“The things, alone in this mind you, in all of nature itself! mind you…
“…Trolls are symbiotic collectives: an unnatural community of fungi, alga, and animal systems. (I qualify the animal with system, seeing as beyond their nervous systems, there is nothing animal about a troll’s actual physiology.) The shape is animal, more or less human, really, however…”
- Naturalist Keeylen Wright
“Wright’s findings (when found within his cemetery of words) indicate an unnatural origin. How odd then, that the habits of trolls align with the current aims of druids. That is right!
“Though, I hear your loud doubt. Why else then will a troll eat Nothing but manflesh?? Why the trolls in the zoo of Sky Lawn Township demonstrate this on a daily basis…”
- Wayne Filinoster, noted Provocateur
Trolls don’t need to eat you, but they will try. The vast sum of their energy comes directly from the sun. Their flaking, barkish skin is imbued with microscopic photosynthetic cyanobacteria. Their body is stiff springing, wood-like, and fungal. A troll can sit, rooting its limbs into damp soil, soaking in sunlight and nutrients. Energy the creatures somehow store.
(Energy somehow used again, powering its impossible regeneration.)
I mean it’s preposterous. It’s probably magical. It is beyond your humble narrator, at the very least.
This also explains the odd legend of trolls turning to stone in sunlight. That rumor has killed so many fool hardy exploitative explorers and would be heroes.
But it is a bit true.
In direct sunlight, any troll that has been active for more than a day † must Save vs. Magic or remain stock-still until darkness descends. Bacterial imperatives override ancillary insticts.
Overall, trolls are producers and little affect the ecosystems in which they reside. They don’t need to eat you to live, but they will, eat you if they can.
Their terrible strength can tear off a warrior’s arm. Their splintery teeth will pulp the meat and crack small bones. Then the whole awful mess just sits in in the back of their throat, rotting. This is the impetus which causes a troll to fungal bloom and release its spores. If any of the immobile, unthinking offspring reach adequate size, a new troll will be born.
†(base 50% chance, modified by how much foot traffic the area endures)