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14. HENGE
[Solved by 64 players]
CLUE:
Divisor

The scene: the chieftainís hut in a Prehistoric village on Salisbury Plain, England.
There is a 'knock knock' on the door...


Yep, who is it?
The village shaman your illustriousness.
Oh come on in, howís the world of witch doctoring today ?
You know I donít like that phrase, I prefer 'portal through which the gods speak'.
Yeah, whatever. Anyway, whatís up?

Iíve had a vision.
(Groan) Oh not another one.
The gods have spoken to me in my vision.
Ok, letís have it, what do they want now?
A circle.

A circle?
A circle.
We made them a wooden circle a couple of years ago, itís still out there by the toilets. No one goes near it.
I use it.
Well, ok, you use it, no one else does.

The villagers are philistines, thatís why.
Well, letís face it, crops have been dreadful since then, so much for it appeasing the gods and them sending down a bountiful harvest. No wonder everyone avoids it like one of Gudrun's jokes.
I know why it hasnít worked.
Go on.
Itís too small.

Too small?
Too small.
Well it took us ages to find enough wood for it after one of your previous visions that the gods wanted all the forests burnt down.
Ah yes, I may have ever so slightly misconstrued the omens in that vision.
I've heard that one before. Brings a whole new meaning to "ever so slightly".

Anyway, we need a circle, a big one. Oh and it has to be made of stone.
Well at least we wont have to go looking for trees again. But then again, there isnít any stone around here.
No your lordshipness.
So where do we get the stone from?
Wales.

Whales?
Wales.
Where is that?
Itís about 90 leagues or so, say a couple of hundred miles.
How far?!! Most of our rabble havenít been 10 miles from the village in their lives. And how do we find Wales?

We just go towards the setting sun and the gods will show us the path.
Yeah, right, like they showed us the path to that mermaid you had a vision about and half the guys nearly drowned.
I have confidence in the gods.
I wish I did.
The people will like the stone circle, and it will be a symbol.

Symbol of what?
Our magnificance, just like your magnificantness self.
I remain unconvinced, but I suppose it is for the gods. How many stones do we need?
Quite a lot.
How many is quite a lot?

Iím not exactly sure but say about 110 rocks to make a nice circle.
Oh is that all, Iíll send a couple of the chaps off to Wales with a sack to collect them.
I meant stones, as in monoliths, not little pebbles.
Whatís a monolith?
A big stone.

And Wales has these and we go pick them up?
Well, not exactly, we carve them from a mountain your brilliantness.
What?! You are kidding arenít you.
No.
What do we carve them with? All we have is that antler bone axe thing old Gudred made, and that keeps breaking.

Weíll invent tools for the task.
Really? This lot weren't able to invent a way to keep the sheep in the pen.
It will be done, after all the gods have decreed it.
What else do we need?
Quite a lot of manpower.

Now I am a bit confused, exactly how big are these stones we are going to carve from the mountain?
About 5 tons each your bountifulness.
Whatís a ton?
A heavy thing, like 25 elephants I think.
Thatís a big sucker! What's an elephant? Oh never mind.

When you see the circle complete youíll like it.
Was this one of your mead induced visions?
I am reformed, no mead, well only on solstice days.
I've noticed we seem to have a lot of these solstice days.
Today isnít one your greatness.

Ok, so let me get this straight, we need loads of bloomin great stones, they are in Wales, inside a mountain, have I got it right?
Pretty much.
And how are we to get them back here? Of course that's if we should ever find Wales and get them out of the mountain.
We'll transport them on boats and sledges.
Whatís a boat? Oh, doubtless another of your inventions.

Yes, it carries things and floats on water.
We could have done with that when we went mermaid chasing.
Itíll be fine.
I have this feeling this may be a bit too much for us shaman, youíre going to need quite a few people for this project.
Yes, I estimate about 125 people, for a century or so.

What! Our population is only 105 and thatís includes women and children, and that useless Gudren.
We can borrow some people from the next village.
I doubt that as they arenít talking to us since we burnt down all their trees.
Weíll just have to make do, the gods have asked for it, so we must oblige.
Well I could spare maybe a couple of the guys, but at that rate, itíll take them forever. Doesnít really seem worth the effort, does it?

But it is. If we took all our men it would speed things up your inspirationalness.
No way, you remember what happened last time we left the women in charge when we went mermaid hunting, they were useless at farming, and then they formed a coffee morning club, whatever coffee is as they wouldn't let us have any when they found out what a mermaid is.
Itíll work, I know it. And we can orientate it so that we know when there will be an eclipse.
A what?
An eclipse, when the sun disappears during the day.

Oh you mean when the gods are displeased.
Yes.
The way the harvests have been going I am surprised we don't have more eclipses as they seem permanently pissed off with us.
This stone circle will solve that. And then we can start on the really big circle
Thatís more like it. Eh? What really big circle?

The main stone circle we'll build next will be a lot bigger.
You really have been at the mead. Look, one thing at a time, we can worry about the big buggers when the first lot's done.
So you are in agreement to us building this stone henge your majestyness?
Ah henge, thatís the name that I have been grasping for. So it will be a stone henge, has a nice ring to it.
And weíll also have some wooden henges and earthwork embankments around it.

Now you really are pushing your luck.
Agreed then?
Do I have a choice?
Not really, itís for the gods you see.
Well ok then, start at it. Iím off for some mead.

But itís not a solstice day.
Now it is.
Village shaman leaves.
Chieftain murmursÖ
Iíd sack him and get a new shaman if he wasnít my brother.