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Monthly Archives: September 2010


 

 

 

 

This is the concluding section of our chronology and it brings the history down to modern times.  The Empire is at peace, although the omens are consistently bad.  New religions are springing up–the cult of the Bear God, the Cult of the Balrukh, and the resurgence of both Khazan and Sar worship. Troubled times lie ahead, but that is not surprising because troubled times lie behind also.  All times are troubled.

 

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700 A.K. Human adventurers—down on their luck and unable to find much work in the monster-dominated Empire of Khazan—begin to invade the dungeon complexes of the Great Wizards. This proves to be relatively entertaining for those timeless demigods, so they allow some of the smarter, tougher, luckier ones to survive and get out with some treasure. Adventuring becomes a major profession for the “good” kindred.

 

780 A.K. Ellehra, no longer sane after more than a century of service to the Death Goddess, begins to develop an alternate religion for were-creatures. The new religion is based around the idea of Spirits of the Forest. These spirits are actually manifestations of her own considerable powers as a Wizard, but she doesn’t know that. Many of the less sophisticated Weres follow her, and a new religion is born.

 

832 A. K. to 842 A.K. Lerotra’hh, Khara Khang, and Strong Talon shape-change into ‘L’zshan lizard men and spend ten years as ‘L’zshan pirates in the eastern oceans. There the Death Goddess is known as Ler’rah (Mammal Slayer), the greatest fighting sea captain the lizard folk have ever known. Though Lerotra’hh has an alliance with the ‘L’zshan, she also takes steps to see that they never invade her Empire.

 

 

Yo ho! Yo ho! (Arrgh!) A Pirate's life for me. The Death Goddess spends her happiest years as a marauding lizard.

 

876 A.K. The city of Khosht is founded on the Khosht River by a human trader whose animals all died. With no means of transportation except his own two feet, but finding himself in a rich and fertile river valley, he settled down, and soon found himself doing better as a trader by staying in one place than he ever did as a wandering merchant.

 

888 A.K. Lerotra’hh builds and opens the Arena of Khazan, the greatest site of gladiatorial games in the known world. She becomes the patroness of the Arena.

 

979 A.K. Lerotra’hh gradually loses some of her hatred for Humans and Dwarves. She allows them to own property and live within the walls of Khazan for the first time in three centuries.

 

 1001 A.K. A large monster attack is driven back by the citizens of Khosht.

1002 A.K. An even larger monster attack on the city of Khosht causes the burning of more than half the city. The monsters establish their right to enter and leave the city whenever they wish.
1003 A.K. The city of Khosht is rebuilt, and it expands to encompass both sides of the river.

1005 A.K. Berengaria the Great becomes Overlord of the City of Khosht.

1049 A.K. The Cult of the Bear God rises up in rebellion against the Death Goddess. Unable to muster much popular support—except among Werebears—the Bear God religion remains an underground movement. Lerotra’hh doesn’t consider it to be a serious threat to her reign, and her standing order for any Bear Cultists caught is to either throw them into the Arena of Khazan or sign them up to serve in a Death Horde.

1097 A.K. Rufus the Urookin escapes from the Naked Doom Gauntlet of Retribution and starts the new religion of Blackflame, High God of the Deep Caverns.

 1099 A.K. Monster forces overrun the human city of Khorror. Once the humans have been defeated and driven out, the monsters begin to fight among themselves.

 1100 A.K. Lerotra’hh dispatches a Death Horde of monsters to Khosht to collect tribute—now more than twenty years late. Rebellion rises in the south, and the Empire begins to fall apart.  The Death Horde is defeated and destroyed at the Battle of Khosht.  The city suffers major devastation.

1107 A.K.  A Cyruk emissary arrives from the Land of Zweetz offering alliance with the Death Goddess, but secretly spying out the land to see if another invasion could succeed. Lerotra’hh is unsure of what to do. Khara Khang is worried.

1110 A.K.    Khara Khang returns to his own continent for 50 years.  Lerotra’hh vanishes (she has changed form and gone adventuring without telling anyone.  She remains missing for 20 years.  Blackflame the Balrukh becomes ruler of Khazan.  The Wizard Menslar leaves the city and studies a new way of doing magic.  Other wizards follow him, leaving only lesser mages and servants of Blackflame in Khazan.

1131 A.K.    Lerotra’hh returns to Khazan.  In a display of power, she turns Blackflame the Balrukh into a mouse, just to let him know who the true master is.  After a week of eating cheese in a cage, Lerotra’hh restores Blackflame to Balrukh form.  She appoints him Administrator of the Empire, and then retires into the Digs–her own set of caverns below the palace.  Blackflame continues to rule the Empire in all but name.

1150 A.K.  A new paradigm of magic replaces the old.  Properly trained wizards no longer lose Strength when casting magic. They have developed a new attribute called Wizardry.  The Great Wizards continue to simply tap into the kremm field of Trollworld and let the magic simply flow through them.

1155 A.K.  Every city and stronghold south of the Great Escarpment of the Red Uruk range of mountains has rebelled and left the Empire.  Little effort is made to bring them back by force.  It is as if the Death Goddess no longer cares about ruling the land.

1160 A.K.  Khara Khang returns briefly.  He opens a dimensional gate between his capital city of Gala on the Eagle Continent and Khazan on the Dragon Continent.  Trade flourishes.

1166 A.K.  Khara Khang leads a secret expedition to Khazan’s Isle and frees the old elven wizard from his exile. Khazan returns to the elven fortress of Shancinar in the Old Forest, but does not remain there long before going to live with the Nagas for a while.

1212 A.K.  Khazan returns to the City of Khazan in disguise to try and free the settlement of Elves who live there as virtual prisoners of the Goddess.  This proves to be a mistake as he is discovered, captured, and imprisoned in the Pits of Despair.

1272 A.K.  The events described in the novel ROSE OF STORMGAARD take place.  Khazan is again freed from captivity.  He leaves the Dragon Continent and goes to the Eagle Continent to seek shelter with the Elves there.

1280 A.K.  Many new cities have risen to power–some of them pay nominal allegiance to the Empire of the Goddess, but most of them don’t.  Among these new ciries are Stormgaard, Silverhold, Sea Haven, Thar (an outpost of the H’rogr people only a few miles from the ruins of Tharothar), Donnika, Zumzorg the Goblin City, Tiern, and many others.

1300 A.K.  The current date of this history.  The Dragon Continent is in turmoil. The Death Goddess has become a recluse.  Khazan is hiding in another part of the world.  The forces of Zweetz the Alien Bird/Serpent God are growing in power, and making sporadic raids on the Dragon Continent.  The City of Gull has established a maritime confederacy among the Human cities of the far southern part of the continent.  It is a time when almost anything could happen.

End.

 

 

 


This part of the history deals with the rise of Lerotra’hh, also known as the Death Goddess.  The story of her youth is covered in more detail by the popular fiction GRIFFIN FEATHERS which is supposedly told by the Goddess herself.

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590 A.K. An Uruk shaman named Rotra of the Black Wolf tribe begins to see visions of his future life in campfire flames. He dreams of begetting a champion that will rescue his people from the brink of extinction, a champion as great as the legendary Arahk Gnahk of years gone by.

595 A.K. The Black Wolf tribe of Uruks, led by their shaman Rotra, ambushes an Elven wedding party deep in the Srynx Forest, slays all the guards and abducts La-fhrinja-La, a princess daughter of the Wizard Har-Ennion-Har, one of the Great Wizards of the north. In the fight, Har-Ennion-Har is slain, so there is no one to come to La-fhrinja-La’s rescue.

596 A.K. During the next year, Rotra repeatedly tries to impregnate La-fhrinja-La. The process is distasteful to him, but horrible and mind shattering to her—she goes insane with the pain and horror of it. Finally, with the aid of Uruk spirit magic, he succeeds.

597 A.K. Lerotra’hh (daughter of Rotra) is born. The Elven princess dies in childbirth and the shaman has to cut the baby out of the womb. He is disappointed that the child is a girl, but realizes that he isn’t going to get another chance. He shape-changes the infant into a wolf cub and lets her grow through babyhood as one of a litter of wolves.

