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Why can't Trolls or Troll Friends Undo the Trollkin Curse?

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What is the Trollkin curse, exactly? Why is it so difficult to reverse? I've read some material, interested in other people's thoughts - what hero quests have been attempted, where they went wrong.

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It's tough to undo something done by an actual Deity, is how I would put it.  Probably worse since it came from a Light based source (the weakness of the Dark Pantheon).  Cragspider herself was unable to reverse it, but did managed to at least get Great Trolls out of it.  

To me, that effectively puts accomplishing the undoing of that curse well out of the reach of any normal mortals, and would be an end-times/end game of the Hero Wars thing to be reversed, if even then.  Some damage is just permanent, even in Glorantha.

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On 5/27/2019 at 9:38 PM, EricW said:

What is the Trollkin curse, exactly

All the great nations and races got together after a time of struggle at the ending of the first age and formed a council so powerful that it figured it could create a god. The Trolls and Dragonewts were not fooled and realized the pitfalls of creating a god and pulled out of the council creating the Broken Council. Still the Council created Nysalor the illuminated one.  

Quote

While still a mewling babe, he gave his powers to the Two Curses of the Broken Council. One was directed against the dragonewts, but failed when its energies were devoured by dragons. The other was directed against Kyger Litor and the Dark Trolls, and succeeded. page 61 of the Gloranthan Sourcebook.

This curse was the misborn trollkin, and the heroquest of Cragspider Dissolv mentions did not succeed and bring back natural mistress race births but the consolation prize was the great troll. 

Edited by Bill the barbarian
spelling

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6 hours ago, EricW said:

What is the Trollkin curse, exactly? Why is it so difficult to reverse? I've read some material, interested in other people's thoughts - what hero quests have been attempted, where they went wrong. 

The trollkin curse is a metaphysical wound on the Mother Goddess of Trolls, Kyter Ligor, by Nysalor/Gbaji, a mystical god of light/chaos (it's complicated) that means a lot of trolls get born as stunted weaklings. Aside from being tragic for the trolls, it also weakens them since them since there's less big tough guys that eat people around, so the trolls would really like it reversed.

It's really difficult to fix the damage since the god who did it was really powerful and was also breaking a lot of the rules that prevent stuff like that from happening. You'd have to be either as powerful as a manifest God, or break a lot of the rules yourself with ill-advised God Learner Sorcery with a lot of magic to fuel it.

There have been a few attempts to fix it that have kind of worked. Cragspider managed to have bigger, dumber trolls get born instead. Another attempt early on made it so litters of trollkin get born instead of one. A lot of the weirder breeds of troll that don't worship Kyter Ligor at all don't have trollkin, although they generally have some other issue.

The only good theory I've seen about how to fully undo the curse, at least on a smaller scale, is for the mother troll to heroquest as Kyter Ligor in that battle and win. That's practically impossible, but if you could do it, you'd be hailed as an incredible hero and never birth trollkin yourself at the very least. Maybe it'd work alright if you get supported by a good deal of Arkat cult magic, but that's just speculation.

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6 hours ago, EricW said:

What is the Trollkin curse, exactly?

Gbaji, or Nysalor, faced down the Great Eater and Kyger Litor, was eaten by Kyger Litor and ripped its way out of her belly, through her womb, with his Adamantine Claws, damaging Korasting in the process. Following that, many trolls were born stunted and deformed, Trollkin. Some HeroQuestors tried to fix the Curse and one caused multiple births of Trollkin instead, which became the best way to tell who is a Trollkin or not, although it made Twin Births count as Trollkin.

6 hours ago, EricW said:

Why is it so difficult to reverse?

Because Trolls are pig-headed, stubborn and immensely conservative.

There are two main ways to stop the Trollkin Curse, according to most Trolls:

  • Stand between Gbaji and Korasting, fighting him and his Admantine Claws. That always ends badly for the Trolls, as the Adamantine Claws are pretty much fatal to Trolls.
  • Heal Korasting's wounds and restore fertility to trolls. A lot of trolls have tried this and they often give their own fertility to Korasting, losing it in the process. Many gain HeroQuest curses that they can only give birth to Trollkin.

For me, the Swallowing of Gbaji and the Ripping of the Womb are so closely intertwined that they are effectively the same action. Trolls don;t understand this. They think that they MUST swallow Gbaji and MUST stop him from damaging Korasting. Even the idea of not Swallowing Gbaji would be against everything they believe in. So, they continue to HeroQuest against Gbaji, swallowing him each and every time, strengthening the Trollkin Curse each and every time and wondering why they can't stop the Curse of Kin.

