4: CANOPY TROLL

Canopy Troll by: Ben McFarland

Canopy Troll by: Ben McFarland

We didn't realize what was happening at first. There was a scream and a muffled thump as the mule tumbled off the trail and into the brush. Then again, and again; they dropped from the trees and into our line. The porter in front of me was dashed against a treestump, the awful creature riding him to the ground as its gory black claws tore chunks from his back. I saw too of them pull a warrior limb from limb. Without thinking, I kicked my mount into a gallop and ran. Gods above, I ran.

Canopy trolls possess incredibly sharp claws and amazing regenerative powers, allowing them to recover from nearly any wound. Hunched over, amazingly ugly, and sporting two overlong arms, canopy trolls swing from branch to branch in tall forests, hunting to sate their voracious appetites. Standing between 3 and 4 feet tall, their arms bow at the elbows, hands easily touching the ground as they walk. Fast and fearless, they often rush foes on the ground to distract them from the two or three fellows about to leap on a target from above. Social pack hunters, they quickly dismember and drag their catches up, into the trees to eat without fear of interruption.



Their hides are mottled greens and browns, matching the local bark and mosses. Some have paler bellies to blend in better when seen from below. They occasionally build nests in larger, broader trees, collecting skulls or other trinkets which interest them. They have no desire in a larger society than their own tribe. Larger trolls detest them, thinking them to be degenerate runts best crushed beneath a heavy club and burnt. Some scholars wonder if the canopy troll was truly a lost experimental cross of a choker infused with trollblood.