Fan Fiction : Discworld : Little Cameos Of Life On The Discworld: 2 - The Sex Life Of Trolls

Little Cameos Of Life On The Discworld: 2 - The Sex Life Of Trolls

Paul Catlow PLC1723 at

The Sex Life Of Trolls

Selected Extracts from Principia Sexualis, by Havelock de Meserole

Reproduced by the kind permission of Lord Havelock Vetinari, Patrician of Ankh-Morpork, and owner of one of the few remaining extant copies.

I: Author's Dedication

I was abashed and honoured when my older sister, Lady Antiphone Vetinari, informed me that she and her husband were planning to name their newborn son Havelock in my honour. Their stated reason does me honour: they expressed a hope that my forensic approach to ascertaining the nature of Truth and fearlessly following where it led would by some charm or alchemy transfer itself to my nephew, and stand him in good Stead for whichever road he chooses to walk in adult life.

I offer this modest work to my nephew Havelock Vetinari in the earnest hope that he will be able to steel himself to look into dark places and make sense of what he finds there.

Also to my younger sister Roberta, whose help with the research, preparation, and correction of this MS is more greatly appreciated than I may say. Her knowledge in certain specialized areas has been both surprising and helpful.

Chapter Five:- On The Congress and Fæcundity of Trolls.(abridged)

Such zoological and anthropological research as has taken place on the Discworld indicates that there are but few offshoots of the phylum of Life known as Silonicae. Mother Nature, in her great and fertile variety, would appear to have experimented with silicon-based life on this world of ours as a parallel shoot from the great tree of Life which we know as carbon-based. Yet but a few discrete species remain extant of the Silonicae. At the lowest levels, we see the species Canardis Silicari, vulgarly known as the Troll Duck, which doggedly ekes out a living at the margins. It is hard to see what niche remains for a bird too heavy to fly and too dense to float, but observations indicate that it is capable of holding its breath for up to half an hour at a time, ample to walk across even quite a large deep lake. Further observations indicate a sort of symbiotic relationship with the crocodile: a troll duck will happily accept a lift on a crocodile's back, and the amphibian will permit this, so long as the troll duck desists from pecking it heavily and meaningfully on the head.

There are rumours, on the far distant Counterweight Continent, of large underground lakes of pure mercury, which if true may offer a rationale for the existence of troll ducks. A liquid too dense for the creature to sink in would make great sense as a nurturing medium for supporting and sustaining the specie. As things stand, the developing embryo inside the egg is the only bird species known to develop alongside a pickaxe and a sledgehammer, to assist it to break out of the egg. Infertile troll duck eggs have been used as artillery rounds in the war with the Dwarfs, and are in fact prized by Dwarfs, who consider their own unique version of an egg mayonnaise sandwich to be a delicacy. Troll Geese may also exist in the mountain fastnesses.

There is also the Troll Horse, Equus Silicari, believed to be the analogue of Man's friend and companion. Nothing is known about this save for a few garbled lines in a Dwarf manuscript relating the sorry tale of the Battle Of Koom Valley, in which reference is made to the coming of the Troll Cavalry and the fleeing of the dwarves. However, the rest of the eyewitness account is illegible owing to large brown stains and very big hoofprints, and the Dwarfs maintain a stubborn reluctance to discuss the matter any further. The specie is further believed to have subordinate offshoots analogous to the common mule and donkey, and these by repute are used as beasts of burden in Trollish communities in the deep mountains. But as the learned Lady Alice Venturi has noted, there are certain practical difficulties for human explorers, viz, having one's limbs torn off and used as impromptu clubs for the purpose of emphasizing that human intrusion is not desired in those regions.

Perhaps at some point in the future, humans and trolls may come to a greater mutual understanding and a sharing of knowledge for the benefit of All may come about. Alas, such a moment seems to be far off, and the chasms of ignorance and misunderstanding that bedevil mutual comprehension between Man and Troll appear as deep and uncrossable as ever. It will take men and Trolls of vision to bring this rapprochement about and I fear I will not see it in my lifetime.

Other lower silicarous lifeforms are reputed to exist, such as the monstrous Kimono Dragon of BhangBhangDuc, and the fabled simian trolls of Howondaland which parallel monkeys and apes.

I propose to focus this monograph on the socio-sexual habits common to the three main strains of sentient Silicarii.

The three sentient species of silicarii – the Gargoyle, the Yeti or High Mountain Troll, and the Common or Vulgar Troll - all share much the same underlying morphology and physiological structure, with minor but distinctive differences across the species.