 

6 hours ago, EricW said:

I've read some material, interested in other people's thoughts - what hero quests have been attempted, where they went wrong.

Cragspider famously came at it a different way. Instead of preventing the attack, she strengthened Troll Mothers by infusing them with Dehori Spirits, making their Darkness more powerful, in the hope of allowing them to resist the Curse of Kin. That partially worked, as it gave them Great trolls rather than Trollkin. It shows how a different approach could work.

 

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6 hours ago, Wrestlepig said:

The only good theory I've seen about how to fully undo the curse, at least on a smaller scale, is for the mother troll to heroquest as Kyter Ligor in that battle and win. That's practically impossible, but if you could do it, you'd be hailed as an incredible hero and never birth trollkin yourself at the very least.

I think that's definitely possible.  At least in the post hoc sense:  do ritual, have several Dark Troll children consecutively, retire from the field victorious.  Was it an entirely successful HQ?  Just getting entirely lucky on the Big Random Table Beloved to Gamers?  Bit of both?  Not readily distinguishable in practice.

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15 hours ago, soltakss said:

For me, the Swallowing of Gbaji and the Ripping of the Womb are so closely intertwined that they are effectively the same action.

And they are more as well. Swallowing Gbaji is also the Death of Yelm/Yelm entering Wonderhome. Ripping of the Womb is also the rebirth of Yelm/Dawn. To deny either is to deny the Great Compromise, so they become very insidious events. 

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16 hours ago, soltakss said:

For me, the Swallowing of Gbaji and the Ripping of the Womb are so closely intertwined that they are effectively the same action. Trolls don;t understand this. They think that they MUST swallow Gbaji and MUST stop him from damaging Korasting. Even the idea of not Swallowing Gbaji would be against everything they believe in. So, they continue to HeroQuest against Gbaji, swallowing him each and every time, strengthening the Trollkin Curse each and every time and wondering why they can't stop the Curse of Kin.

Not swallowing Nysalor goes against everything that the Black Eater stands for, and the only way to achieve that would be not to invoke the Black Eater. Very risky, because a great number of ancestors of the modern trolls were assembled in the path of the deity, and as a collective entity they survived (though they were cursed).

Perhaps a strong drill to chew their food real well might get those claw stuck in the teeth rather than get into the bowels and eventually womb of the Black Eater?

Questing to this historical event probably is difficult, too. You are supposed to quest as the Black Eater, and there are no other troll entities present. There is no "Arming of" event. Cragspider found one way to insert an Arming, but her quest only resulted in male and mostly infertile Great Troll hybrids. At least this was a guaranteed way to avoid birthing a trollkin litter.

 

Regarding the huge numbers of trollkin - these cannot come from dark troll mothers, there must be significant numbers of breeding trollkin females to outnumber the dark troll births by a factor of at least 40 - even if you include cave troll-birthed trollkin. Trollkin are heavily predated on by their larger kin. The problem of a stable population or perhaps even over-population of Ignorance without any resident large troll types is another such indication.

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15 hours ago, Joerg said:

Regarding the huge numbers of trollkin - these cannot come from dark troll mothers, there must be significant numbers of breeding trollkin females to outnumber the dark troll births by a factor of at least 40 - even if you include cave troll-birthed trollkin. Trollkin are heavily predated on by their larger kin. The problem of a stable population or perhaps even over-population of Ignorance without any resident large troll types is another such indication.

Oh, you really don't want to hear my theories of the degraded sex-pits that are Trollkin dens, with Elites and values lording it over the Food Trollkin, generating more and more Food Trollkin.

Edited by soltakss
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On 5/29/2019 at 4:25 AM, Joerg said:

Tbe problem of a stable population or perhaps even over-population of Ignorance without any resident large troll types is another such indication.

Or, as suggested in a previous thread, at least partially due to continual slave trading with Dozakiland, Eristiland, and Koromondol. 

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Here's something I wrote years ago:

 

The players, at any point, appeal for Divine Intervention. On a successful roll, rather than your god whisking you away or so on, the following happens.

