Lore:Troll

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Trolls
OB-creature-Troll, Slash Attack.jpg
A Troll (Oblivion)
Type Beast
Range Tamriel
Appears in

Arena, Redguard, Bloodmoon, Dawnstar, Oblivion, Oblivion Mobile, Skyrim, ESO, Legends, Skyrim Very Special Edition, Blades, Skyrim - The Adventure Game

Trolls (known as Trohls in ancient text)[1] are large, ape-like,[2]:212 bestial humanoids endowed with three eyes.[3] Some also possess horns,[4][5][6] or have manes of thick, scraggly hair.[7][5] Trolls are known to use their powerful arms and sharp claws to pummel their prey into submission,[3][8] and some attack by throwing large objects such as boulders.[5] Due to their long arms and short legs, they often walk on their knuckles.[9] They are noted to be remarkably fast for their size.[3]

Trolls are found all over Tamriel, mostly in caves and forested areas.[10][11][5] They are typically reclusive creatures, their lairs usually far from commonly traversed paths.[1] They have been known to carry parasites or diseases such as Gutworm and Winter Worn.[12][13] Trolls are known to occasionally grow to tremendous sizes,[UOL 1] and some can even live for centuries, possibly due to their regeneration ability.[6][14][15][16] Trolls are said to have been much larger and more powerful during the chaos of the Dawn Era.[17][14] The origin of trolls is completely unknown,[1] and their reproductive biology is not well understood.[18]

Trolls possess the unique trait of being able to rapidly regenerate their tissue,[19] an ability that is only annulled if exposed to fire.[3] While some claim that it's a myth,[19][20][2]:55 there have been rare cases where a troll's regeneration can prevent their death completely, making the scorching of its corpse the only way to truly kill it.[21][9][22] This regeneration is somewhat mysterious. One cook theorized that troll meat could continuously regenerate even after their death.[23] One Orc who lived among trolls believed that praying to the god Trinimac would unlock the secrets of their regeneration.[24] A strange form of life-giving energy was capable of imbuing other creatures with a regeneration ability akin to that of trolls.[25]

Behavior and Intelligence[edit]

A frost troll's lair

Trolls are formidable carnivores, and have strong enough jaws to eat any part of a carcass, including bone.[1][3][26] They seem to have a particular fondness for eating people,[27][28] and on occasion will even capture humanoid prey alive to save for later.[29][30] An Iron Orc known as Gulzog the Butcher fed the trained trolls in his care the remains of captives and instructed those serving under him to do the same.[31] Despite this, humanoids aren't an essential part of a trolls diet, and they can be satisfied with other meats.[UOL 1] There are also a few accounts of trolls who drink alcohol.[32][33] Trained or captive trolls are sometimes sated with ale,[31][UOL 1] and drunk trolls were known to attack travellers in The Pale.[34]

Trolls are occasionally preyed upon by other creatures. Sabre cats native to the White River region of Skyrim will often seek out and hunt trolls as a pack.[35]

Despite their typically reclusive nature,[1] trolls are known to often live in patriarchal packs,[36][37] led by powerful male alphas sometimes called Troll Kings.[38][39][40][41][42] Female trolls are referred to as she-trolls,[43] a name which is occasionally used as an insult.[44][45] Troll infestations can often be traced back to a Troll Mother, a particularly powerful she-troll who may have moved into the area. Eliminating the mother is an effective means of ending the threat, although the individual trolls will still need to be hunted down.[46][16] Trolls are afraid of fire[47] and do not swim, as they usually dislike water as well.[48] Trolls are known to occasionally steal gold or treasure.[39][49][29]

Circa 2E 565, unseasonably warm weather in Skyrim drove hordes of trolls across the western half of the province while locked in "unspeakably horrid acts". High King Svargrim personally stopped the rampage, splitting many of the mating trolls. As a result of this, trolls tend to avoid the areas closest to the walls of Solitude. This event was later known as "the Great Troll Rut".[50]

