Troll Lobby: ‘The Only Way to Fix Our Crumbling Infrastructure Is by Raising Bridge Tolls’
“The Kingdom needs better bridges, and much higher tolls”
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The highly influential troll lobby hath been petitioning His Majesty’s gouvernement to pass an infrastructure decree that would repair the Kingdom’s crumbling bridges, roads, and waystations. The best way to pay for this, they argue, is by raising tolls on all bridges.
“‘Tis clear that what the Kingdom needs right now is better bridges, and much, much higher tolls,” spake Blek Grushmok, a leading bridge toll advocate and guardian of the bridge over the Salmonish River. “Not only are our bridges in disrepair, but our troll booths are not outfitted with the latest toll-collecting technology.
“What’s worse, we hardly have the security measures in place to force journeyers to solve a series of increasingly outlandish riddles in order to cross.”
Under current Bridge Law, all bridge-crossers — be they questing, searching for a captive princess, or just generally wayfaring — must pay the troll toll to cross every bridge on their journey. The toll can be paid either in coin or by answering riddles presented to them by the troll.
The toll revenues collected by the trolls are then used to pay for infrastructure repairs. But the trolls argue current toll rates are not high enough, which hath led to the current sorry state of many bridges.
“Dost thou even know how hard it is to fix a rope bridge over a chasm after somebody cuts one end of it with their sword in a getaway?” spake Grushmok. “When a questing fellowship is crossing a tenuous, rotting plank bridge over a canyon, they should be confident that only the normal amount of planks will break underfoot, and that at most one inconsequential sidekick will plummet to their death.”
Many of The King’s Advisors warn that the trolls have a vested interest in raising bridge tolls, especially considering their proposed infrastructure bill would create luxury troll dwellings under every bridge.
“Nearly half of the tolls collected by bridge trolls never makes it into the Royal Coffers,” spake Archchairsitter of the Exchequer Jobias Schnute. “And travellers these days are getting much better at answering riddles, which can cut even further into toll revenues.
“Honestly, I have no idea how we’ve been using riddles to pay for construction in the first place.”
Bridge Troll Raises Toll to Fund Construction of 6-Lane Super Bridge Into Forbidden Wood
Local bridge troll Rhom’ux Rhom’uxi hath raised tolls on his bridge to fund ye construction of a newe 6-lane super bridge into the Forbidden Wood.
“Ultimately, this project shall benefit all the questing companionships and wandering rogue knights whomst are fated to journey through the Forbidden Wood,” sayeth Rhom’uxi. “A single rickety bridge can no longer support the high volume of questing traffic passing through. Not to mention it's a terrible thing to live under.”
Rhom'uxi sayeth that all passersby shall still have the option to answer riddles in place of paying the toll, but the number and difficulty of the riddles shall increase. The monies raised shall also allow him to hire additional trolls and gnomes to help collect tolls.
“I be so busy collecting tolls by meself all day, mehardly hath tyme to steal lost children and eat their fingers,” he sayeth. “‘Twill be great to have some help ‘round here.”
Not all of the Kingdom's subjects be happy with the change, howe'er. Some knights errant whomst use the bridge regularly art upset.
“I need to commute across said bridge nigh on e’ery day for a quest, and now they’re saying I'll have to answer not one, but two riddles to be allowed to cross?” sayeth Sir Glowdry. “A hero hath not that kind of tyme!”
At press tyme, the Bridgebuilders’ Guild announced the project was already behind schedule and over budget.