118 – Cranky

You wipe the rain from your eyes and stare out at the potato fields.  “Let’s find the god now. “  The sooner you located the god, the sooner you could go home.  Why did you have to bring Chiyoko along?  Your other mission requires you to protect her.  How could you do both?

You jump out of your saddle when someone touches your arm.  You turn to find Chiyoko, her flame orange hair plastered to her head.  “Can you find the god, Svante?”

You nod.  The Immaculate temple contains shrines to all the local gods.  You take a deep breath and close your eyes.  The cold rain.  The weariness.  The mission.  You dismiss such annoyances from your mind.

The rain seems to slow as you concentration on the threads of fate.   Dozens of strands lead away from the temple and out to the fields.  You drop off the horse and kneel on the wet road.  Each thread is a distant echo compared to the ones on the Loom of Fate.  When you find the correct thread, you take the reins of your horse and guide it out to the muddy fields.  The others follow in silence.

An old, solitary live oak rises from the potato fields.   Rain drips from its dark green leaves.  The thread leads to a hollow just above your head.  You climb unto a root and dig around the hollow.  You pull out the calcified corpses of mice and grasshoppers.

“The god accepts offerings outside of the Immaculate Calendar.”  Aiko notes.  She jumps down from her horse and searches around the tree.

“It happens.  The planting and harvest festivals are the only times a field god receives worship.”  Akachi told you that the Immaculate Church could not catch every instance of illegal worship.  Better to focus on the gods gathering large cults or demanding human sacrifice.  “I need an insect or small animal to attract the god’s attention.”

“Wait,” Masaru flicks rainwater out of his hair.  “Are we going to illegally worship this god?”

You shrug.  “When we do it, it’s called a bribe.”  You pick up a stick and smooth out the mud beneath the tree.

“And that is supposed to be better?”

“Just find a fucking grasshopper, Masaru!”  Chiyoko orders.  She tethers the horses on a tree root.

Aiko groans and toes a puddle.  “I found some worms. “

Masaru shakes potato plants until a grasshopper leaps out.   He slaps his hand over it and brings it to you.

“Thanks.”  You tell Masaru.  He nods and goes to sit on a tree root.  He picks up a twig and shreds leaves off it.  You tie the grasshopper with a string you found in your pocket.   You mark runes you hope will be acceptable to the potato god.

“Potato god of the Southwest field of Wong Farm, I request your presence.”  You strike your hand on the wet ground.  The runes gleam with an emerald glow.

The rain falls.  The clouds brighten with dawn’s first light.

Nothing happens.

“Shit.” How difficult could it be to get the potato god’s attention?  It’s a fucking god of potatoes!  You jerk on your string to make sure the grasshopper did not drown during your ritual.   The grasshopper twitches.

“Are you sure you did this right?” Aiko tiptoes though the mud to examine the runes.   “Did you use the god’s name…”

“The god doesn’t have a name!”  You growl.  Most field gods do not have one.  “The god isn’t answering.”   You pace in the rain.  It was almost morning.  Soon the town would awake.  “Do you know the spell, Open Spirit Door?”

“Nope.”  Aiko answers.

“Now we are going to break into the god’s sanctum….” Masaru throws the twig he was shredding on the ground in disgust.

“If you are going to bitch, you should have stayed back at school.”  Chiyoko glares at Masaru.  Masaru ignores her and picks up another twig.

“You see what I have to deal with?” Aiko mumbles to you.   “They are like this when you are not around.”

The rainfall increases and washes away your runes.

What do you do?

  • Go find a neighboring god. Maybe they will talk to you
  • Screw with the potato field to piss the god off.
  • Use the Mark of Exaltation to force the god to appear.
  • Other