trolls and animal sacrifice

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trolls and animal sacrifice

Post  Vypra on Thu Aug 06, 2009 2:03 pm

This one coccured to me recently when Jimar killed a snake infront of Jhaga ( a Hethiss worshipper) at the Keel and Jhaga, ICly, took it rather badly.

How do the trolls deal with the fact that they now tend to sacrifice animals to the Loa rather than sentient beings when the primal Loa are represented by animals themselves?

Would they all be happy to sacrifice any animal that isn't related to their own chosen Loa?

How offended should a devotee of Shirvalla be about having to kill tigers in the early quests in Sen'jin?

you get the idea so...your thoughts?

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Re: trolls and animal sacrifice

Post  Ryleen on Thu Aug 06, 2009 4:13 pm

I think it's much up to the the individuals interpretion of eir religion. Troll religion being something that takes the form of a rather personal bond to the gods, I think it can differ greatly.

But my personal view would be that while a god or goddess chooses to show themselves in the form of an animal, or as a troll with animal features, that doesn't mean they actually -are- the animal. The animal is a symbol for the traits that the loa possess or encourages, and the symbolic animal is to make it easier to understand for us mortals. They are gods, after all, and could very well show themselves in whatever form they choose to, but the symbol makes them easier to deal with.
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Re: trolls and animal sacrifice

Post  Snicka on Sat Aug 08, 2009 6:08 pm

I agree with Ryleen: the gods are only represented in the form of their chosen animal, but aren't the animals themselves. Although I can pretty much imagine the gods having a part of their spirit in their chosen animal, like in totemic religions.

Mentioning totemic religions: they usually worship animals that are hunted regularly. When, for example, a Native American hunter killed a bear, he apologized the Bear Spirit for causing him pain, and thanked him for lending him his fur and meat. I think this is the way you can deal with the Sen'jin tiger quest, as you are hunting them for their fur, to make blankets, as far as I remember.

Also, I think trolls did sacrifice animals before, when humanoid sacrifice was still accepted. Maybe they even sacrificed their chosen animals to the Primal Loa!

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Re: trolls and animal sacrifice

Post  Snicka on Sun Aug 09, 2009 5:18 pm

It is also interesting to see what kind of animals are worshipped by the trolls.

Serpents
are arguably the most sacred animals: four of the Loa - Hethiss, Sseratus, Ula-tek and Dambala - are represented in snake form.
Also, two gods - Quetz'lun and Hakkar - take the form of a snake-like flying creature, a wind serpent. Note that Ula-tek and Hakkar both hold a dominant role in the forest and jungle troll pantheon, respectively; and that Dambala is not a primal god, but one of the Shadow Hunter loa - the only one of those that takes an animal form.
Other flying creatures include Akil'zon the Eagle, Hir'eek the Bat and Jan'alai the Dragonhawk - the last one is especially similar to wind serpents, being a winged, footless animal.
Among mammals, big cats are the most popular forms for the Loa - Shirvallah, Bethekk, Kimbul, Halazzi and Har'koa all take the form of the local felines - tigers, panthers, lynxes and snow leopards. Strangely enough, both Shirvallah and Kimbul are tiger gods - perhaps they are the same god under a different name (the same is suggested about Hethiss and Ula-tek).
Bears are also worshipped - Nalorakk by the forest trolls, and Rhunok by the ice trolls. Jungle trolls don't have an ursine deity, as no bears live in the jungle.
Only the ice trolls worship the large herbivores - Mam'toth the Mammoth and Akali the Rhinoceros - most likely because of the lack of such creatures in the Amani and Gurubashi territories (although the RPG mentions elephants living in the Eastern Kingdoms).
Finally, Shadra the Spider is unique among the Loa in having the form of a giant arthropod. However, she is the only god worshipped by both the jungle and the forest trolls under the same name.
Strangely enough, there are no Loa mentioned in the lore that take the form of raptors, wolves or gorillas, although these beasts all live in areas populated by trolls, and are powerful enough to represent primal strength.

