Worldbuilding June Day 10: Traditions

A day late as I was looking after my niece and nephew yesterday.

So anyway, the town of Irongate does have a few of it’s own local legends and traditions.  One story is of a man running from a lynch mob.  Already beaten and exhausted, he collapsed under an oak, the mob close behind.  He prayed for salvation but passed out from his wounds, certain he would soon be found.  When he awoke, the mob had passed him by.  The man became convinced that the tree or a spirit dwelling within had answered his prayers and shielded him from their sight.  To this day people often leave prayers and offerings to the tree.  Children especially often make wishes by the tree in the hope of being answered.

Witches also feature prominently in local folklore, with tales from the nineteenth century and even earlier of a coven who met in the area and of course would consult with Satan and cast curses on good christian people.  It turns out there was some truth to this story, except that no witches or devils were ever involved.  Instead, there was a secret society composed of women and men who, for reasons of gender and race, were denied the same education as white men.  They met to read and teach each other subjects such as physics and philosophy.  They did once accidentally burn down a barn but that was the limit of the destruction they wrought.  Lately in town there has been talk of building some kind of monument to them.

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