Barconsi and the Gold Vein Goblin


This story takes place in the time of King Taniel I.
While never recorded as part of the history of the kingdom, this tale was passed down in documents belonging to the Kedora Merchant Alliance until 150 years ago, during the reign of King Wardel, when it became registered in the royal archives.{np}
The story is believed to have been registered
by archivists of the time under the assumption that it was merely a folktale.
I, for one, would say otherwise. Thinking about this story at the time of the millenary, 50 years after the reign of King Wardel, I can't help but wonder if it isn't in fact a record of true events. {np}
Year 1002 of the Kingdom
By Royal Recorder Dena Jonas
There stood Barconsi, head of the Kedora Merchant Alliance, fearless before the enraged demon.{np}
Ever so brazen, he confronted the demon.
[I told you before and I'll tell you again.
Are you so keen on disregarding the words of humans?
The gold veins of this mountain belong to the Kedora Merchant Alliance.]{np}
Rumpelstiltskin was more than bewildered
by Barconsi's audacious stance.
[I have lived for many, many years,
but never have I seen a human so impertinent.]
[What good is it, really?
I am telling you the gold veins are ours.]{np}
[I'll concede you partial rights to them
as fellow explorers of the mountain. But claiming they are all yours doesn't make the slightest sense. You have no way to prove you were the first to find the gold veins.]{np}
To this, Barconsi replied:
[What you say is true, and I will not try to prove it. On the other hand, are you sure that finding something first grants you the rights to it? I can't seem to remember any such laws existing.{np}
Furthermore, my philosophy as head of the Alliance is that the way one uses wealth is more important than how one earns it. Based on that, I believe it is only right for us to keep this gold, as we would give it the most proper use. In other words, you may have claimed the beginnings,
but we will claim the end.]{np}
[How is that anything more than absolutely groundless?]
[You, my friend, are the one known for fooling others with your twisted logic. It doesn't sound
like you have any authority to accuse me of groundless arguments, wouldn't you say?]{np}
Rumpelstiltskin tried as he could to calm himself, not wanting to show any signs of backing down. A few moments passed before he took a step back and spoke.
[Very well. What are your plans for the gold, then?]
[I don't see a reason to tell you what we will be doing with our gold, but if you insist... What will you give me if I tell you?]
[Why would I give you anything?]
[I'm the head of a merchant alliance. You didn't think you could get information from me for free, did you?]{np}
Rumpelstiltskin, for a brief moment,
break the centuries-old tradition and crush this insolent human. However, his even greater love of a good fargument brought his spirit up. He in turn, welcomed such a fearless challenger in ages.
[Alright, I will tell you what I would be do with the gold when I obtain the gold vein.]{np}
At that point, Baroconsi replied.
[Huh? Are you trying to purchase our gold?]
[What do you mean?]
[Like I have said before, you don't listen, do you? You said you will tell me what you are going to do with the gold veins when you obtain them. Obtaining implies that you are not in possession of the object. Am I right?]{np}
What he has just heard turned his stomach around once more
but decided to endure it and asked again.
[These gold veins shall be used to build the walls around the capital of the Kingdom.]
[Ah that plan of Taniel a human king.]{np}
[You are correct. We will use the gold from these veins
as our fund and start a business of selling supplies and building materials to the Kingdom and make profit from the practice.]
[If that is your purpose, I can never let you have them.]{np}
[If that is your answer.
let's settle this through a game or a bet that you love so much.]
Once the word 'game' came out, Rumpelstiltskin's eyes gleamed with interest.
[A game. I admit, you got my interest. I must warn you I rarely lose in games.]{np}
Once Baroconsi heard this. he replied.
[Since you are so confident, it wouldn't matter if I choose the game right? Since you are good at everything.]
[It doesn't bother me.
Let's start already.]{np}
[Okay. Let's. As for the game,
how about we ask each other questions about the veins. A true owner of these veins must be able to answer without any hesitation, right?]{np}
Rumpelstiltskin thought about the proposal for a moment.
The opponent is a human who have just discovered them. There was no way a powerful demon like him
could ever be beaten by an ordinary human. He accepted the proposal.
[Alright. I like it. Go on.]{np}
Once Rumpelstiltskin accepted the idea, a further discussion on some ground rules and details went on and finally they reached an agreement. One of the terms was one could ask three questions to the other. Baroconsi started his question.
[How many carriages would be needed to transport all of the gold in these veins?]{np}
A powerful demon like Rumpelstiltskin
could not even begin to fathom the answer even if he had clairvoyance, he wouldn't be able to answer it.{np}
He thought about it but after a while, he figure
even Baroconsi would not answer this question so he gave up. His reasoning was
if Baroconsi doesn't know the answer as well, the round is a draw.{np}
But as soon as Rumpelstiltskin gave up, Baroconsi answered
[One carriage as big as these veins would certainly carry all the gold. So the answer is one.]{np}
This, of course, infuriated Rumpelstiltskin and protested that that was not fair.
Baroconsi did not even flinch and silently started at the giant demon who can easily squahs him with a tip of his finger.{np}