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Re: trolls and animal sacrifice

Post  Trinda on Thu Jan 28, 2010 8:54 pm

I think the repercussions of killing animals that may be deemed sacred depend on the nature of the killing/sacrifice
If someone was just killing for sport or killing the defenseless young, then I imagine that the consequences might be quite severe.
However, as in the Sen'jin tiger quest, if one was killing for clothing/covers (pelt), food (meat), weapons/reagents (bone/teeth/claws) it is accepted.

You might also see the killing of such an animal being done as a rite of passage. For example to be accepted as a follower of Shirvallah, I could easily see the priests telling a young uninitiated warrior to hunt the largest tiger he can find. This is in order to show Shirvallah that the warrior is worthy enough to be endowed with his blessing. To be killed by the animal would show that he was not worthy enough to be a warrior of the tiger. In that same vein, you might see a warrior consecrate a new weapon (or a weapon intended for a holy war) with the blood of a 'sacred animal' in order to get the blessing of their respective Primal God.

I'm not so certain the Trolls would apologize to the Primal God though. Remorse for something they deem necessary does not strike me as a very Trollish trait. That seems to be a more Tauren-esque thing to do.
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Re: trolls and animal sacrifice

Post  Lyranne on Fri Jan 29, 2010 11:42 am

Personally I would also look at how ensconsed your troll happens to be within Horde life. We know all the races kill animals for food, and they should theoretically have animals they each regard as being more than a snack. That is to say, they probably have animals like we have cats, dogs and horses (though all are eaten elsewhere) that we regard as too valuable to kill for food. Cats help with rodents, dogs with larger 'pests' and horses for aid in manual labour. We know the Tauren have Kodo, Orcs have wolves, trolls raptor, and so on. Does their predilection towards these animals mean they wouldn't eat them, or will they only do so when the animal retires, as a form of tribute? We know the game has meats of varius animals (though I don't recall ever seeing horse meat from Zevhra's... could be my mind playing tricks), but would the typical diet of a troll be that similar to that of other Horde races, or will they still hold some as sacred. Meh, I'm reiterating Julie's question.

I would think that much of what my last paragraph mentions would be at least partially relevent. I can't see a follower of Mam'toth eating elephant/mammoth, unless they revered the meat as bringing them closer to their loa. Again, our only real-life counterpart is mankind, which we really can't use to gauge all sentient species (lest they all start becoming the same thing).

On a side note: What would a tribe think of a vegetarian? what would any of the horde or alliance races think, for that matter? If eating the meat that represents your loa is supposed to bring you closer to them, then they must be seen as unworthy, if avoiding the meats is seen as respective, then are perhaps the most revered amongst various races in fact vegetarian? Just wondering due to how some view vegetarians in the real world, I wonder if such stigma may also exist in Azeroth. Though we know that an elephant is no less worthy of life than a tiger, just because of its diet, some people are silly in their misguided notions of what is right and wrong. One can't help thinking that many races of Azeroth may also be prejudice towards unusual diets/behaviour, though that in turn brings the whole sexuality thing back to the fore... I should stop, as I'm over-thinking and it's not even 9... on top of having not slept last night >.<
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Re: trolls and animal sacrifice

Post  Snicka on Fri Jan 29, 2010 1:04 pm

On the question of vegetarians: I think every culture and race would look differently on them, just like in our world.
I would say there are no vegetarian orcs, for example. They live pretty much on fighting, they need the nutritions from meat, and probably would look on them as weaklings.
On the other hand, I can imagine religious leaders of various races, who do not fight, turning vegetarians. Tauren and night elf druids, possibly human and dwarf priests.
There is pretty much no vegetarian food actually appearing in the game though, except for some bread and cakes.

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Re: trolls and animal sacrifice

Post  Trinda on Fri Jan 29, 2010 5:53 pm

Lyranne wrote:I can't see a follower of Mam'toth eating elephant/mammoth, unless they revered the meat as bringing them closer to their loa. Again, our only real-life counterpart is mankind, which we really can't use to gauge all sentient species (lest they all start becoming the same thing).

