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Author Topic: Ghereghut (Cave Tribe)  (Read 10330 times)
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Vesk Lyricahl
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« on: 23 January 2008, 13:49:18 »

Close to one thousand cave trolls, "Ghereghut" ("Cave Tribe") in their native tongue, live in caves within the Tandala Highlands. Rarely exceeding three peds and a fore in height at the shoulder, Ghereghut trolls are the smallest of the six known tribes of trolls and are often forced to fight with Ban-Yuk ogres, who are only slightly smaller, over the caves the trolls reside in. They often make their homes by enlarging natural caverns with their great strength and sharp claws; they are believed to be able to cut through stone with ease. Such caves are often rough and lack any decoration(, as these trolls are not known for precision when delving) [to be deleted]. They trade with the Gob-Oc orcs that live to the north, bartering hides for orange quartz, a crystal they consider spiritually significant. Such trade has allowed them to become more sophisticated than the other tribes, and a few have even learned to speak Kh'om'chr'om, the orcish grunting tongue.

Appearance. Nightmares garbed in pale flesh is how most describe the Ghereghut trolls as they intimidate the other races of the Tandala Highlands with their appearance alone. Scarcely would one believe them to be descended from the Kloighut mountain trolls. The smaller, paler Ghereghut contrast with the brutish, burly denizens of the Troll Mountains much as night does day, so startling is the contrast between two tribes that were once one. The smallest of all the tribes, the Ghereghut rarely exceed three peds and a fore in height at the shoulder. And only the males reach this paltry height; their female counterparts stand at three peds even at the shoulder.

Not only are they shorter than their mountain cousins, but they are ever more slender, even thought gaunt should the breadth of their shoulders be compared to their great height. Frail they appear, skeletal figures seemingly half-starved. Cunning and speed win out in this tribe over the brutish strength employed by their cousins. Even so, it would be foolish to believe the trolls weak. Their strength is subtle; lean muscles ripple beneath their thick hides, gracing them with the strength to drive their claws into solid stone. Flesh fares even worse than stone when confronted with the nor’sidian claws. Diagonal scars crisscross over the chest of a male, each one nearly white against his fair skin, each one inflicted by a female in her time of choosing a mate.

Only glimpses are ever seen of the elusive trolls as they flit among the shadows of the night, pale figures only half seen beneath the stars. Tresses reminiscent of blood in hue cascade past slender shoulders, flowing freely as they run upon all fours with the endurance and pack mentality of wolves. Naturally dark, their hair is dyed red with a paste made from teki berries when they come of age. Only cubs will have hair of any colour other than that of blood, their locks black as a moonless night. Darkness, centuries of it, has bled the colour from their hides, and even the slightest light from the sun is enough to burn their pallid skin.

The facial features of the cave trolls are more slender than those of other tribes, appearing somewhat delicate and elegant in comparison to their more bestial cousins - one could almost accuse them of possessing elven blood. A nose more aquiline than bulbous descends slightly beyond an upper lip that remains bare of hair. Often descending in braids, the beards of the males fan across their chests in various lengths, dyed red to match their hair, the longest beards adorning the elders. The longer the beard, the older the troll, the beards of the eldest falling even to their knees.

Somehow out of place set in the visage of the fearsome trolls, beautiful golden eyes gaze out upon the stillness of the night, eyes of a predator akin to those of a wolf. The slitted pupils shift constantly, adjusting for the slightest change in light; the korwyn gold iris fills the rest of the eye. Only the slightest light is necessary for such eyes to pierce the night as though it were lit with the light of the sun. Often prey will be unable to look away from such glowing eyes as dark claws descend unseen.

The grin of a cave troll while not devoid of mirth is a frightful sight. Nor’sidian tusks extend upward for a palmspan from their lower jaws, curving only slightly before ending in a barbed point. They pierce flesh with ease yet cannot be removed without viciously ripping the flesh upon which they are snared, the barbed point catching. Cruelly pointed are the teeth, wickedly effective at rending flesh, and they offer a sharp contrast to the dark tusks, white as the trolls’ fair skin.

Ghereghut trolls rely upon their nor’sidian claws for much of their livelihood, using them in both the delving of their caverns and in the slaying of prey. For three palmspans the claws extend from slender fingers, slowly tapering to a sharp point. With such a length, the claws are longer than some daggers though used far more naturally than any dagger, extensions of the trolls’ bodies and not weapons to be wielded. When running, the trolls drive their claws into the stony ground with each stride, using their incredible strength to pull them out once more as they push off and use the momentum to increase their speed. A similar method is used to climb, scarring the rock face with each impalement.

Coat of Arms/Sign. The trolls cannot be said to have a coat of arms as the more sophisticated races do, yet the Ghereghut trolls do have a unique manner in which they mark their territory. Near their home caverns deep gouges can be found in trees and even in the stone itself. The height of such markings indicate the height of the trollwho made them. Whereas a human would fail to notice the differences between one slash and another, the trolls are capable of recognizing which band made the marks and even which ones were made by males and which ones by females. Despite not being able to recognize their significance, most people are still able to realise the size of the beast that made the marks and know that they’d prefer not to be anywhere near them.

Territory. Cave trolls reside both within the foothills of the Tandala Highlands and upon the mountains themselves, living within the various caves that exist upon the mountainous slopes. Most of the bands live upon the slopes of EolEenbar (ThergerimTaal for "East Brother") and WolEenbar ("West Brother"), though some bands live upon the twenty or so smaller mountains that can be found within the range. Any bands that reside within the foothills have to contend with Ban-Yuk ogres for living space, and those that live in the higher altitudes will sometimes fight the drakes found on those mountaintops. Cave trolls are fiercely territorial and will not hesitate to defend their homes against any foe, but they avoid dragons as best they can - and wisely so. Not even a full band of thirty trolls will venture near the Dragon’s Maw, that aptly named ominous mountain, for fear of such creatures.

Each band of trolls is nomadic, leaving their homes in search of another cave or system of caves whenever their food supply runs low, a natural occurrence every few years. The cave trolls are said to have appeared within the mountain range only decades after the conclusion of the Troll War in the year 488 as the other races measure time, emerging from various tunnels after fleeing from the human forces that pursued the orcish horde, of which the trolls were part.

