The Fable of the Wolfkin

By Charles Moffat, March 2018.

Once upon a time near the village of Millkrest a young woman was rabbit hunting in the woods when she came across a grey wolf trapped in a bear pit. The wolf was down in the hole with one of its hind legs impaled on a sharp stake. The wolf snarled and growled as she drew near to have a closer look.

Seeing that the wolf posed no threat to her, and recognizing that rabbits were the greater danger to her vegetable garden, she took pity on it and resolved to rescue it from the bear pit. Setting down her bow, she lowered a log into the pit like a ramp, and climbed down the log.

Seeing that the wolf might still try to bite and maul her, she ripped one of the stakes out of the ground and held it out towards the wolf. It clamped down on it hard and thrashed about with it. While it was thus occupied she quickly grabbed the wolf's hind leg and lifted it off the stake that held it prone. The wolf let go of the stake in its maw and tried to snap at her but by then the deed was done, the wolf was freed.

She backed away from the wolf, drawing her dagger in case the wolf still decided to lunge at her, but instead the beast decided to lay down and lick its wounded hind quarter. Seeing it thus occupied, she climbed back up the log and to safety.

The young woman went about her hunt and with her bow shot several fine rabbits which would go well in a vegetable stew. Their furs would make her a handsome pair of mittens for the winter. The ears she would dry out and sell as dog treats. The feet she would stuff and sell as good luck charms to ward off evil. Even the rabbit bones could be ground into flour and fed to chickens to help them lay eggs. Nothing would be wasted.

That night as she slept she dreamt she was running through the woods on four legs, the smell of rabbits in the crisp night air. She spied one, gave chase and fast though the rabbit was, she caught it and mauled it. She thrashed it about until it was dead, then she licked its blood and ate the tastier bits of it.

When she awoke in the morning she was naked and her clothes were torn off next to the bed. She must have torn them off while she was thrashing in her sleep. What a vivid dream, she thought as she picked up rags and got dressed.

That day in Millkrest the villagers were abuzz about wolves howling in the night close to the village. Werewolves whispered some, eyeing their neighbours suspiciously. Worgs bred for war, suggested a merchant with knowledge of such things. Rabies, suggested a worried looking healer.

"Do none o' ye know yer history?" said the old miller. "This village was once known as Krest, the site o' a great battle where several tribes defeated an army o' demons. Two o' the tribes were the Flintrako and the Wolfkin. The Wolfkin and their descendants were said to be able to transform into wolves whenever they felt like. There was no full moon last night, hence it could not be any werewolf. If it was worgs or rabies we would have heard rumours of such."

The villagers ignored the old miller's story and continued to postulate ever wilder theories. The young woman however thought back to her torn clothing and her vivid dream and began to wonder. Was her family descended from the Wolfkin tribe? Had she somehow triggered something hidden deep inside her blood when she rescued that wolf? She resolved to find out.

That night she packed a tent and some things for camping before heading east deep into the woods. When she felt she was sufficiently far from the village and the prying eyes of neighbours, she made camp and shed her clothing lest she tear them into shreds.

She willed herself to transform into a wolf, but nothing happened. She stood there shivering in the cold. She continued to try without any effect. Did she need to be sleeping for it to work? Perhaps. She sat down closer to the fire and proceeded to eat her rabbit and vegetable stew. She thought back to her dream, the feeling of running on all fours and the scent of rabbit in the air.

Suddenly her bowl and spoon fell from her grasp and she looked down to see how she could have possibly dropped them. Two furry paws were before her, resting on the ground. Her stew bowl lay lopsided, only partially spilt.

She stood up and looked around. Tail. Hind quarters. She was a shiny black wolf, the same shade as her black hair. She walked about the campsite and even paused to howl a bit, letting out a long arrroooooooo!

But how to transform back, was it as simple as thinking about standing on two feet? She shivered once more and stood up erect, next to the fire. She was tempted to transform back into a wolf, but her stew would get cold so she decided to sit down by the flames and finish her meal.

Towards the end of the meal she heard the sound of feet padding closer. A low growl came from a white wolf with black markings on its ears and tail. "Greetings Wolfkin. Long has it been since my kind has heard from one of you," growled the wolf. The young woman was momentarily stunned to be able to understand the speech.

