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Trollbabe

Trollbabe

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PostSubject: Troll Culture   Troll Culture EmptyWed May 20, 2020 3:22 pm

In the original Elfquest Scroll of Colors, I started a thread entitled "Trolls Versus Elves." In the Archives, the thread appears here: Trolls Versus Elves

I started posting about Trolls in the "Skin Color" thread, so I thought I would continue my comments, this time under a less inflammatory title.

In the World of Two Moons, intelligent cultures include humans, Elves, Trolls and Preservers. Preservers don't reproduce and are almost immortal. Their culture is simple and doesn't change, unless I missed something. So Troll culture is best compared to human and Elf culture.

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Trollbabe

Trollbabe

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PostSubject: Re: Troll Culture   Troll Culture EmptyWed May 20, 2020 4:01 pm

FWIW I include Two-Edge under Troll culture, as he never became socially involved with his mother's people, the Gliders.

Despite his mental issues and complete lack of morals, Trolls claim him as a great Master Craftsman.

I mentioned once that some Troll families have portraits of Winnowill and Two-Edge in their homes. They don't necessarily know Winnowill's name, or anything about her.

Winnowill is portrayed as a Troll woman, whose pointed ears indicate that she is an Elf. Baby Two-Edge is nestled lovingly in her arms.

In the same manner, European paintings of the Holy Family depict a European trio in fine contemporary clothing, rather than a first-century Jewish working class family.

Two-Edge may not have been exposed to Troll culture beyond the few years he had with his father, but he was an important influence upon Troll technology.

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Arill3.0

Arill3.0

Pisces Monkey
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PostSubject: Re: Troll Culture   Troll Culture EmptyWed Jul 08, 2020 3:25 pm

Hello again Trollbabe! I always loved your interpretation of Troll culture on the old forum, since it seems to get the short end of the stick in Canon. There's so much to explore!

I've lately been toying with the idea that Troll women have their own shadow court-within-a-court in Troll kingdoms, a faction that works just beside the public sphere of the menfolk, behind and beneath. At least in the OQ the womenfolk are treated a bit like objects to be won, not necessarily overt political players...but that's surface level. Old Maggoty definitely pulls the strings.

So, essentially, the lads are the ones bashing about feeling important, while the lasses offer pointed encouragement from the sidelines and sit back to behold their design. I don't know. I need more coffee.
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Trollbabe

Trollbabe

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PostSubject: Re: Troll Culture   Troll Culture EmptyWed Jul 08, 2020 9:54 pm

That's a strong possibility. Maggoty is a good example of the true power behind the throne.  In Guttlekraw's kingdom, though, we saw women being kept in separate quarters and relying upon the men to defend them.

In a healthy human population, women tend to outnumber and outlive men.  When we outlive them, we inherit their wealth.  We have sole custody of children for nine months.

Biologically, we should have the upper hand.  Technology, which Trolls possess, should eliminate the difference in upper body strength.

Men only run the show because women allow it, competing with each other for men's favor instead of lifting each other up.

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Arill3.0

Arill3.0

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PostSubject: Re: Troll Culture   Troll Culture EmptyWed Jul 08, 2020 10:21 pm

Those are excellent points. I've been diving deep into the realm of speculation because Trolls are relegated to Eternal Sidekick status in EQ and therefore I can Do What I Want when it comes to Troll culture...and I've been thinking that the women's side/chambers/shadowrealm is extremely cutthroat and, yes, full of internalized misogyny...but god help the man who harms one of the women. I'm thinking of that Hungarian village post-WWI, where there was a circle of women who had a special prescription for treating wife-beaters...

It was arsenic. The prescription was arsenic.

Also why am I sudden stricken by a sense of loss because Winnowill and Maggoty never got to meet in any capacity in Canon?

Like.

Winnowill would, in some ways, make an excellent Troll maiden. Like if Smelt had put and ring on it and brought her back home she would acclimate with alarming speed and the entire kingdom would be gutted from the inside out and Smelt would wonder what the hell had happened and where it had gone wrong.
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Trollbabe

Trollbabe

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PostSubject: Re: Troll Culture   Troll Culture EmptyThu Jul 09, 2020 10:05 am

That's an excellent idea. Winnie had centuries in which to exploit the Gliders, and would easily have moved on to Troll culture. She would probably start by giving herself Trollish charms, "a wart or two."

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Leanan

Leanan

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PostSubject: Re: Troll Culture   Troll Culture EmptyThu Jul 09, 2020 1:39 pm

I love this speculation. Now we need someone to draw us Troll Maiden Winnowill.

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Troll Culture Ba_rec10
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Arill3.0

Arill3.0

Pisces Monkey
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PostSubject: Re: Troll Culture   Troll Culture EmptyThu Jul 09, 2020 3:13 pm

I would pour out my lifeblood to see Maggoty and Winnowill interact. By Troll standards, early OQ Winnowill is pretty normal. Like...murder and manipulation are just convenient means of achieving certain ends in Troll culture. She's not necessarily a monster, she's matriarch material.

