THE KLOIGHUT TROLLS ("MOUNTAIN TROLLS")

APPEARANCE - COAT OF ARMS - TERRITORY - PEOPLE - HOUSING - CLOTHING
DIET - WEAPONS - OCCUPATIONS - GOVERNMENT - PRODUCTION/TRADE
FESTIVALS - HISTORY

Hundreds of Mountain Trolls, or “Kloighut” (“Mountain Tribe”) in their native tongue, reside within the Troll Mountains of northeastern Santharia. The mountains find themselves aptly named for the troll raids upon any merchants foolish enough to venture into this ominous range. Raids upon the villages of Acht and Holm are uncommon, though desperation will drive a troll to plunder outlying farms. The Plain of Sorrow, to the east of the Troll Mountains, provides wild game for the trolls, and the plain is nearly impassable to any other race with its rugged terrain and rampant insect population. The trolls grow to be a fore taller than any of their kin among other tribes and are feared for both their size and the size of their appetites.

The Mountain Trolls
View picture in full size Image description. The enormous trolls living in the Troll Mountains in Northern Santharia, also known as the Kloighut. Picture drawn by Seeker.

Appearance. To write of a Mountain Troll's appearance, one must first take into account their astonishing size. There is no such concept as a face to face meeting. The average human male would not even stand as high as the troll's waist. Such a comparison is merely academic, as no one has yet proven willing to stand shoulder to thigh alongside a full-grown troll. Also, the troll has yet to be found that will stand docilely in lieu of following their volatile nature by outright consuming the human provided for the sake of reference. A male troll will reach a height of four peds and a fore at the shoulder. Females stand only a fore shorter, and it is only when comparing the females to the males does the adjective “shorter” seem apt for them.

It should be noted that accounts of the trolls' appearance primarily occur from a distance. The reason such distance proves necessary for the survival of the onlooker becomes readily apparent the nearer one comes to standing before a live Kloighut troll. From that distance, the trolls are often difficult to distinguish from the boulders that litter their mountain homes. The brutish beasts are of a considerable bulk with broad rounded shoulders. They've been seen to easily lift even sizable boulders with the swollen muscles that ripple along each limb.

A closer inspection (one should walk softly and pray to any gods that may be listening while undertaking such a thing) reveals that the trolls' resemblance to boulders stems from more than their great size. Their colouration is that of the mountains themselves, making it all the more appropriate that these trolls be accounted among the Mountain Tribe. The hides of the trolls are a mottled grey-brown with no two trolls having the exact same colouration.

Yellow-brown claws extend for a palmspan or two from each thick finger of their massive hands. With the brute force regularly employed by the trolls, a claw will occasionally break off entirely yet remain intact. Such claws make trophies for anyone lucky enough to stumble upon them, provided the trolls they came from are nowhere near.

A yet closer inspection (by now, whisper fervent prayers) shows the Kloighut Trolls to have wide grinning mouths, full of yellowed teeth. Bleached white tusks curl upward from the corners of their mouths, the sharp tips pointed and deadly. Slitted pupils, set in irises of the palest yellow, shift almost constantly, that gaze drawn to movement. A long and somewhat bulbous nose lends itself to the image of a sinister troll grin as it extends for a considerable length from their faces.

A lady of the court might envy a Kloighut Troll for his/her long dark tresses. That is, if one can imagine a lady pausing, mid-scream, to comment on its length. The coarse hair of a mountain troll, like that of their kin among other tribes, fans out to cover their bodies as they run. Stationary, their hair, always a dark shade, brown or black, falls to just below their waists with beards to match among the males. The females style their dark hair into greasy braids or 'troll-locks' formed around the occasional bone, human or otherwise.
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Coat of Arms/Sign. Kloighut Trolls do not represent themselves with any particular symbol. Rather, uprooted trees and dislodged boulders announce the beginnings of troll territory. Nothing seems to mark the territories of the different family groups, but then, any such markings are likely known only to the trolls themselves.
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Territory. Kloighut Trolls inhabit the Troll Mountains. The mountains are named, of course, for the presence of the trolls within the range and for the danger they present to anyone passing through. The trolls are known to live within the caves and underground caverns that pepper the mountains' slopes.

The troll clans prove territorial of their homes and of their hunting territories, fighting off any unknown trolls that venture near. Necessity and often starvation will bring a clan to encroach on the areas hunted by another. A ravenous appetite rapidly depletes the food supply in any one place, enforcing a nomadic existence on the trolls.
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People. Proud. Dangerous. Kloighut Trolls are the brutes of legend. With their brutish size and strength, the trolls regard anything smaller than their four peds as insignificant, as nothing more than food. The mentality is straightforward enough. Either something exists on their scale and is able to oppose them with a strength similar to their own, or it doesn't and is considered weak. If the latter, then it's prey. The saving grace, at least for any passerby, is that the trolls act primarily on one of two motives: hunger or defense. But then, a mountain troll is always hungry.

