The Lost Goats

  • A non-RP TS

    This is set sometime between Canonical Cythera, & the TSs, when all the little-kids of Cythera have grown into young teens. Feel free to add non-canon characters, but not personal characters

    Scenario: Asteropaeus was left in charge of the Flax Farm while his parents, Pelops & Alcmena, journeyed to Odemia to sell their harvest. They would be gone for several days, & the goats escaped on the first night. As the story opens, it is mid-morning, & Asteropaeus has been out searching for several hours....


    "Filthy Language!!!" yelled Asteropaeus at the sky, how he wished he weren't so shy, then he would have gone to town with his father sometimes, & maybe been able to pickup some suitable phrases at the tavern. "Why didn't I check to be sure I locked the gate? Now I will be in trouble for losing the goats, in addition to depleting the wine cellar. Too bad only the goats were around to hear my grand speech... oh yeah, they weren't there either. NAUGHTY WORDS!!!"

    "It is said that speaking to one's self is a sign of mental instability."

    Aster lurched to the side, his heart pounding, & spasmed toward the sound, fingers fumbling for the staff he had dropped on the ground. Merry laughter filled the air as a girl about his own age hopped down from a boulder & guardedly offered truce. Aster was not impressed with his neighbour at this time, she had a habit of making him feel like a fool. He drove her off with dirt-clods, & sat in the shade of the boulder to sulk for a time....

  • OoC: Okay, I didn't want to come up with some other character, so I'm using the only little girl in the entire land of Cythera that there is: Niobe. (Children are a rare breed in Cythera :p ) The idea is that her parents still run the kitchen and lodging at Pynx, so Niobe moved out when she got older. She owns a farm not too far from Aster's family because she thought farming looked fun and decided to spend all of her money buying some rundown shanty. I feel pretty safe using a canonical character since this story is non-canonical. Hope it's all right. BiC:

    Niobe seemed spoiled and arrogant to Aster. True, he didn't really know any other kids his age. He had lived on this farm with his family ever since he was a little boy. Niobe, on the other hand, had grown up in the majestic Pynx surrounded by the mages. Either she really did feel superior to him because he was just some farm boy, or she knew better how life worked in the real world. Aster didn't know, but he didn't care. He just wanted her to leave.

    Of course, the other option is that Niobe really was superior to Aster, but he didn't think about that much. . .

    Niobe indignantly brushed the dirt off of her fine cloak. She cautiously sneaked around the boulder again and addressed Aster. "I guardedly offered you a truce!"

    Aster muttered something and adjusted himself to be facing the opposite direction of Niobe.

    "I noticed that all of your goats are gone. I guess you forgot to lock your gate up last night, eh? I don't know how you managed to do that. . . Anyways, your parents are going to kill you if you don't get them back."

    Aster couldn't take any more of this and he picked up another clod of dirt to throw at Niobe, but he noticed when he turned around that she had a larger clod of dirt in her hand aimed at his head. "Can't you just leave me be and let me sulk?" he asked as he dropped the dirt on the ground.

    "Eww. . ." Niobe shook her arm violently to get all of the dirt off of her own hand. "You made me get dirt all over my sleeve. You are the worst neighbor I've ever had. I just hope you aren't planning on throwing more dirt clods at me, because I'm tempted to go home and get my crossbow!"

    Aster got up to leave.

    "Hey! Wait! I want a truce if you're willing to accept."

    "Why would I want a truce with you? You always try to make me feel like a fool."

    "Well, I don't mean to do that. It's just that it's so easy. . ."

    Aster started to leave again.

    "Wait! Wait! Wait! I mean, I'm getting better. You're nice. See? Wasn't that better? Anyways, I'll help you find your lost goats before your parents come home."

    Aster glanced back towards his parents flax farm. He did have to find the goats before his parents got back from Odemia, and he had had no luck on his own. "All right, if you promise not to say another mean thing to me in your entire life, I'll accept your truce."

