Monday, May 5, 2014

Master Elf's Adventures

Cover of Mestaritontun seikkailut
Aili Somersalo 1919: Mestaritontun seikkailut
Illustrations Onni Mansneus

Characters from Päivikki's fairytale continue their adventures.

Master Elf has been lives in Fairytaleland and has been working for the King. He feels he is not appreciated and decides to leave and see the world. He takes with
him a pearl that he got from a mermaid with him.

The first person he meets is a witch called Mossy. Mossy has left the Mountain troll kings castle and is headed back home to his family estate at Great Swampisland. Mossy asks Master Elf to come with her. Master Elf follows. The estate is a small cottage. Master Elf decides to build his own place next to a big rock.

During the night Master Elf hears someone telling there is a fair maiden crying inside the rock. The next day Mossy warns Master Elf to stay in his hut and not to wander around in the swamp. During the night Master Elf hears the voice again. It seems that the big spruce is pointing at Mossy’s cottage. Master Elf sneaks up to Mossy’s window and sees two other witches with Mossy. The two witches tell Mossy what has been going on while Mossy was with the trolls.

The Witch King had wanted to marry the princess of Aurora, and send witches to take a treasure chest to the King. On their way the witches dropped the chest and the treasure was lost. The King of Aurora was the princess’s brother and he refused the marriage proposal. So the witches stole the princess and took her to the troll king. The princess, Dawn, had still declined and the Witch King imprisoned her to a rock. She was ordered to cut her golden hair and sow a coat for the Witch King. Meanwhile her brother and ladies waiting came looking for her and tried to rescue her. The witches turned him to a spruce and the ladies waiting into fog to the swamp.

The treasure chest was guarded by seven will o’ the wisps and can only be lifted by a prince that has been enchanted and has a pearl from the sea. The other two witches are worried about Master Elf being on the island, but Mossy assures them that Master Elf does not know about Princess Dawn and the treasure and even if he did, he cannot leave the island. The only way Master Elf could get help was to use a blue flower in a fairy spring that can send messages. But the flower appears only every full moon. Master Elf hears all this and he knows prince Nighteye of the Fairytaleland, who had been enchanted by a witch before.

 Master Elf starts looking for the flower, because it is full moon. The fog on the swamp helps him and he sends a message to prince Nighteye. The next day Mossy visits Master Elf and sees the precious pearl and steel s it. Master Elf is worried, how is he going to get it back. Nighteye arrives with his eagle, he has been protected by fog, so Mossy doesn’t see him. Master Elf tells him, what is going on.

Nightey arrives
 They decide to get the treasure first and then save Princess Dawn. First the go to Mossy’s cottage and find out she has broken her leg and her two friends have taken the pearl to the Witch King. Mossy gives Master Elf her a broom, magic matchsticks that make witches dance and clothes and, so he can get past the dragon that guards Witch King’s castle. Nighteye has a cape that turns anyone who wears it invisible. Nighteye wears Mossy’s clothes and Master Elf puts on the magic cape.

They fly to the Witch King’s castle. The dragon lets them in, because he knows Mossy’s clothes. On their way to the Witch King, they see that the castle is preparing for the wedding. Another dragon has heard that Mossy broke her leg and demands to see Nighteye’s legs. When Nighteye refuses, captures the dragon him and puts him in a sell. Master Elf is invisible and can continue to the Witch Kings chambers. He gets the pearl and runs. He then gets Nighteye and they use the magic matchsticks and get away.

 Back in the Swampisland they are in a hurry to see the will o’ the wisps. They start getting anxious and then the will o’ the wisps show. They get the treasure. Next they have to figure out how to get Princess Dawn out of the rock. Nighteye has a golden key that fits into a hole in the rock. Master Elf stays and keeps guard and Nighteye goes inside the rock to get Princess Dawn. The princess refuses to leave without her brother and ladies in waiting. She tells them that they need to break the spell by burning a witch’s broom. Master Elf persuades Nighteye and Princess Dawn to leave with the eagle. He will stay behind and burns the broom.

Nighteye meets Princess Dawn
 Mossy comes around and sees that the rock has been opened. She walks in and Master Elf locks her in. Then Master Elf burns the broom, but the fire also catches the spruce. When the last of the spruce has burned, the King of Aurora appears; soon also the ladies in waiting appear. King of Aurora tells Master Elf that he commands the clouds and they will take them to Fairytaleland.

 Nighteye and Princess Dawn have fallen in love and are waiting for Master Elf and the rest. Together they go see Nighteye’s parents, the King and Queen. They have missed Master Elf very much and are going to everything they can to keep him happy in Fairytale land. But there is sorrow in the land: the Princess of Fairytaleland is being held captive by the King of  the Sea.

The King of Aurora says, he’ll rescue the Princess Daylight. He has a mermaid friend that will help him. King of Aurora meets the mermaid by the seashore. She tells him, it is going to be diffilcult to get to the King of Sea’s castle. King of Aurora needs to find a cape made of fish scales under a white stone. The fish scale cape will make him look like a big fish. The moon rises showing them the way to the castle. The guard fish notices the king’s feet. The mermaid tells him that this is a new toy for Princess Daylight. The guard lets them pass.

Princess Daylight is sad
They come to Princess Daylight and she is sad, because her husband has died and she cannot go back home. King of Aurora tells her, how much her family in Fairytaleland and asks her to come back with him. Princess Daylight has heard of King of Aurora, but she tells him that it is really difficult to leave. King Aurora has brought the invisibility cape with him, but it doesn’t work underwater. There is one way: in the Dark Waters is a herb call Sorrowherb and its juice is more bitter than death. Princess Daylight knows the secret of the herb and believes it can set her free. The juice will age the drinker and it will kill all love. If the love does not die, it will get its reward. Princess Daylight gives the the King a peace of star. If the mud in the Dark Waters is getting too thick or the herb becomes too heavy, the King should rub the star three times. It will also lead the way to the Dark Waters.

The king leaves and finds the Dark Waters. It is cold and dark. Soon he sees the Sorrowherb. Its flower was black as sorrow and a its stem was so cold the King could feel his heart freeze. The King lost the brightness of his eyes and his feet got stuck in water. The herb flower was very heavy and he is about to fall into the mud. Then he remembers Princess Daylights star and soon he rises to the clear and clean waters. He gets back to the castle, where the mermaid waits for him. T

he mermaid is shocked to see him look so old. The Sorrowherb brings darkness and all fear it. Princess Daylight does not recognize the King. Princess Daylight drinks all of the Sorrowherb’s juice and turns into an old lady. The guards think that the mermaid is escorting an old wise woman that everyone respects. They can leave the castle in peace. Soon the King of the Sea realizes that Princess Daylight has escaped and raises a storm. The waves hit the King and Princess Daylight to the shore. As soon as her feet touch the ground, Princess Daylight becomes herself again.

All rejoice when Princess Daylight has returned. Soon there is a double wedding and evey one lives happily ever after.

A story of magic, quick turn of events. I always liked this more than Päivikki's fairytale. This story definately has a happy ending.
Names in Finnish:
Master Elf- Mestaritonttu,
Nighteye -Yönsilmä,
Mossy - Sammaleinen,
King or Aurora -Aamuruskonmaan kuningas,
Princess Dawn - Prinsessa Saraste,
Princess Daylight - Päivikki

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