Saturday, 30 April 2016

Magical Items to Survive Grimm Brothers’ Fairyland (Type 6)

The Grimm Brothers’ Fairyland is full of weird and wonderful things that can catch anyone out. Here's one type of magical item you may want to keep in your fairy tale travel bag: Shield Charms! The items that fall under this category are the Golden Charms, Mountain Charms, Invisibility Cloak, Blood Pearl Blossom and Shapeshifter Wand.

Used correctly, Shield Charms have the ability to defend or protect you from harm without the need to resort to violence.

Golden Charms

The Golden Charms known to exist in Fairyland are the Gold Comb, Gold Flute and Gold Spinning Wheel. It’s unclear exactly what magical properties they hold, but as seen in Brothers Grimm fairy tale ‘The Nixie in the Pond’, they’re invaluable against malevolent nixies (water spirits).

‘The Nixie in the Pond’ tells of how a huntsman strayed too close to a nixie pond and was captured by the water spirit. When his wife discovered what had happened, she had a dream that saw herself finding a wise woman who could help her. The maiden would recount the steps she had taken in her dream and meet the wise woman three times. On each occasion, the wise woman would present her with a Golden Charm and instructions on how to use it.

Every time the maiden used a Golden Charm in front of the nixie pond, a little more of her husband would resurface, until at last he could break free from the nixie’s shackles.

Mountain Charms

The Mountain Charms known to exist in Fairyland are the Mountain Brush, Mountain Comb and Mountain Mirror. Where they came from is a mystery, but they proved very effective against a nixie in Brothers Grimm fairy tale ‘The Water Nixie’.

A little brother and sister managed to escape a nixie’s clutches with the help of Mountain Charms, which if thrown on the ground would become a wild and treacherous mountain range. The Mountain Brush would turn into bristly terrain. The Mountain Comb would turn into jagged, toothy rocks. The Mountain Mirror would turn into tall, pure glass that's impossible to climb over. Although the nixie overcame these obstacles with time, she had no hope of catching up with the children who had run far out of reach.

Invisibility Cloak

Fairyland is riddled with Invisibility Cloaks; you just have to be lucky enough to know were to look. Finding one means arming yourself with the most desirable device in the world of espionage.

An army veteran in Brothers Grimm fairy tale ‘The Worn-out Dancing Shoes’ was lucky enough to meet a wise woman who had an Invisibility Cloak to spare. The story centres around twelve princesses who liked to sneak out at night to go partying. As any good dad would do, the king challenged men across the country to spy on his girls when they went to bed and find out where they go every night. Thanks to the wise woman’s generosity, the army veteran took up the challenge and won.

If you’re not lucky enough to find such a nice wise woman, then you may be lucky enough to find three people fighting over an Invisibility Cloak. That’s what happened to the lead characters in Brothers Grimm fairy tales ‘The King of the Golden Mountain’ and ‘The Raven’. The former sees a king run off with the inheritance of three giants, while the latter sees a man run off with the spoils of three thieves.

The king in ‘The King of the Golden Mountain’ used the Cloak to sneak back into his castle. When he discovered his wife had been unfaithful, he delivered his revenge (being invisible was a great advantage).

The man in ‘The Raven’ sought to free a princess from an enchanted castle that sat, out of reach, on top of a glass mountain. After fooling the robbers into letting him don the Invisibility Cloak, he stole the last magical items he needed to rescue the princess.

Blood Pearl Blossom

In Fairyland, there’s no such thing as a spell that cannot be broken. The Blood Pearl Blossom has the ability to make enchantments disappear and was used against the sorceress in Brothers Grimm fairy tale ‘Jorinda and Joringel’.

The story is about a pair of lovers who wandered too close to the sorceress’ castle. Ensnared in the sorceress’ spell, the man was paralysed on the spot. The maiden was transformed into a bird and held prisoner in the castle. Since the sorceress got what she wanted, she released the man, who dreamt of finding a blood-red flower with a beautiful pearl at its centre. The man scoured the land for the Blood Pearl Blossom, and when he found it, he used it to clear away the sorceress’ magic and save his beloved.

Shapeshifter Wand

If you had to run away in Fairyland, what’s the one magical item you should take with you? Most Fairylanders would pick the Shapeshifter Wand.

Brothers Grimm fairy tales ‘Sweetheart Roland’, ‘Okerlo’ and ‘The Two Kings' Children’ all feature a pair of lovers running for their lives. The maiden in ‘Sweetheart Roland’ stole the Shapeshifter Wand from her stepmother, who happened to be a wicked witch. In ‘Okerlo’, to escape an island of cannibals, the maiden grabbed a Shapeshifter Wand along with other magical items. Interestingly, the maiden in ‘The Two Kings' Children’ doesn’t find a Shapeshifter Wand – she performs the magic herself.

