Runequest Thursday #205 - Troll Break Market Map and Legend!

Clint Staples

The location known as the Troll Break is the single largest interruption in the wall that surrounds the Big Rubble. North of the spot where the River of Cradles enters the Rubble by several hundred yards, the “Break” is a barrier only slightly less daunting than the walls themselves, and often more perilous. Yet many travelers and would-be explorers visit the Market there, hoping to purchase passage into the Rubble, supplies, exotic troll-goods, or all of the above. The trolls of the Big Rubble, as well as those who frequent the Troll Break, are decribed in Pavis and The Big Rubble, but there is little detail on the Troll Market and not much more on the Troll Break, so I made a map and some notes for my own Brightwater Campaign. What I have done builds on information in Pavis and the Big Rubble, but is not serves the needs of my campaign and is in no way canon. You will want to get that fine Chaosium publication to make best use of this article.

 

 

Troll Break Market - Legend - Labeled locations in bold.

The Break is readily visible to anyone approaching from the south-east, or those traveling up-river, as a gap in the towering walls to either side. Several dusty paths lead to the gap, where tumbled remnants of the wall that once spanned the area are strewn, or in some cases piled a dozen or more yards high. The trolls who control the area refer to these ruined wall sections as The Shades, and often lurk in the dark hollows beneath during sunny weather, while guarding the Break, or simply passing the hours until hated Yelm surrenders to the Night.

 

The confluence of the many paths leading to the Break is a large stone obelisk known as the Trolling Post. This is a weathered stone dolmen some 30 feet in height, the top carved into a tusked and grimacing visage of Gerak Kag, the troll who conquered the Big Rubble. Often a motley of tents and Praxian yurts, surround the Trolling Post – temporary shelter of those who hope to try the Market. The nearby presence of the tumble of massive wall sections and other rubble known as Ambush Scatter, is testimony to the risks associated with the trade. When not roaming the Rubble or elsewhere,  Lead Belcher (himself a Xaragang clantroll in good standing) often sets up a stall amid the tumbled boulders just north of the scatter.

 

Beyond the intermittent line drawn across the Break by the Shades,Troll Lane winds through ruins, troll warrens, and mounds of more or less safe rubble (safe to those who the trolls allow access, at least), eventually entering the thickly inhabited Troll Town, home to hundreds of trolls of the greater or lesserr clans, living more or less peacably amongst themselves.

 

Immediately within the shadow of the Wall south of the Break is Bargain Street, a more or less cleared track fronting on several tents, stalls, and temporary vendors (usually trolls of clans other than the Xaragang clan). Here too is the flesh-market. Morokanthi slavers may be found here on occasion, saving the best slaves from trollish stewpots. Humans, herd-beasts, and other animals are packed into a makeshift paddock. Awful as the conditions are, few slaves confined her attempt what would be an easy escape from the paddock, for fear of the worse things that await them in the shadows and down the scree-slope into Trollkin Wallow. The wallow is frequented by dozens of trollkin, most of whom are hunting giant midges for their masters. The Wallow itself is said connect subterraneously to the River of Cradles AND to be home to a very large and hungry river eel.

 

Branching from Troll Lane to the North is Xaragang Way. This road and the hovels, warrens and “shops” opening on to it are dominated by the clan of the same name. Trade goods from Pavis itself, Lunar trade-stuffs, Loot from the Rubble, are to be found. Giant insect parts, are also available, many of them crafted into useful items (at least by troll standards). From Xaragang Way, may be found Bugland, where all manner of giant insect may be purchased, live or dead, whole or butchered for the pot. Once per week, Bitriol, her second husband Drun and several of her trollkin, will bring dragonflies and various by-products of their care, to sell. Bitriol is generally in a foul mood on such trips, but she does not trust either of her husbands' trading ability. 

Beyond the Market itself are ruins, rubble and arid flats. Continuing on Xaragang Way will lead one to the heart of Xaragang territory, as wellas several Gorakiki giant insect farms, include that of Gorakiki Dragonfly runepriestess Bitriol and her family. In the distance in that same direction, looms the ruins and troll hovels of Temple HIll , crowned by the walls of Opili Fort.