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 The Wood Trolls

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Woodwose
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PostSubject: The Wood Trolls   Sun Jul 05, 2009 11:59 pm


Common names amongst other races: Wood Trolls, Forest Trolls, Wildmen, Woodwoses.
Their name for themselves: Hernekin.

Mythohistory: The Hernekin claim to have divine origins. Their history tells of the mother of their race Gwarchewig (whom they call The Deer-mother or Deerwytch) was a powerful Troll shaman when the world was young. She would wander the deepest forests of Coventia in the form of a doe. In the North, where the forests are a mix of oak, hazel, alder, beech, ash, hawthorn and pine, Gwarchewig, in her deer-shape caught the eye of the god Herne, who persued her in the form of a white stag with golden antlers and silver hooves. It is said that the Deer-mother lead the god on a merry chase over two continents until at last she decided he was worthy of her. The resulting child was unlike any other troll-born Coventia had ever seen. She was less coarse than other trolls, fairer, and held less blood-lust in her heart. She was named Criafol, revered in Wood_Troll lore as The Firstborn. Herne lived happily with Gwarchewig for many decades, numerous were their children, who in time called themselves the Hernekin.

History: For millenia the Wood-Trolls have been more traveller's tale that reallity. Happy to to stay in the deepest forests away from the world at large and other races. If pressed, Wood and Wild Elves would admit to the existence of the Hernekin, then pause, shudder and change the subject. In recent centuries however, more and more of them have been venturing out into the world, even facing their race's distrust and fear of the ocean to sail between the continents. When curious members of other races and cultures asked them why they were venturing forth, each Hernekin would fix them with a long stare and reply "To be ready." And when pressed as to what they were preparing for, the answer would be: "When it happens, you will know, and seek our advice."

Culture, society, religion and physiology: The common view of Hernekin held by other races is that the Wood-Trolls are big, strong, antlered, unfriendly head-hunting carnivores that raid farms for livestock and carry off anyone foolish enough to be hanging around ancient woods at night. They were the ones that built the old standing stones of the North. They have no written language and are best avoided.

