Trolls

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Trolls
Troll
Troll, from Ultima VII manual
Variants: Ice Trolls
First appearance: Ultima III
Last appearance: Ultima VIII

Trolls are a race of humanoid monsters which have long harried travellers on the roads and bridges of Britannia, Serpent Isle and Pagan alike. Sapient and capable of speech, these brutish creatures appear to have adapted much of their culture from that of mankind, and have, on occasion, been able to peaceably exist among humans.

Trolls appear in in Ultima III, IV, V, VI, VII, VII Part Two, VIII, and IX, as well as in the Ultima Underworld series.

Description[edit]

Troll-ROV1.jpg

Trolls of Sosaria and Britannia[edit]

The origins of Britannian trolls are not entirely clear. In Exodus's Sosaria, trolls could often be found in the company of orcs or goblins, and were subject to dissolution by the same magicks which affected their companions, indicating that they may have been wrought from the selfsame experiments which created goblinkind. Later theorists, however, would posit that trolls descended from human stock, and that they had their origins amongst various groups of mountain dwelling people.

Whatever their beginnings, trolls long proved a nuisance to the people under Lord British's rule, waylaying and murdering travellers for their possessions. Favoring simple weaponry, such as slings, throwing axes and clubs, trolls were of relatively weak constitution and prove little trouble for a seasoned warrior, although those not trained in the fighting arts could soon be overwhelmed by them.

For many years, trolls appeared to have little by the way of a culture, with their scant belongings almost always being stolen from slaughtered humans. During Sir Cabirus's radical attempt to colonize the Abyss, however, many trolls were found who were willing to embrace the way of the Avatar, and were subsequently converted to the path of the Eight Virtues. These Abyssal trolls managed for a time to coexist peaceably with the Knights of the Crux Ansata, and even after the eventual collapse of the colony still maintained cordial relations with humans.

Sadly, this group of peaceable trolls did not endure, and by the time of the Guardian's first incursions into Britannia, the species once more appeared predisposed to violence and rapine. During these early years of the Age of Armageddon, the voice of the malevolent Destroyer of Worlds had reached this volatile species, rallying them in preparation for his eventual invasion. Despite this early allegiance to the Guardian, however, the trollish race did not appear to have survived the ravages of the Imbalance and subsequent Great Cataclysm, and were not present in the realm during the Guardian's arrival upon it.

Trolls of Pagan[edit]

On Pagan, trolls had once been a proud race, skilled in magic and industry, and oftentimes allies to humanity. It is unknown how they declined into barbarism, but the Pagan trolls eventually lost their arcane powers and came to subsist largely as raiders, stealing toraxes that they might eat their raw flesh. By the time of the Avatar's arrival on their dark world, the once-noble creatures had fallen such that they were indistinguishable from the trolls of other lands.[1]

Ice Trolls[edit]

Main article: Ice Trolls

On the cold world of Serpent Isle, a sub-species of trolls existed known as ice trolls - blue skinned creatures whose very presence caused a magical chill to befall those surrounding them. These beings behaved much like their counterparts in warmer climes, existing as thieves and brigands which preyed upon the unwary.

Lore[edit]

