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Author Topic: Trolls: Brainstorming  (Read 13604 times)
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Artimidor Federkiel
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« Reply #15 on: 14 September 2005, 13:40:00 »

Well, I wouldn't be overly happy if you'd just go over the current references of the trolls and disregard them. Becaue quite obviousy it is mentioned as one of the special abilities of this sheep that it can hide in the snow, also that it can climb exceptionally steep hills. And maybe that is something where trolls aren't that good at.

Aren't their differences at trolls? For the snow trolls of Cyhalloi perhaps finding these sheep wouldn't be a problem - but a Tandalan troll might behave differently. - And hey, a story is a story, and to me it doesn't really say anything about stupid trolls, but only states the fact that they didn't catch the sheep and that there are even stronger foes, and that's it. I guess trolls - compared e.g. to ogres - are much more intelligent, which doesn't mean that they cannot have stories about "killer-sheep" if you so want... :biggrin  


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Edited by: Artimidor Federkiel at: 9/13/05 21:44
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« Reply #16 on: 14 September 2005, 13:42:00 »

Yeah, I did, and that was one thing that bothered me about the original entry. I would prefer it if they were 3-4 peds tall, so I'll change it to that. If anyone has a problem with me altering the height mentioned in the original entry, then just post said objection here.

About the Tandalan Sheep, the only problem I truly have with the entry is this statement:
Quote:
The trolls, however, have more farfetched ideas about the migration habits of the sheep; some say that if they leave the mountains they are miraculously set alight or struck by lightning or even that a manticore comes and picks them off one by one.
I do not intend to disregard the existing references for trolls and already have several ideas on the ways they could be intergrated into my revision. This part of the entry on the sheep clearly states that the trolls believe that, and that is not what I intend to have as any of the trolls' beliefs. I can live with the myth, as it is just that: a myth. The part about the trolls being outrun was also in the myth, so I can live with it as well. This is the only reference that I've found that actually stated the beliefs of trolls, the rest merely determined territory and appearance. Perhaps Norkin can be convinced to edit that statement? I would even be willing to provide a substitute if he still wants to include what Tandalan trolls believe.


The sun falls from the evening sky,
this life I cannot abide.
The eternal night draws nigh,
I seek the loving embrace of my lost bride.

Edited by: Erian Melor at: 9/13/05 21:52
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Ta`lia of the Seven Jewels
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« Reply #17 on: 14 September 2005, 14:08:00 »



I read the Tandala sheep - a nice entry!

Well, as Art said, most is in the myth section and therefore no problem. The snow as camouflague and the sensing prey ability- there is surely a way around as well.
Your last quote - that is what researcher Norking or his sources found out - other researchers might find other beliefs, who are  even contradicting to this one.
Just talk with Norkin, what he thinks.
And talk to Judy, she is mentor of you both ;)

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Grunok the Exile
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« Reply #18 on: 14 September 2005, 14:34:00 »

I think it would be cool if some trolls could grow up to 5 peds. I know that's massive, but I knda like the idea of -perhaps only one or two small- what were they, UTs?- of gigantic mountain trolls living up a set of mountains.

I think that there would be very few of these gigantic trolls, but they are maybe particularly fierce, killing one another off so that there are fewer to compete for resources...  I dunno, maybe that's one way you could manage it.

EDIT: I also thought you could have shorter trolls, perhaps in Cyllahoi or the Icelands, where there are less resources aorund for them to grow tall.

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Edited by: Grunok the Exile at: 9/13/05 23:23
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« Reply #19 on: 14 September 2005, 19:07:00 »

Ok, I'm here.

(reads everything over carefully and thinks for a bit)

Erian:  Two things.  First, we try to respect precedence wherever possible - even if the person who 'follows' has to come up with some convolutedly clever reasoning or add extra information which expands the first entry.  So simply saying "I don't like this, can I change it" won't get you any debate points... :p   As Art has noted, that is a rarity, and we try to work around such issues wherever possible.

All right though,  you did provide your reasons, and what you were willing to 'accept' from Norkin's entry.  Let's look at the one sticking point you want changed.

Hmmmm.  To be completely frank, I don't see what the problem is here.  I think you may be misinterpreting Norkin's sentence altogether.  He doesn't say that the trolls believe that the TROLLS will be struck by lightning, etc. if they leave the mountain.... which I could understand would affect your planned religious beliefs.  What he says is that the trolls believe the SHEEP don't leave the area because then the SHEEP will be struck, chased, etc.  Since the sheep do remain in that one mountainous area, I think it's a clever little bit of urban legend (ok, country legend, whatever!)

