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Question about the origin of the trolls


I have heard it said that the home world of the High-Ones was earth in the far future. If that is the case , then the pets that they brought with them would be the descendants of earth animals. Now the scroll of colors said that trolls were descended from ground burrowing apes. So were they supposed to be apes that had evolved into a gopher like form or were they gophers that had evolved into an ape like form?
And if they were apes, just what type of ape did they evolve from? Gorillas?chimps?orangutans, gibbons?
also in the final Kavi calls Picknose an ape? How would she have known what an ape was? They don't live in freezing cold environments like the one that Go-Backs lived in?


Where did you hear that the Home planet was supposed to be Earth? O.o

Also, Kahvi calling Picknose an ape doesn't really mean anything. What an ape is to her might not be what an ape is to us. I like to think of the words the characters say as being translated into a language we can understand...maybe what Kahvi actually called him just doesn't have a great translation, and "ape" is the closest approximation there is.


Maybe kahvi's version of "ape" is actually a word passed down from the High Ones to describe the ground digging creatures that the Trolls descended from? Maybe she is using the term as a slur without really knowing what it means...

Or, actually... didn't she call Picknose an 'ape' right after she heard Timmain's story in the Scroll of Colors? In that story, narrated by Suntop, Timmain describes the trolls as descendants of ground digging apes (like Potoo explains)- and I think that might be where Kahvi got the word- in which case, she is fully aware of what it means and is using it somewhat accurately.


So were the primordial trolls apes that evolved into a rodent-like form or rodents that evolved into an ape-like form?



Wendy made Timmain word it this way: "small, ground-digging apes" and "winged insects". We have only the familiar vocabulary, not a biolocical linage. As long as there isn't another or more detailed explanation I take the literal meaning:
Trolls developed from a homeworld creature that was close enough to our apes to call them so. And Preservers come from insects.
Rodents were not mentioned.

What are you up to, Potoo? Might be easier to talk when we know more.


Well, three things

1) I have always been fascinated by apes and monkeys
2) I read the original series a long time ago. I had assumed that the coneheads were meant to be far future humans and that the creatures they brought with them were the animals usually assumed to outlast humanity (rats & cockroaches). It seems that was a fallacious assumption my part.
3)I had a very odd Elfquest influenced dream recently. It was set in a desolate Ice Age landscape. I sort of knew it was Elfquest, but I don't know why.

Anyway there was a figure that I thought at first was Picknose , but then I realized he looked quite different. He had the green skin, but his face was somewhat bear-like. He was dressed in a black cloak and hood and was wearing a fur kilt. He was carrying a large bundle of raw red meat.

The figure climbs up a cliff carrying his bundle and puts it down in a large cave.Where several figures are waiting. These figures looked somewhat between the coneheads and the High Ones. They were hairless and had the cone shaped heads, but they had elf ears and faces.

As soon as the bear-like troll is inside .He speaks, but his diction is oddly robotic. He says "DELIVERY OF HIGH PROTEIN FOOD SOURCES TO MAIN ENCAMPMENT, AS REQUESTED BY OVERSEER CASTE" then I woke up. Needless to say this was a very vivid and unusual dream and it made me decide to look into Elfquest again, then I found you guys.


Interesting dream! Always hate when I miss the ending.

I've mentioned this in other threads, but the Trolls and the High Ones seemed to have evolved in opposite directions, with the exception of the misshapen Trolls, which are one of my least favorite plot devices.

The Scroll tells us that the High Ones evolved into space-faring people, while the Trolls were still apes that apparently couldn't even swing from trees (probably because the trees were long gone, thanks to you-know-who.)

As they fly around in the Palace, the apes become early ancestors of Trolls, though not as tall and strong. They become intellectually advanced enough to plot a rebellion.

Once the Palace crashes, and everyone scatters, the Trolls burrow underground, as Oddbit later said, "like sensible people." With the exception of three captive rockshapers, Trolls have to rely upon non-magical technology to develop medicines, shape metal tools, and build endless networks of secret tunnels.

Some of the High Ones interbreed with wolves, as they adapt to their new environment. They suffer clash after clash with the native humans. The Sun Folk and the Gliders become master craftspeople. They and the Go-Backs domesticate animals. All of the Elves create suitable homes, using both magic and technology.

As the Trolls become bigger and stronger, the Elves become smaller. Even the Gliders are shorter than the High Ones. Northern Trolls get to be huge.