For each of these stories, the magic of the Shapeshifter Wand was used to change the couple into different guises: flower; lake; duck; fiddler; pond; swan; rosebush; bee; church; pastor; fish. Every transformation took them further away from those in pursuit of them and all the more closer to happy-ever-after.

Shield Charms offer both protection and freedom until a thief comes along to use them against you. Sometimes, the most powerful asset in Fairyland is a strong and loyal ally. My next post will cover the best magical allies you can have.

Sunday, 24 April 2016

Magical Items to Survive Grimm Brothers’ Fairyland (Type 7)

The Grimm Brothers’ Fairyland is full of weird and wonderful things that can catch anyone out. Here's one type of magical item you may want to keep in your fairy tale travel bag: Wicked Weaponry!

Grade C

Grade C Wicked Weapons includes the Attacking Club and Ring of Strength.

In Brothers Grimm fairy tale ‘The Magic Table, the Golden Donkey, and the Club in the Sack’, a woodturner was given an Attacking Club (complete with sack) at the end of his apprenticeship. If he had an enemy he wanted to beat senseless, he could call the Club out of the sack to do the beating for him. Things worked out well; he used the Attacking Club against the greedy innkeeper who stole his brothers’ magical items.

Rings of Strength can be found in a poorly protected enchanted garden. In Brothers Grimm fairy tale ‘The Prince Who Feared Nothing’, a princess told a giant that she’d accept his hand in marriage if he obtained an apple from the Tree of Life. The giant was at a loss until he met a courageous prince, whom he challenged to retrieve an apple for him.

The lucky prince found the garden and passed the animal guards that happened to be asleep. He climbed the iron gate and reached the Tree of Life. To pick an apple, he had to put his hand through the Ring of Strength that hung in front of it. Once the apple was in his grasp, the Ring of Strength closed around his arm and gave him power that could match that of a giant’s. It also seemed to give him command over the animal guards – one of the lions decided to follow him home.

Grade B

These Wicked Weapons include the One-Shot Gun, Victor’s Sword, Soldier Knapsack and Cannon Hat. They can destroy your enemy with minimal effort on your part.

A magic gnome from Brothers Grimm fairy tale ‘The Jew in the Thornbush’ granted a servant three wishes; one thing the servant asked for was a One-Shot Gun, which as the name implies, can hit a target in one shot. The servant used it to shoot a pretty bird out of a tree (it was a waste of a wish, if you ask me).

The Victor’s Sword can be found inside an enchanted castle. In ‘The Water of Life’, a prince was on a quest to find the Water of Life that would cure his dying father. With the help of a magic dwarf, the prince navigated the dangerous castle and emerged with treasures that included the Victor’s Sword, which had the power to overcome entire armies. He was good enough to lend it to three war-stricken kingdoms, each of which were good enough to give it back.

If you’re ever wanting of a Soldier Knapsack or Cannon Hat, according to Brothers Grimm fairy tale ‘The Knapsack, the Hat, and the Horn’, just find men who burn charcoal for a living. In this story, a traveller stumbled upon a Magic Tablecloth in the woods. He displayed its worth to a charcoal burner, who eagerly gave up his Soldier Knapsack in exchange for it. Tapping the Soldier Knapsack with your hand made seven armed soldiers climb out and follow your every command. The traveller used them to get his Magic Tablecloth back.

Then the traveller met another charcoal burner, who wanted to trade his Cannon Hat for the traveller’s Magic Tablecloth. Naturally, the traveller accepted and used the Soldier Knapsack to get his Magic Tablecloth back.

Things got out of hand when the traveller was disowned by his brothers for looking like a tramp. In a rage, the traveller declared war and summoned hundreds of armed men from the Soldier Knapsack. It didn’t help when the king’s army stepped in; the traveller used his Cannon Hat (which if worn and turned upon your head, will bring the firepower of twelve cannons upon your enemy) and devastated the royal troops.

Grade A

The Decapitating Sword, Army Horn and Horn of Destruction are all Wicked Weapons that inflict total annihilation in one messy sweep.

The Decapitating Sword requires even less effort than the Victor’s Sword. Just tell it to chop off everyone’s head except your own, and the deed is done. Brothers Grimm fairy tale ‘The King of the Golden Mountain’ sees a king outwit a trio of giants, who were squabbling over their inheritance, which included the Decapitating Sword. The king used the giants’ magical items to go home, only to find that his wife had betrayed him. As his people took arms against him, he called upon the Decapitating Sword to take off everyone’s head except his own. He became king again, but it wasn’t clear how many of his subjects still had heads.

