Description[edit | edit source]
|“||A Readceran fairy tale tells of a blacksmith who was traveling through the woods on his way home from a distant village. The wheel of his wagon broke and he had to make camp and repair it. During the night, a pack of hunting stelgaers ventured into his encampment, and he hid among the trees. Just as one of the beasts picked up his scent, a delemgan stepped out of the copse and in front of the blacksmith.
The stelgaers soon lost interest, and when the blacksmith had recovered from his terror, he thanked the delemgan, Vierina, and begged to know how he could express his gratitude. Thrice she bade him forget about her and continue on his way, but seeing the man's zeal, she finally relented. "Enemies encroach on my wood," she said. "Bring me a means of defending it." The blacksmith swore that he'd return with a worthy gift and so departed. Weeks later, he forged a dagger and sought her in the forest. She saw the gift and smiled sadly. "A noble attempt, yet I fear it would do little to clear the foes that spring up in my midst. Please, return home and know that you have my thanks for your efforts." But the blacksmith shook his head and, over her protests, promised to bring her a suitable gift. After months behind the forge, he'd crafted several fine battle axes, and he brought the best of these to Vienna. Even her graciousness did not conceal the horror on her face. "Surely my enemies would seize this and turn it against me and my forest. Please, go to your village and forget about this." But, deaf to her objections, he vowed to try again. So the blacksmith devoted a year to crafting the finest, sharpest spearheads any had seen. People came from near and far to purchase the very weapons that he had crafted, finished, and deemed unworthy of Vierina. And as his reputation grew, so did the village around him. After a year of labor, he returned to the forest with the finest spear any had ever seen. The wilds seemed to have dwindled, and finding her was no easy task When he eventually did, he presented the spear. "A weapon worthy of you," he said. "Long enough that none may snatch it from your grasp." But she recoiled from the wooden pole. "I could not defend myself with the bones of my own felled trees. I beg you, go and do not return." Yet he made an oath to bring her a final gift to fit her purposes. After years of work, he crafted the finest rapier in the land, its blade as narrow and fine as a needled leaf. In that time, the sale of his lesser attempts had made him a wealthy man, and his village had grown to a small city. When he returned to the forest a final time, he hardly recognized it. The sprawling woodlands had been whittled to a few scrabby thickets, and Vienna was nowhere to be found. He returned once again to his forge and spent the rest of his days making rapiers to wreak vengeance upon Vierina's unknown tormentors.
Acquisition[edit | edit source]