Once, long long ago, there stood a town called Windermere. Within the grand and open world it stood as a quaint little town comprised mostly of farmhands and tailors, secluded from the rest of the world amongst mountain ranges. But despite this isolation it was a happy place, with happy, simple people. A perfectly idyllic place forever destined to live as it always had for all of time. Not that that would be a bad thing.
The town was a place basked in tradition and routine. Each day was spent tending to the fields and each night was spent with friends and family. Once per every fortnight the town would gather to its central monument, a tower dedicated to their Gods, and would pray for success and happiness. The monument was the adhesive that kept the community together through even the harshest of winters and conflicts.
Then she arrived.
Like all places Windermere had its fair share of fantastical tales: Dragons soaring through the heavens, Nymphs in the woods, Harpies in the mountains. Stories that were meant to inspire values and teach lessons, but never to be taken seriously. So much time had passed since the days of old that nobody truly believed in such tales anymore. Not until confronted with undeniable proof.
It is said that the day began like any other. The sun rose and birds chirped while the town was slowly awakening to a new day of more of the same. But as the sun rose yonder into the sky the ground shook and trembled. Initially people assumed it was an earthquake, but it was unlike any earthquake they had ever known. The tremors barely lasted a moment and then would happen again and again in a rhythm, steadily getting louder and stronger. Eventually one villager caught sight of the source: a giant.
She was unlike any story they had heard before. Giants were often described in the olden tales as grotesque and vile, usually with one eye; a hideous abomination of nature in the mocking image of man. The sort of creature one might scare their child by saying it would come for them if they were naughty. But approaching was instead a beautiful woman no different from the villagers were it naught for her charming appearance and scale. It is said some fell for her on the spot, hypnotized by the brilliant blue eyes that looked down from on high.
Some likened it to the arrival of a natural born goddess. Her towering figure stood just above forty meters high. A flawless face framed by long, flowing blonde hair and bearing a brilliant smile. She appeared to be wearing common clothing of wool and linen, lined with trace amounts of light armor. A sword rested at her side, larger than any building in all of Windermere. The typical garb one might expect of a wanderer or adventurer.
Questions quickly arose amongst the populace. Who was this woman? What was she? Friend or Foe?
The answer came sooner than they would have liked as her foot came down upon one of the local homes. A building that took weeks of communal effort ended with a mere step of her boot. Less than a second and yet nothing was left but rubble and wooden planks. Praise the Gods that the residents were out in the fields as it happened.
What happened immediately after remains unclear, lost to time. Some stories say the giant quickly and very half-heartedly apologized. Others say she laughed and had a scary grin on her visage. But what is known is that she began to speak to the people. She asked simple and rather natural questions. What was the village’s name? Why were they so separated from the world? Despite having the presence of a monster she appeared to act quite civilly. Almost unnervingly so.
Once her queries were answered she had but one simple request: to meet with the village elder for what she deemed “negotiations”. Whether out of concern for their leader or suddenly driven to recklessness by fear, several townsfolk grew angered, daring to bare their pitchforks and farm tools up against the giant.
“Go ahead. Do your worst.” She allegedly laughed and brought her boot down before the group. Enraged by the woman’s audacity the small group attacked with all their might, achieving nothing for all their pride and bravado. The worn leather of her footwear was durable and caused most of the makeshift weapons to snap upon impact. But it is said however that one weapon wielded by the strongest man in the village pierced all the way through to the foot within. To which he only got one simple response.
The sobering realization of their utter helplessness quickly led to the people throwing down their weapons. With nothing left but desperate hope they turned to their god’s monument for support, praying for a miracle.
She merely laughed at their pathetic display. “You think such a puny god can stand up to me?” At her monstrous height she easily towered over the religious idol. She bent down and placed her hands around it, uprooting it from the ground effortlessly. “Allow me to make myself clear for you all.” The blonde giant smiled softly and proceeded to break the monument over her knee, much to the horror of the villagers.
“Now I repeat. Bring me your leader.” The giant ordered impatiently as she tossed the broken fragments far away.
“I am already here.” One man stepped forward. The same man in fact who legends say pierced the giant’s boot. A simple man they called Hue. “What is your name Giant? And why do you trouble our village so?”
“Alexandra.” She replied with a soft smile. “And we have much to discuss. Come with me.”
What happened next remains unknown to all but the giant and Hue. The giant known as Alexandra left the village whilst carrying the village elder in her palm. For ten days and ten nights they did not return. Unease quickly spread throughout the town. What if the giant had simply killed him and went to inform her fellow giants of a new stomping ground? Countless stories and rumors spread, all showcasing their fear for Alexandra. But as the eleventh day’s sun rose these fears were realized to be unfounded with the pair’s return. During their meetings they had managed to reach an agreement.
It was decided between the two during their many talks over the days that Windermere would house Alexandra. They would show her respect and help care for her, and in return she would offer knowledge from the outside world and protect them all from would be invaders. But this news was nothing compared to the one caveat that followed.
It was also decided that once per year Alexandra would choose a single resident of the village as her personal Attendant. This Attendant would do everything she commanded and would care for all her needs as she desired. It is said that this was the one point the giant absolutely refused to budge on, going even so far as to threaten crushing the entire village were the condition not met. Thus, Hue hesitantly agreed. It remained far from ideal but in exchange for this one term the rest of the village would remain safe and even prosper with Alexandra’s wisdom and power. Without much choice the terms were accepted and Hue volunteered to be the first Attendant as a show of good faith.
A few details have long since been lost to history but this tale was what began a tradition that has lasted for centuries. This is the story that has been passed down since that faithful day almost two hundred years ago. Since then Windermere, with the exception of Attendants, has only prospered and grown. Alexandra’s knowledge of the outside world allowed for improved farming techniques, sturdier buildings, and so much more.
Yet, at this very moment there was a general unease within Windermere. After all, within a week it was going to be the selection of the 200th Attendant. The anniversary of the 200th year that Alexandra had been with them. Which meant that soon one of them would be leaving to join the giant’s side once again.