3 Simple Pouches

Everyone needs a place to put things and these pouches are a great thing to make out of your extra fabric scraps.

1. External Pocket

The easiest kind of pouch to make.

Supplies

  1. 1/4 meter of fabric
  2. Matching thread
  3. 1/4 meter of ribbon, decorative cord or rope.

Directions


Use a piece of 8 1/2″ X 11″ paper as a pattern and cut a piece of fabric. Fold it in half with the good sides together. Sew across the bottom and up one side until you are 6cm from the top. Skip forward about 2cm and then continue sewing until the top of the bag. Fold over the top 4 cm of the bag (so that the hold in the side of the bag is on the fold). Sew a seam around the top of the bag. Thread the ribbon through the fold to form a draw string. Knot the two ends of the ribbon together. Turn the bag right side out.

2. Round Pouch

This Pouch is Completely Reversable

Supplies

  1. 1/4 meters of two different complementary fabrics
  2. Matching thread
  3. Either 1 pkg of 1/2″ elastic or 2m of 2″ ribbon

Directions

Using a dinner plate as a pattern, cut one circular piece out of each of the two fabrics. Place the good sides together and sew around the outside leaving two gaps about a 6 cm in length on each side.

Turn right sides out and iron flat. Use a hand needle to sew the gap closed until only a 1 cm gap remains. Run a steam around the circle about 3 cm from the edge.

Cut the cord in half and thread both halves through the gaps (one cord coming out each gap). Pull on both cords at once to close.

 

3. Shoulder Bag

For when you have to carry a lot of stuff. This pouch is best made out of a heavy fabric.

Supplies

  1. 1/2 meters of fabric
  2. Matching thread
  3. 1 1/2 meters 1/2″ cotton rope.

Directions


Fold fabric in half with the good sides together. Sew up the long side until you are 10cm from the one end. Skip forward about 4cm and then continue sewing until the edge. Iron open the seam and then lay it so the seam runs down the middle. Iron flat.

Then sew across the bottom (the edge away from the gap). Fold over the top 10 cm of the bag (so that the hole in the back of the bag is on the fold). Sew a seam around the top of the bag. Turn right side out.

Thread the rope through the fold to form a draw string. Knot each end of the rope and sew it to the bottom corners of the bad.

Skirt

Supplies

  1. 2 meters of fabric
  2. Matching thread
  3. Either 1 pkg of 1/2″ elastic or 2m of 2″ ribbon

Equipment

  1. Sewing Machine
  2. Sewing Scissors
  3. Tape Measure
  4. Pins
  5. Iron and Ironing Board

Cutting

Cut two 1 meter by 1 meter squares of fabric.

Sewing


Lay the two squares together with the right sides facing each other. Pin and then sew along two of the parallel sides. Iron the seams open.

Pin and then sew a 3 cm hem around the bottom of the skirt. Iron flat. Fold over a 6 cm fold at the top of the fabric. Sew around, leaving a 4 cm gap by one of the side seams.

Thread either the ribbon or the elastic through the top of the skirt. (HINT: put a large safety pin through the end of the ribbon or elastic. It will help thread it through the fold.) If you are using elastic, tighten it to a comfortable waist and then tie it in a tight knot.

Finishing Touches

If you used ribbon, you can sew a small ring about halfway down the side where the ribbon will hang down. Then you can feed the extra ribbon through the ring and pull that side of the skirt up a little for easier walking.

T-Tunic

Supplies

  1. 4-5 meters of fabric (depending on how long you want it)
  2. Matching thread
  3. Wide double fold seam binding in either the same colour as your fabric or in a contrasting colour.

Equipment

  1. Sewing Machine
  2. Sewing Scissors
  3. Tape Measure
  4. Pins
  5. Iron and Ironing Board
  6. A Dinner Plate
  7. A Pencil Crayon in a Contrastic Colour to your Fabric

Cutting

You will need to cut three pieces. The first is just like the tabard. Measure the distance from the edge of one shoulder to the other. Add 6 cm and cut a strip of fabric of that width by the length of your fabric (about 2 m in length). Find the center of the piece, and using a dinner plate as a template trace around the place with the pencil crayon. Cut out the circle to create a hole for your head.