For I hope self-evident reasons, the consummation of the act of sexual congress between trolls has rarely been witnessed by others. The last notebooks of the great ethnologist Francisco de Yoyo, retrieved from what was believed to have been his corpse, reveal he was stalking a male and female troll so as to make those necessary factual observations which have so far eluded science. He recorded what he saw right up until the very last moments, when the male troll is recorded to have said "Ere, you! What you doing in dem bushes hiding dere wit' de telescope and der notebook? Is you some sort of goohulog pervert or wh… "

De Yoyo's account, regrettably partial though it is, is still one of our best guides to the sexual intimacy of silicarii.

Troll courtship is at least no secret. Chrondrodite, the Goddess of Love, imparted the secret of rocks to Trolls in what they term the Sunset of Time. The secret of rocks is that a particularly masculine rock, if selected with care by the female, may be hurled with sufficient force to satisfactorily communicate her interest in a desired male. The male, when he regains consciousness, is then socially expected to locate an adequately feminine rock, say one with an attractive seam of metal oxide or ore running through it , and throw it straight back at the female.

The remaining stages of troll courtship are charmingly not unalike those of the human race. Leaving aside the issue of social negociations for formal marriage between the parents of the two trolls involved, the coupled trolls may then, so to speak, set about the business of coupling.

What we know of troll physiology has been garnered slowly and patiently over the years. Troll-hunters in Überwald and the Hub have, in the course of their dangerous work, returned with the bodies of their slain and after despoiling them of those parts of interest to them [1] , were more than happy to turn the remains over to Science. Because of these pioneering explorations, we know that the outer layer of a troll's body is composed of a layer of thick, tough, silicon-based hide from which extraordinarily enduring outer clothing may be made, even light armour [2]. We also know that a ganglion of nerve junctions comes dangerously close to the surface between the third and fourth cervical vertebrae - though it be in the back of the neck, this is the Tsortean Heel of any troll, for a blow delivered here with sufficient force will at the very least render the troll unconscious, and if delivered with sufficient power, kill it.

From dissecting these unfortunates we know most secrets of the troll anatomy, which in silicon terms remarkably parallels that of humanity. The most pertinent to our discussion here concerns the makeup and composition of the sexual and reproductive regions of the species. Trolls normally pay no attention to clothing, considering it superfluous and an irrelevance. However, the species has a powerful taboo against complete nudity, and both genders will wear at least a breech-clout or loincloth, or a garment akin to the Agatean sarong in the case of females, to cover their sexual regions. When uncovered, the physiology has remarkable similarities to our own, with differences of detail. The male possesses an impressive membrum virile, which is one of the very few soft-tissued parts of the troll body. The silicon gel which is the troll's analogue of blood will be pumped into it at a far greater rate than it may be expelled, and the member, clad in a softer but no less durable version of the outer skin, rises to full and impressive erection. A troll's testicles are literally stones, and may be retracted into the body in time of need, as may the member itself. Until we learnt these things through examination and dissection, we had no idea, and the falsehood spread that troll reproduction is asexual.

The corresponding intimate orifice on the troll female is also lined with the same soft, flexible, durable, silicon hide, and this passage, plentifully supplied with nerve endings, leads to an inner womb supplied by no less than four ovaries.

As de Yoyo's partial observations confirmed, troll congress is therefore parallel to that of humans and may take place in much the same range of positions. As with Dwarfs, even trolls friendly or subservient to mankind are reticent to talk about details of intimate sexual contact. Although one Basalt, a troll in the service of the Burgomeister of Bonk, is known to have said that if you don't make der earth move for her, then you not tryin' and she get insulted!

It is believed that troll females have moved on from a previous time where all females in a community went into season all at once. This is believed to be an evolutionary strategy, as a race of two and three ton creatures, living in areas naturally prone to earthquake and avalanche, are capable of making an appreciably large amount of earth move, if several-score couples all choose to mate on the same night. Troll females today come into heat on an individual basis, according to unpredictable external stimuli, such as the frisson received after selecting a suitable rock, aiming, and watching it find its mark. If no rocks are available, the modern emancipated female can obtain much the same result from a well-thrown punch.

The troll female is also distinguished by having no secondary sexual characteristics – she may possess a fuller, more rounded, upper torso, but lacks breasts as the human race knows them.

