Trolls

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alluton
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Re: Trolls

Post by alluton »

I ment that trolls were good and powerfull race(little same whit stones and rock what elves got whit forest) but after being attacked almost everyone in continent they have kinda corrupted leaving behind not much but big aggressive trolls dying by dwarfs guns or in the lines of the orcs. Pitty indeed.

ps.yeah this isnt in cannon
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Xalzar
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Re: Trolls

Post by Xalzar »

alluton wrote:I ment that trolls were good and powerfull race(little same whit stones and rock what elves got whit forest) but after being attacked almost everyone in continent they have kinda corrupted leaving behind not much but big aggressive trolls dying by dwarfs guns or in the lines of the orcs. Pitty indeed.

ps.yeah this isnt in cannon
I think this explanation for the current situation of the trolls is too similar to saurians' one (they had a rich and powerful empire, then the elves smashed them and now are scattered and divided in "clans" warring each other and living through expedients). it would be interesting developing their lore a bit more... :roll:


I personally prefer Dixie's solution:
Dixie wrote:I prefer to see trolls as generally calm and ascetic creatures. Yes, they may have simplistic minds, but it doesn't mean they're just brutes devoid of any intelligence. Althougt they may be prone to blind rage. As far as I am concerned, trolls would never have gone out and sought conflict if it had been up to them and do not seek dominance in any form. Imo, it likely started with the dwarves, seeking or and gems and finding big monstrous-looking creatures (trolls) where those spots were. Dwarves being who they are, they fought them, hence a long tradition of conflict based on territory. With humans and elves, likely they just thought "monsters" when they saw them, and orcs must have enrolled them in their forces, convincing those simple minds easily, seeing how the trolls were already in conflict with the dwarves. The whole thing is possibly just a big misunderstanding.

To resume: imho, trolls are simple, peaceful creatures, but were drawn into a conflict bigger than them.
more interesting, and away from other classical concepts for trolls (and it's the quasi-canonical explanation, btw... in the in-game description trolls are depicted that way).

I recall the questions from the first post, and try to answer with my ideas...
johndh wrote:Anatomy: Trolls appear to have rocky skin, but what's underneath? Are they made of flesh and blood like humans, just with a rocky exoskeleton? Do they have regular animal skin with hard, rigid growths that makes it look like jagged stone? Do they just have rhinoceros-like plates? Are they really just living rock through-and-through? If so, how does that work? Keep in mind the wiki description of how they die of old age.
I think the skin becomes progressively more rocky when they age, being softier when whelps and leading the oldest trolls to petrify at least (as canon). Why? Maybe they eat rocks, or even precious ores (dwarves do not like this :P ), and then expel the minerals on the surface of their skin, hardening it. So when a troll has eaten rocks his whole life, he eventually becomes rock himself. So I think that when they are young are quite similare to other organic organisms, but with adapted metabolism in order to dissolve rocks.
johndh wrote:Regeneration: Trolls recover very quickly from injuries. How does this work?
Maybe they use the minerals they eat to "calcify" wounds...
johndh wrote:Race relations: Everyone thinks trolls are stupid. Dwarves and trolls hate each others' guts. Why is that? Is it simple competition or something else?
The reason is the common habitat, different cultures and necessities. Dwarves for example need ore and stone for their works, and trolls need them for living. Trolls are thought stupid because are by nature simple-minded and not very social with strangers.
johndh wrote:Culture: What goes on in a troll settlement?
Nothing interesting I guess...they are quite passive. Shamanism is a thing that I can't figure how should work at the moment... I will think about it.

I add one more question (someone already tried to answer to it, but I am highlighting it):
What were trolls doing deep in the underground abysses? And what pushed them to resurface?

I think this is the most interesting part. :) (I'm reasoning about it, maybe I could find out some ideas soon).

P.S.: personal ideas, feel free to ignore and do not flamethrow me at sight. :P

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Chtomorc
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Re: Trolls

Post by Chtomorc »

Xalzar wrote:
johndh wrote:Culture: What goes on in a troll settlement?
Nothing interesting I guess...they are quite passive. Shamanism is a thing that I can't figure how should work at the moment... I will think about it.
Due to the contemplative nature of trolls and that they turn in rock with age, they might have a more animistic behavior than shamanism.

