Echtra: The Children’s Tales

The Children’s Tales of Ecthra

The Boy and the Boggart by Loki Eliot
This tale does begin on a small farm not far from here in the days before the gloom. There was a young boy by the name of Maddock and his father said un to him, ‘Son you are of age, since this twelfth summer, it is time for you to go forth and farm your own land’
So Maddock disgruntled of a sort, packed his things in a little bindle and off he went down the road to find some land of his own to farm. Oh hard was it for the boy, for every spot of good land he did step upon was owned already and away they did chase Maddock until one farmer did see him crying.
’now there young lad,’ said the farmer ‘do not be so gloomy’
‘But i can not find my own land’ snuffled the boy through crumpitous snoogling, ‘if i find not a spot to farm then my father shall disown me’
‘Well then’ replied the farmer while stroking his chin whiskers, ‘there is the old land over by the swamp, it’s very good fertile land, the best there is around, but its guarded by a monster’
And Maddock jumped to his toes and skipped off down the road ‘i will get me my own land, you will see, you will see!’
And soon enough, there he was standing at the empty land next to the swamp. ‘I claim this land is mine’ shouted the boy as he started to dig and plough the land. But all of a sudden up popped a little man, with a big head, big feet, big hands and big butt, big eyes and big nose, big ears and big belly, big heels and big feet, big belly button and small knees. It was a Boggart.
‘Who hey what be you doing?’ shouted the Boggart, ‘this here be my land so it is!’
‘awww, but i i need this land’ begged Maddock on his knees begging ‘Please let me farm this land so my father will not disown me’
‘Hmmm, let me think’ said the Boggart, ‘NO!’
Maddock was about to despair when an idea occurred to him ‘If you let me farm the land you can have the top half of what ever i grow’
Boggarts are lazy things and hardly ever pass up on getting something for no work at all.
‘I think that sounds fair’ Said the Boggart spitting in his hand and reaching out to the boys, ‘i agree to your terms’
And with that Maddock made an agreement with the Boggart to allow him to farm the land from which the Boggart could have half.
………
So our tale moves forward and Maddock farms the land and eventually our Boggart returns to claim his half of the crop.
‘Whats all these rotting leaves?’ Asks the Boggart.
‘Oh thems the top parts of the turnips i grew’ replied Maddock with a cheeky grin, ‘i’m off to the market now to sell my share.’
‘Thats not fair, Thats not fair’  raged the Boggart stamping up and down on his pile of old leaves.
‘But thats what we agreed’ , said Maddock ‘So it is fair, look if you are going to be this upset, how about next time i have the top half and you have the bottom half of what i grow?’
‘Dam right i’ll have the bottom half’ growled the Boggart.
So off went Maddock to sell all his turnips and away went the Boggart with a pile of leaves.
……..
So our tale moves forward and Maddock farms the land and eventually our Boggart returns to claim his half of the crop.
“Whats all these dry stalks? Asks the Boggart
‘Oh thems the bottom part of the barley i grew’ replied Maddock with a cheeky grin, ‘i’m off to the market now to sell my share.’
‘Thats not fair, Thats not fair’  raged the Boggart stamping up and down on his pile of straw.
‘But thats what we agreed’ , said Maddock ‘So it is fair, look if you are going to be this upset, how about we have a contest of who can harvest my next crop the quickest, if you win i’ll give you all the money i made from farming on your land, if you win i get to own the land?’
‘I think that sounds fair’ said the Boggart at the prospect of wining all that money ’i agree to your terms’
So off went Maddock to sell all his barley and away went the Boggart with a pile of straw.
…….
So our tale moves forward and Maddock farms the land and eventually our Boggart returns for the contest.
The boy and the Boggart stand on each end of their side holding their big Scythes at the ready.
ON YOUR MARKS, GET SET, GO!, And away they went, the boy and the Boggart, cutting away at the crop of wheat.
But oh, my dear friends, what the Boggart did not know was our young hero had a cunning plan and whilst farming the crop, the boy had placed big clumping stones on the side of the field the Boggart would be mowing.
‘Blast and fragabbling sticks!’ cursed the Boggart as his blade hit the stones,
‘OH PIDDLE SWAPS and MARMADUCKLE FLAPPING FLIPPING SNOGS!’
‘Oh CHAFNIGGLING FRICKLE FLICKERS, and BANDER GRIBBLY BIBBLE SNOOKS!
Soon the Boggarts Scythe was so battered and blunt that it could not even cut through air, leaving the Boggart to see the boy mowing off into the distance and eventually winning the contest with ease.
‘FINE TAKE THE BLOODY LAND’ Cursed the Boggart storming off into the swamp leaving young Maddock to wipe the sweat from his victorious brow.
