View Full Version : Trollund

2013-01-13, 12:05 AM
What is Trollund?
Trollund is a setting area designed to be plugged into other settings. It runs from roughly ECL 9 up. Lower ECL encounters are groups of weaker trolls or members of the more powerful individual troll species, while higher ECLs use groups of Trolls with character levels.

Trollundís main features are loot, mystery and combat. The abandoned cities of the Trollís ancestors are filled with vast amounts of treasure waiting for someone crazy enough to come and claim them. At the same time the origin of the trolls and the history of their ancestors is depicted in decrepit temples and catacombs, which links into dangers to the larger world. Finally Trolls are utterly unafraid of their opponents, and their regeneration makes them immune to mundane deaths.

Trollund name given to the ancestral island home of the Trolls. Originally populated by an advanced civilization of Ogres and Ogres Mages in the distant past, the island became disconnected from civilization during a volcanic eruption that coated the island and the sea around it in ash. Continuous underwater eruptions surrounding the island made the air poisonous to breath for centuries, and when at last the ash and poison cleared and the volcanic activity ceased the inhabitants of the island had been hideously distorted.

Trollund is located in the far north, well above the normal Arctic Circle. The air is frigidly cold, but life is abnormally abundant and temperate in nature. This is due to the hotbogs, extremely wide and shallow hot springs from which a population of evergreens and peat moss grows. Near the center of the island is a series of rocky hills that sit like monoliths above the steaming bog. This is the remains of the mountain that exploded in the past, and at the heart of the hills is a deep pool of boiling water. The seas around Trollund are extremely dangerous, as many jagged rocks pierce up from the water and are hidden in the ever present mists created by the hot water interacting with the frigid air.

The island of Trollund is populated by life forms that are resistant to the poisons that once dominated the island. Vermin of almost any kind can be found there, along with oozes and plant creatures. Trolls are the dominant life on the island, with massive numbers of Bog Trolls (normal Trolls) and Forest Trolls dominating the bogs and populations of the more vicious Cave and Mountain Trolls living atop the rock hills. The seas surrounding the island are the home of teeming masses of Scrag, who devour the inhabitants of the many ships that crash on the rocks. At the apex of Troll society are the trollkin known on the outside as War Trolls. In Trollund these abnormally powerful and intelligent trolls are rare but natural, born from normal Troll parents of any type. Seen as Messianic figures, a natural War Troll is given the respect of a war chief by all Trolls. Even the animalistic Cave Trolls will allow War Trolls to go by unmolested, although they need to be trained to understand even basic orders.

The incredible danger of Trollund does not deter private adventurers or military convoys from attempting to explore the island due to an earlier adventurer named Damark Lalwynn. Lalwynn was a Gnomish sea captain who returned alone from an exploration voyage to Trollund just after the seas stopped boiling. He returned on a rotting ship covered in half eaten carcasses and a hull filled with plundered gold. Lalwynn attributed the source of both the dead crew and the gold to their discovery of a half sunken city in the bogs of Trollund. This city was apparently the former home of the Ogre Mages that lived on the island, but had eroded in the absence of care takers. The city was massive and filled with gold and magical treasures of many kinds. Lalwynn cautioned against further adventures on the island however, having been disturbed by mosaics on the walls of the Ogre temples of strange unidentified creatures whom the Ogres were shown worshipping. Lalwynnís party was destroyed soon after finding these images by an unusually large and organized force of Trolls, and he believed that the creatures still ruled the island.

Forest Trolls
Forest Trolls:
Forest Trolls are the most numerous of the land dwelling trollkin, and are the most similar to humanoids. They live in large sedentary tribal units of several hundred individuals that live in walled villages, but are subdivided into quasi-nomadic clans of up to 30 who move from village long houses to hunting lodges and back as dictated by the scarcity of food.
Each clan specializes in a particular trade such as crafting their obsidian tipped javelins, pottery or wood cutting. This reinforces the need to return to the village to exchange goods, and also reduces the rise of wealth differences. Any clan that feels it is treated badly has a monopoly on some form of production, so it can use the threat of leaving to join another clan as leverage.

The position of Forest Trolls is difficult on Trollund, because they are uncomfortably near the bottom of the food chain. Lacking the regenerative powers of some trolls, a clan of Forest Trolls is at risk of being slaughtered by a band of Bog Trolls or a roaming Mountain Troll. Forest Trolls never travel in groups of less than 6 in order to discourage individual Trolls, and will gather in great numbers to wipe out threats that target them too frequently.