Appetite. It rules them. A voracious hunger exists always within the bellies of the beasts. It is the driving force behind nearly everything they do. Any raid made on a human settlement is done so for the sake of satiation. It is no doubt comforting to any farmer that the trolls make no distinctions between them and their livestock when it comes to crunching bones. Or maybe not. Either way, nothing fully sates a hungry Kloighut Troll.

Strength dominates. The inner structure of any family group, or clan, is decided mostly through strength. The strongest male leads and guides the clan. This position of alpha male or Klohtrul (“Big Troll”) is not above reproach. Should another male choose to present his challenge, then the matter is again decided through a test of strength. Despite their penchant for violence, the trolls do not actually fight for dominance, perhaps out of the necessity of remaining hale for the hunt. Instead, as an event before the entire clan, the two contesting trolls lift boulders to ascertain which of the two is stronger. Whichever lifts the largest boulder successfully will lead the clan. The other? He may remain with the clan, as somewhat disgraced, or he may choose to seek a new clan to take him in.

Clans are small, tight-knit family units. A clan will usually consist of no more than fifteen trolls with their young making up a third of that number. Females typically remain with the clan they were born into, whereas males may stray and seek other clans with the hope of obtaining a more dominant position. It may happen that a male be considered weak, by troll standards, by both his rivals and potential mates alike. Such a male, with no prospects of mating, is not likely to remain with the clan and instead becomes this world's one example of a solitary troll. By all accounts, it is a miserable and easily angered creature.

Only a clan's shaman stands outside the vying for dominance evident among his (or her) kin. For the most part, the shaman obeys the decisions of the clan's leader, as he/she has been conditioned from a young age to not heed the concerns of the corporeal world. The exception lies within the visions of the shaman. When the future has been seen by their shaman, the clan puts aside all struggles for dominance, and, for the moment, heeds only the instructions of the shaman.

Kloighut Trolls exist for the most part as innocent brutes. Their attacks stem from hunger or from the defense of their territories and kin. In a way, kith and territory are one and the same to the trolls. They defend not only the lands on which they hunt but also the petrified remains of their ancestors. The trolls show their first inkling of malice and of hatred should the resting site of an ancestor be defiled.
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Housing. Natural caves and caverns house the trolls. Unlike their Ghereghut cousins, the Kloighut make no true attempts to enlarge their homes and simply take up residence wherever caves are found. For the most part, the trolls do not even truly live within the caves as they have no fear of the elements and simply take shelter during the absolute worst of storms. Likewise, their caves are used to store food, particularly in preparation for the winter season.

The trolls lead a carefree existence and mostly choose to sleep out in the open with no fear of attack. They do however sleep as a clan, their monstrous forms gathered around a bonfire that diminishes as the night passes.
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Clothing. Thick, nearly impenetrable hides make a necessity for clothing nearly nonexistent. The eyes of anyone to come across the trolls are thankful nonetheless that the Kloighut gird themselves with loincloths fashioned of hides and furs. A need for both concealment and support encourages the females to wear also an X-shaped wrap over their torsos. Beyond these simple clothes, the trolls wear only their hair (and beards, among the males). Wool from the yah'nork goat is particularly prized in the fashioning of their loincloths and wraps.

Tusks of the quaerash lizard are worn as necklaces by the shamans only. It is perhaps out of reverence for the great lizards that only the shaman of a clan is allowed to wear a necklace formed of their tusks. A more practical realisation would be that the tusks are simply hard to come by: they're taken only from any quaerash found already dead.
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Diet. Anything. Everything. If it's remotely edible, the Kloighut Trolls will try stuffing it into their maws. Meat is the preference, but no favouritism is shown to one kind of meat over another. Bones are a favoured and lasting treat, particularly the marrow within. Nuts and berries do not escape these gaping maws either, as bushes are uprooted whole and shaken vigorously in the troll way of harvesting.

It might be more prudent to state what the trolls will not eat. They are not scavengers. Only desperation will drive a troll to feed off a body that has been dead for more than a day. Packs of quaerash lizards and armies of men are the only live prey given a wide berth. In both cases, the trolls have learned caution.

In idle moments, the trolls will chew roots and even rocks. Their stomachs seem capable of digesting just about anything without issue. Carrion would be the notable exception.
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Weapons. Anything nearby. Uprooted trees may be used outright as clubs. Nearby stones make for devastating weapons when thrown or swung downward with the strength of a full-grown troll. It was during the Troll War that the Kloighut learned the practice of rolling boulders downhill to surprise and cut off intruders. They use this tactic still to hamper the retreat of any that would enter the Troll Mountains.