Yes, Hernekin are physically large and strong, any race born of a troll and a woodland deity is going to be! They tend to be bigger than average humans, and are a little tougher and stronger, but tales of Hernekin uprooting trees, or throwing others accross forest clearings are probably based on seeing individuals using magic or learning to harness adrenaline to temporarily boost their already prodigious strength. However, they are tough, not as tough as their distant Troll cousins, but still resilient. Both genders have antlers, these can range from huge racks of 10-tined antlers to small 2-point antlers. The males shed their antlers each winter, re-growing them in the spring, the females do not shed theirs. Some Hernekin have large tusk-like canines on their lower jaws -Wood-Troll jaw muscles are incredibly powerful, able to crunch through uncooked deer and bison bones quite easily-. Forest Trolls have acute senses, able to follow a trail as much by scent as by reading tracks. (which they also excell at) Some also seem to display a kind of 6th sense, being drawn to people, objects and places just in time to become ivolved in some adventure or other.
Hernekin don't have an exclusively meat diet. True they don't farm much in the way of crops, gathering what is seasonal, things like reed-mace stems, edible roots, berries, new-growth leaves, nuts, seeds, insect grubs and freshwater shellfish. They also hunt and fish, rarely keeping livestock, indeed, some are nomadic, following game animals on their migrations. In fact, the tales of them stealing livestock are true, at least when game is scarce and the hunting is bad. The clans that live in the deepest forests distrust humans, who they see as greedy children, interlopers hells-bent on destroying the forests. They have no concept of money, and if they keep no stock of their own, find the concept of farming as alien and baffling as money, not undertanding that the animals in the fields and pens are the human's 'property'. Sometimes, in the really lean times, other humanoid races are seen as a valid food source by the less civilised Hernekin.
When it comes to head-hunting, some clans see the head as where the soul resides, to claim an enemy's head is to own his soul and be able to work curses on his family ,clan, encampment or race. In an age where humans are pushing further into virgin forest, the Hernekin will take drastic measures to protect their home.
Did the Hernekin build the standing stones?, not quite, they just helped. As to who the other builders were, they will say only that 2 other races, more ancient than they were involvedt. Wood-Trolls do have a written language, although they openly admit they did not invent it. They say one of the other races that hepled build the standing stones taught it to them. It is called Ysgravanc or claw-script. This claw-script has three distinct forms, woodland, coastal and mountain, each one (unsurprisingly) looks like symbols scraped into various materials with a sharp, pointed object. The soft, curved 'letters' of the Coastal form look as if they were drawn in wet sand, the harsh lines of Mountain appear to have been carved in rock, and the characters of the Woodland form fall somewhere between the two. When pressed as to who this race is, or was, the Wood-Trolls place fingers to lips and whisper: "Shhhhh, you will wake them before they are needed!"
Hernekin culture is totally gender neutral, warriors, chieftans, shaman and hunters are likely to be of either sex. Cultures with 'traditional' gender-roles are a source of both puzzlement and amusement to the Wood-Trolls.
Their society is based around the Clan, a collection of inter-related families, governed by a chieftan and a council of family elders. Clans band together to form tribes, each tribe has it's own myths, ways of worship, customs and a council, made up of elected representatives from each clan. Some clans are (at least by the standards of other races) more 'civilised' than others.
Dwarfs have their axes and hammers, Elves the longsword and bow, Wood_trolls have no real preference, or 'cultural' weapon. Those in contact with other racs are just as likely to wield a human sword as a Dwarven war axe or Elven hunting spear. Others will make use of what is available, metal weapons taken from dead adventurers, Orc or goblin raiding parties, cudgels, clubs, spears, staves, bone, stone or antler knives, antler picks slings, bows , simple maces or even a good, hefty rock will do.

As far as religion is concerned, all Hernekin revere the god Herne, as well as his daughter The Huntress. Gwarchewig and Criafol are also revered, along with Totems, the spiritual menifestations of animals, plants, meteorological phenomena and geological features. Wood-Troll magic tends to be shamanic, and of the healing variety. There are rumours of Hernekin who can shapeshift or call upon fog, winds, lightning or talk with trees, but then again, there are also rumours of Elves who can see beyond the horizon and Dwarfs who can turn themselves to unstoppable juggernauts of living rock.






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PostSubject: Re: The Wood Trolls   Mon Jul 06, 2009 9:29 am

Brilliant. I will get to work writing them into the story and coming up with another racial ability
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PostSubject: Re: The Wood Trolls   Mon Jul 06, 2009 4:15 pm

I recommend "very flammable" able to take double damage from fire. Smile

Hee hee kidding sorry - was testing my board access.
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PostSubject: Re: The Wood Trolls   Tue Jul 07, 2009 10:41 pm

Or Rangers can see what side moss is growing on 'em to find North.
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PostSubject: Re: The Wood Trolls   Wed Jul 08, 2009 9:38 am

*giggles* Still. Being the creator of said race can you write up a short list of skills that you think would be good (other than intuition) and the refs and I will discuss and see whats fair.
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Woodwose
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PostSubject: Re: The Wood Trolls   Wed Jul 08, 2009 9:47 am

tracking
enhanced sense of smell (track by scent, recognise lingering racial scents)
strength
enhanced hit points
weapon crafting
hunting/gathering/forage
animal training
resist poison


flaws
stubborn
fear of the ocean
some eat humanoids
some prefer raw flesh
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PostSubject: Re: The Wood Trolls   Wed Jul 08, 2009 9:50 am

Dont tend to go with flaws. They are more things that you build into your character and have to RP. However there are magical curses or things that you may want to take note as characters go along.

Actually tell a lie. All the 'elite' (level 5 starter) races have flaws but this is a starter race, so I think we'll just keep it simple.
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