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Von Metterbourgs Folklore of the Empire

Boo

Vampire Lord
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Herr Emanuel Von Metterbourg
Historian in the service of the Great Emperor Karl Franz

Folklore from The Empire.

Vol. 1: Hochland. Chapter 1.

"The old Crow"
____________________________________________________________

Tussenhof 55 miles from Altdorf

This is a story told by countless self proclaimed storytellers and "know it alls" found in almost every tavern or pub in the proud province of Hochland. As this is a province mostly covered in forests and deep woods, most folktales includes some sort of animal being given human traits and/or acting as humans. This tale is one of more disturbing nature. As many others there is a clear moral in it, but I will not ruin the story by writing it out now as I trust the reader will himself figure this out. I've heard several versions of it since my arrival here and I will now write it up as I have come to hear it most times.

Emanuel Von Metterbourg


There once was a young lad called Hanz. Blond of hair and with bright blue eyes, Hanz had a promising future, born and raised in a fine family of minor importance. The father of Hanz had always held his son in great respect and the boy had never missed anything in his life. Always getting what he wanted, Hanz was used to being treated as if he was the Emperor himself. Hanz mother had died when he was but a young whelp so the father had been left alone in the raising of his son.

Perhaps was the old man somewhat of a fool, but he had always given his son whatever his heart desired. Of course this made Hanz somewhat of a spoiled brat. This would later prove to be disastrous to both the father and the son. They lived in a town in the middle of a deep forest, the city itself surrounded on all sides by the unforgiving forms of ageless trees.

One day as Hanz and his father walked through the market square of their town they came upon a new stand. It was an old woman, garbed in old tattered black and grey robes, she sold herbs and roots which she claimed had healing powers. It seemed that over night she had rode in on a small carriage and set up shop in front of it. The things on sale did not interest young Hanz, no, the boy had his eyes fixed on the crow that sat upon the old woman's shoulder.

"Father" Hanz said. "I want that crow."

The father, being the kind hearted old fool he was, responded:
"Yes, of course you want dearest son." The father turned to the old woman and said.
"How much for your crow?"

The woman responded.
"This crow is not for sale, I would never sell it to anyone for anything. It is the single most valuable possession I have, my good sir."

Hearing this only sparked Hanz enthusiasm for obtaining the crow.

"Father" He said. "I demand you buy that crow for me. Do it now."

"I will pay you good money for it. More than you will earn from selling your herbs this week!" The father told the old woman.

"No." She said. "I will never sell this crow."

Hanz now started shouting at his father.

"Get me that crow, father! I want it now!"

"I'm sorry son, I will buy you anything else that you want from the market. Anything but the crow."

The boy refused to listen to that, he knew what he wanted and it was the crow. Hanz nagged and cried and tried all the tricks in his book to get his father to buy the crow. The father, growing increasingly uneasy by the situation hurried to try and shift Hanz attention to something else but had no luck. Screaming and kicking, the father had to drag Hanz back to the house.

Later that evening when his father had gone to bed Hanz snuck out from his room and house. In the dead of the night he ran through the streets of the town until he reached the market square. Quickly he found the old woman's carriage. The wagon served as a sleeping place for the woman when she came to town. Hanz guessed that the crow would be sleeping at the same place as the woman. He reached for his pocket knife on his belt and used the blade to pick the crude lock on the door.

Silently the door swung open and the snoring of the woman was the only thing that Hanz could hear. He took from his belt a cloth sack and proceeded to stuff the crow in it. In his excitement Hanz did not reflect upon the fact that the crow made no sound as he manhandled the bird of prey in to the sack.

When he got back home to his room he lit a candle by his bed and opened the cloth sack and let the crow out. The bird immediately took flight and flew three laps around Hanz room before landing on the bedframe opposite the boy. Before the boy could speak a word the bird opened it's beak and this the sound that escaped the crow was not that of a bird but the voice of a man.

"You have freed me, young boy." The crow croaked.

