One never expects the fanciful and fantastic to occur anywhere outside of stories. Only in legends and half forgotten memories do Gods ride upon the elements and heroes roam the world. So many places hold a relic, or even a spirit from ages past, it would be hard to believe any claims of authenticity, even if the fruits of those words stared one straight in the face.
Perhaps it is because of the fantastical nature of ancient ways that so many no longer believe the stories. They expect some great sword or powerful conjuror to be lurking around every corner, behind every tree, for so many hear the stories and think them such frequent occurrences that they must have been an every day thing, an every day lie.
How easily it is overlooked that these stories are so told and retold and echoed throughout the world is because they are so fantastical, but only after a step was taken. They are so memorable in their retelling, because they are so rare. That if it were everyday, the greatest story to be passed on to far flung generations, would be of a day where nothing happened, not even a breeze.
For not always do stories bring a smile, and seldom are they revealed from the beginning. On some days, it can be as simple as having greed, and happening by chance, to cross the path of a creature, nothing fantastical on outward appearance, save for something slightly unusual. Say, the witnessing a yellow fox run and stop upon the path before you.
How natural it is to marvel at such a thing, a yellow fox which lingers in place without flinching. A fox which stares without fear, but with eyes that hide their intentions, darkened as though viewing from within to stare at the soul of whomever would stare back.
And all at once, a voice appears in the mind of the beholder, as the yellow fox asks and assures, seeking out to desires and wishes of whomever it comes across. Seeking out one who would wish such things from a creature so strange and terrifying in its unassuming way.
A greedy man should think twice before answering any question posed to him of his desires at any time, let alone when faced with a creature beyond the realm of the lesser mortal world. And no man of any sense would think a yellow fox who speaks is from a world in which the lesser mortals roam freely.
How terrible a fate for those who fail to heed the ancient stories, not for what might happen, but for what will.
For there was such a greedy man to cross paths with a yellow fox in such a way, one whose sense of worth was greater than anything to which he would dare work. But the yellow fox is not a creature to be taken lightly, for it is no simple beast of arcane stock, but one of the races of vicious and violent faeries. A Clúanaire.
The greedy man would wish for wealth and riches to reflect his ego. And a Clúanaire would gladly use its vast power to grant such a desire, such a wish. But only ever at a price.
And the price for a Clúanaire can vary, but it is always only ever a one sided price. A price and warning so many are blinded by.
The greedy man wished in thought as the yellow fox gazed within him, for more gold than even the most powerful of kings so he might show his children that he, and they would reside in grandeur to the end of time.. The Clúanaire accepted this wish, but only if the man would cut enough gold for himself from a mountain made entirely of gold, and then cut the same amount for the Clúanaire.
So did the greedy man accept.
And in a whipping of the wind, a mist descended and arose about him, and there he stood before a mountain made entirely of gold. And upon the ground about him, tools with which to enact this task. And so he got to work.
In a day and a night, in a week and a month he cut and carved more gold than he had ever dreamed from cracks in the golden rock. And dutifully, he carved the same for the Clúanaire who had brought him to this fantastical place.
And when all was done, the man was sent back to the path upon which he met the yellow fox. A pile of gold beside him. A pile of gold he would have to hurriedly move from a path others could frequent to the home where he and his small children lived.
So he rushed, for hours and hours, praying all the while no other would come by to discover his fortune. Whether by the will of fate, or the power of something else, the man brought his pile of gold to his small home, where suddenly as he prepared himself to rest, he realized what he had done.
He had left two small children to fend for themselves as he carved gold from a mountain. They had starved in the time he was away, his ambition stripping him of what was most important, and blinding him to the value he already had.
His wish, however, would be granted by the hands of a skilled mason. All of his gold would go to stone and practiced hands who would create a mausoleum within a mountain. One of such beauty and colour that even the riches of kings might envy, forever to reside in grandeur. And buried alive in the mountain with his children, he would watch over them and beg their forgiveness until he too would succumb to death.
The Clúanaire are the most powerful of the faerie races. And unlike their cousins who would simply tear and consume flesh, the Clúanaire seek out no food. They indulge and entertain themselves by tearing apart the dreams and hopes of those they come across, and revelling in their misery.
But it is not always the Clúanaire who break dreams and shatter hopes. Sometimes they merely provide the tools for it to be done by one themselves. They simply watch the horrors unfold, much to their own delight.
So should you gaze upon a yellow fox, know that it is gazing back. And though you might not fear how it will choose to appear, you should fear anything that would offer you your dreams.