"As long as my lord requires the service of my blade, I will stand by his side."
Strong, Chivalrous, Stoic and Brave are all apt words to describe a Troll. Tall and Noble, these Kithian originally hail from the north, specifcally Nordic lands. Supposedly the first noble kith, legend has it they were defeated in a war against the Sidhe and then swore fealty to them. As such, they are often seen as guards or knights in the service of Changeling Nobility. Their valour and taste for hard work has often made them nobility themselves, though the practical, simplistic Trolls are humble enough to not let it go to their heads. As such, they are loyal and honest to a fault, and are often disappointed in the other Kithian for not being the same way. This has led some others to think of them as naive. In reality, Trolls are not stupid, just patient and sometime stubborn, though when pushed too far, a Troll may fly into an uncontrollable rage until either everything is broken or she is taken down. They have an affinity with the Fae realm.
Appearance and Lifestyles
Trolls are tall (ranging from 7-9 feet high in their fae mien), with pointed ears, dark hair, blueish skin, and ice blue or sea green eyes. A pair of ridged horns sits atop their forheads, and their strong, squared jaws carry a set of wolf-like teeth. They favour a Nordic look with their clothing, though because of their penchant for hard work, rugged jeans, steel-toed boots and leather jackets aren't out of the question.
Trolls are for the large part Seelie. They carry about them an air of nobility one might see in the stoic Knights of old. They value honour and loyalty above all else, and take oaths and promises very seriously. If and when a Troll begins to question the ideas of valour and chivalry, however, he begins his slip into his Unseelie legacy. A Troll will do his best to hide this with stoicism; after all, if people knew he was turning Unseelie, they wouldn't trust him as much anymore. To prevent the valuable force that is the Trolls from slipping away, however, the Seelie court treats Trolls very well.
An Unseelie Troll is changed from his Seelie cousin. His gazes darkens, he gets hairier, and his features become coarse. He supports more unscrupulous individuals and ill-treated villians. He rejects the ideas of honour and chivalry. He still retains his loyalty and honesty, however; he just pledges it to darker persuits.
Trolls can be found doing work wherever they can take advantage of their natural-born talents. Troll police officers, firemen (and women), EMTs, bouncers, security guards, and construction workers are all common sights. They prefer work over relaxation, and tend to lead simple lives of duty and service.
From the Changeling: The Dreaming Corebook, Second Edition:
"Childlings grow up fast. They learn that the ways of children are weak, and they take on honourable duty at an early age. Childhood is something best left behind. Stoicism is embraced.
"Wilders test their strength and abilities to the limit. Great adversity inspires them to great tasks. They are incredibly modest about their accomplishments, however, and are always struggling to out-do themselves.
"Grumps are slower than their younger bretheren, but possess superhuman strength. After a career of service, they choose one person or place to protect until the death. No force on earth can move a greybeard Troll who has made up his mind about something.
Birthrights, Fralties, Merits, and Flaws
As with all Kiths, Trolls have some traits only they have.
Titan's Power - Wilders gain an additional Bruised Health Level and an additional dot of Strength during character creation, even if this raises the trait above 5. Grumps get two extra dots in Strength and two additional Health Levels (for a total of nine Health Levels). However, greybeards also add + 1 to the difficulty of all Dexterity-based rolls. This extra strength does not function in the presence of mortals or the unenchanted unless the Troll has called upon the Wyrd.
Stubbornness - Nothing can interfere with a Troll's devotion to duty. When in the service of a cause, Trolls get an extra two dice to any Willpower roll to resist temptation or a distraction. This Birthright is always in effect. No Troll can botch an Athletics or Alertness roll.
Bond of Duty - Any Troll who dares to renege on a sworn contract or oath becomes sickly and loses her Titan's Power. Only by atoning for her lapse of trust can she regain her Titan's Power. Usually this involves fulfilling a new oath. Seelie Trolls never lie to fae they are protecting; Unseelie Trolls uphold their Bond of Duty, but usually choose to support more disreputable fae. This trust must extend both ways; if a Troll's trust is betrayed, he will be filled with anger, and must roll Willpower (difficulty 8) to avoid becoming violent. Their stoicism belies great rage, perhaps one that has been with them since the Earth was young...
Loyal Heart (2pts) - While all fae are conscious of the bonds of oaths, for you it is almost of a religious nature. Oaths are not something you take lightly, but are more than a matter of life and death. They are also a measure of your self worth, for they give your life a meaning beyond most. Whenever you are overwhelmed or dejected, the thought of your duties is enough to give you the strength to persevere. In game terms, you automatically succeed on all Willpower rolls, but only as they pertain to the fulfillment of your oaths. Similarly, the power of your sense of duty may be sufficient to allow temporary immunity to other supernatural effects (Storyteller's discretion). However, this is not a Merit to be chosen lightly, for those of Loyal Heart are unable to ignore the bonds of the given word. Specifically, no Willpower may be spent in any action having to do with the breaking of oaths. Consider whether or not your character would rather die than break her word, for it is that serious. Note: This is not cumulative with the effects of the Merit True Love, though it can be combined for purposes of roleplaying.
Increased Pain Threshold (3pts) - Characters who possess this Merit still feel pain as much as others, it just doesn't affect them to the same degree. Legends are rife with tales of heroes who fight on, even while mortally wounded, only collapsing into death once the battle is won. In game terms, the dice penalty for each Health Level is reduced by one level. For example, a Troll who is Hurt reacts as if Bruised, and is only incapable of action when killed. This does not add extral Health Levels or reduce the severity of the wounds, merely the reaction to the pain each level incurs.
