“Several moons ago, we sensed a great panic followed by a calm emanating from the southern lands,” explained Claude Sassal, 67, who leads the Sassel tribe. “As well as a reduction in the number of cars, delivery trucks, and lost tourists passing through.”
Sassal says that he and other elders including Josie Hupperdange, 72, of the Hupperdange clan, and Carlos Boxhorn, 78, of the Boxhorn folk selected an emissary to travel southwards along the Rossmillen trail, which northern people have been using for millenia to reach the hinterlands of the south.
The emissary was a robust 47-year-old shepherd named Hertwig who had once journeyed as far south as Ettelbruck as a boy. Equipped with a walking stick and a map dating back to the Napoleonic Wars, he set off but returned disheveled and confused three weeks later after taking a wrong turn in Kautenbach.
The elders then selected another emissary, a 17-year-old stable boy named Balthasar, renowned for his moral character and vigor. He returned two months later in good spirits, but with pierced ears and an unfinished tattoo of a wolf smoking a cigar on his upper arm.
“Our Balthasar struggled to understand the carp-lipped Latinate tongue of the southern folk, but by combining gestures with images on handheld devices, they were able to teach him about the existence of a pestilence, as well as how to safeguard himself and his people against it,” Sassal said.
Sassal went on to explain that all members of the northern tribes must now wrap their faces in blue parchment, purify their hands with grain alcohol, and keep a distance of two meters from others.
“Which our scholars have calculated is a bit more than three ells,” he said. “That’s to say, less than an entire rute, or about five féiss, obviously.”