As Casper struggles with the decision of whether to offer up his own claim on found treasure to seek greater potential through reasoning with the dragon, Elwenar shares a story his mother told him on their long travels between Elven towns.
’There once was a village that was visited by a god. At least, the creature claimed to be a god, and its powers certainly convinced many people. It claimed to be the God of Bounty, and it gave out many gifts indeed. But the god decreed that none with greed in their hearts would ever receive the fullest extent of its blessing. To that end, the god put one simple test to every person it offered its blessing. If you were chosen, the god would come to you with two boxes, red and green, and say the following:
“These boxes contain the bounty that I have deemed you worthy to receive. Of these two boxes, you may choose to take only the green box, or you may choose to take both the red box and the green box. The red box surely contains a hundred gold pieces. The green box contains my judgement. I have seen everything about your life up to this point. I have noted the influences, and seen your choices. I have followed the chain of cause and effect as each action you take follows the pressures that have made you who you are. With this knowledge, I have predicted your choice in this very test. If my prediction was that you would choose only the green box, then that box will contain a gem of exceptional value, worth easily a million gold. If I deduced that would would choose to take both boxes, then the green box will contain nothing.”
The first to receive the Bounty was the local priest. Although this priest was not a disciple of this unknown god, and did not even know if its claim to divinity was true, the priest believed in this power of prediction. “I am hardly concerned with money to begin with,” he said, “surely a hundred gold could be used to help keep the church’s coffers healthy, but I care more for the souls of my flock. Take the red box away, and give me only what the green one contains.” When the supposed god had vanished, the priest opened his remaining box to find that, despite is lack of care for material things, he had become a very, very rich man.
Later, the god came to a powerful wizard, and once again offered both boxes. “I can see that there is nothing special about these boxes,” said the wizard “and I know that no decision that I make now could possibly change their contents. Whatever is in them, is in them, so I see no reason to take one instead of two. Give me both boxes, if you please.” The god acquiesced, and the wizard found the green box empty.
The god came finally to the most cunning merchant in all the land. if ever there was an opportunity for gain, the merchant would find it, and you could be sure that she would pounce on it immediately. So tell me little one, did she choose one box, or two?’