Attempts have been made to socialize or befriend wild trolls,[39] but these typically don't end well.[51][47] However there have been exceptions where people have managed to live peacefully among wild trolls, at least for a time. For example: In 2E 582 the Orc researcher Grularz managed to temporarily interact safely with a group of trolls in Crestshade Mine. By adopting the troll's behavior and mannerisms, they tolerated her presence, even deep into their territory. She was ultimately killed after the conclusion of her study, when she attempted to hug the troll's patriarch.[36][52] A more successful example was the Trinimac worshipper Ghorkul, who somehow managed to gain the trust of a group of wild trolls in his exile.[24]

The relationship between trolls and Spriggans is somewhat unclear, as they have been documented having varied interactions. In some circumstances, trolls and spriggans fight against each other.[53] However, certain powerful Spriggans, such as Spriggan Matriarchs, are able to control and command trolls as they would other any other animal.[54]

A Troll (Arena)

The exact intelligence of trolls is unclear, or at least varies wildly. Trolls are generally thought to possess only rudimentary intelligence,[55] but they are acknowledged as having some cunning. As they are smart enough to be able to avoid traps,[9] or even use them to their advantage.[29] The Augur of the Obscure claims that they are more intelligent than they might appear to be, and that while they are still primitive, they may be on the verge of further advancement.[56] Some sources refer to them as a race,[18][1] while others see them only as somewhat intelligent animals.[57][58][9] Unlike most intelligent species they do not appear to make their own tools, weapons, or clothing, and do not appear capable of speech.[39] Though trolls are capable of using clubs or other objects as simple bludgeoning weapons,[22][59][60] and have on occasion been garbed with loincloths.[22] They sometimes organize themselves into what might be primitive tribal structures,[61] such as the Azhklan or the caliper-obsessed Kalperklan.[10][62] Some trolls even seem to be capable of basic literacy.[32][63]

The tamed trolls used as guards in the Crystal Tower were especially intelligent. They were entrusted with complex tasks such as guarding and feeding the creatures in the tower's animal pens, and seemed to be capable of writing in a script known as "trollish".[63][64]

Variants[edit]

Various trolls (Dawnstar)

The brownish Cave Trolls are the most common variety of troll in Skyrim,[3][11] but the green Forest Trolls are more common in the wilds of Cyrodiil.[1][6][10] The white Frost Trolls (or Snow Trolls)[3] commonly found at higher elevations or in colder climates, are much stronger than their lowland cousins.[65] They are sometimes known as "The Other Terror of the North".[9] Frost trolls are quite common in the ruins of Labyrinthian,[66][67] with many having been smuggled from there to Morrowind by the Camonna Tong.[68] Other varieties of common trolls include Swamp Trolls,[10][69] Mountain Trolls,[70] and Lowland Trolls.[71] Weak trolls are sometimes known as Trollkin.[72][1] There are also less common trolls with completely black fur.[UOL 1]

There are several more exotic types of troll. River Trolls are an elusive breed of semi-aquatic trolls. They typically reside in riverside caves or burrows, and can hold their breath for long periods, lurking unseen in the shallows. They are clad in shiny water-shedding scales, silver-blue in color, that are both durable and flexible. Common prey for river trolls include mudcrabs, large fish, crocodiles, and unwary travelers.[1][73] Lava Trolls are an extinct breed said to have lived in Vvardenfell. Their existence is believed by some to only be a Dunmer myth. If they ever did exist, they are are believed to be certainly extinct circa 2E 582.[1] Painted Trolls are a strange form of troll created by the Brush of Truepaint,[10] whose fat has become a rare and sought-after ingredient due to its alchemical properties.[74] The Udefrykte[75] (also spelled Uderfrykte[16][76] or Udyrfrykte[59]) is a name given to legendary trolls who are the spawn of the mythical Uderfrykte Matron.[16] The Matron was killed in 3E 433, ending her line.[26]

The rarely-seen Grahl, native to the ice caves of Solstheim, are sometimes called ice trolls.[77][78][79] The native Skaal do not know their true nature, suspecting them to be either great beasts or evil spirits.[80] These ice trolls have regeneration and vulnerability to fire in common with their mainland namesake,[81] and some grahl possess a third eye.[77] Grahl eyeballs have alchemical properties, and are sometimes mummified and repurposed as tough, leathery pouches for carrying small items.[77]