Your job is then simply to make sure you incorporate a reference to the trollish belief in manticores (which see) at some point in your large and well-researched entry!

Does that perspective solve that particular problem, or are you still unhappy with that reasoning?

And btw where is Norkin?  I'll have to ask him to drop in and confirm a few things!  You may still have other issues with trolls being portrayed as dull in the Tandala Sheep entry, but please remember this:

The Compendium is written by people.  Actual people and virtual people.  Very often our more sophisticated writers take on different persona in order to create a believable environment for our readers.  I have written as an unorthodox Nehtorian priest, an unlettered cook, a tough ranger-maiden, an urbane bard, and many other characters, and my entries are more interesting for it.  In the same way, it's all right if an entry displays some 'prejudices' and attitudes.  The Sheep entry is primarily about the sheep, and the researcher is probably pro-ovine, not pro-troll! :lol

Don't forget - YOU are writing the Troll Master Entry - and YOUR entry will be the final say on Trolls, eventually.  The way in which they are portrayed there will wind up being the definitive way in which people see them.

 (At least, that's the theory.  I'm the Dwarven Mistress and RPGers still persist in playing Sarvonian dwarves as grammatically-impoverished, money-grubbing boozers, rather than the trust-worthy, loyal craftsmen they are...)

Whew!  I will have to go back and answer some of your other ideas and brainshowers in another post, but I hope that helps you proceed with this particular 'sheep' issue!

:hug  s from the bard,
Judith

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« Reply #20 on: 14 September 2005, 19:22:00 »

Right: other things!

Height, etc.   I KNOW I just said we should work with what's there.  But the whole point about giving you permission to do the Trolls in the first place was so that you could fix all the problems in a very old submission, revise what you needed, etc. etc.   Norkin's and Rayne's entries are relatively recent and follow our current standards.  The current Troll entry, obviously, isn't, and doesn't.  So take what you like from there, as much as possible, and where things just do not make sense or there are internal contradictions - fix away!  

As Grunok suggested, you could make 5 peds the absolute maximum and a rarity.   And each 'clan' of course would with inbreeding begin to take on its own interesting physical characteristics.  High mountain trolls will probably be bigger and hairier, yes...

---------------------------------

Clans -> bands.... hmmm, ok, not my favorite word still, and a bit too nomadic/casual sounding.  Thesaurus: " association, band, brotherhood, bunch, clique, coterie, crew, crowd, crush, faction, folks, fraternity, gang, group, house, insiders, kinfolks, mob, moiety, organization, outfit, race, ring, sect, set, society, sodality, stock, tribe, association, blood, caste, clan, class, division, dynasty, horde, house, ilk, kin, kind, kindred, lineage, people, race, seed, society, sort, stock, type..."

"Mob"  :lol      I rather like 'caste', but it's too formal.   You don't care for 'tribe'?  It sounds the best when you add it to the descriptor:
"The Stone Tribe"  "The Sand Tribe"  etc.   Not to mention that you can then talk alliteratively about a 'tribe of trolls'.   Oh, feel free to do without Swamp Trolls, particularly if they aren't mentioned in the first place.

The correct word used to be 'pack', believe it or not.  "A troll pack is approaching the village!"  Has a good old-fashioned ring to it, and suggests that they are seen as animalistic by most humans...

-----------------------------------

Talia, as usual, has some good points about relationships and familiar bonding.  If trolls have even the affection and protection that a wolf family provides, that would be quite adequate to bring up healthy baby trolls!  Would also reinforce the 'pack' nature and concept that might help you design their culture.

-------------------------

Language:  Wouldn't take me long to design something fun and unique, but hey, I have a LOT on my plate right now.  And I know both 'Maelion and Marvin are great with languages.  'Mael, any chance of you throwing a short basic word list into this thread?   Just follow the two rules (grunting and CAPITALS) we've already developed, and run with it!

---------------------------

Good to see so many creative ideas in here. :clap
I can't think of anything more ATM so I shall drizzle off for now!

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ishmaelion
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« Reply #21 on: 15 September 2005, 05:42:00 »

@Bard: I'll try and fix something up this present day:thumbup

EDIT: I am working with growling sounds, and am using the germanic pronunciation. the "g" is not like in guitar, but like in Dutch/German "ch". Low and gutteral. Is that okay?  

