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Lundi, day 53 of Summer, 548 - The stories of Bawkmas by Keemhan


I was lucky to be in town when Keemhan, the storyteller, came and told the stories of bawkmass. Here is what the storyteller said...

Keemhan asks, "Say, you do all know the story of thoomas, don't you?"
Keemhan says, "Well, you're a multicultural community here, to be sure."
Keemhan says, "Thooms, Sylvans, even Halflings all mix together."
Keemhan says, "And all their traditions mix together too."
Keemhan says, "Around now, for instance, we're celebrating three holidays in one."
Keemhan says, "We have Thoomas, Skristmas, and Bawkmas, all mixed together."
Keemhan says, "Each of those has its own story... or I should say, stories, because there are several."
Keemhan says, "But today I'll tell a story of each of those holidays."
(Keemhan clears his throat.)
Keemhan asks, "You all know about spriggins, right?"
(Keemhan glances at Malkor.)
Keemhan says, "They're sneaky, conniving thieves."
Keemhan says, "I hear you even let one live here with you... but that's another story."
Keemhan says, "Anyway..."
Keemhan says, "One day, long long ago, the spriggins who lived near a small village got bored."
Keemhan says, "They grew tired of stealing coins and pushing people over. They wanted more."
Keemhan says, "They went on a rampage in the town, stealing everything they could find."
Keemhan says, "Food, beer, even the children's toys disappeared with the laughing spriggins."
Keemhan says, "The poor townsfolk were terribly sad, and didn't know what to do."
Keemhan says, "Finally a great hero appeared."
Keemhan says, "This hero went to the spriggins and asked them if they had been good."
Keemhan says, "They laughed at him and answered "No!""
Keemhan says, "So this hero took back all the toys and beer and food, and gave the spriggins mud and coal instead."
Keemhan says, "He took everything back to the village and returned it to the rightful owners."
Keemhan asks, "So, does anyone know this hero's name?"
(Keemhan cackles gleefully.)
Keemhan says, "Well, today you're lucky enough to have him right here with you."
Keemhan exclaims, "Santa Chicken!"
Keemhan says, "Santa Chicken felt bad for the townspeople, so he came back every Bawkmas afterward to give them beer and toys."
Keemhan says, "For the people who don't like beer, he gives out eggnog, being a chicken."
Keemhan says, "And for the youngest children, the ones who aren't dwarves that is, he hands out chocolate coins and candy clubs."
Keemhan says, "And that is the story -- or *a* story -- of Bawkmas."
Keemhan says, "Now, if the rabble by the temple would quiet down, I'll tell the story of Skristmas."
Keemhan says, "Now, some of the traditions you follow here come from other holidays."
Keemhan says, "Some of them are from Skristmas, and some even from Thoomas."
Keemhan says, "One story tells that Skristmas began like this:"
Keemhan says, "A long time ago, there was a special conjunction of the Earth, the Moon, and the Sun."
Keemhan says, "During this conjunction, the wise mystic Man'Ta Claus appeared at a great mystic school, with a new gift."
Keemhan says, "He brought the first skristals to the students of that school."
Keemhan says, "He showed them how to use them, and then he stood aside."
Keemhan says, "But the young student mystics were impatient, and didn't understand."
Keemhan says, "They didn't know how to use the skristals well, and they got frustrated."
Keemhan says, "They threw the stones at Man'Ta Claus, reddening his robe with blood."
Keemhan says, "One story says that they took out some of their frustrations on potatoes..."
Keemhan says, "Seeing that a potato looks a little like a skristal, they chopped potatoes into tiny shreds, then fried and ate them."
(Keemhan shrugs.)
Keemhan says, "Mystics can be a little odd, you know. Anyway..."
Keemhan says, "With time, of course, the mystics learned how to use their new stones."
Keemhan says, "They began to celebrate Man'Ta Claus's gift with Skristmas."
Keemhan says, "They hang skristals, or sometimes normal lights on trees."
Keemhan says, "Some people tell of a Starbuck named Rudolph who had a skristal for a nose."
Keemhan says, "He could find anything, anywhere, and he took Man'Ta Claus wherever he needed to go."
Keemhan says, "Man'Ta Claus felt bad that his gift wasn't appreciated."
Keemhan says, "To win their forgiveness, he started bringing gifts to everyone each Skristmas."
Keemhan says, "And that is the story of Skristmas, and the reason we hang lights in trees."
Keemhan says, "And then, of course, there's Thoomas."
Keemhan says, "Now, nobody quite knows how Thoomas started."
Keemhan says, "It's a very old Thoomish holiday."
Keemhan says, "Some people say it began when a small Thoom village had a bumper crop of seaweed one year."
Keemhan says, "Now, you all know that many Thooms are fisherfolk."
Keemhan says, "They make their living from the sea."
Keemhan says, "When this huge growth of seaweed threatened to block their harbor, the Thooms had to harvest it."
Keemhan says, "The village was practically buried in seaweed."
Keemhan says, "They separated the sea-berries from the seaweed and hung them up to dry."
Keemhan says, "Then they spread the seaweed out over the town so it could dry too."
Keemhan says, "And then they tried to find ways to use it up."
Keemhan says, "They ate a lot of it, of course."
Keemhan says, "They had seaweed stew, seaweed pancakes, seaweed pie, seaweed drinks and seaweed custard."
Keemhan says, "They also used it in other ways. They wove seaweed into clothing, and they packed it into insulation."
Keemhan says, "Some of it they even wove into garlands and decorations for their homes."
Keemhan says, "And they still had seaweed left over."
Keemhan says, "Thooms are generous folk, so they packed up their extra seaweed and took it to the neighboring villages."
Keemhan says, "In thanks, their neighbors gave them gifts back, and the long Thoomas tradition was begun."
Keemhan says, "Now, we don't have the same seaweed here, but when inland people adopted the tradition..."
Keemhan says, "They used mistletoe instead of sea-berries, because they look alike."
Keemhan says, "And of course, we weave wreaths from whatever branches are handy, not just seaweed."
Keemhan says, "But those two traditions both come from the old Thoomas holiday."
Keemhan says, "We've mixed together customs from all three holidays here, just as we've mixed people and cultures."
Keemhan says, "And that's the story of thoomas, skristmas, and bawkmas."
Keemhan exclaims, "And a happy set of holidays to you all!"

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