Circa 2E 582, the Iron Orcs of Craglorn fell under the influence of the Celestial Serpent. By infusing the skin and armor of trolls with nirncrux, the Iron Orcs hoped to raise an army of giant primordial trolls.[82][83] This operation was sabotaged before very many trolls could undergo the procedure, although the smuggling of these nirncrux-infused trolls out of Craglorn seemingly continued.[84]

Uses and Cultural Impact[edit]

Nordic Trollbone armor (Morrowind)
An Armored Troll (Skyrim)

Troll parts have many applications, and are used in everyday life throughout Tamriel.[85][86][87] Troll fat in particular has many known uses,[88][89] and it is a notably consistent element in rituals intended to summon Malacath.[88][90][91] Troll fat is most commonly used in alchemy,[92][1] with troll blood also being used occasionally.[93]

Troll skulls are popular hunting prizes that are commonly used in decoration,[94][95] often being repurposed for practical items such as bowls and inkwells.[96][97] Nords make use of trollbone and trollskin as materials for crafting armor.[98][99][100] Some Nords may even use troll spit to enhance their grip in battle, or to bind books.[101] Mannimarco's famed Bloodworm Helm is a magically constructed trollbone helmet.[102][103] Troll teeth are sometimes used for arms or jewelry.[104][105] Troll hair is flammable and useful for starting fires,[106] some use it to make napkins.[7] The Goblin-ken of the Coldsnap Tribe wear troll fur for warmth.[107]

Troll meat is typically not used in cooking, partially due to it not reacting well to fire, but some still experiment with the ingredient.[23] Troll fat is dried out to make jerky in Orsinium, but most find the flavor and smell of the fat too unpleasant to use in meals.[88][92] Some hags use troll brains in stews.[108]

Trolls are known to produce thick,[109] foul-smelling dung,[110][UOL 2] often referred to in expletives and insults.[111][112] In one account of a sailor spilling troll dung on his shoes, the smell was so pungent that his shoes were thrown overboard, with the sailor himself being tied up and run through cold racing water until there was no trace of the scent left on him.[UOL 1] This dung is sometimes used as mushroom fertilizer.[113]

Trolls are often trained and armored for use as war beasts, these trained trolls are typically armed with cestuses or similar weapons.[114][5][111] Powerful mages are known to use trolls as guardians.[55] They are also often captured for use in gladiatorial arenas,[115] such as in the famous Imperial City Arena,[116] or at various locations in Reaper's March.[117][118] Primitive peoples such as Goblins,[21][119] Rieklings,[120][121] and the Ice Tribes have been known to utilize tamed trolls.[122] Circa 4E 201, the Dawnguard tamed trolls native to Skyrim and used them in their crusade against vampires.[114] Trained trolls that are mistreated or left alone for too long will usually return to the wild, forgetting that their owner ever existed.[123]

Certain warriors or adventurers style themselves as troll hunters or trollslayers.[3][46][124] A famous one being Bagrar, an Orc shield-wife who earned the title of "Troll-Slayer" through her impressive combat prowess.[125] Trollslayers are known use troll musk to mask their scent while hunting,[126] and some even create enchanted weapons or armor especially effective for fighting trolls.[127][8] The Lord's Mail, the famous cuirass of the Demigod Morihaus, is sometimes referred to as the "bane of trolls everywhere".[128] Some tamed wolves from Solstheim were bred to be able to face trolls.[129]

Trolls have been present in Tamrielic folklore "from time immemorial". They are known to nearly every culture and have appeared in tales of all sorts, from children's fables to the histories of the ancients.[1][130][64][131] The Reachfolk believe that Malacath created trolls, along with Orcs and Ogres, to provide hardships and to test his chosen followers.[132] The teachings of the One taught that trolls, along with Orcs and Goblins, were among "the miscreated", malicious and brutish creatures who must be united against by the other peoples of Tamriel.[133] Trolls have some association with goddess Kyne, who is known as the "Mother of Men and beasts".[134] One of her most powerful guardian spirit champions, a being faced during the goddess's sacred trials, is known to take the form of a troll.[135][134] In addition, some people etch Kyne's War Prayer into troll teeth.[136]