    "Promise! Shake on it?" Niobe extended her hand, which Aster reluctantly took with his own. "Good!" Niobe exclaimed, "Now we can be friends! Oh, and I'll keep my promise and not ever, ever say a mean thing to you again for as long as I live! I mean, really. . . how hard can it be?"

    "Aster, you are a fool!" Niobe looked down at the goats' tracks in the dirt. "You spent how many hours searching for them and you didn't even think to come back here to look for where the tracks lead?"

    "Well, I. . . hey! You broke your promise!"

    "Oh, did I? Well, I didn't mean to. I mean, let's not bicker about it like little children, all right?"

    "There you go again! Little children? I'm going to find my goats on my own."

    "Aster, please give me another chance. I can't help it. I just say the first thing in my mind without even thinking to stop myself."

    Aster sighed in frustration but decided he could try again. "All right, just don't say anything else okay?"

    "Okay! Anyways, these tracks lead east, towards the coast. If we hurry we may be able to catch up with them. . ."

    OoC: I'm passing the baton to someone, anyone else at this point. I gather from what Jehezekel said that no one is a personal character, so feel free to use Aster or Niobe however you wish and take the story wherever you want. I have no idea what to do after this point, I just wanted to write some dialogue between Aster and Niobe.

    When I set out to write this, Niobe was supposed to be a snobby, obnoxious neighbor. But as the conversations developed, I do believe that Niobe has a crush on Aster. Maybe they'll fall in love! :wub:

  • Asteropaeus started off to the east, but Niobe stood still.

    "What's the hold-up?" Aster asked her impatiently.

    "You didn't think I'd help you for nothing, did you?" Niobe replied, with an evil grin.

    "Get lost!" Aster exclaimed. "I can track down some silly goats! Who needs you!"

    "Fine, go!" said Niobe. "You think I want your company? Just get away from me!"

    Aster stormed off eastword, and Niobe sat down on the ground to sulk.

    "What a jerk," Niobe muttered to herself. "Why does he have to be the only boy in the area? I was just going to ask him for some of his mom's delicious cheese anyway! He could spare me some cheese! In fact-" she stood up with a look of determination, "-I am getting some cheese!"

    Niobe ran into the house, where, sure enough, she found some cheese stored in a crate. She took a roll out and devoured it. The cheese gave her a burst of energy, and she realized that she could catch up to Aster if she ran. And run she did.

    Aster was not happy to see her. Or maybe he was, kids can be dumb that way. The two walked on together for some time, following the trail, until they came to the shoreline. They saw the goats there on the beach, but from the way they were moving, they seemed to be trapped within an invisible cage. And standing in front of the goats was Magpie.

    Magpie hadn't aged a day since Bellerophon saved Cythera. But he also hadn't yet sought out any counseling or psychiatric medications.

    "Hello, children," said Magpie as the kids approached. "You want these goats, do you not? I will give you these goats, if you will give me something in return."

    "What do you want?" Aster asked.

    "My request is simple," replied Magpie, "all my life, I have only wanted one thing. A vacuum cleaner. Of all the magic in Cythera, there is not a spell that can remove the dust from the carpets at LandKing Hall."

    " What is a vacuum cleaner?" Niobe demanded.

    "Ah, but that is the question, isn't it?" said Magpie. "It has not been invented yet. But someday it will be, and who knows, it may be invented by the two of you."

  • As the youth stared at him blankly, Magpie & the goats blurred, & flowed down the shore into the sea.

    "I think I must be dehydrated."

    "Aye, me too"

    The nearest farm was old Glaucus' vineyard, which they promptly hurried to for refreshment.

  • OoC
    Blame Wizard: he said I should go ahead and post something like this :p .

    Finally, the two kids reached Glaucus's vineyard. They found him staring angrily at the Vineyard, which had somehow been picked clean of all grapes.

    "Excuse us, sir—" Niobe began.

