The Adventures of Rothus, page 44 [D-824]

The dwarven caves, the throne room:

Evan is escorted out of the throne room to begin working on a sword to impress King Horthgar. The rest of us go out the other door and are led by the King himself to the mysterious room where I spoke with Mother. “Well, I’ll follow to the room, but I’m not going to go into it. I’ll just knit in the hall or something,” Lily says. I think she’s just a coward.

On the way, Aeryn asks about Thurgor Stronghammer. It is a name that she came across during her research in the dwarven library. King Horthgar explains that there was once a King Stronghammer and that he must be the dwarf pictured in the tome Aeryn was searching. Horthgar is the 12th king to have held the throne. The conversation brings us up to a familiar part of the tunnels. I know this door. The King stops right in front.

“Here is the room you are looking for. I’ve dubbed the room of Truth,” he says. “I hope that you see what you need to see.” I don’t see any peculiar people around that look like the guy who pushed me in here the first time. That’s a good omen, I think.

I open the door and it is eerily dark. Lotech jumps in, crashing to the ground. Lily steps in to help. “Wait, I didn’t want to come in here,” she says. Travis, Lotech, Aeryn and I all rush in, blocking Lily’s escape. Inside the room it is dark, really dark. I remember this part. But this time, I am able to see the other people in the room for some reason. They are crystal clear, even though the walls are a black field of nothing.

“My farm is going to appear soon. Just wait a moment,” I say encouragingly. Lily tries to summon up some light, but it doesn’t change what we are able to see. We deduce that it has something to do with the amulets, so experiments are in order! I take off my amulet and suddenly cannot see anyone. But they can still see me. Hmmm.... I’ll have to think on this for a while.

Hoping to trigger a vision of the farm, I walk around the walls like I did the first time. Nothing happens. In fact, I can’t find the door through which we entered. Yet, the farm doesn’t appear! We are trapped. Well, we can be just a little patient, the farm has to appear soon enough.

After a time, the door opens up! The dwarves are outside looking at us questioningly. Why didn’t it work for us? Were there too many of us all at once? Or is someone in the group spoiling it? Fickle magic. See, that’s why I rely on my own two hands. And of course, the effort of others. We all step out of the room, except for Aeryn who stays inside. We close the door and wait. After a while, she steps back out, confused and in awe.

“Did you see the farm?” I ask.

“No,” Aeryn says, “I talked to Desna*....”

“We are near one of the node stones of power,” she continues. “Whether we believe it or not, we have already found one. It is likely not the stone of darkness, but as to which stone it is, I don’t know. Also, there is definitely a seventh stone.”

We all stand in awe. She got to talk with a goddess! I mean, I love Mother and all, but Desna is a real, live deity! In hopes of harvesting more truths, Lily pushes Travis into the room and closes the door. We wait and wait, but nothing happens. Travis walks out and Lily takes the opportunity to push Lotech into the room. Nothing happens.

“What do you know about the stones of power, my lord?” I ask the king.

“I don’t have any stones of power,” he concludes. With that, he calmly guides his procession away down the halls, leaving a dwarf who might guide us back to the forges once we are done.

Desna did not specify that the stone is here in the mountains nor that we have it in our possession, only that we have found it already. What if the mountain is the stone? Or it is in the bracers? Or the dragon has it? Oh, too many possibilities....

*Desna is the goddess of dreams, stars, travelers and luck.

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