On a side note: What would a tribe think of a vegetarian? what would any of the horde or alliance races think, for that matter?
That's pretty much exactly it. I think that they would eat those meats in order to thank the loa for their blessings or to bring them closer.

It might also depend on tribe and/or religious sect. For example, the Darkspear (or whatever sect Seer Janidi is part of) find birds' spirits to be weak. "No self-respecting Darkspear troll engages in bird worship. Their spirits are weak, capricious, and best left to the Amani."
In ideal conditions, I could see them flat out avoiding bird meat for this reason. Which leads to the vegetarian question quite nicely.

If my speculation is actually correct (and heck, I could be way off), then in a worst case situation where there is a scarcity of meat and there are only birds about, a hyper-religious/superstitious might well turn vegetarian rather than stoop to eating weak spirited birds. Granted, in such a situation, (s)he may be so desperate that (s)he actually decides that it is necessity to eat the birds and might 'pray it off' later. Very Happy

Given the general carnivorous nature of Trolls, I would imagine that a vegetarian might be seen as weak. Perhaps not in 'modern-day' Darkspear culture, as they have started accepting other non-traditional customs, but a hard-line traditionalist might remain in that mindset. Though, as they respect power and wisdom, I could see a witch doctor getting away with it un-insulted.

Alternatively, a wise priest or witch doctor might advise the tribe that they need to slow down the killing of x, y or z animal lest they lose that animal entirely. During such a time, it might not be uncommon to see a rise in eating more plant-based food in order to supplement the reduction of meat consumption. A time like this might be where you see more vegetarians pop up. Not necessarily because they abhor the practice of eating meat, rather it is for the betterment of the tribe.

At the end of the day, Trolls (and most of the other races, for that matter) are quite the contradictory people and almost nothing they decide to do surprises me anymore. Blizzard has written Trolls in such a way that they could as easily praise vegetarianism as they could condemn it.

As for the rest of the races and vegetarianism, I think it might go as follows (from most likely to least likely):
Night Elves, Draenei and Tauren (given their traditions and general mindsets) are probably most likely to have large amounts of vegetarians... maybe even vegans.

Dwarves, Humans, Blood Elves and Gnomes would likely not care one way or the other and have a few vegetarians.

Trolls are carnivorous in nature, but given certain situations, I could see a few going the way of the veggie for a couple reasons.
I could swear that I read somewhere (likely one of the novels) that Orcs NEED meat in their diets, so if my memory is actually serving me correctly (it is known to fail on me though) a vegetarian Orc would be very rare indeed.

Forsaken may need to consume flesh, but I'll be honest, they aren't my area of specialty.
So, I really can't comment on the possibility/impossibility of a Forsaken vegetarian.
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Re: trolls and animal sacrifice

Post  Snicka on Fri Jan 29, 2010 6:12 pm

A little detail, but I noticed that male night elves and draenei of both gender have very sharp canine teeth. This, of course, doesn't necessarily mean they are carnivorous, as in reality, too, there are animals that have sharp canines, and are still primarily vegetarians - like, for example, gorillas and a few other primates.
But otherwise I agree with what Trinda said about the various races.

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Re: trolls and animal sacrifice

Post  Ryleen on Fri Jan 29, 2010 6:19 pm

I don't think it's visible anywhere in game, but trolls are described as having sharp and pointy teeth.
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Re: trolls and animal sacrifice

Post  Snicka on Fri Jan 29, 2010 6:23 pm

Ryleen wrote:I don't think it's visible anywhere in game, but trolls are described as having sharp and pointy teeth.
...which pretty much matches their carnivorous nature. I imagine their diet like that of foxes: primarily eating meat, with occasional fruit and herbs. Night elves or draenei, on the other hand, might be like monkeys: basically herbivorous, while sometimes hunting and consuming animal flesh.