    "Huh? What?" he said, looking up at them.

    "We'd like a drink—" she started to continue.

    "Uh huh, if Alaric heard I was giving kids wine, he'd shut me down."

    "No, I meant a drink of—"

    "Doesn't matter, I'm not serving it."

    "No, she means we'd like a glass of water," Aster said in annoyance.

    "Oh, well, you could have just said so."

    "I tried—"

    "That's the problem with people these days...never just say what they want so say."

    "Sir, I was trying to—"

    "When I was your age, I would have just asked for a glass of water," the Vineyard's owner continued.


    "Why, I remember the time when—"

    "MAY WE PLEASE JUST HAVE A DRINK?" Aster roared angrily.

    "And that's another problem with people these days—"

    About two hours later, Aster and Niobe had finally gotten to have a drink. Currently, they were sitting in the kitchen telling Glaucus about their hunt for Aster's goats.

    "—and can you tell us anything about them?" Aster finished.

    "Do they like to eat?"


    "Everything? Even grapes?"

    "Well, naturally."

    Glaucus leaned across the table, grabbed Aster by the shirt, and began to shake him.


    Uh oh , Aster thought.


    Glaucus let Aster back into his seat.

    "The way, I figure it, kid. You owe me—about 10 billion—give or take a few million—oboloi! AND I WANT IT BY TONIGHT! Now, get going!"

  • Ooc
    I'm not good at all at this controlling other characters thing. I'm accustomed to/comfortable with being in charge of only one character, lessening the risk of acting out of character with the others...of course I understand this slows down the story, but I don't mind other people playing "my" character.......though I think I'll just give playing other characters a shot

    If it's alright with everyone, I've decided to introduce Dymas to the story.
    We all remember Dymas as that cute little kid who helps his dad Thoas the blacksmith. Well he's grown into a strong, hardworking, (not to mention attractive) young man. Having responsibility thrust upon him at a young age, he is very mature, but sometimes he tends to act a little too grown up. He is very cheerful and positive, despite having grown up in Cademia without a mother. He is also a chronic goody-goody, and very proud of his sprouting facial hair.

    It had been a good year for Dymas. Despite having to help his dad throughout most of the day, he managed to find time to do odd jobs for the people of Cademia and save up some oboli. He had saved up quite a bit. Though he didn't really have anything specific in mind to save up for, he knew it was a good idea to have a nice sum of obols saved up. One never knew what the future might bring.

    He started work early that day. He had been informed that Apis was running low on wine and needed someone to go fetch some for her. His only other competition in the area was Dryas, but that kid spent all his time in the sewers. He had his Ratcatcher's Guild obligations to attend to before anything else.

    It was late in the afternoon before Dymas had finally finished his work for the day. His father took over and allowed him to go to Apis to see if she wanted his help. Dymas sprinted over to the Two-Tailed Rat. Apis was delighted that he would help. She gave him a bag of oboli and told him to go to Glaucus and buy some wine. A few years back, Glaucus's wine had been mysteriously tainted, but somehow or another the problem was solved and Glaucus's wine went back to the top. It was always in demand. With some luck he would still have some vats left.

    It was a long walk, but rather enjoyable. The sea blew a refreshing salty breeze.
    When Dymas finally reached The North Shore Vineyard, he heard some sounded like Glaucus was chewing someone out.
    Dymas made it just in time to see Glaucus yell his last sentence to some boy's face...apparently he owed him money?

    Glaucus looked very flustered and his breathing was heavy. He turned shaply when he noticed Dymas standing there.

    "And what do you want" he snapped.

    "Um...well, Apis was wondering if you had any wine to sell, Sir" As Dymas spoke he noticed the boy immediately start waving his hands and shaking his head as if you tell him to stop talking...but of course it was too late for that.

    "Wine? WINE!?" Glaucus broke into hysterical laughter and turned to the other boy.

    "Did you hear that? he wants wine! WINE IS WHAT HE WANTS!"