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Edited by: ishmaelion  at: 9/14/05 13:58
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Erian Melor
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« Reply #22 on: 15 September 2005, 07:11:00 »

First off, I do respect precedence, and I do intend to use the references that already exist on the site. I have only asked about this one entry and have no intention nor desire to edit any of the other references for trolls. His entry was the only one that actually states what trolls believe, and I think he assumed too much with his entry. I can work with the sheep being struck by lightning and set aflame (and no, I did not misinterpret that statement), as they are aspects of nature. For trolls to believe in manticores and that manticores pick up the sheep is a drastic deviation from what I intend to do with their beliefs. I am only asking that one statement be edited in his entry, an edit that will have no effect upon his sheep. I have sent an email to Norkin, hopefully he will show up soon with his opinion on the matter.


The sun falls from the evening sky,
this life I cannot abide.
The eternal night draws nigh,
I seek the loving embrace of my lost bride.

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« Reply #23 on: 15 September 2005, 09:01:00 »

Back to the brainstorming:

Using the search engine, I have found everywhere trolls are supposed to live. Luckily for me, there are exactly six places within the world of Caelereth where trolls live. So, I propose that each place be the home of a different tribe. Listed below are the tribes of trolls and their territories.

The Stone Tribe- The Stone Fields of Peat
The Cave Tribe- The Tandala Highlands
The Mountain Tribe- The Troll Mountains
The Snow Tribe- The Tundra of Cyhalloi
The Forest Tribe- The Forest of Souls
The War Tribe- The Wastes of Despair

I'll need help with the last two territories, as there is not enough information about them on the site. Could anyone give me a description of the Forest of Souls (located on the R'unor Isles)? I also need a description of the Wastes of Despair (located in Northern Sarvonia). Right now, I don't even know what kind of landscape the Wastes of Despair are: plains, swamp, etc...

I like the idea of one tribe being five peds high. Perhaps the War Tribe? I don't know enough about the Wastes of Despair right now to decide if they could be twisted creations of Eckra the Cruel. One idea I have is that the War Tribe could be Stone Trolls that were twisted by him, but that would only work if he were ever in that region.

I was thinking that trolls would have strong family bonds, with a young troll living with his parents for the first fifty years of his life. At the age of fifty, a troll would leave his family to seek a mate of his own. Another troll will not be born within the family until the young one leaves. Would this work as the reason that trolls only have three children in their lifespans?

As far is religion is concerned, they would worship the spirits of their ancestors instead of gods. Each time they killed an animal, they would sacrifice the blood of that animal to their ancestors in a ritual. There would also be a 'coming of age' for trolls, when they try to commune with the spirits of their ancestors as they seek guidance. Instead of those 'blessed by the gods' that I mentioned earlier, their leaders would be those with greater magical abilities. Such leaders would be believed to harbor the spirits of his ancestors and thereby adding their magic to his own. Every troll would have an innate ability to cast magic, healing, sensing prey, etc.., but the leaders would be able to sense prey a stral away, heal others, and commune with the spirits.

Any help with the language is very welcome, as I am helpless in this aspect of their development.


The sun falls from the evening sky,
this life I cannot abide.
The eternal night draws nigh,
I seek the loving embrace of my lost bride.

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Ta`lia of the Seven Jewels
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« Reply #24 on: 15 September 2005, 12:13:00 »

How tall are giants?

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« Reply #25 on: 15 September 2005, 12:41:00 »

All right, the beliefs thing first, then I'll have the leisure to look at your latest proposal on the tribes.


The trolls, however, have more farfetched ideas about the migration habits of the sheep; some say that if they leave the mountains they are miraculously set alight or struck by lightning or even that a manticore comes and picks them off one by one.

Assuming now that you did not misinterpret the admittedly ambiguous grammar of this sentence, I still do not see the problem.  Perhaps you could give me a bit more detail about what you hope to create for the trollish belief system and we can discuss why this simple myth doesn't fit?  It seems such a minor point - and yes, that works both ways - but I really can't see why you need to change it.    

Let me make clear that's not a rude way of saying 'don't bother', that's my request for further information because I don't understand the difficulty - ok?

Edited by: Bard Judith at: 9/14/05 20:43
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« Reply #26 on: 15 September 2005, 13:30:00 »

and back to brainstorming :)

-----------------------------------------------
Here are my comments on each tribe - I like the divisions you've created here, btw.  The names are a bit flat, but then again if they are direct translations from Trullish, they would be...