The vast majority of Elves can neither fly nor levitate objects, yet no one seems to have any desire to make flying machines. Scores of them die trying to regain the flying Palace.

Treestump learns to make steel only after rooting around in an abandoned Troll foundry. Wolfriders ride ponies and horses a couple of times, and Sun Folk briefly domesticate zwoots, but horsemanship is never seriously pursued. The wheel appears to be a lost cause among Elves.

Picknose develops gunpowder some time before the humans develop firearms. Two-Edge's Troll nature is leading the technology race. Meanwhile, the Elves finally secure the Palace and fly around in it. A whole colony of them live in it, kind of like Gliders did in Blue Mountain, except for the fact that the Palace flies and is not shrouded in giant bird poop.

This is how I get my attitude of superiority in regards to my race...


very interesting, what were the "misshapen Trolls"


Interesting dream ... it's fascinating for me when memory is so clear after waking up.

As I said I'd go with Wendy's term and consider them small apes. The "rodent-like" look would be due to convergent evolution - they developed a shape which was most appropriate for their underground living.
Whether they developed from big ape-like creatures or from small monkeys ... we'd need a biologist to explain what's more probable, I guess.

The "misshapen Trolls" are introduced in the story "The Searcher and the Sword" and still "knock the door" in The Final Quest (not actually showing there so far). My first thought when they appeared in SatS was ... O.O "Now EQ has Zombies!"


The misshapen Trolls are one aspect of Elfquest that I think is a bit silly: that species evolve and devolve up and down the evolutionary scale.


I always thought the "misshapen trolls" were not so much physically degenerate (although it was implied that they may have been inbred) but culturally degenerate-what they used to call "secondary mental retardation" when an initially neuro typical child's mental development is handicapped by lack of stimulation and parental attention during a crucial time.


In-breeding should not be an issue.
The Trolls from Djunsland are said to be the descendants of one couple - Picknose and Eddbit - during the 10,000 years of waiting. Unlessit is a monestiv society and all of them are literally born to Picknose and Oddbit there must have been a lot of inbreeding. And they are physically and mentally well and inventive.

A social degeneration is more probable indeed ... tho I wonder what would have caused the former Forest Trolls and/or Ice Trolls to change so much.

Wasn't there a discussion that it might be the influence of the pond of foul magic in the Holt area?


Embala said: Wasn't there a discussion that it might be the influence of the pond of foul magic in the Holt area?

I thought that was the official canon explanation.


I always wondered how exactly inbred Picknose's Kingdom was. If the troll tunnels could span both Djunsland and Iceholt, trolls from other kingdoms may have been able to join Picknose. Exactly how did Kahvi return to Djunsland anyway without Tyldak's help? I always assumed it was through troll tunnels but couldn't find anything in the text to support that.


Trolls tended to take over kingdoms and kill the previous king ... it's not likely for me that they have "highways" and open borders.

@Trollbabe Is there EVIDENCE in the story that all the tribe comes from Picknose and Oddbit only?

Kahvi could have crossed an ice "bridge" between the continents far in the north.


We have no idea how "unified" the Iceholt trolls were after Picknose was deposed.
I personally think it was like some stages of the Roman Empire where there was King after King that didn't last too long. If there was that much instability I could see refugees making it to Picknose's kingdom, and would also explain the "degenerate" trolls setteling in Greymung's old tunnels.


Refugees or curious explorers ... Right! I can see that.


Saint_Parallelogram said: If the troll tunnels could span both Djunsland and Iceholt, trolls from other kingdoms may have been able to join Picknose.

I thought the troll tunnels only started spreading in Djunsland once Picky and co. arrived.


On the subject of apes

Have any non-human primates been shown on Abode? I know tree-wees are mentioned and from the illustrations of them seem to be some sort of lemurs


Treewees look pretty much like lemurs indeed.

I remember neither monkeys nor big apes ... definitely not in the stories drawn by Wendy. There might be monkeys shown in the background ... Fire-Eye and Rogue's Curse (circus) could have some. Other artists - and I've just skimmed a good part of it.


Embala asked

Is there EVIDENCE in the story that all the tribe comes from Picknose and Oddbit only?

The only thing I find is on the Timeline in the "About" section of Elfquest.com, which says: "Hidden Years #3 - Picknose shows some success building a clan consisting entirely of his own descendants."

So far, the normal Trolls have appeared in one panel of the Final Quest, but maybe we'll get some more information.