Then cut two rectangles that are the length of your arm (from the edge of your sholder to your wrist) long and 40 cm wide.

Sewing


With good sides together, pin and sew one edge of the seam binding around the outside of the circle. Leave enough to fold a little back to form a clean edge. Fold the seam binding inside and sew in place to finish the neck.

With right sides together, pin and sew the arms onto the main body halfway up on either side of the neck. Press the seams open.

Fold the garment in half and sew from the edge of the sleeve all the way down to the bottom of the tunic on both sides.

Try on your tunic and trim the sleeves or bottom if they are much too long. Then hem both the sleeves and the bottom of the tunic.

Basic Talbard

Supplies

  1. 2-3 meters of fabric (depending on how long you want it)
  2. Matching thread
  3. Wide double fold seam binding in either the same colour as your fabric or in a contrasting colour.

Equipment

  1. Sewing machine
  2. Sewing scissors
  3. Tape measure
  4. Pins
  5. Iron and ironing board
  6. A dinner plate
  7. A pencil crayon in a contrasting colour to your fabric

Cutting

Measure the distance from the edge of one shoulder to the other. Add 6 cm and cut a strip of fabric of that width by the length of your fabric. Find the center of the piece and using a dinner plate as a template, trace around the place with the pencil crayon. Cut out the circle to create a hole for your head.

Sewing


Fold over the edge along the two long sides and sew a hem. With good sides together, pin and sew one edge of the seam binding around the outside of the circle. Leave enough to fold a little back to form a clean edge. Fold the seam binding inside and sew in place to finish the neck. Try on the tabard and decide on how long you want it. Cut any extra off and hem the bottoms.

Finishing Touches

  • Add some decorative trim
  • Use fabric paint to paint a design on the front
  • Sew on a crest or a badge

The Book of Zalen ArdenTale by Devin Sherman

Preface

Greetings, and good morn or eve depending on when you are enjoying this fine compilation.

My name is Zalen ArdenTale, Frontiers-man, Bard and Dwarf. A most excellent selection of traits wouldn’t you say?

Well, I bid you welcome to the newest selection of stories from my vast tome; this hailing from Haven and it’s surrounding area. I’ve got tragic tales, ones of fun and frolic even testimonies of its people from visitors who you would least expect.

As always, the stories come straight from the horses mouth, so to speak, and have no twisted facts…well…at least as far as I was told.

And on that happy note, I bid you to sit by a warm fire and read or tell these tales, so that they may all be enjoyed.

Thrice Hail,
Zalen ArdenTale

A Lesson in Loyalty

I suppose it’s all right to tell you, perhaps it will serve as a lesson to those who take loyalty with the same weight as a bird’s feather.

It his struck many months ago, this disease. One of the most…feral…creatures of the elemental Lord of Water had made it’s way into town, along with one of Lord Water’s Sprites. It was of course merely there to ‘have fun’, but unfortunately it’s idea of fun was torturing the nearby farmers and tossing them from shore to shore…only to eat them later. It took some talking, but I was able to – being a trusted representative of Lord Water in the region – lead the monster to another area upon which to feed.

When I come back to Haven, however, I was…cursed…to say the least. That is what you see on my still today. As you know, a mysterious and horrid magical disease made it’s way into our world more than 50 years ago. And in Haven, by my count, I became the fifth and only currently surviving carrier of this disease, known as the Plague. It was given to me as a punishment for disloyalty in my duties.

When I returned, my body had such a mixture of feelings that I’ve never felt before. My mind could not create reasoned thoughts for the first few minutes as I wandered the river. I felt like my bowels would lurch up at any moment, and soon did, when I came upon my friends in the central field.

Many rushed over to help, but the elven-healer Notheilph was the only one who attempted to use his magic to heal me. He used many different fashions, but all only seemed too make the sickness worsen. Boils pushed up from my now clammy skin; my friends aided me in my walking, which lifted the pain, but not for long.

