Wertelers and the Pearl
The Wertelers were neither pixies nor fairies but they were slightly similar. The Wertalers were not trolls or dwarves and they were definitely not even slightly similar. They were somewhat mischievous and full of the joys of life. They had wings and pointy ears but no tails. (Two of these facts are important to this story.) One fine day a Werteler fooun what was perhaps the most unusual... More
The story begins when a Werteler, Fish ‘n Chips, found a beautiful and mysterious pearl. Unfortunately for him after he gazed at its beauty he sprouted a tail. That might have been inconvenient enough but on the end of the tail was a face. To add to Chips’ discomposure the Face had a supremely obnoxious and irritating loud-mouthed nature.
Chips’ friends were as astonished as he was bewildered and as amused by the antics of the Face as he was annoyed. Shadow ‘n Shine realised that there was a lot more to it than appeared. She decided they should seek out an old wizard, Baroof Rat-Eater, for an explanation and help. So Chips, Shine, Sugar ‘n Spice and Salt ‘n Pepper set out on their adventure.
Along the way to the wizard’s manor Shine and Chips were captured by an evil character, Weasel Jack, and his three troll companions, Gruntoff, Squirm and Pungsmell. Jack saw an opportunity to make money by selling the peculiar Werteler to an even more evil character than himself, Rottstench Merryjoy the Cadaver Ghoul, who owned the Cadaver Ghoul’s Roaming Freak Circus. Gruntoff found the pearl and when he gazed at its beauty he was transformed into stone with the gem encased solidly in his fist.
Spice and Pepper continued to Baroof, along the way meeting witch Hazel Gertrude Knickerbocker. She accompanied them to the wizard who became very concerned as soon a he heard about the pearl. Together they returned to where Gruntoff was still solidified and they rescued the pearl. With it Baroof was able to track down Chips.
Rottstench and his cruel treatment of the poor souls, humans and dwarves, whom he held captive in his abominable circus appalled Shine and Chips. Maria, the beared lady, led those people in a rebellion. However their desperate and brave attempt for freedom was doomed to failure because of Rottstench’s two very large trolls, Swampscum and Fleabite. But just as all seemed lost Pungsmell, who had grown very affectionate towards Shine, burst on the scene and fought against the much larger trolls in her defence. He killed Fleabite and chased off Swampscum, but he died of his wounds.
Shine was driven into deep depression over Pungsmell’s death. She suffered terribly and might not have recovered except that she was looked after by the Little Sprites That Play Among the Flowers.
Afterwards Baroof interrogated the Face. He learnt that the wizard who had concocted the “weirdling magic” that created the Face was Schantor of the Maze. Baroof also came to suspect that the Bastrill, an ancient, powerful and malignant creature, had possessed Schantor. They had no choice; Baroof, Hazel and the Wertelers had to confront Schantor.
At Schantor’s Keep a great battle took place. As Baroof had suspected Schantor had been possessed by the evil of the Bastril. He created a hoard of hideous and wicked creatures to do his bidding. Maria and her people (including Swampscum, who had returned contrite and desiring to atone for his earlier wickedness by helping those he had terrorised).
Shine was terribly wounded by the Bastril and would never fly again. This compounded with her lingering sorrow over her friend’s death submerged her under a horrendously deep depression. It seemed she could not possibly be saved.
It was Swampscum, with Maria’s help, who eventually managed to save Shine and the two of them became lifelong friends.
The Wertelers and the Pearl is a story of friendship, courage, sensitivity and acceptance. Such qualities are exemplified by the way the attractive Wertelers and the tormented “freaks” stood by each other’s side. Also Shine’s acceptance and attachment first to one troll, Pungsmell, and then to a physically more repulsive one like Swampscum but most importantly the noble character of Maria and the other “freaks” who had been ridiculed and rejected by the world and still bravely risked their lives in defence of the world that had been so cruel to them.
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