These three cards make up my complete Fictionspawn Folklore collection. They are increasingly rare, the first being minted in the magic number of seven, the second five and the third and last in the folklore number of three. Each has a little independent troll story on the back of the card, and the story below is a combination of all three, give and take quite a bit. It's all based on Norwegian folklore tradition, were trolls often play an important role.
Once upon a time three brothers, Per, Paul and Espen the Ashlad were on their way to the King's castle to seek fortune. One night they camped up on a mountain ridge. The view was beautiful, and they cooked a soup from herbs and mushrooms they found and vegetables they carried. The smell spread over the land, yes, it smelled so good it even pierced deep into the mountain core.
As they sat there and told stories about trolls and goblins, Espen, the youngest of the three, stretched his back, looking down the hillside.
-What the what? Paul turned his head towards where Espen was looking.
-Did that rock just move?
-Quite big to be moving, isn't it? Per and Paul laughed. -You've been picking the ashes too much. You're seeing things.
They went on with their stories.
Paul, the oldest brother shook his head. -Rocks don't just move around, they lay still. Now where was I? Ah, that's right. The troll was slayed, and the hero took all the gold...
Espen jumped aside. A hand came down on Per and Paul, hard and strong as the stone ground they sat on. It grabbed them both, pulled them down under the mountain.
When the hand opened they were in a deep cave, beaten and bruised. A troll was staring down at them.
Per and Paul were shaking like leaves in autumn wind.
-Are you going to eat us?
The cave was tall like a cathedral hall. Gold and jewels were lying scattered around. Espen was standing in a corner with the soup pot in his hand.
-I see you've stolen my supper.
-Your supper...? The troll looked confused.
-I was just about to throw them in when you came along.
-But... there's two of them, and they're both bigger than you.
-Ha! I could eat them, you, and the mountain, too, if I was hungry enough. But you know what, I already had a troll today. A mountain troll, just like yourself, only bigger.
-You ate a troll bigger than me...? His voice was shaking a bit.
-A lot bigger! And it had horns and fangs. Espen was waving his hands to illustrate. -I tell you what. Let's share them! After the troll, I think I'll be fine with just one human.
The Troll rubbed his beard for a while. He didn't really like sharing, but he wasn't much of a cook, and the soup sure smelled good. If the little man was as strong as he said he was, he was probably better off staying out of trouble anyway.
-OK, let's share them, then. I haven't had a well cooked meal in centuries.
-Here! You can have the rest of this soup while I get the two of them good and roasted.
Unnoticed he slipped his walking stick into the pot and passed it to the troll. The troll took it all in one greedy swallow.
The troll held his hands on his choaking throat, trying to catch breath. He fought and coughed to get the stick out, ran from side to side in panic. He fell into the wall of the cave. Big rocks fell from the roof and crushed his head.
The three brothers got as much gold as they could carry, which wasn't much on Per and Paul's behalf, with their broken bones and bruises. Espen, on the other hand, carried enough for seven lifetimes of wealth and prosperity. They went home to the poor little cottage where their father was waiting and lived happily ever after. And if they're not dead, they still do.
Snip, snap, snout, the tale is out.