120 – Root Beard

“This has to be some of the best tea I’ve ever had.”  You take another sip.  “Where did you get it?”

The potato god’s black eyes twinkle.   “I bought it on my last Calibration trip to the City of Gods.   We weren’t able to get tickets to the Jade Pleasure Dome, so we went to the tea shop instead.”  He fidgets with his root beard.

“Do you have a name?” Chiyoko asks in Earthtongue.  You forgot Chiyoko could not understand the conversation.  Chiyoko speaks many of Creation’s languages, but not the godly tongue.

The potato god frowns and places his hand next to his ear.   “What did you say?”

“She asked if you had a name.”  Aiko translates.

The god nods in comprehension.  “I am the field god of the southwest potato farms.”  He sits tall and straightens his root beard.

“No one has ever given you a name?”  Chiyoko asks after you translate.

The potato god scratches behind his ears.    “The village children call me Root Beard sometimes.”  He weaves his root beard between his fingers.

“May we call you Root Beard?’ Chiyoko asks, after you translate

“If you like.”   The potato god’s cheeks blush green.

You open your mouth to inquire about the harvest festival when Aiko asks.   “What is the Jade Pleasure Dome?”

“I’ll tell you later,” you promise.   Now is not the time to indulge Aiko’s curiosity.

Root Beard stares intently at you.  “A godly place.  Not safe for Dragons.”

You change the subject.  “I’ve never been to a Potato Harvest Festival.   What’s it like?”

“Eek!”  Root Beard leaps up and paces.  “How could they know?” He mutters.  “I know she didn’t tell them.”  He glances up at you and returns to his seat.  He tugs on his beard.  “The harvest festival…  very boring.  Nothing that would interest you Dragons.  They serve vodka and fried potatoes.   Oh!  And the potato sack races!  Those are always so ex…boring.  The monks have the children sing this adorable little potato song.”  The potato god’s lower lip trembles and tears   “You wouldn’t want to go! “

“I like Fried Potatoes.” Masaru comments in broken Spiritspeech.  Mei Mei yelps in agreement.

“No!  These fried potatoes are awful!  Well,”  Root Beard amends.  “Not the ones from my field.  The Northwest potato god?  His potatoes are kind of green.”

“If you like the harvest festival so much, why are you skipping it?”  Aiko blurts out.

Root Beard squeaks and falls off his moss pillow.

“Aiko!” you yell in Earthtongue.  “Shut up!  It’s my mission and I am handling it!”

“If we wait for you to handle it, we will be here all day talking to the stupid field god about tea and fried potatoes.”

“Is that what you are talking about?”  Chiyoko frowns.  “I thought it was something important.”

“I’m not stupid!”  Root Beard replies.  “And Fried potatoes are important!”

“Wait!”  Chiyoko’s eyes narrow.  “You can speak Earthtongue?”

“What? No no no…  I don’t speak Earthtongue.”  Root Beard replies in Earthtongue.

“You are speaking it now!” Masaru points out.

“No no no….  I don’t speak Earthtongue.”  The potato god repeats in Spiritspeech.

“You were just speaking it!”  Aiko accuses.  “Svante, this god is an idiot.  Whatever secret he has can’t be that important!”

The god squeaks again when Aiko says ‘secret’.

“He does know something!”  Chiyoko stands up and takes a step towards the god.  Root Beard curls up in a ball on the dirt floor of his sanctum.

“Wait!”  You raise a hand to halt Chiyoko and the others.  “Let me talk to him.”  You kneel beside the god.  “Root Beard?”

“Go away!”  He holds his hands up to hide his eyes.

“Root Beard, tell us what is keeping you from the festival.”  The god says nothing.  “You shouldn’t have to give up half a year’s worship.  If something is wrong we can help.”

Root Beard glances up at you.  “You aren’t like the others.   You aren’t Dragonblooded.”

“No.”  There is no use in denying it.   Gods have ways to measure one’s power.

“What are you?”

You pick the little god up and set him on his feet.  You brush dirt off his ritual clothes.  “Someone who can help a little field gold who has no one to turn to.”

The field god closes his eyes and nods.  “I have to stay and protect my fields.  The River goddess threatened to drown them.”

His domain was threatened.  No wonder he was skipping the festival.  Yet instinct tells you this could not be the field god’s secret.  “Why does the River Goddess want to drown your fields?”

“Did you do something to her?”  Aiko accuses.

“No!”  Root Beard shouts.  “I’ll tell you about the Jade Pleasure Dome or anything else you want to know.  Just get the River Goddess to promise not to drown my fields!”

What do you do?

  • Push Root Beard to tell you more
  • Talk to the River Goddess
  • Ask the monks at the Immaculate Temple for more information about the area gods.
  • Other