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The Innkeeper's Clever Daughter

Popular with: Tarsikka, Tharici
Unpopular with: Akathia
Less known by: Oresund, Gaunt, Athral Isle, Principalities
Archtypes, if any: Trickster (1,2)
Variations, if any: NA

An innkeeper named Bella Aiana asked her customers whether they had ever seen a more beautiful woman than herself. When they said they had not, she cut the price for their stay in half, but one day, a traveller said that he had seen such a woman: her own daughter1. Bella Aiana doubled the price of his stay instead of halving it, and had her daughter shut up in a tower with a single window. Then one day Bella asked again whether her customers had seen a woman more beautiful than herself, and a traveller said that he had seen a more beautiful woman, looking from a tower. Bella Aiana asked the kitchen boy if he would marry her, and promised to do so if he killed her daughter. The kitchen boy led her daughter into the forest and killed a lamb in her place.

The daughter wandered until she saw twelve robbers order a cave open and shut: "Open up, desert!" and "Close up, desert!" She snuck inside and cleaned up the place, and then stole some of their food before hiding. The robbers set watch, but each robber waited outside for the person to sneak in, and so did not catch her. Finally, the chief robber2 waited inside and saw her hiding behind some sacks of loot. He told her not to be afraid: she could stay and be their little sister. They taught her their ways, until she was as good as one of the Thieves. But one day, a member of the band whose advances had been spurned by the girl went to Bella Aiana's inn, and told her that a girl they had with them was more beautiful than Bella.

Bella Aiana went to a witch-woman who begged every day from the inn, and promised her half her fortune if she could put an end to the daughter. The witch went into the forest as a pedlar, persuaded the girl to let her in, and while showing her a hair pin, attempted to thrust it into the girl's head. The girl, trained by the Thieves, avoided the blow and subdued the witch-woman, then waited for the rest of the robbers to return. Then she dressed in the witch's robes and went back to her mother's inn. Bella Aiana greeted her eagerly, hoping for news of her daughter's death. The daughter bade her lean closer, so that she could tell her the news, while the robbers snuck in and started stealing the inn blind. Bella leaned closer, and begged to see the weapon that the "witch" had used to kill the girl. The girl produced the pin from her robes. As Bella leaned closer, her daughter stabbed her through the eye with it, killing her instantly. Then she and the robbers carried her mother's fortune back to the cave, and lived happily ever after, as merry brigands.