pull the curtain closed. And put on some Barry White.

· This little act of innocence was once facilitated by the cult of Lamashtu, Mother of Monsters. The question why I think can only be answered by understanding why you would join such a cult in the first place.

· Two-headed trolls don’t know or understand this point of origin for themselves. So they show know love or care for the Mother of Monsters.

· The Two-headed troll shares properties from both parents of course.

· Standing tall like the Ettin and sharing it’s dual-minded nature[FI2] .

· And it’s thirst for bloodshed, unquenchable appetite and regenerative properies coming from the troll side.

· There is a Mother Goose-esque custom among parents to scare their children into getting their chores done, lest a two-headed troll swallow them whole.

· This stems from a particular preference of the Two-headed troll for what they call “nibbles” – creatures that are small enough to enjoy in a single bite.


JOTUND TROLL

Appearance

· Picture a two-headed troll. Make it bigger. Add 7 more heads for a total of 9.

· Though it is not related to the Ettin, it is still stands more upright.

Ecology

· The origin of the Jotund Troll is not strictly clear, but it is believed they may represent the closest thing to the original Primordial trolls that once plagued the world.

· Arising from the mythical world of Jotungard within Elysium (which is the same home of the deities of giant-kind).

· It is thought that the original trolls were created as either a punishment or challenge for the Material world.

· It is also thought that the Jotund Troll likely cares very little for such a purpose.

· You might think having 9 heads makes for more issues than the two-headed version, but it’s not quite as such.

· While they are independent and do constantly bicker and argue (usually over who gets to eat, despite sharing the same stomach), they are actually much more adept at coordinating and working in tandem.

· They are solitary (if not strictly ‘loners’), always alone, and always pissed off.

· And they are usually found in frigid environments, preferring moors, marshes and wastelands.

· Magic-warped wastelands have a particular draw for some reason. Such as the Mana Wastes and radiation-filled badlands of Numeria,

Pop Culture – James

Denmark

· 1959 Thomas Dam could not afford an X-mas gift for his daughter so he carved a doll from his imagination

· These caught on and Dam’s company “Dam Things” (not a joke) started to produce them in plastic under the name “Good Luck Troll” or “Gonk Trolls” if you’re in the UK

· Began to take off in the 1960s in Europe before heading the USA to become a huge fad from 63-65

· A long and kind of sordid history lead this to become the Troll dolls that we know today

· Including the 2016 hit Trolls by Dreamworks Animation starring A. Kendrick and JT

· The toy has been in production of the doll since

· These dolls themselves appear numerous times in popculture: Robot chicken, The Simpson, Toy Story, King of the Hill and more

· There is a Troll Museum in North Jutland

· In 2014 Thomas Dambo has been building giant Wooden Trolls and hiding them with over 30 in Denmark, 3 in Australia, China, Korea, Belgium, South Korea, USA with 99 total

· 10 of which, created during the pandemic are discoverable via GPS only like a treasure hunt with clues

· Created by Melkor in the First Age

· Joined forces of Sauron

· Olog-hai = smarter trolls

· 3 Hill-Trolls in the Hobbit: Tom, Bert and Bill

· Cave Trolls encountered in Moria

· Mountain troll AKA Troll in the Bathroom

· Philosopher’s Stone

· Brought to the school by P. Quirrell who could control trolls



· Held by several characters like most

· Gunna Sijurvald

· This one is the daughter of an Asgaridan and a male Magzi Troll and appeared as a member of the Thunderbolts in Thunderbolts #145

· Bartholemew J. Troll created by Rob Liefeld

· HEAVILY influenced by Wolverine

· Born a troll

· Had a mystical book that the user could use to re-write their own history

· Lost this book in a card game and then was frozen in ice for hundreds of years trying to get it back

· Thawed out and worked for the US government in WW1

· Eventually became member of Youngblood in the 1990’s

· A short from 1991

· Set in Discworld

· In a collection of stories called “After the King: Stories in Honour of J.R.R. Tolkien”

· Takes place after Light Fantastic staring Choen the Barbarian

· A film of the same name is available on youtube

· Dark fantasy comedy by John Carl Buechler ( Re-Animator(1985), Ghoulies (1985))

