Origin The Tro'els are a clade of hu tweaks that have been optimized for arctic and sub-arctic climates. Originally refugees of the Great Expulsion, they settled on an ice moon in the outer system and used genemods to adapt themselves to living in ice caves beneath its surface.
Physical Tro'els are large nearbaselines; up to 2.5 m tall with a round muscular body that weights about 500-700 kg. They have a large, wide nose with a rich network of blood vessels to warm inhaled air and recover heat from exhaled air. Their arms and legs have length proportions more akin to a great ape than a human but each is much thicker than in either of them to retain heat. Thick layers of fat and hair covering their bodies from head to toe further enhance heat retention. Even the palms of their hands and the bottoms of their feet have special pads that act as thermal breaks between them and the ice. Tro'els are so well protected from the cold they can use a slab of ice as a comfortable bed and a bucket of snow for bathing/scrubbing down. Nor do they need protective clothing often go about their business au naturel. (Of course this doesn't mean they are exhibitionists as their hair covers anything of interest.) Interestingly, these changes were achieved with only minor genetic alterations, mostly those that guide the degree and timing of growth hormones, and as a result Tro'els are fully interfertile with baseline humans.
Psychology Tro'els have a reputation for being anti-social or misanthropic. Nothing could be farther from the truth; Tro'els simply like to live in an environment that humans and most other nearbaselines avoid. Those who have braved the cold dry air of a Tro'el warren have found them to be quiet but friendly and generous even to strangers. Tro'els are particularly fond of showing off their folk art; a style of large-scale ice carving that highlights fine detailing and often tells a locally known story.
Culture Culturally the Tro'els are very diverse. Their preferred environment is a network of ice tunnels deep beneath the surface of an ice dwarf moon or frozen planet. As such they form small communes around some local heat source or pocket of liquid water and each commune is free to develop their own culture. They mine for ices and meteorite debris and may trade with the outside world but their isolation protects them from many foreign memes although they do take on the general meme-sets of the local polity. Some warrens are closer to the surface/outside world than others and the Tro'els of these communes often like to maintain the illusion of them being the trolls of old Earth folklore. Tro'els are aware of their appearance to outsiders and of the race memories they invoke in some baseline hu and this has become something of a cultural in-joke to them.
Technology Tro'el technology is like-wise very diverse. They dig their habitats, and carve out the furnishings, directly out of the ice but other tech may use any substrate they can get their hands on. Tro'els are modosophont so their day-to-day tech can be anything from prim to high and dry to biotech, depending on their commune's culture. Also, when Tro'els set out to settle another ice dwarf they sometimes carry a geoflex computer seed with them. If the new world is suitable the AI associated with this seed may be anything up to a third toposophic hyperturing, which often gives the Tro'els access to ultra, transapient, and low godtech.
Text by AI Vin
Initially published on 02 October 2007.