Pyre trolls are a slow-witted, foul-tempered subspecies of troll adapted to the searing heat of the Bloodstone Marches, particularly those east of Ternon Crag and near Scarleforth Lake. A pyre troll is completely immune to the effects of fire, and its skin exudes intense heat that can itself burn flesh. As terrifying as these creatures are, they are even more frightful when they vomit forth balls of flaming black ichor that sticks to anything it touches.
Pyre trolls have the same gait and general appearance as other trolls. Their skin is tinted dark burgundy to ochre to blend in with red desert sands and better stalk their prey. Waves of heat, hot enough to set alight any nearby flammable material, shimmer in the air around them.
Pyre trolls are adapted to survive in the harsh desert, given their remarkable tolerance for heat. Indeed, pyre trolls revel in high temperatures, basking in the midday sun on flat stretches of desert rock.
The diet of pyre trolls is astounding, consisting of rocks, plants of extreme toxicity, venomous animals such as snakes and scorpions, and even scraps of metal. They evince delight when consuming unrefined Menoth's Fury, a rank, sticky liquid that bubbles to the surface of the sands in the scattered oases dotting the northern and southern Marches. A pyre troll’s ability to spew flame is a by-product of its unusual diet. Perhaps their unnatural temperatures and strange eating habits have addled their brains, for they are noticeably less intelligent than most trolls. They are unable to comprehend any but the most basic of orders, and lack aptitude for weapons of any kind.
Proximity to competitors has only increased the pyre troll’s aggressive nature. When defending its territory or attempting to kill large prey, the pyre troll charges forward and vomits a glutinous gobbet of burning pitch. Creatures able to withstand the incredible pain of adhesive fire are pounded into the sand by the pyre troll’s powerful fists.
The pyre troll shares the same habitat and compete for the same resources as its close relative, the pitch troll. These typically solitary creatures clash frequently over territory, and neither willingly tolerates the presence of the other. The competition may even lead to the eventual extinction of the pitch troll, whose numbers have dwindled dramatically as the pyre trolls have prospered.
Pyre trolls' ability to breathe fire is not dependent on the crude oil they consume. They continue to produce their conflagrant bile if provided rocks to consume, supplemented by any local toxic plants or venomous animal species. Since the pyre trolls were brought to the west by their trollkin cousins, they have shown a fondness for coal and oils of all kinds, including the peat moss found in abundance in certain areas of Ord. Refined Menoth’s Fury is a particularly enjoyed delicacy in those rare instances the pyre trolls are able to partake of it.
Bone grinders make great use of the pyre troll’s bizarre diet. The crude sludge the trolls consume becomes refined during the digestion process and transforms into a violently pyrophoric substance not unlike the volatile Menoth’s Fury. If harvested from the body of a pyre troll, its gastric juices and most recent meal can be used in a number of alchemical solutions. Acquiring the compound is not without its risks, of course. Killing a pyre troll is no mean feat, and many perceive the traditional method of acquiring Menoth’s Fury a simpler task.
The trollkin and many species of full-blood troll are uncomfortable around pyre trolls. Trollkin war bands put up with the foul-tempered and witless pyre trolls largely thanks to the effectiveness of their fiery emanations, but they often chain the beasts between battles to prevent them from unintentionally starting raging infernos. Even so, the trolls’ ire must often be soothed by a fell caller, and the trollkin let them dwell only on the outskirts of a kriel camp. Pyre trolls are frequently employed as shock troops, hurled against an enemy formation to set it ablaze and wreak havoc among the flames.