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Re: trolls and animal sacrifice

Post  Zul'Ros on Sat Jan 30, 2010 4:36 pm

Vegeterians are those who deliberately choose not to eat meat, not those who don't simply cause they have no meat to eat, right?
I can't see any reason for the existance of troll vegetarians tbh.
Sure they can switch to eating fruits and plants when there's a shortage of meat, but no sane troll from any of the existing tribes (at least those that i know of) would ever drop it off completely for the rest of his life.
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Re: trolls and animal sacrifice

Post  Trinda on Tue Feb 02, 2010 7:06 pm

Zul'Ros wrote:Vegeterians are those who deliberately choose not to eat meat, not those who don't simply cause they have no meat to eat, right?
I don't necessarily think it has to be a choice. Whether it is forced or not, it would still be a vegetarian diet and thus, one would be a vegetarian. You could add 'forced' or 'involuntary'/'involuntarily' before the word, but the fact remains that they are vegetarian.

Zul'Ros wrote:Sure they can switch to eating fruits and plants when there's a shortage of meat, but no sane troll from any of the existing tribes (at least those that i know of) would ever drop it off completely for the rest of his life.
But then you're leaving out the insane Trolls and loas know there are many of those about. Very Happy

Now, I'm not saying that there are many vegetarian Trolls (if any at all). I totally agree that the vast majority of Trolls (if not all) are carnivorous. I'm just saying that in certain instances, forced or otherwise, I can see where a vegetarian diet may arise. At least until the crisis is over or until the lack of flesh makes them a little crazy and they eat whoever it is telling them they should stick to vegetarianism a while longer.
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Re: trolls and animal sacrifice

Post  Zul'Ros on Tue Feb 02, 2010 7:27 pm

Oh, right, insane trolls! I totally forgot about those! Laughing
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Re: trolls and animal sacrifice

Post  Lyranne on Tue Feb 02, 2010 10:39 pm

Though in the real world and more specifically, on Earth, a mouth full of canines denotes predatory behaviour/carnivourous leanings, one might also point to WoW as not having a realistic ecosystem, where gorillas are downright hostile to everything, many small birds attack larger creatures on sight, and very few animals actually hunt in packs, despite their real-world counterparts doing so. What I mean by this is that as with many situations and facts of real life, they don't necessarily fit within WoW. A vegetarian would surely only be considered weak if there was a pre-existing stereotype or else a geniune reason to believe that meat is superior to fauna. Considering how most Horde races adhere to a more spiritual outlook than most contemporary human cultures, it seems foolish to assume that they'd regard meat the same way. One would imagine, as has been said, that all Horde races would be aware enough of their respective ecosystems not to end up causing extinction. This in turn would lead to a belief that all have their place in the world. By extension, it's plausible (even if not probable) that those who're 'different' are not vilified as they would be within human cultures.

That's not to say that all troll tribes would be the same, and dependant on habitat, it's possible one has adapted to a more herbivourous diet, or even one based around fish. Trolls tend not to wear much in the say of clothing, in fact seeming not to wear furs and leather by default, however they make much use of wood and so forth in the construction of their tools and armour. Could there be a belief that using the flesh is desecration of the creature, or simply that they deem such clothing nnecessary?

I'm thinking too much again.
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Re: trolls and animal sacrifice

Post  Trinda on Tue Feb 02, 2010 11:51 pm

Nah, Lyranne. Too much thinking is always more than welcome (in my eyes, anyway) when it comes to Trolls. I also like to think too much about Tauren, Gnomes and Dwarves. Trolls top the list though.

That's not to say that all troll tribes would be the same, and dependant on habitat, it's possible one has adapted to a more herbivourous diet, or even one based around fish.
Given the nature and location of Revantusk, Sen'jin and Shadowprey Villages, I would say it is a certainty that those two (Darkspear and Revantusk) have a very fishy/seafood based diet.

