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The Tale of the 7 VAs (Part 1)

Banner with title "The tale of the 7 VAs Part 1" surrounded by ninja helmets on different colors against a pink and orange toned background with mountains and a rising sun

GSU presents the first part of a mini epic tale about delegation. Inspired in the works of Akira Kurosawa and John Sturges. Join Stan in his journey towards freedom as he discovers the perks of delegation and the power of teamwork.

Once upon a time, at the foot of a great mountain…

here was a snowy town covered in frosty sparkling snowdrops, where people lived in joyous harmony. It was the first days of August, the snow started to shy away and the northern birds journeyed home. Burnout Man, the town’s annual festival, was around the corner. People from all over the region come to the festival to enjoy food, drinks, experiences and shows. This makes it one of the most profitable periods for business owners in the town. 

Everyone starts preparing for the event months in advance, and while it is a grand tradition amongst the townsfolk, some become terrified once the festival start date approaches. Our hero, Stan, at the moment, is sadly one of those scared people. He owns the only law firm in town, a small office below the first trees near the mountain ascent path. Stan has proudly owned his business for over four years, earning a name for himself within the community… as ‘The Scratching Lawyer’. 

The notorious nickname came about after his first year of opening his firm. Thanks to his incredible skills as an attorney, cases started coming to him more quickly than he cared to admit. Coming from a tough background, Stan always felt he could conquer anything if he put his soul and heart to it. Committed to assisting everyone, he scheduled appointments incessantly, meticulously managing every intricate detail. Gradually, an itch at the back of Stan’s head began to grow more bothersome, reaching the point where he was practically always scratching his head.

At every festival, Stan would feel a sense of panic. He was already overworked and behind schedule in several cases; the festival only meant more work. For two years, Stan had worked over 85 hours a week, to the point of exhaustion. To add insult to a busy schedule, someone robbed his business using his own keys. 

Anticipating that this year would follow the same pattern, no matter the intensity of his efforts to safeguard his business, it was probable that he would collapse again. . Focused on preventing this from happening again, Stan set out to discover and adopt one of the oldest myths in town folklore: “The 7 VAs.”

According to legend, seven beings roam the mountains, each capable of incredible feats and equipped with a unique skill set. Over time, townsfolk have shared stories of various circumstances where they claimed to have come in ‘contact’ with one of the VAs. Curious and skeptical individuals have labeled the legend as ‘absurd’; however, others testify to its authenticity.The eldest of the town stated, ‘Whoever controls the 7 VAs controls their life.

With less than a year before the festival, Stan gears up, locks his business and leaves word with his neighbor to please look out for it while he’s gone. One more time, he’s advised not to go on his delusional quest, saying he will just get hurt, lost or worse… Ignoring them, with his sight fixed upon the mountain, Stan starts his journey towards freedom…

The First VA – Do You Need Help?

After hours of trudging along the mountain path burdened by heavy luggage on his back, Stan came upon a woman seated on a carpet, arranging an assortment of rocks. Immersed in her task, she remained oblivious to Stan, who paid her no mind and struggled on with his gear.  His footfalls stumbling, he almost toppled over before the woman finally registered his presence. Rising to her feet, she approached him, casting a glance over his load. Noticing Stan’s determination amidst his tiredness, she asked him – do you need help? – Stan did not reply right away. He kept recovering and thinking about how he would love assistance along his journey. However, he has trouble delegating things, specifically within his business.

The woman kept a warm smile while waiting for Stan’s reply. Still unsure what to answer, he remembered instances where he would have loved a helping hand and swiftly replied – Yes, I do, please. – Smiling, the woman helped Stan organize his gear. Stan was amazed at how tidy and organized his stuff looked after. The woman who introduced herself as “Eadlin” listened to Stan’s plans to manage the VAs while dealing with unwanted items. While Stan imagined she would laugh, she actually listened very carefully and pointed him in the right direction. Relieved by having found Eadlin and carrying a much lighter weight on his shoulders, Stan bid farewell and continued his journey.

The Second VA – Towards Ascending

After walking a couple of hours, Stan rested for a few minutes and kept walking a narrow path that started to turn steep. As Stan arrived at a mountain pass, where he needed to cross below a stoned arch he had noticed in the distance, he saw a man near the entrance. This man stood next to a large wooden panel, gazing at it intensely as he organized some kind of board. Approaching him, Stan stared at the stone arc above; the man, noticing Stan, dramatically changed his posture and appearance. With much more joy and warmth, he spread his arms and greeted Stan with a big smile, “Hello, welcome! I’m Vraj, and I’m stoked to make your acquaintance.” A bit overwhelmed by the welcoming gesture, Stan nodded his head.

Vraj carefully explained how Stan was about to enter the “VA Trials“. He explained what he should expect, recommendations, and even an opportunity to book a fast trip back after completing them. Stan was impressed by the level of attentiveness and knowledge demonstrated by Vraj, who, on top of everything else, was always smiling and attentive to every question Stan asked. Joyful of booking a fast-trip home, Stan parted ways with Vraj. He shared one final warning before crossing the arch – Once you cross, there’s no way back. You need to finish the trials. – Driven to succeed, Stan nodded and said – Thank you for everything. You were incredibly helpful. – Vraj humbly nodded back and bid farewell. Stan crossed the stone arch feeling that he was in the right place.

The Third VA – The Sound Fissure

Stan spent the night near the river bank. Having had nightmares about past festivals, he couldn’t sleep much. Stan walked along the river and heard water passing through. It was then that he noticed a different sound gaining volume. Taking a turn near some trees, he noticed a big man playing a huge musical instrument. It looked like a classical guitar but enormous and with a mechanical horn and percussion system integrated. The man made a cacophony of sounds that made thinking impossible. It was an impressive musical set, but harmony, melody, and a message were missing. Stan got close to him and realized the big man was playing next to a massive fissure separating the rest of the path.

He turned to Stan, noticeably upset, and said: – I am Marley. Oh, how would I get across, mister? My village expects me to return with supplies before the festival – . As Marley spoke, he moved his body ,and some instruments made noises. Stan noticed a sparkling mirage had started to form. To test an idea, Stan asked Marley to perform any song or melody. When Marley started playing, the sounds were still out of sync. However, Stan noticed how the closer Marley got to a melody, the more tangible the mirage appeared.Stan thought that if he could direct Marley to play a clear tune, the fissure would close itself, allowing them to cross.

Stan started a conversation with Marley. While listening to his background and ideas, he realized what Marley needed. Together, they devised a strategy. Stan would help direct and channel Marley’s emotions as he finds the perfect rhythm and melody for the song. – Think of the song as the message you would like to hear. Be clear and allow your creativity to flow.” – Completely focused, Marley started to play a beautiful tune, slowly incorporating different instruments until it became a thunderous roar, echoing throughout the mountains. Together, they crossed the visible path and shook hands. Stan shared how Marley could become the ultimate salesman with his music set. Marley was able to move, thanks to Stan. They wished each other well and parted ways. Stan continued on his journey. He walked for a few days until he found himself near the midway point, also known as the point of no return.

To be continued…


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