Long, long ago in a country filled with many lakes lay a vast stretch of marsh called the Tontlawald. No one dared to venture there. It was known to be filled with ghosts who would walk the marshes, drowning anyone who ventured too close. A single village was situated nearby, and the people who looked upon the Tontlawald at night saw strange lights dancing in the marsh mists.
There was once upon a time a woman who had an only daughter. When the child was about seven years old she used to pass every day, on her way to school, an orchard where there was a wild plum tree, with delicious ripe plums hanging from the branches. Each morning the child would pick one, and put it into her pocket to eat at school. For this reason she was called Prunella.
When the Norsemen came to Scotland and lay claim to the land, they were famous for every manner of cruel spoliation, and slaughter of the people wherever they landed. They were a bold, courageous, hardy, rough, peremptory and unscrupulous race. More than that, it was attributed to them that they practiced witchcraft, charms, and enchantments, and had much of other unhallowed learning among them.