Trolls are a race of monstrous humanoids renown for their regenerative capabilities, incredible physical power, and voracious appetites. Of all races, it is without doubt trolls that display the most diversity, differing significantly in size and shape from one sub-species to the next. Regardless of subspecies, trolls fearsome fighters, able to recover almost instantly from wounds that would kill a man. Civilized trolls are much sought after as mercenaries, and many are often willing to work for little more than five square meals a day, provided they’re guaranteed a good fight.
The standard troll, the sort of which can be found almost anywhere on Avaren, stands approximately ten feet in height. It is often commented that the most distinctive feature of a troll is its hideousness, and few would dispute this claim. Their bodies are essentially humanoid in shape, with thick, rubbery hides that are typically blue or grey in coloration. They have over-sized lower jaws for already over-sized mouths, and many larger trolls sport tusks where their lower canines would be. As a troll ages, his hide begins to sprout rocky patches, which gradually grow larger over time.
Trolls are possessed of powerful bodies which surpass the abilities of most other races. They naturally heal most wounds very quickly, with even the most grievous closing on its own after a matter of minutes. A troll need not worry about losing a limb, as the regenerative properties of its body are so powerful that they can reattach a severed arm simply by pressing it to its body, or regrow an entirely new limb, provided the remains of the lost one have been destroyed. As one might expect, this uses up a great deal of a troll’s energy, and as such it must consume considerably more food than another creature of its size. It is not an overstatement to say that a troll is always hungry. Most trolls prefer meat, though they can and will eat just about anything they can get their hands on. Trolls are also loathe to let any potential food go to waste, and this often includes the bodies of fallen enemies – unless that enemy is another troll.
Trolls have a substantial lifespan, with many living more than two hundred years.
Trolls can regenerate most damage to their bodies quickly, as described above. Damage caused by acid or fire, however, is not able to be regenerated, and must heal normally. The exception to this is the regeneration ability of pyre trolls, which is instead overcome by acid and cold damage. While most trolls are not intimidated by the mere presence of acid or fire weaponry on the battlefield, those that take significant damage of either type will usually retreat from combat.
The smallest species of troll are cave trolls. The average cave troll stands just above 8 feet in height and are of slightly darker coloration than other trolls. In accordance with their size, cave trolls are the weakest type of troll, but they are just as intelligent as members of any other race. Cave trolls are the most common type of troll mercenary, with most working together in small groups and selling their services in that manner.
The largest of all trolls, dire trolls average 18 feet in height, with an even more powerful build than that possessed by other subraces. While all other types of troll demonstrate the ability to form a society, dire trolls do not possess the necessary intellect and are always feral. Dire trolls are solitary and territorial creatures, and even mated pairs are rare. Whelps grow quickly, and parents leave them to their own devices once they are capable of fending for themselves. In rare cases dire trolls have been known to tolerate a tribe of goblins or boggarts living within their territory, as long as they provide the troll with substantial amounts of tribute.
Dire trolls live even longer than other species of troll, with many living for more than 300 years. They speak a primitive variation of troll, though few are willing to communicate with others.
A bizarre and dangerous evolution of the standard troll, the dark skin of a pyre troll constantly smolders with heat, warming the air around it. A pyre troll possesses the unique ability to secrete a combustible fluid from the skin of their palms and salivary glands. This makes for a dangerous combination when taken in tandem with their supernatural body heat, allowing the troll to launch a rain of blazing spittle at their prey before pouncing upon them with fiery claws.
Pyre trolls are found in warmer climates than the majority of their brethren, being most common in the area surrounding the Waste and, to a lesser extent, in the low mountains east of the Jewel Cities. Physically a pyre troll is slightly smaller than a standard troll, but there is otherwise no noticeable difference in physical capabilities. Pyre trolls eat indiscriminately, their bodies capable of digesting even more noxious substances than other types of troll. They have been observed consuming quantities of rock, metal, and oil, as well as plants plants toxic to other species in order to satiate their hunger.
Artwork by Daryl Mandryk.