The margh grumph finds some use among the Mountain Trolls as a weapon of opportunity. That is, nearby thorny vines will be ripped out of the ground and wrapped around a ham hock fist. Permanent forms of such contraptions are rare.
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Occupations. Only one role stands out among the tribe: that of the shaman. Every other troll could be accounted a hunter/gatherer. Even the young are raised equally by every member of a clan. The shaman however remains unique. He (or, again, she) is the clan's connection to their ancestors and to everything spiritual. The visions granted by the ancestors are of the utmost importance for the clan's survival. The role of shaman is not one chosen by strength. Each clan's shaman chooses a pupil when their own death is near. That pupil will, in time, become the clan's new shaman.

In a way, a second occupation among the trolls presents itself during this time as the pupil learns what it means to be a shaman. Two of the clan's strongest trolls (but not the leader) are chosen as guardians to the pupil, safe-guarding his life much as the entire clan safe-guards the life of the shaman.
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Government. A clan's leadership is two-fold. First, in matters of the hunt and survival, a clan is led by the Klohtrul, its strongest member. A feat of strength determines this position within the tribe, and any member may challenge the leader at any given time. No time limit exists. The strongest troll leads until death or until another troll proves stronger.

Second, the clan's shaman leads in all things spiritual. The visions gifted to the shaman by the ancestors are considered law above all else. Even the leader of a clan cannot oppose the shaman when he chooses to speak.
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Production/Trade. Mayhem. Destruction. These are the currencies offered to the civilized world by the Kloighut. In return, the trolls take food wherever they can find it, either livestock or people. Humans take issue with this manner of trading, so it does not go as smoothly as a troll might hope. There are times the trolls are forced to flee back to their mountain homes with their “purchases” in hand.
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Holidays, Festivals and Observances. The Kloighut honor their ancestors above all else. Reverence for the ancestors is shown at all times, but there is one night that is particularly special. The trolls seem to know it as only the longest night, the night other races would regard as the winter solstice. It is this night that the clans gather and light bonfires. The shamans commune with the ancestors through these fires as the other trolls gather around them with quiet reverence. Each troll makes a solitary trip to the petrified remains of his or her ancestors and visits with them by touching and even talking to the stone that was once flesh. No food passes the lips of any troll this night, not until the sun's light touches the mountainside once more.
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THE AGE OF THE BLOOD
(YEARS 822 B.S. - 50 B.S.)
298 b.S. THE THIRD SARVONIAN WAR (SW III): THE COMING OF COÓR'MELÓR
The Sarvonian Dawn (The Approach of the Darkfriends)
Eighty years before the - from the darkfriends - long awaited Mélor'Terquán (the "Night of the Turning Shadow”) thousands of barbarians, orcs, ogres, and trolls invade the regions of Nermeran and Vardýnn from the northlands in order to smooth the way for their new coming chieftain, the Dark Lord.

In fact the first assault is only a tempting and minor as well as an unorganized one, where the darkfriends attempted to measure their power with the southern forces. So the first wave is repelled rather easily by the Erpheronians and the northernmost elves of the Calmarion Forest, but the revenge of the darkfriends is devastating and will last many more years.
  

288 b.S. Troll Refugees After the War
The troll tribe that took part in the Third Sarvonian War, the Marghoghut, split after the war's conclusion. Most return to their mountain haunts in North Sarvonia. But, more than a few find a nearby mountain range in Santharia to be a suitable new home. The mountains are later named the Troll Mountains after their troll population.

THE GOLDEN AGE OF KINGS
(YEARS 172 A.S. - 547 A.S.)
488 The Troll War
Raids and assaults have increased over the years in most parts of the north of the Santharian Kingdom. Though most fights seem to be only random encounters the borderlines are heavily tested. In the spring of 488 an army of orcs, presumably Gob-Ocs, emerges from the Troll Mountains, far away from the border guards and attacks and raids the city of Acht. About 6.000 greenskins in unknown armour and under unknown flags, supported by several troll clans loot the countryside and are on the retreat before any army can be gathered to counter the danger. Only days later a part of this army stands before the city of Holm. While quickly rallied troops under the command of the Lord of Holm can force the orcs to retreat, the Lord and many men die when they chase the orcs into the valleys of the Troll Mountains where they run into a trap set by the retreating army.

Before the orcs can plan a new campaign, finally reinforcements from Jernais and Astran arrive and the orcish army is defeated the next year. The remaining orcs flee through tunnels in which the human forces can only follow under great loss of life. The orcs disappear in the darkness and Ximaxian mages spend half a year to collapse 80 strals of tunnels in hope to close this opening forever. (Writer's note: the trolls that fled with the orcs after their defeat are no longer among the Kloighut and may instead be found in the Tandalas as the Ghereghut.)

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 Date of last edit 3rd SleepingDreameress 1672 a.S.

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