Mere Troll

(Wayne Imlach)

Basic Information

The Mere Troll is a malevolent and savage man-like creature with great strength and resilience. Unlike lesser trolls, a Mere Troll can go abroad during daylight hours, though sunlight renders the creature weak. It is most active during the hours of darkness or within the dim confines of its lair.

Appearance

Like their common troll cousins, Mere Trolls are tall, gaunt creatures that might be mistaken for a man if glimpsed from afar. On closer inspection however the illusion is broken - black, reptilian skin glistens over sinewy muscles, while a cruel, fang filled maw dominates a long bestial face. Yellow bloodshot eyes with slit-like pupils complete the monstrous visage.

Known or Supposed Origins

Not known.

Special Abilities

They have a natural immunity to magic and an equally impressive resistance to damage – while they are not impervious to the crushing blows of cudgels and staves (like common Trolls*) they do have a general resistance to all weapons, regardless of form, which only do half damage unless they are enchanted.

Being partially amphibious, Mere Trolls are often associated with rivers and lakes and can survive submerged for long periods of time.

Mere Trolls have an unusual magical survival trait in that any creature that drinks of their blood must resist a Magical Attack of 24 or find they are compelled to become subservient to any Mere Troll, including those they subsequently encounter. Fortunately most Mere Trolls are too stupid and savage to make much use of this power, preferring to slay and consume any creature that has fallen under their thrall. This enchantment can subsequently be removed with a Dispel Magic* cast with at least 9 magic points.

Weaknesses

In sunlight the creature is weakened considerably, and suffers a penalty of -4 to attack and defence, as well as inflicting only d6, 3 damage.

Geographical Distribution

Normally found in the Gnawing Wastes*, Mercania* and Krarth*. In the Mercanian* tongue the creature is known as a 'Fyrd Trull'. Normally Mere Trolls are solitary creatures, though every 7 years or so several may gather in the territory of a Mere Hag, competing with one another in a bloody fashion to win her 'affections'. It is not known what becomes of the triumphant victor once the union has been completed - as no Mere Troll has ever been found with a Mere Hag outside of this 'mating' period, one can only assume the male is driven off or otherwise disposed of.

Average Statistics

ATTACK 20 Talons (d6+2, 5)*
DEFENCE 12 Armour Factor 3 (half damage from non-enchanted weapons)
MAGICAL ATTACK N/A**
MAGICAL DEFENCE 18 Movement: 10m(20m)
EVASION 4
STEALTH 14
PERCEPTION 9 (Darksight)
Health Points: 1d6+16 Rank Equivalent: 7th

*The great strength of a Mere Troll imparts a +2 modifier to the armour bypass and damage of any weapon they use (though they lose this bonus when weakened by Sunlight) – however most are too savage and simple-minded to carry weapons, relying chiefly on their claws to dispatch foes.

Further Notes

Sorcerers* may find the blood of a Mere Troll useful, as it is a primary ingredient in creating a Potion of Control*.

Note that all Mere Trolls are male – the female equivalent is a much rarer and altogether more dangerous creature known as a ‘Mere Hag’ (roughly translated from the Mercanian* ‘Fyrd-Voor’). Mere Hags are larger and more powerful than their male counterparts – they are completely immune to non-enchanted weaponry and their breath is vile and poisonous. Fortunately, like Mere Trolls, they are also weakened by sunlight.

Mere Hag

(Wayne Imlach)

Known as 'Fyrd-Voor' in Mercanian*. See Mere Troll for details.

Average Statistics

ATTACK 22 Talons (d6+2, 5)*
DEFENCE 12 Armour Factor 3 (immune to non-enchanted weapons)
MAGICAL ATTACK N/A**
MAGICAL DEFENCE 20 Movement: 10m(20m)
EVASION 4
STEALTH 14
PERCEPTION 9 (Darksight)
Health Points: 1d6+18 Rank Equivalent: 9th

Instead of attacking with her claws, a Mere Hag can breathe out a cloud of deadly poisonous gas. This strikes a single victim to full effect, while anyone adjacent to the main target is affected to a lesser degree. Victims must roll under their reflexes to hold their breath before inhaling the noxious fumes. Any victim that inhales the fully potent breath is immediately subject to a normal strength poison – peripheral victims only suffer the effects of a weak poison. The gas dissipates quickly and is gone moments after being exhaled.

Mere Hags spend much more time in the water than their male counterparts, and their lairs are often found among submerged caves at the bottom of lakes or deep rivers. Mere Hags can accumulate large treasure hoards over the years, scavenged from the bodies of their victims. They are somewhat more intelligent than Mere Trolls, and will not hesitate to use weapons in place of their claws. Their great strength imparts a +2 modifier to the armour bypass and damage of any weapon used this way (though they lose this bonus when weakened by Sunlight).

Mere Hag blood has the same enchanting effect as Mere Troll blood, and unlike the oft dim-witted males a Mere Hag will use this to her advantage. She will likely have several other large aquatic creatures as guardians, both natural and magical in origin – Water Leapers*, Mere-Gaunts* and even Wyverns* might be found as servants of a Mere Hag.

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