Time for the cannon grub critters! Cavewights (wight = archaic for creature/person) are Donaldson’s orc/trollock/urgal/grbrrf counterparts: the dark lord’s milling stooges who get butchered by the millions whenever they are unfortunate enough to clash with our heroes. Now, if only there were traditional heroes in these novels...
Appearance, Personality and AbilitiesEdit
The Cavewights are around 7 feet tall, with a generally humanoid shape. Their skin is a pallid green, their limbs stick-thin but endowed with hard, wiry muscle and their huge hands have a spatulate shape. Their heads apparently resemble battering rams, which indeed gives a new meaning to the trite phrase of using one’s head in challenging situations. Their laval eyes glow red, contributing to the eek-scary-grotto-geist effect. Whereas ur-viles and Waynhim like to prance around naked, it has been documented that Cavewights wear actual clothing.
Cavewights are not evil as such - it's just that they're frankly really thick. So gullible are they that it's just a moment's work for any fantasy trope dark lord to convince them to become his utterly servile minions. Having brains not much larger than a pingpong ball, Cavewights are only capable of holding one idea in their heads at any one time, so once they've decided that they're going to serve the latest local bad guy, it's nigh on impossible to convince them otherwise. Both Lord Foul, Roger Covenant and Drool Rockworm - the latter himself a cavewight, though more intelligent than most (but then again, that's rather like saying that a prawn is more intelligent than a turnip) - take glee-filled and repeated advantage of this fatal character flaw.
Cavewights are aggressive - well, at least while they believe that a battle is going in their favour (not that these ever do in the long run). However, if they're losing a combat, once this fact has finally percolated into their bone-hard skulls, they will pretty much instantly turn tail and run.
Cavewights possess an almost preternatural strength for their size and will fight both with crude weapons - they are known to favour roughly made stone-tipped spears and large bludgeoning axes - and with their own flinty talons. Alongside their innate strength, they have incredibly long-lasting stamina - maybe they're too dense to ever realize that they've got tired? Individual cavewights have on occasion been seen to act as mounts for their evil overlords, transporting them around piggyback style, which is effective, if wholly undignified.
Cavewights are perfectly adapted for subterranean life. Their physical form is ideal for scaling the sheerest of rock-faces and they are both expert tunnelers and very able bridge builders.
Habitat and SocietyEdit
Cavewights live in caves - gee, whoda thunk? They build large underground cities, hollowing out dwelling places in chasm walls with primitive tools and constructing stone bridges across such subterranean abysses. Their primary place of residence is in a vast network of caves, ravines and tunnels directly underneath Mount Thunder, a place which is known to other denizens of the Land as the Wightwarrens.
Not much is known of cavewight society, since throughout pretty much all of the Chronicles, they're being ruled by one bad guy after another. However it is suspected that, if ever left to their own devices, cavewight society would be run on primitive tribal lines.