In mere hours the pain returned. This time slowing my blood flow…and this was followed by shortness of breath and slowed the speed at which I could cast magic, fight… or even walk.

Because of vigilance and faith as well as the aid of some of my friends I’ve been able to rid myself of the worst of the symptoms and my life has returned…for the most…to normal. But I still carry it inside me. Let this be a lesson to the champions and loyal elemental followers who follow my path. The elemental gift to you does not come free…it is a great gift, with which you can do many things and save many lives…but this loyalty carries a harsh punishment and is difficult to carry with you

-Draconis Sarathi Yenlui

The Gullible and insa… umm… interesting businessmen of Haven

Don’t let this get back to them, bard, but I have just recently made my way through the northern frontier towns and cities with my bodyguard Tanto Beatemup. My name? No no no no no, not a chance my good bard. Let’s just say I do the business of the work force. Provide human resources were needed? Understand? Good

Well then, my bodyguard and I had made our way into this small town of Haven…which by the way, even though it was small was a VERY dangerous place for people like us you know.

Well, we had come to town with a very nice couple, and elf who was an excellent mage, good for components and magical work and his lovely human wife…stupid buggers INSISTED, how dare they, that they be sold together. So I had to make up some garbage about her being good at cleaning and cooking, which she was horrid at by the way actually. Tasted some on the way there…eeeewwww I still shudder thinking about it.

Well, this group who took them, did the most unusual thing with their merchandise. After taking most of their gold from them, which they seemed to have no problem doing, my partner and I left only to hear the screaming of the human woman. When we turned one of them had CUT OF THE HEAD of the bloody elf! By NOS it was strange, what in the world is the use of a headless sla…um…worker, yes.

I don’t know what happened to the group after that, but I do know that we did trick some Kearn and two more elves on our way out, stupid fools believed up when we said we were simply merchants…I’m FAR from simple good bard, as you can probably tell. We even got them fighting each other after a few well-spun lies.

Well that’s about it… and NO I already told you, no bloody names!

Ghost of Poor Harvest By David Collins as Roland Asracourt

The story of the Ghost of Poor Harvest begins over three hundred years ago. At that time, the land that is now the southeast corner of the Frontier was inhabited by a number of Confederate tribes. In the place where the town of Poor Harvest now stands, there lived an offshoot of the Curn people, the Kanta tribe. They were a very peaceful people. They grew corn, wheat and squash, and they lived in what they called Longhouses, where many families lived together.

The Kanta tribe had an enemy, a band of Skae known as the Yuroian, who lived north of them, across the waters of the Sea of Storms, close to where the town of Twain’s Heart now lies. Sometimes, the Yuroian warriors would paddle their canoes across the water, and portage over the land until they came to the Kanta villages, where they would attack them in raids. At this time, the Confederacy was not united against the Empire, and there was much infighting between various tribes, some even worse than any conflict with the Imperials that has happened since. The Yuroian would burn down the Longhouses, and set fire to the fields of corn and wheat, so that the Kanta would have a long, hard winter, with very little food to eat.

On one of those raiding parties, they did something even worse than burn down the Longhouses, and set fire to the corn. They stole away the son of the chief of the Kanta tribe. And even worse than that, they killed him. And remember, this happened centuries before the Great Plague, and the introduction of magic to the world, so that people only had one lifetime, and only one death as well.

You might think that was absolutely the worst thing those Yuroian warriors could have done to the Kanta people. But in fact, they did something even worse than killing the young Kanta prince – what they did was to take and hide the body. They dug a hole, and they buried him, and then they covered it up with leaves and branches so it would look like no one had ever been there. And to make it look even more natural, they planted a young hemlock tree above the grave, because the Kanta would never think to dig up a tree to find the body of their missing prince.

When the Kanta discovered that their prince was gone, the weeping and the mourning could be heard for miles around. But it grew even stronger when all of the searchers could not discover his body. For without being able to give him a proper burial, in a Kanta burial ground, they feared that his soul would never find peace in the Land Beyond.

