Bell Digest trollish-history.txt

From: David Gadbois 

Subject: History of the Race of Trolls

[Reprinted without permission]

Copyright (c) 1979 by Greg Stafford

History of the Race of Trolls


In the Godtime there were born many deities, and firstborn of all the
races of the gods were the deities of darkness, who rose to fight
against the emptiness of Chaos, preparing the Void for the Creation.

Among those deities born was one called KYGER LITOR, who is called the
Mother of Trolls. But even before she created that mortal race she was
famous for her deeds in fighting Chaos with her cousin, Zorak Zoran, and
in creation, with her cousin Xiola Umbar.

Grandfather Mortal, the first of all humans (and humanoids) was the
result of all the deities working together under the tutelage of the
Celestial Court. Afterwards this original was copied by others,
resulting in the many elementally-oriented beings commonly called the
Old Races.

The Dark Trolls were just such an imitation, being the Men of Darkness.
They were fashioned by the goddess called Kyger Litor. There are now
many types of trolls who know her as Creatrix, but this diversity was
not her creation but the result of which have wracked and ruined the
once proud people.

The original Trolls were as large as great trolls, as smart as a genius
dark troll, and as numerous as Trollkin. Their magical abilities were
akin to the deities and they used them wisely to build great cities in
their home world. They were common then, but rarer later, and it was
later that they were called the Mistress Race. Their name in their
Underworld birthplace is a secret.

In their ancestral home the Mistress Race lived during the timeless
Godtime, occasionally being called upon to aid in the defense of their
world as the War of the Gods grew more and more severe. It was during
this time that Grandfather Mortal came to them with great tales and
prophecies of woe, and the chilling tale of Death.

Shortly afterwards the sun was slain by his rival, and the spirit of
that great god followed the path set by Grandfather Mortal, the first
creature to ever die. Across the world to the Gates of the West, and
then deep into the Underworld went the fire god. He was weak and
bleeding, leaving an ember glow across the sky and land where he
travelled, but was still a bright and horrible thing when he reached the
Lands of the Dead, where Grandfather Mortal was king of the Mistress

The glare of the sungod and his accompanying host, which quickly grew in
numbers and power, overwhelmed the sensitivities of the Mistress Race,
which hithertofor had dwealt securely in unbroken blackness. Many were
evaporated, most were severly burnt and mutated, but all turned and
fled, using secret pathways to reach the surface world.

The death of the sun and the appearance of the Trolls and other forces
of Darkness is called the Lesser Dark of the Great Night. The race which
crawled to this world from below suffered the agonies of the alien
environment of the world and its gods at war, in addition to the torment
caused by the Sun and the loss of their homes. Most of the creatures
which survived this at all were changed horribly, and are the ancestors
of those creatures which humans know as Cave Trolls.

In the Surface World Kyger Litor fashioned her race anew, to better fit
the new place, and which would provide armies for her fight against
Chaos. This was the origin of the first of the numerous Dark Trolls, who
quickly populated the world where they could.

The Greater Darkness began when the Spike, center of the universe and
stronghold of the Law of the Cosmos, exploded and sent its pieces
rebounding about the worlds. At the center of the world there was, for a
moment, nothing but the empty Void, from whence the legions of Chaos
began pouring through.

The forms of the Chaos were many, and not important here except to note
that evil demonic armies were called Krjalki. I have noted that in many
ancient manuscripts this term is also used to (mistakenly) denote the
various Forces of Darkness. This is one of those many cases where the
mortal victims of the Greater Darkness confused the real enemy of Chaos
with those People of Darkness, who were not only allies but bearing the
real brunt of the fight against the invading Krjalki, often unsupported
or opposed by humans.

The Forces of Darkness were best suited, by experience and natural
inclination, to oppose the forces of Chaos. Kyger Litor was a leader in
that fight, and her Troll armies were the occupying forces for her
victories.  Where she won a great magic against the mutating forces of
Chaos the trolls erected great castles built of lead, which emanated a
radiating darkness and comfort for those who opposed Chaos.


