A Bogril Junkmonger likely doesn’t know the tale of Egbrite Jack. And if he did, he’d think nothing of the possibility that those stories were real. Amongst the ordinary rural peoples of the Middle Kingdoms, Egbrite Jack and his sword are simply elements of the peasant-hero’s folktale. But in the realest or realities, the stories are indubitably, unequivocally, and most remarkably true.
Egbrite Jack was an unassuming pumpkin farmer who found a sparkling sword in a muddy trench sometime, long ago. It was another time then, not of road bandits and brigands, but of hexes and curses, and a spectral strangeness that blanketed the world in uncertainty and terror. Folk like Jack simply made do and made sure to lock themselves away at night for fear of ghosts and gremlins, spirits and sprites. But on that fateful day, old Egbrite Jack found something special in his field and decided to trek ten thousand miles, and offer it to his Queen. That’s where his stories begin.
On his first night on the road, Jack was accosted by a devil, a gangly sharp-toothed brute who tried to steal Jack’s sparkling sword. But Egbrite Jack would have nothing of it, and challenged the creature to a duel of dice. If Jack rolled ‘even’ he’d lose the sword. But if Jack rolled ‘odd’ the creature could never steal, loot, scare, or menace anyone again. Jack rolled odd and went on his merry way, sparkling sword in hand.
One thousand treacherous nights followed and every night Jack was accosted by ghosts and gremlins, sprites and spirits, spooks and spectres, devils and demons–and every night he bested them and went on his merry way.
On the last day of his travels, old Egbrite Jack finally met the Queen. Lonely and beautiful, radiant and delighted to see the dusty, road-worn pumpkin farmer. As tribute, Jack offered her the sword, but she adamantly refused. Instead, she bid the humble farmer rise and take her hand as king, for his thousand nights on the road had rid all the world of terror and set the kingdom free.
Folk have told the stories of Egbrite Jack and his thousand nights on the haunted roads for generations. Elements of each fable weave a neat, moral tapestry for rearing children. The Sword of Egbrite Jack is often used as a symbol for courage. For if a people can muster a bit of courage, luck will always find them.