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#14547448 Mar 19, 2021 at 04:52 PM · Edited over 1 year ago
Antu'zul
46 Posts
Within our Resources, you will find a heavily compiled library of troll information from Akil'zon to Zul'jin.

The resources guide is open to anybody with a question about troll lore, though we ask that it not be reprinted anywhere other than this website.

The Shadowtusk Clan does honor a lot of the information from the World of Warcraft RPG books, which are not canon according to the "Ask Creative Development Round 2 Answers," providing the information does not directly conflict with canon lore. If you believe any of this information to be incorrect, contact an Antu'zul.

Information in the Shadowtusk section is exactly that: additional reading to give others an idea of what Shadowtusk culture is like. This information is based on canon information and is used to guide most roleplay within the Clan.

This section of the forum goes over some general and important things you'll want to know before diving straight into troll Roleplay.

While this page does include plenty of details and speculation about culture, you can find more examples of our day-to-day culture in roleplay and our biggest festivals on the 'Culture' page of the website. This is all of the basics to help you get to know how trolls (and, more specifically, our clan) usually work their day to day lives!



Names and Naming Conventions


Fan-Headcanon Zandali Language Link
In troll society, names are not merely ways to identify oneself - they also indicate powers, societal roles, and titles and are much more complex than they may seem at first.

Troll youth are generally born with short, one-syllable names, such as Mak, though often they are called by generic nicknames such as “son”, “whelp” or “child”. These names are sometimes kept hidden until a troll proves themselves, and symbolically become fully-fledged members of the tribe. When a troll proves themselves (such as through combat) they usually gain a second name to add to their first, such as Mak becoming Mak’zan.

Some titles are added onto names to indicate a part of that person’s role in the tribe or personality. For example, a very devout troll may wish to add ‘Atal’ to their name, and be “Devoted”. Chiefs of the tribe are often called ‘Jin’ or given the suffix ‘-jin’ to indicate this. As such, trolls cannot have the suffix ‘-jin’ in the Clan and have to be called differently ICly so as to not be referred to as a Chief.


Spirituality, Superstition, and Voodoo


Loas and Religions Link

Almost by definition, trolls are superstitious and mystical to the extreme; they see signs of bad omens everywhere, often relying on a Witch Doctor to help protect them, or treat an actual or suspected curse.

Trolls worship and fear the great Loa, an umbrella term for powerful dead spirits, Wild Gods, and deities. Each great troll city and empire bears a pantheon of very powerful Major Loa, often represented by animals. These Major Loa are the most feared and are as mysterious as they can be cruel. Jealous, fickle, and greedy, they demand their worshippers only devote themselves to one Major Loa - to worship multiple Major Loa is seen as taboo, and only is done by Shadow Hunters or druids. For a troll who is not one of those classes, to worship more than one of the Major Loa comes at the risk of being cursed. Minor Loa, such as a family ancestor, can be worshipped in the multitudes, and it is wise to give them offerings as well.

Both the Loa and Spirits demand offerings, which can range from blood and souls to food and material objects. These sacrifices and offerings both bless the trolls, granting them regenerative abilities, but also prevents the Loa and Spirits from feeling as if they have been forgotten and letting loose terrible curses onto the city, such as disease or famine.

Unlike Orc and Tauren shamanistic beliefs, troll religion takes a darker turn, involving evil and malevolent spirits that are often willing to possess and curse trolls. These malignant spirits are greedy, hostile, and dangerous. The ancestors of trolls are often contentious, missing the land of the physical world, so offerings, such as blood, are required to keep them appeased.

Trolls believe that the spirit of a body lingers after death, and certain precautions have to be taken in order for the spirit to not come back and take vengeance on its murderer, or anyone in the general vicinity. Witch Doctors will often conduct the gruesome practice of shrinking the head of a corpse, which they believe will trap the spirit, and trolls will often eat the flesh of their dead enemies to both gain the strength and power of their dead victim, and to damage the spirit enough to render it impotent and weak enough to not curse. Certain wards and precautions can be taken to avoid evil spirits, such as salt circles, chewing on mint, or amulets, but what is true and what is fiction are not always so clear in troll religion.

During the month of Kaz’kah (October), where the veil between the dead and the living is at its thinnest, the spirits of the dead come in full force and can be seen by anyone. During this time, Shadowtusk trolls will perform numerous ceremonies and rituals to ward off evil spirits. For the rest of Azeroth, this happens during Hallow’s End.


Hostility


Almost every tribe of trolls are extremely xenophobic and violent. Trolls not only prefer a lack of contact with other races of Azeroth but also with other troll tribes, as tribal wars (see Skullsplitter vs Bloodscalp) can arise quickly due to the hostile temperament of trolls. Some tribes, such as Shatterspear, might be less hostile than ice trolls, such as Drakkari, but all trolls have a nature of hostility, and this is not unwarranted - Troll life, historically, has been hard, often with famines and crippling wars both within their own race, and against others, such as elves.

