This tale was told to me by a Wyldling of the Sept of Eden's Bliss, and is one of the many I gathered during my Rite of Passage. I retell it now, as it seems apropos to the world we live in.
This is a story that was told to me in a faraway place, by faraway creatures. I do not have the names of who took part, for there is no record remaining and it not that sort of tale, besides. What is important is this - once upon a time, there was a hero. An adventurer, who traveled the Deep Umbra and its countless realms. It is in one of these realms that our story takes place.
As the hero was walking, he was approached by a strange spirit, nebulous and twisting, flashing through forms as it spoke. "Hero," It said, "I know of your deeds, and have need of you. My bride was recently taken by a terrible creature, a monster who plans to feast upon her essence. I beg of you to save her - not just for myself, but for the entire realm. For if the monster succeeds, it will gain from my bride the power to destroy the entire realm with a single devastating roar."
Given a task such as this, how could the hero refuse? He set off at once in the direction that was indicated to him, trusting in the tale to guide his footsteps where they needed to fall. His trust was well-placed, for it was not long before he found that which he had sought. In a clearing just beyond the forest he walked through was a fallen maiden that seemed nearly human, radiant in her beauty but quite unconscious. Above her stood a beast, all chitinous scales and sharp fangs and claws.
The hero stepped out to confront the scaly creature, who turned to him abruptly. Its eyes widened. Its mouth opened, its lungs drew in air. Before it could finish its breath, however, the hero had drawn and hurled his blade with deadly accuracy, straight into the creature's neck. Before a whisper of sound could escape it, it fell to the ground, dead.
The hero looked upon the maiden with concern, but she would not wake. It had been a long journey for the hero already, and he thought that perhaps a rest would do the both of them well. So he sat, and he started a fire, and he cut a bit of meat from his latest conquest to sate his hunger. And do you know, the flesh of the monster was quite satisfactory! Invigorating, even. Perhaps if the maiden had a bite, she would rouse. It had planned to eat her in the first place, after all, and wasn't justice meant to be poetic? He cooked another slice, and carefully fed it to the sleeping maiden. Still, she would not rouse.
Concerned, the hero decided to go seeking the spirit who had put him on this quest to begin with. He carefully lifted the sleeping maiden, tucked her over his shoulder, and set out. In time, he found the spirit - who was whirling and spinning with anxiety in a new place not far from where it had started.
"Behold!" Said the hero, as he set the maiden down before the spirit. "I have slain the monster pursuing your bride, and brought her back to you!"
The spirit froze. It stopped entirely. "... hero," It said, with great care. "That is not my bride."
At which point the maiden opened her eyes, smiled prettily, and roared.
All tales sung publicly. Everything here is considered to be common knowledge.
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