The world is filled with trolls. Trolls regenerate from any damage other than fire or acid at a rate of about 10% per second, and so any injuries or torture you inflict will very quickly be removed. That said, trolls have a highly ethical and organized medieval level society, and so want to make a criminal justice system that effectively punishes people who attack and injure trolls, and which doesn't hurt falsely accused trolls.

It's easy if they can directly see the crime, but many crimes are hidden.

Irl a lot of these things depended on there being some evidence of injury, like a bruise, or scratches, how would they best handle criminal justice when there was no evidence of any violent crimes?

  • $\begingroup$ When you cut a troll's arm, there's no scar at all? $\endgroup$
    – Tortliena
    Sep 30 at 12:08
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Frame challenge: they don't really prosecute the crime of hurting a troll, since they recover so easily. It is a petty crime at best. $\endgroup$
    – user458
    Oct 1 at 0:30
  • $\begingroup$ No scar, no, they heal perfectly. $\endgroup$
    – Nepene Nep
    Oct 1 at 7:23
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @fredsbend Frame challenge challenge: the body also recovers quickly from waterboarding. Would you consider it also a "petty crime at best"? The troll still experienced the pain and trauma even tough his body healed quickly. $\endgroup$
    – datacube
    Oct 1 at 11:39
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    $\begingroup$ @datacube Possibly. Young men and boys abuse each other often, and no one considers it criminal. If they also healed quickly, it seems obvious to me that practice would escalate greatly. $\endgroup$
    – user458
    Oct 1 at 13:56

3 Answers 3


The short answer is much the same way as you prosecute crimes today.

Take for example the crime of Stalking - No physical injury is done and we can't see mental trauma - how do we prosecute it?

First step is the statements from the Accused and the Accuser - AKA He-said-she-said.

Then we look at all the circumstantial evidence (which, despite what TV Legal dramas would have you believe is good evidence) - for example Person A showed up at Person Bs work 5 days out of the last 2 weeks, despite not having a legitimate reason for being there.

Person A was spotted driving around Person Bs house late at night on several occassions.

Person A sent some rather dubious text messages to Person B etc.

Then you have Means, Motive and Opportunity:

Person A is unemployed but owns a car and has access to funds and is able bodied (they have the means)
Person A attempted unsuccessfully to win the affections of Person B and has been scorned (Motive)
Person A being unemployed has all the time in the world to slink around and make Person B's world a nightmare (Opportunity)

Then, even if a Wound heals quickly - what about Blood splatter? Middle Ages Forensics might not have developed the analysis of Blood Splatter that we have today A la CSI - but I'm fairly certain that if one person said they'd been assaulted in a room and there was blood everywhere in that room, a Middle Ages person would conclude that something had happened.

Now - I will grant you that there are many instances where a crime has been committed, but the evidence is weak and so in-line with English Common Law jurisprudence 'Beyond all reasonable doubt' means that guilty parties go free.

The Trolls will likely be no different - especially since you mentioned the concept of false accusation.


In most of the real world, inflicting pain without leaving injuries is a crime.

Each legal system comes up with an attempt to graduate punishments to fit the crime, often comparing apples and oranges -- what should be punished worse, theft of an item in excess of one monthly average wage or an injury which causes the victim to go on sick leave for one week?

Your fictional society would likely rate non-fatal injuries lower than we do, compared to different types of crime.


Trial by combat seems a good way. Or, as was probably the normal case of affairs back in those times, less informal ways of dealing with bullies.

Eg, if you bash me and I heal. The next time you walk around a corner you might get a nasty and painful surprise. This is what happens in many nations right now where there is little accountability for criminals.

  • $\begingroup$ This answer does not meet the criteria of it being a "highly ethical and organized medieval society" since what you suggest is basically anarchy. Also it doesn't help in any way with false accusations. Also "trial by combat" wasn't as prevalent as one might think especially with less serious crimes (which a physical attack on a troll would be since any harm done would be gone in a few seconds). $\endgroup$
    – datacube
    Oct 1 at 8:28
  • $\begingroup$ so you adressed a point i didn't even make and did not adress any point I made in my comment. It still stands. Your suggested "vigilante justice" is the least possible "organized" justice system. Whether it is "ethical" can be discussed but I would still point out that it does not conform to the widely accepted ethical principles since it favours the "strong" and not the "just". And last but not least it does not tackle the questions point about preventing "false accusation" as someone can claim they were attackt by troll XYZ and then kill them (if they are able to do so). $\endgroup$
    – datacube
    Oct 1 at 11:34
  • $\begingroup$ You are very good at selective reading. Would you now please consider my two other points? They still stand uncontested. And yes I heard that in some places the police is "not very well trained". Luckily I live in a country where I get highly trained officers that enjoy a good payment and know how to do their job. $\endgroup$
    – datacube
    Oct 2 at 7:16
  • $\begingroup$ @datacube no point addressing your concerns, you're busy being right, I don't want to disrupt that. Feel free to answer the question using your First World Democracy locales norms, and I'll answer using what is more likely to work in medieval terms. $\endgroup$
    – Kilisi
    Oct 2 at 7:24

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