Rumpelstiltskin eventually calmed down a bit. It was not in his nature to stop a game once it started. Furthermore, he took great pleasure from defeating his opponent no matter the circumstances or conditions. So he continued.{np}
Baroconsi asked another question
[My second question is this. You and I guess the amount of gold these veins would produce in a year and the one to guess the closest wins this round.]{np}
At the question, Rumpelstiltskin added.
[This time no trick with the scales. I will not tolerate such cheap trick anymore. And if you still do, I win.]{np}
Baroconsi stared at Rumpelstiltskin straight in the eyes.
Showing no sign of fear.
Even when standing before a demon with infernal flame coming out of his head and razor sharp teeth gleaming with cruelty.
[I give you my word on it. No scale trick this time.]{np}
[I wil go first this time.
By human technology, the amount of gold that can be mined from these veins will be the same as the amount of 17,200 people can carry. With a margin of error of 3 people. If you say a number close to what I have just said and claim that your number is closer. I will take that as a forefeit.]{np}
Baroconsi replied.
[I am not quite sure how that would make it a win for you but it's irrelevant for I have a different number. My number is 0.]
[0. Nil. Nada. To be more precise,
for next year, the veins will not yield any gold. 0 of any scale is still 0.]
[That only applies if you are in charge. If I am the master, I can simply make that answer incorrect by taking a small chunk right now!]
[Be my guest, if you can.]
[What makes you think I can't?]{np}
[Well, you have a habit of not listening to other people.
I have already told you that the Kedora Merchant Alliance has the ownership of these gold veins
and the Alliance always back its claim with evidences. Simply put we were aware of this place long before you came along.
Frankly, we were waiting for you to arrive.{np}
We have set up a barrier that no demon can ever cross
The barrier will last for a year from now.
That means you cannot ever touch the gold here.
These facts make my guess not a guess but an accurate answer.]{np}
[I will not have it. The second question is null.
Or at least a draw.]
Baroconsi did not argued with the demon's claim at all and continued.
[Alright, the round is a draw. That means the next question will be a tie-breaker. I asked the questions twice in a row, so, it's only fair you do the question.]{np}
Rumpelstiltskin was puzzled by his calm acceptance.
But he did get what he wanted and it was his turn to ask. so his mind quickly became occupied with making a question. He thought about it for a moment and asked
[Who will be the owner of these gold veins in one year?] {np}
The question was immediately followed by a stern warning from Rumpelstiltskin.
[If you say the Kedora Merchant Alliance or any other person or entity, I will devour every single one of you. Of course, such task could not be done instantly.{np}
but a year worth of time is enough. Enough to end you
or any other fool who dares to claim the ownership. That fear would spread and the fools will stop. Besides, the barrier you claimed to have put will be over by then. No matter what the circumstance is the answer is absolute and only one. Isn't it?]{np}
Rumpelstiltskin glowing with a sense of victory looked at
Baroconsi. The countenance of Baroconsi did not alter at all. As if to show he has been expecting the demon's answer all along simply answered.{np}
[The owner of the gold veins in one year's time would be you,
Rumpelstiltskin.] Rumpelstiltskin was somewhat troubled by lack of disappoinment in Baroconsi's face but was joyous and said.
[Yes, you admitted yourself. I am the owner of this place! So I win! Haha!]{np}
[Not necessarily.]
[What do you mean?]
[I win two rounds and one was a draw. The score is 2 to nil. We won the game and we are the owner of this place.]{np}
The demon countered.
[Even if that is true, you've said it yourself, I will be the master in one year. That means, the gold veins become mine.
And furthermore, you are bound by your own words that you will not be able to mine any gold from here. That means, I de facto own them.]{np}
[Indeed. Now, let's get down to business.
Literally. Let's negotiate.]
[What's the meaning of this?]{np}
[Business negotiation. We, the Kedora Merchant Alliance, will sell you
this gold mine to you for a price.
Name your price right, we will even disable the barrier. That could technically make the amount of gold extract more than 0, as we've previously established.
The result of this game might change but that's just a simple paradox puzzle...]{np}
Rumpelstiltskin saw the man, Baroconsi, before his very eyes
talking quite vaguely about pros and cons of the deal, the method of the transaction and a simple logical solution to the simple paradox puzzle mentioned before. The demon said to himself.
[Contrary to what you've said, perhaps I am too trusting of people's words.]{np}
Not much is known how the deal went down exactly.
According to one version of the story, Rumpelstiltskin paid a massive amount of silver to the Kedora Merchant Alliance and bought the gold mine. The demon did not touch the gold for he considered the deal to be his defeat.
Rumpelstiltskin who has been almost unbeatable in a game or a bet had only three losses. This story was his first and the last was with Lydia Schaffen.
As it is known by many, after the game with Lydia Schaffen, Rumpelstiltskin became unable to win or lose, not even participate in a game.


A history book obtained after helping Investigator Horatio. It appears to be about the interactions between the Kedora Merchant Alliance and the demons. Right-click to read.


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