Three unlikely creatures form three even more unlikely friendships, in a world where each should be hunting the next.
Saran looked morosely around at his garden, and shook his head. The rosebushes, newly replanted, had been trampled again. Obnoxious villagers. Why couldn't they leave him in peace?
He completed the circuit, noting what could be saved, before clambering back up to his cave to drop off the day's earnings. Few enough coins, two halberds, and a freshly roasted haunch. It was enough to keep the bridge in good repair, but not to retire on. Saran, grimacing, turned his back on the hoard, rolled with only minor difficulty a boulder in front of the entrance, laid on the rocky ground, and slept.
How many trolls rise early to care for their garden? None but one, and he looked over it forlornly, saddened my the nature of his kind and his own despairing complications. Mushrooms would have been easier, tasted better, stood up to the unneighborly roughage; Nightshade could protect itself; but neither could smell so wonderfully. Neither brought him joy like the bright colour of the pure red rose, and only the first cardinal of winter was a sight more heartening. (Saran also knew a special recipe, making a delicacy of fresh cardinal.)