Trolls

Common trolls reside almost exclusively under bridges. They are reclusive hermits who scoff at all things not of (or under) the bridge, which, of course, happens to be just about everything else in the world. This belief runs so deep in Troll culture that any Troll who does not inhabit the underside of a bridge might as well be dead, a transient ghost with no purpose in life.

For the most part, there is always a bridge to be inhabited, as trolls are not as numerous in the world as boggarts or folk. And if there isn’t a bridge, a troll will pick a good spot to build their own. However, the best bridges, that is–the large and well-trodden–are always the center of intense competition. A proud family name often wins a bridge over the lesser knowns, though there are occasions when a troll’s claim to a bridge is lost to stronger and more cunning challengers. “The greater the Troll, the greater the toll” is a common phrase, commenting on the stress of such challenges, and was first attributed to Fogwin Bog who lost his bridge and subsequent fortune to a bright and cruel upstart named Dunkworth the Mansquisher.

Physically, Trolls are some of the hardiest creatures of Eem, immune to most illness and plague. And despite their petty superstitions, they are very smart. Years of sitting under bridges affords them a great many hour in devotion to pondering the mysteries of life, and reading all of the wayward scrolls and books that happen to fall through the wood-beams or wash down the river.

 Those Trolls who have forsaken the bridge life, while shunned from Troll society, do not, of course, shuffle off and die as more respectable Trolls would have you believe. While uncommon to encounter in nature because they only come out at night, bridgeless Trolls have been known to band together in small groups, either peacefully living off the land, or terrorizing local communities. However, bridgeless Trolls have rarely ever been seen outside Murbletoad’s marshes or the woods and wetlands of the northern Mucklands.