A simple fable of morality found throughout southern
Sarvonia in various guises - there are even records of dwarfish and halfling
variations on the theme. This particular version was recorded as told to a child
of a moderately well-off Erpheronian family by his nurse. The Wise Man figure is
an ambiguous and wide spread one. He crops up in countless tales, normally to
give a gentle moral lesson, and normally in the ‘land to the south where it is
warm all the time’. Numerous suggestions have been made as to the whereabouts of
this unspecified country, including Truban, the Eyelian lands, Denilou and even
Nybelmar, though most scholars must ultimately conclude that the tales are so
old and varied that it is little more than a fae-land existing only in legend.
The wise man himself has been identified with various sages, and even as a human
version of the various wise old halflings who crop up across the hobbit books of
wisdom, the Vale-Tales, and the Hobbithallows.