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Chapter 15.

The Troll Patrol's Toll Loophole Show!!!

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The torches of the tunnel dimmed to a whisper. The three troll heads perched on the podium appeared as an ominous chiaroscuro painting, ebbed with shadow cast by the low, flickering flames.

“Here is your riddle…” Barry’s deep voice intoned.

When I’m sticky you can mould me,” the shadow-cragged mouth of Theodore continued.

But I am tricky, you can’t control me,” came the next line from the stern lips of Helen.

I won’t give a pox and am like phlegm,” now it was Barry’s turn, his mumbling mouth barely moved but the words came out clearly.

Just like a fox but with an M,” all three heads delivered together.

No sooner had they finished, the torches roared back to life.

Chapter 15: The Troll Toll Loophole Show

If you want to know more about something mentioned in the story (e.g. a creature, place or person) go to the Lore of the Land:


If you want information about our hero’s characteristics and inventory at the start of this chapter go here and scroll to the relevant chapter:


“I thought this was going to be hard,” Tim called, closing their eyes and cocking their helmet with immense confidence. “Just like a fox but with an M? It’s a Mox!

“What’s a Mox?” Gregory asked curiously.

“I don’t know, but it’s the obvious answer!” the Knight stated stretching their arms out in appeal as the ground began to shake and the tunnel contracted as if about to suck them in.

“Is that your final answer?” Helen asked.

No!” The entire troop called out, sans Tim, as they knew the knight had no idea what they were talking about.

Interactive Break

Tim didn’t work it out correctly, but can you?

When I’m sticky you can mould me,

But I am tricky, you can’t control me.

I won’t give a pox and am like phlegm,

Just like a fox but with an M.

If you can work out the answer to the riddle to help the team get past the Troll Patrol please comment below and explain your answer.

Leave a comment

If unsuccessful, well then, we’ll rely on what the wheel, in all of its wisdom, proclaims.

Everyone should…


Then click which thing you landed on:

  1. All Swallowed - everyone in the party will be swallowed by the tunnel.

  2. Politely ushered - through some stroke of luck the Trolls just let you past.

  3. 1 Swallowed - only one member of the group will be swallowed… but who?

  4. Hit by truncheon - ummm, pretty self explanatory.

  5. Successful Sneak - look at you go, somehow a group of five separate individuals got by a huge troll patrol.

  6. Flirt with a Troll - Is that a truncheon or a luncheon, cause I’m looking for something to troglo-bite!

  7. Haggle Toll - Well, the darn thing is too high… what with inflation and all.

  8. Lie: Say you’ll be back - I, uhh, left my wallet in the city up ahead… the one I’ve never been to.

  9. Use a Spell - We only know a few but something might help.

  10. Give Stinky Stone - Sure, the Spaghettians gave it to you as a token of their gratitude. But let's face it; it’s a totally

    kitschy tchotchke.

“Very well,” Barry said ominously, “you must discuss as a team and return your answer to us as soon as possible.”

“Or whenever you can, even tomorrow morning’s fine…” Theodore appealed desperately trying to please, the other two heads flashing him an annoyed look as he spoke, “you know, whatever works for you… we’re flexible.”

Instinctively, the group turned and huddled together. Socrates pulled on Tim’s helmet with both pincers to drag him in.

“Look everyone, these guys are serious, the Department of Tunnels, Funnels, Nooks and Crannies is always cleaning up after them,” Gregory advised.

“Surely this isn’t legal,” Matilda was annoyed, and turned her ire toward their new Orc-Ogre friend, “though you’re the lawyer, so tell me Gregory, what’s being done about this?”

Visibly rattled by Matilda, Gregory grew defensive. “I don’t know, I don’t practice Troll Law and we’ve all just decided to allow it. We call that stare decis.”

“More Orcish?” Tim Queried.

“No, Latin, which was taken from Dwarfish!”

They all looked at him confused except Matilda whose starry eyes conveyed they shared a love of etymology.

“The legal system is a bit of a mess down here, cobbled together from all different groups trying to unite when not all their values align. It’s resulted in some pretty strange laws, all higgledy-piggledy,” He explained.

Voting Time

What crazy law would surprise our heroes the most?

  1. When the Orcs united with the mole people it was agreed that the universal greeting would be a pinch on the bottom.

  2. Upon the armistice in the Battle of Skip to the Loo, it was decreed Orcs will henceforth be lovers and not fighters.

  3. Without the sun, the night is a period of time agreed upon by the cave-dwelling populations.

  4. Mole people can never be served in a cavern or tavern on Sundays.

“Uh, hey everyone?” Eric was hesitant in his interruption, “I promise it’s not that I’m scared or anything, but I think we should set up camp and think about this in detail.”