600 A.K. One night under a full moon, Lerotra’hh spontaneously reverts to Uruk form and clumsily joins the children’s fire dance. Rotra realizes she has strong innate magical abilities and takes over her training. In the next ten years, she learns all he can teach her, while the other children fear and hate her. The only things she loves are the old wolf bitch that suckled her, and her father, the shaman.

610 A.K. Khazan visits a remote Elven clan in the Srynx forest to establish a local Wizards Guild’s chapter. There, he hears about the Uruk attack and massacre of 13 years earlier that cost them their greatest mage, Har-Ennion-Har. Enraged that Uruks would dare attack his people in their own forest, Khazan scries the scene to learn what really happened. He is horrified to see the princess La-fhrinja-La carried off alive, and even more repulsed as he witnesses her subsequent rape, childbirth, and bloody death. Goaded past reason by what he has seen, Khazan cuts short the mystic visions of the past, and does not see enough to identify Lerotra’hh. When he can think again, Khazan scries the identity of the Uruk tribe that perpetrated such horror, and gets the name and current location of the Black Wolf tribe. With a handpicked band of Elvish warriors he teleports into the heart of the Uruk home encampment and begins to slaughter the whole tribe with swords and sorcery. The Elves with him are most happy to gain revenge for the bygone massacre—they slay every Uruk, woman and child that they can find, including their beasts, and carry off what little loot is available, returning to the Srynx Woods well satisfied with the day’s work. Khazan, thinking that the matter is ended, returns to his city and spreads the tale of the death of the Black Wolf tribe. However, Lerotra’hh is not at the camp when the Elves attack—she is far away on a mountain crag searching for griffin feathers. When she returns a few days later, she finds everyone dead—except for a few other children who had also been in the wilds rummaging—and plenty of evidence that Elves were the slayers. The loss of her father engenders a fierce hatred of Elves and everything Elven that will always stay with her.

615 A.K. Aside from a pack of wolves and three Uruk children, Lerotra’hh gains her first real follower when she finds an Ogre with two broken legs trapped under a pile of rocks. An avalanche, caused by his own mighty shouting, had fallen on him, shattering both of his legs. After a few days of starving, Barg-Noorguut the Ogre is resigned to die, but Lerotra’hh brings him food instead, and gets his promise not to attack her and to join her band. She then levitates the boulders off his crushed legs and heals his wounds by magic. Barg-Noorguut thinks she must be a goddess to do such feats and becomes her greatest supporter.

615 A.K. to 640 A.K. Lerotra’hh gains strength and allies in the far northeast of the Dragon Continent. Among her companions is a griffin named Strong Talon, and she now rules and leads another Uruk tribe, the Snow Demon tribe. In 640 A.K., she formally declares war on the Elves by leading all her allies on a daring raid against the Elves of the Srynx Wood. When it seems that Lerotra’hh must win the battle, one Elven Wizard changes to bird form and flees toward Khazan to get help.

640 A.K. Khazan learns of the demise of the Srynx Elves from the one Wizard who fled the attack. Scrying the scene, he learns of the existence of Lerotra’hh. This time, he takes time to scry out her entire history—though he doesn’t have 43 years to watch her moment by moment—and ultimately decides to slay her. However, he can’t find her by magical means—she has learned to shield herself from wizardly searches. Instead, Khazan posts a great reward for her death or capture, and dispatches an elite company of warriors to the Srynx Woods in hopes of trapping her. They have a communication crystal to use in calling him, if they can just locate her.  (More about the Elves of Trollworld can be learned here: http://wp.me/PRAqn-aJ .)

 643 A.K. After slaying the Srynx Elves, Lerotra’hh travels westward through the high mountains of the Dragonfires Range seeking a dragon. She finds the ancient dragon mage Vvvarrr, and in exchange for binding herself to him as a servant for seven years, she learns a great deal of dragon magic. Since she feeds him well, and greatly increases the size of his dragonhoard by raiding Dwarf cities in the foothills, Vvvarrr grows fond of her, and gives her three drops of his blood. Lerotra’hh, who had been growing old, is rejuvenated by the dragon blood, and her raw power is increased by a factor of twelve.

647 A.K. Va’harkh, chieftain of the Urookin Clan Vaarahth, dragonfriend of Vvvarrr, saves Lerotra’hh’s life during a raid on the Dwarven city of Hael’ku. The two have a short romance, and later Va’harkh is the first Urookin leader to join Lerotra’hh’s Army of Liberation.

650 A.K. Vvvarrr, wiser and immeasurably older than Lerotra’hh, convinces her that she can never prevail against Khazan and the “good” kindred so long as she is basically working alone. She must unite many monster kindred and fight for all of them if she hopes to avoid death at Khazan’s hands. This advice fits well with some prophetic dreams that Lerotra’hh has been having, and she promises to do so. Vvvarrr pledges dragon aid if she can secure enough allies to match the dragons in power.

651 A.K. Worried by a series of increasingly worse omens, Khazan travels to the Eagle Continent to regain the aid of his one-time apprentice Khara Khang. There he finds a society where men and monsters dwell together in peace under the benevolent rule of Khara Khang. The human Wizard tells his old Elven mentor that this is what he should have done with the many races on the Dragon Continent. Inflamed with anger, Khazan curses Khara Khang and returns to his homeland alone. Meanwhile, Khara Khang decides that Khazan is old and senile, and that he must return to the Dragon Continent for the good of all concerned.

647 A.K. Khazan and Khara Khang quarrel over what to do about the growing monster rebellion. Khara Khang still thinks the monster races should be integrated into the whole society; Khazan still refuses the idea. The monsters are fighting a guerilla war, striking and retreating before the more massive forces of Khazan can retaliate. Khara Khang decides to go underground as the legendary Uruk Arahk Gnahk to find Lerotra’hh.

654 A.K. Arahk Gnahk leads 20,000 Uruks from the southern parts of the Dragon Continent’s north to join with Lerotra’hh’s forces, more than doubling her strength. When the two finally meet, Lerotra’hh realizes that she needs this legendary Uruk Wizard, with his proven ability to live for centuries, and rally all the Uruk peoples to a single banner. Meanwhile, Khara Khang thinks he can use Lerotra’hh to overthrow the tyranny of Khazan and create a just society for all races.

655 A.K. Centaurs and Ogres besiege the city of Khazan, raiding only by night, but cutting the city off from the rest of the world by land. At the same time, Lerotra’hh’s vast Uruk army destroys the ancient Elven stronghold of Shancinar in the Great Forest. When Khazan learns that Shancinar is about to fall and that much of the Forest has been destroyed, he teleports there along with the greatest human Wizards of the Empire, but only to fall into a magical trap that Khara Khang has prepared for him. The black Wizard lures Khazan into a parley, and then hits him with a Dimensional Gate spell that hurls Khazan and his friends into an alternate universe where time runs one hundred times slower than it does on Trollworld. Although only a tenth of a year passes in the new universe before Khazan learns to recreate Khara Khang’s spell and return to Trollworld, ten years rush by in the Empire of Khazan.

660 A.K.  Lerotra’hh gains alliance with the Trolls—no easy task, as they are scattered and living underground. With her crusade against their ancient enemies—the Elves—the Trolls realize that it would be folly not to join her. The addition of Trolls gives her armies a raw power that nothing else could match, and the dragons also come in on her side. Meanwhile, the defense of the “good” kindred falters without Khazan to coordinate it. City after city, stronghold after stronghold, fall to Lerotra’hh’s forces.

661 A.K. Ellehra, a female Elfin Warrior-Wizard, transforms herself into were-cougar form to be a more effective fighter against the monster forces. She becomes one of the few Elves actually feared by them, and leads the most effective resistance in the old great forests around Shancinar.

Ellehra the were-cougar was the greatest champion of the Elves during Lerotra'hh's War of Liberation.

