THE TROGLODYTES

Beyond the unseen lurks a force few men comprehend, for it is inherently magical and ruthlessly brutal yet possesses a rich culture and complex code of honor. Men call it Shadow, and its unforgiving forces, passionately dedicated to exterminating mankind, are the Troglodytes.

Shadow is guardian of the cosmic scales, lying between and beyond the four cardinal elements of Earth, Fire, Ice and Air. It is diametrically opposed to none of them, yet feared by all of them. Its strength is partially derived from their own, for the terrain, structures and denizens upon the Plane of Shadow were initially formed as distorted versions of objects and spirits upon the other four planes. When one element becomes over-powered, it acts like a light, casting a great opposition to itself upon the Plane of Shadow.

Of all the elements, Shadow is regarded as the greatest and its children the mightiest, being as they are almost immune to the powers of the other four planes. Troglodytes are consequently ubiquitous, able to survive in all climates from the icy chill of the Northlands to the Ashlands of the southern wastes; and from the towering altitude of the Hurricane Nebula to the deepest trenches of the oceans. This fact makes them ideally suited to oppose every other elemental race – the calling they were born for.

The physical forms of the Troglodytes are varied, and their numerous cultures are each one unique. The brutal and disciplined armies of hulking Trolloth warriors conform to regimented, feudal societies, building vast fortresses and marching to war in thick armor of iron. The diminutive and irascible Gnolls swarm out of labyrinthine warrens excelling in cunning, sneaky tactics. Imperious and magical, the Shadow Trolls use their ethereal forms to move as fleeting shadows and penetrate all defenses. Savage and frenzied, the Feral Trolls are the final major grouping; primal beasts lurking in the wilderness who answer the call to arms when any of the other Troglodytes march to war. There exists no unified Troglodyte empire for they are spread across the entire world and have established numerous independent kingdoms.

Upon the continent of Ghorn today there are four major Troglodyte realms – the Obsidian Oligarchy in the Cephalos Mountains, the Empire of Dusk in the Northlands, Tartharond in Pancephalos and Cragspire in Tartovara. Small enclaves can be found all across Ghorn as remote settlements or nomadic bands. Indeed, Trolloth may even be encountered in the frontier towns of mortal realms for they often work as mercenaries and bodyguards. Trolloth represent the strategic armies of the Troglodytes while the Feral Trolls represent pure muscle. Shadow Trolls exemplify elemental magic, and the Gnolls constitute unlimited arrow-fodder.