“I’m with the coward!” Matilda yawned a gaping maw, “we need to think about this cautiously. Plus, I’m sleepy.”

“I too wouldn’t mind being granted a recess,” Gregory added, winding his pocket watch.

“What about you Tim, do you even sleep?” Eric asked before raising an eyebrow, “there’s so much we don’t know about you.”

Tim spun around, stabbing in the direction of the Troll Patrol with the index finger of their gauntlet.

“Me and the Brain’s Trust here are going to confer about your oh-so-simple riddle!” the knight said with what some may call an extreme fragility to their virility.

“Have it your way,” sneered Helen, “though you did seem certain of your answer.” She began to cackle.

“Yep, we’re sure.” Matilda grabbed Tim before the knight could be goaded into getting the riddle wrong and getting them all killed, or worse, lost in a dark tunnel.

Together, the group paced from one damp, dusky tunnel to the next. Eric stopped regularly to point out interesting rock formations that the rest of the group ignored.

Finding room in the clearing they had passed earlier, they assembled all the dried materials nearby they could muster to make a simple fire. Tim used their magic to provide everyone with a bed of jelly, upon which they lay together, each deep in thought pondering the riddle of foxes, a stickiness, trickiness, poxes and phlegm.

Not one of them had been able to conjure an answer, but perhaps with the benefit of rest and time, they may find the response needed to advance…

Voting Time

Looks like it’s going to be a long night by the fire. I’m sure each member of the group will get talking about one thing or another. But what?

Click here on this link and choose your top three choices.

Gregory Schreck

  1. He’s not really a qualified lawyer, he flunked out of university

  2. The lies written about him in his autobiography

Matilda the Maid

  1. Her secret shame… she’s got an outie.

  2. The internal shift she is having to make as she transitions into her newfound role of polygot.

Eric the Butcher

  1. Despite being a butcher, he is only such in title. He has never killed or butchered an animal, his meats are always plant-based.

  2. He publishes a monthly Scrollstack Newsletter with tips on home decor, recipes and the occasional joke.

Tim is going to tell us something about their past and quest (as voted on in Chapter 10).

OH NO, A RIDDLE! It finally happened, the party are confronted with the most feared and loathsome element of any fantasy story. Can you help them work it out?

Remember, if you want to be a part of the tale: you can pitch new areas, creatures, characters, and items/spells in the existing threads and see them get added to the Lore of the Land encyclopedia.

Stay tuned for the next chapter next week. Voting closes the day before (though we may leave the riddle guessing open for an extra week).

We’ve had some new subscribers join the last few weeks, so we must say HUZZAH!

Furthermore, it seems our shorter, more frequent chapters have been a bit of a hit. Another interesting thing to note are the different kinds of interactivity that we’ve been putting out to you. In Chapter 13 we introduced the Wheel (now getting its second outing on this post) and last week we asked people to submit troll pickup lines to see if anything might persuade the troll patrol. This week we’re offering up a riddle in order to gain access past to the tunnel beyond the fearsome brutes.

We have a bit of a story arc coming up that will include some other kinds of interactivity too, so you’ll want to be here for that.

Last week we asked you what the internal conflicts between the three headed troll might be:

There was a two way tie and because they don’t contradict each other they are both still in! The winners were Theodore is obsessed with trains and Barry lost his eye when one of the others flicked a rubber band, better steer clear of these guys on a stationery shop!

We also asked you for some possible pickup lines to sweet talk our way past the patrol. Maybe we’ll have to resort to using some of these if we don’t answer the riddle correctly. We also asked you to roll a D20 to see how effective it was (you can still add more in the comment section for the time being):

-Hey, Troll ya doll. Look at dem dere legs ya got. Love the way you... stand up on em. ;) - Michelle brings some real 30s noir energy and rolling an 8.

-They say three is a crowd, but that's never true with you! - Sath takes the polyamorous route… unfortunately with a 5 on the roll I don’t think we’re getting far in the menage-a-trois.

-Riddle me this: Your place or mine? - current high roller, Geoffrey Golden, with this very formal proposition. Still only a 10 on the roll so it’s a bit of a coin flip at the moment.

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Misadventure Adventure
Book 1: Far From The Fishing Fields
Pungent Knight, Tim Cognito, arrives in a rarely-traversed part of the world. What is their goal? Where have they come from? Where will they go.