There were many fortresses founded by Kyger Litor which survived into
Time from the Great Darkness, but only one is immediated interest. That
one is near Dragon Pass, and the nation of Trolls about the Castle of
Lead is called Dagori Inkarth. It is in the land called Shadows Dance,
which gets its name from the presence of the Castle of Lead. It is said
that there are too many shadows in those mountains, and that sometimes
they do not flee from the light before them. Again, there are strange
lights occasionally freed from the Eternal Torch which flare across the
sky, making even the most physical darkness flee before it, dancing in
frightened rout across the rocky crags.

During the Great Darkness the region of Dragon Pass was blessed by many
occurances which allowed it to survive the horrible times relatively
intact. Important among those occurances is the presence of the Dragons
and their kin, and the proximity of a Castle of Lead with a very
powerful and aggressive troll population. Just as important was the
spirit of co-op, eration which all of the other local denizens exhibited
when the time came to pit their souls against the power of evil.

Thus, when the Dawn came and the Sungod was freed from the underworld
and in politics. The new leaders worshipped the new gods, and the name
of the Grand Council was changed to be the Second Council.

Among the Darkness Deities the cult of Xiola Umbar lost its predominant
position. Instead people loved her brother, Zorak Zoran, called Lord
Master of the Legions of Death. Inspired by such a deity the trolls, and
other humans who worshipped the god, went to war against the northern
nomads, pitting their spells and infantry against the foe's cavalry and
shaman-summoned spirits. The forces of the Second Council won the day at
great loss to themselves, but there was victory at Argentium Thri'ile
which was so decisive that the Nomads began a withdrawel from the whole
Pelorian lowlands. Their departure revealed a region thinly populated by
indigenous tribes previously enslaved by the nomads.

The Battle of Argentium Thri'ile was won by the Praxian allies of the
Second Council, whose unusual mounts, large numbers, and particularly
adept shaman spirit-hunters carried one wing during the first day of
battle, and then pursued for a week, slaughtering as they went. This
began the longstanding hatred between the horse-riding nomads and the
beast-riding ones. It also instituted a period of Praxian overlordship,
by certain nobles and families, over regions of Peloria. Even Dara Happa
was, for a short time, ruled by outsiders from the Impala tribe, who
also worshipped the Sun.

The advance of the Second Council continued, although its growth was
sporadic at time, and often encountered active resistance. During this
time the trolls were forefront in the fighting, glad to praise their
bloodthirsty deity this way, whatever the cost to themselves. And it
cost them dear, for their population shrank even at home, and weakened
their voice on the Council. Thus they were so weak that they could not
prevent the plans which led to the Broken Council.

The Broken Council got its name when the Dark Trolls and Dragonewts both
deserted the impending magical rituals of the Council. The dragonewts
left because the focus of the ritual was a "pseudocosmic egg," which
theybeleived to be dragon eggs, and too sacred for others to use that
way. The trolls left because Kyger Litor, their creatrix and implacable
foe of chaos, correctly read a prophecy of the coming of a chaos god
from the egg, and would have nothing to do to aid such a venture.

The humans of Dragon Pass presumably followed the decisions of the Elder
Races, although this is only a presumption.

There followed a period of warfare between the Broken Council and Dragon
Pass.  Parts of Peloria fought against the council as well, but early in
the long war most foes were conquered or driven far away, and even
Dragon Pass fell sometime around the year 420. This was after the
peoples were harmed by the great and terrible magic of Dorastor and
their new god, called Gbaji.

Gbaji, while still a mewling babe, gave his powers to the Two Curses of
the council.  One was directed against the dragonewts, but failed when
its energies were devoured by dragons. The other was directed against
Kyger Litor and the Dark Trolls, and succeeded.

The Trolls Curse is in their children, for the proud race began giving
birth to runts and weaklings. Fewer and fewer whole and healthy trolls
were born, replaced instead by the deformed creatures called Trollkin. A
great effort at countering the curse resulted in the appearance of
trollkin litters rather than single births, but did not heal the
horrible wound.  Warriors slain could not be replaced, and the powerful
army was over half trollkin when it was defeated in battle by the Broken
Council around 420. Dagori Inkarth, deep in Shadows Dance, was invaded
by the council, but the citadel of the Castle of Lead was never sacked.

Afterwards the trolls were a hidden and outlaw race. The humans and
dragonewts of the pass accepted shameful compromise, and served under
the lords who worshipped chaos.

