Copyright 2011 Wizards of the Coast.

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This is such a simple entry, but I really like it.

The Lore

Once upon a time, many years ago, a powerful troll shaman bore two children, twin boys. Like any mother, she wanted her children to grow up safe and protected, so she cast a powerful ritual that bound their spirits together. From that point on, they could only be killed while in close proximity to each other.

This ended up making the brothers Hurly and Burly even more unkillable than your typical trolls, because they grew up to hate each other’s guts. Staying in close proximity is the last thing they want to do!

Nowadays, they live in two caves five miles apart, both north of Winterhaven near the foothills of the Cairngorm Peaks. One of them is close to the shores of Lake Wintermist, the other is to the west. The book doesn’t say which brother lives where, but as long as you remember your own decision it should be fine.

Hurly and Burly mostly keep to themselves, roaming the area around their respective caves and hunting the local wildlife. Every once in a while, though, one of them will end up encroaching on the other’s territory, and the two have a bitter and violent fight that can last for days. The brothers tear each other to pieces, but this does no lasting harm because they’re trolls. It does leave both of them angry enough to begin taking their frustrations out on surrounding settlements and passing travelers for a while, which is one possible reasons for meddlesome PCs to get involved with the two.

Could one of the brothers move further away to end these altercations? Sure! But neither of them will give “that rotten git” the satisfaction of backing down.

The Numbers

The brothers are so alike they share the same stat block! They’re both Level 9 Elite Brutes with 240 HP and Speed 8. As trolls, they’re Large Natural Humanoids.

Their basic attack uses a troll-sized battleaxe, and they can use Cleave to attack all enemies in a Close Burst 2 (that’s an area 2 squares on a side). This does a bit less damage to each target and pushes them 1 square.

The trolls have Regeneration 10, which as usual shuts down for a turn if they take fire or acid damage. Instead of Troll Healing, they have Bound By Blood. As with troll healing, once they drop to 0 HP the brothers get back up with 30 HP after a turn. To prevent this, they must be hit by an attack that deals fire or acid damage while within 5 squares of the other brother. This can be either the attack that drops them, or an extra attack made while they’re down, as usual.

The brothers’ blessing is not general knowledge, but they of course know all about it. PCs might discover it by studying the trolls and succeeding at a DC 21 Arcana or Nature check. This could be done through quiet observation, but it will most likely happen after the first time one of them fails to die to the usual troll countermeasures.

Final Impressions

I really like the fairy-tale quality of the brothers’ story. Presumably, the party will end up interacting with them when tasked to resolve their conflict in a way that stops their periodic rampages.

This could be resolved with murder, of course, even though that’s the boring solution. Regardless of the party’s level, they can never hope to defeat one of the brothers if they meet him alone. He’ll just keep getting back up! The PCs must discover the blessing and find a way to get them together, which could mean provoking another fight between them. In that case the brothers will try their best to stay further than 5 squares apart, so PC controllers have their work cut out for them.

But why restrict ourselves to violence when there are many more fun ways to handle this? If you spring the brothers on a party that’s way too weak to fight them, the PCs must engage in trickery or diplomacy to convince the pair to move further apart. Or maybe the actual enemy is some more powerful threat, and the PCs must somehow enlist the brothers as hired muscle. And it has to be both of them. So now the controllers will find themselves trying to prevent enemies from forcing the trolls together.