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Long ago, there was a girl named Singing Wind, whose hair was the longest and blackest of all the girls in the village, and whose face was more beautiful than any of the others as well. Her people lived in a village on the Ikahiri Plain, and moved about from year to year to plant their crops in fresh soil. It was a good life, and Singing Wind was the happiest of them all.

But it happens at times that too much fame and beauty can lead to difficulties, and so it was with Singing Wind.

There was in those days a certain Witch named Alitha who lived alone in a hut in the woods, and in time the tale of the beauty of Singing Wind came to her ears. She was at once filled with a jealous rage, for although she was very ugly, she fancied herself the most beautiful lady in all the Plain. No one had ever dared to tell her otherwise, for she was much too powerful and dangerous for that.

She was able, when she chose, to transform herself into a hideous monster that no one dared to fight. Alitha could become a dead skull with glowing eyes that rolled about and spewed forth coals and flame to burn anything that came near her to ashes.

And so it was that Alitha walked into the village one day, and demanded to be taken to the headman’s house. The people dared not refuse, for they knew who she was. The Witch and the fear of her had gone wide throughout the lands.

When she came to the headman’s house, Alitha got right to the point.

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