· Starring Noah Hathaway (Atreyu, Neverending story), Shelley Hack (Tiffan Welles, Charlies Angels) and Republican Congressman Sonny Bono (Sonny & Cher)

Troll Bands – 2001-04 fronted by Iggy Pop, 1985-92 Swedish Pop Band, 1992 Norwegian Black metal

WoW – playable Race

Hellboy 2 Golden Army

· Public sculpture in Freemont neighborhood of Seattle, WA

· N. 36th Street at Troll Ave under the north end of the George Washington Memorial Bridge AKA Aurora Bridge

· Clutching a real Volkswagen Beetle

· 5.5m tall (18’) and weighs ~5.9 kg (13,000#)

· Sculpted by Steve Badanes, Will Martin, Donna Walter and Ross Whitehead

· Norwegian research station opened in 1990 as a seasonal base

· Located in Jutulsessen, Antartica

· Location chosen so a year-round airfield could be installed

· Served by Troll Airfield

· All year hub opened in 2005

· Mainly services from Cape Town then humps to other research stations

· Started using year round in 2005 after the airfield opened

· Houses 6 people in the winter and 70 in the summer

· Norway’s only all-year research base in Antarctica

· Measures aerosols, organic/inorganic pollution, ozone, UV radiation

· Operated by the Norwegian Polar Institute



Pop Culture – Freeman

Trollhunter Film (2010)


Curse of the Azure Bonds Video Game (1989)

· Gabe told me a story about this game, which was developed, published and released by Strategic Games for computer.

· It was a 2 of 4 in a series of Forgotten Realms, Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Gold Box series of video games.

· In a sewer you come across a room with green chunks of humanoid flesh and it asks you what to do. Your options are:

· 1. Inspect the chunks of flesh.

· 2. Burn the chunks of flesh.

· 3. Continue on your way.

· If you do anything but burn them, the regenerate into a troll and start an encounter.

· This was the first time Gabe ever learned how to deal with a Troll post-mortem hahaaha

[FI1]Now referred to as Void Energy. [FI2]Which will be explored more in the stat block. Homebrew

· Gabe gave me an awesome anecdote about trying to make a troll fresh for his own players.


I’ve already told you about my first experience with trolls, but the thing about first experiences is you only get one of them. After I had been playing D&D for about five years (which in retrospect feels like nothing, but at the time I felt like a seasoned veteran) I began to feel like everything in D&D was kind of old hat to me and my group. We’d all read the DMG, we’d all read the Monster Manual, we all knew what magic items and spells and mechanics we should expect at a given level. Not that the game couldn’t be exciting when you knew what to expect, but the only way you’d encounter a troll and not immediately do something to stop their regeneration is if you were intentionally playing a character who didn’t know, and you were willing to play suboptimally for roleplaying purposes. (Well, that, or the DM was using a half-black dragon war troll in order to create an encounter with a monster that simply couldn’t be killed by damage. I’ve played in that encounter once or twice.)


It was around this time that I learned how powerful the art of reskinning could be, and how it can be used to give the game its “magic” back.


See, I knew that if I started an encounter in the sewers, and I told the players, “Alright, a twelve-foot-tall green-skinned humanoid shows up. It attacks you twice and then rends your flesh. When you slash it with your sword, the wounds seem to close up afterward,” then I knew all of the players would (maybe not literally, but at least mentally) yawn, roll their eyes, and then start scanning their character sheet for a source of acid or fire damage. Nothing new, nothing exciting.


So I ran an encounter in the sewers, and used the stats for a troll. But instead of describing a troll, I described a twelve-foot-long mutant alligator, with two heads gnashing at anything in its considerable reach. When both heads bit down on a PC, they played tug-of-war and tore the target apart, dealing additional damage! The players attacked it with various weapons, and the moment it stopped moving, they continued on their way. But then… what’s this? A few paces down the passage, that same two-headed alligator burst out of the sewage, attacking again! The party fought it a second time, eventually taking it back down, and they stuck around to observe it- which led them to easily recognize that it was regenerating. So, they tried a few different damage types, eventually landing on- you guessed it- acid and fire.


Once the encounter was over, all of the players were commenting on how interesting of a creature that was, and they were all curious where I got the statblock and/or what templates I used. And just like that, a hum-drum monster they’d seen a million times, suddenly felt like something new and mysterious.

Outro – all over Outro music

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