People. Since the end of the Troll War the Ghereghut have become a changed people, not only in appearance but also in spirit. From a young age they are taught of how they lost the daylight world and its wonders, now remembered only in stories passed down through the generations. Even more agonizing than that distant memory is the loss of shamans. Every last one was left behind when they took to the tunnels, as the shamans were wise enough not to participate in the war. And with that forced abandonment, their fates sealed the moment they cast their lots in with the orcs, the trolls lost the guidance of their ancestors. They believe the viewing of orange quartz, something eerily similar to a shaman's supposed amber heart, bestows this guidance to them once more, however vaguely. A clear crystal, and thus a bright future, is the hope of all, but clouds within its depths signal troubles to come. Firelight bestows clarity to most crystals, and that clarity is considered to be a blessing of the ancestors. A crystal that will not clear is a dark and dire portent. It is a desperate hope that they cling to, that their ancestors watch over them still. Without such a hope, a depression weighed upon by the tragedies of past ages would consume them.

Equally the trolls cling to each other, each band tight-knit and numerous. The band is family, each member regarded as a sibling, whether blood-related or not. Even the young cubs are treated as younger brothers and sisters to be protected and occasionally ignored. There are no true parent figures within the band, the elders treated by the younger members as they would regard an older sibling, looking to them for guidance and support. Truly, the trolls have no parents, save through blood. But blood is of no matter as they have no knowledge of these relations and would not place any importance upon them if they did.

Darkness twisted the trolls, crafting them into creatures aptly suited for a life of eternal night. The night is as clear to them as day is to an elf, their vision nearly unparalleled even by that haughty race, in darkness at least. Their golden eyes need little light to see; indeed, more light than that of the moon or stars will cause them pain. Relentless in the hunt, they need only see the slightest of movement to become aware of their prey’s presence. Only by remaining absolutely still could a creature hope to escape that terrible gaze, but even then, nearly any noise will alert their sensitive hearing. Even breathing could be considered too loud.

It is the very sun that binds the trolls to their caves, keeping them from overwhelming the civilized world as a plague. Light is a torture to their pallid skin, burning incessantly, an unendurable agony, stilled by nothing but shadow. It is equally disastrous to their eyes. Faint light such as that present during the twilight hours brings only a mild discomfort, yet the brightness of high noon seems to sear the radiant orbs, inflicting an intense pain that afflicts the mind even more than the eyes. The trolls are restricted to the Tandala Highlands, but, luckily for them, the harsh climates that make the Tandala Highlands impassable for nearly anyone else are ideal for these trolls, as the chilling winds and frigid rain cannot pierce their thick hides.

Through contact with the Gob-Oc orcs, and perhaps from enduring hardship, the trolls have developed an intelligence beyond that of their cousins, a cleverness that avails them in both the hunt and in trading. Wickedly cunning, the trolls employ deceptions to trick and trap their prey, pressuring them to where their brethren lie in wait. Never ones to simply strike, the cruel creatures wait until fear has taken its toll, playing with their prey as a cat might a mouse, seeming to derive a sadistic pleasure from it. The one proverb known to the humans of nearby towns in regard to cave trolls is simply this: there are always more.

The goblins prove cleverer still and occasionally manage to separate and capture a troll cub. Torn from kith and culture, the cub knows only the upbringing given to him by his green-skinned captors. Such a troll is shunned by his own kind and treated as non-existent, as one torn entirely from the spiritual roots of the ancestors.

Housing. The trolls reside within caves scattered throughout the Tandala Highlands. Such caves are natural caverns that have been enlarged by the trolls. It is said that they are capable of using their claws to delve in a manner similar to the way a dwarf would use a pickaxe, striking downward with incredible force to splinter the stone from the rock face. No troll stands idle as their homes are delved, each member of the band participating in enlarging the cavern, the adults utilizing their great strength to delve deep into the walls as the cubs remove any loose rubble to the mouth of the cave.

As one approaches the caves of the Ghereghut trolls (although it is foolish in the first place to approach), claw marks are evident upon trees and boulders within the vicinity of the cavern. Only the slightest intelligence is required to know not to venture near such caves, so it is not surprising that Ban-Yuk ogres, as dumb as they are big, will sometimes challenge trolls for these very caves. Brutish beasts, the ogres possess great raw power; however it does the solitary ogres little good against the cunning and viciousness of a whole band of trolls.

Clothing. These trolls exhibit more shame than their kindred of other tribes, making some attempt to cover themselves, much as a person of the civilized world would. The garments of both sexes are crafted from the hides and fur of prey. Males wear only a simple loincloth and seem to pride themselves on well muscled torsos and the scars marking them. The more scars, the greater their success at mating. However, females wear an X-shaped body wrap that supports and conceals their breasts, in addition to the loincloth customary for males. The body wrap exists as a single garment around the hips before it separates into straps that extend over the shoulders. The manner of dress remains the same no matter the season as the elements do not affect them.

Diet. As skilled hunters, the cave trolls feed primarily upon fresh meat. They rarely cook their food, preferring to rip it from the corpses of their prey. Not only the meat, but nearly every part of the corpse is consumed as the trolls are not ones to waste a meal. Sharp tusks are driven into the neck to release the blood, as delightful a beverage for the trolls as ale is for humans. Known as delicacies among the trolls are the eyes of their prey, and indeed fortunate is the troll that gouges them from their sockets before the arrival of his kin. Bones may be gnawed upon for days after the hunt and are often scattered within the caverns of the trolls. Mostly the bones are those of Tandalan sheep and deer, but a human skull may occasionally be found among them.

The trolls prefer variety in their diets and will gladly consume berries and nuts in addition to meat. Particularly favoured are the doch nuts growing upon bushes on the mountainside. Care is not taken to preserve the bushes themselves as the trolls will simply rip them out of the ground and shake the nuts into their awaiting mouths. Berries are harvested in a similar manner. During the winter months as prey becomes scarce, the trolls will store the berries and nuts in crevices high within their caverns.

