Inspired by weeks of working on the crafter, Radiant Entertainment’s Lore Department brings you:

Story Hour with Selmer Windpipe, Ascendancy Taleteller:

Once upon a time, in the town just over the hill, a beautiful young woman lived in terrible servitude. Her father had died in a goblin raid some years ago, and left her in the charge of her wicked stepmother.

Now, what, you ask, made her stepmother so wicked? Nobody knows for sure, because the pretty girl never spoke a word in public against her. But everyone could see that while the stepmother idled around the house, eating pumpkin soup, the girl worked her fingers to the bone chopping wood, cleaning the hearth, and cooking up increasingly elaborate dishes for her stepmother to sample. Since she had no bed of her own, and slept in front of the fire every night, the townsfolk took to calling her Cinder-ella, the ash-girl.

One day, everything changed. A young man–a Prince!–came through the town at the head of an army. He had with him a fine lute, and he was looking for a comely man or woman to take it up and serve as his bard, to tell tales of his adventures as he wandered the land.

Cinder-ella did not bother asking her stepmother for permission to audition for the lute. Instead, she cried over her pumpkins until a fairy appeared.

“Mistress,” the pumpkin-fairy cried, “I see you are miserable! I have been waiting for just this opportunity to offer my aid. If you promise never to sacrifice another gourd to your cauldron, I will make you a dress of tulle and slippers of glass! You will be so unusual and memorable the Prince will surely appoint you to be his tale-teller!”

Cinder-ella quickly agreed, and before she knew it, sparkles filled the air around her. A moment later, she found herself dressed in finery and walking toward the Prince, his lute, and his goggle-eyed advisers.

“O my prince,” she said, “please allow me–”

But she never got to finish her sentence because right then, one of her slippers shattered on a rock and shards of glass stabbed up through the soles of her feet. Whatever she was about to say was swallowed in the subsequent chaos.

Some people say that the Prince’s medic patched her right up and she married him and lived happily ever after. Others say that she bled out; so tragic. Still other say she went home and starved to death because she and her stepmother could no longer eat pumpkins.

But that’s not important.

Here’s what’s important. I’ll make it a list for you, so you don’t forget:

  • Shoes: They come from cobblers, not spellcasters.
  • Standards: When picking materials for critical crafted items, pick something sane. Non-standard materials produce non-standard results.
  • Common Sense: For heaven’s sake don’t accept favors from fairies that are sympathetic to things you boil and eat.

Thank you*, thank you; I’ll be in town square all week. Join us tomorrow** for Hansel, Gretel, and the Chocolate-Sugar House!***
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* This story brought to you and sponsored by the Ascendancy Cobbler’s Guild
** There will not actually be a text update tomorrow.
*** Bring a receipt from Confectioner’s ‘R Us to get prime hay-bale seating!