The god Gbaji was more active in the west, where his cult spread quickly
at first, until its evil was revealed. But even then it took generations
to cleanse a region. Nations worshipped the god, and it was a major task
to annhilate the cult. This was accomplished by Arkat Humaktsson.

Arkat was a superhero by the end of his mighty tasks. He led a crusade
for 75 years by the strength of his might and magic. In this he was
aided hy his sons, Gerlant Flamesword and Talor the Laughing Warrior,
both famous in their own right as well and founders of many noble

Details of Arkat's epic war will appear in a future issue of WF. It has
little to do with Pelorian history, for the region was in war at the
frontiers all the time, but the rest either worshipped the god or were

Sometime around 449 (+/-2 yrs) Arkat Humaktson landed in Esrolia with
his professional army of Gbaji-hunters. At the shore he gathered some
available allies and, after a short fight, sent the army and allies of
the Broken Council into rout.

But Arkat had been wounded previously, and the agony of this latest
battle broke the superhero's wounds again, and his life and Power flowed
from him like blood. Even so, Arkat led his army northward to answer a
call from the Dark Trolls, to aid in their invasion of Dragon Pass.
Arkat was near death when the armies met, but summoned a council with
the leaders of the land. They came, they thought, to watch him die, and
to steal a portion of his soul. The spies of Gbaji went with them, and
even the Inhuman King was guarded by these evil assassins rather than
his usual bodyguard.

Garazaf Hyloric was a Mistress Race Heroine after her healing of Arkat
that day, and the Goddess of Solace Deep Within stood guard over those
who slew the foes of chaos.  The Inhuman King, pragmatic as usual,
joined the trolls first, but other leaders also changed sides after
their enlightment and experience of the Gbaji cult's evil.

Shortly afterwards the army of Arkat Humaktson and the Alliance of
Dragon Pass marched into Dorastor and the legends of its glorious
defense and terrifying fall.  This marks the end of the Dawn Ages of the

To favor the trolls for their aid in the fight Arkat Humaktsson gave
them lordship over the lands of Esrolia, for the leaders of that land
had all been killed in the war. The trolls that ruled there instituted,
or continued, the worship of Argan Argar, whose cult both could find
agreeable. The region was afterwards called Dark Esrolia, until the
Pharaoh Came.

The Leaders of Dark Esrolia never became friends with the islanders of
their shore.  When foreigners, a distant race who also revered Arkat
Humaktson, came from the sea seeking friends they were repulsed by the
islanders who were jealous of their own ocean ancestors, and aid not
wish to worship the other seas. Dark Esrolia was glad to befriend the
foreigners, and helped conquer the islands. And so, for a time, the dark
trolls ruled the isles and peeked into the depths of the sea.

They were allies of the Empire of the Middle Sea, and the trolls of
Esrolia became rich and famous for it. They had time for luxery and
great magics, and raised their miraculous City of Black Glass, whose
appearance was as a shadow rising from the ground, even in harshest

The cult of Argan Argar was thrown down by the coming of the Pharaoh,
and the troll retreated to the stygian Troll Woods of the Storm Hills.
In Shadows Dance they continued in strength, but had little other than
occasional trade to connect them with the Troll Woods nation.  Thus they
remained for much of the Second Age, except for periodic invasions due
to population pressures of rapidly breeding Trollkin. They occasionally
were victims of some magical plot as well, but captured souls of heroes
who failed.

During the madness of the Third Council the trolls were at the front
fighting against Chaos. They braved the worst of the dragon powers and
skills wielded by the Empire of the Wyrms Friends. The survivors among
the trolls gloried in the final plunder of the decadent Third Council as
did other peoples.

When humans turned against their alien allies and began invading Dragon
Pass the trolls remained aloof, save for their ever-present trollkin
mercenaries, bought only by the dragonewts. Trolls from the Holy Country
marched with the Pharaoh's contigent which aided the dragonewts, and
healers saved the wings of a large clutch of dream dragons who were
wounded and hiding in Shadows Dance. Thus, when the region was cleaned
of humans and cursed to their entry the dark trolls were excluded, and
could enter the lands once held by men.


Troll migration into Dragon Pass began in strength shortly after the
Dragonkill War of 1100 There are no written records of the time but
legends from other races present in the Pass give hints. These can be
reconstructed to this chronology.

