The Old Magic Returns

Old Magic Returns, children's stories

While searching the forest for medical plants, the wise woman Ursula discovers an ancient Palantilith, a calling stone. These Palantiliths were used to communicate with the Old Ones when help was desperately needed. Fearful of its power, the wise woman carefully examines the stone to see if she can activate it, hoping to summon the Old Ones to aid in the Waldvolker's struggle against Mörken the Dark One and his army of Troth demon warriors.

All In Your Head

All In Your Head, children's stories

Vladimir, the mad monk, tries to tell a local wolf that being a werewolf is all in his head. The beast has no idea what the monk is saying, but he likes Valdimir's borscht. Perhaps the monk will finally understand that his werewolves are wild wolves. It's been forty years, and Vladimir still believes he can change them back into human form. Da svidaniya.

Anya's Folly

Anya's Folly, children's stories

After hearing the trees cry out in pain, Anya could not sleep, fearing the sound would follow her in her dreams. Her husband, Gojeck, brushed the sound off as a distant owl's cry, angering his wife. The elder Malak listened to Anya's explanation but could not offer her any solace. So the matron went to her thinking place to ponder what steps she should next take. Ultimately, she returned home feeling just as helpless as she had been that morning. Perhaps it had all been a fool's errand, and she was the fool for thinking she could solve the mystery of the screaming trees.

Dark Misery

Dark Misery, Children's Stories

 It came silently, and without invitation, the dark sickness spread to every village and hollow in the region; Folksburywoods was no exception. Many wonder why there is no cure as the dead are laid to rest. The wise woman Ursula doesn’t have the answers the people want. Ursula admits nature wanders its own course and understands it takes time. A mysterious figure appears in the woods on a cold and rainy day. His dress causes new fears to erupt throughout the forest. Wearing a mask of the plague healers of old, the stranger offers cures for the sickness at a price many find hard to meet.

 From his cart, the Healer produces devices that spark, glow, and hum like angry hornets, telling the sick they are the tools of science, not the fabled magic of the past. The stranger examines the ill with his devices and then prepares brightly colored potions, which work wonders as relief flows through their wearied bodies. The Healer promises full recovery in days as long as they keep taking his potions. The Wise Woman is troubled by how the Healer uses fear to control the forest folk and decides to challenge his methods. The Waldvolker mocked the wise woman, saying she is stuck in the past as they move closer to the ways of the Healer. As more folk fall to the illness or fail to recover, many also question him.

 In a desperate move to retain control over the village, the Healer blames Ursula for the sickness and says she is an agent of dark forces. The Waldvolker may have fallen to the Healers sweet tongue and rejected folk medicine; they could not accept casting Ursula as a force of darkness.

 Led by the elders, the Waldvolker chases the Healer from the village. Ursula again tends to the village sick as they slowly regain strength and return to their daily lives.

 Weeks later, a traveler passes through and hears the story of the Healer from the forest folk. The woman relates similar tales about a mysterious figure in sick villages who claims to have remedies for the dark sickness. He abruptly vanishes once the money is gone or is chased out for his deception.

Caring For The Ancient Ones

Caring For The Ancient Ones

Takashi's family had cared for the ancients for as long as anyone could remember. His duty was to ensure the land remained vibrant and full of life. Each morning, he would pack a simple lunch of tea, rice cakes, and bean curd and then walk to the shrine. He always greeted the ancients with a deep bow, and when lunch came, he shared his tea and rice as was the custom. Today, he felt an unease in the air around the shrine. A feeling of dread would best describe it. Word of Mörken and his Troth minions had reached the southern meadows months ago, but no one ever imagined they would come to the shrine. Takashi focused on his duties, but in the back of his head, he knew that everything was not right and that perhaps it was time to speak with the elders about matters. He would do it tomorrow after he discussed it with Shifu at dinner. He hoped his master would have a better understanding of these troubling matters.

