If you haven’t read my last post, this is my version of events leading up to the story of Jack and the Beanstalk, in as few words as possible.
Are you sitting down? Then I’ll begin.
To set the scene, think of Lord of the Rings and Narnia – a world with swords, armour, magic and no electricity.
This is a story about a Giant called Rînoh and how he came to be so angry.
In a far away land full of legend and adventure there lived two races, the Men and the Giants. The Men were very intelligent and skilled workers of steel while the Giants were strong yet very light on their feet. They happily coexisted using each other’s skills to the benefit of the whole community, the Giants would hunt using their strength, lightness of foot and the weapons made by the Men, and so they were interdependent for many generations. They also shared their skills so that the Giants could craft from metal and the Men improved in hunting. Apart from their obvious size difference (a male Giant would grow to 11 feet tall) the only other difference was that the Giants had swirling patterns on their skin that looked like tattoos that would start to appear when they were about 12 years old.
But as with all races, there were those who were out for themselves, and so crafty Men would employ equally nasty Giants to steal livestock, which was blamed on attacks by wild animals.
Over time the problem grew as ego’s kicked in and the Men and Giants grew in their greed and bravado – the raids would get more daring and the trading wouldn’t be so hidden. It all came to a head when a group of young Giants tried to steal prize stallions from the Chief of the Men, Topħer, and were captured by the guards.
There was a trial before the elders of the town (made up of Giants and Men) of all involved and they were sentenced to repay all they had earned from their wrong doing and to work for free for the good of the town for 2 years each.
Although justice had been served on the guilty few, seeds of doubt and mistrust had begun to grow between the ancient peoples – the Men started to slow down the provision of weapons to the hunting groups of Giants, which bought in less food, and in turn the Giants would not give so much food to the Men as they had to work harder for it. The old relationship quickly broke down as the tension had gone from underlying and subtle to fights in the streets and houses being smashed to pieces.
The town elders sadly decided to break their ancient bond for the good of all and so the Giants agreed to move away to the valleys where they would start life again. As a mark of respect and a sign that hopefully one day they could live together again, Topħer had his skin marked like that of a Giant, and the Chief of the Giants, Witåll, presented Topħer with a sword painstakingly made by his best smith.
And so, the Giants left and split into clans and settled in the valleys surrounding the Men, building new homes and generally starting afresh. But the mistrust was still there as you can’t heal broken bonds with geography. Without the knowledge of Topħer the Men would send out bands of spies and bring false reports of growing fear and anger toward them, and so there was an increasing tension yet again. Hidden groups with influence at all levels of society would start to meet and secretly try to rally people against a new and dangerous enemy, gaining much support, particularly from those who were affected by the stealing. Eventually Topħer died and was ceremonially buried with the sword given to him by Witåll, and so the two signs of future peace were gone.
The dissenters seized their opportunity and made a bold public move as they quickly started to heap accusation on the Giants and encouraged all out war against them to prevent them from destroying their way of life. Witåll had heard about the cries against his people, but was also getting very old, so in order to preserve the heritage of his people, he broke ancient law that said he could only share certain knowledge with the next Chief and he passed on tales of legend to his councilors of wild riches and the ability to control anger and rage that would come to one in genuine need, and commanded them to pass this information on to each clan and family leader along with an ancient map, and for them to tell all the people. He also decreed that a copy of the legend and map be placed in each settlement and kept in a place of safety so that if the need arose it could be used to find the riches and power of old.
To be continued…