Dicember 2021 – shame

Minstrel’s tales and the whisper-net of adventurers, ne’er-do-wells and other glory-seekers all speak of, at times, a certain fey and strange fountain.

Its location changes, from tale to tale: some say in the deepest of labyrinths (but none agree which), some name an isolated shrine half tumbled to ruin, some a far-off palace ruled by emperor or angel or formless wraith.

What doesn’t change is the fountain’s description, and its thorny gift.

It is a font of smooth grey stones, faintly translucent, fitted so cunningly together that not even a hair could slip between them; a half-moon of framing stone, set flush to a wall or standing free, and a basin in which water wells up gently from an unseen source. Resting on the basin’s broad lip is a dipper shaped so smoothly from milky crystal as to look grown, not carved.

Drink the sweet, cool water from the dipper and be absolved of all your failures, all your regrets, all your shame both secret and known throughout the lands. Be absolved, and know yourself to be free.

Balance, of course, must always be maintained.

What is the fountain’s price?

01. Your greatest accomplishment is also forgotten
02. Your greatest enemy or rival has also had the slate wiped clean
03. You have aged one-tenth of your lifespan
04. One of your senses is dulled; choose carefully
05. You will fail at one great endeavour at one crucial, critical point
06. Your dreams remind you of what you were absolved of
07. Your vitality is weakened, leaving you vulnerable to illness or poison
08. One archivist, unknown to you, is moved to record the sudden knowledge in their thoughts …

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