time to time over the years here at the Trollshop, one of the most mysterious
and least documented aspects of the world of Trolls is discussed namely Troll
“Magic”. Recently, several of
the stories written for ‘Grandpa Carl’s Story Place’ have mentioned the
topic of Troll ‘Magic’ and we got thinking that it would be a good idea to
provide our readers, especially those who are contemplating creating their own
‘troll story’, with, at least, some information about this phenomenon. Of
course, this is by no means the final say on the issue but for those who want
to use these concepts, we want to provide a foundation upon which a writer or
storyteller can build.
start off Troll “Magic” IS
NOT the hocus-pocus, slight of hand, something for nothing media hyped
inexplicable ‘poof’ that most of us are familiar with or imagine magic to
be. (This is why we use the quote
marks around “magic”) Troll “Magic” happens because Trolls are in tune
with the very essence of nature around them. From a young age trolls are taught to respect life and all
that this entails. To them Mother
Nature is an all encompassing being that breathes life into all within her
sphere both animate and inanimate.
In human history many great Shamans, Medicine Men, Gurus, Priests and
Prophets have taught that all things are alive and ‘have spirit’. Trolls know that all things are indeed interconnected and
they use this knowledge to work what, to the common being, appears to be
‘magic’. If the full
picture of Troll activity and Troll knowledge were known they would never have
a moment of peace in which they could do their work.
be sure there are exceptions to the idea that Trolls are noble and honorable
children of nature who use their ‘cosmos’ granted power to enhance and
improve the world. This is
especially when one considers that, for the most part, all the world knows
about Trolls is found in ancient Scandinavian myths, JRR Tolkein books and a
wide variety of fantasy role playing games like Dungeons and Dragons or GURPS.
From these sources one can only come to the conclusion that the vast
majority of Trolls are anti-social, stupid,
miscreants who delight in making the world a dangerous and unwholesome
place. The fact that much of the
behavior attributed to Trolls is traceable to such beings as Ogres, Stone
Giants and occasionally Goblins does not overshadow the fact that some trolls,
even groups of trolls have gone bad and have done horrendous things.
Some of these actions have involved ‘magic’ (because all Trolls
‘know’ some magic) which has been used in some very unspeakable ways.
spite of these high profile exceptions the vast majority of Trolls continue to
quietly do what no other group on Earth do.
Using their ‘magic’ and physical skills, Trolls work alone and in
groups to fill a niche vital to every aspect of life.
If a human did what they do, that human would be showered with
praise. Nevertheless the vast
majority of Trolls continue to keep a very low profile so that they can avoid
detection get on with their work without interference.
start to learn magic from an early age starting with basic skills for
protection and survival. As they
grow older Trolls continue to learn magic until they are able to take their
place in Troll Society around the age of twenty five.
The following are a list of ‘magic spells/skills’ that we have
amassed from a wide range of stories and information from Trollologists,
Master Trollologists and myth reporters that we know.
Alter Object: This skill involves the ability to reshape things to better
accommodate a trolls needs. They may need to shape a stone to fit their building needs or
they may need to shape a bone or stick and where most of this is done with
tools the precision is so fine with such primitive appearing tools that it
‘has to be magic’ right? Or
maybe it is.
This is the ability to enhance the natural skill trolls have to conceal
themselves in nature. This
ability is especially valuable when there is little or no cover.
Cloud cover: Trolls have said to have some kind of magical connection to the
weather and this skill seems to bear that out.
When a Troll needs to cross a distance during the day when there is
little or no cover Trolls can use the moisture in the air to create a
temporary cloud to cover an area. This
cloud can even be moved or pushed along on the most gentle of breezes for
several hundred yards until it dissipates.
Large Trolls require larger clouds and it is said that some of
the sudden storms that come up in Norway and other areas are a result of a
large Troll’s need to travel.
Communicate with animals: All animals can talk, most humans are just too smart
to realize this so they never hear. Trolls
are ‘too simple’ to know this and so they talk to animals as a matter of
course having learned from youth some of these skills.
To those around them this appears to be ‘magic’.
Of course what is really amazing is when a Troll talks to a species it
has never met and never learned the language for..then perhaps it is
Dark Twist: This is a simple skill that allows even young trolls to make just
enough darkness in an area to hide themselves in.