A Wood Witch's Wish

A Wood Witch's Wish, Children's Stories

Griselda, the ancient wood witch, began to see the slight changes in Folksburywoods. She had listened to the birds, beetles, and butterflies speak of a creeping death on the far side of the wood. The Wee Folk complained of rumblings deep within the earth and the smell of pitch in the early morning before sunrise. Even the twins Fern and Franny had sought her out to inform her of dark happenings throughout Folksburywoods. The witch had no choice but to find Panoptes, the all-seeing one. She dreaded meeting him, for he always played word games, and Griselda preferred straight talk. Greeting the oracle with a bow, Griselda requested Panoptes's help.

"What does a wood witch wish?" asked the worm. 

"A simple thing, to know what darkness threatens my woods and nothing more," said the witch. Panoptes sat smiling at the witch, then turned and crawled away. 

"Can you offer nothing oracle?" asked Griselda. 

The worm turned its head and said, "Neuromancer," and then faded away. 

The wood witch had heard of such horrors, beings that suck the life from all it touched. 

"Best to talk to the marsh wizard. Fern will know about this dark magic," said Griselda. Turning to retrace her steps, the witch felt like a shaft of ice was penetrating her soul. 

"This Neuromancer is near, and it must be stopped, or the wood will die," said the witch, then carefully made her way out of the dark wood.

Fern's Familiars

Fern's Familiars, Children's Stories

Fern the Marsh Wizard made a mistake long ago when she was still a student under the tutelage of Thosis at the Academy. It was an honest mistake, and when she meekly told Thosis of it, he assured her that the world would not end and, if she were lucky, it would blow over in a few months. It didn't. It got worse. How could she have thought of creating two? Absinthe wants nothing more than to eat everything in sight. At the same time, Licht obsesses about cleanliness, which naturally annoys Absinthe since he has nothing to eat. The familiar's daily attempts to kill each other are trying, to say the least. As Fern's mentor, Thosis, told her, "Sometimes being a parent is like cracking a walnut with a 1-ton hammer; everything goes to pieces quickly.

A Thought Thunked

A Sneegle Thought, Children's Stories

The Sneegle sat in her thinking spot, thinking her deepest thoughts. She thought about trees, birds, and bees. She pondered thoughts of blue skies and blue streams and even blue butterflies. But as hard as she thought, she could not think of a thought that could make her understand why someone thought up war. Poor Sneegle, she was all thunked out. She sighed with despair and decided it was time for tea and cakes.

Just For Fun

Just For Fun, Children's Stories

 So the story goes like this:

One day, a little girl was strolling down the street when she spotted a peculiar sight- a monster peering into the window of a candy store. Approaching the creature with curiosity, she asked, "What are you doing?" 

The creature looks down and says, "Deciding what I want to eat for lunch." 

Unaware of the monster's true nature, the girl innocently asks, "Don't you eat children?" 

"What nonsense! Whoever told you monsters eat children, we like candy just like you. I'm deciding whether to get the swirly red or the swirly green lollipop," replied the beast.

"I suggest you get the red one. I had the green one. It's sticky, and I see you're furry, and it'll probably stick to your fur. I gotta go home now." says the girl.

The monster thanks her for the advice and buys the lollipop. Having enjoyed the lollipop, the beast relaxes in the park when he sees the little girl.

"Hey, little girl, thanks. The red swirly one was delicious," says the monster.

The little girl looks at him and says, "Of course. Children eat a lot of lollipops. We're experts."

The End.

Jakke and Turgk

Jakke and Turgk, Children's Stories

 Jakke, a forester, and his dog Turgk make an offering at the temple of Fortuna, the guardian of the bees. Jakke hopes to bring the insects into the war against Mörken. The stingers and swarmers can cause great confusion during a battle, and Jakke hopes their presence will turn the tide in a battle with the Troth devils.

The Wakening

The Wakening, Children's Stories

Many think they know the Wee Beasties, but the truth is unclear. These creatures have dwelt in secrecy within the ancient forest for millennia, scarcely showing themselves to outsiders. Small as they may be, Wee Beasties are not without their means to protect their home. Learning of Mörken's evil, the shaman Saphyrus performs the awakening ritual to bring forth the stone demon Orsina. Legend says Orsina was one of the four makers of the world. It is said that the sound of his voice can shatter mountains. The Wee Beasties hope the demon can defeat the vile Troth and send the Dark One fleeing from the ancient forest.