Now Maddock returned to his father as a farmer himself owning the best land in..well… the land.
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The Wizards Apprentice by Clara Danitz
Well once upon a time there was a great and powerful wizard.The wizard was known throughout the world as the best wizard there was
There were some who called him that but his name is unimportant.
One day there was a rumour going around that he was taking on an apprentice, All the smartest boys, the ones picked on for being too small and weak to fight monsters would travel all the way to his tower and beg him to be allowed to be his apprentice, but none of them were suitable.
Until one day a small figure in a robe arrived. The child asked to become his apprentice and the wizard asked them to complete a puzzle. it was a simple sliding puzzle at first but the wizard watched carefully as he made it turn into a test of reading comprehension and then to one on complex mathematics, stuff he knew no child would know. But the child completed them all without removing the hood covering their head.
At the end of the test the wizard was pleased. Nobody else had done so well, even other wizards would struggle with the math. He’d time travelled to the distant future for that math stuff! So he congratulated the child on becoming his apprentice and gave them a contract to sign which they did eagerly. But his curiosity was growing. The child had covered their head with a hood and turned away if he tried to look under it. But now, the boy was his apprentice. He had to do what the wizard asked
“Remove your hood boy” he demanded and under the hood was a freckled girl with long ginger pigtails!
The wizard was furious. Firstly, the laws of magic were very specific about girls doing magic. They became witches if they were peasants or enchantresses if they were ladies. but NEVER wizards.
So he demanded she leave immediately but she pointed out that actually they had a signed contract. Whilst the laws of magic were laws of the universe an apprenticeship contract was a legally binding contract in the kingdom and the authorities didn’t like wizards much. Kings don’t like their subjects having more power then them. So he was forced to keep her around. Of course he didn’t teach her magic. She would be a servant in his eyes, a maid that wasn’t allowed to leave him as an apprentice is forbidden to leave their master. But as time passed he started to notice she was learning magic anyway. It was time he got rid of her but under the law an apprentice could only be dismissed if they were grossly disobedient to their master. So he began a plan.
One morning he announced “From now on you must wear the color blue at all times”
Blue dye was expensive and she wouldn’t be able to afford it on what little he gave her. But by the afternoon her tattered dress was a deep shade of blue so he took the dress that night while she slept, replacing it with an undyed one. The next morning she dressed and he followed her as she went into the forest and picked blueberries then smooshed them into the dress! vexed by her cunning, the wizard had her work very hard from sunup to sundown.
“I need you to stir this potion all night” he said “If you stop stirring it it will turn from red to blue and be completely useless.”
The Wizard went to bed confident that she lacked the strength to keep stirring. But the next day he woke up to discover she had rigged a device to stir the cauldron for her. Thus it continued for some time until she grew into a young woman. And much to his chagrin, she had learned much magic. All the other wizards had stopped talking to him and he had one last hope. If she failed her final exam she wouldn’t be allowed to call herself a wizard. She would just be an unlicensed magic user and wouldn’t be allowed to take on apprentices, write wizard papers or use magic missiles on the darkness.
So he decided that he would take no chances. He used time travel and brought back a device from the distant future. It was a sheet of glass surrounded on the sides and back with shiny metal. His test was complicated. “I want you to put this back together” he said before putting it into a bag and using magic he pulled it apart into tiny pieces. Even he didn’t know how to fix it.
Now the girl had an inkling that this was coming and had resigned herself to not being able to reassemble the strange magic mirror from the future. But she had watched the wizard do his time travel spell, so she simply copied his spell and went to the future he had gone to. She arrived in a massive palace of white stone, metal and glass. And after wandering through the place marked with the strange half eaten apple she returned triumphant.
After presenting the wizard with what appeared to be the magic mirror all fixed as if new, the wizard threw down his hat and raged on and on about “Sjws” (whatever those were), before disappearing in a puff of purple smoke. The apprentice waited for a few hours then decided he wasn’t coming back but at least the examiners had been wtaching via crystal ball and thus approved her wizarding licence.
and thus the kingdom had their first lady wizard. Of course she only taught girls as her apprentices
The end
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How a rich man made the day longer by Taylor
Many years ago there lived a rich young man who had recently inherited a large estate. He used to walk around his fields and watch his servants who worked from early morning until late at night. The rich young man thought that the day was too short and that his servants did not accomplish enough work, so one evening he told his surveyor to call all his servants together, and when they had all gathered at his mansion, the rich young man addressed them.
“You yourselves,” he said, “see how little work you do and how short the day is.  Do any of you know how to make the day longer?”
A lad raised his hand.
“Sir,” he said, “I know how to make a machine that would make the day twice as long.  The only thing is that you yourself must run it.”
