Welcome to Wednesday and the next part of our adventure=)
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Otherwise, welcome and enjoy.
Alosian Oasis Option B: Salt
Your village buys salt but it’s not hard to get in mass quantities. And if you have beasts of burdon, it won’t be that difficult to haul several loads of salt to the oasis.
You say “salt.”
The burly woman bows and shoots a smirk over her shoulder at a old wrinkled woman behind her.
“My name is Berta,” she says, “I am the Mistress of the Salt. Follow me.”
She leads you through the crowd and past the row of trees.
As soon as you enter the oasis, the ground becomes lush with a blue tinted grass. Right in the center sits a small lake and around it are small huts with lanterns hanging in front of each.
It’s peaceful after the desert winds.
Berta leads you to a hut on the left and opens the door for you but she doesn’t follow you in.
“Rest deeply, Outsider, for tomorrow we test you.” And then she closes the door.
The hut contains a bed on the left wall and a table on the right laden with water and fruit.
You select a pomegranate from the fruit, fill a cup with sweet cool water and sit on the bed to eat.
When done, exhaustion from the last five days in the blistering sun catches up and you set the now empty cup aside, lay down and sleep.
You wake to Berta shaking you. “Good Morn, Outsider.”
She hands you a fresh set of clothes and leaves to let you change.
After doning the outfit, which turns out to be just like your old one, you eat several figs and almonds and down a cup of water.
Exiting your hut, you step into a crowd. The entire populace has gathered again.
Berta steps forward.
“What do you come for?’ she asks.
“Horses or camels.”
“Then you may pick either the Maze test or the Water test.”
You are unfamiliar with either, so you ask “what does each involve?”
Berta scowls, pinching her lips into a tight line but when you don’t back down, she sighs.
“The maze requires you to navigate the Alose Maze in a day. If you succeed, we will offer you five horses, if you fail, you will work at the oasis for a year and a day.
“The water test requires you to fill a water skin in a day out beyond the oasis. Success brings an offer of camels and failure work.”
“Why test me?” you ask, “when we offer salt in return for beasts. Is that not a fair trade?’
Berta’s scowl returns, her dark eyes angry but you still don’t back down even though her displeasure makes you shake a bit. A few in the crowd mutter. Finally Berta answers.
“Outsiders do not understand that our animals are family to us. If we trade them it is because we trust you to care for our family. Thus the test. We test you to trust you.”
So do you say…
(Please post a comment with your choice. One vote per person per day please but comment as much as you like=) Voting will end at 8pm Mountain Time tomorrow. Friday I’ll post whichever option gets the most votes and we’ll see where the story goes!)