Weapons. Contrary to popular belief, cave trolls do not favour the use of blunt weapons such as clubs. Nor will they hurl boulders or tree trunks at their prey as their less civilized cousins of the Troll Mountains may. Cave trolls need only their claws, and they are indeed formidable weapons. Incredibly sharp, the dark claws extend for threepalmspans from slender fingers. One could even say that the trolls are always armed with ten blades as the claws rend flesh as effectively as any dagger. Seemingly indestructible, the claws cleave through stone with ease and will not dull even after decades of use.

A cave troll raised by goblins will wield larger variants of their weapons. The trolls occasionally wield halberds adorned with tusks taken from the corpses of any of their brethren to fall in battle.

Occupations. Few occupations exist within the tribe, but there are notable ways in which individual trolls have become skilled. Their skills benefit the tribe as a whole, though no concept of monetary gain exists. No formal teaching exists to impart skills to the young. Rather, young trolls essentially make themselves subservient to a skilled elder of their chosen vocation for the sake of learning from them.

The Delvers - These trolls prove particularly skilled in enlarging the natural caverns and tunnels in which the bands reside. Any troll may strike rock from a cave wall with his claws, but doing so without an understanding of the mountain's composition proves hazardous. Those that delve prove to have an understanding also in the ways a tunnel must be shaped to safeguard against collapse. The Gob-Oc perhaps had a hand in the trolls' increased understanding of such things.

The Hunters - All cave trolls hunt to some extent. It is their very nature. Among their number, however, are those that excel not only in the killing of their prey but also in tracking them. They are the ones to guide a hunt and also the ones to keep their brethren hot on the trail of unfortunate prey.

The Skinners - No troll boasts of a greater precision with his claws than one that accounts himself as a skinner. Great care is taken with each cut made into an animal's hide, the troll's dark claws proving more than adequate for the task. Care is taken also in separating the hide from the body. It is only with humanoid prey that a skinner's services are not required, as the skin is considered too thin to be of use.

The Traders - This particular vocation proves rare. It requires a basic understanding of the orcish tongue, Kh'om'chr'om. But, these are the trolls that maintain the trade between the Ghereghut and their goblin neighbours. It should be noted that cunning is an absolute necessity for any troll that deals with the greedy Gob-Oc.


Government. While no leadership exists over the tribe as a whole, each band is led by its most scarred male, his scars earned from various matings. And so, it is an experienced male that leads, one that has earned the approval of his band's females time and time again. This alpha male decides where the band hunts and when they migrate. The alpha typically leads for life and will be succeeded by the band's second most scarred male. It may happen, however, that another male gains the favoritism of the females over time. The challenger need only display his scars, proving this favoritism, to secure his new position as alpha. The former leader may remain, accepting a lower position within the band, or he may seek out a new band entirely.

A band's nightly hunts are not led by the alpha, however. Rather, the females lead each hunt with the dominant ones among them, typically the older females, coordinating. The most subservient of the females will be left behind to care for and tend to the band's young.


Production/Trade. The Ghereghut will trade only with goblins, viewing the other races as food and not trading partners. The only things of value owned by the trolls are the hides of their prey, and those not used in their loincloths will be traded to the goblins for orange quartz. As a common crystal in much of the world, the quartz is of little value to the goblins whereas the trolls value them for the sake of communing with their ancestors. The clarity of a crystal, either clear or clouded, provides the ancestors' answer as to what the future will hold. A crystal that clears only when held to firelight presents a more complex answer.

Holidays, Festivals and Observances. The most important night in the life of the cubs would undoubtedly be the Coming of Age, when they first succeed in delivering the killing blow to prey hunted by the band. To celebrate the success, the young troll is doused in the blood of his or her kill, wearing it proudly for days to come. And from that night on their hair will be dyed red in remembrance of the blood spilled in honour of the kill.  

History.
488 The Troll War - Thousands of goblins emerge from the Troll Mountains, disrupting the peace enjoyed by the mountain trolls. Never before had they seen such remarkable armour, or any armour for that matter beyond that worn by the city guards of Acht and Holm. After recovering from their initial surprise, the trolls pounce upon what they believe to be fresh prey. The battle that ensues shakes the very earth upon which they stand. Hours pass and many die on either side. Finally, the trolls make a tactical retreat into their mountain homes, and the orcs opt not to follow. As the orcish army leaves the Troll Mountains and march toward the nearby city of Acht, the younger and therefore more foolish of the trolls openly follow them, partaking in feasting upon the victims of the orcs. Perhaps the orcs think them to be akin to the ogre berserkers sometimes used by their kind, yet any greenskin that approaches the trolls with the intent of caging them soon loses their lives. Indeed an orc disappears every so often, but whether they become a meal for a troll or merely flee the army is not known.

Raids upon Acht are made as the orcish army flees each time before an army can be gathered to oppose them. The trolls are without organisation, gleefully feasting upon the humans in a way they had never dared to before. Attacks against the trolls are mostly ineffective, and the populace of the countryside begins to flee these monsters in their midst. Only days later, the orcish army stands before the city of Holm as the trolls use their great strength to break the city gates, intent upon reaching the humans within and scarcely noticing the arrows rebounding off their thick hides. The gates open as a human army emerges from the city, overwhelming the trolls with their very numbers. The surviving trolls retreat with the orcish army, fleeing to the mountains in which the trolls were born. Once in their native territory, the trolls cease their flight and climb into the mountains above as the orcs are forced into a valley by the humans. The mountains themselves seem to fall upon the human army as the trolls hurl boulders and trees.

A year later, the orcs are defeated by troops arriving from nearby human cities. Whereas the trolls would have gladly returned to their homes in the Troll Mountains, they are instead driven along with the orcs into the tunnels beneath the mountains from which the orcs have originally emerged.