Mountain Trolls

Mountain Trolls are the largest and most powerful of the races of troll. Their elephantine size and appetite is diametrically opposed to the barren crags where they make their homes, and Mountain Trolls are thus forced by both need and inclination to subjugate other trolls and take food from them as tribute.

Mountain Trolls divide tributaries into two kinds; permanent tributaries and raiding regions. Permanent tributaries are tribes that have made an agreement to provide food, materials and troops to a tribe of Mountain Trolls in return for protection by Mountain Troll raids. These tributaries may be traded to other Mountain Troll tribes as their relative power ebbs. Raiding regions are frequently raided by more than one tribe of Mountain Trolls, and are often denuded of food and troll populations. If a tribe cannot provide enough food to satiate the raiding trolls the Mountain Trolls frequently revert to cannibalism to satiate their appetites.

Mountain Trolls live in heavily fortified villages of around 30 to 50 individuals. Masonry walls are used to keep out other Mountain Trolls or the frequent rebellions the seek to wipe them out for good. A Mountain Troll village is frankly disgusting, as the impermeable rock does not cover the rotting garbage dumped by the inhabitants. Mounds of bones surround the rock walls to a depth of several feet; pitching garbage out of the walls is the closest Mountain Trolls come to acknowledging the need for sanitation.

Bragi the Troll King
Bragi the Troll King
Some lesser trolls speak of Bragi as either a messiah destined to raise the trolls to a destiny as glittering with glory as it is burgundy with blood. Others say he was born unnaturally, a tool to subjugate the trolls to a foreign power. Perhaps the wisest say that Bragi spreads these rumors about himself as a way to make all of Trollund believe he is something more than just another troll.

Bragi is a War Troll born not to the usual Forest Trolls but to the Sheetrock tribe of Mountain Trolls. Bragi aided his father Druk in becoming the leader of the Sheetrocks with his greater intelligence and ferocity, and together they subjugated a large swathe of Trollund.

Druk was slain returning from a victory over the Forest Trolls by an ambush of Skrag near the coast. Drukís greatest rival, Jortun, took the opportunity to take control of the Sheetrock tribe and had Bragi captured in his cave and dragged before the tribe in chains. Bragiís strangeness had always made the tribe hate him despite the glories he brought it, and excepting his siblings they were silent as Jortun had Bragi burned alive on a massive pyre.

When the pyre burned down to ashes there was nothing left of Bragi, and it was believed nothing could survive the inferno. Over the next few years Jortun was forced to ever more brutal measures in resisting the independence movements of the subjugated trolls. At the same time a new leader was rising amongst the Bog and Forest Trolls, who promised to end the predation of the more powerful trolls on them. This leader gathered many of the weaker tribes together and invaded the Sheetrock tribeís lands, gathering the subjugated and brutalized members of the subordinate tribes to his banner. Bragi had returned.

Bragi is currently the leader of a coalition of nearly 100 troll tribes. He is always flanked by his brother Sheb and sister Tem, who act as bodyguards and companions. Bragiís stated goal is the unification of all of the trolls into a single nation wherein all tribes will be given equal standing. However he has never shown any interest in standing down as leader, and his personal cult is becoming more and more powerful.

In some of the most loyal tribes the traditional tribal elders have been replaced with Bragiís priests, who proclaim him the avatar of an ancient god. Graffiti of a purple eye surrounded by a black circle has been found carved into stone walls without any sign of how it was placed there, and strange shadows have been seen twisting in the darkest parts of Trollund.

Bog Trolls

Bog Trolls are so common across the prime material that many places simply call them Trolls. Their expansion is so common due to their ability to regenerate from almost any wound, regrowing limbs and organs with frightening speed. This regeneration is often exaggerated, with false reports of limbs regrowing inside of animals stomachs and devouring the animal in turn.

Knowledgeable scholars know that these stories are false, as acid is one of the two sources that can prevent the regeneration of a Troll. The other is fire, which is one of the fundamental weapons of the other trolls in Trollund for that reason. Forest Trolls alone have the intelligence to make flasks of alchemistís fire, but burning torches and pyres are frequently the basis of anti-Bog Troll tactics.

The basic social structure of the Bog Troll is the semi-nomadic band. Having up to 9 members, these bands find ponds and marshes to lay in while waiting for passing animals and trolls. Bog Trolls hunt with their claws and teeth alone, ignoring the weapons that smarter or more organized trolls often wield.

