Since Pittsburgh has hundreds of bridges of varying sizes I thought that it would be a naturally place for trolls to congregate inf far greater numbers than almost anywhere else in the world. So here we have a description of trolls in the Dresden Files universe and a brief piece of fiction based on the work of Jim Butcher.

I opened one of the plastic bins I use to store most of the spell ingredients I keep downstairs out of sight. A lot of this stuff isn’t dangerous, but there are a few items I’d rather not have to have to explain if the police come to pay a surprise visit. The instant I opened the drawer the smell of the dried ginger root cleared my sinuses and fought off the faint mildew smell of the lab.

“That’s ginger root. You need thyme for the potion.” The glowing eyes occupying the otherwise vacant eye sockets of the skull resting on a shelf across the room were glowing brightly.

“Says you.”

“Yes, says me. Unless you want to mix up some hair growing tonic instead of an invisibility potion you should listen.”

I took the ginger root out of it’s drawer dangling it out in front of the skull giving me a sour look from across the room before I dropped it into the gym bag on the floor. I also took some thyme out of the next drawer and threw it in while Bob was busy muttering in Latin. I zipped up the bag and dropped onto the chair in front of my worktable.

“Where were we?” I picked up the legal pad and pencil that I’d discarded and looked up at Bob’s shelf.


I rolled my eyes and tapped my pencil on the table doing my best imitation of a disinterested teenager. “I know all about trolls Bob. They’re big, they’re strong, and they’re dumb. As long as I don’t cross too many bridges I don’t think they’ll be a problem.”

“Harry there are almost five hundred bridges in Pittsburgh.”

The pencil rolled across the floor of the laboratory and it sounded much louder than it should have thanks to the echo. “Damn. Any advice on how I can deal with them?”


I reached up to the shelf in front of me and pulled down one of the less ragged looking paperbacks in sight. The skull rolled to the left and tried to pin the book in place but he was a second to slow. I set the romance novel down on my worktable and the writhing red head in a green dress on the cover smiled up at me. I leaned down and waited a few extra seconds before picking my pencil up and looking up at the shelf. Bob’s glowing eyes flickered as he looked down at the book and he managed to produce a long suffering sigh.

“Trolls have acute senses, much more so than most people realize. Their hearing is so highly tuned that loud noises can drive them off some times.”

I slid the paperback into place on the shelf and I started jotting down notes while Bob ran through a few formulas for spells that would help me avoid having my head torn off by a troll.

Trolls are the biggest and most physically powerful creatures that habitat Pittsburgh and they have used the city as a breeding ground for hundreds of years. They are incredibly strong and resilient but their lack of intelligence often puts them at a serious disadvantage when they are confronted by quick witted prey. Even though they aren’t rocket scientists trolls should not be confused with comical morons.

Under the Unseelie Accords trolls are no longer allowed to claim any mortal who enters their territory as their next meal. They do still have claim over naughty children and many innocent youngsters have fallen prey to these enormous predators. Hungry trolls often bend the laws to suit their appetite and claim more than their fair share.

The trolls of Pittsburgh are unusual in that some of them choose to live in clans, usually they are highly territorial and will not tolerate any other trolls within their realm. This may be due to the sheer size of many of the bridges in Pittsburgh which allow for much more space than one troll would traditionally claim. Even so the largest of these clans number between five and seven family members at the most and fights are common. Adolescent males are driven off to find their own territory by the dominant male or they rise to claim their patron’s territory from him in some cases.

All of the clans and individual trolls yield to the authority of the troll king of Pittsburgh. This station is passed from one troll to the next by right of combat. The reign of a troll king is usually short lived as the greedy nature of their species drives them to fight one another very often.