    Dymas watched Glaucus with mild concern. "Um...Sir?"


    out all of you!

    I don't want to see either of you again until I get reimbursed!"

    Without another word, Dymas quickly turned on his heel and exited out of that place with the others as quickly as possible.

    Once the three of them appeared to be a safe distance from Glaucus's wrath, Dymas turned to the two of them. He had seen the boy before, but never really knew him, and he had never seen the girl.

    "What's going on now?"

    He knew Glaucus tended to be overly dramatic at times and go a little crazy every now and then, but he was usually set off by something, and Dymas intended to find out what it was this time.

  • Niobe ignored Dymas' question for the moment and turned to Aster. "This is your fault. If you hadn't lost those goats in the first place, we wouldn't be having this trouble!"

    "What goats?" Dymas asked.

    Aster shouted back at Niobe, "Well, maybe you'd be happier just going back to your little home instead of helping me, an offer which you made by the way."

    "Helping you do what?"

    "Well maybe I would!" Niobe yelled. "I don't have to stand here and get blamed for your stupid mistakes. I take back my offer!"


    "Good! I don't want your help anyway, and I never did." Aster turned to walk away, but Dymas grabbed his arm and pulled him back.

    "Would someone please tell me what's going on around here!?"

    For the first time since he appeared, Niobe and Aster actually took a moment to talk with Dymas. "Nothing!" Aster yelled in frustration before shaking free of Dymas hand and walking away.

    Niobe wasn't quite so rude though. "Who are you?"

    "I'm Dymas," he said proudly. "I'm a blacksmith in Cademia. Look, I know how difficult Glaucus can be to reason with, and if there's something you need help with, well, I'd like to help." Dymas smiled broadly and sincerely.

    "Well. . ." Niobe paused examining Dymas and considering his intentions. "It's not my problem anymore, you should talk to Aster."

    "Oh? Is that your name, I've never heard your name before."

    Aster turned back towards them. "Yes, I am Asteropaeus, but you can call me Aster."

    "What's your problem? What's this about goats?"

    "I kinda lost some goats that belong to my parents, and they are away in Odemia. I need to find them again before my parents come home."

    "I see. And who are you then?" Dymas looked at Niobe.

    "My name's Niobe. I offered to help Aster find his lost goats, but he's to blockheaded to listen to me."

    "Can you explain what Glaucus was so upset about?"

    "Aster's stupid goats ate all of his grapes, and now he thinks we owe him money!"

    Dymas was beginning to reconsider his own offer to help. These two seemed genuinely in a mess, one he wasn't anxious to get involved in. "Why are you two so mad at each other?"

    Both Niobe and Aster had multiple answers to that question and began to yell them simultaneously at Dymas. "Hold on! I'm still going to try helping you, but I can't do that until you two talk to each other."

    "I wouldn't be so mad at him if his goats hadn't gone and eaten Glaucus' entire vineyard!" Niobe gave special emphasis to the the end.

    "You called me a blockhead! Right after you promised to stop calling me names. Besides, it's not my fault your in this, you volunteered."

    Niobe sighed and bit her lip. She hated to admit that she had indeed gotten herself into this, but there seemed to no way around that if she was ever going to be friends with Aster again. He wasn't so bad. . . "Fine. You win; I'll help you find your goats. But I'm not going to pay any of the damages to Glaucus out of my own money!"

    Dymas smiled again. He felt he had accomplished something. "Maybe we won't have to. All we do is find Aster's goats, sell them, and pay Glaucus out of that money."

    "Then what do I tell my parents?"

    "You'll have to tell them the truth, of course. By the way, what is the truth? How did you lose the goats?"

    "He left the gate unlocked during the night," Niobe muttered.

    "I did not!" Aster retorted.

    "Then how did they get out?" Niobe exclaimed.

    "I admit I didn't remember to check the gate, but, thinking back on it, I'm pretty sure that I did lock it!"

