122 – The River Goddess

“We will talk to the River Goddess.”  It is time to get the other side of this story.

“Really?”  Root Beard hops from foot to foot.  “Thank you! Thank you!  Thank you!”  He stops hopping and straightens his beard.  “I can keep my singers, right?”

You rub your forehead.  “We’ll see.”

You leave Root Beard’s cozy hollow and walk out into the cold rain.  The grey storm clouds glow with the morning’s light.

“How big of a problem is it for a field god to have a small cult?” Masaru asks.

You shiver and pull your cloak tight around your neck.  “Root Beard is one of hundreds of small gods in the area.  There isn’t enough worshipers for each one to have their own cult.”  You explain.  “That’s why the Immaculate Calendar exists.  All gods get worship according to their place in the Terrestrial Bureaucracy.  “

“Gods get a surge of Essence for lives ended in their name.”  You shake your head.  “It’s a waste.   A living worshiper provides more prayer over their lifetime than a dead one, but some gods are addicted to the high.”

“How can the goddess get away with drowning people?”  Chiyoko scowls.  “Why doesn’t the Immaculate temple put a stop to it?”

You hesitate before answering.  The local monk missed a cult where his own student was a member.  What else could he miss?  “Maybe the River Goddess isn’t drowning anyone.  Root Beard could be lying.”

“Water Gods like to drown people,” Masaru points out.

You did not think it was likely the Water Goddess was innocent either.  “We have to be certain before we do anything.”  You hand Mei Mei over to Chiyoko.  “Head to the Immaculate Temple and question the monk’s student.  I’ll talk to the River Goddess. “

“And let her drown you?”  Chiyoko shakes her head.  “We are going with you.  You’ll need some muscle if the River Goddess gets rowdy.”

Masaru smirks.  “I’d like to see her drown me.”

Aiko surveys the rolling river.  “The bank is muddy and slick.  Not a good place for a fight.  Let’s head to the bridge.”

Together you cross the bridge.  You stop half way and look over the edge.  Bright foam rages at the surface of the angry river.  The river strains against its banks.

“What are you going to bribe her with?”  Masaru asks.

“Nothing, little water dragon.”  The river gurgles.  A serpentine shadow slitters though the silty waters.   A wave engulfs the far end of the bridge, revealing a slender translucent woman.  Silt encrusted ice claws tip the ends of her fingers.   The River goddess is nude, but none of your Dragonblooded friends comments on it.  They are completely silent as the goddess stalks down the bridge.

The River goddess stops and drops to her knee before you.  Her braids, slick with mud, fall forward, obscuring her face.   Her voice sounds pleasant but simmering beneath the surface is the raging river.  “What would the blood of the Dragons have of me?”

What do you do?

  • Retreat from the scary River Goddess
  • Open the conversation with her conflict with Root Beard
  • Ask why the River is Raging
  • Directly accuse her of seeking human sacrifice.
  • Other