663 A.K. The Battle of the Cliffs—Elves learn that they can’t kill Trolls by driving them off cliffs when they fall into a mushy swamp. Muddy Trolls meet Goblins for the first time, and recruit them into Lerotra’hh’s army. Goblins promise to hold the swamps for Lerotra’hh against all the “good” kindred.

664 A.K. Lerotra’hh and Khara Khang go cat hunting. In order to capture Ellehra, whose daring raids have been thwarting all Orcish efforts to overrun the central forests, Lerotra’hh and Khara Khang put to sleep one hundred square miles of forest and search it foot by foot until Ellehra is located. Lerotra’hh first sees Ellehra in her “monstrous” cat form, and as such conceives a liking for her. Thus instead of killing her immediately, Lerotra’hh offers Ellehra a choice: to join Lerotra’hh and live, or to refuse her and die. Ellehra betrays her Elven heritage and joins the Death Goddess, but she is locked into her were-cougar form to make it impossible to betray Lerotra’hh and return to the Elves.

665 A.K. Khazan and his coterie of Wizards returns to Trollworld, only to find that every human city north of the Dragon’s Claws has fallen to the monster forces. Also, every known Elven stronghold in the forests of the west has been completely destroyed. The last defenders of the “good” kindred have gathered within the city of Khazan to try to hold out. They are really glad when Khazan reappears in their midst.  Later that year Khazan visits the Ogre city of Tharothar and unleashes a magical plague upon them.  Those Ogres not slain by the disease are severely brain-damaged.  At a single stroke Khazan destroys one of the oldes civilizations on the planet, and greatly weakens Lerotra’hh’s army.  However, it is not enough to stop her.

666 A.K. Khazan appeals to his old allies, the Nagas, for help against Lerotra’hh, but Khara Khang, too, has appealed to them for help, in his case, against Khazan. The Nagas stay neutral, turning down both of their former protégés. Soon, Khazan realizes that the “good” kindred are on the verge of total extinction. He contacts Khara Khang and tells him that he will pull the two moons from the sky and crash them into the Dragon Continent, destroying everyone, if Lerotra’hh’s monsters continue with their plan to exterminate all Elves, Humans, and Dwarves. Khara Khang convinces Lerotra’hh that a negotiated peace would be best. Khazan surrenders and goes into voluntary exile as a sleeper in an island tomb that drifts through time, appearing in Trollworld only one day of the year. He issues a prophecy that he will return if the monster kindred ever threaten to destroy the “good” kindred completely. Lerotra’hh and her consort, Khara Khang, rule in the city of Khazan. Monsters everywhere rejoice.

to be continued


 At this point our history of Trollword becomes a local history of the northwestern part of the Dragon Continent. That part of the world has become known as the Empire of Khazan, both because the Wizard Khazan seems to be in charge of everything, and because the city of Khazan is now the largest in this part of the world.  Little is known of events in other parts of the world.  On the Eagle Continent the human Wizard Khara Khang is creating an integrated society where all the kindreds live together in peace.  The Empire of the Dragon covers most of the Dragon’s Rump and remains isolated and self sufficient.  Far to the west the alien bird-serpent Zweetz rebuilds his forces and makes new plans for world domination.  Far south of the Empire of Khazan beyond the Great Bronze Desert south of the river Khosht, many small human city-states rise.  The Naga civilization grows ever stronger within the jungles of the Dragon’s Belly, but it remains isolated except for the tradition of Wizards going there to study magic.  Although we are certain that many important events occur in all these places, there is no record of them in the Empire.  Cut off by natural barriers from the rest of the world, the Empire of Khazan develops into the world we live in today.

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0 A.K. The Last Council of Herome. Oddin Thorsson, the human king of Herome, dies in a great waterspout without leaving a legitimate heir. Civil war breaks out in the city as various factions try to seize power. At the plea of the Dwarves of Thrindol, which is now located within the expanding city’s walls, Khazan returns from the Elven forests, puts down the contending factions, and takes the throne as a caretaker until the Council of Herome can choose a new ruler. To his surprise, the Council elects him as King of Herome, and changes the city’s name to Khazan in his honor. They also agree to start a new calendar named after Khazan, and change the date from Herome Year 727 to 0 A.K.

1 A.K. All the old city names in Herome now have the new name. Khazan, located at the confluence of the Dragon’s Mouth and the Dragon’s Throat River is the greatest city on the western part of the Dragon Continent.

43 A.K. The Dragon’s Throat River becomes known as the Khazan River.

 50 A.K. Khazan issues the Monster Decree, making it a crime punishable by death for any member of monster kindred to enter any Human, Dwarven, or Elven city.

 100 A.K. Khara Khang leaves Khazan to study magic with the Naga Mages. He is gone for a hundred years.

 100 A.K. to 500 A.K. The Golden Age. Khazan rules the entire western coast of the Dragon Continent. Humans, Elves, Dwarves, Hobs, Fairies, and Leprechauns all increase in population. Monster kindred are hunted to the verge of extinction. New cities are founded. Arts, Sciences, and Magic flourish.

 300 A.K. Khara Khang witnesses the massacre of a peaceful village of bull-men, Minotaurs, by a band of malicious Elves. It doesn’t seem fair to him, but he doesn’t interfere. He begins to think about what makes one sentient a “monster” and others not.

 301 A.K. Khara Khang sounds out Khazan about incorporating other races into the Great Alliance of the “good” kindred. Khazan is dead set against it. Khara Khang reminds the old Elf that he only overcame his prejudice against Dwarves by living as one of them for a hundred years. He suggests that Khazan leave the government to him, and go live as an Uruk for a hundred years. Khazan sees the suggestion as a power grab, repudiates it, and tells Khara Khang to conduct the experiment himself if he thinks it’s worthwhile. Khara Khang says he will, but he makes Khazan promise to call off the vendetta on Uruks for a century—he doesn’t want to be accidentally killed by his own master while pretending to be an Uruk.

 302 A.K. to 402 A.K. Khara Khang changes his form into Uruk shape and goes to live with the Uruks for a century. He wanders from one tribe to another as a traveling shaman. He learns Uruk magic, which is vastly different from Human, Elven, or Naga magic. He helps one tribe of desert Uruks to domesticate the horse for riding. He helps mountain Uruks to domesticate Dire Wolves. He becomes known among Uruks as the great Beast Tamer. His Uruk  name is Arahk Gnahk, which makes it easy for Khazan to keep track of him.

380 A.K. The Magic Plague. The cities of the Dragon Continent experience a great upsurge in crime, with most of it committed by criminals using magic powers. Increasing populations and diminishing returns cause hard times in some cities. Magical criminals scoff at non-magical law enforcement forces. Things continue to deteriorate until Khazan decides to intervene directly. Realizing that stopping criminals piecemeal is not the answer, he decides that Wizards should have training, ethics, and someone to be responsible to.

 400 A.K. Khazan founds the Wizards Guild, an organization for the training and betterment of Wizards everywhere. The Guild offers, at its own expense, to train and care for any child with magical abilities. Along with the sorcerous training, the Guild also tries to impart ethical training and a universal allegiance to Khazan the Great as the world’s top-ranking Wizard. It takes nearly a century for the idea to gain much force. Many children don’t get the Guild’s training, but enough do so that the Magic Plague abates to bearable proportions. Many young Wizards find themselves working with the city guards, and the trained Wizards almost always beat the untrained ones. Those children who, although not getting the Guild’s training, somehow learn some magic are known as Rogue Wizards—in time, their will be known by the shortened title of Rogues.

The Wizards Guild includes skills for the training of young wizards.

 402 A.K. Khara Khang returns from his hundred years as an Orc. He has aided the Orc tribes considerably in the form of domesticated animals and better weaponry (teaching them archery and the use of the scimitar and shield in battle). He tells Khazan that Orcs aren’t so bad—they tend to be cruel, but their hard lives cause that. Among themselves, they show loyalty, family love, self-sacrifice, and humor. He makes the surprising claim that Uruks may once have been Elves or akin to Elves many thousands of years ago. Khazan doesn’t want to hear it. He is engrossed in the starting of the Wizards Guild, and angry that he has had to suspend his vendetta against the Uruks for a hundred years. He orders renewed persecution of Uruks and other monsters despite Khara Khang’s arguments.

