LOCATION: Cursed or blighted woodlands anywhere in Eletreus.
SIZE: Large to Gargantuan
Forest Trolls are one of the primary reasons to stay as far away as possible from any of the various isolated and abandoned forests in Eletreus.. Indeed, they are a good reason to stay out of ANY unfamiliar forest that just doesn’t quite feel right, because while the gargantuan ones are rarely encountered outside of their vast territories deep in the wilderness, younger ones may seek to establish a territory for themselves somewhere new..
During the day, the Forest Troll remains with its feet firmly rooted in place and looks like a gnarled and somewhat sinister tree..
But it influences the other trees in the area to also twist in unpleasant ways,to make the whole grove just seem somehow off.. So noticing trees that – from a certain angle – look like they have claws and can kind of see more ‘faces’ that usual in the natural pattern is a strong warning sign that you are entering Forest Troll territory.
The only way to find if there really is a Forest Troll there during the day is close inspection. which of course is a very bad idea, as the Forest Troll is always ravenous for meat of any kind, and that weird looking tree that kind of looks like it has a face can tear a grown man limb from limb in a heartbeat..
During the nighttime however, it is a completely different story. As twilight falls, the Forest Trolls true form is revealed and it may finally uproot itself and, slowly at first, begins to walk. But once the very last trace of daylight is finally gone and faded from the dark night sky, it can run up to the speed of a galloping horse, other trees bending their limbs to avoid it so that the only indication that it is moving is the rustling of leaves..
Or the awful, whooping sound it makes when it spots suitable, preferably sentient, prey..
For the Forest Troll is a voracious carnivore, gaining nutrients during the day from the soil, and supplementing them with meat during the night..Yet it also delights in killing any who would dare venture into its domain, and once they lock onto their prey, they will chase it down right to the very edge of the forest – which if it happens to be in a vast wilderness,will mean it will continue to try and catch and eat its chosen victim at the expense of everything else..
One of the reasons for their single mindedness in pursuit, other than their hatred at anything daring to enter its claimed territory, is that if they are damaged during the night time by anything other than fire, new growth and thick sap will shoot out of their core and repair the wounds almost as fast as they can be dealt, making it impossible to cut down with an ordinary axe or heavy sword..
Because of this, and because it seems to feel no pain, its typical mode of attack at night is anything but subtle, usually starting by throwing something heavy it has found on its travels, such as boulders, bits of masonry from old ruins or even dead tree branches before closing, scrambling forward and ignoring everything but the one it has decided to eat first..
Apart from its stubborn pursuit of a selected victim (which is usually the smallest one in the group, though they sometimes seem to fixate on people for no apparent reason) which while extremely dangerous, could potentially be somehow exploited, the Forest Troll only really has two known weaknesses.
The first is, of course, fire. Being essentially animated trees, they can be burned down like any other tree in the woods. Hunting them in this fashion is extremely dangerous however, as if they do catch fire even during the day, they will break off from the base of their trunk and attack in a berserk fury, burning all the while, and while they will die, they almost always take the hunters with them..
The only other known weakness they have is that they are unable to physically see elves, who are invisible to them, though they CAN smell them out (and use their long wooden noses to lock onto prey miles away).
Wood elves in particular exploit this and are known to travel long distances to hunt them with specially enchanted arrows that, if they hit, turn it into a twisted and withered old tree within seconds. These enchanted arrows are made from the branches of a dead forest troll, and will bounce of harmlessly if anyone but a wood elf troll hunter shoots it, the enchantment lost..
Thankfully, the bigger ones are extremely rare to encounter as they do not reproduce, but instead are awakened by a large forest troll spending hundreds of years in the same location, causing smaller trees twisted by its evil aura to awaken and travel hundreds of miles in search of a new territory.. (It is believed that they CAN cross territories, but are loathe to leave a forested area and will not attack anything until they can find a new forest, so it is usually never seen)..
The only other saving grace is that they are highly territorial of each other and if two Forest Trolls cross paths, they will fight to the death, which makes a terrifying sound that can be heard for miles and miles around – and means only one thing..
For once the awful sounds of battle and pure hatred finally stop and there echoes a howl of victory, it means there is a now BIG Forest Troll around somewhere, with no wounds from its fight..
And when things go silent, it means that it has probably already sniffed you out and is making a silent, direct line to get close enough to see..
So if you ever hear such a sound in an isolated, abandoned woodland, regardless of the time of night, the best thing to do is get as far away from the forest as possible.. Or if you can’t, hope that the monster doesn’t single YOU out when it closes for the kill..