Startled by this, Hanz reeled back, opening his mouth getting ready to call for his father.

"No, no, don't be afraid. I mean you no harm." The crow said, his voice sounded more human this time.

The boy calmed down and asked the bird.
"Who are you?"

"My name is Ernst, once I was also a boy. But I was cursed by a witch, cursed to spend the rest of my life as a crow. But you have broken the spell the witch cast upon me." The crow flapped it's wings and it's voice now sounded more like the voice of a small boy than only moments before.

"How did I do that?" Hanz asked.

"By stealing me. I was cursed for stealing gold from the witch. I needed the gold for me and my mother to pay for food. But the witch found out and cursed me. The only way I could be turned back to normal was if someone stole me."

Hanz smiled. He had rescued a boy and also he had uncovered a witch. The old woman in the market would be burned at the stakes. Suddenly the crow started changing. It's black beak turned red and shrunk, giving away to a human mouth. The crow grew in size, shedding it's feathers as it grew and not before long there sat a boy on the bedframe opposite Hanz.

"If you please, could you lend me some clothes?" said Ernst.

Hanz fetched some clothes for the boy and as Ernst got dressed Hanz sat down on the bed again. Suddenly Hanz felt very odd. He felt sick, like there was a fever burning in his body. He tried to speak but no sound came from his lips.

Ernst looked at him with a sad expression on his face.

"I am sorry..." Ernst said. Hanz could not understand what was going on. He tried to reach out to Ernst for help. To his horror he could not move. He tried to scream but no sound was heard.

"As I am set free, you are now cursed." Ernst shook his head. "As you are also a thief in stealing me the curse is now passed on. The only way to break it is to be stolen by someone else."

Hanz shrunk and his vision was dimmed by his own clothes as the curse took effect. He could not move, nor see anything. His own clothes felt like they weighed a ton. Through the clothes he could hear Ernst voice.

"I thank you and now I must leave. My mother awaits me at the Market. Good bye..."

So there Hanz lay, unable to move in his pile of clothes. He was not strong enough to move the clothes stacked on top. He lay there through the night until he heard his fathers voice. The weight of the clothes was pulled away and under the pile of clothes the father of Hanz found a crow staring at him with bright blue eyes...
 

Nikos

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Excellent work Boo, very enjoyable read. Its a lot like an old dark fairytale like the pied piper or the singing bone. Fits in well with the warhammer world too. :thumbsup:
 

Marcus Von Drac

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I like it. Definately fits into the Warhammer world, and the moral is indeed clear, and also amusing. A good read :thumbsup:
 

Boo

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Thanks for the kind words guys. :) Here is chapter 2!



Vol. 1: Hochland. Chapter 2.

"The White Fox"
____________________________________________________________

Lüthorst 67 Miles from Altdorf

On my way over to the town Of Lüthorst I met a man that wandered in the opposite direction, as the night was closing we decided to band up and make camp together. As the campfire burned and warmed our bodies, I shared what food I had with him and he shared with me a fascinating story about the white fox woman of the forest. It's a common story in these parts, in my experience I have heard similar stories in other provinces but this one had a perverted twist. As no exact location is ever given in the story, as most story tellers will be content in saying that it happened "somewhere around here" or "not far from here" and the likes, no investigation in the matter has been able to be carried out. So it still remains nothing but a story.

Emanuel Von Metterbourg


In a small village, not far from here, there once lived a young couple. They had just bought some land and a small house from a local Baron, settling down, the couple had desires to start a family. The man worked in the woods and the woman worked around the house. Each morning on his way to the woods the man would see a white fox, sitting by a great oak tree watching him as he walked by. At first he did not think much of it, as the forest is full of animals. But after seeing the fox sitting at the same place day after day, the man was intrigued. He told his wife of the white fox but she would not believe him. So the man decided to catch the fox and prove it's existence to his wife.