We know the forest Trolls have been seafaring (Trolls provided their seaworthy vessels to the Horde navy in WCII) for quite some time. This indicates that they are very familiar with the sea or at the very least, the waters surrounding their village for a few miles. Then, add in the fact that the Revantusk are more or less confined to their little strip of seaside property because the Hakkar influenced Witherbark and Vilebranch dominate the Hinterlands proper. You now have a recipe for a tribe that primarily lives off the sea.

Likewise with the Darkspear on their islands/beaches. First the ones that Sen'jin died on and sank, then the Echo Isles and now they have TWO seaside villages (three if you count Zoram'gar), despite the fact that they could have set up shop anywhere with the Horde. I will admit that the Darkspear likely have more land meat in their diets due to easier access, but they clearly have a love for the sea otherwise they would never have claimed a spot in Desolace! We've never seen a Darkspear navy, but given their proximity to the sea, I don't doubt their existence.

Could there be a belief that using the flesh is desecration of the creature, or simply that they deem such clothing nnecessary?
I think it's more that they don't deem it necessary than some religious belief. I mean, Durotar looks like it would be HOT and they live by the sea. Double practical reason right there for the lack of clothes (thick pelt-style clothes anyway).

COULD there be a religious aspect too?
It's possible, but I personally doubt it. They do still have some clothes and use blankets, mats and rugs, after all.
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Re: trolls and animal sacrifice

Post  Lyranne on Wed Feb 03, 2010 5:47 pm

My wonder about the use of flesh/skin more being akin to how the trolls see waste. Would/do they use it for other purposes? In nature, you'd not see many animals leave much in the way of scraps, so do trolls eat everything with their powerful metabolism being aided by very strong gastric fluids, or would they treat the leather and use it for makeshift bags, rope and so forth? One can't imagine trolls leaving much in the way of evidence, considering tribal/clan battles, and being pushed back by ogres, etc, so logistically, they must do something to aid in covering their tracks. This in turn also lends support to a mostly oceanic diet, as fish are very easy to consume, and so too are things like crabs (whose shells could be used for all manner of things, or even just be dumped in the river/ocean). Certainly in all troll habitats, there appear to be an awful lot of anglers, and I don't recall much in the say of quests to help them gather any other meats.

As you say, most trolls live on or near the sea. One wonders if this in turn (if we're to take reality as part of the equation) would mean they ave developed some intolerances to other types of meat they'd not usually come across?

I would have agreed about the lack of clothing, save for the typical PC nature of no creatures being truly nude. This hampers in many ways as we can only make assumptions. I agree that trolls, with their dense fur and hot climates probably would wear next to nothing, same with tauren and to a lesser extent, orcs. alas, until the game gives us banana hammocks, or else realistic clothing, we'll never know for sure Razz
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Re: trolls and animal sacrifice

Post  Trinda on Wed Feb 03, 2010 7:46 pm

Lyranne wrote:My wonder about the use of flesh/skin more being akin to how the trolls see waste. Would/do they use it for other purposes? In nature, you'd not see many animals leave much in the way of scraps, so do trolls eat everything with their powerful metabolism being aided by very strong gastric fluids, or would they treat the leather and use it for makeshift bags, rope and so forth?
Under normal circumstances, I imagine that meat is eaten and skins/pelts are cured/treated to make leather, while bones/teeth/claws are probably divvied up. The hunter keeps whatever he wants for a trophy and the rest are provided to the tribe for soup, weapons, reagents, dice and other such things.

I think they use everything, like the Tauren do. Though the Tauren cite spiritual reasons for doing so, I think Trolls would do it for practicality. Why waste something when it could be used to nourish, clothe or defend the village (among other things)? And as you say, it also helps cover their tracks if needed.

Also, yes... I do think they would eat everything they possibly could.
In my family, when we kill something, we use all the meat, including the organs (usually in soup or as a meat paste).
Bones are especially good for soup!


Lyranne wrote:I don't recall much in the say of quests to help them gather any other meats.