And so the body lay under the ground, beneath that young hemlock tree. And if you know hemlock trees, you know that they tend to grow with a single, straight stem. But this hemlock tree didn’t. It divided itself as it grew so that there were two trunks, like two arms reaching up into the sky. It was almost as if the spirit of the prince was reaching up for help, so that someone might find him and give him a proper burial, so that his spirit would truly find peace. But no one ever found the body.

And the decades passed, and the tree grew taller, and an area formed between the Empire and the Confederate Woods, known as the Frontier. When the first settlers came to the area the Kanta used to inhabit, they decided they would build their village right around the spot where that hemlock tree stood. And the village grew around the tree, and the settlers got used to their new home, and everything was fine until they went to plant their first crops. For in the fields surrounding the village, where the Kanta’s corn and wheat had been burned by the Yuroian raiders, nothing would grow.

The settlers could not understand this, as several of them were experienced farmers, and the soil seemed fertile enough. They put it down to chance, and endured a long, hard winter, with very little food to eat. The next spring, when they tried to plant their crops and the same thing happened again, they knew something was wrong. They called in a shaman from a nearby Confederate settlement – for there are still some pockets of the original natives scattered around the Frontier. The shaman went into trances, and communed with the spirits, and did his divining rituals. When he had done all these things, he told the settlers that the hemlock tree in the middle of their village square was somehow preventing any crops from growing on any of the surrounding land, though he did not know why this was.

The mayor of the town, a man named Telanus who was originally from the Empire, decided that the hemlock tree had to be cut down. So he took out his axe, reared back and gave a mighty swing … and I guess when the axe struck the tree, it started some vibrations, which traveled down the trunk of the tree and into the roots, and disturbed the spirit of the dead prince. And perhaps it was in anger – but who can know the motives of the dead – that the spirit travelled up into the trunk of the tree.

On the next swing of Telanus’s axe, it bounced off the tree, not even cutting into it a bit, and it came back at Telanus and struck him in the leg, crippling him for life. But he and the other townsfolk thought it was just terrible luck, and so another man, a strong youth, stepped forward to try and cut down the cursed tree. He took up the axe, reared back and gave a mighty swing … and his blow too bounced off of the tree. The head of the axe went flying off behind him, and struck the man’s young wife, who had been watching, and killed her.

And the people of Poor Harvest suspected that the cursed tree was giving them bad luck, and resisting their efforts to chop it down. So they went away, and the next day the local blacksmith created a large lumber saw, big enough to be used by two people, and the next night the townsfolk gathered around the tree once again, to try and saw it down, because they felt this would be safer.

And this time, when they began to saw into the trunk of the tree, the vibrations made by their sawing traveled down the trunk and into the roots, and once again disturbed the spirit that lay beneath. And as they continued to cut into the tree, the two men who were on either end of the saw started to feel an itching in their legs, just below their knees. Neither one of the men thought anything of it, until one of the onlookers noticed that bloodstains were beginning to form on their pants. And as soon as the observer pointed this out, the two men suddenly felt the pain, and fell to the ground, each of their legs having been almost severed.

The people of the town decided once and for all that it was not worth getting rid of the tree. And some of them moved on to other areas where they could plant their crops, and others stayed behind to hunt and fish for their food, and to operate the trading post that the town has now become.

I don’t know how much of this story is true, but I did chance to pass through the town of Poor Harvest just last year. And in the center of their village square there stands a tall hemlock tree, encircled by an iron fence. And unlike most hemlock trees, which grow straight as arrows, this one has two trunks, like arms reaching up into the sky.

