*A manuscript by the scribe Wobur of Yuli illuminating what was said at the Ranger Conclave of Distal, at Lugunsard, in the year 271 Takkaran Era, by the Elven Ranger Lord Baral TorenGos, of Amber.
Greetings Rangers of Colmar, greetings in the name of two thousand years of friendship between your peoples and mine. Please, I will not answer to questions as to why the borders of Amber of closed to non-elves. I have been asked to speak of the creature you call the "Troll." I will speak only of it, thank you.
Thousands of years before the Hybori peoples, of which you Bossonians are a part, swept through our fair land. There was war here. The forces of light were on the defensive; the Elven homelands smashed. My ancestors hid in the great forests which once dominated this area of the world and we learned to hide quite well. The troll is a magically created creature. It has no sex and it does not reproduce by natural means. One could say its death struggles are how it reproduces. The troll was created by the great evil as a terror weapon to use indiscrimately to kill anything in its path.
A troll knows only a never to be filled hunger. It cannot be reasoned with, it cannot be bargained with. And once it has your trail, for it has formidable and acute senses, it will not stop tracking you till either it or you are dead. Knowing only hunger, a troll cannot starve to death, it can be trapped for centuries in a room or cave and still be ready to tear and rend upon its release.
And tear and rend it does exceptionally well. Standing at over nine feet tall, it has large dagger like claws on all four feet; each foot can do the same damage to a man as a battleaxe or sword wielded by a strong man. But worse yet is its mouth; lined with teeth as long as daggers and just as sharp. I have seen a troll rend and tear wild cow apart in mere seconds. And, as unbelievable as it sounds to you, if you were to dismember the troll, its severed pieces will fight on!
The second worse thing about a troll is its ability to regenerate. Even if you succeed in taking the life out of the creature; within minutes it will reanimate. And you were asking who a troll reproduces? Unlike popular myth, the pieces of a troll hacked to death will not reunite to create a large whole troll. But each piece will give "birth" to a small troll that will grow with magical speed to its full size in a matter of a quarter of an hour. This has given rise to such tactics I have heard in the human world as hacking up trolls and catapulting the pieces into a human city or castle under siege. What terrible evil can man conceive of next?
So you ask, how can one stop a creature that can "come back to life?" And what can be done to stop it from turning from one beast into several? There are no easy answers to this gentlemen. A troll can be stopped by magic, fire, and acid. To the common man fire is the most available weapon. And no, a troll is not flammable but the opposite! A troll is very resistant to flame. It takes a large roaring bonfire and much wood to destroy a creature nine feet tall and weighing in usually close to a half a ton. But mind you the thing need only be cooked and not burned into ashes. The Dwarves consider cooked troll a delicacy, but woe betide the one who gets a piece with an uncooked middle!
And I have heard of the sad expediency among caravan guards to draw lots to see what unlucky soul will stay back and keep hacking the creature as long as possible to stop it from rising and slaying all. Even the hardiest man can only do that for a few hours if that long. Then as he falls exhausted he sees the creature rise up and ends up being devoured. But the "reanimated" troll usually has forgotten the others and moves off in another direction.
The world of magic has many fire spells to use to destroy trolls. Fireball being one of the commonest. Some gods have granted clerics the power of Flame Strike, and druids can depend on their ability not to be traced or detected to escape a troll. It is rumored there potions and things that can hide one from its senses. As rangers, your best defense is flight, but be aware that a troll can run as fast as an unencumbered man when it wants to. And remember, a troll will usually turn for the closest prey. It doesn’t care if it is killing and eating a deer, orc, or man. So try to flee towards a evilkin village if you can. The same evil powers that put the evilkin among us put the troll here also. Let them fight each other! In the wilds, there isn’t much you can do I’m afraid to say. If you are scouting alone: try to find something to distract the troll. I don’t want to discourage you but a troll can swim very well, it can climb a sheer cliff, and it rarely ever gets tired. Why the number of trolls in this area have jumped in recent centuries I don’t know. Try to carry at least one of your oil flasks full of that new sticking flaming oil you humans have invented. Aim for its head, it may distract it from its quarry enough that you can make good an escape.
First and foremost, keep your head. A troll is stupid and though it has an impressive arsenal of weapons, it doesn’t always use them sensibly. Also, I have heard that humans will try and lasso and tie up a troll. Good luck! With those claws and teeth coupled with giant strength you have your job cut out for you! Chains now, if you can use them fast enough, will work. The human town of Marcel chains up trolls and pitches them into the sea from their ships I hear. I sometimes wonder when or if they will wash up one day.