523 A Time of Darkness for the Trolls - For decades the trolls (of the) live in the tunnels beneath the Troll Mountains, fleeing ever northward as the tunnels are collapsed behind them by Ximaxian mages. Only days after following the orcish army, the trolls become lost and begin to wander the tunnels. Those accustomed to living beneath the sun are blinded by the eternal darkness beneath the earth, and they even lose sight of the others of their kind as they begin to roam the tunnels alone, howling from the misery of solitude. From birth, trolls are never alone, always comforted by the presence of others. The tunnels are constricting for creatures of their great size as they are forced to stoop and occasionally crawl. Darkness consumes them, twisting their minds and bodies as they become creatures of the night.

Relief from the cramped tunnels is found as the goblins reopen them, thus discovering the trolls living within. The orcs have not forgotten the aid offered only decades ago in the Troll War and lead the trolls from the darkness of the tunnels. Striding into the luminous light of the moon, the trolls reunite with each other and swear to never again be alone in the dark. Former bands combine as the trolls seek comfort in the company of others of their kind. Into the night they run, howling in their glee.

537 Reborn in the Night: The Ghereghut Trolls - Years pass as the trolls, now known as the cave trolls for their home caverns, acquaint themselves with their new territory. Relations with the nearby goblins are good as trade flourishes between the two tribes. Only occasionally do the trolls raid with the goblins, having learned from their history the consequences of war. Mostly, they keep to the Tandalas, making it a place of ill repute as those who venture within are often never seen again. The night has become their domain, one they rule undisputed.
« Last Edit: 18 June 2012, 03:14:08 by Artimidor Federkiel » Logged
Grunok the Exile
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« Reply #1 on: 23 January 2008, 14:22:45 »

It's not actually... finished... is it  shocked  lol  All I can say is you better not have changed their appearance!  I promise to have a look over this soon and find lots of things for you to change  Big Grin  pet
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Vesk Lyricahl
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« Reply #2 on: 23 January 2008, 14:34:17 »

Yes, it is!

And I only tweaked the appearance. ;)

Comment away. Your comments are always more than welcome and appreciated. :)
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Artimidor Federkiel
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« Reply #3 on: 24 January 2008, 07:00:18 »

Ah, I remember having read that entry hundreds of years ago! Erm... 2 1/2 years ago actually, which is quite a while as well! And the fact that it wasn't finished caused me sleepless nights! But now salvation is here!

- You mention the Kloighut trolls - do you know what their name means? Characteriszing them wiht a word or two would also be helpful to stress a difference.

- Don't get that sentence: "Locks the color of blood flow behind them as they run upon all fours..."  huh

- Also try to use ancient spelling, like "colour" and stuff... We keep things more mediveal around here that way :)

- "possessing elvish blood" should be "elven". "Elvish" is the language of the elves.

- Ok, I still have to read a good deal, but the Appearance alone is already fascinating stuff, these trolls really have their character and distinctive features, something that longed since ages to be described properly and brought on the site. As we only have the Troll races entry, but the tribes that make a big difference on what a troll is, are dealt with here properly. I hope we get another tribe from you sooner or later, Vesk, as we could use some more! This one here is brilliantly executed, this is for sure.

- I'll check the rest tomorrow, but I'm confident that this will make it into this week's update!  cool
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Vesk Lyricahl
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« Reply #4 on: 24 January 2008, 08:32:11 »

Salvation is at hand! Never again will you suffer through another sleepless night, the cave trolls are here to rock you to sleep!

Erm, edits have been made and marked in red. :D

I have my sights on the mountain trolls next, it’s only fitting as they’re the only other tribe in Southern Sarvonia, not to mention that they’re closely related to the cave trolls. I also have a rewrite of the troll entry in mind, mostly expanding and rewriting without changing the crucial details. So, shall we agree on seeing another tribe entry from me in say another 2 ˝ years? :P
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« Reply #5 on: 24 January 2008, 10:50:45 »


Tidied up a few spelling and grammar issues, pointed out a few unclear sections, and a few bits which should be moved to other places.  There are also a few suggestions at the end.

Changed things in yellow, comments in orange, unclear passages in grey, and things I feel you need to move in blue


Overview. Close to one thousand Ghereghut trolls live in caves, hence the name, this is unclear to people who don't know TRULTRUL within the Tandala Highlands. Rarely exceeding three peds and a fore in height, Ghereghut trolls are the smallest of the six tribes and are often forced to fight with Ban-Yuk ogres, who are only slightly smaller, over the caves the trolls reside in. They often make their homes by enlarging natural caverns with their great strength and sharp claws; they are believed to be able to cut through stone with ease. Such caves are often rough and lack any decoration, as these trolls are not known for their carving skills (or change this to "...not known for their precision when they delve). They trade with the orcs that live to the north, bartering (repetition) hides for jewels and other precious stones. Such trade has allowed them to become more sophisticated than the other tribes, and a few have even learned to speak Kh'om'chr'om, the orcish grunting tongue.

Appearance. Nightmares garbed in pale flesh is how most describe the Ghereghut trolls: they intimidate the other races of the Tandala Highlands with their appearance alone. Scarcely would one believe them to be descended from the Kloighut (-) mountain trolls.  The smaller, paler Ghereghut contrast with the fearsome brutes who inhabit the troll mountains much as night does day.  Although you could consider saying something less extreme and more carefully descriptive than the night and day thing - they are both trolls, after all.

The smallest of all the trolls, (-) the Ghereghut rarely exceed three peds and a fore in height. Not only are they shorter than their cousins, but with shoulders that span only half a ped in width, they are more slender, even thought slim should the breadth of their shoulders be compared to their great height. I would adjust this, perhaps taking out the exact width - I don't think this size would really work.  Maybe say that they have a tiny breadth of shoulder and chest compared to their height.  You could also say that they often hunch their shoulders forward, so that they appear to be only half a ped in width.  If you want to go with half a ped, you would need to mention how the size of their head and arms etc would affect this.  Frail they appear, skeletal figures seemingly half-starved, always ravishingly I don't think this is quite the word you want.  Maybe overpoweringly, devastatingly, horribly, intensely, ruthlessly, intensely hungry. Cunning and speed win out in this tribe over the brutish strength employed by their cousins. Even so, it would be foolish to believe the trolls weak.  Their strength is subtle; lean muscles ripple beneath their thick hides, gracing them with the strength to drive their claws into solid stone. Flesh fares even worse than stone when confronted with the nor’sidian claws.