    "Maybe they were stolen." Dymas thought for a moment, then made up his mind. "Very well, I will help you find your goats. Right now, they could be in the clutches of some dastardly villain who plans to make a fortune off of goat's milk and an assortment of dairy products!"

    "How can we go about finding them? We've lost the trail by now."

    "There are only so many places a thief could take them. He would want to avoid roads and other farms, I should think. The most logical place to look is the open fields to the north."

    So, now with Dymas to help them, the trio set off to the north to find Aster's lost goats and bring a goat-stealing crook to justice.

  • OoC: It is not my usual practice to double-post, but I figured I had to post something here since no one else has anything to say. BiC:

    They had been traveling for several hours before Dymas spotted a large herd of goats.

    "Who's that up ahead of them?" Niobe asked pointing to several large men, each equipped with a shepherd's staff.

    Dymas strained his eyes for a moment to see the figures better. Then he exclaimed, "It looks like I was right! Your goats were stolen! That's a band of ruffians!"

    "Whew!" Aster sighed.

    "Why are you relieved?" Niobe turned to him confused.

    "If the goats were stolen by ruffians, then that means that I have an excuse for losing them, and I won't be blamed by my parents."

    "Well, you may not be blamed for losing them, but what are we going to do about recovering them?" Dymas thought over the situation, turning his head to look in the direction of Cademia. "We could travel back to Cademia and get help."

    "No, we'll have lost their trail by then! We must act now if you ever want to see those goats alive again!" Niobe grabbed her bow and leapt for cover behind a boulder.

    Aster hesitated, "Is this a good idea. I mean are you really all that good of a shot?"

    "Trust me, I know what I'm doing." With that, Niobe slid an arrow up to her bowstring and took aim.


    The goat felt no pain. It died instantly. "Whoops! I guess that was just a little bit off. . ." Niobe squinted and studied her targets a little more closely. She shot another arrow. This one was actually close enough to the head of the herd that the goat's dying bleat alerted the ruffians in front of them.

    "My goats! Stop it! You're killing my goats!" Aster jumped up and down in frustration.

    "Am not, my aim is perfect. It's those stupid goats that keep getting in the way!"

    Dymas had been watching quietly, but when the ruffians became aware of their presence and ran for cover, he had to say something. "That was not a good idea, I think."

    Aster, who had been too busy jumping around to hide behind something, suddenly felt something hit his stomach. "Ow!"

    "They're shooting at us!" Niobe shouted, ducking further down.

    Another stone flew from a slingshot and bounced against Aster's chest. Given the distance that the ruffians were throwing the rocks from, it was amazing they were hitting him at all. "Ow! I felt that one."

    "Get down!" Niobe pulled Aster to the ground just as another rock flew over his head. "That's not fair! They've got rocks! All we've got are those arrows!" Niobe threw her bow down, exasperated.

    " Now how are we going to rescue the goats?" Dymas asked Niobe, a disapproving tone in his voice.

    Aster, without really thinking, picked up a stone and tossed it into the trees. "Take that, you rough ruffians!"

    "Gah!" A shout came from the trees, followed by a loud commotion.

    "Hey, I think I hit one!"

    "Lucky shot. . . " Niobe muttered.

    Dymas suddenly got an idea. Still safely hidden behind the rock, he addressed the ruffians loudly, "Listen! We have an expert rock-thrower up here! If you don't surrender, we'll knock all of you out and drag you off to prison! Are some goats really worth all of that?"

    Again, there was more commotion from behind the trees. Something about Aster's one lucky shot must have gotten to them, though, because a few moments later a small band of ruffians came out from behind the trees, with their hands up.

    Dymas grabbed a nearby stick and stepped out from behind the boulder. "Now I want you all to put down your weapons!"

    The ruffians exchanged a glance.

    "We'll throw rocks at you!" Dymas threatened. The ruffians tossed their slingshots aside, along with the stones they were carrying as ammunition.