We are not sure if the body simple blends into the dark that is there
or if it ‘secretes’ a dark shadow from the body.
Also know as Shadow Bending or Shadow Creation.
Dark Vision: This is a genetic skill of all trolls to see in little or no
light. Yet they may be a potion
or a powder that can be put in the eyes of anyone to allow them to see,
temporarily, better in limited
light. (Perhaps it is a natural
way to dilate the eyes.) This
skill will last up to a day.
Disguise: This is a rumored Troll skill or ‘magic’ to appear as another
type of creature or to hide their ‘natural’ features making them appear
‘more acceptable’ or cuter. Some
modern Trollologists use this concept/’magic’ to explain why Trolls
suddenly began to look cuddly and marketable. We don’t know.
Enhances Hearing: This is another natural ‘magical’ troll ability that
allows them to hear as well as many forest animals.
Still there is some question about how Trolls sort out all the
cacophony of sound they must hear, this could be the true magic.
There is also a potion that can be poured in the ears of some
‘others’ that allow them, again temporarily, to hear better.
Fire creation/control heat creation/control : These are variations of the same
‘magic’ This is a power that trolls have to turn small sparks into great
infernos, small fires or use them to create enough heat or fire to meet their
needs for safety, cooking and survival.
Trolls are said to be generally uncomfortable around fire especially
when it is used as a weapon and some say that a fire wound on a troll does not
heal. This is generally true but
they do not fear fire, they control it. It
is when it is out of control that they fear and avoid it.
It is also said that some Trolls can ‘shape’ fire but we have seen
Food cleansing/preservation: This ability enables Trolls to be true scavengers
and allows them to eat virtually anything of a vegetable or protein nature.
Sometimes this process involves powders or potions poured or mixed with
the food and if this is ‘magic’ we would not be surprised.
Regeneration: Trolls heal at a very rapid rate unless they are burned (which
heals much slower for some reason). Many
believe this is magic but it could be a natural ability.
Shapeshifting: A ‘magic’ mentioned in one or two myths and role books that
trolls can use. We think it is
really part of the magic known as disguise
Silent Movement: Maybe this is a natural skill or maybe it is magic but trolls
can move almost cat like if they have too.
Some say it is the softness of their leather ‘shoes’ (if they ever
wear shoes) others say it is a potion or powder that helps.
Size Shifting: This ‘magic’ is the most difficult to explain as it is a
‘magic’ that allows the trolls to shift size ranging from down to 20 cm (8
or 9 inches and some say smaller) to over 1.6 km (about a mile) depending on the
preferred or natural size of the troll. Trolls
naturally get bigger as they get older and remain unvaried in their mental and
natural abilities but when they choose to grow suddenly or to an unnatural size
they seem to loose much of their wisdom, cunning and ‘simpleness’ and become
mean, sullen and often destructive. If
they just grow naturally and live long enough they can hit those sizes but then
they grow lethargic and bored and are more likely to change to stone. No other ‘magic’ is this difficult to explain.
(When one considers that some trolls are only a millimeter tall or so to
start with one wonders if they can grow. No one knows)
Trail Confusion: This is the ability or ‘magic’ that trolls have to hide
their trail or confuse their trackers. Some
say that potions or powders sprinkled on a trail confuse or mask scents too but
regardless of the reasons Trolls and Troll trails appear to vanish like a ghost.
Un-noticeability: This ‘magic’ lets an even ‘unhidden’ troll go
unnoticed by an individual or a small group even when they are looking right at
him or her. The criteria used
involve the Troll standing absolutely still or moving so very carefully so as to
not attract any kind of attention. People or animals approaching will without even realizing it
go around the frozen figure regardless of the size and if they do notice
something it is often chalked up to a shadow or light trick. This ‘magic’ obviously works best in shadow or at night.
No one has mentioned it ever being tried during daylight.
there are quite a number of healing type magics, potions and powders that help
Trolls remain healthy. These cures
are certainly made up natural herbs and other items found in nature and are
likely homeopathic and naturopathic in substance but they could very well be
magical. These healing methods are
the most carefully guarded ‘secrets’ in Trolldom and we do not have any
access to them.