In Brothers Grimm fairy tale ‘The Long Nose’, the Army Horn was one of three gifts given to a trio of army veterans by a magic dwarf. The Army Horn has the power to summon military forces from across the land and was used to threaten the princess who had stolen two of the veterans’ magical items. Unfortunately, the veterans were later duped of the Army Horn, too.

If you’ve had enough of war games, it’s time to use the Horn of Destruction – a Wicked Weapon with the power to wipe out entire settlements. It was the last magical item that the traveller acquired from a charcoal burner in ‘The Knapsack, the Hat, and the Horn’. In a final act of revenge against those who had betrayed him, the traveller blew the Horn of Destruction and reduced towns and cities far and wide to rubble and debris. Then the traveller made himself king of rubble and debris.

Get carried away with Wicked Weaponry and you’ll find nothing but wasteland at your feet. Is defence the best offence in Fairyland? Find out in my next post!

Saturday, 16 April 2016

Magical Items to Survive Grimm Brothers’ Fairyland (Type 8)

The Grimm Brothers’ Fairyland is full of weird and wonderful things that can catch anyone out. Here's one type of magical item you may want to keep in your fairy tale travel bag: Easy Money! The items that fall under this category are the Gold Animals, Genie’s Handkerchief and Bottomless Money Bag.

Gold Animals


In Brothers Grimm fairy tale ‘The Magic Table, the Golden Donkey, and the Club in the Sack’, a tailor’s son was rewarded a Gold Donkey for his services. He only had to put the Gold Donkey on some cloth and say “bricklebrit” and the magical creature would secrete gold pieces from its front end and back end.

Who gave the lad such a marvellous animal? A miller. I can’t help but wonder if this miller had the sense to breed a herd of Gold Donkeys first.

Let’s set our sights on a creature that’s literally worth its weight in gold: a Golden Bird. The poor broom-maker from Brothers Grimm fairy tale ‘The Two Brothers’ was lucky enough to see one in the woods, so he threw rocks at it. The Golden Bird may have feathers made of gold, and it may lay eggs made of gold, and it may somehow find a way to live in a tree despite its weight in gold, but being dumb as a dodo, it’s easy to catch (seriously: the broom-maker finds and attacks it on three separate occasions).

If you eat a Golden Bird's liver and heart, every morning you’ll find a gold coin under your pillow (a bird that possesses this power also appears in ‘The Lettuce Donkey’). Too bad nobody thinks about hatching the Golden Bird egg first.

(Added: 14/05/2016) The most highly prized Gold Animal of all has to be the Golden Fish. A fisherman in Brothers Grimm fairy tale ‘The Golden Children’ was lucky enough to catch one in his net (but just like the Golden Bird, it probably isn’t that hard to catch if the same fisherman managed to snag it three times).

In exchange for freedom, the Golden Fish granted the fisherman a magnificent castle and a lifetime of fine dining. Nobody could know how these things had come to be, or else the fortune would vanish. Unfortunately, the fisherman had a weak resolve and his wife was stubborn and nosy. Fortunately, the Golden Fish also had a weak resolve; he supplied the fisherman with another castle and more food.

When the nosy wife made the riches disappear a second time, the fisherman caught the Golden Fish a third time. Clearly, the Golden Fish had lost the will to live by this stage – he gave the fisherman specific instructions on how to cut and eat him, allowing the fisherman and his wife more permanent gifts that included Golden Lilies, Golden Horses and Golden Children. If only the couple in 'The Fisherman and his Wife' were so lucky...

Genie’s Handkerchief

In Brothers Grimm fairy tale ‘The Spirit in the Glass Bottle’, a student out-smarted a vengeful genie and returned him to the bottle that was his prison. In exchange for freedom, the genie gave the student a magical piece of cloth.

If you placed one end of the cloth over an injury, the wound would heal. If you rubbed the other end of the cloth against steel or iron, it would turn the metal into silver. Use the Genie’s Handkerchief wisely, and you could become a famous and wealthy “doctor”.

Bottomless Money Bag

This can be obtained from a magic dwarf who happens to take pity on you; at least this was what happened to the three army veterans in Brothers Grimm fairy tale ‘The Long Nose’. It's quite simply a small bag that never runs out of gold pieces. You’re set for life – just keep it out of reach of princesses who aren’t satisfied with their lot (as we know, there are lots of them).

Easy Money’s great until somebody stabs you in the back for it. Besides, greed rarely goes unpunished in Fairyland. See what other magical items there are in my next post!

Saturday, 9 April 2016

Magical Items to Survive Grimm Brothers’ Fairyland (Type 9)

The Grimm Brothers’ Fairyland is full of weird and wonderful things that can catch anyone out. Here's one type of magical item you may want to keep in your fairy tale travel bag: The Curse of a Vengeful Imp! The items that fall under this category are the Dance-fever Fiddle, Donkey Lettuce and Nose Apple.