The Stone Tribe- The Stone Fields of Peat

Plenty of detail in the place entry by Rayne – even housing, etc.  Fairly primitive, skins and clubs.  You should have no problem extracting just what she has to create a paragraph of des-crip-tion for the Stone Tribe.  

The Cave Tribe- The Tandala Highlands

Good place entry by Rayne again.  One of the more sophisticated, trade with Gob-Oc for weapons.  You may need to create a bit more detail, particularly physical des-crip and a line or two about how their cave housing is created (don't step on any dwarven toes!)

The Mountain Tribe- The Troll Mountains

A bit more problematic as they are very close to human settlements (Acht and Holm).  Perhaps restrict them to the east side of the mountains, ranging out onto the undeveloped wild coast there.  You have a pretty free hand as the area does not yet have an entry.

I'd suggest making a name and short des-crip for the plain that comes down from the Troll Mountains to the coast - it's probably got plenty of deer and other natural resources for the trolls to use, but it must be rugged terrain or something else that makes it unappealing to human settlement.  :idea   Perhaps similar to the mosquito-ridden, muskeg swamps of Northern Ontario? With trolls' thick fur and skin, that shouldn't bother them... :)

The Snow Tribe- The Tundra of Cyhalloi

Only one entry, nicely descriptive by Viresse - Cyhalloi is not under development at this time.   You would have to say that little is known about them… but the Snow Trolls are quite monstrous by the few accounts we do have - white fur/hair, red eyes, animalistic.    Unfortunately, this does NOT fit with the single picture we have by Isilhir, showing some wolf-shapeshifters, the Ulvur, fighting Snow Trolls.  www.santharia.com/races/r...trolls.jpg

Perhaps, and I make this suggestion only in an attempt to reconcile the information given:  there are two troll tribes in Cyhalloi, or at least two branches of the same ‘family’.  Snow Trolls – as shown in the picture, huge, tusked, gauntlet-and-skull-and-fur-wearing monsters, with long clawing talons and beak-like noses – would be one branch.  Ice Trolls would be the strange, yeti-like beasts that appear out of the snow to steal hunters’ kills – white-furred, red-eyed, upright giants.  

The Forest Tribe- The Forest of Souls

R’unor is currently not in development.  There is no descrip of the Forest of Souls.  The original conceptor, Xenos Ravenbeack, is no longer with us.  You can mention that these trolls exist in this region, but that’s about it.   I can extrapolate that the forest is a pretty old, overgrown, dark, and tangled jungle, from its location and name and the fact that trolls, crystal spiders, and blood-toads live there!   Really, that’s about it for R’unorian information…


The War Tribe- The Wastes of Despair

No one ‘knows’ at this point what the Wastes look like.  However, a quick glance at our maps and a rummage through the Compendium’s search function will tell you that they exist on the northeast edge of Sarvonia, at the very top of the continent.   Looking at the area, they are permafrost peat swamps, if you ask me.    Probably flat, razor-edged packed snow, wind-swept (the wind coming straight in off the frozen Ice Sea) where nothing seems to grow, even a few stunted bushes.   It would be quite a trick for anything to actually live there (I’m not going to bother to do the search, but you can have a look and see if there’s anything in the region for food sources for the trolls besides white bears, Woolly Cobs, and Rat Brownies!) , not to mention create housing, so it’s going to take some creative sourcing to get a troll tribe in there….

------------------------------------------------------------------

:read  Very Important Note:

Let me make sure that you understand that you are writing the OVERVIEW for the Troll Race, Erian.

You are not required nor requested to write all of the sub-entries that will result!  In fact, you should avoid providing so much detail that future researchers and writers are not able to use their own creative energies in filling in those entries.  

We need a paragraph or so – no more – on each tribe, and the main differences and highlights.   Then you should provide the general information on trollish religion, trollish mating/reproduction, trollish resources,  production (if anything), and so on through the rest of the sections.  

Even though this sounds as if you are being limited, it’s not: this is a big responsibility, because you have an entire race to deal with, and I want to impress upon you the seriousness of that implication.      This is particularly complicated because it’s not just limited to the one continent, where we have such a plethora of information, as you’re just beginning to discover!

You must be able to give this entry your unique creative flair without handcuffing the other developers. We don’t want “Jesalmia of Cyhalloi”, five years from now, asking if she can rewrite everything you put down for the Snow Trolls because it just doesn’t fit with her vision of the trollish culture in Cyhalloi.  And when Cyhalloi is opened to development again, you can bet your last copper san that things will be changing!   So keep it free and easy, and everyone will appreciate it.

