Merry Xmas ... here's the first part of a Teckelsteiner Christmas Adventure
Learn how some of Sassy's ancestors helped to save the first Christmas at Bethlehem!
Ever wondered why the shepherds perceived the angelic host as a army?
A Teckelstein Tale of the First Christmas
I'm winding down to take an Christmas break since the girls have disappeared to go partying and tease people but before that break here's the Teckelstein version of the first Christmas.
Apparently Three Wise Men and Some Shepherds needed a little help to reach that stable and witness a special event.
Bethlehem about 4 BC or 0 BCE ... whatever
There's a planetary conjunction or a supernova or whatever unusual celestial paranormal or other phenomen will produce the appearance of a star parking over Bethlehem after sunset.
Meanwhile in the local magistrate's office a specialist mercenary from Southern Germania has arrived. His speciality was normally getting well paid for hunting predators that might attack Roman soldiers setting up a camp and being an advance scout watching out for hostile locals.
He's from a little valley that will later be known as Teckelstein where there are many let us say ... protodachels!
Small valiant brave hounds so fearless the local wild pigs run and hide next to the giant elk deep in the darkest parts of the forest!
One such small valiant pack had accompanied that specialist into the office to the annoyment of the clerks who had been enjoying a couple of glasses of wine and a platter of the GOOD cheese and the WHITE bread and were now being pestered for pieces of cheese by the pack while the specialist Gwillhelmianus was speaking to the magistrate.
" NO you Judeans have a final l in your language so surely you can say Gwillo? Or Uillson? Its so much shorter and easier?"
The magistrate glared and said
"I'm paying you not the Herodians or the Romans or the Temple.
Officially you're on leave but there's that little matter of the fight in the tavern about rooms and bookings and whether or not there was room in the tavern ...?
Some thing is bothering travellers on the roads. Some thing large and dark and sinister according to those travellers. Personally I think its just some lion or leopard or unusually large jackal thats come in from the desert but I need a expert now before there's a panic and one of the more sensible local herders tells me he's seen unusual tracks that he can't identify either so get out there and find out what it is before I have a delegation of irate smelly shepherders in my forecourt! Oh and if you're thinking of doing a runner ..."
The magistrate pointed at a cage on the floor,
"I have your prize hunting bitch who's about to whelp."
"I'll need my weapons."
"Sign for them in the outer office." growled the magistrate back returning to the task of applying his seal to packets of census forms.
Gwillo glared at the contract he had to sign to get his weapons back.
It absolved the magistrate of any responibility to pay for medical treatment if he got hurt and was skilfully phrased to imply he was freelancing willingly for the magistrate.
"Hey there's no provision for a horse in this contract!"
The magistrate who didnt owe a horse himslef despite being one of the richest people in town snorted.
"... or a litter with bearers or a chariot but I could spare one donkey or a rding mule perhaps?"
Some hours later Gwillo his pack and an unhappy mule carrying camping and hunting equipment had reached a sheepfold and were inspecting some very bizarre prints. Either several predators were in the area or one beast of indeterminate shape. Gwillo had never hunted shapeshifters and knew from stories from other hunters most claims of shapeshifters were caused by people wearing special boots or shoes with patterned soles trying to frighten others but these prints were just odd, disturbingly odd, blurred in one set and the very next quite crisp.
Both blurred and crisp prints were heading east towards the main road and then stopped.
"Every night the tracks are further east and some thing moving disturbs the herd," stated the herder who had reported them to the magistrate. The tracks they stop at a spot overlooking the road as if whatever makes them is waiting for something or some one to arrive. They start where stories say was once a shrine to the old ones the others who demanded blood sacrifices of children and ... last night I looked down the hill when I walked away from the fires to the ditch for you know what and I saw a shadow moving from shadow to shadow but in a straight line aiming for the road. Then the dogs started howling and some of them run towards the fires and away from the herds and something howled back. And what howled back was not a dog or wolf."
The senior herder made a sign with his fingers that would have gotten him in extreme trouble from the local priests and levites.
Gwillo set up a cold camp of a hide to protect the mule and unpacked nets and weapons set up to be easily grabbed and spear in one hand sat watching in a spot half way between where the herders camped at night and the road from the east where he could see the route the tracks had taken so far. His pack of dwarf wolves patiently curled themselves up around his feet or beside him as they too waited for nightfall.
To be continued over the 12 days of Christmas!