The Twelve Pastas of Rigatonicles - by Peista
The Twelfth Pasta
At last the final year of Rigatonicles' redemption had come, and it was time for his greatest trial yet. Rigatonicles was busy on his farm, trying not to speculate too much on what was to come, but come it did, and with great surprise. King Eurystrenette came to him in the dead of night, alone and unarmed, which was unusual in itself. He summoned Rigatonicles into a private meeting, and spoke to him in whispers. What he told him sent shivers down his spine, and Rigatonicles was for the first time truly fearful of a trial. It would take all his skill and cunning to commit, and nothing less than the most supreme effort would ensure its successful completion. Leaving Rigatonicles to ponder his mission in silence, King Eurystrenette left for his city.
Rigatonicles sat in silence for many days, neither eating, speaking, nor drinking. After several days of fasting, he suddenly stood up and requested a meal be prepared for him consisting of all the ingredients he had collected in his previous travels. Much fuss was made over the preparation, and Rigatonicles gave specific instructions on what to do. Finally it was ready, and he sat down with all his friends and farm-workers, instructing them to eat of the meal and drink of the grog. Rigatonicles appeared resplendent in his regalia, which had been cleaned for him, and ate and drank heartily of all that was before him. Those who looked at him thought they saw a glow about his body, and many thought they saw extra appendages emanate forth from him, but they put this down to the grog and heavy meal. Soon the food and drink were gone, and after much singing of old land shanties, Rigatonicles bade everyone to retire for the night.
When the morning came, Rigatonicles was nowhere to be found, and all that remained of him was his full regalia, his weapons, and a note. The note stated that the farm was to be run as normal in his absence, and as he had no idea how long it would take to complete his fifth trial, to do so for as long as possible. Everyone was sad for him leaving without saying goodbye, but all understood it to be necessary for whatever he had to do. What they feared the most was that he had left without weapons and armour, and all felt him to be naked without his regalia, yet they could do nothing, and respected his wishes for them not to seek him. Time carried on, and life did too, the people settling down to life as normal, but there was nary a day when someone would not wonder where he was or what he was doing, so his memory persisted amongst them.
Now Rigatonicles had indeed left naked, without any personal effects, and travelled to Elanterneusia to be inducted into the Elanterneusian Mysteries. Presenting himself at the gate to the temple, he offered his life to their cause, and asked to be taught their ways. Upon seeing who it was at their gates, the priests were excited; never had they received someone so famous since their inception many thousands of years ago. In he went as the gates opened, and he was greeted by a group of the highest order. Instructing him in what was to happen, and asking why he had sought them out, much information was exchanged, and so in awe were they of what he was to do, much haste was made with his induction. For a year did he toil in the trials, taking part in all that he was required to, and passing all tests with flying colours.
He quickly attained his first rank, and everyone who saw his progress was impressed by him. His prowess in every aspect of the mysteries became legendary within the order, and much talk spread that here was the one that they had waited for all this time, who was foretold in the prophecies handed down over the ages. Was he to be the one who initiated the whole world into the mysteries, and was to bring peace to all the world? Nobody knew, but this speculation grew over the coming years.
Rigatonicles learnt all that was required of him, and spent much time reading the ancient manuscripts kept in their library. This facilitated his rise, and by the end of his fifth year there, he was to finally experience the Great Mystery itself, and become one of the order's highest ranking priests. The preparations were made, and the most mysterious secrets were readied to be shown him, for he had achieved ἐποπτεία, which is called contemplation in the outside world. His initiation into the Elanterneusian Mysteries required him to fast the day before, which he did, and then he took the special grog Kykeon, which precipitated a vision of his goal. A great many people on ships with huge sails were there, with the strangest looking mountain he had ever seen. Also nearby was a building, the like of which he had also never seen, with a large number of men and women entering and exiting. He was very excited at all this, and as the vision was about to come to an end, he felt something touch his shoulder. This excited and thrilled him, and only foretold what was to come.
Being taken into the centre of the secret hall where the mysteries were kept, Rigatonicles was given the regalia of the order, which included a strange hat, an eye patch, the most outlandish outfit he had ever seen, and the holy weapon, the short sword. Full knowledge of the order's most secret mysteries was also given to him, and the time came for the final test. Only a full master of the Elanterneusian Mysteries would be able to open the box, and only after much contemplation, but upon touching it, it sprang open. The other masters present then threw themselves on the ground, for it was foretold that the chosen one would show himself with this innate skill. Only then was his destiny confirmed once and for all, and they came to him in supplication and reverence. Rigatonicles thanked them all, and took out the relics, for they were truly old. Inside the box were the remains for the first pirate and the first midget, alongside the tablets the eight "I'd Really You Rather Didn't"s were originally written on. Committing them to memory at once, Rigatonicles replaced the relics and stood, addressing the masters. He told them that a time of change was coming, and now that he had completed his training, the time had come for him to go.
