Night trolls are a breed of troll dwelling in lightless caverns beneath the mountains of western Immoren and in ancient ruins. They have adapted to life away from the light of the sun. For communities situated near dark and cave-riddled mountains, the night troll is a rarely seen but profound source of terror.
Many generations of living in the pitch darkness underground have rendered the night trolls blind, and their vestigial eyes cataract white. When they emerge from their lairs near subterranean rivers and pools, night trolls are as deadly as they are unusual. Like all trolls, night trolls are incredibly strong and are driven by seemingly endless hunger. Unlike some other breeds, though, night trolls are patient hunters that rarely emit more noise than a guttural hiss. Their behaviour resembles nothing so much as that of a hungry spider, and they stalk silently through the darkness of their habitat.
Faintly luminescent crystal-like patches grow from a mature night troll’s skin in place of the calcified protrusions seen on most troll breeds. Older trolls have larger and more complex patches, which grow throughout the creature’s life. The row of long, prominent spines down the night troll’s back emits a stronger glow, pulsing with a strange, hypnotic light when the creature comes out to feed.
As the night troll's eyes have atrophied, its other senses have sharpened. Heightened smell and taste serve the night troll far better in the darkness, allowing it to detect even the faintest trace of moving prey. Its incredibly long tongue is packed with sensory buds that allow it to taste the air for signs of prey. The creature’s hearing is not better than a common troll's, but it focuses on sounds more than other troll breeds do. Any noise louder than the drip of water from a cavern ceiling is immediately investigated on the chance it will yield a meal. When unable to locate more substantial nourishment, the night troll subsists on blind cave salamanders, albino crayfish, and other troglofauna.
By day, night trolls sleep, awakening with the setting of the sun. Nocturnal predators, night trolls hunt by luring prey. When it hunts, a night troll crawls up from its lair to a cavern where surface animals sometimes shelter. As it crouches in the darkness, the long spines along its back begin to pulse and glow with an eerie light. The mesmerising patterns of luminescence eventually overcome the instincts of the victim, which approaches heedless of instinct or judgment, only to fall prey to the troll. Humans and gobbers seem particularly susceptible to this tactic, perhaps as a result of racial curiosity. This horrific fate is almost certainly one of the truths behind cautionary folk tales that stress the dangers of following strange lights in the woods.
The night troll’s long claws carry a potent, paralytic venom that debilitates prey and prevents the target from escaping. Victims of this venom are completely conscious but cannot move to save themselves. Paralysed prey are dragged into the troll’s lair to be eaten at its leisure.
Some mountain trollkin kriels capture night trolls to use as warbeasts. They are not naturally inclined to wander far from their lairs, so trollkin must either draw them out with the promise of prey or delve into their deep caves to capture them. Trollkin consider night trolls valuable beasts despite their problematic habits and hunting preferences. The nocturnal night troll is difficult to train and spur to action during daylight, but those who make the effort discover that their savage tempers and effective hunting methods make them lethal allies for warlocks willing to work with them.