In the story, before Merlin was born, his family was tormented by the devil. Merlin's father was a rich man with one son and three daughters. The devil decided he wanted to ruin the family so he started by killing all the family's livestock and cattle. The devil then strangled the man's son in his bed. This caused the man's wife such grief that she hung herself. One of the man's daughters was tempted into adultery and was buried alive for her crime. The two remaining daughters prayed and asked for help from their priest. The priest gave the daughters sound advice on how to avoid the devil's temptations. One of the daughters soon became a prostitute and sold her soul to the devil. The last daughter tried as hard as she could to avoid temptation. One night when she had forgotten to pray, the devil came upon her and impregnated her. The child of this union was Merlin. Right after he was born, Merlin's mother had him baptised and this removed the stain of evil.