In The Begining by Suzanne Brownbill

From the Book of Ironthunder…

In the beginning there was the mists and the Fairies. And the Fairies created the First Elf out of a little bit of magic. And the First Elf worshipped the Fairies but had no place in which to live. So the Fairies created The First Dwarf out of a pebble and told The First Dwarf to organize the mists and to build the sky and the earth. And when he had done as the Fairies asked, the Fairy found eight more pebbles and made for him eight brothers as a reward. And then the Fairies told the Dwarves to build the forests. When the forests were complete the Fairies created The First Faun out of wood. And then the Fairies told the Dwarves to build the plains. When the Plains were complete the Fairies created The First Orc out of moss. And then the Fairies told the Dwarves to build the rolling hills. When the rolling hills were complete, the Fairies created The First Kaern out of fur. And then the Fairies told the Dwarves to build the villages. When the villages were complete, the Fairies created The First Halfling out of wheat. And then the Fairies told the Dwarves to build the mountains. And these they told the Dwarves they could keep for themselves. And all the Fey lived in the Mists together.

At first the fairies only created men. And the other fey complained to the Fairies that they were lonely. But the dwarves did not complain because The First Dwarf had his brothers as companions. So when the Fairies created women they created one woman for each of the other fey. But when they got to the mountains they were tired and since the dwarves had not complained they created only one woman for the dwarves and left.

The Wedding of Peach Ironthunder by Suzanne Brownbill

From the book of Ironthunder…

The Wedding of Peach Ironthunder (eldest daughter of Oak Ironthunder) to Garm Toadstool of Hawk’s Landing

Peach Ironthunder’s wedding was held on the first full moon after mid-summer in the fourty-second year after the founding of Rocktumble.

Preparations for the wedding began three weeks before the ceremony as 23 men gathered to help raise a house for the couple. By the day of the wedding a fine house stood on the site selected. The house was decorated in pine bows and bundles of barley. A great feast was laid out on the new table. Honored to lead the ceremony was Elder Cragled Mossrock.

Many friends of Garm’s had traveled from Hawk’s Landing to witness the ceremony. And while they were pleased at Garm’s good fortune to find such a lovely wife, they were saddened to lose him from their community and their mine. Garm’s friend included several humans and when Elder Mossrock asked who would step forward to give witness to the grooms fitness to be a husband one of the humans stepped forward first.

“My name is Bulgard Falmoth. I live in Hawk’s Landing. I’ve known Garm for five years and Peach for one. I can’t say I’ve every met a finer dwarf in my whole life then Garm. Before Garm started to work in our mine we had two or three cave-ins every month. We lost a couple of good men every year to slides. Just after Garm started working for us I was trapped by such a slide. Me and my son we trapped together behind a wall of rocks. And I figured this time I was meeting Sim for sure. The other workers, both the dwarves and us humans, at the mine they just gave up and figured we were goner and waited for us to res somewhere but not Garm. He worked out some new fangled way to move the rocks faster and he got us out in one piece. Then he worked out ways brace the walls better so the cave-ins weren’t so common. We haven’t lost a miner this year. Peach is a darn nice girl and I would be proud if she were my daughter. I think Garm will make a fine husband for her and I wish them all the happiness in the world.”

The next man to speak was Garm’s brother Kip. Kip read a poem about the day his brother won the axe throwing competition held by his uncle to encourage his nephews to practice with their axes.

“Toadstool boys are a powerful lot
Except our brother he was more taught
He worked away alone in his room

Ridder Toadstool the great ax thrower
Showed us boys that we were slower
He hurled axes with a mighty boom

Ridder wanted to see who was best
He had called an ax-throwing contest
As a prize he offered a great stone

Some had thoughts that Marn the strong would win
Some thought that Kip was the best of the kin
Out of the brothers Garm was left alone

While the others practiced in the field
To others doubts Garm did not yield
He built a great ax-throwing machine

Marn and Kip made mighty throws
Out came small Garm and everyone froze
Garms ax was fired to far to be seen

Four others stepped forward one after another. Each had a tale of how Garm had used his unique inventiveness to overcome obstacles or improve the lives of others.

Oak Ironthunder presented Garm with the marriage axe. Peach’s brother, Birch, had forged the axe for the wedding. The blade was intricately inlaid with gold, silver and gemstones. On one side of the axe blade was the coat of arms of family of Ironthunder. On the other were symbols of the Toadstool family.

