While traveling through the Endrel Marsh on the way to visit some relatives in the yawning forest, Bernhard Lightfinger was suddenly set upon by a humongous troll. Bernhard was no novice traveler, and had destroyed his fair share of trolls in his day, but this troll was the largest troll the halfling had ever heard of. It stood fully six times Bernhard’s height, with arms as wide as any human, legs that dwarfed the trees that stood near by. Bernhard actually mistook the behemoth for a pair of marshy trees that mysteriously sprang up in front of him.
“Goodness!” he cried. “Oh how you startled me. If you’ll excuse me, I’m off to see a relative in the yawning forest. Dreary forest, the yawning forest, I much prefer my home in the…”
The troll roared, rippling the stagnant water of the marsh, wilting any nearby plants with his horrid breath. “I don’t talk to food. Now you better start running, or you better start cooking. Take your pick, meat.”
“Well now that won't do.” The clever halfling’s mind raced, trying to come up with a way out of this certain doom. “I tell you what. I’m definitely too thin for you to get a good meal out of me.” The troll seemed to nod in agreement. “So here’s what I’m gonna do for you. I’ll challenge you to a contest, an eating contest. If you can out eat little old me, then you can eat me next, and I’ll have fattened myself up for you in the process. But, if I win, then you have to let me go. Either way, you won't be hungry at the end. What do you have to lose?”
Trolls are not known for their intelligence, and this one was no great mind, even compared to his kin. He scratched his head, obviously deep in thought, then finally said, “Okay, but you have to be tied to me. That way if you lose, you don’t run away.”
“Fine,” agreed Bernhard. And the contest was on.
Trolls were called from all over the marsh, a large table was set up, and creatures brought from all over the land: elves from Endrel, dwarves from the frostbrand mountains, humans, both northern and southern, even a minotaur that they had managed to find in the caves east of Rudik’s pass.
The contest went on, day and night, night and day. Even the trolls held reverence for the halfling with the troll-like appetite.
Day became night and day again for three days until finally the troll could eat no more. He groaned as his body fell to the floor, to stuffed to even keep himself up. The trolls looked in horror as the halfling cut free his bond and began to start eating one of the monster’s gargantuan legs, then took flight, lest the beast turn his hunger upon them. Smiling to himself, Bernhard cut off the leg and strapped it to his back. He burned the rest of the body over the cooking fire, but that leg continued to grow on his back, whenever it got too large, he munched it back down to size. And so Bernhard captured his most prized possession, his never-ending food source.