Sarrtan The Slave Miner


In Ghliteren a common story to tell children is that of Sarrtan the Miner. According to the tale, Sarrtan was a fat, lazy, greedy Mountain Elf that owned a mine in the mountains. He needed workers to mine it, but older elves always asked more than he was willing to pay. But then Sarrtan had a wicked idea.   He happens upon some children who were on their were on their was to school and he convinced them that if they skipped classes and came with him to help dig up some crystals, that he would pay each of them a shiney gold coin for every one they found. The children naively trusted the elf and followed him deep in the mountains to his isolated mines. One by one the children entered the mine, except for the last child, who grew distrustful of the man, and hid instead.   Once the children where inside, Sarrtan locked the door and told them, "You lot are now my workers forever. I will only give you food and water if you continue to bring me crystals." He said to them. The last little child ran back home to try to tell the village, and the villagers went after Sarrtan and stoned him to death and freed the children.   However, it's said that Sarrtan returned as a demon, and now, whenever children stray too far into the mountains, Sarrtan will SNATCH them up and make them work in his mines forever.

Historical Basis

There are recordings of an actual mine owner that use illegal child labor in his mines in the Ghlitteren area, and it's likely where the the legend was born from. It was later spinned as a tale of an evil boogyman figure that would still children away if they wondered too far away from the village alone. This was to ensure children did not get themselves lost in the middle of the harsh mountains of Ghliteren, which can be dangerous for young elves.   The tale later would resurface on Earth, but the story would be changed into a more jolly tale about a fat bearded man with an army and small elves working for him.

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Cover image: by IbbyWondrous


Author's Notes

This article was made for Summer Camp 2019 for the prompt:

" Describe the tales in your world designed to make naughty children behave"

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