By the precepts passed down by the village Elders, the story was never to be consecrated in the absence of candlelight. Upon the advent of its telling, the wicks of candles were therefore always kindled by bedsides at night, along the windowsills in classrooms, and upon the mantelpieces of every home. A single beeswax candle always burned in the heart of the Great Hall. Tall as a man and thick as a tree-trunk, the candle was rooted in an ornamented brass candelabra, its yellowed beeswax surface richly carved in commemoration of the story it embodied. For generations the flame had never darkened, and the Elders had sustained its light from month to month, from season to season, always marking each transition to a new candle with solemn ceremony.