OOC: Since I didn’t want to interfere with Jo’s reading, I thought I would start a new thread for Hargen. Also, I am envisioning that the right side of his face looks like Mel Gibson in The Man Without a Face.
Hargen was pleasantly surprised when the Vistani arrived. He had been spending most of his time alone in the woods since the attack by the evil priest. Originally he had hoped that the magical healing would be able to remove the burns on the right side of his face. However, after several visits to Bob the Healer and his cousin in Mandelle, it quickly became apparent that the scars were not going to go away. He had hoped to travel with Kmon back to Kythros, but his duty kept him at Ashton.
The Vistani offered a new diversion, which he was grateful for. He spent the first day of the Festival mingling freely with everyone. He was able, for the most part, to ignore the staring and managed to resist the urge to scare a few of the small children that stared too long. He had just paused to realize how much he was enjoying himself when he heard a voice.
“Fortune told? First of the new sun, always the clearest words!”, a small boy called out to him.
He was intrigued. His grandmother had an incessant dabbler in the prophetical arts. She claimed she could tell the future in anything from a chicken’s cut off head, to sheep entrails, and the patterns of a special set of sticks that she would throw into the air.
“Sure,” he replied and flipped the boy a coin. “Take me to your fortune teller. We’ll see what she can tell me about my face.”
“The Wounded One. Yes, I have heard talk in the town. A Hero, but a Pained One. What would you like to know, Wounded One?” The old crone lovingly shuffled the cards in her huge hands. The cards must have foretold the fates of a thousand souls by the look of them.
Hargen paused, not sure how to ask. So, he put it bluntly. “Tell me about my face.”
The old crone cackles, “it is usually a vain young girl that asks such a question. However, I do not sense your question is one of vanity. Let us see what the cards tell us, I am most interested to see them myself! The first card is what your face was to you in your past … The Moon!”
“Ah, now the Moon is a perfect representation of the face. It shows us much, but it hides even more. Have you ever held your tongue when hearing a lie? Told a young lover that you would be together forever even though you know you were to leave town the next morn? Yes, that is the Moon.”
Madam Eva leans forward and eagerly draws the next card. “The cards do not lie – Strength, Ill Defined!”[ooc – upside down, which reverses its meaning].
“I need not tell you, but you sense the eyes of others on you. It causes you pain, feelings of inadequacy. Beware, Wounded One, such pain can lead to one to inflict it on others. Tyranny and abuse of power is a clear possibility in your current spiritual state!”
Madam Eva’s hand lingers over the last card of the draw. “Wounded One, lets us see if your pain will consume you… The Fool!”
The old Crone cackles, “Never fear, the Fool is beneficial to you. It represents a break from the past. A new beginning. A new journey will bring happiness to your life if you are open to it. Let us just hope, Wounded One, that your pain does not drive you to the deepest depths before your fate turns.”
“Do you wish to know anything else?”
Hargen bowed slightly. “Thank you, wise woman,” he said. “You have given me much to think about, but also hope for the future.”
He felt in his pocket to make sure he had another coin. Finding one, he asked “What do the cards show you for the Ranger’s future in Ashton?”
The old Crone grins.”Let us see what the future holds for the Rangers….The Hanged Man, Ill Dignified!”
“The Rangers will suffer a loss, likely through a lack of commitment. You will become preoccupated with selfish and material things.”Her eyes roll back, the whites showing as she drops deeper into a trance. “Despite drawbacks a preference for the status quo. Oppression. Apathy in pursuit of goals. Taking the view ‘Better the devil you know’. Failure to act with an inability to move forward or progress.”
She shakes her head, seemly coming back to the moment. “An ominous card, Wounded One.”