Grover the Riddle Master
This is Grover, the Riddle Master. He is considered to be one of the younger of the hedge-boggles, those that came well after they had settled within the Hedge. He is also unique in that his parentage is mixed between that of a Pillywiggen (a type of faerie inhabiting flowers) and a hedge-boggle.
He is one of the more prominent defenders of the Hedge, and has been responsible for
many an invader- human and goblin, individuals and armies, all in turn- becoming forever
lost within the misty labyrinthine paths of the Borderlands. Grover defends the Hedge
by a means less aggressive than most hedge-boggles, from which he has earned his name,
for those who encounter him must answer a series of riddles or solve various puzzles,
all of the Riddle Master’s own devising. If answered correctly, Grover will guide them
through his region of defense, but if answered incorrectly, the unfortunate soul is set
to wander forever, lost for all eternity, through the Borderlands. His riddles and puzzles,
though difficult, do have answers, though few have been able to solve them. At times,
Grover tries to gage the difficulty of the riddle or puzzle according to how bright he
believes the individual being tasked might be. However, answering one of the Riddle
Master’s puzzles is still no guarantee of being able to make ones way through the Hedge.
Riddles and puzzles are Grover’s greatest passion, and he spends most of his spare time in
either inventing new ones or in trying them out on his neighbors. Often, when fellow Hedge
dwellers see Grover approaching, the individual upon whom he has fixed his gaze usually
manages to remember some previous and nearly forgotten engagement that typically is in
the opposite direction of the approaching Riddle Master.
Once, a particularly odd goblin chieftain, who believed he was quite an intellectual (the fact that he even knew that word was amazing enough!) ventured into the Hedge. The goblin chieftain- whose name has long since been forgotten, much to the relief of his descendents- proclaimed aloud for all to hear within the whole of the Borderlands that he wished to challenge the Riddle Master of the Hedge. “Come out Riddle-rat,” he bellowed in his harsh voice. “I can answers all riddleses ye puts tuh me! All I wants fer winnin’, is that ye say I’s best riddle master!”
Almost at once Grover appeared. He bowed to the chieftain, acknowledging his rank, and
“I accept your challenge goblin. I will ask you three riddles, and if you answer each correctly the first time, I will declare you the better between us!” And to this the foolish goblin agreed.
As the story goes, Grover asked his first riddle:
“Diminutive blade, by powerful forces forged
On this blade many have been gorged
Slicing easily through earth, wood, and stone
Warrior will not use it, for this blade he can not hone.”
The unfortunate goblin never made it past this first riddle, however. He feared to answer at all, in case it was the wrong answer and thus be humiliated with an immediate loss on the very first riddle! Indeed, to this day one can find the goblin chieftain still sitting upon a rock in silent thought, chewing on the answer.
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© The World of Kevin Buntin