34 Votes


Hits: 30470
Comments: 40
Ideas: 0
Rating: 4.9853
Condition: Normal
ID: 459


October 28, 2005, 2:47 am

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Michael Jotne Slayer
Ancient Gamer (2x)

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Boots Too Fine for the Earth


“Yes, these boots are very fine,” said Smoke’s Empty Lens, “But I do not care for them, nor for you.”
Firefly River wept a single tear and went away…

There lived, on an island called Guu, a girl, who’s name was Firefly River. Firefly River was a small girl, who had not seen sixteen years, and most agreed that she had not all her wits. Her father, for all his effort, had no success in marrying her to a good man, and, though he loved his daughter, began to despair of ever getting her into a fine hearth and motherhood.

There lived also, on the island of Guu, a man, who’s name was Smoke’s Empty Lens, who had seen one-and-twenty years, and most agreed that he was handsome to behold, but vain, and prideful. Smoke’s Empty Lens worked in the village that lay on the beach in Guu, and wove the cord walls of the villagers’ homes.

As vicious Luck would have it, Firefly River fell for the handsome, vain, prideful man named Smoke’s Empty Lens, and every day, she left the home of her father and went to the village to watch Smoke’s Empty Lens as he wove cord walls.
One day, as Smoke’s Empty Lens sat, weaving a line of cord into a frame for a newcomer’s house, Firefly River, who he thought strange and soft-brained, approached, bearing in her hands a pair of boots, made from red-painted cord and barkcloth.

To he said Firefly River:
“I have made for you a pair of boots, to grace your fine feet, that, perhaps, you may care for me.”

Smoke’s Empty Lens took the boots, and looking them over, sneered.
To her said he:
“What need have I of these? What audacity, for you to present me with such a shoddy present!”

Smoke’s Empty Lens tossed the boots into the flames of his cord-baking fire, and went back to his work.

After one week, Firefly River returned to the village, and this time, she bore in her hands a pair of boots, made from yellow sharkskin and sloth-leather, delicately engraved with fine designs. She brought these boots to Smoke’s Empty Lens and said:
“I have made for you a pair of boots, finer than the last. Perhaps now you will care for me.”

Smoke’s Empty Lens admitted to himself that these boots were indeed fine. But he was as prideful as a great sea-eagle, and this great pride would not allow him to accept these boots from this girl he had spurned. Stupid, soft-brained girl, he thought, and said:
“Yes, these boots are fine, but I do not care for them, nor for you.”

And with that he tossed these boots, too, into his cord-baking fire.

Firefly River swallowed a lump of grief, and went away.
After one month, Firefly River returned to the village, and this time, she bore in her hands a pair of boots, made from black leather, tooled in beautiful flying cranes, buckled with green jade, and inlayed with green, also. It was obvious that she had spent much time and property to create them. These she brought to Smoke’s Empty Lens and said:
“I have brought you these boots, that are very fine, that you may perhaps care for me.”

Smoke’s Empty Lens could see that these boots were fit for a prince, and he battled long moments with his pride. But as a prideful husband will not admit defeat in an argument, so did Smoke’s Empty Lens give in to pride. And said he:
“Yes, these boots are very fine, but I do not care for them, nor for you.”

Once more were the beautiful boots surrendered to the greedy cord-baking fire.

Firefly River shed a single tear, and, turning away, left him.

Five more times did Firefly River come to Smoke’s Empty Lens, bearing boots more and more beautiful. Smoke’s Empty Lens, though he saw the wonderful boots, and though he found Firefly River’s devotion touching, his pride was his emperor.

Finally, after two years of near-absence from the village, Firefly River emerged from the home of her father. In the intervening years, Firefly River had blossomed into a beautiful woman, with shining hair and fair face. In her hands she bore a pair of boots so wondrous that all gasped at the sight.

She went to Smoke’s Empty Lens and said:
“I have made a pair of boots.”
Smoke’s Empty Lens replied:
“Have we not done this a thousand suns before?”

Firefly River said:
“No. For you see, these boots are not for you. These boots are mine.”
And, in so saying, Firefly River donned the boots, and, being so wondrously beautiful, the boots shunned the earth, and she strode away into the air, to find herself a love that was true.


The Boots Too Fine for the Earth are wondrously made boots, made from materials resplendent and glorious. They are made from silk and sharkskin, and intricately-tooled leather, and jade, and gold, and silver. They are amazing to behold, and are velvet-soft on the foot.

Magical Properties:

The Boots Too Fine for the Earth are so beautiful that they refuse to touch the ground.
At all times, the Boots float four to five inches off the ground. They repel away from all surfaces that are non-organic. Thus, dirt, stone, metal, magma, and mud all are too sublunary to bare the step of these boots.

Walking in the air in the Boots is an awkward affair to the untrained. The air is slippery and near-frictionless to the step, and those who trip, slip, or fall, find themselves lying upon the ground, with their feet in the air.
The Boots do not repel away from plants, cord, wood, bark, water, or living things.

Jumping in the Boots is normal, however, the jump ends four to five inches off the ground.

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Comments ( 40 )
Commenters gain extra XP from Author votes.

April 20, 2004, 22:44
Brilliant. Just... brilliant. *Wipes a tear from his eye*

An awesome story behind it, An interesting thought that the boots are not magically enhanced, as such, but are simply... so fine. The use of levitation would be most useful when traversing across dangerous terrain or trigger-plates of traps.
A definite 5/5 from me.
Ria Hawk
April 20, 2004, 23:39
I love it. It's great. I wonder though... was there any further repercussions for Smoke's Empty Lens?
April 21, 2004, 2:50
They are magical... the magic coming not from some cheap spell, but rather from the devotion and striving of a shunned girl. A masterwork item, that does not need any special power.

