Fable of the Yellow-Eyed Witch
The Fable of the Yellow-Eyed Witch is a prominent fairytale in the folklore Heartlands. It serves not only as a spine-chilling bedtime story for children, but also as a stark warning against the deceptive allure of Loviatar, the Goddess of Secrets and Goddess of Evil. As befits the darkest deity of the Empyreal Faith, it is a dark fable indeed, and a violent one, with a tendency to make younglings afraid of candles, wicks and tapers. In its most popular iteration, the fable tells the tale of four siblings who, tempted by the delicious smells wafting from an old cabin in the woods, find themselves face-to-face with a black-robed witch. This witch, a representation of Loviatar herself, is known for her fatal gaze, her eyes glowing an eerie yellow. The witch is deadly, but will only kill those that look upon her face. Her house contains endless amounts of delicious treats, and anyone is free to enter, free to feast, so long as they do not break that one rule -- so long as they do not look into the witch's yellow eyes. The children in the fable, each drawn into the witch's house by their desires, are subjected to a series of cleverly crafted deceptions. The witch attempts to make them look into her eyes, knowing that this would be their undoing. The story serves as an allegorical portrayal of the dangers of succumbing to Loviatar's tempting offers of power and knowledge, which ultimately lead only to ruin. Every child in the fable uses different tactics to survive the house and the witch's deceptions, but the witch ultimately tricks them all. One dark fairytale amongst many, the fable has been passed down through generations in the Heartlands, shared by parents and grandparents alike, as a means of instilling a healthy fear and respect for the treacherous Loviatar. The Goddess of Secrets, as depicted in the fable, is a cunning figure who uses temptation and deception to lure unsuspecting victims into her web of lies, promising power and wealth. Foolish are those who seek to gain even the tiniest fraction of her gifts, for no one can outsmart her. No one can deceive her. No matter how cunning you think you are, the Mother of All Evil will always be more cunning. And once she has her eye on you, she will never look away. The enduring popularity of the fable has inspired countless literary works, from epic poems to children's stories, and has even found its way into the visual arts. Paintings and sculptures depicting the witch and the ill-fated siblings can be found throughout the Heartlands, a testament to the tale's lasting cultural impact. Various versions of this fable have been passed down through generations across the Heartlands, each with its distinct flavor. Some versions feature additional siblings, each representing different virtues or vices. Some versions change the witch's delicious foods into golden treasure, others into lost loved ones, or wishes like those that a djinn grants in other fables. Some tellings of the story place more emphasis on the individual cunning or folly of each child, while others give each child a different task and different challenges to overcome. Some variations have happy endings, others don't. Some feature different ways in which the children perish, while in some the children do not perish at all. Regardless of the variation, the story's warning remains the same: beware the beguiling gaze of Loviatar.