The Spelling of Blowtorch
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The Spelling of Blowtorch
(an Elven Legend)
Reinhart Faijen Von Donnerfuss
Iver Johnson Von Donnerfuss

as told to
Whilhelm Von Schmitt

Traslated by
William E. Allendorf


The Spelling of Blowtorch
(an Elven Legend)
Reinhart Faijen Von Donnerfuss
Iver Johnson Von Donnerfuss

as told to
Whilhelm Von Schmitt

Traslated by
William E. Allendorf

It was the harvest festival in the Yellowood Forest. The elves 
had gathered to welcome the end of the old year. The clans
camped by the lake, where the dragonflies still danced upon the
lily pads and the autumn fog swallowed everything each morning.

There had been talk of the Evil Ones, but all reports of
sightings had been sparse--mostly on the roads where folks had
seen their war machines waiting by the wayside, or seen their
flat-footed tracks upon the trails. This was not out of the
ordinary, for it seemed that the Evil Ones were always about in
the world. The elves had grown used to this, but with each
passing year, their resolve to move to a new homeland had become
stronger--Evil Ones and Elves can never mix.

Upon the first night of the festival, most bodies went to bed
early. A few stayed by the fire to chant the old songs, and
listen to the new ones. There were a few stories told, but for
the most part, the Elves were tired from the road, and there was
much to do in the coming days.

It was supper time on the second day when the first word of
trouble spread through the clans. There were spies about--
minions of the Evil Ones that surely were counting the numbers of
each clan, making maps of the camps, and sizing up the Elves for
an attack. The spies, or "Charlies" as they were known, were said
to be disguised as locals, halflings and men from the
surrounding towns. Seeing as though this large elf gathering had
caused considerable curiosity in the other races, many outsiders
were strolling about the market stalls, and snatching a bit of
food from the cookfires.

The Elves became wary of any stranger, and this created tension.
Elves are shy, but generally generous. It did not suit them to be
questioning a new-found acquaintance as to his business at the
festival, the name of his clan, and so on. Tempers flared. 
Shortly after dinner, a local man, a half-wit named Jethro, was
accused of eavesdropping on a clan's evening chant--most

Cries of "Where's Charlie?" went through the camp. This was the
secret call that alerted everyone that minions of the Evil Ones
had been discovered. Panic ensued, and shortly elves were seen
scattering into the woods with their most sacred herbs and spirit
pipes. Poor Jethro was beaten to death by accident by a member
of the Black Hole Clan. A dog was trampled, and general havoc
continued until someone got the bright idea of starting the
evening master ritual early. The beating of the drums, and the
chanting of the priests got everyone's mind off Charlie.

Some folks were satisfied with the master ritual and went back to
party with friends. Others stayed for the hand fasts--wishing
the merry couples well, and toasting the promise of a new
generation of Elves. Amid the merriment, a ragged band elves
broke into the circle.

"The Evil Ones have struck!" They cried.

They had found an elf that had gotten tipsy and driven his cart
off the side of a back road. The Evil Ones had taken him back to
their camp. Everyone gasped when they heard this, everyone knew
what abominations were practiced on Elves unlucky enough to wind
up in the camp of The Evil Ones.

"We must flee to the forest!" They cried.

"We must hide in the bogs!" Others cried.

"Maybe if we all go to bed early, the Evil Ones will think we're
up to something and leave us alone," said one elf, who was
quickly shouted down.

This sort of agitated nonsense went on for sometime, until the
fire began to die down, because everyone was to busy bickering to
feed it. The light had gone from the fire and everyone was
beginning to feel the chill of the autumn night. That made the
elves more grumbly. Finally a tall gawky elf with a caver's
helmet went over the woodpile and brought back one huge log. 
Upon approaching the circle, he tripped over two elves that were
laying on the ground complaining to each other over the uncouth
and rude behavior of the Evil Ones. The elf with the caver's
helmet went sprawling, and the log flew into the fire with a thud
and a shower of sparks.

Everyone at the circle was about to skewer this clumsy elf. He
had stumbled in just at the breaking point--when tempers explode
and chaos is unleashed. The menfolk brandished their elven
swords. Women and children brandished sticks, cooking
implements, and their least favored household pets. An evil
crowd encircled the poor elf as he picked himself off the ground,
adjusted his caver's light, and wiped the ashes from his thick

"Pardon my ignorance of the Evil Ones," said the elf, oblivious
to everything around him save his ashen lenses. "But I have
always found that the best thing to do when confronted by a 
large beast that is intent on eating you is to present him with
the hardest meal possible to swallow. Fish turn their tails to
their foe and present their spines. The crow challenges the
hawk, and the skunk. . .well we all know about skunks."

"What are you saying?" said one elf close enough to hear him.

