The Troll Market is a setting in Hellboy II: The Golden Army. It is a magical shopping market hidden from the world of men.
Tales of the Troll Markets first appear as early as 12,000 B.C.E., in the region now known as the Sahara Desert - then, a lush and fertile paradise. As the climate grew arid, the human and magical populations migrated outward, spreading across Europe and Asia.
In 1799, French explorers discovered a cache of ancient Egyptian tablets. The most famous of these is, of course, the Rosetta Stone, but in 1822, Jean-Francois Champollion deciphered passages on another tablet that referred to a bazaar frequented by magical creatures. Unfortunately, the tablet was destroyed in the great Paris flood of 1910, and only Champollion's incomplete translation has survived.
During the inquisition of 1478, almost all contact with and record of magical creatures disappeared; only a handful of poems and legends survives. Nearly two centuries later, fires ravaging through London revealed the ruins of a Troll Market beneath the city. At the time, authorities insisted that the remains of the Market were in fact the foundations of Londinium, a town established by the Romans circa 400 B.C.E.
The Great Troll Migration
The Great Troll Migration took place during the late Victorian period, when thousands of trolls stowed away on ships to America, living in cargo holds and subsisting on rats and other small vermin. They first established colonies in New York, then spread down the East Coast. However, they were far from the first magical creatures to make their way to the New World; records indicate that Spanish soldiers found native enclaves in Central and South America as early as 1512.
In 1836, occultist and explorer John Deak discovered a thriving Troll Market underneath the London Bridge. Deak's diary, containing detailed notes and drawings, remains the most comprehensive human record of the Troll Market of that time.
The diary containing Deak's record of his trip to the Troll Market was discovered in 1893 by workers demolishing the building where it had been stored with a handful of other artifacts of unknown origin. Both diary and artifacts remained in the possession of a private collector until 1946, when they were purchased by the British government. They currently reside in the vaults of the British Museum.
Hellboy II: The Golden Army
The Troll Market is located under the Brooklyn Bridge. The BPRD had been searching for it for a long time but never found it. Luckily, directions were found when Johann Kraus possessed a tooth fairy. Coercing a cat eating troll into showing them the way, they made it to the gateway. But the troll refused, even under threat of use of canary. But Krauss uses his ectoplasm to unlock the door.
The Troll Market is revealed to be a veritable bacchanalia of mythological, fantasy, and supernatural creatures from all over the world and from multiple cultures. As its name implies, it is a marketplace of significant magnitude, containing hundreds of boothes and shopping centers for the strange and fantastic beings of the world. Many different items and goods can be purchased there, be they food, clothing, items, and more. It is built both out of supernatural structures and cannibalized pieces of the New York sewer system; many pipes can be seen lining it along its outer walls. Like most marketplaces it is a place of extreme activity, with pedestrian choked road ways and narrow streets.
The variety of creatures and beings that shop and loiter in the Troll Market are too numberous to count, but among the ranks there can be seen trolls, goblins, ogres, dwarves, witches, elves, and even Lovecraftian Old Ones. Faries can be seen fluttering above the heads of the crowd. Little fuss is made over the arrival of human BPRD agents in the Troll Market by the various peoples, indicating that human presence isn't something all that unusual there.
It is unknown if the Troll Market is the only place of its kind in the world but it is indicated ("... over in Jersey, maybe...) that there are other places of supernatural activity than just downtown NYC.