While your troll may not be as xenophobic as others, know that the majority of trolls have had to remain isolated from other races. Fraternization with ‘the enemy’ is often looked down up, especially by tribes such as Amani or Drakkari.

It’s important to remember that trolls are largely not mellow and peaceful beings but rather, hardened and trained by war, and will be much more hostile and unforgiving than humans due to their culture, beliefs, and environments.


Sexism, Polygamy, and Social Behavior 
​​

For as far back as written and verbal history recalls, outsiders have seen trolls to be a male-dominated society. On the rare occasion that an outsider might see the inner working of a troll village or home, women were busy in their homes first - cleaning, preparing food, doing various household chores, and having children to produce more warriors. Men were thought to always be the leaders of the tribes. 

This is not the case.

While some tribes might have a misogynistic view on such things, the reality of the matter is that women in troll society were ofttimes viewed just as capable as the males - from being council members to being religious leaders.

Historical evidence of this among the Zandalari can be found in Kings Rest by those lucky enough to walk the Tomb City's halls.While many cultures may view polygamy (or multi-spouse relationships) in an unfavorable light, troll society does not take a negative view on this practice and it is as common as monogamous relationships.

With this in mind, rumors do state that the Amani and Drakkari tribes have some of the more sexist or closed-minded members - but rumors are just that, rumors. Only within the last decade - since the Darkspear, Revantusk, and the Shatterspear joined the Horde - has the outside world seen more of the truth in troll culture. That equality is more the rule than the exception within a Caste, Tribe, or city. 

As in all cultures, these negative traits do exist and can happen anywhere. For example, a past female Chief in the Shadowtusk was even the target of an attempted assassination by a Drakkari, livid that a woman would try to lead the Clan.


Social Roles and Interactions


Clan Map and Hut List Link

Though spiritual worship is a big part of troll culture, your troll is by no means confined to it. Trolls make some of the fiercest warriors, the nimblest rogues, and the most cunning hunters. They are also possibly the first race on Azeroth to study the arcane arts. It's important to keep in mind that the spiritual leaders, priests, Witch Doctors, Hexxers, and Shadow Hunters are not all there is to troll culture. By just looking at any given tribe’s home we can tell a lot about the interactions between a community. 

The huts trolls live in are made of wood and constructed by carpenters. Hunters gather the bones and furs that decorate the huts, as well as the meat that is cooked over basic campfires. Scrolls and tablets are created by intellectuals and historians. Pottery and sculptures, created by various artisans, litter troll cities, and loyal carpenters repair the cracks and broken edges of a city’s structures. These types of trolls, realistically, are the majority of any given tribe or settlement.


Death, Dying, and Undeath

Troll Physiology Link

Upon the death of a fellow tribesman, a Witch Doctor performs a death ritual - mangling an animal or drawing blood to draw angry spirits away from the dead body so they don’t hamper the passed away troll to smoothly transition into the spirit realm. It is a common practice to mummify the dead and then put that body in a place that protects it from the elements, such as pots or crypts.

This is done due to the belief that the body is an anchor for the spirit, so with the body preserved, they may more easily visit the living. Cremation is frowned upon, as it destroys that anchor, giving the spirit no resting place and dooms them to wander the Spirit Realm forever. Near the final resting place of a body, trolls usually place jewelry, treasures, or objects to potentially have as the deceased would walk down the Black Road.

Many trolls view risen undead as an abomination, as it is a soul given no reprieve in death to rest and can often be thought of as evil spirits. Loa such as Bwonsamdi, the Darkspear Guardian of Death, or Samedi, one of the Shadow Hunter Loa, view undead in a very negative and abominable way. Nevertheless, some trolls pursue and practice the very dark magic of necromancy, and some tribes, such as the Sandfury, normalize it and practice it regularly due to the need for labor and survival in a harsh desert climate.


Variety in Troll Culture

Shadowtusk Clan Culture Link ||| Tribes of Azeroth Link

While common links can be found between the different troll tribes, each has its own unique aspects and flavor. For example, the Zandalari are believed to be some of the most civilized and literate trolls with the goal of keeping a record of all trollish history.  
Having to live in harsher terrain has likely not only altered them physically but culturally as well. The same could be said for the Sandfury- a tribe of trolls struggling to survive in an unforgiving desert environment. What we can draw from this is that each troll tribe has developed different cultural practices in order to adapt to their different environments and circumstances.

Despite this, there are common links between all troll tribes. Powerful, primal gods are worshiped by each tribe, and the worship of them is similar in nature. Sacrifices are given to them in return for blessings. Zandali is a shared language of all troll tribes, yet tribes have their own accents!
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