Let’s be crystal clear: None of these items have been described as curses and they haven’t actually been used by an angry imp. I just think calling them Curses of a Vengeful Imp is fitting. All were used to exact a cruel, twisted and bizarre revenge – without a drop of violence. Well, violence usually follows a Curse of a Vengeful Imp, but the Curse itself doesn’t draw blood.

Dance-fever Fiddle

The servant from Brothers Grimm fairy tale ‘The Jew in the Thornbush’ shows kindness to a magic dwarf, who rewards him with three wishes. For some reason (along with a One-shot Gun and the power to make people do as he wants), the servant asks for a Dance-fever Fiddle.

When the servant meets a man who happens to be a Jew who happens to be a criminal, he plays the Dance-fever Fiddle and makes the man dance in thornbushes. The matter’s taken to court, where the servant makes everyone dance until the judge lets him off the hook. Anyone else think that nothing about this “kind” servant makes sense?

Donkey Lettuce

Brothers Grimm fairy tale ‘The Lettuce Donkey’ is where a huntsman falls blindly in love with a maiden, who ends up stealing his magical items. You can’t blame the maiden: her witch mother told her to do it.

A wander into a vegetable garden later and the huntsman discovers the Donkey Lettuce. He nabs a bunch and feeds it to the witch, the maiden and their servant girl (who happens to be there). The women turn into donkeys and they’re left with a miller, who has to beat the witch donkey three times a day (she’s the mastermind), beat the servant girl donkey once a day (she happens to be there) and beat the maiden donkey zero times a day (she’s too pretty).

When the witch donkey dies, the huntsman has a change of heart. After feeding them Remedy Donkey Lettuce, the servant girl and the maiden become human again.

Nose Apple

In Brothers Grimm fairy tale ‘The Long Nose’, a magic dwarf gives three poor army veterans three magic items, but these items are stolen by a princess who really likes other people’s stuff. Fortunately, one of the veterans eats some Nose Apples and his nose grows more than sixty miles long. The magic dwarf reappears and points him to Nose Pears, which make long noses fall off.

Following the magic dwarf’s advice, the veterans trick the princess into eating Nose Apples, which make the princess’s nose grow long enough to wrap around the entire castle. One of the veterans impersonates a doctor and punishes the princess for a day or two by playing around with Nose Apple Powder and Nose Pear Powder. He claims the Powder can’t cure her unless she returns what she has stolen.

Curses of a Vengeful Imp are handy when you want to teach somebody a lesson, but if you really want to survive Fairyland, forget dealing petty revenge: more powerful magical items are waiting to be found! Discover what they are in my next post.

Saturday, 2 April 2016

Magical Items to Survive Grimm Brothers’ Fairyland (Type 10)

The Grimm Brothers’ Fairyland is full of weird and wonderful things that can catch anyone out. Here's one type of magical item you may want to keep in your fairy tale travel bag... If you're a princess, I guess: The Dressmaking Nut!

Yes. If you happen to be a lost princess in Fairyland, somebody may give you a dressmaking nut to save your life (change your life would be more accurate, but not as dramatic). Actually, the Brothers Grimm fairy tales don't say it's the nut that makes the dress. Somebody else, most likely a fairy godmother, could have made the dress and put it inside the nut for safe-keeping.

Either way, a forsaken princess needs to make a big impression if she wants to win back her one true love. Whenever the Grimm Brothers’ Cinderella wanted a new dress, she’d weep at her mother’s grave until a bird made one for her (or finds one for her... Again, it's unclear who does the dressmaking). Other poor maidens get their beautiful dresses from nuts (the same way you get a little toy from a chocolate Kinder Surprise egg).

In Brothers Grimm fairy tale ‘The Two Kings’ Children’, a king and queen refused to bless their daughter’s wish to marry a prince (they wanted to marry off her two older sisters first). The young couple ran away and outsmarted the king and queen who chased after them. As a peace-offering, the queen gave her daughter three dressmaking walnuts.

The princess from Brothers Grimm fairy tale ‘The Iron Stove’ received her dressmaking nuts from hospitable toads who lived in a cottage in the middle of the woods (you guessed it: the toads are really princes and princesses and the cottage is really an enormous castle).

For some reason, one magical ballgown isn't enough. A princess needs three dresses, each more spectacular and stunning than the last, to make her special someone fall head over heels for her. That's why she gets three dressmaking nuts.

The gift of a dressmaking nut is every girly girl's dream, but not every tomboy's or man's, so this type of magical item is ranked in tenth place. Find out what else you can use in Fairyland in my next post!