The Clever Father is a folk hero from the Kaselreich. He is often used as a stock character in stories where a wandering monk, priest or vagrant with a gentle and mirthful demeanor outwits the forces of evil. Whether he existed or not is unclear, but his riddles certainly did. Of course, nobody is sure which of the hundreds of "nine riddles" attributed to his story are the real ones.
Some say that Father Dietrich possessed a tome that held the answer to every riddle any man could conceive somewhere in its pages. If such a thing is true, nobody has yet found the book.
The Nine Riddles of Father DietrichEdit
Nachtmachers are universally feared by the other creatures of the Schwarzvald, and also seem to greatly dislike each other. A popular folktale details a village in the Reich with a very clever priest, who gathered all of the townsfolk into the church when the Schwarzvald came, and put out a "lure" for a Nachtmacher (there are no records as to what sort of thing this was, many assume it was a summoning spell or a totem) and challenged it to return every night to ask him another riddle.
The Nachtmacher accepted the challenge, and returned nightly with a newer, harder riddle that the clever priest was able to answer each time. It was only on the eighth night that the Nachtmacher itself realized that by returning so often, it had protected the village against the other creatures of the Schwarzvald which would have simply broken in and killed the priest and all of his people. Angered, the Nachtmacher declared that it would not return. The priest convinced it to stay by exiting the church, and challenging the monster to answer a riddle of his own devising. The Nachtmacher was unable to answer. Impressed, the creature agreed to stay until the long night was over, but only if the priest would reveal the answer at the end. (Nachtmachers are said to be very good sports about this sort of thing.)
Ever since, the "Nine Riddles of Father Dietrich" has become a staple of storytellers and parents everywhere.