Then in front of all assembled Garm and Peach made their vows.

Imal Ironthunder laid a crown of barley on her daughter’s head and added her blessing to the union. Fara Toadstool gave Peach a log for their hearth. Together Peach and Garm lit the first fire in their new home.

Then with the formalities of the day ended a great party erupted. And the wedding was celebrated with song, dance, food and drink.

Tale of Caila’s Return By Dale Wells

This is a tale from long ago. Some believe it a Confederacy tale, some Imperial. Some see it as a tale of early Interventions…Demon or otherwise. Not even the Eldest remember enough of the details to say one way or the other with conviction.

Youth proud and strong carried her on their shoulders. She their peers but so much more. She was Caila, the youngest, most powerful Scaryn Spirit Dreamer ever known. It was she that led them into battle against their vicious foes of the east. They chanted her name through the field of fallen friend and foe. ‘Caila! Conqueror! Spirit Muse! Strong Dreamer!’ It was she who lay waste to foe, and brought friends back from their bloody slumber, with but a glance.

Caila sat quietly upon their shoulders, a smile plastered on her face to keep those around her in good spirits, while hers withered away. She had managed to see her people survive against insurmountable odds. The people of the East were strong and organized; they should have won easily over her people. In the beginning, they had.

Branson stood before his people. “Family, we are the Scaryn, proud, strong true. Our Ancestors have guided us, crafted us, strengthened us. This test is their test, but moreso it is our test. We must keep our honour even as our bodies fall.

We must not follow the path that some have chosen. The Dark Way. Yes, they have strong Dreams, but they are wrong Dreams. The Dark Way must not consume us, our traditions, our hopes–we have not lost so much that we cannot rebuild. Family, let us speak of the enemy that encroaches upon our Lands.

They are killers. We are not. They have come to take our lands. We have moved before, many times upon Great Mother. There are some who want to stay, to kill back. Others, myself included, are ready to move on again. Family, we must choose together, stick together whatever the decision. We must, or the Ancestors will be lost to us.”

Caila remembered Branson’s brave speech. The Family stayed and fought. What they lacked in skill, they made up for in desperation. The Scaryn hunters, those best at sneaking through the forests, became the Scouts and the advance guard. The craftsmakers learned weapons based on those left in their kin. The Dreamers meditated, and guided from a safe distance. Caila was training with the Dreamers, so she did not see most of the destruction.

The enemy had circled around, and the Dreamers only caught the danger in time to flee their position. They were able to raise a warning, but the enemy had struck quickly. Caila survived by being covered by the dead body of her teacher. Somehow the Family was able to retaliate, and the enemy fled. The Scaryn had learned a new trick; painfully, but learned well.

The fight lasted long enough that peace became a dream. A year later, most Dreamers, most Scaryn dead, Caila still new to her art, a strong Dream came to Caila–one different than any she had heard of or felt.

In exchange for assistance against the vile enemy, Glio the SpiritShaper, would require two children, one for each of the Brothers. At first Caila feared this to be one of the Dark Dreamers–those that held death to their heart. Her hope near gone, she agreed to Glio’s terms.

She stood in the center of the Family and repeated the words he spoke to her. “Three with the Dead Two with the Living One with the Body Three with the Heart Two with the Mind One with the Soul Three with the Hope Two with the Insight One with the Spirit One with the Fortitude”

Not a Dark Dreamer. Her first thoughts as new inspiration filled her. Soon, plans were made to honour both histories of the Scaryn. They would move through the enemy and reclaim a home land. They would fight, but that would not be all of them. They would defend themselves and run no more. No one doubted Caila’s determination to see this future come true for the Scaryn, nor tried to stop her. Even Branson, alive but shattered by the Scaryn’s losses, seemed more attentive as the young woman foretold the future.