"I am saying that perhaps we should stop worrying how and when
The Evil Ones are going to devour us, and we should begin to find
ways to devour The Evil Ones," said the elf, adjusting his
glasses back onto his face. "Oh my, a crowd!" he exclaimed as he
noticed the mob around him. "What's happened?"

"Don't talk like that!" hissed an elf, digging an elbow into his
ribs. "Charlie will hear you, and they'll visit your camp

"Better his than mine." said another.

"Who are you?" Demanded an old wizened elf of the Wind City Clan.
"You sound like Charlie himself."

With this pronouncement the mob pushed closer and shouts of "Kill
the Buggerer!" and "Trounce him!" welled up. One little elf,
caught up in the madness threw her three-legged cat at the one
with the caver's helmet. It bounced off the lantern, singeing
its fir and creating quite a scene. Everyone gave the cat a wide
berth as it ran from the circle, still burning.

"They call me Blowtorch, Blowtorch Von Donnerfuss of the Black
Hole Clan, son of Donderbus and Trenchbroom," said the elf,
straightening himself to his full height. " Who questions me?" 

The old elf was a bit taken aback by Blowtorch, for upon standing
tall, he was a good two heads taller than most of the others. 
The carbide lantern on his helmet shone directly into the face of
the old elf. It was later discovered that Blowtorch wore this odd
contraption on his head because he had trouble seeing in the
dark. Whatever the case, the lantern made him rather

"Are ye Elven?" said the old one.

"I am of the Clan by sacred birthright" Blowtorch replied. "Do
you question the Black Hole's right to sit in this circle?" This
amounted to asking if the old one was proposing inter-clan
warfare. The tall elf had been slow to catch onto the meaning of
the crowd, but he now seemed to be conducting himself in a more
purposeful manner. The old one backed off and made a gesture of
apology. This mellowed the tempers of the crowd.

"Seeing as though I have everyone's attention," said Blowtorch.
"I propose that we meet the Evil Ones squarely. This
indecisiveness and suspicion is feeding the Evil. With each bit
of bickering we make them stronger. We must be strong and
concentrated. We can win, but we cannot waiver."

Disconcerted noises arose from the crowd. Some began to back
away from the circle.

"Who here knows how to spell?" demanded Blowtorch.

"What are ye going to do?" shouted one wag. "Send 'em a poison
pen letter?"

"Who here knows how to spell?" demanded Blowtorch again. "You
there, yes you, the heckler. Can you spell 'Vermeil?'"

"Vee Eee Are Emm Eee Eye Ell." said the elf "What's it too ya?"

"You shall be in the rear, protecting the camps." Blowtorch said.
"Your spelling is sound and forceful. Now who here can spell

"Ay Doubl'You-" ventured an elf with raised hand.

"You sir," said Blowtorch. "Will be on the first wave in."

And so it went for the next couple of hours: Blowtorch walking
among the clans, organizing fire-teams of spellers, grammarians,
and elocutionists. By midnight he had most of the elves
gathered, learning spell lists and chanting spellings."

"You must concentrate on what you spell." said Blowtorch to the
fire-team leaders. "Put your entire being into the word. Chant in
harmony. Let the power build and flow from you into your group
and through them into the forest. Now go to your fire-team and
gather into a circle... and wait for the signal."

The fire-team leaders dispersed to the four corners of the camp,
to the perimeter fires that had been lit, and around which, the
elves had gathered. Blowtorch went to the central circle, and
began to chant."

"Enn Eee Bee You Ell Owe You Ess Eye Tee Why. Enn Eee Bee You
Ell Owe You Ess Eye Tee Why," he chanted. And the others by the
fire began to chant with him in the haunting Elven harmonies that 

has so endeared their music to the world.

The chant spread to the other fires. A thousand elves, gathered
by their lit fagots, intoned the spellings and began to sway to
and fro; the power of the spell began to well within them and
spread to the forest.

The humans and halflings had long since left the gathering--
preferring to miss the imagined abominations that were said to go
on in the elf circles. They huddled in their huts and tents and
told stories of goats and babies being sacrificed to horned gods. 
So when the chanting began, everyone shivered in their beds,
knowing that the dark rites had begun. It was probably the
humans and halflings camped by peat bogs that first noticed the
first few wisps of fog rolling off the lake and over the Elf
camps. This only made them pull the covers over their heads
further, reaching out only long enough to pull their prayer
beads in with them.