Bog Trolls fear the depredations of Mountain Trolls, who feed on them as being effectively upright animals. As a result some groups of trolls and adventurers have taken to stomping loudly and making harsh noises in order to discourage Bog Troll attack.

2013-01-13, 12:07 AM

You can post below this if you like. I'll be working on this more later.

2013-01-13, 06:06 AM
Seems like a great idea.
So what will draw adventurers to that place will be hunting for gold. But that's obviously not everything they are going to do once there. What kind of adventures do you have in mind to set on the island?

2013-01-13, 03:43 PM
Seems like a great idea.
So what will draw adventurers to that place will be hunting for gold. But that's obviously not everything they are going to do once there. What kind of adventures do you have in mind to set on the island?

Depends on the party level.
At the lower levels, helping a Forest Troll village survive a pair of Mountain Trolls invading or get rid of a nearby Ortwort.
The island is currently undergoing a political revolution as Bragi the Troll King attempts to unify all of the island under his control.
There are also signs that the transformation that the trolls underwent are not natural, as the party does not change on the island but some rival adventurers become half-trolls.
The Halfsunk City is the main draw of the island, but is a fairly typical dungeon setting as the gold and items are protected by traps and nearby trolls.

Any suggestions?

2013-01-13, 07:23 PM
This is looking like a really promising idea, very evocative of my Sons of the Fallen. Do you have any intention of making your own trolls, or will it just be the trolls printed in the Monster Manuals?

2013-01-13, 08:28 PM
I really like this. Trolls are one of my favorite d&d creatures.

One thing I've done with the trolls in my game is to turn them into a magical plague of sorts. Their regeneration doesn't stop once the creature hits zero (assuming fire wasn't used) and will rise from the dead. Any chunk of a troll or drop of blood that flies off will eventually turn into another full grown troll.

If you want to have a threat that's causing the troll king to unite all his people, you could add a race of albino trolls, much thinner and sallow than normal trolls. They came climbing up out of a cavernous system of tunnels built by the ogres and sealed off by the volcanic eruption. The troll kings workers were tunneling for resources when they broke through a large obsidian door. One of the creatures came stumbling out and tore the group apart. As they struck at it with their shovels and picks, more of the creatures began to grow from the gore flying off.

You could even make them immune to fire and have cold stop their regeneration as a switch up for any troll hunting party.

2013-01-17, 02:11 AM
This is looking like a really promising idea, very evocative of my Sons of the Fallen. Do you have any intention of making your own trolls, or will it just be the trolls printed in the Monster Manuals?

I have a few trollkin I want to include, but I have been lazy about their statblocks. The biggest issue is that CR 12 is the limit of where an untrained troll can be, as War Trolls are supposed to be special. This means I am limited to CR 4-10, which is already plenty full.

The one type of troll that I really need is something that flies or glides, but isn't just a troll with wings. I was thinking of doing something like a sugarglider troll with an extremely high hide check and climb speed which comes down out of trees at people.

2013-01-18, 07:37 AM
An interesting creature to put in would be the Fire Trolls from Dragon Compendium (Ravenous Zombie Fire Trolls would be scary)...

Unlike normal trolls they are immune to acid and fire, heal faster when exposed to fire damage, are weak to cold but still regenerate from it, and are vulnerable to electricity. Be warned, in areas of heat above 110 degrees Fahrenheit they have Regeneration 12 points/round.

2013-01-19, 06:50 AM
This looks to be an interesting adventure path. Truth to be told, I have always wanted to have an encounter involving a huge horde of trolls.

May I suggest these fine pathfinder trolls (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/bestiary/monster-listings/humanoids/giants/troll), particularly the jotund troll? (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/bestiary/monster-listings/humanoids/giants/troll/troll-jotund)

2013-01-22, 08:57 PM
This looks to be an interesting adventure path. Truth to be told, I have always wanted to have an encounter involving a huge horde of trolls.

May I suggest these fine pathfinder trolls (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/bestiary/monster-listings/humanoids/giants/troll), particularly the jotund troll? (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/bestiary/monster-listings/humanoids/giants/troll/troll-jotund)

I think I am going to make a multiheaded troll, but the idea of multiplies seems too much like an Ettin.

Actually, a many armed and many headed troll sounds like a great secret boss... I am going to work on that.