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New Race: The Thoul

by Andrew Theisen

Hieroglyphics found in a Nithian tomb-

"Thanatos be praised! By utilising the theories of the sorcerer Kruthep- may he rest with Entropy- I have managed to convert the last remnants of the Black Moon Trolls into a new form! The visions of a new species, one straddling the line between life and death, that were sent to me by his most illustrious bringer of night, have at last been realised!

"I shall call my new creation Thoul- for is it not part troll, part hobgoblin, and part ghoul? Combining the best aspects of each, and completely under my control!"

(From later in the account)

"... I have noticed a strange relationship between the undead hordes and thouls that are under my command. They seem to share some sort of bond...

"Perhaps it is nothing. But I shall look into it nevertheless."

Excerpt from a genetic discussion at the Galactic Federation Centre for the Advancement and Understanding of Interspecies Relations and Biological Processes.

"... Nowhere is this phenomenon more evident than among the primitive populations that inhabit the backwater planet of M-1273, known to its peoples as Mystara. Through the use of their indigenous arts- commonly called magic, though debate continues whether or not it is merely some form of psychokinesis- they have managed to populate their world with a widely diverse range of species, some of which would seemingly be impossible on other worlds, and certainly in the environments in which they appear.

"One species in particular, known locally as the 'troll', has demonstrated an incredibly adaptable genetic structure. Like certain viruses, their cells are constantly modifying and duplicating themselves, with the end result that they have vast regenerative powers, and are seemingly indestructible to most mundane forms of harm. It is this adaptability that certain Mystaran Scientists- or Sorcerers- have discovered, enables them to be a useful catalyst in the creation of new species. Through arcane means, their genetic structures have been combined with those of other species, to create new, and sometimes wildly different, types of creatures..."

Historical account of the Terror, by a Glantrian scholar:

"When the Blood Brethren rose to power during their brief, but evil, reign, in the early days of 800 AC, their chief weapon of destruction were the deadly Thouls.

"As mean as their hobgoblin cousins, but far more powerful, they Thouls had been kept under close confinement since their arrival in the Broken Lands nearly a millennia before. Their disgusting acts of Entropy worship and cannibalism turned the stomachs of even the humanoids of the Broken Lands. And there were whispers that they consorted with the undead...

"While Koresh Teyd led his hordes out of High Gobliny against their eastern neighbours, his brother, Simm of the Grasping Dark, led another band, deep beneath the lands of Hobgobland, to the caverns where the Thouls were confined, all at the behest of his patron Thanatos.

"Once unleashed, the Thouls became the chief lieutenants of the Blood Brethren's massive horde, a horde that nearly took over the entirety of the Broken Lands. Their reign of terror would have likely remained unchecked, if not for the intervention of a few intrepid adventurers, who confined the Brethren to Barleycorn Monastery.

"Without their leaders, the Thouls hordes quickly broke up, and most were driven into the depths of the Broken Lands once more, though many were able to remain amongst goblin and hobgoblinkind, if not fully accepted, at least tolerated..."