Definitely a 5/5. Whether as an item, or a legend to be told to the children and youths, of pride and true love. This story will be told in my campaign.
April 21, 2004, 4:12
I agree with everyone who's already commented. There's nothing else to say. Truly excellent.
April 21, 2004, 17:41
Better than Fiery-Feathered Phembu's Better Feathers and One-Thousand Groans for a Laugh?
Silas the Destroyer
April 22, 2004, 14:03
Pengu, you never cease to amaze me. Between the "Three Glorious Legends", as I call them now, they are all incredibly useful. Fiery-Feathered Phembu's Better Feathers are more useful as an item than a legend, as is Boots Too Fine for the Earth. One-Thousand Groans for a Laugh, however, works great as a child's faerie tale gone terribly wrong. However, they are all unbelievably great stories. ^^
Obsidian Shadow
April 25, 2004, 5:04
Damn. S'all I can say.Damn. 10 outta' freakin 10!
Melvins Cat
April 26, 2004, 23:00
Wonderful story & item. I plan to use both very soon in my game.
thanks captain.
July 28, 2004, 23:18
Voted Chaosmark
November 6, 2005, 21:37
Absolutely stunning. 5/5
Voted Ancient Gamer
November 9, 2005, 11:31
One of my favourite tales from V1. Leave it to CaptainPenguin to create the post with most pure 5 votes on this entire site. Indeed his stuff IS the best on the entire site.
Voted krome
November 10, 2005, 0:44
I realize this is an old post, but I'm new to it, and I'd like to say again that it's marvellous.

Of course, 5/5.
Voted manfred
November 10, 2005, 6:20
This post is not old... it is ageless. Wish I could do things like this!
Voted Mourngrymn
November 18, 2005, 15:38
Ditto to everyone above...

HOH +1
Voted Roack
November 29, 2005, 21:06
And Captain Penguin did aooroach the citadel with the Boots Too Fine for the Earth, and the Citadel did weep at his beautiful story, and he recieved nothing short out of five out of five.
If the Rating system allowed it, I would have voted higher.
Voted MoonHunter
January 28, 2006, 10:58
You know, I have been looking at this post for ages. I have seen all the adoration and such heaped upon it. I almost felt bad about thinking it was not a 5.

I finally got over it.

It is nicely written and fairly complete and very story like. But I still do not like it.

I really do not like this post for a couple of reasons.

More of a mythological story than an actual item. And there is no reason for the item remaining to a) be anywhere on the Earth or b) it was a long time ago.

The psuedo Atzlan/ Aztec names bother me. The island name bothers me.

These both create a cascade of other annoying pieces. So I am sorry. I just don't see it as a 5/5. So I voted.
Ancient Gamer
January 28, 2006, 15:32

*Fetches tar and a barrel filled with feathers*

Fallen Angel
March 21, 2010, 18:57
Well at least you voted conscience.

Props for not herd following. (Despite the fact that I loved the item. Granted it works more as a myth than a creation story. (Since most systems would require these be mere magicked items.)

The girl would make a good feminist-protohero as well as a mage. (Weaving magic, obviously.)
Voted Scrasamax
January 28, 2006, 11:14
I think that the story is superb, the stuff that makes for good in game myths, this young girl could later go on to great things, etc etc and I could pronounce all of the names in the post. In that, it would be easy to change the names to something else to integrate this tale, and the attached boots into almost any game setting.
Voted Murometz
February 20, 2006, 18:49
Only voted
Voted Ria Hawk
April 9, 2006, 19:04
Only voted
Voted Dozus
July 12, 2006, 20:10
Why haven't I voted on this before? It's a beautiful story, and a fine item.
September 1, 2006, 11:49
Great history and a simple, yet useful power (something I have a great affinity for...)

Good job!
December 30, 2006, 1:06
Bumpage! Great story, with an interesting item attached. *grins*
Voted Jarons20
January 2, 2007, 21:09
Only voted
Voted dark_dragon
May 7, 2007, 19:29
Only voted
Voted Michael Jotne Slayer
November 20, 2007, 19:20
I have always enjoyed this piece very much and I thought that I had voted on this way back. But appearantly I didn't. Error corrected.
Voted klauston
January 18, 2009, 23:53
As I'm new here, this is the first time I've read this piece. Very nice story behind the boots. I look forward to submitting a story that reaches this level. A definite 5/5.
Voted freebooter
June 3, 2009, 6:56
Stunningly written. So much thought has gone into this submission. Very, very nice :)
Voted Lockheed
July 7, 2009, 1:34
yay for a magic item that works the way they do in stories!
Voted Fallen Angel
March 21, 2010, 18:53
*follows herd*
Voted Kassy
March 25, 2010, 3:05
A work of mastery once again from CP.


+1 HoH

Keep it up!
July 18, 2011, 1:28

I think this item is quite useful with a beautiful story, but I would like to see how it is introduced into a plot or how it has more realistic than mythical impact on a world. 

Voted PoisonAlchemist
August 18, 2011, 4:59
Only voted
Voted Capashin
March 23, 2013, 15:50
Only voted
Voted eleclipse
February 11, 2014, 2:05
I love this.
Voted valadaar
July 29, 2016, 11:41
Updating vote to full 5.
Voted Mageek
July 30, 2016, 15:14

The names are somewhat different and captivating.
December 7, 2016, 14:44
A fine fable, one of the first submissions I read here. Still rings beautiful.


Random Idea Seed View All Idea Seeds

Zelda's Law

       By: Scrasamax

Game Cliche 2.

Upon learning about "the five ancient jewels" or "the nine legendary icons" or whatever, you can be quite confident that Saving the World will require you to go out and find every last one of them.

Ideas  ( Plots ) | May 1, 2006 | View | UpVote 5xp

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