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.
Image description. The enormous trolls
living in the Troll Mountains in Northern Santharia, also known as the
Picture drawn by
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
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.
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
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
SleepingDreameress 1672 a.S.
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