Instead, she carries the equivalent of a marsupial pouch, located a foot or so above the external opening of the mysteria feminae, and normally concealed beneath the obligatory breech-clout or sarong. This is vital for the well-being of the newborn troll young, or pebbles, as they are known.

A female troll is pregnant for perhaps eight months, and gives birth to between one and four pebbles. Use of the term pebble is perhaps misleading, as the newborn troll can be as much as a foot across and weigh up to sixty pounds. The median size of a newborn pebble, especially if part of a litter, is usually four to six inches and twenty pounds. A large offspring, especially if it presents awkwardly, can jam in the uterine channel, and cause excruciating pain to the mother, at which point the services of a midwife are called for. Most troll communities have older experienced females who occupy this position, and it is understood that in Lancre, an area where humans and trolls live in relative peace, human witches are skilled in Troll obstretrics and have been called in time of emergency. One day, I hope to persuade Mrs Gytha Ogg, the otherwise friendly and amenable young witch and midwife in Lancre town, to participate in an updated copy of this book, but she has so far declined, despite my entreaties that her knowledge would add to the sum total of scientific truth. She intimated that Natural Philosophy could "go and **** itself", as she wasn't breaking the confidences of her mothers for any toffee-nosed Quirmian gentleman thinking he's got a right to know things. A deplorable and unscientific attitude.

The newborn pebble is blind and only able to crawl, but by a miracle of Nature, it knows to make its way, crawling inch-by-inch, to the marsupial sac where it may rest and be transported by its mother until it is perhaps a year old. Inside the sac are the troll analogue of mammary glands, which feed the young on a silicon-rich suspension which provides their nutritional needs. In the meantime, the mother may go about her labours unimpeded, knowing the children are safe. This is bad news for the father, however, if he seeks to assert conjugal rights while the female is nursing. Again we have Basalt, the bonded troll of the Burgomaster of Bonk, to thank for the following:-

"OOOoaargh, what sort of father are you, you no-good troll, it will crush the pebbles of your own stone, can you not see I nursing pebbles! Go and have oooahank if you feeling frisky! Or be useful and repaint cave, why is food-preparation area not redecorated like I ask!"

Pebbles become independently mobile after the age of eighteen months or so, and often achieve fluency in speech by this age. As members of a race needing to acquire bulk swiftly [3], they grow to physical maturity by the age of forty or so. But as any parent of any species will wearily tell you, this equates to those so-difficult teenage years in humans.

Marginal notes in the hand of Havelock Vetinari:

I fear my uncle was misguided in the idea that the membrum virile of the male troll was discovered by the disinterested and dispassionate questing hand of Science. Mrs. Rosie Palm has a most impressive collection of Troll phallae in the museum of the Seamstresses' Guild. She explained to me that they found a range of practical uses in the everyday commercial dealings of the Guild, who were in fact major customers of the troll-hunters in the old days, and that the Seamstresses had known about these things "for centuries, Havelock, centuries!" She believes that a natural philosopher known to my uncle, relaxing in the company of her ladies after a tiring day of cogitation, saw a preserved troll phallus which was on the mantelpiece of the House of Repute. (She assures me as an amusing objet trouvée.) He duly had a moment of illumination as to what it was and what species it had belonged to. Happily, in these days of greater mutual understanding and comprehension between Man and Troll which my uncle did not live to see, Mrs Palm has assured me that she reluctantly took the decision to remove these artefacts from active use and to relegate them to the obscurity of the Guild Museum, lest any of our city trolls took offence.

She considers that this was a wrench, as she has so far come across nothing so soft and durable and like the "real thing". However, she still relishes the somewhat awkward look on the face of Sergeant Detritus of the Watch when he visited the museum on official duties. To each of us, the little pleasures he or she deserves….

  1. Such as the troll-heads gracing the walls of our embassy on Bonk. Naturally the diamond teeth are replaced by glass: the diamond more than defrays the costs of the hunting exhibition. (See The Fifth Elephant) Go back to 1
  2. Trollskin jackets: see Guards! Guards! Go back to 2
  3. The only known predator on trolls is the dreaded Kimono Dragon, a beast formerly roaming the entire Disc but which is now confined to a handful of islands in the Bangbhangduc region. This silicon-based sauroid is believed to be one of the last survivors of the time great lizards ruled the Disc – a veritable troll dinosaur, indeed! The chosen prey for the few who remain are now the simian trolls, which parallel our monkeys and great apes. Go back to 3

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