Hope that helps you feel your direction a bit more clearly, Erian!  Looking forwards to more ideas and proposals regarding religion and beliefs…

regards from the bard,
Judith

"If you will listen to this lay but a little while now,
I will tell it at once as in town I have heard it told,
as it is fixed and fettered in story brave and bold,
thus linked and truly lettered, as was loved in this land of old."


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Erian Melor
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« Reply #27 on: 15 September 2005, 13:38:00 »

I have no idea about the height of giants. The only thing I could find on the site was that they are lightly colored and bulky.

As far as the beliefs are concerned, their worship of ancestors and respect for the dead are the main points to keep in mind. They bury their dead, believing that without a proper burial the spirit will be trapped in the corpse for centuries and unable to join the ancestors. The manner in which a troll is buried varies depending upon the tribe. Every race has its evil members and criminals, these are not given a proper burial so that their evil spirits will be trapped within the corpse. Trolls believe that the evil spirits do eventually get free and are the cause for natural disasters, i.e. forest fires and storms. Only the leader of a tribe is able to banish an evil spirit, using their magical abilities and their ability to commune with their ancestors. A leader that is unable to do so is cast from the tribe, i.e. if a leader cannot stop a storm.

I've considered having the evil spirits be able to manifest as manticores, but it just doesn't work. If they have a belief that evil spirits can have a physical form, then they may well believe that their ancestors manifest as animals and members of other races. Believing that about their ancestors would mean that they would never eat out of respect for the dead. I do not want them to believe in reincarnation, and spirits manifesting as creatures, mythical or mundane, would be just that as the spirits were once trolls themselves.

I am open to suggestions on ways to incorporate manticores into their beliefs, but I have considered it since I first noticed that about the entry on Tandalan sheep. I cannot see any way to include them in the trollish beliefs.

Edit: I must write very slow.:x  I just saw your post when I finished my own. So, it seems like only the Cave and Mountain Tribes could be fully developed at this point, as they are both in Southern Sarvonia. I know I am not required to write every entry for trolls, but I want to. I know that I will probably not write every entry on trolls as I may be forced to share them.>:  Just so everyone knows, my next entry will most likely be either the Mountain Tribe or the Cave Tribe. Of course, I'll finish the overview first.

I read the legend about the Tundra Beast, and it seems like it could be a monster just as easily as it could be a troll. It is only rumored to be a troll. I make that argument since the description of the Tundra Beast does not fit the original entry on trolls, nor does it fit any of the pictures. Maybe someone will use that legend in the future to create a land monster that inhabits the tundra of Cyhalloi?  


The sun falls from the evening sky,
this life I cannot abide.
The eternal night draws nigh,
I seek the loving embrace of my lost bride.

Edited by: Erian Melor at: 9/14/05 22:00
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« Reply #28 on: 15 September 2005, 19:01:00 »

"Trolls believe that the evil spirits do eventually get free and are the cause for natural disasters, i.e. forest fires and storms."

I particularly like this!  A great touch.  Yes, I agree that reincarnation doesn't work for the trollish belief system.  Corpses, then, have to be disposed of in a ritual which might be crude but still counts as part of a consistent 'religion'.  

Brainstorm:  Could manticores be a sort of Wendigo for them?  :crazy   If not, you might still want to create a Wendigo-type - one of the evil spirits which is more powerful (or the Evil Spirit Clan leader, as trolls might think of it...)

Norkin hasn't responded to any of my recent posts, so let's just give that whole sheep issue a miss for now - don't worry about it, just keep developing 'around it' at this point, if you could.

I'll buy the Tundra Beast idea as a monster rather than a troll.  It just occurred to me that it would make a nice variant to have two different branches of the same 'tribe' on the continent - but no biggy.

Ok, all for now...

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« Reply #29 on: 16 September 2005, 01:14:00 »

The icetribes live north of the wastes of despair. The entry tells, that part of the land defrosts for up to three months, so this might be true or the more southern wastes as well. The have a special kind of grass there, etc...
I could well imagine, that the trolls have the one or the other fight with the southern icetribe - the way they are described.

The coloured Cyhalloi trolls could live in the trees the Ulvur cherish so much, the other in regions where is not such a high vegetation, but just snow and ice.

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"For me there is only the traveling on paths that have heart, on any path  that may have heart. There I travel, and the only worthwhile challenge is to traverse its full length. And there I travel looking,  breathlessly. ~Don Juan"
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