Stone Skin (3pts) - Trolls who possess this Merit are physically tougher than others. In particular, their skin is denser, hearkening back to the tales of rock giants and moving mountains. In game terms, this gives the character one extra soak die with which to resist damage, but does not add any to Stamina rolls. Trolls who possess this Merit are stockier and heavier than other Trolls, and may have difficulty in even their mortal seeming with a world made for smaller people.
Nature Linked (3pts) - Legends are full of incidents concerning the connection to nature and strength; this Merit represents the positive aspects of such tales. Possessors of this Merit have a near mystical link to nature and all living, growing things in their own environment. They are rarely lost, and find food and shelter easily, almost as if nature itself is seeing to their needs. Characters who possess this Merit may subract two from all difficulty numbers when in natural surroundings. Cities and asphalt are not considered natural, though a park within a city might qualify. As always, the Storyteller is the final arbiter.
Blessing of Atlas (5pts) - All Trolls are significantly stronger than their fellow fae, yet there are those who exceed even these comparisons. They are as to their fellow trolls what trolls are to other fae. In game terms, a character with the Blessing of Atlas will permanently raise her Strength by one, and will also raise the potential maximum Strength pool by one. Trolls with this Merit are only slightly larger than their Kith, but even more defined. Should it become known that a character posseses this Merit, she will be expected to act all the more responsibly for it.
Blood of the Rivers (5pts) - The rivers, said to be the lifeblood of Trolls, are living things, and as such have a distinct lifespan. The passage of decades may change the course, or even the flow, yet it takes centuries or a cataclysm to destroy one. So, too, with Trolls who possess this Merit. They age much more slowly than other normal fae, without running the risk of Bedlam incurred from dwelling continuously in freeholds. In game terms, so long as a Troll is aware of the Dreaming, he ages at a rate one-tenth that of his bretheren. Should he be overtaken by Banality, however, he grows old and dies just like other mortals. Should he be saved from the Mists, he begins to age again at this reduced rate. Note that this does include Troll childlings, who pass through this stage as quickly as, if not faster, than other fae.
Nature Bound (2pts) - Legends are full of incidents concerning the connection to nature and strength; this Flaw represents the negative side of that link. Characters with this Flaw take their strength from that contact with nature, and weaken when removed from it. In game terms, characters are at no penalty when in natural surroundings, yet subtract one die from all actions when in unnatural settings. For purposes of this Flaw, cities, wastelands and the like are not considered natural. Characters with this Flaw should consider careers as park rangers, farmers and the like, or live as close as possible to a large park.
Shrinking Violet (2pts) - Trolls are known to be close-mouthed and silent, particularly when not among their own kind. For most of this kith it is a matter of choice, but for those possessing this Flaw, it goes much deeper. Trolls who are Shrinking Violets are only comfortable with their own; with everyone else they are constantly aware of the differences between them, and are consequently ill at ease. This manifests as clumsiness (fear of breaking things and people), difficulty speaking in social situations (only able to speak of things as they are), etc. In game characters with this Flaw add + 2 to all difficulties of Social rolls when not primarily among other Trolls.
Yearning Soul (2pts) - You feel the pull towards romance much more strongly than other Trolls, and desperately need some aspect of it in your life. You will fixate your attention on the most attractive fae or person in any given situation, though your reactions will vary, depending on your character. You may pine from afar, behave like an eager puppy desperate for approval, attempt to impress the object of your affections, etc. Note that, should you only be in the company of those would would not normally be interested in, you will begin to lower your standards; your desire and need for romance is that strong, even if it leads you to a crush on a Sluagh. This Flaw should be strictly roleplayed, and the Storyteller may see fit to impose dice penalties depending on the circumstances.
Blighted Face (3pts) - Throughout history, there have been legends of monstrous giants, as frightening in appearance as in strength and size. Characters with this Flaw are the stuff of such tales. Though individual appearance may vary, they will present a coarse, threatening appearance in both their mortal and fae seemings. Because of this, they will suffer severe social penalties in most situations, except for perhaps intimidation. In game terms, a penalty of + 2 to the difficulties of all Social rolls should be imposed on the character, except with those who know him extremely well. The most conservative and 'proper", whether Changeling or human, will be all the more inclined to reject those with this Flaw. Note that this Flaw is cumulative with other Merits and Flaws.
Arcadian/Ancient Oath (2-5pts) - Trolls, on the whole, take oaths much more seriously than most, and diligently fulfill their duties and obligations. However, due to the effects of the Mists, many oaths have been forgotten. Characters with this Flaw are bound to just such an oath. The strength and severity of the forgotten oath depends on the points taken. Though the Storyteller may allow hints and vague memories of this oath to the character in question, the actual discover of its nature should be a great work. Should, for any reason, the oath become invalid, the character is obliged to buy off the Flaw, or have it replaced with another by the storyteller.
Views on Other Kith
From the Changeling: The Dreaming Corebook, Second Edition:
"Lay down your arms and lend an ear to Eric Grimmson, a guard of the Freehold of the Setting Sun.
On Boggans - Commoners take care of the essential tasks of a freehold. Without them, where would we be?
On Eshu - Perhaps a bit dishonest, but they always find adventure. How I envy that!
On Nockers - Ingeniously clever, I'll admit, but you're better off ignoring their complaints.
On Pooka - Thieves. Liars. Fools. Never let one stand behind you.
On Redcaps - So much sound and fury! One solid blow and they go down bleeding.
On Satyrs - They pretend to be wise to justify a life of debauchery.
On Sidhe - They may be pompous, but they do uphold chivalry. If a Sidhe is strong, you must support him. If he falls, you must replace him.
On Sluagh - If their information is so trustworthy, why do they all have to whisper and hide?