There were two major bands of trolls almost nations as we know them.
Each included several tribes or troll clans, and worshipped several
cults. There were also several minor bands of important warriors or

Kajak-ab the Braineater was the Mistress Race noblewoman who ruled the
nation which migrated from Dagori Inkarth.  She worshipped Kyger Litor,
who was her grandmother. ln legends they are commonly called the
Mountain Trolls, because they came from there.

Vamargic Eye-necklace was the
leader of the nation from the south.  He was a throwback, born a Great
troll but intelligent, though his parents were both cave trolls. He
worshipped Zorak Zoran. His nation were called the Wood
Trolls, and among them were many Dark

Karastrand Halftroll was a leader from the Ivory Plinth. He claimed
human ancestry and imperial inheritence over all of the Pass. He was a
pawn for the others for a while, then killed. His people were
mercenaries after that, but mostly fought against the Aldryami near
them.  This caused the region to be called the Stinking Forest.

Around 1180 outright war broke out between the troll nations, much to
the misery of the other inhabitants of the pass. After the dragonewts
assassinated Karastrand both troll nations temporarily allied. By 1220
the pass was divided into trolls versus the rest. They met in battle a
few years later, and the numerous trolls took the day. There followed a
legendary feast upon the corpses which was the source of many troll
eating songs. It was also a tragedy, because a relief army came upon the
drunken, reveling trolls the next day and slaughtered them.  The victors
raised a huge funeral pyre over the mass of corpses, laying them upon
the altars of a nearby ruin. Even since then the runis have spoked, and
no one can use their alters unless they intend to call upon the dead
from that battle.

Thwarted in one direction, but still pressed by overpopulation, the
leaders of Dagori Inkarth sent part of the population southward dowards
the extensive ruins of Pavis. In l240 the trolls, led by their leader
Gerak Kag, defeated a Praxian army and entered the ancient city. With
great magics the troll leader sealed off the cyclopean walls of Pavis,
and kept all outsiders away for over a hundred years.

Sometime during the Inhuman Occupation of Dragon Pass the dark troll
later called Cragspider completed her impossible Hero Quest and received
her apotheosis by and as Arachne Solara. Afterwards she was revered by
trolls everywhere, and worshipped. Except when she was weak, at the
early stages of the occupation, Cragspider did not take much part in the
troll wars one either side, though she occasionally appears to give
minor help to both troll nations, and to non-trolls as well.

As human occupied the pass the trolls retreated to the mountains, but
their trollkin populations irregularly marched down to the vallies to
plunder and eat.  The Tarsh kings were the first to hire the trollkin,
and they soon had regular regiments of trained spearmen permanently
employed in the Tarsh army.

After the downfall of Old Tarsh the trollkin regiments, usually led by
a core of dark trolls, could be hired by almost anyone. During the
occupation of Dragon Pass by the Lunar Empire they most often worked for
the Red Moon, who could tend the trolls well in her Dark Phase. Lunar
worship was accepted by some trolls at that time.

As the magical enereges of the Hero Wars grew tighter and greater the
troll leaders in Dagori Inkarth grew more cautious with their resources.
Trained mercenaries began teaching troll tribes in the hills, and
masters of lore began checking prophicies and investigating long-hidden
objects of power. It was clear that the world would be torn again, and
the trol1s watched for a moment to remake it in their favor.


A part of the reason for the weakening of the Land of Sartar before the
Lunar Invasion is due to the troll expansion in the Holy Country under
the protection of the Pharaoh. Their expansion was at the expense of the
land of Sartar, for that land was founded by a Holy Country noble man,
whose connections in the Holy Country were important to setting up his
trade routes. When the leader abandoned the cause of the Pharaoh and set
his children to create a national cult then his lands were decIared
unprotected by the Pharaoh.  The trolls cut off the trade route to the
south, forcing merchants to use the river or, more simply, go over
Grazeland country into the Lunar Empire. Sartar still controlled trade
from Prax, but it was far less desirable or needed, and their cities

Once again, the Lands of Dragon Pass were invaded by sly bands of dark
trolls.  But first they set up trade between them, and the kingdom found
inroads filled with shuffling convoys of trollkin-guarded and carried
goods, officered by troll merchants capabIe of protecting the sanctity
and safety of their goods and route.  This trade increased after
Boldhome fell in 1602, and the Empire aided it by closing all toll
stations run by Sartar tribes.

dark troll from the south, whose spirit ally was an intelligent sylph.
He was also of the cult of Argan Argar, and was a troll who did not
degrade humans who also worshipped the god.  He and his family held the
roads to the south, and often raided north into the clans of Sartar, and
against Lunar convoys as well.