(She'd still be a monster by Troll standards for abusing her son the way she did. Even a mercenary culture such as theirs will draw the line at that.)

Now I kind of want to write/read a story where Winnowill goes back with Smelt, either under disguise as a Troll maiden or as part of a plan to give Guttlecraw a "prisoner" in order to overtake the kingdom. Winnowill would probably reason that she was originally heading that direction anyway, and having Smelt along for the ride would be helpful. They make a deal maybe...she plays and along and gets close enough to neutralize Guttlecraw so Smelt can take over, and Smelt will hand over the possession of the Palace to Winnowill's people. And if they burn down the kingdom and have a kid along the way, oh well.

I've grown to feel a lot of kinship to the Trolls as they years have gone by...I'm not sure if it's because I like a 'blank slate' group (hellooo Gliders), because I immediately align myself with the sidekick group, or if I've drawn parallels between the Trolls and Tolkien dwarves. Or all of the above!
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Tymber

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PostSubject: Re: Troll Culture   Troll Culture EmptyThu Jul 09, 2020 4:04 pm

Well, she clearly had an interest in trolls... because, we got Two-Edge.

I always found that part unusual though. She seemed disgusted by the Wolfriders, because of their blood line of having Wolf blood - but she herself, mated, with what I would imagine - by her standards - was an unattractive troll - and then birthed a child. But when Dewshine has a child, it's a big deal.

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Arill3.0

Arill3.0

Pisces Monkey
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PostSubject: Re: Troll Culture   Troll Culture EmptyWed Jul 15, 2020 2:16 pm

I think Winnowill was, perhaps, slightly less xenophobic in those days. Her curiosity drives her in all things, after all, and she finds humans fascinating...why not a troll? Besides, in coupling with Smelt and producing a half-troll child, at least she is producing an immortal half-troll child. I think it's the introduction of mortality into the elfin bloodline that really sticks in her craw. (Though when she talks of killing all the "impure" elves, his corpse is seen in the panel so...)

On the nature of troll culture, I'm very interested in the idea of troll courtship rituals. I believe the esteemed Trollbabe herself once joked of concert tickets and chocolate-covered lichens...

I'm deep in my Feelings about Two-Edge (again. still. forever.) and have been thinking about Smelt building Winnowill's private domain under the mountain. They needed a place to live, obviously, but the trap-laden, spacious quarters we see go rather beyond that. It could be art for the sake of art (a people of dreamers and artists, the trolls), but I've been wondering if that was a form of courtship by Smelt. Sure, Winnowill didn't have much going for her in the looks department, but she saved his hide and had a mind like a steel trap--Smelt's mother surely taught him that looks aren't everything in finding a wife! He could appreciate a girl who has a good head on her shoulders, even if it was an ugly head.

So. He decided to make things official by flexing his credentials as a provider; a beautiful home, and the means to defend it. That scrawny rock shaper couldn't hope to keep up with him with his heart behind every blow of hammer and pick. A protector and provider for her and their boy. oh god do i actually ship it someone needs to stop me before i start writing

A gentleman needs to show he can keep his lady in appropriate comfort, as she deserves. Picknose's quest is essentially a means of providing for for Oddbit; prove your worth, keep her safe, keep her happy. If you cannot do any of the above, she is well within her rights to not give you the time of day.

Idk I have had way too much caffeine and thinking about Smelt makes me sad.
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Trollbabe

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PostSubject: Re: Troll Culture   Troll Culture EmptyThu Jul 16, 2020 7:00 pm

LOL, I had forgotten about the lichens and concert tickets. And I do think that Smelt would make an excellent husband and father. The only problem in their relationship was that he remembered his original purpose, and came in contact with a Glider.

Could he have been the father of a whole race of Troll-Elf people?

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Arill3.0

Arill3.0

Pisces Monkey
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PostSubject: Re: Troll Culture   Troll Culture EmptyThu Jul 16, 2020 7:37 pm

Even though I KNOW it would give me nightmares eventually, I'd LOVE to have a brief one-off about Winnowill and Smelt's domestic life. Like. Even if you don't count Rogue's Curse as Canon, even before she kills him, Winnowill is an abusive partner towards Smelt at least on an emotional level, but it would be fascinating.

Interesting question regarding whether nor not Winnowill and Smelt would have had more children...my knee-jerk cynical reaction is that Winnowill would not want more children, that Two-Edge would be enough to prove to her the strength of her healing powers/satisfy her curiosity/give Voll a metaphorical middle finger. HOWEVER, the part of me that is even now planning out the story of Winnowill eloping with Smelt to depose the troll king would say why the hell not? She has the power, their existing kid is pretty neat, and if they've taken over the kingdom and established their own dynasty then they're going to need more heirs.

