Standing behind a bar, I can make a drink that will have you crying “Ambrosia is nothing to this!” and set you thirsting for it’s like for many nights and days to come. “The man who mixed that drink was, surely, no man at all,” you’ll mutter some time to a brindled cat as the two of you hide in the shadows, and you’ll be speaking truly.
A corpse, still astonished to be so suddenly reft of life,falls to the ground while, a mile or more away, the gun that shot him clatters down a chimney. “The man was never born who could make such a shot!” say the police, and they have the right of it.
I can tell you a story that will break your heart in pieces and then mend it so you’ll be a different man entirely. I can fit you with a pair of shoes that will take you off the path the fates carefully marked out for you and bring you safe through a thousand dangers. All this I can do; all this I have done.
But I do not make toys. I have been an unlikely savior, myself having no soul, and a skilled crafter of deep damnation. There are few tasks I have not set my hand to, and none which I cannot do past perfection. Save only this one. Nothing I make opens its wooden beak and quacks when a three year old pulls it on a string. No dolls, no tops, no robotic wonders that imitate life to make a child laugh.
Nor ever have I known an elf that does such work. Your enemy’s downfall? No better accomplice can you find, look where you will. A song to shake a king off his throne? The price will be high, but the last notes the king hears as his head falls in the basket will be of our composing. A dream to set you seeking down strange roads for treasures you’ll never see by day’s own light? Anytime, and no charge at all. Dreams such as these are our advertisements.
But toys, as I’ve said, are not in our way. Nor saints for that matter. I know who works at the top of the world, and never a one of them was an elf. Save only me, and it was by no will of mine that I went there.