If you find yourself out late on a misty summer night, don’t expect to find the windows unshuttered and a light burning to welcome you home. Everyone knows lantern wicks draw more than oil.
But Algin the blacksmith scoffed at the old tales and insisted that his wife light a candle when he was delayed by work, or, as was more often the case, by a visit to the wayside tavern. As he strode along one misty night, lantern in hand, he thought himself not only brave, but sensible. And he held this fine opinion until the glowing mist around his lantern began to peel away.
The bright mist swirled into the shape of a human skeleton with a skull bearing a boar’s wicked tusks–a fiend that grinned horribly as its bony hands hefted a battle axe.
Algin threw his lantern aside, hoping the mistwraith would follow it. Too late. The apparation gave chase. Algin raced for home, hardly noticing when he stumbled and fell and rose agan. His pounding heart lifted when he saw the light ahead–home and safety were almost his!
Even as the thought formed, small glowing shapes poured from the lighted window. A misty swarm of imps swooped toward him and covered him like a shroud, tearing at him with tiny, taloned hands.
The next morning, all that remained of Algin were clean-picked bones, neatly disjointed and arranged in the outline of a lantern. His wife and neighbors noted the warning and considered it fair. They gave Algin a proper burial, and if they thought him a fool for challenging the night, no one gave voice to that opinion, not even when the third keg was tapped.
Variations of this story are told all over Sevrin, and end with this strange moral: Before you light a candle, consider what the darkness holds.