At least, they maybe think that rock come from their ancestors and contain thier spirit and knowledge, and they eat it to appropriate that, but it doesn't work of course :P
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alluton
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Re: Trolls

Post by alluton »

Xalzar wrote:
alluton wrote:I ment that trolls were good and powerfull race(little same whit stones and rock what elves got whit forest) but after being attacked almost everyone in continent they have kinda corrupted leaving behind not much but big aggressive trolls dying by dwarfs guns or in the lines of the orcs. Pitty indeed.

ps.yeah this isnt in cannon
I think this explanation for the current situation of the trolls is too similar to saurians' one (they had a rich and powerful empire, then the elves smashed them and now are scattered and divided in "clans" warring each other and living through expedients). it would be interesting developing their lore a bit more... :roll:


i didnt know that happened to saurians. Well then i accept whit you guys...we dont want 2 similar storyes anyway.
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Boldek
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Re: Trolls

Post by Boldek »

On troll relations: in all the mainline campaigns, even sotbe, trolls are not the "simplistic minded" people think they are. elves and men on irdya are in a fantasy world where people wouldn't just think 'monster', they think 'troll' and for some reason connect it with hostility. why strip trolls of their honour? why should they be primitive? if that they aren't all that bad, then why do they have to be the stereotypical "natives", happily singing with the birds? (or in their case, squeaking with the bats.) wouldn't it be more likely that the large and carnivorous people that have a tendency to kill everyone they meet be the the ones that started it? though dwarves show a great streak of xenophobia, why are they not axing men and elves? if the strapping and powerful culture shared backyards with the minuscule, but warlike and partly greedy and proud kind, I see it very rational that the trolls would swing the first blow. whenever trolls meet other races (not orcs) in the tunnels, they don't say: "hey guys! we are being misunderstood!" they say: "smash 'em!" which points to the fact that trolls may be stupid, does not mean that they are "primitive". in fact, if the dwarves had first met bumbling natives dancing around the camp fire, I think it would have ended with the trolls working in the coal mines, not the dwarvish scout pondering life in the larder. On troll shamans: the trolls seem to have some sort of despotic ancestor worship, to the point of black magic. on troll regeneration: I always assumed that the trolls regenerated from eating, but if the trolls are the cave version of elves, why not have some connection to faerie, one that flourished under the golden age of trolls, but is vanishing due to their loss of runecraft or other magic, so that the shamanism they have is maybe the thing that keeps them all stony.
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homunculus
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Re: Trolls

Post by homunculus »

Yeah, surely they would not say 'misunderstood' and 'environment', but I guess this is basically what they would mean when talking to a, say, missionary of light who is trying to convince them that their ways of cannibalism and low economic growth are wrong and sinful.
Boldek wrote:[...]why strip trolls of their honour? why should they be primitive? if you think that they aren't all that bad, then why do they have to be the stereotypical "natives"[...]
Looks like the mindset a dwarf would have, which, imho, would naturally lead to clearing the underground of the troll infestation.

Why do you say that being primitive is dishonorable?
Some kind of cult of rational or abstract thinking?
There is, by the way, a branch of psychology (behaviorism) that, afaik, says that rational thinking is not very reliable.
In fact, it seems to say that the more civilized and intelligent you are, the more convincingly you are able to cheat yourself with rational thinking.

I wonder when we will be making a culture for ogres and a campaign where the main character is an ogre food technologist, or the royal master cook?
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alluton
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Re: Trolls

Post by alluton »

Hostility of all other races towards trolls may indeed be caused by dwarfs who in their greed of ore have intruded troll territoryes and attacked them just considering them as enemyes between dwarfs and the ore. You may want to take a look at this thread also. There is discussion about developing troll era.http://forums.wesnoth.org/viewtopic.php ... 90#p489890
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Dixie
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Re: Trolls

Post by Dixie »

@ Boldek: And why make trolls dumb aggressive burtes jsut because they've got the brawn? And by the way, we're thinking general large-scale racial trends, it doesn't necessarily mean there are absolutely no proud war-like trolls. And imagine you're in their place: for generations, each non-troll living creature, save perhaps the orcs, have been wanting to kill you 'cause you were either in their way or considered you a monster. You lost countless friends and family that way. So why wouldn't you just not take chances and strike the first blow if you encountered a dwarf or a human in a tunnel?

