Banfuku Must Die!
Tale of Valru and the Scheming Banfuku
(The first page in the McRedighter Chronicles is old and worn, but the text is still legible. The stylized rune at the top of the page marks it as being written by Matten McRedighter, the first Chronicle Keeper.)
This is the story of the ancient hero Valru and how he released the evil shapeshifter Banfuku as my father’s father was told when he was in his youth.
Many, many years ago, the trickster Valru was returning home after many, many years of adventure. Eager to return home to his family, Valru decided to take a short-cut through an ancient forest. The further and further he traveled into the forest, the darker and more ominous it became. Eventually Valru became helplessly lost in the dark forest.
“How will I ever escape this horrible place?” Valru exclaimed in his frustration.
“I know the way out,” said a small voice. Looking around, Valru found a black spider on a nearby leaf.
“Can you help me out, little spider?” he asked.
“I cannot. For that way passes through the center of the forest where an ancient and unforgivable evil exists. I, in fact, am a guardian of the forest, and I must forbid you to go any further.
“I am a hero of legend, I fear no evil. I only want to return to my family as soon as possible. Let me pass,” said Valru.
“I cannot; it is my duty. I have given my word that I shall let none pass and my word is as good as law. Anyone who passes through here without my permission would be eaten alive by the forest itself.”
“Well it must be hard to be hard to be a guardian whilest you are of such small stature. I know a magic spell that could make you the size of a horse, but you wouldn’t be interested in that, would you?” Valru said sneakily. The spider contemplated this offer.
“I will not fall for your tricks that easy hero. You shall not cast any foreign magicks on me,” said the spider smartly.
“How about a wager then? If you win, I shall teach you the spell along with all my other magicks and leave the forest the way I came. If I win, I shall teach you the growth spell and you shall tell me how to cross the forest. You win either way, am I correct?” The spider seemed skeptical.
“What kind of contest do you purpose?” the spider asked. Valru looked to the sky.
“I shall strike the sun with my throwing knife.” The spider guffawed loudly.
“Foolish gnome! You should know that such a feat is impossible- even for a god! I accept your challenge! But you may only attempt one try.” The gnome nodded with a smile. He pulled a shining dagger from his belt and held it to the sky, as if aiming. He pulled back, but instead of throwing, he merely dropped the knife. It landed pommel first on his shoe.
“You only get one try! I win! Teach me your magicks!” exclaimed the guardian. The gnome shook his head.
“I have a mother and a father, do I not? That makes me a son as well, making me the winner of the bet. Your word is law, spider, you said it yourself. Now you must tell me the way out of the forest and I will teach you the spell.” Valru taught the spider the spell. The spider cast it, and became the size of a horse.
“You have kept your end of the bargain and I must unfortunately keep mine. If you wish to cross the forest, you must head south past the old creaking willow and cross the gargling stream. From there you will find a path that will take you out of the forest. But you must promise me that you will not stop for anything once you set out on this path.”
“I will not,” Valru replied.
(The text continues on another page: Tale of Valru and the Scheming Banfuku Page 2)