Lore of the Folk: Juniper Tree

Hello! Today’s card will revive your creatures in a very convoluted way.

As always, this fairytale was recently recounted in vlog form by Dael Kingsmill, and i highly recommend you watch it before you proceed to the card. I won’t be covering the whole tale in detail, only the aspects my card drew from, and she tells it far better than i ever could. Let’s get started!

 

Once upon a time, a woman loved her daughter and hated her stepson, as stereotypical stepmothers do. One day, as the stepson was grabbing an apple from their apple trunk, she slammed down the trunk’s lid on his head, decapitating him. Realizing this wasn’t terribly well thought, she propped up the child and tied his head to his body with a ribbon. She then told her daughter to go ask her brother for an apple, and to push him around if he doesn’t respond. The girl complied and, as she pushed the boy, his head promptly fell off. The mother accused the girl of murdering her brother, but reassured her that she had a plan: chopping up the boy into small pieces, she tossed them into boiling water and made a stew out of him.

Obviously still distressed about the whole thing, the daughter collected the boy’s bones and buried them beneath the juniper tree in their yard. Overnight, the tree began to rustle and mist started pouring out of it, which promptly burst into flames and birthed a beautiful bird. The bird flew across town, singing a song about a murderous mother, and the townsfolk were so enchanted that they showered the bird with gifts, one of them being a millstone. The bird returned home and started singing, eventually attracting the mother. As she walked beneath the tree, the bird dropped the millstone on her, killing her instantly, and transforming the bird back into the boy.

Juniper Tree

 

This is one of those storytelling cards i so enjoy, where the mechanics tell a story by themselves. The boy dies, and the tree transforms him into a bird; the boy’s killer dies, and the bird turns back into the boy. I made the bird a phoenix because it was born from fire and revived the boy, it seemed to make sense. The templating intentionally allows for shenanigans with non-token phoenixes you get from other sources.

Until next time!

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