@ Others: While I don't overly mind, I'm not sure I buy into the whole "eating rocks" thing. Imho i'd rather picture them as eating mushrooms or lichen or other such plants. Could be fitting for them to be herbivores/vegetarians? About regeneration... I dunno, there are some such animals on Earth too, you know? Forgot their exact name, but I've seen it on some science program once, some kinda mexican water creature which could regrow limbs, IIRC.

Also, I'd be inclined to consider their rocky appearance as an exoskeleton that always grows (like our nails, or hair, or skin), which would explain partly their regeneration, and as they age they get slower since the exoskeleton thickens and they weaken, to the point that they appear petrified since they that simply can't move anymore, and from there die quickly inside their stone husk. Or maybe they die before and simply appear petrified since their exoskeleton remains. Or maybe upon dying, their body quickly consumes itself to make the exoskeleton grow inward.

@ Xalzar: What were trolls doing deep in the underground abysses? And what pushed them to resurface?

Maybe the dwarves awakened some monster deep down? Maybe they lost their faerie and are attracted to the elves' on the surface? Maybe they discovered there was more/different food on the surface and now prefer to live in not-too-deep caves to be able to access them easily?

For the records, I liked the idea about them being part faerie, and I liked the idea pf them being animists and possibly worshipping rock as their ancestors, or even gems as crystallised troll souls, or whatever along those lines.
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alluton
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Re: Trolls

Post by alluton »

You are right dixie some animals in earth can regenerate practicly any part of their body. They can make their specialisized cells turn back to original cells who havent specialisized yet. Those unspecialisized cells will go to the part of their body where they need to regenerate and that part of their body grows back in same way as it grew when they were born. But it is pretty slow progress it may take months while the animal mainly needs to be very carefull cause it it wounded. It is great ability but not very fast to work. Anyway this could be the princible of trolls regeration also. Or then it is just some sort of magic regeneration... Anyway regeneration is interesting ability.
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Boldek
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Re: Trolls

Post by Boldek »

maybe trolls take their regeneration from the stone, some magic, or stone digestion, which hardens their skin.

when the ttrolls vsme to the surgace, mayve, likd in Utbs, their ancestors told them to go up, because of food source or magic, adn they ran straight into the dwarves. any race doesn't take too kindly to large alien creatures emerging from the sewers.
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alluton
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Re: Trolls

Post by alluton »

That is definitly right.
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moopli
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Re: Trolls

Post by moopli »

Necromantisfying because I'd like to see this interesting discussion continue, and it seems there's quite a bit left open. In terms of more or less everything here (apart from the physiology issue, as I haven't come up with anything even satisfactorily self-consistent yet) I'll throw my lot in with Dixie.

Anyway, blessed as we are with a bunch of differing opinions, I'll toss some more in for good measure:

Maybe I'm just a fan of the philosopher sitting contemplatively in a cave, studying his shadow; but I really like the idea of a race of passive, strong, slow-witted philosophers. Wait what? Slow-witted philosophers? Yes -- as I see it, time passes more slowly within a troll's mind than to (most) others. Perhaps, in the eyes of a troll, the rest of the world is often simply too fast -- many whelps are enamoured by the outside, a life in the fast lane, so dynamic and fun :D! But eventually, a troll will slow down, grow tired of living so quickly, and hide away underground where they can do their thinking in peace without all those pesky gnats buzzing around and talking too quickly. Maybe trolls are smarter than elves, humans, et. al, the way (we hope) we're smarter than lab rats, despite experiencing life slower (N.B: I'm not making an argument that trolls should also physically be slower -- a human can run faster than a mouse, but a mouse could still see the world set to a slower clock).

This leads to an interesting conclusion: perhaps trolls never truly die, they just keep slowing down. Or conversely, the world just keeps getting faster and faster, while a troll ponders its existence. Perhaps, in the end, every troll is a solipsist. Slowing down asymptotically faster than their hunger, they'll never need nutrition again, and having convinced themselves that the outside world does not exist, they cease to interact, and may as well be cold stone.

If trolls are decidedly not mundane, then their biology is likely far from it also. To me, it seems most fitting, poetic even, for the trolls to be a race of animate stone.