As you say, most trolls live on or near the sea. One wonders if this in turn (if we're to take reality as part of the equation) would mean they ave developed some intolerances to other types of meat they'd not usually come across?

There may not be many (if any... I don't recall any myself) quests to collect meat, but there are far inland places like Malaka'jin where there is little to no water and getting fresh fish and such is much less feasible. Theres' also the quest giver, Xen'Zilla asks you to kill spiders that have been interfering in their hunts (and right near him is the Troll butcher, Denni'ka. This suggests that they can and do eat strange meats. Stonetalon Mountains is far away from any natural Darkspear settlement. All the wildlife (stag/deer, chimaera, land-based basilisks) there would be quite foreign to them (except spiders and they don't seem interested in eating that), yet they hunt there.

So, given their adaptability, hunting prowess (it is said they are among the best), and downright carnivorous nature, I would think that despite having a heavily sea-based diet in natural habitats they are not doing so out of necessity but because they enjoy it and/or it might simply be easier. Chum the water. Cast a net/rod. POW! Dinner for ten. Hehe.

It seems that they may have an aversion to spider meat, given that we were asked to kill spiders and not bring back the meat.


Lyranne wrote:I would have agreed about the lack of clothing, save for the typical PC nature of no creatures being truly nude. This hampers in many ways as we can only make assumptions. I agree that trolls, with their dense fur and hot climates probably would wear next to nothing, same with tauren and to a lesser extent, orcs. alas, until the game gives us banana hammocks, or else realistic clothing, we'll never know for sure Razz
Aye. We might have to put this in the unresolved style.
I will say this from experience, though.
Loincloths and leather harnesses are not hot at all and are quite comfortable in hot weather.
Quite a few Troll NPCs adopt this style. Just food for thought.
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Re: trolls and animal sacrifice

Post  Zanick on Fri Feb 05, 2010 6:07 pm

Lyranne wrote:
One can't imagine trolls leaving much in the way of evidence, considering tribal/clan battles, and being pushed back by ogres, etc, so logistically, they must do something to aid in covering their tracks.

It seems to me that it all depends. If you're being sneaky, then you make sure that you leave no trace, not even the scorch marks from your camp-fire. But at other times, when you're in enemy territory, you might want them to know that you were there. You might leave the remains of a meal as a challenge to them, a taunt. Proving that you can enter their territory at will and (this bit is most important) get away again without even being discovered.

This reminds me of the American Indian tradition of 'counting coup', gaining honour by demonstrating bravery in the face of the enemy. I recall one particularly fine example was to sneak into the enemy village and p*ss in the cooking pot, make sure they see you doing it, and then get away without getting caught. Ha-haah!

An in-game equivalent is perhaps sneaking around Stormwind sapping the guards and any unwary adventurer that wanders by.

Anyway, sorry to take this thread a bit off-topic.
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Re: trolls and animal sacrifice

Post  Lyranne on Wed Feb 10, 2010 6:14 pm

I agree that there's potential for being daring, one also needs to put into account the fact that most players (if they're Darkspear at any rate, and if not, they've likely left their own tribe anyway) belong to an almost destroyed tribe that would not necessarily risk losing more of their kin to such reckless challenges. That's not to say it wouldn't happen, but to consider the circumstances beforehand. It's easy to imagine trolls doing something very human because we think that way. To us, any other thought processes in a sapient being are too abstract for us to comprehend. We know that the races of Azeroth, Draenor, etc are sapient and at least have a modicum of civility, so we do tend to shoehorn human characteristics into the lore. I don't think this is wrong, but I do think it's part of what causes some of the drama and a lot of the confusion.

Back to the topic though. Such thought processes could potentially be resolved via a nice brainstorming thread or OOC meeting in game to see if we can find a compromise and balance for human Vs. troll traits. Again, I'm not saying what we do is wrong, simply that it'd be nice to have some bullet-points easily viewable on this site, WaL's or elsewhere combining discussion with practice in a way to better aid those new to RP/Troll RP.

Or I could be overthinking again.
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