Fire and Ash
The story usually centres around a naughty goblin child. Often, storytellers use the name of a child listening to the story to make it more intensely personal. This fictional child does all kinds of bad behaviour, like stealing food and leaving doors open during ash storms. As a result, the parents of the child decide to punish them. One day, the parents of the child were going out to collect some rich ash from near a volcano and asked the child to wait near a large rock, saying they will return soon. After collecting some ash, they took a different route to go back to their settlement, abandoning the child in the volcanic wastes. The child eventually got bored and wandered closer to the volcano, leaving the spot that the parents had told them to wait at. They wandered before finding the entrance to a cave in the side of the volcano, where a low light was shining. Curious, the child went inside. Inside the cave, the child finds a group of lava elementals, loudly growling and smashing rocks. The child immediately runs and they are followed out onto the plain. After trying to hide behind a rock, the lava elementals find them and eat them up. The storyteller then asks the children what they learned. When the children respond correctly, the storyteller reminds them that the lava monsters can't get them if they behave, and lets them go about their day.
Variations & Mutation
Variations are commonplace, and many of them change the story completely. One version has the parents wonder about the fate of their child and return to the rock, only to discover the child had left the spot. They search the volcano area but the child is never found. Another has the lava creatures spare the child, but only if the child agrees to behave in the future. The child agrees and returns to their home and becomes a model child. A very rare one toted by a couple of mage families in Mor-Fal has the child question their parents' orders. When the parents abandon them, they find their way to the lava elementals and learn magic from them, showing that acting out can be helpful.
The story most obviously attempts to teach the rules of goblin society. Things that would endanger a goblin settlement appear as ways the child acts out in the tale, such as:
- Leaving doors open during ash storms,
- Stealing food and water,
- Not following parents' instructions.
- Hurting other goblins, and/or
- Not wanting to go to bed
SpreadThis story is part of the canon of nursery caverns throughout otraylar culture. Nearly every nursery cavern has a storyteller recounting some version of this story, and many goblins remember hearing a version as children.
In LiteratureSome written copies of this story exist in collections of folk tales from Sedestan society, and those outside of the Grey Devastation are more likely to have heard this tale from those collections.
In ArtSome nursery caves and children's rooms have drawings of lava monsters based on how they are depicted in the story or based on actually seen lava elementals.
Remove these ads. Join the Worldbuilders Guild