    "Excellent!" Niobe said, also coming out from behind the rock. "Let's tie them up!"

    Ten minutes later, the ruffians were securely tied and being watched by Dymas. "My goats!" Aster was so happy to have recovered his lost goats.

    Dymas was still bothered by something. This all seemed too easy. Besides, now they had to find a way to pay back Glaucus.

    OoC: I'm leaving it here for the moment. I invite someone else to post and either introduce a new problem with the ruffians that will make getting the goats harder or just push the story on with the Glaucus' storyline. It's up to the next person, anyway. BiC:

    This post has been edited by The Wizard : 13 April 2008 - 07:20 PM

  • OoC: Well, since no one seems to be posting in this story, I guess I'll just finish it up with a quick triple post and let it die with some dignity. :p

    As Niobe kicked a ruffian, she went on and on about how she wished she would find a real ruffian treasure chest. "Why, I bet they have tons of oboloi around here somewhere!" She ran to the next ruffian, sticking a finger in his face and yelling at him. "Now you tell me where that money is right now!"

    Dymas rolled his eyes. He seemed to have gotten himself involved with a couple of crazy people. "We don't know that they have any money; maybe that's why they stole your goats."

    But Niobe didn't listen; she was running to interrogate the next ruffian, when she tripped over a rock and tumbled into the bushes. "Ow!" She cried.

    Aster, actually forgetting his goats for a moment, ran to check on her. But no sooner had Niobe fallen in the bushes, than she popped up again holding a chest in her hands. "Look at what I found!"

    Dymas also rushed over to see what was in the chest. As Niobe excitedly lifted the lid, the three's eyes were met with a beautiful sight: the ruffians' secret stash of oboloi.

    Aster stared in amazement for a moment before exclaiming, "Why I bet there are 10 billion oboloi in there - give or take a million!"

    Dymas turned back to the ruffians. "If you had all of this money, why'd you steal these goats?"

    The ruffians exchanged glances and then one of them, apparently the leader, spoke up. "We were given that money by some little man. He won it in the Kythera lottery. . . Anyways, he paid us to steal those goats and lead them around the whole island eating every vineyard's crops. He said that - what was it? - that the growing demand for grapes and the wine that would be made from them, with no sign of more coming on the way, would throw the entire island into a deep depression that would distract the inhabitants long enough for us to take over Alaric's throne."

    "Well, where is this 'little man'? What did he look like?" Dymas pressed.

    "I don't rightly know who he is. He was here just a short while ago. He had a friend with him, too, but, someone like that, probably has already run off."

    Niobe and Aster glanced around casually, but didn't make any real effort to search.

    "Come to think of it. . . he did kind of have a big head. . ." the ruffian said to no one in particular.

    "Well, I'd say that's all we can do for today." Dymas said as he goaded the ruffians to their feet. He whispered to Niobe and Aster, "Just between us, I think they're making up this story about another man, you know, just to place the blame elsewhere."

    The other two nodded in agreement. "Well, we have to get our goats home before my parents find out about everything," Aster commented, still dazzled by the oboloi in front of him. Niobe shot her head about and smiled, " Our goats?" Aster smiled, too. "Well, I guess you helped more than I thought you would. Thank you."

    "Oh, Aster!" Niobe shouted enthusiastically. Dymas chuckled about the silliness of his two companions, and looked forward to getting back to Cademia.

    The trio walked off into the sunset, the villains who stole the lost goats in custody and the money needed to repay Glaucus in their hands. . .

    Two small figures watched them leave from the underbrush. "Gee, Brain, I reeeaaally thought that plan was going to work," said the taller one.

    "As had I, Pinky," said the one with the big head. "But let us not dwell on this, we must return to the apothecary and prepare for tomorrow night."

    "Why, Brain? What are we going to do tomorrow night?"

    "The same thing we do every night, Pinky: Try to take over Kythera!"

    The End

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