 450 A.K. Unable to persuade Khazan that the monster races should be brought into the Great Alliance, Khara Khang leaves and returns to his own land. Becoming immersed in local events on the Eagle Continent, he remains far from Khazan and Dragon Continent events for the next 200 years.

500 A.K. The Wizards Guild is now well established. There will always be Rogues, but they will never be the threat to civilization that the unregulated Wizards of the past had been.

to be continued


 

There are not many who know the real history of the Trolls.  Most beings think we are simply ravening beasts.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  We had our own culture before the Outsiders came–the Elves, the Dragons, the Dwarves, the Humans, and so many others.  Let me show you just a tiny bit of what it means to be a true Rock Troll.

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The Trolls are the original inhabitants of Trollworld–a silicon-based life-form that evolved on this world before it had an atmosphere. At that time there was an entire stony biosphere of creatures of all sizes and forms. The essence of Troll life is the magic that the world produces–a magic that animates stony flesh and lava-like blood.

Trolls were not originally humanoid in form. They were shape-changers who took whatever form they wished. Although they could alter their forms on demand, it was a very slow process for them–sometimes taking months or years to accomplish a radical change. In ancient times, you knew something was a Troll if it had eyes, ears, and a mouth that it used for talking. The stone-animals never grew smart enough to invent language.

Trolls took on a humanoid form during their wars with the Elves. Elves and Dragons were the first of the outside races to enter Trollworld through the dimensional gates and to remain there. Trolls admired Elves for their speed, flexibility, and creativeness. Some Trolls tried to emulate them, and those Trolls eventually took on bipedal form with two arms, two legs, a head that contained eyes and ears and mouth. They range in size from about six feet to sixty feet high weighing between 800 and 80,000 pounds. The larger ones are thousands of years old and seldom come to the surface except to stargaze on remote mountain peaks. Their coloring is often slaty gray, but may range from sandy red to cobalt blue. It is not uncommon for lichen to grow on the usually shadowed parts of a Troll’s body.

Unless a Troll is somehow killed, and it can be done, it lives forever–or at least for a very long time. Trolls regenerate lost parts of themselves and reproduce by either fission or fusion. There is no sex–such as humans know–among Rock Trolls. When two Trolls decide to have offspring they go to an active volcano and enter the tunnels around it until they are near enough to feel the heat. Then they very slowly merge into each other until only a single boulder-like being remains. After the two beings are thoroughly mixed, they absorb mass from the surrounding stone, and after months or years, slowly separate again, but this time into three or four separate beings. Two of the new beings approximate the original parents in their memories and capabilities. The third and sometimes fourth Trolls emerging from such a fusion are new creatures, with almost no memory of the past, and only rudimentary language and thinking skills.

Being creatures of living stone, Trolls take nourishment from mineral foods. Calcium is a special treat for them, and so they accidentally became eaters of Men, Elves, Animals. Dwarves are a special treat because they are carved from a light stone to begin with and then infused with the magic of life.  Yum.  The fleshy parts of such beings are disgusting, but the iron-rich blood and calcium bones are delicious. Although Trolls will eat almost any stone-like object, they cannot metabolize anything much denser than iron. Heavy metals such as gold, silver, uranium, and lead are indigestible. Thus, Trolls either bypass such minerals or excrete them along with the unusable organic substances that are frequently mixed with earth or stone.

A Troll’s internal organs are not much like a Man’s. They do have brains and stomachs and hearts and blood. There are several of each, and they are usually no bigger than a hand. The regenerative organ for a Troll is the heart, a small, intensely durable pump organ that keeps the Trolls hot acidic lava-like blood moving. There are at least four and may be dozens of hearts within a single Troll–approximately one for every 500 pounds of mass. If a Troll is dismembered, any chunk that contains a heart will eventually regenerate an entire Troll. This process can take years and is very slow.

Although Trollish growth and maturation is slow, Trolls are not slow and sluggish creatures. Their fiery blood provides enormous amounts of energy, and Trolls can move nearly as quickly as Men. And they hit a lot harder. A Troll in combat is an awesome fighting machine.

Most of the rock Trolls encountered near the surface of Trollworld are very young creatures–only children not more than a few hundred years old. They are often the regenerated fragments of a Troll slain and dismembered centuries before, finally coming to consciousness in some remote location knowing only that they must wander and eat. As they grow, more and more racial memories are recovered until they finally attain full sentience. Older Trolls tend to prefer underground locations, with the truly ancient, huge Trolls often miles deep below the surface.

Trolls enjoy the company of their own kind, and if they have sufficient nourishment available, they may meet in conclaves that last for years. Eventually they are driven apart by their need for food. Young Trolls sometimes band together in numbers up to 20 at a time to forage for more delicious foods like coal or calcium.

Why do Trolls still exist? Trolls might have vanished into the depths of the earth, where food would be plentiful, ages ago except that too much heat will melt and destroy even a Troll. There is also the intermittent craving to watch the stars. Most Trolls are natural astronomers and like nothing better than to sit upon a mountaintop watching the stars wheel around the pole and thinking deep Trollish thoughts.

Young Trolls sometimes associate with other races, especially those races that are willing to respect and feed them–races like the Uruks, Goblins, Ogres, and Giants. Young Trolls who are still trying to build their own identity generally crave power and respect. Lerotra’hh, the Death Goddess, has been especially successful at recruiting young Trolls into her various guard units and Death Hordes. Trolls are very smart and can learn quickly from other races–though few other races have any interest in teaching Trolls anything. They are also very arrogant. Immensely powerful in their own right, they look down on artificial power objects such as weapons or armor. Why wear steel when one’s own rocky carapace bounces most missile weapons with ease? Why use a sword when one’s fist is equally destructive? Why wear clothing when one’s own tough skin provides all the protection from the elements that one could ever need? Of course, there are exceptions. Trolls can use weapons if they wish, and those who perceive the weapon to be a status symbol frequently do so.

There is some confusion between Rock Trolls and the other types of Trolls on Trollworld.  As nearly as can be determined, those Trolls that seem to be made of flesh and blood came into existence by somehow ingesting part of a Rock Troll.  Any frament of a broken Troll that contains a heart will eventually regenerate into another Rock Troll, but if such a fragment becomes part of a fleshy creature, then its properties may be assimilated by the animal that ate it.  In such cases a strange mutation takes place and a new sort of being emerges.  Combine wolf and troll, and a Wolf Troll emerges.  Combine ape and troll and you get the shambling hairy creatures often associated with the word troll.  Combines crocodile and troll and get the deadly Swamp Troll.  All of these hybrid forms–and there are many more that I haven’t mentioned–maintain the basic trollish ability of regeneration.  When dismembered in combat, the parts sometimes regenerate into another complete individual.  Thus, their numbers slowly increase over time.  Among the most frightening of the trollish hybrids are the Human-Troll mixes.  These combine the relatively high intelligence  and the sexual drive of Humans with the size, ferocity, and regenerative power of Trolls.

Troll-Human hybrids are among the most common and dangerous of all Troll types.

Trolls and troll hybrids might have retaken this world by now if not for the enmity of certain other kindreds.  The Dwarves pursue a policy of troll extermination.  Yes, trolls can be slain if reduced to small enough pieces, or if they are burned to ashes.  They can also be slain the true death by magic. In that regard, the Nagas have proven to be among the worst of troll foes. 

Trolls remain a minority on their own world.  Always feared, sometimes respected, they roam the wilder parts of the planet or take service with rulers like the Death Goddess.  The young Trolls that populate the surface of Trollworld are intensely curious, and they embrace new experiences, especially if those new experiences lead to a crunchy calcium treat. 

If you meet a Troll, be nice to it.  Troll friends are good to have. Troll enemies are the substance of nightmares.

End

Note: the brown troll shown above is a render from the studio of Greywulff (Robin Stacey) and has been previously seen in an episode of the Dandelion saga.


