by Heidi Henderson & Vicki Stephenson
"Long ago, our ancestors lived a happy life. Our home was a lush, green place with rich soil and hard rock that easily bent to the will of our People. We were prosperous and happy. Little did we know that the world was dying from the inside out. The Changing Ones extended their hands in aid, then chained us in slavery. Though they offered us a way off the dying planet, would we have gone with them had we known how we would be treated?"
- The Tome of the Ancestors
The trolls arrived on this world in the great ship of the Changing Ones. They had traveled with the Changing Ones for countless ages, but were treated as little more than pets. As ages passed, the trolls' resentment grew. And, as the Changing Ones planned to settle on their latest planet, the trolls planned to rid themselves of the ones who had kept them so poorly for all this time.
The moment the great ship - now in the form of what the Changing Ones said this world's inhabitants called a "Palace"- was to land, the trolls quickly put their plan into effect. They sliced the cocoons of the Changing Ones who were sleeping, and slaughtered a good many more who tried to flee. When the great ship entered the world in the wrong time and crashed in a prehistoric land as a result, the trolls used pandemonium to their advantage and forced the remaining Changing Ones away. They used such force that the Changing Ones ran far and never returned.
The trolls thrived on this new planet. The ground was rich, and there were many minerals in the rock that, over time, the trolls learned to bend to their needs. They carved a great area for themselves in the rocks below the broken remains of the great ship and, thinking that the Changing Ones would someday return to try to regain what they had lost, dismantled the ship and brought it with them, below ground. Today, pieces of the great ship are used both in decoration for troll structures, and in troll invention.
As time passed, the trolls grew both in size and intelligence. Through many years of infighting, they learned that constant battle was not the answer to their problems. They have developed a Republic under which they will be ruled. Their city has grown from a small hovel below ground to a vast kingdom of architectural wonders that stretches westward to the sea. They have learned to hunt, farm, and gather both above ground and below. They have used their knowledge to build tools and machines that increase their productivity, and to create a written language so they will not forget what they have learned.
They will also not forget their origins - they remember that once they were little more than pets or slaves, and are determined that this will never happen to them again. When the first troll spied a point-ear in the vicinity above the Great City, a series of complex traps were placed at each below-ground entrance to prevent the point-ears from ever disturbing them again. And, so far, the descendants of the Changing Ones have been kept at bay.
The "Diggers" of old, small creatures ranging between 2'6" - 3" tall have grown, in more ways than one. They are now much taller than before, ranging in height from 5'6"-6'2". They have become more stocky and more muscular than before. They are leaner than the trolls of Canon EQ, and usually have very few moles or warts. Their skin color can range from mossy green to nearly brown, and their hair color runs a gamut of natural colors from pale red to dark black.
A troll's lifespan varies. If one does not become ill or injured in his or her line of duty, one can live many hundreds of years. Those who have more dangerous professions will often meet death at an early age. Those who are employed in potentially dangerous professions are often encouraged to have large families.
UNDERHAVEN, THE TROLLS' KINGDOM
"Underhaven, we salute you. May you retain your beauty for all of time. May our wisdom keep you always. May our knowledge make you more beautiful."
-The Tome of the Ancestors
The vast underground empire the trolls have built for themselves has come to be known as Underhaven. It is vast, stretching from the area beneath the elves' holt westward nearly to the sea, and it is still expanding as the troll populus grows.
There are numerous tunneled entrances to the kingdom. Only a few trolls know how many there are, exactly, and this is done to help insure the security of the kingdom. All have been meticulously trapped in order to prevent intruders from entering the underground domain. Some entrances may fall into disuse for hundreds of years, only to be re-opened again once there is renewed need of that particular entrance.
The entire city is beautiful by troll standards, with buildings and dwellings carved from the very stone of the earth. Single abodes exist, as do apartments to house the less affluent of troll society. Pathways hewn from stone or paved with stone are the most common way to walk from one area of the city to another. The newer buildings in the westernmost part of the troll aren't as ornate as those to the east, where trolls with more power or influence have residence. When a troll moves up the social ladder, her or she often speaks of "moving eastward" to the more ornate abodes. A troll's home is a reflection of his or her status.
Toward the city's eastern borders lies the most impressive of Underhaven's compounds, the Republic Seat. This compound consists of five buildings - one to house each of the representing parties, and another for the heads of each party to meet to discuss law and policy.
THE FOUR PROFESSIONS
"It is better to be wise from the start than rich from the start, for wisdom provides the option to build riches. It also provides the sense to keep what has been made for oneself."
-The Tome of the Ancestors
The Deepdweller trolls do not value material riches as much as they do intellect, education, and power. A child's education begins early; usually before his or her fourth turn. At this point, a child takes a set of seemingly simple tests to determine which of the four schools in which he or she will be placed: The House of Scholars, The School of Inventors/Tinkers, The School of Tactics and Arms, or the Center of Provisions. Once a child is placed into a school, he or she is there for life; changing professions is not an option once the sometimes long process of education or training has begun.
There is no preference given to either gender for any school. Such thinkings are echoes of the past. In the troll professions, a position in a profession is given to the best troll for the job.
