Everyone thinks raising trolls is evil, but nothing could be farther from the truth. Raising trolls is an ancient and noble art that is no worse than the common practice of raising the dead. An army of trolls is, in fact, far more useful in battle than an army of zombies, particularly in times of national emergency. However, I suppose the efficacy of a troll army depends upon the country you are defending. But I digress. Troll geography is a discussion best reserved for a warm fire and a celebratory cup of mead.

I must confess that I was tempted to prepare to raise one at the vampire’s house, but I refrained because Fay said I shouldn’t. Anyway, on to the art of raising an actual troll. For each troll you plan to raise, you will need a large animal carcass, a keg of ale, and a tankard. And also the same number of höggspjóts if you are readying your trolls for battle. If not, you can forgo the weapons.

Next, you need to prepare yourself. Gather these items, but do not use them until you are ready to begin the ritual. New clothes are best; you must respect the magic at all times. I usually bring two sets. Next, gather a large bag of fresh dung. Let me interrupt my instructions here to say that raising trolls does not mean you drag them up out of the ground by magic. In this instance, raising bears the same meaning as it does in ‘raising an army.’ It means you convince the trolls to go into battle with you. And herein lies the skill. Anyone can call a troll by smearing themselves with dung, but getting them to fight for you? Now that’s an art.

But back to the instructions. Gather all your materials, travel to a high place in the forest, and wait until sunset. You will never raise a troll during the sunlit hours, as trolls are allergic to UV rays. They turn to stone. Once the sun has set, change your clothing and cast a spell upon yourself. This part is essential to remember. If you neglect the spell or cast a weak one, the first troll to arrive will swallow you whole and digest you at his leisure. The spell you use should make you appear as a female troll, altering your physical appearance. Note that the spell will not change your clothing. So when selecting your attire, pick the prettiest dress you can find or afford. Evening gowns work particularly well.

Set out one keg, carcass, tankard, and höggspjót (if needed) approximately 8 or 9 meters apart. Smear yourself with the dung; the thicker the coating, the better your chances, and wait. Trolls eat sheep and goats and track them via the smell. The worse you smell, the greater the number of trolls you can raise. If the dung is very fresh, and you selected a sufficiently high promontory, it should take no more than an hour for the first troll to arrive. You won’t have to do much at first. The troll will see a female (if your spell is potent) and make his way toward you, but the carcass and ale will stop him in his tracks. He will smile at you and begin to eat and drink. With any luck, his brethren will follow close behind and repeat his actions until you have as many trolls as you can feed.

Note that any trolls arriving after each carcass has a troll attached will slink away. They will not risk a battle with another over food. At this point, you can begin to dance. Swing your hips suggestively, and talk about the foe you wish to vanquish. But make yourself the poor, weak female beset by evil humans in the story. Blow kisses, cry, and promise yourself to the troll who defeats your abuser.

If you have rendered yourself sufficiently attractive and have created a compelling story, the trolls will jump up and swear allegiance to your cause, pushing and shoving each other to be first in line behind you. You may then lay out your battle plan, and they will comply. It will not be necessary to remain covered in dung as that was only to attract them. But should you decide to bathe, don a clean dress and wear it until the trolls have won your battle. Then run fast, or risk becoming a troll’s mate.

*The editor cut this chapter, which is unfortunate as I believe troll raising to be a vital skill.


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