The Great Ak, the Master Woodsman of the World

Real Name


First Appearance

The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus (1902)

Original Publisher


Created by

L. Frank Baum


The Great Ak is the Master Woodsman of the world, ruler of the forests, the orchards, and the groves. He is one of three beings to whom all other immortals are subject, the others being Kern the Master Husbandman and Bo the Master Mariner. These three see everything and know more than the sons of men.

The Master Woodsman carries an ax and has a grizzled beard which he rubs when he is thinking. His old servant is named Nelko.

The Great Ak travels the world visiting his forests, invisible to mortal eyes. He often visits the Forest of Burzee to spend time with the Wood Nymphs, whom he loves as children.

Although he understands that suffering is the natural lot of mortals, he occasionally helps mortal infants and children who are in distress. On one occasion, he rescued an abandoned baby from Shiegra the Lioness, commanding her instead to feed it. This child eventually grew up to be known as Santa Claus.

As mankind grew in number and spread across the earth, they began to cut down the forests. Ak understands, however, that the world was made for men and is glad that he could guard the forests until they were needed. Burzee, the Great Black Forest, and the wooded wilderness of Braz are some of the few places men are not expected to reach.

When Claus was a young man, the Master Woodsman took him on a journey around the world. This was the boy's first encounter with his own race, and Ak explained to him the lot of man. When Claus dedicated his life to the happiness of children, Ak encouraged him and provided much help.

Later, when the Awgwas threatened Claus, Ak confronted them and demanded that they stop. The Awgwas refused and declared war on the immortals. Ak gathered his Fairies, Ryls, Knooks, and Wood Nymphs to defend Claus. An epic battle then took place which is sung of in Fairyland to this day. Ultimately, the Awgwas and their evil allies were defeated and destroyed.

When Claus grew old and was near death, the Great Ak called a Council of Immortals and asked that the Mantle of Immortality be bestowed upon the Patron Saint of Children.

Public Domain Appearances

  • The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus

See Also

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