A huge, irregular slab of earth erupts out of the ground, opening a portal into the darkness at its base. If the players flee into the hole they see a dream world of darkness lit by a soft purple and green glow. Huge, softly swaying mushrooms tower over each side of them and small mushrooms, glowing with a soft luminescence, line a twisting path beneath the trunks. Tiny glowing lights meander around about a foot off the ground, creating little auras of soft radiance in the swirling, warm mist that blankets the ground. Hinting rather than obscuring the area.
Following the path reveals that the players develop a sense of warm security, as if the very gloom wraps and protects the. However, off to one side they hear an almost subliminal throbbing, like a heartbeat. If they follow the trail they come to another opening are delivered from the underworld to continue their adventures. However, if they go off to the sound;

A deep, body throb of sound comes off among the trunks. Players walking this way lose the path and cannot refind it. The sound comes from a clearing among the huge mushrooms, and there they see a unique sight. Misshapen trollkin caper in a circle, dancing frenziedly in a widdershins pattern. Inside this, huge dark trolls, clad in lead armour and holding maces and mauls that hum with power, dance slowly in a clockwise circle around an altar-shaped slab. On either end of this altar is seated a great troll beating on a section of hollow log carved with truly terrifying runes of power from the beginning of time. Around the altar are three female trolls, clad in bizarre ceremonial robes with towering headdresses and masks. On the altar is a terrifying sight; a Mistress Race Troll groaning in time with the slow thunder of the drumbeat as she labours in childbirth.

The trollkin part as they caper in the knee high mist, and the trolls open their ranks as the players find themselves joining in the slow, heavy dance. Deep, primal feelings wash over them; anger, regret, vigilance, fury.

The Mistress Race Troll lets out a hoarse, deep yell as horrible figures loom out of the mushrooms. Horrid Elf-Broo, sparkling with stinging, searing light, slither from among the Mushrooms and slice into the trollkin. The dark trolls give out deep, grunting war-cries and lumber into battle. The chaos monsters fight with claws so bright they burn the imagination, and the resolute trolls respond with body-crunching strikes that fling bodies high in the air. There are too many though, and a group bursts through their lines and streak towards the altar. Their claws become so bright that it's a throbbing, blinding pain that summons up an anger the players have never experience before.

The players are at full health, magical power and fatigue, the dance has made them whole. The fight goes on until all the monsters or all the players fall. If the players slaughter one each of these monsters the others fall back screaming in fear and stagger backwards into the brawl. The dark trolls grab them, snapping spines and tearing off heads. If the players fall in battle a torrent of these creatures wash over the altar, slicing and rending.

If the players die, they die. In fact, as they're in the underworld. They
really die. There's no coming back. If they succeed there is a triumphant roar. The cloaked priestesses hold up a healthy mistress race troll baby, a girl. The mother rises up onto her knees, takes the child in her arms and roars out a hoarse battle cry that literally blows the remaining chaos monsters to fragments. A comforting darkness settles over the seen. The gloom deepens and the players sleep.

They waken in a shattered temple, lying around a statue of a female troll. The location is up to the GM. The players blink and rise, looking at each other. In the pitch dark. They now have troll sonar-vision. Scan and Spot skills are at base etc.

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The great problem is that during the Battle of Night and Day, Gbaji was devoured by Kyger Litor, and then was reborn via his adamantine claws out of Korasting, the symbol troll fertility.  This constituted a major attack on the power of Troll fertility that had already been diminishing.  Consider that there were once Giant Trolls, and then the trolls started shrinking.  Really Dark Trolls are proto-trollkin if looked at that way.  Gbaji made things worse, by inflicting permanent damage on Korasting.  Now I daresay that Chalana Arroy could heal the damage, but where is the upside to that happening from a human perspective?

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13 minutes ago, Darius West said:

The great problem is that during the Battle of Night and Day, Gbaji was devoured by Kyger Litor, and then was reborn via his adamantine claws out of Korasting, the symbol troll fertility.

According to History of the Heortling Peoples, Nysalor didn't have or use adamantine claws.

Quote

Nysalor strode across empty space to meet the Great Devourer. The goddess reached down and snatched him up from midair and tossed him down her throat. Shrieks and groans went up from the Army of Restraint and a cheer from their foes, and the Unity Army took heart to attack once again.
Then Kyger Litor howled. The howl of a goddess in pain. The sound of a great pain in one who is unused to it, whose essence of being never included such sensation until now. The great Kyger Litor clutched her abdomen, howling. The Devourer shuddered, groaning. The mother of uz swayed, then with a moan collapsed to her knees, and disintegrated abruptly, spilling all her component uz across the field like a bag of insects that had been gashed and whose inhabitants scurried, panicked, for cover. Even those which were swarming atop the Dorastorans and Dara Happans, crushing heads and ripping out organs, grabbed at their abdomens and, with a cry, fled

History of the Heortling Peoples p23

How this is reconciled with the Trollpak version, I have no idea.