 

They say it was Gristlegrim, the Dwarf God himself, who brought peace finally between the Stone Folk and the Forest Folk.  It may be that he noticed the rise of the Human while Elves and Dwarves were exterminating each other.  Or perhaps, the resurgence of the Monster Kindreds caused alarm.  In any case, the war finally came to an end after the Elven wizard Khazan was captured and taught what it was to be a Dwarf.

***************

599 B.K. Gristlegrim releases Khazan, but makes him vow to spend 100 years living among Men and another 100 years living among Dwarves. Khazan takes human form and moves to the city of Herome.

499 B.K. Khazan begins his century with the Dwarves, disguised as a Dwarven Wizard called Koh-mowgl. From long contact with Humans, Dwarven names now include vowels.

487 B.K. Koh-mowgl’s magic defeats the Frost-Bear Uruks when they try to invade and conquer the Dwarven city-cave of Gllekk. Grateful Dwarves raise a monument to him. Khazan begins to wonder why Elves and Dwarves hate each other so much.

444 B.K. An Urukish population explosion begins. Led by magical shamans, many tribes of Uruks break out of their wasteland homes and loot and pillage into human lands. Pursuing a policy of killing everything that isn’t Uruk, they begin a reign of terror in human lands and even on the fringes of the Elven forests. Uruk populations expand by a factor of 20.

399 B.K. Khazan returns to the Elves. After hundreds of years of absence, he has a hard time gaining acceptance among his own people. He is the greatest living Elven wizard, and slowly gains prestige and power among the Elves.

 393 B.K. Khazan repeats his success by destroying an Uruk horde that was invading and burning parts of the Old Forest. The Black-Fang Uruk people are exterminated.

 382 B.K. The city of Herome is sacked and burned by an alliance of Uruks and Ogres. Nine tenths of the population are slain. The remaining tenth is rescued by Dwarves who admit them into the nearby underground citadel of Thrindol.

Centaurs were among the most dreaded foes of Humans and Elves.

 380 B.K. Dwarves and Humans work together to rebuild Herome—this time with strong walls guarding all land approaches.

 379 B.K. Khazan sends a contingent of Elves to help with the rebuilding of Herome.

 360 B.K. Uruks and Centaurs sack Herome again. This time more of the population survives by fleeing out to sea and by taking refuge in Thrindol. Thrindol nearly falls, but Khazan leads an army of Elves to its relief, and the Uruk and Centaur forces are broken and forced into retreat.

360 B.K. Elves, Men, and Dwarves form a triple alliance to combat Uruks and other so-called monsters. Khazan is named commander in chief of all alliance forces.

359 B.K. to 297 B.K. The Uruk Wars—the entire western part of the Continent burns with combat for 62 years, as armies of Uruks, Ogres, Centaurs, and Dragons fight Dwarves, Men, Elves, and Hobs. Where Khazan goes, the “good” kindred prevail. But in many other places, the monster kindred triumph by dint of superior numbers and innate savagery. Dragons are able to match the best of the lesser Wizards spell for spell.

313 B.K. On the Eagle Continent, a human child named Khara Khang is born. He will eventually become the greatest living human Wizard.

296 B.K. The monster kindred are defeated and in retreat—not as the result of one battle, but by decades of attrition, as they continually lose warriors faster than they can reproduce.

295 B.K. Khazan conceives the idea of uniting the “good” kindred into one diversified people and destroying the monster kindred forever. Despite his prestige among the three races, this idea is harder to sell than he anticipates, as many people simply want to rebuild their lives and their civilization.

294 B.K. to 0 B.K. The Monster Wars. The “good” kindred continually persecute and destroy “monster” peoples whenever they meet. Many monsters retreat underground. Uruks and Ogres contact Trolls and make alliances with them. The Great Wizards intervene surreptitiously to defend their old subject peoples by hiding them in great subterranean, aerial, or undersea dungeon complexes.

260 B.K. The minor race of Leprechauns petitions to join the “good” kindred. They are accepted.

200 B.K. Fairies join the “good” kindred.

In spite of popular belief, Fairies and Elves are separate Kindreds. Only in the past 2000 years have they started living together.

 

150 B.K. An army of Elves and Humans co-led by Berienber Elvenking and Thor Urukslayer carry their anti-monster crusade into the eastern jungles with intentions to free all the slave humans of the Naga Realm. Khazan warns against it and refuses to participate. The human/Elven army—60,000 strong—is destroyed and defeated by the land, by the Naga Wizards, and by the very humans they sought to rescue. Naga slaves don’t want rescuing—they consider themselves privileged to belong to the Serpent Lords that they worship. Only seven warriors return to tell of the disaster. Berienber Elvenking dies in a Wizard’s duel with N’sstassa the Naga. Thor Urukslayer and his six companions vow that no human army will ever again invade the Naga jungles.

148 B.K. Khazan loses popularity as a consequence of his refusal to aid Berienber Elvenking and Thor Urukslayer in their campaign against the Nagas.

147 B.K. Khazan leaves the Dragon Continent to explore the rest of Trollworld.

114 B.K. Khazan meets Khara Khang, who challenges him to a Wizard’s duel somewhere on the Eagle Continent. Impressed by the courage and sheer power of the black human Wizard, Khazan takes him as his apprentice.

103 B.K. Khazan and Khara Khang meet an alien god called Zweetz on a desert island where Uruks worship this strange Bird/Serpent thing with incredibly bloody rites. They flee back to the Dragon Continent, barely able to escape with their lives.

95 B.K. A huge armada of Cyurk ships and flying serpents attack the west coast of the Dragon Continent. Part of the fleet sails into the Dragon’s mouth with the intention of destroying and conquering the city of Herome. On the southern coast, the human city of Khorror falls. It will never be rebuilt and becomes a lair for monster kindreds. Khazan and Khara Khang find themselves in a sorcerous battle of wills with the alien god Zweetz. In his extremity of need, Khazan sends his human protégé, Khara Khang, as an ambassador to the Nagas to seek their help in battle.

94 B.K. The Battle of Herome takes place. 200,000 Cyurks and 40,000 flying serpents attack Herome. Less than 100,000 Men, Elves, and Dwarves try to defend the city walls. At the darkest moment, when the walls have been breached and Khazan is on the point of death from the spells of Zweetz, Khara Khang returns with seven Naga mages who suborn the flying serpents and cause a great hurricane that sinks the invading fleet. With the Naga’s help, Zweetz, who is not present in person, is driven from Khazan’s mind and back to his own land. The Cyurk invasion fails. A remnant of the invading force is cast ashore on the island of Garr (establishing a stronghold there) and most of the rest (those not destroyed in the waters near Herome) return to their own land with considerable plunder. The city is in ruins, and will require many years to rebuild.

to be continued


As we get closer to the modern era, the historical information becomes more plentiful. Even so, there is no accurate history of the Elf-Dwarf Wars.  The Elves remember everything as oral history, and a thousand years of war becomes a dozen tales of Elven heroes outsmarting their Dwarven counterparts.  You don’t find any tales of them outfighting them.  The Dwarven records are even worse–abbreviated dates and numbers carved into stone tablets and buried in the archives of the deep undercities.  And yet, we know these two so-called Good Kindreds fought each other for over a thousand years before peace finally came.

****************

 1233 B.K. The Dwarven-Elven War begins, as ancient animosities flare into full-scale combat. Dwarves burn hundreds of square miles of forest in the Misty Wood area in 1212 B.K. In 1181 B.K., Elves cause an earthquake that destroys the Dwarven City of Drndr (Dwarven names have no vowel sounds in them at this time).

 

The war between the Elves and the Dwarves had very few large battles, but thousands of small skirmishes like this one.

1104 B.K.  Khazan-ohtariel-Khazan is born to the Elves of the Old Forest. Among non-Elves, he will come to be known only by the short form of his name.

943 B.K. Khazan’s parents and hundreds of other Elves are slain by Dwarven raiders riding small firedrakes in a firebomb attack that burns the ancient Elven city of Yanthreel. At that time, the Dwarves have an alliance with several dozen dragons in which the Dwarves supply metal for the Dragons’ hoards and the Dragons aid the Dwarves in war. Khazan is studying magic with a Naga Wizard hundreds of miles east of his home forest; he doesn’t learn of the loss of his home city and kin for 45 years.