The rich man was delighted
“I’ll be glad to run the machine if only I can make the day longer.”
Next morning the rich man asked the lad to make the machine as soon as possible.  The lad went to work immediately, and from the trunk of a tree he cut enough wood to make three wheels, one bigger than the other, and he mounted them on an axle.  Then he fixed the axle in such a way as to make the wheels hard to turn.
Having finished the machine, the lad invited the rich young man to see it.
“You’ll be able to make the day longer tomorrow,” the lad said to the rich man.  “Everything is finished.  Your job is to keep the wheels moving by turning the handle.  As long as the machine keeps turning, the day will be twice as long.”
The next day, at dawn, the rich young man came to work together with his serbants.  He took hold of the handle of the machine and begun turning it to make the day longer.
“The machine must never stop,” the lad cautioned him.  “If it stops for only a few minutes, the day will remain the same.”
At noon, the servants went home for dinner, but the rich young man kept on turning the handle.  He was afraid to stop.  All wet and tired, he worked till dusk.  Then the lad came to see him.
“You saw how long the day was — twice as long as the other days.”
“Yes, it was much longer, the rich young man agreed.  He did not feel too well, and asked whether some other man could turn the machine.
“Yes, but then the day will be as short as ever”
The rich young man said not a word and went to bed.
The next morning, all the servants came to work on time but the rich young man was still sleeping soundly.
His surveryor went to see him.
“Master, why don’t you resume your work at the machine and make the day longer?  all the worke4rs are in the field.”
“Are you crazy! the young man exclaimed.  I just went to bed”
Then the lad who invented the machine came in.
“It’s already nine o’clock and ou’re still sleeping.  The day won’t be longer.
But the ricyh young man stretched and yawned.
“Let the day remain the way it was before and let the devils turn the machine.  I’m too tired”
And never again did he want the day to be twice as long.
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Halfdan and the  Warriors of Echtra by Loki Eliot
So it is well known that the people of Echtra once worships the Grey Prince. It is said that the boy god used to sprinkle joy onto the land, but one day he turned against the people of Echtra by freezing the Dragon of Time.
The great Warrior king Halfdan lead a mighty war band through the mists to the otherworld where flying serpents and giants roamed the lands.
They battled through hoards of flesh eating eggplants and fended off the singing temptresses, climbed mountains of clouds in search of the Grey Prince.
and eventually finding the boy god sat on his cold rock looking down at Echtra, Halfdan marched right up to the boy demanding why he did leave the lands in such gloom, why make the people suffer.
But the grey prince did not like being questioned in such ways, so he brought forth winged monsters and Halfdan and his men battled them, ripping their wings form their bodies.
Then the Grey Prince conjured from the cracked in the ground giant snakes, each with 15 heads and Halfdan and his men cut off al their heads.
More and more beasts were brought into the realm to stop the warriors of Echtra and each time they were cut to glorious pieces by the Mighty Warrior Halfdan and his brave men.
Finally Halfdan made it close enough to ever so gently prick the Grey Princes little toe and suddenly all stopped and there was silence.
Then the Grey Prince started to cry, louder and louder it got as to force Halfdan and his warriors to cover their ears in pain.
‘leave me alone’ shouted the Grey Prince ‘I curse you back to hence you came, and in a manner that shalt not harm me again!’
And with that Halfdan and the warriors of Echtra were washed back down to our land in the tears of the Grey Prince. Only when they awoke they discovered that they and all the adults of Echtra had been turned into hedgehogs.
And this is how they have remained ever since. Only a few remember what went before, the rest have  long forgotten and now live the life that of a hedgehog, scurrying around shunting for worms.
The Gloom by Strifeclaw the Earth Guardian
Once upon a time, there was a land of Beautiy, one that was as soothing as this Sacred Forest. But one day the Summer was stolen and the Winter ceased to be.  Rain fell constantly in a Gloomy unhappy state that spread to all who lived here.
Time did not move, nor did anyone age and the forest slowly died. The realm emptied until only a small part of the Beauty remained in the corner of the realm.
That my friends, is the sad tale of Echtra and all that remains of its Beauty is this small patch of the Forest.  Unless the curse is broken this wet realm will be devoid of life, of trees, or age. And no happiness that can last for more than a few minutes. Even in children it will slowly fade until there is only Gloom.
But there is hope, there is a ritual to be performed, a ritual involving singing and dancing and a fire. To summon the Grey Prince as You will need to speak with him.
But treat him with respect or risk being turned into hedgehogs, for when the adults of Echtra challenged him and said he was responsible for their terrible fate,
He cursed them. Their curse and the Gloom are not related beyond their inability to treat a god with decorum and humility.
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