KARJARG VASH was from Shadows Dance,
and was a High Priest of Zorak Zoran. He made serious gestures of
friendship to humans before Lunar perfidy turned him against all not of
his kind.  He always hated elves, who called him Tree Chopper. He was
noted as a poet among his kind as well.

JARKANITA YAB was High Priestess of
Kyger Litor, who she claimed as an ancestor, being of the Mistress
Race.  She led secret researches to break the curse which made trollkin,
and also led a colony into Dragon Pass. She rarely showed herself,
perferring to leave most matters to her commanders.

BINA BINAG was from the Blue Moon Plateau,
and introduced many to that cult.  But she herself left the main paths
of the Lunar Way after her trip to the Castle of Lead, where she
conjured and took for a lover the spirit Lord Lurker in Shadows.  Before
she died her lover took her to his home in the underworld.

PIKAT YARABOOM was called Lord of the Hand
of Death. He was a son of Bina Binag and the Lord Lurker in Shadows. He
had a power, small at first though he trained it quickly, to stun, maim,
kill, or rob whoever he laid his left hand on. He was also a terribly
powerful shaman, called Hell Lord by his enemies, for he could summon
even his father's servents upon command. He had animal familiars from
beyond the world of known man.  He hated all elves, dwarves, cults of
light and their worshippers, priests, and canines, beastial or
lycanthropic.  He did have an odd affection for dragonewts and red
headed women.

NEEP TROLL KILLER was a trollkin of
superior qualities, the only of his kind during this Period. Such
sports, with much higher health, intelligence, and Power than usual,
occasionally occurred but were generally slain while young, so to
prevent trouble when they get older.  Neep evidently went unnoticed, and
escaped to Dragon Pass where he was befriended by the cult of Geo. He
grew up to hate all trolls who misused their weaker kin, and the
trollkin everywhere often followed him rather than their own tribe. He
was known for his skill at making troll bane weapons. He worshiped the
god Humakt. He was fond of bright colored clothes, and had a reputation
among humans as being a seducer of dark troll women. He never drank
liquor. He liked humans, but disliked elves, who he thought were a
bigoted lot.

GENAS SHAG was a near-hero at the start of
the Hero Wars period, and originally came from Pavis. He was a leader
of the Kyger Litor cult, and especially revered his ancestor, a Hero who
had first conquered the ancient city. He carried a leaden axe, snd could
summon his ancestor at will. His intentions were to rule all of the Big
Rubble, then move onward if he could. He hated all humans, and had bound
a spirit inside a giant scorpion. All feared him.

JAVIS GAN was a bandit chief of Pav~s, and
a major foe of Geras Shag's. He was a Rune Lord and Rune Priest of the
Zorak Zoran cult, and a wily enough politician to stay friends with many
humans as well, especially if they were of the same cult.



The very few and rare members of the troll Mistress Race bred true with
whatever type of troll they mated, sometimes including spirits. But
these survivors from primeval times were rare, and rarely bred.  It must
be noted that the Mistress Race never bred with trollkin, who they
considered cursed and unclean.

Dark trolls most often bred with each other, but even in these cases
the mother would have a litter of trollkin 60% of the time. A year after
birthing trollkin the mothers had to remain chaste to purify themselves
for another attempt.  Slightly over half of dark trolls born were

Under magical conditions it was possible for dark trolls to wed the
immortal dead who followed Zorak Zoran, and were known as the Warriors
of Darkness. These marriages bore Great Trolls, but was difficult and
dangerous to perfom . Mistakes in the ritual meant death to the mothers.

Great Trolls were all male. They were either sterile or, more likely,
bred only trollkin for children.

Most interbreeding between troll types not already mentioned resulted
in varying numbers of trollkin. Cave trolls and dark trolls, for
instance, sired trollkin.

Trollkin and trollkin also bore trollkin, at a ratio of about half of
each gender. Their yearly incubations rarely have more than one young.