Not sure what else to say she said "Good evening!"

"Tis indeed!" said the wolf. He sat down next to the fire and regarded her with curiousity. "I heard your howl and investigated. Your kind and mine have long been parted. It is good to see the blood of the Wolfkin still lives. The stories I could tell you, what great adventures our ancestors had."

"But those are tales for another day," growled the wolf. "Tonight we hunt rabbits!"

The End.

The Fable of Sir Fartsalot

By Charles Moffat, 2018.

Once upon a time there was a knight from Kost.
He had a horrible habit of always getting lost.
Sir No-Sense-of-Direction would have been a good name,
But he was so flatulent that all other names seemed lame.

To better his good name he sought to become a dragonslayer,
Except being easily lost he first thought to seek a soothsayer.
South he went into the woods seeking the Minotaur Seer.
By accident he went east into the Troll Lands without any fear.

Realizing he was lost he tried to retrace his missteps,
But only went deeper into the dreaded Trollish Steppes.
He caught the foul whiff of a troll's stench in the air.
(Truth be told the troll smelt the knight's odorous affair.)

Knocking aside trees and boulders the troll came angrily towards him.
Seeing few options except to flee the knight decided to have a swim.
Into the rapids he went trying to avoid a whirlpool.
Into it he was sucked all the while screaming like a fool.

Into a deep dark cave that smelled of mushrooms he fell.
Where the troglodytes and their stenches did dwell.
The knight was coughing up water like a landlubber and farting like a hick.
The troglodyte chieftain's daughter came forward and poked him with a stick.

Having no tongue for language the troglodytes communicated with smells,
And in her direction he did fart so mightily that it set off wedding bells.
The chieftain ordered a great feast of rotten fish, moss salad, and pickled 'shrooms.
The knight realized he was in danger of polygamy, he needed to flee these fumes.

Up into the caves he fled, finding a tight crevice in the rocks into daylight.
He squeezed and exhaled and made most of his way through without a fight.
But then he got stuck between the last two rocks that pinched tight.
Held fast he could do naught but bake in the bright sunlight.

He was stuck there for days his mind becoming addled in the heat.
Having lost weight he finally squeezed free in one last soulful feat.
Lost, addled, and with no sense of direction he forever wandered the wilderness.
A shade of his former self, a ghostly reminder to fools to avoid such silliness.

So if ye be walking in the forest and you see one such knight so down on his luck,
Beware this cursed ghost for he will curse you to be similarly sunstruck.
On a positive side, now that he has joined the ranks of the ghostly undead,
His flatulence has been cured and he no longer smells of rotting bread.

The End of One Long Fart Joke.

A Ghostly Knight

How to write a Korovian Fable

A Fable is a short story which can be poetry or prose or even a mixture of the two that has a narrative leading often to a moral lesson. The Fable of the Incubus of Izhamet for example has a moral lesson about the value of teamwork, and combines both poetic elements and prose.

Not all Korovian Fables have an obvious moral lesson, such as The Fable of the Graverobber and the Cursed Cutlass, which does include a lesson about loneliness, but it is not necessarily a moral lesson.

Korovian Fables typically take place in a specific location and often feature a humanoid hero (often with the qualities of a trickster) who encounters monsters, animals or dangerous objects - such as a cursed sword,as demonstrated in the Cursed Cutlass example above. The type of monster or creature doesn't really matter, whether it is a ghost, animal, ogre, troll, or even objects or natural things with the ability to speak such as trees, rivers or mountains. Korovian Totem Gods often play a role in such Fables, as do Korovian dragons which have the ability to shapeshift.

Rarely will a Korovian Fable be about an anthropomorphized animal who can speak unless there is a druid involved in the story - or the animal is actually a humanoid who was polymorphed by a wizard, although animal-like creatures such as unicorns are certainly possible. Shapeshifters are also a possibility, such as werewolf, lycanthrope, or a Wolfkin.

Map of Korovia

Map of Korovia

Under the Red Moon Xarsius

Under the Red Moon Xarsius