Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Petty Gods: The 2 Men of Gorsham, A Tale of a Servant of the Jale God

The 2 Men of Gorsham: A Tale of a Servant of the Jale God

A servant of the Jale God was working in his fields when two men from Gorsham came along the path by his land-hold and waived him over. The man stopped his hoeing and went to talk to the strangers.

"We understand that somewhere around here in this village is a witch-woman who can satisfy our needs," one of them said. They meant, of course, that they were looking for someone like those who reside in the pleasure districts of larger towns.

The farmer decided to play a little joke on the men and directed them to a small hut a little way down the road. "That's where I usually go when I'm looking to get that sort of satisfaction," the farmer said. "They might play tough at first and try to get more than you're willing to pay, but if you stick to it you'll get what you're looking for."

The two men started for the hut at a good pace, and after some distance, the farmer followed along in the underbrush beside the path. For it was to his own house he sent the men, and he wanted to see what would happen.

The farmer saw the two men go in the door and everything was quiet for a minute or so. Then the loudest screeching and hollering and carrying on erupted, with dishes being smashed, chairs flying out the windows and doors, and the cookpot smashing through the mud wall. The two men came flying out of the house as fast as their legs could carry them. Their clothes were ripped, their faces covered in scratches, and one of them had a black and bloody eye. The farmer's wife was following them, waving a broom in her left hand and a kitchen knife in the other; she threw the knife as hard as she could at the men's retreating backs, but threw wide and missed her target.

As soon as the men were out of sight, the farmer contained his laughter, put on a straight face, and ran up the path to his wife. "In the name of the Unspeakable One, what's wrong?"

Red faced and out of breath, she quickly regaled him with the tale of the two men who had tried to bargain with her for their satisfaction. When she was done, she looked at her husband and said, "And they spoke like men from Gorsham! Who knows what unspeakable acts they would have forced on me! And do you plan to stand there like the village idiot while your wife was almost ravished by those foreigners?" She looked at him in scorn.

The farmer then grabbed his axe and ran off through the woods, swearing up and down to his wife that he'd "make sure those fellows got what was coming to them." But as soon as he was down the path and out of sight, he went to a clearing he knew and sat there for a little bit, whittling and smoking a bit of pipeweed. He kept chuckling to himself about how scared the two men looked running down the road and how worked up his wife had been over a simple misunderstanding. After an hour, he got up and returned to his hut.

The wife was still grumbling and "I never"-ing, but the farmer said, "I chased those two for quite a while, but they outran me and got away." The wife was not happy and kept complaining about not being safe on their own parcel and how perhaps the farmer needed to inquire with the blacksmith about a new sword or with the bowyer for a bow and quiver, as the farmer had served in the King's Guard in his youth and had been a fair shot.

The farmer offered to go into the village and get a guardsman to fetch the dogs, but said he didn't think much would come of it. "By the time we return, those two would be dozens of leagues away, they were running so fast."

The farmer's wife was still unhappy, but finally admitted that perhaps the two men just got carried away when they saw such a pretty woman as herself out in the woods alone. She suggested that perhaps she was so "country pretty" that they just couldn't help themselves. She convinced herself of this so much that finally she said the the farmer, "They didn't really do anything," she said, "so maybe it is better not to stir the pot in case one of those boys is related to someone in the village."

The farmer harangued and argued and stomped his feet in protest, making a big show of it, but after awhile he said, "Well, whatever you think is best." And  and so they ate a cold dinner and went to bed and the farmer received satisfaction for his swift defense of his wife.

The man eventually bought a bow, at his wife's insistence. And whenever the woman told the story of her narrow escape to her kinfolk and friends, the man would sit chuckling to himself, for every man knows that the men of Gorsham are satisfied only with sheep.