Mad God's Gamble

Mad Cothe Ohte, Bakunawa's Balut, or "Getting Egg In Your Face"

New recruits in the Thayan Armada perform an informal ritual called the "Mad God's Gamble" the night before they first embark for the Shattered Moon. It involves eating the fertilized embryo in an unhatched egg of some exotic creature. As an infrequent ingester of foodstuffs, I don't quite understand it.

If you want dates, facts, and numbers Instructor is the soulforged for you. If you want to hear about drinking, harlotry, and eating disgusting things Ol' Sgt. Kill Flayer is the orc you need! I've made a study of the different types of balut you can slurp down, just avoid the black ones!

On the last night before the full moon, Silver Shadow Grove in Menelost Telperion fills with starlings. These cadets of the Thayan Armada nervously await their first flight to the Shattered Moon and battle against the remaining forces of the Far Realm. On their last night of freedom, they seek to create memories that will sustain them through the battles to come.

Many Entulesse elves consider this night, called the "Mad God's Gamble" or "Mad Coth Ohte" (elvish for "eating enemy eggs") to be a bookend to the Cabed Maitulie they undertook when they returned to the mortal world. This time, they prepared to leave the world again, but as warriors trained to battle nightmares.

The ritual is related to the Naraky's Eggs festival that celebrates when the "mad" god Naraky ended the Far War. He made a mad gambit, switching the Great Old One known as the Sleeper with the chick inside a chicken's egg. They ritualistically eat a fertilized egg to represent their future victories against the Bakunawa and the Far Realm.

Alright starlings, I see some of you noobs are walking too straight! Barkeep! I need a round of Nazzy Bain over here for these recruits! Keep it flowing until I tell you to stop! You greenhorns are going to need to be really drunk for what's coming next!

Lt. Aymer Ulalen, Thayan Armada

As the night continues, the starlings become progressively drunker, egged on by the junior officers sent along to make sure everyone has a good time AND gets back in their bunks safely. The street food vendors come out in full force, fully aware that this will be one of their most profitable nights. The balut vendors, in particular, pull out all the stops. They've been building up an inventory of exotic eggs just for the Mad Coth Ohte, which translates as "eating enemy eggs".

Alright starlings, it's the moment you've all been waiting for! I've been dealing with Thulum the Locathah for years, we can trust his balut! As you can see, his stall is properly warded with silver and cold iron. And here he has his apotropaic toppings: vinegar, garlic, and salt. We learned our lesson after that incident on the Blackjack a couple of years ago! No aswang infestations for you recruits!

I see here that he has some regular duck balut, but for those of you with steel in your spine, he also has flying snake, salamander, giant spider, and cockatrice! That last one will stiffen you up if you need it for later boys! Thulum, put aside that thought eater egg for me!

— Lt. Aymer Ulalen, Thayan Armade

Many recruits can barely bring themselves to eat the more mundane balut, but they all eventually take part in the rite of passage. The more adventurous recruits take turns eating more and more exotic balut: giant spider, flying snake, gazer, ankheg, and other monstrosities. The starling who eats the "craziest" balut, as judged by their accompanying officer, gets light duty until they reach their base on the Barrow Shard in a few days.



Cover image: The Zone Generic Header by Ellysium

Comments

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Sage George Sanders
George Sanders
11 Aug, 2022 03:56

That sounds like an epic mobilization! The moon shattered! Whew. Here is Lavani's review:   "My champions have fought aberrations from the far realms. May the new starlings become heroes of the Thayan Armada and continue their murmuration to victory." -Lavani

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11 Aug, 2022 04:10

Thanks for the review and thanks to Lavani too!

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Eternal Sage AmélieIS
Amélie I. S. Debruyne
19 Aug, 2022 08:56

This is a really fun tradition XD Is it something people keep talking about afterwards, who was the mot daring and ate the most disgusting thing? Or is there little prestige linked to that apart from getting light duty for a while?

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19 Aug, 2022 17:26

I'm sure that everyone remembers exactly how well they did (or not) with their Gamble! Those are the kinds of bragging rights you can keep forever.

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