Morachellis Hag-Husband, a legendary skald, once posited the idea that a troll's third eye might be attuned to the ethereal realm of spirits parallel to Nirn, rather than the mundane world. However, it's important to note that his views on the subject were not considered particularly reliable, as he made many other dubious claims.[137]

A painting known as the "Frolicking Trolls of Eastmarch" is said to depict how Bretons imagine the frost trolls of Skyrim; the painting depicts frost trolls smiling and dancing in the snow.[138] Small troll statues carved from ironwood by the Matrons of Shor's Stone, known as garden trolls, are used to protect gardens from unwanted pests.[139] Bookends modeled after trolls have been made, but they frightened potential buyers so much that few sets still exist.[140] There are several types of children's toys that are made to resemble trolls.[141][142][143][144] Troll claws with prayers carved into them are sometimes given to children and are intended to resemble a Dragon's claw.[145]

Notable Trolls[edit]

  • The Ancient One: An ancient troll, said to have roamed Nirn since the dawn of time. Circa 4E 180, a group of Aureal who served Sheogorath were rumored to have made some sort of alliance with the beast. The Warrior ended up following these rumors through a portal and managed to slay the monstrous creature.[14]
  • The Beast of Gorrham: A very large troll with distinct horns and spikes that attacked a village on the outskirts of the Bloodfall Kingdom, causing it to be burned down.[146] Notably, unlike most trolls,[47] it did not fear fire. It was slain by the Warrior circa 4E 180.[30]
  • Death-In-Winter: An alpha troll whose pack once terrorized the town of Darkwater Crossing, until it was slain circa 2E 582.[41][147]
  • Icestalker: A large, powerful frost troll who had been outfitted with Dwarven armor by the Rieklings of the Coldsnap Tribe. It dwelt in the Vault of Mhuvnak, a Dwarven ruin in Eastmarch, and was slain circa 2E 582.[121]
  • The Udyrfrykte: See this article.

Gallery[edit]

Notes[edit]

  • Some Nords have "Half-Troll" as their last name, but considering typical Nordic naming conventions, it is unlikely this is literal.[148][149]
  • Those born under the sign of the Lord are sometimes referred to as Trollkin due to their innate weakness to fire.[150]
  • "Troll's blood" is a common Nord exclamation.[151][152][153]

See Also[edit]