Wasn't there a short fic where Winnowill fled north with Smelt? It was really sweet.

for the love of god why do i love this pairing so much??????
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Trollbabe

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PostSubject: Re: Troll Culture   Troll Culture EmptyFri Jul 17, 2020 9:29 pm

(At least you haven't started a corny sitcom script about them...)

The big difference with Maggoty and Shenshen, compared to Winnowill, is that the two don't have magic healing powers. Maggoty has spent her life conducting research with whatever natural elements happen to be available wherever she ended up. She's passed some of that on to Shenshen.

I think Shenshen is kind of an apprentice to Maggoty, in Troll terms. I'm not sure how Maggoty would interact with another Elf who is instead a powerful sorceress, but lacks a basic respect for life.

Maggoty may not have a great bedside manner, but she went to the effort to save Strongbow against great odds.

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Arill3.0

Arill3.0

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PostSubject: Re: Troll Culture   Troll Culture EmptySat Jul 18, 2020 5:33 pm

See, this is exactly why I wanted them to interact in Canon, so so badly. Winnowill would ultimately disgust Maggoty on many levels, because while Maggoty can be brutal and is ultimately out to keep her kin alive, she does value life. She understands the sheer weight of trust she is given as a healer, how that trust is what keeps her society and elfin society alive. She does her damnedest to offer comfort (to a degree), to meddle for the sake of mending. She gives a damn, and I love her for it.

Winnowill doesn't give a damn about life; by Siege at Blue Mountain she has decided that some select lives are more worth saving (for a given definition of "life" and "saving"), and after Kings of the Broken Wheel she has apparently decided even those few are not valuable. People are things to her. She has power enough to save the lives of every wounded, ill, or aged elf, troll, and human she comes into contact with and she chooses again and again to hurt instead.

I think I just want someone aside from elves to give Winnowill a caustic take-down that would flay the meat from her bones, metaphorically speaking. Like, I'm sure Maggoty would be as afraid of Winnowill as everyone else but she has Gran Rage to fall back on and she certainly won't ACT like she's scared.

Back to troll culture, I like the idea of ShenShen being Maggoty's apprentice. Partly because I like the idea of one strong-willed dame learning from another, but also because it indicates that master-apprentice relationships are a part of the culture.
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Trollbabe

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PostSubject: Re: Troll Culture   Troll Culture EmptySat Jul 18, 2020 9:14 pm

I'd like to see that, along with plenty of Maggoty trash-talk in the dialogue.  Kidnaping and exploiting two children would have been enough to raise her hackles.

Incidently, I wish I knew whether Maggoty would have sided with me on one issue.

In our history, Greymung and Guttlekraw are regarded as poor leaders because they used rock-shaping Elves instead of hard work and ingenuity.

To some of us, it's not just that the two became soft and let the Rockshapers do the work, instead of maintaining discipline.  Guttlekraw couldn't even keep his elite personal guards from killing Vaya.

It's not just that Guttlekraw failed to learn from the collapse of Greymung's kingdom.

It's the use of magic by Trolls that we see as dangerous.

We don't have a problem with Elves using Elvish magic.  Two-Edge's conception, after all, is the result of magic.

We are eternally grateful when a Troll is seriously ill or wounded, and a skilled Elfin healer lends a hand.  We also admire the work that Rockshapers do of their own free will.

To me and some of my colleagues, though, magic is an example of that old saying about how power corrupts.  A Troll uses magic, and eventually magic uses the Troll.

It's as unnatural a Glider trying to spit Preserver wrapstuff.  All you get is one big mess.

Would Magoty agree?

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Arill3.0

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PostSubject: Re: Troll Culture   Troll Culture EmptySat Jul 18, 2020 11:00 pm

RE: Maggoty coming for Winnowill for her exploitation of children: I wonder what her response to Winnowill imprisoning and torturing Two-Edge would be. He's a figure of legend to the troll, admired but distant...but I can only imagine Maggoty's rage at the idea of destroying your own child.

Re:Power corrupts: While I am less versed in the nuanced philosophical debate raging within Troll academic circles at this time, I cannot help but feel that Maggoty would view magic as a tool to be used. Anything to get ahead and keep yours safe. Though I could also see her deciding that relying too much on fancy magic shortcuts only leaves you in the cold without the skills you need to get along.

I feel like Troll culture is rather utilitarian in some respects: if it is done for the greater benefit of the kingdom, it doesn't matter what the means used to achieve an end are. While Greymung and Guttlecraw used this doctrine to benefit themselves over the people, it has enabled the Trolls as a whole to endure and expand. (Okay, but, I feel like Maggoty is essentially Machivelli if Machivelli was your tough as nails gran.)
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