One morning as he was on his way to the forest, he saw that the fox were sitting at it's usual place by the great tree. The man tried to approach it, but when he got close the white fox turned tail and vanished between the trees. Frowning, he went about his way and his ordinary duties. The man believed the fox to be gone forever and housed no thoughts of ever seeing it again. He told his wife, but still she would not believe him.

But the very next day the fox sat underneath the great oak again. Delighted the man once again tried to approach it. But remembering what happened last time he stopped. Instead he took some of the food his wife had given him and placed it on the ground. Slowly the man backed away. He smiled as the fox cautiously moved towards the food and ate it. A plan now formed in the mans mind. When he got home he told his wife that tomorrow he would bring home the white fox and show it to her. His wife laughed at him.

The very same evening, as the sun was moving down under the horizon the man went back to the forest. Lantern in hand, he had brought a trap to ensnare the fox as he knew where it would sit the next day. When he came to the great oak tree, there was no fox, in it's place sat a beautiful woman. She sat still in the twilight, her milky white skin and blonde hair almost shining in the dark. The man was at first startled but soon he forgot his thoughts about the fox and moved closer. In the light cast from his lantern he could see that the woman had no clothes. Her beauty bewitched the man, he had never seen anyone like her in his whole life. Suddenly she looked upon him, he stopped dead in his tracks. Smiling she stood up, her blonde hair caressing the naked milky white skin. Slowly the woman moved in between the trees and the man followed in her tracks, his mind overpowered by her beauty.

The light from the lantern danced across the trees and the naked form of the woman as she led the man deeper in to the woods. Soon they came upon a small clearing, where the tall oaken trees opened up and several smaller trees stood. The man moved in between the smaller trees, following the woman. All the trees were about the size of the man, so he had no difficulties to see where the woman was. She stopped in the middle of the clearing, as did the man. Mesmerized he could just stand there and watch the woman. Slowly she started to dance, moving in a small circle around the man. He tried to reach out and touch her, but he could not move. This did not trouble the man, he was content in just watching the woman dancing around him. Suddenly he realized that he could not feel his legs. He did not care however, he was the most happy he had ever been.

When morning came, the wife was scared. Her husband never came home from the woods and with the first light of day she had gathered some men from the village to go and look for him. They soon found the fox trap by the oaken tree and the gathered men guessed that he must have been lost deeper in the woods. One of the men had brought his hunting dog and the hound soon found scent of the lost man. As they moved deeper in to the woods, they shouted his name but no answer came. After half an hour they came upon a small clearing, filled with several smaller trees all about the size of a man. The wife looked closer at the small trees around her and to her horror she saw that they were all shaped like men. Their branches twisted in awful, terrified poses. With tears streaming down her face, she soon found the shape of her husband amongst the trees. His hat still sitting atop a tree-trunk and his lantern lying on the ground beside the manshaped tree...
 

Marcus Von Drac

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Mar 31, 2009
Messages
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Hahahahahaha. That had me chortling when I realised what was happening. I like it Boo :thumbsup:

Also, where are you getting these stories from? Are you taking them from rl examples, or have they sprung from the depths of your mind?
 

Bartel

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nice stories Boo! Very imaginative and with those macabre quirks at the end, reminds me of Roald Dahl.
 

Nikos

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Huzzah! Another excellent read Boo, thankyou for posting it :thumbsup:
 

Boo

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Marcus Von Drac said:
Hahahahahaha. That had me chortling when I realised what was happening. I like it Boo :thumbsup:

Also, where are you getting these stories from? Are you taking them from rl examples, or have they sprung from the depths of your mind?

Thanks mate. :) these stories are largely sprung from the depths of my mind, but with some inspiration taken from some various swedish folklore.

Bartel said:
nice stories Boo! Very imaginative and with those macabre quirks at the end, reminds me of Roald Dahl.

Thanks Bartel :D

Nikostratus said:
Huzzah! Another excellent read Boo, thankyou for posting it :thumbsup:

Huzzah! :) No problem, I'm glad you liked it.
 
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