Eli arrives that night at the port of Bedford Bay to find that a festival of some sort is going on. Then he remembers that it’s the festival of Aphiel, the god of warfare, which celebrates the young men about to enter into the service of the Imperial Army [BIC: Learning - Preparation]. It’s also an excuse to let loose before entering the regimented life of the soldier. The festivities happen all over the Empire, except for Hart’s Island of course [Mythic].
Moving through the crowd gathering at the food and game stands, he finds a tavern named The Emerald Tankard. After making his way in, he sees a huge burly man threatening a middle aged drunk regular:
“Walter, you have two choices. You can leave the easy way, or the hard way. Your choice.”
Eli watches in amusement how Walter chooses the hard way and gets thrown out forcibly. Suddenly, the bouncer sees Eli, and points. “You! No minors allowed! Out!” he bellows, jerking his thumb in the direction of the door. Eli chooses to leave the nice way, as he’s about a year or two away from the legal drinking age (and looks young).
Eli wants to find out where the horse carriage service is, but before he can say anything the bouncer is busy breaking up a fight.
[BIC: instinct-feeling] Perhaps feeling he has someone to commiserate with, the old drunk that was just thrown out approaches Eli. “No good establishment with no good staff,” he says dusting himself off. “They’ll run out of business soon.”
Eli smiles politely and nods. “Sir, do you know where I can find transportation by horse carriage?”
[Mythic says yes, he knows. Ambiguous Event: Ruin-Military] As the drunk is about to answer, a group of drunk rowdy soldiers walk by, their uniforms in a mess. Perhaps thinking that he might be able to get a free drink or two from them, he leaves Eli, merrily calling after the young soldiers, “Hey fellas! Wait!”
Eventually, Eli finds someone to point him in the right direction.
[BIC:insight] On the way there, a fortune teller calls him: “Young man,” he calls.
[Mythic says he is uncannily accurate. RSC: scale, skyscraper] “Do verdicts from heaven trouble you?” he asks ambiguously.
Suspicious, and trying to decide whether to run away, or run towards him for help, Eli probes with a question. “What makes you say that?”
“Please join me in my tent. I will answer all your questions, ” the fortune teller says and disappears inside his tent.
[What does the tent look like? Mythic: Boldly-Modern] Eli follows him inside and is surprised by the interior appearance of the tent. Instead of finding all the trinkets, and occult signs one would expect in such a place, the tent decorated with elegant candle holders, beautiful paintings of ships from the port, and plush chairs and love seats [descriptions came from a few Bright Idea Deck cards (using the pictures)]. Evidently, the man possesses avant garde taste.
“Please make yourself comfortable,” the man tells Eli as he pleasantly gestures towards a chair. Eli sits, but the man remains standing. Eli watches the fortune teller in silence as he walks towards a nearby mirror, and touches its edge as if caressing it.
“Can you really provide me with answers?”
“This mirror is a window to past, present, and future,” he says as he looks back at Eli almost cockily. “You have left home. Why, young man?” He says this as he turns back to look intently at the polished surface.
[I figure that since the fortune teller is the Threshold Guardian, it's very likely he's in service of one or more of the gods that seek to punish Eli. As such, it's "a sure thing" that he either knows or can divine why Eli left home. Mythic answers, "no". Hmm, maybe he's not explicitly in league with any of the gods, even though he's an obstacle.
Does he keep his composure? Somewhat Likely: 77, no. How does he react? Quarrelsomely-Powerful. Also, Inform-Business (very fitting)]
Eli is lifted off his chair by an invisible force, and a sudden burst of incredible pain courses through is being, as if greedy roots made of iron were probing his thoughts and his feelings for sustenance.
[I still figure whatever sorcery the fortune teller is using will have Now Way to succeed as someone, very likely Ainus, does not want anyone to know Eli's and his business. I'll use the Mythic Fate Chart for this as I'm on my lunch hour, and don't have the time to stat Ainus and Fortune Teller dude.
As expected, Mythic says "No." The probe does not work. Does he give up? Very Unlikely as he's already gone this far. 88 says it's an Exceptional No.]
"It will be better for you to give me what I want, young man. Do not think I am beyond taking your life. Why should the gods should bother with hunting you? Maybe you possess something that might be of value to me. [Mythic]"
[Mythic says that now the fortune teller is not able to read any of Eli's thoughts at all, even though he was able to sense something when he first saw him. Ainus must have closed off any means for him to read his mind again.]
Fighting for his life, Eli manages to spurt out "I don't know!"
"Then you shall die here."
"No! Please! I know who can tell me!" It's not completely true; he doesn't know who can tell him, but he knows he will find out.
"Out with it! Tell me!" He probes Eli harder, though only to increase the pain.
[Is the fortune teller surprised? I figure it's a Near Sure Thing for a couple of reasons. One reason is that being a fortune teller, and a sorcerer, he probably knows much about the occult and might have heard the name. The other reason is that knowing so much, he would probably expect Ainus to be long dead.
Mythic says: 04-Exceptional Yes]
Ainus unexpectedly lets Eli go, who drops on the chair so hard that it flips over.
[If the fortune teller was unafraid of sticking his nose in the gods' alleged business, he is Very Unlikely to fear Ainus. Does he fear Ainus? Exceptional No. Therefore it seems logical that he will want to find Ainus. His only link is Eli, though]
Walking slowly over to where Eli lies, he stands over him ominously, prompting Eli to say, "He sent me to look for someone inside the cursed battlefield."
"His disciple. Camus the Traveller."
[Question: As he needs Eli, at least until he is certain he is no longer useful, the fortune teller will certainly look for Camus with Eli in tow. It's A Sure Thing that he will forcibly make Eli travel with him. Does he?
answer: Exceptional Yes
[Question: How does he do this?
event: Move toward a thread : Delay A plot]
Eli sees him raise a hand towards him. He tries to crawl away, but he feels as if moving through molasses; his limbs turning white as his flesh slowly becomes marble.
[Question: Does he retain consciousness? 50/50
Before his scream of horror has a chance to escape, the world fades away for Eli. The fortune teller smiles as he looks at his grotesque sculpture.