Only glimpses are ever seen of the elusive trolls as they flit among the shadows of the night, pale figures only half seen beneath the stars. Tresses the colour of blood cascade past their slender emaciated? gaunt? shoulders, flowing freely as they run upon all fours (-) with the endurance and pack mentality of wolves. Naturally dark, their hair is dyed red with a paste made from teki berries when they coming of age. Only cubs (-) will have hair of any hue other than that of blood (what colour would it be?).  Darkness, centuries of it, has bled the color from their hides, and even the slightest light from the sun is enough to burn their pallid skin. Light is a torture to them, burning incessantly, an unendurable agony(-), (-) stilled by nothing but shadow. (I would move this to a different section as it doesn't deal directly with their appearance).

The facial features of the cave trolls are more slender than those of other tribes, appearing somewhat delicate and elegant - one could almost accuse them of possessing elven blood. (Really?  That would have to be an overstatement.  Especially if you want these ones to look anything like the ones I drew...  Also below you say their visage (face) is fearsome. Doesn't quite tally.) A nose more aquiline than (-) bulbous descends slightly beyond an upper lip that remains bare of hair. Often descending in braids, the beards of the males fan across their chests in various lengths, dyed red to match their hair.  Beards adorning elders can reach up to xxx, or to their waist, knees...?.

Somehow out of place set in the visage of the fearsome trolls, beautiful golden eyes gaze out upon the stillness of the night.  They are the eyes of a predator, and are alike to those of a wolf. The slitted pupils shift constantly, adjusting for the slightest change in light; the korwyn gold iris fills the rest of the eye. Only the slightest light is necessary for such eyes to pierce the night as though it were lit with the light of the sun. Faint light such as that present during the twilight hours brings only a mild discomfort, yet the brightness of high noon seems to sear the radiant orbs, inflicting an intense pain that afflicts the mind even more than the eyes. like the skin bit, better to move this bit. Often prey will be unable to look away from such glowing eyes as dark claws descend unseen.

The grin of a cave troll, while not devoid of mirth, is a frightful sight. Nor’sidian tusks extend upward for a palmspan from their lower jaws, curving only slightly before ending in a barbed point. They pierce flesh with ease, yet they cannot be removed without viciously ripping the flesh upon which they are snared, the barbed point catching. Some would compare such tusks, much smaller than those of the other tribes, to the fangs of orcs (which tribe? I don't know if any have tusks, especially ones with barbs!), and it is only here that a comparison between the two races can be made. Cruelly pointed are the teeth, wickedly effective at rending flesh, and they offer a sharp contrast to the dark tusks, white as the trolls’ fair skin.

Ghereghut trolls rely upon their nor’sidian claws for much of their livelihood, using them in both the delving of their caverns and in the slaying of prey. For three palmspans the claws extend from slender fingers, slowly tapering to a sharp point. With such a length, the claws are longer than some daggers though used far more naturally than any dagger: extensions of the trolls’ bodies and not weapons to be wielded. When running, the trolls drive their claws into the stony ground with each stride, using their incredible strength to pull them out once more as they push off and use the momentum to increase their speed. A similar method is used to climb, scarring the rock face with each impalement.

Coat of Arms. The trolls cannot be said to have a coat of arms as the more sophisticated races do, yet the Ghereghut trolls do have a unique manner in which they mark their territory. Near their home caverns deep gouges can be found in trees and even in the stone itself.  The height of such markings indicate the height of the troll who made them. Whereas a human would fail to notice the differences between one slash and another, the trolls are able to recognize which band made the marks and even which ones were made by males and which ones by females. Despite not being able to recognize their significance, most people are still able to realise the size of the beast that made the marks and know that people of any sense should prefer not to be anywhere near them.

Territory. Cave trolls reside both within the foothills of the Tandala Highlands and upon the mountains themselves, living within the various caves that exist upon the mountainous slopes. Most? of the bands live upon the slopes of EolEenbar (ThergerimTaal for East Brother) and WolEenbar (ThergerimTaal for West Brother), though some (-) live upon the twenty or so smaller mountains that can be found within the (-) range. Any bands that reside within the foothills have to contend with Ban-Yuk ogres for living space, and those that live (repetition) in the higher altitudes will sometimes fight the drakes found on those mountaintops. Cave trolls are fiercely territorial and will not hesitate to defend their homes against any foe, but they avoid dragons as best they can - and wisely so. Not even a full band of thirty trolls will venture near the Dragon’s Maw, that aptly named ominous mountain, for fear of such creatures.

The harsh climates that make the Tandala Highlands impassable for almost anyone susceptible to the elements are ideal for these trolls, as the chilling winds and frigid rain cannot pierce their thick hides. If they are ideal, can they survive in warmer temperatures?  Also, this top part is best moved to another section as it deals with what the trolls are like rather than directly with their territory. Each band of trolls is nomadic, leaving their homes in search of another cave or system of caves whenever their food supply runs low, a natural occurrence every few years. The cave trolls are said to have appeared within the mountain range only decades after the conclusion of the Troll War in the year 488 as the other races measure time, emerging from various tunnels after fleeing from the human forces that pursued the orcish horde, of which the trolls were part.

People.  Since the end of the Troll War the Ghereghut have become a changed people, not only in appearance but also in spirit.  From a young age they are taught of how they lost the daylight world and its wonders, now remembered only in stories. Even more agonizing than that distant memory is knowing of the piece of their culture forever lost to time: that of shamans.  Every last one was left behind when they took to the tunnels, as the shamans were wise enough not to participate in the war. And with that forced how forced?  They didn't have to go to war if the shamans could stay behind abandonment the trolls lost the guidance of their ancestors, regaining it only in brief flashes of light captured within gems held up to starlight, or so they believe. It is a desperate hope that they cling to, that their ancestors watch over them still. Without such a hope, (-) the horror of the tragedies of past ages would consume them.