Training in any of the professions may take as long as 50 years; some require longer periods of time for an individual to be deemed a master in his or her field. Therefore, elder trolls are most often those with higher ranks or degrees. Very rarely is there an exception, but the trolls will not hesitate to promote a young member of their profession who shows great promise.
It is a high honor to be elected as the first seat of a particular profession. Very few trolls will ever achieve these positions, and those who do usually hold the seat for many years. Those who are elected will choose a "second" to help them with procedure and policy. The heads of each profession hold several meetings each month to decide on law, procedure, and actions against potential threats to their domain.
Every eight years, one of the first seat holders is elected to be the Head of the Council. There is no higher honor than this. This individual, once elected, has the final say in all decisions made by the schools.
The House of Scholars is the historic seat of the Deepdwellers. They keep track of history and law of the past, and record law and events of this day and age. They are the most vocal in reminding the people about their slavery and that, if precautions are not made, this slavery may happen again. This School also keeps track of property values, both old and new.
The School of Inventors/Tinkers is responsible for many of the innovations and technologies present in the Kingdom. Not only do they develop new technologies, but they also repair what is now in use. Those in this school are responsible for the upkeep and replacement of the trapped tunnel entrances and to oversee the construction and upkeep of
The School of Tactics and Arms is the troll's military seat. This school is responsible for training military arts and weapon smithing practices. Many proud bright-metal smiths call this school their home.
The Center of Provisions is the school that trains the trolls' hunters and gatherers. This is the school that holds the most members, as it takes much work to feed the large troll population.
The different professions do work with one another on certain projects. For example, the Inventor's school has helped to advance the technology of the Arms school by leaps and bounds over the past hundreds of years. The School of Arms provides weapons used by the scouting Center of Provisions. The Center of Provisions has often provided news about new territory possibilities to the Scholars, and so on.
The Deepdweller trolls have made incredible leaps and bounds in technology in the past few hundred years. They are capable of making inventions one might find in Leonardo DaVinci's notebooks. If this progress continues, they could easily discover steam power or something comparable in the not-too-distant future.
A troll's clothing is often synonymous with his or her profession. Those in high-ranking offices will often wear elaborate robes, tunics or dresses similar to Elizabethan periods of our time. They more than likely have multiple outfits to wear for different occasions. Some professions require uniforms to be worn for certain tasks or events. Those lower on the social ladder usually only have one or two outfits made of less extravagant materials.
The trolls have, thus far,decided that the best way to avoid the point-ears (who bear striking resemblance to the Changing Ones of old) is to avoid them completely. Anyone who remotely brings up the possibility of trade with the point-ears is quickly silenced.
The few trolls who have been unfortunate enough to encounter elves are instructed to quickly leave the area without saying a word and to return underground without being followed.
No hard policy has been taken as of yet in dealing with the humans, but most consider the five-fingers as ones to be left alone, as well.
Quill: (Age: 2750)
1st on the scholar's seat. Holder of High Council's seat.
Very wise and very old - perhaps the oldest living troll still alive. She claims to remember when the elves moved into the lands above, and many of the entries in the trolls' history annals have been written by her hand. She currently holds the High Council's seat and has held this seat for countless years.
Lodestone: (Age: 898)
2nd on the scholar's seat.
Witty and conniving, and very hungry for power. His aim is to be elected into the High Council seat so he can begin to twist the government more in a direction he sees fit.
Brightmetal: (Age: 754)
1st on the military seat.
A wise and careful tactician, whose view of the military is that it should be kept small, yet well-trained. It should be used for defense, and not for offensive attacks. A decent blacksmith, named for her skill in making metal weapons.
Grimthorn: (Age: 366)
2nd on the military seat.
Not as brilliant a tactician as his superior, but is capable of learning quickly. Is becoming a bit disenchanted with the Council's pacifist views, and wouldn't mind taking a more offensive approach to what could be perceived as threats to the kingdom.
Slipknot: (Age: 2493)
1st on the hunter/gatherer seat.
Wiley, clever and fast are words that have been used to describe Slipknot as far back as he can remember. He enjoys hunting, fishing, and even digging around the forest for choice mushrooms, but his specialty is making traps. He enjoys trying to outsmart wild animals.
Deeproot: (Age: 433)
2nd on the hunter/gatherer seat.
Deeproot's specialty is gathering and even growing some foods inside the caves where light streams through cracks in the ceilings. Deeproot is calm, intelligent and ambitious, with her eye on the 1st Hunter/Gatherer seat if it becomes available.
Stillpoint: (Age: 500)
1st on the inventor's seat
Stillpoint is extremely organized, to the point of annoying others with her need to have everything in its place. She's also very focused and serious, lacking much in the way of a sense of humor. She's friendly and gets along with others, but often misses the point of jokes and she'd rather experiment in her workshop than join in on any comradery. Her focused research makes her an excellent inventor and she is well respected in this field.
Quickturn: (Age: 150)
2nd on the inventor's seat.
Quickturn is adventurous, amiable, curious and sometimes foolhardy. Quickturn looks up to Stillpoint and is thrilled to be second in position to her. Still, he gets frustrated with her overly rigid ways of research. Quickturn's belief is it takes risks, mistakes, and sometimes just plain playing around to discover new things. He tries to convince Stillpoint of this, but only receives dark looks and a lecture on discipline.