Caila gave birth to her twins Sencel and Pyra, four months after Glio had shown the Scaryn the way. Her meditation during the pregnancy showed her that both would be strong with Power, and that one would lead the Scaryn away from their hopes, and the other would lead toward–but that both were necessary for the true path of the Scaryn. The Family had accomplished the first part of Caila’s plan before the twins could stand unassisted.

Youth proud and strong carried her on their shoulders. She their peers but so much more. She was Caila, the youngest, most powerful Scaryn Spirit Dreamer ever known. It was she that led them into battle against their vicious foes of the east. They chanted her name through the field of fallen friend and foe. ‘Caila! Conqueror! Spirit Muse! Strong Dreamer!’ It was she who lay waste to foe, and brought friends back from their bloody slumber, with but a glance.

Caila, the young woman, felt older than the Great Mother herself. Glio had left, but she did not tell anyone. That they still listened to her was a credit to her guidance; that they had succeeded, a measure of her prudence.

The Family moved east into the vast forest. They knew there would be other enemies there, but they had learned how to defend. They hoped those enemies had tired of war as well. They knew the enemies they left behind would someday grow again, but by then, they would also have grown, and be ready.

The evening they arrived into the vast forest Caila disappeared. Her son and daughter were raised by the Family and grew well and strong. But their’s is a different story. It is said that for the next few years, Caila would return in spirit to guide the Family so that the Scaryn would always be. They say, she may return if beckoned with pure heart.

Raven’s Tale By Anna Baginski

After the Twins made man and gave him the gift of fire, Man promptly lost it, and found himself alone and cold in the dark, dark world. He knew though that the Twins still had a great torch that they kept in their cave, and so he went to the animals to ask them to steal it for him.

First Man went to Bear, the largest and strongest of all the animals. Bear, Man said, will you steal Fire from the Twins for me? I have a cave that is large and warm and you may stay there all winter.

No, Man, said Bear, I will not steal Fire for you. For I too have a cave that is warm and large, and I sleep there all winter. I do not need your help.

Man thanked the Bear and went to Fox, the swiftest and most cunning of all the animals. Fox, said Man, will you steal Fire from the Twins for me? I am good and clever with a needle, I will make you a coat that will be the envy of all those who see you.

No, Man, said Fox, I will not steal Fire for you. For my fiery coat is already the envy of all those who see you. I do not need your help.

Man thanked Fox and went to seek help elsewhere. But none of the other animals would help him. They knew that he had lost Fire through his own folly and they did not wish to risk the terrible ire of the Twins to steal it back for him.

As Man was walking back to his cold, dark, lonely cave, Raven spoke to him from up in the tree. Back then, Raven’s plumage was white as the new fallen snow, and it was the King of all the Bird kingdoms. Man, said Raven, I have watched you speak to all the animals, and ask for their help, yet you have not asked me. Why?

You are the King of Birds, said Man, I could not ask you to aid me in my folly.

Raven nodded. Now that you know that the fault was yours, Man, I will help you, said Raven. I will steal Fire from the Twins for you.

And so Raven flew up to the home of the Twins, and stole the torch that held the fire, and so that the twins would not see it by it’s brilliant plumage, Raven rolled its self in the ashes that Fire bled, and it’s plumage became as inky as night.

When Raven brought Fire back to Man, Man rejoiced and said to Raven – Ask me what you will and I will give it! Raven shook its head and said – you have nothing I want right now, Man, but when you do, I will return and claim it.

Many years passed. Man’s Father died, and Man was reading his funeral pyre, when the sky became filled with the sound of ebony wings, and Raven and his family came to Man’s house. Well, Man said Raven, you now have something we want – we will claim the body of our Father, and we will feast.

Man was aghast. I cannot allow you to feast on the body of my Father. Take something else.

There is nothing else you have that we want, Man, said Raven. You have promised us anything we wanted, and this is what we want.

In anger Man screamed out and shot Raven with his bow. And as Raven fell dying, he said to Man – so this is how your keep your promises?

And this, my children is why the Raven’s plumage is black, and why battlefields are ever full of Ravens, for they are only trying to reclaim what was once promised them.