It is unknown where this legend first originated. However, it has become an integral part of Solinar folklore in recent years. Every child and parent knows the story of the Ogre Hermit, made popular by the children's author, David P. Matthews.
Said to lurk just outside Solinar upon the nearby hills, the Ogre Hermit preys upon the ogres that once inhabited the region. However, the Ogre Hermit prizes the flesh of children above all else, and will often lure its victims to its hill in order to feast. As long as children don't venture out after dark, however, they are safe from the Ogre Hermit's clutches. This creature is said to have the legs and hooves of a goat, the eyes of a lizard, the wings of a bat, the torso and head of a man, suckers on its fingers, and long, pointed fangs. It is also said to be able to breath greenish gas, which is able to put its victims to sleep.
David P. Matthews first wrote his famed story in the year 5006, and it has appeared in several different anthologies since them. Since it is the earliest account of the Ogre Hermit in a story, the text is provided below:
The Ogre Hermit
“Come back here!”
The angry shouts rang across the cobbled streets of Solinar as a portly man ran after two children; his puffy cheeks turned bright red as he wheezed,“You need to pay for that!”
The children ran faster at that, their arms full of the produce they had taken from the man’s food stall as they wove their ways through the thinning crowd of people in the market, their feet pounding hard against the street.
“I said come back here!”
The merchant finally stopped, putting his hands on his knees as he continued wheezing before raising a fist and shaking it at the children. The miscreants themselves were quickly were lost to sight in the crowd.
The twilight sun, outlined by a darkening purple sky, cast dark, long shadows along the plains of Solinar. A gentle breeze made the grass on the plains bow while the great tree rustled in mild approval. As the last rays caught the pristine walls of the city, causing the rough rock to glow pink in the dying light, two small figures could be seen slipping out of the gates.
“Wow was he gullible.” The tousled, blonde haired boy grinned at his companion as he tossed her an apple to eat.
The girl nodded, her tangled black, curly hair framing a dirty face as she slowly turned the apple in her hands.
“Do ya think we should be out here after dark, though?”
“Yeah. Why not? Not like that merchant is gonna come out here. Even if he did, there’s no orphanage to drag us back to, is there? Burned down, didn’t it?”
“Guess ya gotta point, Tom…but..what about those stories?”
“Ya mean the Ogre Hermit? I can’t believe ya believe that stuff.” Tom scoffed as he bit into a pear.
“But Jenny said…”
“Jenny’s got less in her head than ya do for believing that, Lorie.”
Lorie continued turning the apple in her grubby hands, her curls hiding her face.
“But she said that’s what happened to Leo…the Ogre Hermit ate him.”
Tom rolled his eyes, wiping his mouth with the back of his hand. “Listen, Lorie. There’s no such thing. The Ogre Hermit is just a story nobles use to frighten their spoiled brats.”
Lorie nodded slowly, carefully biting into the apple and chewing as stars appeared one by one, the moon leisurely making her celestial course across the sky.
The wind slowly picked up, blowing the children’s hair back from their faces as they huddled together against the chill night. It was then that a loud rumbling came from the hills, silhouetted against the starlight overlooking the plains of Solinar.
Tom stood up, looking towards the hills as he wiped his hands on his patched, too short pants. “Did ya hear that?”
Lorie slowly stood up as well, her blue eyes wide. “What was it?”
“I dunno but I wanna find out.”
“But it sounded kinda scary…are ya sure?”
“’Course. Might be a rock slide or something really neat like that.”
Tom grinned “You worry waaay too much. Now c’mon already.”
Tom jogged across the plains, at times stopping to tease his friend for being so afraid.
“What? Afraid the Ogre Hermit will getcha?”
Lorie shuffled her feet as she followed behind, glancing apprehensively up at the dark hills as they loomed closer.
A they reached the foot of the hills, they suddenly heard what sounded like hooves clopping against stone.
“What’s that?” Lorie glanced around fearfully.
“Ain’t nothing, Lorie. Betcha it’s just some mountain goat or something.”
The noise suddenly stopped as they spoke.
“See? Betcha we scared it off.”
“Can we go now? I really don’t like this.”
“Sure…as soon as I see the rock slide.”
Lorie stuck out her lower lip, pouting slightly as she continued following Tom.
“What about the ogres?”
“Don’t gotta worry about those…they go to sleep at night.”
Suddenly Tom stopped, pointing at a place where it looked like a rather large number of rocks had tumbled down the hillside.
“See? Isn’t that neat?”
He scrambled across the rocks, pointing to a place where one of the boulders had cracked to reveal a streak of quartz running through it.
“See? Wasn’t it worth coming out here? And nothing bad even happened.”
Tom looked back towards Lorie, grinning; but his grin slowly faded as he noticed the look of terror on her face. He slowly followed her gaze to look upwards where he saw the silhouette of a man with what looked like goat legs. He froze.
The figure jumped downwards at lightning speed, his goat legs nimbly maneuvering the fallen rocks.
“Good little girls and boys shouldn’t be up this late.”
Lorie took a few steps back. “It’s the…”
“Ogre Hermit?” The figure laughed coldly, tapping his fingers against one another. A sickly sticking noise came from them as he did so, as if he actually had suckers on his hands. The Ogre Hermit then moved quickly to stand in front of Tom, who was still frozen in terror. He grinned at the child, showing his fangs. “Good little girls and boys don’t steal, either.”
Then he slowly turned to look at Lorie who stared at him a moment before running quickly back down the hills.
“Not so fast.”
The Ogre Hermit leapt to stand in front of the girl, opening his mouth before breathing a large amount of greenish gas in her face. Lorie swayed for a moment, staring at the Ogre Hermit and gasping before collapsing to the ground.
Tom picked up a rock from the ground, throwing it at the creature.
“Nice try, kid.”
The Ogre Hermit nimbly dodged the rock, rushing towards the child.
The cold stars twinkled in the dark blanket of night as the wind ceased its blowing. A scream echoed across the plains, yet the only one that heard it was an owl who let out a lonely cry before starting from its perch and flying into the chill night.
Be warned. The terror that lurks in the back of your mind, that darkness which haunts your thoughts only waits for a portal to escape. Leave no room for causes of that terror, no room for bad deeds, and the Ogre Hermit will not haunt your nights.