P29 troll.gif
These large and evil creatures can hurl axes--of which they carry a plentiful supply--with frightening accuracy. Beware their tricks. Trolls are usually found in hills and mountains.
Large misshapen humanoids that like to live underground, trolls are strong and dexterous and can cause moderate damage to their victims. Fortunately, they are not very enduring. Trolls tend to lie in wait to ambush unsuspecting travelers. Trolls like treasures and often carry some with them.
The brutish troll takes perverted pleasure in hiding beneath bridges so it can terrorize the unsuspecting traveler. Fortunately, trolls are relatively weak and they lack endurance, so they pose only a moderate threat when encountered.
In the district where I was raised, it was not uncommon for Trolls to waylay an occasional traveler. Several times I have seen such brigands after justice had dealt with them, hanging from roadside crosses. Until I visited the Shrine of Compassion, therefore, it had not occurred to me how nearly civilized the Troll people are. After all, they use civilized weapons (stolen from us), wear tatters of clothing or hide, and speak a rough form of the same tongue which we speak. Curiosity next drove me to visit the Lycaeum on Verity Isle, where I learned that the Trolls had once been a mountain-dwelling people. Over recorded history, however, they have always moved closer to civilization - today, they are commonly found along roads and under bridges. I became convinced that the Trolls were fit candidates for the Way of the Avatar. My servitors and I traveled the roads of Britannia for two years, recruiting Trolls for our great Abyssal Experiment. Many of the monster forms rejected us, and some we were forced to slay in self-defense. However, I am glad to report that the Trolls accepted our ways and now constitute an important section of our community. It has been difficult for many to accept the presence of the Trolls. The Knights were trained from youth to slay such creatures on sight, and Goblins are a favorite food of Trolls. Nevertheless, the Virtues have triumphed. (And those Trolls who offend by dining on Goblin flesh are immediately exiled, if caught. - Corby)
Troll(2).gif
This brutish creature is the bane of all travelers. Many tales relate how trolls hide beneath bridges in order to terrorize and prey upon all those who would cross it. The wise traveler would do well to exercise caution when crossing any bridge, especially those one may come across in the wilderness, far from the security of a city.
Long hunted and feared as monsters, these giants have only recently been recognized as sentient and, in their own way, civilized. They speak the human tongue and band together in loose tribes. However, there are still many, many trolls that simply wander the landscape preying on smaller, more vulnerable travelers, particularly the rarely sighted great Troll. Trolls are generally agreed to be the strongest species to walk on two legs.
Troll4.gif
Trolls are nothing more than bandits: large, fearsome bandits, perhaps, but bandits nonetheless. They set upon their targets with heavy bludgeoning weapons, hoping to stun or kill the victim quickly and claim its possessions as booty. Like as not, a troll will select for its home a secluded bridge.
Trolls are large, lumbering bipedal creatures, standing half again as tall as a man. Their skin color ranges from a pale green to an olive or tan, and they wear little in the way of clothing. Trolls move quite slowly, as if they must first decide where to place each foot before taking a step - though anyone who has watched a troll move through a small community, stepping on whatever is underfoot, knows better than to think a troll is careful. There are those who speculate that trolls are the offshoot of an ancient tribe of particularly evil and stupid Zealans, though none of the ancient tomes in Tenebrae support that theory.

Trolls fight poorly, being so slow and bulky. However, their solid strength means certain death for most who are careless enough to be struck. All trolls use clubs, usually pulled from dead vegetation, though even their powerful fists are enough to deliver a tremendous blow.

Notable examples[edit]

  • Brigant: a foul-mouthed villain staying in Buccaneer's Den during Ultima IV
  • Rawstag: a peculiar troll with a love of red gems; has a strange habit of referring to the Avatar as Rodriguez; appears in Ultima Underworld I and II
  • Gharl: a prisoner of the Yew High Court; appears in Ultima VII
  • Grod: a torturer in the employ of the Fellowship in Ultima VII
  • Garg a troll kept imprisoned at the goblin outpost on Tarna in Ultima Underworld II; if freed, he would slaughter every goblin in the prison as he made his escape
  • Blog: a friendly troll living beneath the Pits of Carnage who has developed a fascinating game involving stones; appears in Ultima Underworld II
  • Meltzar: a Pagan troll who had fallen into a prolonged magical sleep and awakened to witness the descent of his race into brutality. Ultimately gets killed by an over-eager guard.

Trivia[edit]

Ultima IX Troll Concept Art
  • One troll exists in Ultima IX, guarding the bridge near Paws. It looks to be of similar stock as the goblins of the realm and demands money from the Avatar in exchange for passage

See Also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. Meltzars the Troll. Honor Lost (Ultima VIII - in-game).

External Links[edit]