Books[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Field Guide to River TrollsPhrastus of Elinhir
  2. ^ a b The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion Official Game Guide — Peter Olafson
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h Troll SlayingFinn
  4. ^ Crafting Motif 87: Ancestral Nord StyleBjarnus Whitewhiskers
  5. ^ a b c d e Trolls in ESO
  6. ^ a b c Trolls in Blades
  7. ^ a b Troll-Mane Napkin item description in ESO
  8. ^ a b Trollslayer's Girdle item description in ESO
  9. ^ a b c d e The Improved Emperor's Guide to Tamriel: SkyrimFlaccus Terentius, 2E 581
  10. ^ a b c d e Trolls in Oblivion
  11. ^ a b Trolls in Skyrim
  12. ^ Gutworm from Survival Mode in Skyrim
  13. ^ Winter Worn in Dawnstar
  14. ^ a b c The Ancient One quest in Blades
  15. ^ Svenja Snow-Song's dialogue in Morrowind: Bloodmoon
  16. ^ a b c d Agnar's JournalAgnar the Unwavering
  17. ^ The Serpent's dialogue in ESO
  18. ^ a b Notes on Racial Phylogenythe Council of Healers, Imperial University
  19. ^ a b Brenus Astis' JournalBrenus Astis
  20. ^ Rumors in Oblivion
  21. ^ a b Trolls in Redguard
  22. ^ a b c Trolls in Arena
  23. ^ a b A New Recipe?
  24. ^ a b Dialogue during The Heretic in Blades
  25. ^ Wrath of the Undying quest in Blades
  26. ^ a b Uderfrykte Matron in Oblivion
  27. ^ A Gold Coast Children's Bestiary
  28. ^ Deepswimmer's dialogue in ESO
  29. ^ a b c Gluineth's dialogue in ESO
  30. ^ a b Deadly Neighbor quest in Blades
  31. ^ a b The Care and Feeding of TrollsGulzog the Butcher
  32. ^ a b A Poorly Scrawled Note
  33. ^ Old Nord Drinking Song
  34. ^ Drunk Trolls in Dawnstar
  35. ^ Graywinter Sabre Cat Cub pet description in ESO
  36. ^ a b Troll Socialization Research Notes — Grularz
  37. ^ Irgnar's JournalIrgnar
  38. ^ The Troll King and Crawg the Troll King in ESO
  39. ^ a b c d A Tough Audience — Sempronia
  40. ^ a b The Troll King quest in Oblivion Mobile
  41. ^ a b Runs-With-Quickness' dialogue in ESO
  42. ^ Tograz's dialogue in ESO
  43. ^ Mounted Troll Head item description in ESO
  44. ^ Abnur Tharn's dialogue in ESO
  45. ^ Chronicles of the Five Companions 5Abnur Tharn
  46. ^ a b The Troll Hunter quest in Blades
  47. ^ a b c Constantia Galena's dialogue in Blades
  48. ^ Weebam-Na's dialogue in Oblivion
  49. ^ Dialogue during The Troll King in Oblivion Mobile
  50. ^ Meet the Character - High King SvargrimPjetr the Skald, of the Bards College
  51. ^ Forloril in ESO
  52. ^ Friend of Trolls quest in ESO
  53. ^ World Interaction in Skyrim
  54. ^ Land Dispute quest in ESO
  55. ^ a b Arena Player's Guide Troll description
  56. ^ The Augur of the Obscure's dialogue in ESO: Summerset
  57. ^ Isran's dialogue in Skyrim
  58. ^ Animal Extermination quest in Skyrim
  59. ^ a b The Udyrfrykte in Morrowind: Bloodmoon
  60. ^ Troll War Axes and Troll Warhammers in Dawnstar
  61. ^ Troll Warriors and Troll Leaders in Dawnstar
  62. ^ Azhklan Trolls in ESO: Blackwood
  63. ^ a b Crystal Tower quest in Arena
  64. ^ a b King Edward, Part V
  65. ^ Frost Trolls in Skyrim
  66. ^ Labyrinthian in Skyrim
  67. ^ Labyrinthian in ESO
  68. ^ Bringing Home the Trolls — Feralea Thenim
  69. ^ Swamp Trolls in ESO
  70. ^ Mountain Trolls in Dawnstar
  71. ^ Lowland Troll card in Legends
  72. ^ Trollkin in Dawnstar
  73. ^ River Trolls in ESO
  74. ^ Elgrim's dialogue in Skyrim
  75. ^ The Udefrykte in Skyrim
  76. ^ Throw Voice Word Wall in Skyrim
  77. ^ a b c Grahl-Eye Gem Purse item description in ESO
  78. ^ The Castle Karstaag journal entry descriptions in Morrowind: Bloodmoon
  79. ^ Legends card category