Equally the trolls cling to each other, each band tight-knit and numerous. The band is family, each (-) member regarded as a sibling, whether blood-related or not(-). Even the young cubs are treated as (-) younger brothers and sisters to be protected and occasionally ignored. There are no true parent figures within the band, the elders treated by the younger members as they would regard an older sibling, looking to them for guidance and support. Truly, the trolls have no parents, save through blood, and they are not even aware of these blood relations. this bit seems pretty important to me - you should expand it into a whole sentence at least.

Darkness twisted the trolls, crafting them into creatures aptly suited for a life of eternal night. Even absolute darkness you said above that they need a little light - that is more plausible.   is as clear to them as day is to an elf, their vision nearly unparalleled even by that haughty race - in darkness at least. Their golden eyes need little light to see; indeed, more light than that of the moon or stars will cause them pain. Relentless in the hunt, they need only see the slightest of movement to become aware of their prey’s presence. Only by remaining absolutely still could a creature hope to escape that terrible gaze, but even then, nearly any noise will alert their sensitive hearing. Even breathing could be considered too loud.

Through contact with orcs, and perhaps from enduring hardship, the trolls have developed an intelligence beyond that of their cousins, a cleverness that avails them in both the hunt and in trading. Wickedly cunning, the trolls employ deceptions to trick and trap their prey, pressuring them to where their brethren lie in wait. Never ones to simply strike, the cruel creatures wait until fear has taken its toll, playing with their prey as a cat might a mouse, seeming to derive a sadistic pleasure from it. The one proverb known to the humans of Acht and Holm in regard to cave trolls is simply this: there are always more.  Haha awesome

Housing. The trolls reside within caves scattered throughout the Tandala Highlands. Such caves are natural caverns that have been enlarged by the trolls. It is said that they are capable of using their claws to delve in a manner similar to the way a dwarf would use a pickaxe, striking downward with incredible force to splinter the stone from the rock face. No troll stands idle as their homes are delved, each member of the band participating in enlarging the cavern, the adults utilizing their great strength to delve deep into the walls as the cubs remove any loose rubble to the mouth of the cave.

As one approaches the caves of the Ghereghut trolls, (although one is no doubt fool for approaching), claw marks are evident upon trees and boulders within the vicinity of the cavern. Only the slightest intelligence is required to know not to venture near such caves, so it is not surprising that Ban-Yuk ogres will sometimes challenge trolls for these very caves. It is equally unsurprising that the trolls will defend their homes against such invaders. Brutish beasts, the ogres possess great raw power; however it does the solitary ogres little good against the cunning and viciousness of a whole band of trolls.

Clothing. These trolls take great care to ensure that their private parts unlike their kindred of other tribes.  other than the usual exceptions. The garments of both sexes are crafted from the hides and fur of prey. Males wear only a simple loincloth and seem to pride themselves on well muscled torsos and the scars marking them.  The more scars, the greater their success at mating. However, females wear an X-shaped body wrap that supports and conceals their breasts, in addition to the loincloth customary for males. The body wrap exists as a single garment around the hips before it separates into straps that extend over the shoulders. The manner of dress remains the same no matter the season as the elements do not affect them.

Diet. As skilled hunters, the cave trolls feed primarily upon fresh meat. They rarely cook their food, preferring to rip it from the corpses of their prey. Not only (-) the meat, but nearly every part of the corpse is consumed - the trolls are not ones to waste a meal. Sharp tusks are driven into the neck to release the blood, as delightful a beverage for the trolls as ale is for humans. Known as delicacies among the trolls are the eyes of their prey, and indeed fortunate is the troll that gouges them from their sockets before the arrival of his kin. Bones may be gnawed upon for days after the hunt and are often scattered within the caverns of the trolls. Mostly the bones are those of Tandalan sheep and deer, but a human skull may occasionally be found among them.

The trolls prefer variety in their diets and will gladly consume berries and nuts in addition to meat. Particularly favoured are the doch nuts growing upon bushes on the mountainside. Care is not taken to preserve the bushes themselves, however - the trolls will simply rip them out of the ground and shake the nuts into their awaiting mouths. Berries are harvested in a similar manner. During the winter months as prey becomes scarce, the trolls will store the berries and nuts in crevices high within their caverns.

Weapons. Contrary to popular belief, cave trolls do not favour the use of blunt weapons such as clubs. Nor will they hurl boulders or tree trunks at their prey as their less civilized cousins of the Troll Mountains may. A cave troll needs only his or her, unless you are going to have a clear gender role division claws, and they are indeed formidable weapons. Incredibly sharp, the dark claws extend for three palmspans from slender fingers. One could even say that the trolls are always armed with ten blades as the claws rend flesh as effectively as any dagger. Seemingly indestructible, the claws cleave through stone with ease and will not dull even after decades of use.

Occupations. The occupations found among modern society are largely nonexistent among trolls as they labour for the welfare of the tribe and not for monetary gain. As such, there are no true occupations, each troll performing whatever task is needed at that particular moment.

Government. Within the tribe, there is not much need for leadership or government, as the lives of trolls are simple and do not require the trappings of society. However, the few decisions made regarding the tribe are done so by the elders of a band, such as deciding where the band will hunt and live, and when they will move on to another cavern

Production/Trade. The Ghereghut will trade only with goblins, viewing the other races as food and not trading partners. The only things of value owned by the trolls are the hides of their prey, and those not used as loincloths will be traded to the goblins for jewels, especially rubies and topazes. While the gems are rare and beautiful, they are of no use to the goblins, whereas the trolls value them for spiritual reasons. When held up to the light of the moon or stars, the gems seem to glow with an inner light; rubies and topazes even seem to have a fire burning within them. Members of other races may see only their value in gold or their beauty, yet trolls believe that their ancestors visit them, if only for a moment, and offer guidance in relevance to their future hunts. Not every night will the ancestors answer, leaving their descendants without guidance as the gems remain dull.
 
Holidays, Festivals and Observances.
Coming of Age- The most important night in any young troll’s life would undoubtedly be his coming of age, when he first succeeds in delivering the killing blow to prey hunted by the band. To celebrate the success, the young troll is doused in the blood of his kill, wearing it proudly for days to come. And from that night on his hair will be dyed red in remembrance of the blood spilled in his honour.  Can we make this gender-neutral, please?

