Author Topic: Thesseus 14 - The Keeper of the auspicious goats  (Read 86 times)

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Only a single cottage stood erect on the vast plains of Northern Haji.
Even though not much was left of it, it was clearly ocupied by someone.
A small vegetable garden and a decent herd of special Haji goats supplied its inhabitant(s) with a sufficient amount of food to sustain itself, however the area was completely depleted of bread and ale making any meal made here incomplete.
Thesseus' Blood band hiked up the hill towards the old cottage, two carts of supplies and a herd of goats following him.
Approaching the house, he saw a small old lady sitting on a rocking chair in front of the house with a big smile on her face.

"Ah, you must be the Bloodscreamer! we haven't seen the lot of you here for a long time now. You came to bring me bread and ale?"

Theseus paused for a moment, trying to figure out if this was either a very good guess, some crazy remark or prove of exceptional forethought, he eventually choose to ignore it altogether.

"Greetings Lady, we are looking here for an old oracle, a mighty man that is said to live in the hills over here, it is said that his goats can predict the future and answer any question, no matter how difficult."
"Mhhh. No. I am afraid i wouldn't know a man like that, no one lives in these hills anymore but me."
The lady grinned and replied childishly.

"Are you sure? perhaps he has moved on elsewhere, living here with daimonkind right around the corner isn't  safe for a man of his powers. He'd know where and when to go."
The lady Laughed while she rocked back and forth on her rocking chair.
" Ow yes he'd surely see friend or foe coming, weeks, nay months ahead!"
She clearly enjoyed the conversation, making the situation just the more awkward for the Bloodscreamer.

" Yes, well, thank you for your help, we ought to be moving on now..."

Just as Thesseus turned around having had walked only a few steps, the lady burst out laughing uncontrollably.
Thesseus looked behind him and frowned, but choose to ignore the madness, carrying on down the hill back to his men.

" I would have let you go in ignorance if it weren't for those carts full of bread and ale you have there, i have been waiting for that for months now. Do you even know how that feels like? It's almost like someone is holding the finest ale in front of your eyes for a month and you cant drink it or even touch it, knowing exactly how long you’d have to wait to be able to touch it. Even though I find this very amusing i must excuse myself."

The lady stood up out of the rocking chair and gestured the Bloodscreamer to return.
 

"I am the oracle you are seeking Sir. I am the keeper of the auspicious goats and I know why you are here."
She finally said while holding her arms wide open, as if she was about to embrace the Bloodscreamer.
"Blasted sages..."
Thesseus mumbled incomprehensibly as he stampeded back up the hill towards the cottage.

Several moments later, the Keeper of the auspicious goats had 6 common household items placed in circle behind her house: a book, a bowl, calipers, a kitchen knife, a kettle and a wooden spoon.
The blood band soldiers stood in a curious crowd, buzzing with all sorts of assumptions and hypotheses at a distance.
Several goats curiously stood around the Keeper, Theseus and his staff next to the keepers circle.
One of them repeatedly started chewing on the scribe’s green velvet cloak, possibly mistaking it with grass, as the scribe helplessly tried to fend the creature off.

"There we are. now we wait until one of the goats steps forth to volunteer as our medium and picks one of the items above the other.”
The Lady said excitingly.
 

“So how can you tell what it means if the creature picks out among these items this bowl here for example?”
The captain asked after a short moment of waiting.
“Thats the mystery of the keeper, you silly!”

Thesseus felt quite uncomfortable with the keeper and her way of addressing her noble ruler and his staff, but he choose not to respond concerning what was at stake.
Although she is a peasant, she is a powerful sage, an ancient oracle of Gotland and he simply needed to know what only she can tell.


After what may have been more then an hour of staring at a grazing goat, the old lady finally exclaimed in joy.

“One of them stepped forth in the circle!”

One of the goats stood, seemingly confused in the middle of the circle, as if he had wandered in per accident while grazing, looking for grazing.
Everyone stood in silence, staring at the creature, the air was tense, this was exactly what they came for, this small moment in time which would mean so much for the future.
The Goat seemed to have had his mind made up and walked straight at one of the items with confidence and determination.
The crowd held its breath, Thesseus leaned forward, resting his chin in his hand sitting on a nearby log.
« Last Edit: May 08, 2017, 12:38:53 PM by Nosferatus »
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(ooc: this is where i use https://rolz.org/dr?room=Gotland%20trial%20by%20goat to determine the outcome of the oracle's ritual. you can check the log for all dices rolled. the outcome was 4, thus the kitchen knife.)

