Map Mondays – The Shrine to Fortune

Map Mondays – The Shrine to Fortune

by Ethan Hudgens    Twitter

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The young man adjusted his backpack before playing with a silver coin between his fingers. He was certainly going to need the luck. He could hear the voice of his sister in his head. “For a silver you could buy a decent meal!” But with a bit of luck he might be able to put himself up for a week. He flipped the coin through the air and into the small shrine where a statue of a young woman smiled at him. He smiled back hearing the sound of silver clinking against the copper coins. What else could he do?

He could do what he came here for.

Turning around he saw the various patrons of the gypsy camp drinking wine and playing games of chance and wit. Cards, dice, there was even an old pair playing a game of with numbered stones. “At least you’re wasting your money on a goddess instead of these devils.” The young man shook his head. If he wanted to hear the sound of his sister’s nagging he would have stayed at home. No. He was on his own path now.

He approached one of the stalls selling sweet smelling fruits and saw a young woman sitting, looking out longingly to the woods that surrounded them. Clearing his throat the woman spun around still smiling. “Hey there, friend. Lookin’ for something fresh? Nothing more ripe than these here.”

The young man winced in thought, trying his best to remember what the old man in the last town told him. “I’m here to… bring the next batch?”

“New at this, yeah?”

The young man nodded.

Waving over one of the wine servers to take her place the young woman waved the boy into the wagon. “What’s your name then?”

“Goose.” The young man didn’t especially like the name he’d been given. He’d had a run in with a goose before. Demonic little things…

“Honk honk? Haha!” She tapped the boy on the shoulder before jumping into the wagon herself, closing the door and nearly immediately hopping up onto one of the boxes inside. “Name’s Gull. Now. What’cha bring for us, hmm?”

The young man slid his pack off and undid the ties revealing several scroll cases.

“Hmm? What’s that then?”

“…Magic.

The girl twirled her finger through the air. “Go on, show us.” She didn’t seem to have the same curious interest that Goose had hoped for.

The boy cut the seals off the cylinders and carefully pulled the thick pieces of parchment into his hands. He could feel the weight of the room shift as the embossed letters sparkled between his fingers. “This one’s… Levitate.”

“And where’d you get these?”

“A wizard. Just carrying them out in the open in a dark street. Guess he was thinkin’ his spells might protect him, but I was too quick and got out as quickly as I’d shone up.”

“Hmm…” The woman jumped down from her perch and looked over the document. “Hmm! Well well! ‘Soomin’ your story true, looks like you might just got what it takes, Goose. Yeah.” She looked away from the parchment and smiled at the young man. “While we get these verified, how ‘bout we talk to the rest of the family, hmm?”

The shadows of the cart shifted and only then did Goose realize that they hadn’t been alone.

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