899 B.K. SS’rraa, the first ten-towered Naga city, begins construction in the heart of the central jungles. Khazan leaves his Naga master and returns to his ancient home.

The Nagas build their own society in the jungles of Trollworld.

898 B.K. Khazan swears vengeance on Dwarves and Dragons and non-Elven races.

872 B.K. Khazan and a party of adventurers invade Gristlegrim’s Dungeon seeking magical power and wealth. The party is slain, and Khazan is captured. To his surprise, Khazan is neither slain nor tortured by Gristlegrim—he is simply imprisoned in a pocket universe. In time, he becomes an apprentice to Gristlegrim, and begins to learn magics greater than any taught on Trollworld.

710 B.K. With both Elves and Dwarves in hiding, as they continue their 500-year war, human cities rise and become dominant. The small village of Herome on the edge of the sea and the river known as the Dragon’s Throat builds docks and becomes a seaport. From this time on it will grow in wealth and power.

to be continued


 Now reading from the special chapter about Dwarves . . .

Allow me, Gentle Reader, to digress and tell you something about the Dwarves of Trollworld.  Of all Kindreds, Trolls dislike Dwarves the most.  This is because Dwarves compete with us for the buried riches of the planet.  You, Gentle Reader, probably think that Dwarves are just short sturdy humans.  Read this report and learn just how wrong you are.

**********************

 
 

Sturdy, stalwart, and stupid--that what you get when you're carved rom rock and have brains made of stone.

The Dwarves of Trollworld are the people of Gristlegrim. They are a sturdy race–larger than Hobbs and Goblins, smaller than Men and Elves. They are generally not considered to be beautiful–being too broad and somewhat asymmetrical–but their faces have great character and integrity, and their bodies and minds are strong. Gristlegrim made them–literally carved them out of stone, then used a  powerful version of the Living Stone spell to bring them to life. He did it because he noticed that all the other great wizards of Trollworld had subject races to use in their wars against each other.

People freshly carved out of stone have but little in the way of mind or memory. After verifying that he could indeed bring stony statues to life, but then finding that they simply sat around and watched him unless he magically seized their minds and used them as living puppets, the Dwarf God saw that it takes more than bodies to make a people. He set his first few dozen Dwarves to simple tasks, carving a tunnel into a mountain, and went off by himself to study the situation. From time to time he sent them food. Because they were living creatures they needed living food, but he wasn’t too interested in feeding them, so he only sent a kind of moss and lichen stew–rich in vitamins and minerals. To this day, Dwarves still love to chomp on scummy mossy things that other races wouldn’t even consider as food. It explains why moss is so often seen in their beards–they are messy eaters.

Scrying the multiverse, Gristlegrim found another race of Dwarves somewhat like his own on the world of Midgard (sometimes known as Earth). These ancient creatures (the maggots of Ymir) were accomplished stoneworkers, mages, fighters, and traders. Gristlegrim admired their industry and decided to mold his new minions in their likeness, but how to do so? He came up with a simple plan–he abducted a few dozen Dwarves from Midgard, brought them to Trollworld, and told them he wouldn’t send them back until they had taught his Dwarves all they needed to know to survive on their own.

Imagine being abducted from your own world by some sort of mad deity, and told to perform a hopeless task before you would be allowed to return. Those kidnapped Dwarves didn’t like the idea much, but when one of them tried to physically attack Gristlegrim, he was exploded like a blood sausage, and when a mage tried a magical attack, Gristlegrim turned his head inside out while leaving him still alive. Sickened and terrified, the remaining captives agreed to teach Gristlegrim’s Dwarves how to live. Laughing hugely, Gris then reversed his spells, restoring both Dwarves to life and health, and set them free.

Getting a couple of stone-masons from Midgard to help him, Gristlegrim went back to carving Dwarven statues. But, they were all male–as Gristlegrim was a man, and hadn’t associated with women for millenia. However, one of the Midgardian masons liked women, and he began carving some female, beardless, and quite voluptuous statues, and thus the khzd race came to include both sexes.

To aid in bringing multitudes of statues to life at once, each new Dwarf was carved with a G rune hidden somewhere on its body. A favorite spot was the bottom of the chin, another was the soles of the feet. All Trollworld Dwarves have a G rune that looks like a tatoo somewhere on their person–without it they could not live.

The Dwarves from Midgard found that they did not age and die on Trollworld as swiftly as they had on Midgard. It took centuries, but they trained and educated Gristlegrim’s Dwarves into fair replicas of themselves. They learned stone-carving and metal-smithing, and architecture, and combat, and wizardry. Not many of the carven Dwarves seemed to have any natural talent for magic, but a few, perhaps one percent, those whose raw ore had contained some silver, seemed to be potent magicians. Something about the silver seemed to allow the natural magical power of the planet to infuse them to a greater degree than their fellows.

It took about 2000 years, but finally Gristlegrim had what he wanted; namely, a race of tens of thousands of strong, sturdy, and fearless fighters with some magical talent. They thrived in great subterranean fortresses, meeting and beating Uruks and Trolls on their own ground. They were manlike enough to pass among humans without arousing much alarm or suspicion. He scattered them around the world on all continents, and they have been ubiquitous ever since. And he returned his teaching cadre to Midgard, where time seemed to pass slower than it did on Trollworld. 2000 years in the other world was a mere 400 years on Earth. They came back with riches and magical power beyond belief, and many of them became legendary Dwarven kings and rulers.

There are some definite oddities about the Dwarves of Trollworld. Standing from one-half to two-thirds average human stature, they have no children among them. That is because new Dwarves are still made by carving a figure from stone, complete with a G rune which is the last thing to be added, and then magically brought to life. It takes from twenty to fifty years to infuse the blank Dwarf with knowledge and personality, and during that “growing period”, it is kept as a laborer in the deepest Dwarven caverns.

Dwarves generally speak three languages: the Root Tongue which is Gristlegrim’s native language brought from a vanished world. It is notable because it has no vowels in it at all. The original Dwarven people were called “khzd”, now pronounced as Kah-zahd in Dwarvish which is the root tongue with vowels added. All Dwarves also learn the Common Tongue of Men, as it is the most widely spoken language on the planet.

Because of their origin as statues, Dwarves rarely change size or weight. Dwarves can eat as much as they want and never get fat; conversely, if they were carved fat to begin with, they can starve themselves and never get thin. Dwarves have neither fingernails nor toenails, but both fingers and toes are broad, spatulate, and strong. They have only one kind of teeth, squarish molars good for grinding away the roughest plants. A Dwarvish smile is a frigtening thing. If a Dwarf was carved hairy, then it is exceedingly hairy when it comes to life. If carved bald, then it never grows hair at all. Because they all started as stone, and retain a certain implicit rockiness (although they are not the true living stone of Trolls), Dwarves have exceptional strength and constitutions. Gristlegrim wanted them to be strong and hard to kill in order to fight the Uruks and Trolls who share their environment.

Dwarven senses are magically keen. They can see well in conditions with very little light; their hearing is acute; and it is said that they can smell gold or other metals. They are quite sensitive to vibrations, especially vibrations in rock. They do not seem to feel pain and pleasure in the same way that humans do, experiencing both as just varieties of pressure which rarely bothers them. Because of this immunity to pain, they can fight on with terrible wounds that would leave other life-forms gasping in agony. Dwarves seldom mention how things taste, except to comment on various mineral flavors. They love alcoholic beverages, but it takes a great deal to intoxicate them.

The great majority of Dwarves never leave their cavern strongholds. Only a relative few go forth to live and adventure in the outer world, and this they do as a form of service to their people. Dwarves need traders to bring foods and cloth and other luxuries to their underground cities. Whatever can be made from rock or metal, they can make, but organic goods are harder for them to obtain. They also need knowledge. They are excellent craftsmen and tireless workers and searchers, but there are few Dwarven inventors or innovators. Luckily, for the reputation of the Dwarves as master technologists, they have strong alliances with the Gnomes, and all Gnomes are full of wacky ideas. Sometimes the Dwarves can actually make some Gnomish flight of fancy work, and when that happens there is a technological advance.