The Goat approached the kitchen knife and sniffed it thoroughly.
The Keeper observed the goat's behavior at this point carefully.
It looked up and belched, then continued grazing just outside the circle, in the vicinity of the knife.

After several more minutes of staring, the captain interrupted.
"He has made his pick, do i understand this correctly?"

The keeper gestured him to wait and remained focused at the creature.
Moments later the keeper finally relaxed and turned to Thesseus with a smile.

" Good news! she made a pick!"

"So what is the procedure now?"

"Wait. I have to sleep this over."

The captain slapped his palm at his forehead in frustration.

"But you can tell us something?"
Thesseus asked carefully.

" Yes, the Goat picked the kitchen knife."

"Are you trying to fool me old lady? Tell us what it means! Can Grandmisstress Rania and her notorious magical powers be trusted? Are there daimons in play? What will it mean for Gotlands future?!"
Theseus clearly lost his patience, the trip here took them days to end up just waiting, not knowing for how long and time was running out for Gotland to react.

"The ways of the keeper are mysterious Bloodscreamer and they cannot be pressed, patience is the key that will set you free. I will see you in the morning. Good day."
The keeper went slowly back in her cottage, leaving a puzzled and frustrated crowd behind.
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"It;s been days now M'Lord, shouldnt we go in there? I mean, is she even still alive in there? what on earth is she doing otherwise?"
Thesseus'  captain asked impatiently.

They had set up a proper camp and Theseus was enjoying his meal in his tent.
He put down his food and wiped his face and beard clean.

"I intend to be patient, however her life is of great concern to us, we need to be able to consult her in the future as well. Lets start with knocking on her door."

The two exited the tent and walked up the hill and knocked on the door.
After patiently repeating their attempts several times they where left without reply.
Thesseus ordered his men to gather at the door and prepare for a break in.
Just as he was about to give the final order to kick the door open, the lady opened it and bright-fully looked at Thesseus and his men.
A strong smell of alcohol came out of her mouth as she opened it.

" Your still here?"

The captain struggled to suppress his frustration and decided to turn around taking himself at a safe distance.
Thessues was puzzled and had trouble replying coherently.

"Umh. Wh-Wherent you the one who told us t-to b-be patient?"

The lady burst out in laughter.
"You still don't get it? any of you?"
She asked as she looked around just to find either frustrated or confused faces.

"umhh so there isnt an awnser you can give us? what did the kitchen knife mean then?"
Thesseus asked carefully.

"Thats right! Isnt it obvious? The goat walked straight to the knife and didn't move away from it as he kept grazing. Now imagine your self as that Goat and the knife as your sword."
The lady said, visibly pleased with her own answer.

"Even if i'd understand what you just said, why did you keep us waiting?"

"I didnt keep you waiting, you choose to wait. I haven't tasted the goodness of ale for a long time now and you just gave me a years supply of it, i must have slept for days after i had my first taste."

Thesseus was silent for a while and thought about the whole situation until he finally realized something crucial.

" Mhhh. I believe i understand it now. This whole situation seems like a metaphor of what is going on between the rulers and Lady Rania. I choose to wait but i didn't realize what to expect. We will never get a straight forward answer about her nature, dealing with you feels very much like this right now, waiting in front of your cottage for days not knowing how long it takes, every answer you give me only raises more doubt. We shouldn't keep waiting for something that may never come. We should trust our selves, our herd and our swords instead of the people around us."

The lady simply smiled without reply.

"Yes, we should let our swords do the talking for us! We should stop waiting for a satisfying answer and let actions speak for them selves instead. All Rania gave me where words, no actions. We should welcome anyone who raises the sword with us against our foes and strike down any sword raised against us. No more words should be wasted on each other unless they are carved in our enemies flesh!"

Enthusiastically Theseus turned around and spoke to his men.

"Pack your stuff and pick up your swords! To battle men!"

He turned to the lady and held her hands in his.

"Thank you dear Keeper. We will return for your wisdom soon, and next time I will bring double the amount of ale. I will build a whole new house for you, a temple in fact, right here on this hill so all of Gotland may come to your guidance in comfort."

The lady shrieked of joy at the mention of more ale but stuttered incomprehensibly after Thessseus offered her a temple for a house.
He didn't give her the chance to reply and hurried back down hill to lead his men back to join the army in Aesh and within only a short time the camp was disassembled and the lot of them on their way west leaving worried yet excited old lady behind.
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