Monsters of Windemere: Sjotroll

Skogtroll by Theodor Kittelsen

This is a beast from The Life & Times of Ichabod Brooks.  That’s where it’s going to stay because it’s certainly a ‘one time’ use.  Given its origin and role in Windemere, there’s no other way to do it.

The Sjotroll is two things.  First, it’s a creature whose name I have a lot of trouble saying out loud.  My tongue and teeth declare war on each other.  Second, I designed this to be the original troll species of Windemere.  We’re talking way back when the gods behind creation were fairly deranged and simply didn’t give a damn.  Want a predator?  This giant that merges with the earth, has four arms with six claws each, absorbs wood, and has suction cup tentacles in its mouth.  Oh, and it’s head had dead eyes and a mosquito-like nose just like the modern trolls.  I’m going with horror fuel here, but that might only be because I picture it really well in my eyes.

The reason I made this beast was because Ichabod needed a reason to deal with the yellow ogres.  His stories always have a ‘title first’ creation, so I had to figure out what these other creatures were doing.  I liked the idea of this dangerous beings working towards reviving something even worse.  So, I went with my reliable super predator of the troll and started making it more dangerous.  All of it was made up as I went along because I only had the thought of making something big and powerful.  I switched things in and out until all the pieces I had in my had fit together.  At one point, the Sjotroll was a water creature, but that made no sense with it being a forest adventure.  Sometimes you have to keep the terrain and change the monster.

I should probably discuss the name because that’s rather eye-catching.  It’s something I swore I found while researching all the types of trolls in mythology.  Spent an hour going through sites to find it again, but I think my memory is playing tricks on me.  The closest thing I found was the word ‘sjotrungnis’, which is from a Nordic poem.  It was on the Wikipedia page with the translation of ‘dwelling-Rungnir’, which may be a stone giant defeated by Thor.  Given I made this beast on the fly years ago, I’m assuming I took the ‘sjo’ and slapped it on ‘troll’.  I think I know myself enough to realize I depend on that trick a lot.

The Sjotroll is something that I probably shouldn’t pull out again unless I can find special circumstances.  They’ve all been sealed because they’re massive eating machines that merge with the very earth.  It’s too powerful and would have devoured the earlier ecosystems of Windemere.  I can’t see the gods and goddesses letting those things remain after they lost a bunch of creations to them.  So, they’d be stashed in the earth with the expectation of later use.  Then, the Sjotroll was forgotten to history and only become important when someone wants to cause trouble.  Still, it was nice giving some history to a monster species that I use so much.

About Charles Yallowitz

Charles E. Yallowitz was born, raised, and educated in New York. Then he spent a few years in Florida, realized his fear of alligators, and moved back to the Empire State. When he isn't working hard on his epic fantasy stories, Charles can be found cooking or going on whatever adventure his son has planned for the day. 'Legends of Windemere' is his first series, but it certainly won't be his last.
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6 Responses to Monsters of Windemere: Sjotroll

  1. L. Marie says:

    Interesting name. Fitting for Norse mythology. I’m glad to hear the behind the scenes take on their creation, I can’t help thinking of Jurassic Park and the idea that someone thought dinosaurs should be brought back–at least until they ran amok.


  2. I enjoyed the discussion of your creation, Charles

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Sounds like you did a lot of research, then tweaked it to fit your purpose. That method works well. I like it.


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