Although the Dwarves who venture to the surface appear to be a bluff, good-hearted, friendly people, their rulers and masters in the caverns are secretive, suspicious, and greedy. They never allow outsiders to penetrate into the true Dwarven fortresses–going so far as to construct whole mock-cities on upper levels where surface dwellers can be suitably entertained and impressed. A showpiece city can be extensive and beautiful, but it always seem to be sparsely populated, leading outsiders to believe that Dwarves are not a numerous race. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Half a mile deeper in the Earth lies the true Dwarf metropolis with untold thousands of inhabitants performing their countless jobs: mining, smelting, building, tunneling, creating weapons, tending the vast fungi farms that provide their basic food. New Dwarves are carved at the very deepest levels–miles below the surface, and they wait in uncounted millions to be released into life. Meanwhile, the Dwarven population increases slowly but steadily, and the outside world never knows.

Dwarves have only one truly natural enemy–the great stone Trolls of Trollworld. Only those Trolls can penetrate into the deepest Dwarven cities, and Dwarves, being of rocky origin to begin with, are considered a great delicacy by the Trolls. To them, Dwarves taste better than anything.

The Trolls also resent the fact that the Dwarves are carving ever bigger and deeper caverns, turning living rock into unliving metal, and driving them from their ancient haunts and homes. Deep under the earth there is a never-ending war between Dwarves and Trolls, with raw power and savagery going to the Trolls, but numbers, organization, and planning going to the Dwarves. Ever so slowly, the Trolls are losing this war also.

Dwarves encountered on the surface of Trollworld are generally good fellows–stout, axe-swinging maniacs, and the best dungeon-delving bodies you could ever ask for. 

Dwarves are good at making alliances. At one time or another they have allied themselves with Humans, Elves, Uruks, Goblins, Ogres, and even Dragons.  They have never allied themselves with Rock Trolls.  Trolls consider them to be little better than smart food.  Dwarves are the most insidious threat to every other sapient kindred on Trollworld.  According to their prophecies, some day the Dwarves will rule over all.

End

Ken’s notes about this blog:

As I re-examined this chronology of Trollworld, which has existed in one form or another for more than a decade now, it occurred to me that I could integrate it with other bits of Trollworld lore that have been created–hence this short essay on the history of Dwarves.  Although other forms of this chronology exist in various rulebooks, and on the web, this latest revision supersedes them all.  Things may be changed and added here that have never been seen before.  Trollworld continues to evolve in my mind. 

The fne picture of a Dwarvish warrior was created by my friend Garen Ewing some eight years ago, and it has not been seen for quite a while.  Perhaps I will show other art pieces contributed by my friends in bygone days.  I certainly will if I can find them.

–Ken St. Andre


The farther back in history you go, the harder it is to make out what happens.  The dates in this chronology are as exact as scholarship can make them, but they may be wrong.  More research may change this list. Remember, young scholars, history is written by the victors, and nothing is absolutely true.

From the Chronicles of Trollworld (Khazan edition, ca. 1300 A.K.)

100,000 B.K. Trolls are the only sentient life form on the planet. They have their own ‘Stone Age’ civilization, complete with a city. Organic life (not stone/magic-based) has been on the world for some 10,000 years, and dimension-spanning gates exist in several parts of the world. (A digression explaining the true nature of Trolls is shown here: http://wp.me/pRAqn-ar .)

 99,000 B.K. Elves, pursued by Dragons, enter the world. The Elves seek shelter in the deep forests; the Dragons claim the high mountains as their domain.

97,000 B.K. The death of GRUND Time-Keeper precipitates the Troll-Dragon War, which lasts for 5000 years. With Trolls and Dragons fighting each other, the Elves gain a necessary respite, spread into all corners of the Dragon Continent, and begin to learn to use magic.

92,100 B.K. Trolls and Dragons get tired of the fight and come to a peace agreement in which both sides agree not to eat the other. The Trolls gain “The Right” to watch the stars and calibrate their calendar from the Dragon-held mountaintops.

"Let's be friends and eat the Elves instead." "Good idea! They are juicier."

92,000 B.K. The Elven-Trollish Wars begin. For thousands of years when Elf meets Troll, the Troll prevails. But gradually, as Elves master the forces of magic and build up a high technology, the Trolls begin to lose battles and territories.

70,000 B. K.  Wizards of enormous power, almost gods, discover the gates leading to Troll World.  Many of them come to this magic rich world and establish their own kingdoms. Many bring subject races with them.  This is how both Human and Dwarves enter Troll World (but not until many thousands of years later than this.)  In time, the god-wizards begin to feud with each other.

57,000 B.K.  The last Trollish city (known as Kharg to the Elves and Und-RASP-Der’rule to the Trolls) is overrun and destroyed by Elves serving under the Wizard Nin-durjiel-Nin (Nin-durjiel-Nin is the earliest wizard whose name survives in history.)  Trolls have retreated to underground caverns and high mountain wastes.  Despite a concerted effort by the Elves to exterminate them, they were never completely eradicated.  Nin-durjiel-Nin refused or was unable to use great magic on them underground.  However, for tens of thousands of years, trolls were extremely rare on the surface of Troll World.

50,000 B.K.  The Wizard Wars truly begin.  Magic gives power to whoever can master it.  Wizards struggle with each other, striving to amass ever more power at the expense of their foes.  Wars, at first small and local, grow into conflicts of unbelievable fury and scope, and are fought in all corners of the planet.  The land and sea are devastated.  Many life-forms retreat underground to survive.  Old islands and continents sink below the seas and new ones are raised.  Many species and races die out entirely.  New races are introduced to the world.

48,017 B.K.  The Goblin Race is created by a magical explosion in the Feentrean Marsh in the Great Sump.  Goblins live as kind of smart amphibian animal for over 7000 years until some are domesticated by Uruks.  The goblins rise from the status of pets to slave race as they prove capable of learning to use both weapons and language.

46,000 B.K.  Loopo the Mad Mage (in reality his name is believed to have been Loo-polierol-Loo) breeds the first Uruks from magically mutated Elves.  The new creature has a fast metabolism,  a grotesque appearance, an innate savagery, and rapid reproduction.  With his armies of Uruks, Loopo rapidly annoys many of the other great wizards.  He spreads his creatures to all parts of Trollworld.

45,947 B.K.  Zweetz, an alien bird-serpent wizard, steals a few thousand Uruks and takes them to a desert sub-continental island in the far west.  These Uruks will turn into an almost entirely different race after millennia of rule by Zweetz.  They become the raiding Cyurks of the western oceans.

45,901 B.K.  Nin-durjiel-Nin, greatest of the Elven wizards, defeats and banishes Loopo the Mad Mage at the battle of T’Shanshinarrr.  Loopo is exiled from Troll World completely.  Uruk power is crushed, and the uruks dispersed into small, wandering tribal units.  The beautiful forest of T’Shanshinarr becomes a desert wasteland south of the T’Khoshikhost River.  The lesser forest of Shancinar survives north of the river.

38,257 B.K. to 37,802 B.K.  The far southern continent of Giar-Ank-Shau-Vuun is devastated and destroyed in a 500 year battle between Nin-durjiel-Nin (and several allies whose names have not survived) and Zjgr the Alien (of whom nothing but his name remains). Most of the continent was totally destroyed and sunk beneath the seas leaving only several archipelagoes in that part of the world.

35,000 B.K.  Dwarves come to Troll World as servants of a wizard now known as Gristlegrim.  (Please see the supplemantary report on Dwarves in the blog: A Fragmentary Chronology of Trollword–Dwarves which is available here: http://wp.me/pRAqn-9W)

15,000 B.K.  Humans come to Troll World as servants of the wizard Kalban Adamto.  They rapidly spread through most lands and discover a natural aptitude for Magic.

