The rain fell silently across the alley in which I found my bed that night. “Whew, If only the inn hadn’t closed I could put have this money to some practical use…But Alas.” I curled up amongst the dusty halls of the shabbily covered mattress I had stumbled upon…and slept.
I awoke to a great clatter of the marketplace nearby, It was just dawn, so I pulled my Torch from my pack and leaned heavily on it, so terrible my muscles ached that they could not rest on my legs alone. “This town…What a decrepid place…Well, at least they are ok with my gambling.”
I went to the inn and threw water over myself to wake up and alleviate the odor that the dark alley had left stitched into my clothes, and found a man watching over me as I pulled myself back out of the barrel I jumped into. Drying off, I asked him, “Can I help you?” He chuckled and walked away, and I thought nothing more of his strange presence. Walking out of the Inn, I came to my goal in the small city, to weight down my pockets a bit with the townies.
Thinking I was pretty smooth, I walked up to the establishment and went in, after a few hands of various card games, I had found myself 100,000 coins wealthier than when I entered. At this point, I felt I had done more than my share of winning at this tavern, so I picked up my money and walked out. A voice from behind me led me to halt in my footsteps, “Wait! One with such luck and talent as yourself may be able to help our town out of its debt.” I had no previous knowledge of this debt, and because of it, I had no intention of keeping the money I had won. Regardless, the Casino owner would have nothing of it and made me keep the money. He then went on to tell another tale:
“Long ago, we faced a great famine due to a bad harvest one year, and have been suffering its effects ever since, Our economy has had incredible losses and the town is near bankrupt. If you find it within yourself, I urge you to assist our town in its plight and help us recover some of the wealth we have lost.”
I nodded to them, and explained that I would use my winnings to try and gain back all they had lost. Feeling kind of awkward to be using Gambling as a means for helping others, I set off to the nearby towns to seek fortune. At first, My luck was off to a great start as I more than tripled the wealth I had gained in the first small town to the second. (On the side of course I made bets with my own personal stash to gain more) But after a visit to three towns, I had amassed a truly small fortune that would mor ethan supply the town’s needs. I happily rode back to the town in order to tell the news.
Their shocked expressions told me that they had expected less of my efforts, which of course disgruntled me. I asked proudly, “Fair town, I feel I have supplied your needs in a more than ample way. Is there now, any other task you may send me on before I venture on from your fair villa?” Many a strange glance was exchanged by the townsfolk, and a quick whisper before the leader spoke once again. He then told me, “Hmm, we do have a long lost Trident that was stolen from our village amongst our worst hour. If you recover our prized possession, our thanks and admiration will be with you always.”
I took this as a challenge, and happily rode off to the area in which the thief was said to live. After much exploration, I located the cave the locals had spoken of in which the strange hermit thief dwelled. I dismounted my steed, and walked slowly up to the cave entrance. As I peered around the corner, shrouded in the shadows, a pungent odor knocked me back, such was the awful smell of this place. As I recovered, I noticed a glimmering object off in the distance. Quickly, I held my nose and ran to grab it. I found it strange that there was no objection in this Dark lair to my presence and recovery of the Trident, but paid it little mind and ran quickly out to my horse once more.
I mounted and rode the horse for a 1/2 day ride, sufficient enough to bring me within walkking distance of the town. I walked up and help the staff to the Elder proudly. SMACK! I was met with a large slap on the face that bewildered and knocked me back a bit. “What is the meaning of this! Is this the thanks I get from recovery of your sacred object!?” I said. He replied, “Out, out from my town, how dare you bring that object of hate into my presence, can you not see the people wither in fear at the sight of it!? You ignorant Merchant…get back form my sight and let not my eyes find you again, lest you be slain by the warriors of our village!”
Quite rattled and confused, I gathered my things and left immediately, for I was in no position at the time to fight 20 some odd men, much less of trained warriors. As I walked away, I heard a small chuckling by the Elder. I took no notice, though it was surely a strange act to be had by one who had just then been in such a state of hate, and kept walking to my horse.
After riding for some time, and getting well along my way to other journies (Not to mention disposing of the strange staff) I rested for a bit and began to check my stash, as I commonly did while bored on my journies. Not a single piece of gold did I find in my pack that day, such was the result of my false pride and quick judgements of those villagers. I knew not how they had managed to take all of my Gold, but the magnificant display of my ignorance they had so accurately protrayed taught me more of a lesson than any gold piece ever could, the fact that, no matter one’s experience, one can never afford to underestimate anything or anyone in their pursuit of treasure and life in general.