One of the most poignant stories in the Arcadian Echoes is a tale from Xbysl. It is a tale of honesty, integrity, and the power of truth. The story revolves around a simple woodsman who made a living by cutting down trees in the forest. He was a hardworking man with an old and weathered axe, which he loved and resharpened many times.
While working in the forest, the woodsman’s axe head fell into the river, leaving him distraught. Suddenly, Ver, the God of water, appeared and noticed the woodsman’s despair. Ver offered his help, seeing the genuine honesty in the woodsman’s eyes. Ver dove into the river and retrieved a beautiful silver axe, but the woodsman refused it as it was not his own. The next day, Ver returned to find the man still searching for his axe. Once again, Ver dove into the water and emerged with a golden axe, which the woodsman also refused as it was not his own.
Ver returned the axe to the water and came back the next day to find the woodsman still searching for his axe. Ver went into the water this time and emerged with the woodsman’s axe head. The woodsman was overjoyed to be reunited with his axe head, and this moved Ver. As a gesture of goodwill, Ver retrieved the gold and silver axes from the river and gifted them to the woodsman, who was even more delighted. The woodsman returned to town with all his axes and shared his story. Another woodsman heard about it and went to the same spot but intentionally dropped his axe head into the river. In an effort to help, Ver entered the river in search of the axe head and came out with a golden axe.
The woodsman was overjoyed and grateful, but Ver soon realized that the woodsman was not telling the truth. The golden axe did not belong to him. Ver decided to punish him for his deceit by sending him to the underworld, where he was trapped in a cage made of bones and tormented by Norash and Norashi for all eternity.
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