Soon a murky fog had enveloped the camps, and shrouded the fires.
It was so thick that an elf turning to pull his cloak about him
would not have been able to see his partner next to him--only the
small twig fire in the center of his circle. The fog spread and
was soon oozing its way down the highways and up into the dark
hollows where The Evil Ones were undoubtedly preparing their

"Enn Eee Bee You Ell Owe You Ess Eye Tee Why. Enn Eee Bee You
Ell Owe You Ess Eye Tee Why," chanted the Elves. Blowtorch
used his staff to direct those gathered at the innermost circle.
He bade them modulate the harmonies and vary the loudness of the
chant so as to create an circular wave of sound. The other fire-
teams caught on and began to do the same. Soon, the fog was
moving out of the central circle, swirling outward. The camps
were clear of fog, but a huge miasmic wall of vapor encircled the
Elves at a distance of an Elf's stride beyond the farthest fire.

Upon completion of the wall, Blowtorch signaled for the chanting
to stop. The fog hung from the forest floor to the treetops to
thick too see through, too thick to hear through. The elves
jumped up from the fires and cheered and hugged themselves. The
disruptive noise made the fog-wall waiver and show signs of
collapsing, but Blowtorch spelled 'Silence," and the elves
quickly lost their tongues. Within minutes, the central fire-team
had patched the damage, and the chastened elves at the perimeter
were given 'Protection' to chant so as to keep them busy and
maintain the wall.

With this done, Blowtorch assembled his best spellers, and with a
droning "Tee You Enn Enn Eee Ell" cut a path into the wall and
disappeared out the eastern perimeter. 

They slaved throughout the night digging 'Pea Owe Tee Ach Owe Ell
Eee' after 'Pea Owe Tee Ach Owe Ell Eee' in the roads so the Evil
Ones would flounder on the highways with their machines. They
summoned up 'Dee Owe Emm Eee Ess Tee Eye See Ess Que You Aye Bee
Bee Ell Eee Ess' to keep wenches of the Evil Ones arguing with
them. They caused their war-hounds to itch with 'Eff Ell Eee Aye
Ess' and they caused them endless pain as their war machines
trundled down the roads by spelling 'Bee Owe Eye Ell Ess' upon
their 'Bee You Enn Ess.'

It would have been a tragic night for the Elves, however if it
had not been that Blowtorch's scouts discovered a small army of
Evil Ones that had abandoned their machines and taken on foot
across the forest. They were limping with great sores upon their
bodies and their women were tagging behind beating the stragglers
with brooms. The Evil Ones were mad at their misfortune, mad at
being lost in the fog, and mad at everything that dared to live
and breath in Yellowood. It was just plain evil luck that these
Evil Ones were wandering dangerously close to the Elf camps.

When the scouts reported this to Blowtorch, he immediately drew
his cloak about him, grabbed his staff, and turned his caver's
light up to its fullest brightness. He warned his lieutenants to
return immediately to their camps and then set off in the
direction the scouts had described. It was perhaps an hour later
when witnesses in the Wind City Clan camp claim they heard
Blowtorch's voice booming out over the wood.

"Tee Ach Aye You Emm Aye Tee You Are Gee Eye See Aye!"

The heavens seem to rend. Some say there was a earthquake. Others
say a great rush of wind. The fog wall surrounding the camps
quivered and then seemed to be sucked up into a huge maelstrom.
Lightning filled the sky and thunder rocked the forest. Humans,
halflings, and elves alike clung to their mates and parents and
prayed to their respective goddesses and gods to be spared.

Shortly after first light, Blowtorch came out of the forest,
looking a bit tired, but nothing that coffee and buns would not
take care of. He went to the cook fire of the Black Hole Clan and
sat reading his Thesaurus, while the women took his cloak,
polished his staff, and made him breakfast.

There soon was a crowd of Elves milling about outside the Black
Hole Camp, keeping a polite distance, waiting to be invited in.
Blowtorch had not slept, however, and he instructed the women to
beg everyone's forgiveness, and invite them to return later.
Blowtorch was on his way to his tent when one little wag of an
elf yelled to him.

"Blowtorch! What happened to the Evil Ones?" he shouted.

"They're lost in the mountains." Blowtorch replied.

"But there are no mountains around here," he shouted back.

"There are now," Blowtorch said, pointing to the sky. He bowed
politely to everyone and went inside his tent to sleep.

Upon rising that morning, the Elves were treated to a spectacular
sunrise that came up behind majestic purple clouds and lit the
glens with golden brilliance. The Elves that slept late that
morning did not get to see the purple cloud mountains for they
burned off quickly and were gone. All that was left was a
beautiful first day of Fall, and the Elves were happy.


Editors Note:  This is actually a true story, and recounts a pagan gathering at Yellowood State Forest outside Bloomington, Indiana over the Fall Equinox of 1985.  The local sheriff's office was determine to bust the whole lot for drugs, or nudity, or . . .or something.  Blowtorch O'Dorf was in attendance and managed to inject himself into the situation. On that trip, Blowtorch became a member of the Elves of Lothlorian, and maintains his membership to this day  by never setting foot on the sacred grounds of Lothlorian.

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