History.

Only among the cave trolls does TRULTRUL exist as a written language. However, they do not write with parchment or ink, instead carving their words into the very stone of their caverns. Each carving is a piece of the tribe’s history, forever captured within unmoving stone. Anything written in TRULTRUL cannot be said to be an epic tale, yet even something written with such simplicity has an elegance beyond that of mere words. How? The elders are the ones responsible for recording the events that have transpired during their long lives and are usually the only ones able to read every carving, though a younger troll may recognize a few words. Most passages seem to depict past hunts, yet there is one that spans an entire wall within any cavern of the cave trolls, describing the sorrowful tale that is their history as a tribe, carved anew each time. This whole paragraph should probably be under People.

488 The Troll War- Thousands of greenskins emerge from the Troll Mountains, disrupting the peace enjoyed by the mountain trolls. Never before had they seen such remarkable armour, or any armour for that matter beyond that worn by the city guards of Acht and Holm. After recovering from their initial surprise, the trolls pounce upon what they believe to be fresh prey. The battle that ensues shakes the very earth upon which they stand. Hours pass and many die on either side. Finally, the trolls make a tactical retreat into their mountain homes, and the orcs opt not to follow. As the orcish army leaves the Troll Mountains and march toward the nearby city of Acht, the younger and therefore more foolish of the trolls openly follow them, partaking in feasting upon the victims of the orcs. Perhaps the orcs thought them to be akin to the ogre berserkers sometimes used by their kind, yet any greenskin that approached the trolls with the intent of caging them soon lost their lives. Indeed an orc disappeared every so often, but whether they became a meal for a troll or merely fled the army unlikely - what tribe are you talking about? is not known.  What is the context of this war?  Is it part of the Santhwars?  You need to tie this in to the already written history - make it part of the world.

Raids upon Acht are made by whom?  Why?  as the orcish army flees before an army can be gathered to oppose them. The trolls are without organisation, gleefully feasting upon the humans in a way they had never dared to before. Attacks against them are mostly ineffective, and the populace of the city begins to flee these monsters in their midst. Only days later, the orcish army stands before the city of Holm as the trolls use their great strength to bash the city gates, intent upon reaching the humans within didn't they already get the humans? and scarcely noticing the arrows rebounding off their thick hides. The gates open as a human army emerges from the city, overwhelming the trolls with their very numbers. The surviving trolls retreat with the orcish army, fleeing to the mountains in which the trolls were born. Once in their native territory, the trolls cease their flight and climb into the mountains above as the orcs are forced into a valley by the humans. The mountains themselves seem to fall upon the human army as the trolls hurl boulders and trees.

A year later, the orcs are defeated by troops arriving from nearby human cities. Whereas the trolls would have gladly returned to their homes in the Troll Mountains, they were instead driven along with the orcs into the tunnels beneath the mountains from which the orcs had originally emerged.

523 A Time of Darkness- For decades the trolls live in the tunnels beneath the Troll Mountains, fleeing ever northward as the tunnels collapse behind them. Why collapsing?  Only days after following the orcish army, the trolls became present tense for history entries lost and began to wander the tunnels. Those accustomed to living beneath the sun are blinded by the eternal darkness beneath the earth, and they even lost sight of the others of their kind as they began to roam the tunnels alone, howling from the misery of solitude. From birth, trolls are never alone, always comforted by the presence of others. The tunnels were constricting for creatures of their great size as they were forced to stoop and occasionally crawl. Darkness consumed them, twisting their minds and bodies as they became creatures of the night.

Relief from the cramped tunnels is found as the goblins reopen them, thus discovering the trolls living within. The orcs had not forgotten the aid offered only decades ago in the Troll War and lead the trolls from the darkness of the tunnels. Striding into the luminous light of the moon, the trolls reunite with each other and swear to never again be alone in the dark. Former bands combine as the trolls seek comfort in the company of others of their kind. Into the night they run, howling in their glee.

537 Reborn in the Night- Years pass as the trolls, now known as the cave trolls for their home caverns, acquaint themselves with their new territory. Relations with the nearby goblins are good as trade flourishes between the two tribes. Only occasionally do the trolls raid with the goblins, having learned from their history the consequences of war. Mostly, they keep to the Tandalas, making it a place of ill repute as those whom venture within are often never seen again. The night has become their domain, one they rule undisputed.


As you will have noticed, I have changed a lot of your sentences around, although I have left many which could equally do with rearranging.  Having your subject early in a sentence avoids confusion.  If you were to go over this and try to rearrange your sentences in to a more logical format, and remove any repetitions or flourishes which lack any real meaning which I haven't marked, this would improve it greatly.  Best to save the really flowery prose for stories: entries need to be clear. 

Also, bear in mind that you should only talk about one thing per paragraph.  This applies to all writing, but particularly for the compendium:  it makes it easier if you are looking through trying to find some information

A few other bits of information I could do with:  How do you defeat a troll?  How do you escape one?  Are there any stories about this? 

Do they have any weaknesses apart from only being able to come out in the dark? 

What are they actually like - how smart are they?  They can write so they must be at least of human intelligence, but you paint them as mindless monsters.  Could you clear that up?  :)

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Artimidor Federkiel
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« Reply #6 on: 25 January 2008, 06:23:44 »

I agree with Grun that the part about that written language seems a bit stretched, or let's say: unexplained. These trollls are nightmares garbled in pale flesh and definitely don't look like scholars. Due to their special abiities they of course can cut stone rather easily. But their intelligence needs to be clarified a bit - they might have an intelligence of Neandertal people or along that line. I imagine that they can perhaps sketch a few images, use their tribe markings to represent tribes, draw territories and makrs and tell a little story with that. A whole language is something different I guess, a language would come closer to runes like the Thergerim have - but are the Ghereghut so sophisticated? I guess trolls should be rather limited compared to other sentient races, at least their talk is also centered around grunts, growls, and guttural words.

