Claws of the Dragon
Take no backtalk from anyone, not even an obsidiman. Stand for your word and make them stand for theirs. I generally make an exception for windlings. They fly like blazes, and their tongues move just as fast. Open confrontation just encourages them. It is best to wait until they sleep, then pop their puny heads off.
—Captain Larus Baldurion, Sky Raider, making his traditional speech to a new crew
Towering over even the obsidimen, whom they call rock brothers, trolls stand at about eight and a half feet, with an average weight of 500 pounds or more. They originate on Barsaive’s mountain ranges where they live in clannish societies, as often as not making a living from numerous raids. Many feature protruding lower canines like orks, but their most exceptional feature is the pair of horns that grow from their skulls. The most important aspect of a troll’s life is honor, which a troll extends to his family and clan–and, in case of city-dwelling trolls, to neighbors and nations, although to a lesser degree.
Strong and tough, trolls live into their fifties on average, though some trolls have lived into their seventies. Skin colors range from olive to mahogany-brown. Troll skin has a rough texture, increased by the ridges, spines, or plating resulting from deposits of trolthelia, a substance similar to the material that forms rhinoceros horn. Body hair is sparse except on the chest, and head hair grows considerably thicker and longer than human hair. Lower canines protrude from the mouths of a slight majority of trolls. The nose is broader than the human nose.
Trolls are fiercely loyal to their families or clans. The clans of the Twilight Peaks, which have organized themselves into moots—alliances of clans—are the largest troll population in Barsaive, feared for their raids but admired for their skills at building airships and crafting crystal items. Troll clans often war among themselves when other enemies are lacking. Trolls prefer to live in caves, ice caverns, or other natural geographic features. They find dwarf or elven settlements more comfortable than human or ork communities, and have been known to camp around obsidimen connected to a Liferock. Trolls find the serenity of the obsidimen calming and deeply moving. Their regard for the obsidimen often prompts trolls to choose sites near Liferocks for trollmoots.
Troll culture places great value on honor, dividing it into three concepts: katorr, kat’ral, and katera. These terms can be roughly translated as personal, clan, and racial honor. Each troll defines and values these concepts in different ways, but nearly all trolls place some value on honor, and will fiercely defend it if they believe it has been slighted.
Starting Attribute Values:
DEX 10, STR 14, TOU 12, PER 9, WIL 11, CHA 10
Movement Rate: 7 • Karma Modifier: 3
Trolls possess the following racial abilities: Heat Sight
Special Rules and Other Considerations
A troll’s concept of privacy affects the circumstances under which he will perform his Karma Ritual. Unless an individual troll’s Karma Ritual specifically requires the presence of another, as in a Troubadour’s ritual, he will do everything in his power to avoid performing the ritual in front of someone else.
Other Namegiver races often misunderstand the motivation behind this obsession with privacy; they tend to believe that trolls feel shamed if someone witnesses their Karma Ritual because they themselves are somehow ashamed of it. In fact, trolls believe that performing something as personal as a Karma Ritual in front of someone else places a burden on the witnesses that might shame or embarrass them.
Highland trolls have three Names. A troll’s first Name, like a human’s or dwarf ’s “given” Name, is associated more or less uniquely with that individual and often has some meaning in the language from which it derives. The derivation of the second Name varies from clan to clan and moot to moot. In some clans it indicates the trolls family or clan; in others, it merely serves as a second personal identifier. The third Name identifies the troll’s clan or moot. The major trollmoots are located in the Twilight Peaks: the Stoneclaws and the Swiftwinds to the East, the Blood Lores and Blackfangs to the West, and the Ironmongers and Thundersky trollmoots in the central peaks.
Lowland trolls are known to follow human Naming rituals and pay court in the manner of their human neighbors.
Bormak, Crygath, Dogul, Emkor, Fograk, Ganlor, Holdur, Irrgam, Jorkaw, Kaan, Lorrm, Mongur, Narkys, Orrguth, Osker, Pawkarr, Quindor, Rothur, Starrk, Tahst, Twak’dar, Urdon, Vigord, Wrogath, Zisgul