Winter trolls are a species of troll most often found in frozen northern mountain regions like in Khador and throughout Rhul. The Borokuhn, Shard Spires, and Nyschatha Mountains in particular are host to large populations of winter trolls. The angry battle cry of the winter troll has frozen the veins of northern Khadorans, Nyss shards, and even the hardy dwarves of Rhul for centuries.
Winter trolls are three metres tall, with powerful limbs capable of tearing trees in half or punching holes in steamjacks. The skin of a winter troll is icy blue, and the creature possesses a thick mane of white fur in place of quills. Unlike the lean and knotted physique of southern trolls, the winter troll has a thick layer of blubber across its belly. An aura of palpable cold follows the creature. A single touch from a winter troll can freeze water, and a gust of its chill breath stings like the bitterest gale. Winter trolls are immune to all effects of extreme cold. Even striking their flesh prompts a backlash of cold that can paralyse muscles and leave an enemy easy prey for the troll.
The winter troll is a keen predator but a somewhat finicky eater. It prefers to eat chilled meat, and although it will eat fresh meat if it is particularly hungry, it will usually take the time to chill the meat before consumption. A glutted winter troll may drag its prey back to its lair, where the corpse will be frozen for later consumption. A winter troll’s den is covered with terrified faces frozen in fear, half-devoured limbs and icicles of spilled blood, and sometimes valuable items carried by its prey. The troll stores its food in this manner out of necessity: in the extreme cold of its habitat, food sources are scarce, and all food must be carefully stored so that the beast can survive leaner months. Indeed, the blubber layer is visible proof of its unusually frugal metabolism.
Winter trolls are generally solitary and territorial. The wide expanses of their northern home keep them from interacting frequently, but winter trolls occasionally cross paths while hunting at the fringes of their territories. If one has made a kill, both will fight viciously over the prize.
Winter trolls supplement their diet with copious scavenging. Their main competitors are winter argus and frost drakes, which are immune to their breath. Against such opponents, winter trolls rely on their prodigious strength and powerful jaws.
For most of recorded history, winter trolls had intermittent contact with the northern trollkin kriels. These trollkin respected the territories of the winter trolls out of simple pragmatism: there are few things more frightening than dealing with a winter troll on its home turf. Winter trolls occasionally aided trollkin in exchange for access to more regular food but were not often seen living among them with the same regularity as other breeds.
Only in recent years have a good number of winter trolls joined their strength to the northern kriels. As warbeasts, winter trolls aided the trollkin in breaking the forward press of Ruscar tribes, which threatened to seize vital trollkin lands. As the plight of their southern cousins has become more desperate, the warlock Borka Kegslayer has brought the winter trolls along when heeding the call to war. Southern warlocks have learned the value of the winter trolls firsthand, directing them to freeze their enemies solid and then shatter them with their massive fists.