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It was the custom of this people that when each villager had become advanced in age, he or she was presented with a massive book, each volume a generation, in which the dying were each dedicated a single page. Upon his or her page each individual was bid to indicate that which he or she had discovered to be of the greatest importance. The volumes upon volumes of such pages were originally housed in the village library, under a frail banner from which the words had faded. If one were to inspect these volumes, then one would find an inexhaustible collection of poetry, stories, advice, and discovery. Peculiarly, amidst this eclectic collection of memories, one would always, but with varied frequency, find entries exulting the name of the old man of the mountain. Indeed, printings of the very first entry of volume-one read for all to see, "I am greatness, I am Gregory; the old man of the mountain who slew the dragon and built the cathedral." When the village library fell into disrepair and the collection was moved to the cathedral basement, as it were, the only space large enough to house such an anthology, such entries curiously become more frequent,
After many decades spent holding the volumes of people-pages within the cathedral, their contents became the subject of many a sermon. Seeing as the pages literally housed the culmination of many thousands of individual lives, it certainly followed that if the soul existed at all, it was imposed upon the page signed by the individual who authored it. Unscrupulous ministers even made a steady income, promising larger pages to those whose tithing flowed heavily. However, such practices were almost universally condemned as charlatanry.
Ultimately, it became the prerogative of every devout person to reflect upon what the old man of the mountain would have each person write upon his or her sacred lines. This task was made profoundly easier by simply consulting the page written by the old man himself, exulting the divine name. Thus it was widely inferred that a moral person would do likewise. Over time, people realized that the proper answer to give in their last hours was to answer as did the first writer who slew the dragon and built the cathedral. Thus, eventually nobody made the mistake of writing poetry, music, or advice anymore, as they might have before the true answer was known.
On year, a male child reached the age at which he would customarily be taught to swim. Unfortunately, he was of such stature and weight that this proved a futile endeavor and because of this propensity to sink he earned the nickname "Brick". It became apparent that Brick would never be qualified to fish the lake with the rest of the community. So when the child reached working age, a special profession was proposed for him. It was suggested by one minister of the cathedral, that Brick be enlisted to climb the looming mountain and ask of the old man therein, what precise words a person ought to write in the book of lives?
It was settled, and once charged with this endeavor, Brick was sent to be trained and decorated for his journey. He was warned that along the journey there would be peril, that the mountain was tall and icy, and that there may still be dragons in its caves.
On the day of his departure Brick asked his mentors, "Sirs, how will I recognize the old man of the mountain?" The mentors had not considered this question, and an argument ensued over whether or not the old man still had hair, how long his beard had grown, and even whether or not he were a man and not a woman. Indeed, the mentors and the ministers developed such an argument, that the question was not ever settled amongst them. However, with mere hours remaining prior to Bricks departure, a wily minister slipped away with brick and described to him the following...
"The old man will have a meter long white beard, he will be male, and he will be wearing a bathrobe."
and then Brick departed.
The ascent was harrowing, the descent, more harrowing still, and when Brick returned the village waited for him and when they saw him called out, "did you find the old man of the mountain?" to which Brick replied, "I did not." There was scandal.
Finally, it was surmised that the description given to Brick of the old man of the mountain was not the correct one. It was decided that the error would be corrected, and the climber returned to the mountain. Yet, the mentors and ministers once again could not agree upon a correct description of the one being sought.
The ministers and mentors divided themselves into many schools. The largest agreeing amongst themselves that a the builder of the cathedral must himself be older than the building itself, which was at this point very old. Thus he must wear a beard exactly two meters long.
Brick was again returned to the mountain. His ascent took weeks, his descent was plagued by snow, but he returned again to the waiting village. The people asked, "have you seen the old man of the mountain, who slew the dragon and built the cathedral, whose name is exulted and who wears a beard two meters long?" But brick responded, "I have not." The parade was cancelled.
The next largest school claimed that the old man of the mountain would be found, wearing not a bathrobe, but a park. This made sense to most because the mountain must certainly be very cold or else all the ice would melt.
Brick was issued forth once again, and again returned reporting that this had not been what he had seen upon the mountain. Again and again, Brick was sent forth bearing a new description of what he sought. He always returned saying that he had not seen what the ministers and mentors had described.
During all this time, a growing number of people in the village began to suspect that Brick was lying, that perhaps he was the spawn of dragons, that he was trying to mislead the people and thus remove then from the protection of the cathedral and the dragon slayer. Of course, dragons are made of consuming fire and Brick had always refused to enter the water! Q.E.D Brick must be a dragon in essence, instantiated as a human substance in order to deceive the villagers!
By the time Brick returned from his fiftieth climb. The mentors and the ministers had all agreed upon the thing that Brick was a dragon in human form and had lied to the people about what he had seen on the mountain.
To these charges Brick responded, "I have not lied, nor have you asked me what I have seen. Rather, you have asked me only if I have seen what you describe." The mentors and ministers clapped their foreheads. Of course they had never thought to ask Brick what the man of the mountain looks like! They asked Brick what he had seen upon the mountain.
"I have grown nearly blind from many snowstorms. I have lost my memory due to many sleepless nights upon the mountain. I remember only that, from the top of the highest peak, I could see in front of me, a lake, a village, fields of grass and such rivers of clear water as would flow from the tears of anybody who stood where I stood then in awe" But this was nothing as beautiful or awesome as to what was behind me."
The court asked, "what was behind you was surely the old man of the mountain, who slew the dragon and built the cathedral!?" Brick said honestly,
"no, behind me was but a taller mountain."
The court proclaimed Brick a perjurer and sentenced him to be drowned. The decision read as follows.
"If the old man of the mountain, slayer of dragons and builder of the cathedral were not present upon the mountain, then the dragon would still be alive to terrorize us today and the cathedral would not be built. Because the dragon does not terrorize us and the cathedral is plainly built, we can be assured that the defendant known as Brick is lying in his testimony. Therefore, the court is justified in ruling that Brick is guilty of Wyrmery (the crime of harboring dragons).
In chains, being rowed into the deepest cove of the cold, icy lake, Brick demanded his last right to a page in the book of lives, upon which he wrote, "its all going to be okay."
PS: How do I win this debate?
It's hard to explain puns to kleptomaniacs because they always take things literally.
Entropy isn't what it used to be.
Vote Con because this "debate" should be in a forum not a debate
WP_henderson forfeited this round.
1. I told a joke.
2. This debate is in the wrong section
3. He never clarified the ending
Thank you for the story/debate?
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Midnight1131 10 months ago
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Reasons for voting decision: FF
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