Also on History: This seems to happen in Santharian years, so after Santhros as far as I can see. However, maybe they even joined the orcs and ogres on their attack on Southern Sarvonia? As what did they do before when the big raid happened...

Dates in Santharian years are still somewhat shaky as nothing of what we have sketched on the last Santhmoot has made it to the site yet officially, which is something that has to change this year. So the dates and the general circumstances in southern Sarvonia are unclear, and it is likely that we move around some events. Connections to tribes etc. are a bit difficult to make as we lack official dates and events. I will set it on my personal list however to go bit by bit through our Santharian history sketches and fill it with life. The fact that absolutely nothing happens in this respect needs to be changed, starting from Santhros' claiming of the throne. We have a good deal of nomenclature now, so this will help.

But Grunok has been very thorough here and there isn't much else I could add - entry is pretty cool, just needs a bit of precision here and there, suggest to follow Grun's advice and get some more specification in where recommended.

Oh, and of course I vote for another troll entry - if it lasts 2 1/2 years, then I hope you have already started about 2 years ago; Vesk... :D
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« Reply #7 on: 26 January 2008, 05:53:00 »

@Grun: Okay, edits have been made. That was quite a bit of homework you gave me. ;)

I changed most of the grammar issues addressed but not all, mostly where we disagree on sentence structure. I also disagree about an entry needing to be clear rather than flowery. Flowery is how I write, with plenty of flourishes, so my entries are that way as well.

I believe I've addressed all of your comments, the ones I felt I could address in the entry at least. As to defeating a troll, you really don't I suppose. And escape is fairly unlikely. So, the best way to survive an encounter with a cave troll would be to not be in their territory to begin with, something I've implied enough in the entry. ;)

I don't have any weaknesses to add beyond those related to the sun, nothing comes to mind that would suit them. And I've dropped the writing entirely, replacing it with oral tradition. I see now that a written language was a stretch, something that was too much even for the smartest of trolls.

@Arti: I'm confused about the history. Most of it is taken from other entries on the site, first and foremost the goblin entry. I've just altered it to suit the trolls' perspective. I think the attack you're talking about is the Troll War, or at least it's the only major raid of Southern Sarvonia by orcs that I know of. And I don't feel a need to mention any history before the war, as it is at the war's conclusion that the mountain trolls split, one part becoming the cave trolls. History before the war will have to be covered in the mountain troll entry.

Here's hoping this makes the update!
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« Reply #8 on: 27 January 2008, 23:53:44 »

Okeydokey - now perpared, with the language stuff removed it fits much better now I'd say :) - Like that entry, Vesk! More please! :D
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« Reply #9 on: 28 January 2008, 02:48:36 »

Yay, thank you Arti! hug

More is on the way, I promise.
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« Reply #10 on: 24 May 2012, 11:05:53 »

I'm making a couple of changes to the Ghereghut. The changes are based around their relations with the Gob-Oc.

1) There are a few entries that mention the cave trolls as wielding weapons alongside the goblins and serving as their muscle. I wanted to create a reason for this to be more likely, so the cave troll entry now mentions the possibility of the goblins capturing and raising a young troll.

2) Originally, I wrote that the goblins traded gems for the furs of the trolls. It seems unrealistic for goblins to give up gems so easily, and I didn't entirely like my idea of a troll holding up a gem to starlight or moonlight. It just seemed like too much of a stretch and didn't connect enough to a tribe's typical ancestral worship. The idea of trading for gems has been replaced with a trade for orange quartz, and firelight is the new vehicle for the answer of the ancestors (appropriate since shamans use fire/also, the quartz could be likened to a shaman's amber heart).

There's also a minor grammar mistake in the history of the trolls. At the 523 part in the entry (I fixed it in this thread), it reads "the trolls of the live" when it should be "the trolls live".

Edits in orange!
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« Reply #11 on: 24 May 2012, 23:44:11 »

I would re-consider the occupations and government, perhaps at least a mediocum of leadership somewhere. Surely the tribe has certain roles. Even wild animals IRL have some sort of pecking order (lions, bees, dogs etc).

Maybe a clan leader, with a shamut and some of the stronger males for hunting. Basic and simple. Females care for the home/young. Anything is better than they all do whatever needs done at the moment.  huh
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« Reply #12 on: 25 May 2012, 04:18:17 »

Changes you made so far here are fine as far as I can see, Vesk! :) Though you haven't marked anything in the 523 part. Don't forget to colour that change as well, because I take everything that's coloured, makes things easier...

As Azhira said there are of course more sections that could be expanded on this entry as well, so feel free to do so if you have an idea or two ;)
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« Reply #13 on: 25 May 2012, 13:46:57 »

@Azhira: You make good points. The cave trolls are meant to be a little more sophisticated than the typical troll tribe, yet I originally did very little to actually make them that way. Rewrote those two sections. Good save!

@Arti: I re-added the deleted words and put them in parentheses. Colored!

New edits in red.
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« Reply #14 on: 25 May 2012, 19:36:52 »

If you are looking for a word for a leader among trolls or such, I created a word for that in my TRULTRUL entry: Klohtrul (big troll). You might be able to use that! thumbup

That brings me to another note however: in the language entry we discussed that the language of the trolls as we know it is only the language of the Kloighut. However, all of our tribal names of all the trollish tribes are in that same TRULTRUL, along with the vocabulary used in the religion entry on trollish beliefs. What should we do about that? I can imagine the Ghereghut having a language at least somewhat similar to that of the Kloighut, as a. the language is very slow to change and b. they have at least some shared development. The question remains, then, if the vocabulary of the different tribes are different as well, or the same at basis but with other linguistic developments influencing them. The influence of contact with another species, the Gob-Oc, would also have an impact on the trollish language alongside its cultural implications.

What are your thoughts on that Vesk? I'm okay with giving common TRULTRUL terms to the tribes and their hierarchy/beliefs (maybe it is a tool for scholars as they learn one set of terms from the Kloighut and then apply them to all tribes). Tribe specific elements would, however, neccesitate new vocab, in the TRULTRUL variant of that particular tribe. Or am I just overthinking this? shocked
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