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5 minutes ago, metcalph said:

According to History of the Heortling Peoples, Nysalor didn't have or use adamantine claws.

I definitely remember reading about Nysalor having adamantine claws.  Then again it has been years since I read heavily on the subject, so you may well be correct.  In any case I won't have time to chase the reference.

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Just now, Darius West said:

I definitely remember reading about Nysalor having adamantine claws.  Then again it has been years since I read heavily on the subject, so you may well be correct.  In any case I won't have time to chase the reference.

The Adamantine Claws reference is from Trollpak (Uz Lore p29).

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3 minutes ago, metcalph said:

The Adamantine Claws reference is from Trollpak (Uz Lore p29).

To be fair, it does seem odd that a chaos thing like Gbaji can manifest adamantine.  It was probably just iron being entirely exaggerated by outraged trolls.

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Hmm, I find it amusing that for humans Gbaji is something like the truth-become-lie, or so, and for trolls he is food-become-, errh, unfood. Gbaji's power is that he is never who or what you expect him to be.

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20 minutes ago, Darius West said:

To be fair, it does seem odd that a chaos thing like Gbaji can manifest adamantine.  It was probably just iron being entirely exaggerated by outraged trolls.

It isn't that odd. The Greatway dwarves still were part of the God Project at the Sunstop, and they may have contributed these to the unborn deity.

Checking the RQ2 Trollpak, the armament of Gbaji is "eyes of darts", "claws of iron fire" and "robes of burning light".

In the first person account, Gbaji strikes its fangs into the Black Eater's ears even after his legs have been ripped off, then gets smashed to pulp and swallowed.

Nothing of this really contradicts the HotHP account. Whether Nysalor could draw forth metal claws in Wolverine style or whether he wore iron gauntlets isn't detailed in HotHP. The bright robes probably were seen, but not remarked upon.

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1 hour ago, Darius West said:

To be fair, it does seem odd that a chaos thing like Gbaji can manifest adamantine.  It was probably just iron being entirely exaggerated by outraged trolls.

He's Illuminated, isn't he? Difficult to put him in a box.

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She swallowed chaos and light, the light which unmakes the world.

Did Kyger Litor become illuminated? The reference to adamant claws could be a metaphor, an attempt by trolls to explain the dreadful change to their mother.

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3 hours ago, Lord High Munchkin said:

Don't mythically stop Kyger Litor from eating Gbaji, stop Gbaji from gaining and/or having claws.

I think the proper sequence is: Extinguish Gbaji first, then eat Gbaji. No fire, no "claws" of iron fire.

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On 6/5/2019 at 11:05 AM, metcalph said:

According to History of the Heortling Peoples, Nysalor didn't have or use adamantine claws.

Quote

Nysalor strode across empty space to meet the Great Devourer. The goddess reached down and snatched him up from midair and tossed him down her throat. Shrieks and groans went up from the Army of Restraint and a cheer from their foes, and the Unity Army took heart to attack once again.
Then Kyger Litor howled. The howl of a goddess in pain. The sound of a great pain in one who is unused to it, whose essence of being never included such sensation until now. The great Kyger Litor clutched her abdomen, howling. The Devourer shuddered, groaning. The mother of uz swayed, then with a moan collapsed to her knees, and disintegrated abruptly, spilling all her component uz across the field like a bag of insects that had been gashed and whose inhabitants scurried, panicked, for cover. Even those which were swarming atop the Dorastorans and Dara Happans, crushing heads and ripping out organs, grabbed at their abdomens and, with a cry, fled

History of the Heortling Peoples p23

How this is reconciled with the Trollpak version, I have no idea.

It just doesn't mention how he wounded Kyger Litor/Korasting. Not mentioning something isn't the same as saying he didn't have them, for me.

If one source says he had them and another doesn't mention them then, for me, it isn't necessarily a contradiction.

The Trollpack version doesn't have the Devourer being made up of thousands of trolls, from memory, it doesn't mean that it wasn't the case, just that it isn't mentioned.

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