There once was a shepard who had a doughter thought most cleaver and butifull. Together they lived very happily, but then one day the father fell sick. While many of the nearby healers took a look at his ilness and the templars could not have the gods help him. But so one day, came a raven who spoke of a stream whos water had the power to restore his health.
So upon the ravens word, she venture in serch for the magic water to save her father. Then one day in a deep forest she meet a enourmous bear who said to hold the cure, the sourse of the river, but if she wished it, then she had to take his hand in marrige. To this she agreed, and recived a small vial of water so clear it shimmered like the moonlight.
She promissed to return and went home to give the flask to her father. Once he had emptied the tiny a flask, as if a miracle, he arose from his illness as a man from sleep. Once the girl was asured of her fathers well being, she bad him farwell and was to leave, the father pleaded and wished for her to stay, but she only reminded him that she had given her word and to that she was bound.
And so she returned to the forest where the bear was awaiting, leading her to a castle most grand. He told her it was his keep, as he was the king of the forest and this is where she was to live with him. And so went the time, from spring to winter and back again. Each day the bear was away to rule his kingdom, while during the night he returned to his bride, sleeping beside her. Never was there a light in the castle but for that of the sunlight of day, no candels or any thing to help her light the nights eternal darkness.
The time did went on and so one day the girld felt most lonsome and wished that her father she could see. And so did the bear alowe, that she had one day to which she could visit him.
And so she traveled home, there she met her father, both happy to tears of the union. She told him of her time there and how well she had been treated by the king bear. The father himself still woried for her though of why he did not show himself during the night, thinking he was perhaps a troll or dragon in desguise he gave her a copper ring of all seing things and a candle.
Is she watched throw the ring upon her huspand in the night, she would see his true form. At first she was most agenst it, afraid to anger her husband, but after the father told her that there was no good faith from a deceever who hid himself in ilusions. And so she took what her father had given.
As she came back she hid the belongings. And as always, when night was upon them and the castle was without any light, then her husband the bear appared to have his evening supper, a second time the doughter doubted the actions of spying on that of her husband, and so she asked him: "To what do you think of people who hideth the trouth and twist with lies the honesty of others?".
To this the bear only said: "For liers I have nothing for but pitty as they dare not live life as they should". And with his awnser the girl was sure that the action was just. When the time was for bed she awaited his sleeping breath before she took the ring and candle and made it lit. In the flickering light she lifted the ring and through it, looked at her husband.
But what she saw was neigher bear nor a troll. But the spirit of a man, most virtues and good. But sudenly the shadows around them throw themself over the man, and swallowed him whole and then he was gone.
Devestated was she, as she now was alone. She started to cry, tears falling from her cheeks. From hearing the cry, came a raven so black, asking her what was so wrong. She told him what had happened, and to this gave he a sigh. Her husband was no one else, but the king Herald, who had been at war with the dark sourserous Wareth. The king had stuck a deadly blow to the dark mage, be he had not died then but was dying, as such had the king fleed and hid in the bodey of a bear as to avoid the warlock.
Now that she had found him so had the Wareth, and now he was captive hoping to gain the secret to the fountin of life. Devestated the girl asked the raven what she was to do, it told her that to defeat the dark mage, one had to find him in his hold, and stike him again in the same spot as the first strike had fallen.
The girl so began her journy to save her husband, and left for the warlocks dark keep. Far did she walk, through forest thick and plains so wide, then so one day she arived to a cotage of a old lady, there she was alowed to stay, if she cleaned the house and cook the food. The girl did such, being kind to the old lady and helped with what she was asked.
Once she was done the lady did ask, of what was her buisniss on such a journy as hers. The girl awnsered trouly, and told her story, to this the old crone took pitty on the girl. She so took out a sword, so rusty and old, and told that this sword could help on her quest, for it did strike only for love and for trouth. The girl most gratefull did thank her and bow, then taking of, back out on her journy.
Longer she walked over a mountin so cold, there in the pale, did she find the black keep of Wareth. Knocking on the heavy oaken doors she stood there waiting. A small frail man came to open the door and lead her in. She there walked through dark coridoors and black drapes, finaly she came to a grand throne room where sat the dark wizard, master of the keep.
With a clawed and crocked finger he pointed at her: "With what do you cary my child, for I do not allowe any wepons in my house". To which she awnsered: "I only cary with me a key to my love, one that can make him tell trouth always". At this did Wareth listen, as he had serched for a way to make his enemy speak.
"Bring it to me child, in return I will let you see your beloved king". To this she agreed, and so handed him the sword. He lead her down to tunnels so dark, that even the shadows hid in fear. There was her bear, bound to the walls, chained as the prissoner of the most horrid dark wizard.
"Now that thou has seen him you move out of the way." Shouted the horrid king. With a effort he lifted the sword and swinged it towards the bear. But instead of striking where the wizard intended, it struck the chains that held his captive in place. And so could the bear attack the wizard, and struch a second time. Thus destroying the wicked Wareth.
Now that the dark mage was no more, the king could shed his bear form and enbrace his wife as that of man. They then went home together and there lived all together with her father, forever and after, happy with love and trouth.
There are quite a few versions of this popular piece, though this is most ofthen referd to the original, the newer verssions rather tells the good King as a raven, ofthen refering to the lady life.
While many rather likes the older verssion, it is also ofthen seen as more obseen with a reference of the girl sharing bed with a large beast, and many versions ofthen telling of her having children. Even in some versions it was her oldest child and not herself that saved the king.
In some other popular versions the sword is told to be enchanted in a way so that when a persson who draws it is week of hart (evil or wicked) it is only a rusty sword or stick, while if one is good or true, it is the charpest and most powerful blade.