Much celebration was had, and the day after, with a slight hangover, he left Elanterneusia to continue on his trial. Using the knowledge he had attained in Elanterneusia, he travelled to the edge of a mighty river unlike no other. The river flowed fast, but appeared very thick, almost sauce-like in its consistency. Dipping his finger into the river and tasting it, he at once knew that he had reached his destination: the River Styxetti. The river was pure pasta sauce, the origin of which was unknown outside of the masters, and being one of them now, Rigatonicles knew from whence it flowed. Finding the ferryman Charon, Rigatonicles paid him the crossing fee of fine pasta, and travelled across on Charon's boat. Once on the other side, he was met by his old lover, Bucatini, who was sad to see Rigatonicles. Rigatonicles embraced him, telling him not to fear, as he was not yet dead, and they made love on the shores of the River Styxetti. Feeling much better, Bucatini took him into the land beyond, and to his ultimate goal.
Exiting from a cave, Rigatonicles looked around, and at once recognised the scene from his vision. Here was the mountain, which he now understood to be a volcano of infinitely flowing beer. There was the vast sea, alive with ships of all sizes and makes. Over there was the strange building, which he now understood to be a "factory", a word alien to him, that produced strippers of all types and for all tastes. Walking forward in the beautifully clear air, Rigatonicles made for the owner and creator of all he surveyed, approaching with caution. The Creator was resplendent with meatballs, radiant in pasta, and drunk with beer. Beseeching the FSM, Rigatonicles asked if he could borrow His pet, a three-headed dog named Champonerus, the fiercest dog in existence. The FSM agreed, and told Rigatonicles that if he could subdue the dog without weapons, he could have him on loan. So Rigatonicles removed his holy short sword, which he had noticed was very different to the curved swords everyone else wore, and removed his regalia, which was also quite different, standing their in his nudity. Rigatonicles then approached the dog, and with his strength, speed, wisdom, and knowledge, was able to overcome it quite easily.
Returning to the FSM with Champonerus, Rigatonicles thanked the FSM, and promised to return the dog unharmed. The FSM then absolved Rigatonicles of all his past sins, freeing him from the burden of the tasks, although the dog still had to be taken to King Eurystrenette. Inviting Rigatonicles to dine on him, the FSM prepared a feast of the best ingredients. Rigatonicles helped, and in the course of the preparation, the FSM told him the secret to decent pasta sauce, giving him the seeds of every plant needed to make such a meal. At last the meal was ready, and the pirates, strippers, and midgets joined them, everyone eating and drinking heartily. Near the end of the meal, Rigatonicles asked the FSM why the pirates there were dressed similarly to him, but also so very different, and was told that in the future would come a dark time, and from this dark time would arise a movement of enlightenment which would bring with it a change in the appearance of the pirate folk. Asking what he could do to stop it, Rigatonicles was told that there was nothing he could do, and that the period of enlightenment he would usher in on his return would last for 3000 years, also hinting that this future enlightenment would come from one of his many descendants. Happy with this, Rigatonicles rejoined the festivities, and when the end came, he fell into a great sleep.
Awaking from his sleep, he found that he had been carried back to the entrance to the cave, and that beside him slept his old lover, Bucatini. Rousing Bucatini from his slumber, Rigatonicles collected Champonerus, and all three made their way back to the River Styxetti. Bidding a sweaty and passionate farewell to Bucatini, promising to return one day, Rigatonicles boarded Charon's boat with Champonerus to traverse the river to the other side. The journey was long and arduous, but knowing that this was the end was a great relief to him.
At last he returned home, and was within sight of the city walls. Many people saw and recognised him, but were mightily fearful of Champonerus, and admired him from a great distance. Shouting for King Eurystrenette, Rigatonicles presented the three-headed dog of the FSM, Champonerus, and the king was as afraid as his people, jumping into a large vase nearby. At once the king bade Rigatonicles to return the dog to its rightful owner, and he would release him from his tasks immediately. Rigatonicles whispered to the dog in the secret language of the Order of Elanterneusia, and at once the dog ran away back to its master, but not before licking him with its three large tongues, and begging to be stroked and loved. This cemented Rigatonicles' place in history as the mightiest of the mighty Heroes. Rigatonicles was then released from his penance, and for the first time in many years, was a free man.
So thus had ended The Twelve Pastas of Rigatonicles, and In honour of the tasks, King Eurystrenette offered the hand of his virgin daughter Hebe to Rigatonicles, saying that he would make him and his daughter the heirs to his kingdom. Rigatonicles accepted, and summoning Hipastyta, the three of them were married in an equal union. Hipastyta and Hebe were at once the best of friends, and the most passionate of lovers, which greatly pleased Rigatonicles, especially when between them.
Between the three of them, a great republic was forged, and they sent emissaries out to all the regions that Rigatonicles had visited. Every region pledged themselves in service to Rigatonicles, Hipastyta, and Hebe, and measures were taken to ensure that peace reigned. Emissaries were sent from every region to every other region, along with many citizens who would instruct the people they met of the different customs and practises of their own regions. This worked very well, as they took with them also their recipes for pasta, and the seeds of the powerful plants that Rigatonicles had collected.
Many were the offspring of Rigatonicles and his most revered wives, those children further spreading the love of pleasure, and the joy of pasta. Much sex was had throughout the republic in honour of their leaders' lives, and because the people were making love not war, a lasting peace reigned for three millennia, remaining the longest reign of peace in known history, but the ending of that is another story to be told by those to come.
Roland Deschain - Half prophet, half gunslinger, all Pastafarian!
"Since Alexander Pearce escaped, over 250 people have disappeared in the Tasmanian wilderness. No remains have ever been found." - Dying Breed