Thursday, December 1, 2016

Trolls

A few sessions ago in a campaign with my character Brinmore, a knight hero, we ran into a family of trolls as we made our way to the Black Forest, a place rumored to be haunted and the location of a village where all the residents had suddenly disappeared. The three trolls approached and we stood our ground. These trolls, however, appeared friendly, and it seems our reputation preceded us.

We sat down to lunch with them and started a game of riddles beginning with this:

-From the trunk of a willow and the scraped hide of a cow I am made. Suffering the fierce savagery of war I, with my own body, always save my bearer’s body, unless death takes the man’s life. What fierce soldier endures such a fate or receives so many deadly wounds in war?-

To which Brinmore answered, 'A shield.' This apparently won the respect of the trolls so they revealed to us that they were escaping the forest which had been haunted by a trail of hundreds of lights in the night sky and the subsequent disappearance of trolls and other creatures in the forest. The trolls had also noticed many disappearances but not the disappeared villagers (who were only at the edge of the forest).

Soon after the trolls left us and we made our way into the forest where we fashioned a shelter at the edge of a clearing and waited, hidden in brambles for the lights to come.

art by John Bauer


Fae creatures have the following features and traits:


·  Otherworldly: Luck, Intuition, and Will are 4d6.
·  Spell Resistance: equal to Power.
·  Spell creature: The faes’ spells and abilities do not trigger the identical dice effect.
·  Damage reduction 5/magic.
·  Magical attacks: The faes’ physical attacks are magical for the purposes of overcoming damage reduction.
·  Fae creatures have no shadow in the Shadow Realm.
·  They cannot dream and are therefore immune to sleep and dream effects

·  Fae eat and breathe, but do not sleep.
Troll

Trolls are large hulking beings. Their appearance is both intimidating and disarming. They are muscular, but their forms are round, like stones smoothed from long years in a river. They have rounded faces with soft and kindly features. Most of their movements are slow and deliberate, but they are capable of great speed if pressed.

It is said that the first bard was a troll. Also, that trolls were once great teachers of man. There is a myth passed down from clan to clan that trolls were responsible for losing the minds of giants. The story goes that Ildra, first daughter of Mororíganís and Curnunnos, walked amongst the western tribes of man, teaching many things. She delighted in sharing knowledge and watching her children, as she called them. 

Another story tells of Ildra, a goddess. There came a day when Ildra walked amongst her children that the sounds booming horns of the hunt suddenly announced the arrival of Sterk, brother of the Giant King. He sprinted into the clearing, spear upraised and Ildra stood her ground against the great giant and would not allow him to slay any man. In anger, Sterk slew Ildra. For that Mororíganís, Queen of the fae summoned all the life force of her kin to smite such a blow against the giants that both races were diminished. Long after, the burial mound over Ildra became crowned with flowers, becoming the first of the Troll Hills. 

The first trolls were said to rival the giants in size. Indeed, trolls are hulking creatures, wide and tall, though not quite as large. Their skin resembles the mossy rocks and brown earth around which they were born. A bulbous nose dominates their features. Their heads are crowned with wild hair and some have horns. Trolls alone of the fae have shadows in the Shadow Realm. They are kindly, and though their size and strength is unsettling, they are more often than not patient, thoughtful, and incredibly honest. 

Not all trolls are good-natured, but they are not deceptive. All trolls consider a promise, deal, or agreement unbreakable and will without fail adhere to it. They take pleasure in riddles, answering and creating them. Bargains, even disagreements can be settled over a game of riddles. Indeed, most trolls cannot resist an exchange of riddles. 

Trolls are shepherds in the forests of rock, moss, bush, and trees. Small clans wander the hills and forests. Sometimes Trolls will build standing stones or delve into the earth, building networks of caverns. Trolls often interact and even accompany other fae. They have little fear from trickster fae and even enjoy their company. Many troll tribes will even foster human children that knockers, goblins, or trowes have stolen from human villages. Trolls can be benevolent wanderers, lazy vagabonds, curious botanists, tyrants, and even historians. 


Troll (Large Fae)
Life: 21 Life
Luck/SR: 3 points/equal to Power
Power: 29 Power
Initiative: +9
Speed: 50 ft.
Armor Class: 16 (+6 natural), 16 Flat-Footed
Acumen/Grapple: +6/+11
Resistance Die: d20
Attack: Quarterstaff of luck +11 melee (1d6+5);
            or slam +11 melee (1d6+5)
Space/Reach: 10 feet/10 feet
Special Attacks: Spells
Special Qualities: Damage reduction 5/magic,
            low-light vision
Abilities: Str +5, Dex +0, Int +2,
            Intuition +3, Will +4, Luck +3
Skills: Knowledge (any) +10, Perception +9
Environment: Temperate and cold forests and hills.
Organization: Solitary, small tribes
Level: 6
Weakness: -

 art by John Bauer