  80. ^ Generic Dialogue in Morrowind: Bloodmoon
  81. ^ Grahls in Morrowind: Bloodmoon
  82. ^ Little Leaf's dialogue in ESO
  83. ^ Letter to Exarch Braadoth — Elska, Regent of Fanged Fury
  84. ^ The Common Good quest in ESO: Dark Brotherhood
  85. ^ Troll Bone Measuring Stick item description in ESO
  86. ^ Troll Jaw Comb item description in ESO
  87. ^ Troll-Skin Brooding Sack item description in ESO
  88. ^ a b c 101 Uses for Troll Fat
  89. ^ Cracking the Elden Tree Vault
  90. ^ Shobob gro-Rugdush's dialogue in Oblivion
  91. ^ Atub's dialogue during The Cursed Tribe in Skyrim
  92. ^ a b Practical Alchemy in Skyrim
  93. ^ Troll's Bood in Daggerfall
  94. ^ Troll Skulls in Skyrim
  95. ^ Troll Skull item description in ESO
  96. ^ Troll Skull Slumgullion Serving Bowl item description in ESO
  97. ^ Tri-Socket Inkwell item description in ESO
  98. ^ Nordic Trollbone Armor in Morrowind
  99. ^ Trollbone Shields in Dawnstar
  100. ^ Trollskin Leather armor in Dawnstar
  101. ^ Ancestral Nord Gloves description in ESO
  102. ^ Helm of Oreyn Bearclaw
  103. ^ Tamrielic LoreYagrum Bagarn
  104. ^ Trolltooth Axe in Dawnstar
  105. ^ Troll-Tooth Necklace in ESO
  106. ^ Troll-Hair Kindling Pouch item description in ESO
  107. ^ Crafting Motif 71: Coldsnap StyleLandal Gevont, Scholar of Goblins, Invisible College of Daggerfall
  108. ^ Alyxe's dialogue in ESO
  109. ^ Shaman Bogham's dialogue in ESO
  110. ^ Lieutenant Stilga's dialogue in ESO
  111. ^ a b Chung's dialogue in Dawnstar
  112. ^ Trithik's dialogue in Redguard
  113. ^ Hireling Correspondence in ESO
  114. ^ a b Armored Trolls in Skyrim
  115. ^ Fires of Battle quest in ESO
  116. ^ Arena Combatants in Oblivion
  117. ^ Troll Arena quest in ESO
  118. ^ The Arena! — Emingil
  119. ^ Stomper in ESO
  120. ^ Kirsh and Dulk's dialogue in Morrowind: Bloodmoon
  121. ^ a b Icestalker in ESO: Wrathstone
  122. ^ Events of Dawnstar
  123. ^ Gunmar's dialogue in Skyrim
  124. ^ Trollslayer's Gully in ESO
  125. ^ Agra Crun
  126. ^ Troll Musk item description in ESO
  127. ^ Trollsbane in Skyrim
  128. ^ Artifact Quest Dialogue in Arena
  129. ^ Solstheim Lunar Wolf mount description in ESO
  130. ^ Brave Little Scrib and the River Troll
  131. ^ Partial Visual Guide to Trolls item description in ESO
  132. ^ Malacath and the ReachKyrtos
  133. ^ The Real Barenziah, v 3 — Anonymous
  134. ^ a b Froki Whetted-Blade's dialogue in Skyrim
  135. ^ Guardian Troll Spirit in Skyrim
  136. ^ Etched Troll Tooth item description in ESO
  137. ^ The Frigid Grotto's loading screen text in ESO
  138. ^ "Frolicking Trolls of Eastmarch" item description in ESO
  139. ^ Garden Troll Varmint Defender item description in ESO
  140. ^ Matching Troll Bookends item description in ESO
  141. ^ Frost Troll Ragamuffin Doll item description in ESO
  142. ^ Gilly the River Troll item description in ESO
  143. ^ Child's Ambiguous Doll item description in ESO
  144. ^ River Troll Marionette item description in ESO
  145. ^ Claw of Akatosh item description in ESO
  146. ^ Murbak's dialogue in Blades
  147. ^ Our Poor Town quest in ESO
  148. ^ Yngling Half-Troll and Greidil Half-Troll in Morrowind
  149. ^ Daljari Half-Troll in ESO
  150. ^ The Lord birthsign in Oblivion
  151. ^ Skaggi Scar-Face's dialogue in Skyrim
  152. ^ Hectur the Fish's dialogue in ESO
  153. ^ Holgunn One-Eye's dialogue in ESO

Note: The following references are considered to be unofficial sources. They are included to round off this article and may not be authoritative or conclusive.

  1. ^ a b c d e The Menagerie — Rascien Wickersly
  2. ^ Do Trolls Poop? on ESO Live