12,000 B.K.  The dragon whose short form name is Shangingshangshingingshing seals the eastern lands on the Dragon continent away from the rest of the world and withdraws from the Wizard Wars.  This markes the beginning of the end for the wars, although they will drag on for more than 3000 years before finally ending.

8500 B.K.  Gristlegrim banishes Nin-durjiel-Nin from Troll World, making it impossible for him to ever return.  It is the last great victory in the Wizard Wars.  This culminates a thousand years of fighting that was mostly Dwarves against Elves.  Both sides had allies, but the Dwarves had more, and though Nin-durjiel-Nin was the older wizard, in the end he proved weaker than Gristlegrim.  Setting a precedent that Khazan would repeat thousands of years later, Nin-durjiel-Nin agrees to banishment to save his people, the Elves, from annihilation.  Animosity persists between Dwarves and Elves, but open warfare is curtailed for millennia.

5244 B.K.  The Wizard Wars officially end at what is called The Council of the Gods.  The 829 surviving god-wizards have attained such mastery of magic on Troll World that they find themselves literally unable to harm each other any longer, and although they could still strike at the servant races, this sort of action is seen to be petty and spiteful.  In the great assembly, the godlike wizards agree to retreat to their own limited domains and no longer strive to dominate Troll World.  It is significant that Zweetz did not sign this accord, although he had not done anything notable for so long that many had forgotten his very existence.  Some of these great wizards continued to be worshipped as gods by their own people, Gristlegrim, for example.  Others departed from Troll World entirely.  The subject races were cut loose to find their own destinies.

to be continued


The Trollgod wants to tell you about the history of Trollworld.

 

Introduction:

     One of the great things about role-playing is that it lends itself to many forms of subcreation. The players make up their characters.  The Game Masters make up adventures including lands, people, and plots.  The game designers make up whole worlds and rule systems, which are nothing more than ways of representing those worlds with numerical and verbal tools.  Virtually any form of art or knowledge can be utilized in role-playing, whether it be drawing pictures, modeling clay, writing stories, creating architecture, singing songs–everything that works in our mundane earthly world also has a place in fantasy game worlds.

     I am such a creator, and Trollworld–my home setting for Tunnels and Trolls–is such a world.  A world, even an imaginary world, is a vast thing–a potentially infinite thing.  Every person can look at Trollworld differently, and they can all be right.  I’m not attracting any vast number of viewers here in Delvers Tales, but that’s okay.  This is the place where I will offer up little pieces of Trollworld–glimpses through different windows at an infinite place that exists not only in my imagination, but also in the imaginations of all T & T players.  If you get something out of these fragments, that’s great.  I’m pleased.  If you don’t, then oh well–no one hits the target on every shot.

     This offering is something of a chronology of Trollworld.  This is the chronology of my Trollworld–Ken St. Andre’s Trollworld.  Your Trollworld may be different.  And that’s cool, too.  The chronology is fragmentary because I can’t possibly cover everything that ever happened on Trollworld.

The Trollgod will tell you of Trollworld.

Starting tomorrow, these blogs will do a highlights kind of summary of the History of Trollworld featuring the art of David Ullery.  This is history made practically painless.

to be continued


 

“You had a back way out, and you were going to take me the long way?” asked Dandelion.

“I didn’t want you seeing my home,” said Hammer. “But now you’ve seen it, and i’ve already been paid, I might as well do things the easy way. Up that ladder and you’re out of the Moonstone Caves.”

“Don’t go,” said Min Kon. “It’s a trap.”

“Any traps on this this thing?”

“That’s a very astute question. Yes, some of the rungs are coated with a very deadly contact poison. But a Too-bad Toxin spell would cure you.”

“You mind going up first, and just showing me which rungs to avoid?”

“Not at all. Come on!” Hammer started up the ladder. Sometimes he skipped a rung. Sometimes he skipped two, though that took a big step to accomplish. Dandelion followed in his footsteps religiously.  The walls of the shaft were rough-hewn and jagged.  In places the minotaur and the ogress could barely squeeze by.  This had once been a simple fissure in the rock until Hammer, or someone, decided to enlarge it into an escape tunnel.

Min Kon screamed in her mind all the way up. “No no no no no no!”

At the top Hammer stopped and peered out through a concealed eyeslit. Nobody was in sight. He stepped off the ladder onto a small ledge, and moved a hefty boulder to the side. Outside, was a forest glade.

Dandelion crawled out through the hole that Hammer had made in the hillside. As she exited, Hammer said, “So long, good luck, be careful with that necklace.” And he closed the hill again.

It was a beautiful morning in the forest. The sun shone, birds sang. “Well, Min Kon that wasn’t so bad.”

The necklace was absolutey silent.

“Min Kon, answer me. Aren’t you glad to be out of those caves?”

Mental silence.

Dandelion reached down and lightly lifted the neclace away from her skin, and dropped it back into the treasure sack.  Then, smiling with the pure joy of being alive and out of those caves, she wandered off in search of a landmark so that she could find her way home.

Dandelion dropped the necklace into her sack of loot. Hammer turned sadly away.

The End


Trollwalla Commentary

Khenn Arrth said… “The Adventures of Dandelion are over (for now). Thanks for playing.

Naharaht said… ” Congratulations on completing the adventure, Dandelion.”

Dandelion the Ogre said… ” Thanks, Naharaht! I’m quite excited. I won! And I owe it all to you guys.”

Dandelion the Ogre said… ” Oh yeah, and thank you all for not killing me like you killed Boozer. 🙂

D’gou said… ” Dandelion: Thank the cooperative voting process. Almost, I think they were the ones who wanted you to sleep. Sheesh, who’d’ve thunk you could hurt yourself sawin’ logs?”

Taran Dracon said… ” Dandy, congrats on getting out alive.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Ken’s Notes About This Adventure

This Dandelion blog series would not have been possible witout the creative work of a lot of other people besides me.  I’d like to thank them here.  Gynn Silva created the character of Dandelion the Ogress as her avatar in Trollhalla.  She has left Trollhalla behind, but she will always be remembered fondly.  Her creative work continues at the site she shares with her husband Rick Silva–they do small press independent comics together at http://www.dandelionstudios.com. (And good stuff it is–I’m a fan.) It was brave of her to volunteer her character to be the heroine of a collective storytelling.  The last person who did that died horribly, pincushioned by elvish arrows. Nasty elves reappeared in this story too.  I must thank Kevin Bracey, also known as Quoghmyre, the southern-most Troll because he lives at the south tip of New Zealand, for the wonderfully evocative title illustration that I used on all 57 episodes. His artistic imagination gave an ogress a Mohawk hair-do–it’s something that I would have never thought of.  I made a new friend on http://twitter.com who got involved. Greywulf (aka Robin Stacey) at first created a single render for Dandelion, and then I roped him into illustrating the whole series with marvelous results.  What a long strange trip it has been, eh Greywulf!   The Moonstone Caves is an actual GM dungeon for Tunnels and Trolls created by Douglas Eckhart.   He deserves a lot of credit for the adventure this became.  The dungeon is freely available on his web site at http://www.douglas.eckhart.btinternet.co.uk/page12.html. I admit that I twisted his cavern into something he never intended, but that’s what a GM is supposed to do with the products that people release for them.  You don’t have to slavishly follow the text–you need to put your own imaginations  into these adventures.  Thanks for giving me a framework for the adventure.  And then there are the members of Trollhalla who decided Dandelion’s fate with their votes.  You can see some of their (Trollish) names in the little epilogs that accompany some of these chapters.  Whenever Dandelion came to a decision point, it was up to the voting members to decide what she did next. This group method of adventuring produces some interesting results, not always what the individual who’s character is being used, wants to see.  I took this style of play from Rick Loomis, C.E.O. of Flying Buffalo, Inc. who used to run mini-adventures in his monthly newsletter  where his readers would determine what action the character took next. 

Lastly, I’d like to thank any readers who stuck with me through this epic.  I hope you enjoyed the trip.

–Ken St. Andre, September 15, 2010.