Saturday 22 October 2011

“The Troll Mother”

In the far-​off, frost-​stricken Northlands
Where pine forests blanket the fells,
Beneath her ancestral toll bridge
A little old troll mother dwells.


Though bats hang thick from the ceiling,
And tree roots snag in her hair,
Not for all the coin in the kingdom
Would she give up her mouldering lair.


Nor all the Queen’s gold and rubies
Would offer the troll mother joy
If she lost her most valuable treasure:
Her darling, her precious troll boy.


The troll mother is blissfully happy.
There’s but one thing she lacks in her life.
Her last wish is to be a troll grandmother,
And for that the troll son lacked a wife.


The King and the Queen of the Northlands
Had one treasure of inestimable worth,
But they lost her one day on the toll bridge.
Now the troll mother looks forward to the birth.


About the Poem

“The Troll Mother” was my entry for the All Hallows Eve Creature Feature Contest this year at The Plumb Bob Keep. It was not a poetry contest (though how awesome would that have been?) but I had a hard time finding the voice to use to tell her story in prose. Switching to verse made the problem go away, even if it created the new problem of having to write a poem. >8)

My story is based on the Northern European tradition of changelings (human babies swapped with troll or elf babies) and human maidens kidnapped by trolls for marriage purposes.

My trolls (and princess) are inspired by the artwork of Swedish illustrator John Bauer.

John Bauer's trolls

About the Sims

By request, I am putting the Troll Mother and Troll Son up for download here.

I made their faces in BodyShop. The trick to get such oversized features is: push the sliders all the way to maximum, save the Sim, and clone the Sim. When you open the sliders on the clone, they will be set back to the middle, so you can push them up to maximum again. Do that a couple times and you can get tremendous noses.

To shrink the trolls

To get trolls of the proper size, you should use the stretchskeleton cheat. My Troll Mother has a stretch of 0.7 and the Troll Son has a stretch of 0.74.

Be aware that for such short Sims, some animations will be quite odd. :-)

  1. Select the Troll Mother Sim
  2. Bring up the cheat window (CTRL+SHIFT+c)
  3. type: stretchskeleton 0.7 and hit Enter

Her Sim should immediately shrink. Do the same for the Troll Son. His stretchskeleton should be set to 0.74.

If you do it this way it their new size will not be saved when you exit the lot, even if you save the game.

In SimPE

If you want to make it permanent you have to change the stretch in the character file. There is a tutorial at Insim​i​na​tor​.org.

Terms and Conditions

Feel free to do whatever you want with these trolls. I won’t have much use for them after the contest, since they don’t fit into my story world. So I would be delighted if they could have adventures in other people’s games and stories.

If you do use them and put pictures online, I would love it if you could stop by and leave a link. :)