Oelander's Hammer: An Instructive Tale For Children
The two children, Froedwig and his younger sister Silvanda, had been exploring all morning. The noon sun was directly overhead and everything was warm and bright. The had left their Redguard village, Granitsta, early that morning for a day in the wildnerness, a picnic, and with a stern warning from their father to be home before dark. They crossed a huge field that was bare save a single rose bush right in the middle.
The little girl asked Froedwig about it.
"Well," he said, "according to father a great battle was fought in this place many years ago. The battle was visited by the God of all warriors, Reymon Ebonarm, who caused the leaders to end the battle and return to their homes. It is said that the rose bush grows where he stood that day."
"Oh, how exciting," giggled Silvanda.
The children continued their trek approaching some woods. As they entered the forest the air became very cool and a deep quiet seemed to envelope them.
"What is that?"
Silvanda pointed to a large hole in the ground from which protruded a long, thick pole. Around the hole thorny plants had grown into an impenetrable wall.
"I don't know," said Froedwig, "but let's see if we can get a closer look."
Looking beyond the hole, the children saw an elderly Redguard of many years. His gray beard, scraggly hair and stooped shoulders certainly did not support the authoritarian command he gave. But the children stopped just the same as he approached.
"Who are you?" stammered Froedwig as Silvanda carefully tucked herself behind her brother's back.
"My name is Hoennig Groevinger, and I live in these woods."
"Why can't we examine yon hole, Master Groevinger?" asked Froedwig.
"Because, my dear children, it and what it holds are cursed. Now just wh-h-h-o are you?" he stuttered, mimicing Froedwig.
Finally gaining his composure, Froedwig said, "I am Froedwig-aj- Murr of the village Granitsta. This is my sister Silvanda. We are on an outing. Can you tell us about this mysterious hole?"
"Well," said the old man as he slowly settled to the ground, "Why don't you sit here with me for a while and I will tell you about Oelander's Hammer. That's the handle of the fabled weapon sticking out from yonder chasm."
With this the children also settled into sitting positions in front of the old Redguard ranger.
Groevinger began, "Many year's ago there was a huge battle fought in this very field ..."
"Oh, yes, I know," said Silvanda, interrupting the old man. "It was ended by the Warrior God Reymon Ebonarm, and the magic rose bush grows where he stood that day..." she continued breathlessly.
The old man sternly cleared his throat causing the little girl to again shrink behind her brother.
"Now, if I may continue without interruption... On the day that battle ended, a young Redguard soldier stopped in this spot as he was leaving to go to his home. He carried the equipment he had used on the field which included a marvelously fashioned war hammer that had been given to him by his father. The weapon was beautifully made and unknown to the young warrior carried an enchantment that had protected him through the vicious battle just ended."
"The young man, Oelander by name, rested by this very tree. Suddenly he was confronted by a wizard dressed all in black from head to toe. Without so much as a how-do-you-do, the wizard demanded that Oelander give him his hammer. Still flushed from the battle, the young man just looked at the dark man and laughed. The wizard shaking with rage raised his hands to cast a horrible spell against the soldier. However, the young man was quicker. The huge war hammer whistled through the air smiting the wizard a mortal blow just as the spell left his fingers. There was a loud explosion."
The children stared at the old man. He surpressed a grin and continued.
"Clouds of dusk and smoke covered the forest clearing, and when the air settled, yon hole was there with the hammer's handle protruding from it. Oelander and the wizard had vanished! The thorny vines you see grew up immediately around the hole, and to this day no one has been able to approach it close enough to remove that marvelous weapon. Many have tried and all have failed. It is said that only someone of tremendous merit can take it."
All of a sudden, both children in unison stood and shouted, "Oh, look how the day has gone. We must go. If we are late getting home, our father will be most unhappy with us."
As they turned to leave, Froedwig said to the old man, "Thank you, Master Groevinger, for telling us of Oelander's Hammer. You know, I may just come back one day and try to retrieve it!"
As they disappeared from his view, the old man said to himself, "Ah, yes, Master Froedrig aj-Murr, you just might do that."