Perhaps they were forged by some runemaster of old, working in secret. (A stone-sympathiser, before the dwarven ascent, who just wanted to feel accepted?). In this case the existence of troll zombies is far more handwavey (and if I had my way I'd ban them from unlife altogether), although, along with their regeneration and occasional need for nourishment, these may simply be the side effects of being imbued with true life -- a predator-esque "if it dies, we can raise it". This explanation is intimately tied with the origins (on the surface anyhow) of dwarves, as it could at least explain the animosity between the two races and the dwarven emphasis on openness. But that would make for a much more involved discussion, which admittedly I'd love to see.

Another possibility is that trolls, far from being wrought from boulders by some other being, are true denizens of the earth -- forged by mother nature, "so far beyond the measure of time that even patience held no meaning in its midst" (thank you A-Red for the quote that inspired this perspective). Civilisations crumble, castles erode, but the erosive forces of time work in reverse for trolls (Imagine breaking a sword to chip at a rock, only to see the dust reconstitute).

Methinks that'll be all for now, hope I've raised enough points to see discussion continue :)

Edit: A wizard spawning an entire race is handwavey, and a trope I'd rather not perpetuate. Trolls, then, could be completely natural (though not at all mundane) beings, for all intents and purposes living rock, quite possibly through silicon-based biology (though it's unlikely anyone would know), as we'd probably like to keep some balance of realist and purely fantastic. That, ofc, leaves open the possibility of a tie-in with some pre-ascent runemaster, but avoids necessitating such a deus ex machina.

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Re: Trolls

Post by sedmi_patuljak »

I would envision Trolls as ancient race that lived deep in the mountains for ages, rarely going away from they territory and fiercely defending it. Their bond with nature is similar to the one of the elves, with difference being that elves cherish forests, plants and life in general while Trolls do the same but for stone, minerals, deep underground caves, underground waterway, but also mountain peaks, wild goats and other. Like some known species on earth they have slow pace of living so they need little nourishment, mixture of mushrooms, lizards, wild goats, various plants, and cave water rich with minerals. Cave water being one of the reason that Trolls do not go far from they territory, they need constant supply of cave water. Body of a Troll is covered with mineral rich skin that can be seen similar to a shield, and consist of organic mater with mineral internal and external skeleton. If a Troll is hurt, that shield is broken, damaged, but can be regenerated to normal state very quickly, with the help of their food and cave water. Society is territorial, and divided into different tribes that have one troll unwritten code of laws so there is no wars among different tribes. With aging trolls become less interested in life, more slowly living and their bodies have more and more mineral mater and less organic. Hibernating phase become longer and longer until at one point they separate from the tribe and go to deep underground sacred place where they went into long hibernation processes, and they become stone.

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zookeeper
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Re: Trolls

Post by zookeeper »

moopli wrote:...
sedmi_patuljak wrote:...
For what it's worth, all that is pretty consistent with their current race description, and certainly fits at least my idea of them.

I'm not sure if the current description needs to be added to, but regardless, that'd be good stuff to talk about in a campaign for example.

moopli
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Re: Trolls

Post by moopli »

zookeeper wrote:...

I'm not sure if the current description needs to be added to, but regardless, that'd be good stuff to talk about in a campaign for example.
I agree that the description shouldn't be affected by what we decide here -- after all, it reflects general in-universe knowledge, and who is to say even trolls remember where they came from?

What I'd like to see, however, is some questions on trolls answered in SecretLore. Importantly, the question of troll motives and troll aggression remains open -- we see trolls seemingly acting alone, resorting first to violence when beset by passerby; the troll bridge in THoT being a case-in-point (although if I missed an allusion to orcs behind the scenes, then I have no problem). And yet, the consensus I smell (and the one it seems johndh aimed for, to differentiate them from ogres) is that trolls are far more passive and contemplative.

EDIT: Continuing the correspondence between woses and trolls; they can each be seen as protectors of realms of nature. I won't go so far as to claim that they were sent from the Faerie Realm to protect Irdya from the dangers of civilization, but there's something poetic in them being personifications of indefatigable nature. They both regenerate, after all. Oh? The tentacle of the deep also regenerates? Case in point.

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